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ing to the Genevans; and the means taken to bring them to com
Efiance, were still more offensive, disturbances and bloodshed were indirectly either promoted or countenanced, by some dark intrigues, with a view to make them sensible that the only remedy, for those domestic confusions, was to throw themselves into the arms of the French. But this attempt was not successful; nor even approved by numbers, of the Frenqh themselves. They condemned it as manifesting an ambition incompatible with thole principles of moderation, on which true republicans ought to value themselves, and which the French held forth to Europe as the maxims bv whi< h they had resolved lo conduct themselves. Were Europe ($ice c :nvinced that the ancient syilcm os conquest and encroachment on the territories of its neighbours, which had rendered France so odious under the monarchy, were to be continued under the republic, the necessity of self-defence would gradually unite every count rv against it:- in which cafe, notwithstanding the brilliant career of its arms hitherto, patience and perseverance, on the part os the numerous enemies that so unjustifiable a conduct . would create, must in the end prevail, and both the glory and character os integrity, at which the French ought equally to aim in their political proceedings, would be forfeited.
^lii addition to these motives, for abstaining from a forced incorporation of Geneva with France, it was id that the inhabitants of that citv.-.ncl its territory, though forming but a imall liate, were so jealous us Jt>'u independency, that they would ASver. consent to resign it. The
very circumscription os that state, made every member of it the more sensible of his personal weight in its affairs, and of the freedom which he enjoyed. To deprive him of the satisfaction, arising from such a situation, would be a wanton exertion ot" the superior strength of the rupublic, which would redound much more to its disgrace than benefit. Stung with rage atatreatment which they did not deserve, the citizens c.f Geneva would desert it, ar.d carr» to other countries that industry to which alone it owed its flouriniim situation during so many year^. The mere possession of the place itlelf would prove a poor recompense for the expulsion of its inhabitants, which, however indirect!? effected, would not be the less real. Ju the mean while, thev would exhibit, in the various places of their voluntary banifliment, living proof* of the ambition and tyranny of France. The nearest of its neighbours would sec their own destinr in that of those unhappy fugitives, and learn from thence the obligation they were under, of embracing ore of these two alternatives; either of submitting to the like treatment, or of preparing manfully to resist it. Os those who would be constrained to adopt this resolution, the first would be the Swiss, a people r.oti-d for ages on account of their love as liberty, and of their astonishing achievements in its defence. 'Such a people, if united, France would find a formidable enemy: nor was it indeed to be supposed, they would tamely behold the annexation of 'Geneva to France, by compulsory means, nor even bv the voluntary concession, of its inhabitants. Thev were bound", in the frn'mer of these cases, tosllift them, and in the latter
they tliev would hardly permit such an acquisition to France in 'so near a neighbourhood, and os so dangerous a tendency, without seriously interposing to prevent it. This, of courle, must be attended with consequences of which the ultimate issue could not be ascertained, but which would undoubtedly be productive os many calamities.
Arguments of this nature were indiscriminately used by the Ger*vau«, the many French individuals that espouled their cause, and by those persons in Switzerland, who foresaw the difficulties, wherein the Helvetic body must necessarily be inrolved, were the directory to perfiltinso unequitable a project. It TO therefore abandoned: but the iniquitous ambit ipn that had prompted it still remaining ungratified, lought a revenge for its disappointment, in the harfli usage os the several agents deputed from Geneva to Paris, whom it ignominjoufly expelled from that city, on no other pretence, than that they did not come with those friendly views that became the state which sent them. But the Genevans, undiscouraged bv this treatment, persevered unremittingly in the determination to remain a leparate state, and continued to labour with the more vigour in improving the government they had established, when they sound themselves countenanced by the moderate party in France, which, happily for them, was the most numerous.
The motives that were thought to have actuated the directory in a transaction, sronrwhich they reaped finally so little honour, were the dolire to signalize themselves by the acquisition of a state, which, however inconsiderable in strength and
extent, had obtained a highly-deserved reputation throughout Europe, by the industry and ingenuity os its inhabitants; and, more than all, by tlæ distinguished figure it had maintained, and the high spirit it had displayed, in those active arid tempestuous scenes that were produced by the reformation. It had long been considered as the original feat of calvinism, and the rival of Rome itself in matters of religion. Here the famous founder of that sect lived and died, after having, by his unconquerable courage, laid the foundation of the most resolute association os men that ever figured in modern ages. From the principles which he inculcated,arose that reformation in religion which was grafted on republican maxims. Hence it was immediately adopted by all that aspired at freedom. It silled France with the most intrepid asserters of civil as well as religious rights. It spread into the low countries, where it erected the republic of Holland. It made its way into England and Scotland, where it gradually animated the inquisitive and daring spirits of the last century in this country to those researches into the nature of government, and to those exertions in the cause of national freedom, which, had not fanaticism intervened, would probably have terminated so happily for all parties. Geneva, during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, had been the central point of communication between the principal actors of this high spirited . party. Beza, a far greater character than Calvin, no less inflexible, but much less austere, added lustre and importance to this place, by his learning and many other rclpectable qualities. He con [ N 3 ] tinui-i tinued like him the oracle os his party, and was visited and consulted by all the great champions it proilured, both in arms and literature. All these circumstances conferred a splendour upon Geneva, that entitled it to great distinction. The first kings and slates in Europe, of the protestant persuasion, treated it unanimously with every mark os respect, and it continued on this honourable footing even during the reign of Lewis the fourteenth, who strove several times in vain to subdue the spirit with which it resisted his attempts to influence its government. The annexation of so celebrated a state to the French empire appeared, to the directory, an object worthy os their attention, and they were seriously chagrined at their failure.
A compensation for their disappointment offered itself, about the same time, in a province, wherein they might claim a belter right to exercise their sway, and from which both they and their countrymen would derive more honour and prosit. This was the province of science and literature, that had remained neglected during the confusions attending the antecedent periods of the revolution. The necessity os reviving the spirit of genius, that had Iain a while dormant, or had only been busied in the arts of destruction, roused at once the attention of government, and of the whole nation. The great numbers of literary men in France, exerted themselves, on thisoceafion, with the most commendable zeal. Setting aside all partialities, on religious and political accounts, they cordially united in prosecuting the plan proposed by the ruling powers, for a regular cultivation of all these depart
ments of knowledge and polite learning, that conduce to the utility and glory of a nation.
Desirous of giving this revival of the encouragements, due to hterature, all the solemnity of which it was susceptible, the directory appointed the fourth of April, KS)o, fora public meeting os all the members of the national institute, esiablislied the preceding year, at (he æra of the new constitution. Th« meeting was held in "the largest hall of the ancient palace of the Louvre. All the literati, and all the men of genius and reputation in the polite and liberal arts alended. The directory, the councils, and all persons in the principal departments of government were present, together with the foreign ministers, and as many spectators as the hall could contain. The purpose os the meeting was formally announced, in a speech made by the president of the directory. France, he (aid, delivered from past miseries, had now resolved to revive those arts, through the cultivation of which the nation had risen to so high a degree of re» putation, and commanded the respect osall Europe. It was the determination of government, to pay them all the attention, and give them all the encouragement and recompense which they could possibly claim from a free and enlightened people. The president os the national institute, citizen Dusaulx, replied, in the name of his brethren, that they were all equally animated with the love of freedom, of knowledge, and of arts; -that they were firmly attached to the republic from principle, and the consciousness that in the bosom of freedom all (nose great sentiments are generated and nurtured, that dignify human nature,
and constitute the true grandeur of rations.
The solemnity os this day, and the hopes it inspired, that a renewal was at hand of the arts and occupations of peace, filled the public with the highest satisfaction. Discerning people observed, on this occafion, that the liberty of thinking and publishing, so carefully fettered under the former government, was an advantage of much more conference than the generality seemed to perceive. Exclusively of those apprehensions Ibr personal safety, which were now removed, remuneration! would flow in equal proportion (o persons of all religious persuasions, and neither dignity nor income would be appropriated to any particular sect. This would at
the most boundless restraint: as these latterhad been experimentally found the staunchest friends to liberty, and the former its most inveterate foes, it was natural to conclude/ that the ecclesiastics, adhering to the church of Rome, who were the spiritual guides of these, were also the instigators of this rancour. Hence the strictness and severity with which they were constantly watched. Hence too the averseness of the constituted authorities, to permit any species of authority to reside in any ecclesiastical body, lest, as the experience of all times had invariably shewn, it sliould gradually obtain an influence over the minds of men incompatible with the rights of government.
The spirit that brought about the
o.ice destroy all other motives, in the revolution was indirect oppositic^ri investigation of truth, than that of to those claims of implicit belief, on
which all spiritual authority
arriving at a discovery. While the champions of only one sect were (aLiried formaintaining its doctrines, and all others precluded from opposing them, by the severest penalties, ivilb what face could any man pretend to assert their rectitude? It was solely by freedom of disquisition that truth was discoverable; and the most valuable consequence of the revolution was the abrogation of that exclusive privilege, which ignorance and imbecility had conferred upon the clergy of the established church, that of silencing, without any other argument than threats and terror, all those who dared to distent from their opinions. The fact, at this period, was, that lliough a prodigious mats of the French nation Trill remained enllaiied to the Roniisli tenets, multitudes in all daises had imbibed a propensity to think and speak on
It&jtc^s relaticg to religion, with government, were deprived of t ''' N 41 reeu
founded. While the monarchy continued part "f the constitution, finding the priesthood, either from interest or bigotry, its mast faithful and firmest supporters, it repaid their assistance with its own. It was this alliance, between the church and the crown, that finally ruined both; and induced their destroyers to consider tfeem as inimical, from their very essence, to political liberty; and inadmilsible, on this account, into any lytiem founded on that principle. After the king's death, the clergy underwent the severest persecution, thole only excepted who had taken the oaths of fidelity to the republic. During the stormy and tyrannical government of Roberfpierre, the civil estalifhment of the Gallican church was formally annulled, and even those ecclesiastics, who adhered to the republican
"the regular regular maintenance hitlierto allowed them.
Aster the fall os the tyrant, the convention decreed a variety of mitigations . in the laws that had beon enacted against the nonjr.ring clergy. It proclaimed the Fullest liberty of worship, and required no other than a simple declaration of submission to the laws, from thole clergymen .w|io exercised their professional functions, together with an acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the people. But those who fubr, scribed to these conditions, together with their followers, were branded,, fcy the nonjuriug clergy and their adherents, as guilty of apoliarv. Much of that spiritual antipathy took place between those dissenting parties,, which has so long proved the disgrace and the bane of religion. But the ruling powers, faithful to their determination of inir partiality, paid no attention to those dissensions; and as they had formally declared, that no particular mode of worship should be rouitir tained at the public expence, nor be protected exclusively to any other, they, went no farther than to prevent thole animosities from breaking out to the disturbance of the peace of the community; and to this end enacted penalties to punish and repress them,
As that part of the French clergy and nation, which openly profesied allegiance to government, by conforming to its ordinances, and making the declarations prescribed, could not sail of being viewed with a favourable eye, it ventured to take some steps which were thought hazardous, in }he opinion of those who dreaded the jealouly they inight occasion. 'A meeting os
some os those bishops, who were called constitutional, frem their hav, ing taken the civic oaths enjoined by the. constituent assembly, tbltylH from having framed the first constitution, was held in the: beginning of 179.?, in order to consult how to restore order and regularity in tbe worship and discipline o( the church, and to replace it on a footing ossmbilitv. aster the confusions that had so violently disturbed its peace. They made a declaration, at (he tauut time, which was highly acceptable to the ft sends of harmony and universal toleration in religious matters^ They frankly and explicitly avowed their assent to the separation of the church from (he state, acknowledging it to be the most effectual means of eradicating those .corruptions and scandalous practices that had been produced by their union, and so deplorably tainted that purity of manners, aw} integrity of life, which ought to accompany the ecclesiastical profession. Religion, they said, when unconnected with politics, would relume that influence over mankind, which arises from innocence and virtue. The great aud;the powerful would relpect it the more for demanding from them only the protection of the state in return for its obedience and conformity to the laws of the land.
These were declarations very uncommon in the ecclesiastical assemblies of modern ages. But numbers of the piost zealous friends to Christianity, applauded them with fervent sincerity, as tending to divest religion of those appendages, which made it doubtful whether its alserfers and followers were influenced by conviction, or by interest; and Iq bring it back lo the princi