(b) From the divine wisdom.
It is the part of wisdom to proceed in every undertaking according to a plan. The greater the undertaking, the more needful a plan. Wisdom, moreover, shows itself in a careful provision for all-possible circumstances and emergencies that can arise in the execution of its plan. That many such circumstances and emergencies are not contemplated and not provided for in the plans of men, is due only to the limitations of human wisdom. It belongs to infinite wisdom, therefore, not only to have a plan, but also, to embrace all, even the minutest details, in the plan of the universe.
No architect would attempt to build a Cologne cathedral without a plan; he would rather, if possible, have a design for every stone. The great painter does not study out his picture as he goes along; the plan is in his mind from the start; preparations for the last effects have to be made from the beginning. So in God?s work every detail is foreseen and provided for; sin and Christ entered into the original plan of the universe. Raymond, Systematic Theology, 2:156, says this implies that God cannot govern the world unless all things be reduced to the condition of machinery; and that it cannot be true, for the reason that God?s government is a government of persons and not of things. But we reply that the wise statesman governs persons and not things, yet just in proportion to his wisdom he conducts his administration according to a preconceived plan. God?s power might, but God?s wisdom would not, govern the universe without embracing all things ? even the least human action, in his plan.
(c) From the divine immutability.
What God does, he always purposed to do. Since with him there is no increase of knowledge or power, such as characterizes finite beings, it follows that what under any given circumstances he permits or does, he must have eternally decreed to permit or do. To suppose that God has a multitude of plans, and that he changes his plan with the exigencies of the situation, is to make him infinitely dependent upon the varying wills of his creatures, and to deny to him one necessary element of perfection, namely, immutability.
God has been very unworthily compared to a chess-player who will checkmate his opponent whatever moves he may make (George Harris). So Napoleon is said to have had a number of plans before each battle, and to have betaken himself from one to another as fortune demanded but not so with God. <182313>Job 23:13 ? ?he is in one mind, and who can turn him??
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