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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

THE STATE'S RELATIONS TO RELIGION.          467
especially hostility to patronage, to which, however, the estab-
lished kirk has submitted, have been continually cropping out
and producing secessions from the established church, until
the Free Church of Scotland arose in 1843. If the state had
granted to the kirk complete autonomy, and protected it in
all its interests, making it the exclusive church of the country,
putting down all dissent and abolishing lay patronage, this
and this only would have satisfied the claims of the stricter
Presbyterians. The theory is based on the jus dimnum of
Presbyterianism, and on the true principle that Christ is the
head of his church, and it derived practical strength as well
from the attempts of the Stuarts to force a church order on
the land which was disliked, as from the abuses of the system
of patronage which have been continued since the removal of
other grievances. Had there been an entire separation of
church and state, the kirk might have avoided numberless
evils, and there need not have been such repeated secessions
from its pale.
4. We have now reached the last form of relation between
Theory of entire church and state, that of complete separation,
separation  of state                                               .                                                          ,
and church.          so far as separation can be  complete where a
certain degree of protection is required, the same in kind and
degree that would be necessary for maintaining rights in any
secular sphere of action. This is the plan that now runs
through all the states of this union. No other, in fact, i? possi-
ble as long as all confessions are equal before the law, as long
as freedom to found churches is open to all, and as long as
the conception exists that a church is a spiritual body, acting
on the state only by the moral and religious forces of individ-
ual persons. The churches, therefore, and individual congre-
gations are self-subsistent; they provide for their own sup-
port ; they have perfect liberty of propagation as far as the
state is concerned. The states have to some extent limited,
by nineteenth century statutes of mortmain, the amount of
property which separate congregations may hold, or may
hold without paying taxes ; and there is a demand on the
part of many that church property, as it regards its taxable