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CONSULS OF GOD

of sacrificing the Saviour of the Church. Nevertheless this policy of conciliation, which Pope Damasus continued after Liberius' death, helped the great theologian of the East to conquer Arianism, which had meanwhile split into so many factions inside the Empire that the Emperors Theodosius and Gratian could require their subjects to profess the Creed of Nice. It was now 380 AJD. But at the same rime the forbidden teaching won the hearts of the Germanic peoples, and its grip on them was not loosed until well into the seventh century.

It was not Rome but the Church as a whole which through the voice of its bishops had proclaimed the dogma that God had become man in the Son. Yet the import of these Greek sentences had already previously been the faith of Rome. How to preserve this unity of teaching was the great problem of the fifth century. By no means all doubts or all questions which reason may put to the mystery of the Incarnation had been foreseen. A series of great Councils, sometimes brilliant and edifying but occasionally also repellent, were needed before the things that are Christ's could be cleansed by fire from every lofty and mean passion to which man is subject in both Church and State. Doubtless the voice of Rome did not always prevail in these conflicts, but the decisions as a result of its utterances were linked by the laws of an inner logic into a coherence which was the seal of truth also in the eyes of Rome. Creative insight was the property of phi- losophers and the devout, indeed of all who were actuated by a living faith, regardless of whether they were giving or receiving citizens of the Church. But that which tested the rising human waters of the intellect and the soul by the inner loadstone of the Church, that which drained them off or channelled them into the oasis of the institution which authoritatively represents the divine leadership of mankind: this was, more or less patently, the common will of the theologians and Popes of the Old Church. They confronted a gigantic task which almost baffled fulfilment. They were exteriorly to build a Church out of the chaos of races and peoples. Interiorly they were to adjust the still immature form of the Church to the sum-total of human needs. It was given to one man to complete the major part of this spiritual task in so far as the Western World was concerned.

This man was Augustine. The political tasks were performed by Leo I and Gregory I, the two great Popes of the fifth and sixth cen-


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