- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Dan Fraas"
>It's been slow here of late. Ok, let's see.... the following comes
> Wow, no response.
from Chapter 13 (Of the People's Duty Under Wicked Rulers, Both
Towards God and Them) of "The Mystery of Magistracy" (believed by some
to have been written by George Gillespie):
4. Not to confederate with them, or engage to their upholding by oath,
covenant, &c. Say not a confederacy to all those to whom this people
shall say, a confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid:
Sanctify the Lord of hosts, &c. Isa. 8:12,13. Shouldst thou help the
ungodly, and love them that hated the Lord? therefore is wrath upon
thee from before the Lord, 2 Chron. 19:2. They strengthen also the
hands of evil doers, that none doth return from his wickedness, Jer.
23:14. Neither do they which go by, say, The blessing of the Lord be
upon you: we bless you in the name of the Lord, Psal. 129:8. In whose
eyes a vile person is contemned: but he honoureth them that fear the
Lord, Psal. 15:4. Come out from her my people, that you may not be
partakers of her sins, Rev. 18:4. But above all things swear not at
all, Jam. 5:12. Israel shall dwell in safety alone, Deut. 33:28. Eph.
1. If we have sworn or covenanted, then we are solemnly bound, which
God will require at our hands. Seeing he despiseth the oath, by
breaking the covenant, (when, lo he had given his hand) and hath done
all these things, he shall not escape. Therefore thus saith the Lord
God, as I live, surely mine oath that he hath despised, and my
covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompence upon his own
head, (thou made with wicked Nebuchadnezzar), Ezek.17:18,19.
2. They swear to a plague; as before, Lev. 26:17. They that hate you,
shall reign over you.
3. It is against promised mercies. Isa. 1:26. And I will restore thy
judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning:
afterward thou shalt be called the city of righteousness, the faithful
4. Because it would be in deceit and hypocrisy, which is so abhorring
to the Lord. Who hath not lift up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn
deceitfully, Psal. 24:4. For our transgressions are multiplied before
thee, &c. In transgressing and lying against the Lord, &c. Conceiving
and uttering from the heart words of falsehood, Isa. 59:12,13. And let
none of you imagine evil against his neighbour, and love no false
oath, for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord, Zech.
8:17. And I will come near to you in judgment, and I will be a swift
witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against
false swearers, &c. Mal. 3:3.
The following is from the Reformed Presbyterian Catechism by William
Q. Should not "Christians, testifying against national evils, and
striving, in the use of moral means, to effect a reformation,
relinquish temporal privileges, rather than do any thing which may
appear to contradict their testimony, or lay a stumbling-block before
their weaker brethren ?"
A. This is unquestionably their duty. Because they cannot convince men
of their own sincerity, and of the immorality of a principle or
practice, whilst they themselves are found actually maintaining the
immoral principle or practice, (by oath of allegiance, voting, and
holding offices, &c.,) and enjoying the emoluments of iniquity decreed
by law. Heb. xi. 24, 26, 36, "By faith, Moses, when he was come to
years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. Esteeming
the reproach of Christ to be greater riches than the treasures in
Egypt. And others had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea,
moreover, of bonds and imprisonments." Numb. xxiii. 9, "Lo, the people
shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations." Rom.
xiv. 21, " It is good neither to eat flesh, nor drink wine, nor
anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended."
You may also wish to look at Samuel Wylie's Two Sons of Oil,
particularly the section on why Covenanters cannot yield obedience for
conscience sake to the current government of the U.S.:
See also the following point, on what our duty should be towards the
current civil authority:
...where it is written (among other things),
4. We ought to do no act which may be justly considered an
homologation of their illegitimate authority.
Those who, directly or indirectly, consent to the evil deeds of others
are partakers in their criminality. Ps. 50:18: "When thou sawest a
thief, then thou consentedst with him," which God severely reprehends.
If, therefore, the constitution be essentially at war with the
religion of Jesus, an homologation of it is striking hands with his
enemies. No oath of allegiance, therefore, can we swear, because we
believe the constitution to be contrary to the moral law, and our
covenant engagements. Farther,
We cannot elect public functionaries to fill the various offices in
the state; for, between the elector and the elected, there is a
representative oneness; so that every official act, done
constitutionally by the latter, is virtually done by the former,
through his representative organ. He must, also, be introduced to
office by an oath, homologating the constitution. Whatever, therefore,
we cannot do ourselves, on account of its immorality, we ought not to
employ others to perform.