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Revolutionist nor the Romanist. To Fear God and Honor the King, the blent principle, the inseparable connection, will preserve both royalty and religion, M. L'Abbé thought otherwise ; and accordingly in 1830, when L'Avenir and the association came forth, he stood by the Church or rather the Pontificate, and denounced kings and rulers sufficiently to please the most revolutionary. He was prosecuted for his labours and appears therefrom to have reaped a golden harvest, for the journal enabled him to send to Ireland during the great scarcity 80,000 francs. But the unhappy democratic turn of M. L'Abbé at length, as we have previously said, compelled the Pope to notice his proceedings in an Encyclic Letter. On the receipt of this the journal was submitted to the consideration of the Pontiff, and the Pope examined it. Thus far proceeds the first Memoir to the Roman see. The Pope as might have been expected, (and possibly by remonstrance from the French crown) disapproved of its tone, and Cardinal Pacca received instructions to write to the Abbé telling him that the Pope was dissatisfied with the journal on several grounds; such as its interference with his authority, and its advocacy of la liberté des cultes therein proposed for all friends of general liberty. The journal was suppressed by the Abbé, and the Agence Générale also, in affected obedience to the See of Rome. This was in 1832. On the receipt of the Encyclic Letter the Abbé next addresses the Pope claiming exemption from Rome for the expression of sentiments on temporal matters. He then addresses, through the Archbishop of Paris, a second Memoir, intreating a personal interview and recapitulating his former arguments. To this Cardinal Pacca replies by telling him that the explanation was but an aggravation of the original offence, and calls upon the Abbé to busy himself with offices of piety and to render implicit obedience to the Roman See; an obedience of an absolute unlimited character, both in word and deed, to all contained in the Encyclic Letter. The Pope further required of the Abbé's diocesan, the Bishop of Rennes, that the Abbé should engage himself to follow uniquely and absolutely the doctrine of the Encyclic, and neither write nor approve any thing contrary to that document. The Abbé seems to have been astounded at the extent to which the Roman See was determined to vindicate its dignity, and certainly its words to a general reader seem sufficiently strong to have staggered most men.
De cette source d'Indifférentisme découle cette maxime absurde et erronée, ou plutôt ce delire, qu'il faut assurer et garantir à qui que ce soit (cuilibet) la liberté de conscience.” (From this source of systematized Indifference flows the absurd and erroneous maxim, or rather phrenesy, that it is necessary to assure and guarantee to every body liberty of conscience.) The Abbé proceeds, however, to the Archbishop of Paris, as he says for the sake of peace, and states that he had never before contemplated this extent of obedience; but that he bad determined to sign any thing for quiet: and subscribes “ cette declaration simple, absolue, illimitée, though, as he tells the archbishop, he knows that he had signed to the effect that the Pope was God (!): but that still, for peace, he would do it again when he pleased. The archbishop praises the conscientious-priest, and they part. The Pope (as well he might) praises him also. The Abbé, in reply to the urgent remonstrances of the Bishop of Rennes at this proceeding, declines answering the Holy Father's letter, and considers that, having done thus much, enough is done for the present: and he declares his intention of writing nothing further that can affect the Catholic religion and the Church. Unluckily for the Abbé a report reaches the archbishop of an intended publication quite the reverse of these professions; and he reminds M. L'Abbé of the words of his letter " qu'il étoit resolu à garder un absolu silence sur les matières de religion.' The Abbé states in reply that he intends to keep that promise, and the notorious work "Paroles d'un Croyant" is gravely stated as coming under the last of the three subjects to which he purposes to confine himself; Philosophy, Science, and Politics ! The work brought out under all these circumstances obtained a circulation far beyond any intrinsic merit it possessed. 100,000 copies were instantly sold, and it brought upon the Abbé a third Encyclic Epistle in which it is noticed in terms of no less censure than its demerits called forth. Epistola Encyclica ad omnes Patriarchas, Primates, Archiepiscopos, et Episcopos: Datum Romæ apud Sanctum Petrum VII. Kal. Julius an. 1834."
“ We were seized with borror, venerable brethren, at the first glance at this book, and yet moved with compassion at the blindness of the author. We have thereby learnt to what excesses the wisdom of this world leads men. In effect, despite his solemn declaration to the contrary, this writer has undertaken (enveloping himself according to his usual practice in words and captious disputations) to agitate and to destroy the Catholic faith, such as we have defined it in our Encyclic Letter. Therein we urged by virtue of our authority submission to the powers that are; pressed vehemently the conversion of people froni the pernicious scourge of indifferentism ; attempted to bridle the present unlimited licentiousness of opinions and arguments ; denounced perfect liberty of conscience as utterly damnable ; and exposed that borrible conspiracy of societies banded together for the ruin of Church and State, and formed out of the votaries of every false worship and sectarian league.
" To dissemble by our silence a blow so deadly to sound doctrine is prohibited by Him who has placed us as sentinels of Israel to caution
against error those whom the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ, has confided to our charge. Wherefore, after having listened to some of our venerable brethren the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, with our own energy, our deliberate conviction, and with all the plenitude of apostolic power, we reprove, condemn, and wish our people to hold for ever as reproved and condemned the book wbich we are about to name, entitled Paroles d'un Croyant.' In which book, by an impious abuse of the Word of God the people are criminally urged to break the links of all public order, to overthrow all authority,—to excite, nurture, and strengthen seditions, troubles, and rebellions : in it are consequentially contained false, rash, and calumnious propositions, conducive to anarchy, contrary to the Word of God, impious, scandalous, erroneous ; already denounced by the Church in the special instances of the Vaudois, the Wickliffites, the Hussites, and other heretics of that description."
Our only regret in this censure is that his Holiness has thought fit to put M. L'Abbé into too good company; and as a proof that the Abbé lives upon Encyclic Letters and that they forin the very breath of his nostrils, this publication has been followed by another in the present year equally decided in its character. From this last we shall furnish our readers with a few specimens of the Abbé. It is entitled “ Le Livre du Peuple.” In so doing we shall escape as far as we can from that tissue of blasphemy and revolution of which the former wholly consists, though this subsequent work is by no means quite clear of the same admixture. The faults of this performance, when it comes within the scope of criticism at all, arise from a high and false idea of the perfectibility of man. It seems to treat particular evil and general evil as proceeding from the same causes, whereas the case is clearly the reverse.
The whole of Europe on this principle might be shaken to its centre to preserve the few villagers who lurk in their daring cabins in the volcanic crater of Vesuvius. To infer generals from particulars is as illogical as the contrary, which all perceive to be a fallacy. We afford our readers a specimen of M. L'Abbé’s Book of the People.
“ In certain ages and countries man has become the property of man. He has been sold like the beast. In other times, and that too without depriving him of liberty, men have taken to seizing on all the produce of his labour for themselves. Complete slavery had been better for him.”
How detestable a spirit of exaggeration breathes from the modern liberal in this sage maxim
that inculcates liberty as worse than slavery under any form! The only case in which we can conceive this occurring, is in the slave to liberal notions; he who drags about with him the yoke of Modern Liberalism, the fellest bondage to the worst of masters. How horrible a spirit is that which would debase the poor man still lower; infuse deeper gall into his cup by affecting a panacea for woe, a universal remedy for his sufferings, a general nostrum for misery. Knowing that no legislator upon earth can alter the natural course of things, how execrable is it in any one, how trebly so in a minister of God who reads the divine canon The
shall never cease from the land,” to presume to say they shall, and that their redress is in his hand; that the Book of the People will effect what the Book of God does not pretend to remedy, but asserts to be of ceaseless duration on earth. None but Miss Martineau, we believe, deludes the world at large with fancied schemes of this character of a state of mutual benefit; of kind interchanges to such an extent that our labourers are soon to quaff champagne and château margaut.
“ Excess of self-love has every where stifled philanthropy. Brothers have said to brothers, We are not of the same race as you; our blood is more pure; we do not wish to mix our race with yours. You and your children are destined to serve us eternally.'”
Has a man then no reason to dwell on the lustre of his ancestors? Does not even that Book which the Abbé has read without, as it would seem, its holy efficacy descending upon his heart, prescribe it throughout? Is not Judah spoken of as that tribe to which all his father's children shall bow down ? Are not kings maintained in all their state by its divine word? And, if the Abbé is proof against this reasoning, has the real patriot and liberator of his land, the Kosciusko of Poland or the Washington of America, (we take two undeniable instances for the Abbé, though as Englishmen we ourselves might perhaps object to the last,) no right to expect that his posterity shall stand mighty where he was mighty? Is nothing then to be transmissive ? Are Blenheim and Strathfieldsay to pass from the descendants of a Churchill and a Wellesley? It is one of the fast-gathering evils of our time, this carping at former services: the outcry against the Peerage is swelled by all the revolutionary numbers that partake in this spirit of republican equality, and who forget that in republics titles and adventitious distinctions are the most greedily sought. Yet so opposed is the Scripture to the Abbé's view that we find Levi represented as paying tithes in Abraham ; proving the transmissiveness of strain. The Abbé's next attempt is to render discontented the agriculturist, the miner, the artificer, and the sailor. This he does by representing the worst side of each state. In the latter the failure is obvious, for the sailor forms an exception; he certainly embraces bis profession from choice, and may be placed indisputably among the joyous children of earth.
The Abbé says
“ In every country those who toil to produce and extend its means ; all those whose action turns to the general advantage; the classes that conduce to its happiness, that are essential to its support ; these are the People. Abstract a small number of privileged persons immersed in perfect pleasure, the people form the buman race remaining."
Who these people are we have never yet discovered; they are certainly not mortals. Why does not the Abbé confine the word peuple to the mob sense? Have we no middle classes who clearly do not come under this description?
" You are destined from birth to suffering. Here below your life is not, and cannot be, anything else."--p. 29. All this the Abbé calls a parole menteuse."
Did he ever read the passage
“Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward;" and this, “ Cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life?”
- No man is interested in another man."
This maxim is rather different from the wise philanthropy of Terence-Homo sum, nihil humanum alienum a me puto. The link between man and man, the bond of general dependency for the general weal, the necessary connection between the rulers and the ruled, would lead on to the same conclusion; but the bold Abbé tells the people “ Vous n'avez de maître que Dieu." We should like to know if he maintains this in his own ménage.
“No one entering this world brings with him the right to command.”
What no descendant of apostles the right to command in the Vatican, Monsieur l'Abbé?
“ There is no rebellion possible unless against the real sovereign ; against the People: and how can the people rebel against the people ?"
Very logical indeed! Suppose there be two mobs numerically equal, how then? Suppose Charles the First and Oliver Cromwell. How does M. L'Abbé reconcile this with his dogma “ Le peuple c'est l'individu ?” And pray what “ individu” constitutes the People ? “ The bee bas his hive—and you have no asylum :
asylum : the mite his silken vestment to protect him from the cold, and you are naked; the meanest worm finds in his native plants shelter and nurture, and you have neither.”
How grossly untrue! Where is man thus circumstanced? Certainly not in the civilized world. In savage life the cavern and the sheltering forest form for him a retreat, with his resources quite equal to any provisions of nature for the lower creation. The benevolent spirit of Christianity had also long since met all