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CHAP. XXI.

Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience.

1. The Liberty which Christ hath purchased for Believers under the Gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of Sin, the condemning wrath of God, the Rigour and 343343Gal. 3.13.Curse of the Law; and in their being delivered from this present evil 344344 Gal. 1.4.World, Bondage to 345345 Act. 26.18.Satan, and Dominion 346346 Rom. 8.3.of Sin; from the 347347Rom. 8.28.Evil of Afflictions; the Fear, and Sting 3483481 Cor. 15.54,55,56.57.of Death, the Victory of the Grave, and 349349 2 Thes. 1.10.Everlasting Damnation; as also in their 350350 Rom. 8.15.free access to God; and their yielding Obedience unto him not out of a slavish fear, 351351Luk. 1.74,75. 1 Joh. 4 18.but a Child-like love, and willing mind.

All which were common also to Believers under the Law 352352 Gal. 3,9:14.for the substance of them; but under the new Testament, the Liberty of Christians is further enlarged in their freedom from the yoke of the Ceremonial Law, to which the Jewish Church was subjected; and in greater boldness of access to the Throne of Grace; and in fuller Communications of the 353353 Joh. 7.38,39. Heb. 10, 19,20,21.Free Spirit of God, then Believers under the Law did ordinarily partake of.

2. God alone is 354354Jam. 4.12. Rom. 14.4.Lord of the Conscience, and hath left it free from the Doctrines and Commandments of men, 355355Act. 4.19 & 5.29. 1 Cor. 7.23. Mat. 15.9.which are in any thing contrary to his Word, or not contained in it. So that to Believe such Doctrines, or obey such Commands out of Conscience, 356356 Col. 2.20 22,23.is to betray true liberty of Conscience; and the requiring of an 3573571 Cor. 3.5. 2 Cor. 1.24.implicit Faith, and absolute and blind Obedience, is to destroy Liberty of Conscience, and Reason also.

3. They who upon pretence of Christian Liberty do practice any sin, or cherish any sinfull lust; as they do thereby pervert the main design of the Grace of the Gospel, 358358Rom. 6.1,2.to their own Destruction; so they wholy destroy 359359 Gal. 5.13. 2 Pet. 2.18.-21.the end of Christian Liberty, which is, that being delivered out of the hands of all our Enemies we might serve the Lord without fear in Holiness, and Righteousness before him, all the days of our Life.


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