"Both after the extinction of the Roman Empire in the West, and during its senility, it may be affirmed, with some approach to historic truth, that there existed, throughout the range of the ancient civilisation, but one conspicuous instance of a standing attempt at systematic and orderly self-government, together with adjustment of disputes by the word rather than the sword. This example was to be found in the ordered fabric of the Christian Church; which, amidst surrounding decay, the living among the dead, steadily developed its organisation, and constructed its theology." An Academic Sketch(1892)Gladstone
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