It has taken historical shape in Him who brought the kingdom of God to man. To man, mindful of himself, there has now appeared the Man God had in mind. As the Risen One, He has annulled the death verdict resting upon all that happens in time. He has tri- umphed over the world in every sense, for crumbled are now the nar- row confines of nature, of the transitory. Herewith fulfilment has come to all the quests of an unjustified, fearfully expectant world for salvation and illumination.
Henceforth Christ Jesus is the real meaning of history: He is the purpose of the past, the core of present experience, the container in Himself of the future as the norm and judge of all time. But whosoever belongs to Him in faith like unto His faith and in deed that rises out of His charity, which loves for love's sake and not because of the object though to be sure that object is necessary in order to make of a man a lover is in communion with Christ, is embodied in His Body. Of those who are so united and who live and act ac- cordingly, the Communion of Saints, the Divine Congregation of the Church, is formed. From the beginning of time she has been God's image of the true humanity. She has beheld eternally the Giver of her form (for that form He Himself is) with understanding eyes. This vision she will retain through all vicissitudes. She is His Body and she is as everlasting as the Body of the Eternal One who dwells in her.
Such trends of thought dominated early Christianity. By their very nature they drew men's gaze from the passing scene to the Church Herself. For how little is the slime of earth when likened to the Spirit which fashions it, and how precious is that slime through which alone the Spirit can manifest its existence and its essence! There- fore is renunciation of the world a tremendous thing, even as is the act of plunging into the very heart of the world.
The gods of Rome were old; and the new divinities which the city welcomed were merely such as rise when men already confront the deities with an incredulous smile. The added fact that the emperor was paid divine honours was not much more than a political gesture in which respect for the might of Rome, for its unity as the empire which transcended all peoples and gods, found expression. To the attempt to set up a colossal statue of Caligula in the Temple at Jeru-