Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

But the persons who scruple to swear, disclaim resistance also: and in this they are consistent at least, if they be not wise. It is written, if any man will fue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. Are they willing to deliver

up
their

property always to the first invader? Of these rights they are sometimes, and with reason, a little more tenacious.

26.

Let all wrath, and anger be put away Eph. iy. from you, says the Apostle Paul; yet he 31. himself had written but a few lines before, be ye angry, and fin not. And our Eph. iv. Lord himself, when they watched him, Mark iii. whether he would heal on the sabbath day, s. looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts. Honour all men: love the brotherhood. Huf- 1 Pet. ii. bands love your wives, even as Christ also Eph.v.25. loved the Church. Children obey your parents: honour thy father and mother.

and yet, If any man come after me, and hate not Luke_xiv.

26. his

17.

vi. 1,2

his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and sisters, j'en, and his own life also, he cannot be my d:sciple. It is not the mere found of a word, that we can rely upon for the knowledge of what the scripture teaches in any cale: the nature of the subject, the scope of the writer, the lights afforded from other parts of fcripture, and from reason also, delerve all to be attended to So that the true interpretation of a paffage is sometimes very different from that, which may be first suggested to a hafly heedless hearer.

The use of caths is not prohibited in the third commandment. The name of the · Lord cannot be laid to be taken in vain,

when it is used in the support of Truth, upon occasions of Importance.

Secondly, Nor is there any thing like such a prohibition in all the Old Testament: though it is certain, that oaths were in use among other nations, and

among

among the Jews, both before the giving
of the Law, and under it.

[ocr errors]

Thirdly, On the contrary, there are many examples recorded in the book of Genesis, and other parts of fcripture, of the best men, who made use of oaths, or exacted them of others; Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, and many more.

Besides example, we meet with directions and precepts relative to the use of oaths, together with other marks of the approbation of thca). If a man vow a Numb. vow unto the Lord, or swear an oath, to bind his foul with a bond; he Mall not break his word: he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth. - Thou Malt fear Deut. vi. the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt fwear by his name. Lord, who shall dwell Pl. sy. in thy tabernacle, or who shall rest upon thy holy hill? Even he that leadeth an uncorrupe life he that sweareth unto his neighbour, and disappointeih him not. -- Unto me every Ilai. Ixv.

XXX, 2.

13.

knee 26.

2.

knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

He that sweareth in the earth, Mall swear by Jer. iv.. I, the God of truth. If thou wilt return, O

Ifraei, faith the Lord, return unto me
and thou shalt swear, the Lord liveth, in
truth, in judgment, and in righteousness. -

And they sware unto the Lord with a loud 2 Chron. voice - and all Judah rejoiced at the oath ;

for they had sworn with all their heart, and fought him with their whole defire : and he was found of them; and the Lord gave them rest round about.

XV. 14, 15

An oath indeed is justly considered as an act of Religion.

First, It is an acknowledgment of the power and divinity of the Being we invoke.

Secondly, It is an acknowledgment of his moral attributes, and providence ; that he is a lover of truth and justice, that he marks our actions, and will call us to account for them.

Thirdly, Thirdly, It is an acknowledgment of this, made in a publick manner, before many witnesses, and with great solemnity. Oaths therefore are useful; or may be so, if the fault be not in ourselves; both by impressing sentiments of Religion, and by strengthening the fidelity, and mutual confidence of men in each other; and this in cases sometimes, to which no other bonds but these of Religion and conscience can reach; in contracts of the very highest importance, among private persons, and between princes and kingdoms. Had our Lord designed to put an end to all oaths absolutely, would He not have forbidden us to swear by Almighty God himself? Of this oath He is silent. I Jay unto you (wear not at all, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other such like, vain, fantastic, absurd oath.

The Apostle Paul, who surely understood our Lord's intention on this subject, scruples not even in his epistles to

the

« ForrigeFortsett »