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tian power must have an acknowledged protectorate over the Christian subjects of the porte, or the treaties in their favor are so much waste-paper. Russia knows this, and demands the protectorate of the Christians of her communion. But this, say France and England, will give her too much control over the internal affairs of Turkey. Be it so. Why, then, not compel Turkey, their protégée, to emancipate all her Christiau subjects, of whatever communion, to place them and their religion under the protection of the law? This would supersede the necessity of Russian interference, and take away all pretext she may have for interfering. If they will not do this, they have no right to complain of her for taking upon herself the protection of the Christians of her own communion. The Christians of the Ottoman empire have long enough been the slaves of the insolent and fanatic Turks, and religion, civilization, humanity, demands their emancipation, their elevation to the status of citizens, and their free and full possession of the liberty of worship, and the western powers, if they neglect their duty in this respect, have no right to interfere to prevent Russia from doing it.
It is for the interest of Christendom, of European civilization, and of common humanity, that an end be put to the Mahometan power, and it is a scandal to find Catholic France combining with heretical and pope-hating England to uphold it. Russia is a schismatical power, and no friend to Catholicity; but she is morally and religiously as good as Protestant England, and however we may dislike her political system, she succeeds better in winning the affections of the nations she subjugates than England does in winning the affections of those she professes to assist and for wliom she really pours out her blood and her treasure. The Polish peasant has a far warmer affection for Russia, than the Spanish peasant has for England. It would no doubt be a calamity for Russia to subjugate western Europe, but we defy her to govern it worse than England has governed Ireland and India. The predominance of Russia would no doubt injure the Catholic cause, but not more than England has injured it in Spain and Portugal, and is now injuring it in Sardinia, Sicily, and the whole Italian peninsula; or than France herself has injured it by her league with the Turks against Austria and Spain, and with the Protestants against Catholic Germany, by her Gallicanism, Jansenism, and intidel philosophy, her immoral literature, her Jacobinical revolutions, and by her Italian and German wars and conquests under the republic and the empire. But be all this as it may, Russia is better than Turkey, the Greek schism is far preferable to Mahometanism, and if the western states cannot preserve the balance of power without uniting to uphold the standard of the Arabian impostor, they ought not to preserve it at all. Russia certainly does not favor, and never has favored radicalism or socialism, the two worst enemies the church has to defend herself against, and that is much.
We are far from believing Russia wishes to extend her empire to Constantinople, and we do not believe her present movement was begun with any view to conquest. She wishes, no doubt, to protect, to gain to her cause, if you will, the Christian subjects of the porte, and to supplant the influence of France and England at the court of Constantinople, to prevent them from making the porte a bad neighbor, and the revolutionists from making her their rendezvous, and the point d'appui of their operations against Europe. There is nothing unreasonable in this. The czar is only acting on the defensive, only taking a step which France and England render necessary, to protect himself and his allies. If they choose to make use of Turkey against him and his allies, as they avowedly do, what more natural than that he should seek to thwart them? If he cannot do it otherwise than by taking possession of Turkey, whom have they to blame but themselves? They cannot expect to use Turkey against him, with his acquiescence, and they must compel her to keep the peace, and suppress their demagogie, if they wish himn to refrain from advancing to the South. At present they give him a good excuse for what he is doing, and place themselves in a wrong and in a most foolish position. If Russia does not profit by it at their expense, they may consider themselves happy.
THE FRENCH REPUBLIC.*
(From Brownson's Quarterly Review for July, 1851.)
We always read with interest the eloquent parlimentary speeches of Count de Montalembert, for we always find in them a noble spirit, and principles becoming the Christian and the statesman; but we have read none of them with deeper interest or more pleasure than the one now before us; nor any one which has given us so strong a proof of his practical wisdom, and real independence of character. M. de Montalembert is not the man of a party; he is
Christian and a Frenchman. He himself was known to our public, in 1830, as connected with the Abbé de la Mennais, in the religious and political movement represented to some extent by L'Avenir, and which sought to induce the church to accept and foster the democratic tendencies of the European populations. The movement, under some of its aspects, was noble and praiseworthy, but under others it was injudicious and revolutionary, and calculated to embroil the church with the temporal governments, to the serious detriment of religion. It was therefore disapproved at Rome, and forth with abandoned by M. de Montalembert, and nearly all those who had projected and sustained it, with the exception of the unhappy Abbé de la Mennais himself, who finally for his persistence incurred excommunication from the church.
In the chamber of peers, of which he was an hereditary member, M. de Montalembert, under the monarchy of July, was not an Orleanist nor a legitimist, a republican nor a dynastic oppositionist, but was generally in opposition to the government, with strong sympathies with the European liberal movement. He did not oppose the Orleans dynasty, he did not advocate a republic, but he opposed the government, because it showed itself hostile to religious and civil freedom. His sympathies were with the party struggling for larger liberty, and his parliamentary labors were specially directed to obtaining the freedom of edncation, which was enslaved by the state through the infidel university, established in its main features by the convention. He may be said during this period to have represented in parliament the Catholic party of young France.
* Discours prononcé par M. DE MONTALEMBERT, Représentant du Peuple (Doubs) dans la Discussion du Projet de Loi tendant à ouvrir au Ministre des Finances un Crédit de 1,800,000 Francs, pour Frais de Représentation du Président de la République, Séance du 10 février, 1851.
In February, 1848, came the revolution that overthrew and exiled the Orleans dynasty, and proclaimed the French republic. M. de Montalembert was returned a member of the constituent assembly, or convention summoned to give France a constitution, and reëstablish social and political order. In this assembly he took his stand, not as a republican nor as an anti-republican, not as a legitimist nor as an anti-legitimist, but as the advocate of order and defender of religious liberty. He saw that the first want of France was legal order, and that every attempt to found such order without a religious basis urust prove abortive. Hence the freedom of the church and the establishment of social order became his watchwords; and he proved himself ready to coöperate with any party devoted to the maintenance of order, and able and willing to recognize, as its indispensable conditions, the full freedom of the church and of Catholic education. This position he still maintains. Without any preferences for a republic as such, he seems, now that tlie republican order has been proclaimed, fully disposed to accept it, to give it a fair trial, and a loyal support so long as it is able to maintain social and political order for his country. As he would never have conspired to overthrow the monarchy for the sake of introducing the republic, so he will never conspire to overthrow the republic for the sake of restoring the monarchy, cither in the family of the Bourbons or in that of the Bonapartes. In the present crisis in European, and especially in French affairs, the most pressing question, he holds, lies not between one form of government and another, but between government and no government, between order and anarchy, civilization and barbarism; and any existing government, able to sustain order and provide for the wants of civilized society, ought to be loyally supported, irrespective of the claims or pretensions of particular families or individuals. Governments are instituted for the public good, and power is a sacred trust from God, not a personal right of its depositaries; and whenever these have lost it, it must be suffered to pass into other hands if the public good clearly demand it, for society is paramount to the individual.
We have, ever since we can remember, advocated, and we trust we ever shall advocate, the jus divinum, or government by divine right; for we hold that under the law of nature all men are equal, and that no man, in his own name, has the right to govern another. All dominion of man over man is of the essence of despotism. All power is of God, and no power is legal save as ordained of God; and no man has any right to exercise any authority save as the vicar or delegate of Almighty God, immediately, or mediately, appointed by him to govern. Ministers may be variously appointed according to the respective constitutions of different countries; they may obtain office hereditarily, or by popular election ; but always their ultimate right to govern derives from God, and they hold it only as his delegates. They are, therefore, bound to exercise it according to his will, that is, according to the laws of eternal justice. This is what we mean by the jus divinum, and holding this, we hold that whoso resists government in the discharge of its legal functions resists the ordinance of God, and purchases to himself damnation.
But God authorizes government and invests it with the right to govern for the public good, not for the private good of the governors, and hence power is a trust, and therefore amissible. It may be forfeited, as any other trust, for it may be abused, and it is abused, whenever it is exercised for a private end, in opposition to the public good. It may be lost, also, without the particular fault of its depositaries, by such changes in human affairs as render it impracticable or impossible for thein to continue to exercise it compatibly with the peace and welfare of the public, or so as to secure the ends for which government is instituted. In France, the old public order has, by successive revolutions, been completely broken up, and the French statesman is now free, and even bound, to take that course which is most in accordance with the true interests of his country, without reference to the rights of particular families, deriving from an order which has in fact passed away.
He is free to support the republic, in total forgetfulness, as it were, of the hereditary claims to reign of the Bourbons or of the Bonapartes, and ought to do so, if in the providence of God and the mutations of human things the republic has become the only practicable order, or the best practicable government for his country; for there is a broad difference between hereditary personal rights and hereditary public trusts; be