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DISCIPLINE 31

Peter. These things as well as the inner meaning of the history created by the Papacy can be best understood if one is really aware of the poles between which life moves within and without the Church. It then becomes evident that Christianity would never later on con- front opposites more dissonant, or a tension more violent, than it faced in the days when it was first seeking a pathway through the world.

The books of the New Testament agree in affirming a strong re- solve to renew the foundations of the contemporary world. And yet when Paul and the author of the Apocalypse speak of political things they are as disparate as are a peaceful mission and a charge across battlefields. Both points of view continue to find expression through- out the first three centuries of Christendom. Heathen contemporar- ies, even the best and most mature among them, regard the new religion as rebellion, collapse and social peril of the gravest kind. That its own volcanic energy did not become fatal to the new religion may be attributed, humanly speaking, to this resistance from the antique world which assured Christianity the materials for its self- realization, its rebirth of men and things, and its establishment of a firm foundation on which to carry on. It triumphed over Rome, but this Rome could have been conquered only by another Rome. Both powers penetrated each other, but neither lost its identity. Because of the opposition, which nothing has destroyed or will destroy, the Church and the Papacy live under the sign of a conflict which testifies to their unceasing vitality and reveals the nature of their mediation between time and eternity.

So it was from the beginning. In the Emperor and his power Christians beheld brute apotheoses of man and of the dust over which he rules. Nevertheless the new Kingdom from above, which here and now was to be established among men, had to assume the form of a kingdom and govern what was human in its domain with the means required by all human government. Though the Christian Emperor is the supernatural Kyrios Christos, whose rule is mystical and whose kingdom is not of this world, it is nevertheless this world which must be fashioned to resemble His own. Needed are heralds and executors of His law. A visible likeness must be found for His invisible majesty; and His reign has need of an authorized viceroy. When the conquering Church accepted Empire and Emperor as its models, k


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