That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
A certain king had a minstrel, and he bade him play before him. It was a day of high feasting; the cups were flowing, and many great guests were assembled. The minstrel laid his fingers among the strings of his harp and woke them all to the sweetest melody, but the hymn was to the glory of himself. It was a celebration of the exploits of song which the bard had himself performed. He had excelled high Howell's harp, and emulated great Llewellyn's lay. In high-sounding strains he sang himself and all his glories. When the feast was over the harper said to the monarch, "Oh, king, give me my guerdon; let the minstrel's mede be paid." And the king said, "Thou hast sung unto thyself; pay thyself; thine own praises were thy theme; be thyself the paymaster." He cried, "Did I not sing sweetly? O, king, give me the gold!" But the king replied, "So much the worse for thy pride, that thou shouldest lavish such sweetness upon thyself." Brethren, even if a man should grow grey-headed in the performance of good works, yet when at the last it is known that he has done it all to himself, his Lord will say, "Thou hast done well enough in the eyes of man, but so much the worse, because thou didst it only to thyself, that thine own praises might be sung, and that thine own name might be extolled."
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
Parallel VersesKJV: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.