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An Honest and Well-Experienced Heart: The Piety of John Flavel - Profiles in Reformed Spirituality (Embry, ed.)

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Product Description

An Honest, Well-Experienced Heart” introduces us to the life and writings of Puritan preacher and author John Flavel (1627–1691). In his brief, introductory biography, Adam Embry discusses Flavel’s background, ministry, and theology of keeping the heart, which, for Flavel, “is the great business of a Christian’s life.” Centuries ago, Flavel wrote, “Above all other studies in the world, study your own hearts.” Embry guides us through forty-two short passages from Flavel’s writings that acquaint us with this dedicated Puritan minister’s piety and help us see the importance of this great business of keeping and managing our hearts. 

Table of Contents:

The Piety of John Flavel (1627–1691) 

Section One: Christ Rules the Heart 

1. To Win and Gain the Hearts of Sinners 

2. Shutting up the Heart against Christ 

3. The Great Design and Aim of the Gospel 

4. A Throne in the Hearts of Men 

5. Jesus Christ Most Heartily Approved 

6. Consolations for an Opened Heart 

Section Two: Keeping the Heart 

7. Above All Other Studies 

8. The Great Business 

9. The Pained Place 

10. The Most Difficult, Constant, and Important Work 

11. A Sincere Christian in His Closet 

12. The Best Schoolmaster 

13. Furnish Your Hearts Richly with the Word

14. Soul Work Is Preferred 

15. My Naughty Heart 

Section Three: Seasons of the Heart 

16. Death of a Child 

17. Death of a Spouse

18. Prosperity

19. Adversity 

20. The Church’s Troubles 

21. Fear and Danger 

22. In Times of Need

23. Distraction during Religious Duties 

24. Abuse from Others 

25. Anger 

26. Temptation, Part1 

27. Temptation, Part2 

28. Spiritual Darkness 

29. Suffering for Religion 

30. Willingness to Die

Section Four: Discerning the Heart 

31. The Aim of Our Hearts 

32. The Hypocrite’s Abstinence from Sin 

33. The Saint’s Abstinence from Sin 

34. The Hypocrite’s Hatred of Sin

35. The Saint’s Hatred of Sin 

36. The Hypocrite’s Sorrow for Sin

37. The Saint’s Sorrow for Sin 

38. The Saint’s Struggle with Sin 

39. Wrongly Censuring Your Heart

40. Questions to Judge Sincerity 

41. Deep Trials of the Heart


42. A Blessed End 

Reading Flavel 

A Hymn upon Romans 5:6–11 


Series Description 

Seeking, then, both to honor the past and yet not idolize it, we are issuing these books in the series Profiles in Reformed Spirituality. The design is to introduce the spirituality and piety of the Reformed Profiles in Reformed Spirituality tradition by presenting descriptions of the lives of notable Christians with select passages from their works. This combination of biographical sketches and collected portions from primary sources gives a taste of the subjects’ contributions to our spiritual heritage and some direction as to how the reader can find further edification through their works. It is the hope of the publishers that this series will provide riches for those areas where we are poor and light of day where we are stumbling in the deepening twilight.



Adam Embry lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with his wife, Charlotte, and their three children. He is a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been an assistant pastor of Auburndale Baptist Church since 2007.



“John Flavel blended skillfully a robust Reformed theology with a warm-hearted Puritan piety. This made his writings both profound and simple. I pray that Adam Embry’s primer on Flavel’s work will promote a new generation of thoughtful readers intent on loving Christ more.” — Ryan McGraw, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Conway, South Carolina


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