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CHAP. V.-Of Providence.
govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, d according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will,' to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.s
II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God,
I.. Heb. i. 3. Who, being the bright- manifold are thy works! in wisdom ness of his glory, and the express hast thou made them all: the earth is image of his person, and upholding all full of thy riches. Ps. cxlv. 17. The things by the word of his power, when Lord is righteous in all his ways, and he had by himself purged our sins, holy in all his works. sat down on the right hand of the • Acts xv. 18. Known unto God are Majesty on high.
all his works from the beginning of b"Dan. iv. 34. And at the end of the the world. Ps. xciv. 8. Understand, days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine ye brutish among the people: and ye eyes unto heaven, and mine under: fools, when will ye be wise ? Ver. 9. standing returned unto me, and I He that planted the ear, shall he not blessed the most High, and I praised hear! he that formed the eye, shall he and honoured him that liveth for ever, not see? Ver. 10. He that chastiseth whose dominion is an everlasting do- the heathen, shall not he correct ? he minion, and his kingdom is from ge, that teacheth man knowledge, shall neration to generation. Ver. 35. And not he know! Ver. 11. The Lord all the inhabitants of the earth are re- knoweth the thoughts of man, that puted as nothing: and he doeth ac- they are vanity. cording to his will in the army of hea- Eph. i. 11. In whom also we have ven, and among the inhabitants of the obtained an inheritance, being predesearth; and none can stay his hand, or tinated according to the purpose of say unto him, What doest thou ? Ps. him who worketh all things after the cxxxv. 6. Whatsoever the Lord pleas- counsel of his own will. Ps. xxxii. ed, that did he in heaven, and in 10. The Lord bringeth the counsel of earth, in the seas, and all deep places. the heathen to nought: he maketh the Acts xvii. 25. Neither is worshipped devices of the people of none effect. with men's hands, as though he need. Ver. 11. The counsel of the Lord standed any thing, seeing he giveth to all eth for ever, the thoughts of his heart life, and breath, and all things; Ver. to all generations. 26. 'And hath made of one blood all na & Isa. Lxiii. 14. As a beast goeth down tions of men for to dwell on all the face into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord of the earth, and bath determined the caused him to rest; so didst thou lead times before appointed, and the bounds thy people, to make thyself a glorious of their habitation: Ver 28. For in name. Eph. iii. 10. To the intent that him we live, and move, and have our now, unto the principalities and powers being; as certain also of your own in heavenly places, might be known by poets have said, For we are also his the church the manifold wisdom of offspring. Job Chapters Xxxviii, God. Rom. ix. 17. For the scripture Xxxix, xl, xli.
saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same • Matt. x. 29. Are not two sparrows purpose have I raised thee up, that I sold for a farthing? and one of them might show my power in thee, and that shall not fall on the ground without my name might be declared througliyour Father. Ver 30. But the very out all the earth. Gen. xlv. 7. And God hairs of your head are all numbered. sent me before you to preserve you a Ver. 31. Fear ye not therefore, ye are posterity in the earth, and to save your of more value than many sparrows. lives by a great deliverance. Ps.cxlv.
a Prov. xv. 3. The eyes of the Lord 7. They shall abundantly utter the are in every place, beholding the evil memory of thy great goodness, and and the good. Pa cix 24, O Lord, how shall sing of thy righteousness.
the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly;h yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
III. God in his ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free to work without, above,m and against them," at his pleasure.
IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite good.
II. h Actsii. 23. Him, being delivered lv. 10. For as the rain cometh down, by the determinate counsel and fore, and the snow from heaven, and reknowledge of God, ye have taken, and turneth not thither, but watereth the by wicked hands have crucified and earth, and maketh it bring forth and slain.
bud, that it may give seed to the sower, i Gen. viii. 22. While the earth re- and bread to the eater; Ver. 11. So maineth, seed time and harvest, and shall my word be that goeth
forth out cold and heat, and summer and win- of my mouth: it shall not return unto ter, and day and night, shall not cease. me void; but it shall accomplish that Jer. xxxi. 35. Thus saith the Lord, which I please, and it shall prosper in which giveth the sun for a light by the thing whereto I sent it. Hos. ii. day, and the ordinances of the moon 21. And it shall come to pass in that and of the stars for a light by night, day, I will hear, saith the Lord: I will which divideth the sea when the waves hear the heavens, and they shall hear thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his the earth; Ver. 22. And the earth shall name. Exod. xxi. 13. And if a man hear the corn, and the wine, and the lie not in wait, but God deliver him oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. into his hand; then I will appoint thee
l'Hos. i. 7. But I will have mercy a place whither he shall flee. With upon the house of Judah, and will save Deut. xix. 5. As when a man goeth into them by the Lord their God, and will the wood with his neighbour to hew not save them by bow, nor by sword, wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke nor by battle, by horses, nor by horses with the axe to cut down the tree, and men. Matt. iv. 4. But he answered and the head slippeth from the helve, and said, It is written, Man shall not live lighteth upon his neighbour, that he by bread alone, but by every word that die; he shall flee unto one of those proceedeth out of the mouth of God. cities, and live. 1 Kings xxii. 28. And Job xxxiv. 10. Therefore hearken unto Micaiah said, If thou return at all in me, ye men of understanding: Far be peace, the Lord hath not spoken by it from God, that he should do wickedme. And he said, Hearken, 0 people, ness; and from the Almighty, that he every one of you. Ver. 34. And a cer should commit iniquity. tain man drew a bow at a venture, and m Rom. iv. 19. And being notweakin smote the king of Israel between the faith, he considered not his own body joints of the harness : wherefore he now dead, when he was about an hun. said unto the driver of his chariot, dred years old, neither yet the deadTurn thine hand, and carry me out of ness of Sarah's womb : Ver. 20. He the host; for I am wounded. Isa. X. 6. staggered not at the promise of God I will send him against an hypocriti- through unbelief; but was strong in cal nation, and against the people of faith, giving glory to God; Ver. 21. my wrath will I give him a charge, And being fully persuaded, that what to take the spoil, and to take the he had promised, he was able also to prey, and to tread them down like perform. the mire of the streets. Ver. 7. How- n 2 Kings vi. 6. And the man of God beit he meaneth not so, neither doth said, Where fell it? And he shewed his heart think so; but it is in his him the place. And he cut down a heart to destroy and cut off nations stick, and cast it in thither; and the not a few.
iron did swim. Dan. iii. 27. And the III. * Acts xxvii. 31. Paul said to the princes, governors, and captains, and centurion and to the scldiers, Except the king's counsellors, being gathered these abide in the ship, ye cannot be together, saw these men, upon whose saved. Ver. 44. And the rest, some bodies the fire had no power, nor was on boards, and some on broken pieces an hair of their head singed, neither of the ship. And so it came to pass, were their coats changed, nor the smell that they escaped all safe to land Isa. of fire had passed on them.
ness of God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men, and that not by a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, 9 and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends;" yet so as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God; who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.
IV. ° Rom. xi. 32. For God bath con- slain. Acts iv. 27. For of a truth, cluded them all in unbelief, that he against thy holy child Jesus, whom might have mercy upon all. Ver. 33. thou hast anointed, both Herod and o the depth of the riches
both of the Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and wisdom and knowledge of God! how the people of Israel, were gathered unsearchable are his judgments, and together, Ver. 28. For to do whatsohis ways past finding out! Ver. 34. ever thy hand and thy counsel deterFor who hath known the mind of the mined before to be done. Lord ? or who hath been his coun. P Acts xiv. 16. Who in times past sellor! 2 Sam. xxiv. 1. And again the suffered all nations to walk in their anger of the Lord was kindled against own ways. Israel, and he moved David against 9 Ps. Ixxvi. 10. Surely the wrath of them to say, Go, number Israel and man shall praise thee; the remainder Judah. With i' Chron. xxi. 1. And of wrath shalt thou restrain. 2 Kings Satan stood up against Israel, and pro- xix. 28. Because thy rage against me voked David to number Israel. 1 Kings and thy tumult is come up into mine xxii. 22. And the Lord said unto him, ears, therefore I will put my hook in Wherewith! And he said, I will go thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, forth, and I will be a lying spirit în and I will turn thee back by the way the mouth of all his prophets. And he by which thou camest. Baid, Thou shalt persuade him, and 'r Gen. 1. 20. But as for you, ye prevail also: go forth, and do so. Ver. thought evil against me; but God 23. Now therefore, behold, the Lord meant it unto good, to bring to pass, hath put a lying spirit in the mouth as it is this day, to save much people of all these thy prophets, and the Lord alive. Isa. X. 6. I will send him hath spoken evil concerning thee. 1 against an hypocritical nation, and Chron. 2. 4. Then said Saul to his against the people of my wrath will armour-bearer, Draw thy sword, and I give him a charge, to take the spoil, thrust me through therewith, lest and to take the prey, and to tread these uncircumcised come and abuse them down like the mire of the streets. me. But his armour-bearer would not; Ver. 7. Howbeit he meaneth not so, for he was sore afraid. So Saul took neither doth his heart think so; but a sword, and fell upon it. Ver. 13. So it is in his heart to destroy and cut Saul died for his transgression which off nations not a few. Ver. 12. Wherehe committed against the Lord, even fore it shall come to pass, that, when against the word of the Lord, which the Lord hath performed his whole he kept not, and also for asking coun- work upon mount Zion and on Jeru. sel of one that had a familiar spirit, to salem, I will punish the fruit of the enquire of it; Ver. 14. And enquired stout heart of the king of Assyria not of the Lord : therefore he slew and the glory of his high looks. him, and turned the kingdom unto * James i. 13. Let no man say, when David the son of Jesse. 2 Sam. xvi. 10. he is tempted, I am tempted of God: And the king said, What have I to do for God cannot be tempted with evil, with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let neither tempteth he any man: Ver. him curse, because
hath said 14. But every man is tempted, when unto him, Curse David. Who shall he is drawn away of his own lust, then say, Wherefore bast thou done and enticed. Ver. 17. Every good 8o ? Acts ii. 23. Him, being delivered gift and every perfect gift is from by the determinate counsel and fore- above, and cometh down from the knowledge of God, ye have taken, and Father of lights, with whom is no vaby wicked hands have crucified and riableness, neither shadow of turning
V. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God, doth oftentimes leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations, and the corruption of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfulness of their hearts, that they may be humbled;t and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself, and to make them more watchful against all future occasions of sin, and for sundry other just and holy ends.u
VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men, whom God as a righteous judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden, from them he not only withholdeth his grace, whereby they might have been enlightened 1 John ii. 16. For all that is in the voice, even unto God with my voice; world, the lust of the flesh, and the and he give ear unto me.
Ver. 10. lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, And I said, This is my infirmity: is not of the Father, but is of the but I will remember the years of the world. Ps. 1. 21. These things hast right hand of the most High. Ver. thou done, and I kept silence; thou 12. I will meditate also of all thy work, thoughtest that I was altogether such and talk of thy doings. [Read the in an one as thyself: but I will reprove termediate verses in the Bible.] Mark thee, and set them in order before xiy. from the 66th verse to the end, with
John xxi. 15. So, when they had dined, V. t 2 Chr. xxxii. 25. But Hezekiah Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, rendered not again according to the son of Jonas, lovest thou me more benefit done unto him; for his heart than these? He saith unto him, Yean was lifted up: therefore there was Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. wrath upon him, and upon Judah and He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. Jerusalem. Ver. 26. Notwithstand- Ver. 16. He saith to him again the ing Hezekiah humbled himself for second time, Simon, son of Jonas, the pride of his heart, (both he and lovest thou me? He saith unto him, the inhabitants of Jerusalem,) so that Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love the wrath of the Lord them in the days of Hezekiah Hon gee. He saith unto him, Feed my
sheep. Ver. 17. He 31. Howbeit in the business of the the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, ambassadors of the princes of Baby- lovest thou me? Peter was grieved bem lon, who sent unto him to enquire of cause he said unto him the third time, the wonder that was done in the land, Lovest thou me? And he said unto God left him, to try him, that he might him, Lord, thou knowest all things; know all that was in his heart. 2 Sam. thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus xxiv. 1. And again the anger of the saith unto him, Feed my sheep. Lord was kindled against Israel, and VI. * Rom. i. 24. Wherefore God he moved David against them to say, also gave them up to uncleanness, Go, number Israel and Judah. through the lusts of their own hearts,
ú 2 Cor. xii. 7. And lest I should to dishonour their own bodies between be exalted above measure through the themselves. Ver. 26. For this cause abundance of the revelations, there God gave them up unto vile affections: was given to me a thorn in the flesh, for even their women did change the the messenger of Satan to buffet me, natural use into that which is against lest I should be exalted above mea- nature. Ver. 28. And even as they
Ver. 8. For this thing I be- did not like to retain God in their sought the Lord thrice, that it might knowledge, God gave them over to a depart from me. Ver. 9. And he said reprobate mind, to do those things unto me, My grace is sufficient for which are not convenient. Rom. xi. thee; for my strength is made perfect 7. What then? Israel hath not obin weakness. Most gladly therefore tained that which he seeketh for; but will I rather glory in my infirmities, the election hath obtained it,
and the that the power of Christ may rest rest were blinded, Ver. 8. (Accordupon me. Ps. lxxiii. throughout. *Ps. ing as it is written, God hath given lxxvii. 1. I cried unto God with my them the spirit of slumber, eyes that
in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts;” but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had, and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin ;a and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan: whereby it comes to pass, that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others.
VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all crea
they should not see, and ears that Pharaoh's heart, and multiply my they
should not hear) unto this day. signs and my wonders in the land of
Deut. xxix. 4. Yet the Lord hath Egypt. With Exod. viii. 15. But when not given you an heart to perceive, Pharaoh saw that there was respite, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto he hardened his heart, and hearkened this day.
not unto them; as the Lord had said. z Matt. xiii. 12. For whosoever hath, Ver. 32. And Pharaoh hardened
his to him shall be given, and he shall heart at this time also, neither would have more abundance: but whosoever he let the people go. 2 Cor. ii. 15. hath not, from him shall be taken For we are unto God a sweet savour away even that he hath. Matt. xxv. of Christ, in them that are saved, and 29. For unto every one that hath shall in them that perish. Ver. 16. To the be given, and he shall haveabundance: one we are the savour of death unto but from him that hath not, shall be death; and to the other the savour of taken away even that which he hath. life unto life: and who is sufficient
a Deut. ii. 30. But Sihon king of for these things? Isa. viii. 14. And Heshbon would not let us pass by him: he shall be for a sanctuary; but for for the Lord thy God hardened his a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of spirit, and made his heart obstinate, offence, to both the houses of Israel; that he might deliver him into thy for a gin and for a snare to the inhahand, as appeareth this day. 2 Kings bitants of Jerusalem. 1 Pet. ii. 7. viii. 12. And Hazael said, Why weep- Unto you therefore which believe he eth my lord ? And he answered, Be- is precious: but unto them which be cause I know the evil that thou wilt disobedient, the stone which the build. do unto the children of Israel: their ers disallowed, the same is made the strong holds wilt thou set on fire, and head of the corner, Ver. 8. And a their young men wilt thou slay with stone of stumbling, and a rock of of. the sword, and wilt dash their chil. fence, even to them which stumble at dren, and rip up their women with the word, being disobedient; wherechild. Ver. 13. Ånd Hazael said, But unto also they were appointed. Isa. what! is thy servant a dog, that he vi. 9. And he said, Go, and tell this should do this great thing? And Elisha people, Hear ye indeed, but underanswered, The Lord hath shewed me stand not; and see ye indeed, but perthat thou shalt be king over Syria. ceive not. Ver. 10. Make the heart
Ps. lxxxi. 11. But my people would of this people fat, and make their ears not hearken to my voice; and Israel heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they would none of me. Ver. 12. So I see with their eyes, and hear with gave them up unto their own hearts' their ears, and understand with their lusts: and they walked in their own heart, and convert, and be healed. counsels. 2 Thess. ii. 10. And with With Acts xxviii. 26. Saying, Go unto all deceivableness of unrighteousness this people, and say, Hearing ye shall in them that perish; because they re- hear, and shall not understand; and ceived not the love of the truth, that seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: they might be saved. Ver. 11. And Ver. 27. For the heart of this people for this cause God shall send them is waxed gross, and their ears are dull strong delusion, that they should be- of hearing, and their eyes have they lieve a lie; Ver. 12. That they all closed; lest they should see with might be damned who believed not their eyes, and hear with their ears, the truth, but had pleasure in un- and understand with their heart, and righteousness.
should be converted, and I should Exod. vii. 3. And I will harden heal them.