Abernathy - Houston-Packer Collection BX9178.A33 S4 1748 v.4

122 Of Chri/lian Liberty. S E R M. for, and neceffary to, fo valuable ends, it V. ought to be maintained inviolably. Rulers, indeed, fhould ufe their power with mode- ration, taking care not to overload religion with many ufelefs rites, fuch efpecially as are indecent ; but private chriftians ought to be fubjedt for confcience fake, without any other limitation than this, that God is to be obeyed rather than man, and they cannot be bound to do what appeareth to them in itfelf evil ; whether the rites pre - fcribed be expedient or inexpedient, they are not proper judges, nor need to give themfelves trouble about it, being fatisfied in this, that any inexpediency may be fub- mitted to, rather than break the peace and order of the church by difobedience to the decrees of their lawful fnperiors, which is finful. Some part of this reafoning is plaufible; ° but if it be diligently and impartially exa- mined, I doubt it will not be found folid nor agreeable to that truth of the gofpel which the apoale Paul fo zealoufly con- tended for, that it might continue uncor- rupted in the chriftian church : For, in the firft place, the precedents which are refer- red to amongft the 'yews in our Saviour's time are of no weight ; it was an age of great