Notes from November 15 2015
The external work of God is “Providence”; by which all the creatures God has made are preserved, governed, guided, and directed.
The term Providence implies
that God upholds all things by his power;
governs the world by his wisdom;
looks down upon the earth,
takes notice and care of all his creatures in it, and
makes provision for them, and
- guides and directs them to answer the ends for which they were made
Providence is has with in the process some ways
- the act in the divine mind in eternity; and are no other than the eternal purposes and decrees of God,
- who foresaw and foreknew all persons and things that would be;
- he determining within himself that they should be; for “known unto him were all his works from the beginning”, or from eternity; even all that would be done in time, from the beginning to the end of the world;
- he knew they would be, because he decreed they should be; this may be called eternal providence, virtual providence, providence in purpose; but providence in time, and may be called actual providence,
- is the execution of whatsoever God has foreknown and determined; “Who worketh all things after the counsel of his will” (Eph. 1:11),
- the eternal will of God is the rule of his conduct in providence,
- according to which he proceeds in it;
- and his wisdom, which fixed his will,
- and therefore said to be the counsel of his will, presides, guides, and directs in the execution of it; which execution of it is called his working;
- wherefore providence is to be reckoned as his work. The wise man says, “There is a time to every purpose under the heaven”; whatever is done under the heavens in time, there was a purpose for it in eternity; and for the execution of that purpose a time was fixed; and at that time it is brought about by the providence of God; who “makes everything beautiful in his time”; in the time and season in which he appointed it to be done (Eccl. 3:1,11).
- Purpose and providence exactly tally and answer to each other; the one is the fulfillment of the other; “Surely, as I have thought”, saith the Lord, “so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand” (Isa. 14:24).
- The providence of God is not only expressed in scripture, by his sustaining, upholding, and preserving all things; and by his government of the world, and the execution of his purposes;
- but by his looking down upon the earth, and the inhabitants of it;
- taking a prospect of them, and
- notice of their ways, and works, and actions, and
- dealing with them according to them; “The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men”, &c. (Ps. 14:2; 33:13,14).