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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Puritan Nuggets of Gold # 71

Providence

There are three things in providence: God's foreknowing, God's determining, and God's directing all things to their periods and events. (Thomas Watson)

Providence is the perpetuity and continuance of creation. (Richard Sibbes)

Tell me, if God had never a creature to look to in all the world but thee, wouldst thou believe that He would regard thy heart, and words, and ways, or not? If He would, why not now as well as then! Is He not as sufficient for thee, and as really present with thee, as if He had no other creature else? If all men in the world were dead save one, would the sun any more illuminate that one than now it doth? Mayest thou not see as well by the light of it now, as if it had never another to enlighten? And dost thou see a creature do so much, and wilt thou not believe as much of the Creator? If thou thing us worms too low for God so exactly to observe, thou mayest as well think that we are too low for Him to create, or preserve? (Richard Baxter)

Some providences, like Hebrews letters, must be read backwards. (John Flavel)

God is to be trusted when His providences seem to run contrary to His promises. God promised David to give him the crown, to make him king; but providence turns contrary to His promise; David was pursued by Saul, was in danger of his life; but all this while it was David's duty to trust God. The Lord doth oftentimes, by cross providence, bring to pass His promise. God promised Paul the lives of all that were with him in the ship; but now the providence of God seems to run quite contrary to His promise; the winds blow, the ship splits and breaks in pieces; and God fulfilled His promise; upon the broken pieces of the ship, they all come safe to shore. Trust God when providence seem to run quite contrary to promise. (Thomas Watson)

Grace makes the promise and providence the payment. (John Flavel)

Regeneration

Regeneration is not a removal of the old substance or faculties of the soul. Some thought that the substance of Adam's soul was corrupted when he sinned, therefore suppose that substance of his soul to be altered when he is renewed. Sin took not away the substance, but the rectitude; the new creation therefore gives not a new faculty but a new quality. The cure of the leprosy is not a destroying the the fabric of the body, but the disease; yet in regard of the greatness of man's corruption, the soul is so much changed by these new habits, that it i as it were a new soul,  new understanding, a new will. (Stephen Charnock)

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