Sunday, November 20, 2011

And Bless The People of France!

My post on the enlightenment heterodox Christian apocalyptic case for Dr. Francis Fukuyama's "End of History" thesis brought to mind this post where I mentioned the Arminian-Unitarian Rev. Enos Hitchcock's classic sermon that connected the American and French Revolutions.

As he said:

.... As Americans, we must either renounce that which is our boast and glory, or warmly wish success to the great principles of the French revolution—principles founded on the equal liberty of all men, and the empire of the laws. As rational beings, and as Christians, we should recollect, that from partial evil, it is the glory of the Supreme Ruler to bring forth general good; and that, as inspiration expresseth it, “He makes the wrath of man to praise him; but the remainder of wrath will he restrain.”

The present war in Europe has a further object than the subjugation of France. It is a war of kings and despots, against the dearest rights and the most invaluable privileges of mankind. Should the combined powers succeed against France, and the re-establishment of monarchy there exist among possible events, what security have we, that the same attempt will not be made to restore monarchy in this country? Has not united America led the way? And may she not boast, with an honest pride, of the influence of her example in exciting the attention of many nations to their natural and civil rights? With what freedom of thought—with what enlightened and ardent philanthropy, has she inspired many of the nations of Europe! What would be her condition, if subjugated by the confederates against freedom, we may learn from the state of Poland, lately made free by a voluntary compact with its king; but now subdued by the ferocious power of the north, divided among her jealous neighbours, and the people sold with the soil, like the animals that graze upon it. Let the generous feelings of human nature rise indignant at the abhorrent idea of part of itself being thus degraded. Whatever may be the fate of France in the present contest, the great principles of the revolution will eventually find advocates in every part of the world, even among those who are now most inveterate against the conduct of the French. The doctrines of hereditary powers—of the divine right of kings—of their inviolability, and incapacity to do wrong, are fast declining, and will soon be exploded. They are solecisms of the same nature with their divine right to do wrong; and will, in future, more enlightened and liberal days, be read of with astonishment.

How often doth a hand unobserved shift the scene of the world! The calmest and stillest hour precedes the whirlwind; and it hath thundered in the serenest sky. The monarch hath drawn the chariot of state, in which he had been wont to ride in triumph; or been dragged to a scaffold, by the misguided zeal of his late admirers; and the greatest who ever awed the world, have moralized at the turn of the wheel. Such, O Louis, has been thy untimely fate! At thy urn, let pitying nature drop a sympathetic tear! Cease, thou sanguinary demon, any longer to support thy bloody standard! May the milder genius of true liberty, and more enlightened policy, speedily pervade the councils, and bless the people of France!

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