But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.…
"Liberty, equality, and fraternity," is the three-fold watchword of the masses in modern society. These words are written up in large characters on public buildings, and even on some of the churches, in France; and the ideas represented by them are held and aimed after by vast numbers in nearly every European country. What is meant by them?
(a) By "Liberty" is meant perfect freedom for the people to govern themselves, This is attainable, and, so far as political government is concerned, it has been attained by France, Great Britain, and other countries.
(b) By "Equality" is meant the abolition o! rank and title, whether hereditary or otherwise; to many it means socialism or communism — the abolition of personal property — the State becoming the sole proprietor and apportioner of the means of subsistence.
(c) By "Fraternity" is meant the realization of the feeling of true brotherhood as between man and man. Such are the ideas represented by the "liberty, equality, and fraternity" sought after by the world — a mixture of truth and error. True "liberty, equality, and fraternity" are only to be attained through the gospel being accepted and acted on throughout the world. This alone will stop the seethings of dissatisfaction, the upheavals of discontent, and the outbreaks of revolutionary passion.
I. TRUE LIBERTY IS THAT WHICH IS ENJOYED BY THE CHILDREN OF GOD.
1. Freedom from the condemnation of the law.
2. Freedom from the power of evil.
II. EQUALITY IN JESUS CHRIST. Not an equality subverting natural relations; these remain, but with a new spirit of light and love, constituting essential equality under circumstantial inequalities, so far as these are not inlaid in the very constitution of man as a social being.
1. In Christ there is no national inequality.
2. In Christ there is complete equality between master and servant.
3. Equality as between man and woman.
III. TRUE FRATERNITY. This is unattainable by political methods. It never yet has been, and never will be, reached by these means. Neither ancient nor modern republics have been able to secure true brotherhood among the members of the State, e.g., Athenian democracy, French and American Republics. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can make us true brothers, as descended from the same parent, heirs of the same inheritance, and hence possessed of a spirit of true fraternal affection towards each other. Not necessarily do Christians always agree in their opinion on indifferent points; nor do they see fundamental questions always from the same standpoint — one seeing the matter according to his own God-given mental peculiarities, another according to his, and so on; but, amid all differences of opinion, they are one in true brotherly affection, sympathy, and aim. This is the real tendency and intention and aim of Christianity, however far we may at present fall short of it. What we can now see only "in part," will one day be perfected, for "our citizenship, our commonwealth, is in heaven."
Parallel VersesKJV: But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.