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The Providence of God In The Casting of Lots

Between the birth and death of a man, how many things merely contingent do occur! how many chances! how many diseases! in their own nature all evitable, and, in regard of the event, not one of them but to some proves mortal; yet, certain it is that a man’s “days are determined, the number of his months are with the Lord, he hath appointed his bounds that he cannot pass,” Job 14:5. And oftentimes by things purely contingent and accidental he executes his purposes,—bestows rewards, inflicts punishments, and accomplishes his judgments; as when he delivers a man to be slain by the head of an axe, flying from the helve in the hand of a man cutting a tree by the way. But in nothing is this more evident than in the ancient casting of lots, a thing as casual and accidental as can be imagined, huddled in the cap at a venture. Yet God overrules them to the declaring of his purpose, freeing truth from doubts, and manifestation of his power: Prov. 16:33, “The lot is cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.”

~John Owen

from A Display of Arminianismvolume 10 of Works, page 35

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