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P. 393, 394, &C.
C HA P. V.
the first are for the State of Entrance into the
N order to our understanding,
what is the Nature, use, and Excellency of any Means, it is necessary we should have a true and genuine Notion of those peculiar Ends which they drive at. For the nature
of them, as they are Means, consists in being serviceable to some End; but to what they are particularly serviceable, must be collected from the nature of those particular Ends whereunto they are directed. And therefore till we know what those particular Ends are, it is impossible we should know whether they are Means or no, or, which is the same thing, whether they are serviceable to any End or Purpose.
It being therefore the Design of this work to explain the nature of the Christian Life, it will be necessary for the clearing of our way ) to give fome account of the blessed End for which it is intended; which will very much contribute to our right understanding of the great usefulness and subserviency of each part of it thereunto. Therefore,
I. I shall endeavour to fhew what is the peculiar End of the Christian Life.
II. Wherein the true Nature of this End confifts.
1. As for the End of the Christian Life, we are assured from Scripture, that it is no other but Heaven it self, that state of endless Blis and Happiness which God hath prepared in the World above, for the reception of all those, who, by patient continuance in well
: doing seek for
glory and honour and immortality. That this is the End of the Chrió ftian Life, is evident from bence, because 'cis every where proposed by our Saviour and his Apostles, as the Chief good of a Christian, and the Suprenie Motive to all Christian Vertue. For fo S. John, chat bosom-Favourite of our Saviour, assures us, that This is the promise which Christ bath promised ws, even Eternal Life, 1 John ii. 25. And if we look into the Gospel of S. John, who hath niore largely recorded our Saviours Sermons and Dircourses than any other Evangelist, we shall find Eternal Life ftill proposed by him as the superéminent Promise to encourage and perswade men to the profession and practice of Christianity. For so John iv. 36. 'cis proposed by our Saviour as that which is the Harvest of a Christian, to which like the Husbandman's ploughing and sowing, all our care and endeavour is to be directed; He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto eternal life. Consonantly whereunto S. Paul cells
us, that he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit Teap life everlasting, Gal. vi. 8. And this, as our Saviour tells us, is the great Reward which he gives to all those that hear and follow him, John X. 27, 28. and this is the great Argument which he every where infifts on, that he that believeth bath Life everlasting, that whosoever heareth bis word hath Life Everlasting, and that his Com-, mandment is Life Everlasting. And Rom.'vi. 22. Everlasting Life is exprelly said to be the End of baving bur fruit unto Holiness ; and as such we are bid to direct our actions unico it, to believe in Christ unto Everlafting Life, 1 Tim. i. 16. to do good, to this end, that we may lay hold upon Eter, nal Life, 1 Tim. vi. 18, 19. no look anto. Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, mbo for the Hcbus be the Chriftian Ganaan, to which we are to direct all our steps, 'whilst we are travailing through this World, Heb. xi: 14, 15, 16. And the whole Life of a Christian is expressed by seeking it : Mar. vi. 33. Heb. xiii. 14. Col. iii.' 1. And the incorruptible Crown is affirmed to be as much the End of the race of the Christian Life, as those corruptible-Crowns were of the races in the Olympick Games, 1 Cor. ix. 25. For it is to Eternal Glory that we are called, 1 Pet. V. 10. 2 Thes ii. 14. and in the discharge of all that Ducy whereunto we are called, we are to look to this bleffed Hope as our great End and Encouragement, Tit. ii. 13.
This I have the more largely insisted upon, because of a great mistake that many persons have
lain under in this matter ; which is, that the Glory of God is the only ultimate End of a Christian, and that this is a distinct End froni Heaven;
The first of which I confess, is the last absolutely falfe. That the glory of God is the last End of a Chriftian, is evident from those Texts which bid us do all to the glory of God, 1 Cor. x. 31. and which make the glory of God to be the point in which all the fruits of righteousneß do concenter, Phil. i. 11. which propose this as the End of all Religious Performances, that God in all things may be glorified, 1 Pet. iv. 11, and affirm, that " is to this purpose that wea
chosen to be Christians, that we should be to the Praise of his Glory, Eph. i. 12. But that the glory of God is no diftinct End from our being made partakers of the Happineß of Heaven, is as evident from hence, that this Glory conlists not in any thing that we can add or contribute to Him, whose ellential Glory is so immense and secure, that there is nothing we can do,can either Increase or Diminish it ; and there is no other Glory can redound to him from any thing withour, but what is the Reflection of his own natural Rays. He understands himself too well, to value himself either the more or the less for the Praises or Dil praises of his Creatures. For he is enough of Stage and Theatre to himself, and hath the same satis: fying Prospect of his own Glory in the midst of all the loud Blasphemies of Hell, as among the perpetual Hallelujahs of Heaven. And having so, it cannot be supposed that he should enjoyn ús to Praise and Glorifie him for the sake of any Good or Advantage that can accrue to Himself by it, or