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לא תשכען דכל דבר ,is

והיה רבוכס כן כן אין אין וכל אשר יותר מאלח מרעהוא: ,Hebrew it is

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to perform to the Lord; yet now mark his doctrine, which he himself lays down and commands : • But I say unto you now, Swear not at ali' &c. Matth. v. 31. In the Hebrew language it ,

But let your communication be yea, yea, nay, nay; whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil;' In the

, :° And, for further proof, see how James lived in the same doctrine and practice, and held it forth to the twelve tribes, which was the Jews, who had the path of God, and was to swear in the time of the law; see his general epistle, in the fifth chapter, and also speaking, in the second chapter, of such as drove them before the judgment.seat; but, in the fifth chapter, this is his command :

Above all things, my brethren, swear not at all, neither by hea. ten, nor by the earth.' In the Greek it is, Προ παλων δε, αδελφοί με, μη όμνυείε , μήτε τον ερανόν, μήτε την γην. This you may call creatures, or made things; but mark, James goes further, and saith, μητε αλλον τα όρκου, nor by any other oath; but let your yea be yea, and your nay be nay, lest you fall into condemnation ;' ģtw δε υμών το ντι, ναι, και το ε, και ένα μη υπό κρίσιν σέσηλε.

Mark the danger now, and whether we have not ground enongh, in the fear of the Lord God, to obey Christ's commands, and the Apostle's Goctrine, “ lest we fall into condemnation and evil. We have set some words done in the Greek tongue, that those, it most concerns, may see the original; but the spirit is our's, and the commands of Christ, and the Apostle's doctrine, to be obeyed, in what tongue soever it be written in. But we would query the thing with any, Whether the Apostle James, who wrote to Jews, and not to Gentiles, did not write in the Hebrew tongue, and not in Greek? And, if so, then his words to them, in this particular, , , udvna son put pox? 13 13 02727 7707 nons. The pricks, points, and accents, and the plain and naked interpretation of the fiebrew words we have left for them, it most concerns, to add.

Secondly, As for all the scriptures, he brings against rash swearing and false swearing, it would rejoice our hearts to have the priests do that, and the magistrates punish it ; for a couple of rail. ing priests came the other day, and sware before our faces lightly and vainly, and justified it, when they had done. It would become magistrates, and them, better, if they did not suffer an oath to be heard in the towns, or markets, or alehonses, or streets, you that have power not to suffer those things; for you would have work enough to restrain such things, and such persons, and not to fall upon the innocent, which, in obedience to Christ's commands, and the Apostle's doctrine, cannot swear, for conscience sake. For imprisoning such emboldens people to swear; and, Would it not be better for people, and would yo not shew forth more christianity, to keep to yea and to nay, in all their com. munications, according to Christ's commands, and the Apostle's

Thirdly, There was bond, in the old time, by oth; but

doctrine?

YOL. VII.

Christ, he looses from the bonds, and brings to peace and liberty, and makes free, and saith, “Swear not at all;' and so, though we be in outward bonds, it is for Christ Jesus sake, and the word of God is not bound.

Fourthly, And though Moses sware in the time of the law, and Abraham's servants sware, yet Christ, the Son, saith, Swear not at all,' and we are to hear him in all things, the great Prophet.

Fifthly, And as for the ceremonies of the oaths, Christ is the substance of all ceremonies, that saith, Swear not at all.'

Sixthly, And, though David sware, he, that David called Lord, saith, “Swear not at all, and he is upon his throne.

Seventhly, And where he saith,' Thou shalt swear by the Lord, and swear, The Lord liveth, they were not to swear by them that were no Gods, nor creatures, nor by the earth, nor by heaven, or by the hand, or by Jerusalem ;' Now, what are the oaths that all Christendom swears, both papists and protestants ? Whether it be the oath that was amongst the Jews, and whether or no they practise the oath that they do now, and whether or no is that ce. remony now used ? If not, When did God alter it? Where about in scripture, and in what place of scripture is it, that he sets this way and ceremony of swearing in Christendom, both amongst papists and protestants, which is to swear by the book, and by the Evangelists? Is this beyond the Jews swearing, by the city, or by the head, or by the temple, which Christ forbid, and not only those oaths, but the oath of God, which the Jews was to swear by? Answer these things.

Eighthly, And as for Zedekiah's oath to Nebuchadnezzar, and Joseph's oath to Pharaoh, this was in the time that oaths were to be performed amongst the Jews and Patriarchs; and what is this to Christ's doctrine which forbids oaths, which oaths were before Christ came ?

Ninthly, And as for the oath of supremacy and the other, it is to acknowledge the king of England, and allegiance to him, which things hath been manifest and practised by us, but not by such as swore allegiance to the king's father, and swore the one way and the other way: And hast not thou, and many of you, taken the oath against him? And such as have sworn one while for him, and another while against him, How are they in allegiance to him that swears one way and another way? And cannot there be, in truth and faithfulness, allegiance to the king without swearing? For now, How should we stand in allegiance to Christ, if we did not obey his commands, the King of Kings Diabo ap? For he commands us not to swear, but keep to yea and nay; and one of his great ambassadors to nations, that went with his message to the twelve tribes, saith, “Above all things, my brethren, swear not at all, lest you fall into condemnation.'

Tenthly, There were two states of oaths ; the one was, that people was to perform to the Lord and swear; and the other was, that God sware by himself concerning his Son Christ Jesus, which, when he came who fulfilled God's oath, he ended the other oath,

and saith; "Swear not at all,' and calls the first oath the old time; he fulfilled the truth, and let them see how, in the time of the law, false oaths were forbidden in the old time, and heathenish oaths were forbidden in the time of the law, for they were not to swear by Baal, but they were to perform their oaths to the Lord, which Christ saith unto them, “Swoar not at all, and so he ended that oath ; so there are no oaths before the fall, and there are no oaths in the restoration again by Christ Jesus, but yea and nay, according to his doctrine; but amongst Moses and the Prophets, and in the old time before Moses and the Prophets, men did swear, as Abraham and Isaac, &c. But he, the great Prophet, is come, that is to be heard in all things, and he, the oath of God, Christ Jesus, stands and remains.

Eleventhly, The Apostles speaking to the Hebrews, swearing by a greater, which was an end of controversy and strife amongst them, he brought this as a similitude, not that the Hebrews should wear, for, if he had, he had contradicted James, which wrote to the twelve tribes his doctrine to them, which were Hebrews; but he brought it as a similitude, that the oath, which men sware by the greater, ended strife; but God, not finding a greater than himself, he sware concerning his Son, which is Christ, who ends the strife, who destroys the devil and his works, the author of strife ; for the oath, in the time of the law, ended the strife ; but we see oaths, now-a-days, begins it; and why? The matter is, because in Christ Jesus men do not live, who is the Peace and God's oath.

Twelfthly, Whereas the bishop saith, That they hold in Divi. nity, that to swear, of and by itself considered, is an act forbid. den no less than to kill, &c.

Answer, In the time of the law they killed and swore; but Christ saith, “Swear not at all ;' and also, he saith, ' Love enemies ;' And how do these agree to kill and to love enemics, and love one another: “ And if one strike thee on the one chcek, turn the other to him.'

And this paralleling the magistrates executing justice upon ma. lefactors; as, “ He that sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed again ;' Is not a paralleling with Christ's doctrine, who saith, “Swear not at all,' for that may be done by witnesses without oath, as thou mayest read the scriptures in the old time, when oaths were denied in the primitive time amongst the primitive christians, who were in Christ's doctrine, thou mayest read how they did things by witnesses; as the Apostle speaks, in the mouth of two or three witnesses, &c. Which place he instances of what was done in the time of the law, which was a statute of judgment amongst the Jews, "Whosoever killeth any person, the murtherer shall be put to death by the mouth of witnesses,' &c. But no oaths are mentioned here, Numb. xxxv. 30. with Heb. X. 28. read that throughout, and also Deut. xix. 15, and i Kings xxi. 10, &c. And many more scriptures might be alledged, which you, that have read scriptures, are not ignorant of.

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Now, for the practice amongst the saints, see Matt. xviii. 16. Christ, who bids them keep to yea and nay, in that place he lays down a practice to be used amongst them, in matter of fault and transgression, how it should be ended by two or three witnesses ; read the words, ' That in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established:' And what, Dost thou think that he wonld order them to swear, who had once forbidden it? And read the viith chap. of John and 17th ver. and we do not find, that the witnesses against Christ that he should speak blasphemy, Matt. xxvi. 65, that they did swear; and also you may see in Acts vi. 11, 12, 13, how they, that were hired against Stephen, no men. tion is made of their swearing: Moreover, you may see in 2 Cor. xiii. 1. the speech of the Apostle amongst the Saints, how he tells them of his coming unto them in the mouth of two or three wit. nesses ; he doth not tell, that he is coming to them with oaths in their mouths ; Mark, the Apostle was an elder, and had care of the churches. And again, the Apostle that writes to Timothy, a bishop, and overscer of the church::s, saith he,' Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.'Now he doth not say, Before two or three men that swcars, for, if he had, he would have contradicted Christ's doctrine and James ; i Tim. v. 19, and 2 Tim. ii. saith the Apostle to Timothy, the bishop, "The things that thou hast heard of me amongst many wit. nesses, the same commit to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also.' Now he received this by witnesses, not by oath, and he was to commit it, and not by oaths: And were not these the things that the whole church came to be ordered by ? And this was amongst the christians in the primitive times when oaths were ended; and many more things might be alledged, which were too tedious for you to read.

Thirteenthly, And whereas he brings that objection of the anabaptists, which is, that it standeth not with christian profession, but was tolerated as an imperfect thing under the law.

Answer. Which objection of theirs we do not own, as we do not own the bishop for swearing; for it was the way of the Lord, and the way of the Lord was perfect, and the commandment for swearing was good in itself, until the time of Christ, who is perfect, that ends the law, and people must live in him, Christ Jesus, and walk in him that saith, Swear not at all,' that ends the oath, and is the oath of God: Dost thou not read of a people in the Galatians and Romans, that was turned back into the law, from the law of the Spirit; and the Apostle told them, “He that broke one point was guilty of all,' and he brought them to the law of love which fulfilled the law.

Fourteenthly, And as for all the scriptures, the bishop brings to prove that the christians sware in the primitive time, they are nothing to the purpose, though the bishop say, that Christ admits of some swearing, which both his own words, and the Apostle's, contradicts ; Christ's words are, Swear not at all;' and the Apos. tle's are, 'Above all things,' &c.-And so he goes on, and lets them

see what was in the law. Committing adultery was forbid under the law, but, in the time of Christ, looking upon a woman, and Justing after her, was committing adultery -- And he sets forth, in the justice of the law, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth;' and shews how that, in the time of the law, 'thou shalt not kill, and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of judgment; but I say unto you, that whosoever shall be angry with his brother without cause, shall be in danger of judgment;' and so he tells, both swearing and killing to be in the old time, and said, except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Hea.. ven.

Fifteenthly, And as to that of the apostle speaking in the 1 Thes. ii. God was his witness that he did not make covetoueness his cloak.

Answ. It were well if the priests could say so now; but this doth not prove that he swore, and there are many men that takes man to be his witness; and that is not an oath, surely, is it? Thou understands that: And if this were an oath, why do you, cast friends into prison?

Sixteenthly, And that of the Galatians, chapter i. 2. There is nothing in that place like unto an oath which he brings.

Seventeenthly, And as for the 9 Cor. iv. 23d verse, there are not so many verses in that chapter. And as for Ephesians the · 4th and the 15th, which he brings for Christians to swear, where. in he says we are bound at all times to speak truth to our neighbours.

Answ. He doth not say we are to swear truth at all times, but to speak it at all times.

Eighteenthly, And that which he brings in Acts xxiii. 3. How the apostle reproved the high priest, that caused him to be smitten contrary to law.

Answ. Here the apostle was preaching the gospel and Christ's doctrine to them, to the priests that had the law and outward things ; this was nothing to the purpose, that the apostle should swear, or that Christians should swear.-And in the 11th verse which he quotes. Answ. Those were the bad people that bound themselves with a curse, that they would neither eat nor drink till they had killed Paul that preached the gospel; this is nothing at all that Christians should swear.

Nineteenthly, We say there were heathens oaths, and Jews oaths, which were to swear by the Lord, which Christ calls the old time, which they were to perform, which oath Christ ends; and saith, “Swear not at all ;' for in the time of the law the Jews were to deny all false oaths, and heathenish oaths, and they were not to swear by Paul, but the true oath which Christ ends. And did not the Christians suffer in the primitive times, because they could not swear by the prosperity of Cæsar; and was not that oath then imposed upon them? And by the good fortune of thu

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