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fo, and I am likewife well aware that the injury I have received does not admit of any adequate redrefs; fince for one person who will fee my defence, a hundred will fee the accufation only. But I shall have done my duty with respect to the public, and to a work that was fincerely intended. to be useful to them, by endeavouring to exhibit to the few to whom I may have accefs, how little there fometimes is in the moft fpecious and the most arrogant reviews of books. This may alfo put them on their guard with respect to fimilar reviews of other works; and the judgment of the impartial few may, at length, influence the lefs difcerning many.

My criticifer, feeling the advantage of his fituation, may avail himself of it, and reply in the fame plausible and infufficient manner. However, having done thus much, I think I may be excufed from proceeding any farther in this way; and for the future content myself with correcting any real overfights which this, or any other writer, fhall convince me that I have made. This I fhall certainly do the firft proper opportunity; and for this, I am confident, the public, before whom I fay it, will give me credit.

As I make this remonftrance under fo great difadvantage, I think I may require, that if my critic fhould not chufe to meet me on even ground, that is, in a feparate pamphlet, he fhould, at leaft, give his name; and indeed he


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has virtually engaged to do fo, by faying †, " If "Dr. Priestley can fairly acquit himself of every "charge of mif-conftruction, and mistake, we "will acknowledge the injuftice of these ani"madverfions. And if we are convicted of "mif-conftruction, mif-reprefentation, or mif"take, we will kifs the rod." For it is quibling with the public to talk of kiffing the rod, and at the fame time intending to remain anonymous. And I think he will hardly fay, after reading my reply, and recrimination, that he has been guilty of no mifconftruction, no mifrepresentation, no mistake; not to say that exaggeration of real errors requires acknowledgment, as well as mifreprefentations and mistakes. In all these refpects, challenge my critic to be as ingenuous as myself:

It may be faid that I ought, at least, to have waited all the review of my work was closed. But I do not know when that will be; and befides the Reviewer has faid, "We fhall, in an"other article, give a general review of Dr. Priestley's work, and leave animadverfions to "others." I chufe, therefore according to the good old adage (of which I am seldom unmindful) not to leave that to the morrow which may as well be done to day.

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What I advance in this publication is merely in my own defence, and without the leaft inten

+ P. 525. P. 526.

tion of hurting the Monthly Review. But I muft obferve, in general, that repeated mifreprefentations of works in which the public fhall hereafter difcern real merit, notwithstanding fuch attempts to overbear it, will neceffarily bring any publication of the kind into difcredit with men of fenfe and candour.

I will venture to say that no work of any extent will bear to be treated as this of mine has been, viz. by exhibiting its fuppofed defects only, without mentioning any one thing with respect to its object, or execution, that is praiseworthy, or even right. Had my Hiftory of Electricity been reviewed in the fame captious manner, it might have been with the fame effect. I do not charge this writer with any want of learning or ability. In those respects he may be much my fuperior, but with a want of that candour without which there can be no true judgment of the real value of any work of man. And we have no angels either to write books, or to review them.

The reader will alfo, I hope, confider, that overfights and mistakes which are venial in the compiler of a large fyftematical work, are unpardonable in one who voluntarily fteps forth with no other view than to criticife and difcredit it.

This bufinefs will not, I hope, be without fome advantage; as befides the Additional Obfervations it has led me to make, relating to the state of antient opinions concerning the person of Chrift

Chrift in this pamphlet (and to which what there is in it relating to myself, and my own juft defence, bears but a fmall proportion) it may lead to a fuller difcuffion of the fubject. And I now profefs, that in the fame full and friendly manner in which I engaged with Dr. Price on the fubjects of Materialifm and Neceffity, and with the Bishop of Waterford, on that of the Duration of our Saviour's miniftry, I am ready to enter, with any person of learning and ability, upon the dif cuffion of the state of opinions concerning Christ, antecedent to the council of Nice. My prefent ideas on the subject are clearly expreffed, p. 34 of this pamphlet; but I fhall be ready to retract whatever I fhall be proved to have advanced too haftily and inconfiderately, and I will heartily join with my opponent in fearching it to the bottom. I wish only for a fair and generous antagonist; and this for the fake of keeping clofe to the serious argument, in which alone the public is interested.

I confider this kind of controverfial writing as of fingular ufe, and I reflect upon my former publications of this kind with much fatisfaction, as containing as free and as full a difcuffion of feveral important fubjects as was ever given to the public.

I am the more at liberty for this inveftigation as Mr. Gibbon has abfolutely declined to difcufs with me, as I propofed to him, the biftorical evidences of Chriftianity and bifhop Hurd has

has not thought proper to take any notice whatever of what I addreffed to him on the subject of the reformation of church establishments.

As I find it has been fuppofed, much to my prejudice, that in my late fituation I was engaged as a party writer, I fhall take this opportunity of faying, that I never wrote political pamphlet, or a political paragraph all the time that that connection fubfifted, nor was I ever requested fo to do. It would have been a violation of the most effential article on which that connection was formed. How, or why, it was diffolved, about which there have been many furmifes, concerns no perfons but the parties themselves.

Birmingham, July 21, 1783.

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