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progress of French principles in that country. Things cannot go on upon the present bottom. The possession of Toulon, which, well managed, might be of the greatest advantage, will be the greatest misfortune that ever happened to this nation. The more we multiply troops there, the more we shall multiply causes and means of
quarrel amongst ourselves. I know but one way of avoiding it, which is to give a greater degree of simplicity to our politicks. Our situation does necessarily render them a good deal involved. And, to this evil, instead of increasing it, we ought to apply all the remedies in our power.
See what is, in that place, the consequence (to say nothing of every other) of this complexity. Toulon has, as it were, two gates, an English, and a Spanish. The English gate is, by our policy, fast barred against the entrance of any royalists. The Spaniards open theirs, I fear, upon no fixed principle, and with very little judgment. By means, however, of this foolish, mean, and jealous policy on our side, all the royalists whom the English might select as most practicable, and most subservient to honest views, are totally excluded. Of those admitted, the Spaniards are masters. As to the inhabitants they are a nest of jacobins which is delivered into our hands, not from principle, but from fear. The inhabitants of Toulon may be described in a few words. It is differtum nautis,
cauponibus atque malignis. The rest of the seaports are of the same description.
Another thing which I cannot account for is, the sending for the bishop of Toulon, and afterwards forbidding his entrance. This is as directly contrary to the declaration, as it is to the practice of the allied powers. The king of Prussia did better. When he took Verdun, he actually reinstated the bishop and his chapter. When he thought he should be the master of Chalons, he called the bishop from Flanders, to put him into possession. The Austrians have restored the clergy wherever they obtained possession. We have proposed to restore religion as well as monarchy ; and in Toulon we have restored neither the one nor the other.
It is very likely that the jacobin sans-culottes, or some of them, objected to this measure, who rather choose to have the atheistick buffoons of clergy they have got to sport with, till they are ready to come forward, with the rest of their worthy brethren, in Paris and other places, to declare that they are a set of impostors, that they never believed in God, and never will preach any sort of religion. If we give way to our jacobins, in this point, it is fully and fairly putting the government, civil and ecclesiastical, not in the king of France, to whom as the protector and governor, and in substance the head of the Gallican church, the nomination to the bishopricks
belonged, belonged, and who made the bishop of Toulon; it does not leave it with him, or even in the hands of the king of England, or the king of Spain ; but in the basest jacobins of a low sea-port, to exercise, pro tempore, the sovereignty. If this point of religion is thus given up, the grand instrument for reclaiming France is abandoned. We cannot, if we would, delude ourselves about the true state of this dreadful contest. . It is a religious war. It includes in its object undoubtedly every other interest of society as well as this; but this is the principal and leading feature. It is through this destruction of religion that our enemies propose the accomplishment of all their other views. The French Revolution, impious at once and fanatical, had no other plan for domestick power and foreign empire. Look at all the proceedings of the National Assembly from the first day of declaring itself such in the year 1789, to this very hour, and you will find full half of their business to be directly on this subject. In fact it is the spirit of the whole. The religious system, called the constitutional church, was, on the face of the whole proceeding, set up only as a mere temporary amusement to the people, and so constantly stated in all their conversations, till the time should come, when they might with safety cast off the very appearance of all religion whatsoever, and persecute Christianity throughout Europe with fire and
sword. The constitutional clergy are not the ministers of any religion : they are the agents and instruments of this horrible conspiracy against all morals. It was from a sense of this, that in the English addition to the articles proposed at St. Domingo, tolerating all religions, we very wisely refused to suffer that kind of traitors and buffoons.
This religious war is not a controversy between sect and sect as formerly, but a war against all sects and all religions. The question is not whether you are to overturn the catholick, to set up the protestant. Such an idea in the present state of the world is too contemptible. Our business is to leave to the schools the discussion of the controverted points, abating as much as we can the acrimony of disputants on all sides. It is for Christian statesmen, as the world is now circumstanced, to secure their common basis, and not to risk the subversion of the whole fabrick by pursuing these distinctions with an ill-timed zeal. We have, in the present grand alliance, all modes of government as well as all modes of religion. In government, we mean to restore that, which, notwithstanding our diversity of forms, we are all agreed in as fundamental in government. The same principle ought to guide us in the religious part ; conforming the mode, not to our particular ideas (for in that point we have no ideas in common), but to what will best promote the great, general ends of the alliance. As statesmen we are to see which of those modes best suits with the interests of such a commonwealth as we wish to secure and promote. There can be no doubt, but that the catholick religion, which is fundamentally the religion of France, must go with the monarchy of France; we know that the monarchy did not survive the hierarchy, no not even in appearance, for many months; in substance, not for a single hour. As little can it exist in future, if that pillar is taken away, or even shattered and impaired.
If it should please God to give to the allies the means of restoring peace and order in that focus of war and confusion, I would, as I said in the beginning of this memorial, first replace the whole of the old clergy: because we have proof more than sufficient, that whether they err or not in the scholastick disputes with us, they are not tainted with atheism, the great political evil of the time. I hope I need not apologize for this phrase, as if I thought religion nothing but policy; it is far from my thoughts, and I hope it is not to be inferred from my expressions. But in the light of policy alone I am here considering the question. I speak of policy too in a large light; in which large light, policy too is a sacred thing.
There are many, perhaps half a million or more, calling themselves protestants, in the south of France, and in other of the provinces. Some raise