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own will, that is, to make his own will the government, which is the essential principle of despotism. When I hear a man declaiming lustily for liberty, I suspect it is for liberty to debauch my wife, to pick my pocket, or cut my throat.
If you are wise, you will place no confidence in European liberals. You cannot rely on one of their statements. They fear not God, and regard not man. The truth is the last thing in the world they see or choose to tell, and whoever has in these days relied on their published statements has found himself deceived. Witness the case of the Hungarians. Up to the very last moment, the liberal press in Europe and this country teemed with glowing accounts of the successes of the Hungarians, and the defeats of the Russo-Austrian forces, while every man not blinded by his sympathy with the rebels knew that these successes and defeats were pure inventions,
as well as every body knows now that the Russo-Austrian army met with no serious check even once during the whole campaign.
In none of the European states was a revolution called for. Abuses of administration there may have been, but it is well known that the governments were doing their best to correct them ; evils, no doubt, there were, but chiefly of that nature which no government can reach, and which will generally be greater under a democratic government than any other. Catholic I complain of nearly all the European governments, for their denial of the freedom of religion, and their taking into their own hands the business of education, which of right belongs to the Church ; but besides this I am aware of no wellgrounded complaint that could be brought against any of the European governments, and this was no ground of complaint with the liberals. None of them were tyrannica, or showed any disposition to tyrannize over their subjects, and whatever severity they practised was practised against those only who were continually conspiring to overthrow them. The complaints of the liberals were ridiculous. « The government won't keep still and suffer us to destroy it. It is detestably tyrannical. It has no respect for the rights of the people ; it puts down free discussion ; it insults the majesty of reason, and tramples intellect in the dust. It puts out the light of the soul, and involves man in darkness. It will not let us quietly cut its throat, and insists that we shall demean ourselves as good citizens and loyal subjects !" This is the sum and substance of their complaint, as you may gather, if you will, even from the Mie Prigione of Silvio Pellico.
F. But do you not overlook the fact, that all the European governments were antipopular in their constitution ?
The liberals were struggling to introduce popular forms of government as the condition and guaranty of popular liberty. In this I sympathize with them, and regret that the combined forces of the crowned despots have been able to triumph over them.
0. Their triumph is only for a time. The friends of the people, European democrats, are defeated, but not subdued, nor even disheartened. They have not struggled in vain ; their cause lives ; the sacred fire of popular liberty is still cherished, and they will conquer at last.
" Yet, Freedom ! yet, thy banner torn, but flying,
Screams like the thunder-storm against the wind;
Sown deep, even in the bosom of the North ;
So shall a better spring less bitter fruit bring forth.” The people have been awakened, and tyrants will never charm them to sleep again. Henceforth no throne is firm, no crown sits secure. The struggle will never cease till the people obtain their rights.
B. My young friends, I see, do not lack the power to declaim. But lofty words and high-sounding periods cost little expenditure of thought. I am no prophet, and therefore shall not undertake to say what will or will not occur hereafter. I do not, however, think the struggle between society and its enemies is by any means ended. There is no doubt great truth in what you say about the people having been awakened. So large a portion of the European population have been rendered dissatisfied with their condition, — have been made to believe that their sufferings are due to bad government, or to a falsely organized society, and induced to hope amelioration only from popular institutions, — that I do not believe the democratic movement will suddenly subside ; and the youngest of you probably will not live long enough to see social peace restored, and legitimate government at liberty to devote all its energies to the welfare and prosperity of its subjects.
If I, like my young friends, believed that popular liberty and democracy were inseparable, and that it is impossible to have one without the other, I should undoubtedly think and feel very differently, in respect of European liberals, from what I do at present.
But you liberals are too illiberal for me.
You are political bigots, and would compel us all to think as you
do. You will allow of no political salvation out of democracy, I cannot stand that. I nowhere read that Almighty God declares all forms of government, except the democratic, are illegitimate. When he himself framed immediately a civil polity for his chosen people, it was not the democratic. The Jewish polity was, as near as it can be described by comparison with secular governments generally, a federative aristocracy, under the hierarchy, which was monarchical. The Church has never made democracy a dogma of faith, and I have never been able to find in the Holy Scriptures a single passage that gives the preference to the democratic over other forms of government. If I find myself the citizen of a democratic state, I hold myself bound to sustain democracy. I am a republican by habit, association, and by preference for my own country; but, excepting my own country and Switzerland, I know of no country in which the introduction of democratic republicanism would not sacrifice liberty, and prove a curse to the people. I therefore do not regard European liberals as worthy of our sympathy because they are struggling for democracy. That is rather a ground of accusation against them.
It is very easy to call the emperors of Russia and Austria despots and tyrants, to rail at Metternich, and pronounce Haynau a butcher, to call the victims of their just punishment the martyrs of liberty, and to brand as enemies of the people all who will not say as much. Nay, it is not difficult to make the dear people themselves believe so. But it will take much to convince me that Nicholas of Russia is not a better man than Joseph Mazzini, Haynau a better friend of the people than the weak and whimpering Kossuth, or that Prince Metternich has not done more for real liberty and the welfare of the people of Europe, during the last thirty years, than has been done by all your liberals from Hampden to M. Proudhon. I do not expect you to believe me to-day. You are young, and filled with the spirit of liberalism. You have not yet learned that the first lesson in freedom is submission to authority, and the practice of self-denial. There is and can be no freedom for irreligious men, or a godless nation. Never is it the free government that makes a free people ; always is it the free people that makes the free government. You may turn the matter over as you will, to this you must come at last. " If the Son make you free, you shall be free indeed.” If he does not,
, you are slaves in democratic America no less than in despotic Turkey.
ART. V.- Solution de Grands Problèmes, mise à la portée
de tous les Esprits. Par l'Auteur de Platon-Polichinelle. Lyon. 1847. 4 toines. 18mo.
At a period like the one in which we live, when the civil commotions which agitate the nations of the Old World, and the uneasiness which exists amongst the instructed of all classes and creeds in the New, offer to the mind of the Christian philosopher strong indications of a conflict far more important than that of nation against nation, sect against sect, and subjects against their rulers, — when men are so apt to stand firmly in the position they assume, and to pronounce emphatically and to act energetically for the cause into whose scale they throw their influence, - it is extremely necessary for each one to understand clearly the programme, so to speak, by which he is to abide, or whose provisions he is to oppose. The irresolute, the wavering, the inconstant, of both sides, are those who render most difficult a mutually satisfactory understanding. While others find it a difficult task to define what principles such doubtful champions embody, they themselves feel the effects of drowsy carelessness incidental to one who knows not whence he came, or whither he is going.
The author of the celebrated work before us seems to have written especially for these victims of uncertainty, and while, by the brilliancy of his imagination, the rapidity of bis argument, the lucidness of his reasoning, and the earnestness of his conclusions, he interests them in the discussion, he gives proof of so much honesty, so much warmth, so much anxiety for their welfare, that they cannot but admire his sincerity and reciprocate his affection. Less profound than Moehler, less searching than Gioberti, less eloquent than Balmes, he partakes of the genius and solidity of each of these great writers, and is more popular than any of them. He does not exactly engage you in a profound study of the principles he defends, but gives you the quintessence of his own reflections upon them, with such power of illustration, such clearness of views, such brilliancy of wit, such varied and pleasing erudition, as to force you almost to consider as absurd and ridiculous what you thought it hard for him to prove simply false. He does not merely tell you the direction in which you are going, but points out to you the end at which you will arrive, using in the mean time rather your own intellect than his, and adroitly NEW SERIES. VOL. IV. NO. I.
enlisting your good sense and your good nature against yourself. We shall be highly pleased to see an English translation of this admirable work, and we are sure that a first edition of it will be speedily exhausted. In the mean time we recommend it earnestly to all who would possess a strong Catholic statement of principle in regard to matters not strictly connected with the solemn worship of the Church, and to those who wish to place in the hands of their Protestant friends a brief and conclusive answer to the many objections and doubts which a want of any fixed principle is apt to beget.
Our object in this article is, not to review it, but to offer some reflections upon a subject incidentally connected with it, and which daily becomes more and more important, - the relative position of religion and society. Our remarks are intended chiefly for our Catholic brethren, before whom we would place such doctrines of the Church and such passages of her history as may suffice clearly to explain the influence she rightfully claims to exercise on our social relations, and the only conditions on which society can reap the fruits of her heavenly guidance and protection. It is always a more pleasing task for us to illustrate and apply our own principles, than to attack the erroneous systems of those who have not the privilege of the infallible guidance of the Church. In this spirit we enter upon the subject of Religion in Society, the development of which is every day becoming a more important department of our Review.
When the Son of God came down from heaven and was made man, he did not simply assume human flesh as a garment which might screen the effulgent majesty of a Divine visitor, but, intimately uniting himself with humanity, he stood before the world a real and true man in soul, in body, in all save that which alone man received not from God, the guilt of ingratitude and rebellion. The fulness of his Divine nature dwelt in human nature, by means of whose outward form he lived and moved among men, condescending to fulfil various offices which mere human persons fulfil according to their various callings. These offices and callings which we so feebly and imperfectly perform, he in a perfect manner discharged for our encouragement and instruction. Hence it is that his example presents the perfect ideal of a holy priest, a faithful friend, a dutiful son, a kind master, an upright subject, an honest neighbour, a virtuous and useful citizen.
The Church, established by him to continue throughout all