Experience of the Scriptures

“sanctification gives the soul experience of those mysterious things which are contained in the scriptures, and that experience is the most excellent key to unlock and open those deep scripture mysteries; no knowledge is so distinct, so clear, so sweet, as that which the heart communicates to the head, John vii. 17. “If any man do his will, he shall know of the doctrine.” A man that never read the nature of love in books of philosophy, nor the transports and ecstasies thereof in history, may yet truly describe and express it by the sensible motions of that passion in his own soul; yea, he that has felt, much better understands, than he that has only read or heard. O what a light does spiritual sense and experience cast upon a great part of the scriptures! for indeed sanctification is the very copy or transcript of the word of God upon the heart of man; Jer. xxxi. 33. “I will write my law in their hearts:” so that the scriptures and the experiences of believers, by this means answer to each other, as the lines and letters in the press answer to the impressions made upon the paper; or the figures in the wax, to the engravings in the seal. When a sanctified man reads David’s psalms, or Paul’s epistles, how is he surprised with wonder to find the very workings of his own heart so exactly deciphered and fully expressed there! O, saith he, this is my very case, these holy men speak what my heart has felt.”[1]

1. Flavel, John. The Works of John Flavel, Volume II. “Sermon XXII: The Teachings of God Opened, in their Nature and Necessity.” (John 6:45) Carlisle, Pennsylvania: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1968, page 309.

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