How manifold are the mercies of God, and how surprising
the scene of adorable Providence! Here wheels revolve within a wheel, and
all the glorious spokes are full of flaming eyes, signifying omniscience and
wisdom. Seeming contradictions just conduce to bring about the longed-for
blessing. Providence aloud proclaims a God; and to the observing eye, the
providential government of the world in general, and of men and their
affairs of life in particular—is not less beautiful, is not less surprising,
than the creation of the world. What mighty mountains are removed,
what stupendous difficulties are dissolved by providence—that a plain and
easy passage may be prepared for the approaching good!
O how is my soul delighted with the back-look into my
life, and ravished with the sweet survey of the conduct of Providence! All
mercies are benignant and comforting; but O how do some exceedingly
surprise! when I behold the instrument or hand by which, the way and manner
how, and the time when they came. Have I not seen it from a hand I expected
nothing from, in a way and manner I never could have contrived, and at a
time when least apparent? has not holy Providence written a blank on my
wisdom and prudence, in baffling my enterprises, rendering my endeavors
abortive, and bringing my counsel to nothing—that he alone might be exalted?
And then, in a way out of my view, foreign to my expectation, and without my
endeavors, granted the very same request I had sought?
Sometimes seeming contradictions vex the poor expectant,
though only sent to exercise his faith in God, and patience for the
performance of the promise. I have also seen disappointments multiplied.
Disappointments not only bring about, but beautify the blessing. Sometimes
providence has hindered me to embrace an offered favor, when I knew not
how or why, that to my greater advantage it might be afterwards
Your path, O Governor of men and angels! is in the mighty
waters, and your footsteps are not known! For who can know the ways of him
who is wonderful in working? Therefore I approve his conduct, admire his
goodness—and where I cannot see his end, am silent, and adore!