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to the commu

gencies enforce the necessity of order and

government. The rights of It is a postulatum, that when men formed the State of na- themselves into society, their natural rights ture transferred

were not given up nor destroyed, but were nity in that of fosiety.

transferred only from the individual to the body at large. Whatever the former had an indefeasible right to do in the state of nature, the latter has an indefeasible right to dorin the state of society; and throughout this ftate of society, the general interest of the community is the principle, upon which the conftitution and particular laws of each state must be founded. The private considerations of individuals were given up, in the exchange of our natural rights, for the improved liberties of civil intercourse and society.

* “ Men being, as has been said, by nature all free, equal, and independent, no one can be put out of his estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent. The only way, whereby any one divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, is by

agreeing with other men, to join and unite . into a community, for their comfortable,

safe, and peaceable living one amongst ano

* Locke of Civil Government, p. 194.


majority con


ther, in a secure enjoyment of their properties, and a greater security against any, that are not of it. This any number of men may do, because it injures not the freedom of the rest; they are left as they were, in the liberty of the state of nature. When any number of men have so consented to make one community, or government, they are thereby presently incorporated, and make one body politic, wherein the majority have a right to act, and conclude the rest.

“ For when any number of men have, by The act of the the consent of every individual, made a com- cludes the munity, they have thereby made that community one body, with a power to act as one body, which is only by the will and determination of the majority. For that, which acts any community, being only the consent · of the individuals of it, and it being necefsary to that, which is one body, to move one way, it is necessary the body should move that way, whither the great force carries it, which is the consent of the majority: or else it is impoffible it should act, or continue one body, one community, which the consent of every individual, that united into it, agreed that it should, and so every one is bound, by that consent, to be concluded by the majority. And therefore we see, that in

D 2


assemblies impowered to act by positive laws, where no number is set by that positive law, which impowers them, the act of the majority passes for the act of the whole, and of course determines, as having, by the law of nature and reason, the power of the whole.

« And thus every man, by consenting with others to make one body politic, under one government, puts himself under an obligation to every one of that society, to submit to the determination of the majority, and to be con-, cluded by it; or else this original compact, whereby he with others incorporates into one society, would signify nothing, and be no compact, if he be left free, and under no other ties, than he was in before in the state of nature.

“Whoever, therefore, out of a state of nacure, unite into a community, must be understood to give up all the power necessary to the ends, for which they unite into society to the majority of the community, unless they expressly agreed in any number less than the majority. And this is done by barely agreeing to unite into one political society, which is all the compact that is, or need be, be

tween the individuals, that enter into or make What consti- up a common-wealth. And thus, that, which nity and lawful begins and actually constitutes any political fociety, is nothing but the consent of any

3 . . . . number

tutes a commu.


well as by mo

number of freemen, capable of a majority, to unite and incorporate into fuch a society. And this is that, and that only, which did, or could give beginning to any lawful government in the world.” Every man has the uncontrouled right of these subjects

discussed by our discussing these subjects with freedom : and in predeceflors as the progress of my investigation, I readily dera ilumina

tørs. declare my opinion, that my predecessors of all ages, and of all descriptions have seen, understood, and explained them, with as much perspicuity and precision, as the most illuminated philosopher of these discovering days of innovation.

*“ With Cicero, I think there is nothing done on earth more acceptable to the great God, who rules the world, than the associations of men legally united, which are called civil incorporations, whose several parts must be as compactly joined together as the several members of our body, and every one must have their proper function, to the end there may be a mutual co-operating for the good of the whole, and a mutual propelling of injuries, and a foreseeing of advantages, and these to be communicare, for engaging the benevolence of all amongst themselves."

* Buchanan of the due Privilege of the Scots Govern. ment in England, p. 179.

D3 Although


Although we are now considering the Rights' of Man in the real actual state of his physical existence and political incorporation with some community, we are not to lose sight of the rights, which he enjoyed in the pure state of nature; for as I before observed, these rights were never given up nor destroyed, but were transferred only from the individual to the body at large. Now although there have existed many differences and dif

putes about the rights of the community, All power ori- or of the people; yet I find all writers unaginally from

nimous in tracing or deducing them from Al.
mighty God, as the source of all right, power,
and authority whatsoever: for to whom we
owe our existence, to him we owe all the
benefits and advantages of that existence.
*“Seeing, the apostle fays, (Rom. xiii. 1.)
that all power is from God, laws, which are
made by men (who for this end and pur-
pofe receive their power from God) may
also be affirmed to be made by God, as
saith the author of a book going under
the name of Austor Caufarum; whatsoever.
the second doth, that doth the first cause,
but in a more excellent manner.” And
There is no power but of God; that is, no

* Fort. de Laud. Leg. Ang. c. iii. p. 5. .
+ Milton's Defence of the People of England, p. 64.


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