“…but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
“The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.”
“He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.”
Order of Contents
. Latin 1
Games for Reward 2
Games with Chance 12+
On Lots Generally
Vermigli, Peter Martyr – pt. 1, ch. 8, ‘Of Lots, whereby God’s Counsel was Asked: & First of Urim & Thumim, which were so called of Charity & Perfection’ in The Common Places… (London: Rowe, 1583), pp. 58-62
Vermigli (1499–1562) was an Italian-born Reformed theologian.
Willet, Andrew – ch. 10, 14th Question, ‘Whether it be lawful now to cast lots?’ [Yes] in An Harmony upon the First Book of Samuel… (Cambridge, 1607), p. 66
Willet considers mostly civil lots; he affirms lusory lots at the end.
Ames, William – ch. 11, ‘Lots’ in The Marrow of Theology, trans. John D. Eusden (1623; Baker, 1997), bk. 2, pp. 271-74
Ames (1576-1633) was an English, puritan, congregationalist, minister, philosopher and controversialist. He spent much time in the Netherlands, and is noted for his involvement in the controversy between the reformed and the Arminians.
Ames was against dice-games (theses 17-34), but his larger discussion of lots is helpful.
Weemes, John – section 9, ‘Of Lots’ in A Treatise of the Four Degenerate Sons… (London, 1636), The Magician, pp. 74-83
Weemes was Scottish. This is a good discussion; it does not speak to lusory lots.
Bernard, Richard – ‘Of Lots: A Means used for Diverse Ends’ in The Bible’s Abstract & Epitome… (London: G.M., 1642), p. 45
Lightfoot, John – ch. 9, section 1, ‘The Manner of their Casting Lots, for Every Man’s Several Employment’ in The Temple Service as it Stood in the Days of our Savior... (London, 1649), pp. 102-3
This describes how the priests in the days of Christ used lots to decide which priest did what work in the Temple.
Fuller, Thomas – on Jonah 1:7 in A Collection of Sermons … together with Notes upon Jonah (London: Stafford, 1655-1657), pp. 38-42
Gearing, William – pp. 137-43 of ch. 18, ‘Of the Special Providence of God towards Men… A Discourse about Lots’ in The Eye & Wheel of Providence, or a Treatise Proving that there is a Divine Providence (London: Tyton, 1662)
Of the Nature & Use of Lots, a Treatise Historical & Theological (London: Griffin, 1619)
Gataker (1574-1654) was an episcopal Westminster divine. Chs. 6-9 defend lusorious, or gaming lots.
A Just Defence of Certain Passages in a Former Treatise concerning the Nature & Use of Lots, against such exceptions and oppositions as have beene made thereunto to Mr. I.B., wherein the insufficiency of his answers given to the arguments brought in defence of a lusorious [gaming] lot is manifested; the imbecillity of his arguments produced against the same further discovered; and the point itselfe in controuersy more fully cleared (London: Haviland, 1623)
Most of this book defends lusorious, or gaming lots.
Observations Divine & Moral… (Amsterdam, 1625), ch. 49, ‘Of Oaths & Lots’, pp. 253-54
“Here is great affinity between an oath, and a lot. Both the one and other serve to end controversies and cause contentions to cease, not easily or conveniently otherwise to be decided. In both, men as it were, renounce themselves and all other creatures and appeal to God’s special providence.
In an oath we appeal to God as a wise and righteous witness and judge, knowing what is truth and hating and punishing falsehood and lies. In a lot we appeal to God, as to an absolute Lord, for the disposing of persons and things by his more singular work of providence: unto which alone he that casts the lot referrs himself if he mock not both God and man, wholy renouncing his own wit and skill every way, for the furthering of this chance, event, or lot, rather than that.
Some may be and are too scrupulous in both: But a thousand times more are too profanely prodigal of the one and other.”
A Body of Divinity (d. 1734; NY: Robert Carter, 1855), vol. 2, p. 340 Ridgley (c. 1667–1734) was an English dissetning minister and here wrote the first commentary on Westminster’s Larger Catechism.
“It is farther observed in this Answer [of the Larger Catechism], that men take the name of God in vain by sinful lots. This subject, however, needs explanation.
Let it be considered, then, that when lots were an ordinance, by which God in an extraordinary manner determined things which were before unknown, they being an instituted means of appealing to Him for that end, as in the case of Achan and others, were not to be used in a common way; for to have used them so would have been a profaning of a sacred institution.
But as this extraordinary ordinance has now ceased, it does not seem unlawful, so as to be an instance of profaneness to make use of lots in civil matters, provided we do not consider them as an ordinance which God has appointed, in which we think we have ground to expect his immediate interposition and to depend upon it as if it were a divine oracle. In this view it would be unlawful, at present, to use lots in any respect whatsoever.”
Aretius, Benedict – 147, ‘Of Lots’ in Sacred Problems of Theology… (Geneva, 1589; Bern, 1604), pp. 442-44
That Some Instances of Gambling, or Trading Money (or other Goods) for or with Activities or Games Involving Chance, may be Lawful
Babington, Gervase – pp. 398-409 of ‘The Eighth Commandment’ in A Very Fruitful Exposition of the Commandments by way of Questions & Answers… (1583)
Babington (1549–1610) was a bishop in the Church of England.
“Question: Why, but do you think it simply unlawful to play for money?
Answer: Surely no. For when either so litle is played as no way inables me to any duty of my calling, or the money (not much) is bestowed in some meeting, for the increase of love, or that which is won is a reward appointed to that exercise, then think I, with others, that it is lawful.” – pp. 408-9
Daneau, Lambert – ch. 4, ‘Of them that bestow their Winnings gained by Play upon a Banquet or Good Cheer for the Whole Company’ in A Discourse of Gaming, and Specially of Dice-Play in True & Christian Friendship… Together also with a right excellent Invective… Against the Wicked Exercise of Diceplay, & other Profane Gaming (London: Veale, 1586) no page numbers
Daneau (c. 1530–c. 1590) was a French jurist and reformed theologian.
Gataker, Thomas – Of the Nature & Use of Lots, a Treatise Historical & Theological (London: Griffin, 1619)
pp. 122-24 of ch. 6, Of Ordinary Lots Lusorious; & of the Lawfulness of Them
pp. 243-44 of ch. 8, Of Cautions to be Observed in the Use of Lusorious Lots
Gataker (1574-1654) was an episcopal Westminster divine and here quotes Gervase Babington (1549–1610), a bishop in the Church of England, to the same affirmative effect.
God’s Holy Mind touching Matters Moral, which Himself uttered in Ten Words… in God’s Holy Mind Touching Matters Moral which Himself Uttered in Ten Words… Also Christ’s Holy Mind touching Prayer… (1625), p. 311 Elton (1569-1624) was an English minister near London.
“Question: Is it simply unlawful to play for any money at all, the game being lawful?
Answer: No; if the play be for a small matter, the loss whereof is no hurt to him that loses it, and if it be applied to a common good, and be bestowed in some honest meeting for the increase of love, then it is lawful: otherwise not.”
The Gaming-Humor Considered & Reproved… (London: Cockerill, 1684), pp. 25-26 Morton (1627-1698) was an English, puritan, nonconformist minister.
“…wager: ‘Tis called contractus sponsionis, a contract of promising, and is commonly used when there is some contest about the truth of a proposition, concerning something that is or is not in being already, or will or will not be hereafter, both parties agreeing that he who holds the truth shall have a reward and the other that asserted the falsehood shall be mulcted [fined].
The thing in itself is not absolutely unlawful or unjust, and may sometimes be of use to repress a foolish confidence. Also, where the engagement is only on one hand, whereby a man obliges himself to do a thing under a penalty; for here it may be of use, to stir up a laudable industry, provided such obligation, wager, or agreement be not to any matter that is sinful (as who shall drink most, who shall play a lascivious prank or offer an injurious abuse, etc.) provided also that it be not to the notable loss or hazard of any man, unless it does conduce to a greater public good (which cautions are seldom observed in common wagers), for in such cases the wager becomes sinful and is to be altogether avoided.”
On the Lawfulness of Certain Games or Activities for Reward
Daneau, Lambert – ch. 3, ‘Of Games, Playes & Publique Exercises: & of the Rewardes thereunto Assigned by the Commonwealth’ in A Discourse of Gaming, and Specially of Dice-Play in True & Christian Friendship… Together also with a right excellent Inuvctiue… against the wicked exercise of diceplay, and other profane gaming (London: Veale, 1586) no page numbers
Daneau (c. 1530–c. 1590) was a French jurist and reformed theologian.
An Invective Against Dice Playing in Spiritus est vicarius Christi in terra. A Treatise wherein Dicing, Dancing, Vain Plays or Interludes with other Idle Pastimes etc. commonly used on the Sabbath Day are Reproued… (London: Bynneman, 1577), p. 78 Northbrooke (fl. 1570) was an English minister.
“I mean not to condemn such public games or prices as are appointed by the magistrate: Secondly, that such games as may benefit (if need require) the commonwealth are tolerable.”
On the Lawfulness of Certain Games or Activities Involving Dice or Chance
Gataker, Thomas – Of the Nature & Use of Lots, a Treatise Historical & Theological (London: Griffin, 1619)
ch. 6, Of Ordinary Lots Lusorious; & of the Lawfulness of Them
ch. 7, Answer to the Principal Obiections made Against Lusorious Lots
ch. 8, Answer to the Arguments Less Principal Against Lusorious Lots
ch. 9, Of Cautions to be Observed in the Use of Lusorious Lots
Gataker (1574-1654) was an episcopal Westminster divine and defends playing games involving lots, dice or chance. His works are the best there are on the subject. This volume was recommended by John Wilkins in his Ecclesiastes, or, A Discourse concerning the Gift of Preaching (1651).
Morton, Charles – The Gaming-Humor Considered & Reproved, or the Passion-Pleasure & Exposing Money to Hazard by Play, Lot or Wager Examined… (London: Cockerill, 1684)
Morton (1627-1698) was an English, puritan, nonconformist minister and founder of an early dissenting academy. Later in life he was associated in New England with Harvard College. Morton gives an excellent summary of both sides of the issue on pp. 12-18. He also excellently summarizes and expounds Gataker’s rules for using lusory lots lawfully, with Gataker’s conclusion to his whole work, on pp. 21-25.
Gataker, Thomas – A Just Defence of Certain Passages in a Former Treatise concerning the Nature & Use of Lots, against such exceptions and oppositions as have beene made thereunto to Mr. I.B., wherein the insufficiency of his answers given to the arguments brought in defence of a lusorious [gaming] lot is manifested; the imbecillity of his arguments produced against the same further discovered; and the point itselfe in controuersy more fully cleared (London: Haviland, 1623)
Most of this book defends lusorious, or gaming lots. His works are the best there are on the subject.
This work was recommended by John Wilkins in his Ecclesiastes, or, A Discourse concerning the Gift of Preaching (1651).
Downe, John – A Defence of the Lawfulness of Lots in Gaming 51 pp. in Certain Treatises, published at the Instance of his Friends (Oxford: Lichfiel, 1633) independently paginated
Downe (1570?-1631) was an Anglican clergyman. This work was recommended by John Wilkins in his Ecclesiastes, or, A Discourse concerning the Gift of Preaching (1651).
Order of Quotes
Peter Martyr Vermigli
The Common Places… (London: Rowe, 1583), pt. 2, ch. 12, 8th Commandment, ‘Of Plays or Pastimes,’ pp. 526-27
“…there is a certain other kind of gaming which stands partly upon chance and partly upon industry, as is playing at tables, and such like, where in very deed they cast by chance, but the casts are governed by endeavor.
Wherfore Plato affirmed the life of man to be like unto the playing at tables. For even as in table-play, so also in the life of man, if anything chance amiss, the same by art must be corrected. Unto which sentence Terence in his Comedy Adelphorum alludes.
And indeed these kind of plays seem to be such, that sometime they may be permitted, so that they hurt not, so they recreate the spirits and be joined with honesty, and that the time, which should be spent vpon better things, be not consumed in these…
But what shall we answer unto Ambrose?… the reason, which Ambrose first alleged, was because there was nothing found in the holy Scriptures, how these things ought to be used. Thereunto we answer that they are found in the holy Scriptures generally, ‘Whether ye eat, or whether ye drink, or whether you do anything else, do all things to the glory of God.’ (1 Cor. 10:31) Wherefore the body and the mind must otherwhiles be so refreshed with plays, as afterward we may be cheerful and prompt to weightier matters. Furthermore, there is nothing found particularly in the Scriptures touching bakers, cooks, or shipmen, and yet nevertheless their exercises must not be altogether excluded…
But now to conclude, me thinks that those kind of [stage] plays, which serve for refreshing of men’s strength, are not utterly to be forbidden.”
ch. 6, ‘What the meaning of this word ‘Alea’ [Chance] properly is: and what Games & Plays are contained and comprehended under the name thereof’ in A Discourse of Gaming, and Specially of Dice-Play in True & Christian Friendship… Together also with a right excellent Invective… against the wicked exercise of diceplay, and other profane gaming (London: Veale, 1586) no page numbers
“But in these games, pastimes, sports and plays at cards and dice, there is a certain distinction to be used. For, some of them are after such a sort played and passed over, that to the winning and obtaining of the victory, honest industry of the mind helps more than any blind casualty or chanceable hazard: insomuch that the awkward luck which falls out contrary to desire is supplied, amended and reformed by art and cunning.
These kinds of play may not properly be termed ‘alea’ [chance] or hazardry, neither are they absolutely to be forbidden: only let measurable mean therein be used.”
The Whole Treatise of the Cases of Conscience… (Cambridge, 1606), bk. 3, ch. 4, section 4, Question 2, ‘What kinds of recreations and sports are lawful and convenient, and what be unlawful and inconvenient?’, pp. 591-92 Perkins (1558–1602) was a leading English puritan.
“The third kind of plays are mixed, which stand partly of hazard, and partly of wit, and in which hazard begins the game, and skill gets the victory: and that which defective by reason of hazard, is corrected by wit.
To this kind are referred some games at the cards and tables. Now the common opinion of learned Divines is, that as they are not to be commended, so they are not simply to be condemned, and if they be used, they must be used very sparingly.
Yet there be others that hold these mixed games to be unlawful, and judge the very dealing of the cards to be a lot, because it is a mere casual action. But (as I take it) the bare dealing of the cards is no more a lot, than the dealing of an alms, when the Prince’s almner puts his hand into his pocket, and gives, for example, to one man six pence, to another twelve pence, to another two pence, what comes forth without any choice.
Now this casual distribution is not a lot, but only a casual action. And in a lot there must be two things. The first is, a casual act: the second, the applying of the foresaid act, to the determination of some particular and uncertain event.
Now the dealing of the cards is a casual act; but the determination of the uncertain victory is not from the dealing of the cards in mixed games, but from the wit and skill, at least from the will of the players. But in things that are of the nature of a lot, the wit and will and a man has no stroke at all. Nevertheless, though the dealing of the cards and mixed games be no lots; yet it is far safer and better to abstain from them, than to use them, and where they are abolished, they are not to be restored again, because in common experience, many abuses and inconveniences attend upon them: and things unnecessary, when they are much abused, because they are abused, they must not be used, but rather removed, as the brazen serpent was, 2 Kings 18:4.”
ch. 10, 14th Question, ‘Whether it be lawful now to cast lots?’ [Yes] in An Harmony upon the First Book of Samuel… (Cambridge, 1607), p. 66
“These [cautionary] conditions must be observed in such lots as are used in great and weighty affairs: but they extend not to such kind of lots which are ordinarily used in some kind of recreations where no such weighty end is purposed.”
The Anatomy of Melancholy… (Oxford: Lichfield, 1621), 2nd Partition, Section 2, Member 4, ‘Exercise Rectified of Body & Mind,’ pp. 346-47 Burton (1577-1640) was an Anglican clergyman and Oxford fellow.
“The ordinary recreations which we have in winter, and in most solitary times busy our minds with, are cards, tables, and dice, shovelboard, chess-play, the philosophers’ game, small trunks, music, masks, singing, dancing, ulegames, catches, purposes, xmerry tales, news, etc. Many too nicely take exceptions at cards, tables, and dice, and such lusorious lots, whom Gataker well confutes.
Which though they be honest recreations in themselves, yet may justly be otherwise excepted at, as they are often abused… So good things may be abused, and that which was first invented to refresh men’s weary spirits, when they come from other labors and studies to exhilarate the mind, to entertain time and company, tedious otherwise in those long solitary winter nights, and keep them from worse matters, an honest exercise is contrarily perverted.”
A Collection of Sermons … together with Notes upon Jonah (London: Stafford, 1655-1657), on Jonah 1:7, pp. 40-41
“Now because lots may say to cards what Naomi said to Boaz, ‘They are near unto us, and of our affinity,’ something also of the use of them. It were no great harm
if there were no other cards used than those of clothiers about wool and of mariners in the ship. But as for cards to play with, let us not wholly condemn them, lest lacing our consciences too straight we make them to grow awry on the wrong side.
Such recreations are lawful if we use them as Jonathan tasted the honey, putting forth the end of his rod he touched a little of it, and his eyes were cleared. But let us
take heed of a surfeit into which those do fall who either play out of covetousness, or for more than their estates can bear, or constantly and continually; all their meat is sauce, all the days in their almanac play-days, though few holy-days. The Creation lasted but a week, but these men’s recreations all the days of their lives; such using of lawful exercises is altogether unlawful.”
Bishop Sanderson his Judgment in One View for the Settlement of the Church in Reason & Judgement, or, Special Remarks of the Life of the Renowned Dr. Sanderson… (London: Marsh, 1663), pp. 75-77 Sanderson (1587–1663) was an Anglican bishop, theologian and casuist.
“And I dare say, whosoever shall peruse with a judicious and unpartial eye most of those pamphlets, that in this daring age have been thrust into the world against… (…things of lesser regard and usefulness and more open to acception [exception] and abuse, yet so far as I can understand, unjustly condemned as things utterly unlawful, such as are lusorious lots, dancing, stage plays and some other things of like nature), when he shall have drained out the bitter invectives, unmannerly jeers, petulant guirding at those that are in authority, impertinent digressions, but above all those most bold and perverse wrestings of holy Scripture, wherewith such books are infinitely stuffed, he shall find that little poor remainder that is left behind to contain nothing but vain words and empty arguments.
For when these great undertakers have snatched up the bucklers, as if they would make it good against all comers, that such and such things are utterly unlawful, and therefore ought in all reason and conscience to bring such proofs as will come up to that conclusion: Quid dignum tanto? very seldom shall you hear from them any other arguments than such as will conclude but an inexpediency at the most, as that they are apt to give scandal, that they carry with them an appearance of evil, that they are often occasions of sin, that they are not command[ed] in the Word, and such like.
Which objections, even where they are just, are not of force (no not taken altogether, much less any of them singly) to prove a thing to be utterly unlawful. And yet are they glad many times, rather than sit out, to play very small game and to make use of arguments yet weaker than these and such as will not reach so far as to prove a bare inexpediency, as that they were invented by heathens, that they have been abused in Popery and other such like. Which to my understanding is a very strong presumption that they have taken a very weak cause in hand and such as is wholly destitute of sound proof.”
Christian Directory… (London: White, 1673), pt. 1, ch. 10, pt. 2, ‘Directions about Sports & Recreations, & Against Excess & Sin Therein’, p. 462 Baxter was an English congregationalist puritan.
“And if the judgment of Voetius, Amesius and other learned men against all lusory [gaming] lots be of no authority, at least it should move you that even Mr. Gataker, and other that write for the lawfulness of them in that respect (as lusory lots) do yet lay down the rest of the requisites to make them lawful, which utterly condemn our common use of cards and dice, much more our gamesters: So that all the sober divines that ever I read or heard, condemn all these? And are you wiser than all of them?”
The Gaming-Humor Considered & Reproved, or the Passion-Pleasure & Exposing Money to Hazard by Play, Lot or Wager Examined… (London: Cockerill, 1684), p. 24 Morton (1627-1698) was an English, puritan, nonconformist minister.
“These are Mr. Gataker his rules [for using lusory lots lawfully]; nor is he alone in these sentiments, for he quotes for confirmation of them, King James, Bishop King, Fenner, Easty, and other good authors.”
Gataker, Thomas – Gatakeri Londinatis Antithesis, partim G. Amessi, partim G. Voetii de sorte thesibus Reposita (London: Havilan, 1638)
That Certain Chance-Games or Activities are Not Prohibited by Westminster
Thomas Gataker was an influential Westminster divine that argued in detail for the lawfulness of lusory, or gaming lots, persuading many coming after him. D.R. Bellhouse says:
“Gataker’s opinion on the nature of lots eventually was commonly accepted. Plagiarized versions of his arguments in favour of the use of cards and dice in sport appeared as early as 1633…” “Probability in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries: An analysis of Puritan Casuistry” International Statistical Review, 56, 1 (1988), p. 72
This view is able to affirm what the Westminster standards speak to on the issue: “all sinful… lots” are sinful (WLC 113), though the standards do not define what sinful lots encompass, other than the proof-texts used, which do not example games involving chance. It is also true “wasteful gaming” is sinful (WLC 142), because it is wasteful. Yet there may be certain instances of playing games or activities involving chance with money which are not wasteful.
Regarding WLC 112, that “lots,” classed with “whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known,” are to be used in a holy and reverent manner: it is not clear, and certainly not defined by Westminster, that throwing dice or using other contingent means in activities or games necessarily comes under the proper definition of “lots,” especially as throwing dice does not bear that significance in the game’s context.
Gataker says some divines, citing Peter Martyr Vermigli, Daneus, Babington and Perkins:
“allow those games that are carried partly by casualty and partly by skill, which they suppose not to come within compass of lots… if we define a lot so, as diverse of them do, to be a kind of consulting with God, and a seeking to be informed and directed by Him, there is no lot at all either in the one or in the other [kind of game].” Of the Nature & Use of Lots… (London, 1619), ch. 6, pp. 125-26
This interpretation is implicit in the first commentary written on Westminster’s Larger Catechism, by Thomas Ridgley (quoted above).
As far as the Confession’s statements about God’s providence, games involving chance depend upon and uphold God’s providence establlishing free and contingent causes, and that for a natural and good cause in moderation: recreation.
Confession of Faith
“In his sight all things are open and manifest;[i] his knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature,[k] so as nothing is to him contingent, or uncertain.[l] He is most holy in all his counsels, in all his works, and in all his commands.[m]…
[i] Heb. 4:13.
[k] Rom. 11:33,34. Ps. 147:5.
[l] Acts 15:18. Ezek. 11:5.
[m] Ps. 145:17. Rom. 7:12.
“I. God from all eternity did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass:[a] yet… nor is violence offered to the will of the creatures, nor is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established.[c]
[a] Eph. 1:11. Rom. 11:33. Heb. 6:17. Rom. 9:15,18.
[c] Acts 2:23. Matt. 17:12. Acts 4:27,28. John 19:11. Prov. 16:33.”
“II. Although, in relation to the foreknowledge and decree of God, the first cause, all things come to pass immutably and infallibly:[h] yet, by the same providence, he ordereth them to fall out, according to the nature of second causes, either necessarily, freely, or contingently.[i]
[h] Acts 2:23.
[i] Gen. 8:22. Jer. 31:35. Exod. 21:13 with Deut. 19:5. 1 Kings 22:28,34. Isa. 10:6,7.”
“Q. 112. What is required in the third commandment?
A. The third commandment requires, That the name of God, his titles, attributes, ordinances, the word, sacraments, prayer, oaths, vows, lots,[r] his works, and whatsoever else there is whereby he makes himself known, be holily and reverently used in thought,[t] meditation,[v] word,[w] and writing;[x] by an holy profession,[y] and answerable conversation,[z] to the glory of God,[a] and the good of ourselves,[b] and others.[c]
[r] Acts 1:24,26.
[s] Job 36:24.
[t] Mal. 3:16.
[v] Ps. 8.
[w] Col. 3:17. Ps. 105:2,5.
[x] Ps. 102:18.
[y] 1 Pet. 3:15. Micah 4:5.
[z] Phil. 1:27.
[a] 1 Cor. 10:31.
[b] Jer. 32:39.
[c] 1 Pet. 2:12.”
“Q. 113. What are the sins forbidden in the third commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the third commandment are… all sinful cursings, oaths, vows, and lots;[r]… and misapplying of God’s decrees[x] and providences;[y] misinterpreting,[z] misapplying,[a] or any way perverting the word, or any part of it,[b] to profane jests,[c] curious or unprofitable questions, vain janglings, or the maintaining of false doctrines;[d] abusing it, the creatures…
[r] Esth. 3:7. Esth. 9:24. Ps. 22:18.
[s] Ps. 24:4. Ezek 17:16,18,19.
[t] Mark 6:26. 1 Sam. 25:22,32-34.
[v] Rom. 9:14,19,20.
[w] Deut. 29:29.
[x] Rom. 3:5,7. Rom. 6:1,2.
[y] Eccl. 8:11. Eccl. 9:3. Ps. 39.
[z] Matt. 5:21-48.
[a] Ezek. 13:22.
[b] 2 Pet. 3:16. Matt. 22:24-31.
[c] Isa. 22:13. Jer. 23:34,36,38.
[d] 1 Tim. 1:4,6,7. 1 Tim. 6:4,5,20. 2 Tim. 2:14. Tit. 3:9…”
Q. 142. What are the sins forbidden in the eighth commandment?
A. The sins forbidden in the eighth commandment… are… envying at the prosperity of others;[w] as likewise idleness,[x] prodigality, wasteful gaming; and all other ways whereby we do unduly prejudice our own outward estate,[y] and defrauding ourselves of the due use and comfort of that estate which God hath given us.[z]
[w] Ps. 73:3. Ps. 37:1,7.
[x] 2 Thess. 3:11. Prov. 18:9.
[y] Prov. 23:21:17. Prov. 23:20,21. Prov. 28:19.
[z] Eccl. 4:8. Eccl. 6:2. 1 Tim. 5:8.”
On the Post-Reformation
Bellhouse, D.R. – “Probability in the Sixteenth & Seventeenth Centuries: An analysis of Puritan Casuistry” in International Statistical Review, 56, 1 (1988), pp. 63-74 with a bibliography
“Gataker’s opinion on the nature of lots eventually was commonly accepted. Plagiarized versions of his arguments in favour of the use of cards and dice in sport appeared as early as 1633 (Downe, 1633). Clark (1916) credits Gataker’s (1619) work as instrumental in ending the Christian practice of divination by lot, although it was practiced sporadically by some Christian groups including the Wesleys into the eighteenth century.” – p. 72
Malcom, Howard – ‘Gaming’ in Theological Index... (Boston: Gould & Lincoln, 1868), p. 202
“They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.”
“For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctfied by the word of God and prayer.”
1 Tim. 4:4-5
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient…”
1 Cor. 10:23
On Theater, Stage-Plays, Movies, Acting, etc.
On the Ethics of Material Cooperation with, & Associations with Evil
The Reformed Freedom of Choice vs. Determinism
On Possibilities & Hypotheticals
All of the Writings of the Westminster Divines Online
On Things Indifferent (Adiaphora)