Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Elizabeth likewise, a lady of the most unblemished purity of character, whose only crime it was to be Sister to the King, by a refinement of cruelty peculiar to the French Revolution, was executed the last of twentysix persons, who were carried to the scaffold in one day*.

It was announced y to the Convention, Oet. 17, 1793, that the Bishop of Moulins had officiated in a red bonnet and with a pike, instead of a cross and mitre. Every external sign of Religion was abolished. The infcription on burying grounds was, that “ Death is only an eternal sleep.”

Oct. 25, a new Calendar 2 was proposed and adopted by the Convention, with a view to obliterate the remembrance, as well as the observance of that holy day, which has been from the earliest times consecrated to the exercise of public devotion. Festivals were appointed at stated periods, similar to those which were established in times of Idolatry—to the Virtues--to Genius-to Labour-to Opinion

* New Ann, Reg. p. 364.
y Gent. Mag. O&t. 1794. p. 367.
1 Annual Reg. p. 279.

tues

to Rewards a.

The

a In November « a deputation from the societies of Versailles was admitted to the bar, loaded with chalices, crosses, and other ornaments, from their Churches. • The Priest of the Roman Church,' said they, the Bishop of the department of Seine and Oise, is dead. Will you suffer a new one to be elected? Will you, who have overturned the Throne, suffer the Pontifical Canopy to remain ? Will you,who have broken Crowns and Sceptres, preserve their proud rivals, the Mitre and the Cross ? The law does not prescribe, that the Jews shall have Levites, or the Protestants Ministers—why then should it give chiefs to a set who have so long tormented mankind ? . The citizen and the legislator ought to acknowledge no other worship than that af Liberty, no other Altars than those of their Country, and no other Priests than the Magistrates. Do you, Legislators, like that of the Hebrews, come down from the mountain, break in pieces the Golden Calf, and let the Ark of the Constitution be the only idol of the French. ---Inserted in the Bulletin.”

« Chaumette moved the council to declare, that if any cominotion is stirred up in favour of fanaticism, all the Clergy shall be imprisoned. (Applauded.) And confidering that the People of Paris have declared, chat they acknowledge no other worship than that of Reason and Truth--the council resolves : 1. That all the Churches and Temples of different res

ligions and worship which are known to be in Paris, liall be instantly shut.

2. That

The plunder of the Churches produced near 1,350,000 sterling ; and through the whole extent of France there no longer remained a sacred vase, not even in the do-, mestic chapels b.

“ At

2. That whatever troubles may ensue in Paris, in con

sequence of religious motives, the Priests and Ministers of the different religions shall each be particu

larly responsible. 3. That every person requiring the opening of a Church,

or Temple, shall be put under arrest as a suspected person, &c. &c.”

Sunday, Nov..17. “ Anacharsis Cloots did homage to the Convention, and made the following proposal :

« It is now become an acknowledged truth, that the adversaries of Religion have well deserved of mankind. On this account I demand, that a statue be erected to the first abjuring Priest in the Temple of Reason. It will be sufficient to name him to obtain a favourable decree of the National Convention. It is the intrepid, generous, and exemplary John Melier, Rector of Eltrepigny, in Champagne, whose Philosophical Testament spread desolation in the Sorbonne, and among all those feets who worship Christ. The memory of that honest man, branded with infamy under the antient government, ought to be restored in the reign of Nature. The proposal of Cloots was referred to the Committee, and adopted.”

Count de Montgaillard quoted in the New Ann. Reg. 1794, p. 345. “The Sans Culottes considered

them

· At this period the phrenfy of impiety was carried to the highest degree of absurdity. A most indecent scene was acted in the Convention. Gobet, the Republican Bishop of Paris, with his grand vicars, and other unworthy members of the ecclesiastical body, entered the hall with the constituted authorities, and the Ecclefiaftics folemnly refigned their functions, and abjured the Chriftian Religion. Several of the Ecclesiastics, both Catholic and Protestant, who were members of the Convention, resigned at the same time; and the celebrated Gregoire d was the only man who had the courage to profess himself a Christian.

* By the tumultuous applauses of the Convention, Liberty and Equality, and a num

themselves as authorised to plunder every place of worThip, public and private, and divided with the Convention large heaps of shrines, figures, and vessels, hitherto used in the offices of Religion ; whilst commissioners from the Convention aided the sacrilegious pillage. At Abbeville and other places, the churches were shut, and many of the priests, who still attempted to officiate at their altars, were arrested and thrown into dungeons.” Ann. Reg. 1793, p. 280.

< Nov: 7, 1793. New Ann. Reg. p. 202.

& Gregoire had distinguished himself very early as the patron of the Jews. VOL. II.

ber

R

ber of allegorical divinities, were consecrated as objects of worship *; and they have fince erected a ftatue, and instituted a feast to Ceres.

The Revolutionary Tribunal was established upon the motion of Danton, March 5, 1793. It authorised the incessant exercise of the guillotine ; and thus was cono firmed the reign of terror in all its horrors. The Tribunal added daily, for a long time, new victims to the thoufands, who had fallen on the fatal days in August and Sep

€“ Thus, attacking Heaven itself, an impious feet · vilified all religions, under a pretence of toleration, and

permitted all modes of worship, in suffering them all to be oppressed. In their room, they substituted political irreligion, without comfort for the unfortunate, with out morality for the vicious, and without any check for crimes; insurrection was consecrated as the most sacred of duties. (The principle proposed by La Faye ette, and adopted by the National Assembly.t Solemn and public festivals were decreed in honour of the baseft and greatest criminals.” (Of the soldiers set at lie berty from the Gallies, and the assassins of Avignon, Nismes, Arles, &c.) Extract from the Emperor's Manifesto, Ann. Reg. 1792, p. 292. The conflagrations and cruelties of Nismes, Avignon, and the Comtat Venaisin, were justified and praifed by the National Assembly, Ann. Reg. p. 500. See Note (P) page 217. Briffot, p. 25.

tember.

« EdellinenJatka »