Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with-all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ according as he hath chosen us in him. Having predestinated us to the adoption of children, to THE PRAISE OF THE GLORY OF HIS GRACE.” And in the continuance of the same discourse concerning the redemption of Christ, God's glory is once and again mentioned as the great end of all.

Several things belonging to that great redemption are mentioned in the following verses : Such as God's great wisdom in it, ver. 8. The clearness of light granted through Christ, ver. 9. God's gathering together in one, all things in heaven and earth in Christ, ver. 10. God's giving the Christians that were first converted to the Christian faith from among the Jews, an interest in this great redemption, ver. 11. Then the great end is added, ver. 12. “ That we should be to THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY, who first trusted in Christ.” And then is mentioned the bestowing of the same great salvation on the Gentiles, in its beginning or first fruits in the world, and in completing it in another world, in the two next verses. And then the same great end is added again. “ In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, UNTO THE PRAISE OF HIS GLORY.' The same thing is expressed much in the same manner, in 2 Cor. iv. 14, 15.—" He which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise us up also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundance of grace might, through the thanksgiving of many, redound to THE GLORY OF God.'

The same is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption in the Old Testament, Psal. Ixxix. 9. "Help us, O God of our salvation, for THE GLORY OF THY NAME; deliver us and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.” So in the prophecies of the redemption of Jesus Christ. Isa. xliv. 23. O ye heavens; for the Lord hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains : O forest, and every tree therein : for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and GLORIFIED HIMSELF in Israel !” Thus the works of creation are called upon to rejoice at the attaining of the same end, by the redemption of God's people, that the angels rejoiced at when Christ was born. See also Isa. xlviii, 10, 11, and xlix. 3.

Thus it is evident, that the glory of God is the ultimate end of the work of redemption ; which is the chief work of Providence towards the moral world, as is abundantly manifest from scripture, For the whole universe is put in subjection to Jesus Christ; all heaven and earth, angels and men,

"Sing,

are subject to him, as executing this office: and are put under him to that end, that all things may be ordered by him, in subservience to the great designs of his redemption. All power, as he says, is given to him, in heaven and in earth, that he may give eternal life as to as many as the Father has given him; and he is exalted far above all principality and power, and might and dominion, and made head over all things to the church. The angels are put in subjection to him, that he may employ them all as ministering spirits, for the good of them that shall be the heirs of salvation : and all things are so governed by their Redeemer, that all things are theirs, whether things present or things to come: and all God's works of providence in the moral government of the world, which we have an account of in scripture history, or that are foretold in scripture prophecy, are evidently subordinate to the great purposes and ends of this great work. And besides, the work of redemption is that by which good men are, as it were, brought into being, as good men, or as restored to holiness and happiness. The work of redemption is a new creation, according to scripture, whereby men are brought into a new existence, or are made new creatures.

From these things it follows, according to the 5th, 6th, and 7th positions, that the glory of God is the last end of the creation of the world.

8. The scripture leads us to suppose, that God's glory is his last end in his moral government of the world in general. This has been already shewn concerning several things that belong to God's moral government of the world. As particularly in the work of redemption, the chief of all his dispensations in his moral government of the world. And I have also observed it, with respect to the duty which God requires of the subjects of his moral government, in requiring them to seek his glory as their last end. And this is actually the last end of the moral goodness required of them, the end which gives their moral goodness its chief value. And also, 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 estabJishment 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. 20. “ 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

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

the end of the execution of God's threatenings, in the punishment of sin. Numb. xiv. 20, 21, 22, 23. “ And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word. But, as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the GLORY or Jehovah." The glory of Jehovah is evidently here spoken of, as that to which he had regard 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 executing judg. ments on his enemies in this world. Exod. xiv. 17, 18. “And I will get me honour (79338) I will be glorified) upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host," &c. Ezek. xxviii. 22.- Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I am against thee, O Zidon, 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, ali 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 of 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 power; 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 his works: and it is plain that this is in fact the 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

8

[ocr errors]

VOL III.

with its being a good attained by any work of God, certainly it is the consequence of these works: and besides, it is expressly so spoken of in scripture.

This is implied in the eighth psalm, wherein are celebrated the works of creation : the heavens, the work of God's fingers; the moon and the stars, ordained by him; and man, made 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. The psalm concludes as it began. “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” So in the 148th psalm, after a particular mention of most of the works of creation, enumerating them in order, the psalmist says, ver. 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 the 104th psalm, after a very particular, orderly, and magnificent representation of God's works of creation and common providence, it is said in the 31st verse, " The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works." Here God's glory is spoken of as the grand result and blessed consequence, on account of which he rejoices in these works. And this is one thing doubtless implied in the song of the seraphim, Isa. 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 signifying the time of day, when actually attained by the use of a watch, is the consequence of making the watch. So it is apparent, that the glory of God 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 etiect 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. Therefore it is manifest, by position the third, that the glory of God is an ultimate end in the creation of the world.

SECT. IV.

Places of scripture that lead us to suppose that God created the

world for his name, to make his perfections known ; and that he made it for his praise.

1. Here I shall first take notice of some passages of scripture that speak of God's name as being 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.

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 1 Sam. xii. 22. “The Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name's sake.” Psal. xxiii. 3. " He restoreth my soul, he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, for his name's sake.” Psal. xxxi. 3. "For thy name's sake, lead me, and guide me." Psal. cix. 21. “But do thou for me, for thy name's sake." The forgiveness of sin in particular, is often spoken of as being for God's name's sake." "I John ii. 12. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake." Psal. xxv. 11. For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great. Psal. 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 therein, 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, often represented as figures and similitudes of the redemption of Christ, are frequently spoken of as being wrought for God's name's sake.

Thus that great work of God, in delivering his people from Egypt, and conducting them to Canaan. 2 Sam. vi. 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.Psal. cvi. 8. * Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake." Isa. lxiii. 12. “That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm divid. ing the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting

« ElőzőTovább »