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The Marrow of Modern Divinity - Part Second


COMMANDMENT III.


Evan. Why, as the Lord in the second commandment doth require that we

worship him alone by true means, so does he in the third commandment require

that we use the means of his worship after a right manner, that so they may not

be used in vain, (Matt 15:9). And in this commandment likewise, there is a

negative part expressed in these words, "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord

thy God in vain." And that is, thou shalt not profane it, by using my titles,

attributes, ordinances, works, ignorantly, irreverently, or after a formal,

superstitious manner. And an affirmative part, included in these words, "But thou

shalt sanctify my name," (Isa 8:13); by using my titles, attributes, ordinances,

works, and religion, with knowledge, reverence, and after a spiritual manner,

(John 4:24).


Neo. I pray you, sir, begin with the affirmative part, and first tell us what the

Lord requires in this commandment.


Evan. The Lord in this commandment doth require, that we sanctify his name in

our hearts, with our tongues, and in our lives, by thinking, conceiving, speaking,

writing, and walking, so as becomes the excellency of his titles, attributes,

ordinances, works, and religion.


Neo. And how are we to sanctify the name of the Lord in regard to his titles?


Evan. By thinking, conceiving, speaking, and writing holily, reverently, and

spiritually of his titles, Lord and God, (Deut 28:58). And this we do when we

meditate on them, and use them in our speeches and writings with an inward

spiritual fear and trembling, to the glory of God and good of men, (Jer 5:22).


Neo. And how are we to sanctify the name of the Lord, in regard of his

attributes?


Evan. By thinking, conceiving, speaking, and writing holily, reverently, and

spiritually of his power, wisdom, justice, mercy, and patience, (Psa 104:1,

103:6,8). And this we do when we think, speak, and write of them after a careful,

reverent, and spiritual manner, and apply them to such good uses for which the

Lord has made them known, (Psa 37:30).


Neo. And in which of God's ordinances are we to sanctify his name?


Evan. In every one of his ordinances, and especially in the three great ordinances,

prayer, preaching, and hearing the word, and administering and receiving the

sacraments.


Neo. And how are we to sanctify the name of the Lord in prayer?


Evan. In prayer we are to sanctify the name of the Lord in our hearts, and with

our tongues, in calling upon his name after a holy, reverent, and spiritual manner;

and this we do when our prayers are the speech of our souls, and not of our

mouths only; and that is, when in prayer we lift up our hearts unto God, (Psa

25:1); and pour them out unto him, (Psa 62:8); and when we pray with spirit, and

with understanding also, (1 Cor 14:15); and with humility, (Gen 18:27, 32:10,

Luke 18:13); and with fervency of spirit, (James 5:16); and out of a sense of our

own wants, (James 1:5) and with a special faith in the promises of God, (Matt

21:22).


Neo. And how are you ministers to sanctify the name of the Lord in preaching his

word?


Evan. We are to sanctify the name of the Lord in our hearts, and with our

tongues, in preaching after a holy, reverent, and spiritual manner; and this we do

when the word is preached, not only outwardly, by the body, but also inwardly

with the heart and soul: when the heart and soul preaches, then is the ministry of

the word, on the minister's part, used after an holy and spiritual manner, and that

is, when we preach in demonstration of the Spirit, (1 Cor 2:4); and in sincerity, (2

Cor 2:17); and faithfully without respect of persons, (Deut 33:9); and with

judgment and discretion, (Matt 24:49); and with authority and power, (Matt

7:29); and with zeal to God's glory, (John 7:18); and with a desire of the people's

salvation, (2 Cor 11:2).


Neo. And how are we hearers to sanctify the name of the Lord in hearing his

word?


Evan. In hearing it after an holy, reverent, and spiritual manner; and this you do

when your heart and soul hears the word of God; and that is when you set

yourselves in the presence of God, (Acts 10:33); and when you look upon the

minister as God's messenger or ambassador, (2 Cor 5:20), and so hear the word

as the word of God, and not as the word of man, (1 Thess 2:13); with reverence

and fear, (Isa 66:2); and with a ready desire to learn, (Acts 17:11); and with

attention, (Acts 8:6); and with alacrity, without wearisomeness or sleepiness,

(Acts 20:9).


Neo. And how are you ministers to sanctify the name of the Lord in administering

the sacraments?


Evan. By administering them after an holy, reverent, and spiritual manner; and

that is, when we administer them with our hearts or souls, according to Christ's

institution, (Matt 26:26); to the faithful in profession at least, (1 Cor 10:16); and

with a hearty desire that may become profitable to the receivers.


Neo. And how are we to sanctify the name of the Lord in receiving the

sacraments?


Evan. This we do when we rightly and seriously examine ourselves aforehand, (1

Cor 11); and rightly and seriously mind and consider of the sacramental union of

the sign, and the thing signified, and do in our hearts perform those inward actions

which are signified by the outward actions. (Acts 8:37,38, 1 Cor 10:6)


Neo. And how are we to sanctify the name of the Lord in regard of his works?


Evan. In thinking and speaking of them after a wise, reverent, and spiritual

manner; and this we do when we meditate and make mention, in our speeches

and writings, of the inward works of God's eternal election and reprobation, with

wonderful admiration of the unsearchable depths thereof, (Rom 11:33,34); and

when we meditate in our hearts of the works of God's creation and

administration, and make mention of them in our words and writings, so as that

we acknowledge therein his wisdom, power, and goodness, (Rom 1:19,20, Psa

19:1); and acknowledging the workmanship of God therein, do speak honourably

of the same, (Psa 139:14, Gen 1:31).


Neo. And how are we to sanctify the name of the Lord in regard of his religion?


Evan. By holy profession of his true religion, and a conversation answerable

thereunto, to the glory of God, the good of ourselves and others, (Matt 5:16, 1

Peter 2:12).


Neo. And, sir, are we not also to sanctify the name of God by swearing thereby?


Evan. Yea, indeed, that was well remembered; we are to sanctify the name of the

Lord in our hearts, and with our tongues in swearing thereby, after a holy,

religious, and spiritual manner; and this we do when the magistrate requires an

oath of us by the order of justice, that is, not against piety or charity, (Gen 43:3, 1

Sam 24:21,22); and when we swear in truth, (Jer 4:2); that is, when we are

persuaded in our conscience the thing we swear is truth, and swear simply and

plainly, without fraud or deceit, (Psa 15:4, 24:4); and when we swear in

judgment, that is, when we swear with deliberation, well considering both the

nature and greatness of an oath, viz: that God is thereby called to witness the

truth, and judge and punish us if we swear falsely, (Gal 1:20, 2 Cor 1:23); and

when we swear in righteousness, that is, when the thing we swear is lawful and

just, and when our swearing is, that God may be glorified, (Josh 7:19); our

neighbour satisfied, controversies ended, (Heb 6:16); our own innocency cleared,

(Exo 22:11); and our duty discharged, (1 Kings 8:31).


Neo. Well, sir, now I pray you, proceed to the negative part, and tell us what the

Lord forbiddeth in this commandment.


Evan. As the Lord in the affirmative part of this commandment doth require that

we sanctify his name in our hearts, with our tongues, and in our lives, by thinking,

conceiving, speaking, writing, and walking, so as becomes the excellency of his

titles, attributes, ordinances, and religion; so doth he in the negative part thereof

forbid the profanation of his name, by doing the contrary.


Neo. Well then, sir, I pray you first tell us how the titles of God are profanely

abused.


Evan. They are profanely abused divers ways; as first, by thinking irreverently of

them, or using them in our common talk, or in our writings, after a rash, careless

and irreverent manner, (Psa 50:22, Rom 1:21); as when in foolish admiration we

say, Good God! Good Lord! Lord have mercy on us, what a thing is this? and the

like; or when by the way of idle wishes or imprecations we say, "The Lord be my

judge!" (Gen 16:5); or, I pray God I may never stir, if such a thing be not so, and

the like; or when by way of vain swearing, we mingle our speeches, and fill up

our sentences with needless oaths, as, Not so, by my faith! and the like, (Matt

5:34, James 5:12); or when by way of jesting, or after a formal manner we say,

God be thanked, God speed, God's name be praised, and the like, (2 Sam 23:21).


Neo. And I pray you, sir, how are the attributes of God profanely abused?


Evan. The attribute of God's power is profanely abused, either by calling it into

question, (2 Kings 7:2), or by thinking, speaking, or writing of it carnally,

carelessly, or contemptuously, (Psa 12:4, Exo 5:2). And the attribute of God's

providence is abused either by murmuring thereat in our hearts, (Deut 15:9), or

by speaking grudgingly against it under the name of fortune or chance, in saying,

What a misfortune was this! What a mischance was that! and the like. (Deut 1:27,

1 Sam 6:9) And the attribute of God's justice is profanely abused, either by

thinking or saying, that God likes sin or wicked sinners, (Psa 50:21, Mal 3:15).

And the attribute of God's mercy is profanely abused, either in presuming to sin,

upon hopes that God will be merciful, or by speaking basely and contemptuously

thereof, as when we say, speaking of some trifling thing, It is not worth

God-a-mercy. And the attribute of God's patience is profanely abused by thinking

or saying upon occasion of his forbearance to punish for a time, that he will

neither call us to an account, nor punish us for our sins. (Rom 2:4)


Neo. Now, sir, I pray you proceed to show how God's name is profanely abused

in his ordinances; and first of all begin with prayer.


Evan. God's name is profanely abused in prayer, either by praying ignorantly,

without the true knowledge of God and his will, (Acts 17:23, Matt 20:22); or

when we pray with the mouth only, and not with the desires of our hearts

agreeing with our words, (Hosea 3:14, Psa 78:36); and when we pray drowsily

and heavily without fervency of spirit, (Matt 26:41); and when we pray with

wandering worldly thoughts, (Rom 12:12); and when we pray with any conceit of

our own worthiness, (Luke 18:9,11); and when we pray without faith in the

promises of God, (James 1:6).


Neo. And how is God's name profanely abused in hearing or reading his word?


Evan. God's name is hereby abused, when we hear it or read it, and do not

understand it, (Acts 8:30); and when we hear it only with the outward ears of our

bodies, and not also with the inward ears of our heart and soul; and this we do

when we read it or hear it with our hearts full of wandering thoughts, (Eze 33:30);

and we read it, or hear it with dull, drowsy, and sleepy spirits; and when in

hearing of it we rather conceive it to be the word of a mortal man that delivers it;

than the word of the great God of heaven and earth, (1 Thess 2:13); and when

we do not with our hearts believe every part and portion of that word which we

read or hear, (Heb 4:2); and when we do not humbly and heartily subject

ourselves to what we read or hear, (2 Kings 22:19, Isa 62:2).


Neo. And how is the Lord's name profanely abused in receiving the sacrament of

the Lord's supper?


Evan. This we do when we either through want of knowledge cannot examine

ourselves, or through our own negligence do not examine ourselves, before we eat

of that bread, and drink of that cup, (1 Cor 11:28); and when we, in the act of

receiving, do not mind the spiritual signification of the sacrament, but do either

terminate our thoughts in the elements themselves, or else suffer them to rove and

run out to some other object, (Luke 22:19); and when, after receiving, we do not

examine ourselves what communion we have had with Christ in that ordinance,

nor what virtue we have found flowing out from Christ into our own souls, by

means of that ordinance, (2 Cor 13:5).


Neo. And how is the name of the Lord profanely abused in taking of an oath?


Evan. This we do, when we call the Lord to be a witness of vain and frivolous

things, by our usual swearing in our common talk, (Hosea 4:2, Jer 23:10); and

when we call God to be a witness of our furious anger and wicked purpose, as

when we swear we will be revenged on such a man, and the like, (1 Sam 14:39,

25:34); and when we call God to be a witness to our swearing falsely, (Lev 19:12,

Zech 5:4); and when we swear by the mass, or by our faith, or troth, or by the

rood, or by anything else that is not God, (Jer 5:7, Matt 5:34-37).


Neo. And how is the name of God profanely abused as touching his works?


Evan. When we either take no notice of his works at all, or when we think and

speak otherwise of them than we have warrant from his word to do; as when we

do not speak of the inward works of God's election and reprobation, and are

called thereunto, and when we murmur and cavil thereat, (Rom 9:20); and when

we either do not at all mind the works of his creation and administration, or do

not take occasion thereby to glorify the name of God, (Psa 19:1, Rom 1:21).


Neo. And how is the name of God profanely abused in respect of his religion?


Evan. When our conversation is not agreeable to our profession, (2 Tim 3:5); and

that either when in respect of God it is but hypocrisy, or in respect of men we

walk offensively; for if we live scandalously in the profession of religion, we

cause the name of God to be profaned by them that are without, (Rom 2:24), and

become stumbling blocks to our weak brethren, (Rom 14:13).


And now, neighbour Nomologista, I pray you, tell me whether you think you

keep this commandment perfectly or no.


Nom. Sir, to tell you the truth, I had not thought that the name of God had

signified any more than his titles, Lord and God.


Evan. Aye, but you are to know that the name of God in Scripture signifies all

those things that are affirmed of God, or any thing whatsoever it is, whereby the

Lord makes himself known to men.


Nom. Then believe me, sir, I have come far short of keeping this commandment

perfectly, and so does every man else, I am persuaded.


Evan. I am of your mind, for where is the man that hath and doth so meditate on

God's titles, and use them in his speeches and writings, with such reverence, fear

and trembling, as he ought? Or what man is he that can truly say, he never in all

his life thought on them, or used them in his common talk, either rashly,

carelessly, or irreverently? I am sure, for my own part, I cannot say so; for, alas!

in the time of mine ignorance, I used many times to say, by way of foolish

admiration, Good Lord! Good God! Lord have mercy on me, what a things is

this? Yea, and I also many times used to say, I pray God I may never stir if such

a thing be not so! Yea, and I have divers times said, The Lord be with you, and

speed you! and, The Lord's name be praised! after a formal cursory manner, my

thoughts being exercised about something else all the while.


And where is the man that has always thought, conceived, spoken, and written so

holily, reverently, and spiritually, of the Lord's power, wisdom, justice, mercy,

and patience, as he ought? Nay, what man is he that can truly say, he never in all

his life called the attribute of the Lord's power into question, nor ever murmured

at any act or passage of God's providence, nor ever presumed to sin, upon hopes

that God would be merciful unto him? I am sure I cannot truly say so.


And where can we find the man that can truly say, he has always read and heard

the word of God after a holy, reverent, and spiritual manner? Nay, where is the

man that has not sometimes both heard it and read it after a formal, cursory, and

unprofitable manner? Is there any man that can truly say he has always perfectly

understood whatsoever he has read and heard—and that has not sometimes heard

more with the outward ears of his body, than with the inward ears of his heart

and soul—and that was never dull and drowsy, if not sleepy, in the time of

hearing and reading—and that had never a worldly, nor wandering thought to

come in at that time—and that never had the least doubting or questioning the

truth of what he had read or heard? I am sure, for my own part, I have been

faulty many of these ways.


And is it possible to find a man that can truly say, he has always called upon the

name of the Lord after a holy, reverent, and spiritual manner, or has not rather

many times prayed after a carnal, unholy, or sinful manner? Where is the man

that has always had a perfect knowledge of God and of his will in prayer, and

whose heart has always gone along with his words in prayer, and that never was

drowsy nor heavy, never had wandering thoughts in prayer, and that never had

the least conceit that God would grant him anything for his prayer's sake, and that

never had the least doubting or question in his heart, whether God would grant

him the thing he asked in prayer. I am sure, for my own part, I can scarce clear

myself from any of these.


And can any man truly say he has always received the sacrament after a holy,

reverent, and spiritual manner? Nay, has not every man rather cause to

acknowledge the contrary? Is there a man to be found that has always seriously

and rightly examined himself beforehand, and that has always, rightly, with his

heart, performed all those inward actions that are signified by the outward; or has

not every man and woman rather cause to confess, that either for want of

knowledge, or through their own negligence, they have not so examined

themselves as they ought, nor so actuated their faith, nor minded the spiritual

signification of the outward elements, in the time of receiving the sacrament as

they ought, nor so examined themselves, after receiving, what benefit they have

got to their soul thereby? I am sure I have cause to confess all this.


And where shall we find a man that has always sanctified the name of the Lord in

his heart, and with his tongue, by swearing after a holy, religious, and spiritual

manner; or rather, have not most men that have been called to take an oath,

profaned the name of the Lord, either by swearing ignorantly, falsely, maliciously,

or from some base and wicked end? And I think it is somewhat hard to find a

man that never in all his life did swear, either by his faith, or by his troth, by the

mass, or by the rood. I am sure I am not the man; and he is a rare man that can

truly say, he has always sanctified the name of God in his heart, and with his

tongue, by admiring and acknowledging the wisdom, power, and goodness of God

manifested in his works, for it is to be feared that most men do either take no

notice at all of the works of God, or else do think and speak of them otherwise

than the word of God warrants them to do. I am sure I am one of these most.


And he is a precious man that has always so sanctified the name of the Lord, by a

holy and unblamable conversation as he ought; for, alas! many professors of

religion, by their fruitless and offensive walking, do either cause the enemies of

God to speak evil of the way of God, or else do thereby cause their weak brother

to stumble: it is well if I never did so: and thus have I also endeavoured to satisfy

your desires concerning the third commandment.


Neo. I beseech you, sir, proceed to speak of the fourth commandment as you

have done of the other three.



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