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...ã.. ..11. Fifteen THE CHURCH IN THE MODERN STATE I T HE difficult practical problems suggested by the famous phrase, Church and State, have their roots in the essential character of Christ's Religion as involving for its professors both membership of an ordered society and personal discipleship to a Divine Lord. The historic Church is integral to Christianity, and, therefore, finds its place in the Creed. It is no afterthought, no me
  ...ã.. .11. Fifteen THE CHURCH IN THE MODERN STATE I T HE difficult practical problems suggested by the famousphrase, Church and State, have their roots in the essentialcharacter of Christ's Religion as involving for its professors both membership of an ordered society and personal discipleship to aDivine Lord. The historicChurch is integral to Christianity, and,therefore, finds its place in the Creed. It is no afterthought, no mere creation of apostolic statesmanship, no untoward product ofhistory, no perversion of the Founder's srcinal intention, but an essential element of His Gospel, inseparable from His redemptiveplan, the ordained instrument of His Providence. Our earliest documents-the Epistles of S. Paul-attest the existence of an organized militant society, taking shape under the consciousguidance of the Holy Spirit in the school of experience, and addres-sing itself with courage tothe answering of the novel questionswhich were for ever being presented. This Church had almostimmediately to determine its attitude towards the establishedauthorities of the civilized world. What should be its relation tothe State? The problem which would inhere in ecclesiastical his-tory, and take many shapes, was implicit in the astounding protestwith which S. Peter and S. John met the order of the Sanhedrin 'We must obey God rather than men'. The two Apostles, thoughdescribed as 'unlearned and ignorant men', were seen to be the representatives and recognized leaders of a society to which in somesense, they were responsible. 'And being let go, they came totheir own company, and reported all that the chief priests andthe elders had said unto them. ' All the distinctive institutions of the historicChurch are apparent in the Pauline picture-the two Sacraments, the tradition of faith, the Scriptures, the Divinely institutedMinistry, the distinctive Christian morality, the First Day of theWeek, a Membership larger than the merely local fellowship, acommon dIscipline which overrides local preferences. The notion that this articulated ecclesiastical life had come into existence apart from the action of Christ, and contrary to His intention, isequally unhistorical and unreasonable. For good and for ill the 155  156 B ISH 0 P RIC K PAP E R S Religion is inseparable from the Society. Historic Christianity isincorrigibly ecclesiastical.Christian history records a process of adaptation, assimilation, and development which, as it is traced through its successivephases, appears truly amazing. It is strangely mingled, heredarkened by gross scandals, there lightened by sublime achieve-ments. In short, Christianity, as it traverses the centuries, 'takes the colour of the soil'. It is imperial, barbarian, feudal, papal,national, denominational, grotesquely individualistic. Always,since it comes to men as·they are and where they are, its ecclesi-astical system is strangely parasitic, fitting on tothe secular frame-work of human society, and thus affecting it mainly for good, but not always, yet preserving in its worst aberrations an energy ofmoral recuperation which saves it from total perdition. HistoricChristianity, as it reaches the twentieth century, carries on to the stage a Society which bears the scars and stains of nineteen cen-turies, at once alluring ahd repulsive, startling us by its paradoxes, and arresting us by its indestructible moral vitality. To say witha brilliant modern divine, that' nearly the whole of Church historyis an aberration from the intentions of the Founder', argues astrange misunderstanding of Church history and an arbitrary handling of the New Testament. At every phase of the historic development the same pheno-menon is observable, viz. a conflict between what is properlyobsolescent, if not even obsolete, and what is actually taking shape.Always, at the time of transition, there is friction, resistance, con-flict, infinite distress of mind, a cruel clashing of rival loyalties, for the Old is never let slip without protest, ner is the New acceptedwithout reluctance. 'No man having drunk old wine straightwaydesireth new, for he saith, the old is good.' lhe student of history, and especially of ecclesiastical history, must be vigilant against the anachronistic habit of mind, which leads him to judge the systems and procedures of the past by the standards of the present. What once was hailed as an Enfranchisement may now be felt as an Oppression. 'Nothing continues in one stay.' It is easy to con-demn beliefs and, disciplines which have survived their condition-ing circumstances, butit is none the less irrational and unjust. We must recreate the secular environment before we can appraiseequitably the ecclesiastical system which it determined. Theiconoclastic zeal of reformers may be excused by the grossness ofimmediate abuses, but' the historian will recall the conditions underwhich the abused institutions took shape, and mitigate the severity  THE C H U R CHI NTH E MOD ERN S TAT E 157of his verdict by the measure of his knowledge. An early letter ofDr. Church, afterwards not the least eminent of the many eminent Deans of S. Paul's, is worth quoting. He was writing to Arch-deacon Manning who had delivered a fiercely Protestant sermonin Oxford on 5 November 1843, and he was protesting against its vehemence and lack of discrimination. He insisted on the equit able method of judging ecclesiastical dogma in the light of con-temporary history: What I mean, then, is this.:-that the circumstances of the timeexplain, andto my mind, justify, in Gregory VII. and Inno-cent 111., opinions, claims, and conduct which, if thrown into the shape of univ~rsal Theological dogmas for the Church in allages are groundless in reason, and have been, and may be,indefinitely mischievous. 1 The Church reviewing its history may adopt the words of S. Paul, {When I was a child, I spake as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child; now that I am become a man, I have put awaychildish things'.The relations of Church and State, then, have varied from time to time, and no permanently binding rules can be deduced from the past for the guidance of the present. Roughly the record ofecclesiastical development may be divided into six periods, which the historical student may conveniently distinguish. 1. The Church's conflict withthe pagan and sometimes per-secuting State includes the whole period before the conversion ofConstantine. During these centuries the Christian Society waseffectively organized as an episcopal federation with an authori- tatively settled creed and discipline. 2. The Church's absorption in the system of the ChristianEmpire followed from Constantine's conversion, and lasted in the West until the downfall of the Empire. In the East it persisted until the Turkish conquest of Constantinople in 1453; and sur-vived in Russia, where Byzantine Christianity had found its completest expression, until 1917, when the Tsardom was finallyoverthrown.3. The Church's conflict with Teutonic barbarism followed the ruin of the imperial system. This phase, sometimes described, not wholly without fitness, as (the Dark Ages', covers the wholeperiod from the fifth century to the eleventh. The brilliantepisode associated with the name of Charlemagne forms no real break. While bringing to the Teutonic peoples, together with the 1 v. Purcell's Life of Cardinal Manning, vol. i, p. 698.  158 B ISH 0 P RIC K PAP E R S Christian Religion, such civilization as had survived the wreck of the Empire, the Church, inevitably identified with its hierarchy,became itself partially barbarized. During this period the RomanPopes, garnering the prestige of the absent Emperors, to whom they long acknowledged a rather hollow allegiance, acquired asecure predominance throughout the West. 4. The State became absorbed in the Church. Society in the West, unified by a single ecclesiastical membership, became aliteral Christendom, that is, a Kingdom of this world governed by Christ through His two Vicars, the Holy Roman Emperorexercising authority by Divine right in the temporal sphere, andthe Holy Roman Pope, exercising authority by Divine right in the spiritual sphere. The delimitation of spheres led to continualconflict between these Vicars, and finally resulted in the supre macy of the Popes. This phase may be said to have extended from the eleventh century until the sixteenth, that is, from the Hilde bran dine Movement until the Reformation. The Papal Monarchyreached its culmination in the thirteenth century, and then rapidlydeclined until, in the Conciliar Movement of the fifteenth century, its definite reduction was attempted. The failure of the Conciliar Essay at Reformation postponed, but could not avert, the final ca astrophe. 5. The disruption of Christendom in the sixteenth centuryrevolutionized the relations of Church and State. The ancientproblem received new forms, and presented itself under new conditions. The victory of the Reformation was a victory of the Laity over the Clergy. The layState of Machiavelli emerged. Within the narrow limits of the independent territorial sovereignties ofEurope, the medieval identification of Church and State still persisted. t Cujus regio ejus religio' continued tobethe rule by which the establishment of the Reformed Churches was determined, but its application within the smaller areas could not but emphasizeits intrinsic unreasonableness and greatly increase the power of the local monarchs. Even within the area of the Counter-Reformation,inSpain and in France pre-eminently, it secured to the Sovereign an ecclesiastical dominance which far exceeded the theory and practice of the Middle Ages. Membership in the Universal Churchwas exchanged as the postulate of Christendom for Profession of the Christian Religion, and, since this was very variously interpreted, the door was opened to many local varieties of creed and system. Roughly this state of affairs obtained until the close of the Religious Wars. A by-product of the history was the recogni-
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