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jured, by a course which would be acknowledged to be fatal to the affairs of any private individual.
The proper line for a member of the legislature to have pursued, was to have supported the minister in all things necessary for the carrying on of the war, but to have opposed him vigorously in all extravagance for other objects. The more necessary it was not to be parsimonious for one purpose, the more necessary was it to be economical in all others. Instead of which, those, who opposed the extravagance, opposed also the war; while those who supported the war, justified, and endeavoured to profit by, the extravagance.
The restoration of the house of Bourbon terminated these disputes, only to give rise to another series of subjects for debate. The circumstances of the war were such as to throw the trade of the world exclusively into the hands of the English. When the war ceased, those circumstances ceased also; and trade reverted into its legitimate channels, and became more universally diffused. The effects of several obsolete regulations and laws relating to commerce were made to appear in their true light, and all attempts to fetter it were proved to be detrimental, instead of a means of protection. The most lucrative monopolies, however, were in the hands of those who had profited most by the war: they coupled two facts together, and jumped to the conclusion, which, however illogical, is by no means uncommon, of supposing that one was the cause of the other. An attempt, therefore, to unshackle commerce was looked upon as part and parcel of the old anti-war and revolutionary system, and opposed accordingly. On the other hand, the advocates for unrestricted commerce were equally advocates for unrestricted creeds. Since it was the duty of government to afford equal protection to all trades, they rashly concluded that it was equally its duty to confer equal power on the professors of all religions. This was called the Liberal view of public measures; and the opposite, the Illiberal view. Thus has arisen a new bone of contention between the two great factions which divide the political opinions of the whole British dominions.
The doctrine of free-trade in creeds, is a virtual denial of the existence of positive truth in religion. So long as the Papist adhered to the position, that out of the Romish church was no salvation, he at least testified to the fact that there was such a thing as an exclusive church, in which alone salvation, and consequently truth, were to be found. But the moment he admits that a creed diametrically opposed to his own may be true, that instant he throws his own faith into the category of probabilities, and denies it to be the truth-though he may think it more true than any other. So that to pay persons to preach two creeds diametrically opposed to each other, is, in fact, the same, in all religious respects, as to support no creed at all : and into this predicament France has now come.
On the restoration of the house of Bourbon, in 1815, a code of laws was established, according to which Louis bound himself and his successors to rule. In none of the nations descended from the Gothic tribes did an absolute monarchy, in the strictest sense of the term, ever exist. The law, or rather code of laws, called the constitution, was the paramount authority; and any attempt to subvert this, by fraud or by violence, was an usurpation, a high crime against the sovereign authority, whether it were made by the individual who exercised the functions of royalty or by any other party. The value of a popular assembly to a king is, that it is the only means by which he can become acquainted with the interests, feelings, and wishes of his subjects. Secluded, by the circumstances of his education in youth, and by the society to which he is doomed in after life, it is utterly impossible that he should be acquainted with the real condition of the people over whom he rules. A popular assembly, therefore, is invaluable to a king who wishes to govern well, because it affords him the means of acquiring that information which he can gain from no other sources; and it is equally valuable to the people, as giving them the opportunity of ready access to the ear of their sovereign, whenever they have any grievance that demands redress. Instead, however, of kings rejoicing in such institutions, they have invariably considered them in the light of unlawful limitations upon their own irresponsible wills, which they were justified in destroying by every possible means : and all defenders and panegyrists of these popular assemblies have been branded by kings, and by the parasites who surrounded them, as traitors. Thus, in Germany, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, the assemblies of the States, the Parliaments, the Senates, the Cortes, and the Juntas, became, by successive encroachments of the respective kings of those countries, mere machinery for registering their edicts; until the people, writhing under the oppression to which they have been subjected, have made attempts, more or less effectual, to free themselves from the yoke of their tyrants. Similar remarks are applicable to the liberty of the press. The press is the mouth of the public. It is the business of statesmen to listen to it; to oppose its suggestions when wrong, to adopt them when right; to use it as a valuable source of information ; but on no account whatever to stifle it.
The constitution given to France in 1815 was necessarily imperfect. A wise and honest king would have endeavoured to render it more efficacious ; to have thrown upon the people themselves as much as possible of the local government of the provinces, such as the care of the roads, bridges, canals, public buildings, &c. &c., and inferior offices of magistracy, and provincial police. He would have encouraged the freest discussion of public opinions, while private individuals were protected from defamation : and he ought to have emancipated himself from base subserviency to the bishop of Rome, and his agents in all wickedness, the priests. The consequence of his neglecting to make the charter effectual was, that the chamber of deputies refused to cooperate with him in the measures necessary for carrying on the government. Things were arrived at a pass that some change was indispensable, and the king had yet an opportunity of commencing that work which he had so long omitted. Instead of doing this, however, he lost no opportunity of undermining secretly that constitution which he had sworn to preserve; until at length he was given over to commit an act of wickedness, combined with folly, almost without a parallel in history, plainly shewing a judicial blindness from the hand of God.
Much land, which in ancient times had been extorted from the credulity of individuals, and bestowed by them for the support of lazy monks, had been seized upon during the Revolution, and sold for the relief of the exigencies of the state, and therefore called national. Whether this were right or wrong is not here the question. The ninth article of the constitution which Louis had bound himself and his successors to observe is as follows: "All property is inviolable, without excepting that which is called national, as the law admits of no difference between them.” The framers of this article clearly perceived that the priests would endeavour to get back this property for their convents, and obliged the king, on his mounting the throne, to call God to witness that he would not permit them to do so. Nevertheless, Charles X. being a weak and bigoted old man, was persuaded by the priests who surrounded him that there was no salvation for his soul unless this property were given back to them; and when he trembled at the consequences of the acts to which they urged him, they quieted his qualms by reminding him of the higher value of an eternal than of a temporal crown. Accordingly, on the 25th July, 1830, he openly violated the constitution he had sworn to preserve (perjury being a crime which holy church deems very slight where her pecuniary interests are concerned); changed the laws by which the representatives of the people were to be chosen ; and ordered bis troops to destroy the printing-presses of the journals which were unfavourable to his views. The people rose en masse to defend their property and their constitutions; the king ordered his troops to fire upon them; a conflict ensued, in which thousands of lives were lost; the king abandoned his throue in order to preserve his life ;-and thus terminated a dynasty re
markable through a course of many centuries for little except cruelty, selfishness, and vice.
Notwithstanding the continued and successful wars that Napoleon waged, he left the public debt no greater when he abdicated the imperial throne, than when he mounted it under the title of First Consul. During the fifteen years that Louis and Charles reigned they more than quadrupled the national debt, which sum was expended upon their households and favourites. Under the colour of their flag, at least a million and a half of human beings were stolen from the shores of Africa; nearly one third of whom expired under the miseries to which they were exposed in the ships, and the remaining two thirds doomed, with all their posterity, to remediless slavery, without including all the butcheries involved in their capture ; in defiance of repeated warnings and remonstrances, both from the government of this country and from private individuals; and in defiance of their own promises and oaths. Their dethronement is a judicial retribution for the merciless disregard of the ceaseless representations on this subject to them, who, after having been saved from exile themselves, became the wilful, remorseless, and deliberately conniving instruments of inhumanity to so many of their fellow-creatures. They did their utmost to re-establish in all its pristine power the supremacy of the Popish apostasy. Nevertheless, they were preserved until they had dealt a deadly blow to the western extremity of the Mohammedan imposture, as well as aided Russia to amict it on the east: and having fulfilled that destiny, France now comes upon the stage in an entirely new character.
Let it not be supposed that we justify the acts of the people by the prior and superior wickedness of the rulers: we do no such thing : we have only stated facts, in order to furnish the ground-work for the theological interpretation of them. The office of the Christian church was to be the perpetual teacher of king and people. This office the Church of Rome long since has ceased to perform. Acting in violation of Christ's commands herself, and assuming an authority over that temporal power which she was bound to obey, she could not take the mote out of the king's eye, by reason of the beam that was in her own. The duty of the people was to have remonstrated and petitioned their kings through every period of their successive usurpations ; and God would have rewarded their dutiful submission to His delegate. But at length God punished the injustice of those wicked rulers by withdrawing all feeling of reverence for them from the minds of the people. The sins of the fathers, through many generations, were visited upon the children. The warning which the fate of Louis XVI. might have afforded, was lost upon Louis XVIII. and Charles X., and that branch of the house of Bourbon has ceased for ever.
The only possible mean of ruling through popular institutions is by appealing to the judgment and intelligence of the people. This not only ensures a consentaneousness of feeling through every part of the political body, but it preserves the people from abandoning the gift and power of choosing rightly, in exchange for some local, private, or partial interest; and it also preserves the aristocracy from degenerating into mere idlers, by compelling them to study and to understand the various objects which influence the public weal, without which they cannot expect to obtain the suffrages of the electors, and gratify their ambition of directing the affairs of the state. When, however, the king attempts to rule without reference to the interests of his subjects, and corrupts for that purpose the legislative body, the people lose all sympathy with those who ought to be their representatives ; private interest is the sole dominant feeling in all parties ; public principle is annihilated ; and the institutions, originally intended for the protection of the poor, become only a more clumsy machinery by which the oppression of the many is carried on for the benefit of the few.
A new era has commenced in France, under the nominal headship of Philip, differing in many essential particulars from any thing which has ever yet appeared in the history of governments. This headship reigns not * by the grace of God.” Instead of ascending the throne as the successor and descendant of his ancestors, and therefore taking the title of Philip VII., he marks the commencement of a new era, by taking the title of Philip I. Having changed his own title, he abolishes next all the titles of his children, and of the ministers under him, substituting others in their place. He abrogates the national badge and standard of the army, the white flag, and ordains the tricolour for the time to come. Instead of being styled “King of France,”as all his predecessors since the Franks established them. selves in Gaul, except Napoleon, have been, (for the forced oath of Louis XVI. can hardly be considered an exception,) his title is “King of the French," as that of Napoleon was “ Emperor of the French.” Instead of the body of the aristocracy and constituted authorities being consulted, the late king was dethroned, and his successor appointed, by an act of the representatives of the people, without the smallest allusion to the house of peers, which was passed over as if no such body existed. Instead of Christianity being the cement of every part of the social fabric, all sects are to receive salaries from the public treasury ; whereby religion, as a constituent part of the state, has ceased altogether. In fact, the government is much more nearly that of America than that of any European state, except that the office of president is hereditary. As this point is very important the following detail is given :-“ After the chamber adopted the 5th article, which is thus expressed, Every individual professes his