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ministers of God, who perform the work for which they are instituted; and that the people which institutes them, may proportion, regulate, and terminate their power, as to time, measure, and number of persons, as seems most convenient to themselves, which can be no other than their own good. For it cannot be imagined that a multitude of people should send for Numa, or any other person to whom they owed nothing, to reign over them, that he might live in glory and pleasure; or for any

other
reason,

than that it might be good for them and their posterity. This shews the work of all magistrates to be always and every where the same, even the doing of justice, and procuring the welfare of those that create them. This we learn from common sense : Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and the best human authors, lay it as an immovable foundation, upon which they build their arguments relating to matters of that nature.

The foregoing passages have been taken from several of the different sections of the first book, in such order as to exhibit a connected series. The following passage is from the first section of the second chapter.

The weakness in which we are born, renders us unable to attain the good of ourselves : we want help in all things, especially in the greatest. The fierce

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barbarity of a loose multitude, bound by no law, and regulated by no discipline, is wholly repugnant to it: whilst every man fears his neighbour, and has no other defence than his own strength, he must live in that perpetual anxiety, which is equally contrary to that happiness, and that sedate temper of mind, which is required for the search of it. The first step towards the cure of this pestilent evil, is for many to join in one body, that every one may be protected by the united force of all; and the various talents that men possess, may by good discipline be rendered useful to the wbole ; as the meanest piece of wood or stone, being placed by a wise architect, conduces to the beauty of the most glorious building, But every man bearing in his own breast affections, passions, and vices, that are repugnant to this end, and no man owing any submission to his neighbour; none will subject the correction or restriction of themselves to another, unless he also submit to the same rule. They are rough pieces of timber or stone, which it is necessary to cleave, saw, or cut: this is the work of a skilful builder, and he only is capable of erecting a great fabric, who is so. Magistrates are political architects; and they only can perform the work incumbent on them, who excel in political virtues. Nature, in variously framing the minds of men, according to the variety of uses in which'they may be employed in order to the institution and preservation of civil societies, must be our guide, in allotting to every one his proper work. And Plato, observing this variety affirms, “ That the laws of nature cannot be more absurdly violated, than' by giving the government of a people to such as do not excel others in those arts and virtues that tend to the ultimate ends for which governments are instituted." By this means those who are slaves by nature, or rendered so by their vices, are often set above those that God and nature had fitted for the highest commands; and societies which subsist only by order, fall into corruption, when all order is so preposterously inverted, and the most extreme confusion introduced. This is an evil that Solomon detested : “ Folly is set in great dignity, and the rich sit in low places; I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.” They who understand Solomon's language, will easily see, that the rich, and the princes he means, are such only who are rich in virtue and wisdom, and who ought to be preferred for those qualities : and when he says, a servant that reigneth is one of the three things the earth cannot bear, he can only mean such as deserve to be servants, for when they reign they do not serve, but are served by others; which perfectly agrees with wbat we learn from Plato, and plainly shews that true philosophy is perfectly conformable with what is taught us by those who were divinely inspired. Therefore, though I should allow to our author, that Aristotle in those words “ It seems to some, not to be natural for one man to be lord of all the citizens, since the city consists of equals,” did speak the opinion of others rather than his own; and should confess, that he and his master Plato, did acknowledge a natural inequality among men; it would be nothing to his purpose : for the inequality, and the rational superiority due to some, or to one, by reason of that inequality, did not proceed from blood or extraction, and had nothing patriarchical in it; but consisted solely in the virtues of the persons, by which they were rendered more able than others to perform their duty, for the good of the society. Therefore, if these authors are to be trusted, whatsoever place a man is advanced to in a city, it is not for his own sake, but for that of the city ; and we are not to ask, who was his father, but what are his virtues in relation to it. This induces a necessity of distinguishing between a simple and a relative inequality; for if it were possible for a man to have great virtues, and yet no way beneficial to the society of which he is, or to have some one vice that renders them useless, he could have no pretence to a magistratical power more than any other. They who are equally free, may equally enjoy their freedom; but the powers that can only be executed by such as are endowed with great wisdom, justice, and

valour, can belong to none, nor be rightly conferred upon any, except such as excel in those virtues, And if no such can be found, all are equally by turns to participate of the honours annexed to magistracy; and law, which is said to be written reason, cannot justly exalt those whom nature, which is reason, hath depressed, nor depress those whom nature hath exalted. It cannot make kings slaves, nor slaves kings, without introducing that evil which, if we believe Solomon and the spirit by which he spake, “ the earth cannot bear.” This may discover what law.. givers deserve to be reputed wise or just; and whatdecrees or sanctions ought to be reputed laws. Aristotle, proceeding by this rule, rather tells us, who is naturally a king, than where we should find him ; and after having given the highest praises to this true natural king and his government, he sticks not to declare that of one man, in virtue equal or inferior to others, to be a mere tyranny, even the worst of all, as it is the corruption of the best, (or, as our author calls it, the most divine) and such as can be fit only for those barbarous and stupid nations, which, though bearing the shape of men, are little different from beasts. Whoever therefore will from Aristotle's words infer, that nature has designed one man, or succession of men, to be lords of every country, must shew that man to be endowed with all the 'virtues that render him fit for so great an office,

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