And to-day it was that he "was called so, when eight days were accomplished" for his circumcising. And they did well to call him so, for it was the name the angel named him "before he was conceived in the womb." And he could be called by no better: for nomen super nomen, says, S. Paul of it; "a name" it is "above every name; far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come." A name that has all things in it; that brings all good things with it; that speaks more in five letters than we can speak to-day: and yet we intend to-day to speak of nothing else, nothing but Jesus, nothing but Jesus.
The sooner then we begin, the better. And to begin the sooner, we shall set upon it without either the circumstances before or after in the verse, or the ceremonies, either of preamble, or of division of the words.
Only, for method's sake and memory's, I shall show you the fulness and greatness of this name in these seven particulars:
It is a name of truth and fidelity.
It is a name of might and power.
It is a name of majesty and glory.
It is a name of grace and mercy.
It is a name of sweetness and comfort.
It is a name of wonder and admiration.
It is a name of blessing and adoration.
[258/259] A faithful, mighty, glorious, gracious, comfortable, admirable, blessed name it is, given him to-day to be called by; but to be called by, and to be called upon by us for ever, that we also may be filled with the truth, and power, and glory, and grace, and sweetness, and wonder, and all the blessings of it. This is the sum of what we have to say of this great name; and now we go on with the particulars.
1. A name it is, first, of veracity and fidelity, of faithfulness and truth. This "Jesus," is but the old "Jeshua," so much mentioned, so often foretold, so long expected, all the Scripture through. The Greek termination of S only added, that we might so understand that all those types, prophecies, and promises, were now terminated, and at an end, in this "Jesus;" the Greeks and Gentiles taken in too, to fulfil all that had been before named or spoken any way concerning him. "The testimony of Jesus is the very spirit of prophecy." Prophecy had neither life nor spirit without it; and the "name of Jesus" is the very "Amen" to it. "All the promises of God," too "in him are yea, and in him Amen," says the Apostle. His very name is the "Amen" to it, "the faithful and true witness" in the same verse: absolutely "Faithful and True." Nay, this same name "Jesus," from the Hebrew to save, was rightly given him in this sense--first, that it saved the honour of God, and the credit of his prophets; that their words fell not to the ground, but were all accomplished and made good in his blessed name. A good name, the while, for us to hold by, for our souls to rest one, for our hopes to anchor on; that is so faithful and true to us, will not fail us in a word or tittle.
11. And indeed it need not, for it is a name of power. A name (1) at which the devils roar and tremble: "Jesu, thou Son of God, what have we to do with thee?" A name (2) that not only scares the devils, but casts them out, and unhouses them of their safer dwellings. A name so powerful, (3) that pronounced even by some that followed not Christ with the Apostles, that were not of so confident a faith or so near a relation to him, it yet cast them out. So mighty, (4) that in it many of those also "cast out devils," did "many wonderful works," to whom he will profess he "never knew" them, who must therefore at last "depart" down to those [259/260] devils they cast out. A name, it seems, that though in a wicked mouth has oft done wonders. So powerful (5) that no disease or sickness, no ache or ail, no infirmity or malady could stand against it. "His name," says St. Peter "hath made this man whole, whom ye see and know." His name made that man, makes all men, whole. So powerful (6) with God himself, that he cannot stand against it, cannot deny us any thing that we ask in it. "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it," says Christ; whatsoever it be; and my Father will do it too. In a word "Jesus," signifies a Saviour, and a Saviour is a name of power. He that saves either himself or others, must be no weakling; the "stronger" man in the Gospel at least; "mighty to save," as the Prophet speaks. But he that saves us from the powers of darkness, must be the strong and "mighty God" too,--and so is his name,--or the devil will be too strong for him. O thou God, who art "mighty to save," save thy servants from him; save us from all the evils and mischiefs he plots against us, that through thy name we may tread them under that rise up against us!
111. So will this name be glorious too: so it was, and so it is,--we are to show you next; a name of majesty and glory.
Take it from the reason the angel gives of the imposition. "Thou shalt call his name Jesus." Why? Why, "he shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest, and the Lord God shall give him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Judah for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." The whole together nothing but the angel's comment upon the name Jesus, nothing but the interpretation of the name: where we consider first, that it is a royal name, the name of a king; not of any king neither, but a king by succession; not any new upstart king, but of a king from the lineage of ancient kings; not of any hereditary or successive king neither, but of one from the kings of Judah, kings of God's own making; none of Jeroboam's lineage, or any others of the people's setting up; more glorious than so. And yet more, of a king "whose kingdom shall have no end," that is a glorious king indeed. All other kings die, and leave their kingdoms and their names behind them, half wrapped up p. 261 at least in dust and rubbish: this has an everlasting kingdom, and an everlasting name; he lives ever, and that lives so too. But "Of his kingdom there shall be no end," hath another sense too. All the ends of the earth shall come in unto him; there shall be no particular end or bound of his dominion. Upon his "holy hill of Sion," indeed, it is, God sets him: but so there, that he gives him "the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession," that he may rule them thence. He is both an everlasting and an universal King. Nay lastly, "the King of kings;" his "name is written so upon his thigh." So glorious a name has he, such a superexaltavit there is upon it, so "highly exalted" is this name of "Jesus;"--so highly, that some commentators and grammarians would have it the same with the name Jehovah. Then surely it is full of majesty and glory V only say they, is added 1. to make it effable, which was before ineffable; to make it possible and lawful to be uttered, which was before scarce either, so infinite was the majesty of that great name; or 2. to intimate to use that God now is become man,--V taken out of VyÅ which signifies a man, and put into his own name of Jehovah; so making it Jehoshua, or Jeshua, which is our Jesus, and the name now given us to be saved by. Whether this criticism will hold or no, the name Emmanuel, which, says St. Matthew, was fulfilled in this of Jesus,--fulfilled, that the Evangelist quotes the Prophet's words of calling him Emmanuuel, fulfilled in the calling of him Jesus, as if both were the same,--that name, I say, has God's name in it to be sure. El is one of his, so with us it is there joined--enough to render it glorious: and the angel, telling us in his interpretation and reason of the name, that he was the "Son of the Highest," intimates it was a name of the highest majesty and glory. And what can we say upon it, lest than burst out with the Psalmist into a holy exclamation, "O Lord, our Governor," O Lord, our Jesus, "how excellent is thy name in all the world!" It is all "clothed with majesty and honour"--it is "decked with light"--it "spread out itself in the heavens like a curtain"--it "lays the beams of its chamber in the waters"--it "makes the cloud its chariot"--it comes riding to us "upon the wings of the wind;" the Holy Spirit breathes it full [261/262] upon us,--it "makes the angels its spirit" to convey it--it makes the "ministers of it a flaming fire"--it "laid the foundation of the earth"--it "covers the deep" with its wings -covers heaven and earth with the majesty of its glory.
IV. Yet so it might, and we never the better, but that, fourthly, it is a name of grace and mercy, as well as majesty and glory. "Jesus" is a word of which I may more justly say, as Tully says of the Greek swt_r, that it contains so much ut Latino uno verbo exprimi non posit- it cannot be expressed in any one Latin" or English 'word,' or any one indeed besides itself. Mercy and grace dwell in it; it engrosses all, and without it there is none any where to be found; no mercy out of Jesus,--no grace but from Jesus,--"no name under heaven given by which we can be saved," but the name of Jesus. We are "baptized in the name of Jesus." We receive remission of pour sins in the name of Jesus. "Ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus; ye are sanctified" in the name of the Lord Jesus, in the same verse. We are glorified by the name of Jesus; in that name we live,--in that name we die. To Jesus it is we run for grace and mercy when we die; to Jesus we commit our spirits when we breathe them pout. We can neither live nor die without Jesus.
"Thy name," says the spouse, "is ointment poured forth." Now oil has three special uses: for light, for meat, for medicine. We have all in Jesus: 1. He is "the light that lighteth every one that comes into the world." 2. He is "the meat that never perishes;" and feeds us up "to everlasting life." 3. He is the cure and medicine of all pour maladies. He wants nothing that has Jesus, and he has nothing that wants him.
Omnia Jesus nobis est si volumes etc says St. Ambrose. "Jesus is all things to us if we will." Curari desideras, medicus est; si febribus æstuas, fons est; si gravaris iniquitate, justitia est; si auxilio indiges, virtus est; si mortem times, vita est; si ire desideras, via est; si tenebras fugis, lux est; si cibum appetis, alimentum est. [262/263] "Dost thou want health?"--he is great Physician. "Art thou fried in the flames of a burning fever?"--he is the well-spring to cool thy heat. Art thou overladen with thine iniquity? -he is thy righteousness to answer for thee. Dost thou want help?--he is ever ready at hand to succour thee. Are thou afraid of death?--he is thy life. Wouldst thou fain be going any wither? he is the way. Are thou in darkness and fearest to stumble? -he is a light to thy feet, and a lantern to thy paths. Art thou hungry, or thirsty? -he is nourishment, and food, and meat and drink the truest. What is it that thou desirest, that he is not, that this name will not afford thee? Why, it heals our sicknesses, it supports our infirmities it supplies our necessities, it instructs our ignorances, it defends us from dangers, it conquers temptations, it inflames our coldnesses, it lightens our understandings, it erectifies our wills, it subdues our passions, it raises our spirits and drives away all wicked spirits from us; it ratifies our petitions, it confirms our blessings, and crowns all pour prayers. In this name they end all that end well, "through Jesus Christ pour Lord." In thy name, O blessed Jesus, we obtain all that we obtain; though it we receive all that we receive; so that say we may well with that holy Father, Jesus meus et omnia, Jesus meus et omnia, Jesus is my all, Jesus he is and all. I have nothing else but him; I will have nothing else but him; and I have all if I have him.
V. And well may we now say, fifthly, it is a name of sweetness and comfort too, a sweet name indeed; ointment we told you it was, and a sweet ointment it is, that fills all the house with its precious odour; insomuch as it "makes the virgins therefore love thee," says the spouse there, in the forecited place of the Canticles; Mel in ore, in aure melos, in corde jubilus, says St. Bernard; "It is honey in the mouth, it is music in the ear, it is melody in the heart." The soul and all it powers, the body and all its members, may draw sweetness thence. Oh how sweetly sounds the name of Jesus, or a Saviour, to one in misery, to one in danger, to one in any calamity or distress! how does it rejoice the heart, and quicken the very bones! Gyra et 264 regrya, versa et reversa, says the devout St. Bernard, et non invenies pacem vel requiem nisi in solo Jesu. Quapropter si quiescere vis, pone Jesum ut signaculum super cor tuum, quia tranquillis ipse tranquillat omnia.
"Turn you, and turn you again, which way you will, which way you can, you can never find such peace and quiet as there is in Jesus; you will find none anywhere but in him. If you would fain therefore lay you down to rest in peace and comfort, set the seal of Jesus upon your heart, and all will be quiet;" no dreadful visions of the night shall afright you, no noonday's trouble shall ever shake you. In the midst of that terrible storm of stones about St. Stephen's ears, he but looking up and seeing Jesus, falls presently into a quiet slumber, and sweetly sleeps his last upon a hard heap of pebbles, more pleasantly than upon a bed of down or roses. For it is remarkable that the holy martyr there calls out upon the name of Jesus, rather than of Christ, as if that only were the name to hold by in our last and great agonies. Nor is it to be forgotten that this name was set upon the cross, over our Saviour's head, to teach us that it is a name which set upon the head of all our crosses will make them easy; the thought of Jesus, the reference to that holy name, the suffering under that, will give both a sweet odour and a pleasant relish to whatever it is we suffer. This "looking unto Jesus" as the Apostle advises, will keep us from being weary or fainting under them; will make us conquerors, "more than conquerors," sure of our reward to sweeten all. "For neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus." This same Jesus at the end fixes and fastens all; the love of God in Jesus will never leave us, never forsake us: keep but that devoutly in our hearts, and piously in our mouths, and we need fear nothing. Come what can, it sweetens all. Methinks St. Paul seems to find a kind of delight and sweetness in the very repeating it,--he so often uses it, begins and ends his epistles with it, garnishes then all through with it, scarce uses the very name of Christ without it; as [264/265] if it even sweetened that, at least made it sweeter, and made the oil and chrism, with which Christ himself was appointed, run more merrily and freely to the very "skirts of his clothing." So that now, is there any one sad?--let him take Jesus into his heart, and he will take heart presently, and his joy will return upon him. Is any one fallen into a sin?--let him call heartily upon this name, and it will raise him up. Is any one troubled with hardness of heart, or dulness of spirit, or dejection of mind, or drowsiness in doing well?--in the meditation of this name, Jesus, a Saviour, all vanish and fly away. Who was ever in such fear that it could not strengthen? who in any danger that it could not deliver? who in so great anxiety that it did not quiet? who in any despair that it could not comfort ands revive? That we are not sensible of it, is our dulness and experience. If we would but seriously meditate upon it, we should quickly find it otherwise. Nothing would please us where this name were not; no discourse would please us, where it was not sometimes to be heard; no writings delight us, if this name were left out. All the sweetest rhetoric and neatest eloquence would be dull without it; our very prayers would seem imperfect, which ended not in this very name. Our days would look dark and heavy, which were not lightened with the name of the "Sun of Righteousness;" our nights but sad and dolesome, which we entered not with this sweet name, when we lay down without commending ourselves to God in it. Our very years would have been a thousand times more unhappy than even those which we have seen of late--would be nothing but trouble, discontent, and misery--did they not begin in this name, were they not yearly ushered in under the protection of it. Were not this, "His name was called Jesus," proclaimed to-day, to begin it with, we might call the year what we would, but good we could not call it. This setting forth Jesus, a Saviour, in the front, is that which saves us all the year through from all the unlucky and unfortunate days that men call in it. All the ill aspects of heaven, of all the stars and planets, grow vain and idle upon it, and our days run sweetly and pleasantly under it. The Psalmist seems thus to prophesy and foretell it:
"Thou crownest the year with thy goodness, and thy clouds drop fatness." [265/266] This day crowns the year, this name crowns the day; all our dwellings would be but a sad wilderness all the year without it; but they rejoice, and laugh and sing, hills and valleys too, being thus blessed in the entrance of the year with this happy name. I end the point--though so sweet that I part with it unwillingly--with a stave or two of devout Bernard's jubilee or hymn upon it.
Nil canitur suavis, auditur nil jucundius,
Nil cogitatur dulcius, quam Jesus Dei filius, etc.
Jesus dulcedo cordium, fons vivus, lumen mentium,
Excedens omne gaudium, et omne desiderium.
Nec lingua valet dicere, nec litera exprimere,
Expertus potest credere, quid sit Jesum diligere.
There is nothing sweeter to be sung of, nothing more delightful to be heard, nothing more pleasant to be thought of, than this Jesus. Jesus, the delight of hearts, the light of minds, above all joy, above all we can desire; the tongue cannot tell, words cannot express, only he that feels it can believe, what sweetness is in Jesus. A long song he makes of it: it would be not amiss that we also made some short ones, some ejaculations and raptures now and then, upon it. Give us but a taste and relish of the sweetness of thy blessed name, O Jesus, and we shall also sing of it all the day long, and praise thy name for ever and ever, and sing with the same Father--
Jesu decus angelicum,
In aure dulce canticum,
In ore mel mirificum,
In corde nectar coelicum.
'O Jesu, thou joy and glory of men and angels, thy name is music in our ears, honey in our mouths, heavenly nectar to our hearts;' all sweetness, all pleasure to us throughout, wonderful sweet.
VI. Nay, wonderful in all, for it is a name of wonder and admiration, 'Wonderful' is one of the names the prophet calls him by. And, 1, cabalistical wits have picked wonders out of it from every letter in all three languages.
1. In the Hebrew there are four letters yVw and[ [ 266/267] from the signification of these letters rise the mystery. Jod signifies 'a hand,' schin 'a tooth,' vau, 'a nail or hook' and ain, 'an eye': the hand is the instrument of power, the teeth one of the instruments of voices and words, the nail an instrument in his passion, and the eye an instrument or great discoverer of mercy and pity. By all these he is our Jesus: by his power he overthrew our enemies, which would have slain us; by his word he revives our souls when they were slain us; by his word he revivers our souls when they were slain and dead; by his passion he redeemed us from our sins; and for his own mercy's sake he did all these.
11. In the Greek letters there are six letters I h s o m j which, according to the old device of veiling names in numbers, amount to the number of 888; the first letter is 10, the second 8, the third 200, the fourth 70, the fifth 400, and the last 200, which put altogether, make up that number; and, by reason that eight is the number, they say, of the resurrection, (that falling out the eighth day, the day after the Sabbath, which is the seventh), include this mystery, that in Jesus is our rest and resurrection to eternal quiet. The name of the Antichrist is covered in the Revelation under the number 666. Now, the six days are days of labour, pain and trouble; the seventh is but a short day of rest whilst we are here; it is only the eighth day, that follows after all, which must close up in everlasting glory, free from all labour, pain and trouble; and this is found in no other name than in the name of Jesus, nor given us in any other. And that it may not pass for a mere fancy, the Cuman Sybil's verses thus foretold his name many years before.
Tunc ad mortals veniet, mortalibus ipsis
In terries similes, natus patris omnipotentis,
Corpore vestitus. Vocals qustor autem
Fert, non vocalesque duas, binûm geniorum.
Sed quæ, sit numeri totius summa docebo.
Namque octo monadas, totidem decadus super ista,
Atque hecatontadus octo, infidis significabit
Hominibus [Humanis] nomen. Tu vero mente teneto.
'There shall come," says she, "into the earth the Son of the Almighty Father, clothed with flesh like unto us. Four vowels and two consonants shall his name consist of, and the [267/268] number of them be eight units, eight tens, and eight hundred, that is, 888." So here is wonder upon wonder, to make it. "Wonderful."
111. In the Latin we have five letters J E S U S, and by the old short way of writing among the Romans, of the first letter for the whole world, the subtle fanciers of the Cabala will tell us these five letters in the name of Jesus intimate the fulness of its perfection--that it is jucundum, efficax, sanctum, verum, salutiferum, that it is full of joy, efficacy, sanctity, verity, and salvation. Thus, you see, we have so rendered it as to find the mystery in [the] English name--that it is a sweet and 'joyful' name--an efficacious and powerful name- a sanctifying and justifying name--a name verifying all types, and prophecies, and promises--and a salutiferous and saving name too. Five glories to himself, five benefits to us by it; or, as I may have otherwise as fully expressed them, Justification, Election, Sanctification, Victory, and Salvation.
And now let the Jew come with his rasche theboth, with his first letter for a word, and write wCy for Jesus wrnzW ywkC jzky meaning thereby maliciously, 'Let his name be blotted out;'--it will fall upon himslef. His name will surely be blotted out of the book of life, who goes about to abuse this, or who has not his portion in the name of Jesus.
I should add one mystery more: C which is in the Hebrew name of Jesus, is, say they, a letter with three equal fangs joined all together, and may denote the Trinity, where the three persons are equal and all united. And then we have a mysterious name indeed, the whole Godhead, Trinity in Unity, in it; and yet a [ besides, as we told you before, for the humanity. So a perfect Saviour of both natures, expressed perfectly in his name; God and man, and all the while Trinity employed in the business of our salvation. A wonderful name indeed.
But, 2, it is also wonderful without a cabala; full of plain wonders, as well as of mysterious.
i. It is a new name; and yet Joshua the prince, and Joshua the priest, and Joshua or Jesus the son of Syrach, had the same name all; and is it not then a wonder that it should yet be new? But theirs only a temporal deliverance, [268/269] this spiritual and temporal both: theirs a particular, this a general salvation: theirs, lastly, merely 'signified,' this very name 'effects' also pour salvation and deliverance.
ii. A name that no man knew but himself. No man can tell the wonders of it. No man can pronounce it right, neither, without an immediate assistance from above. 'No man can say, the Lord Jesus, but by the Holy Ghost.'
iii. The wonders that are wrought by it make it truly wonderful, that in it, or by it, or through it, such mighty things both are and have been done, even by men that only outwardly professed it and only sounded the letters of it, as you have heard already.
iv. It is 'wonderful;' lastly, sure, that it should force even the devils to bow down to it; not only depart their lodgings to give it room, but even be compelled themselves to worship it. Yet so we find it; 'those things under the earth,' that is, the devils also, so doing and confessing.
VII. And shall we now think much to do as much--to do what all things in heaven and earth, and under it, even in hell too, do to it--bow the knee and worship it? It is a name, says the Apostle, 'given' him to that purpose, for us to pay our duty and homage to. It is a name of blessing and adoration, says our last point, Verandum nomen Jesu; a name to be blessed and adored.
First i. then. bless we God for his holy name, for the benefits and comforts we receive by it.
Bless we ii. the name itself, 'praise' and 'magnify,' and 'glorify' and 'give thanks unto it.' They are the expressions of the holy pen, they are not mine: so you have authority enough to do it, if you think the Holy Ghost knows how to speak.
Bless we iii. ourselves in this name, when we lie down and when we rise up; when we go out and when we come in: for in thy name, O blessed Jesu, shall 'we tread them under that rise up against us:' nothing shall be able to hurt or damage us, when we put ourselves under the protection of it. If afflictions and troubles press hard upon thee, and embitter all thy days, thus name is the tree whose wood will sweeten the bitterest waters: cut down a branch of it and throw it in. l Do thy sins and conscience rend and tear thee? [269/270] This name is the oil to lenify and cure them: pour it out upon them. Are though to encounter death itself? In this name thou shalt overcome it, deliver up thy soul but in it. It is a name of truth and fidelity: thou canst not distrust it. It is a name of might and power: thou mayest rest upon it. IT is a name of majesty and glory: thou must exalt it. It is a name of grace and mercy: thou must praise him for it, and commit thyself unto it. It is a name of sweetness and comfort: thou must 'rejoice and be glad in it.' It is a name of wonder and admiration: thou must now adore it too.
2. 'Bow the knee,' says the Apostle, or bow down at it. 'Holy and reverend is his name,' says the Psalmist. And if reverend, it may be revered, it may be worshipped. I speak not of the syllables and letters, but of the sense. When we hear the name of Jesus, I suppose there is none so little Christian but that he will confess I may lift up my heart and praise him for the mercy and benefits that I remember and am put in mind of by it; and where I bow my soul, may I not bow my body? The text is plain enough, that 'at the name of Jesus every knee should bow:' should, though they do not, or else shall, when they will not, and where they would not,--when they come among those that are 'under the earth.' And was ever more need to do it than in an age where it is doubted whether he be or God or Saviour--where it is questioned so often whether there were ever such a name to be saved by, and we not rather saved every one in his own? Is it not high time to revive this honour to it, that the world may know 'we acknowledge him' to be God, 'to be the Lord,' and are not ashamed to confess it? But to sift the matter, and speak home, Is this doing any other than only one particular way of praising, glorifying, and magnifying of the name? and are not all the Scriptures expressions so for doing that, and for declaring it? and is this any more? How ordinary are the phrases of exalting, and blessing, and praising and sanctifying of his name, and making of it to be glorious--of 'a glory due to his name' of the 'honour of his name'--to be sung forth! And sure the Scripture knows how to speak. And though the name of Jesus be not, I confess, directly and [270/271] immediately meant in those places, but the name of God; yet thus much we have certain thence, that i. the honour done to his name, be it by words or any expression else,--for all our outward expressions have the same ground and reason,--are duties of the text: and that ii. the name of Jesus being now the name of God, it can be no superstition to do the same to that. Now the Jews, I must tell you, never mentioned the name of God without an adoration and a Benedictus; whenever they mentioned it they bowed themselves, and added always, 'blessed for ever, or blessed for evermore,' as you have S. Paul, Rom,1: 25; 2Cor.1:3; Ephes.1:3; 1Pet.1:3; 2Cor.11:31; 1Tim,6:15; nay, doing no less to the name of Christ, Rom.4:5, mentioning him there with the same words after it. So that it is but reasonable to suppose the Christians should do as much to the name of Jesus; thereby to possess themselves that he was God, and to possess others against those rising heresies that were then starting up to rob him of the honour of his Godhead. And I cannot but fear that such as obstinately deny this worship to it, do as inwardly grudge at that article of faith that believes him to be God; and are little better in their hearts than old Arians or new Socinians, or well looking towards them. But I add no more; only remember you, that we daily cry out in the Te Deum, 'We worship thy name ever world without end:' and if we do not, why do we say so?
But say that or not, say good of it, however, I hope we will; and, as David's phrase is; 'speak good of his name:' omnia bona dicere, say all the good, speak of all the good, we receive by it.
3. Say good of it, and make others say good of it; not give others occasion to speak ill of it, 'to blaspheme that holy name by which we are called;' not blaspheme it by oaths and curses; not blaspheme it by our evil lives; not use it irreverently, not speak of it slightly, not cause others to say, Lo, these are your Christians, these your professors to worship Jesus--men that cannot so much as speak well of his name, which they pretend to be saved by! Carry ourselves we will, I hope, as men that have a portion in Jesus, a share in salvation.
[271/272] 4. Praise his name and give thanks to it; that, sure, nobody will deny him, praise and tanks for what he has done by it.
And, 5, love his name we must too; love to think of it, love to be speaking of it. It is reported of the holy Ignatius, that the name of Jesus was so frequently in his mouth. That it was even found written in his heart when he was dead, found written there in golden characters: and it is affirmed by good authors. Oh that this sweet name were written in our hearts too while we are living; that it were daily meditated upon and heartily loved by us as it should!
We would then, 6, call upon it oftener than we do, be every calling on it. We have a promise to be heard for "whatever we ask in it;' and we have an authentic example, Christ's first martyr, so to do. Be we not afraid, then, of the tongues of foolish men, but open we the morning and shut in the evening with it, begin and end our days with it in our mouths.
7. Nay, lastly, begin and end all our works and actions with it, 'do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, whatsoever we do in word or deed,' says the Apostle there: we can neither begin nor end better. How sweet is the name of Jesus, or a Saviour, at the onset of our work, to save and keep us from all miscarriage in it! How sweet is it, again, when we have done, if we can say Jesus again; that we have [been] saved by it, been saved in it, and shall one day be saved through it; that Jesus runs through all with us! So then remember we to begin and end all in Jesus; the New Testament, the covenant of our salvation, begins and ends so. 'The generation of Jesus,' so it begins; and 'Come, Lord Jesus!' so it ends. May we all end so too; and when we are going hence, commend our spirits, with S. Stephen, into his hands; and when he comes, may he receive them to sing praises and allelujahs to his blessed name, amidst the saints and angels, in his glorious kingdom for ever.