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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

THE STATE'S RELATIONS TO RELIGION.          493
becomes Christian, seeks man's highest happiness, since the
cessation of miraculous gifts, with deficient power." "It is
constantly thwarted by not possessing the power of out-
ward dominion. But the state is capable of receiving the
knowledge of the church, whereas it cannot part with its es-
sential attribute, nor is the church fitted to exercise it. Thus
the state, having been enlightened by the knowledge of the
church, becomes a society seeking the same end which the
church sought, and with the same knowledge, but with more
extensive means of attaining it, because its inherent sove-
reignty gives it a greater power over outward things. And
this was my meaning," says he, '* when I said that in a coun-
try where the nation and government are avowedly and
essentially Christian, the state or nation was virtually the
church."
Until such an ideal state of society becomes a reality, the
church must obviously be separate from the state in such a
sense that its interests are not the same, and it often has to
resist the state's injustice. But even when the state is per-
fectly Christian, will it follow, because the state is in perfect
harmony with the church, that therefore they are identically
one ? Or will it even follow that the state will then absorb or
supersede the church ? The notion of such unity seems to
be derived from Hooker, but to be put in a peculiarly
beautiful light by Arnold, and his bright ideal misleads
him.
The true statement is, that as every state has its own local
sphere, so it has its sphere of work and action, beyond which,
within its territory, it ought not to pass. So the church has
its sphere, while Christian society and the motives forming
character are universal. The instinctive sense of what is his
part will confine the perfect man within his own department,
and the same good sense will adjust the limits between state
and church action; but a perfect state of society would not
remove or obliterate the limits, for they are founded in the
nature of man as a creature under law and under religious
obligations.