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knowledge,e and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, f to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.9
II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge, and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly," yet, by the same providence, he ordereth em to fall out according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
e Acts xv. 18. Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. Psa. xciv. 8-11. Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see? lle that chastiseth the heathen, shall not he correct? he that teacheth man knowledge, shall not he know? The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.
f Eph. i. 11. Who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. Psa. xxxiii. 10, 11. The LORD bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect. The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
9 Eph. iii. 10. To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God. Rom. ix. 17. For the Scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might show my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Gen. xlv. 7. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. Psa. cxlv. 7. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
II. Jer. xxxii. 19. Thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men, to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Acts. ii. 23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.
i Gen. viii. 22. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shal not cease. Jer. xxxi. 35. Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name. Isa. x. 6, 7. I will send him against a hypocritical nation, and against the people of will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. Howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so; but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few.
III. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use
yet is free to work without,? above, m and against them, at his pleasure.n
IV. The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness 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
III. k Acts xxvii. 21, 31. Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Cæsar: and lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.--Paul said to the centurion, and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. Isa. lv. 10, 11. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow, from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
? Hos. i. 7. But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and I will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.
m Rom. iv. 20, 21. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded, that what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
n Dan. iii. 27. And the princes, governors, and captains, and the king's counselors, being gathered together, saw tliese men, upon whose bodies the fire had no power, nor was an hair of their heads singed, neither were their coats changed, nor the smell of fire had passed on them. See 1 Kings xviii. 17-39. John xi. 43-45. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes; and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. Rom. i. 4. And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
IV. Isa. xlv. 7. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil ; I the Lord do all these things. Rom. xi. 32-34. For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord ? or who hath been his counselor ? Acts iv. 27, 28. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were
bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, P and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manitold dispensation, to his own holy ends; 9 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."
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 ; 8 and to raise
gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.
P Psa. lxxvi. 10. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remeinder of wrath shalt thou restrain. 2 Kings xix. 28. Because thy rage against me and thy tumult is come up into mine ears, therefore I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest. Acts xiv. 16. Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
9 Gen. 1. 20. But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. Isa. x. 12. Wherefore it shall come to pass, that, when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the fruit of the stout heart of the king of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks. See vv. 13-15.
11 John ii. 16. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. Psa. 1. 21. These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes. James i. 17. Every good gist and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variable. ness, neither shadow of turning.
V.: 2 Chron. xxxii. 25, 26, 31. But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him ; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding, Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.-Howbeit, in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to inquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. 2 Sam. xxiv. 1, 25. And again the anger of the LORD was kindled
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.
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 in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts; w but
against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.–And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. Luke xxii. 31, 22. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired lo have you, that he may sist you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
t 2 Cor. xii. 7-9. And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buset me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is suflicient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. See Psa. lxxiii.; Psa. lxxvii. 1-12; Mark xiv. 66-72 ; John xxi. 15-19.
VI. Rom. i. 24, 25, 28. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves : Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.-And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient. Rom. xi. 7, 8. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for ; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
w Deut. xxix. 4. Yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day. Mark iv. 11, 12. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but into them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand ; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.
sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had, z and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin;y and withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan : 2 whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the softening of others. 2
VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all creatures; 60, after a most special manner, it takethi
* Matt. xiii. 12. But whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Matt. XXV. 29. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. See Acts xiii. 10, 11 ; 2 Cor. xi. 13, 15.
y 2 Kings viii. 12, 13. And Ilazael said, Why weepeth my lord ? And he answered, Because I know the evil that thou wilt do unto the children of Israel: their strongholds wilt thou set on fire, and their young men wilt thou slay with the sword, and wilt dash their children, and rip up their women with child. And llazael sail, But what, is thy servant a dog that he should do this great thing? And Elisha answered, The LORD hath showed me that thou shall be king over Syria.
z Psa, lxxxi. 11, 12. But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels. 2 Thess. ii. 1012. And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Cor. ii. 11. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us : for we are not ignorant of his devices. 2 Cor. xi. 3. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.
a Ex. viii. 15, 32. But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.-And Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also, neither would he let the people go. 2 Cor. ii. 15, 16. For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savor of death unto death; and to the other the savor of life unto life. Isa. viii. 14. And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. See Ex. vii. 3; 1 Pet. ii. 7, 8; sa. vi. 9, 10; Acts xxviii, 26. 27