« 上一頁繼續 »
The Austrian government has recently published some valuable statistical documents with reference to the population of the empire. These details embrace all its provinces, except Hungary, Transylvania, and the military frontier-districts. From these it appears that out of the population of the whole Austrian empire (with the exception of the above-named provinces) there were in the year 1836, 812,845 persons born. Out of this number there were 733,826 legitimate births, and 79,019 illegitimate.
“ This proportion of the legitimate to the illegitimate births," says the Conversations-Lexicon for 1840, " does not appear unfavourable, when we take into view the dense population of the provinces, and the number of cities of great and middle dimension ; for, in twenty-one births, there are on an average nineteen legitimate, and two illegitimate.”—vol. iii. p. 1074.
It will be seen by this statistical estimate, that in the Austrian empire the proportion of natural children is much greater than in Rhenish Prussia. Yet we must remember that the latter has but one city, Cologne, whose population, amounting to sixty-five thousand souls, can place it among cities of the first rank, whereas Austria (even excepting the above-named provinces), numbers, with its capital, six cities whose population equals or exceeds that of Cologne. Thus Vienna contains 350,000 souls; Prague, 107,353; Milan, 143,500; Venice, 97,156 ; Trieste, 70,208; and Lemberg (in Gallicia), 54,965 souls.
If the state of religion and morality at Vienna be not as satisfactory as we could wish, we must remember that even Austria-pacific Austria—has undergone a religious revolution, whose effects are still deeply felt, and nowhere more so than in her capital. Even in the last years of Maria Theresa, the Church was found in a very critical position. A spirit of distrust and hostility towards the holy see began to display itself in the acts of the government: by the institution of the Placet, dangerous encroachments were made on papal and episcopal authority; and the suppression of the order of the Jesuits was attended in Austria with more disastrous consequences than in any other Catholic country, France perhaps excepted. In the room of these exemplary, learned, and zealous defenders of the Church, the instruction of youth and the ministry of the word devolved on men imbued with the schismatical and then recently promulgated doctrines of Febronius : and before the accession of Joseph II to the imperial throne, a strong Jansenistical party, according to the
observation of the Protestant historian Ranke, * had already grown up at Vienna. It is needless to recapitulate all the absurd and atrocious ordinances of the last-named sovereign. The suppression of almost all the religious orders,—the most arbitrary infringement on episcopal rights,—the all but total interruption of communication with the holy see,—the most puerile as well as insolent alterations of the Catholic liturgy, —the appointment of Jansenists and Febronians to places of dignity in the Church and the university,—the encouragement given to irreligious productions,—all clearly revealed the emperor's design to accomplish the enslavement and ultimate destruction of the Church. The venerable pontiff, Pius VI, crosses the Alps to avert the ruin that threatens the Catholic cause in Austria. His paternal remonstrances, backed by the combined weight of authority, wisdom, and virtue, make a momentary impression on the deluded and frivolous monarch. But no sooner has the
returned to his dominions, than the emperor resumes his work of destruction with redoubled zeal. Austria is on the brink of a schism, when the sudden death of Joseph II delivers the Church and the empire from incalculable evils.
The emperor Leopold, witnessing in the French revolution the bitter fruits of that false political economy, and of those Jansenistical innovations in the Church, which, in Tuscany, he had so zealously encouraged, pursued, on ascending the imperial throne, a more moderate policy. During his short reign, he repaired some of the mischief wrought by his giddy predecessor. But it was reserved for the excellent emperor Francis II to modify the infatuated policy of Joseph, and to rescue the Church of Austria from the perilous position in which she had been placed. With the circumspect and almost timorous caution peculiar to the house of Habsburg, this emperor did not venture on an open and formal revocation of the obnoxious edicts of Joseph, but endeavoured to soften, and on many points to prevent, their execution. He appointed pious and learned churchmen to the episcopal office, and other ecclesiastical dignities; removed from the universities the jansenistical and irreligious professors, and instituted men of orthodoxy in their room ; restored many of the suppressed monasteries, and relaxed the oppressive regulations which had been made in regard to all religious establishments; prohibited with the most severe vigilance the irreligious productions of the press; and in his last years, after having withdrawn the jansenistical works on canon law, which had long perverted the minds of the academic youth, was meditating a concordat with the pope, whereby the irreligious legislation of Joseph II was to be cancelled, when death surprised him in the generous design. During his reign, popular education, which in Austria is so excellent, and so widely diffused, was placed in closer connexion with the Church ; the gymnasia or public schools for the higher classes were mostly entrusted to the direction of the learned and pious congregations of the Piarists and the Redemptorists; the splendid abbeys* of the restored Benedictines became once more the abodes of piety and erudition, and by the excellent scholars they trained, and the valuable works they published, maintained unimpaired their ancient reputation; while in the Sclavonian, and more recently in the German provinces of the empire, the Jesuits have opened schools, and undertaken the duties of the ministry, where, 80 signally hath Providence blessed their labours, that (according to the public journals), in the space of a few years, they have converted to the Catholic faith no fewer than thirty thousand souls. Yet these various measures in favour of religion, which have mostly been taken since the peace of 1814, were adopted only by degrees, and with extreme circumspection. The tyrannical legislation of Joseph II, as we have seen, has not been cancelled ; its iron grasp is still oppressively felt in many departments of ecclesiastical administration; and the religious indifference of many among the upper classes of society, and the unsoundness of doctrine and moral laxity of not a few in the clerical order, attest the influence of the anterior epoch of disorder. The Austrian clergy has not, like the French, been subjected to the fiery ordeal of persecution. The wind-storm which the Lord let loose upon France, sifted the chaff from the wheat; and all those impure Jansenistical and anti-papal
* Sec“ Die Geschichte der Römischen Päpste," tom. iii.
* Dr. Hurter gives an extremely interesting account of the Benedictine and Augustinian monasteries in Austria. After describing the splendid collections of natural history, the superb galleries of paintings, and the extensive and magnificent libraries which they contain, he observes:--" In none of these establishments doth the learned apparatus merely exist for the sake of ostentation; but in each, men are found alike desirous and capable of turning it to advantage. Hence it follows, that the stock of books doth not close with a particular period, but constantly keeps pace with the current literature; and that every one of those orders can show men who have acquired merit and reputation by their scientific labours.”—vol. ii. p. 38-9.
doctrines, which, like parasitical plants, had in the last century wound round the venerable trunk of the Gallican Church, -all those examples of worldly-minded ambition and frivolous dissipation, which, like noxious insects, here and there blighted its foliage, were brushed away, torn, and scattered by the breath of the tempest. Hence, the French priesthood, as far as zeal, piety, and purity of conduct are concerned, may be held up as a pattern of imitation; and even in respect to science, when we consider all the disadvantages, difficulties, and embarrassments which it has to encounter, it has made astonishing progress. On the other hand, while this course of purification was going on in the Church of France, the Austrian clergy was for a long while, and to a considerable extent, imbued with the doctrines of Febronianism, and the principles of neology, exposed to the seductions of court influence, and hampered in the exercise of its ministry by a civil legislation, that checked an active, energetic zeal, imposed a burdensome routine of minute, formal regulations, enervated episcopal authority, and evinced an unworthy, ungenerous distrust and fear of the holy see. Thus the Austrian censorship, while it proscribes irreligious works, puts under its ban likewise books, whose orthodoxy cannot harmonize with the spirit of Josephism. Haller's excellent and celebrated work, The Regeneration of Political Science, because it contained some just strictures on the despotic ordinances of Joseph, was in 1816 forbidden to be published. Professor Walter's admirable Manual of Canon Law, because it fearlessly upholds the spiritual independence of the Church, and the prerogatives of the Holy See in their full integrity, is, though permitted by the police to be privately sold, not allowed to be publicly advertised for sale, or exposed at the shop windows; and when used as a text-book in the Universities, must undergo certain corrections and modifications suited to the genius of the prevailing legislation. From the same cause, the celebrated work, Du Pape, by Count Maistre, was in 1820 proscribed.
On the whole, there can be no doubt, that with the enjoyment of more freedom, the Austrian Church would soon accomplish its self-renovation, and aid that religious reaction, which, though less intense in Austria than in some other Catholic countries, is yet very strong. Thanks to the better policy of the late emperor and his successor, to the strenuous exertions of an excellent episcopal body,* and to the zealous
* Möhler, the celebrated theologian of Munich, says,—" In Austria, the emperor possesses the right of nomination, and yet we know that an excellent episcopal body erists in that country.”—Möhler's Aufsätze, vol. i. p. 110.
co-operation of many among the secular and regular clergy, much has been achieved, and more may be yet expected for the moral regeneration of the empire. On this subject we may appeal to the testimony of Dr. Hurter, who expresses himself in the following noble Catholic spirit.
“ Although,” says he, “theology and canon law be still made subservient to the Josephist system ; although in the visitation of ecclesiastics, enquiry as to the punctual fulfilment of formal mechanical writings mostly consumes the time, which should be devoted to more important questions ; although, perhaps, many churchmen have not as yet been able to acquire a clear conception of the true position which the Catholic Church should occupy in a Catholic state ;-yet the ordinances of the emperor Joseph are now far from being enforced to their full extent ; and, in many respects, a more equitable practice has prevailed. It is even asserted that death surprised the late emperor, while engaged in a project for revoking many of the obnoxious edicts of his predecessor.
“Meanwhile the event of the 20th November 1837,* has had its influence even on Austria. It has been to many an awakening call ; and not a few, who seemed to slumber in apathy and lethargy, have aroused themselves, and returned to vital consciousness. Ecclesiastics, who had appeared almost to have forgotten that they were placed under a bishop, have sought him out again, acknowledged in him their superior, to whom they must have recourse for counsel, and, in cases of doubt, for solution of difliculties. Indifferentism, which so many confound with toleration, is here gradually losing ground ; and many young clergymen, we have been assured, are by degrees embracing a course, the return to which would, fifty years ago, have been numbered among impossibilities.”—Excursion to Vienna, vol. ii. p. 210-11.
Of the Austrian clergy, our enlightened Protestant countryman Mr. Turnbull, thus speaks :
“ Selfishness, pride, and human frailty, may naturally be found in the Austrian priesthood also, as in every great corporation of men ; but, taken as a body, this clergy, in my opinion, are useful and active, estimable and esteemed.” Social and Political Condition of Austria, c. iv. p. 87.
II. We have now come to the second division of our article, wherein we propose to speak of the intellectual condition of Catholic Germany. We shall commence with Austria and conclude with Bavaria.
* The imprisonment of the archbishop of Cologne.