Front Page Titles (by Subject) Number VI.: The Views of the Pretender not to be disguised. His Defence an Insult. - The Independent Whig, vol. 4 (1747)
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Number VI.: The Views of the Pretender not to be disguised. His Defence an Insult. - Thomas Gordon, The Independent Whig, vol. 4 (1747) 
The Independent Whig. Being a Collection of Papers All written, some of them published During the Late Rebellion (London: J. Peele, 1747). Vol. 4.
Part of: The Independent Whig, 4 vols.
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The Views of the Pretender not to be disguised. His Defence an Insult.
THE young Pretender is not the less an Invader for his coming accompanied with so few Persons. If all that are now about him had come from Abroad with him, he would not have been more an Usurper, or they greater Enemies. The Natives are always the greatest Enemies to their Country, when they are Enemies. The Turks are not fiercer Enemies to Christians, than the Popish Irish and the Popish Highlanders are to English Protestants. If they have, besides, long smarted as Fugitives, Traitors, and banished Outlaws, do they not return with heightened Rage, with Vengeance still more direful and bloody? Or, though they have never been Abroad, nor felt the Punishment and Ignominy of Traitors; yet, if they have nourished continual Rancour against the Government, been continually bent upon its Overthrow, and long sought its Ruin, are they not habitual and ardent Foes to all that love and support it? Can any Croud of Intruders from Abroad be conceived more fierce or implacable? Could a Herd of invading Tartars have proved more eager Thieves, more merciless Butchers and Plunderers, than the wild Clans following the Young Pretender? There is one Good resulting from all this shocking Evil; namely, that it is so shocking, and that by it he gives us a Sample of his Government, and of his Notions of Government. This is so glaring, that they who are not alarmed by it, deserve the sharpest Whips, and the heaviest Chains, without Redemption or End.
Does he talk of a Free Parliament? Mockery and Insult! Never was a more Free Parliament than ours, or so much Property in any Parliament. There are several single Members in either House, able to buy every Follower he has, with all their Chiefs. I could name to him the Lady of one Member, who has more Wealth upon her Toilet than would cloathe his Army, much better than they now are, after all their boundless Plunder.
WhatEnglish County, or even what small Borough, would own him, or his Writ, or chuse a Man fit for his Purpose? He can have no Prospect of any Parliament, but a Parliament of Highland-Robbers, or Irish Rapperees, at best such as they shall choose and admit. What Parliament can he possibly have, but a Parliament like his Army, composed of Indigents, Outlaws, and Savages? What other Parliament would serve his Turn? He cannot but see the Dread and Antipathy of the Nation, flaming fiercely from every Corner of it against him: Yet he has the Modesty and Consistency to talk of a new Parliament. The whole Nation are his Enemies, except some unnatural Desperadoes, in it; nor can he ever hope for any Parliament but a Parliament of Desperadoes, such as the Nation will never choose. Does he mean to have a Free Parliament chosen by Force? This was the Scheme of his pretended Grandfather; who, like a true Tyrant, robbed the Electors of their Charters, and filled them with Creatures of his own: But even his own Creatures, abhorring his Religion and his Tyranny, abandoned the Bigot and the Tyrant. Is better to be hoped from this proscribed Invader?
Parliaments, he knows, sound charmingly to English Ears; and therefore tries with that Sound to charm Englishmen: But, whilst they have the Thing itself, they will not be mocked with the Grimace, and mere Sound.
He comes from Rome, to protect the English Church; from France, to defend English Liberty; a Papist, to protect Protestants. Can there be greater or more insulting Drollery? We enjoy more Liberty than any, than all, the Nations of the Earth ever enjoy’d, now or heretofore. We enjoy Religion in higher Perfection than ever, because every Man enjoys his own Religion. The Church is more secure than ever, because her Sons do not disgrace her by seeking to persecute Dissenters, nor endanger her by the false factious Cry of her Danger. His Majesty protects Property, and defends the Laws; his Subjects love and trust him. Never were there known such ardent, such active Proofs of popular Confidence in a Prince.
Here is a System of national Felicity, a System unparallel’d thoughout the World! A Change from this System implies a Fall to final Misery and Destruction. The Bait of a new Parliament is an old Snare, the Cant of a Pretender. His Religion and Principles (Popish and Arbitrary) are our Dread and Abomination: He is a Stranger in his Person; his Counsellors and Exiles are starving and desperate Outlaws; his Measures are barbarous; his Soldiers are Savages. If he regarded Parliaments, he would have staid till the Parliament had sent for him. He has intruded against the Voice of Parliament, and of the Nation, the loud and repeated Voice of both. He tramples upon Law, he plunders Property, he imprisons and executes Men, he commits universal Spoil, yet talks of Right; he profanes the Name of Authority, and jests with that of Parliament. Did his pretended Grandfather love Parliaments? Would he be advised by Parliaments? Or did he keep his Oaths to Parliaments?
His very Claim, the Claim of Descent, is a Defiance of Parliament, and Law, and Oaths. If the Parliament can exclude one King, and choose another, then is his Claim by Blood a Bawble; nay, ’tis Treason against the Constitution. But, if that Claim prevail, then there is an End of Parliaments, and a Man may destroy a Nation, because he is called, or calls himself, King of it, or because his Ancestors, nay, because his pretended Ancestors, were Kings of it. If no Disqualification can disable him, then a Person unfit for the lowest Office in Life is fit for the highest; one that is dumb may utter Laws; a deaf Man may listen to Counsel, and hear Petitions; a frantic Enthusiast may dictate in Religion; and an Idiot, or, which is worse, a wilful and perjured Tyrant, may govern the State.
Such is his latent Claim; it must be such; and he dare neither give it up, nor explicitly assert it. The Parliament, many, all Parliaments have settled the Succession, as it is now settled; forced to do so by the Perfidy, the Bigotry, the Frenzy and Tyranny of his pretended Grandfather. Yet he mocks those that will be mocked, with an Appeal to Parliament. He does not, he dares not describe what sort of Parliament he means, how chosen, and how principled; neither need he describe it; we can guess his Meaning: He must either have no Parliament, or one worse than none. In the Members, a desperate Fortune, and an implacable Spirit, will be the first Qualification; blind Bigotry, the next; and an abandoned Submission to his Will, the last and greatest, recommended by the other two.
So that, whether he should have such a Parliament, or no Parliament, there will be an End of genuine Parliaments. And then—what follows? Ask him, and he will not tell you: But I will, and all Men may guess; even whatever he pleases, final Bondage, and the Inquisition; Monks and Fraud triumphant, Conscience oppress’d, the Bible banish’d, Popery and Flames in Fashion, and Protestants burned, or their Bodies secured at the Expence of their Faith, and their Souls. Here is a Catalogue of Woes, dreadful ones, yet not all. Behold them, Britons, abhor them, and prevent them.
A PopishGovernment, and a Protestant Parliament, are a Contradiction: They are Fire and Water to each other. A Popish Parliament, in a Protestant Country, is equally impossible. Will he declare himself a Protestant? He dares not. Nor shall we believe him, if he do. The most furious Papists are his keenest Emissaries, the most active to poison and pervert Protestants: The grossest Papists, almost Savages, are armed for him, and for our Destruction.
Are these Tokens of his being a Protestant, or inclined to be? His pretended Grandfather long feigned himself a Protestant: His pretended Grand Uncle carried on the Fraud to his Death. Both of them continually nurtur’d Popery, and betray’d the Protestants; one of them openly attempted their Destruction.
We have already a Protestant King, one of our own seeking and approving, never suspected of Popery, or of any Fraud, or of any Equivocation; his Progeny all Protestants by Principle and Education: Shall we risk a desperate Change, because the young Pretender talks civilly, and makes Promises? Are not all his Actions lawless, most of them barbarous? And is Success likely to mend such a wild lawless Adventurer? He labours to be Master by Violence. What he gains by Violence, he must keep by Violence; and can never be safe, till all Men be undone, till Will determine Law, and the Sword decide Property.
Such is thy threatened Fate, O England! Rouse, and extirpate the Parricides that threaten it. The Spirit of the Nation hath loudly displayed itself, and gloriously from Sea to Sea, with noble Ardor and Disdain, against a wanton Intruder, against Savage Traitors, and a Rebellion unprovoked. What remains but to nourish and pursue that glorious Spirit? The Alternative is short, To save all, or to lose all, To destroy, or be destroyed.
In my next, I shall illustrate and confirm all that I have here advanced, by an Example out of the History of England.