Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Prince from among the magistrates of the democracy, captains of the Landwehr, &c. In the same manner the third turiu should consist of one bench, occupied by the clergy of the different confessions, partly called there' by election, and partly by their dignity, and of another bench for the professors of learning and public instruction.

Thus the two chief clements of every constitution would find themselves united in the three Curia, which being again specifically sub-divided into several organs, any differences which might arise, would be settled within themselves, and would not as in the system of two chambers, either be left unsettled or referred to the decision of force.

Since, however, it might happen that by a concert between the two superior orders, the commons might be suppressed, care should be taken to protect their great interests by the manner of voting. In grants of taxes and levies of troops, the decision should be made by the plurality of votes; in which case, the third order' would justly have the greatest influence. In all questions of particular privileges of the democracy or aristocracy, the voting should be by benches. In all other cases in which the monarchy or the church might be concerned, the voting should be by Curia, with the modification, however, that for the change of any essential part of the 'constitution, besides the consent of the Prince, that of the majority in the three Curia should be required. In all other contested points of a superior nature, in which there might be a clashing of interest between two of the orders, a third would always be found to settle the balance.

All these are forms which may be modified in many ways; but they form only the first automaton of the state, which is nothing but a dead corpse if it want that internal animation which alone can preserve, impel, and inspire it: . "

But there are threo principles of animation. The first is religione; it was with this, that the ancient clerical states were begun, their governments being theocracies. But the priesthood having in course of time lost itself in pride,-- power, strength, and courage asserted their rights, and the Kings arose, who at the head of their armies, gradually subdued the world. Honor and warlike virtues maintained here their influence, the crook was changed into the sword. But when at last the power of despotism became anbearable," those in whom any energy and mental strength still remained, shook off the yoke, and democracies were formed in which the rule, the compass, and the plough were kept in honor, civic virtues, republican Sentiments now appeared ; instead of honor, honesty; instead ol'sanctification, moral dignity

But in antiquity we only meet with the descending 'half of

history. Christianity, entering into the democracies which suce

o ceeded Alexander and the Cæsars, formed a new religious state in the midst of them; and embracing the children of the north by its spirit, it produced over Europe, through the agency of Charlemagne, a new universal monarchy. But in the long contest of the warriors with the priesthood, under the RheniskFranconian Emperors, they both wasted their strength, and the temporal power sinking first, the glory of Germany ended with the Suabian Emperors. Meanwhile the priesthood losing its support, weakened by internal discord, and sunk in jmmon rality, was destroyed by the reformation in the north, and, at last, shaken in its very foundation in the south, The empire followed in the destruction, withered in the sov now the original democracy is, in the midst of arbitrary sysa tems, re-established, if not in form, at least in power.

power sy2,71972 It is not however savage strength, with its multitude ool natural faculties, which is returned; but what it has, lost in nature, it has gained in intellect. It is therefore impelled by a natural instinct, unconsciously to fill the new sphere which has Been opened for it; but above all, it endeavours to get rid of that arbitrary power, under which it feels there can be no cons fidence, no security without, no peace within, no dignity, hope, or charity edi, bis wronte, to mitig smp, nigten Joy of

But it was arbitrary power itself, that called forth this sentir ment; that state policy

which, for the sake of profit, fed the body of man, at the expense of his intellect, and which is, in spite of its efforts, the mind had not been strongly moved by, ideas passing like lightning through it, would have degraded man to mere vegetative life. All this proved that authority had long since fallen into a sickly state, and been on the point of becom ing the prey of the automatous element. ti fotogr edi bas Inghe

'It is therefore very plain why in the present time, nothing is listened to but what is palpable to the senses. That constitut tions should be required to be built ppon purely mathematical principles, is

is very pardonable in this state of things every ages must act according to its prevailing spirit, which ought not to be obstinately resisted But then it ought not to be forgotten that the moral political laws are as firmly established, and as inexorable in avenging any infraction, as are those of nature that every violence, produces another and that every extreme must have an opposite,

that the omission of good is as criminal, as the commission of evi). If all those ethical laws havet acquired a mathematical certainty in society, if they have per netrated it in all its elements, and become irrefragable maximsia it may follow its instinct without danger, and build its constin tations on its calculating principle. But this mechanism willa never acquire its proper animation, and become a living body,

[graphic]

eapable of protecting itself, until civic virtue shall be the only State policy;

a system founded on prejudice, now particularly prevalent in France, respecting the natural turpitude of men, will never acquire consistency, and nothing can compensate for the dishonesty of man. This error, founded on the grossest materialismn, though adopted by some individuals in Germany, will never take root in the moral sense of the nation.

at 10123TUS) b on the contrary there appears to be a strong tendency towards

Si og rn; * general justice; and republican virtues, softened and elevated by religions sentiments, are about to become the soul of public life. If the notions of the age, respecting the state and constitution are too corporeal, it should be recollected that this is the natural course of things, and that the animal faculties are sooner developed than those of the mind. We should preserve from destruction the sublime remnants of former ages; fan every spark into a flame, and the spirit of the present age should move the wings of those that have preceded it, order to diffuse life and warmth throughout the whole work. But the future cannot be anticipated, nor can the past be brought back, religion has mostly withdrawn itself into the heart, and has ceased to be a great edifying principle; honor too has disappeared in the general infamy of the last ages , Therefore the present architect employs only those laborers who yet retain some portion of strength, and the others are merely assistants, according to their different capacities. When the present generation, rendered incapable by the pressure of the times, of any thought but for the present, shall have passed away, when democracy shall have renounced its former despotism, and taking root in the old ground, shall have regained vigor and life, when suspicion shall yield to confidence and tranquillity of mind, then will the sublime gradually

assert its right, and the motion in constitutions, which for ages has been downward, will once again ascend, while the intellectual energy developed in the people, shakes off the dead matter, and also forces its way upwards. Then in the competition between the new and old sobility true honor will again become a reigning principle, the rallying point of all great minds in time of

danger or commotion as the ancient nobility will honor their birth by meritorioas aotions, šo the natural desire of honor, like other possessions, transmitted to their posterity, will

be renewed among the plebeians/Then, as in ancient Rome, families will again rise up to be a type and pattern of honor for future generations. The time will also come, when the Germans will actup fo their present conyiction that though their subdivision is an invaluable

bless sing, it will become their curse if they be not bound up into one imion, and though some of the federates have not shown themselves sufficient to support the freedom and security of the

ybod gaivil s mood-bas cortGOTES 19qorqali StuDOS 1993

[graphic]

whole, this principle will doubtless be maintained by some powerful race, which has not sunk under the weight of Charles magne's crown, which can wear his cloak, and wield his sword:

Meanwhile it will be generally acknowledged that religion is not a nursery tale, but the band of spirits, the word of the living God manifested unto man, that the state is but the foundation of the church, and that public life and the cultivation of the sciences is a workshop in itself. From the purity of morals which still characterises the Roman Catholic clergy in Germany, an enthusiasm will easily rise, which will once more impart the long-forgotten life to all forms. They will find that it is not the persecution of intellect, that noblest gift of Heaven, if but properly employed, but its union with religion that can dispel darkness and frivolity, the hot-beds of infidelity: The Protestant clergy, making a proper use of their freedom, will meet this endeavour, keeping the Scripture as their guide, they will know how to separate haman institutions, from eternal truths, and it will also purify them of all partiality, selfishness and pride. Sciences, not pursued as a trade, but divected to religion, will, instead of remaining a dead weight upon the mind, serve to wing its flight to a higher destination. Then different faiths will approximate to each other, not by forms, instituted by particular views or authorities, which only serve to rouse slumbering fanaticism; but because full liberty will turn to neces: sity: then a new priesthood will arise, which, like all terrestrial things will be fixed on earth, but whose kingdom will be in the superior spiritual world, and from whose mouth the long-promised, and expected paraclete will be manifested. ita . These views may be called Millenium follies; upon such follies however Christianity, which has changed the face of the world, was founded, and the present cold calculating spirit will at least not be more immortal, than the inspirations of former ages. But that spirit can indicate no other way but through bloodshed, eivil war, and insurrection. The idea of a German republic and confederacy like the American, is surely less fantastical than a hegemony to which nobody is willing to sub mit: Only the straight-forward historical course therefore rea mains; all resistance to the Omnipotent Willis vain (let things take their natural turn. The German people will not act themselves, unless they act in faith and justice every deviation from the upright course must be unsuccessfulo vit 107 916

Tlrerefore, ye of the third estate! be not diverted from the legal path! you have risen against the mønster of despotism, which stood like a phantom between the throne and the people; you have claimed your ancient liberties, and you must regain

them. You will no longor pay contributions to the treasury like slaves'; but you will, as formerly, pay to the State taxes requested and not commanded. You will no longer suffer yourselves to be dragged to serve in every war; but like your forefathers you will be ready to rise in the defence of your country, when attacked: you will not take justice from courts, which are lost in empty forms and sophistry; you will henceforth prove it before judge and jury. Merit will stand on a level with rank and trade, speech and thought will be free as the air you breathe. In short, you will not blindly submit to overy arbitrary mandate; but only to laws, to which you have previously assented. These are your undeniable rights, Dot favors to be dealt out at pleasure, and which ought least of all to be deferred at a time like the present.

1 But do not sully your good cause by crimes, for you will thereby only favor your enemies. If Heaven destroyed the giant, who swallowed up the revolution, what is there yet in the present age that can resist your cause? Let fools vainly struggle ; when they think they have advanced very far, they will find themselves lower than from whence they set out. Anthority is founded on justice, and no one can forsake her unrévenged. All the armies in the world cannot destroy a mathematical truth, still less'a moral universal law. God only assists the righteous, and violence though supported by poiver, will sooner or later be caught in its own snares.

But it is not the dead law upon paper which can be asserted; whatever proceeds from the heart will remain victorious in life. Therefore the more despotism takes upon itself, the closer must all unite; if all direct the light of their eyes to one point, it will produce, as in a lens, a flame which nothing can resist. not desist from asking what is your due; return constantly to the charge; but at the same time do not take a single step which you can be obliged to retrace. Thus detending your cause courageously, you cannot fail to be successful. But at the same time, do not forget tol use moderation, while you take your own rights, let all others have theirs. Your great objeet must be to render your age better than the past; for without public virtue constitutions are of no valne, Had we possessed virtue, liberty would not have been lost; but the mere desire of seeing it re-established, ddes not prove that you are worthy of possessing it. The great and but too well-founded defence tof all wronys comunitted by governments is that the age refuses to obey, and yet knows hot hot to be free; the reins of government must not flutter in the wind. Whoever will have every thing to himself, and allow nothing to others,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »