Westminster Confession, week 8

February 20, 2016

Chapter 5: Of Providence

1: God the great Creator of all things does uphold,[96] direct, dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things,[97] from the greatest even to the least,[98] by His most wise and holy providence,[99] according to His infallible foreknowledge,[100] and the free and immutable counsel of His own will,[101] to the praise of the glory of His wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy.[102]

2: Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first Cause, all things come to pass immutably, and infallibly;[103] yet, by the same providence, He orders them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.[104]

3: God, in His ordinary providence, makes use of means,[105] yet is free to work without,[106] above,[107] and against them,[108] at His pleasure.

4: The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extends itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men;[109] and that not by a bare permission,[110] but such as has joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding,[111] and otherwise ordering, and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends;[112] yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceeds only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is nor can be the author or approver of sin.[113]

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