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Submission To Divine Providence In The Death Of Children by Philip Doddridge

I. THERE is surely Reason, in such a Case, to say it is well,--because GOD doth it.

THIS pass'd for an unanswerable Reason with David, I was dumb, I opened not my Mouth, because thou didst it[y], and with good old Eli, under a severer Tryal than ours, It is the Lord, let him do as seemeth good in his Sight[z]. And shall We object against the Force of it? Was it a Reason to David, and to Eli, and is it not equally so to us? Or have We any new Right to reply against GOD[a], which those eminent Saints had not?

His kingdom ruleth over all[b]; and there is not so much as a Sparrow that falls to the Ground without our Father, but the very Hairs of our Head are all number'd[c] by him. Can we then imagine that our dear Children fall into their Graves without his Notice or Interposition? Did that watchful Eye that keepeth Israel, now, for the first time, slumber and sleep[d], and an Enemy lay hold on that fatal Moment to bear away these precious Spoils, and bury our Joys and our Hopes in the Dust? Did some malignant Hand stop up the Avenues of Life, and break its Springs, so as to baffle all the Tenderness of the Parent, and all the Skill of the Physician? Whence does such a Thought come, and whither would it lead? Diseases and Accidents are but second Causes, which owe all their Operations to the continued Energy of the great original Cause. Therefore GOD says, I will bereave them of Children[e]; I take away the Desire of thine Eyes with a Stroke[f]. He changeth their Countenance, and sendeth them away[g]. Thou Lord turnest Man to Destruction, and sayest, Return ye Children of Men[h]. And what shall we say? Are not the Administrations of his Providence wise and good? Can we teach him Knowledge[i]? Can we tax him with Injustice? Shall the Most High GOD learn of us how to govern the World, and be instructed by our Wisdom when to remove his Creatures from one State of Being to another? Or do we imagine that his Administration, in the general Right and Good, varies when he comes to touch our Bone and our Flesh[k]? Is that the secret Language of our Soul, |That it is well, others should drink of the Cup, but not We; that any Families but ours should be broken, and any Hearts but ours should be wounded?| Who might not claim the like Exemption? and what would become of the Divine Government in general; or where would be his obedient Homage from his Creatures, if each should begin to complain, as soon as it comes to his own Turn to suffer? Much fitter is it for us to conclude, that our own Afflictions may be as reasonable as those of others; that amidst all the Clouds and Darkness of this present Dispensation, Righteousness and Judgment are the Habitation of his Throne[l]; and, in a word, that it is well, because GOD hath done it. It suits the general Scheme of the Divine Providence, and to an obedient submissive Creature that might be enough; but it is far from being all. For,

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