ROME, in its different phases, occupies the largest place of any national name in history. Rome, considered with reference to government, is interesting and important. Considered with reference to religion, it is yet more interesting and more important. But when considered with reference to the interrelationship of government and religion, it is most interesting and most important. It is Rome in this last phase that is the principal subject of study in this book. As in this particular Rome occupies on extreme and the United State of America the other, the latter is considered also, though the plan and limit of the book has made it necessary to give less space to this than the subject deserves.
The principle of Rome in all its phases is that religion and government are inseparable. The principle of the government of the United States is that religion is essentially distinct and totally separate from civil government, and entirely exempt from its cognizance.
The principle of Rome is the abject slavery of the mind ; the principle of the United States of America is the absolute freedom of the mind.
As it Christianity that first and always antagonized this governmental principle of Rome, and established the governmental principle of the United States of America, the fundamental idea, the one thread-thought of the whole book, is to develop the principles of Christianity with reference to civil government, and to portray the mischievous results of the least departure form those principles.