1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith
Chapter 23: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows
1. A lawful oath is a part of religious worship, wherein the person swearing in truth, righteousness, and judgement, solemnly calleth God to witness what he sweareth, and to judge him according to the truth or falseness thereof.
( Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 10:20; Jeremiah 4:2; 2 Chronicles 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 abhorred; yet as in matter of weight and moment, for confirmation
of truth, and ending all strife, an oath is warranted by the word of
God; so a lawful oath being imposed by lawful authority in such matters,
ought to be taken.
( Matthew 5:34, 37; James 5:12; Hebrews 6:16; 2 Corinthians 1:23; Nehemiah 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 truth;
for that by rash, false, and vain oaths, the Lord is provoked, and for
them this land mourns.
( Leviticus 19:12; Jeremiah 23:10 )
4. An oath is to be taken in the
plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental
( Psalms 24:4 ) (Ps. 24:4)
5. A vow, which is not to be made to
any creature, but to God alone, is to be made and performed with all
religious care and faithfulness; but popish monastical vows of perpetual
single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from
being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and
sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.
( Psalms 76:11; Genesis 28:20-22; 1 Corinthians 7:2, 9; Ephesians 4:28; Matthew 19:11 )
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