while, in the weekly concerts for prayer2
in New England
, petitions went up for the Prussian hero, ‘who had drawn his sword in the cause of religious liberty, of the Protestant interest, and the liberties of Europe
‘His victories,’ said Mayhew
, of Boston
, ‘are our own.’3
The Reformation was an expression of the right of the human intellect to freedom.
The same principle was active in France
, where philosophy panted for liberty; where Massillon
had hinted that kings are chosen for the welfare of the people; and Voltaire
, in the empire of letters, marshalled hosts against priestcraft.
Monarchy, itself, was losing its sanctity.
had risen to the throne through the frank and generous Henry
the Fourth, who, in the sports of childhood, played barefoot and bareheaded with the peasant boys on the mountains of Bearn.
The cradle of Louis the Fifteenth was rocked in the pestilent atmosphere of the Regency; his tutor, when from the palace-windows he pointed out the multitudes, had said to the royal child, ‘Sire, this people is yours;’ and as he grew old in profligate sensuality, he joined the mechanism of superstition with the maxims of absolutism, mitigating his dread of hell by the belief, that Heaven is indulgent to the licentiousness of kings.
, therefore, there was no alliance between the government and liberal opinion, and that opinion migrated from Versailles
to the court of Prussia.
The renovating intelligence of France