Philippians 1:21, The Glorification of God, & A Pastor’s Prayer For Grace Church

1 02 2008

Is a familiar verse for most of us. “To live is Christ, to die is gain.” Carefully read the words of David Brainerd on that theme:

September 19, 1747 (three weeks before his death at age 29): I viewed the infinite excellency of God, and my soul even broke with longings that God should be glorified. I thought of dignity in heaven, but instantly the thought returned, “I do not go to heaven to get honor, but to give all possible glory and praise.” Oh, how I longed that God should be glorified on earth also! Oh, I was made for eternity, if God might be glorified!

Bodily pains I cared not for; though I was then in extremity, I never felt easier. I felt willing to glorify God in that state of bodily distress, as long as He pleased I should continue in it. The grave appeared really sweet, and I longed to lodge my weary bones in it.


But oh, that God might be glorified! this was the burden of all my cry. Oh, I knew, I should be active, as an angel, in heaven; and that I should be stripped of my filthy garments, so that there was no objection. But, oh, to love and praise God more, to please Him forever! This my soul panted after and even now pants for while I write. Oh, that God might be glorified in the whole earth! “Lord, let thy kingdom come.”

I longed for a spirit of preaching to descend and rest on ministers that they might address the consciences of men with closeness and power. I saw God “had the residue of the Spirit,” and my soul longed it should be “poured from on high.” I could not but plead with God for my dear congregation that He would preserve it and not suffer His great name to lose its glory in that work, my soul still longing that God might be glorified.

Jonathan Edwards, The Life of David Brainerd, 1748, republished in 1989 by Baker. Available online at CCEL.

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