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If I look back for ten years, and compare that which was written and said in the year 1837 with that which is proclaimed from the steps of the throne to the whole nation, L believe we have great reason to have confidence in the intentions of his Majesty. In this confidence I beg to recommend this august assembly to adopt the amendment of the honorable deputy from Westphalia not that of the honorable deputy from the county of Mark — but that of Herr von Lilien.
THE IDEAL OF A CHRISTIAN STATB
DELIVERED AT “THE JEWS' DEBATE,” JUNE 15, 1849
Nascending this place to-day, it is with greater
hesitation than usual, as I am sensible that by what
I am about to utter, some few remarks of the speak. ers of yesterday, of no very flattering tone, will have in a certain sense to be reviewed. I must openly confess that I am attached to a certain tendency, yesterday characterized by the honorable deputy from Crefeld as dark and mediæval; this tendency which again dares to oppose the freer development of Christianity in the way the deputy from Crefeld regards as the only true one.
Nor can I further deny that I belong to that great mass, which, as was remarked by the honorable deputy from Pósen, stands in opposition to the more intelligent portion of the nation, and, if my memory do not betray me, was held in considerable scorn by that intelligent section — the great mass that still clings to the convictions imbibed at the breast,
— the great mass to which a Christianity superior to the State is too elevated. If I find myself in the line of fire of such sharp sarcasms without
a murmur, I believe I may throw myself upon the indulgence of the honorable assembly, if I confess, with the same frankness which distinguished my opponents, that yesterday, at times of inattention, it did not quite appear certain to me whether I was in an assembly for which the law had provided, in reference to its election, the condition of communion with some one of the Christian churches.
I will pass at once to the question itself. Most of the speakers have spoken less upon the bill than upon emancipation in general. I will follow their example. I am no enemy to the Jews, and if they are enemies to me, I forgive them. Under certain circumstances I even love them. I would grant them every right, save that of holding superior official posts in Christian countries.
We have heard from the minister of finance, and from other gentlemen on the ministerial bench, sentiments as to the definition of a Christian state, to which I almost entirely subscribe; but, on the other hand, we were yesterday told that Christian supremacy is an idle fiction, an invention of recent state philosophers. I am of opinion that the idea of Christian supremacy is as ancient as the ci-devant Holy Roman empire
as ancient as the great family of European states; that it is, in fact, the very soil in which these states have taken root, and that every state which wishes to have its existence enduring, if it desires to point to any justification for that existence, when called in question, must be constituted on a religious basis.
For me, the words“ by the grace of God," affixed by Christian rulers to their names, form no empty sound; but I see in the phrase the acknowledgment that princes desire to sway the sceptres intrusted to them by the Almighty according to God's will on earth.
I, however, can only recognize as the will of God that which is contained in the Christian Gospels, and I believe I am within my right when I call such a state Christian, whose problem is to realize and verify the doctrine of Christianity. That our state does not in all ways succeed in this, the honorable deputy from the county of Mark yesterday demonstrated in a parallel he drew between the truths of the Gospel and the paragraphs of national jurisprudence, in a way rather clever than consonant with my religious feelings.
But although the solution of the problem is not always successful, I am still convinced that the aim of the state is the realization of Christian doctrine; however, I do not think we shall approach this aim more closely with the aid of the Jews. If the religious basis of the state be acknowledged, I am sure that among ourselves the basis can only be that of Christianity. If we withdraw from the state this religious basis, our state becomes nothing more than a fortuitous aggregation of rights, a sort of bulwark against the universal war of each against all, such as an elder philosophy instituted. Its legislation then would no longer recreate itself from the original fountain of eternal truth, but only from the vague and mutable ideas of humanity taking shape only from the conceptions formed in the brains of those who occupy the apex.
How such states could deny the right of the practical application of such ideas — as, for instance, those of the communists on the immorality of property, the high moral value of theft, as an experiment for the rehabilitation of the native rights of man — is not clear to me; for these very ideas are entertained by their advocates as humane, and, indeed, as constituting the very flower of humanitarianism.
Therefore, gentlemen, let us not diminish the Christianity of the people by showing that it is superfluous to the legisla
ture; let us not deprive the people of the belief that our legislation is derived from the fountain of Christianity, and that the state seeks to promote the realization of Christianity, though that end may not always be attained. ...
Besides this, several speakers, as in almost every question, have referred to the examples of England and France as models worthy of imitation. This question is of much less consequence there, because the Jews are so much less numerous than here. But I would recommend to the gentlemen who are so fond of seeking their ideas beyond the Vosges, a guide-line distinguishing the English and the French. That consists in the proud feeling of national honor, which does not so easily and commonly seek for models worthy of imitation and wonderful patterns, as we do here, in foreign lands.
DELIVERED IN HOLSTEIN, DECEMBER 13, 3868
AM rejoiced that you thus salute me as a fellow countryman,
and I thank you for the honor you do me. I see in it a
proof that the feeling of solidarity has also grown stronger and stronger with you; and of this I shall joyfully inform the King. We have always belonged to each other as Germans we have ever been brothers — but we were unconscious of it. In this country, too, there were different races: Schleswigers, Holsteiners, and Lauenburgers; as also Mecklenburgers, Hanoverians, Lübeckers, and Hamburgers exist, and they are all free to remain what they are, in the knowledge that they are Germans — that they are brothers. And here in the north we should be doubly aware of it, with our Platt-Deutsch language, which stretches from Holland to the Polish frontier;
we were also conscious of it, but have not proclaimed it until now. But that we have again so joyfully and vividly been able to recognize our German descent and solidarity — for that we must thank the man whose wisdom and energy have rendered this consciousness a truth and a fact, in bringing our King and Lord a hearty cheer. Long live his Majesty, our most gracious King and Sovereign, William the First I "