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LECTURE ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY EIGHTH

IN our last Lecture, we stopped where the Prophet commends the power of God, as manifested in his ordinary works. Having previously spoken of creation, and briefly shown, that both in heaven and on earth there are many clear evidences of God’s wonderful wisdom as well as of his power, he now comes to the rains and winds. We have further said, that there is a difference between a fixed order of nature and those changes which are daily observed; for were the appearance of the heavens and the earth always the same, God’s power and wisdom could not appear so wonderful; but when the heavens are covered with clouds, when the air is now tranquil, and then disturbed by winds, when storms suddenly arise, and then rains follow, God thus vividly sets forth his manifold wisdom and power.

This, then, is the reason why the Prophet, after having briefly touched on what we have seen, adds, as evidences of God’s power and wisdom, those things which appear to us in their various changes. He then says, that by his voice alone he gives abundance of waters in the heavens, and then that he raises vapors from the extremity of the earth, that he creates lightnings and the rain, which yet seem to be contrary things. At last he says, that he brings the winds out of his treasures Philosophers indeed mention the causes of these things, but we ought to come to the fountain itself, and the original cause, even this, that things are so arranged in the world, that though there are intermediate and subordinate causes, yet the primary cause ever appears eminently, even the wisdom and power of God. Winds arise from the earth, even because exhalations proceed from it; but exhalations, by whom are they created? not by themselves: it hence follows, that God is their sole author. And he calls hidden places treasures: as when one draws out this or that from his storehouse, so he says that winds come forth from hidden places, not of themselves, but through God, who holds them as though they were shut up. I pass by these things by only touching on them, because I have already reminded you that we have before explained, in the tenth chapter (Jeremiah 10), what is here literally repeated. It now follows, —

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