On the 1st of May 1738 he wrote in his journal: "This evening our little society began, which afterwards met in Fetter Lane."
Although the light thrown upon ancient conditions of life and thought has destroyed much that sometimes seems vital for the Old Testament, it has brought into relief a more permanent and indisputable appreciation of its significance, and it is gradually dispelling that pseudo-scientific literalism which would fetter the greatest of ancient Oriental writings with an insistence upon the verity of historical facts.
Thus he describes the body (which, after Epicurus, he calls the flesh) as a mere husk or fetter or prison of the soul; with its departure begins the soul's true life.
Several of his former colleagues declined to join him, on the ground of their absolute hostility to the policy of Home Rule; others joined on the express understanding that they were only pledged to consider the policy, and did not fetter their further liberty of action.
Subsequently he held charges at Coventry (1784-1803) and at Fetter Lane, London (1803-1832).