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Saarsaxlox The Common Principles of the Christian

Religion clearly proved, and lingularly improved : or, a practical Ca techism, &c.

Of the chief End of Man.

Rom. xi. 36. Of Him, and through Him, and for Him, are all things: 9

wbom be Glery for ever. And 1 Cor. x. 13. Wbatsoever ye dor de ait to the Glory of God.

LL that Men have to the Conclusions of Art are reduced; fo

know, may be comprised the Principles of true Religion are few, A

under these two Heads, and plain. They need neither burden what their End is, and your Memory, nor confound your UAwhat is the right way to derftanding; that which may fave you is

attain to that End : And nodr Hand, says the Apostle, Rom. X. all that we have to do, is, by any Means in tby Mouth : It is neicher too far above

seek to compass that End. These are us, nor too far below us. But alas !

two cardinal Points of a Man's Know. Your not considering of thofe common, Sdge and Exercise; Quo, & qua eundum and few and easie Grounds, makes them

A, W bitber to go, and what way to go. both burdensome to the Memory, and fthere be a Mistake in any of these Fun- dark to the Understanding. As there is damentals, all is wrong. All Arts and nothing so easy, but it becomes difficult, Sciences have their Principles and Grounds, if you do it against your Will, nibil eft that muft be presupposed to all folid Know- tam facile, quin difficile fiat, fi invitus ledge and right Practice ; so hath the true feceris : So there is nothing so plain, fo Religion fome fundamental Principles, common, but it becomes dark and hard, which muft be laid to Heart, and imprint- if you do not indeed consider it, and lay ed into the Soul, or there can be no Su. it to Heart, perftructure of true and saving Know That which is in the first place to be ledge; and no Practice in Christianity that considered, is, our End. As in all other can lead to a bleffed End. But as the Arts, and every petty Business, it hath the Principles are not many, but a few com- firft Place of Confideration, fo especially mon and easie Grounds, from which all in the Christian Religion. It is the first

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Cause

Cause of all humane Actions, and the first God is independent altogether, and selfPrinciple of all deliberate Motions. Ex fufficient : This is his royal Prerogative, cept you would walk at random, not wherein he infinitely transcends all created knowing whither you go, or what you Perfection: He is of bimself, and for do, you muft once establith this and fix bimself, from no other, and for no other, it in your Intention, what is the great End I but of bim, and for bim are all Things. and Purpose wherefore I am created, and He is the Fountain-Head ; you ought sent into the World? If this be not either to follow the Streams up to it, and then questioned, or not rightly constituted ; to reft: For you can go no farther. But you cannot but spend your Time, vel the Creature, even the most perfect Work nibil agendo, vel aliud agendo, vel male besides God, it hath these two Ingredients agendo, you must either do nothing, or of Limitation and Imperfection in its nothing to Purpose, or, that which is Bosom : It is from another, and for aworse, that which will undo you. It is notber. It hath its Rise out of the Founcertainly the wrong establishing of this tain of God's immense Power and Goodone Thing, that makes the moft Part of ness, and it must run towards that again, our Motions, either altogether irregular, till it empty all its Faculties and Excel or unprofitable, or destructive and hurt-lencies, into that same Sea of Goodness. ful: Therefore, as this point hath the Dependence is the proper Notion of a fisft Place in your Catechism, so it ought created Being : Dependence upon that to be first of all laid to Heart, and pon- infinite independent Being, as the first dered as the one necessary Thing. One immediate Cause, and the last immediate ibing is needful, lays Christ, Luk. x. End : You see then, that this Principle is 42. And if any thing be in a superlative engraven in the very Nature of Man. It Degree needful, this is it. O that you is as certain and evident, that Man is made would chufe to consider it, as the Neceflity for God's Glory, and for no other End, and Weight of it requires.

as that he is from God's Power, and from We have read two Scriptures, which no other Cause : Except Men did violent fpeak to the ultimate and chief End of their own Conscience, and put out their Man, which is the glorifying of God by own Eyes, as the Gentiles did, Rom. i. all our Actions, and Words, and Thoughts. 19. &c. That which might be known of In which we have these Things of Impor- Mans chief End, is manifest in them, so tance : 1. That God's Glory is the End of that all Mon are without Excuse. As our Being 2. That God's Glory should God his Being is independent, so that he be the End of our Doing. And 3. The cannot be expressed by any Name, more Ground of both these, because both Being suitable than such as he takes to himself, I am and Doing are from Him, therefore they that I am : Importing a boundless, ineffable, ought to be both for Him. He is the absolute, and transcendent Being, beside firà Cause of both, and therefore he ought which, no Creature deserves so much as to to be the last End of both. Of bim, and have the Name of Being, or to be made through bim, are all Things, and therefore Mention of in one Day with his Name ; all Things are also for Him, and there because his glorious Light makes the poor fore all Things jould be done to derived Shadow of Light in other Crea Him.

tures, to disappear, and to eyanith our of

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the World of Beings: So it is the glori- and {poils others Excellencies, to cloath it
ous Perfection of his Nature, that he doth self withal; and then boasts it felf in these
all Things for himself, for his own Name, borrowed Feathers. But our blessed Lord
Prow. ziv. 4. and his Glory is as dear to is then doing moft for our Advantage,
him, as himself, Ifa. xlii. 8. I am the Lord, when he does all for his own Glory ;
ibat is my Name, and therefore my He needs not go abroad to seek Perfecti-
Glory will I give to no other, and on, but to manifest what he is in Him.
xlviii. 11. This is no Ambition. Indeed, self : He communicates of Himself to us.
for a Man to seek his own Glory, or O blessed Self-seeking, that gave us a Being
search into it, is no Glory, Prov. xxv. and Well-being, that makes no Advan-
27. but rather a Man's Shame : Self-seek tage by it, but gives Advantage. He
ing in Creatures, is a monstrous and in- hath the Honour of all, but we have the
congruous Thing; it is as abfurd, and unbe-Profit of all.
seeming a Creature, to seek its own Glory, All Things are of Him, and for
as to attribute to ir self its own Being. Him ; but Man in a peculiar and proper
Shall the Thing formed, say to the Potter, Way. As God in making of Man, he was
Thou hast not made me? That were ridi- pleased of his Goodness, to stamp him
culous : And-fhall the Thing formed say, with a Character of his own Image, and
'Tis made for itself? That were as ridicul- | in this he puts a Difference between Map
ous. Self-denial is the Ornament and and other Creatures; that he should have
Beauty of a Creature, and therefore Hu- more plain and distinct Engravings of
mflicy is an Ornament and Cloathing, Divine Majesty upon him, which might
i Pet. v. s. And Honour upbolds the new the Glory of the Work-man: So
bumble in Spirit, Prov. xxix. 23. But it appears that he is in a fingular Way made
God's Self-seeking, and seeking of his own for God, as his last End. As he is fet
Glory, is his eminent Excellency : It is nearer God, as the Beginning and Cause
indeed his Glory, because he is, and there than other Creatures; so he is placed near-
is none else, there is nothing beside Him, er God as the End. All Creatures are
but that which hath iflued forth from his made ultimo, laftly for God, yet they
incomprehensible Fulness : Anel therefore are all made proxime, nextly for Man:
it is all the Reason of the World, that as Therefore David falls out a wondring, ,
he is the Beginning, so he thould be the Lord wat is Man that thou magni-
End of all Things, Rev. i. 8. And there fieji bim, and baft given bim Dominion o-
is the more Reason of it, that his Maje. I'ver the works of tby Hands, and put
fty's seeking of his own Glory, io not all Things under bis Feet! Psal. viii.
prejudicial to the Creature's Good, but the 6. The Creature comes out in a direct
very Communication of his Fulness goes Liue from God, as the Beams from the
along with it: so that in glorifying HimBody of the Sun, and it is directed tc-
felf, he is most beneficial to his own wards the Use and Service of Mankind,
Creatures. Poor Creatures, indigent at from whom all the Excellency and Pere
Home, yet are proud of nöthing, and en- fection that is in it should reflect towards
deavour in seeking of themseives, to in- God again. Man is both proxime &
gross all Perfections into their own Bo- ultime for God. We are to return im-
Soms: Ambition, and Yain-glory, robs mediately to the Fountain of our Being

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and thus our Happiness and Well-being is God's glorifying of us, and lanétifying of perpetuated. There is nothing Interveen- us, and our glorifying and fanctifying of ing between God and us, that our Ule him : God calls Things that are not, and Service and Honour should be direct and makes them to be ; but we can do ed towards : But all the Songs and Per- no more, but call things that are, and fections of the Creature, that are among that far below what they are. God's glothe rest of the Creatures, meet all in Manrifying is creative, ours only declarative. as their Centre, for this purpose, that he He makes us fuch, we do no more but demay return with them all to the glorious clare him to be fuch: This then is the Fountain from whence they iffued: Thus proper Work that Man is created for, to we stand next God, and in the middle be a Witness of God's Glory, and to give between God and other Creatures. This, Teftimony to the Appearances, and outI say, was the Condition of our Creation ; breakings of it, in the Ways of Power, we had our Being iminediately from God, and Justice, and Mercy, and Truth. 0 as the Beginning of all, and we were to ther Creatures are called to glorify God, have our Happiness and Well-being by re- but it is rather a Proclamation to dull and turning immediately to God as the End of senseless Men, and a Provocation of them all. But Sin coming in between God and to their Duty. As Chrift, said to the us, hash displaced us, so that we cannot Pharisees, If these Children bold their now stand next God, without the Inter Peace, the Stones would cry out : So vention of a Mediator,' and we cannot may the Lord turn himself from Atupid Atand between God and Creatures, to of- and senseless Man, to the Stones, and fer up their Praises to him ; but there is Woods, and Seas, and Sun, and Moon, one Mediator between God and Man, and exhort them to Mans Duty, the that offers up both Mans Praises and the more to provoke and fir up our Dulnefs, Creatures Songs which meet in Mani and to make us 'consider, that it is a

Now feeing God hath made all Things greater Wonder, that Man whom God for himself, and especially Man for his hath made to glorious, can so little exe own Glory, that he may thew forth in press God's Glory; than if Atupid and bim the Glory and Excellency of his Power, senseless Creatures should break out in singGoodness, Holiness, Juftice, and Mercy : ing, and praising of his Majefty. The It is not only moft reasonable that Man Creatures are the Books wherein the Lines should do all Things that he doth to the of the Song of God's Praises are written, Glory of God, but it is even the Beauty and Man is made a Creature capable to and Perfection of a Man, the greatest read them; and to tune that Song. They Accession that can be to his Being, to glo. are appointed to bring in Brick to our rify God by that Being. We are not Handt, and God has falhioned us for our own, therefore we ought not to live this Imployment, to make fuch a Building ko our felyes, but to God whole we are of it : We are the Mouth of the Creation,

But you may ask, What is it to glorify but e're God want Praises when our Mouth God? Doch our Goodnefs extend to him? is dumb, and our Ears deaf, Ġod will oOr, is it an Advantage so the Almighty, pen the Mouths of Alles, of Babes and that we are righteous? No indeed: And Sucklings, and in them perfect Praises, kerein is the yaft Difference between Psal. viii, 1, 2. Epictetus laid well, Si

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