Has God forgotten to be gracious? has he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.
I. ALL COMPLAINTS AGAINST PROVIDENCE PROCEED FROM WEAKNESS AND THE INFIRMITY OF HUMAN REASON.
1. The first of this sort, which naturally presents itself to the mind, when we consider God and ourselves, is this, That God is too great and too excellent a Being to humble Himself to behold the things that are on earth Epicurus and his followers, who denied God's government of the world, denied also that He made it. So far, at least, they were consistent; for, if they thought it too much trouble for God to govern the world, they could not consistently put Him to the trouble of making it. But if we turn the argument, and begin with considering the works of the creation and "call to remembrance those years of the right hand of the Most High," we shall from these works of God be led to just conclusions with respect to the methods of Divine Providence, less obvious to our observation, in the government of the world.
2. Another reason which some have for suspecting that the affairs of the world are not under the conduct of Providence, is, that they cannot discern any certain marks of God.'s interposing. On the contrary, they think it evident that, all the inanimate and irrational parts of the world follow a certain course of nature invariably; and that men act with all the signs of being given up to follow their own devices, without being either directed or restrained by a superior power. But in this way of reasoning there are two great mistakes —
(1) That the conclusion is not, rightly drawn from the observation, supposing the observation to be true.
(2) Supposing the conclusion to be true, it, will not answer the purpose intended. And whatever inequalities may appear to us in the distribution of good or evil in this life, they cannot stand as objections to God's government over the world, unless you can prove that there will be no day of reckoning hereafter.
II. A SETTLED PEACE OF MIND, WITH RESPECT TO GOD, MUST ARISE FROM A DUE CONTEMPLATION OF THE GREAT WORKS OF PROVIDENCE, WHICH GOD HAS LAID OPEN TO OUR VIEW FOR OUR CONSIDERATION AND INSTRUCTION. Happy are they who listen to this still voice! they will act not only the safest, but the most rational part; whilst others, full of themselves and their own wisdom, are daily condemning what they do not understand. And if ever they recover their right reason, the first, step must be to see their weakness, and to join wit.h the psalmist, in his humble confession, "It is my own infirmity."
Parallel VersesKJV: Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.