Saturday, June 11, 2016

     In consideration of the great and manifold advantages resulting from an humble and heedful observation of providence, I cannot but judge it the concernment of Christians that have time and ability for such a work to keep written memorials, or journals of providences by them for their own and others use and benefit.  For want of collecting and communicating such observations, not only ourselves, but the church of God is damnified and impoverished.
     .....I am not for posting up all that a Christian knows or meets with in his experience.....but yet there is a prudent, humble and seasonable communication of our experiences and observations of providence, which is exceeding benefical both to ourselves and our brethren.
     If Christians in reading the scriptures would judiciously collect and record the providences they meet with there, and (if destitute of other helps) but add those that have fallen out in their own time and experience; O what a precious treasure would these make!  How would it antidote their souls against the spreading atheism of these days, and satisfy them beyond what many other arguments can do, that The Lord he is God, the Lord he is God.....
     .....Providence carries our lives, liberties, and concernments in its hand every moment.  Your bread is in its cup-board, your money in its purse, your safety in its enfolding arms: and sure it is the least part of what you owe, to record the favours you receive at his hands.  More particularly,

1.  Trust not your slippery memories with such a multitude of remarkable passages of providence as you have met, and shall meet with in your way to heaven.....Written memorials secure us against that hazard; and besides, make them useful to others when we are gone.  So that you carry not away all your treasure to heaven with you, but leave these choice legacies to your surviving friends.  Certainly it were not so great a loss to lose your silver, your goods and chatties, as it is to lose your experiences which God hath, this way, given you in this world.

2.  Take heed of clasping up those rich treasures in a book, and thinking it enough to have noted them there; but have frequent recourse to them, as oft as new wants, fears, or difficulties arise and assault you.  Now, it is seasonable to consider and reflect, Was I never so distressed before?  Is this the first plunge that ever befel me?  "Let me consider the days of old, the years of ancient times," as Asaph did, Psalms 77:5.

3.  Lastly, beware of slighting former straits and dangers in comparison with present ones.  That which is next us, always appears greatest to us: and as time removes us farther and farther from our former mercies or dangers, so they lessen in our eyes, just as the land from which they sail doth to seamen.  Know that your dangers have been as great, and your fears no less formerly than now.  Make it as much your business to preserve the sense and value, as the memory of former providences, and the fruit will be sweet to you.
                                                                                                                                           John Flavel

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