JOHN FLAVEL (c. 1627-1691), English Presbyterian divine, was born at Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, probably in 1627. He was the elder son of Richard Flavel, described in contemporary records as "a painful and eminent minister." After receiving his early education, partly at home and partly at the grammar-schools of Bromsgrove and Haslar, he entered University College, Oxford. Soon after taking orders in 1650 he obtained a curacy at Diptford, Devon, and on the death of the vicar he was appointed to succeed him. From Diptford he removed in 1656 to Dartmouth. He was ejected from his living by the passing of the Act of Uniformity in 1662, but continued to preach and administer the sacraments privately till the Five Mile Act of 1665, when he retired to Slapton, 5 m. away. He then lived for a time in London, but returned to Dartmouth, where he laboured till his death in 1691. He was married four times. He was a vigorous and voluminous writer, and not without a play of fine fancy.
His principal works are his Navigation Spiritualized (1671); The Fountain of Life, in forty-two Sermons (1672); The Method of Grace (1680); Pneumatologia, a Treatise on the Soul of Man (1698); A Token for Mourners; Husbandry Spiritualized (1699). Collected editions appeared throughout the 18th century, and in 1823 Charles Bradley edited a 2 vol. selection.
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