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An Immortal Name


. . . Hallowed be your name.

—Matthew 6:9

When we pray, “Hallowed be your name,” we put ourselves and our own conceits in their place, and God in his.


‘Hallowed be thy name,’ not ours. There seems to be a secret opposition between our name and the name of God. When we come to pray, we should distinctly remember whose name is to be glorified, that God may be at the end of every request. We beg of God many times, but we think of ourselves; our hearts run upon our own name, and upon our own esteem. How often do we come to him with a selfish aim, as if we would draw God into our own designs and purposes! None are so unfit to glorify God, and so unwelcome to him, as those that are so wedded and vehemently addicted to their own honour and esteem in the world. Therefore Christ, by way of distinction, by way of opposition to this innate disposition that is in us, he would have us to say, ’Hallowed be thy name.’ That which gives most honour to God is believing: Rom. iv. 19, 20, Abraham was ‘strong in faith, giving glory to God.’ Now, none so unfit for the work as they that seek glory for themselves: John v. 44, ‘How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? ‘Affectation of vainglory, or splendour of our own name, is a temper inconsistent with faith, which is the grace that gives honour to God. I say, when we hunt after respect from men, and make that the chiefest scope of our actions, God’s glory will certainly lie in the dust; when we are to suffer ignominy and abasement for his sake, the care of God’s glory will be laid aside. The great sin of the old world was this: Gen. xi. 4, ‘Let us make us a name.’ There are many conceits about that enterprise, what that people should aim at there in building so great and so vast a tower, before God confounded their tongues. . . . Moses gives the main reason there, that they might have an immortal name among posterity. But now see how ill they reckon that do reckon without God. Those that are so busy about their own name, how soon will God blast them! When in any action we do not seek glory to God, but ourselves, it is the ready way to be destroyed. This was the means to bury them in perpetual oblivion. Nebuchadnezzar, when he re-edified the city, Dan. iv. 30: ‘Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? ‘How doth God disappoint him, and turn him out among the beasts! Thus are we sure to be disappointed and blasted, when our hearts run altogether upon our own name. But now Christ saith thy name; when we are careful of that, this is the way to prosper.

—Thomas Manton, An Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer, The Works of Thomas Manton (Banner of Truth, 1993), 1:85.

Posted 2014·11·11 by David Kjos
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Posted in: An Exposition of the Lord’s Prayer · Prayer · Soli Deo Gloria · Thomas Manton · Works of Thomas Manton

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