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.
True Radicalism August 16, 2019
The word ‘radical’ means, literally, ‘of the roots’. Radical changes are changes that go to the root of things, and radical solutions are not merely ‘cosmetic’ but are concerned with the foundations. Recently, and on certain questions, ‘radical’ has come to have a generally favourable flavour. A radical is taken to be uncluttered in his […]
James Haldane: The Making of a Christian August 13, 2019
Under God the Haldane brothers began a remarkable spiritual movement in Scotland at the close of the eighteenth century. With Robert’s wealth and drive and James’s preaching abilities, and with a talented band of enthusiastic colleagues, they made evangelistic tours, founded tabernacles and independent churches on Congregational lines and established a seminary that sent out […]