Arguments in proof of the Providence of God, drawn from his works.

1. Order cannot proceed from a brutish or irrational cause : for where there is order, there must also be some one that orders and directs. In the nature of things there is order ; there is a most judicious arrangement of every part of nature, and a succession of changes and seasons, contributing to the preservation and continuation of the whole. Therefore, this order exists, and is preserved by some intelligent mind ; and seeing that it is most wisely constituted, there is a necessity that he who has thus arranged all things, and who governs them by his providence, must be most wise. “ He telleth the number of the stars ; he calleth them all by name.” (Ps. 147: 4.

2. Man, who is as it were a little world, is ruled by a mind and under standing ; much more, therefore, is the world governed by divine providence. He who planted the ear, shall he not hear.” (Ps. 94 : 9.

3. The natural law, the knowledge of general principles natural to men, the difference between things honest and base, engraven upon our hearts, teach that there is a providence : for he who has engraven upon the heart of man a rule or law, for the regulation of the life, has a regard to the actions of men. God now has engraven such a rule upon the heart of man, and desires us to live in conformity thereto. Therefore he must also govern the lives, actions and events of his creatures. “ The Gentiles show the work of the law written in their hearts,” &c. (Rom. 2 : 15.) Plautus says, “ There is verily a God, who sees and hears what we do ;” and Homer says, “ God hath an upright eye.”

4. The reproofs of conscience, which follow the commission of sin on the part of the wicked, prove that there must be a God who knows the secrets of men, punishes their sins, avenges himself upon their wickedness, and who causes such inward fears and forebodings to arise in the mind. “ Their conscience at the same time bearing witness, and their thoughts, the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.” “ For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” (Rom. 2 : 15 ; 1 : 18.)

5. The rewards and punishments which follow the actions of men, testify that there must be some executioner of the laws of nature. There are more pleasant and favorable events accompanying the lives of those who live in moderation, even though they be without the church, than is the case with those who live in profligacy and sensual indulgence ; for atrocious crimes are generally followed with severe punishment. Therefore there must be some judge who notices the actions of men, and rewards them accordingly. “ The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance ; he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked ; so that a man shall say, verily there is a reward for the righteous : verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.” “ He that chasteneth the heathen shall not he correct.” (Ps. 58 : 10, 11 ; 94 : 10.

6. A great part of the providence of God consists in the establishment, preservation and transfer of kingdoms and empires. These things, how ever, could not take place if there were no God. “ By me kings reign and princes decree justice.” “ That the living may know that the Most High ruler in the kingdoms of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” (Prov. 8 : 15. Dan. 4 : 25.) Cicero says: “ Commonwealths are governed far more by the aid and power of God, than by the reason and counsel of men.” There is always a greater number of the wicked than of the good, and more who wish the authority of the law subverted than maintained. Yet civil order is preserved ; and republics and kingdoms are perpetuated. Therefore there must be some one greater than all devils, tyrants and wicked men, who always preserves this order against their rage.

7. The excellent virtues, exploits and success of heroes surpassing the ordinary capacity of man, the singular gifts and excellency of artificers which God has conferred upon certain individuals, for the general good and for the preservation of human society, &c., testify that there is a God who has a care for the human race. For these are things which are far greater than any that can proceed from that which is merely sensual ; and possess too great an excellence to be merely the acquirements of human industry. There is, therefore, a God who, when he wishes to accomplish great things for the safety of the human race, raises up men endowed with heroic virtues, inventors of arts and counsels ; and princes that are brave, good and prudent ; and other instruments adapted to the accomplishment of his purposes. And when he wishes to punish men for their sins, he takes away the same instrument which he raised up for their safety. “ The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus.” “ The Lord doth take away the mighty man and the man of war, the judge and the prophet.” “He giveth wisdom to the wise,” &c. (Ezra 1 : 1. Is. 3 : 2. Dan. 2 : 21.)

8. A providence may be inferred from prophecy and the prediction of events. He is God who can declare to men things that are yet future, and who cannot be deceived in his predictions. Therefore he does not only foresee future events, but also directs them that they come to pass, either by his effecting or permitting them : so that he has a regard for human affairs, and governs the world by his providence. “ Hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good.” (Num. 23 : 19.) Cicero says, “ They are no gods that do not declare things to come.”

9. All things in the world are directed to certain ends and constantly tend to these ends. Therefore, there is some being most wise and powerful, who constantly directs all things by his providence, and brings each one to its appointed end. “ Man liveth not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Deut. 8 : 3.)