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as has been proved, cannot subject himself to the arbitrary power of another; and having in the state of nature no arbitrary power over the life, liberty, or possession of another, but only so much as the law of nature gave him for the preservation of himself, and the rest of mankind; this is all he doth, or can give up to the common-wealth, and by it to the legislative power, so that the legislative can have no more than this. Their

power, in the utmost bounds of it, is limited to the public good of the society. It is a power, that hath no other end but preservation, and therefore can never * have a right to destroy, enflave, or designedly to impoverish the subjects. The obligations of the law of nature cease not in society, but only in many cases are drawn closer, and have by human laws


* Two foundations there are which bear up public focieties ; the one a natural inclination, whereby all men defire fociable life and fellowship; the other an order, exprefly or secretly agreed upon, touching the manner of their union in living together : the latter is that which we call the law of a common-weal, the very foul of a politic body, the parts whereof are by law animated, held together, and set on work in such actions as the common good requireth. Laws politic, ordained for external order and regiment amongst men, are never framed as they should be, unless prefuming the will of man to be inwardly obstinate, rebellious, and averle from all obedience to the sacred laws of his nature ; in a word, unless presuming man to be, in regard of his depraved mind, little better than a wild beast, they do accordingly provide, notwithstanding, fo to frame his outward actions, that they be no hindrance unto the common good, for which focieties are instituted. Unless they do this, they are not perfect. Hooker's Eccl. Pol. I. i. feat. 10.


known penalties annexed to them, to inforce their obfervation. Thus the law of nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legif lators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men's actions, must, as well as their own and other men's actions, be conformable to the law of nature, 9. c. to the will of God, of which that is a declaration, and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good, or valid against it.

§. 136. Secondly, * The legislative, or supreme authority, cannot assume to its self a power to rule by extemporary arbitrary decrees, but is bound to dispense justice, and decide the rights of the subject by promulgated standing laws, and known authorized judges: for the law of nature being unwritten, and fo 'no where to be found but in the minds of men, they who through passion or interest Thall miscite, or misapply it, cannot so easily be convinced of their mistake where there is no established judge: and so it serves not, as it ought, to determine the rights, and fence the


* Human laws are measures in respect of men whose actions they must direct, how beit such measures they as have also their higher rules to be measured by, which rules are two, the law of God, and the law of nature ; so that laws human must be made according to the general laws of nature, and without contradiction to any positive law of fcripture, other wise they are ill made. Hooker's Eccl. Pol. I, ji. feat. 9.

To constrain men to any thing inconvenient doth seem unreasonable. Ibid. I. i. sect. 10.

properties of those that live under it, especially where every one is judge, interpreter, and executioner of it too, and that in his own case : and he that has right on his side, having ordinarily but his own single strength, hath not force enough to defend himself from injuries, or to punith delinquents. To avoid these inconveniencies, which disorder men's properties in the state of nature, men unite into societies, that they may have the united strength of the whole society to secure and defend their properties, and may have standing rules to bound it, by which every one may know what is his. To this end it is that men give up all their natural power to the society which they enter into, and the community put the legislative power into such hands as they think fit, with this trust, that they shall be governed by deciared laws, or else their peace, quiet, and property will still be at the same uncertainty, as it was in the state of nature.

$. 137. Absolute arbitrary power, or governing without settled Panding laws, can neither of them consist with the ends of fociety and government, which men would not quit the freedom of the state of nature for, and tie themselves up under, were it not to preserve their lives, liberties and fortunes, and by stated rules of right and property to secure their peace and quiet. It cannot be supposed that they thould intend, had they a power


fo to do, to give to any one, or more, an abfolute arbitrary power over their persons and estates, and put a force into the magistrate's hand to execute his unlimited will arbitrarily upon them. This were to put themselves into a worse condition than the state of nature, wherein they had a liberty to defend their right against the injuries of others, and were upon equal terms of force to maintain it, whether invaded by a single man, or many in combination.

in combination. Whereas by fupposing they have given up themselves to the absolute arbitrary power and will of a legislator, they have disarmed themselves, and armed him, to make a prey of them wien he pleases; he being in a much worse condition, who is exposed to the arbitrary power of one man, who has the command of 100,000, than he that is exposed to the arbitrary power of 100,000 single men ; no body being secure, that his will, who has such a command, is better than that of other men, though his force be 100,000 times stronger. And therefore, whatever form the commonwealth is under, the ruling power ought to govern by declared and received laws, and not by extemporary dictates and undetermined resolutions : for then mankind will be in a far worfe condition than in the state of nature, if they shall have armed one, or a few men with the joint power of a multitude, to force them to obey at pleasure the exor4


bitant and unlimited decrees of their sudden thoughts, or unrestrained, and till that moment unknown wills, without having any measures fet down which may guide and justify their actions : for all the power the government has, being only for the good of the society, as it ought not to be arbitrary and at pleasure, so it ought to be exercised by eftablished and promulgated laws; that both the people may know their duty, and be safe and fecure within the limits of the law; and the rulers too kept within their bounds, and not be tempted, by the power they have in their hands, to employ it to such purposes, and by such measures, as they would not have known, and own not willingly.

$.138. Thirdly, The fupreme power cannot take · from

any man any part of his property without his own consent: for the preservation of property being the end of government, and that for which men enter into fociety, it necessarily supposes and requires, that the people should have property, without which they must be supposed to lose that, by entering into fociety, which was the end for which they entered into it; too gross an absurdity for any man to own. Men therefore in fociety having property, they have such a right to the goods, which by the law of the community are their's, that no body hath a right to take their substance or any part of it from them, without their own confent: without

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