1. PROBABLY there never was a time in the history of this country, when the connection between the Church and the State was threatened from quarters so manifold and various as at present. The infidel, with sagacious instinct, follows out all that tends to the general diminution of religious influences; and, tolerant of the union in those periods of ease and slumber when separation might at least have had the effect of awakening the Church to her duties, exclaims against it at a time when its spiritual purposes and obligations begin to be more truly appreciated. The Romanist (with some exceptions), in order to erect his own structure of faith and discipline, now seems to aim first at the demolition of every other, and to deem us so involved in fatal error, that we must pass through the zero of national infidelity in order to arrive at truth. Some of the professors of political economy, who assign to the undigested materials of a future science prerogatives far more exalted and exclusive than it will be entitled to claim in its maturity, regard this ancient connection as a visionary theory, only and mischievously known by its tendency, when obtruded into practice, to interfere with what they hold to be preeminently the substantial interests of mankind; the democrat, who, by the very law of his condition, naturally desires to strip government of all its highest duties, and leave to it the performance of no more than mechanical functions: of all these it was perhaps, on the whole, to be expected that they should unite, upon any seemingly favourable occasion, to press towards their common object; and they have so united. [See, for example, the preface to the 'Principles of Political Economy,' by Mr. Poulett Scrope, M.P.] 2. But some others of a different stamp are beginning to view the connection of Church and State with an eye of indifference, or even of suspicion. [British Magazine, April, 1836, p. 363.] These are men dutiful to the State, but more affectionately and intimately cleaving to the Church; men who, though unwilling to regard the two as in any sense having opposite interests, are nevertheless wearied, perhaps exasperated, at the injustice which has been done of late years, or rather during recent generations, by the temporal to the spiritual body. I do not mean that there has been any absolute or conscious alienation of sentiment; but only (and it is enough) that, through the secular or carnal principle working in every one of us, the State has too generally perverted and abused the institutions of the Church by unworthy patronage, has crippled or suppressed even her lawful powers, and, lastly, when those same misdeeds have raised an energetic though partial sentiment of disfavour against its ally, has evinced an inclination to make a separate peace, and surrender her to the will of her adversaries. Such being the case, we can hardly wonder, though we may lament it, that a very few of the attached members of the Church are growing cool in their approbation of the connection, possibly not without the influence of a nascent and unconscious resentment; and, while they seem at least to waver upon the question, there are others far more numerous who, although they are themselves unshaken in their attachment to the principle, yet defend it upon grounds untenable for their purpose, and better fitted to be occupied as positions against them.
3. Yet the mass of the people remains firm in its adhesion to the ancient principles of the Constitution and the Church. It appears still to be their belief that the connection of Church and State, rescued on the one hand from the Papal, and on the other from the Erastian, exaggeration of the relation of either power to the other, is conformable to the will of God, essential to the permanent well-being of a community, implied and necessitated by every right idea of civil government, and calculated to extend and establish the vital influences of Christianity, and therewith to increase and purify the mass of individual happiness. And as the circumstances of the day demand that the holders of that belief should now be busy and strenuous in its defence, so also, if their agency is to be effective, permanent, and conscientious, must they be earnest and patient in its examination.
4. The point of view from which it is now proposed to contemplate and discuss the question, is that which men occupy as members of a State; and the aim is to show, that the highest duty and highest interest of a body politic alike tend to place it in close relations of co-operation with the Church of Christ. It is from this position that I propose to regard it; first, because the combatant in defensive warfare naturally resorts epi to kamnon, to the quarter which is threatened and in danger; because the Church is not likely to be the moving party in measures for the dissolution of this connection, while the State has, it is too certain, given signs, though I believe unconsciously, of that inclination; and therefore it is the mind of the State, not of the Church, which requires to be more fully exercised upon this subject, in order to the better knowledge and fulfilment of its duty.
5. But besides the fact that we are more ignorant of our duty as citizens than as churchmen, in respect of the connection, we shall find another reason for instituting the investigation in the former capacity rather than the latter. The union is to the Church of secondary though great importance. Her foundations are on the holy hills. Her charter is legibly divine. She, if she should be excluded from the precinct of government, may still fulfil all her functions, and carry them out to perfection. Her condition would be anything rather than pitiable, should she once more occupy the position which she held before the reign of Constantine. But the State, in rejecting her, would actively violate its most solemn duty, and would, if the theory of the connection be sound, entail upon itself a curse. We know of no effectual preservative principle except religion; nor of any permanent, secure, and authenticated religion but in the Church. The State, then, if she allows false opinions to overrun and bewilder her, and, under their influence, separates from the Church, will be guilty of an obstinate refusal of truth and light, which is the heaviest sin of man. It is, accordingly, of more importance to our interests as a nation, that we should sift this matter to the bottom, than to our interests as a Church. Besides all which, it may be shown that the principles, upon which alone the connection can be disavowed, tend intrinsically and directly to disorganisation, inasmuch as they place government itself upon a false foundation.
6. These are the main reasons for handling the question in that sense which most applies to individual Christians, anxious to be informed how they may best discharge their duties in respect of this connection, as members of the State: while, at the same time, we shall find ourselves led by the proposed inquiry to exactly the same conclusion, as if, setting out from an opposite quarter, we were called upon to assist in directing the operations of the Church, with reference to the best means of extending its utility. There is a substantial conformity between our several duties, though not always an apparent one. The only question is, respecting the order of the processes by which they are demonstrated.
7. Further, the argument which follows is not specifically addressed to infidels; hardly, indeed, to persons in a state of systematic separation from our national Church; nor, on the other hand, to such as have deliberately considered all its conditions, and their own obligations as its members; but to those, who form the mass of the educated community, and whose minds have imbibed a general belief of the lawfulness and duty of the public support of religion, yet without any clear and reasoned conclusions either upon the grounds or the limits of that duty. I presume, therefore, on but a very small portion of favourable predispositions in the mind of the reader, while I shall hope to show him, that a sincere believer in no more than the general principle of Theism will, upon looking attentively at the nature and necessities of the State, and its capabilities in respect of religion, be led on, by regular and progressive inferences, to the full adoption of the principle which demands the continued union of the Church with the constitution of the country.
8. Our principal inquiry, however, is into the grounds and reasons of the alliance, not into its terms. The precise arrangements, by which the respective rights of the contracting parties are to be preserved, are matter of very great importance, but they are entirely distinct from the preliminary question, whether they ought to be contracting parties at all; and perhaps we shall scarcely have reached the time for discussing the first with advantage, until our policy and the tone of public opinion shall have shown, beyond all doubt, that the latter is set at rest. There are indeed, points of contact between the two subjects, but they are incidental; and it is enough here to indicate that which is the specific object of these pages, and which constitutes an object of adequate magnitude when taken alone: while the other, it is true, is not less important than neglected. Milton wrote to Sir Harry Vane the younger,
besides, to know-
Both spiritual power and civil, what each means,
What severs each, thou hast learnt, which few have done:
and the praise which was rarely due in his days ought, I fear, to be still more rarely given in our own. For then was the time of Selden and of Falkland; the time when the polished society that met in the mansion of the latter, not far from Oxford, spent its hours in the pursuit of truth, or, according to Lord Clarendon, in a perpetual convivium philosophicum, or convivium theologicum.' [Clarendon, Life, i. 47.]
9. But the phraseology which it has been usual to employ may suggest another question--how far are we to consider the alliance of Church and State as an historical compact? I cannot but think that the representation of the relation between sovereign and subject was unworthily and unfortunately, as well as inaccurately, handled, when it was exhibited as dependent upon the fiction of an original compact. This is both a rude and a feeble manner of representing duties to which no date can be assigned, and it much more than loses in truth and in impressiveness what it may gain in clearness and facility. It was doubtless intended to strengthen the sense of personal obligation; but it produced a very opposite result, because it seemed to found on option, and on a computation of results, what is indeed more deeply based in the original constitution of our nature. The same objections will apply in a more limited degree to the application of a similar phraseology to the connection between the Church and the State. There is this difference between the two. In the case of civil society, the relation has in general been practically recognised and its duties fulfilled long before any notion of a compact in specific terms has been entertained; and the only pretext for such language as that of Locke is found in the fact, that it may have been necessary in the course of time to define and modify the general relation by verbal conditions. In the case of State religion, we should probably find it impossible, for the most part, to define its historical commencement; but we can usually mark the period when the powers of this world, in their respective spheres, began to own submission to Christ, so that the contract or alliance has here a substantial basis in history. But that basis has not usually been one of deliberate forethought, of prudential calculation, or of scientific accuracy.
10. In our own country, for example, we may say with justice that the alliance of Church and State was formed between Ethelbert and Augustine in the sixth century. But what was done was probably little more than a trustful obedience to the simple impressions of conscience. The relation thus historically, but indeterminately, established, was developed and embodied in forms of greater precision at different periods of our history--as, for example, in the reigns of Henry II., of Edward III., of Henry VIII. and his successors down to Charles II. The peculiar arrangements, or a portion of them, by which effect is given to the principle, may, without violation of truth, be referred to positive stipulation. But the principle itself is an obligation antecedent to all verbal and determinate expression; and it is acknowledged by, not founded on, the assent of the contracting parties. By the "compact" between Church and State and its conditions, we may properly express the particular forms and acts, in which the objective truth of the relation has taken practical effect; only let not the superstructure be mistaken for the foundation.
11. It does not appear that our literature is well supplied with works which would meet the necessity above described, and furnish men with sufficient principles (axiomata summa) upon the fundamental conditions of the union between the Church and the State. Hooker looked at the question under influences derived from the general controversy with the Puritans, and he is much more ample and satisfactory on the terms than on the grounds of the connection. Bishop Warburton has written upon it with much acuteness and ability, but in the dry and technical manner of a man who lived in times when there was no strong pressure in one direction requiring to be warmly and feelingly met from another. The splendid representation delineated by Burke can stand in need, I should admit, of nothing but to be reduced to method and expanded into detail. The extreme beauty of the sketch in its present form may intercept the attention of a reader, and prevent his being adequately impressed with its philosophic soundness; but it seems to imply, even where it does not express, the whole truth of the subject. The work of Paley on Moral and Political Philosophy is a storehouse of anything rather than sound principles, although there are many parts of its details which may be useful in affording direct instruction; as, for example, his account of the formation of governments. Coleridge has dealt admirably with the question in his 'Idea of Church and State;' but his conception demands from his readers a greater share of the power and habits of abstraction than we can expect to find beyond the limits of a very small class; and it does not, I think, contain all the elements of the subject, though it precludes none. Dr. Chalmers has handled some points connected with this inquiry in a manner the most felicitous; but, in other parts of his recently published lectures, he has laid down positions that are not less seriously detrimental to our cause. None of these writers, who have handled their subject in form, regarded it precisely in the aspect most requisite and available for present circumstances: namely, that which shows that governments are, by "dutiful necessity," cognisant of religious truth and falsehood, and bound to the maintenance and propagation of the former. Some time, however, will be well spent in succinctly regarding the respective theories of the above-mentioned authors.
12. If the 6th, 7th, and 8th books of the 'Ecclesiastical Polity' are to be taken as representing the opinions of Hooker, at least they cannot be said to do so with the accuracy, nor consequently with the degree of authority, which belongs to the earlier and larger portion of the work. In the 8th book, however, he teaches, that the same persons compose the Church and the commonwealth of England, universally; that the same subject f is therefore intended under the respective names of Church and Commonwealth; and it is thus variously named only in respect of accidents, or properties and actions, which are different. His opponents contended for a personal separation, which precluded the same man from bearing sway in both; he for a natural one, which did not forbid such a union of authorities. "The Church and the Commonwealth are in this case, therefore, personally one society, which society" is "termed a Commonwealth, as it liveth under whatsoever form of secular law and regiment--a Church, as it hath the spiritual law of Jesus Christ." [Compare the theory of Marheineke, stated and criticised in Stahl's Kirchenverfassung der Protestanten, iii. 2, p. 125.] Banishment, however, casts out of the Church; but excommunication does not cast out of the Commonwealth.
13. In this society, considered as a church, the king is "the highest uncommanded commander." He holds his entire office under the law, and by the willing consent and subjection of the people, though still by divine right, even while at man's discretion. His chief ecclesiastical powers are, the title of headship; the right of calling and dissolving the greater assemblies; that of assent to all church orders, which are to have the force of law; the advancement of prelates; the highest judicial authority; and in general an exemption from the ordinary church censures to which others are liable, at least from excommunication: but the question of this last he declines to determine. The conveyance of power is not to each sovereign in succession, but to one originally, from whom the rest inherit; and the body cannot help itself, but with consent of the head, while there is one. The king's judicial power is subject to church law; and it is the head of all, simply because not confined to a district, but legally reaching to all. Regal power is not naturally limited to the good of men's bodies. Kings have "authority over the church, if not collectively, yet divisively understood; that is, over each particular person in that church where they are kings." He does not contend for the particular title of head to be applied to the sovereign, if that be offensive. The subject in which this power is to reside need not be one personally. The commonwealth, when the people are Christians, being ipso facto the church, the clergy alone ought not to have the power of making laws "Quod omnes tangit, ab omnibus tractari et approbari debet." And historically the fact is, that canons of the clergy in their synods have generally taken no effect as laws without the approbation of governors; not even those of the council of Trent in Romish kingdoms. Until that approbation, they are but the opinions of wise men on the subject-matter. The parliament, by 1 and 2 Phil, and Mar. c. 8, ratified by enactment the cardinal-legate's dispensation, to give it the force of law. The king's power of assent is a power derived to him from the whole body of the realm. Secular courts here regulate secular causes, spiritual courts spiritual causes. The religious duty of kings was "the weightiest part of their sovereignty," even while heathens. Do they then lose it, he asks, by embracing Christianity?
14. I have now extracted matter enough to show the general doctrine of the Eighth Book of the Ecclesiastical Polity on the relations between Church and State. And thus much at least is clear: there can be no doubt that it teaches, or rather involves, as a basis and pre-condition of all its particular arguments, the great doctrine that the state is a person, having a conscience, cognisant of matter of religion, and bound by all constitutional and natural means to advance it. It is impossible not to recognise throughout the book a texture of thought such as pre-eminently distinguished the great man whose name it bears. And yet, on the other hand, it contains some statements which lead us to rejoice that he is not responsible for it as it stands in its particular details, and that it does not carry with it the weight of his plenary authority; the authority of that noble and sanctified intellect, to which Pope Clement VIII., according to Walton, paid so just and eloquent a tribute. [Walton's Lives, p. 228.] "There is no learning that this man hath not searched into, nothing too hard for his understanding. This man indeed deserves the name of an author: his books will get reverence by age, for there is in them such seeds of eternity, that, if the rest be like this (the first), they shall last till the last fire shall consume all learning." The perfect copies of the three last books were unhappily lost after his death: the rough draughts were given to Dr. Spencer, his friend, and made up by him according to the best of his ability; and he writes of them in very strong terms, that there were left "nothing but the old, imperfect, mangled draughts, dismembered into pieces: no favour, no grace, not the shadow of themselves remaining in them." [Walton's Lives. App. to Hooker, p. 25.] And again, "the learned will find in them some shadows and resemblances of their father's face."
15. Although the book speaks of the natural separation of the two societies, and so lays a ground for clear reasoning upon their mutual relations, yet in other places it seems to lose sight of the distinction between a society and the mere total of the individuals who may belong to it; and to assume that the people of England composed one society which bore two different names, rather than two societies accidentally co-extensive as to the persons they comprised. ["I must be bold enough to say, that I do not think that even Hooker puts the idea of a Church on the true foundation."--Coleridge. Table Talk, i. 241.] And even this we know was not in strictness true. There were, even under Elizabeth, known members of the state who were not members of the church. Some confusion appears to arise from the want of a clearer line. For example, it is said that canons, although of ecumenical councils, are only the preliminary opinions of wise men upon the subject-matter until they have received the royal assent. Now we may grant that they want the concurrence of the state in order to take effect as a part of the law of the land; but who will doubt that they have some validity in foro conscientiæ, affecting the members of the church, independently of any civil approbation whatever? Another most important question is raised respecting the derivation of power from the body at large. This maxim fell in with Hooker's purpose, because he was thus enabled to limit the ecclesiastical headship, and show it to be secondary to the body, though superior to individuals. It was quite worth his while to yield something of the general prerogatives of the crown in civil matters, especially at a period when they were so much overstrained, in order at the same time to reduce within moderate limits its ecclesiastical pretensions. Indeed, but for this doctrine, the theory in general would have been as hazardous to the constitution and existence of the church, as it certainly was to the civil liberties of the subject. We need not here examine into the accuracy of the position, as it is not within our scope. It is enough to say, that it fully sustains the principle of union between Church and State, so long as the body which he contemplates is composed mainly of members of the Church, and its conscience, representing the result of the general belief of the people yields homage to her doctrines.
16. Bishop Warburton, in the 'Alliance of Church and State,' taught that civil society, being defective in the controul of motives and in the sanction of reward, had in all ages called in the aid of religion to supply the want. The State contemplates for its end the body and its interests; has for its means, coercion; for its general subject-matter, utility. The Church is a religious society, of distinct origin; having for its end the salvation of souls; for its subject-matter, truth; for its instrument, persuasion; regulating motives as well as acts; and promising .eternal reward. Though separate, these societies would not interfere, because they have different provinces; but, the State having needs as above stated, and the Church requiring protection against violence, they had each reasons sufficient to induce a voluntary and free convention.
[See Postscript to the fourth edition (Works, vol. vii. p. 320), where a partial summary is given. There is a much nobler and purer statement of the inadequacy of the State, taken alone, to fulfil its purposes, in No. IX. of Letters to a Member of the Society of Friends, pp. 50-52, by the Rev. F. Maurice, chaplain of Guy's Hospital, and professor of English literature and history in King's College, London. See also the same author's Lectures on National Education.]
17. Accordingly, the societies united; not indeed under any formal engagement with all the stipulated conditions, but like sovereign and people in the original contract. That is, the theory of the alliance accurately represents the true idea according to which they ought to unite. And this idea was actually realised by the then existing state of things in England; where an established church and a free toleration were made perfectly to agree by the medium of a test-law, without which, either dissenters will obtain political power and destroy the church; or, in the other extreme, the church will persecute dissenters. And the conditions of the union are, that the church receives a free maintenance for the clergy; a share, for her security, in the legislative body; and a co-active power to be used in her spiritual courts for a purpose which is also a state purpose,--namely, the correction of certain forms of vice. In return for which, she surrenders to the state her original independence, and subjects all her laws and movements to the necessity of the state's previous approval. If there be more than one such religious society or church, the state is to contract with the largest; to which will naturally belong the greatest share of political influence. [Unfortunately our language does not supply a term by which to distinguish an important secondary signification of the word independence (selbstandigkeit) from its etymological sense (unabhängigkeit). In the first of these it means independent being, self-sustained and un-derived existence; in the second, independent or uncontrolled operation. It is evidently in the latter sense that Bishop Warburton uses the term. I cannot but think that this indistinctness has had an unfortunate effect in clouding the popular notions and in exasperating controversy.]
18. Of the great moral defects of this theory, one is that indicated by the concluding sentence. The state is to contract with the largest religious society. The adoption of a national church is then with it matter of calculation, and not of conscience. The state in this view has no conscience. It is not contemplated in the bishop's work as a moral person, having responsibility before God, nor as an aggregation of individuals, each having personal responsibilities, and bound in all things according to their capability to serve God, His church, His truth: therefore under obligation to regard that service as in itself an end of positive value, independently of the resulting benefits to society. In addition to this fatal deficiency, the view of the state, as to its aims, is wholly unsatisfactory. It is represented as restricted absolutely to temporal, nay to material, ends; and is consequently stripped of all its nobler attributes. It is probable, indeed, that the writer, agreeably to the tone of his mind, thus curtailed its functions, rather in order to give clearness to his demarcating line between the church and the state, and precision to the conception of the alliance, than with the view of advancing a proposition philosophically true. But it is a very low theory of government which teaches, that it has only the care of the body and bodily goods; and might almost seem to imply, that all physicians are more peculiarly statesmen. There was far more truth in the eu zen of Aristotle; under which we may consider that the state, bound to promote more generally the good of man, finds the church ready made to its hand, as the appointed instrument for advancing that department of human well-being which is spiritual, and contracts with it accordingly. [Arist. Pol. iii. 5.]
19. The greatest intellectual defect appears to be (besides its inadequate measure of the comparative social power of religious communities) the absolute and rigid form of its propositions in indeterminate subject-matter. The writer argues for his scheme of the support of an establishment, with full toleration of dissent and the maintenance of an exclusive test, as though it were the single and mathematically necessary result of all general arguments from the nature of the state and of the church; whereas his is, in fact, only one particular mode of constructing the social equation, adapted perhaps to one particular stage of the progression of religious freedom, but not distinguished by any inherent properties of truth from other modes which may be equally suitable to the preceding or the following stages. The basis therefore of the work is narrow, and its applicability and use proportionably restricted.
20. And there does appear to be something reasonable in the objection which was urged by Paley against the representation of the alliance in the light of a fact, on the ground that it is a fiction. [Mor. Phil., book vi. ch. iii.] But, says Warburton, it is no more a fiction than the celebrated original compact. Nor is it: but both are fictitious: and Bolingbroke also censures the teachers of the original compact for having represented men as if they had at some time anterior to civil society been independent, when it is notoriously untrue; and this untruth is made the basis of other and greater untruths concerning the derivation of power from the people, and the consequent denial of a divine authority in government. In fact, Warburton appears to have adopted the views of Locke, and to have copied his representation of the alliance from the original compact, not himself objecting to the use that has been made of that arbitrary mode of stating the case, but, on the contrary, considering any derivation of political from patriarchal rule as an absurdity.
21. Dr. Paley has supplied us with a view of religious establishments, distinguished by his own great and highly characteristic merits, but likewise impaired by the original vice of his false ethical principles, and by the total absence of any substantive conception of the visible church. [Moral and Political Philosophy, book vi. ch. x.] According to this author, the rights, offices, order, family, and succession of the priesthood, were parts of the Jewish religion, as well as the means of transmitting it. But no form of outward institution enters into the composition of Christianity. "The authority, therefore, of a church establishment is founded upon its utility:" and the end is "the preservation and communication of religious knowledge." Regard to political ends has only served to deteriorate the church wherever it has been allowed. Three things, accordingly, are requisite:--
1. A clergy, or order of men set apart for religion.
2. A legal provision for their maintenance.
3. The restriction of that provision to the ministers of a particular sect.
22. He contends for the necessity of a clergy "to perpetuate the evidences of Revelation, and to interpret the obscurity of those ancient writings in which the religion is contained;" and to conduct public worship with decency. From these peculiar occupations he deduces the necessity of a separate maintenance. Voluntary contribution would yield but an insufficient supply, and would lower the tone of instruction. As to the third condition, the form of religion ought to be such as to comprehend all existing differences of opinion; but if the prevailing opinions be "not only so various, but so contradictory," as to render their junction impossible; then, where patronage is allowed, and one set of people appoint the teachers whom another set are to hear, there must be a test--the simplest possible--to secure some unity of proceeding. Such test, therefore, "may be considered merely as a restriction upon the exercise of private patronage." Again, if the parishioners chose their ministers without a test, intolerable discords would arise. The recognition of all sects appears scarcely compatible with that which is the "first requisite in a national establishment--'the division of the country into parishes of a commodious extent." One sect, therefore, should be preferred. But tests ensnare consciences, often come to "contradict the actual opinions of the church, whose doctrines they profess to contain," and proscribe tenets long after they have ceased to be dangerous. Any form of Christianity is better than none, as all tend to good. This justifies the magistrate's interference; which therefore carries no violation of religious liberty while he is only "providing means of public instruction." But where his faith differs from that of the majority, he should establish the latter, as the chances of truth are equal. Toleration promotes truth; but exclusion may perhaps be defended where disaffection happens to be connected with certain religious distinctions. Generally there is no reason why these should prevent men from discharging civil functions together, more than differences of opinion on questions of "natural philosophy, history, or ethics."
23. The views here given of the office of the clergy, of the visible church, of creeds, of the method of weighing different forms of Christianity, and of the irrelevancy of religious distinctions to the discharge of civil duties, are full of the seeds of evil. The truths which the author seems to have perceived with clearness were, the national benefits of a recognition of religion; the futility of the allegation that the civil magistrate is not competent to its advancement, or not justified in "providing means" for that end; the compatibility of an establishment for religion with religious liberty; the need of a provision for preserving as well as diffusing the truth; and the tendency of the voluntary method of support to deteriorate the quality of pastoral instruction.
24. Mr. Burke, among the varied treasures of his Thoughts on the French Revolution, has given us, not indeed a theory, but much more, such a living picture as might rival 4he fabled works of Daedalus, of the principle of national religion. According to him, the state is "a partnership in all science, a partnership in all art, a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection." The bond of each particular state is but one link in the great primeval chain which holds all physical and all moral natures each in its appointed place. All things, says he, should be done in their proper relations, and the acts of the state must fulfil the duties of that relation which, from the scope and nature of its organisation, it bears to God. Hence the English nation "think themselves bound, not only as individuals in the sanctuary of the heart, or as congregated in that personal capacity, to renew the memory of their high origin and cast; but also in their corporate character to perform their national homage to the institutor, and author, and protector of civil society." He that willed our nature to be perfected by virtue, willed the state as a condition of that perfection, and connected it with the source and archetype of all perfection. To impress governors with a strong and awful idea that they act in trust;f to strengthen and complete the insufficient control of shame; J to give fixity to the national institutions by environing them with the associations of reverence; to provide for the preaching of the gospel to the poor;§ and to counterbalance the temptations as well as to minister to the human misfortunes of the rich, the people of England will have their church "mixed throughout the whole mass of life:" they do not regard it as a thing heterogeneous, accidental, or added for accommodation. " Church and state are ideas inseparable in their minds, and scarcely is the one ever mentioned without mentioning the other."
25. The argument of Mr. Coleridge " on the Constitution of the Church and State according to the Idea of each" is alike beautiful and profound. He shows, from an analysis of the parts of the body politic, that, in order to its well-being, there must necessarily enter into its composition an estate, whose office it shall be to supply those governing and harmonising qualities of character, without which the remaining elements cannot advantageously cohere. [Compare Mr. Emerson's Dartmouth College Oration, p. 26. Boston, U. S., 1838. Church and State, p. 42. A masterly analysis of this work will be found prefixed to the small volume in which it has recently been re-published, together with the Lay Sermons, by Mr. H. N. Coleridge.] His first estate is that of the landowners, or possessors of fixed property, barons and franklins--providing for the permanency of the nation. His second, that of the merchants, manufacturers, artisans, "the distributive class," whose especial office it is to secure the progressiveness of the nation, and personal freedom, its condition. In the king, again, " the cohesion by interdependence and the unity of the country were established." But these, viewed alone, are as it were but the material means for attaining their several ends.
26. There must be a soul, underlying and animating them all, a cultivation of the inward man, which is the root, the corrective, and the safeguard of civilisation. The nourishment of this paramount ingredient of national life constitutes the function of a third great estate: living on reserved property for more free devotion to its duties, and divided into two classes; a smaller number dwelling at the fountain-heads of knowledge, guarding the treasures already acquired, opening new shafts and mines, and dispensing their acquisitions to their brethren; the second division of this estate, a far larger number distributed throughout the country, supplying for every spot a resident guide and teacher; and thus connecting each part of time and each part of the nation with the rest respectively. Such is the natural "clerisy" of a State. ["Che di su prendono, e di sotto fanno."--Dante, Paradiso, ii. 123.] Upon such a theory, drawn according to human principles, supervenes what Mr. Coleridge has felicitously termed the (in reference to this theory) "happy accident" of the Christian Church, "the sustaining, correcting, befriending opposite of the world, the compensating counterforce to the inherent and inevitable defects of the State as a State;" not primarily to any particular State, inasmuch as the whole world is her inheritance, but yet with applicability, by subdivision into branches, to each particular State. [Church and State, p. 133.]
27. The ministers of a national Church are, according to Mr. Coleridge, created by the nation "trustees of a reserved national fund." We should, however, notice that, whatever may be the case in Scotland, in England that which the Church enjoys was not set apart by national appropriation as a provision for improvement, or for an establishment indefinitely; but was conferred upon herself as an actual institution, given to the object indeed of national cultivation, yet exclusively in that its highest form, in which it depends upon her. A recent writer avails himself of Coleridge's phrase, and says his theory involves "the appropriation of a part of the national property for the support and propagation" of a system "from which large masses of the community by which that property is furnished conscientiously dissent." [Wardlaw's Lectures on National Establishments, lecture i. p. 28.] What the nation, however, has given to the Church, is no longer national property in an ordinary sense; much less then is what individuals gave.
28. The first remark I would make on this theory is, that, in its view of the State, it does not specifically include the element of its living personality and consciousness; it regards the State as a thing composed and guided, rather than as self-composing and self-guiding, and deliberatively free in the exercise of its functions. I do not notice this as a fault, but merely as a characteristic. The work does not profess to aim at scientific entireness. As its gifted author states, "the scheme or diagram best suited to make the idea clearly understood, may be very different from the form in which it is or may be most adequately realised." [Church and State, Advertisement.] But it is far from forbidding the addition of the idea of moral freedom and conscience in the State; on the contrary, it prepares for, and I would indeed say requires, this idea. More we need not ask or have.
29. It may be well further to observe, with reference to the analysis of the two first estates, that its classification is true on a large scale, not in minute detail: it is the delineation of a painter, not of an anatomist; and yet the painter has regard to anatomy, but he generalises its results. The landed estate is not entirely permanent; it is also productive and progressive; but, on the whole, the habits of mind and action which belong to it are indisposed to change. It more evidently depends on super-human power, and generates less of self-reliance, with greater stability. The trading class has a facility of motion and of transition, a power of rapid creation, a fertility of resource, an acuteness produced by constant friction and rivalry of interests, a tendency to reduce all social relations to the form of money as the most convenient and determinate medium of exchange; with more of the spirit of self-reliance, it is therefore more inclined to form judgments, and to review and reverse what has been judged already, and it is also much more ready and apt in giving effect of its desires. Thus it is better able to sway, but less suited to sustain, the State. There are, however, some important counteracting influences, such as the necessity of order and tranquillity to the prosperity of trade, and to the regular action of the labour-market; and the disposition of those who have acquired property to pass into the class of landholders, and thus to refresh and invigorate the more permanent and stable interest. But these explanations in no way detract from the substantial truth of Mr. Coleridge's definition; and I do not venture any further to incumber the masterly sketch which he has drawn.
30. The profuse and brilliant eloquence of Dr. Chalmers, and the warm heart from which its colouring is principally derived, have necessarily contributed to render the scientific form of his conclusions less accurately discernible than it would have been had he written more apathetically. His lectures on Church establishments teach that Christianity is the sure foundation of order and prosperity; that the efforts of individuals, without aid from government, are insufficient to bring it within reach of the whole population; that the territorial division of the land into manageable districts, with a general cure of souls over all persons within each, is the most efficient method of giving to Christianity an universal influence: that such division cannot well be carried into effect but by a Church of one given denomination. Again, with respect to the religious tenets within which a government may choose its national establishment, he contends that the Church should be wholly independent in respect of its theology--that there should be "maintenance from the one quarter, and an unfettered theology from the other:"--but he subsequently, in effect, qualifies this doctrine.
31. He teaches that the government should determine what shall be its establishment, if possible, simply by the answer to the question, "What is truth?" but if not, then with a modified view to the benefit of the population at large. He considers a state incompetent to enter upon the details of theological discussion, but abundantly qualified to decide upon certain broad and leading principles. Upon the former consideration he holds them justified in selecting, or in adhering to the selection of, any one of the Christian denominations, which, being Protestant, are also evangelical; as, for example, Methodist, Independent, Baptist: he does not, however, supply any precise test for determining to what extent the epithet "evangelical" may be applicable. But, upon the latter consideration, he teaches that the State is competent, nay, that any man, "with the ordinary schooling of a gentleman," and "by the reading of a few weeks," may qualify himself to decide upon the broad question which separates Protestantism from Popery, namely, whether the Scriptures be or be not the only rule of faith and practice in religion.
32. It did not enter into the purpose of Dr. Chalmers to exhibit the whole subject; but even in these propositions he has, it may be apprehended, put forward much questionable matter. He appears by no means to succeed in showing, upon his own principles, that his territorial establishment must be of one denomination: he would probably find it impossible, upon stricter investigation, so to define Evangelical Protestantism as to make it a universal criterion for the guidance of governments: it might further be argued, that he has surrendered the condition without which all others fail, in omitting from his calculation the divine constitution of the visible Church; and that, while he does not so much as inquire whether on the one side it would be easy or the reverse to reject the unevangelical Protestants, he has on the other very greatly underrated the difficulty of the questions at issue between the Church of Rome and her opponents. But no more: it is painful even to indicate points of difference from a most distinguished and excellent man, who has done his subject and his country permanent service by his lucid and powerful explanations of the machinery of a religious establishment.
33. The reader will probably agree that it is unnecessary, with a view to the practical purposes before us, to enter upon any detailed investigation of two other theories of the connection between Church and State, which embody the respective- extremes of opinion adopted on the one hand by Hobbes, and on the other by Bellarmine and ultramontane Romanists. They are theories of derivation rather than of connection, properly so called. According to the first, the Church and her religion are mere creatures of the State. According to the second, the temporal power is wholly dependent and subordinate. These views are not avowed amongst ourselves. A third extreme opinion of a different kind, namely, that the magistrate has no concern with religion, is that against which the general argument of the succeeding chapters is directed. It is observed by a German author that the first of these schemes has been the peculiar danger of Lutheranism, the second of Romanism, and the third of Calvinism. [Stahl's Kirchenverfassung, Anhang i.]
34. Several other writers have touched collaterally on the subject, of whom the following are most familiar. Machiavelli treats of religion as an instrument of government, and holds it needful beyond everything else to be in the care of states. [Discorsi, i. 11, 12.] Lord Clarendon's treatise, entitled 'Religion and Policy,' is historical. He considers that the verse of Isaiah (xlix. 23) sufficiently proves the "sovereign care, protection, and propagation of religion to be committed to Christian princes;" and proceeds to investigate the origin and progress of the papal supremacy, which, as he argues, had been the great obstacle to the full discharge of this obligation. Justice Blackstone writes briefly but rationally upon this topic as on others. His propositions are--1. That the State ought not to punish the sin of schism as such; 2. That it should protect the Church; 3. That if this can be better effected by the imposition of tests, it is not precluded from using them, since the disposal of offices is matter of favour and discretion. [Commentaries, iv. 52.] The object of Montesquieu, in his work on the genius of laws, is much more to exhibit the actual than to embody the ideal: De présenter ce qui est, ce qui fût, et non ce qui aurait du être, according to his Parisian editors of 1796. [Oeuvres, Paris, 1796, Avertissement.] He seems, however, to assume as axiomatic the doctrine of a national religion, and treats of its relations to many of the forms of life. [Esprit des Loix, lib. xxiv-xxvi.] He belonged to a school not in harmony with the spirit of the Church of Rome, but he enunciates his general opinion in these terms: Ce ne fût ni la crainte, ni la piété, qui établit la religion chez les Romains; mais la nécessité où sont toutes les sociétés d'en avoir une. [Sur la Politique des Romains dans la Religion.] Neal, the historian of the Puritans, bears witness that a state may give sufficient encouragement to a national religion, without invading the liberties of dissidents.
The following are among the recent productions which touch upon the relations of the Church and the State:--
Vinet's Mémoire en faveur de la Liberté des Cultes. Paris, 1826.
Armstrong's Civil Establishment of the Church Indefensible. London, 1831. And Abuse of Power in the State. 1838.
Smith's Letters on National Religion. London, 1833.
Inglis's Vindication of Church Establishments. Edinburgh, 1833.
Brown on Church Establishments. Glasgow, 1833.
Lorimer's Condition of Religion in the United States. Glasgow 1833.
Esdaile's Connection of Civil and Religious Institutions. Perth, 1833.
Sewell's Letters to a Dissenter. Oxford, 1834.
Essays on the Church, by a Layman. London, 1834.
De Tocqueville's Democratic en Amerique, Vol. II. ch. ix. Paris, 1835.
Visit to the American Churches. London, 1836.
Rothe's Anfänge der Christichen Kirche, B. I. Wittemberg, 1837.
La Mennais, Les Affaires de Rome, in the Chapters on 'Les Manx de l'Eglise et de la Société. Paris, 1838.
Maurice, on the Kingdom of Christ, Vol. III. London, 1838.
Wardlaw's Lectures. London, 1839.
Angus's Voluntary System. London, 1839.
Swaine's Shield of Dissent. London, 1839.
Macneile's Lectures. London, 1840.
Stahl's Kirchenverfassung, Anhang II. Erlangen, 1840.
Hutchinson's Reasons for Conservatism. London, 1840.