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confidence in him ; 'Lord of hosts, and yet cannot quietly commit ourselves to his protection? Do we not thereby take his naine in vain? The strong tower of his name is built, but in vain in that case when we do not improve it.
2dly, When we make an ill use of them, either to encourage ourselves in fin by them, or to drive us away from him by terror, or to any other use difhonourable to God, and contrary to the intent of the revelation of them to us.
2. With respect to his attributes, God's name is abufed,
ift, By the working of unbelief against them, doubting of, questioning and denying them. Thus the Atheistical heart works often in wicked men, call- . ing in question the power of God when driven into straits, 2 Kings vii
. 2. and when they mind to lie fecurely in fin, fustering unbelief of his omniscience, Ezek. ix. 9. of his justice, Zeph. i. 12. of his holiness, Pfal. 1. 21. dc. Yea, thus under temptation it works even in the godly, fo that often they are found bordering on blasphemy, through the power of unbelief, questioning his goodness and truth, Pfal. lxxvii. 8. 9. Jer. xv. 18.
2dly, By the aversion of the heart unto them, and its rising against them, Rom. viii. 7. There is a natural enmity in the heart of man against God, shewing itself in the aversion they have to his holy nature and attributes. They do not love his perfections; they would wish he were not such a one as he is; and this is the rise of Atheism. The heart is glued to fin; and the discovery of God's attributes, his holiness, justice, &c. difturbs finners in their relt in it. Hence their hearts rise against God, and his perfections.
3dly, By using of them to wrong ends and purposes. Thus we fin many ways, perverting the knowledge of his perfections to God's dishonour and our own ruin. Thus the mercy of God is abused to encouragement in fin; his patience to continuance in it; his justice to desperation, wc. Eccl. viii. 11. Rom. ïi. 4. 5.
3. With respect to his ordinances. The name of God is abused in ordinances, when we do not go about them after the right manner; for this command directs us to the right. manner of performing duties. And as a master reckons his servant has been working in vain, when though he has been doing the thing he bade him, yet he has not done it as he bade him, but marred it in the making ; fo God reckons those duties that are wrong as to the manner of them are a taking of his name in vain, and those ordinances that are gone about in a wrong manner, in vain.
ist, We are guilty of profaning God's name in ordinances and duties of worship, when we are not upright in our end and aim in them; that is, having the honour of his name before us as our great end, 1 Cor. x. 31. Thewing itself in seeking to honour him, to get and advance communion with him, and to give obedience to his commands. Instead thereof his name 'is abused by going about ordinances formally, out of custom more than conscience, seeking ourselves more than God in them, a name and reputation more than the glory of the divine Being.
2 dly, When we have not a holy principle from which we act, viz. the Spirit of God in us, without whom we cannot worship in fpirit, i Cor. xii. 3. and a renewed heart, i Tim. i. 5. Hence it is that no unrenewed man's duties are acceptable or truly good. And no duty can be accepted of God, wherein we act from natural principles, parts, and abilities only, and not from supernatural gracious principles.
3dly, When we go not about duties in the due manner, with those other necessary qualifications of acceptable obedience, which must be fincere and not hypocritical, with faith, fear, fervency, &c.
I shall instance in some particular ordinances how we abuse the name of God in them.
1. In prayer. God's name is abused in prayer fe
11, When before prayer we are at no pains to prepare for it, but rafhly and precipitantly adventure on it, Eccl. v. I.
How often do we mar it in the entrance, by our not iinpressing our hearts with a due sense of our own insufficiency, God's greatness and majesty, our own wants; and by not emptying our hearts of all carnal thoughts, and not using of ejaculations to God for fitting us for a more folemn approach ?
2dly, In prayer we fail many ways. As, (1.) When we pray formally and hypocritically, our hearts not agreeing with our tongues in our confessions, petitions, and thanksgivings, Il. xxix. 13. fo that our heart-labour comes not up to our lip labour. (2.) When we pray coldly and faintly, without fervency of spirit, Matth. xxvi. 41. This fervency consists not in the loudness of the voice, but in the eagerness of the affections, like Jacob, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. (3.) Heart-wanderings much mar this duty, Rom. xii. 12. (4.) When we do not pray in faith, but are lifted up with a conceit of our own worthiness, like the Pharifee, Luke xviii. Į1. have no confidence in the promises of what we ask, Jam. i. 6. and place not our sole confidence in the merits of Christ.
3dly, After prayer when we quickly put out of our heads the impression of our approach, grow vain and carnal, and do not look after our prayers as to their success, Pfal. v. 3.
2. In praises, or singing of psalms, God's name is taken in vain many ways. As, (1.) When we rafhly venture upon it, not labouring to get our hearts in a tune for praise. (2.) When we do not understand what we fing, r Cor. xiv. 15. God can never be praised ignorantly. (3.) When we make not heartwork of it, fing with the voice, but müke no melody in the heart to the Lord, Eph. v. 19. (4.) When we are not affected in a suitablenefs to the matter that is fung, which being very different cer
tainly requires that our hearts should follow. (5.) When we make no application of the matter to ourselves in singing.
3. In reading or hearing of the word,' we take God's name in vain, (1.) When we do not prepare ourselves for it, appointing a meal in it to our fouls, by prayer and looking to God; and when we make it not our business to get our hearts emptied of word. ly thoughts and affections, and come with an appetit, i Pet. ii. 1. 2. (2.) When we do not strive to understand what we read or hear of the word, Acts vič. zo. but pass it, as if bare reading or hearing were all. - (3.) When we are not attentive thereto, but let the heart wander in the time after other things, Ezek. xxxiii
. 30. (4.) When we are dull, drowsy, sleepy, and weary in it, crying in our hearts, When will the fabbath be over? like Doeg detained before the Lord. (5) When we do not receive it as the word of the living God, looking on it as God himself speaking to us, 1 Theff. ii. 13. (6.) When we do not subject ourselves humbly to what we hear from the Lord by kis word, being affected suitably to every part of the word, approving the commands thereof, believing the promises, and trembling at the threatenings, Heb. iv, 3. (7.) When we do not lay ourselves open to the word, to be taught our duty, to be reproved for our faults, to be searched and known as by the candle of the Lord; but ward off convictions, and rise against the speaker when the word toucheth us. (8.) When we hear it partially, having more respect to the speaker to receive it or reject it, according to our opinion of him, than to the Lord's word itself, Aits xvii. 11. &c. (9.) La;?ly, When we do not meditate upon it afterwards, conter about it, and labour to im. prove it to our fouls good.
4. In oaths (besides what has been already said), we take God's name in vain with respect to them, (1.) When we refuse a lawful oath, being duly called tliereto, and the glory of God and the good of our
neighbour requires it, Neh. v. 12. For an oath for confirmation is to men an end of all strife, Heb. vi. 16. ; and men might be ruined in their lives, reputation, &c. if men would refuse a just and necessary oath when called to it, which God's honour and our neighbour's good requires. (2.) With respect to an unlawful oath; it is a sin, 1.) To take it or make it ; for it is a terrible profaning of that ordinance to make it a bond of iniquity, as Herod did, Mark vi. 2 3. 2.) To keep it and perform it, as he also did, ver. 26. : for what is this but to make the name of God-fublervientio God's dishonour? And that is to be reckoned an un. lawful oath, which is of any thing that is false, fin- . ful, unjust, or impossible to us. (3.) When men use equivocations in oaths, or mental reservations; for lo he for whose fake the oath is imposed, is deceived and wronged. But whatever shifis men may use that way, God will reckon them as false swearers. (4.) When men swear unnecessarily, ignorantly, doubtingly, without due regard and reverence of God on their spirits. (5.) Lafly, When a lawful oath leaves no due impreflion on mens fpirits, as a sacred bond which they come under to God,
5. Lastly, In lots God's name is taken in vain, (1.) When the right manner is not observed in thein, where they are lawfully used in weighty matters, as when God is not eyed in the lot, when they do not fingly refer and leave the matter to God's decision, and when they murmur and grudge at what falls by the lot to them., (2. When they are used in matters of very small monient, which are not worthy of an appeal to God's decision, but without any great inconveniency might be otherwise decided, common fin, which people need no more to convince tiiem of the ill of, but the true uptaking of the na. ture of lots, as the fcripture holds it out, Prov. xvi, 33. & xviii. 18. (3.) When they are uled in games and plays. For which reaton playing at cards, dice, and all games of lottery are unlawful. l'or, 1.) That
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