The Middle Ages
( Originally Published 1912 )
THE mind that is accustomed to the contemplation of society's present form of political organization finds itself vexed by a study of the middle ages. We may say that now we deal in world politics with solids : Bosnia and Herzegovina may be severed from the Turkish Empire and become part of the Austrian, Tripolitania may be annexed to the Italian dominion, independent sovereignty may be ended in the Dutch republics of southern Africa to make them part of the British Empire, the Philippine Islands may be wrested from Spain and attached, more or less securely, to the American Union, but it is always a movement of pieces of things; it is like a breaking off and a sticking together of rigid sub-stances. Unlike it altogether are the political changes of the middle ages. States seemed fluid then, or so slightly solidified that with amazing frequency and facility they were liquefied and disintegrated. There was a lack of stability; there was no fixity of territorial lines; Europe showed a kaleidoscopic political face. It was a huge, grotesque, magic countenance with changeable features, like one of its characteristic gargoyles whose nose wouldn't stay where it be-longed. The Western emperor was not always of the same nationality, as had been for so long the case with the Romans and with the Greeks; sometimes he was a Frank, sometimes a German, sometimes an Italian, sometimes a Lombard duke. A king might be vassal to a lesser lord or an ecclesiastical dignitary with regard to some of his provinces, or, it might be, only some of his castles, while with regard to the rest of his domain he owed allegiance to none. Law is today dependent ultimately upon force, but in those days it was more frankly and intimately dependent. A ruler was less likely to ask himself, "Have I a legal right ?" than "Have I enough lances?" A vassal was more likely to ask, "May I safely rebel?" than "Must I legally obey?" Then further to obscure national lines came the crusades, the development of chivalry, the birth and growth of monastic military orders like the Templars and the Hospitallers, that spread a net-work of iron over all the nations of Christendom, exciting the fear and the jealousy of kings.
Yet underneath all this there was a uniform basis; throughout this strange society there was a universal influence, behind all this lawlessness there was law. The legal principle of the feudal constitution was that accountability was due to the source of power. It is the political legal principle to-day. The only difference is that the feudal lord never thought of the ultimate source, but only of the immediate source. If he held his fief from a duke, then it was to the duke he owed allegiance. If a pope bestowed a duchy on a Farnese, then were all the heirs and successors of that Farnese bound to render feudal service to the successors of that pope. If a king gave a province or a castle to a brave lance, then from that lance to that king, and from the successors of that lance to the successors of that king, was homage due. Nobody then thought of the people as the source of power—least of all the people themselves.
That was the principle of the political law of Europe in the middle ages, often violated but always recognized. Around that principle grew up a system of common law, and that system was animated and informed by the comprehensive influence of Christendom. Behind it was the coercive power of an unrecognized but potent public opinion which, united upon no other thing, was focalized upon the beneficial effect of a common religion. For this was the one thing that dignified the toiler of that age—his consciousness that he was a member of the church of God in common with all the toilers of all the Christian nations, and that between his helplessness and the absolute power of his lord that church interposed its moral code. It was the only institution in that day that opened its doors to him; every other path of advancement was barred to the lowly save that which led to St. Peter's chair, for peasant priests there were many and peasant popes were not infrequent. It was the only institution that made a place for the great mass; it was the visible and palpable embodiment of justice to a people who gave little thought to abstractions but hungered for material signs.
It is remarkable that in all the struggles between the church and the state in the middle ages, there is always something which concerns the rights of the common people. We can, for the present, leave to theologians the correctness of Boniface VIII's position in his long struggle with Philip the Fair of France, but we will note among the causes for complaint urged by the pope against the king was the de-basement of the coinage and the subsequent suffering of the common people. We read the long complaint of a German emperor against a pope with whom he was in conflict, and his reproach, "by the doing of which you have gained the applause of the vulgar." We see widows appealing to the church for justice against the rapacity of rulers; we see the abandoned and imprisoned wife of Philip Augustus appealing to the church against her royal husband; we see the wife of the imprisoned Richard of England urging the church to strike with the spiritual sword the faithless German emperor who had imprisoned her husband. Through-out Europe the confidence in the readiness of the church to defend the weak—who had no other defender then—was universal. And not only the peas-ant and the widow turned to the church in their distress : barons and princes and kings and emperors did likewise. Under the protection of St. Peter, the king about to embark on a crusade would leave his kingdom; against the ruthless power of a stronger neighbor a wronged duke would make complaint to the primate of the church. If two kings were at war and the arbitrament of the sword was unsatisfactory, the pope became the arbitrator, the justice of whose decree was assumed in advance.
The precedent of the coronation of Charlemagne as emperor of the West made it law that the pope should confirm the election of an emperor whose first duty was the protection of the church. The conferring of many of the estates of the church upon temporal rulers as fiefs of the church gave the pope by the law of the time a sovereignty that was political as well as spiritual over such estates. The voluntary assumption of feudal obligations by the rulers of other states made them, also, subject to the pope in a political way.
Meanwhile Christianity was working upon the moral constitution of the men who made up the world of the middle ages. It gave a noble tendency to the military enthusiasm of the day by teaching that gentleness was the obligation of the strong. It means something that then there came into English the title "gentle-man," applied, paradoxically, to those whose rude trade was war; every Romance language had an equivalent for that title. Knighthood received its sense of obligation from the church; at the altar of the Prince of Peace the youthful soldier prayed at the threshold of his career, clad in his robe of spotless white to symbolize the purity of his devotion; to the cause of Christ and his church he consecrated his virgin sword; to the succor of the weak and the defense of the widow and the orphan he pledged his lance by the oaths that the church prescribed. He must be brave and tender and truthful, he must keep his honor untarnished.
And these were the days of the torture-chamber ! These were the days of private and public wars innumerable! These were the days when human life was held cheap not only by those who sought to take it, but often by those who parted with it laughingly.
At first blush we find it strange that the crimes recorded could have been so common in the days when devotion was so intense, when there was so passionate an idealism in the world. But it is not so strange. If there was one characteristic of the age, it seems to me that it was the utter lack of self-restraint. The power of self-constraint was intense; men would dare and do anything for an ideal, but it was another matter to refrain from doing. We read of Henry II of England chewing his lips until his mouth was covered with a bloody froth in his rage against Thomas à Becket. Frederick Barbarossa beat his head against the wall when unable to execute his whim, and wished that he, like Saladin, had no pope to vex him. Philip the Fair of France was not satisfied with the death of his papal enemy, but must drag him back from the grave to have him tried on monstrous charges which dead lips could not deny.
Possibly the best illustration of that devotion which found outlet in violent expression, but could not endure self-repression, is the letter the landgrave Philip of Hesse wrote to Melanchthon and the leaders of German Protestantism whose sanction to a divorce from his wife he begged. He made no charges against the lady at all. It was not difficult for him to establish his devotion to the cause of the Reformation—had he not given the last proof on many a sanguinary battle-field of his willingness to die for it?—but to live in fidelity to his marriage vows for more than a week at a time, for religion or anything else whatsoever, was simply impossible, so, please, he wanted a divorce. And the Protestant landgrave is only one of several such examples which may be summoned from the ghostly halls of history. Many a gallant Christian leader in earlier days, when there was no Protestant cause, found it far more to his liking to fight for religion than to live according to her precepts. Nearly all the causes of quarrel between historical personages and the pope had this element. The Catholic Philip Augustus and the Protestant Henry VIII—if Henry can truly be called a Protestant—found most irksome the matrimonial regulations of that church which one so vigorously defended with his sword and the other with his pen. The valiant soldiers of the Cross who joyfully undertook the hardships of distant travel and the perils of war with a savage heathen foe, knelt in humility and devotion to receive the Substance of the Lord from the hands of the priest on the morning of battle, and then abandoned themselves to a blood-lust that spared nothing human.
It is a marvellous age, an amazing time ! We who live in the security of civilized life, who carefully protect ourselves from every evil against which science has devised a safeguard, whose faith is shallow and whose dread of death is deep, find it hard to understand the men of that age so long gone by. They were gay. The oppressed villein laughed in his miserable bare hut; the outlaw laughed in Sherwood Forest while his minstrel sang to him in humorous description of the gibbet on which he was likely to end his mortal days; the rude baron, in his stone halls, drank deep and laughed loud; the parish priest was cheery and merry. It was in those days that England was called "Merrie England." It was in those days that the troubadours laughed at everything in their gay irreverence, behind which there was perhaps a deeper reverence than we know.
They were brave. If, in their superstition, ghostly things had terrors for them, actual death had none. They endured physical pain with a wonderful spirit: how it makes the heart beat to recall the one hundred and thirty knights of the condemned Temple Order who went to the fire in splendid procession, each looking upon death in its most frightful aspect with calm, contemptuous eyes, professing, as the flames wrapped his body round, his simple faith in the church whose priest had condemned him, and protesting the innocence of his great order ! I sometimes think that it was more because of the heroic temper of the men of that age than because of their cruelty that the torture became a part of the judicial process. To-day simple death is sufficient to inspire fear in the mind of man; then something more terrifying than death had to be employed.
They were violently virtuous. Their penances were real; not the mere recitation of prayers, not the simple mental humiliation satisfied the penitent—an emperor of Germany stands for three bitter days in the snow at the gate of a church, shivering in the bit-ter blast, to gain the pardon of the offended priest of God. Thousands leave their castles and their fertile fields, their servants and their families, to go on foot, by roads infested with robber bands, through countries strange in speech and custom, and at last in creed, penniless and in poor garb, in order to gain the forgiveness of God.
But if violently virtuous, they are also violently evil —in all things they are violent. The rage of Sciarra Colonna drives his mailed fist at the triple-crowned head of the venerable vicar of Christ; the rude clutch of William de Nogaret plucks the primate of Christendom from the throne of Peter and hurls the aged but indomitable prelate, feeble in body because of his eighty-six years, but strong in mind and spirit still, among the hired banditti who did the will of Philip of France at Anagni.
What thought a ruler then of the rights of subjects? Who among the kings and dukes cared a snap of his fingers for abstract right and wrong where his passions were engaged? What was the state? Was it an organization for the public good? Who dreamed, in state affairs, of the public good? What were the political questions of the day? The amours of a king. The question of the marriage of his son or his daughter. The divorce of his wife. The support of his mistress. The assassination of his rival. The extortion of money from his people. The robbery of his neighbors. Adultery, murder, robbery—these were the political questions of the middle ages; these were the matters upon which monarchs claimed independence of the popes.
And what was the state? Was it not what Louis XIV declared it to be in his famous "L'Etat c'est moi"? Government was personal, national welfare meant the aggrandizement of the monarch, the feeding fat of his hunger for wealth and power and glory. The King of France called himself "France," and addressed his brother monarch as "England." When a German ruler said, "We are dealing with Aragon," what he meant, and what everybody knew he meant, was that he was dealing with Ferdinand. and. Rulers called themselves "we."
What would have been the result if these rulers, each intent upon his own satisfaction, had imposed always their own whims upon those subject to them? What would have fallen upon the world if the absolute freedom from responsibility they craved had been freely granted them? What if there had been nothing to oppose their selfish violence; no force in all Europe to say them nay? If you consider what they were and what they knew, how strong were their bodies, how fearless their spirit, how fierce their pride, how headlong and ruthless their violence, what picture does your mind reflect of a world left to their mercies?
Against this violence, this fierce and passionate self-assertion, stood the philosophy and the teaching of the church. Against the idea of the irresponsibility of kings stood the church doctrine of the accountability of all human creatures, kings and subjects, princes and peasants, for their moral conduct. Again and again the prelates of the church declared, when none else was so bold as to declare it, that he was no king who ruled unjustly and wickedly, but a tyrant. The passion of the day was war : the church preached peace among the Christian nations. The selfishness of power demanded slavery : the church preached that no Christian should be a chattel. The church set its ban upon trial by ordeal. It preached self-restraint, and its servants banded themselves into _societies where self-restraint might be practised as an example and an expiation. With a rigid moral code that was practical and precise in detail it checked the licentiousness of the age, and I use the word licentiousness in the most comprehensive sense.
In the collision of the two psychological forces, the savage and the civilized, the licentious and the lawful, occurred those things which have shocked historical precisians who fail to perceive the vast difference between writing a law and getting men to live by it. The church's moral power was backed by physical power. The very passionate objective expression of the age that made the control of temporal rulers difficult, furnished material weapons for the pope. If there was a de Nogaret, with a heart of fierce hate, to pull the pope down, there were thousands of proud warriors ready and eager with as fierce a devotion to exalt him. Colonna's mercenaries thrust the aged Boniface into prison; the armed peasantry stormed the prison walls to set him free. The savage Roman barons drove the pope from Rome, and the Norman warriors fiercely put the Romans to the sword in re-storing the pontiff to his seat.
Here on two sides, then, were there directing and compelling forces of the same nature bearing in upon the rebellious inclinations of temporal powers. The Christian peoples, including the lower as well as the upper orders, and even the kings themselves when their desires were not opposed and their selfish passions not engaged, made the law of the church their law. It had been so from the age of Theodosius, the moral precepts of the church had been written into the imperial statutes. More and more it became so in western Europe—naturally, necessarily. To whom did all these people of the West look for inspiration and moral law? Was it not the church? How could it have been possible for a generation so headlong in its devotion to form a system of laws that was not, in all that then seemed to them virtuous and just, based upon and in perfect harmony with the precepts of that institution that men—even those who fought it—believed to be of divine inspiration and divine authority? "Men then believed their form of faith," says John W. Draper, and no more bitter critic of the Roman Catholic Church ever wrote, "with the same clearness, the same intensity, with which they believed their own existence or the actual presence of things upon which they cast their eyes. The doctrines of the church were to them no mere inconsequential affair, but an absolute, an actual reality, a living and a fearful thing." And such men, so believing, were bound under the laws of human nature to make the civil rein-force the ecclesiastical law. So we find that not only infractions of the moral code, as it is to-day universally understood, but violations of the church law were prohibited by the civil statutes. The law of the empire as well as the law of the church made heresy a crime; the church punished it with the spiritual sword, the civil government with the stake and the gibbet. Rulers deemed it dangerous to the state that heresy should spread among the people: they left the determination of what was heresy to the theologians, but the punishment they took into their own hands. The only punishment the church ever inflicted on John Huss was spiritual : his doctrines were declared to be heretical, and he was stripped of his vestments and degraded from the priestly office. His execution, for a crime against the civil law, was the act of the emperor. These were the words in which the Council of Constance dismissed his case : "Since Holy Church has nothing more to perform in the case of John Huss, this Holy Synod of Constance decrees that he be delivered to the secular judgment and the secular power."
Professor Draper and many other historians have laid upon the shoulders of the church all the atrocities of the time, but historical research confirms what common sense would conclude, that an institution de-pending for general recognition of its divine character upon an ideal could not have been steeped in crimes that even that violent age abhorred. In such research, according to the editors of the Cambridge Modern History, "the honest student finds himself continually deserted, retarded, misled by the classics of historical literature, and has to hew his own way through multitudinous transaction periodicals and official publications in order to reach the truth." The same authorities state that "the long conspiracy against the revelation of the truth has gradually given way." I think they are wrong in assuming it to be a conspiracy. No doubt many a historian wrote atrocious falsehoods as facts, not because he conspired against the truth, but because he believed his falsehoods to be facts. He depended on what "everybody knows." My theory with regard to it is this: Throughout Europe, and especially among the common people, there was the same idea with regard to persons in official life that prevails among Americans today. Superstition was prevalent ; men believed in speaking heads, in witches, in a hundred other absurdities. Among the superstitious peoples, and particularly those of northern Europe, all sorts of stories passed current—stories of kings and knights and bishops and popes. The accusations that an emperor in his wrath would hurl at a pontiff sifted down to the peasantry in every exaggerated form and became a part of the inn-yard gossip in many a distant province. Often, changed marvellously in the telling, they persisted long after the emperor and the pontiff had forgotten them—indeed, long after emperor and pontiff had appeared at the bar of a Higher judge—and generation passed them on to generation. We have evidence in America of a Maine farmer who for nearly ninety years voted for Andrew Jackson for President.
All this tavern gossip, all the countryside scandals, the first preachers of the Reformation gathered together, adding it to the abuses acknowledged to exist in the organization of the church. The plots of Boccaccio's lewd jokes, the subject of the jongleur's irreverent ballads-these were seriously put forward as proven facts, and a not too inquisitive Protestant advocacy so accepted them. And so they came down to the Protestant writers of conventional history, and from them they came down to us. Draper, for instance, lays the blame of the sack of Constantinople by the crusaders on the church, although quoting Pope Innocent's indignant protest against the enormities of that pillage. The church is held up as responsible for the cruelties even of those Christian princes with whom she was constantly in trouble because of her refusal to remain silent in the face of their public offenses against the moral law. The soldiers she employed were often cruel: the soldiers of that excessive age were nearly always cruel. They liked to smite with the sword, and they found it comfortable to believe that they might smite without scruple when they smote an enemy of Christ. A bias in favor of our own frailties is not so rare in this age that we should not expect to find it in other ages. There are men to-day who can pray and prey at the same time; is it odd that such existed in the earlier generations? The false conscience is not peculiar to this day of the world. But it was no more encouraged by the Christian church, as far as the record runs, in the middle ages than it is to-day. But because soldiers were cruel, why should the church, whose constant preaching was in favor of mercy, be held responsible? Does common sense to-day hold responsible for the ferocious conduct alleged of the soldiers of the Italian king in Tripoli, the Pope of Rome, simply because the king is a Christian king and he has appealed to the old crusading sentiment of Europe by announcing his purpose of "planting the Cross in Tripoli"?
We have said that there were two forces of the same nature bearing in upon the law-making civil powers. One such force was public opinion. The people of that time willed it that the law of the church should be their law. Why did they so will it? Let Professor Draper answer—a prejudice in favor of the church will never be alleged of him. After indicting and convicting of every crime imaginable a long succession of the pontiffs, laying at their doors impurity, licentiousness, blood-guilt, simony, blasphemy, and atheism, he concludes a chapter on "The European Age of Faith" thus :
"But there is another, a very different aspect, under which we must regard this church. Enveloped as it was with the many evils of the time, the truly Christian principle which was at its basis perpetually vindicated its power, giving rise to numberless blessings in spite of the degradation and wickedness of man. As I have elsewhere remarked : `The civil law exerted an exterior power in human relations ; Christianity produced an interior and moral change. The idea of an ultimate accountability for personal deeds, of which the old Europeans had an indistinct perception, be-came intense and precise. The sentiment of universal charity was exemplified, not only in individual acts the remembrance of which soon passes away, but in the more permanent institution of establishments for the relief of affliction, the spread of knowledge, the propagation of truth. Of the great ecclesiastics, many had risen from the humblest ranks of society, and these men, true to their democratic instincts, were often found to be the inflexible supporters of right against might. Eventually coming to be the depositaries of the knowledge that then existed, they opposed intellect to brute force, in many instances successfully, and by example of the organization of the church, which was essentially republican, they showed how representative systems may be introduced into the state. Nor was it over communities and states that the church displayed her chief power. Never in the world before was there such a system. From her central seat at Rome, her all-seeing eye, like that of Providence itself, could equally take in a hemisphere at a glance or examine the private life of any individual.
Her boundless influences enveloped kings in their palaces and relieved the beggar at the monastery gate. In all Europe there was not a man too obscure, too in-significant, or too desolate for her. Surrounded by her solemnities, every one received his name at the altar; her bells chimed at his marriage, her knell tolled at his funeral. She extorted from him the secrets of his life at her confessionals, and punished his faults by her penances. In his hour of sickness and trouble her servants sought him out, teaching him by her exquisite litanies and prayers to place his reliance on God, or strengthening him for the trials of life by the example of the holy and the just. Her prayers had an efficacy to give repose to the souls of his dead. When, even to his friends, his lifeless body had become an offense, in the name of God she received it into her consecrated ground, and under her shadow he rested till the great reckoning-day. From little better than a slave she raised his wife to be his equal, and, forbid-ding him to have more than one, met her recompense for those noble deeds in a friend at every fireside. Discountenancing all impure love, she put around that fireside the children of one mother, and made that mother little less than sacred in their eyes. In ages of lawlessness and rapine, among people but a step above savages, she vindicated the inviolability of her precincts against the hand of power, and made her temples a refuge and a sanctuary for the despairing and oppressed. Truly, she was the shadow of a great rock in many a weary land!' "
We can readily see how in this age, when nations are sharply defined and their populations, nationally united, are denominationally divided in countless Christian and non-Christian religious and anti-religious organizations, it is utterly impracticable to make the laws of any one church the laws of a state. But in the time of which Draper speaks, and under the conditions he describes, can common sense conceive of any other possibility than the insistence of the people upon civil laws in consonance with the precise precepts of such an institution? Surely in a day when enlightened opinion is all on the side of the correctness of the democratic principle of government, it will not be held that the nations of Christendom had not then the right to demand such laws as they desired, nor in the face of the testimony of such fierce Protestants as Draper can it be said that their desire for the laws of the church was unwise. They say that the pragmatic philosophy, the philosophy that judges by results, is the philosophy of modern America. Judged by even that philosophy, was the impregnation of civil law with religious precept in the middle ages correct in principle? Again let Draper tell us. "Europe had made a vast step during its Age of Faith," he says in his Intellectual Development of Europe. "Sponta
neously, it had grown through its youth; and the Italians, who had furnished it with many of its ideas, had furnished it also with many of its forms of life. In that respect justice has still to be done them. When Rome broke away from her connections with Constantinople, a cloud of more than Cimmerian darkness overshadowed Europe. It was occupied by wandering savages. Six hundred years organized it into families, neighborhoods, cities. Those centuries found it full of bondmen; they left it without a slave. They found it a scene of violence, rapine, lust; they left it the abode of God-fearing men. Where there had been trackless forests there were innumerable steeples glittering in the sun; where there had been bloody chieftains, drinking out of their enemies' skulls, there were grave ecclesiasts fathoming the depths of free-will, predestination, election. Investing the clergy with a mysterious superiority, the Church asserted the equality of the laity, from the king to the beggar, be-fore God. It disregarded wealth and birth and opened a career for all."
Truly, the world to-day might well wish for a new Age of Faith !
The other force of which I have spoken was the international law of the day. The common consent of nations gave the pope a position among the princes such as the lovers of peace are now trying to establish for the Hague Tribunal. Kings made appeal to him, and the legality of his decree was universally recognized. In the light of this simple fact there is nothing astonishing in the bulls which are held up as proof of the hunger of the papacy for temporal power. To say, as historians have said, that the church divided the world between Spain and Portugal gives such an impression as that, surely; but how the impression fades in the mind when we examine the bulls themselves and the circumstances in which they were is-sued, when we know that the two kings of those two estates appealed to the pope, not for territory, but for an arbitration of certain counterclaims between them. Then these bulls appear to us as merely the judgment of an arbitrator called on to pass on the merits of a controversy, intended to prevent conflict between two great exploring powers over territories they might discover, and not over lands already occupied, the rights of whose princes are expressly asserted in the bull.
I have tried briefly to picture the age, its thought, its custom, its law. Judging it upon such facts as are readily accessible, upon the testimony of Protestant as well as Catholic historians, and in the light of ordinary common sense, it seems to me that church law was civil law because the people of the time wanted it so to be; that the political activities of the popes were due to their peculiar position in the world of that day, and to the wish of the rulers themselves; that voluntary devotion gave them material power as well as spiritual authority; and finally that the personal character of government made the acts of government for the most part the moral acts of individuals for which they as individuals were accountable to God, whose vicar they believed the Bishop of Rome to be. As I have said, the political acts of the time were very often just plain adultery, murder, and robbery, and surely such things come within the sphere of the spiritual authority. It may be true that in that violent hour, when kings dealt out rude blows with the mailed fist to the very person of the pontiff, and thousands of swords were ready to write that pontiff's decrees in letters of blood upon the domain of his enemy, the ecclesiastical may have at times infringed upon the domain of the civil power. But if the pope over-stepped the limit, the secular ruler overstrode it; the whole history of the time seems an effort on the part of sovereigns to subject religion to their interests, to make it international in its influence with respect to their neighbors, but strictly national with respect to dependence upon and control by themselves. What is all the battle about investitures? Is it not the struggle of the church to free itself from the enforced nomination of its episcopal dignitaries by the kings and emperors? In these days and in this country we well know the meaning of patronage. The word itself comes from those times and those countries: the kings made the episcopal offices of the church the patronage of the crown. The effect of their policy, which the church always resisted, was to make the bishops less priests than princes, less servants of the church than ministers of the king. What was the object of Philip the Fair? Was it not to make a church universal in its influence, but French in its inspiration and allegiance; to turn to his own earthly account the powers that should be exercised, as they had been delegated, only for the kingdom of God?
The hour has long gone by. The world is not the same world; the state is not now, nor can it ever again be, in its political significance, some single soul using a nation as his footstool. We have looked back to that time when we are given to believe there was a pernicious union of church and state. We haven't found what there was pernicious ; nay, more, we haven't found any state. None, surely, that corresponds to the meaning state has to us in this generation.
Will there ever be such an hour again? Will that knighthood ever again ride in iron harness the lonely marches, from castle to castle, from walled town to walled town? When it does, and when among the nations of the earth, or in any one of them, there is the uniformity of religious belief that then bound Christendom in a common faith, instead of the diversity that now sunders it into countless creeds, perhaps those who dread a union of church and state may have a cause for such dread. But not until then.