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part; and the part chosen becomes the master of the heart, and obliges us to separate from the rest as much as they oppose each other or interfere. Here then, my dear Hearers, you are furnished with a criterion, by which to judge of your state and your character. The conclusion is obvious and undeniable. If you love and serve the world, you cannot love and serve God. And the exclusion is serious and dreadful; for you are here reminded that worldly attachments, dependencies, and pursuits, are not only injurious to real religion, but entirely incompatible with it; that they are not some of those inferior mistakes and infirmities which we deplore in good men; but a deadly evil which overspreads all the powers of the soul, infects all the principles of action, gives the whole life a wrong bias, the whole man a direction towards hell. -“ Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye “ separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean
thing; and I will receive you." "Love not the “ world, neither the things of the world; for if any
man love the world, the love of the Father is not " in him." “ Yę adulterers and adulteresses, know
ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity. “ with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of " the world is the enemy of God?” “No man can $ serve two masters : for either he will hate the one, “ and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, “ and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and ç mammon.”
II. You cannot serve both; but one of these you will unavoidably serve. The second proposition is as
true as the first. It is as impossible for a man to be without some master, as to serve more masters than one. Man is an active being, and must be employed; he will always be engaged in the pursuit of some thing either by exertion or desire. Man is a dependant creature.
Like the vine he must lean for support; and if the elm be not near, he will embrace the bram. ble. He thirsts ; and if he has forsaken the Foun. tain of Living Waters, he will repair to broken cisterns, or kneel down to the filthy puddle. A sense of his wants and weaknesses produces an uneașiness which urges
him to seek after assistance and relief. Hence man cannot be without attachment. Not finding in himself the good he desires, he passes forth and adheres to something external ; but this ohject necessarily governs him ; for it is the very nature of love to subject us to that which we love ; and it fastens us by various ties; for desire and aversion, hope and fear, joy and sorrow, zeal and revenge, are only modes of affection.
There is nothing in which men are so tenacious as independence and liberty ; and even when they are destitute of the substance they glory in the shadow. . The Jews are an example. In reply to our Lord they said “ We are Abraham's seed, and were “ never in bondage to any man.” What ! Have you forgotten the land of Egypt ? Did you never serve the Philistines, the Moabites, the Ammonites?, Were
you not seventy years in Babylon? Whose soldiers are these stationed among you ? Bring me a piece of money,
“whose image and superscription is it?" Are you not even now wearing the yoke of Caesar? Yes; and you are wearing another yoke far more disgraceful than even this, and which enslaves the mind; for “ he « that committeth sin is the servant of sin."
And does not this exemplify the folly and delusion of sinners ? They imagine themselves, to be their own masters ; especially when they save shaken off what they deem the prejudices of education, and the scruples of superstition. Then they are free indeed ; they live without controul ; and with affected pity consider Christians as subject to the most humiliating restraints. But what if these advocates for independence should be found slaves themselves, and all their boastings of freedom be only great swelling words of vanity “ While they promise them liberty, they themselves
are the servants of corruption ; for of whom a man s is overcome, of the same is he brought into bondage." “ Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves ser4 vants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, * whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto « righteousness." What ! is there no other master than God ? Because you refuse allegiance to your lawful sovereign, does it follow that you are your own ? May there not be usurpers? Instead of being under the government of one, may you not be under the tyran. ny of many, “each seeking his gain from his quarcater ?” Instead of paying a regular and reasonable tribute, may you not become the victims of illegal exaction, and the tools of arbitrary power ? Hear what Shemaiah said to Rehoboam and the princess of Judah ; * Ye have forsaken the Lord; therefore I have left you “ in the land of Shishak king of Egypt : and they shall ** be his servants, that they may know my service, and
“ the service of the kingdoms of the countries.' To the same purpose is the language of God by Moses to the Israelites ; “ Because thou servedst not the Lord thy « God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, " for the abundance of all things; therefore shalt " thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send « against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in naked
ness, and in want of all things ; and he shall put a
yoke of iron upon thy neck until he have destroyed o thee." All this is fulfilled in the unhappy experience of every transgressor. For his rebellion he is doomed by a law of inevitable necessity to serve divers tyrants. Yes, if you are not the subjects of humility, you will be the vassals of pride ;- and what a life will ambition lead you ! If you are not the servants of meekness, you will be the slaves of passion ; and is the man to be envied, who is governed by the impulses of such a fury? See a man who has sold himself to covetousness ? What African slave ever drüdged for such a taskmaster as he, compelling him to rise early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows, to assume every form of falsehood, to stoop to every instance of mean: ness, forbidding him the luxury of refreshing the bowels of the poor and of blessing the orphan and the widow, often denying him the accommodations and sometimes the necessaries of life, and thus forcing him to live in beggary, to die in wealth! Disclaiming the service of God you serve the devil, who employs you in drudgery and rewards you with damnation," for " the wages of sin is death.” Discarding the saviour's yoke, which is easy, and his burden which is light, you wear the galling and heavy chains of vice, and what slavery equals a wicked life? See the sinner impelled along violently like the swine possessed with demons, he follows a course which he condemns himself for pursuing ; he does things of which at the very time he knows he shall repent as soon as he has done them ; actions which he abhors in others, he is forced to perform himself; when he goes forth he cannot tell how he shall return; for this does not depend upon him, but upon circumstances over which he has no power ;. he may see or hear something, by which impressions may be produced which he cannot resist; he may accidently meet with one of his tyrants who may say to him. “Do this," and he must do it; his passions and his lusts make him toil at their pleasure ; and he goes on executing their orders, though his un. derstanding blushes, reason remonstrates, conscience
upbraids and threatens ; he sees and approves better ., things, and follow's worse ; and this is the man who pretends to be free !
You say, Religion demands of us a succession of services, from which you are exempted. But, () ye votaries of the world, let us examine your claims, and see wherein your pre-eminence appears.
Ilave You then no services to render ? Think of your privations and sacrifices and submissions ; think of the numerous and arbitrary laws you have to obey ; the laws of opinion, the laws of custom, the laws of extravagance, the laws of folly. Yes ; I sometimes think if religion were to require of me such duties as the world imposes upon its enslaved followers ; if it required me to turn day into night, and deprived me of seasonable repose ; if it required me to embrace in.