Page:Vactican as a World Power.djvu/216

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CATASTROPHE

The idea of world empire had not died. Lamentations over the dissolution of the Imperial state were heard anew. But in gazing backward and indulging the hope that a Hohenstaufen monarch would return, men also conjured up a dream-image of a ruler who would bring peace to all the world. Dante was the creator of that image, or at least its most fiery prophet. In composing an elegy for the dead Henry he did not join one side or the other in the conflict over the decadent Imperial throne. He was neither Guelph nor Ghibelline. The object of his desire was the humanization of mankind. Trust- ing in the divine gift of reason, he summoned all mankind to under- take the building up of a hwm&na civilitas in which what is potentially best in human nature or can proceed from it, would be realized. The popular republics might rule themselves; but above them there must stand one who was love for justice incarnate, and who represented the world monarchy which the national states join after having banded themselves together. This "one" was to be the Emperor, Dante's Emperor. He was not Caesar, not a despot, not a lord holding others in fief. He would not ask for power; what he would seek was justice the divinely constituted order (divina voluntas if sum jus} . He would have the power to bind and to loose in an earthly sense; but as the administrator of justice, of the divine will, the Emperor's task would also be as essential and as lofty in character as that of the Pope. They are given equal authority, which each of them exercises in his sphere with unimpeachable righteousness. They are mutually subject to each other, in so far as the realm of the temporal and of the spiritual interweave; and they must work in unison to create the humanity eternally intended by God. For this reason there must be established a clearly defined dual order based on the divine will. For while the Christian Cross is the sign of salvation, the eagle which ^Eneas once brought to Rome has also its own part in the continuous work of redemption. Mankind, which is a pilgrim along the road to salvation, needs the two-fold leadership of Church and Empire. Our common goal and our common moral imperative are manifested in the one; and the other has been ordained to remove the obstacles which lie in the way. The power of the eagle is not given the state merely as a state according to the natural order that rises out of natural law, but rather to the state as an entity transformed by Christianity. This state is


DANTE'