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refused to do so would have excited too much astonishment from its novelty. “We accepted with thanks the little presents made to us by the hand of friendship, such as fruit, vegetables, eggs, wine, bread, and hay. We took likewise some young fowls and some birds, smaller in size, but very good to eat. Happy the virtue which is tempered, adorned, and maintained by discretion, the nurse of all virtues !"
Some of the instructions given to the Missi are very curious, as illustrations of the emperor's perfect acquaintance with, and personal surveillance over, the minutest affairs of his widely extended government. For instance, “ Remember to order that they who send us horses as presents, inscribe their names on each horse, and so too with the robes sent from the abbeys." “Recollect to order that whenever official persons either do evil or suffer it to be done, they be expelled from their offices and be replaced by others of better character.” “Inquire how it is that whenever anything of importance has to be done on the frontiers or in the army, one man will not help another to do it.” " What is the meaning of these constant lawsuits of which I hear between neighbours ? No man seems contented with what he possesses, but is striving to wrest property from those who live near him.”
Still more curious are the instructions given to them as to the management of the royal farms. The breeding of horses, the sale of eggs, the rearing of poultry, are all regulated
by orders given by the king. Suspecting that there is peculation in one department, he orders that an exact account be sent to him of the horns and skins of the goats which were killed, and how much they were sold for. The larger farms are to maintain one hundred hens and thirty geese, the smaller fifty hens and twelve geese.
The emperor thus possessed absolute and entire control over all the officers of his vast dominions. Whilst he showed himself equal to the greatest and most trying emergencies, he yet stooped to the minutest details. Alike in the enactment and the execution of the laws, he was head and chief. The great national assembly, as we have seen, only possessed deliberative authority, could only act in the way of counsel and advice. The laws all originated in, and were determined by him. The officers employed to carry out the laws were simply his agents and representatives. They held office during his pleasure; they received from him the most precise directions as to their conduct, and rendered to him an account of all they saw and did. He, in fact, only multiplied his own energy and activity by the number of agents he employed. In all the affairs of that vast empire, Charlemagne was everything and everywhere. Though in the system which he established we may trace the germs of our modern representative institutions, yet it was an absolute autocracy, a paternal despotism.
Capitulary de Villis.
That it should be so was necessary under the circumstances. The choice lay between such a system and anarchy. The age was not ripe for a constitutional monarchy. There needed a man of strong arm and resolute will to bend events to his own designs, or, if they would not bend, to crush them.—Just such was Charlemagne. It is impossible to conceive of a ruler more perfectly adapted to the wants and necessities of his age than was he. When he appeared upon the scene of action, all men instinctively turned to him as the one who alone could meet the exigencies of the times. This perfect and complete coincidence between its requirements and his character is only explicable on the assumption that there is an overruling Providence ordering our affairs, and raising up instrumentalities and agencies exactly fitted to accomplish its benignant designs. He who is “King of kings, and Lord of lords," "the blessed and only Potentate," employs earth's mightiest rulers but as his creatures and servants to fulfil his august and gracious purposes toward a world steeped in ignorance, barbarism, and guilt. 6 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him ; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight. . For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name. I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me," Isa. xlv. 1-5.
THE RELATIONS OF CHARLEMAGNE WITH
Distinction between the papacy as a creed and an organiza. tion-Favour with which it was regarded by Charlemagne under the latter aspect-Reasons for this-Interference of Pepin on behalf of the
pope--The forgery of a letter from the apostle Peter to the Franks-First visit of Charlemagne to Rome-His promises and reluctance to fulfil them-PseudoIsidorean Decretals-Protest of the clergy and laity of Italy against the papal pretensions-Charges against the popeHis insatiable avarice-The debate on image worship-Its unanir rejection and condemnation by the Frank bishops—The Libri Carolini-The Adoption controversyElevation of Leo to the pontificate-Revolt of the Romans against him-Charlemagne visits Rome to quell the insurrection-Is there crowned and inaugurated as emperorReflections on this narrative.
Roman Catholicism consists of two elements, which, though always found in association, are yet perfectly distinct and easily distinguishable. It is a creed, and it is an organization—a system of doctrines, and an ecclesiastical corporation, whose head is at Rome, and whose members stretch themselves over the whole earth.
Under the former of these aspects we have seen how Charlemagne regarded it, how resolutely he opposed its unscriptural rites and anti-scriptural doctrines, and how earnestly he
sought to counteract the influences of its superstitious ritualism, by asserting the necessity of faith and prayer, and a personal acceptance of, and submission to, the truths of the gospel.
We have now to speak of the relations between the emperor and the papal church under the latter of these aspects—as an organization or ecclesiastical corporation. However hostile he may have shown himself to the papal creed and ritual in those points in which they diverged from the Christianity inculcated by Christ and his apostles, he yet regarded the papacy itself with considerable favour, and extended to it his patronage.
The reasons which led him to feel and act thus are obvious. He felt it to be his special mission and work to defend and promote civilization, law, and order; to rescue Europe from the anarchy and barbarism into which it was fast settling down; and to diffuse and foster the arts of peace.
The only body to which he could look for aid in this great task was the Romish church. All the secular nobility, all the military chiefs, and the immense majority of freemen, not in his own empire only, but throughout central and western Europe, were disposed to side with the party of war rather than with the party of peace.
All their habits of life and their modes of thought and feeling, made them hostile to the restraints of a powerful government, and led them to regard with contempt the sedentary engagements of art and literature. With the priesthood the