previous next

Yet Protestantism, albeit the reform in religion

chap. I.} 1763.
was the seed-plot of democratic revolutions, had at first been attended by the triumph of absolute monarchy throughout continental Europe; where even the Catholic powers themselves grew impatient of the authority of the Pope over their temporal affairs. The Protestant king, who had just been the ally of our fathers in the Seven Years War, presented the first great example of the passage of feudal sovereignty into unlimited monarchy, resting on a standing military force. Still surrounded by danger, his inflexible and uncontrolled will stamped the impress of harshness even on his necessary policy, of tyranny on his errors of judgment, and of rapine and violence on his measures for aggrandizement. Yet Prussia, which was the favorite disciple of Luther and the child of the Reformation, while it held the sword upright, bore with every creed and set reason free. It offered a shelter to Rousseau, and called in D'Alembert and Voltaire as its guests; it set Semler to hold the Bible itself under the light of criticism; it breathed into the boldly thoughtful Lessing widest hopes for the education of the race to a universal brotherhood on earth; it gave its youth to the teachings of Immanuel Kant, who, for power of analysis and universality, was inferior to none since Aristotle. ‘An army and a treasure do not constitute a power,’ said Vergennes; but Prussia had also philosophic liberty. All freedom of mind in Germany hailed the peace of Hubertsburg as its own victory.1 In every question of public law, Frederic, though full of respect for the rights of possession, continuing to noble birth its prescriptive posts and almost

1 I. F. Fries: Geschichte der Philosophie, II. 495.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Preussen (2)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Voltaire (1)
Vergennes (1)
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1)
Immanuel Kant (1)
I. F. Fries (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1763 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: