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contrary to the laws of Christ; such as those of being SERM. meek and charitable toward all men ; living peaceably XXXIII. ourselves, and endeavouring to promote peace among others; abstaining from rash and hard censures, from reviling and defaming others; paying reverence and obedience to superiors; and the like laws of Christ, not only express and manifest, but even of the highest rank and consequence among them; being mainly conducing to that which our Lord especially tenders, the public welfare and benefit of mankind; the violation whereof cannot be jurtified by pretending any special regard whatever to Christ, or any collateral performances done, whether truly or seemingly, in his name. We do but deceive ourselves, if we conceit, that, because we think much, or speak much of Jesus, or have a zeal for something good, all our actions are done in his name: no, it only can be justly impressed upon, can warrant and sanctify actions truly good and agreeable to his law; it were an abuse and forgery to do it, like stamping the king's name or image on counterfeit metal; upon brass or tin, instead of gold or filver. Good intention and good principles are indeed, as it were, the form and soul of good actions; but their being just and lawful are the body and matter of them; necessarily also concurring to their essence and integrity; they cannot subsist without it, but must pass, as it were, for ghosts and Nadows. We are therefore concerned in all our doings to have an especial regard to Christ's law as their rule; that will render them capable of Christ's name, and denominate them Christian.
IV. Hereto we may add, that what we do in imitation of Jesus, and in conformity to his practice, (that living rule and copy proposed to us, we may be said peculiarly to do in his name. As a picture useth to bear his name, whom it was made to represent, and whom it resembles ; so if we set Christ's example before us, and endeavour to transcribe it; if our life, in the principal lineaments of fanctity and goodness, do resemble his holy life; they may well bear his name. But if our practice be unlike and unsuitable to his, we cannot affix his name thereto with
1 Cor. X. 1. John xv.
15. Phil. ii.
1 John ji.
SERM. out great presumption and abuse; such as would be comXXXIII. mitted, if to a draught of foul hue and ugly features, we
should attribute the name of some most handsome and goodly person, of high worth and quality. To do thus in Jesus's name (with such a regard to him) is a duty often prescribed to us, not only as relating to some cases and actions, (as when his charity, his patience, his humility,
his meekness, are signally commended to our imitation, Eph.v.1, 2. but generally, He, that faith he abideth in him, ought as he
1: walked, so himself also to walk; that is, whoever profelles 12, 13, 14. himself a Christian ought to conform the whole tenor of John xiii. his conversation to that of Jesus; to endeavour in every L i mitable perfection to resemble him. So that whenever 1 Pet. ii. 21. we undertake any a&ion, we should do well to look upon an 11. 6. this pattern; thus, as it were, examining and inquiring of
ourselves : What did my Master in this or the like case? Do I do the same thing, do I act from the same principles, do I proceed in the same manner as he did ? Am I herein his disciple and follower? If so, in his name let me go on cheerfully; if not, let me forbear. Doing thus will not be only according to our duty, but an especial help and furtherance of good practice.
V. To do in another's name doth sometimes import doing by any power derived or virtue imparted by an.
other; for that a thing so done may be imputed, should 'Ev rã óvó- be ascribed to that other. So, Through thee, faith the pati. LXX. po
liv. . Pfalmist, will we push down our enemies; in thy name will 5. lixxix. we throw down those that hate us : (through thee and in Matt. vii. thy name signify the same thing.) So did the Apostles caft 22.; „out devils, and perform their other miracles, in Jesus's Aets iii. 6. name, (dide tő óvónatos, by his name, it is sometime ex30: pressed,) that is, by a divine virtue imparted from him.
To this I add another acception, scarce different (at least as to our purpose) from that, according to which doing in another's name signifies doing it in trust, or confidence
reposed upon another, with expectation of aid, or hope of 2 Chron. good success from another. So, We rest on thee, said
good king Afa, and in thy name we go against this multitude ; in thy name, that is, hoping for assistance and
iv. 10, 30. John xvii. 11.
success from thee. And thus it is said, that David went SERM. out against Goliath in the name of the Lord of hosts; that XXXIII. is, confiding in God's help, as his only weapon and de- 1 Sam.xvii. fence : thus also did the holy Apostles work their mira- 45. cles in Jesus's name, énì TŐ KÍSEL TOű óvóvatos AÚToŨ, by faith Acts iii. 16. in his name, faith St. Peter, his name hath made this man strong; that is, we did only trust in his divine power, and it was that power of his which restored that weak person to his strength. And thus also is it our duty to do all things in our Saviour's name; with faith and hope in him ; wholly relying upon him for direction and assistance; expe&ting from him only a blessing and happy issue of our undertakings. What we do in confidence of our own wisdom or ability, or in affiance upon the help of any other person or thing, we do in our own name, or in the name of that thing (or that person) in whom we fo confide; to ourselves, or to such auxiliaries, we shall be ready to attribute the success, and to render the glory of the performance; glorying in our own arm, and sacrificing 10 Hab. i. 16. our net. But what we undertake only depending upon our Lord for ability and success, may therefore bear his dame, because our faith derives the power from him, which enables us happily to perforın it; so that the performance may truly be attributed to him, and to himn we thall be apt to ascribe it. And thus, I say, we are certainly obliged to do every thing in his name, (in his name alone,) retaining a constant sense both of our own infirinity, and of the impotency of all other created things, and consequently a total diffidence both in ourselves and in them; but reposing all our trust in the direction and allistance of our all-wise and almighty Lord; of Jesus, to whom all power in heaven and earth is given, (who indeed Mat.sxviii. had it originally by nature as God; but also farther hath 18; acquired it by desert and purchase;) into whose hands all xiii. 3. xvi. things are given ; and all things are put under his feet; Heb. i. 2. who hath obtained this power in design to use it for our ii. 8. .
Eph. i 22. good; and is thereby always ready to help us in our need, 1 Cor. xv. if we have recourse unto him, and rely upon bim; mak-37:, ...
Phil. ij. 9. ing him what St. Paul ftyles him, our hope; our only Apoc. v 12.
1. Tiin. i. 1.
John iii. 35.
SERM. hope; renouncing all other confidences not subordinate
the reason of the thing, as upon the will and command of
upon any created power ground a solid assurance of sucIfa. Ixxvi. cess in any undertakingi; it will be leaning upon a broken
reed, (which cannot support us, and will pierce our hands,) both a vain and a mischievous confidence; that will abuse us, bringing both disappointment and guilt upon us; the guilt of wronging our Lord many ways, by arrogating to ourselves, or assigning to others, what he only doth truly deserve, and what peculiarly of right belongs to him; withdrawing the same from him; implying him unable or unwilling to assist us, and do us good; neglecting to use that strength which he so dearly purchased and so graciously tenders; so disappointing him, and defeating, as it were, his purposes of favour and mercy towards us. On the other side, trusting only upon our Saviour, we ad wisely and justly, gratefully and officiously; for that, in doing so, we build our hopes upon most sure grounds; upon a wisdoin that cannot be deceived; upon a strength that cannot be withstood; upon a goodness that hath no limits; upon a fidelity that can never fail. For that we act with an humility and fobriety of mind suitable to our condition, and to the reason of things; for that we thereby declare our good opinion of him, as only able, and very
* Eccl. ix. 11. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,
By strength shall no man prevail. 1 Sam. ii. 9. Psal. xxxiii. 17. cxlvi. 3. xliv. 3.
i Ifa. xliii. 11. Beside me there is no Saviour. Hor. xiii. 4. 10. Pfal. cri. 21. Jer, xiv. 8.
God fo highly comis it that every whtcy and kindness to
willing to do us good; for that we render him his juft SERM. honour and due; we comply with his earnest defires, we XXX, promote his gracious designs of mercy and kindness toward us. Hence is it that every where in holy Scripture Psal. cxlvi.
www.5. xl. 4. God fo highly commends, so greatly encourages this duty žliv. 6. of trusting alone in him; that he so ill resents, and so xxxiii. 18.
cxlvii. 11. strongly deters from the breach or omission thereof: xxxiv. 22. Thus faith the Lord, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man,
xxxi. 19. and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from lxi. 4. xci. the Lord: for he shall be like the heath in the desert, and is
Ixxviii. 22. Jhall not see when good cometh; but Mall inhabit the lxvi. 2.
cxij. 7. parched places in the wilderness, in a falt land, and not ifa. 11. inhabited. Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, lvii. 13.1.7. and whose hope the Lord is: for he shall be as a tree planted Jer. xiv. 6. by the waters, and that Spreadeth out her roots by the river, xii. 5, 6, and shall not see when heat cometh; but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit: thus in that place, thus in innumerable others we are threatened not only with disappointment and bad success in our undertakings, but with severe punishment, if we betake ourselves to other succours, and negle&t or distrust, or, in so doing, defert God; but are encouraged, not only with assurance of prosperous success, but of additional rewards, if entirely in our proceedings we depend upon and adhere to God. Thus we should do in all, even our most common and ordinary affairs, which no less than the rest are subject to his power, and governed by his care. For you know how St. James doth reprehend it as a piece of Matt. x. 29, naughty boasting and arrogance, to say, The morrow we jam. iv. 13. will go to this city, and stay there a year, and trade and gain: instead of saying, If the Lord will, we mall live, and do this or that; that is, to resolve upon, undertake, or profecute any affair, without submission to God's will, and dependence on his providence: but especially we ought, in matters and actions more spiritual, to practise this duty; for that to the performing of these we have of ourselves a peculiar impotence and unfitness; needing therefore a more especial aslistance from our Lord; that