« AnteriorContinuar »
formed numerous bodies of them into regular regiments of Landwehr, or patriotic defenders, appealed to the nation in the most eloquent and heart-stirring language, placed the princes of her own royal house at the head of the troops, and finally availed herself of, and brought at once into operation, all the powers and resources of her rich and beautiful possessions, to an extent never before effected: productive altogether of such determined co-operation throughout the entire nation, that if ever its immediate deliverance and
permanent liberty might be looked upon as secured, through its own united strength, such glorious results might be justly anticipated on the present occasion.
But now in 1809, as previously in 1806, Europe was not yet ripe for her deliverance; it was still necessary that the fire of purification should penetrate in all parts, and, that the misery already so general, should be rendered infinitely greater, in order that every feeling of egotism should be renounced, and the history of the entire world present the grand and unusual spectacle of a holy war, in which all nations of the east and west, north and south, should rise up as one single individual, animated by one spirit only, and united by one common bond, fight for liberty, honor, and virtue.
What German patriot, to whom his native country is more dear and precious than all other possessions, can ever forget the fluctuating feelings of hope and fear by which he was agitated, during this war of 1809, or the indignation aroused within him when he beheld the enemy he so hated and loathed, advancing with his army, the flower of which was composed of his fellow-countrymen, the Federalists of the Rhine ?
Who can ever forget how, with this brave body of Germans, he forced the Austrians, by furious and incessant attacks, to retreat from Bavaria, into which territory they had only just penetrated, and how, in his arrogance, he declared, that ere the lapse of another month, he would march into Vienna itself? Truly, this was a disastrous period for Austria, and the actions fought at Pfaffenhofen, Tann, Abensberg, Landshut, Eckmuhl, and Ratisbon, from the 19th to the 23d of April, although maintained with the very greatest bravery and determination, ended in the complete discomfiture of the Austrian army; these results, however, were more especially produced through the fault committed by the Austrians in extending their line of forces to too great a length, and thus Napoleon, with his usual celerity of movement, brought his entire force against one single point. He was then enabled to advance with the elite of his army, and especially his cavalry, and, by throwing himself now against one division, then against another, he succeeded, by these overwhelming attacks, in throwing the Austrian line into complete disorder. And it must certainly be admitted, that on this occasion especially, he gave remarkable proofs of his military genius and talents. He appeared every where, and in the thickest of every danger at the moment he was required, his presence and example inspiring his soldiers with the greatest enthusiasm. Indeed, it appeared as if he had determined to devote all his strength and power this time towards the total annihilation of the Austrian army, for he followed up his victory without a moment's loss of time, resting neither night nor day.” (Kohlrausch's His. of Germany, p. 645–6.)
John Wesley and Lorenzo Dow have given the same date, (1809,) for the breaking of the civil power of the Pope.
“ As a temporal prince, the political power of the Pope is now regarded with absolute contempt by all the European Governments; but it is supported by them as a matter of policy." (Goodrich.)
But it is objected that the temporal power of Popery was abolished A.D. 1798. How strong can such an objection appear in the face of all the above testimony? But I am willing to give all candid objections a place. Let us then look at the facts connected with the history of the Papal revolution, A.D. 1798.
"In A.D. 1791, the Pope protested against the spoliation of the Churches which the assembly of France had committed by the union of Avignon, and the county of Venaissin to the republic.
“The truce of Bologna (June 23, 1796) had cost 21,000,000 of francs; and at the peace of Tolentino, (Feb. 19th, 1797,) he had to pay 10,000,000 more, and lose Bologna, Ferrara, and Romagna. In 1798, Berthier proclaimed the Roman republic which enjoyed but an ephemeral existence. (Schell. Revolutions in Europe, p. 186.) Pius VI. dying, the conclave elected Cardinal Chiaramonte (Pius VII. March 13th, 1800.) Napoleon then elected First Consul allowed him to enjoy the rest of his estates in peace.” (Ibid.)
The remark here made by Schell, that Napoleon allowed the Pope “ to enjoy the rest of his estates in peace,” shows conclusively that all the temporal dominion of the Pope was not then taken away. In conclusion then, I remark, as there must be a taking away of the temporal dominion of Popery before the end of the world, and as historians are universally agreed that this was effected A.D. 1809, and as nothing that has transpired before or since, looks so much like it, I am compelled to regard that as the point, the only point, for the termination of the 1290 years.
In concluding, this chapter it may be well to take a retrospective view of the facts presented. They are these. 1. In A.D. 519 THE EASTERN EMPIRE did, in a signal manner, become UNITED WITH THE CATHOLIC Church by adopting that mode of faith, and nationalizing the creed of Chalcedon, AND PERSECUTING THOSE WHO DISSENTED. 2. As at the commencement of this era, the apostate Church is supported by the civil government, or in other words, the Woman is seated on the beast, at the close of this period of 1290 years the reverse takes place; the Church is disconnected from the civil power, and the Woman unseated from the beast, which actually occurred in 1809. The Austrian empire, which, for a long time, had been the main pillar of the Catholic Church, was, in the emphatic language of Rotteck, “shattered.” That mighty and despotic power was compelled to succumb under the authority of Bonaparte; and it was then that the sixth head * was,
as it were, wounded to death,” and that union, which had so long subsisted between Church and State, was dissolved; since which time all religions have been tolerated. After the fall of Napoleon Bona
* Rev. 13:3.
parte in 1615, the allied sovereigns restored to the Pope his temporal dominions, but only as a second or third rate power. The Popes, whose counsel was of weight in relation to European affairs, who had ruled with absolute sway in Italy, and whose thorough acquaintance with the principles of jurisprudence, gave them an ascendency in the political circles of European diplomacy, was humbled at last.
“As a temporal prínce, the political power of the Pope is now regarded with absolute contempt by all the European Governments; but it is supported by them as a matter of policy." (Goodrich.)
The Pope has been in a like condition since 1809, (at least in some respects,) with the Sultan of Constantinople; the former, as the historian informs us, was ręduced in 1809, to a mere cipher; the latter in 1840, to a mere puppet. They are both under the control of the allied powers of Europe. The difference between 1809, and the present time, in relation to Papacy, is a change of masters; but this has not changed its real condition.
How true the declaration of the Prophet: “They shall take away his dominion.” The Pope could now fulminate his bull of excommunication against Bonaparte, and all others, their commanders, favorers, counsellors and adherents, and all who ordered the execution of the said crimes, and those who executed them ;* but it fell powerless at their feet; for the die was cast, THE JUDGMENT HAD SIT, AND HIS DOMINION WAS TAKEN
* Bower, vol. iii. p. 432.