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fufficiently resembles that of the letter I had from Dr. Withers.
As this letter cannot now do him any injury (which I was apprehenfive it might have done while he was alive, and for that reafon forbore to publish it) as it is a curiofity in itself, and as the spirit and manner of its compofition will be an additional evidence of its having the fame author with Theodofius, I fhall fubjoin it. That the fentiments of this letter and thofe of Theodofius are different will not be thought an unanfwerable objection to their having the fame author. I have no note of the answer I returned; but I believe it was fuch as did not encourage a continuance of the correfpondence. Whether that circumftance contributed to his change of conduct with refpect to me, I leave others to conjecture. If the author of Theodofius was not Dr. Withers, and he have any remains of moral principle, he will avow himself, and fave the memory of the dead. To myself it is a matter of perfect indifference who he is.
Tho' a perfect Stranger to your Perfon, I offer no Apology for addreffing you on a Sub'ject fo interefting to the Rights of Mankind.
I am by Birth and Profeffion a Churchman; but ' when civil and religious Freedom are in Question, I drop all Distinctions of Sect and Party. And, ' without Referve, I declare that wewe Pro' teftants---we Proteftant Diffenters, have too long degraded ourselves by abject unavailing Entreaties. 'Vile Indignity, that Men, that Englishmen should folicit Permiffion to enjoy the firft Privileges of human Life! Should be denied Accefs to every < Office of Honor and Emolument, unless they pre'viously
viously insult their Reason and wound their Con• fcience! Should be menaced with a Dungeon, if they prefume to utter their native Conceptions of the Deity!
But if Diffenters will be faithful to themselves, 'will form a Committee to defray the neceffary Expences, and will act with a Dignity and Refolution fuitable to the great Occafion, I promise to 'emancipate them from their cruel captivity. And here I must inform you (in the fulleft Confidence ' of perpetual Secrefy) that I am the Author of a 'Pamphlet, entitled CASSANDRA.* It's Object was 'to carry Mr. Baftard's ecclefiaftical Bill thro' the 'upper House-it fucceeded; I wrote it without the Aid or Concurrence of any Man living, and at the Hazard of Profecution. I fent a Copy to the Bishop of London, and one to Lord Thurlow, folemnly declaring, if they threw out the Bill, I would instantly exhibit Articles against the Chancellor for 'Fornication, at the fame Time intimating what I 'fhould expect on the next Application to Parliament†, concerning the Teft, and other abfurd and oppreffive Acts of Power. Now mark what God does, in his own Time, and in his own Way; how 'he uses the Simple to confound the Wife, and with 'the Foot of a leprous Man puts the Syrian Armies to Flight- -that VERY BILL, which the Chan'cellor and the Bishops had lately treated with Contempt, as ridiculous, unfcriptural, and totally unneceffary, was now fuffered to pafs without the flightest Cenfure!!! In Fact, fuch is the Situation of Lord Thurlow and fome other leading Men, that we may do what we please. They are obviously destitute of those noble, liberal, and
* Published by Ridgway, Piccadilly. I would fend you a Copy if I 'knew the Conveyance. Shall I leave one at Johnson's?'
+ Mr. Beaufoy's Motion was loft before I came from the Prefs."
enlightened Sentiments, which characterize great ' and good Minds. But if the Chancellor will not 'grant Freedom to others, neither fhall he enjoy it • himself.
'In Caffandra you will read my Heart. We differ in many Points, and we will agree to differ. As to Christ, I depart from you toto Calo. In ' civil and religious Liberty, I am confident we have ' but one Wish.
'As the Mode of fwearing in Courts*, and the Marriage of Diffenters, by their own Paftors, form a Part of my Plan, the Scotch Seceders will be ' ftrenuous in the Caufe. Our Measures, at pre'fent, ought to be fecret. I fhall be happy to be 'favoured with your Thoughts on the Business, as 'early as poffible. Meanwhile, I remain
C Dr Sir, Your obed. Servt.
'Dr. Withers, Sloan-Square,
، < PHILIP WITHERS.'
* A Bill to this Effect had paffed both Houfes, when the former Par<liament was diffolved.'
N. B. The Letter is without a date, but the Poft Mark is Auguft 4, 1787.
I fhall take this opportunity of informing my readers, that in the late controverfy concerning the Test Act, I wrote nothing anonymously except Remarks on two Letters addreffed to the Delegates of the feveral Congregations who met at Devizes, September 14, 1789, which is fubjoined to another piece, written by a different and very able hand, entitled The Spirit of the Conftitution and that of the Church of England compared. I alfo wrote the Preface. This Pamphlet, and my Sermon on the fame fubject, may be properly bound with thefe Letters.
PART I. (March 4, 1790.)
PART II. (March 11, 1790.)
In this interval Mr. Madan published his Letter to me.
In this Interval Mr. Burn published his second set of Letters to me.
PART V. (June 7, 1790.)
LETTERS TO THE REV. EDWARD BURN.