by himself is to swear by his holiness ( <198803>Psalm 88:35). We infer that to find his end in himself is to find that end in his holiness. See Martineau on Malebranche, in Types, 177.
The stick or the stone does not exist for itself, but for some consciousness. The soul of man exists in part for itself. But it is conscious that in a more important sense it exists for God. ?Modern thought,? it is said, ?worships and serves the creature more than the Creator; indeed, the chief end of the Creator seems to be to glorify man and to enjoy him forever.? So the small boy said his Catechism; ?Man?s chief end is to glorify God and to annoy him forever.? Prof. Clifford: ?The kingdom of God is obsolete; the kingdom of man has now come.? All this is the insanity of sin. Per contra, see Allen, Jonathan Edwards, 329, 330 ? ?Two things are plain in Edwards?s doctrine: first, that God cannot love anything other than himself; he is so great, so preponderating an amount of being, that what is left is hardly worth considering and secondly, so far as God has any love for the creature, it is because he is himself diffused therein. The fullness of his own essence has overflowed into an outer world and that which he loves in created beings is his essence imparted to them.? But we would add that Edwards does not say they are themselves of the essence of God; see his Works, 2:210, 211.
(c) His own glory is the only end, which consists with God?s independence and sovereignty. Every being is dependent upon whomsoever or whatsoever he makes his ultimate end. If anything in the creature is the last end of God, God is dependent upon the creature. But since God is dependent only on himself, he must find in himself his end.
To create is not to increase his blessedness, but only to reveal it. There is no need or deficiency which creation supplies. The creatures that derive all from him can add nothing to him. All our worship is only the rendering back to him of that which is his own. He notices us only for his own sake and not because our little rivulets of praise add anything to the ocean like fullness of his joy. For his own sake, and not because of our misery or our prayers, he redeems and exalts us. To make our pleasure and welfare his ultimate end would be to abdicate his throne. He creates, therefore, only for his own sake and for the sake of his glory. To this reasoning the London Spectator replies: ?The glory of God is the splendor of a manifestation, not the intrinsic splendor manifested. The splendor of a manifestation, however, consists in the effect of the manifestation on those to whom it is given. Precisely because the manifestation of God?s goodness can be useful to us and cannot be useful to him, must its manifestation be intended for our sake and not for his sake. We gain
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?