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THEOCRACY 21

in the all-embracing unity of Her organization. In order to under- stand how this Church came to be, one must bear in mind what it took over from the polity of antiquity and merged with its own inner form. Titus destroyed Jerusalem, but he could not destroy theocracy, the most powerful idea of the Jewish people. The old Israel of Moses* time survived the centuries as the most impressive instance of a human order proceeding directly from God. It had no human law giver, not even a human representative of the reigning Divinity. To obey the will of Jahwe and to keep the covenant with Him were deemed sufficient to insure living of right life a life which one received almost as immediately from Him as if He were still walking in Para- dise, Yet the people of the covenant were also a very human people who could want other things than those God had ordained. And what were God's ordinances? The tables of the Mosaic law could not always satisfy the faithful person who was scrupulously bent on doing what was right in the presence of Jahwe. The law was there- fore expounded, dissected and encrusted with paragraphs until at last the regulations were so numerous that it was impossible to heed them. Though great prophets sank wells deep into the primal glory so that there sprang forth waters purer even than those Moses had known, Israel no longer realized how precious they were. The spirit of man had invaded the Divine Order, had realized that it was free to dwell there or to leave. Theocracy failed, as it has always and everywhere failed. Nevertheless it hovers over its historical ruins as the eternal vista of desire. When Israel surrendered to life in its relative sense and demanded a king of Samuel, last of the Judges, it seemed that a feeling of deterioration, of feeding on substitutes, of being driven into a life of second-rate quality, had overpowered the best of the Jews. This one sees expressed in the Book of Judges, The ancient fable of Jotham casts its tragically powerful, satirical shadow on all monarchy and also on all men who do not know how to exist without an earthly master. The trees desire a king, but when they interrogate the healthy plants which live according to the nature God has given them, they meet with a rebuff. The olive, the fig and the vine are astonished. Can it be that their sap, their sweetness, their juice have lost their power, and that they must now be content to recline on the other trees? The question is then asked of the


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