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you may easily perceive, that all the arguments for a natural democracy, are built upon false suppositions; and wherever the people have any part in the sovereignty, it is by the after-constitution, and not by nature : and that kings receive not their power from the people's gift, (who never had it themselves to use or give,) but from God alone.
Prop. x. Though God have not made an universal determination for any sort of government, against the rest ; (whether monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy,) because that is best for one people, which may be worse for others, yet ordinarily monarchy is accounted better than aristocracy, and aristocracy better than democracy. So much briefly of the original of power.
Object. 1. But, saith worthy Mr. Richard Hooker, Eccl. Polit. lib. i. sect. 10. p. 21 ?, “ That which we spake of the power of government, must here be applied to the power of making laws, whereby to govern; which power, God hath over all, and by the natural law, whereto he hath made all subject, the lawful power of making laws to command whole politic societies of men, belongeth so properly to the same entire societies, that for any prince or potentate of what kind soever upon earth, to exercise the same of himself, and not either by express commission immediately and personally received from God, or else by authority derived at first from their consent, upon whose persons they impose laws, it is no better than mere tyranny. Laws they are not therefore, which public approbation hath not made so."
Answ. Because the authority of this famous divine is with his party so great, I shall adventure to say something, lest his words do the more harm : but not by confident opposition, but humble proposal and submission of my judgment to superiors and wiser men, as being conscious of my own inferiority and infirmity, I take all this to be an assertion nowhere by him proved; (and by me elsewhere disproved fully). Laws are the effects and signs of the ruler's will; and instruments of government. Legislation is the first part of government; and if the whole body are naturally governors, the ‘Pars imperans' and. Pars subdita' are confounded. If the most absolute monarch can make no
So p. 23, The same error of the original of power hath Acosta, lib, ii. c. 5. p. 208. with many other Jesuits and Papists.
that their phe chosen by meni but from God, by
laws, then disobeying them were no fault. It is enough that their power be derived from God immediately, though the persons be chosen by men. Their authority is not derived from the people's consent, but from God, by their consent, as a bare condition. sine qua non.' What if a community say all to their elected king, “ We take not ourselves to have any governing power to give or use, but we only choose you or your family to that office which God hath instituted, who in that institution giveth you the power upon our choice;" can any man prove, that such a king hath no power, but is a tyrant; because the people disclaim the giving of the power; when indeed they do their duty? Remember that in all this we speak not of the government of this or that particular kingdom, but of kingdoms and other commonwealths indefinitely 8.
Object. 11. But, saith he, lib. viii. p. 192, “ Unto me it seemeth almost out of doubt and controversy, that every independent multitude before any certain form of regimen established, hath under God supreme authority, full dominion over itself,”
Answ. If by dominion were meant propriety, every individual hath it; but for governing power, it seemeth as clear to me, that your independent multitude hath no civil power of government at all; but only a power to choose them governors; while they have no governors, they have no governing power, for that maketh a governor.
Object. 111. Ibid. “A man who is lord of himself, may be made another's servant, &c."
Answ. 1. He may hire out himself to labour for another; because he hath so far the power of himself, and his labour is his own, which he may sell for wages; but in a family, that the master be the governor to see God's laws obeyed by his servants, is of Divine appointment, and this governing power the servant giveth not to his master, but only maketh himself the object of it. 2. The power that nature giveth a man over himself, is 'tota specie' distinct from civil government; (as Dr. Hammond hath well shewed against I. G.) An individual person hath not that power of his own life as
& Bishop Andrews in Tortur. Tort. p. 385. Acutus homo non distinguits inter formam, atque authoritatem regiminis ; forma de hominibus esse potest : de cælo semper est authoritas. An rex sit supra leges, Vid. Seb. Fox. lib. ii. de Instit. Reg.
the king hath. He may not put himself to death, for that which the king may put him to death for. 3. If this were true, that every individual, by self-resignation might give a king his power over him; yet ‘a posse ad esse non valet consequentia;' and that it is not so is proved, in that God the Universal Sovereign hath prevented them, by determining himself, of his own officers, and giving them their power in the same charter by which he enableth the people to choose them. Therefore it is no better reasoning than to say, 'If all the persons in London subjected themselves to the lord mayor, he would thereby receive his power from them,' when the king hath prevented that already, by giving him the power himself in his charter; and leaving only the choice of the person to them; and that under the direction of the rules which he hath given them h.
Object. iv. But, saith he, lib. viii. p. 193, “In kingdoms of this quality, (as this we live in the highest governor hath indeed universal dominion, but with dependency upon that whole entire body over the several parts whereof he hath dominion ; so that it standeth for an axiom in this case, The king is 'major singulis, universis minor.'”
Answ. If you had included himself, it is certain that he cannot be greater than the whole, because he cannot be greater than himself. But seeing you speak of the whole in contradistinction from him, I answer, That indeed'in . genere causæ finalis' the sovereign is ‘universis minor,' that is, the whole kingdom is naturally more worth than one, and their felicity a greater good; or else the 'bonum publicum,' or 'salus populi' could not be the end of government; but this is nothing to our case; for we are speaking of governing power as a means to this end ; and so ‘in genere causæ efficientis' the sovereign (yea, and his lowest officer) hath more authority or jus regendi' than all the people as such, (for they all as such have none at all;) even as the church is of more worth than the pastor, and yet the pastor alone hath more authority to administer the sacraments, and to govern the people, than all the flock hath; for they have none either to use or give (whatever some say
h Dion. Cass. saith, that when Euphates the philosopher would kill himself, Venian dederat ei Adrianus citra ignominiam et infamiam, ut cicutam tum propter senectutem, luni etiam propter gravem morbum, bibere possit. In vita Adrian.
to the contrary), but only choose him to whom God will give iti.
Object. v. Saith the reverend author, lib. viii. p. 194, “ Neither can any man with reason think, but that the first institution of kings, (a sufficient consideration wherefore their power should always depend on that from which it did always flow), by original influence of power from the body into the king, is the cause of kings' dependency in power upon the body; by dependency we mean subordination and subjection.”
Answ. 1. But if their institution in genere' was of God, and that give them their power, and it never flowed from the body at all, then all your superstructure falleth with your ground-work. 2. And here you seem plainly to confound all kingdoms by turning the ' pars imperans' into the pars subdita,' and 'vice versa ;' if the king be subject, how are they his subjects? I will not infer what this will lead them to do, when they are taught that kings are in subordination and subjection to them. Sad experience hath shewed us what this very principle would effect.
Object. vi. Ibid k. “ A manifest token of which dependency may be this; as there is no more certain argument, that lands are held under any as lords, than if we see that such lands in defect of heirs fall unto them by escheat; in like manner it doth follow, rightly that seeing dominion when there is none to inherit it, returneth unto the body, therefore they which before were inheritors of it, did hold it in dependance on the body; so that by comparing the body with the head as touching power, it seemeth always to reside in both; fundamentally and radically in one, in the other derivatively; in one the habit, in the other the act of - power.”
Answ. Power no more falleth to the multitude by escheat, than the power of the pastor falls to the church, or the power of the physician to the hospital, or the power of
the schoolmaster to the scholars : that is, not at all. When · all the heirs are dead, they are an ungoverned community, that have power to choose a governor, but no power to govern, neither (as you distinguish it) in habit nor in act; originally nor derivatively. As it is with a corporation when the mayor is dead, the power falleth not to the people.
i Against the people's being the givers of power, by conjoining all their own in one, in church or state, see Mr. D. Cawdry's Review of Mr. Hooker's Survey, p. 154, &c.
k So lib. viii. pp. 211, 218. 220,
Therefore there is no good ground given for your following question, “May a body politic then at all times withdraw in whole or in part the influence of dominion which passeth from it, if inconveniences do grow thereby ?” Though you answer this question soberly yourself, it is easy to see how the multitude may be tempted to answer it on your grounds, especially if they think your inconvenience turn into a necessity, and what use they will make of your next words, “It must be presumed that supreme governors will not in such cases oppose themselves, and be stiff in detaining that, the use whereof is with public detriment.” A strange presumption.
Object. vir. “ The axioms of our regal government are these, fex facit regem :' the king's grant of any favour made contrary to law is void ; ‘Rex nihil potest nisi quod jure potest.'”
Answ. If lex' be taken improperly for the constituting contract between prince and people, and if your 'faciť have respect only to the species and person, and not the substance of the power itself, then I contradict you not. But if • lex' be taken properly for' authoritativa constitutio debiti,' or the signification of the sovereign's will to oblige the subject, then ‘lex non facit regem, sed rex legem?.'
Object. viii. Lib. viii. p. 210. “ When all which the wisdom of all sorts can do is done for the devising of laws in the church, it is the general consent of all that giveth them the form and vigour of laws: without which they could be no more to us than the counsels of physicians to the sick: Well might they seem as wholesome admonitions and instructions, but laws they could never he, without consent of the whole church to be guided by them, whereunto both nature and the practice of the church of God set down in
' Lib. viii. p. 195. Trita in scholis, neminem sibi imperare posse; neminem sibi legem posse dicere, a qua mutata voluntate nequeat recedere: summum ejus esse imperium qui ordinario jure derogare valeat. Et quibus evincitur jus summæ potestatis non limitari per legem positivam. Hinc et Augustinus dixit imperatorem non esse subjectum legibus suis.-Grotius de Imp. pp. 149, 150.