SECTION 3 ? PROVIDENCE. I. DEFINITION OF PROVIDENCE.
Providence is that continuous agency of God by which he makes all the events of the physical and moral universe fulfill the original design with which he created it.
As Creation explains the existence of the universe, and as Preservation explains its continuance, so Providence explains its evolution and progress.
In explanation notice:
(a) Providence is not to be taken merely in its etymological sense of foreseeing . It is fore seeing also, or a positive agency in connection with all the events of history.
(b) Providence is to be distinguished from preservation. While preservation is a maintenance of the existence and powers of created things, providence is an actual care and control of them.
(c) Since the original plan of God is all comprehending, the Providence, which executes the plan, is all comprehending also, embracing within its scope things small and great, and exercising care over individuals as well as over classes.
(d) In respect to the good acts of men, providence embraces all those natural influences of birth and surroundings which prepare men for the operation of God?s word and Spirit, and which constitute motives to obedience.
(e) In respect to the evil acts of men, providence is never the efficient cause of sin, but is by turns preventive, permissive, directive and determinative.
(f) Since Christ is the only revealer of God, and he is the medium of every divine activity, providence is to be regarded as the work of Christ; see <460806>1 Corinthians 8:6 ? ?one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things? cf.
<430517> John 5:17 ? ?My Father worketh even until now, and I work.?
The Germans have the word Fursehung, foreseeing, looking out for, as well as the word Vorsehung, foreseeing, seeing beforehand. Our word ?providence? embraces the meanings of both these words. On
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