On reading Flavel
Lewis Allen offers some good reasons, drawing on J. W. Alexander:
How could I have postponed to this place dear John Flavel? Noone needs to be told how pious, how faithful, how tender, how rich, how full of unction are his works. In no other writer have the highest truths of religion been more remarkably brought down to the lowest capacity; yet with no sinking of the doctrine, and with a perpetual sparkle and zest, belonging to the most generous liquor. It has always been a wonder to me, how Flavel could maintain such simplicity and naiveté, and such childlike and almost frolicsome grace, amidst the multiform studies which he pursued. I can account for it only by his having been constantly among the people, in actual duty as a Pastor. Opening one of his volumes at random I find quotations, often in Greek and Latin, and in the order here annexed, from Cicero, Pope Adrian, Plato, Chrysostom, Horace, Ovid, Luther, Bernard, Claudian, Menander and Petronius. His residence at Dartmouth would afford a multitude of pastoral instances, if this were our present object.