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here depictured, the following correspondence will in some sort serve to shew, viz. that the scene, how dark so ever, is not completely destitute of all lighter shades, and at the same time with what alacrity has been laid hold of, and with what perseverance improved, whatsoever opportunity offered a prospect of placing the conduct of the distinguished persons in question, or any of them, in any light more agreeable to a philanthropic eye. Every other opportunity of the like nature that came within his reach, would be noticed by the author with the like alacrity, and whatever occasion it afforded of doing the like justice, improved with the like solicitude.



Ford Abbey, near Chard, Jan. 24, 1818.


“ The occasion of the application I am hereby taking the liberty of troubling you with, is--my

having in immediate readiness for publication a “ work of considerable bulk, in the course of which,

though on grounds of the utmost publicity, the “ conduct of the Archbishop of Canterbury,-on a “ certain occasion also of an eminently public na“ ture,—is held up in a point of view, such as, in “ some eyes, howsoever it may be in others, seems “ not likely to be an altogether favourable one. “ Since the completing of the impression, it has

happened to me to hear—and on what seemed to me good authority-through the medium of some friends of yours and mine, that his Grace's con

duct, on the occasion of that Toleration Act, for är which the religion and liberty of the country are so eminently indebted to yourself, was such, as in * proportion as it is known, cannot but recommend

him, in a very high degree, to the admiration of " the friends of both.

“What has been done by a man on one occasion “ does not cause not to have been done that which “ has been done by him on another. But it would “ be a conduct not consistent with my 'notions of

generosity, or even of justice, if, while thus, by “ the considerations that will be seen, compeHed to “ hold up to view what seemed to be the ill deserts “ of a person in so high and influential a situation, I “ suffered the occasion to go by, without endea

vouring to make known, to the same extent, what “ it has fallen in my way to be apprized of, and “ to regard as possessing an incontestable claim, “ to be placed to the per contrà side of the ac

" count.

Assured of finding the like sentiments on your “ part, I take the liberty of addressing to you this " letter, for the purpose of requesting the favour of

your enabling me to give effect to the above wish. “ As to the being accessory in any way to any accu

sation, which it may happen to you to see con“ tained in the work in question,--to no such impu“ tation can a compliance with any such request as “ this expose you : for, supposing such compliance “ declined by you, the work in question will not be “ the less published. With your motives on the oc

casion, bis Grace could not therefore but feel satisfied, whatsoever might be the case in regard to


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“ What I heard was to this effect: viz. that on the “occasion of the Unitarian Toleration Bill, which “ has so happily passed into an act (53 Geo. III,

c. 136.) it was in concert with his Grace that the “ Act passed both Houses : passed, and in that tran

quillity which was at once su decorous and so “ admirable: that, in the state in which it was originally drawn or approved by his Grace (I am

not enabled to say exactly which of the two was “ the case) it was so congenial to your wishes, as to “ have in no inconsiderable degree surpassed your

expectations: and that it was so, in a degree much

beyond what the Act is, in the form into which it “ has been moulded : that it went so far as to give a

complete indemnity not only to Unitarianism, but “ to all opinions without distinction respecting the “ constitution of the Godhead :-(Alack, what a subject for pretended knowledge ! What a ground for

punishment on the score of imputed ignorance !) "and this, not only as against punishment under statute law, but also as against punishment at com

mon law. No effect approaching to this (I have “ the mortification to see) has been produced by the “ Act as it stands at present. This difference—this “ sad difference between that which it is, and that “which, I think, you cannot but join with me in

wishing that it had been, had (I understand) for its cause the interposition--not of any Bishop, nor of any other spiritual person—but of some wearer of a long robe of a different cut. “ Under these circumstances, the following are the

particulars of the information which I am taking “ the liberty of requesting at your hands.

“1. Whether it be not true, that a Bill, either “ drawn or approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury,

gave to the liberty of printing and publishing--(or, as Bishop Taylor, using the Scriptural term, more emphatically, as well as concisely phrases it, the

liberty of prophesying)—a basis, broader, in some " and what direction, than that which by the Act in question has been given to it.

2. Amongst the effects of that Bill, was not that “ of rendering the liberty in question secure, as well

against prosecution at common law, as against pro“ secution on statute law?

“ 3. Between that Bill and the aforesaid Act “were there any and what other differences ?

“ To these questions, the shortest as well as most complete and correct answer the nature of the case

admits of, (if no decisive objection to your favouring “ me with it occurs to you,) would be a copy of the “ Bill itself, in the state in which it received the

approbation of his Grace. “ 4. By what cause or causes did that difference appear to you to have been produced ?

“Of the above four questions, the three first, you “ will be aware, are the only ones which have any “immediate bearing, on the purpose of this appli

cation, as above declared. But, surely, what“soever regard for religious liberty was, in the first

instance, manifested by his Grace, cannot but receive additional lustre, from whatsoever contrast

may have had place between it and any opposite“ness in sentiment and conduct which may have

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