Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Bookmark and Share

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 15 May, 2011


"Those that be planted in the house of the Lord

shall flourish in the courts of our God" (Ps. 92:13)


Morning Service - 11:00 AM

The Prayer of the Church in Babylon (8)

The God Who Acts for Those Who Wait for Him   [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Isaiah 44

Text: Isaiah 64:4

I. The God Who Acts

II. The Saints Who Wait

Psalms: 96:1-7; 99:6-9; 62:1-2, 5-8; 27:9-14


Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Father’s Gracious Providence   [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Psalm 104

Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 10

I. The Rich Meaning of It

II. The Blessed Advantage of It

Psalms: 33:8-14; 100:1-5; 37:35-40; 34:1-10


Contact Stephen Murray for CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services.


CPRC website:

CPRC YouTube:

CPRC Facebook:


Quote to Consider:

John Calvin on Isaiah 64:4: "But there are two ways in which these words may be read, for Elohim may either be in the accusative or in the vocative case. ‘O Lord, no one hath seen besides thee what thou doest for them that wait for thee.’ But another reading is more generally approved, ‘No one hath ever seen or ever heard of such a God.’ Yet in this reading we must supply the particle of comparison, as; for otherwise the sentence would be incomplete. The verb yagnaseh is put absolutely, ‘No ear hath heard, and no eye had seen, such a God as doeth such things.’ And thus God is distinguished from idols, from which superstitious men imagine that they obtain all good things; for they are the mere inventions of men, and can do neither good nor harm, seeing that God bestows on his worshippers benefits of every kind."

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

The Standard Bearers and a newsletter from the PRC Domestic Mission Committee about the unofficial PRC website are on the back table, as are copies for RFPA Book Club members of the new book by Prof. Hanko entitled Justified Unto Liberty: Commentary on Galatians (non-book club member cost is £18).

Francesco De Lucia’s exams run from this Monday to next Monday (16-24 May). Let us pray for him and the other students and the PR Seminary.

Tuesday Bible study: 11 AM, concludes this week with II Thessalonians 3:16-18, Paul’s closing remarks.

Wednesday Belgic Confession class: 7:45 PM. We’ll finish the class with Article 11 on the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit.

Thursday membership class: 7:30 PM on Israel.

Ladies Discussion Meeting: 11 AM Friday to discuss Ruth 4.

After correspondence from Radio North, we have decided to continue our Reformed Witness Hour broadcast each Sunday. Next Lord’s Day’s broadcast will be on Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM and entitled "Looking to the All-Sufficient God" (Psalm 73:23-26) by Rev. R. Kleyn.

Offerings: General Fund - £737.22. Donations: £200, £3,000 (DVDs), £25 (DVDs), £150 (CR News), £200 (DVDs).

Upcoming Lectures:

"For Whom Did Christ Die?" Thursday, 2 June, at 7:15 PM in S. Wales.

"For Whom Did Christ Die?" Friday, 24 June, at 7:30 PM in Lurgan Town Hall.

Website Addition: 1 German translation was added.

PRC News: Rev. Marcus declined the call to Hope PRC. Rev. A. Lanning declined the call to Redlands who then formed a new trio of Prof. Engelsma, Rev. Eriks, and Rev. W. Langerak. Cornerstone PRC called Rev. Eriks. Edgerton will call from a trio of Revs. den Hartog, Haak and Marcus.

Calvin’s Institutes (1.16.1-2) on Providence

Section 1. Even the wicked, under the guidance of carnal sense, acknowledge that God is the Creator. The godly acknowledge not this only, but that he is a most wise and powerful governor and preserver of all created objects. In so doing, they lean on the Word of God, some passages from which are produced.

It were cold and lifeless to represent God as a momentary Creator, who completed his work once for all, and then left it. Here, especially, we must dissent from the profane, and maintain that the presence of the divine power is conspicuous, not less in the perpetual condition of the world then in its first creation. For, although even wicked men are forced, by the mere view of the earth and sky, to rise to the Creator, yet faith has a method of its own in assigning the whole praise of creation to God. To this effect is the passage of the Apostle already quoted that by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God (Heb. 11:3) because, without proceeding to his Providence, we cannot understand the full force of what is meant by God being the Creator, how much soever we may seem to comprehend it with our mind, and confess it with our tongue. The carnal mind, when once it has perceived the power of God in the creation, stops there, and, at the farthest, thinks and ponders on nothing else than the wisdom, power, and goodness displayed by the Author of such a work, (matters which rise spontaneously, and force themselves on the notice even of the unwilling,) or on some general agency on which the power of motion depends, exercised in preserving and governing it. In short, it imagines that all things are sufficiently sustained by the energy divinely infused into them at first. But faith must penetrate deeper. After learning that there is a Creator, it must forthwith infer that he is also a Governor and Preserver, and that, not by producing a kind of general motion in the machine of the globe as well as in each of its parts, but by a special providence sustaining, cherishing, superintending, all the things which he has made, to the very minutest, even to a sparrow. Thus David, after briefly premising that the world was created by God, immediately descends to the continual course of Providence, "By the word of the Lord were the heavens framed, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth;" immediately adding, "The Lord looketh from heaven, he beholdeth the children of men" (Ps. 33:6, 13, &c.). He subjoins other things to the same effect. For although all do not reason so accurately, yet because it would not be credible that human affairs were superintended by God, unless he were the maker of the world, and no one could seriously believe that he is its Creator without feeling convinced that he takes care of his works; David with good reason, and in admirable order, leads us from the one to the other. In general, indeed, philosophers teach, and the human mind conceives, that all the parts of the world are invigorated by the secret inspiration of God. They do not, however reach the height to which David rises taking all the pious along with him, when he says, "These wait all upon thee, that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created, and thou renewest the face of the earth" (Ps. 104:27-30). Nay, though they subscribe to the sentiment of Paul, that in God "we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28), yet they are far from having a serious apprehension of the grace which he commends, because they have not the least relish for that special care in which alone the paternal favour of God is discerned.

Section 2. Refutation of the Epicureans, who oppose fortune and fortuitous causes to Divine Providence, as taught in Scripture. The sun, a bright manifestation of Divine Providence.

That this distinction may be the more manifest, we must consider that the Providence of God, as taught in Scripture, is opposed to fortune and fortuitous causes. By an erroneous opinion prevailing in all ages, an opinion almost universally prevailing in our own day, viz., that all things happen fortuitously, the true doctrine of Providence has not only been obscured, but almost buried. If one falls among robbers, or ravenous beasts; if a sudden gust of wind at sea causes shipwreck; if one is struck down by the fall of a house or a tree; if another, when wandering through desert paths, meets with deliverance; or, after being tossed by the waves, arrives in port, and makes some wondrous hair-breadth escape from death—all these occurrences, prosperous as well as adverse, carnal sense will attribute to fortune. But whoso has learned from the mouth of Christ that all the hairs of his head are numbered (Matt. 10:30) will look farther for the cause, and hold that all events whatsoever are governed by the secret counsel of God. With regard to inanimate objects again we must hold that though each is possessed of its peculiar properties, yet all of them exert their force only in so far as directed by the immediate hand of God. Hence they are merely instruments, into which God constantly infuses what energy he sees meet, and turns and converts to any purpose at his pleasure. No created object makes a more wonderful or glorious display than the sun. For, besides illuminating the whole world with its brightness, how admirably does it foster and invigorate all animals by its heat, and fertilise the earth by its rays, warming the seeds of grain in its lap, and thereby calling forth the verdant blade! This it supports, increases, and strengthens with additional nurture, till it rises into the stalk; and still feeds it with perpetual moisture, till it comes into flower; and from flower to fruit, which it continues to ripen till it attains maturity. In like manner, by its warmth trees and vines bud, and put forth first their leaves, then their blossom, then their fruit. And the Lord, that he might claim the entire glory of these things as his own, was pleased that light should exist, and that the earth should be replenished with all kinds of herbs and fruits before he made the sun. No pious man, therefore, will make the sun either the necessary or principal cause of those things which existed before the creation of the sun, but only the instrument which God employs, because he so pleases; though he can lay it aside, and act equally well by himself: Again, when we read, that at the prayer of Joshua the sun was stayed in its course (Josh. 10:13) that as a favour to Hezekiah, its shadow receded ten degrees (II Kings 20:11); by these miracles God declared that the sun does not daily rise and set by a blind instinct of nature, but is governed by Him in its course, that he may renew the remembrance of his paternal favour toward us. Nothing is more natural than for spring, in its turns to succeed winter, summer spring, and autumn summer; but in this series the variations are so great and so unequal as to make it very apparent that every single year, month, and day, is regulated by a new and special providence of God.