OF SYSTEMES SUBJECT, POLITICALL, AND PRIVATE
The Divers Sorts Of Systemes Of People Having spoken of the Generation, Forme, and Power of a Common-wealth, I am in order to speak next of the parts thereof. And first of Systemes, which resemble the similar parts, or Muscles of a Body naturall. By SYSTEMES; I understand any numbers of men joyned in one Interest, or one Businesse. Of which, some are Regular, and some Irregular. Regular are those, where one Man, or Assembly of men, is constituted Representative of the whole number. All other are Irregular.
Of Regular, some are Absolute, and Independent, subject to none but their own Representative: such are only Common-wealths; Of which I have spoken already in the 5. last preceding chapters. Others are Dependent; that is to say, Subordinate to some Soveraign Power, to which every one, as also their Representative is Subject.
Of Systemes subordinate, some are Politicall, and some Private. Politicall (otherwise Called Bodies Politique, and Persons In Law,) are those, which are made by authority from the Soveraign Power of the Common-wealth. Private, are those, which are constituted by Subjects amongst themselves, or by authoritie from a stranger. For no authority derived from forraign power, within the Dominion of another, is Publique there, but Private.
And of Private Systemes, some are Lawfull; some Unlawfull: Lawfull, are those which are allowed by the Common-wealth: all other are Unlawfull. Irregular Systemes, are those which having no Representative, consist only in concourse of People; which if not forbidden by the Common-wealth, nor made on evill designe, (such as are conflux of People to markets, or shews, or any other harmelesse end,) are Lawfull. But when the Intention is evill, or (if the number be considerable) unknown, they are Unlawfull.
In All Bodies Politique The Power Of The Representative Is Limited In Bodies Politique, the power of the Representative is alwaies Limited: And that which prescribeth the limits thereof, is the Power Soveraign. For Power Unlimited, is absolute Soveraignty. And the Soveraign, in every Commonwealth, is the absolute Representative of all the Subjects; and therefore no other, can be Representative of any part of them, but so far forth, as he shall give leave; And to give leave to a Body Politique of Subjects, to have an absolute Representative to all intents and purposes, were to abandon the Government of so much of the Commonwealth, and to divide the Dominion, contrary to their Peace and Defence, which the Soveraign cannot be understood to doe, by any Grant, that does not plainly, and directly discharge them of their subjection. For consequences of words, are not the signes of his will, when other consequences are signes of the contrary; but rather signes of errour, and misreckoning; to which all mankind is too prone.
The bounds of that Power, which is given to the Representative of a Bodie Politique, are to be taken notice of, from two things. One is their Writt, or Letters from the Soveraign: the other is the Law of the Common-wealth.
By Letters Patents: For though in the Institution or Acquisition of a Common-wealth, which is independent, there needs no Writing, because the Power of the Representative has there no other bounds, but such as are set out by the unwritten Law of Nature; yet in subordinate bodies, there are such diversities of Limitation necessary, concerning their businesses, times, and places, as can neither be remembred without Letters, nor taken notice of, unlesse such Letters be Patent, that they may be read to them, and withall sealed, or testified, with the Seales, or other permanent signes of the Authority Soveraign.
And The Lawes And because such Limitation is not alwaies easie, or perhaps possible to be described in writing; the ordinary Lawes, common to all Subjects, must determine, that the Representative may lawfully do, in all Cases, where the Letters themselves are silent. And therefore
When The Representative Is One Man, His Unwarranted Acts Are His Own Onely In a Body Politique, if the Representative be one man, whatsoever he does in the Person of the Body, which is not warranted in his Letters, nor by the Lawes, is his own act, and not the act of the Body, nor of any other Member thereof besides himselfe: Because further than his Letters, or the Lawes limit, he representeth no mans person, but his own. But what he does according to these, is the act of every one: For of the Act of the Soveraign every one is Author, because he is their Representative unlimited; and the act of him that recedes not from the Letters of the Soveraign, is the act of the Soveraign, and therefore every member of the Body is Author of it.
When It Is An Assembly, It Is The Act Of Them That Assented Onely But if the Representative be an Assembly, whatsoever that Assembly shall Decree, not warranted by their Letters, or the Lawes, is the act of the Assembly, or Body Politique, and the act of every one by whose Vote the Decree was made; but not the act of any man that being present Voted to the contrary; nor of any man absent, unlesse he Voted it by procuration. It is the act of the Assembly, because Voted by the major part; and if it be a crime, the Assembly may be punished, as farre-forth as it is capable, as by dissolution, or forfeiture of their Letters (which is to such artificiall, and fictitious Bodies, capitall,) or (if the Assembly have a Common stock, wherein none of the Innocent Members have propriety,) by pecuniary Mulct. For from corporall penalties Nature hath exempted all Bodies Politique. But they that gave not their Vote, are therefore Innocent, because the Assembly cannot Represent any man in things unwarranted by their Letters, and consequently are not involved in their Votes.
When The Representative Is One Man, If He Borrow Mony, Or Owe It, By Contract; He Is Lyable Onely, The Members Not If the person of the Body Politique being in one man, borrow mony of a stranger, that is, of one that is not of the same Body, (for no Letters need limit borrowing, seeing it is left to mens own inclinations to limit lending) the debt is the Representatives. For if he should have Authority from his Letters, to make the members pay what he borroweth, he should have by consequence the Soveraignty of them; and therefore the grant were either voyd, as proceeding from Errour, commonly incident to humane Nature, and an unsufficient signe of the will of the Granter; or if it be avowed by him, then is the Representer Soveraign, and falleth not under the present question, which is onely of Bodies subordinate. No member therefore is obliged to pay the debt so borrowed, but the Representative himselfe: because he that lendeth it, being a stranger to the Letters, and to the qualification of the Body, understandeth those onely for his debtors, that are engaged; and seeing the Representer can ingage himselfe, and none else, has him onely for Debtor; who must therefore pay him, out of the common stock (if there be any), or (if there be none) out of his own estate.
If he come into debt by Contract, or Mulct, the case is the same.
When It Is An Assembly, They Onely Are Liable That Have Assented But when the Representative is an Assembly, and the debt to a stranger; all they, and onely they are responsible for the debt, that gave their votes to the borrowing of it, or to the Contract that made it due, or to the fact for which the Mulct was imposed; because every one of those in voting did engage himselfe for the payment: For he that is author of the borrowing, is obliged to the payment, even of the whole debt, though when payd by any one, he be discharged.
If The Debt Be To One Of The Assembly, The Body Onely Is Obliged But if the debt be to one of the Assembly, the Assembly onely is obliged to the payment, out of their common stock (if they have any:) For having liberty of Vote, if he Vote the Mony, shall be borrowed, he Votes it shall be payd; If he Vote it shall not be borrowed, or be absent, yet because in lending, he voteth the borrowing, he contradicteth his former Vote, and is obliged by the later, and becomes both borrower and lender, and consequently cannot demand payment from any particular man, but from the common Treasure onely; which fayling he hath no remedy, nor complaint, but against himselfe, that being privy to the acts of the Assembly, and their means to pay, and not being enforced, did neverthelesse through his own folly lend his mony.
Protestation Against The Decrees Of Bodies Politique Sometimes Lawful; But Against Soveraign Power Never It is manifest by this, that in Bodies Politique subordinate, and subject to a Soveraign Power, it is sometimes not onely lawfull, but expedient, for a particular man to make open protestation against the decrees of the Representative Assembly, and cause their dissent to be Registred, or to take witnesse of it; because otherwise they may be obliged to pay debts contracted, and be responsible for crimes committed by other men: But in a Soveraign Assembly, that liberty is taken away, both because he that protesteth there, denies their Soveraignty; and also because whatsoever is commanded by the Soveraign Power, is as to the Subject (though not so alwayes in the sight of God) justified by the Command; for of such command every Subject is the Author.
Bodies Politique For Government Of A Province, Colony, Or Town The variety of Bodies Politique, is almost infinite; for they are not onely distinguished by the severall affaires, for which they are constituted, wherein there is an unspeakable diversitie; but also by the times, places, and numbers, subject to many limitations. And as to their affaires, some are ordained for Government; As first, the Government of a Province may be committed to an Assembly of men, wherein all resolutions shall depend on the Votes of the major part; and then this Assembly is a Body Politique, and their power limited by Commission. This word Province signifies a charge, or care of businesse, which he whose businesse it is, committeth to another man, to be administred for, and under him; and therefore when in one Common-wealth there be divers Countries, that have their Lawes distinct one from another, or are farre distant in place, the Administration of the Government being committed to divers persons, those Countries where the Soveraign is not resident, but governs by Commission, are called Provinces. But of the government of a Province, by an Assembly residing in the Province it selfe, there be few examples. The Romans who had the Soveraignty of many Provinces; yet governed them alwaies by Presidents, and Praetors; and not by Assemblies, as they governed the City of Rome, and Territories adjacent. In like manner, when there were Colonies sent from England, to Plant Virginia, and Sommer-Ilands; though the government of them here, were committed to Assemblies in London, yet did those Assemblies never commit the Government under them to any Assembly there; but did to each Plantation send one Governour; For though every man, where he can be present by Nature, desires to participate of government; yet where they cannot be present, they are by Nature also enclined, to commit the Government of their common Interest rather to a Monarchicall, then a Popular form of Government: which is also evident in those men that have great private estates; who when they are unwilling to take the paines of administring the businesse that belongs to them, choose rather to trust one Servant, than a Assembly either of their friends or servants. But howsoever it be in fact, yet we may suppose the Government of a Province, or Colony committed to an Assembly: and when it is, that which in this place I have to say, is this; that whatsoever debt is by that Assembly contracted; or whatsoever unlawfull Act is decreed, is the Act onely of those that assented, and not of any that dissented, or were absent, for the reasons before alledged. Also that an Assembly residing out of the bounds of that Colony whereof they have the government, cannot execute any power over the persons, or goods of any of the Colonie, to seize on them for debt, or other duty, in any place without the Colony it selfe, as having no Jurisdiction, nor Authoritie elsewhere, but are left to the remedie, which the Law of the place alloweth them. And though the Assembly have right, to impose a Mulct upon any of their members, that shall break the Lawes they make; yet out of the Colonie it selfe, they have no right to execute the same. And that which is said here, of the Rights of an Assembly, for the government of a Province, or a Colony, is appliable also to an Assembly for the Government of a Town, or University, or a College, or a Church, or for any other Government over the persons of men.
And generally, in all Bodies Politique, if any particular member conceive himself Injured by the Body it self, the Cognisance of his cause belongeth to the Soveraign, and those the Soveraign hath ordained for Judges in such causes, or shall ordaine for that particular cause; and not to the Body it self. For the whole Body is in this case his fellow subject, which in a Soveraign Assembly, is otherwise: for there, if the Soveraign be not Judge, though in his own cause, there can be no Judge at all.
Bodies Politique For Ordering Of Trade In a Bodie Politique, for the well ordering of forraigne Traffique, the most commodious Representative is an Assembly of all the members; that is to say, such a one, as every one that adventureth his mony, may be present at all the Deliberations, and Resolutions of the Body, if they will themselves. For proof whereof, we are to consider the end, for which men that are Merchants, and may buy and sell, export, and import their Merchandise, according to their own discretions, doe neverthelesse bind themselves up in one Corporation. It is true, there be few Merchants, that with the Merchandise they buy at home, can fraight a Ship, to export it; or with that they buy abroad, to bring it home; and have therefore need to joyn together in one Society; where every man may either participate of the gaine, according to the proportion of his adventure; or take his own; and sell what he transports, or imports, at such prices as he thinks fit. But this is no Body Politique, there being no Common Representative to oblige them to any other Law, than that which is common to all other subjects. The End of their Incorporating, is to make their gaine the greater; which is done two wayes; by sole buying, and sole selling, both at home, and abroad. So that to grant to a Company of Merchants to be a Corporation, or Body Politique, is to grant them a double Monopoly, whereof one is to be sole buyers; another to be sole sellers. For when there is a Company incorporate for any particular forraign Country, they only export the Commodities vendible in that Country; which is sole buying at home, and sole selling abroad. For at home there is but one buyer, and abroad but one that selleth: both which is gainfull to the Merchant, because thereby they buy at home at lower, and sell abroad at higher rates: And abroad there is but one buyer of forraign Merchandise, and but one that sels them at home; both which againe are gainfull to the adventurers.
Of this double Monopoly one part is disadvantageous to the people at home, the other to forraigners. For at home by their sole exportation they set what price they please on the husbandry and handy-works of the people; and by the sole importation, what price they please on all forraign commodities the people have need of; both which are ill for the people. On the contrary, by the sole selling of the native commodities abroad, and sole buying the forraign commodities upon the place, they raise the price of those, and abate the price of these, to the disadvantage of the forraigner: For where but one selleth, the Merchandise is the dearer; and where but one buyeth the cheaper: Such Corporations therefore are no other then Monopolies; though they would be very profitable for a Common-wealth, if being bound up into one body in forraigne Markets they were at liberty at home, every man to buy, and sell at what price he could.
The end then of these Bodies of Merchants, being not a Common benefit to the whole Body, (which have in this case no common stock, but what is deducted out of the particular adventures, for building, buying, victualling and manning of Ships,) but the particular gaine of every adventurer, it is reason that every one be acquainted with the employment of his own; that is, that every one be of the Assembly, that shall have the power to order the same; and be acquainted with their accounts. And therefore the Representative of such a Body must be an Assembly, where every member of the Body may be present at the consultations, if he will.
If a Body Politique of Merchants, contract a debt to a stranger by the act of their Representative Assembly, every Member is lyable by himself for the whole. For a stranger can take no notice of their private Lawes, but considereth them as so many particular men, obliged every one to the whole payment, till payment made by one dischargeth all the rest: But if the debt be to one of the Company, the creditor is debter for the whole to himself, and cannot therefore demand his debt, but only from the common stock, if there be any.
If the Common-wealth impose a Tax upon the Body, it is understood to be layd upon every member proportionably to his particular adventure in the Company. For there is in this case no other common stock, but what is made of their particular adventures.
If a Mulct be layd upon the Body for some unlawfull act, they only are lyable by whose votes the act was decreed, or by whose assistance it was executed; for in none of the rest is there any other crime but being of the Body; which if a crime, (because the Body was ordeyned by the authority of the Common-wealth,) is not his.
If one of the Members be indebted to the Body, he may be sued by the Body; but his goods cannot be taken, nor his person imprisoned by the authority of the Body; but only by Authority of the Common-wealth: for if they can doe it by their own Authority, they can by their own Authority give judgement that the debt is due, which is as much as to be Judge in their own Cause.
A Bodie Politique For Counsel To Be Given To The Soveraign These Bodies made for the government of Men, or of Traffique, be either perpetuall, or for a time prescribed by writing. But there be Bodies also whose times are limited, and that only by the nature of their businesse. For example, if a Soveraign Monarch, or a Soveraign Assembly, shall think fit to give command to the towns, and other severall parts of their territory, to send to him their Deputies, to enforme him of the condition, and necessities of the Subjects, or to advise with him for the making of good Lawes, or for any other cause, as with one Person representing the whole Country, such Deputies, having a place and time of meeting assigned them, are there, and at that time, a Body Politique, representing every Subject of that Dominion; but it is onely for such matters as shall be propounded unto them by that Man, or Assembly, that by the Soveraign Authority sent for them; and when it shall be declared that nothing more shall be propounded, nor debated by them, the Body is dissolved. For if they were the absolute Representative of the people, then were it the Soveraign Assembly; and so there would be two Soveraign Assemblies, or two Soveraigns, over the same people; which cannot consist with their Peace. And therefore where there is once a Soveraignty, there can be no absolute Representation of the people, but by it. And for the limits of how farre such a Body shall represent the whole People, they are set forth in the Writing by which they were sent for. For the People cannot choose their Deputies to other intent, than is in the Writing directed to them from their Soveraign expressed.
A Regular Private Body, Lawfull, As A Family Private Bodies Regular, and Lawfull, are those that are constituted without Letters, or other written Authority, saving the Lawes common to all other Subjects. And because they be united in one Person Representative, they are held for Regular; such as are all Families, in which the Father, or Master ordereth the whole Family. For he obligeth his Children, and Servants, as farre as the Law permitteth, though not further, because none of them are bound to obedience in those actions, which the Law hath forbidden to be done. In all other actions, during the time they are under domestique government, they are subject to their Fathers, and Masters, as to their immediate Soveraigns. For the Father, and Master being before the Institution of Common-wealth, absolute Soveraigns in their own Families, they lose afterward no more of their Authority, than the Law of the Common-wealth taketh from them.
Private Bodies Regular, But Unlawfull Private Bodies Regular, but Unlawfull, are those that unite themselves into one person Representative, without any publique Authority at all; such as are the Corporations of Beggars, Theeves and Gipsies, the better to order their trade of begging, and stealing; and the Corporations of men, that by Authority from any forraign Person, unite themselves in anothers Dominion, for easier propagation of Doctrines, and for making a party, against the Power of the Common-wealth.
Systemes Irregular, Such As Are Private Leagues Irregular Systemes, in their nature, but Leagues, or sometimes meer concourse of people, without union to any particular designe, not by obligation of one to another, but proceeding onely from a similitude of wills and inclinations, become Lawfull, or Unlawfull, according to the lawfulnesse, or unlawfulnesse of every particular mans design therein: And his designe is to be understood by the occasion.
The Leagues of Subjects, (because Leagues are commonly made for mutuall defence,) are in a Common-wealth (which is no more than a League of all the Subjects together) for the most part unnecessary, and savour of unlawfull designe; and are for that cause Unlawfull, and go commonly by the name of factions, or Conspiracies. For a League being a connexion of men by Covenants, if there be no power given to any one Man or Assembly, (as in the condition of meer Nature) to compell them to performance, is so long onely valid, as there ariseth no just cause of distrust: and therefore Leagues between Common-wealths, over whom there is no humane Power established, to keep them all in awe, are not onely lawfull, but also profitable for the time they last. But Leagues of the Subjects of one and the same Common-wealth, where every one may obtain his right by means of the Soveraign Power, are unnecessary to the maintaining of Peace and Justice, and (in case the designe of them be evill, or Unknown to the Common-wealth) unlawfull. For all uniting of strength by private men, is, if for evill intent, unjust; if for intent unknown, dangerous to the Publique, and unjustly concealed.
Secret Cabals If the Soveraign Power be in a great Assembly, and a number of men, part of the Assembly, without authority, consult a part, to contrive the guidance of the rest; This is a Faction, or Conspiracy unlawfull, as being a fraudulent seducing of the Assembly for their particular interest. But if he, whose private interest is to be debated, and judged in the Assembly, make as many friends as he can; in him it is no Injustice; because in this case he is no part of the Assembly. And though he hire such friends with mony, (unlesse there be an expresse Law against it,) yet it is not Injustice. For sometimes, (as mens manners are,) Justice cannot be had without mony; and every man may think his own cause just, till it be heard, and judged.
Feuds Of Private Families In all Common-wealths, if a private man entertain more servants, than the government of his estate, and lawfull employment he has for them requires, it is Faction, and unlawfull. For having the protection of the Common-wealth, he needeth not the defence of private force. And whereas in Nations not throughly civilized, severall numerous Families have lived in continuall hostility, and invaded one another with private force; yet it is evident enough, that they have done unjustly; or else that they had no Common-wealth.
Factions For Government And as Factions for Kindred, so also Factions for Government of Religion, as of Papists, Protestants, &c. or of State, as Patricians, and Plebeians of old time in Rome, and of Aristocraticalls and Democraticalls of old time in Greece, are unjust, as being contrary to the peace and safety of the people, and a taking of the Sword out of the hand of the Soveraign.
Concourse of people, is an Irregular Systeme, the lawfulnesse, or unlawfulnesse, whereof dependeth on the occasion, and on the number of them that are assembled. If the occasion be lawfull, and manifest, the Concourse is lawfull; as the usuall meeting of men at Church, or at a publique Shew, in usuall numbers: for if the numbers be extraordinarily great, the occasion is not evident; and consequently he that cannot render a particular and good account of his being amongst them, is to be judged conscious of an unlawfull, and tumultuous designe. It may be lawfull for a thousand men, to joyn in a Petition to be delivered to a Judge, or Magistrate; yet if a thousand men come to present it, it is a tumultuous Assembly; because there needs but one or two for that purpose. But in such cases as these, it is not a set number that makes the Assembly Unlawfull, but such a number, as the present Officers are not able to suppresse, and bring to Justice.
When an unusuall number of men, assemble against a man whom they accuse; the Assembly is an Unlawfull tumult; because they may deliver their accusation to the Magistrate by a few, or by one man. Such was the case of St. Paul at Ephesus; where Demetrius, and a great number of other men, brought two of Pauls companions before the Magistrate, saying with one Voyce, "Great is Diana of the Ephesians;" which was their way of demanding Justice against them for teaching the people such doctrine, as was against their Religion, and Trade. The occasion here, considering the Lawes of that People, was just; yet was their Assembly Judged Unlawfull, and the Magistrate reprehended them for it, in these words,(Acts 19. 40) "If Demetrius and the other work-men can accuse any man, of any thing, there be Pleas, and Deputies, let them accuse one another. And if you have any other thing to demand, your case may be judged in an Assembly Lawfully called. For we are in danger to be accused for this dayes sedition, because, there is no cause by which any man can render any reason of this Concourse of People." Where he calleth an Assembly, whereof men can give no just account, a Sedition, and such as they could not answer for. And this is all I shall say concerning Systemes, and Assemblyes of People, which may be compared (as I said,) to the Similar parts of mans Body; such as be Lawfull, to the Muscles; such as are Unlawfull, to Wens, Biles, and Apostemes, engendred by the unnaturall conflux of evill humours.
OF THE PUBLIQUE MINISTERS OF SOVERAIGN POWER
In the last Chapter I have spoken of the Similar parts of a Common-wealth; In this I shall speak of the parts Organicall, which are Publique Ministers.
Publique Minister Who A PUBLIQUE MINISTER, is he, that by the Soveraign, (whether a Monarch, or an Assembly,) is employed in any affaires, with Authority to represent in that employment, the Person of the Common-wealth. And whereas every man, or assembly that hath Soveraignty, representeth two Persons, or (as the more common phrase is) has two Capacities, one Naturall, and another Politique, (as a Monarch, hath the person not onely of the Common-wealth, but also of a man; and a Soveraign Assembly hath the Person not onely of the Common-wealth, but also of the Assembly); they that be servants to them in their naturall Capacity, are not Publique Ministers; but those onely that serve them in the Administration of the Publique businesse. And therefore neither Ushers, nor Sergeants, nor other Officers that waite on the Assembly, for no other purpose, but for the commodity of the men assembled, in an Aristocracy, or Democracy; nor Stewards, Chamberlains, Cofferers, or any other Officers of the houshold of a Monarch, are Publique Ministers in a Monarchy.
Ministers For The Generall Administration Of Publique Ministers, some have charge committed to them of a general Administration, either of the whole Dominion, or of a part thereof. Of the whole, as to a Protector, or Regent, may bee committed by the Predecessor of an Infant King, during his minority, the whole Administration of his Kingdome. In which case, every Subject is so far obliged to obedience, as the Ordinances he shall make, and the commands he shall give be in the Kings name, and not inconsistent with his Soveraigne Power. Of a Part, or Province; as when either a Monarch, or a Soveraign Assembly, shall give the generall charge thereof to a Governour, Lieutenant, Praefect, or Vice-Roy: And in this case also, every one of that Province, is obliged to all he shall doe in the name of the Soveraign, and that not incompatible with the Soveraigns Right. For such Protectors, Vice-Roys, and Governours, have no other right, but what depends on the Soveraigns Will; and no Commission that can be given them, can be interpreted for a Declaration of the will to transferre the Soveraignty, without expresse and perspicuous words to that purpose. And this kind of Publique Ministers resembleth the Nerves, and Tendons that move the severall limbs of a body naturall.
For Speciall Administration, As For Oeconomy Others have speciall Administration; that is to say, charges of some speciall businesse, either at home, or abroad: As at home, First, for the Oeconomy of a Common-wealth, They that have Authority concerning the Treasure, as Tributes, Impositions, Rents, Fines, or whatsoever publique revenue, to collect, receive, issue, or take the Accounts thereof, are Publique Ministers: Ministers, because they serve the Person Representative, and can doe nothing against his Command, nor without his Authority: Publique, because they serve him in his Politicall Capacity.
Secondly, they that have Authority concerning the Militia; to have the custody of Armes, Forts, Ports; to Levy, Pay, or Conduct Souldiers; or to provide for any necessary thing for the use of war, either by Land or Sea, are publique Ministers. But a Souldier without Command, though he fight for the Common-wealth, does not therefore represent the Person of it; because there is none to represent it to. For every one that hath command, represents it to them only whom he commandeth.
For Instruction Of The People They also that have authority to teach, or to enable others to teach the people their duty to the Soveraign Power, and instruct them in the knowledge of what is just, and unjust, thereby to render them more apt to live in godlinesse, and in peace among themselves, and resist the publique enemy, are Publique Ministers: Ministers, in that they doe it not by their own Authority, but by anothers; and Publique, because they doe it (or should doe it) by no Authority, but that of the Soveraign. The Monarch, or the Soveraign Assembly only hath immediate Authority from God, to teach and instruct the people; and no man but the Soveraign, receiveth his power Dei Gratia simply; that is to say, from the favour of none but God: All other, receive theirs from the favour and providence of God, and their Soveraigns; as in a Monarchy Dei Gratia & Regis; or Dei Providentia & Voluntate Regis.
For Judicature They also to whom Jurisdiction is given, are Publique Ministers. For in their Seats of Justice they represent the person of the Soveraign; and their Sentence, is his Sentence; For (as hath been before declared) all Judicature is essentially annexed to the Soveraignty; and therefore all other Judges are but Ministers of him, or them that have the Soveraign Power. And as Controversies are of two sorts, namely of Fact, and of Law; so are judgements, some of Fact, some of Law: And consequently in the same controversie, there may be two Judges, one of Fact, another of Law.
And in both these controversies, there may arise a controversie between the party Judged, and the Judge; which because they be both Subjects to the Soveraign, ought in Equity to be Judged by men agreed on by consent of both; for no man can be Judge in his own cause. But the Soveraign is already agreed on for Judge by them both, and is therefore either to heare the Cause, and determine it himself, or appoint for Judge such as they shall both agree on. And this agreement is then understood to be made between them divers wayes; as first, if the Defendant be allowed to except against such of his Judges, whose interest maketh him suspect them, (for as to the Complaynant he hath already chosen his own Judge,) those which he excepteth not against, are Judges he himself agrees on. Secondly, if he appeale to any other Judge, he can appeale no further; for his appeale is his choice. Thirdly, if he appeale to the Soveraign himself, and he by himself, or by Delegates which the parties shall agree on, give Sentence; that Sentence is finall: for the Defendant is Judged by his own Judges, that is to say, by himself.
These properties of just and rationall Judicature considered, I cannot forbeare to observe the excellent constitution of the Courts of Justice, established both for Common, and also for Publique Pleas in England. By Common Pleas, I meane those, where both the Complaynant and Defendant are Subjects: and by Publique, (which are also called Pleas of the Crown) those, where the Complaynant is the Soveraign. For whereas there were two orders of men, whereof one was Lords, the other Commons; The Lords had this Priviledge, to have for Judges in all Capitall crimes, none but Lords; and of them, as many as would be present; which being ever acknowledged as a Priviledge of favour, their Judges were none but such as they had themselves desired. And in all controversies, every Subject (as also in civill controversies the Lords) had for Judges, men of the Country where the matter in controversie lay; against which he might make his exceptions, till at last Twelve men without exception being agreed on, they were Judged by those twelve. So that having his own Judges, there could be nothing alledged by the party, why the sentence should not be finall, These publique persons, with Authority from the Soveraign Power, either to Instruct, or Judge the people, are such members of the Common-wealth, as may fitly be compared to the organs of Voice in a Body naturall.
For Execution Publique Ministers are also all those, that have Authority from the Soveraign, to procure the Execution of Judgements given; to publish the Soveraigns Commands; to suppresse Tumults; to apprehend, and imprison Malefactors; and other acts tending to the conservation of the Peace. For every act they doe by such Authority, is the act of the Common-wealth; and their service, answerable to that of the Hands, in a Bodie naturall.
Publique Ministers abroad, are those that represent the Person of their own Soveraign, to forraign States. Such are Ambassadors, Messengers, Agents, and Heralds, sent by publique Authoritie, and on publique Businesse.
But such as are sent by Authoritie only of some private partie of a troubled State, though they be received, are neither Publique, nor Private Ministers of the Common-wealth; because none of their actions have the Common-wealth for Author. Likewise, an Ambassador sent from a Prince, to congratulate, condole, or to assist at a solemnity, though Authority be Publique; yet because the businesse is Private, and belonging to him in his naturall capacity; is a Private person. Also if a man be sent into another Country, secretly to explore their counsels, and strength; though both the Authority, and the Businesse be Publique; yet because there is none to take notice of any Person in him, but his own; he is but a Private Minister; but yet a Minister of the Common-wealth; and may be compared to an Eye in the Body naturall. And those that are appointed to receive the Petitions or other informations of the People, and are as it were the publique Eare, are Publique Ministers, and represent their Soveraign in that office.
Counsellers Without Other Employment Then To Advise Are Not Publique Ministers Neither a Counsellor, nor a Councell of State, if we consider it with no Authority of Judicature or Command, but only of giving Advice to the Soveraign when it is required, or of offering it when it is not required, is a Publique Person. For the Advice is addressed to the Soveraign only, whose person cannot in his own presence, be represented to him, by another. But a Body of Counsellors, are never without some other Authority, either of Judicature, or of immediate Administration: As in a Monarchy, they represent the Monarch, in delivering his Commands to the Publique Ministers: In a Democracy, the Councell, or Senate propounds the Result of their deliberations to the people, as a Councell; but when they appoint Judges, or heare Causes, or give Audience to Ambassadors, it is in the quality of a Minister of the People: And in an Aristocracy the Councell of State is the Soveraign Assembly it self; and gives counsell to none but themselves.
OF THE NUTRITION, AND PROCREATION OF A COMMON-WEALTH
The Nourishment Of A Common-wealth Consisteth In The Commodities Of Sea And Land; The NUTRITION of a Common-wealth consisteth, in the Plenty, and Distribution of Materials conducing to Life: In Concoction, or Preparation; and (when concocted) in the Conveyance of it, by convenient conduits, to the Publique use.
As for the Plenty of Matter, it is a thing limited by Nature, to those commodities, which from (the two breasts of our common Mother) Land, and Sea, God usually either freely giveth, or for labour selleth to man-kind.
For the Matter of this Nutriment, consisting in Animals, Vegetals, and Minerals, God hath freely layd them before us, in or neer to the face of the Earth; so as there needeth no more but the labour, and industry of receiving them. Insomuch as Plenty dependeth (next to Gods favour) meerly on the labour and industry of men.
This Matter, commonly called Commodities, is partly Native, and partly Forraign: Native, that which is to be had within the Territory of the Common-wealth; Forraign, that which is imported from without. And because there is no Territory under the Dominion of one Common-wealth, (except it be of very vast extent,) that produceth all things needfull for the maintenance, and motion of the whole Body; and few that produce not something more than necessary; the superfluous commodities to be had within, become no more superfluous, but supply these wants at home, by importation of that which may be had abroad, either by Exchange, or by just Warre, or by Labour: for a mans Labour also, is a commodity exchangeable for benefit, as well as any other thing: And there have been Common-wealths that having no more Territory, than hath served them for habitation, have neverthelesse, not onely maintained, but also encreased their Power, partly by the labour of trading from one place to another, and partly by selling the Manifactures, whereof the Materials were brought in from other places.
And The Right Of Distribution Of Them The Distribution of the Materials of this Nourishment, is the constitution of Mine, and Thine, and His, that is to say, in one word Propriety; and belongeth in all kinds of Common-wealth to the Soveraign Power. For where there is no Common-wealth, there is, (as hath been already shewn) a perpetuall warre of every man against his neighbour; And therefore every thing is his that getteth it, and keepeth it by force; which is neither Propriety nor Community; but Uncertainty. Which is so evident, that even Cicero, (a passionate defender of Liberty,) in a publique pleading, attributeth all Propriety to the Law Civil, "Let the Civill Law," saith he, "be once abandoned, or but negligently guarded, (not to say oppressed,) and there is nothing, that any man can be sure to receive from his Ancestor, or leave to his Children." And again; "Take away the Civill Law, and no man knows what is his own, and what another mans." Seeing therefore the Introduction of Propriety is an effect of Common-wealth; which can do nothing but by the Person that Represents it, it is the act onely of the Soveraign; and consisteth in the Lawes, which none can make that have not the Soveraign Power. And this they well knew of old, who called that Nomos, (that is to say, Distribution,) which we call Law; and defined Justice, by distributing to every man his own.
All Private Estates Of Land Proceed Originally From The Arbitrary Distribution Of The Soveraign In this Distribution, the First Law, is for Division of the Land it selfe: wherein the Soveraign assigneth to every man a portion, according as he, and not according as any Subject, or any number of them, shall judge agreeable to Equity, and the Common Good. The Children of Israel, were a Common-wealth in the Wildernesse; but wanted the commodities of the Earth, till they were masters of the Land of Promise; which afterward was divided amongst them, not by their own discretion, but by the discretion of Eleazar the Priest, and Joshua their Generall: who when there were twelve Tribes, making them thirteen by subdivision of the Tribe of Joseph; made neverthelesse but twelve portions of the Land; and ordained for the Tribe of Levi no land; but assigned them the Tenth part of the whole fruits; which division was therefore Arbitrary. And though a People comming into possession of a land by warre, do not alwaies exterminate the antient Inhabitants, (as did the Jewes,) but leave to many, or most, or all of them their Estates; yet it is manifest they hold them afterwards, as of the Victors distribution; as the people of England held all theirs of William the Conquerour.
Propriety Of A Subject Excludes Not The Dominion Of The Soveraign, But Onely Of Another Subject From whence we may collect, that the Propriety which a subject hath in his lands, consisteth in a right to exclude all other subjects from the use of them; and not to exclude their Soveraign, be it an Assembly, or a Monarch. For seeing the Soveraign, that is to say, the Common-wealth (whose Person he representeth,) is understood to do nothing but in order to the common Peace and Security, this Distribution of lands, is to be understood as done in order to the same: And consequently, whatsoever Distribution he shall make in prejudice thereof, is contrary to the will of every subject, that committed his Peace, and safety to his discretion, and conscience; and therefore by the will of every one of them, is to be reputed voyd. It is true, that a Soveraign Monarch, or the greater part of a Soveraign Assembly, may ordain the doing of many things in pursuit of their Passions, contrary to their own consciences, which is a breach of trust, and of the Law of Nature; but this is not enough to authorise any subject, either to make warre upon, or so much as to accuse of Injustice, or any way to speak evill of their Soveraign; because they have authorised all his actions, and in bestowing the Soveraign Power, made them their own. But in what cases the Commands of Soveraigns are contrary to Equity, and the Law of Nature, is to be considered hereafter in another place.
The Publique Is Not To Be Dieted In the Distribution of land, the Common-wealth it selfe, may be conceived to have a portion, and possesse, and improve the same by their Representative; and that such portion may be made sufficient, to susteine the whole expence to the common Peace, and defence necessarily required: Which were very true, if there could be any Representative conceived free from humane passions, and infirmities. But the nature of men being as it is, the setting forth of Publique Land, or of any certaine Revenue for the Common-wealth, is in vaine; and tendeth to the dissolution of Government, and to the condition of meere Nature, and War, assoon as ever the Soveraign Power falleth into the hands of a Monarch, or of an Assembly, that are either too negligent of mony, or too hazardous in engaging the publique stock, into a long, or costly war. Common-wealths can endure no Diet: For seeing their expence is not limited by their own appetite, but by externall Accidents, and the appetites of their neighbours, the Publique Riches cannot be limited by other limits, than those which the emergent occasions shall require. And whereas in England, there were by the Conquerour, divers Lands reserved to his own use, (besides Forrests, and Chases, either for his recreation, or for preservation of Woods,) and divers services reserved on the Land he gave his Subjects; yet it seems they were not reserved for his Maintenance in his Publique, but in his Naturall capacity: For he, and his Successors did for all that, lay Arbitrary Taxes on all Subjects land, when they judged it necessary. Or if those publique Lands, and Services, were ordained as a sufficient maintenance of the Common-wealth, it was contrary to the scope of the Institution; being (as it appeared by those ensuing Taxes) insufficient, and (as it appeares by the late Revenue of the Crown) Subject to Alienation, and Diminution. It is therefore in vaine, to assign a portion to the Common-wealth; which may sell, or give it away; and does sell, and give it away when tis done by their Representative.
The Places And Matter Of Traffique Depend, As Their Distribution, On The Soveraign As the Distribution of Lands at home; so also to assigne in what places, and for what commodities, the Subject shall traffique abroad, belongeth to the Soveraign. For if it did belong to private persons to use their own discretion therein, some of them would bee drawn for gaine, both to furnish the enemy with means to hurt the Common-wealth, and hurt it themselves, by importing such things, as pleasing mens appetites, be neverthelesse noxious, or at least unprofitable to them. And therefore it belongeth to the Common-wealth, (that is, to the Soveraign only,) to approve, or disapprove both of the places, and matter of forraign Traffique.
The Laws Of Transferring Property Belong Also To The Soveraign Further, seeing it is not enough to the Sustentation of a Common-wealth, that every man have a propriety in a portion of Land, or in some few commodities, or a naturall property in some usefull art, and there is no art in the world, but is necessary either for the being, or well being almost of every particular man; it is necessary, that men distribute that which they can spare, and transferre their propriety therein, mutually one to another, by exchange, and mutuall contract. And therefore it belongeth to the Common-wealth, (that is to say, to the Soveraign,) to appoint in what manner, all kinds of contract between Subjects, (as buying, selling, exchanging, borrowing, lending, letting, and taking to hire,) are to bee made; and by what words, and signes they shall be understood for valid. And for the Matter, and Distribution of the Nourishment, to the severall Members of the Common-wealth, thus much (considering the modell of the whole worke) is sufficient.
Mony The Bloud Of A Common-wealth By Concoction, I understand the reducing of all commodities, which are not presently consumed, but reserved for Nourishment in time to come, to some thing of equal value, and withall so portably, as not to hinder the motion of men from place to place; to the end a man may have in what place soever, such Nourishment as the place affordeth. And this is nothing else but Gold, and Silver, and Mony. For Gold and Silver, being (as it happens) almost in all Countries of the world highly valued, is a commodious measure for the value of all things else between Nations; and Mony (of what matter soever coyned by the Soveraign of a Common-wealth,) is a sufficient measure of the value of all things else, between the Subjects of that Common-wealth. By the means of which measures, all commodities, Moveable, and Immoveable, are made to accompany a man, to all places of his resort, within and without the place of his ordinary residence; and the same passeth from Man to Man, within the Common-wealth; and goes round about, Nourishing (as it passeth) every part thereof; In so much as this Concoction, is as it were the Sanguification of the Common-wealth: For naturall Bloud is in like manner made of the fruits of the Earth; and circulating, nourisheth by the way, every Member of the Body of Man.
And because Silver and Gold, have their value from the matter it self; they have first this priviledge, that the value of them cannot be altered by the power of one, nor of a few Common-wealths; as being a common measure of the commodities of all places. But base Mony, may easily be enhanced, or abased. Secondly, they have the priviledge to make Common-wealths, move, and stretch out their armes, when need is, into forraign Countries; and supply, not only private Subjects that travell, but also whole Armies with provision. But that Coyne, which is not considerable for the Matter, but for the Stamp of the place, being unable to endure change of ayr, hath its effect at home only; where also it is subject to the change of Laws, and thereby to have the value diminished, to the prejudice many times of those that have it.
The Conduits And Way Of Mony To The Publique Use The Conduits, and Wayes by which it is conveyed to the Publique use, are of two sorts; One, that Conveyeth it to the Publique Coffers; The other, that Issueth the same out againe for publique payments. Of the first sort, are Collectors, Receivers, and Treasurers; of the second are the Treasurers againe, and the Officers appointed for payment of severall publique or private Ministers. And in this also, the Artificiall Man maintains his resemblance with the Naturall; whose Veins receiving the Bloud from the severall Parts of the Body, carry it to the Heart; where being made Vitall, the Heart by the Arteries sends it out again, to enliven, and enable for motion all the Members of the same.
The Children Of A Common-wealth Colonies The Procreation, or Children of a Common-wealth, are those we call Plantations, or Colonies; which are numbers of men sent out from the Common-wealth, under a Conductor, or Governour, to inhabit a Forraign Country, either formerly voyd of Inhabitants, or made voyd then, by warre. And when a Colony is setled, they are either a Common-wealth of themselves, discharged of their subjection to their Soveraign that sent them, (as hath been done by many Common-wealths of antient time,) in which case the Common-wealth from which they went was called their Metropolis, or Mother, and requires no more of them, then Fathers require of the Children, whom they emancipate, and make free from their domestique government, which is Honour, and Friendship; or else they remain united to their Metropolis, as were the Colonies of the people of Rome; and then they are no Common-wealths themselves, but Provinces, and parts of the Common-wealth that sent them. So that the Right of Colonies (saving Honour, and League with their Metropolis,) dependeth wholly on their Licence, or Letters, by which their Soveraign authorised them to Plant.
Counsell What How fallacious it is to judge of the nature of things, by the ordinary and inconstant use of words, appeareth in nothing more, than in the confusion of Counsels, and Commands, arising from the Imperative manner of speaking in them both, and in may other occasions besides. For the words "Doe this," are the words not onely of him that Commandeth; but also of him that giveth Counsell; and of him that Exhorteth; and yet there are but few, that see not, that these are very different things; or that cannot distinguish between them, when they perceive who it is that speaketh, and to whom the Speech is directed, and upon what occasion. But finding those phrases in mens writings, and being not able, or not willing to enter into a consideration of the circumstances, they mistake sometimes the Precepts of Counsellours, for the Precepts of them that command; and sometimes the contrary; according as it best agreeth with the conclusions they would inferre, or the actions they approve. To avoyd which mistakes, and render to those termes of Commanding, Counselling, and Exhorting, their proper and distinct significations, I define them thus.
Differences Between Command And Counsell COMMAND is, where a man saith, "Doe this," or "Doe this not," without expecting other reason than the Will of him that sayes it. From this it followeth manifestly, that he that Commandeth, pretendeth thereby his own Benefit: For the reason of his Command is his own Will onely, and the proper object of every mans Will, is some Good to himselfe.
COUNSELL, is where a man saith, "Doe" or "Doe not this," and deduceth his own reasons from the benefit that arriveth by it to him to whom he saith it. And from this it is evident, that he that giveth Counsell, pretendeth onely (whatsoever he intendeth) the good of him, to whom he giveth it.
Therefore between Counsell and Command, one great difference is, that Command is directed to a mans own benefit; and Counsell to the benefit of another man. And from this ariseth another difference, that a man may be obliged to do what he is Commanded; as when he hath covenanted to obey: But he cannot be obliged to do as he is Counselled, because the hurt of not following it, is his own; or if he should covenant to follow it, then is the Counsell turned into the nature of a Command. A third difference between them is, that no man can pretend a right to be of another mans Counsell; because he is not to pretend benefit by it to himselfe; but to demand right to Counsell another, argues a will to know his designes, or to gain some other Good to himselfe; which (as I said before) is of every mans will the proper object.
This also is incident to the nature of Counsell; that whatsoever it be, he that asketh it, cannot in equity accuse, or punish it: For to ask Counsell of another, is to permit him to give such Counsell as he shall think best; And consequently, he that giveth counsell to his Soveraign, (whether a Monarch, or an Assembly) when he asketh it, cannot in equity be punished for it, whether the same be conformable to the opinion of the most, or not, so it be to the Proposition in debate. For if the sense of the Assembly can be taken notice of, before the Debate be ended, they should neither ask, nor take any further Counsell; For the Sense of the Assembly, is the Resolution of the Debate, and End of all Deliberation. And generally he that demandeth Counsell, is Author of it; and therefore cannot punish it; and what the Soveraign cannot, no man else can. But if one Subject giveth Counsell to another, to do any thing contrary to the Lawes, whether that Counsell proceed from evill intention, or from ignorance onely, it is punishable by the Common-wealth; because ignorance of the Law, is no good excuse, where every man is bound to take notice of the Lawes to which he is subject.
Exhortation And Dehortation What EXHORTATION, and DEHORTATION, is Counsell, accompanied with signes in him that giveth it, of vehement desire to have it followed; or to say it more briefly, Counsell Vehemently Pressed. For he that Exhorteth, doth not deduce the consequences of what he adviseth to be done, and tye himselfe therein to the rigour of true reasoning; but encourages him he Counselleth, to Action: As he that Dehorteth, deterreth him from it. And therefore they have in their speeches, a regard to the common Passions, and opinions of men, in deducing their reasons; and make use of Similitudes, Metaphors, Examples, and other tooles of Oratory, to perswade their Hearers of the Utility, Honour, or Justice of following their advise.
From whence may be inferred, First, that Exhortation and Dehortation, is directed to the Good of him that giveth the Counsell, not of him that asketh it, which is contrary to the duty of a Counsellour; who (by the definition of Counsell) ought to regard, not his own benefits, but his whom he adviseth. And that he directeth his Counsell to his own benefit, is manifest enough, by the long and vehement urging, or by the artificial giving thereof; which being not required of him, and consequently proceeding from his own occasions, is directed principally to his own benefit, and but accidentarily to the good of him that is Counselled, or not at all.
Secondly, that the use of Exhortation and Dehortation lyeth onely, where a man is to speak to a Multitude; because when the Speech is addressed to one, he may interrupt him, and examine his reasons more rigorously, than can be done in a Multitude; which are too many to enter into Dispute, and Dialogue with him that speaketh indifferently to them all at once. Thirdly, that they that Exhort and Dehort, where they are required to give Counsell, are corrupt Counsellours, and as it were bribed by their own interest. For though the Counsell they give be never so good; yet he that gives it, is no more a good Counsellour, than he that giveth a Just Sentence for a reward, is a just Judge. But where a man may lawfully Command, as a Father in his Family, or a Leader in an Army, his Exhortations and Dehortations, are not onely lawfull, but also necessary, and laudable: But then they are no more Counsells, but Commands; which when they are for Execution of soure labour; sometimes necessity, and alwayes humanity requireth to be sweetned in the delivery, by encouragement, and in the tune and phrase of Counsell, rather then in harsher language of Command.
Examples of the difference between Command and Counsell, we may take from the formes of Speech that expresse them in Holy Scripture. "Have no other Gods but me; Make to thy selfe no graven Image; Take not Gods name in vain; Sanctifie the Sabbath; Honour thy Parents; Kill not; Steale not," &c. are Commands; because the reason for which we are to obey them, is drawn from the will of God our King, whom we are obliged to obey. But these words, "Sell all thou hast; give it to the poore; and follow me," are Counsell; because the reason for which we are to do so, is drawn from our own benefit; which is this, that we shall have "Treasure in Heaven." These words, "Go into the village over against you, and you shall find an Asse tyed, and her Colt; loose her, and bring her to me," are a Command: for the reason of their fact is drawn from the will of their Master: but these words, "Repent, and be Baptized in the Name of Jesus," are Counsell; because the reason why we should so do, tendeth not to any benefit of God Almighty, who shall still be King in what manner soever we rebell; but of our selves, who have no other means of avoyding the punishment hanging over us for our sins.
Differences Of Fit And Unfit Counsellours As the difference of Counsell from Command, hath been now deduced from the nature of Counsell, consisting in a deducing of the benefit, or hurt that may arise to him that is to be Counselled, by the necessary or probable consequences of the action he propoundeth; so may also the differences between apt, and inept counsellours be derived from the same. For Experience, being but Memory of the consequences of like actions formerly observed, and Counsell but the Speech whereby that experience is made known to another; the Vertues, and Defects of Counsell, are the same with the Vertues, and Defects Intellectuall: And to the Person of a Common-wealth, his Counsellours serve him in the place of Memory, and Mentall Discourse. But with this resemblance of the Common-wealth, to a naturall man, there is one dissimilitude joyned, of great importance; which is, that a naturall man receiveth his experience, from the naturall objects of sense, which work upon him without passion, or interest of their own; whereas they that give Counsell to the Representative person of a Common-wealth, may have, and have often their particular ends, and passions, that render their Counsells alwayes suspected, and many times unfaithfull. And therefore we may set down for the first condition of a good Counsellour, That His Ends, And Interest, Be Not Inconsistent With The Ends And Interest Of Him He Counselleth.
Secondly, Because the office of a Counsellour, when an action comes into deliberation, is to make manifest the consequences of it, in such manner, as he that is Counselled may be truly and evidently informed; he ought to propound his advise, in such forme of speech, as may make the truth most evidently appear; that is to say, with as firme ratiocination, as significant and proper language, and as briefly, as the evidence will permit. And therefore Rash, And Unevident Inferences; (such as are fetched onely from Examples, or authority of Books, and are not arguments of what is good, or evill, but witnesses of fact, or of opinion,) Obscure, Confused, And Ambiguous Expressions, Also All Metaphoricall Speeches, Tending To The Stirring Up Of Passion, (because such reasoning, and such expressions, are usefull onely to deceive, or to lead him we Counsell towards other ends than his own) Are Repugnant To The Office Of A Counsellour.
Thirdly, Because the Ability of Counselling proceedeth from Experience, and long study; and no man is presumed to have experience in all those things that to the Administration of a great Common-wealth are necessary to be known, No Man Is Presumed To Be A Good Counsellour, But In Such Businesse, As He Hath Not Onely Been Much Versed In, But Hath Also Much Meditated On, And Considered. For seeing the businesse of a Common-wealth is this, to preserve the people at home, and defend them against forraign Invasion, we shall find, it requires great knowledge of the disposition of Man-kind, of the Rights of Government, and of the nature of Equity, Law, Justice, and Honour, not to be attained without study; And of the Strength, Commodities, Places, both of their own Country, and their Neighbours; as also of the inclinations, and designes of all Nations that may any way annoy them. And this is not attained to, without much experience. Of which things, not onely the whole summe, but every one of the particulars requires the age, and observation of a man in years, and of more than ordinary study. The wit required for Counsel, as I have said before is Judgement. And the differences of men in that point come from different education, of some to one kind of study, or businesse, and of others to another. When for the doing of any thing, there be Infallible rules, (as in Engines, and Edifices, the rules of Geometry,) all the experience of the world cannot equall his Counsell, that has learnt, or found out the Rule. And when there is no such Rule, he that hath most experience in that particular kind of businesse, has therein the best Judgement, and is the best Counsellour.
Fourthly, to be able to give Counsell to a Common-wealth, in a businesse that hath reference to another Common-wealth, It Is Necessary To Be Acquainted With The Intelligences, And Letters That Come From Thence, And With All The Records Of Treaties, And Other Transactions Of State Between Them; which none can doe, but such as the Representative shall think fit. By which we may see, that they who are not called to Counsell, can have no good Counsell in such cases to obtrude.
Fifthly, Supposing the number of Counsellors equall, a man is better Counselled by hearing them apart, then in an Assembly; and that for many causes. First, in hearing them apart, you have the advice of every man; but in an Assembly may of them deliver their advise with I, or No, or with their hands, or feet, not moved by their own sense, but by the eloquence of another, or for feare of displeasing some that have spoken, or the whole Assembly, by contradiction; or for feare of appearing duller in apprehension, than those that have applauded the contrary opinion. Secondly, in an Assembly of many, there cannot choose but be some whose interests are contrary to that of the Publique; and these their Interests make passionate, and Passion eloquent, and Eloquence drawes others into the same advice. For the Passions of men, which asunder are moderate, as the heat of one brand; in Assembly are like many brands, that enflame one another, (especially when they blow one another with Orations) to the setting of the Common-wealth on fire, under pretence of Counselling it. Thirdly, in hearing every man apart, one may examine (when there is need) the truth, or probability of his reasons, and of the grounds of the advise he gives, by frequent interruptions, and objections; which cannot be done in an Assembly, where (in every difficult question) a man is rather astonied, and dazled with the variety of discourse upon it, than informed of the course he ought to take. Besides, there cannot be an Assembly of many, called together for advice, wherein there be not some, that have the ambition to be thought eloquent, and also learned in the Politiques; and give not their advice with care of the businesse propounded, but of the applause of their motly orations, made of the divers colored threds, or shreds of Authors; which is an Impertinence at least, that takes away the time of serious Consultation, and in the secret way of Counselling apart, is easily avoided. Fourthly, in Deliberations that ought to be kept secret, (whereof there be many occasions in Publique Businesse,) the Counsells of many, and especially in Assemblies, are dangerous; And therefore great Assemblies are necessitated to commit such affaires to lesser numbers, and of such persons as are most versed, and in whose fidelity they have most confidence.
To conclude, who is there that so far approves the taking of Counsell from a great Assembly of Counsellours, that wisheth for, or would accept of their pains, when there is a question of marrying his Children, disposing of his Lands, governing his Household, or managing his private Estate, especially if there be amongst them such as wish not his prosperity? A man that doth his businesse by the help of many and prudent Counsellours, with every one consulting apart in his proper element, does it best, as he that useth able Seconds at Tennis play, placed in their proper stations. He does next best, that useth his own Judgement only; as he that has no Second at all. But he that is carried up and down to his businesse in a framed Counsell, which cannot move but by the plurality of consenting opinions, the execution whereof is commonly (out of envy, or interest) retarded by the part dissenting, does it worst of all, and like one that is carried to the ball, though by good Players, yet in a Wheele-barrough, or other frame, heavy of it self, and retarded also by the inconcurrent judgements, and endeavours of them that drive it; and so much the more, as they be more that set their hands to it; and most of all, when there is one, or more amongst them, that desire to have him lose. And though it be true, that many eys see more then one; yet it is not to be understood of many Counsellours; but then only, when the finall Resolution is in one man. Otherwise, because many eyes see the same thing in divers lines, and are apt to look asquint towards their private benefit; they that desire not to misse their marke, though they look about with two eyes, yet they never ayme but with one; And therefore no great Popular Common-wealth was ever kept up; but either by a forraign Enemy that united them; or by the reputation of some one eminent Man amongst them; or by the secret Counsell of a few; or by the mutuall feare of equall factions; and not by the open Consultations of the Assembly. And as for very little Common-wealths, be they Popular, or Monarchicall, there is no humane wisdome can uphold them, longer then the Jealousy lasteth of their potent Neighbours.
OF CIVILL LAWES
Civill Law what By CIVILL LAWES, I understand the Lawes, that men are therefore bound to observe, because they are Members, not of this, or that Common-wealth in particular, but of a Common-wealth. For the knowledge of particular Lawes belongeth to them, that professe the study of the Lawes of their severall Countries; but the knowledge of Civill Law in generall, to any man. The antient Law of Rome was called their Civil Law, from the word Civitas, which signifies a Common-wealth; And those Countries, which having been under the Roman Empire, and governed by that Law, retaine still such part thereof as they think fit, call that part the Civill Law, to distinguish it from the rest of their own Civill Lawes. But that is not it I intend to speak of here; my designe being not to shew what is Law here, and there; but what is Law; as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and divers others have done, without taking upon them the profession of the study of the Law.
And first it manifest, that Law in generall, is not Counsell, but Command; nor a Command of any man to any man; but only of him, whose Command is addressed to one formerly obliged to obey him. And as for Civill Law, it addeth only the name of the person Commanding, which is Persona Civitatis, the Person of the Common-wealth.
Which considered, I define Civill Law in this Manner. "CIVILL LAW, Is to every Subject, those Rules, which the Common-wealth hath Commanded him, by Word, Writing, or other sufficient Sign of the Will, to make use of, for the Distinction of Right, and Wrong; that is to say, of what is contrary, and what is not contrary to the Rule."
In which definition, there is nothing that is not at first sight evident. For every man seeth, that some Lawes are addressed to all the Subjects in generall; some to particular Provinces; some to particular Vocations; and some to particular Men; and are therefore Lawes, to every of those to whom the Command is directed; and to none else. As also, that Lawes are the Rules of Just, and Unjust; nothing being reputed Unjust, that is not contrary to some Law. Likewise, that none can make Lawes but the Common-wealth; because our Subjection is to the Common-wealth only: and that Commands, are to be signified by sufficient Signs; because a man knows not otherwise how to obey them. And therefore, whatsoever can from this definition by necessary consequence be deduced, ought to be acknowledged for truth. Now I deduce from it this that followeth.
The Soveraign Is Legislator 1. The Legislator in all Common-wealths, is only the Soveraign, be he one Man, as in a Monarchy, or one Assembly of men, as in a Democracy, or Aristocracy. For the Legislator, is he that maketh the Law. And the Common-wealth only, praescribes, and commandeth the observation of those rules, which we call Law: Therefore the Common-wealth is the Legislator. But the Common-wealth is no Person, nor has capacity to doe any thing, but by the Representative, (that is, the Soveraign;) and therefore the Soveraign is the sole Legislator. For the same reason, none can abrogate a Law made, but the Soveraign; because a Law is not abrogated, but by another Law, that forbiddeth it to be put in execution.
And Not Subject To Civill Law 2. The Soveraign of a Common-wealth, be it an Assembly, or one Man, is not subject to the Civill Lawes. For having power to make, and repeale Lawes, he may when he pleaseth, free himselfe from that subjection, by repealing those Lawes that trouble him, and making of new; and consequently he was free before. For he is free, that can be free when he will: Nor is it possible for any person to be bound to himselfe; because he that can bind, can release; and therefore he that is bound to himselfe onely, is not bound.
Use, A Law Not By Vertue Of Time, But Of The Soveraigns Consent 3. When long Use obtaineth the authority of a Law, it is not the Length of Time that maketh the Authority, but the Will of the Soveraign signified by his silence, (for Silence is sometimes an argument of Consent;) and it is no longer Law, then the Soveraign shall be silent therein. And therefore if the Soveraign shall have a question of Right grounded, not upon his present Will, but upon the Lawes formerly made; the Length of Time shal bring no prejudice to his Right; but the question shal be judged by Equity. For many unjust Actions, and unjust Sentences, go uncontrolled a longer time, than any man can remember. And our Lawyers account no Customes Law, but such as are reasonable, and that evill Customes are to be abolished; But the Judgement of what is reasonable, and of what is to be abolished, belongeth to him that maketh the Law, which is the Soveraign Assembly, or Monarch.
The Law Of Nature, And The Civill Law Contain Each Other 4. The Law of Nature, and the Civill Law, contain each other, and are of equall extent. For the Lawes of Nature, which consist in Equity, Justice, Gratitude, and other morall Vertues on these depending, in the condition of meer Nature (as I have said before in the end of the 15th Chapter,) are not properly Lawes, but qualities that dispose men to peace, and to obedience. When a Common-wealth is once settled, then are they actually Lawes, and not before; as being then the commands of the Common-wealth; and therefore also Civill Lawes: for it is the Soveraign Power that obliges men to obey them. For in the differences of private men, to declare, what is Equity, what is Justice, and what is morall Vertue, and to make them binding, there is need of the Ordinances of Soveraign Power, and Punishments to be ordained for such as shall break them; which Ordinances are therefore part of the Civill Law. The Law of Nature therefore is a part of the Civill Law in all Common-wealths of the world. Reciprocally also, the Civill Law is a part of the Dictates of Nature. For Justice, that is to say, Performance of Covenant, and giving to every man his own, is a Dictate of the Law of Nature. But every subject in a Common-wealth, hath covenanted to obey the Civill Law, (either one with another, as when they assemble to make a common Representative, or with the Representative it selfe one by one, when subdued by the Sword they promise obedience, that they may receive life;) And therefore Obedience to the Civill Law is part also of the Law of Nature. Civill, and Naturall Law are not different kinds, but different parts of Law; whereof one part being written, is called Civill, the other unwritten, Naturall. But the Right of Nature, that is, the naturall Liberty of man, may by the Civill Law be abridged, and restrained: nay, the end of making Lawes, is no other, but such Restraint; without the which there cannot possibly be any Peace. And Law was brought into the world for nothing else, but to limit the naturall liberty of particular men, in such manner, as they might not hurt, but assist one another, and joyn together against a common Enemy.
Provinciall Lawes Are Not Made By Custome, But By The Soveraign Power 5. If the Soveraign of one Common-wealth, subdue a people that have lived under other written Lawes, and afterwards govern them by the same Lawes, by which they were governed before; yet those Lawes are the Civill Lawes of the Victor, and not of the Vanquished Common-wealth, For the Legislator is he, not by whose authority the Lawes were first made, but by whose authority they now continue to be Lawes. And therefore where there be divers Provinces, within the Dominion of a Common-wealth, and in those Provinces diversity of Lawes, which commonly are called the Customes of each severall Province, we are not to understand that such Customes have their Force, onely from Length of Time; but that they were antiently Lawes written, or otherwise made known, for the Constitutions, and Statutes of their Soveraigns; and are now Lawes, not by vertue of the Praescription of time, but by the Constitutions of their present Soveraigns. But if an unwritten Law, in all the Provinces of a Dominion, shall be generally observed, and no iniquity appear in the use thereof; that law can be no other but a Law of Nature, equally obliging all man-kind.
Some Foolish Opinions Of Lawyers Concerning The Making Of Lawes 6. Seeing then all Lawes, written, and unwritten, have their Authority, and force, from the Will of the Common-wealth; that is to say, from the Will of the Representative; which in a Monarchy is the Monarch, and in other Common-wealths the Soveraign Assembly; a man may wonder from whence proceed such opinions, as are found in the Books of Lawyers of eminence in severall Common-wealths, directly, or by consequence making the Legislative Power depend on private men, or subordinate Judges. As for example, "That the Common Law, hath no Controuler but the Parlament;" which is true onely where a Parlament has the Soveraign Power, and cannot be assembled, nor dissolved, but by their own discretion. For if there be a right in any else to dissolve them, there is a right also to controule them, and consequently to controule their controulings. And if there be no such right, then the Controuler of Lawes is not Parlamentum, but Rex In Parlamento. And where a Parlament is Soveraign, if it should assemble never so many, or so wise men, from the Countries subject to them, for whatsoever cause; yet there is no man will believe, that such an Assembly hath thereby acquired to themselves a Legislative Power. Item, that the two arms of a Common-wealth, are Force, and Justice; The First Whereof Is In The King; The Other Deposited In The Hands Of The Parlament. As if a Common-wealth could consist, where the Force were in any hand, which Justice had not the Authority to command and govern.
7. That Law can never be against Reason, our Lawyers are agreed; and that not the Letter,(that is, every construction of it,) but that which is according to the Intention of the Legislator, is the Law. And it is true: but the doubt is, of whose Reason it is, that shall be received for Law. It is not meant of any private Reason; for then there would be as much contradiction in the Lawes, as there is in the Schooles; nor yet (as Sr. Ed, Coke makes it (Sir Edward Coke, upon Littleton Lib.2. Ch.6 fol 97.b),) an Artificiall Perfection of Reason, Gotten By Long Study, Observation, And Experience, (as his was.) For it is possible long study may encrease, and confirm erroneous Sentences: and where men build on false grounds, the more they build, the greater is the ruine; and of those that study, and observe with equall time, and diligence, the reasons and resolutions are, and must remain discordant: and therefore it is not that Juris Prudentia, or wisedome of subordinate Judges; but the Reason of this our Artificiall Man the Common-wealth, and his Command, that maketh Law: And the Common-wealth being in their Representative but one Person, there cannot easily arise any contradiction in the Lawes; and when there doth, the same Reason is able, by interpretation, or alteration, to take it away. In all Courts of Justice, the Soveraign (which is the Person of the Common-wealth,) is he that Judgeth: The subordinate Judge, ought to have regard to the reason, which moved his Soveraign to make such Law, that his Sentence may be according thereunto; which then is his Soveraigns Sentence; otherwise it is his own, and an unjust one.
Law Made, If Not Also Made Known, Is No Law 8. From this, that the Law is a Command, and a Command consisteth in declaration, or manifestation of the will of him that commandeth, by voyce, writing, or some other sufficient argument of the same, we may understand, that the Command of the Common-wealth, is Law onely to those, that have means to take notice of it. Over naturall fooles, children, or mad-men there is no Law, no more than over brute beasts; nor are they capable of the title of just, or unjust; because they had never power to make any covenant, or to understand the consequences thereof; and consequently never took upon them to authorise the actions of any Soveraign, as they must do that make to themselves a Common-wealth. And as those from whom Nature, or Accident hath taken away the notice of all Lawes in generall; so also every man, from whom any accident, not proceeding from his own default, hath taken away the means to take notice of any particular Law, is excused, if he observe it not; And to speak properly, that Law is no Law to him. It is therefore necessary, to consider in this place, what arguments, and signes be sufficient for the knowledge of what is the Law; that is to say, what is the will of the Soveraign, as well in Monarchies, as in other formes of government.
Unwritten Lawes Are All Of Them Lawes Of Nature And first, if it be a Law that obliges all the Subjects without exception, and is not written, nor otherwise published in such places as they may take notice thereof, it is a Law of Nature. For whatsoever men are to take knowledge of for Law, not upon other mens words, but every one from his own reason, must be such as is agreeable to the reason of all men; which no Law can be, but the Law of Nature. The Lawes of Nature therefore need not any publishing, nor Proclamation; as being contained in this one Sentence, approved by all the world, "Do not that to another, which thou thinkest unreasonable to be done by another to thy selfe."
Secondly, if it be a Law that obliges only some condition of men, or one particular man and be not written, nor published by word, then also it is a Law of Nature; and known by the same arguments, and signs, that distinguish those in such a condition, from other Subjects. For whatsoever Law is not written, or some way published by him that makes it Law, can be known no way, but by the reason of him that is to obey it; and is therefore also a Law not only Civill, but Naturall. For example, if the Soveraign employ a Publique Minister, without written Instructions what to doe; he is obliged to take for Instructions the Dictates of Reason; As if he make a Judge, The Judge is to take notice, that his Sentence ought to be according to the reason of his Soveraign, which being alwaies understood to be Equity, he is bound to it by the Law of Nature: Or if an Ambassador, he is (in al things not conteined in his written Instructions) to take for Instruction that which Reason dictates to be most conducing to his Soveraigns interest; and so of all other Ministers of the Soveraignty, publique and private. All which Instructions of naturall Reason may be comprehended under one name of Fidelity; which is a branch of naturall Justice.
The Law of Nature excepted, it belongeth to the essence of all other Lawes, to be made known, to every man that shall be obliged to obey them, either by word, or writing, or some other act, known to proceed from the Soveraign Authority. For the will of another, cannot be understood, but by his own word, or act, or by conjecture taken from his scope and purpose; which in the person of the Common-wealth, is to be supposed alwaies consonant to Equity and Reason. And in antient time, before letters were in common use, the Lawes were many times put into verse; that the rude people taking pleasure in singing, or reciting them, might the more easily reteine them in memory. And for the same reason Solomon adviseth a man, to bind the ten Commandements (Prov. 7. 3) upon his ten fingers. And for the Law which Moses gave to the people of Israel at the renewing of the Covenant, (Deut. 11. 19) he biddeth them to teach it their Children, by discoursing of it both at home, and upon the way; at going to bed, and at rising from bed; and to write it upon the posts, and dores of their houses; and (Deut. 31. 12) to assemble the people, man, woman, and child, to heare it read.
Nothing Is Law Where The Legislator Cannot Be Known Nor is it enough the Law be written, and published; but also that there be manifest signs, that it proceedeth from the will of the Soveraign. For private men, when they have, or think they have force enough to secure their unjust designes, and convoy them safely to their ambitious ends, may publish for Lawes what they please, without, or against the Legislative Authority. There is therefore requisite, not only a Declaration of the Law, but also sufficient signes of the Author, and Authority. The Author, or Legislator is supposed in every Common-wealth to be evident, because he is the Soveraign, who having been Constituted by the consent of every one, is supposed by every one to be sufficiently known. And though the ignorance, and security of men be such, for the most part, as that when the memory of the first Constitution of their Common-wealth is worn out, they doe not consider, by whose power they use to be defended against their enemies, and to have their industry protected, and to be righted when injury is done them; yet because no man that considers, can make question of it, no excuse can be derived from the ignorance of where the Soveraignty is placed. And it is a Dictate of Naturall Reason, and consequently an evident Law of Nature, that no man ought to weaken that power, the protection whereof he hath himself demanded, or wittingly received against others. Therefore of who is Soveraign, no man, but by his own fault, (whatsoever evill men suggest,) can make any doubt. The difficulty consisteth in the evidence of the Authority derived from him; The removing whereof, dependeth on the knowledge of the publique Registers, publique Counsels, publique Ministers, and publique Seales; by which all Lawes are sufficiently verified.
Difference Between Verifying And Authorising
Verifyed, I say, not Authorised: for the Verification, is but the Testimony and Record; not the Authority of the law; which consisteth in the Command of the Soveraign only.
The Law Verifyed By The Subordinate Judge If therefore a man have a question of Injury, depending on the Law of Nature; that is to say, on common Equity; the Sentence of the Judge, that by Commission hath Authority to take cognisance of such causes, is a sufficient Verification of the Law of Nature in that individuall case. For though the advice of one that professeth the study of the Law, be usefull for the avoyding of contention; yet it is but advice; tis the Judge must tell men what is Law, upon the hearing of the Controversy.
By The Publique Registers But when the question is of injury, or crime, upon a written Law; every man by recourse to the Registers, by himself, or others, may (if he will) be sufficiently enformed, before he doe such injury, or commit the crime, whither it be an injury, or not: Nay he ought to doe so: for when a man doubts whether the act he goeth about, be just, or injust; and may informe himself, if he will; the doing is unlawfull. In like manner, he that supposeth himself injured, in a case determined by the written Law, which he may by himself, or others see and consider; if he complaine before he consults with the Law, he does unjustly, and bewrayeth a disposition rather to vex other men, than to demand his own right.
By Letters Patent, And Publique Seale If the question be of Obedience to a publique Officer; To have seen his Commission, with the Publique Seale, and heard it read; or to have had the means to be informed of it, if a man would, is a sufficient Verification of his Authority. For every man is obliged to doe his best endeavour, to informe himself of all written Lawes, that may concerne his own future actions.
The Interpretation Of The Law Dependeth On The Soveraign Power The Legislator known; and the Lawes, either by writing, or by the light of Nature, sufficiently published; there wanteth yet another very materiall circumstance to make them obligatory. For it is not the Letter, but the Intendment, or Meaning; that is to say, the authentique Interpretation of the Law (which is the sense of the Legislator,) in which the nature of the Law consisteth; And therefore the Interpretation of all Lawes dependeth on the Authority Soveraign; and the Interpreters can be none but those, which the Soveraign, (to whom only the Subject oweth obedience) shall appoint. For else, by the craft of an Interpreter, the Law my be made to beare a sense, contrary to that of the Soveraign; by which means the Interpreter becomes the Legislator.
All Lawes Need Interpretation All Laws, written, and unwritten, have need of Interpretation. The unwritten Law of Nature, though it be easy to such, as without partiality, and passion, make use of their naturall reason, and therefore leaves the violators thereof without excuse; yet considering there be very few, perhaps none, that in some cases are not blinded by self love, or some other passion, it is now become of all Laws the most obscure; and has consequently the greatest need of able Interpreters. The written Laws, if they be short, are easily mis-interpreted, from the divers significations of a word, or two; if long, they be more obscure by the diverse significations of many words: in so much as no written Law, delivered in few, or many words, can be well understood, without a perfect understanding of the finall causes, for which the Law was made; the knowledge of which finall causes is in the Legislator. To him therefore there can not be any knot in the Law, insoluble; either by finding out the ends, to undoe it by; or else by making what ends he will, (as Alexander did with his sword in the Gordian knot,) by the Legislative power; which no other Interpreter can doe.
The Authenticall Interpretation Of Law Is Not That Of Writers The Interpretation of the Lawes of Nature, in a Common-wealth, dependeth not on the books of Morall Philosophy. The Authority of writers, without the Authority of the Common-wealth, maketh not their opinions Law, be they never so true. That which I have written in this Treatise, concerning the Morall Vertues, and of their necessity, for the procuring, and maintaining peace, though it bee evident Truth, is not therefore presently Law; but because in all Common-wealths in the world, it is part of the Civill Law: For though it be naturally reasonable; yet it is by the Soveraigne Power that it is Law: Otherwise, it were a great errour, to call the Lawes of Nature unwritten Law; whereof wee see so many volumes published, and in them so many contradictions of one another, and of themselves.
The Interpreter Of The Law Is The Judge Giving Sentence Viva Voce In Every Particular Case The Interpretation of the Law of Nature, is the Sentence of the Judge constituted by the Soveraign Authority, to heare and determine such controversies, as depend thereon; and consisteth in the application of the Law to the present case. For in the act of Judicature, the Judge doth no more but consider, whither the demand of the party, be consonant to naturall reason, and Equity; and the Sentence he giveth, is therefore the Interpretation of the Law of Nature; which Interpretation is Authentique; not because it is his private Sentence; but because he giveth it by Authority of the Soveraign, whereby it becomes the Soveraigns Sentence; which is Law for that time, to the parties pleading.
The Sentence Of A Judge, Does Not Bind Him, Or Another Judge To Give Like Sentence In Like Cases Ever After But because there is no Judge Subordinate, nor Soveraign, but may erre in a Judgement of Equity; if afterward in another like case he find it more consonant to Equity to give a contrary Sentence, he is obliged to doe it. No mans error becomes his own Law; nor obliges him to persist in it. Neither (for the same reason) becomes it a Law to other Judges, though sworn to follow it. For though a wrong Sentence given by authority of the Soveraign, if he know and allow it, in such Lawes as are mutable, be a constitution of a new Law, in cases, in which every little circumstance is the same; yet in Lawes immutable, such as are the Lawes of Nature, they are no Lawes to the same, or other Judges, in the like cases for ever after. Princes succeed one another; and one Judge passeth, another commeth; nay, Heaven and Earth shall passe; but not one title of the Law of Nature shall passe; for it is the Eternall Law of God. Therefore all the Sentences of precedent Judges that have ever been, cannot all together make a Law contrary to naturall Equity: Nor any Examples of former Judges, can warrant an unreasonable Sentence, or discharge the present Judge of the trouble of studying what is Equity (in the case he is to Judge,) from the principles of his own naturall reason. For example sake, 'Tis against the Law of Nature, To Punish The Innocent; and Innocent is he that acquitteth himselfe Judicially, and is acknowledged for Innocent by the Judge. Put the case now, that a man is accused of a capitall crime, and seeing the powers and malice of some enemy, and the frequent corruption and partiality of Judges, runneth away for feare of the event, and afterwards is taken, and brought to a legall triall, and maketh it sufficiently appear, he was not guilty of the crime, and being thereof acquitted, is neverthelesse condemned to lose his goods; this is a manifest condemnation of the Innocent. I say therefore, that there is no place in the world, where this can be an interpretation of a Law of Nature, or be made a Law by the Sentences of precedent Judges, that had done the same. For he that judged it first, judged unjustly; and no Injustice can be a pattern of Judgement to succeeding Judges. A written Law may forbid innocent men to fly, and they may be punished for flying: But that flying for feare of injury, should be taken for presumption of guilt, after a man is already absolved of the crime Judicially, is contrary to the nature of a Presumption, which hath no place after Judgement given. Yet this is set down by a great Lawyer for the common Law of England. "If a man," saith he, "that is Innocent, be accused of Felony, and for feare flyeth for the same; albeit he judicially acquitteth himselfe of the Felony; yet if it be found that he fled for the Felony, he shall notwithstanding his Innocency, Forfeit all his goods, chattels, debts, and duties. For as to the Forfeiture of them, the Law will admit no proofe against the Presumption in Law, grounded upon his flight." Here you see, An Innocent Man, Judicially Acquitted, Notwithstanding His Innocency, (when no written Law forbad him to fly) after his acquitall, Upon A Presumption In Law, condemned to lose all the goods he hath. If the Law ground upon his flight a Presumption of the fact, (which was Capitall,) the Sentence ought to have been Capitall: if the presumption were not of the Fact, for what then ought he to lose his goods? This therefore is no Law of England; nor is the condemnation grounded upon a Presumption of Law, but upon the Presumption of the Judges. It is also against Law, to say that no Proofe shall be admitted against a Presumption of Law. For all Judges, Soveraign and subordinate, if they refuse to heare Proofe, refuse to do Justice: for though the Sentence be Just, yet the Judges that condemn without hearing the Proofes offered, are Unjust Judges; and their Presumption is but Prejudice; which no man ought to bring with him to the Seat of Justice, whatsoever precedent judgements, or examples he shall pretend to follow. There be other things of this nature, wherein mens Judgements have been perverted, by trusting to Precedents: but this is enough to shew, that though the Sentence of the Judge, be a Law to the party pleading, yet it is no Law to any Judge, that shall succeed him in that Office.
In like manner, when question is of the Meaning of written Lawes, he is not the Interpreter of them, that writeth a Commentary upon them. For Commentaries are commonly more subject to cavill, than the Text; and therefore need other Commentaries; and so there will be no end of such Interpretation. And therefore unlesse there be an Interpreter authorised by the Soveraign, from which the subordinate Judges are not to recede, the Interpreter can be no other than the ordinary Judges, in the some manner, as they are in cases of the unwritten Law; and their Sentences are to be taken by them that plead, for Lawes in that particular case; but not to bind other Judges, in like cases to give like judgements. For a Judge may erre in the Interpretation even of written Lawes; but no errour of a subordinate Judge, can change the Law, which is the generall Sentence of the Soveraigne.
The Difference Between The Letter And Sentence Of The Law In written Lawes, men use to make a difference between the Letter, and the Sentence of the Law: And when by the Letter, is meant whatsoever can be gathered from the bare words, 'tis well distinguished. For the significations of almost all words, are either in themselves, or in the metaphoricall use of them, ambiguous; and may be drawn in argument, to make many senses; but there is onely one sense of the Law. But if by the Letter, be meant the Literall sense, then the Letter, and the Sentence or intention of the Law, is all one. For the literall sense is that, which the Legislator is alwayes supposed to be Equity: For it were a great contumely for a Judge to think otherwise of the Soveraigne. He ought therefore, if the Word of the Law doe not fully authorise a reasonable Sentence, to supply it with the Law of Nature; or if the case be difficult, to respit Judgement till he have received more ample authority. For Example, a written Law ordaineth, that he which is thrust out of his house by force, shall be restored by force: It happens that a man by negligence leaves his house empty, and returning is kept out by force, in which case there is no speciall Law ordained. It is evident, that this case is contained in the same Law: for else there is no remedy for him at all; which is to be supposed against the Intention of the Legislator. Again, the word of the Law, commandeth to Judge according to the Evidence: A man is accused falsly of a fact, which the Judge saw himself done by another; and not by him that is accused. In this case neither shall the Letter of the Law be followed to the condemnation of the Innocent, nor shall the Judge give Sentence against the evidence of the Witnesses; because the Letter of the Law is to the contrary: but procure of the Soveraign that another be made Judge, and himselfe Witnesse. So that the incommodity that follows the bare words of a written Law, may lead him to the Intention of the Law, whereby to interpret the same the better; though no Incommodity can warrant a Sentence against the Law. For every Judge of Right, and Wrong, is not Judge of what is Commodious, or Incommodious to the Common-wealth.
The Abilities Required In A Judge The abilities required in a good Interpreter of the Law, that is to say, in a good Judge, are not the same with those of an Advocate; namely the study of the Lawes. For a Judge, as he ought to take notice of the Fact, from none but the Witnesses; so also he ought to take notice of the Law, from nothing but the Statutes, and Constitutions of the Soveraign, alledged in the pleading, or declared to him by some that have authority from the Soveraign Power to declare them; and need not take care before-hand, what hee shall Judge; for it shall bee given him what hee shall say concerning the Fact, by Witnesses; and what hee shall say in point of Law, from those that shall in their pleadings shew it, and by authority interpret it upon the place. The Lords of Parlament in England were Judges, and most difficult causes have been heard and determined by them; yet few of them were much versed in the study of the Lawes, and fewer had made profession of them: and though they consulted with Lawyers, that were appointed to be present there for that purpose; yet they alone had the authority of giving Sentence. In like manner, in the ordinary trialls of Right, Twelve men of the common People, are the Judges, and give Sentence, not onely of the Fact, but of the Right; and pronounce simply for the Complaynant, or for the Defendant; that is to say, are Judges not onely of the Fact, but also of the Right: and in a question of crime, not onely determine whether done, or not done; but also whether it be Murder, Homicide, Felony, Assault, and the like, which are determinations of Law: but because they are not supposed to know the Law of themselves, there is one that hath Authority to enforme them of it, in the particular case they are to Judge of. But yet if they judge not according to that he tells them, they are not subject thereby to any penalty; unlesse it be made appear, they did it against their consciences, or had been corrupted by reward. The things that make a good Judge, or good Interpreter of the Lawes, are, first A Right Understanding of that principall Law of Nature called Equity; which depending not on the reading of other mens Writings, but on the goodnesse of a mans own naturall Reason, and Meditation, is presumed to be in those most, that have had most leisure, and had the most inclination to meditate thereon. Secondly, Contempt Of Unnecessary Riches, and Preferments. Thirdly, To Be Able In Judgement To Devest Himselfe Of All Feare, Anger, Hatred, Love, And Compassion. Fourthly, and lastly, Patience To Heare; Diligent Attention In Hearing; And Memory To Retain, Digest And Apply What He Hath Heard.
Divisions Of Law The difference and division of the Lawes, has been made in divers manners, according to the different methods, of those men that have written of them. For it is a thing that dependeth not on Nature, but on the scope of the Writer; and is subservient to every mans proper method. In the Institutions of Justinian, we find seven sorts of Civill Lawes.
1. The Edicts, Constitutions, and Epistles Of The Prince, that is, of the Emperour; because the whole power of the people was in him. Like these, are the Proclamations of the Kings of England.
2. The Decrees Of The Whole People Of Rome (comprehending the Senate,) when they were put to the Question by the Senate. These were Lawes, at first, by the vertue of the Soveraign Power residing in the people; and such of them as by the Emperours were not abrogated, remained Lawes by the Authority Imperiall. For all Lawes that bind, are understood to be Lawes by his authority that has power to repeale them. Somewhat like to these Lawes, are the Acts of Parliament in England.
3. The Decrees Of The Common People (excluding the Senate,) when they were put to the question by the Tribune of the people. For such of them as were not abrogated by the Emperours, remained Lawes by the Authority Imperiall. Like to these, were the Orders of the House of Commons in England.
4. Senatus Consulta, the Orders Of The Senate; because when the people of Rome grew so numerous, as it was inconvenient to assemble them; it was thought fit by the Emperour, that men should Consult the Senate in stead of the people: And these have some resemblance with the Acts of Counsell.
5. The Edicts Of Praetors, and (in some Cases) of the Aediles: such as are the Chiefe Justices in the Courts of England.
6. Responsa Prudentum; which were the Sentences, and Opinions of those Lawyers, to whom the Emperour gave Authority to interpret the Law, and to give answer to such as in matter of Law demanded their advice; which Answers, the Judges in giving Judgement were obliged by the Constitutions of the Emperour to observe; And should be like the Reports of Cases Judged, if other Judges be by the Law of England bound to observe them. For the Judges of the Common Law of England, are not properly Judges, but Juris Consulti; of whom the Judges, who are either the Lords, or Twelve men of the Country, are in point of Law to ask advice.
7. Also, Unwritten Customes, (which in their own nature are an imitation of Law,) by the tacite consent of the Emperour, in case they be not contrary to the Law of Nature, are very Lawes.
Another division of Lawes, is into Naturall and Positive. Naturall are those which have been Lawes from all Eternity; and are called not onely Naturall, but also Morall Lawes; consisting in the Morall Vertues, as Justice, Equity, and all habits of the mind that conduce to Peace, and Charity; of which I have already spoken in the fourteenth and fifteenth Chapters.
Positive, are those which have not been for Eternity; but have been made Lawes by the Will of those that have had the Soveraign Power over others; and are either written, or made known to men, by some other argument of the Will of their Legislator.
Another Division Of Law Again, of Positive Lawes some are Humane, some Divine; And of Humane positive lawes, some are Distributive, some Penal. Distributive are those that determine the Rights of the Subjects, declaring to every man what it is, by which he acquireth and holdeth a propriety in lands, or goods, and a right or liberty of action; and these speak to all the Subjects. Penal are those, which declare, what Penalty shall be inflicted on those that violate the Law; and speak to the Ministers and Officers ordained for execution. For though every one ought to be informed of the Punishments ordained beforehand for their transgression; neverthelesse the Command is not addressed to the Delinquent, (who cannot be supposed will faithfully punish himselfe,) but to publique Ministers appointed to see the Penalty executed. And these Penal Lawes are for the most part written together with the Lawes Distributive; and are sometimes called Judgements. For all Lawes are generall judgements, or Sentences of the Legislator; as also every particular Judgement, is a Law to him, whose case is Judged.
Divine Positive Law How Made Known To Be Law Divine Positive Lawes (for Naturall Lawes being Eternall, and Universall, are all Divine,) are those, which being the Commandements of God, (not from all Eternity, nor universally addressed to all men, but onely to a certain people, or to certain persons,) are declared for such, by those whom God hath authorised to declare them. But this Authority of man to declare what be these Positive Lawes of God, how can it be known? God may command a man by a supernaturall way, to deliver Lawes to other men. But because it is of the essence of Law, that he who is to be obliged, be assured of the Authority of him that declareth it, which we cannot naturally take notice to be from God, How Can A Man Without Supernaturall Revelation Be Assured Of The Revelation Received By The Declarer? and How Can He Be Bound To Obey Them? For the first question, how a man can be assured of the Revelation of another, without a Revelation particularly to himselfe, it is evidently impossible: for though a man may be induced to believe such Revelation, from the Miracles they see him doe, or from seeing the Extraordinary sanctity of his life, or from seeing the Extraordinary wisedome, or Extraordinary felicity of his Actions, all which are marks of Gods extraordinary favour; yet they are not assured evidence of speciall Revelation. Miracles are Marvellous workes: but that which is marvellous to one, may not be so to another. Sanctity may be feigned; and the visible felicities of this world, are most often the work of God by Naturall, and ordinary causes. And therefore no man can infallibly know by naturall reason, that another has had a supernaturall revelation of Gods will; but only a beliefe; every one (as the signs thereof shall appear greater, or lesser) a firmer, or a weaker belief.
But for the second, how he can be bound to obey them; it is not so hard. For if the Law declared, be not against the Law of Nature (which is undoubtedly Gods Law) and he undertake to obey it, he is bound by his own act; bound I say to obey it, but not bound to believe it: for mens beliefe, and interiour cogitations, are not subject to the commands, but only to the operation of God, ordinary, or extraordinary. Faith of Supernaturall Law, is not a fulfilling, but only an assenting to the same; and not a duty that we exhibite to God, but a gift which God freely giveth to whom he pleaseth; as also Unbelief is not a breach of any of his Lawes; but a rejection of them all, except the Lawes Naturall. But this that I say, will be made yet cleerer, by the Examples, and Testimonies concerning this point in holy Scripture. The Covenant God made with Abraham (in a Supernaturall Manner) was thus, (Gen. 17. 10) "This is the Covenant which thou shalt observe between Me and Thee and thy Seed after thee." Abrahams Seed had not this revelation, nor were yet in being; yet they are a party to the Covenant, and bound to obey what Abraham should declare to them for Gods Law; which they could not be, but in vertue of the obedience they owed to their Parents; who (if they be Subject to no other earthly power, as here in the case of Abraham) have Soveraign power over their children, and servants. Againe, where God saith to Abraham, "In thee shall all Nations of the earth be blessed: For I know thou wilt command thy children, and thy house after thee to keep the way of the Lord, and to observe Righteousnesse and Judgement," it is manifest, the obedience of his Family, who had no Revelation, depended on their former obligation to obey their Soveraign. At Mount Sinai Moses only went up to God; the people were forbidden to approach on paine of death; yet were they bound to obey all that Moses declared to them for Gods Law. Upon what ground, but on this submission of their own, "Speak thou to us, and we will heare thee; but let not God speak to us, lest we dye?" By which two places it sufficiently appeareth, that in a Common-wealth, a subject that has no certain and assured Revelation particularly to himself concerning the Will of God, is to obey for such, the Command of the Common-wealth: for if men were at liberty, to take for Gods Commandements, their own dreams, and fancies, or the dreams and fancies of private men; scarce two men would agree upon what is Gods Commandement; and yet in respect of them, every man would despise the Commandements of the Common-wealth. I conclude therefore, that in all things not contrary to the Morall Law, (that is to say, to the Law of Nature,) all Subjects are bound to obey that for divine Law, which is declared to be so, by the Lawes of the Common-wealth. Which also is evident to any mans reason; for whatsoever is not against the Law of Nature, may be made Law in the name of them that have the Soveraign power; and there is no reason men should be the lesse obliged by it, when tis propounded in the name of God. Besides, there is no place in the world where men are permitted to pretend other Commandements of God, than are declared for such by the Common-wealth. Christian States punish those that revolt from Christian Religion, and all other States, those that set up any Religion by them forbidden. For in whatsoever is not regulated by the Common-wealth, tis Equity (which is the Law of Nature, and therefore an eternall Law of God) that every man equally enjoy his liberty.
Another Division Of Lawes There is also another distinction of Laws, into Fundamentall, and Not Fundamentall: but I could never see in any Author, what a Fundamentall Law signifieth. Neverthelesse one may very reasonably distinguish Laws in that manner.
A Fundamentall Law What For a Fundamentall Law in every Common-wealth is that, which being taken away, the Common-wealth faileth, and is utterly dissolved; as a building whose Foundation is destroyed. And therefore a Fundamentall Law is that, by which Subjects are bound to uphold whatsoever power is given to the Soveraign, whether a Monarch, or a Soveraign Assembly, without which the Common-wealth cannot stand, such as is the power of War and Peace, of Judicature, of Election of Officers, and of doing whatsoever he shall think necessary for the Publique good. Not Fundamentall is that the abrogating whereof, draweth not with it the dissolution of the Common-Wealth; such as are the Lawes Concerning Controversies between subject and subject. Thus much of the Division of Lawes.
Difference Between Law And Right I find the words Lex Civilis, and Jus Civile, that is to say, Law and Right Civil, promiscuously used for the same thing, even in the most learned Authors; which neverthelesse ought not to be so. For Right is Liberty, namely that Liberty which the Civil Law leaves us: But Civill Law is an Obligation; and takes from us the Liberty which the Law of Nature gave us. Nature gave a Right to every man to secure himselfe by his own strength, and to invade a suspected neighbour, by way of prevention; but the Civill Law takes away that Liberty, in all cases where the protection of the Lawe may be safely stayd for. Insomuch as Lex and Jus, are as different as Obligation and Liberty.
And Between A Law And A Charter Likewise Lawes and Charters are taken promiscuously for the same thing. Yet Charters are Donations of the Soveraign; and not Lawes, but exemptions from Law. The phrase of a Law is Jubeo, Injungo, I Command, and Enjoyn: the phrase of a Charter is Dedi, Concessi, I Have Given, I Have Granted: but what is given or granted, to a man, is not forced upon him, by a Law. A Law may be made to bind All the Subjects of a Common-wealth: a Liberty, or Charter is only to One man, or some One part of the people. For to say all the people of a Common-wealth, have Liberty in any case whatsoever; is to say, that in such case, there hath been no Law made; or else having been made, is now abrogated.