THE STATE'S RELATIONS TO RELIGION. 457 state was strong enough to do it, be punished for idolatry, they might be put outside of the protection of the state, their temple lands might be confiscated ; while, on the contrary, the churches and other religious institutions might be allowed to receive endowments. So, again, as the distinction had, been made between lawful and unlawful pagan rites, a similar dis- tinction might now be made between orthodox and heretical Christians. And as certain bishoprics had political influence, and the laity had a voice in the elections, it was not strange that the prince or sovereign, especially when the laity dwin- dled in intelligence or numbers, should acquire the right of giving or withholding a confirmation of clerical and popular choice, either as being responsible for public peace and order; or as representing the laity ; or as following the ex- ample of the heathen emperors or the Jewish kings; or as suzerains, after the feudal system was matured and embraced church dignitaries with vast possessions and jurisdiction. Nor was it at all strange, in the time of decay and reconstruc- tion, that the bishops in many of the towns, being the most enlightened and venerated men there, should acquire political and judicial power, first in certain classes of cases which had to do with religion and ecclesiastical law, then as heads of the towns, as the officers next to the kings. But, to pursue this train of thought no further, we may reduce the relations of church and state to the following possible forms: - §255- First, to that in which the state is absorbed in the church or Theories of reia- pure theocracy. As the church never claimed tion of Christian . . church to state. such a relation to temporal affairs, but always conceded the right of the state to a separate existence, we may pass over this relation with a single remark. If the church and state could have been united under one head, the strict theocracy thus constituted must have been universal. There could have been no Christian states, but only one state reaching as far as Christianity was embraced. But the words of Christ, " who made me a judge or a divider over you/'