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izi it to be violated, although made to hereticks or infidels m. V. A vow is of the like nature, with a promiffory, oath, and ought to be made with the like religious care, and to be performed with the like faithfulness n.
VI. It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone o and
had not been left unto Nabal, by the morning light, any that piffeth against the wall. Pfal. xv. 4. In whofe eyes a vile perfon is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord: He that fweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
m Ezek. xvii. 16. As I live, faith the Lord God, Surely in this place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whofe oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him, in the midst of Babylon he shall die. v. 18. Seeing he defpifed the oath, by breaking of the covenant, (when lo he had given his hand) and hath done all these things, he fhall not escape. v. 19. There fore thus faith the Lord God, As I live, furely mine oath that he hath defpifed, and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I récompenfe upon his own head. Joth. ix. 18. And the children of Ifrael fmote them not, because the princes of the congregation had fworn unto them by the Lord God of Ifrael: and all the congregation murmured against the princes. v. 19. But all the princes faid unto all the congregation, We have fworn unto them by the Lord God of Ifrael: now therefore we may not touch them. With 2 Sam. xxi. 1. Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the Lord. And the Lord anfwered, it is for Saul and his bloody house, because he flew the Gibeonites.
V. n Ifa. xix. 21. And the Lord fhall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians fhall know the Lord in that day, and fhall do facrifice and oblation, yea, they fhall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it. Eccl. v. 4. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it: for he hath no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou haft vowed. v. 5. Better it is that thou fhouldft not vow, than that thou shouldft vow and not pay. v. 6. Suffer not thy mouth to caufe thy flesh to fin, neither fay thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore fhould God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? Pfal. Ixi. 8. So will I fing praise unto thy name forever, that I may daily perform my vows. Pfal. lxvi. 13. I will gơ into thy houfe with burnt-offerings: I will pay thee my vows, v.14. which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken when I was in trouble.
VI. Pfal. lxxvi. 11. Vow and pay unto the Lord your God: let all that be round about him bring prefents unto him that ought to be feared. Jer. xliv. 25. Thus faith the Lord of hosts, the God of Ifrael, faying, Ye and your wives have both fpoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hands, faying, We will furely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incenfe to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her: ye will furely accomplith your vows, and furely perform your vows. v. I 2 26. There
and, that it may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out, of faith, and confcience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for the obtaining of what we want; whereby we more strictly bind ourselves to neceffary duties, or to other things, fo far and fo long as they may fitly conduce thereuntop.
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 own power, and for the performance whereof he hath no promife or ability from God q.
26. Therefore, hear ye the word of
of Judah, in all the land of Egypt, faying, The Lord God liveth.
p Deut. xxiii. 21. When thou fhalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not flack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will furely require it of thee; and it would be fin in thee. v. 22. But if thou fhalt forbear to vow, it fhall be no fin in thee. v. 23. That which is gone out of thy lips, thou fhalt keep and perform; even a free-will-offering, according as thou haft vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou haft promifed with thy mouth. Pfal. 1. 14. Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows unto the moft High. Gen. xxviii. 20. And Jacob vowed a vow, faying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that
go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on; v. 21. fo that I come again to my father's house in peace: then fhall the Lord be my God. v. 22. And this stone, which I have fet for a pillar, fhall be God's houfe: and of all that thou
fhalt give me, I will furely give the tenth unto thee. 1 Sam. i. 11. And the vowed a vow, and faid, O Lord of hofts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but will give unto thine handmaid a man-child, then will I give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. Pfal. lxvi. 13, 14. (See letter n.) Pfal. exxxii. 2. How he fware unto the Lord, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob. v. 3. Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my houfe, nor go up into my bed: v. 4. I will not give fleep to mine eyes, or flumber to mine eye-lids, v. 5. until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob.
VII. q Acts xxiii. 12. And when it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curfe, faying, That they would neither eat nor drink, till they had killed Paul. v. 14. And they came to the chief priests and elders, and faid, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have flain Paul. Mark vi. 26. And the king was exceeding forry, yet for his
In which refpects, popish monaftical vows of perpetual single life, profeffed poverty, and regular obedience, are fo far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and finful funares, in which no Chriftian may intangle himselfr.
CHAP. XXIII. Of the Civil Magiftrate.
OD, the fupreme 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 fword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil-doers a.
oath's fake, and for their fakes who fat with him, he would not reject her. Num. xxx. 5. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith the hath bound her foul, fhall stand: and the Lord fhall forgive her, because her father difallowed her. v. 8. But if her hufband difallow her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which the vowed, and that which the uttered with her lips, wherewith the bound her foul, of none effect: and the Lord fhall forgive her. v. 12. But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatfoever proceeded out of her lips, concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her foul, fhall not stand: her husband hath made them void, and the Lord fhall forgive her. v. 13. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the foul, her husband may eftablish it, or her husband may make it void. Mat. xix. 11. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this
faying, fave they to whom it is given. v. 12. For there are fome eunuchs, who were, fo born from their mothers womb: and there are fome eunuchs, who were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's fake: he that is able to receive it, let him receive it. 1 Cor. vii. 2. Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own hufband. v. 9. But if they cannot contain, let them marry for it is better to marry than to burn. Eph. iv. 28. Let him that ftole, fteal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. i Pet. iv. 2.That he no longer fhould live the rest of his time in the flesh, to the lufts of men, but to the will of God. 1 Cor. vii. 23. Ye are bought with a price, be not ye the fervants of men.
I. a Rom. xiii. 1. Let every foul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God:
II. It is lawful for Chriftians to accept and execute the office of a magiftrate, when called thereuntob: in the manag ing whereof, as they ought efpecially to maintain piety, juf tice and peace, according to the wholfom laws of each common wealth c; fo, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Teftament, wage war upon just and neceffary occafions d.
the powers that be, are ordained of God. v. 2. Whofoever therefore refifteth the power, refifteth the ordinance of God: and they that refift, fhall receive to themselves damnation. v. 3. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou fhalt have praife of the fame. v. 4. For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the fword in vain: for he is the minifer of God, a revenger, to execute wrath upon him that doth evil. 1 Pet. ii. 13. Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's fake: whether it be to the king as fupreme, v. 14. or unto governors, as unto them that are fent by him, for the punithment of evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well.
II. b Prov. viii. 15. By me kings reign, and princes decree juftice. v. 16. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. Rom. xiii. 1, 2, 4. (See in letter a.)
c Pfal. ii. 10. Be wife now therefore, O ye kings: be inftructed, ye judges of the earth. v. 11. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. v. 12. Kifs the Son, left he be angry, and ye perifh from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little; bleffed are all they that put their trust in him. 1 Tim. ii. 2. For kings, and for all that are in autho
III. The rity, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honeity. Pfal. lxxxii. 3. Defend the poor and fatherless: do juftice to the afflicted and needy: v. 4. Deliver the poor and needy; rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 2 Sam. xxxiii. 3. The God of Ifrael faid, the Rock of Ifrael fpake to me, He that ruleth over men must be juft, ruling in the fear of God. 1 Pet. ii. 13. (See in letter a.)
d Luke iii. 14. And the foldiers likewife demanded of him, faying, And what fhall we do? And he faid unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accufe any falfely, and be content with your wages. Rom. xiii. 4. (See letter a.) Mat. viii. 9. For I am a man under authority, having foldiers under me: and I fay to this man, Go, and he goeth: and to an-other, Come, and he cometh: and to my fervant, Do this, and he doeth it. v. 10. When Jefus heard it, he marvelled, and faid to them that followed, Verily, I fay unto you, I have not found fo great faith, no not in Ifrael. Acts x. 1. There was a certain man in Cefarea called Cornelius, a Centurion of the band called the Italian band, v. 2. a devout man, and one that feared God with all his houfe, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. Rev. xvii. 14. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb fhall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords,
III. The civil magistrate may not affume to himself the administration of the word and facraments, 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 preferved in the church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blafphemies and herefies be fuppreffed, all corruptions and abufes in worthip and difcipline prevented or reformed; and all the ordinances of God duly fettled, adminiftred, and obferved f, for the better effecting whereof, he hath all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Eph. iv. 11. And he gave fome, apostles: and fome, prophets : and fome, Evangelifts: and fome,paftors, and teachers; v. 12. for the perfecting of the faints, for the work of the miniftry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. 1 Cor. iv. 1. Let a man fo account of us, as of the minifters of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. v. 2. Moreover it is required in ftewards, that a man be found faithful. Rom. x. 15. And how fhall they preach, except they be fent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gofpel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Heb. v. 4. And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
f Ifa. xlix. 23. And kings fhall be thy nurfing fathers, and their queens thy nurfing mothers: they fhall bow down to thee with their face towards the earth, and lick up the duft of thy feet, and thou fhalt know that I am the Lord: for they fhall not be a- ́ fhamed that wait for me. Pfal. cxxii. 9. Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will feek thy good. Ezra vii. 23. Whatfoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done, for the houfe
lords, and King of kings; and they that are with him, are called, and chofen, and faithful. v. 16. And the ten horns which thou faweft upon the beat, thefe fhall hate the whore, and shall make her defolate, and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
III. Chron. xxvi. 18. And they withstood Uzziah the king, and faid. unto him, it appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incenfe unto the Lord, but to the priests the fons of Aaron, that are confecrated to burn incenfe: go out of the fanctuary, for thou haft trefpaffed: neither fhall it be for thine honour from the Lord God. With Mat, xviii. 17. And if he fhall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church; but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. And Mat. xvi. 19. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou fhalt bind on earth, fhall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou fhalt loofe on earth, fhall be loofed in heaven. 1 Cor. xii. 28. And God hath fet fome in the church, first apostles, fecondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diverfities of tongues. v. . 29. Are