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FRINTED AND SOLD BY J. MILLS, AT THE GAZETTE-OFFICE.
And may be had of the various other Booksellers; and of

J. JOHNSON, St. Paul's Church-Yard, LONDON.

Price Two Shillings and Sixpence.

1813.

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PREFACE.

THE Author of the following Letter had intended to submit the argument contained in pp. 8 & 9, to the liberality of the Members of the Establishment, on the day when the Petition against the Catholic Claims was brought forward in the Guildhall. An indispensable engagement prevented him from being there sufficiently early to secure a place, from which he might stand a chance of being heard. He therefore thought of offering it to their consideration through the medium of one of the public journals; and at the same time of embracing the opportunity of stating his sentiments upon some other features of the Catholic Question. The longer he reflected upon the subject, the more it impressed his mind, and he hastily resolved to communicate his ideas in a separate fori and not in a public paper. The resolution was hasty indeed. He had no expectation that he should fill more than a single sheet, but he soon found that he had sketched out a plan which he had great difficulty in filling up, even in the present imperfect manner, since he could only devote to it some fragments of that time which was occupied by duties more indispensable, and of a nature very different.

He has not used the word imperfect from any affectation of modesty. He is sensible that he could have improved his work had his time been less occupied, or if the publication could now be retarded. But when the temporary urgency of the question is considered, he fears that it may already have been delayed too long.

When he had determined upon noticing Mr. Thorp's publication, it occurred to him that perhups some points of the argument would be most properly brought forward, in the reply to that gentleman. Some

questions

questions therefore are discussed, first in the letter and then pursued in the Appendir. It is the wish of the Author, however, that the argument should be considered as one, and as such taken together. It will appear

from the commencement of his Letter, that he had mtended that it should have been anonymous. But as the Rev. Mr. Thorp has affixed his name to one of the harshest attacks with which the Catholics have in modern times been assailed, and as the Author has replied to him personally, he thinks it right to lay aside concealment ; more especially as he is not ashamed to plead the cause of a body of Christians, who, in his opinion, are treated with unmerited unkindness, and whose sentiments have long been grossly misrepresented.

The authorities to which he is indebted are, in general, acknowledged in their proper places. He is particularly indebted to the Edinburgh Review. He has also frequently quoted the Appendix to a sermon of a truly learned and liberal Clergyman of the Establishment, and he begs leave to conclude the present preface with one more extract from it. 66 It would be more than common presumption on his part, to suppose, that he can advance any new argument on the important question of the Catholic Claims. He therefore, with very great diffidence submits the following considerations to the candour of the opponents, and the indulgence of the friends of this measure, and to the patience of all.

J. E. STOCK, M.D. Park Street, Bristol,

Feb. 13, 1813.

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LETTER, &c.

Fellon-Citizens,

You were invited, a few days since, to attend a Meeting in the Guildhall, in order to consider of a Petition to oppose the claims of the Catholics to a participation of the civil rights and privileges enjoyed by their Protestant fellow-subjects; and I am sorry to add, that the invitation was cordially accepted by many of you, and that in spite of an opposition founded upon the grand and unalterable principles of religious liberty, a large majority approved of that Petition, and many still come forward to sign it. It is my wish seriously to direct your attention to a leview of the principles and tendency of that Petition, and I hope that those who have not yet signed it will pause before they do so: and that those who have, may reconsider the matter, and by signing a Petition of a contrary tendency, which will shortly be presented to them, in some degree peutralize the injurious tendency of the act which they have been prevailed upon to sanction.

It is, perhaps, scarcely necessary for an anonymous writer to express, what however I can do with the greatest truth, my sincere respect for the characters of

those

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