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A Judgement Of Discretion

It is commonly acknowledged by Protestants that private Christians have a judgment of discretion in things of religion. The term was invented to grant them some liberty of judgment, in opposition unto the blind obedience required by the church of Rome; but withal to put a restraint upon it, and a distinction of some superior judgment, it may be in the church or others. But if by discretion they mean the best of men’s understanding, knowledge, wisdom, and prudence, in and about the things wherein it is exercised, I should be glad to be informed what other judgment than this of discretion, in and about the things of religion, this, or that, or any church in the world, can have or exercise. But to allow men a judgment of discretion, and not to grant it their duty to act according unto that judgment, is to oblige them to be fools, and to act not discreetly, at least not according unto their own discretion.

– John Owen –

from An Inquiry Concerning Evangelical Churches, volume 15 of Works, pages 342-343

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