Providence

If you leap into a Well, Providence is not bound to fetch you out.

It is impossible for the mind which is not totally destitute of piety to behold the piety to behold the sublime, the awful, the amazing works of creation and providence - the heavens with their luminaries, the mountains, the ocean, the storm, the earthquake, the volcano, the circuit of the seasons, and the revolutions of empires - without marking them all the mighty hand of god, and feeling strong emotions of reverence toward the Author of these stupendous works.

Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant. They bring the judgment of heaven on a Country. As nations can not be rewarded or punished in the next world they must be in this. By an inevitable chain of causes & effects providence punishes national sins, by national calamities.

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.

The mind of man will never be able to contemplate the being, perfections, and providence of God without meeting with inexplicable difficulties. We may find sufficient reason for acquiescing in the darkness which involves these great subjects, but we must never expect to see them set in a perfectly clear light. But notwithstanding this, we may know enough of the divine being, and of his moral government, to make us much better and happier beings than we could be without such knowledge; and even the consideration of the insuperable difficulties referred to above is not without its use, as it tends to impress the mind with sentiments of reverence, humility, and submission.

Believe me, the providence of God has established such an order in the world, that of all which belongs to us the least valuable parts can alone fall under the will of others. Whatever is best is safest, lies most out of the reach of human power, can neither be given nor taken away. Such is the great and beautiful work of nature,—the world; such is the mind of man, which contemplates and admires the world, where it makes the noblest part. These are inseparably ours; and as long as we remain in one we shall enjoy the other. Let us march, therefore, intrepidly, wherever we are led by the course of human accidents. Wherever they lead us, on what coast soever we are thrown by them, we shall not find ourselves absolutely strangers.

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.

I don't believe in providence and fate, as a technologist I am used to reckoning with the formulae of probability.

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.

Let us hope, that a kind Providence will put a speedy end to the acts of God under which we have been laboring.

Man has come into existence, a living being but not a member of the noblest order; he occupies by choice an intermediate rank; still, in that place in which he exists, Providence does not allow him to be reduced to nothing; on the contrary he is ever being led upwards by all those varied devices which the Divine employs in its labour to increase the dominance of moral value. The human race, therefore, is not deprived by Providence of its rational being; it retains its share, though necessarily limited, in wisdom, intelligence, executive power and right doing, the right doing, at least, of individuals to each other- and even in wronging others people think they are doing right and only paying what is due. Man is, therefore, a noble creation, as perfect as the scheme allows; a part, no doubt, in the fabric of the All, he yet holds a lot higher than that of all the other living things of earth.

It would be simplistic to say that Divine Providence caused the fall of Communism. In a certain sense Communism as a system fell by itself. It fell as a consequence of its own mistakes and abuses. It proved to be a medicine more dangerous than the disease itself. It did not bring about true social reform, yet it did become a powerful threat and challenge to the entire world. But it fell by itself, because of its own inherent weakness.

Is Humanism a religion, perhaps, the next great religion? Yes, it must be so characterized, for the word, religion, has become a symbol for answers to that basic interrogation of human life, the human situation, and the nature of things---which every human being, in some degree and in some fashion, makes. What can I expect from life? What kind of universe is it? Is there, as some say, a friendly Providence in control of it? And, if not, what then? The universe of discourse of religion consists of such questions, and the answers relevant to them. Christian theism and Vedantic mysticism are but historic frameworks in relation to which answers have in the past been given to these poignant and persistent queries. But there is nothing sacrosanct and self-certifying about these frameworks. What Humanism represents is the awareness of another framework, more consonant with wider and deeper knowledge about man and his world. The Humanist movement is engaged in formulating answers, with what wisdom it can achieve, to these basic questions. It would be absurd to expect complete novelty in either framework or answers. Many people throughout the ages have had a shrewd suspicion that established beliefs were insecurely based. Humanism at its best represents a growth and a maturing of its perspective...I fear that the orthodox idea of religion is something static and given---once for all. The Humanist thinks of his answers as responsible ones, that is, responsible to the best thought and knowledge on the subjects involved. He [they are] is always ready for honest debate... I want to contrast the perspective of Humanism with that of traditional rationalism...There is no Humanist who does not appreciate with respect and admiration the moving story of the Gospels. Seen as one of the culminations of Judaism in the setting of the Roman Empire, it speaks to us of nobility of soul, human love, pity, and comradeship; and this among everyday people fired by moral and religious leadership of high quality. The heroic and the earthly touch meet, and mingle; and so it has been ever since... What have the intervening centuries made possible? The gradual disentangling of ethical principle and example from both the early framework of belief and the later ecclesiastical development of power and dogma which supervened. But the notes of love and self-sacrifice remain as perennial chords. This also, is greatly human. The older rationalism was on the defensive. And so it expressed itself too often in negative terms: not this; not that; not God; not revelation; not personal immortality. What Humanism signified was a shift from negation to construction. There came a time when naturalism no longer felt on the defensive. Rather, supernaturalism began, it its eyes, to grow dim and fade out despite all the blustering and rationalizations of its advocates.

Divine Providence has granted this gift to man, that those things which are honest are also the most advantageous.

For it would have been better that man should have been born dumb, nay, void of all reason, rather than that he should employ the gifts of Providence to the destruction of his neighbor.

A person who lacks faith is not truly alive, because as soon as something bad happens he gives up all hope. He has no way to comfort himself because, having no faith, he has placed himself outside God's providence and therefore, for him, there is no good at all.

And in the future the Holy One, blessed be He, will renew the entire world through the land of Israel , for then it will be revealed that God created everything. The essential holiness of the land of Israel lies in the fact that His providence is there all the time: "Constantly the eyes of HaShem your God are upon it from the beginning of the year until the end of the year" (Deuteronomy 11:12 ) . And in time to come, when He renews the entire world through the land of Israel , the entire world will be governed through providence alone, just like the land of Israel . Nature will then be totally nullified and the world will be governed through providence and wonders alone, not according to nature.

When the world is renewed in the future, it will be governed through wonders and providence alone in a way that transcends nature. For the future renewal of the world will come about through the land of Israel, which in its very essence depends on "the power of His works" (Psalms 111:6; see Rashi on Genesis 1:1) - namely, knowing that God created the world.

Now history under God's providence has reached the era of perpetual emergency, when man's age~old sin combined with his new technology threatens the survival of the human race. Even the most violent of men must recognize that there can be no satisfaction in destroying an enemy by thermonuclear weapons while he is destroying us. But the world is caught in the mood of bitter, tragic necessity. The Sermon on the Mount offers no program to present to Congress or the United Nations. But something of its vision and daring, combined with wise statecraft, offer the only hope for mankind.

Englishmen are not usually softened by appeals to the memory of their mothers.