flavel’s triple metaphor

Something I heard yesterday reminded me of this quote from the seventeenth century writer John Flavel, where he points out from three different perspectives how much power is required for a soul to be converted. I posted it on my old blog, but for some reason it didn’t make the transit over here when I moved. So here it is again, only minus an addendum from Gurnall which you can look up via this link should you be so inclined.

“The Scripture expresses the work of conversion by a threefold metaphor, namely, that of a resurrection from the dead, Romans 6:4; that of creation, Ephesians 2:10; and that of victory or conquest, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.

All these set forth the infinite power of God in this work, for no less than almighty power is required in each of them, and if you strictly examine the distinct ideas, you will find the power of God more and more illustriously displayed in each of them.

To raise the dead is the effect of almighty power; but then resurrection presupposes existent matter. In the work of creation, there is no preexistent matter; but then there is no opposition; that which is not, rebels not against the power which gives it being. But victory and conquest presuppose opposition: all the power of corrupt nature arming itself and fighting against God, but yet not able to frustrate his design.”

This quote comes from The Method of Grace, p88, and obviously it’s really Scripture’s metaphors, not Flavel’s.

My other Flavel quotes are here:

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