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Chap. VI. — Of God’s actual Providence.

Q. 1. What is God’s actual providence?

A. The effectual working of his3232   To this providence is to be ascribed all the good we do enjoy, and all the afflictions we undergo. 3333   Fortune, chance, and the like, are names without things, scarce fit to be used among Christians, seeing Providence certainly ruleth all to appointed ends. 3434   No free-will in man exempted either from the eternal decree or the over-ruling providence of God. power, and almighty act of his will, whereby he sustaineth, governeth, and disposeth of all things, men and their actions, to the ends which he hath ordained for them.
Exod. iv. 11; Job v. 10–12, ix. 5, 6; Ps. cxlvii. 4; Prov. xv. 3; Isa. xlv. 6, 7; John v. 17; Acts xvii. 28; Heb. i. 3.

Q. 2. How is this providence exercised towards mankind?

A. Two ways; first, apeculiarly towards his church, or elect, in their generations, for whom are all things; secondly, btowards all in a general manner, yet with various and divers dispensations.
aDeut. xxxii. 10; Ps. xvii. 8; Zech. ii. 8; Matt. xvi. 18, xix. 2, 29; 1 Pet. v. 7. bGen. ix. 5; Ps. lxxv. 6, 7; Isa. xlv. 6, 7; Matt. v. 45.

Q. 3. Wherein chiefly consists the outward providence of God towards his church?

A. In three things; — first, in acausing all3535   Though the dispensations of God’s providence towards his people be various, yet every issue and act of it tends to one certain end, — their good in his glory. things to work together for their good; secondly, in bruling and disposing of kingdoms, nations, and persons, for their benefit; thirdly, cin avenging them of their adversaries.
aMatt. vi. 31–33; Rom. viii. 28; 1 Tim. vi. 17; 2 Pet. i. 3. bPs. cv. 14,15; Isa. xliv. 28; Dan. ii. 44; Rom. ix. 17. cIsa. lx. 12; Zech. xii. 2–5; Luke xviii. 7; Rev. xvii. 14.

Q. 4. Doth God rule also in and over the sinful actions of wicked men?

A. Yea, he willingly (according3636   Almighty God knows how to bring light out of darkness, good out of evil, the salvation of his elect out of Judas’s treachery, the Jews’ cruelty, and Pilate’s injustice. to his determinate counsel) suffereth them to be, for the manifestation of his glory, and by them 476effecteth his own righteous ends.
2 Sam. xii. 11, xvi. 10; 1 Kings xi. 31, xxii. 22; Job i. 21; Prov. xxii. 14; Isa. x. 6, 7; Ezek. xxi. 19–21; Amos vii. 17; Acts iv. 27, 28; Rom. i. 24, ix. 22; 1 Pet. ii. 8; Rev. xvii. 17.

Q. 5. Doth the providence of God extend itself to every small thing?

A. The least grass of the field, hair of our heads, or worm of the earth, is not exempted from his knowledge and care.
Job xxxix.; Ps. civ. 21, cxlv. 15; Jonah iv. 7; Matt. vi. 26–29, x. 29, 30.

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