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not love her, and they despise her constitution. She represents an order of things which has had its day. The doininant element in the English order is aristocracy, and it is against aristocracy far more than against monarchy that our age is at war.
Even in England herself there is a war raging against the aristocracy, and there are indubitable signs that it will ultimately have to give way before the accumulating forces of the democracy. The imperialism of France is daily acquiring popularity even with the English, and commands far more sympathy throughout the civilized world than British constitutionalism or parliamentarianism. Nothing, then, can be more unpopular, or more opposed to the tendencies of our age, than the attempt to make it copied by a foreign nation. We respect, perhaps we share, the aristocratic predilections of the noble author, but we should deem it a most egregious blunder, to make them, either in France or in our own country, the basis of the slightest political action. We cherish them as an heirloom transmitted from an age that has gone, never to return. No restorations are successful, and all imitations in politics are bad; but of all imitations, that of the British constitution has, in our times, the least chance of being successful. He who proposes it by that very fact throws distrust on his cause, and can hardly escape rendering himself odious to all, except the few who wear their faces on the back side of their heads.
The illustrious author seems to us, in this holding up the English constitution in contrast with the imperial, to abandon the policy he has hitherto pursued. As an hereditary peer of France, and the son, we believe, of an émigré, his natural position was that of an adherent of the elder Bourbons; but he accepted without approving, the monarchy of July, and sought to make the best of it. A constitutional monarchist in principle, he accepted the republic of 1848, and served it with the loyalty native to his heart
. Wishing to retain the republic, not because he preferred it, but because it was instituted, and because he was strongly opposed to socialism and revolutionism, he yet supported the coup d'état of December 2d, 1851, and urged his friends to sustain Louis Napoleon as the chief of the state. Thus far his rule had been not to quarrel with the nation, but to accept the order it willed and to make the best of it, to abandon the past and march with the future. Why should he not do so now? To break from the empire, or to attempt to convert it into British constitutionalisin is, it seems to us, to adopt a
different rule of action, and instead of going with the nation, to place himself against it. The church is wiser than he, and, without having willed the empire, she accepts and respects it as the will of the French nation, leaving it to time and events to amend what in it may be faulty.
We have said that we did not like the imperial constitution. It does not, in our judgment, give sufficient part to the nation in the management of its own affairs, and intrusts too much to the will of the emperor. But we do not forget that a dictatorship, at the time it was formed, was in some measure necessary to save France from the horrors of civil war, if not from the greater horrors of socialism We observe, too, that the imperial constitution provides for its own amendment, and is susceptible of a development in a liberal sense. As things settle down, as the revolutionary spirit dies out, and the dictatorship ceases to be necessary, there are many indications that the emperor is himself disposed to favor such development, nay, that he contemplates
He has said the rock on which his uncle split, was in suffering the government to incline too much to absolutism, and his writings indicate that he himself is opposed to despotism. He has proved himself the strongest, perhaps the wisest, man in France, if not in Europe. May not more be done for political liberty in France, by accepting his leadership, and coöperating with him, than by separating from him, or setting up an independent standard? He is not merely the legal, but he is the real sovereign of France, the man who best understands her sentiments and wishes, and most fully sympathizes with them; no man living seems to us more capable of carrying into effect what he conceives to be necessary. Is he not in fact, then, not only the emperor, but the real political leader of Frenchmen? If so, it is under his drapeau they should consent to march.
We have said that the three existing elements of French society are imperialism, democracy, and Catholicity. The whole future of France is contained in these three elements, and the wisdom of the statesman consists in skilfully harmonizing them. The imperial element is provided for, and the only fear that any one need have, is in regard to the Catholic and democratic elements. Count Montalembert, if we understand him, fears that these have not sufficient guaranties. We share his fear. But we do not think that these guaranties would be strengthened by any efforts to introduce the aristocratic element in imitation of England, or by a
parliamentary limitation of imperialism. The additional guaranties needed, it seems to us, should be sought in the development of the Catholic element.
There is always danger in seeking guaranties for the freedom of the church in politics, for we are, in attempting it, liable to lose sight of religion, and to become engrossed in efforts to organize the state. No political guaranties will secure the freedom of the church, where the state or the great body of the nation are hostile to her existence. No government is really more hostile to the church than the parliamentary government of England, and the English people are even more anti-Catholic than the English parliament. Even the people of this country find it exceedingly hard to be faithful to the freedom of religion recognized as a fundamental principle of our institutions. Where the people are truly Catholic, popular forms of government are the most favorable to religious freedom; but where the popular sentiment is decidedly hostile to it, they afford the greatest facilities for extinguishing it. It is not in politics that we must seek guaranties for the freedom of the church, but in the church that we must seek our guaranties of political and civil freedom. What, it seems to us, our friends in France who wish more political freedom, whether by tempering the imperial element or the democratic, should make the basis of their operations, is Catholicity. They should, after making their protest, as they have done against absolutism, labor to bring France up to the highest toned Catholicity, to make her thoronghly Catholic in the Roman apostolic sense. Then they need fear nothing either for political or religious liberty.
We are afraid that our friends in France do not sufficiently appreciate the Catholic element as a guaranty against absolutism. With the best devised political constitutions, with the most nicely adjusted scheme of checks and balances, and with the most explicit recognition of the freedom of the spiritual order, there is no security for any species of liberty without religion. The temporal is never safe unless founded on a spiritual basis, and sustained by the lively faith of the people. No human contrivance is worth any thing without religion. Temporal interests, self-interests, hower pitted one against another, will never suffice even for themselves. It is, after all, to the church that we must look, and it is under the safeguard of religion we must place even our temporal interests, if we would have them secure. Our friends know this as well as we do, but we fear that they are partially forgetting it. This essay on the political prospects of England has alarmed us, and forced us to ask ourselves several unpleasant questions. When we see a Catholic, one whom we have long honored as a Catholic leader, excusing and almost praising the Anglican establishment, because he happens to find it an element in a political constitution which he admires, we fear that he is for the moment far more absorbed in the political than in the Catholic question. We cannot doubt the sincerity or the firmness of his faith, but we tremble, lest he forget to subordinate his politics to his religion, and suffer his love for constitutionalisın to carry him where it would be dangerous for others to attempt to follow him. He overrates the Anglican establishment, and is, in our judgment, quite mistaken in supposing that it tends to keep alive the sense of religion in the English people. It is a part of England's respectability, and helps to sustain it; but it does less for religion than the various dissenting sects. Many men of truly religious aspirations have been found in her communion, we concede, but they owe nothing to that communion, and are obliged to leave it in order to follow up those aspirations. Gioberti was a sincere and fervent Catholic, and one of the greatest men of modern times, but his Italian patriotism and love of constitutionalism, at first cherished for the sake of religion, led him all but to renounce his faith. Poor La Mennais, anxious to relieve Catholicity of its apparent alliance with the despotic courts of Europe, and to ally it with the popular sentiment of the age, ran into heresy, and died a rebel to the church of God. These instances admonish us to be on our guard. We want the freedom of the church, not her alliance with any political order. Here we labor not to form an alliance of Catholicity with democracy ; what we labor to do is, to show that the American institutions accord in principle with Catholic teaching, and that we may be good Catholics and loyal Americans, and loyal Americans without ceasing to be Catholics. We have shown that here many of the obstacles to the growth of Catholic civilization that have existed in the Old World, have been removed, but we have never dreamed of deriving aid to our religion from the demo cratic sentiment of the country.
RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN FRANCE.*
(From Brownson's Quarterly Review for July, 1857.]
In criticising M. Montalembert's essay on The Political Future of England, we suffered ourselves to be betrayed into some remarks which were understood in a sense un favorable to M. Montalembert and his friends, and favorable to the emperor and the present imperial government of France. Several of the imperialist journals, among which we notice the Revue Contemporaine and Le Constitutionnel, seized with avidity upon our remarks and used them with some effect against the author of the essay and the friends of constitutional government. We owe it to ourselves and to our friends in France to say that our remarks were never intended to have the application, or rather, misapplication that has been made of them. We wrote with the impression that our distrust of the emperor of the French, and our devotion to free institutions, had been so often expressed and were so well known, that we were in no danger of having our meaning or our purpose misapprehended. But in view of the inisapplication and perversion which has been made of our remarks by the imperialists, we assure M. Montalembert and his friends, whose organ is the Correspondant, that we regret that they were not differently worded or at least more guarded, for nothing was further from our intention than to embarrass the defenders of constitutional freedom or to please the imperialists.
Accustomed in our own country to a free press, free discussion, and full publicity, it did not, when we were writing, occur to us that publicity is restricted in France, that the French press enjoys only a one-sided freedom, a freedom of the Jansenistic sort, and therefore that our friends would not be at liberty to correct publicly any errors of fact or opinion into which we might fall to their prejudice, or any misapplication or perversion of our remarks that might be made by the imperialist press. Our forgetfulness on this point was not unnatural indeed, but it was hardly ex
* Des Appels comme d'Abus et des Articles Organiques du Concordat. Par le COMTE DE MONTALEMBERT. Paris : Le Correspondant, April, 1857.