Seven-Part Harmony

I am not endorsing or promoting Thomas Boston as a true Christian when I quote from him.  (The following are excerpts from his Commentary on the Westminster Shorter Catechism). 

“Eccl. viii. 14, ‘There is a vanity which is done upon the earth, that there be just men unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked : again, there be wicked men to whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous.’  O Sirs, this has been very puzzling to those that have met with it. But behold the harmony with scripture examples; as in Job’s case. Eli loses his two sons at one blow, his daughter-in-law dies, and himself breaks his neck. Aaron the saint of God has two sons slain by fire from heaven. The apostles were set forth as appointed for death” (Thomas Boston).

Regarding Jacob and all his trials and tribulations, Thomas Boston says:

“It was no wonder he said, ‘Few and evil have the days of the years of my life been.’ Gen. xlvii. 9″ (Thomas Boston).

Thomas Boston mentions additional examples of God’s providential dealings from Scripture.

“And scripture doctrine unriddles the mystery, Psal. xcii. 5, 6, 7. ‘O Lord, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knoweth not: neither doth a fool understand this. When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish: it is that they shall be destroyed for ever'” (Boston).

“Ye will never observe providences aright, if ye do not observe their harmony with the word; for the word is the instituted means of the conveyance of influences, Isa. lix. ult. By neglecting of this, some dispensations prove stumbling-blocks, over which some break their necks, Mal. iii. 15″ (Boston).

“The end of providence, James v. 11. There seemed to be many dismal circumstances in Job’s case, concurring to his ruin. His substance goes, his family, his health and ease; his wife bids him blaspheme and die; his friends represent his case as that of an hypocrite; many a black thread appears in the web: but O what a beautiful piece does it appear when it is wrought out! Job xlii. 10, 12″ (Boston).

“Many, in their observations of providence, are like the flies that pass over the sound places, and swarm about the sores. They are still complaining of their crosses and sorrows, and will nicely reckon them up: but as to their mercies, they will not go the length of the unjust steward, of a hundred to set down fifty, Luke xvi. 6″ (Boston).

“Micah vi. 9. ‘Hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.’ And it is a horrible provocation not to observe them, Isa. xxvi. 11. forecited, and not to comply with the design of them; to murmur, but not kindly mourn under them, Job xxxv. 9, 10. and xxxvi. 13. Sometimes men meet with crosses in the way of their duty, Gal. vi. 17; and sometimes in the way of sin, as Jonah” (Boston).

I pray that God the Holy Spirit would comfort His people with the following Bible passages:

“For you were called to this, for even Christ suffered on our behalf, leaving behind an example for us, that you should follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

“Because even Christ once suffered concerning sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God; indeed being put to death in [the] flesh, but made alive in the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18).

“Therefore, Christ having suffered for us in [the] flesh, also you arm yourselves [with] the same thought, because he having suffered in [the] flesh has been made to rest from sin” (1 Peter 4:1).

“Beloved, do not be astonished at the fiery trial happening among you for your testing, as [if] a surprise [were] occurring to you; but according as you share the sufferings of Christ, rejoice; so that you may rejoice exultingly at the revelation of His glory. If you are reviled in [the] name of Christ, [you are] blessed, because the Spirit of God and of glory rests on you. Truly, according to them, He is blasphemed; but according to you, He is glorified. For do not let any of you suffer as a murderer, or a thief, or an evildoer, or as a meddler in the affairs of others. But if [one suffers] as a Christian, do not let him be ashamed, but to glorify God in this respect. Because the time [has come] to begin the judgment from the house of God; and if firstly from us, what [will be] the end of the ones disobeying the gospel of God? And if the righteous is scarcely saved, where will the ungodly and sinner appear? So as indeed the ones suffering according to God’s will, as to a faithful Creator, let them commit their souls in well-doing” (1 Peter 4:12-19).

“Now the God of all grace, the [One] calling you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, [you] having suffered a little, Himself will perfect, confirm, strengthen, establish [you]” (1 Peter 5:10).

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