Virtue Unafraid of Losing Religious Freedom


And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

By and large, American Christians are on the one hand woefully unready to lose their legally recognized religious freedom, and mortally afraid of losing it, and on the other hand just as mortally afraid of fighting for it rather than saying quietly in a corner, or shouting in the Internet æther, that they have these political rights. O Christian, speak only for your religious liberty and you will lose it. Jesus said we would be persecuted for his Name, because if people hated him, then they would hate us too. Have we no confidence in his everlasting salvation, and in his temporal provision for us, that we must give this pusillanimous face to the powers that be? Shame, shame on the Church; glory be to God for any fortitude he gives us beyond our selves in the years to come, to endure to the point of shedding our blood. He has conquered death: what cause have we to fear? We have none, but our deeds insist that we do. To appropriate what Sarah said to Abraham, the words quoted by St Paul in Galatians, Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. For we cannot be justified by the unseemly cringing we see so often, but only by the merits of Christ, of infinite worth and of efficacious force for the elect of God. So delight yourself in the Lord, and speak, and say to kings and governors what is true. No punishment, no exile, not even death itself can kill me if I have a share in the Resurrection of the Son of God.

Almighty God, help me do what thy word hath taught me, and by thy Holy Spirit strengthen my heart and my hands for thy service, with the faith that Jesus Christ took to the Cross, that counting this perishing life to be nothing I may attain the blessedness of the world to come. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.


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