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The Chief Reason

The Talmud is, of course, no authority, but its theory of why man was created on the sixth day is, at least, interesting. And it is certainly correct in naming the purpose for which man was created. George Swinnock wrote:


A philosopher may get riches, saith Aristotle, but that is not his main business; a Christian may, nay, must follow his particular calling, but that is not his main business, that is not the errand for which he was sent into the world. God made particular callings for men, but he made men for their general callings. It was a discreet answer of Anaxagoras Clazamenius to one that asked him why he came into the world; Ut cælum contempler, That I might contemplate heaven. Heaven is my country, and for that is my chiefest care. May not a Christian upon better reason confess that to be the end of his creation, that he might seek heaven, and be serviceable to the Lord of heaven, and say, as Jerome, I am a miserable sinner, and born only to repent. The Jewish Talmud propounds this question, Why God made man on the Sabbath eve? and gives this answer: That he might presently enter upon the command of sanctifying the Sabbath, and begin his life with the worship of God, which was the chief reason and end why it was given him.

—George Swinnock, The Christian Man’s Calling, Works of George Swinnock (Banner of Truth, 1992), 1:49–50.

Posted 2014·02·28 by David Kjos
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Posted in: George Swinnock · Soli Deo Gloria · The Christian Man’s Calling · Westminster Pulpit · Works of George Swinnock

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