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itself a vast effect, produced by the combined action of many causes: causes, some of which traced their source to the fountain that was unsealed on Calvary, or higher still, to that which gushes in its living purity from beneath the eternal throne ; and some of which came up from the dark depths of the dark ages, or deeper still, from the lurid caverns of the pit : but causes, all of which tended to this one great result, and mingled their forces in producing it to an extent of which we are now, perhaps, incapable of judging. In turn, this effect became a cause. Soon some of the combined elements became disentangled, and each produced distinct results by its independent operation, but still the great resultant of these forces rolls on: as the ocean continues to heave and swell in its billowy might long after the winds that first aroused its deep tossings have spent their force and been lulled to rest, or have swept onward to rave and rage over mountain, and forest, and field.

The American Revolution, although occurring on this side the Atlantic, was strictly a European event. It was the result of the advance of society and the evolution of free principles in northern Europe. It was occasioned by European acts of oppression. It was achieved by men, many of whom were born on the soil of Europe, and most of whom owed much of their energy to that stern, unquailing Saxon spirit that was bequeathed them by their fathers. It was rendered so speedily successful by European sympathy and assistance. In one word, had not Europe been what it was, America never would have been what it is. Europe of the fifteenth century, instead of Europe of the eighteenth, would have made the American Revolution another war of the peasants, and its fate a counterpart to that of Poland. Hence, whatever tended materially to modify or shape the state of society in Europe before 1776, exerted at least some influence on that memorable period. Had this infant Hercules come earlier to the birth, he would either have been still-born, or have been destroyed by the serpents sent by Jealousy and Hate to strangle the young giant in his cradle.

In further endeavoring to establish the proposition thus explained, we propose to show that the Reformation, in its character as a mere religious movement, prepared the way and secured the success of this great civil and political revolution : that, as a great movement of the human mind, freeing itself from the trammels of ancient authority, it found one of its earliest and most signal developments in the American struggle for independence: and also, that in its direct influence on the men to whom the success of this work under God is to be referred, it produced those characteristics of mind and soul, to which that success is instrumentally to be ascribed. If these points are fairly made out, the main proposition may be considered as sufficiently established.

Our first position is, that the Reformation was a revival of the religion of the Bible: that this religion is favorable to liberty; and therefore that its establishment in America, by the legitimate action of the Reformation, tended to secure the liberties that were demanded in the war of the revolution, as well as inspire the feelings by which this demand was prompted.

On the first member of this proposition we need not enlarge ; for if any one denies that the Reformation was what the name implies it to have been, an improvement in religion, and a revival of the religion of the Bible in contradistinction to that of tradition and the church, this is not the place to argue the point, even if argument were all that such a mind needed. It is not pretended that the religion of the Reformation was spotless and perfect, but simply that it was a closer approximation to the religion of the Bible. Nor is it even necessary to our purpose, to maintain that this religion of the Bible is the most perfect possible type of religion; but merely that this is the religion of the Reformation. Even a candid Roman Catholic will admit, as F. Schlegel has virtually done, that the Reformation was a nearer resemblance to the religion of the Bible than that which preceded it; he will only alledge that it is defective because the Bible is not the only rule of faith. Nor do we assert that the motives of all the reformers were either pure or purely religious; that no personal or political feelings mingled in their motives: but simply that the great result, after subtracting all attendant evils, has been in favor of the uncorrupted religion of the word of God. This is a position that will be disputed by few, and disproved by none; for “the Bible, the Bible, is the religion of Protestants.”

Can there be any serious doubt about the truth of the second branch of this argument, that the religion of the Bible tends to promote genuine and wholesome liberty? Who can read the sermon on the Mount, or some of the Epistles, and not feel that the spirit there breathed is a spirit of freedom and equality? The paltry distinctions of wealth and rank, the haughtiness of power, and the willfulness of tyranny, are alike adverse to its principles and hostile to its success. Its high and commanding declaration is, “Do unto others as you would that others should do unto you." This rule is addressed to all, and therefore asserts what is common to all. But it most plainly implies that the rights every man claims from another, are the rights every other may claim from him : which is only true on the manifest assumption that the rights of all (in the relative sense in which the rule alone is applicable) are equal. Thus the golden rule is the very seed from which grew the Declaration of Independence. There is not a ground on which tyranny rests its claims that is not destroyed by the Bible. Trampling upon the silly boast of hereditary nobility and royal blood, it declares that “God has made of one blood all nations of men that dwell on the earth.” Sweeping away the tinsel and pasteboard partitions of society, it asserts that, in the presence of the King of kings, “the rich and the poor meet together, and God is the author of them all.” The essence of tyranny is the claim of the one or the few over the many: the essence of religion is the equal rights of all. The demand of tyranny is, Submit and believe; the exhortation of religion is, “Examine all things and hold fast that which is good.”

But why attempt a proof of this point from general considerations, when we have facts the most clear and undoubted that bring us to the same result? Where do we find free principles now prevalent in the world ? Is it in Turkey, once the terror of Europe? in China, with her polished arts and thronging millions? or in the continent that once boasted a Memphis and a Carthage? Is it where Paganism and Islamism have sway, that we find the rights of the many admitted and respected; the wholesome administration of law and justice sustained; and the protection of person, property, and reputation secured? Did not the crescent of the prophet rise in a storm of rapine and blood, culminate in pride and tyranny, and thenceforward gleam coldly down on the prostrate and trampled rights of man? Do not the millions of Paganism prostrate themselves before the crushing car of despotism? Are not liberty and Christianity marked by the same geographical boundaries? Why this clearly-marked outline, if there be no positive and actual influence exerted by the one upon the other? The causes are not solely referable to the different religions, but in the investigation of these causes we will be able to trace so many of them either directly or indirectly to this source, as to warrant us to regard it as the decisive agency. There is a more profound influence at work here than the tricks of statesmanship and the blustering of war: an influence heaven-born and heaven-directed, which, moving in the deep pulsations of the mighty heart of society, gave strength to the strong arm, and light to the clear head, whose results we see thus palpably set forth to our view.

But we have not yet reached the limits of our proposition, which is, that the particular form of religion revived by the Reformation


was favorable to liberty of thought, speech, and action. If we judge of the nature of a religion from the writings of its advocates, we shall be at no loss to decide this point. Where do we find the writers in favor of freedom? From what source have issued treatises on the liberty of prophesying; the freedom of unlicensed printing; the duty of toleration, and kindred topics ? Have the Taylors, the Miltons, the Williamses, and the Lockes, been the offspring of Popery? Has a Roman Catholic ever dared to advocate freedom of thought, speech, or action within the territory of Popery, without being consigned to the Index Expurgatorius and the Inquisition? Can there be liberty where the church claims the right to think for you, and dictate what you shall say on the most sacred and momentous of all subjects? Has not the pope,

in a formal encyclical letter, uttered against one of the dearest forms of this freedom his solemn anathema ? Where do we find a solitary defender of freedom of thought, freedom of speech, or freedom of action, among the defenders of Popery, where Popery is in the ascendant? Where do we find a solitary treatise asserting these doctrines among the books permitted to be read by the licensing authorities of the Church of Rome? Not one. This one class of facts is decisive, but they are not all that we have bearing on the point at issue.

If we look at those nations nominally Christian, do we not find almost as marked a difference among them, as we do between those that are nominally Christian and Mohammedan, or Heathen? Why has the Russian bear grasped his absolute power with such unyielding tenacity? Why have the strong-armed millions of the hardy north submitted to this despotic control? Whatever be the reason, we at least know that the autocrat is no Protestant, and that the Reformation has been studiously excluded from his dominions. Why has Italy been ground down under the combined influence of ignorance and tyranny ? Has it not a climate the most delicious, a soil the most fertile in the world? Did it not in other days produce men who were at once the model and the wonder of their race? Is it not the grave of the mighty? Was not Rome in other days the champion of liberty, as well as the mistress of the world? And why this change? Why was the ancient Roman the man of iron, inflexible in virtue, unbending in patriotism, the born monarch of his race: while the modern Roman is associated in our minds with smooth-faced perfidy and deadly hate; with the tongue of the spy and the stiletto of the assassin; or lower still, with the barrel-organ and dancing dogs? The same green plains still stretch along the dark Appenines; the same sentinel mountains keep watch over the beauty below; and the same old Tiber continues to pour the tide from his mighty urn, as when the tramp of the Roman legions echoed round the world: but the spirit of Rome has departed. Can any one fail to discover the reason of this departure ? Look also at Spain. Was she not once a great and powerful nation? Did she not wield the destinies of Europe and infant America ? Did not her fleets and argosies cover every sea ? At the very period of the Reformation was not her Charles V. at once the Napoleon and the Mohammed of Europe ? Yet rejecting the Reformation and striving to crush it, has not the curse of Almighty God seemed to rest upon

her? Do we not think of Spain now as we do of one of her strutting hidalgoes, with a longer pedigree than purse; with a sense of dignity and importance in exact proportion to the utter absence of all that could justify and support it; stalking in state abroad and starving in rags at home? Has she not been the victim of alternate anarchy and misrule? Is not Protestant Britain to a great extent free and powerful, while Papal Spain and Portugal are crushed with tyranny, or rent with faction? Is not Protestant Prussia really free, though nominally under an absolute sovereign; while Papal Austria is as despotic in fact as in form? Is not Protestant Saxony free in fact, while Papal Sicily is enslaved? Will not Holland make the same comparison with Belgium, and Switzerland with southern Germany? Is not Edinburgh, with not one half the natural advantages of Florence, immeasurably the superior of the Tuscan metropolis, though once the home of the Medici, and the literary emporium of the world? Can all this be either accidental, or the result of causes distinct from religion ?

But can we not see the same facts at our doors ? Why has Protestant North America become free and powerful, while Papal South and Central An ica have become but a scene of anarchy and confusion in a similar attempt? Is it because of a different state of society? But what produced this difference? Is there any point of difference affecting this question, not distinctly traceable to the direct or indirect religious influence to which they were respectively subjected? We know that Popery, when in the ascendant, has always refused to educate or elevate the masses, and breathe into them that noble spirit of self-reliance, or rather God-reliance and truth-reliance, without which free institutions are impossible. It is true De Tocqueville argues the democratic tendency of Popery, from its placing all men on a level before it, and demanding their submission. But he might on the same grounds prove the democratic tendency of death; or show that the Eastern despot, who tramples on all necks but his own, is an apostle of freedom. It is


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