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which human merit can supply. Man, the inheritor of a fallen and corrupt nature, is altogether defiled and unclean. The just and holy law of his Creator demands a perfect obedience which he cannot give. Sin has ruined his soul. A ransom, however, has been found. “ God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The righteousness which man could not supply the Saviour has wrought out. The penalty of transgression he has borne. He hath appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; and now God commandeth men everywhere to repent, and, by believing on the message of his grace, to be reconciled to him. May it be the reader's privilege to know, by a heartfelt experience, these blessed truths! Renouncing his own righteousness, and repenting of all sin, may he cling, by a simple faith, to the Son of God, as the only refuge for perishing sinners. Born again of the Holy Spirit, and in its strength taking up the Saviour's light and easy yoke, he will pass through life, animated by the highest hopes, and sustained by the richest consolations, until death shall unite him to that glorious throng who raise the everlasting anthem—"Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father ; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."

CHAPTER VI.

CONCLUSION.

Forebodings of Charlemagne as to the fate of his empireMelancholy review of Florus-Civil wars-Ravages of the Northmen-Did the entire system of Charlemagne perish

with him ?-Summary of results-Practical deductions. A MONK of St. Loup, writing a few years

after the death of Charlemagne, says —" Charlemagne, always travelling, once came unexpectedly and by chance to a town on the coast of Narbonnese Gaul. Whilst he was at dinner, and before he had let it be known that he was in the town, Norman pirates came to commit their depredations in the very port. When the people of the town saw the vessels arrive they supposed that they were those of persons who had come to trade, and began to debate whether they were Jews, Africans, or Britons. But the able emperor, observing the construction and speed of the ships, said to his attendants, “These are not the vessels of friendly merchants, but cruel pirates.' At these words, the Franks all ran to attack the corsairs, striving who should first reach them, but in vain.

The Normans, learning that he whom they used to call Charles le Marteau, was there,

were at once seized with fear, lest their whole fleet should be captured or sunk by him ; they therefore escaped, by a flight inconceivably rapid, not from the swords only but from the very eyes of their pursuers. But the pious Charles, filled with awe, rose from the table where he had been sitting, went to the window which looked eastward, and long remained silently there with his countenance covered with tears. No one venturing to interrogate him as to the cause of his grief, the brave prince at length explained to the great men who stood about him the reason of his action and his tears. • Know you, my friends,' he said, 'why I weep so bitterly? Truly I have no fear that these men can harın me by their miserable piracies, but I am deeply grieved that they have dared to touch these shores whilst I live, and I foresee, with irrepressible grief, the evils which, after I am dead, will overwhelm my successors and their people."*

The fears thus expressed by Charlemagne for the fate of his empire were by no means groundless. Florus, a deacon of the church at Lyons, writing shortly before his death, which happened about fifty years after that of Charlemagne, thus mournfully contrasts the events of his youth with those of his old age. " A noble empire then flourished under an illustrious prince. There was but one ruler and one people, Love on the one hand, and fear on the * Collection des Memoirs relatifs à l'Histoire de France,

Par M. Guizot.

other, maintained good order everywhere. The Frankish nation stood supreme before the world, whilst to it Greece, Italy, and the barbarous nations, sent embassies. But now how fallen! It has lost the splendour, the power, the very name of an empire. There is no one who can be regarded as emperor. Instead of a king, we see a kinglet; instead of a kingdom, a fragment. There is no longer a national assembly, no longer any administration of the laws, and, if an embassy arrives, it can nowhere find a court. What will become of the nations of the Danube, the Rhine, the Rhone, the Loire, the Po? Anciently united by the ties of peace, those bonds are now all broken, and they are rent asunder by miserable dissensions."

Something of the mournfulness of this review is probably to be ascribed to the petulance of old age, which, always in remembering its youth, is prone to «« The former days were better than these." Still the description of the change which had passed over Europe is substantially true. The empire established by Charlemagne crumbled to pieces when he died.

So speedily did the work of disintegration and dismemberment begin, and so rapidly did it advance, that within fourteen years of the death of Charlemagne many of the German provinces had proclaimed their independence, and civil war was waged in the very heart of France itself. It is, indeed true, that this crisis was accelerated by the feeble and superstitious character of Louis the Meek, as he was called

say,

by the monkish chroniclers of his day; but it is no less true that the empire could only be held together by the iron hand of the great emperor. Charles Martel, Pepin, and Charlemagne, father, son, and grandson, had in succession filled the Frankish throne with equal energy and power, and it was not to be expected that greatness should descend to the fourth generation-Louis proved himself unequal to the emergency. He was in consequence deposed three

years afterwards. This had not the effect of allaying the storm, but rather aggravated it. Two years later, he was reinstated upon the throne, but a large number of the insurgent lords continued in rebellion. On the death of Louis the civil wars broke out with fresh vehemence and intensity. Men, women, and children, were indiscriminately slaughtered, churches burned, the consecrated places ransacked ; nothing was sacred from the cruelty, avarice, and lust, of men whose passions seemed to have gathered new violence from their forcible repression during the long reign of Charlemagne. Intestine war produced external weakness. The Northmen, whose appearance on the coast had wrung tears of indignation and grief from the aged hero, now found nothing to repel their attacks. The ships which Charlemagne had caused to be built for the defence of the coast, and the guards he had stationed at the mouths of the rivers, had been disbanded; all the precautions which his far-seeing wisdom had taken against the growing power of these pirates had been

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