The Providence of God Extends Over All Things

Taken from, “The Triumph of the Cross”
Written by, GIROLAMO SAVONAROLA (1452–1498) 


There is no room for doubt that the Providence of God extends over all things…

…not merely over natural things, but over even the smallest human action.

The word Providence signifies a knowledge of the order of things, within the intention of reducing them, by fitting means, to their end. Therefore, as God is Supreme Wisdom, to Him it belongs to order and dispose of all things, as the First Cause, who acts on all things by His understanding, determined by His free will. And, as He is Supreme Wisdom, whose attribute it is to order all things aright, we must acknowledge that in Him is perfect Providence over all things.

Philosophers have never hesitated to recognize Divine Providence in the marvelous operations of Nature. The disordered and confused state of human affairs has, however, presented a difficulty to them, and has led some among them to deny the Providence of God over human things.

But, if we reflect, we shall see that it is foolish to deny the Providence of God in the conduct of human affairs, as well as in the order of nature. For the more noble things are, the more perfectly are they ordered; therefore, as man is the noblest of all beings, his operations must be ordered.

Again, as the wisest men take more thought and care for the things which are nearer to their end, than for those which are more remote from it, so, as man is nearer to God (the end of all things) than are natural things, it would be impossible to believe that, while Providence governs nature, it does not extend to human affairs.

Further, Divine Providence proceeds from the love of God…

…and the more God loves a creature, the greater is His Providence over it. Since, then, by giving to man a more perfect nature and a higher order of operation than He has given to natural things, God has shown that His love for man is greater than His love for natural things, we cannot doubt that his Providence likewise is exercised in human affairs.

Another proof of what we say lies in the fact that it is natural (as we see in the case of animals with their young) for all causes to exercise a certain providence over their effects. But as all secondary causes act only in imitation of God, the First Cause, it is evident that He must exercise Providence over all things, and especially over man, who is His noblest effect, and whom He loves more than other natural things.

We must further remember that, if God does not extend His Providence to man, it must be, either because He cannot do so, or knows not how to do so, or else will not do so. Since He is Infinite Power and Infinite Wisdom, it is vain to say that He cannot care for man, or knows not how to do so. To say that He will not do so, is to derogate from His Infinite Goodness; for none that is good spurns his own work, and no cause despises its own effect. Neither would it be a righteous work to care for imperfect things, and not for perfect ones. When even every good and wise man cares diligently for human affairs, how shall we say that the God of Infinite Goodness takes no heed of them?