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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

THE STATE'S RELATIONS TO RELIGION.          491
would declare a belief in its promises, and an adherence to
its precepts—in other words declare itself Christian. By so
doing it becomes a part of Christ's Holy Catholic church ;
not allied with it, which implies distinctness from it, but
transformed into it. But, as for the particular portion of this
church which may have existed before within the limits of the
state's sovereignty—the actual society of Christian men there
subsisting—the state does not ally itself with such a society;
for alliance supposes two parties equally sovereign, nor yet
does it become the church, as to its outward form and organ-
ization ; neither does the church on the other hand become
so lost in the state, as to become in the offensive sense of the
term, secularized. The spirit of the church is transfused
into a more perfect body, and its former external organization
dies away. The form is that of the state, the spirit is that of
the church; what was a kingdom of the world is become a
kingdom of Christ, a portion of the church in the high and
spiritual sense of the term ; but in that sense in which
"church" denotes the outward and social organization of
Christians in any one particular place, it is no longer a Chris-
tian church, but what is far higher and better, a Christian
kingdom."
To the view here set forth several objections can be made,
which Dr. Arnold notices in order. The first is " that it
interferes with the political rights of men by making them
depend on religious opinion ; for if the state, as such, be
essentially Christian, those who are not Christians cannot be
members of it." [And those who are, it might be added, on
emigrating to such a country, ought to become citizens at
once.] The validity of this conclusion is admitted, and
Arnold does not shrink from avowing that "Christianity
forms so broad a line morally between those who embrace it
and other men, that a man who is not a Christian 'is most
justly excluded from citizenship in a Christian state, not
merely on grounds furnished by revelation, but according to
the highest and noblest views of the nature of political soci-
ety." While thus he gives a more antique cast to the notion