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power, mercy, &c. Why, it is in this, that his infinite wizdom is holy wisdom, his infinite power is holy power, &c. It is observed, that above thirty times in scripture God is called The holy One. And when the angels would pick out an attribute to glorify God most by, it is that of his holiness, Isa. vi. 3.
2. Because it is the manifesting of his holiness, in the communicating of it to the creature, that brings in the greatest revenue of glory from the creature to God. The truth is, none are fit to glorify him but those who are holy, 1 Pet. ii. 9. God stamps the image of his power and sovereign dominion upon one man, and sets him upon a throne; hence is the phrase, Ye are gods. He stamps the image of his holiness on another, and sets him on a dunghill. I say, God's name is more glorified by the holy poor man, than by the unholy monarch. The unholy man mày glorify God passively, but the holy man glorifies him actively. And in no other way can God be actively glorified, but by the creature's first receiving a stamp and impression of his holiness on the heart.
IV. I proceed to shew, what is the import of this petition.
To clear this, consider that God's name is hallowed two ways. i. By himself, manifesting the glory of his own holy
And this he doth in all the discoveries which he makes of himself to his creatures.
2. By his creatures, they contributing to his glory, by shewing forth his praise, and declaring the glory of his .name. So we pray in this petition.
1st, That God would, by his over-ruling providence, hallow his own name, and glorify himself, John xii. 28. The sins of men and devils are opposite to the honour of his name; the children of God in this petition put it in his own hands, to cause it shine forth notwithstanding, to dispose all things to his glory. Which may be taken up in three things.
(1.) That he would make the honour of his name to break through all impediments in the way of it, laid by men or devils, Psal. Ixxix. 9. · Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name,' says the church; that he would drive his triumphal chariot over all the opposition made to
it in the world, and appear unto men in his majesty and glory:
(2.) That he would make the honour of his name break forth from these impediments themselves, over-ruling the dishonour done to his name, to his honour, so bringing meat out of the eater, and sweetness out of the strong. This he will do, Psal. lxxvi. 10. Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee.' And this his people pray for, Psal. lxxxiii. 17, 18. Let them be contounded and troubled for ever, yea, let them be put to shame and perish : that men may know, that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the Most High over all the earth.'
(3.) That God would remove all these impediments, and shove off all the rubbish which the sins of men and devils have cast upon the honour of his name, that it may shine forth for ever without let or hinderance. And so it looks as far as the accomplishment of that passage, Rev. xx. 14. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.'
2dly, That God would, by his powerful grace, cause the sons of men, ourselves and others, to glorify him and hallow his name : q. d. Let thy name be hallowed by us. This supposes,
(1.) That it is our duty to glorify God, 1 Cor. x. 31.' whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.' It is our main duty, and the chief work we have to do in the world. And whoso ne. glect it, are useless in the world: for their main work is nea glected. They answer not the end of their creation.
(2.) That we cannot of ourselves do it, 2 Cor. iii. 5.• We are not sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.' We are weak and powerless, and so unfit for it; we are perverse and selfish, and so unwilling to it. Our strength for it is in God himself.
(3.) That God can fit and dispose us for it, Phil. iv. 15. • I can do all things,' says the apostle, through Christ which strengtheneth me.'' Grace can make us both able and willing. There is no person in any station whatsoever, but free grace can make of them happy instruments for ho. nouring of his name; which should be a powerful motive to induce us to pray fervently for it, otherwise we will never actively glorify him. VOL. III.
! Therefore we pray here, that grace may be bestowed or ourselves and others, whereby we and they may glorify him, which is the leading duty we have to mind in this world and that,
[1.] Internally, by knowing, acknowledging, and highly esteeming him, his names, titles, attributes, ordinances, words, and works, and so every thing whereby he makes himself known, Psal. lxxvii. 2, 3. This is to hallow that name in our hearts.
[2.] Externally, in our words and actions, speaking and living to his praise, Phil. i. 11. Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
V. Why is this the first petition put by our Saviour in our mouths ? The reason is, because the glory of God or honour of his name, is the chief end of our being, and of all others. And therefore it should lie nearest 'our hearts, Rom. si. 36. “For of him, and through him and to him are all things. To whom be glory for ever.' God's glory is his own end in all his works, and it ought to be ours. We can no other way approve ourselves to him.
I shall conclude with some inferences.
Inf. 1. The dishonour done to God, by one's own sin and the sins of others, must needs go near the heart of a saint, Psal. li. 4.
Against thee, thee only have I sinned,' says David, and done this evil in thy sight.' And again, Psal. cxix. 136. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes; because they kept not thy law.” And to be grieved for our own loss by sins, and not for the dishonour done to God thereby; and to be unconcerned at the dishonour of God in the world by others, does not look like the disposition of a child of the family of heaven.
2. Habitual profaners of that holy name are none of the children of God, whose main care is to get that name hallowed. And how many such profaners of the sacred name of God are to be found in our day! They are so far from making conscience of hallowing that dreadful and fearful name, that they are daily employed in dishonouring it by the most horrid oaths and imprecations, and pouring upon it all the contempt they can, in open violation of the third command. ment. How many do profane it by Atheism, Sabbath. breaking, uncleanness, perjury, intemperance, injustice, oppression, lying, stealing, backbiting, and other gross abominations, as if they had sold themselves to commit open hostilities against the King of heaven and run desperately upon the thick bosses of his buckler! They wear the devil's mark on their foreheads, and openly declare to the world, that they are none of God's children.
3. Holiness is the creature's glory, and its greatest glory, for it is God's glory; and therefore unholiness is its disgrace and dishonour. Ah! unholy sinners, ye have lost your glory; sin has disgraced you, and made you contemptible to God and all his holy family. O seek to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit of Christ, that so you may recover your forfeited glory, and no more lie under disgrace. It is only the saints that are the most excellent in the earth. Seek ye to be like them, by having the image of God drawn on your hearts, and walking holily as God is holy:
4. It is not the language of a child of God to say, “ Am I my brother's keeper' as wicked Cain did: what is my business how such an one live or die ? Why truly, if thou belongest to God, it will be matter of thy hearty concern and prayer, that God may be honoured by others as well as by thyself. Without this concern a man cannot be a Christian; he is not a child of God; for every true believer ar. dently wishes and prays that God may be glorified ; and as far as his power, authority, influence, and example, can reach, he will use his utmost endeavours to induce others to glorify the name of his God. Were it in his power, he would leave no means unessayed to engage the whole world in this delightful work, that songs might be heard from the uttermost parts of the earth, even glory to the righteous.'
5. It is the disposition of a child of God, to submit his lot and condition in the world to the Lord, to be cut and carved as may serye his glory. Without this one cannot be a child of God. For it is inseparable from the character of such an one, in whatever state he is, therewith to be content. Hence the apostle Paul could say, ? As alway, so now also, Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death,' Phil. i. 20. 6. It is the duty of all men to sanctify the holy name of God, to reverence, adore and honour it, in their hearts, lips, and lives. O! let us then be excited to the practice of this duty, considering that it is the end for which God gave us a being; that if we do not hallow it, we contradict this very petition, praying for a thing we have no mind to comply with; that if we live in the neglect of this duty, God will get honour to himself by inflicting heavy judgments upon us in this life, and by making us eternal monuments of his vengeance in the next; that when we come to encounter with the king of terrors, it will tend to sweeten the awful prospect, that we have made it our business to glorify the name of God; that we will loose nothing, but be great gainers, by ho. nouring the name of the Lord, for they that do so shall be reckoned among his .jewels, and be a royal diadem in the Lord's hand; they shall be happy in death, and be safely conveyed to Immanuel's land where glory dwells. Let us then make it the principal business of our lives to glorify God, that so we may come to enjoy him for ever.
THE SECOND PETITION.
MATTH. vi. 10.-Thy Kingdom come.
S the first petition relates to the name of God, this se
cond relates to the kingdom of God, the kingdom of our Father which is in heaven; the coming of which, that is the advancement thereof, is desired by all the children of God. And that is the great mean of glorifying his name; for then is his name hallowed, when his kingdom comes, is advanced and carried on, till it come to perfection.
In discoursing further from this subject, I shall shew,
I. What is meant by the kingdom of God.
III. The reasons of the concern of the children of God for the coming of his kingdom.