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The Conservatives: Friedrich Julius Stahl: "What is the Revolution?" (1852)

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Christianity grants the most precious of all political ideas, the idea of the vocation [Beruf], that is the calling [Berufung] from God. In this idea the opposition between right and duty, power and restraint gets resolved. When the proletarian maintains that he has the right to vote and be elected to a legislative assembly, like everyone else, he is asked if it is his calling from God to legislate; and when the large estate owner says it is right to enjoy the fruits of his property, and no public duties may be imposed upon him for the inhabitants of his estate and his poorer neighbors, he is asked if that is the calling for which God has awarded him such a large estate.

Christianity establishes the communion of the Holy Spirit, which, as a moral power and as a reciprocal guarantee of the divine order, even sets standards and commands respect over governing authority, genuine popular sovereignty.

Indeed, Christianity is above all the power that redeems and blesses individual human beings; only it is also the power within the nation from which alone [a] genuine constitution and genuine freedom arises. Christianity gives rise to the longing for one great community, which is a realm of the Lord, a protection for all personalities in their freedom and their purity, a harmonious joining of all gifts and vocations into one body, an application of divine justice and holiness – a type of community that fulfills that heavenly message which is also the final aim of the state: Glory be to God on high, and peace on earth and good will to men!

Therefore, since Christ appeared on earth, there has not been a gleam of political freedom which has not received its aura from the center of Christianity. The German Empire during its loveliest periods of freedom was based on Christian faith. What one now admires as political freedom, England's constitutional monarchy, North America's democracy, are the work and product of the Puritans; and while the Puritans were certainly not free from profound errors, from revolutionary tendencies, which also adhere to both of these celebrated constitutions, they were driven from deep inside by a longing, within their community and in their national life, to build the realm of God and proclaim the glory of His name. This is the soul that they breathed into their political creations and that has maintained the existence of the American and English constitution to this day. And even the three eastern [European] powers that pledged themselves forty years ago to an alliance against the revolution on the basis of Christianity are not in any way prevented from granting to one another the complete development of political freedom, depending on the educational level of their people on the basis of divine order; and, regardless of this, they can lead the holy struggle against that empire that is based on human will against God's will, whether it show up in one form or another.

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