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WHAT Course then do the Craftsmen take with them? Why, a very extraordinary one in itself, but very common with them; even the Course of unprecedented Power and Oppreffion. They were chargeable with no legal Crime: All their Offence was, that they enraged the Craftsmen, by opening the Gospel Day-light upon the dark Minds of the misled Multitude. They therefore fhew their Rage, and have the innocent Men feized, and deprived of their Liberty, without the Shadow of any legal Process against them. Nay, it does not appear, that they had yet found a Name for the Crime that they alleged; but the Men were confined at Random, and probably put to great Charges.

THIS fhews their Spirit; and that priestly Rage will be gratified over the Belly of Truth, of Innocence, of Humanity, of Law, and of Religion itself. It cannot brook the leaft good Office done to human Kind; all its Abfurdities are facred; and yet nothing is facred enough to mollify or reftrain it, ever unforgiving, ever gnashing its Teeth. Truth will perpetually be its Foe, and therefore it will perpetually be in a Flame.

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AND this fhews too the Amiablenefs of an oppofite Spirit; I mean, the amiable Spirit of


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the Gospel. Where did ever our Blessed Saviour, who held all Power in Heaven and Earth, and could command Legions of Angels; where, or when did he, in the midst of Dangers, Oppofition, and Abuses, ever oppress or punish even his unbelieving and implacable Enemies? Where did ever Paul, who had the Power and Affistance of the Holy Ghost, and who had the Power and Affiftance of Miracles; where and when did ever he fhew any Refentment to his bittereft Foes among the Jews, or his most idolatrous Gainfayers among the Gentiles?

AND what Account is to be given for this diametrical Oppofition between these two Spirits; I mean, the Spirit of the Gospel, and the Spirit of High Priefts? Why, none but this, that Chrift and his Apoftles fought no Empire but over Wickednefs and Error, by the fole Means of Grace, Gentleness, and Perfuafion; and they who have oppofite Ends to serve, muft bring them about by Delusion, Violence, and Force. This, I will maintain, is a certain Criterion to mark out Truth and Falfhood, and true and falfe Teachers: And I defy all the Priefts upon Earth to fhew, that the internal Religion of Jefus wants, for its Stay, or its Advancement, the external Influence of worldly Power. It was always pureft, and flourished





moft, when all human Power was against it. Slaves and Hypocrites may be made by it; but Religion rejoices in Liberty and Sincerity.

WHEN Men are angry in Defence of their Opinions, and oppress for their fake; let them not belye Chrift, and fay, it is for him but let their Paffions be made to answer for what nothing but their Paffions can produce. Why must Ambition, Avarice, and Revenge, be fathered upon Religion, which abhors them all? Why muft Bitterness and Cruelty be laid at the Door of the Father of Mercies? Pudet hac opprobria nobis, &c.


WE cannot bear fuch Violence offered to our Reason, and our Language, as any longer to hear Things called by wrong and unnatural Names; or to fee barbarous and impious Actions varnished over with holy Colours, and godly Pretences. It gets the better of our Patience, and is an Affront to our Religion. We cannot find Chrift in the Actions of Belial; nor can we see the holy Man in the Oppreffor. They that would resemble Jefus Chrift, must do as he did, and not do what he never did. and they who will in any Cafe follow the religious Measures taken here by the Idolaters of Diana, in the Cafe of Paul, muft forego their Title to Chriftianity, and argue as these Idola


ters did, By this Craft we have our Wealth: And then the Religion of the New Testament will not be profaned in their Quarrel.

BUT why seize Paul, or any body that belonged to him? Is one Man fuch a Terror to many, that he must be punished before it appears, that he deferved any Punishment at all, and before he is heard? Or is it dangerous to hear him? And are they afraid of his Defence in a legal Trial, as much as of his Preaching, and of bis Reasoning?

IT is plain, that downright Oppreffion, that is, Power without Law, was the whole Scope of their Proceedings, and Revenge their only Motive. It is plain, that Paul was not running away: His whole Business was to publish Truth; he was at Ephesus on Purpose; he did it every Day; he preached in Public; he taught in their Synagogues, he difputed in their Schools. And he did all this fo publicly and so effectually, that the Arch-Craftsman charges him with having perfuaded and turned away much People. Ay, that griped; his Reasoning prevailed, and the Craft was in Danger.

LET us now, my Beloved, mark the very different Situation of Paul and his Adverfaries; they were in Poffeffion of an established Church, and of all its Revenues, and of the Superstition


of the People, who run mad for the Church at the Pleafure of the Prieft. The Law, no doubt, was partial to them, being made by Men of their own Religion; and the Judges and Magiftrates were all of the fame. The People were of Opinion, that their Church was of divine Inftitution, and that Heaven was on their Side. The Philofophers, and all they who governed their Schools, and had the Education of Youth, were of that Church, being every one Heathens, except perhaps a few, who judged for themfelves, and could diftinguish Natural Religion, inftituted by God, from the abfurd Medley of Rituals, invented by the Priefts. The Chriftian Religion was as yet but in its Infancy. In fhort, the Craftsmen governed all Things; Earth was in their Poffeffion, and Heaven they pretended was their Champion.

HERE are Securities and Advantages enough to put Truth out of Countenance, had Truth been amongst them. In reality, the wants not fo many: But Falfhood can never have enough. The Craftsmen knew this, and fhewed that they did fo, by their outrageous Behaviour.

LET us now view Paul, and fee what terrible Arms he bears, that are so frightful to the Craftfmen; he was a Stranger, he was a Diffenter; he had no Equipage to dazzle Peoples Eyes;

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