In:James, Matthew, Separation & Nonconformity, Sin

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Matt. 5:33-37; James 5:12.

By Simon P. Yoder


“Swear not at all”—thus taught the Son

Of God, that pure and holy One,

Whose words with truth are ever rife;

Who for a ransom gave his life—

Man to restore from Adam’s fall—

Yes, Jesus said, “Swear not at all.”


“Swear not at all.”  In times of old,

Before Christ came truth to unfold,

Oaths were allowed, and men would bind

Themselves with solemn oaths to find

Their perjured souls could not obey—

But Jesus taught a better way.


“Swear not at all,” whate’er you do,

Oaths cannot make your words more true.

Speak words of promise with a “yea,”

And when denying, answer “nay;”

But keep your lips from words profane,

They come of evil and are vain.


“Swear not at all,” said Christ; and James

His own apostle too, proclaims

The same divine commands for see:

“Above all things swear not!” said he.—

And are not here forbidden both

The statesman and the ruffian’s oath?


“Swear not at all” includes all kinds

Of oaths, and how the swearer finds

A way to reconcile his words

With the plain teachings of the Lord

I know not,—for to great and small

Is this command: “Swear not at all.”


“Swear not at all.”—Then while we live

O let us due obedience give

To this commandment firm and plain.

No “legal oaths” nor words profane

From Christian lips should ever fall,

Since Jesus said, “SWEAR NOT AT ALL.”


Originally published in the Herald of Truth 11(11) (November 1874):185.