Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/95

This page needs to be proofread.


mouthpiece, that gave the Prankish king a basis in law for "restora- tion" when in 756 he concluded a second peace with the Lombards in Pavia, by which he became the patricius of a realm he far preferred to see in the hands of the Pope than in those of the Lombards or even of the Eastern Emperor.

This step toward separation from Byzantium just one more re- mained to be taken brought the Papacy everything else but free- dom, for Charlemagne followed Pepin. The son resembled the fa- ther in that he felt an urge toward universalism, toward transcending national boundaries; and he was like him also in fostering the idea that temporal power must be sanctioned by spiritual power. The holy oils of the Pope, whom he had ridden out to meet as a boy, had touched his young forehead in Saint-Denis. It mingled more deeply with his blood than the Popes may afterward have wished.

There is a basic religious trend in the political thinking of all times. Again and again in both East and West, philosophers and rulers seek to transform a policy of benevolence into a policy o redemption from the deepest causes of upheaval. The leadership of empires and states must not only make kings mighty or subjects happy and well fed. A feeling that all transitory things are mere symbols, a desire to dispose human affairs according to the Divine plan, sent Asiatics, Greeks and Romans on a quest for a practical politic of the highest kind the realization of an innermost world law believed and known to be good, and the attainment of dimly visualized possessions of unchanging value and permanence. From Isaias to Dante and on to Kant, all wise men and all kings worthy of their name have striven to give peace to the world. In this sequence of efforts, more or less spiritual in character, to order human society in consonance with eternity, there stand Au- gustus, Hadrian, Constantine and Justinian. There Charlemagne also stands. He was given to reflecting upon Augustine's books con- cerning the City of God; and when passages from them were read to him the words fell upon the receptive mind of a German whose race had from time immemorial attributed a sacred character to kingship. But whether or not he realized it, this magic, perhaps even mystical, conception of his dignity was in conflict with the sphere of the spirit- ual monarch of Rome the older ruler in the name of God, whose