Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE PUBLISHER OF THE Independent Whig. - The Independent Whig, vol. 1 (7th ed. 1743)
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TO THE PUBLISHER OF THE Independent Whig. - Thomas Gordon, The Independent Whig, vol. 1 (7th ed. 1743) 
The Independent Whig: or, a Defence of Primitive Christianity, And of Our Ecclesiastical Establishment, against The Exorbitant Claims and Encroachments of Fanatical and Disaffected Clergymen. The Seventh Edition, with Additions and Amendments (London: J. Peele, 1743). Vol. 1.
Part of: The Independent Whig, 4 vols.
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TO THE PUBLISHER OF THE Independent Whig.
I Have been informed, that you are now preparing a Fifth Edition of the Independent Whig. I reflect with much Pleasure on the great and lasting Esteem which these Papers have deservedly gained. Far from being written with the Spirit of Party, far from being ever designed to promote the low and mean Pursuits of private Passion, they have long out-lived the Date of Party-writings: And as the candid Spirit which produced them, was above such ungenerous Contentions, so will they live beyond them. They will live to a Day when the very Names of Parties shall hardly be remembred, when the Feuds and Contests of those Times in which they were produced, shall no longer engage the Attention of Men; when Ambition is laid low; when Divisions are laid aside, and even Defamation is silent. Whilst the Love of Truth and Liberty shall prevail in the World, this Collection shall be preserved as sacred to the Interests of both; as their noble Foundation is eternal Truth and good Sense, as their only End is the Preservation of that common Good which every Man is born to enjoy in Right of his Creation, and which he ought always to enjoy against the exorbitant Claims of superstitious Priests, the vile Arts which they practise to deceive, and the Power which they usurp to oppress.
This then is the Cause of Liberty and Reason, a Cause which itself requires, and whose Friends can wish it no better Advantage than to be seen and tried in open Day. This is most worthy of Conquest and Triumph. It fights to save, and it conquers to deliver. Slavery flies its Approach, and Liberty attends its Victories. This likewise is that Cause which is sure of Success, where the wicked and corrupt Agents of dark Iniquity cannot blind the People with mysterious Delusion, nor put out their Eyes by the Authority of Laws. Against these impudent Pretensions, and unwarrantable Practices, fatally common to all Ages and Nations, where-ever Ambition inspires the Love of Power, or whereever Avarice incites the Lust of Rapine, have the Authors of this Collection appeared with so great Reputation and Success, that I know not which is the clearest Evidence of their Merit, the Number and Distinction of their Friends, or the Outrage of their Enemies.
Indeed the Rage of Nonsense is too feeble to support itself. Even the Cause that gives it Fury, cannot give it Life; it raves, and dies. The most flaming Stupidity that ever appeared in Defiance of common Sense, how much soever it might serve to fire ignorant Multitudes for a present Hour, lost all its Force, and Credit, and Effect, in the next; lost even the Applause of those whose Interests had Service from it. The most elaborate and well-written Piece of Nonsense is but the Being of a Day: If happily timed, it hath its Admirers; when the Season is past, it wants even Readers. The very Memory of it can have no Existence, unless a Work of Sense and Meaning give it Life by taking notice of it, and Posterity read it bound up with those Writings, which it was meant to depress and discredit. What a Secret would it be with Men, that Filmer ever wrote, or that Sacheverel ever preached, if the Honourable Algernon Sidney and Mr. Locke had not answered one, and if the House of Commons had not impeached the other? How rarely do we ever meet with the former, but in the immortal Works of his great Adversaries? And how seldom do we find the other, but in the Account of his Trial?
The Zeal which I have for the Papers contained in those Volumes now under your Care, makes me fond even of some of the most miserable Nonsense that ever was published against them; and though I have reason to believe, that such raving Folly will meet with few Admirers, methinks it ought not to be destitute of Readers. To suppress it, would be an Honour which it very ill deserves. It would thereby share the Fate of the most deserving Writings. This would be treating the most impotent Nonsense as if it was Sense and Integrity. Such Considerations induce me to think, that we ought not to treat with Neglect the doughty Performance of the Bishop of SodorandMann, or the Bull which he published against the Independent Whig. The Bishop is a Gentleman of some Figure; the Nonsense of the Bull is equally conspicuous: In short, it is Dulness episcopally eminent. And though a Person, even of his Character, should not have Credit enough to keep such a Performance alive; yet the Independent Whig may preserve it, and ought to preserve it. The Authors of that useful Book owe this Regard to the Prelate, and, in Return for so much Zeal shewn by him in suppressing their Writings, ought with all possible Care to perpetuate his. It will do him exemplary Justice; it will give Mankind the clearest Proofs of his Wisdom, and of his Integrity, when they shall read and compare what this Prelate desired to burn, and what he recorded to preserve. The Motive which engaged his Zeal against our Authors, the earnest Desire, that their Papers should not be read, could never have a place in their Thoughts, whenever they reflected on him. It was, I dare say, their hearty Desire, that he should always have Readers. So little Reason had this Reverend Person to charge them with Infidelity, since this their Disposition, with relation to himself, shewed that truly Christian Principle strongly implanted in them, of doing as they would be done by, how little soever of that Doctrine appeared in the Actions of their Opposers.
When the Independent Whig came into the Diocese of Mann, the Bishop immediately issued an Act against it, which was conceived in the following Terms, and is properly intituled his BULL against the Independent Whig.