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somewhat, in modern times; but it still makes itself felt in various ways. May we not regard it as one of those wise provisions of the Creator, by which he counteracts the centralizing tendency of lust of power, and scatters the human family abroad into all parts of the earth? It is very difficult for a Frenchman and Englishman, even at this day, to understand each other. The two nations have lived side by side for ages. They maintain a constant intercourse. Their political interests have often been identical. They have formed alliances, joined banners in the day of battle, and exchanged royal courtesies. Still they are heterogeneous. It is not easy for them to preserve friendly relations. AngloSaxon blood and Gallic blood are not yet sympathetic; and we may doubt if they ever will be. The genius of France differs from that of England. It is a demand of nature that the two people should have, in some respects, different customs, different governments, and different forms of worship. It is not likely that the Millennium will make them, in all respects, exactly similar. The wisest agreement they can ever come to, on these subordinate points, is to agree to differ.—Now it wTas this want of national sympathy, as it seems to us, that lay at the bottom of the strife between Greek and Latin Christianity. If Constantine, after rebuilding Byzantium, had cast a line which should separate his Asiatic from his European subjects, that line would have fallen far West of his new capital. The Roman spirit had withdrawn from the East, tempted by the mines and virgin soil of Britain, Spain and Germany. It cared but little for the exhausted provinces beyond the Adriatic.
Look at that Western type of mind: it was brawny, resolute, and grasping; caring but little for the elegances of life; even in its luxuries, masculine and wilful; its favorite amusement, the fights of gladiators. The Roman, of the age of Constantine and previous, was trained to the profession of arms; and he delighted in that profession, not only because it opened the shortest road to power, but because he had a natural fitness for it. He drank in the spirit of conquest from the maternal breast. He grew up with an iron heart and will, and with thews and sinews to match them. Winter campaigns were his glory, pitched battles his pastime. Nothing but Ultima Thule could stay the flight of his victorious eagle. In its social form, the Western spirit was sullen and domineering. It had never been brow-beaten. It was accustomed to having its own way. It was stern and dictatorial. Opposition might easily provoke its wrath, but could never turn it from its purpose. The Latin literature of that day, so far as it represented the national spirit, had the same stately, warlike, and determined tone. Its patriotism was as narrow and pompous as in a more classic age. Toward other nations it was savage and overbearing. Mars was the divinity it worshipped, its inspiring genius and its patron god.
What ?ympathy could Oriental mind have with such a people as this? The Greek, of the age we are now considering, was in nearly everything the opposite of the Roman. The substratum of his character had less iron in it He was not so practical and energetic as his Western neighbor. lie was disinclined to martial pursuits, loving rather to lead an easy life, amid social refinements and pleasures. His culture was highly testhetic. His tastes all bordered on eileminacy. Elegant leisure was his beau-ideal of good fortune. He loved to philosophize, dream, and imagine. Of course he was repelled as often as he looked Westward. He despised the rough martial Roman, as a barbarian who had no idea of elevated spiritual pleasures. He could never forget his country's history — classic Athens, voluptuous Corinth, stern Sparta; Homer, Plato, Thucydides; Parnassus, Delphi, and Helicon. Rome had nothing like this to boast of; or if she had, she was indebted to this for it.1 The language of the Greek Christians differed from that of the Latins. It was copious and flexible; adapted to the versatile, etherial genius of the Oriental; full of such capabilities as a Roman would never have occasion for. This antipathy was sharpened and kept alive by another fact:
1 "Graeca capta ferum victorem ccpit." — Horace.
The Greeks were a conquered people. Their laws were given to them by a nation to whom they felt superior. The yoke of Rome galled their fastidious necks. To bow before a power which they had always regarded as barbarous, was too much for human nature. They felt somewhat as we might suppose a poet to feel at being placed under the control of a savage. Now, putting these things together—unlikeness of national spirit, a different culture and language, pride of history, and that hatred which the conquered always bear toward their conquerors — taking all this into the account, the contest between the Greek and Latin Christians ceases to surprise us. It was as natural as that Ireland should resist all attempts to bring it under the domination of the English church. This struggle has been political rather than religious, at least in its remoter causes. It has not been a contest between Protestantism and Catholicism, so much as between the victors and the vanquished. The union of the Eastern and Western churches, in the same external organization, was unnatural, the result of force rather than affinity. They might hold the same doctrine, as they did, and still do, substantially, but they could not work together with any harmony. They were constantly jostling each other. There was friction as long as there was cooperation. Tastes and measures were perpetually clashing. These misunderstandings go to show, that the idea of a visible catholic church is preposterous. Such an idea seems to be opposed to the providence of God. He has made human nature the same everywhere, in its main features; yet so that races, nations, and individuals often differ irreconcilably in things of minor importance. They are so much alike that one religion may answer for them all; and so much unlike, through the influence of secondary agencies, that they naturally practise that religion under a variety of forms. The Greek could not be a Latin, nor the Latin a Greek. They were not enough alike, even where they were truly regenerate, to work side by side in a single ecclesiastical harness, and adapt their piety, in all its phases, to the same unvarying model. If the attempt had never been made thus Vol. XV. No. 59. 44
to consolidate them, their separate life, to which innocent causes inclined them, might have been less discordant and belligerent.1
It was the founding of Constantinople, and the establishing of a Christian bishop there, that brought out the Greek element in the church. The Orientals then felt that they had a rallying-point; and, in their sudden elation, they began to anticipate the time when they should be the master, and Rome the slave. Constantine thought to make his new city the heart of the empire; but instead of fulfilling his hopes, it rent that empire in twain. The old legions disliked this movement Eastward. The great families of Italy could not be tempted to quit their homes.2 In spite of all the imperial arts, the Roman spirit either stayed on its own soil, or tended yet further Westward. It was the Greeks, with their peculiar genius and culture, who gladly withdrew from the hated domination of the Latins, and concentrated themselves around the new seat of power. Immediately they began to dream of recovering their ancient splendor, and of overshadowing the Western portion of the church. The Roman bishop, as might be expected, fought desperately for that priority which the other bishops had so long yielded him. The
1 One of the excellences of Congregationalism consists in the fact that it does not cramp those natural ami harmless peculiarities. Councils arc hut advisory. The rules which sliull govern any church arc not thrust upon it, but grow out of its own peculiar wants and circumstances. The main theory is the same everywhere; yet the churches which adopt it may differ in some of the detail! of practice, each being guided by its own common sense and the spirit of Christ. It also may, by way of inference, be remarked here, that no system of theology can work well in connection with Congregationalism, which is not equally lenient toward the peculiar views of Christians on points not essential. While all should agree in those doctrines of the Gospel which are involved in the work of salvation, no one should denounce others, or lie himself denounced, for holding opinions not liked by some, on mere speculative points. In this respect New England theology and the church polity of New England seem admirably adapted to each other, as well as to the purpose of the Gospel — which is to renew and save men, not by smothering, but by sanctifying, their constitutional differences.
1 This was not the case while Constantine himself lived; for his personal influence, and the prospects of the new capital, attracted thousands of the Romans. But after his death it was given up almost entirely to the Orientals.
emperors, anxious to shed what lustre they could on the rising metropolis,! naturally sided with the Greeks. The residence of the royal court, as they very properly thought, ought not to be a provincial city in any respect.
Do we not find here one cause of the different attitudes which the Eastern and Western churches have taken toward the civil power, in all ages of their history? The Latin church, all are aware, claims to be in everything above the State. No one should wear a crown, or sway a sceptre, without its permission. This is the position it has secretly desired at all times, and for which it has openly contended as often as it dared. The Greek church, on the contrary, pays deference to human laws and rulers. Though nominally independent in spiritual matters, it is too fond of yielding in all things to the will of the reigning sovereign. Once or twice, in early times, being elated with their brilliant successes, the Eastern pontiffs attempted to overrule the wishes of the emperor. But they soon discovered that they could not hope for any continued prosperity without his favor; and this gradually made them very careful how they thwarted his inclinations in any way. Thus we see that the two parties were tempted into these opposite lines of policy, by the exigences of their early strife. The ambitious plans of the Greeks all fell in with those of the monarch, who was eager to increase the glory of Constantinople. It was by favoring his designs that they could make good their own. But the bishop of Rome could retain his dignity as primate of the church only by resisting the imperial will. It was for his advantage to prevent the new capital from eclipsing the old. And hence he naturally began to teach, what his Western adherents were not slow to learn, that he was the head of the visible church, and that as such all civil power was vested ultimately in him. The impression having thus been made, that the highest office in the world was still identified with Rome, the Latins might well be consoled for the loss of roy
1 Gibbon's Rome, Vol. II. p. 103.