Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Constantde Rebecque

Constant de Rebecque, Henri Benjamin, was born of French Protestant parents at Lausanne in 1757. He studied at Oxford, Erlangen, and Edinburgh, making at the latter University the friendship of Erskine and Mackintosh. Going to Paris before the Revolution he allied himself with the chief liberal thinkers, and in 1795 settled down there as a supporter in the Assembly and in the press of moderate republicanism. Napoleon expelled him at the same time as his friend Madame de Stael in 1802, and he then found shelter at Weimar, where he enjoyed the society of Goethe and Schiller, translated Wallenstein, and wrote his romance Adolphe. The fall of the Empire brought him back to Paris, where he somewhat inconsistently supported the Bourbons at first, gave in his adhesion to Napoleon during the Hundred Days, and then yielded his allegiance to the restored king in 1815. Constant was in fact prepared to support a constitutional government under any leader, and to advocacy of his moderate views he devoted the rest of his life. Opposed to the reactionary policy of Charles X., he warmly approved of the offer of the throne to Louis Philippe, and became the president of the council, but died in 1830 immediately after the change of dynasty. His greatest work, On Religion, considered in its Source, its Forms, and its Developments, is a philosophical attempt to trace the various phases that religious sentiment has passed through in the history of mankind. It shows no open hostility to Christianity, but repudiates the supernatural in all creeds alike. His various political writings are summed up in his Cours de Politique Constitutionelle. As a debater and a talker he outshone most of his contemporaries. Many of his speeches, pamphlets, and letters have been published posthumously.