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ground every day. There they imagine to be politicia cannot be a more convincing these times of total laxity in proof of the general fury religious discipline.* No conagainst religion, even in the siderable attempts have been early stages of the revolution, made to promote free inquiry and the general intent of its with respect to religion, and final extirpation, than the to propagate the knowledge horrid dilapidation and de- of pure christianity. The struction by the mobs, of French public in general are nearly all sacred edifices said to be totally indifferent to throughout France, when so the subject in all its branches; many castles, the objects also even books of infidelity have of their vengeance, were left now no attraction, the public antouched. The prevailing mind being absolutely satiopinion of many of the supe- ated, or rather surfeited there. tior people and literati, is, as
with. The chief attempts heretofore, atheism, or, as it either in favour of religion, is sometimes styled, naturalism. or in counteraction of the The works of Volney have popular atheism of the councontributed much to the dis- try, were made by the resemination of such principles maining members of the old among the people ; probably clergy, who were enabled to it would not be too much to step forward on the unlimited assert, that they are prevalent toleration which was decreed; with the very lowest class. In and by Thomas Paine, as the proof of this, a variety of in- apostle, or head of the theostances, at different periods of philanthropists. Great exthe revolution, might be ad- pectations were entertained duced.
at the first opening of the Since the revolution in churches which had been France, protestantism is said shut so long. The churches, to have decreased much ; and both in Paris, and in various the religion which remains is parts of the country, were rechiefly the Roman Catholic, markably well filled at first; with an affected display of all and such accounts were transthe ancient ceremonies, which mitted to England, as to atiord
This acoount is confirmed by the testimony of a modern author, who observes that the reformed religion does not make any progress in France, but a fondness for the rites and ceremonies of the ancient system displays displays See Moody's Sketch of Modern France, for 1796 and 1797.
1 This sect had formed various little societies in Paris,
betøre their opinions were publicly known.
great hopes of a considerable incipient change in the minds of the French ; and, if authorities may be relied on, to attract considerable sums to that country in support of the catholic religion : however, it soon appeared that the greater part of the congregation were actuated by no better motives than curiosity, or even ridicule; and the places of worship soon became deserted. Paine had very little better success than the Roman Catholic party. The sect of
theophilanthropists never extended beyond Paris; at least not in any degree to deserve mention ; and there it has ever been confined to a few unimportant, or, as they have been called, Quakerly individuals. -—In fine : one of the most striking features in the French character, from the commencement of the revolution to the present time, has been a total indifference to, or rather rooted contempt of religion of every sect and party; and this prejudice has been purely spontaneous: for, from the first, the zeal of the sans cullottes, against every thing generally held sacred, has even outstripped that of the philosophers, their leaders. No force can be alleged : for,
provided a man does not dip himself in political and counter-revolutionary intrigues, he may safely profess and practise any religion which he shall chuse, and may publish it, and recommend it to the people unmolested. Some religious books, in consequence, have been published; but they have met with even less attention than infidel publications are wont to do in that country. It has been observed that the elderly people in France have rather relaxed in their devotions, and that the difficulty is so great in educating in the belief and profession of the christian religion in a country almost universally infidel, that the attempt begins to be given up, and in every part is absolutely impracticable.” Since the above account was written, we are informed, that in Languedoc an earnest desire has been expressed to have protestant clergymen sent amongst them ; and that there are evidences that some such are labouring with great zeal in Alsace, in connexion with the society at Basil.t The following contains the most correct account which could be obtained of the present state of the Roman
* London Monthly Magazine, for 1799, vol. vii. pp. 129, 130, t Missionary Magazine, for November, 1800.
Catholic religion in France. put an end by the late revolu
The Roman Catholic is still tion. The clergy is comprethe predominant religion in bended in the state law, which France; and the people have allows all the emigrants to been unanimous in inviting return who have not carried their priests to return, and arms against France, on conhave received those who have dition they will make a proreturned with great affection : mise of fidelity to the present they appear now publicly and constitution before the prefect unmolested, even in their for- of the department, remaining, mer dress. The French con- however, under the particular stitution of the clergy, after inspection of government durhaving been made the handle ing the war, and whole
year of a most cruel persecution, after; therefore they are no is now buried'among the rub- more subject to the pain of bish of the different constitu- death.* tions, to which Buonaparte
UNITED PROVINCES. Til dominant sect of them are inhabitants of Holchristians in these provinces, land, principally Amsterdam, are those who are called the Rotterdam, and Geuda.-Lureformed church.
They are therans are a very great and severe Calvinists, who main- increasing number.—Colletain the doctrine of the synod giants, formed by the persecuof Dort.t-Roman Catholics, tion of the remonstrant-miamong whom are the Jansen- nisters in 1619. They have no ists. They are, in proportion peculiar minister ; but every to the inhabitants of the pro- one learns and preaches what vinces, as two to three.- The he thinks .useful: at present Remonstrants, or Arminians, they are only in Holland. who only have churches in Quakers are a small number. Holland, Utrecht, and Fries- Herrenbutters ; and at Amland. The greatest part of sterdam, Persians, and mem
* The compiler of the View of Religions was favoured with this information, April, 1891, by Dr. Matignon, who now officiates at the Roman Catholic church in Boston.
+ The synod of Dort, held in 1618, made the strictest notion of predestination an essential article in the Dutch church. None but Calvinists hold any employment of trust or profit. This synod was succeeded by a very severe persecution of the Arminians. See Geraud Brandt's History of tlie Reformation in the Low Countries.
bers of the Grecian church; Mosaic law, and containing to which add many thousand also apartments for the use of jews.—There is at present, the rabbins, who daily attend notwithstanding the rigid pla- to expound the hebrew law cards against the Roman Ca- and the talmud. The jews of tholics and Socinians, a pre- Germany and Holland, whose vailing spirit of candour and creed varies from that of their catholicism among the diffe- Portuguese brethren, have rent denominations. The mi- also a noble synagogue ; and nisters of the gospel belonging in different quarters of the to the dominant church are city there are other temples maintained by the civil magis- where the rites of the hebrew trate; those of the dissenters worship are celebrated. The by their own churches, who number of jews in Amsterdam have acquired funds for va- is supposed to amount rious purposes, by gifts, testa- eighty thousand. ments, legacies, and donations
The late revolution in goof private men. Deism, in the vernment has not produced worst sense of the word, is not any changes in the ecclesiascommon in this country. Few tical policy of the United Promen who love to be called vinces. The ministers of the philosophers : some profligates established church, that of the and boys
constitute this reformer of Geneva, though class. *
they are almost without exSuch is the liberal tolera- ception, attached to the old tion allowed by the govern- government, and consequently ment of Holland, that scarcely hostile to the new, continue to a religious community is to receive their regular salaries be named which has not some from the state, and perform place of public worship in unmolested the duties of their Amsterdam. The Portuguese sacred functions. The churchsynagogue is perhaps the no es, and other places dedicated blest temple, in which the to pious uses, are all attended jewish worship has been cele- on days of public worship. brated since the dispersion of The sabbaths are kept in Amthat people. It is a lofty, spa- sterdam with becoming solemcious building, fitted for the nity; and there is a general purposes of religion, accord- attention paid to religious ing to the ordinances of the subjects in most parts of
* Estract of a letter from a gentleman of character in Holland to his friend
in America, written before the invasion of Holland by France.
Holland. See Fell's Tour to gospel among the heathen.t the Batavian Republic, pub A new sect of jews is estalished 1801.
blished at Amsterdam, whose There were in the seven followers are daily increasiny. provinces, previously to the It differs from others, by reFrench invasion, one thou- jecting all those rites which sand five hundred and seventy- bave been introduced since nine pastors of the established the Mosaic law into the jewish church, ninety of the Walloon religion. The founder and prochurch, eight hundred Roman fessor of this sect is a jew of Catholics, fifty-three Luthe- considerable talents, and of ran, forty-three Arminian, an enlightened mind. and three hundred and twelve Towards the close of the Baptist preachers. *
last year the difference of The Dutch opened a church religious opinions caused a in the city of Batavia in 1621, schism in the synagogues of and from hence ministers and Amsterdam. As the new assistants were educated for jewish sect abolished all the the purpose of missions, and usages with which the rabbins sent into the east, where thou- loaded the law of Moses, the sands embraced ihe christian heads of the synagogues apreligion at Formosa, Java, &c. plied to the Bataviau magisThere are churches at Ceylon, trates for assistance, hoping Sumatra, and Amboyna. In by their interposition to bring Batavia there are four Cal- Lack the separatists into the vinistic churches, and several old society. But no attention places of worship for different was paid to their application, religions. Of late, since their because it militated against sufferings from the French in- the principles of toleration ; vasion, we are informed that and a complete schism ensued. many have united at Rotter- More than a hundred families dam and Friesland, for the joined the reformers, and have purpose of extending the now a separate synagogue.
AUSTRIAN AND FRENCH NETHERLANDS.
The established religion nominations, are not molesthere is the Roman Catholic ; ed. There are two arcbbishops but protestants, and other de and vine bishops in this place.
* Zimmermann, p. 186. + Missionary Magazine, Monthly Magazine for August, 1800. Guthrie, p, 183,