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SECTION The Scriptures represent God as making himself his, own last end in the creation of the world.
IT is manifest, that the Scriptures speak, on all occasions as though God made himself his end in all his works and as though the same being, who is the first cause of all things, were the supreme and last end of all things.
Thus in Isaiah 44:6. “Thus saith the Lord, the king of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of hosts, I am the first, I also am the last, and besides me there is no God.” Chap 48:12. “I am the first and I am the last.” Revelation 1:8. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”
Verse 11. “I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last.” Verse 17. “I am the first and the last.” Chapter 21:6. “And he said unto me, it is done; I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.” Chapter 22:13. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
When God is so often spoken of as the last as well as first the end as well as the beginning, it is implied, that as he is the first, efficient cause and fountain, from whence all things originate; so, he is the last, final cause for which they are made; the final term to which they all tend in their ultimate issue. This seems to be the most natural import of these expressions; and is confirmed by other parallel passages; as Romans 11:36. “For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things.” Colossians 1:16. “For by him were all shines created, that are in heaven, and that are m earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him, and for him.” Hebrews 2:10 “For it became him, by whom are all things, and for whom are all things.”
And in Proverbs 16 4. it is said expressly, “The Lord hath made all things for himself” And the manner is observable, in which God is said to be the last, to whom, and for whom, are all things. It is evidently spoken of as a meet and suitable thing, a branch of his glory; a meet prerogative of the great, infinite, and eternal Being; a thing becoming the dignity of him who is infinitely above all other beings; from whom all things are, and by whom they consist; and in comparison with whom all other things are as nothing.
Wherein same positions are advanced concerning a just method of arguing in this affair, from what we find in the Holy Scriptures.
We have seen, that the Scriptures speak of the creation of the world as being for God, as its end. What remains therefore to be inquired into, is, which way do the Scripture represent God as making himself his end? It is evident, that God does not make his exitence or being the end of the creation; which cannot be supposed without great absurdity. His existence cannot be conceived of but as prior to any of God’s designs. Therefore he cannot create the world to the end that be may have existence or may have certain attributes and perfections. Nor do the Scriptures give the least intimation of any such thing. Therefore, what divine effect, or what in relation to God, is that which the Scripture teacheth us to be the end he aimed at, in his works of creation, and in designing which he makes himself his end?
In order to a right understanding of the Scripture doctrine, and drawing just inferences from what we find said in the word of God, relative to this matter, and so to open the way to a true and definite answer to the above inquiry, I could lay down the following positions.
Pos. 1. That which appears to be God’s ultimate end in his works of providence in general, we may justly suppose to be his last end in the work of creation. This appeals from what was observed before, under the fifth particular of the introduction, which I need not now repeat.
Pos. 2. When any thing appears, by the Scripture, to be the last end of some of the works of God, that thing appears to be the result of God’s works in general And although it be not mentioned as the end of those works, but only of some of them; yet as nothing appears peculiar in the nature of the case, that renders it a fit, beautiful and valuable result of those particular works, more than of the rest; we may justly infer that thing to be the last end of those other works also. For we must suppose it to be on account of the value of the effect, that it is made the end of those works of which it is expressly spoken as the end; and this effect, by the supposition, being equally, and in like manner, the result of the work, and of the same value, it is but reasonable to suppose, that it is the end of the work, of which it is naturally the consequence in one case as well as in another.
Pos. 3. The ultimate end of God in creating the world being also the last end of all his works of providence, we may well presume that, if there be any particular thing more frequently mentioned in Scripture, as God’s ultimate end of his works of providence, than any thing else, this is the ultimate end of God’s works in general; and so the end of the work of creation.
Pos. 4. That which appears, from the word of God, to be his ultimate end with respect to the moral world, or the intelligent part of the system, that is God’s last end in the work of creation in general.
Because it is evident from the constitution of the world itself, as well as from the word of God, that the moral part is the end of all the rest of the creation. The inanimate, unintelligent part, is made for the rational, as much as a house is prepared for the inhabitant. And it is evident also from reason and the word of God, that it is for the sake of some moral good in them, that moral agents are made, and the world made for them. But it is further evident, that whatsoever is the last end of that part of creation, which is the end of all the rest, and for which all the rest of the world was made midst be the last end of the whole. If all the other parts of a watch are made for the hand of the watch, in order to move that alright, then it will follow, that the last end of the hand is the last end of the whole machine.
Pos. 5. That which appears from the Scripture to be God’s ultimate end in the chief works of his providence we may well determine is God’s last end in creating the world. For, as observed, we may justly infer the end of a thing from the use of it. We must justly infer the end of a clock, a charms, a ship, or water-engine, from the main use to which it is applied. But God’s providence is his use of the world he has made.
And if there be any works of providence which are evidently God’s main works, herein appears and consists the main use that God makes of the creation. — From these two last positions we may infer the next, viz.
Pos. 6. Whatever appears, by the Scriptures, to be God’s ultimate end in his main works of Providence towards the moral world, that we may justly infer to he the last end of the creation of the world. Because, as was just now observed, the moral world is the chief part of the creation, and the end of the rest; and God’s last end in creating that part of the world, must be his last end in the creation of the whole. And it appears, by the last position, that the end of God’s main works of Providence towards moral beings, or the main use to which he puts them, shows the last end for which he has made them; and consequential the main end for which he has made the whole world.
Pos. 7. That which divine revelation shows to be God’s ultimate end with respect to that part of the moral world which are good, in their being, and in their being good, this we must suppose to be the last end of God’s creating the world. For It has been already shown, that God’s last end m the moral part of creation must be the end of the whole. But his end in that part of the moral world that are good, must be the last end for which he has made the moral world in general. For therein consists the goodness of a thing, its fitness to answer its end, at least this must be goodness in the eyes of its author. For goodness in his eyes, is its agreeableness to his mind. But an agreeableness to his mind, in what he makes for some entail or use, must be an agreeableness or fitness to that end. For his end in this case is his mind. That which he chiefly aims at in that thing, is chiefly his mind with respect to that thing. And therefore, they are good moral agents who are fitted for the end for which God has made moral agents. And consequently, that which is the chief end to which good created moral agents, in being good, are fitted, this is the chief, end of the moral part of the creation, and consequently of the creation in general.
Pos. 8. That which the word of God requires the intelligent and moral part of the world to seek, as their ultimate and highest end, that we have reason to suppose is the last end for which God has made them, and consequently, by position fourth, the last end for which he has made the whole world. A main difference between the intelligent and moral parts, and the rest of the world, lies in this, that the former are capable of knowing their Creator, and the end for which he made them, and capable of article complying with his design in their creation, and promoting it while other creatures cannot promote the design of their creation, only passively and eventually. And seeing they are capable of knowing the end for which their author has made them, it is doubtless their duty to fall in with it. Their wills ought to comply with the will of the Creator in this respect, in mainly see king the same, as their last end which God mainly seeks as their last end. This must be the law of nature and reason with respect to them. And we must suppose that God’s revealed law, and the law of nature, agree; and that his will, as a lawgiver, must agree with his will as a Creator. Therefore we justly infer, that the same thing which God’s revealed law requires intelligent creatures to seek, as their last and greatest end, that God their Creator had made their last end, and so the end of the creation of the world.
Pos. 9. We may well suppose, that what is in Holy Scripture, stated as the main end of the grandness of the moral world-so that the respect and relation their goodness has to that end, is what chiefly makes it valuable and desirable-is God’s ultimate end in the creation of the moral world; and so, by position the fourth, of the whole world. For the end of the goodness of a thing, is the end of the thing.
Pos. 10. That which persons who are described in Scripture as approved saints, and set forth as examples of piety, sought as their last and highest end, in the instances of their good and approved behavior, that we must suppose, was what they ought to seek as their; last end: and consequential by the preceding position, was the same with God, last end in the creation of the world.
Pos. 11. What appears by the word of God to be that end, in the desires of which the souls of the best, and in their best frames, most naturally and directly exercise their goodness, and in expressing their desire of this end, they do most properly and directly express their respect to God we may well suppose that end to be the chief and ultimate end of a spirit of piety and goodness, and God’s chief end in making the moral world, and so the whole world. For, doubtless, the most direct tendency of a spirit of true goodness, in the best part of the moral world, is to the chief end of goodness, and so the chief end of the creation of the moral world. And in what else can the spirit of the true respect and friendship to God be expressed by way of desire, than in desires of the same. But, which God himself chiefly and ultimately desires in making them and all other things.
Pos. 12. Since the Holy Scriptures teach us that Jesus Christ is the Head of the moral world, and especially of all the good part of it; the chief of God’s servants, appointed to be the Head of his saints and angels, and set forth as the chief and most perfect pattern and example of goodness; we may well suppose, by the foregoing positions that what he sought as his last end, was God’s last end in the creation of the world.
SECTION Particular texts of Scripture, that show that Gods glory is an ultimate end of the creation. 1. WHAT God says in his word, naturally leads us to suppose, that the way in which he makes himself his end in his work or works, which he does for his own sake, is in making history his end.
Which is as much as to say, I will obtain my end; I will not forego my glory; another shall not take this prize from me. It is pretty evident here, that God’s name and his glory which seem to intend the same thing, as shall be observed more particularly afterwards, are spoken of as his last end in the great work mentioned; not as an inferior, subordinate end, subservient to the interest of others. The words are emphatical. The emphasis and repetition constrain us to understand, that what God does is ultimately for his own sake: “For my own sake, even for my own sake will I do it.”
So the words of the apostle, in Romans 11:36. naturally lead us to suppose, that the way in which all things are to God, is in being for his glory. “For of him, and through him, and to him are all things, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” In the preceding context, the apostle observes the marvellous disposals of divine wisdom, fur causing all things to be to him, in their final issue and result, as they are from him at first, and governed by him. His discourse shows how God contrived this and brought it to pass, by setting up the kingdom of Christ in the world; leaving the Jews, and calling the Gentiles; including what he would hereafter do in bringing in the Jews, with the fullness of the Gentiles; with the circumstances of these wonderful works, so as greatly to show his justice and his goodness, to magnify his grace, and manifest the sovereignty and freeness of it, and the absolute dependence of all on him. And then, in the four last verses, he breaks out into a most pathetic exclamation, expressing his great admiration of the depth of divine wisdom, in the steps he takes for attaining his end, and causing all things to be to him: and finally, he expresses a joyful consent to God’s excellent design in all to glorify himself, in saying, “to him be glory for ever;” as much as to say, as all things are so wonderfully ordered for his glory, so let him have the glory of all, for evermore. 2. The glory of God is spoken of in Holy Scripture as the last end for which those parts of the moral world that are good were made.
Thus in Isaiah 43:6,7. “I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Keep not back, bring my sons from afar, and my daughters from the ends of the earth, even every one that is called by my name; for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him, yea I have made him.” Again, Isaiah 60:21 “Thy people also shall be all righteous. They shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hand, that I may be glorified.”
Also chapter 61:3. “That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that be must be glorified.”
In these place we see, that the glory of God is spoken of as the end of God’s saints, the end for which he makes them, i. e. either gives them being, or gives them a being as saints, or both. It is said, that God has made and formed them to be his sons and daughters, for his own glory:
That they are trees of his planting, the work of his hands, as trees of righteousness, that he might be glorified. And we consider the words, especially as taken with the context in each of the places, it will appear quite natural to suppose, that God’s glory is here spoken of only as an end interior and subordinate to the happiness of God’s people. On the contrary, they will appear rather as promises of glorified God’s people happy, that God therein might be.
So is that in Isaiah 43 as we shall see plainly, if we take the whole that is said from the beginning of the chapter, verse <234301> 1-7. It is wholly a promise of a future, great, and wonderful work of God’s power and grace, delivering his people from all misery, and making them exceeding happy; and then the end of all, or the sum of God’s design in all, is declared to be Gods own glory. “I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name, thou art mine. — I will be with thee. — When thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. — Thou art precious and honorable in my sight. I will give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not, I am with thee — I will bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory.”
So Isaiah 60:21. The whole chapter is made up of no thing but promises of future, exceeding happiness to God’s church; but, for brevity’s sake, let us take only the two preceding verses 19, 20. “The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.
Thy sun shall no snore go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself, for the Lord shall be shine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands;” and then the end of all is added, “that I might be guided.” All the preceding promises are plainly mentioned as so many parts, of constituents, of the great and exceeding happiness of God’s people; and God’s glory is mentioned, as the sum of his design in this happiness.
In like manner is the promise in chapter 61:3. “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them Beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mounting, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” The work of God promised to be effected, is plainly an accomplishment of the joy, gladness and happiness of God’s people, instead of their mourning and sorrow; and the end in which God’s design in this work is obtained and summed up, is his glow. This proves, by the seventh position, that God’s glory is the end of the creation.
The same thing may be argued from Jeremiah 13:11. “For as a girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord: that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.”
That is, God sought to make them to be his own holy people; or, as the apostle expresses it, his peculiar people, zealous of good works that so they might be a glory to him; as girdles were used in those days for ornament and beauty, and as badges of dignity and honor.
Now when God speaks of himself, as seeking a peculiar and holy people for himself, to be for his glory and honor as a man that seeks an ornament and badge of honor for his glory, it is not natural to understand it merely of a subordinate end, as though God had no respect to himself in it; but only the good of others. If so, the comparison would not be pastoral; for men are commonly wont to seek their own glory and honorer in adorning themselves, and dignifying themselves with badges of honor.
The same doctrine seems to be taught, Ephesians 1:5. “Having predestinated us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ, unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace.” — And the same may be argued from Isaiah 44:23. “For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, he hath glorified himself in Israel.” And chapter 49:3. “Thou art my servant Jacob, in whom I will on glorified.” John 17:10. “And all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them.” 2 Thessalonians 1:10. “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints.” Verse 11, 12. “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of his calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” 3. The Scripture speaks of God’s glory, as his ultimate end of the goodness to the moral part of the creation, and that end, in relation to which chiefly the value of their virtue consists.
As in Philippians 1:10,11. “That ye may approve things that are excellent, that ye may be sincere, and without offense, till the day of Christ: being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Here the apostle shows how the fruits of righteousness in them are valuable, and how they answer their end, viz. in being “by Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God.” John 15:8. “Herein in my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit. “Signifying, that by this means it is that the great end of religion is to be answered. And in Peter 4:11. the apostle directs the Christians to regulate all their religious performances with reference to that one end. “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God: if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth, that God in all things may be glorified; to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
And, from time to time, embracing and practicing true religion, and repenting of sin, and turning to holiness, is expressed by glorifying God, as though that were the sum and end of the whole matter. “And in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand; and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” ( Revelation 11:13) So Revelation 14:6,7. “And I say, another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him.” As though this were the sum and end of that virtue and religion which was the grand design of preaching the gospel, every where through the world. “And repented not to give him glory.” ( Revelation 16:9) Which is as much as to say, they did not forsake their sins and turn to true religion, that God might receive that which is the great end he seeks, in the religion he requires of men. (See to the same purpose, Psalm 22:21-23. Isaiah 66:19. 24:15. 25:3. Jeremiah 12:15,16. Daniel 5:23. Romans 15:5,6.)
And as the exercise of true religion and virtue in Christians is summarily expressed by their glorifying God, so, when the good influence of tints on others is spoken of, it is expressed in the same manner. “Let your light so shine before men, that others seeing your good works, may glorify your Father which is in heaven.” ( Matthew 5:16) “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that whereas they speak evil against you as evil-doers, they may, by your good works which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” ( 1 Peter 2:12) That the ultimate end of moral goodness, or righteousness, is answered in God’s glory being attained, is supposed in the objection which the apostle makes, or supposes some will make, “For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory, why am I judged as a sinner?” ( Romans 3:7) he seeing the great end of righteousness is answered by my sin, in God being glorified, why is my sin condemned and punished? and why is not my vice equivalent to virtue?
And the glory of God is spoken of as that wherein consists the value and end of particular graces. As of faith. Romans in 20. “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief: but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” Philippians 2:2. “That every tongue should confess that Jesus is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Of repentance. Joshua 6 19. “Give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him.” Of charity. 2 Corinthians 8:19. “With this grace, which is administered by us, to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind. Thanksgiving and praise. Luke 7:18. “There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” Psalm 1:23. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me; and to him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I show the salvation of God. “Concerning which last place may be observed, that God seems to say this to such as supposed, in their religious performances, that the end of all religion was to glorify God. They supposed they did this in the best manner, in offering a multitude of sacrifices; but God corrects their mistake, and informs them, that this grand end of religion is not attained this way, but in offering the more spiritual sacrifices of praise and a holy conversation.
In fine, the words of the apostle in 1 Corinthians 6:20. are worthy of particular notice. “Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are his. “Here, not only is glorifying God spoken of, as what summarily comprehends the end of religion, and of Christ redeeming us; but the apostle urges, that inasmuch as we are not our own, we ought not to act as if we were our own, but as God’s; and should not use the members of our bodies, or faculties of our souls, for ourselves, but for God, as making him our end.
And he expresses the way in which we are to make God our end, viz. in making his glory our end. “Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are his. “Here it cannot be pretended that though Christians are indeed required to make God’s glory their end; yet it is but as a subordinate end, as subservient to their own happiness; for then, in acting chiefly and ultimately for their ownselves, they would use themselves more as their own than as God’s, which is directly contrary to the design of the apostle’s exhortation, and the argument he is upon; which is, that we should give ourselves as it were away from ourselves to, God, and use ourselves as his, and not our own acting for his sake, and not our own sakes. Thus it is evident, by position the ninth, that the glory of God is the last end for which he created the war. 4. There are some things in the word of God which lead us to suppose, that it require of men that they should desire and seek God’s glory, as their highest and last end in what they do.
As particularly, from 1 Corinthians 10:30. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, do all to the glory of God” And 1 Peter 4:11. — “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 ad 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 Leviticus 10:3. Ezekiel 28:22. 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 the creation. 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. Romans 11:36. “To whom be glory for ever and ever.
Amen.” Chapter 16:27. “To God only wise, be glory, through Jesus Christ, for ever. Amen.” Galatians 1:4,5. “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 Timothy 4:18. “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.” Ephesians 3:21. “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end.” Hebrews 13:21. — “Through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:20. “Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18. “To him be glory both now and for ever.
Amen.” Jude 25. “To the only wise God our Savior be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5,6. “Unto him that loved us, etc. — 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 Chronicles 16:28,29. “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, Psalm 29:1,2 and 69:7, 8. See also, Psalm 57:5. 72:18, 19. <19B501> 115:1. So the whole church of God through all parts of the earth, Isaiah 13:10-12. In like manner the saints and angels in heaven express the piety of their hearts, Revelation 4:9, 11-14. and 7:12. This is the event that the hearts of the seraphim especially exult in, as appears by Isaiah 6:2,3. “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 2:14. “Glory to God in the highest,” etc.
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 fellowcreatures, 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. Where the church says, Not unto us. not unto us, O Jehovah, but to thy name give glory, it would be absurd to say, that 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. “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.” ( John 7:18) 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,” etc. It is natural from the antithesis to understand him, that this was his ultimate aim his supreme governing end. John 12:27,28. “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 straitened 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 prayer, the last he ever made with his disciples, on the evening 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 glorify thee.” As this is his first request, we may suppose it to be his supreme request and desire, and what he ultimately aimed at in all. If we consider what follows to the end, ill the rest that is said in the prayer, seems to he 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 to John 7:18 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 12:27,28. it has been already observed, that Christ comfort, 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, “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” ( John 12:28) 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 shows 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 12:23,24. “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, 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 shows 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 shine 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 13:31,32. 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 has 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. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men.” ( Luke 2:14) 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 Philippians 2:6-11. (very much in the same manner as m John 12:23,23. and 13:31, 32, and <431701> 17:1, 4, 5.) “Who being in the forth 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 humbly himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, etc. 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 Ephesians 1:3, etc. “Blessed 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 pilot 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, verse 8 The clearness of light granted through Christ, verse 9. God’s gathering together in one, all things in heaven and earth in Christ, verse 10. God’s giving the Christians that were first converted to the Christian faith from among the Jews, an interest in this great redemption, verse 11. Then the great end is added, verse 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 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 scaled 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 m the some manner, in 2 Corinthians 4:14,15. — “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, Psalm 79:9. “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. “Sing, 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 bath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel!” ( Isaiah 44:23) 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 Isaiah 48:10,11. and 49:3.
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, 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 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 am 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 shown 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 fact 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 shown, 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. Haggai 1:8. “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 fulfillment. 2 for. 1:20. “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 the end of the execution of God’s threatenings, in the punishment of sin. Numbers 14:20,21,22,23. “And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word. But, as truly as I live, all the earth shall he filled with the glory of 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 deserted; 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 judgments on his enemies in this world. Exodus 14:17,18. “And I will get me honor (I will be glorified) upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host,” etc. “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 l am the Lord, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.” ( Ezekiel 28:22) So Ezekiel 39:13. “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, end in the glorious exercises of mercy, in the misery and happiness of another world. Romans 9:22,23. “What if God, willing, to show 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 Thessalonians 1:9,10. “Who shall he 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 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, etc. 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 shown 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, 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 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 <19A431> 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, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.” ( Isaiah 6:3) 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 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 most 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.
SECTION Places of Scripture that lead us to suppose, that God created the world for his name, to make his perfections known; and that he mark 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 Samuel 12:22 “The Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name sake.” “He restoreth my soul, he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, for his name’s sake.” ( Psalm 23:3) Psalm 31:3. “For their name’s sake, lead me, and guide me.” <19A921> Psalm 109:21.
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. 1 John 2:12. “I write unto you little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” Psalm 25:11. “For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.” Psalm 79:9. “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.” Jeremiah 14:7. “O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name’s sake.”
These things seem to show, that the salvation of Christ is Or 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. “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.” ( 2 Samuel 7:23) “Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake.” ( <19A608> Psalm 106:8) “That led them by the right hand of Moses, with his glorious arm, dividing the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting name.” ( Isaiah 63:12) In the 20th chapter of; Ezekiel 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 verse 9, 14, 22. (See also Joshua 7:8,9. Daniel 9:19.)
So is the redemption from the Babylonish captivity. Isaiah 48:9,10. “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?” In Ezekiel 36:21,22,23. 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 chapter 39:25. “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 show them mercy for his own sake. Daniel 9:19.
When God, from time to time, speaks of showing 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 I especially when such expressions as these are used, “For mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it; for how should my name be polluted?” and “Not for your sakes do I this, but for my holy name’s sake.”
Again, it is represented as though God’s people had their existence, at least as God’s people, for God’s name’s sake. God’s redeeming or purchasing them, that they might be his people, for his name, implies this. As in that passage mentioned before, “Thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name.” ( 2 Samuel 7:23) So God making them a people for his name, is implied in Jeremiah 13:11. “For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, etc. — that they may be unto me for a people, and for a name.” Acts 15:14. “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit The Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.”
This also is spoken of as the end of the virtue, religion, and holy behavior of the saints. Romans 1:5. “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations for his name.” Matthew 19:29. “Every one that forsaketh houses, or brethren, etc. — for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” 3 John 7. “Because, that for his name’s sake, they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.” “And hast borne, and host patience, and for my name’s sake hast labored and hast not fainted.” ( Revelation 2:3) And we find that holy persons express their desire of this, and their joy in it, in the same manner as in the glory of God. 2 Samuel 7:26. “Let thy name be magnified for ever” Psalm 76:1. “In Judah is God known, his name is great in Israel.” <19E813> Psalm 148:13. “Let them praise the name of the Lord; for his name alone is excellent, his glory is above the earth and heaven.” <19D513> Psalm 135:13. “Thy name, O Lord, endureth for ever, and thy memorial throughout all generations.” Isaiah 12:4. “Declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.”
The judgments God executes on the wicked, are spoken of as being for the sake of his name, in like manner as for his glory. “And in very deed, for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” ( Exodus 9:16) “And showedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land; for thou knewedst that they dealt proudly against them: so didst thou get thee a name, as at this day.” ( Nehemiah 9:10) And this is spoken of as a consequence of the works of creation, in like manner as God’s glory. Psalm 8:1. “O Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who best set thy glory above the heavens.” And then, at the conclusion of the observations on the works of creation the psalm ends thus, verse 9. “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” So <19E813> Psalm 148:13. after a particular mention of the various works of creation. “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is excellent in all the earth, his glory is above the earth and the heaven.” 2. So we find the manifestation of God’s perfections, his greatness and excellency, is spoken of very much in the same manner as God’s glory.
There are several scriptures which would lead us to suppose this to be the great thing that God sought of the moral world, and the end aimed at in moral agents, wherein they are to be active in answering their end. This seems implied in that argument God’s people sometimes made use of, in deprecating a state of death and destruction: that, in such a state, they cannot know, or make known, the glorious excellency of God. Psalm 88:18,19. “Shall thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave, or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark, and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” So Psalm 30:9. Isaiah 38:18,19. The argument seems to be this: Why should we perish? and how shall shine end, for which thou hast made us, be obtained in a state of destruction, in which thy glory cannot be known or declared?
This is the end of the good part of the moral world, or the end of God’s people in the same manner as the glory of God. “This people have I formed for myself, they shall show forth my praise.” ( Isaiah 43:21) “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into marvellous light.” ( 1 Peter 2:9) And this seems to be represented as the thing wherein the value, the proper fruit and end of then virtue appears. Isaiah 60:6. speaking of the conversion of the Gentile nations to true religion, “They shall come and show forth the praises of the Lord.” Isaiah 66:19. “I will send — unto the nations — and to the isles afar off, that have not heard Madame, neither have seen my glory, and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. — To which we may add, the proper tendency and rest of true virtue, and holy dispositions. 1 Chronicles 17:8. “Make known his deeds among the people.” Verse 23 24. “Show forth from day to day thy salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen.”
This seems to be spoken of as a great end of the acts of God’s moral government; particularly, the great judgments he executes for sin. Exodus 9:16. “And in very deed, for this cause have I raised thee up, to show in thee my power; and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, etc. To the intent, that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will; and setteth up over it the basest of men.” ( Daniel 4:17) But places to this purpose are too numerous to be particularly recited. See them in the margin.
This is also a great end of God’s works of favor and may to his people. 2 Kings 19:19. “Now, therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only.” 1 Kings 8:59,60. — “That he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel, at all times, as the matter shall require, that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.” See other passages to the same purpose referred to in the margin.
This is spoken of as the end of the eternal damnation of the wicked, and also the eternal happiness of the righteous. Romans 9:22,23. “What if God, willing to show 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 hath afore prepared unto glory?”
This is spoken of, from time to time, as a great end of the miracles which God wrought. (See Exodus 7:17. and 8:10. and 10:2. Deuteronomy 29:5,6. Ezekiel 24:17.) And of the ordinance he has established. Exodus 29:44,45,46. “ And I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priests” office. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that l am the Lord their God,” etc. Chapter 31:13. “Verily, my sabbaths shall ye keep; for it is a sign between me and you, throughout your generations, that ye may, know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you:” We have again almost the same words, Ezekiel 20:12. and verse 20.
This was a great end of the redemption out of Egypt. <19A608> Psalm 106:8.
Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to he known.” (See also Exodus 7:5. and Deuteronomy 4:34,35.) And also of the redemption from the Babylonish captivity. Ezekiel 20:34-38. “And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries whither ye are scattered. — And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people; and there I will plead with you as I pleaded with our fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt. — And will bring you into the bond of the covenant.
And I will purge out the rebels. — And ye shall know that I am the Lord.”
Verse 42. “And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel.” Verse 44. “And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have wrought with you for my name’s sake.” (See also chapter 28:25, 26. and 36:11. and 37:6. 13.)
This is also declared to be a great end of the work of redemption by Jesus Christ: both of its purchase, and its application Romans 3:25,26. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness. — To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7. “But God, who is rich in mercy, etc. That he might show the exceeding riches of his riches, of his kindness towards us through Jesus Christ.” Chapter 3:8, 9,10. “To preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see, what is the fellowship of that mystery which, from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now into the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” Psalm 22:21,22. “Save me from the lion’s mouth. I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” (Compared with Hebrews 2:12. and John 17:26.) Isaiah 64:4. “O that thou wouldest rend the heavens — to make thy name known to thine adversaries.” And it is pronounced to be the end of that great, actual salvation, which should follow Christ’s purchase of salvation, both among Jews and Gentiles. Isaiah 49:22,23. “I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles, — and they shall bring thy sons in their arms — and kings shall be thy nursing-father — and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.”
This appears to be the end of God’s common providence, Job 37:6,7.”For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth. Likewise to the small rain, and to the great rain of his strength. He sealeth up the hand of every man, that all men may know his work.” And of the day of judgment, that grand consummation of God’s moral government of the world, and the day for bringing all things to declaration, or openly manifesting of God’s excellency, is spoken of as the actual, happy consequence and effect of the work of creation. Psalm 19:1, etc. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showth his hand-work. Day unto day uttereth speech, might unto night showeth knowledge.-In them bath he placed a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run his race,” etc. 3. In like manner, there are many scriptures that speak of God’sPRAISE, in many of the forementioned respects, just in the same manner as of his name and people, in the same manner as before, “For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord: that they might be unto me for a name, and for a peace, and a glory.” ( Jeremiah 13:11) It is spoken of as the end of the moral works. “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou perfected praise.” ( Matthew 21:16) That is, so hast thou in thy sovereignty and wisdom ordered it, that thou shouldest obtain the great end for which intelligent creatures are made, more especially from some of them that are in themselves weak, Inferior, and more insufficient. (Compare Psalm 8:1,2.)
And the same thing that was observed before concerning the making known God’s excellency, may also be observed concerning God’s praise.
That it is made use of as an argument in deprecating a state of destruction; that in such a state, this end cannot be answered, in such a manner as seems to imply its being an ultimate end for which God had made man. Psalm 88:10. “Shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall thy lovingkindness be declared in the grave? — Shall thy wonders be known in the dark?” Psalm 30:9. “What profit is there in my blood? When I go down to the pit, shall the dust praise thee? Shall it declare thy truth? <19B517> Psalm 115:17,18. “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence: but we will bless the Lord, from this time forth and for evermore.
Praise ye the Lord.” Isaiah 38:18,19 “For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee.” And God’s praise is spoken of as the end of the virtue of God’s people, in like manner as his glory. “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God.” ( Philippians 1:11) God’s praise is the end of the work of redemption. In Ephesians where that work in its various parts is particularly insisted on, and set forth in its exceeding glory, this is mentioned, from time to time, as the great end of all, that it should be “to the praise of his glory.” As in verse 6, 12, 14.
By which we may doubtless understand much the same thing with what in Philippians 1:11. is expressed, “his praise and glory.” Agreeably to this, Jacob’s fourth son from whom the great Redeemer was to proceed, by the special direction of God’s providence, was calledPRAISE. This happy consequence, and glorious end of that great redemption, Messiah, one of his posterity, was to work out.
In the Old Testament this praise is spoken of as the end of the forgiveness of God’s people, and their salvation in the same manner as God’s name and glory. Isaiah 48:9,10,11. “For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold I have refined thee — for mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it: for how should my name he polluted? and my glory will I not give to another.” Jeremiah 33:8,9. “And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity — and I will pardon all their iniquities. And t shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honor.”
And that the holy part of the moral world express desires of this, and delight in it, as the end which holy principles in them tend to, reach after, and rest in, in their highest exercises — just in the same manner as the glory of God, is abundantly manifest. It would be endless to enumerate particular places wherein this appears, wherein the saints declare this, by expressing their earnest desires of God’s praise; calling on all nations, and all beings in heaven and earth, to praise him; in a rapturous manner calling on one another, crying “Hallelujah; praise ye the Lord, praise him for everse” Expressing their resolutions to praise him as long as they live through all generations, and for ever; declaring how good, how pleasant and comely the praise of God is, etc. And it is manifest, that God’s praise is the desirable and glorious consequence and effect of all the works of creation, by such places as these. <19E505> Psalm 145:5-10. and 148 throughout, and <19A319> 103:19-22.
SECTION Places of scripture from whence it may be argued, that communication of good to the creature, was one thing which God had in view, as an ultimate end of the creation of the world. 1. ACCORDING to the Scripture, communicating good to the creatures is what is in itself pleasing to God. And this is not merely subordinately agreeable, and esteemed valuable on account of its relation to a further end, as it is in executing justice in punishing the sins of men, but what God is inclined to on its own account, and what he delights in simply and ultimately. For though God is sometimes in Scripture spoken of as taking pleasure in punishing men’s sins, “The Lord will rejoice over you, to destroy you.” ( Deuteronomy 28:63) Ezekiel 5:13. Then shall mine anger be accomplished, and I will cause my fury to rest upon them, and I will be comforted.” Yet God is often spoken of as exercising goodness and showing mercy, with delight, in a manner quite different, and opposite to that of his executing wrath. For the latter is spoken of as what God proceeds to with backwardness and reluctance; the misery of the creature being not agreeable to him on its account. Nehemiah 9:17. “Thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.” <19A308> Psalm 103:8. “The Lord’s merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” <19E508> Psalm 145:8. “The Lord is gracious and fell of compassion, slow to anger, and of great mercy.” We have again almost the same words, Jonah 4:2. Micah 7:18. “Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, etc. — He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.” Ezekiel 18:32. “ I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God; wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.” Lamentations 3:33. “He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” Ezekiel 33:11. As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel! 2 Peter 3:9. “Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2. The work of redemption wrought out by Jesus Christ, is spoken of in such a manner as, being from the grace and love of God to men, does not well consist with his seeking a communication of good to them, only subordinately. Such expressions as that in John 3:16. carry another idea. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
And 1 John 4:9,10. “In this was manifested the love of God towards us because that God sent his only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” So Ephesians 2:4. “But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,” etc. But if indeed this was only from a regard to a further end, entirely diverse from our good then all the love is truly terminated in that, its ultimate object, and therein is his love manifested, strictly and properly speaking, and not in that he loved us, or exercised such high regard towards us. For if our good be not at all regarded ultimately, but only subordinately, then our good or interest is, in itself considered, nothing in God’s regard.
The Scripture every where represents it, as though the great things Christ did and suffered, were in the most direct and proper sense from exceeding love to us. Thus the apostle Paul represents the matter, Galatians 2:20. “Who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Ephesians 5:25. “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
And Christ himself, John 17:19. “For their sakes I sanctify myself.” And the scripture represents Christ as resting in the salvation and glory of his people, when obtained as in what he ultimately sought, as having therein reached the goal, obtained the prize he aimed at, enjoying the trail of his soul in which he is satisfied, as the recompence of his labors and extreme agonies, Isaiah 53:10,11. “When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall he satisfied, by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities. “He sees the travail of his soul, in seeing his seed, the children brought forth as the result of his travail. This implies, that Christ has his delight, most truly and properly, in obtaining the salvation of his church, not merely as a means, but as what he rejoices and is satisfied in, most directly and properly. This is proved by those scriptures which represent him as rejoicing in his obtaining this fruit of his labor and purchase, as the bridegroom, when he obtains his bride, “As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.” ( Isaiah 62:5) And how emphatical and strong to the purpose, are the expressions in Zephaniah 3:17. “ The Lord the God in the midst of thee is mighty he will save he will rejoice over thee with joy, he will rest in his love, he will rejoice over thee with singing. “The same thing may be argued from Proverbs 8:30,31. “Then was I by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him: rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth, end my delights were with the sons of men.”
And from those places, that speak of the saints as God’s portion, his jewels and peculiar treasure, these things are abundantly confirmed, John 12:23-32. But the particular consideration of what may be observed to the present purpose, in that passage of Scripture, may be referred to the next section. 3. The communications of divine goodness, particularly forgiveness of sin, and salvation are spoken of, from time to time, as being for God’s goodness’ sake, and for his mercies sake, just in the same manner as they are spoken of as being for God’s name’s sake, in the places observed before. “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me, for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.” ( Psalm 25:7) In the 11th verse, the psalmist says, “For thy name’s sake O Lord, pardon mine iniquity.” Nehemiah 9 “Nevertheless, For thy great mercies sake, thou hast not utterly consumed them, nor forsaken them. for thou art a gracious and a merciful God.” Psalm 6:4. “Return, O Lord, deliver my soul: O save me for thy mercies sake.” Psalm 31:16. “Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake.” Psalm 44:26 “Arise for our help, redeem us for thy mercies’ sake.” And here it may be observed, after what a remarkable manner God speaks of his love to the children of Israel in the wilderness, as though his love were for love’s sake, and his goodness were its own end and motive. Deuteronomy 7:7,8. “The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people: but because the Lord loved you.” 4. That the government of the world in all its parts, is for the good of such as are to be the eternal subjects of God’s goodness is implied in what the Scripture teaches us of Christ being set at God’s right hand, made king of angels and men; set at the head of the universe, hating all power given him in heaven and earth, to that end that he may promote their happiness; being made head over all things to the church, and having the government of the whole creation for their good. Christ mentions it, Mark 2:28. as the reason why the Son of man is made Lord to the sabbath, because “the sabbath was made for man.” And if so, we may in like manner argue, that all things were made for man, because the Son of man is made Lord of all things. 5. That God uses the whole creation, in his government of it, for the good of his people, is most elegantly represented in Deuteronomy 33:26. “There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven.” The whole universe is a machine, or chariot, which God hath made for his own use, as is represented in Ezekiel’s vision God’s seat is heaven, where he sits and governs, Ezekiel 1:22 26-28. The inferior part of the creation, this visible universe, subject to such continual changes and revolutions, are the wheels of the chariot. God’s providence, in the constant revolutions, alterations, and successive events, is represented by the motion of the wheels of the chariot, by the spirit of him who sits on his throne on the heavens, or above the firmament. Moses tells us for whose sake it is, that God moves the wheels of this chariot, or rides in it, sitting in his heavenly seat; and to what end he is making his progress, or goes his appointed journey in it, viz. the salvation of his people. 6. God’s judgments on the wicked in this world, and also their eternal damnation in the world to come, are spoken of, as being for the happiness of God’s people. So are his judgements on them in this world. Isaiah 43:3,4. “For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior. I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou hast been precious in my sight, thou hast been honorable and I have loved thee; therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” So the works of God’s vindictive justice and wrath are spoken of as works of mercy to his people, <19D610> Psalm 136:10,15, 17-20. And so is their eternal damnation in another world. Romans 9:22,23. “What if God, willing to show 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.” Here it is evident the last verse comes in, in connection with the foregoing, as giving another reason of the destruction of the flicked, viz. showing the riches of his glory on vessels of merry: higher degrees of their glory and happiness, in a relish of their own enjoyments, and a greater sense of their value, and of God’s free grace in bestowing them. 7. It seems to argue, that God’s goodness to them who are to be the eternal subjects of his goodness, is the end of the creation; since the whole creation, in all its parts, is spoken of asTHEIRS. 1 Corinthians 3:22,23. “All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come, all are yours.” The terms are very universal; and both works of creation and providence are mentioned, and it is manifestly the design of the apostle to he understood of every work of God whatsoever. Now, how can we understand this any otherwise, than that all things are for their benefit and that God made and uses all for their good? 8. All God’s works, both of creation and providence, are represented as works of goodness or neck to his people; as in the 130th psalm. His wonderful works in general. Verse 4. “To him who alone doth great wonders; for his mercy endureth for everse” The works of creation in all its parts. verse 5-9. “To him that by wisdom made the heavens, for his mercy endureth for ever. To him that stretched out the earth above the waters, for his mercy endureth forever. To him that made great lights, for his mercy endureth for ever. The sun to rule by day, for his mercy endureth for ever.
The moon and stars to rule by night; for his mercy endureth forever.” And God’s works of providence, in the following part of the psalm. 9. That expression in the blessed sentence pronounced on the righteous at the day of judgment, “Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world,” seems to hold forth thus much, that the fruits of God’s goodness to them, was his end in creating the world, and in his providential disposals: that God in all his works, in laying the foundation of the world, and ever since the foundation of it, had been preparing this kingdom and glory for them. 10. Agreeable to this the good of men is spoken of as an ultimate end of the virtue of the moral world. Romans 13:8,9,10. “He that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, etc. — And if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying. Thou shalt love the neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Galatians 5:14. “All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” James 2:8. “If ye fulfill the royal law, according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, thou shalt do well.
If the good of if creature be one end of God in all he does; and in all he requires moral agents to do; an end by which they should regulate all their conduct; these things may be easily explained: but otherwise, it seems difficult to be accounted fur, that the Holy Ghost should thus express himself. The Scripture represents it to be the spirit of all true saints, to prefer the welfare of God’s people to their chief joy. This was the spirit of Moses and the prophets of old: the good of God’s church was an end by which they regulated all their conduct. And so it was with the apostles. 2 Corinthians 4:15. “For all things are for your sake.” 2 Timothy 2:10. “I endured all things for the elect’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” And the Scriptures represent it, as though every Christian should, in all he does, be employed for the good of the church, as each particular member is employed for the good of the body, Romans 12:4,5, etc. Ephesians 4:15,16. 1 Corinthians 12:12,25, etc. To this end, the Scripture teaches us, the angels are continually employed, Hebrews 1:14.
SECTION. Wherein is considered what is meant by the glory of God and the name of God in Scripture, when spoken of as God’s end in his works. HAVING thus considered, what are spoken of in the Holy Scriptures, as the ends which God had ultimately in view in the creation of the world, I now proceed particularly to inquire what they are, and how the terms are to be understood?
I. Let us begin with the phrase, theGLORY OF GOD — And here I might observe, that it is sometimes used to signify second person in the Trinity; but it is not necessary, at this time, to prove it from particular passages of Scripture. Omitting this, I proceed to observe some things concerning a Hebrew word, which is most commonly used in the Old Testament, where we have the word glory in the English Bible. The root it comes from, either the verb, which signifies to be heavy, or make heavy, or from the adjective which signifies health or weighty. These, as seems pretty manifest, are the primary signification of these words, though they have also other meanings, which seem to be derivative. The noun signifies gravity, heaviness, greatness, and abundance. Of very many places it will be sufficient to specify a few. Proverbs 27:3. 2 Samuel 14:26. Kings 12:11. Psalm 38:4. Isaiah 30:27. And as the weight of bodies arises from two things, density and magnitude; so we find the word used to signify die, Exodus 19:16. (nubes gravis, Vulg. densissima,) a dense cloud, and is very often used for great. Isaiah 32:2. Genesis 5:9. 1 Kings 10:2. 2 Kings 6:14. and 18:17. Isaiah 36:2. etc.
The Hebrew word which is commonly translated glory, is used in such a manner as might be expected from this signification of the words from whence it comes. Sometimes it is used to signify what is internal, inherent, or in the possession of the person: and sometimes for emanation, exhibition, or communication of this internal glory: and sometimes for the knowledge, or sense of these, in those to whom the exhibition or communication is made; or an expression of this knowledge, sense, or effect. And here I would note, that agreeable to the use of this word in the Old Testament, is the Greek word (earn) in the New. For as this word is generally translated by the just mentioned Greek word in the Septuagint; so it is apparent, that this word is designed to be used to signify the same thing in the New Testament with the other in the Old. This might be abundantly proved, by comparing particular places of the Old Testament, but probably it will not be denied. I therefore proceed particularly to consider these words, with regard to their use in Scripture, in each of the fore-mentioned ways. 1. The word glory denotes sometimes what is internal. When the word is used to signify what is within, or in the possession of the subject, it very commonly signifies excellency, dignity, or worthiness of regard. This, according to the Hebrew idiom, is, as it were, the weight of a thing, as that by which it is heavy, as to be light, is to be worthless, without value, contemptible. Numbers 21:5. “This light bread.” 1 Samuel 18:23. “Seemeth it a light thing.” Judges 9:4. “Light persons,” i. e. worthless, vain, vile persons. So Zephaniah 3:4. To set light by is to despise, Samuel 19:43. Belshazzar’s vileness in the sight of God, is represented by his being Tekel, weighed in the balances and found light, Daniel 5:27.
And as the weight of a thing arises from its magnitude, and its specific gravity conjunctly; so the word glory is very commonly used to signify the excellency of a person or a thing, as consisting, either in greatness, or in beauty, or in both conjunctly, as will abundantly appear by considering the places referred to in the margin.
Sometimes that internal, great and excellent good, which is called glory, is rather in possession, than inherent. Any one may be called heavy, that possesses an abundance and he that is empty and destitute, may be called light. Thus we find riches are sometimes called glory. “And of that which was our fathers’ hath he gotten all this glory.” ( Genesis 31:1) Esther 5:11. “Haman told them of the glory of his riches.” Psalm 49:16,17. “Be not afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased. For when he dieth, he shall carry nothing away, his glory shall not descend after him.” Nahum 2:9. “Take ye the spoil of silver, take the spoil of gold, for there is none end of the store and glory out of the pleasant furniture.”
And it is often put for a great height of prosperity, and fullness of good in general. Genesis 14:13 “You shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt.” Job 19:9. “ “He hath stripped me of my glory.” Isaiah 10:3. “Where will you leave your glory: Verse 16. “Therefore shall the Lord of hosts send among his fat ones leanness, and under his glory shall he kindle a burning, like the burning of a fire.” Isaiah 17:3,4. “The kingdom shall cease from Damascus, and the remnant of Syria; they shall be as the glory of the children of Israel: And in that day, it shall come to pass, that the glory of Jacob shall be made thin, and the fatness of his flesh shall be made lean.” Isaiah 21:16. “And all the glory of Kedar shall fail.” “Ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.” ( Isaiah 61:6) Chapter 66:11, 12. “That ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. — I will extend peace to her, like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream.” Hosea 9:11. “As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away as a bird.” Matthew 4:8. “Showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.” Luke 24:26. “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” John 17:22. “And the glory which thou gayest me, have I given them.” Romans 5:2. “And rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Chapter 8:18. “The sufferings of this present time, are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (See also chapter 2:7, 10. and 3:23. and 9:23.) 1 Corinthians 2:7. “The hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world, unto our glory.” Corinthians 4:17. “Worketh out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.” Ephesians 1:18. “And what the riches of the glory of kits inheritance in the saints.” 1 Peter 4:13. “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are made partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” Chapter 1:8. “Ye rejoice, with joy unspeakable and full of glory.” 2. The word glory is used in Scripture often to express the exhibition, emanation, or communication of the internal glory. Hence it often signifies an effulgence, or shining brightness, by an emanation of beams of light.
Thus the brightness of the sun, and moons and stars, is called their glory, in 1 Corinthians 15:41. But in particular, the word is very often thus used, when applied to God and Christ. As in Ezekiel 1:28 “As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.”
And chapter 10:4. “Then the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub, and stood over the threshold of the house, and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was fill of the brightness of the Lord’s glory.” Isaiah 6:1,2,3. “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lined up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphim — And one cried to another and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts the whole earth is full of his glory.” Compared with John 12:41. These things said Esaias, when He saw his glory and spake of him.” Ezekiel 43:2. “And behold the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east — And the earth shined with his glory.” Isaiah 24:23. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” Isaiah 60:1,2. “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” Together with verse 19. “The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” Luke 2:9. “The glory of the Lord shone round about them.” Acts 22:11. “And when I could not see for the glory of that light.” In 2 Corinthians 3:7. The shining of Moses’s face is called the glory of his countenance. And to this Christ’s glory is compared, verse to “But we all with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory.” And so chapter 4:4. “Lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Verse 6. “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” Hebrews 1:3. “Who is the brightness of his glory.” The apostle Peter, speaking of that emanation of exceeding brightness, from the bright cloud that overshadowed the disciples in the mount of transfiguration, and of the shining of Christ’s face at that time says, “For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” ( 2 Peter 1:17) Revelation 18:1. “Another angel came down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened, with his glory.” Revelation 21:11. “Having the glory of God, and her light was like unto a stone most precious, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” Verse 23. “And the city, had no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine in it, for theology of God did lighten it.” See the word for a visible effulgence or emanation of light in the places to be seen in the margin.
The word glory, as applied to God or Christ, sometimes evidently signifies the communications of God’s fullness, and means much the same thing with God’s abundant goodness and grace. So Ephesians 3:16. “That he would grant you, accord to the rich of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” The expression, “According to the riches of his glory,” is apparently equivalent to that in the same epistle, chapter 1:7. “According to the riches of his grace.” And chapter 2:7. “The exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us, through Christ Jesus.” In like manner is the word glory used in Philippians 4:19. “But my God shall supply all your need, according to his right in glory, by Christ Jesus.”
And Romans 9:23. “And that he might make known he riches of his glory, on the vessels of his mercy.”
In this and the foregoing verse, the apostle speaks of God’s making known two things, his great wrath, and his rich grace. The former on the vessels of wrath, verse 22. The latter, which he calls the riches of his glory, on the vessels of mercy, verse 23. So when Moses says, “I beseech thee show me thy glory;” God granting his request, makes answer, “I will make all my goodness to pass before thee.” Exodus 33:18,19.
What we find in John 12:23-32. is worthy of particular notice in this place. The words and behavior of Christ, of which we have here an account, argue two things. 1. That the happiness and salvation of men, was an end that Christ ultimately aimed at in his labors and sufferings. The very same things which were observed before,(chapter second, section third,)concerning God’s glory, are in the same manner observable, concerning the salvation of men.
Christ. in the near approach of the most extreme difficulties which attended his undertaking comforts himself in a certain prospect of obtaining the glory of God, as his great end. And at the same time, and exactly in the same manner, is the salvation of men mentioned, as the end of these great labors and sufferings, which satisfied his soul in the prospect of undergoing them. (Compare the 23rd and 24th verses, and also the 28th and 29th verses, verse 31 and 32.) 2. The glory of God, and the emanations and fruits of his grace in man’s salvation, are so spoken of by Christ on this occasion in just the same manner, that it would be quite unnatural to understand him as speaking of two distinct things. Such is the connection, that what he says of the latter, must most naturally be understood as exegetical of the former. He first speaks of his own glory, and the glory of his Father, as the great end that should be obtained by what he was about to suffer; and then explains and amplifies this, in what he expresses of the salvation of men that shall be obtained by it. Thus, in the 23rd verse. he says, “The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified.” And in what next follows, he evidently shows how he was to be glorified, or wherein his glory consisted: “ Verity, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” As much fruit is the glory of the seed, so is the multitude of redeemed ones, which should spring from his death, his glory. So concerning the glory of his Father, in the 27th and following verses. “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. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” In an assurance of this, which this voice declared, Christ was flatly comforted and his soul even calmed under the view of his approaching sufferings. And what this glory was, in which Christ’s soul was so comforted on this occasion, his own words plainly show. When the people said, it thundered, and others said, an angel spoke to him, then Christ tells them what this voice meant.
Verse 30-32. “Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” By this behavior and there speeches of our Redeemer, it appears, that the expressions of divine grace, in the sanctification and happiness of the redeemed, are especially that glory of his, and his Father, which was the joy that was set before him, for which he endured the cross, and despised the shame: and that this glory especially was the end of the travail of his soul, in obtaining which end he was satisfied. ( Isaiah 53:10,11.)
This is agreeable to what has been just observed, of God’s glory being so often represented by an effulgence, or emanation, or communication of light, from a luminary or fountain of light. What can so naturally and aptly represent the emanation of the internal glory of God, or the flowing forth and abundant communication of that infinite fullness of good that is in God? Light is very often in Scripture put for comfort, joy, happiness, and for good in general. 3. Again, the word glory, as applied to God in Scripture implies the view or knowledge of God’s excellency. The exhibition of glory is to the view of beholders. The manifestation of glory, the emanation or effulgence of brightness, has relation to the eye. Light or brightness is a quality that has relation to the sense of seeing; we see the luminary by its light. And knowledge is often expressed in Scripture by light. The word glory very often in Scripture signifies, or implies, honor, as any one may soon see by casting his eye on a concordance.” But honor implies the knowledge of the dignity and excellency of him who hath the honor and this is open more especially signified by the word glory when applied to God. Numbers 14:21. “But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord,” i. e. All the inhabitants of the earth shall see the manifestations I will make of my perfect holiness and hatred of sin, and so of my infinite excellence. I his appears by the context. So Ezekiel 39:21,22,23. “And I will set my glory among the heathen, arid all the heathen shall see my Judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel seal know that I am the Lord their God. And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity.” And it is manifest in many places, There we read of God glorifying himself, or of his being glorified that one thing, directly intended, is making known his divine greatness and excellency. 4. Again, glory, as the word is used in Scripture, often signifies or implies praise. This appears from what was observed before, that glory very often signifies honor, which is much the same thing with praise, viz. high esteem and the expression of it in words and actions. And It is manifest that the words glory and praise, are open used as equivalent expressions in Scripture. Psalm 1:23. “Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me.” Psalm 22:23. “Ye that fear the Lord praise him, all ye seed of Israel, glorify him.” Isaiah 42:8. “My glory I will not give unto another nor my praise to graven images.” Verse 12. “Let them give glory unto the Lord, and declare his praise in the islands.” Isaiah 48:9-11. “For my name sake will I defer mine anger; for my praise will I refrain for thee. — For mine own sake will I do it, for — I will not give my glory unto another.” Jeremiah 13:11. “That they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory.” Ephesians 1:6. “To the praise of the glory of his grace.” Verse 12. “To the precise of his glory.” So verse 14. The phrase is apparently equivalent to this, Philippians 1:11. “Which are by Jesus Christ unto the praise and glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15. “That the abundant grace might, through the Thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of It is manifest the praise of God, as the phrase is used in Scripture, implies the high esteem and love of the heart exalting thoughts of God, and complacence in his excellence and perfection. This is manifest to every one acquainted with the Scripture. However, if any need satisfaction, they may, among innumerable other places which might be mentioned, turn to those in the margin.
Other passages to the same purpose see in the margin. How open do we read of singing praise! But singing is commonly an expression of joy. It is called, making a joyful noise. And as it is often used, it implies gratitude or love to God for his benefits to us.
God’s name and his glory, at least very often, signify the same thing in Scripture. As it has been observed concerning the glory of God, that it sometimes signifies the second person in the Trinity; the same might be shown of the name of God, if it were needful in this place. But that the name and glory of God are often equipollent expressions, is manifest by Exodus 33:18,19. When Moses says, “I beseech thee show me thy glory,” and God grants his request, he says, “I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee.” Psalm 8:1. “O Lord, how excellent is thy mane in all the earth! who host set thy glory above the heavens,” Psalm. 79:9. “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.” <19A215> Psalm 102:15. “So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord and all the kings of the earth thy glory.” <19E713> Psalm 147:13. “His name alone is excellent, and his glory is above the earth and heaven.” Isaiah 48:9. “For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee.” Verse 11. “For mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it: for how should my name he polluted? And I will not give my glory unto another.” Isaiah 59:10. They shall fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun.” Jeremiah 13:11. “That they might be unto me for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory.” As glory often implies the manifestation, publication, and knowledge of excellency, and the honor that any one has in the world; so does name. Genesis 11:4. “Let us make us a name. Deuteronomy 26:19. “And to make thee high above all nations, in praise, in name, and in honor.”
So it is evident, that by name is sometimes meant much the same thing as praise, by several places which have been just mentioned. (as Isaiah 48:9. Jeremiah 13:11. Deuteronomy 26:19.) And also by Jeremiah 33:9. “And it shall be unto me for a name, a praise, and an honor, before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear of all the good I do unto them.” “I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth.” ( Zephaniah 3:20) And it seems that the expression or exhibition of God’s goodness is especially called his name, in Exodus 33:19. “I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee.”
And chapter 34:5, 6, 7. “And the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, gracious and merciful, long-suffering and abundant in goodness and truth; keeping mercy for thousands,” etc.
And the same illustrious brightness and effulgence in the pillar of cloud that appeared in the wilderness, and dwelt above the mercy-seat in the tabernacle and temple, (or rather the spiritual, divine brightness and effulgence represented by it,) so often called the glory of the Lord, is also often called the name of the Lord. Because God’s glory was to dwell in the tabernacle, therefore he promises, Exodus 29:43. “There will I meet with the children of Israel and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by my glory.” And the temple was called the house of God’s glory Isaiah 60:7.
In like manner, the name of God is said to dwell in the sanctuary. Thus we often read of the place that God chose, to put his name there: or, as it is in the Hebrew, to cause hisNAME to inhabit there. So it is sometimes rendered by our translators. As Deuteronomy 12:11. “Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there.” And the temple is often spoken of as built for God’s name.
And in Psalm 74:7. the temple is called the dwelling-place of God s name. The mercy-seat in the temple was called the throne of God’s name or glory, “Do not abhor us, for thy name’s sake do not disgrace the throne of thy glory. “ ( Jeremiah 14:21) Here God’s name and his glory seem to be spoken of as the same.
SECTION Showing that the ultimate end of the creation of the world is but one, and what that one end is. FROM what has been observed in the last section, it appears, if the whole of what is said relating to this affair be duly weighed, and one part compared with another, we shall have reason to think, that the design of the Spirit of God is not to represent God’s ultimate end as manifold, but as ONE. For though it be signified by various names yet they appear not to be names of different things, but various names involving each other in their meaning: either different names of the same thing, or names of several parts of one whole; or of the same whole viewed in various lights or in its different respects and relations. For it appears, that all that is ever spoken of in the Scripture as art ultimate end of God’s works, is included in that one phase, the, story of God; which is the name by which the ultimate end of God’s works is most commonly called in Scripture and seems most aptly to signify the think.
The thing signified by that name, the glory of God when spoken of as the supreme and ultimate end of all God’s works, is the emanation and true external expression of God’s internal glory and fullness, meaning by his fullness what has already been explained, or, in other words, God’s internal glory; in a true and just exhibition, or external existence of it. It is confessed, that there is a degree of obscurity in these definitions; but perhaps an obscurity which is unavoidable, through the Imperfection of language to express things of so sublime a nature. And therefore the thing may possibly be better understood, by using a variety of expressions, by a particular consideration of it, as it were, by parts, than by any short definition.
It includes the exercise of God’s perfections to produce a proper effort, in opposition to their lying eternally dormant and ineffectual: as his power being eternally without any act or fruit of that power; his wisdom eternally ineffectual in any wise production, or prudent disposal of any thing, etc.
The manifestation of his internal glory to created understandings. The communication of the infinite fullness of God to the creature. The creature’s high esteem of God, love to him, and complacence and joy in him; and the proper exercises and expressions of these.
These at first view may appear to be entirely distinct things: but if we more closely consider the matter they will all appear to be ONE thing, in a variety of views and relations. They are all but the emanation of God’s glory or the excellent brightness and fullness of the divinity diffused, overflowing, and as it were engorged; or in one word, existing as extra.
God exercising his perfection to produce a proper effect, is not distinct from the emanation or communication of his fullness for this is the effect, viz. his fullness communicated, and the producing of this effect is the communication of his fullness; and there is nothing in this effectual exerting of God’s perfection, but the emanation of God’s internal glory.
Now God’s internal glory is either in his understanding or will. The glory or fullness of his understanding is his knowledge. The internal glory and fullness of God having its special seat in his will, is his holiness and happiness. The whole of God’s internal good or glory, is m these three things, viz. his infinite knowledge, his infinite virtue or holiness, and his infinite joy and happiness. Indeed there are a great many attributes in God, according to our way of conceiving them: but all man be reduced to these; or to their degree, circumstances, and relations. We have no conception of God’s power, different from the degree of these things, with a certain relation of them to effects. God’s infinity is not properly a distinct kind of good, but only expresses the degree of good there is in Him. So God’s eternity is not a distinct good; but is the duration of good. His immutability is still the same good with a negation of change. So that, as I said, the fullness of the Godhead is the fullness of his understanding, consisting in his knowledge; and the fullness of his will consisting m his virtue and happiness.
And therefore, the external glory of God consists in the communication of these. The communication of his knowledge is chiefly in giving the knowledge of himself: for this is the knowledge in which the fullness of God’s understanding chiefly consists. And thus we see how the manifestation of God’s glory to created understandings, and their seeing and knowing it, is not distinct from an emanation or communication of God’s fullness, but clearly implied in it. Again, the communication of God’s virtue or holiness, is principally in communicating the love of himself. And thus we see how, not only the creatures seeing and knowing God’s excellence, but also supremely esteeming and loving him, belongs to the communication of God’s fullness. And the communication of God’s joy and happiness, consists chiefly in communicating to the creature that happiness and joy which consists in rejoicing to God, and in his glorious excellency; for in such joy God’s own happiness does principally consist.
And in these things, knowing God’s excellency, loving God for it, and rejoicing in it, and in the exercise and expression of these, consists God’s honor and praise; so that these are clearly implied in that glory of God, which consists in the emanation of his internal glory.
And though all these things, which seem to be so various, are signified by that glory, which the Scripture speaks of as the ultimate end of all God’s works; yet it is manifest there is no greater, and no other variety in it, than in the internal and essential glory of God itself. God’s internal glory is partly in his understandings and partly in his will. And this internal glory, as seated in the will of God, implies both his holiness and his happiness: both are evidently God’s glory, according to the use of the phrase. So that as God’s external glory IS only the emanation of his internal, this variety necessarily follows. And again, it hence appears that here is no other variety or distinction but what necessarily arises from the distinct faculties of the creature, to which the communication is made, as created in the image of God: even as having these two faculties of understanding and will. God communicates himself to the understanding of the creature, in giving him the knowledge of his glory; and to the will of the creature, in giving him holiness, consisting primarily in the love of God: and in giving the creature happiness, chiefly consisting in joy in God. These are the sum of that emanation of divine fullness called in Scripture, the glory of God.
The first part of this glory is called truth, the latter, grace “We beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” ( John 1:14) Thus we see that the great end of God’s works, which is so variously expressed in Scripture, is indeed butONE; and this one end is most properly and comprehensively called,THE GLORY OF GOD; by which name it is most commonly called in Scripture; and is fitly compared to an effulgence or emanation of light from a luminary. Light is the external expression, exhibition, and manifestation of the excellency of the luminary, of the sun for instance: It is the abundant, extensive emanation and communication of the fullness of the sun to innumerable beings that partake of it. It is by this that the sun itself is seen and his glory be held, and all other things are discovered: it is by a participation of this communication from the sun, that surrounding objects receive all their lustre, beauty, and brightness. It is by this that all nature receives life, comfort, and joy. Light, is abundantly used in Scripture to represent and signify these three things, knowledge, holiness, and happiness.
What has been said may be sufficient to show, how those things, which are spoken of in Scripture as ultimate ends of God’s works, though they seem at first view to be distinct, are all plainly to be reduced to this one thing, viz. God’s internal glory or fullness existing in its emanation. And though God; in seeking this end, seeks the creature’s good, get therein appears his supreme regard to himself.
The emanation or communication of the divine fullness consisting in the knowledge of God, love to him, and joy in him, has relation indeed both to God and the creature: but it has relation to God as its fountain, as the thing communicated is something of its internal fullness. The water in the stream is something of the fountain; and the beams of the sun are something of the sun. And again, they have relation to God as their object: for the knowledge communicates, is the knowledge of God, and the love communicated, is the love of God, and the happiness communicated, is joy in God. In the creature’s knowing esteeming, loving, rejoicing in, and praising God, the glory of God is both exhibited and acknowledged; his fullness is received and returned. Here is both an emanation and emanation.
The refulgence shines upon and into the creature, and is reflected back to the luminary. The beams of glory come from God, are something of God, and are refunded back again to their original. So that the whole is of God, and in God, and to God, and he is the beginning, and the middle, and the end.
And though it be true that God has respect to the creature in these things, yet his respect to himself, and to the creature, are not properly a double and divided respect. What has been said, (chapter 1. Section 3, 4 ) may be sufficient to show this. Nevertheless, it may not be amiss here briefly to say a few things; though mostly implied in what has been said already.
When God was about to create the world, he had respect to that emanation of his glory, which is actually the consequence of the creation, both with regard to himself and the creature. He had regard to it as an emanation from himself a communication of himself, and as the thing communicated, in its nature returned to himself, as its final term. And he had regard to it also as the emanation was to the creature, and as the thing communicated was in the creature, as its subject.
And God had regard to it in this manner, as he had a supreme regard to himself, and value for his own infinite internal glory. It was this value for himself that caused him to value and seek that his internal glory should flow forth from himself. It was from his value for his glorious perfections of wisdom, righteousness, etc. that he valued the proper exercise and effect of these perfections, in wise and righteous acts and effects. It was from his infinite value for his internal glory and fullness, that he valued the thing itself communicated, which is something of the same extant in the creature.
Thus, because he infinitely values his own glory, consisting in the knowledge of himself, love to himself, and complacence and joy in himself; he therefore valued the image, communication, or participation of these in the creature. And it is because he value himself, that he delights in the knowledge, and love, and joy of the creature; as being himself the object of this knowledge, love, and complacence. For it is the necessary consequence of true esteem and love, that we value others, esteem of the same object, and dislike the contrary. For the same reason, God approves of others, esteem and love of himself.
Thus it is easy to conceive, how God should seek the good of the creature, consisting in the creature’s knowledge and holiness, and even his happiness, from a supreme regard to himself as his happiness arise from that which is an image and participation of God’s own beauty; and consists in the creature’s exercising a supreme regard to God, and complacence in him; in beholding God’s glory, in esteeming and loving it, and rejoicing in it, and in his exercising and testifying love and supreme respect to God: which is the same thing with the creature’s exalting God as his chief good, and making him his supreme end.
And though the emanation of God’s fullness, intended in the creation, is to the creature as its object and though the creature is the subject of the fullness communicated, which is the creature’s ‘good; get it does not necessarily follow, that even in so doing, God did not make himself his end.
It comes to the same thing. God’s respect to the creature’s good, and his respect to himself, is not a divided respect; but both are united in one, as the happiness of the creature aimed at is happiness in union with himself.
The creature is no farther happy with this happiness which God makes his ultimate end, than he becomes one with God. The more happiness the greater union: when the happiness is perfect, the union is perfect. And as the happiness will be increasing to eternity, the union will become more and more strict and perfect nearer and more like to that between God the Father and the Son who are so united, that their interest is perfectly one. If the happiness of the creature be considered in the whole of the creature’s eternal duration, with all the infinity of its progress, and infinite increase of nearness and union to God, In this view, the creature must be looked upon as united to God in an infinite strictness.
If God has respect to something in the creature, which he views as of everlasting duration, and as rising higher and higher through that infinite duration, and that not with constantly diminishing (but perhaps an increasing) celerity; then he has respect to it, as, in the whole, of infinite height; though there never will be any particular time when it can be said already to have come to such a height.
Let the most perfect union with God he represented by something at an infinite height above us; and the eternally increasing union of the saints with God, by something that is ascending constantly towards that infinite height, moving upwards with a given velocity, and that is to continue thus to move to all eternity. God, who views the whole of this eternally increasing height, views it as an infinite height. And if he has respect to it, and makes it his end, as in the whole of it, he has respect to it as an infinite height, though the time will never come when it can be said it has already arrived at this infinite height.
God aims at that which the motion or progression which he causes, aims at, or tends to. If there be many things supposed to be so made and appointed, that, by a constant eternal motion, they all tend to a certain center; then it appears that he who made them, and is the cause of their motion, aimed at that center: that term of their motion, to which they eternally tend, and are eternally, as it were, striving after. And if God be this center, then God aimed at himself. And herein it appears, that as he is the first author of their being and motion, so he is the last end the final terms to which is their ultimate tendency and aim.
We may judge of the end that the Creator aimed at, in the being, nature, and tendency he gives the creature, by the mark or term which they constantly aim at in their tendency and eternal progress; though the time will never come, when it can be said it is attained to, in the most absolutely perfect manner.
But if strictness of union to God be viewed as thus infinitely exalted, then the creature must be regarded as nearly and closely united to God. And viewed thus, their interest must be viewed as one with God’s interest; and so is not regarded properly with a disjunct and separate, but an undivided respect. And as to any difficulty of reconciling God’s not making the creature his ultimate end, with a respect properly distinct from a respect to himself; with his benevolence and free grace, and the creature’s obligation to gratitude, the reader must be referred to chapter 1. Section 4. obj. 4. where this objection has been considered and answered at large.
If by reason of the strictness of the union of a man and his family, their interest may be looked upon as one, how much more so is the interest of Christ and his church, — whose first union in heaven is unspeakably more perfect and exalted, than that of an earthly father and his family — if they be considered with regard to their eternal and increasing union? Doubtless it may justly be esteemed so much one, that it may be sought, not with a distinct and separate, but an undivided respect. It is certain that what God aimed at in the creation of the world, was the good that would be the consequence of the creation, in the whole continuance of the thing created.
It is no solid objection against God aiming at an infinitely perfect union of the creature with himself, that the particular time will never come when it can be said, the union is now infinitely perfect. God aims at satisfying justice in the eternal damnation of sinners; which will be satisfied by their damnation, considered no otherwise than with regard to its eternal duration. But yet there never will come that particular moment, when it can be said, that now justice is satisfied. But if this does not satisfy our modern free-thinkers who do not like the talk about satisfying justice with an infinite punishment; I suppose it will not be denied by any, that God, in glorifying the saints in heaven with eternal felicity, aims to satisfy his infinite grace or benevolence, by the bestowment of a good infinitely valuable, because eternal: and yet there never will come the moment, when it can be said, that now this infinitely valuable good has been actually bestowed.