How often do we sigh for opportunities of doing good, whist we neglect the openings of Providence in little things, which would frequently lead to the accomplishment of most important usefulness!... Good is done by degrees. However small in proportion the benefits which follow individual attempts to do good, a great deal may thus be accomplished by perseverance, even in the midst of discouragements and disappointments.
Anxiety is the rust of life, destroying its brightness and weakening its power. A childlike and abiding trust in Providence is its best preventive and remedy.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets: Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
If you would be free from sin, fly temptation: he that does not endeavor to avoid the one cannot expect Providence to protect him from the other. If the first sparks of ill were quenched, there would be no flame, for how can he kill, that dares not be angry; or be an adulterer in act, who does not transgress in thought; or be perjured, that fears an oath; or defraud, that does not allow himself to covet?
Providence is the very divine reason which arranges all things, and rests with the supreme disposer of all; while fate is that ordering which is a part of all changeable things, and by means of which Providence binds all things together in their own order. Providence embraces all things equally, however different they may be, even however infinite: when they are assigned to their own places, forms, and times, Fate sets them in an orderly motion; so that this development of the temporal order, unified in the intelligence of the mind of God, is Providence. The working of this unified development in time is called Fate. These are different, but the one hangs upon the other. For this order, which is ruled by Fate, emanates from the directness of Providence.
Grand and manifold as were its phases, there is yet no difficulty in understanding the character of Washington. He was no Veiled Prophet. He never acted a part. Simple, natural, and unaffected, his life lies before us - a fair and open manuscript. He disdained the arts which wrap power in mystery in order to magnify it. He practiced the profound diplomacy of truthful speech - the consummate tact of direct attention. Looking ever to the All-Wise Disposer of events, he relied on that Providence which helps men by giving them high hearts and hopes to help themselves with the means which their Creator has put at their service. There was no infirmity in his conduct over which charity must fling its veil; no taint of selfishness from which purity averts her gaze; no dark recess of intrigue that must be lit up with colored panegyric; no subterranean passage to be trod in trembling, lest there be stirred the ghost of a buried crime.
I believe that we are conforming to the divine order and the will of Providence when we are doing even indifferent things that belong to our condition.
Never was there a time, in the history of the world, when moral heroes were more needed. The world waits for such, the providence of God has commanded science to labor and prepare the way for such. For them she is laying her iron tracks, and stretching her wires and bridging the oceans. But where are they? Who shall breathe into our civil and political relations the breath of a higher life? Who shall touch the eyes of a paganized science, and of a pantheistic philosophy, that they may see God? Who shall consecrate to the glory of God the triumphs of science? Who shall bear the life-boat to the stranded and perishing nations.
Nature is but the echo of the soul, and images nothing therefore of the Divine creation and providence which is not primarily impressed by the soul.
The march of Providence is so slow and our desires to impatient; the work of progress is so immense and our mean of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing ways, and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope.
Never live in hope or expectation, while your arms are folded. God helps those that help themselves. Providence smiles on those who put their shoulders to the wheel that propels to wealth and happiness.
A firm persuasion of the superintendence of Providence over all our concerns is absolutely necessary to our happiness. Without it, we cannot be said to believe in the Scripture, or practice anything like resignation to his will. If I am convinced that no affliction can befall me without the permission of God, I am convinced likewise that he sees and knows that I am afflicted: believing this, I must in the same degree believe that if I pray to him for deliverance, he hears me: I must needs know, likewise, with equal assurance, that if he hears, he will also deliver me, if that will upon the whole be most conducive to my happiness: and if he does not deliver me, I may be well assured that he has none but the most benevolent intention in declining it.
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative [or creation] there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too... Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.
The belief in free-will is not in the least incompatible with the belief in Providence, provided you do not restrict the Providence to fulminating nothing but fatal decrees.
The notion of the world’s being a great machine, going on without the interposition of God… is the notion of material and fate… to exclude providence and God’s government in reality out of the world.
It is impossible that anything so natural, so necessary, and so universal as death should ever have been designed by Providence as an evil to mankind.
Divine Providence has granted this gift to man, that those things which are honest are also the most advantageous.
Faith in providence is faith altogether. It is the courage to say yes to one’s life and life in general, in spite of the driving forces of fate, in spite of the catastrophes of existence and the breakdown of meaning.
If a great change is to be made in human affairs, the minds of men will be fitted to it; the general opinions and feelings will draw that way. Every fear and hope will forward it; and they who persist in opposing this mighty current will appear rather to resist the decrees of Providence itself, than the mere designs of men. They will not be so much resolute and firm as perverse and obstinate.
Any one in the creation is sufficient to demonstrate a Providence to a humble and grateful mind.