by Octavius Winslow
There are no guesses, conjectures, or contingencies with God as to the future.
Not only does He know all, but He has fixed, appointed, and ordered "all things
after the counsel of his own will."
It would seem impossible to form any correct idea of God, disassociated from the
idea of predestination. The sole basis of predestination is the 'practical'
belief that God is eternal and infinite in and over all.
Predestination is God's pre determined appointment and fore arrangement of all
things beforehand, according to His divine and supreme will.
God prearranges, predetermines, and supremely rules in all the concerns of our
world. He fixes a constellation in the heavens, guides the gyrations of a bird
in the air, directs the falling of an autumn leaf in the pathless desert, and
conveys the seed, borne upon the wind, to the spot where it should fall.
In predestination we see the everlasting love of God to, and His most free
choice of, His people, to be His special and peculiar treasure. What doctrine is
more emptying, humbling, and therefore sanctifying, than predestination? It lays
the axe at the root of all human boasting. In the light of this truth, the most
holy believer sees that there is no difference between him and the vilest sinner
that crawls the earth, but what the mere grace of God has made.
One blessing accruing from the doctrine of predestination is the sweet and holy
submission into which it brings the mind under all afflictive dispensations.
Each step of his pilgrimage, and each incident of his history, the believer sees
appointed in the everlasting covenant of grace. He recognizes the 'discipline'
of the covenant to be as much a part of the original plan as any positive mercy
that it contains. That all the hairs of his head are numbered; that affliction
springs not out of the earth, and therefore is not the result of accident or
chance, but is in harmony with God's purposes of love; and, thus ordained and
permitted, must work together for good.
The radiance which predestination reflects upon the entire history of the child
of God, and the calm repose which it diffuses over the mind in all the
perplexing, painful, and mysterious events of that history, can only be
understood by those whose hearts have fully received this doctrine. Whatever
betides him; inexplicable in its character, enshrouded in the deepest gloom, as
may be the circumstance; the believer in this truth can 'stand still', and,
calmly surveying the scene, exclaim: "This also comes forth from the Lord of
Hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. He who works all
things after the counsel of His own will has done it, and I am satisfied that it
is well done!"