Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

ON HOSEA XIV.- VERSES 2, 3. 79 will not consist with a pious, spontaneous, and volun- tary concurrence thereunto. [3.] A power to make the promise, and bind oneself by it. For a man may have power to make a promise, which is not finally obligatory, but upon supposition. As a woman might for her own part vow, and by that vow was bound up as to herself, but this bond was but conditional, as to efficacy and influence upon the effect, to wit, if her husband heard it, and held his peace, Num. xxx 3. 14. [4.] A power, having made the promise, to perform it ; and this depends upon the nature of the thing, which must be first possible. No man can bind himself to things impossible. And next lawful, in regard either of the necessity, or expediency, or some other allowableness in the thing. For we can do nothing but that which we can do rightfully. Sinful things are in construction of law impossible, and so can induce no obligation. A servant can make no promise to the dishonour or disservice of his master, nor a child or pupil contrary to the will of his parent or guardian, nor a christian to the dishonour or against the will of Christ whom he serves. In every such sinful engagement there is intrinsically deception, the heart is blinded by the deceitfulness of lust, Eph. iv. 18. 22. Heb. iii. 13. 2 Pet. i. 9. 2 Cor. xi. 3. And these things are destructive to the nature of such an action as must be deliberate and spontaneous. Pro- mises of this kind bind to nothing but repentance. From these considerations we may learn what to judge of the promises which many men make of doing service unto God. Some join in covenants, as the greatest part of that tumultuous concourse of people, who made an uproar against the apostle, were gathered together, " they