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are fpecified, which are guarded by the law of the land in like manner; now it may poffibly have been imagined, that because this act is in force against those who shall have been EDUCATED IN, OF PROFESSED the Chriftian religion, who fhall act against its injunctions, that any not fo educated, or not having made fuch profeffion, are at liberty to act as fhall feem good unto them, and to deny the divine authority of the New Teftament, and to speak or write, or print whatever reproachful words they please against the great author and finisher of our faith, Heb. xii. 2.The act of King William does not revoke the common law of the land, it only EXTENDS it in particular inftances:-"Blafphemy against the Almighty, "by denying his being or providence"-" or by con"tumelious reproaches of our Saviour, Chrift""profane fcoffing alfo at the Holy Scripture, or ex"pofing it to contempt and ridicule."" These are "offences punishable at COMMON LAW, by fine and "imprisonment, or other INFAMOUS CORPORAL

PUNISHMENT, for CHRISTIANITY IS PART "OF THE LAWS OF ENGLAND." Blackftone's Com. vol. iv. page 59.

These things fhould have entered into the confideration of Dr. Prieftley before he prefumed to throw down the gauntlet to the Jews. We know that they do not confider the New Teftament as of divine authority; we know that they do not confider our Lord Jefus Chrift as the true Meffiah, as we do. He who created the heavens and the earth, in whose hands are their breath and being, he bears with them.


The law of the land alfo tolerates them in their opinions, handed down to them from their ancestors; and as long as they conduct themfelves with the propriety which they do; as long as they are contented to keep their fentiments within the pale of their own community, fo long they will be regarded with fympathy, with tenderness, with benevolence, by Chriftians; fo long will they be cherished by the liberal-minded legiflature of this land, and I truft, alfo, vindicated and protected in the enjoyment of their comforts, in the liberty of their perfons, in their property, and what they are taught to regard as dearer to them than the liberty of their perfons and the enjoyment of their property, nay even as far dearer than life itself, the undisturbed enjoyment of their religion.

But, on the other hand, were they to attempt to make profelytes; were they to fo far forget their fituation among us, as to interfere with our religion; were they to forget the TERMS upon which they were permitted to return to this land which they love; to this nation, which they refpect; the confequences would be fuch as I cannot contemplate without agony, I will therefore turn away from it. This dreadful evil to the Jewish nation, fhould have entered into the estimate of Dr. Prieftley. His challenge was calculated to bring this dreadful evil upon them. Notwithstanding Mr. David Levi might be faid, at the bar of the public, to make good his cause, and to indifputably prove that he was invited by Dr. Priestley to an amicable difcuffion of the evidences of Chrif tianity; yet this would not have been admitted as a


good plea on behalf of Mr. David Levi, if he had been called in queftion on account of thofe expreffions, which were contumacious calumniations against our bleffed Saviour. He would have been told that no invitation to difcuffion, no incitement, could be admitted in our law as an excufe for the commiffion of an unlawful act : much as it might have outraged the feelings of the Jury, the fact being proved, he must have been convicted of a breach of the law. The judge would have told them that they were not called and fworn to make or to mitigate laws, but to execute them: however painful it might have been to the judge; however ardently he might have wished that he were about to pronounce fentence upon Dr. Priestley, the author of the mischief, instead of Mr. David Levi, whom the Doctor had decoyed into the trap, he must, according to his oath, have pronounced the sentence of the law upon him.

All these things fhould have entered into the contemplation of Dr. Priestley before he gave the challenge to debate. We juftly ABHOR duelling; but would not our abhorrence be greatly increased; would not our indignation be more ftrongly aroufed, if a strong and active man were to challenge to fingle combat, with fwords, a venerable old man, a ftranger and fojourner amongst us, who had never injured him; would it not excite our indignation against the challenger, if it should have appeared that at the time the challenge was given, a law was in exiftence whereby this venerable old man would be fubject to

fevere PUNISHMENT for every wound his hand might give to his challenger ?

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Instead, therefore, of inviting the Jews to this difcuffion, the very utmost that he should have prefumed to do fhould have been to have laid any arguments before them, and even this fhould, in honour, in charity, nay more, in common humanity, have been accompanied with a CAUTION to beware how they conducted themselves in confequence of his addrefs; that if urged, by veneration for their parents and predeceffors to reply, either in writing, or even by advised speaking against him whom Chriftians believe to be the true Meffiah to any but a Jew, they would by the law of the land fubject themselves to be punifhed by FINE, by IMPRISONMENT, by PILLORY, or other INFAMOUS CORPORAL PUNISH


It did not fuit the purpose, or poffibly it did not enter into the thoughts of Dr. Priestley to proceed further than throwing out his paper ferpents; but if he had proceeded fo far as to open a meeting to preach to fuch Jews as might be inclined to hear him, a board, containing this CAUTION in large characters, fhould have been placed on each fide the door, and in the front of each gallery; and to guard against the poffibility that fome might not be able to read, it should also have been proclaimed from the pulpit.

I have now done with Dr. Priestley; I leave you to draw the inferences, and hope that you will have the candour to see my motive hath been to lay the


true ftate of the case before you, in the way which appeared to me to be leaft calculated to excite anger or to give offence, either to yourself or to the London Society.

I fhall now proceed to that part of your letter in which I am more particularly interested; and in the first place let me affure you, that I do fincerely forgive the very CONTEMPTUOUS language in which you speak of me and of my book. It is plain you have not read it, or you would not have expreffed yourself in the manner you have done; you fay, "I "have not the honour of knowing that gentleman, or "the means he has had of acquiring literature ;" if you had read the book you would have perceived that I do not pretend to have acquired literature; but in many parts of the book I speak of myself as an unlearned man-I am fo-I never had further means of acquiring literature than those which are now fo common amongst us, a boarding-fchool education, and like by far the major part of those thus educated, who are not afterwards in the habit of employing what little they have acquired; I am not ashamed of confeffing, that, from want of ufe, I cannot now WITH PLEASURE read any book but in my mother tongue; but I have not fo far forgot my Latin as to deprive me of the ability (if I wished to avail myself of it) to add a Latin motto to my book, or to intersperse a few Latin sentences here and there to gain the attention of the grofsly ignorant, and thus to affume confequence; but far be it from me.

I muft

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