(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

5/2                             POLITICAL SCIENCE.
in that of the claims of a new church, or in that of the decay
of religious belief and the spread of scepticism.
Every vigorous and earnest society contains a large number
of persons who value their religious convictions above all
other things, and are prepared to resist any change or intru-
sion of novel religious faith or worship. In states where
there is no liberty of worship the new faith or church encoun-
ters great resistance, and this continues until opinion is pre-
pared to yield toleration at least to the new opinions and the
new worship. Generally the resistance will be made, in coun-
tries professing some form of Christian faith, by laws affecting
the status of individuals according to their outward worship,
as by test acts and subscriptions to religious formulas. When
opinion so far yields that a real religious freedom is permitted,
the state will have brought into the spirit of allegiance many
who were wavering or disaffected before, and the sense of
justice will no longer be violated by disqualifications of citi-
zens on most unreasonable grounds. Or it may happen that
a state passes over from one form of church order to another,
holding all the while that an establishment of some sort is
necessary. In this state of things the adherents of the old
church, allying themselves with external enemies, may bring
a state into extreme weakness or peril. When the equality
of all religions before the law is admitted, there is then no
room for change ; but religion, while it may have all its old
sway over individuals, is a cause aside from national affairs in
this sense, that it may leaven everything with its principles
and ways of judgment, and yet act only through personal
life and feeling.
The decay of religious faith is a cause that deeply affects
national life. If it disappeared entirely, so that there was no
recognition of providence or of the divine existence, we
believe that the great bulwarks of civil morality and order
would be destroyed. This is in fact true even of the decay
of any heathen religion with nothing to supply its place.
But, firmly believing that the principles of Christianity re-
ceived into the soul cannot fail to bring it into harmony and