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SER M.conscience. Ver. 24. Let no man therefore 1.
seck his own, but every Man another's Wealth: That is; be not so much follicitous to keep up the full Extent of
your own innocent Liberty, as to do That which will more generally and effectually prevent Men's falling into Sin.
This ought always to be the main End, the great and prevailing consideration, in every Action of a good Christian ; what will most tend to promote the Kingdom of God, the Practice of universal Righteousness and Truth amongst Men. In order to This End, it is not indeed Lawful to do any thing that is Evil, but it is at any time very commendable to forbear doing what is innocent. This End, all our Great and Religious Actions ought always actuclly and directly to aim at; and all our smaller and indifferent Actions, ought by a general and habitual intention, to have the fame Tendency. For fo the Apostle concludes his whole Discourse, in the words of the Text; Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do All to the Glory of God: Give none Oljenje, neither to the Fews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God; Even as I please all men in all
things, things, not seeking mine own Profit, but the Ser M.
I. Profit of Many, that they may be saved.
The words of the Text contain a Doctrine of the highest importance in Religion ; And therefore, in the following Discourse upon them, I shall more largely and distinctly consider ; if, What is the true meaning, and full Intent, of that Phrase which we so often meet with in Scripture, The Glory of God: And 2dly, What it is, that is required of men in Practice, in order to their fatisfying the Precept in the Text; Whether ye cat or drink, or whatever ye do, do All to the Glory of God.
I. AS to the true meaning of that Phrase which we fo often meet with in Scripture, The Glory of God: 'Tis to be observed that the
ist and original Signification of it, is to denote to us the Elence, the Perfon, or the Majesty of God; that is, God hiiriself, who is the Fountain of Glory. Thus 2 Pet. i. 17. There come io kim, (to our Saviour at his Baptifin,) fuch' a Voice from the Excellent Glory: From the Lxcellent Glory, that is, from God, his Father; as Puis literally expreffed, in the very fame
SERm. Verse. In This sense, the Name of God, I.
the Majesty on High, and some other such Phrases, are also used in the like manner, to signify God himself. And, fitting on the right band of Power, Matt. xxvi. 64, is, sitting at the right hand of God, who Alone has properly All Power.
2dly, This phrase, the Glory of God, signifies in the next place, the Manifestation of God's Perfections or Attributes, by the external Exercise of them towards his Creatures. God, was essentially Happy, before any thing was created, in the injoyment of his own unspeakable Perfections : But the Manifestation of the Glory of those Perfections, and the Communication of Good to Others, could not be till the Creation of Things. Hence the Prophet Isaiah, represents God Thus speaking, (ch. xliii. 7.) I have created him for my Glory, I have formed him, yea I have made him. In Allusion to which expreffion it may probably be supposed to be, that St Paul says, į Cor. xi. 7. that Man įs the Image and Glory of God,
And because in every one of the divine Perfections in particular, when manifeft. ed fingły in their proper and respective
Acts, there is something diftin&tly worthy Ser M. of Adoration and Praise ; 'tis therefore
I. not unfrequent in Scripture, to express any one of those Perfections singly, by the Title of the Glory of God. Thus concerning the Divine Power, Pf. xix. 1. The Heavens declare the Glory of God, (that is, they show forth unto Men the Power of God in creating, and his Wisdom in dispofing things ;) and the Firmament Neweth his bandy-work. And Joh. xi. 4, 40. This Sickness of Lazarus, faith our Lord, is not unto Death, but for the Glory of God,
that thou skouldest see the Glory of God, and that the Son of God might be glorified thereby : The Meaning is ; It was intended for a manifestation of God's Power to raise the dead, and of his having communicated That Power also to the Son of Man, And here we may observe, by the way, that the Tyranny indeed of weak' and vain Mortals, is apt to take pleasure in Power for Power's fake ; and their great Complacency and Glory is, in being able to exercise it arbitrarily and without reason. But God, whose Power is truly infinite, makes it His Glory to exercise Power, only in doing Goods (for
SER M.almost all our Saviour's Miracles, were
Acts of Beneficence, as well as of Power ;) or at lealt, if the Subject is not capable of Good, yet the Exercise of his Power, even in Acts of Severity, is. according to Fustice always. Rom. ix. 22. What if God, willing- to make his Power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of Wrath fitted to de truciion ! He did not show his absolute Power, in fitting a certain Number of men to desiruction; as Some have absurdly understood this Text, directly contrary to the words themselves; but he showed his Power in justly punishing Those, who after much long-suffering and forbearance with them, appeared finally fit for nothing but Deftruciion.
AGAIN: Because Mercy and Goodness are represented in Scripture, as the Attributes wherein God chiefly delights; according to that of St James, ch. ii. 13.
Mercy rejoiceth against Judgment; or, as it is in the Original, Mercy glorieth over Judgmert : therefore This allo is, in a particullar and emphatical manner,
called the Glory of God. Ron. ix. 23. That he might make known the Riches of his Glory, on the vefels of Mercy: And Ephef. iii. 16.