Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary

41 Will Of God


Is taken, 1. For that which he has from all eternity determined, which is unchangeable, and must certainly come to pass; this is called his secret will.–2. It is taken for what he has prescribed to us in his word as a rule of duty: this is called his revealed will. A question of very great importance respecting our duty deserves here to be considered. The question is this: “How may a person who is desirous of following the dictates of Providence in every respect, know the mind and will of God in any particular circumstance, whether temporal or spiritual?

Now, in order to come at the knowledge of that which is proper and needful for us to be acquainted with, we are taught by prudence and conscience to make use of, 1. Deliberation.–2. Consultation.–3. Supplication; but, 1. We should not make our inclinations the rule of our conduct.–2. We should not make our particular frames the rule of our judgment and determination.–3. We are not to be guided by any unaccountable impulses and impressions.–4. We must not make the event our rule of judgment.

1. Unless something different from our present situation offer itself to our serious consideration, we are not to be desirous of changing our state, except it is unprofitable or unlawful.–2. When an alteration of circumstance is proposed to us, or Providence lays two or more things before our eyes, we should endeavour to take a distinct view of each case, compare them with one another, and then determine by such maxims as these:–Of two natural evils choose the least; of two moral evils choose neither; of two moral or spiritual good things choose the greatest.–3. When upon due consideration, nothing appears in the necessity of the case or the leadings of Providence to make the way clear, we must not hurry Providence, but remain in a state of suspense; or abide where we are, waiting upon the Lord in the way of his providence. In all cases, it should be our perpetual concern to keep as much as possible out of the way of temptation to omit any duty, or commit any sin. We should endeavour to keep up a reverence for the word and providence of God upon our hearts, and to have a steady eye to his glory, and to behold God in covenant, as managing every providential circumstance in subserviency to his gracious purposes in Christ Jesus.”

Charles Buck (1771-1815) was an English Independent minister, best known for the publication of his “Theological Dictionary”. According to the “Dictionary of National Biography”, a Particular Baptist minister named John C. Ryland (1723-1792) assisted Buck by writing many of the articles for the aforementioned publication. One may conclude, based not only Buck’s admiration for his friend Ryland, but also on the entries in his Theological Dictionary, that he stood head and shoulders with the High-Calvinists of his day.

Charles Buck on the Biblical Covenants (Complete)
Charles Buck's Theological Dictionary