It is the work of those whom Christ has brought into the enjoyment of this high and glorious privilege to maintain it: 'Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free' (Gal. 5.1). there are two chief things which Christ has entrusted to us, and we are to preserve them inviolate. The first is Christian faith: 'See that ye earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints' (Jude 3). The second is Christian liberty: 'Stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free'. Every man should be faithful in those things which are entrusted to him, and God has entrusted the Christian man with precious things. Christian faith and Christian liberty are alike precious, and how careful we should be to maintain them! Civil liberties and liberty to go where we will are very precious. How much we engage ourselves just now in defense of our liberties and freedoms against those who would deprive us of them! And indeed they may justly be esteemed men of abject minds who would on any account at all forego their freedoms and liberties. (pg. 218)
...if civil freedom is so precious and is to be maintained, how much more is spiritual freedom, the freedom wherewith Christ makes 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. (pg. 219)
I am afraid today that there is too much of the baseness and lack of care that Bolton describes, and that men are willing to sell their freedom for a mess of pottage. It appears that neither civil freedom nor spiritual freedom are appreciated, and that the cost in blood, both of our ancestors and that of Christ, is forgotten in our obsession with our present material situation.
May God grant that our vision would be made clear, and that the sacrifices that have been made to make us free would once again be valued.
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