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GOD's Great Name, the Ground and Reason of
faving Great Sinners. *
Ps A La cvi. 8.
Y friends, the facramental cup that some of you WL have in view, is a cup of salvation; and those that adventure to take that cup into their hand, had need to be persons duly informed, and heartily concerned about falvation. The very firit piece of heart-exercise in all that are effectually convinced and awakened to a sense of sin and fear of wrath, is that or the like question, arising. from the bottom of the heart; Men and bretbren, what jhall I do to be saved? Surely they are not fit for a communion-table, who have never yet come this length in religion, so as to be more concerned about salvation, and the refolution of this question, than ever they were about any temporal concern in the world; for such as stand fair to be worthy communicants, they have come yet a greater length than this, namely, to get that queltion resolved to their fatisfaction, and their mind ípiria tually enlightened in the knowledge of the method of salvation through Christ, so as to fee upon what terms, and for what reason it is that God saves them; and particularly, that there is no reason why he should save them, unless he bring the reason from hinself, that it
* This subject was finiíhed in one ferno!, proached at Carnock, July 18th, 1930. before the administration of the facrament of the Lord's furper.
will not be for their fake, but for his own. God's great end, in all his works, is the glory of his own name; and especially his work of saving finners through Christ; and that which makes it a great work, is, be. cause his great name is so much concerned therein, and magnified thereby, that it is not so greatly glorified any other way, as it is here. God proposes, in this work, that the loftiness of man shall be brought down, and the Lord alone exalted; and hence all whom he saves, he humbles them fo low for their sin and wickedness, as that to bring them to this acknowledgement, that, if even God save them, it will be owing, not unto them, not unto them, but unto his own glorious name. What thought and concern about salvation ye have, I know not; but if ye be of these that believe, to the saving of your fouls, you will fee fo much of your own sinfulnefs and guiltiness before God, that you will be brought to despair of salvation in any other way, and upon any other account, than that which was his method of saving Ifrael of old ; Nevertheless, be saved them for his name's
How this people sinned, we are told in the two preceding verses; and how God saved them, we are told here in the text; Nevertheless, he saved them for bis rzame's fake. The more full history of their finping, even in the extremity of danger they were in, and of God's saving them at the Red-lea, ye have Exod. xiv. through. out. And concerning this wonderful salvation, there are four things ye may notice in the words.
1. We have a glorious Saviour in the pronoun, He, namely, JEHOVAH, the great God, our Saviour Jesus Christ, the Angel of the covenant, that appeared to Moses in the buin, and delivered Israel by the hand of Moses. He is the Saviour; even he that says, “ Look unto me, and be saved, all ye ends of the earth ; for I am God, and there is none else.”
2. The grievous finners whom he saved, in the word, THOM; IIe saved them: namely, the Ifraelites, his profelli:ng people, when they were in great peril, having the Red-fea before them, the rude enemy behind them, and inaccessible inountains on each side of them : in the
greatest greatest extremity, and yet a finful people; sinning against Gad even in that extremity; yet, he saved them. xxx. 10. God may punith his people for their sin severely, whom yet he will save eternally, for his name's fake; yea, and punish them more than others, Amos iv. 6,--13. and iii. 2. “ You only have I known of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” Those whom, for his name's sake, he faved from fio to eternity, he will make them feel it to be an evil and bitter thing in tine.
3. The great argument that moved him to save them, or upon what account he thus appeared; it was, for his name's fake; that is, for his own fake, as Hezekiah prays to be saved from Sennacherib, Isa. xxxvii. 20. “ That all the kingdoms of the earth may know, that thou art the Lord, even thou only :" or, for thy name's sake; that is, for thy glory's sake, Pfal. lxxix. 9. “ Help us, o God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; and deliver us, and purge away our lins, for thy name's fake:" That is, also for thy mercy's fake, for thy goodness fake; or, because they were called by his name; this is urged, Jer. xiv. 9.--" Thou, O Lord, art in the midst of us, and we are called by thy name, leave us not.”
4. The marvellous nature and circumstance of this salvation, in the word, Nevertheless; the glory of divine mercy is herein magnified, that he saved them for his name's fake, with a non obftante, with a nevertheless ; that is, notwithstanding all their fin, tho' their fin cried to God, not to fave them, but to damn them; noť to help them, but to destroy them; Nevertheless, be saved them for bis name's fake, 11otwithstanding their provocations.
Observ. That when God saves finners, or a finful
people, he does it for his name's fake, notwithstanding their provocation, whereby they forfeit his help, and deserve destruction.
I shall First premise fume general positions for clearing · the text and doctrine. Secondly, Illustrate the truth of
the doctrine, from fome parallel texts of fcripture. , Ist, i fhall premise fome general positions for clearing the text and doctrine. ,
First position. " That the salvation and temporal deJiverance that God, for his name's fake, wrought for Ifrael of old; in bringing them out of Egypt through the Red-fea to Canaan, was typical of the great salvation from fin and wrath, to eternal life, thro' Jesus Christ;"> which spiritual and eternal falvation this text itself leads me to speak of, not excluding the temporal deliverance,
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remarkable appearances of divine providence, for the visible church in general. As Ifrael's fin and provocation, and the judgmients that came on them for the same, was our example and warning-piece, i Cor. 8. 6.; and great destructions happened for ensamples and types, ver. 11. “ And written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come:" fo the great deliverances Cod wrought for them, were types of the great falvati. on that God works for finners, through Jesus Christ, to the praise of the glury of his grace; or, For his name's fake.
Second Position. “ Many unconverted persons, in the vihble church, may be delivered from temporal judgments, and saved of Gud only in outward refpects, and that for his name's fake; fo doubtless, many unconverted perfons were among the Ifraelites; yea, most of them gave discoveries that they were fo.” They forfeited his help in many respects ; 'yet he saved them in many refpects, for his name's sake. See Ezek. xxxvi. 22, 23. " Thus faith the Lord, I do not this for your fakes, o house of Israel; but for my holy name's fake:--Not for your salies do I this, faith the Lord God; be it known unto you.” Their slavery was so great, that it opened the mouth of the heathen, as if the God of Israel were no God; therefore God, for his name's fake, helped them. See allo Deut. ix. 5. Ifrael was bad enough, but the heathen were no better, but rather worfe; therefore, for his name's fake, he appeared. Many whom God will not be merciful to in the world, may yet, for his name's fake, be delivered in time.
Third Position. " Gracious fouls do too much forfeit God's help in time of danger, and deserve to be forsaken of God, and exposed to misery; yet, for his name's fake, he saved them ;' this is their acknowledgment, as you see in Jacob, Gen. xxxii. 10. I am not worthy of the least of all thy mercies. Even so does the church acknowledge, Ezra ix. 8. 13. and Lam. iii. 22. It is of ibe Lord's mercy that we are not consumed. And again,
Fourth Position. "God may punish his people dolefully, whom yet, for his nanie's fake, he will not del troy;" as in these instances just now recited. See Jer.
Fifth Position is, “ God may save a visible church, in many outward refpects, for the sake of his name, which he refulves to magnify, especially, in behalf of his invi. fible remnant among them, his hidden ones ;” la. i. 10. • Except the Lord of hofts bad left unto us a very small rennant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah.” Many are saved with a temporal salvation, for the sake of those whom Gudrefulves, for his name's sake to save with eternal salvation. Hence it is said, with respect to the day of outward calamity, that, for the elect's fake, these days shall be shortened. The wicked are more obliged to God's peo. ple than they are aware of. Hence,
Sixth Position is, “ That that falvation, wherein God's name is most concerned, is falvation in Christ Jesus to eternal life;" wherein lie brings finners from darkness. to light, and from the power of Satan unto God; from death to life ; from a hell of fin and misery to a heaven of holiness and happiness.--~Having proposed these things fhortly for clearing the text and doctrine in the general; before I proceed to the particular parts thereof, I Thall,
2dly, Prove the doctrine by scripture instances; Ezek. xx. 8, 9. Read 1 Sam. xii. 22. Ila. xlviii. 22. 25. Confider, for this purpose, God's promises; such as, Isa. xlviii. 3, 9. II. His people's prayers; such as, Jer. xiv. 7. But an induction of particulars, to this: purpose, may afterwards occur for the confirmation.
Now having premised fome things, and confirmed the doctrine, the method may be as follows,
I. To enquire what is that name of God, for the sake of which he faves.'