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Free to follow

Not sure it ever happened (happy to be contradicted), but what a good illustration as heard in this morning's sermon by Neil Green (my vicar).

Abraham Lincoln was once at a slave auction.  A young girl was being sold, naked but for her shackles.  Lincoln was so distressed by the thought of her being bought by any of the rabble present that he bid for her himself.  As the price went up and up, Lincoln continued to outbid the rest and eventually he paid top dollar for her.  The girl was brought to Abe, petrified of what a man who paid so much would want with her.  Lincoln took off his great black cloak and clothed her saying 'You're free.' 

The girl couldn't believe it.  She said 'You mean I can go?' 

He said 'Yes'. 

'I can marry anyone I want?' 


'I can work anywhere I like?' 


'I can go anywhere I please?' 


'Then,' she said, 'I will go with you.'


0 thoughts on “Free to follow

  1. glenscriv

    I guess to avoid the pelagian crumble you'd want to emphasize that there is no freed-man status. The girl didn't buy her own freedom and then follow Abe. She was completely transferred from a bad master to a good master without any part to play in the tranfer. And presumably (in the story) she remains the property of Lincoln all her days. It's just that now 'for freedom she has been set free.' (Gal 5:1) - and she recognizes in the goodness of her new master that belonging to him is the true definition of freedom.

    It's interesting that in Rom 6:19 Paul says of the two slaveries analogy: 'I put this in human terms because of your weakness.' I tend to think this is an admission by Paul that there are limitations to the stark two-slaveries image. Because slavery to Christ is very different to slavery to sin. And Gal 5 and this illustration might be ways of fleshing out how the slavery to Christ is different.

    Crumble avoided?

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