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Posts Tagged ‘Governing’

The perfections of God are evident in those things which are above the ordinary course of nature

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015The second class of works, viz., those above the ordinary course of nature, afford clear evidence of the perfections of God, especially his goodness, justice, and mercy.

7. In the second class of God’s works, namely those which are above the ordinary course of nature, the evidence of his perfections are in every respect equally clear. For in conducting the affairs of men, he so arranges the course of his providence, as daily to declare, by the clearest manifestations, that though all are in innumerable ways the partakers of his bounty, the righteous are the special objects of his favor, the wicked and profane the special objects of his severity. It is impossible to doubt his punishment of crimes; while at the same time he, in no unequivocal manner, declares that he is the protector, and even the avenger of innocence, by shedding blessings on the good, helping their necessities, soothing and solacing their griefs, relieving their sufferings, and in all ways providing for their safety. And though he often permits the guilty to exult for a time with impunity, and the innocent to be driven to and fro in adversity, nay, even to be wickedly and iniquitously oppressed, this ought not to produce any uncertainty as to the uniform justice of all his procedure. Nay, an opposite inference should be drawn. When any one crime calls forth visible manifestations of his anger, it must be because he hates all crimes; and, on the other hand, his leaving many crimes unpunished, only proves that there is a judgment in reserve, when the punishment now delayed shall be inflicted. In like manner, how richly does he supply us with the means of contemplating his mercy when, as frequently happens, he continues to visit miserable sinners with unwearied kindness, until he subdues their depravity, and woos them back with more than a parent’s fondness?

John Calvin-Institutes of the Christian Religion-Book I-Chapter 5-Henry Beveridge Translation 

Another Definition of Providence

Or, take this definition:Providenceis that continuous, effective, all-comprehensive agency of God by which He makes all the events of the moral and physical universe to fulfill the design with which He created the universe.

Let us consider that definition a moment. It is expressed in somewhat different terms from the other, but the idea is the same – that having made a world, He governs it, superintends it, not by an intermittent agency, but by a continuous agency; not by a slight agency, but by an effective agency; not by a partial agency, but by an all comprehensive agency. I mean that the agency is just as comprehensive as the universe is.

To get still nearer to what I mean by all-comprehensiveness, that it is not only an agency over classes, but equally over the individuals in the classes; that it is not merely an agency over the whole of a world, but over all of its parts; that it is not merely a general Providence, but that it is a particular Providence; that it takes cognizance of everything; that it is just as essential to the idea of Providence to believe that the very hairs of your heads are numbered, and that it is just as essential to believe that not a sparrow can fall to the ground without our heavenly Father knowing it, as to believe that not a world could be blotted out.

I mean that it is a continuous, effective, all-comprehensive, divine agency. That it is so in the sense of administering a kingdom; a kingdom implying a personal king; a kingdom implying jurisdiction, implying government; that the kingdom of God is supreme, that it is over all other kingdoms; that all other kingdoms must be subordinated to the kingdom of God; that the issue will be just what this definition expresses: That it is the continuous, effective, all-comprehensive, divine agency which makes all events in the physical and moral universe fulfill the original design with which He created that universe.

B. H. Carroll—The Providence of God

Concerning God’s Providence

It is the great support and solace of the saints in all the distresses that befall them here, that there is a wise Spirit sitting in all the wheels of motion, and governing the most eccentric creatures and their most pernicious designs to blessed and happy issues.

John Flavel