Law, Providence, And Prayer -- By: J. E. Wells

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 030:120 (Oct 1873)
Article: Law, Providence, And Prayer
Author: J. E. Wells


Law, Providence, And Prayer

Prof. J. E. Wells

The Christian believer will not readily surrender his faith in the reality and the absoluteness of the divine government of the world in which we live. To do so would be to abandon a fundamental article of his creed, to ignore one of the clearest and most prominent doctrines of his great text-book, to cut adrift from the sheet-anchor of his most precious faith, and commit himself to the darkness, the billows, and the storm, with chance instead of beneficent Providence as pilot, and, in place of infinitely intelligent purpose, naught but blind, inexorable force at the helm.

The belief in an ever-present, all-controlling Omniscience is of the very essence of the Christian faith; because that, and that alone, can explain the inception, the unfolding, the consummation, and the personal application of the great redemption. And certainly no other truth is more clearly taught or more constantly illustrated in the Bible. On every page it reveals a “God near at hand, not afar off,” the great source and centre of all life, all government, all love. No event is so trivial, no creature so insignificant, as to escape his notice; no force so mighty, no influences so complicated or so far-reaching, as to put at fault for an instant his infinite

prescience, or turn aside a hair’s breadth from its aim his eternal, all-embracing purpose. Nay, rather, all being, all life, all action, all development, all change, are but an infinite series of expressions of his omniscient thought, or manifestations of his omnipotent will. And this God is the Christian’s Friend and Father, his refuge in danger, his solace in sorrow, his light in darkness, his all in all. All language fails to convey any adequate conception of the certainty, the completeness, the ineffable blessedness of the divine care and love upon which the child of such a Father is taught that his filial heart may rely, without presumption and without misgiving. We place side by side with such a faith as this the cold, dark creed — for creed it likewise is — which aims to demonstrate with scientific precision that all beings of whatever order, all events of whatever nature, are but so many products of certain blind, inexplicable, and inexorable forces, operating upon, perhaps inherent in, particles of matter of whose origin no account can be given; which either claims to have reached, or promises soon to reach, a stage of scientific discovery whose effect must be to “quench all possibility of belief in the divine interposition under the overwhelming pressure of a changeless law of evolution from the time when the globe was a chaos of nebulous matter” ; which logically concludes either that it is equally “unscientific...

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