QUESTION 1. What is the chief end of man?
ANSWER: Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever.
Q. 27. What is it, next to the glory of God, we should aim at?
A. Next to God’s glory, we should aim at the enjoyment of him, Psalm 73:25, 26.
Q. 28. Why should we aim at the enjoyment of God?
A. Because he is the chief good of the rational creature, Psalm 116:7; and nothing else besides him, is either suitable to the nature, or satisfying to the desires of the immortal soul, Psalm 144:15.
Q. 29. How may a finite creature enjoy an infinite God?
A. By taking and rejoicing in him, as its everlasting and upmaking portion, Psalm 16:5, 6, and 48:14.
Q. 30. Did our first parents, in a state of innocence, enjoy God?
A. Yes; there was perfect friendship and fellowship between God and them; for, “God made man upright,” Eccl. 7:29.
Q. 31. What broke that blessed friendship and fellowship?
A. Sin: our iniquities have separated between us and our God, and our sins have hid his face from us, Isaiah 59:2.
Q. 32. Can a sinner, in a natural state, enjoy God, or have any fellowship with him?
A. No; for, “What communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial?” 2 Cor. 6:14, 15.
Q. 33. How may a lost sinner recover the enjoyment of God, and fellowship with him?
A. As we lost it by our fall in the first Adam, so it can only be recovered by union with a second Adam, Rom. 5:18-19; for there is no coming to God but by him, John 14:6.
Q. 34. When is it that a sinner begins to enjoy God?
A. When, having received Christ by faith, he rests upon him, and upon God in him, for righteousness and strength, Isaiah 45:24; and out of his fulness receives, and grace for grace, John 1:16
Q. 35. What are the external means by, or in which, we are to seek after the enjoyment of God?
A. In all the ordinances of his worship, public, private and secret; such as the word read and heard, the sacraments, prayer, meditation, fasting, thanksgiving, and the like.
Q. 36. Are the saints of God admitted to enjoy him in these?
A. Yes; they are the trysting-places2 where his name is recorded, and to which he has promised to come and bless them, Ex. 20:24 — “In all places where I record my name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.”
Q. 37. What scripture-evidence have we, of their enjoying God in the duties and ordinances of his appointment?
A. We find them much employed in religious duties, Song 3:1-3; and expressing the utmost regard for the ordinances of his grace, Psalm 84:1, 2.
Q. 38. What satisfaction has the soul in the enjoyment of God?
A. Unspeakably more gladness than when corn, wine, and all earthly comforts, do most abound, Psalm 4:7
Q. 39. Is there any difference between the enjoyment of God in this life, and that which the saints shall obtain in the life to come?
A. Not an essential, but a gradual difference, as to the manner and measure of it.
Q. 40. What is the difference as to the manner of the enjoyment here and hereafter?
A. Here, the enjoyment is mediate, by the intervention of means; hereafter, it will be immediate, without any use of these means: “Now we see through a glass darkly; but then FACE TO FACE,” 1 Cor. 13:12.
Q. 41. What is the difference as to the measure of the enjoyment, in this life, and that which is to come?
A. In this life the enjoyment is only partial; in that which is to come, it will be full and complete, 1 John 3:2 — here, the enjoyment is only in the seed, or first fruits; there it will be in the full harvest, Psalm 126:5, 6.
Q. 42. Is the partial enjoyment of God in grace here, a sure pledge of the full enjoyment of him in glory hereafter?
A. It is both the pledge and earnest of it, Eph. 1:13, 14; Psalm 84:11.
Q. 43. Does the gracious soul, in that state, fully receive its chief end?
A. Yes; in regard that then it shall be brimful of God, and celebrate his praises with high and uninterrupted Hallelujahs through all eternity, Psalm 16:11; Isaiah 35:10.
Q. 44. Why is the glorifying God made the leading part of man’s chief end, and set before the enjoyment of him?
A. Because, as God’s design in glorifying himself was the reason and foundation of his design in making man happy in the enjoyment of him, Rom. 11:26; so he has made our aiming at his glory, as our chief end, to be the very way and means of our attaining to that enjoyment, Psalm 50:23.
Q. 45. Is our happiness, in the enjoyment of God, to be our chief end?
A. No; but the glory of God itself, Isaiah 42:8; in our aiming at which chiefly, we cannot miss the enjoyment of him, Psalm 91:14, 15.
Q. 46. Is not our delighting in the glory of God, to be reckoned our chief end?
A. No; we must set the glory of God above our delight therein, otherwise, our delight is not chiefly in God, but in ourselves, Isaiah 2:11. Our subjective delighting in the glory of God belongs to the enjoyment of him, whose glory is above the heavens, and infinitely above our delight therein, Psalm 113:4.
Q. 47. Whom does God dignify with the enjoyment of himself, in time and for ever?
A. Those whom he helps actively to glorify and honour him; for he has said, “Them that honour me, I will honour,” 1 Sam. 2:30.
Q. 48. Does any thing so much secure our happy enjoyment of God, as the concern that the glory of God has in it?
A. No; for as God cannot but reach the great end of his own glory, so, when he has promised us eternal life, in Christ, before the world began, Titus 1:2, we cannot come short of it; because it stands upon the honour of his faithfulness to make it good, Heb. 10:23 — “He is faithful that promised.”
Q. 49. How does it appear, that the enjoyment of God, which is connected with the glorifying of him, shall be for ever?
A. Because he who is the object enjoyed, is the everlasting God, Isaiah 40:28; and the enjoyment of him is not transitory, like the passing enjoyments of time, but the eternal enjoyment of the eternal God, Psalm 48:14.
Rend Collective - Counting Every Blessing (Audio)
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