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py in yielding it, but that we may give glory to him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb that we may not deepen the stern and awful darkness of his manifested righteousness, but melt into that radiance of glorious grace, with which he will then surround himself.
Such are the ways in which the divine glory is sought. Not that all these views and considerations are present at the same instant and in the same act, They are modifications and varied expressions of one principle, and will adapt themselves to the various occasions and seasons which befit them. We are not to embarrass our path by attempting to crowd them all into one act, but are to draw them forth from the good treasure of the heart," as they are needed.
ON THE EXTENT OF THE REQUIREMENT TO DO ALL
TO THE GLORY OF GOD.
We have already admitted that it is of immense importance to form clear views of what it is to glorify God. Of necessity then we must consider it of moment to understand the extent of the requisition. Contractedness of view is to be deprecated as well as obscurity. It cannot well be doubted that the conceptions of numbers are extremely narrow upon this subject. It is sufficient to appeal to the consciousness of many. How uncomfortable a sense of distance between the recollected habits of their minds, and the comprehensive terms of the scriptural demand “to do all things to the glory of God.”! How seldom is the rule brought in, and how partially applied! How far too small a place is the divine glory made to hold, even in the affairs of their salvation, in the exercises of their devotion, and in the practice of their obedience-matters in which we might expect it would be present and palpable, primary and all-absorbing! How little some professing christians think of the divine honour in their enqui. ries and discussions respecting religious truth! How often is its regulating power refused in our intercourse with the world! And who is never afraid to let in the full light of this glory upon his talents, upon his faculties, his time, his money, his influence, his station? And is it not often excluded, or but feebly admitted in the modes of christian association, the movements of religious zeal, and the enterprizes of benevolent exertion ? And then, in what we choose to call indifferent matters a wide tract of actiondo we not often seem to think that the glory of God cannot be made by any possibility to bear upon itthat it is a sort of neutral ground, or unclaimed territory?
Serious indeed are the evils which arise from this narrowness of view. If there are large portions of thought, of feeling and of action, not brought under the control and government of the principle we are considering, what strange inequalities of character must present themselves! What incongruous appearances must meet the eye! What defects! What wastes! What chasms ! Life altogether without the glory of God for its end, is one fearful and howl.. ing desert, where men roam and perish ; whilst life with large portions of it undevoted to this object, has frequent, and lonely, and cheerless wilds, where christians wander and want, and fear and weep. But beyond this, other ills ensue. What becomes of these unappropriated portions of thought and feeling and life? Will not mind have some end? And what is that end, if God be not! Whither tends our nature let loose from the safe bond of acting to the glory of God? What happens to the region unblessed with this salutary light? If there be any considerable portion of life to which we do not apply the principle in question, have we not reason to fear that it is moving in some wild, erratic and perilous direction ? Whither is it tending ? Is it to make provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof ?” Is it to gratify an inordinate and ungodly ambition ? Is it to gain the little paltry ends of selfishness ? Is it to feed a greedy vanity? Is it to indulge in ignoble sloth ? Is it toilsomely to amass gold? We may be certain that where we have not the glory of God for our end, we have some other, some lower, and probably some opposite end.
The first thing which meets us in our enquiries upon the extent of the requirement to seek the glory of God in our actions, is universality. “Whatsoever we do, whether we eat or whether we drink, we are to do all to the glory of God.” Although the universal terms employed in the scriptures, are often to be restricted by the nature of the subjects in question, and by the special object of the writer and speaker, yet we conceive there is no need for limitation in the case before us. It seems rather that in the instance just quoted, the author brought a principle of universal range, to bear upon a special case. It forms therefore an appropriate motto and a safe directory for our thoughts upon the extent to which the great rule is to be carried, of doing all to the glory of God.
But in order to see more clearly this extensiveness of the principle, and to bring under this wide-spread power, as large a portion as possible of life, it will be desirable to classify the parts of character and action which are to be thus subjected.
I. The glory of God should be our aim in all our devout acts and religious professions. This is their true, their very end. Indeed, this is so plainly, so immediately, so peculiarly their end, that without it, they have no proper end. We may imagine many other things to be properly done without present and direct reference to this end, but religious things
To seek any end in devout acts independent of this, is gross perversion, impious indignity, awful profanation. And the fact that such abuse of sacred things is practised, brings before the mind a view singularly affecting, of the “deceitfulness of sin," and of the strange and awful capability, the proficiency, the ingenuity and temerity in transgression to which our fallen nature may arrive. If angels had been informed of the approaching fall of man, we may suppose they would have pictured him indulging all the varieties of a rebellious temper, and exhibiting outwardly the proofs and appearances of disobedience; but never surely would they have expected to see him, as if in mockery of heaven, sporting in forms of homage and service, venting his wickedness in semblances of devotion, and shaping his very lusts into prayers and vows and solemn professions. Yet such is the spectacle exhibited by all that devotion which has only wicked, or worldly, or selfish ends to answer. Such is the unnatural and melancholy farce which is acted in this mad world, whilst devils look and wonder. It is a scene in which they dare not act. “They believe and tremble.”
That a wrong end, i.e. any end in the place of God's glory, will vitiate, and destroy, and turn to an evil and an abomination, the most solemn and sacred