Part 3 out of 11
or Transferred the same, to him that accepteth it. And these Signes
are either Words onely, or Actions onely; or (as it happeneth most often)
both Words and Actions. And the same are the BONDS, by which men
are bound, and obliged: Bonds, that have their strength, not from
their own Nature, (for nothing is more easily broken then a mans word,)
but from Feare of some evill consequence upon the rupture.
Not All Rights Are Alienable
Whensoever a man Transferreth his Right, or Renounceth it;
it is either in consideration of some Right reciprocally transferred
to himselfe; or for some other good he hopeth for thereby.
For it is a voluntary act: and of the voluntary acts of every man,
the object is some Good To Himselfe. And therefore there be some Rights,
which no man can be understood by any words, or other signes,
to have abandoned, or transferred. As first a man cannot lay down
the right of resisting them, that assault him by force, to take
away his life; because he cannot be understood to ayme thereby,
at any Good to himselfe. The same may be sayd of Wounds, and Chayns,
and Imprisonment; both because there is no benefit consequent to
such patience; as there is to the patience of suffering another
to be wounded, or imprisoned: as also because a man cannot tell,
when he seeth men proceed against him by violence, whether they
intend his death or not. And lastly the motive, and end for which
this renouncing, and transferring or Right is introduced, is nothing else
but the security of a mans person, in his life, and in the means
of so preserving life, as not to be weary of it. And therefore if a man
by words, or other signes, seem to despoyle himselfe of the End,
for which those signes were intended; he is not to be understood
as if he meant it, or that it was his will; but that he was ignorant
of how such words and actions were to be interpreted.
The mutuall transferring of Right, is that which men call CONTRACT.
There is difference, between transferring of Right to the Thing;
and transferring, or tradition, that is, delivery of the Thing it selfe.
For the Thing may be delivered together with the Translation of the Right;
as in buying and selling with ready mony; or exchange of goods, or lands:
and it may be delivered some time after.
Again, one of the Contractors, may deliver the Thing contracted for
on his part, and leave the other to perform his part at some
determinate time after, and in the mean time be trusted;
and then the Contract on his part, is called PACT, or COVENANT:
Or both parts may contract now, to performe hereafter: in which cases,
he that is to performe in time to come, being trusted, his performance
is called Keeping Of Promise, or Faith; and the fayling of performance
(if it be voluntary) Violation Of Faith.
When the transferring of Right, is not mutuall; but one of the parties
transferreth, in hope to gain thereby friendship, or service from another,
or from his friends; or in hope to gain the reputation of Charity,
or Magnanimity; or to deliver his mind from the pain of compassion;
or in hope of reward in heaven; This is not Contract, but GIFT,
FREEGIFT, GRACE: which words signifie one and the same thing.
Signes Of Contract Expresse
Signes of Contract, are either Expresse, or By Inference.
Expresse, are words spoken with understanding of what they signifie;
And such words are either of the time Present, or Past; as, I Give,
I Grant, I Have Given, I Have Granted, I Will That This Be Yours:
Or of the future; as, I Will Give, I Will Grant; which words
of the future, are called Promise.
Signes Of Contract By Inference
Signes by Inference, are sometimes the consequence of Words;
sometimes the consequence of Silence; sometimes the consequence of Actions; sometimes the consequence of Forbearing an Action: and generally
a signe by Inference, of any Contract, is whatsoever sufficiently
argues the will of the Contractor.
Free Gift Passeth By Words Of The Present Or Past
Words alone, if they be of the time to come, and contain a bare promise,
are an insufficient signe of a Free-gift and therefore not obligatory.
For if they be of the time to Come, as, To Morrow I Will Give,
they are a signe I have not given yet, and consequently that my right
is not transferred, but remaineth till I transferre it by some other Act.
But if the words be of the time Present, or Past, as, "I have given, or do give to be delivered to morrow," then is my to morrows Right
given away to day; and that by the vertue of the words, though there were
no other argument of my will. And there is a great difference
in the signification of these words, Volos Hoc Tuum Esse Cras,
and Cros Dabo; that is between "I will that this be thine to morrow,"
and, "I will give it to thee to morrow:" For the word I Will,
in the former manner of speech, signifies an act of the will Present;
but in the later, it signifies a promise of an act of the will to Come:
and therefore the former words, being of the Present, transferre
a future right; the later, that be of the Future, transferre nothing.
But if there be other signes of the Will to transferre a Right,
besides Words; then, though the gift be Free, yet may the Right be
understood to passe by words of the future: as if a man propound
a Prize to him that comes first to the end of a race, The gift is Free;
and though the words be of the Future, yet the Right passeth:
for if he would not have his words so be understood, he should not
have let them runne.
Signes Of Contract Are Words Both Of The Past, Present, and Future
In Contracts, the right passeth, not onely where the words are of
the time Present, or Past; but also where they are of the Future;
because all Contract is mutuall translation, or change of Right;
and therefore he that promiseth onely, because he hath already
received the benefit for which he promiseth, is to be understood
as if he intended the Right should passe: for unlesse he had been
content to have his words so understood, the other would not have
performed his part first. And for that cause, in buying, and selling,
and other acts of Contract, A Promise is equivalent to a Covenant;
and therefore obligatory.
He that performeth first in the case of a Contract, is said to MERIT
that which he is to receive by the performance of the other;
and he hath it as Due. Also when a Prize is propounded to many, which is
to be given to him onely that winneth; or mony is thrown amongst many,
to be enjoyed by them that catch it; though this be a Free Gift;
yet so to Win, or so to Catch, is to Merit, and to have it as DUE.
For the Right is transferred in the Propounding of the Prize,
and in throwing down the mony; though it be not determined to whom,
but by the Event of the contention. But there is between these two
sorts of Merit, this difference, that In Contract, I Merit by vertue
of my own power, and the Contractors need; but in this case of Free Gift,
I am enabled to Merit onely by the benignity of the Giver; In Contract,
I merit at The Contractors hand that hee should depart with his right;
In this case of gift, I Merit not that the giver should part with
his right; but that when he has parted with it, it should be mine,
rather than anothers. And this I think to be the meaning of
that distinction of the Schooles, between Meritum Congrui,
and Meritum Condigni. For God Almighty, having promised Paradise
to those men (hoodwinkt with carnall desires,) that can walk through
this world according to the Precepts, and Limits prescribed by him;
they say, he that shall so walk, shall Merit Paradise Ex Congruo.
But because no man can demand a right to it, by his own Righteousnesse,
or any other power in himselfe, but by the Free Grace of God onely;
they say, no man can Merit Paradise Ex Condigno. This I say,
I think is the meaning of that distinction; but because Disputers
do not agree upon the signification of their own termes of Art,
longer than it serves their turn; I will not affirme any thing
of their meaning: onely this I say; when a gift is given indefinitely,
as a prize to be contended for, he that winneth Meriteth,
and may claime the Prize as Due.
Covenants Of Mutuall Trust, When Invalid
If a Covenant be made, wherein neither of the parties performe presently,
but trust one another; in the condition of meer Nature, (which is
a condition of Warre of every man against every man,) upon any
reasonable suspition, it is Voyd; But if there be a common
Power set over them bothe, with right and force sufficient
to compell performance; it is not Voyd. For he that performeth first,
has no assurance the other will performe after; because the bonds
of words are too weak to bridle mens ambition, avarice, anger,
and other Passions, without the feare of some coerceive Power;
which in the condition of meer Nature, where all men are equall,
and judges of the justnesse of their own fears cannot possibly
be supposed. And therefore he which performeth first, does but
betray himselfe to his enemy; contrary to the Right (he can never
abandon) of defending his life, and means of living.
But in a civill estate, where there is a Power set up to constrain
those that would otherwise violate their faith, that feare is
no more reasonable; and for that cause, he which by the Covenant
is to perform first, is obliged so to do.
The cause of Feare, which maketh such a Covenant invalid, must be
alwayes something arising after the Covenant made; as some new fact,
or other signe of the Will not to performe; else it cannot make
the Covenant Voyd. For that which could not hinder a man from promising,
ought not to be admitted as a hindrance of performing.
Right To The End, Containeth Right To The Means
He that transferreth any Right, transferreth the Means of enjoying it,
as farre as lyeth in his power. As he that selleth Land, is understood
to transferre the Herbage, and whatsoever growes upon it; Nor can he
that sells a Mill turn away the Stream that drives it. And they that
give to a man The Right of government in Soveraignty, are understood
to give him the right of levying mony to maintain Souldiers;
and of appointing Magistrates for the administration of Justice.
No Covenant With Beasts
To make Covenant with bruit Beasts, is impossible; because not
understanding our speech, they understand not, nor accept of any
translation of Right; nor can translate any Right to another;
and without mutuall acceptation, there is no Covenant.
Nor With God Without Speciall Revelation
To make Covenant with God, is impossible, but by Mediation of such as
God speaketh to, either by Revelation supernaturall, or by his
Lieutenants that govern under him, and in his Name; For otherwise
we know not whether our Covenants be accepted, or not. And therefore
they that Vow any thing contrary to any law of Nature, Vow in vain;
as being a thing unjust to pay such Vow. And if it be a thing
commanded by the Law of Nature, it is not the Vow, but the Law
that binds them.
No Covenant, But Of Possible And Future
The matter, or subject of a Covenant, is alwayes something that
falleth under deliberation; (For to Covenant, is an act of the Will;
that is to say an act, and the last act, of deliberation;) and is
therefore alwayes understood to be something to come; and which is
judged Possible for him that Covenanteth, to performe.
And therefore, to promise that which is known to be Impossible,
is no Covenant. But if that prove impossible afterwards,
which before was thought possible, the Covenant is valid, and bindeth,
(though not to the thing it selfe,) yet to the value; or, if that also
be impossible, to the unfeigned endeavour of performing as much
as is possible; for to more no man can be obliged.
Covenants How Made Voyd
Men are freed of their Covenants two wayes; by Performing;
or by being Forgiven. For Performance, is the naturall end of
obligation; and Forgivenesse, the restitution of liberty; as being
a retransferring of that Right, in which the obligation consisted.
Covenants Extorted By Feare Are Valide
Covenants entred into by fear, in the condition of meer Nature,
are obligatory. For example, if I Covenant to pay a ransome,
or service for my life, to an enemy; I am bound by it. For it is
a Contract, wherein one receiveth the benefit of life; the other is to
receive mony, or service for it; and consequently, where no other Law
(as in the condition, of meer Nature) forbiddeth the performance,
the Covenant is valid. Therefore Prisoners of warre, if trusted
with the payment of their Ransome, are obliged to pay it;
And if a weaker Prince, make a disadvantageous peace with a stronger,
for feare; he is bound to keep it; unlesse (as hath been sayd before)
there ariseth some new, and just cause of feare, to renew the war.
And even in Common-wealths, if I be forced to redeem my selfe from
a Theefe by promising him mony, I am bound to pay it, till the Civill
Law discharge me. For whatsoever I may lawfully do without Obligation,
the same I may lawfully Covenant to do through feare: and what I
lawfully Covenant, I cannot lawfully break.
The Former Covenant To One, Makes Voyd The Later To Another
A former Covenant, makes voyd a later. For a man that hath
passed away his Right to one man to day, hath it not to passe
to morrow to another: and therefore the later promise passeth no Right,
but is null.
A Mans Covenant Not To Defend Himselfe, Is Voyd
A Covenant not to defend my selfe from force, by force, is alwayes voyd.
For (as I have shewed before) no man can transferre, or lay down
his Right to save himselfe from Death, Wounds, and Imprisonment,
(the avoyding whereof is the onely End of laying down any Right,)
and therefore the promise of not resisting force, in no Covenant
transferreth any right; nor is obliging. For though a man may
Covenant thus, "Unlesse I do so, or so, kill me;" he cannot Covenant thus
"Unless I do so, or so, I will not resist you, when you come to kill me."
For man by nature chooseth the lesser evill, which is danger of death
in resisting; rather than the greater, which is certain and present death
in not resisting. And this is granted to be true by all men,
in that they lead Criminals to Execution, and Prison, with armed men,
notwithstanding that such Criminals have consented to the Law,
by which they are condemned.
No Man Obliged To Accuse Himselfe
A Covenant to accuse ones Selfe, without assurance of pardon,
is likewise invalide. For in the condition of Nature, where every
man is Judge, there is no place for Accusation: and in the Civill State,
the Accusation is followed with Punishment; which being Force,
a man is not obliged not to resist. The same is also true,
of the Accusation of those, by whose Condemnation a man falls
into misery; as of a Father, Wife, or Benefactor. For the Testimony
of such an Accuser, if it be not willingly given, is praesumed to be
corrupted by Nature; and therefore not to be received: and where a mans
Testimony is not to be credited, his not bound to give it.
Also Accusations upon Torture, are not to be reputed as Testimonies.
For Torture is to be used but as means of conjecture, and light,
in the further examination, and search of truth; and what is in that case
confessed, tendeth to the ease of him that is Tortured; not to
the informing of the Torturers: and therefore ought not to have
the credit of a sufficient Testimony: for whether he deliver himselfe
by true, or false Accusation, he does it by the Right of preserving
his own life.
The End Of An Oath
The Forme Of As Oath
The force of Words, being (as I have formerly noted) too weak
to hold men to the performance of their Covenants; there are
in mans nature, but two imaginable helps to strengthen it.
And those are either a Feare of the consequence of breaking their word;
or a Glory, or Pride in appearing not to need to breake it.
This later is a Generosity too rarely found to be presumed on,
especially in the pursuers of Wealth, Command, or sensuall Pleasure;
which are the greatest part of Mankind. The Passion to be reckoned upon,
is Fear; whereof there be two very generall Objects: one,
the Power of Spirits Invisible; the other, the Power of those men
they shall therein Offend. Of these two, though the former be the
greater Power, yet the feare of the later is commonly the greater Feare.
The Feare of the former is in every man, his own Religion: which hath
place in the nature of man before Civill Society. The later hath not so;
at least not place enough, to keep men to their promises;
because in the condition of meer Nature, the inequality of Power
is not discerned, but by the event of Battell. So that before
the time of Civill Society, or in the interruption thereof by Warre,
there is nothing can strengthen a Covenant of Peace agreed on,
against the temptations of Avarice, Ambition, Lust, or other
strong desire, but the feare of that Invisible Power, which they
every one Worship as God; and Feare as a Revenger of their perfidy.
All therefore that can be done between two men not subject to
Civill Power, is to put one another to swear by the God he feareth:
Which Swearing or OATH, is a Forme Of Speech, Added To A Promise;
By Which He That Promiseth, Signifieth, That Unlesse He Performe,
He Renounceth The Mercy Of His God, Or Calleth To Him For Vengeance
On Himselfe. Such was the Heathen Forme, "Let Jupiter kill me else,
as I kill this Beast." So is our Forme, "I shall do thus, and thus,
so help me God." And this, with the Rites and Ceremonies,
which every one useth in his own Religion, that the feare of
breaking faith might be the greater.
No Oath, But By God
By this it appears, that an Oath taken according to any other Forme,
or Rite, then his, that sweareth, is in vain; and no Oath:
And there is no Swearing by any thing which the Swearer thinks not God.
For though men have sometimes used to swear by their Kings, for feare,
or flattery; yet they would have it thereby understood, they attributed
to them Divine honour. And that Swearing unnecessarily by God,
is but prophaning of his name: and Swearing by other things,
as men do in common discourse, is not Swearing, but an impious Custome,
gotten by too much vehemence of talking.
An Oath Addes Nothing To The Obligation
It appears also, that the Oath addes nothing to the Obligation.
For a Covenant, if lawfull, binds in the sight of God, without the Oath,
as much as with it; if unlawfull, bindeth not at all; though it be
confirmed with an Oath.
OF OTHER LAWES OF NATURE
The Third Law Of Nature, Justice
From that law of Nature, by which we are obliged to transferre
to another, such Rights, as being retained, hinder the peace
of Mankind, there followeth a Third; which is this, That Men
Performe Their Covenants Made: without which, Covenants are in vain,
and but Empty words; and the Right of all men to all things remaining,
wee are still in the condition of Warre.
Justice And Injustice What
And in this law of Nature, consisteth the Fountain and Originall
of JUSTICE. For where no Covenant hath preceded, there hath no
Right been transferred, and every man has right to every thing;
and consequently, no action can be Unjust. But when a Covenant
is made, then to break it is Unjust: And the definition of INJUSTICE,
is no other than The Not Performance Of Covenant. And whatsoever is
not Unjust, is Just.
Justice And Propriety Begin With The Constitution of Common-wealth
But because Covenants of mutuall trust, where there is a feare of not
performance on either part, (as hath been said in the former Chapter,)
are invalid; though the Originall of Justice be the making of Covenants;
yet Injustice actually there can be none, till the cause of such feare
be taken away; which while men are in the naturall condition of Warre,
cannot be done. Therefore before the names of Just, and Unjust can have place, there must be some coercive Power, to compell men equally to the
performance of their Covenants, by the terrour of some punishment,
greater than the benefit they expect by the breach of their Covenant;
and to make good that Propriety, which by mutuall Contract men acquire,
in recompence of the universall Right they abandon: and such power
there is none before the erection of a Common-wealth. And this is also
to be gathered out of the ordinary definition of Justice in the Schooles:
For they say, that "Justice is the constant Will of giving to every
man his own." And therefore where there is no Own, that is, no Propriety,
there is no Injustice; and where there is no coerceive Power erected,
that is, where there is no Common-wealth, there is no Propriety;
all men having Right to all things: Therefore where there is no
Common-wealth, there nothing is Unjust. So that the nature of Justice,
consisteth in keeping of valid Covenants: but the Validity of Covenants
begins not but with the Constitution of a Civill Power, sufficient to
compell men to keep them: And then it is also that Propriety begins.
Justice Not Contrary To Reason
The Foole hath sayd in his heart, there is no such thing as Justice;
and sometimes also with his tongue; seriously alleaging, that every mans
conservation, and contentment, being committed to his own care,
there could be no reason, why every man might not do what he thought
conduced thereunto; and therefore also to make, or not make; keep,
or not keep Covenants, was not against Reason, when it conduced
to ones benefit. He does not therein deny, that there be Covenants;
and that they are sometimes broken, sometimes kept; and that such breach
of them may be called Injustice, and the observance of them Justice:
but he questioneth, whether Injustice, taking away the feare of God,
(for the same Foole hath said in his heart there is no God,) may not
sometimes stand with that Reason, which dictateth to every man his
own good; and particularly then, when it conduceth to such a benefit,
as shall put a man in a condition, to neglect not onely the dispraise,
and revilings, but also the power of other men. The Kingdome of God
is gotten by violence; but what if it could be gotten by unjust violence?
were it against Reason so to get it, when it is impossible to receive
hurt by it? and if it be not against Reason, it is not against Justice;
or else Justice is not to be approved for good. From such reasoning
as this, Succesfull wickednesse hath obtained the Name of Vertue;
and some that in all other things have disallowed the violation of Faith;
yet have allowed it, when it is for the getting of a Kingdome.
And the Heathen that believed, that Saturn was deposed by his
son Jupiter, believed neverthelesse the same Jupiter to be the
avenger of Injustice: Somewhat like to a piece of Law in Cokes
Commentaries on Litleton; where he sayes, If the right Heire
of the Crown be attainted of Treason; yet the Crown shall descend
to him, and Eo Instante the Atteynder be voyd; From which instances
a man will be very prone to inferre; that when the Heire apparent
of a Kingdome, shall kill him that is in possession, though his father;
you may call it Injustice, or by what other name you will;
yet it can never be against Reason, seeing all the voluntary actions
of men tend to the benefit of themselves; and those actions are most
Reasonable, that conduce most to their ends. This specious reasoning
is nevertheless false.
For the question is not of promises mutuall, where there is no security
of performance on either side; as when there is no Civill Power erected
over the parties promising; for such promises are no Covenants:
But either where one of the parties has performed already;
or where there is a Power to make him performe; there is the question
whether it be against reason, that is, against the benefit of the other
to performe, or not. And I say it is not against reason.
For the manifestation whereof, we are to consider; First, that when
a man doth a thing, which notwithstanding any thing can be foreseen,
and reckoned on, tendeth to his own destruction, howsoever some accident
which he could not expect, arriving may turne it to his benefit;
yet such events do not make it reasonably or wisely done.
Secondly, that in a condition of Warre, wherein every man to every man,
for want of a common Power to keep them all in awe, is an Enemy,
there is no man can hope by his own strength, or wit, to defend
himselfe from destruction, without the help of Confederates;
where every one expects the same defence by the Confederation,
that any one else does: and therefore he which declares he thinks it
reason to deceive those that help him, can in reason expect no
other means of safety, than what can be had from his own single Power.
He therefore that breaketh his Covenant, and consequently declareth that
he thinks he may with reason do so, cannot be received into any Society,
that unite themselves for Peace and defence, but by the errour of them
that receive him; nor when he is received, be retayned in it,
without seeing the danger of their errour; which errours a man
cannot reasonably reckon upon as the means of his security;
and therefore if he be left, or cast out of Society, he perisheth;
and if he live in Society, it is by the errours of other men,
which he could not foresee, nor reckon upon; and consequently
against the reason of his preservation; and so, as all men that
contribute not to his destruction, forbear him onely out of ignorance
of what is good for themselves.
As for the Instance of gaining the secure and perpetuall felicity
of Heaven, by any way; it is frivolous: there being but one way
imaginable; and that is not breaking, but keeping of Covenant.
And for the other Instance of attaining Soveraignty by Rebellion;
it is manifest, that though the event follow, yet because it cannot
reasonably be expected, but rather the contrary; and because by
gaining it so, others are taught to gain the same in like manner,
the attempt thereof is against reason. Justice therefore,
that is to say, Keeping of Covenant, is a Rule of Reason,
by which we are forbidden to do any thing destructive to our life;
and consequently a Law of Nature.
There be some that proceed further; and will not have the Law of Nature,
to be those Rules which conduce to the preservation of mans life on earth;
but to the attaining of an eternall felicity after death; to which
they think the breach of Covenant may conduce; and consequently be
just and reasonable; (such are they that think it a work of merit to kill,
or depose, or rebell against, the Soveraigne Power constituted over them
by their own consent.) But because there is no naturall knowledge
of mans estate after death; much lesse of the reward that is then
to be given to breach of Faith; but onely a beliefe grounded upon
other mens saying, that they know it supernaturally, or that they know
those, that knew them, that knew others, that knew it supernaturally;
Breach of Faith cannot be called a Precept of Reason, or Nature.
Covenants Not Discharged By The Vice Of The
Person To Whom They Are Made
Others, that allow for a Law of Nature, the keeping of Faith,
do neverthelesse make exception of certain persons; as Heretiques,
and such as use not to performe their Covenant to others:
And this also is against reason. For if any fault of a man,
be sufficient to discharge our Covenant made; the same ought in reason
to have been sufficient to have hindred the making of it.
Justice Of Men, And Justice Of Actions What
The names of Just, and Unjust, when they are attributed to Men,
signifie one thing; and when they are attributed to Actions, another.
When they are attributed to Men, they signifie Conformity,
or Inconformity of Manners, to Reason. But when they are attributed
to Actions, they signifie the Conformity, or Inconformity to Reason,
not of Manners, or manner of life, but of particular Actions.
A Just man therefore, is he that taketh all the care he can, that his
Actions may be all Just: and an Unjust man, is he that neglecteth it.
And such men are more often in our Language stiled by the names of
Righteous, and Unrighteous; then Just, and Unjust; though the meaning
be the same. Therefore a Righteous man, does not lose that Title,
by one, or a few unjust Actions, that proceed from sudden Passion,
or mistake of Things, or Persons: nor does an Unrighteous man,
lose his character, for such Actions, as he does, of forbeares to do,
for feare: because his Will is not framed by the Justice,
but by the apparant benefit of what he is to do. That which gives
to humane Actions the relish of Justice, is a certain Noblenesse or
Gallantnesse of courage, (rarely found,) by which a man scorns
to be beholding for the contentment of his life, to fraud,
or breach of promise. This Justice of the Manners, is that which
is meant, where Justice is called a Vertue; and Injustice a Vice.
But the Justice of Actions denominates men, not Just, but Guiltlesse;
and the Injustice of the same, (which is also called Injury,)
gives them but the name of Guilty.
Justice Of Manners, And Justice Of Actions
Again, the Injustice of Manners, is the disposition, or aptitude to do
Injurie; and is Injustice before it proceed to Act; and without
supposing any individuall person injured. But the Injustice of an Action,
(that is to say Injury,) supposeth an individuall person Injured;
namely him, to whom the Covenant was made: And therefore many times the
injury is received by one man, when the dammage redoundeth to another.
As when The Master commandeth his servant to give mony to a stranger;
if it be not done, the Injury is done to the Master, whom he had before
Covenanted to obey; but the dammage redoundeth to the stranger,
to whom he had no Obligation; and therefore could not Injure him.
And so also in Common-wealths, private men may remit to one another
their debts; but not robberies or other violences, whereby they are
endammaged; because the detaining of Debt, is an Injury to themselves;
but Robbery and Violence, are Injuries to the Person of the Common-wealth.
Nothing Done To A Man, By His Own Consent Can Be Injury
Whatsoever is done to a man, conformable to his own Will signified
to the doer, is no Injury to him. For if he that doeth it,
hath not passed away his originall right to do what he please,
by some Antecedent Covenant, there is no breach of Covenant;
and therefore no Injury done him. And if he have; then his Will
to have it done being signified, is a release of that Covenant;
and so again there is no Injury done him.
Justice Commutative, And Distributive
Justice of Actions, is by Writers divided into Commutative,
and Distributive; and the former they say consisteth in
proportion Arithmeticall; the later in proportion Geometricall.
Commutative therefore, they place in the equality of value of
the things contracted for; And Distributive, in the distribution
of equall benefit, to men of equall merit. As if it were Injustice
to sell dearer than we buy; or to give more to a man than he merits.
The value of all things contracted for, is measured by the Appetite
of the Contractors: and therefore the just value, is that which
they be contented to give. And Merit (besides that which is by Covenant,
where the performance on one part, meriteth the performance of
the other part, and falls under Justice Commutative, not Distributive,)
is not due by Justice; but is rewarded of Grace onely. And therefore
this distinction, in the sense wherein it useth to be expounded,
is not right. To speak properly, Commutative Justice, is the Justice
of a Contractor; that is, a Performance of Covenant, in Buying,
and Selling; Hiring, and Letting to Hire; Lending, and Borrowing;
Exchanging, Bartering, and other acts of Contract.
And Distributive Justice, the Justice of an Arbitrator; that is to say,
the act of defining what is Just. Wherein, (being trusted by them
that make him Arbitrator,) if he performe his Trust, he is said
to distribute to every man his own: and his is indeed Just Distribution,
and may be called (though improperly) Distributive Justice;
but more properly Equity; which also is a Law of Nature,
as shall be shewn in due place.
The Fourth Law Of Nature, Gratitude
As Justice dependeth on Antecedent Covenant; so does Gratitude depend
on Antecedent Grace; that is to say, Antecedent Free-gift:
and is the fourth Law of Nature; which may be conceived in this Forme,
"That a man which receiveth Benefit from another of meer Grace,
Endeavour that he which giveth it, have no reasonable cause to
repent him of his good will." For no man giveth, but with intention of
Good to himselfe; because Gift is Voluntary; and of all Voluntary Acts,
the Object is to every man his own Good; of which if men see they
shall be frustrated, there will be no beginning of benevolence, or trust;
nor consequently of mutuall help; nor of reconciliation of one man to
another; and therefore they are to remain still in the condition of War;
which is contrary to the first and Fundamentall Law of Nature,
which commandeth men to Seek Peace. The breach of this Law,
is called Ingratitude; and hath the same relation to Grace,
that Injustice hath to Obligation by Covenant.
The Fifth, Mutuall accommodation, or Compleasance
A fifth Law of Nature, is COMPLEASANCE; that is to say,
"That every man strive to accommodate himselfe to the rest."
For the understanding whereof, we may consider, that there is
in mens aptnesse to Society; a diversity of Nature, rising from
their diversity of Affections; not unlike to that we see in stones
brought together for building of an Aedifice. For as that stone
which by the asperity, and irregularity of Figure, takes more room
from others, than it selfe fills; and for the hardnesse, cannot be
easily made plain, and thereby hindereth the building, is by
the builders cast away as unprofitable, and troublesome: so also,
a man that by asperity of Nature, will strive to retain those things
which to himselfe are superfluous, and to others necessary;
and for the stubbornness of his Passions, cannot be corrected,
is to be left, or cast out of Society, as combersome thereunto.
For seeing every man, not onely by Right, but also by necessity
of Nature, is supposed to endeavour all he can, to obtain that which is
necessary for his conservation; He that shall oppose himselfe against it,
for things superfluous, is guilty of the warre that thereupon
is to follow; and therefore doth that, which is contrary to the
fundamentall Law of Nature, which commandeth To Seek Peace.
The observers of this Law, may be called SOCIABLE, (the Latines call
them Commodi;) The contrary, Stubborn, Insociable, Froward, Intractable.
The Sixth, Facility To Pardon
A sixth Law of Nature is this, "That upon caution of the Future time, a
man ought to pardon the offences past of them that repenting, desire it."
For PARDON, is nothing but granting of Peace; which though granted
to them that persevere in their hostility, be not Peace, but Feare;
yet not granted to them that give caution of the Future time,
is signe of an aversion to Peace; and therefore contrary to
the Law of Nature.
The Seventh, That In Revenges, Men Respect Onely The Future Good
A seventh is, " That in Revenges, (that is, retribution of evil for evil,)
Men look not at the greatnesse of the evill past, but the greatnesse
of the good to follow." Whereby we are forbidden to inflict punishment
with any other designe, than for correction of the offender,
or direction of others. For this Law is consequent to the next before it,
that commandeth Pardon, upon security of the Future Time.
Besides, Revenge without respect to the Example, and profit to come,
is a triumph, or glorying in the hurt of another, tending to no end;
(for the End is alwayes somewhat to Come;) and glorying to no end,
is vain-glory, and contrary to reason; and to hurt without reason,
tendeth to the introduction of Warre; which is against the Law of Nature;
and is commonly stiled by the name of Cruelty.
The Eighth, Against Contumely
And because all signes of hatred, or contempt, provoke to fight;
insomuch as most men choose rather to hazard their life, than not
to be revenged; we may in the eighth place, for a Law of Nature
set down this Precept, "That no man by deed, word, countenance,
or gesture, declare Hatred, or Contempt of another." The breach of
which Law, is commonly called Contumely.
The Ninth, Against Pride
The question who is the better man, has no place in the condition
of meer Nature; where, (as has been shewn before,) all men are equall.
The inequallity that now is, has been introduced by the Lawes civill.
I know that Aristotle in the first booke of his Politiques, for a
foundation of his doctrine, maketh men by Nature, some more worthy
to Command, meaning the wiser sort (such as he thought himselfe to be
for his Philosophy;) others to Serve, (meaning those that had strong bodies,
but were not Philosophers as he;) as if Master and Servant were not
introduced by consent of men, but by difference of Wit; which is not only
against reason; but also against experience. For there are very few
so foolish, that had not rather governe themselves, than be governed
by others: Nor when the wise in their own conceit, contend by force,
with them who distrust their owne wisdome, do they alwaies, or often,
or almost at any time, get the Victory. If Nature therefore have made
men equall, that equalitie is to be acknowledged; or if Nature have
made men unequall; yet because men that think themselves equall,
will not enter into conditions of Peace, but upon Equall termes,
such equalitie must be admitted. And therefore for the ninth Law
of Nature, I put this, "That every man acknowledge other for
his Equall by Nature." The breach of this Precept is Pride.
The Tenth Against Arrogance
On this law, dependeth another, "That at the entrance into conditions
of Peace, no man require to reserve to himselfe any Right,
which he is not content should be reserved to every one of the rest."
As it is necessary for all men that seek peace, to lay down certaine
Rights of Nature; that is to say, not to have libertie to do
all they list: so is it necessarie for mans life, to retaine some;
as right to governe their owne bodies; enjoy aire, water, motion,
waies to go from place to place; and all things else without which
a man cannot live, or not live well. If in this case, at the making
of Peace, men require for themselves, that which they would not have
to be granted to others, they do contrary to the precedent law,
that commandeth the acknowledgement of naturall equalitie,
and therefore also against the law of Nature. The observers of
this law, are those we call Modest, and the breakers Arrogant Men.
The Greeks call the violation of this law pleonexia; that is,
a desire of more than their share.
The Eleventh Equity
Also "If a man be trusted to judge between man and man," it is a
precept of the Law of Nature, "that he deale Equally between them."
For without that, the Controversies of men cannot be determined
but by Warre. He therefore that is partiall in judgment,
doth what in him lies, to deterre men from the use of Judges,
and Arbitrators; and consequently, (against the fundamentall
Lawe of Nature) is the cause of Warre.
The observance of this law, from the equall distribution to each man,
of that which in reason belongeth to him, is called EQUITY,
and (as I have sayd before) distributive justice: the violation,
Acception Of Persons, Prosopolepsia.
The Twelfth, Equall Use Of Things Common
And from this followeth another law, "That such things as cannot
be divided, be enjoyed in Common, if it can be; and if the quantity
of the thing permit, without Stint; otherwise Proportionably to the
number of them that have Right." For otherwise the distribution
is Unequall, and contrary to Equitie.
The Thirteenth, Of Lot
But some things there be, that can neither be divided, nor enjoyed
in common. Then, The Law of Nature, which prescribeth Equity, requireth,
"That the Entire Right; or else, (making the use alternate,)
the First Possession, be determined by Lot." For equall distribution,
is of the Law of Nature; and other means of equall distribution
cannot be imagined.
The Fourteenth, Of Primogeniture, And First Seising
Of Lots there be two sorts, Arbitrary, and Naturall. Arbitrary,
is that which is agreed on by the Competitors; Naturall, is either
Primogeniture, (which the Greek calls Kleronomia, which signifies,
Given by Lot;) or First Seisure.
And therefore those things which cannot be enjoyed in common,
nor divided, ought to be adjudged to the First Possessor;
and is some cases to the First-Borne, as acquired by Lot.
The Fifteenth, Of Mediators
It is also a Law of Nature, "That all men that mediate Peace,
be allowed safe Conduct." For the Law that commandeth Peace,
as the End, commandeth Intercession, as the Means; and to Intercession
the Means is safe Conduct.
The Sixteenth, Of Submission To Arbitrement
And because, though men be never so willing to observe these Lawes,
there may neverthelesse arise questions concerning a mans action;
First, whether it were done, or not done; Secondly (if done)
whether against the Law, or not against the Law; the former whereof,
is called a question Of Fact; the later a question Of Right;
therefore unlesse the parties to the question, Covenant mutually to
stand to the sentence of another, they are as farre from Peace as ever.
This other, to whose Sentence they submit, is called an ARBITRATOR.
And therefore it is of the Law of Nature, "That they that are
at controversie, submit their Right to the judgement of an Arbitrator."
The Seventeenth, No Man Is His Own Judge
And seeing every man is presumed to do all things in order to
his own benefit, no man is a fit Arbitrator in his own cause:
and if he were never so fit; yet Equity allowing to each party
equall benefit, if one be admitted to be Judge, the other is to be
admitted also; & so the controversie, that is, the cause of War,
remains, against the Law of Nature.
The Eighteenth, No Man To Be Judge, That Has In Him
A Naturall Cause Of Partiality
For the same reason no man in any Cause ought to be received
for Arbitrator, to whom greater profit, or honour, or pleasure
apparently ariseth out of the victory of one party, than of the other:
for he hath taken (though an unavoydable bribe, yet) a bribe;
and no man can be obliged to trust him. And thus also the controversie,
and the condition of War remaineth, contrary to the Law of Nature.
The Nineteenth, Of Witnesse
And in a controversie of Fact, the Judge being to give no more
credit to one, than to the other, (if there be no other Arguments)
must give credit to a third; or to a third and fourth; or more:
For else the question is undecided, and left to force, contrary to
the Law of Nature.
These are the Lawes of Nature, dictating Peace, for a means of
the conservation of men in multitudes; and which onely concern
the doctrine of Civill Society. There be other things tending
to the destruction of particular men; as Drunkenness, and all other
parts of Intemperance; which may therefore also be reckoned amongst
those things which the Law of Nature hath forbidden; but are not
necessary to be mentioned, nor are pertinent enough to this place.
A Rule, By Which The Laws Of Nature May Easily Be Examined
And though this may seem too subtile a deduction of the Lawes of Nature,
to be taken notice of by all men; whereof the most part are too busie
in getting food, and the rest too negligent to understand;
yet to leave all men unexcusable, they have been contracted into
one easie sum, intelligible even to the meanest capacity; and that is,
"Do not that to another, which thou wouldest not have done to thy selfe;"
which sheweth him, that he has no more to do in learning the Lawes
of Nature, but, when weighing the actions of other men with his own,
they seem too heavy, to put them into the other part of the ballance,
and his own into their place, that his own passions, and selfe-love,
may adde nothing to the weight; and then there is none of these
Lawes of Nature that will not appear unto him very reasonable.
The Lawes Of Nature Oblige In Conscience Alwayes,
But In Effect Then Onely When There Is Security
The Lawes of Nature oblige In Foro Interno; that is to say,
they bind to a desire they should take place: but In Foro Externo;
that is, to the putting them in act, not alwayes. For he that
should be modest, and tractable, and performe all he promises,
in such time, and place, where no man els should do so, should but
make himselfe a prey to others, and procure his own certain ruine,
contrary to the ground of all Lawes of Nature, which tend to
Natures preservation. And again, he that shall observe the same Lawes
towards him, observes them not himselfe, seeketh not Peace, but War;
& consequently the destruction of his Nature by Violence.
And whatsoever Lawes bind In Foro Interno, may be broken, not onely
by a fact contrary to the Law but also by a fact according to it,
in case a man think it contrary. For though his Action in this case,
be according to the Law; which where the Obligation is In Foro Interno,
is a breach.
The Laws Of Nature Are Eternal;
The Lawes of Nature are Immutable and Eternall, For Injustice,
Ingratitude, Arrogance, Pride, Iniquity, Acception of persons,
and the rest, can never be made lawfull. For it can never be
that Warre shall preserve life, and Peace destroy it.
And Yet Easie
The same Lawes, because they oblige onely to a desire, and endeavour,
I mean an unfeigned and constant endeavour, are easie to be observed.
For in that they require nothing but endeavour; he that endeavoureth their
performance, fulfilleth them; and he that fulfilleth the Law, is Just.
The Science Of These Lawes, Is The True Morall Philosophy
And the Science of them, is the true and onely Moral Philosophy.
For Morall Philosophy is nothing else but the Science of what
is Good, and Evill, in the conversation, and Society of mankind.
Good, and Evill, are names that signifie our Appetites, and Aversions;
which in different tempers, customes, and doctrines of men,
are different: And divers men, differ not onely in their Judgement,
on the senses of what is pleasant, and unpleasant to the tast,
smell, hearing, touch, and sight; but also of what is conformable,
or disagreeable to Reason, in the actions of common life.
Nay, the same man, in divers times, differs from himselfe;
and one time praiseth, that is, calleth Good, what another time
he dispraiseth, and calleth Evil: From whence arise Disputes,
Controversies, and at last War. And therefore so long as man is in
the condition of meer Nature, (which is a condition of War,)
as private Appetite is the measure of Good, and Evill: and consequently
all men agree on this, that Peace is Good, and therefore also the way,
or means of Peace, which (as I have shewed before) are Justice,
Gratitude, Modesty, Equity, Mercy, & the rest of the Laws of Nature, are
good; that is to say, Morall Vertues; and their contrarie Vices, Evill.
Now the science of Vertue and Vice, is Morall Philosophie; and therfore
the true Doctrine of the Lawes of Nature, is the true Morall Philosophie.
But the Writers of Morall Philosophie, though they acknowledge the same
Vertues and Vices; Yet not seeing wherein consisted their Goodnesse;
nor that they come to be praised, as the meanes of peaceable, sociable,
and comfortable living; place them in a mediocrity of passions:
as if not the Cause, but the Degree of daring, made Fortitude;
or not the Cause, but the Quantity of a gift, made Liberality.
These dictates of Reason, men use to call by the name of Lawes;
but improperly: for they are but Conclusions, or Theoremes concerning
what conduceth to the conservation and defence of themselves;
whereas Law, properly is the word of him, that by right hath
command over others. But yet if we consider the same Theoremes,
as delivered in the word of God, that by right commandeth all things;
then are they properly called Lawes.
OF PERSONS, AUTHORS, AND THINGS PERSONATED
A Person What
A PERSON, is he "whose words or actions are considered, either as his own,
or as representing the words or actions of an other man, or of any
other thing to whom they are attributed, whether Truly or by Fiction."
Person Naturall, And Artificiall
When they are considered as his owne, then is he called a Naturall Person:
And when they are considered as representing the words and actions
of an other, then is he a Feigned or Artificiall person.
The Word Person, Whence
The word Person is latine: instead whereof the Greeks have Prosopon,
which signifies the Face, as Persona in latine signifies the Disguise,
or Outward Appearance of a man, counterfeited on the Stage;
and somtimes more particularly that part of it, which disguiseth the face,
as a Mask or Visard: And from the Stage, hath been translated to any
Representer of speech and action, as well in Tribunalls, as Theaters.
So that a Person, is the same that an Actor is, both on the Stage
and in common Conversation; and to Personate, is to Act,
or Represent himselfe, or an other; and he that acteth another,
is said to beare his Person, or act in his name; (in which sence
Cicero useth it where he saies, "Unus Sustineo Tres Personas;
Mei, Adversarii, & Judicis, I beare three Persons; my own,
my Adversaries, and the Judges;") and is called in diverse occasions,
diversly; as a Representer, or Representative, a Lieutenant, a Vicar,
an Attorney, a Deputy, a Procurator, an Actor, and the like.
Of Persons Artificiall, some have their words and actions Owned
by those whom they represent. And then the Person is the Actor;
and he that owneth his words and actions, is the AUTHOR:
In which case the Actor acteth by Authority. For that which
in speaking of goods and possessions, is called an Owner,
and in latine Dominus, in Greeke Kurios; speaking of Actions,
is called Author. And as the Right of possession, is called
Dominion; so the Right of doing any Action, is called AUTHORITY.
So that by Authority, is alwayes understood a Right of doing any act:
and Done By Authority, done by Commission, or Licence from him
whose right it is.
Covenants By Authority, Bind The Author
From hence it followeth, that when the Actor maketh a Covenant
by Authority, he bindeth thereby the Author, no lesse than if
he had made it himselfe; and no lesse subjecteth him to all
the consequences of the same. And therfore all that hath been
said formerly, (Chap. 14) of the nature of Covenants between
man and man in their naturall capacity, is true also when they are
made by their Actors, Representers, or Procurators, that have authority
from them, so far-forth as is in their Commission, but no farther.
And therefore he that maketh a Covenant with the Actor, or Representer,
not knowing the Authority he hath, doth it at his own perill.
For no man is obliged by a Covenant, whereof he is not Author; nor
consequently by a Covenant made against, or beside the Authority he gave.
But Not The Actor
When the Actor doth any thing against the Law of Nature by command
of the Author, if he be obliged by former Covenant to obey him,
not he, but the Author breaketh the Law of Nature: for though the
Action be against the Law of Nature; yet it is not his: but contrarily;
to refuse to do it, is against the Law of Nature, that forbiddeth
breach of Covenant.
The Authority Is To Be Shewne
And he that maketh a Covenant with the Author, by mediation
of the Actor, not knowing what Authority he hath, but onely
takes his word; in case such Authority be not made manifest
unto him upon demand, is no longer obliged: For the Covenant
made with the Author, is not valid, without his Counter-assurance.
But if he that so Covenanteth, knew before hand he was to expect
no other assurance, than the Actors word; then is the Covenant valid;
because the Actor in this case maketh himselfe the Author.
And therefore, as when the Authority is evident, the Covenant
obligeth the Author, not the Actor; so when the Authority is feigned,
it obligeth the Actor onely; there being no Author but himselfe.
Things Personated, Inanimate
There are few things, that are uncapable of being represented by Fiction.
Inanimate things, as a Church, an Hospital, a Bridge, may be
Personated by a Rector, Master, or Overseer. But things Inanimate,
cannot be Authors, nor therefore give Authority to their Actors:
Yet the Actors may have Authority to procure their maintenance,
given them by those that are Owners, or Governours of those things.
And therefore, such things cannot be Personated, before there be
some state of Civill Government.
Likewise Children, Fooles, and Mad-men that have no use of Reason,
may be Personated by Guardians, or Curators; but can be no Authors
(during that time) of any action done by them, longer then (when they
shall recover the use of Reason) they shall judge the same reasonable.
Yet during the Folly, he that hath right of governing them, may give
Authority to the Guardian. But this again has no place but in a
State Civill, because before such estate, there is no Dominion of Persons.
An Idol, or meer Figment of the brain, my be Personated; as were the
Gods of the Heathen; which by such Officers as the State appointed,
were Personated, and held Possessions, and other Goods, and Rights,
which men from time to time dedicated, and consecrated unto them.
But idols cannot be Authors: for a Idol is nothing. The Authority
proceeded from the State: and therefore before introduction of
Civill Government, the Gods of the Heathen could not be Personated.
The True God
The true God may be Personated. As he was; first, by Moses;
who governed the Israelites, (that were not his, but Gods people,)
not in his own name, with Hoc Dicit Moses; but in Gods Name,
with Hoc Dicit Dominus. Secondly, by the son of man, his own Son
our Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, that came to reduce the Jewes,
and induce all Nations into the Kingdome of his Father; not as of
himselfe, but as sent from his Father. And thirdly, by the Holy Ghost,
or Comforter, speaking, and working in the Apostles: which Holy Ghost,
was a Comforter that came not of himselfe; but was sent, and proceeded
from them both.
A Multitude Of Men, How One Person
A Multitude of men, are made One Person, when they are by one man,
or one Person, Represented; so that it be done with the consent
of every one of that Multitude in particular. For it is the
Unity of the Representer, not the Unity of the Represented,
that maketh the Person One. And it is the Representer that beareth
the Person, and but one Person: And Unity, cannot otherwise be
understood in Multitude.
Every One Is Author
And because the Multitude naturally is not One, but Many;
they cannot be understood for one; but many Authors, of every thing
their Representative faith, or doth in their name; Every man giving
their common Representer, Authority from himselfe in particular;
and owning all the actions the Representer doth, in case they give him
Authority without stint: Otherwise, when they limit him in what,
and how farre he shall represent them, none of them owneth more,
than they gave him commission to Act.
An Actor May Be Many Men Made One By Plurality Of Voyces.
And if the Representative consist of many men, the voyce of the
greater number, must be considered as the voyce of them all.
For if the lesser number pronounce (for example) in the Affirmative,
and the greater in the Negative, there will be Negatives more than
enough to destroy the Affirmatives; and thereby the excesse of Negatives,
standing uncontradicted, are the onely voyce the Representative hath.
Representatives, When The Number Is Even, Unprofitable
And a Representative of even number, especially when the number
is not great, whereby the contradictory voyces are oftentimes
equall, is therefore oftentimes mute, and uncapable of Action.
Yet in some cases contradictory voyces equall in number, may determine
a question; as in condemning, or absolving, equality of votes,
even in that they condemne not, do absolve; but not on the contrary
condemne, in that they absolve not. For when a Cause is heard;
not to condemne, is to absolve; but on the contrary, to say that
not absolving, is condemning, is not true. The like it is in a
deliberation of executing presently, or deferring till another time;
For when the voyces are equall, the not decreeing Execution,
is a decree of Dilation.
Or if the number be odde, as three, or more, (men, or assemblies;)
whereof every one has by a Negative Voice, authority to take away
the effect of all the Affirmative Voices of the rest, This number
is no Representative; because by the diversity of Opinions,
and Interests of men, it becomes oftentimes, and in cases of the
greatest consequence, a mute Person, and unapt, as for may things else,
so for the government of a Multitude, especially in time of Warre.
Of Authors there be two sorts. The first simply so called;
which I have before defined to be him, that owneth the Action
of another simply. The second is he, that owneth an Action,
or Covenant of another conditionally; that is to say, he undertaketh
to do it, if the other doth it not, at, or before a certain time.
And these Authors conditionall, are generally called SURETYES,
in Latine Fidejussores, and Sponsores; and particularly for Debt,
Praedes; and for Appearance before a Judge, or Magistrate, Vades.
OF THE CAUSES, GENERATION, AND DEFINITION OF A COMMON-WEALTH
The End Of Common-wealth, Particular Security
The finall Cause, End, or Designe of men, (who naturally love Liberty,
and Dominion over others,) in the introduction of that restraint
upon themselves, (in which wee see them live in Common-wealths,)
is the foresight of their own preservation, and of a more contented
life thereby; that is to say, of getting themselves out from that
miserable condition of Warre, which is necessarily consequent
(as hath been shewn) to the naturall Passions of men, when there is
no visible Power to keep them in awe, and tye them by feare of
punishment to the performance of their Covenants, and observation of
these Lawes of Nature set down in the fourteenth and fifteenth Chapters.
Which Is Not To Be Had From The Law Of Nature:
For the Lawes of Nature (as Justice, Equity, Modesty, Mercy,
and (in summe) Doing To Others, As Wee Would Be Done To,) if themselves,
without the terrour of some Power, to cause them to be observed,
are contrary to our naturall Passions, that carry us to Partiality,
Pride, Revenge, and the like. And Covenants, without the Sword,
are but Words, and of no strength to secure a man at all.
Therefore notwithstanding the Lawes of Nature, (which every one hath
then kept, when he has the will to keep them, when he can do it safely,)
if there be no Power erected, or not great enough for our security;
every man will and may lawfully rely on his own strength and art,
for caution against all other men. And in all places, where men
have lived by small Families, to robbe and spoyle one another,
has been a Trade, and so farre from being reputed against the Law
of Nature, that the greater spoyles they gained, the greater was
their honour; and men observed no other Lawes therein, but the Lawes
of Honour; that is, to abstain from cruelty, leaving to men their lives,
and instruments of husbandry. And as small Familyes did then; so now
do Cities and Kingdomes which are but greater Families (for their
own security) enlarge their Dominions, upon all pretences of danger,
and fear of Invasion, or assistance that may be given to Invaders,
endeavour as much as they can, to subdue, or weaken their neighbours,
by open force, and secret arts, for want of other Caution, justly;
and are rememdbred for it in after ages with honour.
Nor From The Conjunction Of A Few Men Or Familyes
Nor is it the joyning together of a small number of men, that gives
them this security; because in small numbers, small additions on the
one side or the other, make the advantage of strength so great,
as is sufficient to carry the Victory; and therefore gives encouragement
to an Invasion. The Multitude sufficient to confide in for our Security,
is not determined by any certain number, but by comparison with
the Enemy we feare; and is then sufficient, when the odds of the Enemy
is not of so visible and conspicuous moment, to determine the event
of warre, as to move him to attempt.
Nor From A Great Multitude, Unlesse Directed
By One Judgement:
And be there never so great a Multitude; yet if their actions
be directed according to their particular judgements, and particular
appetites, they can expect thereby no defence, nor protection,
neither against a Common enemy, nor against the injuries of one another.
For being distracted in opinions concerning the best use and
application of their strength, they do not help, but hinder one another;
and reduce their strength by mutuall opposition to nothing:
whereby they are easily, not onely subdued by a very few that
agree together; but also when there is no common enemy, they make warre
upon each other, for their particular interests. For if we could
suppose a great Multitude of men to consent in the observation of Justice,
and other Lawes of Nature, without a common Power to keep them all in awe;
we might as well suppose all Man-kind to do the same; and then
there neither would be nor need to be any Civill Government,
or Common-wealth at all; because there would be Peace without subjection.
And That Continually
Nor is it enough for the security, which men desire should
last all the time of their life, that they be governed,
and directed by one judgement, for a limited time; as in one Battell,
or one Warre. For though they obtain a Victory by their unanimous
endeavour against a forraign enemy; yet afterwards, when either
they have no common enemy, or he that by one part is held for
an enemy, is by another part held for a friend, they must needs
by the difference of their interests dissolve, and fall again
into a Warre amongst themselves.
Why Certain Creatures Without Reason, Or Speech,
Do Neverthelesse Live In Society, Without
Any Coercive Power
It is true, that certain living creatures, as Bees, and Ants,
live sociably one with another, (which are therefore by Aristotle
numbred amongst Politicall creatures;) and yet have no other direction,
than their particular judgements and appetites; nor speech,
whereby one of them can signifie to another, what he thinks
expedient for the common benefit: and therefore some man may perhaps
desire to know, why Man-kind cannot do the same. To which I answer,
First, that men are continually in competition for Honour and Dignity,
which these creatures are not; and consequently amongst men there
ariseth on that ground, Envy and Hatred, and finally Warre;
but amongst these not so.
Secondly, that amongst these creatures, the Common good differeth not
from the Private; and being by nature enclined to their private,
they procure thereby the common benefit. But man, whose Joy
consisteth in comparing himselfe with other men, can relish nothing
but what is eminent.
Thirdly, that these creatures, having not (as man) the use of reason,
do not see, nor think they see any fault, in the administration
of their common businesse: whereas amongst men, there are very many,
that thinke themselves wiser, and abler to govern the Publique,
better than the rest; and these strive to reforme and innovate,
one this way, another that way; and thereby bring it into Distraction
and Civill warre.
Fourthly, that these creatures, though they have some use of voice,
in making knowne to one another their desires, and other affections;
yet they want that art of words, by which some men can represent
to others, that which is Good, in the likenesse of Evill; and Evill,
in the likenesse of Good; and augment, or diminish the apparent
greatnesse of Good and Evill; discontenting men, and troubling their
Peace at their pleasure.
Fiftly, irrationall creatures cannot distinguish betweene Injury,
and Dammage; and therefore as long as they be at ease, they are not
offended with their fellowes: whereas Man is then most troublesome,
when he is most at ease: for then it is that he loves to shew his Wisdome,
and controule the Actions of them that governe the Common-wealth.
Lastly, the agreement of these creatures is Naturall; that of men,
is by Covenant only, which is Artificiall: and therefore it is no wonder
if there be somewhat else required (besides Covenant) to make their
Agreement constant and lasting; which is a Common Power, to keep them
in awe, and to direct their actions to the Common Benefit.
The Generation Of A Common-wealth
The only way to erect such a Common Power, as may be able to defend
them from the invasion of Forraigners, and the injuries of one another,
and thereby to secure them in such sort, as that by their owne industrie,
and by the fruites of the Earth, they may nourish themselves
and live contentedly; is, to conferre all their power and strength
upon one Man, or upon one Assembly of men, that may reduce all their
Wills, by plurality of voices, unto one Will: which is as much as to say,
to appoint one man, or Assembly of men, to beare their Person;
and every one to owne, and acknowledge himselfe to be Author of
whatsoever he that so beareth their Person, shall Act, or cause
to be Acted, in those things which concerne the Common Peace
and Safetie; and therein to submit their Wills, every one to his Will,
and their Judgements, to his Judgment. This is more than Consent,
or Concord; it is a reall Unitie of them all, in one and the same Person,
made by Covenant of every man with every man, in such manner,
as if every man should say to every man, "I Authorise and give up
my Right of Governing my selfe, to this Man, or to this Assembly of men,
on this condition, that thou give up thy Right to him, and Authorise
all his Actions in like manner." This done, the Multitude so united
in one Person, is called a COMMON-WEALTH, in latine CIVITAS.
This is the Generation of that great LEVIATHAN, or rather (to speake more reverently) of that Mortall God, to which wee owe under the Immortall God,
our peace and defence. For by this Authoritie, given him by every
particular man in the Common-Wealth, he hath the use of so much
Power and Strength conferred on him, that by terror thereof,
he is inabled to forme the wills of them all, to Peace at home,
and mutuall ayd against their enemies abroad.
The Definition Of A Common-wealth
And in him consisteth the Essence of the Common-wealth; which
(to define it,) is "One Person, of whose Acts a great Multitude,
by mutuall Covenants one with another, have made themselves every one
the Author, to the end he may use the strength and means of them all,
as he shall think expedient, for their Peace and Common Defence."
Soveraigne, And Subject, What
And he that carryeth this Person, as called SOVERAIGNE, and said
to have Soveraigne Power; and every one besides, his SUBJECT.
The attaining to this Soveraigne Power, is by two wayes.
One, by Naturall force; as when a man maketh his children,
to submit themselves, and their children to his government,
as being able to destroy them if they refuse, or by Warre subdueth
his enemies to his will, giving them their lives on that condition.
The other, is when men agree amongst themselves, to submit to some Man,
or Assembly of men, voluntarily, on confidence to be protected
by him against all others. This later, may be called a Politicall
Common-wealth, or Common-wealth by Institution; and the former,
a Common-wealth by Acquisition. And first, I shall speak
of a Common-wealth by Institution.
OF THE RIGHTS OF SOVERAIGNES BY INSTITUTION
The Act Of Instituting A Common-wealth, What
A Common-wealth is said to be Instituted, when a Multitude
of men do Agree, and Covenant, Every One With Every One,
that to whatsoever Man, or Assembly Of Men, shall be given
by the major part, the Right to Present the Person of them all,
(that is to say, to be their Representative;) every one,
as well he that Voted For It, as he that Voted Against It,
shall Authorise all the Actions and Judgements, of that Man,
or Assembly of men, in the same manner, as if they were his own,
to the end, to live peaceably amongst themselves, and be protected
against other men.
The Consequences To Such Institution, Are
I. The Subjects Cannot Change The Forme Of Government
From this Institution of a Common-wealth are derived all the Rights,
and Facultyes of him, or them, on whom the Soveraigne Power
is conferred by the consent of the People assembled.
First, because they Covenant, it is to be understood, they are
not obliged by former Covenant to any thing repugnant hereunto.
And Consequently they that have already Instituted a Common-wealth,
being thereby bound by Covenant, to own the Actions, and Judgements
of one, cannot lawfully make a new Covenant, amongst themselves,
to be obedient to any other, in any thing whatsoever, without
his permission. And therefore, they that are subjects to a Monarch,
cannot without his leave cast off Monarchy, and return to the
confusion of a disunited Multitude; nor transferre their Person
from him that beareth it, to another Man, or other Assembly of men:
for they are bound, every man to every man, to Own, and be reputed
Author of all, that he that already is their Soveraigne, shall do,
and judge fit to be done: so that any one man dissenting,
all the rest should break their Covenant made to that man,
which is injustice: and they have also every man given the
Soveraignty to him that beareth their Person; and therefore
if they depose him, they take from him that which is his own,
and so again it is injustice. Besides, if he that attempteth
to depose his Soveraign, be killed, or punished by him for such
attempt, he is author of his own punishment, as being by the Institution,
Author of all his Soveraign shall do: And because it is injustice
for a man to do any thing, for which he may be punished by his
own authority, he is also upon that title, unjust. And whereas
some men have pretended for their disobedience to their Soveraign,
a new Covenant, made, not with men, but with God; this also is unjust:
for there is no Covenant with God, but by mediation of some body
that representeth Gods Person; which none doth but Gods Lieutenant,
who hath the Soveraignty under God. But this pretence of Covenant
with God, is so evident a lye, even in the pretenders own consciences,
that it is not onely an act of an unjust, but also of a vile,
and unmanly disposition.
2. Soveraigne Power Cannot Be Forfeited
Secondly, Because the Right of bearing the Person of them all,
is given to him they make Soveraigne, by Covenant onely of one to another,
and not of him to any of them; there can happen no breach of Covenant
on the part of the Soveraigne; and consequently none of his Subjects,
by any pretence of forfeiture, can be freed from his Subjection.
That he which is made Soveraigne maketh no Covenant with his Subjects
beforehand, is manifest; because either he must make it with the
whole multitude, as one party to the Covenant; or he must make a
severall Covenant with every man. With the whole, as one party,
it is impossible; because as yet they are not one Person:
and if he make so many severall Covenants as there be men,
those Covenants after he hath the Soveraignty are voyd, because
what act soever can be pretended by any one of them for breach thereof,
is the act both of himselfe, and of all the rest, because done
in the Person, and by the Right of every one of them in particular.
Besides, if any one, or more of them, pretend a breach of the Covenant
made by the Soveraigne at his Institution; and others, or one other
of his Subjects, or himselfe alone, pretend there was no such breach,
there is in this case, no Judge to decide the controversie:
it returns therefore to the Sword again; and every man recovereth
the right of Protecting himselfe by his own strength, contrary to
the designe they had in the Institution. It is therefore in vain
to grant Soveraignty by way of precedent Covenant. The opinion that
any Monarch receiveth his Power by Covenant, that is to say on Condition,
proceedeth from want of understanding this easie truth, that Covenants
being but words, and breath, have no force to oblige, contain, constrain,
or protect any man, but what it has from the publique Sword; that is,
from the untyed hands of that Man, or Assembly of men that hath
the Soveraignty, and whose actions are avouched by them all,
and performed by the strength of them all, in him united.
But when an Assembly of men is made Soveraigne; then no man imagineth
any such Covenant to have past in the Institution; for no man is so dull
as to say, for example, the People of Rome, made a Covenant with the
Romans, to hold the Soveraignty on such or such conditions;
which not performed, the Romans might lawfully depose the Roman People.
That men see not the reason to be alike in a Monarchy, and in a Popular
Government, proceedeth from the ambition of some, that are kinder
to the government of an Assembly, whereof they may hope to participate,
than of Monarchy, which they despair to enjoy.
3. No Man Can Without Injustice Protest Against The
Institution Of The Soveraigne Declared By The Major Part.
Thirdly, because the major part hath by consenting voices declared
a Soveraigne; he that dissented must now consent with the rest;
that is, be contented to avow all the actions he shall do,
or else justly be destroyed by the rest. For if he voluntarily
entered into the Congregation of them that were assembled,
he sufficiently declared thereby his will (and therefore
tacitely covenanted) to stand to what the major part should ordayne:
and therefore if he refuse to stand thereto, or make Protestation
against any of their Decrees, he does contrary to his Covenant,
and therfore unjustly. And whether he be of the Congregation,
or not; and whether his consent be asked, or not, he must either
submit to their decrees, or be left in the condition of warre
he was in before; wherein he might without injustice be destroyed
by any man whatsoever.
4. The Soveraigns Actions Cannot Be Justly
Accused By The Subject
Fourthly, because every Subject is by this Institution Author of
all the Actions, and Judgements of the Soveraigne Instituted;
it followes, that whatsoever he doth, it can be no injury to any of
his Subjects; nor ought he to be by any of them accused of Injustice.
For he that doth any thing by authority from another, doth therein
no injury to him by whose authority he acteth: But by this
Institution of a Common-wealth, every particular man is Author
of all the Soveraigne doth; and consequently he that complaineth
of injury from his Soveraigne, complaineth of that whereof
he himselfe is Author; and therefore ought not to accuse
any man but himselfe; no nor himselfe of injury; because to do
injury to ones selfe, is impossible. It is true that they that have
Soveraigne power, may commit Iniquity; but not Injustice, or Injury
in the proper signification.
5.What Soever The Soveraigne Doth,
Is Unpunishable By The Subject
Fiftly, and consequently to that which was sayd last, no man that
hath Soveraigne power can justly be put to death, or otherwise in
any manner by his Subjects punished. For seeing every Subject
is author of the actions of his Soveraigne; he punisheth another,
for the actions committed by himselfe.
6. The Soveraigne Is Judge Of What Is Necessary For The Peace
And Defence Of His Subjects
And because the End of this Institution, is the Peace and Defence
of them all; and whosoever has right to the End, has right to the Means;
it belongeth of Right, to whatsoever Man, or Assembly that hath
the Soveraignty, to be Judge both of the meanes of Peace and Defence;
and also of the hindrances, and disturbances of the same;
and to do whatsoever he shall think necessary to be done,
both beforehand, for the preserving of Peace and Security,
by prevention of discord at home and Hostility from abroad; and,
when Peace and Security are lost, for the recovery of the same.
And Judge Of What Doctrines Are Fit To Be Taught Them
Sixtly, it is annexed to the Soveraignty, to be Judge of what
Opinions and Doctrines are averse, and what conducing to Peace;
and consequently, on what occasions, how farre, and what,
men are to be trusted withall, in speaking to Multitudes of people;
and who shall examine the Doctrines of all bookes before they
be published. For the Actions of men proceed from their Opinions;
and in the wel governing of Opinions, consisteth the well
governing of mens Actions, in order to their Peace, and Concord.
And though in matter of Doctrine, nothing ought to be regarded but
the Truth; yet this is not repugnant to regulating of the same by Peace.
For Doctrine Repugnant to Peace, can no more be True, than Peace
and Concord can be against the Law of Nature. It is true, that in
a Common-wealth, where by the negligence, or unskilfullnesse of
Governours, and Teachers, false Doctrines are by time generally received;
the contrary Truths may be generally offensive; Yet the most sudden,
and rough busling in of a new Truth, that can be, does never breake
the Peace, but onely somtimes awake the Warre. For those men that
are so remissely governed, that they dare take up Armes, to defend,
or introduce an Opinion, are still in Warre; and their condition
not Peace, but only a Cessation of Armes for feare of one another;
and they live as it were, in the procincts of battaile continually.
It belongeth therefore to him that hath the Soveraign Power,
to be Judge, or constitute all Judges of Opinions and Doctrines,
as a thing necessary to Peace, thereby to prevent Discord
and Civill Warre.
7. The Right Of Making Rules, Whereby The Subject May
Every Man Know What Is So His Owne, As No Other Subject
Can Without Injustice Take It From Him
Seventhly, is annexed to the Soveraigntie, the whole power of
prescribing the Rules, whereby every man may know, what Goods he
may enjoy and what Actions he may doe, without being molested by
any of his fellow Subjects: And this is it men Call Propriety.
For before constitution of Soveraign Power (as hath already been shewn)
all men had right to all things; which necessarily causeth Warre:
and therefore this Proprietie, being necessary to Peace, and depending on
Soveraign Power, is the Act of the Power, in order to the publique peace.
These Rules of Propriety (or Meum and Tuum) and of Good, Evill, Lawfull
and Unlawfull in the actions of subjects, are the Civill Lawes,
that is to say, the lawes of each Commonwealth in particular;
though the name of Civill Law be now restrained to the antient
Civill Lawes of the City of Rome; which being the head of a
great part of the World, her Lawes at that time were in these parts
the Civill Law.
8. To Him Also Belongeth The Right Of All Judicature
And Decision Of Controversies:
Eightly, is annexed to the Soveraigntie, the Right of Judicature;
that is to say, of hearing and deciding all Controversies,
which may arise concerning Law, either Civill, or naturall,
or concerning Fact. For without the decision of Controversies,
there is no protection of one Subject, against the injuries of another;
the Lawes concerning Meum and Tuum are in vaine; and to every
man remaineth, from the naturall and necessary appetite of his
own conservation, the right of protecting himselfe by his
private strength, which is the condition of Warre; and contrary to
the end for which every Common-wealth is instituted.
9. And Of Making War, And Peace, As He Shall Think Best:
Ninthly, is annexed to the Soveraignty, the Right of making Warre,
and Peace with other Nations, and Common-wealths; that is to say,
of Judging when it is for the publique good, and how great
forces are to be assembled, armed, and payd for that end;
and to levy mony upon the Subjects, to defray the expenses thereof.
For the Power by which the people are to be defended, consisteth in
their Armies; and the strength of an Army, in the union of their
strength under one Command; which Command the Soveraign Instituted,
therefore hath; because the command of the Militia, without other
Institution, maketh him that hath it Soveraign. And therefore
whosoever is made Generall of an Army, he that hath the Soveraign
Power is alwayes Generallissimo.
10. And Of Choosing All Counsellours, And Ministers,
Both Of Peace, And Warre:
Tenthly, is annexed to the Soveraignty, the choosing of all Councellours,
Ministers, Magistrates, and Officers, both in peace, and War.
For seeing the Soveraign is charged with the End, which is
the common Peace and Defence; he is understood to have Power to
use such Means, as he shall think most fit for his discharge.
11. And Of Rewarding, And Punishing, And That (Where No
Former Law hath Determined The Measure Of It) Arbitrary:
Eleventhly, to the Soveraign is committed the Power of Rewarding
with riches, or honour; and of Punishing with corporall, or pecuniary
punishment, or with ignominy every Subject according to the Lawe
he hath formerly made; or if there be no Law made, according as he
shall judge most to conduce to the encouraging of men to serve
the Common-wealth, or deterring of them from doing dis-service to the same.
12. And Of Honour And Order
Lastly, considering what values men are naturally apt to set
upon themselves; what respect they look for from others;
and how little they value other men; from whence continually
arise amongst them, Emulation, Quarrells, Factions, and at last Warre,
to the destroying of one another, and diminution of their strength
against a Common Enemy; It is necessary that there be Lawes of Honour,
and a publique rate of the worth of such men as have deserved,
or are able to deserve well of the Common-wealth; and that there be
force in the hands of some or other, to put those Lawes in execution.
But it hath already been shown, that not onely the whole Militia,
or forces of the Common-wealth; but also the Judicature of all
Controversies, is annexed to the Soveraignty. To the Soveraign
therefore it belongeth also to give titles of Honour; and to appoint
what Order of place, and dignity, each man shall hold; and what
signes of respect, in publique or private meetings, they shall give
to one another.
These Rights Are Indivisible
These are the Rights, which make the Essence of Soveraignty;
and which are the markes, whereby a man may discern in what Man,
or Assembly of men, the Soveraign Power is placed, and resideth.
For these are incommunicable, and inseparable. The Power to coyn Mony;
to dispose of the estate and persons of Infant heires; to have
praeemption in Markets; and all other Statute Praerogatives,
may be transferred by the Soveraign; and yet the Power to protect
his Subject be retained. But if he transferre the Militia,
he retains the Judicature in vain, for want of execution of the Lawes;
Or if he grant away the Power of raising Mony; the Militia is in vain:
or if he give away the government of doctrines, men will be frighted
into rebellion with the feare of Spirits. And so if we consider
any one of the said Rights, we shall presently see, that the holding
of all the rest, will produce no effect, in the conservation of
Peace and Justice, the end for which all Common-wealths are Instituted.
And this division is it, whereof it is said, "A kingdome divided in
it selfe cannot stand:" For unlesse this division precede,
division into opposite Armies can never happen. If there had not
first been an opinion received of the greatest part of England,
that these Powers were divided between the King, and the Lords,
and the House of Commons, the people had never been divided,
and fallen into this Civill Warre; first between those that
disagreed in Politiques; and after between the Dissenters
about the liberty of Religion; which have so instructed men
in this point of Soveraign Right, that there be few now (in England,)
that do not see, that these Rights are inseparable, and will be so
generally acknowledged, at the next return of Peace; and so continue,
till their miseries are forgotten; and no longer, except the vulgar
be better taught than they have hetherto been.
And Can By No Grant Passe Away Without Direct
Renouncing Of The Soveraign Power
And because they are essentiall and inseparable Rights, it follows
necessarily, that in whatsoever, words any of them seem to be
granted away, yet if the Soveraign Power it selfe be not in direct
termes renounced, and the name of Soveraign no more given by the
Grantees to him that Grants them, the Grant is voyd: for when he has
granted all he can, if we grant back the Soveraignty, all is restored,
as inseparably annexed thereunto.
The Power And Honour Of Subjects Vanisheth In The
Presence Of The Power Soveraign
This great Authority being indivisible, and inseparably annexed
to the Soveraignty, there is little ground for the opinion of them,
that say of Soveraign Kings, though they be Singulis Majores,
of greater Power than every one of their Subjects, yet they be
Universis Minores, of lesse power than them all together.
For if by All Together, they mean not the collective body as one person,
then All Together, and Every One, signifie the same; and the speech
is absurd. But if by All Together, they understand them as one Person
(which person the Soveraign bears,) then the power of all together,
is the same with the Soveraigns power; and so again the speech is absurd;
which absurdity they see well enough, when the Soveraignty is in
an Assembly of the people; but in a Monarch they see it not;
and yet the power of Soveraignty is the same in whomsoever it be placed.
And as the Power, so also the Honour of the Soveraign, ought to be
greater, than that of any, or all the Subjects. For in the Soveraignty
is the fountain of Honour. The dignities of Lord, Earle, Duke,
and Prince are his Creatures. As in the presence of the Master,
the Servants are equall, and without any honour at all; So are
the Subjects, in the presence of the Soveraign. And though they
shine some more, some lesse, when they are out of his sight;
yet in his presence, they shine no more than the Starres in
presence of the Sun.
Soveraigne Power Not Hurtfull As The Want Of It,
And The Hurt Proceeds For The Greatest Part From Not
Submitting Readily, To A Lesse
But a man may here object, that the Condition of Subjects is
very miserable; as being obnoxious to the lusts, and other
irregular passions of him, or them that have so unlimited a Power
in their hands. And commonly they that live under a Monarch,
think it the fault of Monarchy; and they that live under the
government of Democracy, or other Soveraign Assembly, attribute
all the inconvenience to that forme of Common-wealth; whereas the
Power in all formes, if they be perfect enough to protect them,
is the same; not considering that the estate of Man can never be
without some incommodity or other; and that the greatest,
that in any forme of Government can possibly happen to the people
in generall, is scarce sensible, in respect of the miseries,
and horrible calamities, that accompany a Civill Warre; or that
dissolute condition of masterlesse men, without subjection to Lawes,
and a coercive Power to tye their hands from rapine, and revenge:
nor considering that the greatest pressure of Soveraign Governours,
proceedeth not from any delight, or profit they can expect
in the dammage, or weakening of their subjects, in whose vigor,
consisteth their own selves, that unwillingly contributing to
their own defence, make it necessary for their Governours to draw
from them what they can in time of Peace, that they may have means
on any emergent occasion, or sudden need, to resist, or take advantage
on their Enemies. For all men are by nature provided of notable
multiplying glasses, (that is their Passions and Self-love,)
through which, every little payment appeareth a great grievance;
but are destitute of those prospective glasses, (namely Morall
and Civill Science,) to see a farre off the miseries that hang
over them, and cannot without such payments be avoyded.
OF THE SEVERALL KINDS OF COMMON-WEALTH BY INSTITUTION,
AND OF SUCCESSION TO THE SOVERAIGNE POWER
The Different Formes Of Common-wealths But Three
The difference of Common-wealths, consisteth in the difference of
the Soveraign, or the Person representative of all and every one
of the Multitude. And because the Soveraignty is either in one Man,
or in an Assembly of more than one; and into that Assembly either
Every man hath right to enter, or not every one, but Certain men
distinguished from the rest; it is manifest, there can be but Three
kinds of Common-wealth. For the Representative must needs be One man,
or More: and if more, then it is the Assembly of All, or but of a Part.
When the Representative is One man, then is the Common-wealth a MONARCHY:
when an Assembly of All that will come together, then it is a DEMOCRACY,
or Popular Common-wealth: when an Assembly of a Part onely, then it
is called an ARISTOCRACY. Other kind of Common-wealth there can be none:
for either One, or More, or All must have the Soveraign Power
(which I have shewn to be indivisible) entire.
Tyranny And Oligarchy, But Different Names Of Monarchy,
There be other names of Government, in the Histories, and books of Policy;
as Tyranny, and Oligarchy: But they are not the names of other Formes
of Government, but of the same Formes misliked. For they that
are discontented under Monarchy, call it Tyranny; and they that
are displeased with Aristocracy, called it Oligarchy: so also,
they which find themselves grieved under a Democracy, call it Anarchy,
(which signifies want of Government;) and yet I think no man believes,
that want of Government, is any new kind of Government: nor by the same
reason ought they to believe, that the Government is of one kind,
when they like it, and another, when they mislike it, or are oppressed
by the Governours.
Subordinate Representatives Dangerous
It is manifest, that men who are in absolute liberty, may,
if they please, give Authority to One Man, to represent them every one;
as well as give such Authority to any Assembly of men whatsoever;
and consequently may subject themselves, if they think good,
to a Monarch, as absolutely, as to any other Representative.
Therefore, where there is already erected a Soveraign Power,
there can be no other Representative of the same people,
but onely to certain particular ends, by the Soveraign limited.
For that were to erect two Soveraigns; and every man to have his
person represented by two Actors, that by opposing one another,
must needs divide that Power, which (if men will live in Peace)
is indivisible, and thereby reduce the Multitude into the condition
of Warre, contrary to the end for which all Soveraignty is instituted.
And therefore as it is absurd, to think that a Soveraign Assembly,
inviting the People of their Dominion, to send up their Deputies,
with power to make known their Advise, or Desires, should therefore
hold such Deputies, rather than themselves, for the absolute
Representative of the people: so it is absurd also, to think the same
in a Monarchy. And I know not how this so manifest a truth,
should of late be so little observed; that in a Monarchy,
he that had the Soveraignty from a descent of 600 years,
was alone called Soveraign, had the title of Majesty from every
one of his Subjects, and was unquestionably taken by them for their King;
was notwithstanding never considered as their Representative;
that name without contradiction passing for the title of those men,
which at his command were sent up by the people to carry their Petitions,
and give him (if he permitted it) their advise. Which may serve
as an admonition, for those that are the true, and absolute
Representative of a People, to instruct men in the nature of that Office,
and to take heed how they admit of any other generall Representation
upon any occasion whatsoever, if they mean to discharge the truth
committed to them.
Comparison Of Monarchy, With Soveraign Assemblyes
The difference between these three kindes of Common-wealth,
consisteth not in the difference of Power; but in the difference
of Convenience, or Aptitude to produce the Peace, and Security
of the people; for which end they were instituted. And to compare
Monarchy with the other two, we may observe; First, that whosoever beareth
the Person of the people, or is one of that Assembly that bears it,
beareth also his own naturall Person. And though he be carefull
in his politique Person to procure the common interest; yet he is more,
or no lesse carefull to procure the private good of himselfe,
his family, kindred and friends; and for the most part, if the publique
interest chance to crosse the private, he preferrs the private:
for the Passions of men, are commonly more potent than their Reason.
From whence it follows, that where the publique and private interest
are most closely united, there is the publique most advanced.
Now in Monarchy, the private interest is the same with the publique.
The riches, power, and honour of a Monarch arise onely from the riches,
strength and reputation of his Subjects. For no King can be rich,
nor glorious, nor secure; whose Subjects are either poore,
or contemptible, or too weak through want, or dissention,
to maintain a war against their enemies: Whereas in a Democracy,
or Aristocracy, the publique prosperity conferres not so much
to the private fortune of one that is corrupt, or ambitious,
as doth many times a perfidious advice, a treacherous action,
or a Civill warre.
Secondly, that a Monarch receiveth counsell of whom, when,
and where he pleaseth; and consequently may heare the opinion of men
versed in the matter about which he deliberates, of what rank or
quality soever, and as long before the time of action, and with
as much secrecy, as he will. But when a Soveraigne Assembly
has need of Counsell, none are admitted but such as have a Right
thereto from the beginning; which for the most part are of those who
have beene versed more in the acquisition of Wealth than of Knowledge;
and are to give their advice in long discourses, which may,
and do commonly excite men to action, but not governe them in it.
For the Understanding is by the flame of the Passions, never enlightned,
but dazled: Nor is there any place, or time, wherein an Assemblie can
receive Counsell with secrecie, because of their owne Multitude.
Thirdly, that the Resolutions of a Monarch, are subject to no
other Inconstancy, than that of Humane Nature; but in Assemblies,
besides that of Nature, there ariseth an Inconstancy from the Number.
For the absence of a few, that would have the Resolution once taken,
continue firme, (which may happen by security, negligence,
or private impediments,) or the diligent appearance of a few of
the contrary opinion, undoes to day, all that was concluded yesterday.
Fourthly, that a Monarch cannot disagree with himselfe, out of envy,
or interest; but an Assembly may; and that to such a height,
as may produce a Civill Warre.
Fifthly, that in Monarchy there is this inconvenience; that any Subject,
by the power of one man, for the enriching of a favourite or flatterer,
may be deprived of all he possesseth; which I confesse is a great and
inevitable inconvenience. But the same may as well happen,
where the Soveraigne Power is in an Assembly: for their power
is the same; and they are as subject to evill Counsell, and to be
seduced by Orators, as a Monarch by Flatterers; and becoming
one an others Flatterers, serve one anothers Covetousnesse
and Ambition by turnes. And whereas the Favorites of an Assembly,
are many; and the Kindred much more numerous, than of any Monarch.
Besides, there is no Favourite of a Monarch, which cannot as well
succour his friends, as hurt his enemies: But Orators, that is to say,
Favourites of Soveraigne Assemblies, though they have great power to hurt,
have little to save. For to accuse, requires lesse Eloquence
(such is mans Nature) than to excuse; and condemnation, than absolution
more resembles Justice.
Sixtly, that it is an inconvenience in Monarchie, that the Soveraigntie
may descend upon an Infant, or one that cannot discerne between
Good and Evill: and consisteth in this, that the use of his Power,
must be in the hand of another Man, or of some Assembly of men,
which are to governe by his right, and in his name; as Curators,
and Protectors of his Person, and Authority. But to say there
is inconvenience, in putting the use of the Soveraign Power,
into the hand of a Man, or an Assembly of men; is to say that
all Government is more Inconvenient, than Confusion, and Civill Warre.
And therefore all the danger that can be pretended, must arise from
the Contention of those, that for an office of so great honour,
and profit, may become Competitors. To make it appear, that this
inconvenience, proceedeth not from that forme of Government we
call Monarchy, we are to consider, that the precedent Monarch,
hath appointed who shall have the Tuition of his Infant Successor,
either expressely by Testament, or tacitly, by not controlling
the Custome in that case received: And then such inconvenience
(if it happen) is to be attributed, not to the Monarchy, but to the
Ambition, and Injustice of the Subjects; which in all kinds of Government,
where the people are not well instructed in their Duty, and the Rights
of Soveraignty, is the same. Or else the precedent Monarch,
hath not at all taken order for such Tuition; And then the Law
of Nature hath provided this sufficient rule, That the Tuition
shall be in him, that hath by Nature most interest in the preservation
of the Authority of the Infant, and to whom least benefit can accrue
by his death, or diminution. For seeing every man by nature seeketh
his own benefit, and promotion; to put an Infant into the power of those,
that can promote themselves by his destruction, or dammage,
is not Tuition, but Trechery. So that sufficient provision being taken,
against all just quarrell, about the Government under a Child,
if any contention arise to the disturbance of the publique Peace,
it is not to be attributed to the forme of Monarchy, but to the
ambition of Subjects, and ignorance of their Duty. On the other side,
there is no great Common-wealth, the Soveraignty whereof is in
a great Assembly, which is not, as to consultations of Peace,
and Warre, and making of Lawes, in the same condition, as if
the Government were in a Child. For as a Child wants the judgement
to dissent from counsell given him, and is thereby necessitated
to take the advise of them, or him, to whom he is committed:
So an Assembly wanteth the liberty, to dissent from the counsell
of the major part, be it good, or bad. And as a Child has need
of a Tutor, or Protector, to preserve his Person, and Authority:
So also (in great Common-wealths,) the Soveraign Assembly,
in all great dangers and troubles, have need of Custodes Libertatis;
that is of Dictators, or Protectors of their Authoritie; which are
as much as Temporary Monarchs; to whom for a time, they may commit
the entire exercise of their Power; and have (at the end of that time)
been oftner deprived thereof, than Infant Kings, by their Protectors,
Regents, or any other Tutors.
Though the Kinds of Soveraigntie be, as I have now shewn, but three;
that is to say, Monarchie, where one Man has it; or Democracie,
where the generall Assembly of Subjects hath it; or Aristocracie,
where it is in an Assembly of certain persons nominated, or otherwise
distinguished from the rest: Yet he that shall consider the particular
Common-wealthes that have been, and are in the world, will not perhaps
easily reduce them to three, and may thereby be inclined to think
there be other Formes, arising from these mingled together.
As for example, Elective Kingdomes; where Kings have the Soveraigne
Power put into their hands for a time; of Kingdomes, wherein the King
hath a power limited: which Governments, are nevertheless by most
Writers called Monarchie. Likewise if a Popular, or Aristocraticall
Common-wealth, subdue an Enemies Countrie, and govern the same,
by a President, Procurator, or other Magistrate; this may seeme perhaps
at first sight, to be a Democraticall, or Aristocraticall Government.
But it is not so. For Elective Kings, are not Soveraignes,
but Ministers of the Soveraigne; nor limited Kings Soveraignes,
but Ministers of them that have the Soveraigne Power: nor are those
Provinces which are in subjection to a Democracie, or Aristocracie
of another Common-wealth, Democratically, or Aristocratically governed,
And first, concerning an Elective King, whose power is limited to
his life, as it is in many places of Christendome at this day;
or to certaine Yeares or Moneths, as the Dictators power amongst
the Romans; If he have Right to appoint his Successor, he is no more
Elective but Hereditary. But if he have no Power to elect his Successor,
then there is some other Man, or Assembly known, which after his decease
may elect a new, or else the Common-wealth dieth, and dissolveth with him,
and returneth to the condition of Warre. If it be known who have
the power to give the Soveraigntie after his death, it is known also
that the Soveraigntie was in them before: For none have right to give
that which they have not right to possesse, and keep to themselves,
if they think good. But if there be none that can give the Soveraigntie,
after the decease of him that was first elected; then has he power,
nay he is obliged by the Law of Nature, to provide, by establishing
his Successor, to keep those that had trusted him with the Government,
from relapsing into the miserable condition of Civill warre.
And consequently he was, when elected, a Soveraign absolute.
Secondly, that King whose power is limited, is not superiour to him,
or them that have the power to limit it; and he that is not superiour,
is not supreme; that is to say not Soveraign. The Soveraignty therefore
was alwaies in that Assembly which had the Right to Limit him;
and by consequence the government not Monarchy, but either Democracy,
or Aristocracy; as of old time in Sparta; where the Kings had
a priviledge to lead their Armies; but the Soveraignty was in the Ephori.
Thirdly, whereas heretofore the Roman People, governed the land of Judea
(for example) by a President; yet was not Judea therefore a Democracy;
because they were not governed by any Assembly, into which, any of them,
had right to enter; nor by an Aristocracy; because they were not governed
by any Assembly, into which, any man could enter by their Election:
but they were governed by one Person, which though as to the people
of Rome was an Assembly of the people, or Democracy; yet as to the
people of Judea, which had no right at all of participating in
the government, was a Monarch. For though where the people are
governed by an Assembly, chosen by themselves out of their own number,
the government is called a Democracy, or Aristocracy; yet when they
are governed by an Assembly, not of their own choosing, 'tis a Monarchy;
not of One man, over another man; but of one people, over another people.
Of The Right Of Succession
Of all these Formes of Government, the matter being mortall,
so that not onely Monarchs, but also whole Assemblies dy,
it is necessary for the conservation of the peace of men,
that as there was order taken for an Artificiall Man, so there
be order also taken, for an Artificiall Eternity of life; without which,
men that are governed by an Assembly, should return into the condition
of Warre in every age; and they that are governed by One man,
as soon as their Governour dyeth. This Artificiall Eternity,
is that which men call the Right of Succession.
There is no perfect forme of Government, where the disposing of
the Succession is not in the present Soveraign. For if it be
in any other particular Man, or private Assembly, it is in a
person subject, and may be assumed by the Soveraign at his pleasure;
and consequently the Right is in himselfe. And if it be in no
particular man, but left to a new choyce; then is the Common-wealth
dissolved; and the Right is in him that can get it; contrary to
the intention of them that did institute the Common-wealth,
for their perpetuall, and not temporary security.
In a Democracy, the whole Assembly cannot faile, unlesse the Multitude
that are to be governed faile. And therefore questions of the
right of Succession, have in that forme of Government no place at all.
In an Aristocracy, when any of the Assembly dyeth, the election
of another into his room belongeth to the Assembly, as the Soveraign,
to whom belongeth the choosing of all Counsellours, and Officers.
For that which the Representative doth, as Actor, every one of
the Subjects doth, as Author. And though the Soveraign assembly,
may give Power to others, to elect new men, for supply of their Court;
yet it is still by their Authority, that the Election is made;
and by the same it may (when the publique shall require it) be recalled.
The Present Monarch Hath Right To Dispose Of The Succession
The greatest difficultie about the right of Succession, is in Monarchy:
And the difficulty ariseth from this, that at first sight,
it is not manifest who is to appoint the Successor; nor many times,
who it is whom he hath appointed. For in both these cases, there is
required a more exact ratiocination, than every man is accustomed to use.
As to the question, who shall appoint the Successor, of a Monarch
that hath the Soveraign Authority; that is to say, (for Elective Kings
and Princes have not the Soveraign Power in propriety, but in use only,)
we are to consider, that either he that is in possession, has right
to dispose of the Succession, or else that right is again in
the dissolved Multitude. For the death of him that hath the
Soveraign power in propriety, leaves the Multitude without any
Soveraign at all; that is, without any Representative in whom
they should be united, and be capable of doing any one action at all:
And therefore they are incapable of Election of any new Monarch;
every man having equall right to submit himselfe to such as he thinks
best able to protect him, or if he can, protect himselfe by his
owne sword; which is a returne to Confusion, and to the condition
of a War of every man against every man, contrary to the end for which
Monarchy had its first Institution. Therfore it is manifest,
that by the Institution of Monarchy, the disposing of the Successor,
is alwaies left to the Judgment and Will of the present Possessor.
And for the question (which may arise sometimes) who it is that
the Monarch in possession, hath designed to the succession and
inheritance of his power; it is determined by his expresse Words,
and Testament; or by other tacite signes sufficient.
Succession Passeth By Expresse Words;
By expresse Words, or Testament, when it is declared by him
in his life time, viva voce, or by Writing; as the first Emperours
of Rome declared who should be their Heires. For the word Heire
does not of it selfe imply the Children, or nearest Kindred of a man;
but whomsoever a man shall any way declare, he would have to succeed
him in his Estate. If therefore a Monarch declare expresly,
that such a man shall be his Heire, either by Word or Writing,
then is that man immediately after the decease of his Predecessor,
Invested in the right of being Monarch.
Or, By Not Controlling A Custome;
But where Testament, and expresse Words are wanting, other naturall
signes of the Will are to be followed: whereof the one is Custome.
And therefore where the Custome is, that the next of Kindred
absolutely succeedeth, there also the next of Kindred hath right to
the Succession; for that, if the will of him that was in posession had
been otherwise, he might easily have declared the same in his life time.
And likewise where the Custome is, that the next of the Male Kindred
succeedeth, there also the right of Succession is in the next of
the Kindred Male, for the same reason. And so it is if the Custome
were to advance the Female. For whatsoever Custome a man may by
a word controule, and does not, it is a naturall signe he would have
that Custome stand.
Or, By Presumption Of Naturall Affection
But where neither Custome, nor Testament hath preceded, there it is
to be understood, First, that a Monarchs will is, that the government
remain Monarchicall; because he hath approved that government in himselfe.
Secondly, that a Child of his own, Male, or Female, be preferred
before any other; because men are presumed to be more enclined by nature,
to advance their own children, than the children of other men;
and of their own, rather a Male than a Female; because men,
are naturally fitter than women, for actions of labour and danger.
Thirdly, where his own Issue faileth, rather a Brother than a stranger;
and so still the neerer in bloud, rather than the more remote,
because it is alwayes presumed that the neerer of kin, is the neerer
in affection; and 'tis evident that a man receives alwayes, by reflexion,
the most honour from the greatnesse of his neerest kindred.
To Dispose Of The Succession, Though To A King Of
Another Nation, Not Unlawfull
But if it be lawfull for a Monarch to dispose of the Succession
by words of Contract, or Testament, men may perhaps object
a great inconvenience: for he may sell, or give his Right of governing
to a stranger; which, because strangers (that is, men not used to live
under the same government, not speaking the same language) do commonly
undervalue one another, may turn to the oppression of his Subjects;
which is indeed a great inconvenience; but it proceedeth not necessarily
from the subjection to a strangers government, but from the unskilfulnesse
of the Governours, ignorant of the true rules of Politiques.
And therefore the Romans when they had subdued many Nations,
to make their Government digestible, were wont to take away
that grievance, as much as they thought necessary, by giving
sometimes to whole Nations, and sometimes to Principall men
of every Nation they conquered, not onely the Privileges,
but also the Name of Romans; and took many of them into the Senate,
and Offices of charge, even in the Roman City. And this was it our
most wise King, King James, aymed at, in endeavouring the Union of
his two Realms of England and Scotland. Which if he could have obtained,
had in all likelihood prevented the Civill warres, which make both those
Kingdomes at this present, miserable. It is not therefore any injury
to the people, for a Monarch to dispose of the Succession by Will; though
by the fault of many Princes, it hath been sometimes found inconvenient.
Of the lawfulnesse of it, this also is an argument, that whatsoever
inconvenience can arrive by giving a Kingdome to a stranger,
may arrive also by so marrying with strangers, as the Right of
Succession may descend upon them: yet this by all men is accounted lawfull.
OF DOMINION PATERNALL AND DESPOTICALL
A Common-wealth by Acquisition, is that, where the Soveraign Power
is acquired by Force; And it is acquired by force, when men singly,
or many together by plurality of voyces, for fear of death, or bonds,
do authorise all the actions of that Man, or Assembly, that hath
their lives and liberty in his Power.
Wherein Different From A Common-wealth By Institution
And this kind of Dominion, or Soveraignty, differeth from Soveraignty
by Institution, onely in this, That men who choose their Soveraign,
do it for fear of one another, and not of him whom they Institute:
But in this case, they subject themselves, to him they are afraid of.
In both cases they do it for fear: which is to be noted by them,
that hold all such Covenants, as proceed from fear of death,
or violence, voyd: which if it were true, no man, in any kind
of Common-wealth, could be obliged to Obedience. It is true,
that in a Common-wealth once Instituted, or acquired, Promises proceeding
from fear of death, or violence, are no Covenants, nor obliging,
when the thing promised is contrary to the Lawes; But the reason is not,
because it was made upon fear, but because he that promiseth,
hath no right in the thing promised. Also, when he may lawfully performe,
and doth not, it is not the Invalidity of the Covenant, that absolveth him,
but the Sentence of the Soveraign. Otherwise, whensoever a man lawfully
promiseth, he unlawfully breaketh: But when the Soveraign,
who is the Actor, acquitteth him, then he is acquitted by him that
exorted the promise, as by the Author of such absolution.
The Rights Of Soveraignty The Same In Both
But the Rights, and Consequences of Soveraignty, are the same in both.
His Power cannot, without his consent, be Transferred to another:
He cannot Forfeit it: He cannot be Accused by any of his Subjects,
of Injury: He cannot be Punished by them: He is Judge of what is
necessary for Peace; and Judge of Doctrines: He is Sole Legislator;