Page:Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1889) Vol 2.djvu/241

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It was Christianity which assembled together the social elements of a New Age, and wrought out their spiritual regeneration;—it was the administrators of this Christianity, now become a Politico-Spiritual Central Power, who upheld the New State, now broken up into a Republic of Nations, in this condition of separation; who ordered the reciprocal relations of Individual States, and even constrained them by outward motives to coalesce into one acting power; and under whose protection each particular State enjoyed and exercised its independence, and the liberty of developing its own resources and of acquiring new strength.

The nations of Modern Europe,—partly because they could never be thoroughly penetrated by the principle upon which the authority of the Spiritual Power depended,—i.e. that to it the office of Mediator between God and men belonged,—partly on account of their original and hereditary love of political independence;—these nations, I say, could only submit to this guardianship so long as the individual States were still occupied in strengthening their own internal authority, and, amid the daily pressure of conflicting elements, could not attain a distinct consciousness of their own strength.