Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

120 .iln Expojition upon the )'OUr rejo)'cing whick I have in Chrift 1efHJ, I die daily. Afld again Rom:!9· t. I fay the truth in Chrifl, I lie not. And if you would yet 'ha:ve an Example fomcwbat more perfeCt, we may fee it in the practice. ofan h~ly Angel, Revel. To. 6., The angel flood upon tbe foa, and upon the earth, and lifted up hu .hitnd to heaven, and froear by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created hbaven and 'earth, and the thingJ in them, that there jhvuld be time no longer. So that you do abundantly fee by all thefe Inftances, that it is not fimply :md univerfall y unlawful to afH1me the holy Name of God in an Oath · and to call him in to be a Witnefs to the Truth of what we affirm. ' Theg:and ObjeClion t~at lies againft this, is tkken -'from two pfaces of Scripture; the one JS that of our Savrour, Matth. )· 34, 3)· But I fay unto you, Swear not at aft; 1Jeither by heaven, for it i& God's throne : nor by the earth, .for it U hia footftool: neither by 'Jerufalem, for it U the city ofthe great King. Neither jbalt thou [wear by thy head, bccaufe thou canft not make one hair whitt or black. But let you,r communication be Yea, ;•ea, Nay, nay: (or whatfoever U more than thU, comtth of evil. Can any thing.be more exprefs againfi: all manner of Oaths than this, where we have a cautious .Enumeration of many of them which were mort vulgar and common? The other place is that of· St. Jamu, Chap. 5· t 2 • .But above all things, my bretl~ren, [wear not, 11either by htaven, neither by the earth, m:ither by any other oath ; but let )'Our yt~t, be yea, midyour nay, nay ; left you fall into condmmatt'on. Can any thing be more exprefs, or more commanding than this, above all things, my brethren; and, Ltft you fall into condemrrationl . But for Anfwer to this, we mufi: know, that our Saviour and his. Apoftle, do not here limply and abfolntely condemn all Oaths, bnt only that common and profufe fivearing which the Scribes and Pharifees taught corruptly to be no fin : For in this point of Oaths they had divulged among the People three falfe Traditions. The one was, That it was lawful for them to fwear commonly, and without reftra.int, by any CrcaUlre. The other Was, That that was no binding Oath, wherein the Name ofGod was ~ot cxprefly ufcd; and therefore though they fhould fwear by Creatures, yet were they not perjtt,'fed, although they thould ndt perform whac they thus uttered; except fome few Cafes wherein lntereft made them confciencious. This we hav·eMatth. 23 . t6, 17, 18. Wo unto you ye blind guide;, wbich fay, Whofoever ]hall [wear by the temple, it U nothing: and whofoever ]hall [wear by the a!t.:tr, it U nothing. That is, they taught that fitch an Oath was not obligatory, becaufe it was only by Creawres. And yet even here they excepted fi1ch 0Jths as were conceived and uttered by the Gold of the Temple, or the Gifts on the Altar, out of a politick Covetonfncfs; that by fo great a reverence fhewn to the Gifts that ·were offer'd, the Poop\~ might be induced to ofl:h more freely, and by that means their !hare of them might be the larger. A third falfe Doctrine that they taught, was, That common fwearing was no fin, although it were by the great God, if what they fwear were true. And by this they gave fcope and liberty to confirm all that they faid whh an Oath, if they only took care to utter nothing that was falfe. · Now only againfi: thefe three corrupt TracHtions, are our Savim1r'sand the Apoftle's words diredcd: · J. r. For it is Perjury to violate an Oath conceived by Creatures, and thatbccanfe of the near relation t hat all Creatures have unto God the great Creatour. This reafen our Saviour mentions in the fore-named place, Swear not by heaven, for £t W God's thrOne ; nor by the earth, for it W hiaJootjlwl; nor by Jerufalem, for it U the city of the great King. And more exprefiy Matth. 23. 22. He that fhall fwear by heaven, fwearerh by the throne of God, and him that jitteth thereon: even M he who ]hall [wear by the temple, ftveareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And fo by the f:zme proportion of reafon, ·whofoever llia\1 fwear by any Creature, doth alfo virtually fwear by the Almighty Creatour of it : And therefore it is as much Perjury to falfify an Oath made by any of the Creatures, as though it were made by the great God himfelf; becaufe the Creatures are all of, and from God1 And, •· Although