Religion in the Age of Enlightenment


Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, Earthquakes, Chastisement


When two earthquakes struck London early in 1750, terror and fury broke forth just as suddenly as the shaking of the earth. Clergymen, newspaper writers, and concerned laymen poured forth angry diatribes on the sins that brought England to the brink of ruin. Scores of sermons flowed off the presses, condemning the instinctive panic of the populace even as they added to it. Hundreds fled the city, certain it was about to be swallowed up. For a month, the religious meaning of the shocks swamped all other discussions, as Englishmen confronted the seemingly obvious fact that God was angry with them.