The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (2024)

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Title: The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11)

Author: Thomas Hobbes

Editor: Sir William Molesworth

Release date: July 1, 2024 [eBook #73957]

Language: English

Original publication: London: John Bohn, 1839

Credits: Emmanuel Ackerman, KD Weeks and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This book was produced from images made available by the HathiTrust Digital Library.)


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The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (1)

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The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (2)

Non est potestas Super Terram quæ Comparetur ei.
















Honor’d Sir,

Your most worthy brother, Mr. Sidney Godolphin,when he lived, was pleased to think my studies something,and otherwise to oblige me, as you know, withreal testimonies of his good opinion, great in themselves,and the greater for the worthiness of his person. Forthere is not any virtue that disposeth a man, either tothe service of God, or to the service of his country, tocivil society, or private friendship, that did not manifestlyappear in his conversation, not as acquired by necessity,or affected upon occasion, but inherent, and shining ina generous constitution of his nature. Therefore, inhonour and gratitude to him, and with devotion to yourself,I humbly dedicate unto you this my discourse ofCommonwealth. I know not how the world will receiveit, nor how it may reflect on those that shall seem tofavour it. For in a way beset with those that contend,on one side for too great liberty, and on the other sidefor too much authority, ’tis hard to pass between thepoints of both unwounded. But yet, methinks, theviendeavour to advance the civil power, should not be bythe civil power condemned; nor private men, by reprehendingit, declare they think that power too great.Besides, I speak not of the men, but, in the abstract,of the seat of power, (like to those simple and unpartialcreatures in the Roman Capitol, that with their noisedefended those within it, not because they were they,but there), offending none, I think, but those without,or such within, if there be any such, as favour them.That which perhaps may most offend, are certain textsof Holy Scripture, alleged by me to other purpose thanordinarily they use to be by others. But I have done itwith due submission, and also, in order to my subject,necessarily; for they are the outworks of the enemy,from whence they impugn the civil power. If notwithstandingthis, you find my labour generally decried,you may be pleased to excuse yourself, and say, I am aman that love my own opinions, and think all true Isay, that I honoured your brother, and honour you, andhave presumed on that, to assume the title, without yourknowledge, of being, as I am,


Your most humble,

and most obedient Servant,

Thomas Hobbes.

Paris, April 15/25, 1651.



Introduction ix
1. Of Sense 1
2. Of Imagination 3
3. Of the Consequence or Train of Imaginations 11
4. Of Speech 18
5. Of Reason and Science 29
6. Of the Interior Beginnings of Voluntary Motions, commonly called the Passions; and the Speeches by which they are expressed 38
7. Of the Ends or Resolutions of Discourse 51
8. Of the Virtues, commonly called Intellectual; and their contrary Defects 56
9. Of the Several Subjects of Knowledge 71
10. Of Power, Worth, Dignity, Honour, and Worthiness 74
11. Of the Difference of Manners 85
12. Of Religion 94
13. Of the Natural Condition of Mankind as concerning their Felicity and Misery 110
14. Of the First and Second Natural Laws, and of Contract 116
15. Of other Laws of Nature 130
16. Of Persons, Authors, and Things Personated 147
17. Of the Causes, Generation, and Definition of a Commonwealth 153
18. Of the Rights of Sovereigns by Institution 159
19. Of the several kinds of Commonwealth by Institution; and of Succession to the Sovereign Power 171
20. Of Dominion Paternal, and Despotical 185
21. Of the Liberty of Subjects 196
22. Of Systems Subject, Political, and Private 210
23. Of the Public Ministers of Sovereign Power 226
24. Of the Nutrition, and Procreation of a Commonwealth 232
viii25. Of Counsel 240
26. Of Civil Laws 250
27. Of Crimes, Excuses, and Extenuations 277
28. Of Punishments, and Rewards 297
29. Of those things that weaken, or tend to the Dissolution of a Commonwealth 308
30. Of the Office of the Sovereign Representative 322
31. Of the Kingdom of God by Nature 343
32. Of the Principles of Christian Politics 359
33. Of the Number, Antiquity, Scope, Authority, and Interpreters of the Books of Holy Scripture 366
34. Of the Signification of Spirit, Angel, and Inspiration, in the Books of Holy Scripture 380
35. Of the Signification in Scripture of the Kingdom of God, of Holy, Sacred, and Sacrament 396
36. Of the Word of God, and of Prophets 407
37. Of Miracles, and their Use 427
38. Of the Signification in Scripture of Eternal Life, Hell, Salvation, the World to Come, and Redemption 437
39. Of the Signification in Scripture of the word Church 458
40. Of the Rights of the Kingdom of God, in Abraham, Moses, the High-Priests, and the Kings of Judah 461
41. Of the Office of Our Blessed Saviour 475
42. Of Power Ecclesiastical 485
43. Of what is Necessary for a Man’s Reception into the Kingdom of Heaven 584
44. Of Spiritual Darkness, from Misinterpretation of Scripture 603
45. Of Demonology, and other Relics of the Religion of the Gentiles 637
46. Of Darkness from Vain Philosophy, and Fabulous Traditions 664
47. Of the Benefit proceeding from such Darkness; and to whom it accrueth 688
A Review and Conclusion 701



Nature, the art whereby God hath made and governsthe world, is by the art of man, as in many other things,so in this also imitated, that it can make an artificialanimal. For seeing life is but a motion of limbs, thebeginning whereof is in some principal part within;why may we not say, that all automata (engines thatmove themselves by springs and wheels as doth awatch) have an artificial life? For what is the heart,but a spring; and the nerves, but so many strings;and the joints, but so many wheels, giving motion tothe whole body, such as was intended by the artificer?Art goes yet further, imitating that rational and mostexcellent work of nature, man. For by art is createdthat great Leviathan called a Commonwealth, orState, in Latin Civitas, which is but an artificialman; though of greater stature and strength than thenatural, for whose protection and defence it was intended;and in which the sovereignty is an artificialsoul, as giving life and motion to the whole body; thexmagistrates, and other officers of judicature and execution,artificial joints; reward and punishment, bywhich fastened to the seat of the sovereignty everyjoint and member is moved to perform his duty, arethe nerves, that do the same in the body natural; thewealth and riches of all the particular members, are thestrength; salus populi, the people’s safety, its business;counsellors, by whom all things needful for it toknow are suggested unto it, are the memory; equity,and laws, an artificial reason and will; concord, health;sedition, sickness; and civil war, death. Lastly, thepacts and covenants, by which the parts of this bodypolitic were at first made, set together, and united, resemblethat fiat, or the let us make man, pronouncedby God in the creation.

To describe the nature of this artificial man, I willconsider

First, the matter thereof, and the artificer; bothwhich is man.

Secondly, how, and by what covenants it is made;what are the rights and just power or authority of a sovereign;and what it is that preserveth or dissolveth it.

Thirdly, what is a Christian commonwealth.

Lastly, what is the kingdom of darkness.

Concerning the first, there is a saying much usurpedof late, that wisdom is acquired, not by reading of books,xibut of men. Consequently whereunto, those persons,that for the most part can give no other proof of beingwise, take great delight to show what they think theyhave read in men, by uncharitable censures of oneanother behind their backs. But there is another sayingnot of late understood, by which they might learntruly to read one another, if they would take the pains;that is, nosce teipsum, read thyself: which was notmeant, as it is now used, to countenance, either thebarbarous state of men in power, towards their inferiors;or to encourage men of low degree, to a saucybehaviour towards their betters; but to teach us, thatfor the similitude of the thoughts and passions of oneman, to the thoughts and passions of another, whosoeverlooketh into himself, and considereth what he doth,when he does think, opine, reason, hope, fear, &c. andupon what grounds; he shall thereby read and know,what are the thoughts and passions of all other menupon the like occasions. I say the similitude of passions,which are the same in all men, desire, fear, hope, &c.;not the similitude of the objects of the passions, whichare the things desired, feared, hoped, &c.: for thesethe constitution individual, and particular education, doso vary, and they are so easy to be kept from our knowledge,that the characters of man’s heart, blotted andconfounded as they are with dissembling, lying, counterfeiting,xiiand erroneous doctrines, are legible only tohim that searcheth hearts. And though by men’s actionswe do discover their design sometimes; yet to doit without comparing them with our own, and distinguishingall circ*mstances, by which the case may cometo be altered, is to decypher without a key, and be forthe most part deceived, by too much trust, or by toomuch diffidence; as he that reads, is himself a good orevil man.

But let one man read another by his actions never soperfectly, it serves him only with his acquaintance, whichare but few. He that is to govern a whole nation, mustread in himself, not this or that particular man; butmankind: which though it be hard to do, harder thanto learn any language or science; yet when I shall haveset down my own reading orderly, and perspicuously,the pains left another, will be only to consider, if healso find not the same in himself. For this kind ofdoctrine admitteth no other demonstration.







Concerning the thoughts of man, I will considerthem first singly, and afterwards in train, or dependenceupon one another. Singly, they are everyone a representation or appearance, of some quality,or other accident of a body without us, which iscommonly called an object. Which object workethon the eyes, ears, and other parts of a man’s body;and by diversity of working, produceth diversity ofappearances.

The original of them all, is that which we callSENSE, for there is no conception in a man’s mind,which hath not at first, totally, or by parts, beenbegotten upon the organs of sense. The rest arederived from that original.

To know the natural cause of sense, is not verynecessary to the business now in hand; and I haveelsewhere written of the same at large. Nevertheless,to fill each part of my present method, Iwill briefly deliver the same in this place.

The cause of sense, is the external body, or object,2which presseth the organ proper to each sense,either immediately, as in the taste and touch; ormediately, as in seeing, hearing, and smelling; whichpressure, by the mediation of the nerves, and otherstrings and membranes of the body, continued inwardsto the brain and heart, causeth there a resistance,or counter-pressure, or endeavour of theheart to deliver itself, which endeavour, becauseoutward, seemeth to be some matter without. Andthis seeming, or fancy, is that which men call sense;and consisteth, as to the eye, in a light, or colourfigured; to the ear, in a sound; to the nostril, inan odour; to the tongue and palate, in a savour;and to the rest of the body, in heat, cold, hardness,softness, and such other qualities as we discern byfeeling. All which qualities, called sensible, are inthe object, that causeth them, but so many severalmotions of the matter, by which it presseth ourorgans diversely. Neither in us that are pressed,are they any thing else, but divers motions; formotion produceth nothing but motion. But theirappearance to us is fancy, the same waking, thatdreaming. And as pressing, rubbing, or strikingthe eye, makes us fancy a light; and pressing theear, produceth a din; so do the bodies also we see,or hear, produce the same by their strong, thoughunobserved action. For if those colours and soundswere in the bodies, or objects that cause them, theycould not be severed from them, as by glasses, andin echoes by reflection, we see they are; where weknow the thing we see is in one place, the appearancein another. And though at some certaindistance, the real and very object seem investedwith the fancy it begets in us; yet still the object3is one thing, the image or fancy is another. Sothat sense, in all cases, is nothing else but originalfancy, caused, as I have said, by the pressure, thatis, by the motion, of external things upon our eyes,ears, and other organs thereunto ordained.

But the philosophy-schools, through all the universitiesof Christendom, grounded upon certaintexts of Aristotle, teach another doctrine, and say,for the cause of vision, that the thing seen, sendethforth on every side a visible species, in English, avisible show, apparition, or aspect, or a beingseen; the receiving whereof into the eye, is seeing.And for the cause of hearing, that the thing heard,sendeth forth an audible species, that is an audibleaspect, or audible being seen; which entering atthe ear, maketh hearing. Nay, for the cause ofunderstanding also, they say the thing understood,sendeth forth an intelligible species, that is, anintelligible being seen; which, coming into the understanding,makes us understand. I say not this,as disproving the use of universities; but becauseI am to speak hereafter of their office in a commonwealth,I must let you see on all occasions bythe way, what things would be amended in them;amongst which the frequency of insignificant speechis one.




That when a thing lies still, unless somewhat elsestir it, it will lie still for ever, is a truth that noman doubts of. But that when a thing is in motion,4it will eternally be in motion, unless somewhat elsestay it, though the reason be the same, namely,that nothing can change itself, is not so easily assentedto. For men measure, not only other men,but all other things, by themselves; and becausethey find themselves subject after motion to pain,and lassitude, think every thing else grows wearyof motion, and seeks repose of its own accord; littleconsidering, whether it be not some other motion,wherein that desire of rest they find in themselves,consisteth. From hence it is, that the schools say,heavy bodies fall downwards, out of an appetite torest, and to conserve their nature in that placewhich is most proper for them; ascribing appetite,and knowledge of what is good for their conservation,which is more than man has, to things inanimate,absurdly.

When a body is once in motion, it moveth, unlesssomething else hinder it, eternally; and whatsoeverhindreth it, cannot in an instant, but in time, andby degrees, quite extinguish it; and as we see inthe water, though the wind cease, the waves givenot over rolling for a long time after: so also ithappeneth in that motion, which is made in theinternal parts of a man, then, when he sees, dreams,&c. For after the object is removed, or the eyeshut, we still retain an image of the thing seen,though more obscure than when we see it. Andthis is it, the Latins call imagination, from theimage made in seeing; and apply the same, thoughimproperly, to all the other senses. But the Greekscall it fancy; which signifies appearance, and is asproper to one sense, as to another. Imaginationtherefore is nothing but decaying sense; and is5found in men, and many other living creatures, aswell sleeping, as waking.

The decay of sense in men waking, is not thedecay of the motion made in sense; but an obscuringof it, in such manner as the light of thesun obscureth the light of the stars; which starsdo no less exercise their virtue, by which they arevisible, in the day than in the night. But becauseamongst many strokes, which our eyes, ears, andother organs receive from external bodies, thepredominant only is sensible; therefore, thelight of the sun being predominant, we are notaffected with the action of the stars. And anyobject being removed from our eyes, thoughthe impression it made in us remain, yet otherobjects more present succeeding, and workingon us, the imagination of the past is obscured,and made weak, as the voice of a man is in thenoise of the day. From whence it followeth,that the longer the time is, after the sight or senseof any object, the weaker is the imagination. Forthe continual change of man’s body destroys intime the parts which in sense were moved: so thatdistance of time, and of place, hath one and thesame effect in us. For as at a great distance ofplace, that which we look at appears dim, andwithout distinction of the smaller parts; and asvoices grow weak, and inarticulate; so also, aftergreat distance of time, our imagination of the pastis weak; and we lose, for example, of cities wehave seen, many particular streets, and of actions,many particular circ*mstances. This decayingsense, when we would express the thing itself, Imean fancy itself, we call imagination, as I said6before: but when we would express the decay,and signify that the sense is fading, old, and past,it is called memory. So that imagination andmemory are but one thing, which for divers considerationshath divers names.


Much memory, or memory of many things, iscalled experience. Again, imagination being onlyof those things which have been formerly perceivedby sense, either all at once, or by parts at severaltimes; the former, which is the imagining thewhole object as it was presented to the sense, issimple imagination, as when one imagineth a man,or horse, which he hath seen before. The other iscompounded; as when, from the sight of a man atone time, and of a horse at another, we conceivein our mind a Centaur. So when a man compoundeththe image of his own person with theimage of the actions of another man, as when aman imagines himself a Hercules or an Alexander,which happeneth often to them that are muchtaken with reading of romances, it is a compoundimagination, and properly but a fiction of themind. There be also other imaginations that risein men, though waking, from the great impressionmade in sense: as from gazing upon the sun, theimpression leaves an image of the sun before oureyes a long time after; and from being long and vehementlyattent upon geometrical figures, a manshall in the dark, though awake, have the imagesof lines and angles before his eyes; which kind offancy hath no particular name, as being a thingthat doth not commonly fall into men’s discourse.


The imaginations of them that sleep are thosewe call dreams. And these also, as all other7imaginations, have been before, either totally or byparcels, in the sense. And because in sense, thebrain and nerves, which are the necessary organsof sense, are so benumbed in sleep, as not easily tobe moved by the action of external objects, therecan happen in sleep no imagination, and thereforeno dream, but what proceeds from the agitation ofthe inward parts of man’s body; which inwardparts, for the connexion they have with the brain,and other organs, when they be distempered, dokeep the same in motion; whereby the imaginationsthere formerly made, appear as if a man werewaking; saving that the organs of sense beingnow benumbed, so as there is no new object,which can master and obscure them with a morevigorous impression, a dream must needs be moreclear, in this silence of sense, than our wakingthoughts. And hence it cometh to pass, that it isa hard matter, and by many thought impossible, todistinguish exactly between sense and dreaming.For my part, when I consider that in dreams I donot often nor constantly think of the same persons,places, objects, and actions, that I do waking; norremember so long a train of coherent thoughts,dreaming, as at other times; and because wakingI often observe the absurdity of dreams, but neverdream of the absurdities of my waking thoughts;I am well satisfied, that being awake, I know Idream not, though when I dream I think myselfawake.

And seeing dreams are caused by the distemperof some of the inward parts of the body, diversdistempers must needs cause different dreams.And hence it is that lying cold breedeth dreams of8fear, and raiseth the thought and image of somefearful object, the motion from the brain to theinner parts and from the inner parts to the brainbeing reciprocal; and that as anger causeth heatin some parts of the body when we are awake, sowhen we sleep the overheating of the same partscauseth anger, and raiseth up in the brain theimagination of an enemy. In the same manner,as natural kindness, when we are awake, causethdesire, and desire makes heat in certain otherparts of the body; so also too much heat in thoseparts, while we sleep, raiseth in the brain animagination of some kindness shown. In sum, ourdreams are the reverse of our waking imaginations;the motion when we are awake beginning atone end, and when we dream at another.

Apparitions or visions.

The most difficult discerning of a man’s dream,from his waking thoughts, is then, when by someaccident we observe not that we have slept: whichis easy to happen to a man full of fearful thoughts,and whose conscience is much troubled; and thatsleepeth, without the circ*mstances of going tobed or putting off his clothes, as one that noddethin a chair. For he that taketh pains, and industriouslylays himself to sleep, in case any uncouthand exorbitant fancy come unto him, cannot easilythink it other than a dream. We read of MarcusBrutus, (one that had his life given him by JuliusCæsar, and was also his favourite, and notwithstandingmurdered him), how at Philippi, thenight before he gave battle to Augustus Cæsar, hesaw a fearful apparition, which is commonly relatedby historians as a vision; but consideringthe circ*mstances, one may easily judge to have9been but a short dream. For sitting in his tent,pensive and troubled with the horror of his rashact, it was not hard for him, slumbering in thecold, to dream of that which most affrighted him;which fear, as by degrees it made him wake, soalso it must needs make the apparition by degreesto vanish; and having no assurance that he slept,he could have no cause to think it a dream, or anything but a vision. And this is no very rare accident;for even they that be perfectly awake, ifthey be timorous and superstitious, possessed withfearful tales, and alone in the dark, are subject tothe like fancies, and believe they see spirits anddead men’s ghosts walking in churchyards; whereasit is either their fancy only, or else the knaveryof such persons as make use of such superstitiousfear, to pass disguised in the night, to places theywould not be known to haunt.

From this ignorance of how to distinguishdreams, and other strong fancies, from vision andsense, did arise the greatest part of the religion ofthe Gentiles in time past, that worshipped satyrs,fawns, nymphs, and the like; and now-a-days theopinion that rude people have of fairies, ghosts,and goblins, and of the power of witches. For asfor witches, I think not that their witchcraft isany real power; but yet that they are justlypunished, for the false belief they have that theycan do such mischief, joined with their purpose todo it if they can; their trade being nearer to a newreligion than to a craft or science. And for fairies,and walking ghosts, the opinion of them has, Ithink, been on purpose either taught or not confuted,to keep in credit the use of exorcism, of10crosses, of holy water, and other such inventionsof ghostly men. Nevertheless, there is no doubt,but God can make unnatural apparitions; but thathe does it so often, as men need to fear suchthings, more than they fear the stay or change ofthe course of nature, which he also can stay, andchange, is no point of Christian faith. But evilmen under pretext that God can do any thing, areso bold as to say any thing when it serves theirturn, though they think it untrue; it is the part ofa wise man, to believe them no farther, than rightreason makes that which they say, appear credible.If this superstitious fear of spirits were takenaway, and with it, prognostics from dreams, falseprophecies, and many other things dependingthereon, by which crafty ambitious persons abusethe simple people, men would be much more fittedthan they are for civil obedience.

And this ought to be the work of the schools:but they rather nourish such doctrine. For, notknowing what imagination or the senses are, whatthey receive, they teach: some saying, that imaginationsrise of themselves, and have no cause;others, that they rise most commonly from thewill; and that good thoughts are blown (inspired)into a man by God, and evil thoughts by theDevil; or that good thoughts are poured (infused)into a man by God, and evil ones by the Devil.Some say the senses receive the species of things,and deliver them to the common sense; and thecommon sense delivers them over to the fancy, andthe fancy to the memory, and the memory to thejudgment, like handing of things from one toanother, with many words making nothing understood.


11The imagination that is raised in man, or anyother creature indued with the faculty of imagining,by words, or other voluntary signs, is thatwe generally call understanding; and is commonto man and beast. For a dog by custom will understandthe call, or the rating of his master; andso will many other beasts. That understandingwhich is peculiar to man, is the understanding notonly his will, but his conceptions and thoughts, bythe sequel and contexture of the names of thingsinto affirmations, negations, and other forms ofspeech; and of this kind of understanding I shallspeak hereafter.



By Consequence, or TRAIN of thoughts, I understandthat succession of one thought to another,which is called, to distinguish it from discourse inwords, mental discourse.

When a man thinketh on any thing whatsoever,his next thought after, is not altogether so casual asit seems to be. Not every thought to every thoughtsucceeds indifferently. But as we have no imagination,whereof we have not formerly had sense, inwhole, or in parts; so we have no transition fromone imagination to another, whereof we never hadthe like before in our senses. The reason whereofis this. All fancies are motions within us, relicsof those made in the sense: and those motions thatimmediately succeeded one another in the sense,12continue also together after sense: insomuch asthe former coming again to take place, and be predominant,the latter followeth, by coherence of thematter moved, in such manner, as water upon aplane table is drawn which way any one part of itis guided by the finger. But because in sense, toone and the same thing perceived, sometimes onething, sometimes another succeedeth, it comes topass in time, that in the imagining of any thing,there is no certainty what we shall imagine next;only this is certain, it shall be something that succeededthe same before, at one time or another.

Train of thoughts unguided.

This train of thoughts, or mental discourse, is oftwo sorts. The first is unguided, without design,and inconstant; wherein there is no passionatethought, to govern and direct those that follow, toitself, as the end and scope of some desire, or otherpassion: in which case the thoughts are said towander, and seem impertinent one to another, asin a dream. Such are commonly the thoughts ofmen, that are not only without company, but alsowithout care of any thing; though even then theirthoughts are as busy as at other times, but withoutharmony; as the sound which a lute out of tunewould yield to any man; or in tune, to one thatcould not play. And yet in this wild ranging ofthe mind, a man may oft-times perceive the way ofit, and the dependance of one thought upon another.For in a discourse of our present civil war, whatcould seem more impertinent, than to ask, as onedid, what was the value of a Roman penny? Yetthe coherence to me was manifest enough. Forthe thought of the war, introduced the thought ofthe delivering up the king to his enemies; the13thought of that, brought in the thought of the deliveringup of Christ; and that again the thoughtof the thirty pence, which was the price of thattreason; and thence easily followed that maliciousquestion, and all this in a moment of time; forthought is quick.

Train of thoughts regulated.

The second is more constant; as being regulatedby some desire, and design. For the impressionmade by such things as we desire, or fear, is strong,and permanent, or, if it cease for a time, of quickreturn: so strong it is sometimes, as to hinder andbreak our sleep. From desire, ariseth the thoughtof some means we have seen produce the like ofthat which we aim at; and from the thought ofthat, the thought of means to that mean; and socontinually, till we come to some beginning withinour own power. And because the end, by thegreatness of the impression, comes often to mind,in case our thoughts begin to wander, they arequickly again reduced into the way: which observedby one of the seven wise men, made himgive men this precept, which is now worn out, Respicefinem; that is to say, in all your actions, lookoften upon what you would have, as the thing thatdirects all your thoughts in the way to attain it.

The train of regulated thoughts is of two kinds;one, when of an effect imagined we seek the causes,or means that produce it: and this is common toman and beast. The other is, when imagining anything whatsoever, we seek all the possible effects,that can by it be produced; that is to say, we imaginewhat we can do with it, when we have it. Ofwhich I have not at any time seen any sign, but inman only; for this is a curiosity hardly incident14to the nature of any living creature that has noother passion but sensual, such as are hunger, thirst,lust, and anger. In sum, the discourse of themind, when it is governed by design, is nothing butseeking, or the faculty of invention, which the Latinscalled sagacitas, and solertia; a hunting outof the causes, of some effect, present or past; or ofthe effects, of some present or past cause. Sometimesa man seeks what he hath lost; and fromthat place, and time, wherein he misses it, his mindruns back, from place to place, and time to time,to find where, and when he had it; that is to say,to find some certain, and limited time and place,in which to begin a method of seeking. Again,from thence, his thoughts run over the same placesand times, to find what action, or other occasionmight make him lose it. |Remembrance.| This we call remembrance,or calling to mind: the Latins call it reminiscentia,as it were a re-conning of our formeractions.


Sometimes a man knows a place determinate,within the compass whereof he is to seek; andthen his thoughts run over all the parts thereof, inthe same manner as one would sweep a room, tofind a jewel; or as a spaniel ranges the field, tillhe find a scent; or as a man should run over thealphabet, to start a rhyme.

Sometimes a man desires to know the event of anaction; and then he thinketh of some like actionpast, and the events thereof one after another;supposing like events will follow like actions. Ashe that foresees what will become of a criminal, re-conswhat he has seen follow on the like crime before;having this order of thoughts, the crime, the15officer, the prison, the judge, and the gallows.Which kind of thoughts, is called foresight, andprudence, or providence; and sometimes wisdom;though such conjecture, through the difficulty ofobserving all circ*mstances, be very fallacious.But this is certain; by how much one man hasmore experience of things past, than another, byso much also he is more prudent, and his expectationsthe seldomer fail him. The present only hasa being in nature; things past have a being in thememory only, but things to come have no being atall; the future being but a fiction of the mind, applyingthe sequels of actions past, to the actionsthat are present; which with most certainty isdone by him that has most experience, but notwith certainty enough. And though it be calledprudence, when the event answereth our expectation;yet in its own nature, it is but presumption.For the foresight of things to come, which is providence,belongs only to him by whose will theyare to come. From him only, and supernaturally,proceeds prophecy. The best prophet naturally isthe best guesser; and the best guesser, he that ismost versed and studied in the matters he guessesat: for he hath most signs to guess by.


A sign is the evident antecedent of the consequent;and contrarily, the consequent of theantecedent, when the like consequences have beenobserved, before: and the oftener they have beenobserved, the less uncertain is the sign. Andtherefore he that has most experience in any kind ofbusiness, has most signs, whereby to guess at thefuture time; and consequently is the most prudent:and so much more prudent than he that is new in16that kind of business, as not to be equalled by anyadvantage of natural and extemporary wit: thoughperhaps many young men think the contrary.

Nevertheless it is not prudence that distinguishethman from beast. There be beasts, that at ayear old observe more, and pursue that which isfor their good, more prudently, than a child cando at ten.

Conjecture of the time past.

As prudence is a presumption of the future, contractedfrom the experience of time past: so thereis a presumption of things past taken from otherthings, not future, but past also. For he that hathseen by what courses and degrees a flourishingstate hath first come into civil war, and then toruin; upon the sight of the ruins of any other state,will guess, the like war, and the like courses havebeen there also. But this conjecture, has the sameuncertainty almost with the conjecture of the future;both being grounded only upon experience.

There is no other act of man’s mind, that I canremember, naturally planted in him, so as to needno other thing, to the exercise of it, but to be borna man, and live with the use of his five senses.Those other faculties, of which I shall speak byand by, and which seem proper to man only, areacquired and increased by study and industry;and of most men learned by instruction, and discipline;and proceed all from the invention of words,and speech. For besides sense, and thoughts, andthe train of thoughts, the mind of man has no othermotion; though by the help of speech, and method,the same faculties may be improved to such aheight, as to distinguish men from all other livingcreatures.


17Whatsoever we imagine is finite. Thereforethere is no idea, or conception of any thing we callinfinite. No man can have in his mind an imageof infinite magnitude; nor conceive infinite swiftness,infinite time, or infinite force, or infinitepower. When we say any thing is infinite, wesignify only, that we are not able to conceive theends, and bounds of the things named; having noconception of the thing, but of our own inability.And therefore the name of God is used, not to makeus conceive him, for he is incomprehensible; andhis greatness, and power are unconceivable; butthat we may honour him. Also because, whatsoever,as I said before, we conceive, has been perceivedfirst by sense, either all at once, or by parts;a man can have no thought, representing any thing,not subject to sense. No man therefore canconceive any thing, but he must conceive it insome place; and indued with some determinatemagnitude; and which may be divided into parts;nor that any thing is all in this place, and all inanother place at the same time; nor that two, ormore things can be in one, and the same place atonce: for none of these things ever have, nor canbe incident to sense; but are absurd speeches,taken upon credit, without any signification at all,from deceived philosophers, and deceived, or deceivingschoolmen.




Original of speech.

The invention of printing, though ingenious, comparedwith the invention of letters, is no greatmatter. But who was the first that found the useof letters, is not known. He that first broughtthem into Greece, men say was Cadmus, the son ofa*genor, king of Phœnicia. A profitable inventionfor continuing the memory of time past, and theconjunction of mankind, dispersed into so many,and distant regions of the earth; and withal difficult,as proceeding from a watchful observationof the divers motions of the tongue, palate, lips,and other organs of speech; whereby to make asmany differences of characters, to remember them.But the most noble and profitable invention of allother, was that of SPEECH, consisting of names orappellations, and their connexion; whereby menregister their thoughts; recall them when they arepast; and also declare them one to another formutual utility and conversation; without which,there had been amongst men, neither commonwealth,nor society, nor contract, nor peace, nomore than amongst lions, bears, and wolves. Thefirst author of speech was God himself, that instructedAdam how to name such creatures as hepresented to his sight; for the Scripture goeth nofurther in this matter. But this was sufficient todirect him to add more names, as the experienceand use of the creatures should give him occasion;and to join them in such manner by degrees, as tomake himself understood; and so by succession of19time, so much language might be gotten, as he hadfound use for; though not so copious, as an oratoror philosopher has need of: for I do not find anything in the Scripture, out of which, directly or byconsequence, can be gathered, that Adam was taughtthe names of all figures, numbers, measures, colours,sounds, fancies, relations; much less the names ofwords and speech, as general, special, affirmative,negative, interrogative, optative, infinitive, allwhich are useful; and least of all, of entity, intentionality,quiddity, and other insignificant wordsof the school.

But all this language gotten, and augmented byAdam and his posterity, was again lost at the Towerof Babel, when, by the hand of God, every man wasstricken, for his rebellion, with an oblivion of hisformer language. And being hereby forced to dispersethemselves into several parts of the world, itmust needs be, that the diversity of tongues thatnow is, proceeded by degrees from them, in suchmanner, as need, the mother of all inventions, taughtthem; and in tract of time grew everywhere morecopious.

The use of speech.

The general use of speech, is to transfer ourmental discourse, into verbal; or the train of ourthoughts, into a train of words; and that for twocommodities, whereof one is the registering of theconsequences of our thoughts; which being apt toslip out of our memory, and put us to a new labour,may again be recalled, by such words as they weremarked by. So that the first use of names is toserve for marks, or notes of remembrance. Anotheris, when many use the same words, to signify, bytheir connexion and order, one to another, what20they conceive, or think of each matter; and alsowhat they desire, fear, or have any other passionfor. And for this use they are called signs. Specialuses of speech are these; first, to register, what bycogitation, we find to be the cause of any thing,present or past; and what we find things presentor past may produce, or effect; which in sum, isacquiring of arts. Secondly, to show to othersthat knowledge which we have attained, which is,to counsel and teach one another. Thirdly, to makeknown to others our wills and purposes, that wemay have the mutual help of one another. Fourthly,to please and delight ourselves and others, by playingwith our words, for pleasure or ornament, innocently.

Abuses of speech.

To these uses, there are also four correspondentabuses. First, when men register their thoughtswrong, by the inconstancy of the signification oftheir words; by which they register for their conception,that which they never conceived, and sodeceive themselves. Secondly, when they use wordsmetaphorically; that is, in other sense than thatthey are ordained for; and thereby deceive others.Thirdly, by words, when they declare that to betheir will, which is not. Fourthly, when they usethem to grieve one another; for seeing nature hatharmed living creatures, some with teeth, some withhorns, and some with hands, to grieve an enemy,it is but an abuse of speech, to grieve him with thetongue, unless it be one whom we are obliged togovern; and then it is not to grieve, but to correctand amend.

The manner how speech serveth to the remembranceof the consequence of causes and effects,21consisteth in the imposing of names, and the connexionof them.

Names, proper and common.

Of names, some are proper, and singular to oneonly thing, as Peter, John, this man, this tree;and some are common to many things, man, horse,tree; every of which, though but one name, isnevertheless the name of divers particular things;|Universal.| in respect of all which together, it is called anuniversal; there being nothing in the world universalbut names; for the things named are everyone of them individual and singular.

One universal name is imposed on many things,for their similitude in some quality, or other accident;and whereas a proper name bringeth to mindone thing only, universals recall any one of thosemany.

And of names universal, some are of more, andsome of less extent; the larger comprehendingthe less large; and some again of equal extent,comprehending each other reciprocally. As forexample: the name body is of larger significationthan the word man, and comprehendeth it; and thenames man and rational, are of equal extent, comprehendingmutually one another. But here wemust take notice, that by a name is not always understood,as in grammar, one only word; but sometimes,by circumlocution, many words together.For all these words, he that in his actions observeththe laws of his country, make but one name, equivalentto this one word, just.

By this imposition of names, some of larger, someof stricter signification, we turn the reckoning ofthe consequences of things imagined in the mind,into a reckoning of the consequences of appellations.22For example: a man that hath no use of speech atall, such as is born and remains perfectly deaf anddumb, if he set before his eyes a triangle, and byit two right angles, such as are the corners of asquare figure, he may, by meditation, compare andfind, that the three angles of that triangle, areequal to those two right angles that stand by it.But if another triangle be shown him, different inshape from the former, he cannot know, without anew labour, whether the three angles of that alsobe equal to the same. But he that hath the use ofwords, when he observes, that such equality wasconsequent, not to the length of the sides, nor toany other particular thing in his triangle; but onlyto this, that the sides were straight, and the anglesthree; and that that was all, for which he named ita triangle; will boldly conclude universally, thatsuch equality of angles is in all triangles whatsoever;and register his invention in these general terms,every triangle hath its three angles equal to tworight angles. And thus the consequence found inone particular, comes to be registered and remembered,as a universal rule, and discharges ourmental reckoning, of time and place, and deliversus from all labour of the mind, saving the first,and makes that which was found true here, andnow, to be true in all times and places.

But the use of words in registering our thoughtsis in nothing so evident as in numbering. A naturalfool that could never learn by heart the orderof numeral words, as one, two, and three, may observeevery stroke of the clock, and nod to it, orsay one, one, one, but can never know what hourit strikes. And it seems, there was a time when23those names of number were not in use; and menwere fain to apply their fingers of one or both hands,to those things they desired to keep account of;and that thence it proceeded, that now our numeralwords are but ten, in any nation, and in some butfive; and then they begin again. And he that can tellten, if he recite them out of order, will lose himself,and not know when he has done. Much less willhe be able to add, and subtract, and perform allother operations of arithmetic. So that withoutwords there is no possibility of reckoning of numbers;much less of magnitudes, of swiftness, of force,and other things, the reckonings whereof are necessaryto the being, or well-being of mankind.

When two names are joined together into a consequence,or affirmation, as thus, a man is a livingcreature; or thus, if he be a man, he is a livingcreature; if the latter name, living creature, signifyall that the former name man signifieth, thenthe affirmation, or consequence, is true; otherwisefalse. For true and false are attributes of speech,not of things. And where speech is not, there isneither truth nor falsehood; error there may be,as when we expect that which shall not be, orsuspect what has not been; but in neither case cana man be charged with untruth.

Necessity of definitions.

Seeing then that truth consisteth in the rightordering of names in our affirmations, a man thatseeketh precise truth had need to remember whatevery name he uses stands for, and to place it accordingly,or else he will find himself entangled inwords, as a bird in lime twigs, the more he strugglesthe more belimed. And therefore in geometry,which is the only science that it hath pleased24God hitherto to bestow on mankind, men beginat settling the significations of their words; whichsettling of significations they call definitions, andplace them in the beginning of their reckoning.

By this it appears how necessary it is for anyman that aspires to true knowledge, to examinethe definitions of former authors; and either tocorrect them, where they are negligently set down,or to make them himself. For the errors of definitionsmultiply themselves according as thereckoning proceeds, and lead men into absurdities,which at last they see, but cannot avoid, withoutreckoning anew from the beginning, in whichlies the foundation of their errors. From whenceit happens, that they which trust to books do asthey that cast up many little sums into a greater,without considering whether those little sums wererightly cast up or not; and at last finding theerror visible, and not mistrusting their firstgrounds, know not which way to clear themselves,but spend time in fluttering over their books; asbirds that entering by the chimney, and findingthemselves enclosed in a chamber, flutter at thefalse light of a glass window, for want of wit toconsider which way they came in. So that in theright definition of names lies the first use ofspeech; which is the acquisition of science: andin wrong, or no definitions, lies the first abuse;from which proceed all false and senseless tenets;which make those men that take their instructionfrom the authority of books, and not from theirown meditation, to be as much below the conditionof ignorant men, as men endued with truescience are above it. For between true science25and erroneous doctrines, ignorance is in the middle.Natural sense and imagination are not subjectto absurdity. Nature itself cannot err; andas men abound in copiousness of language, so theybecome more wise, or more mad than ordinary.Nor is it possible without letters for any man tobecome either excellently wise, or, unless his memorybe hurt by disease or ill constitution oforgans, excellently foolish. For words are wisem*n’s counters, they do but reckon by them; butthey are the money of fools, that value them bythe authority of an Aristotle, a Cicero, or a Thomas,or any other doctor whatsoever, if but a man.

Subject to names.

Subject to names, is whatsoever can enter intoor be considered in an account, and be added oneto another to make a sum, or subtracted one fromanother and leave a remainder. The Latins calledaccounts of money rationes, and accounting ratiocinatio;and that which we in bills or books ofaccount call items, they call nomina, that is names;and thence it seems to proceed, that they extendedthe word ratio to the faculty of reckoning in allother things. The Greeks have but one word,λόγος, for both speech and reason; not that theythought there was no speech without reason, butno reasoning without speech: and the act ofreasoning they called syllogism, which signifiethsumming up of the consequences of one saying toanother. And because the same thing may enterinto account for divers accidents, their names are,to show that diversity, diversly wrested and diversified.This diversity of names may be reduced tofour general heads.


First, a thing may enter into account for matter26or body; as living, sensible, rational, hot, cold,moved, quiet; with all which names the wordmatter, or body, is understood; all such beingnames of matter.

Secondly, it may enter into account, or be considered,for some accident or quality which weconceive to be in it; as for being moved, for beingso long, for being hot, &c.; and then, of the nameof the thing itself, by a little change or wresting,we make a name for that accident, which we consider;and for living put into the account life;for moved, motion; for hot, heat; for long, length,and the like: and all such names are the names ofthe accidents and properties by which one matterand body is distinguished from another. Theseare called names abstract, because severed, notfrom matter, but from the account of matter.

Thirdly, we bring into account the properties ofour own bodies, whereby we make such distinction;as when anything is seen by us, we reckon not thething itself, but the sight, the colour, the idea of itin the fancy: and when anything is heard, wereckon it not, but the hearing or sound only, whichis our fancy or conception of it by the ear; andsuch are names of fancies.

Use of names positive.

Fourthly, we bring into account, consider, andgive names, to names themselves, and to speeches:for general, universal, special, equivocal, arenames of names. And affirmation, interrogation,commandment, narration, syllogism, sermon, oration,and many other such, are names of speeches.And this is all the variety of names positive;which are put to mark somewhat which is innature, or may be feigned by the mind of man, as27bodies that are, or may be conceived to be; or ofbodies, the properties that are, or may be feignedto be; or words and speech.

Negative names, with their uses.

There be also other names, called negative,which are notes to signify that a word is not thename of the thing in question; as these words,nothing, no man, infinite, indocible, three wantfour, and the like; which are nevertheless of usein reckoning, or in correcting of reckoning, andcall to mind our past cogitations, though they benot names of any thing, because they make us refuseto admit of names not rightly used.

Words insignificant.

All other names are but insignificant sounds;and those of two sorts. One when they are new,and yet their meaning not explained by definition;whereof there have been abundance coined byschoolmen, and puzzled philosophers.

Another, when men make a name of two names,whose significations are contradictory and inconsistent;as this name, an incorporeal body, or,which is all one, an incorporeal substance, and agreat number more. For whensoever any affirmationis false, the two names of which it is composed,put together and made one, signify nothingat all. For example, if it be a false affirmation tosay a quadrangle is round, the word round quadranglesignifies nothing, but is a mere sound.So likewise, if it be false to say that virtue can bepoured, or blown up and down, the words in-pouredvirtue, inblown virtue, are as absurd andinsignificant as a round quadrangle. And thereforeyou shall hardly meet with a senseless and insignificantword, that is not made up of some Latinor Greek names. A Frenchman seldom hears our28Saviour called by the name of parole, but by thename of verbe often; yet verbe and parole differno more, but that one is Latin, the other French.


When a man, upon the hearing of any speech,hath those thoughts which the words of that speechand their connexion were ordained and constitutedto signify, then he is said to understand it; understandingbeing nothing else but conception causedby speech. And therefore if speech be peculiar toman, as for aught I know it is, then is understandingpeculiar to him also. And therefore of absurdand false affirmations, in case they be universal,there can be no understanding; though manythink they understand then, when they do but repeatthe words softly, or con them in their mind.

What kinds of speeches signify the appetites,aversions, and passions of man’s mind; and oftheir use and abuse, I shall speak when I havespoken of the passions.

Inconstant names.

The names of such things as affect us, that is,which please and displease us, because all men benot alike affected with the same thing, nor thesame man at all times, are in the common discoursesof men of inconstant signification. Forseeing all names are imposed to signify our conceptions,and all our affections are but conceptions,when we conceive the same things differently, wecan hardly avoid different naming of them. Forthough the nature of that we conceive, be the same;yet the diversity of our reception of it, in respectof different constitutions of body, and prejudices ofopinion, gives every thing a tincture of our differentpassions. And therefore in reasoning a manmust take heed of words; which besides the signification29of what we imagine of their nature, havea signification also of the nature, disposition, andinterest of the speaker; such as are the names ofvirtues and vices; for one man calleth wisdom,what another calleth fear; and one cruelty, whatanother justice; one prodigality, what anothermagnanimity; and one gravity, what another stupidity,&c. And therefore such names can neverbe true grounds of any ratiocination. No morecan metaphors, and tropes of speech; but theseare less dangerous, because they profess their inconstancy;which the other do not.



Reason, what it is.

When a man reasoneth, he does nothing else butconceive a sum total, from addition of parcels; orconceive a remainder, from subtraction of one sumfrom another; which, if it be done by words, isconceiving of the consequence of the names of allthe parts, to the name of the whole; or from thenames of the whole and one part, to the name ofthe other part. And though in some things, as innumbers, besides adding and subtracting, menname other operations, as multiplying and dividing,yet they are the same; for multiplication, isbut adding together of things equal; and division,but subtracting of one thing, as often as we can.These operations are not incident to numbers only,but to all manner of things that can be added together,and taken one out of another. For as30arithmeticians teach to add and subtract in numbers;so the geometricians teach the same in lines,figures, solid and superficial, angles, proportions,times, degrees of swiftness, force, power, and thelike; the logicians teach the same in consequencesof words; adding together two names to make anaffirmation, and two affirmations to make a syllogism;and many syllogisms to make a demonstration;and from the sum, or conclusion of a syllogism,they subtract one proposition to find theother. Writers of politics add together pactionsto find men’s duties; and lawyers, laws and facts,to find what is right and wrong in the actions ofprivate men. In sum, in what matter soever thereis place for addition and subtraction, there also isplace for reason; and where these have no place,there reason has nothing at all to do.

Reason defined.

Out of all which we may define, that is to saydetermine, what that is, which is meant by thisword reason, when we reckon it amongst thefaculties of the mind. For REASON, in this sense,is nothing but reckoning, that is adding and subtracting,of the consequences of general namesagreed upon for the marking and signifying of ourthoughts; I say marking them when we reckon byourselves, and signifying, when we demonstrate orapprove our reckonings to other men.

Right reason, where.

And, as in arithmetic, unpractised men must,and professors themselves may often, err, and castup false; so also in any other subject of reasoning,the ablest, most attentive, and most practised menmay deceive themselves, and infer false conclusions;not but that reason itself is always rightreason, as well as arithmetic is a certain and infallible31art: but no one man’s reason, nor the reasonof any one number of men, makes the certainty;no more than an account is therefore well cast up,because a great many men have unanimously approvedit. And therefore, as when there is a controversyin an account, the parties must by theirown accord, set up, for right reason, the reason ofsome arbitrator, or judge, to whose sentence theywill both stand, or their controversy must eithercome to blows, or be undecided, for want of a rightreason constituted by nature; so is it also in alldebates of what kind soever. And when men thatthink themselves wiser than all others, clamour anddemand right reason for judge, yet seek no more,but that things should be determined, by no othermen’s reason but their own, it is as intolerable inthe society of men, as it is in play after trump isturned, to use for trump on every occasion, thatsuite whereof they have most in their hand. Forthey do nothing else, that will have every of theirpassions, as it comes to bear sway in them, to betaken for right reason, and that in their own controversiesbewraying their want of right reason,by the claim they lay to it.

The use of reason.

The use and end of reason, is not the finding ofthe sum and truth of one, or a few consequences,remote from the first definitions, and settled significationsof names, but to begin at these, and proceedfrom one consequence to another. For therecan be no certainty of the last conclusion, withouta certainty of all those affirmations and negations,on which it was grounded and inferred. As whena master of a family, in taking an account, castethup the sums of all the bills of expense into one sum,32and not regarding how each bill is summed up, bythose that give them in account; nor what it is hepays for; he advantages himself no more, than if heallowed the account in gross, trusting to every of theaccountants’ skill and honesty: so also in reasoningof all other things, he that takes up conclusions onthe trust of authors, and doth not fetch them fromthe first items in every reckoning, which are thesignifications of names settled by definitions, loseshis labour; and does not know anything, but onlybelieveth.

Of error and absurdity.

When a man reckons without the use of words,which may be done in particular things, as whenupon the sight of any one thing, we conjecture whatwas likely to have preceded, or is likely to followupon it; if that which he thought likely to follow,follows not, or that which he thought likely to havepreceded it, hath not preceded it, this is callederror; to which even the most prudent men aresubject. But when we reason in words of generalsignification, and fall upon a general inference whichis false, though it be commonly called error, it isindeed an absurdity, or senseless speech. Forerror is but a deception, in presuming that somewhatis past, or to come; of which, though it werenot past, or not to come, yet there was no impossibilitydiscoverable. But when we make a generalassertion, unless it be a true one, the possibility ofit is inconceivable. And words whereby we conceivenothing but the sound, are those we callabsurd, insignificant, and nonsense. And thereforeif a man should talk to me of a round quadrangle;or, accidents of bread in cheese; or, immaterialsubstances; or of a free subject; a free will; or33any free, but free from being hindered by opposition,I should not say he were in an error, but thathis words were without meaning, that is to say,absurd.

I have said before, in the second chapter, that aman did excel all other animals in this faculty, thatwhen he conceived any thing whatsoever, he wasapt to inquire the consequences of it, and whateffects he could do with it. And now I add thisother degree of the same excellence, that he can bywords reduce the consequences he finds to generalrules, called theorems, or aphorisms; that is, hecan reason, or reckon, not only in number, but inall other things, whereof one may be added unto,or subtracted from another.

But this privilege is allayed by another; and thatis, by the privilege of absurdity; to which no livingcreature is subject, but man only. And of men,those are of all most subject to it, that profess philosophy.For it is most true that Cicero saith ofthem somewhere; that there can be nothing soabsurd, but may be found in the books of philosophers.And the reason is manifest. For thereis not one of them that begins his ratiocination fromthe definitions, or explications of the names they areto use; which is a method that hath been used onlyin geometry; whose conclusions have thereby beenmade indisputable.

Causes of absurdity.

I. The first cause of absurd conclusions I ascribeto the want of method; in that they begin not theirratiocination from definitions; that is, from settledsignifications of their words: as if they could castaccount, without knowing the value of the numeralwords, one, two, and three.34And whereas all bodies enter into account upondivers considerations, which I have mentioned inthe precedent chapter; these considerations beingdiversely named, divers absurdities proceed fromthe confusion, and unfit connexion of their namesinto assertions. And therefore,

II. The second cause of absurd assertions, I ascribeto the giving of names of bodies to accidents;or of accidents to bodies; as they do, that say,faith is infused, or inspired; when nothing can bepoured, or breathed into anything, but body;and that, extension is body; that phantasms arespirits, &c.

III. The third I ascribe to the giving of the namesof the accidents of bodies without us, to the accidentsof our own bodies; as they do that say, thecolour is in the body; the sound is in the air, &c.

IV. The fourth, to the giving of the names ofbodies to names, or speeches; as they do that say,that there be things universal; that a living creatureis genus, or a general thing, &c.

V. The fifth, to the giving of the names of accidentsto names and speeches; as they do that say,the nature of a thing is its definition; a man’scommand is his will; and the like.

VI. The sixth, to the use of metaphors, tropes,and other rhetorical figures, instead of words proper.For though it be lawful to say, for example, in commonspeech, the way goeth, or leadeth hither, orthither; the proverb says this or that, whereasways cannot go, nor proverbs speak; yet in reckoning,and seeking of truth, such speeches are not tobe admitted.

VII. The seventh, to names that signify nothing;35but are taken up, and learned by rote from theschools, as hypostatical, transubstantiate, consubstantiate,eternal-now, and the like canting ofschoolmen.

To him that can avoid these things it is not easyto fall into any absurdity, unless it be by thelength of an account; wherein he may perhaps forgetwhat went before. For all men by naturereason alike, and well, when they have good principles.For who is so stupid, as both to mistakein geometry, and also to persist in it, when anotherdetects his error to him?


By this it appears that reason is not, as senseand memory, born with us; nor gotten by experienceonly, as prudence is; but attained by industry;first in apt imposing of names; and secondlyby getting a good and orderly method in proceedingfrom the elements, which are names, to assertionsmade by connexion of one of them to another;and so to syllogisms, which are the connexions ofone assertion to another, till we come to a knowledgeof all the consequences of names appertainingto the subject in hand; and that is it, men callSCIENCE. And whereas sense and memory are butknowledge of fact, which is a thing past andirrevocable. Science is the knowledge of consequences,and dependance of one fact upon another:by which, out of that we can presently do, weknow how to do something else when we will, orthe like another time; because when we see how anything comes about, upon what causes, and by whatmanner; when the like causes come into our power,we see how to make it produce the like effects.

Children therefore are not endued with reason36at all, till they have attained the use of speech;but are called reasonable creatures, for the possibilityapparent of having the use of reason in timeto come. And the most part of men, though theyhave the use of reasoning a little way, as in numberingto some degree; yet it serves them to littleuse in common life; in which they govern themselves,some better, some worse, according to theirdifferences of experience, quickness of memory,and inclinations to several ends; but speciallyaccording to good or evil fortune, and the errorsof one another. For as for science, or certainrules of their actions, they are so far from it, thatthey know not what it is. Geometry they havethought conjuring: but for other sciences, theywho have not been taught the beginnings andsome progress in them, that they may see howthey be acquired and generated, are in this pointlike children, that having no thought of generation,are made believe by the women that their brothersand sisters are not born, but found in the garden.

But yet they that have no science, are in better,and nobler condition, with their natural prudence;than men, that by mis-reasoning, or by trustingthem that reason wrong, fall upon false and absurdgeneral rules. For ignorance of causes, and ofrules, does not set men so far out of their way, asrelying on false rules, and taking for causes ofwhat they aspire to, those that are not so, butrather causes of the contrary.

To conclude, the light of human minds is perspicuouswords, but by exact definitions firstsnuffed, and purged from ambiguity; reason is thepace; increase of science, the way; and the benefit37of mankind, the end. And, on the contrary, metaphors,and senseless and ambiguous words, are likeignes fatui; and reasoning upon them is wanderingamongst innumerable absurdities; and theirend, contention and sedition, or contempt.

Prudence and sapience, with their difference.

As much experience, is prudence; so, is muchscience sapience. For though we usually have onename of wisdom for them both, yet the Latins didalways distinguish between prudentia and sapientia;ascribing the former to experience, the latterto science. But to make their difference appearmore clearly, let us suppose one man endued withan excellent natural use and dexterity in handlinghis arms; and another to have added to that dexterity,an acquired science, of where he can offend,or be offended by his adversary, in every possibleposture or guard: the ability of the former, wouldbe to the ability of the latter, as prudence tosapience; both useful; but the latter infallible.But they that trusting only to the authority ofbooks, follow the blind blindly, are like him that,trusting to the false rules of a master of fence,ventures presumptuously upon an adversary, thateither kills or disgraces him.

Signs of science.

The signs of science are some, certain and infallible;some, uncertain. Certain, when he that pretendeththe science of any thing, can teach thesame; that is to say, demonstrate the truth thereofperspicuously to another; uncertain, when onlysome particular events answer to his pretence, andupon many occasions prove so as he says they must.Signs of prudence are all uncertain; because toobserve by experience, and remember all circ*mstancesthat may alter the success, is impossible.38But in any business, whereof a man has not infalliblescience to proceed by; to forsake his ownnatural judgment, and be guided by general sentencesread in authors, and subject to many exceptions,is a sign of folly, and generally scorned bythe name of pedantry. And even of those menthemselves, that in councils of the commonwealthlove to show their reading of politics and history,very few do it in their domestic affairs, wheretheir particular interest is concerned; having prudenceenough for their private affairs: but inpublic they study more the reputation of their ownwit, than the success of another’s business.



Motion, vital and animal.

There be in animals, two sorts of motions peculiarto them: one called vital; begun in generation,and continued without interruption through theirwhole life; such as are the course of the blood,the pulse, the breathing, the concoction, nutrition,excretion, &c. to which motions there needs nohelp of imagination: the other is animal motion,otherwise called voluntary motion; as to go, tospeak, to move any of our limbs, in such manneras is first fancied in our minds. That sense ismotion in the organs and interior parts of man’sbody, caused by the action of the things we see,hear, &c.; and that fancy is but the relics of the39same motion, remaining after sense, has been alreadysaid in the first and second chapters. Andbecause going, speaking, and the like voluntarymotions, depend always upon a precedent thoughtof whither, which way, and what; it is evident,that the imagination is the first internal beginningof all voluntary motion. And although unstudiedmen do not conceive any motion at all to be there,where the thing moved is invisible; or the space itis moved in is, for the shortness of it, insensible;yet that doth not hinder, but that such motionsare. For let a space be never so little, that whichis moved over a greater space, whereof that littleone is part, must first be moved over that. |Endeavour.| Thesesmall beginnings of motion, within the body ofman, before they appear in walking, speaking,striking, and other visible actions, are commonlycalled ENDEAVOUR.

Appetite. Desire.

This endeavour, when it is toward somethingwhich causes it, is called APPETITE, or DESIRE;the latter, being the general name; |Hunger. Thirst.| and the otheroftentimes restrained to signify the desire of food,namely hunger and thirst.|Aversion.| And when the endeavouris fromward something, it is generally calledAVERSION. These words, appetite and aversion,we have from the Latins; and they both of themsignify the motions, one of approaching, the otherof retiring. So also do the Greek words for thesame, which are ὁρμὴ and ἀφορμὴ. For nature itselfdoes often press upon men those truths, whichafterwards, when they look for somewhat beyondnature, they stumble at. For the Schools find inmere appetite to go, or move, no actual motion atall: but because some motion they must acknowledge,40they call it metaphorical motion; which isbut an absurd speech: for though words may becalled metaphorical; bodies and motions can not.

Love. Hate.

That which men desire, they are also said toLOVE: and to HATE those things for which theyhave aversion. So that desire and love are thesame thing; save that by desire, we always signifythe absence of the object; by love, most commonlythe presence of the same. So also by aversion, wesignify the absence; and by hate, the presence ofthe object.

Of appetites and aversions, some are born withmen; as appetite of food, appetite of excretion,and exoneration, which may also and more properlybe called aversions, from somewhat they feel intheir bodies; and some other appetites, not many.The rest, which are appetites of particular things,proceed from experience, and trial of their effectsupon themselves or other men. For of things weknow not at all, or believe not to be, we can haveno further desire, than to taste and try. Butaversion we have for things, not only which weknow have hurt us, but also that we do not knowwhether they will hurt us, or not.


Those things which we neither desire, nor hate,we are said to contemn; CONTEMPT being nothingelse but an immobility, or contumacy of the heart,in resisting the action of certain things; and proceedingfrom that the heart is already movedotherwise, by other more potent objects; or fromwant of experience of them.

And because the constitution of a man’s body isin continual mutation, it is impossible that all thesame things should always cause in him the same41appetites, and aversions: much less can all menconsent, in the desire of almost any one and thesame object.


But whatsoever is the object of any man’s appetiteor desire, that is it which he for his part callethgood: |Evil.| and the object of his hate and aversion,evil; and of his contempt, vile and inconsiderable.For these words of good, evil, and contemptible,are ever used with relation to the person that useththem: there being nothing simply and absolutelyso; nor any common rule of good and evil, to betaken from the nature of the objects themselves;but from the person of the man, where there is nocommonwealth; or, in a commonwealth, from theperson that representeth it; or from an arbitratoror judge, whom men disagreeing shall by consentset up, and make his sentence the rule thereof.



The Latin tongue has two words, whose significationsapproach to those of good and evil; but arenot precisely the same; and those are pulchrumand turpe. Whereof the former signifies that,which by some apparent signs promiseth good;and the latter, that which promiseth evil. But inour tongue we have not so general names to expressthem by. But for pulchrum we say in somethings, fair; in others, beautiful, or handsome,or gallant, or honourable, or comely, or amiable;and for turpe, foul, deformed, ugly, base, nauseous,and the like, as the subject shall require; all whichwords, in their proper places, signify nothing elsebut the mien, or countenance, that promiseth goodand evil. So that of good there be three kinds;good in the promise, that is pulchrum; good ineffect, as the end desired, which is called jucundum,42|Delightful.
delightful; and good as the means, which is calledutile, profitable; and as many of evil: for evil inpromise, is that they call turpe; evil in effect, andend, is molestum, unpleasant, troublesome; andevil in the means, inutile, unprofitable, hurtful.

Delight. Displeasure.

As, in sense, that which is really within us, is, asI have said before, only motion, caused by the actionof external objects, but in apparence; to the sight,light and colour; to the ear, sound; to the nostril,odour, &c.: so, when the action of the same objectis continued from the eyes, ears, and other organsto the heart, the real effect there is nothing butmotion, or endeavour; which consisteth in appetite,or aversion, to or from the object moving. Butthe apparence, or sense of that motion, is that weeither call delight, or trouble of mind.


This motion, which is called appetite, and for theapparence of it delight, and pleasure, seemeth tobe a corroboration of vital motion, and a helpthereunto; and therefore such things as causeddelight, were not improperly called jucunda, à juvando,from helping or fortifying; |Offence.| and the contrary,molesta, offensive, from hindering, and troublingthe motion vital.

Pleasure therefore, or delight, is the apparence,or sense of good; and molestation, or displeasure,the apparence, or sense of evil. And consequentlyall appetite, desire, and love, is accompanied withsome delight more or less; and all hatred and aversion,with more or less displeasure and offence.

|Pleasures of sense.|

Of pleasures or delights, some arise from thesense of an object present; and those may be calledpleasure of sense; the word sensual, as it is usedby those only that condemn them, having no placetill there be laws. Of this kind are all onerations43and exonerations of the body; as also all that ispleasant, in the sight, hearing, smell, taste, ortouch. Others arise from the expectation, that proceedsfrom foresight of the end, or consequence ofthings; whether those things in the sense please ordisplease. |Pleasures of the mind.| And these are pleasures of the mind ofhim that draweth those consequences,|Joy.| and are generallycalled JOY. In the like manner, displeasuresare some in the sense, |Pain.| and called PAIN; others inthe expectation of consequences, |Grief.| and are calledGRIEF.

These simple passions called appetite, desire,love, aversion, hate, joy, and grief, have theirnames for divers considerations diversified. Asfirst, when they one succeed another, they are diverselycalled from the opinion men have of thelikelihood of attaining what they desire. Secondly,from the object loved or hated. Thirdly, from theconsideration of many of them together. Fourthly,from the alteration or succession itself.


For appetite, with an opinion of attaining, iscalled HOPE.


The same, without such opinion, DESPAIR.


Aversion, with opinion of HURT from the object,FEAR.


The same, with hope of avoiding that hurt byresistance, COURAGE.


Sudden courage, ANGER.


Constant hope, CONFIDENCE of ourselves.


Constant despair, DIFFIDENCE of ourselves.


Anger for great hurt done to another, when we conceivethe same to be done by injury, INDIGNATION.


Desire of good to another, BENEVOLENCE,GOOD WILL, CHARITY. |Good nature.| If to man generally,GOOD NATURE.


44Desire of riches, COVETOUSNESS; a name usedalways in signification of blame; because men contendingfor them, are displeased with one anotherattaining them; though the desire in itself, be tobe blamed, or allowed, according to the means bywhich these riches are sought.


Desire of office, or precedence, AMBITION: aname used also in the worse sense, for the reasonbefore mentioned.


Desire of things that conduce but a little toour ends, and fear of things that are but of littlehindrance, PUSILLANIMITY.


Contempt of little helps and hindrances, MAGNANIMITY.


Magnanimity, in danger of death or wounds,VALOUR, FORTITUDE.


Magnanimity in the use of riches, LIBERALITY.


Pusillanimity in the same, WRETCHEDNESS,MISERABLENESS, or PARSIMONY; as it is likedor disliked.


Love of persons for society, KINDNESS.

Natural lust.

Love of persons for pleasing the sense only,NATURAL LUST.


Love of the same, acquired from rumination, thatis, imagination of pleasure past, LUXURY.

The passion of love.


Love of one singularly, with desire to be singularlybeloved, THE PASSION OF LOVE. The same,with fear that the love is not mutual, JEALOUSY.


Desire, by doing hurt to another, to make himcondemn some fact of his own, REVENGEFULNESS.


Desire to know why, and how, CURIOSITY; suchas is in no living creature but man: so that man isdistinguished, not only by his reason, but alsoby this singular passion from other animals; inwhom the appetite of food, and other pleasures of45sense, by predominance, take away the care ofknowing causes; which is a lust of the mind, thatby a perseverance of delight in the continual andindefatigable generation of knowledge, exceedeththe short vehemence of any carnal pleasure.



True religion.

Fear of power invisible, feigned by the mind, orimagined from tales publicly allowed, RELIGION;not allowed, SUPERSTITION. And when the powerimagined, is truly such as we imagine, TRUERELIGION.

Panic terror.

Fear, without the apprehension of why, or what,PANIC TERROR, called so from the fables, that makePan the author of them; whereas, in truth, thereis always in him that so feareth, first, some apprehensionof the cause, though the rest run away byexample, every one supposing his fellow to knowwhy. And therefore this passion happens to nonebut in a throng, or multitude of people.


Joy, from apprehension of novelty, ADMIRATION;proper to man, because it excites the appetite ofknowing the cause.


Joy, arising from imagination of a man’s ownpower and ability, is that exultation of the mindwhich is called GLORYING: which if grounded uponthe experience of his own former actions, is thesame with confidence: |Vain-glory.| but if grounded on the flatteryof others; or only supposed by himself, fordelight in the consequences of it, is called VAIN-GLORY:which name is properly given; because awell grounded confidence begetteth attempt; whereasthe supposing of power does not, and is thereforerightly called vain.


Grief, from opinion of want of power, is calledDEJECTION of mind.

The vain-glory which consisteth in the feigning46or supposing of abilities in ourselves, which weknow are not, is most incident to young men, andnourished by the histories, or fictions of gallantpersons; and is corrected oftentimes by age, andemployment.

Sudden glory.


Sudden glory, is the passion which maketh thosegrimaces called LAUGHTER; and is caused either bysome sudden act of their own, that pleaseth them;or by the apprehension of some deformed thing inanother, by comparison whereof they suddenlyapplaud themselves. And it is incident most tothem, that are conscious of the fewest abilities inthemselves; who are forced to keep themselves intheir own favour, by observing the imperfectionsof other men. And therefore much laughter at thedefects of others, is a sign of pusillanimity. For ofgreat minds, one of the proper works is, to helpand free others from scorn; and compare themselvesonly with the most able.

Sudden dejection.


On the contrary, sudden dejection, is the passionthat causeth WEEPING; and is caused by such accidents,as suddenly take away some vehement hope,or some prop of their power: and they are mostsubject to it, that rely principally on helps external,such as are women, and children. Therefore someweep for the loss of friends; others for their unkindness;others for the sudden stop made to theirthoughts of revenge, by reconciliation. But in allcases, both laughter, and weeping, are sudden motions;custom taking them both away. For noman laughs at old jests; or weeps for an oldcalamity.


Grief, for the discovery of some defect of ability,is SHAME, or the passion that discovereth itself in47BLUSHING; and consisteth in the apprehension ofsome thing dishonourable; and in young men, is asign of the love of good reputation, and commendable:in old men it is a sign of the same; but becauseit comes too late, not commendable.


The contempt of good reputation is called IMPUDENCE.


Grief, for the calamity of another, is PITY; andariseth from the imagination that the like calamitymay befall himself; and therefore is called alsoCOMPASSION, and in the phrase of this present timea FELLOW-FEELING: and therefore for calamity arrivingfrom great wickedness, the best men havethe least pity; and for the same calamity, thosehate pity, that think themselves least obnoxious tothe same.


Contempt, or little sense of the calamity of others,is that which men call CRUELTY; proceeding fromsecurity of their own fortune. For, that any manshould take pleasure in other men’s great harms;without other end of his own, I do not conceive itpossible.



Grief, for the success of a competitor in wealth,honour, or other good, if it be joined with endeavourto enforce our own abilities to equal or exceedhim, is called EMULATION: but joined withendeavour to supplant, or hinder a competitor,ENVY.


When in the mind of man, appetites, and aversions,hopes, and fears, concerning one and thesame thing, arise alternately; and divers good andevil consequences of the doing, or omitting thething propounded, come successively into ourthoughts; so that sometimes we have an appetite48to it; sometimes an aversion from it; sometimeshope to be able to do it; sometimes despair, orfear to attempt it; the whole sum of desires, aversions,hopes and fears continued till the thing beeither done, or thought impossible, is that we callDELIBERATION.

Therefore of things past, there is no deliberation;because manifestly impossible to be changed: norof things known to be impossible, or thought so;because men know, or think such deliberation vain.But of things impossible, which we think possible,we may deliberate; not knowing it is in vain. Andit is called deliberation; because it is a putting anend to the liberty we had of doing, or omitting,according to our own appetite, or aversion.

This alternate succession of appetites, aversions,hopes and fears, is no less in other living creaturesthan in man: and therefore beasts also deliberate.

Every deliberation is then said to end, when thatwhereof they deliberate, is either done, or thoughtimpossible; because till then we retain the libertyof doing, or omitting; according to our appetite,or aversion.

The will.

In deliberation, the last appetite, or aversion,immediately adhering to the action, or to the omissionthereof, is that we call the WILL; the act, notthe faculty, of willing. And beasts that have deliberation,must necessarily also have will. Thedefinition of the will, given commonly by theSchools, that it is a rational appetite, is not good.For if it were, then could there be no voluntaryact against reason. For a voluntary act is that,which proceedeth from the will, and no other. Butif instead of a rational appetite, we shall say an49appetite resulting from a precedent deliberation,then the definition is the same that I have givenhere. Will therefore is the last appetite in deliberating.And though we say in common discourse,a man had a will once to do a thing, thatnevertheless he forbore to do; yet that is properlybut an inclination, which makes no action voluntary;because the action depends not of it, but ofthe last inclination, or appetite. For if the intervenientappetites, make any action voluntary; thenby the same reason all intervenient aversions,should make the same action involuntary; and soone and the same action, should be both voluntaryand involuntary.

By this it is manifest, that not only actions thathave their beginning from covetousness, ambition,lust, or other appetites to the thing propounded;but also those that have their beginning from aversion,or fear of those consequences that follow theomission, are voluntary actions.

Forms of speech, in passion.

The forms of speech by which the passions areexpressed, are partly the same, and partly differentfrom those, by which we express our thoughts.And first, generally all passions may be expressedindicatively; as I love, I fear, I joy, I deliberate,I will, I command: but some of them have particularexpressions by themselves, which neverthelessare not affirmations, unless it be when they serveto make other inferences, besides that of the passionthey proceed from. Deliberation is expressed subjunctively;which is a speech proper to signifysuppositions, with their consequences; as, if thisbe done, then this will follow; and differs not fromthe language of reasoning, save that reasoning is50in general words; but deliberation for the mostpart is of particulars. The language of desire, andaversion, is imperative; as do this, forbear that;which when the party is obliged to do, or forbear,is command; otherwise prayer; or else counsel.The language of vain-glory, of indignation, pityand revengefulness, optative: but of the desire toknow, there is a peculiar expression, called interrogative;as, what is it, when shall it, how is itdone, and why so? other language of the passionsI find none: for cursing, swearing, reviling, andthe like, do not signify as speech; but as theactions of a tongue accustomed.

These forms of speech, I say, are expressions, orvoluntary significations of our passions: but certainsigns they be not; because they may be used arbitrarily,whether they that use them, have suchpassions or not. The best signs of passions present,are either in the countenance, motions of thebody, actions, and ends, or aims, which we otherwiseknow the man to have.

Good and evil apparent.

And because in deliberation, the appetites, andaversions, are raised by foresight of the good andevil consequences, and sequels of the action whereofwe deliberate; the good or evil effect thereofdependeth on the foresight of a long chain of consequences,of which very seldom any man is ableto see to the end. But for so far as a man seeth,if the good in those consequences be greater thanthe evil, the whole chain is that which writers callapparent, or seeming good. And contrarily, whenthe evil exceedeth the good, the whole is apparent,or seeming evil: so that he who hath by experience,or reason, the greatest and surest prospect of51consequences, deliberates best himself; and is ablewhen he will, to give the best counsel unto others.


Continual success in obtaining those thingswhich a man from time to time desireth, that is to say,continual prospering, is that men call FELICITY;I mean the felicity of this life. For there is nosuch thing as perpetual tranquillity of mind, whilewe live here; because life itself is but motion, andcan never be without desire, nor without fear, nomore than without sense. What kind of felicityGod hath ordained to them that devoutly honourHim, a man shall no sooner know, than enjoy;being joys, that now are as incomprehensible, asthe word of school-men beatifical vision is unintelligible.


The form of speech whereby men signify theiropinion of the goodness of any thing, is PRAISE.|Magnification.| That whereby they signify the power and greatnessof any thing, is MAGNIFYING. |Μακαρισμός.| And thatwhereby they signify the opinion they have of aman’s felicity, is by the Greeks called Μακαρισμός,for which we have no name in our tongue. Andthus much is sufficient for the present purpose,to have been said of the PASSIONS.



Of all discourse, governed by desire of knowledge,there is at last an end, either by attaining, or bygiving over. And in the chain of discourse, wheresoeverit be interrupted, there is an end for thattime.

52If the discourse be merely mental, it consistethof thoughts that the thing will be, and will not be;or that it has been, and has not been, alternately.So that wheresoever you break off the chain of aman’s discourse, you leave him in a presumption ofit will be, or, it will not be; or, it has been, or,has not been. All which is opinion. And thatwhich is alternate appetite, in deliberating concerninggood and evil; the same is alternate opinion,in the enquiry of the truth of past, and future.|Judgment, or sentence final.| And as the last appetite in deliberation, is called thewill; so the last opinion in search of the truth ofpast, and future, is called the JUDGMENT, or resoluteand final sentence of him that discourseth.And as the whole chain of appetites alternate, inthe question of good, or bad, is called deliberation;|Doubt.| so the whole chain of opinions alternate, in thequestion of true, or false, is called DOUBT.

No discourse whatsoever, can end in absoluteknowledge of fact, past, or to come. For, as forthe knowledge of fact, it is originally, sense; andever after, memory. And for the knowledge ofconsequence, which I have said before is calledscience, it is not absolute, but conditional. Noman can know by discourse, that this, or that, is,has been, or will be; which is to know absolutely:but only, that if this be, that is; if this has been,that has been; if this shall be, that shall be: whichis to know conditionally; and that not the consequenceof one thing to another; but of one nameof a thing, to another name of the same thing.


And therefore, when the discourse is put intospeech, and begins with the definitions of words,and proceeds by connexion of the same into general53affirmations, and of these again into syllogisms; theend or last sum is called the conclusion; and thethought of the mind by it signified, is that conditionalknowledge, or knowledge of the consequenceof words, which is commonly called SCIENCE.|Opinion.| But if the first ground of such discourse, be notdefinitions; or if the definitions be not rightlyjoined together into syllogisms, then the end orconclusion, is again OPINION, namely of the truthof somewhat said, though sometimes in absurd andsenseless words, without possibility of being understood.|Conscious.| When two, or more men, know of one andthe same fact, they are said to be CONSCIOUS of itone to another; which is as much as to know ittogether. And because such are fittest witnesses ofthe facts of one another, or of a third; it was, andever will be reputed a very evil act, for any manto speak against his conscience: or to corrupt orforce another so to do: insomuch that the plea ofconscience, has been always hearkened unto verydiligently in all times. Afterwards, men made useof the same word metaphorically, for the knowledgeof their own secret facts, and secret thoughts;and therefore it is rhetorically said, that the conscienceis a thousand witnesses. And last of all,men, vehemently in love with their own new opinions,though never so absurd, and obstinatelybent to maintain them, gave those their opinionsalso that reverenced name of conscience, as if theywould have it seem unlawful, to change or speakagainst them; and so pretend to know they aretrue, when they know at most, but that theythink so.

When a man’s discourse beginneth not at definitions,54it beginneth either at some other contemplationof his own, and then it is still called opinion;or it beginneth at some saying of another, of whoseability to know the truth, and of whose honesty innot deceiving, he doubteth not; and then the discourseis not so much concerning the thing, as theperson; |Belief.
and the resolution is called BELIEF, andFAITH: faith, in the man; belief, both of the man,and of the truth of what he says. So that in beliefare two opinions; one of the saying of theman; the other of his virtue. To have faith in,or trust to, or believe a man, signify the same thing;namely, an opinion of the veracity of the man:but to believe what is said, signifieth only an opinionof the truth of the saying. But we are to observethat this phrase, I believe in; as also theLatin, credo in; and the Greek, πιστέυω ἐις, are neverused but in the writings of divines. Instead ofthem, in other writings are put, I believe him; Itrust him; I have faith in him; I rely on him:and in Latin, credo illi: fido illi: and in Greek,πιστέυω αὐτω: and that this singularity of the ecclesiasticuse of the word hath raised many disputesabout the right object of the Christian faith.

But by believing in, as it is in the creed, ismeant, not trust in the person; but confessionand acknowledgment of the doctrine. For notonly Christians, but all manner of men do so believein God, as to hold all for truth they hear himsay, whether they understand it, or not; which isall the faith and trust can possibly be had in anyperson whatsoever: but they do not all believe thedoctrine of the creed.

From whence we may infer, that when we believe55any saying whatsoever it be, to be true, from argumentstaken, not from the thing itself, or from theprinciples of natural reason, but from the authority,and good opinion we have, of him that hath saidit; then is the speaker, or person we believe in, ortrust in, and whose word we take, the object of ourfaith; and the honour done in believing, is done tohim only. And consequently, when we believethat the Scriptures are the word of God, having noimmediate revelation from God himself, our belief,faith, and trust is in the church; whose word wetake, and acquiesce therein. And they that believethat which a prophet relates unto them in thename of God, take the word of the prophet, dohonour to him, and in him trust, and believe, touchingthe truth of what he relateth, whether he be atrue, or a false prophet. And so it is also with allother history. For if I should not believe all thatis written by historians, of the glorious acts ofAlexander, or Cæsar; I do not think the ghost ofAlexander, or Cæsar, had any just cause to beoffended; or any body else, but the historian. IfLivy say the Gods made once a cow speak, andwe believe it not; we distrust not God therein, butLivy. So that it is evident, that whatsoever webelieve, upon no other reason, than what is drawnfrom authority of men only, and their writings;whether they be sent from God or not, is faith inmen only.




Intellectual virtue defined.

Virtue generally, in all sorts of subjects, is somewhatthat is valued for eminence; and consistethin comparison. For if all things were equal in allmen, nothing would be prized. And by virtuesintellectual, are always understood such abilitiesof the mind, as men praise, value, and desire shouldbe in themselves; and go commonly under thename of a good wit; though the same word wit,be used also, to distinguish one certain ability fromthe rest.

Wit, natural, or acquired.

These virtues are of two sorts; natural, andacquired. By natural, I mean not, that which aman hath from his birth: for that is nothing elsebut sense; wherein men differ so little one fromanother, and from brute beasts, as it is not to bereckoned amongst virtues. |Natural wit.| But I mean, that wit,which is gotten by use only, and experience; withoutmethod, culture, or instruction. This NATURALWIT, consisteth principally in two things; celerityof imagining, that is, swift succession of one thoughtto another; and steady direction to some approvedend. On the contrary a slow imagination, makeththat defect, or fault of the mind, which is commonlycalled DULLNESS, stupidity, and sometimes by othernames that signify slowness of motion, or difficultyto be moved.

Good wit, or fancy.

57And this difference of quickness, is caused bythe difference of men’s passions; that love and dislike,some one thing, some another: and thereforesome men’s thoughts run one way, some another;and are held to, and observe differently the thingsthat pass through their imagination. And whereasin this succession of men’s thoughts, there isnothing to observe in the things they think on,but either in what they be like one another, or inwhat they be unlike, or what they serve for, orhow they serve to such a purpose; those that observetheir similitudes, in case they be such as arebut rarely observed by others, are said to have agood wit; by which, in this occasion, is meant agood fancy. But they that observe their differences,and dissimilitudes; which is called distinguishing,and discerning, |Good judgment.| and judging between thing andthing; in case, such discerning be not easy, aresaid to have a good judgment: and particularlyin matter of conversation and business; wherein,times, places, and persons are to be discerned, |Discretion.| thisvirtue is called DISCRETION. The former, that is,fancy, without the help of judgment, is not commendedas a virtue: but the latter which is judgment,and discretion, is commended for itself, withoutthe help of fancy. Besides the discretion oftimes, places, and persons, necessary to a goodfancy, there is required also an often application ofhis thoughts to their end; that is to say, to someuse to be made of them. This done; he that haththis virtue, will be easily fitted with similitudes,that will please, not only by illustrations of his discourse,and adorning it with new and apt metaphors;but also, by the rarity of their invention. Butwithout steadiness, and direction to some end, a58great fancy is one kind of madness; such as theyhave, that entering into any discourse, are snatchedfrom their purpose, by every thing that comes intheir thought, into so many, and so long digressions,and parentheses, that they utterly lose themselves:which kind of folly, I know no particular name for:but the cause of it is, sometimes want of experience;whereby that seemeth to a man new andrare, which doth not so to others: sometimespusillanimity; by which that seems great to him,which other men think a trifle: and whatsoever isnew, or great, and therefore thought fit to be told,withdraws a man by degrees from the intended wayof his discourse.

In a good poem, whether it be epic, or dramatic;as also in sonnets, epigrams, and other pieces,both judgment and fancy are required: but thefancy must be more eminent; because they pleasefor the extravagancy; but ought not to displeaseby indiscretion.

In a good history, the judgment must be eminent;because the goodness consisteth, in the method,in the truth, and in the choice of the actionsthat are most profitable to be known. Fancy hasno place, but only in adorning the style.

In orations of praise, and in invectives, the fancyis predominant; because the design is not truth,but to honour or dishonour; which is done bynoble, or by vile comparisons. The judgment doesbut suggest what circ*mstances make an actionlaudable, or culpable.

In hortatives, and pleadings, as truth, or disguiseserveth best to the design in hand; so is the judgment,or the fancy most required.


In demonstration, in counsel, and all rigorous59search of truth, judgment does all, except sometimesthe understanding have need to be opened bysome apt similitude; and then there is so much useof fancy. But for metaphors, they are in this caseutterly excluded. For seeing they openly professdeceit; to admit them into counsel, or reasoning,were manifest folly.

And in any discourse whatsoever, if the defect ofdiscretion be apparent, how extravagant soever thefancy be, the whole discourse will be taken for asign of want of wit; and so will it never when thediscretion is manifest, though the fancy be neverso ordinary.

The secret thoughts of a man run over all things,holy, profane, clean, obscene, grave, and light, withoutshame, or blame; which verbal discourse cannotdo, farther than the judgment shall approve ofthe time, place, and persons. An anatomist, or aphysician may speak, or write his judgment of uncleanthings; because it is not to please, but profit:but for another man to write his extravagant, andpleasant fancies of the same, is as if a man, frombeing tumbled into the dirt, should come and presenthimself before good company. And it is thewant of discretion that makes the difference.Again, in professed remissness of mind, and familiarcompany, a man may play with the sounds, andequivocal significations of words; and that manytimes with encounters of extraordinary fancy: butin a sermon, or in public, or before persons unknown,or whom we ought to reverence; there isno gingling of words that will not be accountedfolly: and the difference is only in the want ofdiscretion. So that where wit is wanting, it is not60fancy that is wanting, but discretion. Judgmenttherefore without fancy is wit, but fancy withoutjudgment, not.


When the thoughts of a man, that has a designin hand, running over a multitude of things, observeshow they conduce to that design; or whatdesign they may conduce unto; if his observationsbe such as are not easy, or usual, this wit of his iscalled PRUDENCE; and depends on much experience,and memory of the like things, and their consequencesheretofore. In which there is not so muchdifference of men; as there is in their fancies andjudgment; because the experience of men equal inage, is not much unequal, as to the quantity; butlies in different occasions; every one having hisprivate designs. To govern well a family, and akingdom, are not different degrees of prudence;but different sorts of business; no more than todraw a picture in little, or as great, or greater thanthe life, are different degrees of art. A plain husbandmanis more prudent in affairs of his ownhouse, than a privy-councillor in the affairs of anotherman.


To prudence, if you add the use of unjust, ordishonest means, such as usually are prompted tomen by fear, or want; you have that crooked wisdom,which is called CRAFT; which is a sign of pusillanimity.For magnanimity is contempt of unjust,or dishonest helps. And that which the Latinscall versutia, translated into English, shifting,and is a putting off of a present danger or incommodity,by engaging into a greater, as when a manrobs one to pay another, is but a shorter-sightedcraft, called versutia, from versura, which signifies61taking money at usury for the present payment ofinterest.

Acquired wit.

As for acquired wit, I mean acquired by methodand instruction, there is none but reason; which isgrounded on the right use of speech, and produceththe sciences. But of reason and science I havealready spoken, in the fifth and sixth chapters.

The causes of this difference of wits, are in thepassions; and the difference of passions proceedeth,partly from the different constitution of the body,and partly from different education. For if thedifference proceeded from the temper of the brain,and the organs of sense, either exterior or interior,there would be no less difference of men in theirsight, hearing, or other senses, than in their fanciesand discretions. It proceeds therefore from thepassions; which are different, not only from thedifference of mens’ complexions; but also from theirdifference of customs, and education.

The passions that most of all cause the differenceof wit, are principally, the more or less desire ofpower, of riches, of knowledge, and of honour.All which may be reduced to the first, that is, desireof power. For riches, knowledge, and honour, arebut several sorts of power.

And therefore, a man who has no great passionfor any of these things; but is, as men term it, indifferent;though he may be so far a good man, asto be free from giving offence; yet he cannot possiblyhave either a great fancy, or much judgment.For the thoughts are to the desires, as scouts,and spies, to range abroad, and find the way to thethings desired: all steadiness of the mind’s motion,and all quickness of the same, proceeding from62thence: for as to have no desire, is to be dead: |Giddiness.| soto have weak passions, is dullness; and to have passionsindifferently for everything, GIDDINESS, anddistraction; |Madness.| and to have stronger and more vehementpassions for anything, than is ordinarily seenin others, is that which men call MADNESS.

Whereof there be almost as many kinds, as of thepassions themselves. Sometimes the extraordinaryand extravagant passion, proceedeth from the evilconstitution of the organs of the body, or harmdone them; and sometimes the hurt, and indispositionof the organs, is caused by the vehemence, orlong continuance of the passion. But in both casesthe madness is of one and the same nature.

The passion, whose violence, or continuance,maketh madness, is either great vain-glory; whichis commonly called pride, and self-conceit; or greatdejection of mind.


Pride, subjecteth a man to anger, the excesswhereof, is the madness called RAGE and FURY.And thus it comes to pass that excessive desire ofrevenge, when it becomes habitual, hurteth the organs,and becomes rage: that excessive love, withjealousy, becomes also rage: excessive opinion ofa man’s own self, for divine inspiration, for wisdom,learning, form and the like, becomes distractionand giddiness: the same, joined with envy, rage:vehement opinion of the truth of anything, contradictedby others, rage.


Dejection subjects a man to causeless fears; whichis a madness, commonly called MELANCHOLY;apparent also in divers manners as in hauntingof solitudes and graves; in superstitious behaviour;and in fearing, some one, some another particular63thing. In sum, all passions that produce strangeand unusual behaviour, are called by the generalname of madness. But of the several kinds ofmadness, he that would take the pains, might enrola legion. |Madness.| And if the excesses be madness, thereis no doubt but the passions themselves, whenthey tend to evil, are degrees of the same.

For example, though the effect of folly, in themthat are possessed of an opinion of being inspired,be not visible always in one man, by any very extravagantaction, that proceedeth from such passion;yet, when many of them conspire together, the rageof the whole multitude is visible enough. Forwhat argument of madness can there be greater,than to clamour, strike, and throw stones at ourbest friends? Yet this is somewhat less than sucha multitude will do. For they will clamour, fightagainst, and destroy those, by whom all their lifetimebefore, they have been protected, and securedfrom injury. And if this be madness in the multitude,it is the same in every particular man. Foras in the midst of the sea, though a man perceiveno sound of that part of the water next him, yet heis well assured, that part contributes as much to theroaring of the sea, as any other part of the samequantity; so also, though we perceive no greatunquietness in one or two men, yet we may bewell assured, that their singular passions, are partsof the seditious roaring of a troubled nation. Andif there were nothing else that bewrayed their madness;yet that very arrogating such inspiration tothemselves, is argument enough. If some man inBedlam should entertain you with sober discourse;and you desire in taking leave, to know what he64were, that you might another time requite hiscivility; and he should tell you, he were God theFather; I think you need expect no extravagantaction for argument of his madness.

This opinion of inspiration, called commonly,private spirit, begins very often, from some luckyfinding of an error generally held by others; andnot knowing, or not remembering, by what conductof reason, they came to so singular a truth, (as theythink it, though it be many times an untruth theylight on) they presently admire themselves, as beingin the special grace of God Almighty, who hathrevealed the same to them supernaturally, by hisSpirit.

Again, that madness is nothing else, but toomuch appearing passion, may be gathered out ofthe effects of wine, which are the same with thoseof the evil disposition of the organs. For the varietyof behaviour in men that have drunk toomuch, is the same with that of madmen: some ofthem raging, others loving, others laughing, allextravagantly, but according to their several domineeringpassions: for the effect of the wine, doesbut remove dissimulation, and take from them thesight of the deformity of their passions. For, Ibelieve, the most sober men, when they walk alonewithout care and employment of the mind, wouldbe unwilling the vanity and extravagance of theirthoughts at that time should be publicly seen;which is a confession, that passions unguided, arefor the most part mere madness.

The opinions of the world, both in ancient andlater ages, concerning the cause of madness, havebeen two. Some deriving them from the passions;65some, from demons, or spirits, either good or bad,which they thought might enter into a man, possesshim, and move his organs in such strange and uncouthmanner, as madmen use to do. The formersort therefore, called such men, madmen: but thelatter, called them sometimes demoniacs, that is,possessed with spirits; sometimes enurgumeni, thatis, agitated or moved with spirits; and now inItaly they are called, not only pazzi, madmen; butalso spiritati, men possessed.

There was once a great conflux of people inAbdera, a city of the Greeks, at the acting of thetragedy of Andromeda, upon an extreme hot day;whereupon, a great many of the spectators fallinginto fevers, had this accident from the heat, andfrom the tragedy together, that they did nothingbut pronounce iambics, with the names of Perseusand Andromeda; which, together with the fever,was cured by the coming on of winter; and thismadness was thought to proceed from the passionimprinted by the tragedy. Likewise there reigneda fit of madness in another Grecian city, whichseized only the young maidens; and caused manyof them to hang themselves. This was by mostthen thought an act of the Devil. But one thatsuspected, that contempt of life in them, mightproceed from some passion of the mind, and supposingthat they did not contemn also their honour,gave counsel to the magistrates, to strip such asso hanged themselves, and let them hang out naked.This, the story says, cured that madness. But onthe other side, the same Grecians, did often ascribemadness to the operation of Eumenides, or Furies;and sometimes of Ceres, Phœbus, and other gods;66so much did men attribute to phantasms, as to thinkthem aëreal living bodies; and generally to callthem spirits. And as the Romans in this, held thesame opinion with the Greeks, so also did the Jews;for they called madmen prophets, or, according asthey thought the spirits good or bad, demoniacs:and some of them called both prophets and demoniacs,madmen; and some called the same man bothdemoniac, and madman. But for the Gentiles it isno wonder, because diseases and health, vices andvirtues, and many natural accidents, were withthem termed, and worshipped as demons. So thata man was to understand by demon, as well, sometimesan ague, as a devil. But for the Jews to havesuch opinion, is somewhat strange. For neitherMoses nor Abraham pretended to prophecy by possessionof a spirit; but from the voice of God;or by a vision or dream: nor is there anythingin his law, moral or ceremonial, by which theywere taught, there was any such enthusiasm, or anypossession. When God is said, (Numb. xi. 25) totake from the spirit that was in Moses, and giveto the seventy elders, the Spirit of God (taking itfor the substance of God) is not divided. TheScriptures, by the Spirit of God in man, mean aman’s spirit, inclined to godliness. And where it issaid, (Exod. xxiii. 8) “whom I have filled with thespirit of wisdom to make garments for Aaron,”is not meant a spirit put into them, that can makegarments, but the wisdom of their own spiritsin that kind of work. In the like sense, the spiritof man, when it produceth unclean actions, is ordinarilycalled an unclean spirit, and so other spirits,though not always, yet as often as the virtue or vice67so styled, is extraordinary, and eminent. Neitherdid the other prophets of the old Testament pretendenthusiasm; or, that God spake in them; butto them, by voice, vision, or dream; and theburthen of the Lord was not possession, but command.How then could the Jews fall into thisopinion of possession? I can imagine no reason, butthat which is common to all men; namely, the wantof curiosity to search natural causes: and theirplacing felicity in the acquisition of the gross pleasuresof the senses, and the things that most immediatelyconduce thereto. For they that see anystrange, and unusual ability, or defect, in a man’smind; unless they see withal, from what cause itmay probably proceed, can hardly think it natural;and if not natural, they must needs think it supernatural;and then what can it be, but that eitherGod or the Devil is in him? And hence it cameto pass, when our Saviour (Mark iii. 21) wascompassed about with the multitude, those of thehouse doubted he was mad, and went out to holdhim: but the Scribes said he had Beelzebub, andthat was it, by which he cast out devils; as if thegreater madman had awed the lesser: and that(John x. 20) some said, he hath a devil, and is mad;whereas others holding him for a prophet, said,these are not the words of one that hath a devil.So in the old Testament he that came to anointJehu, (2 Kings ix. 11) was a prophet; but some ofthe company asked Jehu, what came that madmanfor? So that in sum, it is manifest, that whosoeverbehaved himself in extraordinary manner, wasthought by the Jews to be possessed either with agood, or evil spirit; except by the Sadducees, who68erred so far on the other hand, as not to believethere were at all any spirits, which is very near todirect atheism; and thereby perhaps the more provokedothers, to term such men demoniacs, ratherthan madmen.

But why then does our Saviour proceed in thecuring of them, as if they were possessed; and notas if they were mad? To which I can give noother kind of answer, but that which is given tothose that urge the Scripture in like manner againstthe opinion of the motion of the earth. The Scripturewas written to shew unto men the kingdomof God, and to prepare their minds to become hisobedient subjects; leaving the world, and the philosophythereof, to the disputation of men, for theexercising of their natural reason. Whether theearth’s, or sun’s motion make the day, and night;or whether the exorbitant actions of men, proceedfrom passion, or from the devil, so we worship himnot, it is all one, as to our obedience, and subjectionto God Almighty; which is the thing for whichthe Scripture was written. As for that our Saviourspeaketh to the disease, as to a person; it is theusual phrase of all that cure by words only, asChrist did, and enchanters pretend to do, whetherthey speak to a devil or not. For is not Christ alsosaid (Matt. viii. 26) to have rebuked the winds?Is not he said also (Luke iv. 39) to rebuke a fever?Yet this does not argue that a fever is a devil.And whereas many of the devils are said to confessChrist; it is not necessary to interpret those placesotherwise, than that those madmen confessed him.And whereas our Saviour (Matt. xii. 43) speakethof an unclean spirit, that having gone out of a man,69wandereth through dry places, seeking rest, andfinding none, and returning into the same man,with seven other spirits worse than himself; it ismanifestly a parable, alluding to a man, that aftera little endeavour to quit his lusts, is vanquished bythe strength of them; and becomes seven timesworse than he was. So that I see nothing at all inthe Scripture, that requireth a belief, that demoniacswere any other thing but madmen.

Insignificant speech.

There is yet another fault in the discourses ofsome men; which may also be numbered amongstthe sorts of madness; namely, that abuse of words,whereof I have spoken before in the fifth chapter,by the name of absurdity. And that is, when menspeak such words, as put together, have in them nosignification at all; but are fallen upon by some,through misunderstanding of the words they havereceived, and repeat by rote; by others from intentionto deceive by obscurity. And this is incidentto none but those, that converse in questions ofmatters incomprehensible, as the School-men; or inquestions of abstruse philosophy. The commonsort of men seldom speak insignificantly, and aretherefore, by those other egregious persons countedidiots. But to be assured their words are withoutany thing correspondent to them in the mind, therewould need some examples; which if any man require,let him take a School-man in his hands andsee if he can translate any one chapter concerningany difficult point, as the Trinity; the Deity; thenature of Christ; transubstantiation; free-will, &c.into any of the modern tongues, so as to make thesame intelligible; or into any tolerable Latin, suchas they were acquainted withal, that lived when70the Latin tongue was vulgar. What is the meaningof these words, The first cause does not necessarilyinflow any thing into the second, by force of theessential subordination of the second causes, bywhich it may help it to work? They are the translationof the title of the sixth chapter of Suarez’first book, Of the concourse, motion, and help ofGod. When men write whole volumes of suchstuff, are they not mad, or intend to make othersso? And particularly, in the question of transubstantiation;where after certain words spoken;they that say, the whiteness, roundness, magnitude,quality, corruptibility, all which are incorporeal, &c.go out of the wafer, into the body of our blessedSaviour, do they not make those nesses, tudes, andties, to be so many spirits possessing his body?For by spirits, they mean always things, that beingincorporeal, are nevertheless moveable from oneplace to another. So that this kind of absurdity,may rightly be numbered amongst the many sortsof madness; and all the time that guided by clearthoughts of their worldly lust, they forbear disputing,or writing thus, but lucid intervals. Andthus much of the virtues and defects intellectual.





There are of KNOWLEDGE two kinds; whereof oneis knowledge of fact: the other knowledge of theconsequence of one affirmation to another. Theformer is nothing else, but sense and memory, andis absolute knowledge; as when we see a factdoing, or remember it done: and this is the knowledgerequired in a witness. The latter is calledscience; and is conditional; as when we know,that, if the figure shown be a circle, then anystraight line through the centre shall divide itinto two equal parts. And this is the knowledgerequired in a philosopher; that is to say, of himthat pretends to reasoning.

The register of knowledge of fact is called history.Whereof there be two sorts: one called naturalhistory; which is the history of such facts,or effects of nature, as have no dependence onman’s will; such as are the histories of metals,plants, animals, regions, and the like. The other,is civil history; which is the history of the voluntaryactions of men in commonwealths.

The registers of science, are such books as containthe demonstrations of consequences of oneaffirmation, to another; and are commonly calledbooks of philosophy; whereof the sorts are many,according to the diversity of the matter; and maybe divided in such manner as I have divided themin the following table.


SCIENCE, that is, knowledge of consequences; which is called also Philosophy. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (3) Consequences from the accidents of bodies natural; which is called Natural Philosophy. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (4) Consequences from the accidents common to all bodies natural; which are quantity, and motion.
The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (5) Consequences from the qualities of bodies transient, such as sometimes appear, sometimes vanish, Meteorology.
Physics or consequences from qualities. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (6) Consequences from the qualities of the stars.
Consequences from the qualities of bodies permanent. Consequences of the qualities from liquid bodies, that fill the space between the stars; such as are the air, or substances ethereal.
Consequences from the qualities of bodies terrestrial.
Consequences from the accidents of politic bodies; which is called Politics, and Civil Philosophy. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (7) 1. Of consequences from the institution of Commonwealths, to the rights, and duties of the body politic or sovereign.
2. Of consequences from the same, to the duty and right of the subjects.


Consequences from quantity, and motion indeterminate; which being the principles or first foundation of philosophy, is called The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (8) Philosophia Prima.
Consequences from motion and quantity determined. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (9) Consequences from quantity, and motion determined. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (10) By Figure. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (11) Mathematics. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (12) Geometry.
By Number. Arithmetic.
Consequences from the motion, and quantity of bodies in special. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (13) Consequences from the motion and quantity of the greater parts of the world, as the earth and stars. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (14) Cosmography. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (15) Astronomy.


Consequences from the motions of special kinds, and figures of body. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (16) Mechanics.
Doctrine of weight.
The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (17) Science of Engineers.
The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (18) Consequences from the light of the stars. Out of this, and the motion of the sun, is made the science of The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (19) Sciography.
Consequences from the influences of the stars Astrology.
The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (20) Consequences from the parts of the earth, that are without sense. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (21) Consequences from the qualities of minerals, as stones, metals, &c.
Consequences from the qualities of vegetables.
The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (22) Consequences from the qualities of animals in general. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (23) Consequences from vision Optics.
Consequences from sounds Music.
Consequences from the rest of the senses.
Consequences from the qualities of animals. Consequences from the qualities of men in special. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (24) Consequences from the passions of men. Ethics.
Consequences from speech. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (25) In magnifying, vilifying, &c. The English Works of Thomas Hobbes Volume 3 (of 11) (26) Poetry.
In persuading, Rhetoric.
In reasoning Logic.
In contracting. The Science of Just and Unjust.





The POWER of a man, to take it universally, is hispresent means; to obtain some future apparentgood; and is either original or instrumental.

Natural power, is the eminence of the facultiesof body, or mind: as extraordinary strength, form,prudence, arts, eloquence, liberality, nobility. Instrumentalare those powers, which acquired bythese, or by fortune, are means and instruments toacquire more: as riches, reputation, friends, andthe secret working of God, which men call goodluck. For the nature of power, is in this point,like to fame, increasing as it proceeds; or like themotion of heavy bodies, which the further they go,make still the more haste.

The greatest of human powers, is that which iscompounded of the powers of most men, united byconsent, in one person, natural, or civil, that hasthe use of all their powers depending on his will;such as is the power of a common-wealth: or dependingon the wills of each particular; such as isthe power of a faction or of divers factions leagued.Therefore to have servants, is power; to havefriends, is power: for they are strengths united.

Also riches joined with liberality, is power; becauseit procureth friends, and servants: withoutliberality, not so; because in this case they defendnot; but expose men to envy, as a prey.

Reputation of power, is power; because it drawethwith it the adherence of those that need protection.

So is reputation of love of a man’s country, calledpopularity, for the same reason.

75Also, what quality soever maketh a man beloved,or feared of many; or the reputation of such quality,is power; because it is a means to have theassistance, and service of many.

Good success is power; because it maketh reputationof wisdom, or good fortune; which makesmen either fear him, or rely on him.

Affability of men already in power, is increaseof power; because it gaineth love.

Reputation of prudence in the conduct of peaceor war, is power; because to prudent men, wecommit the government of ourselves, more willinglythan to others.

Nobility is power, not in all places, but only inthose commonwealths, where it has privileges:for in such privileges, consisteth their power.

Eloquence is power, because it is seeming prudence.

Form is power; because being a promise of good,it recommendeth men to the favour of women andstrangers.

The sciences, are small power; because not eminent;and therefore, not acknowledged in anyman; nor are at all, but in a few, and in them, butof a few things. For science is of that nature, asnone can understand it to be, but such as in a goodmeasure have attained it.

Arts of public use, as fortification, making ofengines, and other instruments of war; becausethey confer to defence, and victory, are power:and though the true mother of them, be science,namely the mathematics; yet, because they arebrought into the light, by the hand of the artificer,they be esteemed, the midwife passing with thevulgar for the mother, as his issue.


76The value, or WORTH of a man, is as of all otherthings, his price; that is to say, so much as wouldbe given for the use of his power: and therefore isnot absolute; but a thing dependant on the needand judgment of another. An able conductor ofsoldiers, is of great price in time of war present, orimminent; but in peace not so. A learned and uncorruptjudge, is much worth in time of peace; butnot so much in war. And as in other things, so inmen, not the seller, but the buyer determines theprice. For let a man, as most men do, rate themselvesat the highest value they can; yet their truevalue is no more than it is esteemed by others.

The manifestation of the value we set on oneanother, is that which is commonly called honouring,and dishonouring. To value a man at a highrate, is to honour him; at a low rate, is to dishonourhim. But high, and low, in this case, is tobe understood by comparison to the rate that eachman setteth on himself.


The public worth of a man, which is the valueset on him by the commonwealth, is that whichmen commonly call DIGNITY. And this value ofhim by the commonwealth, is understood, byoffices of command, judicature, public employment;or by names and titles, introduced for distinctionof such value.

To pray to another, for aid of any kind, is toHONOUR; because a sign we have an opinion he haspower to help; and the more difficult the aid is,the more is the honour.

To honour and dishonour.

To obey, is to honour, because no man obeys them,whom they think have no power to help, or hurtthem. And consequently to disobey, is to dishonour.

To give great gifts to a man, is to honour him;77because it is buying of protection, and acknowledgingof power. To give little gifts, is to dishonour;because it is but alms, and signifies an opinion ofthe need of small helps.

To be sedulous in promoting another’s good;also to flatter, is to honour; as a sign we seek hisprotection or aid. To neglect, is to dishonour.

To give way, or place to another, in any commodity,is to honour; being a confession of greaterpower. To arrogate, is to dishonour.

To show any sign of love, or fear of another, isto honour; for both to love, and to fear, is to value.To contemn, or less to love or fear, than he expects,is to dishonour; for it is undervaluing.

To praise, magnify, or call happy, is to honour;because nothing but goodness, power, and felicityis valued. To revile, mock, or pity, is to dishonour.

To speak to another with consideration, to appearbefore him with decency, and humility, is tohonour him; as signs of fear to offend. To speakto him rashly, to do any thing before him obscenely,slovenly, impudently, is to dishonour.

To believe, to trust, to rely on another, is tohonour him; sign of opinion of his virtue andpower. To distrust, or not believe, is to dishonour.

To hearken to a man’s counsel, or discourse ofwhat kind soever is to honour; as a sign we thinkhim wise, or eloquent, or witty. To sleep, or goforth, or talk the while, is to dishonour.

To do those things to another, which he takesfor signs of honour, or which the law or custommakes so, is to honour; because in approving thehonour done by others, he acknowledgeth the powerwhich others acknowledge. To refuse to do them,is to dishonour.

78To agree with in opinion, is to honour; as beinga sign of approving his judgment, and wisdom.To dissent, is dishonour, and an upbraiding oferror; and, if the dissent be in many things, offolly.

To imitate, is to honour; for it is vehemently toapprove. To imitate one’s enemy, is to dishonour.

To honour those another honours, is to honourhim; as a sign of approbation of his judgment.To honour his enemies, is to dishonour him.

To employ in counsel, or in actions of difficulty,is to honour; as a sign of opinion of his wisdom,or other power. To deny employment in the samecases, to those that seek it, is to dishonour.

All these ways of honouring, are natural; andas well within, as without commonwealths. Butin commonwealths, where he, or they that havethe supreme authority, can make whatsoever theyplease, to stand for signs of honour, there be otherhonours.

A sovereign doth honour a subject, with whatsoevertitle, or office, or employment, or action,that he himself will have taken for a sign of his willto honour him.

The king of Persia, honoured Mordecai, when heappointed he should be conducted through thestreets in the king’s garment, upon one of the king’shorses, with a crown on his head, and a prince beforehim, proclaiming, thus shall it be done to himthat the king will honour. And yet another kingof Persia, or the same another time, to one that demandedfor some great service, to wear one of theking’s robes, gave him leave so to do; but withthis addition, that he should wear it as the king’sfool; and then it was dishonour. So that of civil79honour, the fountain is in the person of the commonwealth,and dependeth on the will of thesovereign; and is therefore temporary, and calledcivil honour; such as magistracy, offices, titles;and in some places coats and scutcheons painted:and men honour such as have them, as having somany signs of favour in the commonwealth; whichfavour is power.


Honourable is whatsoever possession, action, orquality, is an argument and sign of power.


And therefore to be honoured, loved, or fearedof many, is honourable; as arguments of power.To be honoured of few or none, dishonourable.

Dominion, and victory is honourable; becauseacquired by power; and servitude, for need, orfear, is dishonourable.

Good fortune, if lasting, honourable; as a signof the favour of God. Ill fortune, and losses, dishonourable.Riches, are honourable; for they arepower. Poverty, dishonourable. Magnanimity,liberality, hope, courage, confidence, are honourable;for they proceed from the conscience of power.Pusillanimity, parsimony, fear, diffidence, are dishonourable.

Timely resolution, or determination of what aman is to do, is honourable; as being the contemptof small difficulties, and dangers. And irresolution,dishonourable; as a sign of too much valuing oflittle impediments, and little advantages: for whena man has weighed things as long as the time permits,and resolves not, the difference of weight isbut little; and therefore if he resolve not, he overvalueslittle things, which is pusillanimity.

Honourable & Dishonourable.

All actions, and speeches, that proceed, or seemto proceed, from much experience, science, discretion,80or wit, are honourable; for all these arepowers. Actions, or words that proceed fromerror, ignorance, or folly, dishonourable.

Gravity, as far forth as it seems to proceed froma mind employed on something else, is honourable;because employment is a sign of power. But if itseem to proceed from a purpose to appear grave, itis dishonourable. For the gravity of the former, islike the steadiness of a ship laden with merchandize;but of the latter, like the steadiness of a shipballasted with sand, and other trash.

To be conspicuous, that is to say, to be known,for wealth, office, great actions, or any eminentgood, is honourable; as a sign of the power forwhich he is conspicuous. On the contrary, obscurity,is dishonourable.

To be descended from conspicuous parents, ishonourable; because they the more easily attainthe aids, and friends of their ancestors. On thecontrary, to be descended from obscure parentage,is dishonourable.

Actions proceeding from equity, joined with loss,are honourable; as signs of magnanimity: for magnanimityis a sign of power. On the contrary,craft, shifting, neglect of equity, is dishonourable.

Covetousness of great riches, and ambition ofgreat honours, are honourable; as signs of powerto obtain them. Covetousness, and ambition, oflittle gains, or preferments, is dishonourable.

Nor does it alter the case of honour, whether anaction, so it be great and difficult, and consequentlya sign of much power, be just or unjust:for honour consisteth only in the opinion of power.Therefore the ancient heathen did not think theydishonoured, but greatly honoured the Gods, when81they introduced them in their poems, committingrapes, thefts, and other great, but unjust, or uncleanacts: insomuch as nothing is so much celebratedin Jupiter, as his adulteries; nor in Mercury,as his frauds, and thefts: of whose praises, in ahymn of Homer, the greatest is this, that beingborn in the morning, he had invented music atnoon, and before night, stolen away the cattle ofApollo, from his herdsmen.

Also amongst men, till there were constitutedgreat commonwealths, it was thought no dishonourto be a pirate, or a highway thief; but rather alawful trade, not only amongst the Greeks, butalso amongst all other nations; as is manifest bythe histories of ancient time. And at this day, inthis part of the world, private duels are, and alwayswill be honourable, though unlawful, till such timeas there shall be honour ordained for them thatrefuse, and ignominy for them that make the challenge.For duels also are many times effects ofcourage; and the ground of courage is alwaysstrength or skill, which are power; though for themost part they be effects of rash speaking, and ofthe fear of dishonour, in one, or both the combatants;who engaged by rashness, are driven into thelists to avoid disgrace.

Coats of arms.

Scutcheons, and coats of arms hereditary, wherethey have any eminent privileges, are honourable;otherwise not: for their power consisteth either insuch privileges, or in riches, or some such thingas is equally honoured in other men. This kind ofhonour, commonly called gentry, hath been derivedfrom the ancient Germans. For there never wasany such thing known, where the German customs82were unknown. Nor is it now any where in use,where the Germans have not inhabited. Theancient Greek commanders, when they went towar, had their shields painted with such devices asthey pleased; insomuch as an unpainted bucklerwas a sign of poverty, and of a common soldier;but they transmitted not the inheritance of them.The Romans transmitted the marks of their families:but they were the images, not the devices oftheir ancestors. Amongst the people of Asia,Africa, and America, there is not, nor was ever,any such thing. The Germans only had that custom;from whom it has been derived into England,France, Spain, and Italy, when in great numbersthey either aided the Romans, or made their ownconquests in these western parts of the world.

For Germany, being anciently, as all other countries,in their beginnings, divided amongst an infinitenumber of little lords, or masters of families,that continually had wars one with another; thosemasters, or lords, principally to the end they might,when they were covered with arms, be known bytheir followers; and partly for ornament, bothpainted their armour, or their scutcheon, or coat,with the picture of some beast, or other thing; andalso put some eminent and visible mark upon thecrest of their helmets. And this ornament both ofthe arms, and crest, descended by inheritance totheir children; to the eldest pure, and to the restwith some note of diversity, such as the old master,that is to say in Dutch, the Here-alt thought fit.But when many such families, joined together,made a greater monarchy, this duty of the Herealt,to distinguish scutcheons, was made a private office83apart. And the issue of these lords, is the greatand ancient gentry; which for the most part bearliving creatures, noted for courage, and rapine; orcastles, battlements, belts, weapons, bars, palisadoes,and other notes of war; nothing being thenin honour, but virtue military. Afterwards, notonly kings, but popular commonwealths, gave diversmanners of scutcheons, to such as went forthto the war, or returned from it, for encouragement,or recompense to their service. All which, by anobserving reader, may be found in such ancienthistories, Greek and Latin, as make mention of theGerman nation and manners, in their times.

Titles of honour.

Titles of honour, such as are duke, count, marquis,and baron, are honourable; as signifying thevalue set upon them by the sovereign power of thecommonwealth: which titles, were in old timetitles of office, and command, derived some fromthe Romans, some from the Germans and French:dukes, in Latin duces, being generals in war:counts, comites, such as bear the general companyout of friendship, and were left to govern and defendplaces conquered, and pacified: marquises,marchiones, were counts that governed the marches,or bounds of the empire. Which titles of duke,count, and marquis, came into the empire, aboutthe time of Constantine the Great, from the customsof the German militia. But baron, seems tohave been a title of the Gauls, and signifies a greatman; such as were the king’s, or prince’s men,whom they employed in war about their persons;and seems to be derived from vir, to ber, and bar,that signified the same in the language of theGauls, that vir in Latin; and thence to bero, and84baro: so that such men were called berones, andafter barones; and, in Spanish, varones. But hethat would know more particularly the original oftitles of honour, may find it, as I have done this,in Mr. Selden’s most excellent treatise of that subject.In process of time these offices of honour, byoccasion of trouble, and for reasons of good andpeaceable government, were turned into mere titles;serving for the most part, to distinguish the precedence,place, and order of subjects in the commonwealth: andmen were made dukes, counts, marquises,and barons of places, wherein they hadneither possession, nor command: and other titlesalso, were devised to the same end.


Worthiness, is a thing different from the worth,or value of a man; and also from his merit, ordesert, and consisteth in a particular power, or abilityfor that, whereof he is said to be worthy: |Fitness.|which particular ability, is usually named FITNESS,or aptitude.

For he is worthiest to be a commander, to be ajudge, or to have any other charge, that is bestfitted, with the qualities required to the well dischargingof it; and worthiest of riches, that hasthe qualities most requisite for the well using ofthem: any of which qualities being absent, onemay nevertheless be a worthy man, and valuablefor something else. Again, a man may be worthyof riches, office, and employment, that nevertheless,can plead no right to have it before another; andtherefore cannot be said to merit or deserve it.For merit presupposeth a right, and that the thingdeserved is due by promise: of which I shall saymore hereafter, when I shall speak of contracts.




What is here meant by manners.

By MANNERS, I mean not here, decency of behaviour;as how one should salute another, or howa man should wash his mouth, or pick his teethbefore company, and such other points of the smallmorals; but those qualities of mankind, that concerntheir living together in peace, and unity. Towhich end we are to consider, that the felicity ofthis life, consisteth not in the repose of a mindsatisfied. For there is no such finis ultimus, utmostaim, nor summum bonum, greatest good, as isspoken of in the books of the old moral philosophers.Nor can a man any more live, whose desiresare at an end, than he, whose senses and imaginationsare at a stand. Felicity is a continual progressof the desire, from one object to another; theattaining of the former, being still but the way tothe latter. The cause whereof is, that the objectof man’s desire, is not to enjoy once only, and forone instant of time; but to assure for ever, the wayof his future desire. And therefore the voluntaryactions, and inclinations of all men, tend, not onlyto the procuring, but also to the assuring of a contentedlife; and differ only in the way: whichariseth partly from the diversity of passions, indivers men; and partly from the difference of theknowledge, or opinion each one has of the causes,which produce the effect desired.

A restless desire of power in all men.

So that in the first place, I put for a general inclinationof all mankind, a perpetual and restless86desire of power after power, that ceaseth only indeath. And the cause of this, is not always thata man hopes for a more intensive delight, than hehas already attained to; or that he cannot be contentwith a moderate power: but because he cannotassure the power and means to live well, whichhe hath present, without the acquisition of more.And from hence it is, that kings, whose power isgreatest, turn their endeavours to the assuring itat home by laws, or abroad by wars: and whenthat is done, there succeedeth a new desire; insome, of fame from new conquest; in others, ofease and sensual pleasure; in others, of admiration,or being flattered for excellence in some art, orother ability of the mind.

Love of contention from competition.

Competition of riches, honour, command, orother power, inclineth to contention, enmity, andwar: because the way of one competitor, to theattaining of his desire, is to kill, subdue, supplant,or repel the other. Particularly, competition ofpraise, inclineth to a reverence of antiquity. Formen contend with the living, not with the dead;to these ascribing more than due, that they mayobscure the glory of the other.

Civil obedience from love of ease.

Desire of ease, and sensual delight, disposeth mento obey a common power: because by such desires,a man doth abandon the protection that might behoped for from his own industry, and labour. |From fear of death, or wounds.| Fearof death, and wounds, disposeth to the same; andfor the same reason. On the contrary, needy men,and hardy, not contented with their present condition;as also, all men that are ambitious ofmilitary command, are inclined to continue thecauses of war; and to stir up trouble and sedition:87for there is no honour military but by war;nor any such hope to mend an ill game, as bycausing a new shuffle.

And from love of arts.

Desire of knowledge, and arts of peace, inclinethmen to obey a common power: for such desire,containeth a desire of leisure; and consequentlyprotection from some other power than their own.

Love of virtue from love of praise.

Desire of praise, disposeth to laudable actions,such as please them whose judgment they value;for of those men whom we contemn, we contemnalso the praises. Desire of fame after death doesthe same. And though after death, there be nosense of the praise given us on earth, as being joys,that are either swallowed up in the unspeakablejoys of Heaven, or extinguished in the extremetorments of hell: yet is not such fame vain; becausem*n have a present delight therein, from the foresightof it, and of the benefit that may redoundthereby to their posterity: which though they nowsee not, yet they imagine; and anything that ispleasure to the sense, the same also is pleasure inthe imagination.

Hate, from difficulty of requiting great benefits.

To have received from one, to whom we thinkourselves equal, greater benefits than there is hopeto requite, disposeth to counterfeit love; but reallysecret hatred; and puts a man into the estate of adesperate debtor, that in declining the sight of hiscreditor, tacitly wishes him there, where he mightnever see him more. For benefits oblige, andobligation is thraldom; and unrequitable obligationperpetual thraldom; which is to one’s equal,hateful. But to have received benefits from one,whom we acknowledge for superior, inclines tolove; because the obligation is no new depression:88and cheerful acceptation, which men call gratitude,is such an honour done to the obliger, as is takengenerally for retribution. Also to receive benefits,though from an equal, or inferior, as long as thereis hope of requital, disposeth to love: for in theintention of the receiver, the obligation is of aidand service mutual; from whence proceedeth anemulation of who shall exceed in benefiting; themost noble and profitable contention possible;wherein the victor is pleased with his victory, andthe other revenged by confessing it.

And from conscience of deserving to be hated.

To have done more hurt to a man, than he can,or is willing to expiate, inclineth the doer to hatethe sufferer. For he must expect revenge, or forgiveness;both which are hateful.

Promptness to hurt, from fear.

Fear of oppression, disposeth a man to anticipate,or to seek aid by society: for there is noother way by which a man can secure his lifeand liberty.

And from distrust of their own wit.

Men that distrust their own subtlety, are, in tumultand sedition, better disposed for victory, thanthey that suppose themselves wise, or crafty. Forthese love to consult, the other, fearing to be circumvented,to strike first. And in sedition, menbeing always in the precincts of battle, to hold together,and use all advantages of force, is a betterstratagem, than any that can proceed from subtletyof wit.

Vain undertaking from vain-glory.

Vain-glorious men, such as without being consciousto themselves of great sufficiency, delight insupposing themselves gallant men, are inclined onlyto ostentation; but not to attempt: because whendanger or difficulty appears, they look for nothingbut to have their insufficiency discovered.

89Vain-glorious men, such as estimate their sufficiencyby the flattery of other men, or the fortuneof some precedent action, without assured groundof hope from the true knowledge of themselves, areinclined to rash engaging; and in the approach ofdanger, or difficulty, to retire if they can: becausenot seeing the way of safety, they will rather hazardtheir honour, which may be salved with an excuse;than their lives, for which no salve is sufficient.

Ambition, from opinion of sufficiency.

Men that have a strong opinion of their ownwisdom in matter of government, are disposed toambition. Because without public employment incouncil or magistracy, the honour of their wisdomis lost. And therefore eloquent speakers are inclinedto ambition; for eloquence seemeth wisdom,both to themselves and others.

Irresolution, from too great valuing of small matters.

Pusillanimity disposeth men to irresolution, andconsequently to lose the occasions, and fittest opportunitiesof action. For after men have been indeliberation till the time of action approach, if itbe not then manifest what is best to be done, it isa sign, the difference of motives, the one way andthe other, are not great: therefore not to resolvethen, is to lose the occasion by weighing of trifles;which is pusillanimity.

Frugality, though in poor men a virtue, maketha man unapt to atchieve such actions, as requirethe strength of many men at once: for it weakeneththeir endeavour, which is to be nourished and keptin vigour by reward.

Confidence in others, from ignorance of the marks of wisdom and kindness.

Eloquence, with flattery, disposeth men to confidein them that have it; because the former isseeming wisdom, the latter seeming kindness. Addto them military reputation, and it disposeth men90to adhere, and subject themselves to those menthat have them. The two former having giventhem caution against danger from him; the lattergives them caution against danger from others.

And from ignorance of natural causes.

Want of science, that is, ignorance of causes,disposeth, or rather constraineth a man to rely onthe advice, and authority of others. For all menwhom the truth concerns, if they rely not on theirown, must rely on the opinion of some other, whomthey think wiser than themselves, and see not whyhe should deceive them.

And from want of understanding.

Ignorance of the signification of words, whichis want of understanding, disposeth men to takeon trust, not only the truth they know not; but alsothe errors; and which is more, the nonsense of themthey trust: for neither error nor nonsense, can withouta perfect understanding of words, be detected.

From the same it proceedeth, that men give differentnames, to one and the same thing, from thedifference of their own passions: as they that approvea private opinion, call it opinion; but theythat mislike it, heresy: and yet heresy signifies nomore than private opinion; but has only a greatertincture of choler.

From the same also it proceedeth, that men cannotdistinguish, without study and great understanding,between one action of many men, andmany actions of one multitude; as for example,between one action of all the senators of Rome inkilling Cataline, and the many actions of a numberof senators in killing Cæsar; and therefore aredisposed to take for the action of the people, thatwhich is a multitude of actions done by a multitudeof men, led perhaps by the persuasion of one.

Adherence to custom, from ignorance of the nature of right and wrong.

91Ignorance of the causes, and original constitutionof right, equity, law, and justice, disposeth aman to make custom and example the rule of hisactions; in such manner, as to think that unjustwhich it hath been the custom to punish; and thatjust, of the impunity and approbation whereof theycan produce an example, or, as the lawyers whichonly use this false measure of justice barbarouslycall it, a precedent; like little children, that haveno other rule of good and evil manners, but thecorrection they receive from their parents andmasters; save that children are constant to theirrule, whereas, men are not so; because grown old,and stubborn, they appeal from custom to reason,and from reason to custom, as it serves their turn;receding from custom when their interest requiresit, and setting themselves against reason, as oftas reason is against them: which is the cause, thatthe doctrine of right and wrong, is perpetuallydisputed, both by the pen and the sword: whereasthe doctrine of lines, and figures, is not so; becausem*n care not, in that subject, what be truth, as athing that crosses no man’s ambition, profit or lust.For I doubt not, but if it had been a thing contraryto any man’s right of dominion, or to the interestof men that have dominion, that the three anglesof a triangle, should be equal to two angles of asquare; that doctrine should have been, if not disputed,yet by the burning of all books of geometry,suppressed, as far as he whom it concerned wasable.

Adherence to private men, from ignorance of the causes of peace.

Ignorance of remote causes, disposeth men toattribute all events, to the causes immediate, andinstrumental: for these are all the causes they perceive.92And hence it comes to pass, that in allplaces, men that are grieved with payments to thepublic, discharge their anger upon the publicans,that is to say, farmers, collectors, and other officersof the public revenue; and adhere to such as findfault with the public government; and thereby,when they have engaged themselves beyond hope ofjustification, fall also upon the supreme authority, forfear of punishment, or shame of receiving pardon.

Credulity, from ignorance of nature.

Ignorance of natural causes, disposeth a man tocredulity, so as to believe many times impossibilities:for such know nothing to the contrary, butthat they may be true; being unable to detect theimpossibility. And credulity, because men like tobe hearkened unto in company, disposeth them tolying: so that ignorance itself without malice, isable to make a man both to believe lies, and tellthem; and sometimes also to invent them.

Curiosity to know, from care of future time.

Anxiety for the future time, disposeth men toinquire into the causes of things: because theknowledge of them, maketh men the better able toorder the present to their best advantage.

Natural religion from the same.

Curiosity, or love of the knowledge of causes,draws a man from the consideration of the effect,to seek the cause; and again, the cause of thatcause; till of necessity he must come to this thoughtat last, that there is some cause, whereof thereis no former cause, but is eternal; which is itmen call God. So that it is impossible to makeany profound inquiry into natural causes, withoutbeing inclined thereby to believe there is one Godeternal; though they cannot have any idea of himin their mind, answerable to his nature. For as aman that is born blind, hearing men talk of warming93themselves by the fire, and being brought towarm himself by the same, may easily conceive,and assure himself, there is somewhat there, whichmen call fire, and is the cause of the heat hefeels; but cannot imagine what it is like; nor havean idea of it in his mind, such as they have thatsee it: so also by the visible things in this world,and their admirable order, a man may conceivethere is a cause of them, which men call God; andyet not have an idea, or image of him in his mind.

And they that make little, or no inquiry intothe natural causes of things, yet from the fear thatproceeds from the ignorance itself, of what it isthat hath the power to do them much good orharm, are inclined to suppose, and feign unto themselves,several kinds of powers invisible; and tostand in awe of their own imaginations; and intime of distress to invoke them; as also in thetime of an expected good success, to give themthanks; making the creatures of their own fancy,their gods. By which means it hath come to pass,that from the innumerable variety of fancy, menhave created in the world innumerable sorts ofgods. And this fear of things invisible, is thenatural seed of that, which every one in himselfcalleth religion; and in them that worship, or fearthat power otherwise than they do, superstition.

And this seed of religion, having been observedby many; some of those that have observed it,have been inclined thereby to nourish, dress, andform it into laws; and to add to it of their own invention,any opinion of the causes of future events,by which they thought they should be best ableto govern others, and make unto themselves thegreatest use of their powers.




Religion in man only.

Seeing there are no signs, nor fruit of religion,but in man only; there it no cause to doubt, butthat the seed of religion, is also only in man; andconsisteth in some peculiar quality, or at least insome eminent degree thereof, not to be found inany other living creatures.

First, from his desire of knowing causes.

And first, it is peculiar to the nature of man,to be inquisitive into the causes of the eventsthey see, some more, some less; but all men somuch, as to be curious in the search of the causesof their own good and evil fortune.

From the consideration of the beginning of things.

Secondly, upon the sight of anything that hatha beginning, to think also it had a cause, whichdetermined the same to begin, then when it did,rather than sooner or later.

From his observation of the sequel of things.

Thirdly, whereas there is no other felicity ofbeasts, but the enjoying of their quotidian food,ease, and lusts; as having little or no foresight ofthe time to come, for want of observation, andmemory of the order, consequence, and dependenceof the things they see; man observeth how oneevent hath been produced by another; and rememberethin them antecedence and consequence; andwhen he cannot assure himself of the true causesof things, (for the causes of good and evil fortunefor the most part are invisible,) he supposes causesof them, either such as his own fancy suggesteth;or trusteth the authority of other men, such as hethinks to be his friends, and wiser than himself.

The natural cause of religion, the anxiety of the time to come.

95The two first, make anxiety. For being assuredthat there be causes of all things that have arrivedhitherto, or shall arrive hereafter; it is impossiblefor a man, who continually endeavoureth to securehimself against the evil he fears, and procure thegood he desireth, not to be in a perpetual solicitudeof the time to come; so that every man, especiallythose that are over provident, are in a state liketo that of Prometheus. For as Prometheus, whichinterpreted, is, the prudent man, was bound to thehill Caucasus, a place of large prospect, where, aneagle feeding on his liver, devoured in the day, asmuch as was repaired in the night: so that man,which looks too far before him, in the care of futuretime, hath his heart all the day long, gnawed on byfear of death, poverty, or other calamity; and hasno repose, nor pause of his anxiety, but in sleep.

Which makes them fear the power of invisible things.

This perpetual fear, always accompanying mankindin the ignorance of causes, as it were in thedark, must needs have for object something. Andtherefore when there is nothing to be seen, thereis nothing to accuse, either of their good, or evilfortune, but some power, or agent invisible: inwhich sense perhaps it was, that some of the oldpoets said, that the gods were at first created byhuman fear: which spoken of the gods, that is tosay, of the many gods of the Gentiles, is very true.But the acknowledging of one God, eternal, infinite,and omnipotent, may more easily be derived, fromthe desire men have to know the causes of naturalbodies, and their several virtues, and operations;than from the fear of what was to befall them intime to come. For he that from any effect heseeth come to pass, should reason to the next and96immediate cause thereof, and from thence to thecause of that cause, and plunge himself profoundlyin the pursuit of causes; shall at last come to this,that there must be, as even the heathen philosophersconfessed, one first mover; that is, a first,and an eternal cause of all things; which is thatwhich men mean by the name of God: and all thiswithout thought of their fortune; the solicitudewhereof, both inclines to fear, and hinders themfrom the search of the causes of other things; andthereby gives occasion of feigning of as many gods,as there be men that feign them.

And suppose them incorporeal.

And for the matter, or substance of the invisibleagents, so fancied; they could not by natural cogitation,fall upon any other conceit, but that it wasthe same with that of the soul of man; and thatthe soul of man, was of the same substance, withthat which appeareth in a dream, to one that sleepeth;or in a looking-glass, to one that is awake;which, men not knowing that such apparitions arenothing else but creatures of the fancy, think to bereal, and external substances; and therefore callthem ghosts; as the Latins called them imagines,and umbræ; and thought them spirits, that is, thinaerial bodies; and those invisible agents, which theyfeared, to be like them; save that they appear, andvanish when they please. But the opinion thatsuch spirits were incorporeal, or immaterial, couldnever enter into the mind of any man by nature;because, though men may put together words ofcontradictory signification, as spirit, and incorporeal;yet they can never have the imagination ofany thing answering to them: and therefore, menthat by their own meditation, arrive to the acknowledgment97of one infinite, omnipotent, and eternalGod, chose rather to confess he is incomprehensible,and above their understanding, than to define hisnature by spirit incorporeal, and then confess theirdefinition to be unintelligible: or if they give himsuch a title, it is not dogmatically, with intentionto make the divine nature understood; but piously,to honour him with attributes, of significations, asremote as they can from the grossness of bodiesvisible.

But know not the way how they effect anything.

Then, for the way by which they think these invisibleagents wrought their effects; that is to say,what immediate causes they used, in bringingthings to pass, men that know not what it is thatwe call causing, that is, almost all men, have noother rule to guess by, but by observing, and rememberingwhat they have seen to precede thelike effect at some other time, or times before, withoutseeing between the antecedent and subsequentevent, any dependence or connexion at all: andtherefore from the like things past, they expect thelike things to come; and hope for good or evilluck, superstitiously, from things that have no partat all in the causing of it: as the Athenians didfor their war at Lepanto, demand another Phormio;the Pompeian faction for their war in Africa, anotherScipio; and others have done in divers otheroccasions since. In like manner they attributetheir fortune to a stander by, to a lucky or unluckyplace, to words spoken, especially if the name ofGod be amongst them; as charming and conjuring,the liturgy of witches; insomuch as to believe,they have power to turn a stone into bread, breadinto a man, or any thing into any thing.

But honour them as they honour men.

98Thirdly, for the worship which naturally menexhibit to powers invisible, it can be no other,but such expressions of their reverence, as theywould use towards men; gifts, petitions, thanks,submission of body, considerate addresses, soberbehaviour, premeditated words, swearing, that is,assuring one another of their promises, by invokingthem. Beyond that reason suggesteth nothing;but leaves them either to rest there; or forfurther ceremonies, to rely on those they believeto be wiser than themselves.

And attribute to them all extraordinary events.

Lastly, concerning how these invisible powersdeclare to men the things which shall hereaftercome to pass, especially concerning their good orevil fortune in general, or good or ill success in anyparticular undertaking, men are naturally at astand; save that using to conjecture of the time tocome, by the time past, they are very apt, not onlyto take casual things, after one or two encounters,for prognostics of the like encounter ever after,but also to believe the like prognostics from othermen, of whom they have once conceived a goodopinion.

Four things, natural seeds of religion.

And in these four things, opinion of ghosts, ignoranceof second causes, devotion towards what menfear, and taking of things casual for prognostics,consisteth the natural seed of religion; which byreason of the different fancies, judgments, and passionsof several men, hath grown up into ceremoniesso different, that those which are used byone man, are for the most part ridiculous to another.

Made different by culture.

For these seeds have received culture from twosorts of men. One sort have been they, that havenourished, and ordered them, according to their99own invention. The other have done it, by God’scommandment, and direction: but both sorts havedone it, with a purpose to make those men thatrelied on them, the more apt to obedience, laws,peace, charity, and civil society. So that the religionof the former sort, is a part of human politics;and teacheth part of the duty which earthly kingsrequire of their subjects. And the religion of thelatter sort is divine politics; and containeth preceptsto those that have yielded themselves subjectsin the kingdom of God. Of the former sort, wereall the founders of common-wealths, and the lawgiversof the Gentiles: of the latter sort, wereAbraham, Moses, and our blessed Saviour; bywhom have been derived unto us the laws of thekingdom of God.

The absurd opinion of Gentilism.

And for that part of religion, which consistethin opinions concerning the nature of powers invisible,there is almost nothing that has a name, thathas not been esteemed amongst the Gentiles, in oneplace or another, a god, or devil; or by their poetsfeigned to be inanimated, inhabited, or possessedby some spirit or other.

The unformed matter of the world, was a god,by the name of Chaos.

The heaven, the ocean, the planets, the fire, theearth, the winds, were so many gods.

The absurd opinion of Gentilism.

Men, women, a bird, a crocodile, a calf, a dog, asnake, an onion, a leek, were deified. Besides that,they filled almost all places, with spirits calleddemons: the plains, with Pan, and Panises, or Satyrs;the woods, with Fawns, and Nymphs; thesea, with Tritons, and other Nymphs; every river,and fountain, with a ghost of his name, and with100Nymphs; every house with its Lares, or familiars;every man with his Genius; hell with ghosts, andspiritual officers, as Charon, Cerberus, and theFuries; and in the night time, all places withlarvæ, lemures, ghosts of men deceased, and awhole kingdom of fairies and bugbears. They havealso ascribed divinity, and built temples to meeraccidents, and qualities; such as are time, night, day,peace, concord, love, contention, virtue, honour,health, rust, fever, and the like; which when theyprayed for, or against, they prayed to, as if therewere ghosts of those names hanging over theirheads, and letting fall, or withholding that good,or evil, for, or against which they prayed. Theyinvoked also their own wit, by the name of Muses;their own ignorance, by the name of Fortune; theirown lusts by the name of Cupid; their own rage,by the name of Furies; their own privy members,by the name of Priapus; and attributed their pollutions,to Incubi, and Succubæ: insomuch as therewas nothing, which a poet could introduce as aperson in his poem, which they did not make eithera god, or a devil.

The same authors of the religion of the Gentiles,observing the second ground for religion, which ismen’s ignorance of causes; and thereby their aptnessto attribute their fortune to causes, on whichthere was no dependence at all apparent, took occasionto obtrude on their ignorance, instead ofsecond causes, a kind of second and ministerialgods; ascribing the cause of fecundity, to Venus; thecause of arts, to Apollo; of subtlety and craft, toMercury; of tempests and storms, to Æolus; andof other effects, to other gods; insomuch as there101was amongst the heathen almost as great variety ofgods, as of business.

And to the worship, which naturally men conceivedfit to be used towards their gods, namely,oblations, prayers, thanks, and the rest formerlynamed; the same legislators of the Gentiles haveadded their images, both in picture, and sculpture;that the more ignorant sort, that is to say, the mostpart or generality of the people, thinking the godsfor whose representation they were made, werereally included, and as it were housed within them,might so much the more stand in fear of them: andendowed them with lands, and houses, and officers,and revenues, set apart from all other human uses;that is, consecrated, and made holy to those theiridols; as caverns, groves, woods, mountains, andwhole islands; and have attributed to them, notonly the shapes, some of men, some of beasts, someof monsters; but also the faculties, and passions ofmen and beasts: as sense, speech, sex, lust, generation,and this not only by mixing one with another,to propagate the kind of gods; but also by mixingwith men, and women, to beget mongrel gods, andbut inmates of heaven, as Bacchus, Hercules, andothers; besides anger, revenge, and other passionsof living creatures, and the actions proceeding fromthem, as fraud, theft, adultery, sodomy, and anyvice that may be taken for an effect of power, or acause of pleasure; and all such vices, as amongstmen are taken to be against law, rather than againsthonour.

Lastly, to the prognostics of time to come; whichare naturally, but conjectures upon experience oftime past; and supernaturally, divine revelation;102the same authors of the religion of the Gentiles,partly upon pretended experience, partly upon pretendedrevelation, have added innumerable othersuperstitious ways of divination; and made menbelieve they should find their fortunes, sometimesin the ambiguous or senseless answers of the priestsat Delphi, Delos, Ammon, and other famous oracles;which answers, were made ambiguous by design,to own the event both ways; or absurd, by theintoxicating vapour of the place, which is very frequentin sulphurous caverns: sometimes in theleaves of the Sybils; of whose prophecies, like thoseperhaps of Nostradamus (for the fragments nowextant seem to be the invention of later times), therewere some books in reputation in the time of theRoman republic: sometimes in the insignificantspeeches of madmen, supposed to be possessed witha divine spirit, which possession they called enthusiasm;and these kinds of foretelling events, wereaccounted theomancy, or prophecy: sometimes inthe aspect of the stars at their nativity; which wascalled horoscopy, and esteemed a part of judiciaryastrology: sometimes in their own hopes and fears,called thumomancy, or presage: sometimes in theprediction of witches, that pretended conferencewith the dead; which is called necromancy, conjuring,and witchcraft; and is but juggling andconfederate knavery: sometimes in the casual flight,or feeding of birds; called augury: sometimes inthe entrails of a sacrificed beast; which was aruspicina:sometimes in dreams: sometimes in croakingof ravens, or chattering of birds: sometimes inthe lineaments of the face; which was called metoposcopy;or by palmistry in the lines of the103hand; in casual words, called omina: sometimes inmonsters, or unusual accidents; as eclipses, comets,rare meteors, earthquakes, inundations, uncouthbirths, and the like, which they called portenta,and ostenta, because they thought them to portend,or foreshow some great calamity to come; sometimes,in mere lottery, as cross and pile; countingholes in a sieve; dipping of verses in Homer, andVirgil; and innumerable other such vain conceits.So easy are men to be drawn to believe any thing,from such men as have gotten credit with them;and can with gentleness, and dexterity, take holdof their fear, and ignorance.

The designs of the authors of the religion of the heathen.

And therefore the first founders, and legislatorsof commonwealths among the Gentiles, whose endswere only to keep the people in obedience, andpeace, have in all places taken care; first, to imprintin their minds a belief, that those preceptswhich they gave concerning religion, might not bethought to proceed from their own device, butfrom the dictates of some god, or other spirit; orelse that they themselves were of a higher naturethan mere mortals, that their laws might the moreeasily be received: so Numa Pompilius pretendedto receive the ceremonies he instituted amongstthe Romans, from the nymph Egeria: and the firstking and founder of the kingdom of Peru, pretendedhimself and his wife to be the children ofthe Sun; and Mahomet, to set up his new religion,pretended to have conferences with the Holy Ghost,in form of a dove. Secondly, they have had a care,to make it believed, that the same things were displeasingto the gods, which were forbidden by thelaws. Thirdly, to prescribe ceremonies, supplications,104sacrifices, and festivals, by which they wereto believe, the anger of the gods might be appeased;and that ill success in war, great contagions of sickness,earthquakes, and each man’s private misery,came from the anger of the gods, and their angerfrom the neglect of their worship, or the forgetting,or mistaking some point of the ceremonies required.And though amongst the ancient Romans, men werenot forbidden to deny, that which in the poets iswritten of the pains, and pleasures after this life:which divers of great authority, and gravity in thatstate have in their harangues openly derided; yetthat belief was always more cherished, than thecontrary.

And by these, and such other institutions, theyobtained in order to their end, which was the peaceof the commonwealth, that the common people intheir misfortunes, laying the fault on neglect, orerror in their ceremonies, or on their own disobedienceto the laws, were the less apt to mutinyagainst their governors; and being entertainedwith the pomp, and pastime of festivals, and publicgames, made in honour of the gods, needed nothingelse but bread to keep them from discontent, murmuring,and commotion against the state. Andtherefore the Romans, that had conquered thegreatest part of the then known world, made noscruple of tolerating any religion whatsoever inthe city of Rome itself; unless it had something init, that could not consist with their civil government;nor do we read, that any religion was thereforbidden, but that of the Jews; who, being thepeculiar kingdom of God, thought it unlawful toacknowledge subjection to any mortal king or state105whatsoever. And thus you see how the religion ofthe Gentiles was a part of their policy.

The true religion and the laws of God’s kingdom the same.

But where God himself, by supernatural revelation,planted religion; there he also made to himselfa peculiar kingdom: and gave laws, not only ofbehaviour towards himself, but also towards oneanother; and thereby in the kingdom of God, thepolicy, and laws civil, are a part of religion; andtherefore the distinction of temporal, and spiritualdomination, hath there no place. It is true, thatGod is king of all the earth: yet may he be kingof a peculiar, and chosen nation. For there is nomore incongruity therein, than that he that haththe general command of the whole army, shouldhave withal a peculiar regiment, or company of hisown. God is king of all the earth by his power:but of his chosen people, he is king by covenant.But to speak more largely of the kingdom of God,both by nature, and covenant, I have in the followingdiscourse assigned another place (chapter XXXV.)

From the propagation of religion, it is not hardto understand the causes of the resolution of thesame into its first seeds, or principles; which areonly an opinion of a deity, and powers invisible,and supernatural; that can never be so abolishedout of human nature, but that new religions mayagain be made to spring out of them, by the cultureof such men, as for such purpose are in reputation.

The causes of change in religion.

For seeing all formed religion, is founded at first,upon the faith which a multitude hath in some oneperson, whom they believe not only to be a wiseman, and to labour to procure their happiness,but also to be a holy man, to whom God himselfvouchsafeth to declare his will supernaturally; it106followeth necessarily, when they that have the governmentof religion, shall come to have either thewisdom of those men, their sincerity, or their lovesuspected; or when they shall be unable to showany probable token of divine revelation; that thereligion which they desire to uphold, must be suspectedlikewise; and, without the fear of the civilsword, contradicted and rejected.

Enjoining belief of impossibilities.

That which taketh away the reputation of wisdom,in him that formeth a religion, or addeth toit when it is already formed, is the enjoining of abelief of contradictories: for both parts of a contradictioncannot possibly be true: and thereforeto enjoin the belief of them, is an argument ofignorance; which detects the author in that; anddiscredits him in all things else he shall propoundas from revelation supernatural: which revelationa man may indeed have of many things above, butof nothing against natural reason.

Doing contrary to the religion they establish.

That which taketh away the reputation of sincerity,is the doing or saying of such things, asappear to be signs, that what they require othermen to believe, is not believed by themselves; allwhich doings, or sayings are therefore called scandalous,because they be stumbling blocks, that makemen to fall in the way of religion; as injustice,cruelty, profaneness, avarice, and luxury. For whocan believe, that he that doth ordinarily such actionsas proceed from any of these roots, believeth thereis any such invisible power to be feared, as heaffrighteth other men withal, for lesser faults?

That which taketh away the reputation of love,is the being detected of private ends: as when thebelief they require of others, conduceth or seemeth107to conduce to the acquiring of dominion, riches,dignity, or secure pleasure, to themselves only, orspecially. For that which men reap benefit by tothemselves, they are thought to do for their ownsakes, and not for love of others.

Want of the testimony of miracles.

Lastly, the testimony that men can render ofdivine calling, can be no other, than the operationof miracles; or true prophecy, which also is amiracle; or extraordinary felicity. And therefore,to those points of religion, which have been receivedfrom them that did such miracles; those that areadded by such, as approve not their calling by somemiracle, obtain no greater belief, than what thecustom and laws of the places, in which they beeducated, have wrought into them. For as in naturalthings, men of judgment require natural signs,and arguments; so in supernatural things, they requiresigns supernatural, which are miracles, beforethey consent inwardly, and from their hearts.

All which causes of the weakening of men’s faith,do manifestly appear in the examples following.First, we have the example of the children of Israel;who when Moses, that had approved his calling tothem by miracles, and by the happy conduct ofthem out of Egypt, was absent but forty days, revoltedfrom the worship of the true God, recommendedto them by him; and setting up (Exod.xxxiii. 1, 2) a golden calf for their god, relapsedinto the idolatry of the Egyptians; from whom theyhad been so lately delivered. And again, afterMoses, Aaron, Joshua, and that generation whichhad seen the great works of God in Israel, (Judgesii. 11) were dead; another generation arose, andserved Baal. So that miracles failing, faith alsofailed.

108Again, when the sons of Samuel, (1 Sam. viii. 3)being constituted by their father judges in Bersabee,received bribes, and judged unjustly, the people ofIsrael refused any more to have God to be theirking, in other manner than he was king of other people;and therefore cried out to Samuel, to choosethem a king after the manner of the nations. Sothat justice failing, faith also failed: insomuch, asthey deposed their God, from reigning over them.

And whereas in the planting of Christian religion,the oracles ceased in all parts of the Roman empire,and the number of Christians increased wonderfullyevery day, and in every place, by the preachingof the Apostles, and Evangelists; a great part ofthat success, may reasonably be attributed, to thecontempt, into which the priests of the Gentiles ofthat time, had brought themselves, by their uncleanness,avarice, and juggling between princes.Also the religion of the church of Rome, was partly,for the same cause abolished in England, and manyother parts of Christendom; insomuch, as the failingof virtue in the pastors, maketh faith fail in thepeople: and partly from bringing of the philosophy,and doctrine of Aristotle into religion, by theSchoolmen; from whence there arose so many contradictions,and absurdities, as brought the clergyinto a reputation both of ignorance, and of fraudulentintention; and inclined people to revolt fromthem, either against the will of their own princes,as in France and Holland; or with their will, as inEngland.

Lastly, amongst the points by the church ofRome declared necessary for salvation, there be somany, manifestly to the advantage of the Pope, and109of his spiritual subjects, residing in the territories ofother Christian princes, that were it not for themutual emulation of those princes, they might withoutwar, or trouble, exclude all foreign authority,as easily as it has been excluded in England. Forwho is there that does not see, to whose benefit itconduceth, to have it believed, that a king hath nothis authority from Christ, unless a bishop crownhim? That a king, if he be a priest, cannot marry?That whether a prince be born in lawful marriage,or not, must be judged by authority from Rome?That subjects may be freed from their allegiance,if by the court of Rome, the king be judged anheretic? That a king, as Chilperic of France,may be deposed by a pope, as Pope Zachary, forno cause; and his kingdom given to one of hissubjects? That the clergy and regulars, in whatcountry soever, shall be exempt from the jurisdictionof their king in cases criminal? Or who doesnot see, to whose profit redound the fees of privatemasses, and vales of purgatory; with other signs ofprivate interest, enough to mortify the most livelyfaith, if, as I said, the civil magistrate, and customdid not more sustain it, than any opinion theyhave of the sanctity, wisdom, or probity of theirteachers? So that I may attribute all the changesof religion in the world, to one and the samecause; and that is, unpleasing priests; and thosenot only amongst Catholics, but even in that churchthat hath presumed most of reformation.




Men by nature equal.

Nature hath made men so equal, in the facultiesof the body, and mind; as that though there befound one man sometimes manifestly stronger inbody, or of quicker mind than another; yet whenall is reckoned together, the difference betweenman, and man, is not so considerable, as that oneman can thereupon claim to himself any benefit, towhich another may not pretend, as well as he. Foras to the strength of body, the weakest has strengthenough to kill the strongest, either by secret machination,or by confederacy with others, that arein the same danger with himself.

And as to the faculties of the mind, setting asidethe arts grounded upon words, and especially thatskill of proceeding upon general, and infallible rules,called science; which very few have, and but infew things; as being not a native faculty, bornwith us; nor attained, as prudence, while we lookafter somewhat else, I find yet a greater equalityamongst men, than that of strength. For prudence,is but experience; which equal time, equally bestowson all men, in those things they equally applythemselves unto. That which may perhaps makesuch equality incredible, is but a vain conceit ofone’s own wisdom, which almost all men think theyhave in a greater degree, than the vulgar; that is,than all men but themselves, and a few others,whom by fame, or for concurring with themselves,111they approve. For such is the nature of men, thathowsoever they may acknowledge many others tobe more witty, or more eloquent, or more learned;yet they will hardly believe there be many so wiseas themselves; for they see their own wit at hand,and other men’s at a distance. But this provethrather that men are in that point equal, than unequal.For there is not ordinarily a greater signof the equal distribution of any thing, than thatevery man is contented with his share.

From equality proceeds diffidence.

From this equality of ability, ariseth equality ofhope in the attaining of our ends. And thereforeif any two men desire the same thing, which neverthelessthey cannot both enjoy, they become enemies;and in the way to their end, which is principallytheir own conservation, and sometimes theirdelectation only, endeavour to destroy, or subdueone another. And from hence it comes to pass,that where an invader hath no more to fear, thananother man’s single power; if one plant, sow,build, or possess a convenient seat, others may probablybe expected to come prepared with forcesunited, to dispossess, and deprive him, not only ofthe fruit of his labour, but also of his life, or liberty.And the invader again is in the like danger ofanother.

From diffidence war.

And from this diffidence of one another, there isno way for any man to secure himself, so reasonable,as anticipation; that is, by force, or wiles, tomaster the persons of all men he can, so long, tillhe see no other power great enough to endangerhim: and this is no more than his own conservationrequireth, and is generally allowed. Also becausethere be some, that taking pleasure in contemplating112their own power in the acts of conquest,which they pursue farther than their security requires;if others, that otherwise would be glad tobe at ease within modest bounds, should not by invasionincrease their power, they would not be able,long time, by standing only on their defence, tosubsist. And by consequence, such augmentation ofdominion over men being necessary to a man’sconservation, it ought to be allowed him.

Again, men have no pleasure, but on the contrarya great deal of grief, in keeping company,where there is no power able to over-awe them all.For every man looketh that his companion shouldvalue him, at the same rate he sets upon himself:and upon all signs of contempt, or undervaluing,naturally endeavours, as far as he dares, (whichamongst them that have no common power to keepthem in quiet, is far enough to make them destroyeach other), to extort a greater value from his contemners,by damage; and from others, by theexample.

So that in the nature of man, we find three principalcauses of quarrel. First, competition; secondly,diffidence; thirdly, glory.

The first, maketh men invade for gain; the second,for safety; and the third, for reputation.The first use violence, to make themselves mastersof other men’s persons, wives, children, and cattle;the second, to defend them; the third, for trifles,as a word, a smile, a different opinion, and anyother sign of undervalue, either direct in their persons,or by reflection in their kindred, their friends,their nation, their profession, or their name.

Out of civil states, there is always war of every one against every one.

Hereby it is manifest, that during the time men113live without a common power to keep them all inawe, they are in that condition which is called war;and such a war, as is of every man, against everyman. For WAR, consisteth not in battle only, orthe act of fighting; but in a tract of time, whereinthe will to contend by battle is sufficiently known:and therefore the notion of time, is to be consideredin the nature of war; as it is in the nature of weather.For as the nature of foul weather, lieth notin a shower or two of rain; but in an inclinationthereto of many days together: so the nature ofwar, consisteth not in actual fighting; but in theknown disposition thereto, during all the time thereis no assurance to the contrary. All other time isPEACE.

The incommodities of such a war.

Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time ofwar, where every man is enemy to every man; thesame is consequent to the time, wherein men livewithout other security, than what their own strength,and their own invention shall furnish them withal.In such condition, there is no place for industry;because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequentlyno culture of the earth; no navigation, noruse of the commodities that may be imported bysea; no commodious building; no instruments ofmoving, and removing, such things as require muchforce; no knowledge of the face of the earth; noaccount of time; no arts; no letters; no society;and which is worst of all, continual fear, and dangerof violent death; and the life of man, solitary,poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

It may seem strange to some man, that has notwell weighed these things; that nature should thusdissociate, and render men apt to invade, and destroy114one another: and he may therefore, nottrusting to this inference, made from the passions,desire perhaps to have the same confirmed by experience.Let him therefore consider with himself,when taking a journey, he arms himself, andseeks to go well accompanied; when going tosleep, he locks his doors; when even in his househe locks his chests; and this when he knows therebe laws, and public officers, armed, to revenge allinjuries shall be done him; what opinion he has ofhis fellow-subjects, when he rides armed; of hisfellow citizens, when he locks his doors; and ofhis children, and servants, when he locks his chests.Does he not there as much accuse mankind by hisactions, as I do by my words? But neither of usaccuse man’s nature in it. The desires, and otherpassions of man, are in themselves no sin. Nomore are the actions, that proceed from those passions,till they know a law that forbids them:which till laws be made they cannot know: norcan any law be made, till they have agreed uponthe person that shall make it.

It may peradventure be thought, there was neversuch a time, nor condition of war as this; and Ibelieve it was never generally so, over all theworld: but there are many places, where they liveso now. For the savage people in many places ofAmerica, except the government of small families,the concord whereof dependeth on natural lust,have no government at all; and live at this day inthat brutish manner, as I said before. Howsoever,it may be perceived what manner of life therewould be, where there were no common power tofear, by the manner of life, which men that have115formerly lived under a peaceful government, use todegenerate into, in a civil war.

But though there had never been any time,wherein particular men were in a condition of warone against another; yet in all times, kings, andpersons of sovereign authority, because of theirindependency, are in continual jealousies, and inthe state and posture of gladiators; having theirweapons pointing, and their eyes fixed on one another;that is, their forts, garrisons, and guns uponthe frontiers of their kingdoms; and continualspies upon their neighbours; which is a posture ofwar. But because they uphold thereby, the industryof their subjects; there does not follow from it,that misery, which accompanies the liberty of particularmen.

In such a war nothing is unjust.

To this war of every man, against every man,this also is consequent; that nothing can be unjust.The notions of right and wrong, justice and injusticehave there no place. Where there is no commonpower, there is no law: where no law, no injustice.Force, and fraud, are in war the two cardinal virtues.Justice, and injustice are none of the facultiesneither of the body, nor mind. If they were,they might be in a man that were alone in theworld, as well as his senses, and passions. Theyare qualities, that relate to men in society, not insolitude. It is consequent also to the same condition,that there be no propriety, no dominion, nomine and thine distinct; but only that to be everyman’s, that he can get; and for so long, as hecan keep it. And thus much for the ill condition,which man by mere nature is actually placedin; though with a possibility to come out of it,116consisting partly in the passions, partly in hisreason.

The passions that incline men to peace.

The passions that incline men to peace, are fearof death; desire of such things as are necessary tocommodious living; and a hope by their industryto obtain them. And reason suggesteth convenientarticles of peace, upon which men may be drawnto agreement. These articles, are they, whichotherwise are called the Laws of Nature: whereof Ishall speak more particularly, in the two followingchapters.



Right of nature what.

The RIGHT OF NATURE, which writers commonlycall jus naturale, is the liberty each man hath, touse his own power, as he will himself, for the preservationof his own nature; that is to say, of hisown life; and consequently, of doing any thing,which in his own judgment, and reason, he shallconceive to be the aptest means thereunto.

Liberty what.

By LIBERTY, is understood, according to theproper signification of the word, the absence of externalimpediments: which impediments, may ofttake away part of a man’s power to do what hewould; but cannot hinder him from using thepower left him, according as his judgment, andreason shall dictate to him.

A law of nature what.

A LAW OF NATURE, lex naturalis, is a preceptor general rule, found out by reason, by which a117man is forbidden to do that, which is destructiveof his life, or taketh away the means of preservingthe same; and to omit that, by which he thinkethit may be best preserved. For though they thatspeak of this subject, use to confound jus, and lex,right and law: |Difference of right and law.| yet they ought to be distinguished;because RIGHT, consisteth in liberty to do, or toforbear; whereas LAW, determineth, and bindethto one of them: so that law, and right, differ asmuch, as obligation, and liberty; which in one andthe same matter are inconsistent.

Naturally every man has right to every thing.

And because the condition of man, as hath beendeclared in the precedent chapter, is a condition ofwar of every one against every one; in which caseevery one is governed by his own reason; andthere is nothing he can make use of, that may notbe a help unto him, in preserving his life againsthis enemies; it followeth, that in such a condition,every man has a right to every thing; even to oneanother’s body. And therefore, as long as this naturalright of every man to every thing endureth,there can be no security to any man, how strongor wise soever he be, of living out the time, whichnature ordinarily alloweth men to live. |The fundamental law of nature.| And consequentlyit is a precept, or general rule of reason,that every man, ought to endeavour peace, as faras he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannotobtain it, that he may seek, and use, all helps,and advantages of war. The first branch of whichrule, containeth the first, and fundamental law ofnature; which is, to seek peace, and follow it.The second, the sum of the right of nature; whichis, by all means we can, to defend ourselves.

The second law of nature.

From this fundamental law of nature, by which118men are commanded to endeavour peace, is derivedthis second law; that a man be willing, whenothers are so too, as far-forth, as for peace, anddefence of himself he shall think it necessary, tolay down this right to all things; and be contentedwith so much liberty against other men, ashe would allow other men against himself. For aslong as every man holdeth this right, of doing anything he liketh; so long are all men in the conditionof war. But if other men will not lay downtheir right, as well as he; then there is no reasonfor any one, to divest himself of his: for that wereto expose himself to prey, which no man is boundto, rather than to dispose himself to peace. Thisis that law of the Gospel; whatsoever you requirethat others should do to you, that do ye to them.And that law of all men, quod tibi fieri non vis,alteri ne feceris.

What it is to lay down a right.

To lay down a man’s right to any thing, is todivest himself of the liberty, of hindering anotherof the benefit of his own right to the same. Forhe that renounceth, or passeth away his right,giveth not to any other man a right which he hadnot before; because there is nothing to whichevery man had not right by nature: but onlystandeth out of his way, that he may enjoy his ownoriginal right, without hindrance from him; notwithout hindrance from another. So that theeffect which redoundeth to one man, by anotherman’s defect of right, is but so much diminution ofimpediments to the use of his own right original.

Renouncing a right, what it is.

Right is laid aside, either by simply renouncingit; or by transferring it to another. By simplyRENOUNCING; when he cares not to whom the119benefit thereof redoundeth. |Transferring right what.
By TRANSFERRING;when he intendeth the benefit thereof to some certainperson, or persons. And when a man hath ineither manner abandoned, or granted away hisright; then is he said to be OBLIGED, or BOUND,not to hinder those, to whom such right is granted,or abandoned, from the benefit of it: and that heought, |Duty.| and it is his DUTY, not to make void thatvoluntary act of his own: |Injustice.| and that such hindranceis INJUSTICE, and INJURY, as being sine jure;the right being before renounced, or transferred.So that injury, or injustice, in the controversies ofthe world, is somewhat like to that, which in thedisputations of scholars is called absurdity. Foras it is there called an absurdity, to contradictwhat one maintained in the beginning: so in theworld, it is called injustice, and injury, voluntarilyto undo that, which from the beginning he hadvoluntarily done. The way by which a man eithersimply renounceth, or transferreth his right, is adeclaration, or signification, by some voluntary andsufficient sign, or signs, that he doth so renounce,or transfer; or hath so renounced, or transferredthe same, to him that accepteth it. And thesesigns are either words only, or actions only; or,as it happeneth most often, both words, and actions.And the same are the BONDS, by whichmen are bound, and obliged: bonds, that havetheir strength, not from their own nature, for nothingis more easily broken than a man’s word, butfrom fear of some evil consequence upon therupture.

Not all rights are alienable.

Whensoever a man transferreth his right, or renouncethit; it is either in consideration of some120right reciprocally transferred to himself; or forsome other good he hopeth for thereby. For it isa voluntary act: and of the voluntary acts of everyman, the object is some good to himself. Andtherefore there be some rights, which no man canbe understood by any words, or other signs, tohave abandoned, or transferred. As first a mancannot lay down the right of resisting them, thatassault him by force, to take away his life; becausehe cannot be understood to aim thereby, at anygood to himself. The same may be said of wounds,and chains, and imprisonment; both because thereis no benefit consequent to such patience; as thereis to the patience of suffering another to be wounded,or imprisoned: as also because a man cannot tell,when he seeth men proceed against him by violence,whether they intend his death or not. Andlastly the motive, and end for which this renouncing,and transferring of right is introduced, isnothing else but the security of a man’s person, inhis life, and in the means of so preserving life, asnot to be weary of it. And therefore if a man bywords, or other signs, seem to despoil himself ofthe end, for which those signs were intended; heis not to be understood as if he meant it, or that itwas his will; but that he was ignorant of how suchwords and actions were to be interpreted.

Contract what.

The mutual transferring of right, is that whichmen call CONTRACT.

There is difference between transferring of rightto the thing; and transferring, or tradition, that isdelivery of the thing itself. For the thing may bedelivered together with the translation of the right;as in buying and selling with ready-money; or exchange121of goods, or lands: and it may be deliveredsome time after.

Covenant what.

Again, one of the contractors, may deliver thething contracted for on his part, and leave theother to perform his part at some determinate timeafter, and in the mean time be trusted; and thenthe contract on his part, is called PACT, or COVENANT:or both parts may contract now, to performhereafter: in which cases, he that is to perform intime to come, being trusted, his performance iscalled keeping of promise, or faith; and the failingof performance, if it be voluntary, violation offaith.


When the transferring of right, is not mutual:but one of the parties transferreth, in hope to gainthereby friendship, or service from another, or fromhis friends; or in hope to gain the reputation ofcharity, or magnanimity; or to deliver his mindfrom the pain of compassion; or in hope of rewardin heaven; this is not contract, but GIFT, FREE-GIFT,GRACE: which words signify one and thesame thing.

Signs of contract express.

Signs of contract, are either express, or by inference.Express, are words spoken with understandingof what they signify: and such words areeither of the time present, or past; as, I give, Igrant, I have given, I have granted, I will thatthis be yours: or of the future; as, I will give, Iwill grant: |Promise.| which words of the future are calledPROMISE.

Signs of contract by inference.

Signs by inference, are sometimes the consequenceof words; sometimes the consequence ofsilence; sometimes the consequence of actions;sometimes the consequence of forbearing an action:122and generally a sign by inference, of any contract,is whatsoever sufficiently argues the will of thecontractor.

Free gift passeth by words of the present or past.

Words alone, if they be of the time to come, andcontain a bare promise, are an insufficient sign ofa free-gift, and therefore not obligatory. For ifthey be of the time to come, as to-morrow I willgive, they are a sign I have not given yet, andconsequently that my right is not transferred, butremaineth till I transfer it by some other act. Butif the words be of the time present, or past, as, Ihave given, or, do give to be delivered to-morrow,then is my to-morrow’s right given away to day;and that by the virtue of the words, though therewere no other argument of my will. And there isa great difference in the signification of thesewords, volo hoc tuum esse cras, and cras dabo;that is, between I will that this be thine to-morrow,and, I will give it thee to-morrow: forthe word I will, in the former manner of speech,signifies an act of the will present; but in thelatter, it signifies a promise of an act of the will tocome: and therefore the former words, being ofthe present, transfer a future right; the latter, thatbe of the future, transfer nothing. But if there beother signs of the will to transfer a right, besideswords; then, though the gift be free, yet may theright be understood to pass by words of the future:as if a man propound a prize to him that comesfirst to the end of a race, the gift is free; andthough the words be of the future, yet the rightpasseth: for if he would not have his words so beunderstood, he should not have let them run.

Signs of contract are words both of the past, present, and future.

In contracts, the right passeth, not only where123the words are of the time present, or past, but alsowhere they are of the future: because all contractis mutual translation, or change of right; andtherefore he that promiseth only, because he hathalready received the benefit for which he promiseth,is to be understood as if he intended the rightshould pass: for unless he had been content tohave his words so understood, the other would nothave performed his part first. And for that cause,in buying, and selling, and other acts of contract,a promise is equivalent to a covenant; and thereforeobligatory.

Merit what.

He that performeth first in the case of a contract,is said to MERIT that which he is to receiveby the performance of the other; and he hath it asdue. Also when a prize is propounded to many,which is to be given to him only that winneth; ormoney is thrown amongst many, to be enjoyed bythem that catch it; though this be a free gift; yetso to win, or so to catch, is to merit, and to have itas DUE. For the right is transferred in the propoundingof the prize, and in throwing down themoney; though it be not determined to whom,but by the event of the contention. But there isbetween these two sorts of merit, this difference,that in contract, I merit by virtue of my own power,and the contractor’s need; but in this case of freegift, I am enabled to merit only by the benignityof the giver: in contract, I merit at the contractor’shand that he should depart with his right; in thiscase of gift, I merit not that the giver should partwith his right; but that when he has parted withit, it should be mine, rather than another’s. Andthis I think to be the meaning of that distinction124of the Schools, between meritum congrui, andmeritum condigni. For God Almighty, havingpromised Paradise to those men, hoodwinked withcarnal desires, that can walk through this worldaccording to the precepts, and limits prescribed byhim; they say, he that shall so walk, shall meritParadise ex congruo. But because no man candemand a right to it, by his own righteousness, orany other power in himself, but by the free graceof God only; they say, no man can merit Paradiseex condigno. This I say, I think is the meaningof that distinction; but because disputers do notagree upon the signification of their own terms ofart, longer than it serves their turn; I will notaffirm any thing of their meaning: only this I say;when a gift is given indefinitely, as a prize to becontended for, he that winneth meriteth, and mayclaim the prize as due.

Covenants of mutual trust, when invalid.

If a covenant be made, wherein neither of theparties perform presently, but trust one another;in the condition of mere nature, which is a conditionof war of every man against every man, uponany reasonable suspicion, it is void: but if there bea common power set over them both, with rightand force sufficient to compel performance, it isnot void. For he that performeth first, has no assurancethe other will perform after; because thebonds of words are too weak to bridle men’s ambition,avarice, anger, and other passions, withoutthe fear of some coercive power; which in the conditionof mere nature, where all men are equal, andjudges of the justness of their own fears, cannotpossibly be supposed. And therefore he whichperformeth first, does but betray himself to his125enemy; contrary to the right, he can never abandon,of defending his life, and means of living.

But in a civil estate, where there is a power setup to constrain those that would otherwise violatetheir faith, that fear is no more reasonable; andfor that cause, he which by the covenant is to performfirst, is obliged so to do.

The cause of fear, which maketh such a covenantinvalid, must be always something arising after thecovenant made; as some new fact, or other sign ofthe will not to perform: else it cannot make thecovenant void. For that which could not hinder aman from promising, ought not to be admitted asa hindrance of performing.

Right to the end, containeth right to the means.

He that transferreth any right, transferreth themeans of enjoying it, as far as lieth in his power.As he that selleth land, is understood to transferthe herbage, and whatsoever grows upon it: norcan he that sells a mill turn away the stream thatdrives it. And they that give to a man the rightof government in sovereignty, are understood togive him the right of levying money to maintainsoldiers; and of appointing magistrates for theadministration of justice.

No covenant with beasts.

To make covenants with brute beasts, is impossible;because not understanding our speech, theyunderstand not, nor accept of any translation ofright; nor can translate any right to another: andwithout mutual acceptation, there is no covenant.

Nor with God without special revelation.

To make covenant with God, is impossible, butby mediation of such as God speaketh to, either byrevelation supernatural, or by his lieutenants thatgovern under him, and in his name: for otherwisewe know not whether our covenants be accepted,126or not. And therefore they that vow anythingcontrary to any law of nature, vow in vain; asbeing a thing unjust to pay such vow. And if itbe a thing commanded by the law of nature, it isnot the vow, but the law that binds them.

No covenant, but of possible and future.

The matter, or subject of a covenant, is alwayssomething that falleth under deliberation; for tocovenant, is an act of the will; that is to say, anact, and the last act of deliberation; and is thereforealways understood to be something to come;and which is judged possible for him that covenanteth,to perform.

And therefore, to promise that which is knownto be impossible, is no covenant. But if that proveimpossible afterwards, which before was thoughtpossible, the covenant is valid, and bindeth, thoughnot to the thing itself, yet to the value; or, if thatalso be impossible, to the unfeigned endeavour ofperforming as much as is possible: for to more noman can be obliged.

Covenants how made void.

Men are freed of their covenants two ways; byperforming; or by being forgiven. For performance,is the natural end of obligation; and forgiveness,the restitution of liberty; as being a retransferringof that right, in which the obligation consisted.

Covenants extorted by fear are valid.

Covenants entered into by fear, in the conditionof mere nature, are obligatory. For example, if Icovenant to pay a ransom, or service for my life,to an enemy; I am bound by it: for it is a contract,wherein one receiveth the benefit of life; the otheris to receive money, or service for it; and consequently,where no other law, as in the conditionof mere nature, forbiddeth the performance, the127covenant is valid. Therefore prisoners of war, iftrusted with the payment of their ransom, areobliged to pay it: and if a weaker prince, make adisadvantageous peace with a stronger, for fear;he is bound to keep it; unless, as hath been saidbefore, there ariseth some new, and just cause offear, to renew the war. And even in commonwealths,if I be forced to redeem myself from athief by promising him money, I am bound to payit, till the civil law discharge me. For whatsoeverI may lawfully do without obligation, the same Imay lawfully covenant to do through fear: andwhat I lawfully covenant, I cannot lawfully break.

The former covenant to one, makes void the later to another.

A former covenant, makes void a later. For aman that hath passed away his right to one manto-day, hath it not to pass to-morrow to another:and therefore the later promise passeth no right,but is null.

A man’s covenant not to defend himself is void.

A covenant not to defend myself from force, byforce, is always void. For, as I have showed before,no man can transfer, or lay down his right tosave himself from death, wounds, and imprisonment,the avoiding whereof is the only end of layingdown any right; and therefore the promise of notresisting force, in no covenant transferreth anyright; nor is obliging. For though a man maycovenant thus, unless I do so, or so, kill me; hecannot covenant thus, unless I do so, or so, I willnot resist you, when you come to kill me. Forman by nature chooseth the lesser evil, which isdanger of death in resisting; rather than thegreater, which is certain and present death in notresisting. And this is granted to be true by allmen, in that they lead criminals to execution, and128prison, with armed men, notwithstanding that suchcriminals have consented to the law, by which theyare condemned.

No man obliged to accuse himself.

A covenant to accuse oneself, without assuranceof pardon, is likewise invalid. For in the conditionof nature, where every man is judge, there is noplace for accusation: and in the civil state, the accusationis followed with punishment; which beingforce, a man is not obliged not to resist. Thesame is also true, of the accusation of those, bywhose condemnation a man falls into misery; as ofa father, wife, or benefactor. For the testimonyof such an accuser, if it be not willingly given, ispresumed to be corrupted by nature; and thereforenot to be received: and where a man’s testimonyis not to be credited, he is not bound to give it.Also accusations upon torture, are not to be reputedas testimonies. For torture is to be usedbut as means of conjecture, and light, in the furtherexamination, and search of truth: and whatis in that case confessed, tendeth to the ease of himthat is tortured; not to the informing of the torturers:and therefore ought not to have the credit ofa sufficient testimony: for whether he deliver himselfby true, or false accusation, he does it by theright of preserving his own life.

The end of an oath.

The force of words, being, as I have formerlynoted, too weak to hold men to the performance oftheir covenants; there are in man’s nature, buttwo imaginable helps to strengthen it. And thoseare either a fear of the consequence of breakingtheir word; or a glory, or pride in appearing notto need to break it. This latter is a generosity toorarely found to be presumed on, especially in the129pursuers of wealth, command, or sensual pleasure;which are the greatest part of mankind. The passionto be reckoned upon, is fear; whereof therebe two very general objects: one, the power ofspirits invisible; the other, the power of those menthey shall therein offend. Of these two, thoughthe former be the greater power, yet the fear of thelatter is commonly the greater fear. The fear ofthe former is in every man, his own religion: whichhath place in the nature of man before civil society.The latter hath not so; at least not place enough,to keep men to their promises; because in thecondition of mere nature, the inequality of poweris not discerned, but by the event of battle. Sothat before the time of civil society, or in the interruptionthereof by war, there is nothing canstrengthen a covenant of peace agreed on, againstthe temptations of avarice, ambition, lust, or otherstrong desire, but the fear of that invisible power,which they every one worship as God; and fear asa revenger of their perfidy. All therefore that canbe done between two men not subject to civilpower, is to put one another to swear by the Godhe feareth: |The form of an oath.| which swearing, or OATH, is a form ofspeech, added to a promise; by which he thatpromiseth, signifieth, that unless he perform, herenounceth the mercy of his God, or calleth tohim for vengeance on himself. Such was the heathenform, Let Jupiter kill me else, as I kill thisbeast. So is our form, I shall do thus, and thus,so help me God. And this, with the rites and ceremonies,which every one useth in his own religion,that the fear of breaking faith might be the greater.

No oath but by God.

By this it appears, that an oath taken according130to any other form, or rite, than his, that sweareth,is in vain; and no oath: and that there is noswearing by any thing which the swearer thinksnot God. For though men have sometimes used toswear by their kings, for fear, or flattery; yet theywould have it thereby understood, they attributedto them divine honour. And that swearing unnecessarilyby God, is but prophaning of his name:and swearing by other things, as men do in commondiscourse, is not swearing, but an impiouscustom, gotten by too much vehemence of talking.

An oath adds nothing to the obligation.

It appears also, that the oath adds nothing tothe obligation. For a covenant, if lawful, binds inthe sight of God, without the oath, as much as withit: if unlawful, bindeth not at all; though it beconfirmed with an oath.



The third law of nature, justice.

From that law of nature, by which we are obligedto transfer to another, such rights, as being retained,hinder the peace of mankind, there followetha third; which is this, that men perform theircovenants made: without which, covenants are invain, and but empty words; and the right of allmen to all things remaining, we are still in thecondition of war.

Justice and injustice what.

And in this law of nature, consisteth the fountainand original of JUSTICE. For where no covenanthath preceded, there hath no right been transferred,and every man has right to every thing; and consequently,no action can be unjust. But when acovenant is made, then to break it is unjust: and131the definition of INJUSTICE, is no other than thenot performance of covenant. And whatsoever isnot unjust, is just.

Justice and propriety begin with the constitution of commonwealth.

But because covenants of mutual trust, wherethere is a fear of not performance on either part,as hath been said in the former chapter, are invalid;though the original of justice be the makingof covenants; yet injustice actually there can benone, till the cause of such fear be taken away;which while men are in the natural condition ofwar, cannot be done. Therefore before the namesof just, and unjust can have place, there must besome coercive power, to compel men equally to theperformance of their covenants, by the terror ofsome punishment, greater than the benefit theyexpect by the breach of their covenant; and tomake good that propriety, which by mutual contractmen acquire, in recompense of the universalright they abandon: and such power there is nonebefore the erection of a commonwealth. And thisis also to be gathered out of the ordinary definitionof justice in the Schools: for they say, that justiceis the constant will of giving to every man hisown. And therefore where there is no own, that isno propriety, there is no injustice; and where thereis no coercive power erected, that is, where thereis no commonwealth, there is no propriety; allmen having right to all things: therefore wherethere is no commonwealth, there nothing is unjust.So that the nature of justice, consisteth in keepingof valid covenants: but the validity of covenantsbegins not but with the constitution of a civil power,sufficient to compel men to keep them: and thenit is also that propriety begins.

Justice not contrary to reason.

132The fool hath said in his heart, there is no suchthing as justice; and sometimes also with histongue; seriously alleging, that every man’s conservation,and contentment, being committed to hisown care, there could be no reason, why every manmight not do what he thought conduced thereunto:and therefore also to make, or not make; keep, ornot keep covenants, was not against reason, whenit conduced to one’s benefit. He does not thereindeny, that there be covenants; and that they aresometimes broken, sometimes kept; and that suchbreach of them may be called injustice, and theobservance of them justice: but he questioneth,whether injustice, taking away the fear of God, forthe same fool hath said in his heart there is no God,may not sometimes stand with that reason, whichdictateth to every man his own good; and particularlythen, when it conduceth to such a benefit, asshall put a man in a condition, to neglect not onlythe dispraise, and revilings, but also the power ofother men. The kingdom of God is gotten by violence:but what if it could be gotten by unjustviolence? were it against reason so to get it, when itis impossible to receive hurt by it? and if it be notagainst reason, it is not against justice; or elsejustice is not to be approved for good. From suchreasoning as this, successful wickedness hath obtainedthe name of virtue: and some that in allother things have disallowed the violation of faith;yet have allowed it, when it is for the getting of akingdom. And the heathen that believed, thatSaturn was deposed by his son Jupiter, believednevertheless the same Jupiter to be the avenger ofinjustice: somewhat like to a piece of law in co*ke’sCommentaries on Littleton; where he says, if the133right heir of the crown be attainted of treason;yet the crown shall descend to him, and eo instantethe attainder be void: from which instances a manwill be very prone to infer; that when the heirapparent of a kingdom, shall kill him that is inpossession, though his father; you may call it injustice,or by what other name you will; yet it cannever be against reason, seeing all the voluntaryactions of men tend to the benefit of themselves;and those actions are most reasonable, that conducemost to their ends. This specious reasoning isnevertheless false.

For the question is not of promises mutual,where there is no security of performance on eitherside; as when there is no civil power erected overthe parties promising; for such promises are nocovenants: but either where one of the parties hasperformed already; or where there is a power tomake him perform; there is the question whetherit be against reason, that is, against the benefit ofthe other to perform, or not. And I say it is notagainst reason. For the manifestation whereof, weare to consider; first, that when a man doth athing, which notwithstanding any thing can beforeseen, and reckoned on, tendeth to his own destruction,howsoever some accident which he couldnot expect, arriving may turn it to his benefit; yetsuch events do not make it reasonably or wiselydone. Secondly, that in a condition of war, whereinevery man to every man, for want of a commonpower to keep them all in awe, is an enemy, thereis no man who can hope by his own strength, or wit,to defend himself from destruction, without thehelp of confederates; where every one expects thesame defence by the confederation, that any one else134does: and therefore he which declares he thinks itreason to deceive those that help him, can in reasonexpect no other means of safety, than whatcan be had from his own single power. He thereforethat breaketh his covenant, and consequentlydeclareth that he thinks he may with reason do so,cannot be received into any society, that unitethemselves for peace and defence, but by the errorof them that receive him; nor when he is received,be retained in it, without seeing the danger oftheir error; which errors a man cannot reasonablyreckon upon as the means of his security: andtherefore if he be left, or cast out of society, heperisheth; and if he live in society, it is by theerrors of other men, which he could not foresee,nor reckon upon; and consequently against thereason of his preservation; and so, as all men thatcontribute not to his destruction, forbear him onlyout of ignorance of what is good for themselves.

As for the instance of gaining the secure andperpetual felicity of heaven, by any way; it is frivolous:there being but one way imaginable; andthat is not breaking, but keeping of covenant.

And for the other instance of attaining sovereigntyby rebellion; it is manifest, that though theevent follow, yet because it cannot reasonably beexpected, but rather the contrary; and because bygaining it so, others are taught to gain the samein like manner, the attempt thereof is against reason.Justice therefore, that is to say, keeping ofcovenant, is a rule of reason, by which we are forbiddento do any thing destructive to our life; andconsequently a law of nature.

There be some that proceed further; and willnot have the law of nature, to be those rules which135conduce to the preservation of man’s life on earth;but to the attaining of an eternal felicity afterdeath; to which they think the breach of covenantmay conduce; and consequently be just and reasonable;such are they that think it a work ofmerit to kill, or depose, or rebel against, the sovereignpower constituted over them by their ownconsent. But because there is no natural knowledgeof man’s estate after death; much less of thereward that is then to be given to breach of faith;but only a belief grounded upon other men’s saying,that they know it supernaturally, or that they knowthose, that knew them, that knew others, thatknew it supernaturally; breach of faith cannot becalled a precept of reason, or nature.

Covenants not discharged by the vice of the person to whom they are made.

Others, that allow for a law of nature, the keepingof faith, do nevertheless make exception of certainpersons; as heretics, and such as use not toperform their covenant to others: and this also isagainst reason. For if any fault of a man, be sufficientto discharge our covenant made; the sameought in reason to have been sufficient to havehindered the making of it.

Justice of men and justice of actions what.

The names of just, and injust, when they are attributedto men, signify one thing; and when theyare attributed to actions, another. When they areattributed to men, they signify conformity, or inconformityof manners, to reason. But when theyare attributed to actions, they signify the conformity,or inconformity to reason, not of manners, ormanner of life, but of particular actions. A justman therefore, is he that taketh all the care hecan, that his actions may be all just: and an unjustman, is he that neglecteth it. And such menare more often in our language styled by the names136of righteous, and unrighteous; than just, and unjust;though the meaning be the same. Thereforea righteous man, does not lose that title, by one,or a few unjust actions, that proceed from suddenpassion, or mistake of things, or persons: nor doesan unrighteous man, lose his character, for suchactions, as he does, or forbears to do, for fear;because his will is not framed by the justice, butby the apparent benefit of what he is to do. Thatwhich gives to human actions the relish of justice,is a certain nobleness or gallantness of courage,rarely found, by which a man scorns to be beholdenfor the contentment of his life, to fraud, orbreach of promise. This justice of the manners,is that which is meant, where justice is called avirtue; and injustice a vice.

But the justice of actions denominates men, notjust, but guiltless: and the injustice of the same,which is also called injury, gives them but thename of guilty.

Justice of manners, and justice of actions.

Again, the injustice of manners, is the disposition,or aptitude to do injury; and is injustice beforeit proceed to act; and without supposing anyindividual person injured. But the injustice of anaction, that is to say injury, supposeth an individualperson injured; namely him, to whom the covenantwas made: and therefore many times the injuryis received by one man, when the damage redoundethto another. As when the master commandethhis servant to give money to a stranger;if it be not done, the injury is done to the master,whom he had before covenanted to obey; but thedamage redoundeth to the stranger, to whom hehad no obligation; and therefore could not injurehim. And so also in commonwealths, private men137may remit to one another their debts; but notrobberies or other violences, whereby they are endamaged;because the detaining of debt, is an injuryto themselves; but robbery and violence, areinjuries to the person of the commonwealth.

Nothing done to a man by his own consent can be injury.

Whatsoever is done to a man, conformable tohis own will signified to the doer, is no injury tohim. For if he that doeth it, hath not passedaway his original right to do what he please, bysome antecedent covenant, there is no breach ofcovenant; and therefore no injury done him. Andif he have; then his will to have it done beingsignified, is a release of that covenant: and soagain there is no injury done him.

Justice commutative and distributive.

Justice of actions, is by writers divided intocommutative, and distributive: and the formerthey say consisteth in proportion arithmetical; thelatter in proportion geometrical. Commutativetherefore, they place in the equality of value of thethings contracted for; and distributive, in the distributionof equal benefit, to men of equal merit.As if it were injustice to sell dearer than we buy;or to give more to a man than he merits. Thevalue of all things contracted for, is measured bythe appetite of the contractors: and therefore thejust value, is that which they be contented to give.And merit, besides that which is by covenant,where the performance on one part, meriteth theperformance of the other part, and falls under justicecommutative, not distributive, is not due by justice;but is rewarded of grace only. And thereforethis distinction, in the sense wherein it useth to beexpounded, is not right. To speak properly, commutativejustice, is the justice, of a contractor;that is, a performance of covenant, in buying, and138selling; hiring, and letting to hire; lending, andborrowing; exchanging, bartering, and other actsof contract.

And distributive justice, the justice of an arbitrator;that is to say, the act of defining what isjust. Wherein, being trusted by them that makehim arbitrator, if he perform his trust, he is saidto distribute to every man his own: and this is indeedjust distribution, and may be called, thoughimproperly, distributive justice; but more properlyequity; which also is a law of nature, as shall beshown in due place.

The fourth law of nature, gratitude.

As justice dependeth on antecedent covenant;so does GRATITUDE depend on antecedent grace;that is to say, antecedent free gift: and is thefourth law of nature; which may be conceived inthis form, that a man which receiveth benefitfrom another of mere grace, endeavour that hewhich giveth it, have no reasonable cause to repenthim of his good will. For no man giveth,but with intention of good to himself; becausegift is voluntary; and of all voluntary acts, the objectis to every man his own good; of which if mensee they shall be frustrated, there will be no beginningof benevolence, or trust; nor consequentlyof mutual help; nor of reconciliation of one manto another; and therefore they are to remain stillin the condition of war; which is contrary to thefirst and fundamental law of nature, which commandethmen to seek peace. The breach of this law,is called ingratitude; and hath the same relation tograce, that injustice hath to obligation by covenant.

The fifth mutual accommodation, or complaisance.

A fifth law of nature, is COMPLAISANCE; thatis to say, that every man strive to accommodatehimself to the rest. For the understanding whereof,139we may consider, that there is in men’s aptnessto society, a diversity of nature, rising from theirdiversity of affections; not unlike to that we seein stones brought together for building of an edifice.For as that stone which by the asperity, andirregularity of figure, takes more room from others,than itself fills; and for the hardness, cannot beeasily made plain, and thereby hindereth the building,is by the builders cast away as unprofitable,and troublesome: so also, a man that by asperityof nature, will strive to retain those things whichto himself are superfluous, and to others necessary;and for the stubbornness of his passions, cannot becorrected, is to be left, or cast out of society, ascumbersome thereunto. For seeing every man,not only by right, but also by necessity of nature,is supposed to endeavour all he can, to obtain thatwhich is necessary for his conservation; he thatshall oppose himself against it, for things superfluous,is guilty of the war that thereupon is tofollow; and therefore doth that, which is contraryto the fundamental law of nature, which commandethto seek peace. The observers of this law,may be called SOCIABLE, the Latins call themcommodi; the contrary, stubborn, insociable, froward,intractable.

The sixth, facility to pardon.

A sixth law of nature, is this, that upon cautionof the future time, a man ought to pardonthe offences past of them that repenting, desire it.For PARDON, is nothing but granting of peace;which though granted to them that persevere intheir hostility, be not peace, but fear; yet notgranted to them that give caution of the futuretime, is sign of an aversion to peace; and thereforecontrary to the law of nature.

The seventh, that in revenges, men respect only the future good.

140A seventh is, that in revenges, that is, retributionof evil for evil, men look not at the greatnessof the evil past, but the greatness of the good tofollow. Whereby we are forbidden to inflict punishmentwith any other design, than for correctionof the offender, or direction of others. For thislaw is consequent to the next before it, that commandethpardon, upon security of the future time.Besides, revenge without respect to the example,and profit to come, is a triumph, or glorying in thehurt of another, tending to no end; for the end isalways somewhat to come; and glorying to no end,is vain-glory, and contrary to reason, and to hurtwithout reason, tendeth to the introduction of war;which is against the law of nature; and is commonlystyled by the name of cruelty.

The eighth, against contumely.

And because all signs of hatred, or contempt,provoke to fight; insomuch as most men chooserather to hazard their life, than not to be revenged;we may in the eighth place, for a law of nature,set down this precept, that no man by deed, word,countenance, or gesture, declare hatred, or contemptof another. The breach of which law, iscommonly called contumely.

The ninth, against pride.

The question who is the better man, has noplace in the condition of mere nature; where, ashas been shewn before, all men are equal. Theinequality that now is, has been introduced by thelaws civil. I know that Aristotle in the first bookof his Politics, for a foundation of his doctrine,maketh men by nature, some more worthy to command,meaning the wiser sort, such as he thoughthimself to be for his philosophy; others to serve,meaning those that had strong bodies, but werenot philosophers as he; as if master and servant141were not introduced by consent of men, but bydifference of wit: which is not only against reason;but also against experience. For there are veryfew so foolish, that had not rather govern themselves,than be governed by others: nor when thewise in their own conceit, contend by force, withthem who distrust their own wisdom, do they always,or often, or almost at any time, get the victory.If nature therefore have made men equal,that equality is to be acknowledged: or if naturehave made men unequal; yet because men thatthink themselves equal, will not enter into conditionsof peace, but upon equal terms, such equalitymust be admitted. And therefore for the ninthlaw of nature, I put this, that every man acknowledgeanother for his equal by nature. The breachof this precept is pride.

The tenth, against arrogance.

On this law, dependeth another, that at theentrance into conditions of peace, no man requireto reserve to himself any right, which he is notcontent should be reserved to every one of therest. As it is necessary for all men that seekpeace, to lay down certain rights of nature; thatis to say, not to have liberty to do all they list: sois it necessary for man’s life, to retain some; asright to govern their own bodies; enjoy air, water,motion, ways to go from place to place; and allthings else, without which a man cannot live, ornot live well. If in this case, at the making ofpeace, men require for themselves, that which theywould not have to be granted to others, they docontrary to the precedent law, that commandeththe acknowledgment of natural equality, and thereforealso against the law of nature. The observersof this law, are those we call modest, and the142breakers arrogant men. The Greeks call the violationof this law πλεονεξία; that is, a desire ofmore than their share.

The eleventh, equity.

Also if a man be trusted to judge between manand man, it is a precept of the law of nature, thathe deal equally between them. For without that,the controversies of men cannot be determined butby war. He therefore that is partial in judgment,doth what in him lies, to deter men from the use ofjudges, and arbitrators; and consequently, againstthe fundamental law of nature, is the cause of war.

The observance of this law, from the equal distributionto each man, of that which in reason belongethto him, is called EQUITY, and, as I havesaid before, distributive justice: the violation, acceptionof persons, προσωποληψία.

The twelfth, equal use of things common.

And from this followeth another law, that suchthings as cannot be divided, be enjoyed in common,if it can be; and if the quantity of the thing permit,without stint; otherwise proportionably to thenumber of them that have right. For otherwise thedistribution is unequal, and contrary to equity.

The thirteenth, of lot.

But some things there be, that can neither bedivided, nor enjoyed in common. Then, the lawof nature, which prescribeth equity, requireth, thatthe entire right; or else, making the use alternate,the first possession, be determined by lot.For equal distribution, is of the law of nature; andother means of equal distribution cannot be imagined.

The fourteenth, of primogeniture, and first seizing.

Of lots there be two sorts, arbitrary, and natural.Arbitrary, is that which is agreed on by thecompetitors: natural, is either primogeniture,which the Greek calls κληρονομία, which signifies,given by lot; or first seizure.

143And therefore those things which cannot be enjoyedin common, nor divided, ought to be adjudgedto the first possessor; and in some cases tothe first born, as acquired by lot.

The fifteenth, of mediators.

It is also a law of nature, that all men thatmediate peace, be allowed safe conduct. For thelaw that commandeth peace, as the end, commandethintercession, as the means; and to intercessionthe means is safe conduct.

[Illustration: The sixteenth,of submissionto arbitrement.]

And because, though men be never so willing toobserve these laws, there may nevertheless arisequestions concerning a man’s action; first, whetherit were done, or not done; secondly, if done,whether against the law, or not against the law;the former whereof, is called a question of fact;the latter a question of right, therefore unless theparties to the question, covenant mutually to standto the sentence of another, they are as far frompeace as ever. This other to whose sentence theysubmit is called an ARBITRATOR. And thereforeit is of the law of nature, that they that are atcontroversy, submit their right to the judgment ofan arbitrator.

The seventeenth, no man is his own judge.

And seeing every man is presumed to do allthings in order to his own benefit, no man is a fitarbitrator in his own cause; and if he were neverso fit; yet equity allowing to each party equalbenefit, if one be admitted to be judge, the other isto be admitted also; and so the controversy, that is,the cause of war, remains, against the law of nature.

The eighteenth, no man to be judge, that has in him a natural cause of partiality.

For the same reason no man in any cause oughtto be received for arbitrator, to whom greaterprofit, or honour, or pleasure apparently arisethout of the victory of one party, than of the other:144for he hath taken, though an unavoidable bribe,yet a bribe; and no man can be obliged to trust him.And thus also the controversy, and the condition ofwar remaineth, contrary to the law of nature.

The nineteenth of witnesses.

And in a controversy of fact, the judge being togive no more credit to one, than to the other, ifthere be no other arguments, must give credit to athird; or to a third and fourth; or more: for elsethe question is undecided, and left to force, contraryto the law of nature.

These are the laws of nature, dictating peace,for a means of the conservation of men in multitudes;and which only concern the doctrine ofcivil society. There be other things tending to thedestruction of particular men; as drunkenness,and all other parts of intemperance; which maytherefore also be reckoned amongst those thingswhich the law of nature hath forbidden; but arenot necessary to be mentioned, nor are pertinentenough to this place.

A rule, by which the laws of nature may easily be examined.

And though this may seem too subtle a deductionof the laws of nature, to be taken notice of byall men; whereof the most part are too busy ingetting food, and the rest too negligent to understand;yet to leave all men inexcusable, they havebeen contracted into one easy sum, intelligibleeven to the meanest capacity; and that is, Do notthat to another, which thou wouldest not havedone to thyself; which sheweth him, that he hasno more to do in learning the laws of nature, but,when weighing the actions of other men with hisown, they seem too heavy, to put them into theother part of the balance, and his own into theirplace, that his own passions, and self-love, may145add nothing to the weight; and then there is noneof these laws of nature that will not appear untohim very reasonable.

The laws of nature oblige in conscience always, but in effect then only when there is security.

The laws of nature oblige in foro interno;that is to say, they bind to a desire they shouldtake place: but in foro externo; that is, to theputting them in act, not always. For he thatshould be modest, and tractable, and perform allhe promises, in such time, and place, where noman else should do so, should but make himself aprey to others, and procure his own certain ruin,contrary to the ground of all laws of nature, whichtend to nature’s preservation. And again, he thathaving sufficient security, that others shall observethe same laws towards him, observes them nothimself, seeketh not peace, but war; and consequentlythe destruction of his nature by violence.

And whatsoever laws bind in foro interno, maybe broken, not only by a fact contrary to the law,but also by a fact according to it, in case a manthink it contrary. For though his action in thiscase, be according to the law; yet his purpose wasagainst the law; which, where the obligation is inforo interno, is a breach.

The laws of nature are eternal.

The laws of nature are immutable and eternal;for injustice, ingratitude, arrogance, pride, iniquity,acception of persons, and the rest, can never bemade lawful. For it can never be that war shallpreserve life, and peace destroy it.

And yet easy.

The same laws, because they oblige only to adesire, and endeavour, I mean an unfeigned andconstant endeavour, are easy to be observed. Forin that they require nothing but endeavour, he146that endeavoureth their performance, fulfilleththem; and he that fulfilleth the law, is just.

The science of these laws, is the true moral philosophy.

And the science of them, is the true and onlymoral philosophy. For moral philosophy is nothingelse but the science of what is good, andevil, in the conversation, and society of mankind.Good, and evil, are names that signify our appetites,and aversions; which in different tempers,customs, and doctrines of men, are different: anddivers men, differ not only in their judgment, onthe senses of what is pleasant, and unpleasant tothe taste, smell, hearing, touch, and sight; but alsoof what is conformable, or disagreeable to reason,in the actions of common life. Nay, the same man,in divers times, differs from himself; and one timepraiseth, that is, calleth good, what another timehe dispraiseth, and calleth evil: from whence arisedisputes, controversies, and at last war. Andtherefore so long as a man is in the condition ofmere nature, which is a condition of war, as privateappetite is the measure of good, and evil: andconsequently all men agree on this, that peace isgood, and therefore also the way, or means ofpeace, which, as I have shewed before, are justice,gratitude, modesty, equity, mercy, and the rest ofthe laws of nature, are good; that is to say;moral virtues; and their contrary vices, evil. Nowthe science of virtue and vice, is moral philosophy;and therefore the true doctrine of the laws ofnature, is the true moral philosophy. But thewriters of moral philosophy, though they acknowledgethe same virtues and vices; yet not seeingwherein consisted their goodness; nor that theycome to be praised, as the means of peaceable,147sociable, and comfortable living, place them in amediocrity of passions: as if not the cause, but thedegree of daring, made fortitude; or not the cause,but the quantity of a gift, made liberality.

These dictates of reason, men used to call by thename of laws, but improperly: for they are butconclusions, or theorems concerning what conducethto the conservation and defence of themselves;whereas law, properly, is the word of him,that by right hath command over others. But yetif we consider the same theorems, as delivered inthe word of God, that by right commandeth allthings; then are they properly called laws.



A person what.

A PERSON, is he, whose words or actions are considered,either as his own, or as representing thewords or actions of another man, or of any otherthing, to whom they are attributed, whether trulyor by fiction.

Person natural, and artificial.

When they are considered as his own, then is hecalled a natural person: and when they are consideredas representing the words and actions ofanother, then is he a feigned or artificial person.

The word person, whence.

The word person is Latin: instead whereof theGreeks have πρόσωπον, which signifies the face, aspersona in Latin signifies the disguise, or outwardappearance of a man, counterfeited on the stage;and sometimes more particularly that part of it,which disguiseth the face, as a mask or vizard:148and from the stage, hath been translated to anyrepresenter of speech and action, as well in tribunals,as theatres. So that a person, is the samethat an actor is, both on the stage and in commonconversation; and to personate, is to act, or representhimself, or another; and he that actethanother, is said to bear his person, or act in hisname; in which sense Cicero useth it where hesays, Unus sustineo tres personas; mei, adversarii,et judicis: I bear three persons; my own, myadversary’s, and the judge’s; and is called in diversoccasions, diversly; as a representer, or representative,a lieutenant, a vicar, an attorney, a deputy,a procurator, an actor, and the like.

Of persons artificial, some have their words andactions owned by those whom they represent. |Actor.| Andthen the person is the actor; |Author.| and he that owneth hiswords and actions, is the AUTHOR: in which case theactor acteth by authority. For that which in speakingof goods and possessions, is called an owner, andin Latin dominus, in Greek κύριος speaking of actions,is called author. And as the right of possession,is called dominion; |Authority.| so the right of doing any action,is called AUTHORITY. So that by authority, isalways understood a right of doing any act; anddone by authority, done by commission, or licencefrom him whose right it is.

Covenants by authority, bind the author.

From hence it followeth, that when the actormaketh a covenant by authority, he bindeth therebythe author, no less than if he had made it himself;and no less subjecteth him to all the consequences ofthe same. And therefore all that hath been saidformerly, (chap. XIV) of the nature of covenantsbetween man and man in their natural capacity, is149true also when they are made by their actors, representers,or procurators, that have authority fromthem, so far forth as is in their commission, butno further.

And therefore he that maketh a covenant withthe actor, or representer, not knowing the authorityhe hath, doth it at his own peril. For no man isobliged by a covenant, whereof he is not author;nor consequently by a covenant made against, orbeside the authority he gave.

But not the actor.

When the actor doth anything against the law ofnature by command of the author, if he be obligedby former covenant to obey him, not he, but theauthor breaketh the law of nature; for though theaction be against the law of nature; yet it is nothis: but contrarily, to refuse to do it, is against thelaw of nature, that forbiddeth breach of covenant.

The authority is to be shown.

And he that maketh a covenant with the author,by mediation of the actor, not knowing what authorityhe hath, but only takes his word; in case suchauthority be not made manifest unto him upon demand,is no longer obliged: for the covenant madewith the author, is not valid, without his counter-assurance.But if he that so covenanteth, knewbeforehand he was to expect no other assurance,than the actor’s word; then is the covenant valid;because the actor in this case maketh himself theauthor. And therefore, as when the authority isevident, the covenant obligeth the author, not theactor; so when the authority is feigned, it obligeththe actor only; there being no author but himself.

Things personated, inanimate.

There are few things, that are incapable of beingrepresented by fiction. Inanimate things, as achurch, an hospital, a bridge, may be personated bya rector, master, or overseer. But things inanimate,150cannot be authors, nor therefore give authority totheir actors: yet the actors may have authority toprocure their maintenance, given them by thosethat are owners, or governors of those things. Andtherefore, such things cannot be personated, beforethere be some state of civil government.


Likewise children, fools, and madmen that haveno use of reason, may be personated by guardians,or curators; but can be no authors, during thattime, of any action done by them, longer than,when they shall recover the use of reason, theyshall judge the same reasonable. Yet during thefolly, he that hath right of governing them, maygive authority to the guardian. But this again hasno place but in a state civil, because before suchestate, there is no dominion of persons.

False gods.

An idol, or mere figment of the brain, may bepersonated; as were the gods of the heathen: whichby such officers as the state appointed, were personated,and held possessions, and other goods, andrights, which men from time to time dedicated,and consecrated unto them. But idols cannot beauthors: for an idol is nothing. The authorityproceeded from the state: and therefore before introductionof civil government, the gods of theheathen could not be personated.

The true God.

The true God may be personated. As he was;first, by Moses; who governed the Israelites, thatwere not his, but God’s people, not in his ownname, with hoc dicit Moses; but in God’s name,with hoc dicit Dominus. Secondly, by the Sonof man, his own Son, our blessed Saviour JesusChrist, that came to reduce the Jews, and induceall nations into the kingdom of his father; not asof himself, but as sent from his father. And thirdly,151by the Holy Ghost, or Comforter, speaking, andworking in the Apostles: which Holy Ghost, wasa Comforter that came not of himself; but was sent,and proceeded from them both.

A multitude of men, how one person.

A multitude of men, are made one person, whenthey are by one man, or one person, represented;so that it be done with the consent of every one ofthat multitude in particular. For it is the unity ofthe representer, not the unity of the represented,that maketh the person one. And it is the representerthat beareth the person, and but one person:and unity, cannot otherwise be understood in multitude.

Every one is author.

And because the multitude naturally is not one,but many; they cannot be understood for one;but many authors, of every thing their representativesaith, or doth in their name; every man givingtheir common representer, authority from himselfin particular; and owning all the actions the representerdoth, in case they give him authority withoutstint: otherwise, when they limit him in what,and how far he shall represent them, none of themowneth more than they gave him commission to act.

An actor may be many men made one by plurality of voices.

And if the representative consist of many men,the voice of the greater number, must be consideredas the voice of them all. For if the lessernumber pronounce, for example, in the affirmative,and the greater in the negative, there will be negativesmore than enough to destroy the affirmatives;and thereby the excess of negatives, standing uncontradicted,are the only voice the representative hath.

Representatives, when the number is even, unprofitable.

And a representative of even number, especiallywhen the number is not great, whereby the contradictoryvoices are oftentimes equal, is thereforeoftentimes mute, and incapable of action. Yet in152some cases contradictory voices equal in number,may determine a question; as in condemning, orabsolving, equality of votes, even in that they condemnnot, do absolve; but not on the contrarycondemn, in that they absolve not. For when acause is heard; not to condemn, is to absolve: buton the contrary, to say that not absolving, is condemning,is not true. The like it is in a deliberationof executing presently, or deferring tillanother time: for when the voices are equal, thenot decreeing execution, is a decree of dilation.

Negative voice.

Or if the number be odd, as three, or more, menor assemblies; whereof every one has by a negativevoice, authority to take away the effect of allthe affirmative voices of the rest, this number is norepresentative; because by the diversity of opinions,and interests of men, it becomes oftentimes, and incases of the greatest consequence, a mute person,and unapt, as for many things else, so for the governmentof a multitude, especially in time of war.

Of authors there be two sorts. The first simplyso called; which I have before defined to be him,that owneth the action of another simply. Thesecond is he, that owneth an action, or covenant ofanother conditionally; that is to say, he undertakethto do it, if the other doth it not, at, or beforea certain time. And these authors conditional, aregenerally called SURETIES, in Latin, fidejussores,and sponsores; and particularly for debt, prædes;and for appearance before a judge, or magistrate,vades.






The end of commonwealth, particular security:

The final cause, end, or design of men, who naturallylove liberty, and dominion over others, in theintroduction of that restraint upon themselves, inwhich we see them live in commonwealths, is theforesight of their own preservation, and of a morecontented life thereby; that is to say, of gettingthemselves out from that miserable condition ofwar, which is necessarily consequent, as hath beenshown in chapter XIII, to the natural passions ofmen, when there is no visible power to keep themin awe, and tie them by fear of punishment to theperformance of their covenants, and observation ofthose laws of nature set down in the fourteenthand fifteenth chapters.

Which is not to be had from the law of nature:

For the laws of nature, as justice, equity, modesty,mercy, and, in sum, doing to others, as wewould be done to, of themselves, without the terrorof some power, to cause them to be observed, arecontrary to our natural passions, that carry us to154partiality, pride, revenge, and the like. And covenants,without the sword, are but words, and of nostrength to secure a man at all. Therefore notwithstandingthe laws of nature, which every onehath then kept, when he has the will to keep them,when he can do it safely, if there be no powererected, or not great enough for our security;every man will, and may lawfully rely on his ownstrength and art, for caution against all other men.And in all places, where men have lived by smallfamilies, to rob and spoil one another, has been atrade, and so far from being reputed against thelaw of nature, that the greater spoils they gained,the greater was their honour; and men observedno other laws therein, but the laws of honour; thatis, to abstain from cruelty, leaving to men theirlives, and instruments of husbandry. And as smallfamilies did then; so now do cities and kingdomswhich are but greater families, for their own security,enlarge their dominions, upon all pretences ofdanger, and fear of invasion, or assistance that maybe given to invaders, and endeavour as much asthey can, to subdue, or weaken their neighbours,by open force, and secret arts, for want of othercaution, justly; and are remembered for it in afterages with honour.

Nor from the conjunction of a few men or families:

Nor is it the joining together of a small numberof men, that gives them this security; because insmall numbers, small additions on the one sideor the other, make the advantage of strength sogreat, as is sufficient to carry the victory; andtherefore gives encouragement to an invasion. Themultitude sufficient to confide in for our security,is not determined by any certain number, but by155comparison with the enemy we fear; and is thensufficient, when the odds of the enemy is not of sovisible and conspicuous moment, to determine theevent of war, as to move him to attempt.

Nor from a great multitude, unless directed by one judgment:

And be there never so great a multitude; yet iftheir actions be directed according to their particularjudgments, and particular appetites, they canexpect thereby no defence, nor protection, neitheragainst a common enemy, nor against the injuriesof one another. For being distracted in opinionsconcerning the best use and application of theirstrength, they do not help but hinder one another;and reduce their strength by mutual oppositionto nothing: whereby they are easily, notonly subdued by a very few that agree together;but also when there is no common enemy, theymake war upon each other, for their particularinterests. For if we could suppose a great multitudeof men to consent in the observation of justice,and other laws of nature, without a commonpower to keep them all in awe; we might as wellsuppose all mankind to do the same; and thenthere neither would be, nor need to be any civilgovernment, or Commonwealth at all; becausethere would be peace without subjection.

And that continually.

Nor is it enough for the security, which mendesire should last all the time of their life, thatthey be governed, and directed by one judgment,for a limited time; as in one battle, or one war.For though they obtain a victory by their unanimousendeavour against a foreign enemy; yetafterwards, when either they have no commonenemy, or he that by one part is held for an enemy,is by another part held for a friend, they must156needs by the difference of their interests dissolve,and fall again into a war amongst themselves.

Why certain creatures without reason, or speech, do nevertheless live in society, without any coercive power.

It is true, that certain living creatures, as bees,and ants, live sociably one with another, which aretherefore by Aristotle numbered amongst politicalcreatures; and yet have no other direction, thantheir particular judgments and appetites; norspeech, whereby one of them can signify to another,what he thinks expedient for the commonbenefit: and therefore some man may perhapsdesire to know, why mankind cannot do the same.To which I answer,

First, that men are continually in competitionfor honour and dignity, which these creatures arenot; and consequently amongst men there arisethon that ground, envy and hatred, and finally war;but amongst these not so.

Secondly, that amongst these creatures, the commongood differeth not from the private; and beingby nature inclined to their private, they procurethereby the common benefit. But man, whose joyconsisteth in comparing himself with other men,can relish nothing but what is eminent.

Thirdly, that these creatures, having not, as man,the use of reason, do not see, nor think they seeany fault, in the administration of their commonbusiness; whereas amongst men, there are verymany, that think themselves wiser, and abler togovern the public, better than the rest; and thesestrive to reform and innovate, one this way, anotherthat way; and thereby bring it into distractionand civil war.

Fourthly, that these creatures, though they havesome use of voice, in making known to one another157their desires, and other affections; yet they wantthat art of words, by which some men can representto others, that which is good, in the likenessof evil; and evil, in the likeness of good; andaugment, or diminish the apparent greatness ofgood and evil; discontenting men, and troublingtheir peace at their pleasure.

Fifthly, irrational creatures cannot distinguishbetween injury and damage; and therefore aslong as they be at ease, they are not offended withtheir fellows: whereas man is then most troublesome,when he is most at ease: for then it is thathe loves to shew his wisdom, and control the actionsof them that govern the commonwealth.

Lastly, the agreement of these creatures is natural;that of men, is by covenant only, which isartificial: and therefore it is no wonder if there besomewhat else required, besides covenant, to maketheir agreement constant and lasting; which is acommon power, to keep them in awe, and to directtheir actions to the common benefit.

The generation of a commonwealth.

The only way to erect such a common power, asmay be able to defend them from the invasion offoreigners, and the injuries of one another, andthereby to secure them in such sort, as that by theirown industry, and by the fruits of the earth, theymay nourish themselves and live contentedly; is,to confer all their power and strength upon oneman, or upon one assembly of men, that may reduceall their wills, by plurality of voices, unto onewill: which is as much as to say, to appoint oneman, or assembly of men, to bear their person; andevery one to own, and acknowledge himself to beauthor of whatsoever he that so beareth their person,158shall act, or cause to be acted, in those thingswhich concern the common peace and safety; andtherein to submit their wills, every one to his will,and their judgments, to his judgment. This ismore than consent, or concord; it is a real unityof them all, in one and the same person, made bycovenant of every man with every man, in suchmanner, as if every man should say to every man,I authorise and give up my right of governingmyself, to this man, or to this assembly of men,on this condition, that thou give up thy right tohim, and authorize all his actions in like manner.This done, the multitude so united in one person,is called a COMMONWEALTH, in Latin CIVITAS.This is the generation of that great LEVIATHAN, orrather, to speak more reverently, of that mortalgod, to which we owe under the immortal God,our peace and defence. For by this authority,given him by every particular man in the commonwealth,he hath the use of so much power andstrength conferred on him, that by terror thereof,he is enabled to perform the wills of them all, topeace at home, and mutual aid against their enemiesabroad. |The definition of a commonwealth.| And in him consisteth the essenceof the commonwealth; which, to define it, is oneperson, of whose acts a great multitude, by mutualcovenants one with another, have made themselvesevery one the author, to the end he may use thestrength and means of them all, as he shall thinkexpedient, for their peace and common defence.

Sovereign, and subject, what.

And he that carrieth this person, is calledSOVEREIGN, and said to have sovereign power;and every one besides, his SUBJECT.

The attaining to this sovereign power, is by two159ways. One, by natural force; as when a manmaketh his children, to submit themselves, andtheir children to his government, as being able todestroy them if they refuse; or by war subduethhis enemies to his will, giving them their lives onthat condition. The other, is when men agreeamongst themselves, to submit to some man, orassembly of men, voluntarily, on confidence to beprotected by him against all others. This latter,may be called a political commonwealth, or commonwealthby institution; and the former, a commonwealthby acquisition. And first, I shall speakof a commonwealth by institution.



The act of instituting a commonwealth, what.

A commonwealth is said to be instituted, whena multitude of men do agree; and covenant, everyone, with every one, that to whatsoever man, orassembly of men, shall be given by the major part,the right to present the person of them all, thatis to say, to be their representative; every one, aswell he that voted for it, as he that voted againstit, shall authorize all the actions and judgments,of that man, or assembly of men, in the same manner,as if they were his own, to the end, to livepeaceably amongst themselves, and be protectedagainst other men.

The consequences to such institution, are.

From this institution of a commonwealth arederived all the rights, and faculties of him, orthem, on whom sovereign power is conferred bythe consent of the people assembled.

1. The subjects cannot change the form of government.

160First, because they covenant, it is to be understood,they are not obliged by former covenant toanything repugnant hereunto. And consequentlythey that have already instituted a commonwealth,being thereby bound by covenant, to own the actions,and judgments of one, cannot lawfully makea new covenant, amongst themselves, to be obedientto any other, in any thing whatsoever, withouthis permission. And therefore, they that are subjectsto a monarch, cannot without his leave castoff monarchy, and return to the confusion of a disunitedmultitude; nor transfer their person fromhim that beareth it, to another man, or otherassembly of men: for they are bound, every manto every man, to own, and be reputed author ofall, that he that already is their sovereign, shall do,and judge fit to be done: so that any one mandissenting, all the rest should break their covenantmade to that man, which is injustice: and theyhave also every man given the sovereignty to himthat beareth their person; and therefore if theydepose him, they take from him that which is hisown, and so again it is injustice. Besides, if hethat attempteth to depose his sovereign, be killed,or punished by him for such attempt, he is authorof his own punishment, as being by the institution,author of all his sovereign shall do: and becauseit is injustice for a man to do anything, for whichhe may be punished by his own authority, he isalso upon that title, unjust. And whereas somemen have pretended for their disobedience to theirsovereign, a new covenant, made, not with men,but with God; this also is unjust: for there is nocovenant with God, but by mediation of somebody161that representeth God’s person; which none dothbut God’s lieutenant, who hath the sovereignty underGod. But this pretence of covenant with God,is so evident a lie, even in the pretenders’ ownconsciences, that it is not only an act of an unjust,but also of a vile, and unmanly disposition.

2. Sovereign power cannot be forfeited.

Secondly, because the right of bearing the personof them all, is given to him they make sovereign,by covenant only of one to another, and not of himto any of them; there can happen no breach ofcovenant on the part of the sovereign; and consequentlynone of his subjects, by any pretence offorfeiture, can be freed from his subjection. Thathe which is made sovereign maketh no covenantwith his subjects beforehand, is manifest; becauseeither he must make it with the whole multitude,as one party to the covenant; or he must makea several covenant with every man. With thewhole, as one party, it is impossible; because asyet they are not one person: and if he make somany several covenants as there be men, thosecovenants after he hath the sovereignty are void;because what act soever can be pretended by anyone of them for breach thereof, is the act both of himself,and of all the rest, because done in the person,and by the right of every one of them in particular.Besides, if any one, or more of them, pretend abreach of the covenant made by the sovereign athis institution; and others, or one other of hissubjects, or himself alone, pretend there was nosuch breach, there is in this case, no judge to decidethe controversy; it returns therefore to the swordagain; and every man recovereth the right of protectinghimself by his own strength, contrary to the162design they had in the institution. It is thereforein vain to grant sovereignty by way of precedentcovenant. The opinion that any monarch receivethhis power by covenant, that is to say, on condition,proceedeth from want of understanding this easytruth, that covenants being but words and breath,have no force to oblige, contain, constrain, or protectany man, but what it has from the publicsword; that is, from the untied hands of that man,or assembly of men that hath the sovereignty, andwhose actions are avouched by them all, and performedby the strength of them all, in him united.But when an assembly of men is made sovereign;then no man imagineth any such covenant to havepassed in the institution; for no man is so dull asto say, for example, the people of Rome made acovenant with the Romans, to hold the sovereigntyon such or such conditions; which not performed,the Romans might lawfully depose the Romanpeople. That men see not the reason to be alikein a monarchy, and in a popular government, proceedethfrom the ambition of some, that are kinderto the government of an assembly, whereof theymay hope to participate, than of monarchy, whichthey despair to enjoy.

3. No man can without injustice protest against the institution of the sovereign declared by the major part.

Thirdly, because the major part hath by consentingvoices declared a sovereign; he that dissentedmust now consent with the rest; that is, becontented to avow all the actions he shall do, or elsejustly be destroyed by the rest. For if he voluntarilyentered into the congregation of them that wereassembled, he sufficiently declared thereby his will,and therefore tacitly covenanted, to stand to whatthe major part should ordain: and therefore if he163refuse to stand thereto, or make protestation againstany of their decrees, he does contrary to his covenant,and therefore unjustly. And whether he beof the congregation, or not; and whether his consentbe asked, or not, he must either submit totheir decrees, or be left in the condition of war hewas in before; wherein he might without injusticebe destroyed by any man whatsoever.

4. The sovereign’s actions cannot be justly accused by the subject.

Fourthly, because every subject is by this institutionauthor of all the actions, and judgments ofthe sovereign instituted; it follows, that whatsoeverhe doth, it can be no injury to any of his subjects;nor ought he to be by any of them accused of injustice.For he that doth anything by authorityfrom another, doth therein no injury to him bywhose authority he acteth: but by this institutionof a commonwealth, every particular man is authorof all the sovereign doth: and consequently he thatcomplaineth of injury from his sovereign, complainethof that whereof he himself is author; andtherefore ought not to accuse any man but himself;no nor himself of injury; because to do injury toone’s self, is impossible. It is true that they thathave sovereign power may commit iniquity; butnot injustice, or injury in the proper signification.

5. Whatsoever the sovereign doth is unpunishable by the subject.

Fifthly, and consequently to that which was saidlast, no man that hath sovereign power can justlybe put to death, or otherwise in any manner by hissubjects punished. For seeing every subject isauthor of the actions of his sovereign; he punishethanother for the actions committed by himself.

6. The sovereign is judge of what is necessary for the peace and defence of his subjects.

And because the end of this institution, is thepeace and defence of them all; and whosoever hasright to the end, has right to the means; it belongeth164of right, to whatsoever man, or assemblythat hath the sovereignty, to be judge both of themeans of peace and defence, and also of the hindrances,and disturbances of the same; and to dowhatsoever he shall think necessary to be done,both beforehand, for the preserving of peace andsecurity, by prevention of discord at home, andhostility from abroad; and, when peace and securityare lost, for the recovery of the same. Andtherefore,

And judge of what doctrines are fit to be taught them.

Sixthly, it is annexed to the sovereignty, to bejudge of what opinions and doctrines are averse, andwhat conducing to peace; and consequently, on whatoccasions, how far, and what men are to be trustedwithal, in speaking to multitudes of people; andwho shall examine the doctrines of all books beforethey be published. For the actions of men proceedfrom their opinions; and in the well-governingof opinions, consisteth the well-governing of men’sactions, in order to their peace, and concord. Andthough in matter of doctrine, nothing ought to beregarded but the truth; yet this is not repugnantto regulating the same by peace. For doctrinerepugnant to peace, can no more be true, thanpeace and concord can be against the law of nature.It is true, that in a commonwealth, where bythe negligence, or unskilfulness of governors, andteachers, false doctrines are by time generally received;the contrary truths may be generally offensive.Yet the most sudden, and rough bursting inof a new truth, that can be, does never break thepeace, but only sometimes awake the war. Forthose men that are so remissly governed, that theydare take up arms to defend, or introduce an opinion,165are still in war; and their condition not peace, butonly a cessation of arms for fear of one another;and they live, as it were, in the precincts of battlecontinually. It belongeth therefore to him thathath the sovereign power, to be judge, or constituteall judges of opinions and doctrines, as a thingnecessary to peace; thereby to prevent discordand civil war.

7. The right of making rules; whereby the subjects may every man know what is so his own, as no other subject can without injustice take it from him.

Seventhly, is annexed to the sovereignty, thewhole power of prescribing the rules, whereby everyman may know, what goods he may enjoy, andwhat actions he may do, without being molestedby any of his fellow-subjects; and this is it mencall propriety. For before constitution of sovereignpower, as hath already been shown, all men hadright to all things; which necessarily causeth war:and therefore this propriety, being necessary topeace, and depending on sovereign power, is the actof that power, in order to the public peace. Theserules of propriety, or meum and tuum, and of good,evil, lawful, and unlawful in the actions of subjects,are the civil laws; that is to say, the laws of eachcommonwealth in particular; though the name ofcivil law be now restrained to the ancient civillaws of the city of Rome; which being the head ofa great part of the world, her laws at that timewere in these parts the civil law.

8. To him also belongeth the right of judicature and decision of controversy.

Eighthly, is annexed to the sovereignty, the rightof judicature; that is to say, of hearing and decidingall controversies, which may arise concerninglaw, either civil, or natural; or concerning fact.For without the decision of controversies, there isno protection of one subject, against the injuries ofanother; the laws concerning meum and tuum arein vain; and to every man remaineth, from the166natural and necessary appetite of his own conservation,the right of protecting himself by his privatestrength, which is the condition of war, and contraryto the end for which every commonwealth isinstituted.

9. And of making war, and peace, as he shall think best.

Ninthly, is annexed to the sovereignty, the rightof making war and peace with other nations, andcommonwealths; that is to say, of judging when itis for the public good, and how great forces are tobe assembled, armed, and paid for that end; andto levy money upon the subjects, to defray theexpenses thereof. For the power by which thepeople are to be defended, consisteth in their armies;and the strength of an army, in the union oftheir strength under one command; which commandthe sovereign instituted, therefore hath;because the command of the militia, without otherinstitution, maketh him that hath it sovereign.And therefore whosoever is made general of anarmy, he that hath the sovereign power is alwaysgeneralissimo.

10. And of choosing all counsellors and ministers, both of peace & war.

Tenthly, is annexed to the sovereignty, the choosingof all counsellors, ministers, magistrates, andofficers, both in peace, and war. For seeing thesovereign is charged with the end, which is thecommon peace and defence, he is understood tohave power to use such means, as he shall thinkmost fit for his discharge.

11. And of rewarding and punishing, and that (where no former law hath determined the measure of it) arbitrarily.

Eleventhly, to the sovereign is committed thepower of rewarding with riches, or honour, andof punishing with corporal or pecuniary punishment,or with ignominy, every subject according tothe law he hath formerly made; or if there be nolaw made, according as he shall judge most to conduceto the encouraging of men to serve the commonwealth,167or deterring of them from doing disserviceto the same.

12. And of honour and order.

Lastly, considering what value men are naturallyapt to set upon themselves; what respect they lookfor from others; and how little they value othermen; from whence continually arise amongst them,emulation, quarrels, factions, and at last war, tothe destroying of one another, and diminution oftheir strength against a common enemy; it is necessarythat there be laws of honour, and a publicrate of the worth of such men as have deserved, orare able to deserve well of the commonwealth; andthat there be force in the hands of some or other,to put those laws in execution. But it hath alreadybeen shown, that not only the whole militia,or forces of the commonwealth; but also the judicatureof all controversies, is annexed to thesovereignty. To the sovereign therefore it belongethalso to give titles of honour; and to appointwhat order of place, and dignity, each man shallhold; and what signs of respect, in public or privatemeetings, they shall give to one another.

These rights are indivisible.

These are the rights, which make the essence ofsovereignty; and which are the marks, whereby aman may discern in what man, or assembly of men,the sovereign power is placed, and resideth. Forthese are incommunicable, and inseparable. Thepower to coin money; to dispose of the estate andpersons of infant heirs; to have præemption inmarkets; and all other statute prerogatives, maybe transferred by the sovereign; and yet the powerto protect his subjects be retained. But if hetransfer the militia, he retains the judicature invain, for want of execution of the laws: or if hegrant away the power of raising money; the militia168is in vain; or if he give away the government ofdoctrines, men will be frighted into rebellion withthe fear of spirits. And so if we consider anyone of the said rights, we shall presently see,that the holding of all the rest will produce noeffect, in the conservation of peace and justice, theend for which all commonwealths are instituted.And this division is it, whereof it is said, a kingdomdivided in itself cannot stand: for unlessthis division precede, division into opposite armiescan never happen. If there had not first been anopinion received of the greatest part of England,that these powers were divided between the King,and the Lords, and the House of Commons, thepeople had never been divided and fallen into thiscivil war; first between those that disagreed inpolitics; and after between the dissenters aboutthe liberty of religion; which have so instructedmen in this point of sovereign right, that there befew now in England that do not see, that theserights are inseparable, and will be so generallyacknowledged at the next return of peace; and socontinue, till their miseries are forgotten; and nolonger, except the vulgar be better taught thanthey have hitherto been.

And can by no grant pass away without direct renouncing of the sovereign power.

And because they are essential and inseparablerights, it follows necessarily, that in whatsoeverwords any of them seem to be granted away, yet ifthe sovereign power itself be not in direct termsrenounced, and the name of sovereign no moregiven by the grantees to him that grants them, thegrant is void: for when he has granted all he can,if we grant back the sovereignty, all is restored, asinseparably annexed thereunto.

The power and honour of subjects vanisheth in the presence of the power sovereign.

This great authority being indivisible, and inseparably169annexed to the sovereignty, there is littleground for the opinion of them, that say of sovereignkings, though they be singulis majores, ofgreater power than every one of their subjects, yetthey be universis minores, of less power than themall together. For if by all together, they mean notthe collective body as one person, then all together,and every one, signify the same; and the speechis absurd. But if by all together, they understandthem as one person, which person the sovereignbears, then the power of all together, is the samewith the sovereign’s power; and so again the speechis absurd: which absurdity they see well enough,when the sovereignty is in an assembly of thepeople; but in a monarch they see it not; andyet the power of sovereignty is the same in whomsoeverit be placed.

And as the power, so also the honour of thesovereign, ought to be greater, than that of any,or all the subjects. For in the sovereignty is thefountain of honour. The dignities of lord, earl,duke, and prince are his creatures. As in the presenceof the master, the servants are equal, andwithout any honour at all; so are the subjects, inthe presence of the sovereign. And though theyshine some more, some less, when they are out ofhis sight; yet in his presence, they shine no morethan the stars in the presence of the sun.

Sovereign power not so hurtful as the want of it, and the hurt proceeds for the greatest part from not submitting readily to a less.

But a man may here object, that the condition ofsubjects is very miserable; as being obnoxious tothe lusts, and other irregular passions of him, orthem that have so unlimited a power in their hands.And commonly they that live under a monarch,think it the fault of monarchy; and they that live170under the government of democracy, or other sovereignassembly, attribute all the inconvenience tothat form of commonwealth; whereas the power inall forms, if they be perfect enough to protect them,is the same: not considering that the state of mancan never be without some incommodity or other;and that the greatest, that in any form of governmentcan possibly happen to the people in general,is scarce sensible, in respect of the miseries, andhorrible calamities, that accompany a civil war,or that dissolute condition of masterless men, withoutsubjection to laws, and a coercive power to tietheir hands from rapine and revenge: nor consideringthat the greatest pressure of sovereigngovernors, proceedeth not from any delight, orprofit they can expect in the damage or weakeningof their subjects, in whose vigour, consisteth theirown strength and glory; but in the restiveness ofthemselves, that unwillingly contributing to theirown defence, make it necessary for their governorsto draw from them what they can in time of peace,that they may have means on any emergent occasion,or sudden need, to resist, or take advantageon their enemies. For all men are by nature providedof notable multiplying glasses, that is theirpassions and self-love, through which, every littlepayment appeareth a great grievance; but are destituteof those prospective glasses, namely moraland civil science, to see afar off the miseries thathang over them, and cannot without such paymentsbe avoided.




The different forms of commonwealths but three.

The difference of commonwealths, consisteth in thedifference of the sovereign, or the person representativeof all and every one of the multitude. Andbecause the sovereignty is either in one man, orin an assembly of more than one; and into thatassembly either every man hath right to enter, ornot every one, but certain men distinguished fromthe rest; it is manifest, there can be but threekinds of commonwealth. For the representativemust needs be one man, or more: and if more, thenit is the assembly of all, or but of a part. Whenthe representative is one man, then is the commonwealtha MONARCHY: when an assembly of allthat will come together, then it is a DEMOCRACY,or popular commonwealth: when an assembly of aa part only, then it is called an ARISTOCRACY.Other kind of commonwealth there can be none:for either one, or more, or all, must have the sovereignpower, which I have shown to be indivisible,entire.

Tyranny and oligarchy, but different names of monarchy, and aristocracy.

There be other names of government, in thehistories, and books of policy; as tyranny, and oligarchy:but they are not the names of other formsof government, but of the same forms misliked.For they that are discontented under monarchy,call it tyranny; and they that are displeased witharistocracy, call it oligarchy: so also, they which172find themselves grieved under a democracy, call itanarchy, which signifies want of government; andyet I think no man believes, that want of government,is any new kind of government: nor by thesame reason ought they to believe, that the governmentis of one kind, when they like it, and another,when they mislike it, or are oppressed by thegovernors.

Subordinate representatives dangerous.

It is manifest, that men who are in absoluteliberty, may, if they please, give authority to oneman, to represent them every one; as well as givesuch authority to any assembly of men whatsoever;and consequently may subject themselves, if theythink good, to a monarch, as absolutely, as to anyother representative. Therefore, where there isalready erected a sovereign power, there can be noother representative of the same people, but onlyto certain particular ends, by the sovereign limited.For that were to erect two sovereigns; and everyman to have his person represented by two actors,that by opposing one another, must needs dividethat power, which, if men will live in peace, is indivisible;and thereby reduce the multitude intothe condition of war, contrary to the end for whichall sovereignty is instituted. And therefore as it isabsurd, to think that a sovereign assembly, invitingthe people of their dominion, to send up theirdeputies, with power to make known their advice,or desires, should therefore hold such deputies,rather than themselves, for the absolute representativesof the people: so it is absurd also, to thinkthe same in a monarchy. And I know not howthis so manifest a truth, should of late be so littleobserved; that in a monarchy, he that had the173sovereignty from a descent of six hundred years,was alone called sovereign, had the title of Majestyfrom every one of his subjects, and was unquestionablytaken by them for their king, was notwithstandingnever considered as their representative;the name without contradiction passing for thetitle of those men, which at his command weresent up by the people to carry their petitions, andgive him, if he permitted it, their advice. Whichmay serve as an admonition, for those that are thetrue, and absolute representative of a people, toinstruct men in the nature of that office, and totake heed how they admit of any other generalrepresentation upon any occasion whatsoever, ifthey mean to discharge the trust committed tothem.

Comparison of monarchy, with sovereign assemblies.

The difference between these three kinds ofcommonwealth, consisteth not in the difference ofpower; but in the difference of convenience, oraptitude to produce the peace, and security of thepeople; for which end they were instituted. Andto compare monarchy with the other two, we mayobserve; first, that whosoever beareth the personof the people, or is one of that assembly that bearsit, beareth also his own natural person. Andthough he be careful in his politic person to procurethe common interest; yet he is more, or noless careful to procure the private good of himself,his family, kindred and friends; and for the mostpart, if the public interest chance to cross the private,he prefers the private: for the passions ofmen, are commonly more potent than their reason.From whence it follows, that where the public andprivate interest are most closely united, there is174the public most advanced. Now in monarchy, theprivate interest is the same with the public. Theriches, power, and honour of a monarch arise onlyfrom the riches, strength and reputation of hissubjects. For no king can be rich, nor glorious,nor secure, whose subjects are either poor, orcontemptible, or too weak through want or dissention,to maintain a war against their enemies:whereas in a democracy, or aristocracy, the publicprosperity confers not so much to the privatefortune of one that is corrupt, or ambitious, asdoth many times a perfidious advice, a treacherousaction, or a civil war.

Secondly, that a monarch receiveth counsel ofwhom, when, and where he pleaseth; and consequentlymay hear the opinion of men versed in thematter about which he deliberates, of what rankor quality soever, and as long before the time ofaction, and with as much secrecy, as he will. Butwhen a sovereign assembly has need of counsel,none are admitted but such as have a right theretofrom the beginning; which for the most part areof those who have been versed more in the acquisitionof wealth than of knowledge; and are togive their advice in long discourses, which may,and do commonly excite men to action, but notgovern them in it. For the understanding is bythe flame of the passions, never enlightened, butdazzled. Nor is there any place, or time, whereinan assembly can receive counsel with secrecy, becauseof their own multitude.

Thirdly, that the resolutions of a monarch, aresubject to no other inconstancy, than that of humannature; but in assemblies, besides that of nature,175there ariseth an inconstancy from the number.For the absence of a few, that would have the resolutiononce taken, continue firm, which may happenby security, negligence, or private impediments, orthe diligent appearance of a few of the contraryopinion, undoes to-day, all that was concludedyesterday.

Fourthly, that a monarch cannot disagree withhimself, out of envy, or interest; but an assemblymay; and that to such a height, as may produce acivil war.

Fifthly, that in monarchy there is this inconvenience;that any subject, by the power of one man,for the enriching of a favourite or flatterer, may bedeprived of all he possesseth; which I confess is agreat and inevitable inconvenience. But the samemay as well happen, where the sovereign power isin an assembly: for their power is the same; andthey are as subject to evil counsel, and to beseduced by orators, as a monarch by flatterers;and becoming one another’s flatterers, serve oneanother’s covetousness and ambition by turns.And whereas the favourites of monarchs, are few,and they have none else to advance but their ownkindred; the favourites of an assembly, are many;and the kindred much more numerous, than of anymonarch. Besides, there is no favourite of a monarch,which cannot as well succour his friends, ashurt his enemies: but orators, that is to say,favourites of sovereign assemblies, though theyhave great power to hurt, have little to save. Forto accuse, requires less eloquence, such is man’snature, than to excuse; and condemnation, thanabsolution more resembles justice.

176Sixthly, that it is an inconvenience in monarchy,that the sovereignty may descend upon an infant,or one that cannot discern between good and evil:and consisteth in this, that the use of his power,must be in the hand of another man, or of someassembly of men, which are to govern by his right,and in his name; as curators, and protectors of hisperson, and authority. But to say there is inconvenience,in putting the use of the sovereign power,into the hand of a man, or an assembly of men; isto say that all government is more inconvenient,than confusion, and civil war. And therefore allthe danger that can be pretended, must arise fromthe contention of those, that for an office of sogreat honour, and profit, may become competitors.To make it appear, that this inconvenience, proceedethnot from that form of government we callmonarchy, we are to consider, that the precedentmonarch hath appointed who shall have the tuitionof his infant successor, either expressly by testament,or tacitly, by not controlling the custom inthat case received: and then such inconvenience,if it happen, is to be attributed, not to the monarchy,but to the ambition, and injustice of the subjects;which in all kinds of government, where thepeople are not well instructed in their duty, and therights of sovereignty, is the same. Or else the precedentmonarch hath not at all taken order for suchtuition; and then the law of nature hath providedthis sufficient rule, that the tuition shall be in him,that hath by nature most interest in the preservationof the authority of the infant, and to whomleast benefit can accrue by his death, or diminution.For seeing every man by nature seeketh his own177benefit, and promotion; to put an infant into thepower of those, that can promote themselves byhis destruction, or damage, is not tuition, buttreachery. So that sufficient provision being taken,against all just quarrel, about the government undera child, if any contention arise to the disturbanceof the public peace, it is not to be attributedto the form of monarchy, but to the ambition ofsubjects, and ignorance of their duty. On theother side, there is no great commonwealth, thesovereignty whereof is in a great assembly, whichis not, as to consultations of peace, and war, andmaking of laws, in the same condition, as if thegovernment were in a child. For as a child wantsthe judgment to dissent from counsel given him,and is thereby necessitated to take the advice ofthem, or him, to whom he is committed: so anassembly wanteth the liberty, to dissent from thecounsel of the major part, be it good, or bad. Andas a child has need of a tutor, or protector, to preservehis person and authority: so also, in greatcommonwealths, the sovereign assembly, in allgreat dangers and troubles, have need of custodeslibertatis; that is of dictators, or protectors oftheir authority; which are as much as temporarymonarchs, to whom for a time, they may committhe entire exercise of their power; and have, atthe end of that time, been oftener deprived thereof,than infant kings, by their protectors, regents, orany other tutors.

Definition of monarchy, and other forms.

Though the kinds of sovereignty be, as I havenow shown, but three; that is to say, monarchy,where one man has it; or democracy, where thegeneral assembly of subjects hath it; or aristocracy,178where it is in an assembly of certain persons nominated,or otherwise distinguished from the rest:yet he that shall consider the particular commonwealthsthat have been, and are in the world, willnot perhaps easily reduce them to three, and maythereby be inclined to think there be other forms,arising from these mingled together. As for example,elective kingdoms; where kings have thesovereign power put into their hands for a time;or kingdoms, wherein the king hath a powerlimited: which governments, are nevertheless bymost writers called monarchy. Likewise if a popular,or aristocratical commonwealth, subdue anenemy’s country, and govern the same, by a president,procurator, or other magistrate; this mayseem perhaps at first sight, to be a democratical,or aristocratical government. But it is not so.For elective kings, are not sovereigns, but ministersof the sovereign; nor limited kings, sovereigns,but ministers of them that have the sovereignpower: nor are those provinces which are in subjectionto a democracy, or aristocracy of anothercommonwealth, democratically or aristocraticallygoverned, but monarchically.

And first, concerning an elective king, whosepower is limited to his life, as it is in many placesof Christendom at this day; or to certain years ormonths, as the dictator’s power amongst the Romans;if he have right to appoint his successor, heis no more elective but hereditary. But if he haveno power to elect his successor, then there is someother man, or assembly known, which after his deceasemay elect anew, or else the commonwealthdieth, and dissolveth with him, and returneth to179the condition of war. If it be known who havethe power to give the sovereignty after his death,it is known also that the sovereignty was in thembefore: for none have right to give that whichthey have not right to possess, and keep to themselves,if they think good. But if there be nonethat can give the sovereignty, after the decease ofhim that was first elected; then has he power, nayhe is obliged by the law of nature, to provide, byestablishing his successor, to keep those that hadtrusted him with the government, from relapsinginto the miserable condition of civil war. Andconsequently he was, when elected, a sovereignabsolute.

Secondly, that king whose power is limited, isnot superior to him, or them that have the powerto limit it; and he that is not superior, is notsupreme; that is to say not sovereign. The sovereigntytherefore was always in that assembly whichhad the right to limit him; and by consequencethe government not monarchy, but either democracy,or aristocracy; as of old time in Sparta;where the kings had a privilege to lead theirarmies; but the sovereignty was in the Ephori.

Thirdly, whereas heretofore the Roman peoplegoverned the land of Judea, for example, by a president;yet was not Judea therefore a democracy;because they were not governed by any assembly,into the which, any of them, had right to enter;nor an aristocracy; because they were not governedby any assembly, into which, any mancould enter by their election: but they weregoverned by one person, which, though as to thepeople of Rome, was an assembly of the people, or180democracy; yet as to the people of Judea, which hadno right at all of participating in the government,was a monarch. For though where the people aregoverned by an assembly, chosen by themselvesout of their own number, the government is calleda democracy, or aristocracy; yet when they aregoverned by an assembly, not of their own choosing,it is a monarchy; not of one man, over anotherman; but of one people, over another people.

Of the right of succession.

Of all these forms of government, the matterbeing mortal, so that not only monarchs, but alsowhole assemblies die, it is necessary for the conservationof the peace of men, that as there wasorder taken for an artificial man, so there be orderalso taken, for an artificial eternity of life; withoutwhich, men that are governed by an assembly,should return into the condition of war in everyage; and they that are governed by one man, assoon as their governor dieth. This artificial eternity,is that which men call the right of succession.

There is no perfect form of government, wherethe disposing of the succession is not in the presentsovereign. For if it be in any other particularman, or private assembly, it is in a person subjectand may be assumed by the sovereign at his pleasure;and consequently the right is in himself.And if it be in no particular man, but left to a newchoice; then is the commonwealth dissolved; andthe right is in him that can get it; contrary tothe intention of them that did institute the commonwealth,for their perpetual, and not temporarysecurity.

In a democracy, the whole assembly cannot fail,unless the multitude that are to be governed fail.181And therefore questions of the right of succession,have in that form of government no place at all.

In an aristocracy, when any of the assemblydieth, the election of another into his room belongethto the assembly, as the sovereign, to whombelongeth the choosing of all counsellors andofficers. For that which the representative doth,as actor, every one of the subjects doth, as author.And though the sovereign assembly may givepower to others, to elect new men, for supply oftheir court; yet it is still by their authority, thatthe election is made; and by the same it may,when the public shall require it, be recalled.

The present monarch hath right to dispose of the succession.

The greatest difficulty about the right of succession,is in monarchy: and the difficulty arisethfrom this, that at first sight, it is not manifest whois to appoint the successor; nor many times, whoit is whom he hath appointed. For in both thesecases, there is required a more exact ratiocination,than every man is accustomed to use. As to thequestion, who shall appoint the successor, of amonarch that hath the sovereign authority; that isto say, who shall determine of the right of inheritance,(for elective kings and princes have not thesovereign power in propriety, but in use only), weare to consider, that either he that is in possession,has right to dispose of the succession, or else thatright is again in the dissolved multitude. For thedeath of him that hath the sovereign power in propriety,leaves the multitude without any sovereignat all; that is, without any representative in whomthey should be united, and be capable of doing anyone action at all: and therefore they are incapableof election of any new monarch; every man having182equal right to submit himself to such as he thinksbest able to protect him; or if he can, protecthimself by his own sword; which is a return toconfusion, and to the condition of a war of everyman against every man, contrary to the end forwhich monarchy had its first institution. Thereforeit is manifest, that by the institution of monarchy,the disposing of the successor, is alwaysleft to the judgment and will of the presentpossessor.

And for the question, which may arise sometimes,who it is that the monarch in possession,hath designed to the succession and inheritance ofhis power; it is determined by his express words,and testament; or by other tacit signs sufficient.

Succession passeth by express words;

By express words, or testament, when it isdeclared by him in his lifetime, viva voce, or by writing;as the first emperors of Rome declared whoshould be their heirs. For the word heir does notof itself imply the children, or nearest kindred ofa man; but whomsoever a man shall any way declare,he would have to succeed him in his estate.If therefore a monarch declare expressly, that sucha man shall be his heir, either by word or writing,then is that man immediately after the decease ofhis predecessor, invested in the right of beingmonarch.

Or, by not controlling a custom;

But where testament, and express words arewanting, other natural signs of the will are to befollowed: whereof the one is custom. And thereforewhere the custom is, that the next of kindredabsolutely succeedeth, there also the next of kindredhath right to the succession; for that, if thewill of him that was in possession had been otherwise,183he might easily have declared the same in hislife-time. And likewise where the custom is, thatthe next of the male kindred succeedeth, therealso the right of succession is in the next of thekindred male, for the same reason. And so it isif the custom were to advance the female. Forwhatsoever custom a man may by a word control,and does not, it is a natural sign he would havethat custom stand.

Or, by presumption of natural affection.

But where neither custom, nor testament hathpreceded, there it is to be understood, first, that amonarch’s will is, that the government remainmonarchical; because he hath approved thatgovernment in himself. Secondly, that a child ofhis own, male, or female, be preferred before anyother; because men are presumed to be more inclinedby nature, to advance their own children,than the children of other men; and of their own,rather a male than a female; because men, arenaturally fitter than women, for actions of labourand danger. Thirdly, where his own issue faileth,rather a brother than a stranger; and so still thenearer in blood, rather than the more remote; becauseit is always presumed that the nearer of kin,is the nearer in affection; and it is evident that aman receives always, by reflection, the most honourfrom the greatness of his nearest kindred.

To dispose of the succession, though to a king of another nation, not unlawful.

But if it be lawful for a monarch to dispose ofthe succession by words of contract, or testament,men may perhaps object a great inconvenience:for he may sell, or give his right of governing to astranger; which, because strangers, that is, mennot used to live under the same government, norspeaking the same language, do commonly undervalue184one another, may turn to the oppression ofhis subjects; which is indeed a great inconvenience:but it proceedeth not necessarily from thesubjection to a stranger’s government, but from theunskilfulness of the governors, ignorant of thetrue rules of politics. And therefore the Romanswhen they had subdued many nations, to maketheir government digestible, were wont to takeaway that grievance, as much as they thoughtnecessary, by giving sometimes to whole nations,and sometimes to principal men of every nationthey conquered, not only the privileges, but alsothe name of Romans; and took many of them intothe senate, and offices of charge, even in the Romancity. And this was it our most wise king,king James, aimed at, in endeavouring the unionof his two realms of England and Scotland. Whichif he could have obtained, had in all likelihoodprevented the civil wars, which make both thosekingdoms, at this present, miserable. It is nottherefore any injury to the people, for a monarchto dispose of the succession by will; though by thefault of many princes, it hath been sometimesfound inconvenient. Of the lawfulness of it, thisalso is an argument, that whatsoever inconveniencecan arrive by giving a kingdom to a stranger, mayarrive also by so marrying with strangers, as theright of succession may descend upon them: yetthis by all men is accounted lawful.




A commonwealth by acquisition.

A COMMONWEALTH by acquisition, is that, wherethe sovereign power is acquired by force; and itis acquired by force, when men singly, or manytogether by plurality of voices, for fear of death,or bonds, do authorize all the actions of that man,or assembly, that hath their lives and liberty in hispower.

Wherein different from a commonwealth by institution.

And this kind of dominion, or sovereignty,differeth from sovereignty by institution, only inthis, that men who choose their sovereign, do it forfear of one another, and not of him whom they institute:but in this case, they subject themselves,to him they are afraid of. In both cases they doit for fear: which is to be noted by them, thathold all such covenants, as proceed from fear ofdeath or violence, void: which if it were true, noman, in any kind of commonwealth, could beobliged to obedience. It is true, that in a commonwealthonce instituted, or acquired, promises proceedingfrom fear of death or violence, are nocovenants, nor obliging, when the thing promisedis contrary to the laws; but the reason is not, becauseit was made upon fear, but because he thatpromiseth, hath no right in the thing promised.Also, when he may lawfully perform, and doth not,it is not the invalidity of the covenant, that absolvethhim, but the sentence of the sovereign. Otherwise,whensoever a man lawfully promiseth, he unlawfullybreaketh: but when the sovereign, who is186the actor, acquitteth him, then he is acquitted byhim that extorted the promise, as by the author ofsuch absolution.

The rights of sovereignty the same in both.

But the rights, and consequences of sovereignty,are the same in both. His power cannot, withouthis consent, be transferred to another: he cannotforfeit it: he cannot be accused by any of his subjects,of injury: he cannot be punished by them:he is judge of what is necessary for peace; andjudge of doctrines: he is sole legislator; and supremejudge of controversies; and of the times,and occasions of war, and peace: to him it belongethto choose magistrates, counsellors, commanders,and all other officers, and ministers; and todetermine of rewards, and punishments, honour,and order. The reasons whereof, are the samewhich are alleged in the precedent chapter, forthe same rights, and consequences of sovereigntyby institution.

Dominion paternal how attained.

Dominion is acquired two ways; by generation,and by conquest. The right of dominion by generation,is that, which the parent hath over hischildren; and is called PATERNAL. |Not by generation, but by contract;| And is not soderived from the generation, as if therefore theparent had dominion over his child because hebegat him; but from the child’s consent, eitherexpress, or by other sufficient arguments declared.For as to the generation, God hath ordained to mana helper; and there be always two that are equallyparents: the dominion therefore over the child,should belong equally to both; and he be equallysubject to both, which is impossible; for no mancan obey two masters. And whereas some haveattributed the dominion to the man only, as being187of the more excellent sex; they misreckon in it.For there is not always that difference of strength,or prudence between the man and the woman, asthat the right can be determined without war. Incommonwealths, this controversy is decided by thecivil law; and for the most part, but not always,the sentence is in favour of the father; because forthe most part commonwealths have been erectedby the fathers, not by the mothers of families.But the question lieth now in the state of merenature; where there are supposed no laws of matrimony;no laws for the education of children; butthe law of nature, and the natural inclination ofthe sexes, one to another, and to their children.In this condition of mere nature, either the parentsbetween themselves dispose of the dominion overthe child by contract; or do not dispose thereof atall. If they dispose thereof, the right passeth accordingto the contract. We find in history thatthe Amazons contracted with the men of the neighbouringcountries, to whom they had recourse forissue, that the issue male should be sent back, butthe female remain with themselves: so that thedominion of the females was in the mother.

Or education;

If there be no contract, the dominion is in themother. For in the condition of mere nature,where there are no matrimonial laws, it cannot beknown who is the father, unless it be declared bythe mother: and therefore the right of dominionover the child dependeth on her will, and is consequentlyhers. Again, seeing the infant is first inthe power of the mother, so as she may eithernourish, or expose it; if she nourish it, it owethits life to the mother; and is therefore obliged to188obey her, rather than any other; and by consequencethe dominion over it is hers. But if sheexpose it, and another find and nourish it, thedominion is in him that nourisheth it. For itought to obey him by whom it is preserved; becausepreservation of life being the end, for whichone man becomes subject to another, every man issupposed to promise obedience, to him, in whosepower it is to save, or destroy him.

Or precedent subjection of one of the parents to the other.

If the mother be the father’s subject, the child,is in the father’s power: and if the father be themother’s subject, as when a sovereign queen marriethone of her subjects, the child is subject to themother; because the father also is her subject.

If a man and woman, monarchs of two severalkingdoms, have a child, and contract concerningwho shall have the dominion of him, the right ofthe dominion passeth by the contract. If they contractnot, the dominion followeth the dominion ofthe place of his residence. For the sovereign of eachcountry hath dominion over all that reside therein.

He that hath the dominion over the child, hathdominion also over the children of the child; andover their children’s children. For he that hathdominion over the person of a man, hath dominionover all that is his; without which, dominion werebut a title, without the effect.

The right of succession followeth the rules of the right of possession.

The right of succession to paternal dominion,proceedeth in the same manner, as doth the rightof succession of monarchy; of which I have alreadysufficiently spoken in the precedent chapter.

Despotical dominion attained.

Dominion acquired by conquest, or victory inwar, is that which some writers call DESPOTICAL,from Δεσπότης, which signifieth a lord, or master;189and is the dominion of the master over his servant.And this dominion is then acquired to the victor,when the vanquished, to avoid the present strokeof death, covenanteth either in express words, orby other sufficient signs of the will, that so long ashis life, and the liberty of his body is allowed him,the victor shall have the use thereof, at his pleasure.And after such covenant made, the vanquishedis a SERVANT, and not before: for by theword servant, whether it be derived from servire,to serve, or from servare, to save, which I leave togrammarians to dispute, is not meant a captive,which is kept in prison, or bonds, till the owner ofhim that took him, or bought him of one that did,shall consider what to do with him: for such men,commonly called slaves, have no obligation at all;but may break their bonds, or the prison; and kill,or carry away captive their master, justly: but one,that being taken, hath corporal liberty allowed him;and upon promise not to run away, nor to do violenceto his master, is trusted by him.

Not by the victory, but by the consent of the vanquished.

It is not therefore the victory, that giveth theright of dominion over the vanquished, but his owncovenant. Nor is he obliged because he is conquered;that is to say, beaten, and taken, or putto flight; but because he cometh in, and submittethto the victor; nor is the victor obliged by anenemy’s rendering himself, without promise of life,to spare him for this his yielding to discretion;which obliges not the victor longer, than in his owndiscretion he shall think fit.

And that which men do, when they demand, asit is now called, quarter, which the Greeks calledΖωγρία, taking alive, is to evade the present fury190of the victor, by submission, and to compound fortheir life, with ransom, or service: and thereforehe that hath quarter, hath not his life given, butdeferred till farther deliberation; for it is not ayielding on condition of life, but to discretion. Andthen only is his life in security, and his service due,when the victor hath trusted him with his corporalliberty. For slaves that work in prisons; orfetters, do it not of duty, but to avoid the crueltyof their task-masters.

The master of the servant, is master also of allhe hath: and may exact the use thereof; that is tosay, of his goods, of his labour, of his servants, andof his children, as often as he shall think fit. Forhe holdeth his life of his master, by the covenantof obedience; that is, of owning, and authorizingwhatsoever the master shall do. And in case themaster, if he refuse, kill him, or cast him intobonds, or otherwise punish him for his disobedience,he is himself the author of the same; andcannot accuse him of injury.

In sum, the rights and consequences of bothpaternal and despotical dominion, are the verysame with those of a sovereign by institution; andfor the same reasons: which reasons are set downin the precedent chapter. So that for a man thatis monarch of divers nations, whereof he hath, inone the sovereignty by institution of the people assembled,and in another by conquest, that is by thesubmission of each particular, to avoid death orbonds; to demand of one nation more than of theother, from the title of conquest, as being a conquerednation, is an act of ignorance of the rightsof sovereignty; for the sovereign is absolute over191both alike; or else there is no sovereignty at all;and so every man may lawfully protect himself, ifhe can, with his own sword, which is the conditionof war.

Difference between a family and a kingdom.

By this it appears; that a great family, if it benot part of some commonwealth, is of itself, as tothe rights of sovereignty, a little monarchy: whetherthat family consist of a man and his children;or of a man and his servants; or of a man, and hischildren, and servants together: wherein the fatheror master is the sovereign. But yet a familyis not properly a commonwealth; unless it be ofthat power by its own number, or by other opportunities,as not to be subdued without the hazardof war. For where a number of men are manifestlytoo weak to defend themselves united, everyone may use his own reason in time of danger, tosave his own life, either by flight, or by submissionto the enemy, as he shall think best; in the samemanner as a very small company of soldiers, surprisedby an army, may cast down their arms, anddemand quarter, or run away, rather than be putto the sword. And thus much shall suffice, concerningwhat I find by speculation, and deduction,of sovereign rights, from the nature, need, and designsof men, in erecting of commonwealths, andputting themselves under monarchs, or assemblies,entrusted with power enough for their protection.

The rights of monarchy from Scripture.

Let us now consider what the Scripture teachethin the same point. To Moses, the children ofIsrael say thus: Speak thou to us, and we willhear thee; but let not God speak to us, lest wedie. (Exod. xx. 19.) This is absolute obedienceto Moses. Concerning the right of kings, God192himself by the mouth of Samuel, saith, (1 Sam. viii.11, 12, &c.) This shall be the right of the kingyou will have to reign over you. He shall takeyour sons, and set them to drive his chariots, andto be his horsem*n, and to run before his chariots;and gather in his harvest; and to make his enginesof war, and instruments of his chariots;and shall take your daughters to make perfumes,to be his cooks, and bakers. He shall take yourfields, your vine-yards, and your olive-yards, andgive them to his servants. He shall take thetithe of your corn and wine, and give it to themen of his chamber, and to his other servants.He shall take your man-servants, and your maid-servants,and the choice of your youth, and employthem in his business. He shall take the tithe ofyour flocks; and you shall be his servants. Thisis absolute power, and summed up in the last words,you shall be his servants. Again, when the peopleheard what power their king was to have, yetthey consented thereto, and say thus, (verse 10)we will be as all other nations, and our king shalljudge our causes, and go before us, to conductour wars. Here is confirmed the right that sovereignshave, both to the militia, and to all judicature;in which is contained as absolute power, asone man can possibly transfer to another. Again,the prayer of king Solomon to God, was this (1Kings, iii. 9): Give to thy servant understanding,to judge thy people, and to discern between goodand evil. It belongeth therefore to the sovereignto be judge, and to prescribe the rules of discerninggood and evil: which rules are laws; andtherefore in him is the legislative power. Saul193sought the life of David; yet when it was in hispower to slay Saul, and his servants would havedone it, David forbad them, saying, (1 Sam. xxiv. 6)God forbid I should do such an act against myLord, the anointed of God. For obedience of servantsSt. Paul saith; (Col. iii. 22) Servants obeyyour masters in all things; and, (Col. iii. 20)children obey your parents in all things. Thereis simple obedience in those that are subject topaternal, or despotical dominion. Again, (Matt.xxiii. 2, 3) The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’chair, and therefore all that they shall bid youobserve, that observe and do. There again is simpleobedience. And St. Paul, (Titus iii. 2) Warnthem that they subject themselves to princes, andto those that are in authority, and obey them.This obedience is also simple. Lastly, our Saviourhimself acknowledges, that men ought to pay suchtaxes as are by kings imposed, where he says, giveto Cæsar that which is Cæsar’s; and paid suchtaxes himself. And that the king’s word, is sufficientto take anything from any subject, whenthere is need; and that the king is judge of thatneed: for he himself, as king of the Jews, commandedhis disciples to take the ass, and ass’s coltto carry him into Jerusalem, saying, (Matth. xxi.2, 3) Go into the village over against you, and youshall find a she ass tied, and her colt with her,untie them, and bring them to me. And if anyman ask you, what you mean by it, say the Lordhath need of them: and they will let them go.They will not ask whether his necessity be a sufficienttitle; nor whether he be judge of that necessity;but acquiesce in the will of the Lord.

194To these places may be added also that ofGenesis, (iii. 5) Ye shall be as gods, knowinggood and evil. And (verse 11) Who told theethat thou wast naked? hast thou eaten of the tree,of which I commanded thee thou shouldest noteat? For the cognizance or judicature of goodand evil, being forbidden by the name of the fruitof the tree of knowledge, as a trial of Adam’s obedience;the devil to inflame the ambition of thewoman, to whom that fruit already seemed beautiful,told her that by tasting it, they should be asgods, knowing good and evil. Whereupon havingboth eaten, they did indeed take upon them God’soffice, which is judicature of good and evil; butacquired no new ability to distinguish betweenthem aright. And whereas it is said, that havingeaten, they saw they were naked; no man hath sointerpreted that place, as if they had been formerlyblind, and saw not their own skins: the meaningis plain, that it was then they first judged theirnakedness, wherein it was God’s will to createthem, to be uncomely; and by being ashamed,did tacitly censure God himself. And thereuponGod saith; Hast thou eaten, &c. as if he should say,doest thou that owest me obedience, take uponthee to judge of my commandments? Whereby itis clearly, though allegorically, signified, that thecommands of them that have the right to command,are not by their subjects to be censured, nordisputed.

Sovereign power ought in all commonwealths to be absolute.

So that it appeareth plainly, to my understanding,both from reason, and Scripture, that thesovereign power, whether placed in one man, as inmonarchy, or in one assembly of men, as in popular,195and aristocratical commonwealths, is as great,as possibly men can be imagined to make it. Andthough of so unlimited a power, men may fancymany evil consequences, yet the consequences ofthe want of it, which is perpetual war of every managainst his neighbour, are much worse. The conditionof man in this life shall never be without inconveniences;but there happeneth in no commonwealthany great inconvenience, but what proceedsfrom the subject’s disobedience, and breach ofthose covenants, from which the commonwealthhath its being. And whosoever thinking sovereignpower too great, will seek to make it less,must subject himself, to the power, that can limitit; that is to say, to a greater.

The greatest objection is, that of the practice;when men ask, where, and when, such power hasby subjects been acknowledged. But one may askthem again, when, or where has there been a kingdomlong free from sedition and civil war. Inthose nations, whose commonwealths have beenlong-lived, and not been destroyed but by foreignwar, the subjects never did dispute of the sovereignpower. But howsoever, an argument fromthe practice of men, that have not sifted to thebottom, and with exact reason weighed the causes,and nature of commonwealths, and suffer dailythose miseries, that proceed from the ignorancethereof, is invalid. For though in all places of theworld, men should lay the foundation of theirhouses on the sand, it could not thence be inferred,that so it ought to be. The skill of making, andmaintaining commonwealths, consisteth in certainrules, as doth arithmetic and geometry; not, as196tennis-play, on practice only: which rules, neitherpoor men have the leisure, nor men that have hadthe leisure, have hitherto had the curiosity, or themethod to find out.



Liberty what.

Liberty, or FREEDOM, signifieth, properly, theabsence of opposition; by opposition, I mean externalimpediments of motion; and may be appliedno less to irrational, and inanimate creatures, thanto rational. For whatsoever is so tied, or environed,as it cannot move but within a certainspace, which space is determined by the oppositionof some external body, we say it hath not liberty togo further. And so of all living creatures, whilstthey are imprisoned, or restrained, with walls, orchains; and of the water whilst it is kept in bybanks, or vessels, that otherwise would spreaditself into a larger space, we use to say, they arenot at liberty, to move in such manner, as withoutthose external impediments they would. But whenthe impediment of motion, is in the constitution ofthe thing itself, we use not to say; it wants theliberty; but the power to move; as when a stonelieth still, or a man is fastened to his bed bysickness.

What it is to be free.

And according to this proper, and generallyreceived meaning of the word, a FREEMAN, is he,that in those things, which by his strength andwit he is able to do, is not hindered to do what he197has a will to. But when the words free, andliberty, are applied to any thing but bodies, theyare abused; for that which is not subject to motion,is not subject to impediment: and therefore, whenit is said, for example, the way is free, no libertyof the way is signified, but of those that walk in itwithout stop. And when we say a gift is free,there is not meant any liberty of the gift, but ofthe giver, that was not bound by any law or covenantto give it. So when we speak freely, it isnot the liberty of voice, or pronunciation, but ofthe man, whom no law hath obliged to speak otherwisethan he did. Lastly, from the use of theword free-will, no liberty can be inferred of thewill, desire, or inclination, but the liberty of theman; which consisteth in this, that he finds nostop, in doing what he has the will, desire, or inclinationto do.

Fear and liberty are consistent.

Fear and liberty are consistent; as when a manthroweth his goods into the sea for fear the shipshould sink, he doth it nevertheless very willingly,and may refuse to do it if he will: it is thereforethe action of one that was free: so a man sometimespays his debt, only for fear of imprisonment,which because nobody hindered him from detaining,was the action of a man at liberty. Andgenerally all actions which men do in commonwealths,for fear of the law, are actions, which thedoers had liberty to omit.

Liberty and necessity consistent.

Liberty, and necessity are consistent: as in thewater, that hath not only liberty, but a necessityof descending by the channel; so likewise in theactions which men voluntarily do: which, becausethey proceed from their will, proceed from liberty;198and yet, because every act of man’s will, and everydesire, and inclination proceedeth from some cause,and that from another cause, in a continual chain,whose first link is in the hand of God the first of allcauses, proceed from necessity. So that to himthat could see the connexion of those causes, thenecessity of all men’s voluntary actions, wouldappear manifest. And therefore God, that seeth,and disposeth all things, seeth also that the libertyof man in doing what he will, is accompanied withthe necessity of doing that which God will, and nomore, nor less. For though men may do manythings, which God does not command, nor is thereforeauthor of them; yet they can have no passion,nor appetite to anything, of which appetite God’swill is not the cause. And did not his will assurethe necessity of man’s will, and consequently of allthat on man’s will dependeth, the liberty of menwould be a contradiction, and impediment to theomnipotence and liberty of God. And this shallsuffice, as to the matter in hand, of that naturalliberty, which only is properly called liberty.

Artificial bonds, or covenants.

But as men, for the attaining of peace, and conservationof themselves thereby, have made anartificial man, which we call a commonwealth; soalso have they made artificial chains, called civillaws, which they themselves, by mutual covenants,have fastened at one end, to the lips of that man,or assembly, to whom they have given the sovereignpower; and at the other end to their ownears. These bonds, in their own nature but weak,may nevertheless be made to hold, by the danger,though not by the difficulty of breaking them.

Liberty of subjects consisteth in liberty from covenants.

In relation to these bonds only it is, that I am to199speak now, of the liberty of subjects. For seeingthere is no commonwealth in the world, wherein therebe rules enough set down, for the regulating of all theactions, and words of men; as being a thing impossible:it followeth necessarily, that in all kinds ofactions by the laws prætermitted, men have theliberty, of doing what their own reasons shall suggest,for the most profitable to themselves. For ifwe take liberty in the proper sense, for corporalliberty; that is to say, freedom from chains andprison; it were very absurd for men to clamour asthey do, for the liberty they so manifestly enjoy.Again, if we take liberty, for an exemption fromlaws, it is it no less absurd, for men to demand asthey do, that liberty, by which all other men maybe masters of their lives. And yet, as absurd as itis, this is it they demand; not knowing that the lawsare of no power to protect them, without a swordin the hands of a man, or men, to cause those lawsto be put in execution. The liberty of a subject,lieth therefore only in those things, which in regulatingtheir actions, the sovereign hath prætermitted:such as is the liberty to buy, and sell, andotherwise contract with one another; to choosetheir own abode, their own diet, their own tradeof life, and institute their children as they themselvesthink fit; and the like.

Liberty of the subject consistent with the unlimited power of the sovereign.

Nevertheless we are not to understand, that bysuch liberty, the sovereign power of life and death,is either abolished, or limited. For it has beenalready shown, that nothing the sovereign representativecan do to a subject, on what pretencesoever, can properly be called injustice, or injury;because every subject is author of every act the200sovereign doth; so that he never wanteth right toanything, otherwise, than as he himself is the subjectof God, and bound thereby to observe the lawsof nature. And therefore it may, and doth oftenhappen in commonwealths, that a subject may beput to death, by the command of the sovereignpower; and yet neither do the other wrong: aswhen Jephtha caused his daughter to be sacrificed:in which, and the like cases, he that so dieth, hadliberty to do the action, for which he is nevertheless,without injury put to death. And the sameholdeth also in a sovereign prince, that putteth todeath an innocent subject. For though the actionbe against the law of nature, as being contrary toequity, as was the killing of Uriah, by David; yetit was not an injury to Uriah, but to God. Not toUriah, because the right to do what he pleasedwas given him by Uriah himself: and yet to God,because David was God’s subject, and prohibitedall iniquity by the law of nature: which distinction,David himself, when he repented the fact,evidently confirmed, saying, To thee only haveI sinned. In the same manner, the people ofAthens, when they banished the most potent oftheir commonwealth for ten years, thought theycommitted no injustice; and yet they never questionedwhat crime he had done; but what hurt hewould do: nay they commanded the banishmentof they knew not whom; and every citizen bringinghis oystershell into the market place, written withthe name of him he desired should be banished,without actually accusing him, sometimes banishedan Aristides, for his reputation of justice; and sometimesa scurrilous jester, as Hyperbolus, to make a201jest of it. And yet a man cannot say, the sovereignpeople of Athens wanted right to banish them; oran Athenian the liberty to jest, or to be just.

The liberty which writers praise, is the liberty of sovereigns; not of private men.

The liberty, whereof there is so frequent andhonourable mention, in the histories, and philosophyof the ancient Greeks, and Romans, and inthe writings, and discourse of those that from themhave received all their learning in the politics, is notthe liberty of particular men; but the liberty of thecommonwealth: which is the same with that whichevery man then should have, if there were no civillaws, nor commonwealth at all. And the effectsof it also be the same. For as amongst masterlessmen, there is perpetual war, of every man againsthis neighbour; no inheritance, to transmit to theson, nor to expect from the father; no propriety ofgoods, or lands; no security; but a full and absoluteliberty in every particular man: so in states,and commonwealths not dependent on one another,every commonwealth, not every man, has an absoluteliberty, to do what it shall judge, that is to say,what that man, or assembly that representeth it,shall judge most conducing to their benefit. Butwithal, they live in the condition of a perpetualwar, and upon the confines of battle, with theirfrontiers armed, and cannons planted against theirneighbours round about. The Athenians, and Romanswere free; that is, free commonwealths: notthat any particular men had the liberty to resisttheir own representative; but that their representativehad the liberty to resist, or invade other people.There is written on the turrets of the city ofLucca in great characters at this day, the word LIBERTAS;yet no man can thence infer, that a particular202man has more liberty, or immunity from theservice of the commonwealth there, than in Constantinople.Whether a commonwealth be monarchical,or popular, the freedom is still the same.

But it is an easy thing, for men to be deceived,by the specious name of liberty; and for want ofjudgment to distinguish, mistake that for their privateinheritance, and birth-right, which is the rightof the public only. And when the same error isconfirmed by the authority of men in reputation fortheir writings on this subject, it is no wonder if itproduce sedition, and change of government. Inthese western parts of the world, we are made toreceive our opinions concerning the institution, andrights of commonwealths, from Aristotle, Cicero,and other men, Greeks and Romans, that livingunder popular states, derived those rights, not fromthe principles of nature, but transcribed them intotheir books, out of the practice of their own commonwealths,which were popular; as the grammariansdescribe the rules of language, out of thepractice of the time; or the rules of poetry, outof the poems of Homer and Virgil. And becausethe Athenians were taught, to keep them from desireof changing their government, that they werefreemen, and all that lived under monarchy wereslaves; therefore Aristotle puts it down in his Politics,(lib. 6. cap. ii.) In democracy, LIBERTY is tobe supposed: for it is commonly held, that no manis FREE in any other government. And as Aristotle;so Cicero, and other writers have grounded theircivil doctrine, on the opinions of the Romans, whowere taught to hate monarchy, at first, by them thathaving deposed their sovereign, shared amongst them203the sovereignty of Rome; and afterwards by theirsuccessors. And by reading of these Greek, andLatin authors, men from their childhood have gottena habit, under a false show of liberty, of favouringtumults, and of licentious controlling the actionsof their sovereigns, and again of controlling thosecontrollers; with the effusion of so much blood, asI think I may truly say, there was never any thingso dearly bought, as these western parts have boughtthe learning of the Greek and Latin tongues.

Liberty of subjects how to be measured.

To come now to the particulars of the true libertyof a subject; that is to say, what are the things,which though commanded by the sovereign, he maynevertheless, without injustice, refuse to do; we areto consider, what rights we pass away, when wemake a commonwealth; or, which is all one, whatliberty we deny ourselves, by owning all the actions,without exception, of the man, or assembly we makeour sovereign. For in the act of our submission, consistethboth our obligation, and our liberty; whichmust therefore be inferred by arguments taken fromthence; there being no obligation on any man,which ariseth not from some act of his own; forall men equally, are by nature free. And becausesuch arguments, must either be drawn from theexpress words, I authorize all his actions, or fromthe intention of him that submitteth himself to hispower, which intention is to be understood by theend for which he so submitteth; the obligation, andliberty of the subject, is to be derived, either fromthose words, or others equivalent; or else from theend of the institution of sovereignty, namely, thepeace of the subjects within themselves, and theirdefence against a common enemy.

Subjects have liberty to defend their own bodies, even against them that lawfully invade them.

204First therefore, seeing sovereignty by institution,is by covenant of every one to every one; andsovereignty by acquisition, by covenants of the vanquishedto the victor, or child to the parent; it ismanifest, that every subject has liberty in all thosethings, the right whereof cannot by covenant betransferred. I have shewn before in the 14th chapter,that covenants, not to defend a man’s own body,are void. Therefore,

Are not bound to hurt themselves.

If the sovereign command a man, though justlycondemned, to kill, wound, or maim himself; or notto resist those that assault him; or to abstain fromthe use of food, air, medicine, or any other thing,without which he cannot live; yet hath that manthe liberty to disobey.

If a man be interrogated by the sovereign, or hisauthority, concerning a crime done by himself, heis not bound, without assurance of pardon, to confessit; because no man, as I have shown in thesame chapter, can be obliged by covenant to accusehimself.

Again, the consent of a subject to sovereign power,is contained in these words, I authorize, or takeupon me, all his actions; in which there is no restrictionat all, of his own former natural liberty:for by allowing him to kill me, I am not bound tokill myself when he commands me. It is one thingto say, kill me, or my fellow, if you please; anotherthing to say, I will kill myself, or my fellow.It followeth therefore, that

No man is bound by the words themselves, eitherto kill himself, or any other man; and consequently,that the obligation a man may sometimes have, uponthe command of the sovereign to execute any dangerous,205or dishonourable office, dependeth not onthe words of our submission; but on the intention,which is to be understood by the end thereof. Whentherefore our refusal to obey, frustrates the end forwhich the sovereignty was ordained; then there isno liberty to refuse: otherwise there is.

Nor to warfare, unless they voluntarily undertake it.

Upon this ground, a man that is commanded asa soldier to fight against the enemy, though his sovereignhave right enough to punish his refusal withdeath, may nevertheless in many cases refuse, withoutinjustice; as when he substituteth a sufficientsoldier in his place: for in this case he deserteth notthe service of the commonwealth. And there isallowance to be made for natural timorousness; notonly to women, of whom no such dangerous duty isexpected, but also to men of feminine courage. Whenarmies fight, there is on one side, or both, a runningaway; yet when they do it not out of treachery,but fear, they are not esteemed to do it unjustly, butdishonourably. For the same reason, to avoid battle,is not injustice, but cowardice. But he that inrollethhimself a soldier, or taketh imprest money,taketh away the excuse of a timorous nature; andis obliged, not only to go to the battle, but also notto run from it, without his captain’s leave. Andwhen the defence of the commonwealth, requirethat once the help of all that are able to bear arms,every one is obliged; because otherwise the institutionof the commonwealth, which they have not thepurpose, or courage to preserve, was in vain.

To resist the sword of the commonwealth, in defenceof another man, guilty, or innocent, no manhath liberty; because such liberty, takes away fromthe sovereign, the means of protecting us; and is206therefore destructive of the very essence of government.But in case a great many men together, havealready resisted the sovereign power unjustly, orcommitted some capital crime, for which every oneof them expecteth death, whether have they not theliberty then to join together, and assist, and defendone another? Certainly they have: for they butdefend their lives, which the guilty man may aswell do, as the innocent. There was indeed injusticein the first breach of their duty; their bearingof arms subsequent to it, though it be to maintainwhat they have done, is no new unjust act. And ifit be only to defend their persons, it is not unjustat all. But the offer of pardon taketh from them,to whom it is offered, the plea of self-defence, andmaketh their perseverance in assisting, or defendingthe rest, unlawful.

The greatest liberty of subjects, dependeth on the silence of the law.

As for other liberties, they depend on the silenceof the law. In cases where the sovereign has prescribedno rule, there the subject hath the libertyto do, or forbear, according to his own discretion.And therefore such liberty is in some places more,and in some less; and in some times more, in othertimes less, according as they that have the sovereigntyshall think most convenient. As for example,there was a time, when in England a man mightenter into his own land, and dispossess such aswrongfully possessed it, by force. But in aftertimes,that liberty of forcible entry, was taken awayby a statute made, by the king, in parliament. Andin some places of the world, men have the libertyof many wives: in other places, such liberty is notallowed.

If a subject have a controversy with his sovereign,207of debt, or of right of possession of lands or goods,or concerning any service required at his hands, orconcerning any penalty, corporal, or pecuniary,grounded on a precedent law; he hath the sameliberty to sue for his right, as if it were against asubject; and before such judges, as are appointedby the sovereign. For seeing the sovereign demandethby force of a former law, and not by virtueof his power; he declareth thereby, that he requirethno more, than shall appear to be due bythat law. The suit therefore is not contrary to thewill of the sovereign; and consequently the subjecthath the liberty to demand the hearing of his cause;and sentence, according to that law. But if he demand,or take anything by pretence of his power;there lieth, in that case, no action of law; for allthat is done by him in virtue of his power, is doneby the authority of every subject, and consequentlyhe that brings an action against the sovereign, bringsit against himself.

If a monarch, or sovereign assembly, grant aliberty to all, or any of his subjects, which grantstanding, he is disabled to provide for their safety,the grant is void; unless he directly renounce, ortransfer the sovereignty to another. For in that hemight openly, if it had been his will, and in plainterms, have renounced, or transferred it, and did not;it is to be understood it was not his will, but thatthe grant proceeded from ignorance of the repugnancybetween such a liberty and the sovereignpower; and therefore the sovereignty is still retained;and consequently all those powers, which are necessaryto the exercising thereof; such as are the powerof war, and peace, of judicature, of appointing208officers, and councillors, of levying money, and therest named in the 18th chapter.

In what cases subjects are absolved of their obedience to their sovereign.

The obligation of subjects to the sovereign, isunderstood to last as long, and no longer, than thepower lasteth, by which he is able to protect them.For the right men have by nature to protect themselves,when none else can protect them, can by nocovenant be relinquished. The sovereignty is the soulof the commonwealth; which once departed fromthe body, the members do no more receive theirmotion from it. The end of obedience is protection;which, wheresoever a man seeth it, either inhis own, or in another’s sword, nature applieth hisobedience to it, and his endeavour to maintain it.And though sovereignty, in the intention of themthat make it, be immortal; yet is it in its own nature,not only subject to violent death, by foreignwar; but also through the ignorance, and passionsof men, it hath in it, from the very institution, manyseeds of a natural mortality, by intestine discord.

In case of captivity.

If a subject be taken prisoner in war; or his person,or his means of life be within the guards of theenemy, and hath his life and corporal liberty givenhim, on condition to be subject to the victor, hehath liberty to accept the condition; and havingaccepted it, is the subject of him that took him;because he had no other way to preserve himself.The case is the same, if he be detained on the sameterms, in a foreign country. But if a man be heldin prison, or bonds, or is not trusted with the libertyof his body; he cannot be understood to be boundby covenant to subjection; and therefore may, ifhe can, make his escape by any means whatsoever.

In case the sovereign cast off the government from himself and his heirs.

209If a monarch shall relinquish the sovereignty, bothfor himself, and his heirs; his subjects return to theabsolute liberty of nature; because, though naturemay declare who are his sons, and who are thenearest of his kin; yet it dependeth on his ownwill, as hath been said in the precedent chapter, whoshall be his heir. If therefore he will have no heir,there is no sovereignty, nor subjection. The case isthe same, if he die without known kindred, andwithout declaration of his heir. For then there canno heir be known, and consequently no subjectionbe due.

In case of banishment.

If the sovereign banish his subject; during thebanishment, he is not subject. But he that is senton a message, or hath leave to travel, is still subject;but it is, by contract between sovereigns, not byvirtue of the covenant of subjection. For whosoeverentereth into another’s dominion, is subject toall the laws thereof; unless he have a privilege bythe amity of the sovereigns, or by special licence.

In case the sovereign render himself subject to another.

If a monarch subdued by war, render himselfsubject to the victor; his subjects are delivered fromtheir former obligation, and become obliged to thevictor. But if he be held prisoner, or have not theliberty of his own body; he is not understood tohave given away the right of sovereignty; and thereforehis subjects are obliged to yield obedience tothe magistrates formerly placed, governing not intheir own name, but in his. For, his right remaining,the question is only of the administration; thatis to say, of the magistrates and officers; which, ifhe have not means to name, he is supposed toapprove those, which he himself had formerly appointed.




The divers sorts of systems of people.

Having spoken of the generation, form, and powerof a commonwealth, I am in order to speak nextof the parts thereof. And first of systems, whichresemble the similar parts, or muscles of a bodynatural. By SYSTEMS, I understand any numbersof men joined in one interest, or one business. Ofwhich, some are regular, and some irregular.Regular are those, where one man, or assembly ofmen, is constituted representative of the wholenumber. All other are irregular.

Of regular, some are absolute, and independent,subject to none but their own representative: suchare only commonwealths; of which I have spokenalready in the five last precedent chapters. Othersare dependent; that is to say, subordinate to somesovereign power, to which every one, as also theirrepresentative is subject.

Of systems subordinate, some are political, andsome private. Political, otherwise called bodies politic,and persons in law, are those, which are madeby authority from the sovereign power of the commonwealth.Private, are those, which are constitutedby subjects amongst themselves, or by authorityfrom a stranger. For no authority derivedfrom foreign power, within the dominion of another,is public there, but private.

And of private systems, some are lawful; someunlawful. Lawful, are those which are allowed by211the commonwealth: all other are unlawful. Irregularsystems, are those which having no representative,consist only in concourse of people; which ifnot forbidden by the commonwealth, nor made onevil design, such as are conflux of people to markets,or shows, or any other harmless end, are lawful.But when the intention is evil, or (if the number beconsiderable), unknown, they are unlawful.

In all bodies politic the power of the representative is limited.

In bodies politic, the power of the representativeis always limited: and that which prescribeth thelimits thereof, is the power sovereign. For power unlimited,is absolute sovereignty. And the sovereignin every commonwealth, is the absolute representativeof all the subjects; and therefore no other canbe representative of any part of them, but so farforth, as he shall give leave. And to give leave to abody politic of subjects, to have an absolute representativeto all intents and purposes, were to abandonthe government of so much of the commonwealth,and to divide the dominion, contrary to their peaceand defence; which the sovereign cannot be understoodto do, by any grant, that does not plainly, anddirectly discharge them of their subjection. Forconsequences of words, are not the signs of his will,when other consequences are signs of the contrary;but rather signs of error, and misreckoning; towhich all mankind is too prone.

The bounds of that power, which is given to therepresentative of a body politic, are to be takennotice of, from two things. One is their writ, orletters from the sovereign: the other is the law ofthe commonwealth.

By letters patent:

For though in the institution or acquisition of acommonwealth, which is independent, there needs212no writing, because the power of the representativehas there no other bounds, but such as are set outby the unwritten law of nature; yet in subordinatebodies, there are such diversities of limitation necessary,concerning their businesses, times, and places,as can neither be remembered without letters, nortaken notice of, unless such letters be patent, thatthey may be read to them, and withal sealed, ortestified, with the seals, or other permanent signsof the authority sovereign.

And the laws.

And because such limitation is not always easy, orperhaps possible to be described in writing; the ordinarylaws, common to all subjects, must determinewhat 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 only.

In a body politic, if the representative be oneman, whatsoever he does in the person of the body,which is not warranted in his letters, nor by thelaws, is his own act, and not the act of the body,nor of any other member thereof besides himself:because further than his letters, or the laws limit,he representeth no man’s person, but his own. Butwhat he does according to these, is the act of everyone: for of the act of the sovereign every one isauthor, because he is their representative unlimited;and the act of him that recedes not from the lettersof the sovereign, is the act of the sovereign, andtherefore every member of the body is author of it.

When it is an assembly, it is the act of them that assented only.

But if the representative be an assembly; whatsoeverthat assembly shall decree, not warranted bytheir letters, or the laws, is the act of the assembly,or body politic, and the act of every one by whosevote the decree was made; but not the act of any213man that being present voted to the contrary; norof any man absent, unless he voted it by procuration.It is the act of the assembly, because votedby the major part; and if it be a crime, the assemblymay be punished, as far forth as it is capable,as by dissolution, or forfeiture of their letters (whichis to such artificial, and fictitious bodies, capital) or,if the assembly have a common stock, wherein noneof the innocent members have propriety, by pecuniarymulct. For from corporal penalties nature hathexempted all bodies politic. But they that gavenot their vote, are therefore innocent, because theassembly cannot represent any man in things unwarrantedby their letters, and consequently are notinvolved in their votes.

When the representative is one man, if he borrow money, or owe it, by contract, he is liable only, the members not.

If the person of the body politic being in oneman, borrow money of a stranger, that is, of onethat is not of the same body, (for no letters needlimit borrowing, seeing it is left to men’s own inclinationsto limit lending), the debt is the representative’s.For if he should have authority from hisletters, to make the members pay what he borroweth,he should have by consequence the sovereigntyof them; and therefore the grant wereeither void, as proceeding from error, commonlyincident to human nature, and an insufficient signof the will of the granter; or if it be avowed byhim, then is the representer sovereign, and fallethnot under the present question, which is only ofbodies subordinate. No member therefore is obligedto pay the debt so borrowed, but the representativehimself: because he that lendeth it, being a strangerto the letters, and to the qualification of the body,understandeth those only for his debtors, that are214engaged: and seeing the representer can engagehimself, and none else, has him only for debtor;who must therefore pay him, out of the commonstock, if there be any, or, if there be none, out ofhis own estate.

If he come into debt by contract, or mulct, thecase is the same.

When it is an assembly, they only are liable that have assented.

But when the representative is an assembly, andthe debt to a stranger; all they, and only they areresponsible for the debt, that gave their votes tothe borrowing of it, or to the contract that madeit due, or to the fact for which the mulct was imposed;because every one of those in voting didengage himself for the payment: for he that isauthor of the borrowing, is obliged to the payment,even of the whole debt; though when paid by anyone, he be discharged.

If the debt be to one of the assembly, the body only is obliged.

But if the debt be to one of the assembly, theassembly only is obliged to the payment, out oftheir common stock, if they have any: for havingliberty of vote, if he vote the money shall beborrowed, he votes it shall be paid; if he vote itshall not be borrowed, or be absent, yet because inlending, he voteth the borrowing, he contradictethhis former vote, and is obliged by the latter, andbecomes both borrower and lender, and consequentlycannot demand payment from any particularman, but from the common treasure only;which failing he hath no remedy, nor complaint,but against himself, that being privy to the acts ofthe assembly, and to their means to pay, and notbeing enforced, did nevertheless through his ownfolly lend his money.

Protestation against the decrees of bodies politic sometimeslawful, but against sovereign power never.

It is manifest by this, that in bodies politic subordinate,215and subject to a sovereign power, it issometimes not only lawful, but expedient, for aparticular man to make open protestation againstthe decrees of the representative assembly, andcause their dissent to be registered, or to take witnessof it; because otherwise they may be obligedto pay debts contracted, and be responsible forcrimes committed by other men. But in a sovereignassembly, that liberty is taken away, bothbecause he that protesteth there, denies their sovereignty;and also because whatsoever is commandedby the sovereign power, is as to the subject,though not so always in the sight of God,justified by the command: for of such commandevery subject is the author.

Bodies politic for government of a province, colony, or town

The variety of bodies politic, is almost infinite:for they are not only distinguished by the severalaffairs, for which they are constituted, whereinthere is an unspeakable diversity; but also by thetimes, places, and numbers, subject to many limitations.And as to their affairs, some are ordainedfor government; as first, the government of a provincemay be committed to an assembly of men,wherein all resolutions shall depend on the votesof the major part; and then this assembly is abody politic, and their power limited by commission.This word province signifies a charge, orcare of business, which he whose business it is,committeth to another man, to be administered for,and under him; and therefore when in one commonwealththere be divers countries, that havetheir laws distinct one from another, or are fardistant in place, the administration of the governmentbeing committed to divers persons, those216countries where the sovereign is not resident, butgoverns by commission, are called provinces. Butof the government of a province, by an assemblyresiding in the province itself, there be few examples.The Romans who had the sovereignty ofmany provinces; yet governed them always bypresidents, and prætors; and not by assemblies, asthey governed the city of Rome, and territoriesadjacent. In like manner, when there were coloniessent from England, to plant Virginia, andSommer-islands; though the governments of themhere, were committed to assemblies in London, yetdid those assemblies never commit the governmentunder them to any assembly there, but did to eachplantation send one governor. For though everyman, where he can be present by nature, desires toparticipate of government; yet where they cannotbe present, they are by nature also inclined, tocommit the government of their common interestrather to a monarchical, than a popular form ofgovernment: which is also evident in those menthat have great private estates; who when they areunwilling to take the pains of administering thebusiness that belongs to them, chuse rather to trustone servant, than an assembly either of their friendsor servants. But howsoever it be in fact, yet wemay suppose the government of a province, orcolony committed to an assembly: and when it is,that which in this place I have to say, is this; thatwhatsoever debt is by that assembly contracted;or whatsoever unlawful act is decreed, is the actonly of those that assented, and not of any thatdissented, or were absent, for the reasons beforealleged. Also that an assembly residing out of217the bounds of that colony whereof they have thegovernment, cannot execute any power over thepersons, or goods of any of the colony, to seize onthem for debt, or other duty, in any place withoutthe colony itself, as having no jurisdiction, norauthority elsewhere, but are left to the remedy,which the law of the place alloweth them. Andthough the assembly have right, to impose a mulctupon any of their members, that shall break thelaws they make; yet out of the colony itself, theyhave no right to execute the same. And thatwhich is said here, of the rights of an assembly, forthe government of a province, or a colony, isappliable also to an assembly for the governmentof a town, an university, or a college, or a church,or for any other government over the persons ofmen.

And generally, in all bodies politic, if any particularmember conceive himself injured by the bodyitself, the cognizance of his cause belongeth to thesovereign, and those the sovereign hath ordainedfor judges in such causes, or shall ordain for thatparticular cause; and not to the body itself. Forthe whole body is in this case his fellow-subject,which in a sovereign assembly, is otherwise: forthere, if the sovereign be not judge, though in hisown cause, there can be no judge at all.

Bodies politic for ordering of trade.

In a body politic, for the well ordering of foreigntraffic, the most commodious representative is anassembly of all the members; that is to say, sucha one, as every one that adventureth his money,may be present at all the deliberations, and resolutionsof the body, if they will themselves. Forproof whereof, we are to consider the end, for218which men that are merchants, and may buy andsell, export, and import their merchandize, accordingto their own discretions, do nevertheless bindthemselves up in one corporation. It is true, therebe few merchants, that with the merchandize theybuy at home, can freight a ship, to export it; orwith that they buy abroad, to bring it home;and have therefore need to join together in onesociety; where every man may either participateof the gain, 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 politic, there being no commonrepresentative to oblige them to any other law,than that which is common to all other subjects.The end of their incorporating, is to make theirgain the greater; which is done two ways; by solebuying, and sole selling, both at home, and abroad.So that to grant to a company of merchants to bea corporation, or body politic, is to grant them adouble monopoly, whereof one is to be sole buyers;another to be sole sellers. For when there is acompany incorporate for any particular foreigncountry, they only export the commodities vendiblein that country; which is sole buying athome, and sole selling abroad. For at home thereis but one buyer, and abroad but one that selleth:both which is gainful to the merchant, becausethereby they buy at home at lower, and sell abroadat higher rates: and abroad there is but one buyerof foreign merchandize, and but one that sells themat home; both which again are gainful to theadventurers.

Of this double monopoly one part is disadvantageous219to the people at home, the other to foreigners.For at home by their sole exportationthey set what price they please on the husbandry,and handy-works of the people; and by the soleimportation, what price they please on all foreigncommodities the people have need of; both whichare ill for the people. On the contrary, by thesole selling of the native commodities abroad, andsole buying the foreign commodities upon theplace, they raise the price of those, and abate theprice of these, to the disadvantage of the foreigner:for where but one selleth, the merchandize is thedearer; and where but one buyeth, the cheaper.Such corporations therefore are no other thanmonopolies; though they would be very profitablefor a commonwealth, if being bound up into onebody in foreign markets they were at liberty athome, every man to buy, and sell at what price hecould.

The end then of these bodies of merchants, beingnot a common benefit to the whole body, whichhave in this case no common stock, but what isdeducted out of the particular adventures, forbuilding, buying, victualling and manning of ships,but the particular gain of every adventurer, it isreason that every one be acquainted with the employmentof his own; that is, that every one be ofthe assembly, that shall have the power to orderthe same; and be acquainted with their accounts.And therefore the representative of such a bodymust be an assembly, where every member of thebody may be present at the consultations, if he will.

If a body politic of merchants, contract a debtto a stranger by the act of their representative220assembly, every member is liable by himself for thewhole. For a stranger can take no notice of theirprivate laws, but considereth them as so many particularmen, obliged every one to the whole payment,till payment made by one dischargeth allthe rest: but if the debt be to one of the company,the creditor is debtor for the whole to himself, andcannot therefore demand his debt, but only fromthe common stock, if there be any.

If the commonwealth impose a tax upon thebody, it is understood to be laid upon every memberproportionably to his particular adventure inthe company. For there is in this case no othercommon stock, but what is made of their particularadventures.

If a mulct be laid upon the body for some unlawfulact, they only are liable by whose votes theact was decreed, or by whose assistance it was executed;for in none of the rest is there any othercrime but being of the body; which if a crime, becausethe body was ordained by the authority ofthe commonwealth, is not his.

If one of the members be indebted to the body,he may be sued by the body; but his goods cannotbe taken, nor his person imprisoned by the authorityof the body; but only by authority of the commonwealth:for if they can do it by their own authority,they can by their own authority give judgment thatthe debt is due; which is as much as to be judgein their own cause.

A body politic for counsel to be given to the sovereign.

Those bodies made for the government of men,or of traffic, be either perpetual, or for a time prescribedby writing. But there be bodies also whosetimes are limited, and that only by the nature of221their business. For example, if a sovereign monarch,or a sovereign assembly, shall think fit togive command to the towns, and other several partsof their territory, to send to him their deputies,to inform him of the condition, and necessities ofthe subjects, or to advise with him for the makingof good laws, or for any other cause, as with oneperson representing the whole country, such deputies,having a place and time of meeting assignedthem, are there, and at that time, a body politic,representing every subject of that dominion; butit is only for such matters as shall be propoundedunto them by that man, or assembly, that by thesovereign authority sent for them; and when it shallbe declared that nothing more shall be propounded,nor debated by them, the body is dissolved. Forif they were the absolute representatives of thepeople, then were it the sovereign assembly; andso there would be two sovereign assemblies, or twosovereigns, over the same people; which cannotconsist with their peace. And therefore wherethere is once a sovereignty, there can be no absoluterepresentation of the people, but by it. Andfor the limits of how far such a body shall representthe whole people, they are set forth in thewriting by which they were sent for. For thepeople cannot choose their deputies to other intent,than is in the writing directed to them fromtheir sovereign expressed.

A regular private body, lawful as a family.

Private bodies regular, and lawful, are those thatare constituted without letters, or other writtenauthority, saving the laws common to all othersubjects. And because they be united in one personrepresentative, they are held for regular; suchas are all families, in which the father, or master222ordereth the whole family. For he obligeth hischildren, and servants, as far as the law permitteth,though not further, because none of them are boundto obedience in those actions, which the law hathforbidden to be done. In all other actions, duringthe time they are under domestic government, theyare subject to their fathers, and masters, as to theirimmediate sovereigns. For the father and master,being before the institution of commonwealth, absolutesovereigns in their own families, they loseafterward no more of their authority, than the lawof the commonwealth taketh from them.

Private bodies regular, but unlawful.

Private bodies regular, but unlawful, are thosethat unite themselves into one person representative,without any public authority at all; such asare the corporations of beggars, thieves and gipsies,the better to order their trade of begging and stealing;and the corporations of men, that by authorityfrom any foreign person, unite themselves inanother’s dominion, for the easier propagation ofdoctrines, and for making a party, against the powerof the commonwealth.

Systems irregular, such as are private leagues.

Irregular systems, in their nature but leagues,or sometimes mere concourse of people, withoutunion to any particular design, not by obligationof one to another, but proceeding only from a similitudeof wills and inclinations, become lawful, orunlawful, according to the lawfulness, or unlawfulnessof every particular man’s design therein: andhis design is to be understood by the occasion.

The leagues of subjects, because leagues are commonlymade for mutual defence, are in a commonwealth,which is no more than a league of all thesubjects together, for the most part unnecessary,and savour of unlawful design; and are for that223cause unlawful, and go commonly by the name offactions, or conspiracies. For a league being aconnexion of men by covenants, if there be no powergiven to any one man or assembly, as in the conditionof mere nature, to compel them to performance,is so long only valid, as there ariseth no justcause of distrust: and therefore leagues betweencommonwealths, over whom there is no humanpower established, to keep them all in awe, are notonly lawful, but also profitable for the time theylast. But leagues of the subjects of one and thesame commonwealth, where every one may obtainhis right by means of the sovereign power, are unnecessaryto the maintaining of peace and justice,and, in case the design of them be evil or unknownto the commonwealth, unlawful. For all unitingof strength by private men, is, if for evil intent,unjust; if for intent unknown, dangerous to thepublic, and unjustly concealed.

Secret cabals.

If the sovereign power be in a great assembly,and a number of men, part of the assembly, withoutauthority, consult apart, to contrive the guidanceof the rest; this is a faction, or conspiracy unlawful,as being a fraudulent seducing of the assemblyfor their particular interest. But if he, whose privateinterest is to be debated and judged in theassembly, make as many friends as he can; in himit is no injustice; because in this case he is no partof the assembly. And though he hire such friendswith money, unless there be an express law againstit, yet it is not injustice. For sometimes, as men’smanners are, justice cannot be had without money;and every man may think his own cause just, tillit be heard, and judged.

Feuds of private families.

224In all commonwealths, if private men entertainmore servants, than the government of his estate,and lawful employment he has for them requires,it is faction, and unlawful. For having the protectionof the commonwealth, he needeth not thedefence of private force. And whereas in nationsnot thoroughly civilized, several numerous familieshave lived in continual hostility, and invaded oneanother with private force; yet it is evident enough,that they have done unjustly; or else they had nocommonwealth.

Factions for government.

And as factions for kindred, so also factions for governmentof religion, as of Papists, Protestants, &c.or of state, as patricians, and plebeians of old timein Rome, and of aristocraticals and democraticalsof old time in Greece, are unjust, as being contraryto the peace and safety of the people, and a takingof the sword out of the hand of the sovereign.

Concourse of people.

Concourse of people is an irregular system, thelawfulness, or unlawfulness, whereof dependeth onthe occasion, and on the number of them that are assembled.If the occasion be lawful, and manifest, theconcourse is lawful; as the usual meeting of men atchurch, or at a public show, in usual numbers: for ifthe numbers be extraordinarily great, the occasion isnot evident; and consequently he that cannot rendera particular and good account of his being amongstthem, is to be judged conscious of an unlawful, andtumultuous design. It may be lawful for a thousandmen, to join to a petition to be delivered to ajudge, or magistrate; yet if a thousand men cometo present it, it is a tumultuous assembly; becausethere needs but one or two for that purpose. Butin such cases as these, it is not a set number that225makes the assembly unlawful, but such a number,as the present officers are not able to suppress, andbring to justice.

Concourse of people.

When an unusual number of men, assembleagainst a man whom they accuse; the assembly isan unlawful tumult; because they may deliver theiraccusation to the magistrate by a few, or by oneman. Such was the case of St. Paul at Ephesus;where Demetrius and a great number of other men,brought two of Paul’s companions before the magistrate,saying with one voice, Great is Diana ofthe Ephesians; which was their way of demandingjustice against them for teaching the people such doctrine,as was against their religion, and trade. Theoccasion here, considering the laws of that people,was just; yet was their assembly judged unlawful,and the magistrate reprehended them for it in thesewords (Acts xix. 38-40.) If Demetrius and the otherworkmen can accuse any man, of any thing, therebe pleas, and deputies, let them accuse one another.And if you have any other thing to demand, yourcase may be judged in an assembly lawfully called.For we are in danger to be accused for this day’ssedition; because there is no cause by which anyman can render any reason of this concourse ofpeople. Where he calleth an assembly, whereofmen can give no just account, a sedition, and suchas they could not answer for. And this is all I shallsay concerning systems, and assemblies of people,which may be compared, as I said, to the similarparts of man’s body; such as be lawful, to themuscles; such as are unlawful, to wens, biles, andapostems, engendered by the unnatural conflux ofevil humours.




In the last chapter I have spoken of the similarparts of a commonwealth: in this I shall speak ofthe parts organical, which are public ministers.

Public minister who.

A PUBLIC MINISTER, is he, that by the sovereign,whether a monarch or an assembly, is employedin any affairs, with authority to represent in thatemployment, the person of the commonwealth. Andwhereas every man, or assembly that hath sovereignty,representeth two persons, or, as the morecommon phrase is, has two capacities, one natural,and another politic: as a monarch, hath the personnot only of the commonwealth, but also of a man;and a sovereign assembly hath the person not onlyof the commonwealth, but also of the assembly:they that be servants to them in their natural capacity,are not public ministers; but those only thatserve them in the administration of the public business.And therefore neither ushers, nor sergeants,nor other officers that wait on the assembly, for noother purpose, but for the commodity of the menassembled, in an aristocracy, or democracy; norstewards, chamberlains, cofferers, or any otherofficers of the household of a monarch, are publicministers in a monarchy.

Ministers for the general administration.

Of public ministers, some have charge committedto them of a general administration, either of thewhole dominion, or of a part thereof. Of the whole,as to a protector, or regent, may be committed by227the predecessor of an infant king, during his minority,the whole administration of his kingdom.In which case, every subject is so far obliged toobedience, as the ordinances he shall make, and thecommands he shall give be in the king’s name, andnot inconsistent with his sovereign power. Of apart, or province; as when either a monarch, or asovereign assembly, shall give the general chargethereof to a governor, lieutenant, præfect, or viceroy:and in this case also, every one of that provinceis obliged to all he shall do in the name ofthe sovereign, and that not incompatible with thesovereign’s right. For such protectors, viceroys,and governors, have no other right, but what dependson the sovereign’s will; and no commissionthat can be given them, can be interpreted for adeclaration of the will to transfer the sovereignty,without express and perspicuous words to that purpose.And this kind of public ministers resembleththe nerves, and tendons that move the several limbsof a body natural.

For special administration, as for economy.

Others have special administration; that is tosay, charges of some special business, either at home,or abroad: as at home, first, for the economy of acommonwealth, they that have authority concerningthe treasure, as tributes, impositions, rents, fines,or whatsoever public revenue, to collect, receive,issue, or take the accounts thereof, are public ministers:ministers, because they serve the personrepresentative, and can do nothing against his command,nor without his authority: public, becausethey serve him in his political capacity.

Secondly, they that have authority concerningthe militia; to have the custody of arms, forts,228ports; to levy, pay, or conduct soldiers; or toprovide for any necessary thing for the use of war,either by land or sea, are public ministers. But asoldier without command, though he fight for thecommonwealth, does not therefore represent theperson of it; because there is none to represent itto. For every one that hath command, representsit to them only whom he commandeth.

For instruction of the people.

They also that have authority to teach, or toenable others to teach the people their duty to thesovereign power, and instruct them in the knowledgeof what is just, and unjust, thereby to renderthem more apt to live in godliness, and in peaceamongst themselves, and resist the public enemy,are public ministers: ministers, in that they do itnot by their own authority, but by another’s; andpublic, because they do it, or should do it, by noauthority but that of the sovereign. The monarch,or the sovereign assembly only hath immediate authorityfrom God, to teach and instruct the people;and no man but the sovereign, receiveth his powerDei gratiâ simply; that is to say, from the favourof none but God: all other, receive theirs from thefavour and providence of God, and their sovereigns;as in a monarchy Dei gratiâ et regis; or Deiprovidentiâ et voluntate regis.

For judicature.

They also to whom jurisdiction is given, are publicministers. For in their seats of justice theyrepresent the person of the sovereign; and theirsentence, is his sentence: for, as hath been beforedeclared, all judicature is essentially annexed to thesovereignty; and therefore all other judges are butministers of him or them that have the sovereignpower. And as controversies are of two sorts,229namely of fact, and of law; so are judgments, someof fact, some of law: and consequently in the samecontroversy, there may be two judges, one of fact,another of law.

And in both these controversies, there may arisea controversy between the party judged, and thejudge; which because they be both subjects to thesovereign, ought in equity to be judged by menagreed on by consent of both; for no man can bejudge in his own cause. But the sovereign is alreadyagreed on for judge by them both, and is thereforeeither to hear the cause, and determine it himself,or appoint for judge such as they shall both agreeon. And this agreement is then understood to bemade between them divers ways; as first, if thedefendant be allowed to except against such of hisjudges, whose interest maketh him suspect them,(for as to the complainant, he hath already chosen hisown judge), those which he excepteth not against,are judges he himself agrees on. Secondly, if heappeal to any other judge, he can appeal no further;for his appeal is his choice. Thirdly, if he appealto the sovereign himself, and he by himself, or bydelegates which the parties shall agree on, givesentence; that sentence is final: for the defendant isjudged by his own judges, that is to say, by himself.

These properties of just and rational judicatureconsidered, I cannot forbear to observe the excellentconstitution of the courts of justice, establishedboth for Common, and also for Public Pleas in England.By Common Pleas, I mean those, where boththe complainant and defendant are subjects: andby public, which are also called Pleas of the Crown,those where the complainant is the sovereign. For230whereas there were two orders of men, whereof onewas Lords, the other Commons; the Lords had thisprivilege, to have for judges in all capital crimes,none but Lords; and of them, as many as would bepresent; which being ever acknowledged as a privilegeof favour, their judges were none but suchas they had themselves desired. And in all controversies,every subject, (as also in civil controversiesthe Lords), had for judges, men of the countrywhere the matter in controversy lay; against whichhe might make his exceptions, till at last twelvemen without exception being agreed on, they werejudged by those twelve. So that having his ownjudges, there could be nothing alleged by the party,why the sentence should not be final. These publicpersons, with authority from the sovereign power,either to instruct, or judge the people, are suchmembers of the commonwealth, as may fitly becompared to the organs of voice in a body natural.

For execution.

Public ministers are also all those, that have authorityfrom the sovereign, to procure the executionof judgments given; to publish the sovereign’scommands; to suppress tumults; to apprehend,and imprison malefactors; and other acts tendingto the conservation of the peace. For every actthey do by such authority, is the act of the commonwealth;and their service, answerable to thatof the hands, in a body natural.

Public ministers abroad, are those that representthe person of their own sovereign, to foreign states.Such are ambassadors, messengers, agents, andheralds, sent by public authority, and on publicbusiness.

But such as are sent by authority only of some231private party of a troubled state, though they bereceived, are neither public, nor private ministersof the commonwealth; because none of their actionshave the commonwealth for author. Likewise, anambassador sent from a prince, to congratulate,condole, or to assist at a solemnity; though theauthority be public; yet because the business is private,and belonging to him in his natural capacity;is a private person. Also if a man be sent intoanother country, secretly to explore their counsels,and strength; though both the authority, and thebusiness be public; yet because there is none totake notice of any person in him, but his own; heis but a private minister; but yet a minister of thecommonwealth; and may be compared to an eyein the body natural. And those that are appointedto receive the petitions or other informations of thepeople, and are as it were the public ear, are publicministers, and represent their sovereign in thatoffice.

Councillors without other employment than to advise are not public ministers.

Neither a councillor, nor a council of state, if weconsider it with no authority of judicature or command,but only of giving advice to the sovereignwhen it is required, or of offering it when it is notrequired, is a public person. For the advice is addressedto the sovereign only, whose person cannotin his own presence, be represented to him, byanother. But a body of councillors, are neverwithout some other authority, either of judicature,or of immediate administration: as in a monarchy,they represent the monarch, in delivering his commandsto the public ministers: in a democracy,the council, or senate propounds the result of theirdeliberations to the people, as a council; but when232they appoint judges, or hear causes, or give audienceto ambassadors, it is in the quality of a ministerof the people: and in an aristocracy, the councilof state is the sovereign assembly itself; and givescounsel to none but themselves.



The nourishment of a commonwealth consisteth in the commodities of sea and land.

The NUTRITION of a commonwealth consisteth, inthe plenty, and distribution of materials conducingto life: in concoction, or preparation; and,when concocted, in the conveyance of it, by convenientconduits, to the public use.

As for the plenty of matter, it is a thing limitedby nature, to those commodities, which from thetwo breasts of our common mother, land and sea,God usually either freely giveth, or for labourselleth to mankind.

For the matter of this nutriment, consisting inanimals, vegetals, and minerals, God hath freelylaid them before us, in or near to the face of theearth; so as there needeth no more but the labour,and industry of receiving them. Insomuch asplenty dependeth, next to God’s favour, merely onthe labour and industry of men.

This matter, commonly called commodities, ispartly native, and partly foreign: native, thatwhich is to be had within the territory of the commonwealth:foreign, that which is imported fromwithout. And because there is no territory underthe dominion of one commonwealth, except it be233of very vast extent, that produceth all things needfulfor the maintenance, and motion of the wholebody; and few that produce not some thing morethan necessary; the superfluous commodities to behad within, become no more superfluous, but supplythese wants at home, by importation of thatwhich may be had abroad, either by exchange, orby just war, or by labour. For a man’s labour also,is a commodity exchangeable for benefit, as well asany other thing: and there have been commonwealthsthat having no more territory, than hathserved them for habitation, have nevertheless, notonly maintained, but also encreased their power,partly by the labour of trading from one place to another,and partly by selling the manufactures whereofthe materials were brought in from other places.

And the right distribution of them.

The distribution of the materials of this nourishment,is the constitution of mine, and thine, andhis; that is to say, in one word propriety; andbelongeth in all kinds of commonwealth to thesovereign power. For where there is no commonwealth,there is, as hath been already shown, aperpetual war of every man against his neighbour;and therefore every thing is his that getteth it, andkeepeth it by force; which is neither propriety,nor community; but uncertainty. Which is soevident, that even Cicero, a passionate defender ofliberty, in a public pleading, attributeth all proprietyto the law civil. Let the civil law, saith he,be once abandoned, or but negligently guarded,not to say oppressed, and there is nothing, thatany man can be sure to receive from his ancestor,or leave to his children. And again; Take awaythe civil law, and no man knows what is his own,234and what another man’s. Seeing therefore theintroduction of propriety is an effect of commonwealth,which can do nothing but by the personthat represents it, it is the act only of the sovereign; andconsisteth in the laws, which none canmake that have not the sovereign power. Andthis they well knew of old, who called that Νόμος,that is to say, distribution, which we call law; anddefined justice, by distributing to every man hisown.

All private estates of land proceed originally from the arbitrary distribution of the sovereign.

In this distribution, the first law, is for divisionof the land itself: wherein the sovereign assignethto every man a portion, according as he, and notaccording as any subject, or any number of them,shall judge agreeable to equity, and the commongood. The children of Israel, were a commonwealthin the wilderness; but wanted the commoditiesof the earth, till they were masters of theLand of Promise; which afterward was dividedamongst them, not by their own discretion, but bythe discretion of Eleazar the Priest, and Joshuatheir General, who, when there were twelve tribes,making them thirteen by subdivision of the tribeof Joseph, made nevertheless but twelve portionsof the land; and ordained for the tribe of Levi noland; but assigned them the tenth part of thewhole fruits; which division was therefore arbitrary.And though a people coming into possessionof a land by war, do not always exterminate theancient inhabitants, as did the Jews, but leave tomany, or most, or all of them their estates; yet itis manifest they hold them afterwards, as of thevictors’ distribution; as the people of England heldall theirs of William the Conqueror.

Propriety of subject excludes not the dominion of the sovereign, but only of another subject.

235From whence we may collect, that the proprietywhich a subject hath in his lands, consisteth in aright to exclude all other subjects from the use ofthem; and not to exclude their sovereign, be itan assembly, or a monarch. For seeing the sovereign,that is to say, the commonwealth, whoseperson he representeth, is understood to do nothingbut in order to the common peace and security,this distribution of lands, is to be understood asdone in order to the same: and consequently,whatsoever distribution he shall make in prejudicethereof, is contrary to the will of every subject,that committed his peace, and safety to his discretion,and conscience; and therefore by the will ofevery one of them, is to be reputed void. It istrue, that a sovereign monarch, or the greater partof a sovereign assembly, may ordain the doing ofmany things in pursuit of their passions, contraryto their own consciences, which is a breach oftrust, and of the law of nature; but this is notenough to authorize any subject, either to makewar upon, or so much as to accuse of injustice, orany way to speak evil of their sovereign; becausethey have authorized all his actions, and in bestowingthe sovereign power, made them their own.But in what cases the commands of sovereigns arecontrary to equity, and the law of nature, is to beconsidered hereafter in another place.

The public is not to be dieted.

In the distribution of land, the commonwealthitself, may be conceived to have a portion, and possess,and improve the same by their representative;and that such portion may be made sufficient, tosustain the whole expense to the common peace,236and defence necessarily required. Which were verytrue, if there could be any representative conceivedfree from human passions, and infirmities. Butthe nature of men being as it is, the setting forthof public land, or of any certain revenue for the commonwealth,is in vain; and tendeth to the dissolutionof government, and to the condition of merenature, and war, as soon as ever the sovereignpower falleth into the hands of a monarch, or of anassembly, that are either too negligent of money,or too hazardous in engaging the public stock intoa long or costly war. Commonwealths can endureno diet: for seeing their expense is not limited bytheir own appetite, but by external accidents, andthe appetites of their neighbours, the public richescannot be limited by other limits, than those whichthe emergent occasions shall require. And whereasin England, there were by the Conqueror, diverslands reserved to his own use, besides forests andchases, either for his recreation, or preservation ofwoods, and divers services reserved on the land hegave his subjects; yet it seems they were not reservedfor his maintenance in his public, but in hisnatural capacity. For he, and his successors did forall that, lay arbitrary taxes on all subjects’ land,when they judged it necessary. Or if those publiclands, and services, were ordained as a sufficientmaintenance of the commonwealth, it was contraryto the scope of the institution; being, as it appearedby those ensuing taxes, insufficient, and, asit appears by the late small revenue of the crown,subject to alienation and diminution. It is thereforein vain, to assign a portion to the commonwealth;which may sell, or give it away; and does237sell and give it away, when it is done by theirrepresentative.

The places and matter of traffic depend, as their distribution, on the sovereign.

As the distribution of lands at home; so also toassign in what places, and for what commodities,the subject shall traffic abroad, belongeth to thesovereign. For if it did belong to private personsto use their own discretion therein, some of themwould be drawn for gain, both to furnish the enemywith means to hurt the commonwealth, and hurt itthemselves, by importing such things, as pleasingmen’s appetites, be nevertheless noxious, or at leastunprofitable to them. And therefore it belongethto the commonwealth, that is, to the sovereign only,to approve, or disapprove both of the places, andmatter of foreign traffic.

The laws of transferring propriety belong also to the sovereign.

Further, seeing it is not enough to the sustentationof a commonwealth, that every man have apropriety in a portion of land, or in some few commodities,or a natural property in some useful art,and there is no art in the world, but is necessaryeither for the being, or well being almost of everyparticular man; it is necessary, that men distributethat which they can spare, and transfer their proprietytherein, mutually one to another, by exchange,and mutual contract. And therefore it belongethto the commonwealth, that is to say, to the sovereign,to appoint in what manner all kinds of contractbetween subjects, as buying, selling, exchanging,borrowing, lending, letting, and taking to hire, areto be made; and by what words and signs theyshall be understood for valid. And for the matter,and distribution of the nourishment, to the severalmembers of the commonwealth, thus much, consideringthe model of the whole work, is sufficient.

Money the blood of a commonwealth.

238By concoction, I understand the reducing of allcommodities, which are not presently consumed,but reserved for nourishment in time to come, tosomething of equal value, and withal so portable,as not to hinder the motion of men from place toplace; to the end a man may have in what placesoever, such nourishment as the place affordeth.And this is nothing else but gold, and silver, andmoney. For gold and silver, being, as it happens,almost in all countries of the world highly valued,is a commodious measure of the value of all thingselse between nations; and money, of what mattersoever coined by the sovereign of a commonwealth,is a sufficient measure of the value of all things else,between the subjects of that commonwealth. Bythe means of which measures, all commodities,moveable and immoveable, are made to accompanya man to all places of his resort, within andwithout the place of his ordinary residence; andthe same passeth from man to man, within thecommonwealth; and goes round about, nourishing,as it passeth, every part thereof; in so much asthis concoction, is as it were the sanguification ofthe commonwealth: for natural blood is in likemanner made of the fruits of the earth; and circulating,nourisheth by the way every member ofthe body of man.

And because silver and gold have their valuefrom the matter itself; they have first this privilege,that the value of them cannot be altered bythe power of one, nor of a few commonwealths; asbeing a common measure of the commodities of allplaces. But base money, may easily be enhanced,or abased. Secondly, they have the privilege to239make commonwealths move, and stretch out theirarms, when need is, into foreign countries: andsupply, not only private subjects that travel, butalso whole armies with provision. But that coin,which is not considerable for the matter, but forthe stamp of the place, being unable to endurechange of air, hath its effect at home only; wherealso it is subject to the change of laws, and therebyto have the value diminished, to the prejudice manytimes of those that have it.

The conduits and way of money to the public use.

The conduits, and ways by which it is conveyedto the public use, are of two sorts: one, that conveyethit to the public coffers; the other, thatissueth the same out again for public payments. Ofthe first sort, are collectors, receivers, and treasurers; ofthe second, are the treasurers again, andthe officers appointed for payment of several publicor private ministers. And in this also, the artificialman maintains his resemblance with the natural;whose veins receiving the blood from the severalparts of the body, carry it to the heart; where beingmade vital, the heart by the arteries sends it outagain, to enliven, and enable for motion all themembers of the same.

The children of a commonwealth colonies.

The procreation or children of a commonwealth,are those we call plantations, or colonies; whichare numbers of men sent out from the commonwealth,under a conductor, or governor, to inhabita foreign country, either formerly void of inhabitants,or made void then by war. And when acolony is settled, they are either a commonwealthof themselves, discharged of their subjection to theirsovereign that sent them, as hath been done bymany commonwealths, of ancient time, in which240case the commonwealth from which they went, wascalled their metropolis or mother, and requires nomore of them, than fathers require of the children,whom they emancipate and make free from theirdomestic government, which is honour, and friendship;or else they remain united to their metropolis,as were the colonies of the people of Rome; andthen they are no commonwealths themselves, butprovinces, and parts of the commonwealth that sentthem. So that the right of colonies, saving honourand league with their metropolis, dependeth whollyon their licence or letters, by which their sovereignauthorized them to plant.



Counsel what.

How fallacious it is to judge of the nature of thingsby the ordinary and inconstant use of words, appearethin nothing more, than in the confusion ofcounsels, and commands, arising from the imperativemanner of speaking in them both, and in manyother occasions besides. For the words do this,are the words not only of him that commandeth;but also of him that giveth counsel; and of himthat exhorteth; and yet there are but few, thatsee not that these are very different things, orthat cannot distinguish between them, when theyperceive who it is that speaketh, and to whom thespeech is directed, and upon what occasion. Butfinding those phrases in men’s writings, and beingnot able, or not willing to enter into a consideration241of the circ*mstances, they mistake sometimesthe precepts of counsellors, for the preceptsof them that command; and sometimes the contrary;according as it best agreeth with the conclusionsthey would infer, or the actions they approve.To avoid which mistakes, and render tothose terms of commanding, counselling and exhorting,their proper and distinct significations, Idefine them thus.

Differences between command and counsel.

Command is, where a man saith, do this, or donot this, without expecting other reason than thewill of him that says it. From this it followethmanifestly, that he that commandeth, pretendeththereby his own benefit: for the reason of hiscommand is his own will only, and the proper objectof every man’s will, is some good to himself.

Counsel, is where a man saith, do, or do notthis, and deduceth his reasons from the benefit thatarriveth by it to him to whom he saith it. Andfrom this it is evident, that he that giveth counsel,pretendeth only, whatsoever he intendeth, the goodof him, to whom he giveth it.

Therefore between counsel and command, onegreat difference is, that command is directed to aman’s own benefit; and counsel to the benefit ofanother man. And from this ariseth another difference,that a man may be obliged to do what heis commanded; as when he hath covenanted toobey: but he cannot be obliged to do as he iscounselled, because the hurt of not following it, ishis own; or if he should covenant to follow it, thenis the counsel turned into the nature of a command.A third difference between them is, thatno man can pretend a right to be of another man’s242counsel; because he is not to pretend benefit by itto himself: but to demand right to counsel another,argues a will to know his designs, or to gainsome other good to himself: which, as I said before,is of every man’s will the proper object.

This also is incident to the nature of counsel;that whatsoever it be, he that asketh it, cannot inequity accuse, or punish it: for to ask counsel ofanother, is to permit him to give such counsel ashe shall think best; and consequently, he thatgiveth counsel to his sovereign, whether a monarch,or an assembly, when he asketh it, cannot in equitybe punished for it, whether the same be conformableto the opinion of the most, or not, so it beto the proposition in debate. For if the sense ofthe assembly can be taken notice of, before thedebate be ended, they should neither ask, nor takeany further counsel; for the sense of the assembly,is the resolution of the debate, and end of all deliberation.And generally he that demandeth counsel,is author of it; and therefore cannot punish*t; and what the sovereign cannot, no man elsecan. But if one subject giveth counsel to another,to do anything contrary to the laws, whether thatcounsel proceed from evil intention, or from ignoranceonly, it is punishable by the commonwealth;because ignorance of the law is no good excuse,where every man is bound to take notice of thelaws to which he is subject.

Exhortation and dehortation what.

Exhortation and DEHORTATION is counsel, accompaniedwith signs in him that giveth it, of vehementdesire to have it followed: or to say it morebriefly, counsel vehemently pressed. For he that exhorteth,doth not deduce the consequences of what243he adviseth to be done, and tie himself therein to therigour of true reasoning; but encourages him hecounselleth to action: as he that dehorteth, deterrethhim from it. And, therefore, they have intheir speeches, a regard to the common passionsand opinions of men, in deducing their reasons;and make use of similitudes, metaphors, examples,and other tools of oratory, to persuade their hearersof the utility, honour, or justice of following theiradvice.

From whence may be inferred, first, that exhortationand dehortation is directed to the good of himthat giveth the counsel, not of him that asketh it,which is contrary to the duty of a counsellor; who,by the definition of counsel, ought to regard nothis own benefit, but his whom he adviseth. Andthat he directeth his counsel to his own benefit, ismanifest enough, by the long and vehement urging,or by the artificial giving thereof; which being notrequired of him, and consequently proceeding fromhis own occasions, is directed principally to hisown benefit, and but accidentally to the good ofhim that is counselled, or not at all.

Secondly, that the use of exhortation and dehortationlieth only where a man is to speak to amultitude; because when the speech is addressedto one, he may interrupt him, and examine hisreasons more rigorously than can be done in amultitude; which are too many to enter into dispute,and dialogue with him that speaketh indifferentlyto them all at once.

Thirdly, that they that exhort and dehort, wherethey are required to give counsel, are corrupt counsellors,and as it were bribed by their own interest.244For though the counsel they give be never so good;yet he that gives it, is no more a good counsellor,than he that giveth a just sentence for a reward, isa just judge. But where a man may lawfully command,as a father in his family, or a leader in anarmy, his exhortations and dehortations, are notonly lawful, but also necessary, and laudable. Butthen they are no more counsels, but commands;which when they are for execution of sour labour,sometimes necessity, and always humanity requirethto be sweetened in the delivery, by encouragement,and in the tune and phrase of counsel, rather thanin harsher language of command.

Examples of the difference between commandand counsel, we may take from the forms of speechthat express them in Holy Scripture. Have noother Gods but me; make to thyself no gravenimage; take not God’s name in vain; sanctifythe sabbath; honour thy parents; kill not; stealnot, &c. are commands; because the reason forwhich we are to obey them, is drawn from the willof God our king, whom we are obliged to obey.But these words, Sell all thou hast; give it to thepoor; and follow me, are counsel; because thereason for which we are to do so, is drawn from ourown benefit; which is this, that we shall have treasurein Heaven. These words, Go into the villageover against you, and you shall find an ass tied,and her colt; loose her, and bring her to me, area command: for the reason of their fact is drawnfrom the will of their Master: but these words,Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus, arecounsel; because the reason why we should so do,tendeth not to any benefit of God Almighty, who245shall still be king in what manner soever we rebel;but of ourselves, who have no other means of avoidingthe punishment hanging over us for our sins.

Differences of fit and unfit counsellors.

As the difference of counsel from command, hathbeen now deduced from the nature of counsel, consistingin a deducing of the benefit, or hurt thatmay arise to him that is to be counselled, by thenecessary or probable consequences of the actionhe propoundeth; so may also the differences betweenapt and inept counsellors be derived fromthe same. For experience, being but memory of theconsequences of like actions formerly observed, andcounsel but the speech whereby that experience ismade known to another; the virtues, and defects ofcounsel, are the same with the virtues, and defectsintellectual: and to the person of a commonwealth,his counsellors serve him in the place of memory,and mental discourse. But with this resemblanceof the commonwealth, to a natural man, there isone dissimilitude joined, of great importance; whichis, that a natural man receiveth his experience, fromthe natural objects of sense, which work upon himwithout passion, or interest of their own; whereasthey that give counsel to the representative personof a commonwealth, may have, and have often theirparticular ends and passions, that render their counselsalways suspected, and many times unfaithful.And therefore we may set down for the first conditionof a good counsellor, that his ends, and interests,be not inconsistent with the ends and interestsof him he counselleth.

Secondly, because the office of a counsellor, whenan action comes into deliberation, is to make manifestthe consequences of it, in such manner, as he246that is counselled may be truly and evidently informed;he ought to propound his advice, in suchform of speech, as may make the truth most evidentlyappear; that is to say, with as firm ratiocination,as significant and proper language, and asbriefly, as the evidence will permit. And thereforerash and unevident inferences, such as are fetchedonly from examples, or authority of books, and arenot arguments of what is good, or evil, but witnessesof fact, or of opinion; obscure, confused,and ambiguous expressions, also all metaphoricalspeeches, tending to the stirring up of passion,(because such reasoning, and such expressions, areuseful only to deceive, or to lead him we counseltowards other ends than his own) are repugnantto the office of a counsellor.

Thirdly, because the ability of counselling proceedethfrom experience, and long study; and noman is presumed to have experience in all thosethings that to the administration of a great commonwealthare necessary to be known, no man ispresumed to be a good counsellor, but in suchbusiness, as he hath not only been much versed in,but hath also much meditated on, and considered.For seeing the business of a commonwealth is this,to preserve the people in peace at home, and defendthem against foreign invasion, we shall find, itrequires great knowledge of the disposition of mankind,of the rights of government, and of the natureof equity, law, justice, and honour, not to be attainedwithout study; and of the strength, commodities,places, both of their own country, and their neighbours;as also of the inclinations, and designs ofall nations that may any way annoy them. And247this is not attained to, without much experience.Of which things, not only the whole sum, butevery one of the particulars requires the age, andobservation of a man in years, and of more thanordinary study. The wit required for counsel, as Ihave said before (chap. VIII.) is judgment. And thedifferences of men in that point come from differenteducation, of some to one kind of study or business,and of others to another. When for the doing ofany thing, there be infallible rules, as in enginesand edifices, the rules of geometry, all the experienceof the world cannot equal his counsel, that haslearnt, or found out the rule. And when there isno such rule, he that hath most experience in thatparticular kind of business, has therein the bestjudgment, and is the best counsellor.

Fourthly, to be able to give counsel to a commonwealth,in a business that hath reference to anothercommonwealth, it is necessary to be acquaintedwith the intelligences, and letters that come fromthence, and with all the records of treaties, andother transactions of state between them; whichnone can do, but such as the representative shallthink fit. By which we may see, that they whoare not called to counsel, can have no good counselin such cases to obtrude.

Fifthly, supposing the number of counsellorsequal, a man is better counselled by hearing themapart, than in an assembly; and that for manycauses. First, in hearing them apart, you havethe advice of every man; but in an assembly manyof them deliver their advice with aye, or no, or withtheir hands, or feet, not moved by their own sense,but by the eloquence of another, or for fear of displeasing248some that have spoken, or the wholeassembly, by contradiction; or for fear of appearingduller in apprehension, than those that haveapplauded the contrary opinion. Secondly, in anassembly of many, there cannot choose but be somewhose interests are contrary to that of the public;and these their interests make passionate, and passioneloquent, and eloquence draws others into thesame advice. For the passions of men, whichasunder are moderate, as the heat of one brand; inan assembly are like many brands, that inflame oneanother, especially when they blow one anotherwith orations, to the setting of the commonwealthon fire, under pretence of counselling it. Thirdly,in hearing every man apart, one may examine,when there is need, the truth, or probability of hisreasons, and of the grounds of the advice he gives,by frequent interruptions, and objections; whichcannot be done in an assembly, where, in everydifficult question, a man is rather astonied, anddazzled with the variety of discourse upon it, thaninformed of the course he ought to take. Besides,there cannot be an assembly of many, called togetherfor advice, wherein there be not some, thathave the ambition to be thought eloquent, and alsolearned in the politics; and give not their advicewith care of the business propounded, but of theapplause of their motley orations, made of the diverscoloured threds, or shreads of authors; which isan impertinence at least, that takes away the timeof serious consultation, and in the secret way ofcounselling apart, is easily avoided. Fourthly, indeliberations that ought to be kept secret, whereofthere be many occasions in public business, the249counsels of many, and especially in assemblies, aredangerous; and therefore great assemblies are necessitatedto commit such affairs to lesser numbers,and of such persons as are most versed, and inwhose fidelity they have most confidence.

To conclude, who is there that so far approvesthe taking of counsel from a great assembly ofcounsellors, that wisheth for, or would accept oftheir pains, when there is a question of marryinghis children, disposing of his lands, governing hishousehold, or managing his private estate, especiallyif there be amongst them such as wish not his prosperity?A man that doth his business by the helpof many and prudent counsellors, with every oneconsulting apart in his proper element, does it best,as he that useth able seconds at tennis play, placedin their proper stations. He does next best, thatuseth his own judgment only; as he that has nosecond at all. But he that is carried up and downto his business in a framed counsel, which cannotmove but by the plurality of consenting opinions,the execution whereof is commonly, out of envy orinterest, retarded by the part dissenting, does itworst of all, and like one that is carried to the ball,though by good players, yet in a wheel-barrow, orother frame, heavy of itself, and retarded also bythe inconcurrent judgments, and endeavours ofthem that drive it; and so much the more, as theybe more that set their hands to it; and most of all,when there is one, or more amongst them, thatdesire to have him lose. And though it be true,that many eyes see more than one; yet it is not tobe understood of many counsellors; but then only,when the final resolution is in one man. Otherwise,250because many eyes see the same thing indivers lines, and are apt to look asquint towardstheir private benefit; they that desire not to misstheir mark, though they look about with two eyes,yet they never aim but with one; and therefore nogreat popular commonwealth was ever kept up, buteither by a foreign enemy that united them; or bythe reputation of some eminent man amongst them;or by the secret counsel of a few; or by the mutualfear of equal factions; and not by the open consultationsof the assembly. And as for very littlecommonwealths, be they popular, or monarchical,there is no human wisdom can uphold them, longerthan the jealousy lasteth of their potent neighbours.



Civil law what.

By CIVIL LAWS, I understand the laws, that men aretherefore bound to observe, because they are members,not of this, or that commonwealth in particular,but of a commonwealth. For the knowledge of particularlaws belongeth to them, that profess thestudy of the laws of their several countries; butthe knowledge of civil law in general, to any man.The ancient law of Rome was called their civil law,from the word civitas, which signifies a commonwealth:and those countries, which having been underthe Roman empire, and governed by that law,retain still such part thereof as they think fit, callthat part the civil law, to distinguish it from therest of their own civil laws. But that is not it I251intend to speak of here; my design being not toshow what is law here, and there; but what islaw; as Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and divers othershave done, without taking upon them the professionof the study of the law.

And first it is manifest, that law in general, is notcounsel, but command; nor a command of anyman to any man; but only of him, whose commandis addressed to one formerly obliged to obey him.And as for civil law, it addeth only the name of theperson commanding, which is persona civitatis,the person of the commonwealth.

Which considered, I define civil law in thismanner. Civil law, is to every subject, thoserules, which the commonwealth hath commandedhim, by word, writing, or other sufficient sign ofthe will, to make use of, for the distinction ofright, 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 notat first sight evident. For every man seeth, thatsome laws are addressed to all the subjects ingeneral; some to particular provinces; some toparticular vocations; and some to particular men;and are therefore laws, to every of those to whomthe command is directed, and to none else. Asalso, that laws are the rules of just, and unjust;nothing being reputed unjust, that is not contraryto some law. Likewise, that none can make lawsbut the commonwealth; because our subjection isto the commonwealth only: and that commands,are to be signified by sufficient signs; because aman knows not otherwise how to obey them. Andtherefore, whatsoever can from this definition by252necessary consequence be deduced, ought to beacknowledged for truth. Now I deduce from itthis that followeth.

The sovereign is legislator.

1. The legislator in all commonwealths, is onlythe sovereign, 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 thelaw. And the commonwealth only prescribes, andcommandeth the observation of those rules, whichwe call law: therefore the commonwealth is thelegislator. But the commonwealth is no person,nor has capacity to do anything, but by the representative,that is, the sovereign; and therefore thesovereign is the sole legislator. For the samereason, none can abrogate a law made, but thesovereign; because a law is not abrogated, butby another law, that forbiddeth it to be put inexecution.

And not subject to civil law.

2. The sovereign of a commonwealth, be it anassembly, or one man, is not subject to the civillaws. For having power to make, and repeal laws,he may when he pleaseth, free himself from thatsubjection, by repealing those laws that trouble him,and making of new; and consequently he was freebefore. For he is free, that can be free when hewill: nor is it possible for any person to be boundto himself; because he that can bind, can release;and therefore he that is bound to himself only, isnot bound.

Use, a law not by virtue of time, but of the sovereign’s consent.

3. When long use obtaineth the authority of alaw, it is not the length of time that maketh theauthority, but the will of the sovereign signified byhis silence, for silence is sometimes an argument ofconsent; and it is no longer law, than the sovereign253shall be silent therein. And therefore if the sovereignshall have a question of right grounded, notupon his present will, but upon the laws formerlymade; the length of time shall bring no prejudiceto his right; but the question shall be judged byequity. For many unjust actions, and unjust sentences,go uncontrolled a longer time than any mancan remember. And our lawyers account no customslaw, but such as are reasonable, and that evilcustoms are to be abolished. But the judgment ofwhat is reasonable, and of what is to be abolished,belongeth to him that maketh the law, which is thesovereign assembly, or monarch.

The law of nature, and the civil law contain each other.

4. The law of nature, and the civil law, containeach other, and are of equal extent. For the lawsof nature, which consist in equity, justice, gratitude,and other moral virtues on these depending,in the condition of mere nature, as I have said beforein the end of the fifteenth chapter, are notproperly laws, but qualities that dispose men topeace and obedience. When a commonwealth isonce settled, then are they actually laws, and notbefore; as being then the commands of the commonwealth;and therefore also civil laws: for it isthe sovereign 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 moralvirtue, and to make them binding, there is need ofthe ordinances of sovereign power, and punishmentsto be ordained for such as shall break them; whichordinances are therefore part of the civil law. Thelaw of nature therefore is a part of the civil law inall commonwealths of the world. Reciprocally also,the civil law is a part of the dictates of nature.254For justice, that is to say, performance of covenant,and giving to every man his own, is a dictate ofthe law of nature. But every subject in a commonwealth,hath convenanted to obey the civil law;either one with another, as when they assemble tomake a common representative, or with the representativeitself one by one, when subdued by thesword they promise obedience, that they may receivelife; and therefore obedience to the civil lawis part also of the law of nature. Civil, and naturallaw are not different kinds, but different parts oflaw; whereof one part being written, is called civil,the other unwritten, natural. But the right ofnature, that is, the natural liberty of man, may bythe civil law be abridged, and restrained: nay, theend of making laws, is no other, but such restraint;without the which there cannot possibly be anypeace. And law was brought into the world fornothing else, but to limit the natural liberty of particularmen, in such manner, as they might nothurt, but assist one another, and join togetheragainst a common enemy.

Provincial laws are not made by custom, but by the sovereign power.

5. If the sovereign of one commonwealth, subduea people that have lived under other writtenlaws, and afterwards govern them by the same laws,by which they were governed before; yet thoselaws are the civil laws of the victor, and not of thevanquished commonwealth. For the legislator ishe, not by whose authority the laws were first made,but by whose authority they now continue to belaws. And therefore where there be divers provinces,within the dominion of a commonwealth,and in those provinces diversity of laws, whichcommonly are called the customs of each several255province, we are not to understand that such customshave their force, only from length of time;but that they were anciently laws written, or otherwisemade known, for the constitutions, andstatutes of their sovereigns; and are now laws, notby virtue of the prescription of time, but by theconstitutions of their present sovereigns. But ifan unwritten law, in all the provinces of a dominion,shall be generally observed, and no iniquityappear in the use thereof; that law can be no otherbut a law of nature, equally obliging all mankind.

Some foolish opinions of lawyers concerning the making of laws.

6. Seeing then all laws, written and unwritten,have their authority and force, from the will of thecommonwealth; that is to say, from the will of therepresentative; which in a monarchy is the monarch,and in other commonwealths the sovereignassembly; a man may wonder from whence proceedsuch opinions, as are found in the books oflawyers of eminence in several commonwealths,directly, or by consequence making the legislativepower depend on private men, or subordinatejudges. As for example, that the common law,hath no controller but the parliament; which istrue only where a parliament has the sovereignpower, and cannot be assembled, nor dissolved, butby their own discretion. For if there be a right inany else to dissolve them, there is a right also tocontrol them, and consequently to control theircontrollings. And if there be no such right, thenthe controller of laws is not parliamentum, but rexin parliamento. And where a parliament is sovereign,if it should assemble never so many, or sowise men, from the countries subject to them, forwhatsoever cause; yet there is no man will believe,256that such an assembly hath thereby acquired tothemselves a legislative power. Item, that the twoarms of a commonwealth, are force and justice;the first whereof is in the king; the other depositedin the hands of the parliament. As if acommonwealth could consist, where the force werein any hand, which justice had not the authority tocommand and govern.

Sir Edw. co*ke upon Littleton, lib. 2, ch. 6, fol. 97, b.

7. That law can never be against reason, ourlawyers are agreed; and that not the letter, thatis every construction of it, but that which is accordingto the intention of the legislator, is the law.And it is true: but the doubt is of whose reason itis, that shall be received for law. It is not meantof any private reason; for then there would be asmuch contradiction in the laws, as there is in theSchools; nor yet, as Sir Edward co*ke makes it, anartificial perfection of reason, gotten by longstudy, observation, and experience, as his was.For it is possible long study may increase, and confirmerroneous sentences: and where men build onfalse grounds, the more they build, the greater isthe ruin: and of those that study, and observewith equal time and diligence, the reasons andresolutions are, and must remain discordant: andtherefore it is not that juris prudentia, or wisdomof subordinate judges; but the reason of this ourartificial man the commonwealth, and his command,that maketh law: and the commonwealth beingin their representative but one person, there cannoteasily arise any contradiction in the laws; andwhen there doth, the same reason is able, by interpretation,or alteration, to take it away. In allcourts of justice, the sovereign, which is the person257of the commonwealth, is he that judgeth: thesubordinate judge, ought to have regard to thereason, which moved his sovereign to make suchlaw, that his sentence may be according thereunto;which then is his sovereign’s sentence; otherwiseit 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 acommand consisteth in declaration, or manifestationof the will of him that commandeth, by voice,writing, or some other sufficient argument of thesame, we may understand, that the command ofthe commonwealth is law only to those, that havemeans to take notice of it. Over natural fools,children, or madmen, there is no law, no morethan over brute beasts; nor are they capable ofthe title of just, or unjust; because they had neverpower to make any covenant, or to understand theconsequences thereof; and consequently never tookupon them to authorize the actions of any sovereign,as they must do that make to themselves acommonwealth. And as those from whom natureor accident hath taken away the notice of all lawsin general; so also every man, from whom anyaccident, not proceeding from his own default, hathtaken away the means to take notice of any particularlaw, is excused, if he observe it not: and tospeak properly, that law is no law to him. It istherefore necessary, to consider in this place, whatarguments, and signs be sufficient for the knowledgeof what is the law; that is to say, what isthe will of the sovereign, as well in monarchies, asin other forms of government.

Unwritten laws are all of them laws of nature.

And first, if it be a law that obliges all the subjectswithout exception, and is not written, nor258otherwise published in such places as they may takenotice thereof, it is a law of nature. For whatsoevermen are to take knowledge of for law, notupon other men’s words, but every one from hisown reason, must be such as is agreeable to thereason of all men; which no law can be, but thelaw of nature. The laws of nature therefore neednot any publishing, nor proclamation; as beingcontained in this one sentence, approved by all theworld, Do not that to another, which thou thinkestunreasonable to be done by another to thyself.

Secondly, if it be a law that obliges only somecondition of men, or one particular man, and benot written, nor published by word, then also it isa law of nature; and known by the same arguments,and signs, that distinguish those in such acondition, from other subjects. For whatsoever lawis not written, or some way published by him thatmakes it law, can be known no way, but by thereason of him that is to obey it; and is thereforealso a law not only civil, but natural. For example,if the sovereign employ a public minister, withoutwritten instructions what to do; he is obliged totake for instructions the dictates of reason; as ifhe make a judge, the judge is to take notice, thathis sentence ought to be according to the reason ofhis sovereign, which being always understood to beequity, he is bound to it by the law of nature: orif an ambassador, he is, in all things not containedin his written instructions, to take for instructionthat which reason dictates to be most conducingto his sovereign’s interest; and so of all other ministersof the sovereignty, public and private. Allwhich instructions of natural reason may be comprehended259under one name of fidelity; which is abranch of natural justice.

The law of nature excepted, it belongeth to theessence of all other laws, to be made known, toevery man that shall be obliged to obey them, eitherby word, or writing, or some other act, known toproceed from the sovereign authority. For thewill of another cannot be understood, but by hisown word, or act, or by conjecture taken from hisscope and purpose; which in the person of thecommonwealth, is to be supposed always consonantto equity and reason. And in ancient time, beforeletters were in common use, the laws were manytimes put into verse; that the rude people takingpleasure in singing, or reciting them, might themore easily retain them in memory. And for thesame reason Solomon (Prov. vii. 3) adviseth a man,to bind the ten commandments upon his ten fingers.And for the law which Moses gave to thepeople of Israel at the renewing of the covenant(Deut. xi. 19), he biddeth them to teach it theirchildren, by discoursing of it both at home, andupon the way; at going to bed, and at rising frombed; and to write it upon the posts, and doors oftheir houses; and (Deut. xxxi. 12) to assemble thepeople, man, woman, and child, to hear 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, thatit proceedeth from the will of the sovereign. Forprivate men, when they have, or think they haveforce enough to secure their unjust designs, andconvoy them safely to their ambitious ends, maypublish for laws what they please, without, oragainst the legislative authority. There is therefore260requisite, not only a declaration of the law, but alsosufficient signs of the author and authority. Theauthor, or legislator is supposed in every commonwealthto be evident, because he is the sovereign,who having been constituted by the consent ofevery one, is supposed by every one to be sufficientlyknown. And though the ignorance and securityof men be such, for the most part, as thatwhen the memory of the first constitution of theircommonwealth is worn out, they do not consider,by whose power they used to be defended againsttheir enemies, and to have their industry protected,and to be righted when injury is done them; yetbecause no man that considers, can make questionof it, no excuse can be derived from the ignoranceof where the sovereignty is placed. And it is adictate of natural reason, and consequently an evidentlaw of nature, that no man ought to weakenthat power, the protection whereof he hath himselfdemanded, or wittingly received against others.Therefore of who is sovereign, no man, but by hisown fault, (whatsoever evil men suggest,) can makeany doubt. |Difference between verifying & authorizing.| The difficulty consisteth in the evidenceof the authority derived from him; the removingwhereof, dependeth on the knowledge ofthe public registers, public counsels, public ministers,and public seals; by which all laws are sufficientlyverified; verified, I say, not authorized:for the verification, is but the testimony and record,not the authority of the law; which consisteth inthe command of the sovereign only.

The law verified by the subordinate judge.

If therefore a man have a question of injury, dependingon the law of nature; that is to say, oncommon equity; the sentence of the judge, that261by commission hath authority to take cognizanceof such causes, is a sufficient verification of the lawof nature in that individual case. For though theadvice of one that professeth the study of the law,be useful for the avoiding of contention; yet it isbut advice: it is the judge must tell men what islaw, upon the hearing of the controversy.

By the public registers.

But when the question is of injury, or crime,upon a written law; every man by recourse to theregisters, by himself or others, may, if he will, besufficiently informed, before he do such injury, orcommit the crime, whether it be an injury, or not:nay he ought to do so: for when a man doubtswhether the act he goeth about, be just, or unjust;and may inform himself, if he will; the doing isunlawful. In like manner, he that supposeth himselfinjured, in a case determined by the writtenlaw, which he may, by himself or others, see andconsider; if he complain before he consults withthe law, he does unjustly, and bewrayeth a dispositionrather to vex other men, than to demand hisown right.

By letters patent and public seal.

If the question be of obedience to a public officer;to have seen his commission, with the public seal,and heard it read; or to have had the means tobe informed of it, if a man would, is a sufficientverification of his authority. For every man isobliged to do his best endeavour, to inform himselfof all written laws, that may concern his ownfuture actions.

The interpretation of the law dependeth on the sovereign power.

The legislator known; and the laws, either bywriting, or by the light of nature, sufficiently published;there wanteth yet another very materialcirc*mstance to make them obligatory. For it is262not the letter, but the intendment, or meaning,that is to say, the authentic interpretation of thelaw (which is the sense of the legislator), in whichthe nature of the law consisteth; and therefore theinterpretation of all laws dependeth on the authoritysovereign; and the interpreters can be nonebut those, which the sovereign, to whom only thesubject oweth obedience, shall appoint. For else,by the craft of an interpreter, the law may be madeto bear a sense, contrary to that of the sovereign:by which means the interpreter becomes the legislator.

All laws need interpretation.

All laws, written, and unwritten, have need ofinterpretation. The unwritten law of nature,though it be easy to such, as without partialityand passion, make use of their natural reason, andtherefore leaves the violators thereof without excuse;yet considering there be very few, perhapsnone, that in some cases are not blinded by self-love,or some other passion; it is now become ofall laws the most obscure, and has consequentlythe greatest need of able interpreters. The writtenlaws, if they be short, are easily misinterpreted,from the divers significations of a word, or two: iflong, they be more obscure by the divers significationsof many words: insomuch as no written law,delivered in few, or many words, can be well understood,without a perfect understanding of thefinal causes, for which the law was made; theknowledge of which final causes is in the legislator.To him therefore there cannot be any knot in thelaw, insoluble; either by finding out the ends, toundo it by; or else by making what ends he will,as Alexander did with his sword in the Gordian263knot, by the legislative power; which no other interpretercan do.

The authentical interpretation of law is not that of writers.

The interpretation of the laws of nature, in acommonwealth, dependeth not on the books ofmoral philosophy. The authority of writers, withoutthe authority of the commonwealth, makethnot their opinions law, be they never so true. Thatwhich I have written in this treatise, concerningthe moral virtues, and of their necessity for theprocuring, and maintaining peace, though it beevident truth, is not therefore presently law; butbecause in all commonwealths in the world, it ispart of the civil law. For though it be naturallyreasonable; yet it is by the sovereign power thatit is law: otherwise, it were a great error, to callthe laws of nature unwritten law; whereof we seeso many volumes published, and in them so manycontradictions 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 thesentence of the judge constituted by the sovereignauthority, to hear and determine such controversies,as depend thereon; and consisteth in the applicationof the law to the present case. For inthe act of judicature, the judge doth no more butconsider, whether the demand of the party, beconsonant to natural reason, and equity; and thesentence he giveth, is therefore the interpretationof the law of nature; which interpretation is authentic;not because it is his private sentence;but because he giveth it by authority of the sovereign,whereby it becomes the sovereign’s 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, norsovereign, but may err in a judgment of equity; if264afterward in another like case he find it more consonantto equity to give a contrary sentence, he isobliged to do it. No man’s error becomes his ownlaw; nor obliges him to persist in it. Neither, forthe same reason, becomes it a law to other judges,though sworn to follow it. For though a wrongsentence given by authority of the sovereign, if heknow and allow it, in such laws as are mutable, bea constitution of a new law, in cases, in whichevery little circ*mstance is the same; yet in lawsimmutable, such as are the laws of nature, they areno laws to the same or other judges, in the likecases for ever after. Princes succeed one another;and one judge passeth, another cometh; nay, heavenand earth shall pass; but not one tittle of thelaw of nature shall pass; for it is the eternal lawof God. Therefore all the sentences of precedentjudges that have ever been, cannot altogethermake a law contrary to natural equity: nor anyexamples of former judges, can warrant an unreasonablesentence, or discharge the present judge ofthe trouble of studying what is equity, in the casehe is to judge, from the principles of his own naturalreason. For example sake, it is against the lawof nature, to punish the innocent; and innocent ishe that acquitteth himself judicially, and is acknowledgedfor innocent by the judge. Put the casenow, that a man is accused of a capital crime, andseeing the power and malice of some enemy, andthe frequent corruption and partiality of judges,runneth away for fear of the event, and afterwardsis taken, and brought to a legal trial, and makethit sufficiently appear, he was not guilty of thecrime, and being thereof acquitted, is nevertheless265condemned to lose his goods; this is a manifestcondemnation of the innocent. I say therefore,that there is no place in the world, where this canbe an interpretation of a law of nature, or be madea law by the sentences of precedent judges, thathad done the same. For he that judged it first,judged unjustly; and no injustice can be a patternof judgment to succeeding judges. A written lawmay forbid innocent men to fly, and they may bepunished for flying: but that flying for fear 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 judgment given. Yetthis is set down by a great lawyer for the commonlaw of England. If a man, saith he, that is innocent,be accused of felony, and for fear flyeth forthe same; albeit he judicially acquitteth himselfof the felony; yet if it be found that he fled forthe felony, he shall notwithstanding his innocency,forfeit all his goods, chattels, debts, and duties.For as to the forfeiture of them, the law will admitno proof against the presumption in law,grounded upon his flight. Here you see, an innocentman judicially acquitted, notwithstandinghis innocency, when no written law forbad him tofly, after his acquittal, upon a presumption in law,condemned to lose all the goods he hath. If thelaw ground upon his flight a presumption of thefact, which was capital, the sentence ought to havebeen capital: if the presumption were not of thefact, for what then ought he to lose his goods?This therefore is no law of England; nor is thecondemnation grounded upon a presumption of266law, but upon the presumption of the judges. Itis also against law, to say that no proof shall beadmitted against a presumption of law. For alljudges, sovereign and subordinate, if they refuse tohear proof, refuse to do justice: for though thesentence be just, yet the judges that condemnwithout hearing the proofs offered, are unjustjudges; and their presumption is but prejudice;which no man ought to bring with him to the seatof justice, whatsoever precedent judgments, or exampleshe shall pretend to follow. There be otherthings of this nature, wherein men’s judgmentshave been perverted, by trusting to precedents:but this is enough to show, that though the sentenceof the judge, be a law to the party pleading,yet it is no law to any judge, that shall succeedhim in that office.

In like manner, when question is of the meaningof written laws, he is not the interpreter of them,that writeth a commentary upon them. For commentariesare commonly more subject to cavil, thanthe text; and therefore need other commentaries;and so there will be no end of such interpretation.And therefore unless there be an interpreter authorizedby the sovereign, from which the subordinatejudges are not to recede, the interpreter can be noother than the ordinary judges, in the same manner,as they are in cases of the unwritten law; and theirsentences are to be taken by them that plead, forlaws in that particular case; but not to bind otherjudges, in like cases to give like judgments. Fora judge may err in the interpretation even of writtenlaws; but no error of a subordinate judge, canchange the law, which is the general sentence ofthe sovereign.

The difference between the letter and sentence of the law.

267In written laws, men use to make a differencebetween the letter, and the sentence of the law:and when by the letter, is meant whatsoever canbe gathered from the bare words, it is well distinguished.For the significations of almost all words,are either in themselves, or in the metaphorical useof them, ambiguous; and may be drawn in argument,to make many senses; but there is only onesense of the law. But if by the letter, be meantthe literal sense, then the letter, and the sentenceor intention of the law, is all one. For the literalsense is that, which the legislator intended, shouldby the letter of the law be signified. Now the intentionof the legislator is always supposed to be equity:for it were a great contumely for a judge to thinkotherwise of the sovereign. He ought therefore,if the word of the law do not fully authorize a reasonablesentence, to supply it with the law of nature;or if the case be difficult, to respite judgment tillhe have received more ample authority. For example,a written law ordaineth, that he which isthrust out of his house by force, shall be restoredby force: it happens that a man by negligenceleaves his house empty, and returning is kept outby force, in which case there is no special law ordained.It is evident that this case is contained inthe same law: for else there is no remedy for himat all; which is to be supposed against the intentionof the legislator. Again, the word of the lawcommandeth to judge according to the evidence:a man is accused falsely of a fact, which the judgehimself saw done by another, and not by him thatis accused. In this case neither shall the letter ofthe law be followed to the condemnation of the innocent,268nor shall the judge give sentence againstthe evidence of the witnesses; because the letter ofthe law is to the contrary: but procure of the sovereignthat another be made judge, and himselfwitness. So that the incommodity that follows thebare words of a written law, may lead him to the intentionof the law, whereby to interpret the same thebetter; though no incommodity can warrant a sentenceagainst the law. For every judge of right,and wrong, is not judge of what is commodious,or incommodious to the commonwealth.

The abilities required in a judge.

The abilities required in a good interpreter ofthe law, that is to say, in a good judge, are not thesame with those of an advocate; namely the studyof the laws. For a judge, as he ought to takenotice of the fact, from none but the witnesses; soalso he ought to take notice of the law from nothingbut the statutes, and constitutions of the sovereign,alleged in the pleading, or declared to him bysome that have authority from the sovereign powerto declare them; and need not take care beforehand,what he shall judge; for it shall be givenhim what he shall say concerning the fact, by witnesses;and what he shall say in point of law, fromthose that shall in their pleadings show it, and byauthority interpret it upon the place. The Lordsof parliament in England were judges, and mostdifficult causes have been heard and determined bythem; yet few of them were much versed in thestudy of the laws, and fewer had made professionof them: and though they consulted with lawyers,that were appointed to be present there for thatpurpose; yet they alone had the authority of givingsentence. In like manner, in the ordinary trials of269right, twelve men of the common people, are thejudges, and give sentence, not only of the fact, butof the right; and pronounce simply for the complainant,or for the defendant; that is to say, arejudges, not only of the fact, but also of the right:and in a question of crime, not only determinewhether done, or not done; but also whether itbe murder, homicide, felony, assault, and the like,which are determinations of law: but because theyare not supposed to know the law of themselves,there is one that hath authority to inform them ofit, in the particular case they are to judge of. Butyet if they judge not according to that he tells them,they are not subject thereby to any penalty; unlessit be made appear, that they did it against theirconsciences, or had been corrupted by reward.

The things that make a good judge, or good interpreterof the laws, are, first, a right understandingof that principal law of nature calledequity; which depending not on the reading ofother men’s writings, but on the goodness of a man’sown natural reason, and meditation, is presumedto be in those most, that have had most leisure,and had the most inclination to meditate thereon.Secondly, contempt of unnecessary riches, andpreferments. Thirdly, to be able in judgment todivest himself of all fear, anger, hatred, love,and compassion. Fourthly, and lastly, patience tohear; diligent attention in hearing; and memoryto retain, digest and apply what he hath heard.

Divisions of law.

The difference and division of the laws, has beenmade in divers manners, according to the differentmethods, of those men that have written of them.For it is a thing that dependeth not on nature, but270on the scope of the writer; and is subservient toevery man’s proper method. In the Institutions ofJustinian, we find seven sorts of civil laws:

1. The edicts, constitutions, and epistles of theprince, that is, of the emperor; because the wholepower of the people was in him. Like these, arethe proclamations of the kings of England.

2. The decrees of the whole people of Rome,comprehending the senate, when they were put tothe question by the senate. These were laws, atfirst, by the virtue of the sovereign power residingin the people; and such of them as by the emperorswere not abrogated, remained laws, by the authorityimperial. For all laws that bind, are understoodto be laws by his authority that has powerto repeal them. Somewhat like to these laws, arethe acts of parliament in England.

3. The decrees of the common people, excludingthe senate, when they were put to the question bythe tribune of the people. For such of them aswere not abrogated by the emperors, remainedlaws by the authority imperial. Like to these, werethe 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; itwas thought fit by the emperor, that men shouldconsult the senate, instead of the people; and thesehave some resemblance with the acts of council.

5. The edicts of prætors, and in some cases ofædiles: such as are the chief justices in the courtsof England.

6. Responsa prudentum; which were the sentences,and opinion of those lawyers, to whom the271emperor gave authority to interpret the law, and togive answer to such as in matter of law demandedtheir advice; which answers, the judges in givingjudgment were obliged by the constitutions of theemperor to observe: and should be like the reportsof cases judged, if other judges be by the law of Englandbound to observe them. For the judges of thecommon law of England, are not properly judges,but juris consulti; of whom the judges, who areeither the lords, or twelve men of the country, arein point of law to ask advice.

7. Also, unwritten customs, which in their ownnature are an imitation of law, by the tacit consentof the emperor, in case they be not contrary to thelaw of nature, are very laws.

Another division of law.

Another division of laws, is into natural andpositive. Natural are those which have been lawsfrom all eternity; and are called not only natural,but also moral laws; consisting in the moral virtues,as justice, equity, and all habits of the mindthat conduce to peace, and charity; of which Ihave already spoken in the fourteenth and fifteenthchapters.

Positive, are those which have not been frometernity; but have been made laws by the will ofthose that have had the sovereign power overothers; and are either written, or made known tomen, by some other argument of the will of theirlegislator.

Again, of positive laws some are human, somedivine; and of human positive laws, some are distributive,some penal. Distributive are those thatdetermine the rights of the subjects, declaring toevery man what it is, by which he acquireth and272holdeth a propriety in lands, or goods, and a rightor liberty of action: and these speak to all thesubjects. Penal are those, which declare, whatpenalty shall be inflicted on those that violate thelaw; and speak to the ministers and officers ordainedfor execution. For though every one oughtto be informed of the punishments ordained beforehandfor their transgression; nevertheless thecommand is not addressed to the delinquent, whocannot be supposed will faithfully punish himself,but to public ministers appointed to see the penaltyexecuted. And these penal laws are for the mostpart written together with the laws distributive;and are sometimes called judgments. For all lawsare general judgments, or sentences of the legislator;as also every particular judgment, is a law tohim, whose case is judged.

Divine positive law how made known to be law.

Divine positive laws (for natural laws being eternal,and universal, are all divine), are those, whichbeing the commandments of God, not from alleternity, nor universally addressed to all men, butonly to a certain people, or to certain persons, aredeclared for such, by those whom God hath authorizedto declare them. But this authority of manto declare what be these positive laws of God, howcan it be known? God may command a man by asupernatural way, to deliver laws to other men.But because it is of the essence of law, that he whois to be obliged, be assured of the authority of himthat declareth it, which we cannot naturally takenotice to be from God, how can a man withoutsupernatural revelation be assured of the revelationreceived by the declarer? and how can he bebound to obey them? For the first question, how273a man can be assured of the revelation of another,without a revelation particularly to himself, it isevidently impossible. For though a man may beinduced to believe such revelation, from the miraclesthey see him do, or from seeing the extraordinarysanctity of his life, or from seeing theextraordinary wisdom, or extraordinary felicity ofhis actions, all which are marks of God’s extraordinaryfavour; yet they are not assured evidencesof special revelation. Miracles are marvellousworks: but that which is marvellous to one, maynot be so to another. Sanctity may be feigned;and the visible felicities of this world, are mostoften the work of God by natural, and ordinarycauses. And therefore no man can infallibly knowby natural reason, that another has had a supernaturalrevelation of God’s will; but only a belief;every one, as the signs thereof shall appear greateror lesser, a firmer or a weaker belief.

But for the second, how can he be bound toobey them; it is not so hard. For if the law declared,be not against the law of nature, which isundoubtedly God’s law, and he undertake to obeyit, he is bound by his own act; bound I say toobey it, but not bound to believe it: for men’sbelief, and interior cogitations, are not subject tothe commands, but only to the operation of God,ordinary, or extraordinary. Faith of supernaturallaw, is not a fulfilling, but only an assenting to thesame; and not a duty that we exhibit to God, buta gift which God freely giveth to whom he pleaseth;as also unbelief is not a breach of any of his laws;but a rejection of them all, except the laws natural.But this that I say, will be made yet clearer, by the274examples and testimonies concerning this point inholy Scripture. The covenant God made withAbraham, in a supernatural manner, was thus, (Gen.xvii. 10) This is the covenant which thou shalt observebetween me and thee and thy seed after thee.Abraham’s seed had not this revelation, nor wereyet in being; yet they are a party to the covenant,and bound to obey what Abraham should declareto them for God’s law; which they could not be, butin virtue of the obedience they owed to theirparents; who, if they be subject to no otherearthly power, as here in the case of Abraham,have sovereign power over their children and servants.Again, where God saith to Abraham, In theeshall all nations of the earth be blessed; for Iknow thou wilt command thy children, and thyhouse after thee to keep the way of the Lord, andto observe righteousness and judgment, it is manifest,the obedience of his family, who had no revelation,depended on their former obligation to obeytheir sovereign. At Mount Sinai Moses only wentup to God; the people were forbidden to approachon pain of death; yet they were bound to obey allthat Moses declared to them for God’s law. Uponwhat ground, but on this submission of their own,Speak thou to us, and we will hear thee; but letnot God speak to us, lest we die? By which twoplaces it sufficiently appeareth, that in a commonwealth,a subject that has no certain and assuredrevelation particularly to himself concerning thewill of God, is to obey for such, the command ofthe commonwealth: for if men were at liberty, totake for God’s commandments, their own dreamsand fancies, or the dreams and fancies of private275men; scarce two men would agree upon what isGod’s commandment; and yet in respect of them,every man would despise the commandments of thecommonwealth. I conclude therefore, that in allthings not contrary to the moral law, that is tosay, to the law of nature, all subjects are bound toobey that for divine law, which is declared to beso, by the laws of the commonwealth. Which alsois evident to any man’s reason; for whatsoever isnot against the law of nature, may be made law inthe name of them that have the sovereign power;and there is no reason men should be the lessobliged by it, when it is propounded in the nameof God. Besides, there is no place in the worldwhere men are permitted to pretend other commandmentsof God, than are declared for such bythe commonwealth. Christian states punish thosethat revolt from the Christian religion, and all otherstates, those that set up any religion by them forbidden.For in whatsoever is not regulated by thecommonwealth, it is equity, which is the law ofnature, and therefore an eternal law of God, thatevery man equally enjoy his liberty.

Another division of laws.

There is also another distinction of laws, intofundamental and not fundamental; but I couldnever see in any author, what a fundamental lawsignifieth. Nevertheless one may very reasonablydistinguish laws in that manner.

A fundamental law, what.

For a fundamental law in every commonwealthis that, which being taken away, the commonwealthfaileth, and is utterly dissolved; as a buildingwhose foundation is destroyed. And thereforea fundamental law is that, by which subjects arebound to uphold whatsoever power is given to the276sovereign, whether a monarch, or a sovereign assembly,without which the commonwealth cannotstand; such as is the power of war and peace, ofjudicature, of election of officers, and of doing whatsoeverhe shall think necessary for the public good.Not fundamental is that, the abrogating whereof,draweth not with it the dissolution of the commonwealth;such as are the laws concerning controversiesbetween subject and subject. Thus muchof the division of laws.

Difference between law and right.

I find the words lex civilis, and jus civile, thatis to say law and right civil, promiscuously used forthe same thing, even in the most learned authors;which nevertheless ought not to be so. For rightis liberty, namely that liberty which the civil lawleaves us: but civil law is an obligation, and takesfrom us the liberty which the law of nature gaveus. Nature gave a right to every man to securehimself by his own strength, and to invade a suspectedneighbour, by way of prevention: but thecivil law takes away that liberty, in all cases wherethe protection of the law may be safely stayed for.Insomuch as lex and jus, are as different as obligationand liberty.

And between a law and a charter.

Likewise laws and charters are taken promiscuouslyfor the same thing. Yet charters are donationsof the sovereign; and not laws, but exemptionsfrom law. The phrase of a law is, jubeo,injungo, I command and enjoin: the phrase of acharter is, dedi, concessi, I have given, I havegranted: but what is given or granted, to a man,is not forced upon him, by a law. A law may bemade to bind all the subjects of a commonwealth:a liberty, or charter is only to one man, or some277one part of the people. For to say all the peopleof a commonwealth, have liberty in any case whatsoever,is to say, that in such case, there hathbeen no law made; or else having been made, isnow abrogated.



Sin, what.

A SIN, is not only a transgression of a law, butalso any contempt of the legislator. For such contempt,is a breach of all his laws at once. Andtherefore may consist, not only in the commissionof a fact, or in speaking of words by the laws forbidden,or in the omission of what the law commandeth,but also in the intention, or purpose totransgress. For the purpose to break the law, issome degree of contempt of him, to whom it belongethto see it executed. To be delighted in theimagination only, of being possessed of anotherman’s goods, servants, or wife, without any intentionto take them from him by force or fraud, isno breach of the law, that saith, Thou shalt notcovet: nor is the pleasure a man may have in imaginingor dreaming of the death of him, fromwhose life he expecteth nothing but damage, anddispleasure, a sin; but the resolving to put someact in execution, that tendeth thereto. For to bepleased in the fiction of that, which would please aman if it were real, is a passion so adherent to thenature both of man, and every other living creature,as to make it a sin, were to make sin of beinga man. The consideration of this, has made me278think them too severe, both to themselves, andothers, that maintain, that the first motions of themind, though checked with the fear of God, besins. But I confess it is safer to err on that hand,than on the other.

A crime, what.

A crime, is a sin, consisting in the committing,by deed or word, of that which the law forbiddeth,or the omission of what it hath commanded. Sothat every crime is a sin; but not every sin acrime. To intend to steal, or kill, is a sin, thoughit never appear in word, or fact: for God thatseeth the thoughts of man, can lay it to his charge:but till it appear by something done, or said, bywhich the intention may be argued by a humanjudge, it hath not the name of crime: which distinctionthe Greeks observed, in the word ἁμάρτημα,and ἔγκλημα, or ἀιτία; whereof the former, whichis translated sin, signifieth any swerving from thelaw whatsoever; but the two latter, which aretranslated crime, signify that sin only, whereofone man may accuse another. But of intentions,which never appear by any outward act, there isno place for human accusation. In like mannerthe Latins by peccatum, which is sin, signify allmanner of deviation from the law; but by crimen,which word they derive from cerno, which signifiesto perceive, they mean only such sins, as maybe made appear before a judge; and therefore arenot mere intentions.

Where no civil law is, there is no crime.

From this relation of sin to the law, and of crimeto the civil law, may be inferred, first, that wherelaw ceaseth, sin ceaseth. But because the law ofnature is eternal, violation of covenants, ingratitude,arrogance, and all facts contrary to any279moral virtue, can never cease to be sin. Secondly,that the civil law ceasing, crimes cease: for therebeing no other law remaining, but that of nature,there is no place for accusation; every man beinghis own judge, and accused only by his own conscience,and cleared by the uprightness of his ownintention. When therefore his intention is right,his fact is no sin: if otherwise, his fact is sin; butnot crime. Thirdly, that when the sovereign powerceaseth, crime also ceaseth; for where there is nosuch power, there is no protection to be had fromthe law; and therefore every one may protect himselfby his own power: for no man in the institutionof sovereign power can be supposed to giveaway the right of preserving his own body; forthe safety whereof all sovereignty was ordained.But this is to be understood only of those, thathave not themselves contributed to the taking awayof the power that protected them; for that was acrime from the beginning.

Ignorance of the law of nature excuseth no man.

The source of every crime, is some defect of theunderstanding; or some error in reasoning; orsome sudden force of the passions. Defect in theunderstanding, is ignorance; in reasoning, erroneousopinion. Again, ignorance is of three sorts;of the law, and of the sovereign, and of the penalty.Ignorance of the law of nature excuseth no man;because every man that hath attained to the use ofreason, is supposed to know, he ought not to do toanother, what he would not have done to himself.Therefore into what place soever a man shall come,if he do anything contrary to that law, it is a crime.If a man come from the Indies hither, and persuademen here to receive a new religion, or teach280them anything that tendeth to disobedience of thelaws of this country, though he be never so wellpersuaded of the truth of what he teacheth, hecommits a crime, and may be justly punished forthe same, not only because his doctrine is false,but also because he does that which he would notapprove in another, namely, that coming fromhence, he should endeavour to alter the religionthere. But ignorance of the civil law, shall excusea man in a strange country, till it be declared tohim; because, till then no civil law is binding.

Ignorance of the civil law excuseth sometimes.

In the like manner, if the civil law of a man’sown country, be not so sufficiently declared, as hemay know it if he will; nor the action against thelaw of nature; the ignorance is a good excuse: inother cases ignorance of the civil law, excusethnot.

Ignorance of the sovereign excuseth not.

Ignorance of the sovereign power, in the placeof a man’s ordinary residence, excuseth him not;because he ought to take notice of the power, bywhich he hath been protected there.

Ignorance of the penalty excuseth not.

Ignorance of the penalty, where the law is declared,excuseth no man: for in breaking the law,which without a fear of penalty to follow, were nota law, but vain words, he undergoeth the penalty,though he know not what it is; because, whosoevervoluntarily doth any action, accepteth allthe known consequences of it; but punishment isa known consequence of the violation of the laws,in every commonwealth; which punishment, if itbe determined already by the law, he is subject tothat; if not, then he is subject to arbitrary punishment.For it is reason, that he which does injury,without other limitation than that of his own will,281should suffer punishment without other limitation,than that of his will whose law is thereby violated.

Punishments declared before the fact, excuse from greater punishments after it.

But when a penalty, is either annexed to thecrime in the law itself, or hath been usually inflictedin the like cases; there the delinquent isexcused from a greater penalty. For the punishmentforeknown, if not great enough to deter menfrom the action, is an invitement to it: becausewhen men compare the benefit of their injustice,with the harm of their punishment, by necessity ofnature they chuse that which appeareth best forthemselves: and therefore when they are punishedmore than the law had formerly determined, ormore than others were punished for the same crime;it is the law that tempted, and deceiveth them.

Nothing can be made a crime by a law made after the fact.

No law, made after a fact done, can make ita crime: because if the fact be against the law ofnature, the law was before the fact; and a positivelaw cannot be taken notice of, before it be made;and therefore cannot be obligatory. But when thelaw that forbiddeth a fact, is made before the factbe done; yet he that doth the fact, is liable to thepenalty ordained after, in case no lesser penaltywere made known before, neither by writing, norby example, for the reason immediately beforealleged.

False principles of right & wrong causes of crime.

From defect in reasoning, that is to say, fromerror, men are prone to violate the laws, threeways. First, by presumption of false principles:as when men, from having observed how in allplaces, and in all ages, unjust actions have beenauthorized, by the force, and victories of those whohave committed them; and that potent men, breakingthrough the cobweb laws of their country, the282weaker sort, and those that have failed in theirenterprises, have been esteemed the only criminals;have thereupon taken for principles, and groundsof their reasoning, that justice is but a vain word:that whatsoever a man can get by his own industry,and hazard, is his own: that the practice ofall nations cannot be unjust: that examples offormer times are good arguments of doing thelike again; and many more of that kind: whichbeing granted, no act in itself can be a crime, butmust be made so, not by the law, but by the successof them that commit it; and the same fact bevirtuous, or vicious, as fortune pleaseth; so thatwhat Marius makes a crime, Sylla shall makemeritorious, and Cæsar, the same laws standing,turn again into a crime, to the perpetual disturbanceof the peace of the commonwealth.

False teachers mis-interpreting the law of nature.

Secondly, by false teachers, that either misinterpretthe law of nature, making it thereby repugnantto the law civil; or by teaching for laws,such doctrines of their own, or traditions of formertimes, as are inconsistent with the duty of asubject.

And false inferences from true principles, by teachers.

Thirdly, by erroneous inferences from true principles;which happens commonly to men that arehasty, and precipitate in concluding, and resolvingwhat to do; such as are they, that have both agreat opinion of their own understanding, andbelieve that things of this nature require not timeand study, but only common experience, and agood natural wit; whereof no man thinks himselfunprovided: whereas the knowledge, of right andwrong, which is no less difficult, there is no manwill pretend to, without great and long study.283And of those defects in reasoning, there is nonethat can excuse, though some of them may extenuate,a crime in any man, that pretendeth to theadministration of his own private business; muchless in them that undertake a public charge;because they pretend to the reason, upon the wantwhereof they would ground their excuse.

By their passions.

Of the passions that most frequently are thecauses of crime, one, is vain glory, or a foolish overratingof their own worth; as if difference ofworth, were an effect of their wit, or riches, orblood, or some other natural quality, not dependingon the will of those that have the sovereignauthority. From whence proceedeth a presumptionthat the punishments ordained by the laws,and extended generally to all subjects, ought notto be inflicted on them, with the same rigour theyare inflicted on poor, obscure, and simple men,comprehended under the name of the vulgar.

Presumption of riches,

Therefore it happeneth commonly, that such asvalue themselves by the greatness of their wealth,adventure on crimes, upon hope of escaping punishment,by corrupting public justice, or obtainingpardon by money, or other rewards.

And friends.

And that such as have multitude of potent kindred;and popular men, that have gained reputationamongst the multitude, take courage toviolate the laws, from a hope of oppressing thepower, to whom it belongeth to put them inexecution.


And that such as have a great, and false opinionof their own wisdom, take upon them to reprehendthe actions, and call in question the authority ofthem that govern, and so to unsettle the laws with284their public discourse, as that nothing shall bea crime, but what their own designs require shouldbe so. It happeneth also to the same men, to beprone to all such crimes, as consist in craft, andin deceiving of their neighbours; because theythink their designs are too subtle to be perceived.These I say are effects of a false presumption oftheir own wisdom. For of them that are the firstmovers in the disturbance of commonwealth, whichcan never happen without a civil war, very few areleft alive long enough, to see their new designsestablished: so that the benefit of their crimesredoundeth to posterity, and such as would leasthave wished it: which argues they were not sowise, as they thought they were. And those thatdeceive upon hope of not being observed, do commonlydeceive themselves, the darkness in whichthey believe they lie hidden, being nothing elsebut their own blindness; and are no wiser thanchildren, that think all hid, by hiding their owneyes.

And generally all vain-glorious men, unless theybe withal timorous, are subject to anger; as beingmore prone than others to interpret for contempt,the ordinary liberty of conversation: and thereare few crimes that may not be produced by anger.

Hatred, lust, ambition, covetousness, causes of crime

As for the passions, of hate, lust, ambition, andcovetousness, what crimes they are apt to produce,is so obvious to every man’s experience and understanding,as there needeth nothing to be said ofthem, saving that they are infirmities, so annexedto the nature, both of man, and all other livingcreatures, as that their effects cannot be hindered,but by extraordinary use of reason, or a constant285severity in punishing them. For in those thingsmen hate, they find a continual, and unavoidablemolestation; whereby either a man’s patience mustbe everlasting, or he must be eased by removing thepower of that which molesteth him. The former isdifficult; the latter is many times impossible, withoutsome violation of the law. Ambition, andcovetousness are passions also that are perpetuallyincumbent, and pressing; whereas reason is notperpetually present, to resist them: and thereforewhensoever the hope of impunity appears, theireffects proceed. And for lust, what it wants in thelasting, it hath in the vehemence, which sufficethto weigh down the apprehension of all easy, or uncertainpunishments.

Fear sometimes cause of crime, as when the danger is neither present nor corporeal.

Of all passions, that which inclineth men least tobreak the laws, is fear. Nay, excepting some generousnatures, it is the only thing, when there isapparence of profit or pleasure by breaking thelaws, that makes men keep them. And yet in manycases a crime may be committed through fear.

For not every fear justifies the action it produceth,but the fear only of corporeal hurt, which wecall bodily fear, and from which a man cannot seehow to be delivered, but by the action. A man isassaulted, fears present death, from which he seesnot how to escape, but by wounding him that assaultethhim: if he wound him to death, this is nocrime; because no man is supposed at the makingof a commonwealth, to have abandoned the defenceof his life, or limbs, where the law cannot arrivetime enough to his assistance. But to kill a man,because from his actions, or his threatenings, I mayargue he will kill me when he can, seeing I have286time, and means to demand protection, from thesovereign power, is a crime. Again, a man receiveswords of disgrace or some little injuries, for whichthey that made the laws, had assigned no punishment,nor thought it worthy of a man that hath theuse of reason, to take notice of, and is afraid, unlesshe revenge it, he shall fall into contempt, andconsequently be obnoxious to the like injuries fromothers; and to avoid this, breaks the law, and protectshimself for the future, by the terror of his privaterevenge. This is a crime: for the hurt is notcorporeal, but phantastical, and, though in thiscorner of the world, made sensible by a custom notmany years since begun, amongst young and vainmen, so light, as a gallant man, and one that is assuredof his own courage, cannot take notice of.Also a man may stand in fear of spirits, eitherthrough his own superstition, or through too muchcredit given to other men, that tell him of strangedreams and visions; and thereby be made believethey will hurt him, for doing, or omitting diversthings, which nevertheless, to do, or omit, is contraryto the laws; and that which is so done, oromitted, is not to be excused by this fear; but is acrime. For, as I have shown before in the secondchapter, dreams be naturally but the fancies remainingin sleep, after the impressions our senseshad formerly received waking; and when men areby any accident unassured they have slept, seem tobe real visions; and therefore he that presumes tobreak the law upon his own, or another’s dream,or pretended vision, or upon other fancy of thepower of invisible spirits, than is permitted by thecommonwealth, leaveth the law of nature, which is287a certain offence, and followeth the imagery of hisown, or another private man’s brain, which he cannever know whether it signifieth any thing or nothing,nor whether he that tells his dream, say true,or lie; which if every private man should have leaveto do, as they must by the law of nature, if any onehave it, there could no law be made to hold, andso all commonwealth would be dissolved.

Crimes not equal.

From these different sources of crimes, it appearsalready, that all crimes are not, as the Stoics ofold time maintained, of the same allay. There isplace, not only for EXCUSE, by which that whichseemed a crime, is proved to be none at all; butalso for EXTENUATION, by which the crime, thatseemed great, is made less. For though all crimesdo equally deserve the name of injustice, as all deviationfrom a straight line is equally crookedness,which the Stoics rightly observed: yet it does notfollow that all crimes are equally unjust, no morethan that all crooked lines are equally crooked;which the Stoics not observing, held it as great acrime, to kill a hen, against the law, as to kill one’sfather.

Total excuses.

That which totally excuseth a fact, and takesaway from it the nature of a crime, can be nonebut that, which at the same time, taketh away theobligation of the law. For the fact committed onceagainst the law, if he that committed it be obligedto the law, can be no other than a crime.

The want of means to know the law, totally excuseth.For the law whereof a man has no meansto inform himself, is not obligatory. But the wantof diligence to inquire, shall not be considered asa want of means; nor shall any man, that pretendeth288to reason enough for the government ofhis own affairs, be supposed to want means toknow the laws of nature; because they are knownby the reason he pretends to: only children, andmadmen are excused from offences against the lawnatural.

Where a man is captive, or in the power of theenemy (and he is then in the power of the enemy,when his person, or his means of living, is so), ifit be without his own fault, the obligation of thelaw ceaseth; because he must obey the enemy, ordie; and consequently such obedience is no crime:for no man is obliged, when the protection of thelaw faileth, not to protect himself, by the bestmeans he can.

If a man, by the terror of present death, becompelled to do a fact against the law, he istotally excused; because no law can oblige a manto abandon his own preservation. And supposingsuch a law were obligatory; yet a man wouldreason thus, If I do it not, I die presently; if Ido it, I die afterwards; therefore by doing it,there is time of life gained; nature thereforecompels him to the fact.

When a man is destitute of food, or other thingnecessary for his life, and cannot preserve himselfany other way, but by some fact against the law; asif in a great famine he take the food by force, orstealth, which he cannot obtain for money norcharity; or in defence of his life, snatch awayanother man’s sword; he is totally excused, for thereason next before alleged.

Excuses against the author.

Again, facts done against the law by the authorityof another, are by that authority excused289against the author; because no man ought toaccuse his own fact in another, that is but hisinstrument: but it is not excused against a thirdperson thereby injured; because in the violationof the law, both the author and actor are criminals.From hence it followeth that when thatman, or assembly, that hath the sovereign power,commandeth a man to do that which is contraryto a former law, the doing of it is totally excused:for he ought not to condemn it himself, because heis the author; and what cannot justly be condemnedby the sovereign, cannot justly be punished by anyother. Besides, when the sovereign commandethanything to be done against his own former law, thecommand, as to that particular fact, is an abrogationof the law.

If that man, or assembly, that hath the sovereignpower, disclaim any right essential to thesovereignty, whereby there accrueth to the subject,any liberty inconsistent with the sovereign power,that is to say, with the very being of a commonwealth,if the subject shall refuse to obey the commandin anything contrary to the liberty granted,this is nevertheless a sin, and contrary to the dutyof the subject: for he ought to take notice of whatis inconsistent with the sovereignty, because itwas erected by his own consent and for his owndefence; and that such liberty as is inconsistentwith it, was granted through ignorance of the evilconsequence thereof. But if he not only disobey,but also resist a public minister in the executionof it, then it is a crime; because he might havebeen righted, without any breach of the peace,upon complaint.

290The degrees of crime are taken on divers scales,and measured, first, by the malignity of the source,or cause; secondly, by the contagion of theexample; thirdly, by the mischief of the effect;and fourthly, by the concurrence of times, places,and persons.

Presumption of power aggravateth.

The same fact done against the law, if it proceedfrom presumption of strength, riches, orfriends to resist those that are to execute the law, isa greater crime than if it proceed from hope of notbeing discovered, or of escape by flight: for presumptionof impunity by force, is a root, fromwhence springeth, at all times, and upon all temptations,a contempt of all laws; whereas in thelatter case, the apprehension of danger, that makesa man fly, renders him more obedient for the future.A crime which we know to be so, is greater thanthe same crime proceeding from a false persuasionthat it is lawful; for he that committeth it againsthis own conscience, presumeth on his force, or otherpower, which encourages him to commit the sameagain: but he that doth it by error, after the erroris shewn him, is conformable to the law.

Evil teachers extenuate.

He, whose error proceeds from the authority ofa teacher, or an interpreter of the law publiclyauthorized, is not so faulty as he whose error proceedethfrom a peremptory pursuit of his ownprinciples and reasoning: for what is taught byone that teacheth by public authority, the commonwealthteacheth, and hath a resemblance oflaw, till the same authority controlleth it; and inall crimes that contain not in them a denial of thesovereign power, nor are against an evident law,excuseth totally: whereas he that groundeth his291actions on his private judgment, ought, accordingto the rectitude, or error thereof, to stand orfall.

Examples of impunity extenuate.

The same fact, if it have been constantly punishedin other men, is a greater crime, than if there havebeen many precedent examples of impunity. Forthose examples are so many hopes of impunity, givenby the sovereign himself: and because he which furnishesa man with such a hope and presumptionof mercy, as encourageth him to offend, hath hispart in the offence; he cannot reasonably chargethe offender with the whole.

Premeditation aggravateth.

A crime arising from a sudden passion, is not sogreat, as when the same ariseth from long meditation:for in the former case there is a place forextenuation, in the common infirmity of humannature: but he that doth it with premeditation,has used circ*mspection, and cast his eye on thelaw, on the punishment, and on the consequencethereof to human society; all which, in committingthe crime, he hath contemned and postposed to hisown appetite. But there is no suddenness of passionsufficient for a total excuse: for all the timebetween the first knowing of the law, and thecommission of the fact, shall be taken for a time ofdeliberation; because he ought by meditation ofthe law, to rectify the irregularity of his passions.

Where the law is publicly, and with assiduity,before all the people read and interpreted, a factdone against it, is a greater crime, than wheremen are left without such instruction, to enquire ofit with difficulty, uncertainty, and interruption oftheir callings, and be informed by private men:for in this case, part of the fault is discharged292upon common infirmity; but, in the former, thereis apparent negligence, which is not without somecontempt of the sovereign power.

Tacit approbation of the sovereign extenuates.

Those facts which the law expressly condemneth,but the law-maker by other manifest signs of hiswill tacitly approveth, are less crimes, than thesame facts, condemned both by the law and law-maker.For seeing the will of the law-maker is alaw, there appear in this case two contradictorylaws; which would totally excuse, if men werebound to take notice of the sovereign’s approbation,by other arguments than are expressed by hiscommand. But because there are punishmentsconsequent, not only to the transgression of hislaw, but also to the observing of it, he is in part acause of the transgression, and therefore cannotreasonably impute the whole crime to the delinquent.For example, the law condemneth duels;the punishment is made capital: on the contrarypart, he that refuseth duel, is subject to contemptand scorn, without remedy; and sometimes by thesovereign himself thought unworthy to have anycharge, or preferment in war. If thereupon heaccept duel, considering all men lawfully endeavourto obtain the good opinion of them thathave the sovereign power, he ought not in reasonto be rigorously punished; seeing part of thefault may be discharged on the punisher: whichI say, not as wishing liberty of private revenges,or any other kind of disobedience; but a carein governors, not to countenance anything obliquely,which directly they forbid. The examplesof princes, to those that see them, are, and everhave been, more potent to govern their actions,293than the laws themselves. And though it beour duty to do, not what they do, but what theysay; yet will that duty never be performed, till itplease God to give men an extraordinary, and supernaturalgrace to follow that precept.

Comparison of crimes from their effects.

Again, if we compare crimes by the mischief oftheir effects; first, the same fact, when it redoundsto the damage of many, is greater, than when itredounds to the hurt of few. And therefore, whena fact hurteth, not only in the present, but also,by example, in the future, it is a greater crime,than if it hurt only in the present: for the former,is a fertile crime, and multiplies to the hurt ofmany; the latter is barren. To maintain doctrinescontrary to the religion established in the commonwealth,is a greater fault, in an authorized preacher,than in a private person: so also is it, to live profanely,incontinently, or do any irreligious actwhatsoever. Likewise in a professor of the law,to maintain any point, or do any act, that tendethto the weakening of the sovereign power, is agreater crime, than in another man: also in a manthat hath such reputation for wisdom, as that hiscounsels are followed, or his actions imitated bymany, his fact against the law, is a greater crime,than the same fact in another: for such men notonly commit crime, but teach it for law to all othermen. And generally all crimes are the greater, bythe scandal they give; that is to say, by becomingstumbling-blocks to the weak, that look not somuch upon the way they go in, as upon the lightthat other man carry before them.

Læsa Majestas.

Also facts of hostility against the present state294of the commonwealth, are greater crimes, than thesame acts done to private men: for the damageextends itself to all: such are the betraying of thestrengths, or revealing of the secrets of the commonwealthto an enemy; also all attempts uponthe representative of the commonwealth, be it amonarch, or an assembly; and all endeavours byword, or deed, to diminish the authority of thesame, either in the present time, or in succession:which crimes the Latins understand by criminalæsæ majestatis, and consist in design, or act, contraryto a fundamental law.

Bribery and false testimony.

Likewise those crimes, which render judgmentsof no effect, are greater crimes, than injuries doneto one, or a few persons; as to receive money togive false judgment, or testimony, is a greatercrime, than otherwise to deceive a man of the like,or a greater sum; because not only he has wrong,that falls by such judgments; but all judgmentsare rendered useless, and occasion ministered toforce, and private revenges.


Also robbery, and depeculation of the publictreasure, or revenues, is a greater crime, than therobbing, or defrauding of a private man; becauseto rob the public, is to rob many at once.

Counterfeiting authority.

Also the counterfeit usurpation of public ministry,the counterfeiting of public seals or publiccoin, than counterfeiting of a private man’s person,or his seal; because the fraud thereof, extendethto the damage of many.

Crimes against private men compared.

Of facts against the law, done to private men,the greater crime, is that, where the damage in thecommon opinion of men, is most sensible. Andtherefore

295To kill against the law, is a greater crime, thanany other injury, life preserved.

And to kill with torment, greater, than simplyto kill.

And mutilation of a limb, greater, than the spoilinga man of his goods.

And the spoiling a man of his goods, by terrorof death, or wounds, than by clandestine surreption.

And by clandestine surreption, than by consentfraudulently obtained.

And the violation of chastity by force, greater,than by flattery.

And of a woman married, than of a woman notmarried.

For all these things are commonly so valued:though some men are more, and some less sensibleof the same offence. But the law regardeth notthe particular, but the general inclination of mankind.

And therefore the offence men take, from contumely,in words, or gesture, when they produceno other harm, than the present grief of him thatis reproached, hath been neglected in the laws ofthe Greeks, Romans, and other both ancient andmodern commonwealths; supposing the true causeof such grief to consist, not in the contumely,which takes no hold upon men conscious of theirown virtue, but in the pusillanimity of him that isoffended by it.

Also a crime against a private man, is muchaggravated by the person, time, and place. Forto kill one’s parent, is a greater crime, than to killanother: for the parent ought to have the honour296of a sovereign, though he surrendered his power tothe civil law; because he had it originally by nature.And to rob a poor man, is a greater crime,than to rob a rich man; because it is to the poor amore sensible damage.

And a crime committed in the time or placeappointed for devotion, is greater, than if committedat another time or place: for it proceedsfrom a greater contempt of the law.

Many other cases of aggravation, and extenuationmight be added: but by these I have set down,it is obvious to every man, to take the altitude ofany other crime proposed.

Public crimes what.

Lastly, because in almost all crimes there is an injurydone, not only to some private men, but also tothe commonwealth; the same crime, when the accusationis in the name of the commonwealth, is calledpublic crime: and when in the name of a privateman, a private crime; and the pleas accordingthereunto called public, judicia publica, Pleas ofthe Crown; or Private Pleas. As in an accusationof murder, if the accuser be a private man, theplea is a Private Plea; if the accuser be the sovereign,the plea is a Public Plea.




The definition of punishment.

A PUNISHMENT, is an evil inflicted by public authority,on him that hath done, or omitted thatwhich is judged by the same authority to be atransgression of the law; to the end that the willof men may thereby the better be disposed toobedience.

Right to punish whence derived:

Before I infer any thing from this definition,there is a question to be answered, of much importance;which is, by what door the right orauthority of punishing in any case, came in. Forby that which has been said before, no man is supposedbound by covenant, not to resist violence;and consequently it cannot be intended, that hegave any right to another to lay violent hands uponhis person. In the making of a commonwealth,every man giveth away the right of defendinganother; but not of defending himself. Also heobligeth himself, to assist him that hath the sovereignty,in the punishing of another; but of himselfnot. But to covenant to assist the sovereign,in doing hurt to another, unless he that so covenantethhave a right to do it himself, is not to givehim a right to punish. It is manifest therefore thatthe right which the commonwealth, that is, he, orthey that represent it, hath to punish, is not groundedon any concession, or gift of the subjects. ButI have also showed formerly, that before the institutionof commonwealth, every man had a right to298every thing, and to do whatsoever he thoughtnecessary to his own preservation; subduing, hurting,or killing any man in order thereunto. Andthis is the foundation of that right of punishing,which is exercised in every commonwealth. Forthe subjects did not give the sovereign that right;but only in laying down theirs, strengthened himto use his own, as he should think fit, for the preservationof them all: so that it was not given, butleft to him, and to him only; and (excepting thelimits set him by natural law) as entire, as in thecondition of mere nature, and of war of every oneagainst his neighbour.

Private injuries & revenges no punishments:

From the definition of punishment, I infer, first,that neither private revenges, nor injuries of privatemen, can properly be styled punishment; becausethey proceed not from public authority.

Nor denial of preferment:

Secondly, that to be neglected, and unpreferredby the public favour, is not a punishment; becauseno new evil is thereby on any man inflicted; he isonly left in the estate he was in before.

Nor pain inflicted without public hearing;

Thirdly, that the evil inflicted by public authority,without precedent public condemnation, isnot to be styled by the name of punishment; butof an hostile act; because the fact for which a manis punished, ought first to be judged by public authority,to be a transgression of the law.

Nor pain inflicted by usurped power;

Fourthly, that the evil inflicted by usurpedpower, and judges without authority from the sovereign,is not punishment; but an act of hostility;because the acts of power usurped, have not forauthor, the person condemned; and therefore arenot acts of public authority.

Nor pain inflicted without respect to the future good.

Fifthly, that all evil which is inflicted without299intention, or possibility of disposing the delinquent,or, by his example, other men, to obey the laws,is not punishment; but an act of hostility: becausewithout such an end, no hurt done is containedunder that name.

Natural evil consequences no punishments.

Sixthly, whereas to certain actions, there beannexed by nature, divers hurtful consequences;as when a man in assaulting another, is himselfslain, or wounded; or when he falleth into sicknessby the doing of some unlawful act; such hurt,though in respect of God, who is the author of nature,it may be said to be inflicted, and thereforea punishment divine; yet it is not contained in thename of punishment in respect of men, because itis not inflicted by the authority of man.

Hurt inflicted, if less than the benefit of transgressing, is not punishment.

Seventhly, if the harm inflicted be less than thebenefit, or contentment that naturally followeththe crime committed, that harm is not within thedefinition; and is rather the price, or redemption,than the punishment of a crime: because it is ofthe nature of punishment, to have for end, the disposingof men to obey the law; which end, if it beless than the benefit of the transgression, it attainethnot, but worketh a contrary effect.

Where the punishment is annexed to the law, a greater hurt is not punishment, but hostility.

Eighthly, if a punishment be determined andprescribed in the law itself, and after the crimecommitted, there be a greater punishment inflicted,the excess is not punishment, but an act of hostility.For seeing the aim of punishment is not arevenge, but terror; and the terror of a greatpunishment unknown, is taken away by the declarationof a less, the unexpected addition is nopart of the punishment. But where there is nopunishment at all determined by the law, there300whatsoever is inflicted, hath the nature of punishment.For he that goes about the violation of alaw, wherein no penalty is determined, expectethan indeterminate, that is to say, an arbitrary punishment.

Hurt inflicted for a fact done before the law, no punishment.

Ninthly, harm inflicted for a fact done beforethere was a law that forbade it, is not punishment,but an act of hostility: for before the law, thereis no transgression of the law: but punishmentsupposeth a fact judged, to have been a transgressionof the law; therefore harm inflicted beforethe law made, is not punishment, but an act ofhostility.

The representative of the commonwealth unpunishable.

Tenthly, hurt inflicted on the representative ofthe commonwealth, is not punishment, but an actof hostility: because it is of the nature of punishment,to be inflicted by public authority, which isthe authority only of the representative itself.

Hurt to revolted subjects is done by right of war, not by way of punishment.

Lastly, harm inflicted upon one that is a declaredenemy, falls not under the name of punishment:because seeing they were either never subjectto the law, and therefore cannot transgress it; orhaving been subject to it, and professing to be nolonger so, by consequence deny they can transgressit, all the harms that can be done them, must betaken as acts of hostility. But in declared hostility,all infliction of evil is lawful. From whence itfolloweth, that if a subject shall by fact, or word,wittingly, and deliberately deny the authority ofthe representative of the commonwealth (whatsoeverpenalty hath been formerly ordained for treason)he may lawfully be made to suffer whatsoever therepresentative will. For in denying subjection, hedenies such punishment as by the law hath been301ordained; and therefore suffers as an enemy of thecommonwealth; that is, according to the will ofthe representative. For the punishments set downin the law, are to subjects, not to enemies; suchas are they, that having been by their own actssubjects, deliberately revolting, deny the sovereignpower.

The first, and most general distribution of punishments,is into divine, and human. Of the formerI shall have occasion to speak, in a more convenientplace hereafter.

Human, are those punishments that be inflictedby the commandment of man; and are either corporal,or pecuniary, or ignominy, or imprisonment,or exile, or mixed of these.

Punishments corporal.

Corporal punishment is that, which is inflictedon the body directly, and according to the intentionof him that inflicteth it: such as are stripes,or wounds, or deprivation of such pleasures of thebody, as were before lawfully enjoyed.


And of these, some be capital, some less thancapital. Capital, is the infliction of death; andthat either simply, or with torment. Less thancapital, are stripes, wounds, chains, and any othercorporal pain, not in its own nature mortal. Forif upon the infliction of a punishment death follownot in the intention of the inflictor, the punishmentis not to be esteemed capital, though the harmprove mortal by an accident not to be foreseen;in which case death is not inflicted, but hastened.

Pecuniary punishment, is that which consistethnot only in the deprivation of a sum of money, butalso of lands, or any other goods which are usually302bought and sold for money. And in case the law,that ordaineth such a punishment, be made withdesign to gather money, from such as shall transgressthe same, it is not properly a punishment,but the price of privilege and exemption from thelaw, which doth not absolutely forbid the fact, butonly to those that are not able to pay the money:except where the law is natural, or part of religion;for in that case it is not an exemption from the law,but a transgression of it. As where a law exactetha pecuniary mulct, of them that take the name ofGod in vain, the payment of the mulct, is not theprice of a dispensation to swear, but the punishmentof the transgression of a law indispensable.In like manner if the law impose a sum of moneyto be paid, to him that has been injured; this is buta satisfaction for the hurt done him; and extinguisheththe accusation of the party injured, notthe crime of the offender.


Ignominy, is the infliction of such evil, as is madedishonourable; or the deprivation of such good, asis made honourable by the commonwealth. Forthere be some things honourable by nature; as theeffects of courage, magnanimity, strength, wisdom,and other abilities of body and mind: others madehonourable by the commonwealth; as badges, titles,offices, or any other singular mark of the sovereign’sfavour. The former, though they may fail by nature,or accident, cannot be taken away by a law;and therefore the loss of them is not punishment.But the latter, may be taken away bythe public authority that made them honourable,and are properly punishments: such are degrading303men condemned, of their badges, titles, and offices;or declaring them incapable of the like in time tocome.


Imprisonment, is when a man is by public authoritydeprived of liberty; and may happen from twodivers ends; whereof one is the safe custody of aman accused; the other is the inflicting of pain ona man condemned. The former is not punishment;because no man is supposed to be punished, beforehe be judicially heard, and declared guilty. Andtherefore whatsoever hurt a man is made to sufferby bonds, or restraint, before his cause be heard,over and above that which is necessary to assurehis custody, is against the law of nature. But thelatter is punishment, because evil, and inflicted bypublic authority, for somewhat that has by thesame authority been judged a transgression of thelaw. Under this word imprisonment, I comprehendall restraint of motion, caused by an externalobstacle, be it a house, which is called by the generalname of a prison; or an island, as when menare said to be confined to it; or a place wheremen are set to work, as in old time men havebeen condemned to quarries, and in these timesto galleys; or be it a chain, or any other suchimpediment.


Exile (banishment) is when a man is for a crime,condemned to depart out of the dominion of thecommonwealth, or out of a certain part thereof:and during a prefixed time, or for ever, not to returninto it: and seemeth not in its own nature,without other circ*mstances, to be a punishment;but rather an escape, or a public commandment toavoid punishment by flight. And Cicero says, there304was never any such punishment ordained in thecity of Rome; but calls it a refuge of men in danger.For if a man banished, be nevertheless permitted toenjoy his goods, and the revenue of his lands, themere change of air is no punishment, nor does ittend to that benefit of the commonwealth, for whichall punishments are ordained, that is to say, to theforming of men’s wills to the observation of thelaw; but many times to the damage of the commonwealth.For a banished man, is a lawful enemyof the commonwealth that banished him; as beingno more a member of the same. But if he bewithal deprived of his lands, or goods, then thepunishment lieth not in the exile, but is to bereckoned amongst punishments pecuniary.

The punishment of innocent subjects is contrary to the law of nature.

All punishments of innocent subjects, be theygreat or little, are against the law of nature; forpunishment is only for transgression of the law, andtherefore there can be no punishment of the innocent.It is therefore a violation, first, of that lawof nature, which forbiddeth all men, in their revenges,to look at anything but some future good:for there can arrive no good to the commonwealth,by punishing the innocent. Secondly, of that,which forbiddeth ingratitude: for seeing all sovereignpower, is originally given by the consent ofevery one of the subjects, to the end they shouldas long as they are obedient, be protected thereby;the punishment of the innocent, is a rendering ofevil for good. And thirdly, of the law that commandethequity; that is to say, an equal distributionof justice; which in punishing the innocent is notobserved.

But the harm done to innocents in war not so.

But the infliction of what evil soever, on an innocent305man, that is not a subject, if it be for thebenefit of the commonwealth, and without violationof any former covenant, is no breach of thelaw of nature. For all men that are not subjects,are either enemies, or else they have ceased frombeing so by some precedent covenants. Butagainst enemies, whom the commonwealth judgethcapable to do them hurt, it is lawful by the originalright of nature to make war; wherein the swordjudgeth not, nor doth the victor make distinctionof nocent, and innocent, as to the time past norhas other respect of mercy, than as it conduceth tothe good of his own people. |Nor that which is done to declared rebels.| And upon this groundit is, that also in subjects, who deliberately denythe authority of the commonwealth established, thevengeance is lawfully extended, not only to thefathers, but also to the third and fourth generationnot yet in being, and consequently innocent of thefact, for which they are afflicted: because thenature of this offence, consisteth in the renouncingof subjection; which is a relapse into the conditionof war, commonly called rebellion; and theythat so offend, suffer not as subjects, but as enemies.For rebellion, is but war renewed.

Reward is either salary or grace.

Reward, is either of gift, or by contract. Whenby contract, it is called salary, and wages; whichis benefit due for service performed, or promised.When of gift, it is benefit proceeding from thegrace of them that bestow it, to encourage, or enablemen to do them service. And therefore whenthe sovereign of a commonwealth appointeth a salaryto any public office, he that receiveth it, is boundin justice to perform his office; otherwise, he isbound only in honour, to acknowledgment, and306an endeavour of requital. For though men haveno lawful remedy, when they be commanded toquit their private business, to serve the public,without reward or salary; yet they are not boundthereto, by the law of nature, nor by the institutionof the commonwealth, unless the service cannototherwise be done; because it is supposed the sovereignmay make use of all their means, insomuchas the most common soldier, may demand thewages of his warfare, as a debt.

Benefits bestowed for fear are not rewards.

The benefit which a sovereign bestoweth on asubject, for fear of some power and ability he hathto do hurt to the commonwealth, are not properlyrewards; for they are not salaries; because thereis in this case no contract supposed, every manbeing obliged already not to do the commonwealthdisservice: nor are they graces; because they beextorted by fear, which ought not to be incident tothe sovereign power: but are rather sacrifices,which the sovereign, considered in his natural person,and not in the person of the commonwealth,makes, for the appeasing the discontent of him hethinks more potent than himself; and encouragenot to obedience, but on the contrary, to the continuance,and increasing of further extortion.

Salaries certain and casual.

And whereas some salaries are certain, and proceedfrom the public treasure; and others uncertain,and casual, proceeding from the execution ofthe office for which the salary is ordained; thelatter is in some cases hurtful to the commonwealth;as in the case of judicature. For where the benefitof the judges, and ministers of a court of justiceariseth from the multitude of causes that are broughtto their cognizance, there must needs follow two307inconveniences: one, is the nourishing of suits; forthe more suits, the greater benefit: and anotherthat depends on that, which is contentionabout jurisdiction; each court drawing to itself, asmany causes as it can. But in offices of executionthere are not those inconveniences; because theiremployment cannot be increased by any endeavourof their own. And thus much shall suffice for thenature of punishment and reward; which are, as itwere, the nerves and tendons, that move the limbsand joints of a commonwealth.

Hitherto I have set forth the nature of man,whose pride and other passions have compelledhim to submit himself to government: togetherwith the great power of his governor, whom I comparedto Leviathan, taking that comparison out ofthe two last verses of the one-and-fortieth of Job;where God having set forth the great power of Leviathan,calleth him king of the proud. There isnothing, saith he, on earth, to be compared withhim. He is made so as not to be afraid. Heseeth every high thing below him; and is king ofall the children of pride. But because he ismortal, and subject to decay, as all other earthlycreatures are; and because there is that in heaven,though not on earth, that he should stand in fearof, and whose laws he ought to obey; I shall inthe next following chapters speak of his diseases,and the causes of his mortality; and of what lawsof nature he is bound to obey.




Dissolution of commonwealths proceedeth from their imperfect institution.

Though nothing can be immortal, which mortalsmake; yet, if men had the use of reason they pretendto, their commonwealths might be secured, atleast from perishing by internal diseases. For bythe nature of their institution, they are designedto live, as long as mankind, or as the laws ofnature, or as justice itself, which gives them life.Therefore when they come to be dissolved, not byexternal violence, but intestine disorder, the faultis not in men, as they are the matter; but as theyare the makers, and orderers of them. For men,as they become at last weary of irregular jostling,and hewing one another, and desire with all theirhearts, to conform themselves into one firm andlasting edifice: so for want, both of the art ofmaking fit laws, to square their actions by, andalso of humility, and patience, to suffer the rudeand cumbersome points of their present greatnessto be taken off, they cannot without the help of avery able architect, be compiled into any otherthan a crazy building, such as hardly lasting outtheir own time, must assuredly fall upon the headsof their posterity.

Amongst the infirmities therefore of a commonwealth,I will reckon in the first place, those thatarise from an imperfect institution, and resemble309the diseases of a natural body, which proceed froma defectuous procreation.

Want of absolute power.

Of which, this is one, that a man to obtain akingdom, is sometimes content with less power,than to the peace, and defence of the commonwealthis necessarily required. From whence itcometh to pass, that when the exercise of thepower laid by, is for the public safety to be resumed,it hath the resemblance of an unjust act;which disposeth great numbers of men, when occasionis presented, to rebel; in the same manner asthe bodies of children, gotten by diseased parents,are subject either to untimely death, or to purgethe ill quality, derived from their vicious conception,by breaking out into biles and scabs. Andwhen kings deny themselves some such necessarypower, it is not always, though sometimes, out ofignorance of what is necessary to the office theyundertake; but many times out of a hope to recoverthe same again at their pleasure. Whereinthey reason not well; because such as will holdthem to their promises, shall be maintained againstthem by foreign commonwealths; who in order tothe good of their own subjects let slip few occasionsto weaken the estate of their neighbours. Sowas Thomas Becket, archbishop of Canterbury,supported against Henry the Second, by the Pope;the subjection of ecclesiastics to the commonwealth,having been dispensed with by William the Conquerorat his reception, when he took an oath, notto infringe the liberty of the church. And so werethe barons, whose power was by William Rufus,to have their help in transferring the successionfrom his elder brother to himself, increased to a310degree inconsistent with the sovereign power,maintained in their rebellion against king John,by the French.

Nor does this happen in monarchy only. Forwhereas the style of the ancient Roman commonwealth,was, the senate and people of Rome; neithersenate, nor people pretended to the wholepower; which first caused the seditions, of TiberiusGracchus, Caius Gracchus, Lucius Saturninus,and others; and afterwards the wars between thesenate and the people, under Marius and Sylla;and again under Pompey and Cæsar, to the extinctionof their democracy, and the setting up ofmonarchy.

The people of Athens bound themselves but fromone only action; which was, that no man on painof death should propound the renewing of the warfor the island of Salamis; and yet thereby, if Solonhad not caused to be given out he was mad, andafterwards in gesture and habit of a madman, andin verse, propounded it to the people that flockedabout him, they had had an enemy perpetually inreadiness, even at the gates of their city; suchdamage, or shifts, are all commonwealths forced to,that have their power never so little limited.

Private judgment of good and evil.

In the second place, I observe the diseases of acommonwealth, that proceed from the poison ofseditious doctrines, whereof one is, That everyprivate man is judge of good and evil actions.This is true in the condition of mere nature, wherethere are no civil laws; and also under civil government,in such cases as are not determined by thelaw. But otherwise, it is manifest, that the measureof good and evil actions, is the civil law; and311the judge the legislator, who is always representativeof the commonwealth. From this false doctrine,men are disposed to debate with themselves,and dispute the commands of the commonwealth;and afterwards to obey, or disobey them, as intheir private judgments they shall think fit; wherebythe commonwealth is distracted and weakened.

Erroneous conscience.

Another doctrine repugnant to civil society, is,that whatsoever a man does against his conscience,is sin; and it dependeth on the presumptionof making himself judge of good and evil. For aman’s conscience, and his judgment is the samething, and as the judgment, so also the consciencemay be erroneous. Therefore, though he that issubject to no civil law, sinneth in all he does againsthis conscience, because he has no other rule tofollow but his own reason; yet it is not so withhim that lives in a commonwealth; because thelaw is the public conscience, by which he hath alreadyundertaken to be guided. Otherwise in suchdiversity, as there is of private consciences, whichare but private opinions, the commonwealth mustneeds be distracted, and no man dare to obey thesovereign power, further than it shall seem good inhis own eyes.

Pretence of inspiration.

It hath been also commonly taught, that faithand sanctity, are not to be attained by study andreason, but by supernatural inspiration, or infusion.Which granted, I see not why any manshould render a reason of his faith; or why everyChristian should not be also a prophet; or why anyman should take the law of his country, rather thanhis own inspiration, for the rule of his action. Andthus we fall again in the fault of taking upon us to312judge of good and evil; or to make judges of it,such private men as pretend to be supernaturallyinspired, to the dissolution of all civil government.Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by those accidents,which guide us into the presence of themthat speak to us; which accidents are all contrivedby God Almighty; and yet are not supernatural,but only, for the great number of them that concurto every effect, unobservable. Faith and sanctity,are indeed not very frequent; but yet theyare not miracles, but brought to pass by education,discipline, correction, and other natural ways, bywhich God worketh them in his elect, at such timesas he thinketh fit. And these three opinions, perniciousto peace and government, have in this partof the world, proceeded chiefly from the tongues,and pens of unlearned divines, who joining thewords of Holy Scripture together, otherwise thanis agreeable to reason, do what they can, to makemen think, that sanctity and natural reason, cannotstand together.

Subjecting the sovereign power to civil laws.

A fourth opinion, repugnant to the nature of acommonwealth, is this, that he that hath the sovereignpower is subject to the civil laws. It istrue, that sovereigns are all subject to the laws ofnature; because such laws be divine, and cannotby any man, or commonwealth be abrogated. Butto those laws which the sovereign himself, that is,which the commonwealth maketh, he is not subject.For to be subject to laws, is to be subject tothe commonwealth, that is to the sovereign representative,that is to himself; which is not subjection,but freedom from the laws. Which error,because it setteth the laws above the sovereign,313setteth also a judge above him, and a power topunish him; which is to make a new sovereign;and again for the same reason a third, to punishthe second; and so continually without end, to theconfusion, and dissolution of the commonwealth.

Attributing of absolute propriety to subjects.

A fifth doctrine, that tendeth to the dissolutionof a commonwealth, is, that every private man hasan absolute propriety in his goods; such, as excludeththe right of the sovereign. Every manhas indeed a propriety that excludes the right ofevery other subject: and he has it only from thesovereign power; without the protection whereof,every other man should have equal right to thesame. But if the right of the sovereign also beexcluded, he cannot perform the office they haveput him into; which is, to defend them both fromforeign enemies, and from the injuries of one another;and consequently there is no longer a commonwealth.

And if the propriety of subjects, exclude not theright of the sovereign representative to their goods;much less to their offices of judicature, or execution,in which they represent the sovereign himself.

Dividing of the sovereign power.

There is a sixth doctrine, plainly, and directlyagainst the essence of a commonwealth; and it isthis, that the sovereign power may be divided.For what is it to divide the power of a commonwealth,but to dissolve it; for powers dividedmutually destroy each other. And for these doctrines,men are chiefly beholding to some of those,that making profession of the laws, endeavour tomake them depend upon their own learning, andnot upon the legislative power.

Imitation of neighbour nations.

And as false doctrine, so also oftentimes the314example of different government in a neighbouringnation, disposeth men to alteration of the form alreadysettled. So the people of the Jews werestirred up to reject God, and to call upon the prophetSamuel, for a king after the manner of thenations: so also the lesser cities of Greece, werecontinually disturbed, with seditions of the aristocratical,and democratical factions; one part of almostevery commonwealth, desiring to imitate theLacedemonians; the other, the Athenians. And Idoubt not, but many men have been contented tosee the late troubles in England, out of an imitationof the Low Countries; supposing there neededno more to grow rich, than to change, as they haddone, the form of their government. For the constitutionof man’s nature, is of itself subject to desirenovelty. When therefore they are provoked tothe same, by the neighbourhood also of those thathave been enriched by it, it is almost impossiblefor them, not to be content with those that solicitthem to change; and love the first beginnings,though they be grieved with the continuance ofdisorder; like hot bloods, that having gotten theitch, tear themselves with their own nails, till theycan endure the smart no longer.

Imitation of the Greeks and Romans.

And as to rebellion in particular against monarchy;one of the most frequent causes of it, is thereading of the books of policy, and histories of theancient Greeks, and Romans; from which, youngmen, and all others that are unprovided of the antidoteof solid reason, receiving a strong, anddelightful impression, of the great exploits of war,achieved by the conductors of their armies, receivewithal a pleasing idea, of all they have done besides;315and imagine their great prosperity, not tohave proceeded from the emulation of particularmen, but from the virtue of their popular form ofgovernment: not considering the frequent seditions,and civil wars, produced by the imperfectionof their policy. From the reading, I say, of suchbooks, men have undertaken to kill their kings, becausethe Greek and Latin writers, in their books,and discourses of policy, make it lawful, and laudable,for any man so to do; provided, before he doit, he call him tyrant. For they say not regicide,that is, killing a king, but tyrannicide, that is, killingof a tyrant is lawful. From the same books,they that live under a monarch conceive an opinion,that the subjects in a popular commonwealthenjoy liberty; but that in a monarchy they are allslaves. I say, they that live under a monarchyconceive such an opinion; not they that live undera popular government: for they find no such matter.In sum, I cannot imagine, how anything canbe more prejudicial to a monarchy, than the allowingof such books to be publicly read, without presentapplying such correctives of discreet masters,as are fit to take away their venom: which venomI will not doubt to compare to the biting of a maddog, which is a disease the physicians call hydrophobia,or fear of water. For as he that is sobitten, has a continual torment of thirst, and yetabhorreth water; and is in such an estate, as if thepoison endeavoured to convert him into a dog: sowhen a monarchy is once bitten to the quick, bythose democratical writers, that continually snarlat that estate; it wanteth nothing more than astrong monarch, which nevertheless out of a certain316tyrannophobia, or fear of being stronglygoverned, when they have him, they abhor.

The opinion that there be more sovereigns than one in the commonwealth.

As there have been doctors, that hold there bethree souls in a man; so there be also that thinkthere may be more souls, that is, more sovereigns,than one, in a commonwealth; and set up a supremacyagainst the sovereignty; canons againstlaws; and a ghostly authority against the civil;working on men’s minds, with words and distinctions,that of themselves signify nothing, but bewrayby their obscurity; that there walketh, assome think, invisibly another kingdom, as it werea kingdom of fairies, in the dark. Now seeing itis manifest, that the civil power, and the power ofthe commonwealth is the same thing; and that supremacy,and the power of making canons, andgranting faculties, implieth a commonwealth; itfolloweth, that where one is sovereign, anothersupreme; where one can make laws, and anothermake canons; there must needs be two commonwealths,of one and the same subjects; which is akingdom divided in itself, and cannot stand. Fornotwithstanding the insignificant distinction oftemporal, and ghostly, they are still two kingdoms,and every subject is subject to two masters. Forseeing the ghostly power challengeth the right todeclare what is sin, it challengeth by consequenceto declare what is law, sin being nothing but thetransgression of the law; and again, the civilpower challenging to declare what is law, everysubject must obey two masters, who both will havetheir commands be observed as law; which is impossible.Or, if it be but one kingdom, either thecivil, which is the power of the commonwealth,317must be subordinate to the ghostly, and then thereis no sovereignty but the ghostly; or the ghostlymust be subordinate to the temporal, and thenthere is no supremacy but the temporal. Whentherefore these two powers oppose one another, thecommonwealth cannot but be in great danger ofcivil war and dissolution. For the civil authoritybeing more visible, and standing in the clearerlight of natural reason, cannot choose but draw toit in all times a very considerable part of the people:and the spiritual, though it stand in thedarkness of School distinctions, and hard words,yet because the fear of darkness and ghosts, isgreater than other fears, cannot want a party sufficientto trouble, and sometimes to destroy a commonwealth.And this is a disease which not unfitlymay be compared to the epilepsy, or falling sickness,which the Jews took to be one kind of possessionby spirits, in the body natural. For as in thisdisease, there is an unnatural spirit, or wind in thehead that obstructeth the roots of the nerves, andmoving them violently, taketh away the motionwhich naturally they should have from the powerof the soul in the brain, and thereby causeth violent,and irregular motions, which men call convulsions,in the parts; insomuch as he that is seizedtherewith, falleth down sometimes into the water,and sometimes into the fire, as a man deprived ofhis senses; so also in the body politic, when thespiritual power, moveth the members of a commonwealth,by the terror of punishments, and hope ofrewards, which are the nerves of it, otherwise thanby the civil power, which is the soul of the commonwealth,they ought to be moved; and by318strange, and hard words suffocates their understanding,it must needs thereby distract the people,and either overwhelm the commonwealth with oppression,or cast it into the fire of a civil war.

Mixed government.

Sometimes also in the merely civil government,there be more than one soul; as when the powerof levying money, which is the nutritive faculty,has depended on a general assembly; the power ofconduct and command, which is the motive faculty,on one man; and the power of making laws, whichis the rational faculty, on the accidental consent,not only of those two, but also of a third; this endangereththe commonwealth, sometimes for wantof consent to good laws; but most often for wantof such nourishment, as is necessary to life, andmotion. For although few perceive, that such government,is not government, but division of thecommonwealth into three factions, and call itmixed monarchy; yet the truth is, that it is notone independent commonwealth, but three independentfactions; nor one representative person,but three. In the kingdom of God, there may bethree persons independent, without breach of unityin God that reigneth; but where men reign, thatbe subject to diversity of opinions, it cannot be so.And therefore if the king bear the person of thepeople, and the general assembly bear also theperson of the people, and another assembly bearthe person of a part of the people, they are not oneperson, nor one sovereign, but three persons, andthree sovereigns.

To what disease in the natural body of man, Imay exactly compare this irregularity of a commonwealth,I know not. But I have seen a man,319that had another man growing out of his side,with a head, arms, breast, and stomach, of hisown: if he had had another man growing outof his other side, the comparison might then havebeen exact.

Want of money.

Hitherto I have named such diseases of a commonwealth,as are of the greatest, and most presentdanger. There be other not so great; which neverthelessare not unfit to be observed. As first, thedifficulty of raising money, for the necessary usesof the commonwealth; especially in the approachof war. This difficulty ariseth from the opinion,that every subject hath a propriety in his lands andgoods, exclusive of the sovereign’s right to the useof the same. From whence it cometh to pass, thatthe sovereign power, which foreseeth the necessitiesand dangers of the commonwealth, finding thepassage of money to the public treasury obstructed,by the tenacity of the people, whereas it ought toextend itself, to encounter, and prevent such dangersin their beginnings, contracteth itself as longas it can, and when it cannot longer, struggles withthe people by stratagems of law, to obtain littlesums, which not sufficing, he is fain at last violentlyto open the way for present supply, or perish;and being put often to these extremities, at lastreduceth the people to their due temper; or elsethe commonwealth must perish. Insomuch as wemay compare this distemper very aptly to an ague;wherein, the fleshy parts being congealed, or byvenomous matter obstructed, the veins which bytheir natural course empty themselves into the heart,are not, as they ought to be, supplied from the arteries,whereby there succeedeth at first a cold contraction,320and trembling of the limbs; and afterwarda hot, and strong endeavour of the heart, to forcea passage for the blood; and before it can do that,contenteth itself with the small refreshments of suchthings as cool for a time, till, if nature be strongenough, it break at last the contumacy of the partsobstructed, and dissipateth the venom into sweat;or, if nature be too weak, the patient dieth.

Monopolies, and abuses of publicans.

Again, there is sometimes in a commonwealth,a disease, which resembleth the pleurisy; and thatis, when the treasure of the commonwealth, flowingout of its due course, is gathered together in toomuch abundance, in one, or a few private men, bymonopolies, or by farms of the public revenues;in the same manner as the blood in a pleurisy,getting into the membrane of the breast, breedeththere an inflammation, accompanied with a fever,and painful stitches.

Popular men.

Also the popularity of a potent subject, unlessthe commonwealth have very good caution of hisfidelity, is a dangerous disease; because the people,which should receive their motion from the authorityof the sovereign, by the flattery and by thereputation of an ambitious man are drawn awayfrom their obedience to the laws, to follow a man,of whose virtues, and designs they have no knowledge.And this is commonly of more danger in apopular government, than in a monarchy; becausean army is of so great force, and multitude, as itmay easily be made believe, they are the people.By this means it was, that Julius Cæsar, who wasset up by the people against the senate, having wonto himself the affections of his army, made himselfmaster both of senate and people. And this proceeding321of popular, and ambitious men, is plainrebellion; and may be resembled to the effects ofwitchcraft.

Excessive greatness of a town, multitude of corporations.

Another infirmity of a commonwealth, is the immoderategreatness of a town, when it is able tofurnish out of its own circuit, the number, and expenseof a great army: as also the great number ofcorporations; which are as it were many lessercommonwealths in the bowels of a greater, likeworms in the entrails of a natural man. |Liberty of disputingagainst sovereign power.| To whichmay be added, the liberty of disputing against absolutepower, by pretenders to political prudence;which though bred for the most part in the lees ofthe people, yet animated by false doctrines, areperpetually meddling with the fundamental laws,to the molestation of the commonwealth; like thelittle worms, which physicians call ascarides.

We may further add, the insatiable appetite, orβουλιμια, of enlarging dominion; with the incurablewounds thereby many times received from theenemy; and the wens, of ununited conquests, whichare many times a burthen, and with less dangerlost, than kept; as also the lethargy of ease, andconsumption of riot and vain expense.

Dissolution of the commonwealth.

Lastly, when in a war, foreign or intestine, theenemies get a final victory; so as, the forces of thecommonwealth keeping the field no longer, there isno further protection of subjects in their loyalty;then is the commonwealth DISSOLVED, and everyman at liberty to protect himself by such coursesas his own discretion shall suggest unto him. Forthe sovereign is the public soul, giving life andmotion to the commonwealth; which expiring, themembers are governed by it no more, than the carcase322of a man, by his departed, though immortal,soul. For though the right of a sovereign monarchcannot be extinguished by the act of another; yetthe obligation of the members may. For he thatwants protection, may seek it any where; and whenhe hath it, is obliged, without fraudulent pretenceof having submitted himself out of fear, to protecthis protection as long as he is able. But when thepower of an assembly is once suppressed, the rightof the same perisheth utterly; because the assemblyitself is extinct; and consequently, there is no possibilityfor the sovereignty to re-enter.



The procuration of the good of the people.

The office of the sovereign, be it a monarch oran assembly, consisteth in the end, for which he wastrusted with the sovereign power, namely the procurationof the safety of the people; to which heis obliged by the law of nature, and to render anaccount thereof to God, the author of that law, andto none but him. But by safety here, is not meanta bare preservation, but also all other contentmentsof life, which every man by lawful industry, withoutdanger, or hurt to the commonwealth, shall acquireto himself.

By instruction and laws.

And this is intended should be done, not by careapplied to individuals, further than their protectionfrom injuries, when they shall complain; but by ageneral providence, contained in public instruction,both of doctrine, and example; and in the making323and executing of good laws, to which individualpersons may apply their own cases.

Against the duty of a sovereign to relinquish any essential right of sovereignty.

And because, if the essential rights of sovereignty,specified before in the eighteenth chapter, be takenaway, the commonwealth is thereby dissolved, andevery man returneth into the condition, and calamityof a war with every other man, which is thegreatest evil that can happen in this life; it is theoffice of the sovereign, to maintain those rightsentire; and consequently against his duty, first, totransfer to another, or to lay from himself any ofthem. For he that deserteth the means, deserteththe ends; and he deserteth the means, that beingthe sovereign, acknowledgeth himself subject to thecivil laws; and renounceth the power of supremejudicature; or of making war, or peace by his ownauthority; or of judging of the necessities of thecommonwealth; or of levying money and soldiers,when, and as much as in his own conscience heshall judge necessary; or of making officers, andministers both of war and peace; or of appointingteachers, and examining what doctrines are conformable,or contrary to the defence, peace, andgood of the people. |Or not to see the people taught the grounds of them.| Secondly, it is against hisduty, to let the people be ignorant, or misinformedof the grounds, and reasons of those his essentialrights; because thereby men are easy to be seduced,and drawn to resist him, when the commonwealthshall require their use and exercise.

And the grounds of these rights, have the ratherneed to be diligently, and truly taught; becausethey cannot be maintained by any civil law, orterror of legal punishment. For a civil law, thatshall forbid rebellion, (and such is all resistance to324the essential rights of the sovereignty), is not, as acivil law, any obligation, but by virtue only of thelaw of nature, that forbiddeth the violation of faith;which natural obligation, if men know not, they cannotknow the right of any law the sovereign maketh.And for the punishment, they take it but for anact of hostility; which when they think they havestrength enough, they will endeavour by acts ofhostility, to avoid.

Objection of those that say there are no principles of reason for absolute sovereignty.

As I have heard some say, that justice is but aword, without substance; and that whatsoever aman can by force, or art, acquire to himself, notonly in the condition of war, but also in a commonwealth,is his own, which I have already showed tobe false: so there be also that maintain, that thereare no grounds, nor principles of reason, to sustainthose essential rights, which make sovereignty absolute.For if there were, they would have beenfound out in some place, or other; whereas we see,there has not hitherto been any commonwealth,where those rights have been acknowledged, orchallenged. Wherein they argue as ill, as if thesavage people of America, should deny there wereany grounds, or principles of reason, so to build ahouse, as to last as long as the materials, becausethey never yet saw any so well built. Time, andindustry, produce every day new knowledge. Andas the art of well building is derived from principlesof reason, observed by industrious men, thathad long studied the nature of materials, and thedivers effects of figure, and proportion, long aftermankind began, though poorly, to build: so, longtime after men have begun to constitute commonwealths,imperfect, and apt to relapse into disorder,325there may principles of reason be found out, byindustrious meditation, to make their constitution,excepting by external violence, everlasting. Andsuch are those which I have in this discourse setforth: which whether they come not into the sightof those that have power to make use of them, orbe neglected by them, or not, concerneth my particularinterests, at this day, very little. But supposingthat these of mine are not such principlesof reason; yet I am sure they are principles fromauthority of Scripture; as I shall make it appear,when I shall come to speak of the kingdom of God,administered by Moses, over the Jews, his peculiarpeople by covenant.

Objection from the incapacity of the vulgar.

But they say again, that though the principles beright, yet common people are not of capacity enoughto be made to understand them. I should be glad,that the rich and potent subjects of a kingdom, orthose that are accounted the most learned, were noless incapable than they. But all men know, thatthe obstructions to this kind of doctrine, proceednot so much from the difficulty of the matter, asfrom the interest of them that are to learn. Potentmen, digest hardly any thing that setteth up a powerto bridle their affections; and learned men, anything that discovereth their errors, and thereby lesseneththeir authority: whereas the common people’sminds, unless they be tainted with dependanceon the potent, or scribbled over with the opinionsof their doctors, are like clean paper, fit to receivewhatsoever by public authority shall be imprintedin them. Shall whole nations be brought to acquiescein the great mysteries of the Christian religion,which are above reason, and millions of men326be made believe, that the same body may be ininnumerable places at one and the same time,which is against reason; and shall not men beable, by their teaching, and preaching, protectedby the law, to make that received, which is so consonantto reason, that any unprejudicated man,needs no more to learn it, than to hear it? Iconclude therefore, that in the instruction of thepeople in the essential rights which are the naturaland fundamental laws of sovereignty, there isno difficulty, whilst a sovereign has his powerentire, but what proceeds from his own fault, orthe fault of those whom he trusteth in the administrationof the commonwealth; and consequently,it is his duty, to cause them so to be instructed;and not only his duty, but his benefit also, andsecurity against the danger that may arrive tohimself in his natural person from rebellion.

Subjects are to be taught not to affect change of government.

And, to descend to particulars, the people are tobe taught, first, that they ought not to be in lovewith any form of government they see in theirneighbour nations, more than with their own, nor,whatsoever present prosperity they behold in nationsthat are otherwise governed than they, todesire change. For the prosperity of a peopleruled by an aristocratical, or democratical assembly,cometh not from aristocracy, nor from democracy,but from the obedience, and concord ofthe subjects: nor do the people flourish in a monarchy,because one man has the right to rule them,but because they obey him. Take away in anykind of state, the obedience, and consequently theconcord of the people, and they shall not only notflourish, but in short time be dissolved. And they327that go about by disobedience, to do no more thanreform the commonwealth, shall find they dothereby destroy it; like the foolish daughters ofPeleus, in the fable; which desiring to renew theyouth of their decrepid father, did by the counselof Medea, cut him in pieces, and boil him, togetherwith strange herbs, but made not of him a newman. This desire of change, is like the breach ofthe first of God’s commandments: for there Godsays, Non habebis Deos alienos; Thou shalt nothave the Gods of other nations; and in anotherplace concerning kings, that they are Gods.

Nor adhere, against the sovereign, to popular men.

Secondly, they are to be taught, that they oughtnot to be led with admiration of the virtue of anyof their fellow-subjects, how high soever he stand,or how conspicuously soever he shine in the commonwealth;nor of any assembly, except the sovereignassembly, so as to defer to them any obedience,or honour, appropriate to the sovereign only,whom, in their particular stations, they represent;nor to receive any influence from them, but suchas is conveyed by them from the sovereign authority.For that sovereign cannot be imagined tolove his people as he ought, that is not jealous ofthem, but suffers them by the flattery of popularmen, to be seduced from their loyalty, as theyhave often been, not only secretly, but openly, soas to proclaim marriage with them in facieecclesiæ by preachers, and by publishing the samein the open streets: which may fitly be comparedto the violation of the second of the ten commandments.

Nor to dispute the sovereign power.

Thirdly, in consequence to this, they ought to beinformed, how great a fault it is, to speak evil of328the sovereign representative, whether one man, oran assembly of men; or to argue and dispute hispower; or any way to use his name irreverently,whereby he may be brought into contempt with hispeople, and their obedience, in which the safety ofthe commonwealth consisteth, slackened. Whichdoctrine the third commandment by resemblancepointeth to.

And to have days set apart to learn their duty.

Fourthly, seeing people cannot be taught this,nor when it is taught, remember it, nor after onegeneration past, so much as know in whom thesovereign power is placed, without setting apartfrom their ordinary labour, some certain times, inwhich they may attend those that are appointed toinstruct them; it is necessary that some suchtimes be determined, wherein they may assembletogether, and, after prayers and praises given toGod, the sovereign of sovereigns, hear those theirduties told them, and the positive laws, such asgenerally concern them all, read and expounded,and be put in mind of the authority that makeththem laws. To this end had the Jews everyseventh day, a sabbath, in which the law was readand expounded; and in the solemnity whereofthey were put in mind, that their king was God;that having created the world in six days, he restedthe seventh day; and by their resting on it fromtheir labour, that that God was their king, whichredeemed them from their servile, and painfullabour in Egypt, and gave them a time, after theyhad rejoiced in God, to take joy also in themselves,by lawful recreation. So that the first table of thecommandments, is spent all in setting down thesum of God’s absolute power; not only as God,329but as king by pact, in peculiar, of the Jews; andmay therefore give light, to those that have sovereignpower conferred on them by the consent ofmen, to see what doctrine they ought to teach theirsubjects.

And to honour their parents.

And because the first instruction of children,dependeth on the care of their parents, it is necessarythat they should be obedient to them, whilstthey are under their tuition; and not only so, butthat also afterwards, as gratitude requireth, theyacknowledge the benefit of their education, by externalsigns of honour. To which end they are tobe taught, that originally the father of every manwas also his sovereign lord, with power over himof life and death; and that the fathers of families,when by instituting a commonwealth, they resignedthat absolute power, yet it was never intended,they should lose the honour due unto themfor their education. For to relinquish such right,was not necessary to the institution of sovereignpower; nor would there be any reason, why anyman should desire to have children, or take thecare to nourish and instruct them, if they wereafterwards to have no other benefit from them,than from other men. And this accordeth withthe fifth commandment.

And to avoid doing of injury.

Again, every sovereign ought to cause justice tobe taught, which, consisting in taking from no manwhat is his, is as much as to say, to cause men tobe taught not to deprive their neighbours, by violenceor fraud, of any thing which by the sovereignauthority is theirs. Of things held in propriety,those that are dearest to a man are his own life,and limbs; and in the next degree, in most men,330those that concern conjugal affection; and afterthem, riches and means of living. Therefore thepeople are to be taught, to abstain from violence toone another’s person, by private revenges; fromviolation of conjugal honour; and from forciblerapine, and fraudulent surreption of one another’sgoods. For which purpose also it is necessary theybe showed the evil consequences of false judgment,by corruption either of judges or witnesses, wherebythe distinction of propriety is taken away, andjustice becomes of no effect: all which things areintimated in the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninthcommandments.

And to do all this sincerely from the heart.

Lastly, they are to be taught, that not only theunjust facts, but the designs and intentions to dothem, though by accident hindered, are injustice;which consisteth in the pravity of the will, as wellas in the irregularity of the act. And this is theintention of the tenth commandment, and the sumof the second table; which is reduced all to thisone commandment of mutual charity, thou shaltlove thy neighbour as thyself: as the sum of thefirst table is reduced to the love of God; whomthey had then newly received as their king.

The use of universities.

As for the means, and conduits, by which thepeople may receive this instruction, we are to search,by what means so many opinions, contrary to thepeace of mankind, upon weak and false principles,have nevertheless been so deeply rooted in them.I mean those, which I have in the precedent chapterspecified: as that men shall judge of what islawful and unlawful, not by the law itself, but bytheir own consciences; that is to say, by their ownprivate judgments: that subjects sin in obeying the331commands of the commonwealth, unless they themselveshave first judged them to be lawful: thattheir propriety in their riches is such, as to excludethe dominion, which the commonwealth hath overthe same: that it is lawful for subjects to kill such,as they call tyrants: that the sovereign power maybe divided, and the like; which come to be instilledinto the people by this means. They whomnecessity, or covetousness keepeth attent on theirtrades, and labour; and they, on the other side,whom superfluity, or sloth carrieth after their sensualpleasures; which two sorts of men take up thegreatest part of mankind; being diverted from thedeep meditation, which the learning of truth, notonly in the matter of natural justice, but also of allother sciences necessarily requireth, receive thenotions of their duty, chiefly from divines in thepulpit, and partly from such of their neighboursor familiar acquaintance, as having the faculty ofdiscoursing readily, and plausibly, seem wiser andbetter learned in cases of law and conscience, thanthemselves. And the divines, and such others asmake show of learning, derive their knowledge fromthe universities, and from the schools of law, orfrom the books, which by men, eminent in thoseschools and universities, have been published. Itis therefore manifest, that the instruction of thepeople, dependeth wholly, on the right teaching ofyouth in the universities. But are not, may someman say, the universities of England learned enoughalready to do that? or is it you, will undertake toteach the universities? Hard questions. Yet tothe first, I doubt not to answer; that till towardsthe latter end of Henry the Eighth, the power of332the Pope, was always upheld against the power ofthe commonwealth, principally by the universities;and that the doctrines maintained by so manypreachers, against the sovereign power of the king,and by so many lawyers, and others, that had theireducation there, is a sufficient argument, that thoughthe universities were not authors of those false doctrines,yet they knew not how to plant the true.For in such a contradiction of opinions, it is mostcertain, that they have not been sufficiently instructed;and it is no wonder, if they yet retain arelish of that subtle liquor, wherewith they werefirst seasoned, against the civil authority. But tothe latter question, it is not fit, nor needful for meto say either aye, or no: for any man that sees whatI am doing, may easily perceive what I think.

The safety of the people, requireth further, fromhim, or them that have the sovereign power, thatjustice be equally administered to all degrees ofpeople; that is, that as well the rich and mighty,as poor and obscure persons, may be righted of theinjuries done them; so as the great, may have nogreater hope of impunity, when they do violence,dishonour, or any injury to the meaner sort, thanwhen one of these, does the like to one of them:for in this consisteth equity; to which, as being aprecept of the law of nature, a sovereign is as muchsubject, as any of the meanest of his people. Allbreaches of the law, are offences against the commonwealth:but there be some, that are also againstprivate persons. Those that concern the commonwealthonly, may without breach of equity be pardoned;for every man may pardon what is doneagainst himself, according to his own discretion.333But an offence against a private man, cannot inequity be pardoned, without the consent of himthat is injured; or reasonable satisfaction.

The inequality of subjects, proceedeth from theacts of sovereign power; and therefore has no moreplace in the presence of the sovereign, that is tosay, in a court of justice, than the inequality betweenkings and their subjects, in the presence of theKing of kings. The honour of great persons, is tobe valued for their beneficence and the aids theygive to men of inferior rank, or not at all. Andthe violences, oppressions, and injuries they do, arenot extenuated, but aggravated by the greatness oftheir persons; because they have least need to committhem. The consequences of this partialitytowards the great, proceed in this manner. Impunitymaketh insolence; insolence, hatred; andhatred, an endeavour to pull down all oppressingand contumelious greatness, though with the ruinof the commonwealth.

Equal taxes.

To equal justice, appertaineth also the equal impositionof taxes; the equality whereof dependethnot on the equality of riches, but on the equalityof the debt that every man oweth to the commonwealthfor his defence. It is not enough, for aman to labour for the maintenance of his life; butalso to fight, if need be, for the securing of hislabour. They must either do as the Jews did aftertheir return from captivity, in re-edifying the temple,build with one hand, and hold the sword in theother; or else they must hire others to fight forthem. For the impositions, that are laid on thepeople by the sovereign power, are nothing elsebut the wages, due to them that hold the public334sword, to defend private men in the exercise of theirseveral trades, and callings. Seeing then the benefitthat every one receiveth thereby, is the enjoymentof life, which is equally dear to poor and rich;the debt which a poor man oweth them that defendhis life, is the same which a rich man oweth for thedefence of his; saving that the rich, who have theservice of the poor, may be debtors not only fortheir own persons but for many more. Which considered,the equality of imposition, consisteth ratherin the equality of that which is consumed, than ofthe riches of the persons that consume the same.For what reason is there, that he which labourethmuch, and sparing the fruits of his labour, consumethlittle, should be more charged, than he thatliving idly, getteth little, and spendeth all he gets;seeing the one hath no more protection from thecommonwealth, than the other? But when theimpositions, are laid upon those things which menconsume, every man payeth equally for what heuseth: nor is the commonwealth defrauded by theluxurious waste of private men.

Public charity.

And whereas many men, by accident inevitable,become unable to maintain themselves by theirlabour; they ought not to be left to the charity ofprivate persons; but to be provided for, as far forthas the necessities of nature require, by the laws ofthe commonwealth. For as it is uncharitablenessin any man, to neglect the impotent; so it is in thesovereign of a commonwealth, to expose them tothe hazard of such uncertain charity.

Prevention of idleness.

But for such as have strong bodies, the case isotherwise: they are to be forced to work; and toavoid the excuse of not finding employment, there335ought to be such laws, as may encourage all mannerof arts; as navigation, agriculture, fishing, and allmanner of manufacture that requires labour. Themultitude of poor, and yet strong people still increasing,they are to be transplanted into countriesnot sufficiently inhabited: where nevertheless, theyare not to exterminate those they find there; butconstrain them to inhabit closer together, and notto range a great deal of ground, to snatch whatthey find; but to court each little plot with art andlabour, to give them their sustenance in due season.And when all the world is overcharged with inhabitants,then the last remedy of all is war; whichprovideth for every man, by victory, or death.

Good laws, what.

To the care of the sovereign, belongeth the makingof good laws. But what is a good law? By agood law, I mean not a just law: for no law can beunjust. The law is made by the sovereign power,and all that is done by such power, is warranted,and owned by every one of the people; and thatwhich every man will have so, no man can say isunjust. It is in the laws of a commonwealth, as inthe laws of gaming: whatsoever the gamesters allagree on, is injustice to none of them. A good lawis that, which is needful, for the good of the people,and withal perspicuous.

Such as are necessary.

For the use of laws, which are but rules authorized,is not to bind the people from all voluntaryactions; but to direct and keep them in such amotion, as not to hurt themselves by their ownimpetuous desires, rashness or indiscretion; ashedges are set, not to stop travellers, but to keepthem in their way. And therefore a law that is notneedful, having not the true end of a law, is notgood. A law may be conceived to be good, when336it is for the benefit of the sovereign; though it benot necessary for the people; but it is not so. Forthe good of the sovereign and people, cannot beseparated. It is a weak sovereign, that has weak subjects;and a weak people, whose sovereign wantethpower to rule them at his will. Unnecessary lawsare not good laws; but traps for money: whichwhere the right of sovereign power is acknowledged,are superfluous; and where it is not acknowledged,insufficient to defend the people.

Such as are perspicuous.

The perspicuity, consisteth not so much in thewords of the law itself, as in a declaration of thecauses, and motives for which it was made. Thatis it, that shows us the meaning of the legislator;and the meaning of the legislator known, the lawis more easily understood by few, than many words.For all words, are subject to ambiguity; and thereforemultiplication of words in the body of the law,is multiplication of ambiguity: besides it seems toimply, by too much diligence, that whosoever canevade the words, is without the compass of the law.And this is a cause of many unnecessary processes.For when I consider how short were the laws ofancient times; and how they grew by degrees stilllonger; methinks I see a contention between thepenners, and pleaders of the law; the former seekingto circ*mscribe the latter; and the latter toevade their circ*mscriptions; and that the pleadershave got the victory. It belongeth therefore to theoffice of a legislator, (such as is in all commonwealthsthe supreme representative, be it one man,or an assembly), to make the reason perspicuous,why the law was made; and the body of the lawitself, as short, but in as proper, and significantterms, as may be.


337It belongeth also to the office of the sovereign,to make a right application of punishments, andrewards. And seeing the end of punishing is notrevenge, and discharge of choler; but correction,either of the offender, or of others by his example;the severest punishments are to be inflicted for thosecrimes, that are of most danger to the public; suchas are those which proceed from malice to the governmentestablished; those that spring from contemptof justice; those that provoke indignationin the multitude; and those, which unpunished,seem authorized, as when they are committed bysons, servants, or favourites of men in authority.For indignation carrieth men, not only against theactors, and authors of injustice; but against allpower that is likely to protect them; as in the caseof Tarquin; when for the insolent act of one of hissons, he was driven out of Rome, and the monarchyitself dissolved. But crimes of infirmity; such as arethose which proceed from great provocation, fromgreat fear, great need, or from ignorance whetherthe fact be a great crime, or not, there is placemany times for lenity, without prejudice to thecommonwealth; and lenity, when there is such placefor it, is required by the law of nature. The punishmentof the leaders and teachers in a commotion,not the poor seduced people, when they arepunished, can profit the commonwealth by theirexample. To be severe to the people, is to punishthat ignorance, which may in great part be imputedto the sovereign, whose fault it was, that they wereno better instructed.


In like manner it belongeth to the office, andduty of the sovereign, to apply his rewards always338so, as there may arise from them benefit to thecommonwealth; wherein consisteth their use, andend; and is then done, when they that have wellserved the commonwealth, are with as little expenseof the common treasure, as is possible, so well recompensed,as others thereby may be encouraged,both to serve the same as faithfully as they can,and to study the arts by which they may be enabledto do it better. To buy with money, or preferment,from a popular ambitious subject, to bequiet, and desist from making ill impressions in theminds of the people, has nothing of the nature ofreward; (which is ordained not for disservice, butfor service past;) nor a sign of gratitude, but offear; nor does it tend to the benefit, but to thedamage of the public. It is a contention with ambition,like that of Hercules with the monster Hydra,which having many heads, for every one that wasvanquished, there grew up three. For in like manner,when the stubbornness of one popular man, isovercome with reward, there arise many more, bythe example, that do the same mischief, in hope oflike benefit: and as all sorts of manufacture, so alsomalice encreaseth by being vendible. And thoughsometimes a civil war, may be deferred by suchways as that, yet the danger grows still the greater,and the public ruin more assured. It is thereforeagainst the duty of the sovereign, to whom thepublic safety is committed, to reward those thataspire to greatness by disturbing the peace of theircountry, and not rather to oppose the beginningsof such men, with a little danger, than after a longertime with greater.


Another business of the sovereign, is to choose339good counsellors; I mean such, whose advice he isto take in the government of the commonwealth.For this word counsel, consilium, corrupted fromconsidium, is of a large signification, and comprehendethall assemblies of men that sit together,not only to deliberate what is to be done hereafter,but also to judge of facts past, and of law for thepresent. I take it here in the first sense only: andin this sense, there is no choice of counsel, neitherin a democracy, nor aristocracy; because the personscounselling are members of the person counselled.The choice of counsellors therefore is properto monarchy; in which, the sovereign thatendeavoureth not to make choice of those, that inevery kind are the most able, dischargeth not hisoffice as he ought to do. The most able counsellors,are they that have least hope of benefit bygiving evil counsel, and most knowledge of thosethings that conduce to the peace, and defence ofthe commonwealth. It is a hard matter to knowwho expecteth benefit from public troubles; butthe signs that guide to a just suspicion, is the soothingof the people in their unreasonable, or irremediablegrievances, by men whose estates are notsufficient to discharge their accustomed expenses,and may easily be observed by any one whom itconcerns to know it. But to know, who has mostknowledge of the public affairs, is yet harder; andthey that know them, need them a great deal theless. For to know, who knows the rules almost ofany art, is a great degree of the knowledge of thesame art; because no man can be assured of thetruth of another’s rules, but he that is first taughtto understand them. But the best signs of knowledge340of any art, are, much conversing in it, andconstant good effects of it. Good counsel comesnot by lot, nor by inheritance; and therefore thereis no more reason to expect good advice from therich or noble, in matter of state, than in delineatingthe dimensions of a fortress; unless we shallthink there needs no method in the study of thepolitics, as there does in the study of geometry, butonly to be lookers on; which is not so. For thepolitics is the harder study of the two. Whereasin these parts of Europe, it hath been taken for aright of certain persons, to have place in the highestcouncil of state by inheritance; it is derived fromthe conquests of the ancient Germans; whereinmany absolute lords joining together to conquerother nations, would not enter into the confederacy,without such privileges, as might be marks of differencein time following, between their posterity,and the posterity of their subjects; which privilegesbeing inconsistent with the sovereign power, by thefavour of the sovereign, they may seem to keep; butcontending for them as their right, they must needsby degrees let them go, and have at last no furtherhonour, than adhereth naturally to their abilities.

And how able soever be the counsellors in anyaffair, the benefit of their counsel is greater, whenthey give every one his advice, and the reasons ofit apart, than when they do it in an assembly, byway of orations; and when they have premeditated,than when they speak on the sudden; both becausethey have more time, to survey the consequencesof action; and are less subject to be carried awayto contradiction, through envy, emulation, or otherpassions arising from the difference of opinion.

341The best counsel, in those things that concernnot other nations, but only the ease and benefitthe subjects may enjoy, by laws that look only inward,is to be taken from the general informations,and complaints of the people of each province, whoare best acquainted with their own wants, andought therefore, when they demand nothing in derogationof the essential rights of sovereignty, tobe diligently taken notice of. For without thoseessential rights, as I have often before said, thecommonwealth cannot at all subsist.


A commander of an army in chief, if he be notpopular, shall not be beloved nor feared as heought to be by his army; and consequently, cannotperform that office with good success. Hemust therefore be industrious, valiant, affable,liberal and fortunate, that he may gain an opinionboth of sufficiency, and of loving his soldiers. Thisis popularity, and breeds in the soldiers both desire,and courage, to recommend themselves to his favour;and protects the severity of the general in punishing,when need is, the mutinous, or negligent soldiers.But this love of soldiers, if caution be notgiven of the commander’s fidelity, is a dangerousthing to sovereign power; especially when it is inthe hands of an assembly not popular. It belongeththerefore to the safety of the people, both thatthey be good conductors, and faithful subjects, towhom the sovereign commits his armies.

But when the sovereign himself is popular; thatis, reverenced and beloved of his people, there isno danger at all from the popularity of a subject.For soldiers are never so generally unjust, as to342side with their captain though they love him,against their sovereign, when they love not onlyhis person, but also his cause. And thereforethose, who by violence have at any time suppressedthe power of their lawful sovereign, before theycould settle themselves in his place, have been alwaysput to the trouble of contriving their titles,to save the people from the shame of receivingthem. To have a known right to sovereign power,is so popular a quality, as he that has it needs nomore, for his own part, to turn the hearts of hissubjects to him, but that they see him able absolutelyto govern his own family: nor, on the partof his enemies, but a disbanding of their armies.For the greatest and most active part of mankind,has never hitherto been well contented with thepresent.

Concerning the offices of one sovereign to another,which are comprehended in that law, whichis commonly called the law of nations, I need notsay anything in this place; because the law ofnations, and the law of nature, is the same thing.And every sovereign hath the same right, in procuringthe safety of his people, that any particularman can have, in procuring the safety of his ownbody. And the same law, that dictateth to menthat have no civil government, what they ought todo, and what to avoid in regard of one another,dictateth the same to commonwealths, that is, tothe consciences of sovereign princes and sovereignassemblies; there being no court of natural justice,but in the conscience only; where not man, butGod reigneth; whose laws, such of them as oblige343all mankind, in respect of God, as he is the authorof nature, are natural; and in respect of the sameGod, as he is King of kings, are laws. But of thekingdom of God, as King of kings, and as King alsoof a peculiar people, I shall speak in the rest ofthis discourse.



The scope of the following chapters.

That the condition of mere nature, that is to say,of absolute liberty, such as is theirs, that neitherare sovereigns, nor subjects, is anarchy, and thecondition of war: that the precepts, by which menare guided to avoid that condition, are the laws ofnature: that a commonwealth, without sovereignpower, is but a word without substance, and cannotstand: that subjects owe to sovereigns, simpleobedience, in all things wherein their obedience isnot repugnant to the laws of God, I have sufficientlyproved, in that which I have alreadywritten. There wants only, for the entire knowledgeof civil duty, to know what are those laws ofGod. For without that, a man knows not, whenhe is commanded any thing by the civil power,whether it be contrary to the law of God, or not:and so, either by too much civil obedience, offendsthe Divine Majesty; or through fear of offendingGod, transgresses the commandments of the commonwealth.To avoid both these rocks, it is necessaryto know what are the laws divine. Andseeing the knowledge of all law, dependeth on the344knowledge of the sovereign power, I shall saysomething in that which followeth, of the Kingdomof God.

Who are subjects in the kingdom of God.

God is king, let the earth rejoice, saith thepsalmist, (xcvii. 1). And again, (Psalm xcix. 1)God is king, though the nations be angry; andhe that sitteth on the cherubims, though theearth be moved. Whether men will or not, theymust be subject always to the divine power. Bydenying the existence, or providence of God, menmay shake off their ease, but not their yoke. Butto call this power of God, which extendeth itselfnot only to man, but also to beasts, and plants, andbodies inanimate, by the name of kingdom, is buta metaphorical use of the word. For he only isproperly said to reign, that governs his subjectsby his word, and by promise of rewards to thosethat obey it, and by threatening them with punishmentthat obey it not. Subjects therefore in thekingdom of God, are not bodies inanimate, norcreatures irrational; because they understand noprecepts as his: nor atheists, nor they that believenot that God has any care of the actions ofmankind; because they acknowledge no word forhis, nor have hope of his rewards or fear of histhreatenings. They therefore that believe there isa God that governeth the world, and hath givenprecepts, and propounded rewards, and punishmentsto mankind, are God’s subjects; all the rest,are to be understood as enemies.

A threefold word of God, reason, revelation, prophecy.

To rule by words, requires that such words bemanifestly made known; for else they are no laws:for to the nature of laws belongeth a sufficient, and345clear promulgation, such as may take away the excuseof ignorance; which in the laws of men is butof one only kind, and that is, proclamation, or promulgationby the voice of man. But God declarethhis laws three ways; by the dictates of naturalreason, by revelation, and by the voice of someman, to whom by the operation of miracles, heprocureth credit with the rest. From hence thereariseth a triple word of God, rational, sensible,and prophetic: to which correspondeth a triplehearing; right reason, sense supernatural, andfaith. As for sense supernatural, which consistethin revelation or inspiration, there have not beenany universal laws so given, because God speakethnot in that manner but to particular persons, andto divers men divers things.

A twofold kingdom of God, natural and prophetic.

From the difference between the other two kindsof God’s word, rational, and prophetic, there maybe attributed to God, a twofold kingdom, natural,and prophetic: natural, wherein he governeth asmany of mankind as acknowledge his providence,by the natural dictates of right reason; and prophetic,wherein having chosen out one peculiarnation, the Jews, for his subjects, he governedthem, and none but them, not only by natural reason,but by positive laws, which he gave them bythe mouths of his holy prophets. Of the naturalkingdom of God I intend to speak in this chapter.

The right of God’s sovereignty is derived from his omnipotence.

The right of nature, whereby God reigneth overmen, and punisheth those that break his laws, is tobe derived, not from his creating them, as if he requiredobedience as of gratitude for his benefits;but from his irresistible power. I have formerly346shown, how the sovereign right ariseth from pact:to show how the same right may arise from nature,requires no more, but to show in what case it isnever taken away. Seeing all men by nature hadright to all things, they had right every one toreign over all the rest. But because this rightcould not be obtained by force, it concerned thesafety of every one, laying by that right, to set upmen, with sovereign authority, by common consent,to rule and defend them: whereas if there hadbeen any man of power irresistible, there had beenno reason, why he should not by that power haveruled and defended both himself, and them, accordingto his own discretion. To those thereforewhose power is irresistible, the dominion of allmen adhereth naturally by their excellence ofpower; and consequently it is from that power,that the kingdom over men, and the right ofafflicting men at his pleasure, belongeth naturallyto God Almighty; not as Creator, and gracious;but as omnipotent. And though punishment bedue for sin only, because by that word is understoodaffliction for sin; yet the right of afflicting,is not always derived from men’s sin, but fromGod’s power.

Sin not the cause of all affliction.

This question, why evil men often prosper, andgood men suffer adversity, has been much disputedby the ancient, and is the same with this of ours,by what right God dispenseth the prosperitiesand adversities of this life; and is of that difficulty,as it hath shaken the faith, not only of thevulgar, but of philosophers, and which is more, ofthe Saints, concerning the Divine Providence.347How good, saith David, (Psalm lxxiii. 1, 2, 3)is the God of Israel to those that are uprightin heart; and yet my feet were almost gone, mytreadings had well-nigh slipt; for I was grievedat the wicked, when I saw the ungodly in suchprosperity. And Job, how earnestly does he expostulatewith God, for the many afflictions he suffered,notwithstanding his righteousness? Thisquestion in the case of Job, is decided by God himself,not by arguments derived from Job’s sin, buthis own power. For whereas the friends of Jobdrew their arguments from his affliction to his sin,and he defended himself by the conscience of hisinnocence, God himself taketh up the matter, andhaving justified the affliction by arguments drawnfrom his power, such as this, (Job xxxviii. 4)Where wast thou, when I laid the foundations ofthe earth? and the like, both approved Job’s innocence,and reproved the erroneous doctrine of hisfriends. Conformable to this doctrine is the sentenceof our Saviour, concerning the man that wasborn blind, in these words, Neither hath this mansinned, nor his fathers; but that the works ofGod might be made manifest in him. And thoughit be said, that death entered into the world bysin, (by which is meant, that if Adam had neversinned, he had never died, that is, never sufferedany separation of his soul from his body,) it followsnot thence, that God could not justly have afflictedhim, though he had not sinned, as well as heafflicteth other living creatures, that cannot sin.

Divine laws.

Having spoken of the right of God’s sovereignty,as grounded only on nature; we are to consider348next, what are the Divine laws, or dictates of naturalreason; which laws concern either the naturalduties of one man to another, or the honour naturallydue to our Divine Sovereign. The first arethe same laws of nature, of which I have spokenalready in the fourteenth and fifteenth chapters ofthis treatise; namely, equity, justice, mercy, humility,and the rest of the moral virtues. It remaineththerefore that we consider, what precepts are dictatedto men, by their natural reason only, withoutother word of God, touching the honour and worshipof the Divine Majesty.

Honour and worship, what.

Honour consisteth in the inward thought, andopinion of the power, and goodness of another;and therefore to honour God, is to think as highlyof his power and goodness, as is possible. And ofthat opinion, the external signs appearing in thewords and actions of men, are called worship;which is one part of that which the Latins understandby the word cultus. For cultus signifiethproperly, and constantly, that labour which a manbestows on anything, with a purpose to makebenefit by it. Now those things whereof we makebenefit, are either subject to us, and the profit theyyield, followeth the labour we bestow upon them,as a natural effect; or they are not subject to us,but answer our labour, according to their own wills.In the first sense the labour bestowed on the earth,is called culture; and the education of children, aculture of their minds. In the second sense,where men’s wills are to be wrought to our purpose,not by force, but by complaisance, it signifiethas much as courting, that is, a winning of349favour by good offices; as by praises, by acknowledgingtheir power, and by whatsoever is pleasingto them from whom we look for any benefit. Andthis is properly worship: in which sense Publicola,is understood for a worshipper of the people; andcultus Dei, for the worship of God.

Several signs of honour.

From internal honour, consisting in the opinionof power and goodness, arise three passions; love,which hath reference to goodness; and hope, andfear, that relate to power: and three parts of externalworship; praise, magnifying, and blessing:the subject of praise, being goodness; the subjectof magnifying and blessing, being power, and theeffect thereof felicity. Praise, and magnifying aresignified both by words, and actions: by words,when we say a man is good, or great: by actions,when we thank him for his bounty, and obey hispower. The opinion of the happiness of another,can only be expressed by words.

Worship natural and arbitrary.

There be some signs of honour, both in attributesand actions, that be naturally so; as amongstattributes, good, just, liberal, and the like; andamongst actions, prayers, thanks, and obedience.Others are so by institution, or custom of men;and in some times and places are honourable; inothers, dishonourable; in others, indifferent: suchas are the gestures in salutation, prayer, andthanksgiving, in different times and places, differentlyused. The former is natural; the latter arbitraryworship.

Worship commanded and free.

And of arbitrary worship, there be two differences:for sometimes it is a commanded, sometimesvoluntary worship: commanded, when it is350such as he requireth, who is worshipped: free,when it is such as the worshipper thinks fit. Whenit is commanded, not the words, or gesture, butthe obedience is the worship. But when free, theworship consists in the opinion of the beholders:for if to them the words, or actions by which weintend honour, seem ridiculous, and tending tocontumely, they are no worship, because nosigns of honour; and no signs of honour, becausea sign is not a sign to him that giveth it, but tohim to whom it is made, that is, to the spectator.

Worship public and private.

Again, there is a public, and a private worship.Public, is the worship that a commonwealth performeth,as one person. Private, is that which a privateperson exhibiteth. Public, in respect of the wholecommonwealth, is free; but in respect of particularmen, it is not so. Private, is in secret free;but in the sight of the multitude, it is never withoutsome restraint, either from the laws, or fromthe opinion of men; which is contrary to thenature of liberty.

The end of worship.

The end of worship amongst men, is power.For where a man seeth another worshipped, hesupposeth him powerful, and is the readier to obeyhim; which makes his power greater. But Godhas no ends: the worship we do him, proceedsfrom our duty, and is directed according to ourcapacity, by those rules of honour, that reasondictateth to be done by the weak to the more potentmen, in hope of benefit, for fear of damage, orin thankfulness for good already received from them.

Attributes of divine honour.

That we may know what worship of God istaught us by the light of nature, I will begin with351his attributes. Where, first, it is manifest, weought to attribute to him existence. For no mancan have the will to honour that, which he thinksnot to have any being.

Secondly, that those philosophers, who said theworld, or the soul of the world was God, spake unworthilyof him; and denied his existence. For byGod, is understood the cause of the world; and tosay the world is God, is to say there is no cause ofit, that is, no God.

Thirdly, to say the world was not created, buteternal, seeing that which is eternal has no cause,is to deny there is a God.

Fourthly, that they who attributing, as theythink, ease to God, take from him the care of mankind;take from him his honour: for it takes awaymen’s love, and fear of him; which is the root ofhonour.

Fifthly, in those things that signify greatness,and power; to say he is finite, is not to honourhim: for it is not a sign of the will to honour God,to attribute to him less than we can; and finite, isless than we can; because to finite, it is easy toadd more.

Therefore to attribute figure to him, is not honour;for all figure is finite:

Nor to say we conceive, and imagine, or have anidea of him, in our mind: for whatsoever we conceiveis finite:

Nor to attribute to him parts, or totality; whichare the attributes only of things finite:

Nor to say he is in this, or that place: for whatsoeveris in place, is bounded, and finite:352Nor that he is moved, or resteth: for both theseattributes ascribe to him place:

Nor that there be more Gods than one; becauseit implies them all finite: for there cannot be morethan one infinite:

Nor to ascribe to him, (unless metaphorically,meaning not the passion but the effect,) passionsthat partake of grief; as repentance, anger,mercy: or of want; as appetite, hope, desire; orof any passive faculty: for passion, is power limitedby somewhat else.

And therefore when we ascribe to God a will, itis not to be understood, as that of man, for arational appetite; but as the power, by which heeffecteth every thing.

Likewise when we attribute to him sight, andother acts of sense; as also knowledge, and understanding;which in us is nothing else, but a tumultof the mind, raised by external things thatpress the organical parts of man’s body: for thereis no such thing in God; and being things that dependon natural causes, cannot be attributed to him.

He that will attribute to God, nothing but whatis warranted by natural reason, must either usesuch negative attributes, as infinite, eternal, incomprehensible;or superlatives, as most high,most great, and the like; or indefinite, as good,just, holy, creator; and in such sense, as if hemeant not to declare what he is, (for that were tocirc*mscribe him within the limits of our fancy,)but how much we admire him, and how ready wewould be to obey him; which is a sign of humility,and of a will to honour him as much as we can.353For there is but one name to signify our conceptionof his nature, and that is, I am: and but one nameof his relation to us, and that is, God; in which iscontained Father, King, and Lord.

Actions that are signs of divine honour.

Concerning the actions of divine worship, it is amost general precept of reason, that they be signsof the intention to honour God; such as are, first,prayers. For not the carvers, when they madeimages, were thought to make them gods; but thepeople that prayed to them.

Secondly, thanksgiving; which differeth fromprayer in divine worship, no otherwise, than thatprayers precede, and thanks succeed the benefit;the end, both of the one and the other, being toacknowledge God, for author of all benefits, as wellpast, as future.

Thirdly, gifts, that is to say, sacrifices and oblations,if they be of the best, are signs of honour:for they are thanksgivings.

Fourthly, not to swear by any but God, is naturallya sign of honour: for it is a confession thatGod only knoweth the heart; and that no man’swit or strength can protect a man against God’svengeance on the perjured.

Fifthly, it is a part of rational worship, to speakconsiderately of God; for it argues a fear of him,and fear is a confession of his power. Hence followeth,that the name of God is not to be usedrashly, and to no purpose; for that is as much, as invain: and it is to no purpose, unless it be by way ofoath, and by order of the commonwealth, to makejudgments certain; or between commonwealths, toavoid war. And that disputing of God’s nature iscontrary to his honour: for it is supposed, that in354this natural kingdom of God, there is no other wayto know anything, but by natural reason, that is,from the principles of natural science; which areso far from teaching us any thing of God’s nature,as they cannot teach us our own nature, nor thenature of the smallest creature living. And therefore,when men out of the principles of naturalreason, dispute of the attributes of God, they butdishonour him: for in the attributes which we giveto God, we are not to consider the signification ofphilosophical truth; but the signification of pious intention,to do him the greatest honour we are able.From the want of which consideration, have proceededthe volumes of disputation about the natureof God, that tend not to his honour, but to thehonour of our own wits and learning; and arenothing else but inconsiderate and vain abuses ofhis sacred name.

Sixthly, in prayers, thanksgivings, offerings,and sacrifices, it is a dictate of natural reason, thatthey be every one in his kind the best, and mostsignificant of honour. As for example, that prayersand thanksgiving, be made in words and phrases,not sudden, nor light, nor plebeian; but beautiful,and well composed. For else we do not God as muchhonour as we can. And therefore the heathensdid absurdly, to worship images for gods: but theirdoing it in verse, and with music, both of voiceand instruments, was reasonable. Also that thebeasts they offered in sacrifice, and the gifts theyoffered, and their actions in worshipping, were fullof submission, and commemorative of benefits received,was according to reason, as proceeding froman intention to honour him.

355Seventhly, reason directeth not only to worshipGod in secret; but also, and especially, in public,and in the sight of men. For without that, thatwhich in honour is most acceptable, the procuringothers to honour him, is lost.

Lastly, obedience to his laws, that is, in this caseto the laws of nature, is the greatest worship of all.For as obedience is more acceptable to God thansacrifice; so also to set light by his commandments,is the greatest of all contumelies. And these arethe laws of that divine worship, which natural reasondictateth to private men.

Public worship consisteth in uniformity.

But seeing a commonwealth is but one person, itought also to exhibit to God but one worship; whichthen it doth, when it commandeth it to be exhibitedby private men, publicly. And this is publicworship; the property whereof, is to be uniform:for those actions that are done differently, by differentmen, cannot be said to be a public worship.And therefore, where many sorts of worship beallowed, proceeding from the different religions ofprivate men, it cannot be said there is any publicworship, nor that the commonwealth is of any religionat all.

All attributes depend on the laws civil.

And because words, and consequently the attributesof God, have their signification by agreementand constitution of men, those attributes are to beheld significative of honour, that men intend shallso be; and whatsoever may be done by the willsof particular men, where there is no law but reason,may be done by the will of the commonwealth, bylaws civil. And because a commonwealth hath nowill, nor makes no laws, but those that are madeby the will of him, or them that have the sovereign356power; it followeth that those attributes whichthe sovereign ordaineth, in the worship of God, forsigns of honour, ought to be taken and used forsuch, by private men in their public worship.

Not all actions.

But because not all actions are signs by constitution,but some are naturally signs of honour,others of contumely; these latter, which are thosethat men are ashamed to do in the sight of themthey reverence, cannot be made by human powera part of Divine worship; nor the former, such asare decent, modest, humble behaviour, ever be separatedfrom it. But whereas there be an infinitenumber of actions and gestures of an indifferentnature; such of them as the commonwealth shallordain to be publicly and universally in use, assigns of honour, and part of God’s worship, are tobe taken and used for such by the subjects. Andthat which is said in the Scripture, It is better toobey God than man, hath place in the kingdom ofGod by pact, and not by nature.

Natural punishments.

Having thus briefly spoken of the natural kingdomof God, and his natural laws, I will add onlyto this chapter a short declaration of his naturalpunishments. There is no action of man in thislife, that is not the beginning of so long a chain ofconsequences, as no human providence is highenough, to give a man a prospect to the end. Andin this chain, there are linked together both pleasingand unpleasing events; in such manner, as hethat will do anything for his pleasure, must engagehimself to suffer all the pains annexed to it; and thesepains, are the natural punishments of those actions,which are the beginning of more harm than good.And hereby it comes to pass, that intemperance is357naturally punished with diseases; rashness, withmischances; injustice, with the violence of enemies;pride, with ruin; cowardice, with oppression; negligentgovernment of princes, with rebellion; andrebellion, with slaughter. For seeing punishmentsare consequent to the breach of laws; naturalpunishments must be naturally consequent to thebreach of the laws of nature; and therefore followthem as their natural, not arbitrary effects.

The conclusion of the second part.

And thus far concerning the constitution, nature,and right of sovereigns, and concerning the dutyof subjects, derived from the principles of naturalreason. And now, considering how different thisdoctrine is, from the practice of the greatest part ofthe world, especially of these western parts, thathave received their moral learning from Rome andAthens; and how much depth of moral philosophyis required, in them that have the administration ofthe sovereign power; I am at the point of believingthis my labour, as useless, as the commonwealthof Plato. For he also is of opinion that itis impossible for the disorders of state, and changeof governments by civil war, ever to be taken away,till sovereigns be philosophers. But when I consideragain, that the science of natural justice, isthe only science necessary for sovereigns and theirprincipal ministers; and that they need not becharged with the sciences mathematical, as byPlato they are, farther than by good laws to encouragemen to the study of them; and thatneither Plato, nor any other philosopher hitherto,hath put into order, and sufficiently or probablyproved all the theorems of moral doctrine, thatmen may learn thereby, both how to govern, and358how to obey; I recover some hope, that one timeor other, this writing of mine may fall into thehands of a sovereign, who will consider it himself,(for it is short, and I think clear,) without the helpof any interested, or envious interpreter; and bythe exercise of entire sovereignty, in protecting thepublic teaching of it, convert this truth of speculation,into the utility of practice.






The word of God delivered by prophets is the main principle of Christian politics.

I have derived the rights of sovereign power,and the duty of subjects, hitherto from the principlesof nature only; such as experience has foundtrue, or consent concerning the use of words hasmade so; that is to say, from the nature of men,known to us by experience, and from definitionsof such words as are essential to all political reasoning,universally agreed on. But in that I amnext to handle, which is the nature and rights of aChristian Commonwealth, whereof there dependethmuch upon supernatural revelations of thewill of God; the ground of my discourse must be,not only the natural word of God, but also theprophetical.

Yet is not natural reason to be renounced.

Nevertheless, we are not to renounce our senses,and experience; nor, that which is the undoubtedword of God, our natural reason. For they arethe talents which he hath put into our hands tonegotiate, till the coming again of our blessedSaviour; and therefore not to be folded up in the360napkin of an implicit faith, but employed in the purchaseof justice, peace, and true religion. Forthough there be many things in God’s word abovereason; that it is to say, which cannot by naturalreason be either demonstrated, or confuted; yetthere is nothing contrary to it; but when it seemethso, the fault is either in our unskilful interpretation,or erroneous ratiocination.

Therefore, when anything therein written is toohard for our examination, we are bidden to captivateour understanding to the words; and not tolabour in sifting out a philosophical truth by logic,of such mysteries as are not comprehensible,nor fall under any rule of natural science. For itis with the mysteries of our religion, as with wholesomepills for the sick; which swallowed whole,have the virtue to cure; but chewed, are for themost part cast up again without effect.

What it is to captivate the understanding.

But by the captivity of our understanding, is notmeant a submission of the intellectual faculty tothe opinion of any other man; but of the will toobedience, where obedience is due. For sense,memory, understanding, reason, and opinion arenot in our power to change; but always, and necessarilysuch, as the things we see, hear, and considersuggest unto us; and therefore are not effectsof our will, but our will of them. We then captivateour understanding and reason, when we forbearcontradiction; when we so speak, as by lawfulauthority we are commanded; and when welive accordingly; which, in sum, is trust andfaith reposed in him that speaketh, though themind be incapable of any notion at all from thewords spoken.

How God speaketh to men.

361When God speaketh to man, it must be eitherimmediately; or by mediation of another man, towhom he had formerly spoken by himself immediately.How God speaketh to a man immediately,may be understood by those well enough, to whomhe hath so spoken; but how the same should beunderstood by another, is hard, if not impossibleto know. For if a man pretend to me, that Godhath spoken to him supernaturally and immediately,and I make doubt of it, I cannot easilyperceive what argument he can produce, to obligeme to believe it. It is true, that if he be my sovereign,he may oblige me to obedience, so, as not byact or word to declare I believe him not; but notto think any otherwise than my reason persuadesme. But if one that hath not such authority overme, should pretend the same, there is nothing thatexacteth either belief, or obedience.

For to say that God hath spoken to him in theHoly Scripture, is not to say God hath spoken tohim immediately, but by mediation of the prophets,or of the apostles, or of the church, in such manneras he speaks to all other Christian men. Tosay he hath spoken to him in a dream, is no morethan to say he dreamed that God spake to him;which is not of force to win belief from any man,that knows dreams are for the most part natural,and may proceed from former thoughts; and suchdreams as that, from self-conceit, and foolish arrogance,and false opinion of a man’s own godliness,or other virtue, by which he thinks he hathmerited the favour of extraordinary revelation. Tosay he hath seen a vision, or heard a voice, is tosay, that he hath dreamed between sleeping and362waking: for in such manner a man doth manytimes naturally take his dream for a vision, as nothaving well observed his own slumbering. To sayhe speaks by supernatural inspiration, is to say hefinds an ardent desire to speak, or some strongopinion of himself, for which he can allege nonatural and sufficient reason. So that though GodAlmighty can speak to a man by dreams, visions,voice, and inspiration; yet he obliges no man tobelieve he hath so done to him that pretends it;who, being a man, may err, and, which is more,may lie.

By what marks prophets are known.

How then can he, to whom God hath never revealedhis will immediately, saving by the way ofnatural reason, know when he is to obey, or not toobey his word, delivered by him that says he is aprophet? Of four hundred prophets, of whom theking of Israel asked counsel, concerning the war hemade against Ramoth Gilead, (1 Kings, xxii.) onlyMicaiah was a true one. The prophet that was sentto prophecy against the altar set up by Jeroboam,(1 Kings, xiii.) though a true prophet, and that bytwo miracles done in his presence, appears to be aprophet sent from God, was yet deceived by anotherold prophet, that persuaded him as from themouth of God, to eat and drink with him. If oneprophet deceive another, what certainty is there ofknowing the will of God, by other way than that ofreason? To which I answer out of the Holy Scripture,that there be two marks, by which together,not asunder, a true prophet is to be known. Oneis the doing of miracles; the other is the not teachingany other religion than that which is alreadyestablished. Asunder, I say, neither of these is sufficient.363If a prophet rise amongst you, or a dreamerof dreams, and shall pretend the doing of a miracleand the miracle come to pass; if he say, Letus follow strange Gods, which thou hast not known,thou shalt not hearken to him, &c. But that prophetand dreamer of dreams shall be put to death,because he hath spoken to you to revolt fromthe Lord your God. (Deut. xiii. 1-5.) In whichwords two things are to be observed; first, thatGod will not have miracles alone serve for arguments,to approve the prophet’s calling; but, as itis in the third verse, for an experiment of the constancyof our adherence to himself. For the worksof the Egyptian sorcerers, though not so great asthose of Moses, yet were great miracles. Secondly,that how great soever the miracle be, yet if it tendto stir up revolt against the king, or him thatgoverneth by the king’s authority, he that dothsuch miracle, is not to be considered otherwisethan as sent to make trial of their allegiance. Forthese words, revolt from the Lord your God, arein this place equivalent to revolt from your king.For they had made God their king by pact at thefoot of Mount Sinai; who ruled them by Mosesonly; for he only spake with God, and from timeto time declared God’s commandments to the people.In like manner, after our Saviour Christ hadmade his disciples acknowledge him for the Messiah,(that is to say, for God’s anointed, whom thenation of the Jews daily expected for their king,but refused when he came,) he omitted not to advertisethem of the danger of miracles. Thereshall arise, saith he, false Christs, and false prophets,and shall do great wonders and miracles,364even to the seducing, if it were possible, of thevery elect. (Matt. xxiv. 24.) By which it appears,that false prophets may have the power of miracles;yet are we not to take their doctrine for God’sword. St. Paul says farther to the Galatians, (Gal.i. 8.) that if himself, or an angel from heavenpreach another gospel to them, than he hadpreached, let him be accursed. That gospel was,that Christ was King; so that all preaching againstthe power of the king received, in consequence tothese words, is by St. Paul accursed. For his speechis addressed to those, who by his preaching hadalready received Jesus for the Christ, that is to say,for King of the Jews.

The marks of a prophet in the old law, miracles, and doctrine comformable to the law.

And as miracles, without preaching that doctrinewhich God hath established; so preaching the truedoctrine, without the doing of miracles, is an insufficientargument of immediate revelation. Forif a man that teacheth not false doctrine, shouldpretend to be a prophet without showing anymiracle, he is never the more to be regarded for hispretence, as is evident by Deut. xviii. v. 21, 22,If thou say in thy heart, How shall we know thatthe word (of the prophet) is not that which theLord hath spoken? when the prophet shall havespoken in the name of the Lord, that which shallnot come to pass, that is the word which the Lordhath not spoken, but the prophet has spoken itout of the pride of his own heart, fear him not.But a man may here again ask, when the prophethath foretold a thing, how shall we know whetherit will come to pass or not? For he may foretellit as a thing to arrive after a certain long time,longer than the time of man’s life; or indefinitely,365that it will come to pass one time or other: inwhich case this mark of a prophet is unuseful; andtherefore the miracles that oblige us to believe aprophet, ought to be confirmed by an immediate,or a not long deferred event. So that it is manifest,that the teaching of the religion which God hathestablished, and the showing of a present miracle,joined together, were the only marks whereby theScripture would have a true prophet, that is tosay, immediate revelation, to be acknowledged;neither of them being singly sufficient to obligeany other man to regard what he saith.

Miracles ceasing, prophets cease, and the Scripture supplies their place.

Seeing therefore miracles now cease, we haveno sign left, whereby to acknowledge the pretendedrevelations or inspirations of any private man;nor obligation to give ear to any doctrine, fartherthan it is conformable to the Holy Scriptures,which since the time of our Saviour, supply theplace, and sufficiently recompense the want of allother prophecy; and from which, by wise andlearned interpretation, and careful ratiocination,all rules and precepts necessary to the knowledgeof our duty both to God and man, without enthusiasmor supernatural inspiration, may easily bededuced. And this Scripture is it, out of which Iam to take the principles of my discourse, concerningthe rights of those that are the supreme governorson earth of Christian commonwealths; andof the duty of Christian subjects towards theirsovereigns. And to that end, I shall speak in thenext chapter, of the books, writers, scope and authorityof the Bible.




Of the books of Holy Scripture.

By the Books of Holy Scripture, are understoodthose, which ought to be the canon, that is to say,the rules of Christian life.

And because all rules of life, which men are inconscience bound to observe, are laws; the questionof the Scripture, is the question of what is lawthroughout all Christendom, both natural and civil.For though it be not determined in Scripture, whatlaws every Christian king shall constitute in his owndominions; yet it is determined what laws he shallnot constitute. Seeing therefore I have alreadyproved, that sovereigns in their own dominions arethe sole legislators; those books only are canonical,that is, law, in every nation, which are establishedfor such by the sovereign authority. It is true,that God is the sovereign of all sovereigns; andtherefore, when he speaks to any subject, he oughtto be obeyed, whatsoever any earthly potentatecommand to the contrary. But the question isnot of obedience to God, but of when and what Godhath said; which to subjects that have no supernaturalrevelation, cannot be known, but by thatnatural reason, which guideth them, for the obtainingof peace and justice, to obey the authorityof their several commonwealths, that is to say, oftheir lawful sovereigns. According to this obligation,I can acknowledge no other books of the Old367Testament, to be Holy Scripture, but those whichhave been commanded to be acknowledged forsuch, by the authority of the Church of England.What books these are, is sufficiently known, withouta catalogue of them here; and they are thesame that are acknowledged by St. Jerome, whoholdeth the rest, namely, the Wisdom of Solomon,Ecclesiasticus, Judith, Tobias, the first and thesecond of Maccabees, (though he had seen the firstin Hebrew,) and the third and fourth of Esdras, forApocrypha. Of the canonical, Josephus, a learnedJew, that wrote in the time of the emperor Domitian,reckoneth twenty-two, making the numberagree with the Hebrew alphabet. St. Jerome doesthe same, though they reckon them in differentmanner. For Josephus numbers five Books ofMoses, thirteen of Prophets that writ the historyof their own times, (which how it agrees with theprophets’ writings contained in the Bible we shallsee hereafter,) and four of hymns and moral precepts.But St. Jerome reckons five books ofMoses, eight of Prophets, and nine of other HolyWrit, which he calls of ἁγιόγραφα. The Septuagint,who were seventy learned men of the Jews,sent for by Ptolemy, king of Egypt, to translate theJewish law out of the Hebrew into the Greek, haveleft us no other for Holy Scripture in the Greektongue, but the same that are received in theChurch of England.

Their antiquity.

As for the Books of the New Testament, theyare equally acknowledged for canon by all Christianchurches, and by all sects of Christians, that admitany books at all for canonical.

Who were the original writers of the severalBooks of Holy Scripture, has not been made evident368by any sufficient testimony of other history,which is the only proof of matter of fact; nor canbe, by any arguments of natural reason: for reasonserves only to convince the truth, not of fact, but,of consequence. The light therefore that mustguide us in this question, must be that which isheld out unto us from the books themselves: andthis light, though it show us not the writer ofevery book, yet it is not unuseful to give us knowledgeof the time, wherein they were written.

The Pentateuch not written by Moses.

And first, for the Pentateuch, it is not argumentenough that they were written by Moses, becausethey are called the five Books of Moses; no morethan these titles, the Book of Joshua, the Book ofJudges, the Book of Ruth, and the Books of theKings, are arguments sufficient to prove, that theywere written by Joshua, by the Judges, by Ruth,and by the Kings. For in titles of books, the subjectis marked, as often as the writer. The historyof Livy, denotes the writer; but the history ofScanderberg, is denominated from the subject. Weread in the last chapter of Deuteronomy, verse 6th,concerning the sepulchre of Moses, that no manknoweth of his sepulchre to this day, that is, toto the day wherein those words were written. Itis therefore manifest, that those words were writtenafter his interment. For it were a strange interpretation,to say Moses spake of his own sepulchre,though by prophecy, that it was not found to thatday, wherein he was yet living. But it may perhapsbe alleged, that the last chapter only, not thewhole Pentateuch, was written by some other man,but the rest not. Let us therefore consider thatwhich we find in the book of Genesis, (xii. 6.)And Abraham passed through the land to the369place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh, and theCanaanite was then in the land; which must needsbe the words of one that wrote when the Canaanitewas not in the land; and consequently, not ofMoses, who died before he came into it. LikewiseNumbers, xxi. 14, the writer citeth anothermore ancient book, entitled, The Book of the Warsof the Lord, wherein were registered the acts ofMoses, at the Red Sea, and at the brook of Arnon.It is therefore sufficiently evident, that the fiveBooks of Moses were written after his time, thoughhow long after it be not so manifest.

But though Moses did not compile those booksentirely, and in the form we have them; yet hewrote all that which he is there said to have written:as for example, the Volume of the Law, whichis contained, as it seemeth, in the xith. of Deuteronomy,and the following chapters to the xxviith.which was also commanded to be written on stones,in their entry into the land of Canaan. And this alsodid Moses himself write, (Deut. xxxi. 9, 10) and deliveredto the priests and elders of Israel, to be readevery seventh year to all Israel, at their assemblingin the Feast of Tabernacles. And this is that lawwhich God commanded, that their kings, when theyshould have established that form of government,should take a copy of from the priests and Levites:and which Moses commanded the priests and Levitesto lay in the side of the ark, (Deut. xxxi. 26);and the same which having been lost, was long timeafter found again by Hilkiah, and sent to kingJosias (2 Kings xxii. 8) who causing it to be readto the people, (2 Kings xxiii. 1, 2, 3) renewed thecovenant between God and them.

The book of Joshua written after his time.

370That the book of Joshua was also written longafter the time of Joshua, may be gathered out ofmany places of the book itself. Joshua had set uptwelve stones in the midst of Jordan, for a monumentof their passage; of which the writer saiththus, They are there unto this day (Josh. iv. 9);for unto this day, is a phrase that signifieth a timepast, beyond the memory of man. In like manner,upon the saying of the Lord, that he had rolled offfrom the people the reproach of Egypt, the writersaith, The place is called Gilgal unto this day(Josh. v. 9); which to have said in the time ofJoshua had been improper. So also the name ofthe valley of Achor, from the trouble that Achanraised in the camp, the writer saith, remaineth untothis day (Josh. vii. 26); which must needs betherefore long after the time of Joshua. Argumentsof this kind there be many other; as Josh. viii. 29,xiii. 13, xiv. 14, xv. 63.

The books of Judges and Ruth written long after the captivity.

The same is manifest by like arguments of thebook of Judges, chap. i. 21, 26, vi. 24, x. 4, xv. 19,xvii. 6, and Ruth i. 1; but especially Judg. xviii. 30,where it is said, that Jonathan and his sons werepriests to the tribe of Dan, until the day of thecaptivity of the land.

The like of the books of Samuel.

That the books of Samuel were also written afterhis own time, there are the like arguments, 1 Sam.v. 5, vii. 13, 15; xxvii, 6, and xxx. 25, where, afterDavid had adjudged equal part of the spoils, tothem that guarded the ammunition, with them thatfought, the writer saith, He made it a statute andan ordinance to Israel to this day. Again, whenDavid, displeased, that the Lord had slain Uzzah,for putting out his hand to sustain the ark, called371the place Perez-Uzzah, the writer saith, (2 8) it is called so to this day: the time thereforeof the writing of that book, must be longafter the time of the fact; that is, long after thetime of David.

The books of the Kings, and the Chronicles.

As for the two books of the Kings, and the twobooks of the Chronicles, besides the places whichmention such monuments, as the writer saith, remainedtill his own days; such as are 1 Kings ix.13, ix. 21, x. 12, xii. 19. 2 Kings ii. 22, viii. 22,x. 27, xiv. 7, xvi. 6, xvii. 23, xvii. 34, xvii. 41, and1 Chron. iv. 41, v. 26: it is argument sufficient theywere written after the captivity in Babylon, thatthe history of them is continued till that time. Forthe facts registered are always more ancient thanthe register; and much more ancient than suchbooks as make mention of, and quote the register;as these books do in divers places, referring thereader to the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah, tothe Chronicles of the Kings of Israel, to the Booksof the prophet Samuel, of the prophet Nathan, ofthe prophet Ahijah; to the Vision of Jehdo, to thebooks of the prophet Serveiah, and of the prophetAddo.

Ezra and Nehemiah.

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah were writtencertainly after their return from captivity; becausetheir return, the re-edification of the walls andhouses of Jerusalem, the renovation of the covenant,and ordination of their policy, are thereincontained.


The history of Queen Esther is of the time ofthe captivity; and therefore the writer must havebeen of the same time, or after it.


The book of Job hath no mark in it of the time372wherein it was written; and though it appear sufficiently(Ezekiel xiv. 14, and James v. 11) that hewas no feigned person; yet the book itself seemethnot to be a history, but a treatise concerning aquestion in ancient time much disputed, why wickedmen have often prospered in this world, andgood men have been afflicted; and this is the moreprobable, because from the beginning, to the thirdverse of the third chapter, where the complaint ofJob beginneth, the Hebrew is, as St. Jerome testifies,in prose; and from thence to the sixth verseof the last chapter, in hexameter verses; and therest of that chapter again in prose. So that thedispute is all in verse; and the prose is added, butas a preface in the beginning, and an epilogue inthe end. But verse is no usual style of such, aseither are themselves in great pain, as Job; or ofsuch as come to comfort them, as his friends; butin philosophy, especially moral philosophy, in ancienttime frequent.

The Psalter.

The Psalms were written the most part by David,for the use of the quire. To these are added somesongs of Moses, and other holy men; and some ofthem after the return from the captivity, as the137th and the 126th, whereby it is manifest that thePsalter was compiled, and put into the form it nowhath, after the return of the Jews from Babylon.

The Proverbs.

The Proverbs, being a collection of wise andgodly sayings, partly of Solomon, partly of Agur,the son of Jakeh, and partly of the mother of kingLemuel, cannot probably be thought to have beencollected by Solomon, rather than by Agur, or themother of Lemuel; and that, though the sentencesbe theirs, yet the collection or compiling them into373this one book, was the work of some other godlyman, that lived after them all.

Ecclesiastes and the Canticles.

The books of Ecclesiastes and the Canticles havenothing that was not Solomon’s, except it be thetitles, or inscriptions. For The Words of thePreacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem;and, The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s, seemto have been made for distinction’s sake, then,when the Books of Scripture were gathered intoone body of the law; to the end, that not thedoctrine only, but the authors also might beextant.


Of the prophets, the most ancient, are Zephaniah,Jonah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Michah, wholived in the time of Amaziah and Azariah, otherwiseOzias, kings of Judah. But the book of Jonahis not properly a register of his prophecy; for thatis contained in these few words, Forty days andNiniveh shall be destroyed; but a history or narrationof his frowardness and disputing God’s commandments;so that there is small probability heshould be the author, seeing he is the subject of it.But the book of Amos is his prophecy.

Jeremiah, Obadiah, Nahum, and Habakkuk propheciedin the time of Josiah.

Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah, in thecaptivity.

When Joel and Malachi prophecied, is not evidentby their writings. But considering the inscriptions,or titles of their books, it is manifestenough, that the whole Scripture of the Old Testament,was set forth in the form we have it, afterthe return of the Jews from their captivity inBabylon, and before the time of Ptolomæus Philadelphus,374that caused it to be translated into Greekby seventy men, which were sent him out of Judeafor that purpose. And if the books of Apocrypha,which are recommended to us by the church,though not for canonical, yet for profitable booksfor our instruction, may in this point be credited,the Scripture was set forth in the form we have itin, by Esdras: as may appear by that which hehimself saith, in the second book, (chapter xiv.verse 21, 22, &c.) where speaking to God, he saiththus, Thy law is burnt; therefore no man knoweththe things which thou hast done, or the worksthat are to begin. But if I have found gracebefore thee, send down the holy spirit into me,and I shall write all that hath been done in theworld, since the beginning, which were written inthy law, that men may find thy path, and thatthey which will live in the latter day, may live.And verse 45: And it came to pass when theforty days were fulfilled, that the highest spake,saying, The first that thou hast written, publishopenly, that the worthy and unworthy may readit; but keep the seventy last, that thou mayestdeliver them only to such as be wise among thepeople. And thus much concerning the time ofthe writing of the books of the Old Testament.

The New Testament.

The writers of the New Testament lived all inless than an age after Christ’s ascension, and hadall of them seen our Saviour, or been his disciples,except St. Paul, and St. Luke; and consequentlywhatsoever was written by them, is as ancient asthe time of the apostles. But the time whereinthe books of the New Testament were received,and acknowledged by the church to be of their375writing, is not altogether so ancient. For, as thebooks of the Old Testament are derived to us,from no other time than that of Esdras, who by thedirection of God’s spirit retrieved them, when theywere lost: those of the New Testament, of whichthe copies were not many, nor could easily be allin any one private man’s hand, cannot be derivedfrom a higher time, than that wherein the governorsof the church collected, approved, and recommendedthem to us, as the writings of those apostlesand disciples, under whose names they go.The first enumeration of all the books, both of theOld and New Testament, is in the canons of theapostles, supposed to be collected by Clement, thefirst (after St. Peter) bishop of Rome. But becausethat is but supposed, and by many questioned, theCouncil of Laodicea is the first we know, that recommendedthe Bible to the then Christian churches,for the writings of the prophets and apostles:and this Council was held in the 364th year afterChrist. At which time, though ambition had sofar prevailed on the great doctors of the church, asno more to esteem emperors, though Christian, forthe shepherds of the people, but for sheep; andemperors not Christian, for wolves; and endeavouredto pass their doctrine, not for counsel andinformation, as preachers; but for laws, as absolutegovernors; and thought such frauds as tended tomake the people the more obedient to Christiandoctrine, to be pious; yet I am persuaded they didnot therefore falsify the Scriptures, though thecopies of the books of the New Testament, werein the hands only of the ecclesiastics; because if theyhad had an intention so to do, they would surely376have made them more favourable to their powerover Christian princes, and civil sovereignty, thanthey are. I see not therefore any reason to doubtbut that the Old and New Testament, as we havethem now, are the true registers of those things,which were done and said by the prophets andapostles. And so perhaps are some of those bookswhich are called apocrypha, and left out of thecanon, not for inconformity of doctrine with therest, but only because they are not found in theHebrew. For after the conquest of Asia by Alexanderthe Great, there were few learned Jews, thatwere not perfect in the Greek tongue. For theseventy interpreters that converted the Bible intoGreek, were all of them Hebrews; and we haveextant the works of Philo and Josephus, both Jews,written by them eloquently in Greek. |Their scope.| But it isnot the writer, but the authority of the church,that maketh the book canonical. And althoughthese books were written by divers men, yet it ismanifest the writers were all indued with one andthe same spirit, in that they conspire to one andthe same end, which is setting forth of the rightsof the kingdom of God, the Father, Son, and HolyGhost. For the book of Genesis, deriveth thegenealogy of God’s people, from the creation of theworld, to the going into Egypt: the other fourbooks of Moses contain the election of God fortheir king, and the laws which he prescribed fortheir government: the books of Joshua, Judges,Ruth, and Samuel, to the time of Saul, describethe acts of God’s people, till the time they cast offGod’s yoke, and called for a king, after the mannerof their neighbour nations. The rest of the history377of the Old Testament derives the succession of theline of David, to the captivity, out of which linewas to spring the restorer of the kingdom of God,even our blessed Saviour God the Son, whosecoming was foretold in the books of the prophets,after whom the Evangelists write his life, and actions,and his claim to the kingdom, whilst he livedon earth: and lastly, the Acts, and Epistles of theApostles, declare the coming of God the HolyGhost, and the authority he left with them andtheir successors, for the direction of the Jews, andfor the invitation of the Gentiles. In sum, thehistories and the prophecies of the Old Testament,and the gospels and epistles of the New Testament,have had one and the same scope, to convert mento the obedience of God; I., in Moses, and thePriests; II., in the man Christ; and III., in theApostles and the successors to apostolical power.For these three at several times did represent theperson of God: Moses, and his successors the HighPriests, and Kings of Judah, in the Old Testament:Christ himself, in the time he lived on earth: andthe Apostles, and their successors, from the day ofPentecost, when the Holy Ghost descended onthem, to this day.

The question of the authority of the Scriptures stated.

It is a question much disputed between the diverssects of Christian religion, from whence the Scripturesderive their authority; which question isalso propounded sometimes in other terms, as, howwe know them to be the word of God, or, why webelieve them to be so: and the difficulty of resolvingit, ariseth chiefly from the improperness of thewords wherein the question itself is couched. Forit is believed on all hands, that the first and original378author of them is God; and consequently thequestion disputed, is not that. Again, it is manifest,that none can know they are God’s word, (thoughall true Christians believe it,) but those to whomGod himself hath revealed it supernaturally; andtherefore the question is not rightly moved, of ourknowledge of it. Lastly, when the question ispropounded of our belief; because some are movedto believe for one, and others for other reasons;there can be rendered no one general answer forthem all. The question truly stated is, by whatauthority they are made law.

Their authority and interpretation.

As far as they differ not from the laws of nature,there is no doubt, but they are the law ofGod, and carry their authority with them, legibleto all men that have the use of natural reason:but this is no other authority, than that of all othermoral doctrine consonant to reason; the dictateswhereof are laws, not made, but eternal.

If they be made law by God himself, they are ofthe nature of written law, which are laws to themonly to whom God hath so sufficiently publishedthem, as no man can excuse himself, by saying, heknew not they were his.

He therefore to whom God hath not supernaturallyrevealed that they are his, nor that those thatpublished them, were sent by him, is not obliged toobey them, by any authority, but his, whose commandshave already the force of laws; that is tosay, by any other authority, than that of the commonwealth,residing in the sovereign, who only hasthe legislative power. Again, if it be not the legislativeauthority of the commonwealth, that giveththem the force of laws, it must be some other379authority derived from God, either private, orpublic: if private, it obliges only him, to whom inparticular God hath been pleased to reveal it. Forif every man should be obliged, to take for God’slaw, what particular men, on pretence of privateinspiration, or revelation, should obtrude upon him,in such a number of men, that out of pride andignorance, take their own dreams, and extravagantfancies, and madness, for testimonies of God’sspirit; or out of ambition, pretend to such divinetestimonies, falsely, and contrary to their own consciences,it were impossible that any divine lawshould be acknowledged. If public, it is the authorityof the commonwealth, or of the church. Butthe church, if it be one person, is the same thingwith a commonwealth of Christians; called a commonwealth,because it consisteth of men united inone person, their sovereign; and a church, becauseit consisteth in Christian men, united in one Christiansovereign. But if the church be not one person,then it hath no authority at all: it can neithercommand, nor do any action at all; nor is capableof having any power, or right to anything: norhas any will, reason nor voice; for all these qualitiesare personal. Now if the whole number of Christiansbe not contained in one commonwealth, theyare not one person; nor is there an universalchurch that hath any authority over them; andtherefore the Scriptures are not made laws, by theuniversal church: or if it be one commonwealth,then all Christian monarchs and states are privatepersons, and subject to be judged, deposed, andpunished by an universal sovereign of all Christendom.So that the question of the authority of the380Scriptures, is reduced to this, whether Christiankings, and the sovereign assemblies in Christiancommonwealths, be absolute in their own territories,immediately under God; or subject to onevicar of Christ, constituted of the universalchurch; to be judged, condemned, deposed, andput to death, as he shall think expedient, or necessaryfor the common good.

Which question cannot be resolved, without amore particular consideration of the Kingdom ofGod; from whence also, we are to judge of the authorityof interpreting the Scripture. For, whosoeverhath a lawful power over any writing, to makeit law, hath the power also to approve, or disapprovethe interpretation of the same.



Body and spirit how taken in the Scripture.

Seeing the foundation of all true ratiocination, isthe constant signification of words; which in thedoctrine following, dependeth not, as in naturalscience, on the will of the writer, nor, as in commonconversation, on vulgar use, but on the sensethey carry in the Scripture; it is necessary, beforeI proceed any further, to determine, out of theBible, the meaning of such words, as by their ambiguity,may render what I am to infer upon them,obscure, or disputable. I will begin with the wordsBODY and SPIRIT, which in the language of theSchools are termed, substances, corporeal, andincorporeal.

Body and spirit how taken in the Scripture.

381The word body, in the most general acceptation,signifieth that which filleth, or occupieth some certainroom, or imagined place; and dependeth noton the imagination, but is a real part of that wecall the universe. For the universe, being theaggregate of all bodies, there is no real part thereofthat is not also body; nor any thing properly abody, that is not also part of that aggregate of allbodies, the universe. The same also, because bodiesare subject to change, that is to say, to variety ofapparence to the sense of living creatures, iscalled substance, that is to say, subject to variousaccidents: as sometimes to be moved; sometimesto stand still; and to seem to our senses sometimeshot, sometimes cold, sometimes of one colour, smell,taste, or sound, sometimes of another. And thisdiversity of seeming, produced by the diversity ofthe operation of bodies on the organs of our sense,we attribute to alterations of the bodies that operate,and call them accidents of those bodies. Andaccording to this acceptation of the word, substanceand body signify the same thing; andtherefore substance incorporeal are words, whichwhen they are joined together, destroy one another,as if a man should say, an incorporeal body.

But in the sense of common people, not all theuniverse is called body, but only such parts thereofas they can discern by the sense of feeling, to resisttheir force, or by the sense of their eyes, to hinderthem from a farther prospect. Therefore in thecommon language of men, air, and aerial substances,use not to be taken for bodies, but (asoften as men are sensible of their effects) are calledwind, or breath, or (because the same are called in382the Latin spiritus) spirits; as when they call thataerial substance, which in the body of any livingcreature gives it life and motion, vital and animalspirits. But for those idols of the brain, whichrepresent bodies to us, where they are not, as in alooking-glass, in a dream, or to a distempered brainwaking, they are, as the apostle saith generally ofall idols, nothing; nothing at all, I say, there wherethey seem to be; and in the brain itself, nothingbut tumult, proceeding either from the action ofthe objects, or from the disorderly agitation of theorgans of our sense. And men, that are otherwiseemployed, than to search into their causes, knownot of themselves, what to call them; and maytherefore easily be persuaded, by those whose knowledgethey much reverence, some to call them bodies,and think them made of air compacted by apower supernatural, because the sight judges themcorporeal; and some to call them spirits, becausethe sense of touch discerneth nothing in the placewhere they appear, to resist their fingers: so thatthe proper signification of spirit in common speech,is either a subtle, fluid, and invisible body, or aghost, or other idol or phantasm of the imagination.But for metaphorical significations, there bemany: for sometimes it is taken for disposition orinclination of the mind; as when for the dispositionto controul the sayings of other men, we say, aspirit of contradiction; for a disposition to uncleanness,an unclean spirit; for perverseness, afroward spirit; for sullenness, a dumb spirit; andfor inclination to godliness and God’s service, theSpirit of God: sometimes for any eminent abilityor extraordinary passion, or disease of the mind, as383when great wisdom is called the spirit of wisdom;and madmen are said to be possessed witha spirit.

Other signification of spirit I find nowhere any;and where none of these can satisfy the sense ofthat word in Scripture, the place falleth not underhuman understanding; and our faith therein consistethnot in our opinion, but in our submission; asin all places where God is said to be a Spirit; orwhere by the Spirit of God, is meant God himself.For the nature of God is incomprehensible; that isto say, we understand nothing of what he is, butonly that he is; and therefore the attributes wegive him, are not to tell one another, what he is,nor to signify our opinion of his nature, but ourdesire to honour him with such names as we conceivemost honourable amongst ourselves.

The spirit of God taken in the Scripture sometimes for a wind, or breath.

Gen. i. 2. The Spirit of God moved upon theface of the waters. Here if by the Spirit of Godbe meant God himself, then is motion attributed toGod, and consequently place, which are intelligibleonly of bodies, and not of substances incorporeal;and so the place is above our understanding, thatcan conceive nothing moved that changes not place,or that has not dimension; and whatsoever has dimension,is body. But the meaning of those wordsis best understood by the like place, (Gen. viii. 1.)where when the earth was covered with waters, asin the beginning, God intending to abate them, andagain to discover the dry land, useth the like words,I will bring my Spirit upon the earth, and thewaters shall be diminished: in which place, bySpirit is understood a wind, that is an air or spiritmoved, which might be called, as in the former384place, the Spirit of God, because it was God’swork.

Secondly, for extraordinary gifts of the understanding.

Gen. xli. 38, Pharoah calleth the Wisdom ofJoseph, the Spirit of God. For Joseph havingadvised him to look out a wise and discreet man,and to set him over the land of Egypt, he saiththus, Can we find such a man as this is, in whomis the Spirit of God? And Exod. xxviii. 3, Thoushalt speak, saith God, to all the wise hearted,whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, tomake Aaron garments, to consecrate him: whereextraordinary understanding, though but in makinggarments, as being the gift of God, is called theSpirit of God. The same is found again, Exod. xxxi.3, 4, 5, 6, and xxxv. 31. And Isaiah xi. 2, 3, wherethe prophet speaking of the Messiah, saith, theSpirit of the Lord shall abide upon him, thespirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit ofcounsel and fortitude, and the spirit of the fearof the Lord. Where manifestly is meant, not somany ghosts, but so many eminent graces that Godwould give him.

Thirdly, for extraordinary affections.

In the book of Judges, an extraordinary zealand courage in the defence of God’s people, iscalled the Spirit of God; as when it excited Othniel,Gideon, Jephtha, and Sampson to deliver themfrom servitude, Judges, iii. 10, vi. 34, xi. 29, xiii. 25,xiv. 6, 19. And of Saul, upon the news of theinsolence of the Ammonites towards the men ofJabesh Gilead, it is said, (1 Sam. xi. 6) that theSpirit of God came upon Saul, and his anger, (or,as it is in the Latin, his fury), was kindled greatly.Where it is not probable was meant a ghost, butan extraordinary zeal to punish the cruelty of the385Ammonites. In like manner by the Spirit of God,that came upon Saul, when he was amongst theprophets that praised God in songs and music,(1 Sam. xix. 23), is to be understood, not a ghost,but an unexpected and sudden zeal to join withthem in their devotion.

Fourthly, for the gift of prediction by dreams and visions.

The false prophet Zedekiah saith to Micaiah(1 Kings xxii. 24), which way went the Spirit ofthe Lord from me to speak to thee? Which cannot be understood of a ghost; for Micaiah declaredbefore the kings of Israel and Judah, theevent of the battle, as from a vision, and not asfrom a spirit speaking in him.

In the same manner it appeareth in the booksof the Prophets, that though they spake by thespirit of God, that is to say, by a special grace ofprediction; yet their knowledge of the future,was not by a ghost within them, but by some supernaturaldream or vision.

Fifthly, for life.

Gen. ii. 7, it is said, God made man of the dustof the earth, and breathed into his nostrils (spiraculumvitæ) the breath of life, and man wasmade a living soul. There the breath of life inspiredby God, signifies no more, but that God gavehim life; and (Job xxvii. 3) as long as the Spirit ofGod is in my nostrils, is no more than to say, aslong as I live. So in Ezek. i. 20, the spirit oflife was in the wheels, is equivalent to, the wheelswere alive. And, (Ezek. ii. 2) the Spirit enteredinto me, and set me on my feet, that is, I recoveredmy vital strength; not that any ghost or incorporealsubstance entered into, and possessed his body.

Sixthly, for a subordination to authority.

In the xith chap. of Numbers, v. 17, I will take,saith God, of the Spirit, which is upon thee, and386will put it upon them, and they shall bear theburthen of the people with thee; that is, upon theseventy elders: whereupon two of the seventy aresaid to prophecy in the camp; of whom some complained,and Joshua desired Moses to forbid them;which Moses would not do. Whereby it appears,that Joshua knew not that they had received authorityso to do, and prophecied according to themind of Moses, that is to say, by a spirit, or authoritysubordinate to his own.

In the like sense we read, (Deut. xxxiv. 9) thatJoshua was full of the spirit of wisdom, becauseMoses had laid his hands upon him: that is becausehe was ordained by Moses, to prosecute thework he had himself begun, namely the bringingof God’s people into the promised land, but preventedby death, could not finish.

In the like sense it is said, (Rom. viii. 9) If anyman have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none ofhis: not meaning thereby the ghost of Christ, but asubmission to his doctrine. As also, (1 John iv. 2)Hereby you shall know the Spirit of God; everyspirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come inthe flesh, is of God; by which is meant the spiritof unfeigned Christianity, or submission to thatmain article of Christian faith, that Jesus is theChrist; which cannot be interpreted of a ghost.

Likewise these words, (Luke iv. 1) And Jesus fullof the Holy Ghost, (that is, as it is expressed, Matt.iv. 1, and Mark i. 12, of the Holy Spirit,) may beunderstood, for zeal to do the work for which hewas sent by God the Father: but to interpret it ofa ghost, is to say, that God himself, for so ourSaviour was, was filled with God; which is very387improper and insignificant. How we came totranslate spirits, by the word ghosts, which signifiethnothing, neither in heaven, nor earth, but theimaginary inhabitants of man’s brain, I examinenot: but this I say, the word spirit in the textsignifieth no such thing; but either properly a realsubstance, or metaphorically, some extraordinaryability or affection of the mind, or of the body.

Seventhly, for aerial bodies.

The disciples of Christ, seeing him walking uponthe sea, (Matt. xiv. 26, and Mark vi. 49) supposedhim to be a Spirit, meaning thereby an aerial body,and not a phantasm; for it is said, they all sawhim; which cannot be understood of the delusionsof the brain, (which are not common to many atonce, as visible bodies are; but singular, becauseof the differences of fancies,) but of bodies only. Inlike manner, where he was taken for a spirit, bythe same apostles, (Luke xxiv. 37): so also (Actsxii. 15) when St. Peter was delivered out of prison,it would not be believed; but when the maid saidhe was at the door, they said it was his angel; bywhich must be meant a corporeal substance, or wemust say, the disciples themselves did follow thecommon opinion of both Jews and Gentiles, thatsome such apparitions were not imaginary, but real,and such as needed not the fancy of man for theirexistence. These the Jews called spirits, and angels,good or bad; as the Greeks called the same by thename of demons. And some such apparitions maybe real, and substantial; that is to say, subtlebodies, which God can form by the same power, bywhich he formed all things, and make use of, as ofministers, and messengers, that is to say, angels,to declare his will, and execute the same when he388pleaseth, in extraordinary and supernatural manner.But when he hath so formed them, they are substances,endued with dimensions, and take uproom, and can be moved from place to place, whichis peculiar to bodies; and therefore are not ghostsincorporeal, that is to say, ghosts that are in noplace; that is to say, that are no where; that isto say, that seeming to be somewhat, are nothing.But if corporeal be taken in the most vulgar manner,for such substances as are perceptible by ourexternal senses; then is substance incorporeal, athing not imaginary, but real; namely, a thin substanceinvisible, but that hath the same dimensionsthat are in grosser bodies.

Angel, what.

By the name of ANGEL, is signified generally, amessenger; and most often, a messenger of God;and by a messenger of God, is signified, any thingthat makes known his extraordinary presence;that is to say, the extraordinary manifestation ofhis power, especially by a dream or vision.

Concerning the creation of angels, there isnothing delivered in the Scriptures. That theyare spirits, is often repeated: but by the name ofspirit, is signified both in Scripture, and vulgarly,both amongst Jews and Gentiles, sometimes thinbodies: as the air, the wind, the spirits vital andanimal of living creatures; and sometimes theimages that rise in the fancy in dreams andvisions; which are not real substances, nor lastany longer than the dream, or vision they appearin; which apparitions, though no real substances,but accidents of the brain; yet when God raiseththem supernaturally, to signify his will, they arenot improperly termed God’s messengers, that is tosay, his angels.

389And as the Gentiles did vulgarly conceive theimagery of the brain, for things really subsistentwithout them, and not dependent on the fancy;and out of them framed their opinions of demons,good and evil; which because they seemed to subsistreally, they called substances; and, becausethey could not feel them with their hands, incorporeal:so also the Jews, upon the same ground,without any thing in the Old Testament that constrainedthem thereunto, had generally an opinion,except the sect of the Sadducees, that those apparitions,which it pleased God sometimes to producein the fancy of men, for his own service, and thereforecalled them his angels, were substances, notdependent on the fancy, but permanent creaturesof God; whereof those which they thought weregood to them, they esteemed the angels of God,and those they thought would hurt them, theycalled evil angels, or evil spirits; such as was thespirit of Python, and the spirits of madmen, of lunaticsand epileptics: for they esteemed such aswere troubled with such diseases, demoniacs.

But if we consider the places of the Old Testamentwhere angels are mentioned, we shall find,that in most of them, there can nothing else be understoodby the word angel, but some image raised,supernaturally, in the fancy, to signify the presenceof God in the execution of some supernatural work;and therefore in the rest, where their nature isnot expressed, it may be understood in the samemanner.

For we read, (Gen. xvi.) that the same apparitionis called, not only an angel, but God; where thatwhich (verse 7) is called the angel of the Lord, inthe tenth verse, saith to Agar, I will multiply thy390seed exceedingly; that is, speaketh in the personof God. Neither was this apparition a fancyfigured, but a voice. By which it is manifest, thatangel signifieth there, nothing but God himself,that caused Agar supernaturally to apprehend avoice from heaven; or rather, nothing else but avoice supernatural, testifying God’s special presencethere. Why therefore may not the angelsthat appeared to Lot, and are called (Gen. xix. 12)men; and to whom, though they were two, Lotspeaketh (verse 18) as but to one, and that one, asGod, (for the words are, Lot said unto them, Ohnot so my Lord), be understood of images of men,supernaturally formed in the fancy; as well as beforeby angel was understood a fancied voice?When the angel called to Abraham out of heaven,to stay his hand (Gen. xxii. 11) from slaying Isaac,there was no apparition, but a voice; which neverthelesswas called properly enough a messenger orangel of God, because it declared God’s will supernaturally,and saves the labour of supposing anypermanent ghosts. The angels which Jacob sawon the ladder of Heaven, (Gen. xxviii. 12) were avision of his sleep; therefore only fancy, and adream; yet being supernatural, and signs of God’sspecial presence, those apparitions are not improperlycalled angels. The same is to be understood,(Gen. xxxi. 11) where Jacob saith thus, The Angelof the Lord appeared to me in my sleep. For anapparition made to a man in his sleep, is that whichall men call a dream, whether such dream benatural, or supernatural: and that which thereJacob calleth an angel, was God himself; for thesame angel saith, verse 13, I am the God of Bethel.

Also (Exod. xiv. 19) the angel that went before391the army of Israel to the Red Sea, and then camebehind it, is, (verse 24) the Lord himself; and heappeared, not in the form of a beautiful man, butin form, (Exod. xiii. 21) by day, of a pillar of cloud,and, by night, in form of a pillar of fire; and yetthis pillar was all the apparition and angel promisedto Moses, (Exod. xxxiii. 2) for the army’sguide: for this cloudy pillar (Exod. xxxiii. 9) issaid to have descended, and stood at the door ofthe Tabernacle, and to have talked with Moses.

There you see motion and speech, which arecommonly attributed to angels, attributed to acloud, because the cloud served as a sign of God’spresence; and was no less an angel, than if it hadhad the form of a man, or child of never so greatbeauty; or wings, as usually they are painted, forthe false instruction of common people. For it isnot the shape; but their use that makes themangels. But their use is to be significations of God’spresence in supernatural operations; as whenMoses (Exod. xxxiii. 14) had desired God to goalong with the camp, as he had done always beforethe making of the golden calf, God did not answer,I will go, nor, I will send an angel in my stead;but thus, My presence shall go with thee.

To mention all the places of the Old Testamentwhere the name of angel is found, would be toolong. Therefore to comprehend them all at once,I say, there is no text in that part of the Old Testament,which the Church of England holdeth forcanonical, from which we can conclude, there is,or hath been created, any permanent thing, understoodby the name of spirit or angel, that hathnot quantity; and that may not be by the understanding392divided; that is to say, considered byparts; so as one part may be in one place, and thenext part in the next place to it; and, in sum,which is not (taking body for that, which is somewhator some where,) corporeal; but in every place,the sense will bear the interpretation of angel, formessenger; as John Baptist is called an angel, andChrist the Angel of the Covenant; and as, accordingto the same analogy, the dove and the fierytongues, in that they were signs of God’s specialpresence, might also be called angels. Though wefind in Daniel two names of angels, Gabriel andMichael; yet it is clear out of the text itself, (Dan.xii. 1) that by Michael is meant Christ, not as anangel, but as a prince: and that Gabriel, as the likeapparitions made to other holy men in their sleep,was nothing but a supernatural phantasm, by whichit seemed to Daniel, in his dream, that two saintsbeing in talk, one of them said to the other, Gabriel,Let us make this man understand his vision: forGod needeth not to distinguish his celestial servantsby names, which are useful only to the shortmemories of mortals. Nor in the New Testamentis there any place, out of which it can be proved,that angels, except when they are put for such menas God hath made the messengers and ministers ofhis word or works, are things permanent, and withalincorporeal. That they are permanent, may begathered from the words of our Saviour himself,(Matt. xxv. 41) where he saith, it shall be said tothe wicked in the last day, Go ye cursed into everlastingfire prepared for the Devil and his angels:which place is manifest for the permanence of evilangels, (unless we might think the name of Devil393and his angels may be understood of the Church’sadversaries and their ministers); but then it is repugnantto their immateriality; because everlastingfire is no punishment to impatible substances, suchas are all things incorporeal. Angels thereforeare not thence proved to be incorporeal. In likemanner where St. Paul says, (1 Cor. vi. 3) Knowye not that we shall judge the angels? and 2 Pet.ii. 4, For if God spared not the angels that sinned,but cast them down into hell: and (Jude i.6) And the angels that kept not their first estate,but left their own habitation, he hath reservedin everlasting chains under darkness untothe judgment of the last day: though it provethe permanence of angelical nature, it confirmethalso their materiality. And (Matt. xxii. 30) Inthe resurrection men do neither marry nor give inmarriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven:but in the resurrection men shall be permanent,and not incorporeal; so therefore also are theangels.

There be divers other places out of which maybe drawn the like conclusion. To men that understandthe signification of these words, substance,and incorporeal; as incorporeal is taken, not forsubtle body, but for not body; they imply a contradiction:insomuch as to say, an angel or spirit isin that sense an incorporeal substance, is to say ineffect, there is no angel nor spirit at all. Consideringtherefore the signification of the word angelin the Old Testament, and the nature of dreamsand visions that happen to men by the ordinaryway of nature; I was inclined to this opinion, thatangels were nothing but supernatural apparitions394of the fancy, raised by the special and extraordinaryoperation of God, thereby to make his presenceand commandments known to mankind, andchiefly to his own people. But the many places ofthe New Testament, and our Saviour’s own words,and in such texts, wherein is no suspicion of corruptionof the Scripture, have extorted from myfeeble reason, an acknowledgment and belief, thatthere be also angels substantial, and permanent.But to believe they be in no place, that is to say,no where, that is to say, nothing, as they, thoughindirectly, say, that will have them incorporeal,cannot by Scripture be evinced.

Inspiration, what.

On the signification of the word spirit, dependeththat of the word INSPIRATION; which must eitherbe taken properly; and then it is nothing but theblowing into a man some thin and subtle air orwind, in such manner as a man filleth a bladderwith his breath; or if spirits be not corporeal, buthave their existence only in the fancy, it is nothingbut the blowing in of a phantasm; which is improperto say, and impossible; for phantasms arenot, but only seem to be, somewhat. That wordtherefore is used in the Scripture metaphoricallyonly: as (Gen. ii. 7) where it is said that God inspiredinto man the breath of life, no more is meant,than that God gave unto him vital motion. For weare not to think that God made first a living breathand then blew it into Adam after he was made,whether that breath were real, or seeming; butonly as it is, (Acts xvii. 25) that he gave him life,and breath; that is, made him a living creature.And where it is said, (2 Tim. iii. 16) all Scriptureis given by inspiration from God, speaking there395of the Scripture of the Old Testament, it is an easymetaphor, to signify, that God inclined the spiritor mind of those writers, to write that which shouldbe useful, in teaching, reproving, correcting, andinstructing men in the way of righteous living.But where St. Peter, (2 Pet. i. 21) saith, thatProphecy came not in old time by the will of man,but the holy men of God spake as they were movedby the Holy Spirit, by the Holy Spirit is meantthe voice of God in a dream or vision supernatural,which is not inspiration. Nor, when our Saviourbreathing on his disciples, said, Receive the HolySpirit, was that breath the Spirit, but a sign ofthe spiritual graces he gave unto them. And thoughit be said of many, and of our Saviour himself, thathe was full of the Holy Spirit; yet that fulnessis not to be understood for infusion of the substanceof God, but for accumulation of his gifts,such as are the gift of sanctity of life, of tongues,and the like, whether attained supernaturally, orby study and industry; for in all cases they arethe gifts of God. So likewise where God says(Joel ii. 28) I will pour out my Spirit upon allflesh, and your sons and your daughters shallprophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, andyour young men shall see visions, we are not tounderstand it in the proper sense, as if his Spiritwere like water, subject to effusion or infusion;but as if God had promised to give them propheticaldreams, and visions. For the proper use ofthe word infused, in speaking of the graces of God,is an abuse of it; for those graces are virtues,not bodies to be carried hither and thither, and tobe poured into men as into barrels.

396In the same manner, to take inspiration in theproper sense, or to say that good spirits enteredinto men to make them prophecy, or evil spirits intothose that became phrenetic, lunatic, or epileptic,is not to take the word in the sense of the Scripture;for the Spirit there is taken for the power of God,working by causes to us unknown. As also (Actsii. 2) the wind, that is there said to fill the housewherein the apostles were assembled on the day ofPentecost, is not to be understood for the HolySpirit, which is the Deity itself; but for an externalsign of God’s special working on their hearts, toeffect in them the internal graces, and holy virtueshe thought requisite for the performance of theirapostleship.



The kingdom of God taken by divines metaphorically, but in the Scriptures properly.

The Kingdom of God in the writings of divines,and specially in sermons and treatises of devotion,is taken most commonly for eternal felicity, afterthis life, in the highest heaven, which they alsocall the kingdom of glory; and sometimes for theearnest of that felicity, sanctification, which theyterm the kingdom of grace; but never for themonarchy, that is to say, the sovereign power ofGod over any subjects acquired by their own consent,which is the proper signification of kingdom.

To the contrary, I find the kingdom of Godto signify, in most places of Scripture, a kingdom397properly so named, constituted by the votes of thepeople of Israel in peculiar manner; wherein theychose God for their king by covenant made withhim, upon God’s promising them the possession ofthe land of Canaan; and but seldom metaphorically;and then it is taken for dominion over sin;(and only in the New Testament;) because such adominion as that, every subject shall have in thekingdom of God, and without prejudice to thesovereign.

From the very creation, God not only reignedover all men naturally by his might; but also hadpeculiar subjects, whom he commanded by a voice,as one man speaketh to another. In which mannerhe reigned over Adam, and gave him commandmentto abstain from the tree of cognizance of goodand evil; which when he obeyed not, but tastingthereof, took upon him to be as God, judging betweengood and evil, not by his creator’s commandment,but by his own sense, his punishmentwas a privation of the estate of eternal life, whereinGod had at first created him: and afterwards Godpunished his posterity for their vices, all but eightpersons, with an universal deluge; and in theseeight did consist the then kingdom of God.

The original of the kingdom of God.

After this it pleased God to speak to Abraham,and (Gen. xvii. 7, 8) to make a covenant with him inthese words, I will establish my covenant betweenme, and thee, and thy seed after thee in theirgenerations, for an everlasting covenant, to be aGod to thee, and to thy seed after thee; and Iwill give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee,the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the landof Canaan for an everlasting possession. In this398covenant Abraham promiseth for himself and hisposterity, to obey as God, the Lord that spake tohim; and God on his part promiseth to Abrahamthe land of Canaan for an everlasting possession.And for a memorial, and a token of this covenant, heordaineth (Gen. xvii. 11) the sacrament of circumcision.This is it which is called the old covenantor testament; and containeth a contract betweenGod and Abraham; by which Abraham obligethhimself, and his posterity, in a peculiar manner tobe subject to God’s positive law; for to the lawmoral he was obliged before, as by an oath of allegiance.And though the name of King be not yetgiven to God, nor of kingdom to Abraham and hisseed: yet the thing is the same; namely, an institutionby pact, of God’s peculiar sovereignty overthe seed of Abraham; which in the renewing ofthe same covenant by Moses, at Mount Sinai, isexpressly called a peculiar kingdom of God overthe Jews: and it is of Abraham, not of Moses, St.Paul saith (Rom. iv. 11) that he is the father ofthe faithful; that is, of those that are loyal, anddo not violate their allegiance sworn to God,then by circumcision, and afterwards in the newcovenant by baptism.

That the kingdom of God is properly his civil sovereignty over a peculiar people by pact.

This covenant, at the foot of Mount Sinai, wasrenewed by Moses, (Exod. xix. 5) where the Lordcommandeth Moses to speak to the people in thismanner, If you will obey my voice indeed, andkeep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiarpeople to me, for all the earth is mine; and yeshall be unto me a sacerdotal kingdom, and anholy nation. For a peculiar people, the vulgarLatin hath peculium de cunctis populis: the English399translation, made in the beginning of the reignof King James, hath a peculiar treasure unto meabove all nations; and the Geneva French, themost precious jewel of all nations. But the truesttranslation is the first, because it is confirmed bySt. Paul himself (Tit. ii. 14) where he saith, alludingto that place, that our blessed Saviour gavehimself for us, that he might purify us to himself,a peculiar, that is, an extraordinary, people: forthe word is in the Greek περιούσιος, which is opposedcommonly to the word ἐπιούσιος: and as thissignifieth ordinary, quotidian, or, as in the Lord’sPrayer, of daily use; so the other signifieth thatwhich is overplus, and stored up, and enjoyed ina special manner; which the Latins call peculium:and this meaning of the place is confirmedby the reason God rendereth of it, which followethimmediately, in that he addeth, For all the earthis mine, as if he should say, All the nations of theworld are mine; but it is not so that you aremine, but in a special manner: for they are allmine, by reason of my power; but you shall bemine, by your own consent, and covenant; whichis an addition to his ordinary title, to all nations.

The same is again confirmed in express words inthe same text, Ye shall be to me a sacerdotalkingdom, and an holy nation. The vulgar Latinhath it, regnum sacerdotale, to which agreeththe translation of that place (1 Pet. ii. 9) Sacerdotiumregale, a regal priesthood; as also theinstitution itself, by which no man might enterinto the Sanctum Sanctorum, that is to say, noman might enquire God’s will immediately of Godhimself, but only the high-priest. The English400translation before mentioned, following that ofGeneva, has, a kingdom of priests; which is eithermeant of the succession of one high-priest afteranother, or else it accordeth not with St. Peter,nor with the exercise of the high-priesthood: forthere was never any but the high-priest only, thatwas to inform the people of God’s will; nor anyconvocation of priests ever allowed to enter intothe Sanctum Sanctorum.

Again, the title of a holy nation confirms thesame: for holy signifies, that which is God’s byspecial, not by general right. All the earth, as issaid in the text, is God’s; but all the earth is notcalled holy, but that only which is set apart for hisespecial service, as was the nation of the Jews. Itis therefore manifest enough by this one place,that by the kingdom of God, is properly meant acommonwealth, instituted, by the consent of thosewhich were to be subject thereto, for their civilgovernment, and the regulating of their behaviour,not only towards God their king, but also towardsone another in point of justice, and towards othernations both in peace and war; which properlywas a kingdom wherein God was king, and thehigh-priest was to be, after the death of Moses, hissole viceroy or lieutenant.

But there be many other places that clearlyprove the same. As first (1 Samuel, viii. 7) whenthe Elders of Israel, grieved with the corruption ofthe sons of Samuel, demanded a king, Samuel displeasedtherewith, prayed unto the Lord, and theLord answering said unto him, Hearken unto thevoice of the people, for they have not rejectedthee, but they have rejected me, that I should not401reign over them. Out of which it is evident, thatGod himself was then their king; and Samuel didnot command the people, but only delivered tothem that which God from time to time appointedhim.

Again, (1 Sam. xii. 12) where Samuel saith tothe people, When ye saw that Nahash, king ofthe children of Ammon, came against you, yesaid unto me, Nay, but a king shall reign over us;when the Lord your God was your king. It ismanifest that God was their king, and governedthe civil state of their commonwealth.

And after the Israelites had rejected God, theprophets did foretell his restitution; as (Isaiah,xxiv. 23) Then the moon shall be confounded,and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hostsshall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem;where he speaketh expressly of his reign in Zionand Jerusalem; that is, on earth. And (Micah,iv. 7) And the Lord shall reign over them inMount Zion: this Mount Zion is in Jerusalem,upon the earth. And (Ezek. xx. 33) As I live,saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand,and a stretched out arm, and with fury pouredout, I will rule over you; and (verse 37) I willcause you to pass under the rod, and I will bringyou into the bond of the covenant; that is, I willreign over you, and make you to stand to thatcovenant which you made with me by Moses, andbrake in your rebellion against me in the days ofSamuel, and in your election of another king.

And in the New Testament, the angel Gabrielsaith of our Saviour (Luke i. 32, 33) He shall begreat, and be called the Son of the most High,402and the Lord shall give unto him the throne of hisfather David; and he shall reign over the houseof Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom thereshall be no end. This is also a kingdom uponearth; for the claim whereof, as an enemy toCæsar, he was put to death; the title of his cross,was, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews; hewas crowned in scorn with a crown of thorns; andfor the proclaiming of him, it is said of the disciples(Acts xvii. 7) That they did all of themcontrary to the decrees of Cæsar, saying therewas another king, one Jesus. The kingdom thereforeof God is a real, not a metaphorical kingdom;and so taken, not only in the Old Testament, butin the New; when we say, For thine is the kingdom,the power, and glory, it is to be understood ofGod’s kingdom, by force of our covenant, not bythe right of God’s power; for such a kingdom Godalways hath; so that it were superfluous to say inour prayer, Thy kingdom come, unless it be meantof the restoration of that kingdom of God by Christ,which by revolt of the Israelites had been interruptedin the election of Saul. Nor had it beenproper to say, The kingdom of heaven is at hand;or to pray, Thy kingdom come, if it had still continued.

There be so many other places that confirm thisinterpretation, that it were a wonder there is nogreater notice taken of it, but that it gives toomuch light to Christian kings to see their right ofecclesiastical government. This they have observed,that instead of a sacerdotal kingdom,translate, a kingdom of priests; for they may aswell translate a royal priesthood, as it is in St.403Peter, into a priesthood of kings. And whereas,for a peculiar people, they put a precious jewel,or treasure, a man might as well call the specialregiment, or company of a general, the general’sprecious jewel, or his treasure.

In short, the kingdom of God is a civil kingdom;which consisted, first, in the obligation of the peopleof Israel to those laws, which Moses should bringunto them from Mount Sinai; and which afterwardsthe high-priest for the time being, shoulddeliver to them from before the cherubims in thesanctum sanctorum; and which kingdom havingbeen cast off in the election of Saul, the prophetsforetold, should be restored by Christ; and the restorationwhereof we daily pray for, when we sayin the Lord’s Prayer, Thy kingdom come; andthe right whereof we acknowledge, when we add,For thine is the kingdom, the power, and glory,for ever and ever, Amen; and the proclaimingwhereof, was the preaching of the apostles; andto which men are prepared, by the teachers of theGospel; to embrace which Gospel, that is to say,to promise obedience to God’s government, is to bein the kingdom of grace, because God hath gratisgiven to such the power to be the subjects, that ischildren, of God hereafter, when Christ shall comein majesty to judge the world, and actually to governhis own people, which is called the kingdomof glory. If the kingdom of God, called also thekingdom of heaven, from the gloriousness and admirableheight of that throne, were not a kingdomwhich God by his lieutenants, or vicars, who deliverhis commandments to the people, did exerciseon earth; there would not have been so much contention,404and war, about who it is, by whom Godspeaketh to us; neither would many priests havetroubled themselves with spiritual jurisdiction, norany king have denied it them.

Holy, what.

Out of this literal interpretation of the kingdomof God, ariseth also the true interpretation of theword Holy. For it is a word, which in God’skingdom answereth to that, which men in theirkingdoms use to call public, or the king’s.

The king of any country is the public person, orrepresentative of all his own subjects. And Godthe king of Israel was the Holy One of Israel. Thenation which is subject to one earthly sovereign, isthe nation of that sovereign, that is, of the publicperson. So the Jews, who were God’s nation, werecalled (Exod. xix. 6) a holy nation. For by holy,is always understood either God himself, or thatwhich is God’s in propriety; as by public is alwaysmeant, either the person of the commonwealthitself, or something that is so the commonwealth’s,as no private person can claim any proprietytherein.

Therefore the Sabbath, God’s day, is a holy day;the temple, God’s house, a holy house; sacrifices,tithes, and offerings, God’s tribute, holy duties;priests, prophets, and anointed kings, under Christ,God’s ministers, holy men; the celestial ministeringspirits, God’s messengers, holy angels; and thelike: and wheresoever the word holy is taken properly,there is still something signified of propriety,gotten by consent. In saying, Hallowed be thyname, we do but pray to God for grace to keep thefirst commandment, of having no other Gods buthim. Mankind is God’s nation in propriety: but405the Jews only were a holy nation. Why, but becausethey became his propriety by covenant?

Sacred, what.

And the word profane, is usually taken in theScripture for the same with common; and consequentlytheir contraries, holy and proper, in thekingdom of God, must be the same also. But figuratively,those men also are called holy, that ledsuch godly lives, as if they had forsaken all worldlydesigns, and wholly devoted and given themselvesto God. In the proper sense, that which is madeholy by God’s appropriating or separating it to hisown use, is said to be sanctified by God, as theseventh day in the fourth commandment; and asthe elect in the New Testament were said to besanctified, when they were endued with the spiritof godliness. And that which is made holy by thededication of men, and given to God, so as to beused only in his public service, is called alsoSACRED, and said to be consecrated, as temples,and other houses of public prayer, and their utensils,priests, and ministers, victims, offerings, andthe external matter of sacraments.

Degrees of sanctity.

Of holiness there be degrees: for of those thingsthat are set apart for the service of God, theremay be some set apart again, for a nearer andmore especial service. The whole nation of theIsraelites were a people holy to God; yet the tribeof Levi was amongst the Israelites a holy tribe;and amongst the Levites, the priests were yet moreholy; and amongst the priests, the high-priestwas the most holy. So the land of Judea was theHoly Land; but the holy city wherein God was tobe worshipped, was more holy; and again theTemple more holy than the city, and the sanctumsanctorum more holy than the rest of the Temple.


406A SACRAMENT, is a separation of some visiblething from common use; and a consecration of itto God’s service, for a sign either of our admissioninto the kingdom of God, to be of the number ofhis peculiar people, or for a commemoration of thesame. In the Old Testament, the sign of admissionwas circumcision; in the New Testament,baptism. The commemoration of it in the OldTestament, was the eating, at a certain time whichwas anniversary, of the Paschal Lamb; by whichthey were put in mind of the night wherein theywere delivered out of their bondage in Egypt; andin the New Testament, the celebrating of theLord’s Supper; by which, we are put in mind ofour deliverance from the bondage of sin, by ourblessed Saviour’s death upon the cross. The sacramentsof admission, are but once to be used,because there needs but one admission; but becausewe have need of being often put in mind ofour deliverance, and of our allegiance, the sacramentsof commemoration have need to be reiterated.And these are the principal sacraments, and as itwere the solemn oaths we make of our allegiance.There be also other consecrations, that may becalled sacraments, as the word implieth only consecrationto God’s service; but as it implies an oath,or promise of allegiance to God, there were noother in the Old Testament, but circumcision, andthe passover; nor are there any other in the NewTestament, but baptism and the Lord’s Supper.




Word, what.

When there is mention of the word of God, orof man, it doth not signify a part of speech, suchas grammarians call a noun, or a verb, or anysimple voice, without a contexture with otherwords to make it significative; but a perfect speechor discourse, whereby the speaker affirmeth, denieth,commandeth, promiseth, threateneth, wisheth,or interrogateth. In which sense it is notvocabulum, that signifies a word; but sermo, (inGreek λόγος) that is, some speech, discourse, orsaying.

The words spoken by God, and concerning God, both are called God’s word in Scripture.

Again, if we say the word of God, or of man,it may be understood sometimes of the speaker: asthe words that God hath spoken, or that a manhath spoken; in which sense, when we say, theGospel of St. Matthew, we understand St. Matthewto be the writer of it: and sometimes of the subject;in which sense, when we read in the Bible,the words of the days of the kings of Israel, orJudah, it is meant, that the acts that were donein those days, were the subject of those words; andin the Greek, which, in the Scripture, retainethmany Hebraisms, by the word of God is oftentimesmeant, not that which is spoken by God, but concerningGod, and his government; that is to say,the doctrine of religion: insomuch, as it is all one,to say λόγος Θεοῦ, and theologia; which is, thatdoctrine which we usually call divinity, as is manifest408by the places following, (Acts xiii. 46) ThenPaul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, it wasnecessary that the word of God should first havebeen spoken to you, but seeing you put it fromyou, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlastinglife, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. That whichis here called the word of God, was the doctrine ofChristian religion; as it appears evidently by thatwhich goes before. And (Acts v. 20) where it issaid to the apostles by an angel, Go stand andspeak in the Temple, all the words of this life;by the words of this life, is meant, the doctrine ofthe Gospel; as is evident by what they did in theTemple, and is expressed in the last verse of thesame chapter, Daily in the Temple, and in everyhouse they ceased not to teach and preach ChristJesus: in which place it is manifest, that JesusChrist was the subject of this word of life; or,which is all one, the subject of the words of thislife eternal, that our Saviour offered them. So(Acts xv. 7) the word of God, is called the word ofthe Gospel, because it containeth the doctrine ofthe kingdom of Christ; and the same word (Rom.x. 8, 9) is called the word of faith; that is, asis there expressed, the doctrine of Christ come, andraised from the dead. Also (Matth. xiii. 19) Whenany one heareth the word of the kingdom; thatis, the doctrine of the kingdom taught by Christ.Again, the same word, is said (Acts xii. 24) togrow and to be multiplied; which to understandof the evangelical doctrine is easy, but of the voice orspeech of God, hard and strange. In the same sense(1 Tim. iv. 1) the doctrine of devils signifieth notthe words of any devil, but the doctrine of heathen409men concerning demons, and those phantasmswhich they worshipped as gods.

The word of God metaphorically used, first, for the decrees and power of God.

Considering these two significations of the wordof God, as it is taken in Scripture, it is manifest inthis latter sense, where it is taken for the doctrine ofChristian religion, that the whole Scripture is theword of God: but in the former sense, not so. Forexample, though these words, I am the Lord thyGod, &c. to the end of the Ten Commandments,were spoken by God to Moses; yet the preface,God spake these words and said, is to be understoodfor the words of him that wrote the holy history.The word of God, as it is taken for thatwhich he hath spoken, is understood sometimesproperly, sometimes metaphorically. Properly,as the words he hath spoken to his prophets:metaphorically, for his wisdom, power, and eternaldecree, in making the world; in which sense,those fiats, Let there be light, Let there be afirmament, Let us make man, &c. (Gen. i.) arethe word of God. And in the same sense it is said(John i. 3) All things were made by it, andwithout it was nothing made that was made: and(Heb. i. 3) He upholdeth all things by the wordof his power; that is, by the power of his word;that is, by his power: and (Heb. xi. 3) Theworlds were framed by the word of God; andmany other places to the same sense: as alsoamongst the Latins, the name of fate, which signifiedproperly the word spoken, is taken in thesame sense.

Secondly, for the effect of his word.

Secondly, for the effect of his word; that is tosay, for the thing itself, which by his word isaffirmed, commanded, threatened, or promised; as410(Psalm cv. 19) where Joseph is said to have beenkept in prison, till his word was come; that is,till that was come to pass which he had foretoldto Pharaoh’s butler (Gen. xl. 13) concerning hisbeing restored to his office: for there, by his wordwas come, is meant, the thing itself was come topass. So also (1 Kings xviii. 36) Elijah saith toGod, I have done all these thy words, insteadof I have done all these things at thy word, orcommandment; and (Jer. xvii. 15) Where is theword of the Lord, is put for, Where is the evilhe threatened. And (Ezek. xii. 28) There shallnone of my words be prolonged any more: bywords are understood those things, which Godpromised to his people. And in the New Testament(Matth. xxiv. 35) heaven and earth shallpass away, but my words shall not pass away;that is, there is nothing that I have promised orforetold, that shall not come to pass. And in thissense it is, that St. John the Evangelist, and, Ithink, St. John only, calleth our Saviour himself asin the flesh the word of God, as (John i. 14) theword was made flesh; that is to say, the word, orpromise that Christ should come into the world;who in the beginning was with God; that is tosay, it was in the purpose of God the Father, tosend God the Son into the world, to enlighten menin the way of eternal life; but it was not till thenput in execution, and actually incarnate. So thatour Saviour is there called the word, not becausehe was the promise, but the thing promised. Theythat taking occasion from this place, do commonlycall him the verb of God, do but render the textmore obscure. They might as well term him the411noun of God: for as by noun, so also by verb,men understand nothing but a part of speech, avoice, a sound, that neither affirms, nor denies,nor commands, nor promiseth, nor is any substancecorporeal, or spiritual; and therefore it cannot besaid to be either God, or man; whereas our Saviouris both. And this word, which St. John inhis gospel saith was with God, is (in his first Epistle,verse 1) called the word of life; and (verse 2) theeternal life, which was with the Father. So thathe can be in no other sense called the word, thanin that, wherein he is called eternal life; that is,he that hath procured us eternal life, by hiscoming in the flesh. So also (Apocalypse xix. 13)the apostle speaking of Christ, clothed in a garmentdipped in blood, saith, his name is the wordof God; which is to be understood, as if he hadsaid his name had been, He that was come accordingto the purpose of God from the beginning,and according to his word and promises deliveredby the prophets. So that there is nothing here ofthe incarnation of a word, but of the incarnationof God the Son, therefore called the word, becausehis incarnation was the performance of the promise;in like manner as the Holy Ghost is called(Acts i. 4; Luke xxiv. 49) the promise.

Thirdly, for the words of reason and equity.

There are also places of the Scripture, where,by the word of God, is signified such words as areconsonant to reason and equity, though spokensometimes neither by prophet, nor by a holy man.For Pharaoh-Necho was an idolater; yet his wordsto the good king Josiah, in which he advised himby messengers, not to oppose him in his marchagainst Charchemish, are said to have proceeded412from the mouth of God; and that Josiah, nothearkening to them, was slain in the battle; as isto be read (2 Chron. xxxv. 21, 22, 23.) It is true,that as the same history is related in the first bookof Esdras, not Pharaoh, but Jeremiah, spake thesewords to Josiah, from the mouth of the Lord. Butwe are to give credit to the canonical Scripture,whatsoever be written in the Apocrypha.

The word of God, is then also to be taken forthe dictates of reason and equity, when the sameis said in the Scriptures to be written in man’sheart; as Psalm xxxvii. 31; Jer. xxxi. 33; 11, 14, and many other like places.

Divers acceptions of the word prophet.

The name of PROPHET signifieth in Scripture,sometimes prolocutor; that is, he that speakethfrom God to man, or from man to God: and sometimespredictor, or a foreteller of things to come:and sometimes one that speaketh incoherently, asmen that are distracted. It is most frequentlyused in the sense of speaking from God to the people.So Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah,and others were prophets. And in this sense thehigh-priest was a prophet, for he only went intothe sanctum sanctorum, to enquire of God; andwas to declare his answer to the people. Andtherefore when Caiphas said, it was expedient thatone man should die for the people, St. John saith(chapter xi. 51) that He spake not this of himself,but being high-priest that year, he prophesiedthat one man should die for the nation. Also theythat in Christian congregations taught the people,(1 Cor. xiv. 3) are said to prophecy. In the likesense it is, that God saith to Moses (Exod. iv. 16)concerning Aaron, He shall be thy spokesman to413the people; and he shall be to thee a mouth, andthou shalt be to him instead of God: that whichhere is spokesman, is (Exod. vii. 1) interpretedprophet; See, saith God, I have made thee a Godto Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thyprophet. In the sense of speaking from man toGod, Abraham is called a prophet (Gen. xx. 7)where God in a dream speaketh to Abimelech inthis manner, Now therefore restore the man hiswife, for he is a prophet, and shall pray for thee;whereby may be also gathered, that the name ofprophet may be given, not unproperly, to them thatin Christian churches, have a calling to say publicprayers for the congregation. In the same sense,the prophets that came down from the high place,or hill of God, with a psaltery, and a tabret, and apipe, and a harp (1 Sam. x. 5, 6, and 10), Saulamongst them, are said to prophecy, in that theypraised God in that manner publicly. In the likesense, is Miriam (Exod. xv. 20) called a prophetess.So is it also to be taken (1 Cor. xi. 4, 5),where St. Paul saith, Every man that prayeth orprophecieth with his head covered, &c., and everywoman that prayeth or prophecieth with her headuncovered: for prophecy, in that place, signifiethno more, but praising God in psalms and holysongs; which women might do in the church,though it were not lawful for them to speak to thecongregation. And in this signification it is, thatthe poets of the heathen, that composed hymns andother sorts of poems in the honour of their gods,were called vates, prophets; as is well enoughknown by all that are versed in the books of theGentiles, and as is evident (Tit. i. 12), where St.414Paul saith of the Cretians, that a prophet of theirown said, they were liars; not that St. Paul heldtheir poets for prophets, but acknowledgeth thatthe word prophet was commonly used to signifythem that celebrated the honour of God in verse.

Prediction of future contingents, not always prophecy.

When by prophecy is meant prediction, or foretellingof future contingents; not only they wereprophets, who were God’s spokesmen, and foretoldthose things to others, which God had foretoldto them; but also all those impostors, that pretend,by help of familiar spirits, or by superstitious divinationof events past, from false causes, to foretelthe like events in time to come: of which, as Ihave declared already in the twelfth chapter of thisdiscourse, there be many kinds, who gain in theopinion of the common sort of men, a greater reputationof prophecy, by one casual event that may bebut wrested to their purpose, than can be lost againby never so many failings. Prophecy is not an art,nor, when it is taken for prediction, a constant vocation;but an extraordinary, and temporary employmentfrom God, most often of good men, butsometimes also of the wicked. The woman ofEndor, who is said to have had a familiar spirit,and thereby to have raised a phantasm of Samuel,and foretold Saul his death, was not therefore aprophetess; for neither had she any science, wherebyshe could raise such a phantasm; nor does it appearthat God commanded the raising of it; but onlyguided that imposture to be a means of Saul’s terrorand discouragement, and by consequent, of thediscomfiture by which he fell. And for incoherentspeech, it was amongst the Gentiles taken for onesort of prophecy, because the prophets of their oracles,415intoxicated with a spirit or vapour from thecave of the Pythian oracle at Delphi, were for thetime really mad, and spake like madmen; of whoseloose words a sense might be made to fit any event,in such sort, as all bodies are said to be made ofmateria prima. In Scripture I find it also so taken(1 Sam. xviii. 10) in these words, And the evilspirit came upon Saul, and he prophecied in themidst of the house.

The manner how God hath spoken to the prophets.

And although there be so many significations inScripture of the word prophet; yet is that themost frequent, in which it is taken for him, towhom God speaketh immediately that which theprophet is to say from him, to some other man, orto the people. And hereupon a question may beasked, in what manner God speaketh to such aprophet. Can it, may some say, be properly said,that God hath voice and language, when it cannotbe properly said, he hath a tongue, or other organs,as a man? The prophet David argueth thus, (Psalmxciv. 9) Shall he that made the eye, not see? or hethat made the ear, not hear? But this may be spoken,not as usually, to signify God’s nature, but to signifyour intention to honour him. For to see, and hear,are honourable attributes, and may be given to God,to declare, as far as our capacity can conceive, hisalmighty power. But if it were to be taken in thestrict and proper sense, one might argue from hismaking of all other parts of man’s body, that hehad also the same use of them which we have; whichwould be many of them so uncomely, as it wouldbe the greatest contumely in the world to ascribethem to him. Therefore we are to interpret God’sspeaking to men immediately, for that way, whatsoever416it be, by which God makes them understandhis will. And the ways whereby he doth this, aremany, and to be sought only in the Holy Scripture:where though many times it be said, that God spaketo this, and that person, without declaring in whatmanner; yet there be again many places, that deliveralso the signs by which they were to acknowledgehis presence, and commandment; and bythese may be understood, how he spake to manyof the rest.

To the extraordinary prophets of the Old Testament he spake by dreams, or visions.

In what manner God spake to Adam, and Eve,and Cain, and Noah, is not expressed; nor how hespake to Abraham, till such time as he came outof his own country to Sichem in the land of Canaan;and then (Gen. xii. 7) God is said to haveappeared to him. So there is one way, wherebyGod made his presence manifest; that is, by anapparition, or vision. And again, (Gen. xv. 1) theword of the Lord came to Abraham in a vision;that is to say, somewhat, as a sign of God’s presence,appeared as God’s messenger, to speak tohim. Again, the Lord appeared to Abraham (Gen.xviii. 1) by an apparition of three angels; and toAbimelech (Gen. xx. 3) in a dream: to Lot (Gen.xix. 1) by an apparition of two angels: and toAgar (Gen. xxi. 17) by the apparition of oneangel: and to Abraham again (Gen. xxii. 11) bythe apparition of a voice from heaven: and (Gen.xxvi. 24) to Isaac in the night, that is, in his sleep,or by dream: and to Jacob (Gen. xxviii. 12) in adream; that is to say, as are the words of the text,Jacob dreamed that he saw a ladder, &c.: and(Gen. xxxii. 1) in a vision of angels: and to Moses(Exod. iii. 2) in the apparition of a flame of fire out417of the midst of a bush. And after the time ofMoses, where the manner how God spake immediatelyto man in the Old Testament is expressed, hespake always by a vision, or by a dream; as toGideon, Samuel, Eliah, Elisha, Isaiah, Ezekiel, andthe rest of the prophets; and often in the NewTestament, as to Joseph, to St. Peter, to St. Paul,and to St. John the Evangelist in the Apocalypse.

Only to Moses he spake in a more extraordinarymanner in Mount Sinai, and in the Tabernacle;and to the high-priest in the Tabernacle,and in the sanctum sanctorum of the Temple.But Moses, and after him the high-priests, wereprophets of a more eminent place and degree inGod’s favour; and God himself in express wordsdeclareth, that to other prophets he spake indreams and visions, but to his servant Moses, insuch manner as a man speaketh to his friend. Thewords are these (Numb. xii. 6, 7, 8) If there be aprophet among you, I the Lord will make myselfknown to him in a vision, and will speak unto himin a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who isfaithful in all my house; with him I will speakmouth to mouth, even apparently, not in darkspeeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall hebehold. And (Exod. xxxiii. 11) The Lord spaketo Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to hisfriend. And yet this speaking of God to Moses,was by mediation of an angel, or angels, as appearsexpressly, Acts vii. 35 and 53, and Gal. iii. 19;and was therefore a vision, though a more clearvision than was given to other prophets. And conformablehereunto, where God saith (Deut. xiii. 1)If there arise amongst you a prophet, or dreamer418of dreams, the latter word is but the interpretationof the former. And (Joel, ii. 28) Your sons andyour daughters shall prophecy; your old menshall dream dreams, and your young men shallsee visions; where again, the word prophecy isexpounded by dream, and vision. And in the samemanner it was, that God spake to Solomon, promisinghim wisdom, riches, and honour; for the textsaith, (1 Kings iii. 15) And Solomon awoke, andbehold it was a dream; so that generally theprophets extraordinary in the Old Testament tooknotice of the word of God no otherwise than fromtheir dreams, or visions; that is to say, from theimaginations which they had in their sleep, or in anextasy: which imaginations in every true prophetwere supernatural; but in false prophets wereeither natural or feigned.

The same prophets were nevertheless said tospeak by the spirit; as (Zech. vii. 12); where theprophet speaking of the Jews, saith, They madetheir hearts hard as adamant, lest they shouldhear the law, and the words which the Lord ofHosts hath sent in his Spirit by the former prophets.By which it is manifest, that speaking by thespirit, or inspiration, was not a particular mannerof God’s speaking, different from vision, when they,that were said to speak by the Spirit, were extraordinaryprophets, such as for every new message,were to have a peculiar commission, or, which isall one, a new dream, or vision.

To prophets of perpetual calling, and supreme, God spake in the Old Testament from the mercy seat, in a manner not expressed in the Scripture.

Of prophets, that were so by a perpetual callingin the Old Testament, some were supreme, andsome subordinate: supreme were first Moses;and after him the high-priests, every one for his419time, as long as the priesthood was royal; andafter the people of the Jews had rejected God,that he should no more reign over them, thosekings which submitted themselves to God’s government,were also his chief prophets; and the high-priest’soffice became ministerial. And when Godwas to be consulted, they put on the holy vestments,and enquired of the Lord, as the king commandedthem, and were deprived of their office,when the king thought fit. For king Saul (1 Sam.xiii. 9) commanded the burnt offering to be brought,and (1 Sam. xiv. 18) he commands the priests tobring the ark near him; and (v. 19) again to let italone, because he saw an advantage upon his enemies.And in the same chapter (v. 37) Saul askethcounsel of God. In like manner king David, after hisbeing anointed, though before he had possession ofthe kingdom, is said to enquire of the Lord (1 Sam.xxiii. 2) whether he should fight against the Philistinesat Keilah; and (verse 9) David commandeththe priest to bring him the ephod, to enquirewhether he should stay in Keilah, or not. Andking Solomon (1 Kings ii. 27) took the priesthoodfrom Abiathar, and gave it (verse 35) to Zadok.Therefore Moses, and the high-priests, and the piouskings, who enquired of God on all extraordinaryoccasions, how they were to carry themselves, orwhat event they were to have, were all sovereignprophets. But in what manner God spake untothem is not manifest. To say that when Moseswent up to God in Mount Sinai, it was a dream orvision, such as other prophets had, is contrary tothat distinction which God made between Mosesand other prophets (Numb. xii. 6, 7, 8). To say420God spake or appeared as he is in his own nature,is to deny his infiniteness, invisibility, incomprehensibility.To say he spake by inspiration, or infusionof the Holy Spirit, as the Holy Spirit signifieththe Deity, is to make Moses equal with Christ,in whom only the Godhead (as St. Paul speaketh,Col. ii. 9) dwelleth bodily. And lastly, to say hespake by the Holy Spirit, as it signifieth the gracesor gifts of the Holy Spirit, is to attribute nothingto him supernatural. For God disposeth men topiety, justice, mercy, truth, faith, and all mannerof virtue, both moral and intellectual, by doctrine,example, and by several occasions, natural andordinary.

And as these ways cannot be applied to God inhis speaking to Moses, at Mount Sinai; so also,they cannot be applied to him, in his speaking tothe high-priests, from the mercy-seat. Thereforein what manner God spake to those sovereignprophets of the Old Testament, whose office it wasto enquire of him, is not intelligible. In the timeof the New Testament, there was no sovereignprophet, but our Saviour; who was both God thatspake, and the prophet to whom he spake.

To prophets of perpetual calling, but subordinate, God spake by the spirit.

To subordinate prophets of perpetual calling, Ifind not any place that proveth God spake to themsupernaturally; but only in such manner, as naturallyhe inclineth men to piety, to belief, to righteousness,and to other virtues all other Christianmen. Which way, though it consist in constitution,instruction, education, and the occasions andinvitements men have to Christian virtues; yet itis truly attributed to the operation of the Spirit ofGod, or Holy Spirit, which we in our language call421the Holy Ghost: for there is no good inclination,that is not of the operation of God. But theseoperations are not always supernatural. Whentherefore a prophet is said to speak in the spirit, orby the spirit of God, we are to understand nomore, but that he speaks according to God’s will,declared by the supreme prophet. For the mostcommon acceptation of the word spirit, is in thesignification of a man’s intention, mind, or disposition.

In the time of Moses, there were seventy menbesides himself, that prophecied in the camp of theIsraelites. In what manner God spake to them, isdeclared in Numbers, chap. xi. verse 25. TheLord came down in a cloud, and spake untoMoses, and took of the spirit that was upon him,and gave it to the seventy elders. And it cameto pass, when the spirit rested upon them, theyprophecied and did not cease. By which it ismanifest, first, that their prophecying to the peoplewas subservient and subordinate to the prophecyingof Moses; for that God took of thespirit of Moses, to put upon them; so that theyprophecied as Moses would have them: otherwisethey had not been suffered to prophecy at all.For there was (verse 27) a complaint made againstthem to Moses; and Joshua would have Moses tohave forbidden them; which he did not, but said toJoshua, be not jealous in my behalf. Secondly,that the spirit of God in that place signifieth nothingbut the mind and disposition to obey andassist Moses in the administration of the government.For if it were meant they had the substantialspirit of God; that is, the divine nature,422inspired into them, then they had it in no lessmanner than Christ himself, in whom only thespirit of God dwelt bodily. It is meant thereforeof the gift and grace of God, that guided them tocooperate with Moses; from whom their spiritwas derived. And it appeareth (Numb. xi. 16) thatthey were such as Moses himself should appointfor elders and officers of the people: for the wordsare, Gather unto me seventy men, whom thouknowest to be elders and officers of the people:where, thou knowest, is the same with thou appointest,or hast appointed to be such. For weare told before (Exod. xviii. 24) that Moses followingthe counsel of Jethro, his father-in-law, didappoint judges and officers over the people, suchas feared God; and of these were those seventy,whom God, by putting upon them Moses’ spirit, inclinedto aid Moses in the administration of thekingdom: and in this sense the spirit of God issaid (1 Sam. xvi. 13, 14) presently upon the anointingof David, to have come upon David, and leftSaul; God giving his graces to him he chose togovern his people, and taking them away fromhim he rejected. So that by the spirit is meantinclination to God’s service; and not any supernaturalrevelation.

God sometimes also spake by lots.

God spake also many times by the event of lots;which were ordered by such as he had put inauthority over his people. So we read that Godmanifested by the lots which Saul caused to bedrawn (1 Sam. xiv. 43) the fault that Jonathan hadcommitted, in eating a honey-comb, contrary tothe oath taken by the people. And (Josh. xviii.10) God divided the land of Canaan amongst the423Israelites, by the lots that Joshua did cast beforethe Lord in Shiloh. In the same manner it seemethto be, that God discovered (Joshua vii. 16, &c.)the crime of Achan. And these are the wayswhereby God declared his will in the Old Testament.

All which ways he used also in the New Testament.To the Virgin Mary, by a vision of an angel:to Joseph in a dream: again, to Paul, in the wayto Damascus, in a vision of our Saviour: and toPeter in the vision of a sheet let down from heaven,with divers sorts of flesh; of clean, and uncleanbeasts; and in prison, by vision of an angel: andto all the apostles, and writers of the New Testament,by the graces of his spirit; and to the apostlesagain, at the choosing of Matthias in the placeof Judas Iscariot, by lot.

Every man ought to examine the probability of a pretended prophet’s calling.

Seeing then, all prophecy supposeth vision, ordream, (which two, when they be natural, are thesame), or some especial gift of God so rarely observedin mankind as to be admired where observed;and seeing as well such gifts, as the mostextraordinary dreams and visions, may proceedfrom God, not only by his supernatural, and immediate,but also by his natural operation, and bymediation of second causes; there is need of reasonand judgment to discern between natural, andsupernatural gifts, and between natural, and supernaturalvisions or dreams. And consequentlymen had need to be very circ*mspect and wary,in obeying the voice of man, that pretending himselfto be a prophet, requires us to obey God inthat way, which he in God’s name telleth us to bethe way to happiness. For he that pretends toteach men the way of so great felicity, pretends to424govern them; that is to say, to rule and reign overthem; which is a thing, that all men naturally desire,and is therefore worthy to be suspected of ambitionand imposture; and consequently, ought to be examinedand tried by every man, before he yieldthem obedience; unless he have yielded it themalready, in the institution of a commonwealth; aswhen the prophet is the civil sovereign, or by thecivil sovereign authorized. And if this examinationof prophets and spirits, were not allowed to everyone of the people, it had been to no purpose to setout the marks, by which every man might be ableto distinguish between those, whom they ought, andthose whom they ought not to follow. Seeingtherefore such marks are set out (Deut. xiii. 1, &c.)to know a prophet by; and (1 John iv. 1, &c.)to know a spirit by: and seeing there is so muchprophecying in the Old Testament, and so muchpreaching in the New Testament, against prophets;and so much greater a number ordinarily of falseprophets, than of true; every one is to beware ofobeying their directions, at their own peril. Andfirst, that there were many more false than trueprophets, appears by this, that when Ahab (1 Kingsxxii.) consulted four hundred prophets, they were allfalse impostors, but only one Micaiah. And alittle before the time of the captivity, the prophetswere generally liars. The prophets, (saith theLord, by Jeremiah, chapter xiv. 14) prophecy liesin my name. I sent them not, neither have I commandedthem, nor spake unto them; they prophecyto you a false vision, a thing of nought, and thedeceit of their heart. Insomuch as God commandedthe people by the mouth of the prophet425Jeremiah (chapter xxiii. 16) not to obey them:Thus saith the Lord of hosts, hearken not untothe words of the prophets, that prophecy to you.They make you vain, they speak a vision of theirown heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord.

All prophecy but of the sovereign prophet, is to be examined by every subject.

Seeing then there was in the time of the OldTestament, such quarrels amongst the visionaryprophets, one contesting with another, and asking,when departed the Spirit from me, to go to thee?as between Micaiah and the rest of the four hundred;and such giving of the lie to one another,(as in Jerem. xiv. 14) and such controversies in theNew Testament at this day, amongst the spiritualprophets; every man then was, and now is boundto make use of his natural reason, to apply to allprophecy those rules which God hath given us, todiscern the true from false. Of which rules, in theOld Testament, one was, conformable doctrine tothat which Moses the sovereign prophet had taughtthem; and the other, the miraculous power offoretelling what God would bring to pass, as I havealready showed out of Deut. xiii. 1, &c. And in theNew Testament there was but one only mark;and that was the preaching of this doctrine, thatJesus is the Christ, that is, king of the Jews,promised in the Old Testament. Whosoever deniedthat article, he was a false prophet, whatsoevermiracles he might seem to work; and he thattaught it was a true prophet. For St. John(1 Epist. iv. 2, &c.) speaking expressly of themeans to examine spirits, whether they be of God,or not; after he had told them that there wouldarise false prophets, saith thus, Hereby know yethe Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesseth426that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God;that is, is approved and allowed as a prophet of God:not that he is a godly man, or one of the elect, forthis, that he confesseth, professeth, or preachethJesus to be the Christ; but for that he is a prophetavowed. For God sometimes speaketh by prophets,whose persons he hath not accepted; as hedid by Balaam; and as he foretold Saul of hisdeath, by the Witch of Endor. Again in the nextverse, Every spirit that confesseth not that JesusChrist is come in the flesh, is not of Christ; andthis is the spirit of Anti-Christ. So that the ruleis perfect on both sides; that he is a true prophet,which preacheth the Messiah already come, in theperson of Jesus; and he a false one that deniethhim come, and looketh for him in some future impostor,that shall take upon him that honour falsely,whom the apostle there properly calleth Anti-Christ.Every man therefore ought to considerwho is the sovereign prophet; that is to say, whoit is, that is God’s vicegerent on earth; and hathnext under God, the authority of governing Christianmen; and to observe for a rule, that doctrine,which in the name of God, he hath commanded tobe taught; and thereby to examine and try out thetruth of those doctrines, which pretended prophetswith miracle, or without, shall at any time advance:and if they find it contrary to that rule, to do asthey did, that came to Moses, and complained thatthere were some that prophecied in the camp,whose authority so to do they doubted of; andleave to the sovereign, as they did to Moses, to uphold,or to forbid them, as he should see cause;and if he disavow them, then no more to obey427their voice; or if he approve them, then to obeythem, as men to whom God hath given a part of thespirit of their sovereign. For when Christian men,take not their Christian sovereign, for God’s prophet;they must either take their own dreams, forthe prophecy they mean to be governed by, andthe tumor of their own hearts for the Spirit ofGod; or they must suffer themselves to be led bysome strange prince; or by some of their fellow-subjects,that can bewitch them, by slander of thegovernment, into rebellion, without other miracleto confirm their calling, than sometimes an extraordinarysuccess and impunity; and by this meansdestroying all laws, both divine and human, reduceall order, government, and society, to the firstchaos of violence and civil war.



A miracle is a work that causeth admiration.

By miracles are signified the admirable works ofGod: and therefore they are also called wonders.And because they are for the most part, done, fora signification of his commandment, in such occasions,as without them, men are apt to doubt,(following their private natural reasoning,) what hehath commanded, and what not, they are commonly,in holy Scripture, called signs, in the samesense, as they are called by the Latins, ostenta,and portenta, from showing and fore-signifyingthat, which the Almighty is about to bring to pass.

And must therefore be rare, and whereof there is no natural cause known.

To understand therefore what is a miracle, wemust first understand what works they are, which428men wonder at, and call admirable. And there be buttwo things which make men wonder at any event:the one is, if it be strange, that is to say, such asthe like of it hath never, or very rarely been produced:the other is, if when it is produced, wecannot imagine it to have been done by naturalmeans, but only by the immediate hand of God.But when we see some possible, natural cause ofit, how rarely soever the like has been done, or ifthe like have been often done, how impossible soeverit be to imagine a natural means thereof, weno more wonder, nor esteem it for a miracle.

Therefore, if a horse or cow should speak, itwere a miracle; because both the thing is strange,and the natural cause difficult to imagine. So alsowere it to see a strange deviation of nature, in theproduction of some new shape of a living creature.But when a man, or other animal, engenders hislike, though we know no more how this is done,than the other; yet because it is usual, it is nomiracle. In like manner, if a man be metamorphosedinto a stone, or into a pillar, it is a miracle;because strange: but if a piece of wood be sochanged; because we see it often, it is no miracle:and yet we know no more by what operation ofGod, the one is brought to pass, than the other.

The first rainbow that was seen in the world,was a miracle, because the first; and consequentlystrange; and served for a sign from God, placedin heaven, to assure his people, there should be nomore any universal destruction of the world bywater. But at this day, because they are frequent,they are not miracles, neither to them that knowtheir natural causes, nor to them who know them429not. Again, there be many rare works producedby the art of man: yet when we know they aredone; because thereby we know also the meanshow they are done, we count them not for miracles,because not wrought by the immediate handof God, but of human industry.

That which seemeth a miracle to one man, may seem otherwise to another.

Furthermore, seeing admiration and wonder areconsequent to the knowledge and experience, wherewithmen are endued, some more, some less; itfolloweth, that the same thing may be a miracle toone, and not to another. And thence it is, thatignorant and superstitious men make great wondersof those works, which other men, knowingto proceed from nature, (which is not the immediate,but the ordinary work of God), admire notat all: as when eclipses of the sun and moon havebeen taken for supernatural works, by the commonpeople; when nevertheless, there were others, whocould from their natural causes have foretold thevery hour they should arrive: or, as when a man,by confederacy and secret intelligence, gettingknowledge of the private actions of an ignorant,unwary man, thereby tells him what he has donein former time; it seems to him a miraculousthing; but amongst wise, and cautelous men, suchmiracles as those, cannot easily be done.

The end of miracles.

Again, it belongeth to the nature of a miracle,that it be wrought for the procuring of credit toGod’s messengers, ministers, and prophets, thatthereby men may know, they are called, sent, andemployed by God, and thereby be the better inclinedto obey them. And therefore, though thecreation of the world, and after that the destructionof all living creatures in the universal deluge,430were admirable works; yet because they were notdone to procure credit to any prophet, or otherminister of God, they use not to be called miracles.For how admirable soever any work be, the admirationconsisteth not in that it could be done; becausem*n naturally believe the Almighty can doall things; but because he does it at the prayer orword of a man. But the works of God in Egypt,by the hand of Moses, were properly miracles;because they were done with intention to makethe people of Israel believe, that Moses came untothem, not out of any design of his own interest,but as sent from God. Therefore, after God hadcommanded him to deliver the Israelites from theEgyptian bondage, when he said (Exod. iv. 1) Theywill not believe me, but will say, the Lord hath notappeared unto me, God gave him power, to turn therod he had in his hand into a serpent, and againto return it into a rod; and by putting his handinto his bosom, to make it leprous; and again byputting it out, to make it whole; to make the childrenof Israel believe (as it is in verse 5) that the Godof their fathers had appeared unto him: and if thatwere not enough, he gave him power to turn theirwaters into blood. And when he had done thesemiracles before the people, it is said (verse 31)that they believed him. Nevertheless, for fearof Pharaoh, they durst not yet obey him. Thereforethe other works which were done to plaguePharaoh and the Egyptians, tended all to makethe Israelites believe in Moses, and were properlymiracles. In like manner if we consider allthe miracles done by the hand of Moses, and allthe rest of the prophets, till the captivity; and431those of our Saviour, and his apostles afterwards;we shall find, their end was always to beget orconfirm belief, that they came not of their ownmotion, but were sent by God. We may fartherobserve in Scripture, that the end of miracles, wasto beget belief, not universally in all men, electand reprobate; but in the elect only; that isto say, in such as God had determined should becomehis subjects. For those miraculous plaguesof Egypt, had not for their end, the conversion ofPharaoh; for God had told Moses before, that hewould harden the heart of Pharoah, that he shouldnot let the people go: and when he let them goat last, not the miracles persuaded him, but theplagues forced him to it. So also of our Saviour,it is written (Matth. xiii. 58), that he wrought notmany miracles in his own country, because of theirunbelief; and (in Mark vi. 5) instead of, Hewrought not many, it is, He could work none. Itwas not because he wanted power; which to say,were blasphemy against God; nor that the end ofmiracles was not to convert incredulous men toChrist; for the end of all the miracles of Moses, ofthe prophets, of our Saviour, and of his apostleswas to add men to the church: but it was, becausethe end of their miracles, was to add to the church,not all men, but such as should be saved; that isto say, such as God had elected. Seeing thereforeour Saviour was sent from his Father, he could notuse his power in the conversion of those, whom hisFather had rejected. They that expounding thisplace of St. Mark, say, that this word, He couldnot, is put for, He would not, do it without examplein the Greek tongue: where would not, is put432sometimes for could not, in things inanimate, thathave no will; but could not, for would not never:and thereby lay a stumbling block before weakChristians; as if Christ could do no miracles, butamongst the credulous.

The definition of a miracle.

From that which I have here set down, of thenature and use of a miracle, we may define it thus:A MIRACLE is a work of God, (besides his operationby the way of nature, ordained in the creation)done, for the making manifest to his elect, themission of an extraordinary minister for theirsalvation.

And from this definition, we may infer; first,that in all miracles, the work done, is not the effectof any virtue in the prophet; because it is the effectof the immediate hand of God; that is to say Godhath done it, without using the prophet therein,as a subordinate cause.

Secondly, that no devil, angel, or other createdspirit, can do a miracle. For it must either be byvirtue of some natural science, or by incantation,that is, by virtue of words. For if the enchantersdo it by their own power independent, there is somepower that proceedeth not from God; which allmen deny: and if they do it by power given them,then is the work not from the immediate handof God, but natural, and consequently no miracle.

There be some texts of Scripture, that seem toattribute the power of working wonders, equal tosome of those immediate miracles wrought by Godhimself, to certain arts of magic and incantation.As for example, when we read that after the rod ofMoses being cast on the ground became a serpent,(Exod. vii. 11) the magicians of Egypt did the433like by their enchantments; and that after Moseshad turned the waters of the Egyptian streams,rivers, ponds, and pools of water into blood, (Exod.vii. 22) the magicians did so likewise with theirenchantments; and that after Moses had by thepower of God brought frogs upon the land, (Exod.viii. 7) the magicians also did so with their enchantments,and brought up frogs upon the landof Egypt; will not a man be apt to attribute miraclesto enchantments; that is to say, to the efficacyof the sound of words; and think the samevery well proved out of this, and other such places?And yet there is no place of Scripture, that tellethus what an enchantment is. If therefore enchantmentbe not, as many think it, a working of strangeeffects by spells and words; but imposture and delusion,wrought by ordinary means; and so far fromsupernatural, as the impostors need not the study somuch as of natural causes, but the ordinary ignorance,stupidity, and superstition of mankind, to dothem; those texts that seem to countenance thepower of magic, witchcraft, and enchantment, mustneeds have another sense, than at first sight theyseem to bear.

For it is evident enough, that words have noeffect, but on those that understand them; andthen they have no other, but to signify the intentionsor passions of them that speak; and therebyproduce hope, fear, or other passions or conceptionsin the hearer. Therefore when a rod seemetha serpent, or the waters blood, or any other miracleseemeth done by enchantment; if it be not to theedification of God’s people, not the rod, nor thewater, nor any other thing is enchanted; that is to434say, wrought upon by the words, but the spectator.So that all the miracle consisteth in this, that theenchanter has deceived a man; which is no miracle,but a very easy matter to do.

That men are apt to be deceived by false miracles.

For such is the ignorance and aptitude to errorgenerally of all men, but especially of them thathave not much knowledge of natural causes, andof the nature and interests of men; as by innumerableand easy tricks to be abused. What opinionof miraculous power, before it was known therewas a science of the course of the stars, might aman have gained, that should have told the people,this hour or day the sun should be darkened? Ajuggler by the handling of his goblets and othertrinkets, if it were not now ordinarily practised,would be thought to do his wonders by the powerat least of the devil. A man that hath practised tospeak by drawing in of his breath, (which kind ofmen in ancient time were called ventriloqui), andso make the weakness of his voice seem to proceed,not from the weak impulsion of the organs ofspeech, but from distance of place, is able to makevery many men believe it is a voice from Heaven,whatsoever he please to tell them. And for acrafty man, that hath enquired into the secrets, andfamiliar confessions that one man ordinarily makethto another of his actions and adventures past, to tellthem him again is no hard matter; and yet therebe many, that by such means as that obtain thereputation of being conjurers. But it is too long abusiness, to reckon up the several sorts of thosem*n, which the Greeks called θαυματουργοι, thatis to say, workers of things wonderful: and yetthese do all they do, by their own single dexterity.435But if we look upon the impostures wrought byconfederacy, there is nothing how impossible soeverto be done, that is impossible to be believed.For two men conspiring, one to seem lame, theother to cure him with a charm, will deceive many:but many conspiring, one to seem lame, another soto cure him, and all the rest to bear witness, willdeceive many more.

Cautions against the imposture of miracles.

In this aptitude of mankind, to give too hasty beliefto pretended miracles, there can be no better,nor I think any other caution, than that which Godhath prescribed, first by Moses, as I have said beforein the precedent chapter, in the beginning ofthe xiiith and end of the xviiith of Deuteronomy;that we take not any for prophets, that teach anyother religion, than that which God’s lieutenant,which at that time was Moses, hath established;nor any, though he teach the same religion, whoseprediction we do not see come to pass. Mosestherefore in his time, and Aaron and his successorsin their times, and the sovereign governor ofGod’s people, next under God himself, that is tosay, the head of the Church, in all times, are to beconsulted, what doctrine he hath established, beforewe give credit to a pretended miracle or prophet.And when that is done, the thing they pretend tobe a miracle, we must both see it done, and use allmeans possible to consider, whether it be reallydone; and not only so, but whether it be such, asno man can do the like by his natural power, butthat it requires the immediate hand of God. Andin this also we must have recourse to God’s lieutenant,to whom in all doubtful cases, we have submittedour private judgments. For example; if a436man pretend, after certain words spoken over apiece of bread, that presently God hath made itnot bread, but a god, or a man, or both, and neverthelessit looketh still as like bread as ever it did;there is no reason for any man to think it reallydone, nor consequently to fear him, till he enquireof God, by his vicar or lieutenant, whether it bedone, or not. If he say, not, then followeth thatwhich Moses saith (Deut. xviii. 22) he hath spokenit presumptuously, thou shalt not fear him. If hesay, it is done, then he is not to contradict it. Soalso if we see not, but only hear tell of a miracle,we are to consult the lawful Church; that is tosay, the lawful head thereof, how far we are togive credit to the relators of it. And this ischiefly the case of men, that in these days live underChristian sovereigns. For in these times, Ido not know one man, that ever saw any such wonderouswork, done by the charm, or at the word,or prayer of a man, that a man endued but with amediocrity of reason would think supernatural: andthe question is no more, whether what we see done,be a miracle; whether the miracle we hear, orread of, were a real work, and not the act of atongue, or pen; but in plain terms, whether thereport be true, or a lie. In which question we arenot every one, to make our own private reason,or conscience, but the public reason, that is, thereason of God’s supreme lieutenant, judge; andindeed we have made him judge already, if we havegiven him a sovereign power, to do all that is necessaryfor our peace and defence. A private manhas always the liberty, because thought is free, tobelieve or not believe in his heart those acts that437have been given out for miracles, according as heshall see what benefit can accrue by men’s belief,to those that pretend or countenance them, andthereby conjecture whether they be miracles orlies. But when it comes to confession of that faith,the private reason must submit to the public; thatis to say, to God’s lieutenant. But who is thislieutenant of God, and head of the Church, shall beconsidered in its proper place hereafter.



The maintenance of civil society depending onjustice, and justice on the power of life and death,and other less rewards and punishments, residingin them that have the sovereignty of the commonwealth;it is impossible a commonwealth shouldstand, where any other than the sovereign hatha power of giving greater rewards than life, and ofinflicting greater punishments than death. Nowseeing eternal life is a greater reward than the lifepresent; and eternal torment a greater punishmentthan the death of nature; it is a thing worthyto be well considered of all men that desire, byobeying authority, to avoid the calamities of confusionand civil war, what is meant in Holy Scripture,by life eternal, and torment eternal; andfor what offences, and against whom committed,men are to be eternally tormented; and for whatactions they are to obtain eternal life.

The place of Adam’s eternity, if he had not sinned, had been the terrestrial Paradise.

438And first we find that Adam was created in sucha condition of life, as had he not broken the commandmentof God, he had enjoyed it in the paradiseof Eden everlastingly. For there was the tree oflife, whereof he was so long allowed to eat, as heshould forbear to eat of the tree of knowledge ofgood and evil; which was not allowed him. Andtherefore as soon as he had eaten of it, God thrusthim out of Paradise, (Gen. iii. 22) lest he should putforth his hand, and take also of the tree of life andlive for ever. By which it seemeth to me, (with submissionnevertheless both in this, and in all questionswhereof the determination dependeth on the Scriptures,to the interpretation of the Bible authorizedby the commonwealth, whose subject I am), thatAdam, if he had not sinned, had had an eternal life onearth, and that mortality entered upon himself andhis posterity by his first sin. Not that actual deaththen entered; for Adam then could never havehad children; whereas he lived long after, and sawa numerous posterity ere he died. But where it issaid, (Gen. ii. 17) In the day that thou eatest thereof,thou shalt surely die, it must needs be meant ofhis mortality, and certitude of death. Seeing theneternal life was lost by Adam’s forfeiture in committingsin, he that should cancel that forfeiture,was to recover thereby that life again. Now JesusChrist hath satisfied for the sins of all that believein him; and therefore recovered to all believers,that eternal life which was lost by the sin of Adam.And in this sense it is that the comparison of St.Paul holdeth, (Rom. v. 18, 19) As by the offenceof one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation,even so by the righteousness of one, the439free gift came upon all men to justification oflife; which is again (1 Cor. xv. 21, 22) more perspicuouslydelivered in these words, For since byman came death, by man came also the resurrectionof the dead. For as in Adam all die, even soin Christ shall all be made alive.

Texts concerning the place of life eternal, for believers.

Concerning the place wherein men shall enjoythat eternal life which Christ hath obtained forthem, the texts next before alleged seem to makeit on earth. For if as in Adam all die, that is, haveforfeited paradise and eternal life on earth, even soin Christ all shall be made alive; then all men shallbe made to live on earth; for else the comparisonwere not proper. Hereunto seemeth to agreethat of the psalmist (Psalm. cxxxiii. 3) uponZion God commanded the blessing, even life forevermore: for Zion is in Jerusalem upon earth: asalso that of St. John (Rev. ii. 7) To him thatovercometh I will give to eat of the tree of life,which is in the midst of the paradise of God.This was the tree of Adam’s eternal life; but hislife was to have been on earth. The same seemethto be confirmed again by St. John (Rev. xxi. 2),where he saith, I John saw the holy city, newJerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven,prepared as a bride adorned for her husband:and again (verse 10) to the same effect: as if heshould say, the new Jerusalem, the paradise of God,at the coming again of Christ, should come downto God’s people from heaven, and not they go upto it from earth. And this differs nothing fromthat, which the two men in white clothing, that isthe two angels, said to the apostles that were lookingupon Christ ascending (Acts i. 11) This same440Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shallso come, as you have seen him go up into heaven.Which soundeth as if they had said he shouldcome down to govern them under his Father eternallyhere, and not take them up to govern themin heaven; and is conformable to the restorationof the kingdom of God instituted under Moses,which was a political government of the Jews onearth. Again, that saying of our Saviour (Matth.xxii. 30), that in the resurrection they neithermarry, nor are given in marriage, but are as theangels of God in heaven, is a description of aneternal life, resembling that which we lost in Adamin the point of marriage. For seeing Adam andEve, if they had not sinned, had lived on eartheternally in their individual persons; it is manifest,they should not continually have procreatedtheir kind; for if immortals should have generatedas mankind doth now, the earth in a small timewould not have been able to afford them place tostand on. The Jews that asked our Saviour thequestion, whose wife the woman that had marriedmany brothers should be in the resurrection, knewnot what were the consequences of life eternal:and therefore our Saviour puts them in mind ofthis consequence of immortality; that there shallbe no generation, and consequently no marriage,no more than there is marriage or generationamong the angels. The comparison between thateternal life which Adam lost, and our Saviour byhis victory over death hath recovered, holdethalso in this; that as Adam lost eternal life byhis sin, and yet lived after it for a time, so thefaithful Christian hath recovered eternal life by441Christ’s passion, though he die a natural death,and remain dead for a time, namely, till the resurrection.For as death is reckoned from thecondemnation of Adam, not from the execution;so life is reckoned from the absolution, not fromthe resurrection of them that are elected in Christ.

Ascension into heaven.

That the place wherein men are to live eternally,after the resurrection, is the heavens, (meaning byheaven, those parts of the world, which are themost remote from earth, as where the stars are, orabove the stars, in another higher heaven, calledcœlum empyreum, whereof there is no mention inScripture, nor ground in reason), is not easily to bedrawn from any text that I can find. By the Kingdomof Heaven, is meant the kingdom of the Kingthat dwelleth in heaven; and his kingdom was thepeople of Israel, whom he ruled by the prophets,his lieutenants; first Moses, and after him Eleazar,and the sovereign priests, till in the days of Samuelthey rebelled, and would have a mortal man fortheir king, after the manner of other nations. Andwhen our Saviour Christ, by the preaching of hisministers, shall have persuaded the Jews to return,and called the Gentiles to his obedience, then shallthere be a new kingdom of heaven; because ourking shall then be God, whose throne is heaven:without any necessity evident in the Scripture,that man shall ascend to his happiness any higherthan God’s footstool the earth. On the contrary,we find written (John iii. 13) that no man hathascended into heaven, but he that came down fromheaven, even the son of man, that is in heaven.Where I observe by the way, that these words arenot, as those which go immediately before, the442words of our Saviour, but of St. John himself; forChrist was then not in heaven, but upon the earth.The like is said of David (Acts ii. 34) whereSt. Peter, to prove the ascension of Christ, using thewords of the Psalmist (Psalm xvi. 10), Thou wilt notleave my soul in hell, nor suffer thine holy one tosee corruption, saith, they were spoken, not ofDavid, but of Christ; and to prove it, addeth thisreason, For David is not ascended into heaven.But to this a man may easily answer, and say, thatthough their bodies were not to ascend till thegeneral day of judgment, yet their souls were inheaven as soon as they were departed from theirbodies; which also seemeth to be confirmed by thewords of our Saviour (Luke xx. 37, 38), who provingthe resurrection out of the words of Moses,saith thus, That the dead are raised, even Mosesshewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord, theGod of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and theGod of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead,but of the living; for they all live to him. Butif these words be to be understood only of the immortalityof the soul, they prove not at all thatwhich our Saviour intended to prove, which wasthe resurrection of the body, that is to say, the immortalityof the man. Therefore our Saviourmeaneth, that those patriarchs were immortal; notby a property consequent to the essence and natureof mankind; but by the will of God, that waspleased of his mere grace, to bestow eternal lifeupon the faithful. And though at that time thepatriarchs and many other faithful men were dead,yet as it is in the text, they lived to God; that is,they were written in the Book of Life with them443that were absolved of their sins, and ordained to lifeeternal at the resurrection. That the soul of man isin its own nature eternal, and a living creature independenton the body, or that any mere man is immortal,otherwise than by the resurrection in the lastday, except Enoch and Elias, is a doctrine not apparentin Scripture. The whole of the xivth chapterof Job, which is the speech not of his friends, butof himself, is a complaint of this mortality of nature;and yet no contradiction of the immortality at theresurrection. There is hope of a tree, saith he,(verse 7) if it be cast down. Though the rootthereof wax old, and the stock thereof die in theground, yet when it scenteth the water it will bud,and bring forth boughs like a plant. But man diethand wasteth away, yea, man giveth up the ghost,and where is he? And (verse 12) Man liethdown, and riseth not, till the heavens be no more.But when is it, that the heavens shall be no more?St. Peter tells us, that it is at the general resurrection.For in his 2nd Epistle, chap. iii. verse 7,he saith, that the heavens and the earth that arenow, are reserved unto fire against the day ofjudgment, and perdition of ungodly men, and(v. 12) looking for, and hasting to the coming ofGod, wherein the heavens shall be on fire andshall be dissolved, and the elements shall meltwith fervent heat. Nevertheless, we accordingto the promise look for new heavens, and a newearth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Thereforewhere Job saith, man riseth not till the heavensbe no more; it is all one, as if he had said,the immortal life, (and soul and life in the Scripturedo usually signify the same thing,) beginneth not in444man, till the resurrection and day of judgment;and hath for cause, not his specifical nature andgeneration, but the promise. For St. Peter says,not We look for new heavens and a new earth,from nature, but from promise.

Lastly, seeing it hath been already proved out ofdivers evident places of Scripture, in chap. xxxv.of this book, that the kingdom of God is a civilcommonwealth, where God himself is sovereign, byvirtue first of the old, and since of the new covenant,wherein he reigneth by his vicar or lieutenant;the same places do therefore also prove, that afterthe coming again of our Saviour in his majestyand glory, to reign actually and eternally, thekingdom of God is to be on earth. But becausethis doctrine, though proved out of places of Scripturenot few nor obscure, will appear to most men anovelty, I do but propound it; maintaining nothingin this, or any other paradox of religion; but attendingthe end of that dispute of the sword, concerningthe authority, not yet amongst my countrymendecided, by which all sorts of doctrine are to be approvedor rejected; and whose commands, both inspeech and writing, whatsoever be the opinions ofprivate men, must by all men, that mean to be protectedby their laws, be obeyed. For the points ofdoctrine concerning the kingdom of God, have sogreat influence on the kingdom of man, as not tobe determined, but by them, that under God havethe sovereign power.

The place after judgment of those who were never in the kingdom of God, or having been in, are cast out.

As the kingdom of God, and eternal life, so alsoGod’s enemies, and their torments after judgment,appear by the Scripture to have their place on earth.The name of the place, where all men remain till445the resurrection, that were either buried, or swallowedup of the earth, is usually called in Scripture,by words that signify under ground; which theLatins read generally infernus, and inferi, and theGreek ἃδης, that is to say, a place where men cannotsee; and containeth as well the grave, as anyany other deeper place. But for the place of thedamned after the resurrection, it is not determined,neither in the Old nor New Testament, by any noteof situation; but only by the company: as that itshall be, where such wicked men were, as God in formertimes, in extraordinary and miraculous manner,had destroyed from off the face of the earth: |Tartarus.| as forexample, that they are in Inferno, in Tartarus, orin the bottomless pit; because Corah, Dathan, andAbiron, were swallowed up alive into the earth.Not that the writers of the Scripture would haveus believe, there could be in the globe of the earth,which is not only finite, but also, compared to theheight of the stars, of no considerable magnitude,a pit without a bottom, that is, a hole of infinitedepth, such as the Greeks in their demonology, (thatis to say, in their doctrine concerning demons), andafter them the Romans, called Tartarus; of whichVirgil (Æn. vi. 578, 579) says,

Bis patet in præceps tantum, tenditque sub umbras,

Quantus ad ætherium cœli suspectus Olympum:

for that is a thing the proportion of earth to heavencannot bear: but that we should believe them there,indefinitely, where those men are, on whom Godinflicted that exemplary punishment.

The congregation of giants.

Again, because those mighty men of the earth, thatlived in the time of Noah, before the flood, (which446the Greeks call heroes, and the Scripture giants,and both say were begotten by copulation of thechildren of God with the children of men,) were fortheir wicked life destroyed by the general deluge;the place of the damned, is therefore also sometimesmarked out, by the company of those deceasedgiants; as Proverbs xxi. 16, The man thatwandereth out of the way of understanding, shallremain in the congregation of the giants; andJob xxvi. 5, Behold the giants groan under water,and they that dwell with them. Here the placeof the damned is under the water. And Isaiahxiv. 9, Hell is troubled how to meet thee (that is,the King of Babylon) and will displace the giantsfor thee: and here again the place of the damned,if the sense be literal, is to be under water. |Lake of fire.| Thirdly,because the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, by theextraordinary wrath of God, were consumed fortheir wickedness with fire and brimstone, and togetherwith them the country about made a stinkingbituminous lake: the place of the damned is sometimesexpressed by fire, and a fiery lake, as in theApocalypse, xxi. 8, But the timorous, incredulous,and abominable, and murderers, and whor*mongers,and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars,shall have their part in the lake that burneth withfire and brimstone; which is the second death.So that it is manifest, that hell fire, which is hereexpressed by metaphor from the real fire of Sodom,signifieth not any certain kind or place of torment;but is to be taken indefinitely, for destruction, as itis in Rev. xx. 14, where it is said, that death andhell were cast into the lake of fire; that is to say,were abolished and destroyed; as if after the day447of judgment, there shall be no more dying, nor nomore going into hell; that is, no more going toHades, (from which word perhaps our word Hell isderived,) which is the same with no more dying.

Utter darkness.

Fourthly, from the plague of darkness inflictedon the Egyptians, of which it is written (Exod.x. 23) They saw not one another, neither roseany man from his place for three days; but allthe children of Israel had light in their dwellings;the place of the wicked after judgment, is calledutter darkness, or, as it is in the original, darknesswithout. And so it is expressed (Matth. xxii.13) where the king commanded his servants, tobind hand and foot the man that had not onhis wedding garment, and to cast him out, εἰς τὸσκοτος τὸ ἐξώτερον, into external darkness, or darknesswithout: which though translated utter darkness,does not signify how great, but where that darknessis to be; namely, without the habitation ofGod’s elect.

Gehenna, and Tophet.

Lastly, whereas there was a place near Jerusalem,called the Valley of the Children of Hinnon;in a part whereof, called Tophet, the Jews had committedmost grievous idolatry, sacrificing theirchildren to the idol Moloch; and wherein also Godhad afflicted his enemies with most grievous punishments;and wherein Josiah had burned the priestsof Moloch upon their own altars, as appeareth atlarge in the 2nd of Kings, chap. xxiii.: the placeserved afterwards to receive the filth and garbagewhich was carried thither out of the city; andthere used to be fires made from time to time, topurify the air, and take away the stench of carrion.From this abominable place, the Jews usedever after to call the place of the damned, by the448name of Gehenna, or Valley of Hinnon. And thisGehenna, is that word which is usually now translatedHELL; and from the fires from time to timethere burning, we have the notion of everlastingand unquenchable fire.

Of the literal sense of the Scripture concerning hell.

Seeing now there is none, that so interpretsthe Scripture, as that after the day of judgment,the wicked are all eternally to be punished inthe Valley of Hinnon; or that they shall so riseagain, as to be ever after under ground or underwater; or that after the resurrection, they shall nomore see one another, nor stir from one place toanother: it followeth, methinks, very necessarily,that that which is thus said concerning hell fire, isspoken metaphorically; and that therefore there isa proper sense to be enquired after, (for of all metaphorsthere is some real ground, that may be expressedin proper words,) both of the place of hell,and the nature of hellish torments, and tormenters.

Satan, Devil, not proper names, but appellatives.

And first for the tormenters, we have their natureand properties, exactly and properly deliveredby the names of, the Enemy, or Satan; the Accuser,or Diabolus; the Destroyer, or Abaddon.Which significant names, Satan, Devil, Abaddon,set not forth to us any individual person, asproper names use to do; but only an office, orquality; and are therefore appellatives; whichought not to have been left untranslated, as theyare in the Latin and modern Bibles; becausethereby they seem to be proper names of demons;and men are the more easily seduced to believe thedoctrine of devils; which at that time was the religionof the Gentiles, and contrary to that of Mosesand of Christ.

449And because by the Enemy, the Accuser, andDestroyer, is meant the enemy of them that shallbe in the kingdom of God; therefore if the kingdomof God after the resurrection, be upon theearth, as in the former chapter I have shown byScripture it seems to be, the Enemy and his kingdommust be on earth also. For so also was it, inthe time before the Jews had deposed God. ForGod’s kingdom was in Palestine; and the nationsround about, were the kingdoms of the Enemy;and consequently by Satan, is meant any earthlyenemy of the Church.

Torments of hell.

The torments of hell, are expressed sometimes,by weeping, and gnashing of teeth, as Matth. viii.12. Sometimes by the worm of conscience; asIsaiah lxvi. 24, and Mark ix. 44, 46, 48: sometimes,by fire, as in the place now quoted, where theworm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, andmany places beside: sometimes by shame and contempt,as Dan. xii. 2, And many of them that sleepin the dust of the earth, shall awake; some toeverlasting life; and some to shame, and everlastingcontempt. All which places design metaphoricallya grief and discontent of mind, fromthe sight of that eternal felicity in others, whichthey themselves through their own incredulityand disobedience have lost. And because suchfelicity in others, is not sensible but by comparisonwith their own actual miseries; it followeththat they are to suffer such bodily pains, and calamities,as are incident to those, who not only liveunder evil and cruel governors, but have also forenemy the eternal king of the saints, God Almighty.And amongst these bodily pains, is to be reckoned450also to every one of the wicked a second death.For though the Scripture be clear for an universalresurrection; yet we do not read, that to any ofthe reprobate is promised an eternal life. Forwhereas St. Paul (1 Cor. xv. 42, 43) to the questionconcerning what bodies men shall rise with again,saith, that The body is sown in corruption, andis raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour,it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it israised in power. Glory and power cannot be appliedto the bodies of the wicked: nor can thename of second death be applied to those that cannever die but once: and although in metaphoricalspeech, a calamitous life everlasting, may becalled an everlasting death, yet it cannot well beunderstood of a second death.

The fire prepared for the wicked, is an everlastingfire: that is to say, the estate wherein no mancan be without torture, both of body and mind,after the resurrection, shall endure for ever; andin that sense the fire shall be unquenchable, andthe torments everlasting: but it cannot thencebe inferred, that he who shall be cast into thatfire, or be tormented with those torments, shallendure and resist them so as to be eternallyburnt, and tortured, and yet never be destroyed,nor die. And though there be many placesthat affirm everlasting fire and torments, intowhich men may be cast successively one after anotheras long as the world lasts, yet I find nonethat affirm there shall be an eternal life therein ofany individual person; but to the contrary, aneverlasting death, which is the second death: (Rev.xx. 13, 14) For after death and the grave shall451have delivered up the dead which were in them,and every man be judged according to his works;death and the grave shall also be cast into thelake of fire. This is the second death. Wherebyit is evident that there is to be a second death ofevery one that shall be condemned at the day ofjudgment, after which he shall die no more.

The joys of life eternal, and salvation, the same thing.

Salvation from sin, and from misery, all one.

The joys of life eternal, are in Scripture comprehendedall under the name of SALVATION, or beingsaved. To be saved, is to be secured, either respectively,against special evils, or absolutely,against all evils, comprehending want, sickness,and death itself. And because man was createdin a condition immortal, not subject to corruption,and consequently to nothing that tendeth to thedissolution of his nature; and fell from that happinessby the sin of Adam; it followeth, that to besaved from sin, is to be saved from all the evil andcalamities that sin hath brought upon us. Andtherefore in the holy Scripture, remission of sin,and salvation from death and misery, is the samething, as it appears by the words of our Saviour,who having cured a man sick of the palsy, bysaying, (Matth. ix. 2) Son be of good cheer, thysins be forgiven thee; and knowing that theScribes took for blasphemy, that a man should pretendto forgive sins, asked them (verse 5) whetherit were easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee,or, Arise and walk; signifying thereby, that itwas all one, as to the saving of the sick, to say,Thy sins are forgiven, and Arise and walk; andthat he used that form of speech, only to shew hehad power to forgive sins. And it is besides evidentin reason, that since death and misery were452the punishments of sin, the discharge of sin mustalso be a discharge of death and misery; that is tosay, salvation absolute, such as the faithful are toenjoy after the day of judgment, by the power andfavour of Jesus Christ, who for that cause is calledour Saviour.

Concerning particular salvations, such as are understood,(1 Sam. xiv. 39) as the Lord liveth thatsaveth Israel, that is, from their temporary enemies,and (2 Sam. xxii. 3) Thou art my Saviour,thou savest me from violence; and, (2 Kings xiii.5) God gave the Israelites a Saviour, and sothey were delivered from the hand of the Assyrians,and the like, I need say nothing; therebeing neither difficulty, nor interest to corruptthe interpretation of texts of that kind.

The place of eternal salvation.

But concerning the general salvation, because itmust be in the kingdom of heaven, there is greatdifficulty concerning the place. On one side, bykingdom, which is an estate ordained by men fortheir perpetual security against enemies and want,it seemeth that this salvation should be on earth.For by salvation is set forth unto us, a gloriousreign of our king, by conquest; not a safety byescape: and therefore there where we look forsalvation, we must look also for triumph; and beforetriumph, for victory; and before victory, forbattle; which cannot well be supposed, shall bein heaven. But how good soever this reason maybe, I will not trust to it, without very evidentplaces of Scripture. The state of salvation isdescribed at large, Isaiah xxxiii. 20, 21, 22,23, 24:

Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities;453thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation,a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; notone of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed,neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.

But there the glorious Lord will be unto us aplace of broad rivers and streams; wherein shallgo no galley with oars, neither shall gallant shippass thereby.

For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is ourlaw-giver, the Lord is our king, he will save us.

Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not wellstrengthen their mast; they could not spread thesail: then is the prey of a great spoil divided;the lame take the prey:

And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick;the people that shall dwell therein shall be forgiventheir iniquity.

In which words we have the place from whencesalvation is to proceed, Jerusalem, a quiet habitation;the eternity of it, a tabernacle that shall notbe taken down, &c; the Saviour of it, the Lord,their judge, their law-giver, their king, he willsave us; the salvation, the Lord shall be to themas a broad moat of swift waters, &c; the conditionof their enemies, their tacklings are loose, theirmasts weak, the lame shall take the spoil of them;the condition of the saved, the inhabitant shallnot say, I am sick: and lastly, all this is comprehendedin forgiveness of sin, the people thatdwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.By which it is evident, that salvation shall be onearth, then, when God shall reign, at the comingagain of Christ, in Jerusalem; and from Jerusalemshall proceed the salvation of the Gentiles that shall454be received into God’s kingdom: as is also more expresslydeclared by the same prophet, (Isaiah lxvi.20, 21), And they (that is the Gentiles who had anyJew in bondage) shall bring all your brethren,for an offering to the Lord, out of all nations,upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters,and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to myholy mountain, Jerusalem, saith the Lord, asthe children of Israel bring an offering in aclean vessel into the house of the Lord. AndI will also take of them for priests and forLevites, saith the Lord. Whereby it is manifest,that the chief seat of God’s kingdom, which is theplace from whence the salvation of us that wereGentiles shall proceed, shall be Jerusalem: andthe same is also confirmed by our Saviour in hisdiscourse with the woman of Samaria, concerningthe place of God’s worship; to whom he saith(John iv. 22) that the Samaritans worshipped theyknew not what, but the Jews worshipped what theyknew, for salvation is of the Jews (ex Judæis,that is, begins at the Jews): as if he should say, youworship God, but know not by whom he will saveyou, as we do, that know it shall be by one of thetribe of Judah; a Jew, not a Samaritan. And thereforealso the woman not impertinently answeredhim again, We know the Messias shall come. Sothat which our Saviour saith, Salvation is from theJews, is the same that Paul says (Rom. i. 16, 17)The Gospel is the power of God to salvation toevery one that believeth: to the Jew first, andalso to the Greek. For therein is the righteousnessof God revealed from faith to faith; fromthe faith of the Jew to the faith of the Gentile. In455the like sense the prophet Joel describing the dayof Judgment, (chap. ii. 30, 31) that God would shewwonders in heaven, and in earth, blood, and fire,and pillars of smoke; the sun shall be turnedto darkness, and the moon into blood, before thegreat and terrible day of the Lord come: he addeth,(verse 32) and it shall come to pass, that whosoevershall call upon the name of the Lord shallbe saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalemshall be salvation. And Obadiah, (verse 17) saiththe same, Upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance;and there shall be holiness, and the house of Jacobshall possess their possessions, that is the possessionsof the heathen, which possessions, he expressethmore particularly in the following verses,by the mount of Esau, the Land of the Philistines,the fields of Ephraim, of Samaria, Gilead,and the cities of the south, and concludes withthese words, the kingdom shall be the Lord’s.All these places are for salvation, and the kingdomof God, after the day of judgment, upon earth.On the other side, I have not found any text thatcan probably be drawn, to prove any ascension ofthe saints into heaven; that is to say, into anycœlum empyreum, or other ætherial region; savingthat it is called the kingdom of Heaven: whichname it may have, because God, that was king ofthe Jews, governed them by his commands, sent toMoses by angels from heaven; and after the revolt,sent his Son from heaven to reduce them totheir obedience; and shall send him thence againto rule both them, and all other faithful men, fromthe day of judgment, everlastingly: or from that,that the throne of this our great king is in heaven;456whereas the earth is but his footstool. But thatthe subjects of God should have any place as highas his throne, or higher than his footstool, it seemethnot suitable to the dignity of a king, nor can Ifind any evident text for it in Holy Scripture.

The world to come.

From this that hath been said of the kingdom ofGod, and of salvation, it is not hard to interpretwhat is meant by the WORLD TO COME. Thereare three worlds mentioned in Scripture, the oldworld, the present world, and the world to come.Of the first, St. Peter speaks, (2 Pet. ii. 5) If Godspared not the old world, but saved Noah theeighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringingthe flood upon the world of the ungodly, &c.So the first world, was from Adam to the generalflood. Of the present world, our Saviour speaks(John xviii. 36) My kingdom is not of this world.For he came only to teach men the way of salvation,and to renew the kingdom of his Father, by hisdoctrine. Of the world to come, St. Peter speaks(2 Pet. iii. 13) Nevertheless we according to hispromise look for new heavens, and a new earth.This is that WORLD, wherein Christ coming downfrom heaven in the clouds, with great power, andglory, shall send his angels, and shall gather togetherhis elect, from the four winds, and from theuttermost parts of the earth, and thenceforth reignover them, under his Father, everlastingly.


Salvation of a sinner, supposeth a precedent REDEMPTION;for he that is once guilty of sin, is obnoxiousto the penalty of the same; and must pay,or some other for him, such ransom as he that isoffended, and has him in his power, shall require.And seeing the person offended, is Almighty God,457in whose power are all things; such ransom is tobe paid before salvation can be acquired, as Godhath been pleased to require. By this ransom, isnot intended a satisfaction for sin, equivalent tothe offence; which no sinner for himself, nor righteousman can ever be able to make for another:the damage a man does to another, he may makeamends for by restitution or recompense; but sincannot be taken away by recompense; for thatwere to make the liberty to sin, a thing vendible.But sins may be pardoned to the repentant, eithergratis, or upon such penalty as God is pleased toaccept. That which God usually accepted in theOld Testament, was some sacrifice or oblation. Toforgive sin is not an act of injustice, though thepunishment have been threatened. Even amongstmen, though the promise of good, bind the promiser;yet threats, that is to say, promises of evil, bindthem not; much less shall they bind God, whois infinitely more merciful than men. Our SaviourChrist therefore to redeem us, did not in that sensesatisfy for the sins of men, as that his death, of itsown virtue, could make it unjust in God to punishsinners with eternal death; but did make that sacrificeand oblation of himself, at his first coming,which God was pleased to require for the salvation,at his second coming, of such as in the meantimeshould repent, and believe in him. And thoughthis act of our redemption, be not always in Scripturecalled a sacrifice, and oblation, but sometimesa price; yet by price we are not to understandanything, by the value whereof, he could claimright to a pardon for us, from his offended Father;but that price which God the Father was pleasedin mercy to demand.




Church the Lord’s house.

The word Church, (Ecclesia) signifieth in thebooks of Holy Scripture divers things. Sometimes,though not often, it is taken for God’s house,that is to say, for a temple, wherein Christiansassembled to perform holy duties, publicly, as(1 Cor. xiv. 34) Let your women keep silence inthe Churches: but this is metaphorically put forthe congregation there assembled; and hath beensince used for the edifice itself, to distinguish betweenthe temples of Christians and idolaters. TheTemple of Jerusalem was God’s house, and thehouse of prayer; and so is any edifice dedicated byChristians to the worship of Christ, Christ’s house:and therefore the Greek fathers call it Κυριακὴ, theLord’s house: and thence in our language it cameto be called kyrke, and church.

Ecclesia, properly what.

Church, when not taken for a house, signifieththe same that ecclesia signified in the Grecian commonwealth,that is to say, a congregation, or anassembly of citizens, called forth to hear the magistratespeak unto them; and which in the commonwealthof Rome was called concio: as hethat spake was called ecclesiastes, and concionator.And when they were called forth by lawful authority,(Acts xix. 39) it was Ecclesia legitima, alawful Church, ἔννομος ἐκκλησία. But when theywere excited by tumultuous and seditious clamour,then it was a Confused Church, ἐκκλησία συγκεχυμένη.

It is taken also sometimes for the men that haveright to be of the congregation, though not actually459assembled, that is to say, for the whole multitudeof Christian men, how far soever they be dispersed:as (Acts viii. 3) where it is said, that Saul madehavoc of the Church: and in this sense is Christsaid to be the head of the Church. And sometimesfor a certain part of Christians, as (Col. iv. 15)Salute the Church that is in his house. Sometimesalso for the elect only; as (Eph. v. 27)A glorious Church, without spot, or wrinkle,holy, and without blemish; which is meant of theChurch triumphant, or Church to come. Sometimes,for a congregation assembled of professorsof Christianity, whether their profession be trueor counterfeit; as it is understood, (Matth. xviii. 17)where it is said, Tell it to the Church; and if heneglect to hear the Church, let him be to thee asa Gentile, or publican.

In what sense the church is one person.

Church defined.

And in this last sense only it is that the Churchcan be taken for one person; that is to say, that itcan be said to have power to will, to pronounce, tocommand, to be obeyed, to make laws, or to doany other action whatsoever. For without authorityfrom a lawful congregation, whatsoever act bedone in a concourse of people, it is the particularact of every one of those that were present, andgave their aid to the performance of it; and notthe act of them all in gross, as of one body;much less the act of them that were absent, orthat being present, were not willing it should bedone. According to this sense, I define a CHURCHto be, a company of men professing Christian religion,united in the person of one sovereign, atwhose command they ought to assemble, and withoutwhose authority they ought not to assemble.460And because in all commonwealths, that assembly,which is without warrant from the civil sovereign,is unlawful; that Church also, which is assembledin any commonwealth that hath forbidden them toassemble, is an unlawful assembly.

A Christian commonwealth and a church all one.

It followeth also, that there is on earth, no suchuniversal Church, as all Christians are bound toobey; because there is no power on earth, to whichall other commonwealths are subject. There areChristians, in the dominions of several princes andstates; but every one of them is subject to thatcommonwealth, whereof he is himself a member;and consequently, cannot be subject to the commandsof any other person. And therefore a Church,such a one as is capable to command, to judge,absolve, condemn, or do any other act, is the samething with a civil commonwealth, consisting ofChristian men; and is called a civil state, for thatthe subjects of it are men; and a Church, for thatthe subjects thereof are Christians. Temporal andspiritual government, are but two words broughtinto the world, to make men see double, and mistaketheir lawful sovereign. It is true, that thebodies of the faithful, after the resurrection, shallbe not only spiritual, but eternal; but in this lifethey are gross, and corruptible. There is thereforeno other government in this life, neither ofstate, nor religion, but temporal; nor teaching ofany doctrine, lawful to any subject, which the governorboth of the state, and of the religion forbiddethto be taught. And that governor must beone; or else there must needs follow faction andcivil war in the commonwealth, between the Churchand State; between spiritualists and temporalists;461between the sword of justice, and the shieldof faith: and, which is more, in every Christianman’s own breast, between the Christian, and theman. The doctors of the Church, are calledpastors; so also are civil sovereigns. But if pastorsbe not subordinate one to another, so as that theremay be one chief pastor, men will be taught contrarydoctrines; whereof both may be, and one mustbe false. Who that one chief pastor is, accordingto the law of nature, hath been already shown;namely, that it is the civil sovereign: and to whomthe Scripture hath assigned that office, we shallsee in the chapters following.



The sovereign right of Abraham.

The father of the faithful, and first in the kingdomof God by covenant, was Abraham. For with himwas the covenant first made; wherein he obligedhimself, and his seed after him, to acknowledge andobey the commands of God; not only such, as hecould take notice of, (as moral laws,) by the lightof nature; but also such, as God should in specialmanner deliver to him by dreams and visions. Foras to the moral law, they were already obliged, andneeded not have been contracted withal, by promiseof the land of Canaan. Nor was there anycontract, that could add to, or strengthen the obligation,by which both they, and all men else werebound naturally to obey God Almighty: and thereforethe covenant which Abraham made with God,462was to take for the commandment of God, thatwhich in the name of God was commanded him ina dream, or vision; and to deliver it to his family,and cause them to observe the same.

Abraham had the sole power of ordering the religion of his own people.

In this contract of God with Abraham, we mayobserve three points of important consequence inthe government of God’s people. First, that at themaking of this covenant, God spake only to Abraham;and therefore contracted not with any of hisfamily, or seed, otherwise than as their wills, whichmake the essence of all covenants, were before thecontract involved in the will of Abraham; who wastherefore supposed to have had a lawful power, tomake them perform all that he covenanted forthem. According whereunto (Gen. xviii. 18, 19)God saith, All the nations of the earth shall beblessed in him; for I know him that he will commandhis children and his household after him,and they shall keep the way of the Lord. Fromwhence may be concluded this first point, thatthey to whom God hath not spoken immediately,are to receive the positive commandments of God,from their sovereign; as the family and seed ofAbraham did from Abraham their father, and Lord,and civil sovereign. And consequently in everycommonwealth, they who have no supernatural revelationto the contrary, ought to obey the laws oftheir own sovereign, in the external acts and professionof religion. As for the inward thought,and belief of men, which human governors cantake no notice of, (for God only knoweth the heart),they are not voluntary, nor the effect of the laws,but of the unrevealed will and of the power ofGod; and consequently fall not under obligation.

No pretence of private spirit against the religion of Abraham.

463From whence proceedeth another point, that itwas not unlawful for Abraham, when any of hissubjects should pretend private vision or spirit, orother revelation from God, for the countenancingof any doctrine which Abraham should forbid, orwhen they followed or adhered to any such pretender,to punish them; and consequently that itis lawful now for the sovereign to punish any manthat shall oppose his private spirit against the laws:for he hath the same place in the commonwealth,that Abraham had in his own family.

Abraham sole judge and interpreter of what God spake.

There ariseth also from the same, a third point;that as none but Abraham in his family, so nonebut the sovereign in a Christian commonwealth,can take notice what is, or what is not the wordof God. For God spake only to Abraham; and itwas he only, that was able to know what God said,and to interpret the same to his family: and thereforealso, they that have the place of Abrahamin a commonwealth, are the only interpreters ofwhat God hath spoken.

The authority of Moses whereon grounded.

The same covenant was renewed with Isaac;and afterwards with Jacob; but afterwards nomore, till the Israelites were freed from the Egyptians,and arrived at the foot of Mount Sinai: andthen it was renewed by Moses, (as I have said before,chap. xxxv.) in such manner, as they becamefrom that time forward the peculiar kingdomof God; whose lieutenant was Moses, for his owntime: and the succession to that office was settledupon Aaron, and his heirs after him, to be to God aa sacerdotal kingdom for ever.

By this constitution, a kingdom is acquired toGod. But seeing Moses had no authority to govern464the Israelites, as a successor to the right ofAbraham, because he could not claim it by inheritance;it appeareth not as yet, that the peoplewere obliged to take him for God’s lieutenant,longer than they believed that God spake unto him.And therefore his authority, notwithstanding thecovenant they made with God, depended yet merelyupon the opinion they had of his sanctity, and ofthe reality of his conferences with God, and theverity of his miracles; which opinion coming tochange, they were no more obliged to take anythingfor the law of God, which he propounded tothem in God’s name. We are therefore to consider,what other ground there was, of their obligationto obey him. For it could not be the commandmentof God that could oblige them; because Godspake not to them immediately, but by the mediationof Moses himself: and our Saviour saith ofhimself, (John v. 31) If I bear witness of myself,my witness is not true; much less if Moses bearwitness of himself, especially in a claim of kinglypower over God’s people, ought his testimony to bereceived. His authority therefore, as the authorityof all other princes, must be grounded on the consentof the people, and their promise to obey him.And so it was: for the people (Exod. xx. 18, 19)when they saw the thunderings, and the lightenings,and the noise of the trumpets, and the mountainsmoking, removed, and stood afar off. Andthey said unto Moses, speak thou with us, and wewill hear, but let not God speak with us lest wedie. Here was their promise of obedience; andby this it was they obliged themselves to obeywhatsoever he should deliver unto them for thecommandment of God.

Moses was, under God, sovereign of the Jews all his own time, though Aaron had the priesthood.

465And notwithstanding the covenant constituteda sacerdotal kingdom, that is to say, a kingdomhereditary to Aaron; yet that is to be understoodof the succession after Moses should be dead. Forwhosoever ordereth and establisheth the policy, asfirst founder of a commonwealth, be it monarchy,aristocracy, or democracy, must needs have sovereignpower over the people all the while he isdoing of it. And that Moses had that power allhis own time, is evidently affirmed in the Scripture.First, in the text last before cited, because thepeople promised obedience, not to Aaron, but to him.Secondly, (Exod. xxiv. 1, 2) And God said untoMoses, Come up unto the Lord, thou and Aaron,Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the Elders ofIsrael. And Moses alone shall come near theLord, but they shall not come nigh, neither shallthe people go up with him. By which it is plain,that Moses, who was alone called up to God, (andnot Aaron, nor the other priests, nor the seventyelders, nor the people who were forbidden to comeup,) was alone he, that represented to the Israelitesthe person of God, that is to say, was their solesovereign under God. And though afterwards it besaid (verses 9, 10) Then went up Moses and Aaron,Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders ofIsrael, and they saw the God of Israel, and therewas under his feet, as it were a paved work of asapphire stone &c; yet this was not till after Moseshad been with God before, and had brought to thepeople the words which God had said to him. Heonly went for the business of the people; the others,as the nobles of his retinue, were admitted forhonour to that special grace, which was not allowed466to the people; which was, as in the verse after appeareth,to see God and live, God laid not hishand upon them, they saw God and did eat anddrink, that is, did live: but did not carry any commandmentfrom him to the people. Again, it iseverywhere said, the Lord spake unto Moses, asin all other occasions of government, so also in theordering of the ceremonies of religion, contained inchapters xxv. xxvi. xxvii. xxviii. xxix. xxx. and xxxi.of Exodus, and throughout Leviticus: to Aaronseldom. The calf that Aaron made, Moses threwinto the fire. Lastly, the question of the authorityof Aaron, by occasion of his and Miriam’s mutinyagainst Moses, was (Numb. xii.) judged by God himselffor Moses. So also in the question betweenMoses and the people, who had the right of governingthe people, when Corah, Dathan, and Abiram,and two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly,gathered themselves together (Numb. xvi. 3) againstMoses, and against Aaron, and said unto them,ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregationare holy, every one of them, and the Lordis amongst them, why lift you up yourselves abovethe congregation of the Lord? God caused theearth to swallow Corah, Dathan, and Abiram, withtheir wives and children, alive, and consumed thosetwo hundred and fifty princes with fire. Thereforeneither Aaron, nor the people, nor any aristocracyof the chief princes of the people, but Moses alonehad next under God the sovereignty over the Israelites:and that not only in causes of civil policy,but also of religion: for Moses only spake withGod, and therefore only could tell the people whatit was that God required at their hands. No man467upon pain of death might be so presumptuous as toapproach the mountain where God talked withMoses. Thou shalt set bounds (saith the Lord,Exod. xix. 12) to the people round about, andsay, Take heed to yourselves that you go not upinto the Mount, or touch the border of it; whosoevertoucheth the Mount shall surely be put todeath. And again (verse 21) Go down, chargethe people, lest they break through unto the Lordto gaze. Out of which we may conclude, that whosoeverin a Christian commonwealth holdeth theplace of Moses, is the sole messenger of God, andinterpreter of his commandments. And accordinghereunto, no man ought in the interpretation of theScripture to proceed further than the bounds whichare set by their several sovereigns. For the Scriptures,since God now speaketh in them, are theMount Sinai; the bounds whereof are the lawsof them that represent God’s person on earth. Tolook upon them, and therein to behold the wondrousworks of God, and learn to fear him, isallowed; but to interpret them, that is, to pry intowhat God saith to him whom he appointeth togovern under him, and make themselves judgeswhether he govern as God commandeth him, or not,is to transgress the bounds God hath set us, and togaze upon God irreverently.

All spirits were subordinate to the spirit of Moses.

There was no prophet in the time of Moses, norpretender to the spirit of God, but such as Moseshad approved and authorized. For there were inhis time but seventy men, that are said to prophecyby the spirit of God, and these were all of Moseshis election; concerning whom God said to Moses,(Numb. xi. 16) Gather to me seventy of the elders468of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders ofthe people. To these God imparted his spirit; butit was not a different spirit from that of Moses;for it is said (verse 25) God came down in a cloud,and took of the spirit that was upon Moses, andgave it to the seventy elders. But as I have shownbefore (chap. XXXVI.) by spirit, is understood themind; so that the sense of the place is no otherthan this, that God endued them with a mind conformableand subordinate to that of Moses, thatthey might prophecy, that is to say, speak to thepeople in God’s name, in such manner, as to setforward, as ministers of Moses and by his authority,such doctrine as was agreeable to Moses hisdoctrine. For they were but ministers; and whentwo of them prophecied in the camp, it was thoughta new and unlawful thing; and as it is in verses27 and 28 of the same chapter, they were accusedof it, and Joshua advised Moses to forbid them, asnot knowing that it was by Moses his spirit thatthey prophecied. By which it is manifest, that nosubject ought to pretend to prophecy, or to thespirit, in opposition to the doctrine established byhim whom God hath set in the place of Moses.

After Moses the sovereignty was in the high priest.

Aaron being dead, and after him also Moses, thekingdom, as being a sacerdotal kingdom, descendedby virtue of the covenant, to Aaron’s son Eleazarthe high-priest: and God declared him, next underhimself, for sovereign, at the same time that he appointedJoshua for the General of their army. Forthus God saith expressly (Numb. xxvii. 21) concerningJoshua: He shall stand before Eleazarthe priest, who shall ask counsel for him beforethe Lord; at his word shall they go out, and at469his word they shall come in, both he, and all thechildren of Israel with him. Therefore the supremepower of making war and peace, was in thepriest. The supreme power of judicature belongedalso to the high-priest: for the book of the law wasin their keeping; and the priests and Levites onlywere the subordinate judges in causes civil, as appearsin Deut. xvii. 8, 9, 10. And for the mannerof God’s worship, there was never doubt made, butthat the high-priest till the time of Saul, had thesupreme authority. Therefore the civil and ecclesiasticalpower were both joined together in oneand the same person, the high-priest; and oughtto be so, in whosoever governeth by divine right,that is, by authority immediate from God.

Of the sovereign power between the time of Joshua and of Saul.

After the death of Joshua, till the time of Saul,the time between is noted frequently in the Bookof Judges, That there was in those days no king inIsrael; and sometimes with this addition, thatevery man did that which was right in his owneyes. By which is to be understood, that where itis said, there was no king, is meant, there was nosovereign power in Israel. And so it was, if weconsider the act and exercise of such power. Forafter the death of Joshua and Eleazar, there aroseanother generation (Judges ii. 10, 11) that knewnot the Lord, nor the works which he had done forIsrael, but did evil in the sight of the Lord, andserved Baalim. And the Jews had that qualitywhich St. Paul noteth, to look for a sign, not onlybefore they would submit themselves to the governmentof Moses, but also after they had obligedthemselves by their submission. Whereas signs andmiracles had for end to procure faith, not to keepmen from violating it, when they have once given470it; for to that men are obliged by the law of nature.But if we consider not the exercise, but theright of governing, the sovereign power was still inthe high-priest. Therefore whatsoever obediencewas yielded to any of the judges, who were menchosen by God extraordinarily to save his rebellioussubjects out of the hands of the enemy, itcannot be drawn into argument against the rightthe high-priest had to the sovereign power, in allmatters both of policy and religion. And neither thejudges nor Samuel himself had an ordinary, but anextraordinary calling to the government; and wereobeyed by the Israelites, not out of duty, but outof reverence to their favour with God, appearingin their wisdom, courage, or felicity. Hithertotherefore the right of regulating both the policy,and the religion, were inseparable.

Of the rights of the kings of Israel.

To the judges succeeded kings: and whereasbefore, all authority, both in religion and policy,was in the high-priest; so now it was all in theking. For the sovereignty over the people, whichwas before, not only by virtue of the divine power,but also by a particular pact of the Israelites, inGod, and next under him, in the high-priest, as hisvicegerent on earth, was cast off by the people, withthe consent of God himself. For when they said toSamuel (1 Sam. viii. 5) Make us a king to judgeus like all the nations, they signified that theywould no more be governed by the commands thatshould be laid upon them by the priest, in the nameof God; but by one that should command them inthe same manner that all other nations were commanded;and consequently in deposing the high-priestof royal authority, they deposed that peculiargovernment of God. And yet God consented to it,471saying to Samuel (1 Sam. viii. 7) Hearken unto thevoice of the people, in all that they shall say untothee; for they have not rejected thee, but they haverejected me, that I should not reign over them.Having therefore rejected God, in whose right thepriests governed, there was no authority left to thepriests, but such as the king was pleased to allowthem; which was more or less, according as thekings were good or evil. And for the governmentof civil affairs, it is manifest, it was all in the handsof the king. For in the same chapter, (verse 20),they say they will be like all the nations; that theirking shall be their judge, and go before them, andfight their battles; that is, he shall have the wholeauthority, both in peace and war. In which is containedalso the ordering of religion: for there wasno other word of God in that time, by which to regulatereligion, but the law of Moses, which wastheir civil law. Besides, we read (1 Kings ii. 27)that Solomon thrust out Abiathar from beingpriest before the Lord: he had therefore authorityover the high-priest, as over any other subject;which is a great mark of supremacy in religion.And we read also, (1 Kings viii.) that he dedicatedthe Temple; that he blessed the people; and thathe himself in person made that excellent prayer,used in the consecration of all churches and housesof prayer; which is another great mark of supremacyin religion. Again, we read (2 Kings xxii.)that when there was question concerning the Bookof the Law found in the Temple, the same was notdecided by the high-priest, but Josiah sent both himand others to enquire concerning it, of Huldah, theprophetess; which is another mark of supremacy472in religion. Lastly, we read (1 Chron. xxvi. 30)that David made Hashabiah and his brethren, Hebronites,officers of Israel among them westward,in all their business of the Lord, and in the serviceof the king. Likewise (verse 32) that he madeother Hebronites, rulers over the Reubenites, theGadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh (thesewere the rest of Israel that dwelt beyond Jordan)for every matter pertaining to God, and affairs ofthe king. Is not this full power, both temporaland spiritual, as they call it that would divide it?To conclude; from the first institution of God’skingdom, to the captivity, the supremacy of religionwas in the same hand with that of the civilsovereignty; and the priest’s office after the electionof Saul, was not magisterial, but ministerial.

The practice of supremacy in religion was not, in the time of the kings, according to the right thereof.

Notwithstanding the government both in policyand religion, were joined, first in the high-priests,and afterwards in the kings, so far forth as concernedthe right; yet it appeareth by the sameholy history, that the people understood it not:but there being amongst them a great part, andprobably the greatest part, that no longer thanthey saw great miracles, or, what is equivalent toa miracle, great abilities, or great felicity in theenterprises of their governors, gave sufficient crediteither to the fame of Moses or to the colloquiesbetween God and the priests; they took occasion,as oft as their governors displeased them, byblaming sometimes the policy, sometimes the religion,to change the government or revolt fromtheir obedience at their pleasure: and from thenceproceeded from time to time the civil troubles,divisions, and calamities of the nation. As for example,473after the death of Eleazar and Joshua, thenext generation which had not seen the wondersof God, but were left to their own weak reason,not knowing themselves obliged by the covenantof a sacerdotal kingdom, regarded no more thecommandment of the priest nor any law of Moses,but did every man that which was right in his owneyes, and obeyed in civil affairs such men, as fromtime to time they thought able to deliver them fromthe neighbour nations that oppressed them; andconsulted not with God, as they ought to do, butwith such men or women, as they guessed to beprophets by their predictions of things to come;and though they had an idol in their chapel, yet ifthey had a Levite for their chaplain, they madeaccount they worshipped the God of Israel.

And afterwards when they demanded a kingafter the manner of the nations; yet it was notwith a design to depart from the worship of Godtheir king; but despairing of the justice of thesons of Samuel, they would have a king to judgethem in civil actions; but not that they wouldallow their king to change the religion which theythought was recommended to them by Moses. Sothat they always kept in store a pretext, either ofjustice or religion, to discharge themselves of theirobedience, whensoever they had hope to prevail.Samuel was displeased with the people, for thatthey desired a king; for God was their king already,and Samuel had but an authority under him; yetdid Samuel, when Saul observed not his counsel,in destroying Agag as God had commanded, anointanother king, namely David, to take the successionfrom his heirs. Rehoboam was no idolater; but when474the people thought him an oppressor, that civil pretencecarried from him ten tribes to Jeroboam anidolater. And generally through the whole historyof the kings, as well of Judah as of Israel, therewere prophets that always controlled the kings, fortransgressing the religion; and sometimes alsofor errors of state; as Jehosaphat was reproved(2 Chron. xix. 2) by the prophet Jehu, for aiding theking of Israel against the Syrians; and Hezekiah, byIsaiah, (xxxix. 3-7) for shewing his treasures to theambassadors of Babylon. By all which it appeareth,that though the power both of state and religionwere in the kings; yet none of them were uncontrolledin the use of it, but such as were gracious fortheir own natural abilities or felicities. So that fromthe practise of those times, there can no argumentbe drawn, that the right of supremacy in religionwas not in the kings, unless we place it in the prophets,and conclude, that because Hezekiah prayingto the Lord before the cherubims, was not answeredfrom thence, nor then, but afterwards bythe prophet Isaiah, therefore Isaiah was supremehead of the church; or because Josiah consultedHuldah the prophetess, concerning the Book of theLaw, that therefore neither he nor the high-priest,but Huldah the prophetess, had the supreme authorityin matter of religion; which I think is not theopinion of any doctor.

After the captivity, the Jews had no settled commonwealth.

During the captivity, the Jews had no commonwealthat all: and after their return, though theyrenewed their covenant with God, yet there was nopromise made of obedience, neither to Esdras, norto any other: and presently after, they becamesubjects to the Greeks, from whose customs and475demonology, and from the doctrine of the Cabalists,their religion became much corrupted: insuch sort as nothing can be gathered from theirconfusion, both in state and religion, concerningthe supremacy in either. And therefore so farforth as concerneth the Old Testament, we mayconclude, that whosoever had the sovereignty ofthe commonwealth amongst the Jews, the samehad also the supreme authority in matter of God’sexternal worship, and represented God’s person;that is, the person of God the Father; though hewere not called by the name of Father, till suchtime as he sent into the world his son Jesus Christ,to redeem mankind from their sins, and bring theminto his everlasting kingdom, to be saved for evermore.Of which we are to speak in the chapterfollowing.



Three parts of the office of Christ.

We find in Holy Scripture three parts of theoffice of the Messiah: the first of a Redeemer orSaviour; the second of a pastor, counsellor, orteacher, that is, of a prophet sent from God toconvert such as God hath elected to salvation: thethird of a king, an eternal king, but under hisFather, as Moses and the high-priests were in theirseveral times. And to these three parts are correspondentthree times. For our redemption hewrought at his first coming, by the sacrifice whereinhe offered up himself for our sins upon the cross:476our conversion he wrought partly then in his ownperson, and partly worketh now by his ministers,and will continue to work till his coming again.And after his coming again, shall begin that hisglorious reign over his elect, which is to lasteternally.

His office as a Redeemer.

To the office of a Redeemer, that is, of one thatpayeth the ransom of sin, which ransom is death,it appertaineth, that he was sacrificed, and therebybare upon his own head and carried away from usour iniquities, in such sort as God had required.Not that the death of one man, though withoutsin, can satisfy for the offences of all men, in therigour of justice, but in the mercy of God, thatordained such sacrifices for sin, as he was pleasedin his mercy to accept. In the old law (as we mayread, Levit. xvi.) the Lord required that thereshould, every year once, be made an atonementfor the sins of all Israel, both priests and others;for the doing whereof, Aaron alone was to sacrificefor himself and the priests a young bullock;and for the rest of the people, he was to receive fromthem two young goats, of which he was to sacrificeone; but as for the other, which was the scape-goat,he was to lay his hands on the head thereof, and by aconfession of the iniquities of the people, to laythem all on that head, and then by some opportuneman, to cause the goat to be led into the wilderness,and there to escape, and carry away with him theiniquities of the people. As the sacrifice of the onegoat was a sufficient, because an acceptable, pricefor the ransom of all Israel; so the death of theMessiah, is a sufficient price for the sins of allmankind, because there was no more required.477Our Saviour Christ’s sufferings seem to be herefigured, as clearly as in the oblation of Isaac, orin any other type of him in the Old Testament.He was both the sacrificed goat, and the scapegoat;he was oppressed, and he was afflicted(Isaiah liii. 7); he opened not his mouth; he isbrought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as asheep is dumb before the shearer, so he openednot his mouth: here he is the sacrificed goat. Hehath borne our griefs (verse 4), and carried oursorrows: and again, (verse 6), the Lord hath laidupon him the iniquities of us all: and so he is thescape-goat. He was cut off from the land of theliving (ver. 8) for the transgression of my people:there again he is the sacrificed goat. And again,(verse 11) he shall bear their sins: he is thescape goat. Thus is the lamb of God equivalentto both those goats; sacrificed, in that he died;and escaping, in his resurrection; being raisedopportunely by his Father, and removed from thehabitation of men in his ascension.

Christ’s kingdom not of this world.

For as much therefore, as he that redeemethhath no title to the thing redeemed, before theredemption, and ransom paid; and this ransomwas the death of the Redeemer; it is manifest,that our Saviour, as man, was not king of thosethat he redeemed, before he suffered death; thatis, during that time he conversed bodily on theearth. I say, he was not then king in present, byvirtue of the pact, which the faithful make withhim in baptism. Nevertheless, by the renewing oftheir pact with God in baptism, they were obliged toobey him for king, under his Father, whensoeverhe should be pleased to take the kingdom upon478him. According whereunto, our Saviour himselfexpressly saith, (John xviii. 36) My kingdom isnot of this world. Now seeing the Scripturemaketh mention but of two worlds; this that isnow, and shall remain unto the day of judgment,which is therefore also called the last day; andthat which shall be after the day of judgment, whenthere shall be a new heaven, and a new earth: thekingdom of Christ is not to begin till the generalresurrection. And that is it which our Savioursaith, (Matth. xvi. 27) The Son of man shall comein the glory of his Father, with his angels; andthen he shall reward every man according to hisworks. To reward every man according to hisworks, is to execute the office of a king; and thisis not to be till he come in the glory of his Father,with his angels. When our Saviour saith, (Matth.xxiii. 2, 3) The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses’seat; all therefore whatsoever they bid youdo, that observe and do; he declared plainly,that he ascribed kingly power, for that time, notto himself, but to them. And so he doth also,where he saith (Luke xii. 14) Who made me ajudge or divider over you? And (John xii. 47)I came not to judge the world, but to save theworld. And yet our Saviour came into this worldthat he might be a king and a judge in the worldto come: for he was the Messiah, that is, the Christ,that is, the anointed priest, and the sovereignprophet of God; that is to say, he was to have allthe power that was in Moses the prophet, in thehigh-priests that succeeded Moses, and in the kingsthat succeeded the priests. And St. John says expressly(chap. v. verse 22) the Father judgeth no479man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son.And this is not repugnant to that other place, Icame not to judge the world: for this is spoken ofthe world present, the other of the world to come;as also where it is said, that at the second comingof Christ, (Matth. xix. 28) Ye that have followedme in the regeneration, when the Son of Manshall sit in the throne of his glory, ye shall alsosit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes ofIsrael.

The end of Christ’s coming was to renew the covenant of the kingdom of God, and to persuade the elect to embrace it, which was the second part of his office.

If then Christ, whilst he was on earth, had nokingdom in this world, to what end was his firstcoming? It was to restore unto God, by a newcovenant, the kingdom, which being his by the oldcovenant, had been cut off by the rebellion of theIsraelites in the election of Saul. Which to do, hewas to preach unto them, that he was the Messiah,that is, the king promised to them by the prophets;and to offer himself in sacrifice for the sins of themthat should by faith submit themselves thereto;and in case the nation generally should refuse him,to call to his obedience such as should believe inhim amongst the Gentiles. So that there are twoparts of our Saviour’s office during his abode uponthe earth: one to proclaim himself the Christ;and another by teaching, and by working of miracles,to persuade and prepare men to live so, as tobe worthy of the immortality believers were to enjoy,at such time as he should come in majesty totake possession of his Father’s kingdom. Andtherefore it is, that the time of his preaching isoften by himself called the regeneration; whichis not properly a kingdom, and thereby a warrantto deny obedience to the magistrates that then480were; for he commanded to obey those that satthen in Moses’ chair, and to pay tribute to Cæsar;but only an earnest of the kingdom of God thatwas to come, to those to whom God had given thegrace to be his disciples, and to believe in him; forwhich cause the godly are said to be already in thekingdom of grace, as naturalized in that heavenlykingdom.

The preaching of Christ not contrary to the then law of the Jews, nor of Cæsar.

Hitherto, therefore, there is nothing done ortaught by Christ, that tendeth to the diminutionof the civil right of the Jews or of Cæsar. Foras touching the commonwealth which then wasamongst the Jews, both they that bare rule amongstthem, and they that were governed, did all expectthe Messiah and kingdom of God; which theycould not have done, if their laws had forbiddenhim, when he came, to manifest and declare himself.Seeing therefore he did nothing, but bypreaching and miracles go about to prove himselfto be that Messiah, he did therein nothing againsttheir laws. The kingdom he claimed was to be inanother world: he taught all men to obey in themean time them that sat in Moses’ seat: he allowedthem to give Cæsar his tribute, and refused to takeupon himself to be a judge. How then could hiswords or actions be seditious, or tend to the overthrowof their then civil government? But Godhaving determined his sacrifice for the reductionof his elect to their former covenanted obedience,for the means, whereby he would bring the same toeffect, made use of their malice and ingratitude.Nor was it contrary to the laws of Cæsar. Forthough Pilate himself, to gratify the Jews, deliveredhim to be crucified; yet before he did so, he pronounced481openly, that he found no fault in him:and put for title of his condemnation, not as theJews required, that he pretended to be king; butsimply, that he was king of the Jews; and notwithstandingtheir clamour, refused to alter it;saying, What I have written, I have written.

The third part of his office was to be king, under his Father, of the elect.

As for the third part of his office, which was tobe king, I have already shewn that his kingdomwas not to begin till the resurrection. But thenhe shall be king, not only as God, in which sensehe is king already, and ever shall be, of all theearth, in virtue of his omnipotence; but also peculiarlyof his own elect, by virtue of the pact theymake with him in their baptism. And therefore itis, that our Saviour saith (Matth. xix. 28) that hisapostles should sit upon twelve thrones, judging thetwelve tribes of Israel, When the Son of Man shallsit in the throne of his glory: whereby he signifiedthat he should reign then in his humannature; and (Matth. xvi. 27) The Son of Manshall come in the glory of his Father, with hisangels, and then he shall reward every man accordingto his works. The same we may read,Mark xiii. 26, and xiv. 62; and more expressly forthe time, Luke xxii. 29, 30, I appoint unto you akingdom, as my Father hath appointed to me,that you may eat and drink at my table in mykingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelvetribes of Israel. By which it is manifest, thatthe kingdom of Christ appointed to him by hisFather, is not to be before the Son of Man shallcome in glory, and make his apostles judges of thetwelve tribes of Israel. But a man may here ask,seeing there is no marriage in the kingdom of482heaven, whether men shall then eat and drink?What eating therefore is meant in this place? Thisis expounded by our Saviour (John vi. 27), wherehe saith, Labour not for the meat which perisheth,but for that meat which endureth unto everlastinglife, which the Son of Man shall give you. Sothat by eating at Christ’s table, is meant the eatingof the tree of life; that is to say, the enjoying ofimmortality, in the kingdom of the Son of Man.By which places and many more, it is evidentthat our Saviour’s kingdom is to be exercised byhim in his human nature.

Christ’s authority in the kingdom of God, subordinate to that of his Father.

Again, he is to be king then, no otherwise thanas subordinate or vicegerent of God the Father, asMoses was in the wilderness; and as the high-priestswere before the reign of Saul; and as the kingswere after it. For it is one of the prophecies concerningChrist, that he should be like, in office, toMoses: I will raise them up a prophet, saith theLord (Deut. xviii. 18) from amongst their brethren,like unto thee, and will put my words into hismouth; and this similitude with Moses, is also apparentin the actions of our Saviour himself, whilsthe was conversant on earth. For as Moses chosetwelve princes of the tribes, to govern under him;so did our Saviour choose twelve apostles, whoshall sit on twelve thrones, and judge the twelvetribes of Israel. And as Moses authorized seventyelders, to receive the Spirit of God, and to prophecyto the people, that is, as I have said before,to speak unto them in the name of God; so ourSaviour also ordained seventy disciples, to preachhis kingdom and salvation to all nations. And aswhen a complaint was made to Moses, against483those of the seventy that prophecied in the campof Israel, he justified them in it, as being subservienttherein to his government; so also our Saviour,when St. John complained to him of a certainman that cast out devils in his name, justified himtherein, saying, (Luke ix. 50) Forbid him not, forhe that is not against us, is on our part.

Christ’s authority in the kingdom of God, subordinate to that of his Father.

Again, our Saviour resembled Moses in the institutionof sacraments, both of admission into thekingdom of God, and of commemoration of his deliveranceof his elect from their miserable condition.As the children of Israel had for sacrament of theirreception into the kingdom of God, before the timeof Moses, the rite of circumcision, which ritehaving been omitted in the wilderness, was againrestored as soon as they came into the Land of Promise;so also the Jews, before the coming of ourSaviour, had a rite of baptizing, that is, of washingwith water, all those that being Gentiles embracedthe God of Israel. This rite St. John theBaptist used in the reception of all them that gavetheir names to the Christ, whom he preached to bealready come into the world; and our Saviour institutedthe same for a sacrament to be taken byall that believed in him. From what cause the riteof baptism first proceeded, is not expressed formallyin the Scripture; but it may be probablythought to be an imitation of the law of Moses,concerning leprosy; wherein the leprous man wascommanded to be kept out of the camp of Israelfor a certain time; after which time being judgedby the priest to be clean, he was admitted intothe camp after a solemn washing. And this maytherefore be a type of the washing in baptism;484wherein such men as are cleansed of the leprosyof sin by faith, are received into the Church withthe solemnity of baptism. There is another conjecture,drawn from the ceremonies of the Gentiles,in a certain case that rarely happens: and that is,when a man that was thought dead chanced to recover,other men made scruple to converse withhim, as they would do to converse with a ghost,unless he were received again into the number ofmen by washing, as children new-born were washedfrom the uncleanness of their nativity; which was akind of new birth. This ceremony of the Greeks,in the time that Judea was under the dominionof Alexander and the Greeks his successors, mayprobably enough have crept into the religion of theJews. But seeing it is not likely our Saviourwould countenance a heathen rite, it is most likelyit proceeded from the legal ceremony of washingafter leprosy. And for the other sacrament ofeating the Paschal lamb, it is manifestly imitatedin the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper; in whichthe breaking of the bread, and the pouring out ofthe wine, do keep in memory our deliverance fromthe misery of sin, by Christ’s passion, as the eatingof the Paschal lamb kept in memory the deliveranceof the Jews out of the bondage of Egypt.Seeing therefore the authority of Moses was butsubordinate, and he but a lieutenant of God; itfolloweth that Christ, whose authority, as man,was to be like that of Moses, was no more but subordinateto the authority of his Father. The sameis more expressly signified, by that that he teachethus to pray, Our Father, let thy kingdom come;and, For thine is the kingdom, the power and the485glory; and by that it is said, that He shall comein the glory of his Father; and by that which St.Paul saith, (1 Cor. xv. 24) then cometh the end,when he shall have delivered up the kingdom toGod, even the Father; and by many other mostexpress places.

One and the same God is the person represented by Moses and Christ.

Our Saviour, therefore, both in teaching andreigning, representeth, as Moses did, the person ofGod; which God from that time forward, but notbefore, is called the Father; and being still one andthe same substance, is one person as representedby Moses, and another person as represented by hisson the Christ. For person being a relative to arepresenter, it is consequent to plurality of representers,that there be a plurality of persons, thoughof one and the same substance.



For the understanding of POWER ECCLESIASTICAL,what, and in whom it is, we are to distinguishthe time from the ascension of our Saviour, intotwo parts; one before the conversion of kings, andmen endued with sovereign civil power; the otherafter their conversion. For it was long after theascension, before any king or civil sovereign embracedand publicly allowed the teaching of Christianreligion.

Of the holy spirit that fell on the apostles.

And for the time between, it is manifest, thatthe power ecclesiastical was in the apostles; andafter them in such as were by them ordained topreach the gospel, and to convert men to Christianity,486and to direct them that were converted inthe way of salvation; and after these, the powerwas delivered again to others by these ordained,and this was done by imposition of hands uponsuch as were ordained; by which was signified thegiving of the Holy Spirit, or Spirit of God, tothose whom they ordained ministers of God, to advancehis kingdom. So that imposition of handswas nothing else but the seal of their commissionto preach Christ, and teach his doctrine; and thegiving of the Holy Ghost by that ceremony of impositionof hands, was an imitation of that whichMoses did. For Moses used the same ceremony tohis minister Joshua, as we read (Deut. xxxiv. 9)And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spiritof wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands uponhim. Our Saviour therefore, between his resurrectionand ascension, gave his spirit to the apostles;first, by breathing on them, and saying, (John xx.22) Receive ye the Holy Spirit; and after his ascension(Acts ii. 2, 3) by sending down upon thema mighty wind, and cloven tongues of fire; andnot by imposition of hands; as neither did Godlay his hands on Moses: and his apostles afterwardtransmitted the same spirit by imposition ofhands, as Moses did to Joshua. So that it is manifesthereby, in whom the power ecclesiastical continuallyremained, in those first times where therewas not any Christian commonwealth; namely,in them that received the same from the apostles,by successive laying on of hands.

Of the Trinity.

Here we have the person of God born now thethird time. For as Moses, and the high-priests,were God’s representative in the Old Testament;487and our Saviour himself, as man, during his abodeon earth: so the Holy Ghost, that is to say theapostles and their successors, in the office ofpreaching and teaching, that had received theholy Spirit, have represented him ever since. But aperson, as I have shown before, (chap. XIII.) is hethat is represented, as often as he is represented;and therefore God, who has been represented, thatis personated, thrice, may properly enough be saidto be three persons; though neither the word Person,nor Trinity, be ascribed to him in the Bible.St. John, indeed (1 Epist. v. 7) saith, There bethree that bear witness in heaven, the Father, theWord, and the Holy Spirit; and these three areOne. But this disagreeth not, but accordeth fitlywith three persons in the proper signification ofpersons; which is, that which is represented byanother. For so God the Father, as representedby Moses, is one person; and as represented byhis Son, another person; and as represented bythe apostles, and by the doctors that taught by authorityfrom them derived, is a third person; andyet every person here, is the person of one and thesame God. But a man may here ask, what it waswhereof these three bear witness. St. John thereforetells us (verse 11) that they bear witness, thatGod hath given us eternal life in his Son. Again,if it should be asked, wherein that testimony appeareth,the answer is easy; for he hath testifiedthe same by the miracles he wrought, first by Moses;secondly, by his Son himself; and lastly by hisapostles, that had received the Holy Spirit; allwhich in their times represented the person ofGod, and either prophecied or preached Jesus488Christ. And as for the apostles, it was the characterof the apostleship, in the twelve first and greatapostles, to bear witness of his resurrection; as appearethexpressly (Acts i. 21, 22), where St. Peter,when a new apostle was to be chosen in the placeof Judas Iscariot, useth these words, Of these menwhich have companied with us all the time thatthe Lord Jesus went in and out amongst us, beginningat the baptism of John, unto that sameday that he was taken up from us, must one beordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection:which words interpret the bearing of witness,mentioned by St. John. There is in thesame place mentioned another Trinity of witnessesin earth. For (1 John v. 8) he saith, there are threethat bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water,and the blood, and these three agree in one: thatis to say, the graces of God’s spirit, and the two sacraments,baptism, and the Lord’s supper, whichall agree in one testimony to assure the consciencesof believers, of eternal life; of which testimonyhe saith (verse 10) He that believeth on theSon of man hath the witness in himself. In thisTrinity on earth, the unity is not of the thing;for the spirit, the water, and the blood, are not thesame substance, though they give the same testimony:but in the Trinity of heaven, the personsare the persons of one and the same God, thoughrepresented in three different times and occasions.To conclude, the doctrine of the Trinity, as far ascan be gathered directly from the Scripture, is insubstance this, that the God who is always one andthe same, was the person represented by Moses;the person represented by his Son incarnate;489and the person represented by the apostles. Asrepresented by the apostles, the Holy Spirit, bywhich they spake, is God; as represented by hisSon, that was God and man, the Son is that God;as represented by Moses and the high-priests, theFather, that is to say, the Father of our Lord JesusChrist, is that God. From whence we may gatherthe reason why those names Father, Son, and HolySpirit, in the signification of the Godhead, arenever used in the Old Testament: for they arepersons, that is, they have their names from representing;which could not be, till divers men hadrepresented God’s person in ruling or in directingunder him.

Thus we see how the power ecclesiastical wasleft by our Saviour to the apostles; and how theywere, to the end they might the better exercisethat power, endued with the Holy Spirit, which istherefore called sometimes in the New Testamentparacletus, which signifieth an assister, or onecalled to for help, though it be commonly translateda comforter. Let us now consider the poweritself, what it was, and over whom.

The power ecclesiastical is but the power to teach.

Cardinal Bellarmine, in his third general controversy,hath handled a great many questions concerningthe ecclesiastical power of the pope ofRome; and begins with this, whether it ought tobe monarchical, aristocratical, or democratical:all which sorts of power are sovereign and coercive.If now it should appear, that there is no coercivepower left them by our Saviour, but only apower to proclaim the kingdom of Christ, and topersuade men to submit themselves thereunto; andby precepts and good counsel, to teach them that490have submitted, what they are to do, that theymay be received into the kingdom of God when itcomes; and that the apostles, and other ministersof the Gospel, are our schoolmasters, and not ourcommanders, and their precepts not laws, butwholesome counsels: then were all that dispute invain.

An argument thereof, the power of Christ himself.

I have shown already, in the last chapter, thatthe kingdom of Christ is not of this world: thereforeneither can his ministers, unless they be kings,require obedience in his name. For if the supremeking have not his regal power in thisworld; by what authority can obedience be requiredto his officers? As my Father sent me, sosaith our Saviour, (John xx. 21) I send you. But ourSaviour was sent to persuade the Jews to return to,and to invite the Gentiles to receive, the kingdomof his Father, and not to reign in majesty, no notas his Father’s lieutenant, till the day of judgment.

From the name of regeneration.

The time between the ascension and the generalresurrection, is called, not a reigning, but a regeneration;that is, a preparation of men for thesecond and glorious coming of Christ, at the dayof judgment; as appeareth by the words of ourSaviour, (Matth. xix. 28,) You that have followedme in the regeneration, when the Son of man shallsit in the throne of his glory, you shall also situpon twelve thrones; and of St. Paul (Ephes. vi.15) Having your feet shod with the preparationof the gospel of peace.

From the comparison of it, with fishing, leaven, seed.

And is compared by our Saviour, to fishing, thatis, to winning men to obedience, not by coercionand punishing, but by persuasion: and thereforehe said not to his apostles, he would make them so491many Nimrods, hunters of men; but fishers ofmen. It is compared also to leaven, to sowing ofseed, and to the multiplication of a grain of mustard-seed;by all which compulsion is excluded;and consequently there can in that time be noactual reigning. The work of Christ’s ministers,is evangelization; that is, a proclamation of Christ,and a preparation for his second coming, as theevangelization of John the Baptist was a preparationto his first coming.

From the nature of faith.

Again, the office of Christ’s ministers in thisworld, is to make men believe and have faith inChrist; but faith hath no relation to, nor dependanceat all upon compulsion or commandment;but only upon certainty or probability of argumentsdrawn from reason, or from something menbelieve already. Therefore the ministers of Christin this world, have no power, by that title, to punishany man for not believing or for contradictingwhat they say; they have I say no power by thattitle of Christ’s ministers, to punish such; but ifthey have sovereign civil power, by politic institution,then they may indeed lawfully punish anycontradiction to their laws whatsoever: and St.Paul, of himself and other the then preachers ofthe gospel, saith in express words (2 Cor. i. 24),We have no dominion over your faith, but arehelpers of your joy.

From the authority Christ hath left to civil princes.

Another argument, that the ministers of Christin this present world have no right of commanding,may be drawn from the lawful authority whichChrist hath left to all princes, as well Christiansas infidels. St. Paul saith (Col. iii. 20) Childrenobey your parents in all things; for this is well492pleasing to the Lord: and (verse 22) Servants,obey in all things your masters according to theflesh; not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but insingleness of heart, as fearing the Lord; this isspoken to them whose masters were infidels; andyet they are bidden to obey them in all things.And again, concerning obedience to princes (Rom.xiii. the first six verses), exhorting to be subject tothe higher powers, he saith, that all power is ordainedof God; and that we ought to be subjectto them, not only for fear of incurring their wrath,but also for conscience sake. And St. Peter(1 Epistle ii. 13, 14, 15), Submit yourselves toevery ordinance of man, for the Lord’s sake, whetherit be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors,as to them that be sent by him for the punishmentof evil doers, and for the praise of themthat do well; for so is the will of God. Andagain St. Paul (Titus iii. 1), Put men in mind to besubject to principalities and powers, and to obeymagistrates. These princes and powers, whereofSt. Peter and St. Paul here speak, were all infidels:much more therefore we are to observethose Christians, whom God hath ordained to havesovereign power over us. How then can we beobliged to obey any minister of Christ, if he shouldcommand us to do anything contrary to the commandof the king, or other sovereign representantof the commonwealth whereof we are members,and by whom we look to be protected? It istherefore manifest, that Christ hath not left tohis ministers in this world, unless they be also enduedwith civil authority, any authority to commandother men.

What Christians may do to avoid persecution.

493But what, may some object, if a king, or a senate,or other sovereign person forbid us to believein Christ? To this I answer, that such forbiddingis of no effect; because belief and unbelief neverfollow men’s commands. Faith is a gift of God,which man can neither give, nor take away bypromise of rewards, or menaces of torture. Andif it be further asked, what if we be commanded byour lawful prince to say with our tongue, we believenot; must we obey such command? Professionwith the tongue is but an external thing, andno more than any other gesture whereby we signifyour obedience; and wherein a Christian, holdingfirmly in his heart the faith of Christ, hath the sameliberty which the prophet Elisha allowed to Naamanthe Syrian. Naaman was converted in his heartto the God of Israel; for he saith (2 Kings v. 17, 18)Thy servant will henceforth offer neither burntoffering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but untothe Lord. In this thing the Lord pardon thyservant, that when my master goeth into the houseof Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on myhand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon:when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon,the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing.This the prophet approved, and bid him Go inpeace. Here Naaman believed in his heart; but bybowing before the idol Rimmon, he denied the trueGod in effect, as much as if he had done it with hislips. But then what shall we answer to our Saviour’ssaying, (Matth. x. 33) Whosoever denieth me beforemen, I will deny him before my Father which isin heaven. This we may say, that whatsoever asubject, as Naaman was, is compelled to do in obedience494to his sovereign, and doth it not in orderto his own mind, but in order to the laws of hiscountry, that action is not his, but his sovereign’s;nor is it he that in this case denieth Christ beforemen, but his governor, and the law of his country.If any man shall accuse this doctrine, as repugnantto true and unfeigned Christianity; I ask him, incase there should be a subject in any Christian commonwealth,that should be inwardly in his heart ofthe Mahomedan religion, whether if his sovereigncommand him to be present at the divine service ofthe Christian church, and that on pain of death, hethink that Mahomedan obliged in conscience tosuffer death for that cause, rather than obey thatcommand of his lawful prince. If he say, he oughtrather to suffer death, then he authorizeth all privatemen to disobey their princes in maintenanceof their religion, true or false: if he say, he ought tobe obedient, then he alloweth to himself that whichhe denieth to another, contrary to the words of ourSaviour, (Luke vi. 31) Whatsoever you would thatmen should do unto you, that do ye unto them; andcontrary to the law of nature, which is the indubitableeverlasting law of God, Do not to another,that which thou wouldest not he should do unto thee.

Of martyrs.

But what then shall we say of all those martyrs weread of in the history of the Church, that they haveneedlessly cast away their lives? For answer hereunto,we are to distinguish the persons that havebeen for that cause put to death: whereof somehave received a calling to preach, and profess thekingdom of Christ openly; others have had no suchcalling, nor more has been required of them thantheir own faith. The former sort, if they have495been put to death, for bearing witness to this point,that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, were truemartyrs; for a martyr is, (to give the true definitionof the word) a witness of the resurrection ofJesus the Messiah; which none can be but thosethat conversed with him on earth, and saw himafter he was risen: for a witness must have seenwhat he testifieth, or else his testimony is not good.And that none but such can properly be calledmartyrs of Christ, is manifest out of the wordsof St. Peter, (Acts i. 21, 22) Wherefore of thesem*n which have companied with us all the timethat the Lord Jesus went in and out amongst us,beginning from the baptism of John unto that sameday he was taken up from us, must one be ordainedto be a martyr (that is a witness) with usof his resurrection: where we may observe, thathe which is to be a witness of the truth of the resurrectionof Christ, that is to say, of the truth ofthis fundamental article of Christian religion, thatJesus was the Christ, must be some disciple thatconversed with him, and saw him before and afterhis resurrection; and consequently must be one ofhis original disciples: whereas they which werenot so, can witness no more but that their antecessorssaid it, and are therefore but witnesses ofother men’s testimony; and are but second martyrs,or martyrs of Christ’s witnesses.

He, that to maintain every doctrine which hehimself draweth out of the history of our Saviour’slife, and of the Acts or Epistles of the apostles, orwhich he believeth upon the authority of a privateman, will oppose the laws and authority of the civilstate, is very far from being a martyr of Christ, ora martyr of his martyrs. It is one article only,496which to die for, meriteth so honourable a name;and that article is this, that Jesus is the Christ;that is to say, He that hath redeemed us, and shallcome again to give us salvation, and eternal life inhis glorious kingdom. To die for every tenet thatserveth the ambition or profit of the clergy, is notrequired; nor is it the death of the witness, butthe testimony itself that makes the martyr: for theword signifieth nothing else, but the man thatbeareth witness, whether he be put to death for histestimony, or not.

Also he that is not sent to preach this fundamentalarticle, but taketh it upon him of hisprivate authority, though he be a witness, and consequentlya martyr, either primary of Christ, or secondaryof his apostles, disciples, or their successors;yet is he not obliged to suffer death for thatcause; because being not called thereto, it is notrequired at his hands; nor ought he to complain,if he loseth the reward he expecteth from thosethat never set him on work. None therefore canbe a martyr, neither of the first nor second degree,that have not a warrant to preach Christ come inthe flesh; that is to say, none, but such as are sentto the conversion of infidels. For no man is awitness to him that already believeth, and thereforeneeds no witness; but to them that deny, ordoubt, or have not heard it. Christ sent his apostles,and his seventy disciples, with authority to preach;he sent not all that believed. And he sent them tounbelievers; I send you, saith he, (Matth. x. 16) assheep amongst wolves; not as sheep to other sheep.

Argument from the points of their commission.

Lastly, the points of their commission, as theyare expressly set down in the gospel, contain, noneof them, any authority over the congregation.

To preach;

497We have first (Matth. x. 6, 7), that the twelveapostles were sent to the lost sheep of the house ofIsrael, and commanded to preach that the kingdomof God was at hand. Now preaching, in theoriginal, is that act, which a crier, herald, or otherofficer useth to do publicly in proclaiming of aking. But a crier hath not right to command anyman. And (Luke x. 2) the seventy disciples aresent out as Labourers, not as Lords of theharvest; and are bidden (verse 9) to say, Thekingdom of God is come nigh unto you; and bykingdom here is meant, not the kingdom of grace,but the kingdom of glory; for they are bidden (verse11, 12) to denounce it to those cities which shallnot receive them, as a threatening that it shall bemore tolerable in that day for Sodom, than forsuch a city. And (Matth. xx. 28) our Saviourtelleth his disciples, that sought priority of place,their office was to minister, even as the son ofman came, not to be ministered unto, but to minister.Preachers therefore have not magisterial,but ministerial power: Be not called masters,saith our Saviour, (Matth. xxiii. 10) for one isyour master, even Christ.

And teach;

Another point of their commission, is, to Teachall nations; as it is in St. Matth. xxviii. 19, or asin St. Mark, xvi. 15; Go into all the world, andpreach the gospel to every creature. Teachingtherefore, and preaching, is the same thing. Forthey that proclaim the coming of a king, mustwithal make known by what right he cometh, ifthey mean men shall submit themselves unto him:as St. Paul did to the Jews of Thessalonica, when(Acts xvii. 2, 3) three Sabbath days he reasoned498with them out of the Scriptures, opening, and allegingthat Christ must needs have suffered, and risenagain from the dead, and that this Jesus is Christ.But to teach out of the Old Testament that Jesuswas Christ, that is to say, king, and risen from thedead, is not to say that men are bound, after theybelieve it, to obey those that tell them so, againstthe laws and commands of their sovereigns; butthat they shall do wisely, to expect the coming ofChrist hereafter, in patience and faith, with obedienceto their present magistrates.

To baptize;

Another point of their commission, is to baptize,in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and ofthe Holy Ghost. What is baptism? Dipping intowater. But what is it to dip a man into the waterin the name of anything? The meaning of thesewords of baptism is this. He that is baptized, isdipped or washed, as a sign of becoming a newman, and a loyal subject to that God, whose personwas represented in old time by Moses, and thehigh-priests, when he reigned over the Jews; andto Jesus Christ his Son, God and Man, that hathredeemed us, and shall in his human nature representhis Father’s person in his eternal kingdomafter the resurrection; and to acknowledge thedoctrine of the apostles, who, assisted by the spiritof the Father and of the Son, were left for guidesto bring us into that kingdom, to be the only andassured way thereunto. This being our promisein baptism; and the authority of earthly sovereignsbeing not to be put down till the day ofjudgment; for that is expressly affirmed by St.Paul (1 Cor. xv. 22, 23, 24) where he saith, As inAdam all die, so in Christ all shall be made alive.499But every man in his own order, Christ the firstfruits, afterward they that are Christ’s at hiscoming; then cometh the end, when he shall havedelivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father,when he shall have put down all rule, and allauthority and power: it is manifest, that we do notin baptism constitute over us another authority, bywhich our external actions are to be governed inthis life; but promise to take the doctrine of theapostles for our direction in the way to life eternal.

And to forgive, and retain sins.

The power of remission and retention of sins,called also the power of loosing and binding, andsometimes the keys of the kingdom of heaven, is aconsequence of the authority to baptize, or refuseto baptize. For baptism is the sacrament of allegianceof them that are to be received into thekingdom of God; that is to say, into eternal life;that is to say, to remission of sin: for as eternallife was lost by the committing, so it is recoveredby the remitting of men’s sins. The end of baptismis remission of sins: and therefore St. Peter, whenthey that were converted by his sermon on the dayof Pentecost, asked what they were to do, advisedthem (Acts ii. 38) to repent, and be baptized in thename of Jesus, for the remission of sins. And therefore,seeing to baptize is to declare the reception ofmen into God’s kingdom; and to refuse to baptizeis to declare their exclusion; it followeth, that thepower to declare them cast out, or retained in it,was given to the same apostles, and their substitutesand successors. And therefore after our Saviourhad breathed upon them, saying (John xx. 22)Receive the Holy Ghost, he addeth in the nextverse, Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted500unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain,they are retained. By which words, is not grantedan authority to forgive or retain sins, simply andabsolutely, as God forgiveth or retaineth them, whoknoweth the heart of man, and truth of his penitenceand conversion; but conditionally, to thepenitent: and this forgiveness, or absolution, incase the absolved have but a feigned repentance, isthereby, without other act, or sentence of the absolved,made void, and hath no effect at all to salvation,but on the contrary to the aggravation ofhis sin. Therefore the apostles, and their successors,are to follow but the outward marks of repentance;which appearing, they have no authorityto deny absolution; and if they appear not, theyhave no authority to absolve. The same also is tobe observed in baptism: for to a converted Jew, orGentile, the apostles had not the power to denybaptism; nor to grant it to the unpenitent. Butseeing no man is able to discern the truth of anotherman’s repentance, further than by external marks,taken from his words and actions, which are subjectto hypocrisy; another question will arise, whoit is that is constituted judge of those marks? Andthis question is decided by our Saviour himself;If thy brother, saith he, (Matth. xviii. 15, 16, 17)shall trespass against thee, go and tell him hisfault, between thee and him alone; if he shall hearthee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he willnot hear thee, then take with thee one or two more.And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it untothe Church; but if he neglect to hear the Church,let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.By which it is manifest, that the judgment501concerning the truth of repentance, belonged notto any one man, but to the Church, that is, to theassembly of the faithful, or to them that have authorityto be their representant. But besides thejudgment, there is necessary also the pronouncingof sentence. And this belonged always to the apostle,or some pastor of the Church, as prolocutor;and of this our Saviour speaketh in the 18th verse,Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth, shall be boundin heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth,shall be loosed in heaven. And conformable hereuntowas the practise of St. Paul, (1 Cor. v. 3, 4, 5)where he saith, For I verily, as absent in body,but present in spirit, have determined already,as though I were present, concerning him thathath so done this deed; in the name of our LordJesus Christ, when ye are gathered together,and my spirit, with the power of our Lord JesusChrist, to deliver such a one to Satan; that is tosay, to cast him out of the Church, as a man whosesins are not forgiven. Paul here pronounceth thesentence; but the assembly was first to hear thecause, for St. Paul was absent, and by consequenceto condemn him. But in the same chapter (verses11, 12), the judgment in such a case is more expresslyattributed to the assembly: But now I havewritten unto you, not to keep company, if any manthat is called a brother be a fornicator, &c. withsuch a one, no not to eat. For what have I to doto judge them that are without? Do not ye judgethem that are within? The sentence therefore bywhich a man was put out of the Church, was pronouncedby the apostle, or pastor; but the judgmentconcerning the merit of the cause, was in the502Church; that is to say, as the times were beforethe conversion of kings, and men that had sovereignauthority in the commonwealth, the assemblyof the Christians dwelling in the same city: as inCorinth, in the assembly of the Christians of Corinth.

Of excommunication.

This part of the power of the keys, by which menwere thrust out from the kingdom of God, is thatwhich is called excommunication; and to excommunicate,is in the original, ἀποσυνάγωγον ποιεῖν, to castout of the synagogue; that is, out of the place ofdivine service; a word drawn from the custom ofthe Jews, to cast out of their synagogues such asthey thought, in manners or doctrine, contagious,as lepers were by the law of Moses separated fromthe congregation of Israel, till such time as theyshould be by the priest pronounced clean.

The use of excommunication without civil power.

The use and effect of excommunication, whilst itwas not yet strengthened with the civil power, wasno more than that they, who were not excommunicate,were to avoid the company of them thatwere. It was not enough to repute them as heathen,that never had been Christians; for with such theymight eat and drink; which with excommunicatepersons they might not do; as appeareth by thewords of St. Paul, (1 Cor. v. 9, 10, &c.) where hetelleth them, he had formerly forbidden them tocompany with fornicators; but, because that couldnot be without going out of the world, he restrainethit to such fornicators, and otherwise viciouspersons, as were of the brethren; with such a one,he saith, they ought not to keep company, no notto eat. And this is no more than our Saviour saith(Matth. xviii. 17), Let him be to thee as a heathen,and as a publican. For publicans, which signifieth503farmers and receivers of the revenue of the commonwealth,were so hated and detested by the Jewsthat were to pay it, as that publican and sinnerwere taken amongst them for the same thing: insomuch,as when our Saviour accepted the invitationof Zacchæus a publican; though it were toconvert him, yet it was objected to him as a crime.And therefore, when our Saviour to heathen addedpublican, he did forbid them to eat with a manexcommunicate.

As for keeping them out of their synagogues, orplaces of assembly, they had no power to do it, butthat of the owner of the place, whether he wereChristian, or heathen. And because all places areby right in the dominion of the commonwealth;as well he that was excommunicated, as he thatnever was baptized, might enter into them by commissionfrom the civil magistrate; as Paul beforehis conversion entered into their synagogues atDamascus, (Acts ix. 2) to apprehend Christians,men and women, and to carry them bound to Jerusalem,by commission from the high-priest.

Of no effect upon an apostate;

By which it appears, that upon a Christian, thatshould become an apostate, in a place where thecivil power did persecute, or not assist the Church,the effect of excommunication had nothing in it,neither of damage in this world, nor of terror: notof terror, because of their unbelief; nor of damage,because they are returned thereby into the favour ofthe world; and in the world to come were to be inno worse estate, than they which never had believed.The damage redounded rather to the Church, byprovocation of them they cast out, to a freer executionof their malice.

But upon the faithful only.

504Excommunication therefore had its effect onlyupon those, that believed that Jesus Christ was tocome again in glory, to reign over and to judgeboth the quick and the dead, and should thereforerefuse entrance into his kingdom to those whosesins were retained, that is, to those that were excommunicatedby the Church. And thence it is,that St. Paul calleth excommunication, a deliveryof the excommunicate person to Satan. For withoutthe kingdom of Christ, all other kingdoms, afterjudgment, are comprehended in the kingdom ofSatan. This is it that the faithful stood in fear of,as long as they stood excommunicate, that is tosay, in an estate wherein their sins were not forgiven.Whereby we may understand, that excommunication,in the time that Christian religion wasnot authorized by the civil power, was used onlyfor a correction of manners, not of errors in opinion:for it is a punishment, whereof none could be sensiblebut such as believed, and expected the comingagain of our Saviour to judge the world; and theywho so believed, needed no other opinion, but onlyuprightness of life, to be saved.

For what fault lieth excommunication.

There lieth excommunication for injustice; as(Matth. xviii.), If thy brother offend thee, tell ithim privately; then with witnesses; lastly, tell theChurch; and then if he obey not, Let him be tothee as an heathen man and a publican. Andthere lieth excommunication for a scandalous life,as (1 Cor. v. 11) If any man that is called abrother, be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater,or a drunkard, or an extortioner, with sucha one ye are not to eat. But to excommunicatea man that held this foundation, that Jesus was the505Christ, for difference of opinion in other points, bywhich that foundation was not destroyed, thereappeareth no authority in the Scripture, nor examplein the apostles. There is indeed in St. Paul(Titus iii. 10) a text that seemeth to be to the contrary;A man that is an heretic, after the first andsecond admonition, reject. For an heretic, is he,that being a member of the Church, teacheth neverthelesssome private opinion, which the Churchhas forbidden: and such a one, St. Paul advisethTitus, after the first and second admonition, toreject. But to reject, in this place, is not to excommunicatethe man; but to give over admonishinghim, to let him alone, to set by disputingwith him, as one that is to be convinced only byhimself. The same apostle saith (2 Tim. ii. 23)Foolish and unlearned questions avoid: the wordavoid in this place, and reject in the former, is thesame in the original, παραιτοῦ: but foolish questionsmay be set by without excommunication. Andagain, (Titus iii. 9) Avoid foolish questions, wherethe original περιΐστασο (set them by) is equivalent tothe former word reject. There is no other placethat can so much as colourably be drawn, to countenancethe casting out of the Church faithful men,such as believed the foundation, only for a singularsuperstructure of their own, proceeding perhapsfrom a good and pious conscience. But on thecontrary, all such places as command avoiding suchdisputes, are written for a lesson to pastors, suchas Timothy and Titus were, not to make new articlesof faith, by determining every small controversy,which oblige men to a needless burthen ofconscience, or provoke them to break the union ofthe Church. Which lesson the apostles themselves506observed well. St. Peter and St. Paul, thoughtheir controversy were great, as we may read inGal. ii. 11, yet they did not cast one another outof the Church. Nevertheless, during the apostles’times, there were other pastors that observed it not;as Diotrephes (3 John, 9, &c.) who cast out of theChurch such as St. John himself thought fit to bereceived into it, out of a pride he took in preeminence.So early it was, that vain glory and ambitionhad found entrance into the Church of Christ.

Of persons liable to excommunication.

That a man be liable to excommunication, therebe many conditions requisite; as first, that he be amember of some commonalty, that is to say, ofsome lawful assembly, that is to say, of some ChristianChurch, that hath power to judge of the causefor which he is to be excommunicated. For wherethere is no community, there can be no excommunication;nor where there is no power to judge,can there be any power to give sentence.

From hence it followeth, that one Church cannotbe excommunicated by another: for either theyhave equal power to excommunicate each other, inwhich case excommunication is not discipline, noran act of authority, but schism, and dissolution ofcharity; or one is so subordinate to the other, asthat they both have but one voice; and then theybe but one Church; and the part excommunicatedis no more a Church, but a dissolute number ofindividual persons.

And because the sentence of excommunication,importeth an advice, not to keep company nor somuch as to eat with him that is excommunicate, ifa sovereign prince or assembly be excommunicate,the sentence is of no effect. For all subjects arebound to be in the company and presence of their507own sovereign, when he requireth it, by the law ofnature; nor can they lawfully either expel himfrom any place of his own dominion, whether profaneor holy; nor go out of his dominion withouthis leave; much less, if he call them to that honour,refuse to eat with him. And as to other princesand states, because they are not parts of one andthe same congregation, they need not any othersentence to keep them from keeping company withthe state excommunicate: for the very institution,as it uniteth many men into one community, so itdissociateth one community from another: so thatexcommunication is not needful for keeping kingsand states asunder; nor has any further effectthan is in the nature of policy itself, unless it be toinstigate princes to war upon one another.

Nor is the excommunication of a Christian subject,that obeyeth the laws of his own sovereign,whether Christian or heathen, of any effect. Forif he believe that Jesus is the Christ, he hath theSpirit of God (1 John v. 1): and God dwelleth inhim, and he in God (1 John iv. 15.) But he thathath the spirit of God; he that dwelleth in God;he in whom God dwelleth, can receive no harmby the excommunication of men. Therefore, hethat believeth Jesus to be the Christ, is free fromall the dangers threatened to persons excommunicate.He that believeth it not, is no Christian.Therefore a true and unfeigned Christian is notliable to excommunication: nor he also that is aprofessed Christian, till his hypocrisy appear in hismanners, that is, till his behaviour be contrary tothe law of his sovereign, which is the rule of manners,and which Christ and his apostles have commanded508us to be subject to. For the Church cannotjudge of manners but by external actions, whichactions can never be unlawful, but when they areagainst the law of the commonwealth.

If a man’s father, or mother, or master, be excommunicate,yet are not the children forbiddento keep them company, nor to eat with them: forthat were, for the most part, to oblige them not toeat at all, for want of means to get food; and toauthorize them to disobey their parents and masters,contrary to the precept of the apostles.

In sum, the power of excommunication cannotbe extended further than to the end for which theapostles and pastors of the Church have their commissionfrom our Saviour; which is not to rule bycommand and co-action, but by teaching and directionof men in the way of salvation in the worldto come. And as a master in any science mayabandon his scholar, when he obstinately neglecteththe practise of his rules; but not accuse himof injustice, because he was never bound to obeyhim: so a teacher of Christian doctrine may abandonhis disciples that obstinately continue in anunchristian life; but he cannot say, they do himwrong, because they are not obliged to obey him.For to a teacher that shall so complain, may be appliedthe answer of God to Samuel in the like place,(1 Sam. viii. 7) They have not rejected thee, butme. Excommunication therefore, when it wanteththe assistance of the civil power, as it doth, whena Christian state or prince is excommunicate by aforeign authority, is without effect; and consequentlyought to be without terror. The name ofFulmen excommunicationis, that is, the thunderbolt509of excommunication, proceeded from an imaginationof the Bishop of Rome, which first usedit, that he was king of kings; as the heathen madeJupiter king of the gods, and assigned him, intheir poems, and pictures, a thunderbolt, wherewithto subdue and punish the giants, that shoulddare to deny his power. Which imagination wasgrounded on two errors; one, that the kingdomof Christ is of this world, contrary to our Saviour’sown words, (John xviii. 36) My kingdom is not ofthis world; the other, that he is Christ’s vicar,not only over his own subjects, but over all theChristians of the world; whereof there is no groundin Scripture, and the contrary shall be proved inits due place.

Of the interpreter of the Scriptures, before civil sovereigns became Christians.

St. Paul coming to Thessalonica, where was aSynagogue of the Jews, (Acts, xvii. 2, 3) as hismanner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbathdays reasoned with them out of the Scriptures,opening and alleging, that Christ must needshave suffered and risen again from the dead;and that this Jesus whom he preached was theChrist. The Scriptures here mentioned were theScriptures of the Jews, that is, the Old Testament.The men, to whom he was to prove that Jesus wasthe Christ and risen again from the dead, werealso Jews, and did believe already, that they werethe word of God. Hereupon (as it is in verse 4)some of them believed, and (as it is in verse 5)some believed not. What was the reason, when theyall believed the Scripture, that they did not all believealike; but that some approved, others disapprovedthe interpretation of St. Paul that citedthem; and every one interpreted them to himself?510It was this; St. Paul came to them without anylegal commission, and in the manner of one thatwould not command, but persuade; which he mustneeds do, either by miracles, as Moses did to theIsraelites in Egypt, that they might see his authorityin God’s works; or by reasoning from thealready received Scripture, that they might see thetruth of his doctrine in God’s word. But whosoeverpersuadeth by reasoning from principleswritten, maketh him to whom he speaketh judge,both of the meaning of those principles, and alsoof the force of his inferences upon them. If theseJews of Thessalonica were not, who else was thejudge of what St. Paul alleged out of Scripture?If St. Paul, what needed he to quote any places toprove his doctrine? It had been enough to havesaid, I find it so in Scripture, that is to say, inyour laws, of which I am interpreter, as sent byChrist. The interpreter therefore of the Scripture,to whose interpretation the Jews of Thessalonicawere bound to stand, could be none: every onemight believe, or not believe, according as theallegation seemed to himself to be agreeable, ornot agreeable to the meaning of the places alleged.And generally in all cases of the world, he thatpretendeth any proof, maketh judge of his proofhim to whom he addresseth his speech. And as tothe case of the Jews in particular, they were boundby express words (Deut. xvii.) to receive the determinationof all hard questions, from the priests andjudges of Israel for the time being. But this is to beunderstood of the Jews that were yet unconverted.

For the conversion of the Gentiles, there was nouse of alleging the Scriptures, which they believed511not. The apostles therefore laboured by reason toconfute their idolatry; and that done, to persuadethem to the faith of Christ, by their testimony ofhis life and resurrection. So that there could notyet be any controversy concerning the authority tointerpret Scripture; seeing no man was obliged,during his infidelity, to follow any man’s interpretationof any Scripture, except his sovereign’s interpretationof the laws of his country.

Let us now consider the conversion itself, andsee what there was therein that could be causeof such an obligation. Men were converted to noother thing than to the belief of that which theapostles preached: and the apostles preached nothing,but that Jesus was the Christ, that is to say,the king that was to save them, and reign overthem eternally in the world to come; and consequentlythat he was not dead, but risen again fromthe dead, and gone up into heaven, and should comeagain one day to judge the world, (which alsoshould rise again to be judged,) and reward everyman according to his works. None of thempreached that himself, or any other apostle, wassuch an interpreter of the Scripture, as all that becameChristians, ought to take their interpretationfor law. For to interpret the laws, is part of theadministration of a present kingdom; which theapostles had not. They prayed then, and all otherpastors ever since, let thy kingdom come; and exhortedtheir converts to obey their then ethnicprinces. The New Testament was not yet publishedin one body. Every of the evangelists wasinterpreter of his own gospel; and every apostleof his own epistle; and of the Old Testament our512Saviour himself saith to the Jews (John v. 39)Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think tohave eternal life, and they are they that testifyof me. If he had not meant they should interpretthem, he would not have bidden them take thencethe proof of his being the Christ: he would eitherhave interpreted them himself, or referred them tothe interpretation of the priests.

When a difficulty arose, the apostles and eldersof the Church assembled themselves together, anddetermined what should be preached and taught,and how they should interpret the Scriptures to thepeople; but took not from the people the libertyto read and interpret them to themselves. Theapostles sent divers letters to the Churches, andother writings for their instruction; which had beenin vain, if they had not allowed them to interpret,that is, to consider the meaning of them. And asit was in the apostles’ time, it must be till suchtime as there should be pastors, that could authorizean interpreter, whose interpretation shouldgenerally be stood to: but that could not be tillkings were pastors, or pastors kings.

Of the power to make Scripture, law.

There be two senses, wherein a writing may besaid to be canonical; for canon, signifieth a rule;and a rule is a precept, by which a man is guidedand directed in any action whatsoever. Such precepts,though given by a teacher to his disciple, ora counsellor to his friend, without power to compelhim to observe them, are nevertheless canons;because they are rules. But when they are givenby one, whom he that receiveth them is bound toobey, then are those canons, not only rules, butlaws. The question therefore here, is of the power513to make the Scriptures, which are the rules ofChristian faith, laws.

Of the ten commandments.

That part of the Scripture, which was first law,was the Ten Commandments, written in two tablesof stone, and delivered by God himself to Moses;and by Moses made known to the people. Beforethat time there was no written law of God, who asyet having not chosen any people to be his peculiarkingdom, had given no law to men, but thelaw of nature, that is to say, the precepts of naturalreason, written in every man’s own heart.Of these two tables, the first containeth the law ofsovereignty; 1. That they should not obey, norhonour the gods of other nations, in these words,Non habebis deos alienos coram me, that is, thoushalt not have for gods, the gods that other nationsworship, but only me: whereby they wereforbidden to obey, or honour, as their king and governor,any other God, than him that spake untothem then by Moses, and afterwards by the high-priest.2. That they should not make any imageto represent him; that is to say, they were not tochoose to themselves, neither in heaven, nor inearth, any representative of their own fancying,but obey Moses and Aaron, whom he had appointedto that office. 3. That they should nottake the name of God in vain; that is, they shouldnot speak rashly of their king, nor dispute hisright, nor the commissions of Moses and Aaron,his lieutenants. 4. That they should every seventhday abstain from their ordinary labour, and employthat time in doing him public honour. Thesecond table containeth the duty of one man towardsanother, as to honour parents; not to kill;514not to commit adultery; not to steal; not to corruptjudgment by false witness; and finally, notso much as to design in their heart the doing ofany injury one to another. The question now is,who it was that gave to these written tables theobligatory force of laws. There is no doubt butthey were made laws by God himself: but becausea law obliges not, nor is law to any, but to themthat acknowledge it to be the act of the sovereign;how could the people of Israel, that were forbiddento approach the mountain to hear what God saidto Moses, be obliged to obedience to all those lawswhich Moses propounded to them? Some of themwere indeed the laws of nature, as all the secondtable; and therefore to be acknowledged for God’slaws; not to the Israelites alone, but to all people:but of those that were peculiar to the Israelites, asthose of the first table, the question remains; savingthat they had obliged themselves, presentlyafter the propounding of them, to obey Moses, inthese words (Exod. xx. 19), Speak thou to us, andwe will hear thee; but let not God speak to us,lest we die. It was therefore only Moses then,and after him the high-priest, whom, by Moses,God declared should administer this his peculiarkingdom, that had on earth the power to make thisshort Scripture of the Decalogue to be law in thecommonwealth of Israel. But Moses, and Aaron,and the succeeding high-priests, were the civil sovereigns.Therefore hitherto, the canonizing ormaking the Scripture law, belonged to the civilsovereign.

Of the judicial and Levitical law.

The judicial law, that is to say, the laws thatGod prescribed to the magistrates of Israel for the515rule of their administration of justice, and of thesentences or judgments they should pronounce inpleas between man and man; and the Leviticallaw, that is to say, the rule that God prescribedtouching the rites and ceremonies of the priestsand Levites, were all delivered to them by Mosesonly; and therefore also became laws, by virtue ofthe same promise of obedience to Moses. Whetherthese laws were then written, or not written,but dictated to the people by Moses, after his beingforty days with God in the Mount, by word ofmouth, is not expressed in the text; but they wereall positive laws, and equivalent to holy Scripture,and made canonical by Moses the civil sovereign.

The second law.

After the Israelites were come into the plains ofMoab over against Jericho, and ready to enter intothe land of promise, Moses to the former laws addeddivers others; which therefore are called Deuteronomy;that is, second laws. And are, (as it iswritten Deut. xxix. 1) the words of a covenantwhich the Lord commanded Moses to make withthe children of Israel, besides the covenant whichhe made with them in Horeb. For having explainedthose former laws, in the beginning of thebook of Deuteronomy, he addeth others, that beginat the xiith chapter, and continue to the end of thexxvith of the same book. This law (Deut. xxvii. 3)they were commanded to write upon great stonesplastered over, at their passing over Jordan: thislaw also was written by Moses himself in a book,and delivered into the hands of the priests, and tothe elders of Israel (Deut. xxxi. 9), and commanded(verse 26) to be put in the side of the ark;for in the ark itself was nothing but the ten commandments.516This was the law, which Moses (Deut.xvii. 18) commanded the kings of Israel shouldkeep a copy of: and this is the law, which havingbeen long time lost, was found again in the templein the time of Josiah, and by his authority receivedfor the law of God. But both Moses at the writing,and Josiah at the recovery thereof, had bothof them the civil sovereignty. Hitherto thereforethe power of making Scripture canonical, was inthe civil sovereign.

Besides this book of the law, there was no otherbook, from the time of Moses till after the Captivity,received amongst the Jews for the law of God.For the prophets, except a few, lived in the time ofthe Captivity itself; and the rest lived but a littlebefore it; and were so far from having their propheciesgenerally received for laws, as that theirpersons were persecuted, partly by false prophets,and partly by the kings which were seduced bythem. And this book itself, which was confirmedby Josiah for the law of God, and with it all thehistory of the works of God, was lost in the captivityand sack of the city of Jerusalem, as appearsby that of 2 Esdras, xiv. 21, thy law is burnt;therefore no man knoweth the things that are doneof thee, or the works that shall begin. And beforethe captivity, between the time when the lawwas lost, (which is not mentioned in the Scripture,but may probably be thought to be the time of Rehoboam,when (1 Kings xiv. 26) Shishak, king ofEgypt, took the spoil of the temple), and the time ofJosiah when it was found again, they had no writtenword of God, but ruled according to their owndiscretion, or by the direction of such as each ofthem esteemed prophets.

The Old Testament when made canonical.

517From hence we may infer, that the Scriptures ofthe Old Testament, which we have at this day, werenot canonical nor a law unto the Jews, till the renovationof their covenant with God at their returnfrom the captivity, and restoration of their commonwealthunder Esdras. But from that time forwardthey were accounted the law of the Jews, and forsuch translated into Greek by seventy elders ofJudea, and put into the library of Ptolemy at Alexandria,and approved for the word of God. Nowseeing Esdras was the high-priest, and the high-priestwas their civil sovereign, it is manifest thatthe Scriptures were never made laws, but by thesovereign civil power.

The New Testament began to be canonical under Christian sovereigns.

By the writings of the fathers that lived in thetime before that the Christian religion was received,and authorized by Constantine the emperor, we mayfind, that the books we now have of the New Testamentwere held by the Christians of that time,except a few, (in respect of whose paucity the restwere called the Catholic Church, and others heretics),for the dictates of the Holy Ghost, and consequentlyfor the canon or rule of faith: such wasthe reverence and opinion they had of their teachers;as generally the reverence, that the disciplesbear to their first masters in all manner of doctrinethey receive from them, is not small. Thereforethere is no doubt, but when St. Paul wrote to theChurches he had converted; or any other apostleor disciple of Christ, to those which had then embracedChrist; they received those their writingsfor the true Christian doctrine. But in that time,when not the power and authority of the teacher,but the faith of the hearer, caused them to receive518it, it was not the apostles that made their own writingscanonical, but every convert made them so tohimself.

But the question here, is not what any Christianmade a law or canon to himself, which he mightagain reject by the same right he received it; butwhat was so made a canon to them, as without injusticethey could not do any thing contrary thereunto.That the New Testament should in this sense becanonical, that is to say a law, in any place wherethe law of the commonwealth had not made it so,is contrary to the nature of a law. For a law, ashas been already shown, is the commandment ofthat man or assembly, to whom we have givensovereign authority to make such rules for the directionof our actions as he shall think fit, andto punish us when we do any thing contrary to thesame. When therefore any other man shall offerunto us any other rules, which the sovereign rulerhath not prescribed, they are but counsel andadvice; which, whether good or bad, he that iscounselled, may without injustice refuse to observe;and when contrary to the laws already established,without injustice cannot observe, how good soeverhe conceiveth it to be. I say, he cannot in thiscase observe the same in his actions, nor in his discoursewith other men; though he may withoutblame believe his private teachers, and wish he hadthe liberty to practise their advice, and that itwere publicly received for law. For internal faithis in its own nature invisible, and consequently exemptedfrom all human jurisdiction; whereas thewords and actions that proceed from it, as breachesof our civil obedience, are injustice both before God519and man. Seeing then our Saviour hath deniedhis kingdom to be in this world, seeing he had said,he came not to judge, but to save the world, hehath not subjected us to other laws than those ofthe commonwealth; that is, the Jews to the law ofMoses, which he saith (Matth. v. 17) he came not todestroy, but to fulfil; and other nations to the lawsof their several sovereigns, and all men to the lawsof nature; the observing whereof, both he himself,and his apostles, have in their teaching recommendedto us, as a necessary condition of being admittedby him in the last day into his eternal kingdom,wherein shall be protection, and life everlasting.Seeing then our Saviour, and his apostles, left notnew laws to oblige us in this world, but new doctrineto prepare us for the next; the books of theNew Testament, which contain that doctrine, untilobedience to them was commanded by them thatGod had given power to on earth to be legislators,were not obligatory canons, that is, laws, but onlygood and safe advice, for the direction of sinnersin the way to salvation, which every man mighttake and refuse at his own peril, without injustice.

Again, our Saviour Christ’s commission to hisapostles and disciples, was to proclaim his kingdom,not present, but to come; and to teach allnations, and to baptize them that should believe;and to enter into the houses of them that shouldreceive them, and where they were not received, toshake off the dust of their feet against them; butnot to call for fire from heaven to destroy them,nor to compel them to obedience by the sword.In all which there is nothing of power, but of persuasion.He sent them out as sheep unto wolves,520not as kings to their subjects. They had not incommission to make laws; but to obey, and teachobedience to laws made; and consequently theycould not make their writings obligatory canons,without the help of the sovereign civil power. Andtherefore the Scripture of the New Testament isthere only law, where the lawful civil power hathmade it so. And there also the king, or sovereign,maketh it a law to himself; by which he subjectethhimself, not to the doctor or apostle that convertedhim, but to God himself and his Son JesusChrist, as immediately as did the apostles themselves.

Of the power of councils to make the Scriptures law.

That which may seem to give the New Testament,in respect of those that have embraced Christiandoctrine, the force of laws, in the times and placesof persecution, is the decrees they made amongstthemselves in their synod. For we read (Acts xv.28) the style of the council of the apostles, theelders, and the whole Church, in this manner; Itseemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to layupon you no greater burthen than these necessarythings, &c; which is a style that signifieth a powerto lay a burthen on them that had received theirdoctrine. Now to lay a burthen on another, seemeththe same as to oblige; and therefore the acts ofthat council were laws to the then Christians.Nevertheless, they were no more laws than arethese other precepts, Repent; be baptized; keepthe commandments; believe the gospel; come untome; sell all that thou hast; give it to the poor;and, follow me; which are not commands, but invitations,and callings of men to Christianity, likethat of Isaiah lv. 1; Ho, every man that thirsteth,521come ye to the waters, come, and buy wine andmilk without money. For first, the apostles’ powerwas no other than that of our Saviour, to invitemen to embrace the kingdom of God; which theythemselves acknowledged for a kingdom, not present,but to come; and they that have no kingdom,can make no laws. And secondly, if their acts ofcouncil were laws, they could not without sin be disobeyed.But we read not any where, that they whor*ceived not the doctrine of Christ, did therein sin;but that they died in their sins; that is, that theirsins against the laws to which they owed obedience,were not pardoned. And those laws were the lawsof nature, and the civil laws of the state, wheretoevery Christian man had by pact submitted himself.And therefore by the burthen, which the apostlesmight lay on such as they had converted, are notto be understood laws, but conditions proposed tothose that sought salvation; which they mightaccept or refuse at their own peril, without a newsin, though not without the hazard of being condemnedand excluded out of the kingdom of Godfor their sins past. And therefore of infidels, St.John saith not, the wrath of God shall come uponthem, but (John iii. 36) the wrath of God remainethupon them; and not that they shall be condemned,but that (John iii. 18) they are condemned already.Nor can it be conceived, that the benefit of faithis remission of sins, unless we conceive withal, thatthe damage of infidelity is the retention of thesame sins.

But to what end is it, may some man ask, thatthe apostles, and other pastors of the Church aftertheir time, should meet together to agree upon522what doctrine should be taught, both for faith andmanners, if no man were obliged to observe theirdecrees? To this may be answered, that the apostlesand elders of that council were obliged even bytheir entrance into it, to teach the doctrine thereinconcluded and decreed to be taught, so far forth,as no precedent law, to which they were obliged toyield obedience, was to the contrary; but not thatall other Christians should be obliged to observewhat they taught. For though they might deliberatewhat each of them should teach; yet theycould not deliberate what others should do, unlesstheir assembly had had a legislative power; whichnone could have but civil sovereigns. For thoughGod be the sovereign of all the world, we are notbound to take for his law whatsoever is propoundedby every man in his name; nor anything contraryto the civil law, which God hath expressly commandedus to obey.

Seeing then the acts of council of the apostles,were then no laws, but counsels; much less arelaws the acts of any other doctors or council since,if assembled without the authority of the civilsovereign. And consequently, the Books of theNew Testament, though most perfect rules ofChristian doctrine, could not be made laws by anyother authority than that of kings or sovereignassemblies.

The first council, that made the Scriptures wenow have canon, is not extant: for that collectionof the canons of the apostles, attributed toClemens, the first bishop of Rome after St. Peter,is subject to question. For though the canonicalbooks be there reckoned up; yet these words,523sint vobis omnibus clericis et laicis libri venerandi,etc. contain a distinction of clergy and laity,that was not in use so near St. Peter’s time. Thefirst council for settling the canonical Scripture,that is extant, is that of Laodicea, (Can. lix.) whichforbids the reading of other books than those inthe churches; which is a mandate that is not addressedto every Christian, but to those only thathad authority to read any thing publicly in thechurch; that is, to ecclesiastics only.

Of the right of constituting ecclesiastical officers in the time of the apostles.

Of ecclesiastical officers in the time of the apostles,some were magisterial, some ministerial. Magisterialwere the offices of the preaching of thegospel of the kingdom of God to infidels; of administeringthe sacraments, and divine service; andof teaching the rules of faith and manners to thosethat were converted. Ministerial was the office ofdeacons, that is, of them that were appointed tothe administration of the secular necessities of thechurch, at such time as they lived upon a commonstock of money, raised out of the voluntary contributionsof the faithful.

Amongst the officers magisterial, the first andprincipal were the apostles; whereof there were atfirst but twelve; and these were chosen and constitutedby our Saviour himself; and their officewas not only to preach, teach, and baptize, butalso to be martyrs, witnesses of our Saviour’s resurrection.This testimony was the specificaland essential mark, whereby the apostleship wasdistinguished from other magistracy ecclesiastical;as being necessary for an apostle, either to haveseen our Saviour after his resurrection, or tohave conversed with him before, and seen his524works, and other arguments of his divinity; wherebythey might be taken for sufficient witnesses.And therefore at the election of a new apostle inthe place of Judas Iscariot, St. Peter saith (Actsi. 21, 22) Of these men that have companied withus, all the time that the Lord Jesus went in andout amongst us, beginning from the baptism ofJohn unto that same day that he was taken upfrom us, must one be ordained to be a witnesswith us of his resurrection: where by this wordmust, is implied a necessary property of an apostle,to have companied with the first and prime apostles,in the time that our Saviour manifested himself inthe flesh.

Matthias made apostle by the congregation.

The first apostle, of those which were not constitutedby Christ in the time he was upon the earth,was Matthias, chosen in this manner. There wereassembled together in Jerusalem about one hundredand twenty Christians (Acts i. 15). These(verse 23) appointed two, Joseph the Just and Matthias,and caused lots to be drawn; and (verse 26)the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numberedwith the apostles. So that here we see the ordinationof this apostle was the act of the congregation,and not of St. Peter nor of the eleven, otherwisethan as members of the assembly.

Paul and Barnabas made apostles by the Church of Antioch.

After him there was never any other apostleordained, but Paul and Barnabas; which was doneas we read (Acts xiii. 1, 2, 3) in this manner.There were in the Church that was at Antioch,certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas,and Simeon that was called Niger, and Luciusof Cyrene, and Manaen; which had been broughtup with Herod the Tetrarch, and Saul. As they525ministered unto the Lord, and fasted, the HolyGhost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul forthe work whereunto I have called them. Andwhen they had fasted and prayed, and laid theirhands on them, they sent them away.

By which it is manifest, that though they werecalled by the Holy Ghost, their calling was declaredunto them and their mission authorized bythe particular Church of Antioch. And that thistheir calling was to the apostleship, is apparent bythat, that they are both called (Acts xiv. 14) apostles:and that it was by virtue of this act of theChurch of Antioch, that they were apostles, St.Paul declareth plainly (Rom. i. 1), in that he useththe word, which the Holy Ghost used at hiscalling: for he styleth himself, An apostle separatedunto the gospel of God; alluding to thewords of the Holy Ghost, Separate me Barnabasand Saul, &c. But seeing the work of an apostle,was to be a witness of the resurrection of Christ, aman may here ask, how St. Paul, that conversednot with our Saviour before his passion, couldknow he was risen? To which is easily answered,that our Saviour himself appeared to him in theway to Damascus, from heaven, after his ascension;and chose him for a vessel to bear his namebefore the Gentiles, and kings, and children ofIsrael: and consequently, having seen the Lordafter his passion, he was a competent witness of hisresurrection. And as for Barnabas, he was a disciplebefore the passion. It is therefore evidentthat Paul and Barnabas were apostles; and yetchosen and authorized, not by the first apostlesalone, but by the Church of Antioch; as Matthias526was chosen and authorized by the Church ofJerusalem.

What offices in the church are magisterial.

Bishop, a word formed in our language outof the Greek Επισκοπος, signifieth an overseer orsuperintendent of any business, and particularly apastor or shepherd; and thence by metaphor wastaken, not only amongst the Jews that were originallyshepherds, but also amongst the heathen, tosignify the office of a king, or any other ruler orguide of people, whether he ruled by laws or doctrine.And so the apostles were the first Christianbishops, instituted by Christ himself: in whichsense the apostleship of Judas is called (Acts i. 20)his bishopric. And afterwards, when there wereconstituted elders in the Christian Churches, withcharge to guide Christ’s flock by their doctrineand advice; these elders were also called bishops.Timothy was an elder, (which word elder, in theNew Testament, is a name of office, as well as ofa*ge); yet he was also a bishop. And bishops werethen content with the title of elders. Nay St. Johnhimself, the apostle beloved of our Lord, beginnethhis second Epistle with these words, The elder tothe elect lady. By which it is evident, that bishop,pastor, elder, doctor, that is to say, teacher, werebut so many divers names of the same office in thetime of the apostles; for there was then no governmentby coercion, but only by doctrine and persuading.The kingdom of God was yet to come,in a new world: so that there could be no authorityto compel in any Church, till the commonwealthhad embraced the Christian faith: and consequentlyno diversity of authority, though therewere diversity of employments.

527Besides these magisterial employments in theChurch, namely, apostles, bishops, elders, pastors,and doctors, whose calling was to proclaim Christto the Jews and infidels, and to direct and to teachthose that believed, we read in the New Testamentof no other. For by the names of evangelists andprophets, is not signified any office, but severalgifts, by which several men were profitable to theChurch: as evangelists, by writing the life and actsof our Saviour, such as were St. Matthew and St.John apostles, and St. Mark and St. Luke disciples,and whosoever else wrote of that subject, (as St.Thomas, and St. Barnabas are said to have done,though the Church have not received the booksthat have gone under their names): and as prophets,by the gift of interpreting the Old Testament,and sometimes by declaring their specialrevelations to the Church. For neither these gifts,nor the gifts of languages, nor the gift of castingout devils, nor of curing other diseases, nor anything else, did make an officer in the Church, saveonly the due calling and election to the charge ofteaching.

Ordination of teachers.

As the apostles, Matthias, Paul, and Barnabas,were not made by our Saviour himself, but wereelected by the Church, that is, by the assembly ofChristians; namely, Matthias by the Church ofJerusalem, and Paul and Barnabas by the Churchof Antioch; so were also the presbyters and pastorsin other cities, elected by the Churches ofthose cities. For proof whereof let us consider,first, how St. Paul proceeded in the ordination ofpresbyters, in the cities where he had convertedmen to the Christian faith, immediately after he528and Barnabas had received their apostleship. Weread (Acts xiv. 23) that they ordained elders inevery Church; which at first sight may be takenfor an argument, that they themselves chose, andgave them their authority: but if we consider theoriginal text, it will be manifest that they wereauthorized and chosen by the assembly of theChristians of each city. For the words there are,χειροτονήσαντες ἀυτοῖς πρεσβυτέρους κατ’ ἐκκλησίαν, that is,when they had ordained them elders by the holdingup of hands in every congregation. Now itis well enough known, that in all those cities themanner of choosing magistrates and officers, wasby plurality of suffrages; and, because the ordinaryway of distinguishing the affirmative votesfrom the negatives, was by holding up of hands, toordain an officer in any of the cities, was no morebut to bring the people together, to elect them byplurality of votes, whether it were by plurality ofelevated hands, or by plurality of voices, or pluralityof balls, or beans, or small stones, of whichevery man cast in one, into a vessel marked for theaffirmative or negative; for divers cities had diverscustoms in that point. It was therefore the assemblythat elected their own elders: the apostleswere only presidents of the assembly, to call themtogether for such election, and to pronounce themelected, and to give them the benediction whichnow is called consecration. And for this cause,they that were presidents of the assemblies, as inthe absence of the apostles the elders were, werecalled προεστῶτες, and in Latin antistites; whichwords signify the principal person of the assembly,whose office was to number the votes, and to declare529thereby who was chosen; and where the voteswere equal, to decide the matter in question, byadding his own; which is the office of a presidentin council. And, because all the Churches had theirpresbyters ordained in the same manner, where theword is constitute, (as Titus i. 5) ἵνα καταστησης καταπόλιν πρεσβυτέρους, For this cause left I thee inCrete, that thou shouldest constitute elders in everycity, we are to understand the same thing, namely,that he should call the faithful together, and ordainthem presbyters by plurality of suffrages. It hadbeen a strange thing, if in a town, where men perhapshad never seen any magistrate otherwisechosen than by an assembly, those of the town becomingChristians should so much as have thoughton any other way of election of their teachers andguides, that is to say, of their presbyters, (otherwisecalled bishops) than this of plurality of suffrages,intimated by St. Paul (Acts xiv. 23) in the wordχειροτονήσαντες. Nor was there ever any choosingof bishops, before the emperors found it necessaryto regulate them, in order to the keeping of thepeace amongst them, but by the assemblies of theChristians in every several town.

The same is also confirmed by the continualpractice, even to this day, in the election of thebishops of Rome. For if the bishop of any placehad the right of choosing another, to the successionof the pastoral office, in any city, at such times ashe went from thence to plant the same in anotherplace; much more had he had the right to appointhis successors in that place, in which he last residedand died: and we find not that ever any bishop ofRome appointed his successor. For they were a530long time chosen by the people, as we may see bythe sedition raised about the election between Damasusand Ursicinus; which Ammianus Marcellinussaith was so great, that Juventius the præfect,unable to keep the peace between them, was forcedto go out of the city; and that there were abovean hundred men found dead upon that occasion inthe church itself. And though they afterwardswere chosen, first, by the whole clergy of Rome,and afterwards by the cardinals; yet never anywas appointed to the succession by his predecessor.If therefore they pretended no right to appointtheir own successors, I think I may reasonably concludethey had no right to appoint the successorsof other bishops, without receiving some new power;which none could take from the Church to bestowon them, but such as had a lawful authority, notonly to teach, but to command the Church; whichnone could do, but the civil sovereign.

Ministers of the Church, what.

The word minister, in the original Διάκονος, signifiethone that voluntarily doth the business ofanother man; and differeth from a servant only inthis, that servants are obliged by their condition, todo what is commanded them; whereas ministersare obliged only by their undertaking, and boundtherefore to no more than that they have undertaken:so that both they that teach the word ofGod, and they that administer the secular affairs ofthe Church, are both ministers, but they are ministersof different persons. For the pastors of the Church,called (Acts vi. 4) the ministers of the word, areministers of Christ, whose word it is: but the ministryof a deacon, which is called (verse 2 of thesame chapter) serving of tables, is a service done531to the Church or congregation: so that neither anyone man, nor the whole church, could ever of theirpastor say, he was their minister: but of a deacon,whether the charge he undertook were to servetables, or distribute maintenance to the Christians,when they lived in each city on a common stockor upon collections, as in the first times, or to takea care of the house of prayer, or of the revenue, orother worldly business of the Church, the wholecongregation might properly call him their minister.

For their employment, as deacons, was to servethe congregation; though upon occasion they omittednot to preach the gospel, and maintain the doctrineof Christ, every one according to his gifts, as St.Stephen did; and both to preach and baptize, asPhilip did. For that Philip, which (Acts viii. 5)preached the gospel at Samaria, and (verse 38) baptizedthe Eunuch, was Philip the deacon, not Philipthe apostle. For it is manifest (verse 1) that whenPhilip preached in Samaria, the apostles were atJerusalem, and (verse 14) when they heard that Samariahad received the word of God, sent Peterand John to them; by imposition of whose hands,they that were baptized (verse 15), received, whichbefore by the baptism of Philip they had not received,the Holy Ghost. For it was necessary forthe conferring of the Holy Ghost, that their baptismshould be administered or confirmed by aminister of the word, not by a minister of theChurch. And therefore to confirm the baptism ofthose that Philip the deacon had baptized, theapostles sent out of their own number from Jerusalemto Samaria, Peter and John; who conferredon them that before were but baptized, those graces532that were signs of the Holy Spirit, which at thattime did accompany all true believers; which whatthey were may be understood by that which St.Mark saith (chap. xvi. 17), these signs follow themthat believe in my name; they shall cast out devils;they shall speak with new tongues; they shalltake up serpents; and if they drink any deadlything, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay handson the sick, and they shall recover. This to do,was it that Philip could not give; but the apostlescould, and, as appears by this place, effectually didto every man that truly believed and was by a ministerof Christ himself baptized: which powereither Christ’s ministers in this age cannot confer,or else there are very few true believers, or Christhath very few ministers.

And how chosen.

That the first deacons were chosen, not by theapostles, but by a congregation of the disciples,that is, of Christian men of all sorts, is manifest outof Acts vi, where we read that the Twelve, afterthe number of disciples was multiplied, called themtogether, and having told them, that it was not fitthat the apostles should leave the word of God andserve tables, said unto them, (verse 3) Brethren, lookyou out among you seven men of honest report,full of the Holy Ghost and of wisdom, whom wemay appoint over this business. Here it is manifest,that though the apostles declared themelected; yet the congregation chose them; whichalso (verse 5) is more expressly said, where it iswritten, that the saying pleased the whole multitude,and they chose seven, &c.

Of ecclesiastical revenue, under the law of Moses.

Under the Old Testament, the tribe of Levi wereonly capable of the priesthood, and other inferior533offices of the Church. The land was dividedamongst the other tribes, Levi excepted, which, bythe subdivision of the tribe of Joseph into Ephraimand Manasseh, were still twelve. To the tribe ofLevi were assigned certain cities for their habitation,with the suburbs for their cattle: but for their portion,they were to have the tenth of the fruits ofthe land of their brethren. Again, the priests fortheir maintenance had the tenth of that tenth, togetherwith part of the oblations and sacrifices.For God had said to Aaron (Numb. xviii. 20) Thoushalt have no inheritance in their land; neithershalt thou have any part amongst them; I am thypart and thine inheritance amongst the childrenof Israel. For God being then king, and havingconstituted the tribe of Levi to be his public ministers,he allowed them for their maintenancethe public revenue, that is to say, the part that Godhad reserved to himself; which were tithes andofferings: and that is it which is meant, where Godsaith, I am thine inheritance. And therefore tothe Levites might not unfitly be attributed thename of clergy, from κλῆρος, which signifieth lotor inheritance; not that they were heirs of thekingdom of God, more than other; but that God’sinheritance was their maintenance. Now, seeingin this time God himself was their king, and Moses,Aaron, and the succeeding high-priests, were hislieutenants; it is manifest, that the right of tithesand offerings was constituted by the civil power.

After their rejection of God in the demanding ofa king, they enjoyed still the same revenue; butthe right thereof was derived from that, that thekings did never take it from them: for the public534revenue was at the disposing of him that was thepublic person; and that, till the Captivity, was theking. And again, after the return from the Captivity,they paid their tithes as before to the priest.Hitherto therefore Church livings were determinedby the civil sovereign.

In our Saviour’s time, and after.

Of the maintenance of our Saviour and his apostles,we read only they had a purse, which wascarried by Judas Iscariot; and that of the apostles,such as were fishermen did sometimes use theirtrade; and that when our Saviour sent the twelveapostles to preach, he forbad them (Matth. x. 9,10): to carry gold, and silver, and brass in theirpurses, for that the workman is worthy of his hire.By which it is probable, their ordinary maintenancewas not unsuitable to their employment; for theiremployment was (verse 8) freely to give, becausethey had freely received; and their maintenancewas the free gift of those that believed the goodtiding they carried about of the coming of the Messiahtheir Saviour. To which we may add, thatwhich was contributed out of gratitude by suchas our Saviour had healed of diseases; of which arementioned (Luke viii. 2, 3) Certain women whichhad been healed of evil spirits and infirmities;Mary Magdalen, out of whom went seven devils;and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward,and Susanna, and many others, which ministeredunto him of their substance.

After our Saviour’s ascension, the Christians ofevery city lived in common (Acts iv. 34,35) upon themoney which was made of the sale of their landsand possessions, and laid down at the feet of theapostles, of good will, not of duty; for, whilst the535land remained, saith St. Peter to Ananias (Actsv. 4), was it not thine? and after it was sold, wasit not in thy power? which sheweth he needednot have saved his land nor his money by lying,as not being bound to contribute any thing at all,unless he had pleased. And as in the time of theapostles, so also all the time downward, till afterConstantine the Great, we shall find that themaintenance of the bishops and pastors of theChristian Church was nothing but the voluntarycontribution of them that had embraced their doctrine.There was yet no mention of tithes: butsuch was in the time of Constantine and his sonsthe affection of Christians to their pastors, asAmmianus Marcellinus saith, describing the seditionof Damasus and Ursicinus about the bishopric,that it was worth their contention, in that thebishops of those times, by the liberality of theirflock, and especially of matrons, lived splendidly,were carried in coaches, and were sumptuous intheir fare and apparel.

The ministers of the Gospel lived on the benevolence of their flocks.

But here may some ask, whether the pastors werethen bound to live upon voluntary contribution,as upon alms; For who, saith St. Paul (1 Cor. ix. 7)goeth to war at his own charges? or who feedeth aflock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? Andagain, (verse 13) Do ye not know that they whichminister about holy things, live of the things of thetemple; and they which wait at the altar, partakewith the altar; that is to say, have part ofthat which is offered at the altar for their maintenance?And then he concludeth, (verse 14) Even sohath the Lord appointed, that they which preachthe gospel should live of the gospel. From whichplace may be inferred indeed, that the pastors of536the Church ought to be maintained by their flocks;but not that the pastors were to determine, eitherthe quantity, or the kind of their own allowance,and be, as it were, their own carvers. Their allowancemust needs therefore be determined, eitherby the gratitude and liberality of every particularman of their flock, or by the whole congregation.By the whole congregation it could not be, becausetheir acts were then no laws; therefore the maintenanceof pastors before emperors and civil sovereignshad made laws to settle it, was nothing butbenevolence. They that served at the altar livedon what was offered. So may the pastors alsotake what is offered them by their flock; but notexact what is not offered. In what court shouldthey sue for it, who had no tribunals? Or, if theyhad arbitrators amongst themselves, who shouldexecute their judgments, when they had no powerto arm their officers? It remaineth, therefore, thatthere could be no certain maintenance assigned toany pastors of the Church, but by the whole congregation;and then only, when their decreesshould have the force, not only of canons, but alsoof laws; which laws could not be made, but byemperors, kings, or other civil sovereigns. Theright of tithes in Moses’ law, could not be appliedto the then ministers of the gospel; because Mosesand the high-priests were the civil sovereigns ofthe people under God, whose kingdom amongstthe Jews was present; whereas the kingdom ofGod by Christ is yet to come.

Hitherto hath been shewn what the pastors ofthe Church are; what are the points of their commission,as that they were to preach, to teach, to537baptize, to be presidents in their several congregations;what is ecclesiastical censure, viz. excommunication,that is to say, in those places whereChristianity was forbidden by the civil laws, aputting of themselves out of the company of theexcommunicate, and where Christianity was by thecivil law commanded, a putting the excommunicateout of the congregations of Christians; who electedthe pastors and ministers of the Church, that itwas the congregation; who consecrated andblessed them, that it was the pastor; what wastheir due revenue, that it was none but their ownpossessions, and their own labour, and the voluntarycontributions of devout and grateful Christians.We are to consider now, what office in theChurch those persons have, who being civil sovereigns,have embraced also the Christian faith.

That the civil sovereign, being a Christian, hath the right of appointing pastors.

And first, we are to remember, that the right ofjudging what doctrines are fit for peace, and to betaught the subjects, is in all commonwealths inseparablyannexed, as hath been already proved(chapter XVIII.), to the sovereign power civil, whetherit be in one man, or in one assembly of men.For it is evident to the meanest capacity, thatmen’s actions are derived from the opinions theyhave of the good or evil, which from those actionsredound unto themselves; and consequently, menthat are once possessed of an opinion, that theirobedience to the sovereign power will be morehurtful to them than their disobedience, will disobeythe laws, and thereby overthrow the commonwealth,and introduce confusion and civil war; forthe avoiding whereof, all civil government was ordained.And therefore in all commonwealths of538the heathen, the sovereigns have had the name ofpastors of the people, because there was no subjectthat could lawfully teach the people, but by theirpermission and authority.

This right of the heathen kings cannot be thoughttaken from them by their conversion to the faith ofChrist; who never ordained that kings, for believingin him, should be deposed, that is, subjected to anybut himself, or, which is all one, be deprived ofthe power necessary for the conservation of peaceamongst their subjects, and for their defence againstforeign enemies. And therefore Christian kingsare still the supreme pastors of their people, andhave power to ordain what pastors they please, toteach the Church, that is, to teach the people committedto their charge.

Again, let the right of choosing them be, as beforethe conversion of kings, in the Church; for soit was in the time of the apostles themselves, ashath been shown already in this chapter; even soalso the right will be in the civil sovereign, Christian.For in that he is a Christian, he allows the teaching;and in that he is the sovereign, which is as muchas to say, the Church by representation, the teachershe elects are elected by the Church. And whenan assembly of Christians choose their pastor in aChristian commonwealth, it is the sovereign thatelecteth him, because it is done by his authority;in the same manner, as when a town choose theirmayor, it is the act of him that hath the sovereignpower: for every act done, is the act of him, withoutwhose consent it is invalid. And thereforewhatsoever examples may be drawn out of history,concerning the election of pastors by the people,539or by the clergy, they are no arguments againstthe right of any civil sovereign, because they thatelected them did it by his authority.

Seeing then in every Christian commonwealth,the civil sovereign is the supreme pastor, to whosecharge the whole flock of his subjects is committed,and consequently that it is by his authority that allother pastors are made, and have power to teach,and perform all other pastoral offices; it followethalso, that it is from the civil sovereign that allother pastors derive their right of teaching, preaching,and other functions pertaining to that office,and that they are but his ministers; in the samemanner as the magistrates of towns, judges in courtsof justice, and commanders of armies, are all butministers of him that is the magistrate of the wholecommonwealth, judge of all causes, and commanderof the whole militia, which is always the civil sovereign.And the reason hereof, is not because theythat teach, but because they that are to learn, arehis subjects. For let it be supposed, that a Christianking commit the authority of ordaining pastorsin his dominions to another king, as divers Christiankings allow that power to the Pope; he doth notthereby constitute a pastor over himself, nor a sovereignpastor over his people; for that were todeprive himself of the civil power; which, dependingon the opinion men have of their duty to himand the fear they have of punishment in anotherworld, would depend also on the skill and loyaltyof doctors, who are no less subject, not only toambition, but also to ignorance, than any other sortof men. So that where a stranger hath authorityto appoint teachers, it is given him by the sovereign540in whose dominions he teacheth. Christian doctorsare our schoolmasters to Christianity; but kingsare fathers of families, and may receive schoolmastersfor their subjects from the recommendation ofa stranger, but not from the command; especiallywhen the ill teaching them shall redound to thegreat and manifest profit of him that recommendsthem: nor can they be obliged to retain them,longer than it is for the public good; the care ofwhich they stand so long charged withal, as theyretain any other essential right of the sovereignty.

The pastoral authority of sovereigns only is jure divino; that of other pastors is jure civili.

If a man therefore should ask a pastor, in theexecution of his office, as the chief-priests andelders of the people (Matth. xxi. 23) asked ourSaviour, By what authority doest thou these things,and who gave thee this authority? he can makeno other just answer, but that he doth it by theauthority of the commonwealth, given him by theking, or assembly that representeth it. All pastors,except the supreme, execute their charges in theright, that is by the authority of the civil sovereign,that is, jure civili. But the king, and every othersovereign, executeth his office of supreme pastorby immediate authority from God, that is to say,in God’s right or jure divino. And thereforenone but kings can put into their titles a mark oftheir submission to God only, Dei gratiâ rex, &c.Bishops ought to say in the beginning of theirmandates, By the favour of the King’s Majesty,bishop of such a diocese; or as civil ministers, inHis Majesty’s name. For in saying, Divinâ providentiâ,which is the same with Dei gratiâ, thoughdisguised, they deny to have received their authorityfrom the civil state; and slily slip off the collar541of their civil subjection, contrary to the unityand defence of the commonwealth.

Christian kings have power to execute all manner of pastoral function.

But if every Christian sovereign be the supremepastor of his own subjects, it seemeth that he hathalso the authority, not only to preach, which perhapsno man will deny, but also to baptize andto administer the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper:and to consecrate both temples and pastors to God’sservice; which most men deny; partly becausethey use not to do it, and partly because the administrationof sacraments, and consecration ofpersons and places to holy uses, requireth the impositionof such men’s hands, as by the like impositionsuccessively from the time of the apostleshave been ordained to the like ministry. For prooftherefore that Christian kings have power to baptize,and to consecrate, I am to render a reason,both why they use not to do it, and how, withoutthe ordinary ceremony of imposition of hands, theyare made capable of doing it when they will.

There is no doubt but any king, in case he wereskilful in the sciences, might by the same right ofhis office read lectures of them himself, by whichhe authorizeth others to read them in the universities.Nevertheless, because the care of the sumof the business of the commonwealth taketh uphis whole time, it were not convenient for him toapply himself in person to that particular. A kingmay also, if he please, sit in judgment to hear anddetermine all manner of causes, as well as giveothers authority to do it in his name; but that thecharge, that lieth upon him of command and government,constrain him to be continually at thehelm, and to commit the ministerial offices to others542under him. In the like manner our Saviour, whosurely had power to baptize, baptized none (Johniv. 2) himself, but sent his apostles and disciples tobaptize. So also St. Paul, by the necessity ofpreaching in divers and far distant places, baptizedfew: amongst all the Corinthians he baptized only(1 Cor. i. 14, 16,) Crispus, Gaius, and Stephanas; andthe reason was, (1 Cor. i. 17) because his principalcharge was to preach. Whereby it is manifest,that the greater charge, such as is the governmentof the Church, is a dispensation for the less. Thereason therefore why Christian kings use not tobaptize, is evident, and the same for which at thisday there are few baptized by bishops, and by thePope fewer.

And as concerning imposition of hands, whetherit be needful for the authorising of a king to baptizeand consecrate, we may consider thus:

Imposition of hands, was a most ancient publicceremony amongst the Jews, by which was designed,and made certain, the person, or otherthing intended in a man’s prayer, blessing, sacrifice,consecration, condemnation, or other speech.So Jacob, in blessing the children of Joseph (Gen.xlviii. 14), Laid his right hand on Ephraim theyounger, and his left hand on Manasseh the firstborn; and this he did wittingly (though they wereso presented to him by Joseph, as he was forced indoing it to stretch out his arms across) to design towhom he intended the greater blessing. So also inthe sacrificing of the burnt offering, Aaron is commanded(Exod. xxix. 10) to lay his hands on thehead of the bullock: and (verse 15) to lay his handon the head of the ram. The same is also said543again Levit. i. 4, and viii. 14. Likewise Moses,when he ordained Joshua to be captain of the Israelites,that is, consecrated him to God’s service,(Numb. xxvii. 23) Laid his hands upon him, andgave him his charge, designing and rendering certain,who it was they were to obey in war. Andin the consecration of the Levites (Numb. viii. 10),God commanded that the children of Israel shouldput their hands upon the Levites. And in thecondemnation of him that had blasphemed theLord (Levit. xxiv. 14), God commanded that allthat heard him should lay their hands on his head,and that all the congregation should stone him.And why should they only that heard him, lay theirhands upon him, and not rather a priest, Levite, orother minister of justice, but that none else wereable to design and to demonstrate to the eyes ofthe congregation, who it was that had blasphemedand ought to die? And to design a man or anyother thing, by the hand to the eye, is less subjectto mistake, than when it is done to the ear by aname.

And so much was this ceremony observed, thatin blessing the whole congregation at once, whichcannot be done by laying on of hands, yet Aaron(Levit. ix. 22) did lift up his hands toward thepeople when he blessed them. And we read alsoof the like ceremony of consecration of templesamongst the heathen, as that the priest laid hishands on some post of the temple, all the while hewas uttering the words of consecration. So naturalit is to design any individual thing, rather by thehand, to assure the eyes, than by words to informthe ear, in matters of God’s public service.

544This ceremony was not therefore new in ourSaviour’s time. For Jairus (Mark v. 23), whosedaughter was sick, besought our Saviour, not toheal her, but to lay his hands upon her that shemight be healed. And (Matthew xix. 13) theybrought unto him little children, that he shouldput his hands on them, and pray.

According to this ancient rite, the apostles, andpresbyters, and the presbytery itself, laid handson them whom they ordained pastors, and withalprayed for them that they might receive the HolyGhost; and that not only once, but sometimesoftener, when a new occasion was presented: butthe end was still the same, namely a punctual andreligious designation of the person, ordained eitherto the pastoral charge in general, or to a particularmission. So (Acts vi. 6) The apostles prayed, andlaid their hands on the seven deacons; which wasdone, not to give them the Holy Ghost, (for theywere full of the Holy Ghost before they werechosen, as appeareth immediately before, verse 3)but to design them to that office. And after Philipthe deacon had converted certain persons in Samaria,Peter and John went down (Acts viii. 17),and laid their hands on them, and they receivedthe Holy Ghost. And not only an apostle, but apresbyter had this power: for St. Paul advisethTimothy (1 Tim. v. 22) Lay hands suddenly on noman; that is, design no man rashly to the office ofa pastor. The whole presbytery laid their handson Timothy, as we read 1 Tim. iv. 14: but this isto be understood, as that some did it by the appointmentof the presbytery, and most likely theirπροεστὼς, or prolocutor, which it may be was St.545Paul himself. For in his second Epistle to Timothy,(chap. i. 6) he saith to him, Stir up the gift of God,which is in thee by the laying on of my hands:where note by the way, that by the Holy Ghost, isnot meant the third person in the Trinity, but thegifts necessary to the pastoral office. We read also,that St. Paul had imposition of hands twice; oncefrom Ananias at Damascus, (Acts ix. 17, 18) atthe time of his baptism; and again (Acts xiii. 3)at Antioch, when he was first sent out to preach.The use then of this ceremony, considered in theordination of pastors, was to design the person towhom they gave such power. But if there hadbeen then any Christian, that had had the power ofteaching before; the baptizing of him, that is, themaking him a Christian, had given him no newpower, but had only caused him to preach true doctrine,that is, to use his power aright; and thereforethe imposition of hands had been unnecessary;baptism itself had been sufficient. But every sovereign,before Christianity, had the power of teaching,and ordaining teachers; and therefore Christianitygave them no new right, but only directedthem in the way of teaching truth; and consequentlythey needed no imposition of hands, besidesthat which is done in baptism, to authorize them toexercise any part of the pastoral function, as namely,to baptize and consecrate. And in the Old Testament,though the priest only had right to consecrate,during the time that the sovereignty was inthe high-priest; yet it was not so when the sovereigntywas in the king. For we read (1 Kingsviii.) that Solomon blessed the people, consecratedthe Temple, and pronounced that public prayer546which is the pattern now for consecration of allChristian churches and chapels: whereby it appears,he had not only the right of ecclesiasticalgovernment, but also of exercising ecclesiasticalfunctions.

The civil sovereign, if a Christian, is head of the Church in his own dominions.

From this consolidation of the right politic andecclesiastic in Christian sovereigns, it is evident,they have all manner of power over their subjects,that can be given to man, for the government ofmen’s external actions, both in policy and religion;and may make such laws as themselves shall judgefittest, for the government of their own subjects,both as they are the commonwealth, and as theyare the Church; for both State and Church are thesame men.

If they please, therefore, they may, as manyChristian kings now do, commit the government oftheir subjects in matters of religion to the Pope;but then the Pope is in that point subordinate tothem, and exerciseth that charge in another’s dominionjure civili, in the right of the civil sovereign;not jure divino, in God’s right; and maytherefore be discharged of that office, when thesovereign, for the good of his subjects, shall thinkit necessary. They may also, if they please, committhe care of religion to one supreme pastor, orto an assembly of pastors; and give them whatpower over the Church, or one over another, theythink most convenient; and what titles of honour,as of archbishops, bishops, priests, or presbyters,they will; and make such laws for their maintenance,either by tithes or otherwise, as they please, so theydo it out of a sincere conscience, of which Godonly is the judge. It is the civil sovereign that is547to appoint judges and interpreters of the canonicalScriptures; for it is he that maketh them laws.It is he also that giveth strength to excommunications;which but for such laws and punishments,as may humble obstinate libertines, and reduce themto union with the rest of the Church, would becontemned. In sum, he hath the supreme powerin all causes, as well ecclesiastical as civil, as far asconcerneth actions and words, for those only areknown and may be accused; and of that whichcannot be accused, there is no judge at all but God,that knoweth the heart. And these rights areincident to all sovereigns, whether monarchs orassemblies: for they that are the representantsof a Christian people, are representants of theChurch: for a Church, and a commonwealth ofChristian people, are the same thing.

Cardinal Bellarmine’s books, De Summo Pontifice considered.

Though this that I have here said, and in otherplaces of this book, seem clear enough for the assertingof the supreme ecclesiastical power toChristian sovereigns; yet because the Pope ofRome’s challenge to that power universally, hathbeen maintained chiefly, and I think, as strongly asis possible, by Cardinal Bellarmine, in his controversyDe Summo Pontifice; I have thought itnecessary, as briefly as I can, to examine thegrounds and strength of his discourse.

The first book.

Of five books he hath written of this subject, thefirst containeth three questions: one, which issimply the best government, Monarchy, Aristocracy,or Democracy; and concludeth for neither,but for a government mixed of all three: another,which of these is the best government of the Church;and concludeth for the mixed, but which should548most participate of monarchy: the third, whetherin this mixed monarchy, St. Peter had the place ofmonarch. Concerning his first conclusion, I havealready sufficiently proved (chapter XVIII.) that allgovernments which men are bound to obey, aresimple and absolute. In monarchy there is butone man supreme; and all other men that haveany kind of power in the state, have it by his commission,during his pleasure, and execute it in hisname: and in aristocracy and democracy, but onesupreme assembly, with the same power that inmonarchy belongeth to the monarch, which is nota mixed, but an absolute sovereignty. And of thethree sorts, which is the best, is not to be disputed,where any one of them is already established; butthe present ought always to be preferred, maintained,and accounted best; because it is againstboth the law of nature, and the divine positive law,to do anything tending to the subversion thereof.Besides, it maketh nothing to the power of anypastor, unless he have the civil sovereignty, whatkind of government is the best; because their callingis not to govern men by commandment, but toteach them, and persuade them by arguments, andleave it to them to consider whether they shall embrace,or reject the doctrine taught. For monarchy,aristocracy, and democracy, do mark out unto usthree sorts of sovereigns, not of pastors; or, as wemay say, three sorts of masters of families, notthree sorts of schoolmasters for their children.

And therefore the second conclusion, concerningthe best form of government of the Church, isnothing to the question of the Pope’s power withouthis own dominions. For in all other commonwealths549his power, if he have any at all, is that ofthe schoolmaster only, and not of the master of thefamily.

For the third conclusion, which is, that St. Peterwas monarch of the Church, he bringeth for hischief argument the place of St. Matthew (chap. xvi.18, 19) Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I willbuild my Church, &c. And I will give thee thekeys of heaven; whatsoever thou shalt bind onearth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoeverthou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed inheaven. Which place, well considered, proveth nomore, but that the Church of Christ hath for foundationone only article; namely, that which Peter inthe name of all the apostles professing, gave occasionto our Saviour to speak the words here cited.Which that we may clearly understand, we are toconsider, that our Saviour preached by himself, byJohn the Baptist, and by his apostles, nothing butthis article of faith, that he was the Christ; allother articles requiring faith no otherwise, than asfounded on that. John began first, (Matth. iii. 2)preaching only this, the kingdom of God is athand. Then our Saviour himself (Matth. iv. 17)preached the same: and to his twelve apostles,when he gave them their commission, (Matth. x. 7),there is no mention of preaching any other articlebut that. This was the fundamental article, thatis the foundation of the Church’s faith. Afterwardsthe apostles being returned to him, he (Matth.xvi. 13) asketh them all, not Peter only, who mensaid he was; and they answered, that some said hewas John the Baptist, some Elias, and othersJeremiah, or one of the Prophets. Then (verse 15)550he asked them all again, not Peter only, whom sayye that I am? Therefore St. Peter answered forthem all, Thou art Christ, the Son of the livingGod; which I said is the foundation of the faithof the whole Church; from which our Saviourtakes the occasion of saying, upon this stone I willbuild my Church: by which it is manifest, that bythe foundation-stone of the Church, was meant thefundamental article of the Church’s faith. Butwhy then, will some object, doth our Saviour interposethese words, thou art Peter? If theoriginal of this text had been rigidly translated,the reason would easily have appeared. We aretherefore to consider, that the apostle Simon wassurnamed Stone, which is the signification of theSyriac word Cephas, and of the Greek word Πετρος.Our Saviour therefore, after the confession of thatfundamental article, alluding to his name, said (as ifit were in English) thus, Thou art Stone, and uponthis Stone I will build my Church: which is as muchas to say, this article, that I am the Christ, is thefoundation of all the faith I require in those thatare to be members of my Church. Neither is thisallusion to a name, an unusual thing in commonspeech. But it had been a strange and obscurespeech, if our Saviour, intending to build his Churchon the person of St. Peter, had said, thou art astone, and upon this stone I will build my Church;when it was so obvious, without ambiguity, to havesaid, I will build my Church on thee; and yetthere had been still the same allusion to his name.

And for the following words, I will give thee thekeys of heaven, &c. it is no more than what ourSaviour gave also to all the rest of his disciples,551(Matth. xviii. 18), Whatsoever ye shall bind onearth, shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoeverye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.But howsoever this be interpreted, there is no doubtbut the power here granted belongs to all supremepastors; such as are all Christian civil sovereignsin their own dominions. In so much, as if St.Peter, or our Saviour himself, had converted any ofthem to believe him, and to acknowledge his kingdom;yet, because his kingdom is not of this world,he had left the supreme care of converting his subjectsto none but him; or else he must have deprivedhim of the sovereignty, to which the right ofteaching is inseparably annexed. And thus muchin refutation of his first book, wherein he wouldprove St. Peter to have been the monarch universalof the Church, that is to say, of all the Christiansin the world.

The second book.

The second book hath two conclusions: one, thatSt. Peter was bishop of Rome, and there died: theother, that the Popes of Rome are his successors.Both which have been disputed by others. Butsupposing them true; yet if by Bishop of Rome,be understood either the monarch of the Church,or the supreme pastor of it; not Silvester, butConstantine, who was the first Christian emperor,was that bishop; and as Constantine, so all otherChristian emperors, were of right supreme bishopsof the Roman empire: I say, of the Roman empire,not of all Christendom; for other Christian sovereignshad the same right in their several territories,as to an office essentially adherent to theirsovereignty. Which shall serve for answer to hissecond book.

The third book.

552In the third book he handleth the question,whether the Pope be Antichrist? For my part, I seeno argument that proves he is so, in that sense theScripture useth the name: nor will I take anyargument from the quality of Antichrist, to contradictthe authority he exerciseth, or hath heretoforeexercised, in the dominions of any otherprince or state.

It is evident that the prophets of the Old Testamentforetold, and the Jews expected a Messiah,that is, a Christ, that should re-establish amongstthem the kingdom of God, which had been rejectedby them in the time of Samuel, when they requireda king after the manner of other nations. Thisexpectation of theirs made them obnoxious to theimposture of all such, as had both the ambition toattempt the attaining of the kingdom, and the artto deceive the people by counterfeit miracles, by hypocriticallife, or by orations and doctrine plausible.Our Saviour therefore, and his apostles, forewarnedmen of false prophets and of false Christs. FalseChrists are such as pretend to be the Christ, but arenot, and are called properly Antichrists; in suchsense, as when there happeneth a schism in theChurch, by the election of two Popes, the one calleththe other Antipapa, or the false Pope. And thereforeAntichrist in the proper signification hath two essentialmarks; one, that he denieth Jesus to beChrist; and another that he professeth himself to beChrist. The first mark is set down by St. John inhis first Epistle, iv. 3, Every Spirit that confessethnot that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is notof God; and this is the spirit of Antichrist.The other mark is expressed in the words of our553Saviour, (Matth. xxiv. 5) many shall come in myname, saying, I am Christ; and again, (verse 23) Ifany man shall say unto you, lo! here is Christ, thereis Christ, believe it not. And therefore Antichristmust be a false Christ; that is, some one of them thatshall pretend themselves to be Christ. And out ofthese two marks, to deny Jesus to be the Christ,and to affirm himself to be the Christ, it followeth,that he must also be an adversary of Jesus thetrue Christ, which is another usual signification ofthe word Antichrist. But of these many Antichrists,there is one special one, ὁ Αντίχριστος, the Antichrist,or Antichrist definitely, as one certain person; notindefinitely an Antichrist. Now, seeing the Popeof Rome neither pretendeth himself, nor deniethJesus to be the Christ, I perceive not how he canbe called Antichrist; by which word is not meant,one that falsely pretendeth to be his lieutenant orvicar-general, but to be He. There is also somemark of the time of this special Antichrist, as(Matth. xxiv. 15), when that abominable destroyer,spoken of by Daniel (Dan. ix. 27) shall stand in theHoly place, and such tribulation as was not sincethe beginning of the world, nor ever shall be again,insomuch as if it were to last long, (Matth. xxiv. 22)no flesh could be saved; but for the elect’s sakethose days shall be shortened, made fewer. Butthat tribulation is not yet come; for it is to befollowed immediately (verse 29) by a darkening ofthe sun and moon, a falling of the stars, a concussionof the heavens, and the glorious comingagain of our Saviour in the clouds. And thereforethe Antichrist is not yet come; whereas, manyPopes are both come and gone. It is true, the554Pope, in taking upon him to give laws to all Christiankings and nations, usurpeth a kingdom in thisworld, which Christ took not on him: but he dothit not as Christ, but as for Christ, wherein thereis nothing of the Antichrist.

Fourth book.

In the fourth book, to prove the Pope to be thesupreme judge in all questions of faith and manners,which is as much as to be the absolute monarchof all Christians in the world, he bringeththree propositions: the first, that his judgmentsare infallible: the second, that he can make verylaws, and punish those that observe them not: thethird, that our Saviour conferred all jurisdictionecclesiastical on the Pope of Rome.

Texts for the infallibility of the Pope’s judgment in points of faith.

For the infallibility of his judgments, he allegeththe Scriptures: and first, that of Luke, xxii. 31, 32:Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired you, that he maysift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee,that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted,strengthen thy brethren. This, accordingto Bellarmine’s exposition, is, that Christ gave hereto Simon Peter two privileges: one, that neitherhis faith should fail, nor the faith of any of hissuccessors: the other, that neither he, nor any ofhis successors, should ever define any point concerningfaith or manners erroneously, or contraryto the definition of a former Pope: which is astrange, and very much strained interpretation.But he that with attention readeth that chapter,shall find there is no place in the whole Scripturethat maketh more against the Pope’s authority, thanthis very place. The Priests and Scribes seekingto kill our Saviour at the Passover, and Judas possessedwith a resolution to betray him, and the day555of killing the Passover being come, our Saviourcelebrated the same with his apostles, which hesaid, till the kingdom of God was come he woulddo no more; and withal told them, that one ofthem was to betray him. Hereupon they questionedwhich of them it should be; and withal, seeing thenext Passover their master would celebrate shouldbe when he was king, entered into a contention,who should then be the greatest man. Our Saviourtherefore told them, that the kings of thenations had dominion over their subjects, and arecalled by a name in Hebrew, that signifies bountiful;but I cannot be so to you, you must endeavourto serve one another; I ordain you a kingdom,but it is such as my Father hath ordained me;a kingdom that I am now to purchase with myblood, and not to possess till my second coming;then ye shall eat and drink at my table, and sit onthrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Andthen addressing himself to St. Peter, he saith;Simon, Simon, Satan seeks, by suggesting a presentdomination, to weaken your faith of the future;but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith shall notfail; thou therefore note this, being converted, andunderstanding my kingdom as of another world,confirm the same faith in thy brethren. To whichSt. Peter answered, as one that no more expectedany authority in this world, Lord, I am ready togo with thee, not only to prison, but to death.Whereby it is manifest, St. Peter had not only nojurisdiction given him in this world, but a chargeto teach all the other apostles, that they also shouldhave none. And for the infallibility of St. Peter’ssentence definitive in matter of faith, there is no556more to be attributed to it out of this text, thanthat Peter should continue in the belief of thispoint, namely, that Christ should come again andpossess the kingdom at the day of judgment; whichwas not given by this text to all his successors; forwe see they claim it in the world that now is.

The second place is that of Matth. xvi. 18, Thou artPeter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.By which, as I have already shown in this chapter,is proved no more, than that the gates of hell shallnot prevail against the confession of Peter, whichgave occasion to that speech; namely this, thatJesus is Christ the Son of God.

The third text is John xxi. 16, 17: Feed mysheep; which contains no more but a commissionof teaching. And if we grant the rest of the apostlesto be contained in that name of sheep; then it isthe supreme power of teaching: but it was onlyfor the time that there were no Christian sovereignsalready possessed of that supremacy. But I havealready proved, that Christian sovereigns are intheir own dominions the supreme pastors, and institutedthereto, by virtue of their being baptized,though without other imposition of hands. Forsuch imposition, being a ceremony of designing theperson, is needless, when he is already designedto the power of teaching what doctrine he will,by his institution to an absolute power over hissubjects. For as I have proved before, sovereignsare supreme teachers, in general, by their office;and therefore oblige themselves, by their baptism,to teach the doctrine of Christ: and when theysuffer others to teach their people, they do it at the557peril of their own souls; for it is at the hands ofthe heads of families that God will require the accountof the instruction of his children and servants.It is of Abraham himself, not of a hireling,that God saith (Gen. xviii. 19) I know him that hewill command his children, and his household afterhim, that they keep the way of the Lord, and dojustice and judgment.

The fourth place is that of Exod. xxviii. 30:Thou shalt put in the breast-plate of judgment,the Urim and the Thummim: which he saith isinterpreted by the Septuagint δήλωσιν κὰι ἀλήθειαν;that is, evidence and truth: and thence concludeth,God hath given evidence and truth, which is almostinfallibility, to the high-priest. But be itevidence and truth itself that was given; or be itbut admonition to the priest to endeavour to informhimself clearly, and give judgment uprightly; yetin that it was given to the high-priest, it was givento the civil sovereign; (for such next under God wasthe high-priest in the commonwealth of Israel); andis an argument for evidence and truth, that is, forthe ecclesiastical supremacy of civil sovereigns overtheir own subjects, against the pretended power ofthe Pope. These are all the texts he bringeth forthe infallibility of the judgment of the Pope in pointof faith.

Texts for the same, in point of manners.

For the infallibility of his judgment concerningmanners, he bringeth one text, which is that ofJohn xvi. 13: When the Spirit of truth is come,he will lead you into all truth: where, saith he,by all truth, is meant, at least all truth necessaryto salvation. But with this mitigation, he attributethno more infallibility to the Pope, than to any558man that professeth Christianity and is not to bedamned. For if any man err in any point, whereinnot to err is necessary to salvation, it is impossiblehe should be saved; for that only is necessary tosalvation, without which to be saved is impossible.What points these are, I shall declare out of theScripture in the chapter following. In this placeI say no more, but that though it were granted,the Pope could not possibly teach any error at all,yet doth not this entitle him to any jurisdiction inthe dominions of another prince; unless we shallalso say, a man is obliged in conscience to set onwork upon all occasions the best workman, eventhen also when he hath formerly promised his workto another.

Besides the text, he argueth from reason, thus.If the Pope could err in necessaries, then Christhath not sufficiently provided for the Church’ssalvation; because he hath commanded her to followthe Pope’s directions. But this reason is invalid,unless he shew when and where Christ commandedthat, or took at all any notice of a Pope.Nay, granting whatsoever was given to St. Peter,was given to the Pope; yet seeing there is in theScripture no command to any man to obey St. Peter,no man can be just, that obeyeth him, when hiscommands are contrary to those of his lawful sovereign.

Lastly, it hath not been declared by the Church,nor by the Pope himself, that he is the civil sovereignof all the Christians in the world; and thereforeall Christians are not bound to acknowledgehis jurisdiction in point of manners. For the civilsovereignty, and supreme judicature in controversies559of manners, are the same thing: and the makers ofcivil laws, are not only declarers, but also makersof the justice and injustice of actions; there beingnothing in men’s manners that makes them righteousor unrighteous, but their conformity with thelaw of the sovereign. And therefore, when thePope challengeth supremacy in controversies ofmanners, he teacheth men to disobey the civil sovereign;which is an erroneous doctrine, contraryto the many precepts of our Saviour and his apostles,delivered to us in the Scripture.

To prove the Pope has power to make laws, heallegeth many places; as first, (Deut. xvii. 12),The man that will do presumptuously, and willnot hearken unto the priest, that standeth tominister there before the Lord thy God, or untothe judge, even that man shall die; and thou shaltput away the evil from Israel. For answer whereunto,we are to remember that the high-priest,next and immediately under God, was the civilsovereign; and all judges were to be constitutedby him. The words alleged sound therefore thus:The man that will presume to disobey the civilsovereign for the time being, or any of his officersin the execution of their places, that man shalldie, &c.; which is clearly for the civil sovereignty,against the universal power of the Pope.

Secondly, he allegeth that of Matth. xvi. 19, Whatsoeverye shall bind, &c. and interpreteth it forsuch binding as is attributed (Matth. xxiii. 4) tothe Scribes and Pharisees, They bind heavy burthens,and grievous to be borne, and lay themon men’s shoulders; by which is meant, he says,making of laws; and concludes thence, that the560Pope can make laws. But this also maketh onlyfor the legislative power of civil sovereigns. Forthe Scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses’ chair; butMoses next under God was sovereign of the peopleof Israel: and therefore our Saviour commandedthem to do all that they should say, but not allthat they should do: that is, to obey their laws,but not follow their example.

The third place is John xxi. 16, Feed my sheep;which is not a power to make laws, but a commandto teach. Making laws belongs to the lord of the family;who by his own discretion chooseth his chaplain,as also a schoolmaster to teach his children.

The fourth place (John xx. 21) is against him.The words are, As my father sent me, so send Iyou. But our Saviour was sent to redeem by hisdeath such as should believe, and by his own andhis apostles’ preaching to prepare them for theirentrance into his kingdom; which he himself saith,is not of this world, and hath taught us to prayfor the coming of it hereafter, though he refused(Acts i. 6, 7) to tell his apostles when it shouldcome; and in which, when it comes, the twelveapostles shall sit on twelve thrones, every one perhapsas high as that of St. Peter, to judge the twelvetribes of Israel. Seeing then God the Father sentnot our Saviour to make laws in this present world,we may conclude from the text, that neither did ourSaviour send St. Peter to make laws here, but topersuade men to expect his second coming with asteadfast faith; and in the mean time, if subjects,to obey their princes; and if princes, both to believeit themselves, and to do their best to maketheir subjects do the same; which is the office of a561bishop. Therefore this place maketh most stronglyfor the joining of the ecclesiastical supremacy tothe civil sovereignty, contrary to that which CardinalBellarmine allegeth it for.

The fifth place is Acts xv. 28, 29, It hath seemedgood to the Holy Spirit and to us, to lay upon youno greater burthen, than these necessary things,that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, andfrom blood, and from things strangled, and fromfornication. Here he notes the word laying ofburthens for the legislative power. But who isthere, that reading this text, can say, this style ofthe apostles may not as properly be used in givingcounsel, as in making laws? The style of a law is,we command: but, we think good, is the ordinarystyle of them, that but give advice; and they laya burthen that give advice, though it be conditional,that is, if they to whom they give it, will attaintheir ends: and such is the burthen of abstainingfrom things strangled, and from blood; not absolute,but in case they will not err. I have shownbefore, (chapter XXV.) that law is distinguished fromcounsel in this, that the reason of a law is takenfrom the design and benefit of him that prescribethit; but the reason of a counsel, from the designand benefit of him to whom the counsel is given.But here, the apostles aim only at the benefit of theconverted Gentiles, namely their salvation; not attheir own benefit; for having done their endeavour,they shall have their reward, whether theybe obeyed or not. And therefore the acts of thiscouncil, were not laws, but counsels.

The sixth place is that of Rom. xiii, Let everysoul be subject to the higher powers, for there is562no power but of God; which is meant, he saith,not only of secular, but also of ecclesiastical princes.To which I answer, first, that there are no ecclesiasticalprinces but those that are also civil sovereigns;and their principalities exceed not thecompass of their civil sovereignty; without thosebounds, though they may be received for doctors,they cannot be acknowledged for princes. For ifthe apostle had meant, we should be subject bothto our own princes, and also to the Pope, he hadtaught us a doctrine, which Christ himself hath toldus is impossible, namely, to serve two masters. Andthough the apostle say in another place, (2 Cor. xiii.10) I write these things being absent, lest beingpresent I should use sharpness, according to thepower which the Lord hath given me; it is not, thathe challenged a power either to put to death, imprison,banish, whip, or fine any of them, which arepunishments; but only to excommunicate, which,without the civil power, is no more but a leavingof their company, and having no more to do withthem than with a heathen man or a publican;which in many occasions might be a greater painto the excommunicant, than to the excommunicate.

The seventh place is 1 Cor. iv. 21, Shall I comeunto you with a rod, or in love, and the spirit oflenity? But here again, it is not the power of amagistrate to punish offenders, that is meant by arod; but only the power of excommunication, whichis not in its own nature a punishment, but only a denouncingof punishment, that Christ shall inflictwhen he shall be in possession of his kingdom, at theday of judgment. Nor then also shall it be properlya punishment, as upon a subject that hath broken the563law; but a revenge, as upon an enemy or revolter,that denieth the right of our Saviour to the kingdom.And therefore this proveth not the legislative powerof any bishop, that has not also the civil power.

The eighth place is 1 Timothy, iii. 2; A bishopmust be the husband of but one wife, vigilant,sober, &c.: which he saith was a law. I thoughtthat none could make a law in the Church, but themonarch of the Church, St. Peter. But supposethis precept made by the authority of St. Peter;yet I see no reason why to call it a law, rather thanan advice, seeing Timothy was not a subject, but adisciple of St. Paul; nor the flock under the chargeof Timothy, his subjects in the kingdom, but hisscholars in the school of Christ. If all the preceptshe giveth Timothy be laws, why is not this also alaw, (1 Tim. v. 23) Drink no longer water, butuse a little wine for thy health’s sake. And whyare not also the precepts of good physicians somany laws, but that it is not the imperative mannerof speaking, but an absolute subjection to a person,that maketh his precepts laws?

In like manner, the ninth place, 1 Tim. v. 19,Against an elder receive not an accusation, butbefore two or three witnesses, is a wise precept,but not a law.

The tenth place is Luke x. 16, He that hearethyou, heareth me; and he that despiseth you,despiseth me. And there is no doubt, but he thatdespiseth the counsel of those that are sent byChrist, despiseth the counsel of Christ himself.But who are those now that are sent by Christ, butsuch as are ordained pastors by lawful authority?And who are lawfully ordained, that are not ordained564by the sovereign pastor? And who is ordainedby the sovereign pastor in a Christian commonwealth,that is not ordained by the authorityof the sovereign thereof? Out of this place thereforeit followeth, that he which heareth his sovereign,being a Christian, heareth Christ; and hethat despiseth the doctrine which his king, being aChristian, authorizeth, despiseth the doctrine ofChrist: which is not that which Bellarmine intendethhere to prove, but the contrary. But allthis is nothing to a law. Nay more, a Christianking, as a pastor and teacher of his subjects, makesnot thereby his doctrines laws. He cannot obligemen to believe; though as a civil sovereign he maymake laws suitable to his doctrine, which mayoblige men to certain actions, and sometimes tosuch as they would not otherwise do, and which heought not to command; and yet when they arecommanded, they are laws; and the external actionsdone in obedience to them, without the inward approbation,are the actions of the sovereign, and notof the subject, which is in that case but as an instrument,without any motion of his own at all;because God hath commanded to obey them.

The eleventh is every place where the apostlefor counsel putteth some word, by which men useto signify command; or calleth the following ofhis counsel by the name of obedience. And thereforethey are alleged out of 1 Cor. xi. 2, I commendyou for keeping my precepts as I deliveredthem to you. The Greek is, I commend you forkeeping those things I delivered to you, as I deliveredthem. Which is far from signifying thatthey were laws, or anything else, but good counsel.565And that of 1 Thess. iv. 2, You know what commandmentswe gave you: where the Greek wordis παραγγελίας ἐδώκαμεν, equivalent to παρεδώκαμεν,what we delivered to you, as in the place nextbefore alleged, which does not prove the traditionsof the apostles to be any more than counsels;though as is said in the 8th verse, he that despiseththem, despiseth not man, but God. For our Saviourhimself came not to judge, that is, to be king inthis world; but to sacrifice himself for sinners, andleave doctors in his Church to lead, not to drivemen to Christ, who never accepteth forced actions,(which is all the law produceth,) but the inward conversionof the heart; which is not the work of laws,but of counsel and doctrine.

And that of 2 Thess. iii. 14, If any man obeynot our word by this Epistle, note that man, andhave no company with him, that he may be ashamed:where from the word obey, he would infer, that thisepistle was a law to the Thessalonians. The epistlesof the emperors were indeed laws. If thereforethe epistle of St. Paul were also a law, they wereto obey two masters. But the word obey, as it isin the Greek ὑπακούει, signifieth hearkening to orputting in practice, not only that which is commandedby him that has right to punish, but alsothat which is delivered in a way of counsel for ourgood; and therefore St. Paul does not bid kill himthat disobeys; nor beat, nor imprison, nor amercehim, which legislators may all do; but avoid hiscompany, that he may be ashamed: whereby it isevident, it was not the empire of an apostle, buthis reputation amongst the faithful, which theChristians stood in awe of.

566The last place is that of Heb. xiii. 17, Obey yourleaders, and submit yourselves to them; for theywatch for your souls, as they that must give account:and here also is intended by obedience, afollowing of their counsel. For the reason of ourobedience is not drawn from the will and commandof our pastors, but from our own benefit, as beingthe salvation of our souls they watch for, and notfor the exaltation of their own power and authority.If it were meant here, that all they teach werelaws, then not only the Pope, but every pastor inhis parish should have legislative power. Again,they that are bound to obey their pastors, have nopower to examine their commands. What thenshall we say to St. John, who bids us (1 Epistleiv. 1) Not to believe every spirit, but to try thespirits whether they are of God; because manyfalse prophets are gone out into the world? Itis therefore manifest, that we may dispute the doctrineof our pastors; but no man can dispute a law.The commands of civil sovereigns are on all sidesgranted to be laws: if any else can make a lawbesides himself, all commonwealth, and consequentlyall peace and justice must cease; whichis contrary to all laws both divine and human. Nothingtherefore can be drawn from these, or anyother places of Scripture, to prove the decrees ofthe Pope, where he has not also the civil sovereignty,to be laws.

The question of superiority between the Pope and other bishops.

The last point he would prove, is this, That ourSaviour Christ has committed ecclesiastical jurisdictionimmediately to none but the Pope. Whereinhe handleth not the question of supremacy betweenthe Pope and Christian kings, but between the Pope567and other bishops. And first, he says, it is agreedthat the jurisdiction of bishops is at least in thegeneral de jure divino, that is, in the right of God;for which he alleges St. Paul, Eph. iv. 11, wherehe says, that Christ after his ascension into heaven,gave gifts to men, some apostles, some prophets,and some evangelists, and some pastors, and someteachers; and thence infers, they have indeedtheir jurisdiction in God’s right; but will not grantthey have it immediately from God, but derivedthrough the Pope. But if a man may be said tohave his jurisdiction de jure divino, and yet notimmediately; what lawful jurisdiction, though butcivil, is there in a Christian commonwealth, that isnot also de juro divino? For Christian kings havetheir civil power from God immediately; and themagistrates under him exercise their several chargesin virtue of his commission; wherein that whichthey do, is no less de jure divino mediato, thanthat which the bishops do in virtue of the Pope’sordination. All lawful power is of God, immediatelyin the Supreme Governor, and mediatelyin those that have authority under him: so thateither he must grant every constable in the state,to hold his office in the right of God; or he mustnot hold that any bishop holds his so, besides thePope himself.

But this whole dispute, whether Christ left thejurisdiction to the Pope only, or to other bishopsalso, if considered out of those places where thePope has the civil sovereignty, is a contention delana caprina: for none of them, where they arenot sovereigns, has any jurisdiction at all. Forjurisdiction is the power of hearing and determining568causes between man and man; and can belongto none but him that hath the power to prescribethe rules of right and wrong; that is, to make laws;and with the sword of justice to compel men toobey his decisions, pronounced either by himself,or by the judges he ordaineth thereunto; whichnone can lawfully do but the civil sovereign.

Therefore when he allegeth out of chapter vi. ofLuke, that our Saviour called his disciples together,and chose twelve of them, which he named apostles,he proveth that he elected them (all, except Matthias,Paul and Barnabas,) and gave them powerand command to preach, but not to judge of causesbetween man and man: for that is a power whichhe refused to take upon himself, saying, Who mademe a judge, or a divider, amongst you? and inanother place, My kingdom is not of this world.But he that hath not the power to hear and determinecauses between man and man, cannot be saidto have any jurisdiction at all. And yet this hindersnot, but that our Saviour gave them power topreach and baptize in all parts of the world, supposingthey were not by their own lawful sovereignforbidden: for to our own sovereigns Christ himself,and his apostles, have in sundry places expresslycommanded us in all things to be obedient.

The arguments by which he would prove, thatbishops receive their jurisdiction from the Pope(seeing the Pope in the dominions of other princeshath no jurisdiction himself,) are all in vain. Yetbecause they prove, on the contrary, that all bishopsreceive jurisdiction, when they have it, from theircivil sovereigns, I will not omit the recital of them.

The first is from chapter xi. of Numbers, where569Moses not being able alone to undergo the wholeburthen of administering the affairs of the peopleof Israel, God commanded him to choose seventyelders, and took part of the spirit of Moses, to putit upon those seventy elders: by which is understood,not that God weakened the spirit of Moses;for that had not eased him at all; but that theyhad all of them their authority from him; whereinhe doth truly and ingenuously interpret that place.But seeing Moses had the entire sovereignty in thecommonwealth of the Jews, it is manifest, that it isthereby signified, that they had their authority fromthe civil sovereign: and therefore that place proveththat bishops in every Christian commonwealth havetheir authority from the civil sovereign; and fromthe Pope in his own territories only, and not in theterritories of any other state.

The second argument, is from the nature of monarchy;wherein all authority is in one man, andin others by derivation from him. But the governmentof the Church, he says, is monarchical. Thisalso makes for Christian monarchs. For they arereally monarchs of their own people; that is, oftheir own Church; for the Church is the same thingwith a Christian people; whereas the power ofthe Pope, though he were St. Peter, is neither monarchy,nor hath anything of archical, nor cratical,but only of didactical; for God accepteth nota forced, but a willing obedience.

The third, is from that the see of St. Peter iscalled by St. Cyprian, the head, the source, theroot, the sun, from whence the authority of bishopsis derived. But by the law of nature, which is abetter principle of right and wrong than the word570of any doctor that is but a man, the civil sovereignin every commonwealth, is the head, the source,the root, and the sun, from which all jurisdiction isderived. And therefore the jurisdiction of bishops,is derived from the civil sovereign.

The fourth, is taken from the inequality of theirjurisdictions. For if God, saith he, had given itthem immediately, he had given as well equalityof jurisdiction, as of order: but we see, some arebishops but of one town, some of a hundred towns,and some of many whole provinces; which differenceswere not determined by the command ofGod; their jurisdiction therefore is not of God, butof man; and one has a greater, another a less, asit pleaseth the Prince of the Church. Which argument,if he had proved before, that the Pope hadan universal jurisdiction over all Christians, hadbeen for his purpose. But seeing that hath notbeen proved, and that it is notoriously known, thelarge jurisdiction of the Pope was given him bythose that had it, that is, by the emperors of Rome,(for the patriarch of Constantinople, upon the sametitle, namely of being bishop of the capital city ofthe empire, and seat of the emperor, claimed to beequal to him), it followeth, that all other bishopshave their jurisdiction from the sovereigns of theplace wherein they exercise the same. And as forthat cause they have not their authority de juredivino; so neither hath the Pope his de jure divino,except only where he is also the civil sovereign.

His fifth argument is this: if bishops have theirjurisdiction immediately from God, the Pope couldnot take it from them, for he can do nothing contraryto God’s ordination; and this consequence571