Is God really in control of everything, everywhere, and everyone? How does that work with man’s will?
The Sovereign Efficacy of Divine Providence by Urian Oakes (1631–1681)
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Urian Oakes (1631–1681) was a New England divine, and president of Harvard College. Edmund Calamy states that Oakes was noted for the uncommon sweetness of his temper as a minister of the Gospel, greatly beloved by his congregation and popular with all who came in contact with him.
The design of this work is to vindicate the glory of the blessed God in his all-ruling, wonder-working providence as sovereignly disposing the issues and events of all human counsels, and affairs. Christ, who is the Highest King and Lord of all, rules and reigns in his declarative glory “all things.” Nothing is left to itself, but God has a purpose in it. While we are too intent in gazing on the living creatures, and the dreadful wheels of Ezekiel, we soon lose the sight of him who sits above on the throne, overruling, and working all things according to the counsel of his own will. Oakes will point out this Sovereign in all his amiable glory.
Beginning with a careful consideration of Ecclesiastes 9:11, Oakes explains how the successes and events of undertakings and affairs are not determined infallibly by the greatest sufficiency in men, or even in second causes; but by the counsel and providence of God ordering and governing time and chance according to his own good pleasure. God’s counsel and sovereign will appoints what they shall be, and his providence (which is not determined by any second cause, but is the determiner of them all) executes all things accordingly. And it must necessarily be so, if you consider that God is the absolute first cause, and supreme Lord of all.
This work is not a scan or facsimile, has been carefully transcribed by hand being made easy to read in modern English, and has an active table of contents for electronic versions.
Table of Contents
A Brief Note on God’s Sovereignty
Meet Urian Oakes
To the Reader
Part 1: The Text
Part 2: The Doctrine
Part 3: Time and Chance
Part 4: God’s Determination
Part 5: Of Instruction – Use 1
Part 6: Of Instruction – Use 2
Part 7: Of Instruction – Use 3
Part 8: Of Exhortation – Use 4
Part 9: Conclusion