Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Thir4 Commandment. .I ! 9 &condly, When we perform ~oly J?uties flightly, and without ~tt:cction, ~\'C then likewife take the Name of God m vam: and therefore all Hypocritical Services, all Battologies, and heartlefs lngeminations, arc ~a.in, and GocPs Name is not fandified, but abufed in them. For whatfoever we do m fuch a manner as 'we may be certain God wi\1 not accept, is done in vain: Now God will accept of no Performance which js not accompanied with the Heart, and filled with moft devout Affea:ious; and therefore they are performed in vain, and to no other effeCt, but to increafe our guilt and our Condemnation. Such Invocations arc bnt Scoffings of God; and all the motions of our Lips, without the correfpondent motion of our Hearts, is no ~etter than making Months at God. Thirdly, There is alfo another kind of prophaning the Name of God, and taking 3• it in va in, which is of a far higher and more heinous nature, and that is by unlaw~ ful Oaths and Execrations. . Now an O:tth in the general is a Confirmation of our Speeches, by calling in God to witnefs and attell: the Truth of them; called therefore by Tully a Religious Af- D< Off.<. firmation. And it is of two kinds, I. l• Affertory, and PromifiOry. The former, when we afiert that fuch a thing either hath been, or is: The latter, when we ingag~ that for the ~ture it fhall be_, and be tx:rformed by us: which Oath we do fu.ffiClently, and with a good Confctencc keep, tf we ufc our utmort indeavours to accomplifh what we have thus fworn, although the effect may be ~11peded by many invincible Obftacles intervening. Now becaufc a Spirit of Errour and Giddinefs bath fcizcd on fame Perfons, who ~hink that every Oath is unlawful, and the tak~ng of the holy and reverend Name of God in vain, and fo a violation of this Commandment; I fhall therefore briefly ll:ate tha,t much-controvertedQueftion, Whether ;tt any time, or in anycircumftances it be laV(ful fo.r a Chrifrian to alfume the Name of God in an Oath? And then I fhall proceed to OH:w you what Oaths arc unlawful, add ex.ecrable Sins. !,=for. the firft, 1 arfcrt, That an Oath. i~ fo far from being always qnful; that it _is · toweumes a Duty, yea, an AC\: of Reltg1on,. and part of the Scrv1ce and WorOup Q{ God; and thercfote not only lawful but necelfary. This we find Deut. 6. I3· Thou jh.zlt fear the Lml thy God, and {erve him, and Jl!alt [wear by hU name. Yea, the Pfalmift men,tious it as a matter of Exultation, as 1f fome notable Service were done by it unto God, Everj one that fweareth by him flJ41l glo~~· And if we confult the ap-P(al. 6~ ~ proved Ex:Huplcs ofh0ly Men in Scriptl.lre, we lha\l frequently find them either ex- u. acting Oaths from others, or elfe themfclves invoking the Tefrimony of the moft high God, to omfirm the Truth of what they fpeak; the places are too numerous to be cited, and too well known to need it: But bccaufe the great Cavil againft thefe, is that they are only Authorities produced out of the Old Tcftament, and we ate now obliged by the Precepts of a Superiour Law-giver, the Lord jefi.1s Chrift; theref~re, 1 .(ay, in anfwer, That th~ Objection argues too great a vilifying and contempt of thofe Sacted Oracles, whtch were given to the Church, by the hand of. Mo[es; and that things of a Moral nature, as an Oath is, cannot in one Age of the World be a Duty, and in another a Sin., when it is attended with the fame CircumItances. And yet farther, for their fatisfaction, let us fee whqt is fpokel t concerning Oaths in the New Teftament, or in the Old relating to it: In the Old we have a ·Prophefy of what fhould be hereafter in the t.imes of the Gofpel; !fa. 4)· 23 . 1 hnve fn,orn by my, [elf, the word i5 gope ~ut of my mouth in righteoufiufs, and fl1a/l not return, that 11pto me every lutee jha/J bow, and every tongue.Jha!l [wear. A11d again, Jcr. I 2 . 16• .And it jhall come. to pafs, if they will diLigentlj learn the ways of my Reopk, t() [wear by my name., then fl1all they_ be built in the midft of my people. But yet lf ·neither of thefe will fuffi.ce, let us fee fame more immediate confirmation of this out of the New Tefi:ament it felt: We find St. Paul himfelf more tha~ onre attefl)ng the truth of thofe grave and weighty Matters whic)l he delivers in hi• Ep)Jl:les, by callu1g God to wirnef,s, which is the very form and nature of an Oath: So 2 GJr. I. 23. I call God frJr <1 record 11pon my foul, that to fp,are you I came noJ; ao yet to O,rintb· And fo agai11 Phil. I. S. God Umy record, how_greatly_ I lung afteryou aft. And w)lat other than a kind of Oath is that vehement Alfeveration of the fame Apofrle, • CJ>r. •5· 31. I p•tcfl by )'OUt'