Fire In London

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Blueridge Believer

Puritan Board Professor
God's tools and instruments

(Thomas Brooks, "London's Lamentations" 1670)

"I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity
and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things."
Isaiah 45:7

Let us see the hand of the Lord in this recent dreadful fire
which has turned our once renowned London into a ruinous
heap! London's sins were now so great, and God's wrath
was now so hot--that there was no quenching of the furious
flames. The decree for the burning of London was now gone
forth, and nothing could reverse it. The time of London's fall
was now come. The fire had now received its commission
from God--to burn down the city and to turn it into a
ruinous heap!

Certainly God is the great agent in all those dreadful
judgments which befall people, cities, and kingdoms.
Whoever or whatever be the rod--it is God's hand
which gives the stroke! The power of bringing
judgments upon cities, God takes to Himself, "When
disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused
it?" Amos 3:6. Whatever that judgment is, which falls
upon a city--God is the author of it; He acts in it and
orders it according to His own good pleasure. There
is no judgment which accidentally falls upon any
person, city, or country. Every judgment is inflicted
by a divine power and providence. God had given a
commission to the fire--to burn with that force and
violence as it did--until London was laid in ashes!
Whoever kindled this fire--God blew the coal!
And therefore no arts, counsels, or endeavors of
men were able to quench it.

All judgments are at the beck of God, and under the
command of God. Whatever judgment God commands
to destroy a person, a city, or country--that judgment
shall certainly and effectually accomplish the command
of God--in spite of all that creatures can do. If God
commissions the sword of war to walk abroad, and to
glut itself with blood--who can command it into the
scabbard again? No art, power, or policy can cause
that sword to lie still!

God, as He is our Creator, Preserver, and sovereign
Lord--has an absolute power both over our persons,
lives, estates, and habitations: and when we have
transgressed His righteous laws, He may do with
us, and all we have--as He pleases. He may turn
us out of house and home, and burn up all our
comforts round about us--and yet do us no wrong.
"Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases
Him." Psalm 115:3. "The Lord does whatever
pleases Him--in the heavens and on the earth,
in the seas and all their depths." Psalm 135:6

Those things which seem accidental and chance to
us--are ordered by the wise counsel, power, and
providence of God. Instruments can no more stir
until God gives them a commission--than the axe
or the knife can cut by itself, without a hand. God
makes use of whatever second causes He pleases,
for the execution of His pleasure. And many times
He makes the worst of men the rod of His indignation
to chastise His people with! All inferior or subordinate
causes--are but God's tools and instruments,
which He rules and guides according to His own will,
power, and providence.

Job eyed God in the fire which fell from heaven, and
in all the fiery trials which befell him. And therefore,
he does not say, "The Lord gave--and the devil took
away!" Nor, "The Lord gave--and the Chaldeans and
Sabeans took away!" But "The Lord gave--and the
Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord
be praised!" Job 1:20-21

Certainly without the cognizance and concurrence of
a wise, omniscient, and omnipotent God--no creatures
can move. Without His foresight and permission--no
event can befall any person, city or country. Whatever
the means or instruments of our misery are--the hand
is God's! It behooves us, in every judgment, to see the
hand of the Lord, and to look through visible means to
an invisible God! "The Lord has afflicted me; the
Almighty has brought misfortune upon me!" Ruth 1:21

"The Lord brings death and makes alive; He brings
down to the grave and raises up. The Lord sends
poverty and wealth; He humbles and He exalts!"
1 Samuel 2:6-7
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