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he is fully persuaded is the truth. Neither may any man bind himself by oath to any thing but what is good and just, and what he believeth so to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform”. Yet it is a sin to refuse an oath touching any thing that is good and just, being imposed by lawful authority?

IV. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation. It cannot oblige to sin; but in any thing not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man's own hurt'; nor is it to be violated, although made to hereticks or infidels m.

III. & Exod. xx. 7. [See letter b.] Jer. both parties shall come before the judges ; iv. 2. And thou shalt swear, The Lord live and whom the judges shall condemn, he eth, in truth, in judgment, and in righte shall pay double unto his neighbour. Ver. ousness; and the nations shall bless them. 10. If a man deliver unto his neighbour selves in him, and in him shall they glory. an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast,

hGen. xxiv. 2. And Abraham said unto his to keep, and it die, or be hurt, or driven eldest servant of his house, that ruled over away, no man seeing it: Ver. 11. Then all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand shall an oath of the Lord be between them under my thigh; Ver. 3. Ånd I will make both, that he hath not put his hand unto thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, his neighbour's goods; and the owner of and the God of the earth, that thou shalt it shall accept thereof, and he shall not not take a wife unto my son of the daugh, make it good. ters of the Canaanites, among whom I IV. k Jer. iv. 2. (See letter g.] Psal. xxiv. 4. dwell. Ver. 5. And the servant said unto He that hath clean hands, and a pure him, Peradventure the woman will not be heart; who hath not lifted up his soul willing to follow me unto this land: must unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. I needs bring thy son again unto the land 11 Sam. xxv. 22. So and more also do from whence thou camest? Ver. 6. And God unto the enemies of David, if I leave Abraham said unto him, Beware thou of all that pertain to him, by the morningthat thou bring not my son thither again. light, any that pisseth against the wall. Ver. 8. And if the woman will not be Ver. 32. And David said to Abigail, Blessed willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee clear from this my oath: only bring not this day to meet me: Ver. 33. And blessed my son thither again. Ver. 9. And the be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which servant put his hand under the thigh of hast kept me this day from coming to shed Abraham his master, and sware to him blood, and from avenging myself with mine concerning that matter.

own hand. Ver. 34. For in very deed, as i Numb. v. 19. And the priest shall the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath charge her by an oath, and say unto the kept me back from hurting thee, except woman, If no man have lain with thee, thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, and if thou hast not gone aside to uns surely there had not been left unto Nabal, cleanness with another instead of thy hus- by the morning-light, any that pisseth band, be thou free from this bitter water against the wall. Psal. xv. 4. In whose that causeth the curse. Ver. 21. Then the eyes a vile person is contemned; but he priest shall charge the woman with an honoureth them that fear the Lord: he oath of cursing; and the priest shall say that sweareth to his own hurt, and changunto the woman, The Lord make thee a eth not. curse and an oath among thy people, m Ezek. xvii. 16. As I live, saith the Lord when the Lord doth make thy thigh to God, surely in the place where the king rot, and thy belly to swell. Neh. v. 12. dwelleth that made him king, whose oath Then said they, We will restore them, he despised, and whose covenant he brake, and will require nothing of them; so will even with him in the midst of Babylon he we do as thou sayest. Then I called the shall die. Ver. 18. Seeing he despised the priests, and took an oath of them, that oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, they should do according to this promise. he had given his hand, and hath done ali Exod. xxii. 7. If a man shall deliver unto these things, he shall not escape. Ver. 19. his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and Therefore thus saith the Lord God, As I it be stolen out of the man's house; if the live, surely mine oath that he hath des. thief be found, let him pay double. Ver. 8. pised, and my covenant that he hath If the thief be not found, then the master broken, even it will I recompense upon of the house shall be brought unto the his own head. Josh. ix. 18. And the chil. judges, to see whether he have put his dren of Israel smote them not, because hand unto his neighbour's goods. Ver. 9. the princes of the congregation had sworn For all manner of trespass, whether it be unto them by the Lord God of Israel. And for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or all the congregation murmured against for any manner of lost thing, which an. the princes. Ver. 19. But all the princes other challengeth to be his, the cause of said unto all the congregation, We 123

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.

VI. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone : 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 we 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 P.

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? In which respects, Popish monastical

sworn unto them by the Lord God of Is- not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God rael: now therefore we may not touch will surely require it of thee; and it would them. With 2 Sam. xxi. 1. Then there be sin in thee. Ver. 22. But if thou shalt was a famine in the days of David three forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. years, year after year; and David enquired Ver. 23. That which is gone out of thy lips of the Lord. And the Lord answered, It thou shalt keep and perform ; even a freeis for Saul, and for his bloody house, be- will-offering, according as thou hast vowcause he slew the Gibeonites.

ed unto the Lord thy God, which thou V. n Isa. xix. 21. And the Lord shall be hast promised with thy mouth. Psal. 1. 14. known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy know the Lord in that day, and shall do vows unto the most High. Gen. xxviii. 20. sacrifice and oblation ; yea, they shall vow And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God a vow unto the Lori, and perform it will be with me, and will keep me in this Eccl. v. 4. When thou vowest a vow unto way that I go, and will give me liread to God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no eat, and raiment to put on, Ver. 21. So pleasure in fools: pay that which thou that I come again to my father's house in hast vowed. Ver. 5. Better is it that thou peace, then shall the Lord be my God: shouldest not vow, than that thou should- Ver. 2.2. And this stone, which I have set est vow and not pay Ver. 6. Suffer nut for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; nei. all that thou shalt give me, I will surely ther say thou before the angel, that it was give the tenth unto thee. 1 Sam. i. 11. an error: wherefore should God be angry And she vowed a vow, and sail, O Lord of at thy roice, and destroy the work of thine hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the afhands? Psal. Ixi. 8. So will I sing praise fiiction of thine lanılmaid, and remember unto thy name for ever, that I may daily me, and not forget thine handmaid, tut perform my vows. Psal. Ixvi. 13. I will go wilt give unto tbine landmaid a maninto thy house with burnt-offerings; I will child, then I will give him unto the Lord pay thee my vows, Ver. 14. Which my lips all the days of his life, and there shall no have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, razor come upon his head. Psal. lxvi. 13, when I was in trouble.

14. lettejn] Psal. cxxx Ilow he VI. o Psal. lxxvi. 11. Vow, and pay unto sware unto the Lord, and vowed into the the Lord your God: let all that be round mighty God of Jacob; Ver. 3. Surely I about him bring presents unto him that will not come into the tabernacle of iny ought to be feared. Jer. xliv. 25. Thus house, nor go up into my bed; Ver. 4. I saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, will not give sleepi to mine eyes, or slumber saying, Ye and your wives have both spok- to mine eyelids, Ver. 5. Until I find out a en with your mouths, and fulfilled with place for the Lord, an habitation for the your hand, saying, We will surely perform mighty God of Jacob. our vows that we have vowed, to burn in- VII. 9 Acts xxiii. 12. And when it was conse to the queen of heaven, and to pour day, certain of the Jews banded together, out drink-offerings unto her: ye will sure- and bound themselves under a curse, sayly accomplish your vows, and surely per- ing that they would neither eat nor drink form your vows. Ver. 26. Therefore hear till they hail killed Paul. Ver. 1t. And ve the word of the Lord, all Judah that they came to the chieť priests and ellers,

well in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have and said, We hare bound ourselves under sworn by my great name, saith the Lord, a great curse, that we will eat nothing that my name shall no more be named in until we have slain Paul. Mark vi. 26.

mouth of any man of Judah in all the And the king was execeilin sorry; yet for land of Egypt, saying, The Lord God liv- his oath's sake, and for their sales which eth.

sat with him, lie would not reject her. p Deut. xxiii. 21. When thou shalt rot Num. XXX. 5. But if her father disallow 9 vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt her in the day that he heareth ; not any of

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 entanglo hiinself".

CHAP. XXIII. Of the Civil Magistrate. OD, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained

civil magistrates to be under him over the people, for his own glory, and the publick good; and, to this end, hath arined 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 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 wholesome laws of each commonwealth C; so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasions d. her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she ordained of God. Ver. 2. Whosoever therehath bound her soul, shall stand; and the fore resisteth the power, resisteth the orLord shall forgive her, because her father dinance of God; and they that resist shali disallowed her. Ver. 8. But if her husband receive to themselves damnation. Ver. 3. disallowed her on the day that he heard For rulers are not a terror to good works, it; then he shall make her vow which she but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be vowed, and that which she uttered with afraid of the power? Do that which is her lips, wherewith she bound her soul, of good, and thou shalt have praise of the none effect; and the Lord shall forgive same: Ver. 4. For he is the minister of her. Ver. 12. But if her husband hath God to thee for gooi). But if thou do that utterly made them void on the day he which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth heard them : then whatsoever proceeded not the sword in vain: for he is the minisvut of her lips concerning her vows, or ter of God, a revenger to execute wrath concerning the bond of her soul, shall not upon him that doeth evil. 1 Pet. ii. 13. stand: her husband hath made them void; Submit yourselves to every ordinance of and the Lord shall forgive her. Ver. 13. man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to Every vow, and every binding oath to the king, as supreme; Ver. 14. Or unto afflict the soul, her husband may establish governors, as unto them that are sent by it, or her husband may make it void. him for the punishment of evil-doers, and

r Mat. xix. 11. But he said unto them, for the praise of them that do well. All men cannot receive this saying, save II. b Prov. viii. 15. By me kings reign, they to whom it is given. F'er. 12. For and princes decree justice. Ver. 16. By there are some eunuchs, which were so me princes rule, and nobles, even all the born from their mother's womb; and there judges of the earth. Rom. xiii. 1, 2, 4. [Sce are some eunuchs, which were made eu- in letter a.) puchs of men, and there be eunuchs, c Psal. ii. 10. Be wise now therefore, O which have made themselves eunuchs for ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is earth. Ver. 11. Serve the Lord with fear, able to receive it, let him receive it. 1 Cor. and rejoice with trembling. Ver. 12. Kiss vii. 2. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, the Son, lest he be angry, and ye peris'? let every man have his own wife, and let from the way, when his wrath is kindled every woman have her own husband. Ver. but a little. Blessed are all they that put 9. But if they cannot contain, let them their trust in him. 1. Tim. ii. 2. For kings, marry: for it is better to inarry than to and for all that are in authority; that we burn. Eph. iv. 28. Let him that stole steal may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all no more: but rather let him labour, work- godliness and honesty. Psal. lxxxii. 3. ing with his hands the thing which is good, Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice that he may have to give to him that needs to the afflicted and needy. Ver. 4. Deliver eth. 1 Pet. iv. 2. That he no longer should the poor and needy: rid them out of the live the rest of his time in the flesh to the hand of the wicked. 2 Sam. xxiii. 3. The lusts of men, but to the will of God. 1 Cor. God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake vji. 23. Ye are bought with a price: be not to me, le that ruleth over men must be ye the servants of men.

just, ruling in the fear of God, 1 Pet. ii. 13. I. a Rom. xiii. 1. Let every soul be subject (See in letter a.) unto the higher powers. For there is no d Luke ii. 11. And the soldiers likewise power but of God: the powers that be are demanded of him, saying, And what shall III. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heavene : yet he hath authority, and it his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed. For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to we do? And he said unto them, Do violence a man so account of us as of the ministers to no man, neither accuse any falsely, and of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of be content with your wages. Rom. xiii. 4. God. Ver. 2. Moreover, it is required in [See letter a.) Mat. viii. 9. For I am a man stewards, that a man be found faithful. under authority, having soldiers under Rom. x. 15. And how shall they preach exme: and I say to this man, Go, and he cept they be sent! as it is written, How goeth; and to another, Coine, and he beautiful are the feet of them that preach cometh ; and to my servant, Do this, and the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings he doeth it. Ver. 10. When Jesus heard it, of good things! Heb. v. 4. And no man he marvelled, and said to them that taketh this honour unto himself, but he followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not that is called of God, as was Aaron. found so great faith, no, not in Israel. f Isa. xlix. 23. And kings shall be thy Acts x. 1. There was a certain man in nursing-fathers, and their queens thy Cesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of nursing-mothers: they shall bow down to the band called the Italian band, Ver. 2. thee with their face toward the earth, and A devout man, and one that feared God lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou with all his house, which gave much alms shalt know that I am the Lord: for they to the people, and prayed to God alway. shall not be ashamed that wait for me. Rev. xvii. 14. These shall make war with Psal. cxxii. 9. Because of the house of the the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome Lord our God I will seek thy good. Ezra them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of vii. 23. Whatsoever is commanded by the kings; and they that are with him are God of heaven, let it be diligently done for called, and chosen, and faithful. Ver. 16. the house of the God of heaven: for why And the ten horns which thou sawest upon should there be wrath against the realm the beast, these shall hate the whore, and of the king and his sons ? Ver. 25. And shall make her desolate and naked, and thou, Ezra, after the wisdom of thy God shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. that is in thine hand, set magistrates and

III. e 2 Chron. xxvi. 18. And they with- judges, which may judge ali the people stood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, that are beyond the river, all such as know It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to the laws of thy God; and teach ye them burn incense unto the Lord, but to the that know thein not. Ver. 26. And whosopriests the sons of Aaron, that are conse- ever will not do the law of thy God, and crated to burn incense: go out of the sanc- the law of the king, let judgment be tuary; for thou hast trespassed: neither executed speedily upon him, whether it be shall it be for thine honour from the Lord unto death, or to banishment, or to confis. God. With Matth. xviii

. 17. And if he shall cation of goods, or to imprisonment. Ver. neglect to hear them, tell it unto the 27. Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, church: but if he neglect to hear the which hath put such a thing as this in the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen king's heart, to beautify the house of the man and a publican. And Mat. xvi. 19. Lord which is in: Jerusalem; Ver. 28. And And I will give unto thee the keys of the hath extended mercy unto me before the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou king and his counsellors, and before all shalt bind on earth shall be bound in the king's mighty princes: and I was heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose strengthened as the hand of the Lord my on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 1 Cor. God was upon me; and I gathered toxii. 28. And God hath set some in the gether out of Israel chief men to go up church, first, apostles; secondarily, pro- with me. Lev. xxiv. 16. And he that blas. phets; thirdly, teachers; after thai mira. phemeth the name of the Loril, he shall cles; then gifts of healings, helps, govern. surely be put to death, and all the congre. ments, diversities of tongues. Ver. 29. Are gation shall certainly stone him: as well all apostles ? are all prophets ? are all the stranger, as he that is born in the land, teachers are all workers of miracles? when he blasphemeth the name of the Eph. iv. 11. And he gave some, apostles; Lord, shall be put to death. Deut. xiii. 5. and some, prophets; and some, evangel. And that prophet, or that dreamer of ists; and some, pastors and teachers; dreams, shall be put to death ; because he Ver. 12. For the perfecting of the saiuts, hath spoken to turn you away from the for the work of the ministry, for the edify. Lord your God, which brought you out of ing of the body of Christ. 1 Cor. iv. I. Let the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out

provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God 8.

IV. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates h, to honour their persons', to pay them tribute and other dues k, to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority for conscience' sake? Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrate's just and legal authority, nor free the people from their duo obedience to himm: from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted "; much less hath the Pope any power or jurisdiction over of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out the good. [2 Chron. Chapters xxix. and of the way which the Lord thy God com- xxx.) Matth. ii. 4. And when he had gathermanded thee to walk in : so shalt thou ed all the chief priests and scribes of the put the evil away from the midst of thee. people together, he demanded of thein Ver. 6. If thy brother, the son of thy where Christ should be born. Ver. 5. And mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Juwife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is dea: for thus it is written by the prophet. as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, iv. 1 Tim. ji. 1. I exhort therefore, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, inwhich thou hast not known, thou, nor thy tercessions, and giving of thanks, be made fathers. Ver. 12. If thou shalt hear say for all men ; Ver. 2. For kings, and for all in one of thy cities, which the Lord thy that are in authority; that we may lead a God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and &c. 2 Kings xviii. 4. He removed the high honesty. places, and brake the images, and cut il Pet. ii. 17. Ilonour all men. Love the down the groves, and brake in pieces the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. brasen serpent that Moses had made: for k Rom. xiii. 6. For, for this cause pay unto those days the children of Israel did ye tribute also: for they are God's minburn incense to it; and he called it Ne- isters, attending continually upon this hushtan. [1 Chron. xiii. 1. to the 9th Verse. very thing. Ver. 7. Render therefore to 2 Kings xxiii. 1. to the 26th Verse.] 2 Chron. all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is xxxiv. 33. And Josiah took away all the due; custom to whom custom ; fear to abominations out of all the countries that whom fear; honour to whom honour. pertained to the children of Israel, and I Rom. xiii. 5. Wherefore ye must needs made all that were present in Israel to be subject, not only for wrath, but also for serve, even to serve the Lord their God. conscience sake. Tit. iii. 1. Put them in And all his days they departed not froin mind to be subject to principalities and following the Lord, the God of their fathers. powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready 2 Chron. xv. 12. And they entered into a to every good work. covenant to seek the Lord God of their m 1 Pet. ii. 13. Submit yourselves to every fathers with all their heart, and with all ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: their soul; Ver. 13. That whosoever would whether it be to the king, as supreme; not seek the Lord God of Israel should be Ver. 14. Or unto governors, as unto them put to death, whether small or great, that are sent by him for the punishment whether man or woman.

of evil-doers, and for the praise of them & 2 Chron. xix. 8. Moreover, in Jerusalem that do well. Ver. 16. As free, and not did Jehoshaphat set of the Levites, and of using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousthe priests, and of the chief of the fathers ness, but as the servants of God. of Israel, for the judgment of the Lord, n Rom. xiii. 1. Let every soul be subject and for controversies, when they returned unto the higher powers. For there is no to Jerusalem. Ver. 9. And he charged power but of God: the powers that be are then, saying, Thus shall ye do in the fear ordained of God. 1 Kings ii. 35. And the of the Lord, faithfully, and with a perfect king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in heart. Ver. 10. And what cause soever his room over the host; and Zadok the shall come to you of your brethren that priest did the king put in the room 01 dwell in their cities, between blood and Abiathar. Acts xxv. 9. But Festus, willing blood, between law and commandinent, to do the Jews a pleasure, answered Paul, statutes and judgments, ye shall even warn and said, Wilt thou go up to Jerusalem, them that they trespass not against the and there be judged of these things before Lord, and so wrath come upon you, and me? Ver. 10. Then said Paul, I stand at upon your brethren: this do, and ye shall Cesar's judgment-seat, where I ought to be not trespass. Ver. 11. And, behold, Ama- judged: to the Jews have I done no wrong, riah the chief priest is over you in all as thou very well knowest. Ver. 11. For if I matters of the Lord; and Zebadiah the be an offender, or have committed anything son of Ishmael, the ruler of the house of worthy of death, I refuse not to die : but if Judah, for all the king's matters: also the there be none of these things whereof these Levites shall be officers before you. Deal accuse me, no man may deliver me unto courageously, and the Lord shall be with them. I appeal unto Cesar. 2 Pet. ii. 1. But

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