St. Luke ix. 14: — “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Glory and Peace are coupled together with an “and” — ” and on earth peace ;” that Glory would not be sung alone, but Peace together with it. We will not, we may not skip the copulative; that couples together high and low. Heaven and earth, and in them God and man; but that which I respect specially. Glory and Peace must be sung together. If we sing Glory without Peace, we sing but to halves. No Glory on high will be admitted without Peace upon earth. No gift on His Altar, which is a special part of His glory, but “lay down your gift and there leave it, and first go your way and make peace on earth; ” and that done come again, and you shall then be accepted to give glory to Heaven, and not before. And O that we would go and do the like, have like regard of His glory that He hath of our peace. But this knot of Glory and Peace is against those that are still ever wrangling with one thing or other, and all for the glory of God forsooth, as if these two could not join — God could not have His glory if the Church were at peace, as if no remedy the Angels’ “and” must out.
Glory and Peace; but Glory first, and then Peace. There is much in the order. Glory to be first, else you change the clef, — the clef is in Glory, that the key of the song. That is to be first and before all. Peace to give place to her; Glory is the elder sister. And no Pax in terris, unless it be first considered how it will stand with Gloria in excelsis. To set Peace before Glory is to set earth above Heaven. Keep the order then, each in her place. So goeth the song; the Child born is God and man — God from on high, Man from the earth. They keep the right order in singing of Him; we to do the like, Heaven’s part ever to be first.