THE CASE OF THE QUAKERS Concerning OATHS Defended as Evangelical: IN ANSWER To a Book, entituled, The Case of the Quakers relating to OATHS stated by J. S.

Because of Swearing the Land Mourneth, Jer. 23. 10.

Printed in the Year, 1674.



IF thou hast perused the said Pamphlet against the People called Quakers, entituled [The Case of the Quakers] we desire thee to read over this following Answer; But if thou art not pleased so to do, thou art requested (according to the Rule of Equity) not to en­tertain prejudice, nor to censure the said People upon the meer report and reproaches of their Adversarys, it being unjust to pass a Judg­ment upon a People without hearing them, upon the bare Reports of their Enemies.

However, this Disadvantage we are put upon in the Eyes of the World, that our Enemies will be our Judges, and that at the Instiga­tion of the Father of Lyes.

Be pleased to take notice, that while our Adversary scoffs at our Plea, as that our Conscience will not allow us to Swear, he saith, we actually do Swear, in as solemn and August a Form as 'tis possible for the Tongue of Man to express, in our saying, God, who is the Search­er of Hearts knows, that it is with a Holy Respect, &c. And thus he does not only render us to contradict our own Doctrine, but also in like manner represents the Apostle Paul, as frequently confirming his Sayings with an Oath in these and such Expressions, God is my Witness; I say the Truth in Christ; I Lye not; The God and Fa­ther of our Lord Jesus Christ knows, that I Lye not, &c. which were in his Epistles to the Saints, and not formal Swearing on the four Evangelists before the Magistrates. Howbeit he is mistaken in his Reckoning these and such like words a most solemn and august Form of Actual Swearing: And what can he argue from hence, but that Paul most highly swore in his Epistles upon a sacred Account, therefore we ought to Swear before Rulers in Courts? which follows [Page 4] not, though he reckons we do Swear in saying, God knows: But does not perswade the Magistrates to accept of it for an Oath, but ra­ther vilifies us. However, herein we are not of his Mind, that ei­ther the Apostles or primitive Christians did swear, or held it lawful; for we make a Difference between earnest Affirmations, and Swear­ing; and they did really speak the Truth in Christ, unto which God was Witness; and this was in a state so n [...]arly related to God, as that of being in Christ, wherein they could neither speak nor do any thing against the Truth: But the state of the Jews under the Law was much inferiour to this, wherein their Swearing by the Lord (as the Chief Judge and Revenger of Falshood and Injury) was in a more remote state, when they formally bound themselves by an Oath, or conditional Curse, which was a Bond upon their Souls, when they feared it (as few do now who are in the Swearing Nature) But there is no need for the true Christians in Christ to use Imprecations, or to pronounce any conditional Curse against themselves to bind their Souls; and we have not so learned Christ, as thus to Swear or Curse; but to say the Truth in Christ, unto which God is witness, which is not to Swear the Truth in Christ, nor to bind our Souls with an Implicite Curse in his Name (knowing also, that the Penalty from God of all Ly­ars is the Lake of Misery, as well as of false Swearers) For, where did the Apostle Paul say, I Swear the Truth in Christ? Howbeit, if o­therwise our Conscience, as to our simple Affirmation or Denyal in Yea or Nay be question'd, we have proposed to those in Power thus, ‘That we desire and request, that you will be pleased to Enact and Provide, that in stead and place thereof, as the Cases may require, our Yea and Nay may be accepted and taken; and if we break our Yea and our Nay, which is Christ's solemn Form of sound words, and which is his Gospel Command, which we stand to and for, then let us suffer the same Penalty as they that can Swear, and break their Oaths:’ This we have left to the serious Consideration of those in Pow­er; and not to the Prejudice of malicious men, such as our Opposer, who, like a Busy Body, hath vainly spent his Labour against us.

This is written on behalf, and in the Person of the People of God called Qua­kers, and their Evangelical Testimony, by some who are Lovers of the said People, and the Souls of all Men.

THE CASE of the QUAKERS Concerning OATHS Defended as Evangelical, &c.

Section I.
Of the Nature and Extent of Oaths, not a Property of True Christians.

LEt the serious Reader judge, whether our Opposer J. S. hath taken a Christian Way and Method to convince us of Error or not, by Vilifying and Railing, calling us Monsters of men, impudent, obstinate and reprobate-minded men, as in his second and sixth pages; and on serious Examination of his Matter, we shall find it as ineffectual for the same End, as in his first Argument, to prove the Lawfulness of Swearing. He Instanceth Paul's saying, God is my Witness, Rom. 1. 9. I say the Truth in Christ; I Lye not; my Conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, Rom. 9. 1. Together with 2 Cor. 1. 23. chap. 11. 37. Gal. 1. 20. Phil. 1. 8. 1 Thess. 2. 10. Ye are Witnesses, and God also. And these Forms of Speech he saith, are sacred Oaths; and that the Definition of an Oath in the common Notion of Mankind, is nothing else but the calling God to Witness to the truth of what we say, p. 2. It appears that he varies, and is confoun­ded [Page 6] about the definition of an Oath; for one while he saith, It is the Invocation of God's Name, a most solemn Invocation of the Divine Majesty; Another while it is the Denouncing of a Curse; p. 4. Another while a man's calling God for a Witness against his Soul, daring him to his Face, challenging the Divine Vengeance to do its worst in case he swear falsly, p. 13. Now, Reader, be pleased to observe, first, his Variation and Contradiction, be­tween his saying, An Oath is nothing else but a calling God to witness, and the pronouncing of a Curse, daring God to his Face, challenging Divine Vengeance to do its worst. As for the first, We cannot be convinced that it makes up a formal Oath among Christi­ans, to whose Testimony God is Witness as he was to Paul's. As for the latter, It is more then an Oath, and savours of high Pre­sumption, unbecoming a Christian-Spirit, either to dare God to his Face, or challenge Divine Vengeance. Besides, if those very words of Paul, God is my Witness, make up a formal Oath by him, then we ask, If his saying, My Conscience bearing me witness, and Ye are Witnesses, doth not (by the same Reason) make up a Formal Oath, by his Conscience, and by those Saints to whom he wrote? And were not this most grosly to charge Paul with Transgression both of Law and Gospel? Whereas in a Formal Oath, as made amongst Men, there is, First, Swearing by the Great God intended; Secondly, An Imprecation or Curse con­tained; Thirdly, Some Ceremony or Sign usedSee Gen. 24. 9. and 47. 29, 31. But our Op­poser hath brought us no Scripture for Kissing and Laying the Hand on a Book. besides the bare words of in­vocating or calling upon God (or so help me God) For that the same Invocation may as well be used without an Oath, e­ven in our praying for God's Help and Assistance.

The words, So help me God, or I call God to witness, may be u­sed without any Intent of Swearing, as well as in an Oath; in de­siring his Help, and simply as owning him for Witness to the Truth spoken in Christ, which, as such, is not an Oath; but when thus intendedIuramentum ali­quod mente juratur. viz. So let me have or want the Help of God according as I speak the Truth; or so let God be Witness, or judge for or a­gainst me: In this latter Sense is an Oath implying a Curse; as, [Page 7] Let God be Witness or Judge against me if I speak not the Truth; but the bare words, so God help me, or God is my Witness, or God knows I speak the Truth in Christ, I Lye not, cannot be a Swearing (nor a Formal Oath) without an Intention thereof, or of an Im­precation or Execration implyed,Num. 5. 24. as of old some time an Oath of Cursing was used among the Jews; 1 Sam. 14. 28. and there are several Sorts of Oathes, and several Wayes or Ceremonies expressing Formal Swearing, as among the Heathen, Laying the Hands upon the Altar, and Swear­ing by the Gods;Jurare aras. Hor. Gen. 24. 2. & 47. 29. Abraham's Servant putting his Hand under his Thigh; the Angel Lifting up the Hand towards Heaven; among the professed Chri­stians, a Laying the Hand upon a Bible, and Kissing it, or Swearing upon the four Evangelists (accor­ding to the Pope's Imposition.) However, we taking the last, as the Magistrates general Sense of an Oath; the Definition thereof is not so much the Matter in Controversie, as the Lawfulness or Unlawfulness of Swearing among Christians.

His Instance, that Jacob Swore by the Fear of his Father Isaac, proves not that Laban's simply saying God is Witness, makes up a formal Oath; seeing he also said, This Heap (viz. of Stones) is Witness between me and thee, see Gen. 31. VVill any presume to say, That he Swore by the Heap of Stones, which was a Wit­ness or a Memorial? His accusing St. Paul, notwithstanding Christ's prohibition, that he did frequently confirm his Sayings with an Oath; is both a gross Abuse of Paul, and contradicts this man's confessing that he delivered the Truth with great Demonstration of the Spirit and of Power, and that by Manifestation of the Truth he commended himself to every man's Conscience in the Sight of God, 1 Cor. 2. 4, 13. 2 Cor. 4. 2. Surely the Demonstration of the Spirit, and Manifestation of the Truth, was not Swearing to every man's Conscience; for there was no need of Swearing where the Truth was so manifest among the Saints. But to say, that Paul did frequently confirm his Sayings with an Oath, renders him both of very little Power, Manifestation or Credit, as a Minister of Christ among his Saints and Churches (none of them excepted) and them also to have as little Knowledge and Confidence of Paul and his Testimony.

[Page 8] Further, He varies between saying, God is Witness, and mens cal­ling him for a Record against their Soul; where he brings Augu­stine for a Proof that Paul Swore in these words: If so, Augu­stine is not constant to himself, nor with other Fathers, particular­ly Basil. on Psal. 14. pag. 155. of his Works, impr. at Paris 1618. where he saith, There are some Speeches which have the form of an Oath, which are not Oathes, but are Remedies for the Hear­er; as the Apostle to the Corinthians, willing to shew his Love, said, Yea, or by your Rejoycing, &c. for he was not disobedi­ent to the Doctrine of the Gospel, who was intrusted with the Go­spel: but he gave a small word in the Form of an Oath; that their Rejoycing was most desirous to him he shewed by such a manner of Speech.’ Thus far Basil, though we know the Particle [by] is not alwayes a Note of Swearing.

In his second Argument he grants, that Justice may be admini­stred according to the Rule of the Gospel by the Testimony of Two or Three Witnesses, Mat. 18. 16. but not of one without an Oath (as taking in God to witness with him) where there is but one Witness, as in the Case instanced, Exed. 22. 10, 11. However, that Testimony of Two or Three Witnesses may decide a Contro­versie without an Oath; and where there is but one faithful Wit­ness, God is Witness with him and for him therein, and hath a Witness for him in men's Consciences. And the Law-makers (to whom we have applyed, and not to such busie Opposers as this A­gent against us) have Power to make Provision for such a one as cannot for Conscience sake Swear, that his Testimony may be ta­ken instead of an Oath, especially he being willing to undergo the same Penalty that is due to perjured Persons, if he be found false in his Testimony, as we have proposed; however, this Opposer takes little notice thereof. And many in Authority have confessed our Proposition therein to be fair and sufficient, and not at all ten­ding to obstruct the Administration of Justice, nor to patronize Injustice, as is most falsly insinuated against us, pag. 3.

In his third Argument he asserts, That the Spirit of Christ in the Old Testament Prophets did commend Swearing by God, as that which was to be the practice of his Elect Servants in the Christian-Church, after his Rejection of the Jews and chusing the Gentiles.

[Page 9] Answ. We deny this Assumption, that they did so commend Swearing, as a Practice to continue in the Christian-Church among Jews and Gentiles; For Christ and his Apostles Prohibition of Swearing at all, either by Heaven or Earth, or any other Oath, was of an Universal Extent to both Jews and Gentiles that come to be of the Christian-Church, both forbidding such Swearing, as the Jews of old time used under the Law, viz. by the Lord; and the Apostate Jews and Gentiles Swearing by Idols, or the Creatures, or any Oath whatsoever.

He attempts to prove his Assumption from Isa. 56. 15. And ye shall leave your Name for a Curse to my Chosen; that is (saith he) the people that I shall chuse from among the Gentiles shall use your Name in Execration, when they have a mind to denounce a Curse, &c. And this he brings to prove Swearing a Practice to continue amongst God's Elect Servants in the Christian-Church: And so he would perswade them, not only to Swear contrary to Christ's Command, but to use Execrations, and to denounce a Curse when they have a mind, as he supposes; which is contrary to Christ and his Apostles Doctrine, who taught the Elect to Bless those that Curse them, and to Bless, and Curse not; for, to Bless God and Curse man ought not to be.

In his fourth Argument he saith, The Spirit of Christ, which was in the Prophets, fore-told; That in the Time of the Gospel the Lord's people should Swear by his Name, as an Evidence of their Conversi­on to him.

Answ. This we also deny, together with his high Applause of Swearing, as an Evidence of man's Conversion in the Time of the Gospel, and as Divine Service and Homage, and as denoting an e­minent Act of saving Confession to God, and as a part of Divine Worship, and as a Sign, Witness and Argument of Egypt's Conver­sion, and the Language of Canaan, a pure Language, which God promised to restore to all Nations at the Coming of Christ; yea, the Condition of God's accepting men for his people, the Condition of ac­cepting us as sincere Disciples, the Way of God's People; as may be seen in his 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 14th pages. All these high Commendations he attributes to Swearing by the Lord; As if all those that so Swear must needs be such great Converts, divine Worshippers, attained to the pure Language of Cananan, highly [Page 10] accepted of God, sincere Disciples in God's Way, &c. Mark here, Swearing by the Lord is this man's Gospel, and the Condi­tion of all his Felicity; but such Ignorance and silly Stuff what ra­tional man cannot see? His Proof is, Isa 45. 23. and Chap. 19. 18. In the first it is said, I have Sworn by my self, the Word is gone out of my Mouth in Righteousness, and shall not return, that to me every Knee shall bow, every Tongue shall swear. In the second it is said, In that day shall five Cities in the Land of Egypt speak the Language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of Hosts. There shall be an Altar to the Lord in the midst of the Land of Egypt, &c. Here he applies Swearing to Gospel-Times, so takes Swearing as literally under the Gospel, to conti­nue, as under the Law, but not the Altar; but confesseth, that the Altar here specified is no other then that which St. Paul menti­ons Heb. 13. 10. We have an Altar, &c. that is, saith he, Christ's Stable-Throne of Grace, p. 8. So that the Altar he interprets fi­guratively under the Gospel, but swearing literally; see his Con­fusion: Whereas if the Altar be Christ's Stable-Throne of Grace, then by the same Reason he should have said, that by Swearing is intended a Gospel-Confession, according to the Apostle's own words, Rom. 14. 11. where mentioning the Prophets words before, in­stead of Every Tongue shall swear, he saith, Every Tongue shall confess to God. And likewise Phil. 2. 11. And that every Tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the Father. It is not, every Tongue shall swear, [...], that Jesus Christ is Lord; but [...], shall confess, the same word that is in Rom. 10. 10. And with the Mouth [...], it is con­fessed, or Confession is made to Salvation; And likewise in John 4. 2. Every Spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the Flesh is of God, there is the same word. He doth not make swearing that Jesus is the Christ, that Proof; nor commend swear­ing to God in the Gospel, as an infallible Mark of man's Conver­sion, and the Condition of God's accepting them as sincere Disci­ples, as our Opposer doth: For many both can and do Swear by God, that never came to such Acceptance, nor to such a Confessi­on of Christ, as is to God's Glory, which proceeds from a heart that believes to Salvation; For that no man can thus confess to God, or say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 12. 3. [Page 11] But many can and do Swear without the Holy Ghost, therefore true Confession is Evangelical, and not Swearing. It is true, Con­fession from a believing Heart is an Evidence of Men's Conversion, and not making Oath or Swearing, which this Man seems to con­fess appertains to common humane Infirmity, p. 1. And what was that Infirmity upon which Swearing was occasioned under the Law, but man's Diffidence, Jealousie or Distrust, which if they had fulfilled the Principal and Royal Law of Love both to God and one another, there would have been no such occasion of Distrust? Therefore Swearing was neither Moral, Perpetual nor Evangeli­cal, as some suppose; nor is it essential to the Divine Worship of God (as this man vainly thinks) which is in Spirit and Truth; for that Worship was both before Swearing, and is performed without Swearing. That God himself swore by himself, who could not swear by a greater, we deny not; But if this must be made an Argument, that therefore in this man may imitate God, who is his Maker, we deny the Consequence; for this were to set up a Creature in the Creator's place: Nay, as good an Argument did the Serpent bring when he said, Ye shall be as God's, &c.

To J. S. his saying, That to Swear by the Lord of Hosts is to speak the Language of Canaan, that pure Lauguage which God pro­mised, &c. that pure and undefiled Religion, which was at first re­vealed to man in Paradice, p. 10.

Answ. First, That God promised to return to his People a pure Language, we own; and that they should serve him with one Consent; therefore they should not need to Swear one to another, or be Swearers under the Gospel. Secondly, Nor doth he prove by Scripture, that to swear by the Lord of Hosts was that pure and undefiled Religion, which was at first revealed to Man in Paradice; For this is to tell the World, that God taught Adam and Eve to Swear to each other in the State of Innocency, when there was no Occasion of Swearing.

In his fifth Argument to prove Swearing in Gospel Times, the Condition of God's accepting Men for his People, such a Condition, as upon the fulfilling thereof he will number them among his Disciples, and account them his People that do, viz. learn to Swear by his Name, p. 11. For Proof of this erroneous Assertion he cites Jer. 12. 16. And it shall come to pass, that if they will diligently learn the Way [Page 12] of my People, to Swear by my Name▪ the Lord liveth, as they taught my People to Swear by Baal, &c.

Answ. This was in the Prophets Time; and to be fulfilled un­der the Law; There is not the same Reason for Christians under the Gospel, to swear by the Lord to divert them from Swearing by false Gods, as there was in those former dayes: For those that had learned to swear by Ball, viz. As Baal liveth, by the Life of Ba­al, &c. p. 12. which was opposed by swearing, As the Lord li­veth, under the Law, and now confessing his Name, and making Confession to his Glory under the Gospel. His telling us of a di­ligent Learning to Swear by God's Name, and a learning this way of God's People, &c. p. 12, 14, 15. is, as if he should tell us, that to swear by the Name of the Lord is such a difficult and hard Les­son, that men must be very diligent to learn it, and therein come into God's Way and Condition of Acceptance; when Drun­kards, Lyars, Dissemblers, &c. can easily and do frequently tread that Path, and walk in that Way of Swearing both in and out of Courts.

J. S. saith, Men may confess God in Prayer and Thanksgiving, and Attendance upon the Word and Sacraments, and yet not glorifie him sufficiently in order to God's accepting of them as true Worship­pers, in order to his reputing them living Stones fit to be laid in the Walls of his House, the Church, except to those who are mentioned; and all other wayes of expressing their Homage they add this of Swearing by his Name; except they learn diligently withal to ac­knowledge his Omnisciency, Omnipotency, &c. by Swearing by his Fearful Name: Where this most solemn Invocation is denyed him he esteems all other Acts of Invocation not serious enough to obliege him that tenders them to a sincere Confession, pag. 13.

Answ. Oh, what lamentable Doctrine & sad Work is this! What is this but to tell the World, that they cannot acceptably confess God, nor sufficiently glorifie him, either in Prayer, Thanksgiving, Attendance on the Word, &c. unless withal they add thereto a Swearing by his Fearful Name? which is to teach or tell People, When they go to Prayer, to Church, or else-where, they must go there to Swear; and also in their Attendance upon the Word, while the Minister is preaching the people must swear; and from thence, the more they Swear, the more they perform Divine Worship; which [Page 13] therefore must needs be most effectually done where there is most frequent Swearing, and (as his words are) DARING GOD TO HIS FACE. And then a farther Abuse against God is, That without Swearing by his Name (which he reckons a daring him to his Face) he esteems all other Acts of Invocation and Prayer not seri­ous enough to express a sincere Confession: Oh sad! As if God did not regard a sincere Soul and upright Heart in his Devotion with­out Swearing; or regarded not the Sighing and Breathing of the Needy, when he is worshipped in the Spirit and in the Truth.

Again, J. S. in Justification of Swearing by the Name of God, saith; God esteems this as the Highest and most August Act of Di­vine Worship that the Creature can possibly exhibit to him, and as that which eminently contains all others, and comprehends the whole Condi­tion of the Gospel, all the wayes of God's People confessing to him; and that Swearing by God implies the whole Worship of God, p. 13.

Answ. This is such a Commendation of Swearing as we never read of before; and such a Way of expressing the whole Wor­ship of God, and the whole Condition of the Gospel, as neither God nor Christ ever taught him; Nor yet did ever God say, when he allowed Swearing, that he allowed it as the highest and most au­gust Act of Divine Worship.

But 'tis to be considered yet, whether this highest Act of Di­vine Worship, that eminently contains all others, to be admini­stred by the Laity to all sorts of People without Distinction, be not the highest Degree of Prophanation; or otherwise, Whether the Admistration thereof do make Clarks of Courts, Ministers of the Gospel and of the Clergy as well as Parish Clarks, yea, or nay?

Having taken notice of his high Commendation of swearing by the Lord, and the Advantage he hath promised thereupon, as no less then God's accepting them that so swear as sincere Disciples, and of his ingrafting them into his Evangelical Church; Now let us take notice of his Threats against such as refuse to swear, or to learn this Way of Confessing God by swearing. It renders man obnoxious to the Dint of his Fearful Doom; I will utterly pluck up and destroy that Nation; And that God doth reject them; And that he will not let them escape unpunished who will not learn to swear by [Page 14] his Name in Judgment, Righteousness and Truth they shall perish, &c. p. 14. But they that abide in the Doctrine of Christ and his Apostles who said, Swear not at all, they will not fear such Threats; nor do they value this man's vain Flourish, Boasting and Reviling, nor his threatning Familists, Anabaptists, Catharists, Quakers with Destruction, if they will not learn diligently to swear, con­trary to what Christ learns us; and because of Oaths the Land mourns; and God's Hand and Controversie is against such Oppo­sers of Christ's Doctrine and Urgers of Men to swear: Does not Christ say, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life? And must not we walk in him the New and Living Way, and obey his Commands?

Sect. II.
The End of Swearing and Oaths proved from the Texts commonly urged by us.

HE undertakes the Explanation of the Texts we commonly urge against Swearing, which are.

Mat. 5. 34. But I say to you, Swear not at all; neither by Heaven, for it is God's Throne; neither by the Earth, for it is his Footstool; neither by Jerusalem, &c. But let your Commu­nication be Yea, Yea, Nay, Nay; for whatsoever is more then these cometh of Evil. And

Jam. 5. 12. But above all things, my Brethren, Swear not, neither by Heaven, neither by the Earth, neither by any other Oath; But let your Yea be Yea, and your Nay, Nay, lest ye fall into Condemnation.

For our urging these, he most grosly and falsly reflects upon us, as dealing with those Texts as the Devil did with that which he quoted (he should have said cited) to Christ, Mat. 4. 6. out of Psal. 91. 11. leaving out in all thy Wayes; so these Men, quoth he, wrest these Portions of Scripture, by making a Stop at Swear not at all, leaving out the words following, neither by Heaven, &c.

[Page 15] Herein he abuseth us; for first, we leave not out those words, as both ours and his own Citation proves, see our Case, p. 24. and his own Book, p. 15▪ Secondly, We make no other Stop but what the Greek Copies and Translations have after swear not at all; where [neither] a Disjunctive follows, which he joyns in the same Colon or Member of Sentence; whereas in the Greek after [...], there is a middle Distinction, or severing of the Members of the Sentence, as likewise in the Latine after omnino, and in the English after at all: more fully explained by James, Swear not; neither by Heaven, Earth, &c. nor ANY other Oath; which this Oppo­ser by his Meaning endeavours to restrain only to swearing by those or any Creatures, and also to irreverential and common Swear­ing, p. 23. and lavish Oaths, p. 24. voluntary rash Oathes, p. 31. and to swearing rashly, prophanely, irreverentially, in our ordinary Communication, p. 32. and in your common Talk, p. 36. as if on­ly these were forbidden in the Texts before. But still he pleads for Swearing by the Lord reverently, besides the extent of the Pro­hibition before, neither by any other Oath; As if this man should tell us, that Swearing by the Lord is no Oath: Who also presumes to tell us, Here is nothing forbidden but what was for­bidden in the Law, when Swearing by the Lord was not only lawful but expresly commanded, Deut. 6. 13. & 10. 20. All which is answered by Christ himself, where he recites what was said in old time in this Case of Swearing; as namely, It hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not Forswear thy self, but shalt per­form to the Lord thy Oathes: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by Heaven, &c. But let your Communication be Yea, Yea, Nay, Nay, &c. Which makes it very plain, that here was more forbidden by Christ then what was by the Law, his words in this holding parallel with his very next words; Ye have heard that it hath been saith, An Eye for an Eye, and a Tooth for a Tooth; but I say unto you, That ye resist not Evil; but whoso­ever shall smite thee on thy right Cheek, turn to him the other also, vers. 38, 39. Did not Christ himself hereby forbid his Disciples that kind of severe Retaliation which was allowed under the Law▪ as he allowed divers and other things in Condescensi­on to the People's Weakness, Deut. 24. 1. Matth. 5. 31, 32. Luke 16. 18.

[Page 16] And in this Case of God's allowing the Jews to swear under the Law, where he said, Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God,Chrysost. Tom. 1. and serve him, and shalt Swear by his Name,Hom. 17. on Mat. 5. Deut. 6. 13. This appears plainly to be a Condescension to their Weakness,Oecumen. on Jam. 5. pag. 136. and an Obligation to prevent them from going af­ter other Gods, as is evident by the very next words; Ye shall not go after other Gods, of the Gods of the people that are round about you, vers. 14. This State was much below the Evangelical State of the true Christians, who in the Love they bear to the Lord are engaged to speak the Truth in Yea and Nay without an Oath, as Christ & his Apostles have taught. So the Difference lies here, the Jews when bound by an Oath, they fear­ed the Oath, or the Curse contained or implyed in it (they Swearing by the Great God, as chiefly to be feared them, with regard to his Power to judge and avenge, &c.) and this was for a time some tye upon them, to prevent them from going after other Gods. The True Christians are bound in their Consciences by the Royal and Evangelical Law of Love (which was before Swearing was, and takes away the Occasion of Oaths) to serve God, and speak the Truth every man to his Neighbour without Swearing. So that the Disparity between the State under the Law and that under the Gospel lies here; Under the Law, Thou shalt fear the Lord, and Swear by his Name: Under the Gospel, Thou shalt so Love the Lord as to speak the Truth, and confirm it in Yea and Nay, with­out being bound by an Oath. Now judge, serious Reader, which of these do express more Love, Respect and Honour to God; whether he that's bound by an Oath not to go after other Gods, and to speak the Truth as fearing an Oath and the Curse (which was the better use of Oaths, which now few that use them regard) or he that is bound in Conscience to speak and do Truth without an Oath, whose word Yea and Nay is more binding to him, and of more Value and Credit then men's Swearing, Impre­cations and Curses? And likewise between man and man and Neighbours, which do express most Love one to another and Con­fidence in each other, they that will not believe one another with­out Oathes and Curses, or they that will (like Christians) speak the Truth, and believe one another's plain and simple Yea, Yea, [Page 17] and Nay, Nay, as Christ and his Apostle has commanded? Such are the true Christians and People of God, as are come to the fulfil­ling of the Evangelical Prophesie; Surely they are my People, Children that will not Lye, and so was he their Saviour, Isa. 63. 8. And the Remnant of Israel shall not speak Lyes, neither shall a Deceitful Tongue be found in their Mouth.

But to return to Christ and his Apostles express Prohibition: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by Heaven, &c. nor by ANY OTHER Oath. Hereby Christians are so plainly forbid­den Swearing in any Case, as Christ forbids an Eye for an Eye, and a Tooth for a Tooth, or hating thine Enemy, see Mat. 5. 39, 44. Or else, what Coherence is there in his Words, and what Difference is there between the Dispensation of the Law and that of the Gospel, if (as this man sayes) Christ here forbids nothing but what was forbid in the Law? By which he renders Christ as thus speaking, It hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not Forswear thy self, but shalt perform to the Lord thine Oaths; And I say the same, Instead of, But I say unto you, Swear not at all. And likewsie ye have heard that it hath been said, An Eye for an Eye, and a Tooth for a Tooth; And I say the same to you, in­stead of, But I say unto you, Resist not Evil, &c. And so this would make Christ still leave his Followers in the Fighting Reveng­ful Nature; as this man's limiting his words for Swearing as the Jews did, renders Christ as leaving his Followers but still in the same common Humane Infirmity (as his words are) and weak Dis­trusting and unsteady Condition, as the Jews under the Works of the Law were in, who were allowed to Swear by the Lord, as a Prevention from running after other Gods, and to remove Jea­lousie or Hard Thoughts out of the Minds one of another, as a­bout the Case mentioned Exod. 22. 10, 11.

Upon the words, Neither by any other Oath, J. S. adds, Swear not at all, by Heaven, Earth, or any other of those Forms of Swear­ing by the Creature, that Christ forbad the use of, p. 17. where­as the words of the Apostle, who well knew the Mind of Christ, extend farther, as not only a forbidding a Swearing by Heaven or Earth, but also by ANY OTHER OATH. But mark, how pre­sently after this Oath-Vindicator hath opposed Swearing by Hea­ven, Earth or the Creature, he contradicts himself in the same [Page 18] page where he saith, He that swears by Heaven, swears by him whose Throne it is; He that swears by Earth, swears by him whose Foot-Stool it is; because though God's Name be not expresly menti­oned in such Forms of Oaths, yet it is implyed; and therefore we are not to use such Forms in our common Speech any more then the Name of God himself, but in Reverence, and in extreme Necessity, p. 17. So that by this he allows of such a Form as Swearing by Heaven or Earth, that thereby they may Swear by God that dwells therein; when before they are not at all to Swear by Heaven, Earth or any other of th [...]se Forms: See what an eminent Antagonist this is that undertakes to confute the Quakers, and yet contradicts him­self in one and the same page; As much as to say, We may not Swear by any of those Forms, as by Heaven or Earth, yet we must swear by such Forms of Oaths, as by Heaven or Earth, that we may Swear by him that made them and dwells therein, being his Throne and Footstool; whereas it is confessed on all hands, that to Swear by Heaven or Earth, or any other Creature, is absolutely for­bidden; but Swearing by the Lord on a Book or otherwise, is the Matter in Controversie. But this man further in his own Contra­diction saith; As to the Forms of Swearing, whether God's Name be expresly mentioned in them, or only implyed by mentioning some of his Creatures with respect to him; as when we call Heaven and Earth to bear witness to what we say, I do not find any Difference between them, either in Point of Lawfulness or Obligation, by the People of God or God himself in any Age, p. 19.

He finds little to purpose then, but what is to his own Contradi­ction and Confusion, that one while confesses it unlawful to swear by Heaven, Earth, or any other Creature; and another while finds no difference between Swearing by Heaven or Earth without mentioning the Name of God, and Swearing by God himself: And yet in his second page, his Definition of an Oath is nothing else but a calling God to Witness; but here he hath found something else; for an Oath in his 19th page is, calling Heaven and Earth to Wit­ness. Oh, what a Labyrinth of Confusion is this man in! It is true, that Christ reproved the Scribes & Pharisees Folly and Blind­ness in saying, Whosoever Sweareth by the Temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall Swear by the Gold of the Temple, he is a Debtor: See his Reproof upon them Mat. 23. 16, &c. He also [Page 19] addeth ver. 22. He that sweareth by Heaven, sweareth by the Throne of God, and him that sitteth thereon.

Now this man in allowing such Forms of Oaths, as a Swearing by Heaven, &c. because therein, it is both a Swearing by the Throne of God and him that sitteth thereon, he represents Christ as contradicting himself, who said, Swear not at all; Hilary comment. on Mat. Canon 4. on Mat. 5. 34. neither by Heaven, nor by Earth, &c. So that he forbids both Swearing in general, and u­sing such Forms of Oaths as this man allows of, as a Swearing by the Throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. And we do not find that Christ allows the Scribes & Pha­risees to use any such Form of Oaths, as Swearing by Heaven, and therein by God, any more then he allowed them to swear either by the Temple, or by the Gold of the Temple; either by the Al­tar, or by the Gift that is upon it; But rather reproves them with, Ye Fools and Blind; Wo to you Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites, &c. He is so far from telling them, that to swear by Heaven, and so by God, was the most August Act of Divine Worship, as this man hath affirmed; and yet saith, We are not to use such Forms but in extream Necessity; which in his sense is to tell us, We are not to perform the Worship of God, or the most August Act thereof, but in extream Necessity: For he sayes, That Swearing implies the whole Worship of God, p. 13. And that he is not Glorified sufficiently in order to God's Accepting us either in Prayer, Thanksgiving or Attending upon his Word, unless we add Swearing by his Name: But who besides himself of the Church of England will believe such Doctrine? By the same Reason that God interprets it, as an Affront offered to him when Perjury is committed in the Name of an Idol, this man's idolizing Swearing, as implying the whole Worship of God, and as being the most August Act of Divine Wor­ship, God may justly interpret as an Affront offered to him, and a Depraving his Worship, who was and is truly loved and wor­shipped in the Spirit and in the Truth, before mens Oaths and Swearing were, and when they are ended.

J. S. alledgeth 1 Cor. 15. 31. saying, I Protest by your Re­joycing, or more properly, I Swear; for, saith he, [...] in that Tongue is a Note of Swearing, and therefore makes the Apostle say, I Swear by your Rejoycing.

[Page 20] To which we say, First, Let it be considered, whether their Rejoycing was God their Maker; if not, as we know none holds, then whether this man hath not rendered Paul highly a Transgres­sor according to his own Opinion, in making him Swear by some­thing that is not God, as also by the Rejoycing of others; for their Rejoycing simply could but be an Effect of Grace, or of the Spirit. Secondly, Though the Adverb [...] was sometimes used as a Note of Swearing among the Greeks, yet not always; for it is sim­ply an Affirmation, as coming of [...], yea or truly, and is used when we are about to affirm somewhat; see the Lexicons.See the various Read­ings in Walton and the Cr [...]ticks. And some read the Apostles words thus, Verily I dye daily for your Rejoycing, or our Rejoycing, which I have in Christ Jesus. ‘And likewise J. S. represents the primitive Christians, who sufferd under the Pagan Persecutions the most exquisite Torments rather then to Swear by the Heathen Gods or the Genij of the Emperors; yet by the Health All of them did not so Swear. of the Empe­rors, Tertullian assureth us they did; and as saying, We Christians Swear by the Health of the Emperor, which is more worth then all the Genij; and by the Majesty of the Emperor: And also addeth, That the Form of the Military Oath, which the Christian Soldiers took in Constantine's time is thus laid down, By the Majesty of the Emperor, &c. And saith, That in such Forms of Swearing, though we name some Creatures, yet we Swear not ultimately by that Creature, pag. 20.

First, However Tertullian represents these Martyrs as Swearing by the Health of the Emperor, and those afterwards by the Majesty of the Emperor; The Truth of the first is a Matter in Question, especially since Swearing by a Creature hath been accounted unlawful both among Jews and Christians; nei­ther can such an Example (if true) be Warrant to any to take such a Form of Oath, as by the Health of a Man or Creature. Secondly, Neither is Swearing by the Health of the Emperor any more warrantable; And did not both these Oaths savour of Hea­thenism? which if any esteemed Christians, came under and took, it was more a Condescension for Fear then any Example to be followed.

And his saying, That though we name some Creature, yet we swear [Page 21] not ultimately by that Creature; yet however, it implies a Swear­ing in part by that Creature: And how well this agrees with his accounting a Lawful Oath but a calling God to witness, or a Swear­ing only by his Name, let the ingenuous Reader judge; or with Tertullian his Sense of the said Swearing by the Health of the Em­peror, viz. Per salutem Imperatoris, salvum esse volumus quod Deus voluit; et hoc nobis pro magno juramento est: We acknowledge that Emperors are set over the Nations by the Will of God, and what is by the Will of God we will or wish that God may save; and this to us is for or instead of a great Oath. And the same WE also will or desire, that is, the Well-fare of Caesar or the King, as acknowledging God's Power or Hand in setting him up; For that Promotion comes not from the East, nor from the West, &c. but from the Lord, who putteth down one and setteth up another as he pleaseth.

His accusing the Quakers for wresting those Passages afore­said, we pass by among the rest of his Slanders. But his confes­sing, That no People upon the Earth were more scrupulously tender of taking solemn promissory Oaths then the Jews were at that time when our Saviour gave them this Prohibition, pag. 24. from Joeseph Antiq. l. 18. cap. 5.

This makes for us; for were not promissory Oaths as well as as­sertory allowed under the Law? And if they were tender of ta­king promissory Oaths, they were more fitted for Christ's univer­sal Prohibition of Oaths, as they were in some measure prepared for Christ by John's Baptism.

He tells us, That the Jews could swallow such Camel-Oaths as by Heaven, &c. pag. 24. And is not he himself guilty of the same? Could not he swallow such Camel-Oaths where he allows the use of such Forms, as Swearing by Heaven; &c. because Gods Name is implyed? And he that sweareth by Heaven, sweareth by him whose Throne it is, which he accounts lawful, pag. 17, 19. But in pag. 24. To Swear by Heaven or Jerusalem are Camel-Oaths: What Credit can this man's Work against us be of? He reckons that Christ's words may be applyed to their Stipulations by Oath in their private Contracts and mutual Trading; whenas Christ's Prohibition, as explained by the Apostle James, is general; But [Page 22] his applying it to an Oath in private Contracts, seems to grant, That Christ did forbid something of this kind that was used under the Law as well as in a publick manner: And there seems no Rea­son why Christ's words should be only thus applyed, unless men were more clear of Corruption and Fraud in private Contracts then in publick Testimonies; or why Christ's general words [For whatsoever is more then these cometh of Evil, or of the Evil One] should extend only to the private and not to the publick, ap­pears not to us: However, they whom the Evil One leads to Lye for any Self-Interest, what Credit is to be given to their Swearing? And is it not evident, how little the Custom thereof sweyes with their Consciences by the Injury and Injustice many suffer, and the long Continuance of Contests, Law-Suits and Quarrels? And a man would think, that there should be less need of Swearing in the Magistrates Presence then in private Covenants and Contracts; because it is the Magistrates Wisdom to search and find out the Mat­ter, and in his Power to punish the False Witness, and be a Ter­ror to him; but in Private only the Fear and Terror of God in men's Consciences can restrain them from E­vil:See Gen. 24. 9. & 31. 53. & 21. 23. & 26. 28. & 47. 31. However, what's more evident, then that private Oaths and Covenants thereby be­tween man and man were in use both before and under the Law;Num. 30. 2, 3. 1 Sam. 20. 3, 17. 1 King. 8. 31. & 14. 26. So that this man's deem­ing Christ's Prohibition to extend to an Oath in private Contracts between man and man, and yet reckoning, that he forbids nothing but what was forbidden in the Law, we cannot but wonder at such wonderful and frequent Contradiction.

J. S. saith. Applying Christ's Prohibition to solemn Oaths, ei­ther Promissory or Assertory, or to any but common-Discourse-Oaths, makes Christ a Transgressor of the Law. I Tremble at the Thought of this Consequence, which as naturally flows from the Quakers Hy­pothesis as Light from the Sun, pag. 25.

Answ. He hath cause rather to Tremble because of his own Ig­rance and perverse Talk, thus to tye up Christ's Prohibition so fully explain'd, in Opposition to former Oaths and Swearing under the Law (even those to the Lord, which surely were solemn and seri­ous, [Page 23] Neh. 10. 29.) as also to the Heathenish Swearing by Crea­tures, where he forbids his to swear at all; adding, neither by Heaven, nor by the Earth, further explain'd by his Apostle James, Nor by any other Oath; And yet Christ was so far from being a Transgressor of the Law it. self, or from causing an Obstruction to all Legal Proceeding, or proclaiming an Indemnity to Thieves, Murderers, Blasphemers, and all sorts of injurious Persons, or turning of Hell loose in the Kingdom of God (as this man blas­phemously words it) That Christ came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it, in answering the End of it, as in this Particular; where Swearing under the Law was a kind of Bond upon their Soul to speak or do that which was Right and Just in the Sight of God and Men, the greater Weight still was upon this then upon those words and Ceremonies of Swearing, which though Christ ended Swearing, and the Law thereof, with many other Circum­stances, Ceremonies and Shadows; yet he did not come either to stop Justice or to indulge Malefactors, he being the End of the Law for Righteousness; and yet unto his own forbids some things the Law allowed, as that, An Eye for an Eye, and a Tooth for a Tooth; though he was for overcoming of Evil with that which was Good.

J. S. pag. 26. alledgeth St. Paul, as if he called Witnesses to swear concerning him, in saying, All which the High Priest and all the State of the Elders can bear me Witness: And in his Apolo­gy before Felix he challengeth his Accusers to prove the Matter of Fact they accused him with, Acts 24. Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me: And that in his Answer be­fore Agrippa, he appeals to the Testimony of those that knew him from his Youth, Acts 26. 5. To which he adds, That if he had thought solemn swearing to be unlawful by this Prohibition of Christ, he would rather have undergone a Thousand Deaths then tempt so many to make Ship-wrack of their Immortal Souls, by calling them to that unlawful Act, pag. 27.

Answ. This is a far fetcht Consequence, and as far from pro­ving the thing intended: For, first, it is an unlikely thing Paul should call the High Priest and all the State of the Elders to Swear that he had been a Persecutor; for then he must call many to be Swearers: And it was sufficiently known abroad among the Jews [Page 24] what manner of Person he had been. Secondly, Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me, was far enough from calling them to swear against him. Thirdly, His admitting a bear­ing him witness, or the Jews testifying concerning him, who knew his former manner of Life, Acts 26. 4, 5. Did he therein call them to swear, in saying, If they would testifie? The most Paul allowed of was a bearing Witness: If they would have sworn, it had been the Rulers and their own Act, who did not think it an Evil, and therefore not so great to them, as to those that believe it is so.

J. S. undertakes further to expound James's words, But above all things, my Brethren, Swear not: He saith [...] is no-where else rendred in Scripture above, but before, and it should be so here, pag. 29. And then he thus paraphases, Let not an Oath lie upper­most upon your Heart, and come first of all, before all things out of your Mouth, pag. 30.

This is a kind of an easie Meaning, but a plain Perversion of the Apostle's Testimony, which does not allow of any such Liberty at all for swearing as this doth, as if he only forbad Swearing in the beginning of our Discourses; whe [...]as the Prohibition is plain and positive, Above all things Swear not, neither by Heaven, neither by the Earth, neither by any other Oath; but this man will still have some other Oath: So whether must we believe him or the A­postle James, judge Reader. And though we do not look on Swearing as worse then Adultery or Man-slaughter, as is queried up­on the words, Above all things Swear not; yet doubtless the Apo­stle saw the Consequence of it might be bad, and sad enough, or else he would not so strictly have Forbidden it to the Twelve Tribes.

J. S. makes these the Consequences of our sticking to the ex­press Command of Christ and his Apostle, viz. That Paul's calling God to witness came from an Evil spirit. That our Saviour, as of­ten as he said Amen, Amen, had those words put into his Mouth by the Evil One, pag. 31.

To the first we say, No; it was Christ, the Son of God, that spoak in Paul, whose Witness God is; and the Son's simply owning the Father for his Witness we do not look upon as making up a Formal Oath.

[Page 25] To the second; Neither can we own that our Saviour swore as often as he said Amen, or Verily, Verily, which was but a Note of Affirmation, and not of Swearing, and more then Yea, Yea, Nay, Nay.

Again, He infers, That the Elect Angel which Christ sent from Heaven to communicate the Knowledge of future things to St. John was inspired by the Devil when he swore by him that liveth forever.

Answ. No, that he was not; for he spoak as God's Represen­tative or Ambassadour, having a peculiar Commission, Power and Dispensation therein, which men may not imitate, which exten­ded through the Law and the Prophets, in which the Swearing was; and wherein the Angels were sent as God's Messengers and Representatives, Ministring Spirits and Servants to the whole Seed of Abraham, and Heirs of Salvation, to whom God's Promise was confirmed by an Oath: And this was a Vision represented in Figures.

His telling us, That Christ prohibits the use of [whatsoever is more] to be intrinsecally Evil, pag. 31.

Answ. Though Oaths when lawful, could not be accounted in­trinsecally Evil; yet there was an Evil that was an Occasion of Oaths, before permitted among the Jews, as that of Diffidence, Jealousie, Instability, Liableness to run after other Gods, and to do Injustice, Distrust one of another, &c. and as this man confesseth, common humane Infirmity, Ambiguity, pag. 1. and pag. 17. How plain is it, it was Weakness, Distrust and Fear in Abimel [...]ch, which was the cause of his requiring Abraham to Swear, that he would not deal falsly with him; and a Covenant with Isaac, that he would do them no Hurt? Gen. 21. 23. and chap. 26. 28. Therefore Christ's words are plain, Let your Com­munication be Yea, Yea, Nay, Nay; for whatsoever is more then these (that is, in Affirming and Denying) cometh of Evil, or of the Evil One. And many Things, Ceremonies, Circumstances and Shadows under the Law, that in themselves were not intrinse­cally evil, did wax old, and grew out of use, and vanished, as the old Covenant it self did, being accounted Weak, Insufficient and of a Decaying Nature, when a higher and more eminent Dispen­sation was brought in, as that of the New Covenant, which there­fore [Page 26] to oppose (with any of those inferiour things before lawful) cometh now of the Evil One.

And J. S. his Consequence and Doctrine appears both Gross, Impious and Antichristian, where he saith; That if the Christian-Churches do not perform Homage to the God of Truth by Swearing as well as Blessing in his Name, if their Tongues do not as well Swear as their Knees bow to him, then the Christian-People are not the Peo­ple of the Messiah; and the Messiah is not yet come, but st [...]ll to be ex­pected; Then the Blessed Jesus is not the Christ of whom the Pro­phet speaketh; but as the Jews at his Arraignment and their Po­sterity Blasphemously stile him, a Deceiver and a Counterfeit, pag. 34.

Answ. Oh Monstrous and Blasphemous Stuff! First, Thus insolently to attempt the engaging of the Christian Church to Swearing as well as Blessing; yea, to Cursing, and daring God to his Face, challenging the Divine Vengeance to do its worst (as before he hath defined an Oath) as well as Blessing in his Name, bowing the Knee, or performing Worship to him▪ What people of a Christian-Spirit can believe this Doctrine? Second [...]y, His rendering Swearing such an eminent Proof of Demonstration of the Messiah's Coming, against the Jews Opinion of him, and as reasonable as to tell us, that the effectual Means to convince the Jews that Jesus is the Christ, is to swear that he is so, instead of the Apostle's plain Confession of him, that Jesus is the Christ, who preferred Confession instead of Swearing.

Again, His scornful Talk of the Reign of the Quakers Christ, and saying, That the Quakers Gloss defrauds God of his due Homag, robs the King of Saints of one of the Prime Jewels of his Crown, presents the Ever-blessed Jesus in the Form of an Impostor▪ and False Christ, leads directly to the Gulf of Gross Infidelity and Denyal of Christ, pag. 35.

This is as Wicked and Blasphemous as his Consequence before, and shews this man to be a most gross Idolater in thus unscriptural­ly applauding of Swearing, as the Prime Jewel of the King of Saints his Crown; whereas the King of Saints and his Servant have plainly forbidden Swearing, which is not to make the Gospel con­tradict the Holy Prophets, as to their spiritual Intent and End (which was to confess to God and to Christ) as is falsly inferred. And as [Page 27] falsly he represents the Prophets, as saying, Christ should teach his Disciples to Swear, The Lord liveth: but where the Prophets so say we are all to seek; but not where they testifie against Swearing, see Jer. 23. 10. Hosea 4. 15. chap. 2. 3. Zach. 5. [...]. Zeph. 1. 5. Eccles. 9. 2. But if Swearing were that Divine Homage, or included the whole Worship of God that is to be among Chri­stians, why is Christ so silent in it and the Apostles, as not expres­ly to command it, but on the contrary, expresly forbid it? Or if Swearing were the most August Act of Divine Worship, surely the Apostle James instead of saying, Above all things my Brethren swear not, should have said, Above all things my Brethren swear ye. There was a time when the Iews [...]eared an Oath; but through the Custom of Swearing they run into False Swearing: And though they said, The Lord liveth, yet surely they swore falsly; And be­cause of Oaths the Land mourned, and this Land mourneth. And therefore even in the Prophets time Oaths & Swearing were testifi­ed against; as, Though thou Israel play the Harlot, yet let not Iudah sin; Come not ye unto Gi [...]gal, neither go ye up to B [...]thaven, not swear The Lord liveth, Hos. 4. 15. If it be said, that this forbidding to Swear was because of their Wickedness and Propha­nation; we say, by the same Reason we may now testifie against Swearing, and for Conscience sake cannot uphold the Custom there­of, nor submit to the Imposition thereof, though this man is not ashamed for all this Abuse and Prophanation, to urge and applaud it as the highest Act of Divine Worship, and the Condition of God's receiving people; which, if it could be granted, as it is not, it only signifies thus much, That only the Righteous, and such as are converted to God, must swear, and that upon a very sacred Ac­count, to God himself.

Now judge, serious Reader, what the Tenor of this man's Work amounts to; it is that Righteous Men must obliege them­selves to God and adore him by Swearing: What is this to swear­ing to men in litigious Courts? And what is this to the Imposition of Oaths we desired the Parliament to remove?

Under the Law Oaths were used in two respects, namely, First, To prevent and end Strife among men (and these both in private and pub [...]ick) 2dly, [...]o God himself, or between man and man, And man and God; or Swearing to man, and Vowing to God: See [Page 28] Gen. 24. 9. & 31. 53. & 21. 23. & 26. 28. & 47. 31. Num. 30. 23. 1 Sam. 20. 3. & chap. 14. 26. 1 King. 8. 31. Neh. 10. 29. chap. 5. 12. Now this man's Work renders Swearing by God in general to be the highest Act of Divine Worship, which only they that are converted to God can perform in his Sense; and such none of the Wicked or Unconverted are capable to per­form. Judge whether this Distinction be made in the usual Pra­ctice of Swearing; or, Hath this man taken so much Pains with the Magistrates as to instruct and warn them, not to impose Oaths upon the Unconverted, nor especially upon those Excommuni­cated by the Bishops? For it needs must be granted on all hands, That they that are Wicked and Unchristian, prophane the Name of the Lord if they swear by him; and they must needs partake of their Sin who force them to it: And as for the Converted and Righteous, they are of Credit; and there is no need to force them to Swear, being under a greater Bond and Covenant with God then that of Oaths imposed by man, Christ being to them their Covenant and Bond, the End of Oaths under the Law, and the Substance of God's Oath to the Heirs of Promise. So we leave this man's Doctrine for all serious Readers to judge of con­cerning Oaths and Swearing.

As what an OATH is, and concerning SWEARING, these are his Affirmations.

1. It is an Invocation of God's Name.

2. Nothing else but a calling God to Witness to the Truth of what we say.

3. A calling God for a Record against their Soul.

4. An Execration or Denouncing a Curse.

5. An Evidence of Conversion to the Lord.

6. Divine Service and Homage.

7. An eminent Act of Saving Confession.

8. One part of Divine Worship.

9. A Sign, Witness and Argument of Egypt's Conversion to the Lord of Hosts.

[Page 29] 10. The Language of Canaan, that pure Language, which God promised to restore to all Nations at the Coming of Christ.

11. That Pure and Vndefiled Religion, which was at first revea­led to man in Parad se.

12. Such a Condition, as upon the fulfilling thereof God will num­ber men among his Disciples.

13. That Confession of God, without which they do not sufficient­ly glorifie him, either by Prayer, Thanksgiving, Attendance on the Word and Sacraments.

14. A Daring God to his Face, challenging the Divine Vengeance to do its worst in case he swear falsly.

15. That God esteems this Swearing as the Highest & most August Act of Divine Worship that the Creature can possibly exhibit to him.

16. That which comprehends the whole Condition of the Gospel, all the Wayes of God's People confessing to him.

17. That Swearing by God implies the whole Worship of God.

18. That Men ought to learn diligently to Swear by the Name of God, to learn this as the Way of God's People.

19. To Swear Religiously by his Name (yet but in extream Ne­cessity.)

20. That in the Forms of Oaths we are to Swear by Heaven, Earth, &c. and call them to Witness lawfully, because he that swears by Heaven swears by him whose Throne it is.

21. We must subscribe to this, that in such Forms of Swearing we name some Creature.

22. That to Swear by Heaven, by Jerusalem, &c. are Camel-Oaths.

23. That strong Asseveration by Oath, as a solemn Invocation of God's Name, is the Celebration of the most august Act of Di­vine Worship and Adoration that can possibly be tendered to Divine Majesty.

24. That Christian-Churches ought to perform Worship to God by Swearing as well as Blessing; their Tongues must swear as well as their Knees bow.

25. That Swearing is one of the Church's strongest Bull-Works, one of those Demonstrations of the Spirit whereby the Champions of the Christian-Faith have irrefragably proved that Jesus is the Pro­phets [Page 30] Christ; viz. Because since the calling of us Gentiles, we have worshipped the True God in Swearing by his Name.

26. That this Swearing is one of the Prime Jewels of the King of Saints his Crown.

27. That the Prophets say, That he (Christ) should teach his Disciples to learn to Swear, The Lord liveth.

28. That it is, and alwayes was the will of God, that Oaths should be reserved and sequesterd to the Service of God.

Thus having summ'd up this man's Fruitless Work for Swearing, to make it conspicuous, we proceed to his Accusations and Asper­sions in his Third Section.

Sect. III.
The Anthorities and Testimonies Rescued.

THat some of the most eminent primitive Christians, Martyrs and Fathers were of the same Mind with us in their Consci­entiously refusing to swear, not only by the Heathen Gods, but al­so more generally in Obedience to and Pursuance of the Doctrine of Christ and his Apostle James, before urged against swearing at all; and that we have alledged Examples pertinent for Tender Conscience, not only against swearing in particular Cases, but swearing in general; and have neither bewrayed the Want of In­genuity or Honesty therein, as most falsly and malitiously our Antagonist hath asperst us: But that he himself hath bewrayed his own Want of both Ingenuity and Honesty will appear, though those Examples that we have alledged in this Case are but a very few to those we could alledge.

1. About Polycarpus, that eminent Martyr, who was said to be the Disciple of St. Iohn the Evangelist, and who suffered under Ve­rus the Emperor, Ann. 170. Eus. l. 4. c. 14, 15. E [...]e. Chro. 567. To our saying that he was demanded to swear by the Emperor's Good Fortune, or Caesar's Prosperity, he absolutely denyed, and [Page 31] said, He was a Christian; J. S. answers, They interpret [GOOD FORTUNE] by Prosperity, or as if this Martyr could not swear by the Emperor's Good Fortune, but by his Prosperity; But for that he hath left us to seek for a Proof. He adds, Eusebius in the place quoted hath [...], which the Translation ren­ders, Jurare per Caesaris genium, Swear by the Genius, the good Daemon or good Fortune of Caesar, which Form of Oath Polycarpus and the whole Army of Martyrs refused to take; because that which the Gentiles stil [...]d Genij the Christians know to be Devils. A Daughty Argument; Polycarpus would not swear by an Heathen­ish Goddess, or their Gods who were Devils, therefore Christians must not Swear by the True God.

Reply, This he calls a Daughty Argument is none of ours, but his own Consequence unjustly deduced against us; for ours is, That Polycarpus refused to swear as the Heathen required, because he was a Christian, for Conrcience sake; but J. S. thinks this not enough to prove that he refused to swear by the True God: And as he hath not proved this, so we do not think that he hath proved or can prove that Polycarpus either could swear, or profered to swear by the true God; for that was not required of him: There­fore it was enough for him to refuse all the swearing that they re­quired, and not to tell them he could not swear by the True God; for that was not the Matter he was called upon It is true, that Polycarpus and those Christian-Martyrs, refused to Swear by the Good Fortune of Caesar, which is as we cited before. 2. But why makes this man such a Difference between the Good Fortune of Caesar, or Caesar's Prosperity?

He tells us, p. 20. That Tertullian assureth us, That the primi­tive Christians, who suffered under the Pagan Persecutions, who would not swear by the Genij of the Emperors, have sworn by the Health of the Emperors, Tertull. Apolog. c. 32. Whatever Tertullian saith of those Christians, it doth not invalidate our par­ticular Instance of Polycarpus, who was a more eminent Martyr, and clear in his Testimony then many others; For what is more plain in Ecclesiastical History, then that some Christian-Martyrs excee­ded many of the more weak Christians, both in their Courage, Valour, Patience, Nobility and Clearness in bearing their Testi­mony? And we did not say, that all the former Christians, Mar­tyrs [Page 32] and Fathers since the Apostles dayes refused to swear, as we do, but many did; and therefore said, we have of many more given some Instances and Testimonies of such Primitive Christian-Martyrs and Fathers, &c. the Case, p. 9. And also its confessed, that the Christians prayed for the Emperor's Health, and wished Caesar's Prosperity, which to them was instead of a great Oath, Tertull. ibid.

And though J. S. would insinuate, That Polycarpus did not re­fuse to Swear upon the Account of Christ's Inhibition, but the Im­piety of the Form of the Oath; saying, That the true Criterion was this, That the Gentiles would have had the Martyrs swear by the Idols, but the Martyrs would not swear but by the God of Truth, pag. 38. See the Man's Contradiction to himself, and to what he saith Tertullian assures us, viz. That without the least scruple of Con­science they have sworn by the Health of the Emperor. Oh strange! and yet would not swear but by the God of Truth: Was there no Difference between the Health of a Wicked Persecuting Empe­ror, and the God of Truth? If Polycarpus had then profered, ac­cording to J. S. his Account of those Martyrs, viz. By the E­ternal God I wish or pray for the Health of the Emperor; or else, if this would not have pleased his Persecutors, when they urged him to swear by the Fortune of Caesar, he had then answer­ed, Well, I will swear by the Prosperity or Health of the Empe­ror, probably he might have come off at a more easie rate then he did; as many Temporizers have evaded Suffering in our dayes.

But to proceed with Polycarpus; ‘The Proconsul urged him di­vers times to swear by the Fortune of Caesar: To whom Polycar­pus answered, If thou requirest this Vain-Glory, that I protest the Fortune of Caesar, as thou sayest, seigning thou knowest me not who I am, hear freely, I am a Christian; and if thou de­sirest to know the Doctrine of Christianity, appoint the day and thou shalt hear it. The Proconsul commanded the Beadle thrice in the midst of the Theatre: Polycarpus confesseth himself a Christian: The Multitude both of Jews and Gentiles inhabiting Smyrna cryed with one Voice, That Polycarpus must be Burnt quick; upon which the Multitude forth-with carried Logs, and Wood, and Sticks out of their Shops and Bootks, but especial­ly [Page 33] the Iews served promptly (after their wonted manner) for that purpose, &c.’ See the Account at large, Euseb. l. 4. chap. 15.

So it appears that both the out-ragious Gentiles, who were for swearing by their Heathen Gods, and those hypocritical Iews, who were commanded to swear only by the True God, both joyned to­gether to murder this Eminent and Valiant Christian-Martyr, who would have taught the Proconsul the Christian Doctrine, which contains an express Prohibition of Swearing; and whose Refusing to Swear by the Good Fortune of Caesar appears to be (as he was a Christian, from Christ's Prohibition) with respect to him, as well as upon the Account of the Impiety of the Form of the Oath it self, though those furious Heathens and envious Iews were not fit to hear all his Reason on that Account. Consider that Irenaeus reporteth (Lib. 3. against Heres.) That Polycarpus was not only instructed by the Apostles, and conversant with many who saw Christ; but also of the Apostles ordained Bishop of Smyrna— who lived long,Euseb. l. 4. c. 14. and was very old, and at length fini­shed this Life with most Glorious and most renowned Martyrdom, when he had continually taught that which he learned of the Apostles: And that he converted many of the Hereticks unto the Church of God, preaching the one and only Truth received of the Apostles. To which we add, It is not then probable that he should teach the Iews Doctrine, for swearing by the Lord either to God or men; much less that he taught men to swear by the Health of Caesar: But rather that he taught them as Christ and his Servant Iames did, Not to swear at all, by Heaven. Earth, or any other Oath; seeing he continually taught that which he had learnt of the Apostles. 2. It is not pro­bable he should so plainly contradict the Apostle Iames his Do­ctrine, My Brethren, Swear not, neither by Heaven, nor by Earth, nor by any other Oath; as to say, My Brethren, Ye may either Swear by God that you wish Caesar's Prosperity; or other­wise, You may Swear by the Health of Caesar the Emperor, though not by his Good Fortune. For if he had thus taught, as this man implies of the primitive Christians, he had taught quite contrary to the said Apostle.

And its also said by Irenaeus, Eus. l. 4. c. 14. There is extant an Epistle of Polycarpus unto the Philippians, very [Page 34] profitable for such as are careful of their Salvation, where they may know the true Character of Faith and Rule of Doctrine. And 'tis said, Polycarpus maketh mention hereof, (viz. of Ignati­us, Euseb. l. 3. c. 32. the Martyr his Epistle to the Church at Smyrna) in the Epistle under his Name unto the Philippians, writing thus, ‘I bereech you all that you be Obedient, and exercise Patience, which you have throughly seen, not only in blessed Ignatius, Rufus and Zosimus, but in divers of your selves, in divers of the Apostles, and in Paul, with the rest of the A­postles, &c.’ Now it is not likely that Polycarpus, exhorting them so to Obedience as to follow the Apostle's Doctrine and Exam­ple, should yet hold it lawful to Swear either by the Health of the Emperor, or by God, both contrary to the Law and the Gospel, and to the express Doctrine and earnest Admonition of the Apo­stle James, Jam 5. 12. It is also said, (Euseb. lib. 5. chap. 23.) That Polycarpus being at Rome in the time of Ani [...]etus, they both varyed among themselves, yet were they soon reconciled, neither was A [...]ic [...]tus able to perswade Polycarpus that he should not re­tain that which he had alwayes observed with John the Disciple of the Lord, and the rest of the Apostles, with whom he had been conversant. It is not probable then, that he should be perswaded not to retain Christ and his Apostles Doctrine, Swear not at all, neither by Heaven, &c. nor by any other Oath, to teach the Chri­stians that they might Swear by the Health of the Emperor, &c.

J. S's accusing the Quakers with comparing the Oath which the Proconsul tendered to Polycarpus, to that Form of Oath which is in use in this Kingdom, and therewith aspersing the King and both Houses of Parliament with the Crime of Heathenish Idolatry. These are both very Malicious & False, for no such Comparison was intended by us: There was no mention of that Form of Oath which is in use in this Kingdom, but of that which was required of Polycarpus by the Fortune of Caesar (which was then their Natio­nal Oath) which he could not swear for Conscience sake, because he was a Christian; no more then we now can for Conscience sake, because we are Christians, and Christ and his Apostle have com­manded us expresly not to Swear at all. So that the Comparison lies between his being oblieged in Conscience as a Christian, not to take that Oath; and our being oblieged in Conscience to Christ, [Page 35] and in Obedience to his Doctrine, not to Swear at all, or take these Oaths, because of Christ's Prohibition, there being yet a Diffe­rence in the Objects sworn by.

2ly, That Ponticus and Blandina, who were Martyrs, and cruelly tormented to Death by the Heathens in France, in the Reign of Antoninus Verus, Ann. 179. refused to Swear, being often ur­ged, is plain, Euseb. l. 5. cap. 1. And that they contemning the Heathen Idols refused to Swear by them, is not denyed: But that they were bound in Conscience to this Refusal, only because of the Impiety of the Form of the Oath, and not also upon the Ac­count of Christ's Prohibition, is deny'd by us, and not proved by J. S. For 'tis probable enough it was on the Account of both, they suffering both as Christians who respected Christ and his A­postles Doctrine, and so near the Apostles dayes. Besides, it was most necessary for the Martyrs in those dayes openly to con­temn and testifie against the Heathen Idols, in refusing to Swear by them, being not called to Swear by the True God; without de­claring, that Basilides, who of a Persecutor was made a Martyr, who was a Souldier, and of Authority in the Roman Host, being required to give an Oath in a Matter concerning his Fellow-Soul­diers, deny'd to do it, plainly affirming, He was a Christian, and therefore suffered Death about Ann. Christi 205. For this see Euseb. lib. 6. chap. 4. and Acts & Mon. 1 Vol. p. 71. The Matter here, so far as 'tis cited J. S. cannot deny, and yet saith, I must make bold to set down the Book which they have omitted, Fox Vol. 1. fol. 71. which is not true; the Book is set down before his Eyes, but not all J. Fox's words cited where he addeth, Their Oath then was wont to be by the Idols and the Emperor; this is Jo. Fox's Addition: Whereas Eusebius hath it more positive, thus, Basi­lides being required of his Fellow-Souldiers to Swear for some Oc­casion or other, affirmed plainly, It was not Lawful for him to Swear; for he said, He was a Christian; and he would in very deed Protest or witness the same, see Euseb. l. 6. c. 4. The Truth of it is, We cannot see how to reconcile J. S's Work, or to make it consistent with it self, or in History, That these primi­tive Christians and Martyrs could without Scruple of Conscience Swear by the Health or Prosperity of the Emperor, and yet refuse to Swear by his Good Fortune, or that they could take such a Mili­tary [Page 36] Oath, even in Constantine's time, as by the Majesty of the Emperor, and yet refuse to Swear but by the God of Truth, as he confesseth.

His Charge of wickedly Falsifying Authorities we return back upon him, as a Slander; and we doubt not to make it further ob­vious, that he is the man guilty.

4ly, Our Example out of the Plow-man's Complaint against the Pope's Breaking Christ's Commandment, Is there any Probability or Ap­pearance of Likelihood, that if the Denyal of Swearing had not been a received Doctrine from the Primitive Christians, but the Martyrs for the first Three Hundred Years had sworn all a­long? That the Famous Fathers in the succeeding Ages of the Greek Church (which was the less degenerated) as, Chry [...]ostu [...]m, Basil, Hilary, &c. should bring it in as a reviv'd Doctrine against that which had been practised several Ages; without mention of the Main­tainers or Abettors of the contr [...]ry? And Origen. Iustin Martyr, &c. even in those Times of Persecution, testified against Swearing, which Te­stimony was continued among the VValdenses, who, as their Adversaries say, continu'd from the primitive times. And Vsserius de successione, cap 10. §. 2. ex Botono Parmensi, ci eth, Hu­milia [...]i in nullo errabant, nisi quia con­demnabant jurantes. Of these he saye; their Original were in Millan; They were rejected of Pope Innocent 3. and Pope Lucius. Chap. 8. §. 22. Anno 1052. A­gennenses, Manichae [...]s, Radul. Ardens ita insectatur. Tales sunt hodie haere­t [...]i Manichai, quia s [...]a haeresi patriam Agennensem ma [...]ula [...]erunt, qui men­tiuntur se vitem Apostolorum tenere: Dicentes, se non mentiri, nec omnino jurare. in making a Law to compel men to Swear; This J. S. confesseth comes home to the Point, if the Allegation be faithful; but if this Plow-man be Chaucer Jack upland, as by his stile he seems to be, I never read, saith he, that he was ca­nonized a Martyr, or dubbed a Father of the Church, though he be Dad of English Poets: Nor do I think his Romance will pass among Rational Men for Good Authority.

Repl. Here this Opposer sa­vours more of one affected to Popery, then with the Plow-man's Complaint against the Pope. As for his guessing who penn'd that Complaint, it is of little value, while he sleights and scoffs at the thing it self, more like one Popishly affected then a real Protestant; However, whether the Plow-man's Com­plaint was penn'd by any Mar­tyr or Father of the Church or no, it was owned by the Suffe­rers, as their Sense in those days, and recorded among the Martyrs Testimonies for Christ, & against [Page 37] the Pope: And however he sleights or jeers Chaucer, hath he not been owned as a witty Wickliffian, and a Witness in his Me­thod against the usurping Clergy in his time?

5ly. He sleightly shuffles off the Instances of John Wickliff, William Swinderby, and the poor Christians in those dayes, their Testimonies against Swearing, and against the Pope and Prelates compelling Men to Swear, &c. as if they were only applicable to Oaths in Contracts, or by any Creature, or idly, &c. But he hath nothing against our Citations, whereas what we have cited of William Swinderby extends farther then this man's Limitation; As the 14th Article against him was, that he should say, That no man ought to Swear for any thing, but simply without an Oath to Af­firm or Deny; and if he Swears he sins, Act. Mon. 1 vol. fol. 614. Its true, he answered to this. That men should not Swear by any Creature by the Law of God;K. Rich. 2. Anno 1391. but he further declares his Mind and Sense in his Appeal from the Bishop's Sentence to King Richard 2. and his Council, in these words, Whereas Christ's Law forbids Swearing, the Pope's Law justifies Swearing, and compels men thereto, Act. & Mon. 1 vol. fol 618. [note that in the former he speaks with reference to God's Law, in the latter to Christ's Law] which no doubt was the Opinion of many more, as appears by the Plow-man's Com­plaint, which otherwise had not so been preserved and propagated as it was. And it appears from that Doctrine received among the poor Christians in this Nation, that neither the Pope, nor the Pre­late, neither any other Ordinary can compel any man to Swear by any Creature of God, or by the Bible-Book, Act. Mon. 1 vol. fol 687. which Opinion among others their Persecutors sought to make them renounce and abjure. By this it appears they opposed the Popes compelling men to swear upon the Bible Book, wherein they also swear by the Lord.

By his saying, Those Martyrs that held that all Oaths that be made for any Contract or Bargain were Vnlawful.

However, it was matter of Conscience to them that so held, &c. It appears then, that they held something unlawful that was used of old time, both before and under the Law, contrary to J. S. p. 15. For both before and under the Law there were private Oaths and [Page 38] Swearing in some Contracts and Covenants between man and man, as well as publick before Judges; And if the Martyrs Te­stimony against the Pope's Compulsion reacht only private Oaths, we ask, Where did ever the Pope's Law compel Men to Swear in their private Bargains between man and man? and why are men put upon Swearing in their Account for their Tyths, more then in their private Contracts about them?

J. S. would seem cordially to concur with William Thorpe's Te­stimony, as being only against Swearing by the Book, by any Creature, &c. Whereas when William Thorpe was demanded to kneel down, and touch the holy Gospel-Book, and kiss it, saying, So help me God, and this holy Doom; he argues largely against it, concluding thus, Therefore to Swear upon a Book is to Swear by Creatures, and this Swearing is ever unlawful; adding further, This Sentence witnesses Chrysostom plainly, blaming them greatly that bring forth a Book to Swear upon; charging Clarks, that in no wise they constrain any Body to Swear, whether they think a man to Swear True or False, Act. Mon. 1 vol. fol. 701. See how plain it is that William Thorpe's words were against Swear­ing upon a Book, by God, (or as help me God) and against force­ing any Body to Swear True or False; so that the said William Thorpe did not only condemn the Papists common Swearing by our Lady and other Saints, but also their Swearing upon a Book in this Form, So help me God and this holy Doom, see Act. Mon. fol. 701, 702. Now what Chrysostom, whom he alledgeth, wit­nesseth in this Case against Swearing, is very plain and positive from the Greek Copy unquestioned, Tom. 1. Hom. 17. p. 217. (pas­sing that in his other, Tom. Homil. 12. if questioned) where he saith, ‘What therefore if some require an Oath, and impose a Necessity of Swearing; let the Fear of God be more powerful then all Necessity: For if thou wilt alwayes object such Occa­sions, thou wilt keep nothing of those things that are comman­ded —What is more then Yea and Nay? To Swear, not to Forswear, seeing none need to be taught that that is of Evil, and not so much superfluous as contrary; for that is superfluous which is added needlesly, which certainly is an Oath; if Evil, how then was it commanded in the Law?—That is now Adultery, [Page 39] which was then allowed—Weakness required then—for unless those things had gone before, the other had not so ea­sily been received—Their Vertue is now shown—Swearing was permitted heretofore by the Law, lest men should worship Idols, or swear by Idols; it brought them to solid Meat. What Evil then is it to swear? much without doubt—but now after so many Arguments of Power, but not then—We must study to do above the old Commandment—Unless your Righte­ousness exceed, &c. Some come so far short of it, that they refuse not only to Swear, but even do Forswear—If to Swear be Evil, Perjury is great Evil.’ With much more to the same purpose, his Assertions and Reasons being general, extending to all swearing; and goes on to exhort and deter men from sleighting the Command of Christ. Read the place at large.

Concerning Elizabeth Young, who was brought to Examinati­on in the Marian dayes before the Catholick Inquisitors of Hereti­cal Pravity, as they stiled themselves; her refusing to Swear J. S. confines to these Reasons, First, Because she would not betray her Christian-Friends. 2dly, Because of the Needlesness to Swear whether she was a Man or a Woman, she affirming her self to be a Woman, that being determinable without an Oath by Search: Whereas her Reason is more general then either of these two hinted; For when Dr. Martin said to her, Thou shalt be Racked Inch-meal, thou Traitorly Whore and Heretick; but thou shalt Swear before a Judge before thou go. To this Eliz. Young an­swered, Sr. I understand not what an Oath is, and therefore I will take no such Oath upon me. Dr. Martin said, She refuseth to Swear upon the four Evangelists before a Judge; for I my self and Mr. Hussey have had her before us four times, but we cannot bring her to Swear. Then said the Bishop, Why wilt thou not Swear before a Judge, &c? Eliz. My Lord, I will not Swear that this Hand is mine. No, said the Bishop, and why? Eliz. Christ saith, that whatsoever is more th [...]n Yea, Yea, and Nay, Nay, it cometh of Evil see the Relation more at large where it is quoted. Observe that the Reason of her refusing to swear was more general then J. S. relates: It was not only because she would not betray her Friends, or because of the Unnecessariness of the Oath; But because, first, She scrupled an Oath it self, saying, I understand [Page 40] not what an Oath is. 2dly, Because of Christ's saying, Whatso­ever is more then Yea, Yea, and Nay, Nay, it cometh of Evil. And 3dly, It is plain she refused to Swear upon the four Evange­lists and before a Judge to a thing that was True. Therefore J. S. hath greatly abused this sincere Woman and Martyr, in Restraining her Testimony against Swearing from its general Tendence.

To our Example of the Waldenses professing it to be no way Lawful for a Christian to Swear, whose Defence Bishop Vsher undertakes in his Book De Successio­ne Eccl. c. 5.They were about Ann. 1200. and of the Christian-Protestants in the Valley of Pi [...]dmount, Morl. Hist. pag. 217, 218. who were cruelly Tor­tured to Death by the Papists about Anno 1655. One Article alledged against them was, That they believed it not lawful to Swear any thing, be it True or False. To these J. S. answers thus, viz. I joyn these because these of Pi [...]dmount are the Relicks of the old Waldenses, against whom this was wont to be charged by the Papists, that they were wholy against all Swear­ing; in which point the Arch-Bishop of Armaugh undertakes to vindicate them; but how? not by maintaining the Opinion, but by proving it to be a Calumny cast upon them by their Adversaries. How true this Account is, whether or no the Bishop of Armaugh did prove it a Calumny cast upon the Waldenses, that they profest it to be no way Lawful for a Christian to Swear; will appear by and by.

In Answer to J. S's Allegation, where he addeth, That Frier Ni [...]. Eymericus reckons this to be the third Heresie of the Waldenses, That to Swear, whether it be before a Judge, or extrajudicially in any Case, is Vnlawful, and a mortal Sin: And their fourth Here­sie, That to Swear Falsly about confessing Truth, or revealing their Complices, is not Vnlawful or a Sin, but Lawful and Sacred. This, saith he, Bishop Vsher in the place forequoted, p. 162. on pur­pose to evince the slanderous Pens of Roman Scribes from the Incoherence of their Calumnies, and from the extream Vnlikeli­hood that they who h [...]ld it Lawful in some Cases to Forswear, should hold it Vnlawful in any Case to Swear. Observe here, Reader, he vindicates the Waldenses, as not being of the Opinion, that it was no way Lawful for a Christian to Swear, from the Papists Accu­sation, [Page 41] that they held it lawful to Forswear. So that this man still (most dishonestly) leaves that honourable People the Waldenses, under that Blemish of Forswearing; whereas if he had dealt h [...]nest­ly by them and Bishop Vsher, he should otherwise have cleared them from holding it lawful to forswear, for that they hold it unlaw­ful in any Case to Swear; as may be plainly seen by Bishop Vshers own Account, De Success. c. 6. pag. 161, 162. where he saith, The old German Author, who wrote of the Doctrine and Behavi­ours of the Waldenses, saith, That the Occasion of this Error (viz. Refusing to Swear) was, the frequent Use of Swearing for light Causes, and because Men fall into Perjuries; and addeth a quaint similitude, saying, That the Hereticks who never swear, are like the Devil, whom we never read to have Sworn. But (saith Vsher) They who have learned of Christ, let your Speech be Yea, Yea, Nay, Nay; for whatsoever is more is of that Evil One, Mat. 5. 37. will judge the Papists (with whom the frequent Custom of Swearing for light Causes is grown in use) much liker this Evil Devil then the Waldenses, who (as is evident from the Relation of the Popish Inquisitor) used only to say, Yea, Yea, Nay, Nay; avoiding a Lye and an Oath. And in the following page he sayes, But that these (viz. the Waldenses) are as far from Lyes and Perju­ries, as those false Friers are from Truth and Modesty, I bring those two Inquisitors cited in the said Article for Witnesses; The one whereof writes thus of the Leonists or Waldenses, They are aware of Detraction, and of Scurrilousness, and of a Lye, and of an Oath: The other thus, In Words they are Cautious; Lyes, Oaths, and all things that are Naturally Dishonest they avoid. To which may be added also a third, namely, that German which pub­lished a Writing of the Doctrine and Behaviours of the Waldenses; They teach to avoid a Lye, Detraction and an Oath. And so Vsh­er argues thus, Because their Adversaries confess they avoid Oaths, therefore to charge them with Forswearing is an Absurdity with­out Truth or Modesty.

So that denying to swear is thus far commended, as that it clears them from the possibility of Forswearing and Custo­mary-Swearing; wherein (he sayes) the Papist, their Adversa­ries, are more like the Devil: And so is ours in Lying; for he perverts it thus in Vsher's Name. From their Forswearing he ar­gues [Page 42] their Swearing; whereas Vsher defends them from Forswearing by their not Swearing at all.

Now whereas J. S. hath so plainly perverted Bishop Vsher, and abused the poor Waldenses, and greatly vilified and upbraided us, saying, Where are your Eyes? Where is your Conscience, who belye so many, &c? We may ask this, J. S. Where are thy Eyes? Where is thy Conscience, who hast not only most grosly belyed and abused us, but shamefully mis-represented the Waldenses, and perverted Bishop Vsher? And where must be our Wit (or any Bodies else) if we believe J. S. upon his bare word, perverting such an eminent Author, so plain and obvious, which we desire the ingenuous Reader seriously to look into and compare with both our Account and his. We appeal to the [...]ruth in all.

Whereas for Example 12. J. S. only sets down Erasmus, Plato, Maeander, Antonius, Hesiod, Theognis; and then answers, or ra­ther quib [...]es, This ranking Erasmus with Heathen smells rank of the Jesuits spirit: Whereas he himself hath thus ranked E­rasmus with the Heathen, rather then we; For we have given a particular Account of Erasmus's Testimony, only added the o­ther afterwards, not at all either to undervalue Erasmus, or to point him hanging between Heaven and Hell, as he saith, it is the Jesuits Device: But to let that pass. However J. S. seems to have no mean Esteem for Erasmus; but whether he be real there­in or not, will further appear, where he confidently saith of him, His Judgment was far enough from the Opinion of the Quakers; for where he speaks thus of the Vnlawfulness of Swearing, the Vse­lesness of Oaths, he speaks of Swearing in our ordinary Communica­tion, as is manifest from that Clause [in your Bargains] ye need no Oath, ye need no Execration.

Observe here, Reader, he restrains Erasmus here to oppose Swearing only in ordinary Communication, and the like, and as before, far enough from our Opinion; and then addeth another Untruth, That the Quaker-Apologist either ignorantly or mali­ciously omits that Clause [in your Bargains] both which are false; for it was neither ignorantly nor maliciously, but be­cause we had enough beside in general Assertions and Reasons, we cited against all manner of Oaths, besides this Particular he mentions.

[Page 43] See further Erasmus in his Paraphrase on Mat. 5. 34. Having cited the [...]ext he saith, ‘Among the Jews only Perjury is punishable—but the Law of the Gospel, that ye should be more sure from Perjury, doth utterly con­demn all manner of Oaths; that is not lawful to Swear, neither by God, nor by those things which seem to the common sort to be of less Religion.’ Here both the Assertions and the Reasons are general, with several o­ther Clauses, some more particular, and others general, before he comes to the particular Instance ‘[in your Bar­gains] ye need no Oath, ye need no Execration or Cursing; which Particular cannot make void his general Position and Reason, both before and after; to which we refer the Reader to view at large.

And likewise on his Paraphrase on Jam. 5. 12. he is as general and positive in asserting and ar­guing the Case against Swearing,Erasm. para. on Jam. 5. 12. thus, ‘But especially, my Brethren, Swear not, lest by little and little you accustom your selves to For­swear. Among the Jews and Heathens for Fidelity's sake there is an Oath put between; But among Chri­stians, which ought neither to distrust any man, neither be in will to deceive; it is a vain thing: Whosoever is accustomed to swear, is cousin german to the Peril of Forswearing; Be ye afraid not only to swear by God in humane Affairs and in light Matters, but also ab­stain from all kind of Swearing, that you Swear neither by Heaven, neither by Earth, nor any other thing that the common people esteem holy and religious. Who­soever dare be bold to Lye without Swearing, he dare do the same also when he Sweareth, if he list. He that is a good man will believe a man without Swear­ing; and that nought is will not trust a man if he [Page 44] Swear: But among you that are furnished with Go­spel-like Plaineness, there is neither place of Distrust­ing, nor to imagine Deceit; but let your plain Com­munication be regarded for no less true and stedfast then any manner of Oath of the Jews or Pagans, how holy soever it be, &c.’

To our Instance of Augustin on Psal. 88. & de men­dacio, J. S. answers; The very words here alledged evince, that St. Augustine speaks of common Swearing; and that he must be beside his Text, if from the Old Testament he infer the Unlawfulness of all kinds of Swearing.

Reply. Augustine's words are plain and general, that we cited; however he kept to the New Testament Text and to himself in other places we shall not at present ex­amine (if he did not, it should have been retracted by him) but recite Augustine's words more fairly then J. S. hath done.

It is well that God hath forbidden man to Swear, lest by Custom of Swearing (inasmuch as we are apt to mistake) we commit Perjury:August. on Psal. 88. There is none but God can safely swear, because there's no other but may be deceived.

I say unto you, Swear not at all, lest by Swearing ye come to a Facility of Swearing, from a Fa­cility to a Custom,August. De mendacio. and from a Custom ye fall into Perjury.

Observe here, Reader, that both his Positions and Reasons are general, and his Inference deduced from Christ and his Apostles own words against Swearing, as Erasmus's are.

And we now must further cite Augustine in the Case; see Augustin Serm. 3. Ad competentes: ‘Let them not only abstain from Perjury, but also from an Oath; [Page 45] Because he doth not Lye who saith, A man Swearing much shall not depart from Iniquity, and the Plague shall not depart from his House,’ Eccles. 23.

Augustin. de serm. dom. in monte, on the place in Mat. 5. thus; ‘The Righteousness of the Pharisees is, not to Forswear; This he confirmeth who forbiddeth to Swear, which belongeth to the Righteousness of the Kingdom of Heaven: For, as he who doth not speak, cannot speak a Lye, so he cannot Forswear who doth not Swear’ (so he goes on to excuse Paul for saying [...], &c. and calling God to Witness, &c.) saying, ‘That an Oath is not of good things, or among good things; but of evil things, or to be reckoned among evil things.’ And sayes, ‘Let a man refrain to use it, but upon Neces­sity, for the Infirmity of others, which is Evil; from which we pray, that we should daily be delivered.’

Augustin. on Jam. 5. de verbis Apostol. serm. 30. ‘Per­haps it is only for God to Swear,’ who cannot Forswear. And so he goes on to shew how hard it is for men to avoid Perjury.

Augustin. de mendacio Retract. lib. 1. c. ult. He says, is obscure and intricate.

To our Instance of the Albines in France, An. 1176. and Mich. Sadler, an eminent Martyr in Germany, that they held it was unlawful to Swear; and that one Article al­ledg'd against him was, that he had said [That men should not Swear to, or before the Magistrate.] To these J. S. answers, Your Authors say only, that That Charge was alled­ged against them; but not, that it was proved.

Repl. Neither do we read that the Authors say, That that Charge was denyed by them; and then, what need was there of proving it before it was denyed?

To our alledging Jerome, Chrysostome, Justine Martyr [Page 46] against Swearing, our Adversary answers, viz. When you name the Texts of these three Fathers we shall examine whe­ther you faithfully report them.

We Reply, Let him examine then the Report and Ci­tation already given of Chrysostome: And now of the other Two (we hope, more faithfully then he hath done of B. Usher and divers others.)

See Jerome's Commentary on Mat. 5. on the place, Swear not; thus, ‘This was granted as to little ones by the Law, that as they did offer Sacrifices to God, lest they should offer them to Idols; So they were suffered to swear by God, not that they did this rightly, but that it was better so to give it to God then to Devils: But the Truth of the Gospel doth not receive an Oath, see­ing every faithful Speech (or every Speech of a faith­ful Man or Believer) is for (or instead of) an oath.’

Justin-Martyr. Apolog. for Christians, pag. 63. printed at Paris, 1615. summing up the Doctrines of Christ to the Heathen Emperor, sayes, ‘He commanded us, not to Swear at all, but alwayes to speak Truth; Swear not at all, but let your Yea be Yea, and Nay, Nay; for whatsoever is more comes of Evil.

As for Walter Brute in his Testimony against Swearing, is as plain, positive and rational as any of them; see Act. Mon. 1 vol. fol. 653. J. S. saith, As to Walter Brute, it is true, he affirmed what is alledged, but with Prote­station, That he would retract that Opinion if he were convict of the Error of it; and accordingly did, upon Conference with the Bishop of Hereford, submit himself to the Determination of the Church▪ as appear [...] from your own Author, Fox v. 1. p. 653.

Reply, This is just the manner of the Papists underva­luing the Martyrs Testimonies, by endeavouring to fasten Retractations and Recantations upon them; and because [Page 47] this man has thus darkly and unfairly represented Walter Brute as so doubtful in that Particular Opinion against Oaths, and so ready to retract it, be pleased, Reader, to hear Walter Brute's own words in the page before cited, & how far he submitted in saying, I Walter Brute submit my self principally to the Evangely of Jesus Christ, and to the Determination of holy Kirk, and to the Sentence and De­termination of the four Doctors, viz. Augustine, Ambrose, Jerome and Gregory. Judge, we pray, what Retractation is this: And should not our Opposer have shewed us, where he retracted that Opinion aforesaid against Oaths, if he could? or where ever he acknowledg'd himself convinc'd that this was an Error? His Submission was principally to the Evangely (or Gospel) of Jesus Christ, which J. S. leaves out, as he doth [holy] before [Church] we hope he will not charge W. Brute, that he design'd a Submission contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, being that principal thing without which the other could not determine. But we do not find that W. Brute retracted any more in the words above, then he did sometime before,Act. Mon. I [...]V. f. 623. when he told the Bi­shop thus, If any man will shew me that I Err in my Writing or Sayings by the Authority of sacred Scripture, or by Au­thority of Reason grounded thereon, I will humbly and glady re­ceive his Determination; But as for the bare words of any Tea­cher, Christ only excepted, I will not simply believe, except he be able to establish them by the Truth of Experience, or of the Scripture. Now consider, Reader, that this was but a Submission conditionally proposed, any more then the o­ther;Fol. 653. and that some time after this he positive­ly wrote against Oaths, for which we refer thee to the Quotations: And this conditional Submission seems rather to argue his Belief, that they could not con­vince him of Error herein, no more then the Bishop of [Page 48] Hereford did, when he could not confute Walter Brute's Ex­hibits on his own Defence.Fol. 625. And has it not been a common thing with many established in the Truth, to propose such conditional Submissions to be convinced, and receive Information by or according to the Holy Scriptures? For our parts, we do not find this man's Representation of Walt [...]r Brute to have so much as a face of Truth in it, or that he was either doubtful of, or did recant of that Opinion charged against him by the publick Notary, viz. That he held that it is not lawful for Christians for any Cause in any Case, to swear by the Creator, neither by the Creature; But rather that he was positive in this amongst his last Testimonies against the Pope and Church of Rome; see Act. Mon. vol. [...]. fol. 653.

As for J. S. his Conclusion, pag. 43. it savours both of Scorn, and Envy, and a Persecuting Spirit, that would instigate the King and Parliament to afflict us, as if we were not Conscientious in what we profess, but we knowing the contrary in our Consciences, as being therein oblieged to Christ and his Command, we sleight our Enemies Flouts and Revilings.

To his saying, The Order of Middleburgh is no ways appli­cable to the Quakers Case, who have refus'd to pay Church duties.

The man seems herein wilfully to shut his Eyes; for the said Order is very plain for Liberty of Conscience, and Freedom from the Imposition of Oaths, unto those Inhabitants who refus'd the taking the accustom [...]d Oaths, and who instead thereof, proffered as the Quakers do That their Yea should stand instead of an Oath, and the Transgres­sors thereof be punished as perjured Persons; which with the Advice of the Governour and Council of Zealand was ac­cordingly ordained and confirmed, That this Peoples Yea aforesaid should stand instead of an Oath before the Magistrates of the said City [A Noble President to our Purpose]

[Page 49] Obj. But the Quakers have refused to pay Church-Duties, and thereby Rob the Royal Exchequer, which is partly supplyed out of Tenths and First Fruits.

To the first, of refusing to pay Church-Duties; it seems he means Tythes to the Priests: And must we therefore not be allowed the Liberty of our Consciences, but be expo­sed to Ruin, Loss of Estates and Livelihoods, because we cannot pay Tenths to the Priests? Oh hard Man and un­just Judge! that respects more the Pope's Yoak and An­tichristian Imposition, then the Lives or Liberties of Protestant Subjects and True Christians: And his imply­ing an Indulgence for us, if we did not refuse to pay the Priests Tythe, is like as to tell us, We may have the Liber­ty of our Consciences if we will be Conformable: Oh generous Indulgence to such as need it not! Could our Consciences serve us to Conform, Pay Tythes, Uphold Priests, &c. what needed we make Address for Liberty? His charge of Robbing the Royal Exchequer is envious and false, shewing a Persecuting Spirit: The Priests [...]yth-Barns are not the Royal Exchequer; we cannot help to fill them: They de­mand Tyths of us, not only of our Lands, but of the Fruits and Encrease of our Labours and Industry (a manifest Ex­tortion) and their Demand of them is as Ministers of Christ, and on a Religious Account, as claiming a Divine Right, in neither of which are we sati [...]fied, nor can we own either; and we have reason to think, that the King is more Mer­ciful to them about the First Fruits, then they are to us, and doth not so severely prosecute or strictly look after them as they do to us, having caused many deeply to suf­fer both in Persons and Estates, and made grievous Ha­vock by taking away and spoiling mens Goods, driving away their Cows, Oxen, &c. many times more then the value of the Tvthe, besides the sweeping away House-hold Goods, and exposing many poor industrious Families [Page 50] to Ruin; as also the many long & tedious Imprisonments, which they have caused many to suffer in till Death. But when have we refused to pay our Civil-Duties or Taxes, being in a Capacity, that is, out of Bonds and Sufferings, which have disabled many? And if the King and Great Council of the Nation were pleased to repeal those old Laws inforcing the Payment of Tythes, and to convert them into some necessary civil Use, as for the Poor, or some National Service and Benefit, it would appear whether we should not pay our parts, and whether the Royal Exche­quer would not be conveniently supplyed without the Tenths from the Priests.

As for our Desire of being exempted from taking an Oath, because our Consciences will not allow us to swear, to this our Adversary adds, viz. When you actually do Swear in as solemn & august a Form, as its possible for the Tongue of man to express, even then when you say, You dare not Swear; God, who is the Searcher of Hearts, knows, that it is with a Holy Respect to the Reputation of Christianity, the Evangelical Dispensation and to Christ's express Prohibition, &c. This Person has given us various Definitions of an Oath; of which he reckons that to say, God who is the Searcher of Hearts knows, is a most solemn & august Form of Swearing: But surely he egre­giously misseth in this; for at this rate of defining a so­lemn form of an Oath, we shall scarce know how to men­tion the Name of God in any serious or solemn Way, either in Prayer, Thanksgiving, Appeal to him either as witness for us, or singly as desiring that the Truth may be discove­red in any case; but this must all be lookt upon as a most solemn and august Form of Swearing, if the Name of God be but mention'd, when no Swearing is intended, nor any Imprecation or Ceremony of an Oath used: But how ma­nifestly doth this contradict his granting, there may be a confessing the true God in Prayer, in Thanksgiving, &c. [Page 51] without Swearing, in his counting such Confession of God not sufficient or acceptable, except they add Swearing by his Name; so that however the Name of God may be solemnly con­fessed without Swearing: And if on some weighty Occa­sion a Christian be moved to say, God knows I Lye not, God is my Witness: How can this be a solemn Oath or Swearing, when he neither intends it nor useth the Ceremony of an Oath, nor any Imprecation or Curse?

For there is a plain Difference between a man's earnestly appealing to God by way of Imprecation, as the great Judge of Heaven and Earth, Avenger of Injury and Falshood; And ten­derly committing or resigning his Cause unto God, that he may discover the Truth (being Witness thereof) to others, when it is or may be doubted or question'd: As in a Case of moment, wherein I know & am sure the Truth is on my side, while others may doubt or question me, if I appeal, commit or resign my Cause to God▪ (as knowing him to be my Witness therein) it is singly with a Desire, that he may enlighten their Understandings, & bring them to know the Truth of my Cause; and for that End I both trust him, and leave it with him; and not at all with any Ceremony of an Oath, nor any Imprecation, Invocating of God for Witness (or Judge) against my Soul; for what need of that when I know I am clear? What need I be under any such Bond, as the Fear of a Curse to bind me to speak the Truth, whenas I am both ascertained of and engaged in the Truth, and my Christi­an-Reputation and Soul's Peace is naturally concerned in it? And on the other hand, if any should wilfully or knowingly ut­ter false Things without binding their Souls with an Oath or conditional Curse, that will not hinder the Curse, Judgment or Reward of false Swearers from coming upon them, nor secure the Guilty.


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