THE STATE'S RELATIONS TO RELIGION. 469 (Code penal, Art. 291.) This law has heretofore placed tyrannical powers of repression and restriction in the hands of the provincial prefects, but since 1859 the council of state gives the necessary permission in such cases. This certainly is not religious freedom, as understood among us. It has been seen in the course of this sketch that the prac- tice has been almost universal until modern times of estab- lishing state churches ; that lawgivers in ancient times acted on the principle that the state must maintain existing religions and exclude others ; that among the Jews and under the Christian emperors of Rome one exclusive religion only was tolerated ; that Protestantism began on this plan and had to persecute in order to carry it out; that, finally, only a few nations in quite recent times have made the church entirely free and separate from the state. Men have pleaded longer for toleration than for separation ; the Baptists of Rhode Island being the first to make the latter a distinct point iri their state polity. In this close connection of the state and church some of the wisest and best of men have concurred ; they have gone, in fact, on the assumption that no other plan was possible. On what grounds did they come to this con- clusion ? What were their theories of the right of so doing and their views of the good to result ? Let us turn to the opinions of a few of them, and then try to discover whether established religions, and the close connection of church and state, have brought in their train those benefits either to reli- gious or to political society which were expected by philoso- phers or by Christians. 256. Of the opinions which prevailed among the wisest of the Opinions on the Greeks, Plato in his Laws will be admitted to relations of religion to the state. have been the best exponent. The work opens with the question put to the Cretan who is about to found a new colony, by the Athenian speaker in the dialogue, whether the Cretan laws are to be ascribed to a God or to some man.