Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

An Account of a notorious Smuggling gang in the early 18th Century

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propagation of these pernicious notions, will best be left to their consideration, in whose power it is to stop it; but however that may be, this everybody sees: that the contemptuous impiety has got to a prodigious height, and has overspread, in an uncommon manner, all sorts of people. And when this is the case, when the subjects of any kingdom have thrown off all regard to God, so as to be kept no longer within the bounds of duty by the fear of Divine justice, what is there left that can procure their obedience to earthly rulers, or hinder them from " walking every one in the evil imaginations of their own hearts ", from doing evil, and that continually ? Take away religion, and the obligation which it lays upon us to obedience, and all human authority must fall to the ground. This is so apparently true, that it has been the constant practice of the wisest politicians in all ages, to use their utmost endeavours to preserve religion, as judging it to be the only thing that could preserve them. And their judgment was well grounded; for when once religion has lost its influence upon the minds of men, and they are come to " have no fear of God before their eyes ", what can prevent them, upon this supposition, from endeavouring to get loose from the restraints of govern­ment, and, whenever they can do it safely, throwing off their allegiance to those whom they have no mind should be rulers over them ?
The right of princes must, in different nations, be as different as the laws themselves are upon which they are founded. But be they what they will, the claim they have to them is of Divine original, and derived ultimately from Him, who is the " Governor among the nations; who ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever He will". As long, therefore, as
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