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-but both the preceding and following verses explain on what account; namely, because the Father, v. 13. “hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son,” and because, v. 19. “it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” Heb. i. 3. “upholding all things by the word of his power,” namely, because, v. 2. the Father “ hath appointed him heir of all things." Further, it will appear on an ex
. amination of the passage, that the original ought to be translated, not of his own power, but of his, namely, the Father's, of whose person he was the express image ; and the right reading in the Greek is αυτού, not αυτού, since δι εαυτού immediately follows, as if put expressly for the sake of distinction. Lastly, Christ testifies of himself, Matt. xxviii
. 18. “all power is given unto me in heaven and in earth ;” and to the same effect in many other places.
REGARDS. Job xxxi. 4. “ doth he not count all my steps ?” 2 Chron. xvi. 9. “the eyes of Jehovah run to and fro throughout the whole earth." Psal. xxxiii. 15. “he fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works." Jer. xxxii. 19. “ thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men.” Hos. ii. 21. “ I will hear the heavens.
PRESERVES. Deut. viii. 3. “man doth not live by bread only,but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of Jeho
Job vii. 20. “O thou preserver of men.” Psal. xxx. 7. “thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.” lxxx. 1. “O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock shine forth.”
cause thy face to shine and we shall be red.” civ. 29. “thou takest away their breath, they die.” Nehem. ix. 6. “thou hast made .... and thou preservest them all.”
Acts xiv. 17. “he left not himself
2 See the versions of Beza and Tremellius, who translate the clause, sustineatque omnia verbo potentiæ suæ, or verbo illo suo potente, and sustinet omnia virtute verbi sui. Mill reads aŭroũ, without noticing the other reading, nor have 1 remarked that Waterland, who often quotes and argues upon the passage, takes any notice of the variation. It is, however, mentioned by Doddridge ; and Wetstein, who reads aútoữ, has the following note: . aútoữ, ut ad Patrem referatur. Christus verbo potentiæ paternæ cuncta fert. Editio Erasmi, Colinæi.' To these two names Archbishop Newcome has added that of Bengelius, in the copy of Wetstein's New Testament which formerly belonged to that prelate, and which is enriched with several annotations in his hand-writing.
without witness.” xvii. 25. “ he giveth to all life.” v. 28. “in him we live.”
ACCORDING TO THE CONDITIONS OF HIS DECREE. It is necessary to add this qualification, inasmuch as God preserves neither angels, nor men, nor any other part of creation absolutely, but always with reference to the conditions of his decree. For he preserves mankind, since their spontaneous fall, and all other things with them, only so far as regards their existence, and not as regards their primitive perfection.
GOVERNS. Job xiv. 5. "thou hast appointed his bounds." Psal. xxix. 10. “Jehovah sitteth king for ever.” xciii. 1. “ Jehovah reigneth .... the world also is established.” cü. 19. “his kingdom ruleth over all.” Prov. xx. 24. “man's goings are of Jehovah.” xxi. 1. “ the king's heart is in the hand of Jehovah .... he turneth it whithersoever he will."
WITH INFINITE WISDOM AND HOLINESS. Job ix. 10. “ which doeth great things past finding out, yea, and wonders without number.' Prov. X. 24. “ the fear of the wicked it shall come upon
but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.”, xii. 3. “a man shall not be established by wickedness.” xiii. 9. "the light of the righteous rejoiceth. "
“ Isai. lv. 9.“my ways are higher than your ways.
Deut. xxxii. 4. “all his ways are judgment.” Psal. xix. 9. “the judgments of Jehovah are true and righteous altogether." Îxxvii. 13. “thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary.” Generally speaking, however, no distinction is made between the righteous and the wicked, with regard to the final issue of events, at least in this life. Job xii. 6. “ the tabernacles of robbers prosper.
.” xxi. 7. “ wherefore do the wicked live, become old ? Eccles. vii. 15. “there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.” viii. 14. “there be just men unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked ; again, there be wicked men, to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous.” ix. 2. “there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked.” The reason for this may be seen Job v. 7. “man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward.” xxiv. 23. "though it be given him to be in safety, whereon he resteth ; yet his eyes are upon their ways," &c. Psal. lxxiii. 12, &c. “ behold, these are the yngodly who prosper in the world, &c. .... until I went into the sanctuary
of God; then understood I their end.” xcii. 7. “when the wicked spring as the grass, &c. .... it is that they shall be destroyed for ever.” Eccles. vii. 18. “it is good that thou shouldest take hold of this ; yea also from this withdraw not thine hand; for he that feareth God shall come forth of thern all.” viii. 12. “ though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged ; yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God.” Jer. xii. 1. “wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper?” Dan. xii. 10. “many shall be purified, and made white, and tried.” THE WHOLE OF CREATION.
Gen. viii. 1. “God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle.” ix. 9, 10, 12, 15. “I, behold I establish my covenant with you
and every living creature that is with you.” Prov. xv. 3. “the eyes of Jehovah are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”
Even the smallest objects. Job xxxiv. 21. “ for his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings. Psal. civ. 21. the lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.” cxlvü. 9. " he giveth to the beast his food.” Matt. vi. 26. x. 29, 30. “a sparrow shall not fall on the ground without your Father : but the
very head are all numbered.”
At the same time, God does not extend an equal share of his providential care to all things indiscriminately. I Cor. ix. 9. “ doth God take care for oxen ?” that is, as much care as he takes for man? Zech. ii. 8. “ he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of his eye.' 1 Tim. iv. 10. “ the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe." Natural things. Exod. iii. 21. "I will give this people
. . favour in the sight of the Egyptians ;" that is, by operating a change in their natural affections. Jer. li. 16. “he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens; and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth.” Amos v. 8.“ that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth ; Jehovah is his name."
Even such as are supernatural. Lcv. xxv. 20, 21. “and if
shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? .... it shall bring forth fruit for three years. Deut. viii. 3, 4. “he fed thee with manna .... thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell these forty years.” See also xxix.
hairs of your
5. 1 Kings xvii. 4. “I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.” v. 14. “ the barrel of meal shall not waste," &c.
Events contingent or fortuitous. Exod. xxi. 13. “if God deliver him into his hand.” Prov. xvi. 33. “the whole disposing of the lót is of Jehovah.” Nor does Scripture intimate anything derogatory to divine providence, even where (as sometimes happens) the names of fortune or chance are not scrupled to be employed; all that is meant is to exclude the idea of human causation. Eccles. ix. 11.“ time and chance happeneth to them all.” Luke x. 31. “by chance there came down a certain priest that way.'
Voluntary actions. 2 Chron. x. 15. “so the king hearkened not unto the people : for the cause was of God.” Prov. xvi. 9. "a man's heart deviseth his way ; but Jehovah directeth his steps.” xx. 24.“man's goings are of Jehovah." xxi. 1. “the king's heart is in the hand of Jehovah as the rivers of water; he turneth it whithersoever he will.” Jer. X. 23. “O Jehovah, I know that the way of man is not in himself.” In this, however, there is no infringement on the liberty of the human will ; otherwise man would be deprived of the power of free agency, not only with regard to what is right, but with regard to what is indifferent, or even positively wrong.
Lastly, temporal evils no less than blessings. Exod. xxi. 13. “if God deliver him into his hand.” Isai. xlv. 7. “I make peace and create evil,”—that is, what afterwards became evil, and now remains so; for whatever God created was originally good, as he himself testifies, Gen. i. Matt. xviii. 7.
woe unto the world because of offences; for it must needs be that offences come: but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.” 1 Cor. xi. 19. “for there must be also heresies amongst you, that they which are approved may be made manifest amongst you.”
God, however, is concerned in the production of evil only in one of these two ways; either, first, he permits its existence by throwing no impediment in the way of natural causes and free agents, (as, Acts ii. 23. “ him being delivered by the determinate counsel of God.... ye have slain.” xiv. 16. " who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.“ Pet. iii. 17. “it is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well-doing." iv. 19. “ them that suffer as
cording to the will of God,"') or, secondly, he causes evil by the infliction of judgments, which is called the evil of punishment. 2 Sam. xii. 11. “ behold I will raise
evil against thee out of thine own house,” —that is, punishment. Prov. xvi. 4. “ Jehovah hath made all things for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil ;" that is, him who, having been created good, became subsequently wicked by his own fault, in conformity with the explanation already given of Isai. xlv. 7. liv. 16. “I created the waster to destroy." Lam. iii. 38, 39..“ out of the mouth of the Most High proceedeth not evil and good? wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins ?" Amos iii. 6. « shall there be evil in a city, and Jehovah hath not done it ?” For God, who is infinitely good, cannot be the doer of wickedness, or of the evil of sin ; on the contrary, out of the wickedness of men he produces good. Gen. xlv. 5. “God did send me before you to preserve life.” 1. 20. “ as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good.”
If (inasmuch as I do not address myself to such as are wholly ignorant, but to those who are already competently acquainted with the outlines of Christian doctrine) I may be permitted, in discoursing on the general providence of God, so far to anticipate the natural order of arrangement, as to make an allusion to a subject which belongs properly to another part of my treatise, that of sin, I might remark, that even in the matter of sin God's providence finds its exercise, not only in permitting its existence, or in withdrawing his grace, but also in impelling sinners to the commission of sin, in hardening their hearts, and in blinding their understandings.
In impelling sinners to the commission of sin. Exod. ix. 16. “for this cause have I raised thee up.' Judges ix. 23. “God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem.” 2 Sam. xii. 11, 12. “I will raise up
evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour .... I will do this thing." xvi. 10. “Jehovah hath said unto him, Curse David.” xxiv. 1.“ Jehovah moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.” Compare 1 Chron. xxi. . 1 Kings xxii. 20. “who shall persuade Ahab ?” Psal. cv. 25. “ he turned their heart to hate his people.” Ezek. xiv. 9. “ I Jehovah have deceived that prophet.”