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SERM. The Lord is that Spirit ; and where the
I.

Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty.
Of This also he is to be understood in those

places, where he advises Christians to beGal. ii. 4.

ware of false brethren that would spie out
their Liberty, and bring them again into
bondage ; to stand fast in the Liberty where-
with Christ bad made them free, and not be

intangled again with the yoke of bondage ; Gal. v. 13. not to use Liberty for an occafion to the

Flesh; to take heed left by any means this 1 Cor. viii. Liberty of theirs, became a stumbling-block ge to them that are weak : And accordingly

concerning himself he declares in this re-
spect, that To them that are without law,
be became as without Law, yet being not
without Law to God, but under the Law
to Christ. The meaning is, that though
men were delivered by Christ, from the
bondage of the ceremonial Law'; yet were
they by no means discharged from any
moral Obligations. And the same is the
intent of St Peter's Exhortation, i Pet. ii.
16. As free, and yet not using your Li-
berty for a cloke of Maliciousness, but as
the Servants of God.

2dly, In other places of Scripture, the
Freedom of Christians, fignifies their De-

liverance

x. 21.

2

1.

xxviii. 1.

Pr. liii. 5.

Tiverance from the Bondage of that Fear, SERM.
which was the consequence of the Curse
and Severity of the Law. Of the Wick-
ed 'tis faid, that they flee, when no man Prov.
pursueth ; and are in great Fear, even
where no 'Fear is. Not that they have no
just Cause of Fear ; but on the contrary
because they have always so much reason
to be afraid, that it often shows forth it-
self even upon improper occasions.

BUT further ; even with regard to
those, who are not notoriɔully wicked ;
their being under the Law, is in general
called the Spirit of Bondage to Fear,
Rom. viii. 15. And their Deliverance
from that Fear by the gracious Terms of
the Gospel, is ftiled the Spirit of Adoption,
whereby they cry Abba Father ; ; whereby
they apply to God, not as to a strict and
Yevere Judge, but as to a merciful and re-
conciled Father. And our Lord is said to
have delivered them, Heb. ii. 15. who
through Fear of Death were all their Life-
time fubjet to Bondage.

3dly, The Liberty of a Christian, may also sometimes very properly signify, his Deliverance from the "Slavery of endless Superftition. Of the Prophets of Baal 'tis

recorded,

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CA

SER M. recorded; 1 Kings xviii. 28. that they cried I.

aloud, and cut themselves with knives and lancets, till the Blood gushed out upon them : And of some other Idolaters ; that they caused their own Children, to pass through the Fire to Moloch. Those among the Heathen, who were less Cruel ; yet were in perpetual Fear, of Dreams and Omen's and vain Presages; and in continual Bondage to tedious and useless Observations. The Corrupters of Christianity, have after the fame Example, introduced an intolerable Burden of Pilgrimages and Abstinencies and voluntarily Humilities which Who has required at their Hands? All which things when a reasonable man seriously considers, he may very properly ask himself that Question, which Naaman's servant put to his Master, 2 Kings v. 13. If God kad bidden thee do some great thing, wouldst thou not have done it? How much rather then, when be faith unto thee, Wash and be clean ; when he only faith unto thee, Repent and amend.

BUT 4thly and lastly, That which it chiefly and above all signifies in Scripture-phrase, is (what I have applied it to in the foregoing discourse) Free

dom

dom from the Slavery of Sin, So the Serm, Apostle expressly, Rom. vi. 18. Being

I. then made Free from Sin, ye became the Servants of Righteousness. Rom. viii. 2. The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jefus, bas made me free from the law of Sin and Death; and ver. 21. delivered from the bondage of Corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Where this Liberty is improved to any confiderable degree, the person is said to be dead to Sin; in opposition to those who on the contrary, for want of any improvement at all, are represented as dead in Sin. Rom. vi. 7. He that is dead, (or, as it is explained by an easier Phrase in the verse before, he in whom the body of Sin is destroyed,) is free from Sin; and 1 Pet. iv. 1. He that has suffered in the Flesk, (viz. he that has conquer'd his corrupt affections ;) has ceased from Sin.

That the Words, suffered in the Flesh, must in this place be understood thus, not literally but figuratively, appears evidently from the following Words, V. 2.

That be no longer Nould live the rest of his Time in the Flesh, to the Lufts of Men, but to the Will of God. The highest improvement

and

!

SER M.and perfection of this Liberty in the pres I.

sent Life, is, when a man not only obeys the Commands of God, but does it habitually with ease and pleasure; when the Commandments of God seem not grievous to him, but the yoke of Christ easy, and his burden light; when he can delight to know the Ways of God, and call his Saba baths a delight, Il. lviii. 2, 13; when he can say with yob, ch. xxii. ver. 26, that he has his delight in the Almighty ; with

the Pfalmist, Pf. i. 2. that bis delight is Pl. cxix. in the Law of the Lord, and in his Law 14, 16, 24. doth he exercise himself day and night; and 77. 174. with our Saviour himself, yob. iv. 34. My

meat is to do the Will of him that fent me, and to finish his Work. When This is the Case, which is the highest pitch of ChriStian Perfection upon Earth ;

Earth ; then

may

it be said of such a Person, that he continueth in the perfe&t Law of Liberty, Jam. i. 25; ii.

may

he the Pfalmist, Pf. cxvi. 16. O Lord, I am thy servant and the son of thine handmaid, tbou haft broken my Bonds in sunder ; And I will walk at Liberty, for I seek thy commandments, Pf. cxix. 45. Then is fulfilled That Prophecy, Il. lxi. 1. applied by our

Saviour

12. Then

cry out with

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