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In the preceding pages a due acknowledgment has been made of the long-continued efforts of a public journal to maintain unimpaired our national Protestant and religious principles and character. An able article has since appeared in its columns, contrasting the national characters of England and France, and showing how great is the honour which Divine Providence has put upon the religious and Protestant principles of the one, while the independent and vain boastings of the other have been turned into emptiness and confusion. As at the present time sentiments such as these cannot be too deeply impressed upon the nation, and as the political views of the journalist strongly confirm the author's interpretation of the Apocalypse, of which the contrast of God's dealings with the Protestant British nation, and with the papal continental nations, forms one of the principal and most interesting features, he considers that it will be well to combine their testimony, thus proving both prophetically and historically that it is righteousness alone, and adherence to Protestant truth, which has hitherto exalted, or can in future preserve this nation. This great truth promulgated in the subjoined article, together with the national acknowledgment of our dependence upon Divine protection, implied in the excellent prayer now appointed to be read in all the churches and chapels of England and Wales for the maintenance of peace and tranquillity, will form a suitable conclusion to this publication.
Extract from “ THE RECORD” of March 27, 1848.
“We wish to contemplate for a few moments the relative positions occupied by France and England amidst the present shatter
ing of the European nations. The consideration of it may be beneficial to ourselves and others.”
“ France stands at the head of the continental and, as she herself supposes, of the European nations. To her great rival, England, the palm of superiority will probably be awarded by most dispassionate observers. In the lighter and more refined and elegant graces of life France shines with greater brilliancy than her more sedate neighbour. She possesses much to attract and captivate the world, and this not only as it regards its vanities and dissipation, but its literature and science. On the two nations are fixed the eyes of all civilized nations, and their course and their fortunes are regarded with the highest interest."
“Disgusted and rendered infidel by the corruptions of popery, France in her first revolution pronounced there was no God; and her course to the close of the empire was godless and unprincipled to the last degree. The attempt, from the overthrow of Napoleon till the second revolution in 1830, to substitute Romish superstition for infidelity, was accompanied with very indifferent
And there followed the accession of Louis-Philip to the throne, (not by the grace of God, but by the will of the people,) a recognition and pensioning of every description of faith, Jew and Gentile, which could show a sufficient degree of respectability to be worthy of this honour. Atheism had been long found a crazy foundation for the social edifice. It required simple unbelief or profound ignorance of the principles of the Divine revelation, to suppose that this new system, resting on scepticism and infidelity, would form a sensibly safer basis for human society.”
“The French people have been, of late years, presented to the world as virtually without God. The faith most favoured by the court and nation was popery--the great Antichristian usurpation. Thus the material part of the religious service offered by the nation was not to Christ, but to Antichrist. Still, this was felt by all to be more a profession than a reality. Speculative and practical infidelity bore sway in the Chambers, and held rule over the press, through which media the mind and principles
and purposes of the nation were developed to itself, and made known to the world. God seemed not to be in all their thoughts. 'I will not,' says the Almighty, 'give my glory to another.' They gave it, not to 'graven images,' but to themselves. They were full of the glory of the great nation ’-of its wisdom, its accomplishments, its prowess : and truly and most eminently they ' gave not God the glory.”'
“The world was invited to behold their glory—a glory not derived from, or resting on God, but beginning, continuing, and ending in themselves. See what we shall not do! See what further heights of glory we shall not attain to! The chief ground of the quarrel of the most froward spirits with Louis-Philip was, that his pacific policy and his masterly dispositions for the preservation of peace, unduly limited the sphere of their glory.”
“Now what, thus far, is the issue of this appeal to the world to behold their glory?"
“The king of their choice, it seems, has acquired none of it. His lamentable failures in those things which constitute glory, even according to a worldly standard, are universally acknowledged, while the nation has cast him away as worthless and contemptible. Their glory was not displayed by their nobles or by the representatives of the people. The two houses are described as bribed and corrupted, the unworthy tools of the king now dethroned and trampled upon.
Some of the highest ministers of state have been recently found guilty of the grossest corruption : this is not glory. Some of their nobles of crimes which made Europe shudder : here is no glory. That a very large proportion of the population of Paris should be born not in wedlock, but in fornication, is no glory. That crimes of which it is a shame even to speak, and which overthrew “ the cities of the plain,” should, without check, be widely practised in that capital, is no glory. That publications abominably vicious and demoralising should not only form the staple of reading in Paris, but that from that centre they should be circulated for the corruption of Europe, is not glorious. Amidst, then, the outward
splendour and gaiety of France, amidst even its science and literature, there is much in the things we have mentioned to obscure its past glories, and to induce the observer to turn in search of the glories of which the nation boasts, to the acmé of its glorythe glorious revolution which has been just achieved.”
“And here what shall he find? The triumph of knowledge, of wisdom, of order, of science, of glory, in the choice and partial formation of the constitution and government which has taken the place of the lapsed monarchy!”
“He finds the king dethroned, and the monarchy dissolved, in opposition to the matured judgment and desire of the best and wisest of the men of nearly every party in the state. He finds the late chambers illegally broken up, and a Republic unwillingly declared, under the threats of an armed rabble, their hands dyed in blood. He finds this armed rabble now installed in power, in immediate contact with, and having in their clutches, the executive government. He finds rank and property and knowledge cast out, and the reign of ignorance and destitution commenced ; and this reign already signalized by various edicts of the government, in obedience to the commands of the lowest of the people, whose direct tendency is not merely the destruction of all that is called Glory in the world, but the breaking up of the social edifice altogether. Of the present glorious position of France, the Times journal of Saturday declares :— The populace of Paris are the absolute masters of the Government and of France ; the free movement of parties is paralyzed by fear; ... At the stage at which matters are now arrived all discussion means blows-all resistance civil war.' And the Economist of the same day, the editor of which is a distinguished member of parliament, thus speaks of the same glories :—the proceedings of the ruling classes of Paris are calculated more and more to excite our pity, compassion, and even contempt;' and one effect of those proceedings he thus describes :-“ Meantime, workshops are closed, and the formerly industrious citizens of Paris crowd the wine-shops of the lowest order, and are every day
sinking deeper into the most despicable imbecility of exhausted energies and depraved passions :'--such as these, be it observed, being, according to the Times, the absolute masters of the government and of France.'s
“ We speak not of the future. We attempt not to penetrate into the depths of that gulf into which rulers and ruled appear about to be precipitated, or of the glories which shall be evolved in its dark domain. But so far,—at this moment, what do the nations of Europe see, called as they are to contemplate the glory of France, as practically separated, in its own imaginations, from God, and governing itself in its own wisdom and strength ? Do they not see in it'the purpose of the Lord of Hosts to stain the pride of all glory,' which would exalt itself against the knowledge of God and his anointed one? . Be wise now therefore, O ye kings : be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.""
“England, in the general esteem of the civilized world, and not a little in fact, stands, in respect of religion and the service of God, in diametrical opposition to France.”
“ Victoria is Queen, not in virtue of the choice of the people, but by the grace of God.' She stands at the head of a Reformed Church, protesting against all the heresies of Rome, and very especially against that damnable sin of closing the Book of Life from mankind. Her nobles, and the representatives of the people, meet around her in Christ's name, and to Him and through Him are prayers daily offered for the blessing of the Most High on her person, her subjects, and her realms. From this kingdom has an angel flown, bearing in his hands the Gospel of salvation to all them that dwell under the face of the whole heavens. The number of copies of the Scriptures cast over the wide world by this nation, who shall declare? The number of tracts and books and missionaries, how great ? Our sabbaths are hallowed in comparison of the sabbaths of the rest of Europe: as the rule, no business is done therein, and the regular and recognized haunts of amusement and pleasure are