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forth in even a decent view ; they have only recoiled with disgrace upon themselves. Though unsuccessful in our late application to the legislature, it has answered this great purpose, that it has brought forth into full view the merits of our cause, and exposed the futility of every plea on which our application can be resisted. This alone is a glorious triumph, and sufficient encouragement to perseverance in the prosecution of our violated rights. It is not the character of a generous citizen to despair of his country, and the triumph of truth will at length, we trust, be attended with the triumph of law.

England boasts itself to be a land of equal law and equal liberty ; but law and liberty blush at the acts in question, and every principle of generous and equal sympathy is renounced in that selfish, monopolizing and oppressive spirit which they breathe. If on these acts the constitution of this country depends, its constitution is truly Spartan, and the Dissenters are the Helots, to minister to the lordly usurpers of all the honours


and emoluments of the state. And why? Is there one trait in their character, which can justify this unhandsome treatment? Is there one virtue of a man or of an Englishman, to which they cannot equally pretend with the most honoured Churchman? If knowledge, industry, sobriety of manners, enlightened and liberal minds; if the love of country, with a zeal for her glory and prosperity; if a reverence of God and a regard to a future judgment, which are the most powerful sanction of order and justice and law, constitute the best features of a citizen; the Dissenter is that


every society ought to rejoice to receive into its bosom, whom every government, that means well, ought to welcome as its subject. Secure of such a character, and the tribute of such a subject, discrimination on account of the innocent differences of mind is a puny and feminine partiality; it is beneath the dignity, and answers not one utility of a wise and liberal government.

For what


has civil policy to do with the differences of religious faith and worship, which affect not the heart, nor divert it from one path of duty to God or man? The faith of a Dissenter, even in this enlightened day, shrinks not from inquiry ; it embraces piety and virtue in all their extent; and if every tree be best estimated by its fruits, in as much as can be affirmed of any body of men, the practice of the Dissenter answers to his faith. Chastised and regulated manners, active industry, and an unoffending conformity to law, constitute in an eminent degree the character of the Dissenter. Few are the sacrifices to public

to public justice which their circle furnishes, and though they contribute in a very great proportion to the various funds of public charity, their industry and sobriety, and that manly pride which a better character inspires, generally exempt them from being the claimants of charity. The poor-house, the work-house and the prison receive few Dissenters.

And can


there on Earth be a higher encomium of a religion, than that it produces few criminals and few paupers.

In the name of God and man, what would a state wish a religion to minister to, unless to this its most blessed effect? Or what better claim can be exhibited to the trust and confidence of its

goyernors? And if notwithstanding this benign influence their faith be still asserted to be wrong, this is a charge which they challenge man to prove, and which, with the highest reverence of God, they refer to the judgment of God; but conscientious in their faith, they bear ill-will to no man's faith, they would abhor to dictate as to be dictated to; they return not hatred for hatred, but leaving to the church its creed and forms and its rewards, they are disposed to meet the Churchman with the pleasantness of a fellow-man, and with the benevolence of a fellow-Christian. In fine, however God the future judge may determine of them, man has no reason to complain of them. So far as the interests of society and


tween you

of good government subject them to the judgment of their fellows, they know that they deserve to be esteemed and favoured.

As you are men then, as you are Britons, and as you are Christians, judge honestly and virtuously in the question at issue be

and your dissenting fellow-subjects, and give your voice where sober truth and right invite you. Be not repelled by the suggestions of a selfish policy, by the considerations of utility to a party. Utility and policy are secondary to right; and remember that God invests no men with a privilege to violate justice, because it


be convenient and useful to themselves. Give attention also to those arguments which render it more than probable that not one utility or convenience of the church will ever be affected by the repeal of these invidious laws. If the consideration of party were allowed to influence, the Dissenter has reason to fear the diminution of his party from the very repeal which he solicits. Common minds are kept firm in their dissent

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