After a first address to the prelates of England and Wales, published in 1792, the anonymous author (Harrison) returned to the subject three years later. Published during the revolutionary wars, at a time of social unrest, widespread poverty and enormous military loss of life in both Europe and the Caribbean, the pamphlet suggests that "dire calamities" (7) in the form of "famine, pestilence, and war" (9) were being visited upon Britain as punishment for failing to abolish the slave trade, or were somehow "connected with the sanguinary and nefarious conduct of this nation towards the inhabitants of Africa" (8). The author criticises the clerical elite for being too far removed from the people, and cites the French protestant Necker on the role of religion in state hierarchies.
Anonymous author, attributed to George Harrison, founding member of the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade. Seventy years later, the French pastor Louis Leblois would similarly argue that famine and social unrest in Europe were divine punishment for slavery in his pamphlet, Les suites de l’esclavage des nègres [The consequences of negro slavery] (Paris, 1863).