« PreviousContinue »
VII. Neither are the fore-mentioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it w; the spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully, which the will of God revealed in the law requireth to be done x.
CHAP. XX. Of Christian Liberty, and Liberty of Consciences
'HE liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers
under the gospel, consists in their freedom from the guilt of fin, tlie condemning wrath of God, the curse of the
moral minion over you: for yeare not un- Heb. xii. 38. Wherefore we reder the law, but under grace, 1 Pet. ceiving a kingdom which cannot ii. 8. Finally, be ye all of one mind, be moved, let us have grace, where- . having compaflion one of another, by we may serve God acceptably, love as brethren, be pitiful, be cour- with reverence and godly fear. v. teous. v.9. Not rendering evil for 29. For our God is a consuming evil, or railing for railing: but con- fire. trariwise, blessing: knowing that ye VII. w Gal. iii. 21. Is the law are thereunto called, that ye should then against the promises of God? inherit a blessing. v. 10. For he that God forbid; for if there had been will love life, and see good days, let a law given which could have gi
, him refrain his tongue from evil, ven life, verily righteousness should and his lips that they
speak no guile, have been by the law.
. 1.11. Let him eschew evil, and do * Ezek. xxxvi. 27. And I will put good; let him seek peace and ensue my Spirit within you, and cause you it. v. 12. For the eyes of the Lord to walk in my statutes, and
fhall are over the righteous, and his ears keep my judgments, and do them. are open unto their prayers; but the Heb. viii. 10. For this is the coveface of the Lord is against them that nant that I will make with the house do evil. With Pfal. xxxiv. 12. What of Israel after those days, faith the man is he that defireth life, and lov- Lord; I will put my laws into their eth many days, that he may fee good? mind, and write them in their 1. 13. Keep thy tongue from evil, liearts; and I will be to them a and thy lips from speaking guile. God, and they shall be to me a
. 1. 14. Depart from evil, and do people. With Jer. xxxi. 33. But good; seek peace, and pursue it. this shall be the covenant that I v. 15. The eyes of the Lord are will make with the house of Israupon the righteous, and his ears el, after those days, faith the Lord, are open unto their cry.v. 16. The I will put my law in their inward face of the Lord is against them parts, and write it in their hearts, that do evil, to cut off the remem- and will be their God, and they brance of them from the carth. Thall be my people.
moral lawá; and in their being delivered from this present evil world, bondage to Satan and dominion of lin b, from the evil of afflictions, the sting of death, the victory of the grave, and everlasting damnation c; as also in their free access to Godd, and their yielding obedience unto him, not out of llavish fear, but a child like love and willing mind e: all which were common alfo to believers under the lawf. But, under
the I. . Tit. ii. 14. Who gave him that I might learn thy statutes. self for us, that he might redeem us i Cor. xv. 54. So when this corfrom all iniquity, and purify unto ruptible shall have put on incorhimself a peculiar people, zealous ruption, and this mortal Ihrall have of good works. 1 Theff
. i. 10. And put on immortality, then shall be to wait for his Son from heaven, brought to pass the saying that is? whom he raised from the dead, e. written, Death is swallowed
up in ven Jesus who delivered us from victory, v. 55. O death, where is the wrath to come. Gal. iii. 13. thy, sting? Ö grave, where is thy Christ hath redeemed us from the victory? v. 56. The sting of death curse of the law, being made a is fin; and the strength of fin is the curse for us : for it is written, Curf- law. v. 57. But thanks be to God ed is every one that hangeth on a who giveth us the victory, through tree.
our Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. viii.' 6 Gal. i.
himself 1. There is therefore now no con-. for our sins, that he might deliver demnation to them whoare in Christ us from this present evil world, ac- Jesụs, who walk not after the Hesh, cording to the will of God and our but after the Spirit. Father. Col. i. 13. Who hath de- d Rom.v. 1. Therefore beingjus-, livered us from the power of dark- tified by faith, we have peace with ness, and hath translated us into God, thro' our Lord Jesus Christ. the kingdom of his dear Son. Acts v. 2. By whom also we have access xxvi. 18. To open their eyes, and by faith into this
wherein we to turn them from darkness to light, stand, and rejoice in hope of the gloand from the power of Satan unto ry of God. God, that they may receive forgive- (Rom. vii.
For as many as ness of sins, and inheritance among are led by the Spirit of God, they them who are sanctified by faith are the fons of God. v. 1'4. For ye that is in me. Rom. vi. 14. For sin have not received the Spirit of bonfall not have dominion over you: dage again to fear; but ye have refor ye are not under the law, but ceived the Spirit of adoption, where
by we cry, Abba, Father. i John. c Rom. viii, 28. We know that iv. 18. There is no fear in love; all things work together for good, but perfect love calteth out fear: to them that love God, to them because fear hath torment: he that who are the called according to his feareth is not made perfect in love. purpose. Psal. cxix. 71. It is good f Gal. iii. 9. So then they who be for me that I have been afflicted: of faith, are blessed with faithful A
the New Testament, the liberty of Christians is further inlarged, in their freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law, to which the Jewish church was subjectedg; and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace h, and in fuller communications of the free spirit of God, than believers under the law did ordinarily partake of i. II God alone is Lord of the conscience k, and hath left it
free braham. v. 14. That the blessing of to help in time of need. Heb. x. 19. Abraham might come on the Gen- . Having therefore, brethren, boldtiles through Jesus Christ; that we ness to enter into the holiest, by the might receive the promise of the blood of Jesus, v. 20. By a new and Spirit through faith.
living way which he hath consecrat&Gal. iv. I. Now I say, that the ed for us through the vail, that is heir, as long as he is a child, differ- to say, his flesh; v. 21. And having eth nothing from a tervant, though an high priest over the house of God: he be lord of all; v. 2. But is under v. 22. Let us draw near with a true tutors and governors, until the time heart, in full assurance of faith, havappointed of the father. v. 3. Even ing our hearts sprinkled from an eso we, when we were children, were vil conscience, and our bodies waihin bondage under the elements of ed with pure water. the world, v. 6. And because ye are i John vii. 38. He that believeth on fons, God hath sent forth the Spirit me, as the scripture hath faid, out of of his Son into your hearts, crying, his belly fall flow rivers of living Abba, Father.v.7. Wherefore thou water. v. 39. But this spake he of the art no more a servant, but a son; Spirit, which they that believe on and if a son, then an heir of God him, should receive; for the holy through Christ. Gal. v. 1. Stand Ghost was not yet given, because falt therefore in the liberty where that Jesus was not yet glorified. with Christ hath made us free, and 2 Cor. iii. 13. And not as Moses, be not entangled again with the who put a vail over his face, that Foke of bondage. Acts xv. 10. Now the children of Israel could not leda
therefore why tempt ye God, to put fastly look to the end of that which i ayoke upon the neck of the disciples, is abolished: v. 17. Now the Lord
which neither our fathers nor we is that Spirit; and where the Spiwere able to bear? v. 11. But we rit of the Lord is, there is liberty, believe, that through the grace of v. 18. But we all with open face, lethe Lord Jesus Christ, we ihall be holding as in a glass, the glory of faved, even as they.
the Lord, are changed into the fame b Heb. iv. 14. Seeing then that image, from glory to glory, even as we have a great high priest, that is by the Spirit of the Lord. passed into the heavens, Jefus the II. & James iv. 12. There is one Son of God, let us hold fait our pro- law.giver, who is able to fave, and fellion, v. 16. Let us therefore come to deliroy: who art thou that judge boldly unto the throne of grace, that et another? Rom. xiv. 4. Who art we may obtain mercy, and find grace thou that judged another man'ster.
free from the doctrines and commandments of men, which are in any thing contrary to his word, or beside it, in matters of faith or worshipl. So that to believe such doctrines, or to obey such commandments out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience m; and the requiring of an implicite faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy libere ty of conscience, and reason also n.
III. They vant? to his own master he standeth ing of the flesh. Gal. i. 10. For do I or falleth: Yea, he shall be holden now perswade men, or God? or do up: for God is able to make him I seek to please men? for if I yet stand.
pleased men, I should not be the fer1 Acts iv. 19. But Peter and John vant of Christ. Gal. ii. 4. And that answered and said unto them, Whe- because of false brethren unawares ther it be right in the fight of God brought in, who came in privily to to hearken unto you, more than un- fpy out our liberty, which we have to God, judge ye. Acts v. 29. Then in Christ Jesus, that they might Peter and the other apostles answer- bring us into bondage: v. 5. To ed and said, We ought to obey God whom we gave place by subjection, rather than men. i Cor. vii. 23. no not for an hour: that the truth Ye are bought with a price, be not of the gospel might continue with ye the servants of men. Mat. xxiii. 8.
you. Gal. v. 1. Stand fast therefore But be not ye called Rabbi, for one in the liberty wherewith Christ hath is your master, even Chrift, and all made us free, and be not entangled ye are brethren. v.9. And call no again with the yoke of bondage. man your cfather upon the earth : for
n Rom.x. 17. So then, faith com. onc is your father, who is in heaven. eth by hearing, and hearing by the V. 10. Neither be ye called masters; word of God. Rom. xiv. 24. And he for one is your master, even Christ. that doubteth, is damned if he eat, 2 Cor. i. 24. Not for that we have because he eateth not of faith: for dominion over your faith, but are whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. Ifa. helpers of your joy: for by faith ye viii. 20. To the law and to the terftand, Mat. xv. 9. But in vain they timony: if they speak not according do worship me, tcaching for doc- to this 'word, it is because there is trines the commandments of men. no light in them. Acts xvii. 11.
m Col. ii. 20. Wherefore if ye be These were more noble than those dead with Christ from the rudiments in Thessalonica, in that they receivof the world; why as though living ed the word with all readiness of in the world, are ye subject to or- mind, and searched the scriptures dinances, v. 22. Which all are to daily, whether those things were fo. perish with the using, after the com- Johniv. 22. Ye worship ye know not mandments and doctrines of men? what: we know what we worship; V. 23. Which things have indeed a for falvation is of the Jews. Hof. v. shew of wisdom in will worship and 11. Ephraim is oppressed, and brokhumility, and neglecting of the bo- en in judgment; because he willingdy, not in any honour to the fatisfy- ly walked after the commandinent.
III. They who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, do practise any sin, or cherish any lust, do thereby destroy the end of Christian liberty; which is, that, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, we might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our lifeo.
IV. And because the powers which God hath ordained, and the liberty which Christ hath purchased, are not intended by God to destroy, but mutually to uphold and preserve one another; they who, upon pretence of Christian liberty, shall oppose any lawful power, or the lawful exercise of it, whether it be civil or ecclesiastical, resist the ordinance of God p.
And Rev. xii. 12. And he exerciseth all Whosoever committeth fin, is the the power of the firit beast before servant of fin. Luke i. 74. That he him, and causeth the earth, and would grant unto us, that we being them who dwell therein, to worship delivered out of the hands of our ethe first beast, whose deadly wound nemies, might serve him without was healed. v. 16. And he causeth fear, v. 75. In holiness and righteall, both small and great, rich and ousness before him all the days of poor, free and bond, to receive a our life. mark in their right hand, or in their IV.p Mat, xii. 25. And Jefus knew foreheads : v. 17. And that'no man their thoughts, and said unto them, might buy, or fell, fave he that had Every kingdom divided against itthe mark, or the name of the beast, self is brought to desolation : and eor the number of his name. Jer. viii. very city or house divided against 9. The wise men are ashamed, they itself, thall not stand. 1 Pet. ii. 13. are dismayed and taken; lo, they Submit yourselves to every ordihave rejected the word of the Lord, .nance of man for the Lord's sake: and what wisdom is in them? whether it be to the king as supreme; . III.. Gal. 5. 13. For, brethren, v, 14. Or unto governors, as unto ye have been called unto liberty, them that are sent by him, for the only afe not liberty for an occasion punishment of evil doers, and for the to the flesh, but by love, serve one praise of them that do well. v. 16. another. 1 Pet. ii. 16. As free, and As free, and not using your liberty. not using your liberty for a cloke for a cloke of malicioulness, but as of maliciousness, but as the servants the servants of God. (Rom. xiii. 1. of God. 2 Pet. ii. 19. While they to the 8. verse.) Heb. xiii
. 17. Obey promise them liberty, they them- them that have the rule over you, selves are the servants of corrupti- and submit yourselves: for they on for of whom a manis overcome, watch for your souls, as they chat of the same is he brought in bon- must give account: that they may dage. John tiii. 34. Jesus answered do it with joy, and not with grief: them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, for that is unprofitable for you.