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 Rigor and aCurse of the Law; and in their being delivered from this present evil bWorld, Bondage to cSatan, and Dominion dof Sin; from the eEvil of Afflictions; the Fear, and Sting fof Death, the Victory of the Grave, and gEverlasting Damnation; as also in their hfree access to God; and their yielding Obedience unto him not out of a slavish fear, ibut a Child­like love, and willing mind.

All which were common also to Believers under the Law jfor 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 kFree Spirit of God, then Believers under the Law did ordinarily partake of.

aGal. 3:13 bGal. 1:4 cActs 26:18 dRom. 8:3 eRom. 8:28 f1 Cor. 15:54–57 g2 Thess. 1:10 hRom. 8:15 iLuke 1:74–75; 1 John 4:18 jGal. 3:9, 14 kJohn 7:38–39; Heb. 10:19–21

2. God alone is aLord of the Conscience, and hath left it free from the Doctrines and Commandments of men, bwhich are in anything contrary to his Word, or not contained in it. So that to Believe such Doctrines, or obey such Commands out of Conscience, cis to betray true liberty of Conscience; and the requiring of an dimplicit Faith, and absolute and blind Obedience, is to destroy Liberty of Conscience, and Reason also.

aJames 4:12; Rom. 14:4 bActs 4:19; 5:29; 1 Cor. 7:23; Matt. 15:9 cCol. 2:20, 22–23 d1 Cor. 3:5; 2 Cor. 1:24

3. They who upon pretense of Christian Liberty do practice any sin, or cherish any sinful lust; as they do thereby pervert the main de­ sign of the Grace of the Gospel, ato their own Destruction; so they wholly destroy bthe 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.

aRom. 6:1–2 bGal. 5:13; 2 Pet. 2:18–21