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ufeth it; who, being regarded as a hater of mankind, is accordingly hated by mankind, and one way or other fails not to be shrewdly requited by them in the end.
With regard to the examples fometimes alledged of the prophets, Apostles, and our Saviour Christ himself, it is to be considered, that they had a special commission, and a special illumination to discern the proper objects on which to exercise it. The whole tenour of their lives and actions demonstrated, that they spake upon such occasions, as moved not by prejudice, pique, and passion, but by a view to the glory of God, the good of men, and the necesity of the case. And whenever only their own private credit and interest were concerned, they opened not their mouths, unless to bless their persecutors.
When the crimes of men are such as call for a severity of language, it may be used by him who is commissioned for that purpose, upon a just cause and clear evidence, for the service of God, the maintenance of truth, the vindication of innocence, the preservation of public justice and peace, the amendment of our neighbour himself, or the preservation of others from contagion. And then we must be careful to observe the measures prefcribed by truth, equity, and humanity; speaking no worse of a man than his actions, according to the most favourable construction of them, deserve, and the cause absolutely requireth.
See an excellent chapter in Taylor's Worthy Communicant, on Speaking Good of our Neightour, p. 194. See also a Sermon of Dr. Jortin. Non amo eorum indolem, qui nec in laudibus nec in probris modum ullum fervant. Laudanda, fine invidiâ, qua laudibus digna sunt ; ime probanda, fine malignitate, quæ a verò dissentiunt. Le Clerc Art Crit. Vol. III. p. 274.
Some Considerations on Mr. LOCKE's Scheme of
deriving Government from an Original Compact,
1. HOOKER allows, that " to fathers within their private
families, nature hath given a supreme power; for which caufe," saith he, “ we see throughout the world, even from the foundation thereof, all men have been taken as lords and lawful kings in their own houses *," He also thinks it probable, with Aristotle, that “ as the chiefest person in every household was always as it were a king ; so when numbers of households joined together in civil societies, kings were the first kind of governors amongst them." The question is, how these civil governors çame by their power over a number of families dispersed, as mankind increased, and independent of one another ? Here is supposed to be a neceslity for compact to take place, in the appointment of one common head ; and the chiefs of the several families are the peers between whom it is imagined to have been made, for their inutual interest and welfare,
As mankind multiplied, they were obliged to separate and disa perse ; which they did under their natural rulers the heads of families, clans, or tribes. This would fill the earth with little
governments; and as there was land enough for thein, who needed only to till the ground, and feed their flocks, thus they would continue, till quarrels arose, and one clan subdued others by force, and the larger governments arose by conquest, swallowed up the lefser into themselves, and then contended with and overthrew each other. In the Xih chapter of Genesis, we have an account of the families, clans, or lesser governments with which the earth was overspread, by the descendents of the sons of Noah
$ and at ver. 8, 9, 10, we find the kingdom or larger government of Babel arising by means of Nimrod, a mighty one, i, e, a sub
* The fame sentiment is expressed by Mr. Addison with his usual accuracy and eles gance.
" The obedience of children to their parents is the basis of all government, and is set forth as the measure of that obedience which we owe to those whom Proria dence hath placed over us," Spect. No. 189.
duer, a conqueror, a hunter, or persecutor and oppreffor. Soon after arose Ashur, the founder of the Assyrian inonarchy, which afterwards fell into that of Babylon, and became universal : thence it passed to the Persians, Grecians, and Romans; and so down to the 'present state of things in this world. And all this without any necessity of supposing an original compact, and without any sign of such compact appearing in history.
Mr. Locke asferts the free consent of every individual necessary to be had in founding governments ; but soon after tells us, such confent is “ next to impossible to be had.” So that, according to his own account, his hypothesis stands on a supposition “next to impossible” to be realized ; indeed, we may venture to say, altogether impoflible, for the reafons he himself afligns. B. IL ch. 8.
The original compact being supposed to be made, each individual consents from thenceforth to be determined by the majority of the society. But as the majority may exceed the minority only by a single vote, consequently half the society may be enslaved by the other half, (that is, in fact, by the will of a single person, the casting voter) which feems to be an infringement on liberty, to which men born free and equal might scruple to submit. Mr. Locke says,
no man can submit himself to the ar. bitrary power of another.” B. II. ch. u. Then can he not submit himself to any government whatsoever : for in every government the legislature is arbitrary, and is not bound by its own laws, which it can repeal, alter, dispense with, deny the benefit of habeas corpus, keep a man in Newgate, take his life by act of attainder, &c.
His farther reason (why no man can submit himself to the arbitrary power of another) is, that no man can give what he hath not, vize a power over his own lise. How then came any government poffeffed of a power of life and death? Divine right surely must come in here: what else can give to another that power over my life, which I have not in myself* ?
* The author of an Ejay on Crimes and Punishments, (one of the first pieces in 'which the politics now prevailing in France were published to the world) seeing that no government can exist without a power of life and death, fuppofes, that though 01.e man has no power over his life, the aggregate of society may have ii; which is the fame as to say, that though one cypher does not make a sum, a multitude ocyphers, inay.
According to the plain state of this case, Gen. ix. 6. the taking away of man's life without law, is an act of rebellion against God, who is the giver of life, and made
He farther afferteth, that absolute subjection to any form of government is worfe than anarchy, or a state of nature, “ as he is in a much worse condition who is exposed to the arbitrary will of one man, who has the command of 10,000, than he who is exposed to the arbitaary power of 100,000 single men." But which is best for the whole 100,000, that their general or king should now and then command or do an hard thing by one of them, or that they should all be turned loose to devour each other, a fortiori, with regard to a nation, or the whole world, which, in such a case, would be an aceldama.
He tells us, (B. II. ch. 19) that if a government become are bitrary, it is diffolved; the people are again in a state of nature, and may again proceed to election.
1. Government may pass from one contending party to another, but its dissolution is a whim and a dream. 2. Dissolve it in England and Scotland, and fea when the individuals would agree on another form * ?
It is observable, that among the instances of mal-administration which dissolve government, Mr. Locke reckons that of corrupting the representatiyes, or their electors. “ This," he says, “ is to cut up government by the roots, and poison the very fountain of public security: it is a great breach of trust, and as perfect a dea claration of a design to subvert the government as is pasibly to be met with. To which if one shall add rewards and punishments visibly employed to the same end, and all the arts of perverted law made use of to take off and destroy all that stand in the way of such a design, and will not comply and consent to destroy the liberties of their country, it will be past doubt what is doing--and one cannot but see, that he who has once attempted any such thing, cannot any longer be trusted.” B. II. ch. 19. p. 338. Now had Mr. Locke's principles been - universally received, and had the good people
man in his own image. By himself, therefore, power is given to every government : to take away the life of man by an act of justice, in virtue of a divine law: for the fame authority which ordains the law, doth in so doing ordain power to execute the law, without which the law is nothing; and this we call the power of the lipord, This power being original in God, the Apostie, Rom. xiii. 6. confiders the civil magistrate as the minister of God for the execution of the divine law; and that to resist him is to resist the ordinance of God; therefore government is the ordinance of God. The argument is plain, and can never be answered. In the work above-men, tioned, suicide is considered as a voluntary migration; as when a man by choice leaves. his parish, and goes to seek his fortune in another !
* 'Late events have taught us, that when the regular establishment of govern: meat is destroyed, factions arise in its stead, who murder and plunder one eno her.
of England acted up to them, in the days of Sir Robert Walpole, the nation had been a scene of confusion from that time to this *.
Mr. Locke says farther, that “ till mischiefs are grown general, &c. the people who are more disposed to suffer than right themselves by resistance, are not apt to stir.” Ibid. p. 345. “ There is a slowness and aversion in people to quit their old conftitution and whatever provocations have made the crown to be taken from fome of our princes' beads, they never carried the people so far as to place it in another line." p. 340. Here it is curious to see how great men differ. Mr. Huine thinks passive obedience should be preached, without mentioning any case wherein it is to give way to resistance; because the people are far more likely to rebel in the wrong place, than to omit doing it in the right; the bias of human nature being, in the judgment of that acute observer of it, towards rebellion. See his reflections on the reign of Charles I. at the clofe of his history of that reign. The same inference, by the way, follows from what Mr. Locke kays, p. 340, that when people are oppressed, preach jure divino, and passive obedience, as much as you please, they will rebel. If this be fo, we may very fafely preach it; it can do no hurt to civil liberty. But furely conscience is some restraint ; and if people will rebel as soon as rebellion is proper, though you preach obedience, they are in great danger of doing it before it is proper, if
you preach resistance.
In the next page, Mr. Locke is again of opinion, that the people are not disposed to rebellion. « Great mistakes in the
When the osder of the conftitution is violated, and bad principles are intro. duced, the government does not fall to pieces, but the different parts of it maintain themselves as well as they can by mutual encroachments; the commons, by taking something from the crown, and the crown, by substituting pecuniary influence, to fupply what it lofes of its lawful power.. “ We may give (fays Mr. Hume) to this in. fluence what name we please ; we may call it by the invidious name of corruption and dependence : but fome degree, and some kind of it, are infeparable frem tbe very katuri of the Constitutions and neceffary to the preservation of our own mixed government." 1. 67. This seems to be the true account of the matter : and it hath appeared in fact, that when the crown hath thought proper to exert itself, it has carried every question in the house of commons. Mr. Hume was of opipion, that if ever the power should de. volve to the commons, and a popular government be erected, we shall be overwhelmed with faction or tyranny, and “ such a violent government cannot long fubfift, but we Thall at last, after infinite convulsions and civil wars, find repose in abfolute monarchy, which it would have been happier for us to have established more peaceably from the beginning. Abfolute monarchy is therefore the easiest death, the tęue euthanaúa et the British constitution.” I. 78.