300. That the name of anyone means not his name alone but his every quality, is evident from the use of names in the spiritual world.
No man there retains the name he received in baptism, or that of his father or ancestry in the world; but everyone is there named according to his character, and angels are named according to their moral and spiritual life. Such are meant in these words of the Lord:
Jesus said, I am the Good Shepherd. The sheep hear His voice, and He calleth His own sheep by name and leadeth them out (John 10:11, 3).
Also in these words:
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis, that have not defiled their garments. He that overcometh, I will write upon him the name of the city New Jerusalem, and My new name (Apoc. 3:4, 12).
Gabriel and Michael are not the names of two persons in heaven, but by those names all in heaven who are in wisdom respecting the Lord, and who worship Him are meant. The names of persons and of places in the Word do not mean persons and places, but the things of the church. Nor in the natural world does a name mean the person's name only, but his character also, because this adheres to his name; for in common conversation it is customary to say, "This he does for the sake of his name," or "for the fame of his name," or "this man has a great name," meaning that he is celebrated, for such things as are in him, as for talents, erudition, merits, and so on. Who does not know that he who disparages and calumniates anyone in name, also disparages and calumniates the actions of his life? In idea the two are joined together, and the fame of his name is thus destroyed. In like manner one who utters the name of a king, a noble, or any great man, with great disrespect, also casts opprobrium upon his majesty and dignity. So again he who mentions the name of another in a tone of contempt, at the same time belittles the acts of his life. This is true of everyone. According to the laws of all kingdoms it is not lawful to sully and wound with slander anyone's name, that is, his character and consequent reputation.