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less formality, according to her discretion, to acknowledge this new system; or she may recognise it as a government de facto, setting aside all discussion of its original legality, and considering the ancient monarchy as at an end. The law of nations leaves our court open to its choice. We have no direction but what is found in the well understood policy of the king and kingdom.
This declaration of a new species of government, on new principles, (such it professes itself to be) is a real crisis in the politicks of Europe. The conduct, which prudence ought to dictate to Great Britain, will not depend (as hitherto our connexion or quarrel with other states has for some time depended) upon merely external relations; but in a great measure also upon the system which we may think it right to adopt for the internal government of our own country.
If it be our policy to assimilate our government to that of France, we ought to prepare for this change, by encouraging the schemes of authority established there. We ought to wink at the captivity and deposition of a prince, with whom, if not in close alliance, we were in friendship. We ought to fall in with the ideas of Mons. Montmorin's circular manifesto; and to do business of course with the functionaries who act under the new power, by which that king, to whom his majesty's minister has been sent to reside, has been
Difference between this revolu
deposed and imprisoned. On that idea we ought also to withhold all sorts of direct or indirect countenance from those who are treating in Germany for the re-establishment of the French monarchy and of the ancient orders of that state.
This conduct is suitable to this policy.
The question is, whether this policy be suitable to the interests of the crown and subjects of Great Britain. Let us, therefore, a little consider the true nature and probable effects of the revolution which, in such a very unusual manner, has been twice diplomatically announced to his majesty.
There have been many internal revolutions in the government of countries, both as to persons tion and and forms, in which the neighbouring states have others. had little or no concern.
Whatever the government might be with respect to those persons and those forms, the stationary interests of the nation concerned have most commonly influenced the new governments in the same manner in which they influenced the old ; and the revolution, turning on matter of local grievance, or of local accommodation, did not extend beyond its territory.
The present Revolution in France seems to me Nature of to be quite of another character and description ; Revolution. and to bear little resemblance or analogy to any of those which have been brought about in Europe, upon principles merely political. It is a revolution of doctrine and theoretick dogma. It has a
much greater resemblance to those changes which have been made upon religious grounds, in which a spirit of proselytism makes an essential part.
The last revolution of doctrine and theory which has happened in Europe, is the Reformation. It is not for my purpose to take any notice here of the merits of that revolution, but to state one only of its effects.
That effect was to introduce other interests into all countries than those which arose from their locality and natural circumstances. ciple of the Reformation was such as, by its essence, could not be local or confined to the country in which it had its origin. For instance, the doctrine of “ Justification by faith or by works,” which was the original basis of the Reformation, could not have one of its alternatives true as to Germany, and false as to every other country. Neither are questions of theoretick truth and falsehood governed by circumstances any more than by places. On that occasion, therefore, the spirit of proselytism expanded itself with great elasticity upon all sides : and great divisions were every where the result.
These divisions, however, in appearance merely dogmatick, soon became mixed with the political; and their effects were rendered much more intense from this combination. Europe was for a long time divided into two great factions, under the name of Catholick and Protestant, which not only
often alienated state from state, but also divided almost every state within itself. The warm parties in each state were more affectionately attached to those of their own doctrinal interest in some other country, than to their fellow citizens, or to their natural government, when they or either of them happened to be of a different persuasion. These factions, wherever they prevailed, if they did not absolutely destroy, at least weakened and distracted the locality of patriotism. The public affections came to have other motives and other ties.
It would be to repeat the history of the two last centuries to exemplify the effects of this revolution.
Although the principles to which it gave rise did not operate with a perfect regularity and constancy, they never wholly ceased to operate. Few wars were made, and few treaties were entered into, in which they did not come in for some part. They gave a colour, a character, and direction, to all the politicks of Europe.
These principles of internal as well as external New sysdivision and coalition are but just now extin- politicks. guished. But they, who will examine into the true character and genius of some late events, must be satisfied that other sources of faction, combining parties among the inhabitants of different countries into one connexion, are opened, and that from these sources are likely to arise effects full as
important as those which had formerly arisen from the jarring interests of the religious sects. The intention of the several actors in the change in France is not a matter of doubt. It is very openly
In the modern world, before this time, there has been no instance of this spirit of general political faction, separated from religion, pervading several countries, and forming a principle of union between the partisans in each. But the thing is not less in human nature. The ancient world has furnished a strong and striking instance of such a ground for faction, full as powerful and full as mischievous as our spirit of religious system had ever been ; exciting in all the states of Greece (European and Asiatick) the most violent animosities, and the most cruel and bloody persecutions and proscriptions. These ancient factions in each commonwealth of Greece connected themselves with those of the same description in some other states ; and secret cabals and publick alliances were carried on and made, not upon a conformity of general political interests, but for the support and aggranidizement of the two leading states which headed the aristocratick and democratick factions. For, as in latter times, the king of Spain was at the head of a Catholick, and the king of Sweden of a Protestant interest, France, (though Catholick, acting subordinately to the latter,) in the like manner the