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§ 21. The Doctrine taught by both Reason and Revelation.

GOD is not a workman who, when he has completed his work leaves it to itself and goes his way” [Augustine]; but, having created the world, He sustains it and continually cares for it. [1] Therefore the Holy Scriptures never speak of the creation without at the same time alluding to the superintending care that is exercised over the world; and in this very fact the Christian finds the highest consolation, that he is permitted to regard God as continually present in the world, caring for the greatest just as for the least, and hindered by nothing in the exercise of His care. This consolation we may, indeed, in part derive from the contemplation of the world by the light of Nature, and from observing the course of its affairs; but it is only the certainty which Revelation communicates that establishes us immovably in this confidence. [2]

The Providence of God [3] specially manifests itself: I, in His preserving what has been created in the world; II, in His cooperating with all that occurs; and III, in His leading and directing everything in the world. The doctrine of Providence is accordingly divided into the doctrines of Preservation, Concurrence, and Government [4] (Conservatio, concursus, gubernatio.)

I. “Preservation is the act of Divine Providence whereby God sustains all things created by Him, so that they continue in being with the properties implanted in their nature and the powers receive 171 in creation” (HOLL., 441). The world would fall back again into nothing if God did not continually uphold, not only the various species of creatures and the individuals in them, but also the existing order of arrangement and cooperation which He has assigned the whole; [5] for created things have no power of subsistence in themselves, but have it only so long as God imparts it to them. [6] We distinguish, therefore, between creation and preservation only in our conception; in God we must regard one as implying the other: therefore, preservation is also designated as continued creation. [7]

II. Concurrence. [8] The doctrine of Divine Providence implies far more than merely that God creates and uphold the world. If this were all, then we would have to refer all the changes and transactions that occur in the world entirely to creatures, and God would have no further share in all this than merely to give to His creatures the ability thus to act. But God is to be regarded as, in a far higher sense than this, present in the world. The Holy Scriptures teach us that He is an active participant in all that transpires in the world; that nothing that occurs could take place without Him and His active co-operation; that, therefore, ever single effect, change, or transaction in the world comes to pass only through the influence of God. In this, God is not, indeed, as in creation and preservation, the sole cause of that which happens; for God has given to living creatures a will that is to be employed in actions, and has imparted even to inanimate things a power which we are to regard as the efficient cause of changes. God’s Providence can, therefore, by no means be so regarded, as if He alone were the author of all that is done; for, in that case, this will, which we must assume in the case of living creatures, would not have justice done to it, and the power that belongs to inanimate things would not be called into exercise: yet God is nevertheless the cooperative cause of all that occurs. In all transactions, therefore, that proceed from a creature, the creature itself is just as much a cause as God is; He, on the other hand, is always to be regarded as co-operating: every change, effect, or transaction that occurs is, accordingly, to be referred at the same time to both, to the creature and to God. [9] This is expressed in the doctrine 172of the concurrence. Concurrence, or the co-operation of God, is the act of Divine Providence whereby God, by a general and immediate influence, proportioned to the need and capacity of every creature, graciously takes part with second causes in their actions and effect. (HOLL. 442.) [10] While it is certain that God is to be regarded as co-operating in everything that occurs, [11] it is no less certain that the manner of His co-operation differs very greatly, varying with the nature of the co-operating causes (the causae secundae) and with the necessities of the case. God co-operates, for instance, in one way when the action is to proceed from inanimate nature, and in a very different way when the second cause, with which He co-operates, is one endowed with freedom. [12] Also, God has one way of cooperating with good deeds and another with those that are evil. [13] The general co-operation of God is, moreover, always to be regarded as immediate, [14] but at the same time also as of such a kind that the effect is not already predetermined (not a previous but a simultaneous concurrence, not predeterminating but mildly disposing), since in that case the effectual participation of the second cause would be excluded and its liberty infringed. [15]

III. “Government is the act of Divine Providence by which God most excellently orders, regulates, and directs the affairs and actions of creatures according to His own wisdom, justice, and goodness, for the glory of His name and the welfare of men.” (CAL., III, 1194.) [16] God actively participates in actions for the express purpose of directing the whole world according to His own purposes. As, therefore, preservation has reference to the existence and continuance of created things, government has reference to the actions that proceed from these creatures. God inclines and leads them according to His will so as to accomplish His designs: and this government of God extends over the whole as well as over each single part, over the great as well as over the small. [17]

Inasmuch as God, however allows men in their freedom to have their own way, as we have already seen under the doctrine of concurrence, this marks distinctly the character of His government; for He governs in such a manner that this liberty is not restricted. Hence, much is done that would not be done if so wide a range were not allowed to human liberty; 173and, according to the different conduct of men, whom God will not hinder in the exercise of their liberty, God is determined in employing different methods of directing the world for the accomplishment of His designs. This different method is described in the expressions, permission, hinderance, direction, and determination.

(1) Much is done that cannot at all be said to meet the special approbation of God; but God permits it, suffers it to occur, because He does not choose to enforce His own preference by doing violence to or prohibiting human liberty, and therefore seeks to accomplish His aims in some other way (permission). [18]

(2) Thus God often is content with merely hindering the accomplishment of what would be contrary to His purposes (hinderance). [19]

(3) He knows, too, how to sway the freely performed actions of men, after they have been permitted by Him to occur (whether they be good or evil), in such a way that they must be subservient to and in accordance with His own purposes (direction). [20]

(4) As, finally, He is Himself the source from which proceeds all power and ability to act, so He knows also how to attain His own ends by withholding the necessary power, or by holding this within certain limits which it dare not transcend, when men are about to act contrary to His will (determination). [21]

Of Providence in general, as comprehending preservation, concurrence, and government, we have yet to remark:

(1) That it affects everything, but not uniformly; on the other hand, everything is affected by it just in proportion to the relative importance of its position in the world. And, as man occupies the highest place in the world, Providence has special reference to him; most specifically, however, it is exercised with reference to the godly, as God’s chief purpose in regard to man is his salvation. [22]

(2) The providence of God ordinarily employs second causes, and thus accomplishes its designs; but God is by no means restricted to the use of these second causes, for He often exercises His providence without regard to them, and operates thus contrary to what we call the course of nature, and hence arises the difference between ordinary and extraordinary providence. [23]


(3) Finally, divine providence is exercised differently with reference to that which is evil and that which is good. [24]

Providence is the external action of the entire Trinity, [25] whereby (a) God most efficaciously upholds the things created, both as an entirety and singly, both in species and in individuals; (b) concurs in their actions and results; and (c) freely and wisely governs all things to its own glory and the welfare and safety of the universe, and especially of the godly.”

[1] GRH. (IV, 52): “God, the Creator of all, did not desert the work which He framed; but, by His omnipotence, up to the present time preserves it; and, by His wisdom, rules and controls all things in it.”

[2] GRH. (IV, 52): “Scripture joins both, viz., that the faithful heart must believe that God is both Creator and Provider, Job 12:9, 10; Acts 17:24, 25, 28; Ps. 121:2. The perverse imagination, that God has left creatures to only their own governing, covers human minds with great darkness, and produces horrible doubts. The very object which is preserved and governed as Nature, is a witness to Divine Providence. If you be a disciple of Nature, you will find that provision is made for the most trifling and insignificant objects, as well as for the most noble; that upon all are conferred those things which are necessary for attaining their end; that all continue steadfastly in a fixed and wonderful order; that those things which act without sense or thought nevertheless attain their end; that objects conflicting with each other are so governed that, by breaking the strength of one another, they profit the world by their opposition. But the knowledge of Divine Providence, sought from the Book of Nature, is weak and imperfect, not from the fault of Nature itself, but from that of our mind; but more certain and perfect is the knowledge of Divine Providence which is sought from Scripture.”

[The arguments from Nature are thus enumerated by HUTT. (218): “1. The order and perpetual effect of Nature, as the fixed and perpetual movement of heavenly bodies, the fertility of the earth, the constant flow of streams, the perpetuation of distinct species of animals and plants. 2. The condition of the intelligent human mind. For what is irrational can never be the cause of an intelligent nature. 3. The distinction between what is honorable and dishonorable, which could not originate from accident or from matter. 4. Natural knowledge, which even in its obscurity, since the Fall, convinces man that there is a Divinity who controls and governs all things. 5. Terrors of conscience in the minds of the guilty on account of crimes 175they have committed, even when there are no human courts for them to fear. 6. The wonderful preservation of civil society, and especially the Church, amidst the rage of the world and the devil. 7. The series of efficient causes proceeding not ad infinitum, but to a First Cause, upon which all depend. For if the progress were infinite, there would be no order of causes, and they would not necessarily cohere. 8. The most useful ends of all things. 9. The prophecy of future events. The force of all these arguments is to prove not so much that there is a God, as that, by His command, the world was established in the beginning and that even now all its parts are ever administered by Him.”]

[3] QUEN. (I, 527): “Providence is so named from providere, and denotes the act of foreseeing and cherishing anxious care concerning objects pertaining to self.”

“The term Providence (προνοια) does not occur in the canonical books in the sense in which it is here employed, but only in Wis. 14:3. But synonymous with it are the expressions: Seeing, Gen. 22:8; 1 Sam. 16:1; Ez. 20:6; ordination, Ps. 119:91; preservation, Ps. 36:7; διοικησις, Wis. 12:18; διακυβερνησις, Wis. 14:3; προταξις, Acts 17:26.”

Scriptural Proof. HOLL. (424): “All Scripture is nothing else than a brilliant mirror, from which, in whatever direction you turn, the ever watchful eye of providential direction clearly shines forth.” Hence, in Ps. 121:4, God is called the Keeper of Israel. (a) Preserving Providence is proved from Ps. 36:6; (b) Co-operating Providence from Acts 17: 27, 28; (c) Governing Providence from Jer. 10:23; Prov. 20:24.

[4] Providence is divided into these three parts, so far as it is a work of God ad extra. Before it becomes such, however, certain acts must have taken place in God Himself, viz., a foreknowledge of that upon which His providential care is to be exercised, and a purpose to exercise this care. If we take both of these into the account, Providence may be divided, HOLL. (424): “(a) into προγνωσις (foresight or foreknowledge): (b) προθεσις (the purpose or decree of God); and (c) διοικησις (the actual preservation, co-operation, or concurrence and governing, with respect to things created).” BR. (303): “Opinions vary, inasmuch as some contend that, by the name, Providence, there is meant not so much the immanent acts of the divine mind and will, as the outward act of preserving and governing. Some indeed teach that, by this name, an immanent act is denoted, and they believe that it pertains formally to the intellect, and, by way of consequence, to the will; others vice versa. Nevertheless, it is easily perceived that this entire controversy 176is not so much concerning the thing itself, as concerning the terms employed. For all concede that to Providence, regarded in its wide sense, there belongs both προγνωσις, or an intellectual act, by which God sees beforehand what will be beneficial to creatures; and προθεσις, or the act of the will, by which He wills to ordain and dispose the things which He foresees to be advantageous; as well as διοικησις, or the preservation itself (concurrence), and the government of creatures. Meanwhile, if we pay attention to the force of the words, Providence seems to denote not so much external acts of executive power, as God’s care of His creatures, and, therefore, acts of His intellect and will, whence these outward acts proceed: but the order of internal acts is undoubtedly this, that the act of intellect precedes, and the act of the will, or the purpose to confer, according to the suggestion of the intellect, those things which are profitable to creatures, follows; although it does not follow Providence itself so as, together with the previous act of the intellect, to intrinsically constitute it. But if the usus loquendi be considered, it must be acknowledged that, to the acts of preservation (concurrence) and governing, which are the effects, signs, and marks of Providence, the name of Providence itself, according to an ordinary metonymy, is not unfrequently ascribed.”

HOLL. (421 and 422): “The providence of God, with respect to προγνωσις και προθεσις, is an internal act88[“Action and act are not synonymous. Act does not necessarily imply an external result, action does. We may speak of repentance as an act; we could not call it an action.” — Fleming’s Vocabulary of Philosophy.] of the divine intellect and will; with respect to διοικησις, an external action Strictly speaking, the providence of God is a divine action ad extra; for it is occupied with creatures, and thus is directed to that which is outside of God. In this stricter sense, the actual providence of God is only the preservation, co-operation with, and government of creatures; but foreknowledge, and the decree concerning the preservation and governing of things, are presupposed as acts of the divine intellect directing, and of the will commanding.”

With reference to foreknowledge it is remarked: (a) That the expression to know beforehand only inaccurately describes God’s knowledge of everything, since the knowledge of God is not mediated by a succession of time and of thought, as ours is, but is rather intuitive, by virtue of which He sees everything, the past, the present, and the future at once, as it were in a mirror. GRH. (IV, 66): “In our knowledge there is a two-fold activity of thought. In the first place, only according to succession, since, when we understand anything in an act, we turn from it to understand 177something else; secondly, there is another activity of thought, according to causality, since, by means of premises, we come to the knowledge of conclusions. Neither of these belongs to God: not the first, because He sees all things in one, i.e., in Himself, just as we see many things at the same time in a mirror; nor the second, because this presupposes a first, and because such a process is from that which is known to that which is unknown, whereas God already sees the effects in Himself as a cause.” QUEN. (I, 539): “Προγνωσις, or foreknowledge, is ascribed to God only anthropopathically, since it is properly the foreknowledge of future things; but to God there is nothing future, but all things are present, not indeed actually by way of existence, but objectively, and therefore He foresees nothing, but sees all things most absolutely in a perpetual, abiding, and immutable now, so that in God there is rather παντεποψια than προγνωσις.”

(b) The question, “Whether foreknowledge bring necessity to things foreknown, or whether it be certain that things are foreknown by God in such a manner, that now, by some necessity, they cannot occur otherwise?” HUTT. (Loc. Comm., 256) answers thus: ‘Neither harmonizes with the truth. For every object is foreseen or foreknown by God as it is in its own nature, and according to its results, so that this foreknowledge depends upon the event, but the event does not depend upon the foreknowledge. As Jerome infers: ‘The foreknowledge of future things does not make that which God knew would take place immutable; for, because of God’s knowledge of future things, it is not necessary for us to do that which He foreknew, but what we will do according to our own will He knows as future.’ Thus a solar or lunar eclipse does not occur because foreknown and predicted long before by mathematicians, since it would have occurred from natural causes, even though no mathematician should have foreknown or predicted it; so, also, what God has foreknown or foreseen is not immutable, or of fatal necessity, for the reason that He has foreknown or foreseen it, but it is immutable because man’s will, freely doing this or that, has not changed, since if it would change, this also God would foreknow.” . . . Still further: “It is one thing when I say that with respect to divine foreknowledge, something is immutable or occurs necessarily; but another thing, when I say that a thing is immutable because of God’s foreknowledge, or, what is the same, that foreknowledge brings necessity to things foreknown. The former assertion is orthodox, but the latter is not; inasmuch as the latter expression names a cause, on account of which the matter cannot be otherwise, but the former denotes only the truth and 178certainty of the divine foreknowledge, and means nothing else than that God, as omniscient, knows already from all eternity what issue everything would have. In this respect it is said correctly: ‘Things foreknown occur in that manner in which they have been foreknown, and not causally with respect to foreknowledge, as though this caused things foreknown to occur in this manner and no other,’ but only conditionally, in so far as God knew matters in no other way than as they would occur from their own causes, and indeed freely. Therefore, when something occurs now in this manner, it is correctly said, with respect to divine foreknowledge, that it could not have occurred in another manner, according to the well-known rule: ‘Everything that exists, exists necessarily, when it exists.’”

[HUTT. illustrates: “I see that Peter is limping. As I see it, it must be so, for my vision is not deceived; and since it is actually occurring, it cannot be otherwise, but must be. Nevertheless, my seeing Peter limp cannot be said to cause him to limp, for he is not impelled by my vision, and no necessity of limping is imposed upon him, since he would limp even though not seen by me, and he would be able not to limp, if the natural cause were otherwise: but if this were otherwise, I would also see it. In the same way, we do nothing that God has not foreseen, and yet this foreknowledge of God is not the cause of our actions.”]

GRH. (IV, 69): “If you do not yet fully perceive the subject, thus regard it: The foreknowledge of God does not bring immutability to objects a priori, but only a posteriori; i.e., when God knows that a thing is, it is necessary for it to be. Nevertheless, in the meanwhile, a thing by its own nature, and with respect to its own cause, could be otherwise, and then God would have foreknown it otherwise. Things either present, or past, or future, do not depend upon knowledge; but knowledge depends upon the thing and event which is foreknown as just such as it is, so that if it would not have been, that fact also would have been foreseen by God.”

Related thereto is the question: “Whether the divine foreknowledge rests upon a previous decree?” which HOLL. (432) answers thus: “The foreknowledge and decree of God concerning future things are eternal and simultaneous on the part of God; but, according to our mode of conception, the foreknowledge of God precedes the divine decree.”

[5] HOLL. (442): “God preserves species and individual. Species He preserves by keeping the essences of objects from destruction, and imparting to them constancy. Individuals He preserves, 179by substituting new individuals in the place of those that perish, so that the essence of species may remain constant.”

CHMN. (Loc. Th., I, 125): “It is the office of Providence to watch over and aid the order which it has given to nature, so that every substance has its becoming strength, motions, and actions.”

[6] GRH. (IV, 83): “Created things subsist not of themselves, and from their own strength, but God upholds all things by the word of His power, Heb. 1:3; Col. 1:17; Acts 17:28.”

HOLL. (441): “Divine preservation is an act not merely negative or indirect, for it does not consist in the fact that God does not wish to destroy or annihilate the things that He has framed, but to leave to them their strength, as long as they can flourish and endure from the energy given to them by creation; but it is a positive and direct act, by which God, through a true and real influence, enters in a general way into the efficient causes of the objects that are to be preserved, so that in their nature, properties, and strength, they continue and remain.”

[7] QUEN. (I, 531): “God preserves all things by the continuance of the action by which He first produced them. For the preservation of a thing is, properly speaking, nothing else than a continued production of it, nor do they differ except by a designation derived from without.” HOLL. (441): (Creation and preservation) “are distinguished by different connotatives. For creation connotes that the object had not existed before; preservation supposes that the object had existed before. Creation gives a beginning of being; preservation, a continuance of being.”

[8] The Dogmaticians do not all assign this place to the doctrine of the divine concurrence; the earlier, as GRH. and CAL., and among the later BAIER, following CAL., divide the subject of Providence into only preservation and governing, and discuss the doctrine of the concurrence only in a supplementary way.

HOLL. (440): “Some theologians think that the acts, to the exercising of which, with respect to creatures, Divine Providence is limited, are two, preservation and governing, which latter is said to signify both the general concurrence with second causes, Acts 17:25, 26; and the special direction of the action of created things.” 1 Kings 18:44; Judges 16:28, 29; Gen. 17:16, 17, 19; Deut. 28:23.

From the time of QUEN., it became customary to enumerate three acts of providence. Practically it matters little what division is adopted, yet the latter division has this in its favor, that the manner in which God exercises providence is at once included in the doctrine of providence. It is then declared: 1. That the 180world cannot exist without God’s upholding activity. 2. That God is present in the world in such a manner, that nothing, either great or small, happens without His active co-operation. 3. That He is present in the world in such a manner, in order that He may direct everything in it according to His own purposes.”

[9] QUEN. (I, 531): “God not only gives and preserves to second causes the power to act, but immediately influences the action and effect of the creature, so that the same effect is produced not by God alone, nor by the creature alone, nor partly by God and partly by the creature, but at the same time by God and the creature, as one and the same total efficiency, viz., by God as the universal and first cause, and by the creature as the particular and second cause.” The action of God and the action of man are simultaneous actions. QUEN. (I, 545): “In reality, the influence of God is not one action, and the operation of the creature another; but the action is one and indivisible respecting both, and dependent upon both, upon God as the universal cause, upon the creature as the particular cause. As an act of writing, the same in number, depends upon the hand and the pen, and one part does not depend upon the hand and the other upon the pen, but each part entirely upon the hand and entirely upon the pen; so God’s concurrence is not prior to the creature’s own action by the priority of causality, since it is, in fact, entirely the same action. Hence God, just as also the second cause, produces the entire effect, which comes to pass by an exterior action of God, inwardly included in the action of the creature, one and the same with it.”

As scriptural proof, the following passages are cited: Job 10:8; 38:28; Is. 26:12; Phil. 2:13; especially Acts 17:28: “In Him we live and move, and have our being.” QUEN. (I, 532): “’We have our being’ in God as the one preserving; ‘in Him we move,’ i.e., all our actions and movements we perform by His concurrence, so that without His concurrence we can neither raise a finger, nor produce even the least movement.”

If, thus, every change, effect, or act which comes to pass is ascribed at the same time both to God and to the creature, the Dogmaticians inquire whether we do not encroach upon the doctrine of Providence; or whether, if we maintain the integrity of this doctrine, we do not exclude the co-operation of the creature and all its free movements. HUTT. (Loc. Com., 228) thus states the objection: “If all things are subject to divine government, they either can occur otherwise than God decreed from eternity to govern them or they cannot occur otherwise; if the former, Divine Providence will be deceived; but if the latter, Divine Providence 181will certainly bring necessity to things foreseen, and, in consequence, all contingency will be removed. But both are absurd; therefore, the universal, and, indeed, effectual, Providence or government of all things will scarcely be able to stand firm.” The very purpose of the term contingency is to designate the free movement of the creature.

“That,” says HUTT. (256), “is defined as contingent which, when it comes to pass, is neither impossible nor necessary, but has a cause which, from its own nature, could act otherwise, such as the human will; or, as others . . . define it, ‘that is contingent which, by its own nature, can either be or not be, which can be constituted either in this or in another manner, or which can happen or not happen, and, before it happens, can be prevented from happening; when, indeed, it does happen, it has a cause which, by its own nature, could act otherwise, and whose contradictory would not be impossible.’ As an example . . . the betrayal by Judas was a contingent event, for Judas could have abstained from that crime, and not have betrayed his Master; so that when he actually betrayed Him, there was, nevertheless, in him a cause, which, by its own nature, could have acted otherwise, i.e., it could have restrained him from that deed.”

The answer to the above objection he then introduces by means of two distinctions (228): “The first distinction is this: Everything mutable and immutable is described in two modes: in one mode, when anything by its own nature, per se, absolutely has been so composed, that it either can or cannot be constituted otherwise; in another mode, when something is either mutable or immutable, not per se, but by way of accident — not absolutely, but conditionally. As an example: God is immutably good and wise, per se and absolutely. Angels, likewise, are also immutably good and wise, but not per se or absolutely, but by way of accident; in so far as, without doubt, they have already been so confirmed in good as no longer to be able to fall. So, too, as an example of mutability: Adam was mutably good before the Fall, for if he had not been such, he would not have been able to fall; but because he could have remained good if he had wished, this mutability in him is very correctly stated to have existed not absolutely and per se, but only from the condition of his will. Since the Fall, all believers are in like manner mutably good, not absolutely and per se. For in the state of corruption it could not occur otherwise, because their goodness is mutable. The second distinction is of that which is necessary, or, in other words, of necessity. For in our theology . . . there is a twofold necessity constituted, of which the one is 182absolute or simple, i.e., necessity of consequence (consequentis), or constraint (coactionis), the opposite of which is undoubtedly simply impossible. The other is conditionate, i.e., necessity of the consequent (consequentiae), or conditions.99[“The scholastic philosophers have denominated one species of necessity, necessitas consequentiae, and another, necessitas consequentis. The former is an ideal or formal necessity, the inevitable dependence of one thought upon another by reason of our intelligent nature. The latter is a real or material necessity, the inevitable dependence of one thing upon another because of its own nature. The former is a logical necessity, common to all legitimate consequence, whatever be the material modality of its objects. The latter is an extra-logical necessity, . . . wholly dependent upon the modality of the consequent.” (Sir William Hamilton’s Discussions, etc., p.144.)] That is absolute by which objects are so constituted that nothing whatever in them can be changed, as are those things which are predicated of the essence of God and His attributes. But that is conditionate by which any object indeed has a cause, on account of which it cannot now be changed or be otherwise constituted, but by its nature, nevertheless, is mutable and could be changed or be constituted altogether differently.”

Then HUTT. answers the first question, “May Divine Providence be deceived?” as follows: “These two distinctions being presupposed, to the latter member of the disjunctive, the categorical and affirmative answer is given, that those things which have been foreseen by God cannot be otherwise constituted, or, as is the same, they are not mutable, except relatively and with this condition, namely, that these things are constituted immutably, not absolutely or per se, or, in other words, by absolute necessity, but only by accident, or from the condition of the objects foreseen. For God foresaw how everything would be and would result, from its own causes, whether natural or voluntary, and in this respect the Providence of God cannot be deceived. But if from their nature they would have been otherwise, God would have foreseen this also, and thus His Providence would not have been deceived. In this respect it is most correctly denied that things foreseen could be constituted otherwise than as they have been foreseen.”

The second question, “Does Providence, therefore, bring necessity to the things foreseen, and, as a consequence, is contingency removed?” HUTT. thus answers: “A reply is most correctly made by another distinction. But if, indeed, pure or absolute necessity, or necessitas consequentis, be understood, it is absolutely denied that Providence brings necessity to things foreseen. For thus no place would be left any longer for natural causes, nor any liberty of the human will. Nevertheless, that both are subordinate to the Providence of God, and can exist, together with it, without 183contradiction, we have clearly demonstrated in the question immediately preceding. But if the other necessity be understood, which is that of condition, or necessitas consequentiae, we very freely concede that things foreseen by God’s Providence are in necessary dependence; because, namely, God foresees these things not otherwise than as they would result from their causes, therefore they result also just as God has foreseen them. Nor, on the other hand, does it conflict with that which by way of consequence is inferred; therefore all contingency is removed. For inasmuch as this necessity of consequence belongs to such things as are, by their own nature, mutable, and could be changed and be otherwise constituted, this necessity and contingency can undoubtedly exist at the same time as subordinates, although in a different respect; viz., a necessity, in so far as a thing has a cause, because of which it can no longer be changed or be otherwise constituted, but a contingency, in so far as the thing itself by its own nature so exists that it could be otherwise constituted. Thus, the betrayal of Judas, with respect to Divine Providence, is said to be necessary by necessity of consequence, because God undoubtedly foresaw from eternity that Judas, from intended malice and with fixed purpose, would betray Christ; but contingent, in so far as he was able to resist the wicked desires of his will and not to betray Christ. Nevertheless, if Judas would have resisted the temptation, God would also have foreseen this from eternity, and thus (by his not betraying) the Providence of God could not have been deceived.” The proposition, therefore, stands thus: “A contingency of human affairs and actions can exist most surely, without impairing or diminishing the Providence of God, for the reason that this contingency is not opposed to Divine Providence, but is subject or subordinate to it. For, as the Providence of God governs and determines things one and all, so also does it govern and determine contingent actions. For hence it comes to pass that God does not suffer the wicked to rush on whither they would otherwise tend according to their free will, but He fixes limits to the extent to which He will slacken the reins to their lust. Hence, also, God frequently, by the power exercised through His Providence, casts chains and restraints upon the wicked, in order that they may be forced to desist from their undertakings, and altogether abandon the deeds which their unbridled lust would otherwise perpetrate. Esau, the brother of Jacob, who had taken measures to slay his brother, etc., can be given as an example. But even when there is no such hindrance, and God permits those things to occur which the will of the wicked devises, yet there nevertheless shines forth even thence the singular skill of Divine 184Providence, which derives even thence the means to inflict deserved punishments upon the wicked, and to subvert them, and knows how to change even their worst designs to the advantage and welfare of the godly. Of this, the history of Joseph and that of the passion of Christ supply us with examples most worthy of note.”1010[Compare a chapter from Gerhard, translated in Evangelical Review, vol. xviii. 310.]

[10] QUEN. (I, 544): “The question in this place is not whether God communicates and preserves to second causes the power to operate, for this mode of concurrence ascribes to God no more than that He preserves the existence of objects and their power to act, which He gave them in the beginning; but the question here is, whether God immediately influences according to the requirement of each, the action, and with the action the effect, as such, of the second causes.” QUEN. (I, 544) thus defines the terms causa prima et secunda: “The first cause is that which is entirely independent, but upon it all other things, if there be any, depend; this is God. A second cause is that which recognizes another cause prior to itself, upon which it depends; such are the efficient created causes, which, although they operate through primary and relative virtue, nevertheless depend upon the first cause, as for their existence, so also for their operation. For existence, I say, because without His preservation they could exist in operating not even for a moment, and because without the co-operation of the same they could neither operate nor, in operating, produce their effects.”

QUEN. (I, 532) justly remarks: “With the divine concurrence with respect to the object there coincide the divine omnipresence, which is an act of Divine Providence, and formally and definitely, viz., in the Biblical sense, denotes both the substantial, illocal, incommunicable, illimitable presence with creatures, which the Scholastics, in the description of the concurrence of God with creature, call the immediatio suppositi,1111[See list of Scholastico-Dogmatic terms in Appendix, under Subsistentia.] and His efficacious and omnipotent working, which they here call the immediatio virtutis, Gen. 1:2; Ps. 139:7; Jer. 23:23, 24; Wis. 1:6, 7, 8; Acts 17:27, 28; Col. 1:17.”

[11] QUEN. (I, 531): “The objects of the concurrence are all the actions and effects, as such, of second causes. It is only the general and indeterminate concurrence that is here discussed, i.e., it is here merely in general asserted that no action is accomplished without the co-operation of God; but the character of this concurrence is not here taken into the account. It is, therefore, indeed, readily granted, but not here specially developed, and the concurrence 185may be ‘a special or gracious concurrence, by which God is present to all believers meditating, writing, and doing holy, honorable, and useful things, by supplying the occasion, inciting, moving, aiding, approving, etc.;’ also ‘a most special and extraordinary concurrence, peculiar alone to the holy writers of the Old and New Testaments, which embraces a supernatural and extraordinary illumination of the mind, and likewise a peculiar movement, suggestion, inspiration, impulse, and dictation of the Holy Ghost for writing or speaking such a thing and not something else.’” (Ib. 543.) Thus HOLL. (443) distinguishes also between “natural actions” and “supernatural actions’ of man: “Some can be elicited by man in his natural strength; others transcend man’s natural strength.” The latter he does not here discuss. In relation to the natural acts, however, he remarks: “With natural acts God concurs, indeed, by a general concurrence, but not exclusively; for extraordinarily, under that general influence, there is also a peculiar influence contained, conferring a more intense strength to act and a more powerful movement upon one creature rather than another.”

[12] QUEN. (I, 545): “With second causes, God concurs according to the need and requirement of each, i.e., when, as often as, and in the manner that, the cause, according to the condition of its nature, demands this concurrence. For God does not change the nature of the agents or the manner and order of their action, but He permits natural agents to act naturally, free agents to act freely. . . . With second causes God concurs according to their nature, by operating conformably to His most sympathetic, universal disposition, freely with the free, necessarily with the necessary, feebly with the feeble, vigorously with the vigorous.” HOLL. (444): “With necessary agents God concurs uniformly, e.g., with fire, in order for it to burn, with the sun, in order for it to shine. With free agents God concurs variously, leaving to them their free decision and the free power to choose this or that; for the order that God has once established He does not easily change, Ps. 119:90.”

[13] The most difficult problem in the science of Theology is that of exhibiting the method of the divine concurrence in the evil actions of men, without at the same time in any wise throwing the blame of the evil upon the first cause, i.e., upon God. The Dogmaticians employ for this purpose the two formulae: “God concurs in producing the effect, not the defect; God concurs as to the materials, not as to the form.” The former of these is intended to teach that God has indeed furnished the power through which the action could have become a good one; but that, if on the part of 186man this has not been employed for such purpose, the blame for that does not fall upon God. The other formula is intended to teach that the power, the ability in itself considered, with which an action can be accomplished, is indeed to be ascribed to the divine co-operation, while the application of it, and the direction which is given to this power, is allotted to human freedom, and is accordingly to be imputed alone to man. One of these formulae we find employed by QUEN., the other by HOLL.

QUEN. (I, 545): “We distinguish between the action and the αταξια of the action; between the effect and the defect. The Supreme Being concurs with the actions and the effects, but not with the αταξια of the actions; for, although the universal cause influences the entire action of the particular causes, yet indeed, of the αταξια and evil, as such, if it inhere in an action, there is no other cause than a creature, inasmuch as in acting it departs from its own rule and the order of the First Agent, viz., God, and applies the divine concurrence otherwise than it should. Hence we say in the thesis that God influences the actions and effects, as such, of second causes, i.e., as the actions and effects are, in their entity or essence, to the exclusion of the idea of the defects and faults, which have no entity, and originate from a deficiency of action in the causes. In short, God enters into sinful actions, with respect to their entity and natural form (species naturae), and not with respect to their deformity and moral form (species moris). He also concurs in disgraceful acts, and is inwardly present to them, yet in such a manner as not to be defiled, inasmuch as spiritual substance is liable to pollution no more than is the sun.” (HUTT. (234): “God, as the universal cause, affords only this, viz., that you are able to act, but the fact that you act wickedly proceeds from a particular cause, viz., your perverse will.”)

HOLL. (443): “With the formal ανομια or αταξια of actions morally evil, God undoubtedly does not concur by any positive influence, because wickedness is a defect and privation, not proceeding from God the Most Perfect, in whom no defect can occur, but from a human will failing in its action. But God concurs with the remote, not with the proximate material of actions morally evil. The former is an indeterminate act; the latter is an act determinate and applied to a prohibited thing. When, for example, Eve extended her hand to the forbidden fruit, two acts were present: (1) the extension of the hand; (2) the extension applied to the forbidden fruit. The former act is said to be the remote material; the latter, the proximate material. With the latter, God does not concur, because His concurrence is general and indeterminate; and, therefore, the determination 187to this or that object is not from God as from the first and universal cause, but from the second and particular cause.” With respect to the concurrence of God with actions morally good, HOLL. (443) distinguishes between the physical and moral concurrence. “Physically (God) affords a general concurrence with moral actions, by sustaining strength of mind and body, adapted to act. Morally, He concurs, by commanding and promising.”

[14] HOLL. (443): “God concurs with the actions of creatures by the immediateness of His power and being. He concurs by the immediateness of His being (immediatione suppositi), because God, by His substance, is especially near to creatures operating, inasmuch as He fills all in all. Jer. 23:24. He concurs, also, by the immediateness of His power (immediatione virtutis), by His efficacious influence on the action of the creature, and by immediately and proximately affecting the result, in that He ‘worketh all in all.’ 1 Cor. 12:6. A person is said to act immediately, either exclusively or inclusively. Exclusively, when he acts alone; inclusively, when any one attains proximately an action and result by the cooperation of others with him. God’s immediate influence upon the actions of creatures is not exclusive, as though creatures were excluded from the action, or were inoperative. Every creature does its own part: but God, together with the creatures acting, affects the action and result immediately and proximately by His own influence.”

[15] HOLL. (445): “Those who teach a previous concurrence, are guilty of a contradiction with respect to what succeeds. For if God concur, He does not precur; if He co-operate, He does not pre-operate. A premotion is an antecedent act; but concurrence is not antecedent, but occurs when the action itself is produced. If divine concurrence were to predetermine free agents to action, they would act necessarily, not freely.”

QUEN. (I, 544): “Second causes or agents, whether natural or free, have not, for the eliciting of an action, the need to be excited by a previous impulse, in the manner in which a pick, a hammer, or an axe receives a previous motion from the workman, as they either have a power for operating that is peculiar to themselves and innate, as fire, or they are the power itself of action, as heat; yea, if created things could in no way exert themselves without that previous excitation, it would follow that their will is excited also to vicious actions.”

[16] QUEN. (I, 533): “Governing is an act of Divine Providence, by which God symmetrically arranges each and every creature, in its peculiar strength, actions, and suffering, to the 188glory of the Creator and the good of this universe, and especially to the salvation of the godly.”

[17] CALOV. (III, 1196): “As Preservation is most particularly occupied with the essences, strength, and faculties of men, and of other objects, especially those that are permanent, so Governing is occupied pre-eminently with the actions and sufferings of all men and things. . . . But this governing is not only universal, but extends also to the individual actions, and moderates and directs them all. Prov. 24:12; Jer. 16:9.”

The difference between the Christian and the ante-Christian doctrine of Providence is stated by CHMN. (Loc. Th., I, 129) as follows: “It is well known of what nature the dogma of Epicurus was, who altogether did away with Providence, viz., that God, who is supremely happy, is not affected with the care of governing inferior things, because such an occupation would interfere with His happiness, and would not be worthy of His divine excellence. Therefore, he concedes that in second causes there is a certain strength, according to which, when an application of an agent to that which is passive occurs, an action and change ensue; but he denies that this action is controlled and governed by God. Yea, he says that God does not care; but, just as atoms floating in the sun are turned about without order, and by chance, so that the same atom which has been before in the upper part is now in the middle, and afterwhile will be at the bottom, if the chance should so carry it, so Epicurus imagines that second causes fluctuate, by chance and without order, and that results are indeed produced from the application of sufficient causes, but says that the application itself of the causes does not occur by means of the government and control of God, but as the chance may have happened.”

The Christian doctrine of Providence, therefore, excludes every conception of a blind necessity as well as of a mere chance. HOLL. (437): “We are not to maintain a stoical fate, by which all things occur from absolute and inevitable necessity; nor the more rigid astrological fate,1212[“Astrological fate is either the more rigid or the milder . . . The milder is that which occurs without impairing human liberty.” (HOLL., 443.) — TR.] by which even the free acts of the human will depend upon the influence of the stars, and are determined thereby.” But he nevertheless admits “a Christian fate, which is the necessary connection of causes and effects, of extrinsic necessity, in so far as it has been infallibly foreknown by God, established by an absolute or conditionate decree, and governed by divine direction agreeably disposing it.” In Christian fate there is therefore admitted a necessary connection of cause and effect, but one of such 189a character that the influence of God upon the effect that is to be produced is not thereby excluded.

(Id. 440): “Fortune, which is an accidental event, accompanying a result intended by a cause acting freely, does not exist with respect to the omniscient and most wise God (Wis. 14:3), but only with respect to ignorant man.”

[18] QUEN. (I, 533): “Permission is an act of governing Providence, by which God does not employ hindrances which no finite agent can overcome, or knows how to overcome, in order to restrain rational creatures, inclining of their own accord to sin, from an evil forbidden by the Law, but, for just reasons, permits them to rush into sins, Ps. 81:12; Acts 14:16; Rom. 1:24, 28.” HOLL. (449): “Divine permission is not (1) kind indulgence, as though God simply does not care when men commit crimes; nor is it (2) a mitigation of the Law, as if to grant men license to sin; nor (3) is it weakness in God, or a defect of knowledge, as though He willed or approved evil, or a defect of power, as though He could not check sin; nor (4) does it make God an unconcerned witness of sins, who neither forbids sins, nor fixes a limit to wickedness, nor restrains crimes by punishment. But it is (5) a negative act, consisting of the denial or suspension of an insuperable hindrance. God, indeed, could check or restrain the sinner by means of the interposition of a forcible or insuperable obstacle; but the most holy Divinity has the very best reasons for permitting sin. Meanwhile (God), by a legal impediment, restrains the will of man sinning, and continually invites the sinner to repentance by exhibiting rewards and penalties.” Also the following discriminations. QUEN. (I, 533): “God indeed permits, but He does not will, that which is permitted, which occurs not, indeed, while God absolutely wills that it should not be, i.e., while He restrains and hinders, yet, nevertheless, while He does not will it, Ps. 5:4; 1 John 3:8. God’s not hindering is not willing, but is His permitting, and, at the same time, also, His being averse to, those things which He permits, in so far as they seriously displease Him.” GRH. (IV, 88): “God does not will sin, and yet does not prevent it, which is permission. But, although He may permit sin willingly and not reluctantly, nevertheless His permission and His will have respect to diverse objects; the permission is occupied with the sin itself, but the will with the useful end, which God, in His wisdom, knows how to bring forth from it.”

[19] QUEN. (I, 534): “Hindrance is an act of governing Providence, by which God limits the action of creatures according to His judgment, so that they do not produce the result, which 190otherwise they would effect, either by a natural or a free power to act.”

[20] QUEN. (I, 534): “Direction is an act of governing Providence, by which God so regulates the good actions of creatures, that they tend and are led to the object intended by God (Acts 4:28), but directs the evil actions to a certain end prescribed by Himself, yet not considered by those who sin, and frequently contrary to their intention. Thus 1 Sam 9:17; 10:21; Gen. 37:7; 50:20.”

[21] QUEN. (I, 534): “Determination is an act of governing Providence, by which God has appointed to the strength, actions, and sufferings of creatures, certain limits within which they are restrained, both with respect to time and with respect to greatness and degree, Job 1:12; 2:6; Ps. 124:2.”

[22] CHMN. (Loc. Th., I, 127): “Although the Providence of God extends to all creatures, yet it has its grades. For it is especially intrusted with the government of the human race, 1 Cor. 9:9; Matt. 10:31; Rom. 8:20. In the second place, although the Providence of God maketh the sun to rise, and sendeth rain upon the just and unjust, nevertheless there is a peculiar and preeminent relation of a special Providence towards those who are members of the Church, 1 Tim. 4:10; Ps. 33:13, 18, 19; 100:3.”

BR. (308): “Divine Providence has also, with respect to the acts towards which it is directed, its own grades, and, above other creatures, relates to men, but, in the human race, especially to believers, Rom. 8:28.” Hence the division “into general and special Providence. The former is that by which God preserves and governs the entire earth, and whatever is contained in its circuit. The latter is that by which God most kindly regards, most tenderly cherishes, and most agreeably rules both the Church Militant, or the assembly of believing men, and the Church Triumphant, or the choir of angels and elect men.” HOLL. (448).

QUEN. (I, 529) distinguishes between the general and the special object of Providence. The general object consists of all things in general which exist, Heb. 1:3; Wis. 8:1; 12:13, 15. The special object is partly primary, and partly secondary. The primary object consists of angels and men, and, indeed, all of these in general, Acts 17:28; Matt. 5:45 (p. 530). Its object, in the most special sense, consists of godly and believing men, Deut. 32:9: Ps. 4:3; 33:18; 37:18, 25; 73:24; 77:20; 91:11; Heb. 1:14; Matt. 10:31. All other created things, without even the least exception, are secondary objects. Deut. 25:4; 1 Cor. 9:9; Job 39:1; Ps. 147:9; Prov. 6:8; Matt. 6:30; 8:31; 10:29, 30; Luke 12:6.


As man is the centre of the entire creation, and thus also of Divine Providence, the Dogmaticians discuss at length the relation in which Providence stands to the origin, the progress, and the end of human life.

QUEN. (I, 529): “God controls the life of men partly in its entrance, by forming and preserving men in the maternal womb (Job 10:3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12; Ps. 139:13, 15, 16; Acts 17:25); and by bringing them forth from the womb (Job 10:18; Ps. 22:9, 10; 71:6); partly in its progress (Deut. 30:20; Job 10: 12; Ps. 56:8; 37:23, 24; Job 34:21; Prov. 16:3; 21:1; Ps. 139:2; Matt. 6:25; 10:30); partly in its termination (Job 24:5), so that the appointed course of life is either attained (Gen. 47:29; 2 Sam. 7:12), or shortened (Ps. 55:23), or prolonged (Isa. 38:5), or doubles (renewed after death) (1 Kings 17:22; 2 Kings 13:21; Matt. 9:25; Luke 7:15; John 11:44; Acts 9:40; 20;12).”

Concerning (1) HOLL. (427): The entrance of human life embraces both its formation and preservation in the womb of the mother, and its being brought forth from the womb.” Thereupon BR. remarks (309): “For this reason it is correctly stated that God has respect not only to the universal, but also to the particular cause, and supplies the defect of second causes, or, at least, directs and governs them in acting. This, indeed, some explain so as to affirm, on the one hand, that when the wonderful variety, and connection, and structure of the members of the body are considered, an efficient particular cause acting with knowledge is required; and, therefore, that another and more sublime virtue than that which is in the seed (commonly called δυναμις πλαστικη), and which cannot be conceived of unless as belonging to God Himself, concurs with a special influence. On the other hand, also, when the immateriality of the soul is considered, and the fact, therefore, that it must be produced independently of the subject, or from nothing; and that such a production demands an infinite power of action, and is, therefore, peculiar to God alone; they infer that, for the production of the human soul, God affords a special and determinate influence. But others, although they believe that the human body and soul are alike produced by the parents themselves as second causes, with the concurrence of God as the universal cause, nevertheless regard the acts of protection afforded in the production and the birth of man, against various calamities and dangers, as many eminent proofs of peculiar divine care and favor; in addition to universal, they ascribe to God also a special or particular concurrence, and refer thither the passage, Job 10:8-11.”

Concerning (2) HOLL. (427): “God controls the progress of life, 192by granting the means of supporting life, Ps. 145:16; directing our steps, i.e., by leading our designs, which have been begun and performed, to their desired results, Ps. 37:23; by bringing to nought the snares or repelling the open violence of enemies, Ps. 3:7, 8; by fitting and calling us to a certain mode of life, Jer. 1:5-7.”

Concerning (3) BR. (312): “Divine Providence respects the termination of human life, not only so far as by a common law there is given to every one his own constitution, by virtue of which he can, with the general concurrence of God, attain a certain space of life (the natural limit of life, Ps. 90:10); but also as to some men life is prolonged beyond that boundary (2 Kings 20:1, 6) to which they would come by the strength of nature: others the end of life threatens sooner (Ps. 55:23; 102:24) than it should according to the course of nature (terminus abbreviabilis).” (Id. 313): “Divine providence, moreover, changes the natural limit of human life (the preternatural or hyperphysical limit of life), both with respect to the godly (the limit of grace), and with respect to wicked men (the limit of wrath).” (Id. 314): “To the godly God prolongs life, either as a reward of their obedience (Ex. 20:12; Prov. 3:1, 2; 4:10), or for the public good (2 Cor. 1:8; Phil. 2:27, 30). To the same class He shortens life, partly to prevent them from being corrupted by the wicked examples of others (Wis. 4:10, 11), partly that they may not see the coming evils, and be distressed (2 Chron. 34:28; Is. 26:20; 57:2).” “God, by a just judgment prematurely breaks the thread of life of the wicked, when He either Himself sends deadly disease or death upon them (Deut. 28:21, 22; Gen. 38:7, 10; 1 Sam. 25:38; Jer. 28:15, 16), or gives the command to inflict death (Gen. 9:6; Ex. 21:12, 14; 22:18; Lev. 18 and 20), or allows them to suffer disease or suffer violent death by intemperance (2 Kings 8:15), or other crimes (2 Sam. 18:14; 17:23).” (Id. 315): “And thus it is also evident, that it is not absolutely necessary that every man should die at that very time, and by that kind of death by which he does die; or, in other words, that this has not been absolutely and immutably decreed by God, apart from or previous to any regard to causes or circumstances to be found outside of God. For, otherwise, the prayers and vows of the godly, and divine promises and threatenings, would be vain. The hyperphysical or divine limit is always hypothetical, including the condition of piety or impiety, or of the contempt of means.”

[23] CHMN. (Loc Th., I, 128): “That God has not been bound to second causes in such a manner as to do nothing else than as second causes excite Him, but that, beyond the customary order of second causes, and contrary to the common course of nature, He 193wills and is able to aid the Church, and to punish the wicked, so as either to hinder, change, mitigate, or intensify second causes.”

QUEN. (I, 535): “Providence is extraordinary when God operates either without means, or beyond or above means, or contrary to means and their nature, or, what is the same, above and beyond the order instituted by Himself, e.g., Ex. 34:28; 1 Kings 19:8; Is. 38:8; 2 Kings 6:6, etc. (all miracles are effects of the extraordinary providence of God). Providence is ordinary where God carries on His works through ordinary means, viz., through the established and accustomed course of nature.”

[24] HOLL. (448): “Providence with reference to good, is that which by preservation maintains, by co-operation promotes, and by governing directs the good of creatures to the praise of the divine glory. Providence with reference to evil, is that by which God is occupied with moral evil, not as an indifferent observer, but as the most just Judge, and, therefore, by acts preceding, attending, and following sin, exercises justice tempered by grace.” In the discrimination here made, the different relation in which God stands to the good and the evil is explained essentially in the same manner as in the doctrine of the divine government (comp. notes 18-21). The difference consists only in this, that here the more general conception of Providence is assumed, which embraces both government and preservation.

As acts of Providence preceding sin, HOLL. (448-450) has enumerated: “Foresight, aversion to the sin foreseen, and hindering.” As acts attending: “Support of the nature acting wickedly, concurrence with the remote material of a vicious action, permission of the αταξια adhering to the sinful action, limiting determination of the sin, direction to a good end.” As acts following: “Imposing of the divine penalties, Isa. 34:8, remission of sins.”

[25] CHMN. (Loc. Th., I, 125): “Providence is a general action of God, by which He is present with His creature, sustaining and preserving it, as long as He wishes it to be preserved, and preserves the order of His work appointed by Himself, not by any fatal necessity, but as a most free agent; so that, for the sake of men, He controls all things, and moderates, changes, and hinders many things with respect to second causes.”

GRH. (IV, 136) thus summarily states the whole doctrine of Providence: “The action of Divine Providence is either eternal, viz., προγνωσις και προθεσις, or of time, viz., the preservation and governing of things created; and this, too, either ordinary, through means, or extraordinary, without means, or contrary to means. Both are occupied with all things, especially with human nature, 194in the preservation and governing of which the life and actions of men come forth. Either the entrance, or the progress, or the termination of life, is regarded. Some actions are good, and that, too, either civilly or spiritually; others are evil. How the action of Divine Providence concurs in all these, we have explained by certain aphorisms.”

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