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 Samuel 12:22, “The Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3, “He restoreth my soul, he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness, for his name’s sake.” Psalm 31:3, “For thy name’s sake, lead me, and guide me.” Psalm 109:21, “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 2:12, “I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.” Psalm 25:11, “For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.” Psalm 79:9, “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.” Jeremiah 14:7, “O Lord, though our iniquities testify against us, do thou it for thy name’s sake.” …

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.”

Jonathan Edwards, WJE 1:112.


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