Flavel, John – Fountain of Life

Flavel, John – Fountain of Life

To the Christian Reader
My dear and honored friends,

If my pen were both able, and at leisure, to get glory in paper, it would be but a paper glory when I had gotten it; but if by displaying (which is the design of these papers) the transcendent excellency of Jesus Christ, I may win glory to him from you, to whom I humbly offer them, or from any other into whose hands providence shall cast them, that will be glory indeed, and an occasion of glorifying God to all eternity.

It is not the design of this epistle to compliment, but to benefit you; not to emblazon your excellencies, but Christ’s; not to acquaint the world how much you have endeared me to yourselves, but to increase and strengthen the endearments between Christ and you, upon your part. I might indeed (this being a proper place for it) pay you my acknowledgments for your great kindnesses to me and mine; of which, I assure you, I have, and ever shall have, the most grateful sense: but you and I are theater enough to one another, and can satisfy ourselves with the enclosed comforts and delights of our mutual love and friendship.

But let me tell you, the whole world is not a theater large enough to show the glory of Christ upon, or unfold the one half of the unsearchable riches that lie hid in him. These things will be far better understood, and spoken of in heaven, by the noon-day divinity, in which the immediately illuminated assembly do there preach his praises, shall by such a stammering tongue, and scribbling pen as mine, which does but mar them. Alas! I write his praises but by moon-light; I cannot praise him so much as by halves. Indeed, no tongue but his own (as Nazianzen said of Basil) is sufficient to undertake that task. What shall I say of Christ? -John Flavel


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