Westminster Confession, Week 37

September 15, 2018

Chapter 22: Of Lawful Oaths and Vows

1: A lawful oath is part of religious worship,[443] wherein, upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calls God to witness what he asserts, or promises, and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he swears.[444]

2: The name of God only is that by which men ought to swear, and therein it is to be used with all holy fear and reverence.[445]Therefore, to swear vainly, or rashly, by that glorious and dreadful Name; or, to swear at all by any other thing, is sinful, and to be abhorred.[446] Yet, as in matters of weight and moment, an oath is warranted by the Word of God, under the New Testament as well as under the old;[447] so a lawful oath, being imposed by lawful authority, in such matters, ought to be taken.[448]

3: Whosoever takes an oath ought duly to consider the weightiness of so solemn an act, and therein to avouch nothing but what he is fully persuaded is the truth:[449] neither may any man bind himself by oath to any thing but what is good and just, and what he believes so to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform.[450]

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