Perjury in Christian law is. the crime committed by one who, when affirming anything by oath, makes statements which he knows to be false. This is, from the Biblical standpoint, a double crime, including both falsehood and profanity; and in a social point of view it is one of the gravest offenses against human law. It has always been esteemed a very detestable thing, and those who have been proved guilty of it have been looked upon as the pests of society. In order to make the giving of the false evidence liable to punishment under the civil law, it must have been not only false to the knowledge of the witness but the matter must have been material to the issue raised. If the falsehood occurred as to some trifling or immaterial fact, no crime is committed. Moreover, it is necessary, in proving the crime, that at least two persons should be able to testify to the falsehood of the matter, so that there might be a majority of oaths on the matter — there being then two oaths to one. But this rule is satisfied though both witnesses do not testify to one point. The perjury must also have taken place before some court or tribunal which had power to administer the oath. SEE OATH. Though in some courts affirmations are allowed instead of oaths, yet the punishment for false affirmation is made precisely the same as for false swearing. The punishment for perjury was, before the Conquest, sometimes death or cutting out the tongue; but latterly it was confined to fine and imprisonment, and at present the latter is the only punishment, with the addition of hard labor. The crime of subornation of perjury, i.e. the persuading or procuring a person to give false evidence, is also punishable as a distinct offense.