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to swear, and to perform their oaths unto the Lord; and not to swear falsely.
But in the new covenant, and testament, and new and living way, Christ the son of God saith, Swear not at all, but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil.'. Matt. v.
And the apostle James in the new covenant, in his general epistle saith, “Above all things, [mark, above all things] my brethren, swear not,' &c. So these are the brethren in the new covenant, and testament, and new and living way, that are not to swear at all. And further he saith, “They were not to swear by heaven, nor by earth, nor any other oath; but let your yea, be yea, and your nay, nay, lest ye fall into condemnation.' . . . .
So it is clear, the command in the old covenant and testament, which Christ calls the old time, in which they were not to forswear themselves, but to perform their oath to the Lord; so they did not go into evil and condemnation that did swear truly, and perform their oath to the Lord in the old time, and old covenant; but they go into evil and condemnation, that swear at all in the time of the new covenant and testament: for Christ, who is the oath of God, he fulfils the oaths of the old, and takes away and abolishes the oaths of the old covenant, and sets up yea and nay instead of them.
And now, if you should object, that Abraham, and Jacob, and Joseph, and Moses, and the prophets, and the angels swore: Christ the son of God is greater than Moses; who said • Before Abraham was, I am;' and he reigns over the house of Joseph and Jacob, and fulfils the prophets; and he saith, “Swear not at all:' and Christ the great prophet, whom God had raised up, is to be heard in all things.
And as for the angel's swearing, it is said, “I bring forth my first begotten into the world, let all the angels worship him,' to wit, the son of God, who saith, Swear not at all.' And This is my beloved son,' saith God, hear ye him.'
And in the Old Testament it is said, “That unto me every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall swear, saith the Lord,' in the old covenant and testament. Isa. xlv. 23.
But in the new covenant and testament the apostle quotes Isaiah, and saith, Every knee shall bow, and every tongue shall confess to God.' Rom. xiv. 10.
So here it is clear, that swearing was allowed in the old covenant and old time, but confessing in the new covenant and new time.
And it is manifest, that Christ hath taken away all swearing in his new testament and covenant: for all swearing hath been since man fell from the image of God; and Christ renews man and woman up into
the image of God again, and sets up yea, yea, and nay, nay, instead of an oath.
And Christ sets up in his new covenant instead of swearing, 'true witness bearing;' and that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every thing shall be established. He doth not say, that in or by the mouth of two or three swearers every thing shall be established.
. And the apostle saith, Let every man speak the truth to his neighbour;' which speaking truth is set up by Christ and his apostles instead of swearing, which was commanded in the old time, and under the old covenant and testament, in which the law commanded people to swear, which oath was to end the controversy and strife amongst men; which served until Christ the seed came. But when Christ came, he abolished the law that commanded swearing, and swearing also.
And so it is clear, that the new covenant, and new testament, and new and living way, is not according to the old covenant and testament, and the Jews' old way.
And the apostle Paul writes to the Galatians, and to such as were going again into circumcision and the law, and he saith unto them, · As many as are for the works of the law, are under the curse: for it is written, cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law to do them.'
And again he saith, That no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident; for the just shall live by faith; and the law is not of faith.
And again he saith, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us. Gal. iv.
And here it may be seen, what labour the apostle had, to bring people into the faith in the new covenant and testament, and from under the works of the law in the old covenant and testament, and from under the curse.
And again the apostle saith, “Before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith, which should afterward be revealed; even so when we were children, we were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth his son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.' Gal. 3d and 4th chapters.
So they that are redeemed from under the law, are redeemed from under bondage, and outward elements of the world, which elements of the world the law commanded to be observed: for the law commanded the priests' garments to be distinct from others.
And the law commanded an outward temple and tabernacle, and a worldly sanctuary, and outward altars, and candles, and candlesticks, and outward days, and months, and times, and years, and feasts, and
outward trumpets were blown at such times; and sacrifices, and offerings of beasts, and fowls, and other creatures. .
And the law commanded the priests' tithes and offerings, and the store-house: and these outward things with many others, were elements of the world, which kept them in bondage, in the old covenant and old testament, before Christ was revealed. And where faith is revealed by Jesus Christ, who is the author and finisher of it, he is the end of that law to every one that believeth ; which law commanded these outward worldly elements; and such are not under the law, but under grace.' Rom. vi.
And here the new covenant and new testament, and the new and living way is not according to the old testament and covenant.
For the new covenant and new testament is heavenly and spiritual. And the law of life, that is in Christ Jesus, is not according to the law received upon Mount Sinai, which commanded all these outward elementary things to the Jews; and they were to observe and do them. And the law served until the seed came; which the seed Christ is come, and hath abolished them all, and changed the law, and covenant, and priesthood, and the old testament.
And they that are believers, are come into the new covenant of light, and life, and grace; and do receive the spirit of Christ, and the law of life that is in Christ Jesus, that makes them free from the law of sin and death.
And so, as I said before, it is clear, that the new covenant and testa. ment, and the law of life are not according to the old covenant, and the old testament, and the law from Mount Sinai, that was written in tables of stone.
And now also, are not the priests'garments, their surplice, and white sleeves, and their other distinguishing garments, a work of the law, though they do not offer sacrifices and offerings, as the outward old Jews' priests did ?
Likewise, are not tithes, tenths, first-fruits and offerings, which were to be given to the priests, works of the law, though now they do not do all the priests' work under the law? And some of the priests now have lots of the land also, contrary to the law in the old covenant.
And is not setting up lights and candles in temples, works of the law and the priests under the law, though they do not burn incense like them?
And is not swearing truly by the Lord a work of the law, which the law commanded, by which they ended the differences amongst men in the old time of the law? And so none of these are works of the gospel, or works of faith, in the time of the new testament and covenant, which prohibiteth all swearing, and saith, · Men must not swear at all,
or take any oath; but their yea must be yea, and their nay, nay, lest they go into evil,' and so into condemnation.
And so the law commanded swearing; but the gospel, and new covenant and testament commands every man to speak truth to his neighbour;' and · in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word should be established.'
And the apostles, in the gospel-time and new covenant, (to whom Christ said, . Freely you have received, freely give,') did not go in distinct garments from other people; for Peter had his fisher's coat, after Christ was risen. And Paul bid them bring his cloak, which he had left at Troas, &c.
So the apostle saith, and tells them plainly, · As many as are under the works of the law, are under the curse.' And if ye do some things of the law, and not continue in all things written in the book of the law, ye are cursed; and no man is justified by the law in the sight of God. And the law is not of faith, which the just do live by; for God doth justify the heathen through faith;' and they are justified by that faith which Christ is the author of: • For by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.' Gal. ü. 10.
And the priests' pulpits is a work of the law; for Ezra had his pulpit to read the law, in the time of the law and old covenant. And the tenths of the increase, with the tithes and offerings, were a work of the law, and not a work of the gospel; for Christ said to his gospel ministers, Freely you have received, freely give.'
And to kill blasphemers and sabbath-breakers, and to stone them to death, or put to death with outward weapons about religion, is a work of the law, and not of the new covenant and new testament. For Christ, though his name was blasphemed, and the apostles and their doctrine and teaching blasphemed and evil spoken of; yet, he, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, and his great apostles, did not command, nor put any to death with any carnal weapons. But Christ said, “They that blasphemed against the son of man, it might be forgiven; but they that did blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, were not to be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come;' which was punishment enough. And further, he said in the new covenant and his gospel-day, • He came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them.'
So all they that wrestle with flesh and blood, and with carnal weapons about religion, it is a work of the law, and the old testament, and not a work of the new testament and new covenant.
For the apostle said, “Their warfare was spiritual, and their weapons were spiritual, and not carnal;' and they did not wrestle with fesh and blood, but with spiritual wickedness, and rulers of darkness.
So the apostles were of faith, in the new covenant and testament, and not of the law, wrestling with their works and weapons of the old testament. And the law was added because of transgression, and served until the seed Christ came, who redeems from under the law, Christ Jesus, by whom the world was made. So he was before man fell into transgression, by reason of which the law was added, which served until the seed came, which seed is Christ, who doth fulfil the promises and the law, and so redeems his people from under the works of the law, and from under the curse.
And the apostle saith, that the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, to love thy neighbour as thyself. And if ye be led by the spirit of God, ye are not under the law,' &c. Gal. v. •For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.' Gal. ii. And they that love one another fulfil the law. Rom. xiii.
And further the apostle saith, •The righteousness of God is without the law, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God, which is by the faith of Christ Jesus, unto all and upon all that believe; for there is no difference. :
So this righteousness in the new testament is larger than the righteousness of the law, which the Lord gave unto the Jews, which he had not given the like to other nations. So this is larger than the old covenant.
And therefore the apostle concludes, that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law.” Rom. iii.
• For the promise that was to Abraham and his seed, that he should be heir of the world, was not through the law, but through the righteousness of faith,' before he was circumcised, and before he gave tithes to Melchizedec, as in Gen. xii. where the Lord said to Abraham, I will make of thee a great nation; and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be blessed; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee. And in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.' So before he was circumcised, and before tithes were paid, the promise was to Abraham. And so, who are of faith, are of Abraham, and walk in the steps of our father Abraham, which he had, being yet uncircumcised, yea, and before he gave tithes to Melchizedec. Gen. xii. and Rom. iv. Therefore it is of faith, and by grace, to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed.' And therefore the apostle saith, · But now are we delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held, that we might serve God in the newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.' Rom. vii. •For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sendeth forth his own son in likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For the law of the