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Page 219

    Deputy, in the Castle at Dublin. After speaking about the purpose of his visit, he presented the leather box to the deputy, who commanded the box to be opened that the secretary might read the commission to all present.

    To the shock of Dr. Cole, the Lord Deputy, and everyone in attendance, the box only contained a wrapped deck of cards!

    After the initial confusion subsided, the Lord Deputy jokingly stated, "We will need another commission, and meanwhile, we will shuffle the cards!"

    A much-embarrassed Dr. Cole returned to England to obtain a replacement commission at court. Due to adverse weather conditions, however, he had to wait a few days before a ship could sail to Ireland. While waiting, he received notice that the queen had died.

    In this manner, the Protestants of Ireland were preserved from persecution and death. The new queen, Elizabeth, was so impressed by this story, that she had it published and rewarded the wife of the mayor, Elizabeth Edmunds, with a pension for the rest of her life.

    God often uses small events, such as stopping to visit the mayor of Chester for an hour, to determine the outcome of major happpenings, such as the persecution of all Protestants in Ireland.

A non-Christian reading this story would probably speak of this happening as a remarkable coincidence. How does faith in God's governing providence help a person to see beyond "coincidences" and to recognize God's hand in these events?

Think of the biblical story of Esther. How many remarkable dealings of God's governing providence can you name which the non-Christian world would call "coincidences" or "luck"? Esther is the only scriptural book in which God's name is never directly mentioned - yet we consistently see His workings. What lesson regarding God's providence is the Book of Esther teaching? Why is God's name never mentioned directly?

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