Mystery of Providence
The “Mystery of Providence” by John Flavel presents the Puritan perspective on the providence of God in practical terms. The book is really a lengthy meditation and application of Psalm 52:7, which says "I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me." From this text, Flavel derives his "doctrine" (falling in line with typical Puritan sermon-structure): "It is the duty of the saints, especially in times of straits, to reflect upon the performances of Providence for them in all the states and through all the stages of their lives." This theme is then unfolded in in a three-part treatise, covering 1. The Evidence of Providence, in which Flavel seeks to prove and demonstrate the reality of God's Providential care over the lives of believers by looking at such things as birth, upbringing, conversion, employment, family affairs, preservation from evil, and sanctification; 2. Meditation on the Providence of God, where the author shows that it is our duty to meditate on Providence, directs in how to do this, and then covers ten advantage to gained from this practice; and 3. Application of the Doctrine of Providence, in which the practical implications of the doctrine are considered and the problems and questions arising in peoples minds are answered. Though not as witty or colorful as Thomas Brooks, as astute as Stephen Charnock, or as experiential as John Owen, Flavel does have merits to commend him. Having lived a difficult life, he knew firsthand how to rely on God's sovereignty in his life. Flavel's work cultivates a greater awareness of God's mercy, trust in God's wisdom, and resignation to God's will in one's life. Highly recommended.
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Written 300 years ago by a Puritan.User Review - Christianbook.com
John Flavel writes: " Due observations of the ways of God in His providences towards us have an excellent usefullnes and aptitude to advance and improve holiness in our hearts and lives. "
Review: Mystery of ProvidenceUser Review - Christianbook.com
This is one of the two best books I have read on Providence. I wholeheartedly agree with the previous reviewer and cannot improve on what he says.Let me just say that this book is very warm and edifying reading, written on a level that truly reaches the heart. The fact that this excellent classic is still available 332 years after it was first published ought to tell us something: This book has very well stood the test of time.As for the Providence of God in historical events of the 20th century, I suggest "The Hidden Hand," by Yaakov Astor (a Jewish writer, but one with a profound sense of spiritual awareness). It can be checked out on other websites such as Amazon, Judaica Press Inc., and Soncino Press.Both these books need to be taken very seriously by those who would seek to know the Sovereign Lord better, and acknowledge His rule: both in national and personal events.Returning to Christian writers, I also very strongly suggest The Providence of God in History,h by David Fisher, and Behind a Frowning Providence, by John J. Murray. Both of these are available through CBD.