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YO U will easily believe I have not been in a very sedate Temper ever since I cam into this House. When I composed those Writings of which 1 am accused, I studied carefully to avoid committing any Fault in them, and now on a sudden I am to rack my Invention to find out Guilt in them. 1 have also been forced to apply my self to the making my Defence Paragraph by Paragraph, as well as according to this Method to which you have how been pleased to restrain me. From these Accidents, the different Opinions of Friends, beingsuspended between these Opinions, want of Sleep, and being pressed in point of Time, I am in a very ill Condition to make a Defence. But if you will forgive my Blundering and Stammering amidst an Huddle ef Papers you fee in my Hands, not read over since transcribed, and the References from some to others of them not fixed in my Mind, you shall have the Truth of my Heart in this Discomposure, which will I hope with generous Men do more for me, than what I could have produced with more Meditation. 1 must therefore, as well as I can, from Papers which, as I said, I have not so much as read over since transcribed, obey your Commands; and fall abruptly into the Particulars of my Defence, the Way to which I thought to make in a more gradual and unforced Manner, upon the Views I had before I came into theHoufe.
I have not, I hope, written any thing with an improper Heat, tho' I have not Ihewn an Insensibility; and those who condemn what
y '.; ' '• •' Heat
. Heat 1 have shewn, will at least approve the Ends to which it was directed.
If my Wishes for the Demolition of Dunkirk, and my Zeal for that Succession which is the only Security under God of our Laws, our Liberties, and our Religion, have betrayed me into any Errors which ' amnot sensible of, I hope the Goodness of these Mou'ves which occasioned them, will be sufficient to extenuate and cover them. 1 am sure there are several Writers who have talked with as much Warmth and more Boldness fora quite contrary End, without giving the same Offence to those in whose Power it has been to punish them': 1 say, Sir, that there are many who have written with as great a Zeal in a Cause which is Condemned as Treasonable by our Acts of Parliament, and yet have had the good Luck to escape the Notice of those who have had either the making of "Laws or the putting them in Execution. Besides, whilst I have thus preserv'd my Temper, it must be allowed that no Man ever receiv'd greater Provocations. Those Writers who declared themselves the professed Advocates of the Ministry, and give themselves the Air of being in the Secrets of the Administration, were the first Aggressors. They have loaded me with groundless Calumnies, misrepresented -me in every Part of my Character, and have been as disingenuous and unchristian in the "Methods of publishing these salse Reports, as they were in the inventing of them. When I had the Honour to be returned as a Member of Parliament, and was therefore presumed to be such, instead of being thereby privileged from this infamous Treatment, I was only the more
expos'd expos'd to it. These Papers I am now speakking of prejudged my Election, denounced to me the Displeasure of Men in great Places, and foretold that Storm which is now sallen upon me, unless it be averted by the Justice and Honour of Gentlemen, who are the only Persons that can interpose in this Case between an innocent Man and an offended Minister. Such J has been the cruel and ungerierous Usage which 1 have met with from an Author who has several times professed himself a Champion for the Ministry, that no longer slnee than last Friday he has sallen upon me with that Rage and Malice, which is unbecoming a Scholar, a Gentleman, or a Christian, at the same Time that so great a Misfortune befel me as to be accused , before this House. As if he did not think that Weight heavy enough upon me, he makes his Court to his Superiors by determining the Cause which lay before this honourable Assembly, and represents me in such a Character as i hope is due to no Man living. I cannot but take Notice of his last Paper, which, if any Gentleman will be at the Pains of perusing, he will find, (by what strange Accident or concerted Measures 1 know not; that it is a Brief of the Charge against me before this House. It was in Answer to this Writer that 1 first employ'd my Pen, and, as I thought, for the Service of my Country. This Man has represented half of Her Majesty's Subjects as a Different People, who have forfeited the common Protection allowed them by the Constitution; bat / has never been called to account for it as a / Writer of Matters tending to Sedition. He has treated the Fathers of our Church like the basest