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equally abhorred by every friend of ligion, we invite every conscientious fellowsubject of the established church to concur with us, assuring them, that in this proceeding' we sympathize with them, as we wish them to sympathize with us, and each contribute to do
away this reproach and profanation of our common religion. But if it should be deemed more honourable to them. selves to act apart from us, we invite them as a separate body to come forward, and in some decided manner bear their testimony to a cause, which does equal honour to both.
“ 7. That with the same decided tone, with which we assert our rights as men and chris tians, and protest against all interference of the magistrate in the proper cause of religion, we repel with scorn the imputation of all meaner and baser views. We have no latent ambition under the mask of religion. We are as superior to hypocrisy, as we are to fear. We aspire not to one emoTument or honour of the church. In our civil capacity we vow as pure a loyalty, as
generous and ardent an affection, as liberal exertions, and as well informed and well principled an attachment to the constitution of our country, as its most favoured and honoured subject can pretend to.-Our reverence of Britain, her government and laws, is only in subordination to our reverence of God and of human nature.
“8. That though the particular grievance of the corporation and test acts has been the means of convening us, as part of the body of dissenters, we think it our duty,
utmost endeavours to procure the repeal of all penal statutes in matters of religion, as this is clearly comprehended within our just rights; and are persuaded, that in this we meditate 'nothing new, as religious liberty ever will and must be defective, while one such penal law is suffered to exist.
“ 9. That in contending for our civil rights, we mean nothing hostile to the religious principles of the church of England, or to
any religious principles whatever, holding
proper in that
At the request of the committee of the midland district formed at the above meeting of deputies, Mr. Walker undertook, in an appeal to the nation, published under the title of the Dissenter's Plea, to defend more at large the claims of the dissenters, and to repel the arguments, that had been opposed to them. Of the manner in which he executed the task assigned to him, it would be superfluous here to speak, after the commendations which have been passed upon it by two individuals so capable of appreciating its merit as the late Mr. Fox, and Mr. Gilbert Wakefield, who have both declared their opinion of its superior excellence, in pronouncing it to be the best pamphlet published on a subject, which had exercised the pens of the ablest writers of the day. As the advocate on this occasion of the dissenters, he did not merely confine himself to those arguments, which had a reference to the circumstances of the times, or that applied peculiarly to the nature of the subject immediately in view ; but in deducing them
from the original principles of human nature, and the constitution of civil society, he has established them on a broader and firmer foundation, and has exposed the futility and sophistry of every plea, that can be urged by those, who, as the advocates of a test, would sacrifice to the notions of speculative utility the unalterable laws of justice, and subject the most sacred acts of devotion to the profanation of interested and worldly views.
It might have been expected, that this and other treatises of a similar kind, which brought forward into such full view the merits of their cause, would have so far removed the prejudices of the public, that the issue of another trial would have crowned their exertions with success. But the bigoted and illiberal spirit, which has ever disgraced the
opposed itself to the justice of their claims. When some in the minority, on the division in May 1789, expressed their satisfaction and their hopes, they were authoritatively told, that never