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.
On Eagles’ Wings January 20, 2023
In Exodus 19:4 God says that he bore his people on eagles’ wings. What does that mean? It’s a picture he returns to in Deuteronomy 32:11, where he says he dealt with Israel Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that flutters over its young, spreading out its wings, catching them, bearing them on […]
A Pastoral Mistake January 19, 2023
I often make the same pastoral mistake. It is not deliberate, it is often well-intentioned, sometimes it is even hopeful. It is this: to presume upon the biblical knowledge of the people to whom I speak. I do not at all mean by this to deliver a backhanded insult, appearing to confess a shortcoming of […]