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1ft, THIS fhews, Sirs, that there is nothing fo lying, and fo vile, that they will not justify. They knew that their Church was a Creature of their own Compofing; that the Worship performed in it was burlefque Worship, contrived by themselves, and paid to a senseless Image; and they knew, that the Whole was an impudent Delufion, framed by human Invention. And yet, you fee, my Beloved, how they raise Heaven and Earth in Defence of their Forgeries and Superftitions. Not a Tittle will they part with, not a Shrine, not a Ceremony. No, rather than this, they publish Lyes, they deceive the People, they decry fober Piety, they raise a Sedition, and confound all things. By this Craft we have our Wealth.
2. BEHOLD here, zdly, the different Behaviour of Truth and Falfhood! or, in other Words, of Paul and the Craftsmen! When Men contend for Truth, they do it calmly, because they are fure, that it will support itself. But Error, confcious of its weak Foundation, flies instantly, for Support, to Rage and Oppresfion. Paul reafons peaceably and powerfully; Demetrius deceives, fcolds, and raises a Mob. But I defy the Craftsmen to fhew me one Mob of Paw's railing in all the New Teftament.
THE Apoftle wanted no Mob; he neither blended Politics nor Gain with his Doctrine; he had no factious Designs; he meddled not with human Affairs; he taught Peace, and he practifed it; he had no Grimace to support; no mock Reverence to acquire or defend; he abhorred pious Fraud, and expofed it; he thewed the People the manifeft Truths of the Gofpel, and of Reason, and that presently opened their Eyes to see the impious Delusions, and bold Impofitions, of the reigning Priests; and hence began the Rage of Dr. Demetrius and his Mob.
3. FROM this you may learn, 3dly, my Friends, that one Man, with Truth on his Side, is enough to frighten a whole Army, yea, a whole Hierarchy of Craftsmen, and to defeat them, if he has but a fair Hearing. You fee alfo the graceless Methods that red-hot High Priefts take, to confute fuch a Man: First, they drefs him up as an Atheist, and an Enemy to the Church, and then fet the Mob upon him; for the Law was not against Paul, as we fhall fee presently, and yet they meant to deftroy Paul against Law. An implacable Tribe! No Power can fatisfy them, that has either Mercy in it, or Bounds to it:
Craft is their
Calling, and Lyes, and Violence, the Tools of their Tråde.
Oн, my Chriftian Friends! what Wolves are Men, yea, what Wolves are Priefts, when they have hardened themselves against the Grace of God? Without Meeknefs and Peace there can be no fuch thing as the Fear of the Lord: Witness Dr. Demetrius, and those that are like him. Let us pray for their Amendment, that it would please the Lord to take away their reprobate Mind.
AND baving caught Gaius and Aristaṛchus, Men of Macedonia, Paul's Companions in Travel, they rushed with one Accord into the The
GAIUS and ARISTAR CHUs, Diffenters, to be fure, and Non-conformist Preachers! Men of Macedonia; Foreigners too, ever the AverGion of High-Church! Paul's Companions in Travel. How! bare Companions? Methinks that is fomething familiar, unless perhaps they were Lords Archbishops of fome Country, where they did not refide. But Paul, you fee, bad no fpiritual Pride, nor received his Fellow - Chriftians upon the Knee, as fome who pretend to be his Succeffors at Rome, and elsewhere, do in our Days.
THEY rubed with one Accord into the Theatre. Ay, they had got their Prey, a Brace of Non-cons, and carried them into the Playhoufe to bait them. What hooping and hallooing, I warrant ye, about the two godly Chriftians! How many Fanatics, think ye, they were called, and Difturbers of the Peace of Diana's High-Church? Doubtless they were charged with writing Books and Papers against Diana's Clergy, and the established Gew-gaws; and perhaps Paul was suspected for having a Hand in them, and fome of his Epiftles were produced to make good the Charge. Well! here they are, the Priests their Accusers, the Mob their Judges, and Truth their Crime! Men and Wickedness are ftill the fame; we have feen the like in our Times.
AND when Paul would have entered in unto the People, the Difciples fuffered him not, v. 30. Here is, on one hand, the Boldness of a Man, who has God for his Guide; and on the other, the Prudence of Men, who knew
the Mercy of Priefts and Mobs. And thereIfore certain of the Chief of Afia, which were
bis Friends, fent unto him, defiring him that he would not adventure himself into the Theatre, V. 31.
THE 32d Verfe is pregnant with Inftruction: Some therefore cried one thing, and some another; for the Affembly was confused, and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.
A RARE Picture of our present Mob, headed 1 by one of themselves in a Gown; I mean, our modern Demetrius. I think the Man is no great Craft]man; but he has got Diana in his Head, and he himself is in the Head of the Rabble: But, as to the Point of Understanding, we may throw him and his Rabble together into one fhort Prayer, and cry with our Blessed Lord, when the Jewish Priefts were putting him to Death, for bearing Witness against their carnal
SOME cried one thing, and fome another. The true Genius of a Rabble, led by their Priefts and their Paffions, against Peace and against Religion! They are united in their Zeal to do Mischief, but they differ how they shall go about it. They are for the Church, Diana's Church, it is true; and fhew it by Rage and Noife: But they are under no Rules, except the general one taught them by the Craftfmen, namely, to be tierce for the Church, against the Apostle; for the reft, every Man is bis own Mafter, and every Man will be heard