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benefit men physically-sanitary unfolds and illustrates it, in doctrine reformers, social economists, mem- and in life. In doing so, we are bers of Parliament.
not to forget that “the great and work with God. Get Divine power obvious moral laws” of the Chrisinto it, and you may expect siic- tian system are, like their Author,
Find time for an upward “the same yesterday, to-day, and glance. Every glance towards the for ever"; but that the scene and throne of His love and strength will the conditions of their manifestarefresh in you the healing power. tion, in human conduct, are ever
shifting. The open questions at Christian Liberty on Corinth and Rome in the first cenDebatable Ground.
tury touch us not at all, except as ROMANS xiv. 4, 15.
illustrations of a principle; while “Who art thou that judgest another they may be the living questions of man's servant ?"
the hour in India and China—it “ If thy brother be grieved with thy having taken eighteen centuries for meat, now walkest thou not charitably. these laws to come squarely to Destroy not him with thy meat for whom grapple with the life of uncounted Christ died.”
millions in these lands. A CERTAIN notable divine has 1. Personal liberty is defined to be said that “since Jeremy Taylor and freedom to do as one pleases. ProRichard Baxter, English Protest- bably there is no broader definition antism has had no great casuists." than this, and probably nobody on Nor does he think it much to be earth enjoys such liberty. regretted, or find the intricacies and
“Yet know withal, refinements in which casuistry de
Since thy original lapse, true liberty
Is lost, which always with right reason lights helpful to robust and manly dwells.” character. We are constrained to There is no such thing as lawless agree with him; not only in this, liberty; no liberty which does not but also when he says: “It is safer acknowledge its limitations. It is to leave men to the guidance of limited by one's own convictions; those great and obvious moral laws by conscience; and even by the whose authority every pure and imperfect views and infirmities of honest heart acknowledges.'
others; by our health ; by lack of But what are those“
means; by lack of courage or obvious moral laws” to which we moral stamina; by hereditary traits are to bow our wills in hearty and disabilities. obedience? The world has never We cannot believe what we please, been entirely agreed upon an an- for we are limited by the laws of swer to that question. On the one thought and evidence. hand is the denial of all such moral limited in our conduct by society. laws. The Nihilist and the Social- No man lives to himself in the ist agree in repudiating all moral trades, the schools, or in the learned restrictions. Their liberty is licence, professions. We cannot divorce and its outcome is anarchy, un- liberty from law. To divest perspeakable and unendurable. The sonal liberty of reigning principles Utilitarian has his selfish statute of would be to bring in anarchyamong limitations to personal liberty. The Christian disciple finds the sum of Strictly speaking, personal liberty obligation in one word-love. He and Christian liberty are one and the finds an example in Christ, finds an
What is morally binding expounder of Christian ethics in upon a Christian man is, in a sense, the Apostle Paul.
binding upon everybody. What We are now to consider the doc- any man may rightly do as accounttrine of Christian liberty, as Paul able to God, a Christian may do.
It always was, it always will be, truth makes other men free. He the duty, not only of Christians but was the Truth, and so was Freedom of every man, to love God with all
itself. Saul of Tarsus becomes the his heart, and his neighbour as slave-the doulos-of Christ and himself, and to put his liberty un- the child of liberty at the same der the limitations of that reigning
This slave of Christ was principle of love.
the freest man in Greece or Rome. Christ did not, when upon earth, To his great, strong nature, his for the first time announce it, nor skilled, dialectic mind, an idol was was it then for the first time ac- nothing at all. Meats and drinks cepted or rejected. Still in Him it and special days were indifferent found a fulfilment and an illustra- matters; every creature of God tion never seen before; and He was good and to be received with bound it as a yoke upon the necks thanksgiving But all were not of His disciples, to draw this world able to make their way through out of the sloughs of selfishness up this tangled mass so easily. All on to the table lands of righteous- could not so easily shake off the ness, and brotherhood, and conse- influence of past idolatries. quent peace.
No Christian man So he says : “At a feast you can, therefore, say: “I am under can certainly eat what is put the same limitations as to moral before you, if no point of conobligation as any other man, no science be raised; but if any one more, no less."
says this is a religious (idolatrous) Does discipleship, then, mean offering, then you must decline it, nothing? Does putting on Christ. on his account. I say on his account, add no warmth of colour to moral- for your own conscience in the ity and move to no higher levels of matter is not here the question. self-sacrifice than expediency? This is my own way in everything, Some things are for a Christian not indulging my personal tastes,
innocent and harmless. but acting for the benefit of others If he abstain in things in- and the salvation of my brethren. different, it is not because it is The discussion in the 14th of morally wrong to indulge, but out Romans and the 8th, 9th, and 10th of deference to the conscience or of 1 Corinthians ranges over what scruples of others, or the possible may be called the Debatable Ground peril to which his example might of things, in themselves indifferent, expose those not so strong. His but gaining their moral quality, as Lord and Master “pleased not acts, from the circumstances in Himself.” And “it is enough for which they are put forth. the disciple that he be as his No phase of Christian practice Master."
has probably provoked more intense Christian liberty is the liberty to resentment than this presented by be Christ-like. When a man be- the great apostle. There can be comes the disciple of Christ, this is no question but that to many to all the liberty he has. Rather, let carry out a scheme of life which me say, he advances into a higher makes large room for the scruplesrealm of liberty than that of the of conscience of other men is to merely ethical right; into the expose one's self to the charge of liberty of love and the self-sacrifice of being a “fussy old bigot.” But and self-forgetfulness of love. To as Paul puts it, “How possible it the man who has put on Christ is to mix together the vigour of a this
is the grandest liberty in earth masculine and manly intellect with or Heaven. The one absolutely the tenderness and charity which is free man
who ever walked the taught by the Gospel of Christ.” earth was Jesus of Nazareth. The II. Christian liberty is the liberty
to be Christ-like, and that is all the strong giving law to himself in liberty we have.
accordance with eternal principles In this light,
of heavenly love. Yea, it is Christ, 1. If Christian brethren the mighty, the great, the grand, disposed to stand upon their rights leading the way in self-abnegation, and do what they think themselves and we, who have themind of Christ, honestly entitled to do, Christian following on as best we can. The liberty gives to their brethren who infant in the cradle : Is that weak, differ from them no right of censorions puny thing always to give law to judgment. St. Paul says expressly mother-love? Are mothers never to such: Let not him which
to outgrow this tyranny of the eateth not judge him that eateth ; cradle? Must they always be bound for God hath received him. Who by an infant's cry? How long must art thou that judgest another man's this antiquated nuisance keep servant?” So long as he is true mothers within these intolerantly to his convictions of duty in his narrow limits ? Does infantile bolder, freer course, “ he shall be weakness give law to mother-love, holden up; for God is able to make or does mother-love, obedient to him stand.” It is possible that, in its own instinct, tie itself down to condemning him for worldliness, I the cradle—the freest thing this may be violating the royal law of side the love of Christ on this charity.
earth ? 2. Christian liberty gives no war- It
be said that the mother rant to any to follow the example of ties herself down to infantile weaksuch at the expense of conscience. ness only so long as she must, and Though it be not immoral to enjoy for the sake of leading weakness it in and by itself, it is sinful in up on to the heights of strength. the man who thus, against his con- Certainly. And so let us do toscience,imitates the freerChristian.” ward the weak everywhere. Weak
3. The rights of Christian con- ness is not a good thing in itself. science are above the rights of Chris- But let us take care that our nurtian liberty. And so far is this from ture is not an ostrich nurture; but being a burdensome yoke, worn the nurture of tender, considerate, from love to Christ and love to Christian love. men, it is a yoke both easy, and “ There are limits to this selflight, and joyous.
abnegation." Well, possibly. But 4. But now it will be asked, who will drive the stakes ? Search“Are the weak always to give law to ing the New Testament for the the strong ? There are limits to limits, we cannot find them. There self-abnegation. Weakness is a are times when we may say it is a bad thing; and if a constant man's duty to stand alone for the homage be paid to it, it tends to right against the world; though, make others weak. I may think it as matter of fact, no man ever so right, for the sake of my own moral stood. With Elijah were vigour and for the sake of the moral thousand who had never bowed vigour of those who are in danger the knee to Baal. Behind Luther of becoming morbidly scrupulous, to were the Reformers before the live the bolder and freer life which Reformation, and around him many my own conscious approves.” -yea, far more than he knew
We, then, that are strong, fully abreast of him in their deought to bear the infirmities of the testation of the corruptions of the weak, and not to please ourselves; Papal Church and their sympathy
for even Christ pleased not with a pure, spiritual life. But all Himself.” It is not the weak this takes us into another realm, giving law to the strong; it is the off the playground of things in
themselves indifferent, among the hearts; or, if this must be, then forests of God and the everlasting only for some high commanding hills.
reason, which shall have behind it III. But, beyond this, the use and the imperative of conscience. abuse of Christian liberty in the Finally, let it be said that the fellowship of the strong among them- course outlined by the great apostle, selves seems to be quite as much deserv- the liberty that is most rigidly laced ing of consideration and to indicate a and interlaced by love to God and field where no less is it needful that love to men, is the freedom that walks the charity which suffereth long and the breezy heights of the mountains is kind have free course and be of God, where the prospect is broad glorified.
and fair, where the step is bounding It will never do to class all the
with gladness, and the spirit is scrupulous among the weak; all invigorated with the wine of who cannot in conscience walk the
Heaven. The yoke of love is the freer, bolder life, of which we have yoke of the free; the yoke of the many examples, as narrow, bigoted, selfish is the yoke of the slave. As and illiberal. We must dissent
a man among men, a man has the from this classification, as having liberty to stand on his rights. As neither justice nor sense
a Christian, a man is supposed to side. It should be considered that have entered into the grander they who, as leaders of Christian
liberty of self-abnegation for the thought, walk the freer, bolder good of others, in the sympathy, path, with little tenderness for the and self-forgetfulness, and tender consciences of their brethren, are love of Christ the Lord. the few, not the many; that they
H. C. HAYDN, D.D. are matched, in every way, in intelligence, piety, good works, The Necessity of Holiness. and breadth of range in culture
EPH. iv. 24. and outlook by those
“ And that ye put on the new man, decline to enter upon the high which after God is created in righteousseas of modern adventure to bring ness and true holiness." the Church and the world together;
HEBREWS xii. 14. that bishops and presbyters, synods, " Holiness--without which no conventions, conferences, and as- shall see the Lord." semblies, and the great bulk of
THERE are some words in our the literature of the Church are English tongue which have on the conservative side. Now, acknowledged power, a grandeur, then, Christian liberty would seem and a sanctity peculiarly their to say, with emphasis, as between
These words grasp the such:
mysterious and infinite that enclose 1. We must learn to trust each on every side with all the other, as honest seekers after the possible powers of mortal speech,
and so present them, as it were, in 2. We must learn to put far from a somewhat more tangible, though us censorious judgments, for to his still undefined, shape to our minds. own masterevery man stands orfalls. Such words stand before us not
3. And, certainly, the strong owe simply representative of the noblest something to each other, as workers and purest to which man can possiin a common cause and servants of bly attain, or, even of which he the same Master. Something, we can possibly conceive, but they, in say not how much--that they ob- a certain sort, incarnate in themstruct notone another's way, nor lay
selves the infinite and absolute burdens on each other's shoulders, realities to the outer edge of which nor inflict pain upon each other's only the loftiest imaginings of man
reach, and so have a depth of
I. WHAT IS HOLINESS ? meaning and a suggestiveness There is a very common, and beyond any analysis of human perhaps natural, tendency to conthought. Such words
of found “holiness” with “righteous-necessity, sacred words; they are
virtue." No little of the not often heard in our common debate which Christianity has with intercourse. All men feel instinct- the world is just on this point. ively that they belong only to The moral law, it is too often certain occasions, and come only claimed, is the measure of religion; with propriety from certain lips. morality” is “
holiness"; virtue We feel that they bring us at once is Christianity.
But it is very into contact with the invisible and certain that the Scriptures teach the Divine, and they exercise upon no such doctrine. On the contrary, us the influences of these.
they distinctly and persistently Chief among these words stands assail and deny it. " That ye put “Holiness.” Take in the full height on the new
-a life and and length and breadth and depth character beyond any possibility of of this word, and you have, in mere nature—“which after God is fact, ascended to the topmost created in righteousness and true height of heaven and measured the holiness." Here, then, is the very being of God. And so all broad and deep distinction that
even the most thoughtless, runs through all Scripture. “Morfeel it to be. The very letters and ality,” is one thing; “holiness," is. syllables that enclose the central another. and sanctifying idea are as the Holiness, then, is not to be congarments of Christ. Do you not founded with “virtue.” Nor, let know men and women who, taught it be cbserved, is any disparageby a subtle instinct, never utter ment cast upon virtue by affirming this word ? The reason is, that this distinction. They are names, there is a certain spiritual quality as we have seen, of two things, not suggested by it which is foreign to one and the
They do their characters, and a shade of not express the same, quality in religious conviction to which character. “They rest, on differnothing in their habit of life and ent capacities in human naturefeeling corresponds.
virtue on the conscience, holiness Now, it is with this sacred word,
They are fed from the Divine fact which it represents, different fountains - virtue from that the text is concerned. It re- moral principle, holiness from compresents it as a possession belonging munion with God in Christ.” They only to the regenerated and reno- may be guided by different direcvated soul, "the new man created tors—virtue depending more after God.” Holiness is not simply self-will. This is intimated in the an arbitrary condition of seeing classical origin of the word, where the Lord, but a moral and spiritual it expressed the special characternecessity in order to see Him; in istic of the Roman mind-a certain other words, that not only “with-honourable, proud high-mindedout holiness no man shall see the ness, pagan but not Christian-and Lord,” but that “ without holiness where it was nearly synonymous no man can see the Lord.” To “ see with valour or such fidelity as the Lord," to apprehend all His depends upon personal courage. divine and satisfying attributes, Holiness, on the other hand, im-there must be this organ and fac- plies a subjection of self-will, and ulty of “the new man created the presence of those spiritual after God” which is here called attributes, like humility, forgive“ holiness."
ness, and religious submission,