Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

122. An E~epofition upon the hirn. And fo every Oath which engagetlr Men to Sedition, difhtrbance of GO\•ern· mcnt, and Rebellion, is in it felf an unlawful Oath, and obligeth them to nothing but to repent of it, and renounce it. Acc'>rding to thefc Three Q!tatifications muft every Oath be Regulated, elfe it is not a Lawfu l Oath, but an Horrid Contempt of God, and raking of his Name in Vain. But to fpeak no more concerning lawful Oaths, let us now confider thofc which are too common among us; Ji.tch I mean which are apparently unlawful and finful. Two things m:~kq an Oath unlawful; Fal[bood, ancl Rafbnefs. t. Firft, \V' hen it is Fa lfc: And this indeed is a mofl: defpcrate Sin, to vouch a Lye upon God's credit, and to f.:tther a Falfuood upon him who is the God of Truth, yea, Truth it felf. T his manifefts the higheft Contempt of God, when we call him to wimcfs that which the Devil prompted us to [peak. Should not we our felves take it for an high Affi·ont and Indignity, to be made. Vouchers of other Mens Lyes and Talcs, and Properties to put off their Falfhoods? How much more then, is it a moft HeJ\iJlt Wickednefs, committed againft the Great Gcx:l, toaffert a known Lye, and then call in God to atteft it for a Truth? Which is no other but to £1ther a · Brat of the Devil, who is a Lycr, and the Father of Lyes, upon God who hates Lyers, and hath appointed feverc Torments for them: Sec how dreadfully God is incenfed by this Sin, ;]er. 7· 9, 15, r6. where he fpeaks of it as almoft an unpardonable Offence, ~Vi/lye fteal, and murther, and [wear faljly? Therefore will/ caft you out ofmy fight, as I caft out your brethren. Pray not thou for thiJ people, neither ldt 11p a cry nor prayer for them, neither make interceffion to me: for I will not hear thee. .A:nd fo Zech. 5· 4· fpeaking of the Curfe that fhonld go forth over the face of the whole Earth, I will bring it forth, faith the Lord of hofts, and it ]ball enter into the houfe of the thief, and into the houfe of him that fweareth faljly by my name: and it jiJall remain in the midft of his houfe, and it Jhall confume it, with the timber thereof, and [. with the ftones thereof. · &condty, As falfe Swearing is a notorious propQaning of the Name of God, fo likcwife rafu Swearing in our common and ordinary Difcourfes: A fin that gene~ rally abounds and prevails amongft us; almoft every month is black with Oaths; and we may fee the very Soot of Hell hang about Mens lips: Nay, I have obfervcd it, cfpecially in thefc }Xlrts, to be not only the fin of more lewd and profligate. \V retches, who mouth their Oaths with found and cadence, but of thofe too who would be thought very fevere and ftritl: Chriftians, who fcarce fpcak a word without a Drawle, or a fentence without an Oath, and who will pule and whine even in SwCJring it fclf. Ifthefe Men feparate to be better inflruCted, I wiJh with all my heart their Teachers would be plcafcd fo far to condefcend from their higher Specu~ lations, as to in ftrutt: them, that to attcft any th ing by their Faith, or by their Truth, is a wicked Oath. For all Oaths which are conceived by any other thing befidcs the great God, how modcft focvcr they....play be in their found, yet arc more im~ pious in effect, than thofe louder ones, which immediately call God himfelf to witncfs; and therefore the Prophet fpeaks of it as a moft heinous, and almoft unpardonable fin, ')"cr. 5· 7 · How fl~a/J I pardon thee for this? thy chiidrm have forfaken me, and fivorn by them that are 110 gods. For fince an Oath is a facred thing, and part of Divine Worfhip, thofe that fwear by any created Being: (as certainly their Faith, and Truth, and Confcience is, if they have any) are guilty not only of vain SweJring, but ofldolatry too. · Bnt fame will fay, What fo grea t Evil can there be in an Oath, fo Ion?; as it is Truth which they alfcrt it by? This I know is the common Reply and Excufe of thofc who arc guilty of this Sin, and reproved for it. To this I Anfwer, Fir/t, Although it may be tnte that they fpeak, yet, it is a moft provoking fin, fo tar to debafe the holy and reverend Name of God, as to bring it to atteft every trivial and imper.tinent thing theyuner; and if it be by any Creat~r~,