EASTERN EMPIRE 49
to Rome, the norm was action on the basis of reflective reason, the transfer of religious insight into visible work, and active life deriving strength from the unfathomable secret fountains of the Church. The spirit of Pope Dionysius who, in the third century, addressed his brother of the same name in Alexandria as a teacher and insisted that he assent to the ideas of Rome concerning the relation between Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and desist from complex subtleties of interpreta- tion, indicates how in this classic time the dogmatic meditation of Rome differed from the philosophical unrest of the Orient. And as if they were governed by a higher plan, leaders in the Roman West, Ambrose and Augustine, for example, dug deep into the thought of Greece and the Orient, while eastern Romans, among them Athanasius of Alexandria and Jerome of Dalmatia, both of them familiar with the soil of Rome, wrote in the very spirit of the western Church. Thus an exchange of ideas fruitful to both sides made it less difficult tor the Popes to hold together the ecclesia universalis.
Christianity had answered the declaration of Constantine with unanimous acclaim. The victory of the One God, Alpha and Omega, was now apparent; and in the apses of the basilicas Christ, the Judge and Victor, began His reign. Yet the people who looked up to Him in fear of the Lawgiver, and half in gratitude to the Bringer of peace, did not become Christians overnight. The masses resembled the Pantheon of the Emperor who a hundred years before Constantine's time had placed the Christ of the "new people" amongst the ancient gods. Long after Christian houses of worship in great numbers had been erected throughout the Empire in Rome a basilica of vast dimensions stood on Vatican Hill and the pagan Lateran had been transformed into a Church Julian the Apostate bade the old gods return. Though this austere heathen's dream of erecting out of the ruins of the old religion a rival church came to naught, his romantic plan was supported by a part of that strength with which the Christian Church had to reckon in debating with its philosophic opponents or in educating the illiterate masses which flocked to it. This strength lay in the fundamental urge of religious man which can carry him to the vety extremes of spiritual life as well as far into the domain of sensuality. This twofold tendency grows out of the dual nature of man. From Paul's time on confessors and preachers of the Gospel