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his strength. He sealeth up the hand of every man, that all men may know his work.”
It is spoken of as the end of the day of judgment, that grand consummation of God's moral government of the world, and the day for the bringing all things to their designed ultimate issue. It is called “ The day of the revelation of the rightcous judgment of God,” Rom. ii. 5.
And the declaration, or openly manifesting God's excellency is spoken of as the actual, happy consequence and effect of the work of creation. Psal. xix. at the beginning, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handy work. Day unto day uttereth speech, night unto night sheweth knowledge. In them hath he placed a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run his race, &c."
In like manner, there are many scriptures that speak of God's praise, in many of the forementioned respects, just in the same manner as of his name and glory.
This is spoken of as the end of the being of God's peaple, in the same manner. Jer. xiii. 11. “For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleaye unto me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord ; that they might be unto me for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory,"
It is spoken of as the end of the moral world. Matth. xxi. 16. “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou per. fected praise." That is, so hast thou in thy sovereignty and wisdom ordered it, that thou shouldest obtain the great end for wbich intelligent creatures are made, more especially from some of them that are in themselves weak, or inferior and more insufficient. Compare Psal. viii. 1, 2.
And the same thing that was observed before concerning the making known God's excellency, may also be observed concerning God's praise. That it is made use of as an argu. ment in deprecating a state of destruction, that in such a state this end cannot be answered ; in such a manner as seems to imply its being an ultimate end, that God had made man for. Psal. Ixxxviii. 10. “Shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall thy loving kindness be declared in the grave ? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark ? Psal. xxx. 9, “ What prof. it is there in my blood ? When I go down to the pit, shall the dust praise thee? Shall it declare thy truth?” Psal. cxy. 17, 18. “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence; but we will bless the Lord, from this time forth and forevermore. Praise ye the Lord.” Isa. xxxviii. 18, 19. « For the grare cannot praise thee, death cannot cela ebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee?"
It is spoken of as the end of the virtue of God's people, in like manner as is God's glory. Phil. i. 11. “ Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ ta the praise and glory of God.”
It is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption. In the first chapter of Eph. where that work in the various parts of it is particularly insisted on, and set forth in its exceerling glory, this is mentioned from time to time as the great end of all, that it should be “ to the praise of his glory. (As in verse 6, 12, 14.) By which we may doubtless understand much the same thing, with that which in Phil. i. 11, is expressed, “ his praise and glory.” Agreeable to this, Jacob's fourth son, from whom the Messiah the great Redeemer was to proceed, by the spirit of prophecy, or the special direction of God's providence, was called praise, with reference to this happy consequence, and glorious end of that great redemprion, this Messiah, one of his posterity, was to work out.
This in the Old Testament is spoken of as the end of the forgiveness of the sin of God's people, and their salvation, in the same manner as is God's name and glory. Isa. xlviii. 9, 10, U. “ For my name's sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold I have refined thee, for mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it; for how should my name be polluted ? And my glory will I not give to another." Jer. xxxiii. 8, 9. " And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity-- and I will pardon all their iniquities.- And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise, and an honor.”
And that the holy part of the moral world, do express de sires of this, and delight in it, as the end which holy principles in them tend to, reach after, and rest in, in their highest exercises, just in the same manner as the glory of God, is abundantly manifest. It would be endless to enumerate particular places wherein this appears ; wherein the saints de. clare this, by expressing their earnest desires of God's praise ; calling on all nations, and all beings in heaven and earth to praise him ; in a rapturous manner calling on one another, crying Hallelujah, praise ye the Lord, praise him forever." Expressing their resolutions to praise him as long as they live, through all generations, and forever ; declaring how good, how pleasant and comely the praise of God is, &c.
And it is manisest that God's praise is the desirable and glorious consequence and effect of all the works of creation, by such places as these. Psalm cxlv. 5....10, and cxlviii. throughout, and ciii. 19....22.
Places of Scripture from whence it may be argued, that com
munication of good to the Creature, was one thing which God had in view, as an Ultimate End of the Creation of the World.
1. ACCORDING to the scripture, communicating good to the creatures, is what is in itself pleasing to God; and that this is not merely subordinately agreeable, and esteemed valuable on account of its relation to a further end, as it is in executing justice in punishing the sins of men ; which God is inclined to as fit and necessary in certain cases, and on the account of good ends attained by it; but what God is inclined to on its own account, and what he delights in simply and ultimately. For though God is sometimes in scripture spoken of as taking pleasure in punishing men's sins, Deut. xxviii. 63. “ The Lord will rejoice over you, to destroy you.” Ezek: v. 13. “ Then shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted.” Yet God is often spoken of as exercising goodness and shewing mercy, with delight, in a manner quite different, and opposite to that of his executing wrath. For the latter is spoken of as what God proceeds to with backwardness and reluctance; the misery of the creature being not agreeable to him on its own account. Neh. ix. 17. * That thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great loving kindness.” Psal. ciii. 8. “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” Psal. cxlv. 8. “ The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy." We have again almost the same words, Jonah iv. 2. Mic, vii. 10. “Who is a God like thee, that pardoneth iniquity, &c. He retaineth not his anger forever, because he delighteth in mercy.” Ezek. xvii. 32. “ I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” Lam. iii. 33. “He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” Ezek. xxxiii. 11. ☆ As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live : Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways, for why will ye die, O house of Israel.” 2 Pet. iii. 9. “ Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
2. The work of redemption wrought out by Jesus Christ, is spoken of in such a manner as being from the grace and love of God to men, that does not well consist with his seeking a communication of good to them, only subordinately, i. e. not at all from any inclination to their good directly, or delight in giving happiness to them, simply and ultimately considered; but only indirectly, and wholly from a regard to something entirely diverse, which it is a means of. Such expressions as that in John iii. 16, carry another idea. “God so
loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life." And 1 John iv. 9, 10. “ In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only begotten son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love ; not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be a propitiation for our sins.” So Eph. ii. 4. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, &c.” But if indeed this was only from love to something else, and a regard to a further end, entirely diverse from our good ; then all the love is truly terminated in that, its ultimate object! And God's love consists in regard towards that; and therein is God's love, and therein is his love manifested, strictly and properly speaking, and not in that he loved us, or exercised such high regard towards us. For if our good be not at all regarded ultimately, but only subordinately, then our good or interest is in itself considered, nothing in God's regard or love : God's respect is all terminated upon, and swallowed up in something diverse, which is the end, and not in the means.
So the scripture every where represents concerning Christ, as though the great things that he did and suffered, were in the most direct and proper sense, from exceeding love to us; and not as one may shew kindness to a person, to whose in-. terest, simply and in itself considered, he is intirely indifferent, only as it may be a means of promoting the interest of another (that is indeed directly regarded) which is connected with it. Thus the Apostle Paul represents the matter, Gal. ii. 20. “ Who loved me, and gave bimself for me." Eph. V. 25. “ Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it." And Christ himself, John xvii. 19. “ For their sakes I sanctify myself.” And the scripture represents Christ as resting in the salvation and glory of his people, when obtained, as in what he ultimately sought, as having therein reached the goal at the end of his race ; obtained the prize he aimed at ; enjoying the travail of his soul, in which he is satisfied, as the recompense of his labors and extreme agonies. Isa. lü. 10, 11. “When thou