Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?—Proverbs 20.6

 
David Dickson's

Truth's Victory Over Error

Chapter. V.

Of Providence.

QUESTION I.

"DOTH God uphold, direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, their actions, and all things from the greatest, even to the lest?"

Yes; Heb. 1.3. Dan. 34.35. Psalm 135.6. Acts 17.25,26,28. Job 38,39,40,41. chapters.

Well then, do not the Socinians, Arminians, and the great philosopher Darandus, with others called the Epicureans, err, who deny, That God preserves all things immediately; to be the immediate cause of all things which fall out; to govern all things which are contingent, and the free acts of the will of man, and evil actions?

Yes.

By what reasons are they confuted?

1st, Because it is God that worketh all in all, 1 Cor. 12.5,6.

2d, Because he worketh all things, according to the council of his own will; Eph. 1.11.

3d, Because of him, and through him, and to him, are all things, Rom. 11.36.

Quest. II. "Doth the almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that it extendeth itself, even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men, and not by a bare permission, but such as have joined with it, a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to his own holy ends?"

Yes; Rom. 11.32-34. 2 Sam. 24.1. and 1 Kings 21.22,23. 1 Chron. 10.4,13,14. 2 Sam. 16.10. Acts 14.16. Psalm 76.10. 2 Kings 19.28. Gen. 50.20.

Well then, do not the Lutherans, Papists, Arminians, and Socinians err, who maintain, That the Lord concurs only to sinful actions, by a bare, naked, and idle permission?

Yes.

By what reasons are the confuted?

1st, Because the Scripture says, God blinds their eyes, and hardens their heart, even actively, and judicially, John 12.40. Exod. 7.3. Deut. 2.30. Rom. 9.18.

2d, Because God is said to punish one sin with another, Rom. 1.24,26,28. 2 Thes. 2.12.

3d, From the practice of Job, and David, who, when they were afflicted and persecuted, looked to God, and took it patiently, Job 1.21.

Quest. III. "Doth the sinfulness of the action proceed only from the creature, and not from God?"

I answer from the creature only, James 1.13,14,17. 1 John 2.16. Psalm 50.21.

Well then, do not the Libertines err, who affirm, God (without blasphemy be it spoken) to be the author and cause of all sin? Yes.

By what reasons are they confuted?

1st, From David's testimony, Psalm 5.4.

2d, From Moses's testimony, Deut. 32.4.

3d, From Daniel's testimony, Dan. 9.4.

4th, From the testimony of James, Jam. 1.13.

5th, From the testimony of John, 1 John 2.16. and 1.5.

6th, From the testimony of Paul, Rom. 3.3-5.

7th, From the testimony of Habakkuk, Hab. 1.13.

From reason,

(1) Because God is, in, the highest degree, essentially, and infinitely hold and good, and therefore pure and free from every spot and blemish, Isa. 6.3. Psalm 78.41. 1 Pet. 1.15,16. Lev. 11.44.

(2) Because God is absolutely perfect, and therefore he cannot fail, or be deficient in working.

(3) Because God is the judge of the world. He is the forbidder, the hater, and revenger of all sin and unrighteousness, as contrary to his holy nature and law, Exod. 20. Rom. 3.5,9. Gen. 18.25. Rom. 1.17. Psalm 5.4.

(4) Because by his own most absolute, and most supreme dominion, sovereignty, and infinite perfection: he is in and of himself, above all law whatsoever, and under the command of none in heaven, or in earth.