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on the breaking out of the war with this country, all mercantile prospects being suspended, he wished to go to America.

There his eldest and youngest brother have joined him, and they are now looking out for a settlement, having as yet no fixed views.

The necessity I was under of sending my sons out of this country, was my principal inducement to send the little property that I had out of it too; so that I had nothing in England besides my library, apparatus, and household goods. By this, I felt myself greatly relieved, it being of little consequence where a man already turned sixty ends his days. Whatever good or evil I have been capable of, is now chiefly done; and I trust that the same consciousness of integrity, which has supported me hitherto, will carry me through any thing that may yet be reserved for me. Seeing, however, no great prospect of doing much good, or having much enjoyinent, here, I am now preparing to follow my sons; hoping to be of some use to them in their present unsettled state, and that Providence may yet, advancing in years as I am, find me some sphere of usefulness along with them.

As to the great odium that I have incurred, the charge of fedition, or my being an enemy to the conftitution or peace of my country, is a mere pretence for it; though it has been so auch urged, that it is now generally believed, and all attempts to undeceive the public with respect to it avail nothing at all. The whole course of my studies, from early life, shews how little poličies of any kind have been my object. Indeed to have written so much as I

have

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have in theology, and to have done so much in experimental philosophy, and at the same time to have had my mind occupied, as it is supposed to have been, with factious politics, I'must have had faculties more . than human. Let any person only cast his eye over the long list of my publications, and he will see that they relate almost wholly to theology, philosophy, or general literature.

I did, however, when I was a younger man, and before it was in my power to give much attention to philosophical pursuits, write a small anonymous political pamphlet, on the State of Liberty in this Country, about the time of Mr. Wilkes's election for Middlesex, which gained me the acquaintance, and I may say the friendship, of Sir George Savile, and which I had the happiness to enjoy as long as he lived.

At the request also of Dr. Franklin and Dr. Fothergill, I wrote an address to the Dissenters on the subject of the approaching rupture with America, a pamphlet which Sir George Savile, and my other friends, circulated in great numbers, and it was thought with some effect.

After this I entirely ceased to write any thing on the subject of politics, except as far as the business of the Test Act, and of Civil Establishments of Religion, had a connexion with politics. And though, at the recommendation of Dr. Price, I was presently after this taken into the family of the Marquis of Lanfdowne, and I entered into almost all his views, as thinking them just ard liberal, I never wrote a single

pamphlet,

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pamphlet, or even a paragraph in a newspaper, all. the time that I was with him, which was seven years.

I never preached a political sermon in my life, unÆfs such as, I believe, all Disenters usually preach on the fifth of November, in favour of civil and religious liberty, may be said to be political. And on these occasions, I am confident, that I never advanced any sentiment but such as, till of late years, would have tended to recommend, rather than: render me obnoxious, to those who direct the admi. nistration of this country. And the doctrines which I adopted when young, and which were even popular then (except with the clergy; who were at that time generally disaffected to the family on the throne) I cannot abandon, merely because the times are sa changed, that they are now become unpopular, and the expression and communication of them hazardous.

Farther, though I by no means disapprove of focieties for political information, such as are now every where discountenanced, and generally fuppressed, I never was a member of any of them; nor, indeed, did I ever attend any public meeting, if I could decently avoid it, owing to habits acquired in ftudious and retired life.

From a mistake of my talents and difpofition, I was invited by many of the departments in France, to reprefent them in the present National Convention, after I had been made a citizen of France, on account of my being considered as one who had been perfecuted for my attachment to the cause of liberty here. But though the invitation was repeated with 1

the

the most flattering importunity, I never hesitated about declining it.

I can farther say with respect to politics, concerning which I believe every Englishman has some opinion or other (and at present, owing to the peculiar nature of the present war, it is almost the only topic of general conversation) that, except in company, I hardly ever think of the subject, my reading, meditation, and writing, being almost wholly engrossed by theology, and philofophy; and of late, as for many years before the riots in Birmingham, I have spent a very great proportion of my time, as my friends well know, in my laboratory.

If, then, my real crime has not been fedition, or treason, what has it been? For every effeEt must have some adequate cause, and therefore the odium that I have incurred must have been owing to something in my declared sentiments, or conduct, that has exposed me to it. In my own opinion, it cannot have been any thing but my open hostility to the doctrines of the established church, and more especially to all civil establishments of religion whatever. This has brought upon me the implacable resentment of the great body of the clergy; and they have found other methods of opposing me besides argument, and that use of the press which is equally open to us all. They have also found an able 'ally and champion in Mr. Burke, who (without any provocation except that of answering his book on the French Revolution) has taken several opportunities of inveighing against me, in a place where he knows

I cannot

I cannot reply to him, and from which he also knows that his accusation will reach every corner of the country, 'and consequently thousands of persons, who will never read any writings of mine*. They have had another, and still more effectual vehicle of their abuse in what are called the treasury newpepers, and other popular publications.

By these and other means, the fame party spirit which was the cause of the riots in Birmingham, has been increasing ever since, especially in that neighbourhood; a remarkable instance of which may be feen in a Letter addressed, but not fent, to me from Mr. Foley, rector of Stourbridge, who acknowledges the satisfaction that he and his brethren have received from one of the groffest and coarsest pieces of abufe of me that has yet appeared, which, as a curious specimen of the kind, I inserted in the Appendix of my Appeal, and in which I am represented as no better than Guy Fawkes, or the devil himself. This very Christian divine recommends to the members of the established church to decline all commercial dealings with Disfenters, as an effectual method of exterminating them. Defce's Shortest Way with the

* Mr. Burke having said in the House of Commons, that “I was made a citizen of France on account of my declared “ hostility to the constitution of this country,” 1, in the public papers, denied the charge, and called upon him for the proofs of it. As he made no reply, in the preface to my Fast Sermon of the last year, I said, p. 9, that " it sufficiently appeared that he “had neither ability to maintain his charge, nos virtue to retract "it.” A year more of filence on his part having now elapsed, this is become more evident than before.

Dilsenters.

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