I. What a theme for humble, devout and joyous meditation have we in this doctrine of providence! The pious Flavel says, "It will doubtless be a part of our entertainment in heaven to view with transporting delight, how the designs and methods were laid to bring us there—and what will be a part of our blessedness in heaven may be well allowed to have a prime ingrediency into our heaven upon earth. To search for pleasure among the due observations of Providence is to search for water in the ocean." In a like strain the amiable John Howe says, "When the records of eternity shall be exposed to view, all the counsels and results of the profound wisdom looked into—how will it transport, when it shall be discovered! Lo, thus were the designs laid; here were the apt junctures and admirable dependencies of things, which, when acted upon the stage of time, seemed so perplexed and intricate."
Let God's "loving-kindness" be continually before your eyes. Think on his judgments. "He who will observe the wonderful providences of God—shall have wonderful providences of God to observe." "Whoever is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord." Charnock says, "It is a part of atheism to think the acts of God in the world are not worth our serious thoughts. God is highly angry with those that mind him not. 'Because they regard not the operation of his hands, he shall destroy them, and not build them up.'" Psalm 28:5. It is a divine art, to view the hand of God in everything. It is an ennobling employment to meditate on all the wonders he has wrought. "The works of the Lord are great, sought out by all those who have pleasure therein." Psalm 111:2. That was a good resolution of Asaph, "I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember your wonders of old—I will meditate also of all your work, and talk of your doings." Psalm 77:11, 12.
V. The right observance of providence is a great duty. The particulars of this duty are well stated by Thomas Boston—
1. We should watch for them until they come. Heb. 2:1-3; Psalm 130:1, 5, 6; Lam. 3:49, 50.
2. We should take heed to them, and mark them when they come. Isaiah 25:9; Ezek. 1:15; Zech. 6:Luke 19:44.
3. We should seriously review them, ponder and closely consider them. Psalm 111:2; Ezek. 10:13; Psalm 73:16; Job 10:2; Psalm 77:6.
4. We should lay them up, and keep them in record. Luke 1:66; 1 Sam. 17:37; Psalm 37:25.
5. We should observe them for practical purposes, that they may have a sanctifying power over our hearts and lives. Psalm 64:7, 9; Deut. 29:2, 3, 4; 2 Kings 6:33; Ecc. 7:14.