Reflections on the Lord's Care for His Own

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
The Lord had, no doubt, His many hidden ones, even in the darkest times, as in Thyatira: "But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come." One thing, and only one, was to occupy the faithful after the apostasy had set in—the ascended Savior, the Man in the glory. And to all such the sweet promise is, "And I will give him the Morning Star." But the outward or mere professing church, as allied to the State, was corrupt to the very core, and sunk, and blinded, and hardened, in the most unflushing wickedness; for the concentration of every form of evil was to be found in the chair of St. Peter. Even as to the religious wars Charlemagne himself stands before as guiltless, compared with Hadrian.
We must remember that Charles was a barbaric king, though the greatest perhaps in European history with the exception of Alexander and Caesar; so that we can understand his object in seeking to unite and consolidate a great empire; but he was ignorant and superstitious as to divine things, though the religious element was strong in his mind. On this the pope acted, and led him to believe that a strong and wealthy church would make a strong and wealthy State; and that if he would please heaven and gain eternal life, the harmonious union of Church and State must be the basis of all his governmental schemes. He personally loved Hadrian, readily obeyed his call, yielded to his counsels, and wept when he heard of his death; which took place on the 26th of December in the year 795, after the unusually long pontificate of twenty-three years and upwards. He might sometimes see the pope's real object under the greatest artifice; but, strong in his own self-reliant power, he could allow such things to pass without those feelings of distrust and jealousy, which would have been engendered in a feebler mind. Not given to change, he made a good friend.