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these three terms include, in effect, the order of the uni. verse. The cause, the means, and the effect become then, for society, the governing power, the ecclesiastical ministry, and the subject, “ Society,” he says, “is religious or political, domestic or public. The purely domestic state of religious society is called Natural Religion, the purely domestic state of political society is called a family. The completion of religious society was the leading mankind first to the theism or national religion of the Jews, and from thence to the general religion of the Christians. Political society was carried to perfection in Europe, when men were led from the domestic state to the public state, and when those civilized communities were established which arose out of Christianity.
The reader must perceive that he has here quitted the systematic part of M. de Bonald's work, and that he en ters upon a series of principles perfectly new, and most fertile in matter. In all particular modifications of society, the governing power wills its existence, consequently watches over its preservation; the ministers of religion act in execution of the will of this governing power; the subject is the object of this will, and the end at which the action of the ministers aims. The power 'wills, it must therefore be one; the ministers act, they must therefore be many
M. de Bonald thus arrives at the fundamental basis of liis political system ; a basis which he has sought, as we see plainly, in the bosom of God himself. Monarchy, according to him, or unity of power, is the only government derived from the essence of things, and the sovereignty of the Omnipotent over nature. Every political form which deviates from this, carries us more or less back to the infancy of nations, or the barbarism of society. .
In the second book of his work, he shews the application of this principle to the particular stages of societs.
In family or domestic society, he considers the different relations between masters and servants, between parents and children. In public society he contends that the public power ought to be like domestic power, committed to God alone, independent of men ; that is to say, that it should be a power of unity; masculine, perpetual; for without unity, without perpetuity, without being masculine, there can be no true independence. The attributes of power, the state of peace and war, the code of laws are examined by the author. In unison with his title, he refers in all these things to the Elements of Legislation; he feels the necessity of recurring to the most simple notions, when all principles have been overthrown in socicty.
In treating of the ecclesiastical ministry, which follows the two books of principles, the author seeks to prove, by the history of modern times, particularly by that of France, the truth of the principles which he has advanced. “ The Christian religion," he says, " in appearing to the world, called to its cradle shepherds and kings, and their homáge, the first it received, announced to the universe, that it came to regulate families and states, the private and the public man.
“ The combat began between idolatry and christianity; it was bloody; religion lost its most generous athletæ, but it finally triumphed. Till then, confined to family or domestic society, it was now mingled with state concerns, it became a proprietor. To the little churches of Ephesus and Thessalonica succeeded the great churches of Gaul and Germany. The political state was combined with the religious state, or rather it was constituted naturally by it. The great monarchies of Europe were formed conjointly with the great churches; the church had its chief, its ministers, its subjects or faithful; the state had its chief, its ministrs, its subjects.' Division of jurisdictions, hicrarchy in the functions, the nature of property, even to its very denominations became, by degrees alike in the religious ministry, and in the political ministry The church was divided into metropolitans, diocesans, &c. : the state was divided into governments or duchies, districts or counties, &c. The church had its religious order, charged with the education of the people, and made the depositaries of science, the state had its military orders devoted to the defence of religion; every where the state rose with the church, the dungeon by the side of the bell, the lord or the magistrate by the side of the priest; the noble, or the defender of the state lived in the country, the votary of religion in the desert. But the first order of things soon changed, and the political and religious state of the country altered together. The towns increased in number and magnitude, and the nobles came to inhabit them, while at the same time the priests quitted their solitudes. Property was denaturalised, the invasions of the Normans commenced, changes were made in the reigning powers, the wars of the kings against their vassals oc, casioned a vast number of fiefs, the natural and exclusive property of the political orders, to pass into the hands of the clergy, while the nobles became possessed of the ecclesiastical tenths, the natural and exclusive property of the clerical order. The duties for which they called, na. turally followed the property to which they were attached nobles appointed to ecclesiastical benefices, which were often rendered hereditary in the family; the priest instituted judges and raised soldiers, or even judged and fought himself; the spirit of each body was changed at the same time that the property was confounded.
At length the epoch of the great religious revolution arrived. It was first prepared in the church by the inju. dicious institution of the mendicant orders which the court of Rome thought it prudent to establish in opposition to a rich and corrupt clergy. But these bodies soon became
in a refined and witty nation like France, objects of sar. casm to the literati.* At the same time that Rome esta blished its militia, the state founded its bodies of the like description. The crusades and the usurpations of the crown having impoverished the order of the nobles, it was necessary to have recourse to hired troops for the defence of the state. The military force, under Charles VII, passed over to the body of the people, or to soldiers who served for pay; the judiciary force, under Francis I, passed over to the men of letters through the venality of the judiciary officers. The reformation of the church, proceeded in the same course with the innovations in the state. Simple citizens took the place of magistrates constituted for exercising the political functions; simple religionists usurped the religious functions from the priests. Luther attacked the sacerdotal order, Calvin replaced it in his own family. Popularism crept into the state, presbyterianism into the church. The public ministry of the church passed over to the people, till they at length arrogated to themselves the sovereign power, when the two parallel and corresponding dogmas of the political democracy, the one that the religious authority' resides in the body of the faithful, the other that the political sovereignty is in the assembly of the citizens, were triumphantly proclaimed.
* When the mendicant orders were first established in the Church, could it be said that the French werc then an elegant nation? Does not the author, besides, forget the innumerable services these orders have rendered mankind ? The first literati who appeared at the revival of letters were far from turning the mendicant orders into ridicule, for a great number of them were themselves of some religious order. The author seems here to confound the epochs; but we allow it would have been good to diminish insensible the mendicant orders in proportion as the manners in France became more elegant and refined.
From this change of principles arose a change of man. ners. The nobles abandoned the more sublime functions of judges to embrace the profession of arms alone. Mili tary licentiousness soon began to relax the moral ties, women began to influence the appointments to the public ministry of the church, luxury was introduced into the court and the towns, a nation of citizens supplanted a nation of husbandmen : wanting consequence they were ambitious of obtaining titles ; the nobles sold themselves, at the same time that the property of the church was put up to auction ; great names became extinct, the first families of the state sunk into poverty, the clergy lost their authority and their consideration ; philosophy, finally, springing up from this religious and political chaos, completed the overthrow of the shaken monarchy.
This very remarkable passage is taken from M. de Bonald's Theory of political and religious power, which was suppressed by the Directory, a very few copies only escaping into the world. Possibly some time or other the author may give a republication of this most important work, one very superior to the Primitive Legislation ; this latter may indeed be called in some sort only an abstract of it. Then will it be known whence are derived many ideas in political science which have been brought forwards by the writers of the present day, and which, since they have not thought proper to acknowledge the source whence they are derived, have been supposed wholly new.
For the rest we have found every where, and we glory in it, in the work of M. de Bonald, a confirmation of the literary and religious principles which we announced in the Genius of Christianity. He even goes farther in some respects than we had done, for we did not find ourselves sufficiently authorized to say with him that we must at this day use the utmost circumspection not to be ridiculous