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OF

THE CHIEF END OF MAN,

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WHAT IT IS: AND THE MEANS TO ATTAIN IT.

THESIS I.

THE CHIEF END OF MAN IS TO GLORIFY GOD, AND EVERLASTINGLY TO ENJOY HIM.

WHEN we come to any reasonable measure of understanding, the firft queftion we propound concerning the actions of ourfelves or others, is to enquire concerning the End, why this or that is done: And the propounding of an end to what we do, is one thing that gives us reafonable creatures a privilege above the beafts: And the wifer we grow, the more we enquire after, and propound to ourselves more excellent ends, and of the more concernment.

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The end which most concerns us to enquire after, is the end of our being, why, or for what end we were made: For as that is the thing of the greatest moment to us, fo the ignorance or mistake therein is of the greatest danger.

Now touching this End of Man, we must know, 1. That in all wife workers that act by deliberation and choice, the appointment of the End of any work belongs to him that makes it

2. In afmuch therefore as mankind is in its original the workmanship of God, therefore it belongs to him to appoint the end of his own workmanship; and of him it must be enquired.

3. That

3. That inasmuch as God is the wifeft worker, and inafmuch as mankind is a piece of excellent workmanship; it becomes the wifdom of God, as to appoint Man to an end of his own defigning, fo to appoint him to an end anfwerable to the excellency of the work, an end as much above other creatures, as man exceeds them in worth and excellency.

So that certainly man is ordained by God to an end, and to an excellent end, beyond the condition of other inferior creatures; for we fee them all appointed for the use and service of man, to feed, and clothe, and heal, and delight him.

What therefore is common to the beafts as well as man, cannot be the end of man. The beafts eat, and drink, and live, and propagate their kind with as much delight and much more contentment than man. They are free from cares and from fears, which man is not; and though they die, fo doth man alfo; therefore to live, eat, and drink, and perpetuate their kind, is too low an end for man. And if fo, then much more is it below him to make wealth, and honour, and power, his end: For they are but in order to his temporal life here, either to provide for it, or to fecure it: And befides that, they cannot answer the defires and con tinuance of an immortal Soul, which man bears with him: And hence grows the weariness, and vexation, and unquietnefs and restleffness of man, in the midst of all wealth and honours, and pleafures: Therefore there is some other end, to which man was appointed; which is,

1. In reference to God, to glorify him: 2. In refer ence to man, an everlasting enjoyment of God.

1. To glorify God, two things are confiderable. 1. What it is for Man to glorify God.

1. There is a glorifying of God, common to all the works of God, inafmuch as they all bear in them the visible footsteps of the power, wifdom, and goodness of God. Thus the fun and heavens glorify God1; there

Psal. ix. 2.

is a glorifying of God, properly belonging to intellec tual creatures, angels and men.

1. In his understanding; whereby he learns to know God in his Word, and in his works, his power, goodnefs, wisdom and truth; and with his heart admires, and with his tongue praiseth him.

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2. In his will; whereby he submits to him, worships, fears him, and in the courfe of his life obeys him; whereby he acknowledgeth his Sovereignty, and fubmits to it. He that offereth praise glorifieth him; and to ⚫ him that ordereth his conversation aright will I fhew • the falvation of God.' Both these are imperfectly done here, but fhall be perfectly done in the life to

come.

2. Why the glorifying of God is made the Chief End of Man.

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1. It is the Chief End that God propofed in all his works of creation. He made all things for himself 2;' that is, his own glory: In his works of prefervation and providence,Call upon me in the day of trouble, 'I will deliver thee, and thou fhalt glorify me 3. In his works of redemption, To the praise of the glory of

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his grace, whereby he hath made us accepted in the be'loved 4.' In his works of Sanctification, That man feeing your good works, may glorify your Father which is in Heaven 5.'

2. It is but juft it should be the Chief End of Man to glorify God; because it is a most reasonable tribute to pay to him for all his mercies and goodness: From him we receive our being, and all the bleffings of it, and it is but juft of God to require, and for man to perform, the due acknowledgment of the goodness of that God, from whom he receives them, which is his glorifying of God.

2. To enjoy God for ever.

1. Two things are to be explained. What it is to enjoy God. 2. Why this is part of the Chief End of Man.

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'Psal. 1. 25. Prol. xvi. 4. Psal. 1. 15. Ephes. i. 6. Mat. v. 16.

1. To enjoy God is either, 1. In this life, which is to have peace with God, affurance of reconciliation with him; for then we have peace with ourselves, contentment and quietnefs of foul, access to him as to our father for all we want, and hope and affurance of everlafting life, which will make the comforts of our life fafe, and the afflictions thereof eafy, and the end and diffolution thereof comfortable. 2. In the life to come, the fulness of fruition of the knowledge, goodness, glory and presence of God, according to the uttermoft measure and capacity of our faculties, which in the refurrection fhall be great and capacious; and this is called the beatifical vifion.

2. Why this is part of the Chief End of Man; because this is the happiness and bleffedness of man to enjoy God; nothing befides can make him happy; which appears, 1. In all other enjoyments; without the enjoyment of God, there is a great deal of vanity and emptinefs, whether in pleafures, or profits, or worldly advantages: Men expect great matters from them, but after a little enjoyment of them, they are weary, and find themselves difappointed, and that there is not that comfort in them that they expected; and then they travel to fome other worldly enjoyment, and there they find the like. This therefore cannot afford man his happiness.

2. In all other enjoyments without God, there is a great deal of vexation and trouble; the cares, and fears, and forrows, and difappointments, that we meet with in the enjoyment of them, doth outweigh all the contentment and benefit that we receive in them; and therefore this cannot be our happiness.

3. All other enjoyments without God have their end and term; fometimes we over-live them; the pleafures and contentment of youth leave us when we are old and fometimes we see our riches, our health, our earthly comforts taken from us; but if not, yet when we die we leave them, and yet our fouls continue after death, and our bodies and fouls continue after our refurrection

furrection for ever. The enjoyments therefore of this life cannot be our happiness, but that happiness which continues as long as we continue, which is the enjoyment of the favour, love, and prefence of God for ever.

Now put both together. The glorifying of God, and the enjoyment of him for ever, is the happiness and bleffedness of man, the Chief End for which he was made. Such is the goodnefs and bounty of God, that he doth not only enjoin man his duty to glorify him, but alfo joins with it man's happinets to enjoy him for ever. He that obferves the former, fhall be fure not to miss of the latter: In the fame path and tract which leads us to glorify God, which is our duty, we are fure to meet with our enjoyment of him, which is our everlating happinefs and bleffedness: And the bufinefs of the true religion revealed in the Scriptures, is to lead us to that duty, and to that happiness which is the Chief End of Man: He that wants this, will be miferable in the midft of all worldly enjoyments; and he that attains this, his comforts here thall be blessed, his croffes fanctified, and his death a gate to let him into a moft bleffed, and glorious and everlasting life.

THESIS II.

THE SCRIPTURES OF BOTH TESTAMENTS ARE THE ONLY PERFECT RULE FOR MAN'S ATTAINING HIS CHIEF END.

This is the end why man was made, and which he aught principally to attend and look after; but becaufe to the attaining of the end, it is neceffary that the due means of attaining thereof be known and ufed: And because, as Almighty God, the Maker of Man, is he that alone must design the end of his own work; fo likewife it belongs to him alone, to choose, and appoint, and order, the means belonging to that end; therefore, as he is not wanting to us in appointing a fit and bleffed end to mankind, fo neither is he want

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