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ing to the Genevans; and the very circumscription of that state, means taken to bring them to com made every member of it the more pliance were still more offensive. sensible of his personal weight in its Disturbances and bloodshed were affairs, and of ihe freedom which he indirectly either promoted or coun, enjoyed. To deprive him of the satistenanced, by some dark intrigues, faction arising from such a situa. with a view to make them sensible tion, would be a wanton exertion of that the only remedy for those do, the superior strength of the repubmestic confusions, was to throw lic, which would redound much themselves in!o the arms of the more to its disgrace than benefit. French. But this attempt was not Stung with rage at a treatment which successful; nor even approved by they did not deserve, the citizens of numbers of the French themselves. Geneva would desert it, and carry They condemned it as manifesting to other countries that industry 10 an ambition incompatible with those which alone it owed its flourishing principles of moderation on which situation during so many years. true republicans ought to value The mere possession of the place themselves, and which the French itself would prove a poor recomheld forth to Europe as the maxims pense for the expulsion of its inha. by which they had resolved to con- bitants, which, however indirectly duct themselves. Were Europe effected, would not be the less real. once convinced that the ancient In the mean wbile, they would exsystem of conquest and encroach. bibit, in the various places of their ment on the territories of its neigh- voluntary banishment, living proofs bours, which bad rendered France of the ambition and tyranny of so odious under the monarchy, were France. The nearest of its neigh. to be continued under the republic, bours would see their own desting the necessity of self-defence would in that of those unhappy fugitives, gradually unite every country against and learn from ibence ihe obligation it: in which case, nor withstanding they were under, of embracing one the brilliant career of its arms of these two alternatives : either of hitherto, patience and perseverance submitting to the like treatment, or on the part of the numerous ene of preparing manfully to resist it. mies that so unjustifiable a conduct Of those who would be constrained, would create; must in the end pre- to adopt this resolution, the first vail, and both the glory and cha- would be the Swiss, a people noied racter of integrity, at which the for ages on account of their love of French 'ought equally to aim in liberty, and of their astonisbing their political proceedings, would be achievements in its defence. Such forfeited.
a people, if united, France would In addition to these motives, for find a formidable enemy : nor was it abstaining from a forced incorpora- indeed to be supposed they would tion of Geneva with France, ii
' was tamely behold the annexation of urged that the inhabitants of that Geneva to France, by compulsory city and its territory, though forming means, nor even by ihe voluntary but a small state, were so jealous of concession of its inhabitants. They their indepedency, that they would were bound, in the former of these never consent to resign it. The cases, to assist them, and inthe latter
they would hardly permit such an extent, had obtained a highly desere acquisition to France in so near a ved reputation throughout Europe, neighbourhood, and of so dangerous by the industry and ingenuity of its a tendency, without seriously inter. inhabitants; and, more than all, by posing to prevent it. This, of the distinguished figure it had main. course, must be attended with con- tained, and the high spirit it had sequences of which the ultimate displayed, in those active and tem. issue could not be ascertained, but pestuous scenes that were produced ubich would undoubtedly be pro- by the reformation. It had long doĉt ve of many calamities. been considered as the original seat
Arguments of this nature were of Calvinism, and the rival of Rome indiscriminately used by the Ge- itself in matters of religiun. Here rievans, the many French individu- the famous founder of ihat sect lived als that espoused their cause, and by and died, after having, by his unthose persons in Switzerland, who conquerable courage, laid the foun. firesaw the difficulties, wherein the dation of the most resolute associaHelvetic body must necessarily be tion of men that ever figured in
involved, were the directory to per. modern ages. From the principles 1 sist in so unequitable a project. It which he inculcated, arose ibat reforTas therefore abandoned: but the mation in religion which was grafted iriquiious ambition that had prompt. on republican maxims. Hence it ed it still remaining ungratified, was immediately adopted by all that sought a revenge for its disappoints aspiréd at freedom. It filled France ment, in the harsh usage of the se with the most intrepid asserters of veral agents deputed from Geneva civil as well as religious rights. It to Paris, whom it ignominiously exo spread into the low countries, where peiled from that city, on no other it erected the republic of Holland. pretence, than thai they did not It made its way into England and Come with those friendly views that Scotland, where it gradually anima. became the state wbich sent them. ted the inquisitive and daring spirits But the Genevans, undiscouraged of the last century in this country by this treatment, persevered unre. to those researches into the nature mittingly in the determination to reo of government, and to those excra main a separate state, and continued tions in the cause of national free. to labour with the more vigour in dom, which, had not fanalitism inimproving the government they had tervened, would probably have terestablished, when they found them- minated so happily for all parties, selves countenanced by the moderate Geneva, during the sixteenih and party in France, which, happily for seventeenth centuries, had been the them, was the most numerous. central point of communicalion be
The motives that were thought to iween the principal actors of this bave actuated the directory in a high-spirited party: Bez, a far transaction, from which they reaped greater character than Calvin, no finally so little honour, were the de. less in flexible, but much less austere, sire to signalize themselves by the added lustre and importance to this acquisition of a state, which, how. place, by his learning and many fier inconsiderable in strength and other respectable qualities. He con
tinued like him the oracle of his ments of knowledge and polite learnparty, and was visited and consult- ing, that conduce to the utility and ed by all the great champions it pro- glory of a nation. duced, both in arms and literature. Desirous of giving this revival of All these circumstances conferred a the encouragements, due to litera. splendour upon Geneva, that en.
ture, all the solemnity of which it titled it to great disi inction. The was susceptible, the directory ap. first kings and states in Europe, of pointed the fourth of April, 1796, the protestant persuasion, treaid it for a public meeting of all the memunanimously with every mark of re- bers of the national institute, esta. spect, and it continued on this ho- blished the preceding year, at the nourable footing even during the æra of the new constitution. The reign of Lewis the fourteenth, who meeting was beld in the largest ball strove several times in vain to subdue of the ancient palace of the Louvre. the spirit with which it resisted his All the literati, and all the men of attempts to influence its govern- genius and reputation in the polite ment. The annexation of so cele. and liberal aris altended. The di. brated a state to the French empire rectory, the councils, and all persons appeared to the directory an object in the principal departments of goworthy of their attention, and they vernment were present, togetber were seriously chagrined at their with the foreign ministers, and as failure.
many spectators as the hall could A compensation for their disap- contain. The purpose of the meet. poiniment offered itself, about the ing was formally announced, in a same time, in a province, wherein speech made by the president of the they might claim a better right to directory. France, he said, deexercise their sway, and from which livered from past miseries, bad now both they and their countrymen resolved to revive those arts, through would derive more honour and pro- the cultivation of which the nation fit. This was the province of sci- had risen to so high a degree of reence and literature, that had re- putation, and commanded the remained neglected during the confie spect of all Europe. It was the desions attending the antecedent peri• termination of governmeni, to pay ods of the revolution.
them all the attention, , and give cessity of reviving the spirit of ge- them all the encouragement and renius, that had lain awhile dormant, compense which they could possibly or had only been busied in the arts claim from a free and enlightened of destruction, roused at once the people. The president of the naattention of government, and of the tonal institute, citizen Dusaulx, rewhole nation. The great numbers plied, in the name of his brethren, of literary men in France, exerted that they were all cqually animated themselves, on this occasion, with with the love of freedom, of knowthe most commendable zeal. Setting ledge, and of arts; that they were aside all partialities, on religious and firmly attached to the republic from political accounts, they cordially principle, and the consciousness that united in prosecuting the plan pro- in the bosom of freedom all these posed by the ruling powers, for a re- great sentiments are generated and gular cultivation of all those departo wurtured, that dignify human nature,
and constitute the true grandeur of the most boundless restraint : as Dalions.
these latter had been experimentally The solemnity of this day, and found the staunchest friends to libero the hopes it inspired, that a renewal ty, and the former its most inveterate was at hand of the arts and occupa. foes, it was natural to conclude, tions of peace, filled the public with that the ecclesiastics, adhering to the the highest satisfaction. Discerning church of Rome, who were the people observed, on this occasion, spiritual guides of these, were also ibat the liberty of thinking and the instigators of this rancour. publishing, so carefully fettered un Hence the strictness and severity: der the former government, was an
with wbich they were constantly advantage of much more Conse. watched. Hence too the averseness quence than the generality seemed of the constituted authorities, to per 15 perceive. Exclusively of those mit any species of authority to reapprehensions for personal safety, side in any ecclesiastical budy, lest, which were now removed, remune. as the experience of all times had tations would flow in equal propor- invariabiy shewn, it should gradually lion to persons of all religious per. obtain an influence over the minds suasions, and neither dignity nor of men incompatible with the rights income would be appropriated to of government. any part:cular sect. This would at The spirit chat brought about the once destroy a l oiher motives, in the revolution was in direct opposition investigalion of truih, ihan that of to those claims of implicit belief, on arriving at a discovery. While the which all spiritual authority is champions of only one sect were founded. While the monarchy consalaried for maintainingits doctrines, tinued part of the constitution, findand all others precluded from op- ing the priesthood, either from interposing them, by the severest penal. est or bigotry, its most faithful and ties, with what face could any man firmest supporters, it repaid their as. pretend to assert their rectitude ? sistance with its own. It was this It was solely by freedom of disqui- alliance, between the church and sition that iruth was discoverable: the crown, that finally ruined both; and the most valuable consequence and induced their destroyers to conof the revolution was the abroga- sider them as inimical, from their Hon of ibat exclusive privilege, very essence, to polirical liberty ; which ignorance and imbecility had and inadmissible, on this account, conferred upon the clergy of ihe into any system founded on that established church, that of silencing, principle. After the king's death, without any other argument than ibe clergy underwent ibe severest threats and terror, all those who persecution, those only excepted dared to dissent from their opinions. who had taken the oaths of fidelity
Tbe fact, at this period, was, that to the republic. During the stormy though a prodigious mass of the and tyrannical government of RoFrench nation still remained en- bespierre, the civil establishment of slaved to the Romish tenets, multie the Gallican church was formally tudes in all classes bad imbibed a annulled, and even those ecclesias. propensity to think and speak on tics, who adhered to the republican subjects relating to religion, with government, were deprived of the
regular maintenance hitherto al- ; some of those bishops, who were lowed them.
called constitutional, from their bavAfter the fall of the tyrant, the ing taken the civic oaths enjoined convention decreed a variety of by the constituent assembly,so styled initigations in the laws that had from having framed the first constibeen enacted against the nonjuring.; tution, was held in the beginning of clergy. It proclaimed the fullest ? 1795, in order to consult how to reliberty of /
worship, and required no store order and regularity in the other than a simple declaration of worship and discipline of the church, submission to the laws, from those and to replace it on a footing of staclergymen who exercised their pro- bility, after the confusions that had fessional functions, together with an so violently disturbed its peace. acknowledgment of the sovereignty. They made a declaration, at the of the people. But those who sub same time, which was highly ac. scribed to these conditions, together ceptable to the friends of harmony with their followers, were branded, and universal toleration in religious by the nonjuring clergy and their matters. They frankly and exadherents, as guilty of apostacy. plicitly avowed their assent to the Much of that spiritual antipathy separation of the church from the took place between those dissenting state, acknowledging it to be the parties, which has so long proved most effectual means of eradicating the disgrace and the bane of re those corruplions and scandalous ligion. But the ruling powers, practices that had been produced faithful to their determination of im- by their union, and so deplorably partiality, paid-no attention to those tainted that purity of manners, and dissentions; and as they had for- integrity of life, which ought to acmally declared, that no particular conpanythe ecclesiastical profession. mode of worship should be main- Religion, they said,when unconnecttained at the public expence, nor be: ed with politics, would resume that protected exclusively to any other, influence over mankind, which arises they went no farther than to pre-. from innocenceand virtue. The great vent those animosities from breaking and the powerful would respect it out to the disturbance of the peace : the more for demanding from them of the community; and to this end only the protection of the state in enacted penalties to punish and return for iis obedience and confor
mity to the laws of the land. As that part of the French clergy These were declarations very unand nation, which openly professed comm
mon in the ecclesiastical asseniallegiance to government, by con blies of modern ages. But numbers forming to jis ordinances, and make of the most zealous friends to ing the declarations prescribed, Christianity, applauded them with could not fail of being viewed with fervent sincerity, as tending to dia favourable eye, it ventured to vest religion of those appendages, take some steps which were thought which made it doubtful whether its hazardous, in the opinion of those asserters and followers were influwho dreaded the jealousy they euced by conviction, or by interest ; might occasion. A meeting of and to bring it back to the princi