一.合乎律法的宣誓是崇拜的一部分(申10:20),即在必要的时候,宣誓者严肃地呼吁上帝,为他所讲述或承诺的事作见证,并按照他宣誓的真伪对他施行审判(出20:7;利19:12;林后1:23;代下6:22-23)。

A lawful oath is a part of religious worship, wherein upon just occasion, the person swearing solemnly calleth God to witness what he asserteth or promiseth; and to judge him according to the truth or falsehood of what he sweareth.

二.惟有上帝的名才是人应当用来宣誓的,应用时当存完全圣洁的敬畏之心(申6:13);所以,人若用那荣耀和可畏的名虚空地或轻率地宣誓,或用别的名宣誓,都是有罪的,可憎恶的(出20:7;耶5:7;太5:34,37;雅5:12)。然而,不论是在旧约圣经还是在新约圣经中,在严肃的场合和重要的事件上,宣誓都是上帝的圣言所认可的(来6:16;林后1:23;赛65:16);这样,在这类事件上,合乎圣经的权威所规定的合乎圣经的宣誓也应当予以遵行(王上8:31;尼13:25;拉10:5)。

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

三.凡宣誓者,都要正当地考虑此严肃行为的庄重性,并且只宣述他完全相信真实无疑的事(出20:7;耶4:2)。任何人不应起誓把自己束缚于任何事上,除非那事是善良和公义的,是他如此相信的,并且是他能够而且决心实行的(创24:2,3,5,6,8,9)。

Whosoever taketh 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. Neither may any man bind himself by oath to any thing but what is good and just, and what he believeth so to be, and what he is able and resolved to perform.

四.宣誓应照简明普通的字义,不可用模棱两可的双关语,或内心有所保留意思的字句(耶4:2;诗24:4)。宣誓不能迫人犯罪;但在非属犯罪之事上所作的宣誓,虽有损于己 ,也得遵守实践(撒上25:22,32-34;诗15:4);纵使向异端者或不信者所作的宣誓,也不可背弃(结17:16,18-19;书9:18-19;撒下21:1)。

An oath is to be taken in the plain and common sense of the words, without equivocation or mental reservation. It cannot oblige to sin; but in anything not sinful, being taken, it binds to performance, although to a man’s own hurt: nor is it to be violated, although made to heretics or infidels.

五.许愿与带承诺的宣誓性质相同,当用同样的敬虔之心许愿,并用同样的真诚去遵守(赛19:21;传5:4-6;诗61:8;66:13-14)。

A vow is of the like nature with a promissory oath, and ought to be made with the like religious care, and to be performed with the like faithfulness.

六.人不可向任何受造者许愿,只可向上帝许愿(诗76:11;耶44:25-26)。若要所许的愿蒙悦纳,就当甘心乐意,出于信心,并明白所包含的本份,为求对已经领受的慈爱表示感谢,或为求获得我们所要的而许愿;由此,我们对须尽的本分,或对与这些本分有关的事,应当更加严格地约束自己(申23:21-23;诗50:14;创28:20-22;撒上1:11;诗66:13,14;132:2-5)。

It is not to be made to any creature, but to God alone: and that it may be accepted, it is to be made voluntarily, out of faith and conscience of duty, in way of thankfulness for mercy received, or for obtaining of what we want; whereby we more strictly bind ourselves to necessary duties, or to other things, so far and so long as they may fitly conduce thereunto.

七.人不可许愿去行圣经所禁戒的,或阻止圣经所命令的本分,或行他力量所不及的,以及那未从上帝应许得着能力去实行的(徒23:12,14;可6:26;民30:5,8,12,13)。这样看来,罗马天主教修道者终生独身,自甘贫穷,和服从教规的许愿,决非更高的完全程度,而是迷信和犯罪的罗网,凡是基督徒,不可自陷于其中(太19:11,12;林前7:2,9;弗4:28;彼前4:2;林前7:23)。

No man may vow to do anything 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 of which he hath no promise or ability from God. In which respects, monastical vows of perpetual single life, professed poverty, and regular obedience, are so far from being degrees of higher perfection, that they are superstitious and sinful snares, in which no Christian may entangle himself.