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guilty of heinous robbery and sacrilege, because they defrauded his servants the priests of their tithes and offerings, of brute or inanimate creatures; how much more heinous is it to defraud him of his servant, who ought to be a priest unto him, and continually to offer up the sacrifices of praise and obedience, which he more values than whole hecatombs of slain beasts?
(4) Consider, again: If, instead of glorifying him by thy obedience, thou dishonourest him by thy rebellions and impieties, thou not only defraudest him of his servant, but, what is infinitely worse, of the very price that he paid.
Thou defraudest him of his sufferings, of his death, of his most precious blood. Yea, thou dost, in a sense, most sacrilegiously rob him of himself: Christ had never abased himself from the glory of heaven, but to be glorified here upon earth: he never had taken upon him the form of a servant, but that he might here have a seed to serve him: and, so far forth as we refuse this, so far do we make frustrate and to no purpose all that he hath either done, or suffered, or been, for our sakes. And, therefore, if thou wouldst not be unjust to thy Saviour, who hath been so merciful to thee; if thou wouldst not rob him of what he hath so dearly bought, and so highly values; look upon thyself as obliged, by all the bonds of equity and honesty, to live to his glory, who hath redeemed thee to this very end and purpose, that thou shouldst glorify him.
But then, again,
2. We are bound, not only in justice and equity, but, in Ingenuity and Gratitude, to glorify God, upon the account of our redemption.
Ye are bought with a price; and, therefore, if there be but any the least remainders of modesty and bashfulness left in you, you cannot but look upon yourselves as obliged to serve and honour that gracious God, who hath been pleased freely to bestow so great and inconceivable a mercy upon you.
(1) What it is you are redeemed from.
And that is all the woe and misery, that the heart of man can conceive, or the nature of man endure; all the rankest poison, that ever was wrapped up in the bowels of the most direful and comprehensive curse. To speak out a few syllables of it, it is the wrath of God, the torments of hell, everlasting burnings; a state so infinitely miserable, that the very malice of the Devil himself will be satisfied upon us when he hath brought us into it,
Indeed, it is utterly impossible to declare the wretchedness of that estate to the full; unless we could speak flames, and put a whole eternal damnation into words and phrases. But from this wrath, which is both unutterable and intolerable, hath the mercy of our Gracious Saviour redeemed us.
(2) With what price he hath bought us. A price of infinite value and worth. He hath given himself for us, laid down his life, and shed his most precious blood as the price of our redemption. Yea, so earnestly did his love engage him to free us from that woeful condition into which we had brought ourselves, that he voluntarily puts himself into it, to rescue us; and is made a curse, that he might redeem us from the curse: he interposes between the wrath of God and our souls; and receives into his own body all those envenomed arrows, that were shot at us. And, as if the mercy of our redemption alone were not considerable enough to recommend his love to us, he abases himself, that he, might exalt us; takes upon him our sins, that he might bear our punishment; and lays himself under all the load and burden of his Father's wrath, which pressed him so hard as to wring from him clots of blood in the garden, and rivers of blood on the cross, and to force him in the dolefullest passion of an afflicted soul to cry out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? whilst we, in the mean time, whose proper portion and desert all this was, who should ourselves have been dragged forth to execution, and made the subjects and trophies of God's wrath and vengeance, we are the darlings and favourites of heaven, courted and caressed by his choicest love: we live in the smiles of God: every day is a festival with us. And how seldom is it, that we so much as look out to consider what our Blessed Redeemer hath done and suffered for us! Or, if we do, do we not behold him the most perfect map of sorrow and misery, that ever was represented to the world? did ever grief and sorrow so perfectly triumph over any, as over our Blessed Saviour? all our private and personal sorrows are but partial: still there is some remnant of us that escapes: but, here, both the wrath of God, and the rage of men, and, as it was in the great and universal deluge, the windows of heaven above and the fountains and bars of the deep beneath, are all opened, and pour out their store of floods upon him. He was afflicted, and he was oppressed; a man acquainted with grief, intimate and familiar with sufferings.
And, now, what doth thy Dear Redeemer require at thy hands, in lieu of all that he hath done and suffered for thee, but only that thou shouldst live to him, who hath both lived and died for thee that thou shouldst yield up thy life in obedience to him, who hath been obedient for thee to the very death? an expectation infinitely rational; and which thou canst not have the face to deny, unless all modesty and ingenuity are perished from thee.
 If God had put the terms of thy redemption into thy own hands, couldst thou have offered less for the ransom of thy soul? Thou art forfeited to justice, and standest liable to everlasting death and damnation. Suppose that the adored design of saving sinners by Jesus Christ had never entered into the eternal counsel of God, but he had resolved to transact the whole affair with thyself; and, on the one hand, had evidently set before thy face all the horrors and torments of hell, if thou hadst seen whole seas of burning brimstone come rolling towards thee, and some waves of them had broke and dashed upon thee; and, on the other hand, had propounded the most rigid observances and macerating penances, all that is here grievous and irksome, not only to thy corrupt will and humour, but also to human nature itself to undergo, as the only price and condition of escaping this so evident and so imminent a destruction: which wouldst thou have chosen? wouldst not thou, upon thy bended knees, have accepted of the hardest terms that could be offered thee, to spend all thy days in sighs and tears, and at last to offer up thyself a burnt-sacrifice to God, rather than to fall into that abyss of woes and torments, in comparison with which, all that we can suffer in this life is but pleasure? This, certainly, would be thy choice. And, what! when thy Saviour hath already taken all the hard terms upon himself, and left nothing for thee to do, but only to shew a testimony of thy grateful acceptance of it; when he hath compounded for thee, satisfied all the demands of justice, left nothing for thee to pay, besides a small acknowledgment of his infinite mercy with what face canst thou deny him this? he only requires that thou shouldst serve and glorify him, by living according to the rules of true reason and religion: he expects no torments, no sufferings from thee, nothing expiatory for thy sins; but only that thou sin no more: and, if thou refuse him this, pity it is that ever so great love
IV. I shall be very brief in the APPLICATORY, having already treated of very many things at large, which are wholly practical.
And, therefore, the only Use that I shall make of it, and so close up this whole subject, shall be to exhort you to a constant care and endeavour to glorify God.
i. It is THE GREAT END OF OUR BEINGS; and, indeed, the noblest and highest end that we could be created for.
Indeed, all things were made, as by God, so for God: he is the first cause, and the last end of all. But, yet, there is a difference according to the order of beings. For irrational creatures were made to glorify God, only objectively; as they represent unto us many evident footsteps of God's most glorious attributes and perfections: thus the heavens are said to declare the glory of God, only because their amplitude, beauty, and order do set forth, to all considerate beholders, the infinite power, wisdom, and goodness of the Great Artificer; who, by his word, framed such vast orbs, and imprinted on them such an impetus of various and yet regular motions. But man was created to glorify God, actively and intentionally; by the choice of his deliberate judgment, to fix God as the end of all his actions: and, if he falls short of this, he falls short of his very reason and nature, and is created in vain. Thinkest thou, O Man, that God hath created thee only to shew what an excellent piece of work his power and wisdom can achieve? this he hath sufficiently done, in breathing forth upon the face of the earth so many other creatures, which are all fearfully and wonderfully made as well as thyself: he need not to have framed thee, if he had intended only a specimen and essay of what his Almighty power could do: no; but, whereas the innumerable kinds of other creatures serve to glorify God after this manner, reflecting back all their perfections obliquely upon God, thou wert formed to glorify him more directly and immediately: that is the ultimate end, to which they are all overruled; but this is the end, which thou oughtest to propound unto thyself.
And, if thou dost otherwise,
1. Thou degradest thyself from the rank and dignity of thine own being, and herdest thyself among brute beasts.
It is not so much reason and discourse, that make a difference between beasts and men, as religion. We see many strange
and wonderful operations of those, which we call irrational creatures; of which we can give no account, unless they do in their sphere partake some glimmerings of reason, which we usually ascribe wholly to ourselves: but none at all of any religion, or notion, or adoration of a deity. This is the crown and perfection of thy nature: it is that incommunicable property, that separates us from beasts. And, therefore, if thou servest, if thou glorifiest not thy God, thou dost but debase and disparage thyself, and art made a man in vain. Thou, who abandonest thyself over to any way of wickedness, whose intemperance burdens thy nature with surfeits as much as thy conscience with sin and guilt; thou, who wallowest in impure lusts, and makest thy body a brothel, and thy soul a prostitute; thou, who, by lying, and swearing, and stealing, declarest evidently that thou fearest neither God nor man; wherefore wert thou made a man? hadst thou been a brute or an inanimate creature, thou wouldst as much have glorified the attributes of God as now thou dost, and much less dishonoured him: yea, thou now dishonourest him, which they do not; inasmuch as thou sinkest below the rank of thine own nature, and turnest recreant to the principles of thine own being.
2. Thou not only degradest thyself, but degradest God too, and exaltest something above him.
For every wicked person dethrones the true, and sets up a false god in his stead. It is the nature of man, to seek and serve something, as its ultimate and highest end. And whatsoever we propound to ourselves as our utmost end, that we make our god. Now thou, who refusest to glorify God, whom is it that thou glorifiest? Is it not thyself? Thou settest up thyself as thy idol, and art thine own idolater. Either thou makest thy profit, or thy pleasure, or thy humour thy god: this thou seekest, and this thou servest, to this all thy actions tend and are directed. That is every man's god, which he most seeks to please and to serve. And what a horrible affront is this to the most high and only true God, that thou, whom he made for his servant, shouldst become his rival; and what he intended for himself, should be set up for a deity against him!
That is the First Motive: the glorifying of God is the great and only end of our beings.
ii. Consider, that GOD WILL CERTAINLY HAVE HIS GLORY OUT