Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"Paris is worth a mass"

Terre Haute, IN – On the 27th of February, 1594, in the Cathedral of Chartres, about 50 miles from Paris, the new king of France, the first Bourbon, Henry IV of Navarre, was being crowned his most catholic majesty. To become the king of France the Protestant had to become catholic. The man who had almost been martyred, and had fought on the side of the Protestants against the catholic king and the Guise family for a long time for religious freedom, renounced his former religion.

The Huguenots had lost their great hero. Henry is rumored to have said about his converting to the rival religion “Paris is well worth a mass.”
That is a common rallying cry of men without principle. It could be the motto of many a politician, to whom public opinion is them what wind is to a weather vane. The men that think that they have power by compromising, yet actually lost the greatest power on earth to the one they make the concessions to-the power of self-government.
These are the men that believe that evil men can be appeased with concessions, just as they themselves can be appeased with votes. They believe assurances of “we want no Czechs” and hold papers over their heads proclaiming “peace, peace in our time!” They make alliances with the devil for power, and would rather, like the Romans at the end of their empire, buy off Alaric than go out and fight him.
That is the danger of loving power more than principle. But the love of the people is fickle. The same crowd that cried Hosanna one day, a week later, cried “Crucify him!” Many emperors of Rome were killed by legions that had once sworn allegiance to them.
Compromising for power is the ultimate loss of power. In the words of Henry Clay “I would rather be right than be president.”

Through His Strength We Will Conquer,
Andrew C. Abbott

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