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selves punished in their children. Not that God pro. perly punishes cne for another's fin; but that from the parents sin he often takes occasion to punish children for their own fins, and such their parents fins oftimes are by imitation, or some way approving of them. (2.) In his accounting the observers of this command such as love him, and promising mercy unto them to many generations, even thousands of theirs after them.
Of the third Commandment,
EXODUS Xx. 7, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain ; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh bis name in vain.
S the first command respects the object of wor
ship, and the second the means, fo this third hath respect to the right manner of worship. In the words there are two things.
1. The command, Thou Malt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. It is expressed negatively, to strike into men the greater awful reverence of that glorious and great name. Now, as men by their names are known, and distinguished one from ano. ther, fo by the name of God we are to understand generally, whatsoever it is whereby God makes himself known, which we learn from his word and works. For no man hath seen God at any time, John i, 18. nor do we know any thing of him, but what he has been so pleased to reveal of himself, So that God being thus revealed unto us, the scope of this command is to bind upon us a holy reverence of him so far as he has revealed himself to us,
To take this name in vain, signifies, (1.) To a lie, or falsely. God is a God of truth; and his name must not be any wise interposed to falsehood, as they
do who father their own lies on him, or call him to witness to a lie in swearing falsely. (2.) In vain ; God is great, and we must not use his name in thought, word, or writing, lightly without just cause, rafhly without reverence, or unprofitably to no good purpose, God's honour, the good of ourselves or others, and much less contumeliously and wickedly, as in cursing and blaspheming:
The positive part is implied, viz. That we must hallow the name of God, treat it holily and reverentjy, Il. viii. 13. interposing it only to truth, whereof he is the author, and that upon his own call, with reverence, for his honour, and the good of ourselves and others.
2. The reason annexed to this command, For the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Where observe,
(1). The evil threatened against the breakers of this command. The Lord will not hold them guiltless. Two things are remarkable here. (1.) In that it is said, The Lord will not hold them guiltless, it implies, that profaners of God's name many times hold themselves guiltless. They abuse God's name, and then wipe their mouths, and say they have not finned. Men hold them guiltless, they escape punishment from men; but while both themselves and others let the plea sleep, God will awaken it, and take the quarrel in his own hand. (2.) In that it is said, The Lord will not hold them guiltless, more is meant than is expressed, viz. that God will severely punish the profaning of his name, The less they think of it, God will think the more of it, and men shall find peculiar fevere re. Sentments of this fin from a highly-provoked God, They will find, that tho' it lies far from their hearts, yet it touches a holy God near.
(2.) How particular the threatening is, Hold him guiltless that iaketh his name in vain. The fin is repeated in the threatening, to fhew the hainousness of it, how ill God takes it to have his name taken in vain. And though it be a common fin, yet none shall be hid or escape amongst the multitude of criminals, but God will bring out this man and that man, even every man that is a profaner of his name, and judge him as particularly, and punish him as severely, as if there were but one man in the fault, And though fome, by their being set above others in the world, think they may take a latitude in this fin, yet be the man who he will, him will God punish for it;: were he the greatest on earth, he fhall know that his tongue is not his own, but that Jehovah is Lord over him.
(3.) How peremptory the threatening is. It is not fimply said, God will punish him that taketh his name in vain, but God will not hold him guiltless. Let him not think to escape, God will not quit his honour so. His glory engages him to resent the dishonour done to his naine, and the abuser of it thall not go free. If God's name be profaned by him, it shall be glorified upon him one way or another.
In discourling further from this subject, fhall fhew,
1. I am to fhew what is required in the third command. It “ requires the holy and reverent use of " God's names, titles, attributes, ordinances, words, 6 and works." And here I shall fhew,
1. What is the name of God by which he makes himself known, which is to be hallowed by us,
2. What is our duty with respect to this gloriouş Dame in all the parts thereof,
Firft, I shall fhew what is the name of God by which he makes himself known, which is to be hallowçd by us. Under this are comprehended,
1. The particular names that God takes to himself in his word, as Jehovah, Lord, God, I am, &c. Exod, vi, 3:
And whereas he is one God in three persons,
we take in here the names of all the three, the Fa. ther, the Son, who is also called Jesus Christ, Immanuel, and the Holy Ghost.
2. The titles of God. For as great men have titles of honour whereby they are distinguished from 0thers, so God has taken certain titles to himself, as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Preserver of men, Hearer of prayer, &c. So the three persons in the Trinity have titles. The Father is called the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Chrift, &c.; the Son, King of kings, Lord of lords, Head of the church, &c.; and the Spirit, the Comforter, Sanctifier, &c.
3. The attributes of God, that is, his perfections and properties, whereby he is distinguished from all the creatures, such as his eternity, unchangeableness, infinity, omniscience, 6c.; in a word, all the glorious properties of the divine nature common to all the three persons. Each of these is as it were a letter of his name, Exod. xxxiii. 19. I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee, Chap. xxxiv. 6. 7. The Lordproclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, and transgreffion, and fin, and that will by no means clear
And happy they that can believingly read this name.
4. The ordinances of God. These are his name by which he is known in the world, Micah iv. 5. with Luke i. 6. Such are prayer, praise, the facraments, Cc. oaths, for swearing by the name of God when we are duly called thereto, is a part of religious worthip, and a very folemn and awful ordinance of God, Deut. X. 20. So are lots an ordinance of God, where in the decision of any thing is committed to divine providence, and thereby Gad makes his will known, Prov. xvi. 33. Acts i. 24. 26,
5. His word, which we have in the holy fcriptures, Pál, cxxxviii. 2. This is to be read by us, preached and heard, that we may thereby know our God; for
therein is his name unfolded, both in the law and in the gospel, which are the two parts thereof.
6. Lastly, His works. By thelé is he known; viz. his works of creation, Pfal. xix. 1. and of providence, whether of mercy, Acts xiv. 17. or of judgement, Psal. ix. 19.
Secondly, I come now to fhew what is our duty with respect to this glorious name in all the parts thereof, We
We may take it up in these two things. 1. We are to use it in all the parts thereof as we are called. God has laid it before us for our use, and we ought to take it up. This is plainly implied in the command, not to take it in vain : for (observe) there is a great difference betwixt the orders heaven gives concerning the name of other gods, and the name of the true God, Exod. xxiii. 13. Make no mention of the names of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth; compared with this command, Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. And indeed when God gives us his names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works, if we use them not, we take them in vain, 2 Cor. vi. 1. Now, there are three ways how we may be said to use this name.
ift, In thought, whether by simple conceiving of it and the several parts of it, or by settled meditation
Thus we are to take up the name of God into our minds, thinking and meditating upon his names, titles, attributes, &c. And thus that queftion, What is his name? Prov. xxx. 4. may be our continual ftudy, our every day's leffon ; and it will serve us to learn as long as we are in the world ; and no wonder, for it is what the saints in heaven are learning, and will learn through eternity. This is our duty, and would be a most profitable itudy, being a great part of the life of faith, whereby the foul feeds on God himself.
2dly, In words, whether by speaking of it, or writing of it. And thus we are to take it up in our lips and pens. The first is the duty of all; the fe