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Flavel on Adversity

January 3, 2007
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I thought these quotes vital as my body demanded rest from reading, writing, thinking, and any distraction from repelling the virus in occupation. They are from an Internet version of John Flavel: Keeping the Heart.

“Though God has reserved to himself a liberty of afflicting his people, yet he has tied up his own hands by promise never to take away his loving kindness from them. Can I contemplate this scripture with a repining, discontented spirit: ‘I will be his Father, and he shall be my son: if he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of man, and with the stripes of the children of men nevertheless my mercy shall not depart away from him.’ O my heart, my haughty heart! dost thou well to be discontent, when God has given thee the whole tree, with all the clusters of comfort growing on it, because he suffers the wind to blow down a few leaves? Christians have two kinds of goods, the goods of the throne and the goods of the footstool; immoveables and moveables. If God has secured those, never let my heart be troubled at the loss of these: indeed, if he had cut off his love or discovenanted my soul; I had reason to be cast down; but this he hath not done, nor can he do it.”

“Let your mind be deeply impressed with an apprehension of the evil nature and effects of an unsubmissive and restless temper. It grieves the Spirit of God, and induces his departure. His gracious presence and influence are enjoyed only where peace and quiet submission prevail. The indulgence of such a temper gives the adversary an advantage. Satan is an angry and discontented spirit. He finds no rest but in restless hearts. He bestirs himself when the spirits are in commotion; sometimes he fills the heart with ungrateful and rebellious thoughts; sometimes he inflames the tongue with indecent language. Again, such a temper brings great guilt upon the conscience, unfits the soul for any duty, and dishonors the Christian name. O keep your heart, and let the power and excellence of your religion be chiefly manifested when you are brought into the greatest straits.”

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One Comment
  1. Heidi permalink
    January 5, 2007 8:21 am

    “Christians have two kinds of goods, the goods of the throne and the goods of the footstool; immoveables and moveables. If God has secured those, never let my heart be troubled at the loss of these:”

    Wow.

    I will try to remember what he says in the second paragraph too. I know that to be too true: when you start ‘jerking’ against providences, you only make yourself more miserable, and things only become more difficult.

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