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OT at all in False, not at all in
Ordinary Matters. For that this Prohibition, as universal as it seems to be, extends no farther, I shall endea vour to evince,
2. From the Holy Scriptures.
4. From the Cuftom of the Jews, which
1. From the Nature of an Oath. Now (not to infift upon the Neceffity of an Oath ; that, considering the General Corruption of Mankind, Kingdoms and Bodies Politick cannot possibly sublift without it ; and that the Blessed Jesus came not to infringe, but to secure the Interests of Princes) an Qath is an ad of Religious Worship, a giving Glory to God, an open and solemn Acknowledgment of his moft Glorious Attributes. Thereby we declare our Belief of his Omnipresence : That He is in the Heavens and in the Earth, and in the Sea, and in all deep Places. We confess his Omniscience; that all things, even the Secrets of cur Hearts, are oaked and open unto the Eyes of Him with whom we have to do. We acknowledge bis Omnipotence : That he can avenge Himself of them, that Swear fall
. ly, and punish the Wrong-doer. And we glorify his Justice, that will by no means hold him guiltless, that taketh his Name in Vain. All this, I say, we do in the taking of an Oath. We extol and magnify the Perfections of our Ma. ker, and proclaim his Goodness and Greatness to all the World. Hence it is,
that he so severely commands the Jews
not to Swear by any other Name. Thon
make mention of the name of their Gods,
But cleave unto the Lord your God. And again, most vehemently by his Prophet (c) I
c) Chapsaiah, I have sworn by my felf, the word 45. v. 23.
is gone out of my Mouth in Righteousness, i and Mall not return, That unto me every
knee Mall bow, every tongue Mall swear. He would not have his Glory imparted to any Other ; would not suffer them to communicate any part of his Worship to them, that were no Gods. And there. fore when notwithstanding all these Prohibitions ) that disobedient and Gain saying People went a Whoring after other Gods, and Sware by their Names, he most passionately resented the Affront, and resolved to punish it with more than ordinary Severity. I will cut off, (d) says he, them that wor. Ship the Host
of Heaven upon the house-tops, (a)Zeph.I. and them that worship, and that swear by the 4. 5: Lord, and that swear by Malchon. And
Jer. 5. 7. How shall I pardon thee for this Thy Children have forsaken me, and Sworn by them that are no Gods. And again, Amos 8. 14. They that swear
the Sin O Dan, liveth, and the manner of Beerby 방
Samaria, and say, Thy God, sheba liveth ; even they shall fall, and never rise up again. But now if to Swear by any other Name but that of God him. self, was look'd upon by him as no less than Idolatry, then certainly to Swear by his own Name must be so far from being an Impiety, that 'tis (as I have faid) an Ad of Religious Worship, an Act well-pleasing and acceptable in his Sight, Honourable to himself, as well as Beneficial to Men, and consequently in some Cares not only Allowable, but highly commendable too. Which I shall attempt to manifest.
2. From the Holy Scriptures. They @Pfal.63. that swear by him shall be commended, (e)
says the Psalmist. And accordingly good Men have done it upon just Occa.
fions, in all Ages of the World. AbraOj Gen, ham caus'd his Servant to Swear to him.
Swear, (f) says he, by the Lord, the (8)660.26
. God of Heaven, and the God of the Earth. (6) Gch. (8) Isaac and Abimelech (5) Jacob and
Laban entred into Covenants by Oath.
Under the (i) Law God frequently re- (0) Exod. ci quired it of the Jews. And as for the Deut.6.13.
State of the Gospel, every Man, (as (k) 2.10.20. 5 St. Austin well observes against the Pela (1) Ep.89.
gians) who understands any thing of Tom. 2. the Nature of an Oath, must acknowledge, that we have (!). St. Paul for (_) 2 Cor. an Example. The God and Father of ki, 3,
. i. 8. our Lord Jesus Christ, says he, who is 2.Cor.1.23. *blessed for evermore, knowerb that I lye Gal. 1.26. not. And, God is
od is my Witness. And, I call God for a record upon my
Soul. And again, Behold, before God I lye not. Nay, Our Bleffed Lord himself is known to have done the same thing : That Obligation, which the High Priest at his Arraignment laid upon him to confess, whether he was the Christ, or not, and to which, after Silence to all other Questions, he immediately answer'd, being an usual and customary (m) Oath among the Jews. In fort, God him-Grot. & self and his Elect Angels have pradis'd Hammond. it. I heard the man cloathed in Linen, 26. v.63. says the Prophet (n) Daniel, which
(n) C. 12, was upou the waters of the River, when he v. 7 held
up his right hand and his left hand unto Heaven, and sware by him, that liv. etb for ever. And () St. John, The (o)RcY.10.