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ly directed against the dissenting name, and which never could have broken forth, if they had not been thoughtlessly or wickedly ministered to by propagating and encouraging throughout the whole kingdom an alienation of heart from dissenters. "But even to procure this goodwill, we can make no dishonest promises; our religion such as our own minds approve, we neither can nor will abandoni, nor on the ground of this religion can we ever cease to protest against every deprivation of civil right to which power has subjected us. If for this a national malediction must continue to go forth against us, we wish our enemies soberly to consider, that national maledictions, however weakly founded, are those scourges, which folly and wickedness may let loose, but which neither wisdom nor virtue, nor perhaps all the organized powers of government can restrain. "With this reserve of freedom in religion, freedom in the rational defence of our religion, we are sub jects of the British state, and have no views, no wishes but what are connected with this character; and inasmuch as any honest son of Britain ought to promise, we pledge ourselves for civil obedience, for peace, for good-fellowship, and for a generous contest in all the course of industry and virtue. Confident that we shall not violate this pledge we respectfully solicit protection, trust, good-will, and the pleasant sympathy of fellow-citizens and fellow-christians. We love our country, we prefer it to every other under heaven, but with our ideas of country are inseparably connected liberty, law, and good-fellowship. these should be irrecoverably lost to us in this land, every land will be our country, where these blessings shall be presented." Signed in the name of the associated body by the members present. BELFAST MAG. NO. XXX.
About this time he was engaged in a correspondence with Mr. Grey, upon the subject of parliamentry reform. On the 6th of May 1793, this gentleman was to move the house of commons upon this subject, on which occasion petitions were to be presented from the metropolis and other districts. As an additional support he was desirous also, that it should be countenanced by the town of Nottingham, for which purpose a petition drawn up by Mr. Walker, and signed by a very respectable proportion of its population, was presented, but the freedom of its language occasioned it to be rejected. The passage that excited this repugnance in the house to its acceptance, was the following: "from various causes, the constitution of these kingdoms has passed into the grossest abuses, so insult the common sense of the nation with a name, when the reality is gone." The presenting of the petition was postponed at Mr. Pitt's special request, which was made in order that he might be present to press the rejection of it.
counsels, which had refused the just A prevalence of the same evil claims of the dissenters, and which had rejected every application for the correction of those abuses in the of such injurious, consequences, was constitution, that were productive now about to precipitate the nation contrary to every principle of justice and political expediency, into a war without one definite object in view, but originating solely in that invariable hostility, which it had displayed to whatever tended to enlarge the principles of civil liberty. To prepare the public mind for the adoption of this measure, every effort was made use of, by insinuations of disloyalty and revolutionary principles, to direct
the passions of the multitude against all who possessed sufficient courage and wisdom to oppose themselves to the mad projects of the minister. To the animosities thus wickedly excited may be attributed the popular excesses at Birmingham. In the town also in which Mr. Walker resided it had engendered such a rancorous spirit of party, that it came to be in a considerable degree unsafe, to express a difference of opinion from those, who were attached to the measures of ministers. No apprehensions of this kind however could deter him from exerting his individual efforts, to arrest if possible the progress of those fatal measures, which were pregnant with so much ruin to the country. While the war was yet only impending, but after the hostile disposition of government had been sufficiently evinced, he endeavoured in a popular address to his fellow-townsmen, signed by twenty-six of its principal inhabitants, to convince them of the injurious consequences, that it must inevitably occasion to the interests of their manufacturing district, as well as to the general prosperity of the country. The application was not in vain. A petition for peace, composed by Mr. Walker and signed by about 3000 names, was presented to parliament in aid of Mr. Grey's motion, in 1793, a measure which also was adopted at his special request.
The energies France had displayed in defence of her independence, and the unexampled success, which had attended the progress of her arms, had annihilated every expectation of success founded on the supposed imbecility of her disorganized government; yet the blood and treasure of the nation continue to flow with a prodigality unexampled in former wars, and for the prosecution of objects adapted at the
mere caprice of the minister to the existing circumstances of the times and artfully varied for the purpose of protracting the national delasion. The same cause, therefore, that had originally excited the patriotic efforts of Nottingham, continuing to exist, similar petitions were subsequently presented. But the efforts of Mr. Walker were not limited to this object, other important topics continued occasionally to exercise his pen. The great cause of parliamentary reform was abandoned.-The abolition of the slave-trade, during the time in which it was advocated, occupied a considerable portion of his attention.— The attempt of ministers in 1795, to establish a new and undefined law of treason, under the pretence of better securing his majesty's person and government, and for more effectually preventing seditious meetings and assemblies; an attempt which excited the first appearance of national opposition to their hitherto triumphant course; was regarded by him as a measure that aimed at one rude blow utterly to subvert all the rights of Englishmen, and introduce a military despotism.
The limits which it is requisite to prescribe to this memoir will prevent a more minute detail of various other measures, in which he was equally engaged, for promoting the welfare of his country, as well as the local interests of the town in which he resided; but the above sketch will suffice, to exhibit the leading principles of his public conduct, as well as the great activity and power of his mind, who, notwithstanding the numerous avocations of his private life, could yet devote so considerable a portion of this time and attention to the service of the public. It has been asserted that patriotism is a virtue of so sublime a form,
which scarcely the more liberal and enlightened maxims of the present age can altogether adopt, but which is in perfect unison with the allembracing philanthropy of that religion, which enjoins the practice of universal charity, which regards the whole human race but as menbers of one common family, as the children of one universal parent, equally the subjects of his providence and the candidates for his favour.
that none but great and exalted
Such were the maxims upon which Mr. Walker regulated his public conduct, and in conformity with them he may appear at times to have adopted politics hostile to the interests of his country. Throughout the whole of the American war, and during the commencement of the war with France in 1793, notwithstanding as an Englishman he felt the shame of national defeat and humiliation, yet in contests so unjust he deprecated the success of his country's arms. But, though his patriotism could not in his opinion supersede the unalterable laws of right, no one ever felt a purer or more ardent attachment to his native soil. He gloried in the name of Briton; he loved his country, because he regarded it as the seat of liberty, of sacred law and justice, of science, of arts, of civilization. To preserve this proud preeminence, to transmit unimpaired to future generations these distinguishing advantages, which he had received as the fairest portion of his inheritance, was with him a sacred duty, for which he held himself accountable to God, to his country, and to posterity. And though it was his fate through life, to pursue a thankless and fruitless office in struggling against the vicious establishments of civil society, the corrupt and destructive policy of a selfish world, yet this did not
relax his exertions, or abate the ardour of his zeal.
His talents however were not calculated merely for public life. Few men were more eminently gifted with all those qualifications, that enable an individual to shine and interest in society. To the circle in which he moved his habitual cheerfulness of disposition, his lively and animated conversation, a good-natured pliancy of mind, that where the great interests of religion and morality were not concerned, would accommodate itself to
the various tastes and understandings of those with whom he mixed, rendered him at all times a welcome guest. At one period of his resi dence at Nottingham, he was singu larly fortunate in his society. A kind of literary club, composed of a few select individuals, was accustomed to meet alternately at each other's house. The members of this club were generally of a description superior to what most provincial towns are capable of affording, men of cultivated understandings, and of great moral worth. By a sin gular fatality, most of these his early associates, though considerably his juniors in age, were removed from the stage before him.
There were yet remaining several, to whom, from long habits of intimacy, from a real regard for the excellence of their characters, and from a feeling of gratitude for personal kindnesses, he was sincerely attached. To relinquish these friends who were endeared to him from so many considerations; to resign the regular exercise of a profession, to which he was warmly devoted; to quit a congregation, of which he had been the respected pastor for twen ty-four years; and at an age that most would deem a sufficient plea for an exemption from the active
duties of life, to undertake the management of an institution, that required unceasing vigilance and great mental exertion, to which his whole time and attention must necessari
ly be devoted, and in which he must forego many personal comforts, evinced a vigour of mind, and a lic good, that perhaps few indivisacrifice of private feelings to pub
duals under similar circumstances
would have displayed. In this however he merely acted conformably to the tenour of his whole life; for never perhaps has there becu fluenced by a regard to self. Anxie a man, whose conduct was less inty for the welfare of an institution, to the success of which he was taught to believe his personal services were necessary, alone dictated his removal to Manchester.
For the last two or three years of had also the additional charge both his continuing in this situation, he of the mathematical and classical deden of the institution rested upon partment; so that the whole burhimself; and to this his advanced age and declining health were unequal.
philosophical society of Manchester, As a member of the literary and Mr. Walker was a frequent contributor to its memoirs; and upon the death of Dr. Percival, he was appointed to succeed him as president. He continued for nearly two years after the resignation of his office in the college, to reside in the neighbourhood of Manchester; a spot he was induced to prefer, as it afforded him the amusement of a large garden, to which he was all his life much attached. Finding however that this situation did not agree with his health, he once more changed his place of abode, and removed to the village of Wavertree, near Liverpool, where, after a long and active life spent in the cause
of truth, of virtue, and of religion, a life on which he could look back with satisfaction and find no cause for regret, he had determined to wear out the evening of his days, in the society of a few friends of congenial sentiments and dispositions, by whom he was respected and beloved. But it was permitted him for little more than a year to enjoy the happiness, which such a situation afforded; and a great part of this was spent under the lan guor of increasing weaknes, and in preparing for the publication of his works, an exertion too great for his declining health, so that in all probability it accelerated his dissolution.
It was manifest that the increasing infirmities of age were stealing fast upon him: the powers of his mind however remained unimpaired, he displayed the same vigour of intellect, and his wonted cheerful ness still continued to enliven his hours of relaxation and social intercourse: the only observable difference was occasional fits of abstraction, during which it is more than probable that his mind was occupied by such serious reflections as the intimations of declining life are calculated to impress; for it was apparent that there was a more guarded collection of himself, a more evident attempt to repress that warmth of temper, that quickness of spirit, which through life had been his constitutional temperament, and which he himself has acknowledged that he possessed in a greater degree, than what with all his sense of duty to God and man, he had been well able to manage; and whence, from that inquietude of mind, and pain of self-condemnation, which the surprise of this passion had occasioned, had flowed many of the bitterest vexations which he had experienced in his passage through life. Had
he survived a few more years, it may be fairly presumed that he would have gone well nigh to have corrected a propensity so repugnant to his feelings and his principles, and where alone his moral character could with any justice be impugned.
In 1790 he had published two volumes of sermons. These had for several years been out of print, and having been much called for, he was induced to republish them with the addition of two other volumes.This, with two volumes of essays which he designed for the press, was an important undertaking, which brought him to London in the spring of the year 1807. For some time after his arrival he enjoyed an unusual flow of health and spirits, but alas! his lamp of life was nearly exhausted, and its present brightness was but a deceitful gleam, that preceded its complete extinction.He was apparently conscious of this himself, for he dropped many expressions, denoting that he did not expect long to live. When in conversation with a near relation of the late Mr. G. Wakefield, he lamented that he had never seen him after his confinement at Dorchester; "but," says he, "I trust that we shall meet in another world, a world to which I find that I am fast approaching." Soon after this he was attacked by what appeared to be a violent lumbago, which resisting every effort to remove, he was advised to keep his bed. This produced the desired effect in abating the pain, but at the same time his weakness kept encreasing, whilst his appetite at length so totally failed him, that a little wine was the only sustenance he could be prevailed upon to take. Under these circumstances it was evident that the powers of life could not long be maintained: he soon after sank into