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name of Jesus, regulating all our actions by his law, conforming our lives to his will, and acting according to the rules of his will and his example: for what is done beside his warrant and will, cannot be rightly esteemed done in his name, and will not be accepted by him.
IV. Hereto we may add that what we do in imitation of Jesus, and in conformity with his practice, we may be said peculiarly to do in his name. As a picture is wont to bear his name whom it is made to represent, and whom it resembles, so if we set Christ's example before us, and endeavor to transcribe it, if our life, in its principal lineaments, resembles his holy life, it may well bear his name: this point enlarged on.
V. To do in another's name sometimes imports, doing by any power derived from, or virtue imparted by, another. Through thee, says the psalmist, will we push down our enemies; in thy name will we throw down those that hate us. So did the Apostles cast out devils, and do other miracles, in the name of Jesus: also with expectation of aid, or hope of good success, from him. And thus also it is our duty to do all things in our Saviour's name; with faith and hope in him, relying on him for direction and assistance, expecting from him only a blessing and happy issue of our undertakings: this subject enlarged on, and the folly and arrogance of relying on our own efforts and powers exposed.
VI. To do in another's name may denote, to act with such regard to another, that we acknowlege our hope of prosperin in what we do, our expectation of acceptance and reward, to be grounded on him; that they are procured by his merits and means, are bestowed only for his sake. Thus our Saviour bids us offer up prayers in his name, John xiv. 13; that is, representing to God his meritorious performances in our behalf, as the ground of our access to him, and of our hope to obtain from him what we want. So also we are enjoined to give thanks in his name, Eph. v. 20. This point enlarged on.
VII. Lastly, to do in the name of Jesus may well imply doing with invocation of him: thus we may understand that passage of St. James, where the elders are advised to pray and anoint the sick in the Lord's name; and thus St. Chrysostom expounds the words. That to do thus is our duty, appears by those frequent injunctions to pray indesinently, to pray always, to abide instantly in prayer; which do not only import that we should pray often, and continue patiently and earnestly in prayer, but that we should annex it to, or interpose it among, all our actions, undertaking nothing of consideration without it, &c. Reasons given why we are concerned to do this: exhortations thereto and examples in the holy Scriptures. Thus should we do all things in the name of Jesus, on all occasions praying to him, or, which is the same thing, to God in his name; which that we are allowed and exhorted to do, is an invaluable privilege. In so many ways and particular respects we may and ought to perform all we do in the name of Jesus: to which considerations may be subjoined one general duty, implied in all and each of them:
VIII. That our Lord Jesus should be frequently, and in a manner continually present to our minds and thoughts. This is plainly implied in the former duties; for how is it possible we should perform all our actions, or utter all our words, with any sort of regard to him, if we seldom think of him? Such is the activity of our minds, that it is easy enough to do this; and in respect of other objects we commonly see that it is done; and whatever we vehemently affect, our mind, however otherwise employed, will be thinking of it: instances of the covetous, the voluptuous, and the studious man. Why then may we not as well direct our minds as often towards our Lord, and mix the remembrance of him with all other employments of our thoughts? For to do so is very requisite and expedient to our good practice. This subject continued to the end.
OF DOING ALL IN THE NAME OF CHRIST.
COLOSSIANS, CHAP. III.-VERSE 17.
And whatsoever ye do in word, or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
'WHATSOEVER ye do in word, or deed:' a duty we see the Apostle enjoins us of a large extent, and therefore surely of a great importance; indeed of an universal concernment; such as must go along with, must run through all our words and all our actions. We are therefore much obliged, and much concerned to attend thereto, and to practise it carefully. But first we must understand what it is; the doing whereof depends on understanding the sense of that phrase, (‘doing in the name of Jesus,') being somewhat ambiguous, and capable of divers meanings; which both in common use and in holy Scripture we find it to bear, different according to the variety of matters or occasions to which it is applied; most of which are comprehended, and, as it were, complicated in that general one, according to which we may be said to do that in another person's name, which we do with any kind of reference or regard to him; such as our relations, or our obligations to that person do require; and the particular nature of the action doth admit. And according to this acception I conceive it safest and best to interpret Saint Paul's meaning here, supposing it to comprehend all the more special and restrained meanings of this phrase, truly applicable to the present matter; of which meanings I shall endeavor in order to propound the chief; and,
together, both to unfold and to inculcate the several respective branches of this duty: yet first of all rejecting one or two, which cannot well be applied to this purpose.
To do in another's name, doth sometime denote the assuming another's person, or pretending to be the same with him, the very He. So, many shall come in my name,' prophesied our Saviour, saying, I am Christ' to do thus in Jesus's name, is the part of an Antichrist and an impostor. That sense therefore hath nothing to do here.
Again; to do in another's name, doth often imply doing alterius loco, or vice; in another's name or stead, as a deputy or substitute; representing the person, or supplying the office of another. So did the prophets come, and speak in God's name;' what they declared or enjoined, being therefore said to be declared and enjoined by God himself: I spake unto you, rising up early, and speaking,' (viz. by the prophets, whom he sent, and who are said to come and speak in his name.) And thus the Apostles spake in Christ's name: We are ambassadors for Christ; we pray you in Christ's stead, be reconciled.' Thus also princes govern, and magistrates execute justice in God's name; whence they are styled gods, as being his lieutenants, administering that judgment which belongs originally and principally to him. Now for this sense, neither is it so proper, or convenient here; it agreeing only to some particular persons, and to some peculiar actions of them; insomuch that others presuming to act, according to that manner or kind, in Jesus's name, shall thereby become usurpers and deceivers. We (and to us all this precept is directed) shall heinously transgress our duty, doing any thing thus in his name, without his letters of credence; without being specially called or sent, or being duly by him authorised thereto.
These and such like senses the present matter doth not well admit the rest that suit thereto I shall with some distinction in order represent.
I. To do in another's name sometime doth signify to do it out of affection or honor to another; for another's sake, because we love or esteem him; év tý óvóμarı being equivalent to ἕνεκα τοῦ ὀνόματος, and διὰ τὸ ὄνομα. Thus it is said, Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name; be,
cause ye are Christ's, (is added by way of interpretation, that is, out of respect to Christ, because of your relation to him,) shall not lose his reward.' And thus surely we ought to do every thing in Jesus's name: all our actions ought to proceed from a principle of grateful love and reverence towards our gracious Redeemer. Let all your actions be done in charity,' saith the Apostle; if in charity to our neighbor, then much more in love to him, for whose sake we are especially bound to love our neighbor. On any undertaking, or applying ourselves to action, we should so reflect thereon, as to consider whether that we are going about be apt to please him, and conducible to his honor; if so, remembering what he hath done and suffered for us, (what excellent blessings he hath purchased for us, what exceeding benefits he hath conferred on us,) we should, out of love and respect to him, readily peform it; but if it otherwise appear displeasing or dishonorable to him, we should, from the same principles, carefully decline it. The duty is certain, and the reason thereof evident; for inducement to the practice thereof, observe St. Paul's example; who thus represents himself in the main employment of his life, acting, The love of Christ constrains us; judging this, that he died for all, that they who live might not live to themselves, but to him that died and rose for them: the love of Christ, begot and maintained by a consideration of his great benefits conferred on him, was the spring that set St. Paul on work, that excited and urged him forward to action. Thus doing, we shall do in Jesus's name; but if we act out of love to ourselves, (to promote our own interests, to gratify our own desires, to procure credit or praise to ourselves,) we act only in our own names, and for our own sakes; not in the name, or for the sake of Jesus.
II. To do in another's name implies doing, chiefly, for the interest or advantage of another, on another's behalf or account, as the servants or factors of another. For, when the business is another's, and the fruit or benefit emergent belong to another, he that prosecutes that business may well be, and is commonly, supposed to act in that other's name. Thus our Saviour is in St. John's Gospel expressed to come, to speak, to act in God's name; because he did God's business, ('the work which God gave him to accomplish,') and entirely sought the