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Particular texts of Scripture, that show that God’s 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 his glory his end.
Thus Isa. xlviii. 11. “For my own sake, even for in own sake, will I do it. For how should my name be polluted; and I will not give my glory to another.” 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 Rom. xi. 36. naturally lead us to suppose, that the way in which all things are to God, is in being for his glory. Rom. xi. 36.“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, for 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 fulness 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, 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 Isa. xliii. 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, Isa. lx. 21. “Thy people also shall be all righteous. They shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting hand, that I may be glorified.” Also Isa. xli. 3. chap. xli. 3. “That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
In these places we see, that the glory of God is spoken of as the end of God’s saints, the end or 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 if 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 inferior and subordinate to the happiness of God’s people. On the contrary, they will appear rather as promises of making God’s people happy, that God therein might be glorified.
So is that in Isa. xliii. as we shall see plainly, if we take the whole that is said from the beginning of the chapter, ver. 1-7. It its 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 God’s 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 honourable 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 Isa. lx. 21. The whole chapter is made up of nothing 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 more go down, neither shall the moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of the 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 glorified.” All the preceding promises are plainly mentioned as so many parts, or 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 chap. lxi. 3. “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called tress of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” The work of God promised to be affected, 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 glory. This proves, by the seventh position, that God’s glory is the end of the creation.
The same thing may be argued from Jer. xiii. 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 honour. 199199 See ver 9. and also Isa. iii. 24. xxii.21. and xxiii. 10. Exod. xxviii. 8.
Now when God speaks of himself, as seeking a peculiar and holy people for himself, to be for his glory and honour, as a man that seeks an ornament and badge of honour 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 natural; for men are commonly wont to seek their own glory and honour in adorning themselves, and dignifying themselves with badges of honour.
The same doctrine seems to be taught, Eph. i. 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 f his grace.”—And the same may be argued from Isa. xliv. 23. “For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, he hath glorified himself in Israel.” And chap. xlix. 3. “Thou art my servant Jacob, in whom I will glorified.” John xvii. 10. “And all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them.” 2 Thess. i. 10. “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints.” Ver. 11, 12. “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of his calling, and fulfil 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 of the moral part of the creation; and that end, in relation to which chiefly the value of their virtue consists.
As in Phil. i. 10, 11. “That ye may approve things that are excellent, that ye may be sincere, and without offence, 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 xv. 8. “Herein is 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 1 Pet. iv. 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 practising 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. Rev. xi. 13. “And in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand; and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” So Rev. xiv. 6, 7. “And I saw 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. Rev. xvi. 9. “And repented not to give him glory.” 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, Psal. xxii. 21-23. Isa. lxvi. 19.and Isa. xxiv. 15.and Isa. xxv. 3. Jer. xiii. 15, 16. Dan. v. 23. Rom. xv. 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 this on others is spoken of, it is expressed in the same manner. Matt. v. 16. “Let your light so shine before men, that others seeing your good works, may glorify your Father which is in heaven.” 1 Pet. ii. 12. “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles, that whereas they speak evil against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”
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, Rom. iii. 7. “For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory, why am I judged as a sinner?” i. e. 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. Rom. iv. 20. “He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief: but was strong in faith, giving glory to God.” Phil ii. 11. “That every tongue should confess that Jesus is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Of repentance, Josh. vi. 19. “Give, I pray thee, glory to the Lord God of Israel, and make confession unto him.” Of charity. 2 Cor. viii. 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 vii. 18. “There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.” Psal. l. 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 Cor. vi. 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.” 200200 1 Cor. vi. 20. 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 world.
4. There are some things in the word of God which lead us to suppose, that it requires of men that they should desire and seek God’s glory, as their highest and last end in what they do.
As particularly, from 1 Cor. x. 30. “Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” And 1 Pet. iv. 11—“That God in all things may be glorified.” And this may be argued, that Christ requires his followers should desire and seek God’s glory in the first place, and above all things else, from that prayer which he gave his disciples, as the pattern and rule for the first petition of which is, Hallowed be thy name. Which in scripture language is the same with glorified be thy name; as is manifest from Lev. x. 3. Ezek. xxviii. 22. and many other places. Now our last and highest end is doubtless what should be first in our desires, and consequently first in our prayers; and therefore, we may argue, that since Christ directs that God’s glory should be first in our prayers; 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 connexion 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. Rom. xi. 36. “To whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Chap .xvi. 27. “To God only wise, be glory, through Jesus Christ, for ever. Amen.” Gal. i. 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 Tim. iv. 18. “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me to his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Eph. iii. 21. “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end.” Heb. xiii. 21.—“Through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Phil. iv. 20. “Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 2 Pet. iii. 18. “To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” Jude 25. “To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Rev. i. 5, 6. “Unto him that loved us, &c.—to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
It was in this way that holy David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, vented the ardent tendencies and desires of his pious heart. 1 Chron. xvi. 28, 29. “Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength: give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name.” We have much the same expressions again, Psal. xxix. 1, 2. and lxix. 7, 8. See also, Psal. lvii. 5. lxxii. 18, 19. cxv. 1. So the whole church of God through all parts of the earth, Isa. xlii. 10-12. In like manner the saints and angels in heaven express the piety of their hearts, Rev. iv. 9, 11-14. and vii. 12. This is the event that the hearts of the seraphim especially exult in, as appears by Isa. vi. 2, 3. “Above it stood the seraphim—And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.” So at the birth of Christ, Luke ii. 14. ”Glory to God in the highest,” &c.
It is manifest that these holy persons in earth and heaven, in thus expressing their desires of the glory of God, have respect to it, not merely as a subordinate end, but as that which is in itself valuable in the highest degree. It would be absurd to say, that in these ardent exclamations, they are only giving vent to their vehement benevolence to their fellow-creatures, and expressing their earnest desire that God might be glorified, that so his subjects may be made happy by that means. It is evident, it is not so much their love, either to themselves, or their fellow-creatures, which they express, as their exalted and supreme regard to the most high and infinitely glorious Being. When the church says, Not unto us, not unto us, O Jehovah, but to thy name give the 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.
John vii. 18. “He that speaketh of himself, seeketh his own glory; but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.” When Christ says, he did not seek his own glory, we cannot reasonably understand him, that he had no regard to his own glory, even the glory of the human nature; for the glory of that nature was part of the reward promised him, and of the joy set before him. But we must understand him, that this was not his ultimate aim; it was not the end that chiefly governed his conduct: and therefore, when in opposition to this, in the latter part of the sentence, he says, “But he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true” &c. It is natural from the antithesis to understand him, that this was his ultimate aim, his supreme governing end.
John xii. 27, 28. “Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour, Father, glorify thy name.” Christ was now going to Jerusalem, and expected in a few days there to be crucified: and the prospect of his last sufferings, in this near approach, was very terrible to him. Under this distress of mind, he supports himself with a prospect of what would be the consequence of his sufferings, viz. God’s glory. Now, it is the end that supports the agent in any difficult work that he undertakes, and above all others, his ultimate and supreme end; for this is above all others valuable in his eyes; and so, sufficient to countervail the difficulty of the means. That end, which is in itself agreeable and sweet to him, and which ultimately terminates his desires, is the centre 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 John xvii. 1 “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, all the rest that is said in the prayer, seems to be but an amplification of this great request.—On the whole, I think it is pretty manifest, that Jesus Christ sought the glory of God as his highest and last end; and that therefore, by position twelfth, this was God’s last end in the creation of the world.
7. It is manifest from Scripture, that God’s glory is the last end of that great work of providence, the work of redemption by Jesus Christ.
This is manifest from what is just now observed, of its being the end ultimately sought Jesus Christ the Redeemer. And if we further consider the texts mentioned in the proof of that, and take notice of the context, it will be very evident, that it was what Christ sought as his last end, in that great work which he came into the world upon, viz. to procure redemption for his people. It is manifest, that Christ professes in John vii. 18. that he did not seek his own glory in what he did, but the glory of him that sent him. He means, in the work of his ministry; the work he performed, and which he came into the world to perform, which is the work of redemption. And with respect to that text, John xii. 27, 28. it has been already observed, that Christ comforted himself in the view of the extreme difficulty of his work, in the prospect of the highest, ultimate, and most excellent end of that work, which he set his heart most upon, and delighted most in.
And in the answer that the Father made him from heaven at that time, in the latter part of the same verse, John xii. 28. “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The meaning plainly is, that God had glorified his name in what Christ had done, in the work he sent him upon; and would glorify it again, and to a greater degree, in what he should further do, and in the success thereof. Christ 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 xii. 23, 24. “The hour is come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
So it is manifest, that when be seeks his own and his Father’s glory, in that prayer, John xvii. he seeks it as the end of that great work he came into the world upon, and which he is about to finish in his death. What follows through the whole prayer, plainly 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 thine own self.” Here it is pretty plain, that declaring to his Father he had glorified him on earth, and finished the work which God had given him to do, meant that he had finished the work which God gave him to do for this end, that he might be glorified. He had now finished that foundation that he came into the world to lay for his glory. He had laid a foundation for his Father’s obtaining his will, and the utmost that he designed. By which it is manifest, that God’s glory was the utmost of his design, or his ultimate end in this great work.
And it is manifest, by John xiii. 31, 32. that the glory of the Father, and his own glory, are what Christ exulted in, in the prospect of his approaching sufferings, when Judas was gone out to betray him, as the end his heart was mainly set upon, and supremely delighted in. “Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.” 201201 John xiii. 31, 32.
That the glory of God is the highest and last end of the work of redemption, is confirmed by the song of the angels at Christ’s birth. Luke ii. 14. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men.” It must be supposed that they knew what was God’s last end in sending Christ into the world: and that in their rejoicing on the occasion, their minds would most rejoice in that which was most valuable and glorious in it; which must consist in its relation to that which was its chief and ultimate end. And we may further suppose, that the thing which chiefly engaged their minds was most glorious and joyful in the affair; and would be first in that song which was to express the sentiments of their minds, and exultation of their hearts.
The glory of the Father and the Son is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption, in Phil. ii. 6-11. (very much in the same manner as in John xii. 23, 28. and xiii. 31, 32, xvii. 1, 4, 5.) Phil. ii. 6-11.Who being in the form of God,—made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name, &c. that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,—and every tongue confess, that Jesus is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” So God’s glory, or the praise of his glory, is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption, in Eph. i. 3, &c. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: according as he hath chosen us in him. Having predestinated us to the adoption of children, to the praise of the glory of his grace.” And in the continuance of the same discourse, concerning the redemption of Christ, God’s glory is once and again mentioned as the great end of all.
Several things belonging to that great redemption, are mentioned in the following verses: Such as God’s great wisdom in it, ver. 8. The clearness of light granted through Christ, ver. 9. God’s gathering together in one, all things in heaven and earth in Christ, ver. 10. God’s giving the Christians that were first converted to the Christian faith from among the Jews, an interest in this great redemption, ver. 11. Then the great end is added, ver. 12. “That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.” And then is mentioned the bestowing of the same great salvation on the Gentiles, in its beginning or first fruits in the world, and in completing it in another world, in the two next verses. And then the same great end is added again.“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the holy spirit of promise. Which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” 202202 Eph. i 13, 14. The same thing is expressed much the same manner, in 2 Cor. iv. 14, 15—“He which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise us up also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundance of grace might, through the thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of God.“
The same is spoken of as the end of the work of redemption in the Old Testament, Psal. lxxix. 9. “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; deliver us and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.” So in the prophecies of the redemption of Jesus Christ. Isa. xliv. 23. “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 there-in: for the lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel!” Thus the works of creation are called upon to rejoice at the attaining of the same end, by the redemption of God’s people, that the angels rejoiced at when Christ was born. See also Isa. xlviii. 10, 11. and Isa. xlix. 3.
Thus it is evident, that the glory of God is the ultimate end of the work of redemption; which is the chief work of providence towards the moral world, as is abundantly manifest from Scripture. For the whole universe is put in subjection to Jesus Christ; all heaven and earth, angels and men, 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 end of this great work. And besides, the work of redemption is that, by which good men are, as it were, brought into being, as good men, or as restored to holiness and happiness. The work of redemption is a new creation, according to Scripture, whereby men are brought into a new existence, or are made new creatures.
From these things it follows, according to the 5th, 6th, and 7th positions, that the glory of God is the last end of the creation of the world.
8. The Scripture leads us to suppose that God’s glory is his last end in his moral government of the world in general. This has been already 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 last end of the moral goodness required of them, the end which gives their moral goodness its chief value. And also, that it is what that person which God has set at the head of the moral world, as its chief governor, even Jesus Christ, seeks as his chief end. And it has been 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. Hag. i. 8. “Go up to the mountain and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.” This is spoken of as the end of God’s promises of rewards, and of fulfilment. 2 Cor. i. 20. “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, to the glory of God by us.” And this is spoken of as the end of the execution of God’s threatenings, in the punishment of sin. Numb. xiv. 20, 21, 22, 23. “And the Lord said, I have pardoned according to thy word. But, as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory 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 deserved; and whatever changes might be made in the course of God’s proceedings from compassion to sinners; yet the attaining of God’s glory was an end, which, being ultimate and supreme, must in no case whatsoever give place. This is spoken of as the end of God executing judgments on his enemies in this world. Exod. xiv. 17, 18. “And I will get me honour (NOT ENGLISH) I will be glorified) upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host,” &c. Ezek. xxviii. 22. “Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I am against thee, O Zidon, and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: And they shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall have executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her.” So Ezek. xxxix. 13. “Yea, 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, and in the glorious exercises of mercy, in the misery and happiness of another world. Rom. ix. 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 Thess. i. 9, 10. “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be admired in all them that believe.” Then his glory shall be obtained, with respect both to saints and sinners.—From these things it is manifest, by the fourth position, that God’s glory is the ultimate end of the creation of the world.
9. It appears, from what has been already observed, that the glory of God is spoken of in Scripture as the last end of many of his works: and it is plain that this is in fact the result of the works of God’s common providence, and of the creation of the world. Let us take God’s glory in what sense soever, consistent with its being a good attained by any work of God, certainly it is the consequence of these works: and besides, it is expressly so spoken of in Scripture.
This is implied in the eighth psalm, wherein are celebrated the works of creation: the heavens, the work of God’s fingers; the moon and the stars, ordained by him; and man, made a little lower than the angels, &c. The first verse is Psal. viii. 1—“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. Psal. i. 9. “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” So, in the 148th psalm, after a particular mention of most of the works of creation, enumerating them in order, the psalmist says, ver. 13. “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is excellent, his glory is above the earth and the heaven.” And in the 104th psalm, after a very particular, orderly, and magnificent representation of God’s works of creation and common providence, it is said in the 31st verse, “The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.” Here God’s glory is spoken of as the grand result and blessed consequence, on account of which he rejoices in these works. And this is one thing doubtless implied in the song of the seraphim, Isa. vi. 3. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory.”
The glory of God, in being the result and consequence of those works of providence that have been mentioned, is in fact the consequence of the creation. The good attained in the use of a thing, made for use, is the result of the making of that thing; as signifying the time of day, when actually attained by the use of a watch, is the consequence of making the watch. So it is apparent, that the glory of God is actually the result and consequence of the creation of the world. And from what has been, already observed, it appears, that it is what God seeks as good, valuable, and excellent in itself. And I presume none will pretend, that there is any thing peculiar in the nature of the case, rendering it a thing valuable in some of the instances wherein it takes place, and not in others: or that the glory of God, though indeed an 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 must be a desirable, valuable consequence of the work of creation. Therefore it is manifest, by position the third, that the glory of God is an ultimate end in the creation of the world.
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