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III. Whosoever taketh an oath, ought duly to consider the weightiness of fo folemn an act, and therein to avouch no. thing but what he is fully perswaded is the truth g: Neither may any man bind himself by oath to any thing but what is good and just, and what he believeth lo to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform h. Yet it is a sin to refule an oath touching any thing that is good and just, being imposed by lawful authority i. IV. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense
t r 1
III, g Exod.20.7.(See letter b.) priest shall charge the woman witte Jer. 1.
2. And thou shalt swear, an oath of curling, and the priest The Lord liveth in truth,in judge shall say untothewoman, The Lord ment, and in righteoulness, and make thee a curse and an oath athe nationsshallblessthemselves in mong the people, when the Lord him, and in him Thall they glory. doth make thy thigh to rot, and,
h Gen. 24.2. And Abraham faid thy belly to swell. Neh.5.12. Then unto his eldest servant of hishoule, said they, we will restore them, & thar ruledover all that he had, Put. will require nothing of them; fo I pray thee, thy hand under my will we do as thou layeft. Then I thigh v. z. And I will make thee called the priests and took an oath swear by the Lord,the Godof hea ofthem, that they should do accorven and the Godof the earth, that ding to this promise.Exod. 22.7. thoushalt not take a wife unto my If amanshalldeliverunto his neighson, of the daughters of the Cana- bour nioney or stuff to kee;',and if anites,amonglt whom, dwell.v.5. it be stolen out of the mans house; And theservant laidunto him,Per if the thief be found, let him pay adventure the woman will not be double. ?, 8. If the thief be not willingto followme unto this land: found, then the master of the house must I needs bring thy fon again shallbe brought unto the judges, to unto the land from whence thou see whether he have put his hand camelt? 7.6. And Abraham faid unto hisneighbours goods.":9 For unto him, Beware thou, that thou all mannerof trepals, whetheritbe bring not my sonthitheragain.7.8. forox forass,forsheep, for raiment, And if the woman will not be wil. or for any manner of lost thing, Jing to followthee, then thou shalt which anotherchallengethtobelis: be clear froin this my oath; only the causeof both parties shall come bringnotmyson thitheragain.c.9. before the judges; and whom the Andthe servant put his hand under judges shall condemn,he shall pay the thigh of Abraham his master, double unto his neighbour. ", 10. and sware to him concerning that If a man deliverunto hisneighbour matter,
ap als, or an ox,or alheep, or any i Num.5.19. And the priestshall beast to keep; and it die, or be charge her by an oath and lay un- þurt, or driven away, no man seeto the woman,if no man haye lien ing it,',!!. Then shall the oath of with thee, and if thou hast not the Lord be between them both, gone alide to uncleannels with a. that he hath not put his handunto nother instead of thy husband, bę his neighbours goods : and the thou free from thisbitterwaterthat owne: of it shall accept thereof, cauleth the curse, v.21, Then the and he hall not anake it good.
of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation k. It cannot oblige to sin; but in any thing not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, altho' to a man's own hurtl. Nor is it to be violated, altho'made to heretics or infidels m.
V. A vow is of the like nature, with a promissory oath, and ought to be made with the like religious care, and to be performed with the like faithfulness n.
IV.k Jer. 4. 2. (See letter g.) despised, and my covenant that he Plal. 24• 4. He that hath clean hath broken,even it will I recomhands, and a pure heart, who hath pense upon his own head. Josh.9. not lift up his loul unto vanity, 18.Andthe childrenof Israel smote nor sworn deceitfully.
themnot, because the princes of the 1 : Sam. 25. 22.So and more also congregation liadtwornunto them do God unto the enemies of David, by the Lord God of Israel:and all ifIleave ofall that pertainunto him, thecongregationmurmuredagainst by the morning light,any thatpil- the princes. v.19. But all the prinseth against the wall. v. 32. And ces said unto all the congregation, David said unto Abigail,Blessed be We have sworn unto them by the the Lord God of Israel, which fent LordGod of Israel: now therefore thee this day to meet me: v, 33. wemaynottouch them. With Sam, And blessed bythyadvice, and bles- 21. 1. Then there was a famine sed be thou that halt kept me this in the days of David,three years, day from coming to shed blood, year after year;& David enquired and from avenging myfelf with of the Lord. And the Lord answermine own hand. v.34. For in very ed, it is for Saul & his bloodyhouse, deed, as the Lord God of Israel li. becaule he slew the Gibeonites. veth, which hath kept me back Vin Ila. 19.21. And the Lord from hurting thee, except thou shall be known to Egypt, and the hadst halted and come to meet me, Egyptians shall know the Lord in firely there had not been left untó that day, and shall do facrifice and Nabal, by the morning light, any oblation, yea, they shall vow a vow that pilleth against the wall. Plal. unto the Lord, and perform it. 15.4. In whole eyes a vile person Eccl.5.4. When thouvowelt avow is contemned; but he honoureth unto God, defer not to pay it; for them that fear the Lord : He that he hath no pleasure in a fool; pay Iweareth to his own hurt, and that which thou halt vowed. 7.5. changeth not.
Better is it that thou shouldlt not m Ezek.17.16.Asl livesaith the vow, than that thou shouldlt vow LordGod, Surelyinthis placewhere and not pay, ". 6. Suffer not thy the king dwelleth that made him mouth to caule thy flesh to sin,neiking, whole oath he despised, and ther say thoubefore the angel, that whofecovenanthe brake,even with it was an error : wherefore should him, in the midst of Babylon he God be angryat thy voice;and deThall die, v. 18. Seeing he despised stroy the work of thine hand?Pfal. the oath, by breaking of thecove- ' 61.8. So will I fing praise unto thy nant (when lo he had given his name for ever, that I may dailyperhand & hath done all thele things form my vows.Psal,66. 13. I will hefhall notescape.o.19. Therefore gointo thy house with burnt-offer: thus faith the Lord God. As I ings:I will pay thee my vows.".14, live, surely mine oath that he hath Which my lips have uttered, and
VI. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone o: And, that it may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out of faith, and conscience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for the obtaining of what he want; whereby we more strictly bind ourselves to necessary duties, or to other things,so far and so long as they may fitly conduce thereunto
VII. No man may vow to do any thing forbidden in the word of God, or what would hinder any duty: therein commanded, or which is not in his own power, and for the performance whereof he hath no promise or ability from God 9.
my mouth hath spoken whenIwas promised with thy mouth. Praha in trouble.
50. 14. Offer unto God thanksgiVI.OPfal.76. II. Vow and pay ving, and pay thy vows unto the unto the Lord your God:let all that molt High. Gen, 28. 20. And Jabe round about him bring presents cob vowed a vow, saying, If God unto him that ought to be feared. will be with me,and I willkeep me Jer. 44:25. Thus faith the Lord of inthis way that I go, and will give holts, the God of Israel,taying, Ye me bread to eat, and raiment to and your wives have both spoken put on: v.21.So that! come again with your mouths, and fulfilled to my fathers house in peace:chen with your hand; Saying, We will shall the Lord be my God. v. 22. Jurely perforin our vows that we And this stone,which I have set for havevowed to burn incense to the a pillar, shall be Gods house; and queen of heaven, and to pour out of all that thoushall give me, I will drink-offerings unto her: ye will surely give the tenth unto 'thee. surely accomplish your vows, and
I Sam. 1.11.And shevowed a vow, surely perfom your vows.
v. 26. and said, O Lord of hosts, if thout Therefore, hear yethe word of the wilt indeed look on the afriction Lord,all Judab that dwell in the of thine handmaid,and remember landof Egypt, Behold, I have sworn me, and not forget thine handby my great name, faith the Lord, maid; butwill give unto thinehandthat my name shall no more bé maid a man child, then will I give named in the mouth of any man him unto the Lord all the days of of Judah,in all the land of Egypt, his life, and there shall no rafor faying, the Lord liveth.
come upon his head. Plal. 66. 13, p Deut.23.21. When thou shalt 14.(See letter n.)Pfal.132, 2. How vow a vow into the Lord thy God, he fware unto the lordand vorved thou shalt not flack to pay it: for unto the mighty God of Jacob.v.3. thel.ordthy Godwill surely require Surely I will notcome into the tait of thee; and it would be lin in bernancle of my house,nor go up thee, v, 22. But if thou shalt for: into my bed: v. 4. I will not give bear to vow, 'it shall be no fin in Neep to mine eyes or lluniber to thee. v. 23. That which is gone mine eye lids, v. 5. Until I find out of thy lips, thou shalt keep & olt a place for the Lord, an habiperform; even a freewill-offering, tation for themighty Godof Jacob. according as thou hast vowed unto VII. 9 Acts 23. 12. And when the Lord thy God, which thou hast itwas day,certain of the;ewsband.
in which respects, popish monaftical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may intangle himselfr,
CHAP. XXIII. Of the civil Magistrate.
people, for his own glory, and the public good; and, to this end, hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil-doers a.
II. It ded together, & bound themselves foul, her husband may establish it, under a curse, saying, That they or her husband may make it void. would neither et nor drink, till r Mat. 19. 11. But he said unto they had killed Paul, u. 14. And them, All men cannot receive this they came to the chief priests & el. laying, savetheytowhomitisgiven. ders,and said, We have bound our 7.12. Forthere are some eunuchs, selves under a great curse,that we which were foborn from their mos will eat nothinguntil we have slain thers womb; & there are some eu, Paul. Mark.6.26.And the king was nuchs,which were made eunuchsof exceeding sorry,yet for this oaths men: and there be eunuchs, which fake,ard for their fakes which fat have made themselves eunuchs for with him, he would not reject her. the kingdom of heavens fake: He Numb 30,5. But if her father dis- that is able to receive it,let himreallow herin theday thathe heareth ceive it. I Cor. 7.2. Nevertheless, notofanyofhervows,orofherbonds to avoid fornication let every man wherewith slie hathbound her loul, have his own wife,& let every woa shall stand: and the Lord shallfor- man have her own husband.. 9, give her, because herFather disal. But iftheycannot contain,let them lowed her.v.8.But if her husband marry for it is bettertomarry than disallow her on the day that he to burn. Eph. 4. 28. Let him that heardit; then he thall make hervow Atole,steal no more : but rather let which the vowed,&that which the him labour, working with hishands utteredwith herlips, wherewithshe the things whichisgoodthathemay bound her soul, of none effect:and have to give to him that needeth. the Lord fhallforgiveher,v.12.But i Pet.4.2,That heno longer should if her husband hath utterly made live the rest of his time in the flesh, them void on the day he heard to the lufts ofmen, but to the will them ; then whatfoever proceeded of God. I Cor.7.23. Ye are bought outotherlips, concerning hervows, with a price,benot ye the servants or concerning the bondof her foul, of men. shall not stand; her husband hath 1. a Rom. 13, 1, Let every foul
madethem void,and the Lurdshall be subject untothe higher powers. - forgive her, v, 13.Every vow,and For there is nopower but of God: every binding vath to aflict the the powers that be,are ordained of
II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto b: In the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice and peace, according to the wholsom laws of each commonwealth c; fo, for that end, they may lawfully, now under, the new testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasions d.
III. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the word and facraments, or the power
God. v. 2. Whosoever therefore honesty. Pfalm. 82. 3. Defend the resisteth thepower,refilteth the or• poor and fatherless : do justice to dinance of God: and they that re- the afflicted and needy. 0.4. Delist,shallreceiveto themselves dam- liver the poor and needy: rid them nation, v. 3. For rulers are not a. out of the hand of the wicked. terror to good works,but tothe e. 2Sam 23... The God of Israel said, vil. Wilt thou then not be afraidof the Rockof Israel spake to me, He the power? do that which is good, that ruleth over men must be just, and thou shalt have praise of the ruling in the fear of God. iPet. 2. fame : v. 4. For he is the minister 13.(lee in letter a.). of God to thee for good. But if d Luke 3. 14. And the soldiers thou do that which is evil,beafraid likewise demanded of him, faying, forhe beareth notthesword in vain: And what shall we do? And he said for he is the minister of God,a re. unto them, Do violence to no nian, venger, to execute wrathuponhim neither accuse any fally,&be conthat doth evil. 1 Pet.2.13. Submit tent with your wages. Rom.13.4: yourselves to every ordinance of (See letter a.)Mat. 8. 9. For I ain man for the Lords fake: whether aman under authority, having folit be to the king as supreme,v.14. diers under me: and I say to this Or unto governors, as unto them man, Go, and he goeth : and to athat are sent by him, for the pu- nother, Come, and he cometh : nishment of evil-doers, and forthe and to my servant Do this, and he praise of them that do well. doth it, v. 10. When Jesus heard
II. b Prov. 8. 15. By me kings it, he marvelled and laid to them reign, and princes decree justice. that followed, Verily, I say unto 7. 16: By me princes rule,and no- you, I have not found so great faith bles,even allthe judgesoftheearth. no not in Israel. Acts 10. 5. There Rom. 13. 1, 2.4. (See in letter a.) was a certain man in Cesarea,called
c Plal 2.10. Be wise now there. Cornelius, a centurion of the band fore, ye king: be instructed, ye called the Italian band, v, 2. A dejudges of the earth, v. II. Serve voutman,and one that feareth God the Lordwith fear,and rejoicewith withall hishouse,which gave much trembling 12. Kiss the Son, left alms to the people and prayed to he be angry, & ye perish from the God alway. Rev. 17. 14. These way, when hiswrath is kindled but shall make war with the Lamb,and a little, blessed arcall theythat put the Lamb shall overcome them:for their trust in-him. I Tim. 2.2. For he is Lord of lords, and King of kings.and for all thatare in autho kings;and they that are with him, rity, that we maylead a quiet and are called;& chofen, and faithful' peaceable life in all godliness and 0.16.And theten horns which thou