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Re: The Puritans and the teaching of Providence

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Apr 12, 2004
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      --- In covenantedreformationclub@yahoogroups.com, setfreein1973@a...
      > What the Puritans teach about the providence of God?
      > Stan

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

      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

      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

      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

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