All Things Directed by God’s Counsel

David Burchard Doctrine, Quotable Quotes Leave a Comment

Joseph does not barely say that God will declare beforehand what may happen from some other quarter, but what he himself is about to do. We hence infer, that God does not indolently contemplate the fortuitous issue of things, as most philosophers vainly talk; but that he determines, at his own will, what shall happen. Wherefore, in predicting events, he does not give a response from the tables of fate, as the poets feign concerning their Apollo, whom they regard as a prophet of events which are not in his own power, but declares that whatever shall happen will be his own work. So Isaiah, that he may ascribe to God alone the glory due to him, attributes to him, both the revealing of things future, and the government of ail his events, by his own authority. (Isaiah 45:7.) For he cries aloud that God is neither deceived, nor deceives, like the idols; and he declares that God alone is the author of good and evil; understanding by evil, adversity. Wherefore, unless we would cast God down from his throne, we must leave to him his power of action, as well as his foreknowledge. And this passage is the more worthy of observation; because, in all ages, many foolish persons have endeavored to rob God of half his glory, and now (as I have said) the same figment pleases many philosophers; because they think it absurd to ascribe to God whatever is done in the world: as if truly the Scripture had in vain declared, that his “judgments are a great deep.” (Psalm 36:7.) But while they would subject the works of God to the judgment of their own brain, having rejected his word, they prefer giving credit to Plato respecting celestial mysteries. “That God,” they say, “has foreknowledge of all things, does not involve the necessity of their occurrence:” as if, indeed, we asserted, that bare prescience was the cause of things, instead of maintaining the connection established by Moses, that God foreknows things that are future, because he had determined to do them; but they ignorantly and perversely separate the providence of God from his eternal counsel, and his continual operation. Above all things, it is right to be fully persuaded that, whenever the earth is barren, whether frost, or drought, or hail, or any other thing, may be the cause of it, the whole result is directed by the counsel of God.

–John Calvin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *