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Chapter V.


Are Oaths, as at present administered and taken in England,

calculated to promote truth and justice, and agreeable to the

spirit of the Religion which we profess t—The Bible counte-

nances only such Oaths as are necessary.—Sentiments and

conduct of Tertullian. — The early Christians. — Gregory

Nazianzen, Chrysostom, and many others seem to have re-

garded all Oaths as unlawful. — Correct and wise views of

Balsamon, Cyril of Alexandria, and Augustin.—The senti-

ments of these early fathers of the church contrasted with

some practices prevalent among ourselves 27

Chapter VI.

Practical tendency of a multiplication of Oaths, and of using
them on ordinary occasions.—The evils resulting from such a
system as ours chiefly three,—-1. diminished reverence for an
Oath; 2. an undervaluing of the truth when simply made
without an Oath; 3. encouragement to rash and common
swearing.—Michaelis.— His censures upon our country.—
Common swearing not so prevalent now as formerly; nor more
prevalent in England than on the Continent.—Perjury pro-
bably not more general than in former ages.—Address to the
king from the clergy in the time of Archbishop Chicheley,
1439 35

Chapter VII.

Does the present system work welH— Evasion of Oaths.—

The still lamentable prevalence of perjury.—Cicero's senti-

ments on the difference between a perjurer and a liar 46

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