Martyred for the Gospel

Martyred for the Gospel
The burning of Tharchbishop of Cant. D. Tho. Cranmer in the town dich at Oxford, with his hand first thrust into the fyre, wherwith he subscribed before. [Click on the picture to see Cranmer's last words.]

Collect of the Day

The First Sunday in Lent.

The Collect

O LORD, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights; Give us grace to use such abstinence, that, our flesh being subdued to the Spirit, we may ever obey thy godly motions in righteousness, and true holiness, to thy honour and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Daily Bible Verse

Monday, March 04, 2013

Westminster Larger Catechism: Question 18

Question 18

What are God’ s works of providence?

God’s works of providence are his most holy, (Ps. 145:17) wise, (Ps. 104:24, Isa. 28:29) and powerful preserving (Heb. 1:3) and governing (Ps. 103:19) all his creatures; ordering them, and all their actions, (Matt. 10:29–31, Gen. 45:7) to his own glory. (Rom. 11:36, Isa. 63:14)

The Westminster Larger Catechism: With Scripture Proofs. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

Notice that this answer again says that God governs and orders all His creatures "and all their actions."  This is not a general statement that God is up in heaven somewhere watching but not controlling the actions of His creatures.  That view would be closer to deism than anything else.  On the contrary, He is in control of both good and evil actions of men but without being the "author" of the moral actions of His creatures.  He brings about His will through secondary means, but everything thing is foreordained and decreed to come to pass just as it does.

1.      God from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass: (Eph. 1:11, Rom. 11:33, Heb. 6:17, Rom. 9:15,18) yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin, (James 1:13,17, 1 John 1:5) nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures; nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established. (Acts 2:23, Matt. 17:12, Acts 4:27–28, John 19:11, Prov. 16:33)

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 3.1, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

2.      Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly; (Acts 2:23) yet, by the same providence, He ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently. (Gen. 8:22, Jer. 31:35, Exod. 21:13, Deut. 19:5, I Kings 22:28, 34, Isa. 10:6–7)

The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter 5.2, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996).

Apparently the Westminster Divines were using a form of the cosmological argument here since the Confession says in 5.2 on Providence that God is the "first Cause" of all things that come to pass.  This is not just in regards to the creation of the universe but everything that happens within time is first caused by God.  God is the primary cause of all that happens, not a secondary cause as the Arminians would have it.  On the other hand, God uses secondary causes in bringing about His decrees so the will of the creatures is not violated.  They act of their own will but do exactly and precisely what God has foreordained that they would do before creation.

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