Posts Tagged ‘Rules’

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


The Christian Tenets Seem but Paradoxes to the World

The tenets of [the Christian life] seem paradoxes to carnal men; as first, that a Christian is the only freeman, and other men are slaves; that he is the only rich man, though never so poor in the world; that he is the only beautiful man, though outwardly never so deformed; that he is the only happy man in the midst of all his miseries.

Richard Sibbes

Concerning knowing basic Theology

Here let me speak to two things:

[I] That we should be grounded in the knowledge of fundamentals. The apostle speaks of ‘the first principles of the oracles of God.’ Heb 5:12. In all arts and sciences, logic, physic, mathematics, there are some praecognita, some rules and principles that must necessarily be known for the practice of those arts; so, in divinity, there must be the first principles laid down. The knowledge of the grounds and principles of religion is exceedingly useful.

(I.) Else we cannot serve God aright. We can never worship God acceptably, unless we worship him regularly; and how can we do that, if we are ignorant of the rules and elements of religion? We are to give God a ‘reasonable service.’ Rom 12:2: If we understand not the grounds of religion, how can it be a reasonable service?

Thomas Watson ‘A Body of Divinity’ (A Preliminary Discourse to Catechizing)