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the name of “the League.” The immediate aim | bring it victoriously out, Henry held his own in of the League was the prevention of the treaty the presence of the armies of the king and Guise. just signed; its ulterior and main object was the The war watered afresh with blood the soil so often extirpation, root and branch, of the Huguenots. and so profusely watered before, but it was withThose who were enrolled in it bound themselves out decisive results on either side. One thing it by oath to support it with their goods and lives. made evident, even that the main object of the Its foremost man was the Duke of Guise: its League was to wrest the sceptre from the bands back-bone was the ferocious rabble of Paris: it of Henry III., to bar the succession of Henry of found zealous and powerful advocates in the Navarre, the next heir, and place the Duke of numerous Jesuit fraternities of France: the duty Guise upon the throne, and so grasp the destinis of adhesion to it was vociferously preached from of France. all the Catholic pulpits, and still more persuas- The unhappy country did not yet know rest; for irely, if less noisily, urged in all the confessionals; if there was now a cessation of hostilities between and we do not wonder that, with such a variety the Catholics and the Huguenots, a bitter strife of agency to give it importance, the League, be- broke out between the king and Guise. These fore many months had passed, numbered not two, from being confederates in arms, became fewer than thirty thousand members, and from rivals. The duke aspired to the crown. He was being restricted to one province, as at the begin the popular idol; the mob and the army were ou ning, it extended over the whole kingdom. A his side, and knowing this, he was demeaning clause was afterwards added, to the effect that no himself with great haughtiness. The contempt one should be suffered to ascend the throne of he felt for the effeminacy and essential basenes France who professed or tolerated the detestable of Henry III. he did not fail to express. The king opinions of the Huguenots, and that they should was every day losing ground, and the prospects have recourse to arms to carry out the ends of of the duke were in the same proportion brightenthe Leagne. Thus were the flames of war again ing. The duke at last ventured to come to Paris lighted in France.

with an army, and Henry narrowly escaped being The north and east of the kingdom declared in imprisoned and slain in his own capital. Delay . favour of the League; the towns in the south ing the entrance of the duke's soldiers by barriand west ranged themselves beneath the standard cades, the first ever seen in Paris, he found time of Navarre. The king was uncertain which of to flee, and taking refuge in the castle of Blois, the two parties he should join. Roused suddenly he left Guise in possession of the capital. The from his sensualities, craven in spirit, clouded in duke did not at once proclaim himself king; be understanding, and fallen in popular esteem, the thought good to do the thing by halves: he got unbappy Henry saw but few followers around himself made lieutenant of the kingdom, holding him. Navarre offered to rally the Huguenots himself, at the same time, on terms of excellent round him, and support the crown, would he friendship with Henry. Henry, on his part, met only declare on their side. Henry hesitated; at the duke's hypocrisy with cool, premeditated last be threw himself into the arms of the League, treachery. He pressed him warmly to visit him and, to cement the union between himself and at his castle of Blois. His friends told him that them, he revoked all the privileges of the Pro- if he went be would never return; but be made testants, and commanded them to abjure their light of all warnings, saying, with an air thu religion or leave the kingdom. The treaty, so expressed his opinion of the king's courage; "H recently framed, was swept away. The war was dare not.” To the castle of Blois he went resumed with more bitterness than ever.

The king had summoned a council at the early now that the brilliant military genius of Navarre, hour of eight o'clock to meet the duke. The

Henry of the white plume,” began to display members were assembling, Guise had arrivel, itself. Skilful to plan, cool and prompt to exe- and was sauntering carelessly in the hall, when a cute, never hesitating to carry his “white plume" servant entered with a message that the king into the thick of the fight, and never failing to wished to see him in his bed-room. To reach the

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apartment in question the duke had to pass him. Within a year of the duke's death a prothrough an ante-chamber. In this apartment visional government, with a younger brother of had previously been posted a strong body of Guise's at its head, was installed at the Hotel de men-at-arms. The duke started when his eye Ville. Henry, appalled by this outburst of infell on the glittering halberds and the scowling dignation, fled to Tours, where such of the nobility faces of the men ; but disdaining retreat, he as adhered to the royalist cause, with two thoupassed on. His hand was already on the curtain sand soldiers, gathered round him. which separated the ante-chamber from the royal This force was noways adequate to cope with bed-room, with intent to draw it aside and enter, the army of the League, and the king had nothing when a soldier struck his dagger into him.' The for it but to accept the hand wbich Henry of duke sharply faced his assailants, but only to re- Navarre held out to him, and which he had aforeceive another and another stroke. He grappled time rejected. Considering that Henry, as Duke with the men, and so great was his strength that of Anjou, had been one of the chief instigators of be bore them with himself to the floor, where, the St. Bartholomew massacre, it must have cost after struggling a few minutes, he extricated him. him, one should think, a severe struggle of feeling self

, though covered with wounds. He was able to accept the aid of the Huguenots ; and not less to lift the curtain, and stagger into the room, must they have felt it, we should think, unseemly where, falling at the foot of the bed, he expired and anomalous to ally their cause with that of in the presence of the king. Henry, getting up, the murderer of their brethren. But the flower looked at the corpse, and kicked it with his of the Huguenots were in the grave; the king of foot.

Navarre was not the high-minded hero which The queen-mother also was at the castle of Coligny had been. We find now a lower type of Blois. Sick and dying, she lay in one of the Huguenotism than before the St. Bartholomew lower apartments. The king instantly descended massacre ; and the alliance was struck, and the to visit her. * Madam," he said, “congra- two armies, the Royalist and the Huguenot, were tulate me, for I am again king of France, seeing now under the same standard. Here was a new I have this morning slain the king of Paris.” and strange arrangement of parties in France. The tidings pleased Catherine, but she reminded The League had become the champion of the her son that the old fox, the uncle of the democracy against the throne, and the Huguenots duke, still lived, and that the morning's work rallied for the throne against the democracy. The could not be considered complete till he too was united army, with the two Henries at its head, despatched. The Cardinal of Lorraine, who had now began its march upon Paris; the forces of lived through all these bloody transactions, was the League, now inferior to the enemy, retreatby the royal orders quickly apprehended, and ing before them. While on their way they slain in prison. So died the Guises, father and learned that the Pope had fulminated excomson and uncle ; they had been bloody men, and munication against them, designating them “the their gray bairs were brought down to the grave two sons of wrath," and consigning them, “ in with blood.

the name of the Eternal King," to "the company These deeds brought no stability to Henry's of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram," and " to the power. Calamity after calamity came upon him devil and his angels." The weak, superstitious in rapid succession, The news of his crime Henry III. was so terrified that for two days he spread horror through France. The Catholic ate no food. “Cheer up, brother,” said the population of the towns rose in insurrection, more valorous Henry of Navarre, “ Rome's bolts enraged at the death of their favourite, and the don't hurt kings when they conquer.” Despite League took care to fan their fury. The Sorbonne the Papal bull, the march to Paris was continued. released the subjects of the kingdom from allegi- King Henry, with his soldiers, was now encamped ance to Henry. The Parliament of Paris declared at St. Cloud ; and Navarre, with his Huguenots, lion deposed from the throne. The Pope, dealing had taken up bis position at Meudon. him the unkindest cut of all, excommunicated l as if the last hour of the League bad come, and that Paris must surrender. The Protestants were this band of great criminals were the last to be overjoyed.

overtaken by vengeance. Catherine de Medici But the alliance between the Royalist and died at the Castle of Blois twelve days after the Huguenot arms was not to prosper. The bull of murder of the Duke of Guise, as little cared for the Pope, after all, was destined to bear fruit. It in her last hours as if she had been the poorest awoke all the pulpits in Paris, which began to peasant in all France; and when she had breathed thunder against excommunicated tyrants, and to her last, " they took no more heed of her," says urge the sacred duty of taking them off ; and not Estoile, “ than of a dead goat." She lived to in vain, for a monk of the name of Jacques witness the failure of all her schemes, the punishClement offered himself to perform the holy yet ment of all her partners in guilt, and to see her perilous deed. Having first prepared himself by dynasty, which she had laboured to prop up by fasting and absolution, this man, under pretence so many dark intrigues and bloody crimes, on the of carrying a letter, which he would give into no eve of extinction. And when at last she went hands but those of the king himself, penetrated to the grave, it was amid the execrations of all into the royal tent, and plunged his dagger into parties. “We are in a great strait about this bad Henry. The League was saved, the illusions of woman,” said a Romanist preacher when anthe Huguenots were dispelled, and there followed nouncing her death to his congregation; "if any a sudden shifting of the scenes in France. With of you by chance wish, out of charity, to give her Henry III. the line of Valois became extinct. a pater or an ave, it may perhaps do her some That race had given thirteen sovereigns to France, good.” and filled the throne during two hundred and It was not the hand of the Huguenots that sixty-one years.

was on these men. The hand that smote them The last Valois has fallen by the dagger. Only was the hand of God, who employed in this seventeen years have elapsed since the St. Bar- | instance, as in so many others, his enemies to tholomew massacre, and yet the authors of that execute his vengeance upon one another. Nor terrible tragedy are all dead, and all of them, with is the reckoning for St. Bartholomew ended even one exception, have died by violence. Charles yet. Not only is it imperishably engraven on the IX., smitten with a strange and fearful malady, page of history, but it is made to pass in scenie expired in torments. The Duke of Guise was representation from time to time before the eyes massacred in the Castle of Blois, the king kick- of the living. When the infidel and communistie ing his dead body as he had done the corpse of mobs of Paris or Lyons, of Rome or Naples, inColigny. The Cardinal of Lorraine was assassi- voke a watchword that shall bring up all the nated in prison; and Henry III. met his death in crimes of the past, and rouse all the vengeance his own tent, as we have just narrated, at the of the present, that watchword is—"St. Barhand of a monk. The two greatest criminals in THOLOMEW."

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Acts xx. 35.

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when the disciples met after their Master had departed,

until, spoken by Paul on the sea-shore to the weeping THE GREATER BLESSEDNESS OF GIVING.

elders of Ephesus, it was recorded by Luke, his siia

panion, for the use of the Church in all coming time. HIS “word of the Lord Jesus," like the In another aspect this word is like the man who quoted

great apostle who has reported it, is one it at Miletus ;—if it, among the words of Christ, like “ born out of due time.” It found no place Paul among his apostles, was late in coming, it is, like

in the evangelic histories : it lay silent in him, not a whit behind the chief of them in precivasloving hearts, or flowed in whispers from loving lips ness and power, now that it has come.

Lake reports the speech of Paul, and Paul's speech in the eternal purpose till its finishing in the fulness of holds in its bosom a priceless fragment of the Redeemer's time, was this maxim taken, which Paul found useful word. It is as when a seaman in a shipwreck has to stimulate the liberality of the Ephesians,—which we seized in his strong arms a servant of the family as she find useful to stimulate liberality amongst ourselves towas sinking; and when she is raised, the spectators day. The love wherewith Christ loved us is the mould discover that she holds the infant son of the family on which the practical rule was cast. Unless he had living in her arms.

lived in the world, the world would never have possessed Here then we have a word of Christ rescued from such a rule for the regulation of its course. This prinsinking into oblivion—a word of Christ with a word of ciple is not of the earth. It bears the mark of another Paul wrapped round it; the jewel and its setting-the origin. It at once reveals the character of its author, kernel and its shell are both here.

and gives shape to the aspirations of his followers. It " It is more blessed to give than to receive :” these is a print of his footsteps, marked by the Spirit in the Fords were indeed employed by Paul as a practical word, to direct the way of his people through all maxim to stimulate and direct the Christians at Ephesus time. in their charitable contributions; but if you limit your This feature belongs indeed to the lessons of every view to that specific application, you will miss the true teacher who undertakes to mould into better forms deepest of their meaning. An untaught barbarian, or the spirit and conduct of his neighbours. All apostles an indeveloped child, sees in the stars some small who have left a beneficent mark on the world have first twinkling lights set in the blue canopy higher than the practised what they afterwards preached. In this clonds that flit across its face; but you know more of respect the Apostle and High Priest of our profession their grandeur and of their Maker's might when you was made like unto his brethren. He lived this lesson look upon them as central suns, with subject systems of first, and taught it then. He tasted the blessedness of their own, while they also act as lights to the darkened giving, and thereafter told his disciples how sweet hemisphere of our earth. As the difference between the it is. intrinsic greatness of the fixed stars, and their incidental The redemption which Christ accomplished, and the tusefulness to this world at night, is the difference be- gospel reveals, is a system of giving and receiving. It tween these words in their origin as the declared experi- consists of these two, and of these two only. The whole ence of God our Saviour, and these words in their transaction between the Saviour and the saved is comapplication as a stimulant to liberality in Christian prehended in giving and getting. He gives; they get. contributions. We must consider these words in the This is the sum of the whole matter. Christ gives all, depth of their divine fountain, and not confine our view and gets nothing; Christians get all, and give nothing. to the particular stream that happens to flow from them The Lord Jesus speaks from experience when he here. Before we speak of the object to which the explains how pleasant it is to give. He is entitled to maxim is here applied, we must reverently look to the speak on that point with authority. On that subject source whence it was taken.

he speaks what he knows. He has had much to do When our Redeemer said, “It is more blessed to give with giving, first and last. If there is sweetness in the than to receive,he expressed his own experience. This act, he must have enjoyed that pleasure to the full. word of Christ is beyond conception precious, especially He gave himself for us: this is a gift unspeakable. to “ the meek and poor afflicted ones” among his dis- We have no line wherewith we may measure its greatciples. When, conscious of our own unworthiness, and ness. It is as when a little child looks down into the especially of our backsliding, we tremble even before a blue heavens mirrored in a still lake; the child exclaims, throne of grace, it is sweet to learn that the Giver of “These skies are deep, deep!” But how deep he has not pardon takes pleasure in giving. He who loves a cheer- any conception, far less an adequate word. Inconceivinl giver, is a cheerful Giver. A penitent may encourage able to men and angels, --infinite is the gift which our his soul to come near in confidence, not only with the Redeemer bestowed when he offered himself to take sin argument which the spectators addressed to the blind away. The Giver of Himself knows what giving is, and man at Jericho, “Be of good comfort, rise ; he calleth is entitled to speak with authority on the amount of thee," but with the much stronger reason,--the cure of blessedness involved in the act. the disease will impart greater joy to the Physician Nor has the giving ceased, now that he is exalted. than to the patient. This word of Christ, rightly ac- He continues to dispense his bounties. When he ascepted, is enough to drive away all the dread of fearful cended after his ministry on earth was done, it was for souls, as wind drives smoke away.

the express purpose of giving. He gives the Spirit: he Forms of amazing elegance and beauty may be thrown gives pardon and peace day by day to“ him that cometh.” off in millions by the hands of common workmen ; but He gives grace in this life, and glory in the next. On the one type whence all the specimens have derived his part, it is all giving: his bounties are waters that their shape grew slowly, like the germs of life in the fail not. And he is “not weary in well-doing." When secret of a greater soul. So, off the experience of he was hungry and faint at the well of Samaria, it was Emanuel in his work of redemption, from its beginning | not the water from the woman's vessel or bread from

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the baskets carried by the twelve that refreshed him. Let us bear these words of the Lord Jesus on our “I have meat to eat," he said, "that ye know not of." hearts when we pray. To be assured that he counts it And his meat was giving-giving to a needy sinner the blessedness to give, should greatly encourage us in gift of eternal life.

asking. This glimpse into the heart of our Redeemer is a salve that reaches to the deepest of all sores. Brother, when you begin really to know yourself, it is not easy

XXXVI. to hope that it will be well with you in the great day.

THE GREAT BLESSEDNESS OF RECEIVING. When you measure the deceit and corruption of your own heart, you know that it will require a great deal of giving on the part of Christ to make you right. 'Per- The words do not say and do not mean that it is ut haps you could hope more easily, if your debt were pleasant to receive. When the receiver is needy, and the smaller. You are afraid to expect that it will be all freely gift good and the giver generous, it is blessed to receita forgiven, because it is so great. When you have looked Tell it you who have come to the Lord, wretched and a while into your own heart to see its emptiness and miserable, and blind and naked, and have received from measure how much you need to receive, turn round and him pardon and peace and eternal life,—tell it to be look a while unto Jesus to learn how much he possesses, glory. Is it not a blessed experience to receive? Hark! how much he bestows, and how much delight he takes they tell it who already stand round the throne in white in bestowing. There is joy in the presence of the angels clothing, Thou hast redeemed us and washed us from of God over one sinner that repenteth; and the joy is our sins in thy blood. Sing unto the Lord, for he hath expressly said to be like the joy that filled the shep- triumphed gloriously: these jubilant hosts who have herd's heart when he got his wanderer home again. passed in safety through the Red Sea are not girers, The joy therefore is the joy of the Lord, which sur- they are only receivers. They are rejoicing with a jos rounding angels see gleaming in his face, when he feels that is unspeakable and full of glory; but it is the joy that virtne has gone out of him to save a sinner. Every of receiving that swells in their hearts and thrills through time that from the depths of sin and misery on this their frames. When the Lord intimated that the world another draft is made upon his love, another blessedness of giving is the greater, he did not intimate throb of joy rebounds in the Redeemer's breast. that the blessedness of receiving was small. He pre

Humble and contrite hearts, that sigh and cry for the claims in one sentence the twofold truth, that the ju light of God's countenance, should drink in great con- of his people in obtaining salvation is great, and his om solation from these words of the Lord Jesus. If giving in bestowing it is greater. were a pain to him, he would have long ago ceased to There is an amazing affluence in the works of God give. If he gave grudgingly, he would not give at all; both in the covenant of his mercy and the creation et for there is no constraint laid on him, except the com- his hand. “And God made two great lights ; pulsion of his own unmerited love. When our Lord greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rul with his disciples made the journey from Judæa to the night: the stars also” (Gen. i. 16). After the chie Galilee, it is written that “he must needs go through lights were provided, he needed sone smaller sparks Samaria.” There was indeed a geographical necessity supplement the moon's rays in the work of diminishin on the surface, for Samaria lay right across their path ; | the darkness of night on this world. For this purpu but there was a deeper necessity—a necessity compel- he employed a multitude of glorious orbs, many of the ling the Lord to make that journey at that time—it mightier far than the sun and all its system. was his hunger for the meat that his fellow-travellers It is thus in the covenant. God needs a motive knew not of, the appetite for giving that consumed urge his people during their probation here to greld him-for giving mercy and newness of life to a chief liberality in their charity; and for that purpose rerea sinner in Sychar. He must go that way, for there lay the experience of his Son in the work of redemption the savoury food that his soul desired: he was satisfied He needed a lamp for our feet at a rough step on with good.

journey; and lo, in order to obtain it, he draws sih In his goings forth from eternity, he must go by this the vail

, rends the heavens, and displays to view ti world. All these glorious worlds that are scattered over love and joy that burn in the bosom of God our Savica the infinite belong to him; but it is not necessary that No wonder that the ravished pilgrim forgets for a he should dwell in any of them and take part of the the step on earth thus illumined, and gazes or nature of their inhabitants. These were not needing glory that sheds down the needed light. anything: these remained as God had made them all In a subordinate sense, the Lord's people also give t very good. He would have enjoyed no giving there, and him, and he receives from them. He loves this te a sojourn there would not have been blessed to him. ceiving. Evidence that he delighted in the sell-cod

For this joy that was set before him—for this greater secration of his disciples crops out everywhere in th blessedness—the blessedness of giving, he came and evangelic histories. In the case of the woman sb companied with the empty and the lost.

poured out the precious contents of the alabaster bor i

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