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Reviews | The Ways of Providence

The Ways of Providence

Robert Roberts

Hardback or e-book (ePub)

256 pages

The Ways of Providence

The Testimony review (from January 1971)

The Ways of Providence

“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1)

THIS BOOK by Robert Roberts has been in circulation now for many years and is as valuable as ever and a good example of sound doctrine. The clearly written exposition, as the title says, authentically illustrated by Bible history, should be read and pondered by all, particularly those who engage in the work of exhortation in its various forms. If this were done a good deal of muddled thinking and unjustified criticism of men who were beloved of God would be avoided. For those who may not have the book to hand, it is worth quoting some short extracts: “There is such a thing as chance, as distinct from what God does … The whirl of a cloud of dust before the windy gust coming round the corner of the house illustrates the point … It is controlled when His purpose requires it. His purpose does not require Him to decide which shells every or any child on the sea-shore shall pick up and which to throw away, unless the incident be a link in a purpose being worked out, and then the hand of the child will be guided. This illustration touches a great fact which is important to see clearly … It constitutes the platform of providence. There could be no such conception of providence if everything were due to Divine volition. This conception requires that some things are God’s doing and some are not.” Later, speaking of the life of Jacob, he writes: “The incidents of Jacob’s life, like the rest of the Scriptures, were written for our instruction … We shall not err if like him, while trusting to God’s guidance and co-operation, we humbly and prayerfully resort to the best arrangements our wisdom can suggest, always taking care that none of our arrangements are forbidden; for if we are disobedient in the means we employ, we cannot expect the Divine approbation and blessing.” In his concluding chapter he writes, “All things are of God in their fundamental constitution; but the interaction of their established affinities in their detail, is not due to His volition, but results from the nature He has bestowed on them. He knows them all and can control them all; but He does not influence them where His purpose does not call for it … Our part is to fear God, keep the commandments, and go forward with courage and trust, believing the assurance that all things work together for good for those who love God.”

H. J. SALTER

(Originally published in the January 1971 edition of The Testimony Magazine (page 13), and is reproduced by kind permission.)

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