2._____ Although in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the
first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly; so that
there is not anything befalls any by chance, or without his providence;
yet by the same providence he ordereth them to fall out according to the
nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.
( Acts 2:23; Proverbs 16:33; Genesis 8:22 )
3._____ God, in his ordinary providence maketh use of means, yet is free
work without, above, and against them at his pleasure.
( Acts 27:31, 44; Isaiah 55:10, 11; Hosea 1:7; Romans 4:19-21; Daniel 3:27 )
4._____ The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of
God, so far manifest themselves in his providence, that his determinate
counsel extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sinful
actions both of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, which
also he most wisely and powerfully boundeth, and otherwise ordereth and
governeth, in a manifold dispensation to his most holy ends; yet so, as
sinfulness of their acts proceedeth only from the creatures, and not from
God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author
or approver of sin.
( Romans 11:32-34; 2 Samuel 24:1, 1 Chronicles 21:1; 2 Kings 19:28; Psalms 76;10; Genesis 1:20; Isaiah 10:6, 7, 12; Psalms 1:21; 1 John 2:16 )
5._____ The most wise, righteous, and gracious God doth oftentimes leave
for a season his own children to manifold temptations and the
corruptions of their own hearts, to chastise them for their former
sins, or to discover unto them the hidden strength of corruption and
deceitfulness 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 watchful against all future occasions
of sin, and for other just and holy ends. So that whatsoever befalls
any of his elect is by his appointment, for his glory, and their good.
( 2 Chronicles 32:25, 26, 31; 2 Corinthians 12:7-9; Romans 8:28 )
6._____ As for those wicked and ungodly men whom God, as the righteous
judge, for former sin doth blind and harden; from them he not only
withholdeth his grace, whereby they might have been enlightened in
their understanding, and wrought upon their hearts; but sometimes also
withdraweth the gifts which they had, and exposeth them to such
objects as their corruption makes occasion of sin; and withal, 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,
under those means which God useth for the softening of others.
( Romans 1:24-26, 28; Romans 11:7, 8; Deuteronomy 29:4; Matthew 13:12; Deuteronomy 2:30; 2 Kings 8:12, 13; Psalms 81:11, 12; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12; Exodus 8:15, 32; Isaiah 6:9, 10; 1 Peter 2:7, 8 )
7._____ As the providence of God doth in general reach to all creatures,
after a more special manner it taketh care of his church, and disposeth
all things to the good thereof.
( 1 Timothy 4:10; Amos 9:8, 9; Isaiah 43:3-5 )