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progress of the Septennial Act; and while that continues, it is almost against human nature to secure a virtuous representation;--while the horrour of such a precedent, the thought that the usurpation of seven years may sanctify the usurpation of life, or of inheritance, is enough to make every

honest man tremble.

On every view, therefore, he gave his full assent to the petition.

About the year 1787, a variety of circumstances concurred, to favour an application to the legislature for a repeal of the corporation and test acts; and very strenuous exertions were made on the part of the whole dissenting interest of the kingdom, to effect à liberation from the pains and disabilities of those disgraceful and vexatious

As this was a subject in which Mr. Walker felt himself more immediately interested, he exerted himself, as well on the ground of individual suffering as of abstract principle, with great zeal and assiduity. The idea of this application originated at a meeting of deputies from the different con



gregations in London and it's vicinity, in January 1787, in consequence of which a motion was made without success, though supported with extraordinary ability by Mr. Beaufoy, Mr. Fox, and others. On this occasion it was objected, that the application was made by the dissenters of the metropolis only, without the cooperation of their brethren in the country, who were stated to be generally indifferent to the success of the measure. To obviate this, and at the same time to give additional weight and respectability to their application, the London committee thought proper to seck the support of their friends in the country; which they met with great success. But it was not till the plan of union proposed by the Birmingham committee in October 1789 was generally adopted, that they felt themselves entitled to declare, that they acted in the name and by the authority of the whole body of dissenters throughout the kingdom. The object of this plan was to form a well connected union of the dissenters through



out England, by a chain of intercourse and communion, advancing in order through successive gradations to a representation of the whole body in a general or national meeting at London. The adoption of this was strongly enforced by Mr. Walker, both in his individual capacity, and as chairman of the associated dissenters of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and part of Yorkshire. For this purpose, he addressed a letter to a general meeting at Leicester in December 1789, which, on account of the able manner in which it enforced the necessity of the proposed union, was afterward printed by different committees, generally circulated through the kingdom, and deemed to have contributed in no small degree to the adoption of that regularly organized system of action, which the plan contemplated. The grounds on which he claimed this general assent, were the following; “ because in no “ other way could that union, so essential “ in a common cause, be so effectually promoted. --That such an extended inter


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course and communion of man with man “ tended to enlarge the ideas of the human “ mind, correct it's crude conceptions, and

promote that zeal, which is according to “ wisdom, and without which even the best « of causes is sure to languish-that by a “ chain of intercourse thus widening more “ and more the sentiments of individuals “ were communicated to all, and received " that correction, and ultimately all that

perfection, which could possibly be ex

pected. By this means the dissenters “ would be sure to appear in all their pro

ceedings with a good sense, a collected " and guarded wisdom, which could not be " expected from individual and independent “ movements; at the same time that, by

progressively collecting the wisdom of the “ whole body, it would prevent the sallies “ of intemperate zeal, and produce that

manly, conscientious and dignified firm

ness, which would do honour to the cause " and to the actors, and present them in “ a respectable view to the legislature and to

" the


“ the whole community. That to excite the “ national attention to objects of the highest “ importance requires exertions in the first

outset, which are hardly to be repeated, “ and from the repetition of which the most “ sanguine patriot shrinks back with diffi“ dence. Failing therefore at success in the “ first attempt, and no provision being made “ for preserving the national attention when

excited, and rendering it's continued efforts

easy and practicable, a languor and de“ spair succeeds, and the whole is committed “ to oblivion. But by the plan proposed a

permanent council of the dissenters of the “ whole kingdom would be established,

which without any extraordinary exer“tions, and yet with the efficiency of the “ whole body, would prosecute the great

object that they had in view ; that to reject therefore an arrangement, the object “ of which was to give a being and activity “ to this perseverance, so necessary to en

sure success, would be a folly approaching " almost to suicide. That it is to the not at

“ tending

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