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obliged to seek for refuge among the very fiends, who aimed at obtaining his throne, and his life being a bar to their success, they thirsted for his blood.' They now imprisoned him; and during his confinement covered him with insults; and they who had no right, dared to try and convict hini without evidence, and put him to an ignominious death, as the most atrocious criminal.
Having denounced this judgment of God upon the King, the prophet naturally proceeds to the dreadful events which were to follow. For the angel, commissioned with this vial, had a twofold errand, first, to pour it out upon the sun, and next to “scorch men with fire;” and we are told, that men should be “scorched with great heat.” Now, what are we here to understand by "fire?” When we consult the Scripture, we find it often used as a symbol to express the indignation and wrath of offended omnipotence, and the plagues with which he punishes incorrigible sinners* Nor is it less than an apposite figure, because of all the elements it is the most powerful and tremendous, and like the wrath of God destroys whatever it operates upon. This fire, or wrath of God, was to cause " a great heat.” It seems impossible for the prophet
to have chosen a more suitable expression to describe the woeful state of France, which took place immediately after the death of the king, than a “great heat. “ Heat," when it refers to a man figuratively, means passion; as we say, " he is in a heat, or passion :"
* Deut. i 24. . Nah. i, 6. Heb. xii. 29.
when to a number of men united, it means a faction, or a tumultuary number of men in a fermentation or passion against government.
" Heat" is also, in a literal sense, that quality by which fire destroys all things. And this was to be “
So Nebuchadnezzar, when in great corath he decreed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be put to death, ordered the furnace to be heated one seven times more than it was wont to be heated*,” that the heat might be the quicker and fiercer in destroying them. Taking the expressions of the text in these their true senses, what do they ainount to? but that when this vial should be poured out, the country should be tormented and plagued with the most outrageous factions, and that these factions should be the means of destroying "men,” or a great number of the people, in a short time. Let us then apply these senses of the text to the late transactions and events which have taken place in France, and then judge whether they do not strictly correspond.
The monarchy being destroyed, and the monarch murdered, the dæmons of revolution had nothing left to suffer but themselves, and the wretched people who had escaped their former
From among them arose new factions, more violent, more ferocious and bloodthirsty than their predecessors, and all aiming at the sovereign power. These were in the heart of the republic, in the convention itself: that
* Dan. iii. 19.
body became “ suddenly the slave of factions.” It is compared by an historian of the day, and spectator of the tumultuous scene, to the “ sea, ci when furious whirlwinds agitate the waves, “ and vehemently dash one against the other.” He also, labouring for language to paint their bloody designs, calls it a “ theatre of gladiators; and these gladiators soon began the tragical and bloody scene by murdering one another. Such was the righteous will of God. They began with suppressing the Orleans faction by the destruction of the Duke their chief, one of the most unprincipled men among them. In the next place fell the faction of the Rolandists, &c.
In these terrible scenes of action and reaction, Roberspierre, that eldest son of Satan, that " of perdition,” rode out the storm, and became paramount despot of France. His word was now the law in the National Convention, in the Committee of Safety, in the Jacobin Club, in the revolutionary committees, and revolutionary armies. However
However great the calamities and woes of the French nation might have been under the former general plunder, insurrections, and massacres, they were now increased an hundred fold : the blood of the people of France Aowed without measure.
To describe in detail all the nefarious acts of this dreadful period, must be an unnecessary task, inasınuch as they have been faithfully written by several French historians, and some of them spectators of the facts. I shall therefore
submit to the consideration of the reader, only a summary account taken from them, for the most part from one who justifies the revolution, and cannot therefore be reasonably supposed to have exaggerated any of the facts. He tells us*, that, in “ violation of every principle, murder, " theft, and plunder, massacre and devastation, “ were legalized :” that “ under the name of « Revolucionary Government, all the public “ functions were united in the Committee of " Public Safety, where Roberspierre had for a os
long time dominated : then it was that this “ Committee became dictatorial, and hurried “ into the departments that horde of ferocious “ proconsuls, whom we have seen betraying and “ slaughtering the people, whose servants they “were, and to whom they owed their political « existence; sometimes carrying with them, « in their murderous circuits, the guillotine, at « others declaring it permanent, which was say“ing, in other words, that the executioner was
not to have a moment's rest. These monsters « in mission, these colossuses of crime, these pha
.nomena of cruelty, bunted men as a German Ba“ ron hunts wild boars.” In another part he tells what he confesses “ had never before been seen, " and what probably will never be seen again, “ that a great and enlightened nation were muti** lated, decimated, shot, drowned, and guillotined “ by their own representatives : that Rome had $6 a series of tyrants in succession, or at least at
Page's Secret History of the Revolution..
short intervals; but France had, at one and the
same instant, a host of CALIGULAS: that Taci“ tus himself, (the great historian) would have « broken his pencil from regret at not being able “ to paint all the crimes which sprang from the « monstrous junction of the ferocious Roberspi.
erre, with the sanguinary Cuthon; the barba« rous Billaud, with the gloony Amar ; the
tyger “ Collot, with the tyger Carriere ; the cut-throat “ Dumas, with the cut-throat Caffinhal, and a “ thousand subalterns, submissive to their orders; « and that Mirabeau undoubtedly saw a part « only of these borrors when he said Liberty
slept only on mattresses of dead carcasses !”
Having thus confessed the inadequacy of language to a just description of the crimes, horrors, and the destruction of this woeful period, and given the most faithful account of it in his power, the same historian exclaims, " What A “ PICTURE ! the waves of the ocean swolled by “the mangled bodies committed to the Loire; « blood flowing in torrents down the streets of “ every town; the dungeons of a hundred thou“ sand bastiles groaning under the weight of the « victims, with which they are encumbered; the
crape of death worn by every family ; the thresh« old of every door stained with gore ; and, as the “ height of insult, the word Humanity engraven “ on every tomb, and associated with death! “ Such was the lamentable aspect which France “presented ! On every frontispiece were to be "s seen the contradictory words, Liberty ! Fraa