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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

POLITICAL SCIENCE.
understanding would probably incline to the theory of a
plurality of establishments ; " on those it can only support a
Christian one. Can it support more than one, for instance a
number of competing forms of the Christian faith, which per-
haps do not acknowledge each other to be branches of the
true church? He thinks (ib., iii., 122) that " if there be
between any set of distinct religious communions not merely
a nominal but a substantial difference of doctrine—the idea
of union with more than one is fatally at variance with the
idea of personality and responsibility in the government as
the organ of the national life." And again, he says, "that
the practice of manifold or indiscriminate establishments
tends to throw public office more and more into the hands of
the unscpruulous and thus aggravate the disorder from which
it took its rise " (ib., 112),
Such is the general defence of a connection between the
state and some church, and among the competing claims, the
inducements are strongest in favor of " the one Catholic and
Apostolic church which providentially still holds and promises
to hold among us [in England] the double sanction of ordi-
nance human and divine " (chap, iii., 36).
The views of Mr. Gladstone in regard to the need of reli-
gion for the well-being of the state, to the duty of those who
are entrusted with its government to act on the highest reli-
gious principles, to the power of Christianity to supply those
principles, we readily accept; but it is still a question in what
way these great objects are to be secured. Might not all this
be true and yet state and church best promote their common
and separate interests on the plan of entire independence.
Suppose even a revelation from heaven to be made to a
statesman in a Christian land, enforcing the supreme impor-
tance of religion, and declaring that one particular church is
either the only scriptural or at least the best form, might not
the statesman want still further light as to the relations of
this church and the state. Might not a further revelation,
without inconsistency with the earlier ones, declare that there
must be no organic connection between the two powers; that