Front Page Titles (by Subject) Number IX.: The Loyalty of Papists never to be trusted by Protestants. Religion and Liberty inevitable Sacrifices to a Popish Revolution. - The Independent Whig, vol. 4 (1747)
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Number IX.: The Loyalty of Papists never to be trusted by Protestants. Religion and Liberty inevitable Sacrifices to a Popish Revolution. - 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 Loyalty of Papists never to be trusted by Protestants. Religion and Liberty inevitable Sacrifices to a Popish Revolution.
IN the latter End of the Year 1639, in the Irish Parliament, the Irish Popish Members, who were many, were extremely forward to shew themselves well affected and zealous Subjects, and concurred unanimously in a Vote for Four Subsidies to the King. In the Middle of the Year 1641, the Irish rebel against the King, they massacre all his Protestant Subjects, and are led and animated in all their brutal Outrages, by these very Papish Members, lately so complaisant, so loyal, and so zealous for the King, now desying his Authority, overturning the Government, and butchering his only true Subjects.
It is remarkable enough, that so able a Man as the Earl of Strafford (he was then only Lord Wentworth, and Lord Deputy, but was afterwards Earl of Strafford, the Name which he is chiefly known by) then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, had, but the Year before, in all his Dispatches from thence flourished, in high Strains, upon the Loyalty and Affection of the native Irish: He even upbraids the Scots, then forced by Oppression into Arms, with the exemplary and peaceable Behaviour of the Irish.
This Representation that great Man partly meant as a Compliment upon his own Management, and, probably, found it well-pleasing at Court, where Popery was too much in Fashion, and the Irish too much caressed for being Papists, especially by the Queen, who governed the Spirit of the King. He too, tho’ a Protestant, was partial to Popery, as a Religion favourable to high Monarchy, such as, it cannot be denied, he was fond of. Yet the discerning Lord Lieutenant is so candid as to warn the King against employing the Earl of Antrim to quell the Troubles in Scotland, as the King was inclined he should; for this Popish Earl was then in great Favour with the King, and even with Archbishop Laud. “I neither hope much (says the sagacious Wentworth) from his Parts, nor from his Power, nor from his Affections.—As he is a Papist, and Grandson to that famous Rebel, the Earl of Tyrone, he is not to be trusted with any Store of Arms which he is now applying for.”
In another Letter to the King, about raising Forces in Ireland against Scotland, “He beseeches his Majesty, not to grant the Earl of Antrim a Troop (which he would surely be a Suitor for) as a Thing which would prove very unpopular to all the English, from his Religion, his Race, his Unfitness for Trust, his interested Views, his evil and traiterous Designs, &c.” Besides, Lord Strafford, in all his Letters, treats him as a very weak, vain Man.
After all this weighty Warning, the King is still favourable to this Popish Earl, talks of his free and noble Spirit, at that Conjuncture, and recommends him to the Lord Lieutenant, as worthy to be trusted and employed. His Majesty, soon after, in a Letter to Strafford, tells him, “I should be glad you could find some way to furnish the Earl of Antrim with Arms, though he be a Roman Catholic; for he may be of Use to me at this Time, to let loose upon the Earl of Argyle.”
antrim, thus encouraged, applied for Six thousand Arms, and even purposed to put the Forces he raised under the Command of his Cousin O Neal. “I am astonished, says Lord Strafford, with his Lordship’s Purpose, Colonel O Neal, understood to be in his Heart and Affections a Traitor! What a Prospect for all us English here, to see Six thousand Men (Irish Papists) armed with our own Weapons (ourselves by that means turned naked) Men led by Tyrone’s Grandchild, the Son of old Randal Mac Donald, in the same Country, formerly the very Heart and Strength of those mighty, long, lasting Rebellions?”
But though the Lord Lieutenant had excellently exposed the Danger of arming Lord Antrim, the misled King orders him to give the Earl all possible Assistance, and even to give him a Commission under the Great Seal, to levy Forces. An Army of Irish Papists were accordingly raised, and officer’d by a savage List of frightful Names, Macs and O’s, all of rebellious Race; all, two Years after, bloody Butchers in the Irish Rebellion, and, even now, all ready to begin it, with a Commission from his Majesty, turned against himself, as well as against his Subjects. At best the Earl of Antrim did no Service to the King; he had other Aims, though he had not Capacity, nor, just then, an Opportunity, to pursue them. He took the first Opportunity, and most barbarously improved it; yet, after the Restoration, he pleaded King Charles the First’s Commission for all he did, and actually got a Pardon from King Charles the Second, I think, upon that Plea.
One thing is extremely remarkable. It appears to be the Opinion of Lord Strafford, that before the Earl of Argyle declared himself, and took the Covenant, his Country was given away by the King to the Earl of Antrim and others.
If King Charles the First, so true a Protestant, was thus perniciously misled and betrayed by Papists; what Wonder that Charles the Second, a real Papist, the more dangerous and guilty as he was a pretended Protestant, a Prince of such loose Principles, and a Libertine in Life, was as fond of Popery as he was of arbitrary Power, a known Foe to Law and Virtue, and Protestants; a known Dissembler, partial to Papists, their constant Friend and Dupe? He was in all their Measures hearty; though he was too lazy and timid, and too much devoted to Voluptuousness, to risk his Ease and Pleasures, and Crown, by openly declaring for the Pope, and introducing Popish Superstition barefaced, both so odious to the English.
His Brother, whose Zeal, like his Blindness, was extreme, tried the mad Experiment, and madly perished in the Trial. He was baffled and deposed; and surely it was worse than Death, to fall from a Throne, to live upon Alms from the Enemy of the English Name.
His pretended Son is a saturnine Bigot, full of the Dreams of his Divine Right, which implies blind Slavery in his Subjects: He is drunk with fell Vengeance against them for the damnable Crimes of Sacrilege and Rebellion, in renouncing him and his Oracle and Prompter, the Pope. What Hope can be conceiv’d of his Off-spring? Neither he nor they dare, if they would, abjure the Pope or arbitrary Power. Without the Pope they may want Bread, and hereditary Right implies a Right to be arbitrary. The Blood they pretend to is but a discouraging Recommendation, yet they have no other.
It must appear gross Mockery, Mockery even to barbarous Highlanders, to employ such bloody Savages, to rob the Property and to confine and murder the Persons of Men, under the crazy Pretence of restoring Liberty. The great Grievance is, that Liberty is too fix’d and flourishing; that it tramples upon Superstition and Tyranny, and must be pull’d down before these can be set up.
By what Law does the Invader pretend to come in, but that he has Right against Law, and to destroy Law? His Intrusion, by all the Steps of Violence and Blood, infers that no Violence can disqualify him, nor could disqualify his pretended Father; that therefore he hath, and his pretended Father had, a Right to rule by Violence, and that no Man in the Three Nations, nor the Three Nations themselves, have any Right to oppose Violence. Concise Reasoning! “All that is in them, all the Lives, all the Property in them, are mine by Right, and I will take it by Force.”
His Auxiliaries from Abroad are as shocking as his Claims at Home, the Power of France, the Curses and Demands of the Pope. France pants for our Destruction, and shows that the sure Way to destroy us, is to enslave us; to render us forlorn and even double Slaves at once to French and Papal Tyranny; nay, Slaves at second Hand to a King of Straw, a Royal Shadow, set up by Rome and the House of Boarbon. What dare he refuse to his Masters and Creators? His own Bigotry, his Hatred of Protestants, his Dread of Liberty, and the Merit of extirpating Heresy, will all excite him to execute his Deputation with Zeal. Religion, Liberty, Trade, all odious to his Masters and to himself, must fall sudden Sacrifices to their joint Policy and Zeal.
What think you, Englishmen, Protestants, and Freemen, of the shocking Scene? For all this is no more than the necessary Effects and natural Operations of Popery and Tyranny. Gratian, the famous Canonist, the great Oracle of the Vatican, maintains, “That a Christian City (or Community) may be totally and lawfully burned for a few Heretics dwelling in it.” This Decision, so positive and bloody, is but agreeable to the universal Spirit and Practice of Popery. Nor can there be such a thorough renouncing of Christ by the strongest Words of Apostasy, as the Butchering of Men and Christians in his Name, and blasphemously urging his Authority.
If the Heresy of a few draws down and warrants this fiery Doom upon a Community, What hath a whole Nation of Heretics to expect? What indeed, but incessant Fires, and Furnaces seven Times heated?
Take Warning, O Britons! when your Government is gone, your Liberty is gone, and your Religion must follow. Foreign Politics, and indefeasible Right, will, must, soon swallow your dear Liberty, and all your Fortunes: Papal Zeal, for ever burning and bloody, must, will, furiously extinguish your Religion, and burn your Persons and Bibles. Remember Queen Mary: Remember the French and Irish Massacres: Remember the Spanish Inquisition, with the unrelenting Racks and Flames there: Remember the swift and inhuman Destruction every-where brought upon Protestants by Popery; and may God give you Understanding in all Things!