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of peace and civilizati n. Thus, Saxony, which through an entire generation was year after year laid waste by fire and sword, its towns being pillaged and burned, while its inhabitants were borne off into captivity, or ruthlessly put to the sword, very soon repaired these ravages after it began to enjoy the blessings of national repose and tranquil industry. It speedily ceased to be a region of barren heaths, impassable morasses, and dense forests, inhabited only by wild beasts, and men scarcely less ferocious. Before a century had passed away, it had outstripped France in the race of improvement, and surpassed it in wealth and plenty. Nor was the progress of the Saxons and other conquered tribes confined to mere material civilization. In the higher concerns of morals and religion, they advanced with at least equal strides. However reluctant they were to receive Christianity, yet having accepted it, they, like their brethren in England, submitted much more fully to its influence than those nations whose conversion, using that term in the qualified sense before explained, had been more speedy and more superficial. We have a pieasing illustration of this in the religious literature which at once sprang up among them, Numerous hymns and religious poems were composed in their vernacular tongue. At least two poetical versions of the Gospels were made ; and it seems probable that, in addition to these, there was a metrical paraphrase of the whole Bible, since we read that “ Louis commanded a certain Saxon, who
was deemed by his own nation to be no ignoble bard,* to attempt a poetical version of the Old and New Testament in the German language, so that the inspired records and Divine precepts might lie open, not to the learned only, but also to the unlearned. He, gladly complying with the command, at once addressed himself to the arduous task. Beginning with the creation of the world, and compendiously summing up whatever was most excellent in the history, and dexterously introducing its spiritual meaning, he completed a poetical version of the whole Bible, distinguished alike by grace and eloquence.” Happy had it been for Europe and for the world if this zeal for the translation and diffusion of the Scriptures had always prevailed! Happy will it be for us and for the nations of the east, if our wars there, too often, like those of Charlemagne, unjust in design and cruel in execution, have a like result; and if historians in after ages, as they narrate our victories, shall have to point out, that whilst we subjugated the millions of India to our sway, we gave them that truth which made them " free indeed!”
3. These wars and victories fused down into national unity those heterogeneous mixtures of *“ Haud ignobilis vates." Among the Teutonic nations,
Of poet and of prophet was the same." The Druid and the Bard were identical. We may hence conclude that this “vates” was a converted priest of the old mythology, and that these Christian songs were written by him to supersede the pagan chants which we know to have been previously in use, and of which relics yet remain in many of our popular legends and nursery rhymes.
“ The sacred name
tribes and races who peopled the same districts without amalgamating with one another. For four hundred years, hordes of barbarians, differing in origin, manners, and language, had been poured into southern and central Europe. From the remote north, where our Scandinavian ancestors saw the sun set for a long night of months, from the steppes of Tartary, from the borders of China, impelled by some strange impulse, they pressed onward, those in the rear crowding upon those in advance, and forbidding them to retreat, though decimated by the swords of the legions, and the yet more fatal luxuries of the south. Each of these hordes, though thinned, and many of them almost annihilated, left some vestiges of their former countless numbers scattered over the face of Europe, and dwelling side by side with the relics of the old Roman population ; just as a fertile district, swept over by successive floods, retains at once the traces of its former fertility, and the debris deposited by each inundation. These various races had done little or nothing towards amalgamation. Each retained its distinctive manners, customs, laws, and language. The inhabitants of neighbouring, and even of the same villages, were often unable to understand one another's language; and that which was regarded as sacred by one family, was looked on with detestation by the next. Hence arose incessant intestine feuds, race contending with race in wild disorder. They needed to be fused down into national unity, when the product, like Corin
thian brass, would be all the richer from the variety and diversity of its constituent elements. This the wars and victories of Charlemagne effected; to a considerable extent, both for the conquerors and the conquered. The great enterprises in which they were engaged, and the important interests at stake, led both parties, for the time at least, to merge their differences ; fidelity to their chiefs and to one another, in the camp and on the field, formed a bond of union which previously had no existence. Europe ceasing to be the battle-field and hunt: ing-ground of hostile or loosely associated tribes, became the home of distinct and wellcompacted nations, as we see it at the present day.
Thus, then, notwithstanding the frightful devastation and carnage which attended many of the campaigns of Charlemagne, their ultimate results were in these respects greatly and decidedly beneficial. Like the thunderstorm, which may scathe and blast the mountain side, and leave traces of its desolating progress in blighted verdure and shivered homesteads, but whose continuance is as brief as it is violent, while it is followed by greener verdure and brighter skies--so did the storm and fury of the Carlovingian wars pass away, having carried off many of the elements of disorder, and prepared for the calm and genial influences of peace in
In making these admissions, we need not, in the slightest degree, abate our abhorrence of
war, but only discover another indication of God in history-only see another proof that verily there is a “God that judgeth in the earth,” who permits partial evil that from it he may elicit greater good, and who, from the fierce and selfish passions of barbarous wars, works out his designs of beneficence and love. May he long preserve us from a recurrence of those wars of cruelty and ambition which have been at once the scourge and disgrace of Christendom, and hasten the dawning of that blissful day, when men 66 shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks ;" when “nation shall not lift
sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any
By the peaceful labours of the missionary in New Zealand and similar localities, the world has had a lesson taught to it, that there is a more excellent way” than the sword to mitigate the ferociousness of savage tribes, and proof has been afforded that the gospel faithfully dispensed carries with it a healing and assuaging influence, more potent in its results than even the victorious arms of Charlemagne.