« AnteriorContinuar »
of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind." Thanksgiving and praise, Luke vi. 18. “ There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” ?Psalm 1. 23. “ Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me, and to
him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I shew the salvation of God.” Concerning which last place it may be observed, God here seems to say this to such as abounded in their sacrifices and outward ceremonies of religion, as taking it for granted, and as what they knew already, and supposed in their religious performances, that the end of all religion was to glorify God. They supposed they did this in the best manner, in offering a multitude of sacrifices (see the preceding part of the psalm.) But here God corrects this mistake, and informs that this grand end of religion is not attained this way, but in offering the more spiritual sacrifices of praise and a holy conversation.
In fine, the words of the apostle in 1 Cor. vi. 20, are worthy of particular notice. “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price ; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are his.” Here not only is glorifying God spoken of, as what summarily comprehends the end of that religion and service of God, which is the end of Christ's redeeming us; but here I would further remark this, that the apostle in this place urges, that inasmuch as we are not our own, but bought for God, that we might be his; therefore we ought not to act as if we were our own, but as God's ; and should not use the members of our bodies, or faculties of our souls for ourselves, as making ourselves our end, but for God, as making him our end. And he expresses the way in which we are to make God our end, viz. in making his glory our end. “ Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are his.” Here it cannot be pretended, that though Christians are indeed required to make God's glory their end; yet it is but as a subordinate end, as subservi. ent to their own happiness, as a higher end ; for then in acting chiefly and ultimately for their own selves, they would use themselves more as their own, than as God's ; which is directly contrary to the design of the apostle's exhortation
and the argument he is upon ; which is, that we should give ourselves, as it were, away from ourselves to God, and use ourselves as his, and not our own, acting for his sake, and not our own sakes. Thus it is evident by Position 9, that the glory of God is the last end for which he created the world.
4. There are some things in the word of God, that lead us to suppose that it requires of men, that they should desire and seek God's glory, as their highest and last end in what they do. As particularly the passage last mentioned. This appears from what has been just now observed upon it. The same may be argued from 1 Cor. x. 30. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” And i Pet. iv. 11. « That God in all things may be glorified ;” which was mentioned before. And it may be argued that Christ requires his followers should desire and seek God's glory in the first place, and above all things else, from that prayer which he gave his disciples, as the pattern and rule for the direction of his followers in their prayers. The first petition of which is, “ Hallowed be thy name.” Which in scripture language is the same with “ glorified be thy name;" as is manifest from Lev. x. 3, Ezek. xxviii. 22, and many other places. Now our last and highest end is doubtless what should be first in our desires, and consequently first in our prayers ; and therefore we may argue, that since Christ directs that God's glory should be first in our prayers, therefore this is our last end. This is further confirmed by the conclusion of the Lord's prayer, “ For thine is the kingdom, the power and glory." Which, as it stands in connexion with the rest of the prayer, implies that we desire and ask all these things, which are mentioned in each petition, with a subordination, and in subservience to the dominion and glory of God ; in which all our desires ultimately terminate, as their last end. God's glory and dominion are the two first things mentioned in the prayer, and are the subject of the first half of the prayer; and they are the two last things mentioned in the same prayer, in its conclusion : And God's glory is the alpha and omega in the prayer. From
these things we may argue, according to Position 8, that God's glory is the last end of the creation.
5. The glory of God appears, by the account given in the word of God, to be that end or event, in the earnest desires of which, and in their delight in which, the best part of the moral world, and when in their best frames, do most natural, ly express the direct tendency of the spirit of true goodness, and give vent to the virtuous and pious affections of their, heart, and do most properly and directly testify their supreme respect to their Creator. This is the way in which the holy apostles, from time to time, gave vent to the ardent exercises
of their piety, and expressed and breathed forth their regard · to the Supreme Being. Rom. xi. 36. « To whom be glory
forever and ever. Amen." Chap. xvi. 27. “ To God only wise, be glory, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen.” Gal. i. 4, 5. “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our father, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Tim. iv. 18. « And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me to his heavenly kingdom ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Eph. iii. 21, “ Unto him be glory in the church, by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end." Heb. xiii. 21. « Through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen." Phil. iy. 20. « Now unto God and our Father, be glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Pet. iii. 18.« To him be glory both now and forever. Amen." Jude 25. “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen." Rev. i. 5, 6. “Unto him that loved us &c....to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” It was in this way that holy David, the sweet Psalmist of Israel, vented the ardent tendencies and desires of his pious heart. Chron. xvi. 28, 29. “Give unto the LORD ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength ; give unto the LORD the glory due unio his name.” We have much the same expressions again, Psal. xxix. 1, 2, and Ixix. 7, 8. See also, Psal. Ivii. 5, Ixxii. 18, 19, cxv. 1. So the whole church of God, through all parts of the earth. Isa. xlii.
10....12. In like manner the saints and angels in heaven express the piety of their hearts. Rev. iv. 9, 1l, and v. 11.... 14, and viï. 12. This is the event that the hearts of the scraphim especially exult in, as appears by Isa. vi. 2, 3. * Above it stood the seraphim. And one cried unto another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.” So at the birth of Christ, Luke ii. 14, “Glory to God in the highest," &c.
It is manifest that these holy persons in earth and heaven, in thus expressing their desires of the glory of God, have respect to it, not merely as a subordinate end, or merely for the sake of something else ; but as that which they look upon in itself valuable, and in the highest degree so. It would be absurd to say, that in these ardent exclamations, they are only giving vent to their vehement benevolence to their fellowcreatures, and expressing their earnest desires that God might be glorified, that so his subjects may be made happy by the means. It is evident it is not so much love, either to themselves, or fellow creatures, which they express, as their exalted and supreme regard to the most high and infinitely glori. ous Being. When the church says, “ Not unto us, not unto us, O Jehovah, but to thy name give glory," it would be absurd to say, that she only desires that God may have glory, as a necessary or convenient means of their own adyancement and felicity. From these things it appears, by the eleventh position, that God's glory is the end of the creation.
6. The scripture leads us to suppose, that Christ sought God's glory, as his highest and last end. John vii. 18. “He that speaketh of himself, seeketh his own glory ; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” When Christ says, he did not seek his own glory, we cannot reasonably understand him, that he had no regard to his own glory, even the glory of the human nature ; for the glory of that nature was part of the reward promised him, and of the joy set before him. But we must understand him, that this was not his ultimate aim ; it was not the end that chiefly governed his conduct; and therefore when, in opposition to this, in the latter part of the sentence, he says, “ But he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true," &c. it is natural from the antithesis to une derstand him, that this was his ultimate aim, his supreme governing end. John xii. 27, 28. “ Now is iny soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour : But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name.” Christ was now going to Jerusalem, and expected in a few days there to be crucified; and the prospect of his last sufferings, in this near approach, was very terrible to him. Under this distress of mind, in so terrible a view, he supports himself with a prospect of what would be the consequence of his sufferings, viz. God's glory. Now, it is the end that supports the agent in any difficult work that he undertakes, and above all others, his ultimate and supreme end. For this is above all others valuable in his eyes; and so, sufficient to countervail the difficulty of the means. That is the end, which is in itself agreeable and sweet to him, which ultimately terminates his desires, is the centre of rest and support; and so must be the fountain and sum of all the delight and comfort he has in his prospects, with respect to his work. Now Christ has his soul straitened and distressed with a view of that which was infinitely the most difficult part of his work, which was just at hand. Now certainly if his mind seeks support in the conflict from a view of his end, it must most naturally repair to the highest end, which is the proper fountain of all support in this case. We may well suppose, that when his soul conflicts with the appearance of the most extreme difficulties, it would resort for support to the idea of his supreme and ultimate end, the fountain of all the support and comfort he has in the means, or the work. The same tlaing, viz. Christ's seeking the glory of God as his ultimate end, is manifest by what Christ says, when he comes yet nearer to the hour of his last sufferings, in that remarkable prayer, the last he ever made with his disciples, on the evening before his crucifixion ; wherein he expresses the sum of his aims and desires. His first words are, “ Father, the hour is come, glorify thy son, that thy son also may glorify thee." As this is his first request, we may suppose it to be his su: