Jesus Lives! - The Lord God
Jesus Christ: Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer of Heaven and Earth
1. The wisest of men, Adam, and his wife suffered themselves to be led astray by a serpent, and God did not avert this by His Divine Providence.
2. Their first son Cain killed his brother Abel, and God did not withhold him at the time by speaking to him, but only after the deed cursed him.
3. The Israelitish nation worshipped a golden calf in the desert, and acknowledged it as the god which led them out of the land of Egypt. Yet Jehovah saw this from Mount Sinai nearby and did not seek to prevent it.
4. David numbered the people, and in consequence a pestilence was sent upon them, by which so many thousands of men perished; and God, not before but after the deed, sent the prophet Gad to him and announced punishment.
5. Solomon was permitted to establish idolatrous worship.
6. Many kings after him were permitted to profane the temple and the holy things of the Church.
7. And lastly, that nation was permitted to crucify the Lord.
In these and many other passages in the Word he who acknowledges nature and human prudence sees nothing but what is contrary to the Divine Providence. Therefore, he can use these as arguments to deny it, if not in his exterior thought which is nearest to speech, still in his interior thought which is remote from it.
1. When he sees in the world so many wicked people, and so many of their impieties in which some of them even glory, and yet no punishment of such by God. He confirms himself still more against the Divine Providence when he sees that wicked designs, cunning devices and deceit are successful even against the pious, the righteous and the sincere; and that injustice triumphs over justice in the courts and in business.
2. Especially does he confirm himself when he sees the impious advanced to honours and become great in the state and leaders in the Church, and that they abound in riches and live in luxury and magnificence; while, on the other hand, he sees the worshippers of God living in contempt and poverty.
3. He also confirms himself against the Divine Providence when he reflects that wars are permitted, and in them the slaughter of so many men and the plundering of so many cities, nations and families.
4. Moreover, that victories are on the side of prudence and sometimes not on the side of justice, and that it makes no difference whether the general is an upright man or not. He sees besides other things like these; and yet they are all permissions according to the laws of the Divine Providence.
1. That there are some who are totally ignorant of God; that some worship the sun and moon; also that some worship idols and even monstrous graven images; and also that some worship the dead.
2. He sees especially that the Mohammedan religion is accepted by so many empires and kingdoms.
3. He sees that the Christian religion is accepted only in the very small part of the habitable globe called Europe, and is in a state of division there.
4. That some there claim for themselves Divine power, and desire to be worshipped as gods, and that they invoke the dead.
5. That there are some who place salvation in certain phrases which they must think and say, and not at all in good works which they must do; and that few live their religion.
6. Moreover, he sees the heresies, of which there have been many, some of which exist at this day, as those of the Quakers, the Moravians, the Anabaptists, and others.
7. Also that Judaism still continues. From these things he who denies the Divine Providence concludes that religion in itself is nothing, but still that it is necessary because it serves as a restraining influence.
1. The whole Christian world has acknowledged three Gods, not knowing that God is one in Person and in Essence, and that He is the Lord.
2. Hitherto it has not been known that in every particular of the Word there is a spiritual sense from which it derives its holiness.
3. Further, it has not been known that to shun evils as sins is the Christian religion itself.
4. Also it has not been known that a man lives a man after death. For men can say to themselves and to one another, Why does the Divine Providence, if there is any, now reveal such things for the first time'