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Charles Woodmason: Criticism of “New Lights”

Woodmanson Believed Many People in North Carolina Were New Lights

From the reading, it is unmistakable that the sermon complains about the actuality of the believers of the New Light. Woodmanson mentions that these believers’ appearance resulted in enormities of various kinds, including plunderings, robberies and thefts, murders, villainies, and burglaries. The sermon’s tone is judgmental and angry, a clear indication of the speaker’s frustration to the increasing wickedness resulting from an emerging religion. The introducers of the doctrine, according to him, were notorious Gamblers, Thieves, and Jockeys. In consenting to Charles Woodmason’s allegations that many people from North Carolina had become New Lights, the sermon explains the following. It laments about the preachers of this doctrine being immoral. Many are engaged in gambling, jocking, and stealing in North Carolina. The country is full of Gamesters, Filchers, Prostitutes, Fidlers, Racers, and all evildoers, a clear indication that the New Lights’ quest to winning many souls is a success. The preacher presumes that the more evil or criminality exists in the community, the more the believers or converts of the New Lights.

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The Practices Woodmanson Was Against

Woodmanson was against various New Light deeds, including but not limited to actions that come from Vagrant and idle individuals. These acts include exposing nudities, and ungodly illuminations, communications, and visions. According to him, the activities are lustful fires that came to some women as initiated by their Ghostly teachers. Charles laments that the religion bowed to Strumpet and characters of fornication. Some of the members were not admitted to the cross in Baptism, with a conscience that did not object to stealing but adhered to the pretense of saying long Grace over a meal. Woodmanson mentions that some of the followers get married, but with rings on their fingers, they would not disregard the idea of leaving their marriages to attend to other partners sexually. The followers of these New Lights preachers did not overcome the demands of committing adultery with other partners, even in their nuptial. They are not remorseful for drinking various Ale and Wine bottles getting drank as beasts, contrary to religious beliefs. They act as gangs of frantic lunatics who break out of bedlam against the norm of a religious society.

The Hidden Motivation for Charles Woodmanson

A hidden motivation or purpose of Charles Woodmanson’s critical talk was that the New Lights were advancing quickly and would render the Old Lights, including him, irrelevant. No one would feel happy when their acts are becoming outdated or overpowered by another highly favored service. It was reasonable for Woodmanson to address the deeds of this new religion this way. The speaker’s purpose was to warn followers from being exploited by such a crummy religion. The critical talk intends to show the disgrace such a dogma would bring to the society, which to him and others of his caliber had labored to safeguard. Besides condemning the others, the talk was also a way of keeping up a community that would want to be conservative, not to fall for the lies and evil-intent of the New Lights. The preacher’s new society will lose its decency, and that the lives will be corrupt following the doings or believes of the New Lights. Thus, his hidden intent was to protect society as far as he could. That explains the reasons of the preacher’s anger, as he was devoted to serving God rightfully.

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