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liberty to use the Scripture phrase), then certainly nothing in the world, in some respect or other, is independent of his all-disposing hand; yea, Judas himself betraying our Saviour did nothing, but what his hand and counsel before determined should be done,' Acts iv. 28. in respect of the event of the thing itself: and if these actions, notwithstanding these two hinderances, first, that they were contingent, wrought by free agents, working according to election and choice; secondly, that they were sinful and wicked in the agents; had yet their dependance on his purpose and determinate counsel; surely, he hath an interest of operation in the acts of every creature; but his works, as it appears before, are all known unto him from the beginning, for he worketh nothing by chance, or accidentally, but all things determinately, according to his own decree, or the coursel of his own will ; Eph. i. 11.
Secondly, The manner of God's knowing of things, doth evidently shew, that nothing that is, or may be, can be hid from him :: which is not by discourse and collection of one thing out of another, conclusions out of principles, but altogether and at once evidently, clearly, and distinctly, both in respect του ότι, and του διότι, by one most pure act of his own essence he discerneth all things: 'For there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight, but all are naked and opened unto his eyes;' Heb. iv. 13. So that those things concerning which we treat, he knoweth three ways. First, In himself and his own decree, as the first cause, in which respect they may be said to be necessary, in respect of the certainty of their event. Secondly, In their immediate causes, wherein their contingency doth properly consist. Thirdly, In their own nature as future, but to his infinite knowledge ever present.
Thirdly, The Scripture is full of expressions to this pur
z Cum et pater tradiderit filium suum, et ipse Christus corpus suum : et Judas dominum suum : cur in hac traditione Deus est pius, et homo reus, nisi quia in re una quam fecerunt, causa non fuit una propter quam fecerunt. Aug. Epist. 48.
a Deus non particulatim, vel singillatim omnia videt, velut alternanter concepta, hinc illuc, inde huc, sed omnia videt simul. August. lib. 15. de Trinit. cap. 14.-In scientia divina qullus est discursus, sed omnia perfecte intelligit. Tho. p. q. 14. a. 7. c. 6 Tilen. Syntag. de attrib. Dei. Thes. 22. Zanch. de nat. Dei.
Unumquodque quod est, dum est, necesse est, ut sit. d Psal. xliv. 21. Job xiv. 11. Dan. ii. 47. Psal. vii. 2. cxxvi. 2. cxlvii. 4. Luke xii. 27. Matt. x. 29, 30. Psal. cxxxix. 2.
pose; to wit, That God knoweth all secrets, and revealeth hidden things : he searcheth the reins and the heart : he knoweth the number of the stars, and the birds of the air; the lilies of the field, the falling of sparrows, the number of the hairs of our heads :' some places are most remarkable, as that of the Psalmist, 'He knoweth my thoughts long before:' even before ever they come into our minds, before their first rising; and yet many actions that are most contingent, depend upon those thoughts known unto God from eternity : nay, which breaketh the very neck of the goddess contingency, those things wherein her greatest power is imagined to consist, are directly ascribed unto God : as our words, 'the answer of the tongue;' Prov. xvi. 1. the directing of an arrow, shot by chance, to a mark not aimed at; 1 Kings xxii. 34. Surely God must needs foreknow the event of that contingent action; he must needs know the man would so shoot who had determined his arrow should be the death of a king. He makes men poor and rich ;' Prov. xxii. 1. He lifteth up one, and pulleth down another;' Psal. lxxv. How many contingencies did yogyòv õuma tot deonórov, his piercing eye run through, to foresee the crowning of Esther, for the deliverance of his people. In a word, known unto God are all his works :' now what can possibly be imagined to be more contingent, than the killing of a man by the fall of an axe, from out of his hand who intended no such thing ; yet this God assumeth as his own work; Exod. xxi. 13. Deut. ix. 4, 5. and so surely was by him foreknown.
Fourthly, Do but consider the prophecies in Scripture; especially those concerning our Saviour, how many free and contingent actions did concur for the fulfilling of them; as Isa. vii. 14. ix. 5. liii. Gen. iii. 15, &c. The like may be said of other predictions; as of the wasting of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, which though in regard of God's prescience, it was certainly to come to pass : yet they did it most freely, not only following the counsel of their own wills; but also using divination, or chanceable lots for their direction; Ezek. xxi. 21. yet he who made the eye seeth all these things;' Psal. xciv. 9.
Divers other reasons and testimonies might be produced to confirm our doctrine, of God's everlasting prescience;
which, notwithstanding Episcopius' blasphemy, that it serves for nought but to cruciate poor mortals ; we believe to be a good part of the foundation of all that consolation which God is pleased to afford us in this vale of tears; amidst all our afflictions and temptations, under whose pressure, we should else faint and despair; it is no small comfort to be assured that we do, nor can, suffer nothing, but what his hand and counsel guides unto us : what is open, and naked before his eyes, and whose end and issue he knoweth long before : which is a strong motive to patience, a sure anchor of hope, a firm ground of consolation. Now to present in one view, how opposite the opinions of the worshippers of the great goddess contingency, are to this sacred truth, take this short antithesis.
Lib. Arbit. • Known unto God are all God sometimes feareth his works from the beginning and prudently conjectureth, of the world;' Acts xv. 18. that this or that evil
arise;" Vorsti. Neitheris there any crea
‘God doth not always foreture that is not manifest in' see the event of what he in, his sight: but all things are tendeth ;' Corvin. ad Mol. naked, and opened unto the eyes of him, with whom we have to do;' Heb. iv. 13. "He that formed the eye
Future contingencies are shall be not see;' Psal. xciv.9. not determined unto either *When a man goeth into the part;' Armin.that is, God hath wood with his neighbour to not determined, and so con hew wood, and his hand sequently doth not foreknow, fetcheth a stroke with the axe whether they shall come to to cut down the tree, and the pass or no. head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour that he die ;' Deut. xix. 5. God delivers him into his hand ;' Exod. xxi, 13. *Take no thought, saying,
"God hopeth and expect What shall we eat, or what eth divers things that shall shall we drink, or wherewithal never come to pass ;' Rem.
Of the providence of God in governing the world diversly, thrust from
this pre-eminence by the Arminian idol of free-will.
I come now to treat of that, betwixt which and the Pelagian idol, there is bellum donovdov, implacable war and immortal hatred, absolutely destructive to the one side ; to wit, the providence of God. For this, in that notion Christianity hath hitherto embraced it; and that, in such a sense as the Arminians maintain it, can no more consist together, than fire and water, light and darkness, Christ and Belial; and he that shall go to conjoin them, ploughs with an ox and an ass, they must be tied together with the same ligament‘quo ille mortua jungebat corpora vivis,' wherewith the tyrant tied dead bodies to living men. This strange advancement of the clay against the potter, not by the way of repining, and to say, Why hast thou made me thus ? but by the way of emulation, I will not be so, I will advance myself to the sky, to the sides of thy throne, was heretofore unknown to the more refined Paganism : as these of contingency, so they, with a better error, made a goddess of providence; because, as they feigned, she helped Latona to bring forth in the isle of Delos: intimating, that Latona or nature, though big and great with sundry sorts of effects, could yet produce nothing, without the interceding help of divine providence: which mythology of theirs, seems to contain a sweeter gust of divine truth, than any we can expect
• Θεία πάντων αρχή δί ής άπαντα και εστι και διαμένει, Theophrastus apud Picum. vid. Senecam de Pro. vid. et Plotinum.
from their towering fancies, who are inclinable to believe that God for no other reason, is said to sustain all things, but because he doth not destroy them : now that their proud God-opposing errors may the better appear, according to my former method, I will plainly shew what the Scripture teacheth ús concerning this providence, with what is agreeable to right and Christian reason, not what is dictated by tumultuating affections.
Providence, is a word which in its proper signification may seem to comprehend all the actions of God, that outwardly are of him; that have any respect unto his creatures ; all his works that are not ad intra essentially belonging unto the Deity; now because God worketh all things according * to his decree or the counsel of his will;' Eph. i. 11. for whatsoever he doth now, it pleased him from the beginning; Psal. cxv. seeing also, that known unto God are all his works from eternity, therefore, three things concerning his providence are considerable.
1. His decree or purpose, whereby he hath disposed of all things in order, and appointed them for certain ends, which he hath fore-ordained. 2. His prescience, whereby, he certainly foreknoweth all things that shall come to pass. 3. His temporal operation, or working in time, My Father worketh hitherto; John v. 17. whereby he actually executeth all his good pleasure : the first and second of these have been the subject of the former chapters, the latter only now requireth our consideration.
This then we may conceive, as an ineffable act or work of Almighty God, whereby he cherisheth, sustaineth, and governeth the world, or all things by him created, moving them agreeably to those natures, which he endowed them withal in the beginning, unto those ends, which he hath proposed : to confirm this, I will first prove this position, that the whole world is cared for by God, and by him governed, and therein all men, good or bad, all things in particular, be they never so small, and in our eyes inconsiderable : secondly, shew the manner, how God worketh all, in
b An actus divinæ providentiæ omnium rerum conservatrix, sit affirmativus potentiæ, an tantum negativus voluntatis, quo nolit res creatas perdere. Rem. Apol. cap. 6.
• Providentia seu ratio ordinis ad finem duo præcipue continet: principium decernens seu ipsam rationem ordinis in mente divina, ipsi Deo coæternum, et principium exequens, quo suo modo, per debita media, ipsa in ordine et numero disponit. Thom.