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OF DOING ALL IN THE NAME OF CHRIST.
Coloss. iii. 17.
name of the Lord Jesus. SERM. WHATSOEVER
do in word, or deed: A duty we XXXIII. see the Apostle enjoins us of a large extent, and therefore
surely of a great importance; indeed of an universal concernment; such as must go along with, must run through all our words and all our actions. We are therefore much obliged, and much concerned to attend thereto, and to practise it carefully. But first we must understand what it is; the doing whereof depends upon understanding the sense of that phrase, (doing in the name of Jesus,) being somewhat ambiguous, and capable of divers meanings; which both in common use and in holy Scripture we find it to bear, different according to the variety of matters or occafions to which it is applied; most of which are comprehended, and, as it were, complicated in that general one, according to which we may be said to do that in another person's name, which we do with any kind of reference or regard to him ; such as our relations, or our obligations to that person do require; and the particular nature of the action doth adınit. And according to this acception I conceive it safest and best to interpret Saint Paul's meaning here, supposing it to comprehend all the more special and restrained meanings of this phrase, truly applicable to the present matter ; of which meanings I shall endeavour in order to propound the chief; and, together, both to unfold and to inculcate the several respective branches of this
duty: yet first of all rejecting one or two, which cannot SERM. well be applied to this purpose.
XXXIII. To do in another's name, doth sometime denote the afluming another's person, or pretending to be the same with him, the very He. So, many shall come in my name, Matt. xxiv. prophesied our Saviour, saying, I am Christ: to do thus 5. in Jesus's name, is the part of an Antichrist and an impostor. That sense therefore hath nothing to do here.
Again; to do in another's name, doth often imply doing alterius loco, or vice; in another's name, or stead, as a deputy, or substitute; representing the person, or supplying the office of another. So did the Prophets come, and speak Jer. vii. 13. in God's name; what they declared, or enjoined, being xiv. 14. therefore said to be declared and enjoined by God him-Jam.v.. self: I spake unto you, risng up early, and Speaking, (viz. Matt. x. a. by the Prophets, whom he sent, and who are said to come Emr. v. 1. and speak in his name.) And thus the Apostles spake in Christ's name: We are ambassadors for Christ; we pray 2 Cor.v. 20. you in Christ's stead, be reconciled. Thus also princes govern, and magistrates execute justice in God's name; whence they are styled gods, as being his lieutenants, administering that judgment which belongs originally and principally to him. Now for this sense, neither is it so proper, or convenient here; it agreeing only to some particular persons, and to some peculiar actions of them; insomuch that others presuming to act, according to that manner or kind, in Jesus's name, shall thereby become usurpers and deceivers. We (and to us all this precept is directed) shall heinously transgress our duty, doing any thing thus in his name, without his letters of credence; without being specially called or sent, or being duly by bim authorized thereto.
These and such like senses the present matter doth not well adinit: the rest that suit thereto I shall with some distinction in order represent.
1. To do in another's name fometiine doth signify to do Compare it out of affection or honour to another; for another's fake, 21. because we love or esteem him ; év tú óvójatı being equi- Natt
. x. 41, valent to ένεκα του ονόματος, and δια το όνομα, Τhus it is
Deut. i. 17.
xxiv. 9. xix. 29.
i Cor. xvi.
SERM. said, Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in XXXIII.
my name; because ye are Christ's, (is added by way of interpretation, that is, out of respect to Christ, because of your relation to him,) shall not lose his reward. And thus surely we ought to do every thing in Jesus's name :
all our actions ought to proceed from a principle of grateMatt. xviii. ful love and reverence towards our gracious Redeemer.
Let all your actions be done in charity, faith the Apostle; if in charity to our neighbour, then much more in love to him, for whose fake we are especially bound to love our neighbour. Upon any undertaking, or applying ourselves to action, we should so refled thereupon, as to confider, whether that we are going about be apt to please him, and conducible to his honour; if so, remembering what he hath done and suffered for us, (what excellent blessings he hath purchased for us, what exceeding benefits he hath conferred upon us,) we should, out of love and respect to him, readily perform it; but if it otherwise appear displeasing or dishonourable to him, we should, from the saine principles, carefully decline it. The duty is certain, and the reason thereof evident; for inducement to the practice thereof, observe St. Paul's example; who
thus rep:esents himself in the main employment of his Pilotizóms- life, acting, The love of Christ constrains us; judging this, dipissor lives. that he died for all, that they who live might not live to 2 Cor. v. 9, themselves, but to him that died and rose for them: the love 1 Theff. ii. of Christ, begot and maintained by a confideration of his Tit
. i. 11. great benefits conferred on him, was the spring that set 1 Pet. v. 2. St. Paul on work, that excited and urged him forward to Phil. i. 15: action. Thus doing, we shall do in Jesus's name; but if
we act out of love to ourselves, (to promote our own interests, to gratify our own desires, to procure credit or praise to ourselves,) we act only in our own names, and for our own fakes; not in the name, or for the sake of Jesus.
II. To do in another's name implies doing, chiefly, for the interest or advantage of another, upon another's behalf or account, as the servants or factors of another. For, when the business is another's, and the fruit or benefit emergent belong to another, he that prosecutes that
business may well be, and is commonly, supposed to act in SERM. that other's name. Thus our Saviour is in St. John's Gof- XXXIII. pel expressed to come, to speak, to act in God's name; be- John vii. cause he did God's business, (the work which God gave 18. viii, 54. him to accomplish,) and entirely fought the glory of God, 13. 36. vi. as he there himself often avouches and professes. And 28.x. 3, 4. thus, in imitation of him, ought we also to do all things 19. vii. 23. in his name; remembering that we are not our own men, 1 Pet. i. 18. but the servants of Jesus, (servants to him not only by nature, Rom. xiv. as to our Maker and Preserver, but by purchase, as to our Redeemer, who bought us with the greatest price; and by conpact also, we having freely undertaken his service, and expecting wages from him,) that we have therefore no business or employment properly our own, but that all our business is (or should be) to serve him, and promote his glory; Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, we i Cor. x.31. should do all to the glory of our Lord. Whatever, I say, we do, we therefore should perform it with this formal reference, as it were, toward Jefus, as his servants, from conscience of the duty we owe to him; with intention therein to serve him; in expectation of reward only from him. So doth St. Paul (in profecution of this same precept) beneath in this chapter enjoin us, that, whatever we Col. iii. 23, do, we perform it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing (or considering) that from the Lord we shall receive the recompence of the inheritance ; for that we serve the Lord Christ. In like manner otherwhere he teaches us to do what we do, not as pleasers of men, (not upon Eph. vi. 6. any inferior accounts,) but as servants of Chris, knowing % and confidering that we have a Master in heaven. But,
III. Doing in another's name imports frequently doing by the appointment and command, or by the commission and authority of another. Έν ποία δυνάμει, και εν ποία ονό- Afts iv. 1. watu; By what power and in what name have ye done these things ? say the High Priests to the Apostles; that is, who did appoint or authorize you to do thus? Their answer was ready; In the name of Jesus, who had sent, com- John v. 36, missionated, and commanded them to preach and propa 14. xvii. 18. gate that doctrine. And thus we are also bound to do all Luke sxiv.
2 Theft. iii. 6.
SERM. things in the name of Jesus, regulating all our actions by XXXIII. his law; conforming our whole lives to his will; acting, 2 Cor.v.20.
not only out of good principles, (principles of love and 1 Cor.vi.11. conscience,) but according to right rules; the rules of his
word and example, which he hath declared and prescribed to us: for what is done beside his warrant and will cannot be rightly esteemed done in his name; will not as so be
avowed or accepted by him; no unjust or impious action John xvi. 2. will he upon any terms countenance or patronize. It was
once a famous saying, All mischief begins in nomine Domini; and much surely, more than one way, hath been done under the like notion or pretence : but this will not
serve to excuse the doing of that, in the day of final reckMatt. vii. oning for our actions. For there will be many, we are
taught, that shall in that day, by specious professions of having done this or that in Christ's name, veil their transgreflions and their neglects of duty, saying, Lord, Lord, have we not in thy name prophesied, and in thy name cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful things ? who
yet, our Lord himself assures us, shall have this reply made Luke xiii. to them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye workers of
iniquity. There will be those that shall claim acquaintance with Christ in such terms: Lord, we have eaten and drank before thee ; and thou hast taught in our streets; whom yet our Lord will disclaim with a, Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. It is not, we see, prophesying in Christ's name, (or preaching about him,) nor frequent attendance upon those who do so, nor speaking much or hearing much concerning him; it is not having great gifts or endowments conferred by Christ, (not even so great as that of working miracles;) it is not familiar converse with Chrift, or making frequent addresses to him, that can fanctify all a man's actions, or so entitle them to the name of Christ, as to secure his person from being disavowed and rejected by Christ; it is only the conforming all our actions to his holy laws, that can assure us to be acknowledged and accepted by him. This I could with they would consider, who seem, by such pretences, to commend or excuse their actions, although otherwise irregular and plainly