That God may be glorified in our condition

There is in us an envy, and wicked emulation. Oh, how hard a matter is it to rejoice in the gifts and graces, and services of others, and be content with the dispensation, when God will cast us by as unworthy, and use others for the glorifying of his name! Therefore that we may refer the choice instruments to God, we need go to him and say, Lord, ‘hallowed be thy name;’ do it which way, and by whom thou pleasest. We are troubled, if others glorify God, and not we, or more than we; if they be more holy, more useful, or more serious, self will not yield to this. Now by putting up this prayer to God, we refer it to him to choose the instrument whom he will employ. It was a commendable modesty and self-denial in John Baptist, which is described, John iv. 13, ‘He must increase, I must decrease.’ When we are contented to be abased and obscured, provided Christ may he honoured and exalted and be content with such a dispensation, though with our loss and decrease. Many are of a private station, and straitened in gifts, and can have no public instrumentality for God; now these need to pray ‘ Hallowed be thy name,’- that they may rejoice when God useth others whom he hath furnished with greater abilities.[2.] A submission for the way; that we may submit to those unpleasing means and circumstances of his providence, that God will take up and make use of, for the glorifying of his holy name. Many times we must be content, not only to be active instruments, but passive objects of God’s glory. And therefore if God will glorify himself by our poverty, or our disgrace, our pain and sickness, we must be content. Therefore we need to deal with God seriously about this matter, that we may submit to the Lord’s will, as Jesus Christ did: John x11. 27,28 ‘Save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour : Father, glorify thy name. And there was a voice from heaven that Said, I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ Put me to shame, suffering, to endure the cross, the curse, so thou mayest be glorified. This was the humble submission of Christ Jesus, and such a submission should be in us. The martyrs were contented to be bound to the stake, if that way God will use them to his glory. Phil. i. 20, saith Paul, ‘ So Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death :’ if my body be taken to heaven in glory, or whether it be exercised or worn out with ministerial labour. We need to deal with God that we may have the end, and leave the means to his own choosing; that God may be glorified in our condition, whatever it be. If he will have us rich and full, that he might be glorified in our bounty; if he will have us poor and low, that he may be glorified in our patience; if he will have us healthy, that he may be glorified in our labour; if he will have us sick, that he may be glorified in our pain; if he will have us live, that he may be glorified in our lives; if he will have us die, that he may be glorified in our deaths: and therefore, ‘ Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s:’ Rom. xiv. 9.–Thomas Manton, Works, 1:77

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