« 前へ次へ »
gress; cease further travel in religion, at least for a while:”-No! having begun the race of faith, we must patiently continue it; in sickness and in health must our souls follow after Christ, never imagining to ourselves a period to exertion, till life itself concludes. Then, then, it will be seen that the believer has not run in vain, nor laboured in vain! He had, after all, less toil and hardship in his way, than sinners have in running to destruction. But had he ever so much, one moment in the presence of Christ will seem compensation enough for all! And if the believer had much joy if in running áfter Christ in his time state, he was favoured with special views of his matchless excellence and glory, much more when he shall see him as he is, without impediments to uninterrupted vision. If back views of Christ were so animating, and raised in the soul such an ardour of delight in running after him, what shall it be to behold him face to face, not through a glass dimly, but in a medium of clearest and most marvellous light—the light of his own glory, which brightens all the scene of heaven! Amen.
THE MOTIVE AND MEANS FOR GLORIFYING GOD.
1 Cor. 11. 20. “ For ye are bought with a price : therefore glorify
God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's."
PERHAPS there is nothing that provokes the ridicule, and moves the scorn of the irreligious world more, than a proposal to live to the glory of God. Addresses on the subject may be tolerated in the pulpit, merely because they are heard without attention, or because among a multitude, an individual is not easily touched by what seems as applicable to others as to himself. But if we bring forward the requirement to glorify God in common life, and in the private circle-if we fairly propose it as the only reasonable end of action, and presume to estimate men's doings according to the relation which they bear to that end; we shall soon perceive a manifest repugnance to our views; and, instead of heartily conceding to us the reasonableness of making our Creator's glory the great end of living; if we shall assert it in sincerity and with becoming earnestness, many will immediately conceive of us as persons of weak understandings, and as miserably enslaved to fanatical prejudices. It will seem to them highly extravagant, and hardly consistent with sobriety of mind, to attempt living to the glory of God.
If any shall doubt the correctness of this statement, let experiment verify or explode our opinion. Let a man inquire of the generality around him, what they think of living for God's glory? Let him put a similar question to some of the world's applauded poets, philosophers, and men of genius, and he will quickly. discover, we fear, from the smiles or the frowns of those he accosts, that his question has excited resentment in some, or is regarded by others as a diverting incident to be treasured up for future amusement.
Is it then a thing so irrational and absurd
So foolish and inapplicable to human life, to act for the glory of God, that the very proposal of it brings a man's honesty or his
understanding into serious doubt? Is the world so thoroughly alienated from God, and so determined in its hatred and hostility, that its tamps its mark of reprobation on all who seek and serve their Maker as their chief good, and as their final cause of coming into life?
If the fact be undeniable, surely the statement of Scripture, that “ the carnal mind is enmity against God,” does nothing more than simply express the actual state of thousands at this hour, who, by contemning the glory of the Most High, and holding in derision those who pursue it, indicate a frame of nature replete with elements of dislike and strong aversion.
Why should it seem to any a mean and unmanly thing to live devoted to God? · Our actions must have some proposed end
in view. Now, we propose the infinite and glorious God in his revealed attributes of sovereign power to protect us, and of unsearchable goodness to satisfy and bless our souls to the uttermost, and throughout eternity, as the end of life-reckoning it our indispensable duty, and our highest honour, to be instrumental to his glory. All other ends we look on as subordinate and inferior; and, if incompatible with this, to be renoun
ced as unworthy and unsafe. Next, let the worldly man produce what he pursues as the end of life; some quantity of this world's riches, perhaps—some height of rank or estimation among men, or some fruition of sensuality: if none of these, let him bring forth some other, or all worldly good at once; place it in open comparison with the blessedness and the glory of the everlasting God, and how pitiful will it appear! how worthless-how shameful! Is this thy substitute, O worldling, for God? Is it a proof of thy boasted understanding, to prefer such an object to God? Is there no folly in such a choice? is there no sin ? Alas! the last day will declare the infatuation and the crime of living for any end more than for the glory of God! Man, in his folly, deems it a low and unhonoured course to pursue such an end. How different is the judgment of angels, who for ever glow with intensest zeal to glorify Him who made them what they are, and gave them what they enjoy! And, doubtless, nothing can so dignify and exalt the creature-nothing can elevate its character, and secure its happiness. so effectually, as to deny selfish ends, and be devoted to God's glory.
This, in fact, is the chief end which God