You can read all my reviews on books by John Flavel.
The following is adapted from an article written by Iain Murray in The Banner of Truth in 1968.
The eldest son of the Rev. Richard Flavel, John Flavel was born at Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, about 1628, and thus spent his childhood in the stormy years which led up to the Civil War in 1642. In 1650, he entered the ministry.
Flavel’s life and work was carried on in the county of Devon, first in the country parish of Diptford and from 1656 in the thriving sea-port of Dartmouth. Through the last years of the Protectorate and until that August day in 1662 when about 120 ministers in Devon and approaching 1,800 in England as a whole were turned out of their livings for failing to comply with the terms of the Act of Uniformity, Flavel preached every week at Townstall, the mother-church which stood on the hill outside the town, and fortnightly at the Wednesday Lecture in Dartmouth.
Thereafter he took his place in the suffering ranks of the nonconformists and had a full share of the persecution which with greater or less intensity, and short intermissions, was to continue until James II fled the country in 1688.
Taking advantage of the Indulgence given by Charles II in 1672 (for which he and 163 of his congregation wrote an address of thanks to the King) Flavel obtained licence for a Nonconformist meeting-house in the town, and, when this was withdrawn, he stayed at his post until the summer of 1682 when his person was in such danger that he took ship to London on July 10.
While visiting Exeter in order to preach he died suddenly of a massive stroke on June 26, 1691, in his 64th year.
Volume 6 is the final volume in the Works of John Flavel. There are twelve different writings included in this volume. The most recognizable may be the Preparation for Suffering. Other notable writings are his Balm of the Covenant Applied to the Bleeding Wounds of Afflicted Saints and The Reasonableness of Personal Reformation and the Necessity of Conversion.
Included in this volume is a complete index of both texts and subjects for the entire collection.
While this may be one of the least recognizable volumes in the entire set, there is complete gold to be found in these pages. His writing entitled Twelve Meditations helps the reader to understand the importance of the Lord’s Supper. All of these meditations are rooted in Scripture and are meant to draw the reader closer to the Lord through intentional communion with Him before partaking of the Lord’s Supper.
For my friends who hold to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, Flavel’s commentary can be found here. Again, pure gold even if you simply read through his writings on this time honored catechism.
As a pastor, I appreciated his Character of an Evangelical Pastor Drawn by Christ as there is much food for thought to be found. Further, in this day and age of social media coupled with our increasing lack of transparency, Flavel will open the pastor’s eyes to the need of holiness.
In its own right, this volume is worth reading for it’s meditative qualities and pure devotion to Christ. Though it may be one of the least recognizable of the six volumes, it does contain much to consider for today’s Christian. I recommend it to all. At the very least, you can purchase it on Kindle (as many have already) and peruse it at your convenience.