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OF DOING ALL IN THE NAME OF CHRIST.
Coloss. iii. 17.
name of the Lord Jesus. SERM. WHATSOEVER ye do in word, or deed: A
11. duty we 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 occasions 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 admit. And according to this acception I conceive it safest and best to inter
pret St. Paul's meaning here, supposing it to com- SERM. prehend all the more special and restrained mean- XXXI. ings 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 well be applied to this purpose.
To do in another's name, doth sometime denote the assuming another's person, or pretending to be the same with him, the very He. So, many shall Matt. xxiv. come in my name, prophesied our Saviour, saying, I" am Christ: to do thus 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 in God's name; what Jer. vii. 13. they declared, or enjoined, being therefore said to xiv. 14 be declared and enjoined by God himself; I spake
mal Jam. v. 10.
pun. Joh. v. 43. unto you, rising up early, and speaking, (viz. by Matt. x. 4. the prophets, whom he sent, and who are said to come and speak in his name.) And thus the apostles spake in Christ's name: We are ambassadors 2 Cor.v. 20.
Rom.xiii.4. for Christ; we pray you in Christ's stead, be re- Deut. i. 17. conciled. 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
1. xxvi. 5.
Ezr, v. 1.
SERM. particular persons, and to some peculiar actions of
11. them ; insomuch that others presuming to act, ac
cording 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 him authorized thereto.
These and such like senses the present matter doth not well admit: the rest that suit thereto I
shall with some distinction in order represent. Mark ix.41.
aren I. To do in another's name sometime doth signify Matt. x. 41. to do it out of affection or honour to another; for xix. 29. .another's sake, because we love or esteem him; y Matt. xviii.
tõ óvókatı being equivalent to éveka TCŨ évópatos, and Elà tò čvoua. Thus it is said, Whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in 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
grateful love and reverence towards our gracious 1 Cor. xvi. Redeemer. Let all your actions be done in charity,
saith the apostle ; if in charity to our neighbour, then much more in love to him, for whose sake we are especially bound to love our neighbour. Upon any undertaking, or applying ourselves to action, we should so reflect thereupon, as to consider, 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
of Christ. 311 benefits he hath conferred upon us, we should, out SERM.
XXXIII. of love and respect to him, readily perform it; but if it otherwise appear displeasing or dishonourable to him, we should, from the same 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 represents himself in the main employment of his life, acting, The love of Christ constrains us; judging oldotoueu
μεθα αυτο this, that he died for all, that they who live might svépsorat not live to themselves, but to him that died and rose for them; the love of Christ, begot and maintained 14;
1 Thess. ii. by a consideration of his great benefits conferred on 6..
Tit. i. 11. him, was the spring that set St. Paul on work, that 1 Pet. v. 2.
m. Phil. i. 15. excited and urged him forward to action. Thus Matt. xxiii. doing, we shall do in Jesus's name; but if we act 5. 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 sakes; 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 that other's name. Thus our Saviour is in St. John's Gospel expressed John vii. 18.
viii. 54. X. to come, to speak, to act in God's name ; because 25. 1. 43:*
36, vi. 28. he did God's business, (the work which God gave him to accomplish,) and entirely sought the glory of God, as he there himself often avouches and professes. And thus, in imitation of him, ought we
SERM. also to do all things in his name; remembering that
h. we are not our own men, but the servants of Jesus, 1 Cor. vi. (servants to him not only by nature, as to our 19. vii. 23. Heb.ix. 12: Maker and Preserver, but by purchase, as to our 1 Pet. i. 18. Rom. xiv. · Redeemer, who bought us with the greatest price ;
and by compact 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) 1 Cor. x. 31. to serve him, and promote his glory; Whether we
eat or drink, or whatever we do, we 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 Jesus, 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 prose
cution of this same precept) beneath in this chapter Col. iii. 23, enjoin us, that, whatever we do, we perform it
heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing (or considering) that from the Lord we shall receive the recompense of the inheritance ; for that
we serve the Lord Christ. In like manner otherEph.vi. 6. 9. where he teaches us to do what we do, not as
pleasers of men, (not upon any inferior accounts,) but as servants of Christ, knowing and considering 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 Acts iv. 7. commission and authority of another. 'Ev Tola duráuei,
και εν ποίω ονόματι ; 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