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“ glorifying God; that is, praising God for his S ER M. great mercy to him. And Luke xvii. 18. Our SAviour speaking of the ten lepers that were healed, says that " but one of them returned to give glory to God;" that is, to return thanks to God for his recovery.
II. Men are said in fcripture to give glory to God by the acknowledgment of their fins, and repentance of them. Joshua vii. 19.“ And Joshua faid to A“ chan, My son, give glory to the LORD God of Ir" rael, and make confession to him.” In like manner the prophet Jeremiah, exhorting the people to repentance, useth this expression, Jer. xiii. 16. “Give « glory to the LORD your God, before he cause - darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the “ dark mountains.” And Rev. xvi. 9. it is said, that those upon whom great plagues fell, “ repented “ not to give God glory.” We glorify God by confeffion of our fins and repentance, because in so doing we acknowledge his authority, and the holiness of those righteous laws which we have broken.
III. We are faid likewise in scripture to glorify God by our holiness and obedience. Thus we are commanded to glorify God by the chastity of our bodies, and the purity of our minds, 1 Cor. vi. 20. “ Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, « which are his.” Thus our SAVIOUR is said to have glorified God in the world, by his perfect obedience to his will, John xvii. 4. “ Father, I have « glorified thee upon earth.” And thus he tells us, we may glorify God by the fruits of holiness and obedience in our lives, John xv. 8.
" Herein is my “ Father glorified, if ye bring forth much fruit." So likewife St. Paul prays for the Philippians, that they may be “ filled with the fruits of righteousness, “ which are by Jesus Christ unto the glory and praise of God.”
IV. We are said likewise in an especial manner to
glorify God by our sufferings for his cause and truth.
V. and lastly, And because religion is the solemn
interest of religion and the edification of Christians may SERM. receive any prejudice; that is, when our eating may be a scandal to others, that is, “a stumbling block," or “ an occasion of falling into sin.” And that this is the apostle's meaning, is evident from ver. 23. “ All
things are lawsul for me, but all things are not expe“ dient, s árla oupe dégel, all things profit not; all " things are lawful for me, but all things edify not ;" that is, though I know it is a thing very lawful in itself, to eat things which have been offered to idols, if they be bought in the market, or accidentally set before me at a feast; yet in some circumstances it may not be for the advantage of religion, and be so far from edifying, that it may be “ an occasion of sin” to them. For instance; I am invited to a feast, where things offered to idols are set before me, and one says, “ This “ was offered in sacrifice unto idols ;” a sufficient intimation to me, that he thinks it unlawful, and therefore I will forbear, because of the inconvenience to religion, and the manifold scandal that might follow upon it, by hindring others from embracing religion, or by tempring weak Christians, either to the doing of a thing against their.conscience, or to apoftatize from religion. In this case, he that abstains from these meats, and contents himself with others, “ eats to the glory of God.”
And that this is the true notion of scandal and offence, not barely to grieve others, or do things displeasing to them, but to do such things as are really hurtful to others, and may be a prejudice or hindrance to their salvation, and an occasion of their falling into fin: I say, that this is the true and proper notion of scandal, is evident from what follows immediately after the text; “ give none offence to the Jews, nor to the
Gentiles, nor to the church of God: as I please all “men in all things; not seeking mine own profit, but
SERM.“ the profit of many, that they may be saved. Give CCX.
no offence to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the “ church of God;" the apostle intimates, that such an action as this we are speaking of might be “an occasion “ of sinto all these, and a hindrance of their salvation.” It might hinder the Jew from turning christian, and harden him in his infidelity; for he might fay, fee how well you Christians worship one God, when you can partake of things offered to idols : it might confirm the heathen in his superstition, and keep him from em, bracing christianity ; for he might say surely, why fhould the christians persuade me to forsake the worShip of idols, when they themselves will knowingly eat things offered to them? It might tempt the weak Christians either to fin against their consciences, by following my example, or to apostatize from christianity upon this offence taken against it ; therefore, says the apoftle,“ do all things to the glory of God;" that is, for the honour and advantage of the christian religion, and the furtherance of men's salvation : for sa, says he, I do in these and all other actions of my life; I study the advantage of all men in all things, not regarding mine own convenience, in comparison of the eternal salvation of others.
And thus I have, as briefly and clearly as I could, explained this phrase to you, of “ doing things to Es the glory of God.”
The result of all is, that we glorify God by doing our duty; by all actions of worship and obedience to God, and by our repentance in cafe of fin and disobedience; by doing and by suffering the will of God; niore especially by using our christian liberty, as to things lawful in themselves, so as may make most for the honour and advantage of religion, for the unity and edification of the church, and the falvation of the
souls of men ; which is the proper notion, here in the SER M.
ССХ. text, of “ eating and drinking, and doing whatever "" we do, to the glory of God.”
From all this discourse it will be evident, that three things must concur, that our actions may be said to be done “ to the glory of God.”
1. Our actions must be materially good; we must do what God commands, and abstain from doing what he hath forbidden. Sin is in it's nature a dishonour to God, a contradiction to his nature, and a contempt of his authority and laws; so that we cannot glorify God by transgressing our duty.
2. Our actions must not only 'be good, but they must be done with regard to God, and out of conscience of our duty to him, and in hopes of the reward which he hath promised, and not for any low, and mean, and temporal end. The best action in itself may be spoild, and all the virtue of it blasted by being done for a wrong end. If we serve God to please men, and be charitable out of vain glory, “ to be seen of men;" if we profess godliness for gain, and are religious only to serve our temporal interest, though the actions we do be never 'so good, yet all the virtue and reward of them is lost, by the mean end and design which we aim at in the doing of them; because all this while we have no love or regard for God and the authority of his laws: we make no conscience of our duty to him, we are not moved by the rewards of another world, which may lawfully work upon us and prevail with us, but we are swayed by little temporal advantages, which if we could obtain as well by doing the contrary, we would as soon, nay, perhaps, much sooner do it.
And this is so essentially necessary, that no action, though never so good, that is not done with regard to God, and upon some of the proper motives and con