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and intentions of glorifying God thereby, and therefore there can be no obligation to any fuch thing.
2. It is not neceffary, no more than for a man that takes a journey, every step of his way actually to think of his journey's end, and the place whither he intends to go; a conftant refolution to go to fuch a place, and a due care not to go out of the way; and in cafe of any doubt, to inform ourfelves as well as we can of the right way, and to keep in it, is as much confideration of the end of a man's journey, as is needful to bring him thither, and more than this would be troublesome and to no purpose; the cafe is the very fame in the courfe of a man's life. From whence it follows in the
3. Place, That an habitual and fettled intention of mind, to glorify God in the course of our lives, is fufficient, because this will ferve all good purposes, as well as an actual intention upon every particular occasion. He that doth things with regard to God, and out of confcience of his duty to him, and upon the proper motives and confiderations of religion, in obedience and love to God, in hopes of his reward, and out of fear of his difpleasure, glorifies God in his actions. And if this principle be but rooted and fettled in his mind, it is fufficient to govern his life, and is virtually, and to all purposes, as true and conftant an intention of glorify. ing God, as if we did actually and explicitly propound this end to ourselves in every particular action of our lives.
Secondly, Whether a man be bound to prefer the glory of God before his own eternal happiness, as Mofes and St. Paul seem to have done; the one in being content to have his name blotted out of the book of life, the Other to be anathema from Chrift, for the falvation of Ifrael? to this I answer.
If we could admit the fuppofition, that the glory of God, and a man's eternal happiness might come in com. petition, there could be no obligation upon a man ro chufe eternal mifery upon any confideration whatsoever. The preference of one thing before another, fuppofeth them both to be fubjects of our choice; but the greatest evil, known and apprehended to be fo, cannot be the object of a reasonable choice; neither the greatest moral
ral nor natural evil of fin, or mifery. Sin is not to be chofen in any cafe, no not for the glory of God. The Apoftle makes the fuppofition, and anfwers it; that if the truth and glory of God could be promoted by his lie, yet we are not to do evil that good may come, Rom. iii.
Nor is the greatest natural evil the object of our choice. God himself hath planted a principle in our nature to the contrary, to feek our own happiness, and to avoid utter ruin and deftruction; and then furely much more that which is much worse, as eternal mifery is, whatever fome learned men, in despite of nature and common fenfe, have afferted to the contrary, that it is better and more defirable to be extremely and eternally miferable, than not to be; for what is there defirable in being, when it ferves to no other purpose but to be the foundation of endless and intolerable mifery? and if this be a principle of our nature, can any man imagine that God fhould frame us fo, as to make the firft and fundamental principle of it directly oppofite to our duty?
As to the inftance of Mofes, it does not reach this cafe, because the phrase of blotting out of the book of life, does in all probability fignify no more than a temporal death. As to that of St. Paul, it is by no means to be taken in a strict sense, but as a vehement and hyperbolical expreffion of his mighty affection to his brethren according to the flesh, for whom, fays he, I could wifh to be an anathema from Chrift. Befides the reafon of the thing, the form of the expreffion fhews the meaning of it, I could wife, that is, I would be content to do or fuffer almost any thing for their falvation, infomuch that I could wish, if it were fit and lawful, and reafonable to make fuch a wifh, to be accurfed from Chrift for their fakes. It is plainly a fufpended form of fpeech, which declares nothing abfolutely. But,
2. It is a vain and fenfelefs fuppofition, that the glo ry of God, and our eternal happiness can ftand in competition. By feeking the glory of God, we naturally and directly promote our own happinefs; the glory of God and our happinefs are infeparably linked together; we cannot glorify God by fin; and fo gracious bath
God been to us, that he hath made those things to be our duty, which naturally tend to our felicity; and we cannot glorify God more than by doing our duty, nor can we promote our own happiness more effectually than by the fame way. From whence it plainly follows, that the glory of God and our happincfs cannot reasonably be fuppofed to cross and contradict one another; and therefore the queftion is frivolous which fuppofeth they may come in competition. 1 Cor. xv. 58. the Apostle exhorts Chriftians to be stedfaft and unmoveable, and abundant in the work of the Lord, knowing that their labour fhall not be in vain in the Lord. And Tit. i. 1. 2. the Apoftle calls himself, 4 fervant of Jefus Chrift, in hope of eternal life, which God that cannot lie hath promifed. To ferve God in hope of eternal life, is to glorify God; and therefore the glory of God, and our eternal happinefs are never to be oppofed.
I fhall briefly draw two or three inferences from this difcourfe, and fo conclude.
I. See here the great goodness of God to mankind, who is pleased to esteem whatever is for the good of men to be for the glory of God; and whatever tends to the eternal falvation of ourselves, or others, to be a glorifying of himself.
II. We learn hence, likewife, the excellency of the Christian religion, which requires not only a confcienti ous care of ourselves, to do nothing but what is lawful; but likewise a charitable regard to others in the ufe of our liberty; in the doing or not doing of those things which we may lawfully do; after the fecuring of our own happiness by doing our duty, we are to confult the edification and falvation of others, in the charitable use of our liberty in those things which God hath left indif ferent.
III. Here is a great argument to us to be very careful of our duty, and to abound in the fruits of holiness, because hereby we glorify God. Herein is my Father glorified, fays our Saviour, if you bring forth much fruit; and the Apoftle tells us that the fruits of righteousness are to the praife and glory of God. We having all from God, our very being, our fouls and bodies, and the powers and faculties of both, and therefore we fhould
give him the glory of his own gifts: our fouls and bodies were not only made by him at first, but are likewife redeemed by him, and bought with a price, and therefore, as the Apoftle argues, we should glorify him in our bodies, and in our fouls, which are his.
IV. And lastly, we fhould in all our actions have a particular regard to the honour and advantage of religi on, the edification of our brethren, and the peace and unity of the church: because in thefe things we do in a peculiar manner glorify God. In vain do men pretend to feek the glory of God by faction and divifion, which do in their own nature fo immediately tend to the dishonour and damage of religion. Next to the wicked lives of men, nothing is fo great a difparagement and weakening to religion, as the divifions of Chriftians; and therefore instead of employing our zeal about differences, we fhould be zealous for peace and unity, that with one mind, and one mouth, we may glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift.
Doing good, a fecurity against injuries from men.
1 PET. iii. 13.
And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good?
HE Apoftle, in this and the former chapter, earneftly preffeth Chriftians to an holy and unblameable converfation, that the Heathen might have no occafion, from the ill lives of Christians, to reproach Chriftianity; particularly he cautions them against that abufe of Chriftian liberty, which it feems too many were guilty of, cafting off obedience to their fuperiors under that pretence; telling them that nothing could be a greater fcandal to their religion, nor
raise a more just prejudice in the minds of men against it; and therefore he ftrictly chargeth them with the duty of obedience in their feveral relations; as of fubjects to their governors, of fervants to their mafters, of wives to their husbands; and in fhort, to practife all thofe virtues, both among themselves, and towards others, which are apt to reconcile and gain the affections of men to them; to be charitable and compaffionate, courteous and peaceable one towards another, and towards all men; not only to abftain from injury and provocation, but from revenge by word or deed; and inftead thereof to blefs and do good, and by all poflible means to preferve and purfue peace. Ver. 8. 9. Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compaffion one of another; love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous, not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing, but contrariwife bleffing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye fhould inherit a blefing.
And to encourage them to the practice of thefe virtues, he tells them, that they could by no other means more effectually confult the fafety and comfort of their lives, ver. 10. For he that will love life, and fee good! days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile; let him efchew evil, and do good; let him feek peace and enfue it.
And this was the way to gain the favour of God, and to engage his providence for our protection, ver. 12. For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and bis ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
And that this would alfo be the best way to reconcile men to us, and to gain their good-will, and to prevent injuries and affronts from them, ver. 13. And who is be that will harm you, &c.
In these words we have, Firft, a qualification fuppofed, If ye be followers of that which is good.
Secondly, The benefit and advantage we may reafonably expect from it, viz. Security from, the ill ufage and injuries of men. Who is he that will harm you?
First, The qualification fuppofed is, that we be fol lowers of that which is good. But what is that? the Apostle takes it for granted, that every body knows it, and