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THE Voyce of Providence ASSERTED, AND The Followers of God in the Waies of his PROVIDENCE juſtified; In a Letter ſent by John Hinde to a Miniſter in London, who denied the former and condemned the latter.

Micah, 6.9.

Hear ye the Rod.

Pſal. 107.43.

Whoſo is wiſe, and will obſerve thoſe things, even they ſhall underſtand the Loving kindneſs of the Lord.

LONDON: Printed for Peter Cole, at the Printing-preſs, by the Royal Exchange. 1653.

To the READER.

Good Reader.

HEre is preſented to your view, the Copy of two Letters ſent to Mr. White, Mi­niſter at Mary-Hill, London, to which he hath refuſed to give Anſwer; The grounds of my publiſhing of them, is not in the leaſt to bespatter the Perſon of the man, but to vindicate two precious Truths from the injuries offer'd to them by him; the one, That it is the Saints duty to follow God in the waies of his Providences; For ſhould the Lord declare his Anger, and we not fear, ſhould the Lord give us merciess and we not return praiſes, we ſhould not only ceaſe to be Saints, but Men: the other is, That there is a Voyce in every Providence, which he was pleaſed ab­ſolutely to deny unto me. The former Truth, hath been confirmed by the conſtant practice of his Brethren, our City Miniſters, in giving thanks to God, for the ſeveral Victories he was pleaſed to vouchſafe the Parliaments Forces, under the Command of the late Lord General Eſſex: If this their practice be not alſo a confirmation of the latter Truth, ſome of them in their Pulpits have formerly held it forth for a truth, who I hope will not now deny it: and one of them, a learned and godly * Divine, in a Comentary lately publiſhed, hath this paſ­ſage, Every Providence hath a Voyce, though ſometimes it be ſo ſtill, and, low, that it re­quireth ſome skill to hear it.

When I firſt put pen to paper, it was far from my thoughts to appear in publick, but upon peruſal of the Letters, you will find how I was neceſſitated thereunto; for I dealt ſo civilly with him, as to crave (by my Meſſenger) an Anſwer to my Letter, which he flatly denied; and ſince the expiration of the Months time mentioned in my laſt, by providence meeting with him in the ſtreet, and aſſuring him that I held my reſolution to publiſh my Letter, un­leſs he would yet promiſe me an Anſwer, which he would not; then acquainting him, that if upon the ſight of my Letter in Print, he thought fit then to anſwer me, I ſhould take it kindly, and if I received ſatisfaction by it, return him thanks, but if not, I ſhould reply; whereupon he told me, that he ſcorned to anſwer me (a speech unbecoming a Miniſter of Chriſt to the meaneſt of his Members.) What he ſcorns to anſwer, I here humbly ſubmit to your Chriſtian and candid Judgment, and ſhall count it a glory to be any waies ſerviceable to the leaſt of the Truths or Servants of Chriſt.

Now that the Lord would open the eyes of our minds, that we may ſee and approve things that are excellent, and perſwade our hearts to receive the Truth in the Love of it, and di­rect our ſteps, to follow him in the waies of his Providence, is the prayer of

Your unworthy Brother in the common Savior John Hinde.
February, 11. 1652.
1
Honored Sir,

IN your Sermon at Pauls on the laſt Lords Day, you were pleaſed to ſpeak againſt the following of Providence, a Truth which lies upon my ſpirit as a Duty, and that from Scripture grounds; yet though you ſpake againſt following of Providence, I hope you light not the hand of Providence (as too many do amongſt us) but fin­ding you (in your Diſcourſe with me after Sermon) to deny the Voyce of Providence, and to acknowledg your ſelf only an admirer of Provi­dence, which I was the more confirmed in, by your negligent (I will not ſay wilful) omitting, to take notice in your Prayers of the great Works of Providence, now on foot amongſt our ſelves, and betwixt us and the neighbor Nation, which certainly call for more than meer ad­miration from us, and queſtionleſs do ſpeak forth Inſtruction and Cau­tion to all the People of the Land; I therefore thought it might be ve­ry ſeaſonable to cleer up (if I may) this Truth unto you, That there is a Voyce in the Providence of God, and that his Providential Workings do hold forth unto us both Inſtruction and Caution: And that I may not exceed the bounds of an Epiſtle, I will wave al Apologies, and come preſently to the Work it ſelf; which ſhall be in the firſt place, to ſet down that ſtumbling-block which you laid before me, and then to en­deavor the removal of it, by aſſerting it to be your duty (as well as mine) to follow God in the waies of his Providence.

For the Firſt, You laid down this Poſition, That they only which love Gods Law, can have the peace of a good Conſcience; In proſecution of which, you ſhewed, that there were many people in the world, who neglecting the Rule of the Law, thought to find peace of Conſcience, by following the imaginations of their own hearts: and then you told us of one ſort of men, that cry up Cuſtom, as if that were the only Rule to walk by: And ſecondly, Of another generation of men more holy than the other, who will follow the examples of the Saints: And then third­ly, "Of another ſort of men, and they (forſooth) are followers of Pro­vidences; men that pretend themſelves followers of Providences; and theſe men, let a thing be never ſo wicked, if it be ſucceſsful, they will mask it over with the name of Vertue: Thoſe that are followers of Pro­vidences, had they been in the ſame Ship with Dyoniſius, when he did rob and ſpoyl the Temple, they would have been of the ſame mind with him, that the gods did approve it, becauſe he had a proſperous gale, and2a fair wind to carry him away; Theſe people, had they lived in Jeroboams daies, they would have worſhiped Jeroboams Calves; had they lived in Jeremiahs daies, they would have had their hands buſied in making Cakes for the Queen of Heaven: Beloved, I am as great an Admirer of Pro­vidences as any, and I know God is holy in all his waies, and righteous in all his Works, but God did never ordain that his Providences ſhould be the Rule of Life; God will not have us to follow his Providences, but his Precepts; ſhew me a place in all the Scriptures, that directs us to follow the Providences of God: Beloved, thoſe that are followers of Providences, aſſure your ſelves, they are ſeekers of themſelves, and what ever they find in the preſent, in the end they ſhall find no peace to their ſouls, for there can be no peace to thoſe that follow this Rule:Theſe are your own words.

Now I ſhall appeal to your Conſcience, whether herein you have not condemned the juſt with the unjuſt, in ſaying, That let a thing be ne­ver ſo wicked, if it be ſucceſsful, the followers of Providence will mask it over with the name of Vertue: I deny not, but ſome men may do ſo in ſome particular act, I juſtifie them not; but muſt the followers of Pro­vidence be condemned for them? Remember what Solomon ſaith, He that juſtifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the juſt, even they both are abomination to the Lord. And whereas you take upon you to affirm, what they would have done, had they lived in ſuch and ſuch time, take heed, lest in judging another, you condemn not your ſelf, ſaith our Savior to his Diſ­ciples, ye know not what manner of ſpirit ye are of; and faith the Apoſtle, Let him that ſtandeth, take heed leſt he fall. And though you take upon you, to pronounce them that are followers of Providences to be ſeekers of themſelves; I dare not judg others, I deſire to look inwards, and to know my own heart, which never yet told me, (though I have followed Providences,) that I ſought my ſelf, and not the publick good, or my ſelf more than the publick good; and I wiſh that the jeerers at, the ſligh­ters of, and the admirers of Providences, prove not indeed ſelf-ſeekers. And although you peremptorily conclude, That there can be no peace to thoſe that follow Providences, and what ever they find in the preſent, in the end they ſhall find no peace to their ſouls; I dare not beleeve it becauſe you ſay it, but deſire your Rule for it; and I ſhall be ſo charita­ble as to hope that there may be peace in the end, even for them that ſlight Providences, yea, for them that for the preſent oppoſe and walk contrary unto Providences, if the Lord take but off the vail that is before3 their eyes: Your affirmation, that God did never ordain that his Pro­vidences ſhould be the Rule of Life, if you mean the only Rule of Life, I agree it: and your ſaying, that God will not have us to follow his Providences, but his Precepts; and your deſire to ſee a place in all the Scriptures, that directs us to follow the Providences of God, brings me to the fecond part of my work, which is,

The aſſerting it to be your duty (as well as mine) to follow God in the way of his Providences: and here I ſhall lay down this Poſition:

That the Providential Works of God, are Inſtructions and Cautions to leſ­ſon men; they are not caſual, indeterminate, wild, childiſh, arrows ſhot at random, none knows from whom, or at what ſcope, or mark; no, all the Works of Providence, they are grounded in a wiſe, and fixed Cauſe, and they are carried on unto moſt excellent ends: It is true, the Providential Works of God, they are many times dark and myſterious, and I confeſs likewiſe as to our narrow conceptions and apprehenſions, they ſeem to admit of changes, and contradictions one to another; and I acknowledg likewiſe, that many perſons cannot ſee into the intentions and meanings of God in Providential Works, partly from the imbecil­lity of their judgments, and partly from the obduration of their hearts; but notwithſtanding all the difficulty, myſteriouſneſs, and contrariety in the works of Providence; it is yet a real truth, that Providential Works are Inſtructions and Cautions; not only perſonal Providential Works, ſuch as are terminated in this or that particular perſon, but alſo the common and publick Works of Providence which are converſant a­bout Nations, or Churches in all their Changes and turnings; all of them contain Inſtruction and Caution.

And that Inſtructions and Cautions, are not only to be taken out of the Word of God, but out of the Providential Works of God, I ſhall cleer to you, Firſt by Scriptures, and then by Arguments.

Firſt, by Scriptures; In the 2. Pſalm 10. Be wiſe now therefore, O ye Kings, be inſtructed ye Judges of the Earth; In the beginning of that Pſalm is reported unto us, the rage of the great ones of the Earth againſt the Lord, and againſt his Chriſt; there is likewiſe reported the ſucceſsleſs­neſs of all that rage, and counſel; in the 6. verſe, Yet have I ſet up my King; and then the dreadful judgments of God upon all thoſe that did ſo oppoſe Jeſus Chriſt in his Government, Thou ſhalt break them with a rod of Iron, thou ſhalt daſh them in pieces like a Potters Veſſel; now from4 all theſe works of Providence, doth Inſtruction and Caution follow in the 10, verſe; Be ye therefore now wiſe, O ye Kings, be inſtructed ye Judges of the Earth; Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoyce with trembling; Kiſs the Son leſt he be angry. In the 3. of Zephaniah 6, 7. I have cut off the Na­tions, their Towers are deſolate; I made their ſtreets waſt that none paſ­ſeth by; their Cities are deſtroyed, ſo that there is no man, that there is none inhabitant: I ſaid, ſurely thou wilt fear me, thou wilt receive Inſtruction, ſo their dwelling ſhall not be cut off: Howſoever I puniſhed them, but they roſe early and corrupted their doings. Here are ſtrange works of Providence, deſtruction upon deſtruction; and here alſo is an expectation of God himſelf, that his people ſhould have received inſtruction, ſhould have feared him, and amend their waies, even upon their conſideration of thoſe judicial acts of Providence: In the 5. of Daniel, 18, 19, 20. and ſo on: There we reade of Gods Providence in raiſing up Nebuchadnez­zar to a Kingdom, and Majeſty, and Glory, and Honor; this aſcribed to the Providence of God; and likewiſe of his being depoſed from his Kingly Throne, becauſe of his exceeding pride, and loftineſs of heart, in the 20. verſe; and theſe Providential Works did continue ſo long upon Nebuchadnezzar, until he had taken out the right Leſſon, that which God meant by theſe Providential Works of his, which is ſet down in the 21. verſe, Till he knew that the moſt high God ruled in the Kingdoms of men, and that he appointeth them to whomſoever he will: And be­ſides this, God did upbraid his ſon, that he was no more cautioned by theſe his Providential Works upon his Father; And thou his Son, O Bel­ſhazzar, haſt not humbled thy heart, though thou kneweſt all this, but haſt lifted up thy ſelf againſt the Lord of Heaven &c. and becauſe he went on in the ſame ſins of his Father, God hath numbred thy Kingdom, and finiſhed it, at the 26. verſe. In the 46. Pſalm, 10. which Pſalm Luther ſtiles, Specu­lum Providentiae, which containeth in it, Firſt, a Narration of the neer and effectual Providence of God with all his people, in all their ſtraights and diſtreſſes: In the 1. verſe, God is our refuge and ſtrength, a very pre­ſent help in trouble: Secondly, the Heroical faith of the People of God in the apprehenſions of that gracious and Providential preſence of God, in the 2. verſe, We will not fear though the Earth be removed; in the 3. verſe Though the Waters roar and ſwell: Thirdly, Advice unto the Enemies, and to the People of God, the matter of which advice is three-fold, Firſt, To a wiſe conſideration of the wonderful Works of God, in the 8. verſe, Come and behold the Works of the Lord, what deſolations he hath5 made in the Earth: Secondly, To an abſolute Ceſſation, in the 10. verſe, Be ſtill: Thirdly, To an humble and Righteous acknowledgment of God, Know that I am God; ſo that it is unqueſtionable by Scripture, that the Providential Works of God, they are grounds of cleer Inſtru­ction and Caution.

Now for Arguments, take theſe,

1. The Works of Providence, they are but the fruits of Gods actual Government of the World: As the making of the World was, ſo the government of the World is, proper unto God: That which is the ob­ject of Gods Creation, fals alſo to be an object of Gods Providence. Now this is an unqueſtionable Truth amongſt Chriſtians, that Gods Actual Government, or Adminiſtration of the World, as it is Powerful, ſo it is Wiſe, Holy, and Righteous; I think no one dare deny this, and if it be ſo, then it will demonſtratively follow, that his Works of Provi­dence are foundations for Inſtruction and Caution: It cannot be ratio­nally imagined, that all the Viſible Works of Providence in the orde­ring and uſing of all the Creatures in the World, appearing in permiſſi­ons, reſtraints, diſappointments, judgments, and executions, upon evil men; in directions, defences, ſupplies, recoveries, and ſucceſſes vouch­ſafed to the people of God, by the hand of God, by weak and mean In­ſtruments; it is not imaginable, to a ſollid rational man, that all theſe Acts and Works of God, ſhould be but ſo many Idols that cannot ſpeak, and ſo many Cyphers, that muſt mean nothing at all: If we ſhould ſee a Maſter of a Family, laying out himſelf, in ordering all that is in the Fa­mily, turning, winding, diſpoſing of this buſineſs, that ſervant, no man will imagine, that this man hath no end, no deſign in all that he doth: That the moſt holy, Righteous, Wiſe God, ſhould ſo turn the World a­bout, do this, make that, fall upon his Enemies, fall in to the help of his People, and yet no Inſtructions, no Cautions to be formed out of all this, it is moſt irrational.

2. The Providential Works of God, are many times a cleer help to expound the ſecret will of God, and many times to expound our ſelves unto our ſelves: ſometimes they ſerve to cleer out the Mind or Will of God to us; As we ſay, the Old Teſtament is unvailed in the New, ſo may we many times ſay, that the ſecret Will of God is unvailed, and re­vealed in the Doing will of God; As Paul upon that Viſion which ap­peared unto him of a man of Macedonia, ſaying, Come over and help us; he gathered aſſuredly, that God had called him to preach the Goſpel6 there; ſo may we, by many actions that have a general foundation, re­ceive a ſpecial incouragement, and hint, even by the Providential Works of God, that ſuch things may be done, and ought to be done; ſo cleer a Commentary is Providence many times upon the ſecret will of God; And ſo many times Gods Providential Works do cleer up our ſelves unto our ſelves; they many times diſcover that unto us, which the Word of God doth not; what is the reaſon why Divines wiſh, and adviſe ſome perſons in their afflictions and doubtful conditions, concerning the rea­ſon of their preſent correction and affliction, amongſt other things, to look into the very correcting hand of Providence, into the very kinds, times, and circumſtances of their afflictions? Surely I think this is the end of it, Becauſe in that glaſs of Providential Chaſtiſement, there is to be ſeen many times, the very face of our ſins, by which we have moved God thus to afflict us, and becauſe we may learn how to carry, and or­der our ſelves under our afflictions; and uſually men do by theſe. Pro­vidential Works of God, find out the particular and hidden ſins, which they would not (at leaſt) find out by the Word of God; as is cleer in Joſephs Brethren, not to ſpeak of Adonibezek; and ſo Davids own caſe by a ſtroke of Providence upon Ʋzzah, he learned that which he did not well think of before, how the Ark of God ſhould have been brought in­to the City of God.

3. It is a ſpecial part of Wiſdom to take our times and ſeaſons: the Scripture ſaith it is ſo, in the 8. of Eccleſiaſtes 5. A wiſe mans heart diſcer­neth both time and judgment; and he proceeds in the 6. verſe, Becauſe to every purpoſe there is time and judgment, therefore the miſery of man is great upon him: what means he by times and ſeaſons? certainly nothing elſe can be meant by them, but the peculiar hints, advantages, and opportu­nities of Providences: It is a part of Wiſdom to lay hold of thoſe advan­tages, and hints that Providence puts into our hands, and becauſe men are not alwaies wiſe, to lay hold of thoſe opportunities, much miſery at­tends upon them; and when the Lord puts into mens hands an oppor­tuniry by his Providence of doing good, and they let ſuch an opportu­nity ſlip, they are unanſwerable to God in the day of judgment, for neg­lecting ſuch an opportunity: Certainly there are then Inſtructions and Cautions founded upon the Providences of God.

4. The People of God have made uſe of Gods Providential Works to this purpoſe; The Prophets preached it, and the Miniſters of Chriſt dayly make uſe of the dayly Providential Works of God, to exhort, in­courage,7 ourage, dehort, and Caution men; All the Arguments drawn from ex­mple, either out of Scripture, or elſewhere, they are but ſo many Ar­guments drawn from the Providence of God; Nay, the People of Godn their moſt ſerious, and choyce occaſions, amongſt other Arguments, have generally uſed theſe two Arguments, the Covenant of God, andhe Providence of God; in the 51. of Iſaiah, 9. Awake, awake, put ontrength, O arm of the Lord awake, as in the ancient daies, in the generationsf old: art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the Dragon? Mark here how they plead with God from his Providential Works of old; Art thou not it which hath dried the Sea, the waters of the great deep,hat hath made the depths of the Sea, a way for the ranſomed to paſs over? Therefore the redeemed of the Lord ſhall return and come with ſinging into Zion. The Church raiſed up her ſelf upon and from former experience of Gods wonderful Providential Works, to an expection of ſome an­ſwerable Work of Providence.

5. Conſider how frequently God himſelf makes his inferences and Concluſions from his own Providential Acts, when he would deter his People from ſinning, beſides other Arguments, he preſents ſome Provi­dential Works, in the 7. of Jeremiah, 12. Go ye now to my place which was in Shiloh, where I ſet my Name at the firſt, and ſee that I did to it for the wickedneſs of my people Iſrael: He would take them off from ſinning, from the conſideration of a former Providential Work againſt thoſe that did ſo ſin; in the 1 of the Corinthians 10.9, 10. Paul diſſwades the Corin­thians, and ſo other perſons from divers ſins, amongſt the reſt, from murmuring, and upon what grounds? upon a Providential ground, Neither murmur ye, as ſome of them alſo murmured, and were deſtroyed of the deſtroyer. Now theſe things were our examples, to the intent we ſhould not luſt after evil things, as they alſo luſted: And ſo when God would incourage his people to depend upon him, he remembers his people of his great Providential works, in the 41. of Iſaiah, 2. and ſo on;Who raiſed up the righteous man from the Eaſt, called him to his foot, gave the Nations before him, and made him Rule over Kings? he gave them as the duſt to his Sword, and as driven ſtubble to his bow, he pur­ſued them and paſſed ſafely, even by the way that he had not gone with his feet, who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning? I the Lord, the firſt, and with the laſt, I am he:Thus the People of God, and God himſelf did uſe Arguments, even from his Providential Works, which certainly teſtifie to us, that there are In­ſtructions8 and Cautions that are grounded, even upon the ProvidentiaWorks of God.

Now for your further ſatisfaction, and conviction, I ſhall inſtance in ſome Caſes, or Occurrences, wherein providential Works may be looked upon as Inſtructions and Cautions to the Sons of men; which to reſolve exactly, as to every individual contingency, or Occurrence to every par­ticular Perſon, or Nation, I confeſs is a knot beyond my ability to untie, although I doubt not but that there is a particular ſpecial Leſſon in eve­ry individual Work of Providence, whether it be in the way of a cauſing or permitting Providence: Nevertheleſs, there are ſeven Caſes, wherein unto me it ſeems unqueſtionable, that the Providential Works of God, ſhould either Inſtruct, or Caution men, or do both.

1. When the Work of Providence ſerveth the Word of Precept, que­ſtionleſs, there Inſtruction and Caution is to be grounded upon Provi­dence. When God expreſly commands a Work to be done in his Word, whether of Juſtice or Mercy, a Work that reacheth unto ſuch perſons, whom God calls out for ſuch a Work, and Providences make way, and point out the Duty, in giving time and other occaſions to act this duty, that God now hath put upon a man; I think it is unqueſtionable to any Chriſtian, that here is Inſtruction or Caution to be looked upon now in Providence: And the neglect of a work of Precept, when Providence hath ſerved an occaſion, for the acting of it, it hath coſt men very dear; as in Ahabs caſe, when Benbadud by Providence was fallen into his hand, in the 1 of Kings 20.42. and he ſpares him, Well, (ſaith God) becauſe thou haſt let go out of thy hand, a man whom I appointed to utter deſtruction, therefore thy life ſhall go for his life, and thy people for his people; which cleerly makes out, that a Work of Providence joyning with a Word of Precept, is to inſtruct and order men: Becauſe you granted this Caſe, (and this only) to me in our Diſcourſe, I ſhall ſay no more of this, but proceed to ſome other Caſes.

2. When Divine Providence is the accompliſhment of any Divine Prediction, no queſtion but that Providence of God holds out ſome ſpecial Inſtruction, and Caution, anſwerable to the Nature and Matter of that Prediction: As the Predictions of the Babylonian and Roman Cap­tivities, and Providence bringing about theſe Predictions, and fulfilling of them, there are Leſſons expreſly to be Learned from ſuch Providenti­al Acts, which have ſuch a reſpectedneſs to Divine Prediction; as to Caution men to take heed of Idolatry, that brought the Babylonian9 Captivity, and of ſlighting and contemning Chriſt, which brought up­on them the Roman Captivity.

3. When Providential Works, are the Executions of Gods threats: As ſuppoſe the drowning of Pharoah, the cutting off Ahah in the day of battel, the renting away of the ten Tribes, and giving of them to Jerobo­am; God had expreſly threatned theſe things, and his Providence orde­red the bringing about of theſe things; Now in ſuch caſes as theſe, and in Caſes paralel to them, when God ſtill threatens the ſame ſins in ſuch like perſons, and by his Providence cuts off ſuch perſons, here is a mani­feſt finger of God to point out Inſtruction and Caution unto men. When the rent was made of the ten Tribes, the Iſraelites they would go and recover all again; God contradicts them by his Word, as well as by his Providence, in the 1 of Kings, 12.24. Ye ſhall not go up, nor fight againſt your Brethren the Children of Iſrael; return every man to his houſe, for this thing is of me, ſaith the Lord: So that this is true, that when Pro­vidential Works are the executions of the threatnings of God, they are Inſtructions and Cautions.

4. When providential Works ſtep out to the ſupport of the Goſpel, and the Servants of Chriſt, and the avenging of the enemies of the Goſpel, it is moſt apparent that ſuch Providential Works are grounds of Caution to the Enemies of the Church, and of Inſtruction to the Ser­vants of Chriſt, who reap the ſweetneſs of ſuch Providential mercies. The Scripture is ſo cleer for both of theſe in the Pſalms, in the Prophets, and In the Revelations, that a man muſt profeſs himſelf to be ſtark blind that will not acknowledg it.

5. When Providential Works wait upon a righteous Cauſe, and the purſuance of that Cauſe in waies of Righteouſneſs, and thoſe attendan­ces of Providence, are in ſome reſpect the very births of the Prayers of the people of God, who would give no reſt unto God until he did ma­nifeſt himſelf in ſuch and ſuch waies of Providence: undoubtedly, ſuch providential Works ought to be regarded, as well as the Cauſe it ſelf ought to be regarded; and the perſons who have by their prayers en­gaged God in his Providence, to own and maintain his cauſe for their ſafety, they are bound likewiſe to maintain and own thoſe very provi­dential works, that they have wreſtled from God, unleſs they mean to10 play the fool with God, and their own prayers in finding fault with God for owning them and his cauſe, and doing them good: The Lord lay not this ſin to the Charge of the people of this Land; ſo that in ſuch a caſe, when providential Works, are the ſupport of the Cauſe of Chriſt, unqueſtionably they are Inſtructions and Cautions.

6. In the alteration of Kingdoms, ſetting up, and pulling down, in ſetting a period to, or putting a change upon them: And as there is no hand in the world, that hath ſuch an operation in the alteration of Kingdoms, and change of Government, as the hand of God: ſo the pro­vidential Works of God, in ſuch great alterations, are in a ſpecial man­ner to be regarded, and have exceeding much of Inſtruction and Cauti­on in them; Daniel 4. a Viſion there falls into Nebuchadnezzars thoughts, the great tree that flouriſhed ſo high, and that ſpread it ſelf ſo broad, and was at length cut down to the ſtumps; that Viſion ſhort­ly interpreted by Providence to Nebuchadnezzar, it was for this intent, in the 17. verſe, That the Living may know that the moſt high ruleth in the Kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomſoever he Will; If the alterations which Providence maketh upon any particular perſon, or in his eſtate, bind that perſon to receive Inſtruction, and to look well to his waies what he doth; much more do thoſe great Changes that are wrought by the hand of Providence in Kingdoms and Nations.

7. In paralel Caſes of Providential Works; when you can match perſons and Nations, bring them into the like conditions, and when you can match the providential Works of God, bring them into the like appea­rance; look what Inſtructions and Cautions, God did give upon his for­mer providential Works, the like Inſtructions and Cautions are to be ta­ken out from his preſent providential Works; and what his people might warrantably do in the former condition, what courſe and way they might warrantably take under the former providential works, that very courſe and way they may take in their preſent Providential Works, as warrantably as the former.

Here you ſee ſeveral Caſes, wherein the Providential workings of God, do hold forth Inſtruction and Caution unto us: If by what hath been here ſet down, you are not yet convinced that it is your duty to fol­low Providences, take but a definition of Providence, as I find it laid down11 by Ʋrſinus, and I ſhall trouble you no further: Providence is the Eter­nal, moſt Free, Unchangable, moſt Juſt, Wiſe, and good Councel of God, whereby he worketh all good things whatſoever are found in all Creatures, and permitteth alſo evil things to be done, and directeth all things both evil and good, to his glory, and the ſafety of his choſen.

Where obſerve, he calls Providence, the Councel of God; ſo that (ſaith he) we are to underſtand by the name of Providence, not only the bare ſcience, or knowledg of things preſent, and to come, but alſo the decree, and effectual will of God: and further, Providence therefore is not the bare foreſeeing, or foreknowledg, but the foreknowledg, toge­ther with the will of God, whereby he worketh all good things whatſoever, which are found in all Creatures, and permitteth evil things to be done, and whereby he directs all things both evil and good, to his own glory, and the ſafety of his Choſen.

Now I pray, to what end doth God exerciſe all theſe glorious Attri­butes of his, in adviſing upon, and acting of all things that come to paſs in the world? Think you, it is only to work admiration in us, and not to inſtruct us, Caution us? Conſider but our times, what a conti­nuation, what a ſeries, what an harmonious conſent there hath been in Works of wonderful Providences; Providences acting ſtrongly, con­ſtantly, highly, univerſally, and ſhould all theſe work only admiration? or is there not Inſtruction and Caution to be learned out of them by us? I make not ſucceſs an infallible Character of a righteous Cauſe, yet I ſay, when the Lord declareth himſelf ſo extraordinarily from Heaven, in the Works of his Providence (as he hath done for us in this Land) it is our duty to eye thoſe Providences, and to ſearch out what Inſtructions and Cautions the Lord would have us learn from them, that ſo we may fol­low God in the waies of his Providences, and God may take delight in uſing us, as Inſtruments in his hand for the perfecting of thoſe great Works that are upon the wheel amongſt us.

I cannot but take notice of the hand of Providence in keeping me in London to hear you, (when as I had appointed ſome time before to have been ſome ſcores of miles diſtant from it on that day) that ſo I might have an opportunity thus in meekneſs to inſtruct you, who oppoſe this Truth, if God peradventure will give you repentance to the acknow­ledgment of it.

12

Having treſpaſſed ſo much upon your patience already, I ſhall only deſire you (laying ſelf by) ſeriouſly to weigh what is here ſet down; and if upon ſerious examination of what is here laid down, you are con­vinced of the truth thereof, own it, and practice it, and that in the pra­ctice thereof, you may both for the preſent, and in the end, find peace to your ſoul, ſhall be the prayer of

Sir,
Your moſt humble Servant John Hinde.
Art thou a Maſter of Iſrael, and knoweſt not theſe things? John, 3.10.
For his Honored friend, Mr. White, Miniſter at Mary-Hill, theſe
Sir,

TAking offence at a paſſage in your Sermon at Pauls on the 8. of Auguſt laſt; upon the 11. of the ſame, I writ a Letter to you concerning it, wherein I recited the paſ­ſage that was the occaſion of offence, and endeavored to convince you of your miſtake and error therein, by holding forth the contrary to be Truth, which I did by Scriptures and Arguments: I alſo inſtanced in ſeveral Caſes, hoping thereby to bring you to the ac­knowledgment of that Truth, and practice of that Duty, which is ſo cleerly held forth in Scripture; which effect had it been wrought in you, it would have become you, to have manifeſted it, by giving glory unto God, in the confeſſion of it: but if the Scriptures and Arguments there laid down, have wrought no ſuch effect, but notwithſtanding all therein written, you ſtill continue in darkneſs as to that Truth, adjudging your own Doctrine true, and my Poſition erronious, it would then have been your Duty, to have defended what you before delivered by Scriptures and Arguments (if you could have produced any) that ſhould have been cleerer, and more prevalent for the making good of your Aſſertion, than thoſe produced by me, were for the confirmation of mine; that ſo by comparing Scrip­tures and Arguments on each ſide, the Truth might be made manifeſt, and apparent, which was the end I aimed at in writing to you: It being a Chriſtians Duty, to try all things, and to hold faſt that which is good: and the nobleneſs of the Bereans above thoſe of Theſſ alonica, conſited in their ſearching the Scriptures, whether thoſe things, Paul him­ſelf delivered to them, were ſo: and it being likewiſe the duty of a Miniſter of the Goſpel, to endeavor to give ſatisfaction to thoſe, who ſtumble at any thing delivered by him, by anſwering their Objections againſt it. Having diſcharged my duty in making known un­to you, what I took offence at, and aſſerting the contrary Truth, I expected from you, the diſcharge of yours alſo; but whence the neglect ariſeth, I know not, neither will I take upon me to judg, as not delighting in cenſuring my Brother; yet conſidering that within three daies after the offence given, I required ſatisfaction, and have patiently waited three months in expectation of your Anſwer, and yet have received none: I cannot but let you know, that the Lord hath put ſuch a reſolution into my Spirit, for the vindication of this his wronged Truth, that in caſe within one months ſpace from the date hereof, I receive no Anſwer from you, I ſhall then in diſcharge of my duty to the truth (as a ſon thereof) endea­vor the wiping off thoſe foul aſperſions, you have publickly caſt upon it, in your Sermon, by printing, and publiſhing to the world, the Copy of my former Letter ſent you, and ſhall ſubmit to the judgments of all ingenuous and diſintereſted Chriſtians, whether I have held forth the Truth therein or not. Having thus expreſſed my thoughts and intentions to you, I commend you to God, and the Word of his Grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are ſanctified, and ſhall remain,

Sir,
Yours in defence of the Truth, JOHN HINDE.
For his reſpected friend Mr. White, Miniſter at Mary-hil, theſe

About this transcription

TextThe voyce of Providence asserted, and the followers of God in the waies of His Providence justified in a letter sent by John Hinde to a minister in London, who denied the former and condemned the latter.
AuthorHinde, John, 17th cent..
Extent Approx. 38 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 9 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
Edition1653
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A86366)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 150087)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Early English books, 1641-1700 ; 2229:9)

About the source text

Bibliographic informationThe voyce of Providence asserted, and the followers of God in the waies of His Providence justified in a letter sent by John Hinde to a minister in London, who denied the former and condemned the latter. Hinde, John, 17th cent.. [3], 12, [1] p. Printed for Peter Cole, at the Printing-press, by the Royal Exchange,London :1653.. (Reproduction of original in the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.)
Languageeng
Classification
  • Providence and government of God.

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  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-04 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
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  • DLPS A86366
  • STC Wing H2055A
  • STC ESTC R42444
  • EEBO-CITATION 36273580
  • OCLC ocm 36273580
  • VID 150087
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