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teousness, Jer. iv. 2, it is both an act of religious worship, and for the glory of God, and upon those accounts undoubtedly lawful. Nor did our Saviour ever intend to forbid swearing altogether; but only to restrain all voluntary and needless use of it in common conversation; and to keep us, when we do swear, to the doing of it only by the name of God, and not by that of any other thing or person.

See Matt. v. 34, &c. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool.

PROOF SUBJOINED.-Psalm xv. 4. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not-he that doeth these things shall never be moved.

10. Q. How may God's name be taken in vain by vowing?

A. * By vowing to do any thing which may not lawfully be fulfilled : *by vowing that which we are not able to fulfil: **by vowing rashly, and indiscreetly, what though we should be able to fulfil, might yet much better, and more prudently have been let alone: *by vowing any thing for a long time to come, it may be for one's whole life; and of our future capacity to make good which, hereafter we cannot at the present judge: and, lastly, * by accustoming ourselves to vow frequently, which must necessarily expose us to the hazard of not perforniing our vows.

PROOF SUBJOINED.-Judges, xi. 30, 31. And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shall without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall

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surely be the Lord's, and I will offer it up for a burntoffering

u. Q: Would it not therefore be advisable not to make any vows at all?

A. It cannot be doubted but that if a vow be duly made, it is not only lawful, but acceptable to God. But then, that it may be so, we should take heed, first, not to vow upon every occasion; but when we have some considerable motive to engage us to the doing of it. Secondly, To see that what we do vow be in itself good; fit for us to vow, and for God to accept. Thirdly, That we be sure not to vow any thing but what we are in a capacity to fulfil. Eccles. v. 4, 5. When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools; pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldst not vow, than that thou shouldst vow and not pay.

ProofS SUBJOINED.-- Deut. xxii. 21, 22, 23. When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee, and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform, even a free-will offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth. Psalm Ixvi. 13, 14. I will go into thy house with burnt-offerings; I will pay thee my vows which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. Prov. xx. 25. It is a snare to the man who devoureth that which is holy, and after vows to make inquiry.

12. Q. When do we take God's name in vain in praying?

A. * When we pray without minding what we are about: * when we pray for such things as we ought not to pray for: * when in our prayers we use vain repetitions of God's name without need, and against reason. But especially when we join the name of any creature with that of God in our prayers, as the papists in many, or rather most, of their prayers do. .

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-James, iv. 3. Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss. Matt. vi. 7. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking:

13. Q. Are there not other ways of taking God's name in vain, besides those we have hitherto spoken of?

A. There are several other ways : *by profane cursing, as well as swearing: *by any light and unfitting use of God's name, in our common and vain conversation : *by all lewd, atheistical discourse : *by blaspheming, or speaking reproachfully of God, or his religion: by * murmuring against bim : * by ridiculing, abusing, or otherwise profaning his holy word: *by despising or exposing his ministers, upon the account of their function, and as they stand related to him : *by an irreverent behaviour in his public service; in the use of his prayers and sacraments: in short, * by a contemptuous treating of any thing in which his name and honour are concerned.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Lev. xxiv. 16. And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. 1 Kings, xix. 10. And he said, I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets, with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life to take it away. Prov. xiii. 13. Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. Luke, viii. 18. Take heed, therefore, how ye hear: for whosoever. hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. 1 Cor. xi. 27. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

14. Q. What does this commandment positively, require of us?

A. To honour God's holy name and word : to employ our tongues to his praise and glory: never to make mention of God, or of any thing that relates to him, without a religious reverence: and to use our utmost endeavour upon all. occasions to keep up the reputation of religion; and the respect which is due to holy things, for the sake of God, and as they have relation to him.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Psalm xcix. 3. Let them praise thy great and terrible name: for it is holy. lxvi. 2. To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. Jer. iv. 2. And thou shalt swear, the Lord liveth in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness ; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory. Matt. v. 37. Let your communication be yea, yea; nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. 1 Cor. x. 31. Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Col. iv. 6. Let your speech be alway with grace; seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.

Heb. xii. 28. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom, which cannot


be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.

15. Q. How hath God threatened to punish those who break this commandment?

A. The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

16. Q. What do you understand thereby?

A. That he will severely punish such sinners; and not suffer his name to be profaned by them, without bringing some exemplary vengeance apon them, fór such their presumption.

ProofS SUBJOINED.-Lev. xxiv. 16. And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. 2 Sam. xii. 14. Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also which is born unto thee shall surely die. xxi. 1, 2. Then there was a famine in the days of David, three years, year after year: and David inquired of the Lord. And the Lord answered, It is for Saul, and his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. And the king called the Gibeonites, and said unto them ; (now the Gibeonites were not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites); and the children of Israel had sworn unto them : and Saul sought to slay them in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah). Wherefore. David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the Lord. 2 Kings, xix. 22, 23, 28, 32, 35. Whom hast thou reproached and blasphemed? and against whom hast thou exalted thy voice, and lifted up thine eyes on high? even against the Holy One of Israel?. By

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