« AnteriorContinuar »
€; and math the
Christianity of the time owed its preservation. Karl Martel and Pepin dashed back the fierce onslaught of the Saracens and the Northern Pagans. But their greater successor directed all his policy to the uniting of Europe into a Christian empire, whose strength should subdue, and whose enlightenment should instruct, the wild tribes of the forest. His tireless activity in the field and the council, his self-reliance, strong sense, and courageous acceptance of his post as the barrier against aggressive paganism, must command the deepest respect. Though his faith was tinged with the superstition of his age, it was vital and sincere; and he loved virtue for its own sake, not merely because it was politic or seemly. What a manly and earnest protest he uttered against the image worship of the Church!
His steady, munificent patronage of the literature and the arts, his establishment of academies and parochial schools, his persistent efforts to promote good morals and to improve the common life of his subjects, testify to his high intelligence and designs. “It is better to act well than to know," he said, “but knowledge precedes action.” The vigor of his balanced and powerful genius was felt in every corner of his domains; even the centrifugal force of rising nationalities was controlled while he lived, to break loose at his death and shatter the great system he had constructed into irreconcilable fragments. The close of his life seemed like the setting of a sun, leaving civilization and learning to grope in an uncertain twilight fast resolving itself into the night of the middle age:
Profoundly saddened by the inroads of death in his family, and feeling more and more the advances of age, and not unapprehensive of the fate of his empire, Karl resolved to associate his son in the administration of the government. To a great assembly of his lords and bishops, held in the church of Aix-la-Chapelle, he communicated his intention and desire. They approved his scheme with loud shouts. Invested with the imperial robes, and wearing the imperial crown, Karl took the hand of Ludwig, and advanced with him toward the altar, on which another crown was laid. They knelt and prayed devoutly together, and then rising, Karl addressed his son in words full of solemnity and tender solicitude:. “The rank, my son,” he said, “ to which Ålmighty God hath this. day raised you, compels you more than ever to revere the Sovereign Majesty, to love his excellencies, and to observe faithfully all his ordinances and commandments. In becoming an emperor, you:
become the father and protector of his Church. On you chiefly will depend the good order and purity of his ministers and people. Though you be their master, consider them as your brethren; treat them as your friends, even as the members of your family; make yourself happy in advancing and securing their happiness. Fear not to employ justice and the authority with which you are clothed to humble and restrain the wicked. Be the refuge and the consolation of the poor. Make choice of governors and judges who fear God, and whose spirit is above partiality and corruption; and beware of ever suspecting easily the integrity and good behavior of those whom you have once honored with offices of dignity and trust. Study to live and reign unblamably before God and man, remembering the account you must finally give to the Sovereign Ruler and Judge of all.” Out of his own heart and life Karl spake thus, amid the plaudits of all who heard him, when he directed Ludwig to lift the crown from the altar and put it on his head, in token that he received and held it from God alone. After partaking of the sacrament together, Karl tottered on the arms of his son in the procession which moved toward the palace.
The last years of his life, though he did not withdraw entirely from the cares of government, Karl spent in hunting, an amusement of which he was passionately fond, in religious devotions, and in correcting the Greek texts of the Gospels. In the month of January (814,) as he came from the bath, he was seized with a violent fever, and took to his bed. Steadily refusing nourishment, as was his wont when ill in order to triumph over the disease, he declined from day to day. The anxiety of his people caused them to discern in the common accidents of the time the fatal presages of his death. The sun and moon were eclipsed, the palace shaken by an earthquake, the great bridge of Mentz burned, and the portico of the church crumbled, in monition of his departure. On the 28th of the month, seven days after he was seized, having partaken of the holy communion, crossed his arms on his breast, and exclaimed, “Now, Lord, into thy hands I commit my spirit,” he died. His body, solemnly washed and embalmed, was entombed on the same day in the basilica he had himself founded at Aachen. He was placed on a chair, in a sitting posture, with a golden sword on one side, a golden Gospel in his hand, and a diadem of gold, in which the wood of the cross was inserted, on his head. Over the imperial robes hung the pilgrim's scrip, which he used to wear on his visits to Rome, and before him lay the shield which Pope Leo had blessed. They wrote on his tomb: “Here reposes the body of Karl, the great and orthodox emperor, who gloriously enlarged the kingdom of the Franks, and governed it happily for forty-seven years.” “No one can tell,” says a monk, “the mourn. ing and sorrow that his death occasioned everywhere, so that even the pagans wept him as the father of the world.” Well might the world have wept, for the bravest and noblest soul that it then knew was gone from it forever.—Pp. 474, 475.
Mr. Godwin's book seems to us worthy of hearty praise. He is the first English writer who has undertaken the weighty task of describing from the original sources, so copious in French literature, and with the light of modern researches, the origin and career of this wonderful nation. We do not affect that narrow criticism which passes unnoticed an author's conscientious labor, careful estimates of historical evidence, and perspicuous arrangement and narration, to nose about after a slip in some trifling reference, or an inadvertence in syntax. A purist might observe in the work before us an occasional roughness or careless expression; the use of “got” as an auxiliary; an occasional betrayal in the text of the style and idiom of the authorities, as if portions of the matter had not had time to distill through the alembic of the author's own mind. But these are trivial things which revision would remove, and which critics usually mention in proof of their own acuteness. Mr. Godwin's general style is clear and dignified, and is constructed with the composite richness of modern times. His descriptive powers are vitalized by a strong regulated imagination. His analysis of character seems careful and independent; there is a fearless morality and sense of justice in his judgments which inspires us with confidence that wrong, however bedizened with robes or furred gowns, will find in him no winking apologist. Whether he will be able to make the personages of history live for us will be more severely tested in succeeding volumes. As he approaches the later periods, the qualities which distinguish the great historian from the chronicler, the biographer, the essayist, or even the brilliant story-teller, will be more and more required. We have reason to believe that, with the priceless discipline of experience, and the copious resources which lie along his way, Mr. Godwin will not disappoint the high expectations which his opening volume justifies.
ART. VIII.—FOREIGN RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
of a Staffordshire miner, Richard Weaver.
The gentlemen who associated themTHE PROTESTANT CHURCHES. — The selves with Mr. Weaver in his labors British Branch of the Evangelical Alli were so thoroughly satisfied that spiritual ance held its fourteenth annual con- good is being done by his means, that ference at Nottingham toward the | they have prevailed upon him to promise close of October, and was warmly well to devote himself to similar endeavors comed by evangelical Christians of all for several months to come, if his health denominations. The report which the and strength do not fail him. president, Sir Eardley Culling, gave of The establishment of a closer Union the operations of the past year, clearly between the Church of England and showed that the Alliance in Great Brit-other Episcopalian Denominations, which ain does not fail to fulfill its great mis- hold the doctrine of apostolical succession. It increases in large classes of the sion, in particular the Eastern Churches, population the interest in the progress bas always been a favorite scheme of religion in all parts of the world, it of the English High Churchmen. It strengthens the bonds of union between seems that, of late, a greater advance evangelical Christians of all denomina than ever before has been made toward tions and persuasions, and it is specially reaching this end. The Rev. G. Willuseful in enlisting the attention and the j iams, Senior Fellow of King's College, co-operation of the British Christians in Cambridge, has proceeded to Armenia behalf of those countries and Churches for the purpose of assisting the Oriental which stand in need of aid from abroad. Churches in establishing hostels at CamIt was the general impression that this bridge, for the education of youths from year's meeting was on the whole one of the East, the Patriarch of Armenia havthe most interesting that the British ing expressed a great desire for a nearer branch has yet held. Another meeting communion with the English Church. to which the evangelical Churches had The Russian government has determined looked forward with a great deal of upon laying the foundation of a Russian interest, was the Tercentenary of the hostel in Cambridge, and a hope is exScottish Reformation, which took place pressed that the Catholics of Etchmiazin at Edinburgh from the 14th to the 17th will follow the example by sending a of August. A number of interesting bishop of the Armenian Church, with a papers were read, but on the whole the number of the Armenian youth, to Enfestivity did not come up to the general gland, to be educated in the University. expectation. The presence of Mr. Chi- | Dr. Wolff, the eccentric High-Church niquy, who has since been making the clergyman who some years ago attracted tour of the principal towns in Scotland, great attention by his journey to Boksoliciting subscriptions for the establish-| hara, has presented the nucleus of a ment of a library and theological semin- library for the use of the students in the ary, was the event of deep interest, Russian hostel, and, to promote this plan and the establishment of a Protestant of union still more effectually, will underinstitute for more effectually carrying on take a mission of an entirely novel characthe missions among Roman Catholics, ter. "I shall," he says, “ assume the garwill prove one of its most important ment of a monk of the Eastern Church, resolutions. The Revival of Religion with a Bible in my hand, and the cross continues to be very marked, especially figured on my gown, which gown shall in Scotland and in some parts of Ireland. consist of black cloth. Wherever I find Deeply interesting papers on the history a bishop of the Christian Church, (let and present aspects of the revival move- him be either of the Russian, or Greek, ments in Scotland, Ireland, and Wales or Syrian Church,) I shall act under his were read at the late meeting of the advice and direction." Singular enough, Evangelical Alliance at Nottingham. A the promoters of this scheme meet, even considerable degree of interest among in the Roman Catholic Church, with more large numbers of the working class sympathy and co-operation than they population was excited by the preaching | probably expected. The Union Chrétienne, a French religious paper, edited by sembly at Ulm, in Wurtemberg, on AuAbbé Guettée, a distinguished scholar, gust 28 and the two following days, who has been suspended by the Arch- reported again, as it has been able to do bishop of Paris for his advanced Galli for several years, a considerable increase can opinions, takes openly the same in its receipts, which amounted this ground. It regards the English High year to one hundred and sixty-one thouChurchmen as the true representatives sand thalers. Since its origin the society of the Church of England, acknowledges has now expended more than one millthe English Church, together with those ion two hundred and fifty thousand of the East, as branches of the Catholic thalers for the support of about one Church, and endeavors to call forth in the thousand poor Protestant congregations Church of Rome an anti-papal, episco- | in Roman Catholic countries. Besides palian movement. In connection with the regular contributions of its members, this scheme of a great union between the society begins to receive many libthe Episcopalian Churches, the efforts eral donations; thus the proceedings of of the Church of England to build up a this year's meetings were opened with strong hierarchy in all British colonies, the announcement that an inhabitant of and even to extend it beyond the do Saxony had made to the society a donaminions of Great Britain, have a partic tion of ten thousand thalers. As the ular significance. Arrangements have fame of the extensive operations of the been recently made for the erection of a society becomes better known from year new bishopric in Australia, the seat of to year, the number of applications which will be in all probability at Goul- steadily increases. From all parts of burn, and a missionary bishop has been Europe, from Asia, from Algeria, from appointed for the islands of the Pacific, North and South America, feeble Protwho will exercise episcopal supervision estant congregations address the society over seventy or eighty islands of the | for aid. A pleasing incident in the bisPacific not under the British crown. tory of the society, during the past year,
The Baptists report that their mem- was the reception of larger contributions bership throughout Great Britain has from Austria, as the Protestant Churchconsiderably increased during the past es of that country had received for the year. They suffer, however, from in- first time from their government the ternal dissensions. Mr. Spurgeon repre- permission to take up collections for the sents the leading Baptist paper of En- purposes of the association. The Evangland, " The Freeman," as recreant to gelical Church Diet, which met at BarCalvinistic orthodoxy, and he himself is men, a flourishing commercial city in charged by many of his co-religionists the charming Wupperthal, a region of with transgressing in many points the | Germany celebrated for the piety of its denominational landmarks. A revival inhabitants, entered this year upon a preacher of some celebrity, Mr. Guin new era in its history; as the Highness, has joined the Plymouth Brethren. Church party, which hitherto had susor, as they call themselves, the Chris tained the Diets in union with the tian brethren, a small denomination, Evangelical party for a common comhitherto but little known, but who bat against Rationalism and unbelief, are reported to have received of late had this year declared, through their large accessions, and to have widely leaders, Dr. Stahl and Dr. Hengstenberg, extended their influence.
their withdrawal. Dr. Stahl, as vice
president of the Diet, had insisted on GERMANY, AUSTRIA, PRUSSIA. bringing up for discussion the question
THE PROTESTANT CHURCHES. — The of civil marriage and of the political Two Great Religious Assemblies of Prot- rights of Dissenters, and when the cenestant Germany, the meeting of the tral committee opposed this as producGustavus Adolphus Association and the tive of disagreement, be, and with him Church Diet, were never more important his party, declined taking further part and interesting than this year. Both for the present. Nevertheless the athave again confirmed their claim to be tendance was large, and the meeting, ranked among the most influential re- | which as usual discussed profound quesligious gatherings of Protestant Chris- tions on scientific theology, and schemes tendom. The Gustavus Adolphus Society, for practical usefulness, was characterwhich held its seventeenth General As. 'ized, in consequence of the absence of