October 2, 2006

John Flavel (1630–1691) on Satanic Designs in Our Procrastinations

Flavel wrote:

Secondly, No sooner does the god of this world observe the light of truth begin to operate upon the heart, but he obstructeth that design by procrastinations and delays, which delude and baffle convinced souls; he persuades them if they will alter their course, it will be time enough hereafter, when such encumbrances and troubles in the world are over; if he prevail here, it is a thousand to one but the work miscarries. James 1: 13, 14. If the hearer of the word be not a doer, i.e. a present doer, while the impressions of it are fresh upon the soul, he does but deceive himself: For it is with the heart, as it is with melted wax; if the seal be clapped to it presently, it will receive a fair impression; but if it be let alone, but for a little while, you can make none at all; it was therefore David's great care and wisdom to set about the work of religion under the first impetus, or vigorous motion of his heart and affections. Psal. 119: 60. "I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments." Multitudes of souls have perished by these delays. It is a temptation incident to all that are under beginning convictions, especially young persons, whom the devil persuades that it were no better them madness in them to abridge and deny themselves so much delight and pleasure, and steep their youthful thoughts in such a melancholy subject as religion is.
John Flavel, “The Method of Grace in the Gospel-Redemption,” in The Whole Works of the Rev. Mr. John Flavel, 6 vols. (London: Printed for W. Baynes and Son, 1820), 2:460–461.


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