If you are free, then remember that you have changed your lodging-place, for the slave and the son sleep not in the same room of the house. The things which satisfied you when a slave will not satisfy you now. You wear a garment which a slave may never wear, and you feel an instinct within you which the slave can never feel. There is an Abba, Father cry in you, which was not there once. Is it so? If you are free you live not as you used to do. You go not to the slave’s work, you have not now to toil and sweat to earn the wages of sin which is death, but now as a son serves his father, you do a son’s work and you expect to receive a son’s reward, for the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. One thing I know, if you are free, then you are thinking about setting others free; and if you have no zeal for the emancipation of other men, you are a slave yourself. If you are free you hate all sorts of chains, all sorts of sin, and you will never willingly put on the fetters any more. You live each day, crying unto him who made you free at first, to hold you up that you fall not into the snare. If you are free, this is not the world for you; this is the land of slaves; this is the world of bondage. If you are free, your heart has gone to heaven, the land of the free. If you are free today, your spirit is longing for the time when you shall see the great liberator face to face. If you are free, you will bide your time until he calls you; but when he says, ‘Friend, come up hither,’ you will fearlessly mount to the upper spheres, and sin shall be no hindrance to your advent to his glory.
For meditation: Men can promise freedom and deliver the opposite (2 Peter 2:19); Christ can actually free us from sin and from sinning (Romans 6:18,22; 8:2). The Christian should not return to slavery (Galatians 5:1), but say with the Psalmist ‘I walk at liberty’ (Psalm 119:45).
N.B. Spurgeon began this sermon by referring to the visit of Garibaldi, the Italian patriot and liberator, to England (3–27 April 1864).