The Glory bestowed by the Creator on the creature; and the Glory derived from the creature to the Creator. 5


And yet it is a revealed truth—certain with the certainty of divine faith—that the creature can and does magnify its Creator, add to His greatness, increase His glory, and give to Him something which, without that creature, and, apart from an act of that creature's will, He would not have. The explanation is this. A twofold glory-pertains to God—an essential glory and an accidental glory. His Essential Glory is that which of necessity belongs to Him, without which He would not be God, and in order to which He is absolutely self-sufficing. This Essential Glory is the result and issue of the processes of His own inner life. He has His Beatitude and His Glory in the contemplation and love of Himself, of His own Essence and Being, as it is the infinitely True and the infinitely Good. He is self-sufficing in order to His own glory, as He is self-sufficing in order to His own existence. He has no cause of that existence, and this glory also He does not derive from another. 'All my goods,' says the Psalmist, ' are nothing unto Thee.'

But besides this Essential Glory, He has also an accidental glory, which it is possible for Him to receive from His own creatures, from every work of His hands; but above all, and beyond all, from His intelligent and rational creatures. The water which runs downhill instead of upwards, and which finds its level; the waves of the sea in their ebb and flow, and in the succession of their tides; the sun and the moon in their rising and in their setting; the stars in their courses—one and all praise and magnify the Lord by their natural obedience to those physical laws which He has ordained them. The grass of the field, the flowers which adorn and beautify the earth, the trees which grow thereon, magnify the Lord by living according to the laws of that life which He has bestowed upon them. The beasts of the earth, the birds of the air, and the fishes of the sea magnify the Lord by following those instincts which He has implanted within them.

They one and all magnify, each after its manner, and according to the mode of its own specific or individual being. But theirs is an inferior worship. It does not satisfy, much less satiate God. It is good and sufficient and adequate of its kind; but He desires more than the natural and necessary worship of the inanimate and the irrational. And, moreover, it has in it no merit; for they have no freedom of will; they cannot offer, for they cannot refuse. They live and act not by choice and purpose, but by a necessity of their nature; and they are incapable therefore of either reward or punishment.

But His intelligent creatures, human and angelic, have a higher existence and a nobler nature, more nearly approaching His own. His image is more sharply and adequately stamped upon them. They are clearer mirrors of His own spiritual perfections. They possess life; but not mere life, not only life in its lower form, the organic, but in its highest form, the spiritual and intellective. They can know and will; they can apprehend and understand; they can purpose and resolve and determine. Moreover, their spiritual faculties of intellect and will tend like His, till they rest in possession of the true and the good. To these they naturally tend, but not by a natural necessity. They have another God-like gift—absolute freedom of the will. They can will to reject, as they can will to embrace the truth. They can will to refuse, as they can will to choose and cleave to the good. They can will their own perfection and consequent glory, and they can equally will their own distortion and consequent ruin. They can will their Maker's glory or His dishonour; for that glory and their perfection are identified, as is His injury and their loss. By the selfsame process whereby they perfect themselves, they glorify Him; and by the selfsame process whereby they glorify Him, they perfect themselves as they are spiritual beings.

Hence, in order to these two ends. His glory and their perfection, the Allwise and Loving Creator has given to His intelligent and rational creatures alike a revelation and a law; a Revelation the embracing of which, as His Truth, will perfect their understandings; and a Law, submission to which, as it is divine, will perfect their wills. Moreover, besides this external revelation and law. He has given them those internal graces, those participation's of the Divine nature, whereby they are enabled to perform those two supernatural acts of faith and obedience. He has given them the grace of illumination and the grace of inspiration : the one, enlightening the understanding, that it may see; the other, subduing the will, that it may subject itself and obey. He has given them, in a word, the grace of the light of Divine faith, and the grace of the flame of Divine charity.