Samuel Bolton on Maintaining Christian Liberty
Three quotes from
“If civil freedom is so precious and is to be maintained, how much more is spiritual freedom, the freedom wherewith Christ make a man free! A freedom dearly purchased by the blood of Christ! We esteem our civil freedom the better as we remember that it cost so much of the blood of our ancestors to obtain it. It would be baseness in us to be careless of that which cost them their blood. How much more then should we esteem our freedom which was purchased by the precious blood of Christ! You are redeemed, not by silver and gold, but by the blood of Christ, says the apostle. Our freedom is dearly bought, mercifully revealed, freely bestowed, and fully conveyed to us by the Spirit of Christ. We have many and great reasons therefore for maintaining it, and for keeping ourselves clear of the yoke of bondage” (219).
“Maintain your Christian liberty against men, as well as against the law. That liberty is a precious jewel and we must suffer none to rob us of it. Let us never surrender our judgments or our consciences to be at the disposal and opinions of others, and to be subjected to the sentences and determinations of men. We must allow neither power nor policy, neither force nor fraud, to rob us of it” (220-21).
“We must never give up ourselves to the opinions of other men, though they be never so learned, never so holy, merely because it is their opinion. The apostle directs us to try all things and to hold fast that which is good (1 Thess. ). It often happens that a high esteem of others in respect of their learning and piety makes men take up all upon trust from such, and to submit their judgments to their opinions, and their consciences to their precepts. This should not be so. Men will suspect a truth if a liar affirms it” (221).
This is but one reason why I have such a profound sense of indebtedness to the Puritans and find their writings to have such relevance today!