One gracious purpose of mercy!
(John Angell James, "Christian Love" 1828)
"And we know that God causes everything to work
together for the good of those who love Him, and are
called according to His purpose for them." Romans 8:28
Providence is God's government of the universe.
Providence is that mighty scheme . . .
which commenced before time was born;
which embraces the annals of other worlds besides ours;
which includes the history of angels, men, and devils.
Providence comprises the whole range of events which
have taken place from the formation of the first creature,
to the last moment of time--with all the tendencies,
reasons, connections, and results of things.
Providence encompasses the separate existence of
each individual, with the continuation and influence
of the whole, in one harmonious scheme.
We are puzzled at almost every step, at the deep,
unfathomable mysteries of Providence!
How often is Jehovah, in His dealings with us, a God
who hides Himself! How often does He wrap Himself in
clouds, and pursue His path upon the waters, where we
can neither see His goings, nor trace His footsteps!
How many of His dispensations are inexplicable, and
of His judgments how many are unfathomable by the
short line of our reason!
But whatever we don't know now, we shall know hereafter.
The crooked will be made straight, the clouds of darkness
will be scattered, and all His conduct towards us placed in
the broad day-light of eternity.
We shall see how all the varying, and numerous, and
seemingly opposite events of our history, were combined
into one gracious purpose of mercy, which was most
perfectly wise in all its combinations.
Delightful, most delightful, will it be to retrace our winding
and often gloomy course, and discern at each change and
turning, the reason of the occurrence and the wisdom of God.
Delightful will it be to discern the influence which all our
temporal circumstances--all our disappointments, losses,
and perplexities--had upon our permanent and celestial
happiness. How much of divine wisdom, power, goodness,
and faithfulness, will our short and simple history present,
and what rapturous fervor will the discovery give to the
song of praise which we shall utter before the throne of
God and the Lamb!