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It is imposible to enumerate the scriptures introduce the doctrine of This is, to the doctrines and precep to the apimal system. The first Ephesians is often resorted to, as t. but there is a design wbich runs ! almost through the whole Epist). Christ, and to exhibit the incał: Are we blessed with all spirit: Were we predestinated to this Jesus Christ. Are we accer we redemption, even the fi blood. And so on. Chris ish ceremonial, and the 81 Christian ministry on eart

It is not very difficult ducing truth in such a 11 flowers were to grow to over the earth, the e the worse : and if all : only in one book, c! stand much less tha are less pleasant t? ities, or favourit those parts of others. But tr are thereby n of God; and and become in this mat ing for a c cessary fo

Morec tical con and en itself, t' sanctif

MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS,

&c.

FROM THE MISSIONARY MAGAZINE,

1801-1812.

THE MYSTERY OF PROVIDENCE.

Job. xii. 6—25.

I're great controversy between Job, and his friends respected je system of Providence. They maintained that God governed Je world upon the principle of minute retribution, rendering to -very man in the present life according to his works. When aerefore great calamities befell an individual, they concluded

at he was more wicked than other men. He, on the contrary, naintained that the system of Providence proceeded on no such principle, but on a large scale, full of inscrutable wisdom ; and that rood and evil came alike to men, whether they were righteous or wicked.

In proof of this, he appeals to the following things :

First: The success which often attends the worst of men, even in the worst of causes. The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure, into whose hand God bringeth' abundantly.

Secondly: The large proportion which wicked men possess of the earth and its productions : But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee ; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee ; or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee ; and the fishes of the Vol. VIII.

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MISCELLANEOUS ESSAYS,

&c.

FROM THE MISSIONARY MAGAZINE,

1801—1812.

THE MYSTERY OF PROVIDENCE.

Job. xii. 6—25.

The great controversy between Job, and his friends respected the system of Providence. They maintained that God governed the world upon the principle of minute retribution, rendering to every man in the present life according to his works. When therefore great calamities befell an individual, they concluded that he was more wicked than other men. He, on the contrary, maintained that the system of Providence proceeded on no such principle, but on a large scale, full of inscrutable wisdom ; and that good and evil came alike to men, whether they were righteous or wicked.

In proof of this, he appeals to the following things :

First: The success which often attends the worst of men, even in the worst of causes. The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure, into whose hand God bringeth. abundantly.

Secondly: The large proportion which wicked men possess of the earth and its productions : But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee ; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee ; or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee ; and the fishes of the VOL. VIII.

20

sea shall declare unto thee. As if he should say, Ask them to whom they belong. Is it to good men only, or chiefly? Is it for the righteous few that the animals breed, or the productions of the , earth vegetate ? Is it not also, yea principally, the proud and the luxurious ?

Thirdly: Adverse providences towards individuals and families, · which are dispensed alike to good and bad, which there is no with

standing, and from which there is no escaping : Behold he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.

Fourthly : Public calamities, which also come alike to all ; such as drought, and consequent famine at one time ; and desolating inundations at another : Behold, he withholdeth the waters and they dry up; also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.

Fifthly: The absolute and supreme control of God over all the devices and intrigues of men. Instead of preserving the weak and punishing the mighty, according to the minute rules of retributive justice, he, in this world, lays his mighty hand on both, and causes each to subserve his infinitely wise purposes : With him is strength and wisdom ; the deceived and the deceiver are his.

Lastly : He appeals to those events which agitate the world, and involve the overthrow of nations ; in which calamities come alike to all, without respect to character.

It is a very affecting picture which is here drawn, from the 17th verse to the end of the chapter, of the overthrow of a nation by invasion. It is described as follows :

The great advisers of public measures are driven from their seats, and the administrators of government are like men beside themselves, not knowing what measures to take : He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.

The strong band of power, which kept all orders of the state in subjection, is dissolved, and the sovereign himself becomes bound with the cord of a captive : He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.

Governors of provinces are led captive, and the commanders of armies defeated in battle : He leadeth the princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty.

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