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stead of gold or silver. Good intention and good SERM. principles are indeed, as it were, the form and soul XXXIII. 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 shadows. 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 sanctity 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 without great presumption and abuse; such as would be committed, 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 Eph. v. 1,2. regard to him) is a duty often prescribed to us, not John xv. only as relating to some cases and actions, (as when 12, 13, 14. his charity, his patience, his humility, his meekness, John xiii. are signally commended to our imitation,) but ge- 1 Pet. ii. 21. nerally, He that saith he abideth in him ought as 1 John ii. 6. he walked, so himself also to walk; that is, whoever professes himself a Christian ought to conform the whole tenor of his conversation to that of Jesus; to
I Cor. x. I.
Phil. ii. 5.
SERM. endeavour in every imitable perfection to resemble XXXIII. him. So that whenever we undertake any action, we should do well to look upon 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 another; for that a thing so done may be imput'Ev Tévé-ed, should be ascribed to that other. So, Through
Psal. xliv. thee, saith the Psalmist, will we push down our ene
mies; in thy name will we throw down those that Matt. vii. hate us: (through thee and in thy name signify
Mark ix.38. the same thing.) So did the apostles cast out devils,
Acts iii. 6.
iv. 10, 30. and perform their other miracles, in Jesus's name, (dià Tou óvóμatos, by his name, it is sometime expressed,) 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 good success from an2 Chron. other. So, We rest on thee, said good king Asa, xiv. 11. and in thy name we go against this multitude; in thy name, that is, hoping for assistance and success
1 Sam. xvii. from thee. And thus it is said, that David went out against Goliath in the name of the Lord of hosts; that is, confiding in God's help, as his only weapon and defence: thus also did the holy apostles
work their miracles in Jesus's name, ènì riotεL TO SERM. XXXIII. óvóμatos avтoũ, by faith in his name, saith St. Peter, his name hath made this man strong; that is, we Acts iii. 16. 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; expecting from him only a blessing and happy issue of our undertakings. What we do in confidence of our 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 so 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 to our Hab. i. 16. net. But what we undertake only depending upon our Lord for ability and success, may therefore bear his name, because our faith derives the power from him, which enables us happily to perform it; so that the performance may truly be attributed to him, and to him we shall 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 infirmity, 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 assistance of our all-wise and almighty Lord; of Jesus, to whom all power in heaven and earth is Mat. xxviii. given, (who indeed had it originally by nature as Joba iü. 33. God; but also further hath acquired it by desert 2. and purchase ;) into whose hands all things are 8.
xiii. 3. xvii.
Heb. i. 2. μ.
1 Cor. xv.
1 Tim. i. 1.
SERM. given; and all things are put under his feet; who XXXIII. hath obtained this power in design to use it for our Eph. i. 22. good; and is thereby always ready to help us in our need, if we have recourse unto him, and rely upon Apoc. v. 12. him; making him what St. Paul styles him, our hope; our only hope; renouncing all other confidences not subordinate to him. To do so is a duty evidently grounded as well upon the reason of the thing, as upon the will and command of God; to do otherwise is no less a palpable folly, than a manifest injury to God. For, in truth, neither have we nor any other created thing any power, other than such as he is pleased freely to dispense1; and which is not continually both for its being and its efficacy subject to him, so that he may at his pleasure subtract it, or obstruct its effect: No king is saved by the multitude of an host; a mighty man is not delivered by much strength; a horse is a vain thing for safety: whence it is plain that we cannot upon any created power ground a solid assurance of success in any unIsa. xxxiv. dertakingi; 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,
The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong. Eccl. ix. 11. By strength shall no man prevail. 1 Sam. ii. 9. Psal. xxxiii. 17. cxlvi. 3. xliv. 3.
Isa. xliii. 11. Beside me there is no Saviour. Hos. xiii. 4. 10. Psal. cvi. 21. Jer. xiv. 8.
and do us good; neglecting to use that strength SERM. 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 act wisely and justly, gratefully and officiously; for that, in doing so, we build our hopes upon most sure grounds; upon a wisdom 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 sobriety 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 willing to do us good; for that we render him his just honour and due; we comply with his earnest desires, we promote his gracious designs of mercy and kindness toward us. Hence is it that every where in Psal. cxlvi. holy scripture God so highly commends, so greatly liv. 6. encourages this duty of trusting alone in him; that xxxii. 18. he so ill resents, and so strongly deters from the xxxiv. 22. breach or omission thereof: Thus saith the Lord, xxxi. 19. Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and 4. cxviii. 8. maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departethxvi. 2. from the Lord: for he shall be like the heath in exii. 7. the desert, and shall not see when good cometh ; lvii.13. 1.7. but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilder-Jer. xiv. 8. ness, in a salt land, and not inhabited. Blessed is sc. the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is: for he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, 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 yield
5. xl. 4.
lxi. 4. xci.
Isa. li. 5.
xvii. 5, 6.