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The rights of individuals in
gencies enforce the necessity of order and government.
It is a postulatum, that when men formed the state of na. themselves into fociety, their natural rights to the commu- were not given up nor destroyed, but were nity in that of 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 do in the state of society; and throughout this state of society, the general interest of the community is the principle, upon which the constitution 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.
ther, in a secure enjoyment of their proper- . ties, 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 impossible 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
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 concluded 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, between the individuals, that enter into or make
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
What constitutes a commu.
well as by mo
number of freemen, capable of a majority, to unite and incorporate into fuch a fociety. 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 discussing these subjects with freedom: and in predeceffors as the progress of my investigation, I readily dera iluminadeclare 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 feveral 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 Government in England, p. 179.
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 dis
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 Almighty God, as the source of all right, power, and authority whatsoever: for to whom we owe our existence, to him wę 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 purpofe receive their power from God) may also be affirmed to be made by God, as faith the author of a book going under the name of Auctor 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.