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VII. No man may vow to do any thing forbidden in the word of God, or what would hinder any duty therein commanded, or which is not in his own power, and for the performance whereof he hath no promise or ability from God q. In which respects, Popilh monastical vows, of perpetual iingle life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher
..1 perfection, perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares» in which no Christian may entangle himself r.
perform; even a free-will-offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, i which thou hast promised with thy mouth. Pfal. !. 14. Offer unto God thanksgiving, and pay thy vows unto the most High Gen. xxviii. 20. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on; v. 21. So that I come again to roy father's house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God. v. 22. And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee. 1 Sam. i. 11. And Ihe vowed avow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine hand-maid, and remember me, and not forget thine hand-maid, but will give unto thine band-maid a manchild, then will I give him unto the lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. Pfal. Ixvi. 13, 14. (See letter n) Pfal- cxxxii. 2. How he sware unto the Lord, and vowed unto the mighty God of Jacob, v. 3. Surely I will not come into the tabernacle of my house, nor go up into my bed: v. 4. I will not give sleep to mine eyes, or slumber to mine eyelids, v. 5. Until I find out a place for the Lord, an habitation for the mighty God of Jacob. VII. f Acts xxiji. 12. And when
it was day, certain of the Jews banded together, and bound themselves under a curse, saying, that they would neither eat nor drink, till they had killed Paul. v. 14. And they came to the chief priests and elders, and said, We have bound ourselves under a great curse, that we will eat nothing until we have slain Paul. Mark vi. 26. And the king was exceeding sorry, yet for his oaths fake, and for their fakes which fat with him, he would not reject her. IS umb. xxx. j. But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her. v. 8. But if her husband disallow her on the day that he heard it; then he shall make her vow which she vowed, and that which (he uttered with her lips, wherewith she bound her soul of none effect; and the Lord shall forgive her. v. 12. But if her husband hath utterly made them void on the day he heard them; then whatsoever proceeded out of her lips, concerning her vows, or concerning the bond of her soul, shall not stand: her husband hath made them void, and the Lord shall forgive her. v. 13. Every vow, and every binding oath to afflict the soul, her husband may establish it, or her husband may make it void.
C H A P. XXIII. Of the Civil Magistrate.
GOD, the supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over-the people, for his own glory, and the public good; and, to this end, hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defence and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil-doers a.
II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto b: in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome
r Matth. xix. 11. But he said un- the powers that be, are ordained of to them, All men cannot receive God. v. 2. Whosoever therefore this faying, save they to whom it is resisteth the power, resisteth the given, v. 12. For there are some ordinance of God: and they that eunuchs, which were so born from resist, shall receive to themselves their mother's womb: and there are damnation, v. 3. For rulers are not some eunuchs, which were made eu- a terror to good works, but to the nucbs of men: and there be eunuchs, evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid which have made themselves eunuchs of the power? do that which is for the kingdom of heaven's fake: he good, and thou (halt have praise of that is able to receive it, let him the fame. v. 4. For he is the minister receive it. 1 Cor. vii. 2. Neverthe- of God to thee for good. But if less, to avoid fornication, let every thou do that which is evil, be aman have his own wife, and let e- fraid; for he beareth not the sword very woman have her own husband, in vain: for he is the minister of v. 9. But if they cannot contain, God, a revenger, to execute wrath let them marry: for it is better to upon him that doth evil. 1 Pet. ii. marry than to burn. Eph. iv. 28. 13. Submit yourselves to every orLet him that stole, steal no more: dinance of man for the Lord's lake: but rather let him labour, working whether it be to the king, as fuwiTh his hands the thing which is preme: v. 14. Or unto governors, good, that he may have to give to as unto them that are sent by him him that needeth. 1 Pet. iv. 2. for the punishment of evil-doers, That he no longer mould live the and for the praise of them that do rest of his time in the flesh, to the well.
Insls of men, but to the will of God. II. b Prov. viii. 15. By me kings 1 Cor. vii. 23. Ye are bought with reign, and princes decree justice, a price, be not ye the servants of men. v. 16. By me princes rule; and I a Rom. xiii. 1. Let every foul nobles, even all the judges of the be subject upon the higher powers, earth. Rom. xiii. 1, 2. 4. (See in for there is no power but of God: letter a.)
laws of each commonwealth c; so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Testament, wage war upon juit and necessary occasions d.
III. The civil magistrate may not assume to himself administration of the word and sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven e: yet he hath authority, thority, and it is his duty, to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and here-' sies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed, and all the ordinances of God duly fettled, adminiltered, and observed f t
c Psal. ii. 10. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth, v, n. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with, trembling, v. 12. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perisli from the way, When his wrath is kindled but a little: blessed are all they that put their trust in him. 1 Tim. ii. 2. For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty. Psal. lxxxii. 3. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. V; 4. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. 2 Sam. xxiii. 3. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israal spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 1 Pet. ii. 13. (See in letter a.)
d Luke iii. 14. And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, Ahd what shall we do? and he said unto them, do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely, and be content with your wages. Rom. xiii. 4. (See letter a.) Matth. viii. <). For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under mt: and I fay to this man, Go, and lie goeth: and to another, Come, and he Cometh: and to my servant, Do this, and he doth it. v. 10. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto ypu, I have not found so great faith, no not in Iseael. Acts x. 1. There -was a certain man in Cefarea galled Cornelius,^ a centurion of the
band called the Italian band. v. 2. A devout man,and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. Rev. xvii. 14. These shall nnke war with the Lamb, and the Lamb (hall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they that are with him), are called, and chosen, and faithful, v. 16. And the ten hams which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall rhakfc her desolate, and naked, and mail eat her flesh, and burn her with fire, III. e 1 Chron xxvi. 18. And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unta the Lord, but to the priests the sons of Aaroh, that are consecrated to, burn incense: go out of the sanctuary, for thou hast trespassed, neither shall it be for thine honour from the Lord God. With Matth. xviii. 17. And if be shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man, and a publican. Ahd Matth. Jtvi. 10. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaveft: and whatsoever thou lhalt biud od earth, shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven, 1 Cor. xii. ?8. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healirgs, helps, governments, diYetfities
versifies of tongues, v. 20. Are all apost'es? are all prophets? are all teachers f are all workers of miracles? Eph. iv. il. And he gave some, apostles: and some prophets: and some, evangelists; and some, pallors, and teachers; v. 12- For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. 1 Cor. rr. i. Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. ». 2. Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. Rom. x. Ij. And how (hall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them th^t preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of'good things! Heb. v. 4. And no rivin taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called ot God, as was Aaron,
/ If. xlix. 23. And kings (hall be thy nursing-fathers, and their queens thy nursing - mothers: they (hall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dost of thy feet, and thou (halt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me. Psal. exxii. 9. Because of the boose of the Lord our God, I will leek thy good. Ezra vii. 23. Whatsoever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be diligently done, for the house of the God of heaven: sor why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? v, 2j. A,ad thotij £Va, after the
wisdom of thy God, that is in thine hand, set magistrates and judges, which may judge all the people- that are beyond the river, all such as know the laws of thy God; and teach ye them that know them not. v. 26. And whosoever will not do the law of thy 'Jod, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed speedily upon him, whether it be unto death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. 2 7.~ Blessed be the Lord God of our fathers, which hath put such a thing as this in the king's heart, to beautify the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem: v. 28. And hath extended mercy unto me, before the king, aud his counsellors, and before all the king's mighty princes: and I was strengthned, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me, and I gathered together out of Israel, chief men to go up with me. Lev. xxiv. 16. And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he lhall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall be put to death. Deut. xiii. 5. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams (hall be put to death, (because he hath spoken to turn you away from the Lord your God.which brought you out of the land os Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the Way which the Lord thy God commanded thee to walk in) so
for the better effecting whereof, he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of Godg.
IV. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates to honour their persons/, to pay them tribute' and other.
flialt thou put the evil away from for controversies, when they returnthe midst of thee. v. 6. If thy bro- ed to Jerusalem, v. 9. And he char ther, the son of thy mother, or thy ged them, saying, Thus shall ye da son, or thy daughter, or the wife in the fear of the Lord, faithfully, of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is and with a perfect heart* v. 10. as thine own foul, entice thee secret- And what cause soever (hall come to ly, saying, Let us go and serve other you of your brethren that dwell in> gods, which thou hast not known, their cities, between blood and thou, nor thy fathers, v. 12. If thou blood, between law and commandfhalt hear fay in one of thy cities, ment, statutes and judgments, ye which the Lord thy God hath given shall even warn them that they tresthee to dwell there, saying, 2 Kings pass not against the Lord, and so xviii. 4. He removed the high pla- wrath come upon you, and upon ces, and brake the images, and cut your brethren: this do, and ye shall down the groves, and brake in pieces not trespass, v. 11. And behold, the brazen serpent that Moses had Amariah the chief priest is over you, made: for unto those days the chil- in all matters as the Lord; and Zedren of Israel did burn incense to badiah the son oslshmael, the ruler it, and he called it Nehushtan. of the house of Judah, for all the (1 Chron. xiii. 1. to the 9th verse, king's matters: also the Levites 2 Kings xxiii. 1. to the 26th,verse.) shall be officers before you. Deal 2 Chron. xxxiv. 33. And Josiah took courageously, and the Lord shall be away all the abominations out of all with the good. (2 Chron. xxixth the countries that pertained to the and xxxth chapters.) Matth. ii. 4. children of Israel, and made all that And when he had gathered all the were present in Israel to serve, even chief priests and scribes of the peoto serve the Lord their God. And pie together, he demanded of them all his days they departed not from where Christ should be born. v. 5. following the Lord, the God of their And they said unto him, In Bethfathers. 2 ChrOn.xv. 12. And they lehem of Judea: for thus it is writentered into a covenant, to seek the ten by the .prophet. Lord God of their fathers, with all IV. h iTim. ii. 1.1 exhort theretheir heart, and with all their foul; fore, that first of all, supplications, v. 13. That whosoever would not prayers, intercessions, and giving of seek the Lord God of Israel, should thanks be made for all men: v. 2. be put to death, whether small or For kings, and for all that are in great, whether man or woman. authority; that we may lead a quiet
g 2 Chron. xix. 8. Moreover, in and peaceable life in all godliness Jerusalem did Jehofhaphat set of the and honesty.
Levitefjfand of the priests, and of / 1 Pet. ii. 17. Honour all men. ■ the chief of the fathers of Israel, Love the brotherhood. Fear God. for the judgment of the Lord, and Honour the king.