V. Of Divine Providence

1. God the good Creator of all things, in his infinite power, and wis­dom, doth auphold, direct, dispose, and govern all Creatures, and things, from the greatest even to the bleast, by his most wise and holy providence, to the end for the which they were Created; according unto his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable Coun­sel of his cown will; to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, infinite goodness and mercy.

aHeb. 1:3; Job 38:11; Isa. 46:10–11; Ps. 135:6 bMatt. 10:29–31 cEph. 1:11

2. Although in relation to the foreknowledge and Decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass aimmutably and infallibly; so that there is not anything, befalls any bby chance, or without his Providence; yet by the same Providence he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either cnecessarily, freely, or contingently.

aActs 2:23 bProv. 16:33 cGen. 8:22

3. God in his ordinary Providence amaketh use of means; yet is free bto work, without, cabove, and dagainst them at his pleasure.

aActs 27:31, 44; Isa. 55:10–11 bHos. 1:7 cRom. 4:19–21 dDan. 3:27

4. The Almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite good­ness of God, so far manifest themselves in his Providence, that his determinate Counsel aextendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sinful actions both of Angels, and Men; (and that not by a bare permission) which also he most wisely and powerfully bboundeth, and otherwise ordereth, and governeth, in a manifold dispensation to his most holy cends: yet so, as the sinfulness of their acts proceedeth only from the Creatures, and not from God; who being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be, the author or dapprover of sin.

aRom. 11:32–34; 2 Sam. 24:1; 1 Chron. 21:1 b2 Kings 19:28; Ps. 76:10 cGen. 50:20; Isa. 10:6–7, 12 dPs. 50:21; 1 John 2:16

5. The most wise, righteous, and gracious God, doth oftentimes, leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations, and the cor­ ruptions of their own heart, to chastise them for their former sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption, and deceitfulness of their hearts, athat they may be humbled; 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 other just and holy ends.

So that whatsoever befalls any of his elect is by his appointment, for his glory, band their good.

a2 Chron. 32:25–26, 31; 2 Sam. 24:1; 2 Cor. 12:7–9 bRom. 8:28

6. As for those wicked and ungodly men, whom God as a righteous judge, for former sin doth ablind and harden; from them he not only withholdeth his bGrace, whereby they might have been enlightened in their understanding, and wrought upon in their hearts: But sometimes also withdraweth cthe gifts which they had, and exposeth them to such dobjects as their corruptions make occasion of sin; and withal egives them over to their own lusts, the temptations of the world, and the power of Satan, whereby it comes to pass, that they fharden themselves, even under those means which God useth for the soften­ing of others.

aRom. 1:24, 26, 28; Rom. 11:7–8 bDeut. 29:4 cMatt. 13:12 dDeut. 2:30; 2 Kings 8:12–13 ePs. 81:11–12; 2 Thess. 2:10–12 fEx. 8:15, 32; Isa. 6:9–10; 1 Pet. 2:7–8


7. As the Providence of God doth in general reach to all Creatures, so after a most special manner it taketh care of his aChurch, and disposeth of all things to the good thereof.

a1 Tim. 4:10; Amos 9:8–9; Isa. 43:3–5