Happiness is the end of creation

Happiness is the end of creation, as appears by this, because the creation had as good not be, as not rejoice in its being. For certainly it was the goodness of the Creator that moved him to create; and how can we conceive of another end proposed by goodness, than that he might delight in seeing the creatures he made rejoice in that being that he has given them?

It appears also by this, because the end of the creation is that the creation might glorify him. Now what is glorifying God, but a rejoicing at that glory he has displayed? An understanding of the perfections of God, merely, cannot be the end of the creation; for he had as good not understand it, as see it and not be at all moved with joy at the sight. Neither can the highest end of the creation be the declaring God’s glory to others; for the declaring God’s glory is good for nothing otherwise than to raise joy in ourselves and others at what is declared.

Wherefore, seeing happiness is the highest end of the creation of the universe, and intelligent beings are that consciousness of the creation that is to be the immediate subject of this happiness, how happy may we conclude will be those intelligent beings that are to be made eternally happy!

Jonathan Edwards, Miscellanies 3.

About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on May 13, 2011, in The Enlightenment and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Love is the end of creation, as appears by this, because the creation had as good not be, as not love in its being. For certainly it was the goodness of the Creator that moved him to create; and how can we conceive of another end proposed by goodness, than that he might love the creatures he made and love that being that he has given them?

    It appears also by this, because the end of the creation is that the creation might glorify him. Now what is glorifying God, but loving that glory he has displayed? An understanding of the perfections of God, merely, cannot be the end of the creation; for he had as good not understand it, as see it and not be at all moved with love at the sight. Neither can the highest end of the creation be the declaring God’s glory to others; for the declaring God’s glory is good for nothing otherwise than to raise love in ourselves and others at what is declared.

    Wherefore, seeing love is the highest end of the creation of the universe, and intelligent beings are that consciousness of the creation that is to be the immediate subject of this love, how full of love may we conclude will be those intelligent beings that are to be made eternally loved!

    Joy is a merely a fish in the river of love. Love can encompass sacrifice in the midst of pure suffering, obedience in the midst of pain, obedience despite or because of a vast array of emotional feelings, as well as gratitude and joy. Edwards his apprentice Piper are missing the whole pie to focus on a slice.

  2. This is what happens when delight and love are seen as synonyms. (Or desire and faith, for that matter.)

  3. One more thing, love encompasses the mind and choice, free will not bound by desire. This also increases our definition of love and does not restrict it to desire alone. If our free will is bound to our desires, then love is nothing more than a byproduct. Or worse yet, love is reduced to our desires.

    Love is obedience, will, and joy, empowered by grace and faith.

  1. Pingback: Jonathan Edwards (roundup) « scientia et sapientia

  2. Pingback: St. Issa and The Process of Creation « An Alchemist's Journey….

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