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world is created, after intelligent creatures are made, and God has bound himself by promise to them, then that disposition which is called his faithfulness may move him in his providential disposals towards them: And this may be the end of many of God's works of providence, even the exercise of his faithfulness in fulfilling his promises. And may be in the lower sense his last end. Because faithfulness and truth must be supposed to be what is in itself amiable to God, and what he delights in for its own sake. Thus God may have ends of particular works of providence, which are ultimate ends in a lower sense, which were not ultimate ends of the creation.

So that here we have two sorts of ultimate ends ; one of which may be called an original, and independent ultimate end ; the o'her consequential and dependent. For it is evi

l dent, the latter sort are truly of the nature of ultimate ends : Because, though their being agreeable to the agent, or the agent's desire of them, be consequential on the existence, or supposition of proper subjects and occasion ; yet the subject and occasion being supposed, they are agreeable and amiable in themselves. We may suppose that to a righteous being, the doing justice between two parties, with whom he is con£erned, is agreeable in itself, and is loved for its own sake, and not merely for the sake of some other end: And yet we may suppose, that a desire of doing justice between two parties, may be consequential on the being of those parties, and the occasion given.

Therefore, I make a distinction between an end that in this manner is consequential, and a subordinate end.

It may be observed, that when I speak of God's ultimate end in the creation of the world, in the following discourse, I commonly mean in that highest sense, viz. the original ultimate end.

Sixthly, It may be further observed, that the original ultimate end or ends of the creation of the world is alone, that which induces God to give the occasion for consequential ends, by the first creation of the world, and the original dis, posal of it. And the inore original the end is, the more exs VOL. VI.

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tensive and universal it is. That which God had primarily in view in creating, and the original ordination of the world, must be constantly kept in view, and have a governing influ. ence in all God's works, or with respect to every thing that he does towards his creatures.

And therefore, Seventhly, If we use the phrase ultimate end in this highest sense, then the same that is God's ultimate end in creating the world, if we suppose but onė such end, must be what he makes his ultimate aim in all his works, in every thing he does either in creation or providence. But we must suppose that in the use, which God puts the creatures to that he hath made, he must evermore have a regard to the end, for which he has made them. But if we take ultimate end in the other lower sense, God may sometimes have regard to those things as ultimate ends, in particular works of providence, which could not in any proper sense be his last end in creating the world.

Lighthly, On the other hand, whatever appears to be God's ultimate end in any sense, of his works of providence in general, that must be the ultimate end of the work of creation itself. For though it be so that God may act for an end, that is an ultimate end in a lover sense, in some of his works of providence, which is not the ultimate end of the cre. ation of the world : Yet this doth not take place with regard to the works of providence in general. But we may justly look upon whatsoever has the nature of an ultimate end of God's works of providence in general, tħat the same is also an ultimate end of the creation of the world ; for God's works of providence in general, are the same with the general use that he puts the world to that be has made. And we may well argue from what we see of the general use which God makes of the world, to the general end for which be designed the world. Though there may be some things that are ends of particular works of providence, that were not the last end of the creation, which are in themselves grateful to God in such particular emergent circumstances; and so are last ends in an inferior sense : Yet this is only in certain cases, er particular occasions. But if they are last ends of God's proceedings in the use of the world in general, this shews that his making them last ends does not depend on particular cases and circumstances, but the nature of things in general, and his general design in the being and constitution of the universe.

Ninthly, If there be but one thing that is originally, and independent on any future, supposed cases, agreeable to God, to be obtained by the creation of the world, then there can be but one last end of God's work, in this highest sense : But if there are various things, properly diverse one from another, that are, absolutely and independently on the supposition of any future given cases, agreeable to the divine being, which are actually obtained by the creation of the world, then there were several ultimate ends of the creation, in that highest sense.


Wherein is considered, what Reason teaches con

cerning this Affair.


Some Things observed in general, which Reason


Having observed these things, which are proper to be taken no.

tice of, to prevent confusion in discourses on this subject, I now proceed to consider what may, and what may not be supposed to be God's ultimate end in the creation of the world.

AND in the first place, I would observe some things which reason seems to dictate in this matter. Indeed this affair, seems properly to be an affair of divine revelation. In order to be determined what was aimed at, or designed in the creating of the astonishing fabric of the universe which we behold, it becomes us to attend to and rely on what he has told us, who was the architect that built it. He best knows his own heart, and what his own ends and designs were in the wonderful works which he has wrought. Nor is it to be supposed that mankind, who, while destitute of revelation, by the utmost improvements of their own reason, and advances in science and philosophy, could come to no clear and established determination who the author of the world was, would ever have obtained any tolerable settled judgment of the end which the author of it proposed to himself in so vast, complicated and wonderful a work of his hands. And though it be true, that the revelation which God has given to men, which has been in the world as a light shining in a dark place, has been the occasion of great improvement of their faculies, has taught men how to use their reason ; (in which regard, notwithstanding the nobleness and excellency of the faculties which God had given them, they seemed to be in themselves almost helpless.) And though mankind now, through the long, continual assistance they have had by this divine light, have come to attainments in the habitual exercise of reason, which are far beyond what otherwise they would have arrived to; yet I confess it would be relying too much on reason, to determine the affair of God's last end in the creation of the world, only by our own reason, or without being herein principally guided by divine revelation, since God has given a revelation containing instructions concerning this matter. Nevertheless, as in the disputes and wranglings which have been about this matter, those objections, which have chiefly been made use of against what I think the scriptures have truly revealed, have been from the pretended dictates of reason....I would in the first place soberly consider in a few things, what seems rational to be supposed concerning this affair; and then proceed to consider what light divine revelation gives us in it.

As to the first of these, viz. what seems in itself rational to be supposed concerning this matter, I think the following things appear to be the dictates of reason :

1. That no notion of God's last end in the creation of the world is agreeable to reason, which would truly imply or infer any indigence, insufficiency and mutability in God; or any dependence of the Creator on the creature, for any part of his perfection or happiness. Because it is evident, by both scripture and reason, that God is infinitely, eternally, unchangeably, and independently glorious and happy; that he stands in no need of, cannot be profited by, or receive thing from the creature ; or be truly hurt, or be the subject of any sufferings, or impair of his glory and felicity from any other being. I need not stand to produce the proofs of God's being such a one, it being so universally allowed and main


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