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inevitable play of his thought and affection surrounds himself with one. That religion is never a purely individual concern. It embraces all the interests of man, and reflects every form of social life to which an interest belongs. The success of the family, the welfare of the State are placed under its charge, and the family cultivate a family religion, and the nation a national religion with a view to those interests. In the earliest periods of civil society the superintendence of the national religion belongs to the civil power, for its functions embrace everything which affects the welfare of the State. If the State has been founded in conquest, the vanquished abandon their vanquished gods, and in submitting to the conqueror adopt his religion, which is blessed with victory. If the State has grown up in peace, the national religion has grown with it, and acquired such dignity from the interests over which it presides, that even when private worship is paid to special deities, this is subordinated to the national religion; so that in every case the sentiments of the nation acquiesce in the right of the ruler to maintain the authority of the national religion. Among the intellectual races in whom thought was busy from the first, the problems of nature presented such insuperable difficulty, when as yet no progress had been made in the analysis of natural causes, that the mind, distrustful of its own powers, depended on the teaching of collective wisdom and submitted to the authority of its organs. Those organs, especially in the tribes whose religious sentiment was strong, were the priests of the national religion, for in primitive times all the circumstances of life were hung in dependence on religion, and religion was the mistress of all thought and knowledge.
And thus the authority of the national priesthood conspired with the commanding dignity of the State religion to rule the faith of the nation.
Moreover, a national religious system was always felt to be so necessary for the maintenance and improvement of civil order, that it was recognised as one of the duties of the civil power to secure the influence of such a system throughout the nation. For religion was the nurse of civilization, using the word in its strict and only proper signification, to denote the manifold influences which flow from an orderly and developed civil system. Of these influences the highest and most beneficial are those acknowledged rights and duties, and those general principles of justice and morality, which arise in a well-ordered society. These moral sentiments and ideas tended in primitive times to ascend into the sphere of religion, and to become embodied in the moral characters of the gods; for men naturally attributed to these superintendents of human affairs the same principles of judgment which formed their own highest idea of government; and thus the great rules of civil and social life were transformed into ordinances of the divine will and invested with the tremendous authority of a divine law. The organs of that law were the priests of religion, and by them its principles were systematized and applied for the regulation and purification of society. Nor was this all. The priests of religion were also in · most nations the original leaders of all thought and knowledge. Theirs it was to read the divine character wherever it was revealed in nature or in providence, and to correct and enlarge the moral system which had sprung from their own social statë, by bringing it into harmony with the larger system of the divine government. The divine law which enforced these purified principles of political and social duty supplemented the civil law, and was not only expounded but administered by the priests. For in all those controversies whether of public or private rights which the law of the State did not reach, the only authority which commanded the respect of all parties was that of the gods, and the only judges whose decision would be accepted were the priests who interpreted their will. Thus it was they who elaborated the maxims of jurisprudence, and while maintaining the order of society and the principles of its present civilization, developed those principles and conducted the progress of society in accordance with them. True it is that owing to the overwhelming authority of what is regarded as divine, a priestly system is liable, when it has been elaborated, to become fixed and traditional; but in its early periods religion has ever cherished the precious germs of: civilization, and stimulated its development. Hence it is that it has everywhere in primitive times been under the charge and superintendence of the civil power, whose duty it has been to maintain its influence. If it were an exclusive religion, the civil power tolerated no other religion lest their gods might visit the nation with vengeance; and whether exclusive or not, it was so identified with civil order and progress, that the highest interests of the State required of the civil power, to whom those interests were confided, to secure for the people the universality and permanence of its ministrations, and for the priests liberty to develope and expound the divine law. The authority which the State religion possessed over the people diffused of itself the influence
of that religion among them; but moreover, in the guardianship of the national welfare, it fell within the proper functions of the civil power to maintain the influence of the national religion as the nation's highest good, which blessed it with the protection of the gods and with the fruits of civilization; and thus civil society in its earliest periods bore in its bosom religious establishments.
6. Christianity, on its introduction amongst the northern nations of Europe, strengthened the principles, which urged the civil power to superintend and direct the religion of the nation; for it was intensely exclusive, and it was essentially connected with the highest civilization of the time. The Christian rulers dared not to tolerate heathenism or heresy among their subjects, if they dreaded for themselves and their people the divine judgments which were wielded by the Church ; and if, as it was their duty to consult the best interests of their people, they wished to secure for them the humanizing influences of Christian unity and of the high civilization which the Christian character expressed, these elevating agencies of concord and order could only be brought to bear on the nation by the establishment of the Christian Church. This connection of Christianity with civilization, which identified its maintenance with national welfare, is involved in its essential nature as the great source of civil and social virtue; but it is important to inquire whether the intolerance of the Christian Church, by which its exclusive establishment was enforced with such tremendous sanctions, was peculiar to that time, and from what causes it arose. Christianity in its purest form is of an exclusive nature, -“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, he that believeth not shall be damned.” It is authoritative ; for it does not submit its claims and credentials to be judged by man as acknowledging a right in him to accept or to reject it, but denounces perdition on all who will not embrace it. These natural attributes of a revelation from God to man became exaggerated and hardened in the course of the progress of Christianity through the world. For the conflict of Christianity with the manifold errors which haunted mankind involved a succession of struggles between divine truth and human error, in each of which the very life and essence of Christianity were felt to be at stake, as being essentially a faith whose existence depended on its being preserved from the encroachments of error. An importance was thus attached to the va. rious questions that arose, which belonged to many of them only as tests of the efficiency of the Church in guarding Christian truth; but which led to an excessive elaboration of Christian dogmas as constituting the faith which was necessary to salvation. The nations, too, to whom the Gospel was preached were in a low state of intellectual culture, and were therefore naturally addressed in a tone of high authority; for it is to be observed that there is little toleration for the private opinions of those who have not the mental training or the knowledge which might qualify them to judge. The Church thus became continually more authoritative and more exclusive, as it received the submission of nation after nation, and added new definitions of doctrine to its faith..