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1847.)

Political Parties.

423

king plainly that the decree did not satisfy the royal promises. The subject was debated for more than a year, with a vivacity unwonted in the annals of monarchy ; but finally, all amendments having been rejected, the decree became the law of the land, by a royal ordinance, dated June 21, 1842. It is said that the king, being rather hard pressed by the unsparing critiques upon his decree, and surprised at the opposition, declared that the promise of his father in 1815 was not binding upon him ; and thus vanish the harangues at Cologne and Königsberg. The extension of the area of freedom may be described in the following formula :-- the people have the honor and liberty, through their representatives, of coinciding with the king.

Pet. I say it is the moon.
Kath.

I know it is the moon.
Pet. Nay, then you lie; it is the blessed sun.

Kath. Then, God be blessed, it is the blessed sun.But sun it is not, when you say it is not.” Nothing was wanting but this temporary suspension of the popular cause, to give the republican party a definite purpose and tangible dimensions. Till now it was ignorant of its own capacities, and feared to assume a decisive tone in speaking of its expectations, lest it might be unsupported either by the numbers or position of its adherents. But it suddenly finds itself a formidable influence, the third estate of the realm, recruited from all ranks, and composed of most discordant views and interests, yet harmonizing intelligibly enough upon the general question. Three parties are now struggling to obtain the mastery of the political field. First come the monarchists, part of whom are wise and part are foolish. The wise oppose the constitutional party, by tracing historically the quiet infusion of liberal ideas into the Prussian government, under the tutelage of its kings, who are said to have adapted the monarchical principle to the spirit of each age ; the foolish monarchists write superannuated pamphlets about the divine right and the paternal capacity of the monarch. Occupying their antipodes is the radical party, who talk equally impracticable matter about the divine right of the individual and the great idea of absolute radicalism. It includes the communism of Weitling and Becker, who wish “ to destroy every thing in order to reconstruct everything upon new bases ; manners, states and worships, languages, laws and na

tionalities, none of these should remain, for they are virtually barriers which separate people destined for universal unity.” It also includes the politico-religious reveries of Bruno Bauer, who represents the American idea with a difference ; he holds the truth to be self-evident, that all men are created free and equal, Jews being excepted. If we understand Bruno Bauer, he finds the existence of a God inconsistent with this doctrine of universal equality, and it is wonderful with what ease he can dispense with one.

Between these two extremes Auctuates the legitimate constitutional party, with limits still unsettled, and whose prominent writers do not always advocate the same scheme. Constitutionalism displays a penumbra, wbich is modified monarchism, held by those who dread lest the popular will should suddenly and entirely absorb the royal prerogative. But the real strength of the party resides, of course, with those who hold moderate but definite and earnest views, who desire to give to Germany nationality and unity, already rendered practicable by the establishment of the Customs-Union. They support a rational reform in judicature, demanding “ the publicity of tribunals, the independence of the judiciary, the liberty of defence." They argue for the practicability of a wider basis of representation, and for a constitution whose articles shall be something more than an expression, in less degrading terms, relieved only by a show of liberty, of the people's old dependence. This party will prevail ; but the acts and spirit of the Diet, which held its first sitting in April last, have caused many calm observers to doubt whether the revolution can be an altogether peaceful one. The members could not refuse to vote the general budget, but they denied the king a grant for a railroad. If such popular stratagems were unaccompanied by a feeling of embittered hostility toward the king, they might procure a gradual extension of privileges ; above all, the members might secure an act of general toleration, involving the civil equality of all dissents. Nor would it be long before a modified union of the State and Church would express the average liberality of the popular sentiment. The pure voluntary principle is not in vogue with the moderate party, though the

The Zollverein extends over the whole of Germany, with the exception of the Austrian provinces, Hanover, the two Mecklenbergs, and the three free cities, Hamburg, Bremen, and Lubeck. It has already materially increased the commerce and activity of the associated countries.

1847.]

Political Questions.

425

precise relation which the State shall hold to the Church is not yet defined by them. They like the idea that parishes shall choose their own clergy ; also that the government shall appoint no fixed standard and patronize no special symbol ; the clergy shall be free to choose their faith. And Gervinus says, the State “ should rather seek to find its uniting power in an ideal patriotic bond, than in a material ecclesiastical one; it should leave the freest possible play-room to parishes and synods, which must undoubtedly be conducted according to the form proposed by the German Catholic Church. The State would have no other office than that of moderating.

But the royal patriotism has not been strong enough to prompt an adequate concession ; therefore the people chase within their limits, and it is doubted whether the present irritation can be quietly reduced.* We notice that during the past year two or three questions of great interest have diverted the popular attention from the points at issue, and consequently from their religious results, which we have briefly designated. These distracting questions relate to the pretensions of Denmark to the Duchies of Schleswig-Holstein, and to Russian influence in Germany, but especially in the Duchy of Posen.

The latter question involves a prominent interest. Germany has grown too liberal to relish the despotic temper of her ancient ally, who is no longer of any service to her ; and “ Russomania” will retire before the increasing sentiment of nationality which inspires the prosperous middle class of Germany. The Polish proprietors of the soil in Posen are disposed to favor Russian interfer

In pur

* But Mr. Wheaton, who is certainly an adequate observer, says, in his recent address upon " The Progress and Prospects of Germany,"

“ The powers granted to this assembly by the crown were consultative merely, ex. cept in the single case of a proposed augmentation of the taxes, or the public debt of the kingdom, in which case it was to have an absolute negative upon the royal propositions. The manner in which these powers were exercised in the discussions of the assembly is, upon the whole, highly favorable to the ultimate success of the experiment." Upon the whole it may be; yet it is proper to notice the present irritation and its causes. suing his subject, Mr. Wheaton says of the German governments : -"We must not be surprised, if they still hesitate and falter in their course, and if their counsels are still too often inspired by the blind dread of innovation, rather than by that confidence which the German people well merit by their integrity of purpose, moderation, and patient forbearance.” Beside's other things, Mr. Wheaton's pamphlet, which we have read with much pleasure, has the merit of showing the value of the Customs-Union as the basis of German unity, freedom, and progress. VOL. XLIII. - 4TH s. Vol. VIII. NO. III.

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ence, hoping thereby to preserve their authority over their boors, to whom Prussia would proffer independence. The spirit of caste among a few Polish nobles cannot, however, secure permanence to Russian influence in Germany. And soon we shall see the people return with new interest to the absorbing questions which involve their future welfare. The commercial bond which unites them has developed their slumbering energies, and has given them a taste of the genial freedom of an active life. Their new prosperity will increase both their importance and their capacity for self-help ; this alone would secure an extension of their liberties in every sphere. But when the age is big with impulses which conspire with the master-spring of interest to renovate their exhausted and abstracted life, to turn their moods into deeds and their formulas into feelings, to temper their reveries with the sober alloy of practical concerns, we need not hesitate to predict a growth the most flourishing and healthy, and a many-sided expression of life which even the “myriadminded ” sons of Germany have been unable to enjoy. She is destined to annex the empire of the land to her hereditary empire of the air.

The connection of the constitutional with the religious question is now apparent. Material interest creates an activity which is not content with residing in the old body, and working feebly through organs whose development has been arrested. Spiritual interests are harassed and discountenanced by the identity of Church and State Political and social impulses remain unsatisfied in a system which prevents them from springing to their appropriate level. The desire for life is the simple element which manifests itself in all these forms, and is heard by turns on the exchange, in the tribune, and from the pulpit. Had not the State, long ago, with a jealous wish to absorb all sources of interest and power, complicated all popular relations with its unitary system, then every movement of the present hour would not of necessity be organized from such various elements. And it is worthy of notice how entire and exhaustive are the evolutions of the German life; the progress usurps the whole surface and takes up every floating filament. Each movement is a complement of all the others, and the State is called upon to restore at once the sun total of its manifold embezzlements of the popular life, so long suffered with impunity.

What Germany needs, to dissipate her vapors, to consoli

1847.]

Torrey's Translation of Neander.

427

date her thought and direct it to its sensible issues, is simply this, — something for the individual to do. When work, in all the provinces of human activity, has been apportioned to the German citizen, and he feels the sense of clearness and elastic independence which interest in work secures, - when doing becomes the copula of the subjective and the objective,

when the old Teuton vigor drives the modern Pegasus afield, and the share dislodges the tangled undergrowth, when the German appends the improvement to his long homily of philosophy, — then will be vindicated the honest and hopeful old proverb used by Goethe, --“What man wishes in youth he has to fulness in old age.

J. W-S.

Art. VII. – TORREY'S TRANSLATION OF NEANDER. *

A NEW translation of Neander's “History of the Christian Religion and Church” has appeared, by Professor Torrey of Burlington. The translator has long been engaged on the work, but was anticipated in publication by Mr. Rose, of whose volumes some notice has been taken in former numbers of this journal.f The obscurities and deficiencies of the latter translation have induced Professor Torrey not to withhold his own; and although the present volume extends only over the same ground covered by Mr. Rose, a continuation is soon to appear, and is delayed only that it may be revised by comparison with the second edition recently published in Germany.

This translation is remarkably faithful and accurate. The translator, having a profound respect for his author, makes it a point always to convey bis meaning exactly, even to the minutest expression. This is certainly a great virtue. It has caused him, however, to retain the unwieldiness of Neander's style, and has given some obscurity and diffuseness to

General History of the Christian Religion and Church : from the Ger. man of Dr. Augustus Neander. Translated from the Second and Improved Edition. By Joseph Torrey, Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy in the University of Vermont. Volume First: comprising the First Great Division of the History. Boston : Crocker & Brewster. 1847. 8vo. pp. 740.

+ Christian Examiner for March, 1832, for January, 1844, and September, 1845.

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