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appears in the dependence under which S E R M. it brings the jfinner, to circumstances of external fortune. One of the favourite characters of liberty, is the independence it bestows; He who is truly a freeman 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 savour by dishonourable means. But the finher 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 mem For it is by these he subsists, and among these his happiness is sought; according as his passions determine him to pursue pleasures* 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 O 2 shaken
S E R M. shaken by every wind of fortune. This ZZ^j is to be in the strictest fense a stave 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 promisesof 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 iittle to fear from the worid, he can be easy in every state. One who possesses within himscl such an establishment mentof mind, is truly free.—But shall SE RM, I call that man free, who has nothing ^^L^ that is his own, no property assured j 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 fend 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 treache- . rous world; no dependence is more contemptible than that under which the voluptuous, the covetous, or the ambitious
SERM.bitious man lies to the means of plea,_ sure, 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 virtupus and the vicious man, and you will easily fee 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, ven, acts with firmness and courage ; s £ R jyr, &nd in the discharge of his duty, fears « ^ not the face of man. The man of Vice, conseious of his low and corrupt aims, slirinks before the stedfaft and piercing eye -of integrity j is ever looking arouhd •him with anxiou sand fearful circumfpec tion, and thinking of subterfuges* by which he may escape from danger . The one is bold as a lion -} the other flieth when no man purfueth. 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. <f I will not," fays lie, <fXo demean myself, as "to catch the favour of the greatest ** man, by this or that low ait- It "shall not be said or thought cff me, "that I did what was base in order to "-make my fortune. Let others stfc&p ** fo low, who cannot be without $ke +* favours of the world. But I carl ** want them, and therefore at such a price I will not purchase theria." This