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Position 3. The ultimate end of God's creating the world, being also (as was before observed) the last end of all God's works of providence, and that in the highest sense, and being above all other things important, we may well presume that this end will be chiefly insisted on in the word of God, in the account it gives of God's designs and ends in his works of providence.... and therefore, if there be any particular thing, that we find more frequently mentioned in scripture as God's ultimate aim in his works of providence, than any thing else, this is a presumption that this is the supreme and ultimate end of God's works in general, and so the end of the work of creation.
Position 4. That which appears from the word of God to be his last end with respect to the moral world, or God's last end in the creation and disposal of the intelligent part of the system, and in the moral government of the world, that is God's last end in the work of creation in general. Because it is evident, from the constitution of the world itself, as well as from the word of God, that the moral part is the end of all the rest of the creation. The inanimate unintelligent part is made for the rational as much as a house is prepared for the inhabitant. And it is evident also from reason and the word of God, that it is with regard to what is moral in them, or for the sake of some moral good in them, that moral agents are made and the world made for them. But it is further evident that whatsoever is the last end of that part of creation that is the end of all the rest, and for which all the rest of the world was made, must be the last end of the whole. If all the other parts of a watch are made for the hand of the watch, to move that aright, and for a due and proper regulation of that, then it will follow, that the last end of the hand, is the last end of the whole machine.
Position 5. That, which appears from the scripture to be God's last end in the chief work or works of his providence, we may well determine is God's last end in creating the world. For as was observed, we may justly infer the end of a thing from the use of it. We may justly infer the end of a clock, a chariot, a ship, or water engine from the main use
to which it is applied. But God's providence is his use of the world he has made. And if there be any work or works of providence that are evidently God's main work or works, herein appears and consists the main use that God makes of the creation.... From these two last positions we may infer the next, viz.
Position 6. Whatever appears by the scriptures to be God's last end in his main work or works of providence towards the moral world, that we justly infer to be the last end of the creation of the world. Because as was just now obseryed, the moral world is the chief part of the creation and the end of the rest ; and God's last end in creating that part of the world, must be his last end in the creation of the whole. And it appears by the last position, that the end of God's main work or works of providence towards them, or the main use he puts them to, shews the last end for which he has made them; and consequently the main end for which he has made the whole world.
Position 7. That which divine revelation shews to be God's last end with respect to that part of the moral world which are good, or which are according to his mind, or such as he would have them be ; I say that which is God's last end with respect to these (i. e. his last end in their being, and in their being good) this we must suppose to be the last end of God's creating the world. For it has been already shewn that God's last end in the moral part of creation must be the end of the whole. But his end in that part of the moral world that are good, must be the last end for which he has made the moral world in general. For therein consists the goodness of a thing, viz. in its fitness to answer its end : Or at least this must be goodness in the eyes of the author of that thing. For goodness in his eyes is its agreeableness to his mind. But an agreeableness to his mind in what he makes for some end or use, must be an agreeableness or fitness to that end. For his end in this case is his mind. That which he chiefly aims at in that thing, is chiefly his mind with respect to that thing. And therefore they are good moral agents, who are fitted for the end for which God has made moral agents : As
they are good machines, instruments and utensils that are fitted to the end they are designed for. And consequently that which is the chief end to which in being good they are fitted that is the chief end of utensils. So that which is the chief end to which good created moral agents in being good are fitted, this is the chief end of moral agents, or the moral part of he creation ; and consequently of the creation in general.
Position 8. That, which the word of God requires the intelligent and moral part of the world to seek as their main end, or to have respect to in that they do, and regulate all their conduct by, as their ultimate and highest end, that we have reason to suppose is the last end for which God has made them; and consequently, by position fourth, the last end for which he has made the whole world. A main difference between the intelligent and moral parts, and the rest of the world, lies in this, that the former are capable of knowing their creator, and the end for which he made them, and capable of actively complying with his design in their creation and promoting it; while other creatures cannot promote the design of their creation, only passively and eventually. And seeing they are capable of knowing the end for which their author has made them, it is doubtless their duty to fall in with it. Their wills ought to comply with the will of the creator in this respect, in mainly seeking the same as their last end which God mainly seeks as their last end. This must be the law of nature and reason with respect to them. And we must suppose that God's revealed law, and the law of nature agree ; and that his will, as a lawgiver, must agree with his will as a creator. Therefore we justly infer, that the same thing which God's revealed law requires intelligent creatures to seek as their last and greatest end, that God their creator has made their last end, and so the end of the creation of the world.
Position 9. We may well suppose that what seems in holy scripture from time to time to be spoken of as the main end of the goodness of the good part of the moral world, so that the respect and relation their virtue or goodness has to that end, is what chiefly makes it valuable and desirable ; I say, we may well suppose that to be the thing which is God's last end in the creation of the moral world ; and so by position fourth, of the whole world. For the end of the goodness of a thing, is the end of the thing. Herein, it was observed before, must consist the goodness or valuableness of any thing in the eyes of him that made it for his use, viz. its being good for that use, or good with respect to the end for which he made it.
Position 10. That which persons who are described in scripture as approved saints, and set forth as examples of piety, sought as their last and highest end in the things which they did, and which are mentioned as parts of their holy conversation, or instances of their good and approved behavior ; that we must suppose, was what they ought to seek as their last end; and consequently by the preceding position was the same with God's last end in the creation of the world.
Position 11. That which appears by the word of God to be that end or event, in the desire of which, the souls of the good parts of the moral world, especially of the best, and in their best frames, do most naturally and directly exercise their goodness in, and in expressing of their desire of this event or end, they do most properly and directly express their respect to God; we may, I say, well suppose, that event or end to be the chief and ultimate end of a spirit of piety and goodness, and God's chief end in making the moral world, and so the whole world. For doubtless the most direct and natural desire and tendency of a spirit of true goodness in the good and best part of the moral world is to the chief end of goodness, and so the chief end of the creation of the moral world. And in what else can the spirit of true respect and friendship to God be expressed by way of desire, than desires of the same end, which God himself chiefly and ultimately desires and seeks in making them and all other things.
Position 12. Since the holy scriptures teach us that Jesus Christ is the head of the moral world, and especially of all the good part of it ; the chief of God's servants, appointed to be the head of his saints and angels, and set forth as the chief and most perfect pattern and example of goodness; we may well suppose by the foregoing positions, that what he sought as his last end, was God's last end in the creation of the world,
Particular texts of Scripture, that shew that God's glory is an
ultimate End of the Creation,
WHAT God says in Isa. xlviii. 11, naturally leads us to suppose, that the way in which God makes himself his end in his work or works which he does for his own sake, is in making his glory his end. “ For my own sake, even for my own sake will I do it. For how should my name be polluted ; and I will not give my glory to another.” Which is as much as to say, I will obtain my end, I will not forego my glory: Another shall not take this prize from me. It is pretty evident here, that God's name and his glory, which seems to intend the same thing (as shall be observed more particularly afterwards) are spoken of as his last end in the great work mentioned, not as an inferior, subordinate end, subservi. ent to the interest of others. The words are emphatical. The emphasis and repetition constrain us to understand that what God does, is ultimately for his own sake: “ For my own sake, even for my own sake will I do it.”
So the words of the apostle, in Rom. xi. 36, naturally lead us to suppose that the way in which all things are to God, is in being for his glory. “ For of him, and through him, and to him are all things ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” In the preceding context, the apostle observes the marvellous disposals of divine wisdom, for causing all things to be to him in their final issue and result, as they are from him at first, and governed by him. His discourse shews how God contrived and brought this to pass in his disposition of things, viz. by setting up the kingdom of Christ in i he worid ; leaving the Jews, and calling the Gentiles; and in what he would hereafter do in bringing in the Jews with the fulness of the Gentiles; with the circumstances of these wonderful works, so as greatly to shew his jus. tice and his goodness, magnify his grace, and manifest the