And now having given the substance of the labours of the commitee from its formation to the present time, I cannot conclude this volume without giving to the worthy members of it that tribute of affectionate and grateful praise, which is due to them for their exertions in having forwarded the great cause which was intrusted to their care. And this I can do with more propriety, because, having been so frequently absent from them when they were engaged in the pursuit of this their duty, I cannot be liable to the suspicion, that in bestowing commendation upon them I am bestowing it upon myself. From about the end of May 1787 to the middle of July 1788 they had held no less than fifty-one commitees. These generally occupied them from about six in the evening till about eleven at night. In the intervals between the commitees they were often occupied, having each of them some object committed to his charge. It is remarkable, too, that though they were all except one engaged in business or trade, and though they had the same calls as other men for innocent recreation, and the same interruptions of their health, there were individuals, who were not absent more than five or six times within this period. In the course of the thirteen months, during which they had exercised this public trust, they had printed, and afterwards distributed, not at random, but judiciously, and through respectable channels, (besides twenty-six thousand five hundred and twenty-six reports, accounts of debates in parliament, and other small papers,) no less than fifty-one thousand four hundred and thirty-two pamphlets, or books.
Nor was the effect produced within this short period otherwise than commensurate with the efforts used. In May 1787, the only public notice taken of this great cause was by this commitee of twelve individuals, of whom all were little known to the world except Mr. Granville Sharp. But in July 1788, it had attracted the notice of several distinguished individuals in France and Germany, and in our own country it had come within the notice, of the government, and a branch of it had undergone a parliamentary discussion and restraint. It had arrested also the attention of the nation, and it had produced a kind of holy flame, or enthusiasm, and this to a degree and to an extent never before witnessed. Of the purity of this flame no better proof can be offered, than that even bishops deigned to address an obscure commitee, consisting principally of Quakers, and that churchmen and dissenters forgot their difference of religious opinions, and joined their hands, all over the kingdom, in its support.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME
Printed by Richard Taylor and Co. Shoe Lane.