« AnteriorContinuar »
Having thus considered what is implied in the phrase, the glory of God, as we find it used in scripture ; I proceed to inquire what is meant by the name of God.
And I observe that it is manifest that God's name and his glory, at least very often, signify the same thing in scripture. As it has been observed concerning the glory of God, that it sometimes signifies the second person in the trinity; the same might be shewn of the name of God, if it were needful in this place. But that the name and glory of God are often equipollent expressions, is manifest by Exod. xxxiii. 18, 19. When Moses says, “ I beseech thee, shew me thý glory :" And God grants his request, he says, “ I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee." Psal. viii. 1. “O Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens." Psal. Ixxix. 9. “ Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake." Psal. cii. 15. “ So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord ; and all the kings of the earth, thy glory." Psal. cxlviii. 13. “ His name alone is excellent, and his glory is above the earth and heay. en.” Isa. xlviii. 9. “ For my name's sake will I deser mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee." Verse 11. « For mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it ; for how should my name be polluted ? And I will not give my glory unto another. Isa. xlix. 19. “They shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the ris. ing of the sun." Jer. xiii. 11. “ That they might be unto me for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory.” As glory osten implies the manifestation, publication and knowledge of excellency, and the honor that any one has in the world ; so it is evident does name. Gen. xi. 4. “Let us make us a name.” Deut. xxvi. 19. “And to make thee high above all nations, in praise, in name, and in honor.” See 2 Sam. vii. 9, and many other places.
So it is evident that by name is sometimes meant much the same thing as praise, by several places which have been just mentioned, as Isa. xlviii. 9. Jer. xiii. 11. Deut. xxvi. 19, and also by Jer. xxxiii. 9. "And it shall be unto me for a
name, a praise and an honor, before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear of all the good I do unto them.” Zeph. iii. 20. “I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth."
And it seems that the expression or exhibition of God's goodness is especially called his name, in Exod. xxxüi. 19. "I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee." And chap. xxxiv. 5— 7. “ And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, the Lord, the Lord God, gracious and merciful, longsuffering and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands." &c.
And the same illustrious brightness and effulgence in the pillar of cloud, that appeared in the wilderness, and dwelt above the mercy seat in the tabernacle and temple (or rather the spiritual divine brightness and effulgence represented by it) which is so often called the glory of the Lord, is also often called the name of the Lord. Because God's glory was to dwell in the tabernacle, therefore he promises, Exod. xxix. 43. “There will I meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory." And the temple was called the house of God's glory, Isa. Ix. 7. In like manner, the name of God is said to dwell in the sanctuary. Thus we often read of the place that God chose, to put his name there ; or (as it is in the Hebrew) to cause his name to inhabit there. So it is sometimes rendered by our translators. As Deut. xü. 11. « Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall chuse to cause his name to dwell there." And the temple is often spoken of as built for God's name. And in Psal. Ixxiv. 7, the temple is called the dwelling place of God's name. The mercy seat in the temple was called the throne of God's name or glory, Jer. xiv. 21. “Do not abhor us, for thy name's sake, do not disgrace the throne of thy glory." Here God's name and his glory, seem to be spoken of as the same.
Shewing that the Ultimate End of the Creation of the World,
is but one, and what that one End is.
FROM what has been observed in the last section, it appears, that however the last end of the creation is spoken of in scripture under various denominations ; yet if the whole of what is said relating to this affair, be duly weighed, and one part compared with another, we shall have reason to think, that the design of the Spirit of God does not seem to be to represent God's ultimate end as manifold, but as one. For though it be signified by various names, yet they appear not to be names of different things, but various names involr. ing each other in their meaning; either different names of the same thing, or names of several parts of one whole, or of the same whole viewed in various lights, or in its different respects and relations. For it appears that all that is ever spoken of in the scripture as an ultimate end of God's works, is included in that one phrase, the glory of God; which is the name by which the last end of God's works is most commonJy called in scripture ; and seems to be the name which most aptly signifies the thing.
The thing signified by that name, the glory of God, when spoken of as the supreme and ultimate end of the work of creation, and of all God's works, is the emanation and true external expression of God's internal glory and fulness; meaning by his fulness, what has already been explained. Or, in other words, God's internal glory extant, in a true and just exhibition, or external existence of it. It is confessed that there is a degree of obscurity in these definitions ; but perhaps an obscurity which is unavoidable, through the imperfection of language, and words being less fitted to express things of so sublime a nature. And therefore the thing may
possibly be better understood, by using many words and a variety of expressions, by a particular consideration of it, as it were by parts, than by any short definition.
There is included in this, the exercise of God's perfections to produce a proper effect, in opposition to their lying eternally dormant and ineffectual ; as his power being eternally without any act or fruit of that power; his wisdom eternally ineffectual in any wise production, or prudent disposal of any thing, &c. The manifestation of his internal glory to created understandings. The communication of the infinite fulness of God to the creature. The creature's high esteem of God, love to God, and complacence and joy in God, and the proper exercises and expressions of these.
These at first view may appear to be entirely distinct things : But if we more closely consider the matter, they will all appear to be one thing, in a variety of views and relations. They are all but the emanation of God's glory; or the excellent brightness and fulness of the Divinity diffused, overflowing, and as it were, enlarged ; or, in one word, existing ad extra. God's exercising his perfection to produce a proper effect, is not distinct from the emanation or communication of his fulness ; for this is the effect, viz. his fulness communicated, and the producing this effect is the communication of his fulness; and there is nothing in this effectual exerting of God's perfection, but the emanation of God's internal glory. The emanation or communication is of the internal glory or fulness of God as it is. Now God's internal glory, as it is in God, is either in his understanding or will. The glory or fulness of his understanding, is his knowledge. The internal glory and fulness of God, which we must conceive of as having its special seat in his will, is his holiness and happiness. The whole of God's internal good or glory, is in these three things, viz. his infinite knowledge; his infinite virtue or holiness, and his infinite joy and happiness. Indeed there are a great many attributes in God, according to our way of conceiving or talking of them ; but all may be reduced to these, or to the degree, circumstances and relations of these. We have no conception of God's power, different from the degree of these things, with a certain relation of them to effects. God's infinity is not so properly a distinct kind of good in God, but only expresses the degree of the good there is in him. So God's eternity is not a distinct good ; but is the duration of good. His immutability is still the same good, with a negation of change. So that, as I said, the fulness of the Godhead is the fulness of his understanding, consisting in his knowledge, and the fulness of his will, consisting in his viriue and happiness. And therefore the external glory of God consists in the communication of these. The communication of his knowledge is chiefly in giving the knowledge of himself; for this is the knowledge in which the fulness of God's understanding chiefly consists. And thus we see how the manifestation of God's glory to created understandings, and their seeing and knowing it, is not distinct from an emanation or communication of God's fulness, but clearly implied in it. Again, the communication of God's virtue or holiness is principally in communicating the love of himself (which appears by what has before been observed.) And thus we see how, not only the creature's seeing and knowing God's excellence, but also supremely esteeming and loving him, belongs to the communication of God's fulness. And the communication of God's joy and happiness, consists chiefly in communicating to the creature, that happiness and joy, which consists in rejoicing in God, and in bis glorious excellency; for in such joy God's own happiness does prin cipaily consist. And in these things, viz. in knowing God's excellency, loving God for it, and rejoicing in it, and in the exercise and expression of these, consists God's honor and praise ; so that these are clearly implied in that glory of God, which consists in the emanation of his internal glory, And though we suppose all these things, which seem to be so various, are signified by that glory, which the scripture speaks of as the last end of all God's works;, yet it is manifest there is no greater, and no other variety in it, than in the internal and essential glory of God itself. God's internal glory is parily in his understanding, and partly in his will. And this internal glory, as seated in the will of God, implies both his