I was originally planning on sharing more quotes from “The Rock That is Higher” by Madeleine L’Engle today. Unfortunately, it had to be returned to the library and I am back on the waiting list so I can finish it.
Those plans thwarted, I decided to share some quotes from “The Mystery of Providence” by John Flavel. Flavel was one of the Puritans in England during the seventeenth century. He was barred from preaching in Dartmouth, his original parish, by the Act of Uniformity in 1662. He moved out of the city and continue to minister to many people, who traveled to the countryside to hear him preach. He was often in danger but happily lived to see the Glorious Revolution in 1688, which not only required that the monarch be a Protestant but that the “Non-Conformists” have protections as well.
Like many of the other writings by Puritan authors, Flavel’s work is meaty and deep. A little bit goes a long way and it will take me many months to work through this work. However, it will be worth the work. There is so much that is edifying in this little book and I look forward to not only learning more about God’s Providence but also how it works out in my daily life.
“I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me.” Psalm 57:2
“The word which we translate ‘performeth’ comes from a root that signifies both to perfect, and to desist or cease. For when a business is performed and perfected, the agent then ceases and desists from working.” p. 17
“Payment is the performance of promises. Grace makes the promise, and Providence the payment.” p. 18
“[Providence] has its eye upon every thing that relates to them [the saints] throughout their lives, from first to last. Not only the great and more important, but the most minute and ordinary affairs of our lives are transacted and managed by it. It touches all things that touch us, whether more nearly or remotely.” p. 19
” ‘Tis true we often prejudge its works, and unjustly censure its designs, and in many of our straits and troubles we say: ‘All these things are against us’; but indeed Providence neither does nor can do any thing that is really against the true interest and good of the saints. For what are the works of Providence but the execution of God’s decree and the fulfilling of His Word? And there can be no more in Providence than is in them. Now there is nothing but good to the saints in God’s purposes and promises; and therefore, whatever Providence does concerning them, it must be (as the text speaks) ‘the performance of all things for them.'” p. 19
“All the dark, intricate, puzzling providences at which we were sometimes so offended, and sometimes amazed, which we could neither reconcile with the promise nor with each other, nay, which we so unjustly censured and bitterly bewailed, as if they had fallen out quite against our happiness, we shall then see to be to us, as the difficult passage through the wilderness was to Israel, ‘the right way to a city of habitation’ (Ps 107:7)” p. 22
“It is certainly a highway of walking with God in this world, and a soul may enjoy as sweet communion with Him in His providences as in any of His ordinances.” p. 22
As you can see, this is deep stuff and plenty to ponder over the next week.
May you seek to contemplate the Lord’s Providence today, as you meet each and every circumstance, knowing that His will for you is for your good and for His glory.