Christianity is Antirevolutionary

From Guillaume Groen van Prinsterer, Christian Political Action in an Age of Revolution (Aalten: WordBridge Publishing, 2015), pp. 73–104.

The anti-revolutionary principle is none other than the Christian principle

Was I wrong to claim that the anti-revolutionary principle is nothing other than the Christian principle?

It is regrettable that, even today, many Christians, disillusioned by the promises of liberalism, nevertheless believe that they can take on board its principles, in whole or in part, to serve the cause of religion and freedom. It is regrettable that they have not discovered, under the misleading veil of seeming moderation, the identity of principle with a radicalism that strikes at the very heart of religion and society, thus making them the blind instruments of “the hidden power that irresistibly draws the consequences from the principle, never suspecting that they are engaged in its fatal development.”[1]

The Revolution, or modern philosophical theory, undermines every law of human existence, because it undermines Christianity. Herein lies the peculiar character of our time.

Indeed, what we are witnessing is one of the most terrible phases of that perpetual and mysterious war of which Scripture alone gives us the key. The Bible, which contains the history of the past and the future, recounts and reveals the complete destiny of humanity. The plan of a just and good God for restoring fallen man unfolds majestically down through the ages. Under His almighty hand events are shaped and moulded to a single end: the formation of an elect people, a spiritual nation, saved by the blood of the cross, and of a church militant here below and a church triumphant in heaven. The Revolution is simply the systematic undermining of the church of Jesus Christ; and a genuinely anti-revolutionary resistance to it is simply a perpetual witness to the Faith, in a form dictated by our time. It is the Christian principle in its lawful, necessary and timely application.

The history of a revolution, the starting point of which is contempt for revealed religion, and the outcome of which is denial and doubt, would find a worthy motto in Pascal’s lines: “All who seek God apart from Jesus Christ find no light that satisfies or is of any use. Either they do not come to a knowledge of God’s existence, or, if they do, this knowledge is of no use to them. Because all they can do is establish, without a mediator, their own means of communication with this ‘God’ whom they know without a mediator. So they end up in atheism or deism, both of which are abhorrent to Christianity, and equally so. In Jesus Christ we find all our happiness, all our virtue, all our life, all our light, and all our hope. Apart from Him, there is nothing but vice, misery, darkness, and despair; and we can see nothing but darkness and confusion in the nature of God and in our own nature.”[2] It is equally applicable to state and society. If we follow the way of unbelieving philosophy, we can expect to find nothing but destruction and chaos at the end of the road.

Back in 1831 I had already said: “Liberalism can be fought effectively only by Christianity.” I was accused of reducing political matters to sermons and catechism lessons. I was not surprised by this at the time; but since so many terrifying upheavals have since sounded similar warnings by their thunderous repercussions,[3] I admit that the tenacity of these prejudices have since taken me aback.

Do you want the ideas of 1789? Very well; but you must bring them in connection with the Gospel principle.

Do you think democracy is irresistible and should be embraced not opposed? Very well; but if you have to embrace the current state of affairs, do not use it to legitimise a new order of things, or force us to bow the knee before the democratic idol. Christianity can work with democracy as with any other form of government. But if it is imposed as an absolute and necessary condition of the social order, hailed as a revolutionary dogma, and opposed to God’s law—whose eternal authority must be respected by every sovereign power, be it popular or regal—the democracy of the social contract will always find itself opposed by the Christian faith. The reign of this democracy will always incur the consequences to society described in the chapter wherein de Tocqueville criticises democracy (devastatingly so, according to Vinet) for having sanitised despotism through the creation of the moral tyranny of the majority. “There will be no independence at all, either for the middle classes or for the nobility, for the poor or for the rich, but an equal tyranny over all.”[4]

Serious-minded Catholics and evangelical Protestants have long and persistently proclaimed this irreconcilable conflict.

The Revolution began, said de Bonald, with the declaration of the rights of man; it can only be terminated by the declaration of the rights of God.

“Raise the sacred torch of truth above the ruins of Christian civilisation,” said Lamennais, “let it shine before all men; let its beams penetrate the clouds of error and slowly illuminate those minds that have been led astray into false paths. Display before one and all the immutable principles of justice; elaborate the eternal laws, the unshakeable foundation of all power and liberty, until reason, despairing of its fruitless labours, finally understands that without Christianity there is not, and cannot be, anything but unrelieved error, chaos, calamity and bondage.”[5]

The same idea was applied many years ago to the religious and political struggles of the time, as recorded in the Journal hebdomadaire politique [Political Weekly Journal] and the Evangelische Kirchen-Zeitung [Protestant Church Newspaper] of Berlin, as well as in the teachings and magnificent labours of Stahl, which are summed up in the following sentence that concluded a parliamentary speech in 1849: “the Revolution in Europe can only be brought to an end by Christianity, a Christian state, and a Christian school.”

Down with the feigned Christianity of modern philosophy and theology! What we need is the positive Christianity of the last eighteen centuries, with all the well-known features of its history and teaching; we need the common faith of all the Christian churches. This is the faith Vinet called for in a few lines published in 1855, though written as early as 1832, prophetic lines so remarkably realised afterwards: “For a people without faith we can hold out no peace, no future but despotism…. Liberty without faith has brought down many a nation. If there are now free peoples who hold onto their liberty, who rejoice in it, who continually renew their energies with it, and who have nothing to fear, they are the peoples who believe…. There is no sure pledge of stability or liberty in a country where the masses side with the highest bidder or the most astute, be he anarchist or tyrant, and are prepared to bestow upon either (a tyranny by any other name) the fearful sovereignty of power.”[6]

Returning to Guizot: No one has better highlighted the opposition and contrast between Christianity and Revolution: it is a matter of life and death. “If the Christian faith was more forceful, communism and socialism would soon be nothing more than obscure follies. If communism and socialism prevail, the Christian faith will perish.”[7] De Maistre said that “original sin explains everything, and without it we can explain nothing.”[8] Guizot does not waver in his insistence that the doctrine of the Fall implies the need for human laws and an authority capable of enforcing them. “The truth, as regards man’s nature, is in the Christian faith; it is in man himself that evil resides; he is inclined to evil. I do not wish here to enter upon theology, but I use these terms without hesitation, as the most precise and clear; the dogma of original sin is the religious expression and application of a natural fact, the innate propensity of man to disobedience and license.”[9] People are often shocked to hear the spirit of the Revolution described as anti-Christian. For them, the peak of exaggeration is reached in de Maistre’s remark: “There is a satanic quality to the French Revolution that distinguishes it from everything we have ever seen or anything we are ever likely to see in the future.”[10] Well, well! While doing full justice to the symptoms of greatness and the prospects of our age, Guizot wrote: “No one is more convinced than I am of the immense mistakes and fatal errors of our day. No one more fears and abhors the influence which the revolutionary spirit exercises among us, and the danger with which that threatens us; a human Satan, at once sceptical and fanatical, anarchical and tyrannical, eager to deny and to destroy, incapable alike of creating aught that can live or of allowing aught to be created and exist under its eye. I am one of those who think it absolutely necessary to overcome this fatal spirit, and to replace in honor and power the spirit of order and faith, which is the spirit of life and safety.”[11]

From the beginning of human history, the satanic spirit has told man: eritis sicut Deus [You shall be as God]. That is why, as Guizot said, our forebears in 1789 were condemned to abandon the vision of Paradise in favour of scenes from Hell.

The eighteenth century “was an age, not only of impassioned sympathy with, but of idolatrous adulation of human nature, and in this point especially it ceased to be Christian.”[12] At every turn we are forced to recognise in the upheavals of our time the revolt of that human pride which deifies man and—boasting in its supposed independence—says of the living God, We will not have this one to reign over us; and of the God of revelation, history and nature: I do not know you. “What is after all, speaking religiously, the great question, the most important question which at present occupies the minds of men? It is the question in debate between those who acknowledge and those who deny a supernatural, certain, and sovereign order of things, although inscrutable to human reason. The question in dispute, to call things by their right names, between supernaturalism and naturalism. On the one side, unbelievers, pantheists, pure rationalists, and sceptics of all kinds. On the other, Christians. Amongst the first, the best still allow to the statue of the Deity, if I may make use of such an expression, a place in the world and in the human soul; but to the statue only,—an image, a marble. God himself is no longer there. Christians alone possess the living God.”[13]

Ultramontanism cannot successfully combat the Revolution

I am conscious of the fact that, in the struggle against the Revolution, Christianity has found eloquent defenders among the Catholics. Should we conclude that Rome is capable of effectively resisting the spirit of the age?

Certainly not. These apologists are only effective when, putting aside the distinctive features of their church, they appeal to the truly universal Christian church, in conformity with the old adage: christianus mihi nomen, catholicus cognomen [My name is Christian, my surname is Catholic].[14]

I am far from ignoring the invaluable services rendered by Christian Rome during the early part of the Middle Ages; whether to religion, by the spread of the Gospel, or to society, by raising a moral barrier against tyranny and by encouraging the birth and development of European freedoms. But a degenerate Rome; a Rome opposed to Gospel revival; a superstitious, unbelieving Rome; a Rome that claims for itself divine authority over the entire world and subordinates all temporal power to the will of a so-called Vicar of Christ; a Rome that at one time calls on people to revolt, at another makes common cause in its own interest with despots; a Rome that is the enemy of freedom, tolerance and knowledge; a Rome that is wholly incapable of either protecting or delivering Europe from the Revolution, and has twice already prepared the ground for it and opened the floodgates to it? Never! The fifteenth century was the prelude to a universal upheaval, when the Reformation stopped the revolutionary tendencies in their tracks. Three centuries later, when the complacency of the Protestant churches rendered them incapable of exercising their salutary influence a second time, it was Rome once more—the Rome that had dispersed or stifled the seeds of life and Gospel progress in France by the violent exile and oppression of Reformers and Jansenists alike—that, through the scandal of its errors and vices, its intolerance and immorality, sowed the seeds that shortly sprouted into novel opinions and caused the eruption that was the Revolution of 1789.

Never forget that most of the abuses of the Roman Church are inextricably bound up with its doctrines, and that its so-called infallibility renders it incorrigible. Amendment would be tantamount to self-condemnation and abdication. Its innate character and bent drives it to give its errors unchangeable form and transform its false maxims into eternal principles. After an interregnum crowned with humiliation and misfortune, she was once more seen to be pursuing the course of her ambitious projects, boldly asserting her claims, and waiting for the opportunity and means for achieving them. Ever the same anti-Christian doctrines, the same contempt for free salvation, the same display of vain ceremony, the same Mariolatry, but with an added dose of idolatrous exaggeration. Ever, fundamentally, the same system of universal supremacy over nations and kings. Ever the same distortion of the precept, “Compel them to come in;” now interpreted as inquisition and torture, and culminating in a defence of the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre and the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes; ever harsh measures and religious coups d’état, setting a fine example to every succeeding generation. Ever the same resistance to civil and political liberty. Recall the Encyclical of 1832. It anathematised the “absurd and erroneous” maxim (or what the Pope called the delirium) that everyone should be assured of, and secured in, his freedom of conscience, and it went on to describe the freedom of the press as a fatal liberty for which it was impossible to express the full horror.

But, we are told, there are nevertheless Catholics who are both sincerely attached to their church and embrace liberal principles.

Liberal ideas they are, no doubt, but not principles of freedom. Note, too, that they do not use these to oppose the Revolution; they simply embrace its principles in order to further their ultramontane agenda.

Still, we ought to be struck by this glaring inconsistency. How can we explain it?

To begin with, consider the Catholic who has sincerely and wholeheartedly embraced liberalism. If he gets carried away by the logic of his situation he may easily adopt the course taken by Lamennais: yielding to the current, abandoning church and faith, and summing up his apostasy in the antithetical proposition: “On the one side we have the Pontificate; on the other the human race. That just about says it all.”[15]

Consider, next, those whose actions are calculated and geared to their personal interests. While many a Catholic was prepared to mount the scaffold for his faith during the Terror of 1793, we have recently witnessed clerics and laity in France following the herd and supporting the Revolution in all its various manifestations. This is not based on dubious evidence but on the unimpeachable testimony of Montalembert, who exposed the ridiculous and contemptible nature of the ardency with which any victorious party is always greeted. “After the February Revolution of 1848, a large body of Catholics, both clerical and lay, could be seen expressing their support for and delight in what they called a new era. In 1852, constitutions, debates, parliaments, and the control of legislatures and assemblies no longer provoked ridicule or contempt.”[16] What did he think was the secret behind this astonishing turnaround? He certainly didn’t think it took any special insight to root it out. “The high priests of violence and the worshippers of success think that, by going along with current events, they can mould both past and future to their fickle whims.”[17]

But we shall not dwell on these outbreaks of baseness, of which the Protestants were just as guilty. Rather we want to confront the main issue. Neither should we forget that, while the very nature of Catholic absolutism renders it incapable of successfully engaging the Revolution, an alliance of the latter with ultramontanism is no pipe-dream. History demonstrates that it is fully capable of allying itself with the Revolution and to some extent of merging with it, in the hope of eventually dominating it. At one time the Jesuits—preaching a radicalism for their own ends—had grafted the Pope’s omnipotence onto the abiding and unchangeable sovereignty of the people as a universal principle applicable to all forms of society. Rousseau had already proposed such an idea, with the Pope as supreme president. The latter was to be servant of the servants of God, ruling over the kings of the earth through the sovereign people. In our own day, Lamennais has called for the absolute separation of church and state and put himself forward as defender of every form of liberty. He saw this as the only way of genuinely serving the cause of Rome, and of regaining the power it had lost on all sides. This could only be achieved by putting it in touch with the people directly, and by bringing about—through a lawless liberty—the triumph of the numerical majority; thus ensuring universal dominion by a clever detour.

Ultramontanism may, in desperation, temporarily resign itself to an abdication of its omnipotence and a share in its privileges. It may retreat within the boundaries of its spiritual authority, reinvigorate the system of the Middle Ages by adapting it to the exigencies of the time, and ally itself with the Revolution through its representatives and institutions. It wheedles its way into the Revolutionary governments, with whose support the people are thereby brought under the yoke of a twofold tyranny.

In different circumstances it may, in its own interests, hold its principles in abeyance. It kowtows to modern ideas, and looks on them as a necessary evil, but one from which it can draw temporary advantages. Still, as the slave of false principles that are prone to undermine liberty, it is fundamentally opposed to anything that is consistent with the genuine and lofty nature or needs of the human spirit in the vagaries of current thought. It may conceal its antipathy, but it is not entitled to appropriate, nor can it, those verities that, interspersed with error, give the dazzling theories of liberalism the prestige that is so attractive and seductive.

I admire the spirit of freedom in the writings of Radowitz[18] and Montalembert, for example. They are, as Prévost-Paradol[19] says, “among those eminent and courageous spirits in the Roman Church who have preserved an understanding of and love for genuine liberty, though they have not been able to diffuse it there.” He went on: “The Roman Church as a whole, and especially in the thinking of its leaders, seems animated by a contrary instinct. It dreads complete freedom for other churches and their complete independence from the state, equating these actions with persecution of themselves.” And he gives a reason for it. “In its relations with the state, the ideal of the Roman Church is not independence, but domination; not freedom, but tyranny.” Indeed, in keeping with its principles, if the Roman Church is not free to rule and persecute, it feels insulted and moans about being subjected to a Babylonian captivity. In his treatise Des intérêts catholiques au 19e siècle [Catholic Interests in the 19th Century],[20] published in 1852, Montalembert vigorously remonstrated with religious writers for betraying the cause of freedom in the name of their church; for putting themselves forward as advocates and eulogisers of absolute power; for rashly defending the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes against the Protestants; and for thus providing the latter with the perfect defence of their perennial claim that Catholic influence is incompatible with the preservation of free government. I do not believe Montalembert has any intention of concealing his principles to serve his interests; I believe he dreams of Rome truly embracing genuine liberty, but in this he simply is the victim of his own delusions. Nevertheless, convinced as I am that beneath this apparent union with liberalism there lie concealed designs perilous for us in the extreme, I would rather the enemy himself point out to me the connection between the consequences I fear and the premises I oppose. I would rather face the sincerity, the logic, the fury and recklessness of Veuillot[21] than the soothing words of Montalembert.

I know that some Protestant Christians—such as Guizot and Stahl, whose authority I generally respect—do not think that opposition to the ideas of freedom, tolerance, and progress are inherent in Catholicism.

In his summing up of the history of Europe of the last three centuries, Guizot issues some severe indictments of the ultramontane system. “Where Catholic absolutism has held sway, it has arrested and stunted social life; it has made nations unproductive; and it has stifled freedom. Any order it has managed to establish has lacked real durability and energy, and has been incapable of preventing times of great trial. When such times have come to pass, it has been found powerless against their excesses and almost as incapable of reforming as of maintaining itself.”[22] However, when he addresses the very serious difficulties involved in any genuine control over the great intellectual powers, namely the nature of Catholicism and the conditions for its harmonious integration into modern society, Guizot thinks the Catholic Church can genuinely and whole-heartedly accept, respect, and implement the principles of the separation of spiritual and temporal, and of religious and civil states. He thinks the obstacle is more historical than rational, and that it is the result of the past actions and former life of the two powers, rather than their basic principles or current relations. It should be possible, he said, for “a mild, intelligent Catholicism to flourish (as in France, Belgium, and parts of Germany, where it was not the instrument or controller of the civil authority) through moral activity, social influence and public prosperity.”[23]

Where do we find this “mild, intelligent Catholicism”? Could it be consistent, logical Catholicism? When it is forced to compromise it comes up with any number of accommodations; but will the flexibility it exhibits under pressure still be evident when it regains its power and sees no need to bend anymore? Will the exceptional instance to which we willingly resign ourselves in the moment of peril become the rule? And should we look for Rome’s principle in, for example, the conduct of the Belgian clergy in 1830 when they took advantage of Revolutionary freedoms and made common cause with it, or should we look for it in the Encyclical of 1831, which condemned them?

As for Stahl, he insists that neither the temporal supremacy of the Pope, nor the persecution of heretics by the civil power, is a dogma or article of faith for which Rome has claimed infallibility. These, he says, are secondary maxims that Rome could easily put aside. I appreciate the spirit of justice and fairness to the Roman Church, but I am wary of going down that path.

If Rome finally recognises, in principle, the independence and sanctity of temporal power; if it renounces the universal supremacy of the Pope; if it no longer claims the right to depose a heretical king, or to deny his right to the crown, or to absolve his subjects from their oath of loyalty; if the Bull of Boniface VIII, which declares that both the spiritual and secular swords are subject to the Church, the former to be wielded by the Church and the latter for it, ceases to be the holy grail of omnipotence that Rome aspires to; if Rome conforms with the demands of modern international law and revokes its rulings that nullify everything in the Treaty of Westphalia relating to the tolerance of Protestants, a tolerance that its Congress of Vienna in 1815 deemed criminal and iniquitous; if the Catholic Church realises Guizot’s hopes by restricting its infallibility to the religious sphere, that is to the relationship between believers and spiritual authority; if it disowns those who are regarded as its most zealous and sincere members continue to maintain—notwithstanding the course of events and ideas—that the rights of Christ’s representative on earth are always the same, that subordination of all people at all times and in all places to the Pope remains the norm, that the independence of sovereigns is rebellion, and that religious freedom and equality are a reversal of the divine order; if Rome, in short, embraces everything it once anathematised, then we would certainly be willing to recognise this regenerated Catholicism, even going so far as to form an alliance with it in order to wage war, successfully and for the benefit of Christian civilisation, on the errors of the Revolution.

But so long as Rome refuses to pronounce its own condemnation, we should not entertain false hopes. When she needs our help, she will quickly enough stretch out her hands; but given half a chance, she will see it as her duty to eliminate us. And when the Revolution threatens and persecutes all existing beliefs with equal hatred, treating them all with the same contempt or even perhaps regarding them as the greatest obstacle to the development of humanity, clearly such peril puts an end to all Christian division. “Good sense tells Christians that they are all in front of the same enemy, much more dangerous to them than they can be to each other; for should he triumph, the blow will fall on each…. It will require all their strength, all their united efforts, to triumph finally in this warfare, and save at once Christianity and society.”[24] The necessity for joint resistance, then, can result in a temporary union. But what Guizot does not seem to have grasped is that, by its very nature, Catholicism puts insurmountable obstacles in the way of a genuine and permanent alliance. Catholicism sees the Reformation as the seed from which the Revolution sprang. In its point of view it is right; and mark well, it is right not only in regard to pseudo-Protestantism, which is indeed simply the Revolution in bud, but also in regard to evangelical Protestantism. The Roman Church identifies its cause with divine truth and divine authority, arrogates to itself the role of official interpreter of God’s Word, and recognises the working of the Holy Spirit only within its own circles. It confuses the sovereignty of the Scriptures (mediated through prayer by heavenly light) with the sovereignty of human reason, treats obedience to God as rebellion against its own so-called vicar, and maintains—on the assumption that atheism is consistent rationalism—that it is fair to say that Protestantism is no more than an inconsistent rationalism. For its part, the Reformation is ever mindful of what is false and lethal in genuine or ultramontane Catholicism and popery. Here, too, man replaces God. It is to human sovereignty—whether loudly proclaimed or artfully concealed—that Rome and Revolution, by their principles and along different paths, eventually lead. Against this two-pronged attack—against a system that is merely organised chaos in both church and state—the Reformation established once again the principles of genuine authority and genuine liberty, built the world of modern ideas on eternal foundations, and subdued the pride of man while satisfying his lawful desires. And this it did by proclaiming, as the basis of man’s duty and the guarantee of his rights, the sovereignty of God and the law of God.

The Reformation alone is capable of defeating the Revolution, provided it remains faithful to the Gospel and thereby confronts modern thought

Yes, for sure we can say: “For Christians of whatever church there is now a common cause. They have to maintain Christian faith and law against impiety and anarchy.”[25] But if they are to be adequate for this task, nothing less than Christian truth is required, in its simplicity, purity and primitive force, that is, Biblical, evangelical, apostolic Christianity, the faith of the Church Fathers, the Reformers, and all who desire to know nothing but Christ and Him crucified, with free salvation through the blood of His cross. If we are to defeat the Revolution, we must have the Gospel stripped of all hindrances and set free from the superstitions in which Rome has sunk and distorted it. The Gospel is, and always will be, the ultimate anti-revolutionary principle. It is the Sun of Justice that, after every night of error, appears over the horizon and scatters the darkness. It destroys the Revolution in its root by cutting off the source of its deceptive reasoning. It thus removes those obstacles that liberalism by its very nature is unable to overcome. The rights of man (insofar as they are genuine and beneficial), the ameliorations, the advantages, which under the sway of the Revolution remain pipe-dreams, become realities with the elaboration of evangelical principles.

When wrested from a fatal amalgam, modern ideas are fully compatible with the Gospel. Rome opposes them, but in genuine biblical Christianity they have a place. If we want to possess the good things the Revolution offers us, one course of action alone must be followed: we must take up once more the work of the Reformation and continue in it. This is the one true way of destroying the Revolution’s prestige and authority, of undermining its raison d’être and uprooting it from people’s minds.

With this in mind, we need vigorously to repudiate the pseudo-Protestantism that is the Revolution’s natural ally. We have to be clear about what the motives, nature, starting point, direction and consequences of the Reformation are. In 1841, I wrote: “It is imperative that we have a clear understanding of the grand and holy struggle that has dominated modern history for a hundred and fifty years. There is a twofold need for such awareness at this time, when both Roman Catholicism and a faithless bastard Protestantism persistently endeavour to distort the leading features of such a Christian regeneration and render them unrecognisable, and to turn the latter into a mere political or social movement. By nature, the Reformation has no affinity with the essential elements of revolution; rather, it repudiates them. We do not go far enough if all we do is point out that it outlaws violence under all circumstances and has never been capable from its own inner resources of exciting social unrest. It needs to be said, too, that when the Reformation put the Christian principle—obedience out of love for God and as the servant of God—into practice, and when in every sphere it placed human authority under God’s authority, it validated power by putting it back on its true foundation. It counteracted and suppressed numerous outbreaks of rebellion that were incited, especially towards the end of the Middle Ages, by a false application of Roman law or by an imprudent enthusiasm for the republican remains of antiquity.” Indeed, there have been many Protestants, some of whom are sincerely attached to the Gospel, who are unfamiliar with the true nature of liberalism and who, because all they can see in the revolutionary upheavals are the excesses inherent in such struggles, consider it a mark of esteem to be able to draw parallels between the Revolution and the Reformation. I myself have always stressed the contrast between them. “We often talk of links between the Revolution and the Reformation. We shall try to list them. The Revolution starts from the sovereignty of man; the Reformation starts from the sovereignty of God. The former judges revelation by reason; the latter subjects reason to revealed truth. The former breeds personal opinions; the latter brings about a unity of faith. The former loosens social ties and domestic relations; the latter reasserts and sanctifies them. The one triumphs through martyrdom; the other can only sustain itself by slaughter. The one comes up out of the abyss; the other comes down from Heaven.”

I dared to hope that these preconceptions would vanish under the spotlight of a serious examination. I went on: “We do not lack the means to put such errors right nowadays. Merle d’Aubigné is publishing his History of the Reformation, which is more than sufficient to dispel the prejudices of an almost total ignorance by its plainness and historical detail. Ranke scatters profusely the treasures of his science in works that are replete with a thorough exposition of the facts. In Germany and elsewhere there is a renewed interest in times past. So let us have faith; critical examination and integrity are all we need.”[26]

Our faith has not been disappointed. Historical studies have dramatically altered the judgments of serious minds. Time and again they now insist that it is wrong to view the Reformation merely in a negative light. Take Guizot, for example, who once said in his lectures on modern history: “The sixteenth century crisis was not just reformist, it was essentially revolutionary. We cannot ignore its true character, whether in its virtues or its vices.”[27] But more recently he has stated: “It was not just the shaking off of a restraint, but the profession and practice of a faith, which brought about the sixteenth-century Reformation and enabled it to succeed; in principle it was an essentially religious movement.”[28] Rémusat, a Roman Catholic writer, has likewise stated: “The Reformation principle was not a matter of a particular theory of the church’s constitution, or of this or that doctrine of the Eucharist and the other sacraments. Neither was it a matter of the hatred of the excesses of papal power, let alone of a general spirit of innovation and resistance to oppression. Even less, if it were possible, was it a matter of the contest between faith and reason or even between free enquiry and authority. The principle behind this religious revolution was religious not revolutionary. It was the principle of justification by faith, and by faith alone.”[29]

In the religious sphere, the Reformation was a revival that created the evangelical churches, and even had a beneficial effect on the Catholic Church. In the political sphere, we must now examine how it laid the foundations for the dominion of ideas that have since been wrongly considered the discoveries and successes of the Revolution.

It is often maintained that Protestantism is the spirit of freedom while Catholicism is the spirit of authority. This is not true. It completely misunderstands the foundation, character, and work of the Reformation. It never opposed freedom to authority. It certainly overturned an unprincipled pseudo-authority, but it re-established the authority of the Word and of the Holy Spirit. For this very reason, and on this very basis, it could safely allow a principle of liberty that rests on, and is governed and limited by, obedience to God. And in this way it, to a great extent, bestowed on us the magnificent array of rights and freedoms that the Revolution merely puts on display.

It was the Reformation that, in opposition to the claims of Rome, laid the foundations of an independent civil power. And it laid them not on the whims of princes but on the order demanded by God’s law; not with any intention of legitimising arbitrary power, but to remind whoever wields power of his subjection to the God who has entrusted him with it and holds him responsible for it. The sovereign is thus no longer the Pope’s subject but God’s servant. Sovereignty bestowed by the grace of God, together with God’s law, are opposed—under every form of government, be it monarchical or republican—to the pretensions of ecclesiastics or to the fickle whims of a numerical majority. It is the basis of every sovereign’s responsibility to the King of kings, and the ground of every subject’s submission to authority, for the love of Him from whom it emanates. Thus, the separation of the spiritual and the temporal, the distinction between church and state, was not intended to establish despotism as the new fundamental law. Nor, as has been claimed,[30] was it intended to deny the eternal charter of rights and duties, by which every lawless and unruly power is broken. Rather, it was intended to subject both church and state, by restricting each to its own sphere, to the immediate power of Him to whom has been given all power in heaven and on earth; to lay the foundations not of an atheistic state but of a secular state, to lay the foundations not of state absolutism but of a state submissive to God’s will: a Christian state.

It was the Reformation that gave precedence to the rights of the individual, by the nature of its principles and the dedication of its martyrs. Once power had finally recovered its foundation, “the principle of individuality,” says Vinet, “received from the hands of our Reformers not so much explicit authorisation as irrevocable warrant.”[31] It is the Reformation that now safeguards what is most personal and sacred about liberty, whether against every form of socialism—catholic, ancient or modern—or against the revolutionary notion of the state as the organ of the General Will, whose omnipotence effaces every public and private right.

It was the Reformation that, by preaching and practising absolute submission to God’s will, obedience to men in obedience to God, and resistance to man’s law insofar as it disagreed with God’s law, and by insisting on personal responsibility and independence, prepared the way for freedom of conscience and the right of free enquiry.

All verities and all liberties are intertwined; they arise from the same principle, and are merely different outworkings of it. It would not be difficult to trace the ideas of equality before the law—the only genuine humanitarian system—brotherhood, and nationality, back to their common origin. On Reformation foundations we could even establish public law, which is just the conjoint and orderly evolution of order and liberty.

Indirectly and by natural affinity, the Reformation has exerted an incalculable influence on legislative and political development, on forms of government, and on the security of liberty. Guizot drew attention to this sympathetic link in a piece about the history of England, but it is equally applicable to Protestantism everywhere. “The power of conscience was responsible for the audacity involved in bringing to birth new ideas and new goals. Religious belief stood in need of political rights. Enquiry began to be made into why we no longer enjoyed them, who had usurped them and by what right, and what was to be done to recover them. The burgher, and even the peasant, began to think way above his station in life. He was a Christian; at home and with his friends, he boldly probed the mysteries of divine authority: what earthly power was so exalted that he had to abstain from such considerations! He read in the holy books about God’s laws; to obey them he had no option but to resist the laws of others; he had to find out the limits of their authority over him. He who would understand the limits of his master’s rights must thoroughly understand their origin.” Awakened first in matters of religion, the spirit of free enquiry rapidly spread to every sphere of intellectual activity. The Reformation drew man’s attention to the nobility of his origin and destiny, and made him feel intensely how contemptible was his unbearable yet ready resignation to an oppressive yoke. It made him appreciate the blessings of a people’s free obedience, of its participation in the administration of public concerns. It prepared the way and determined the path by which the modern state has become, or is becoming, a personal government and a matter of public interest.

We Reformed Christians of Holland are doubly obliged to acknowledge these blessings. More than any other, the Reformed Church has established model governments, where liberty—far from undermining power—has settled it on firm foundations. While we could write a book on the faults and failings of an extreme and intense puritanism, it is nevertheless indisputable that the great social improvements, of which Protestantism was the source, owe their origin to the Reformation. Not a Reformation that was “vacillating, servile, more attached to temporal matters than faith, suspicious of the movement which had brought it into being and forced to borrow from Catholicism all it could hold onto while still separating from it; but a Reformation that was impulsive, energetic, contemptuous of worldly considerations, fully committed to the consequences of its principles, a moral revolution undertaken in the name of, and with a passion for, the faith.”[32]

Look at England. Consider America. An unimpeachable judge—none other than Macaulay—insists: “England is indebted especially to the Reformation for its political and intellectual freedom and all the blessings they entail.” Bancroft,[33] a writer whose words carry the same weight, but with respect to the United States of America, has borne witness to the same fact, and with sedulous care pointed out how it was a thoroughly biblical Protestantism—transported to another hemisphere—that achieved the same magnificent results already achieved in Europe: “The English peoples became Protestant through the Puritans.”[34] The same is true in my own country. The more one studies the history of the United Provinces, the more one has to recognise that a complete and rigorous Reformation—bold before men but in humble and absolute submission to the Word of God—and the godly inflexibility of the evangelical Protestants, were the cause of our popular freedoms, our national independence, and our prosperity. Freedom flourishes in the shadow of faith. Hac nitimur, hanc tuemur [with this we strive, this we will defend]: we rest on our Bible in defence of our freedom; this has been the motto of our Republic and its story. “It was the good fortune of England in the seventeenth century,” wrote Guizot, “that the spirit of religious faith and the spirit of political liberty arose together there. The religious innovators had an anchor that held them, and a compass they could trust; the Gospel was their Great Charter; they humbled themselves, despite their pride, before this law that was not of their making.”[35] And turning to the American Revolution, he added: “The moral seriousness and practical good sense of the old Puritans persisted in most of the American admirers of the French philosophers; and the mass of the American population remained profoundly Christian, and as attached to its dogmas as to its freedoms.”[36] The gospel abounds in happy outcomes, while Revolution always ends in disappointment. Why was the English Revolution successful? This is the title of a speech by Guizot; a title doubly significant because it contains and implies another: Why did the French and European Revolution fail? It is a problem of immense import for our future. The author addresses the problem thus: “The English Revolution succeeded twice. I would like to explain what causes have been responsible for giving a constitutional monarchy in England and a republic in English America, the enduring success that France and Europe have so far vainly pursued through the bewildering trials of Revolutions that have, for good or ill, been raising up nations or leading them astray for centuries.”[37] The contrast is bewildering only in appearance. The fleeting advances and endless setbacks of the spirit of Revolution are but the necessary result of the weakness and impotence of man who has cut himself off from his Maker: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed saying, let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision.”[38] If political liberty is to be achieved, then Revolution, which is constitutionally opposed to God’s order of things, must make way for the Gospel. All that the Revolution can look forward to is the perpetual agony of a Tantalus or Sisyphus: longing for the fruit he can never reach, or watching the rock—so laboriously pushed up to the mountain peak—roll back down again.

Pseudo-conservatism

The anti-revolutionary principle is nothing other than the Christian principle, the Reformation principle; it is nothing less than faith in the living God.

The religious question is the supreme question; the fundamental question; the question that includes and determines the political question.

We have to go back to the eternal verities. Nothing more, nothing less, will do. In my view, the Anti-Revolutionary Party is the party of Christians: “It is a party quite different from all others, precisely because it is not as such a party. It is a party that will never kowtow to the Ministry, whatever it does, or to the Opposition, whatever it wants; it will side with the one as readily as the other with justice and, if necessary, abandon both.”[39]

For man there is ever only one path that is safe and lawful: it is the path of faith and of obedience to God’s authority and revelation. We must return to it if we have been unfortunate enough to stray from it. And such a desire to conserve the tutelary foundations of society is in itself the spirit of genuine progress. We want no other return, no other conservatism, no other reaction.

There are two kinds of conservatism that we equally disapprove of.

First of all, there is the kind that wants to recreate the past, unaware that “every attempt to do so very quickly becomes a grotesque caricature, or that former days cannot be conjured up at will, or that even when it does think it is managing to do so, it only adopts their outward forms.”[40] It exhibits a ridiculous and fatal attachment to things that are worn out and obsolete. It has lost sight of the fact that all that can be conserved of the past is what evolves out of it, and that whatever is truly living changes; and that the living is only known by motion and progress. This kind is sometimes of a mind to restore what the Revolution wiped out as abuses. It tries to repulse the conquests of the modern spirit, and undo the improvements that, despite the revolutionary spirit, have been good and laudable outcomes of the social upheavals: religious freedom, abolition of the excessive privileges of the clergy and nobility, equality before the law, reform of the penal code, the unifying of the civil code, political centralisation, and the routine involvement of the nation in the government of their affairs. 

Then there is the revolutionary kind of conservatism. Alarmed by the unexpected consequences of the principles it has adopted, it fights against them, but refuses to change its erroneous principles. It hesitates, but not in order to change course; it simply doesn’t want to go forward. But this is no more than a station or halt from whence the car, after a forced rest and with the barriers now removed, rushes on again at an even more frightful speed. Neither do the governmental forms and exceptional laws behind which it takes refuge offer anything but a fleeting security, one that vanishes at the first whiff of danger. At every turn, in everything it does, it only proves that physical force and violence have to give way to logic. We have nothing but contempt for such an unstable and dangerous form of “deliverance.” However, we have no desire for a counter-revolution; we want the polar opposite of Revolution.

I have often been criticised for using the motto: “In isolation lies our strength.” This was not something that I let slip out accidentally; I have only used it after giving it very careful consideration. What do I mean by it? Simply that we are not a shade of opinion that with other shades of opinion make up a single party; we are a separate party in our own right; we are bound together by fundamental yet neglected verities, and by a principle that is opposed to a whole array of opinions that—whatever differences they might have or appear to have—are united in a common contempt for what we regard as the indispensable condition for social order.

Separation in this regard is absolutely vital. At the least, in any alliance with other parties we have to be extremely careful to avoid being confused with them. We run the risk of being side-lined or wiped out, of being drawn into their schemes. Moreover, we must remain aloof from the revolutionary current; and the authority of God’s law must ever be our unshakeable standard, if we are not to succumb to the popular current.

Conservation and progress

If we set out in this way to defend the anti-revolutionary principle, objective truth, and historical continuity in the church as well as state, does this mean that we are confounding politics and religion?

Certainly not. The principles, interests, and dangers are the same for both. “The cause of civil authority and of the Christian religion is clearly common. Divine order and human order, the State and the Church, have common dangers and common enemies.”[41] In the higher realm of general principles, it would be absurd to divorce religious truth from political truth. At this level, the struggle of both is against the same doctrine, one that is equally destructive of church and state, that is, of morality and law. We need to be aware of this connection and not attempt to sunder what are indissoluble bonds. We do not thereby sacrifice religion to politics, or politics to religion. Neither do we paralyse the living regenerative forces of society, or erect a barrier against the spirit of improvement and progress. Quite the contrary. We thereby ensure religion its rightful influence. We bestow on an enlightened politics a renewed vision. We pave the way for genuine reforms, and remove whatever stands in the path of their realisation by banishing the pernicious and destructive principle of the Revolution.

I have often been accused of not wanting progress. If by this they mean I don’t want to proceed along a path fraught with danger and deceit, I accept the charge gladly. Abjuration of error is the first and foremost sign of progress in the path of truth. Before everything else, we are bound to repudiate doctrines from which so many mistakes and misfortunes have arisen. Furthermore, we have to restore our traditional law to its rightful place, and in the form in which it has been—so to speak—crystallised by the free acts of man under the guidance of God’s eternal laws.

In keeping with this maxim of intelligent debate, I have repeatedly declared myself to be opposed to the principle of lawlessness and the precepts in which it is incorporated and made manifest. “Opposed to the fundamental sin and appetite of revolution, the sinful appetite for destruction, and the haughty pleasure of creating it. Opposed to the sickness that drives man to suppose that everything in sight—people and things, rights and facts, past and present—are just so much inert mass which he can arrange as he chooses and which he can fashion and refashion at will. Opposed to the error that proclaims the sovereignty of the people and sees in them nothing but a great conglomeration of individuals, so many thousands, so many millions, by the acre, and all bound together and represented by a single cipher that goes by the name, now of King, now of Assembly.”[42] Opposed, also, to the absolutism of the majority. Opposed to the deceptive tyrannical unity that, in the name of the sovereign people, reduces the nation to a servile obedience under the yoke of a centralised administration, even in the most restricted sphere of local interests. Opposed to the destruction of all social distinction and rank, leaving society no shelter but that of despotism.

But while I rejected every seed of disorder and dissolution, I was confident in the goodness of the principles I profess and had no hesitation in declaring myself to be—on the basis of those principles—a zealous advocate of all useful reform, all natural development, all genuine lawful progress; as well as what promoted the advance of Christian civilisation, irrespective of whether it was for or against the currents of the time. I applauded the steady transformation of personal power in public affairs, the acknowledgement of republican feeling by monarchy in general and ours in particular, as well as popular participation in the legislative assembly. I welcomed constitutional rule, though not in the sense of modern reformers who have no foundations for their chimerical theories, but on the grounds of man’s nature and the history and institutions of the country. I welcomed written charters too, but those whose laws brought together, related and improved national and customary law, not those that merely exist on paper.

No one has desired the establishment of representative government—the natural development of the glorious history of my country—more than I have. For me, the sovereignty of the House of Orange, the final culmination of a centuries-old struggle for independent statehood and the rights of the people, has always been indissolubly bound to the constitution, faithfully executed and inviolable, even in the most threatening crises. But while not underestimating the importance of the safeguards of constitutionality, I looked to find the government’s strength in the nation’s goodwill, in its historical memories, in the dynasty’s popularity, and in the energy, morality and devotion that had heretofore established and consolidated the Republic’s authority. No one has been more committed to the freedom and integrity of the press in general, and the newspaper in particular. No one has so strongly condemned a timid conservatism that, acting under the motivation of fear and calculation of interest, has at times remained passive and indifferent and, at others, indulged in bouts of violence generally stirred up by its own inordinate fears and menaces. No one has shown himself more the enemy of bureaucracy, autocracy, and arbitrariness, be it parliamentary or royal; but despite my sincere desire to cooperate in political improvement, I have always been profoundly convinced that governmental forms and constitutional laws have no efficacy unless they are rooted in historic and divine law.

As far back as the memorable years of 1829 and 1830, when the diplomatic “arrangements” of 1815 and the attempts to eliminate national differences with a pseudo-unity of amalgamated governments led to an inevitable rupture for the kingdom of the Netherlands, I bent my energies to demonstrating the benefits and shortcomings of constitutional government. There would indeed be benefits from such a constitution, provided it was valued and complied with, not as an embarrassment, but as the surest way to establish friendly relations and mutual support between government and nation. I drew attention to the dangers of the personal style of government in which the King had hitherto engaged, and to the necessity of replacing the ministers—then mere instruments of the royal will—with a genuine ministry, an intelligent body independent of the sovereign, responsible to both throne and nation. It seemed to me that it was possible, even then, by not yielding to current thinking and by not resorting to mere administrative or physical force, but by taking into account genuine needs, legitimate complaints, national feelings, religious beliefs, and acquired rights, to rally men of good will, disarm the agitators, and surmount the gravest perils.

And when the King, who took account of the most divergent views, also deigned to take note of mine at times, I made so bold—at every opportunity and with respectful frankness—as to inform him that, unless there was a change of principle, there was no possibility of succeeding. I kept telling him: “There is one absolute requirement, Sire. For nothing that ought to be done can be done; there is nothing that will suffice, nothing that will be of any use, if you do not give up liberalism. You are currently its idol, but you will as surely become its victim. You have to find a way to separate a genuine and national constitutional spirit from the revolutionary spirit and engage it against the forces that now threaten you. You have to thoroughly isolate the nation from a circle that has been led astray by false doctrines. You have to throw overboard those notions you thought you could make use of to merge populations of the most diverse character into a homogeneous whole. Unless you honestly and resolutely follow this course, constitutional government, far from serving your purposes, will become the means, under the control of a lawless circle, for bringing about the certain dissolution of the Kingdom.”

Above all, I tried to impress upon him, firstly, that the Revolution cannot be defeated unless we destroy the irreligious principle of which the Revolution is merely the logical result, and secondly, that if the currents of unbelieving radicalism are to be combated, politics must find an ally in faith: and not such a fleeting faith as the pressures of a menacing crisis evoke, but one that arises from deep within man’s soul; not one that serves our need, but one that dominates us.

When I retired voluntarily from public life in 1833, I believed that the time had come to engage the enemy on another field. For a long time liberalism had been the prevailing opinion; it was all-powerful in the upper classes of society, and counted virtually every political figure, every man of the cloth, and every learned man and scholar among its ranks. Nevertheless I did not want to completely withdraw from active involvement. In 1840 I was called upon to engage in the discussions of the States General on the revision of the constitution. I immediately insisted once again on the necessity of a change of principle rather than a mere change of forms. I did not see how a change of clothes could heal such rifts. And in the long years when, relieved of the labours and concerns inseparable from participation in public affairs, I was able to freely dispose of my time and energy, I was pleased to join with my friends in removing, as far as we could, the obstacles that a timid liberalism erected against the progress of evangelical renewal in both church and school. There, and there alone, in my view, could be found the securities of a better future. By drawing attention to the common faith of Christians in the face of a hostile and irreligious philosophy, I tried to put on display the advantages evangelical Protestantism offered for the establishment and reconciliation of authority and freedom. History, which provides ample evidence of this, has also provided a striking example of it in our own land. The course of her history is a practical illustration of the Saviour’s promise: “Seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” [Matthew 6:33]. How can we despair of the future, when we recall the past! In the midst of many painful disappointments, faith and life have returned to the Reformed Church and presage better times. This regenerated church, in my opinion, must not become the tool of a political party. It must become the leaven spoken of in the parable: the only genuine means of advancing the kingdom of God in every sphere of life.

–––

Despite having completed my argument for the anti-revolutionary principle and defended our cause, I do not feel that my task is yet complete. You made no attempt to address the criticisms your friends direct against you, someone says. For many of them, who have no objection to the principle itself, clearly do not approve the application you made of it when, as an ordinary member of the popular representative body, you were in a position to influence the course of public events. By your use of novel institutions to give a Christian party a privileged position, by your misguided imposition of Christian principles on parliamentary debates, by your treatment of every issue only from the standpoint of your ecclesiastical notions, you have helped to secularise the Gospel, and have provoked open animosity against religion, which has been compromised and discredited by your pernicious merging of things. You have almost driven the liberals to become, or at least to appear, the opponents of Christianity, and to regard you and your friends as enemies of the modern state. Your stubborn determination to drag religion into the political arena has merely led to endless misunderstandings, provoked pointless debate, and rendered all your labours vain.

Let us see if our parliamentary conduct warrants, in whole or in part, such a serious accusation.


[1]Abbé F. R. de Lamennais, Des progrès de la révolution et de la guerre contre l’église [On the Progress of the Revolution and the War against the Church], 2nd ed. (Paris and Brussels: Belin-Mandar et Devaux, 1829), p. 142.

[2]Loosely quoted from Pascal’s Pensées, sections 543–549.

[3]Stahl, recalling in 1854 what he had written in 1829, adds: “Dieser Ruf meiner schwachen Stimme vor fünf und zwanzig Jahren ist seitdem durch die Donnerstimme der Weltereignisse wiederholt worden” [The call I made with my feeble voice for five and twenty years is now echoed in the thunderous roar of world events].

[4]Democracy in America, vol. 1, ch. XVII (in the Vintage Books edition translated by Phillips Bradley, p. 342).

[5]Abbé F. R. de Lamennais, Des progrès de la révolution et de la guerre contre l’église [On the Progress of the Revolution and the War against the Church], 2nd ed. (Paris and Brussels: Belin-Mandar et Devaux, 1829), p. 94.

[6]L’Éducation, la famille et la société [Education, family and society] (Paris: Chez les Éditeurs [C. Meyrueis], 1855), pp. 79–80.

[7]De la démocratie en France, p. 132.

[8]Œuvres Complètes de J. de Maistre, Édition ne varietur, 2e tirage (Lyon: Librairie Générale Catholique et Classique, 1891), vol. 4, p. 62.

[9]Guizot, The Christian Church and Society in 1861 (London: Richard Bentley, 1861), p. 168.

[10]Considerations on France, p. 79 (ch. V).

[11]Guizot, Meditations and Moral Sketches, trans. John, Marquis of Ormonde (Dublin: Hodges and Smith, 1855), pp. 15–16.

[12]Guizot, The Christian Church and Society in 1861, p. 172.

[13]Guizot, Meditations and Moral Sketches, pp. 5–6.

[14]Attributed to Saint Pacian (310–391 AD), bishop of Barcelona.

[15]Affaires de Rome (Brussels: Société Belge de Librairie, 1837), p. 342.

[16]Œuvres polémiques et diverses de M. le Comte de Montalembert [Works polemical and otherwise of Count de Montalembert] (Paris, Jacques Lecoffre et Cie, 1860), vol. 2, p. 70.

[17]Ibid., p. 71.

[18]Joseph Maria von Radowitz (1797–1853), Prussian Catholic statesman and general, proponent of the unification of Germany on a conservative basis.

[19]Lucien-Anatole Prévost-Paradol (1829–1870), French journalist and essayist. The provenance of the quotation is unclear.

[20]Third edition (Paris: Jacques Lecoffre, 1852), pp. 123–124.

[21]Louis Veuillot (1813–1883), French journalist and author, popularizer of ultramontanism.

[22]Guizot’s Introductory Essay to volume 1 of John Lothrop Motley, Introduction à l’Histoire de la fondation de la République des Provinces Unies, translation of The Rise of the Dutch Republic: A History (Paris, Michel Lévy Frères, 1859), p. lxxxvii.

[23]Loc. cit. Cf. Guizot’s essay, “Catholicism, Protestantism and Philosophy,” in Meditations and Moral Sketches.

[24]Guizot, Meditations and Moral Sketches, pp. 22, 23.

[25]Guizot, Meditations and Moral Sketches, p. 21.

[26]Archives de la Maison d’Orange-Nassau [Archives of the House of Orange-Nassau], Series 1, vol. 1 (2nd edition), Prolegomenon.

[27]Guizot, Cours d’histoire moderne: histoire générale de la civilisation en Europe [Course of modern history: general history of civilisation in Europe] (Paris: Pichon & Didier, 1828), p. 22 (First lesson, 18 April 1828).

[28]Pourquoi la révolution d’Angleterre a-t-elle réussi?, p.2.

[29]Charles de Rémusat, De la Réforme et du Protestantisme [Regarding the Reformation and Protestantism]. Extract from Revue des Deux Mondes (Paris and Berne, 1854), p. 40. Rémusat (1797–1875) was a French politician and writer.

[30]Lamennais. The reference is unknown.

[31]Alexandre Vinet, Essais de philosophie morale et de morale religieuse [Essays on moral philosophy and religious morality] (Paris, Hachette, 1837), p. 36.

[32]Guizot, Histoire de la révolution d’Angleterre depuis l’avènement de Charles 1er jusqu’à  sa mort [History of the English revolution from the advent of Charles 1st until his death] (Brussels: N-J Gregoire & V. Wouters, 1841), volume 1, p. 26.

[33]George Bancroft (1800–1891), American historian and statesman.

[34]Source unknown.

[35]Pourquoi la révolution d’Angleterre a-t-elle réussi?,pp. 4, 6.

[36]Ibid., pp. 176–177.

[37]Ibid., pp. 1–2.

[38]Psalm 127:1; Psalm 111:10; Psalm 2:2–4, Authorised Version.

[39]Alexandre Vinet, Education, la famille et la société, (Paris: Chez les Éditeurs [C. Meyrueis et Co.], 1855), p. 75.

[40]Fiévée, Correspondance et relations de J. Fiévée avec Bonaparte, Volume 1, pp. xliv, 19.

[41]Guizot, Meditations and Moral Sketches, p. 15.

[42]Guizot (provenance unclear).