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m and is to be continued to the end of the world, as the Christian Sabbath.n
VIII. This Sabbath is then kept holy unto the Lord, when men, after a due preparing of their hearts, and ordering of their common affairs before band, do not only observe an holy rest all the day, from their own works, words, and thoughts, about their worldly employments and recreations, but also are taken up the whole time in the public
m Rev. i. 10. I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet.
n Exod. xx. 8, 10. (See letter k.) With Mat. v. 17, 18. Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one title shall, in no wise, pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
VIII. o Exod. xx. 8. (See letter k.) Exod. xvi. 23, 25, 26, 29, 30. And he said unto them, This is that which the Lord hath said, Tomorrow is the rest of the Holy Sabbath unto the Lord : bake that which ye will bake to-day, and seeth that ye will seethe ; and that which remaineth over, lay up for you, to be kept until the morning. And Moses said, Eat that to-day; for to-day is a Sabbath unto the Lord: to-day ye shall not find it in the field. Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the Sabbath, in it there shall be
See, for that the Lord hath given you the Sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days: abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh-day. So the people rested on the seventh day. Exod. xxxi. 15, 16, 17. Six days may work be done, but in the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doth any work in the Sabbath-day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever : for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. Isa. lvii. 13. If thou turn away thy foot from the Sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words. Neh. xiii. 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22. In those days saw I in Judah, some treading wine-presses on the Sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath-day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals. There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the Sabbath, unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem. Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the Sabbath-day? Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel, by profaning the Sabbath. And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the Sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the Sabbath: and somo of my servants set I at the gates, that
and private exercises of his worship, and in the duties of necessity and mercy.P
A LAWFUL oath is a part of religious worship, wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing, solemnly calleth God to witness what he asserteth or promiseth, and to judge bim according to the truth or falsehood of what he swearetb.b
II. The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear, and therein it is to be used with all holy fear and severence :c therefore, to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious and dreadtul name, or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred.d Yet, as, in matiers of
there should no burden be brought in on the Sabbath-day. Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? If ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the Sabbath. And I commanded the Levites, that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates, to sanctify the Sabbath-day. Remember ine, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.
p Isa. lviii. 13. (See in lettee o.) Mat. xii. 1, to the 13th verse.
1. a Deut. x. 20. Thou shalt fear the Lord, thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name.
6 Exod. xx. 7. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain : for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Lev. xix. 12. And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the Lord. 2 Cor. i. 23. Moreover, I call God for a record upon my soul, that to spare you I came not as yet unto Corinth. 2 Chron. vi. 22, 23. If a man sin against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to make him swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house : then hear thou from heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, by requiting the wicked, by recompensing his way upon his own head; and by justifying the righteous, by giving him according to his righteous
II. c Deut. vi. 13. Thou shalt fear the Lord, thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.
d Exod. xx. 7. (See letter b.) Jer. v. 7. How shall I pardon thce for this ? thy children have forsaken me and sworn by them that are no gods: when I fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots' houses. Mat. v. 34, 37. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne.
But let your communication be, Yes, yea ; Nay,
weight and moment, an oath is warranted by the word of God, under the New Testament as well as under the Old ;e so a lawful oath being imposed by lawful authority, in such matters, ought to be taken.f
III. Whosoever taketh an oath, ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth.8 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.h Yet it is a sin to refuse an oath touching any thing that is good and just, being imposed by lawful authority.i
nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. James v. 12. But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay ; lest ye fall into condemnation.
e Heb. vi. 16. For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. 2 Cor. i. 23. (See letter b.) Isa. Ixv. 16. That he who blesseth himself in the earth, shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth, shall swear by the God of truth, because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.
f 1 Kings viii. 31. If any man trespass against his neighbour, and an oath be laid upon him to cause him to swear, and the oath come before thine altar in this house. Neh. xiii. 25. And I contended with them, and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their hair, and made them swear by God, saying, Ye shall not give your daughters unto their sons, nor take their daughters unto your sons, or for yourselves. Ezra x. 5. Then arose Ezra, and made the chief priests, the Levites, and all Israel to swear, that they should do according to this word: and they sware.
III. g Exod. xx. 7. (See letter b.) Jer. iv. 2. And thou shalt swear The Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.
h Gen. xxiv. 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh : and I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell. And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land : must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest ? And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou, that thou bring not my son thither again. And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath : only bring not my son thither again. And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter.
i Numb. v. 19, 21. And the priest shall charge her by an oath, and say unto the woman, If no man have lien with thee, and if thou hast not gone aside to uncleanness with another instead of thy husband, be thou free from this bitter water that causeth the curse. Then the
IV. An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reser. vation.k It cannot oblige to sin ; but in any thing not sin. ful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man's own hurt ;l nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics or infidels.m
priest shall charge the woman with an oath of cursing, and the priest shall say unto the woman, The Lord make thee a curse, and an oatlı among the people, when the Lord doth make thy thigh to rot, and thy belly to swell. Neh. v. 12. Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them that they should do according to this promise. Exod. xxii. 7 to 11. If a man shall deliver anto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, let him pay double. If tlie thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hands unto his neighbour's goods. For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his; the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour. If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast to keep, and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it; then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods : and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.
IV. k Jer. iv. 2. (See letter g.) Psal. xxiv. 4. He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart : who hath not lift up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
11 Sam. xxv. 22, 32, 33, 34. So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him, by the morning. light, any that pisseth against the wall. And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: and blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Na. bal, by the morning-light, any that pisseth against the wall. Psal. xv. 4. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned: but he honoureth them that fear the Lord: he that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
m Ezek. xvii. 16, 18, 19. As I live, saith the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him, in the midst of Babylon he shall die. Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, (when lo, he had given his hand,) and hath done all these things, he shall not escape. Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, As I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompense upon his own head. Josh. ix. 18, 19. And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn unto them by the 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 wiid 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 voJuotarily, out of faith, and conscience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or tor 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 titly conduce thereunto P Lord, God of Israel; and all the congregation murmured against the princes. But all the princes said unto all the congregation, We have sworn unto them by the Lord, God of Israel : now, therefore, we may not touch them. With 2 Sam. xxi. 1. Then, there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, it is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.
V. n Isa. xix. 21. And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it. Eccl. v. 4, 5, 6. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it: for he hath no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldst not vow, than that thou shouldst vow, and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin, neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? Psal. Ixi. 8. Šo will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows, Psal. Ixvi. 13, 14. I will go into thy house with burnt-offerings : I will pay thee my vows, which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
VI. o Psal. lxxvi. 11. Vow, and pay unto the Lord, your God: Let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared. Jer. xliv. 25, 26. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows. Therefore, hear ye the word of the Lord, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt, Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith the Lord, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah, in all the land of Egypt, saying the Lord, God liveth.
p Deut. xxiii. 21, 22, 23. When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord, thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord, thy God, will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. That which is gone out of thy lips, thou shalt keep and perform; even a free willoffering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord, thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth. Psal. 1. 14. Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows unto the most High. Gen. xxviii. 20, 21, 22. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me