Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Wisdom and Insight on What the Content of Christian Blogging Should Aspire puritan divine: John Flavel

"Oh sirs, deal with sin as sin, and speak of heaven and hell as they are, and not as if you were in jest."  -JOHN FLAVEL

"Oh, that I might live to see that day when professors shall not walk in vain show; when they shall please themselves no more with a name to live, being spiritually dead; when they shall no more (as many of them now are) be a company of frothy, vain, and unserious persons, but the majestic beams of holiness shining from their heavenly and serious conversation shall awe the world, and command reverence from all who are about them; when they shall warm the hearts of those who come nigh them, so that men shall say, 'God is truly in these men!'"  -JOHN FLAVEL

"Oh, study your hearts, watch your hearts, keep your hearts! Away with empty names and vain shows; away with unprofitable discourse and bold censures of others. Turn in upon yourselves, get into your closets, and now resolve to dwell there. You have been strangers to this work too long; you have kept other vineyards too long; you have trifled about the borders of religion too long. Will you now resolve to look better to your hearts? Will you hate and come out of the crowds of business and clamors of the world and retire yourselves more than you have done? Oh, that this day you would resolve upon it!"  -JOHN FLAVEL


dec said...

...away with unprofitable discourse and bold censures of others. Turn in upon yourselves, get into your closets, and now resolve to dwell there. You have been strangers to this work too long; you have kept other vineyards too long...

I am not a blogger, but I am human, and this applies to me like a knife applies to its stab wound.

Thanks for the quote.

SJ Camp said...

I am human, and this applies to me like a knife applies to its stab wound.

Me too brother!

These words when I first read them were like a plough through the fallow ground in my life.

I pray the Lord uses them in my daily sanctification in bringing me closer to the Lord by His purifying grace.

I appreciate your openness and honesty in what you shared.

In His grace,

Lane Chaplin said...

Steve, is this from Keeping the Heart? I started that a few days ago.

Here is more great wisdom spoken by Flavel:

"If dying to self is the great work of any human soul in order to go to heaven, and scripture plainly states that it is, then those people that give the corruption of pride and self-righteousness in us occasion to rise up within ourselves do not help us, but rather, they do us a very harmful disservice. Those people and preachers are not our best friends who stir the pride of our hearts by the flattery of their lips. Although we would do well to acknowledge the grace of God when it is active in the lives of others and use words of encouragement wisely and cautiously when our friends are disheartened, the most godly person scarcely shows their own weakness in any one thing more than being glad to hear people talk highly of them. Oh my brothers and sisters, thou carriest gun-powder about thee! You would be wise, therefore, to request others to keep the fire of their flattery at a distance from you. It is a dangerous crisis when a proud heart meets with flattering lips.

There is a well known story that is told of a great German theologian who, when his companion began to compliment his life upon his death bed, said, "Take away the fire for there is still combustible matter about me." Oh how wise he was! Faithful, seasonable, discreet reproofs are much more safe to us and to our advantage than flattering, flowery words. But alas! How few have the wisdom and love to duly administer them?

It is said of Alexander that he fired a philosopher who had been with him for many years because he said, "You have been with me a long time, and yet, you have never reproved me which must be your fault because either you saw nothing in me which needed to be reproved which argues your ignorance or you dared not reprove me which argues of your unfaithfulness."

Oh may it be known: a faithful friend is a faithful reprover, and a wise and faithful reprover is of singular use to any person who is sincerely engaged in trying to please God and save their own souls!"

- John Flavel

donsands said...

Those are good words for the believers heart of hearts.

Is there room for humor in the believers life though?

Is there a blending of hunor and seriousness with the believers heart?

Of course, if one is constantly joking about spiritual things, then his witness will be bad, or worse than bad.

But if one is continually serious, wouldn't his witness be less than genuine as well, and even misleading, though what he says may even be true.

Seems there may be a time for humor, and a time for seriousness, as there is a time for sorrow, and a time to dance.

But the Gospel must be revered, and proclaimed with clarity and hunility at all times.

BTW, I love to hear the thoughts of all these great servants of God, the Puritans.

Debbie said...
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Debbie said...

Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful writer! In bits of time over the last couple of days I’ve read a few pages from Keeping the Heart. I loved this quote so much that I copied and framed it to put above my desk – “It is impossible that a disordered and neglected heart should ever produce well ordered conversation; and since the issues or streams of life flow out of the heart as their fountain, it must follow, that such as the heart is, the life will be.”

Making Psalm 19:14 my prayer,


littlegal_66 said...

"Wisdom and insight" from another:

"All our words ought to be filled with true sweetness and grace; and this will be so if we mingle the useful with the sweet."
- Calvin

(He would have made a great blogger).

And this two-edged admonition from the ultimate Authority on all matters causes me to fear that they may apply to our blogged words as well as our spoken words.

"I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."
- Jesus Christ
(Matthew 12:36-37)