THE world is hearing much to-day, as it has always heard, of the promise of liberty made by one people to another. But can one people confer liberty upon other people? And if so, what people can do this? These were always important questions, and were never more so than just now.
The Apostle Peter wrote about a class of men who promised liberty; and we have therefore some information on the subject from an authority that church people at least will not question. He speaks of a class who while they promise liberty to others, are themselves the “servants of corruption.” 2 Peter 2:19. And this is equivalent to a plain statement that nobody who is himself in bondage can confer any true liberty upon another. And this is to say that the promise of liberty made by the servant of sin is an empty boast; for it is of the bondage of sin that the apostle is speaking.
We may set aside, then, as altogether vain and  delusive, the promises of liberty made by any people who are not themselves free from the chains of sin. Such people do not know what real freedom is. And having the tyranny of sin upon themselves, they perforce have the spirit tyranny in their hearts, which seeks never to confer liberty, but always to restrict it.
To-day we hear the promise of liberty made by one people to another whom they are trying to overcome. Can such a promise of liberty be realized? The answer of Scripture to the question is, “Of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage;” and though a whole nation should with united voice deny the statement, it would still be true.
One man is not overcome by another man, or one people by another people, to be made free. And when the conqueror is himself the servant of corruption, it is doubly impossible that the conquered should be made more free.
The work of setting men free was undertaken by the Author of freedom, who came not to overcome any man, but to overcome the evils by which men are bound; not to get the victory over any man, but to give to every man a victory gained over the whole world. And only as men work with Him, will the cause of freedom be really advanced in the earth. His promise of liberty, and his only, will be gloriously fulfilled.