September 28, 2007

John Flavel (1630–1691) on Christ Begging

MOTIVE 5. Christ this day solemnly demands entrance into thy soul; he begs thee to open to him, 2 Cor. 5:20; he commands thee to open unto him, 1 John 3:23; he denounces eternal ruin to those who refuse him entrance. Now consider well here is entrance demanded under pain of the eternal wrath of God: this demand is recorded in heaven; at your own peril be it, if you shut the door against him. Only this will I say in my Redeemer's behalf; if you refuse, bear witness heaven and earth this day that Christ solemnly demanded entrance into thy soul, and was refused; bear witness that the door was shut against the only Redeemer, who intreated, commanded, and threatened eternal damnation to the rejecters of him. Oh, methinks that scripture, Prov. 1:24-31, should strike terror into the very centre of the soul that refuses the offers of Christ!
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), 136–137.


It's also worth noting that there are no false either/or dilemmas between offers and commands in Flavel. For him, as with all other orthodox Calvinists, Christ commands, AND entreats, AND offers AND invites through the gospel. It's not one of these things (commands) to the exclusion of the others (offers, invitations, etc.). They rightly understood the scriptures.

Other men within the Augustinian tradition who use the metaphor of God begging are the following:

Augustine (Early Church Father), Hugh Latimer (Early English Reformer), Isaac Ambrose (Puritan), Daniel Burgess (Puritan), Jeremiah Burroughs (Westminster divine), Richard Baxter (Puritan), Joseph Caryl (Westminster divine), Thomas Case (Puritan), Stephen Charnock (Puritan), John Collinges (Puritan), John Flavel (Puritan), Theophilus Gale (Puritan), William Gearing (Puritan), Andrew Gray (Puritan), William Gurnall (Puritan), Robert Harris (Westminster divine), Thomas Larkham (Puritan), Thomas Manton (Puritan), John Murcot (Puritan), George Newton (Puritan), John Oldfield (Puritan), Anthony Palmer (Puritan), Edward Reynolds (Westminster divine), John Richardson (Puritan), Samuel Rutherford (Westminster divine), John Shower (Puritan), Richard Sibbes (Puritan), Sydrach Simpson (Westminster divine), William Strong (Westminster divine), George Swinnock (Puritan), John Trapp (Puritan), Ralph Venning (Puritan), Nathaniel Vincent (Puritan), Thomas Watson (Puritan), Daniel Williams (Puritan), Samuel Willard, Benjamin Wadsworth, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards, Solomon Stoddard, Samuel Davies, Ralph Erskine, Charles Spurgeon, Thomas Chalmers, Walter Chantry, Erroll Hulse, John MacArthur and Fred Zaspel.

No comments: