Early medieval hymns are very old songs. According to Wikipedia, “Medieval music encompasses the sacred and secular music of Western Europe during the Middle Ages, from approximately the 6th to 15th centuries.” In this time, literature was very important, so they said that if the literature was sung in the form of a hymn, then it would be remembered. Many of the hymns focus on God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, heaven, etc. Some hymns even focus on the people in the life of Jesus. Many of the hymns were about Mary the mother of Jesus, the apostles, the angles, etc. Most of these hymns were written by Christian Catholics.

An example of an early medieval hymn is the Song from Chartivel by Marie de France (1155-1189):

Hath any loved you well, down there,

Summer or winter through?
Down there, have you found any fair
Laid in the grave with you?
’s death’s long kiss a richer kiss
Than mine was wont to be–
Or have you gone to some far bliss
And quite forgotten me?

What soft enamoring of sleep

Hath you in some soft way?
What charmed death holdeth you with deep
Strange lure by night and day?
A little space below the grass,
Our of the sun and shade;
But worlds away from me, alas,
Down there where you are laid.

Another one is Hymn to Earth the Mother of All, written by Homer (7th century B.C.):

O universal mother, who dost keep
From everlasting thy foundations deep,
Eldest of things, Great Earth, I sing of thee!
All shapes that have their dwelling in the sea,
All things that fly, or on the ground divine
Live, move, and there are nourished–these are thine;
These from thy wealth thou dost sustain; from thee
Fair babes are born, and fruits on every tree
Hang ripe and large, revered Divinity!

Did the literature of Early Medieval Hymns encourage Christians to exercise political leadership? Well, sort of. Of their time, the Church leaders were the political leaders. They were one and the same. That means that the Church leaders were the ones who made the rules, arrested people, tried people, they even put people in jail. Even the pastor of the Church did this. These people were not very good Christ-like people despite the fact that they were in charge of the Church.

Christians put more of an emphasis on politics before the medieval ages. Catholic authors who wrote on civil matters told Christians to listen to the authorities higher in hierarchy and answer than them with respect and goodness, but not to do what they say. They said to do not deny Jesus in order to worship the king, leader, emperor, etc. It was at this time that there has never been any mention of Christians being in politics or having any political leadership. It was also at this time that Christians were being persecuted just before the fall of the Roman Empire.

Nothing relating to politics is in any of these hymns. Therefore, the overall answer to the question, “Did the literature of Early Medieval Hymns encourage Christians to exercise political leadership?”, is no.

The divine attributes. According to Cambridge.org, “The Divine Attributes explores the traditional theistic concept of God as the most perfect being possible.” The Divine Attributes are personhood, transcendence, immanence, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, perfect goodness, unity, simplicity and necessity. According to Wikipedia, “The attributes of God are specific characteristics of God discussed in Christian theology. Christians are not monolithic in their understanding of God’s attributes.”

The just-war theory. According to Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Just war theory deals with the justification of how and why wars are fought… The principles of the justice of war are commonly held to be: having just cause, being a last resort, being declared by a proper authority, possessing right intention, having a reasonable chance of success, and the end being proportional to the means used.” So the just-war theory justifies why and how wars were fought, or at least deals with it.

According to Wikipedia, “Augustine of Hippo, also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian and philosopher of Berber origin and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia, Roman North Africa.” He was born on November 13, 345 AD in Thagaste, and died on August 29, 430 AD in the Ruins of Hippo, Annaba, Algeria. He was a very important person during his time. He was regarded as very important by people of his time because he was considered a saint, hence the name, Saint Augustine. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Augustine was perhaps the greatest Christian philosopher of Antiquity and certainly the one who exerted the deepest and most lasting influence. He is a saint of the Catholic Church, and his authority in theological matters was universally accepted in the Latin Middle Ages and remained, in the Western Christian tradition, virtually uncontested till the nineteenth century.

Augustine wrote a rule on common life for lay Christians and how they are supposed to live their life in the year 397. He also wrote many other messages to the Christians. He believed that the purpose of righteous men was to represent God in everything they think, say, and do, and to look forward towards the Kingdom of Heaven in the hope that one day you might enter into it. He says the the world were are in right now is falling apart into chaos and destruction, so we must look forward to the City of God.

He also tells us not to be afraid of those who want to take our body, but not our soul. Instead, we should be afraid of the one who can take away the body and the soul, and that “person” is God. There is a Bible verse that talks about this. Matthew 10:28 says: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Another verse is Proverbs 1:7, which says: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

In all of his writings, St. Augustine points Christians in the direction of the city of the City of God. He says that this world that we are living in today is falling apart and is ruled by Satan and the enemy. We have nothing on this earth. We must look forward to the City of God where not even sin can exist. That is what we must look forward to. But, until we can reach the City of God, we must come closer to God, learn about him, listen to the words of the Bible, etc. However, not everyone can enter the City of God. If you want to enter the City of God, you must believe in Jesus and in everything that he has done for you, and you must follow him by reading the Bible, going to Church, etc. You must also do other things to enter the City of God, but I have said enough.

Keep trying to follow Jesus.