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What has been said may be sufficient to shew, how those things, which are spoken of in scripture as ultimate ends of God's works, though they may seem at first view to be distinct, are all plainly to be reduced to this one thing, viz. God's internal glory or fulness existing in its emanation. And 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: but it has relation to God as its fountain, as the thing communicated, is something of his internal fulness. The water in the stream is something of the fountain; and the beams of the sun are something of the sun. And again 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, esteeming, loving, rejoicing in, and praising God, the glory of God is both exhibited and acknowledged; his fulness is received and returned. Here is both an emanation and remanation. The refulgence shines upon and into the creature, and is reflected back to the luminary. The beams of glory come from God, are something of God, and are refunded 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.

And though it be true that God has respect to the creature in these things; yet his respect to himself, and to the creature, are not properly a double and divided respect. What has been said (chap. I. sect. 3, 4.) may be sufficient to shew this. Nevertheless, it may not be amiss here briefly to say a few things; though mostly implied in what has been said already.

When God was about to create the world, he had respect to that emanation of his glory, which is actually the consequence of the creation, both with regard to himself and the creature. He had regard to it as an emanation from himself, a communication of himself, and, as the thing communicated, in its nature returned to himself, as its final term. And he had regard to it also as the emanation was to the creature, and as the thing communicated was in the creature, as its subject.

And God had regard to it in this manner, as he had a su

It is used to signify virtue, or moral good Job xxv. 5. Eccl. viii. 1. Isa v. 29. and xxiv 23. and lxii 1. Ezek xxviii 7, 17. Dan. ii. 31. 1 John i. 5, &c.

And it is abundantly used to signify comfort, joy, and happiness. Esth. viii. 16. Job xviii 8. and xxii. 28. and xxix 3. and xxx 26. Psal. xxvii. 1. and xcvii. 11. and cxviii. 27. and cxii. 4. Isa. xliii. 16 and 1. 10. and lix. 9. Jer. xiii. 16. Lam. iii. Ezek. xxxii. 8. Amos v. 18. Mic. 7, 8, 9, &c.

preme regard to himself, and value for his own infinite, internal glory. It was this value for himself that caused him to value and seek that his internal glory should flow forth from himself. It was from his value for his glorious perfections of wisdom, righteousness, &c. that he valued the proper exercise and effect of these perfections, in wise and righteous acts and effects. It was from his infinite value for his internal glory and fulness, that he valued the thing itself communicated, which is something of the same, extant in the creature. Thus because he infinitely values his own glory, consisting in the knowledge of himself, love to himself, and complacence and joy in himself; he therefore valued the image, communication, or participation of these in the creature. And it is because he values himself, that he delights in the knowledge, and love, and joy of the creature; as being himself the object of this knowledge, love, and complacence. For it is the necessary consequence of true esteem and love, that we value others' esteem of the same object, and dislike the contrary. For the same reason, God approves of others' esteem and love of himself.

Thus it is easy to conceive, how God should seek the good of the creature, consisting in the creature's knowledge and holiness, and even his happiness, from a supreme regard to himself; as his happiness arises from that which is an image and participation of God's own beauty and consists in the creature's exercising a supreme regard to God, and complacence in him; in beholding God's glory, in esteeming and loving it, and rejoicing in it, and in his exercising and testifying love and supreme respect to God: which is the same thing with the creature's exalting God as his chief good, and making him his supreme end.

And though the emanation of God's fulness, intended in the creation, is to the creature as its object; and though the creature is the subject of the fulness communicated, which is the creature's good; yet it does not necessarily follow, that even in so doing, God did not make himself his end. It comes to the same thing. God's respect to the creature's good, and his respect to himself, is not a divided respect; but both are united in one, as the happiness of the creature aimed at is happiness in union with himself. The creature is no further happy with this happiness which God makes his ultimate end, than he becomes one with God. The more happiness the greater union; when the happiness is perfect, the union is perfect. And as the happiness will be increasing to eternity, the union will become more and more strict and perfect; nearer and more like to that between God the Father and the Son; who are so united that their interest is perfectly one.If the happiness of the creature be considered in the whole of the creature's eternal duration, with all the infinity of its pro

gress, and infinite increase of nearness and union to God; in this view, the creature must be looked upon as united to God in an infinite strictness.

If God has respect to something in the creature, which he views as of everlasting duration, and as rising higher and higher through that infinite duration, and that not with constantly diminishing (but perhaps an increasing) celerity; then he has respect to it, as, in the whole, of infinite height; though there never will be any particular time when it can be be said already to have come to such a height.

Let the most perfect union with God be represented by something at an infinite height above us: and the eternally increasing union of the saints with God, by something that is ascending constantly towards that infinite height, moving upwards with a given velocity; and that is to continue thus to move to all eternity. God who views the whole of this eternally increasing height, views it as an infinite height. And if he has respect to it, and makes it his end, as in the whole of it, he has respect to it as an infinite height, though the time will never come when it can be said it has already arrived at this infinite height.

God aims at that which the motion or progression which he causes, aims at, or tends to. If there be many things supposed to be so made and appointed, that by a constant and eternal motion, they all tend to a certain centre; then it appears that he who made them, and is the cause of their motion, aimed at that centre; that term of their motion, to which they eternally tend, and are eternally, as it were, striving after. And if God be the centre, then God aimed at himself. And herein it appears, that as he is the first author of their being and motion, so he is the last end, the final term to which is their ultimate tendency and aim.

We may judge of the end that the Creator aimed at, in the being, nature, and tendency he gives the creature, by the mark or term which they constantly aim at in their tendency and eternal progress; though the time will never come, when it can be said it is attained to, in the most absolutely perfect


But if strictness of union to God be viewed as thus infinitely exalted; then the creature must be regarded as nearly and closely united to God. And viewed thus, their interest must be viewed as one with God's interest; and so is not regarded properly with a disjunct and separate, but an undivided respect. And as to any difficulty of reconciling God's not making the creature his ultimate end, with a respect properly distinct from a respect to himself; with his benevolence and free grace, and the creature's obligation to gratitude, the rea

der must be referred to chap. I. sect. 4. obj. 4. where this objection has been considered and answered at large.

If by reason of the strictness of the union of a man and his family, their interest may be looked upon as one, how much more so is the interest of Christ and his church,-whose first union in heaven is unspeakably more perfect and exalted, than that of an earthly father and his family--if they be considered with regard to their eternal and increasing union? Doubtless it may justly be esteemed so much one, that it may be sought, not with a distinct and separate, but an undivided respect. It is certain that what God aimed at in the creation of the world, was the good that would be the consequence of the creation, in the whole continuance of the thing created.

It is no solid objection against God aiming at an infinitely perfect union of the creature with himself, that the particular time will never come when it can be said, the union is now infinitely perfect. God aims at satisfying justice in the eternal damnation of sinners: which will be satisfied by their damnation, considered no otherwise than with regard to its eternal duration. But yet there never will come that particular moment when it can be said, that now justice is satisfied. But if this does not satisfy our modern free-thinkers, who do not like the talk about satisfying justice with an infinite punishment; I suppose it will not be denied by any, that God, in glorifying the saints in heaven with eternal felicity, aims to satisfy his infinite grace or benevolence, by the bestowment of a good infinitely valuable, because eternal and yet there never will come the moment when it can be said, that now this infinitely valuable good has been actually bestowed.*

* Our author has produced from the purest principles of reason, and the fountain of revealed truth, abundant evidence, that God's ultimate and chief end in the creation of the universe, in the operations of Providence, and in the mothods of salvation, is his own glory. But we do not think it superfluous to add a few observations on this important subject.

1. A clear and comprehensive view of the universe, or what our author calls "the world," will lead us to observe two grand divisions, which may be termed physical and moral. And though in both the glory of God is the chief end, yet this end is not attained by the same means in the moral as in the physical department.

2. By the creation and disposal of the physical part of the universe, the glory of God's natural perfections, as of sovereign wisdom, power, and goodness, is chiefly displayed. But by the creation and government of the moral part, the glory of the moral perfections of Deity, that is, of infinite moral rectitude, or equity, and of sovereign benevolence and mercy, is made to appear.

3. God being an infinite sovereign, controlled by no consideration but infinite rectitude, or a regard to the consistency of his own character; and a created universe being capable of two forms, and it should seem, for aught that appears to the contrary, of two only, physical and moral; a full emanation and display ad extra of the moral perfections of Deity could not be made without a moral system in all its capabilities of relation.

4. The physical part of the universe, even including the physical operations of intelligent beings, may subsist, it is evident, without requiring any other dis

play of glory than what is included in sovereign wisdom, power, and goodness; and it is equally plain, that there would be no opportunity of manifesting strict equity, much less mercy, to existent beings, without a moral system. Therefore,

5. If strict or absolute equity, and sovereign mercy, be manifested, a moral system was necessary. To exercise strict, unmixed, or absolute equity, whereby is given to its object what is due to it a capacity for moral agency being supposed) and yet to preserve that object, that is, a moral agent, from being liable to sin, involves a contradiction. For it is the same as to say, a free agent is not free to sin, though fully permitted to follow his own tendencies And this is the same thing as to say, an accountable creature is not liable to fail; in other words, a moral agent is no moral agent, and a moral system is no moral system. Man would be impeccable and the very existence of sin impossible.

6. If it be asked, might not the whole of the moral part of the universe have been preserved from sin? We reply, undoubtedly it might; if sovereign benevolence had thought proper to interpose, in order to counteract the exercise of strict, unmixed, and absolute rectitude or equity; but then it must have been at the expence of eternally concealing the glory of this divine perfection, absolute rectitude.

7. To permit the creature to sin, and to exercise absolute equity, is the same thing; in other words, to exercise this glorious perfection, and not to permit the creature to sin, are incompatible ideas. If this perfection be exercised, there is, there can be, no principle belonging to a moral system, which preserves it from being liable to sin. Nor is there any principle belonging to it independent of sovereign benevolence, which is adequate to preserve that liability to sin from actual defection. But to appeal, in the way of objection to the alternative of sovereign benevolence, which alone can preserve from sin, is the same as to concede what the proposition asserts.

8. Equity, in one view of it, is indeed compatible with the exercise of sovereign benevolence towards the same object, and at the same time. To question this, would be to question God's proper sovereignty, and therefore his right of creating and preserving the universe, and of beatifying any creatures he hath made. For neither of these effects could take place but by sovereign benevolence as a cause. But if sovereign benevolence were not compatible with justice, or equity, in one view of it, God could not be benevolent without being unjust, which is absurd.

9. Yet equity, in another view, stands as a contrast to benevolence. Strict or absolute equity, is that which excludes all sovereign, benevolent influence ; and when moral agents are its object, (their being and natural capacities, or their moral capabilities, being supposed) the exercise of absolute equity must necessarily exclude benevolent, sovereign influence. Thus among men we find some resemblance of this abstract but momentous truth. In one view, justice and generosity are compatible; while one deals justly with another,he may also be additionally generous. But in another view, these are incompatible; for strict, absolute justice, is the same as justice and nothing more, and therefore must exclude generosity.

10. Therefore, equity, in the one view, implies the exclusion of injustice; and in the other, the exclusion of undeserved favour, or sovereign benevolent influence. The exercise of rectitude in the former sense, might have been without the permission of sin; but not so in the latter sense. If perfect absolute rectitude towards a moral systein be made to emanate ad extra, to the full developement of the capabilities of such a system, the permission of sin is not only equitable, but even metaphysically necessary. That is, it involves a contradiction to say, that such a divine perfection may be so displayed, or its glory made to appear ad extra, and yet not to permit the existence of moral defect, or in other words, to actually hinder its existence.

11. The very idea of a moral system, in which the permission of defect is excluded by equity, is one of the most absurd that can be conceived. For it is the same as to say that God was bound in equity not to permit sin, while at the same time he constituted the agent free, and accountable for the exercise of his freedom; and as he has in fact permitted the introduction of sin into the world, such an idea would be the same as to charge infinite perfection with want of equity.

12. We may therefore safely conclude, that the glory of the divine rectitude, towards the intelligent and moral part of the universe, considered as accounta ble, and to the full extent of its moral capabilities, could not be manifested without

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