September 28, 2007

John Flavel: A Moderate Calvinist?

Take a look at this. John Flavel is indiscriminately exhorting any and all of his unregenerate listeners to come to Christ. He sets out various motives for them to come, and says this:
MOTIVE 3. Jesus Christ has an unquestionable right to enter into and possess every one of your souls. Satan is but an usurper: Christ is your lawful owner and proprietor; thy soul, sinner, hath not so full a title to thy body, as Christ hath to thy soul. Satan keeps Christ out of his right. Christ knocks at the door of his own house; he built it, and therefore may well claim admission into it: it is his own creature. "By him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible;" bodies or souls. Col. 1:16. The invisible part, thy soul, is his workmanship a stately structure of his own raising. He has also a right by redemption; Christ hath bought thy soul, and that at the invaluable price of his own blood. Who then can dispute the right of Christ to enter into his own house? But, alas, he cometh to his own and his own receive him not. John 1:11.
John Flavel, Christ Knocking at the Door of Sinners' Hearts; or, A Solemn Entreaty to Receive the Saviour and His Gospel in This the Day of Mercy (New York: American Tract Society, 1850), 135–136.

This sermon, which was originally titled England's Duty Under the Present Gospel Liberty, came out in 1689 (see Beeke's Meet the Puritans [RHB, 2006], p. 252.). Flavel died in 1691, so it was apparently a late work. This is not the only comment that suggests universal redemption in this sermon, but the one above is particularly strong.

No comments: