John Flavel (1627-1691) was an English Presbyterian clergyman. Flavel was born at Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and studied at Oxford. A Presbyterian, held livings at Diptford (in Devon) and Dartmouth. He was ejected from the latter as a result of the Great Ejection of 1662; however, he continued to preach there secretly. After the Declaration of Indulgence 1687, became a minister of a Nonconformist Church there. He was a prolific and popular author. Among his works are The Mystery of Providence (1678), Husbandry Spiritualised (1669) and Navigation Spiritualised (1671), The Seamon's Companion (1676), titles which suggest some of his characteristics as a writer. He died at Exeter, Devonshire, on 26 June 1691. Flavel is commemorated in the name of Flavel Road on Bromsgrove's Charford Estate.
Keeping the Heartby John Flavel
The greatest difficulty in conversion-is to win the heart to God. The greatest difficulty after conversion-is to keep the
The heart of man is his worst part before it is regenerated-and the best afterward. It is the seat of principles, and the fountain of actions. The eye of God is fixed upon it-and the eye of the Christian ought to be principally fixed upon it.
The greatest difficulty in conversion-is to win the heart to God. The greatest difficulty after conversion-is to keep the heart with God. Here lies the very force and stress of religion; here is that which makes the way to life a narrow way, and the gate of heaven a strait gate. Direction and help in this great work, are the scope of the text: wherein we have,
An EXHORTATION, "Keep your heart with all diligence."
In the exhortation we shall consider,
First, The matter of the duty.
Secondly, The manner of performing it.
John Flavel was an English Presbyterian clergyman, puritan, and author educated at home and the University of Oxford. He was ordained as a Presbyterian, later a Congregationalist. Later as a nonconformist he was ejected during the Great Ejection of 1662. After the Declaration of Indulgence 1687, he became a minister of a Nonconformist Church there. He was a prolific and popular author. Among his works are A Saint Indeed (aka Keeping the Heart), The Mystery of Providence, Husbandry Spiritualized and Navigation Spiritualized.
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