Monday, May 10, 2010

Seeing the Hand of God

A selection from a letter by David Kinghorn to his friend, Henry Dawson, who had recently moved to another village and therefore another church. He wrote words of encouragement regarding providence and prayer. In the years following, Mr. Kinghorn wrote his son, Joseph, when a student at the Baptist college in Bristol and then the pastor of St. Mary's Baptist Church, Norwich, many valuable and instructive letters. This letter to the former member of his church was written December 3, 1781.

…As the Lord's way is in the deep waters, and his footsteps are not known until his purposes break forth in his providence, and manifest his design to us, by their accomplishment, it is no wonder, that we should often think, that he writeth bitter things against us, even when he is bringing about the greatest good; and is no proof, that because judgment is not speedily executed against an evil work, that it will not be executed at all; so neither is it a proof, that because prayer is not immediately answered, therefore it is not accepted. The time when, the place where, and the means by which, God accomplishes his purposes, fulfills his promises, and grants our requests, are often quite out of our sight. This indeed makes the hand of God more manifest, for if we had our desires fulfilled in our own way, and agreeable to our own mind, in many respects, we should be at a loss to see the hand of God. To prevent which, and that we may not lose the comfort, nor himself the glory of his own works, he crosses his hands in his providence, and withholds from us, in our way, what he gives in his own.

The Life and Works of Joseph Kinghorn, vol. 3, compiled and edited by Terry Wolever, Particular Baptist Press, 2010, pp. 294-95.

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