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Serm. then we are not free in doing this, but are VIII.
at the same time enslav'd to something or other, that hinders us from giving them a true Direction and their just Measures. And as to every
other Principle of Thought and Action Christianity fets us free, by directing all the Faculties of the mind to their proper Objects. In a word, and to describe the whole Power of Christianity at once. As the Devil is the great Enllaver of Mankind, and Sin the Chain that ties them down to Bondage, fo Christ by conquering this Tyrant has loos'd the Chain, and redeem'd us from the Slavery of it, and so is truly and properly the Saviour, and Redeemer of Mankind: So true is that Saying of St. John, If the Son makes us free, then are we free indeed: But to this Liberty we are entitled only by the Gospel. I come now to fhew,
Thirdly, That Pretences to it from the Side of Infidelity are false, and groundless. And here let us see what Liberty it is, that Infidelity pretends to promise. Is it a Liberty that will free us from
Incumbrance? Will it deliver us from the
Dominion of Sin, and make us free in all SERM.
God and the World about them; how, under Pretence of doing Honour to Reason, have fap'd the Foundation of it, and instead of rooting out, and destroying all Faith, which, if they know their own Principles, is what they are concern'd to do, have set up a monstrous and unnatural Credulity in the room of it; who have discarded Sense, and the Passions, and rob’d Human Nature of the kindeft Impressions ftamp'd upon it by the Divine Being; these have indeed talk'd
Serm. of being free, i. l. free to do what is VIII. right in their own Eyes; to do right or
wrong, just as it happens ; free from all Laws and Obligations whatsoever. Now, if they could make it out, that they are then indeed free, when they do whatever they please, whatever Fancy, or Caprice leads them to; that when they dispense with the Obligations which the Wisdom of God and Man has laid upon them, they become then so free, as to be subject to no other Laws, or Obligations, there might be fofae Plausibility in it: But if, on the contrary, when they thus do what is therefore free, but tied down and enllav'd to some wrong Principle within : If when they shake off all Religious Obligations, they are at the same time bound faster with the strong Corde of Obstinacy, and Perverseness: If they, despise and depreciate the Common-Sense and Reason of all Men, and yet at the same time idolize, and deify their own, and Liberty is nothing else in fact but Licentiousness; then they, that pretend thus to promise
Liberty, promise more than they can per- Serm.
And here, the first Step, that is taken
this Principle is to set out upon à Principle of Slavery; it is to set out with a full Resolution not to give the Faculties within us their proper Scope, but to hinder the free Exercise of them by subjecting all to one, or by making one or two to govern the rest as for example, the making the Reason, which is but a fingle thing, and that too rather the Result of all the rest, than a leading Principle, predominant over every thing else. For if the Faculties had the Power to exercise themselves as they ought, Revelation must have a Weight with us in Proportion to its Truth; i. e. if we believe, and hope, and fear, &c. freely, Revelation must' carry a Weight with it in Proportion to the Reason there is in it for ra
Serm. doing; but if we allow either of these too
great a Weight, it will of course bear
But after all, let us examine a little more