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Confession of Faith Ratification Act 1690

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Chap. xx. Of Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience S

1

THE liberty which Christ hath purchased for believers under the Gospell consists in their freedom from the guilt of sin the condemning wrath of God the curse of the Moral Law and in their being delivered from this present evil world bondage to Satan and dominion of sin from the evil of afflictions the sting of death the victory of the grave and everlasting damnation as also in their free access to God and their yielding obedience unto him not out of slavish fear but a child-like love and willing mind all which were common also to believers under the Law But under the New Testament the liberty of Christians is further enlarged in their freedom from the yoke of the Ceremoniall Law to which the Jewish Church was subjected and in greater boldness of access to the throne of grace and in fuller communication of the free spirit of God than believers under the Law did ordinarily partake of

2

GOD alone is Lord of the conscience and hath left it free from the doctrines and commandments of men which are in any thing contrary to his Word or beside it in matters of faith or worship so that to believe such doctrines or to obey such commands out of conscience is to betray true liberty of conscience and the requiring of an implicit faith and an absolute and blind obedience is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also

3

THEY who upon pretence of Christian liberty do practise any sin or cherish any lust do thereby destroy the end of Christian liberty which is that being delivered out of the hands of our enemies we might serve the Lord without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life

4

AND because the powers which God hath ordained and the liberty which Christ hath purchased are not intended by God to destroy but mutually to uphold and preserve one another they who upon pretence of Christian liberty shall oppose any lawfull power or the lawfull exercise of it whether it be civil or ecclesiasticall resist the ordinance of God and for their publishing of such opinions or maintaining of such practises as are contrary to the light of nature or to the known principles of Christianity whether concerning faith worship or conversation or to the power of godliness or such erroneous opinions or practises as either in their own nature or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them are destructive to the externall peace and order which Christ hath established in the Church they may be lawfully called to account and proceeded against by the censures of the Church and by the power of the civil Magistrate

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