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counsels of an infinite Being, it should be sufficient for us to know, that he does every thing which it is wisest and best for him to do, to glorify his name, and to promote the happiness of his creatures. The operations of providence are concealed from mortal eyes, so that we cannot, in particular cases, determine in what manner they are exerted, or what are their designs. There are innumerable difficulties, in reference to which, we must, for a time, remain in the dark. Our God is in the heavens; he doeth whatsoever he pleaseth, and giveth not to mortals an account of any of his matters.

Not Gabriel asks the reason why,
Nor God the reason gives ;
Nor dares the fav’rite angel pry
Between the folded leaves.

Should we not then learn to wait the issues of Providence, and see what the result will be ? We may now be tossed on a tempestuous ocean; the waves and billows of affliction may seem to threaten our destruction; but let us have patience for a short

dark cloud shall be dispelled. Rest satisfied, that though clouds and darkness are round about him, yet justice and judgment are the habitation of his throne. He says to you, in the midst of your present perplexities, “What I do thou knowest

every

season, and

not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” Byand-by, you shall see, that your heaviest afflictions were of the number of your greatest mercies. What appeared nothing but confusion and disorder, to the feeble eye of sense, you will perceive to have been all harmony and perfect regularity. The very circumstances concerning which you have too rashly said, in the gloomy hour of despondency, “All these things are against me," you will clearly see have wrought together for your highest good. The Lord will then bring you forth to the clear light of unclouded day, and you shall behold the equity and the wisdom of his conduct towards you. The things which now occasion your deepest sorrow, will then excite your loudest songs.

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CHAPTER VII.

THE UNCONTROLLABLENESS OF

PROVIDENCE,

God pulleth down, he setteth up on high ;
He gives to this, from that he takes away ;
For all we have is his; what he list do he may.
Whatever thing is done by him is done,
Nor any may his mighty will withstand ;
Nor any may his sovereign power shun,
Nor loose what he has bound with stedfast band.

SPENSER.

By the uncontrollableness of providence we mean that God arranges and brings to pass events and circumstances according to his own pleasure, and no one can hinder or prevent him. He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou ? In this passage of scripture, it is asserted, that there is no possible opposition, or hinderance, to the agency of God;

oceans.

which agency operates alike in heaven and on earth: and in both according to his will, or pleasure. And if we consider the works of creation and the ways of providence we shall behold the truth of the statement.

THE GOVERNMENT OF INANIMATE THINGS, displays the uncontrollableness of providence.

The existence and properties which God has given to all things, He only can continue. He only holds together the innumerable atoms which compose the universe; the plants and trees, the hills and mountains, the rivers and

The same energy that created them, upholds all their properties, and conducts all their operations; and no stratagem, policy, or power can prevent the accomplishment of his plans.

In the daily providence of God, we are witnesses of his uncontrollable

agency

and

power. In the rising and setting of the sun and moon, and the revolutions of the heavens, we behold a hand, whose exertions disclaim all limit. Behold the sun coming out of his chamber as a bridegroom, and rejoicing as a strong man to run a race! His going forth is from the ends of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it. And who can stay his chariot? Behold the moon walking in her brightness, and displaying her beauty! And who can quench her light ? We see God, also sending forth lightnings, and we hear him thundering marvellously with his voice : making the earth to tremble and the mountains to fall, pouring out rivers of fire from the volcano, and overwhelming cities and countries in a general conflagration. Yes, the sun and the moon; the clouds and the rain ; the winds and the waves; the lightning and the thunder; the storm and the tempest; the volcano and the earthquake; pestilence and famine; all declare the uncontrollable agency of providence. None can stay his hand, or say unto him, what doest thou ?

And in the history of past events, we are also presented with such sublime views of the uncontrollableness of providence as excite our imaginations to the utmost, and fill our understanding with astonishing ideas. In the Deluge; in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah ; in the wonders of Egypt, of Sinai, and of Canaan; in the miracles of the Prophets, of Christ, and of the Apostles; are such manifestations of Almighty power and uncontrollable agency, as cannot fail to astonish every mind, and fill every heart with the most awful apprehensions of its Maker.

THE RISE AND FALL OF NATIONS AND EMPIRES, display the uncontrollableness of Providence.

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