The Irony of Freedom


Great truths often subsist in great ironies, the Cross of Christ being the supreme example. Among the many blessings that follow from the Cross is genuine freedom. I like the way Peter Martyr Vermigli (1499-1562) describes it:

“Every pressure and weight involved in [God’s kingdom] has been put not on our shoulders but on those of our Lord Jesus Christ. As Isaiah prophesied of him, ‘the government will be on his shoulders.’ Note well: it does not say that the burden will be on some miserable subjects. From such a mild and gentle kingship Christian­ princes should take their pattern and example for government, putting aside any tendency to tyranny. Turning from them, let us rejoice in him. By divine goodness we have been gathered into the happy army and under the banner of so noble- a prince and so great a brother. He will spare neither goodwill nor great power to help us. Let us yield ourselves completely to him. We cannot serve in a better or more useful way. Let us serve him thoughtfully and diligently, obeying him heartily and revering him everlastingly because it is our duty and his deserving.”[1]


[1] Peter Martyr Vermigli, “Commentary on the Apostles’ Creed,” in the The Peter Martyr Reader, ed. J.P. Donnelly, Frank A. James III, and J.C. McLelland. (Kirksville: Truman State University Press, 1999), 14.

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