The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Doctrine of Divine Providence

THE  word providence is derived from the Latin term PROVIDENTIA, meaning watchfulness, care, oversight.  As the  term is commonly employed, it means the constant oversight or care which God exercises over all his works. Says a judicious writer:

The doctrine of divine providence is of the very first importance, and contributes greatly to the peace and happiness of human life. Were it not that God maintained a constant and watchful care over all his works, all piety would immediately cease. A God who did not concern himself in the affairs of the world, and especially in the actions of men, would be to us as good as none at all. In that case,  should men live in a virtuous and pious manner, they would have no approbation to expect from him. Should they be guilty of crimes, they would have no punishment to fear. Were they persecuted, they would think of God only as the idle witness of their wrongs. Were they in circumstances of suffering and sorrow, they could find no consolation if God were unmindful of them. 
— Lectures on Christian Theology, by George Christian Knapp.

In  considering this important and interesting subject, it is proper to notice the distinction which is frequently made between a particular and general providence. It is certainly doubtful whether such a distinction ought to be made; — especially if the doctrine of a general providence is designed to supersede that of a particular providence. How can we readily conceive of a general providence, extending its watchfulness over things in their general aspects, which does not involve the fact of a particular providence, extending its watchfulness at the same time to those particulars, out of which that which is general is constituted? If there is a God, to whom the attributes usually ascribed to God belong, there is and must be a providence of God. If there is a providence of God extending with any degree of certainty, and with any good results, to things in their general nature, it extends to everything. We do not propose, however, to enter into an argument in support of a view which seems to us to be obvious of itself.

A Treatise on Divine Union Part 5, Chapter 8.

No comments:

Post a Comment