1 PET. ii. 16. “As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke
of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.”
FREEDOM is one of those words which need no recomen-
dation. It appeals to human interests in all ages and
Man’s freedom is exercised in three main departments of
his life: in his life as a social being, in his life as a think-
ing being, in his life as a moral being. In each of these
departments Christ, our great Deliverer, has made man
I. Christ has given to man social or political freedom.
He has not indeed drawn out a scheme of government, and
stamped it with His Divine authority as guaranteeing free-
dom. The New Testament asserts nothing but two neces-
sary elements of man’s life as a political or social being;
the existence of some government which it is a conscien-
tious duty to obey, be it assembly or president, or king or
emperor; and the fact of the inalienable freedom of the
individual Christian under any form of government Christ
gave us a moral force which made every Christian, in virtue
of the law of his life, independent of outward political cir-
cumstances, and made the creation of new civil institutions
only a question of time.
The slave, if a Christian, was inwardly free, having a
sense of freedom, a power of living according to the highest
law of his being, which the Caesar on his throne dreamt
not of. The doctrine of Christ of the worth and dignity of
redeemed man was as leaven deposited in corrupt society,
and in time the world could not but be leavened politically
as in other ways.
II. Christ has given man intellectual freedom. He has
enfranchised man by the gift of truth; truth in its fulness,
absolute and final. “Ye shall know the truth, and the
truth shall make you free.”
III. Christ has made us morally free. He has broken
the chains which fettered the human will, and restored to
it its buoyancy, directness, and power. Man was morally
free in Paradise. He became enslaved by an act of dis-
obedience. There came one who said to him, “If the Son
shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” True free-
dom consists m the power of acting without hindrance,
according to the highest law of our being.
Henry Parry Liddon, D.C.L.