Written by Obadiah Sedgwick, London, 1658.
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
–Matthew 10:29-31 (ESV)
Nothing can befall you without a providence…
Your Father is not idle, he is not asleep, he doesn’t forget you nor your condition. He does regard you, watch over you, and will order in a wise and gracious sweetness, every occurrence for his glory and your good. Not the least thing shall befall you but he will direct and order it.
What do you think of those silly birds which fly up and down which none takes notice of with any singular eye? One man hunts, and another man for his pleasure kills, yet not one of them falls to the ground but your Father orders it so and permits it to be so as it doesn’t come by an idle chance but by his working providence.
Do you think that any evil, that any thing, shall befall you and your Father not take notice of it and the ordering and governing of it? No, if God has an eye for the birds, be confident that he has a singular care for you. Not only the great moments of your life and death are ordered by him but even the hairs of your head are numbered and he knows them all and he looks to them all. If to them, much more to your person, safety, and preservation. God did not make the world and so leave it to it’s own inclinations, ways, and ends. He follows the work of creation with the working influence of continual providence. He still looks upon it and is dealing in it and therefore says Paul in Acts 17:28, “In him we live, and move, and have our being”.
There is no created thing whatsoever over which God does not extend a providence, Psalm 113:6. He beholds the things both in heaven and in earth. 2 Chronicles 16:9, the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth. The most excellent creatures are sustained by it and the most contemptible are not neglected. Not only the angels in heaven, but the poor men who are cast upon the dunghill. Not only the glorious stars, but the lowest piles of grass and the lilies. Not only that immortal soul of man, but the very hairs of his head are under a providence.
Providence is co-extensive with creation and therefore it is as large as heaven and earth. Providence is co-extensive with divine knowledge but known unto God are all his works, Acts 15:3. Every thing is kept in an order and harmony. Although to us there may be some confusions, yet to God there is no disorder but all things wheel about and meet in those ends which he has intended and unto which he directs them. There is not any one creature, not any one action of the creature, not any one change about the creature, not any one occurrence, not any one issue and event of any one action, but is under the powerful eye of divine providence.
Excerpts modified and adapted from, “The Doctrine of Providence” appended to “The Shepherd of Israel”
Written by Obadiah Sedgwick, London: 1658.