תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Q. 5.

Are the smallest creatures and things objects, worthy of God's notice in their preservation and government?

A. Most certainly they are. If they were worthy of His notice in creation, they are worthy of His superintendence, or providential regard. And their preservation may, and, doubtless does, contribute to important ends, as well as their creation.

Q. 6. Is it not derogatory to the character of the great God to suppose, that His providence is concerned in the trifling occurrences of life?

A. By no means. But it exalts and magnifies His greatness, and goodness, and wisdom, to suppose, that His providence is concerned in the most minute events, as well as those of the greatest magnitude, throughout His vast dominions. Events, it should be remembered, which at the time of their occurrence seemed trivial, are sometimes afterwards found to have been of the greatest moment.

Q. 7. What is the effect of the disbelief, or denial, of God's particular and general providence?

A. It is to destroy the foundation for all submission, trust, hope, and prayer, and to lead directly to neglect of those important duties.

Q. 8.

What is the effect of the belief of God's particular and general providence?

the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; the Lord of hosts is his name. Amos 9.9. For lo, I will command, and I will sift tlie house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. Joh 5. 6, 7, 17, 18. Although affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; yet man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward. -Behold happy is the man whom God correcteth; therefore despise, not thou the chastening of the Almighty! For he maketh sore and bindeth up; he woundeth, and his hands make whole. 2 Chron. 16. 9. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them, whose heart is perfect towards him.

1. It is to lead us to see and acknowledge God in all creatures, things, and events;--to feel our immediate, constant, and absolute dependence upon Him, and obligations to Him;-to fear Him, to trust in Him, to be grateful to Him, to hope in Him, and to worship Him.

Q. 9. Has God a right to exercise a providence over the works of His hands?

A. He has. As all creatures and things are His by virtue of creation; so, as He is infinitely wise and good, He has an undoubted and unalienable right to exercise such a providence over them as He pleases.

Q. 10. Is submission to the providences of God, at all times, a duty?

A. It is. And this duty arises from the fact, that God has a right to exercise a providence over all creatures and things, and that His providence is wise, holy, just, and good. No further is it our duty to submit to God than His providence is concerned. And in submitting to His providences, we should view them connectedly, and not merely singly;—in their designs and consequences, as well as in their nature.(0)

(c) Ps. 145. 17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Isa. 28. 29. This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. Rom. 8. 28. And know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Ps. 39. 9. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it. Matt. 6. 10. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

CHAPTER VIII.

Angels.

Q. 1. What is the evidence of the existence of angels?

A. 1. The light of nature seems to teach their existence. In the works of creation, we ascend step by step from lifeless, unorganised matter to man the lord of this lower creation. Analogy and the nature of man lead us to suppose, that the scale of existence still continues. By his body man is allied to the beasts that perish; by his soul he seems to be allied to spiritual and immortal beings. Hence we are led to think, that there are such. In the works of creation, we behold a gradation of being, so far as our knowledge extends, and from analogy it would seem, that this gradation continues, and that there are other beings endowed with other and nobler powers.-People of all ages, nations, and religions, have believed in the existence of spirits, possessing faculties and dignities vastly superiour to

This general belief is an argument in favour of their existence, whether it arose from reason, or from immediate revelation at first, which has been handed down by tradition, or from analogy,

any
other

source. 2. The Bible gives us the fullest assurance of their existence; for it speaks of them in more than a hundred different places.

Q. 2. When did God create the angels?

Ă. Most probably at the time when he created the world—the heavens and the earth, and all the

[ocr errors]

man.

or from

host of them. Angels it would seem are included in this comprehensive expression. They are, too, always spoken of in scripture, as having a connexion with the beings and affairs of this system of creatures and things. They were, probably, the first beings, that God created, and were, therefore, in existence to rejoice in the works of God, as He brought into being the other parts of the universe.(a)

Q. 3. With what nature did God create the angels?

Ă. He created them spiritual, immortal, holy, excelling in knowledge, mighty in power, active, and the most noble and exalted of His intelligent creatures.(6)

Q. 4. What place did God assign to the angels as their residence?

A. The highest heavens, or the heaven of heavens.)

Q. 5. Are they the subjects of God's moral government?

(a) Gen. 1. 1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.-Col. 1. 18. For by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible or invisible, whether they be thrones, or domịnions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him and for him. By heaven and earth all created beings and things seem intended. Of course angels, (here called thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers,) were created when this world was created.

(b) Ps. 104. 4. Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire. Luke 20. 36. Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. Matt. 25. 31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. 2 Sam. 14. 20. To fetch about the form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing; and my Lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth. Ps. 103. 20, Bless the Lord ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments hearkening unto the voice of his word. Heb. 1. 14. Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation.

(c) Rev. 7. 11. And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders of the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God.

A. Most certainly. They are subject to His laws, and accountable to Him for their conduct. And the rule of conduct, given to angels, no doubt was the same in substance, as that given to man in innocence (0)

Q. 6. Were the angels as soon as created put upon probation?

A. They were. A term of trial was assigned to them all. Each one was to obey, or disobey, for himself.See reference (e.)

7. What was the consequence! A. The consequence was, some retained their rectitude during their probationary state, and are now confirmed in holiness and happiness;—others, most probably through pride, rebelled against God and ruined themselves.(C)

Q. 8. What is the number of the holy angels?

Ă. It is vastly great. They are represented in the Scriptures as innumerable.(*)

Q. 9. What are the names given to angels in the Scriptures!

A. They are called spirits, angels, cherubim, seraphim, watchers, morning stars, sons of God, thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers.(5)

[ocr errors]

iDI

(d) Matt. 22. 87-40. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

(e) 1 Tim. 5. 21. I charge thee before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things, without prefering one before another, doing nothing by partiality. 2 Pet. 2. 4. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment.

(f) Heb. 12, 22. But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels.

(5) Heb. 1. 14. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them, who shall be heirs of salvation. Heb. 1. 6. And again, when he bringeth in the First

« הקודםהמשך »