Between the Christian and Roman ideals of the early centuries A.D. there is a disjunction which is perfect. Rome stands for corporate civic strength, Christianity (at least in its early stages when the Second Advent was a daily possibility) abominates all that is secular; Rome stands for a disciplined society in which tolerance allows all sorts to live together in peace, Christianity is a narrowly exclusive sect which shrinks apart. When Rome was doing all she could to hold together society and civilization, Christianity was becoming chief of the forces of disintegration. In the end Christianity triumphed but who shall say that the enemy was Rome? No doubt it shed (as unfeelingly as any fledgling) the shell which had fostered it; but the shell had been cracked from outside. Now it is a momentous happening that the beginnings of the Christian and the Roman imperial eras nearly coincide in time. The two were enemies from birth. The Roman Empire is dead, the Christian Church lives on. The Empire began in pride and splendor, the Church in humility and insignificance.