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474                              POLITICAL SCIENCE.
their opponents erred on the side of confounding too much
the church with the state, they, on the other hand, were too
much inclined to represent the opposition between the two
which was grounded in the early relation of the church to a
Pagan state, as a relation that must ever continue to exist"
This theory of the relation of religion to the state is involved
in a reply of Donatus, Bishop of Carthage, to an imperial
officer, " quid est imperatori cum ecclesia," which is of a
piece with the spiritualism of their theology. But neither
their political nor religious opinions bore fruit, for they were
outweighed by the obloquy which attached to them as schis-
matics and the weight of ability on the church side, and it
was their destiny to die out in the overturning of Africa by
the Vandals and Moors.
The Catholic church kept its ground against the civil power
in part by the theory of perfect independence with the right
of being protected. The Protestants fell back again to the
theory which prevailed in the Roman empire of the west, and
which made the church a tool of the state—the head of the
state of course being Christian and Protestant. But the rights
of an open Bible for all, and of religious liberty which Protes-
tantism really demanded and made necessary, raised up schis-
matics ; yet the new churches already established, following
the old precedent, would admit of no other church by their
side on an equal footing; hence came persecution by the
civil power, and a revelation by experience to the persecuted
party of the value of religious liberty. But the first disputes
were : what is the form of the church order taught in the New
Testament, and what right has the state to force compliance
with rites and ceremonies which are not for edification. The
relations of state and church would thus come up for consid-
eration, and one of the most thorough discussions was that
which appears in Hooker's ecclesiastical polity.