Aris’s Birmingham Gazette – Letter to Aris’s Gazette about Dr Priestley and the Birmingham Riots
To the Rev. Dr. PRIESTLEY.
Quid minus utile fuit quam ulcus hoc tangere?
TO deplore the loss of you Apparatus, your Books, and Manuscripts was natural, and every Friend of Science condoles with you; to remind the deluded People that they were injuring their own Cause, was just and proper. The same Admonition had been given by the Laity and the Clergy of their own Communion: but the Accusation you bring against the Gentlemen and the Clergy, as the Causes either direct or indirect of the Outrages committed, is neither prudent nor true. It is not prudent, because the present moment requires the most conciliatory Language; it is not true, for our warfare is not with your Persons, or your Property, but with your Opinions. As Christians, you have endeavoured to deprive us of the comfortable Doctrines of Atonement and Grace: as Citizens, you have endeavoured to make us, like yourself, gloomy, querulous, and petulant, and though the inflammatory Paper alluded to may not have been yours, the Substance of it, will be found in your Writings.
I am, Sir, your most obedient Servant,