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The Puritans and the teaching of Providence

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  • setfreein1973@aol.com
    What the Puritans teach about the providence of God? Stan
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 12, 2004
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      What the Puritans teach about the providence of God?
      Stan
    • gmw
      ... Here is Chapter 5 of the (very Puritan) Westminster Confession of Faith: Of Providence I. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,[1] direct,
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 12, 2004
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        --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, setfreein1973@a...
        wrote:
        > What the Puritans teach about the providence of God?
        > Stan

        Here is Chapter 5 of the (very Puritan) Westminster Confession of
        Faith:

        Of Providence

        I. God the great Creator of all things doth uphold,[1] direct,
        dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,[2] from the
        greatest even to the least,[3] by his most wise and holy providence,
        [4] according to his infallible foreknowledge,[5] and the free and
        immutable counsel of his own will,[6] to the praise of the glory of
        his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.[7]

        1. Neh. 9:6; Psa. 145:14-16; Heb. 1:3
        2. Dan. 4:34-35; Psa. 135:6; Acts 17:25-28; Job 34:1-41:34
        3. Matt. 6:26-32; 10:29-31
        4. Prov. 15:3; I Chr. 16:9; Psa. 104:24; 145;17
        5. Acts 15:18; Isa. 42:9; Ezek. 11:5
        6. Eph. 1:11; Psa. 33:10-11
        7. Isa. 63:14; Eph. 3:10; Rom. 917; Gen. 45:7; Psa. 145:7

        II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God,
        the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly;
        [8] yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out,
        according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely,
        or contingently.[9]

        8. Acts 2:23; see Isa. 14:24, 27
        9. Gen 8:22; Jer. 31:35; Isa. 10:6,7; see Exod. 21:13 and Deut.
        19:5; I Kings 22:28-34

        III. God, in his ordinary providence, maketh use of means,[10] yet
        is free to work without,[11] above,[12] and against them, at his
        pleasure.[13]

        10. Acts 27:24, 31, 44; Isa. 55:10-11
        11. Hosea 1:7; Matt. 4:4; Job 34:20
        12. Rom. 4:19-21
        13. II Kings 6:6; Dan. 3:27

        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;[14] and that not by a bare permission,[15] but such as hath
        joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,[16] and otherwise
        ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his
        own holy ends;[17] 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.[18]

        14. Isa. 45:7; Rom. 11:32-34; II Sam. 16:10; Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; see
        II Sam. 24:1 and I Chr. 21:1; I Kings 22:22-23; I Chr. 10:4, 13-14
        15. John 12:40; II Thess. 2:11
        16. Psa. 76:10; II Kings 19:28
        17. Gen. 50:20; Isa. 10:6-7,12-15 (particularly v.12)
        18. James 1:13-14, 17; I John 2:16; Psa. 50:21

        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;[19] and, to
        raise 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.[20]

        19. II Chr. 32:25-26, 31; Deut. 8:2-3, 5; Luke 22:31-32; see II Sam.
        24:1, 25
        20. II Cor. 12:7-9; see Psa. 73:1-28; 77:1-12; Mark 14: 66-72; John
        21:15-19

        VI. As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as a righteous
        Judge, for former sins, doth blind and harden,[21] from them he not
        only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been enlightened
        in their understandings, and wrought upon in their hearts;[22] but
        sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had,[23] and exposeth
        them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin;[24]
        and, withal, gives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of
        the world, and the power of Satan,[25] whereby it comes to pass that
        they harden themselves, even under those means which God useth for
        the softening of others.[26]

        21. Rom. 1:24, 26, 28; 11:7-8
        22. Deut. 29:4; Mark 4:11-12
        23. Matt. 13:12; 25:29; see Acts 13:10-11
        24. Gen. 4:4; II Kings 8:12-13; see Matt. 26:14-16
        25. Psa. 109:6; Luke 22:3; II Thess. 2:10-12
        26. Exod. 7:3, 8:15, 32; II Cor. 2:15-16; Isa. 6:9-10, 8:14; I Pet
        2:7-8; Acts 28:26-27

        VII. As the providence of God doth, in general, reach to all
        creatures; so, after a most special manner, it taketh care of his
        church, and disposeth all things to the good thereof.[27]

        27. I Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8-9; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 4:28; Isa. 43:3-5, 14

        ---
        gmw.
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