Almost everywhere political secularization was accompanied at length by a general decrease in religious observance. Theological matters ceased to be, if they had ever genuinely been, the main interest of the people. This does not mean that religion died out: far from it. But it became the interest, not of the whole, but of a section of the people. The Church, instead of being a recognized ruling authority, became what its Founder said it was, a little yeast in a large lump of dough. In some countries it barely maintained the right to exist; in others it had to adapt its methods to new conditions. But wherever possible it has continued openly to pursue the same ends, and has not ceased to declare what it believes to be the will of God even in the political sphere. Indeed, we may recognize a gain in the new situation. What it could once do by authority, it now seeks to do by persuasion.