Friday, November 30, 2007

Thoughts from the Puritan Fathers

Once again, sorry for my lapse in blogging. As you may imagine it is a lower priority for me among the many facets of life as a husband, dad and pastor.

Anyhow, I thought I would start to feature some of the many quotes my friend Jeff Haavisto regularly sends me from his readings. Here are five posts from John Flavel. Enjoy!

The remembrance of former providences will minister to your souls continual matter of praise and thanksgiving, which is the very employment of the angels in heaven, and the sweetest part of our lives on earth.

There are five things belonging to the praise of God, and all of them have relation to His providences exercised in us:

1) A careful observation of the mercies we receive from Him (Isa. 41:17-20). This is fundamental to all praise. God cannot be glorified for the mercies we never noted.

2) A faithful remembrance of the favours received. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits" (Psalms 103:2). Hence the Lord brands the ingratitude of His people, "They soon forgot His works" (Psalms 106:13).

3) A due appreciation and valuation of every providence that does us good (1 Sam. 12:24). That providence that fed them in the wilderness with manna was a most remarkable providence to them; but since they did not value it at its worth, God had not that praise for it which He expected (Num. 11:6).

4) The stirring up of all the faculties and powers of the soul in the acknowledgement of these mercies to us. Thus David: “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me bless his holy name” (Psalms 103:1). Soul-praise is the very soul of praise: this is the very fat and marrow of that thank-offering.

5) A suitable recompense for the mercies received. This David was careful about (Psalms 116:1). And the Lord taxes good Hezekiah for the neglect of it (2 Cor. 32:24-25). This consists in a full and hearty resignation to Him of all that we have received by providence from Him, and in our willingness actually to part with all for Him when He shall require it.

Taken from the book The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel 1678

Thanks Jeff!

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