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support one crime by means of another. Not only is he enslaved to those vices which take their rise from his own inclination, but they render others necessary, to which, against his inclination, he must submit; and thereby strengthen the commanding power of iniquity within him. The immoderate love of pleasure, for instance, leads him into expense beyond his fortune. In order to support that expense, he is obliged to have recourse to law and dishonourable methods of gain, which originally he despised. To cover these, he is forced upon arts of dissimulation and fraud. One instance of fraud obliges him to support it by another; till, in the end, there arises a character of complicated vice; of luxury shooting forth into baseness, dishonesty, injustice, and perhaps cruelty. It is thus that one favourite passion brings in a tribe of auxiliaries, to complete the dominion of sin. Among all our corrupt passions there is a strong and intimate connection. When any one of them is adopted into our family, it never quits us until it has fathered upon us all its kindred. By such means as these, by the violence of passions, by the power of habits, and by the connection of one vice with another, sin establishes that servitude over the will, which deprives bad men of all power of free choice in their actions.

II. THE slavery produced by vice appears in the dependence under which it brings the sin er to circumstances of external fortune. One of the favourite characters of liberty is, the indepei dence it bestows. He who is truly a free man is above all servile compliances, and abject subjection. He is

able to rest upon himself; and while he regards his superiors with proper deference, neither debases himself by cringing to them, nor is tempted to purchase their favour by dishonourable means. But the sinner has forfeited every privilege of this nature. His passions and habits render him an absolute dependant on the world, and the world's favour; on the uncertain goods of fortune, and the fickle humours of men. For it is by these he subsists, and among these his happiness is sought; according as his passions determine him to pursue pleasure, riches, or preferments. Having no fund within himself whence to draw enjoyment, his only resource is in things without. His hopes and fears all hang upon the world. He partakes in all its vicissitudes; and is moved and shaken by every wind of fortune. This is. to be, in the strictest sense, a slave to the world.

Religion and virtue, on the other hand, confer on: the mind principles of noble independence. The upright man is satisfied from himself. He despises not the advantages of fortune; but he centers not his happiness in them. With a moderate share of them, he can be contented; and contentment is felicity. Happy in his own integrity, conscious of the esteem of good men, reposing firm trust in the providence, and the promises of God, he is exempted from servile dependence on other things. He can wrap himself up in a good conscience, and look forward, without terror, to the change of the world. Let all things shift around him as they please, he believes that, by the divine ordination, they shall be made to work together in the issue for his good: And therefore, having much to hope from God, and little to fear from the world, he can be easy in every

state.

One who possesses within himself such an establishment of mind, is truly free. But shall I call that man free, who has nothing that is his own, nor property assured; whose very heart is not his own, but rendered the appendage of external things, and the sport of fortune? Is that man free, let his outward condition be ever so splendid, whom his imperious passions detain at their call, whom they send forth at their pleasure to drudge and toil, and to beg his only enjoyment from the casualties of the world? Is he free, who must flatter and lie, to compass his ends; who must bear with this man's caprice, and that man's scorn; must profess friendship where he hates, and respect where he contemns; who is not at liberty to appear in his own colours, nor to speak his own sentiments; who dares not be honest lest he should be poor? Believe it, no chains bind so hard, no fetters are so heavy, as those which fasten the corrupted heart to this treacherous world; no dependence is more contemptible than that under which the voluptuous, the covetous, or the ambitious man lies, to the means of pleasure, gain, or power. Yet this is the boasted liberty which vice promises, as the recompence of setting us free from the salutary restraints of virtue.

III. ANOTHER character of the slavery of vice, is that mean, cowardly, and disquieted state to which it reduces the sinner. Boldness and magnanimity have ever been accounted the native effects of liberty. He who enjoys it, having nothing to apprehend from oppressive power, performs the offices, and enjoys the comforts of life, with a manly and undisturbed mind.

Hence his behaviour is dignified, and his sentiments are honourable; while he who is accustomed to bend under servile subjection, has always been found mean-spirited, timorous, and base. — - Compare, in these respects, the virtuous and the vicious man, and you will easily see to which of them the characteristics of freedom most justly belong. The man of virtue relying on a good conscience, and the protection of Heaven, acts with firmness and courage; and, in the discharge of his duty, fears not the face of man. The man of vice, conscious of his low and corrupt aims, shrinks before the stedfast and piercing eye of integrity; is ever looking around him with anxious and fearful circumspection, and thinking of subterfuges, by which he may escape from danger. The one is bold as a lion; the other flieth when no man pursueth. To the one, To the one, nothing appears contemptible, by which he can procure any present advantage. The other looks with disdain on whatever would degrade his character. "I will not," says he," so demean myself, as to catch the favour of "the greatest man, by this or that low art. It "shall not be said or thought of me, that I did "what was base, in order to make my fortune. "Let others stoop so low, who cannot be without "the favours of the world. But I can want them, "and therefore at such a price I will not purchase "them." This is the voice of true liberty; and speaks that greatness of mind which it is formed to inspire.

Corresponding to that abject disposition which characterises a bad man, are the fears that haunt him. The terrors of a slave dwell on his mind, and often appear in his behaviour. For guilt is

never free from suspicion and alarm. The sinner is afraid, sometimes, of the partners of his crimes, lest they betray him; sometimes, of those who have suffered by his crimes, lest they revenge themselves; frequently, of the world around him, lest it detect him; and, what is worst of all, he is reduced to be afraid of himself. There is a witness within him, that testifies against his misdeeds; and threatens him in secret, when other alarms leave him. Conscience holds up to his view the image of his past crimes, with this inscription engraved upon it, "God "will bring every work into judgment." How opposite is such a state as this, to the peaceful security arising from the liberty enjoyed by the virtuous? Were there nothing more in the circumstances of sinners to affix upon them the marks of servitude, this alone would be sufficient, that, as the Scripture expresses it, through fear of death they are all their lifetime subject to bondage.* Death sets all other captives free. The slave who digs in the mine, or labours at the oar, can rejoice at the prospect of laying down his burden together with his life; and tastes the hope of being at last on equal terms with his cruel oppressor. But, to the slave of guilt there arises no hope from death. On the contrary, he is obliged to look forward with constant terror to this most certain of all events, as the conclusion of all his hopes, and the commencement of his greatest miseries.

I HAVE thus set before you such clear and unequivocal marks of the servitude undergone by sinners,

Heb. ii. 15.

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