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Freedom by the Truth.

Freedom by the Truth.

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Published by glennpease


"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." —
John viii. 32.


"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." —
John viii. 32.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 09, 2012
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05/24/2012

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FREEDOM BY THE TRUTH.By F. W. ROBERTSON "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." — John viii. 32.If these words were the only record we possessed of theSaviour's teaching, it may be that they would be insufficientto prove His personal Deity, but they would be enough todemonstrate the Divine character of His mission.Observe the greatness of the aim, and the wisdom of themeans.The aim was to make all men free. He saw around Himservitude in every form — man in slavery to man, and race torace: His OAvn countrymen in bondage to the Romans — slaves both of JcAvish and Roman masters, frightfully op-pressed : men trembling before priestcraft : and those whowere politically and ecclesiastically free, in worse bondagestill — the rich and rulers slaves to their own passions.Conscious of His iuAvard Deity and of His Father's inten-tions, He, without hurry, without the excitement whichwould mark the mere earthly liberator, calmly said, " Yeshall be free."See, next, the peculiar wisdom of the means.The craving for liberty was not new — it lies deep in humannature. Nor was the promise of satisfying it new. Em-pirics, charlatans, demagogues, and men Avho were not char-latans nor demagogues, had promised in vain.1. First, they had tried by force. Wherever force hasbeen used on the side of freedom, we honor it ; the nameswhich we pronounce in boyhood with enthusiasm are thoseof the liberators of nations and the vindicators of liberty.Israel had had such : Joshua — the Judges — Judas Macca-
 
baeus. Had the Son of God willed so to come, even on hu-man data the success was certain. I waive the truth of Hisinward Deity, of His miraculous power, of His power to sum-mon to His will more than twelve legions of angels. I onlynotice now that men's hearts were full of Him : ripe for re-volt : and that at a single word of His, thrice three hundredthousand swords would have started from their scabbards.But had He so come, one nation might have gained liberty — 2 1 o Freedom by the Truth,not the race of man : moreover, the liberty would only havebeen independence of a foreign conqueror. Therefore as aconquering king He did not come.2. Again, it might have been attempted by legislative en-actment. Perhaps only once has this been done successfully,and by a single effort. When the names of conquerors shallhave been forgotten, and modern civilization shall have be-come obsolete — when England's shall be ancient history, oneact of hers will be remembered as a record of her greatness,that Act by which in costly sacrifice she emancipated herslaves.But one thing England could not do. She could give free-dom — she could not fit for freedom — she could not make itlasting. The stroke of a monarch's pen will do the one, thediscipline of ages is needed for the other. Give to-morrow aconstitution to some feeble Eastern nation, or a horde of sav-ages, and in half a century they will be subjected again.Therefore the Son of Man did not come to free the world bylegislation.3. It might be done by civilization. Civilization does free — intellect equalizes. Every stejo of civilization is a victoryover some lower instinct. But civilization contains withinitself the elements of a fresh servitude. Man conquers thepowers of nature, and becomes in turn their slave. Theworkman is in bondage to the machinery which does hiswill : his hours, his wages, his personal habits determined by
 
it. The rich man fills his house with luxuries, and can not dowithout them. A highly civilized community is a veryspectacle of servitude. ^Ean is there a slave to dress, tohours, to manners, to conventions, to etiquette. Things con-trived to make his life more easy become his masters.Therefore Jesus did not talk of the progress of the speciesnor the growth of civilization. He did not trust the world'shope of liberty to a right division of property. But he freedthe inner man, that so the outer might become free too." Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make youfree."I. The truth that liberates.II. The liberty Avhich truth gives.The truth which Christ taught was chiefly on these threepoints : God — man — immortality.First, God. Blot out the thought of God, a living person,and life becomes mean, existence unmeaning, the universedark, and resolve is left without a stay, aspiration and dutywithout a support.Freedom by the Truth, 2 1 1The Son exhibited God as love : and so that fearful bond-age of the mind to the necessity of fate was broken. A liv-ing Lord had made the world, and its dark and unintelligiblemystery meant good, not evil. He manifested Him as aSj^irit ; and if so, the only worship that could please Himmust be a spirit's worship. Not by sacrifices is God j^leased,nor by droned litanies and liturgies, nor by fawning and flat-tery, nor is his wrath bought oif by blood. Thus was thechain of superstition rent asunder ; for superstition is wrongviews of God, exaggerated or inadequate, and wrong conce2>tions of the way to please Him.And so when the woman of Samaria brought the conver-sation to that old ecclesiastical question about consecrated

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