The slippery and insidious nature of vice!

(William Sprague, "Lectures to Young People")

"The deceitfulness of sin." Hebrews 3:13

How insidious is sin! From small and almost imperceptible
beginnings, it gradually makes its way, until it reduces the
whole man to its dominion, and brings into captivity every
affection and faculty of the soul. Sin first throws out the bait
of pleasure, and flatters its victim on to forbidden ground;
then it makes him the sport of temptation; and does not
give him over until he is fast bound in the chains of eternal

In its very nature, sin is deceitful; its very element is the
region of false appearances, and lying promises, and fatal
snares. When it addresses itself to the unwary youth, it
puts on a smiling countenance, and makes fair pretensions,
and takes care to conceal its hideous features, until, like a
serpent, it has entwined him with its deadly coils, and
rendered his escape impossible!

You may venture into the path of vice with that most
foolish of all notions--that you shall retreat early enough
to save your soul. Alas, I fear you have not yet learned
the slippery and insidious nature of vice!
As well
might you think to take the deadly viper into your bosom,
and render him harmless by flattering words; or as well
might you drink down the fatal poison, and expect to
stop its progress in your system, when the blood had
curdled at your heart!