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cond of some only whom God calls and has fitted thereunto, as he did the prophets, apostles, and others, who by their writings have been useful to particular persons, or to the church of God. 'To speak of God is the great end of speech that is given to man, made to be the mouth of the creation, and therefore our tongue is called our glory, by which we ought to contribute to the displaying of the glory of God in his names, titles, doc.
3dly, In deeds; and so we are to take up this holy name in our practice, making conscience of the practice of the duties enjoined in God's word and ordi. nances, praying, reading, hearing, communicating, swearing by his name, when in a lawful oath duly called thereto, &C. Thus a practical profession of religion as well as a verbal profession is a duty of this command. And,
(1.) A verbal profession is necessary at some times ; that is, when we are by the providence of God called thereunto, to give a testimony unto the truth, 1 Pet. iii. 15. For then it is asked as it were, By what name are we called ? and then we must not be a. shamed of our Father before men, but meekly tho' boldly declare it even in words, Rom. X. 10. and so take up his name before the world ; owning his names, , incommunicable titles, attributes, ordinances, doc.
(2.) A real or practical profession is neceffary at all times, Rev. xiv. i. having our Father's name written in our foreheads. That is, we must not only be, but give out ourselves in our way and carriage to be the servants of God, following the duties of religion, whereby we are distinguished from the world that havc no profession; and so professing his name in the several parts thereof.
Three things make this threefold use of the name of God neceffary.
[1.] Thé glory of God, i Cor. x. 31. Lev. &. 3.; for by his name he has made his glory shine; but if we use it not, we do what in us lies to put that glory
under a bushel. Whereas for his honour we should use it in all the parts thereof.
[2.] Our own good, Jer. xxxii. 39. The name of God is good at all times, but especially in a time of trouble, Prov. xviii. 10. The name of the Lørd is a strong tower : the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Every part of his name is a secret chamber, where a believer may feed, feast, and be safe in the worst of times. His names and titles are cordials to a fainting soul; his attributes are a magazine of comfort, and a fountain of fulness for all wants ; his ordinances are breasts of confolations, his word is a good heritage, and his works are full of wonder, declaring what a great and good God he is.
[3.] The good of others. It is a great kindness to a blinded world to take up this name in our lips and lives. It is like the pouring out of ointment, and breaking of spices, that they may find the fragrant smell, and desire to be partakers, John iv. We should commend his names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works to others. It is glory to God, good for us, and may do good to others. It was Christ's work, John xvii. 26. and was comfortable to him when going out of the world, and would be fo to us at that hour.
Secondly, We are to use this name in all the parts of it holily and reverently, whatever 'way we use the same, whether in thought, word, or deed. This is very extensive; but there are three things fpecially aimed at in the holy and reverent use of God's name.
1. The using of it in faith. If we use not his names, titles, &c. in faith, we take them in vain, Heb. xi. 6. Rom. xiv. ult. If we believe not his being what his names and titles import, our giving them to him is but hypocritical compliment. Do we call him Hearer of prayer? let us be sure of the faith of it, or we do but mock God. If we believe not his word, as it will not please him, so it will not pro
fit us, Heb. iv. 2. Uabelief makes us take his name in vain.
2. In fear. To use the name of God without fear and reverence of his Majesty, is to abuse it, Deut. xxviii. 58. His names and titles are dreadful, tho! sweet. I may fay of them as of the rings, they are fo high that they are dreadful, Ezek. i. 18. His attributes are fo: for even that love, mercy, and grace towards finners comes not but through the wounds made in the side of the Mediator by the fword of justice. His ordinances need nothing from men to make them awful; in their greatest fimplicity they have an impreslion of divine authority on them, and God's special presence in them, fufficient to awe the hearts of them that are not blinded. His word has a peculiar majesty in it; and the meanest of his works bear the impression of a divine hand. And fhall we use them without fear?
3. In singleness to a right end; not for no end, a carnal selfish end, far lels a wicked end; but for the honour of God, the good of ourselves and others. It is a precious treasure opened unto finners for their e. ternal welfare, not to be lavished out to no good purpole, but for the highest and best ends. So that these things must be reserved as sacred, and not med. dled with but in matters of highest importance. More particularly,
It, We must holily and reverently use his names and titles, when we think, speak, ur any way handle them, with faith, fear, and singleness, having a boly dread and awe of his Majesty on our fpirits, as believing him to be what he calls himself, Jer. V. 22, and looking on him as his name is high above all.
2dly, We must holily and reverently use his attributes, thinking and speaking of them in a reverent and spiritual inanner, and making such use of them for our own particular case, and the case of others, as the revealing of them is designed for, otherwise we use them in vain, Plal. cxxx. 4. 2 Cor. Y. 11.
zdly, We must holily and reverently use his ordiDances, going about all of them in the right manner; praying in the Spirit, finging with grace in the heart, making melody unto the Lord; preaching or hearing in faith, communicating worthily with grace, and grace in exercise, &c. In a word, it requires all to be done in the ordinances after the right manner. Particularly,
(1.) We must use God's name holily and reverently in an oath. When the oath being lawful, and we are called to it by authority, we swear in truth, in judgement, and in righteousness, Jer, iv. 2.
[1.] In truth ; which implies, 1.) That the thing be truth in itself which we swear to, otherwise we call God to witness to a lie. 2.) That we be persuaded in our consciences that it is truth. So that here is required an agreement of our words with the trath of the thing sworn, and an agreement of our minds with our words, Psal. xv. 2; 3.) That it be without fraud or deceit, whereby all equivocations or mental reservations are to be far from oaths, as we would not profane that facred name; and the intent of the im. pofer is to be regarded.
[2.] In judgement; which implies, 1.) That we must understand the thing we (wear, that it be not dubious and perplexed, swearing we know not what, 2.) That we understand the nature of an oath, viz. that we thereby folemnly call God to witness to the truth of what we affert or promise, and to judge us according to the truth or falsehood of what we swear. And therefore, 3.) That it be gone about with a due fear and reverence of God on our spirit, as knowing it is God we have to do with. Hence the righteous man is represented as one that feareth an oath,
[3.] In righteousness; which implies, 1.) That the thing we fwear be lawful and jultį for an oath is abuled when it is made a band of iniquity; and so that the thing be possible, and in our power. 2.) Thao it be for good ends, viz, that God be glorified, Joh.
vii. 19. our neighbour satisfied, and cintroversy ended, Heb. vi. 16. our own innocency cleared, Exod. xxii. 11. &c. 3.) That we mind well and firmly resolve to perform it.
(2.) In luts God's name is holily and reverently used, when,
[1.] They are used in a matter of weight; for the end of them is the same with that of an oath, Prov. xviii. 18. And the nature of them is not unlike, being an appeal to God's decision, Prov. xvi. 33. And fo we find they are weighty cases in scripture wherein they are used, as in the cases of Jonah and Mat. thias.
[2.] When they are necessary, and the matter cannot otherwise be decided without great inconveniencies, as in the above cafes. And reaton teaches, that this being God's decision, men ought not without great neceffity to go off the ordinary road.
[3.] When men eye God in the lot, look to him for the decision, with calling on his Dame, Jonah i. Acts i.
[4.] When the matter is fingly given up to God, and no fraud or trick is used to caft the matter to one fide rather than another; for that is to put the de. cision first in God's hand, and then to take it out 2gain, which is a mocking of God.
[5.] Lasily, When with due reverence that is received which falls by the lot, as coming from the de termination of God.
Were thefe things duly confidered, I think men would not make such use of locting, by casting cavels, drawing cuts, &c. but would fatisfy themselves otherwise many times,
4thly, We must holily and reverently use the word, thinking of, speaking, and bearing it with godly fear, as the word of God, and that we may obey it.
Sthly, and lastly, We must holily and reverently use his works, thinking of, speaking of, and using chem to the honour of God, our own and others welfare,