« AnteriorContinuar »
Heb. 12. 2, 3 ; this zeal for God's house that had eaten him up, John 2. 17; his not feeking his own, but the glory of his father in all things, John 8. 49, 50, and a great deal more to the same pur
pose. As God, XCV. In fine, even as God, he, together with the he toge- Father and Holy Spirit, is a pattern to us of the ther with
purekt holiness, Levit. 11.44; and 19. 2. Mat. 5. the Father
48. Eph. 5. 1. 1 Pet. 1. 15, 16. The holiness of and Holy Spirit, is God is so great an ornament of his other perfections, an exam- that, without it, all the rest would be unworthy of ple of the God. Hence he is said to be glorious in boliness, liness.
Exod. 15. 11: and we are particularly commanded to celebrate the memorial, or give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness, Pf. 30. 4; and 19. 12, after the example of the Seraphim, who, having repeated the threefold praise of the divine holiness, added, the whole earth is full of his glory, Ifa. 6. 3. God invites his people to imitate this holiness, has set it before them in his word for their contemplaţion; that, while they admire its beauty, they may be inflamed with the love of it, and gradually transformed to that image.
XCVI. In the third place, we proposed to speak The end of chrif- of the END of Christian virtues, or graces; which tian virtue must needs be of all others the most excellent, The
true believer does not therefore apply himself to the practice of holiness, to gain praise and reputation with men, which was the crime of the Heathen and the Pharisees, of whom our Lord testifies, Mat. 6. 5. that they have their reward. He does not ain only at his own advantage, either in this, or in the life to come, from a mercenary self-love, which all those do, who, endeavouring to establish their own righteousness, profess that all motives to piety are destroyed, if the merits of good works are exploded. He does not only pursue after that tranquillity of soul, which is pleased with what it has done, and which virtue or holiness, when properly eiteemed, usually
bestows on those who love it. The intention of the godly is far more pure and sublime, whereby they are carried out both towards God, themselves and their neighbour.
XCVII. Above all, they seek the glory of God. !, The This they love, desire its enlargement, and promote
glory of it with all their might: Let such as love thy salvation, say continually, the Lord be magnified, Pf. 40. 16. Hither all their exercises tend, going on without offence, until the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God. Phil. 1. 10, 11. They, who have the love of God for the source and principle, cannot but have the glory of the same God for their end. For; whoever has an ardent love to God, will likewise, above all things, love what is most beloved by him. But such is the love, that God has to his own glory, that whatever he does is with a view to, and for the sake of that: wherefore all things are of him, in order ro be again to him, and to him be the glory for ever. Rom. 11. 36. In this respect the saints are truly like to God, for in all their actions they have the glory of God before their eyes. Whether there-, fore
yë eat or drink, or whatsoever je do,do ell to the glory of God, 1 Cor. 10. 31.
XCVIII. Yet these things are not so to be under. For prostood, as if in all and every particular, even the most moting
which the minute actions of life, it was necessary to have that
godly are explicite intention of glorifying God before them. firmly re. Por, this is not practicable in the present state of folved to tKings : however, it ought universally to be the firm exert them
felves. and fixed disposition of the children of God, that they be fo confecrated and dedicated to God, as, for the fucurė, neither to think, speak, meditate, nor do any thing, in which some expresion of the perfections of God and manifestation of his glory may not appear. For, what is sacred or devoted, cannot, witħout a considerable injury to him, be applied to proR. 2
fane uses. They are not their own: therefore it is unlawful for them to propose to themselves this end ; only to seek what they imagine to be profitable to the Aesh. They are not their own: let them therefore, as far as may be, forget themselves and theirs. They are God's : let them therefore live and die to him. They are God's: let his wisdom therefore over rule all their actions. They are God's: lec therefore all the parts of their life tend to him, as their only lawful end. And in this sincere self-denial, and surrender of ourselves to God, that we may firmly propose to do all our works with a holy re
spect to him, consists this glorifying of God, we now What it is
XCIX. For instance, a person then eats and drinks to eat and drink to
to the glory of God, when, confessing himself unthe glory worthy to enjoy this life and the conveniencies of it, of God. he praises that bountiful favour of God, which abund
antly bestows all things upon him, and above all admires that immense love of the Lord Jesus, who willingly was deftitute of all the dainties of life, and submitted to drink vinegar and gall, that his people, thro' the favour of God, might eat the fat and drink the sweet: wlien also he does not delight so much in the creatures and the gifts of providence, as in the the Creator himself and the giver; tasting, to his unspeakable pleasure, how sweet the Lord is: when he fincerely proposes faithfully to employ his life, which is lengthened out by these nieans, and all his faculties, which are thus continually refreshed, to the fervice of God, who gave and preserves them: when in fine, he rises in meditation, from the delights of this natural life, to the almost unspeakable plealures of a future and heavenly life; and having a prelibation of them in thought and faith, with a grateful heart, tunes up a fong of love to God: “ Lord, if thou “ doelt such things in this dark dungeon, what wilt “thou not do for us, when adınitted into thy palace “ of light.”
C. Here I choose to transcribe fome things from The pious the Jewish catechism of Rabbi Abraham Ben Chana- observa
tion of a nia Jagel, published first at Venice in 1595, under the Jewilh ca. title sin opb, afterwards reprinted at Amsterdam 1658, techift. and at last exhibited to the christian reader, with a Latin version by John Benedi£t Carpzovius, entitled, Introduftis in I beologam Judiacam, c. 9. P: 74. Where the Hebrew Catechist instructs his Disciple in this manner: let all thy works be done to the glory of the divine name, and to the honour of the blessed Creator. In all thy ways think of bin; when thou walkest in the vay, when thou risest up or liest down. For instance, when thou eatest, know, that the blesed God has, by the power of his wisdom, created thy food, and given it virtue to be converted into the substance of him, who is to be nourished by it : when thou goest to sleep in thy bed, consider with thyself, that God ordained feep for the benefit of man, that his body might rest, and bis strength be recruited, and himself rendered fit and found for serving his Creator. And thus, in all thy other bodily actions, take care to give glory and praise to God : for, by this means, all thy works shall be to ihe glory af the divine name, whose providence will keep close to thee and dire&t all thy c&tions.
CI. Next to this glory of the divine name, a holy 2. The fal, person may also, in the exercise of his virtues, or vation of graces, have a regard to himself, and endeavour, ist, both in To have the assurance of his own eternal election by this and God, his internal vocation, his faith and commu- the life to nion with Christ, 2 Pet. 1. 10. 2dly, To rejoice in the testimony of a conscience void of offence, and in that compofure of mind, which is the consequent thereof, 2 Cor. 1. 12. 3dly, That, by proving the sincerity of his love towards God by holy actions, he may enjoy for himself that love and familiarity of God, which Jesus, John 14. 21, 23, has graciously promised to those, that love him. 4chly, That he may gradually become, in the habits and difpofitions of his soul, and the actions flowing therefrom,
more like the Supreme Being, and so more glorious and happy. 2 Cor. 3. 18. 5thly, And that, by proceeding in this way of holiness to eternal glory, he may
live at ease, and in assurance of his salvation,
1 Cor. 9. 24-27. In which
CII. Neverthelets Chriftian holiness teacheth us to the glory desire all these things, but not to rest in them, as
our ultimate end, but even to direct them to the eminently shines
glory of God. For, the more abundantly any one forth.
has attained to what we have just now only men, tioned, the brighter will the fplendor of the divine perfections shine forth in him: the goodness and bounty.of God magnificently discover themselves in this reward of virtue: the beloved spouse of Christ, whom he will one day present without spot, and glorious to God the Father, shall be the more adorned : the high value of bis satisfaction and merits, will be duly esteemed from the happiness bestowed on the saints. The faints themselves shall be enriched with those rewards of their virtues, and be better fitted for celebrating the praises of their God. And thus it is, that, while they piously aim at the happiness promised to them, and seek their own glory in the proper order and measure, they, at the same time, rejcice in hope of the glory of God, Rom. 5. 2. For then they are made happy, when God is glorified and
admired in them, 2 Thes, 1. 10. 3. The e CIII. In fine, the works of piety are also adapted dification to gain over our neighbour to God. The holy soul
never fatisfies itself in glorifying God; but designs neighbour
to have many companions employed in the same work: to obtain which, he caufth his light to shine before men, that they may see his good works, and glorify bis father, which is in heaven, Mat, 5.16. And having a hearty desire for the salvation of his neigh. bour, he very willingly employs every means to bring him to the good old way. For this purpose, as noihing is more effectual than a holy life ; so Peter