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SER M.« ing no question for conscience sake: for the earth CCX.
2“ is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof." We may
take these things from God's hand, who is the true Lord of them and of all creatures. For this reason we may without scrupulous enquiry, use those meats which are publickly exposed to sale...
And so likewise in the other case, if we be invited to the table of an heathen, we may eat what is set before us, without enquiring whether it be part of an idol-sacrifice. But if any man tell us, that this meat was offered in sacrifice to idols, in that cafe we ought, to abstain from eating of it, “ for his sake that shew“ ed it, and for conscience fake;" that is, out of re-, gard to the opinion of those, who think these meats unlawful : “ for the earth is the Lord's, and the “ fulness thereof.” Also in another sense, God hath made such abundant provision for us, that we may abstrain from this or that meat without any great in-. convenience. “ Conscience, I say, not thine own “ but another's.” He had said before, we should “ eat of what was set before us, asking no question " for conscience sake;" that is, not making it a matter of conscience to ourselves : now he says, if we be told it was offered to an idol, we should « not eat “ for conscience sake;" that is, not as making a matter of conscience of it to ourselves, but out of regard to the conscience of another," to whom it might be a scandal. “ For why is my liberty judg“ ed of another man's conscience ? and if I with " thanksgiving be a partaker,why am I evil spoken " of for that which I give thanks ?” that is, why should another man's conscience be a prejudice to my liberty? If another makes conscience of it as unlawful,why should his conscience govern mine, and make me think so too; or why should I be evil spoken of,
for thinking it lawful to eat any thing ser before me, S E-R M.
Ссх. for which I give thanks ? This is a little obscure; but the plain meaning of the apostle's reasoning seems to be this ; though I have that regard to another man's weak conscience, as to abstain from eating what he thinks unlawful, yet am I not therefore bound to be of his opinion, and think it unlawful in itself: I will consider his weakness so far as to forbear that which I am persuaded is lawful to do, but yet I will still preserve the liberty of my own judgment; and as I am content to give no scandal to him, so I expect that he should not censure and condemn me for thinking that lawful, which he believes not to be fo: and then from all this discourse, the apostle establisheth this general rule in the text, “ Wherefore, whecher ye eat or “ drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of “ God.” To which is parallel that other text, 1 Pet. iv. II. “ That God in all things may be glori“ fied " So that this general rule lays a duty upon all Christians of designing the glory of God in all their actions. All the difficulty is, what is here meant by this of doing all things “ to the glory of “ God." The Jews have a common saying, which seems to be parallel with this phrase of the apoitle, «s that all things should be done in the name of - God.” And this they make so essential to every good action, that it was a received principle among them, that he who obeys any command of God, and not in his name, shall receive no reward. Now that to do things in the name of God, and to do them to his glory, are but several phrases signifying the same thing, is evident from that precept of the apostle, Col. ii. 17. “ And whatsoever ye do in word, or in - deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus
Christ;" that is, to his glory. Now for our
SER M. clear understanding of the sense of this phrase of glo-
consider the various use of it in scripture, and so descend
1. We are said in scripture to glorify God by a solemn acknowledgment of him and his perfections ; off his goodness and mercy, of his power and wisdom, of his truth and faithfulness; of his sovereign dominion and authority over us:. Hence it is that all folemn actions of religion are called the worship of God, which fignifies that honour and glory' which is given to him by his creatures, signified by some outward expression of reverence and respect. Thus we are said to work ship God, when we fall down before hiin, and pray to him for mercy and blessings, or praise him for favours and benefits received from him, or perform any other solemn act of religion. Psal. lxxxvi. 9. “ All nations vi whom thou hast made, shall come and worship be“fore thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name.”
But especially the duty of praise and thanksgiving is most frequently in scripture called glorifying of God, or giving glory to him. Pfal. lxxxvi. 14. “ I will s praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart, " and will glorify thy name.” Matth. v. 16. “ Let “ your light so shine before men, that they may see
“ your good works, and glorify your Father which is .« in heaven;" that is, praise him upon that account.
Luke v. 25. it is said of the man sick of the pally, that when he was healed, “ he departed to his own house,
• glorifying God; that is, praising God for his S E R M. great mercy to him. And Luke xvii. 18. our SA
A viour speaking of the ten lepers that were healed, says that “ but one of them returned to give glory to God;" that is, to return thanks to God for his recovery.
II. Men are said in scripture to give glory to God by the acknowledgment of their sins, and repentance of them. Joshua vii. 19. “ And Joshua faid to Ao chan, My son, give glory to the Lord God of If“ rael, and make confession to him.” In like manner the prophet Jeremiah, exhorting the people to repentance, useth this expression, Jer. xiii. 16. “Give « glory to the LORD your God, before he cause * darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the « dark mountains.” And Rev. xvi. 9. it is said, that those upon whom great plagues fell, “ repented “ not to give God glory." We glorify God by confession of our sin's and repentance, because in so doing we acknowledge his authority, and the holiness of those righteous laws which we have broken.
III. We are said likewise in scripture to glorify God by our holiness and obedience. Thus we are commanded to glorify God by the chastity of our bodies, and the purity of our minds, i Cor. vi. 20. “ Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, « which are liis.” Thus our Saviour is said to have glorified God in the world, by his perfect obedience to his will, John xvii. 4. “ Father, I have « glorified thee upon earth.” And thus he tells us, we may glorify God by the fruits of holiness and obedience in our lives, John xv. 8. • Herein is my “ Father glorified, if ye bring forth much fruit.” So likewife St. Paul prays for the Philippians, that they may be “ filled with the fruits of righteousness, “ which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and “ praise of God.”
all to the glory of God. SERM. IV. We are said likewise in an especial manner to ССХ.
glorify God by our sufferings for his cause and truth.