Thursday, 12 September 2013


Two and a half years ago we ventured to predict that the crisis of Christianity was fast approaching, believing that the Communism which had been at work in France for the past age would ere long break out in full force, and that in all probability the crisis would be on the death of the then Emperor. His maladministration, however accelerated his downfall, and the uprising of French Communism, which we were rather surprised to find had been working its way, not among the intelligent, the respectable and learned, the contemplative and philosophical, as scepticism had flourished among the Helvetü and D'Alamberts,  Diderots and Condorcets of the last century, but that it had been taken up and patronised only by the lowest of the vulgar, and been drawing its converts chiefly from among the dregs of the community, the veriest canaille of a dissipated and profligate capital. In the article to which we have referred, we expressed an opinion that the time was fast arriving when the various denominations of Christians would have to merge their minor differences in a common effort to maintain those great fundamentals of Christianity on which they are agreed, and it was very satisfactory to find that our views as then expressed, were at once heartily adopted by a Metropolitan contemporary, whose reprint of the article led to its farther circulation in the old country, and particularly in Ireland. As far as French infidelity has been influential, we appear to have given its wretched and contemptible Communism credit for an influence and progress it was not exercising, but it is becoming evident that the Rationalism of the German schools has not been at work for the last hundred years without effect in the upper ranks of society.
Sir Robert Peel when he saw that the Whigs could not carry the Catholic Emancipation Bill, took it up and made it law, and he adopted the same course with the Corn Laws.
Bismarck, who it is now evident belongs to the Rationalistic school, seeing that Communism cannot carry the bill for the abolition of Christianity, is evidently intent on bringing in and carrying the measure himself.
It is satisfactory, however, to find that the designs and policy of this bold and daring man are being watched and penetrated by acute minded and sound thinking Englishmen, among whom stand conspicuous the writers of the Westminster Gazette, tho following extract from whose Columns will throw a light upon the subject which it is certainly the duty of everyone wishful for the religious tranquility of Europe and her dependencies to avail himself of at this crisis : —
The Political Crises in Prussia.
"Without entering into the merits or demerits of the reforms proposed in the Prussian District Administration Bill, we cannot but regard the threats used against the Upper House by the Prussian Government as revolutionary in the extreme. The policy pursued by Prince Bismarck is characteristic; he thinks it desirable to abolish privileges belonging to the Lords and to the great land-owners, and to introduce a system of popular election for the county magistracy In the new condition of things, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has come to the conclusion that it is no longer necessary for the advancement of his policy to court the aid of the Upper House and rely upon aristocratic support ; by the active cooperation of the ' Junkerpartei ' he carried on the Government of Prussia for years in opposition to the popular feeling, and passed laws affecting the army and entailing enormous expenditure in defiance of the Lower Chamber. Prince Bismarck could not explain to the people and to their representatives that his policy of creating a united Germany necessitated an aggressive war against Austria, the absorption of Hanover and Saxony, and the reduction of Bavaria into a dependent State, as well as a war with France for military supremacy in Europe ; and that the control of the public purse, unhampered by the meddling of the Lower Chamber, was essential for the success of this policy. Such a course of action is simply unscrupulous. When Prince Bismarck has an object in view, he adopts without hesitation the most direct means to the attainment of that object, and does not care whether the means are good or evil. Yesterday he was an aristocrat and Conservative, because such a policy suited his immediate purpose ; tomorrow, if it be the speediest and most direct way to attain the ends he may now have in view, he will be a Democrat and a Revolutionist : but he is always a despot. Everything must bend to his will; the people and the popular Chamber were before the war trodden under hoof; since the creation of the new Empire, the Upper Chamber, the Conservative aristocracy, the representatives of religion, the Christian faith itself, stand in the way of the further development of those designs of the aggrandisement of Germany in which Prince Bismarck is now concentrating his unscrupulous energy. His attacks upon Christian education, upon the rights of the Episcopacy, upon the religious Orders, and now finally upon the House of Lords, and upon the Constitution of the country, are not simply inspired by fanatical hate against religion, or against aristocracy, or against the Constitutional laws of his country, but they proceed from a conviction that these attacks are the most direct and likely means to answer his purpose. What that purpose is the future will disclose, and the key to Prince Bismarck's present policy will be discovered, in the same way as we now know the cause of his alliance with the Conservatives and the Peers, when the war against Austria and France had still to be provided for. A policy so unprincipled, a conduct so openly and avowedly unscrupulous, is not only demoralizing in the highest degree to the country where it is permitted, but a danger and a menace to Europe. It is one thing when a reform of an ancient constitutional usage is, in the opinion of a Minister, become essential to a country under new conditions, to propose such a change by lawful and constitutional means, and quite another to use or threaten violence, or to sweep away all opposition, as is Prince Bismarck's habit, by arbitrary enactments. The abolition of the House of Peers, if necessary to the furtherance of the Chancellor's present scheme, will, who doubts, be effected in one way or another. It is but one step further in the Revolutionary policy which characterises the new German Empire. To the war against the Catholic Church is added an attack upon an hereditary aristocracy, already mistrustful of the policy of the German Chancellor. If it be Prince Bismarck's design, as we have on former occasions pointed out, to place himself at the head of German Liberalism, and of the great irreligious and Revolutionary movement of Europe, what steps could better entitle him to such a supremacy than the anti-social and anti-Christian policy he is pursuing in Prussia ? It is superfluous to enquire into the details of his proposed reforms of the privileges of the Press, or to discuss the lengths which he is prepared to go in the new measures announced in the speech, from the throne on the relations of the State to religious societies, for we are persuaded that for the furtherance of his hidden designs, it is Prince Bismarck's intention to strike down every barrier, religious or political, which stands in the way of the great Revolution which he is meditating in Europe."

 Bunyip 1 March 1873,

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