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Facing Grief - Puritan Paperbacks (Flavel)

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In 1674, two years after his second wife’s death, John Flavel published A Token for Mourners. In it he meditates on the words of Luke 7:13: ‘And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, ‘Weep not.’ From this verse the author helps the reader to think about grief, distinguishing ‘moderate’ sorrow from ‘immoderate’. He spells out what is appropriate for a Christian mourner and what is not. This book is full of Scripture, counsel, warning, and wisdom gained from prayerful reflection on the personal experience of affliction in loss and grief.

A best-seller for more than 150 years in both Britain and America, this little book gave much comfort to generations of Christian parents who suffered the heart-breaking experience of the loss of children.

Now republished as Facing Grief: Counsel for Mourners, this attractive new edition makes Flavel’s Token accessible once again in the form in which it knew such popularity – a small book, just the right size for carrying, and reading slowly, with meditation, reflection and prayer.

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Table of Contents:

  1. The Text Explained
  2. Moderate and Immoderate Sorrow
  3. Sorrow Permitted to Christian Mourners
  4. When Sorrow Becomes Sinful
  5. Counsel to Ungodly Mourners
  6. Godly Mourners Comforted
  7. Pleas for Immoderate Grief Answered
  8. Rules to Restrain Excessive Sorrow



John Flavel (1628–1691) was an English Puritan who became a non-conformist after the ‘Great Ejection’ of 1662. It was 10 years before he was licenced to preach again, and then only in his own home. His writings, when collected in the 19th century, filled 6 volumes. Flavel’s writings are known for their practical nature. He was instrumental in promoting the ‘Happy Union’ of Presbyterians and Congregationalists.



"I first became acquainted with this work when a couple in our congregation was called to go through the dark valley of losing their first child. Flavel's words helped them to trust God for good through the affliction and grief. It helped them to fix their eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of their faith when they needed such help most." - Pastor Mark Dever, Capitol Hill Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.