The study of God's providence was a strong, constant theme among the Puritans, especially as applied to the individual believer. I'm currently writing a review of The Notebooks of Nehemiah Wallington, in which the editor included the following quote by one John Beadle, and I was struck by the thematic similarities to a favorite quote from John Flavel:
Beadle, 1656, The Journal or Diary of a Thankful Christian:
"Of all Histories, the History of mens Lives is the most pleasant: Such History, amongst many commendations that may be given to it, this is not the least, that it can call back Times, and give life to those that are dead . . . but of all Histories of Lives, I should think, the History of a mans owne Life (even out of common principles of self-love) must needs be most acceptable. To be able to read our Lives even from the wombe to this present moment; from the cradle, within some few dayes of the grave, would surely be a study as profitable as delightful."
and John Flavel, 1677, The Mystery of Providence, Works, iv.416-17.
"Labour to get as full and thorough recognition of the providences of God about you, from first to last, as you are able...Let them be as extensively full, as may be...Ah sirs, let me tell you, there is not such a pleasant history for you to read in all the world, as the history of your own lives, if you would but sit down and record to yourselves from the beginning hitherto, what God hath been to you, and done for you: what signal manifestations and out-breakings of his mercy, faithfulness, and love, there have been in all the conditions you have passed through: If your hearts do not melt before you have gone half through that history, they are hard hearts indeed."
I guess my point would be to underscore how much the Puritans were often hitting on the same notes in unison in their teaching.