Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man's chief end is to glorify God, and enjoy him forever.
1. Is man a reasonable creature? Yes: for there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding, Job 32:8. Has he greater capacities than the brutes ? Yes: God teacheth us more than the beasts of the earth, and maketh us wiser than the fowls of heaven, Job 35:11.
2. Is man his own maker? No: it is God that hath made us, and not we ourselves, Psalm 100:3. Is he then his own master? No: there is a Lord over us, Psalm 12:4. Is he his own carver? No: should it be according to thy mind, Job 34:33. Is he his own end? No: for none of us lives to himself, or dies to himself, Romans 14:7.
3. Is it your business in the world to serve the flesh? No: for we are not debtors to the flesh, that we should live after the flesh, Rom. 8:12. Is it to pursue the world ? No: for we are not of the world, John 17:16.
4. Is your happiness bound up in the creature? No: for all is vanity and vexation of spirit, Eccl. 1:14. Will the riches of the world make you happy? No: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth, Luke 12:15. Will the praise and applause of men make you happy? No: for it is vain glory, Gal. 5:26. Will sport and pleasure make you happy? No: for the wise man said of laughter, It is mad, and of mirth, What doth it? Eccl. 2:2. Can the gain of the world make you happy? No, for what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Matthew 16:26.
5. Is God then your chief end? Yes, for of him, and through him, and to him are all things, Rom. 11:36. Were you made for him? Yes: this people have I formed for myself, Isa. 43:21. Were you redeemed for him? Yes: ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price, 1 Cor. 6:19, 20.
6. Is it your chief business to glorify God? Yes: we must glorify God in our body and in our spirit, which are God's, I Cor. 6:20. Must this be ultimately designed in all our actions? Yes: do all to the glory of God, 1 Cor. 10:31. Is God glorified by our praises? Yes: he that offers praise, glorifies me, Ps. 50:23. And is he glorified by our works? Yes: herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, John 15:8.
7. Is God your chief good? Yes: for happy is the people whose God is the Lord, Ps. 144:15. Does all good come from him? Yes: for with him is the fountain of life, Ps. 36:9. And is all good enjoyed in him? Yes: the Lord is the portion of my inheritance, and of my cup, Ps. 16:5.
8. Is it your chief happiness then to have God's favour? Yes: for in his favour is life, Ps. 30:5. Is that the most desirable good? Yes: for his loving kindness is better than life, Ps. 63:3. Do you desire it above any good? Yes: Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us, Ps. 4:6, 7. And should you give all diligence to make it sure? Yes: herein we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of the Lord, 2 Cor. 5:9.
9. Is communion with God in grace here the best pleasure? Yes: it is good
for me to draw near to God, Ps. 73:28. Is the vision and fruition of God in
glory hereafter the best portion ? Yes: for in his presence there is fulness of
joy, Ps. 16:11. Will you therefore set your heart upon this chief good? Yes:
Lord, whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I
desire besides thee; when my flesh and my heart fail, God is the strength of
my heart and my portion for ever, Ps. 73:25, 26.