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 (a)
Curse of the Law; and in their being delivered from this present evil (b)
World, Bondage to (c) Satan, and
Dominion (d) of Sin; from the (e)
Evil of Afflictions; the Fear, and Sting (f)
of Death, the Victory of the Grave, and (g)
Everlasting Damnation; as also in their (h)
free access to God; and their yielding Obedience unto him not out of a
slavish fear, (i) but a Child-like
love, and willing mind.
- All which were common also to Believers under the Law (k)
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 (l)
Free Spirit of God, then Believers under the Law did ordinarily
- a Gal. 3.13.
b Gal. 1.4.
c Act. 26.18.
d Rom. 8.3.
e Rom. 8.28.
f 1 Cor. 15.54,55,56.57.
g 2 Thes. 1.10.
h Rom. 8.15.
i Luk. 1.74,75. 1 Joh. 4 18.
k Gal. 3,9:14.
l Joh. 7.38,39. Heb. 10, 19,20,21.
- 2. God alone is (m)
Lord of the Conscience, and hath left it free from the Doctrines and Commandments
of men, (n) 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, (o)
is to betray true liberty of Conscience; and the requiring of an (p)
implicit Faith, and absolute and blind Obedience, is to destroy Liberty
of Conscience, and Reason also.
- m Jam. 4.12, Rom. 14.4.
n Act. 4.19 & 5.29. 1 Cor. 7.23.
o Col: 2.20 22,23:
p 1 Cor. 3.5: 2 Cor. 1.24.
- 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, (q)
to their own Destruction; so they wholy destroy (r)
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.
- q Rom. 6.1,2.
r Gal. 5.13. 2 Pet. 2.18.-21.