« AnteriorContinuar »
Quest. 3. What duties does religion teach us, the humble subjects of his Majesty the Emperor of Russia, to practise towards him ?
Ans. Worship, obedience, fidelity, the payment of taxes, service, love, and prayer, the whole being comprised in the words worship and fidelity.
Quest. 4. Wherein does this worship consist, and how should it be manifested ?
Ans. By the most unqualified reverence in words, gestures, demeanour, thoughts, and actions.
Quest. 5. What kind of obedience do we owe to him?
Ans. In executing his commands most rigorously, without examination ; in performing the duties he requires from us, and in doing every thing willingly without murmuring.
Quest. 7. Is it obligatory on us to pay taxes to our gracious Sovereign, the Emperor ?
Ans. It is incumbent on us to pay every tax in compliance with his supreme commands, both as to the amount and when due.
Quest. 8. Is the service of his Majesty, the Emperor, obligatory on us ?
Ans. Absolutely so: we should, if required, sacrifice ourselves in compliance with his will, both in a civil and military capacity, and in whatever manner he deems expedient,
Quest. 9. What benevolent sentiments and love are due to the Emperor ?
Ans. We should manifest our good-will and affection, according to our station, in endea. youring to promote the prosperity of our native land, Russia (not Poland), as well as that of the Emperor our father, and of his august family.
Quest. 10. Is it incumbent on us to pray for the Emperor, and for Russia our country?
Ans. Both publicly and privately, beseeching the Almighty to grant the Emperor health, integrity, happiness, and security. The same is applicable to the country, which constitutes an indivisible part of the Emperor.
Quest. 11. What principles are in opposition to these duties ?
Quest. 12. How are irreverence and infidelity to the Emperor to be considered in reference to God ?
Ans. As the most heinous sin, the most frightful criminality.
Quest. 13. Does religion, then, forbid us to rebel and overthrow the government of the Emperor
Ans. We are interdicted from so doing at all times, and under any circumstances.
Quest. 14. Independently of the worship we owe the Emperor, are we called upon to respect the public authorities emanating from him ?
Ans. Yes; because they emanate from him, represent him, and act as his substitutes ; so that the Emperor is everywhere.
Quest. 15. What motives have we to fulfil the duties above enumerated ?
Ans. Besides the motives adduced, there are the following: The Emperor being the head of the nation, the father of all his subjects, who constitute one and the same country, Russia, is thereby alone worthy of reverence, gratitude, and obedience: for both public welfare and individual security depend on submissiveness to his commands.
Quest. 17. What are the supernaturally revealed motives for this worship?
Ans. The supernaturally revealed motives are, that the Emperor is the Vicegerent and Minister of God to execute the Divine commands; and, consequently, disobedience to the Emperor is identical with disobedience to God himself; that God will reward us in the world to come for the worship and obedience we render the Emperor, and punish us severely to all eternity should we disobey and neglect to worship him. Moreover, God commands us to love and obey from the inmost recesses of the heart every authority, and particularly the Emperor, not from worldly consideration, but from apprehension of the final judgment.
Quest. 18. What books prescribe these duties ?
Ans. The New and Old Testaments, and particularly the Psalms, Gospels, and A postolic Epistles.
Quest. 19. What examples confirm this doctrine ?
Ans. The example of Jesus Christ himself, who lived and died in allegiance to the Emperor of Rome, and respectfully submitted to the judgement which condemned him to death. We have, moreover, the example of the Apostles, who both loved and respected them; they suffered meekly in dungeons conformably to the will of the Emperors, and did not revolt like malefactors and traitors. We must, therefore, in imitation of these examples, suffer and be silent.
Quest. 20. At what period did the custom originate of praying to the Almighty for the prosperity of the Sovereign ?
Aus. The custom of publicly praying for the Emperors is coeval with the introduction of Christianity; which custom is to us the most valuable legacy and splendid gift we have received from past ages.
Such is the doctrine of the church, confirmed by practice, as to the worship and fidelity due to the omnipotent Emperor of Russia, the Minister and Vicegerent of God.
THE ABOLITION OF ROYALTY:
AN ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF FRANCE, BY THOMAS PAINE,
(Placarded on the walls of Paris, on the occasion of the flight of Louis XVI. Our copy is Englished from Duchâtelet's translation of Paine's manuscript, published in a supplement of the Patriote Français of Saturday, October 27th, 1792, No. 1167.)
Paris, October 25, 1792, the first year of
the Republic. CITIZENS AND COLLEAGUES !
When we arrive at some great and long-desired good, our first impulse is to rejoice; our second is to reflect, reviewing all the circumstances of our new happiness : we compare it in detail with our ancient condition; and each of these thoughts becomes a renewed enjoyment for us. It is this enlightened and reflective satisfaction that I share with you, to-day.
Beholding Royalty abolished and the Republic establish itself, all Frauce has resounded with an unanimous acclaim. However, there are yet among us some who do not well understand either the state they have quitted, or that upon which they are entering.
The perjuries of Louis, the plots of his court, the fury of his worthy brothers, have filled every Frenchman with horror; and this family was dethroned in men's hearts before it was dethroned by you. But, it is little to overthrow the idol : it - is the pedestal which must especially be beaten down. It is the kingly office, rather than the oficer himself, which is murderous. This is not seen by every one.
Citizens! why is Royalty an absurd and detestable government? why and wherefore is a Republic a government conformable to reason ? To-day, a Frenchman ought to put himself in a condition to precisely answer these two questions. For, in fine, if we are content and free, ought we not to know why we are so ?
I begin first with Royalty, or Monarchy. Though men have often wished to distinguish between these names, common usage has given them the same sense.
Certain bands of brigands assemble to overrun a country, to lay it under contribution, to seize the lands, and to enslave the inhabitants. The expedition at an end, the chief of the robbers assumes the title of king, or monarch. Such is the origin of Royalty, among all nations-hunters, husbandmen, or shepherds.
A second brigand comes, who ravishes by force that which was gained by violence. He dispossesses the first; takes him captive; kills him; and, at last, reigns in his place. Soon time effaces the memory of this original. His successors govern under a new form; they do some little good, for expedience' sake; they corrupt everything about them; they invent, or cause others to invent, false genealogies; they have recourse to everything to render their family sacred; the knavery of priests comes to their aid ; tboy take religion for a bodyguard : and thus Tyranny puts on immortality; and the usurpation of power becomes an hereditary right.
The effects of Royalty have been everywhere conformable to its origin : war without, extortion within. What scenes of horror, what refinements of iniquity, the annals of monarchies present! If we would paint human nature with such baseness of heart, and such hypocrisy, that men should perforce recoil from it with affright, and that humanity should disown it, it is, in my opinion, the portraiture of kings, of their ministers, of their courtiers, that we must trace.
And how, Citizens! should it be otherwise ? What else should such a monstrosity produce, but misfortunes and crimes ? What is Monarchy ? Let them disguise it as they will, let them never so much familiarize the people with this hateful name, in its true sense this word signifies the absolute power of a single individual: who may be with impunity a blockhead, an impostor, or a tyrant. Is it not insulting nations, to desire that they should be so governed.
The government of a single person is inherently vicious, independently of the vices of the individual. For be the state never so little, the prince is almost always less. What proportion is there between one man and all the affairs of a nation?
It is true that we have seen some men of genius under the diadem : so much the greater is the evil. A talented king is worse than a fool. His ambition carries him to conquest, and to despotism; his people are soon reduced to bewail his glory, singing Te Deums while they die of hunger.
But if Royalty is fatal inasmuch as it is Royalty, so, as hereditary succession, is it equally revolting and ridiculous.
Wbat, Citizens ! is there among our fellows a man who imagines himself born to govern us ? Whence does he hold this right ?— From his ancestors, and from ours,' says he. But, how could they transmit to him a right which they had not? Man has no authority over the generations to come. I can no more be the slave of the dead, than that of the living.
An hereditary crown! a transmittable throne! What a notion! After the least reflection, is there a man who can tolerate it? Human beings, then, would be the property of certain individuals, born or to be born! We should deal beforehand with our descendants, as with brutes who would have neither will nor right! To inherit a government is to inherit the people, as if they were flocks and herds.
We are wrong in reproaching kings for their ferocity, their brutal apathy, the oppression of the people, and the vexations of the citizens: it is the hereditary principle which makes them what they are. The hereditary principle produces monsters, as a morass engenders vipers.
This is, in effect, the course of reasoning pursued by every hereditary prince. 'I possess my power in right of my birth ; my birth is the gift of God: therefore I owe nothing unto men:' So, has he a minister at all complaisant, he forthwith conscienciously indulges himself in all the crimes of Tyranny. We have beheld this in all ages and in all countries.
A monarch is an egotist by nature; he is pre-eminently an egotist. Ten thousand traits show that this sort of men is nowhere connected with the rest of Humanity. The people demanded from one of the kings of the country in which I was born, (Charles II.,) the punishment of Lauderdale, his favourite, who had shamefully oppressed the Scotch. “Aysaid he, coolly, the fellow has done a great deal against the State : but I do not see that he has done anything against me.' Your Louis XIII. would often say:-'If I roere to conduct myself according to the wishes of the people, I should do nothing for the king.'
If Nature could make a law which should invariably fix wisdom and virtue in those privileged castes which perpetuate themselves upon thrones, objections to their inheritance would cease. But, if we take a review of Europe, it is the contrary that everywhere presents itself. All the monarchs there are the very dregs of Humanity. This one is a tyrant; that other an idiot; another a traitor ; this last a debauchee; some are collections of all vices. It is as if Fate and Nature had taken pleasure in exhibiting, at this period, to all nations, the ridiculousness and enormity of Royalty. In whatever manner we consider it, we find the notion of Hereditary Royalty only foolishness and infamy. What is this office which infants and idiots are capable of filling? Some talent is required to be a common workman; to be a king no more is needed, than to have a human figure, to be a living automaton. We are astonished at reading that the Egyptians set upon the throne a stone, which they call a king. Well! such a monarch
was less absurd and less mischievous than those before whom nations prostrate themselves. At least, he deceived no one. None supposed that he possessed qualities, or a character. They did not call him the Father of his People: and vet it would have been scarcely more ridiculous, than to give such a title to a blockhead whom the right of succession crowns at the age of eighteen. A dumb idol is better than one animated,
Thus, Citizens! Royalty is as repugnant to common sense, as to the common right. It would be a scourge, even while an absurdity. For a people who can bow down to worship a folly is a degraded people. How can they be fit for great actions—the men who pay the same homage to vice as to virtue, who render the same submission to ignorance as to wisdom ? Of all superstitions none has more debased men's minds. We seek the cause of abjectness of character in the monarchical system : there it is.
When you pronounced the abolition of Royalty, no one rose in its defence: it was expected. Only among the royalists were any found to prop up the monarchy or to plead in its behalf. Permit me to examine their most specious arguments.
' A king is necessary to preserve a nation from the tyranny of the great.' Establish the rights of man ; let equality reign; make a good constitution; a good division of powers; let there be no privileges, no distinctions of birth, no monopolies ; let there be freedom for Industry and for Trade; an equal division of successions ; publicity for the acts of the government; liberty of the Press : with all these points guaranteed to you by good laws, you will have no great men to fear. Willing or unwilling, all the citizens will be under the Law.
• The Legislative Body might usurp the sovereignty; and a king is necessary to keep them in check.' With Representatives who are frequently renewed, who are neither ministers nor judges, whose functions are determined by law; with National Conventions--those primary assemblies which can be convoked at any moment; with a People who know how to read, and how to fight; with good muskets, good pikes, and good journals ;-a Legislative Body would have some trouble in enjoying a few months of tyranny.
'4 King is necessary, to give force to the Executive.' This might have been said when there existed Nobles, a Clergy, Parliaments, and Privileged Persons of all kinds, But who, now, can resist the Law, which is the will of all, and in the execution of which all are interested? On the contrary, the existence of an hereditary prince excites perpetual distrust among the friends of Liberty; his authority is hateful to them; to oppose despotism, they are, every moment, clogging the action of government. This is why the Executive has become so feeble, since we pretended to marry Royalty with Liberty.
Others advance this wretched argument:-'If there be no hereditary chief, there will be an elective chief ; the citizens will be divided-for the one, and for the other; and there will be a civil war at every election.'—But is it not certain, that it was the hereditary principle alone which produced the civil wars of France and England; and that it was the preteuded rights of royal families which twenty times brought upon these countries the scourge of civil wars ?
What we should especially remark is that, if there be an elective chief, that