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that is piety. The love of God ought continually to predominate in the mind, and give, to every act of duty, grace and animation. Christians do what is right, not only because good affections prompt them to it, and because their conscience declares it to be incumbent; but also because they consider it as agreeable to the will of God, to please whom is ever their supreme desire *.
REASONS ON WHICH THE DOCTRINE OF THE FOREGOING
CHAPTER IS FOUNDED.
Thus it appears that the glory of God is the ultimate object which he has in view in all his works,-in the creation and preservation of the universe. It also appears to be the ultimate object of reference to all moral agents,—to the attainment of which they are bound to consecrate themselves. That this ought to be their chief end in all their conduct appears to me evident from the following considerations.
I. Because it is the end which God proposes to himself in all his works. Scripture, the only source. whence we derive information on this head, does indeed speak of the communication of happiness as his ultimate end. There are numerous expressions which seem to intimate that God's object in imparting his goodness is the happiness of his creatures. “The * Beattie's Moral Science.
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.--God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” To shew the unbounded delight and complacency with which God regards the felicity of his people, it is said, “ The Lord thy 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."
These declarations, which shew forth the pleasure which God takes in the happiness of his creatures, are perfectly consistent with the position, that his ultimate end in all his works is his own glory. For what is the glory of God ? It was before observed, that it is the riches, the infinite fulness of the divine nature, consisting in infinite knowledge, holiness, and happiness. That which is more especially called the glory of God is the manifestation of these; and particularly the communication of them to the creatures whom he has formed in his own image. “The communication of his knowledge is chiefly in giving the knowledge of himself; the communication of his virtue or holiness, is principally in communicating the love of himself; and the communication of God's joy and happiness consists chiefly in communicating to the creature that happiness and joy which consists in rejoicing in God, and in his glorious excellency; for in such joy God's own happiness does principally consist. 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 honour and praise. These are the sum of that emanation of divine fulness, called in Scripture, the glory of God.
“ Thus, we see that the great end of God's works, which is so variously expressed in scripture, is indeed but one; and this one end is most properly and comprehensively called, the glory of God. Though God in seeking this end seeks the creature's good; yet, therein appears his supreme regard to himself. The emanation or communication of the divine fulness, consisting in the knowledge of God, love to him, and joy in him, has relation indeed both to God and the creature. They have relation to God as their object; for the knowledge communicated 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, loving, rejoicing in, and praising God, the glory of God is both exhibited and ac. knowledged ; his fulness is received and returned. The refulgence shines upon the creature, and is reflected back to the luminary. The beams of glory come from God, are something of God, and are re. funded 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 *.”
Now, it is clearly the will of God, that all the creatures to whom he has given the capacity of knowing, loving, and serving him, should voluntarily 'cooperate with himself in seeking and in advancing the same end. It is not enough that he can overrule all
* God's Chief End in Creation : Edward's Works, vol. i. p. 528.
events and agencies so as ultimately to accomplish his own purpose,—that he can make even the wrath of man to praise him. For the virtue of intelligent beings consists in loving God, in delighting in his excellences, and in willingly proposing to themselves as their chief object, that which God has declared to be his. He, therefore, in commanding them to be fellow-workers together with God, is, in other words, commanding them to be holy and virtuous creatures, by pursuing and attaining the great ends of their being.
As God shews the holiness of his nature by his actings, by his works, by the manner in which he exercises and manifests his attributes, so are his creatures virtuous only as they are voluntary imitators of him. It is in this way that they are capable of being followers of him, and that he commands their obe. dience. Be ye holy ; for I am holy. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us.” It is only as they obey this great law of their being,-a law which is enforced by all the relations in which they stand to God-by a review of the great purposes for which they have been formed in his glorious image--that they honour and glorify God.
Every thing is perfect only as it answers the end for which it was made. Man was made, man is preserved, and was redeemed, that he might voluntarily co-operate with his Maker in furthering his glory. Unless he intentionally does so, he falls from the rank which has been assigned him in the scale of moral
beings; he becomes depraved, and a rebel against the mighty God who is the father of his spirit, the former of his body, the owner of his talents, interests, and property, of all that he is, and of all that belongs to him.
II. It is by a voluntary co-operation with God in seeking what he has declared to be his honour and glory, that mankind can be instrumental in furthering their own, and the general happiness. No man can be virtuous but as he is intentionally and willingly so; and no one can be truly happy but as he is holy. Now, as there can be no doubt, that the great end of God's moral government is the happiness of his vast empire, in connexion with his own blessedness and glory, it is clear that we can only be virtuously instrumental in promoting this happiness, by making his will in every case our rule, and his honour our chief design. If we are only unintentional instru- . ments of advancing his glory, we place ourselves on a level with the lower animals who act from instinct, and who, in complying with the instinctive affections of their nature, fulfil the appointment which the will of heaven has assigned to them. We not only, in this case, are not virtuous, but by pursuing other ends than those of God's glory, and by yielding to a supremacy different from his, a principle of dislike and enmity gathers strength in the heart, and we are placed in the fearful situation of those who are opposed to the will, the authority, and the honour of God.
While the obligations, arising from creation and providence, are numerous to engage us in the exer