are seen were not made of things which do appear." From this statement of the apostle, which is in harmony with the Mosaic account, we must believe that God made all things out of nothing. In Psalm 33: 6, 9 it is declared that "by the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast." From these and many other similar passages which might be cited, it is evident that "God called into being from nonentity the entire universe of finite existence, whether material or immaterial." This is the common belief of the church throughout all Christendom.

A universe without a God, a creation without a Creator, is not only contrary to right reason, but absolutely impossible. It would be equivalent to saying that nothing produced something; or that we have a stupendous effect without a cause, neither of which can be true. Every law and force in nature is a swift witness against all such theories. In whatever direction we turn our eye or thought, we meet with evidences of design. The unnumbered manifestations of contrivance in the universe; the complete adaptation of one thing to another, such as the eye and the light, the lungs and the atmosphere, the ear and sound, all proclaim that there must have been an intelligent First Cause. The Bible says that First Cause is God.

As to the date of creation, that is altogether immaterial. Whether it was six thousand or six million of years ago does not change or weaken the fact that "in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." Whether the six days mentioned in Genesis are to be construed metaphorically, each day meaning a long period of time, or as literal days of twenty-four hours each, is immaterial. God did as it pleased him. If he had so willed, he could have created and arranged everything in the universe in a moment of time; for his wisdom is perfect, and his power unlimited.

The study of the work of creation is a delightful employment, and the probabilities are that it will be continued in the life to come. Even here and now we can

see that "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handiwork." While we have only glimpses of the magnitude of creation, enough is brought within our reach to teach us something of the wisdom, power, and goodness of the Creator. We can see how everything is adjusted so as to meet the wisest ends. "Here the Christian is led into the most delightful field of contemplation. . . . Placed in this beautiful temple, and looking around on all its various parts, he cannot help joining with the psalmist in saying, 'O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all.'" And if he will call to his assistance the instruments of science, he will see, far beyond the range of his natural vision, heaven spread above heaven, and constellations thrown over the firmament in the most beautiful order. He will see "lids and floors, and clouds of stars" that no man can number. How comforting the thought to every true Christian, that the Creator of all these things is a kind, loving, and merciful Father, under the shadow of whose wings he may find refuge and safety at all times.


God not only created all things, but, as affirmed in this article of faith, "sustains, protects, and governs these with gracious regard for the welfare of man, to the glory of his name." This is a clear and comprehensive statement of the doctrine of divine providence. He does not sustain, govern, and protect all things as a tyrant, but with "gracious regard for the welfare of man." By the word gracious is meant mercy, kindness, benevolence, and condescension. This is clearly and beautifully expressed in the words of Christ (Matthew 5:45), “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.' In Proverbs 15:3 it is written, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." In Daniel 4: 35 it is affirmed that "He doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabi

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tants of the earth." God is everywhere, and everywhere at work. "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth" (II. Chronicles 16:9). All the laws and forces in the universe are completely under his control, and if his presence were withdrawn for a single moment, they would fall flexible, as the lash of a whip. "He sustains, protects, and governs" all things. In no way is the fatherhood of God more clearly manifest than in the operations of his divine providence.

These operations, while they are carried forward with "gracious regard for the welfare of man," nevertheless include everything- inanimate matter, the vegetable kingdom, and irrational animals. The providence of God is universal in extent and special in its application. "The general providence of God, properly understood, reaches to the most particular and minute objects and events, and what is called the particular providence of God becomes general, because it embraces every particular." While God's providential government includes the care and oversight of kingdoms, empires, republics, and all the worlds, it extends as well to the sparrow, the lily, and the tiny insect which in company with a thousand others of its kind, has its home in a drop of water. "No creature, no object, however insignificant, has been overlooked. Provision has been made for all and for each in the grand system of the universe." Under the reign of such a wise, benevolent, and loving sovereign, what need the Christian fear, though "the earth be removed, and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea"?

The word providence, in a theological sense, not only means foresight, but timely care, so that ample provision is made for future use and application. Every effect and every event in the providence of God are so many links in one grand chain, reaching sometimes through many generations. Mysterious and inexplicable as many of God's providences are, it will be understood in the end as stated in this article of our faith, that "he sustains, protects, and governs" all things "with gracious regard for the welfare of man, to the glory of his name."

God governs and controls the affairs of the universe after the counsel of his own will. He is too wise to err, and too good to do wrong. While he does not order everything, he controls and overrules all things, so that oftentimes the wrath of man is made to praise. Balaam was hired to curse Israel, and went out with that purpose in his heart, but God so overruled the circumstances that he blessed those whom he intended to curse. There are mysteries deep and inexplicable in God's dealings with the children of men. There are crosses and losses, sorrows and disappointments, afflictions and bereavements, which have tried the faith of some of the best men that ever lived upon the earth. God sometimes "Moves in a mysterious way,

His wonders to perform."

Our Lord taught his disciples a lesson which we would do well not only to remember but believe. "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall 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" (Matthew 10:29-31). How astonishing the care and concern of God for his children! Nothing escapes his notice the very hairs of our head are all numbered. Fear not only believe and all shall be well, eternally well.

In Romans 8:28 Paul says: "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God." Many Christians have stumbled at this bold and unequivocal statement of the apostle, because they could not see and understand how it was accomplished; yet they knew that every perfection of the Divine Ruler was pledged to make that promise good. Heaven and earth may pass away, but the word of the Lord abideth forever. His promises stand as firmly as the eternal throne. "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Romans 11:33.) Those who "walk in [providential] darkness, and have no light," are instructed to "trust in the Lord and stay upon God" (Isaiah 50: 10). That which oftentimes seems to be

working against us is working for us. God reigns, and all that trust in him are safe- just as safe while trusting in him as if they were already in heaven. The doctrine of a universal and all-wise providence, as set forth in this article of the Confession, is full of comfort, as compared with that cold and cheerless theory which represents the Deity as inactive and unconcerned. "The belief of an all-wise, all-directing Providence," says Dr. Clark, "is a powerful support under the most grievous accidents of life. Nothing escapes his merciful regards, not even the smallest things."

"God, providence-an after life.

Here is firm footing-this is solid rock;
This can sustain us-all is sea beside."

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