The Mystery of Providence by John Flavel
Do we believe that everything in the world and in our own lives down to the minutest details is ordered by the providence of God? Do we ever take time to observe and mediate on the workings of Providence? If not, are we missing much?
It should be a delight and pleasure to us to discern how God works all thins in the wold for His own glory and His people’s good. But it should be an even greater pleasure to observe the particular designs of providence in our own lives. ‘O what a wold of rarities,’ says John Flavel, ‘are to be found in providence . . . With what profound wisdom, infinite tenderness and incessant vigilance it has managed all that concerns us from first to last.’ It was to persuade Christians of the excellency of observing and meditating upon this that Flavel first published this Mystery on Providence in 1678.
Since then the work has gone through many editions. Based on the words ‘God that performeth all things for me’ (Ps. 57 v. 2) this work shows us how Providence works for us in every stage and experience of our lives. The book is richly illustrated from the lives of believers and from the author’s wide reading in church history. There are avenues of spiritual knowledge and experience opened to the Christian in this work which he probably never knew existed.
About the Author
John Flavel (1628–91), was the son of a Puritan minister who died in prison for his Nonconformity. John was educated at University College, Oxford, and labored for almost the entire period of his ministry at Dartmouth, Devon. Having all the characteristics of the tradition to which he belonged – a tradition which believed that preaching should be “hissing hot,” searching and expository – Flavel attained to preeminence in his ability to combine both instruction and appeal to the heart. Some Puritans might be more learned than he, and some more quaint, but for all-found usefulness none was his superior.