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Confession of Faith Ratification Act 1690

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Changes over time for: Chap. xxii. Of lawfull Oaths and Vows

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Chap. xxii. Of lawfull Oaths and Vows S


A lawfull oath is a part of religious worship wherein upon just occasion the person swearing solemnly calleth God to witnes what he asserteth or promiseth and to judge him according to the truth or falshood of what he sweareth


THE name of God only is that by which men ought to swear and therein it is to be used with all holy fear and reverence therefore to swear vainly or rashly by that glorious and dreadfull name or to swear at all by any other thing is sinfull and to be abhorred Yet as in matters of weight and moment an oath is warranted by the word of God under the New Testament as well as under the Old so a lawfull oath being imposed by lawfull authority in such matters ought to be taken


WHOSOEVER taketh an oath ought duely to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act and thereunto avouch nothing but what he is fully persauded is the truth neither may any man bind himself by oath to any thing but what is good and just and what he believeth so to be and what he is able and resolved to perform yet it is a sin to refuse an oath touching anything that is good and just being imposed by lawfull authority


AN oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words without equivocation or mentall reservation It cannot oblige to sin but in any thing not sinfull being taken it binds to performance although to a mans own hurt nor is it to be violated although made to hereticks or infidels


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 faithfullness


IT is not to be made to any creature but to God alone and 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


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 promise of ability from God in which respects popish monasticall vows of perpetuall single life professed poverty and regular obedience are so far from being degrees of higher perfection that they are superstitious and sinfull snares in which no Christian may intangle himself

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