Liberty is the heirloom of all the sons and daughters of Adam. But where do you find liberty unaccompanied by religion? True it is that all men have a right to liberty, but it is equally true that you do not meet it in any country save where you find the Spirit of the Lord. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” Thank God, this is a free country. This is a land where I can breathe the air and say it is untainted by the groan of a single slave; my lungs receive it, and I know there has never been mingled with its vapours the tear of a single slave woman shed over her child which has been sold from her. This land is the home of liberty. But why is it so? I take it, it is not so much because of our institutions as because the Spirit of the Lord is here–the spirit of true and hearty religion. There was a time, remember, when England was no more free than any other country, when men could not speak their sentiments freely, when kings were despots, when Parliaments were but a name. Who won our liberties for us? Who have loosed our chains? Under the hand of God, I say, the men of religion–men like the great and glorious Cromwell, who would have liberty of conscience, or die–men who, if they could not reach kings’ hearts, because they were unsearchable in cunning, would strike kings low, rather than they would be slaves. We owe our liberty to men of religion, to men of the stern Puritanical school–men who scorned to play the craven and yield their principles at the command of man. And if we ever are to maintain our liberty (as God grant we may) it shall be kept in England by religious liberty–by religion. This Bible is the Magna Charta of old Britain. its truths, its doctrines have snapped our fetters, and they never can be riveted on again, whilst men, with God’s Spirit in their hearts, go forth to speak its truths. In no other land, save where the Bible is unclasped–in no other realm, save where the gospel is preached, can you find liberty. Roam through other countries, and you speak with bated breath; you are afraid; you feel you are under an iron hand; the sword is above you; you are not free. Why? Because you are under the tyranny engendered by a false religion: you have not free Protestantism there; and it is not till Protestantism comes that there can be freedom. It is where the Spirit of the Lord is that there is liberty, and nowhere else. Men talk about being free: they describe model governments, Platonic republics, or Owenite paradises; but they are dreamy theorists; for there can be no freedom in the world, save, “where the spirit of the Lord is.”
Spurgeon’s Sermons (Spokane, Washington; Olive Tree Bible Software; 2010) eBook. Vol. 1, Sermon No. 9; Titled: Spiritual Liberty; Delivered on Sabbath Morning, February 18, 1855.