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Man, whom they reprefented as an Enemy to the Gods and their Church, and who was consequently the more easy to be defeated or deftroyed? But if they knew her unable to defend her Divinity, and fupport her Church, with them, her Priests, and Tradefmen; then were they in Reality Cheats and Unbelievers, though outwardly grave and zealous Votaries.
2. TAKE Notice, in the 2d Place, of the wide Difference that there is between these High Priests Church, and the Bible Church! The Priests Church being a Trading Church, and Money being her End, and Grimace her Ware, which were the Source of their Authority and Reverence; whatever enlightened the People, marred the Market of the Priests. By this Craft we have our Wealth: "While we << can by Bawling and Lying put off our ૮૬ Trumpery for Religion, it will always fell "well; otherwife, it will not be worth a "Groat; let us contend for our Trumpery, "and cry, The Church!" Accordingly we find the Auditory in the next Verse actually practising the Advice given them by this HighChurch Preacher, and roaring for Diana of Ephefus; or, which is the fame thing, For the Church. By this Craft we have our Wealth.
THIS, my Friends, was the Spirit of the Priests Church, fo oppofite to that of the Bible-Church; which being founded upon a Rock, fears neither Rain, nor Storms, nor Diffenters, nor False Brethren; yea, she is ounded upon a Rock, which Rock is Chrift; and whoever trufts in him, and believes the Scripture, cannot think his Church in Danger. Indeed, if his Church is founded upon Hoods, and Caps, and Cringes, and Forms, and filthy Lucre, he may well dread the Judgment of God, and the Reafon of Man; for they are both against him and his Dowdy, and his Church. will totter as foon as ever common Senfe takes it by the Collar. By fearing for the Superstructure, he owns the Foundation to be fandy. By this Craft we have our Wealth.
THESE Craftsmen keep a Rout about the Danger of their Church. Why, my Brethren, it ought to be in Danger, like a forry Bundle of Inventions and Gimcracks, as it was. But for the pure, the primitive Church of Christ, the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. Yea, the Craftsmen fhall not prevail against it, who are the foreft Enemies which it ever had is founded upon a Rock. Paul does not once complain in all the New Teftament, that his Church was in Danger, nor does any other of
the Apostles or Evangelifts. Heaven and Earth fball pass away, but the Word of the Lord abideth for ever. What lay our Craftsmen to this? Either they know it not, or believe it not. Paul, whenever he mentions Dangers or Perils, in his Epiftles, means Perils to his own Perfon: Nor did he, by his own Perfon, ever in all his Life, mean the Church. But Paul had the Spirit of God; he was no Crafts
WE, my Beloved, who are Chriftians, truft to the Veracity of God, that he will for ever defend the holy Revelation that he has given us. Let us, on our Part, treat it as becomes its Dignity and omnipotent Author. Let us not turn our Religion into a Play, nor dishỏ. nour it with Baubles, as the Manner of the Popish Craftsmen is, who convert their Churches into Puppet-shews and Mufic-meetings; and then, when they are laughed at, cry they are in Danger. Pretty Fellows! to raise our Mirth whether we will or no, and then make us choak ourselves to keep it in. Their Craft is in Danger to be fet at nought. They know its Value, and quake left other People should know it too. Oh the Impudence of Craftf men! how boldly they mock God, and in his Name pick Pockets!
3. LET us obferve, 3dly, my Brethren, that the Chriftian Religion, which prevailed against all the Powers of the World, cannot be in Danger from all the Powers of the World: And every Church may be in Danger but a Chriftian Church. Let us praise the Lord, my Christian Friends, that our Church is fafe.
PROCEED we now to the 28th Verfe: And when they heard thefe Sayings, they were full of Wrath, and cried out, faying, Great is Diana of the Ephefians.
1. WE may remark here, ift, my Friends, the violent Effects of a hot Sermon, however abfurd and villainous. Here is Dr. Demetrius, whofe Craft was all his Religion, lugs Heaven into a Difpute about his Trade, and tacks the Salvation of his Hearers to the Gain which he made of his Shrines; yet this awakened no Indignation in the feduced and ill-judging Auditory; but ftrait they were full of Wrath, and cried out, faying, Great is Diana of the Ephefians: The Church! the Church!
2. 2dly, WE may remark, that Ignorance is the Mother of Zeal. They were full of Wrath. For what? Why for Diana of Ephefus. A God created by a Stone-cutter; an infenfible Piece of Rock, guarded by a Band of Priefts; who, hard as it was, picked a fine Live
Livelihood out of it. But Paul had opened fome Mens Eyes, and the Loaves began to come in but flowly. This enraged the Craftf men, and they enraged the People. The Priests loft Customers, and the People loft their Senfes. Such is the Power of Delufion over dark and flavish Minds! Let but the Priest point at a Wind-mill, and cry the Church is falling, his Congregation will venture their Brains to stop the Sails. What a rare Army does Zeal raife, when Religion and Reason do not spoil the Mufter, or stop their March?
THE next is the 29th Verfe; And the whole City was filled with Confufion; and having caught Gaius and Ariftarchus, Men of Macedonia, Paul's Companions in Travel, they rushed with one Accord into the Theatre.
AND the whole City was filled with Confufion. Who doubts it, when Church was the Cry, and the Priefts had begun it? Give them but their Way, and allow them but to affert their own Claims, they will quickly turn all things, human and divine, topfy-turvy. Here is a whole City thrown into Confufion, purely becaufe a Branch of the prieftly Trade, infamous, forged and irreligious, was like to fall before the Word of God preached by Paul.