Page images
PDF
EPUB

that it is what that person which God has set at the head of the moral world, as its chief governor, even Jesus Christ, seeks as his chief end. And it has been shewn, that it is the chief end for which that part of the moral world which are good, are made, or have their existence as good. I now further observe, that this is the end of the establishment of the public worship and ordinances of God among mankind. Hag. i. 8. “Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will BE GLoRIFIED, saith the Lord.” This is spoken of as the end of God's promises of rewards, and of their fulfilment. 2 Cor. i. 29. “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him amen, to the glory of God by us.” And this is spoken of as the end of the execution of God's threatenings, in the punishment of sin. Num. xiv. 20....23. “ And the Lond said, I have pardoned according to thy word. But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of Jehovah. Because all these men, &c....Surely they shall not see the land.” The glory of Jehovah is evidently here spoken of, as that which he had regard to, as his highest and ultimate end ; which therefore he could not fail of ; but must take place every where, and in every case, through all parts of his dominion, whatever became of men. And whatever abatements might

be made, as to judgments deserved ; and whatever changes.

might be made in the course of God's proceedings, from compassion to sinners; yet the attaining of God’s glory was an end, which being ultimate and supreme, must in no case whatsoever give place. This is spoken of as the end of God's executing judgments on his enemies in this world. Exod. xiv. 17, 18. “And I will get me honor (Ikhabhedha, I will be glorified) upon Pharoah, and upon all his host,” &c. Ezek. xxviii. 22. “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I am against thee O Zion, and I will be glorified in the midst of thee : And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.” So Ezek. xxxix. 13. “Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them.; and it shall be to them a renown, the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord God.”

And this is spoken of as the end, both of the executions of wrath, and in the glorious exercises of mercy, in the misery and happiness of another world. Rom. ix. 22, 23. “What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and make his power known, endured with much long suffering, the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction; and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.” And this is spoken of as the end ef the day of judgment, which is the time appointed for the highest exercises of God’s authority as moral governor of the world ; and is, as it were the day of the consummation of God’s moral government, with respect to all his subjects in heaven, earth and hell. 2 Thess. i. 9, 10. “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his flower ; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe.” Then his glory shall be obtained, with respect both to saints and sinners. From these things it is manifest by the fourth position, that God's glory is the ultimate end of the creation of the world. 9. It appears from what has been already observed, that the glory of God is spoken of in scripture as the last end of many of God’s works ; and it is plain that this thing is in fact the issue and result of the works of God's common providence, and of the creation of the world. Let us take God’s glory in what sense soever, consistent with its being something brought to pass, or a good attained by any work of God, certainly it is the consequence of these works; and besides it is czpressly so spoken of in scripture. This is implied in Psalm viii. 1, wherein are celebrated the works of creation; the heavens being the work of God's fingers; the moon and the stars being ordained by God, and God's making man a little lower than the angels, &c. The first verse is, “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth ! Who hast set thy glory above the heavens,” or upon the heavens. By name and glory, very much the same thing is intended here as in many other places, as shall be particularly shewn afterwards. So the Psalm concludes as it began. “O Lord, our Lord, how

excellent is thy name in all the earth !” So in Psalm cxlviii.

aster a particular mention of the works of creation, enumerat.

ing them in order, the Psalmist says, verse 13, “Let them

praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is excellent,

his glory is above the earth and the heaven.” And in Psalm

civ. 31, after a very particular, orderly, and magnificent rep

resentation of God’s works of creation and common provi

dence, it is said, “The glory of the Lord shall endure forever;

the Lord shall rejoice in his works.” Here God's glory is

spoken of as the grand result and blessed consequence of all these works, which God values, and on account of which

he rejoices in these works. And this is one thing doubtless

implied in the song of the seraphim, Isaiah vi. 3. “Holy,

holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts . The whole earth is full of his glory”

The glory of God, in being the result and consequence of those works of providence that have been mentioned, is in fact the consequence of the creation. The good attained in the use of a thing made for use, is the result of the making of that thing, as the signifying the time of day, when actually attained by the use of a watch, is the consequence of the making of the watch. So that it is apparent that the glory of God is a thing that is actually the result and consequence of the creation of the world. And from what has been already observed, it appears, that it is what God seeks as good, valuable and excellent in itself. And I presume, none will pretend that there is any thing peculiar in the nature of the case, rendering it a thing valuable in some of the instances wherein it takes place, and not in others; or that the glory of God, though indeed an effect of all God's works, is an exceeding desirable effect of some of them ; but of others, a worthless and insignificant effect. God's glory therefore, must be a desirable, valuable consequence of the work of creation. Yea, it is expressly spoken of in Psalm civ. 3, (as was observed) as an effect, on account of which, God rejoices and takes pleasure in the works of creation. Therefore it is manifest by Position 3d, that the glory of

God is an ultimate end in the creation of the world.

SECTION IV.

Places of Scrifiture that lead us to suffiose, that God created the IWorld for his Mame, to make his fierfections known, and that he made it for his Praise.

HERE I shall first take notice of some passages of scripture, that speak of God's name as being made God's end, or the object of his regard, and the regard of his virtuous and holy, intelligent creatures, much in the same manner as has been observed of God’s glory. As particularly, God’s name is in like manner spoken of, as the end of his acts of goodness towards the good part of the moral world, and of his works of mercy and salvation towards his people. As I Sam. xii. 22. “The Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake.” Psalm xxiii. 3. “He restoreth my soul, he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, jor his name's sake.” Psalm xxxi. 3. “ For thy name's sake, lead me and guide me.” Psalm ciz. 21. “But do thou for Inne *for thy name's sake.” The forgiveness of sin in particular, is often spoken of as being for God's name's sake. 1 John ii. 12. “I write unto you, little children, because your . sins are forgiven you for his name's sake.” Psalm xxv. 11. “For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.” Psalm lxxix. 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.” Jer. xiv. 7. “O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name's sake.” These things seem to shew, that the salvation of Christ is for God's name's sake. Leading and guiding in the way of safety and happiness, restoring the soul, the forgiveness of sin, and that help, deliverance and salvation, that is consequent thereon, is for God’s name. And here it is observable, that those two great temporal salvations of God's people, the redemption from Egypt, and that from Babylon, that are often

represented as figures and similitudes of the redemption of Christ, are frequently spoken of as being wrought for God's name's sake. So is that great work of God, in delivering his people from Egypt, carrying them through the wilderness to their rest in Canaan. 2 Sam. vii. 23. “And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name.” Psalm cvi. 8. “Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake.” Isaiah lxiii. 12. “That led them by the right hand of Moses, with his glorious arm, dividing the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting name.” In Ezek. xx. God, rehearsing the various parts of this wonderful work, adds from time to time, “I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen,” as in ver, 9, 14, 22. See also Josh. vii. 8, 9. Dan. ix. 15. So is the redemption from the Babylonish captivity. Isaiah xlviii. 9, 10. “For my name’s sake, will I defer mine anger. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it, for how should my name be polluted 7” In Ezek. xxxvi. 21, 22, 23, the reason is given for God’s mercy in restoring Israel. “But I had pity for my holy name-Thus saith the Lord, I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name's sake; and I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen.” And chap. xxxix. 25. “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name." Daniel prays that God would forgive his people, and shew them mercy for his own sake, Dan. ix. 19.

When God from time to time speaks of shewing mercy, and exercising goodness, and promoting his people's happiness for his name's sake, we cannot understand it as of a merely subordinate end. How absurd would it be to say, that he promotes their happiness for his name's sake, in subordination to their good; and that his name may be exalted only for their sakes, as a means of promoting their happiness ; especially when such expressions as these are used : “ For mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it, for how

« PreviousContinue »