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"I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things." Isaiah 45:7 Let us see the hand of the Lord in this recent dreadful fire which has turned our once renowned London into a ruinous heap! London's sins were now so great, and God's wrath was now so hot—that there was no quenching of the furious flames. The decree for the burning of London was now gone forth, and nothing could reverse it. The time of London's fall was now come. The fire had now received its commission from God—to burn down the city and to turn it into a ruinous heap! Certainly God is the great agent in all those dreadful judgments which befall people, cities, and kingdoms. Whoever or whatever be the rod—it is God's hand which gives the stroke! The power of bringing judgments upon cities, God takes to Himself, "When disaster comes to a city, has not the Lord caused it?" Amos 3:6. Whatever that judgment is, which falls upon a city—God is the author of it; He acts in it and orders it according to His own good pleasure. There is no judgment which accidentally falls upon any person, city, or country. Every judgment is inflicted by a divine power and providence. God had given a commission to the fire—to burn with that force and violence as it did—until London was laid in ashes! Whoever kindled this fire—God blew the coal! And therefore no arts, counsels, or endeavors of men were able to quench it. All judgments are at the beck of God, and under the command of God. Whatever judgment God commands to destroy a person, a city, or country—that judgment shall certainly and effectually accomplish the command of God—in spite of all that creatures can do. If God commissions the sword of war to walk abroad, and to glut itself with blood—who can command it into the scabbard again? No art, power, or policy can cause that sword to lie still! God, as He is our Creator, Preserver, and sovereign Lord—has an absolute power both over our persons, lives, estates, and habitations: and when we have transgressed His righteous laws, He may do with us, and all we have—as He pleases. He may turn us out of house and home, and burn up all our comforts round about us—and yet do us no wrong. "Our God is in heaven; He does whatever pleases Him." Psalm 115:3. "The Lord does whatever pleases Him—in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths." Psalm 135:6 Those things which seem accidental and chance to us—are ordered by the wise counsel, power, and providence of God. Instruments can no more stir until God gives them a commission—than the axe or the knife can cut by itself, without a hand. God makes use of whatever second causes He pleases, for the execution of His pleasure. And many times He makes the worst of men the rod of His indignation to chastise His people with! All inferior or subordinate causes—are but God's tools and instruments, which He rules and guides according to His own will, power, and providence. Job eyed God in the fire which fell from heaven, and in all the fiery trials which befell him. And therefore, he does not say, "The Lord gave—and the devil took away!" Nor, "The Lord gave—and the Chaldeans and Sabeans took away!" But "The Lord gave—and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised!" Job 1:20-21 Certainly without the cognizance and concurrence of a wise, omniscient, and omnipotent God—no creatures can move. Without His foresight and permission—no event can befall any person, city or country. Whatever the means or instruments of our misery are—the hand is God's! It behooves us, in every judgment, to see the hand of the Lord, and to look through visible means to an invisible God! "The Lord has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me!" Ruth 1:21 "The Lord brings death and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and raises up. The Lord sends poverty and wealth; He humbles and He exalts!" 1 Samuel 2:6-7

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