« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »
ing to the Genevans; and the very circumscription of that fate, means taken to bring them to com- made every member of it the more pliance, were still more offensive. sensible of his personal weight in its Disturbances and bloodlied were affairs, and of ihe freedoni which he indirectly either promoted or coun- enjoyed. To deprive him of the tenanced, by foine dark intrigues, fatisfaction, arising from such a fituawith a view to make them fenfible tion, would be a wanton exertion of that the only remedy, for those do- the superior firength of the rupubmestic confusions, was to throw lic, which would redound much themselves into the arms of the more to its disgrace than benefit. French. But this attempt was not Stung with rage at a treatment which successful; nor even approved by they did not deserve, the citizens of numbers of the French themselves. Geneva would desert it, and carry They condemned it as manifesting to other countries that industry to an ambition incompatible with thole which alone it owed its flourishing principles of moderation, on which situation during fo many years. true republicans ought to value The mere poffeffion of the place themselves, and which the French itself would prove a poor recomheld forth to Europe as the maxims penfe for the expulsion of its inhaby which they had resolved to con- bitants, which, however indirecily duet themselves. Were Europe efficied, would not be the less real. once convinced that the ancient In the mcan while, they would exfyliem of conquest and encroach- hibit, in the various places of their inent on the territories of its neigh- voluntary banishment, living proofs bours, which had rendered France of the ambition and tyranny of so odious under the monarchy, were France. The nearest of its neighto be continued nnder the republic, bours would see their own destiny the necessity of self-defence would in that of those unhappy fugitives
, gradually unite every country against and learn from thence the obligation it: in which case, notwithstanding they were under, of embracing one the brilliant career of its arms of these two alternatives; either of hitherto, patience and perseverance, submitting to the like treatment, or on the part of the numerous enc- of preparing manfully to resist it. mies that so unjustifable à conduct of those who would be constrained would create, must in the end pre- to adopt this resolution, the firft vail, and both the glory and cha- would be the Swiss, a people noted racier of integrity, at which the for ages on account of their love of French ought equally to aim in liberty, and of their aftonishing their political proceedings, would atchievements in its defence. Such be forfeited..
a people, if united, France would In addition to these motives, for find a formidable enemy: nor was it abstaining from a forced incorpora- indeed to be fuppofed, they would tioni of Genera with France, it was tamely behold the annexation of urged that the inhabitants of that Geneva to France, by compulsory city and its territory, though forming means, nor even by the voluntary bui a imall date, were to jealous of conceilion of its inhabitants. They theit independency, that they would were bourd, in the tenner of these nurer consent to relign it. The cases, to atlift thein, and in the latter
they would hardly permit such an extent, had obtained a highly-deseracquisition to France in so near a ved reputation throughout Europe, neighbourhood, and of fo dangerous by the industry and ingenuity of its a tendency, without seriously inter- inhabitants; and, more than all, by poting to prevent it. This, of the distinguished figure it had maincourle, must be attended with con- tained, and the high spirit it had dissequences of which the ultimate played, in those active and temitine could not be ascertained, but pestuous scenes that were produced which would undoubtedly be pro- by the reformation. It had long ductive of many calamities. been considered as the original seat
Arguments of this nature were of calvinism, and the rival of Rome indiscriminately used by the Ge- itself in matters of religion. Here nevana, the many French individu- the famous founder of that feat lived als that elpouled their cause, and hy and died, after having, by his unthose perions in Switzerland, who conquerable courage, laid the founforefaw the difficulties, wherein the dation of the most resolute allucia, Helvetic body must necessarily be tion of men that ever figured in involved, were the directory to per- modern ages. From the principles fiit in fo unequitable a project.It which he inculcated, arose that reforwas therefore abandoned: but the mation in religion which was grafted iniquitous ambition that had prompt- on republican maxims. Hence it ed it itill remaining ungratihed, was immediately adopted by all that tought a revenge for its dilappoint- aspired at freedom. It filled France ment, in the hard usage of the le. with the most intrepid afferters of veral agents deputed from Geneva civil as well as religious rights. It to Paris, whom it ignominiously ex- spread into the low countries, where pelled from that city, on no other it erected the republic of Holland. pretence, than that they did not It made its way into England and come with those friendly views that Scotland, where it gradually anima, became the state which sent them. ted the inquisitive and daring spirits But the Genevans, undiscouraged of the last century in this country by this treatment, persevered unre- to thole researches into the nature mittingly in the determination to re- of government, and to thosc exermain a leparate state, and continued tions in the cause of national free, to labour with the more vigour in dom, which, had not fanaticism inimproving the government they had tervened, would probably have tereliablished, when they found them- minated fo happily for all partics. selves countenanced by the moderate Geneva, during the fixteenth and party in France, which, happily for seventeenth centuries, had been the them, was the most numerous. central point of communication be
The motives that were thought to tween the principal actors of this have aciuated the directory in a high spirited party. Beza, a far transaction, from which they reaped greater character than Calvin, no - finally fo little honour, were the de- less inflexible, but much less auftere, fre to signalize themselves by the added lustre and importance to this acquisition of a state, which, how- place, by his learning and many over inconfiderable in strength and other respectable qualities. He con
tinued tinued like him the oracle of his ments of knowledge and polite party, and was visited and consulted learning, that cor:duce to the utility by all the great champions it pro- and glory of a nation. duced, both in arms and literature, Defirous of giving this revival of All these circumstances conferred a the encouragements, due to litera. fulendour upon Geneva, that en- ture, all the folemnity of which it titled it to great distinction. The was susceptible, the directory apfirst kings and fates in Europe, of pointed the fourth of April, 1996, the protestant persuasion, treated it for a public meeting of all the meinunanimousy with every mark of re- bers of the national institute, esiaspect, and it continued on this ho- blished the preceding year, at the nourable footing even during the æra of the new conltitution. The reign of Lewis the fourteenth, who meeting was held in the largest ball sirove several times in vain to subdue of the ancient palace of the Louvre. the spirit with which it resisted his All the literati, and all the men of attempts to influence its govern- genius and reputation in the polite ment. The annexation of lo cele- and liberal arts attended. The brated a state to the French empire rectory, the couneils, and all persons appeared, to the directory, an object in the principal departments of goworthy of their attention, and they vernment were present, together were seriously chagrined at their with the foreign ministers, and as failure,
many, fpectators as the ball could A compensation for their disap- contain. The purpose of the meetpointment offered itself, about the ing was formally announced, in a same time, in a province, wherein fpeech made by the president of the they might claim a better right to directory. France, he faid, deexercise their sway, and from which livered from past miseries, had now both they and their countrymen resolved to revive those arts, through would derive more honour and pro- the cultivation of which the nation fit. This was the province of f¢i had risen to so high a degree of re. ence and literature, that had re- putation, and commanded the remained neglected during the confu- spect of all Europe. It was the deLions attending the antecedent peri- termination of government, to pay ods of the revolution. The ne- them all the attention, 'and give cellity of reviving the spirit of ge- them all the encouragement and renius, that had lain a while dormant, compenfe which they could poffibly or had only been bufied in the arts of claim from a free and enlightened destruction, roused at once the at. people. The president of the natention of government, and of the tional institute, citizen Dufaulx, rewhole nation. The great numbers plied, in the name of his brethren, of literary men in France, exerted that they were all equally animated themselves, on this occafion, with the with the love of freedom; of knowmost commendable zeal. Setting ledge, and of arts; that they were alide all partialities, on religious and firmly attached to the republic from political accounts, they cordially principle, and the consciousness that united in prosecuting the plan pro- in the bofom of freedom all those posed by the ruling powers, for a re- great fentiments are generated and gular cultivation of all those departe nurtured, that dignify human nature,
and constitute the true grandeur of the most boundless restraint: nations,
these latter had been experimentally The folemnity of this day, and found the staunchest friends to liberthe hopes it inspired, that a renewal ty, and the former its most inveterate was at hand of the arts and occupa- foes, it was natural to conclude, tions of peace, filled the public with that the ecclefiaftics, adhering to the the highest satisfaction. Difcerning church of Rome, who were the people observed, on this occasion, spiritual guides of these, were also that the liberty of thinking and the instigators of this rancour, publishing, so carefully fettered un- Hence the strictness and severity der the former government, was an with which they were constantly advantage of much more conse- watched. Hence too the averleners quence than the generality seemed of the constituted authorities, to perto perceive. Exclusively of those mit any species of authority to reapprehensions for personal safety, fide in any ecclefiaftical body, left, which were now removed,
as the experience of all times had rations would flow in equal propor- invariably thewn, it should gradually tion to persons of all religious per- obtain an influence over the minds fuafions, and neither dignity nor of men incompatible with the rights income would be appropriated to of government. any particular seat. This would at The spirit that brought about the once destroy all other motives, in the revolution was in direct opposition investigation of truth, than that of to those claims of implicit belief, on arriving at a discovery. While the which all spiritual authority is champions of only one fect were founded. While the monarchy consalaried for maintaining its doctrines, tinued part of the conftitution, findand all others precluded from op- ing the priesthood, either from interpofing them, by the severelt penal- eft or higotry, its most faithful and ties, with what face could any man firmest supporters, it repaid their afpretend to affert their rectitude? listance with its own. It was this It was solely by freedom of disqui- alliance, between the church and Sition that truth was discoverable; the crown, that finally ruined both; and the most valuable consequence and induced their destroyers to conof the rerolution was the abroga- lider them as inimical, from their tion of that exclufive privilege, very ellence, to political liberty; which ignorance and imbécility had and inadmillible, on this account, conferred upon the clergy of the into any system founded on that established church, that of silencing, principle. After the king's death, without any other argument than the clurgy underwent the leverest threats and terror, all those who perfecution, 'thole only excepted dared to diffent from their opinions. who had taken the oaths of fidelity
The fac, at this period, was, that to the republic. During the stormy though a prodigious mass of the and tyrannical government of RoberFrench nation Itill remained en- spierre, the civil estalishment of Laved to the Romih tenets, multi- the Gallican church was formally tudes in all classes had imbibed a annulled, and even those ecclelipropenfity to think and speak on astics, who adhered to the republican Lubjects relating to religion, with government, were deprived of the
regular maintenance hitherto al- some of those bishops, who were lowed them.
called conftitutional, from their hav, After the fall of the tyrant, the ing taken the civic oaths enjoined convention decreed a variety of by the conflituent assembly, fo ligled mitigations in the laws that had from having traned the first confiibeen enacted against the nonjuring tution, was held in the beginning of clergy. It proclaimed the fulleit 1745, in order to consult how to reliberty of worjhip, and required no fiore order and regularity in the other than a simple declaration of worship and difcipline of the church, submission to the laws, from tho'c and to replace it on a footing of ftaclergymen who exercised their pre. bility, after the confusions that had fessional functions, together with an fo violently difturbed its peace. acknowledgment of the sovereignty. They made a declaration, at the of the people. But those who sub: same time, which was bighly acfcribed to these conditions, together ceptable to the friends of harmony with their followers, were branded, and universal toleration in religious by the nanjuring clergy and their matters. They frankly and exadherents, as guilty of apoliacy. plicitly avowed their assent to the Much of that spiritual antipathyi separation of the church from the took place between those diffenting state, acknowledging it to be the parties, which has fo long proved most effectual means of eradicating the disgrace and the bane of re- uhole corruptions and scandalous Jigion. But the ruling powers, practices that had been produced faithful to their determination of im, by their union, and so deplorably partiality, paid no attention to those tainted that purity of manners, and diffentions; and, as they had for- integrity of life, which ought to acmally declared, that no particular corupany the ecclefiaftical profession. mode of worhip should be main, Religion, they said, when unconnecttained at the public expence, nor be ed with politics, would relume that protected exclusively to any other, influence over mankind, whicharites they went no farther than to pre- from innocence and virtue. Thegreat vent thole animofities from breaking and the powerful would respect it out to the disturbance of the peace of the more for demanding from them the community; and to this end en- only the protection of the state in acted penalties to punish and re- return for its obedience and conpress them,
formity to the laws of the land. As that part of the French clergy These were declarations very unand nation, which openly profeflied common in the ecclefiaftical aslemallegiance to government, by con- blies of modern ages. But numbers forming to its ordinances, and ma- of the most zealous friends to king the declarations prescribed, Christianity, applauded them with could not fail of being viewed with fervent fincerity, as tending to dia favourable eye, it ventured to rest religion of those appendages, take some steps which were thought which made it doubtful whether its hazardous, in the opinion of those allerters and followers were infiuwho drcaded the jealouly they enced by conviction, or by interest; mnight occafion. A meeting of and to bring it back to the princi