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Neo. And how are we to sanctify the name of the Lord in receiving the sacraments ?
Evan. This we do when we rightly and seriously examine ourselves aforehand. 1 Cor. xi; and rightly and seriously mind and consider of the sacramental union of the sign, and the thing signified, and do in our hearts perform those inward actions which are signified by the outward actions. Acts viii. 37, 38; 1 Cor. x. 6.
Neo. And how are we to sanctify the name of the Lord in regard of his works?
Evan. In thinking and speaking of them after a wise, reverent, and spiritual manner; and this we do when we meditate and make mention in our speeches and writings of the inward works of God's eternal election and reprobation, with wonderful admiration of the unsearchable depths thereof, Rom. xi. 33, 34; and when we meditate in our hearts of the works of God's creation and administration, and make mention of them in our words and writings, so as that we acknowledge therein his wisdom, power, and goodness, Rom. i. 19, 20; Psalm xix. 1; and acknowledging the workmanship of God therein, do speak honourably of the same, Psalm cxxxis 14; Gen. i. 31.
Neo. And how are we to sanctify the name of the Lord in regard of his religion ?
Evan. By holy profession of his true religion, and a conversation answerable thereunto, to the glory of God, the good of ourselves and others, Matt. v. 16; 1 Pet. ii. 12.
Neo. And, sir, are we not also to sanctify the name of God by swearing thereby ?
Evan. Yea, indeed, that was well remembered ; we are to sanctify the name of the Lord in our hearts, and with our tongues in swearing thereby, after a holy, religious, and spiritual manner; and this we do when the magistrate requires an oath of us by the order of justice, that is, not against piety or charity, Gen. xliii. 3 ; 1 Sam. xxiv. 21, 22; and when we swear in truth, (Jer. iv. 2.); that is, when we are persuaded in our conscience the thing we swear is truth, and swear simply and plainly, without fraud or deceit, Psalm xv. 4; and xxiv. 4; and when we swear in judgment, that is, when we swear with deliberation, well considering both the nature and greatness of an oath, viz. that God is thereby called to witness the truth, and judge and punish us if we swear falsely, Gal. i. 20; 2 Cor. i. 23; and when we swear in righteousness, that is, when the thing we swear is lawful and just, and when our swearing is that God may be glorified, Josh. vii. 19; our neighbour satisfied, controversies ended, Heb. vi. 16; our own innocency cleared, Exod. xxii, 11; and our duty discharged, 1 Kings viii. 31.
Neo. Well, sir, now I pray you, proceed to the negative part, and tell us what the Lord forbiddeth in this commandment.
Evan. As the Lord in the affirmative part of this commandment doth require that we sanctify his name in our hearts, with our tongues, and in our lives, by thinking, conceiving, speaking, writing,
, and walking, so as becomes the excellency of his titles, attributes, ordinances, and religion ; so doth he in the negative part thereof forbid the profanation of his name, by doing the contrary.
Neo. Well then, sir, I pray you first tell us how the titles of God are profanely abused.
Evan. They are profanely abused divers ways; as first, by thinking irreverently of them, or using them in our common talk, or in our writings, after a rash, careless, and irreverent manner, Psalm. 1. 22; Rom. i. 21; as when in foolish admiration we say, Good God! Good Lord ! Lord have mercy on us, what a thing is this ! and the like; or when by way of idle wishes for imprecations we say, “ The Lord be my judge !” (Gen. xvi. 5.) or, I pray God I may never stir, if such a thing be not so! and the like; or when by way of vain swearing, we mingle our speeches, and fill up our sentences with needless oaths, as, Not so, by my faith! and the like, (Matt. v. 34; James v. 12;) or when by way of jesting, or after a formal manner we say, God be thanked, God speed, God's name be praised, and the like. 2 Sam. xxiii, 21.
Neo. And I pray you, sir, how are the attributes of God profanely abused?
Evan. The attribute of God's power is profanely abused, either by calling into question, (2 Kings vii. 2.) or by thinking, speaking or writing of it carnally, carelessly, or contemptuously. Psalm xii. 4; Exod. v. 2. And the attribute of God's providence is abused either by murmuring thereat in our hearts, (Deut. xv. 9.) or by speaking grudgingly against it under the name of fortune or chance, in saying, What a misfortune was that! What a mischance was that! and the like. Deut. i. 27; 1 Sam. vi. 9. And the attribute of God's justice is profanely abused, either by thinking or saying, that God likes sin or wicked sinners. Psalm 1. 21; Mal. iii. 15. And the attribute of God's mercy is profanely abused, either in presuming to sin, upon hopes that God will be merciful, or by speaking basely and contemptuously thereof, as when we say, speaking of some trifling thing, It is not worth God a mercy. And the attribute of God's patience is profanely abused by thinking or saying upon occasion of his forbearance to punish for a time, that he will neither call us to an account, nor punish us for our sins. Rom. ii. 4.
Neo. Now, sir, I pray you proceed to show how God's name is profanely abused in his ordinances; and first of all begin with prayer.
Evan. God's name is profanely abused in prayer, either by praying ignorantly, without the true knowledge of God and his will, Acts xvii. 23; Matt; xx. 22; or when we pray with the mouth only, and not with the desires of our hearts agreeing with our words, Hos. iii. 14; Psalm lxxviii. 36; and when we pray drowisily and heavily without fervency of spirit, Matt. xxvi. 41; and when we pray with wandering worldly thoughts, Rom. xii, 12; and when we pray with any conceit of our own worthiness, Luke xviii. 9, 11; and when we pray without faith in the promises of God, James i. 6.
Neo. And how is God's name profanely abused in hearing or reading his word ?
Evan. God's name is hereby abused, when we hear it or read it, and do not understand it, Acts viji. 30; and when we hear it only with the outward ears of our bodies, and not also with the inward ears of our heart and soul; and this we do when we read it or hear it with our hearts full of wandering thoughts, Ezek. xxxiii. 30; and when we read it, or hear it with dull, drowsy, and sleepy spirits; and when in hearing of it we rather conceive it to be the word of a mortal man that delivers it, than the word of the great God of heaven and earth, 1 Thess. ii. 13; and when we do not with our hearts believe every part and portion of that word which we read or hear, Heb. iv. 2; and when we do not humbly and heartily subject ourselves to what we read or hear, 2 Kings xxii. 19; Isa. lxii. 2.
Neo. And how is the Lord's name profanely abused in receiving the sacrament of the Lord's Supper?
Evan. This we do when we either through want of knowledge cannot examine ourselves, or through our own negligence do not examine ourselves, before we eat of that bread, and drink of that cup, 1 Cor. xi. 28; and when we in the act of receiving, do not mind the spiritual signification of the sacrament, but do either terminate our thoughts in the elements themselves, or else suffer them to rove and run out to some other object, Luke xxii. 19; and when after receiving we do not examine ourselves what communion we have had with Christ in that ordinance, nor what virtue we have found flowing out from Christ into our own souls, by means of that ordinance, 2 Cor. xiji. 5.
Neo. And how is the name of the Lord profanely abused in taking of an oath ?
Evan. This we do, when we call the Lord to be a witness of vain
and frivolous things, by our usual swearing in our common talk, Hos. iv. 2; Jer. xxiii. 10; and when we call God to be a witness of our furious anger and wicked purpose, as when we swear we will be revenged on such a man, and the like, 1 Sam. xiv. 39, and xxv. 34; and when we call God to be a witness to our swearing falsely, Lev. xix. 12; Zech. v. 4; and when we swear by the mass, or by our faith, or troth, or by the rood, or by any thing else that is not good Jer. v. 7 ; Matt. 34–37.
Neo. And how is the name of God profanely abused as touching his works?
Evan. When we either take no notice of his works at all, or when we think and speak otherwise of them than we have warrant from his word to do; as when we do not speak of the inward works of God's election and reprobation, and are called thereunto, and when we murmur and cavil thereat, Rom. ix. 20; and when we either do not at all mind the works of his creation and administration, or do not take occasion thereby to glorify the name of God, Psalm xix. 1; Rom. i. 21,
Nom. And how is the name of God profanely abused in respect of his religion?
Evan. When our conversation is not agreeable to our profession, 2 Tim. iii. 5; and that is either when in respect of God it is but hypocrisy, or in respect of men we walk offensively; for if we live scandalously in the profession of religion, we cause the name of God to be profaned by them that are without, (Rom. ii. 24,) and become stumbling blocks to our weak brethren, Rom. xiv. 13.
And now, neighbour Nomologista, I pray you, tell me whether you think you keep this commandment perfectly or no?
Nom. Sir, to tell you the truth, I had not thought that the name of God had signified any more than his titles, Lord and God.
Evan. Ay, but you are to know that the name of God in Scripture signifies all those things that are affirmed of God, or any thing whatsoever it is, whereby the Lord makes himself known to men.
Nom. Then believe me, sir, I have come far short of keeping this commandment perfectly, and so does every man else, I am persuaded.
Evan. I am of your mind, for where is the man that hath and doth so meditate on God's titles, and use them in his speeches and writings, with such reverence, fear, and trembling as he ought? Or what man is he that can truly say, he never in all his life thought on them, or used them in his common talk, either rashly, carelessly, or irreverently? I am sure, for my own part, I cannot say so, for, alas ! in the time of mine ignorance, I used many times
to say, by way of foolish admiration, Good Lord ! Good God! Lord have mercy on me, what a thing is this ! Yea, and I also many times used to say, I pray God I may never stir if such a thing be not so! Yea, and I have divers times said, The Lord be with you, and speed you, and the Lord's name be praised! after a formal cursory manner, my thoughts being exercised about something else all the while.
And where is the man that has always thought, conceived, spoken, and written so holily, reverently, and spiritually, of the Lord's power, wisdom, justice, mercy, and patience, as he ought? Nay, what man is he that can truly say, he never in all his life called the attribute of the Lord's power into question, nor ever murmured at any act or passage of God's providence, nor ever presumed to sin, upon hopes that God would be merciful unto him? I am sure I cannot truly say so.
And where can we find the man that can truly say, he has always read and heard the word of God after a holy, reverent, and spiritual manner? Nay, where is the man that has not sometimes both hoard it and read it after a formal, cursory, and unprofitable manner? Is there any man that can truly say he has always perfectly understood whatsoever he has read and heard ? and that has not sometimes heard more with the outward ears of his body, than with the inward ears of his heart and soul, and that was never dull and drowsy, if not sleepy, in the time of hearing and reading, and that had never a worldly, nor wandering thought to come in at that time, and that never had the least doubting or questioning the truth of what he had read or heard ? I am sure, for my own part, I have been faulty many of these ways.
And is it possible to find a man that can truly say, he has always called upon the name of the Lord after a holy, reverent, and spiritual manner, or has not many times prayed after a carnal, unholy, or sinful manner? Where is the man that has always had a perfect knowledge of God and of his will in prayer, and whose heart has always gone along with his words in prayer, and that never was drowsy nor heavy, never had wandering thoughts in prayer, and that never had the least conceit that God would grant him any thing for his prayer's sake, and that never had the least doubting or questioning in his heart, whether God would grant him the thing he asked in prayer? I am sure, for my own part, I can scarce clear myself from any of these.
And can any man truly say he has always received the sacrament after a holy, reverent, and spiritual manner ? Nay, has not every man rather cause to acknowledge the contrary? Is there a