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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 k. It cannot oblige to Sin, but in any Thing not finful, being taken, it

binds unto his eldest servant of his house, swell. Neh. s. 12. Then said they that ruled over all that he had, Put, We will restore them and will require I pray thee, thy hand under my nothing of them; so will we do as thigh; v. 3. And I will make thee thou sayest. Then I called the priests, fwear by the Lord, the God of hea, and took an oath of them, that they ven and the God of the earth, that should do according to this promise, thou shalt not take a wife unto my Exod: 22. 7. If a man shall deliver fon, of the daughters of the Cana- unto his neighbour money or stuff anites, amongst whom I dwell. vas. to keep, and it be stolen out of the And the servant said unto him, Per- mans house; if the thief be found, adventure the woman will not be let him pay double.

v. 8. 'If the willing to follow me unto this land: thief be not found, then the master must I needs bring thy son again un= of the house shall be brought unto to the land from whence thou cam- the judges, to see whether he have put eft: v, 6. And Abraham said un- his hand unto his neighbours goods. to him, Beware thou, that thou bring v. 9. For all manner of trespass, not my son thither again. V.8. And whether it be for ox, for ass, for sleep, if the woman will not be willing to for rayment, or for any manner of follow thee, then thou shalt be clear loft thing, which another challenfrom this my oath : only bring not geth to be his:the cause of both parmy son thither again. v. 9. And ties shall come before the judges; the servant put his hand under the and whom the judges shall conthigh of Abraham his master, and dema, he shall pay double unto his fware to him concerning that mat- neig 1.0.10.If a man deliver un

to his neighbour an ass, or an ox, Num. 5. 19. And the priest shall or a sheep, or any beast to keep; and charge her by an oáth, and fay unto it die, or be hurt, or driven away, the woman, if no man have lien no man seeing it, v. ir. Then shall with thee, and if thou hast not gone the oath of the Lord be between aside to uncleanness, with another them both, that he hath not put his inftead of thy husband, be thou free hand unto his neighbours goods ; from this bitter water that causeth and the owner of it shall accept there the curse. v. 21. Then the priest of, and he shall not make it good. hall charge the woman with an oath IV. k Jer. 4. 2. [ See letter 8] Psalm of curling, and the priest shall say 24. 4. He that hath clean hands, unto the woman, The Lord make and a pure heart ; who hath not life thee a curse and an oath among the up his

soul unto vanity, nor sworn people, when the Lord doch make deceitfully. thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to

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binds to Performance, although to a Man's own Hurt'. Nor is it to be violated, although made to Hereticks 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",

VI. It ! y Sam. 25. 22. So and more also he hath broken,even it will Içecomdo God unto the enemies of David, pense upon his own head. Jolb. 9. if I leave of all that pertain to him 18. And the children of Israel smote, by the morning light, any that pis-'them not, because the princes of the seth against the wall. . 32. And congregation had sworn unto them, David said unto Abigail, Blessed be by the Lord God of Israel ; and all the Lord God of Israel, which sent the congregation murmured againft

. thee this day to meet me; V. 33. the princes. v. 19. But all the prins And blessed bethy advice, and bles- ces said unto all the congregation, sed be thou, which haft kept me this We have sworn unto them by the day from coming to shed blood, and Lord God of Israel: now therefore, from avenging my self with mine we may not touch them. With 2 Sam. own hand.

0 34. For in very 21. 1. Then there was a famine in deed, as the Lord God of Israel li- the days of David, three years, year veth, which hath kept me back from after year; and David enquired of hurting thee, except thou hadstha- the Lord. And the Lord answered, fted and come to meet me, surely It is for Saul and his bloody houte, there had not been left unto Nabal, because he New the Gibeonites. by the morning light, any that pif V. * Ifai. 19. 21. And the Lord seth against the wall. Psalm 15. 4. shall be known to Egypt, and the In whose eyes, a vilc pesson is con- Egyptians shall know the Lord in temned; but he honoureth them that day, and shall do facrifice and that fearthe Lord: he that sweareth oblation, yea, they shall vow a vow to his own hurt, and changeth not. unto the Lord, and perform it.

m Ezek. 17. 16. As I live, faith Eccl. s. 4. When thou voweft a vow the Lord God, Surely in this place unto God, defer not to pay it : for where the king dwelleth, that made he hath no pleasure in fools ; pay him king, whose oath he despised, that which thou hast vowed. vis; and whose covenant he brake, even better is it that thou shouldest not with him, in the midst of Babylon vow, than that thou shouldeft vow, he shall die. v. 18. Seeing he de- and not pay.

v. 6. Suffer nor thy Spised the oath, by breaking of the mouth to cause thy flesh to fin, neicovenant (when lo he had given ther say thou before the angel, that his hand) and hath done all these it was an error : wherefore should things, he shall not escape. v. 19. God be angry at thy voice, and deTherefore thus faith the Lord God, Atroy the work of thine hands : Psal.

As I live, surely mine oath that he 61.8. Șo will I ling praise unto thy bath despised, and my covenant that

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the Lord thy God will surely require unto the mighty God of Jacob. v. 3,

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 Thankfulnels for Mercy received, or for the obtaining of what we want: 'whereby we more striąly bind our felves to necessary Duties; or to other Things, so far and so long as they may fitly conduce thereunto P,

VII. No name for ever, that I may daily per- bear to vow, it shall be no lin in form my vows. Pfal. 66. 13. I will thee. v. 23. That which is gone go into thy house with burnt-offer- out of thy lips, thou shalt keep and ings:I will pay thee my vows, v.14. perform ; even a free-will offering, Which my' lips have uttered, and according as thou hast vowed unto my mouth håth spoken when I was the Lord thy God, which thou haft

promised with thy mouth. Pfal. VI. Psal. 76. 11. Vow, and pay so. 14. Offer unto God thanksgiinto the Lord your God;let all that ving, and pay thý vows unto the be round about him bring presents' mott high. Gen. 28. 20. And Jaunto him that ought to be feared. cob vowed a vow, saying, If God fer: 44.25. Thus faith the Lord of will be with me, and will keep me hofts the God of Israel, saying, Yę in this way that I go, and will give and your wives have both spoken me bread to eat, and raiment to with your mouths, and fulfilled put on; v. 21. So that I come again with

your hand, saying, We will to my fathers house in peace: then furely perform our vows that we shall the Lord be my God. have vowed, to burn incense to the And this stone, which I have set for queen of heaven, and to pour our a pillar, shall be Gods house: and

unto her : ye will of all that thou shalt give me, I will Surely accomplish your vows, and fürely give the tenth unto thee. futely perform your vows. v. 26. 1 Sam. 1.11. And the vowed a vow, Therefore, hear ye the word of the and said, O Lord of hosts, ifthou Lord, all Judah that dwell in the wilt indeed look on the affli&ion land of Egypt, Behold, I have sworn ofthine handmaid, and remember by my great name, faith the Lord, me, and not forget thine handthat my name shall no more be maid, but will give unto thinc handnamed in the mouth of any man maid a man-child, then will I give of Judah, in all the land of Egypt, him unto the Lord all the days of saying, The Lord God liveth. his life, and there shall no razor

Deut. 23.21. When thou shalt come upon his head. Psal. 66. 13, row a vow unto the Lord thy God, 14. [ See letter n. ] Pfal. 132. 2. How thou shalt not flack to pay it : for he fware unto the Lord, and vowed of thce ; and it would be fin in Surely I will not come into the taV, 22. But if thou shalt for- ;

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v. 22.

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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 refpe&, Popish Monastical Vows of

perpe. tual single Life, professed Poverty, and regular Obedience, are so far from being Degrees of higher Perfeaion, that they are superstitious and sinful Snares, in which no Christian may intangle himself".

СНАР. bernacle of my house, nor go up them void on the day he heard them into my bed: 0.4. I will not give then whatsoever proceeded out ofher, fcep to my eyes, or llumber to lips, concerning her vows, or conmine eye-lids, v. s. Until I find cerning the bond of her foul, thall out a place for the Lord, an habi- not stand: her husband hath made tation for the mighty God of Jacob. them void, and the Lord lhall for

VII. ? Aits 23. 12. And when give her. v. 13. Every vow, and it was day, certain of the Jews ban, every binding oath to affia the ded together, and bound themselves soul, her husband may establish it, under a curse, saying, That they or her husband may make it void. would neither eat nor drink, till * Matth. 19. 11. But he said unto they had killed Paul. v, 14. And them, All men cannot receive this they came to the chief

priests and el- saying, save they to whom it is given, ders, and said, We have bound our v. 12. Forthere are some eunuchs, selves under a great, curse, that we which were so born from their mowill eat nothing until we have flain thers womb: and there are some cuPaul. Mark 6. 26, And the king nuchs, which were made eunuchs of was exceeding sorry,yet for his oaths men: and there be eunuchs, which sake, and for their fakes which fat have made themselves eunuchs for with him, he would not reject her, the kingdom of heavens sake: He Num. 30. s. But if her father dis- that is able to receive it, let him reallow her in the day that he heareth; ceive it. I Cor. 7. 2. Nevertheless, not any of her vows or of her bonds to avoid fornication, let every man wherewith the hath bound her soul, have his own wife, and let every wo. shall stand: and the Lord shall for- man have her own husband. V. g. give her, because her father disal- But if they cannot contain, let them lowed her. v. 8. But if her husband marry: for it is better to marry than disallow her on the day that he to burn. Eph. 4. 28. Let him that heard it ; then he shall make her vow stole, steal no more; but rather let which he yowed, and that which she him labour, working with his hands uttered with her lips, wherewith fhe the thing which is good, that he may bound her soul, of none effe&: and have to give to him that needeth. the Lord shall forgive her. v. 12. But 1 Pet. 4. 2. That he no longer ihould if her husband hath utterly made

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C H H P. 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 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 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 Piery, Justice, and Peace, ac, cording to the wholesome Laws of each commonwealthc; fo for that End they may lawfully, now

under live the rest of his time in the Aesh, your felves to every ordinance of to the lufts of men, but to the will man for the Lords sake: whether it of God. I Cor. 7.23. Yeare bought be to the king as supreme; v.14. Or with a price, be not ye the servants unto governours, as unto them that

are sent by him, for the punishment 1. * Rom. 13. 1, Let every soul of evil-doers, and forthe praise of be fubje&t unto the higher powers. them that do well. For there is no power but of God:

11. b Prov, 8. IS. By' me kings the powers that be, are ordained of reign, and princes decree justice. God. v. 2. Whosoever therefore v. 16. By me princes rulē, and nozelifterh the power, resisteth the or- bles, even all the judges of the earth. dinance of God: and they that re- 'Rom. 13. 1, 2, 4. (See in letter *. ] fiftyshall receive to themselves dam < Psalm 2. 10. Be wise now there.

v. 3. For rulers are not a fore, Oye kings: be instructed, ye terrorto good works, but to the e- judges of the earth. v. 11. Serve vil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the Lord with fear, and rejoice with the power ? do that which is good, trembling. V.12. Kiss the Son, left and thou shalt have praise of the he be angry, and ye perish from the fame: v. 4. For he is the minister way, when his wrath is kindled but of God to thee for good. But if a little : blessed are all they' that put thou do that which is evil, be afraid; their trust in him. I Tim. 2. 2. For for he beareth not the sword in vain: kings, and for all that are in authofor he is the minister of God, a re- rity, that we may lead a quiet and venger to execute wrath upon him peaceable life in all godliness and that doch evil, i Pet. 2:13. Submit honesty. Psalm 82. 3. Defend the

poor

of men.

nation.

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