Wednesday, February 16

The Puritans: From John Owen

An exerpt from Two Short Catechisms, on God's providence:

Q. 1. What is God's actual providence?

A. The effectual working of his power, and almighty act of his will, whereby he sustaineth, governeth, and disposeth of all things, men and their actions, to the ends which he hath ordained for them.

Exod. iv. 11; Job v. 10-12, ix. 5, 6; Ps. cxlvii. 4; Prov. xv. 3; Isa. xlv. 6, 7; John v. 17; Acts xvii. 28; Heb. i. 3.

Q. 2. How is this providence exercised towards mankind?

A. Two ways; first, apeculiarly towards his church, or elect, in their generations, for whom are all things; secondly, towards all in a general manner, yet with various and divers dispensations.

Deut. xxxii. 10; Ps. xvii. 8; Zech. ii. 8; Matt. xvi. 18, xix. 2, 29; 1 Pet. v. 7. bGen. ix. 5; Ps. lxxv. 6, 7; Isa. xlv. 6, 7; Matt. v. 45.

Q. 3. Wherein chiefly consists the outward providence of God towards his church?

A. In three things; first, in acausing all things to work together for their good; secondly, in ruling and disposing of kingdoms, nations, and persons, for their benefit; thirdly, cin avenging them of their adversaries.

Matt. vi. 31-33; Rom. viii. 28; 1 Tim. vi. 17; 2 Pet. i. 3. bPs. cv. 14,15; Isa. xliv. 28; Dan. ii. 44; Rom. ix. 17. cIsa. lx. 12; Zech. xii. 2-5; Luke xviii. 7; Rev. xvii. 14.

Q. 4. Doth God rule also in and over the sinful actions of wicked men?

A. Yea, he willingly (accordingto his determinate counsel) suffereth them to be, for the manifestation of his glory, and by them effecteth his own righteous ends.

2 Sam. xii. 11, xvi. 10; 1 Kings xi. 31, xxii. 22; Job i. 21; Prov. xxii. 14; Isa. x. 6, 7; Ezek. xxi. 19-21; Amos vii. 17; Acts iv. 27, 28; Rom. i. 24, ix. 22; 1 Pet. ii. 8; Rev. xvii. 17.

Q. 5. Doth the providence of God extend itself to every small thing?

A. The least grass of the field, hair of our heads, or worm of the earth, is not exempted from his knowledge and care.

Job xxxix.; Ps. civ. 21, cxlv. 15; Jonah iv. 7; Matt. vi. 26-29, x. 29, 30.

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