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of God. In discourfing on it, I shall endeavour, in divine strength,
I. To explain what is to be understood by the NAME of the LORD.
II. What is implied in the righteous running into it as a strong tower.
III, Point out the security they attain by do
And, in the last place, I shall make some application of the subject.
1. Then, I am to explain what is to be understood by the NAME of the Lord. And here, I hope, I need fcarce observe, that it was by no means the intention of the spirit of God, by this expression, to teach us to conceive any particular virtue or charm in the name literally so called; that is, the found or pronunciation of the word. To imagine any thing of this kind, would be to go into the foolery and idle dreams of superstition, to which there is not the least countenance given in the holy scriptures. Human nature seems, however, to have been very prone to this in every age. The use of amulets and charms feems to have prevailed in the greatest part of the heathen nations, as also magical incantations, though it did not exert itself precisely in the same way, the prin ciple seems to have been the same, which led the Jews from a pretended veneration for the name Jehovah, never to pronounce it at all; a custom which they retain to this day, alledging, either that they cannot pronounce it, or that it is unlawful to utter it. We may also observe, that, in our neighbour church,
they seem to have fallen into the fame error in the custom of bowing at the name of Jesus, while they do not bow to the names of Christ, Lord, or God.
Having mentioned these things for the illustralion of the subject before us, I cannot help obferving, that if a superstitious veneration for the letters or the found of a name is blame-worthy, a rash profanation of the name of God is unspeakably more cri. minal. My heart bleeds to think of the commonness of this fin among all ranks, and all ages. What have those parents to answer for, who have taught, or who have not restrained their children from taking the name of God in vain? This is a sin little thought of among men, but highly criminal in the fight of God, and he hath taken to himself the work of avenging it: ' For the Lord will not hold him guilt. less who taketh his name in vain.
By the Name of the LORD, in our text, we are to understand the Lord God himself; his nature as it is discovered to us in all his glorious perfections, particularly his power and goodness, to save and deliver them that put their trust in him. In this sense the name of God, or the name of the Lord, is used in many passages of scripture, as Pfal. xx. 1, 5, 7, verses, The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble,
the name of the God of Jacob defend thee. We ? will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of
our God we will set up our banners : Some trust
in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remem, «ber the name of the Lord our God.' As also in all those places where mention is made of calling on the name of the Lord, or praising the name of the
Lord. Agreeably to this, we find, in our Saviour's directory for prayer, the following petition, Hallowed be thy name. That is, let God himself and his glorious perfections be acknowledged, and a fuitable regard paid to them, by all without exception. The same way of speaking is observed with respect to Christ, Acts iv. 12. • For there is none other name, under heaven, given among men, ! whereby we must be faved.' That is to say, there is no other Saviour, besides Christ, to whom we can flee for deliverance from guilt and misery. At thc same time, it is easy to see the propriety of this expression the name of the Lord; it is used for God himself, because, amongst mankind, we are diftinguilhed from one another by our names, so God is known or distinguished by the discoveries he hath made of himself, and the daily exercise of his perfections, in behalf of his people.
There are three principal ways by which God hath discovered himself to mankind; namely, the vifible creation, his written word, and the daily administration of his providence. Let us consider them shortly, as they may be justly said to be his name; for they serve to explain his nature.
1. Let us consider the visible creation as the Dame of God. He hath engraven his name on all the works of his hands; he hath engraven it in an universal language, in which every intelligent creature may read it, and the most weak and ignorant may easily comprehend it. Pfal. xix. 1. 'The hea
vens declare the glory of God, and the firmament heweth his handy works. Rom. i. 20. 'For the
invisible things of him, from the creation of the • world, are clearly feen; being understood by the
things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead.'
Are men ignorant of God? It is because they do not like to retain him in their knowledge; for the whole creation is full of him, 'He is not far from
every one of us.' We can no where turn our eyes, to the heavens above, or to the earth below, but we may see the most manifest proofs of his almighty power, his unfearchable wisdom, his une bounded goodness, and his universal presence. How feeling a sense of this does the Plalmist express, Plal. cxxxix. 1-7. O Lord, thou hast fearched
me, and known me. Thou knowelt my down• fitting, and mine up-rising, thou understandeft
my thought afar off. Thou compaffest my path, • and my lying down, and art acquainted with all
my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue,
but lo, o I ord, thou knowest it all together. « Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid • thinc hard upon me
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain • unto it. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or - Winther shall I fee from thy prefence?' It will fall more properly under the following head to few, how the righteous run into the name of God as a strong tower. We now consider only his works, as Thewing forth his glory. See, to this purpose, the fortieth chapter of Ifaiah, from the 12 verse and downwards, 'Who hath measured the waters in
the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven
¢ with the span, and comprehended the dust of the
earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in - scales, and the hills in a balance? Who hath di' rected the spirit of the Lord; or being his coun• fellor hath taught him? With whom took he coun. ! fel, and who instructed him, and taught him in • the path of judgment, auid taught him knowledge, • and shewed to him the way of understanding ?
2. God hath revealed himself in his written word; there he hath clearly and explicitly written his name, and revealed his nature; there all his various perfections, excellent in themselves and suitable to us, are enumerated and explained: in these lively oracles, there is a remedy not for the uncertainty of nature's light, but for the darkness of our bewildered underftandings. Here we must not forget that he hath in his word clearly revealed himself, as infinitely gracious to finners through Jesus Christ. This may well be called his name, because it is the only way by which we are brought to an interest in his favour. John xiv. 6. 'I am the way, and the truth, and the • life. No man cometh unto the Father but by me.' This unlocks the gates of the strong tower, and o pens a fanctuary to the finner, who is fleeing front the sword of avenging wrath. No man hath feen • God at any time; the only begotten Son, which ! is in the botom of the Father, he hath declared • him.' His name and memorial to all generations, is said to be gracious and merciful, flow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. And it is in Christ Jefus, and his cross, that his mer. cy is displayed; it is for Christ's fake that his mercy