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Seventhly, reason directeth not only to worship Part 11. God in secret ; but also, and especially, in public, and in the sight of men. For without that, that which in honour is most acceptable, the procuring others to honour him, is lost.
Lastly, obedience to his laws, that is, in this case to the laws of nature, is the greatest worship of all. For as obedience is more acceptable to God than sacrifice; so also to set light by his commandments, is the greatest of all contumelies. And these are the laws of that divine worship, which natural reason dictateth to private men.
But seeing a commonwealth is but one person, it Public worship ought also to exhibit to God but one worship; which consisteihin then it doth, when it commandeth it to be exhibited by private men, publicly. And this is public worship; the property whereof, is to be uniform: for those actions that are done differently, by different men, cannot be said to be a public worship. And therefore, where many sorts of worship be allowed, proceeding from the different religions of private men, it cannot be said there is any public worship, nor that the commonwealth is of any religion at all.
And because words, and consequently the attri- All attributes butes of God, have their signification by agreement laws civil. and constitution of men, those attributes are to be held significative of honour, that men intend shall so be; and whatsoever may be done by the wills of particular men, where there is no law but reason, may be done by the will of the commonwealth, by laws civil. And because a commonwealth hath no will, nor makes no laws, but those that are made by the will of him, or them that have the sovereign
Not all actions.
PART 11. power; it followeth that those attributes which
the sovereign ordaineth, in the worship of God, for signs of honour, ought to be taken and used for such, by private men in their public worship.
But because not all actions are signs by constitution, but some are naturally signs of honour, others of contumely; these latter, which are those that men are ashamed to do in the sight of them they reverence, cannot be made by human power a part of Divine worship ; nor the former, such as are decent, modest, humble behaviour, ever be separated from it. But whereas there be an infinite number of actions and gestures of an indifferent nature; such of them as the commonwealth shall ordain to be publicly and universally in use, as signs of honour, and part of God's worship, are to be taken and used for such by the subjects. And that which is said in the Scripture, It is better to obey God than man, hath place in the kingdom of God by pact, and not by nature.
Having thus briefly spoken of the natural kingpunishments.
dom of God, and his natural laws, I will add only to this chapter a short declaration of his natural punishments. There is no action of man in this life, that is not the beginning of so long a chain of consequences, as no human providence is high enough, to give a man a prospect to the end. And in this chain, there are linked together both pleasing and unpleasing events; in such manner, as he that will do anything for his pleasure, must engage himself to suffer all the pains annexed to it; and these pains, are the natural punishments of those actions, which are the beginning of more harm than good. And hereby it comes to pass, that intemperance is
of the second part.
naturally punished with diseases ; rashness, with PART II. mischances; injustice, with the violence of enemies : pride, with ruin ; cowardice, with oppression: negligent government of princes, with rebellion ; and rebellion, with slaughter. For seeing punishments are consequent to the breach of laws ; natural punishments must be naturally consequent to the breach of the laws of nature; and therefore follow them as their natural, not arbitrary effects.
And thus far concerning the constitution, nature, The conclusion and right of sovereigns, and concerning the duty of subjects, derived from the principles of natural reason. And now, considering how different this doctrine is, from the practice of the greatest part of the world, especially of these western parts, that have received their moral learning from Rome and Athens ; and how much depth of moral philosophy is required, in them that have the administration of the sovereign power; I am at the point of believing this my labour, as useless, as the commonwealth of Plato. For he also is of opinion that it is impossible for the disorders of state, and change of governments by civil war, ever to be taken away, till sovereigns be philosophers. But when I consider again, that the science of natural justice, is the only science necessary for sovereigns and their principal ministers; and that they need not be charged with the sciences mathematical, as by Plato they are, farther than by good laws to encourage men to the study of them; and that neither Plato, nor any other philosopher hitherto, hath put into order, and sufficiently or probably proved all the theorems of moral doctrine, that men may learn thereby, both how to govern, and
PART 11. how to obey ; I recover some hope, that one time
or other, this writing of mine may fall into the hands of a sovereign, who will consider it himself, (for it is short, and I think clear,) without the help of any interested, or envious interpreter; and by the exercise of entire sovereignty, in protecting the public teaching of it, convert this truth of speculation, into the utility of practice.
OF THE PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN POLITICS.
I HAVE derived the rights of sovereign power, PART III.
Nevertheless, we are not to renounce our senses, Yet is not na-