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THESE TROUBLESOME TIMES.
Tending to shew, that under the Cloak of Religion,
they disseminate their Political Principles against
PRINTED AND SOLD BY R. SEDGWICK ;
: 110.4, 220,
A CANDID INQUIRY, &c.
IN order to ascertain the real state of a nation, with
respect to its internal safety, one of our first inquiries will be into the state of the press ; and the next into the state of religion. In a former publication I have exposed the connexion of the conspirators against social order with the press : In the present it is my design to examine as closely what use they are, at this moment, making of religion, for it seems they are aware of an egregious blunder they were guilty of at the outset of their scheme ; and are endeavouring to retrieve their affairs by a change of men and measures. Common sense might teach almost every man, who has lived under a pure dispensation of Christianity, that there can be no government so stable as that which is supported by religion. Priestley so far acknowledged this obvious truth, as to improve upon the French system, by admitting Socinianism into his plan ; but in Socianism there is nothing solid for the mind to rest upon : it is an apology to enable us to indulge our passions with ease, and satisfy our consciences, upon
which no one but a fool (I use the term in the Scripture sense) can possibly rely.* There is nothing in Socianism sufficiently specious to deceive any great number of men possessing the sterling sense of enlightened Englishmen. There were therefore, at that time, men of deeper thought who foretold the speedy failure of his enterprize, and who, from the very first, have been playing a slower but mụch surer game. They know that religion may not only be made a mask for the most atrocious villany, but that it may be made a bond of union, a stay to timidity, and a spur to vigilance. The first thing necessary. to bring this formidable engine into play, on the side of the conspiracy, was to raise a general odium against the Clergy and the established forms of worship. The methods taken to do this against the Clergy, were to insinuate the idea, that every man who preaches with notes is an unconverted man, and of consequence preaches not by the direction of the spirit of God: and that if a Minister is not called by the spirit of God to preach, he is a robber of God's heritage, and a murderer of souls : a pest to society, whom no man of conscience ought to attend in his ministerial capacity, or
* Poor I-bbm was, after all his philofophic parade, a lamentable instance of the insufficiency of Socinian principles to support a sensible man at the hour of death : Instead of looking to his God with the firmnes of a Christian, he threw himself down upon the sofa, and in the most melancholy manner ex® Elzimod, t all is over."
even to shew him common civility as a member of the social compact. Hence it has been very much the fashion lately amongst the Dissenters, not even to move their hats to a Clergyman of the Estab. lishment.*.
“ Let us look,"s, says one of the most respectable
: * When the fever of Democracy, ran very high among the Dissenters, a Clergyman of the Writer's intimate acquaintance, was told by one of them, with great impertinence, that he muft: foon be “ stripped of his Bishop's gown." This interview took place in the public street, as the Clergyman was going peaceably to administer in his sacred function.
Pawson's Sermons, page 324. Surely more abandoned falfahoods were never told by a man pretending to be inspired, than are to be met with in this gentlemen's facred pages. But where is the confitency among the Methodists? The venerable Mr. Pawson wishes to overturn the Church, and charitably sends the Clergy, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, to the Devil. But the no less venerable Mr. Wesley fays, speaking of the Church of England, o pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they fall prosper that love thee. Hàmpson's Life of Welley. And Mr. Alexander conliders Methodisin defensible only as an auxiliary to the Church. The Writer has observed a great deal of this inconfiftency, with their principles, amongst certain descriptions of people, which leads him to suspect that they have either no fettled principles or no consistency.
The Democrats were unanimously the Friends of the People ; but as foon as a GOLDEN IMAGE was set up in the plains of Dura, in the province of Babylon, who fo forward to press into the new machinery, and grind the faces of the poor? Have no lives been lost to the community upon this melancholy occasion ?
The most dreadful sacrifice mentioned in history is that, when men offered their sons and daughters unto Devils; and perhaps the next to it, is that, where the comfort of so many of our fellow creatures is facrificed to Mammon. This note has clearly a locar allusion. EDITOR.