Taken from Bible Doctrines Simply Explained by B. A. Ramsbottom
Chapter 12 — Providence
…And how much depends on how little! Do you know William Gadsby’s verse?
There’s not a particle of dust can fly,
A sparrow fall, a cloud obscure the sky,
A moth be crushed, a leaf fall from a tree,
But in submission to His wise decree.
Years ago a minister, persecuted because of his religion and hunted by cut-throats, hid in a loft from his enemies. There was nothing to eat and he dare not come out. But each day a hen came where he was hiding and laid an egg for him!
We have mentioned John Newton. He was a man who was never late. But one day, when harbour master at Liverpool, he was late. The boat he was to inspect had gone. But a few minutes later there was an explosion, and it sank!
Augustine (the famous ‘St Augustine’) always went home the same way. But one day, for some reason, he decided to go another. There were hidden murderers along his usual route waiting to kill him!
A Puritan minister, Mr Dod, one night could not sleep. He felt he must go and visit a man in his congregation. His wife told him to go to sleep; at least wait until the morning. ‘No,’ he said at last, I must go now.’ And he arrived at the house just as the man was about to kill himself!
At the time of the Reformation Bernard Gilpin was to be put to death for his religion. He was a minister who was always saying, ‘All things work together for good to them that love God.’ How his enemies laughed when he broke his leg on his way to be killed! They asked, ‘How can this work for good?’ But it did. Before his leg was healed sufficiently for him to walk to the place of execution, Queen Mary was dead, Queen Elizabeth was reigning, and he was set free.
Perhaps some of you know that over the Royal Exchange in London there is a large grasshopper as the emblem. As a small baby, the founder, Sir Thomas Gresham, was thrown out into a field to die. A little boy passing by heard a grasshopper chirping, and searching for it, found the baby, which his mother nursed and brought up.
During the terrible slaughter of godly people in Paris (the Massacre of St Bartholomew) a minister named Du Moulin crept into an oven to hide. Immediately a spider spun its web over the oven door. ‘No use looking in there,’ said his cruel enemies.
And hundreds of such stories might be told about the mystery of God’s providence, ordering, controlling everything….
Thanks for sharing this! It goes right along with a book I’m reading by John Flavel – “Mystery of Providence” – first published in 1678. From back cover: “It should be a delight and pleasure to us to discern how God works all things in the world for His own glory and His people’s good. But it should be an even greater pleasure to observe the particular designs of providence in our own lives…This book is richly illustrated from the lives of believers and from the author’s wide reading in church history.” (Current edition is available from BannerOfTruth.org.)