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Q. 3. In what way does God exercise His providence over the works of creation?
A. He does it either immediately, or mediately. He exercises the former by His own direct and immediate agency; and the latter by the instrumentality of means or second causes. God is free and able to manage all the concerns of the universe with, or without, or against means.
Q. 4. Is the providence of God particular, as well as general?
A. It is. His providence extends to the smallest insect, as well as to the most exalted angel; to every individual, as well as to the species, genus, or whole collectively; to the falling of a sparrow, and the numbering of the hairs of our heads, as well as to the revolutions of empires, or of worlds; to the thoughts, and affections, as well as to the external actions of intelligent creatures; and to all these creatures, things, and events, whether produced with or without means. Nothing, in the whole universe of God, takes place by chance or fate.(b)
Dan. 4. 34, 35. And at the end of the days, I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honoured himn that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation. And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he doth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, what does thou? Ps. 135. 6. Whatsoever tlie Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
(b) Matt. 10. 29, 30, 31. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shail not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not, therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. Ísa. 45. 7. I form the light and create darkness; I'make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things. Prov. 21. 1. The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.' Gen. 45.7. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. Jer. 31.35. Thus saith the Lord which giveth Q. 5. Are the smallest creatures and things objects, worthy of God's notice in their preservation and government?
A. Most certainly they are. If they were worthy of His notice in creation, they are worthy of His superintendence, or providential regard. And their preservation may, and, doubtless does, contribute to important ends, as well as their creation.
Q. 6. Is it not derogatory to the character of the great God to suppose, that His providence is concerned in the trifling occurrences of life?
A. By no means. But it exalts and magnifies His greatness, and goodness, and wisdom, to suppose, that His providence is concerned in the most minute events, as well as those of the greatest magnitude, throughout His vast dominions. Events, it should be remembered, which at the time of their occurrence seemed trivial, are sometimes afterwards found to have been of the greatest moment.
Q. 7. What is the effect of the disbelief, or denial, of God's particular and general providence?
A. It is to destroy the foundation for all submission, trust, hope, and prayer, and to lead directly to neglect of those important duties.
Q. 8 What is the effect of the belief of God's particular and general providence?
the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; the Lord of hosts is his name. Amos 9.9. For lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. Job 5. 6, 7, 17, 18. Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly up:ard. --Behold happy is the man whom God correcteth; therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty! For he maketh sore and bindeth up; he woundeth, and his hands make whole. 2 Chron. 16. 9. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them, whose heart is perfect towards him.
1. It is to lead us to see and acknowledge God in all creatures, things, and events;--to feel our immediate, constant, and absolute dependence upon Him, and obligations to Him;—to fear Him, to trust in Him, to be grateful to Him, to hope in Him, and to worship Him.
Q. 9. Has God a right to exercise a providence over the works of His hands!
A. He has. As all creatures and things are His by virtue of creation; so, as He is infinitely wise and good, He has an undoubted and unalienable right to exercise such a providence over them as He pleases.
Q. 10. Is submission to the providences of God, at all times, a duty?
A. It is. And this duty arises from the fact, that God has a right to exercise a providence over all creatures and things, and that His providence is wise, holy, just, and good. No further is it our duty to submit to God than His providence is concerned. And in submitting to His providences, we should view them connectedly, and not merely singly;—in their designs and consequences, as well as in their nature.()
(c) Ps. 145. 17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Isa. 28. 29. This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. Rom. 8. 28. And know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Ps. 39. 9. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. Matt. 6. 10: Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Q. 1. What is the evidence of the existence of angels?
A. 1. The light of nature seems to teach their existence. In the works of creation, we ascend step by step from lifeless, unorganised matter to man the lord of this lower creation. Analogy and the nature of man lead us to suppose, that the scale of existence still continues. By his body man is allied to the beasts that perish; by his soul he seems to be allied to spiritual and immortal beings. Hence we are led to think, that there are such. In the works of creation, we behold a gradation of being, so far as our knowledge extends, and from analogy it would seem, that this gradation continues, and that there are other beings endowed with other and nobler powers.
People of all ages, nations, and religions, have believed in the existence of spirits, possessing faculties and dignities vastly, superiour to man. This general belief is an argument in favour of their existence, whether it arose from reason, or from immediate revelation at first, which has been handed down by tradition, or from analogy,
other source. 2. The Bible gives us the fullest assurance of their existence; for it speaks of them in more than a hundred different places.
Q. 2. When did God create the angels?
A. Most probably at the time when he created the world - the heavens and the earth, and all the
host of them. Angels it would seem are included in this comprehensive expression. They are, too, always spoken of in scripture, as having a connexion with the beings and affairs of this system of creatures and things. They were, probably, the first beings, that God created, and were, therefore, in existence to rejoice in the works of God, as He brought into being the other parts of the universe.(a)
Q. 3. With what nature did God create the angels?
Ă. He created them spiritual, immortal, holy, excelling in knowledge, mighty in power, active, and the most noble and exalted of His intelligent creatures.(6)
Q. 4. What place did God assign to the angels as their residence!
A. The highest heavens, or the heaven of heavens.)
Q. 5. Are they the subjects of God's moral government?
(a) Gen. 1. 1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.-Col. 1. 18. For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible or invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him. By heaven and earth all created beings and things seem intended. Of course angels, (here called thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers,) were created when this world was created.
(b) Ps. 104. 4. Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire. Luke 20. 36. Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Matt. 25. 31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 2 Sam. 14. 20. To fetch about the form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing; and my Lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth. Ps. 103. 20. Bless the Lord ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments hearkening unto the voice of his word. Heb. !. 14. Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.
(c) Rev. 7. 11. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders of the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.