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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

490                              POLITICAL  SCIENCE.
censures only suspend or shut out from the privileges of the
society for purposes of correction, that " the spirit may be
saved," or at most, declare the offender to be of such a char-
acter that fellowship with him is impossible. In the appen-
dix to the inaugural lecture delivered by him as professor of
modern history (p. 74, Am. Ed.), his opinions on this point
and the nature of the state are given in brief a little before
his death. Excommunication he regards as a penalty like the
Greek ari/ua. But surely, if it deprives of no civil rights and
derives its lawfulness not from state-law, but from the New
Testament, it cannot be regarded as a penalty proceeding
from the state, and the church does not practice it as such.
His great point is that the state has moral ends which we
acknowledge. But in carrying out his views, he not only
holds that a Christian state " being the perfect church, should
do the church's work/' but also that a " time might come
when a rejection of Christianity would be so clearly a moral
offense, that profane writings would be as great a shock to all
men's notions of right and wrong as obscene writings are now,
and the one might be punished with no greater injury to
liberty of conscience than the other." Thus the perfect
church will punish for opinions. But the shock given by ob-
scene writings is not the primary cause why it should be ra-
tionally punished. A rejection of Christianity on the part of
the profligate may do good ; calm discussion may do good;
obscenity is only evil.
It is true, he adds, that governments, owing to the feeble in-
fluence of philosophy and religion over human laws, have
confined themselves to lower sorts of good to the neglect of
higher. Supposing, however, the influential majority in any
state to be good and wise men, their political wisdom would
employ religion and philosophy to promote the moral and
intellectual, no less than other means to promote the physi-
cal well-being of their community. In such a case the state's
sovereign power, combined with its peculiar wisdom, would
choose for itself the true religion, as it would choose also the
truest system of political science, and in adopting this religion