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words, without equivocation or mental reservation. It cannot oblige to sin; but in any thing not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man's own hurt;' nor is it to be violated, although made to hereticks or infidels.m
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 with the like faithfulness.
VI. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone:o and neighbour's goods; and the owner of against the princes. Ver. 19. But all it shall accept thereof, and he shall the princes said unto all the congrenot make it good.
gation, We have sworn unto them by IV. k Jer. iv. 2. [See letter &.] Ps. the Lord God of Israel: now therexxiv. 4. He that hath clean hands, fore we may not touch them. With 2 and a pure heart; who hath not lifted Sam. xxi. 1. Then there was a famine up his soul untó vanity, nor sworn in the days of David three years, year deceitfully.
after year; and David enquired of the 11 Sam. xxv. 22. So and more also Lord. And the Lord answered, It is do God unto the enemies of David, if for Saul, and for his bloody house, I leave of all that pertain to him, by because he slew the Gibeonites. the morning-light, any that pisseth V. Isa. xix. 21. And the Lord against the wall. Ver. 32. And David shall be known to Egypt, and the said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord Egyptians shall know the Lord in that God of Israel, which sent thee this day, and shall do sacrifice and obladay to meet me: Ver. 33. And blessed tion; yea, they shall vow a vow unto be thy advice, and blessed be thou, the Lord, and perform it. Eccl. v. 4. which has kept me this day from When thou vowest a vow unto God, coming to shed blood, and from aveng- defer not to pay it; for he hath no ing myself with mine own hand. pleasure in fools: pay that which thou Ver. 34. For in very deed, as the bast vowed. Ver. 5. Better is it that Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath thou shouldest not vow, than that kept me back from hurting thee, ex- thou shouldest vow and not pay. cept thou hadst hasted and come to Ver. 6. Suffer not thy mouth to cause meet me, surely there had not been thy flesh to sin; neither say thou beleft unto Nabal, by the morning-light, fore the angel, that it was an error: any that pisseth against the wall. Ps. wherefore should God be angry at thy xv. 4. In whose eyes a vile person is voice, and destroy the work of thine contemned; but he honoureth them hands ? Ps. lxi. 8. So will I sing that fear the Lord: he that sweareth praise unto thy name for ever, that I to his own hurt, and changeth not. may daily perform my vows. Ps.
m Ezek. xvii. 16. As I live, saith the lxvi. 13. I will go into thy house with Lord God, surely in the place where burnt-offerings; I will pay thee my the king dwelleth that made him king, vows, Ver. 14. Which my lips have whose oath he despised, and whose uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, covenant he brake, even with him in when I was in trouble. the midst of Babylon he shall die. VI. • Ps. lxxvi. 11. Vow, and pay Ver. 18. Seeing he despised the oath unto the Lord your God: let all that by breaking the covenant, when, lo, be round about him bring presents he had given his hand, and hath done unto him that ought to be feared. all these things, he shall not escape. Jer. xliv. 25. Thus saith the Lord of Ver. 19. Therefore thus saith the hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Ye Lord God, As I live, surely
mine oath and your wives have both spoken with that he hath despised, and my cove- your mouths, and fulfilled with your nant that he hath broken, even it hand, saying, We will surely perform will I recompense upon his own head. our vows that we have vowed, to burn Josh. ix. 18. And the children of incense to the queen of heaven, and Israel smote them not, because the to pour out drink-offerings unto her: princes of the congregation had sworn ye will surely accomplish your vows, unto them by the Lord God of Israel. and surely perform your vows. Ver. And all the congregation murmured 26. Therefore hear ye the word of the
that it may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out of faith, and conscience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for the 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 fitly conduce thereunto.D
VII. No man may vow to do any thing forbidden in the word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded, or which is not in his power, and for the performance whereof he hath no promise of ability from God. In which respects, Popish monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.: Lord, all Judah that dwell in the land the tabernacle of my house, nor go of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by up into my bed; Ver. 4. I will not by my great name, saith the Lord, give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to that my name shall no more be named mine eyelids, Ver. 5. Until I find in the mouth of any man of Judah out a place for the Lord, an habitain all the land of Egypt, saying, The tion for the mighty God of Jacob. Lord God liveth.
VII. 4 Acts xxiii. 12. And when it p Deut. viii. 21. When thou shalt was day, certain of the Jews bandVow a vow unto the Lord thy God, ed together, and bound themselves thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the under
a curse, saying that they would Lord thy God will surely require it of neither eat nor drink till they had thee; and it would be sin in thee. killed Paul. Ver. 14. And they came Ver. 22. But if thou shalt forbear to to the chief priests and elders, and vow, it shall be no sin in thee. Ver. said, We have bound ourselves under 23. That which is gone out of thy lips a great curse, that we will eat nothou shalt keep and perform; even a thing until we have slain Paul. Mark freewill-offering, according as thou vi. 26. And the king was exceeding hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and which thou hast promised with thy for their sakes which sat with hin, mouth. Ps. I. 14. Offer unto God he would not reject her. Numb. xxx. thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto 5. But if her father disallow her in the Most High. Gen. xxviii. 20. And the day that he heareth; not any of Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God her vows, or of her bonds wherewith will be with me, and will keep me in she hath bound her soul, shall stand; this way that I go, and will give me and the Lord shall forgive her, bebread to eat, and raiment to put on, cause her father disallowed her. Ver. Ver. 21. So that I come again to my 8. But if her husband disallowed her father's house in peace, then shall on the day that he heard it; then he the Lord be my God: Ver. 22. And shall make her vow which she vowed, this stone, which I have set for a pil- and that which she uttered with her lar, shall be God's house: and of all lips, wherewith she bound her soul, that thou shalt give me, I will surely of none effect; and the Lord shall give the tenth unto thee. 1 Sam. 1. forgive her. Ver. 12. But if her husil. And she vowed a vow, and said, band bath utterly made them void on O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed the day he heard them; then
whatsolook on the affliction of thine hand- ever proceeded out of her lips conmaid, and remember me, and not for. cerning her vows, or concerning the get thine handmaid, but wilt give bond of her soul, shall not stand: unto thine handmaid a man-child, her husband hath made them void; then I will give him unto the Lord all and the Lord shall forgive her. Ver. the days of his life, and there shall 13. Every, vow, and every binding po razor come upon his head. Ps. oath to affict the soul, her husband Lxvi. 13, 14. (See letter ] Ps. cxxxii. may establish it, or her husband may 2. How he sware unto the Lord, and make it void. vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob; rMatt. xix. 11. But he said unto Ver. 3. Surely I will not come into them, All men cannot reccive this
CHAP. XXIII.- Of the Civil Magistrate. I. OD, the
supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained
civil magistrates to be under him over the people, for his own glory, and the publick good; and, to this end, hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil-doers.*
II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto: in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth;& so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Testament, wage war upon just and necessary occasions.d saying, save they to whom it is given. that doeth evil. 1 Pet. ii. 13. Submit Ver. 12. For there are some eunuchs, yourselves to every ordinance of man which were so born from their mo for the Lord's sakė: whether it be to ther's womb; and there are some the king, as supreme; Ver. 14. Or eunuchs, which were made eunuchs unto governors, as unto them that are of men; and there be eunuchs, which sent by him for the punishment of have made themselves eunuchs for evil-doers, and for the praise of them the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that do well. that is able to receive it, let him re- II. b Prov. viii. 15. By me kings ceive it.,- 1 Cor. vii. 2. Nevertheless, reign, and princes decree justice. Ver. to avoid fornication, let every man 16. By me princes rule, and nobles, have his own wife, and let every wo- even all the judges of the earth. Rom. man have her own husband. Ver. 9. xiii. 1, 2, 4. [See in letter a.] But if they cannot contain, let them • Ps. ii. 10. Be wise now therefore, marry: for it is better to marry than 0 ye kings; be instructed, ye judges to burn, Eph. iv. 28. Let him that of the earth. Ver. 11. Serve the Lord stole steal no more: but rather let with fear, and rejoice with trembling. him labour, working with his hands Ver. 12. Kiss the Son, lest he be the thing which is good, that he may angry, and ye perish from the way, have to give to him that needeth. 1 when his wrath is kindled but a little. Pet. iv. 2. That he no longer should Blessed are all they that put their live the rest of his time in the flesh trust in him. 1 Tim. ii. 2. For kings, to the lusts of men, but to the will of and for all that are in authority; that God. 1 Cor. vii. 23. Ye are bought we may lead a quiet and peaceable with a price: be not ye the servants life in all godliness and honesty. Ps. of men.
Ixxxii. 3. Defend the poor and fatherI. a Rom. xiii. 1. Let every soul be less; do justice to the afflicted and subject unto the higher powers. For needy. Ver. 4. Deliver the poor and there is no power but of God: the needy: rid them out of the hand of powers that be are ordained of God. the wicked. 2 Sam. xxiii. 3. The God Ver. 2. Whosoever therefore resisteth of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake the power, resisteth the ordinance of to me, He that ruleth over men must God; and they that resist shall re- be just, ruling in the fear of God. 1 ceive to themselves damnation. Ver. Pet. ii. 13. [See in letter a.] 3. For rulers are not a terror to good a Luke iii. 14. And the soldiers likeworks, but to the evil. Wilt thou then wise demanded of him, saying, And not be afraid of the power? Do that what shall we do? And he said unto which is good, and thou shalt have them, Do violence to no man, neither praise of the same: Ver. 4. For he is accuse any falsely; and be content the minister of God to thee for good. with your wages. Rom. xiii. 4. [See But if thou do that which is evil, be letter a] Matt. viii. 9. For I am a man afraid; for he beareth not the sword under authority, having soldiers unin vain: for he is the minister of God, der me: and I say to this man, Go, a revenger to execute wrath upon him and he goeth; and to another, Come,
III. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself the administration of the word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven:e yet he hath authority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, and observed. For the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call and he cometh; and to my servant, cles? Eph. iv. 11. And he gave some, Do this, and he doeth it. Ver. 10. apostles; and some, prophets; and When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, some, evangelists; and some, pastors and said to them that followed, Verily and teachers; Ver. 12. For the perI say unto you, I have not found so fecting of the saints, for the work of great faith, no, not in Israel. Acts x. the ministry, for the edifying of the 1. There was a certain man in Cesarea body of Christ. i Cor. iv. I. Let a called Cornelius, a centurion of the man so account of us as of the mini. band called the Italian band, Ver. 2. sters of Christ, and stewards of the A devout man, and one that feared mysteries of God. Ver. 2. Moreover, God with all his house, which gave it is required in stewards, that a man much aims to the people, and prayed be found faithful. Rom. x. 15. And to God alway. Rev. xvii. 14. These how shall they preach except they be shall make war with the Lamb, and sent ? as it is written, How beautiful the Lamb shall overcome them: for are the feet of them that preach the he is Lord of lords, and King of gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings kings; and they that are with him of good things! Heb. v. 4. And no are called, and chosen, and faithful. man taketh this honour unto himself, Ver. 16. And the ten horns which thou but he that is called of God, as was sawest upon the beast, these shall Aaron. hate the whore, and shall make her Isa. xlix. 23. And kings shall be desolate and naked, and shall eat her thy nursing-fathers, and their queens flesh, and burn her with fire.
thy nursing-mothers: they shall bow III. e 2 Chron. xxvi. 18. And they down to thee with their face toward withstood Uzziah the king, and said the earth, and lick up the dust of thy unto him, It appertaineth not unto feet; and thou shalt know that I am thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the Lord: for they shall not be ashanithe Lord, but to the priests the sons ed that wait for me. Ps. cxxii. 9. of Aaron, that are consecrated to Because of the house of the Lord our burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; God I will seek thy good. Ezra vii. for thou hast trespassed: neither shall 23. Whatsoever is commanded by the it be for thine honour from the Lord God of heaven, let it be diligently God. With Matt. xviii. 17. And if done for the house of the God of heahe shall neglect to hear them, tell it ven: for why should there be wrath unto the church: but if he neglect to against the realm of the king and his hear the church, let him be unto thee sons ? Ver. 25. And thou, Ezra, after as an heathen man and a publican. the wisdom of thy God that is in And Matt. xvi. 19. And I will give thine hand, set magistratesand judges, unto thee the keys of the kingdom of which may judge all the people that heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt are beyond the river, all such as know bind on earth shall be bound in hea- the laws of thy God; and teach ye ven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose them that know them not. Ver. 26. on earth shall be loosed in heaven. And whosoever will not do the law 1 Cor. xii. 28. And God hath set some of thy God, and the law of the king, in the church, first, apostles; secon- let judgment be executed speedily darily, prophets; thirdly, teachers; upon him, whether it be unto death, after that miracles ; then gifts of or to banishment, or to confiscation healings, helps, governments, diversi. of goods, or to imprisonment. Ver. ties of tongues. Ver. 29. Are all 27. Blessed be the Lord God of our apostles ? are all prophets? are all fathers, which hath put such a thing, teachers are all workors of mira- as this in the king's heart, to beau
synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God.
IV. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates, to honour their persons, to pay them tribute and other dues, to obey their lawful tify the house of the Lord which their heart, and with all their soul; is in Jerusalem; Ver. 28. And hath Ver. 13. That whosoever would not extended mercy unto me before the seek the Lord God of Israel should be king and his counsellors, and before pụt to death, whether small or great, all the king's mighty princes: and I whether man or woman. was strengthened as the hand of the & 2 Chron. xix. 8. Moreover, in JeLord my God was upon me; and I rusalem did Jehoshaphat set of the gathered together out of Israel chief Levites, and of the priests, and of the men to go up with me. Lev. xxiv. 16. chief of the fathers of Israel, for the And he that blasphemeth the name judgment of the Lord, and for conof the Lord, he shall surely be put to troversies, when they returned to Jedeath, and all the congregation shall rusalem. Ver. 9. And he charged certainly stone bim : as well the them, saying, Thus shall ye do in the stranger, as he that is born in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, and with land, when he blasphemeth the name a perfect heart. Ver. 10. And what of the Lord, shall be put to death. cause soever shall come to you of your Deut. xiii. 5. And that prophet, or brethren that dwell in their cities, that dreamer of dreams, shall be put between blood and blood, between law to death; because he hath spoken to and commandment, statutes and judgturn you away from the Lord your ments, ye shall even warn them that God, which brought you out of the they trespass not against the Lord, land of Egypt, and redeemed you out and so wrath come upon you, and of the house of bondage, to thrust upon your brethren: this do, and ye thee out of the way which the Lord shall not trespass. Ver. 11. And, bethy God commanded thee to walk in: hold, Amariah the chief priest is over 80 shalt thou put the evil away from you in all matters of the Lord; and the midst of thee. Ver. 6. If thy Zebadiah the son of Islımael, the ruler brother, the son of thy mother, or of the house of Judah, for all the thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife king's matters: also the Levites shall of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is be officers before you, Deal courageas thine own soul, entice thee secretly, ously, and the Lord shall be with the saying, Let us go and serve other gods, good. (2 Chron. Chapters xxix. and which thou hast not known, thou, nor xxx.] Matt. 4. And when he had thy fathers. Ver. 12. If thou shalt gathered all the chief priests and hear say in one of thy cities, which scribes of the poople together, he dethe Lord thy God hath given thee to manded of them where Christ should dwell there, saying, &c. Ž Kings xviii. be born. Ver. 5. And they said unto 4. He removed the high places, and him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus brake the images, and cut down the it is written by the prophet. groves, and brake in pieces the brasen IV. • 1 Tim. ii. 1. I exhort thereserpent that Moses had made: for fore, that, first of all, supplications, unto those days the children of Israel prayers, intercessions, and giving of did burn incense to it; and he called thanks, be made for all men; Ver. 2. it Nehustan. [1 Chron. xiii. 1. to the For kings, and for all that are in au9th verse. 2 Kings xxiv. 1. to the 26th thority; that we may lead a quiet verse.] 2 Chron. xxxiv. 33. And Jo- and peaceable life in all godliness and siah took away all the abominations honesty. out of all the countries that pertained 11 Pet. ii. 17. Honour all men. Love to the children of Israel, and made the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour all that were present in Israel to serve, the king. even to serve the Lord their God. And * Rom. xiii. 6. For, for this cause all his days they departed not from pay ye tribute also: for they are following the Lord, the God of their God's ministers, attending continu. fathers. 2 Chron. xv. 12. And they ally upon this very thing. Ver. 7. entered into a covenant to seek the Render therefore to all their dues : Lord God of their fathers with all tribute to whom tribute is due; cus