HAIL & FIRE - a resource for Reformed and Gospel Theology in the works, exhortations, prayers, and apologetics of those who have maintained the Gospel and expounded upon the Scripture as the Eternal Word of God and the sole authority in Christian doctrine.
HAIL & FIRE - a resource for Reformed and Gospel Theology in the works, exhortations, prayers, and apologetics of those who have maintained the Gospel and expounded upon the Scripture as the Eternal Word of God and the sole authority in Christian doctrine.

"These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."

Acts 17:11

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Words of Wisdom: William Tyndale Quotes

READ ONLINE: Certain Sermons or Homilies Appointed to Be Read in Churches in the Time of Queen Elizabeth of Famous Memory - Hail and Fire

SERMONS APPOINTED TO BE READ IN THE REIGN OF QUEEN ELIZABETH I

QUOTE: "How necessary it is, that the Word of God, which is the only food of the soul, and that most excellent light that we must walk by, in this our most dangerous pilgrimage, should at all convenient times be preached unto the people"

1562 Preface

READ ONLINE: The Psalms of David, Imitated in the Language of the New Testament, and Applied to the Christian State and Worship by Isaac Watts (hymns and christians songs)

Click to Read Richard Baxter On Lamentations of the Lost - Hail and Fire Exhortations

ONLINE LIBRARY: Sermons on the Card and Other Discourses by Hugh Latimer, martyr 1555

"Consider that the trials and troubles, the calamities and miseries, the crosses and losses that you meet with in this world, are all the hell that ever you shall have."

Thomas Brooks

Words of Wisdom: JOHN NEWTON QUOTES

JOHN NEWTON QUOTES

ON SOFTENING AND WATERING DOWN THE GOSPEL:

"The Bible is the grand repository ... It is the complete system of divine truth, to which nothing can be added, and from which nothing can be taken, with impunity. Every attempt to disguise or soften any branch of this truth, in order to accommodate it to the prevailing taste around us, either to avoid the displeasure, or to court the favour, of our fellow mortals, must be an affront to the majesty of God, and an act of treachery to men."

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Click to Read Doctrine on the Scripture by St. John Chrysostom - Hail and Fire

St. John Chrysostom: ON SCRIPTURE

"But some one will say, 'it is to the priests that these charges are given' ... But that the apostle gives the same charge to the laity, hear what he says in another epistle to other than the priesthood: 'Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.'"

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READ William Tynale on the Authority of Scripture.

WILLIAM TYNDALE: AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE

"God careth for his elect; and therefore hath provided them of scripture, to try all things, and to defend them from all false prophets."

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"To pretend to preach the truth without offending carnal men, is to pretend to be able to do what Jesus Christ could not do."

Thomas Wilson

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HOME » Words of Wisdom » Reformed and Puritan Quotes » John Flavel Quotes

new quotes added: April 5, 2012

The Touchstone of Christian Sincerity
or The Trial of True and False Religion
by Rev. John Flavel

The Touchstone of Christian Sincerity by John Flavel (buy the Paperback Book)

“Examine yourselves, whether you are in the faith.”
2 Corinthians 13:5

Doubtless, many who profess faith in Jesus Christ are dangerously mistaken in regard to their own character, and although they draw around themselves the form of Christianity, they are strangers to its transforming efficacy, its living influence, and heavenly consolations. The trial of our graces or religious affections is all-important—for as they are, so is our prospect for a happy and glorious eternity. We must judge of our faith by examining its foundation; we must scrutinize our hearts in the light of divine truth and ascertain and demonstrate whether our affections are holy. To the test we must come and by the truth, we must be judged. Our eternal happiness stands or falls with our sincerity; bring your hearts, therefore, to the trial.

With the vivid, exhortative style distinctive of the English Puritans, John Flavel's Touchstone offers a straightforward and biblical aid to discerning true Christian graces, from false.

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(Click for Full Book Details)

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A Treatise on Keeping the Heart

Puritan Sermon or Exhortation on Proverbs 4:23: "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."

by John Flavel

1813 Edition
Hail & Fire REPRINT

"'Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life.' (Proverbs 4:23). The heart of man is his worst part before it be regenerated, and the best afterwards: it is the seat of principles, and the fountain of actions. The eye of God is, and the eye of the Christian ought to be, principally fixed upon it. The greatest difficulty in conversion, is, to win the heart to God; and the greatest difficulty after conversion, is, to keep the heart with God. Here lies the very force and stress of religion; here is that which makes the way to life a narrow way, and the gate of heaven a strait gate. ... The state of the whole body depends upon the soundness and vigour of the heart; and the everlasting state of the whole man upon the good or ill condition of the soul."

"To keep the heart then, is carefully to preserve it from sin which disorders it; and maintain that spiritual and gracious frame, which fits it for a life of communion with God." - John Flavel

Read this Book Online >>

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The Touchstone of Sincerity or Trial of True and False Religion

Puritan Sermon

by John Flavel

1814 Edition
Hail & Fire REPRINT

"My design in these meditations, is not to shake the well founded hopes of any man, or to excite unreasonable apprehensions; but to discover the radical and fatal defects, in the basis of many men's expectations of future happiness. Men must judge of their religion by examining its foundation, if that fail, the superstructure is perishable and worthless. There is a laudable spirit of caution, cherished by the saints, which makes them sensible to the danger of self-deception, and renders them watchful and circumspect; there is also a culpable anxiety and fear, tending only to gloom and despondency, to which they sometimes give way: by the former they are guarded against evil; by the latter they incur needless grief, and are restrained from inward peace. Sometimes good men, indulging groundless fears of hypocrisy, are blind to the clearest evidences of their gracious state; but more frequently, the wicked, regardles of consequences, close their eyes upon the proofs of their guilt and jeopardy." - John Flavel

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John Flavel Quotes

JOHN FLAVEL (1627-1691), was a Puritan Preacher and Nonconformist Minister of the Gospel at Dartmouth, England.

Quote on Unbelief Causing Distrust of God's Providence in Times of Distress:

“Unbelief queries the will of God, and questions whether He will now be gracious, though He has been so formerly. If troubles or dangers grow to a height and we see nothing but ruin and misery in the eye of reason before us, now unbelief becomes importunate and troublesome to the soul. Now where are your prayers, your hopes, yea, where is now your God?” "Unbelief maintains the impossibility of relief in deep distresses. 'Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? ... Can he give bread also? Can he provide flesh for his people?' Psalm 78:19-20. Oh vile and unworthy thoughts of God which proceed from our measuring the immense and boundless power of God by our own line and measure ... because we do not see which way relief should come."—John Flavel

"Mystery of Providence" by John Flavel

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Quote on Sincere Christian Piety:

"True piety can, by no means, entirely lay itself open to the eyes of men; public actions and appearance may support its credit, but secret exercises must maintain its life, and supply its purest enjoyment."—John Flavel

The Touchstone of Christian Sincerity by John Flavel 2012 Hail & Fire Edition - Buy the Paperback

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Quote on Hypocricy: Appearance vs. Predominance:

"Every appearance of hypocrisy, does not prove the person who manifests it to be a hypocrite. You should carefully distinguish between the appearance and the predominance of hypocricy. There are remains of deceitfulness in the best hearts; this was examplified in David and Peter; but the prevailing frame of their hearts being upright, they were not denominated hypocrites for their conduct."—John Flavel

READ ONLINE: Exhortation on "Times of Doubting, Spiritual Darkness and Self-Condemnation" an excerpt from the book Keeping the Heart by John Flavel

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Quote on Distress:

"Whatever be the ground of one's distress, it should drive him to, not from God."—John Flavel

READ ONLINE: Exhortation on "Times of Doubting, Spiritual Darkness and Self-Condemnation" an excerpt from the book Keeping the Heart by John Flavel

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Quote on Saints Vindicate God in Affliction:

"Christians are heartily disposed to justify God in the severest afflictions that come upon them, as well as in all his other dealings. ... They may receive treatment from men, which they are conscious they do not deserve, but if God should add condemnation to affliction, they would vindicate not only his character and government, but also his dispensations to them."—John Flavel

The Touchstone of Christian Sincerity by John Flavel 2012 Hail & Fire Edition - Buy the Paperback

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Quote on the Lack or Neglect of Inward Religion Causing Unprofitableness in Christian Fellowship and Justified Separation by the Sincere:

"If the people of God would diligently keep their hearts, their communion with each other would be unspeakably more inviting and profitable. ... It is the fellowship which the people of God have with the Father and with the Son, that kindles the desires of others to have communion with them. I tell you, that if saints would be persuaded to spend more time and take more pains about their hearts, there would soon be such a divine excellence in their conversation, that others would account it no small privilege to be with or near them. It is the pride, passion and earthliness of our hearts, that has spoiled Christian fellowship. ... Whence come their uncharitable censures of their brethren, but from their ignorance of themselves? Why are they so rigid and unfeeling towards those who have fallen; but because they do not feel their own weakness and liability to temptation? (Galatians 6:1).Why is their discourse so light and unprofitable when they meet; but because their hearts are earthly and vain? My brethren, these and similar things are what have spoiled Christian fellowship, and made it so dry and disgusting, that even many Christians are weary of it; and therefore they seek in retirement, that happiness, which the society of saints was designed to afford."—John Flavel

READ ONLINE: Keeping the Heart by John Flavel

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Quote on Self-Condemnation:

"We ought to regard what can be said in our favour, as well as what may be said against us. It is the sin of upright persons sometimes, to exercise an unreasonable severity against themselves."—John Flavel

READ ONLINE: Exhortation on "Times of Doubting, Spiritual Darkness and Self-Condemnation" an excerpt from the book Keeping the Heart by John Flavel

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Quote on Self-Condemnation:

"Why read over the evidences of God's love to your soul, as a man does a book which he intends to confute? Why do you study evasions, and turn off those comforts which are due to you?"—John Flavel

READ ONLINE: Exhortation on "Times of Doubting, Spiritual Darkness and Self-Condemnation" an excerpt from the book Keeping the Heart by John Flavel

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Quote on Fake Christians Prefer Sin over Affliction:

"A man destitute of real faith, if left to his own choice, would prefer sin to affliction, and consider sin the lesser evil. He can contemplate the defilement of his soul with composure, rather than suffer the loss of his goods, his pleasures, or his present ease; and thus, the unsoundness of his heart is revealed. The saints on the contrary, will never knowingly consent to the commission of sin, even if it might prevent ever so much personal suffering or loss."—John Flavel

The Touchstone of Christian Sincerity by John Flavel 2012 Hail & Fire Edition - Buy the Paperback

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Quote on the Unreliablity of Feelings:

"Are sense and feelings suitable to judge of the dispensations and designs of God by? Can their testimony be safely relied on? Is it safe to argue thus: 'If God had any love for my soul, I should feel it now, as well as in former times; but I cannot feel it, therefore it is gone? May you not as well conclude, when the sun is invisible to you, that he has ceased to exist?"—John Flavel

READ ONLINE: Exhortation on "Times of Doubting, Spiritual Darkness and Self-Condemnation" an excerpt from the book Keeping the Heart by John Flavel

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Quote on Correctly Judging One's Faith:

"As rooted malice indicates a stronger hatred, than a sudden though more violent passion; so we must judge, of our love, not by a violent motion of it, now and then, but by the depth of its root, and the constancy of its exercise."—John Flavel

READ ONLINE: Exhortation on "Times of Doubting, Spiritual Darkness and Self-Condemnation" an excerpt from the book Keeping the Heart by John Flavel

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Quote on Trembling Saints and Presumptious Sinners:

"It is lamentable, that when we give saints and sinners their proper portions, each is so prone to take up the other's part."—John Flavel

READ ONLINE: Exhortation on "Times of Doubting, Spiritual Darkness and Self-Condemnation" an excerpt from the book Keeping the Heart by John Flavel

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Quote on True Christianity being inward as well as outward:

"Heart-work is hard work indeed. To shuffle over religious duties with a loose and heedless spirit will cost no great pains; but to set yourself before the Lord and tie up your loose and vain thoughts to a constant and serious attendance upon him; this will cost you something. To attain a facility and dexterity of language in prayer and put your meaning into apt and decent expressions is easy; but to get your heart broken for sin, while you are confessing it; melted with free grace, while you are blessing God for it; to be really ashamed and humbled through the apprehensions of God's infinite holiness and to keep your heart in this frame, not only in but after duty, will surely cost you some groans and pains of soul. To repress the outward acts of sin and compose the external part of your life in a laudable manner is no great matter; even carnal persons by the force of common principles can do this: but to kill the root of corruption within, to set and keep up an holy government over your thoughts, to have all things lie straight and orderly in the heart, this is not easy."—John Flavel

READ ONLINE: Keeping the Heart by John Flavel

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Quote on the Blessedness of Trials, Afflictions and Chastisements:

"Is it indeed for the saints' advantage, to be weaned from love of and delight in ensnaring earthly vanities; to be quickened and urged forward with more haste to heaven; to have clearer discoveries of their own hearts; to be taught to pray more fervently, frequently, spiritually; to look and long for the rest to come, more ardently? If these be for their advantage, experience teaches us that no condition is ordinarily blessed with such fruits as these, like an afflicted condition. Is it well then to repine and droop because your Father consults the advantage of your soul rather than the gratification of your humors? Because he will bring you to heaven by a nearer way than you are willing to go? Is this a due requital of his love, who is pleased so much to concern himself in your welfare? Who does more for you than he will do for thousands in the world upon whom he will not lay a rod or dispense an affliction to them for their good? (Hosea 4:17). But alas! We judge by sense and reckon things good or evil according to our present taste. Take heed that you overlook not the many precious mercies which the people of God enjoy amidst all their trouble. It is a pity that our tears on account of our troubles, should so blind our eyes, that we should not see our mercies. I will not insist upon the mercy of having your life given you “for a prey,” (Jeremiah 39:18); nor upon the many outward comforts which you enjoy, even above what were enjoyed by Christ and his precious servants, of whom the world was not worthy. But what say you to pardon of sin; interest in Christ; the covenant of promise; and an eternity of happiness in the presence of God, after a few days are over?"—John Flavel

READ ONLINE: Keeping the Heart by John Flavel

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Quote on Neglecting the Christian Instruction of Children:

“For you that are parents, or to whom the education of children is comitted, I beseech you mind the duty which lies on you. ... For to what purpose do we desire them before we have them, rejoice in them when we have them, value them so highly, sympathize with them so tenderly, grieve for their death so excessively, if in the meantime no care be taken what shall become of them to eternity? ... If you neglect to instruct them in the way of holiness, will the devil neglect to instruct them in the way of wickedness? No, no, if you will not teach them to pray, he will teach them to curse, swear and lie. If ground be uncultivated, weeds will spring up.”—John Flavel

Mystery of Providence by John Flavel

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Quote on the Christian's Life and Converse revealing the Frame of their Heart:

"Put the heart in frame and the life will quickly reveal that it is so. It is not very difficult to discern, by the performances and converse of Christians, what frames their spirits are in. Take a Christian in a good frame, and how serious, heavenly, and profitable will his conversation and religious exercises be ... “The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of judgment, the law of his God is in his heart” (Psalm 37:30-31). When the heart is up with God and full of God, how dexterously will he insinuate spiritual discourse, improving every occasion and advantage to some heavenly purpose! Few words then run to waste. And what can be the reason that the discourses and duties of many Christians are become so frothy and unprofitable, their communion both with God and with one another, becomes as a dry stalk; but this, that their hearts are neglected?"—John Flavel

READ ONLINE: Keeping the Heart by John Flavel

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Quote on False Christians in Prosperity and Adversity:
(Reference Scriptures: 1 John 2:19 and Matthew 13:21)

"Prosperity multiplies false professors, but by adversity the church is disencumbered of them; they are removed from their steadfastness, as dry leaves are carried away by a tempest. 'They go out from us, that it may be made manifest that they were not of us.' 'When tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, they are quickly offended.'"—John Flavel

The Touchstone of Christian Sincerity by John Flavel 2012 Hail & Fire Edition - Buy the Paperback

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Quote on Scripture (Sola Scriptura): (Reference Scripture: 2 Corinthians 10:12 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17)

"Instead of making one man or one set of men a test for the trial of another, God has established his Word as the only standard of character, and by this, those who are saints indeed form an opinion of themselves."—John Flavel

The Touchstone of Christian Sincerity by John Flavel 2012 Hail & Fire Edition - Buy the Paperback

"Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old." Matthew 13:52 KJV

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