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Places of Scripture that lead us to suppose, that God created the world for his name, to make his perfections known; and that he made if for his praise.
1. Here I shall first take notice of some passages of Scripture that speak of God’s name as being the object of his regard, and the regard of his virtuous and holy intelligent creatures, much in the same manner as has been observed of God’s glory.
God’s name is, in like manner, spoken of as the end of his acts of goodness towards the good part of the moral world, and of his works of mercy and salvation towards his people. As 1 Sam. xii. 22. “The Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake.” Psal. xxiii. 3. “He restoreth my soul, he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, for his name’s sake.” Psal. xxxi. 3. ”For thy name’s sake, lead me, and guide me.” Psal. cix. 21. “But do thou for me,—for thy name’s sake.” The forgiveness of sin in particular is often spoken of as being for God’s name’s sake. 1 John ii. 12. “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” Psal. xxv. 11. ”For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.” Psal. lxxix. 9. “Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake.” Jer. xiv. 7. “O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name’s sake.”
These things seem to show, that the salvation of Christ is for God’s name’s sake. Leading and guiding in the way of safety and happiness, restoring the soul, the forgiveness of sin; and that help, deliverance, and salvation, that is consequent therein, is for God’s name. And here it is observable, that those two great temporal salvations of God’s people, the redemption from Egypt, and that from Babylon, often represented as figures and similitudes of the redemption of Christ, are frequently spoken of as being wrought for God’s name’s sake.
Thus that great work of God, in delivering his people from Egypt, and conducting them to Canaan. 2 Sam. vii. 23. “And what one nation in the earth is like thy people, even like Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name.” Psal. cvi. 8. “Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake.” Isa. lxiii. 12. “That led them by the right hand of Moses, with his glorious arm, dividing the waters before them, to make himself an everlasting name.” In the 20th chap. of Ezekiel God, rehearsing the various parts of this wonderful work, adds, from time to time,Ezek. xx. 9“I wrought for my name’s sake, that it should not be polluted before the heathen,” as ver 9, 14, 22. (See also Josh. vii. 8, 9. Dan. ix. 15.)
So is the redemption from the Babylonish captivity. Isa. xlviii. 9, 10. “For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger. For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it; for how should my name be polluted?” In Ezek. xxxvi. 21, 22, 23. the reason is given for God’s mercy in restoring Israel. xxxvi. 21, 22. “But I had pity for my holy name. Thus saith the Lord, I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for my holy name’s sake;—And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen.” And chap. xxxix. 25. “Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name.” Daniel prays, that God would forgive his people, and show them mercy for his own sake. Dan. ix. 19.
When God, from time to time, speaks of showing mercy, and exercising goodness, and promoting his people’s happiness for his name’s sake, we cannot understand it as of a merely subordinate end. How absurd would it be to say that he promotes their happiness for his name’s sake, in subordination to their good; and that his name may be exalted only for their sakes, as a means of promoting their happiness! especially when such expressions as these are used, “For mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it; for how should my name be polluted?” and “Not for your sakes do I this, but for my holy name’s sake.”
Again, it is represented as though God’s people had their existence, at least as God’s people, for God’s name’s sake. God’s redeeming or purchasing them, that they might be his people, for his name, implies this. As in that passage mentioned before, 2 Sam. vii. 23. “Thy people Israel, whom God went to redeem for a people to himself, and to make him a name.” So God making them a people for his name, is implied in Jer. xiii. 11. “For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, &c.—that they may be unto me for a people, and for a name.” Acts xv. 14. “Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.”
This also is spoken of as the end of the virtue, religion, and holy behavior of the saints. Rom. i. 5. “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations for his name.” Matt. xix. 29. “Every one that forsaketh houses, or brethren, &c.—for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” 3 John 7. “Because, that for his name’s sake, they went forth, taking nothing of the Gentiles.” Rev. ii. 3. “And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured and hast not fainted.”
And we find that holy persons express their desire of this, and their joy in it, in the same manner as in the glory of God. 2 Sam. vii. 26. 11 Let thy name be magnified for ever.” Psal. lxxvi. 1. “In Judah is God known, his name is great in Israel.” Psal. cxlviii. 13. “Let them praise the name of the Lord; for his name alone is excellent, his glory is above the earth and heaven.” Psal. cxxxv. 13. “Thy name, O Lord, endureth for ever, and thy memorial throughout all generations.” Isa. xii. 4. “Declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.”
The judgments God executes on the wicked, are spoken of as being for the sake of his name, in like manner as for his glory. Exod. ix. 16. “And in very deed, for this cause have I raised thee up, for to show in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.” Neh. ix. 10. “And showedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land; for thou knewedst that they dealt proudly against them: so didst thou get thee a name, as at this day.”
And this is spoken of as a consequence of the works of creation, in like manner as God’s glory. Psal. viii. 1. “O Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.” And then, at the conclusion of the observations on the works of creation, the ends thus, ver. 9. “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!” So Psal. cxlviii. 13. after a particular mention of the various works of creation. Psal. cxlviii. 13. “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is excellent in all the earth, his glory is above the earth and the heaven.”
2. So we find the manifestation of God’s perfections, his 113 greatness, and excellency, is spoken of very much in the same manner as God’s glory.
There are several scriptures which would lead us to suppose this to be the great thing that God sought of the moral world, and the end aimed at in moral agents, wherein they are to be active in answering their end. This seems implied in that argument God’s people sometimes made use of, in deprecating a state of death and destruction: that, in such a state, they cannot know, or make known, the glorious excellency of God. Psal. lxxxviii. 18, 19. “Shall thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave, or thy faithfulness in destruction? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark, and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” So Psal. xxx. 9. Isa. xxxviii. 18, 19. The argument seems to be this: Why should we perish? and how shall thine end, for which thou hast made us, be obtained in a state of destruction, in which thy glory cannot be known or declared?
This is the end of the good part of the moral world, or the end of God’s people in the same manner as the glory of God. Isa. xliii. 21. “This people have I formed for myself, they shall show forth my praise.” 1 Pet. ii. 9. “But ye are a chosen generation; a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into marvellous light.”
And this seems to be represented as the thing wherein the value, the proper fruit and end of their virtue appears. Isa. lx. 6. speaking of the conversion of the Gentile nations to true religion, Isa. lx. 6. “They shall come and show forth the praises of the Lord.” Isa. lxvi. 19. “I will send—unto the nations—and to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.”—To which we may add, the proper tendency and rest of true virtue, and holy dispositions. 1 Chron. xvii. 8. “Make known his deeds among the people.” Verse 23, 24. “Show forth from day to day thy salvation. Declare his glory among the heathen.” 203203 See also, Psal. ix. 1, 11, 14and Psal. xix. 1.and Psal. xxvi. 7.and Psal. lxxi. 18.and Psal. lxxv. 9.and Psal. lxxvi. 1and Psal. lxxix 13and Psal.xcvi. 2, 3. and Psal. ci. 1and Psal. cvii. 22and Psal.cxviii. 17and Psal. cxlv. 6, 11, 12. Isa. xlii. 12. Isa. lxiv. 1, 2. Jer. li. 10.
This seems to be spoken of as a great end of the acts of God’s moral government; particularly, the great judgments he executes for sin. Exod. ix. 16. “And in very deed, for this cause have I raised thee up, to show in thee my power; and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.” Dan. iv. 17. “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, &c. To the intent, that the living may know that the Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will; and setteth up over it the basest of men.” But places to this purpose are too numerous to be particularly recited. See them in the margin. 204204 Exod. xiv 17, 18. 1 Sam. xvii. 46. Psal. lxxxii. 18 Isa. xiv. 3.Ezek. vi. 7, 10, 13, 14and Ezek. vii. 4, 9, 27.and Ezek. xi. 10, 11, 12.and Ezek. xii. 15, 16, 20.and xiii. 9, 14, 21, 23.and Ezek. xiv. 8.and Ezek. xv. 7.and Ezek. xxi. 5.and Ezek. xxii. 16.and Ezek. xxv. 7, 11, 17.and Ezek. xxvi. 6.and Ezek. xxvii. 22, 23, 24.and Ezek. xxix. 9, 16.and Ezek. xxx. 8, 19, 26, 26.and Ezek. xxxii. 15.and Ezek. xxxii. 29.and Ezek. xxxv. 4, 12, 15. and Ezek. xxxviii. 23.and Ezek. xxxix. 6, 7, 21, 22.
This is also a great end of God’s works of favour and mercy to his people. 2 Kings xix. 19. “Now, therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only.” 1 Kings viii. 59, 60.—“That he maintain the cause of his servant, and the cause of his people Israel, at all times, as the matter shall require, that all the people of the earth may know that the Lord is God, and that there is none else.” See other passages to the same purpose referred to in the margin. 205205 Exod. vi. 7.and Exod. viii. 22.and Exod. xvi. 12. 1 Kings viii. 43.and 1 Kings xx. 28.Psal. cii. 21.Ezek. xxiii. 49.and Ezek. xxiv. 21.and Ezek. xxv. 5.and Ezek.xxxv. 9.and Ezek. xxxix. 21, 22.
This is spoken of as the end of the eternal damnation of the wicked, and also the eternal happiness of the righteous. Rom. ix. 22, 23. “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and make his power known, endured with much long-suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: and that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he hath afore prepared unto glory?”
This is spoken of, from time to time, as a great end of the miracles which God wrought. (See Exod. vii. 17. and Exod. viii. 10. and Exod. x. 2. Deut. xxix. 5, 6. Ezek. xxiv. 17.) And of the ordinances he has established. Exod. xxix. 44, 45, 46. “And I will sanctify also both Aaron and his sons, to minister to me in the priests’ office. And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God,” &c. Chap. xxxi. 13. “Verily, my Sabbaths shall ye keep; for it is a sign between me and you, throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” We have again almost the same words, Ezek. xx. 12.and ver. 20.
This was a great end of the redemption out of Egypt. Psal. cvi. 8. “Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known.” (See also Exod. vii. 5. and Deut. iv. 34, 35.) And also of the redemption from the Babylonish captivity. Ezek. xx. 34-38. “And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries whither ye are scattered.—And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people; and there I will plead with you, as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt.—And I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. And I will purge out the rebels.—And ye shall know that I am the Lord.” Verse 42. ”And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel.” Verse 44. ”And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have wrought with you for my name’s sake.” (See also chap. xxviii. 25, 26. and xxxvi. 11. and xxxvii. 6, 13.)
This is also declared to be a great end of the work of redemption by Jesus Christ: both of its purchase, and its application. Rom. iii. 25, 26. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness.—To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” Eph. ii. 4-7. “But God, who is rich in mercy, &c. That he might show the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us through Jesus Christ.” Chap. iii. 8, 9, 10. “To preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see, what is the fellowship of that mystery which, from the beginning of the world, hath been hid in God, who, created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places, might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” Psal. xxii. 21, 22. “Save me from the lion’s mouth. I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” (Compared with Heb. ii. 12. and John xvii. 26.) Isa. lxiv. 4. “O that thou wouldest rend the heavens—to make thy name known to thine adversaries.”
And it is pronounced to be the end of that great, actual salvation, which should follow Christ’s purchase of salvation, both among Jews and Gentiles. Isa. xlix. 22, 23. “I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles,—and they shall bring thy sons in their arms—and kings shall be nursing-fathers—and thou shalt know that I am the Lord.” 206206 See also, Ezek. xvi. 62.and Ezek. xxix. 21.and Ezek. xxxiv. 27.and Ezek. xxxvi. 38.and Ezek. xxxix. 28, 29. Joel iii. 17.
This appears to be the end of God’s common providence, Job xxxvii. 6, 7. “For he saith to the snow, Be thou on the earth. Likewise to the small rain and to the great rain of his strength. He sealeth up the hand of every man, that all men may know his work.” And of the day of judgement, that grand consummation of God’s moral government of the world, and the day for bringing all things to their designed ultimate issue. It is called, “The day of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God.” Rom. ii. 5.
And the declaration, or openly manifesting of God’s excellency, is spoken of as the actual, happy consequence and effect of the work of creation. Psal. xix. 1, &c. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth his handy-work. Day unto day uttereth speech, night unto night showeth knowledge.—In them hath he placed a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run his race,” &c.
3. In like manner, there are many scriptures that speak of God’s praise, in many of the forementioned respects, just in the same manner as of his name and glory.
This is spoken of as the end of the very being of God’s 114 people, in the same manner as before, Jer. xiii. 11. “For, as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel, and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord: that they might be unto me for a name, and for a praise, and a glory.”
It is spoken of as the end of the moral world. Matt. xxi. 16. “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou perfected praise.” That is, so hast thou in thy sovereignty and wisdom ordered it, that thou shouldest obtain the great end for which intelligent creatures are made, more especially from some of them that are in themselves weak, inferior, and more insufficient. (Compare Psal. viii. 1, 2.)
And the same thing that was observed before concerning the making known God’s excellency, may also be observed concerning God’s praise. That it is made use of as an argument in deprecating a state of destruction; that, in such a state, this end cannot be answered, in such a manner as seems to imply its being an ultimate end, for which God had made man. Psal. lxxxviii. 10. “Shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall thy loving-kindness be declared in the grave?—Shall thy wonders be known in the dark?” Psal. xxx. 9. “What profit is there in my blood? When I go down to the pit, shall the dust praise thee? Shall it declare thy truth?” Psal. cxv. 17, 18. “The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence: but we will bless the Lord, from this time forth and for evermore. Praise ye the Lord.” Isa. xxxviii. 18,19. “For the grave cannot praise thee, death cannot celebrate thee; they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise thee.” And God’s praise is spoken of as end of the virtue of God’s people, in like manner as his glory. Phil. i. 11. “Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ to the praise and glory of God.”
God’s praise is the end of the work of redemption. In Eph. i. where that work in its various parts is particularly insisted on, and set forth in its exceeding glory, this is mentioned, from time to time, as the great end of all, that it should be ”to the praise of his glory.” As in ver. 6, 12, 14. By which we may doubtless understand much the same thing, with what in Phil. i. 11. is expressed, ”his praise and glory.” Agreeably to this, Jacob’s fourth son, from whom the great Redeemer was to proceed, by the special direction of God’s providence, was called praise. This happy consequence, and glorious end of that great redemption, Messiah, one of his posterity, was to work out.
In the Old Testament this praise is spoken of as the end of the forgiveness of God’s people, and their salvation, in the same manner as God’s name and glory. Isa. xlviii. 9, 10, 11. “For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise, will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off. Behold I have refined thee—for mine own sake, even for mine own sake will I do it; for how should my name be polluted? and my glory will I not give to another.” Jer. xxxiii. 8, 9. “And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity—and I will pardon all their iniquities. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour.”
And that the holy part of the moral world express desires of this, and delight in it, as the end which holy principles in them tend to, reach after, and rest in, in their highest exercises—just in the same manner as the glory of God, is abundantly manifest. It would be endless to enumerate particular places wherein this appears; wherein the saints declare this, by expressing their earnest desires of God’s praise; calling on all nations, and all beings in heaven and earth, to praise him; in a rapturous manner calling on one another, crying “Hallelujah; praise ye the Lord, praise him for ever.” Expressing their resolutions to praise him as long as they live through all generations, and for ever; declaring how good, how pleasant and comely the praise of God is, &c. And it is manifest, that God’s praise is the desirable and glorious consequence and effect of all the works of creation, by such places as these. Psal. cxlv. 5-10. and cxlviii. throughout, and ciii. 19-22.
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