THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer disciple and the sunshine saint will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their God; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Unrighteousness and sin, like hell, are not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as SPIRITUAL FREEDOM and SALVATION should not be highly rated. Satan, with an army to enforce his tyranny, has declared that he has a right to mock the sacred things of God, and “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER – to seal us his, and to make us angels to a devil.” If being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.
Adapted from, “The Crisis” by Thomas Paine, December 23, 1776.