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Town-Clerk here conforms himself to their Manner of speaking: But, take my Word for it, the Man knew better.
THE Image which fell down from Jupiter. As I was just now faying, all the Priefts Lumber comes from God; and yet they are scared out of their Wits, left Man fhould take it from them; as if God could not defend his own Gifts and Inftitutions. This prepofterous Conduct bewrays them. Either they believe not in God; or know that they belye him: Both Cafes, my Brethren, are very common. Whofoever feareth the Lord, need not fear what Man can do unto him.
MR. Town-Clerk proceeds: For ye have brought hither thefe Men, which are neither Robbers of Churches, nor yet Blafphemers of your Goddess.
WELL urged, "If the Men are innocent, "why do ye abuse them? If they preach falfe "Doctrine, why do ye not confute them? If "they come not to your Established Church, "why do ye not convince them, that they
ought to come? Or, because ye cannot an"fwer them, do ye therefore mob them? It is plain, that the honeft Men have neither stolen any of your Madam's confecrated «Trinkets, nor called her Whore.'
WHEREFORE, if Demetrius, and the Craftsmen which are with him, have a Matter against any Man, the Law is open, and there are Deputies: Let them implead one another.
BETTER ftill! This is Reasoning now; a Practice which the Craftsmen do not care for; the Arm of Flesh is their best Argument, and at that too they are generally laid in the Dirt. "Gentlemen, (fays the Town - Clerk) "it is evident, that ye diftruft your Caufe, by "not trufting the Merits of it to the Law. "All external Advantages are for you; ye are "in your own Town; ye have moft Friends, " and most Money; and let me tell you too, "Gentlemen, ye have moft Affurance; elfe I "fhould never have found you here bawling
for your Church, and breaking the Law, and, <? to your eternal Scandal, befetting with your "Numbers a few harmlefs Men, whofe only "Arms lie in the Innocence of their Lives, and "in the Force of what they fay. If you are
vanquished at thefe Weapons, have the Honefty to own it, or for Shame be filent. If thefe Men, Gentlemen, fpeak against the "Law, why punish ye them not by the Law? "But if ye have no Law against them, neither have they any Transgression,”
WHAT Answer, trow ye, did the Craftfmen, or their Calves, the Multitude, make to this? Why, verily, fuch an Answer, I guess, as they are wont to make to us every Day: I fuppofe they damned him for a Whig, and fo got drunk, and went home.
Oн, my Friends, the deplorable Condition, of Men that are out of Chrift! And fuch are they who take their Religion from the Craftsmen. The Worshippers of Diana would have been as outrageous for one of her Beagles, had the Craftsmen told them, that the Beagle came down from Jupiter. My Brethren, let us cleave to our Bibles; yea, I fay unto you, let us cleave to our Bibles.
III. I COME now to my third and last general Head, namely, to end my Difcourfe with a. fhort Word of Application; having, as I went along, anticipated myfelf, and made feveral Obfervations which would else have arisen padly
THE great Inference I fhall make is, that Craftsmen, or High-Church Men, are at Odds with Confcience and Truth, and afraid of them. And indeed, to do them Justice, tho', in relation to God and Keligion, there is no believing what they fay; yet, whenever they reafon from their own Interests, they reafon M6 well:
well: By this Craft we have our Wealth. As to their Flourish about Diana, and her HighChurch, it has not, in point of Argument, common Sense in it. All they affert is, that all Afia worshipped her; as if, because Diana was then uppermoft, therefore Jesus Christ ought to have been kept undermoft. They could not ftand Paul's Logic; he appealed to Facts, he appealed to Reason, he appealed to Confcience.
THEY therefore (that is, Diana's HighPriefts, or the Overseers of her Fopperies, and Fingerers of her Gain) form a Design to opprefs a Man whom they could not answer. There was no bearing it, that Men fhould be conducted in their Religion by inward Conviction, and the Grace of God, and not by them, who had no Advantage from either, for the Support of their Impofitions.
BESIDE, if all external Trumpery and Grimace in Religion were certainly ridiculous and vain, as the Chriftian Religion certainly teaches; if Poftures, Cringes, Shrines, Muhe, and the like bodily Devotion, were fo far from fignifying any thing, that they were a certain and pernicious Contradiction to the fimple Inftitution of Jefus, whofe Will was fulfilled by believing in him, and living well; then
then were the Craftsmen like to be but little
WHAT do they do therefore in this Cafe? Do they defend the Church-gear by Reason, or by Reason confute Paul? No: Paul alferted, that they be no Gods which are made with Hands; the moft felf-evident Truth that ever was afferted by any Man. They cannot answer it; nor yet will they own themselves in the Wrong; but they will punish the Apostle for being in the Right. Well, in order to do this, do they go to Law with him? Not that neither: Paul and his Companions had offended no Law; They were peaceable Men, they were loyal Subjects, and good Livers: They were Contenders for Virtue and Piety; and they had not uttered a Syllable against Diana's Idol, but what refulted from the eternal Truths which they delivered.