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touching, admirable, and catholic, as great part of them are, were in general abolished; and, in their stead, extempore prayers, often of portentous length, were used, to give each individual minister an opportunity of introducing, in every part of the sacred proceeding, his peculiar tenets. The sermon, for a similar reason, became the longest and most important part of the service. Every one knows how strongly the same lines of distinction still characterise the ultraReformers, who contend for the Calvinistic tenets and Presbyterian form of worship, and those more moderate partisans of the Reformation who have embraced the less violent schism of the Church of England.
Political equality was, and still is, the grand aspiration of the nineteenth century. What the ardent multitudes who embraced the principles of the French Revolution desired, was equality of privilege, and universal participation in power. They
They saw the injustice and cruelty of their former oppressors, they felt how galling their chains had been, and they flattered themselves that, if they could once get possession of the reins of power, they had suffered too severely from their abuse to be in any danger of being led astray in the use they made of them. Abolition of rank and privilege, the opening of all careers to all, and the admission of all into the equal enjoyment of power, by means of a government resting on universal suffrage, was the general object of ambition, and has been established for a brief period in France, Spain, Portugal, and Piedmont ; more durably in North and South America. What the results of this system of government are to be, is the great problem which is in the course of solution in the nineteenth century; but be these results fortunate or unfortunate, it is this which constitutes the characteristic of the period, and will form the object of close and anxious attention to historians in future times. It was a principle and basis of government wholly new in human affairs. No previous republic, either in ancient or modern times, had exhibited any approach to it. The exclusion of the great body of the working class, in all the states of antiquity, from any share either in municipal or social powers, by reason of the generality of slavery—the arrangement of men in trades and crafts, through whose heads all their powers were exercised, in the free cities of Italy and Flanders, in modern times, and in general in all the European burghs, necessarily rendered the basis of government in all former commonwealths essentially different. A democratic valley may have existed in Uri or Unterwalden, where all the citizens were equally rich in fortune, and nearly equally poor in intelligence; but the example of a great community resting on universal suffrage, and a simple majority of votes, began with the year 1789.
Although the proper democratic spirit existed in great strength in many of the leaders of the Great Rebellion, and its extravagances generally affected the army, and some of the powerful leaders of that convulsion, yet extension of political power was not the object of the national will. This is decisively proved by the fact, that when they gained the power, the people made no attempt, in any material respect, to alter the public institutions. Cromwell, doubtless, was a military usurper ; but a military usurper is only the head of a warlike republic, and he is constrained to obey the wishes of the soldiers who have elevated him to power. Neither he nor the Long Parliament made any important alterations on the lasting structure of government, though, for the time, they totally altered its practice. The law was administered on the old precedents during the whole Protectorate. The estates of the Malignants were put under sequestration, and many of the church lands were confiscated; but no great alteration in the foundations of government took place. Power, when the military oppression was removed, immediately returned to its former seats. The parliaments summoned by Cromwell proved so refractory, that they were in general dissolved after having sat a few days; juries, throughout his reign, were so hostile to his government that they acquitted nearly all the state offenders brought before them; and legal prosecutions fell into disuse. Everything was done by military force; but it never occurred to him to turn up the soil, so as to bring fresh elements into action :-he never thought of summoning a parliament resting on universal suffrage, or establishing a revolutionary tribunal, the jurors of which were nominated by that democratic assembly. So as the victorious party were allowed to chant hymns as they pleased, and hear long
sermons replete with any absurdity, and indulge in the freedom of the pulpit, they cared nothing for that of the press, or altering the structure of government. When Charles II. was recalled by Monk, he had only to issue writs to the counties and boroughs which had returned the Long Parliament, to obtain the most thoroughly loyal commons that ever sat in England.
Although the change of government in 1688 is usually called “the Revolution,” and although it certainly was a most decisive overthrow so far as the reigning family was concerned, yet it was by no means a revolution in the sense in which we now understand the word. It made no change in the basis of power in the state, though it altered the dynasty which sat on the throne, and for seventy years fixed the reign of power in the hands of the Whig party, who had been most instrumental in placing William and Mary on it. But the structure of government remained unchanged; or rather, it was changed only to be rendered more stable and powerful. We owe to the Revolution many of our greatest blessings ; but not the least of these has been the removal of the causes of weakness which had so often before, in English history, proved fatal to the throne.
It gave us a national debt, a standing army, and a stable foreign policy. The sum annually raised by William in taxes, within five years after he obtained the throne, was triple what had been so much the subject of complaint in the time of Charles I.; but the effect of this was to give us a firm government and steady policy. De Witt had said, in the disgraceful days of the alliance of Charles II. with France, that the changes of English policy had now become so frequent, that no man could rely on any system being continued steadily for two years together. The Continental interests and connexions of William, and subsequently of the Hanover family, gave us a durable system of foreign policy, and imprinted, for a hundred and forty years, that steadiness in our councils, without which neither individuals nor nations ever attained either lasting fame or greatness. Nor was it the least blessing consequent upon such a change of external policy, and of the wars which it necessarily induced, that it gave Government the lasting support of a standing army, and thus prevented that ruinous prostration
of the executive before the burst of popular passion, which had so often induced the most dreadful disorders in English history. After 1688, the standing army, though inconsiderable compared with what it has since become, was always respectable, and adequate, as the result of the rebellions in 1715 and 1745 demonstrated, to the defence of Government against the most serious domestic dangers. That of itself was an incalculable blessing, and cheaply purchased by the national debt and all the bloodshed of our foreign wars. Had Charles I. possessed five thousand guards, he would at once have crushed the Great Rebellion; and the woful oppression of the Long Parliament, which, during the eleven years that it sat, extorted £80,000,000, equal to £200,000,000 at this time, from an impoverished and bleeding nation, would have been prevented.
Englishmen are not accustomed to pride themselves upon the external successes and military triumphs of the eighteenth century; and they have been so eclipsed by those of the Revolutionary war, that they are now in a great measure thrown into the shade. Yet nothing is more certain than that it is in external success and warlike glory, that, during the seventy years which immediately succeeded the Revolution, we must look for the chief rewards and best vindication of that convulsion. England then took its appropriate place as the head of the Protestant faith, the bulwark of the liberties of Europe. The ambition of the house of Bourbon, which so nearly proved fatal to them in the person of Louis XIV., became the lasting object of their apprehension and resistance. The heroic steadiness of William, the consummate genius of Marlborough, the ardent spirit of Chatham, won for us the glories of the War of the Succession and of the Seven Years. Though deeply checkered, especially in the American war, with disaster, the eighteenth century was, upon the whole, one of external glory and national advancement. To their honour be it spoken, the Whigs at that period were the party who had the national glory and success at heart, and made the greatest efforts, both on the theatre of arms and of diplomacy, to promote it. The Tories were lukewarm or indifferent to national interests or honour, averse to foreign alliances, and often willing to purchase peace by the abandonment of the chief advantages which war had purchased. During the Revolutionary war, the case was just the reverse—the parties mutually changed places. The Tories were the national and patriotic, the Whigs the grumbling and discontented party. Both parties, in both periods, were in reality actuated, perhaps unconsciously, by their party interests—the Whigs were patriotic and national, the Tories backward and lukewarm, when the Whigs were in power, and derivedlustre from foreign success; the Tories were patriotic and national when they held the reins of government, and theopposite vices had passed over to their antagonists.
But if, from the external policy and foreign triumphs of the Whigs during the first sixty years of the eighteenth century, we turn to the domestic government which they established and the social ameliorations which they introduced, we shall see much less reason to congratulate ourselves on the benefits gained by the Revolution. It is here that the great moral and political lesson of the eighteenth century is to be found ; this it is which it behoves our historians to tell; this it is which they have left untold. The long possession of power, after the accession of William and Mary, by the Whig party, which continued uninterrupted for seventy years, and the want of any philosophical history of the period since they were dispossessed of office, have prevented the truth from being boldly told, or even generally known in this country.
It is much more generally appreciated, however, by Continental writers, and we may rest assured the eyes of future generations will be steadily fixed on it. The danger is, that it will throw discredit on the cause both of civil and religious freedom, in the eyes of future generations in the world. Let us, in the first instance, boldly, and without seeking to disguise the truth, examine what are the religious and civil evils which have attracted the attention of mankind in Great Britain during the eighteenth century; and then inquire whether they are the necessary result of the Reformation and the Revolution, or hare arisen from causes foreign to that of religious and civil freedom-in a word, from the usual intermixture of human selfishness and iniquity with those great convulsions.
The two great evils which have disfigured the Reformed church in the British islands, since its final establishment at the Revolution, have been the endless multiplication and