“Ravished with wonder” by John Calvin

“David shows how it is that the heavens proclaim to us the glory of God, namely, by openly bearing testimony that they have not been put together by chance, but were wonderfully created by the supreme Architect.

When we behold the heavens, we cannot but be elevated, by the contemplation of them, to Him who is their great Creator; and the beautiful arrangement and wonderful variety which distinguish the courses and station of the heavenly bodies, together with the beauty and splendour which are manifest in them, cannot but furnish us with an evident proof of His providence.

Scripture, indeed, makes known to us the time and manner of the creation; but the heavens themselves, although God should say nothing on the subject, proclaim loudly and distinctly enough that they have been fashioned by His hands: and this of itself abundantly suffices to bear testimony to men of His glory.

As soon as we acknowledge God to be the supreme Architect, who has erected the beauteous fabric of the universe, our minds must necessarily be ravished with wonder at His infinite goodness, wisdom, and power.”

–John Calvin, Commentary on the Book of Psalms, trans. James Anderson (Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1845; repr. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 1: 309. Calvin is commenting on Psalm 19:1.

“The church is the orchestra” by John Calvin

“The whole world is a theatre for the display of God’s goodness, wisdom, justice and power, but the church is the orchestra.”

–John Calvin, Commentary on the Psalms (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2009),619. Calvin is commenting on Psalm 135:13-14.

“God’s glory” by Thomas Watson

“God’s glory is as dear to a saint as his own salvation. And that this glory may be promoted he endeavors the conversion of souls.”

–Thomas Watson, The Lord’s Prayer  (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1662/1999), 44.

“The first and great petition” by Thomas Watson

“‘Hallowed be Thy name.’ In the Latin, it is, sanctificetur nomen tuum,—sanctified be Thy name. In this petition, ‘hallowed be Thy name,’ we pray, that God’s name may shine forth gloriously, and that it may be honoured and sanctified by us, in the whole course and tenor of our lives.

It was the angels’ song, ‘glory to God in the highest;’ that is, let his name be glorified and hallowed. This petition, “Hallowed be Thy name,” is set in the forefront, to show, that the hallowing of God’s name is to be preferred before all things.

It is to be preferred before life; we pray, ‘Hallowed be Thy name,’ before we pray, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’

It is to be preferred before salvation, Rom. 9:1. God’s glory is more worth than the salvation of all men’s souls. As Christ said of love, Mat. 22:36., ‘This is the first and great commandment;’ so I may say of this petition, ‘Hallowed be Thy name,’ it is the first and great petition; it contains the most weighty thing in religion, God’s glory.

When some of the other petitions shall be useless and out of date, we shall not need to pray in heaven, ‘Give us our daily bread,’ because there shall be no hunger; nor, ‘Forgive us our trespasses,’ because there shall be no sin; nor, ‘Lead us not into temptation,’ because the Old Serpent is not there to tempt; yet the hallowing of God’s name shall be of great use and request in heaven.

We shall be ever singing hallelujahs, which is nothing else but the hallowing of God’s name. Every person in the blessed Trinity, God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, must have this honour, to be hallowed; their glory being equal, and their majesty co-eternal.

‘Hallowed be Thy name.’ To admire God’s name is not enough. We may admire a conqueror, but when we say, “Hallowed be Thy name,” we set God’s name above every name, and not only admire Him, but adore Him.”

–Thomas Watson, The Select Works of the Rev. Thomas Watson, Comprising His Celebrated Body of Divinity, in a Series of Lectures on the Shorter Catechism, and Various Sermons and Treatises (New York: Robert Carter & Brothers, 1855), 406.

“When the glorious morning comes” by Jonathan Edwards

“Is Christ Jesus the light of the world? What glorious times will those be when all nations shall submit themselves to Him, when this glorious light shall shine into every dark corner of the earth, and shall shine much more brightly and gloriously than ever before.

It will be like the rising of the sun after a long night of darkness, after the thick darkness had been ruling and reigning over all nations and poor mankind had been groping about in gross darkness for many ages.

When this glorious morning comes, then those that never saw light before shall see it and be astonished at its glory.

Then the world, which has been in a kind of dead sleep for this many ages, shall rouse up and begin to open their eyes and look forth to behold this glorious light of the world.

Then will the sweet music of God’s praises begin to be heard.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “Christ, the Light of the World,” in Sermons and Discourses 1720-1723, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10, Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven: Yale, 1992), 544. Edwards was 18 years old when he preached this sermon. It may be read here in its entirety.

“The foundation and fountain of all being and all beauty” by Jonathan Edwards

“As God is infinitely the greatest being, so He is allowed to be infinitely the most beautiful and excellent. And all the beauty to be found throughout the whole creation is but the reflection of the diffused beams of that Being who hath an infinite fullness of brightness and glory.

God’s beauty is infinitely more valuable than that of all other beings upon both those accounts mentioned, that is to say, the degree of his virtue and the greatness of the being possessed of this virtue. And God has sufficiently exhibited Himself, in His being, His infinite greatness and excellency.

And He has given us faculties, whereby we are capable of plainly discovering immense superiority to all other beings in these respects. Therefore He that has true virtue, consisting in benevolence to Being in general, and in that complacence in virtue, or moral beauty, and benevolence to virtuous being, must necessarily have a supreme love to God, both of benevolence and complacence.

And all true virtue must radically and essentially, and as it were summarily, consist in this. Because God is not only infinitely greater and more excellent than all other being, but He is the head of the universal system of existence; the foundation and fountain of all being and all beauty; from whom all is perfectly derived, and on whom all is most absolutely and perfectly dependent; of whom, and through whom, and to whom is all being and all perfection; and whose being and beauty is as it were the sum and comprehension of all existence and excellence: much more than the sun is the fountain and summary comprehension of all the light and brightness of the day.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Nature of True Virtue,” Ethical Writings, Ed. Paul Ramsey, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 550-551.

“Let this sink in” by John Piper

“Does not our heart burn when we hear God say, ‘My name is, I AM WHO I AM?’ The absoluteness of God’s existence enthralls the mind: God’s never beginning, never-ending, never becoming, never improving, simply and absolutely there—to be dealt with on His terms or not at all.

Let this sink in: God—the God who holds you in being this very moment—never had a beginning. Ponder it. Do you remember the first time you thought about this as a child or young teenager? Let that speechless wonder rise.

God never had a beginning! ‘I AM’ has sent me to you. And one who never had a beginning, but always was and is and will be, defines all things. Whether we want Him to be there or not, He is there. We do not negotiate what we want for reality.

God defines reality. When we come into existence, we stand before a God who made us and owns us. We have absolutely no choice in this matter. We do not choose to be. And when we are, we do not choose that God be.

No ranting and raving, no sophisticated doubt or skepticism, has any effect on the existence of God. He simply and absolutely is. ‘Tell them I AM has sent you.’ If we don’t like it, we can change, to our joy, or we can resist, to our destruction.

But one thing remains absolutely unassailed: God is. He was there before we came. He will be there after we are gone. And therefore what matters in life above all things is this God. We cannot escape the simple and obvious truth that God must be the main thing in life.

Life has to do with God because all the universe has to do with God, and the universe has to do with God because every atom and every emotion and every soul of every angelic, demonic, and human being belongs to God, who absolutely is.

He created all that is, He sustains everything in being, He directs the course of all events, because ‘from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever’ (Rom. 11:36). May God inflame in you a passion for His centrality and supremacy in your life.

May it be so that when you are dead and gone the people you love and serve will say, ‘This one knew God. This one loved God and lived for the glory of God and showed us God day after day. This one, as the apostle said, was filled with all the fullness of God’ (Eph. 3:19).”

–John Piper, Calvin and His Passion For The Majesty of God, (Wheaton: Crossway, 2009), 12-13.

“The holiness and tenderness of God” by Charles H. Spurgeon

“Never did God have such honour and glory as He obtained through the sufferings of Jesus. Oh, they thought to scorn Him, but they lifted His Name on high! They thought that God was dishonoured when He was most glorified.

The image of the Invisible, had they not marred it? The express image of the Father’s person, had they not defiled it? Ah, so they said! But He that sitteth in the heavens may well laugh and have them in derision, for what did they?

They did but break the alabaster box, and all the blessed drops of infinite mercy streamed forth to perfume all worlds. They did but rend the veil, and then the glory which had been hidden between the cherubim shone forth upon all lands.

O nature, adoring God with thine ancient and priestly mountains, extolling Him with thy trees, which clap their hands, and worshipping with thy seas, which in their fulness roar out Jehovah’s praise; with all thy tempests and flames of fire, thy dragons and thy deeps, thy snow and thy hail, thou cannot not glorify God as Jesus glorified Him when He became obedient unto death.

O heaven, with all thy jubilant angels, thine ever chanting cherubim and seraphim, thy thrice holy hymns, thy streets of gold and endless harmonies, thou cannot not reveal the Deity as Jesus Christ revealed it on the cross.

O hell, with all thine infinite horrors and flames unquenchable, and pains and griefs and shrieks of tortured ghosts, even thou cannot not reveal the justice of God as Christ revealed it in His riven heart upon the bloody tree.

O earth and heaven and hell! O time and eternity, things present and things to come, visible and invisible, ye are dim mirrors of the Godhead compared with the bleeding Lamb.

O heart of God, I see Thee nowhere as at Golgotha, where the Word incarnate reveals the justice and the love, the holiness and the tenderness of God in one blaze of glory.

If any created mind would fain see the glory of God, he need not gaze upon the starry skies, nor soar into the heaven of heavens, he has but to bow at the cross foot and watch the crimson streams which gush from Immanuel’s wounds.

If you would behold the glory of God, you need not gaze between the gates of pearls, you have but to look beyond the gates of Jerusalem and see the Prince of Peace expire.

If you would receive the noblest conception that ever filled the human mind of the lovingkindness and the greatness and the pity, and yet the justice and the severity and the wrath of God, you need not lift up your eyes, nor cast them down, nor look to paradise, nor gaze on hell, you have but to look into the heart of Christ all crushed and broken and bruised, and you have seen it all.

Oh, the joy that springs from the fact that God has triumphed after all! Death is not the victor. Evil is not master. There are not two rival kingdoms, one governed by the God of good, and the other by the God of evil.

No, evil is bound, chained, and led captive. Its sinews are cut, its head is broken. Its king is bound to the dread chariot of Jehovah-Jesus, and as the white horses of triumph drag the Conqueror up the everlasting hills in splendour of glory, the monster of the pit cringe at His chariot wheels.

Therefore, beloved, we close this discourse with this sentence of humble yet joyful worship: ‘Glory be unto the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost: as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.'”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “Mourning at the Sight of the Crucified,” from Twelve Sermons on the Passion and Death of Christ (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1971), 54-55.

“The chief end of creation” by Jonathan Edwards

“The creation of the world seems to have been especially for this end: that the eternal Son of God might obtain a spouse, towards whom He might fully exercise the infinite benevolence of His nature and to whom He might, as it were, open and pour forth all that immense fountain of condescension, love and grace that was in His heart, and that in this way God might be glorified.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Church’s Marriage To Her Sons, And To Her God,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 25, Sermons and Discourses 1743-1758. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (WJE Online Vol. 25), 187.

“The glorious Father, Son, and Spirit” by Christopher W. Morgan

“The glorious Father sends the glorious Son, who voluntarily humbles Himself and glorifies the Father through His incarnation, obedient life, and substitutionary death (Phil. 2:5-11; cf. John 1:18; 7:18; 10:1-30; 14:13).

In response the Father glorifies the Son, resurrecting Him from the dead and exalting Him to the highest place (Acts 3:13-15; Rom. 6:4; Phil 2:9-11). The Father sends the glorious Spirit who glorifies the Son. And this all takes place to the glory of the Father (Phil. 2:11).

Each member of the Trinity gives to the others as a display of love and as a way of accomplishing cosmic redemption. The Son says to the Father, ‘I love You and the people You have given Me, so I will undergo humiliation and suffering for You and them.’

And then the Father responds to the Son, ‘I love You and these people, so for Your sake and theirs, I want to raise and exalt You to the highest place and reputation.’

Amazingly, through serving the Father, the Son is glorified, and through blessing the Son, the Father is glorified (Phil. 2:5-11). Further, the Father blesses the Son with people to save, depicted as love gifts from the Father.

The Son, in turn, saves and keeps all of these love gifts, giving them back to the Father (John 6, 10, 17). The Father blesses the Son with gifts (us!), and the Son blesses the Father by giving the gifts in return.

Plus, the Spirit communicates the gifts, disclosing what belongs to the Father and the Son to believers (John 16:14-15).”

–Christopher W. Morgan, “Toward a Theology of the Glory of God” in The Glory of God, Eds. Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson (Wheaton: Crossway, 2010), 178.