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to wit, the common-wealth and government of the same by magistrates; but what kind of government each common-wealth will have, whether democratia, which is popular government by the people itself, as Athens, Thebes, and many other cities of Greece had in old time, and as the Cantons or Switzers at this day have; or else aristocratia, which is the government of fome certain chofen number of the best; as the Romans many years were governed by consuls and senators, and at this day the States of this country of Holland do imitate the fame; or else monarchia, which is the regiment ofone, and this again either of an emperor, king, duke, earl, or the like: these particular forms of government, I say, are not determined by God or nature, as the other two points before ; for then they should be
all one in all nations as the other are, seeing The particular God and nature are one to all (as often hath ment is at the been said) but these particular forms are left option of each fociety:
unto every nation or country to chuse that form of government, which they shall like best, and think most fit for the natures and conditions of their people, which Aristotle proveth throughout all the second and fourth books of his Poli. tiques, very largely laying down divers kinds of governments in his days, as namely, in Greece, that of the Milesians, Lacedemonians,
form of govern
Candians, and others, and shewing the causes of their differences, which he attributeth to the diversity of men's natures, customs, educations, and other such causes, that made them make choice of such or such forms of government.
« So as of all this there can be no doubt, but that the common-wealth hath power to chuse their own fashion of government, as also to change the same upon reasonable causes, as we see they have done in all times and countries; and God, no doubt, approveth what the realm determineth in this point; for otherwise nothing could be certain, for that of these changes doth depend all that hath succeeded sithence.--In like manner is it evident, that as the common-wealch hath this authority to chuse and change her government, so hach she also to limit the same with what laws and conditions the pleaseth, whereof ensueth the great diversity of authority and power, which each one of the former government hach. .“ So as when men talk of a natural prince, The true lease or natural successors, (as many times I have prince. heard the word used) if it be understood of one, that is born within the fame realm, or country, and so of our own natural blood, it hath fome sense, though he may be both good or
of a natural
bad (and none hath been worse, or more cruel, many times, than home born princes): but if it be meant, as though any prince had his particular government or interest to succeed by institution of nature, it is ridiculous, for that nature giveth it not, as hath been declared, but the particular constitution of every commonwealth within itself; and so much for this first point, which must be the ground to all the rest, that I have to say.”
*“ Particular kinds of government are by the right of nations, not by the law of nature; for it depends upon the consent of the people to set over themselves a king, consuls, or other magistrates.”—The received opinion of the temporal sovereignty of the court of Rome is, that it is a most absolute monarchy. And the characteristic spirit of the late society of jesuits was always supposed to be their absolute and
even blind obedience to their superiors. UnBellarmine’s o- less therefore, the glare of truth had been overfrom the glare powering indeed, Bellarmine, who was admit
ted by all persons to have been a very learned man, and by his enemies was accused of being a very artful, intriguing, and ambitious man, as a jefuit would not have broached doctrines, that would have counteracted the credit and esta
* Bellarmine de Laicis, l. 3.c.6.
blishment of his own order in different kingdoms; or as a cardinal, under the possibility, i or even expectancy of the tiara, would not have armed subjects with such powerful weapons of freedom, self-defence, and resistance against absolute monarchy. The application of these general and fundamental principles of government to the English constitution my plan will lead me hereafter to consider. *« Civil government (as I have before ob- The advantages
of civil govern. served) is an institution of human prudence for ment. guarding our persons, our property, and our name, against invasion; and for securing to the members of a community that liberty, to which all have an equal right, as far as they do not by any overt act, use it to injure the liberty . of others. Civil laws are regulations agreed upon by the community for gaining these ends; and civil magistrates are officers appointed by the community for executing these laws. Obedience, therefore, to the laws and to magistrates, is a necessary expression of our regard to the community. Without it a community must fall into a state of anarchy, that will destroy those rights, and subvert that liberty, which it is the end of government to protect.”
• Dr. Price’s Discourse, delivered on the 4th Nov. 1789, p. 20, 21.
The intended Intended malice sometimes confers an unabuse of true principles may intended benefit. So the malicious applicaháve produced the opposite ef
tion of the general principles of government fect.
by some modern authors, may, by bringing on a thorough and impartial investigation of them, have removed the probability of their abuse being in future productive of any serious mischief to the state. Truth courts investigation, and lives by discussion. Upon this principle Dr. Price is very emphatic in recommending free discussion. *« In short, we may, in this instance, learn our duty from the conduct of the oppressors of the world. They know, that light is hostile to them, and therefore they labour to keep men in the dark. Remove the darkness, in which they invelope the world, and their usurpations will be exposed, their power will be fubverted, and the world emancipated.” Every one will not perhaps agree with Dr.
Price, that the whole world is enslaved, and Truth better that it therefore wants emancipation; yet no supported by publishing than one certainly can differ from him in maintainTuppressing its in principles.
ing, that the cause of truth will be better fup- : ported and maintained by the publication, than the suppression of its principles. This motive encourages me in my progress.
The substantial ground of difference be* Dr. Price's Discourse, delivered on the 4th Nov. 1789, p. 14, 15.