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state by pure Christian faith? The mass of the clergy must be trained by education for their sublime, but, we fear, ill-rewarded, and as far as respects worldly distinction, inglorious career. The government appears in some degree sensible to the importance and the difficulty of the question. A million of livres is devoted to scholarships attached to the diocesan seminaries. But from what class are the candidates for the ministry to be sought? Where are to be found those high and precious qualifications which M. Girardin justly demands from those who aspire to this sacred office?simplicity of tastes; humility of spirit; resignation and force of character; charity; the love of study and of truth. Our author has not been able to shrink from this unavoidable question. The immense spiritual militia necessary for all the parishes of the kingdom can only be recruited from the same sources as the army ;' in other words, the lowest order of the community. In some respects, we agree with M. Girardin, this may be of direct advantage. The religious impulse once given, and given in the right direction, it will be desirable, and even necessary, that the clergy, who are to pass their days in a secluded hamlet, among rude and uninstructed peasants, performing very laborious and painful duties on a scanty stipend, should be taken from a class among whom ease and luxury are unknown; of simple and unambitious manners, and raised above the general level only by their sanctity of character and superior Christianity of mind and conversation. We shall not be suspected of disparaging those lowly men, who from the days of the Apostles have arisen in the Christian Church; some of whom have at once seized, as of undoubted right, the highest stations; or in a lower sphere have instinctively, as it were, displayed the purest gentility of manners, Christian courtesy, and dignity; and so have taken their place in the high and acknowledged aristocracy of virtue and benevolence. But-taking this portion of the population of France according to M. Girardin's own description-it is no encouraging prospect that this class are to supply the mass of the clergy, who are to officiate in a community at once in a high state of civilisation, and, as regards peace and good order, in a semi-barbarous condition—a community either sunk in apathy or actuated by violent and uncontrolled passions. Religion itself, unless it becomes a passion, will scarcely find active or self-denying proselytes for its service; it will be a fierce, and probably an ignorant fanaticism, or nothing. The difficulty we fear is immeasurably increased by the political state of the country, and the apparent impracticability of dissevering religious from social passions and interests. There can be no doubt what would be the wisethe Christian course—for the clergy of France at the present
onist nor gentending fabrir mission,
juncture. To stand aloof in resolute dignity, and in secluded devotion to the purely spiritual part of their mission, and refuse to mingle with any of the contending factions of the state - to be neither Bourbonist nor Republican; to repudiate, with the same fixed determination, a La Mennais, with his turbulent (he calls it Evangelical) democracy, on the one hand, and on the other, a school whose leaders we respect too highly to name in connexion with that restless zealot; who themselves enamoured of the poetry—the poetry in stone and on canvass—of the thirteenth century, think it possible to reconstruct, in the present day, the vast and universal Cathedral of Romish worship-at the same time that they would bring back much of the power of the ancient monarchy. On one part of this great question, the events of the last twenty-five years, and the unpopular position in which the clergy of France now stand with a large and powerful part of the community, have read a painful but instructive lesson. Nothing can have been more unhappy or more fatal to the real interests of religion than the identification of the Church of France with the ultra-Royalist party. It was natural, perhaps, that those before whose memory still swam the remote but ineffaceable images of the Revolution in whose ears were yet ringing the feeble cries of their brethren, plunged into the river-or who had hardly dared to avert their sight, in the days when the thousand eyes of suspicion catered for the guillotine, from the orgies of the goddess of Reason-it was natural for these to consider the only hope of religion as resting on the strength of the throne ; it was natural, it was pardonable—but still, as a question not merely of common expediency, but of high Christian prudence, it was much to be regretted ; and adversity, however sometimes, is not always the best school for wisdom.-And what were the measures adopted to win back to the ancient faith and its observances a people deeply tainted with irreligion, or trained in the reckless discipline of long and unrestrained military licence ?
The better course would assuredly have been to have kept the ritual, as far as possible, within consecrated precincts; to have brought it into collision as seldom as inight be with the angry passions and deep-rooted prejudices of the mass. It should have remained, where it was secure from insult, if not sure to command veneration. It should not have paraded itself through the streets, where its presence excited mockery, or led processions through a population in which scorn and hatred were but ill suppressed. Within the churches everything should have been done to preserve an impressive, and, as far as might be, an attractive majesty-all should have been studied which is so imposing in the Roman Catholic ceremonial, the habits, the gorgeous altar, the procesVOL. LXVII. NO. CXXXIV.
sionals, sionals, the music, the preaching itself—the Masses, sometimes in the blaze of noonday, sometimes in the solemn twilight, sometimes at the deep and serious midnight. There Religion should have remained in its profound mystery, to which, at first, perhaps the few would slowly and timidly have gathered; but which would gradually have drawn within its sphere, and, what is still more important, have retained as serious and conscientious proselytes, all who in the trials of life could find no refuge but the altar-in its sorrows no consolations but from the Christian Gospel; all who, when the sublime truths of Christianity were thus divested of that which clashed with their blind, it is true, but deep-seated prejudices, would have rendered it their tardy, but not less sincere, homage. But this calm and dignified course was not that generally pursued. There was an attempt to awe the people into religion by ceremonies which had lost all their awfulness. No doubt, in countries still unshakenly Roman Catholic, the procession of the Host through the streets, the sudden cessation before its presence of all worldly business—the silence at once of the hum of traffic, the laugh of pleasure, the scream of contention—the whole multitude falling at once on their knees—must confirm the devotional feeling. Every act of faith increases the energy and intensity of faith. But when the Host was carried through ranks of soldiers, whose only principle of veneration was obedience to regimental orders; when it passed, as we have seen it, through file after file, some listlessly leaning on their muskets in undisguised weariness at the whole affair-some in whose eyes might be seen the twinkling, and on their lips the slight curl, of ill-suppressed scorn-some whose sullen aspect betrayed still moroser feelings ;while the general population, at least in Paris, stood looking on as they would at any other spectacle—this, instead of enforcing involuntary reverence from the hard' and unbelieving, would at least have an unfavourable effect on the wavering, and would weaken rather than confirm the devotion of the believer. It was all too much an affair of government and police; and, where government was unpopular, and the police searching and oppressive, it could not but share in the unpopularity, and appear at best but as a solemn mockery.
The clergy themselves, in their outward approaches to a people thus in great degree alienated from them, should have confined themselves, as far as possible, to those gentle and welltimed ministrations of which the hardest heart cannot but feel the holiness, the sublimity, the Christianity. Of these blessed offices, such is the commanding sanctity of our religion, the worst, in the worst days of revolutionary madness, in theory at least, admitted the beauty; and when they would abandon themselves to the
spontaneous and yet undistorted emotions of the heart, could not be witnesses without admiration. The ministers of Christ should have been by the bed of sickness, to soothe ; in the house of sor• row, in the dwelling of the orphan and the widow, at least (when in their poverty they could give no more) to give the sympathy, the consolation, the hope of faith. Their Gospel should, as of old, have been addressed to the poor; and the blessedness promised to those that mourn should be turned to the account of Him who chastens us for our profit. They should have gone about not so much in authority as in love; not evidently aiming at their lost power, but rather at the disinterested promotion of the pure evangelic spirit. We fear that the conduct especially of the missionaries, who were at one time spread in restless activity throughout France, was anything rather than in this winning and conciliatory spirit. Everywhere they set up, at every cross-road and turning, their flaring, new-painted crucifixes. Now, in a believing country, where such symbols have been of ancient and immemorial usage; where the crucifixes themselves, overgrown perhaps with moss and weather-stained with age, have been hallowed by the reverence of successive generations; where the pedestals have been worn by the genuflexions, the burning kisses, and the tears of true worshippers : all this, though to the sterner judgment but image-worship of the Redeemer, still, asin the former case, could not but deepen faith by its constant exercise, and make devotion more devout; the very rudeness of the art speaks of antiquity, and shows that it is a venerable relic of the piety of former days. But when these images were all glaringly new, with every agonising circumstance aggravated by the very clumsiest hewer in wood, who, by the help of the brightest vermilion, and the prodigal use of all the highest and most strongly contrasted colours, contrived to unite only the painfulness of truth with the coarsest unreality, we may judge, by their distressing effect on a religious Protestant, what must have been their startling and revolting effect on men devoid of religion. We question whether the rudest peasant, who had passed through the fiery ordeal of these times with his faith unscathed, would behold such images without some revulsion—unless, indeed, he chanced to look at them with something of political rejoicing at the triumph of the old royalist party. And as if the people of France had not vices enough calmly to argue down, as if the stern spirit of indiscriminate anathema was the language best calculated to retrieve their lost influence, the missionaries chose as a chief subject of their condemnatory preaching the old, national, and, we believe, generally innocent, amusement of the people. If we are to trust Paul Louis Courier, which certainly we do not without much reservation, their most earnest endeavours were employed to suppress village dancing. Courier, of course, did not neglect the opportunity of cutting them to the quick with the sharp edge of his finely-polished satire.
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However they may secretly deplore it, it is absolutely necessary that the clergy of France, to fulfil their beneficent mission with any hope of success, must acquiesce in the existing order of things. Without lowering themselves to a vulgar democratic tone, and speaking no language but that of a pure, earnest, enlightened Christianity, they may show that the blessings of their religion are entirely independent of and superior to political circumstances. By going back to the original and vital essence of Christianity, the establishment of principles, the forming dispositions, bridling passions, disciplining affections, without immediate regard to the circumstances of the times or the prevailing prejudices; by viewing their flocks as Christians and responsible beings before God rather than as royalists or republicans, they will, in fact, far better attain their worldly end-promote good order and law with more remote, perhaps, but surer efficacy. There is truth and wisdom in the following observations of M. Girardin. We leave them in the original language, as we would not, above all, weaken the remarkable statement as to the present condition and tenure of royalty in France :
"En France, la souveraineté du peuple est un fait victorieux qu'il est infiniment moins dangereux de reconnaître que de méconnaître. Assurément la valeur du principe peut être discutée, contestée, mais non pas la réalité du fait. La société se gouverne, elle n'est plus gouvernée; le pouvoir monarchique n'a plus qu'un souffle ; il n'existe plus que par une dernière prérogative, qu'il est constamment menacé de perdre, l'hérédité! A cet égard il ne faut donc plus se faire d'illusions ; il ne reste à la royauté dépouillée du diadème qu'une couronne d'épines.
• Cet état de choses doit appeler toute l'attention du jeune clergé; il ne faut plus songer à contenir par la résistance matérielle le torrent démocratique; on s'épuiserait en vains efforts; il ne faut plus penser qu'à le diriger habilement par le développement du sentiment religieux, par l'ascendant de la raison, par la suprême loi du bien public. Puisque le pouvoir n'a plus à son service la force matérielle, que de moins il ait pour auxiliaire la force spirituelle !
* Un admirable avenir nous parait réservé en France au clergé catholique, s'il sait le comprendre, s'il sait dignement s'y préparer, s'il sait s'élever par la science à la hauteur de la mission à laquelle il est appelé par le développement de la démocratie, s'il sait enfin apprendre à parler avec éloquence et simplicité le langage qui soumet la multitude en la relevant à ses propres yeux, en s'emparant de ses passions et en ennoblissant ses instincts.'— pp. 318, 319.
With regard to education, the course of the clergy appears persectly clear-to befriend and advance it by all their influence. It is