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Confession of Faith Ratification Act 1690

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Chap. v. Of Providence S


GOD the great Creator of all things doth uphold direct dispose and governe all creatures actions and things from the greatest even to the least by his most wise and holy providence according to his infallible foreknowledge and the free and immutable councill of his own will to the praise of the glory of his wisdom power justice goodness and mercy


ALTHOUGH in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God the first cause all things come to pass immutably and infallibly yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the nature of second causes either necessarily freely or contingently


GOD in his ordinary providence maketh use of means yet is free to work without above and against them at his pleasure


THE Almighty power unsearchable wisdom and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in his providence that it extendeth it self even to the first fall and all other sins of angels and men and that not by a bare permission but such as hath joyned with it a most wise and powerfull bounding and otherwayes ordering and governing of them in a manifold dispensation to his own holy ends yet so as the sinfullness thereof proceedeth only from the creature and not from God who being most holy and righteous neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin


THE most wise righteous and gracious God doth often times leave for a season his own children to manifold temptations and the corruption of their own hearts to chastise them for their former sins or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and deceitfullness of their hearts that they may be humbled and to raise them to a more close and constant dependence for their support upon himself and to make them more watchfull against all future occasions of sin and for sundry other just and holy ends


AS for those wicked and ungodly men whom God as a righteous judge for former sins doth blind and harden from them he not only withholdeth his grace whereby they might have been enlightned in their understandings and wrought upon in their hearts but sometimes also withdraweth the gifts which they had and exposeth them to such objects as their corruption makes occasions of sin and withall gives them over to their own lusts the temptations of the world and the power of Satan whereby it comes to pass that they harden themselves even under those means which God useth for the softening of others


AS the providence of God doth in generall reach to all creatures so after a more speciall manner it taketh care of his church and disposeth all things to the good thereof

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