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Comment: Used book in acceptable condition. Has very little wear and tear on the cover. Binding is tight and in excellent condition. Has church library stampings on cover pages. Otherwise has pristine, unmarked pages.
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Mystery of Providence (Puritan Paperbacks) Paperback – June 1, 1963


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Product Details

  • Series: Puritan Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Banner of Truth (June 1, 1963)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 085151104X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0851511047
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.8 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #403,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Flavel (1627–1691) was an English Presbyterian clergyman. Flavel was born at Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and studied at Oxford. A Presbyterian, he held livings at Diptford (in Devon) and Dartmouth. He was ejected from the latter as a result of the Great Ejection of 1662; however, he continued to preach there secretly. After the Declaration of Indulgence 1687, became a minister of a Nonconformist Church there. He was a prolific and popular author. Among his works are The Mystery of Providence (1678), Husbandry Spiritualised (1669) and Navigation Spiritualised (1671), The Seamon's Companion (1676), titles which suggest some of his characteristics as a writer. He died at Exeter, Devonshire, on 26 June 1691. Flavel is commemorated in the name of Flavel Road on Bromsgrove's Charford Estate. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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And he writes in such a simple and clear manner.
Mary Z. Holland
Flavel's book is an excellent meditation on the important doctrine of the providence of God.
Joel Radford
I have read tthis book many times, and was delighted to find it on Kindle.
Sgt. Bilko

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By C. Boone on November 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
John Flavel lived in England during the second half of the 17th Century. That may seem to disqualify him from speaking to people on the verge of entering the 21st Century - but in actuality I found his little book extremely practical and inspirational. Flavel looks at what he believes to be the Scriptural teaching that God is indeed involved in our everyday lives. This "Providence" of God, His dealing in our lives, is explored from every angle imaginable by the time the book is over. The discussion is not merely theoretical. Flavel lived in difficult political and disease-ridden times. Three times he married only to bury his spouse because of sickness-induced death. He himself was hunted like a criminal, often chased into the woods and forced to seek shelter from the hands of strangers. And yet, Flavel held onto his faith in a loving God, and explains to us how we can see that loving God in the events of every day - even if those events seem harsh and difficult. R.C. Sproul is a modern author who has discussed God's providence in his book entitled, The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work For Good? Sproul examines God's Providence with modern questions in mind and does a good job answering those questions. But Flavel speaks more to the heart of hurting people than Sproul does. The two books complement each other - but if I had to choose just one, I'd take the one written in the crucible of a difficult life of the 17th Century. I'd choose Flavel's.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Brian G Hedges on December 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
This "Puritan Paperback" 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.
I personally found the first half of the book to be a little more laborious than the latter half. From about chapter eight onwards, the book was full of good and clear instruction. Flavel differs from many other Puritan authors I have read. He is not as witty and colorful as Thomas Brooks, as practical as Thomas Manton, as astute as Stephen Charnock, or as experiential as John Owen - but he has merits to commend him. He lived a difficult life in which he knew first hand how to rely on God's sovereignty in his life, and his work cultivates a greater awareness of God's mercy, trust in God's wisdom, and resignation to God's will in one's life. I would recommend it.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Knightley Emma on January 2, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wish I had read this in high school or college but then again, God's providence was at work with the timing such that I could really appreciate this book. Have you been discouraged? You might not even know it but surely there are times when you feel like your prayers won't be answered. This is a book about meeting God and getting to know Him. They seem to be written as a series of sermons on this one topic. This is not complicated writing but it isn't modern. Compared to some contemporary writing on the same topic, this book is profound and hit me over and over with THE WORD OF GOD: not just one or two per chapter but over and over and over again. Isn't that what we need? The refreshing fountain of life. It also encourages you to journal, as a testimony to yourself and to future generations of God's goodness. I thought of all the people I know who have suffered and yet have shared a wonderful testimony about "the peace that passes understanding." I'm certainly glad that they shared that testimony. Isn't it good to know that you have testimonies to share too if you but look and meditate? This was loaned to me by an older woman in the faith whom I greatly respect (a comfort to her when her daughter had cancer) and I promptly bought multiple copies. (She also loaned me Elisabeth Elliot's tape series on suffering, which is also good.) I think this should be required reading. What a help to the charge to "be transformed by the renewing of your minds." I cannot speak highly enough about this book. I plan to reread it every year or so to be reminded of the mighty hand of Providence: a great comfort in these last days.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael Leake on March 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
As it says on the back cover the purpose of this work is to, "persuade Christians of the excellency of observing and meditating upon [Providence]". It is especially important to keep in mind the difficulties that would have attended Flavel and his congregants in 1678, when this work was first published. 16 years earlier Flavel was one of the ministers booted out of his congregation in the Great Ejection of 1662. Flavel knew heartache. Yet, Flavel also knew a sovereign God. It is the workings of this Sovereign God in the midst of such heartache that he offers this work.

If you like history you will probably like the first part of this work. Flavel gives very few points of application, yet he tells numerous stories to give us evidence of Providence. This covers a little over the first 100 pages. Then, our author gives what appears to be the main body of this work; encouragement to adhere to our duty of meditating on Providence. Finally, about two-thirds of the way through the book, Flavel will appease our microwave culture and by giving numerous points of application.

What I Liked:

Many people tend to like the second and third section the best. I love to hear stories and study history. Therefore, I tend to like the first section a little more. I do appreciate Flavel's simplicity in building his argument. He does not take us through a ton of loops to overwhelm us with evidence of Providence and then exhort us to respond. He does it simply, I appreciate that. Even though the book is not filled with a ton of new information, it is so overwhelming with examples that it causes you to stop and think. That appears to be one of Flavel's primary goals; to get us to stop and smell the beautiful garden that God has planted before our eyes. He succeeds.
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