IN the preceding chapters it has been our endeavor to set forth the opening phases of a mighty drama that has been played on the continent of Europe for some one hundred and thirty years, the end of which is not yet perceived. Our study was based, not so much upon the actual negotiations for the Concordat, as upon the reactions of the various ecclesiastical and political parties in France to the completed document and to its practical application to the political circumstances of the time.
Beginning with Chateaubriand Génie du Christianisme, we found here an attempt to reconcile Christianity with the teachings of Rousseau. It was, in brief, a plea to the followers of the Genevan prophet to have no fear that the restoration of the Church would endanger the principles of the Revolution; that, although Christianity taught a universal brotherhood, it also held to the old principle of loving one's native place and people best of all. Furthermore, Chateaubriand sought to commend the Church to doubting French Jacobins on the ground that it really deepened national sentiment, since, he held, religious men become more firmly attached to the land of their fathers than non-religious. His logic, when stripped of its sentimental dress, seemed not clear, and the net effect of the Génie du Christianisme was to give the impression that patriotism is the first of all duties.1____________________