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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

A Scripture Catechism
in the
Method of the Assembly's

by Matthew Henry

Q.11. What are God's works of providence?
A. God's works of providence are his most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all his creatures, and all their actions.

1. When God had made the world, did he leave it to itself? No: for he upholdeth all things by the word of his power, Heb. 1:3. Does he see to the whole creation? Yes: for the eyes of the Lord are in every place, Prov. 15:3. Does he condescend to take notice of his creatures? Yes: he humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth, Ps. 113:6. Is any thing at a distance from him? No: for he is not far from every one of us, Acts 17:27. Does he look on as one unconcerned? No: for his eyes behold, and his eyelids try, the children of men, Ps. 11:4.

2. Does God look after the world of angels? Yes: for he maketh peace in his high places, Job 25:2. Does he look after this lower world? Yes: for the eyes of all wait upon him, Ps. 145:15. Does he take care of the fowls? Yes: our heavenly Father feedeth them, Matt. 6:26. What! even the sparrows? Yes: not one of them shall fall to the ground without our Father, Matt. 10:29. What! and the ravens? Yes: he feeds the young ravens which cry, Ps. 147:9. Is he the Protector and Benefactor of all the creatures? Yes: Thou preservest them all, Neh. 9:6. Is he man's Protector and Benefactor? Yes: for in him we live, and move, and have our being, Acts 17:28. Do we depend upon God for the support of our life? Yes: for he holdeth our soul in life, Ps 66:9. And for the comforts of life? Yes: for he giveth us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness, Acts 14: 17. And do we depend upon him for the safety of our life? Yes: he keepeth all our bones, Ps. 34:20. And for the continuance of life? Yes: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days, Deut. 30:20.

3. Does God govern all things? Yes: his kingdom ruleth over all, Ps. 103:19. Does he govern the holy angels? Yes: for they do his commandments, Ps. 103:20. Does he govern the heavenly bodies? Yes the stars in their courses fought against Sisera, Judg. 5:20. Does he govern the power of the air? Yes stormy winds fulfil his word, Ps 148:8. Does he order what weather it shall be? Yes for he saith to the snow, Be thou upon the earth, Job 37:6 And does he govern the inferior creatures? Yes: he spake, and locusts came, Ps. 105:34. Can he command them? Yes: I have commanded the ravens to feed thee, 1 Kings 17:4. Can he control them? Yes: he shut the lions' mouths, Dan 6:22. Has he a sovereign dominion over the whole creation? Yes; for the Lord of hosts is his name, Isa 47:4.

4. Does God govern the children of men? Yes; the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, Dan 4:32. Does he govern kings? Yes: for the king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, Prov. 21:1. And does he govern kingdoms? Yes; for he is the Governor among the nations, Ps. 22:28. And families too? Yes; for except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it, Ps 127:1. Does be govern great men? Yes: for God is the judge, he puts down one, and sets up another, Ps. 75:6,7. And mean men too? Yes: for every man's judgment proceedeth from the Lord, Prov. 29:26. Can man make his own fortune? No: for the way of man is not in himself, neither is it in man that walketh, to direct his steps, Jer. 1:23. When man purposes, does God dispose? Yes: a man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps, Prov. 16:9. Do all comforts and crosses come from God's hand? Yes: for he has said, I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things, Isa. 45:7. Does God's providence extend itself to the smallest things? Yes: the very hairs of your head are all numbered, Matt. 10:30.

5. Is God's government holy? Yes: he is holy in all his works, Ps. 145:17. Is it wise? Yes : he is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working, Isa. 28:29. Is it powerful? Yes : for when he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble, Job 39:29. Is it rightful? Yes: God is greater than man, Job 33:12. Is it just? Yes: for shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? Gen. 18:25. Does God sometimes reward and punish in this life? Yes: the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth, much more the wicked and the sinner, Prov. 11:31. But does he always? No: for all things come alike to all, Eccl. 9:1, 2.

6. Does God govern the world for the good of his Church? Yes: for Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have called thee by thy name, Isa. 45:4. Is the government of the world committed to the Lord Jesus? Yes : for he is head over all things unto the church, Eph. 1:22. And is all ordered for God's glory ? Yes : for the Lord alone shall be exalted, Isa. 2:11. Is it a comfort to good men that God governs the world? Yes: The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice, Ps. 97:1. Is it a terror to the wicked? Yes: The Lord reigns, let the people tremble, Ps. 99:1. Ought we to give him the praise of it? Yes: Hallelujah, the Lord God omnipotent reigns, Rev. 19:6.

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