Imágenes de páginas


THE REVOLUTION IN FRANCE. It is impossible to regard without the deepest anxiety the issue of the unexpected revolution in France of the 2nd Dec., which has again filled the streets of Paris with scenes of violence

and slaughter. The movement of Louis Napoleon came like a thunderclap upon Paris and the whole of France; it has, however, but anticipated what must have proved a far more awful catastrophe, the second election of a President of France in

May, 1852. In any other country besides France, an act like that which Louis Napoleon has just committed, could hardly have been successfully carried into effect, and the state of the capital, the arrests and the butchery which has ensued, must have drawn down upon the usurper of the dearest rights of a people, not the summary vengeance of that people alone, but the execration and unanimous condemnation of the whole civilized world. In France, and with the French, these matters are differently thought of; and so rotten is the entire state of society in the French capital, and so accustomed are they to their revolutions, that we hear without any other feelings than those of christian sorrow, the events which have filled Paris with blood and la


The only mitigation we can find in the whole of this coup d'etat is, that it has prevented a far larger sacrifice of human life, and perhaps altogether averted a struggle for power between those rival candidates who were sure to put forth their utmost strength, and which might have been productive of a prolonged civil war, with all its attendant miseries. There can be now no doubt that Louis Napoleon, with his six millions of votes, is the man by whom France submits to be governed, and that his sudden disruption of the constitution,—which, at its legal extinction in 1852, must have given the country as a prey to the violence of rival princes and generals, who could perhaps have counted upon the support of large sections among the

troops, is thought to be an act infinitely better to bear than to tempt.

the unknown evils of the future. It is true that intimidation of all kinds, the extinction of the press, the display of an immense army, and the reckless slaughter of all who were in imagination obnoxious to the President, have for the present caused his triumph; while an enormous majority of votes, into the exact history of which it would not do to look, have confirmed him in his prolonged and absolute power. But we have yet to watch patiently for the result of this astounding act.

The Church of Rome, always facile in political affairs where her own claims and ends are concerned, has. inaugurated this despotic act of Louis. Napoleon with the same eager homage with which her priests celebrated around "trees of liberty" the downfall of Louis Philippe.

There is something very significant in this new-born devotion of the Romish Church in France to the ascending star of Louis Napoleon. This prince has found it convenient to the interests of his ambitious views to pretend to a religious feeling which his notorious immoral character sufficiently contradicts, and has on all occasions in which he has presided over public ceremonies, invoked the aid of the Roman Catholic clergy. They have been mutual tools to serve each other's purposes, and we have again but to wonder at that "deceivableness of unrighteousness" with which the clergy of the Church of Rome can espouse any and every cause, if it only lead to the supremacy of its communion.

There are, however, grave reasons for our anxiety as Christians, when we look at the wide spreading alliance of Popery with all the absolute powers of Europe; and we regard it as our especial duty to watch with the greatest care the machinations of an ancient foe, which knows how to use alike the wildest political liberty and the most galling despotism, to exalt itself and destroy even the yearnings after religious freedom. The Record

newspaper, in an article which is upon the whole written in an able manner, glances at this peculiar phase of the present French revolution, and although it warns, as we would do, of this union of the President with the Pope, as ominous of evil both to the civil and religious liberties of France and Europe, yet hints that there may be no cordiality on the part of the President, and that his junction with Rome may only be the policy of his present emergency. Be this, however, as it may, Louis Napoleon may rest assured that Rome will not let him play fast and loose with her, making her power and influence a ladder to climb into the seat of government, and then kicking down the steps by which he gained his end. As with the army which has executed his murderous decrees, so with that Church which has hastened to throw around him the mantle of her authority; both must be kept faithful and true by means which cannot but be subversive of the truest liberties and religious freedom of France, as well as inimical and dangerous to neighbouring countries, blessed with the light and happiness of the Gospel and its infallible true liberty for the people.


This is an event which has taken the political world by surprise, and is presumed to have been caused by the noble Lord's statements with regard to the policy of Austria and the new Revolution in France. It is not our province to enter into a retrospection of the conduct of the late Foreign Secretary, but while we cannot but acknowledge with gratitude the manly way in which his Lordship has often interfered when the liberties of our fellow Protestant subjects abroad have either been jeopardized or actually compromised, we must confess that we shall regard with great satisfaction the transfer of the seals of the foreign department to Lord Granville, if he should, by a firm policy, secure

for England and Englishmen that respect abroad which under Lord Palmerston's administration it has not been the good fortune of either to possess for years past. In no juncture has it been more necessary than the present for Christians to supplicate most earnestly, that Lord Granville, with the whole Cabinet, may be so guided with wisdom from above, that their councils may tend to preserve the peace of Europe, or if internal discord and perhaps a continental war must be kindled, may it be the successful policy of our Government steadily to observe that system of noninterference which shall keep our happy country from being dragged into the horrors of war.


In our last number we 'spoke with pleasurable anticipation of the forthcoming meeting, to petition against the endowment of Maynooth, and all encouragement of Romanism. The report of that large and thoroughly influential meeting has gone far and wide throughout the country, and it is only our gratifying duty now to record how admirable were those arrangements of the committee of the Alliance which enabled so many representatives from different denominations of Christians to unite in expressing clearly and powerfully their opinions upon the real character of Rome, and their determination to use every exertion in their respective spheres to stop the progress of popery.

The new session of parliament is rapidly approaching, and we again repeat our earnest entreaties that Protestant electors will not suffer their representatives to pursue any other course than shall at once stop our self-condemning grant to Maynooth; besides giving effect to that firm and clear expression of the national will, which has protested against yielding one iota to Rome, either of money or power.


« AnteriorContinuar »