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

Of Chriflian Liberty. 127 Paul, muft fee that this is the foot upon S E x M. which he placeth the ufe of the Jewifh ce- V. remonies ; (the great inftance in that age of "-^rj indifferent things) any chriftian who faw that his ufing them on a particular occafion would contribute to the fervice of chriftia- nity, by avoiding offence to weak brethren, might and ought to do it ; if he faw his compliance would not anfwer that end, but rather be hurtful, he ought to abftain ; in other words, he was to do or forbear, juft as it appeared to himfelf expedient or inex- pedient. Thus was there room left for the exercife of prudence and charity, which are eminent virtues in the chriftian life, and the proper guides of liberty. But by the inter- poling of human authority in determining fuch indifferent points, the exercife of thefe virtues is in a great meafure taken away, and that privilege fubverted ; the decrees of fu- periors fuperfede all confideration of expe- dient or inexpedient, which muft be wholly left to them whenever they are pleafed to take it into their hands. if yews fhould now be converted to chriftianity, and after their converfion Rill retain tome fcruples about the diftin&ion of meats and days, as many of them did in the apoftolic age, or in any parallel cafe, the commands of hu- man