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PART II. sovereign doth ; so that he never wanteth right to
anything, otherwise, than as he himself is the subLiberty of ject of God, and bound thereby to observe the laws the subject consistent with of nature. And therefore it may, and doth often power of the happen in commonwealths, that a subject may be sovereign.
put to death, by the command of the sovereign power; and yet neither do the other wrong: as when Jephtha caused his daughter to be sacrificed : in which, and the like cases, he that so dieth, had liberty to do the action, for which he is nevertheless, without injury put to death. And the same holdeth also in a sovereign prince, that putteth to death an innocent subject. For though the action be against the law of nature, as being contrary to equity, as was the killing of Uriah, by David ; yet it was not an injury to Uriah, but to God. Not to Uriah, because the right to do what he pleased was given him by Uriah himself: and yet to God, because David was God's subject, and prohibited all iniquity by the law of nature: which distinction, David himself, when he repented the fact, evidently confirmed, saying, To thee only have I sinned. In the same manner, the people of Athens, when they banished the most potent of their commonwealth for ten years, thought they committed no injustice ; and yet they never questioned what crime he had done ; but what hurt he would do: nay they commanded the banishment of they knew not whom; and every citizen bringing his oystershell into the market place, written with the name of him he desired should be banished, without actually accusing him, sometimes banished an Aristides, for his reputation of justice; and sometimes a scurrilous jester, as Hyperbolus, to make a
jest of it. And yet a man cannot say, the sovereign PART 11. people of Athens wanted right to banish them; or an Athenian the liberty to jest, or to be just.
The liberty, whereof there is so frequent and The liberty honourable mention, in the histories, and philo- praise, is the sophy of the ancient Greeks, and Romans, and in liberty of sothe writings, and discourse of those that from them of private men. have received all their learning in the politics, is not the liberty of particular men ; but the liberty of the commonwealth : which is the same with that which every man then should have, if there were no civil laws, nor commonwealth at all. And the effects of it also be the same. For as amongst masterless men, there is perpetual war, of every man against his neighbour ; no inheritance, to transmit to the son, nor to expect from the father ; no propriety of goods, or lands ; no security ; but a full and absolute liberty in every particular man: so in states, and commonwealths not dependent on one another, every commonwealth, not every man, has an absolute liberty, to do what it shall judge, that is to say, what that man, or assembly that representeth it, shall judge most conducing to their benefit. But withal, they live in the condition of a perpetual war, and upon the confines of battle, with their frontiers armed, and cannons planted against their neighbours round about. The Athenians, and Romans were free; that is, free commonwealths : not that any particular men had the liberty to resist their own representative; but that their representative had the liberty to resist, or invade other people. There is written on the turrets of the city of Lucca in great characters at this day, the word LIBERTAS; yet no man can thence infer, that a par
PART 11. ticular man has more liberty, or immunity from the
service of the commonwealth there, than in ConThe liberty stantinople. Whether a commonwealth be monpraise, is the archical, or popular, the freedom is still the same. liberty of so
But it is an easy thing, for men to be deceived, vereigos ; not of private men. by the specious name of liberty; and for want of
judgment to distinguish, mistake that for their private inheritance, and birth-right, which is the right of the public only. And when the same error is confirmed by the authority of men in reputation for their writings on this subject, it is no wonder if it produce sedition, and change of government. In these western parts of the world, we are made to receive our opinions concerning the institution, and rights of commonwealths, from Aristotle, Cicero, and other men, Greeks and Romans, that living under popular states, derived those rights, not from the principles of nature, but transcribed them into their books, out of the practice of their own commonwealths, which were popular; as the grammarians describe the rules of language, out of the practice of the time; or the rules of poetry, out of the poems of Homer and Virgil. And because the Athenians were taught, to keep them from desire of changing their government, that they were freemen, and all that lived under monarchy were slaves ; therefore Aristotle puts it down in his Politics, (lib. 6. cap. ii.) In democracy, LIBERTY is to be supposed: for it is commonly held, that no man is FREE in any other government. And as Aristotle; so Cicero, and other writers have grounded their civil doctrine, on the opinions of the Romans, who were taught to hate monarchy, at first, by them that having deposed their sovereign,sharedamongst them
the sovereignty of Rome; and afterwards by their PART II. successors. And by reading of these Greek, and Latin authors, men from their childhood have gotten a habit, under a false show of liberty, of favouring tumults, and of licentious controlling the actions of their sovereigns, and again of controlling those controllers; with the effusion of so much blood, as I think I may truly say, there was never any thing so dearly bought, as these western parts have bought the learning of the Greek and Latin tongues.
To come now to the particulars of the true liberty Liberty of subof a subject ; that is to say, what are the things, measured. which though commanded by the sovereign, he may nevertheless, without injustice, refuse to do ; we are to consider, what rights we pass away, when we make a commonwealth ; or, which is all one, what liberty we deny ourselves, by owning all the actions, without exception, of the man, or assembly we make our sovereign. For in the act of our submission, consisteth both our obligation, and our liberty; which must therefore be inferred by arguments taken from thence ; there being no obligation on any man, which ariseth not from some act of his own ; for all men equally, are by nature free. And because such arguments, must either be drawn from the express words, I authorize all his actions, or from the intention of him that submitteth himself to his power, which intention is to be understood by the end for which he so submitteth; the obligation, and liberty of the subject, is to be derived, either from those words, or others equivalent; or else from the end of the institution of sovereignty, namely, the peace of the subjects within themselves, and their defence against a common enemy.
fend their own
to hurt themselves.
First therefore, seeing sovereignty by institution,
is by covenant of every one to every one ; and Subjects have sovereignty by acquisition, by covenants of the vanliberty to de.
quished to the victor, or child to the parent ; it is against them manifest, that every subject has liberty in all those that lawfully things, the right whereof cannot by covenant be
transferred. I have shewn before in the 14th chapter, that covenants, not to defend a man's own body,
are void. Therefore, Are not bound
If the sovereign command a man, though justly condemned, to kill, wound, or maim himself; or not to resist those that assault him; or to abstain from the use of food, air, medicine, or any other thing, without which he cannot live ; yet hath that man the liberty to disobey.
If a man be interrogated by the sovereign, or his authority, concerning a crime done by himself, he is not bound, without assurance of pardon, to confess it; because no man, as I have shown in the same chapter, can be obliged by covenant to accuse himself.
Again, the consent of a subject to sovereign power, is contained in these words, I authorize, or take upon me, all his actions; in which there is no restriction at all, of his own former natural liberty : for by allowing him to kill me, I am not bound to kill myself when he commands me.
It is one thing to say, , kill me, or my fellow, if you please; another thing to say, I will kill myself, or my fellow. It followeth therefore, that
No man is bound by the words themselves, either kill himself, or any other man ; and consequently, at the obligation a man may sometimes have, upon he command of the sovereign to execute any dan