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distinct series of lessons, which generally continue throughout the whole course of instruction, and whose influence is aided by the requisite exercises of devotion. By a combination of the means I have described, we succeed in directing our pupils to the best methods of pursuing their studies independently : and we occupy their attention, according to their individual necessities and capacity, with philology, the ancient and modern languages, the mathematics and their various modes of application, and a course of bistorical studies, comprizing geography, statistics, and, with those who are sufficiently advanced, political economy.
“It is the object of our most earnest efforts, to enlarge and ennoble the ideas of our pupils in regard to the human capacities in general, as well as to their own conduct in particular, by enriching their circle of experience from the records of sacred and civil history. They should by this means, attain a thorough acquaintance with every variety of human existence and conduct, and with all the consequences of wisdom and folly, of virtue and vice. They should discover themselves, their families, their countrymen, and their country, in the page of history; and we should endeavor to render them so familiar with every possible lot in life, before their own is fixed, that the most unexpected events shall not take them by surprise or produce embarrassment. They should there observe the rocks on which human happiness is in danger of being wrecked, and learn how to avoid them, before they are hurried away by the whirlpool of the passions.
“We should also draw from history a panoramic view of human nature, in its purest and best form, and in the various parts of life which are accessible to us. We should form to ourselves an ideal model of the highest excellence, adapted to our circumstances and individual character; one so adapted that we may adhere to it through life, that we may cheerfully struggle to imitate it, nay, that we may be ready to live and die for its attainment.
“ History should finally present to us the course of Divine Providence, in directing the destinies of individuals, and of the human race in general. It should produce an elevation and energy in our religious character, which should continue through our lives. This object is best attained, by presenting as early as possible to the view of the child, the great books of God, that of nature, and that of the moral government of the world, as exhibited in real life, in the holy scriptures, and in civil history. But these should be presented in a manner adapted to form his religious feelings in such a manner, that the traces of the infinite wisdom and goodness of the Creator and Preserver of the world, may never escape his observation. Such an examination of the laboratories of the creation which are accessible to us, and of the productions of the infinite skill of the Most High, are the best means of preserving us from that pride, which might be excited by an imperfect acquaintance with human science and art. We endeavor to proceed from the commencement of our labors, upon the essential principles and conditions of the gospel. Every sound system of education must rest on the instructions of Jesus Christ. In these instructions is given the substance of its theory. The best practical example for the educator is to be found in the Savior of men, and in the result we should aim at no other object, than the realization of that kingdom of God to which He has directed mankind."
I am, etc.
XIII.-REVIEW ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN SWITZERLAND.
Observations sur l'article sur les sectaires, inséré dans la Gazette de Lau
sanne du 13 Mars, 1829. (Observations on an article concerning the sectaries, inserted in the Gazette of Lausanne, Canton of Vaud, March
13, 1829.) pp. 12. Essai sur la Conscience et sur la liberte Religieuse, on examin du rapport
presenti au grand Conseil du Canton de Vaud, par le conseil d' etat, le 30 Mai, 1829; par A. Venet. Parlez en faveur de ceux qui sont muets, Proo. xxxi. 8. (Essay on Conscience and Religious liberty, or examination of the Report presented by the Council of State, to the grand Council of the Canton of Vaud, May 30, 1829; by A. Venet. “Open thy mouth for the dumb," Prov. xxxi. 8.) Paris and Geneva: pp. 100.
In a recent article on the state of religion in Switzerland, we alluded to the persecution now existing in the canton of Vaud, but could not go into details.* The pamphlets before us are particularly interesting, because they present us not merely with the acts of a government, but with the efficient expression of its principles, and thus enable us to bring them at once to the test of impartial examination. The following explanations will enable our readers better to understand the origin and character of these documents.
The Pays de Vaud is a beautiful country, lying between the lake of Geneva and the Jura Mountains, bordering directly on France, speaking its language, and partaking of its manners. For two centuries and a half, this country was a tributary, vassal state of the canton of Berne; and was governed with absolute sway by its bailiffs, who resided in their feudal castles, and collected the established tribute. In 1798, the people resolved to throw off the yoke. They revolted against the dominion of Berne, and estab
* In that article it was observed, that candidates for the ministry are now only required to avow their belief in the new testament, The words " in several cantons" were accidentally omitted. We find reason to believe also, that our information was incorrect as to the artic.e addressed by the government to the Revue Encyclopedique on this subject.
lished an independent government as one of the cantons of Switzerland, which was recognized by Napoleon and by the Congress of Vienna. One of the articles of their constitution was as follows: “ The evangelical reformed religion is (shall be) the religion of the canton. The constitution guarantees to the Catholic and mixed Communes Echallons, Bottens, etc. the exercise of the Catholic religion as it has hitherto existed.”
The recognized standards of the evangelical reformed religion thus established, were the Helvetic confession and the acts of the Synod of Berne, which are, in the common acceptation of the term, truly evangelical in their doctrines,-at the same time in imitation of other European states, and under the influence of the Holy Alliance, the government was constituted the “bead of the church,” with authority to license, place, and remove the clergy, and assign and pay their salaries.
In 1813, the religious excitement at Geneva commenced with prayer-meetings of a few students in theology. One of these (Mr. Empaytaz) was refused consecration on this ground; and in 1816, published a work on the divinity of Christ, impugning the orthodoxy of the Genevan pastors. In 1817, the venerable company of Geneva, (as the pastors of Geneva are styled,) imposed their celebrated test upon young ministers and candidates, requiring them to engage not to deliver their opinions in the pulpit, upon the essential doctrines of evangelical religion.* To this test several ministers refused to subscribe, and Mr. Malan, one of the most zealous converts to orthodoxy, was forbidden to preach, and deprived of his support as a professor in the college. On this account, he commenced preaching in private, and in 1820, opened a separate church. The fire thus kindled into a blaze by the efforts to suppress it, soon spread to the neighboring canton of Vaud, which had been deeply affected by the residence of Gibbon and by the vicinity of Voltaire and Rousseau ; and from its language and location, had suffered more in religion and morals, from the French revolution, than the eastern cantons. The condition of the
* Lest this singular measure should be forgotten by some of our readers, we give from a former volume the promise, to which the young ministers and candidates were obliged to subscribe. “ We promise to abstain, while we reside and preach in the churches of the canton of Geneva, from establishing, either by an entire discourse, or by a part of a discourse directed towards this end, our opinion-1, upon the manner in which the divine natnre is united to the person of Jesus Christ—2, upon original sin—3, upon the manner in which grace operates ; or upon efficacious grace_4, upon predestination. We promise also not to controvert, in our public discoures, ihe opinion of one of the pastors upon these subjects. In fine, we engage, if we are led to express our opinion upon one of these subjects, to do it without an extended statement, avoiding phrases foreign to the holy scriptures, and employing as much as possible the terms they use.”
churches varied as in the German cantons, in Geneva and formerly in our own country; and preachers were to be found in every stage, from fervent orthodoxy to silent neutrality and rational philosophy. But the influence of Ostervald and some others of the fathers of the church in this part of Switzerland, seemed still to survive. Unitarianism was not avowed or advocated as much as in German Switzerland ; and it would have been deemed impolitic, if not dangerous, as it formerly was in Geneva, to propose it as the religion of the community. Still the clear and pungent exhibition of divine truth could not be endured patiently, and its enemies adopted the ancient practice, like another church, and spared themselves the task of discussion by calling in “ the secular arm” to their aid.
One of the first active measures of the government of Vaud, was to silence a clergyman (Mr. Chavannes) who held religious meetings on Sunday evening, attended by fifty or sixty persons. In December 1823, he addressed a letter to the government, respectfully but firmly declaring his determination to separate from the national churches. He was soon joined by eight other ministers of similar views, among whom were Messrs. Juvet, Olivier, and the brothers Rochat. They alledged as the ground of this separation, " that their belief attaches them to the Helvetic confession and other standards of faith admitted as the basis of the national charch," which they found abandoned by pastors and people ;—thus in fact adhering to, instead of relinquishing that “evangelical reformed religion” which the constitution declares to be the religion of the canton,--and begged respectfully the same tolerance and legal protection, which is granted to the English church, the Catholics, and even the Jews.
To this the government replied by a decree dated Jan. 20, 1824, in which all religious assemblies except those of the established church were forbidden : the officers of the police were required to break them up, and all who should be concerned in them were made liable to fine and imprisonment. On the 20th of May following, measures still more severe were adopted. It was even forbidden under similar penalties, that the scriptures should be read or explained in a family in connection with others besides its members. This decree was by no means lest a dead letter in the statue book, but the efforts of the police and the enemies of evangelical religion were combined to carry it into active execution. As an example of the effects of this law, we may state, that a family with which we were acquainted, were visited by two of their neighbors, and began to read the bible. The door was burst open, a body of
d' armes entered and cried out, “ in the name of the law, let this assembly be dissolved !” “ But what fault have we committed ?” asked the family. “What is the book you have
there !” “It is the bible !--It is the bible !” “Disperse!” A female of the same family was visited in the same abrupt manner by the soldiery, while sitting in her bed chamber with a single friend. Fines, imprisonment, and banishment were frequent. A lady of our acquaintance was condemned to a month's imprisonment, and placed for a time in a prison whose only floor was the ground. Five individuals, of whom two were strangers, were found in the house of the Rev. Charles Rochat employed in reading the bible. For this offense this gentleman was imprisoned ten weeks, and then banished for two years. Similar sentences were passed for similar offenses, on the other clergymen we have mentioned. One clergyman, Mr. Henry Juvet, who was first imprisoned, and deprived of the common comforts of life, and then banished, died in consequence of the treatment he suffered, at Nismes in the south of France.
So minute were the observations and so rigid the measures of the government, that a foreign lady who conversed with some of her visitors on the subject of religion, and a German clergyman who urged a pastor to defend the cause of religious liberty, were ordered to leave the canton. We might multiply examples of this kind, but these are sufficient to exhibit the spirit of the government, and the influence of its laws.
At the period when this law was promulgated, the number of Separatists was small. From that moment their increase became more rapid, and the seperation assumed more energy and consistence. In the course of four or five years, about half the ministers of the established church adopted their views on every point except separation ; about twenty separate churches were organized; and the law of 1824, sunk into a dead letter, and was considered as abandoned by its partisans.
During the last year, the separate churches united in commissioning and sending out a missionary (Lenoir) to preach at those places where evangelical doctrines were not taught. At one place in which he held meetings, the house where the people were assembled, was attacked by a mob; a scene of riot took place, and several of the assembly were insulted and treated in the most unworthy manner. The police instead of punishing the authors of this disorder, arrested the minister whom they accused as its cause, under the law of May 20th. He was confined three weeks, partly in jail and partly in the hospital, where he was sent on account of illness; and then was sent out of the village. The gazette of Lausanne, on this occasion, published some remarks on the Sectaries or Mummers, (Momiers) as they are termed; and took this opportunity to announce and maintain opinions subversive of all religious liberty. This called forth the remarks of Prof. Vinet of the college of Vol. II.