The History of Providence – A Review by Ben Ramsbottom
For years we had heard of Carson on Divine Providence (first published 1840) as a Christian classic but had never come across a copy. We always imagined it to be something like The Mystery of Divine Providence by the Puritan John Flavel. The two books could not be more different.
We found Alexander Carson’s work most interesting and spiritually profitable. The approach he takes is to consider events in Scripture, Old Testament and New (139 in all) and show how in each case a divine Providence reigned. In many cases the most evil things were overruled to work for good. In so many cases, so much depended on so little – but time, place, circumstance all ordered by an all-wise God. We have only to think of Abraham’s servant seeking a wife for Isaac or the whole of the Book of Esther – but there is so much more.
We were so impressed in reading the opening chapter that we included it in the March Gospel Standard.
The book is warmly recommended – and we would say because of its manner of approach, commenting on individual narratives, it is easier to read and more interesting for the general reader than a solely doctrinal treatise.
Interestingly, Alexander Carson (c. 1776-1849) in his former life attempted to refute believers’ baptism, but in doing so he became convinced that believers’ baptism is the baptism of the New Testament. From being a Presbyterian minister in Ireland (where he spent his life) he became a Baptist minister and wrote his best-known book Baptism, Its Mode and Subjects. He also collaborated closely with Robert Haldane in the latter’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.
As Manifested in Scripture
For years we had heard of Carson on Divine Providence (first published 1840) as a Christian classic but had never come across a copy. We always imagined it to be something like The Mystery of Divine Providence by the Puritan John Flavel. The two books could not be more different. We found Alexander Carson’s work most interesting […]
Taken with permission from the March 2013 Gospel Standard.
Reflections on Job 31 July 2020
The Beginning Job’s three friends could not have been more wrong. They looked at this profoundly afflicted man and concluded that by his sin he had brought all this suffering upon himself. What other explanation could there be? But there was another explanation, one that lay at the opposite pole to the one these men […]
Hope in the Face of Hostility 24 July 2020
In 1661, Elizabeth Heywood, a godly wife and mother from Lancashire, lay dying, aged just twenty-seven.1 Her last prayers were for the Church of God, for the Jews to be converted, and for the gospel to reach to all nations.2 Her vision extended far beyond her own situation, her own family and church and nation. […]