« EelmineJätka »
over the depressed and divided condition of the Church which he had done so much to restore from its ruins; whilst it is not a little instructive to find him attribute all these evils to the spread of the ultramontane cabal, “Cabale,' as he calls it, 'nombreuse, pleine d'âpreté et de violence, qui s'est établie à Rome et qui a un grand nombre d'associés residant en France et en Italie.'* Such words may seem strong, but in his long life he had seen enough to justify their use. Who can say how far even the overthrow of the throne of Louis Philippe was not, in a great measure, to be traced to the intrigues of that ultra section? We cannot forget the strange sight exhibited by so many of the high French ecclesiastics at that troubled time. Amongst the turbulent utterances of these friends of revolution, no voice was clearer in its note than that of the then Archbishop of Lyons (De Bonald), himself intimately connected with the Jesuits, who promised to the clergy, as the result of the Revolution, the liberty for which they had so often thirsted when they contemplated its enjoyment by their North American brethren. Surely burning words may be excused from one who had seen the acting of the Cabal' under so many phases. And how sadly are all his auguries of evil being even now fulfilled. The men of France--and especially the thinking men who ultimately set the general tone of opinion—are, as a rule, severed from, if not hostile to the Church. If any one doubts this, let him go, as we have gone, in the early Sunday morning to the Churches of La Madeleine or St. Roch in Paris, and stay there till the midday mass, and note the proportion between the men and the women who have attended the various services. With all our own dangers—and we have shown repeatedly that we are not disposed to undervalue them—the difference in this respect between the congregations in the great Parisian churches we have named and those which assemble every Sunday morning in St. James's and St. George's, London, is most marked. Everywhere are tokens of the same fact. The whole tone of French literature exhibits a like divorce between literature and religion. As a rule, all that is fresh, vigorous, and powerful is unchristian; that which professes to be religious is trashy, meretricious, and effeminate. Here again the difference between the two countries is remarkable. There is, as we sadly know, sweeping over us too a wave of unbelief; the vial poured upon the air has tainted our own atmosphere; we have philosophers who sneer and even
ave Eveline of the presente
* "Coup d'ail sur la Constitution de la Religion Catholique, et sur l'état présent de cette Religion dans notre France,' p. 5.
is carriommunithat Papan it
divines who cavil at eternal truths. But, with all this, there never was a time in our literary history when the best and strongest writers were more honestly pervaded by an outspoken faith in the Christian revelation. Only let any one compare the answers which have been drawn forth in the two countries by the recent assaults upon the Faith, and he will be able to estimate the marvellous difference which exists between them.
What then is to be the future of a Church so circumstanced ? More and more alienated from all the commanding thought of the nation; more and more leaning first upon the immediate physical support of the Imperial Government (which, however, is now markedly averse to her ultramontane tendencies), and secondly upon Rome, which is carrying on daily her favourite work of denationalising the vassal communion; becoming more and more a mere parasite of the Papacy—that Papacy itself to all appearance in the spasms which, whilst they lend it for the moment a preternatural and shocking strength, show like the surest tokens and the most immediate forerunner of a coming dissolution—what, we ask, is to be its end? Will it once again be swept away by some terrible storm of unbelief? Are all these evil symptoms signs of the approach of that day of which it is written, When the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth ?' Or is there yet before it the possibility of a mighty reaction? May it be, as we have hinted above, that Imperialism will yet restore the nationality of this once noble Church? If Dr. Wordsworth be right, Imperialism owes to it this retribution. He traces much of the ultra-Roinan tendency of the present Gallican Communion to'the inquisitorial interference of the State in religious matters, such as the erection of churches, which are dealt with in the same way as hôtels de ville, bridges, prisons, and railway-stations. ..... This patronage of the Government, which dates from the days of the Organic Articles and Laws of 1802, has estranged the affections of the Church from the Government, and has placed the Church in an extra-national and anti-national attitude. It has made it anti-Gallican and ultramontane. It has produced a result which was never anticipated by Napoleon I., who framed the Organic Articles, nor by Louis Philippe, whose policy in Church matters was in accordance with their spirit. It has given a predominant influence to the Papacy over the French Church. It has done more for the extension and triumph of Ultramontanism than could have been effected by Hildebrand himself.'* There are not lacking signs which seem to show that amongst the deep purposes revolving in the mind of the present Emperor
have been some which would indeed redress this wrong by reanimating the national character of the Gallican Communion. But we anxiously ask, Can even he effect this mighty change? Can he roll back the wrongs of years ? Can he arouse the French clergy to see that such a course would indeed secure, not as they now speak, their servitudes,' but their truest liberties? Can it be that future Bossuets shall arise within her, not as now to be frowned coldly down or persecuted even to the death, but to form, and guide, and enlighten the mind of her own people; to reform her developments and abuses; to give back, as he would fain have done, the communion in both kinds to the worshipper, and a reasonable Faith to the inquirer; and to stretch out the hand of welcome to every effort for the re-union of Christendom? Is there such a day in store for her? God grant that it may be so, and that we may share the benefit: that with the two Reformed Churches, linked in loving alliance, France and England, the great twin arbiters of the world's destinies, may contend together against the Common Enemy, and maintain the Common Truth.
One conclusion, where so much is doubtful, seems, however, inevitable, and it is this: that those amongst ourselves who are lured away from their fathers' Church by the boasted profession that they will thus leave discord for unity are the victims of the very shallowest of impositions. The differences which exist within the English Church, and which all wise and good men will ever seek to reduce in their proportions and to clear of their bitterness, are the expression of differences in the mind of man, and must be found wherever all liberty of thought is not absolutely stamped out by the foot of arrogant assumption. The deep policy of Rome may throw around these differences such a veil of authority, and such a halo of devotion, that they seem to have disappeared; but they are just as certainly present beneath the veil, and the stumbling steps of him who enters ignorantly into the folds of that mist will soon strike heavily against them. He who quits the liberty of the English communion in order to find in that of Rome a perfect and unquestioning rest for his weary spirit will, unless he is essentially servile in his nature, meet undoubtedly with the heaviest disappointment. He will find that the concealed acting of old perplexities is more entangling than ever was their avowed presence, and that he has but increased the difficulties of believing when he has substituted for the Scriptures and the Creeds of the Universal Church the voice of an ultramontane director, requiring him to view with equal faith the impostures of La Salette and the Miracles of Christ; or the Immaculate
Conception of the Virgin and the Incarnation of the Lord. He will have sheltered himself from the wind, but he will have fallen into the jaws of the whirlwind; or rather, to express it in the Prophet's words, it will be to him as if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him ;'* the end, we fear, of many a wearied spirit, which for very hopeless weariness stays in the disappointing shelter it chose so blindly from its own perplexities.
Art. VIII.-1. A Narrative of the Russian Military Expedition
to Khiva under General Perofski in 1839. Translated from
the Russian by J. Michell. 1865. 2. The Russians in Central Asia. Translated from the Russian
by John and Robert Michell. London, 1865. 3. İnvalide Russe. 1865. m o those who remember the Russophobia of 1838-39, the
1 indifference of the English public to the events now passing in Central Asia must appear one of the strangest instances of reaction in Modern History. At the former period there was no special cause of jealousy or ill-will between England and Russia. On the contrary, as far as the state of Europe was concerned, Russia was regarded by us with rather a friendly eye. She was the great conservative power of the West, and might be expected to render important aid to the cause of peace and order, by checking the revolutionary mania of France and Germany. In the East, too, it required a very bold effort of imagination to conjure up a sense of impending danger; for at that time Russia was hedged up along her Asiatic frontier by a series of barriers, which promised to prevent—and which, indeed, while they lasted, did actually prevent—any possible extension of her territorial limits towards India. The Caucasus was then unsubdued, and the tribes inhabiting that range found occupation for above one hundred thousand of the soldiers of the Czar.. The Caspian was unapproached by rail, and boasted of but two solitary steamers, which timorously trod its waves and peered curiously into the crecks and roadsteads of the Gilan coast. Ashoor-ada, the island at the entrance of the Bay of Asterabad, which is destined, perhaps, one day in the hands of the great Northern Power to become the Aden of this inland sea, had been but recently detached from
Persia, and was still a naked sand-bank. Above all, the boundary of Russia, confronting India, was drawn from the Ural River, north of the Caspian, to the old Mongolian capital of Semipolatinsk, or the Seven Cities,' by a cordon of forts and Cossack outposts, called the Orenburg and Siberian lines,* which abutted on the great Kirghiz steppe along its northern skirts, and, to a certain extent, controlled the tribes pasturing in the vicinity, but by no means established the hold of Russia on that pathless, and, for the most part, lifeless waste.
A great Tartar empire which should unite Siberia with the fertile valleys of the Oxus and Jaxartes, had been imagined by the Russian Czars as early as the sixteenth century, and would probably have been realised either by Peter the Great or Catherine but for the intervening wilderness of the Kirghiz-Kazzáks. Extending for two thousand miles from west to east, and for one thousand miles from north to south, and impassable, except to a well-appointed caravan, at certain seasons and along particular tracks, this vast steppe seemed to have been placed by nature as a “buffer' between the power of civilised Europe, and the wealness and barbarism of Central Asia.
Moreover, at the period in question, our British Indian empire, freed for the moment from internal throes, and warming into active life under the influence of Lord William Bentinck's beneficent administration, was confined within the modest limits of the Sutlej and the north-western desert; so that a broad zone of above twenty degrees of latitude, peopled by strong and independent races, intervened between the most northern districts of India and the most southern settlements of Russia Yet at such a time, and under circumstances calculated to inspire so just a confidence in our own position, the appearance of a Russian Envoy at Cabul, and the advance of the Shah of Persia against Herat in suspected collusion with Russia, were sufficient to create a panic in India, which shortly led us into a war with the Afghans, the most momentous that has ever occurred in the history of our Indian Empire; both in regard to the immediate sacrifice which it entailed of treasure, life, and honour, and still
* This famous line commences at Guriev, where the Ural River debouches into the Caspian. It follows up the left bank of the river to Orenburg and Orsk, and then crosses by the head streams of the Tobol River to Troitska. From hence it is drawn to Petro-paulovsk on the Ishim, and so on to Omsk on the Irtish; and from Omsk it follows up the left bank of the river to Semipolatinsk and Bukhtarminsk on the Chinese frontier. The total measurement of the line including sinuosities is 3300 versts or 2200 miles, and the Cossacks employed to guard it number over 20,000 men. It has been often proposed to erect a continuous rampart, like the Chinese wall, along the northern part of the line, so as to connect Orsk on the Ural with Omsk on the Irtish; but no great progress has ever been made with the work, and it is now definitively abandoned.