Tags

, , ,

Howe concludes his discussion as to whether God in fact has made human beings vain. He has defined the term vain, and then applied his definition to humanity in existence. He determines that human beings must have been created for more and greater existence than to just exist for this life and end in oblivion:

What remains, then, but that we conclude hence, we ought not too much, or too long, thus to abstract; nor too closely confine our eye to this dark and gloomy theme, death and the grave, or withhold it from looking further. For, far be it from us to think the wise and holy God hath given being to man (and consequently exercised a long continued series of providence through so many successive ages towards him) in vain. Nothing but a prospect of another state can solve the knot, and work through the present difficulty; can give us a true account of man, and what he was made for. Therefore, since it would be profane and impious, sad and uncomfortable, a blasphemy to our Maker, and a torture to ourselves, to speak it as our settled apprehension and judgment, that God hath made man to no purpose; we are obliged and concerned, both in justice to him and compassion to ourselves, so to represent the case, as that we may be able to remove so unworthy and black a thought to the greatest distance from us, both in itself and whatsoever practice would be consequent thereto: that is, to conclude, That certainly there must be another state after this; and accordingly steer our course.—The improvement, then, of the foregoing discourse will have a double aspect:—on our judgments, and practice.

John Howe, The Works of the Reverend John Howe, Volume 2 (London: William Tegg and Co., 1848), 289.