BLTC Press Titles


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The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas


Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Lewis Carroll


Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The Story of Doctor Dolittle

Hugh Lofting


Divine conduct; or, The mystery of Providence

by John Flavel

Excerpt:

He encourages himself from the sovereignty of God; "I will cry unto God most high." Upon this he acts his faith in the extremity of danger. Saul is high, hut God is the Most High; and, without his permission, he is assured Saul cannot touch him. He had none to help; and if he had, he knew God must first help the helpers, or they cannot help him. He had no means of defence or escape before him, but the Most High is not limited to means.

The experience of his providence hitherto also encourages him; " Unto God that performeth all things for me." The word which we translate "performeth" comes from a root, that signifies both to perfect, and to desist or cease; for when a business is performed and perfected, the agent then ceases and'desists from working. To such a happy issue the Lord had brought all his doubtful and difficult matters before; and this gives the psalmist encouragement, that he will still be gracious, and perfect that which concerneth him now, as he speaks in Psalm cxxxviii.

8," The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me."

If we bring our thoughts a little closer to this scripture, it will give us a fair and lovely prospect of Providence in its universal, effectual, beneficial, encouraging influence upon the affairs and concerns of the saints.

The expression imports the universal interest and influence of Providence in and upon all the concerns and interests of the saints. It has not only its hand in this or that, but in all that concerns them. It has its eyes upon every thing that relates to them throughout their lives, from first to last. Not only the great and more important, but the most minute and ordinary affairs of our lives are transacted and managed by it. It touches all things that touch us, whether more nearly or remotely.

It displays the efficacy of providential influences. Providence not only undertakes, but "performeth" and perfects what concerns us. It goes through with its designs, and accomplishes what it begins. No difficulty so clogs it, no cross accident so falls in its way, but it carries its design through it. Its motions are irresistible and uncontrollable.

All its products and issues are exceeding beneficial to the saints. "It performeth all things for them." It is true we often prejudge its works, and unjustly censure its designs; and under many of our straits and troubles, we say, "All these things are against us; but Providence neither does nor can do any thing that is really against the true interest and good of the saints; for what are the works of Providence, but the execution of God's decree, and the fulfilling of his word? And there can be no more in Providence than there is in them. Now there is nothing but good to the saints in God's purposes and promises; and therefore whatever Providence does in their concerns, it must be, as the text speaks, the performance of all things for them.

And if so, how cheering, supporting, and encouraging, must the consideration of these things be, in a day of distress and trouble! With what life and hope will it inspire our hearts and prayers, when great pressures lie upon us!

Doctrine.—*The amount of all you have in this doctrinal conclusion—that it is the duty of the saints, especially in times of straits, to reflect upon the performances of Providence for them in all the states and through all the stages of their lives.

The church, in every work of mercy, -owns the hand of God; "Lord thou hast wrought all our works in, or for, us," Isa. xxvi. 12. And it has been the pious and constant practice of the saints in all generations, to preserve the memory of the more remarkable providences that have befallen them in their times as a precious treasure. "If thou be a Christian indeed," says Baxter, " I know thou hast, if not in thy book, yet certainly in thy heart, a great many precious favors upon record. The very remembrance and rehearsal of them is sweet. How much more sweet was the actual enjoyment!" Thus Moses, by divine direction, wrote a memorial of the victory obtained over Amalek, as the fruit and return of prayer, and built there an altar with this inscription, " JehovahNissi, The Lord my banner," Exod. xvii. 14,15. For this end you find psalms indited to bring to remembrance, Psal. lxx. the title; parents giving suitable names to


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