The Laws of England, Compiled and translated into the Māori language.
We will here say a few words respecting evidence given by those persons who are called Witnesses, and who are required to state what they know about any matter which is being tried. When a man is caused to stand up to give evidence before a Court, if he is a believer in God, he is not sworn to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; but if he is not a believer in God he is not sworn, but is required to make an affirmation that he will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
An oath is a very sacred thing It is an appeal to God that He will deal with the speaker in anger or in kindness accordingly as he speaks falsely or truly. It is a prayer to God that He will punish him severely if he tells a lie. Hence men greatly fear to speak falsely in Court after they are sworn. A false oath is a very fearful thing. It is punished in the next world.
The Law has also provided a punishment, in this world, for the person who knowingly speaks falsely, upon oath, or who deliberately makes a false affirmation in Court. (See "Perjury," 70.) The whole fountain of Justice would be corrupted if men were allowed to speak falsely before the Court. Therefore the law is very severe against such men, and inflicts a heavy punishment.