« السابقةمتابعة »
that the glory of God is the last end for which he created the world.
4. There are some things in the word of God which lead us to suppose, that it requires of men that they should desire and seek God's glory, as their highest and last end in what they
As particularly, from 1 Cor. x. 30. "Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." And 1 Pet. iv. 11.-"That God in all things may be glorified." And this may be argued, that Christ requires his followers should desire and seek God's glory in the first place, and above all things else, from that prayer which he gave his disciples, as the pattern and rule for the direction of his followers in their prayers. The first petition of which is, Hallowed be thy name. Which in scripture language is the same with glorified be thy name: as is manifest from Lev. x. 3. Ezek. xxviii. 22. and many other places. Now our last and highest end is doubtless what should be first in our desires, and consequently first in our prayers; and therefore, we may argue, that since Christ directs that God's glory should be first in our prayers, that therefore this is our last end. This is further confirmed by the conclusion of the Lord's prayer, For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. Which, as it stands in connection with the rest of the prayer, implies, that we desire and ask all the things mentioned in each petition, with a subordination, and in subservience to the dominion and glory of God; in which all our desires ultimately terminate as their last end. God's glory and dominion are the two first things mentioned in the prayer, and are the subject of the first half of the prayer; and they are the two last things mentioned in the same prayer, in its conclusion. God's glory is the Alpha and Omega in the prayer. From these things we may argue, according to position the eighth, that God's glory is the last end of
5. The glory of God appears, by the account given in scripture, to be that event, in the earnest desires of which, and in their delight in which, the best part of the moral world, and when in their best frames, most naturally express the direct tendency of the spirit of true goodness, the virtuous and pious affections of their heart.
This is the way in which the holy apostles, from time to time, gave vent to the ardent exercises of their piety, and breathed forth their regard to the supreme Being. Rom. xi. 36. "To whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Chap. xvi. 27. "To God only wise, be glory, through Jesus Christ, for ever. Amen." Gal. i. 4, 8. "Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father, to whom be glory for ever
and ever, Amen." 2 Tim. iv. 18. "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me to his heavenly kingdom to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen." Eph. iii. 21. "Unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end." Heb. xiii. 21."Through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen." Phil. iv. 20. "Now unto God and our Father, be glory for ever and ever, Amen." 2 Pet. iii. 18. "To him be glory, both now and for ever, Amen." Jude 25. "To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever, Amen." Rev. i. 5, 6. “Unto him that loved us, &c.-to him be glory and dominion, for ever and ever, Amen."
It was in this way that holy David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, vented the ardent tendencies and desires of his pious heart. 1 Chron. xvi. 28, 29. "Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength: give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name." We have much the same expressions again, Psal. xxix. 1, 2. and lxix. 7, 8. See also, Psal. lvii. 5. lxxii. 18, 19. cxv. 1. So the whole church of God through all parts of the earth. Isa. xlii. 10-12. In like manner the saints and angels in heaven express the piety of their hearts. Rev. iv. 9, 11-14. and vii. 12. This is the event that the hearts of the seraphim especially exult in, as appears by Isa. vi. 2, 3. "Above it stood the seraphim.-And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory." So at the birth of Christ, Luke ii. 14. "Glory to God in the highest, &c."
It is manifest that these holy persons in earth and heaven, in thus expressing their desires of the glory of God, have respect to it, not merely as a subordinate end, but as that which is in itself valuable in the highest degree. It would be absurd to say, that in these ardent exclamations they are only giving vent to their vehement benevolence to their fellow-creatures, and expressing their earnest desire that God might be glorified, that so his subjects may be made happy by that means. It is evident, it is not so much their love, either to themselves, or their fellow-creatures, which they express, as their exalted and supreme regard to the most high and infinitely glorious Being. When the church says, "Not unto us, not unto us, O Jehovah, but to thy name give glory," it would be absurd to say, she only desires that God may have glory, as a necessary or convenient means of their own advancement and felicity. From these things it appears, by the eleventh position, that God's glory is the end of the creation.
6. The scripture leads us to suppose that Christ sought God's glory, as his highest and last end.
John vii. 18. "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him." When Christ says, he did not seek his own glory, we cannot reasonably understand him, that he had no regard to his own glory, even the glory of the human nature; for the glory of that nature was part of the reward promised him, and of the joy set before him. But we must understand him, that this was not his ultimate aim; it was not the end that chiefly governed his conduct: and therefore, when in opposition to this, in the latter part of the sentence, he says, " But he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, &c." It is natural from the antithesis to understand him, that this was his ultimate aim, his supreme governing end.
John xii. 27, 28. "Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? ? Father, save me from this hour: But for this cause came I unto this hour, Father, glorify thy name." Christ was now going to Jerusalem, and expected in a few days there to be crucified and the prospect of his last sufferings, in this near approach, was very terrible to him. Under this distress of mind he supports himself with a prospect of what would be the consequence of his sufferings, viz. God's glory. Now it is the end that supports the agent in any difficult work that he undertakes, and above all others, his ultimate and supreme end; for this is above all others valuable in his eyes; and so sufficient to countervail the difficulty of the means. That end which is in itself agreeable and sweet to him, and which ultimately terminates his desires, is the center of rest and support; and so must be the fountain and sum of all the delight and comfort he has in his prospects, with respect to his work. Now Christ has his soul straightened and distressed with a view of that which was infinitely the most difficult part of his work, and which was just at hand. Now certainly, if his mind seeks support in the conflict from a view of his end, it must most naturally repair to the highest end, which is the proper fountain of all support in this case. We may well suppose, that when his soul conflicts with the most extreme difficulties, it would resort to the idea of his supreme and ultimate end, the fountain of all the support and comfort he has in the work.
The same thing, Christ seeking the glory of God as his ultimate end, is manifest by what he says when he comes yet nearer to the hour of his last sufferings, in that remarkable the last he ever made with his disciples, on the evenprayer, ing before his crucifixion; wherein he expresses the sum of his aims and desires. His first words are, "Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may gloriry thee." As this is his first request, we may suppose it to be his supreme re
quest and desire, and what he ultimately aimed at in all. If we consider what follows to the end, all the rest that is said in the prayer seems to be but an amplification of this great request. On the whole I think it is pretty manifest, that Jesus Christ sought the glory of God as his highest and last end; and that therefore, by position twelfth, this was God's last end in the creation of the world.
7. It is manifest from scripture, that God's glory is the last end of that great work of providence, the work of redemption by Jesus Christ.
This is manifest from what is just now observed, of its being the end ultimately sought by Jesus Christ the Redeemer. And if we further consider the texts mentioned in the proof of that, and take notice of the context, it will be very evident that it was what Christ sought as his last end, in that great work which he came into the world upon, viz. to procure redemption for his people. It is manifest, that Christ professes in John vii. 18. that he did not seek his own glory in what he did, but the glory of him that sent him. He means in the work of his ministry; the work he performed, and which he came into the world to perform, which is the work of redemption. And with respect to that text, John xii. 27, 28; it has been already observed, that Christ comforted himself in the view of the extreme difficulty of his work, in the prospect of the highest, ultimate, and most excellent end of that work, which he set his heart most upon, and delighted most in.
And in the answer that the Father made him from heaven at that time, in the latter part of the same verse, John xii. 28. "I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again." The meaning plainly is, that God had glorified his name in what Christ had done, in the work he sent him upon; and would glorify it again, and to a greater degree, in what he should further do, and in the success thereof. Christ shews that he understood it thus, in what he says upon it, when the people took notice of it, wondering at the voice; some saying that it thundered, others, that an angel spake to him. Christ says, "This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes." And then he says, (exulting in the prospect of this glorious end and success,) Now is the judgment of this world; now is the prince of this world cast out; and I, if I be lift up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." "" In the success of the same work of redemption he places his own glory, as was observed before. John xii. 23, 24. "The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."
So it is manifest, that when he seeks his own and his Father's glory, in that prayer, John xvii. he seeks it as the end of
that great work he came into the world upon, and which he is about to finish in his death. What follows through the whole prayer, plainly shews this; particularly the 4th and 5th verses. "I have glorified thee on earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self." Here it is pretty plain, that declaring to his Father he had glorified him on earth, and finished the work given him to do, meant that he had finished the work which God gave him to do for this end, that he might be glorified. He had now finished that foundation that he came into the world to lay for his glory. He had laid a foundation for his Father's obtaining his will, and the utmost that he designed. By which it is manifest, that God's glory was the utmost of his design, or his ultimate end in this great work.
And it is manifest, by John xiii. 31, 32. that the glory of the Father, and his own glory, are what Christ exulted in, in the prospect of his approaching sufferings, when Judas was gone out to betray him, as the end his heart was mainly set upon, and supremely delighted in. "Therefore when he was gone out Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him."
That the glory of God is the highest and last end of the work of redemption, is confirmed by the song of the angels at Christ's birth. Luke ii. 14. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will towards men. It must be supposed that they knew what was God's last end in sending Christ into the world: and that in their rejoicing on the occasion, their minds would most rejoice in that which was most valuable and glorious in it; which must consist in its relation to that which was its chief and ultimate end. And we may further suppose that the thing which chiefly engaged their minds was most glorious and joyful in the affair; and would be first in that song which was to express the sentiments of their minds, and exultation of their hearts.
The glory of the Father and the Son is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption, in Phil. ii. 6-11, (very much in the same manner as in John xii. 23, 28, and xiii. 31, 32, and xvii. 1, 4, 5.) "Who being in the form of God,-made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, &c. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,--and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Lord, TO THE GLORY OF God the Father." So God's glory, or the praise of his glory, is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption, in Eph. i. 3, &c. "Blessed