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wou, that within a few weeks, I suffered an Episcopalia to preach in my pulpit, and to use his own forms of prayer. B.", such is the state of seeing in my cong egation, that, though such a thing has never before occurred among them, yet it met with their universal and unqualit.ed approbation. On the other hand, I expect, in he course of a week or two, to preach a charity serinon here in one of our Episcopal churches, and to perform the whole service in my own way. This, it must be confessel, is a little uncommon even in this country; but every thing indicates, that such expressions of good will, even between Presbyterians and Episcopalians, will soon become frequent. Independents and Presbyterians here occupy nearly the same ground. They are indeed distinct denominations, but are represented in each other's public bodies.” The author has perused an excellent sermon of the clergyman now alluded to, which was preached in an Independent church when in roducing an Independent minister to his charge immediately afer ordination, which shows that we have still inuch to learn from our transatlantic brethren, in relation to a friendly and affectionate in ercourse with Christians of different denominations.
No. XII.—On the Demoralizing Effects of Inft* del Philosophy. P. 153–156.
With the view of corroborating and illustrating more fully the statements made in the pages referred to, the following facts may be stated in relation to the moral character of the inhabitants of France particularly those of Paris.
In the first place, the vice of gambling prevails in the capital of France to an extent unknown in almost any other country. The Palais Royale is the grand focus of this species of iniquity, which is the fertile source of licentiousness, and of almost every crime. Mr. J. Scott, who visited Paris in 1814, thus describes this sink of inoral pollution. “The Palais Royale presents the most characteristic feature of Paris; it is dissolute, gay, wretched, elegant, paltry, busy, and idle—it suggests recollections of atrocity, an i supplies sights of fascination—it displays virtue and vice living on easy terms, and in immediate neighbourhood of each other. Excitements, indulgences, and privations—art and vulgarity—science and ignorance—artful conspiracies and careless debaucheries—all mingle here, forming an atmosphere of various exhalations, a whirl of the most lively images—a stimulatin: melinge of what is most heating, intoxicating, and subduing.” Sir W. Scott, who visited Paris in 1815, gives the following description of this infamous establishment. “The Palais Royale, in whose saloons and porticoes vice has established a public and open school for gambling and licentiousness, should be levelled wo the ground with all its accursed brothels and
gambling houses—rerdezvouses the more seductive to youth, as being free from some of those dangers which would alarm timidity in places of avowedly scandalous resort. In the Sallon des Etran sers, the most celebrated haunt of this Dom-Daniel, which I had the curiosity to visit, the scene was decent and silent to a degree of solemnity. An immense hall was filled with gamesters,and spectators. Those who kept the bank, and managed the affairs of the establishment, were distinguished by the green shades which they wore to preserve their eyes; by their silent and grave demeanour, and by the paleness of their countenances, exhausted by their constant vigils. There was no dis inction of persons, nor any passport required for entrance, save that of a decent exterior; and, on the long tables, which were covered with gold, an artisan was at liberty to hazard his week's wages, or a noble his whole estate. Youth and age were equally welcome, and any one who chose to play within the limits of a trifling sum, had only to accuse his own weakness, if he was drawn into deeper or more dangerous hazard. Every thing appeared to be conducted with perfect fairness. The only advantage possessed by the bank (which is however, enormous) is the extent of the funds, by which it is enabled to sustain any reverse of fortune; whereas, most of the individuals who play against the bank, are in circumstances to be ruined by the first succession of ill luck; so that, ultimately, the small ventures merge in the stock of the principal adventurers, as rivers run into the sea. The profits of the establishment must, in deed, be very large, to support its expenses. Besides a variety of attendants, who distribute refreshments to the players gratis, there is an elegant entertainment, with expensive wines, regularly prepared, about three o'clock in the morning, for those who choose to partake of it. With such temptations around him, and where the hazarding an insignificant sum seems at first venial or innocent, it is no wonder that thousands feel themselves gradually involved in the vortex, whose verge is solittle distinguishable, until they are swallowed up, with their time, talents, sortune, and frequently also both body and soul. “This is vice with her fairest vizard; but the same unhallowed precinct contains many a secret cell for the most hideous and unheard of debaucheries; many an open rendezvous of infamy, and many a den of usury and treason; the whole mixed with a Vanity Fair of shops for jewels, trinkets, and baubles; that bashfulness may not need a decent pretext for adventuring into the haunts of infamy. It was here that the preachers of revolution found, amidst gamblers, desperadoes, and prostitutes, ready auditors of their doctrines, and active hands to labour in their vineyard. It was here that the plots of the Buonapartists were adjusted; and from hence the seduced soldiers, inflamed with many a bumper to the health of the exile of Elba, under the mystic names of Jean de l'Epre, and Corporal Violet, were dismissed to spread the news of his approaching return. In short, from this central pit of Acheron, in which are openly assembled and mingled those characters and occupations which, in all other capitals, are driven to shroud themselves in separate and retired recesses; from this focus of vice and treason have flowed forth those waters of bitterness of which France has drunk so deeply.” The state of marriage in this country since the revolution is likewise the fertile source of immorality and crime. Marriage is little else than a state of legal concubiuage, a mere temporary connexion, from which the parties can loose themselves when they please; and women are a species of mercantile commodity. Illicit connexions and illegitimate children, especially in Paris, are numerous beyond what is known in any other country. The following statement of the affairs of the French capital, for the year ending 221 September 1803, given by the Prefect of Police to the Grand Judge, presents a most revolting idea of the state of public morals: –During this year 490 men and 167 women committed suicide; 81 men and 69 women were murdered, of whom 55 men and 52 women were foreigners: 644 divorces; 155 murderers executed; 1210 persons condemned to the galleys, &c.; 1626 persons to hard labour, and 64 marked with hot irons; 12,076 public women were registered; large sums were levied from these wretched creatures, who were made to pay from 5 to 10 guineas each monthly, according to their rank, beauty, or fashion; 1552 kept mistresses were noted down by the police, and 380 brothe's licensed by the Prefect. Among the criminals executed were 7 fathers for poisoning their children; 10 husbands for murdering their wives; 6 wives that had murdered their husbands; and 15 children who had poisoned or otherwise destroyed their parents. The glaring profanation of the Sabbath is another striking characteristic of the people of France, especially as displayed in the capital. Entering Paris on the Sabbath, a Briton is shocked at beholding all that reverence and solemnity with which that sacred day is generally kept in Christian countries, not only set aside, but ridiculed and contemned, and a whole people apparently lost to every impression of religion. The shops are all alive, the gaming-houses filled, the theatres crowded, the streets deafened with ballad-singers and mountebanks; persons of all ages, from the hoary grandsire to the child 2s four or five years, engaged in balls, routs, and dancings, the house of God alone deserted, and the voice of religion alone unheard and despised. The Sabbath was the day appointed for celeorating the return of Buonaparte from Elba in
1815. In the grand square there were stationed two theatres of dancers and rope-dancers: two theatres of amusing physical experiments; six bands for dancing : a theatre of singers; a display of fire-works; a circus where Francone's troops were to exhibit ; and above all, that most delectable sport called Matts de Cocagne. The Matts de Cocagne consists of two long poles, near the tops of which are suspended various articles of cookery, such as roast beef, fowls, ducks, &c. The poles are soaped and rendercd slippery at the bottom ; and the sport consists in the ludicrous failures of those who climb to reach the eatables. Two Matts de Cocagne were also erected in the square Marjury; as also four bands for dancing, a theatre of rope-dancers; a theatre of amusing experiments ; a theatre of singers, &c.; and fire-works. These amusements were to commence at 2 o'clock, P. M. and to last till night. Along the avenue of the Champ de Elysees, there were erected 36 fountains of wine, 12 tables for the distribution of eatables, such as pies, fowls, sausages, &c. The distribution of the wine and eatables took place at three o'clock. At nine o'clock there was a grand fire-work at the Place de Concorde. Immediately afterwards a detonating balloon ascended from the Champ de Elysees. The detonation took place when the balloon was at the height of 500 toises, or above 3000 feet. In the evening all the theatres were opened gratis, and all the public edifices were illuminated. Such was the mode in which the Parisians worshipped the “goddess of Reason” on the day appointed for the Christian Sabbath. That such profanation of the Sabbath is still continued, and that it is not confined to the city of Paris, but abounds in most of the provincial towns of France, appears from the following extract of a letter inserted in the Eevangelical Magazine for January 1833, from a gentleman who recently resided in different parts of that country:-" Could every pious reader of this letter be awakened, on the morning of that sacred day, as I have been, by the clang of the anvil, and, on his entrance into the streets and markets, observe business prosecuted or suspended according to the tastes of the tradesmen; could he mark the workmen on seasons of religious festival, erecting the triumphal arch on the Sabbath morning, and removing it on the Sabbath evening; and notice the labourers, at their option, toiling all day at the public works; could he see the card-party in the hotel, and the nine-pins before every public house, and the promenaders swarming in all the suburbs; could he be compelled to witness, on one Sunday, a grand review of a garrison; and on another be disturbed by the music of a company of strolling players; and could he find, amidst all this profanation, as I have found, no temple to which to retreat, save the barren cliff or the ocean-cave, surely he
MANIA FOR DANCING IN PARIS.
would feel and proclaim the truth, “This people is destroyed for lack of knowledge.’” The same gentieman shows, that this profanation is chiefly occasioned by “the destitution of Scriptual information which exists in France,” which the sollowing facts, among many others that came under his own observation, tend to illustrate. “On the road to M on a market-day, I stopped about a dozen persons, some poor, others of the better classes, and showing them the New Testament, begged them to inform me if they possessed it. With a single exception, they all replied in the negative. In the town of M I entered, with the same inquiry, many of the most respectable shops. Only one individual among their occupiers was the owner of a New Testament. One gentleman, who, during a week, dined with me at my inn, and who avowed himself a deist and a materialist, said that he had not seen a Testament for many years. Indeed, I doubted whether he had ever read it; for, on my presenting one to him, he asked if it contained an account of the creation. A journeyman bookbinder, having expressed a wish to obtain this precious book, remarked, on receiving it, in perfect ignorance of its divine authority, that he dared to say it was “a very fine work.” A student in a university, about 20 years of age, told me, that although he had seen the Vulgate (Latin) version of the New Testament, he had never met with it in a French translation A young woman, who professed to have a Bible, produced instead of it a Catholic Abridgment of the Scriptures, garbled in many important portions, and interlarded with the cominents of the Fathers.” Such facts afford a striking evidence of the hostility of the Roman Catholic clergy in France to the circulation of the Scriptures, and the enlightening of the minds of the community in the knowledge of Divine truths; and therefore it is no wonder that Infidelity, Materialism, and immorality, should very generally prevail. “Even among the Protestants,” says the same writer, “a large number of their ministers are worldly men, frequenting, as a pious lady assured me, ‘the chase, the dance, and the billiard table.” As to the public worship of God, the case is equally deplorable. In two large towns, and a population of 25 000. I sound no Protestant sanctuary. In a third town, containing about 7000 inhabitants, there was an English Episcopal chapel for the British residents, but no French Protestant service. At a fourth, in which there was a Protestant church, the minister, who supplied four other places, preached one Saybath in five weeks.” The mania for dancing, which pervades all classes and all ages, is another characteristic of the people of Paris, of which some idea may be formed trom the following extract from a French oublic Journal, dated August 2, 1804 –“The
danso-mania of both sexes seems rather to increase than decrease with the warm weather. Sirty balls were advertised for last Sunday; and for to-morrow sirty-nine are announced. Any person walking in the Elysian fields, or on the Boulevards, may be convinced that these temples of pleasure are not without worshippers. Besides these, in our own walks last Sunday, we counted no less than twenty-two gardens not advertised, where there was fiddling and dancing. Indeed, this pleasure is tempting, because it is very cheap. For a bottle of beer, which costs 6 sous (3d.,) and 2 sous (ld.,) to the fiddler, a husband and wife, with their children, may amuse themselves from three o'clock in the afternoon till eleven o'clock at night. As this exercise both diverts the mind and strengthens the body and as Sunday is the only day of the week which the mos: numerous classes of people can dispose of without injury to themselves or the state, government encourages, as much as possible, these innocent amusements on that day. In the garden of Chaumievre, on the Boulevard Neuf, we observed, in the same quadrilles, last Sunday, four generations, the great grandsire dancing with his greatgreat granddaughter, and the great-grandmamma dancing with her great-great-grandson. It was a satisfaction impossible to be expressed, to see persons of so many different ages, all enjoying the same pleasures for the present, not remembering past missortunes, nor apprehending future ones. The grave seemed equally distant from the girl of ten years old, and from her great-grandmamma of seventy years, and from the boy that had not seen three lustres, as from the great grandsire reaching nearly fourscore years. In another quadrille, were four lovers dancing with their mistresses. There, again, nothing was obscrved but an emulation who should enjoy the present moment. Not an idea of the past, or of timo to come, clouded their thoughts; in a few words, they were perfectly happy. Let those tormented by avarice or ambition frequent those places on a Sunday, and they will be cured of their vile passions, is they are not incurable.” Such are a few sketches of the moral state and character of the people of Paris, which, there is every reason to believe, are, with a few modifications, applicable to the inhabitants of inost of the other large towns in France. Among the great mass of the population of that country, there appears to be no distinct ecognition of the moral attributes of the Deity, it the obligation of the Divine law, or of a future and eternal state of existence. Whirled about incessantly in the vortex of vanity and dissipation, the Creator is lost sight of, moral responsibility disregarded, and present sensual gratifications pursued with
* Several of the nhove sketches are extracted from the “ Glasgow Geography,” a work which contains an immense mass of historical, geographical, and miscellaneous information
the utmost eagerness, regardless whether death shall prove the precursor lo primanent happiness or misery, or to a state of “eternal sleep.” Never, perhaps, in a Pagan country, was the Epicurean philosophy so systematically reduced to practice as in the country of Wolaire, Busion, Mirabeau. Condorce, Helvetius, and Diderot. It :annot be difficult to trace the present demoralitation of France to the sceptical and atheistical principles disseminated by such writers, which were adopted in all their extent, and acted upon by the leaders of the first Revolution. Soon after that event, education was altogether proscribed. During the space of five years, from 1791 to 1796, the public instruction of the young was totally set aside, and, of course, they were -est to remain entirely ignorant of the facts and doctrines of religion, and of the duties they owe to God and to man. It is easy, therefore, to conceive what must be the intellectual, the moral, and religious condition of those who were born a little before this period, and who now form a considerable portion of the population arrived at the years of manhood. A gentleman at Paris happened to possess a domestic of sense and general intelligence above his station. His master, upon some occasion, used to him the expression, “It is doing as we would be done by,”—the Christian maxim. The young man looked rather surprised: “Yes,” (replied the gentleman) “I say, it is the doctrine of the Christian religion, which teaches us not only to do as we would be done dy, but also to return good for evil.” “It may be so Sir,” (replied he] “but I had the misfortune to be born during the heat of the revolution, when it would have been death to have spoken on the subject of religion; and so soon as I was fifteen years old, I was put into the hands of the drillserjeant, whose first lesson to me was, that as a French soldier, I was to fear neither God nor devil.” It is to be hoped, that the rising generation in France is now somewhat improved in intelligence and morality beyond that which sprung up during the demoralizing scenes of the first revolution; but, in spite of all the counteracting efforts that can now be used, another generation, at least, must pass away, before the immoral effects produced by infidel philosophy, and the principles which prevailed during the “reign of terror,” can be nearly obliterated. I shall conclude these sketches with the following account of the consecration of the “Goddess of Reason,”—one of the most profane and presumptuous mockeries of every thing that is rationai or sacred, to be sound in the history of mankind. “The section of the Sans Culottes, declared at the bar of the Convention, November 10, 1793, that they would no longer have priests among Hem, and that they required the total suppression of all salaries paid to the ministers of religious worship, The petition was followed by a nume
rous procession, which filed off in the hall, accompanied by national music. Surrounded by them, appeared a young woman” of the fines: figure, arrayed in the robes of bery, and seated in a chair, ornamented with leaves and festoons. She was placed opposite the President, and Chaumette, one of the unenbers, said, ‘Fame ticism has abandoned the place of truth ; squin, eyed, it could not bear the brilliant light. The people of Paris have taken possession of the emple, which they have regenerated ; the Gothic arches which, till this day resounded with lie, now echo with the accents of truth: you see we have not taken for our festivals inanimate idols, it is a chef d’auvre of nature whom we have arrayed in the habit of liberty; its sacred form has informed all hearts. The public has but one cry, “No more altars, no more priests, no other God but the God of nature.” We, their magistrates, we accompany them from the temple of truth to the temple of the laws, to celebrate a new liberty, and to request that the cidevant church of Notre Dame be changed into a temple consecrated to reason and truth.” This proposal, being converted into a motion, was immediately decreed; and the Convention afterwards decided, that the citizens of Paris, on this day, continued to deserve well of their country. The Goddess then seated herself by the side of the President, who gave her a fraternal kiss. The secretaries presented themselves to share the same favour; every one was eage, to kiss the new divinity, whom so many salutations did not in the least disconcert. During the ceremony, the orphans of the country, pupils of Bourdon (one of the members) sang a hymn to reason, composed by citizen Moline. The national music played Gosset's hymn to liberty. The Convention then mixed with the people, to celebrate the feast of reason in her new temple. A grand festival was accordingly held in the church of Notre Dame, in honour of this deity. In the middle of the church was erected a mount, and on it a very plain temple, the facade of which bore the following inscription— a la Philosophie.” The busts of the most celebrated philosophers were placed before the gate of this temple. The torch of truth was in the summit of the mount, upon the altar of Reason, spreading light. The Convention and all the constituted authorities assisted at the ceremony. Two rows of young girls, dressed in white, each wearing a crown of oak leaves, crossed before the altar of reason, at the sound of republican music ; each of the girls inclined before the torch, and ascended the summit of the mount. Liberty then came out of the temple of philosophy, towards a throne made of turf, to receive the homage of the republicans or both sexes, who sang a hymn in her praise, extending their arms at the same time towards her.
* Madame Desmoulines, who was afterwards ritu
Liberty ascended asterwards, to return to the temple, and, in re-entering it, she turned about, casting a look of benevolence upon her friends; when she got in, every one expressed with enthusiasm the sensations which the Goddess excited in them by songs of joy; and they swore, never, never to cease to be faithful to her.” Such were the festivities and ceremonies which were prescribed for the installation of this new divinity, and such the shameless folly and daring impiety with which they were accompanied: Such is the Religion of what has been presumptuously called Philosophy, when it has shaken off its allegiance to the Christian Revelation—a religion as inconsistent with the dictates of reason and the common sense of mankind, as it is with the religion of the Bible. Never, in any age, was Philosophy so shamefully degraded, and exposed to the contempt of every rational mind, as when it thus stooped to such absurd foolery and Heaven-daring profanity. Besides the impiety
of the whole of this procedure, which is almost without a parallel in the annals of the worldthere was an imbecility and a silliness in it, altogether incompatible with those sublime ideas of creation and Providence, which true philosophy, when properly directed, has a tendency to inspire. And how inconsistently, as well as inhumanely, did these worshippers of “liberty,” “reason," and “truth,” conduct themselves to the representative of their goddess, when, soon aster, they doomed the lady, whom they had kissed and adored in the “temple of truth,” to expire under the stroke of the guillotine ! Such occurrences appear evidently intended by the moral Governor of the world, to admonish us of the danger of separating science from its connexions with revealed religion, and to show us to what dreadful lengths, in impiety and crime, even men of talent will proceed, when the truths of Revelation are set aside, and the principles and moral laws of Christianity are trampled under soot.