XXIII. Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

1. A lawful Oath is a part of religious worship, awherein the person swearing in Truth, Righteousness, and Judgment, solemnly calleth God to witness what he sweareth; band to judge him according to the Truth or falseness thereof.

aEx. 20:7; Deut. 10:20; Jer. 4:2 b2 Chron. 6:22–23

2. 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 dreadful name; or to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful and to be aabhorred; yet as in matter of weight and moment for confirmation of truth, band end­ ing all strife, an Oath is warranted by the Word of God; so a lawful Oath being imposed, cby lawful Authority, in such matters, ought to be taken.

aMatt. 5:34, 37; James 5:12 bHeb. 6:16; 2 Cor. 1:23 cNeh. 13:25

3. Whosoever taketh an Oath warranted by the Word of God, ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act; and therein to avouch nothing, but what he knoweth to be the truth; for that by rash, false, and vain Oaths the aLord is provoked, and for them this Land mourns.

aLev. 19:12; Jer. 23:10

4. An Oath is to be taken in the plain, and acommon sense of the words; without equivocation, or mental reservation.

aPs. 24:4

5. A Vow which is not to be made to any Creature, but to God alone, ais to be made and performed with all Religious care, and faithfulness: But Popish Monastical Vows, bof perpetual single life, professed cpov­erty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious, dand sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.

aPs. 76:11; Gen. 28:20–22 b1 Cor. 7:2, 9 cEph. 4:28 dMatt. 19:11