A Brief Disquisition of the Law of Nature according to ... Cumberland (1692)

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James Tyrrell, A Brief Disquisition of the Law of Nature according to the principles and method laid down in the Reverend Dr. Cumberland's Latin treatise on that subject ... (London: Richard Balwin, 1692).http://davidmhart.com/liberty/Books/1692-Tyrrell_LawNature/Tyrrell_LawOfNature1692-ebook.html

James Tyrrell, A Brief Disquisition of the Law of Nature, According to the Principles and Method laid down in the Reverend Dr. Cumberland's (now Lord Bishop of Peterborough) Latin Treatise on that Subject. As also His Confutations of Mr. Hobbs's Principles put into another Method. With the Right Reverend Author's Approbation. (London: Printed, and are to be sold by Richard Baldwin, near the Oxford-Arms in Warwick-Lane. 1692).

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Table of Contents"




TO THE Right Reverend Father in GOD, RICHARD, Lord Bishop of PETERBOROUGH.


HAving, many Years agon, when your Learned and Judicious Treatise of the Laws of Nature was first published, carefully perused it to my great satisfaction, I also thought it necessary to make an Epitome, or Abridgment of it, as well for my own better Remembrance, as that [PB] I believed it might be also useful, as an Introduction to Ethicks, for some near Relations of mine, for whom I then designed it. These Papers, after they had lain by me several Years, I happened to shew to some Friends of mine, (and in particular to the Honourable Mr. Boyle;) who so well approved of the Undertaking, that they encouraged me to make it publick, as that which might give great satisfaction to those of the Nobility and Gentry of our own Nation, (as well as others of a lower rank) who either do not understand Latin, or else had rather read Epitomes of greater Works, than take the Pains to peruse the Originals. Which Task, tho' not very grateful to me, yet I was prevailed with to undertake, and to look over those Papers again, and add several considerable [PB] Passages out of the Treatise itself; and this not for Fame's sake, or the honour of being thought an Author, since I was satisfied, that nothing of that nature could be due to one, who does not pretend to more, than to Translate or Abridge another Man's Labours: Yet I am willing, in pursuance of your Lordship's Principle, to sacrifice all these little private Considerations to the Publick Good, as being sensible, that in the Trade of Learning (as in other Trades) divers, who cannot be Inventors, or chief Merchants, may yet do the Publick good service by venting other Mens Notions in a new dress; especially since I have also observed, that things of this kind, if well done, (and with due acknowledgment to the Authors from whence they are borrowed) as they have proved beneficial to [PB] those whose Education, or constant Employments in their own Professions, will not give them leave to peruse many Volumes, written perhaps in a Language they are no great Masters of; so also, they have not failed of some Commendation from all Candid Readers. Thus Monsieur Rohault's Abridgment of Des Cartes's Philosophy, and Monsieur Bernier's of Gassendus's, (to mention no more) have been received with general Applause, not only by all Ingenious Men of the French, but also of our own Nation, who understand that Language.

And the Learned and Inquisitive Dr. Burnet hath thought an Undertaking of this kind so useful for our Nobility and Gentry, as to give us his own elegant Translations, or rather Abridgments in English, of his two ingenious Treatises of the Theory [PB] of the Earth. And I doubt not, but your Lordship would have done somewhat in this kind, with this admirable Work of yours, had not the constant Employments of your Sacred Function, as well as your other severe and useful Studies, hindred you from it.

But, perhaps, it may be thought by some, that this Task hath been very well performed already by Dr. Parker, late Bishop of Oxford, in his Treatise, entituled▪ A Demonstration of the Laws of Nature, and therefore needs not be done over again. But to this I shall only say, that as he hath borrowed all that is new in that Work from your Lordship's Book, so it is with so slight an acknowledgment of that Obligation, that since he owns himself beholding to you for no more than the first Hint, or main Notion, no [PB] wonder if he hath fallen very short of the Original from whence he borrowed it, both in the clearness, as well as choice of the Arguments or Demonstrations, and in the particular setting forth of those Rewards and Punishments derived (by God's appointment) from the Nature of Men, and the Frame of Things; which can only be done according to that exact Method your Lordship hath there laid down. Tho', I confess, there is one thing that is particular in that Authors Undertaking, (viz.) That excellent Account he there gives us of the great Differences and Uncertainties among the most famous of the Heathen Philosophers, concerning Mans Soveraign Good, or Happiness, chiefly for want of the certain belief of a future state, and that clear conviction we now have, that Mens [PB] chiefest Good or Happiness consists in God's Love and Favour towards them: As also his observation, That, notwithstanding all that can be said of the Natural Rewards of Vertue, and Punishments of Vice, nothing but the reasonable hope and expectation of Happiness in a Life to come, can in all Cases bear us up under all the Miseries, Sorrows and Calamities of this. And herein I must own I agree with him; and therefore hope your Lordship will pardon me, if I have in the ensuing Discourse insisted somewhat more particularly upon these future Rewards and Punishments, which I doubt not may very well be proved from Reason, and the necessity of supposing them, in order to the asserting and vindicating God's Justice and Providence: Tho' I grant, that the Gospel, or Divine Revelation, hath given [PB] us more firm grounds for this our Belief, than we had before by the mere light of Nature.

But supposing this Work of Bishop Parker never so well performed; as I do not deny, but it hath all the advantages of a Popular and Gentile Stile, and that neat Turn he gives to all his Writings; and therefore I have not scrupled to transcribe, out of his Discourse, one or two Passages, where I thought either his way of urging your Lordship's Arguments, or the close summing them up, was not to be mended by any other Pen: Yet since (as I have already observed) the whole is not done from your Lordship's Work, and is also too concise, and full of Digressions, and besides wants your solid Confutations of Mr. H.'s Principles, it seems necessary, that another Treatise more exact in the [PB] kind, should be published as more agreeable to your Lordship's Original: Whether this which I now present you with, be such, I must submit to your Lordship's and the Reader's judgment.

But since I have undertaken this difficult Province with your Lordships approbation, it is fit, that I give you, as well as the Reader, some account of the Method I have followed in this Treatise, and wherein it differs from yours.

First then, to begin with the Preface, The substance of it is wholly yours, except the Introduction concerning the usefulness of the Knowledge of the true Grounds of the Law of Nature, in order to a right understanding of Moral Philosophy, nay Christianity itself.

But for a Conclusion to the Preface, I have also made some Additions, [PB] wherein. I have shewn your Principle of Endeavouring the Common Good, is not a new Invention, but that which several Great Men had before delivered, as the only firm Rule, by which to try not only all our Moral Actions, but all Civil Laws, whether they are right and just; that is, agreeable to right Reason, or not. And I have also concluded it with a set of Principles, very necessary to be understood, for the proving the Truth of all Natural Religion, and the Law of Nature, tho' the two last alone are the Subject of your Lordship's Book, as well as of my Abridgment of it.

But to speak more particularly of the Discourse itself, since I here design no more than an Epitome, I hope your Lordship will not take it ill, if I have omitted most of your rare [PB] Instances and Parallels drawn from the Mathematicks, many of which are above the capacity of common Readers, (tho' therein your Lordship hath shewn your self a Great Master) and have confined my self only to such plain and easie Proofs and natural Observations as Men of all capacities may understand. So also if in the Chapter of Humane Nature, I have left out divers curious Anatomical Observations, wherein the Structure of Mens Bodies differs from that of Beasts, if I thought they were at all questionable or doubtful, or such as did not directly tend to the proving, that Mens Bodies are fitted and ordained by God for the Prosecution of the Common Good of others of their own Kind, above all other Creatures.


I have also made bold to contract the Chapters in your Work, into a lesser number, having disposed the substance of them into other places, or else quite omitted some, as not so necessary to our purpose: As for example, I have placed most of the Matter of the third Chapter, De bono naturali, partly in the explanation of the word Good, in our Description of the Law of Nature, in the third Chapter, reserving what remained of it to the second part for the Confutation of that Principle of Mr. H. That no Action is Good or Evil in the State of Nature. So likewise for the fourth Chapter, De Dictaminibus Practicis, I have set down the Substance of it (omitting the Mathematical Illustrations) in our second Chapter of Humane Nature. So also the sixth Chapter, [PB] entituled, De iis quae in Lege Naturali continentur. And the seventh and eighth, De Origine Dominii, & Virtutum Moralium. I have partly disposed the substance of them into the first Chapter of the Nature of Things, but chiefly into your fourth Chapter, reducing all the Laws of Nature, and Moral Vertues therein contained, into this one Principle, of Endeavouring the Common Good of Rational Beings. But as for your last Chapter, viz. that part of it which contains the Consectaria, or Consequences deducible from the foregoing Chapters, in relation to the Law of Moses, and all Civil Laws; I have made bold to omit, since it is plain enough, that all the Precepts of the Decalogue do tend either (in the first Table) to the Honour and Glory of God, in his commanding himself to be [PB] the sole Object of our Worship, and that without any Images of himself; or else (in the second Table) to our Duties towards others, wherein the highest Vertue and Innocence are prescribed. And so likewise, that all the Laws of the Supreme Civil Powers have no Authority, but as they pursue this Great Rule, or Law of Nature, of procuring the Common Good of Rational Beings; that is, the Honour and Worship of God, and the Peace and Happiness of their Subjects, and of Mankind in general: And whereas your Lordship hath here also solidly and briefly confuted many Gross Errors in Mr. H.'s Morals, as well as Politicks, some of those Confutations I have made use of in the second Part, viz. those that relate to that Author's Moral Principles, which, if they are false, [PB] his Politick ones will fall of themselves.


To conclude, I must beg your Lordships Pardon, if I have made bold to alter your Method, as to your Confutation of Mr. H.'s Principles. For whereas you have thought fit to do it in the Body of your Work, and as they occurred under the several Heads you treat of; since I perceiv'd the placing your Answers after that manner, did disturb the Connexion and Perspicuity of the Discourse, I thought it better to cast those Answers into a distinct part, digested under so many Heads, or Propositions, in the order in which they stand in Mr. H.'s Books, de Cive, and Leviathan, where the Reader, if he pleases, may compare what I have quoted out of him.


And I hope your Lordship will not take it amiss in me, if (to render the Work more pleasant and grateful to common Readers, and that it may not look like a bare Translation) I have added several Notions and Observations, some of my own knowledge, and others out of History, and the Relations of Modern Travellers, concerning the Customs of those Nations commonly counted Barbarous, who yet by their amicable living together, without either Civil Magistrates, or written Laws, serve sufficiently to confute Mr. H.'s extravagant Opinion, That all Men by Nature are in a State of War.

I have likewise presumed to add those Aphorisms of Good and Evil contained in Bishop Wilkins's Treatise of Natural Religion, and Dr. Moor's Enchiridion Ethicum, that [PB] the Reader may see them all at once, tho' I confess they are most of them to be found (tho' dispersedly) in your Lordship's Work. I have also inserted some things, in answer to the Objections at the end of the first Part, out of that noble contemplative Philosopher, Mr. Lock's Essay of Humane Vnderstanding; since he proceeds upon the same Principles with your Lordship, and hath divers very new and useful Notions concerning the Manner of Attaining the Knowledge of all Truths, as well Natural, as Divine, and the Certainty we have of them.

But, I fear, I have trespass'd too much upon your Lordship's Patience, by so long an Epistle, and therefore shall conclude with my Prayers for your Lordship's Happiness and Health, since I am confident you cannot but prove more [PB] useful for the common good of our Church and State, in this high and publick Station to which Their Majesties have thought fit to call you, than you could have been in a more private Condition: And I hope your Lordship will look upon this Dedication as a small Tribute of Gratitude, which all the World must owe you for your Learned and not Common Undertakings, of which Obligation none ought to be (or indeed is) more sensible than,


Your Lordship's most faithful
and humble Servant,





I Suppose you are not ignorant, that the Study of Moral Philosophy, or the Laws of Nature, was preferred (by Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, and Tully, the wisest of the Heathen Philosophers) above all other knowledge, whether Natural or Civil, and that deservedly, as well in respect of its usefulness, as certainty, since it was to that alone (as most agreeable to the Natural Faculties of Mankind) that Men, before they were assisted by Divine Revelation, owed the Discovery of their [PB] Natural Duties, to God, themselves, and all others: as Cicero hath shewn us at large in those three excellent Treatises, De Officiis, De Finibus, and De Legibus. And tho' I grant we Christians have now clearer and higher Discoveries of all Moral Duties, by the Light of the Gospel, yet is the Knowledge of Natural Religion, or the Laws of Nature, still of great use to us, as well for the confirmation as illustration of all those Duties, since by their Knowledge, and the true Principles on which they are founded, we may be convinced, that God requires nothing from us in all the practical Duties of revealed Religion, but our reasonable Service; that is, what is really our own interest, and concerns our good and happiness to observe, as the best and most perfect Rule of Life, whether God had ever farther enforced them or not by any revealed Law. And tho' I do not deny, that our Saviour Jesus Christ hath highly advanced and improved these Natural Laws, by more excellent and refined Precepts of Humility, Charity, and Self-denial, than were discovered before by the wisest of the Heathen Philosophers, especially as to the greater assurance we have of that grand Motive to Religion and Vertue, the immortality of the Soul, or a Life either eternally happy or miserable, when this is ended: Yet certainly it was this Law of Nature, or [PB] Reason alone, by which Mankind was not only to live, but also to be judged, before the Law given to Moses, and it must be for not living up to this Natural Light, that the Heathens shall be condemned, who never yet heard of Christ, or of a revealed Religion, and so cannot (as St. Paul expresly declares to the Romans) believe on him of whom they have not heard, Rom. 10.14. And therefore the same Apostle, in the first Chapter of the same Epistle, appeals to the knowledge of God, from the things that are seen, that is, the Creation of the World, as the foundation of all Natural Religion, and their falling [notwithstanding this knowledge,] into that gross Idolatry they professed, as the only reason, why God gave them up to their own hearts lusts, because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkned, v 21. And so likewise in the second Chapter, the Apostle farther tells them, that when the Gentiles, who have not the Law, do by nature the things contained in the Law, these having not the Law, are a Law unto themselves, shewing the work of the Law written in their hearts; that is, the Law of Nature or Reason, as the main substance or effect of the Mosaical Law. And that it is by this Law alone, that they [PB] shall be judged, mark what immediately follows, Their consciences bearing witness, and their own thoughts (or reasonings, as it is rather to be rendred) in the mean while accusing or excusing each other. And indeed the Apostle supposes the Knowledge of God as a Rewarder of Good Works, as the foundation of all Natural, as well as revealed Religion, and the first Principle of saving Faith, as appears in his Epistle to the Hebrews, Chap. 11. v. 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that comes unto God must first believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of all them that diligently seek him. But I need speak no more of Natural Religion, and how necessary it is to the true Knowledge of the Revealed, since the Reverend and learned Dr. Wilkins, Late Bishop of Chester, hath so well perform'd that Noble Vndertaking, in that excellent Posthumous Treatise, published by the Reverend Dr. Tillotson, now Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, to which nothing needs to be added by so mean a Pen as mine.

But since the Laws of Nature, as derived from God the Legislator, are the foundation of all Moral Philosophy and true Politicks, as being those which are appealed to in all Controversies between Civil Soveraigns, and also are the main Rules of those mutual Duties between [PB] Soveraigns and their Subjects: It is worth while to enquire how these Laws may be discovered to proceed from God as a Legislator. Now whereas this can only be done by one of these two ways, (viz.) Either from the certain and manifest Effects and Consequences that proceed from their observation; Or, 2dly, From the Causes from which they are derived. The former of these hath been already largely treated of by others, especially by the most learned Hugo Grotius, in his admirable Work, De Jure Belli & Pacis. And by his Brother William, in that small Posthumous Treatise, De Principiis Juris Naturalis. And by the Iudicious Monsieur Puffendorf, in his learned Treatise, De Jure Naturae & Gentium: As also by our own Countryman, Dr. Sharrock. Who have all undertaken to prove their certainty from their general belief and reception by the wisest and most civilized Nations in all Ages. To which we may also add the learned Mr. Selden, in that most elaborate Work, De Jure Gentium juxta placita Hebraeorum. And as I do acknowledge, that those Great Men have all deserved very well in their way, so I think none deserves greater commendation, than that excellent Work of Grotius the Elder, which as it was the first in its kind, so it is worthy of enduring as long as Vertue and Iustice shall be in esteem among Mankind. And [PB] tho' the Objections which are wont to be brought against this Method of proving the Laws of Nature, are not of so great moment, as to render it altogether fallacious or useless, as some would have it to be; yet I freely acknowledge they can chiefly serve to convince Men of sincere and honest minds, and who are naturally disposed to Vertue and right Reason: So that I conceive it were more useful, as well as certain, to seek for a firmer and clearer Demonstration thereof, from a strict search and inquisition into the Nature of things, and also of our own selves, by which I doubt not but we may attain not only to a true Knowledge of the Laws of Nature, but also of that true Principle on which they are founded, and from whence they are all derived.

But it will not consist with the narrow bounds of a Preface, to propose and answer all the Objections that may be made against their Method of proving the Law of Nature, from the Consent of Nations, neither perhaps can it be done at all to the universal satisfaction even of indifferent persons; since it may be still urged by those that do not admit them, that altho' some Dictates of Right Reason may be indeed approved of by our Vnderstandings, and are commonly received and practised by most Nations for their general usefulness and conveniency: Yet it must be acknowledged, that there [PB] is still required the Knowledge of God as a Legislator, by whose Authority alone they can obtain the force of Laws. The Proof of which (tho' the most material part of the Question) hath been hitherto omitted, or but slightly touch'd, by former Writers on this Subject.

But besides the Objections of some of the Ancients, Mr. Selden and Mr. Hobbs have also argued against this Method, tho' upon divers Principles, and from different Designs, the latter intending, that no body should receive these Dictates of Reason, as obligatory to outward Actions, before a Supreme Civil Power be instituted, who shall ordain them to be observed as Laws. And tho' he sometimes vouchsafes them that Title, yet in his De Cive, cap. 14. he tells us,

"That in the state of Nature they are but improperly called so, and that tho' the Laws of Nature may be found largely described in the Writings of Philosophers, yet are they not for this cause to be called Laws, any more than the Writings or Opinions of Lawyers are Laws, till confirmed and made so by the Supreme Powers."

But, on the other side, Mr. Selden more fairly finds fault with the want of Authority in these Dictates of Reason, (considered only as such) that he may from hence shew us a necessity of recurring to the Legislative Power [PB] of God, and that he may thereby make out, that those Dictates of Reason do only acquire the force of Laws, because all our knowledge of them is to be derived from God alone, who when he makes these Rules known to us, does then (and not before) promulgate them to us as Laws. And so far I think he is in the right, and hath well enough corrected our common Moralists, who are wont to consider these Dictates of Reason as Laws, without any sufficient proof, that they have all the Conditions required to make them so, viz. That they are established and declared to us by God as a Legislator, who hath annexed to them sufficient Rewards and Punishments. But I think it is evident, that if these Rational Dictates can by any means be proved to proceed from the Will of God, the Author of Nature, as Rules for all our Moral Actions, they will not need any Humane Authority, much less the Consent or Tradition of any one or many Nations to make them known to be so: Therefore, tho' I grant this learned Author hath taken a great deal of pains to prove from divers general Traditions of the Iewish Rabbins, that God gave certain Commands to Adam, and after to Noah, contained in these seven Precepts, called by his Name; and that those various Quotations this learned Author hath there produced, do clearly prove, that the Iews believe, that [PB] all Nations whatever, altho' they do not receive the Laws of Moses, yet are obliged to observe the same Moral Laws, which they conceive to be all contained under the Precepts above mentioned; and tho' this Work is indeed most learnedly and judiciously performed, and may prove of great use in Christian Theology, yet I must confess it still seems to me, that he hath not sufficiently answered his own Objection concerning Mens Ignorance, or want of Discovery of the Law-giver; for altho' it should be granted, that those Traditions they call the Precepts of Noah, should be never so generally or firmly believed by the whole Iewish Nation, yet are they not therefore made known to the rest of Mankind, and one of them, viz. That of not eating any Part or Member of a living Creature, is justly derided and received with scorn by all other Nations. So that it seems evident to me, that the unwritten Traditions of the learned Men of any one Nation, cannot be looked upon as a sufficient promulgation made by God as a Law-giver, of those Laws or Precepts therein contained; and that all Nations, who perhaps have never heard of Adam or Noah, should be condemned for not living according to them, especially when we consider, that it is but in these latter Ages of the World, that the Iewish Rabbins began to commit these Traditions to Writing; and that it is most [PB] probable the ancient Iews knew nothing of them, since neither Josephus, nor Philo Judaeus, take any notice of these Precepts in their Writings.

Therefore that the Divine Authority of those Dictates of Right Reason, or Rules of Life, called the Laws of Nature, may more evidently be demonstrated to all considering Men, it seemed to me the best and fittest Method to inquire first into their Natural Causes, as well internal as external, remote as near, since by this Series of Causes and Effects, we may at last be more easily brought to the knowledge of the Will of God, their first Cause, from whose intrinsick Perfections and extrinsick Sanctions, by fit Rewards and due Punishments, we have endeavoured to shew, that as well their Authority as Promulgation is derived.

I know indeed, that the greatest part of former Writers have been content, to suppose, that these Dictates of Reason, and all Acts conformable thereunto, are taught us by Nature, or at most do only affirm in general, that they proceed from God, without shewing us which way, or the manner how. Therefore it seemed highly necessary to us, that we ought to inquire more exactly how the force of Objects from without, and of our own Notions or Idea's from within us, do both concur towards the [PB] imprinting, and fixing these Principles in our Minds, as Laws derived from the Will of God himself; which Work if it be well performed, we hope may prove of great use, not only to our own Nation, but to all Mankind; because from hence it may appear, both by what means Men's Vnderstandings, may attain to a true, and natural Knowledge of the Divine Will, or Laws of God; So that if they practise them not, they may be left without excuse: And this Principle will likewise serve for a general Rule, by which the Municipal Laws of every Common-wealth may be tryed, whether they are Iust, and Right, or not; that is agreeable with the Laws of Nature, and so may be corrected, and amended by the supreme Powers, when-ever they have deviated from this great End of the common Good. And from hence may also be demonstrated, that there is somewhat in the Nature of God, as also in our own, and all other Men's Natures, which administers present Comfort and Satisfaction to our Minds, from good Actions, as also firm Hopes, or Presages of a future Happiness, as a Reward for them when this Life is ended; whereas on the other side the greatest Misery, and most dismal Fears, do proceed from wicked, or evil Actions, from whence the Conscience seems furnished, as it were with Whips, and Scorpions [PB] to correct and punish all Vice, and Improbity: So that it may from hence appear, that Men are not deluded in their moral Notions, either by Clergy-men, or Politicians.

I grant, the Platonists undertake to dispatch all these Difficulties a much easier way, only by supposing certain innate Idea's of moral Good, and Evil, imprest by God upon the Souls of Men. But I must indeed confess my self not yet so happy, as to be able thus easily to attain to so great a Perfection, as the Knowledge of the Laws of Nature by this natural Instinct, or Impression: And it doth not seem to me either safe, or convenient to lay the whole Stress of Natural Religion, and Morality upon an Hypothesis, which hath been exploded by all Philosophers, except themselves, and which can never alone serve to convince those of Epicurean Principles, for whom we chiefly design this Work: But whosoever will take the Pains to peruse, what hath been written, against these innate Idea's by the inquisitive, and sagacious Dr. Ioh. Lock. Author of the late Essay of humane Understanding, will find them very hard, if not impossible to be proved to have ever been innate in the Souls of Men, before they came into the World: Therefore as I shall not take upon me, absolutely to deny the Being, or Impossibility of such Idea's, so I shall not make use of any Arguments [PB] drawn from thence in this Discourse, Though I heartily wish that any Reasons, or Motives, which may serve to promote true Vertue, and Piety may prevail as far as they deserve, with all sincere and honest Men.

And the same Reasons, which deterred me from supposing any natural Laws innate in our Minds, have also made me not presently suppose, as many do (without any due proof) That such Idea's have existed in the Divine Intellect from all Eternity. And therefore I looked upon it as more proper, and necessary to begin from those things, which are most known, and familiar to us by our Senses, and from thence to prove that certain Propositions of immutable Truth prescribing our Care of the Happiness, or common Good of all rational Agents considered together, are necessarily imprinted upon our Minds from the Nature of things, and which the first Cause perpetually determines so to act upon them: And that in the Terms of these Propositions, are intrinsecally included an evident Declaration of their Truth, and certainty, as proceeding from God the first Cause in the very intrinsick Constitution of things: From whence it will be also manifest, that such practical Propositions are truly and properly Laws, as being declared, and established by due Rewards, and Punishments annexed to them by him, as the supreme Legislator.


But after it shall appear, that the Knowledge of these Laws, and a Practice conformable to them are the highest Perfection, or most happy State of our Rational Natures: It will likewise follow, that a Perfection Analogous to this Knowledge, and a Practice conformable to these Laws, must necessarily be in the first Cause; from whence proceeds, not only our own Natural Perfections, but also the most wise Ordination of all Effects without us, for the common Conservation, and Perfection of the whole Natural System, or Vniverse, which our Eyes daily behold: For that is look'd upon by me among the things most certainly prov'd, That it must be first known, what Iustice is, and what those Laws enjoyn, in whose Observation all Iustice consists, before we can distinctly know, that Iustice is to be attributed to God, and that his Iustice is to be considered by us as a Pattern, or Example for us to imitate. Since we do not know God by an immediate Intuition of his Essence, or Perfections, but only from the outward Effects of his Providence, first known by our Senses, and Experience: Neither is it safe to affix Attributes to him, which we cannot sufficiently understand, or make out from things without us.

Having now shewn you in general, the difference between our Method, and that which [PB] others have hitherto followed, it is fit we here declare, in as few words as we can, the chief Heads of those things which we have delivered in this Treatise. Supposing therefore those natural Principles concerning the Laws of Motion, and Rest sufficiently demonstrated by Naturalists (especially such as depend upon Mathematical Principles) since we have only here undertaken to demonstrate the true Grounds of Moral Philosophy, and to deduce them from some supposed Knowledge of Nature, and as they refer to our Moral Practice; I have here therefore supposed all the Effects of corporeal Motions, which are natural and necessary, and performed without any Intervention of humane Liberty, to be derived from the Will of the first Cause. And, 2dly. (which Mr. H. himself likewise in his Leviathan admits) that from the Consideration, and Inquisition into these Causes, and from the Powers, and Operations of natural Bodies, may be discovered the Existence of one Eternal, Infinite, Omnipotent Being, which we call God.

So that every Motion impress'd upon the Organs of our Senses, whereby the Mind is carried on to apprehend things without us, and to give a right Iudgment upon them, is a natural Effect; which by the Mediation of other inferiour Causes, owes its Original to the [PB] first Cause. From whence it follows, that God by these natural Motions of Causes, and Effects delineates the Idea's, or Images of all natural and moral Actions on our Minds; And that the same God, after he hath thus made us draw various Notions, from the same Objects, does then excite us to compare them with each other, and then joyn them together, and so determines us to form true Propositions of the things, thus singly received and understood. So that sometimes a thing is exposed whole, and all at once to our View, and sometimes it is more naturally considered successively; or according to its several parts; And the Mind thereby perceives that the Notion of awhole, signifies the same, with that of all the several Idea's of the particular parts put together, and so is thence carried on to make a Proposition of the Identity of the whole, with all its parts. And can truly affirm, that the same Causes, which preserve the whole, must also conserve all its constituent parts; and then from a diligent Contemplation of all these Propositions, (which may justly challenge the Title of the more general Laws of Nature;) we may observe, that they are all reduceable to one Proposition; from whose fit, and just Explication, all the Limits, or Exceptions, under which the particular Propositions are proposed, may be sought for, and [PB] discovered, as from the Evidence of that one Proposition, which may be reduced into this, or the like Sence, (viz.) The endeavour as far as we are able of the common good of the whole System of Rational Beings conduces, as far as lies in our Power to the good of all its several Parts or Members, in which our own Felicity is also contained as part thereof; Whereas the Acts opposite to this Endeavour, do bring along with them Effects quite opposite thereunto, and will certainly procure our own Ruine, or Misery at last. Therefore the whole Summ of this Proposition, may be reduced to these three Things. 1. That which concerns the Matter of it, to wit, the Knowledge of its Terms drawn from the Nature of Things. 2. Its form, (viz.) the Connexion of those Terms contained in this practical Proposition, and particularly such, which because of the Rewards, and Punishments annexed to them, may make it deserve to be called a Divine, Natural Law, as proceeding from God the Authour of Nature. Or, 3. The Deduction of all other natural Laws from this, as their Foundation, and Original, from that Respect, or Proportion they bear to the common Good, or happiest State of the whole aggregate Body of Rational Beings.

But as to the Explication of the Terms of this Proposition: I hope the Reader will [PB] not be scandaliz'd, that we attribute Reason to God, and have reckoned him as the Head of Rational Beings, since we do not thereby mean, that Sort of Reason which consists in deducing Conclusions from prior Propositions, but rather that absolute Omniscience, and perfect Wisdom, which we understand to be in God, which Cicero himself could not better describe, than by the Name of Adulta Ratio; or, the most perfect Reason. And if we Mortals can know, or apprehend any aright, thing of him, it is as we do partake of some part, though in an infinitely lower Degree of that only true Knowledge, and Vnderstanding. So that if we can once rightly judge, that the common Good of Rational Beings, is the greatest of all others; it is no doubt true, and no otherwise true, than as it is so apprehended by the Divine Intellect; As when it is demonstrated to us, that the three Angles of a Triangle, are equal to two right ones, no doubt, but the Deity it self, had before the same Idea of it. So likewise if we have affirmed, that we can contribute any thing to the good, and happiness of rational Beings, by our Benevolence towards them, and so may seem to suppose, that there is a certain good common to us, and the Deity▪ and which we may some way serve to promote: We desire to be understood not as if we imagin'd, that by our testifying [PB] our Love, and Honour towards God, in any internal, or external Acts of Worship; we could add, or contribute any thing to his infinite Happiness, and Perfections; but only as judging it more gratefull, and agreeable to his Nature, if by our Deeds we express our Gratitude and Obedience to him, by imitating him in our Care of the common good of Mankind, than if we deny his Being, or blaspheme his Attributes, and violate, or contemn his Laws: So likewise, if in our Thoughts, Words and Actions, we express our Worship, and Love towards him, we doubt not but it is more pleasing, and agreeable to his Divine Nature, than if by the contrary Actions we should signifie our neglect, or hatred of him. For if we abstractively compare any two rational Natures together, we must acknowledge a greater Similitude, when one of them agrees, and co-operates with the other, than if we should suppose a Disagreement or Discord between them, or that the End or Design intended by the one should be crossed, or opposed by the other. Neither do I see what can hinder, but that the same may be affirmed, if one of these rational Natures be supposed to be God, and the other only Man. Therefore, as it is known by our common Sense, that it is more gratefull to any Man to be beloved, and honoured, than to be hated, and contemned. So [PB] it may be found by a manifest Analogy of reason, that it is more gratefull to God, the Head of rational Beings to be belov'd, and honour'd by the Service and Worship of us Men, than to be hated, and contemned. For as the Desire of being beloved argueth no Imperfection in us; so likewise in God, it is so far from giving the least Suspicion thereof, that on the contrary, it rather argues his Goodness, since our Natures are perfected, to the highest Degree they are capable of, by our Love to him, and Obedience to his Commands. So that, when we speak of any Good, common to us with the Divine Nature, it is only to be understood Analogically; for those things which we perceive to conserve, or perfect our own Nature we call gratefull to us, that is, as they render the Mind pleased, and full of Ioy, Pleasure, and Satisfaction: And though we confess we cannot contribute any thing to the infinite Perfection of the Deity, Yet since this Ioy, or Complacency proceeding from our Love, and Service towards him may be conceived without any Imperfection, they I think may be safely attributed to his Divine Nature, and look'd upon as a sort of good endeavoured by us for him, since God esteems our Love, and Service as the only Tribute we can pay him, and therefore he hath inseparably annexed the highest Rewards to this Love of [PB] himself (as shall be proved in this following Discourse) which certainly he would never have done, unless it had been his Will, that we should thus love, and worship him. So that though I grant, that the Divine Good or Happiness is not at all advanced by our Worship of him; yet will not this at all derogate from our definition of endeavouring the Common good of Rational Beings, which may be made out by these following Considerations.

1. That all Rational Beings, or Agents are, and must be considered together, as naturally, and necessarily constituting one intellectual System, or Society; because they agree together, to prosecute one chief End, Viz. The good of the Vniverse, or World, especially of that intellectual System; by the fittest Means applicable to that End since, whilst they are truly rational, they cannot differ in judging what is that best End; nor avoid chusing the same necessary Means, leading thereunto.

2. That although God, the Head of this intellectual System, be indeed uncapable of any Addition to his infinite Happiness, and Perfection, yet the whole System (in as much as it includes all finite rational Beings) is capable of Improvement in these its finite parts, which Improvement God cannot only desire, but ever did, and will promote both by his own Power, as also by that of all subordinate voluntary Agents, [PB] whereby God's Essential Goodness becomes manifest to us: And the good of the whole System may reasonably be judged as grateful, or pleasing to God the head thereof, although it can add nothing to himself: thus in Embryons all the other Members daily grow, and improve, after the Head or Brain is supposed to have attained its full bigness.

These voluntary, or free Actions of the subordinate Agents, when they concur with God's wisdom and goodness, are naturally and evidently known to be more pleasing (as being rewarded by him) than malevolent Actions opposite to this chief end, which fight both against God and Men; nor does the consideration of God's rewarding such good Actions, imply any addition to his Divine Perfections. So that our Benevolence towards God, and consequently, our worship of him, is but our free acknowledgment, that he naturally, and essentially is (what he ever was and will be) the same infinite, good, and wise Disposer, and Governour of the whole System of rational Beings; and this our benevolence by giving him Glory, Love, Reverence, and Obedience fulfils all the Duties of humanity towards those of our own kind, which answers both the Tables of the moral, or natural Law; and in this consent of our minds with the divine Intellect, consists that compleat harmony of the Vniverse of intellectual Beings.


The great influence of these Principles upon all the parts of natural Religion, may be more fully express'd and made out; by these following considerations.

1. The voluntary acknowledgment and consent of our minds to the Perfections of the divine Nature and Actions, include the agreement, and concurrence of our chief Faculties, viz. The understanding, and will, therewith; and moreover, naturally excite all our Affections to comply with them, and so strongly dispose us in our future Life, and Actions, to compose our selves to the imitation thereof, to the utmost of our Abilities; particularly these Principles naturally produce in us. First, Praises, and Thanksgivings to God, private and publick, for goods already done to our selves, or others, wherein the Essence of Prayer is contained.

2. Hence also arise Hope, Affiance, or Trust in God, which I willingly acknowledge is fullest of assurance, when founded not only on observations, or past experience of Providence; but hath also revealed promises annex'd, relating to future Good. 3. To conclude, when our Acknowledgment, and high esteem of the divine Attributes move us to the imitation thereof, we must needs thereby arise to those high degrees of Charity, or the endeavour of the greatest publick good which [PB] we observe in God to prosecute, and such Charity imports not only exact Iustice to all, but that overflowing bounty, tenderness and sympathy with others, beyond which humane Nature cannot arrive; because these not only harmoniously consent with the like Perfections in God, but also co-operate with him, to the improvement of the finite parts of the rational System, whereof he is the infinite, yet Sympathizing head, who declares he takes all that is done to the Members of this intellectual Society, as done to himself.

Nevertheless, I profess my self to understand this Sympathy, or compassion in God in such a Sence only, as it is understood in Holy Writ, for that infinite concern for the good of his best Creatures, which is contained in his infinite goodness, and is a real perfection of his Nature, not implying any mistake of others for himself, nor any capacity of being lessened or hurt by the power of any mans malice, but yet fully answers, (nay infinitely exceeds) that solicitous care, and concern for the good of others, which Charity and Compassion work in the best of men.

In short, if the Reader will take the pains to peruse the Three first Chapters of this Discourse, he will find, that we have, in explaining the terms of this Proposition, not only given a bare interpretation of Words, but also [PB] have proposed the true Notions, and Natures of those things, from whence they are taken; as far as is necessary for our purpose, and may observe that by one, and the same labour we have directly, and immediately explained the Power, and necessity of those humane Actions, which are required to the common Happiness of all men, and also to the private good, and necessity of particular Persons. Altho' it seemed most convenient to use such general words, which may in some Sence be attributed to the Divine Majesty, and to have done it with that Design, that by the help of this Analogy thus supposed, not only our obligation to Piety and Vertue, but also the Nature of Divine Iustice, and Dominion may be from hence better understood.

But as for what concerns the form of this Proposition it is evident, that it is wholly practical, as that which determines concerning the certain effects of humane Actions. But it is also to be noted, that altho' the words, conduces, or renders, in either of these Propositions, are put in the present Tense; Yet it is not limited to any time present, but abstracts from it: And because its truth doth chiefly depend upon the Identity of the whole, with the parts; it is as plainly true of all future time, and is as often used by us in this Discourse with respect to future, as well as present [PB] Actions. And therefore this Proposition is more fit for our purpose, because built upon no particular Hypothesis; for it doth not suppose men born in a Civil State, nor yet out of it, neither see any Kindred or Relation to be among men, as derived from the same common Parents, as we are taught by the Holy Scriptures; since the obligation of the Laws of Nature is to be demonstrated to those who do not yet acknowledge them: Neither on the other side doth it suppose, (as Mr. H. doth in his de Cive) a great many men already grown, and sprung up out of the Earth like Mushrooms; But our Proposition, and all those things which we have deduced from it, might have been understood, and acknowledged by the first Parents of mankind, if they had only considered themselves together with God, and their Posterity which was to come into the world. Neither may it less easily be understood and admitted by those Nations, which have not yet heard of Adam and Eve.

Neither may it be amiss to observe, concerning the Sence of this Proposition, that in the same words in which the Cause of the greatest, and best effect is laid down, there is also delivered in short the means to the chiefest end, because the effect of a rational Agent, after it is conceived in its mind, and that it hath determined to bestow its endeavours [PB] in producing it, is called the End, and the Acts, or Causes by which it endeavours to effect it, are called the means; and from this observation, may be shown a true method of reducing all those things which Moral Philosophers have spoken about the means to the best end, into natural Theorems concerning the Power of humane Actions, in producing such Effects; and in this form, they may more easily be examined whether they are true, or not, and may be more evidently demonstrated so to be; and also we may hence learn by the like Reason, how easily all true knowledge of the force of those natural Causes, which we may any way apply to our use, does suggest fit Mediums for the attaining of the end intended, and so may be applyed to Practice according to occasion: Lastly, from thence it appears, that either of these Propositions, which we have now laid down, do so far approach to the nature of a Law, as they respect an end truly worthy of it, viz. The common good of all rational Beings; or else (if you please to word it otherwise) the Honour, or Worship of God, conjoyned with the common Good, and Happiness of mankind.

And tho' it doth not yet appear, that this Proposition is a Law, because the Lawgiver is not yet mentioned, nevertheless I doubt not but you will find in the Body of this Discourse, that it hath all [PB] things necessary to render it so, viz. God, considered as a Legislator, and his Will or Commands sufficiently declared to us, as a Law from the very constitution of our Natures, as also of other things without us; and likewise established by sufficient Rewards, and Punishments both in this life, and the next; neither do we suppose it can be more evidently proved, that God is the Author of all things, than that he is also the Author of this Proposition, concerning the common good of rational Beings, or concerning his own Honour, and Worship conjoyned with the common Good of mankind: And tho' I confess we have been more exact, and have dwelt longer upon the Rewards, that we may expect from the observation of this Law, than upon the Punishments, which are appointed for the breach of it; and tho' I know the Civilians have rather placed the Sanction of Civil Laws in Punishments, than Rewards; yet I hope we have not offended, tho' we a little deviate from their Sense, and make it part of the Sanction of this Law, that it is established by Rewards, as well as Punishments; since it seems more agreeable to the Nature of things, whose foot-steps are strictly to be followed, to consider the positive Idea's of Causes, and Effects in our minds, and which do not receive either Negations, or Privations by our outward Senses; and our Affections [PB] ought rather to be moved by the Love, or Hopes, of a present, or future Good; than by the Fear, or hatred of the contrary Evil: For as no man is said to Love, Life, Health, and those grateful motions of the Nerves, or Spirits which are called corporeal Pleasures, because he may avoid Death, Sickness, or Pain; but rather from their own intrinsick Goodness, or Agreeableness with our humane Natures; so likewise no rational Man desires the Perfections of the mind, to wit, the more ample and distinct knowledge of the most noble Objects, the most happy State of rational Beings, can only give him; and all this, not only that he▪ may avoid the mischiefs of Ignorance, Envy, and Malevolence; but because of that great Happiness, which he finds by experience to spring from such vertuous Actions, and Habits, and which render it most ungrateful to us, to be deprived of them; and so the Causes also of such Privations are judg'd highly grievous, and troublesome: From whence it also appears, that even Civil Laws themselves, when they are established by Punishments, (e. g.) by the fear of Death, or loss of Goods, (if we consider the thing truly) do indeed force men to yield obedience to them from the love of Life, or Riches; which they find can only be preserved by their observation. So that the avoiding of Death, and Poverty is but in other words, love [PB] of Life, and Riches; as he who by two Negatives would say he would not want Life, means no more, but that he desires to enjoy it: To which we may likewise add, that Civil Laws themselves ought to be considered from the end which the Law-makers regard in making them, as also which all good Subjects design in observing them; to wit, the publick Good of the Commonwealth (part of which is communicated to all of them in particular, and so brings with it a natural Reward of their obedience,) rather than from the Punishments they threaten, by whose fear some only are deterred from violating them; and those of the worst, and most wicked sort of Men.

But tho' we have shewn, that the Sum of all the Precepts or Laws of Nature, as also of the Sanctions annexed to them, are briefly contained in this Proposition; yet its Subject, is still but an endeavour to the utmost of our Power, of the common Good of the whole System of rational Beings, this limitation of the utmost of our Power implies, that we do not think our selves capable of adding any thing to the Divine Perfections which we willingly acknowledge to be beyond our Power. So that here is at once exprest both our Love towards God, and Good will to mankind, who are the constituent parts of this System. But the Predicate of this Proposition is, that which conduces to the [PB] good of all its singular Parts, or Members, and in which our own Happiness, is contained as one part thereof. Since all those good things, which we can do for others, are but the Effects of this endeavour: so that the Sum of all those Goods (of which also our own Felicity consists) can never be mist of either in this Life, or a better, as the Reward of our obedience thereunto. So to the contrary Actions, Misery in this Life, or in that to come, are the Punishments naturally due. But the Connexion of the Predicate with the Subject, is both the Foundation of the truth of this Proposition; and also a Demonstration of the natural Connexion, between this obedience, and the Rewards, as also between the Transgression, and the Punishments.

From whence the Readers will easily observe, the true Reason for which this practical Proposition, and all others which may be drawn from thence, do oblige all rational Creatures to know, and understand it; whilst other Propositions (suppose Geometrical ones) tho' found out by right Reason, and so are Truths proceeding from God himself, yet do not oblige men to any Act, or Practice pursuant to them; but may be safely neglected by most Men, to whom the Science of Geometry may not be necessary; whereas the Effects of the endeavour of the common Good, do intimately concern the Happiness of all mankind, (upon whose joynt or [PB] concurrent Wills, and Endeavours, every single mans Happiness doth after some sort depend) so that this Endeavour, can by no means be neglected without endangering the losing all those hopes of Happiness, which God hath made known to us, from our own Nature and the Nature of things; and so hath sufficiently declared the Connexion of Rewards and Punishments, with all our Moral Actions, from whose Authority, as well this general Proposition, as all others, which are contained in it, must be understood to become Laws.

So that from the terms of this Proposition, it is apparent, that the adequate, and immediate effect of our thus acting, and concerning which this Law is established; is whatever is grateful to God, and beneficial to Men, that is, the natural Good of all the parts of the whole System of rational Beings; Nay further, is the greatest of all Goods, which we can imagine, or perform for them; since it is greater than the like good of any particular part, or Member of the same System. And farther, it is thereby sufficiently declared, that the Felicity of particular Persons, is derived from this happy State of the whole System; as the Nutrition of any one Member of an Animal is produced by a due Distribution of the whole Mass of Blood diffused through all the parts of the Body. From whence it appears, that this Effect must needs [PB] be the best, since it shews us, that not the private Felicity of any single Man is the principal end of God the Legislator, or ought to be so of any one, who will truly obey his Will; and by a Parity of reason it also appears, that those humane Actions, which from their own natural force, and Efficacy are apt to promote the common Good, are certainly better, than those which do only serve the private Good of any one Man, and that by the same proportion, as a common Good is greater than a private: So likewise those Actions, which take the nearest way to attain this effect as an End, are called Right, because of their natural Similitude with a right or straight line, which is always the shortest between the two Terms. But the same Actions, when compared with a Natural, or positive Law, as a rule of Life, or Manners, and are found conformable to it, are called morally good, and also right; that is, agreeable to the Rule, but the Rule it self is called right, or straight, as it shews the nearest way to the End. But I shall referr you for the clearer Explication of these things, to what we have farther said concerning them in the Discourse its self, especially in the Second part, wherein we prove against Mr. H's Principle, that there is a true Natural, and Moral Good antecedent to Civil Laws.


But however, it may not be amiss to give you in short the method which we take to prove, that this Law of endeavouring the common Good, is really and indeed, and not Metaphorically a Law. 1. This general Supposition being premised, That all particular Persons who can either promote or oppose this common Good are parts of that whole Body of mankind, which is either preserved, or prejudiced by their endeavours. We shall not now descend to the particular Proofs as they are drawn from the Causes of such Actions of which we have partly treated in the Chapter of humane Nature, and partly from their natural Effects and Consequences, of which we have largely discoursed, in the Chapter of the Obligation of the Law of Nature; as also in the Second part in our Observation on Mr. H's Principles; all which may nevertheless be reduced to these plain Propositions. 1. As I have observed it is manifest, that our Felicity, or highest Reward is essentially connected by God the Legislator, with the most full, and constant exercise of our natural Powers employed about the noblest Objects, and greatest Effects they can be capable of as proportioned to them; from whence it may be gathered, that all men endued with these Faculties are naturally obliged under the penalty of losing, or missing of this their Happiness, to exercise those Powers about [PB] the worthiest Objects, (viz.) God, and Mankind. Nor can it be long doubted, whether our Faculties may be more happily exercised in maintaining Friendship, or Enmity with them; for I, think it is certain, there can be no Neutral State in which God and Men, can neither be beloved, nor hated; or in which we can stand so far Neuters, as neither to do things gratefull, nor ungratefull to them. But if it be granted, that there is a manifest Necessity (if we will be truly happy) of preserving Amity both with God and Men, here is thereby presently declared the Sanction of this general Law of Nature, which we are now enquiring into, for this alone establishes all Natural Religion, and also all those things, which are necessary to the Happiness and preservation of Mankind, which are, besides Piety towards God, 1. A peaceable Commerce and Agreement of divers Nations, which are treated of by the Law of Nations, which is but a Branch or subordinate Member of this great Law of Nature. 2. The Constitution, and Conservation of a Civil Society, or Common-wealth, which is the Scope of all Civil Laws. And, 3. The Continuance of Domestick Relations, and private Friendships, concerning which the general Rules of Ethicks, as also the more particular ones of Oeconomies do prescribe. And therefore, we have put together [PB] many things in the Chapter of humane Nature, by which all particular Persons of sound Minds are some way rendred capable of so large a Society, and are either more nearly, or remotely disposed to it. And we do here intreat the Reader, that he will not consider those things, each of them singly, or apart, but all together; since from all of them conjoyned, he may raise a sufficient Argument to prove the Existence, and evince the Sanction of this most general Law of Nature, and that Men will necessarily fail of their Happiness, which chiefly consists in the Adequate, or proper Exercise of their rational Faculties, unless they will exercise them in cultivating this Amity, or Love both with God, and Men; to which Ends they are before all other Animals particularly adapted.

But from the Effects of such Actions conducing to the Common good of Rational Beings, we have also further shewn in the Chapter of the Obligation of the Laws of Nature, that this Sanction by sufficient Rewards, and Punishments, is most commonly connected with such Actions. And it is manifest, that in the first place God, as the best and wisest of Rational Beings is to be loved, and honoured by such Actions or Endeavours, as that the Goods, and Fortunes of all innocent Persons of what Nation soever, are thereby secured as far as [PB] lies in our Power, and all things profitable for particular Persons, procured according to the Proportion they bear to the good of the whole Body of Mankind; so that this Law will not permit any thing to be done, which the Care of the whole doth not allow: Nor can any thing be supposed more worthy a rational Creature, and from whence greater Effects can proceed, than a Will always propeuse towards the good of this whole Body governed by the Conduct of a Right Vnderstanding.

Therefore, since it can certainly be foreknown, that such Effects will follow from this Endeavour, no Man can be ignorant that all the Ioys, and present Comforts of true Piety, are therein contained, together with the hopes of a blessed Immortality, besides those many Conveniencies of Peace, and commerce with those of other Nations, and all those Emoluments both of Civil, and Domestick Government, and private Friendships which are connected with this Endeavour, as the common Rewards thereof, and which cannot by any Means within our Power be otherwise obtained. So that, he who neglects the Care of the Common good, doth also reject the true Causes of his own Felicity, and embraces those of his Misery, as a Punishment due to his Folly. In short, since it is manifest from the Nature of things, that the highest Happiness which we can procure for our [PB] selves, proceeds from our Care both of Piety to God, and Love and Peace with Men. And that the Endeavour of these can only be found in his Soul, who truly studieth the common Good of all Rational Beings, it is also evident, that the greatest Rewards, that any one can acquire, are necessarily connected with this Endeavour, and that the Loss, or Deprivation of this Felicity, doth necessarily adhere as a Punishment to the opposite Actions. The former of these, which declares the true Causes of all that Felicity, which particular Persons can thereby obtain, we have proved from Natural Effects found by Experience. The latter, (viz.) that Piety to God, and Charity or Benevolence towards all Men, are contained in the Endeavour of the common Good; and we have also proved in the fourth Chapter, that all Vertues, both private and publick, are contained in this Endeavour.

But because the Connexion of Rewards and Punishments, which follow those Acts which are for the common Good, or opposite to it, is something obscured by those Evils which often befall good Men, and those good Things which too frequently happen to Evil ones, it is enough to our Purpose to shew, that notwithstanding all these the Connexion between them is so sufficiently constant, and manifest in the Nature of things, that from thence may be [PB] certainly gathered the Sanction of the Law of Nature, commanding the former, and prohibiting the latter Actions. And we may suppose those Punishments to suffice for its Sanction, which, (all things rightly weighed) much exceed the Gain that may arise from any Act done contrary to this Law. But in comparing of the Effects which do follow good Actions on one hand, and Evil ones on the other those good, or evil Things ought not to be reckoned in to the Account, which either cannot be acquired, or avoided by any humane Prudence, or Industry; such as are those which proceeding from the Natural Necessity of External Causes, may happen to any one by mere Chance, which are wont to fall out alike, both to good and bad. Therefore we shall only take those into our Account, which may be foreseen and prevented by humane Foresight, as some way depending upon our own Wills or Acts.

But I must also acknowledge, that these Effects do not all depend upon our own particular Powers, but many of them do also proceed from the good Will and Endeavours of other Rationals; yet since it may be known from their Natures, as they are, is agreeable to our own, that the common Good is the best, and greatest End which they can propose to themselves, and that their Natural Reason requires that they should act for an End, and rather for this [PB] than any other less good, or less perfect: And that it is moreover known by Experience, that such Effects of Vniversal Benevolence, may be for the most part obtained from others, by our own benevolent Actions; it is just that those Effects should be numbred or esteemed among those Consequences, which do for the most part so fall out, because every Man is esteemed able to do whatever he can perform, or obtain by the Assistance of others. So that the whole Reward which is connected to good Actions, by the natural Constitution of Things, is somewhat like those Tributes of which the publick Revenues consist, which do not only arise out of constant Rents, but also out of divers contingent Payments, such as Custom, or Excise upon Commodities, whose value, although it be very great, yet is not always certain, though they are often farmed out, at a certain Rate. Therefore in the reckoning up of these Rewards, not only those parts thereof ought to come into Account, which immutably adhere to good Actions, such as are that Happiness, which consists in the Knowledge and Love of God, and good Men, the absolute Government of our Passions, the sweet Harmony, and Agreement betwixt the true Principles of our Actions, and all the parts of our Lives, the Favour of the Deity, and the Hopes of a blessed Immortality proceeding from all these: But there ought [PB] also to be taken into the Account, all those Goods, which do, (though contingently) adhere to them, and which may either happen to us from the good Will of others, or flow from that Concord, and Society, which is either maintained between divers Nations, or those of the same Common-wealth; and which we do as far as we are able, procure for our selves by such benevolent Actions. And by the like Reason, we may also understand of what particulars all that Misery, or those Punishments may consist, which is connected with those Acts, that are hurtfull to the common Good.

So that all of us may learn from the Necessity of the Condition in which we are born, and live, to esteem contingent Goods; and to be drawn to act by the Hopes of them; for the Air it self, which is so necessary for our subsistence, and Preservation doth not always benefit our Bloud, or Spirits, but is sometimes infected with deadly Steams, and Vapours: Nor can our Meat, Drink or Exercise always preserve our Lives, but do often generate Diseases. And Agriculture it self doth not always pay the Husband-man's Toyl with the expected Gain, but sometimes he even loses by it. And sure we are not less naturally drawn to the Endeavour of the common Good, than we are to such natural Actions from the Hope of a Good, that may but probably proceed from them. But [PB] how justly we may hope for a considerable Return from all others, joyntly considered, for all our Labours bestowed upon the common Good; we shall be able to make the best Account of, when we consider what our own Experience, and the History of all Nations for the time past, may teach us to have befallen those who have either regarded, or despised this great End.

But because the whole Endeavour of this common Good, contains no more but the Worship of the Deity, the Care of Fidelity, Peace, and Commerce betwixt Nations, and the instituting, and maintaining Government both Civil and Domestick, as also particular Friendships, as the parts thereof taken together, it is manifest, that the Endeavour thereof exprest by a mutual Love and Assistance must in some Degree be found among all Nations, as necessary to their own Happiness and Preservation: Nay, it seems farther manifest to me, that those who attain but to the Age of Manhood do owe all those past Years, much more to the Endeavour of others bestowed upon the common Good, than to their own Care, which in their tender Age was almost none at all. For we then do altogether depend upon, and owe our Preservation to that Obedience, which others yield as well to Oeconomical Precepts, as to all Laws both Civil and Religious, which do wholly proceed from this Care of the common Good. Whereas [PB] it is certain, that if afterwards we expose our Lives to danger, Yea, if we lose them for the publick Good, we should lose far less for its sake, than we did before receive from it; for we do then only lose the uncertain Hopes of future Enjoyments, whereas it is certain that scarce so much as the Hope of them can remain to particular Persons where the common Good is destroyed, for we have thence received the real Possession of all those Contentments of Life, with which we are blest: And therefore we are bound in Gratitude, as well as by Interest, to return those again whenever they are lawfully required of us; though I grant (for the Honour of the Gospel) that the firmest Encouragements, and greatest Reward we Men can have for exposing, nay, losing our Lives for the Benefit, or Service of the Commonwealth, is that Happiness we may justly expect in another Life after this.

These things seem evident to us, as resembling that Method whereby we are naturally taught, that the Health, and Strength of our whole Body is preserved by the good Estate of its particular Members, in its receiving Food, and Breath: Although sometimes Diseases may breed within the Body, or divers outward Accidents (as Wounds, Bruises, and the like) do happen to it from without, which may hinder [PB] the particular Members from receiving that Nourishment, which is necessary for them: And we are taught after the same Manner by the Acts, immediately promoting the common good, that the Happiness of particular Men, (which are the Members of this natural System) may no less certainly be expected, nor are less naturally derived from thence, than the Strength of our Hands doth proceed from the due State of the whole Mass of Bloud, and nervous Iuice: Though we confess that many things may happen, which may cause this general Care of the whole Body of Mankind, not always to meet with the good Effect we desire; so that particular Persons may certainly, infallibly enjoy all the Felicity they can hope for, or expect: Yet this is no Argument against it, any more than that the taking in of Air, and Aliments, (however necessary for the whole Body) should prevent all those Accidents, and Distempers it is subject to, since it may happen as well by the violent, and unjust Actions of our fellow Subjects, (like the diseased Constitution of some inward part) or by the Invasion of a foreign Enemy (like a Blow, or other outward Violence) that good Men may be deprived in this Life of some Rewards of their good Deeds, and may also suffer divers outward Evils; Yet since these [PB] are more often repelled by the Force of Concord, and Civil Government, or are often shook off after some short Disturbances, either by our own private Power, or else by that of the Civil Sword, as Diseases are thrown off by a healthfull Crisis, or Effort of Nature. So that notwithstanding all these Evils, Men are more often recompenced with greater Goods, partly from the Assistance of others, but chiefly from that of Civil Government, or else of Leagues made with Neighbouring States: From whence it is that Mankind hath never been yet destroyed; notwithstanding all the Tyranny and Wars, that Men's unreasonable Passions have exercised, and raised in the World, and that Civil Governments, or Empires, have been more lasting than the most long lived Animals. From all which it is apparent, that the deprived Appetites of divers Men, or those Passions which do often produce Motions so opposite to the common Good, ought no more to hinder us from acknowledging the Natural Propensions of all the rest of Mankind (considered together) to be more powerfully carried towards that which we every Day see may be procured thereby, (viz.) The Conservation and farther Perfection of the whole Body of Mankind, than that divers Diseases breeding in the parts of Animals, or any outward Violence should hinder us from [PB] acknowledging, that the Frame of their Bodies, and the Natural Function of their parts are fitted, and intended by God, for the Conservation of Life, and the Propagation of their Species.

But that we may carry on this Similitude, (between a living Body and its particular Members, with the whole Body of Mankind, and all the Individuals contained under it,) a little farther, I will here give you Monsieur Pascal's Excellent Notion concerning this common Good, as it is published in those Fragments, Vide Chap. des Pensees Morales. Entituled, Les Pensees de Monsieur Pascal, since it both explains and confirms our Method.

‘He there supposes, That God having made the Heavens, and the Earth, and divers other Creatures, not at all sensible of their common Happiness, would also make some rational Beings which might know him, and might make up one Body consisting of rational Members; and that all Men are Members of this Body, so that it is necessary to their happiness, that all particular Men, as Members of this Body, conform their particular Wills to the Vniversal Will of God, that governs the whole Body, as the Head or Soul thereof. And though it often happens, that one Man falsly supposes himself an independent Being, and so will make himself [PB] the only Centre of all his Actions; yet he will at last find himself whilst in this State, (separated from the Body of rational Beings, and who not having any true Principle of Life, or Motion, doth nothing but wander about) distracted in the uncertainty of his own Being; but if ever he comes to a true knowledge of himself, he will find, that he is not that whole Body, but only a small Member of it, and hath no proper Life, and Motion, but as he is a part thereof: So that to regulate our Self-love, every Man ought to imagine himself, but one small part of this Body of Mankind, composed of so many intelligent Members, and to know what Proportion of Love every Man oweth himself, let him consider what Degree of Love the Body bears to any one small single part, and so much Love, that part (if it had sense) ought to bestow upon it self, and no more: All Self-love that exceeds this is unjust.’

So far this sagacious contemplative Gentleman thought long since, though I confess he doth not proceed to shew in what manner the Good of every individual Person depends upon the Happiness of the whole Body of Mankind, as our Author hath here done; though no doubt, he was excellently well fitted to do it, if he had lived to reduce those excellent Thoughts, into a set Discourse.


We have delivered in this Epitome the Summ of that Method, by which we have enquired into the Sanction of the Laws of Nature, in which we have considered all the Felicity naturally flowing from good Actions, as a Reward annexed to them by God the Author of Nature, and their Loss, or contrary Evils that follow them, as a Punishment naturally flowing from their Transgression: And indeed, our Method seems very much confirmed from the common Consent of Mankind, since all Men, of however different Opinions concerning moral Principles, do yet agree in this, that good Actions ought still to be encouraged by Rewards, and evil ones to be restrained by Punishments; in this all Sects of Philosophers, however quarrelling among themselves, do agree; As also the Founders of all Religions, and the Makers of all Civil Laws, have made this their main Foundation; Nay, those, who would seem most to neglect all Rewards, and would deduce all Vertues from Gratitude alone, yet find it necessary to acknowledge this Gratitude to proceed from the Memory of Benefits receiv'd: But sure it still argues as much Love towards ourselves, when we are persuaded to do our Duty by a Consideration of Benefits already received, as when we do it for the same things to be received hereafter; [PB] yea, he seems to act more generously, who is moved to act for a good only in expectation, than he who doth as much for the like good things, which he already enjoys.

But this Method which we have here taken to reduce all the Laws of Nature to this single Proposition of endeavouring the common Good, seems the more convenient, because its proof is more easie, and expedite than that of so many Rules, which are wont to be proposed by Philosophers, and the Memory will be less burdened by the daily Remembrance of this one Proposition, than of many; especially when we are directed to it from the Nature of this common Good, as a Measure whereby the Iudgment of any considering Man, may put Bounds to his own Actions, and Passions, in the doing of which all Moral Virtue consists. And this Work Aristotle hath recommended to the Iudgment of every rational Man in his Definition of Vertue, though he hath not indeed shewn us the Rule of making this Iudgment; whereas our Proposition teacheth us, that the Rule is to be taken from the Nature of the best, and greatest End; that is, Respect being had to all the parts of the whole System of rational Beings, or of that Commonwealth of which God is the Head, and all the Members are his Subjects.


And from this Principle is also to be derived that Order, or Preference among all the particular Laws of Nature, according to which, the former doth still retain, or limit the latter, which Dr. Sharrock hath prudently, and solidly observed in his Book De Officiis, Chap. 10. As for Example, that there is a Prior Reason for abstaining from invading that which is anothers, than of observing Promises; and likewise there is a greater Account to be made of Faith once given, than of returning Benefits, &c. But the true Ground of all these Rules is only to be found in our Principle, because it more conduces to the common Good, that a Prior Law of Nature concerning making, and preserving Properties should not be violated by the Invasion of another's Right, than that any one should observe a Compact, or Promise, when it cannot be done without such an Invasion; and there is the like Reason in observing those other Laws, which we have reckoned up in the following Discourse, according to their due Order and Dignity: so that indeed no Man ought to wonder, that we have so positively asserted, that no Vertue can be explained without a Respect to the State of all rational Beings, or of the whole intellectual World; for we see in Natural Philosophy, that the Accidents of Bodies daily [PB] obvious to our Senses, such as are the communication of Motion, Gravitation, and the Action of Light and Heat, Firmness and Fluidity, Rarefaction and Condensation, can never be explained, without a Respect to the whole System of the corporeal World, and the Motion therein to be preserved: Lastly, from this order among the Laws of Nature, whereby all the special ones are still made subordinate to this general one of the common Good, and the lowest of them to the highest, it may easily be shewn that God never dispenses with them, unless in those Cases, in which the Obligation of a lower, or less Law, may seem to be taken away, and the nature of the Action so changed, as that there may be only place left for the Observation of the higher.

To conclude, we have here likewise shewn, that the Generation of all Commonwealths is to be deduced from these two Principles, tending to this great End of the common Good of Rationals, viz. first; from that which Commands the Constitution of a distinct Property in things, and in the labours, or endeavours of Persons, whereby no such Property is yet instituted, and where it is found to be so, to preserve it inviolate, as the chief and necessary Medium to this common Good. 2. From that Law which Commands a peculiar Love, [PB] or Benevolence of Parents towards their Children; for this could never have exerted it self, unless our first Parents had permitted their Children when grown up, to enjoy a part of those necessaries of Life, which were needful for their future Subsistance, and so from many such Fathers of Families joyning together by mutual Compacts for common Defence, might arise the first Governments in the World, of whatsoever kind you please to suppose.

But in the following Discourse, we have thought it best to confine our selves within the bounds of Philosophy, and have wholly abstained from Theological Questions: And therefore we have not said any thing concerning Good, or Evil Spirits, or Angels, or taken in their Good or Happiness, into our Hypothesis; for tho' I doubt not of the Existence of such intelligent Beings, yet it is certain, all we can understand of them proceeds wholly from Divine Revelation, or humane Tradition, neither of which are true means of obtaining Philosophical, or natural Knowledge.

As for the Second part of this Treatise, in which is contained the Confutations of some of Mr. H's Principles, or Arguments; since the First part is entire without it, and that the truth is a sufficient Proof to its self, I leave [PB] it to the discretion of the Reader, whether he will trouble himself to peruse it, or not, since all Men's tempers, do not alike suit, with the study of Controversies; but it was necessary not only to lay a Foundation of better moral Principles, but also to shew the Falshood, and Vanity of those he hath laid down; since otherwise it might have been thought by some▪ that they were altogether unanswerable: Yet I hope we have performed that unpleasant Task, without reflecting upon the Memory of the dead, and disturbing the Ashes of a Person, who whilst he lived, was (as must be acknowledged) even by his Enemies, considerably famous, both for Wit and Learning.

I have little more to add, but that I doubt not, but our learned Author (whose work I have now abridged) hath hit upon that true method of proving the Law of Nature, which the Lord Bacon in his Advancement of Learning, Book 8. chap. 3. tells the Reader that

he desired to see well performed, and that his Design was to make enquiry into the true Fountains of Iustice; and publick Vtility, and so in every part of the Law, to represent a kind of real Character, or Idea of that which is truly just; by which general Mark, he that will bend his study that way, and examine the Grounds, [PB] or endeavour the Amendment of the Laws of particular Kingdoms, or States, may be truly guided in this noble Vndertaking;’

And he there proceeds to give some general Aphorisms, which he calls the Idea's of Vniversal Iustice, and his Fifth Aphorism is very home to our purpose, for he there tells us, that the main End to which all Laws should tend, and whereunto they should direct their Decrees, and Sanctions, is only the common Good, or Felicity of the People: And sure this could have no Foundation, but as the Felicity of any particular People, or Nation is contained in general, or the common Good, and Happiness of rational Beings.

And tho' I grant that our Faculties are not fitted to pierce into the internal Fabrick, and real Essences of Bodies as the above-mentioned Author of the Essay of humane Understanding, hath very well observed:

‘Yet in the same place he also grants, That the Knowledge we have of them, is sufficient to discover to us the Being of a God, and of a Divine Providence, and that the Knowledge of our selves, and the Nature of other things are sufficient to lead us into a full, and clear Discovery of our Duty towards him, as being the great Concernment of our Lives, and that it becomes us as rational Creatures [PB] to employ our Faculties about what they are most adapted to, and follow the direction of Nature, where it seems to point us out the way. So that it is highly reasonable to conclude, that our proper Employment lies in moral, rather than natural Truths: And therefore the same Author hath in his Fourth Book, and Third Chapter, pag. 274. this Passage: The Idea of a supream Being, infinite in Power; and Wisdom, whose Workmanship we are, and on whom we depend, and the Idea of our selves as understanding, rational Creatures, being such as are clear to us, these would, I suppose, if duly considered, and pursued, afford such Foundations of our Duty, and rules of Action, as might place Morality amongst the Sciences capable of Demonstration; wherein I doubt not, but from Principles as incontestable as those of the Mathematicks, by necessary Consequences, the measures of Right and Wrong might be made out to any one that will apply himself with the same indifferency and attention to the one, as he doth to the other of these Sciences:’

And in the Twelfth Chapter of the same Book, he saith, p. 325.

‘This gave me the Confidence to advance that Conjecture, which I suggested Chap. 3. viz. That Morality is capable of Demonstration [PB] as well as Mathematicks; For the Idea's that Ethicks are conversant about, being all real Essences; and such as I imagine have a discoverable Connexion, and Agreement one with another: So far as we can find their Habitudes, and Relations, so far we shall be possessed of certain, real, and general Truths; And I doubt not, but if a right method were taken, a great part of Morality might be made out with that clearness that could leave to a considering Man, no more reason to doubt, than he could have to doubt of the Truth of any Propositions in Mathematicks which have been demonstrated to him.’

And I am confident our Author hath found out this only right method; and made use of the fittest Demonstrations for the Proof of this Principle of the common Good of rational Beings, as the Sum of all natural Laws; so that I hope you will have no cause to doubt, but that he hath as fully demonstrated it to be so, as if he had given us so many Mathematical Demonstrations of it.

But since as in the Mathematicks, there are required certain Principles, or Postulatums, which must be taken for granted, before its professors are able to demonstrate any thing from them; so we shall reduce all we have to say on this Subject, into Six plain Postulata; [PB] the Three first of which having been already made out by others both in Latin and English; I shall wave the Proof of them, and shall confine my self wholly to the Three last: The Propositions are these,

1. That there is one Infinite, most powerful, intelligent Being, which we call God, who is the Author, and Creator of the Vniverse, or World.

2. That God as he hath created, so he likewise governs, and preserves this World, consisting of Bodies and Spirits, by certain corporeal Motions, and Dictates of Reason, by which Spirits act as the chief Instruments of his Providence.

3. That God, thereby maintains, and preserves all his Creatures, and farther designs the Happiness, and Preservation of such of them as are sensible, as far as their frail, and mortal Natures will admit, and that Power which God hath given to mankind over them.

4. That of all Animate, or sensible Creatures, God hath made Man alone to be conscious of his own Existence; and also that it is more particularly his Duty, to act as his subservient Instrument; not only for his own private Good, and Happiness, but also for the common Good of all rational Beings.


5. That this knowledge of God's Will, as our Duty, is plainly discovered to us, from the Being and Nature of God, as also of our selves, and of those things without us, which he hath made necessary for our use, and Preservation.

6. That these Dictates, or Conclusions of right reason, all tending to one great End, viz. the common Good of rational Beings (in which our own is contained) being given us by God as a Legislator for the well governing, or right ordering of our Actions to this End, constitute the Law of Nature; as being established by sufficient Rewards and Punishments, both in this Life, and in that to come.





THE Learned Authour of this Treatise sent it to me (then being in a Private Station) above a year ago, but then concealed his Name from me, either through his great Modesty, or because in his Prudence he thought that if I knew him, I might be biassed in my judgment, by the Honour which I am obliged to have to his Family, and especially to his Grandfather by his Mother's side, the most Learned Primate of Ireland. Wherefore I read the Book without any respect to the unknown Writer, and considered only the Merits of the Performance. Thus I found that he had not only well translated and epitomized in some places what I had written in Latin, but had fully, digested the chief things of my Design in a well chosen Method of his own, with great Perspicuity, and had added some Illustrations of his own, or from other Learned Authours, with a Philosophical Liberty, which I must needs allow. For this Reason I judged that the then unknown Authour had give too low a Title to his Book; and that I was to esteem him a good Hyperaspistes, or able Second, in this Combat for Truth and Justice, rather than a Translater or Epitomizer of what I had written. This obliged me to enquire [PB] diligently after the Authour's Name and Quality, and then I soon obtained the Favour and Honour of a more intimate Conversation with him. Hereby I soon found that I might safely leave the Maintenance of that good Cause in which I was engaged, to his great Abilities and Diligence. And I hope that since this Learned Gentleman hath conquer'd the Difficulties of the Search into the Rise of the Laws of Nature, now many of our younger Gentry will be encouraged to follow him in the way which this his Treatise makes plain before them. For from thence they may receive assistance, not only to discern the Reasonableness of all Vertue and Morality, which is their Duty and Ornament as they are Men, but also they may here see the true Foundations of Civil Government and Property, which they are most obliged to understand, because, as Gentlemen, they are born to the greatest Interest in them both. I need add no more to give you Assurance that I freely consent to your Printing of this Book, and am,

Your affectionate Friend,
Ric. Peterborough.




[Analytical Table of Contents]

The Contents of the First Chapter.

A Brief Repetition of the Preface; That the Law of Nature can only be learnt from the Knowledge of a God, and from the Nature of Things, and of Mankind in general, § 1.

A state of the Question between us and the Epicureans and Scepticks, § 2.

The method proposed, in what manner we are to enquire into the Nature of things, and of mankind, in order to prove certain general Propositions, that shall carry with them the Obligation of Natural Laws, § 3.

The Soul supposed to be rafa Tabula, without any innate Idea's. Our method proposed of considering God as the Cause of the World, and all Things and humane Actions, as subordinate causes and effects, either hindring, or promoting our common Happiness and Preservation, § 4.

All the Laws of Nature deduceable from hence, as so many practical Propositions, and all our observations or knowledge of it reduceable to one Proposition, of the highest Benevolence of rational Beings towards each other; as the summ of all the Laws of Nature; and what is meant by this Benevolence, § 5.

What things are necessary to be known or supposed, in order to the knowledge of this universal Benevolence, § 6.

The Connexion of the Terms of this Proposition proved, and what is to be collected from thence; The true happiness of single Persons inseparable from that [PB] of Mankind; The general Causes of its Happiness to be considered in the first place, § 7.

Therefore no Man's particular Happiness can be opposed, or preferred before the Happiness of all other rational Beings; The contrary practice unreasonable and unjust, § 8.

Yet that this Proposition cannot be of sufficient efficacy, till we have proposed the Common Good of Rationals for the great End of all our Actions, § 9.

The Effects of this Proposition not prejudiced by the ill use of Men's Free-wills, § 10, 11.

By what steps and degrees the Knowledge of this Common Good comes to be conveyed into our minds from the nature of things, § 12.

First Natural Observation that in our free use and enjoyment of all the outward Necessaries of Life, and in our mutual administring them to each other, consists all men's happiness and preservation, from whence also proceeds a Notion of the Common Good of Rationals, § 13.

That Men are able to contribute more to the good and happiness of those of their own kind, than any other Creatures, § 14.

Nothing a surer help and defence to Mankind, than the most sincere and diffusive Benevolence, § 15.

Nor any thing more destructive to it, than their constant Malice and Ill-will, § 16.

That these Principles are as certain as any in Arithmetick and Geometry, notwithstanding the supposition of Men's free-will, § 17.

Yet that they are only Laws as proceeding from God the first Cause, and as establish'd with fit Rewards and Punishments, § 18.


That from these natural and general Observations we attain to a true knowledge of the Causes of all Men's happiness, and that by the Laws of Matter and Motion these Causes act as certainly as any other, § 19,20.

Hence arises a true notion of things naturally and unalterably good or evil, § 21.

That Men's natural Powers, and the things necessary for life, can neither be exerted nor made use of contrary to the known rules of Matter and Motion, § 22.

Some Conclusions deduceable from hence, as that we chiefly concern our selves about those things and actions that are in our Powers, § 23.

No man self-sufficient to procure all things necessary for his own preservation and happiness, and therefore needs the good-will and assistance of others, § 24.

None of these necessaries for Life can produce the Ends design'd, but as they are appropriated to Man's particular uses and necessities for the time they make use of them, § 25.

From whence arises the Right of Occupancy or Possession, which may be exercised even during a natural Community of most things, § 26.

That as this natural Division and Propriety in things is necessary to the preservation of particular Persons, so it is also of Mankind considered as an aggregate Body, § 27.

That these Principles destroy Mr. H's Hypothesis of the Right of all Men to all things in the state of nature, § 28.

The necessity of a farther Division and Appropriation of things now Mankind is multiplyed on the Earth, § 29.


No Man hath a Right to any thing any farther than as it conduces or at least consists with the common good of rational Beings, § 30.

The knowledge of these natural Causes and Effects alike certain in a natural as civil State, with a brief Recapitulation of the Grounds and Arguments insisted on in this Chapter, § 31.

The Contents of the Second Chapter.

MAN to be considered as a natural Body, as an Animal, and also as a rational Creature. Some Observations from the first of these Considerations, as that humane Bodies and Actions are subject to the same Laws of Matter and Motion with other things, § 1, 2.

No Actions or Motions more conducive to Man's happiness, than what proceed from the most diffusive Benevolence, § 3.

Mankind considered as a System of natural Bodies, doth not make any considerable difference between them, when considered as voluntary Agents endued with sense, but that they rather act more powerfully thereby, § 4.

Men's greatest security from Evils, and hopes of obtaining Good, depends upon the good-will and voluntary Assistance of others, § 5.

Several natural Conclusions drawn from these Observations, § 6.

The like being found true in animate as well as inanimate Bodies, will make us more sollicitous towards the general good of those of our own kind, § 7.

That loving or benevolent Actions towards each other constitute the happiest state we can enjoy; and also [PB] it is ordained by a concourse of Causes, that all rational Beings should be sensible of these Indications, § 8.

This proved from several natural Observations, as,

1. That the bulk of the Bodies of Animals being but narrow, the things necessary for their preservation can be but few, and most of them communicable to many at once, and so requires a limited self-love consistent with the safety and happiness of others, § 9.

2. That Creatures of the same kind cannot but be moved to the like affections towards others, as towards themselves, from the sense of the similitude of their natures, § 10.

Animals do never deviate from this natural state, but when they are seized with some preternatural Disease or Passion, which as oft as it happens are absolutely destructive to their natures, § 11.

All Creatures express a delight in the society of others of the same kind; some cases or intervals wherein Nature seems to act otherwise, no contradiction to this general Rule, § 12.

All Animals impelled by the natural Constitution of their parts to a Love of those of a different Sex, and to a natural Affection to their Offspring, § 13.

All Animals take delight in the sweeter Passions of Love, Ioy, Desire, &c. as helpfull to their natural Constitution; whereas the contrary Passions, when inordinate, are highly destructive to it, § 14.

Mr. H. cannot deny these natural Propensions, and therefore is forced to suppose somewhat in Man's nature that renders him more unsociable than Brutes, § 15.

Other peculiar Observations relating to Man, whereby he is made more capable of promoting the common good; as first, from the greater quantity of Brains in Men, than in Brutes, § 16.


2. From the natural Constitution of their Bloud, and Spermatick Vessels, from whence arises a Necessity of Marriage, and of a more constant and lasting Love to their Offspring, § 17.

3. From the wonderfull structure of Men's hands it is proved, that this Instrument was given us, for some more noble use than bare self-preservation, § 18.

Lastly, From the upright posture of Men's bodies, and way of motion, § 19.

The next Set of Observations tending to prove Men more fitted for the promoting of this common good, is taken from the natural and peculiar faculties of Men's Souls above those of Brutes: And, 1. from that of deducing effects from their Causes; and vice versa; especially in that of distinguishing of real or natural, from apparent Goods, § 20.

What is understood by us, by a natural or moral Good or Evil. Certain Axioms for the plainer understanding their Nature and Degrees, § 21.

How we arrive to an Idea of a species or kind of Creatures, and also to a notion of the general or common good of Mankind, § 22.

Speech and the Invention of Letters peculiar faculties of Man's nature, § 23.

And the great Benefits arising from thence in order to the common good, § 24.

Men do infinitely exceed Beasts in their discursive Faculties, as also in the knowledge and use of Numbers, § 25.

As also in the Power of Vnderstanding the different Quantities and Proportions between Bodies, which we call Geometry, § 26.

The two great remaining Prerogatives of humane Souls, Freedom of Will as to moral Actions, and the Knowledge of a God, § 27, 28.


What knowledge we can have of his Attributes▪ which can never be truly understood, but with respect to their great End, the Prosecution of the common good of the Vniverse, § 29.

The Contents of the Third Chapter.

A Brief recapitulation of the former Chapters, and a summing up all those Observations into a general Proposition of God's Willing and Commanding the Common Good of rational Beings, as the main End of all our Actions, § 1.

A brief Explanation of the Terms of our Description of the Law of Nature, and that words are not always essential to Laws, § 2.

That all moral Truths or Duties as declared by God, are contained in this one Proposition of Endeavouring the common good; certain Principles laid down for the proving it, § 3, 4, 5, 6.

That this being once discovered to us, we lie under a sufficient Obligation to observe this Proposition, as a natural Law, with the Explanation of the Term Obligation, and who hath Authority to oblige us, § 7, 8, 9.

Yet that this Obligation may well consist with the freedom of our wills; the difference between a mere animal, and a rational or natural Good, the neglect of which distinction is the Cause of Epicurus and Mr. H's Errors, § 10.

The last part of the Obligation to this Law, viz. its Sanction by Rewards and Punishments; certain Axioms necessary to be known in order to the right understanding the true nature of a moral Good or Evil; [PB] and of Man's true happiness and perfection, with its difference from that of other Beings, § 11.

That though all moral Obligation does not consist in Rewards or Punishments; Yet that by reason of the weakness of humane Nature, it is insignificant without them; with a Scale of Nature, shewing the difference between Vegetables and inanimate Bodies, and between Men and Brutes, § 12.

The strictest Sanction, and consequently Obligation to all Laws consists in Rewards and Punishments duly distributed; God's right of Dominion not to be resolved into his irresistible Power, § 13.

The internal Rewards ordained by God in Nature, are, first, the inward satisfaction of the Soul, and also the pleasure all men take in the exercise of the sweeter passions of Love, &c. § 14, 15.

The external Rewards are all the like returns of this Benevolence from others, with the praise or commendation of all good men, together with the peace and protection of the civil Government, § 16, 17.

Lastly, from God, Soundness of mind and body, with all those outward blessings he usually bestows on the peaceable and vertuous; with a Solution to the difficulty, why God often afflicts Good men, § 18.

The internal Punishments ordained by God for the transgression of this Law, are, the absence or privation of the former good things, which is, an Evil and a Punishment, § 19.

Errour, and being governed by the Passions, a real Evil, and an internal Punishment, § 20.

3. That such evil Actions cannot but be often displeasing to the Person that doth them, § 21.

4. That Vices and Crimes seldom come alone, but let in a train of others of the same kind, or worse, along with them, § 22.


5. That such an Offender cannot get out of this state when he will, at least not without the trouble of Repentance, § 23.

6. The fear of Punishment both from God and Man, § 24.

The external Punishments are, 1. The Evils thot happen to the body from violent and unsociable Passions, § 25.

The 2d. Those returns of hatred or contempt which all such men must expect from others, § 26.

The 3d. Returns of revenge from those they have injured, § 27.

Lastly, Those Punishments which are often inflicted by the civil Powers; all which natural Punishments Mr. H. himself acknowledges to be ordained by God, § 28.

That where these Punishments fail in this Life, they will be supplied by others infinitely more grievous and durable in that to come, § 29.

A brief recapitulation of this Chapter, that this Proposition of our Endeavouring the common good, &c. is truly a Law, as containing all the Conditions requisite thereunto, § 30.

The Contents of the Fourth Chapter.

A Brief repetition of what hath been said in the first Chapter, That no man can have a right to preserve his own Life, but as it conduces to the common good, &c. That in all Societies the good of the lesser part must give place and be subordinate to that of the greater, § 1.


That a due consideration of this Law will lead us to a knowledge of the reason and grounds of all the particular Laws of nature, § 2.

And also that all moral Vertues are contained under this one Law of endeavouring the common good. That Prudence is nothing but the knowledge of our duty, in order to the graet End, the Common Good, as Constancy in the prosecution of it, is therefore true fortitude, § 3.

That Temperance or Moderation in all corporeal Pleasures is no otherwise a Vertue, than as it conduces to the happiness and preservation of Mankind; That under Love and Benevolence are contained the Vertues of Innocence, Meekness, &c. § 4, 5.

Equity a Vertue as it promotes the common good of mankind, § 6.

The same proved likewise of Iustice, since nothing can be called ours, either by natural or civil Laws, but as it conduces to this great End, and a natural and civil Property necessary thereunto; the one in a natural state, the other in a civil society, § 7.

From Property arises the necessity of Contracts, Promises, Gifts, &c. all which are still to be governed by this great Law, § 8.

From this natural Property arises the Vertue of Moderation, setting bounds to inordinate self-love in order to the common good; Frugality no otherwise a Vertue, than as it renders us not burthensome, not injurious to others, § 9.

The natural Love of Parents to their Children to be exercised and limitted with respect to the common good, § 10.

All the rest of the moral Vertues, such as Temperance, Frugality, &c. more particularly explained to [PB] proceed from the same original, and not to be understood without it, § 11.

The same more particularly applyed, and made out in every particular Vertue, which constitutes Iustice, § 12.

All the homolitical Vertues, i. e. such as respect conversation, or the due use of speech, explained after the same manner, with a like respect to the common good, § 13, 14, 15.

Self-love and Self-preservation only lawfull in order to this End, § 16.

Some farther Explanations of the nature of Temperance, and wherein it consists, § 17.

That part of it called Chastity, a Vertue only as it tends to the good and propagation of mankind, § 18.

Another part of it, viz. Modesty in seeking of riches, honour, &c. Vertues only as they limit our self-love from pretending to more than we have need of, or deserve in order to the common good, § 19.

That a regard to this great Rule runs through all the moral Vertues, which are all of them contained under the most diffusive Benevolence towards rational Beings, § 20.

Right Reason explained to be only a due consideration of this End in all moral actions towards God or Men; and that the knowledge of these moral rules is as certain as that of the knowledge of any other natural causes and effects concerning the preservation of Animals, § 21.

And that from their true understanding proceeds all the certainty we can have of natural Laws, notwithstanding there may be a sufficient latitude left us for indifferent actions, § 22.


The Common Good as it is a collection of all other goods, so it is a true standard, or measure of them, as shewing what goods are to be sought for or desired before others, § 23.

It is only to be learnt from hence, what degrees of passions or affections are lawfull, that is, consistent with the Common Good, and consequently thereby to judge of the several degrees and proportions of goodness and happiness, § 24.

Piety towards God a Vertue, as it conduces to the common good and happiness of rational Beings, § 25.

Nothing a Good, but as it contributes to this great End, § 26.

The reason of this disquisition into the true grounds of Good and Evil, as being that which makes all moral Philosophy a practical Science, and not merely speculative, like that of the Stoicks, § 27.

A brief Conclusion out of Dr. Parker's Demonstration of the Laws of Nature, § 28.

The Contents of the Fifth Chapter.

THE Objections of two sorts of Men, Platonists and Epicureans, against this Notion of the Common Good; the Objections of the former to be first considered; their first Objection, That it is more suitable to God's goodness to imprint certain Innate Idea's of good and evil on our minds, § 1.

Answer thereunto out of Mr. Lock's Essay, &c. § 2.

A farther Answer from St. Paul, That the visible things of the Creation are a sufficient proof of the Being of a God, and of the Laws of Nature, § 3.


The laboriousness of our Method no material Objection, § 4.

An explicit Idea of this Common Good, not always necessary to its observation, § 5.

Another Objection against our Method, That it makes every man's obligation to endeavour this Common Good, to arise from its being chiefly good to himself. Answer, That this, if it be considered, will prove a mistake; though I grant our Obligation to it as a Law cannot extend farther, than as it concerns our happiness or misery, § 6, 7.

A Reply to the Objections of the Epicureans; The first Objection, That it seems not suitable to God's goodness, &c. to permit this great End of the Common Good to depend upon the unreasonable Passions and Lusts of mankind. Answ. That God intended Man for a voluntary Creature, to be moved by moral Evil, as well as Good; and that God notwithstanding all this restrains his Actions by his infinite Power and Providence, § 8, 9.

Second Objection, If this Law of Nature is so easie to be known, how comes it to pass, that so many Nations seem wholly ignorant of it, many living without any knowledge of a God, or of a moral Good or Evil? § 10.

Answer. This Objection is of no more weight against the Certainty of this Law, than it is against that of Arithmetick and Geometry, but that if they are guilty of this ignorance, it proceeds either from the Loss of the Tradition of the Creation, or else from want of time or opportunities to consider these things, § 11.

Men's not making a due use of their faculties in discovering these Truths, no objection against their certainty, § 12.


The last Objection, That this Notion of the Common Good, is a mere Platonick Idea, without any reality in Nature, § 13.

This Objection in vain, if it be considered, That this Notion of the Common Good is made up of particulars, and that from thence arises an Idea of a common or general Good, which though a complex one, is as true and real as any other, and as agreeable to the Nature of things, farther proved from Lock's Essay; and that Mr. H. himself cannot deny the Truth of this Notion, § 14.

Mr. H's great Rule of doing as you would be done by, signifies nothing without respect to the Common Good of Mankind, § 15.

So neither that of preserving a Man's self, or any other innocent person, unless as it conduces to the Common Good of Mankind, § 16.

Not only the whole Law of Nature, but the revealed Law of Moses, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ reducible to this one Proposition, of Endeavouring the Common Good, and that this was the great design of Christ's coming into the World, § 17, 18.

A Conclusion of the whole, § 19.






Of the first Means of discovering the Law of Nature; (viz.) the Nature of Things.

§ 1. HAving, in the Introduction to this Discourse, shewn you those several Methods, by which divers Authors have endeavoured to prove a Law of Nature; and having also given my Reasons, (tho' in short) why I cannot acquiesce in any of them, as laying too weak Foundations whereon to raise so great and weighty a Building; and having likewise given you the only true Grounds, by which it can, as I suppose, be made out, (viz.) from the [2] Existence of a GOD declaring his Will to us; from the Frame of the World, or by the Nature of all Things without us; as also from our own Natures, or that of Mankind in general, we, by the Power of our natural Faculties, or Reasons, drawing true Conclusions from all these. This being premised, I shall now proceed particularly to declare, in the first place, what I understand by the Frame of the World, or Nature of Things, in order to the proving the Existence and Obligation of the Law of Nature, and that it is really and truly a Law obliging all Persons of Years of Discretion and sound Minds, to its Observation: Which being performed, I shall then proceed to our own Nature, as included in that of all Mankind.

§. 2. But though the ancient, as well as modern Scepticks and Epicureans, have of old, and do still at this day, deny the Existence of any Law of Nature, properly so called; yet, I suppose, that we are both sufficiently agreed what we understand by this Term, since we both thereby mean certain Principles of immutable Truth and Certainty, which direct our voluntary Actions concerning the election of good, and the avoiding of evil Things, and so lay an Obligation, as to our external Actions, even in the [3] state of Nature, and out of a Civil Society, or Common-weal. That such eternal Truths are necessarily and unavoidably presented to, and perceived by Men's Minds, and retained in their Memories, for the due ordering or governing of their Actions, is what is here by us affirmed, and by them as confidently denied. And I farther conceive, That the Actions so directed and chosen, are first known to be naturally good, as productive of the greatest publick Benefits; and afterwards are called morally Good, because they agree with those Dictates of Reason, which are here proved to be the Laws, or Rules, of our Manners, or voluntary Actions: So also the Evil to be avoided, is first the greatest natural Evil, which afterwards for the like Reason is called Moral.

§. 3. Therefore that the Existence of such Propositions may more plainly appear, and be demonstrated to the Understandings of all indifferent Readers, it is necessary that we first carefully consider the Nature of divers Things without us, as also that of Mankind; and what we mean by Good and Evil, whether Natural or Moral. Lastly, we shall shew what those general Propositions are, which we affirm carry with them the Force or Obligation of Natural Laws, as declaring their Exercise or Performance [4] necessary to the compassing of an End, that ought to be endeavoured or sought after, in order to our true and greatest Happiness.

§. 4. Nor let it seem strange, that I suppose the Nature of divers Things, about which we are daily conversant, ought first to be looked into, and considered: For I will here suppose the Soul, or Mind of Man, to be at first, rasa Tabula, like fair Paper, that hath no connate Character or Idea's imprinted upon it (as that noble Theorist Mr. Vid. his Essay concerning Humane Vnderstanding, Book I. Chap. 11. Lock hath, I suppose, fully proved) and that it is not sensible of any thing at its coming into the World, but its own Existence and Action; but receives all its Idea's afterwards, from such Objects as it hath received in by the Senses: So that our Understandings being naturally destitute of all Notions or Idea's, we cannot comprehend how they can operate, unless they be first excited by outward Objects. And indeed how can we understand what may be helpful and agreeable, or else hurtful and destructive to Men's Minds and Bodies, unless we first consider (as far as we are able) all the Causes, as well near as remote, which have made, constitute, and still preserve Mankind, or else may tend to its [5] destruction, either for the time present, or to come? Nor indeed can it be understood what is the fittest and best Thing, or Action, any Person can perform in a Case proposed, unless first all those Effects which may proceed from it, in all its various Circumstances, be duly considered and compared together. So that the Contemplation both of the Causes on which Men's Safety and Happiness depends, as also of the Effects which may be produced by their joint or concurring Forces and Endeavours, must necessarily lead our Minds, first to the Consideration of all other Men, and next of our selves, as a very small part of Mankind.

And in the next place, that we proceed to contemplate this System of Things, called the Visible World, but more especially GOD, as its Creator and Governour, according to the Method laid down in the Introduction to this Discourse; the Idea's of which being duly considered and digested in our Minds, we may draw from thence certain Conclusions, by which we may judge or determine what Humane Things and Actions are certainly and necessarily conducing to the Common Good and Happiness of all Rational Beings, and in which every particular Person's Felicity or Well-being is contained, [6] as a part thereof; and in which Rational Dictates, or Conclusions, I shall hereafter prove this Law of Nature to consist.

§. 5. No body, I suppose, will think it necessary to the matter in hand, that I should here make Physical Disquisitions into the Natures of all Things that are the Objects of our Senses, that being the Business of profess'd Naturalists: It is sufficient for us to shew, That all the Rules of Moral Philosophy, and the Laws of Nature, may be at last resolved into certain natural and easie Observations, gathered from common Experience; or else into certain Conclusions, established upon the known Principles of Mathematicks and Physicks; by which, I do not only mean all those natural Laws of Matter and Motion in Bodies, but also the Operations of our own Souls, as far as we are able to know or enquire into them. From all which, by the Order of Natural Causes, we may be led to the Knowledge of GOD their Creator and Ordainer, and so may acknowledge Him as the only Cause of all these excellent Effects, since this Nature of Things doth as well suggest to our Minds the Idea of a Creator, as of the Things created; and so supplies us with sufficient matter from which [7] we may deduce all the Laws of Nature, as so many true Practical Propositions, though it is only the Knowledge of the First Cause, or Creator, that can stamp any Authority or Obligation upon them.

Now although there may be many Things collected from our Knowledge of several Beings in the World, that may serve for our Moral Instruction, and the cultivating of our Manners; yet I shall, for Brevity's sake, only select some of the most material of them, and such as may serve to explain our short account of the Law of Nature, which (notwithstanding several Authors have so much enlarged upon it) I think may very well be reduced to this single Proposition, viz. The most universal Love, or most diffusive Benevolence of all Rational Beings towards each other, constitutes the happiest State they can be capable of: So that their Endeavour of the Common Good by this Benevolence, is the sum of all the Laws of Nature, and in which they are all contained. Note, That by this Love or Benevolence, I do not mean only a fruitless Desire, or Well-wishing, but an active Affection, exerting it self in all the Acts of Piety towards God, Duty towards Parents, Kindness and Gratitude towards our Country, Friends, and Relations, and of Charity and Humanity [8] towards all the rest of Mankind, as often as any opportunity offers it self.

§. 6. In the making out of which Description of the Law of Nature, it is here needless to inquire into the Nature of our Souls, and the manner of our Knowledge and Understanding; since the former hath been so Learnedly perform'd by the Reverend Dr. Ward late Bishop of Salisbury, and the latter so exactly done already in English by the above mentioned Author of the Essay of Humane Vnderstanding. I shall only briefly suppose upon his Principles, that our Souls do, 1. From the very birth, by degrees, receive Idea's drawn from outward Objects by our Senses. 2. That it is their faculty from divers single Notions, or Idea's put together, to come to make complex ones, that is, to make divers Propositions or Conclusions; not only concerning their own inward Actings, but also about all those outward Objects, with which they are daily conversant, and which may tend to the finding out the readiest means of attaining to, and preserving themselves in the happiest State and Condition they are able to acquire. These things being suppos'd, it were needless to trouble you with any farther descriptions of this Love, or Benevolence, since every Person cannot but be sufficiently [9] sensible of its Nature, Degrees, and various Operations, that will but make any Self-reflection upon his own Inward Affections.

§. 7. But as for the due Connexion of the Terms of this Proposition, in which its Truth does chiefly consist, it seems to me plain enough: It being no more than to affirm, That our endeavour of procuring all the good things in our Power, and which are most conducing to our own preservation and Happiness, and of all other Rational Beings, is the best, or chiefest thing that all Persons can do, to render both themselves, and all others, as happy as their Natures will permit or can require; and that there is no surer, or more powerful means to be discovered by us, whereby we may obtain a full enjoyment of all the good things of this Life, and the hopes of that to come, than by endeavouring our own Felicity in Conjunction with that of others So that from what I have already advanced, the Reader may Collect these two Propositions, 1. That the Foundation of all our Natural Happiness consists in an habitual determination of the Will to the utmost of its Ability and Perfection, whereby we may be always ready and prepared to endeavour this Common good of Rationals. 2. That the true Happiness of each Individual [10] Person, cannot be separated from that of other Rationals, since the whole doth not differ from all its parts taken together; so that this Proposition, concerning this general or diffusive Benevolence, is thus to be understood; viz. Not to mean, or only intend, what any single, or a few Persons may perform towards the procuring of their own private Happiness, or that of their own Party or Faction, distinct from that of the rest of Mankind; but what all particular Persons may jointly contribute to render themselves and others happy; that is, what each of them may rationally perform towards the obtaining this Common Felicity. For it ought first to be known in general what all Men are able to do, or not to do, towards any common end, (such as is the common happiness of Rationals) and then what it is possible for any particular Person in this or that Case to perform; for example, towards his own private happiness, as separate from that of all others; though such cases being Indefinite, cannot be certainly or distinctly known.

§. 8. But indeed the care of any particular Persons, or a few Men's happiness is rendred useless for the present, nor can be hoped for the future, if it is sought by opposing, or postponing the happiness of all [11] other Rationals; because the mind being thus affected, a main, and essential part of its own felicity must needs still be wanting; (viz.) That inward Peace of Conscience proceeding from a solid Reason, and true Prudence, always constant and agreeable to it self. For whilst such a Person resolves to act by one rule towards himself, and by another towards all others, who are of the same Nature, and therefore need and require the same things with himself, he must needs contradict his own Reason, and so wants that true Joy and Satisfaction constantly springing in the mind of a Just, Benevolent, and Good-natur'd Person, from the sense of another's good and happiness when promoted, or procured by himself: So that it is impossible for any Man to be truly happy, who not only neglects the necessary causes thereof; God, and all other Men, (on whose Help and Assistance his true Happiness, and Well-being wholly depends) but also provokes them to his certain ruine and destruction; so that there is no surer way, which can bring any Man to the attaining his own particular Happiness, but that which leads him also to endeavour the Common Good of all other men, as well as his own.

§. 9. But I here acknowledge, that this [12] Proposition concerning Universal Benevolence, cannot be of sufficient efficacy for the due ordering our Actions, and correcting our Manners, until we have first propos'd to our selves this Common Good of Rational Beings; (viz.) Our own Felicity (in conjunction with that of others) as our main end, and that we are convinced that the various Acts contain'd under this general Love, or Benevolence, are the only true means to procure it: The truth of which Proposition, is, in the first place, to be made manifest to us; in the next all those other Propositions that can be deduced from thence; such as are those less general ones, which determine concerning the Natural Power of Fidelity, Gratitude, Paternal and Filial Affection, as also of all other particular Vertues, necessary for the obtaining any part of this humane Felicity; for as well the whole truth of this Proposition, as of all those which follow from thence, depend upon the Natural, and Necessary Power of such Actions, as real Causes producing such Effects.

§. 10. And though perhaps it may at first sight seem to detract from their certainty, that they depend upon such an uncertain Cause as Man's Will. Yet however it suffices, for their truth and certainty, that [13] whenever such voluntary Causes shall exert themselves, such Effects will certainly be produced. Thus in Arithmetick we freely Add and Subtract; that is, we can choose whether we will perform those Operations or not; but if we reckon truly, we shall always find the Total, equal to all the particulars either Added or Subtracted. And there is a like certain, and true Connexion between all the Causes and Effects, which can be known in any other Science. And this I have likewise imitated in this Treatise of Moral Philosophy, by reducing all the parts, of which it consists, to this one Head or Summ, (viz.) Love or Benevolence; which Idea I shall improve by enquiring into its several Kinds, and shewing the necessary Connexion of this, or that particular Action, with the Common Good of Rationals, which ought to be the great end sought for by us.

§. 11. But since our voluntary Actions alone can be govern'd by Reason, and those only which concern intelligent Agents, are to be considered in Morals; it is evident, that from none of all these Actions we can frame a higher, or more comprehensive Idea, than this of Universal Benevolence, which comprehends the willing, and endeavouring of all good things, and the removal, [14] or hindring of all evil ones, from those Objects about which it is conversant: And this Benevolence extends its self to all Moral Actions, as well those of considering, and comparing divers goods with each other, as of inquiring into the means by which they may be produced; nor is it more certainly true, that the Addition of several numbers makes a Summ Total, than that this Benevolence produces a general good effect to all those towards whom we exert it. Thus it is as certain, that Piety, Fidelity, Gratitude, paternal and conjugal Affection, together with filial Duty, make up the chief and constituent parts of this Benevolence, as that Addition, Substraction, Multiplication and Division, are several parts of Arithmetick; so that it is no material Objection, That this Universal Benevolence may be prejudiced or lessened by the wickedness or ill-nature of Men. So that the great end, or Summ of the Law of Nature, cannot be thereby generally obtain'd as it ought, any more than it is an Objection against the certainty or usefulness of Arithmetick, or Geometry, that some Men should through Lazyness and Inadvertency, altogether neglect their Rules, or make false Conclusions from those Sciences, or should through Ignorance or prejudice, [15] deny their certainty. So likewise it is in the Science of Morality, as contain'd in the Law of Nature, which is chiefly imploy'd in weighing, and taking a true account of those humane Powers, that contribute to the Common Good of Rational Beings; which since they may vary somewhat in so great a variety of possible Cases, he may be said, (and that deservedly) to have well performed this task, who first affirms in general, that all those Powers are comprehended under the most general and diffusive Benevolence; though he may be able afterwards more particularly to demonstrate; that a just division of things, Fidelity, Gratitude, and all the other vertues are contain'd under it, and also shew in what Cases they become useful to this end; by which means Religion, and humane Society, with all other things which may render Men's lives happy and safe, will be certainly improved and advanced. And herein consists the Solution of that most useful Problem concerning the Common good of Rationals, procur'd by the most diffusive Benevolence, which Moral Philosophy teaches us to search after. Nor is the truth or authority of such Precepts at all prejudic'd or diminisht, though very many Persons will not obey them, or will set [16] themselves to oppose them; since this only can be the consequence of it, That they will thereby lose their own happiness, and perhaps may draw others by their false reasons into the same misery: and so I doubt not on the other side, but that Men would think themselves oblig'd to perform all the Acts that constitute this Benevolence, if they were but once convinced that so great and noble an end, as the Common Good of Rational Beings, (and in which their own happiness is likewise contained) will be certainly procured thereby, and cannot be had by any other or contrary means.

§. 12. I come now to consider, that together with the knowledge of this visible World, (of which our selves make but a small part) there is likewise convey'd into our minds by our Senses a certain knowledge, 1. Of divers natural outward goods. 2. And those not only peculiar to our selves alone, but common to all those of our own kind. 3. Of which goods some are greater than others, and that good which hath none that we know excels it, we may call the greatest or highest. 4. Also of those, some are commonly in our Power, others we understand to exceed the narrow limits of our humane forces; but since the Nature of these things is by two several ways [17] discovered to us, either more confusedly by common experience and daily Observation, or else more distinctly from experimental Philosophy, and the Mathematicks; the former of these methods being easie, and obvious to every one, I shall rather make use of that; whereas the other would be only proper for Philosophers and Mathematicians, since the Grounds or Principles of the Law of Nature, ought to be alike evident to the Illiterate as well as to the Learned, for all are under the like obligation to observe them; and therefore I shall only put you in mind of such vulgar and easie Observations, which no Rational Man can dispute, or deny: and such, as from which I undertake to prove, that the Knowledge and Coherence of the Terms of this Proposition may evidently be deduced.

§. 13. Our first Natural Observation therefore is, that by our free use, and enjoyment of those products of the Earth, that come under the general Titles of Food, Clothing, Houses, &c. and also by that help or assistance, which one or more Persons can afford each other; Men may be preserved, and live as happily and contentedly for several years, as their frail Nature will permit.


And in the next place, that these effects being not only agreeable, but necessary to our Natures, are naturally good, as tending to their Preservation or Perfection; and therefore by the same reason, Men's affections, from whence these outward things and acts do proceed, and which produce all these good effects, are conceiv'd under the notion of good Will, or Benevolence, which must be also good; since whatever goodness is contain'd in the effects, must be likewise in the cause. And we are also sensible, that by this Benevolence, we are not only able to help our selves, or some few Persons, but many others, as well by our advice, as by our strength and industry; especially when we see divers others of our own kind who are able, and seem also willing to requite us in the like manner. So that each of us in particular, may be provided with a sufficient stock of all the necessaries of Life, by our mutual help and assistance, all which would not only be wanting to us, but we should be expos'd to innumerable mischiefs and hazards, as also to a great want even of necessaries, if all Persons looking only to themselves, should always shew themselves ill-natur'd, malevolent, and enemies towards other Rational Beings; whereas the [19] contrary endeavours being thus helpful, and necessary to so many others, may easily and naturally produce in our minds a notion of this Common good of Rationals, which from the obvious Similitude of Rational Beings to each other, must equally respect all those, which we have opportunity or occasion of knowing, or conversing with, as also those with whom we have not.

§. 14. And I may add farther from constant experience, that we are able to contribute more to the good, and assistance of those of our own kind, than any other Creatures, because their Nature (and consequently what is good, or destructive to it) is more evident to us from the knowledge we have of our selves, than of other Creatures. For as our Nature is capable of more, and greater goods than they, and in the attaining of which we can better assist each other; so we must also confess it to be liable to greater Dangers and Calamities; for the declining and removing of which, God hath appointed our mutual Benevolence expressed by our endeavours, and assistance of each other, as the most suitable and necessary means thereunto.


§. 15. And we may also observe, that by our Advice and Counsel, communicated by apt Signs or Words, we are able to contribute many helps and conveniencies of Life to those of our own kind, of which other Animals are altogether uncapable either of acting or receiving. And farther, because of the Similitude of those of our own kind with our selves, we cannot but think it agreeable to our Rational Natures to do, or to procure the like things for them, as for our selves, and can also be sensible of greater Motives to benefit Men, than other Creatures; since we have all the reason to hope, that those we have thus done good to, or obliged, being moved by our benefits, will make us a suitable return whenever it lies in their power, and that they may one time or other, in the like, or some other way oblige us. So that it is evident from Common Experience, that there can be no larger Possession, nor any surer defence for Mankind, than the most sincere Piety towards God, the Head of Rational beings, and the most diffusive Love, and sincere Benevolence of all Persons towards each other; since if they prove malevolent, or ill-natur'd, they may easily bereave us of all things we enjoy, together with our Life it self: nor can the Love or [21] Good-will of others, be obtained by any more certain or powerful means, than that every one should shew himself so affected in his Actions towards others, as he desires they should be towards himself; That is, Loving and Benevolent upon all occasions, though more particularly to those to whom we are obliged by Friendship or Relation.

§. 16. Last of all, the same Experience that demonstrates the mutual Benevolence of particular Persons to be the most powerful Cause of their Felicity, does as necessarily teach us from a like parity of Reason, that the Love, or Good-will of any greater number of Men, towards any the like number, hath a-like proportionable effect; so on the other side, the constant Malice or Ill-will of all Men towards all, express'd by suitable Actions, would soon bring destruction to the whole Race of Mankind, since it would soon destroy all the Causes requisite to their Happiness, and Well-being, and introduce a perpetual Enmity and War, which are the certain Causes of the greatest Miseries and Calamities, which can befall Mankind: all which, though Mr. H. himself acknowledges, yet he will not own the necessity of Men's mutual Love and Concord, to be also as necessary to their [22] Preservation. But why the Causes of Men's Preservation and Happiness, as being Prior in Nature, should not be more evident than those of their Destruction; since the one is altogether as evident and necessary, and may be as easily foreseen and prevented, as the other, I can see no reason; and I should be glad if any of Mr. H's Disciples could shew us any sufficient Reason for that Opinion.

§. 17. So that these things which I have now laid down concerning the Natural means of Men's happiness, do appear so evident from our common Reason, and daily Experience, that they are of like certainty with the Principles of Arithmetick and Geometry, in all whose Operations, there are still supposed certain Acts depending upon our free, humane, Faculties; and yet neither of these Sciences are rendred the more uncertain, from the supposition of Men's Free-will, whether they will draw Lines, or cast up Sums, or not; since it suffices for their truth and certainty, that there is an inseparable Connexion between such Acts, which are supposed to be in our Power to exert, and all the effects sought for; To the finding of which, both the pleasure annexed to their Contemplation, and the various uses of Humane Life do at [23] once invite us. And in the like manner, the truth of all Moral Knowledge is founded in the Immutable Coherence between the highest Felicity, which Humane Power can attain to, with those Acts of universal Benevolence, that is of Love towards God and Men, and which exerts it self in all the particular moral Vertues; yet in the mean time, these two things are still supposed, That Men desire, and seek the highest Felicity they are capable of; and also, That they are able to exercise this Benevolence, not only towards themselves, but God and Men, as partakers with them of the same Rational, or Intelligent Nature. This I have thought fit to add, to prevent all those Cavils which Mr. H's Disciples are used to make against Morality, from the necessity of our Wills.

§. 18. But before I proceed farther to inquire into the Nature of things, I desire you to remember what I have already hinted in the Introduction to this Discourse, That this truth concerning the efficacy of Universal Benevolence, for the Preservation and Happiness of Rational Beings, as also all other Propositions alike evident, and contained under it, do all proceed from God, as the first Cause, and Ordainer of all things; and consequently of our Humane [24] Understanding, and of all truths therein contained. And since these Rules drawn from the Natures of things, tend to the procuring God's End and Design, viz. The Preservation, and Happiness of Mankind; and also that it hath pleased Him to annex certain natural Rewards, to the Observation of these Dictates of Reason, and Punishments to their Transgression; so that they thereby becoming apt, and sufficient for the due ordering of our Thoughts, and governing our Actions towards God, our selves, and all others, (as I shall farther make out in this Discourse) I see nothing wanting to give it the Essence, and Vigour of a Law. And I shall farther shew before I have done, that under this general Rule of endeavouring the Common Good of Rational Beings, or Universal Benevolence, is contained Piety towards God, and the highest Goodwill or Charity towards Men, and is the Summ both of the Moral Law of Moses, and of the Gospel of our Saviour Iesus Christ.

§. 19. These Things being thus proposed in general, I come now more particularly to shew, that a due Observation and Knowledge of these natural Things without us, will truly and clearly teach us what [25] Operations or Motions of them are good, or evil, for all other Men, as well as our selves; and also shew us how necessarily and unalterably all these Things are produced; for Natural Knowledge searches into the true Causes of that Generation and Corruption which daily happens to all Natural Bodies, and especially to Men, and so can demonstrate the necessary coherence of these Effects, with their Causes; and therefore those Causes that help to generate or preserve Men, and that make them live happily in this Life, are Natural Goods, as the Causes of their Misery and Dissolution are Natural Evils: And it then as plainly follows, That by this Knowledge we can as certainly demonstrate and foretell what Things are naturally Good, or Evil, for all Mankind, as for any single Person.

§. 20. Therefore we may truly conclude, That the Knowledge of all these Effects, which either Nature or Humane Industry can produce for Men's Food, Clothing, Habitation, and Medicine, is part of this Natural Knowledge: To which we may also add the understanding of all other Humane Operations, and of the Effects proceeding from thence, for the Uses of Humane Life. For although the voluntary Actions of Men, as they exert themselves towards [26] Things without them, do not work exactly after the same manner as meer Mechanick Motions, viz. from the Pulsion or Motion of other Bodies, but either from their Reasons, or Wills; yet since all the outward Motions we exert, receive their Measure and Force from the Natural Powers of Humane Bodies, which are of the same Nature with others, and so must perform their Natural Functions, as they are regulated by the necessary Laws of Matter and Motion, much after the same manner as other Natural Motions, it is evident, that these voluntary Actions, whenever they are thus exerted, are regulated by the same Natural Laws: And it is commonly known how much Men's Industry, by the various Motions of their Bodies (which a Philosopher can easily resolve into mechanick ones), does contribute to their own and other Men's Preservation, by providing and administring Victuals, Cloths, Physick, Houses, &c. In performing which Effects, Men's Strength, and Skill in Husbandry, Building, Navigation, and other manual Trades, are chiefly employ'd. Nor are the Liberal Arts absolutely free from these Laws of Motion, since by the help of certain sensible Signs, and articulate Notes, or Marks, as Words, Letters, or Cyphers, the Minds of Men come [27] to be endued with Knowledge, and directed in most of their Civil and Moral Duties. I have only thought fit to hint thus much concerning Humane Actions, considered as meer Natural Things existing without us; but I shall treat more fully of them in the next Chapter, when I come to treat of the Nature of Man, considered as a voluntary Agent.

§. 21. Hence it plainly appears, That all these Natural Things, and the mutual Helps by which they are procured, may be certainly known, and foreseen by us, to be naturally and unalterably Good; that is, tending to the Preservation and Happiness of Mankind. And for the same Reason all those contrary Causes, or Motions, by which Men's Bodies are weakened or destroyed, by lessening or taking away the Necessaries and Conveniences of Life, such as Food, Rayment, Liberty, Quiet, &c. And also those Actions by which Vertue and Knowledge may be rooted out of Men's Minds; and Errours, and unbridled Passions, destructive to the Common Good of Mankind, introduced into their Rooms, are necessarily and in their own Nature Evil. Therefore when we determine of Natural Goods, or Evils, according to the Law of Nature, we are not only to consider the Preservation [28] of a few particular Persons, since the Punishment; nay, Death of these, may often conduce to the Common Good; but rather that of the aggregate Body of Mankind, subordinate to GOD, as the Head of Rational Beings, in this Natural System or Commonweal, establish'd by Natural Laws: For the good of an aggregate Body, is nothing else but the Chiefest Good that can accrue to all its Parts, or the Individual.

§. 22. Having now found out from the Nature of Things, by what means our Minds can receive the Idea's of a Common Natural Good, and Evil, and these no less certain and stable, than those by which the Causes of Generation and Corruption are exhibited to them; I come next to consider, That that Matter and Motion, in which the Powers of Humane Bodies (as well as other Parts of this Visible World) consist, and exert themselves after a limitted manner, and have a finite Quantity, and certain Bounds, beyond which, they cannot act; from which Principles, flow those known Laws of Natural Bodies, as that they cannot be at once in divers Places, and therefore cannot be moved towards contrary Points, at the same time; or so as to be subservient to the contrary Wills [29] of divers Persons, at once; but are so bounded and determined in their Natures, as to be only ordered or disposed of, according to the Will of one Person alone, or else of divers consenting or conspiring to the same End, or Design. For if Men should think thus to make use of them, they would be so far from conducing to their Benefit, or Preservation, that they would only tend to their Hurt, and Destruction; since if the Stronger had a Right to take from the Weaker by Strength, and the Weaker from the Stronger by Cunning and Surprize, any of these Necessaries of Life, which he was once possessed of; yet when he had them, he could be no more assured that he should keep them, than he was that last possessed them, since one Stronger, or more Cunning than himself, may yet come, and serve him as he had done the other before; and so on, 'till all Men that enjoy'd them should be destroy'd, and the Things contended for, perish without use: So that there could remain neither any Owner, nor Thing to be owned.

§. 23. From all which that hath been now laid down, I shall draw some Conclusions of great moment to our Subject; as, (1.) From this Knowledge of the Nature [30] of Things, (and especially of our own Humane Nature) we may learn that somuch celebrated Distinction of the Stoicks, between the (i. e.) those Things which are in our own Power and Disposal, such as are the voluntary Motions and Inclinations of our Bodies and Minds; and (i. e.) the Things out of our Power, such as are those Corporeal Motions, so violent and irresistible, which we daily observe to proceed from the Nature and Frame of the World, which we weak Creatures are not able to resist, and from whose irresistible Force, all things here below are in a perpetual flux; whence also there happens to us Men, a perpetual vicisfitude of Things, as well Adverse as Prosperous, as also of Maturation, Decay, and Dissolution: So that this Distinction (if duly observed) will be of singular use, as well in forming our Manners, as governing our Affections: For from hence we are taught not to expect any other or greater Happiness, as a Reward of all our Labours and Endeavours, than what may proceed from a prudent Management of our Rational Faculties, and from those External Helps which we may expect Divine Providence will afford us, in its governing the World; by which means we may befreed [31] from those fruitless Labours and Endeavours, to which Men's vain Fears, and groundless Hopes, so often transport them: Nor shall we too much afflict our selves for those Evils, which either do now, or may hereafter, without our own Faults, inevitably befal us, whence the greatest part of those Troubles and Molestations, which are wont to proceed from Grief, Anger, and Discontent at our present Fortunes, or Conditions, may, by our Prudence, or Patience, be prevented: Neither are we hereby only directed to the avoiding of Evils, but here is also chalked out to us, a more short and compendious method, by which we may, by degrees, attain to those two greatest Blessings which can be enjoyed by us in this Life; the Culture of our own Minds, and the Government of our Passions.

§. 24. I need not prosecute this Subject any farther, but shall proceed to take notice of those obvious Observations to our Purpose, viz. That it is evident from common Experience, That the natural Forces, or Powers, of any one Person, are too weak, scanty, and inconsiderable, towards the obtaining all that Happiness he desires and is capable of; to procure which, he still wants the Help and Assistance of many [32] other Persons and Things, to render his Life safe, pleasant, or contented: And, further, that it is in the Power of any one of us, to contribute many Things towards the use of others of our own kind, which we do not need our selves; and which though of no use to us, yet may be of singular use to their Happiness, or Preservation. But since we are certain, from those known Bounds of our Power, that we are not able to compel all those by force, whose Assistance we stand in need of, to co-operate with us, towards this our main End and Design, viz. Happiness; there can be no surer Means, or safer Defence left us, than that by a constant offering and affording those Necessaries of Life, together with our Assistance to others, as often as it lies in our Power; we may thereby probably render them likewise Benevolent and Helpful to us in the like Necessities, or Occasions: So that this Benevolence, or Charity, is only a constant Will and Endeavour of acting thus sincerely and diffusively, whenever any Opportunity offers it self; and that even in those Cases, in which it may oftentimes be probably foreseen, that no return can be immediately expected from the Person to whom the Benefit is done; since, however, it still contributes to the [33] general Good of Mankind, of which that Person we so benefit is a Member: Which general Benevolence doth not yet hinder, but that we may bestow and exercise a larger share, and higher degrees thereof, towards those from whom our own long Acquaintance, and nearer Relation, may persuade us to hope for larger Returns of Friendship.

§. 25. Whence we may, in the next place, observe, That if our Assistance, and other Things in our Power, certainly contribute to the Use, or Benefit of others, they can only perform this, as they are assign'd, or appropriated, to the particular Persons, that are to make use of them, according to some certain time and place. So that if Right Reason prescribe a Use of Things, and Humane Helps, as necessary for the Happiness and Preservation of Mankind, it, as necessarily, prescribes, that this Use of these Things, should be appropriated to them, that are thus to use them, for the time they stand in need of them, and according to the place in which they are to be used. The Consequence is evident, because Right Reason can only prescribe that to be done, which will consist with the nature of the Things that are to be used, and the Persons that are to use them. So that it is evident, a Division, [34] or Appropriation of Things, and Humane Assistances and Labours, is absolutely necessary for the Subsistence and Happiness of all Men; whence it also follows, That this necessary Limitation, or Appropriation of any of these Things to particular Persons, for the time they stand in need of them, is a natural Separation of them, from the use of all others, during the time they are so made use of. By One Thing, I mean such single Things as are uncapable of division; and to make use of which, it is absolutely necessary that it be possessed whole and entire, such as are Food, Cloths, and the like; for there are other Things which are likewise called One, as one Island, one Field, and the like, which may very well serve for the Use of divers Persons at once, and whose Division arising from the positive Consent of Men already entred into Civil Societies, or Commonweals, I need not now treat of.

§. 26. But from this natural Division, or Appropriation of Things, and its Necessity for the Preservation of Mankind, arises that Natural and Primitive right proceeding from Occupancy, which both Philosophers and Civilians grant to have place in the state of Nature, supposing a Community of most Things: For Right is but a certain Faculty, [35] or Power of Acting, or enjoying any thing granted us by a Law; but in this state, there is no other Law but that of Right Reason, given by GOD, concerning such Actions as are necessary for the Common Good of Rational Beings. Therefore since Right Reason requires a separate use of particular Things, and Humane Assistances, as necessary and conducing to this End, there must needs follow from thence, a Right to the Use and Enjoyment of any particular Thing, during the time the Possessor so makes use of it; for a Man hath the same Right to live tomorrow, as he hath to day; and consequently hath the same Right to all the Means which are necessary for his Preservation: Therefore if this House, Servant, or any thing else that I am now possessed of, be necessary for my Happiness or Preservation to day, I shall have also a like Right to it for the future as long as it continues thus necessary: And in this state, there being no other Judge of the Means of my own Preservation but my self, I shall have a Right to it as long as I live, for the same Reason for which I had a Right to it at first. So that unless, the Use or Necessity ceasing, I alter my Mind concerning it, or assign my Interest in it to another, I have a perpetual Right in it, excluding that of any other, during [36] the time that I am thus possessed of it: Not that I hereby grant every Man a Right, in the state of Nature, to all Things which his unreasonable Passions, or Appetites, shall fansie to be necessary for his own Preservation, or Happiness, but only to so much of the Means conducing thereunto, as any Man, whilst he judges according to Right Reason, or Equity, and the natural Necessities of himself and Family, shall rightly so determine, without arrogating, or assuming to himself more than is really necessary for those Ends, and without robbing others of what is also necessary for them, which is down-right Violence and Injustice.

§. 27. Whence it plainly appears, That this natural Division, or Property in Things, first proceeding from Occupancy and Possession, as it is necessary for the Preservation of all particular Persons, so it must be likewise for that of Mankind, considered as an aggregate Body, consisting of divers Individuals, the same Means being necessary for the preservation of the whole, as are requisite to all its constituent Parts or Members, though this kind of Property may very well consist with Community, as at Ord'naries and Theatres, every one that [37] pays his Money hath a Right to his Dinner, or Place; yet none can tell which it is, or where it shall be, 'till he hath it on his Plate, or is actually seated in it.

§. 28. Whence it may appear, That these Principles being truly drawn from the Nature of Things, will, without any more ado, destroy Mr. H.'s wild Hypothesis, concerning the Natural Right of all Men to all Things, that he may thereby prove a Right, in the state of Nature, in all Men▪ of doing whatsoever they please towards others, necessary to their Preservation; so that thence may arise a natural state of War of all Men against all. And hence it likewise appears upon what grounds every Man hath a Right to his own Life, Limbs, and Liberty, viz. because they are the natural Means by which we are enabled to serve GOD, and assist Mankind; in doing which, we prosecute the Common Good of Rational Beings. And from these Principles here laid down, it clearly appears, That Mr. H.'s Doctrines concerning the Law of Nature, and Dominion, are not only precarious, but manifestly false; which, first, suppose (without any sufficient Proof) an unlimitted Right of all Men to all Things, to be necessary to their Preservation, as the Foundation of all Natural Laws, and Civil Societies. [38] For the proving of which, he only makes use of some false and specious Arguments, as I hope I have sufficiently made appear in the Second Part of this Treatise.

§. 29. Having now established a Natural Property in such Things, and Humane Helps, or Assistances, as are necessary for Men's Happiness and Preservation, in order to the Common Good, I shall not concern my self to prove the Convenience of Civil Property, as now established in most Commonweals; nor shall now trouble you with those Mischiefs, which Aristotle, in his Politicks, hath very well proved, would follow from a Community of Things, from those unavoidable Strifes and Contentions, which would daily arise from our using the Fruits of the Earth in common: Only I think I may say thus much, That since Mankind is so multiplied in well-inhabited Countries, that there is not Land sufficient to be divided amongst all the Inhabitants, so as to serve for each Person's comfortable Subsistence without foreign Trade, or mechanick Employments, there must necessarily follow a more full and exact Division and Appropriation of the Necessaries of Life, such as are Land, or the Use and Products thereof; as, Corn, Cattel, and the like, in order to the [39] Preservation and Happiness of that Nation, or Civil Society, by whose Consent such a Division and Appropriation of these Things were at first introduced; which being once setled by Civil Laws, there is the like Reason for its continuance; and Men have as much Right to those Things they thus enjoy, by the particular Laws of the Countries where they live, as they had before in the state of Nature, to whatever they could possess by the Right of Occupancy, or Possession; since it is evident, That this more exact Property, or Dominion, consisting in a stricter and more limitted use of these Things, hath a greater efficacy in order to the Happiness and Preservation of that Nation, or part of Mankind, which have thus agreed to it, than the bare Occupancy, or Possession of these Things had before such a Division made, or agreed upon; nor can it now be altered, however, perhaps, hard and unequal it may prove to some particular Persons, since it will always conduce to the Happiness and Tranquility of each particular Civil Society, or Commonweal, that it should continue as it doth, than it should be still altered, according to every Man's particular Fancy, or Interest, since such a Change can never be made, without inconceivable Discontents, and Civil Dissentions, [40] which would quickly end in open Violence and Hostility.

§. 30. So that from these Principles here laid down, there is no Right conferred upon any Man, of doing whatever his own wild Fancy, or unbounded Appetite may prompt him to, but only, what he shall, according to right Reason, truly judge necessary to his own, or Family's Happiness and Preservation, in order to the Common Good of Mankind. Therefore I here desire you to take notice, that whatever Right we enjoy, even to the things most necessary for our Preservation, it is founded, if not in the Precept, yet at least permission of this great Law of Nature, of endeavouring the Common Good of Rational Beings, when we truly judge according to the Nature of things, concerning the means necessary, and conducing to this great End; so that it can never be proved, that any one hath a right of Preserving himself, unless it be first made out, how this Right of Self-preservation, conduces to, or at least consists with this Common Good. Since no Rational Man can ever believe, that God intended the Preservation, much less the Sensual Pleasures of any one Man, as the Sole End of His Creation. Which Principle being once [41] established, as the Foundation and Original of all the Natural, or Civil Rights we enjoy; our own natural Powers and Rights, will appear so limitted thereby, that we cannot without injury, and injustice, violate or invade the Rights of others, much less break out into open War against them without just Cause; nay all those Arguments by which any one Man can assume a Right to Preserve himself by the Law of Nature, will likewise be of the same force to prove, that he ought to Preserve others also; and that it can never become lawful for us in any State, to rob Innocent Persons of what is necessary for their Well-being and Preservation; but rather on the contrary, that all Men's natural Rights, should be secured from the mischiefs of unreasonable Violence, and War, and Contention; which natural Security in a Civil State or Commonweal, is highly improved and encreased by the Assistance of Humane Skill and Industry, according to the established Laws of Property or Dominion.

§. 31. I have spoken thus much concerning the necessary Connexion between the particular Actions above mentioned, and the Common Good of Mankind, that by considering their relation to this Great End, the Nature of all Humane Actions [42] may more certainly be known and predetermined. Since the Dependance of natural Effects on their Causes, are absolutely necessary and immutable; for as well in the state of Nature or Community, as of Civil Society, or separate Property, those Humane Actions which cause, or procure, that the minds of all other Persons should not be prejudiced by Errors, Lyes, or Perfidiousness; nor their Bodies hurt, nor their Lives, Goods, Fames and Chastities violated, or taken away, and also by which a grateful return is rendred to those that have done us good; or in short, all those Actions by which the true happiness of any one Man, or more is procured, without injury to others, as they always were, so they ever will be the certain Causes of the Common Good, and Happiness of Mankind, and are therefore distinguished by the Titles of moral Vertues, as I shall more at large demonstrate in this Discourse, when I come to shew how all moral Vertues are derived from, and at last resolved into this Principle of the Common Good of Rational Beings.

But least the variousness of the Observations treated of in this Chapter, and their Independance upon each other, should render them perplext, and consequently [43] unconvincing to Common Readers, who may not be able to carry so long a train of consequences in their minds; I shall contract what hath been now said into these few plain Propositions.

1. That though all particular men are mortal, and but of a short duration, yet that God hath still preserved mankind without any sensible failure or decay.

2. That in Order to this, God hath made man to be propagated by Generation, and also to be preserved by divers outward means, which we call necessaries of Life.

3. That these Natural means can no way answer this End, but as they are allowed, or appropriated to the uses and occasions of particular Persons, during the time they stand in need of them, and so cannot at the same time answer the different or contrary desires, and necessities of divers men, endeavouring to use these things after contrary or different manner.

4. That the taking away those necessaries of Life, which another is rightly possessed of, doth not only cause the ruine and destruction of that Person and his Family, who were thus possessed of them; but by causing a perpetual strife among Mankind, will render these things uncapable of being made use of at all for their Common [44] Good and Preservation.

5. That such a Strife, if prosecuted to the utmost, will certainly end in the destruction, not only of particular Persons and Nations, but of all mankind contrary to God's design.

6. From all which we may Rationally collect, that God designs the Preservation and Happiness of Mankind, as also of all Individual Persons as parts of it, as far as their frail and mortal Natures will permit, and in subordination to the good of the whole body thereof.

7. That therefore there are no surer means to procure this great End of the Common Good of Mankind, than an Universal Benevolence towards Rational Beings; consisting, First, in Divine Love or Piety towards God, and in Respect of Men, not only in permitting each other quietly to enjoy all the necessaries of Life, but also in making a settled division of them to others, so as to be appropriated to several mens uses or occasions; which dictates being given us by God as a rule of all our moral Actions, (in the exercise of which is contained our truest Happiness, as in its violation, our greatest Misery) is therefore truly and properly a Law, and indeed the Summ of all the Laws of Nature.



Observations and Conclusions, drawn from the consideration of Humane Nature and Right Reason, as also from the Nature of God.

§. 1. HAving in the former Chapter drawn such easie and obvious Observations, from the Nature of those things without us, which we daily stand in need and make use of, as may serve to prove, after what manner we ought to make use of them, and whence that Right arises we have to them. I come now to make the like Observations from the Nature of Mankind, in order to the proving, that we are designed by God for the Good and Preservation of others besides our selves, and that in the doing of this, we procure (as far as lies in our Power) the Good and Happiness of all Rational Beings, in which our own is likewise included. To perform this task, I shall first take notice of those [46] Qualities or Properties that belong to man (1) as a meer Natural Body, (2) such as belong to him as an Animal, (3) such as are peculiar to him as a Rational Creature, endued with a higher and nobler Principle than Brutes, viz. an Immortal Soul.

§. 2. To begin with the first of these, it is evident, that as a Natural Body, he is endued with these Properties common to all other Natural Bodies. First, that all his motions, in which his Life, Strength, and Health consist, do all proceed from God, the first and Original, or Cause of them, and are necessarily complicated with, and depend upon the motions of innumerable other Bodies, among which the Corporeal motions of others, (which do often limit and restrain our own) are first and chiefly to be considered. (2) That from them, as from other Bodies, motion may be propagated Indefinitely, and which does not perish, but concur with other motions to perpetuate the Succession of things, that is, contribute to the conservation of the Universe; and as the former teaches us, that a particular end, viz. our own Preservation, depends upon our Common or joynt Forces, or Natural Powers; so this latter instructs us, that such Powers and motions of particular Persons, are often most Beneficial, [47] and conducing to the Common Good of all men. The first of these Conclusions forbids us to hope for, or endeavour our own private Good or Happiness, as separate and distinct from that of all others, and so excites us to seek the Common Good of Rationals, as the Original of our own particular Happiness. The other Conclusion shews, that this endeavour of the Common Good can never prove in vain, or to no purpose, since it concurrs with the Will of God, and conduces to the Preservation of the Universe, and of all Humane Creatures therein contain'd; and farther, that in each complicated motion, as well in that, towards which divers Causes concurr for the Preservation of any Body for a certain time, as also in that, whereby each particular Body concurrs to the Conservation of the whole System. There is a certain order still observed, whereby some motions are necessarily determined by others in a continual Series, or Succession, all which are yet governed or over-ruled, by the motion of the whole System of Natural Bodies. And although this sort of Contemplation, may seem remote from common use, yet is it not to be contemned as altogether unprofitable in Humane Affairs; for it makes us more distinctly perceive from some certain general [48] Principles, how necessary a constant and certain order is amongst those Causes, that Act from Corporeal forces; so that many of them, may each in their order Successively concurr to an effect foreseen, or designed by us; and farther shews us a rule how we may certainly judge, what Cause does more or less contribute to the Effect sought for, or desired; so that from the Natural Power of these Causes, their Order, Dignity or Power, in respect to each Effect, are to be determined and judged of; and we are taught from the Nature of things, as well what Causes are to be most esteemed for those good Effects they have, or may produce, as also which are most diligently to be sought, for the obtaining those ends which we desire, and by which means it may be also known; that those Causes which Philosophers call Universal, viz. God the first Cause, and the motion of the Celestial Bodies as proceeding from Him, are the Original Causes of the Common Good or Happiness of Mankind, a part of which we either always do actually, or can hope to enjoy.

§. 3. But omitting those Motions which are not in our Power to influence or alter, it is certain, that among the things which are in either our Power to do or forbear; [49] those voluntary Humane motions proceeding from an Universal Benevolence of all Men towards all others, are the principal Causes of their Common Happiness, and in which every one's private Good is included. Since from this source proceed all those Actions, by which Men's Innocence and Fidelity towards each other are preserved; as also by which Humanity, Gratitude, and almost all the other Vertues are exerted and performed, after as certain a manner, as the Natural motions of the Spirits, Bowels, Nerves, and Joynts in an Animal, do wholly proceed from the motion of the Heart, and Circulation of the Blood: which judgment or determination, being taken from the Nature of things duly considered, should, without doubt, cause us to yield Obedience to all the Laws of Nature, as contributing to this Common Good of Rational Agents, and may make us also diligently to take care, that the same be observed by others, so that there may be nothing wanting that can be done by us, whereby we may not be rendered as happy as our frail Natures in this will allow; since right reason can propose no higher or nobler End, than this of all our moral Actions.

§. 4. Yet whilst we compare the Aggregate Body of mankind, (as far as we can [50] Act by Corporeal force) with the Natural Systems of other Bodies. I am not unmindful of the manifest difference there is between them, viz. That all the Effects of meer Corporeal Systems, are produced by the Contiguity, and immediate Operation of Bodies, moving upon others that are to be moved by them; without any Sense, Deliberation, or Liberty, which are only to be found in Humane Actions, in whose Motions and Operations on each other, though a great difference often intervenes; yet for all that, it is evident, that the Corporeal Powers of Men when exerted, are subject to the same Laws of motion with other Bodies, and that divers Men may often cooperate to one certain Effect, relating to the Good or Hurt of others, so that there is the same necessity of a Subordination between Humane motions, as there is between those of other Bodies. And I must here farther take notice, that Men have frequent opportunities of meeting together, and also many other means by which they may hurt or help each other, by Words, Writing, or other Actions. So that, if we consider the Nature of Mankind, in the whole course of their Lives, it ought to be considered as one entire System of Bodies, consisting of several particular parts; So that nothing almost [51] can be done in Relation to any Man's Life, Family, or Fortune, which doth not some way or other, either benefit or prejudice, those things which are most dear to others also: as the motion of any one Body in the System of the World, Communicates it self to many others. For that great Prerogative of Knowledge and Understanding, with which Man is endued, supplies the Contiguity required for motion in other Bodies. Men being often excited to Action, by certain Arbitrary signs or words, by which they understand, what hath been done by others in places far distant. So also our Intellect apprehending a likeness of Desires and Aversions, between those of the same Species with it self, as to things necessary or hurtful to Life, as also being able to remember other Men's Actions towards themselves, or those they love, are from thence excited to hope for, or expect the like things from them, and are also provoked to a requital when occasion is offered. Such Properties being plainly Natural, and constant in Humane Nature, are no less efficacious to excite Men to such Actions or motions, than a mutual contact between Bodies, is to Communicate motion between all the parts of any Corporeal System.


§. 5. From which Natural Observations it is plainly manifest, that particular Men may hence Learn, that both their greatest Security from Evil, and all their hopes of obtaining any Good or Assistance from others, towards making themselves Happy, doth truly and necessarily depend upon voluntary Actions, proceeding from the Benevolence of others, who do likewise themselves stand in need of the like means for their Happiness and Safety. From whence we easily perceive, that these mutual Helps and Assistances of Men towards each other, are highly beneficial to all of them, and answer that Concourse of Natural Bodies, and that Cession or giving place to each other, which is so necessary for the performance of their motions. So that from this necessity of these mutual helps, it as necessarily follows, that he who would consult his own Happiness and Preservation, should procure (as far as he is able) the Good will and Assistance of others, since he cannot but be sensible, that he is able to afford and perform to others, divers like Offices of kindness, and so is able to conspire with the whole System of Rational Beings, towards the same End, (viz.) the Common Good of Rational Beings: and that on the contrary, the weak and inconsiderable forces [53] of any one Man, are not sufficient to compel so many others, each of them equal (if not Superiour) to himself, both in Wit and Power, to yield him their help and assistance, to their own prejudice, whether they will or no; which would prove as impossible, as that a hundred pound weight placed in one Scale of a Balance, should bear down several other hundred weights, put on the opposite Scale: So likewise the force and cunning, of any single Person, is of no sufficient Power or Force, against the several Necessities, Counsels, and Endeavours, of innumerable others towards their own, and the Common Good, without any consideration of his particular Happiness alone. Therefore it is manifest from this natural Balance of Humane Powers, that men may be more certainly induced by our Benevolence, or Endeavour of the Common Good, to yield us those things and assistances we stand in need of, than by using force or deceit, which Mr. H. Vide, The Preface to De Cive. supposes, even the Good and Vertuous may lawfully exercise in the State of Nature, as the only natural means of Self-preservation, in his Imaginary State of Nature.

§. 6. So that from these Natural Observations, concerning all the means necessary [54] to the Conservation of the Corporeal Universe, and of the several sorts of Beings therein contained, we may draw these conclusions. 1. That all things are so disposed, that not the least quantity of matter and motion, can ever be lost; but the same Species of Animals, are still continued, and are rather encreased than lessened, notwithstanding all the opposition of the cruel Passions, and unruly Appetites of some other Animals, so that in this perpetuity of matter and motion, by a continual succession of things, the Natural Good, or Conservation of the Corporeal Universe consists, and towards which it is carried according to the immutable Laws of motion; nor can there be any sufficient reason given, why the Conservation of Mankind may not be looked upon as established by as certain and natural a Power of Causes, as the Successive Generations of any other Creatures, since they depend alike upon the lasting Nature of the Corporeal Universe; and agree in all the Essentials of Animals. And certainly the Addition of a Rational Soul to our Bodies, does very often put us in a better Condition than that of Brutes, but can never make us in a worse; which will be evident to any Man that considers the benefits, which accrew to our Bodies [55] from the Government of our Reason, and which do abundantly recompense some inconveniencies which may happen to them from the errours of our minds. Nay, it is most certain, that its errours concerning Food, Pleasure, and other things which concern the Preservation of our Bodies, proceed from the Soul's yielding, against the Admonitions of Reason, to Carnal Appetites, and Corporeal or Animal Passions. 2. That the matter and motion of all Bodies, as also of Men (considered only as such) do Mechanically, or whether they will or no, promote the motion of that of the Corporeal Universe, since the motion of all particular Bodies is determined, by the general motion of the whole System. In short, our Judgments concerning the necessary means of the Happiness of Mankind, may be convinced from these Natural causes operating after the same manner, and by the same Natural Laws, by which the Corporeal Universe is preserved, since they consist in these two Rules: 1. That the endeavours of particular Persons towards their own Preservation, are as plainly necessary for the Conservation of the whole Species of Mankind, as the mechanick motions of particular Bodies, are to the general motion of the whole Corporeal System. 2. That [56] the Powers of particular Persons, by which they defend themselves against the force of others, should be so equally Balanced, as that (like the motion of other Bodies) none of them should be destroyed or lost, to the Prejudice or Detriment of the whole. Somewhat like which, is seen in all the motions of the Corporeal System of the World, which proceed from its Plenitude, and the mutual Contact of Bodies, and so extend themselves through the whole mass of matter; but it is the proper Talent of Humane Reason and Understanding, to observe that each Man's particular Happiness, does depend upon the voluntary Actions of other Rationals, after a much nobler manner, even when they are far distant, and can therefore take care that all Humane Actions may in like manner conduce to the Common Good of Rational Agents, as the motions of all Bodies, do to the Conservation of the whole Corporeal System; which will be truly performed, if in all voluntary Actions which respect others, those two Rules aforegoing be observed. So that we are taught from the real Natures of things, as well as that of Inanimate Bodies, after what manner, and to what Degree we ought to pursue our own particular Happiness, that is, only as [57] it conduces to, and is included in that of the Common Good of Rational Agents. So we are hence also instructed, what Actions are prescribed, or forbid by the Laws of Nature; since such Actions only are thereby commended, as promote this great End, and the contrary Actions forbidden, which disturb or hinder it; which is also supposed by all Princes and States in their Deliberations and Treaties of Peace, it being that, in which they all agree, as contributing to their Common Safety and Preservation, (viz.) That the Powers of all the several states concerned, should be so justly moderated and equally balanced, that none may destroy or oppress each other. Thus between neighbouring Nations, not Subject to the same Common Power; it is chiefly provided in all their Leagues and Treaties, that the Forces of each particular Commonwealth, should be so equally balanced by the Assistance, and Support of their Consederates and Allies, that it should be impossible for any one of them to swallow up, or destroy another; but that there should be still left to each of them Power, and means sufficient to preserve themselves, and their Subjects in Peace and Safety, as being the main ends, for which they were at first ordained by God, and Instituted by Men.


§. 7. And as it is proper to all Natural Bodies, that whilst they persevere in their own motion, there is likewise a necessity they should also contribute, and be subservient to the motions of innumerable other Bodies, from the general Laws of motion, for the Conservation of the Universe, and which Rule being also found true in Animals; it seems to admonish us, not only as meer Animals, but rational Agents, that we contribute our particular endeavours towards the general Good, or Preservation of all those of their own Kind, since it is not only a possible effect, but also such a one, as depending upon Causes so perfect and certain, we may with reason believe, that it will endure to the end of the World. But if we farther add to these Observations, those things that distinguish Animate from Inanimate Bodies, they will yet more strongly convince us, and make us see more sufficient reasons, wherefore (not so much concerning our selves with other Corporeal Beings) we should be chiefly sollicitous in giving our assistance to those of our own Kind: First, then the Nature of Animate is distinguished from that of Inanimate Bodies, by such a fit disposition of parts, and an apt conformation of their Natural Organs, as suffices for their Generation, [59] Sensation, Imagination, Affections, Nourishment, and also all spontaneous motions. And it is by these Actions, that all sorts of Animals endeavour their Conservation, and Happiness for the time that is appointed them, and thereby procure the Preservation of the whole Species.

§. 8. But I shall not dwell too long upon these common obvious things, which are so evident in themselves, but shall from hence deduce something more material to our purpose, (viz.) that from the same intrinseck Constitution of all Animals, whereby they are determined to this Endeavour of Preserving themselves, there are besides given manifest Declarations, that Loving and Benevolent Actions towards those of their own Kind, are also necessary for their own defence, and constitute the happiest State of Life they can enjoy. And likewise that it is farther ordained from the same concourse of External and Internal Causes, that all Rational Agents cannot but be sensible, or mindful of these Indications. The first of these Conclusions contains the Sense, and Sanction of the Law of Nature, as the latter regards its Promulgation, or the manner whereby it comes to be made known to us. I shall explain each of them in their order.


§. 9. It is therefore first to be observed, That the corporeal Bulk, even of the largest Animals, is contained within a small and narrow compass; as also that the space of Time wherein they can live, or be preserved, is not long: From whence it follows, That but a few Things, and a small quantity of them, are really necessary for their Nourishment and Preservation; or where there is need of a Concurrence of more of them, they are only such as may be freely communicated to many at once; whence they are naturally led to desire but a few particular Things, but daily stand in need of divers others in common, whose use may yet be well communicated to many at once, without exhausting their store; such as are the free Enjoyment of Air, Light, Fire, Water, &c. And farther, if we consider the Structure of their Bodies, we may observe, That the same superficies of the Skin which hinders the effusion, governs also the Circulation of the Blood, and does at the same time fix bounds to those Appetites and Necessities by which they are urged to seek their own Preservation: So that those few Things that suffice to repair the vital Flame which daily consumes, are likewise sufficient not only for the Conservation of their life, and natural strength, but also for inabling [61] them to contribute their Help and Assistance to others of the same kind. And, lastly, the Structure and Capacity of the Vessels, in which their Aliment is digested, and of those that convey the Chyle, as also of the Veins and Arteries that receive it, being but narrow, require but a small quantity to fill them. So that I think no Brute can be guilty of Mr. H's Errour, of judging or desiring all Things whatever, as necessary for its own Preservation; since from the intrinseck and constituent Parts of all Animals, it plainly appears, That but a few Things suffice to allay their Hunger and Thirst, and to prevent the Injuries of the Weather. And if, so few Things are necessary for their Happiness and Preservation, they may very well leave the rest of those Products which the Earth so plentifully brings forth, to be enjoyed by others of their own kind, since the finite quantity of their Bodies limitting their Appetites to the desiring, and their Powers only to the using a few necessary Things: From this Use and Necessity, there arises a natural Division or Appropriation of Things, amongst divers Animals of the same kind (as I shewed before in the last Chapter.) The allowance or permission of which Distribution, is the Foundation of all that mutual Concord and Benevolence [62] amongst them, and which their Nature requires for their Preservation: So that if this innate Love, or Desire of Self-preservation in Animals, be limited after the manner we have now described, this once satisfied, there can be no Reason why they should withstand, or obstruct the Conservation of others of the same kind, either by hindring their Enjoyment of those Things which they themselves do not need, or in refusing to lend them their Help and Assistance, when there is occasion, and that it is not needful for themselves.

§. 10. The next Observation we make, is from the Effects of the Senses, as also the Imagination and Memory in Animals when they are taken up, and employed about others of the same kind: For since from the Impressions made on their Organs of Sense, they cannot but perceive, that such Creatures are of the same Nature with themselves; such Notions must, from the Constitution of their Nature, move them to somewhat a like affection towards them as towards themselves. But I shall here avoid all Controversies concerning the Knowledge of Brutes, or which way their Affections are moved by their Imaginations; and shall only suppose, That their Imagination excites their Passions, and that these Passions do likewise often produce [63] the like Motions, or Inclinations, in their fellow Animals: From whence I collect, That this Similitude of Nature does highly conduce to the procuring of Benevolence, or Concord, amongst those of the same kind, unless there be some unaccountable Antipathy, or Dissimilitude of Disposition, which may happen to excite Enmity, or Discord between them; which yet not often happens: Whence it follows, That Animals, as long as they are in their Right Senses, and are mindful of themselves, cannot forget others of the same kind, since under the same Idea's by which they conceive their own Nature, and the Necessities thereof, they cannot but have an Idea of that of others of the same Species with themselves; and must also be sensible, that such Animals, being urged by the like Appetites of Hunger and Thirst as themselves, are thereby moved to seek Food when hungry or thirsty; and cannot but be also sensible, that it is highly grateful to them, when the use of these Necessaries is left free and undisturbed, or else is administred to them by others, or that they are any ways assisted by them in the obtaining them.

§. 11. But since Idea's of this sort do constantly spring in the Minds of Animals, as also produce perpetual motions to love or Good-will, [64] arising necessarily from this similitude of Nature; it also follows, that they never so far deviate from their natural state, as when, through Madness, or any other violent Appetite, or Passion, they act contrary to these first and most natural Dictates; as all Men grant it to be a preternatural Disease in a Dog, when seized with Madness, he bites all other Dogs he meets with; or when a Sow, through a depraved Appetite, eats her own Pigs. Nor indeed can I see any reason why all other kinds of inordinate Passions, which disturb the natural Disposition of an Animal, so as to make it do extravagant Actions, and hurtful to its own Species, without any just Cause, (such as Anger, and vehement Envy often times produce) may not be justly esteemed as preternatural Distempers of the Blood, or Brain, very like to that of a mad Dog; for there often appears in those that are transported with these Passions, all the Symptoms of those Diseases that proceed from an overflowing of Choler, or a violent effervescence of the Blood, such as an icterial blackness of the Face, paralytick Tremblings, and other Signs well enough known to Physicians. Nor is an immoderate needless Fear of Animals of the same kind, to be less reckoned among such Diseases, since it is not only [65] preternatural, or besides their Constitution when in Health, but doth likewise, as well as other Diseases, destroy the Body, by driving them into an immoderate Sadness, unseasonable Solitude and Watchings, with other Symptoms of predominant Melancholy, whence an untimely Death is often accelerated. Neither can there be any Mean, or End, put to this unreasonable Fear, when once the Mind is touch'd and infected with a false Imagination, that all other Men design to kill and destroy them; which Madness is very like that of those, who being bitten by a mad Dog, are afraid of Water, and all Liquids, though they cannot live without them, of which I have met with a famous Example in the French Chronicles of King Charles VI. Vid. Mezeray's Hist. in the Life of this Prince. who being seized with a violent apprehension, that all his Servants were bribed, by his Son the Dauphin, to poison him, did quite abstain from all Food, 'till at last he died, as truly of Hunger, as Fear.

§. 12. And it is evident (and Mr. H. himself confesses it) that Men, as well as other sociable Animals, do more or less delight in the society of each other of the same kind, as may be observed from those signs of Joy and Satisfaction which they express when [66] they meet after any long absence: But since it is as plain, that the Causes of this Association and Agreement, proceed from the intrinseck Nature of the Creatures, and are no other than those by which the Blood, Spirits, and Nerves are continued and preserved, in a due and healthy state; it as evidently follows, That the Safety and Preservation of each of them, cannot be separated from a Propension, at least, to a friendly Association with those of their own kind; so that though they sometimes quarrel about the same Meat, or Female, yet this does not any ways cross or contradict this great End of Nature, of procuring the Common Good of the Universe; but is rather in order to it, viz. when the Desire of Food, in order to their own Preservation, or Lust, to propagate their Species, prompts them to fight, and sometimes to destroy each other; the time of which Contention, is yet but small, in comparison of the greater part of their Lives, in which they are observed to live in peace: And that all Animals are determin'd by Nature, to prosecute and endeavour the Common Good of their own Species, by the same Causes that preserve the Lives of each of them in particular, appears from the great Love and Kindness, which Creatures of the same Species, but of [67] different Sexes, express towards each other, and by virtue of which, they perform the Act of Generation, so highly grateful and pleasing to each other, and thereby propagate their Off-spring; which when brought forth, they love and defend, as part of themselves, unless some unusual Distemper intervene, which may sometimes disturb or change these natural Propensions; as when Sows or Rabbets eat or destroy their young ones; which happening but seldom, is rather to be accounted among the Diseases of the Brain, or Distempers of the Appetite, than to be ascribed to their natural State, or Constitution; and does no more contradict this general Law of Nature, than the ascent of Water in a Pump, does oppose that general Rule of the constant descent of heavy Bodies. So that we may, for all that, affirm, That the Procreation of their young, and that or natural Affection they have for them, and desire of breeding them up, 'till they are able to shift for themselves, are seldom or never separated; for Preservation is but, as it were, the Generation of the same Creature still continued. So that the same natural Causes excite Animals to the one, as well as the other. But it is evident, That their Off-spring can neither be generated, [68] or preserved, unless those of different Sexes do, for some time, maintain Peace, and a Co-habitation with each other, which in many others of them, continues much longer than the bare time of Generation, (viz.) for the whole season of Coupling and Breeding up of their young ones; and in divers others, as Doves, Pigeons, &c. This Affection continues (like Marriage) as long as their Lives. And that Creatures are excited to generate their like, from the same natural Causes for which their own Preservation is procured, appears from this anatomical Observation, that part of the same nutritious Juice passes into the Nourishment of the Body, and the rest to the Propagation of Seed; and the whole Circulation of the Blood, with the Causes that produce and promote it, as the muscular force of the Heart, and that strange and wonderful Artifice of the Valves in the Veins, do by one and the same Action, serve for the particular Nutrition of the Animal, and also perform the more publick Duty of Propagation of the Species, whilst it does, at the same time, send down part of that matter to the Spermatick Vessels out of which the Seed is produced.


§. 13. But leaving the nicer Disquisition of these anatomical Observations to Naturalists and Physicians, I shall only add this one Observation, That it is evident that all Animals are, by these means, impelled to the Love of those of a different Sex, and also of their own Off-spring, and so are brought to impart some of that Self-love, with which they are first endued, to others of their own kind, from an irresistible instinct of Nature: And hence it is truly observed of Men, That after they are married, and have got Children, they are more prone to, and sollicitous after Peace than before; but that this desire of Propagation, disposes Men to a greater Affection towards those of the Female Sex, is so evident, that it needs no proof. But since Mr. H. and others of his Opinion, do grant these Observations, concerning the natural Propensions of Creatures to be true, but are wont to evade them, by affirming, That they only proceed from the sole Love of their own Pleasure and Satisfaction; and that all the Actions proceeding from thence, tend to no higher end than the Love and Preservation of themselves; as I do not in this part of the Discourse, intend to dispute, so have I not omitted to answer this Objection in the last [70] Chapter, which is designed on purpose for answering all those Objections that can well be made against our Definition of the Law of Nature.

§. 14. The last general Observation to be drawn from the Nature of Living Creatures, may be taken from that Sweetness and Pleasure they take and enjoy in those Actions and Passions that tend to the Common Good of their own Kind, since it is very well known to Naturalists, that in those sweeter Passions of Love, Desire, Hope, Joy, (especially when employed about any great Good towards others) the vital Motions of the Blood and Heart are then highly helped and promoted. So that the Veins and Arteries are filled with a milder and nobler Juice, whilst brisker and more active Spirits are thereby generated, and the Circulation of the Blood, and consequently all the other animal Functions, are more easily and nimbly performed. So that by those very Affections by which they do good to Animals of their own Kind, they themselves are also satisfied and delighted, and as far as they feel this naturally rooted in their very Natures, they must needs incline to these Affections so highly conducing to their own Happiness and Preservation; whereas, on the contrary, in Hatred, [71] Envy, Fear, and that Sadness and Ill-humour which necessarily springs from those sour and immoderate Passions; the Circulation of the Blood is obstructed, and the Heart rendred more heavy, and unapt to motion. So that it thereby expels the Blood with greater difficulty in its Systole, from whence proceeds meagerness and paleness of the Countenance, with innumerable Inconveniencies to the whole Oeconomy of the Body, but chiefly in the Functions of the Brain and Nerves, such as are those Diseases which are attributed to the Spleen, deep Melancholy, and Discontent. But these things being rather of a medicinal Consideration, I shall but only just mention them, though the Writings of Physicians may yield us divers Examples of such who have hastened their own Fate, through immoderate Envy and Regret, that they could not satisfie their Malice or Revenge; of which I may chance to give you a taste when I come to consider the Sanction of the Law of Nature by Punishments, proceeding from the undue and immoderate exercise of those Passions.

§. 15. But as Mr. H. and his Disciples cannot deny these Natural Propensions in Brute Creatures towards mutual Concord, so they have no other way to evade these [72] Instances, but by supposing some things in Man's Nature, that render him worse Natur'd, and more unmanageable than Bears, Wolves, &c. That so being naturally in a perpetual state of War, they can no way be kept from destroying each other, but by some Common Supreme Power set over them to keep them all in awe; which Arguments, and the Answers to them, since by their length they would too much perplex the Connexion of this Discourse, I shall refer you to the Second part, wherein I hope I have made it appear, that there is nothing in Man's Nature considered as an Animal, that ought to be governed by right Reason, (and in which alone he excels other Creatures) that can lay any necessity upon him of being more fierce, and unsociable than Brutes.

§. 16. Having now dispatched these common and easie Observations concerning Man, considered as a meer Body, and also such as concern his Nature as an Animal, tending to prove, that the endeavour of the Common Good of his own Species, was one great End and Design of God in His Creation. I come in the next place to consider those particulars, in which the Nature of Man excels that of Brutes, and whereby he is rendred much more capable [73] than they of promoting, and performing this great End, viz. the Common Good of Rational Agents: which I shall divide into two Heads, either those belonging to the Body, or else to the Soul or Mind; as to the former, though there are divers Anatomical Observations, made by curious Anatomists and Learned Physicians, concerning the differences between the Constitution of the inward parts, or vessels in Men and Brutes; yet I shall take notice of no more, than what are absolutely necessary to our purpose, and which may serve to shew, what are the natural Causes of that Excellency and Superiority, that is commonly found in Humane Intellects, above those of Brutes. The first of which Observations may be drawn from the large quantity of brains which is found in Humane Bodies, and which bears a much greater proportion in respect of their bulk, than in any other Creatures; for though the weight of an ordinary Humane Body, does seldom exceed above a fourth part of that of a Horse or Bull; yet for the motion and government of so much a smaller Body, Nature hath allowed him near double the quantity of brains, viz. about the weight of four or five pounds, so that there is eight times as much brains, appointed for [74] the government of the like bulk in a Man, as in an Ox or Horse. And though the Carcases of the largest Sheep and Hogs, do often weigh near as much as a Humane Body: yet their brain is not above an eighth part of the weight in proportion to ours; which seems to be thus ordain'd by Nature, that by reason of the greater largeness of the Vessels, the Animal Spirits should be prepared in greater plenty, and also have more room to work, and so should become more lively and vigorous in Man, than in other Creatures; since all the Nerves do either spring from the brain, or else from the Spinal Marrow which is continuous, and of the same substance with it; whence it may follow that this larger quantity, and consequently greater strength of brain in a Man above other Creatures, was intended to serve him to direct, and govern that greater variety of Motions and Actions depending thereupon, with a more exact care and deliberation.

§. 17. A second Observation to prove, that Man is a Creature ordained by God for a fuller and more constant Association with those of his own Kind, (which also tends to the promoting of the Common Good of his Species) than other Creatures, may be taken from the natural Constitution [75] of his Blood, and Spermatick Vessels, by which his Appetite to Copulation is not confined (as in most other Creatures) to some certain times, but are equally the same at all seasons of the Year; from whence proceeds a desire of Marriage, or a constant Cohabitation with one, or more Women, from whence must likewise follow a more constant generation of their Off-spring, and a more lasting care of them when generated and brought forth. For whereas Brutes quit the care of their Young, and drive them away from them as soon as ever they are able to shift for themselves; Man alone loves and cherishes his Offspring, and continues his love and care of them as long as they Live, and still loves them the more the longer they have continued with them, and the more care and pains they have bestowed on their Education: and so likewise Man is the only Creature we know of, that makes any returns for this care, by Acts of Duty and Gratitude towards his Parents; for as for the Gratitude of Storks to their Sires or Dams when old, I look upon it as an old Fable.

§. 18. Lastly, I shall consider the wonderful Frame and Structure of the Hand in Man, which though I grant it not peculiar [76] to him alone; all Creatures of the Ape or Monky kind, having their fore-paws very like it, and in many Actions using them to the same ends, both in feeding themselves, and carrying their Young ones; yet since we see our Hands were not given us instead of Feet to go upon, (as in them) we may justly conclude, that they were Fram'd for some Higher and Nobler Use, than our bare Preservation, or the hurting or destroying of others. Since if God had ordained them only for this end, sharp Teeth, Claws and Horns, would have done much better, and would have saved us the trouble of making Swords, Spears, and such like Instruments, not only of self-preservation but destruction; whereas we find that by the help of our Hands, directed by our reason, we are able to do much more than any of those weak silly Animals can do with their Paws, since they cannot serve them to make any of those ordinary Instruments, or Utensils of Life, which even the most Barbarous Nations cannot be without; or so much as to administer to each other, many of those ordinary helps and assistances, which Men by means of their Hands do daily afford each other. So that if we consider the Ordinary use of these Members, especially [77] in labouring Men and Mechanicks, we shall find, that they do not only serve for their own Sustenance and Preservation, but also for the benefit and maintenance of many others of their own kind, who cannot well Subsist without the manual Labour of others. And though I grant this noble Instrument the Hand, is often abused by wicked and violent Men, to make unjust Wars, and commits Murders and Robberies, and by lesser Thieves to pick Pockets, Pilfer, &c. and that without this they could never commit such Villainies; yet doth it not follow, that their Hands were bestowed upon them by God for that end. Since if He intended the Common Good and Happiness of Mankind, as His great end, He never could intend that these Instruments should be made use of to a quite contrary design, viz. their Ruine and Destruction. So that whoever will but strictly consider all this, cannot but confess, that we are made and ordained to depend upon each others assistance, and that Man was Created for a higher purpose than his own single Self-preservation.

§. 19. Which may be farther made out from the natural Constitution of Humane Nature, as that no Man is born Self-sufficient, or able to procure all things necessary [78] for his bare Subsistence, much less for a quiet or pleasant Life, but needs the Assistance of others to breed him up whilst an Infant, or to tend him when he is sick, old, or unable to help himself; or if it be sometimes possible for a time, yet it must be with great hardship and scantiness, that any Man's own single Labour, unassisted with the Help of others, can provide himself all the Necessaries of Life. Whence first arises another necessity of Marriage in the state of Nature, which is the Contract of a Man and a Woman to live together, for the propagation of their Species, and breeding up of their Off-springs, and also for mutual Help, and a joint Provision of the Necessaries of Life for themselves and them. And, secondly, a necessity of a Man's living in concord, or society, with all other Men, especially those of his own Nation, or Commonwealth. So that it is evident, the chief Happiness and Well-being of Mankind, depends upon their mutual administration of these Things, as often as need shall require; that is, upon Acts of the highest Love and Benevolence, in order to the Common Good.

To all which may be added another Observation, of the great difference in the Frame of Men's Bodies from those of Brutes, [79] in the upright posture of their progressive motion; Man alone going upon two Legs, whereas most other terrestrial Animals go upon all four, whereby Men have the constant use of their Hands, both to help and assist themselves and others, to a much greater degree, and in a much more powerful manner than what Brutes are able to perform. But whereas some Atheists have alledged, That this Posture proceeds rather from Custom and Example than Nature; I desire them to shew me any Nation in the World so barbarous, that doth not go upon two Legs as well as we: And though Children, 'tis true, before they can go, must crawl; yet it is not upon their Hands and Feet, but Knees: For a Man's Legs (as is notorious to Anatomists) are so much longer than his Arms, and are likewise so set on, that they cannot be brought to move in Right-Angles with the Arms, or Fore-legs, as in Brutes: And though I grant that some Beasts, as Apes, Monkeys, and Bears, can sometimes go upon their Hind-feet, yet is not this constant; but as soon as the present Necessity is over, they soon return to their natural posture. To conclude, I think I may leave it to any indifferent Reader to judge, whether from all these natural Observations from the [80] Frame of Humane Bodies, and the Nature of their Passions, it doth not evidently appear, That Man's Happiness and Subsistence in this Life, was not designed by GOD to depend upon his own particular sensual Pleasure, or the meer satisfaction of his present Appetites and Passions, restrained to himself, without any Consideration of others of his own Kind, but was rather intended for the Common Good and Preservation of the whole Species of Mankind.

§. 20. Having now dispatched those natural Observations that may be drawn from the Constitution or Frame of Man's Body, in order to the rendring him capable of serving the Common Good in the propagation of his Species, I shall proceed to the next Head before laid down, (viz.) those Excellencies, or Prerogatives, of the Humane Soul, or Mind; and in which he excels all other Creatures: And, in the first place, Mr.Leviath. Part I. Chap. 12. H. very well observes,

'That it is peculiar to the Nature of Man, to be inquisitive into the Causes of the Events they see; and that upon the sight of any thing that hath a beginning, to judge also that it had a Cause which determined the same to begin when it did: And also whereas there is no other Felicity amongst Beasts, but [81] the enjoying their daily Food, Ease, and Lust, as having little or no foresight of the time to come for want of Observation and Memory of the Order, Consequence, and Dependance of the Things they see. Man alone observes how one Event hath been produced by another; and therein remembers the Antecedence and Consequence.

Whence he certainly must be endued with a larger Capacity, for observing the natures of Things without himself; and is also able to make more curious and exact Searches into their Causes and Effects, than the most sagacious Brutes; who though they are endued with some few Appetites, or Inclinations, towards those Things that are necessary for their Preservation, and an Aversion for others that are hurtful to them; yet this seems to proceed from some natural instinct, or impression, stampt by GOD on their very Natures, and not from Reason or Deliberation: As, young Wild-Ducks (they say) will run away from a Man, as soon as they are hatch'd; and Chickens know the Kite, though they never saw her before; and this not from any Experience or Rational Deduction. But as for Man, it is his Faculty alone, to proceed from some known Principles, to draw Rational Deductions, [82] or Conclusions, which were not known before: The exercise of which Faculty, we call Right Reason, or Ratiocination; which though I grant is not born with him, and so is not a Property belonging to him as a meer Animal (since we see Children, 'till they come to some Years, and Fools, and mad Folks act without it so long as they live) yet is it not therefore Artificial, (as some would have it) since all Persons of Years of Discretion, and who will give themselves leisure to think, may attain to a sufficient degree of it, for the well-Government of their Actions, in order to their own Preservation, and the discovering that Duty they owe to GOD and the rest of Mankind: Which Notions being peculiar to Man, and also common to the greater part of Mankind, either from Men's own particular Observations, or Rational Deductions; or else from the Instructions of others, who themselves first found out such Rational Conclusions, and taught them to their Children, or Scholars, with their first Elements of Speech, come, in process of time (having forgot when those early Notions were first instill'd into them) to be taken for connate Idea's: So that I doubt they have been, by too many, (who have not well [83] considered their Original) mistaken for Idea's, or Notions impressed by GOD upon their Souls.

But leaving this, of which others have said enough, it cannot be denied but that from this Faculty of deducing Effects from their Causes, Man hath been always able to find out sufficient Remedies for his own natural Weakness, by the Invention of several Arts, such as Physick and Chyrurgery for his Preservation and Cure, when sick or hurt: And also those of a more publick Nature, such are the Knowledge of Policies, or the well-Government of Common-weals, of Navigation, Warfare, or the Art Military, for his Happiness and defence, as a Sociable Creature. So that, though Man is born naked, and without those natural defences and Weapons, with which divers Brutes are furnished by Nature; yet by the power of this Faculty, he is able, not only much better to secure himself from the violence and injury of the Weather, by providing himself with Cloths, Houses, and Victuals before-hand, since Nature hath not made him to live like Beasts upon those Fruits of the Earth, which it spontaneously produces, but can also tame, subdue, and kill the strongest, fiercest, and cunningest Brutes, and make them subservient, [84] to those Ends and Designs for which he pleases to employ them: So likewise from this Faculty of Judging of Consequences from their Antecedents, and foreseeing the Probability or Improbability of future Events, he thereby distinguishes between real and apparent Goods; that is, between such Things that may please for the present, and do afterwards hurt him; and those which though they may seem displeasing for a time, yet may after do him a greater Benefit; which Principles, since they contain Foundations of all Morality, and the Laws of Nature, which we now treat of, it will not be amiss here particularly to set down, as the Grounds of what I have to say on this Subject.

§. 21. First, It hath been already proved, That every Animal is endued with a Natural Principle, whereby it is necessarily inclined to promote his own Preservation and Well-being (yet not excluding that of others of their own Kind) that therefore which most conduces to this end, is called a natural Good; and, on the contrary, that which is apt to obstruct and hinder it, is evil. Among which Goods and Evils, there are several kinds or degrees, according as Things are endued with more or less fitness or power to promote or hinder this End. All [85] which, may be reduced to these plain Maxims, or Propositions, as I have taken them out of Dr. Moor's Enchiridion Ethicum; so that I have collected these Axioms, and put them together in this method, as they are represented by those excellent Authors above-mentioned, that you may see them all at one view; though I grant there are many other natural Truths, which are also useful to prove what Actions are productive of the Common Good, divers of which we have given you dispersedly in these two Chapters.

Principle I.

THe lessening or escaping of an Evil, is to be reckoned under the Notion of Good.

Principle II.

The lessening or loss of Good, is to be reckoned under the Notion of Evil.

Principle III.

That which is Good, is to be chosen; that which is Evil, to be avoided.


Principle IV.

The greater Good is to be preferred before the less; and a less Evil to be endured, rather than a greater.

Principle V.

Such Things, or Events, whether Good or Evil, as will certainly come to pass, may fall under Computation, and be estimated according to their several Degrees as well as Things present: And the same likewise is for such Things as may probably come to pass, though this Probability may be somewhat remote, as it is counted a valuable Thing, and may be estimated at a certain rate; for a Man to be one amongst four or five equal Competitors for an Office, or to be the fourth or fifth Expectant of an Inheritance; and though in such Cases there may be the odds of three or four to one, yet the Price that is set upon this, may be so proportioned, as either to reduce the Purchase to an equality, or make it at least a very advantageous Bargain.

Principle VI.

A present Good may reasonably be parted with, upon a probable Expectation of a future [87] Good, which is much greater, and more excellent.

Principle VII.

A present Evil is to be endured, for the avoiding of a probable future Evil which is far greater.

Principle VIII.

The greater the Evil, the more reason there is to venture the loss of a greater Good, or the suffering of a less Evil for the escaping it.

Principle IX.

It is better to be without any Good, than by the enjoyment of it to endure an Evil, as great or greater than that Good comes to.

And these last Principles respecting our selves, may serve to produce Prudence, Temperance, and Fortitude in our Minds; the rest that follow, respect our Duty towards others, and are the Foundation of all Right and Wrong among Men.


Principle X.

We ought to pursue the Chiefest, or Common Good, with the highest; and all less or subordinate Goods, with a less Affection, or Desire: Neither ought we to make the Highest, or Common Good, subordinate to the Meaner, or middle Goods, or the middle Goods to the least.

Principle XI.

Whatsoever Good you would have done to your self, in such and such Circumstances, you ought to do the same to another, in the same or like Circumstances, as far as may be, without prejudicing the Community.

Principle XII.

Whatsoever Evil you would not have done to your self, you ought to abstain from doing that to another.

Principle XIII.

Good is to be recompenced with Good, and not with Evil.


Principle XIV.

It is good for a Man to enjoy all the Means wherewith he may live happily.

Principle XV.

It is better for the Publick, or Common Good, that one Man should not live voluptuously, than that another should thereby live miserable.

Principle XVI.

If it is a Publick, as well as a Private Good, for any one to have enough wherewith to live happy; it follows from the same Rule, That it is doubly better, when there is sufficient for two Men; and by the same Rule of Proportion, a thousand times better if there be sufficient for a thousand to live happy: So that at last, from the same Principle, it must be confessed, That if all the Men in the World, or all Mankind, could live happily, it were the greatest Good we could suppose them capable of.

Principle XVII.

It is necessary to the Publick Good, That every Man's Right and Property be allowed [90] him, and its free Vse or Possession be likewise permitted him, without any Injury or Molestation from others, though it must be granted, that a Man may so behave himself, as whatsoever is his, whether by Possession, Gift, or Purchase; may lawfully cease to be so, as a Punishment for his Crimes, in transgressing this great Law of Nature, of endeavouring the Common Good.

Principle XVIII.

It is better to Obey God, declaring His Will to us by the true Principles of Natural Reason, than our own unreasonable Lusts and Passions, or the wicked desires or Commands of Men.

These and the like Principles may fitly be called Natural, as well as Moral Axioms, as being the true results of Natural Reason, and are so clear and manifest of themselves, that if any one will consider them without prejudice, or being byass'd by Passion, or too much Self-love, they will not need a long train of Arguments to prove them; since they appear true and evident at the first Proposal. So also these Moral Principles, considered as Propositions declaring the Connexion of all Humane Actions, with the Natural effects that [91] depend upon them; as for example, when they shew us any Action which will most certainly conduce to our own, and all others happiness, and that it appears to be not only our Duty but Interest to perform them. These Principles thus considered, with relation to our future Actions, may be called Practical Dictates, since they do not only shew us the highest End we can propose to our selves, in order to our present and future happiness; but do also direct us to the choice of the fittest means to attain it.

But I think it doth sufficiently appear, that we are not only able to form a complex Idea of this Common Good of Rational Beings; but also from the faculty of comparing the likeness of our own Nature with that of all other Men, can also frame an universal or complex Idea of a Species, or kind of Creatures agreeing in the same natural Properties, and requiring the same things for their Happiness and Subsistence as himself. Note that I do not mean by this, any adequate Idea of the true Physical Nature of Mankind, since of this (as of all other substances) we have no other knowledge but by their sensible qualities, therefore I mean only here an Idea fori, or such a common and inadequate Idea of the [92] Nature of Man, as serves us for all the moral Rules of Life, which Idea he can give a name to, and call mankind, and so comes to consider, and understand all the Causes and means, not only of his own Preservation and Happiness, but that of all other men's, considered as an aggregate Body. And from thence is able to draw divers Conclusions concerning the proportion, and degrees of men's natural Good or Happiness, according to the Principles before laid down; till he at last arrive at this Universal Idea of the Common Good of Rational Beings, as the highest and noblest that he can attain unto, and which is most inseparably conjoyned with his own particular Conservation and Happiness. But whereas God hath Created other Creatures to act for their own present Satisfaction and Preservation, without any consideration of that of others: He hath made man alone, not only able to contribute to the good and Preservation of his own kind, but hath also made him sensible of this Ability: and I shall farther shew in this Discourse, that he hath laid a sufficient Obligation on him to exert it.

§. 22. Another faculty of the Rational Soul, and only proper to Man as a sociable Creature, is, That of Speech, or expressing [93] our Notions by significant Words or Sounds; which though it be not born with us, yet however may be reckoned amongst the Natural faculties of Mankind, as well as going with two legs; since we find no Brute Creatures capable of it, though divers of them are endued with Tongues like ours, and that divers Birds can pronounce whole Sentences, yet have they no notion of what they say: whereas there is no Nation, though never so Barbarous, but hath the use of Speech. And to shew you farther, how natural some sort of Speech is to Mankind, I have heard of two young Gentlemen that were Brothers, (and I knew one of them my self) who though born deaf, and consequently dumb; yet by often and long Conversation with each other, came to frame a certain Language between themselves, which though it seemed perfect Gibberish to the standers by, yet by the sole motion of their Lips and other signs, they perfectly understood each other; which was likewise evident from this, that in the dark they were not able to converse at all. So that this faculty seems to have been bestowed by God on Mankind, not for his Preservation as a meer Animal, Since divers Brutes are able to subsist for more years without it; and [94] therefore seems to be intended to render Man a Sociable Creature, and who was by this Faculty to benefit others of his own kind, as well as himself; for we are not only hereby able to impose certain Arbitrary names to particular things; but having first framed Universal Idea's, can likewise give names to them, as to this general Idea applicable to all particular Men in the World, we can give the name of Man; and herein consists the main difference between Men and Brutes, and not in Ratiocination alone. Since I suppose even Brutes have right Idea's of those Objects they have received by their Senses; and can likewise inferr, or reason right about them: As when a Dog by often seeing his Master take down his stick before he goes abroad, does thence argue when ever he does so, that his going abroad will follow, expressing his Joy by barking and leaping: yet we cannot find that Brutes have any general or complex Idea's, much less names for them, having no more but a few Ordinary signs, whereby to express their present Appetites and Passions; but the main benefit of Speech seems to respect others more than our selves, since we are hereby able to instruct them in many Arts and Sciences, necessary for their Happiness and [95] Preservation, and also to advise and admonish them in all Civil and Moral Duties; and there is scarce any one so Brutish, who is not sensible that in the exercise of this Faculty, consists one of the greatest pleasures of Humane Life, (viz.) Conversation: and supposing Men in a state of War, I do not see how they could ever well get out of it again, were it not for Treaties and Articles of Peace; but must (like game Cocks and Bulls) fight it out, till one side were either quite destroyed, or forced to run away, and quit that Territory or Country where they Liv'd.

§. 23. Nor can we omit another great benefit we receive from Speech, (viz.) the Invention of Letters, by which we are not only able to Register our present Thoughts for our own remembrance; but can likewise Profit and Instruct, not only the present, but also all future Generations; by Books or Writings, as we do now make use of the Knowledge and Experience of those who dyed, some Thousands of Years before we were born. But since Mr. H. and others, have made some Objections against the benefit of Speech and Letters, as that they tend oftentimes to promote false Opinions, and War amongst Mankind. Granting it to be so, it is no more an Objection [96] against the benefits we receive by them, than it were to say, that the Air, Water, or Food, (the only means of Life) are hurtful to Mankind; since by the necessary course of Nature, or else our own Intemperance, they often become the causes of Plagues, Surfeits, and divers other diseases, whereby Mankind is destroyed. Yet since that Author hath made the use of Speech, one great Reason why Men cannot live so peaceably as Brutes, and therefore fansies they must be in a Natural state of War: I shall therefore referr the Answering it to the Second Part, since my Intention is not here to Argue, but Instruct.

§. 24. Men do also far exceed Brutes in their Rational or discoursive Faculty, as appears in the Knowledge of Numbers, or Collecting divers single things into one Total Summ, which we call Arithmetick; so necessary for all Affairs of a Civil Life, and the Duties of distributive Justice. And though I grant it is an Art, and that divers Barbarous Nations want that exact knowledge of it which we have; yet by reckoning upon their fingers they have a sufficient use of it, as much as is necessary for their purpose or business; and if they did but apply their Minds to it, I [97] doubt not but that they would arrive to the same perfection in Arithmetick as we do. But I look upon this Faculty as peculiar to Mankind, since we cannot perceive Brutes to have any knowledge of it. Thus if from Bitches or Sows, you take away never so many of their Young ones; yet if you leave them but one or two, they do not miss the rest; which shews that they have no Idea's of Numbers, whatever they may have of Quantity.

§. 26. To this Observation may likewise be added as a Consequence thereof, that Faculty so proper to Mankind, of measuring the quantities of Bodies, the distances between them, and the Proportions they bear to each other, which Science we call Geometry or Mathematicks; which Arts were certainly invented by Man, as a Creature intended for a Sociable Life; since on some of these depend most Trades, all Commerce, Architecture, Navigation, and most of the Rules of distributive Justice, with other Arts needless here to be set down. So that whoever will but seriously reflect upon the excellency of these Sciences, as well in the certainty of their Demonstrations, as in the vast and Stupendious effects they produce; cannot but acknowledge [98] that our Rational Faculty, exceeds that of Brutes by many degrees.

§. 27. But there yet remain behind two of the greatest Prerogatives of Man's Soul, and in respect of which alone he is made a sit Subject of the Law of Nature. The first is freedom in Actions, or the power of doing or forbearing any Action; which does not only consist in indifferent things, as when a Man of two different Objects, chuses which of them he pleases; but is also able to chuse a greater Good, before a less, and does likewise often preferr (though unjustly) a present less Good grateful to his Senses, before a greater Good approved of by his Reason; yet however it cannot be denyed, but that Man by the power of his Reason, is able to move and excite his Passions of Love and Pity, when he sees Objects that require his help and assistance: Nay, can also by deliberation, command and overrule those domineering Passions of Lust, Anger, and Revenge, &c. When they happen to prompt him to Actions that are contrary to his own true Good, and that of the rest of Mankind. And lastly, Man being capable to comprehend all particular goods, and to add them together into one Sum, viz. the Common and General [99] Good of Rationals, as the best and most noble End he can imploy himself about, is also able to divert his thoughts from his own private pleasure and profit alone; and fix them upon the care of his Relations and Friends, or the more publick Good of his Country. And though I grant it is difficult, exactly to explain after what manner we exert this Faculty, since the Nature and Actings of the Rational Soul, are very abstruse; yet I appeal to every Man's own Heart, whether he does not find in himself, not only a Liberty to do or forbear indifferent Actions, such as going abroad or staying at home; but likewise such as are certainly better by a Rational estimate, if he will but give himself time to consider, and weigh the Nature and Consequence of them, or else to what purpose is he sorry? Or why does he repent the having done any foolish, wicked, or rash Action? Since if all Actions were absolutely necessary, it were as idle and insignificant as if he should be sorry, that he were not made a Prince, rather than a private Person; or instead of a Prince that he was not an Angel. So that certainly, God would not then have endued Man with these two Properties peculiar to him, viz. That of Conscience, [100] or a Reflection upon the Good or Evil of his own Actions, and that of Repentance or Sorrow, for having done amiss, altogether in vain, since both were needless, if all Actions were a-like necessitated.

§. 28. But the last and highest Faculty, and whereby Man's Nature is chiefly distinguished from that of Brutes, is, when by the force of his Reason, (acting by the method and means here describ'd) he becomes sensible of the existence, Providence, and other Perfections of the Deity; from whence we may inferr, that it is highly improbable, if not impossible, that this most Wise and Powerful Being, which we call God, should have Ordained any Power or Faculty in Man's Soul to no purpose. If therefore He hath Endued Man alone of all his Creatures, with the Knowledge of his own Existence and Attributes, as far as is necessary for us Finite Creatures to conceive of them; since I grant we are not able to comprehend Infinite Perfections, it is not likely, that God should endue Man alone with this so excellent a Knowledge, for so useless an End as bare Speculation; which alone is of no great Use or Benefit, either to himself, or the rest of Mankind, whose Good and Happiness [101] God chiefly intended in their Creation: So that indeed we cannot apprehend any End more worthy his Divine Wisdom and Goodness, in Creating us capable of these Idea's, than what is Practical, that is, as it some way serves to direct our Actions, as free and voluntary Agents towards the obtaining our own Good and Happiness, Conjoyn'd with that of other Rational Beings. Nor can any Actions render us more Happy, than those that testifie our high Veneration of God's Infinite Perfections, and a deep Sense of his Goodness towards us, and whereby we may be disposed to an entire Obedience to his Laws, whether Natural or Reveal'd, whenever they are made known to us; so that if it can be prov'd, that these Dictates of right reason, called the Laws of Nature, derive their Authority from God as a Law-giver, and were intended by Him for the Happiness and Preservation of Mankind, and as Rules whereby he would have us direct all our Actions to this great End; there can be no doubt but we lie under a sufficient Obligation to observe them; and to prove this, will be the next and greatest part of our task.


§ 29. But before I undertake this, it will not be amiss to Treat a little, concerning those Attributes of the Deity, as far as we can have any Idea's of them; since from the consideration of the Nature of things, and also of our own Humane Nature, we cannot but be carry'd on to consider the Nature of God Himself; and if from the Creation of the Universe, we cannot but conceive Him of Infinite Power; so from His Acting and Ordaining all things, for the best and Worthiest End, we may likewise affirm Him to be also Infinitely Wise and Good; so that His Infinite Power always Acting for the best and wisest Ends, is still so limitted by His Infinite Wisdom and Goodness, that it cannot Act any thing destructive to the Common Good of Rational Beings, of which Himself is the chief; and from hence proceeds the certainty of the Law of Nature, as also our perpetual Obligation to it. For as I will not affirm that God could not have made the World, and the Things therein, after another manner than He hath done; so since He hath made it in the Order we now find it, this great Law of Nature, of endeavouring and procuring the Common Good of Rational Beings, is of the same Duration with that [103] of the Universe it self; and so consequently of constant and perpetual Obligation in respect of Himself, and all those whom He hath Ordained to be His Subordinate means, or Instruments to procure it, especially as Men, whom He hath made Conscious of our Duty, and able to Co-operate with Him for this Great and Excellent End.



Of the Law of NATURE, and that it is reducible to one single Proposition, which is Truly and Properly a LAW, as containing all things necessary thereunto.

§ 1. HAving already in the Two former Chapters from the Great Book of Nature, (that is, as well that of things without us, as of our selves in particular, and of Mankind in general) made several Observations for the proving of this Proposition, That Man was Ordain'd by God for a Sociable Creature, whose Being, Preservation and Happiness, was to depend upon the Assistance and Good-will of God his Creator, as also those of his own kind; I come in the next place to shew, That every one is oblig'd to a return of the like Benevolence to others; for we can by no means be better assured of the like Good-will from them, than by doing them the same good Offices, as often as it lies in our [105] Power, which we desire they should do for us, and that this constitutes the happiest state Men are capable of in this Life, viz. Peace and Concord, not only among particular Men, but also between all Commonwealths and Nations, of which the whole body of Mankind consists, so that it evidently appears, that the true and Natural state of Mankind, is, That of Peace, Love, or mutual Benevolence, and which indeed would require no other Rewards, than what proceeds from it self, (were Man a Creature always governed by right reason and his own true Good) Rewards and Punishments being Ordained for Men, as too often govern'd by their Passions and Sensual Appetites, and not according to the perfection of their Rational Nature. Yet since it pleased God, to Create Man a mixt Creature, consisting of a Body and a Soul, and being too often drawn aside by Passions, not directed by right reason, and to stand in need of Punishments as well as Rewards, to keep him to his duty; thence arises a necessity of His dealing with Man as a Legislator, and of giving him certain natural Laws or Rules, whereby to govern his Actions, with certain Penalties and Rewards annext to them; which Laws may be very well contracted into one single Proposition, or practical Conclusion [106] drawn from the Nature of God, our own Nature, and that of things without us, by the Observations already laid down, viz. That God wills or commands, that all reasonable Persons should endeavour the Common Good of Rational Beings, as the great End for which they were Created, and in pursuance of which, consists their own true Good or Happiness, as in its neglect or violation, their greatest Misery.

§. 2. Having given you this summary description of the Laws of Nature, as coming from its first Cause, God, I shall now explain the terms therein contain'd, to avoid all Ambiguity and Exception. (1) By Wills and Commands, I do not mean any Commands by Words, that being the method of God's Revealed, and not Natural Will, and so is not the Subject of this Discourse; and therefore I do here only understand that Will or Command of God, which is to be learned from the Consideration of his Divine Nature, our own, and that of all other things, consisting not in Words, but in Idea's; that is true Conclusions drawn from right Reason; but that words are not always Essential to a Law, or that it cannot be made known to the Subjects, without some set form of Speech, may appear by Persons born Deaf and Dumb, whom we often find [107] to have Notions of a God, and a Law of Nature, though they were not convey'd in their Minds by Words or Writing, for it is sufficient if the Will of the Legislator may be discovered by any other sit means or signs, especially when (as in this Law we now treat of) there are such certain Rewards and Punishments, annexed to their Observation or Transgression, as may make it their Interest, rather to observe than transgress them; which is not only visible in Men but Brutes. Since we see, that by certain Signs imprinted in their Minds, by the means of fit Rewards and Corrections; Elephants, Horses, Dogs, &c. are made Susceptible of Humane Commands, (and as far as their Natures permit) are governable by Laws of our Prescribing; For we can shew them by such signs, what Actions are to be done or omitted by them; and certainly God hath not left us less plain demonstrations of his Will, in reference to our Duty towards him, from that Knowledge he hath given us of his Existence, as also of our own Nature, as I shall farther prove in this Discourse. By Rational Persons, I mean, all those, though of never so mean a Capacity, who are able to make such easie and natural Observations and Conclusions, as I have already laid down: And [108] therefore Children, under the Years of Discretion, Idiots and Mad-folks, are still to be excepted from this Law, who not having the actual use of right reason, are not able to draw those Observations and Consequences from the Nature of things, as are already laid down, and which are necessary for the right understanding thereof. By Endeavour, I mean all such voluntary Actions, which Persons of sound Minds can knowingly, and deliberately perform towards the good of others, without destroying or hurting their own true Happiness; which endeavours, though (by many unforeseen accidents in the Course of Nature) they may be often frustrated, and so fail of their intended design: yet when we have done the utmost we are able, we have sufficiently perform'd our Duty, since no Laws require the performance of more, than is in our Power to perform. By the Common Good of Rational Beings, I understand the collective Happiness of the Deity, as the head of them, and that of all the individual Persons of Mankind, existing together with us, as the constituent parts or members; and in which each Man's particular Good and Happiness is included; since it is impossible to endeavour the Happiness of others, as voluntary Agents, unless each particular Person whose [109] duty it is so to do, have first a right to preserve, and make himself happy, jointly with others in his Proportion, to the whole Body of Mankind. By true Good or Happiness, I mean, all those Goods whether of Body or Mind, by which Men may be rendred truly Happy, and contented in this Life, and in that to come; but in which, whenever the former stand in Competition with the latter; the Goods of the Soul are to be preferred; that is, the good of our better or Eternal part, before that of our Body, which is less valuable and temporal. But I need add nothing here to prove, That God is the Head of all Rational Beings, and in what Sence we may be said to procure or endeavour his Good and Happiness, since I have spoken so largely of that in the Preface to this Discourse; and as for the difference between Natural and Moral good, I have said so much concerning it in the Second Part, in the Confutation of Mr. H's Sixth Principle, that by Nature nothing is Good or Evil; that it would be impertinent to repeat it here. I shall now prove, that this Proposition, containing this Description of the Law of Nature is true, that is, agreeable to the Will of God, as far as it is declared to us; by what we are able to know of His Divine Nature, or can collect from our own, [110] and the Natures of all things without us, and that all the Moral Duties we owe, either to God, ourselves, or others, are contained in, or may be reduced to this one Proposition, Of our endeavouring the Common Good of Rationals; in order to which, I shall lay down these Propositions.

§. 3. 1. That God in the first place Wills and Intends His own Glory and Service, and in the next, the Good and Preservation of all Mankind, and of all particular Persons therein contain'd, as far as consists with that frail and Mortal state wherein He hath Created them. This Proposition hath already been made out in the First Part of this Discourse; wherein I have proved, that the Preservation and continuance of all the Species of Creatures, (and consequently of Mankind as one of them) does wholly depend upon God's Providence. And as for the Individuals, or particular Persons, since God's Knowledge is Infinite, and extends even to the least things; and also that of these Particulars, each Species of Creatures is made up, and consists. It is likewise as evident, that God designs their Good and Preservation, as well as that of the whole kind; though I grant He prefers the Good of the whole Species, before that of the Individuals.

2. It is the Will of God that all Men of [111] sound Minds, should be made conscious of this His intention of the Good and Preservation of Mankind, and that they should operate as His Subordinate means, or Instruments towards this great End. Which I shall prove thus: 1. It is evident that all Men of sound Minds, have a notion of the Good and Happiness of others as well as of themselves. 2dly. That this Notion or Idea, when truly pursued, will at last extend it self to all Mankind; for it can never stop short of it, as long as it may still proceed farther, and find new and fit Objects to work on; every Individual Member of Mankind making a part of this Universal Idea.

3. That this Notion of endeavouring the Common Good of Rational Beings, is not only possible to be performed, but is also highly Rational, and the greatest and noblest End we can imagine or propose to our selves, as comprehending the Good and Happiness of the whole System of Rational Beings, and is also true, i. e. agreeable with the Divine Intellect: which I thus make out, these grounds being supposed.

§. 4. First, It is certain, that all the truths our Minds are endued with, or capable of, are from God, since whatever perfection is found in the effect, must needs have been first more eminently in its Cause. Therefore [112] if the Knowledge of Truth be a perfection, (as doubtless it is) it must be much more so in God, the Original Cause thereof, so that if this Idea of the Common Good of Rational Beings, as the highest Good we Men are capable of knowing, it being a clear and perfect (though complext) Idea, drawn from the Nature of God and all other things; and being a Collection of the Good and Happiness of the Deity, and of all other Rational Agents; it must be true, and consequently from God. And the Divine Intellect, doth as certainly agree with our Idea's concerning it, as it doth when we judge, that the Base of an Equilateral Triangle, is equal to either of the Crura or Legs. Therefore this Idea of the Common Good is true, and that it is also certain, that all Truth is from God, as likewise that He hath made us truly to understand, that he Wills the Good and Happiness of Mankind; it is likewise as certain, that he would have us act as Rational Agents, conscious of this His great design.

§. 5. The Second Part of this Proposition (viz.) That God would have us Operate as his Instruments to this End; will be likewise as clear when you consider what I have already said, That God who hath made nothing in vain, would not have endued us with an Idea of this Common Good, as the greatest [113] End we can propose our selves, for mere Speculation, but rather for some practical End, in order to our own Good and Happiness, with that of others; especially since God hath placed it so much in our Power to promote and procure this Common Good, since as far as we endeavour the Good and Happiness of particular Persons, we do so far contribute our share to that of Mankind, considered as one aggregate Body. Thus whatsoever does good to any one Member, does so far benefit the whole Body; and the Good and Happiness of an aggregate Body consisting of divers distinct Members, consists in that of each of its parts. So then, if God intends the End, (viz.) the Common Good of Mankind, (as I have already proved) he designs likewise the means to produce it: Nor can there be any better means, or fitter Instruments for this End, than the joint Endeavours of all Men, expressed by all the Acts of Benevolence and Kindness towards each other; since it is certain (as I said before) that Men can contribute more to the Hurt, or Benefit, of each other, than all the rest of the Creatures put together. Therefore as God hath designed the End, and ordained sufficient means to produce it, (viz.) Men's kind and benevolent Actions; so it is as evident, That he will make use of [114] Men, as the necessary means for this End. Tho' I grant he hath ordained us to operate, not only as mechanick Causes, but rather as free and voluntary Agents to produce it; that is, as true Subjects to this Law of Nature. Vid. Dr. Parker's Demonstration of the Law of Nature, pag. 24. Thus by the same steps that we arrive at the knowledge of God the Supreme Being, we are likewise brought to an acknowledgment of this his great Design, of the Common Good of Rational Beings. And if from all the wonderful Observations, and curious Contrivances (observed in this last Chapter) drawn from the Nature of Things, and Mankind, we cannot but conclude, That they were so disposed by a most Wise, Intelligent Being, towards this great End: And the very same appearances that discover these Things, must likewise declare his Intention of making use of us men, as necessary means thereunto.

§. 7. The last Proposition for the proving this Description of the Law of Nature to be true, is this: That GOD having made this Discovery of his Will unto us, we thereupon lie under a sufficient Obligation, to observe this great Law of endeavouring this Common Good: To prove which, I first suppose that Obligation to an Action enjoyned by the natural Law, is the necessary and [115] constant effect thereof, upon every Person subject to it; and that this immediately results from its own Nature, this Law being always just and right as the Will of GOD, the Legislator is, from whence it proceeds: So that I understand Obligation to Active Obedience to be the immediate effect of this Law, yet that it primarily flows from that Will of GOD, which ordained this Law, and made Man a Creature subject to it; as Heat in us is the immediate Effect or Action of Fire upon us, but originally both the Fire and Heat is from the first Cause. Now there is no legal Liberty left us in the case of natural Laws, to chuse whether we will be obliged to the Actions therein commanded, or rather will submit to the Punishment attending the Violation thereof; and although our natural Liberty of Will be not destroyed thereby, yet we have no Right left us to determine our selves otherwise than natural Law directs, because all Moral Truth, or Rectitude, is comprehended within that Law. But in Humane Laws, because they may enjoyn something amiss, there a Right is often left to us to chuse rather to bear the Penalty, than to obey them, (because we are obliged rather to obey GOD than Man) in case they command any Action [116] contrary to the Divine Law, whether Natural or Revealed.

§. 8. For the further clearing of this, I shall premise somewhat to explain this Word Obligation, which the Civilians thus define: Obligatio est vinculum Iuris, quo quis astringitur debitum persolvere. That is, an Obligation is that Bond of Law, whereby every one is obliged to pay his Debt, or Due: Which Definition doth well include all sorts of Obligations, if by the Word Ius, or Law, we understand that Law whose Obligation we propose to define. So that by vinculum Iuris in this Definition, we understand that Bond, or Tye, of the Law of Nature, by which every one is obliged to pay this natural Debt, i. e. to perform that Duty which he owes to GOD his Creator, by reason of his own Rational Nature, or else to undergo those Punishments which are ordained for his Disobedience or Neglect. So that there is a twofold Tye, or Obligation, in all Laws; the one active in the Debt, or Duty; the other passive, in a patient submission to the Punishment, in case of any wilful neglect, or omission thereof: Of both which, we shall speak in their order.

§. 9. But you are first to take notice, That none can oblige us to do, or forbear any Action, but such who have a right to Command [117] us: So that this Obligation proceeds from that just Right of Dominion, which a superiour Power hath over us and our Actions; and as far as we are subject to others, we are so far under an Obligation to their lawful Commands, which obliges us to a discharge of that Debt, or Duty, we owe them; that is, when we are obliged to do, or forbear any Action from the Will, or Command of a Supreme Power, or Legislator, to whom, when sufficiently made known to us, we are bound to yield Obedience to the utmost of our Power: And herein consists the Obligation, or Duty, (viz.) in the Conformity of our Actions to a Rule, such as is declared by the Will of the Legislator. So that all our Obligation to the Laws of Nature, is at last resolved into that absolute Dominion, which GOD, as he is the Great Creator and Preserver of Mankind, hath over us: For I cannot understand a Right (especially of Dominion) to be invested or seated in any Supreme Power, but by virtue of something which may be called (at least analogically) a Law. 2. That every Dictate of the Divine Wisdom, concerning Matter fit to be established by a Law, is such a Law: And so Cicero (the best Master of Language) speaks, towards the end of his First Book de Legibus. 3. That the Eternal Wisdom of [118] GOD, contains eminently, or analogically, in it, all that we can know to be Natural Law. 4. But to know that it is Natural Law, or the Dictate of true Reason, concerning the fittest means to the best End, or greatest Good, it is necessary to this purpose, That the Supreme Government of all Things (and especially of Rational Creatures) should be in him, who is most able and willing to pursue and attain that greatest End; that is, it must be setled in GOD. 5. So that by this Dictate of Eternal Wisdom, or of performing all Things for the best End, the Soveraignty becomes his Right; and our Knowledge that this Dictate of Eternal Wisdom is in him, assures us, That this Right is immutably fix'd and vested in him. 6. Although in the method of investigating the Laws of Nature, as they subsist in our Minds, the first Law respects the End, and this concerning the Means, comes in the second place: Yet in our Thoughts concerning GOD, we know that infinite Wisdom comprehends all these Dictates together; and therefore that the Dictate, or Law, setling Universal Dominion in GOD, is co-eternal with him; and so is as early in his Nature, as the first Natural Law; the Obligation of which, we are establishing in this Chapter. And here arises the difference between a Moral Obligation [119] (which is that we now treat of) and a Civil one, or that by which we are obliged to Laws in Civil Governments, the former being in respect to GOD's immediate Will, as the Supreme Legislator; whereas all the Duty we owe to our Civil Magistrates, Parents, and Masters, &c. is only in subordination to GGD's Will so declared unto us, and who hath ordained this Obedience for his own Worship and Glory, and in order to the Common Good of all Humane Societies and Commonwealths, that is, of Mankind in general.

§. 10. Yet I think notwithstanding all we have said of the Force and Nature of this Obligation, it may well enough consist with the natural Freedom of Man's Will, since all these Considerations do still but excite, not necessitate Him to act one way or other: For it is still left in his Power either to chuse that which is absolutely the best in obeying this Will of God, or else to preferr a less present Good before it, in the satisfaction of his Appetites, or Passions: And herein likewise consists the difference between an Animal Good, or Evil, and a Moral one; the former being those natural Means conducing to each Man's preservation, or destruction, considered as a mere Animal, without any respect to God as their Author, or the Common [120] Good of Rationals as their Rule. The latter, that is of all Humane Moral Actions, or Habits, considered as agreeable, or disagreeable unto the Laws of Nature, ordained by God as a Legislator, and made known to Man, in order to the Common Good of Rational Beings; so that they are thus morally Good, or Evil, only in respect of their Conformity, or Disagreement with the Will of God; and as their Observance, or Neglect, brings either Good, or Evil (that is, Happiness, or Misery) upon us in this Life, or in that to come. From whence you may observe the necessity of putting God, in all our descriptions, or definitions of the Law of Nature, as the Author thereof: For were it not for his existence, in whose divine Intellect the Idea's of Moral Good, and Evil, are eternally established, and into whose will so ordaining them, they are ultimately to be resolved. Mr. H.'s (or rather Epicurus's Assertion) would certainly be true, That there is nothing morally Good, or Evil, in its own Nature. And it may here be also observed, That the great omission of divers Writers on this Subject, in not placing God as the Cause, or Author of the Law of Nature, in their definitions, hath been perhaps the main, if not only Reason of that false Assertion, That the Laws of Nature are not properly so, [121] 'till they are established by the Authority of the Supreme Civil Power; so on the other side, if it be made evident, That God Wills, or Commands, all Men should endeavour the Common Good of Rationals, as the greatest they are capable of; it must necessarily follow, That we lie under a sufficient Obligation, by all the Tyes of Duty and Gratitude, to concurr with God's Will and Design, in pursuing and endeavouring this great End.

§. 11. But since God hath thought fit to make Man a Creature consisting of two different and distinct Parts, or Principles, a Soul and a Body, both capable of Good and Evil, i. e. of Rewards and Punishments; I come now to the other part of this Duty, or Obligation, by which we are bound, by all the Rational Motives, or Rewards, that Man's Nature is capable of, to observe this great Law; and deterred by all the contrary Evils, or Punishments, from neglecting or transgressing it: In order to which, I shall lay down these plain Axioms, drawn from the Nature of Moral Good and Evil, which you may find in the Learned Bishop Wilkin's excellent Discourse of Natural Religion.

Axiom 1. That which is morally good, (i.e.) agreeable to the Will of God, is to [122] be desired and prosecuted; and that which is evil, i. e. contrary to his Will, is to be avoided.

Ax. 2. The greater congruity there is in any thing to the Reason of Mankind, and the greater tendency it hath to promote or hinder the Perfection of Man's Nature, in the endeavour of the Common Good; so much greater degrees it hath of moral Good, or Evil; and according to which, we ought to proportion our Inclinations, or Aversions thereunto.

Ax. 3. So that it is suitable both to the Reason and Interest of Mankind, that all Persons should submit themselves to God's Will, upon whom they depend for their Happiness and Well-being, by doing such Things as may render them acceptable to Him, and avoiding those contrary Actions which may provoke his Displeasure, that is, in short, in prosecuting the Common Good of Rational Beings.

Ax. 4. Hence the Rational Nature, and the Perfections belonging to it, being more Noble than the Sensitive, a moral Good is to be preferred before an animal Pleasure; and that which is morally evil, is more to be avoided, than that which is merely animal.

Ax. 5. A present animal Good may be parted with, upon a probable Expectation of a greater future moral Good.


Ax. 6. A present Evil is to be endured, for the probable avoiding of a greater, though future Evil.

But since all the Rewards which God can bestow upon us, for our observing this fundamental Law, of endeavouring the Common Good of Rationals, does only amount to the truest and highest Happiness that Man's Nature is capable of; it is fit that we sufficiently state that Happiness, and wherein it consists: For the clearing of which, I shall lay down these two plain Propositions.

§. 12. Prop. 1. That which gives, or constitutes the Essence of any thing, and distinguisheth it from all other things, is called the essential form of that thing.

Prop. 2. That State, or Condition, by which the Nature of any thing is advanced to the utmost perfection which it is capable of, according to its kind, is called the Chief End, Good, or Happiness of such a Being: Thus, for Example, (to give you a Scale, drawn from the Nature of those Beings we know to be endued with Life or Motion) 1. The Nature of Plants consists in having a vegetative Life, by which they receive Nourishment and Growth, and are enabled to multiply their kind. The utmost Perfection which this kind of Being is capable of, is to grow up to a state of Maturity, [124] to continue unto its natural Period, and to propagate its kind. 2. The Nature of Brutes (besides what is common to them with Plants, consists in their being endued with Faculties, whereby they are capable of apprehending external Objects, and of receiving Pain or Pleasure from them, in order to their own Preservation, and the propagation of their Species. The utmost Perfection of these, consists in mere sensitive Pleasures; i. e. of doing and enjoying such Things as are grateful to their Appetites and Senses. But the Nature of Man, (besides what is common to him with Plants and Brutes, both in the vegetative and sensitive Life) consists in the Faculty of Right Reason, whereby he is made capable of understanding the Law of Nature, and of its Rewards and Punishments, either in this Life, or that to come, to induce him to their Observation, and deterr him from the transgression of them: Which Sentiments, as no Creature in this visible World, except Man, does partake of; so his Chief Good, or Happiness, consists in the improvement and perfection of this Faculty; that is, in such Actions as are most agreeable to Right Reason, and as may best entitle him to the Divine Favour, and afford him the greatest Assurance of a lasting Happiness, both in [125] this Life, and after it is ended. So that all the Actions of Man, considered as voluntary and subject to the Law of Nature, and thereby capable of Rewards and Punishments, are called Moral, as being directed by God the Supreme Legislator, to the greatest and most excellent End, viz. the Common Good of Rational Beings.

§. 13. Having laid down these Principles of moral Good and Evil, in order to the setling and clearing the Nature of this Obligation, and wherein it consists; I shall, in the next place, particularly declare the Sanction of this Law, (viz.) those Rewards which God hath ordained for the Observation of this Law of Nature, of endeavouring the Common Good, and those Punishments he hath appointed for its Breach, or Transgression. But I have already laid down, That all Obligation upon the Soul of Man, arises properly from the Commands of some rightful Superior Power; that is, such a one who hath not only force sufficient to inflict what Evils he pleases upon the Disobedient; but, who hath also given us just Grounds, or Reasons, wherefore he requires us to determine the natural Liberties of our Wills, according to his Pleasure; both which, whenever they meet in any Supreme Power; and that he hath once signified his Will to us, [126] ought to produce in our Minds not only fear to offend, but also a love of, and obedience to his Commands. The former, from the Consideration of his irresistible Power: The latter, from their own intrinseck Goodness, as also from all those Motives which ought to persuade us to perform his Will. For as one who hath no other Reason than down-right force, why he will have me perform and submit to his Commands, whether I will or no, may indeed so far terrifie me, that to avoid a greater Evil, I may think it best to obey him; yet that fear once removed, there will then remain nothing that can hinder me from acting according to my own, rather than his Will, or Humour: So on the other side, he who can give me never so good Reasons why I ought to obey him; yet if destitute of Power, to inflict any Punishment upon me for my Disobedience, such his Commands may, without any outward inconvenience, be neglected by me, if I think fit, unless he is endued with sufficient Power to vindicate the Neglect, or Contempt, of his Authority. Therefore the strictest Sanction which any Soveraign Power can give unto its Laws, is, when it is not only able, but hath also sufficiently declared, That it will conferr a sufficient share of good Things, or Rewards, for so doing; and of [127] Evils, or Punishments, upon any breach, or neglect of its Commands: So though I grant the whole force of this Obligation is properly resolved into the Will of the Legislator, or those to whom the Custody of these Laws are committed; all which, are included in this Law of Nature, since we find God commanding it, to whom we ought to yield absolute Obedience; though not in Right of his irresistible Power alone, but rather as he hath, by his Eternal Wisdom and Goodness, in his Creation and Preservation of us, an absolute Dominion over, and an undoubted Right to Command us; and consequently we are obliged to yield Obedience to his Laws, as they are not only highly reasonable, (being ordained for the Common Good of Rationals) but are also established by sufficient Rewards and Punishments. But since the former seem more plainly declared to Mankind, and are likewise more agreeable to our Rational Nature, which should rather delight to be allured by Rewards, than terrified by Punishments; I shall first begin with the natural Rewards annexed to the Observation of this great Law of Nature, of endeavouring the Common Good: Which may be divided into Internal, or External; that is, either in [128] relation to the Soul alone, or to the Body and the Soul joyntly considered.

§. 14. The first internal Reward, ordained by God for our Observation of the Law of Nature, is, That inward Satisfaction the Soul enjoys, when reflecting upon those Actions, which, by the means of the Body it hath performed, it finds they are agreeable to the Rules of Right Reason, that is consonant to the nature of Things, and consequently to those true Idea's contained in the Divine Intellect; from whence arises that unexpressible Pleasure, called, Peace of Conscience, proceeding from a self-Reflection, That it hath acted agreeable to God's Will, and may thereby expect his Favour, as a Reward for its Obedience; and this, alone, were a sufficient Obligation, if there were no other, for any Rational Man to observe this Law of Nature, as the declared Will of God, since his true Happiness or the highest Good he his capable of, consists in his sense of God's Favour; who hath thought fit to propose to us the Common Good of Rationals, as the noblest Object, and highest End, we can be ordained for, as being the sum of all his natural Laws ; and that we do not herein only act as senless subordinate Instruments, to this End, but hath also allowed us to be herein voluntary Imitators of his Divine Beneficence.


§. 15. To which I shall also add that inward Pleasure and Satisfaction, which all Rational and Good-natured Persons must necessarily take in the due exercise of those sweeter Passions of Love, Joy, and De. fire, &c. expressed in the wishing and endeavouring the like good Things, to all good and innocent Persons, as for themselves; and also in the performing all kind and charitable Actions towards them, as far as lies in their Power, whenever their present Occasions, or Necessities require it; which Satisfaction will still be greater, the larger and more diffused this Charity, or Benevolence, is, and the more Objects it finds to exert it self upon ; whereas the Pleasure which any selfish, ill-natured Man can take, in doing good, and pleasing himself alone, must needs be very scanty and narrow, as being confined within so small a compass as one Person.

Thus if we examine all the Faculties of our Souls, we shall find them much larger, and more ample than can only be well exerted towards our selves; and our Minds are often carried on, whether they will or no, to the consideration of those things that may prove more beneficial to the rest of Mankind, than to our selves alone: And to this, most Arts and Sciences found out by Men's Industry and Invention, and made known for the [130] Common Good of Mankind, chiefly owe their Original. So that if natural Instinct teaches us to endeavour our own Preservation ; our Reasons will likewise inform us, That we ought to exert all the Faculties of our Souls towards the prosecution of this great End, The Common Good of Rationals; since whilst we promote that, we do at the same time obtain our own particular Good and Happiness besides.

§. 16. In the next place, as for the external Rewards that respect both our Bodies and Souls together, and which God hath ordained for the Observation of this Law, they proceed either from Man, or from God : Of the former fort are all those Tokens of Benevolence, either by Words, or Actions, from those Persons whom we have never injured, and who are sensīble of our Concurrence with them towards this great End, and also of Gratitude from those whom we have any way obliged by acts of kindness, and Charity ; the very Hope and Expectation of which, though perhaps it may not be a Good which we shall always actually enjoy ; yet since it is such a return as we do most commonly meet with, and may reasonably expect from the Nature of Man, may very well be reckoned amongst the natural Rewards of vertuous Actions, since the [131] Hope, or Expectation, of a probable future Good, is an usual and just Motive to persuade men to do kind and beneficial Actions towards others: Under which is also comprised all that due Praise and Commendation, which all good and vertuous Persons bestow upon kind, charitable, and generous Ađions, which is the truest Honour, and most solid Glory that a man can attain to, in this Life ; and which, though it ought not to be the principal End and Motive of any Man's doing such Actions, yet since it commonly follows them, it seems to be ordained by God, as a natural Reward for our performance of such Things, or Actions, as are most agreeable to his Will.

§. 17. The last external Reward we may propose to our selves, for our endeavouring this Common Good of Mankind, is all that Peace and Tranquility, with other Temporal enjoyments, which we may hope to enjoy from the Protection and Encouragement of the Common-weal, whilst we faithfully pursue the great End thereof, the Common Good. All Civil Governments, being the Compacts or Agreements, of a collective Body of Men, for the procuring the Good and Happiness of the whole Community, against all such wicked and unreasonable Persons; as shall go about to disturb it.


§. 18. Lastly in respect of God, considered as the immediate Author, and bestower of these Rewards, They are these, Health, or Soundness of Soul and Body; the former, from that Temperance, Moderation, and Sedateness of its Passions, which it thereby enjoys; the latter from that Security, proceeding from Concord, maintaind with and Benevolence exercised towards the reft of Mankind, which is also commonly attended with a Competency of all the necessaries of Life, which are usually bestowed by God on those that are Frugal, Temperate, Peaceable, and Charitable, all which blessings may be rationally hoped for by us, as the Natural Rewards ordained by God, for those that . do their utmost to observe this great Law of the Common Good. But since we must confess, that many of these Rewards sometimes, either altogether fail, or fall short of this Life, and that divers Evils or Afflictions do often happen to those that are truly good, pious and vertuous ; and also that all those outward good things, that constitute this external Felicity, do often attend those that are Wicked, Unjust, and Violent; we may thence with the highest Reason conclude, that God will recompence those Losses and Afflictions, with a far larger share of Happiness to be enjoyed by the Good and Vertuous, in[133] a Life after this; since otherwise the Wisdom and Providence of God, would prove Insufficient for the Ends it designed. For if (as I have already laid down) God really intends Man's Happiness, and that this Happiness is the great End which Man's Nature to earnestly desires : If then He is not happy here, (no Man that ever lived having been perfectly so) God would be frustrated of this great design, and would also have given us this desire of Happiness altogether in vain, unless he satisfie it in a Life after this ended. And moreover, these Laws of Nature would signifie but little, (as I have already prov'd) without a due Administration of Rewards and Punishments, which since they so often fail in this Life, ought to be made up in that to come. And from hence it was, that most of the wisest Heathen Philosophers did without any Divine Revelation, conclude a necessity of a future State, in which 'Men were to enjoy that Happiness or endure that Misery, which they had either miss'd of, or deserved in this Life; otherwise the Providence of God would not only have appear. ed very lame and imperfect, but His Laws would often times lose the main part of their Sanction, if not Obligation too, viz the Rewards appointed for their Observation, and the Punishments due to their Transgression, [134] which being not always distributed in this Life; it is highly reasonable, nay necessary they should be Conferred or Inflicted in another, or else God would not be (what without doubt He is) a Just and true Legislator.

§. 19. But since it must be confessed, that the Nature of the greatest part of Mankind, is so mean and servile, as rather to be terrified by Punishments, than allur’d by Rewards, or governed by the Dictates of right Reason, from pursuing their own unreasonable Appetites and Passions, so destructive to their own real good and Happiness, as also to that Common Good of Rational Reings. I come to the other part of the Sanction of this Law of Nature, viz. those Natural Punishments, which God hath Ordained for those that wilfully neglect or violate it: which I shall likewise divide (as I did the Rewards either into Internal, as proceeding from the Nature of the evil Actions themselves ; or else External, from the Nature of God and other Men, and which would most of them be the same, were there no Civil Laws or Government in the World. First then, He chat only neglects the endeavour of this great Law of Nature, though perhaps he does not absolutely violate it; deprives himself of all those good[135] things, which Constitute the true Happiness of a Rational Man, and which (as I have already proved) are Ordained by God as Natural Rewards for those that observe this Law, and as much as they miss of, or lose this Happiness, they do so far punish themselves; since the very absence, or missing of a good thing, through our own folly or willful neglect is really an Evil, and when considered as so pre-ordain'd by God, is likewise a Punishment.

§. 20. And 2dly. The willful Tranfgressor of this Law, whilst he thereby contradicts his own Reason, (which if he considers rightly, will tell him he ought to Act otherwise) not only debauches his own understanding, but deprives himself of the Natural Liberty of his Will; since one error in practice once admitted as true and reasonable, introduces innumerable other, not only Errors, but Vices, and so at last delivers the Man wholly up to the Government of his unruly Appetites and Passions, which is absolutely contrary to the Rational Nature of Man, since he then purposes to himself certain Principles and Rules of Life, and Conversation, contrary to the Dictates of right Reason; which being a sort of folly or madness, must needs be a great evil, and inconsistent with true Felicity, though perhaps [136] the Person that acts thus madly is not sensible of it.

§. 21. 3dly. Such actions when ever they come to be duely reflected on, and considered by the Doer, must needs through their own turpitude and unreasonableness, often make him highly displeased, and angry with himself, whereby he loses the greatest Happiness of Life, (viz.) That Self satisfaction which Springs from the reflection of the Mind, upon its own Actions when agreeable to the Rules of Reason, as the Satyrist handsomly expresses it. -- Exemplo quodcunque mallus committitur, ipsi Diplicet Authori. ---- Juven. Saty. 13

§. 22. 4thly. Neither do these moral Evils (when once any of them enter and take possession of the Soul) come single, and without a Train of Followers of the same Nature ; lince being, as it were, linked together, they commonly introduce one another; so that he that commits one act of Wickedness, and intends to stop there, finds himself mistaken in his accompt. Thus the Man that hath so far injured and provoked another, that he stands in fear of his Revenge, oftentimes is not to be satisfied, 'till, to secure himself, he hath murdered or ruined him, by Treachery, Forgery, or Subornation; and then, if he be accused of this, [137] will not fail to forswear it, and (if occasion be) hire others to perjure themselves, to clear himself or his Complices.

§. 23. 5thly. But if ever such an Offender against the Laws of Nature, shall grow sensible of his Crimes, and desirous to leave them, he will then find his Soul so disturbed and sullied, by those Vices and Passions, which have so long domineered over it, and also all the natural Powers of his Intellect, so weakened by a long and constant habit of Sin and Wickedness, that he can scarce ever (or at least not without much difficulty) overcome them, or be able to reduce his Mind to a strict Observation of the Laws of Reason and Vertue, whereby he wholly loses, or at least highly impairs the great Prerogative of Humane Nature, Freedom of Will; which if ever he be able again to 'exert, it, cannot be without a great strugling, and a strict watch over himself, attended with that most painful and displeasing Remedy, Repentance, for having thus transgressed this Divine Law.

§. 24. 6thly. and lastly, whilst the Offender continues in this lamentable state of wilful Rebellion against God, he cannot but be almost constantly tormented with a dreadful Remorse of Conscience, proceeding from a fear of punishment both from God and Man, [138] which seldom fails to torment the Souls of wicked Men, and which the fame Poet so well sets forth, in the place afore-cited:

--- Prima est hæc ultio, quod se
349.Judice nemo nocens absolvitur. --

Which Punishments though future, yet since they are such as he may well expect from his own wicked Actions, do fall under the notion of a present Evil, since no Offenders against this Law, can ever be morally assured that they shall pass undiscovered, and unpunished for their Crimes, either in this Life, or in that. to come: And Epicurus himself (though he takes away all the grounds of moral Good and Evil, in denying God to have any Concern for Humane Actions) advises no wise man to commit any unjust or wicked Act, because he can never be assured he shall 'scape discovery and punishment for them, and so must always live in perpetual Fear and Anxiety.

§. 25. But, in the second place, as for those external Punishments which concern the Body, they are either such as proceed from the Nature of those Passions themselves, whereby a wicked man is most commonly governed, or else from outward Causes, (viz. God, or man. As for the former [139] of these, the violent and unsatiable Passions themselves, it is commonly observed, That Envy, Fear, immoderate Anger, and excessive Self-love, accompanied with Hatred and Contempt of others, are so opposite to the natural Tranquility, or Health of the Mind, that they prove their own Punishment, not only to the Soul, but Body also. Thus Envy and Hatred, whilst they produce sadness and unquietness of the mind, do hinder that brisk and active motion of the heart, which is so necessary for a due Circulation of the Blood, as is evident from that paleness and meagerness in the Face, leanness of the Body, and general distemper in the whole Constitution, which may be commonly observed in envious, spiteful, and angry People; and that an immoderate Desire of Revenge, doth sometimes procure death it self Dr. Harvey gives us an odd instance, in his Treatise of the Circulation of the Blood, of a p.89. Gentleman (a Patient of his) who languished long under unusual Symptoms, but who at last died out of pure melancholy and discontent, that he could not have bis Revenge upon a Person above him, for a great Injury he had formerly received from him. And that you may see how fatally this Passion affects the Vitals, may be observed in this Gentleman, whose Heart, when [140] he was opened, was swelled as big as that of an Ox. And I have already given you, in the former Chapter, an instance of Charles VI. King of France, how certainly an unnecessary fear of others, will procure a Man's Destruction. And as for sudden immoderate Fits of Passion, or Anger, there are infinite Examples of those, whom such violent Fits have bereaved of their Lives.

§. 26. But as for the external Punishments proceeding from Men, there is, in the first place, that general Hatred and Contempt, which ill-natured, violent, and unjust men, must always expect from all the rest of the World, though perhaps they may be so powerful, that men dare not express it to their Faces; and this even from thole who are of a like humour with themselves, since you shall seldom or never see ill-natured men love or speak well of one another; which certainly must needs be an Evil, or Punishment, to those that lie under it, since they cannot at one time or other but be sensible of it: For if the Love and Commendation of others be a Good, and desirable, as they render a man capable of the Esteem of those he converses with, and often proves very serviceable to the compassing his Desires, or Designs, then certainly the contrary to these must be an Evil, as that which commonly [141] hinders men from attaining those Ends they propose to themselves, by the help and assistance of others: And therefore it is always seen, that men of violent, unjust, and domineering Natures, are always forced to hide and dissemble this Humour towards those from whom they expect any Benefit, or Preferment; well knowing that if their natural Inclinations were once discovered, they must never look to obtain any thing from their Patrons, since no wise man can expect any other return from such men but Ingratitude and Injustice.

§. 27. In the next place, we may reckon all those returns of Evil, or Revenge, whether by ill Offices, Force, or Death it self which such wicked men must expect, as a Retaliation of the like Actions from those they have injured, or destroyed; or if not from them, at least from their Friends and Relations, and which is as natural and lawful a Punishment in the state of Nature, where there is no Law to the contrary, as that inflicted by Civil Magistrates in Commonwealths, since he is only intrusted with that natural Right, in order to the good and preservation of mankind, which every particular Person in the state of Nature, was before endued with.


§. 28. There lastly follow all those external Punishments, which the Civil Powers have ordained against those that presume to By transgress this great Law of Nature,, Blasphemy against God, or by injurious Language, or by violent and unjust Actions towards others, which Punishments, though they may sometimes fail to be inflicted for want of discovery, or else by false Information, Bribery, or Injustice in the Judges or Witnesses, or else by Pardon from the Supreme Powers; yet since these Punishments are more often inflicted, than that they fail of their Effect; and that whenever this happens, they do infinitely exceed all the Good, or Pleasure, which the Offender hath, or can ever receive by the doing them: It is evident, That no prudent man will venture to do such Actions, which are so full of hazard, and which will most probably bring upon him Ignominy, loss of Life and Efate; and besides (if not repented of) more lasting Punishments in the World to come: And therefore we are not over-hastily to censure the severe Punishments ordained by Civil Laws, against Thieves, Coiners of false Money, Bc. as over-rigorous, since it is but reasonable that they should recompence, or supply the difficulty and rareness of their discovery, and the frequent repetition [143] of their Crimes, with so great a punishment as the loss of Life, even with Torments when they are taken, since perhaps they have offended an hundred times, without any punishment at all. So that if the Supreme Powers are ordained by God for the good and preservation of mankind, it will likewise follow, That such Punishments (as are already mentioned) are also intended by him, as the fittest means to procure this great End: Which natural Punishments, Mr. Hobs himself acknowledges in his English Leviathan, Cap. 3. whose sence is here so good and pat to this purpose, that I shall give it you at large:

" Having thus briefly spoken of the natural Kingdom of God, and his natural Laws, I will add only a short Declaration of his natural Punishments. There is no Action in this Life, that is not the beginning of so long a Chain of Consequences, as no Humane 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 any thing 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 often the beginning of more [144] harm than good : And thereby it comes to pass, that Intemperance is naturally punished with Diseases; Rashness with Mischances; Injustice with the violence of Enemies; Pride with Ruine; Cowardice with Oppression ; negligent Government of Princes with Rebellion ; and Rebellion with Slaughter. Thus far Mr. Hobs

If therefore Punishments are Consequent to the breach of Laws, and natural Punishments are ordained by God, as Consequent to the breach of the Laws of Nature, it therefore follows them as their natural, not arbitrary Effects. So that after what he hath here declared, it may seem strange, That this Author should (in his Book de Cive, Chap. V.) maintain, That the Laws of Nature do not actually oblige us to their Observation in the state of Nature, but only to à Will to observe them, when we may with safety do it ; that is, not 'till we are Members of a Civil State, or Commonwealth; since no Man, according to his own Concession, can in either state violate them, without incurring some of these natural Punishments (already mentioned) ordained by God io deter them from committing them.

§. 29. Lastly, As for those extrinsick Punishments in this Life, immediately inflicted by God, they are all those temporal Evils, [145] which we commonly call Judgments, with which God so often punishes the Transgressors of this Law of Nature, either in their Minds, Bodies, Fortunes, or Relations: And for the truth of this, I need but refer you to the Histories of all Ages past, besides what you may have gathered from your own Observation. To conclude: Where-ever these natural Punishments fail, or fall short in this Life, they will certainly be supplied by Punishments infinitely more durable and grievous, in a Life after this; than what our narrow Apprehensions are able to conceive; or else that great Attribute of God, (viz.) his Justice, would fall short of its Effect, and consequently the Sanction due to his Laws ; which powerful and unreasonable Men would believe to be none at all, it they were sure they could "scape unpunished, both in this Life, and the next too.

§. 30. Having now proved that this Dictate of Right Reason, That we ought to endeavour the Common Good of Rational Beings, is truly, and not metaphorically a Law, as containing all those Conditions which are necessary to constitute it so, viz. (1.) God, considered as the Legislator. (2.) That he hath sufficiently declared this Law to Mankind, as his Subjects whom he intends should [146] obey it; and that by all those plain Evidences, and Demonstrations, as may be collected from our own Nature, and that of Things, and also established it by all these Rewards and Punishments here laid down, and that are necessary to that End, I suppose it plainly appears, That the Description we have here made of this Law, is true; and that then we are obliged to observe it, can as little be doubted of, if we do but recollect what hath been already said upon this Subject, (viz.) That if so many Things in Nature are ordained by God, to inform every particular Person of sound Understanding, that his own true Interest and Happiness, Vid. Dr. Parker's Treatise on this Subject, p.25. consists in his endeavouring theCommon Good of Rationals, by pious, innocent, and benevolent Actions: It must be a clear and satisfactory Demonstration to all Men, That as this is the chief End God hath proposed to us, so it is his Intention to oblige all his Subjects to act in pursuance of the fame: And what could he have done more to engage them thereunto, than to make them know not only that it is his Will and Pleasure, by that excellent Method and Order he hath established in the World, but also that he expects they should yield a full Obedience to it, as they hope to enjoy all the Comforts, [147] and avoid the greatest Miseries of this Life, and also of that to come? And this he hath sufficiently performed, whilst he makes the True Good and Happiness of every particular Person, so manifestly depend upon their sincere Endeavours to promote the good of the rest of Mankind, and that with the same necessary connexion, as other natural Effects do upon their Causes: And therefore since we have so clear demonstrations of our Duty, and such powerful motives to perform it ; we have all the Conditions requisite to render us truly subject to this Law, and to put us under a perfect Obligation to observe it: Because the whole train of natural Effects are ultimately resolved into God's Will and Providence, as the first and only Cause of all Things, and of all the Qualities and Properties that result from thence: ibid. p. 23. Therefore if the usefulness and necessity of this Law, be so evident from the whole Contrivance of Nature: It was only the Author of Nature that hath so ordained it, and then there will be no avoiding this Conclusion, (viz.) That he intended that all those rational Creatures that were able to make Observations from his Works, should lay down the Common Good of Mankind, as the Rule of all their moral Actions; for Rules can but direct us how to act towards [148] compassing an End proposed ; and so do these natural Observations, by their own intrinsick Force and Vertue. And therefore such Rules proceeding from the Will of God, the Supreme Legislator, do, upon their discovery to us, become natural Laws, and we are consequently under all the Obligations in the World, to do our utmost Endeavours to observe them.


Demonstrating the Usefulness of Understanding this sum of the Laws of NATURE, all Moral Vertues and Duties being therein contained.

§. 1. I Come now to the last part of my intended Design, which is, to prove, That in our due Observation of this great Law of Endeavouring the Common Good of Rational Beings : All our Civil Duties, as also all those Habits of the Mind, and outward Actions called Moral Vertues, are therein contained, and are to be from thence deduced. I have already, in the first Chapter, shewn, That all the Right and Propriety [149] which particular Persons can have in any thing they enjoy, is derived from God's Will, that Mankind should be preserved and propagated, and all the particular Members thereof, be rendred as happy as the frail Condition of their Nature is capable of; so that no Man can have a Right so much as to preserve his own Life, but as he is a Member of that Common Body of mankind, and that his Preservation conduces to this end, the conservation of a part, contributes to that of the whole ; which aggregate Body of mankind, being by God divided into those greater, or integral parts, as Nations, or People, speaking different Languages, and governed by different Customs : And these Nations being often subdivided into several distinct Governments or Commonweals, consisting of divers Families, as these Families of particular Persons, as the first and smallest constituent parts ; whence there still necessarily arises a subordination of the lesser of these, to the greater, (viz.) That the good and happiness of particular Persons, should give place to that of the whole Family, and the Interest of particular Families, to that of the Supreme Civil Power; so (in like manner) that is to be regulated by the good of the whole Nation, or People, joynd together, and confederate by Compacts, [150] for the good and preservation of the whole politick Body: And lastly, That the Rights and Interests of all particular Kingdoms, and Commonweals, ought still to give place, and be subordinate to the good and preservation of the rest of Mankind; and from this great Law alone it is evident how unjust it is for any Monarch, or Commonwealth, though never so powerful, to make unnecessary Wars upon their Neighbours, since it cannot commonly be done, without a vast effusion of Blood, and á wicked and unnatural Oppression, and enslaving of peaceable and innocent Nations, who by Nature, and the Laws of their own Country, were born free; all which, are highly destructive to the good and happiness of the Body of mankind.

§. 2. Therefore upon the same grounds, and for the same reasons that divers natural Things are good for, and promote the Happiness of particular Persons and Families, they are likewise from the same Principles beneficial to whole Nations, or Commonweals, such as are those moral Actions, which the Law of Nature and Nations do prescribe; some of which respecting the general good of mankind, Ethicks, or Moral Philosophy, particularly do teach us; others regarding the Happiness only of private Families, are directed by the Rules [151] of Oeconomics, whilst others are taught by the Rules of Politicks, or the Art of Well-governing Kingdoms, or Commonweals; which shew us by what means a whole Kingdom, or Nation, may (both Prince and people) be rendred happy, and secured from intestine Rebellions and Tumults, as well as foreign Invasions ; whilest the same general Law of Nature, regarding the good of the whole Body of Rational Beings, ought to be the main end and scope of all kinds of Governments, as also of the Governours that administer them: So that as all lesser Societies ought to have all their Rights and Actions limited by a respect to the general good of the Commonweal in which they are contained, so likewise should all Kingdoms, or Commonweals themselves, still act with a respect to the good and preservation of a greater and nobler Body, (viz.) that of rational Agents; and ought to do, or command, nothing contrary to the Laws of Nature, that is, those natural Rules by which the Actions of Commonweals, as well as private Persons, are to be directed towards this great End ; such as are those Laws of Nature, which prescribe Divine Worship, and the not hurting, or making War upon the Innocent; Fidelity in Compacts, Gratitude for Benefits received, and such like; [152] and likewise from the same ground, such positive Laws of our Country (in Obedience to which, the safety of the Commonweal consists) are not to be violated, for procuring the present advantage of any particular Persons, or Families.

§. 3. But since I have already proved, That the Necessaries of Life, such as are Health, and Strength of Body and Mind, joined with Peace, Liberty, or Freedom of Action, as also those Habits of the Mind, called Moral Vertues, are those natural and unalterable good Things, that constitute the Happiness of all particular Persons. It will likewise follow, That if all these could, by Innocence, Fidelity, Gratitude, and Benevolence, be conferred upon all Men alike, they would be allo general goods, as constituting the Common Felicity of Mankind: And though, as I have already proved, that we still contribute somewhat towards this general Felicity, when we do good but to one single Person; yet can we not perform this great End of all our Actions knowingly, and as we ought, without a due care and regard to the Rights of all other Men, which cannot be secured, without a diffusive Love and Benevolence towards all Mankind. And therefore, in the first place, it is necessary, That if we will do good to others, as we [153] ought, we must still have a respect to this End, by a due subordination of all Duties to each other, according to the Rules already laid down : Nor can we, without making this Law of Nature the main rule and guide of all our moral Actions, ever be able to distinguish, not only moral Evil from Good, but also when two Duties are proposed to us, and which cannot both be performed at once, which of them ought rather to be preferred and take place, of which there are various Instances in Ethicks. So likewise a due consideration of this general Law, will lead us into the knowledge of the Reason, and Grounds of all the particular Laws of Nature, as well as those of our own Country; since it is certain, that all the wholesome Laws of Commonweals, and the moral Dictates and Instructions of our Parents and Masters, either do, or ought still to respect this great End. So that it is a great Errour to suppose (as some have done) that Ethicks were intended to instruct us, like Hermits in a Desart, without any respect to others : Whereas Justice, the chiefest of all the moral Vertues, does wholly regard the good of others; and since a great part hereof consists in Innocence, or the forbearing those Actions we call Murther, Theft, Injury, and the like, there could be no reason [154] to prohibit them, were they not in their own nature (antecedent to any Law) evil, that is, destructive to the common good and happiness of Mankind.

§. 4. I shall now proceed to shew you, That all the particular moral Vertues, are contained under this one Law of endeavouring this common good of rational Beings, and are to be deduced from it, as their only true ground and original: For the proving of which I first suppose, That all our voluntary Actions, as far as they can be governed by Reason and Consideration, are either the elicite Acts of the Understanding, or else of the Will and Affections; and therefore it is first prescribed by this general Law of Nature, that we should exert the natural Faculties of our Intellects on all Persons and Things, about which they can be conversant; and by the due exercise of which, we may arrive to that excellent Habit of Mind, called Prudence, and which, above all others, conduces to that great End of the common good above-mentioned. So that the first ground of this Prudence, is a true knowledge of the Nature of Things, and especially Mankind: But its essential parts, are the practical knowledge of the chief Ends of all our moral Actions, (viz.) our Duty or Şervice to God, as the Head of rational [155] Beings, and our endeavouring the common good, as commanded and enjoyned by him for Prudence consists in a firm Persuasion and Assent to true practical Dictates : But the immediate, and most general Effects of this Prudence, are, (1.) Constancy of Mind, by which we firmly adhere, without any wavering; to the Dictates of right Reason, since Prudence is only a right apprehension, and unchangeable resolution of the practical Judgment, as also of the Will pursuant thereunto, concerning the best and greatest End of all our moral Actions, (viz.) the common good: Which Constancy, proceeds from the immutable Certainty of the Truth, made known to us by such practical Propositions, and by which the Will is determined to this great End, by the fittest means necessary thereunto. This Constancy, when, in the prosecution thereof, it is attended with any great danger to our selves, is called Fortitude; and whilst we contentedly suffer any Evils, or Afflictions for the same, Patience.

§. 5. The next effect of Prudence, is Temperance, or Moderation, which is the restraining our Affections, and límitting our Acsions, within such bounds as are consonant to this End: But since Prudence doth always direct the Mind thereunto, as also [156] to such means as are necessary to obtain it; therefore as this Moderation cannot be separated from Sincerity, or a real desire and endeavour to prosecute this End, so neither from Diligence and Industry to find out and pursue the fittest means leading thereunto ; but this Moderation being chiefly conspicuous, in restraining those motions of our sensual Appetites and Affections, which may any way disturb, or hinder us in our prosecution of this End, is then called Temperance, or a restraining of our immoderate Appetites towards Meat, and Drink, or else of our carnal Lusts or Desires towards Wow men. The former of which is only a Crime, when our Eating and Drinking beyond what Nature requires, does both injure our Health, and brings upon us Diseases, or untimely Death, or else so clouds and disturbs the Faculties of the Mind, as to render them unfit to do that good and service they owe either to God, themselves, their Families, or the Commonwealth: So likewise for carnal Lusts, it is also unlawful, as long as it continues wandring and unfixed towards one Object, and hinders God's main Design, (viz.) the propagation of Mankind : Or else, whilst it invades the Rights of others, in violating either the Chastity of their Wives, Daughters, &c. besides the Injury, it does [157] to Others, it often produces Quarrels, Fightings, and Murthers amongst Men; all which Effects, are evidently destructive to the Peace and Preservation of Mankind, not to mention the horrid Sin of Sodomy, whose formal Evils seem to consist in effusione seminis in vase non debito, and thereby hindring the propagation of Mankind. Since there fore these three great Vertues of Prudence, Fortitude, and Temperance, which seem so particularly to concern a Man's private Conversation, have yet so great an influence upon the common good of mankind; we will now fee of how much greater force they will be, when considered more particularly in relation to others; since if we seriously consider them, we shall find this Prudence and Moderation, to extend themselves to all those voluntary Actions commanded by this Law of Nature ; and when so considered, may be comprehended under the general name of the moft diffused Love, and efficacious Benevolence towards our selves and others; by which I mean not only a bare, useless wishing ; but such a powerful Love, or Charity, as expresses it self in all those Endeavours, by which all Things good and beneficial to mankind, may be procured for those who stand in need of them; and whatsoever are evil, or hurtful, [158] may be prevented, or removed. So that this Vertue of Benevolence, or Charity, as far as it restrains and corrects all the voluntary motions and actions in its, contrary to this common good, contains all those subordinate Vertues, of Innocence, Meekness, Repentance, and Self-denial; which may be thus made out.

§. 6.(1.) Innocence, indeed, is but a negative Vertue, and implies no more than our ab. staining from wronging others ; yet cannot the ground of this Vertue be truly understood, without a respect to the common good of mankind, which it so particularly tends to promote. (2.) Meekness, or Gentleness, which is but our patient bearing with the Importunities and Impertinencies of others, out of love towards them, and consideration of the Frailty and Infirmities of Humane Nature. (3.) Repentance, or Sorrow, when we have done others any Injury, with an acknowledgement of the same, if there be occasion, expressed by our restitution, making amends, or begging pardon for what Wrongs soever we have done them. (4.) Self-denial, that is, a Will rather to forego somewhat, that we may pretend to, than to hinder another, or who may deserve it better than our selves. And as this Benevolence implies a constant and settled purpose [159] of well-doing, so it causes us to judge charitably of all other men's Words and Actions, which is true Candour, or Ingenuity : So likewise when it moves us to promise, and also to perform whatsoever Things we thereby owe to others, it is Fidelity: And as this Benevolence chiefly considers those who by the like good Actions, co-operate with us towards this common good, so it renders us likewise grateful, Gratitude being nothing else but an expression, or return of our kind resentment, or good will towards those who have been kind or beneficial to us or those we have a kindness for ; though the same general Benevolence, of intending to do good to the whole Body' of Mankind, may yet more particularly regard those before others, to whom we are more nearly related or have greater Obligations, or are more likely, or able to contribute to the good of the Commonweal.

§. 7. But because it is the main Business of this Benevolence, to take care that no Action be done contrary to this great End; or when it happens to be done otherwise than it ought it is then its Duty presently to correct and amend it: Therefore Equity is one great part of this general Benevolence, which denotes a Will always ready to correct such Actions, by the Rules of Prudence, or Right [160] Reason, which have been already determined by any particular Law, or Judgment, otherwise than a due Consideration of the common good of Mankind may requires since it often happens, That through the Ambiguity of the Laws, or through some Errour, Weakness, or Incogitancy of the Judges, or Law-makers themselves, not being able to foresee all the particular Cases that may happen within those general Rules, they may often deviate from this great End of the common good, though by them never so really intended : Therefore the sincere Endeavour thereof requires, That, as often as we are employed as Judges, Mediators, or Arbitrators, after having weighed all due Circumstances of the Case, we should, upon a more perfect understanding thereof, correct such Judgments as were erroneously, or unjustly made or decreed at first; So that from this general Law of endeavouring the common good of Mankind, all Sentences pronounced, ex æquo, & bono, derive their Authority, as the only Fountain of natural Justice, as I shall in the next place make out.

§. 8. The Vertue called Justice, (as defined by Civilians) is a constant and perpetual Will, of yielding every Person Their Own; and what is meant by Their Own, I have already, [161] in the First Chapter of this Discourse, sufficiently made out; (viz.) That in the state of Nature, and out of Civil Government, or Commonweal, it is the yielding and allowing such a distinct and separate Use, or Propriety, in all Things necefry for Life, and in the Helps or Services of Persons which any one, by Occupancy or Poffeffion, or elle by the Grant, or Cession of others, hath, by reducing it into his Use and Poffeffion, made his own, and which I have there proved to be commanded by this Law of Nature, as being absolutely necessary for the Preservation of Mankind. (2.) In a Civil State, or Commonweal, it is the allowing and maintaining such a Property in those Things, arising from a more full and absolute division of them (according to the pos Gtive Laws of every Kingdom, or Commonweal) as conduces to this great End: And therefore we have laid down this Definition, in the most general Terms we could, that the fame Rules may direct. Men, as well in that natural State, which may be supposed to precede an absolute division of Things, as in that Civil, or Politick Society, that ordained such a Division.

Under the former state, this Rule obliges Men only to such a general Propriety, and Use of Things, and Humane Assistances, as might[162] best consist with our own, and others, natural Necessities; and since in this State many Accidents may be supposed to have happened, which might make it appear to all Parties concerned, That it would be more for their Common Benefit and Advantage, to Lands, and all Things necessary for Life, such as were the Quarrels and Contentions of divers Men, when it was not plainly evident what proportion of these Things were requisite for every Man's particular Occasions ; to which may be added the Carelessness and Idleness of many others, in neglecting to contribute their due proportion of Labour for the Tilling of the Ground, when lying in Common; together with divers Other Inconveniencies, needless here to be related. In all which Cases, the general Law concerning the common good of Mankind, and the means necessary thereunto being considered, and applied to the present Circumstances, by all the Persons concerned, might oblige them to make a more absolute Division of all sorts of Properties. And the fame Law doth now likewise oblige us, and all others, successively to maintain this Division thus made, as being necessary to the Quiet and Happiness of that Kingdom, or Common-wealth, [163] wherein we live, as the Happiness of these conduces to the good and preservation of mankind, whereof they are a part ; nor need I speak more concerning this division, since we find it already made, and so well and exactly done, that it is sufficient to render all Men as happy (unless they will be wanting to themselves) as the frailty of their own Natures, and of those Things they make use of, will permit, or require;. and therefore I shall only add, That whereever any thing remains still undivided, and that a farther division thereof is necessary, that such a distribution of them be made, among all those that have any Interest therein, as may best conduce to the Peace and Happiness of the Commonweal, and the Good of all the particular Persons therein contained.

§. 9. Property being thus setled and established, from this general Law of Nature, there now accrues something to particular Persons, concerning which they may promise, grant, or covenant" with others, and which must be supposed before aniy Promise, or Contract (which is one of the first grounds of Civil Justice ) can be kept; for if any Gift, or Assignment of any Thing be valid it is upon the same score upon which Property was first [164] constituted, (viz.) in order to the Common good of Mankind ; therefore it is evident, That God, and all subordinate Ordainers of Property, always intended that Men should be mindful of this great End, in conferring, or receiving any Gifts, or Benefits ;. for whosoever receives such a Benefit, he is supposed by acceptance tacitly to agree, That this gift should operate for the good of the whole Community ; that is, both of that Person who bestowed it, as well as of himself that received it: And so likewise of all others who have a Right to assign, or bestow any thing: Which tacite Consent, includes also that of the Receiver's making a grateful Return for the Benefit so received, when any Occasion shall offer it self: So that Gratitude is but a part of universal Justice, that being only a sincere Endeavour of performing this great Law of the Common good of mankind; whence I suppose it is as clearly evident, That Gratitude is commanded by this Law, to be observed and practised as a chief part of that primary moral Vertue, Justice.

§. 10. Moreover, from the due proportion of those Things which by any positive Law becomes ours, (and are thus limited by a due regard to the good of others) [165] arises that part of Justice called Moderation, or Modesty, which sets bounds to inordinate Self-love, or too great Care of our own Concerns; Gince whilst we con: sult our own good and happiness, we ought still to abstain from any invasion of the particular Rights of others, and ought much more to take care that we do no injury to that Commonwealth of which we are Members. This limitted Self-love does chiefly exert it self in the Vertues of Modesty and Frugality; the former being only our abstaining from pretending to all Things, such as Offices and Employments (which perhaps we might obtain, if we would put in for them) out of a true sense of the smalness of our own Merits, in comparison of others who better deserve them; which is yet but a sort of Justice, in respect of our selves and others. And for Frugality, it is but a prudent management of what is our own, so that we may not live abovę those means, or that Estate we have, and thereby become burthensome, or injurious to others, which is a sort of generosity, or greatness of mind.

§. 11. Lastly, The same great Law of Nature, of endeavouring this Common good, does likewise direct and limit even the natural Care and Affection of Parents towards [166] their Children, so as it may best conduce to the publick Happiness of the Commonweal: Whence arises that exact Care of Posterity, ordained by Civil Laws concerning Succession, to the Goods and Estates of deceased Relations. From all which it appears, That all the Branches of distributive Justice consisting in Beneficence towards others; as, Observation of Pacts, Gratitude, Temperance, Frugality, Modesty, and Affection to our Posterity, cannot be well understood, or practised as they ought, unless there be first supposed such a separate division of men's Rights and Properties, as that what is our own, may be some way known and distinguished from an others; and the same general Law by which this Division is made and preserved, does likewise oblige men to the exercise of all those Vertues already mentioned, and of all others which are contained under, or which may be derived from them.

Lastly, How absolutely necessary that part of Justice, which may be called Political, and which consists in an equal retribution of Rewards and Punishments, to those who in a Civil State do act any thing that is highly conducing, or else destructive to the good and happiness of the Commonweal, (that is, to the general good of mankind) [167] needs no farther proof, since it is evident, that without this Justice, not only all positive Laws, but also even those of Nature, would be either quite neglected, or at least highly violated.

§. 12. I shall now proceed to shew how all the rest of the Moral Vertues, may easily be deduced from these two general ones, (viz.) Justice and Charity, or Benevolence towards mankind. If therefore (as I have already proved) the Rights of all particular men are only constituted for the Common good of mankind, it will also fol. low, That all men are obliged in making use of those Rights, to observe these great Rules in order to this great End : (1.) To allow, or grant to others such a share of these Necessaries of Life, as is requisite for their real Necessities. (2.) Yet still with a right of reserving to themselves such a share of those Things, as that they may always be left in a capacity to provide for themselves and Families; but so as it may still consist with the good and happiness of others.

The former Rule commands us to consider others, in order to this Common good; and prescribes Charity and Liberality, with all the homiletical. Vertues. The latter prescribes Temperance, and Frugality, in those things which are so reserved and left to us, that we[168] may thereby be still rendred more subservient to this Common good. So that in each of these Rules, the whole Body of mankind (of which we are but a small part) still presents it self to our Consideration; so that each particular Vertue does always respect this publick, before any private good. From whence we may also understand for what Reason this great End ought to be always present to our minds, even whilst we are acting according to the strictest Rules of Vertue; for though we immediately endeavour, or prosecute some part of this End, yet cannot we know whether the practice of such a Vertue be consonant to the rest, unless by comparing it with this general Law of the Common good of mankind. So that in vertuous Actions, the care of this End ought never to be omitted, or' neglected by us ; for as by this it is still prescribed, That each particular man should contain himself within the bounds of his own Rights, and that he do not invade those of others: So likewise these limitted Rights cannot well be considered, or understood, without a due respect to this Common good, for, which End alone the Properties of particular men were at first set out, and appointed. So that all Commonweals ought to regard this more general Division of Property, or Dominion, whereby [169] some things become sacred to God, and like? wise divers Rights and Territories are left to be enjoyed by other Nations, or Commonweals; and all such Politick Bodies must still acknowledge some bounds of their own Propriety, or Dominion.

§. 13. The true ground and measure of the most general moral Vertues being thus laid down, and explained, it is easie to define and deduce all the other more particular subordinate Vertues, because their very Essence consists in a readiness of the Will to yield Obedience to all the Laws of Nature, as subordinate to this general one, of endeavouring the Common good. Let us there fore consider and apply these two Rules laid down, and which we have already derived from this Dictate of Reason, of ordaining Property in order to this End: So that though the former of these Rules prescribes us to communicate our goods to others for this purpose; yet so, that we may also reserve to our selves such a share as is sufficient for our own Happiness and Well-being: And it is plain that this must be so prescribed, because it is still necessary for this Common good; for unless every man's own Happiness be considered in the first place, it would be altogether in vain to persuade men to endeavour that of others : So that Liberality is to[170] be reduced to this head, as being a kind of Justice, that consists in the well-bestowing our Goods on others gratis ; yet its true measure is to be taken from this great Law above mentioned; for every part of Justice is to be tried by some Law; and in every Law to which any Person can be obliged, there are to be considered as well the natural, as positive Laws of God, as also the particular Laws of Nations, or Commonweals, before any Action can be determined to be just or vertuous: And this Liberality is known by divers Names, according to the variety of Objects which may require it, and on which we ought to exercise it. Thus if it exert it self on things that do signally serve for publick Benefit, it is called Generosity, or a publick Spirit ; to which is opposed on one side, the vain Profusion of the Ambitious ; and on the other side, the base Penuriousness of the mean spirited: Towards the Poor and Miserable it is termed Charity and Goodness of Nature; towards Strangers well received and entertained in our Houses, Hospitality. Whilst in all these the true measure of Liberality is stil to be considered, as it conduces to those various parts of it, that constitute this Common Good of Mankind 3 that is, the procuring and maintaining mutual Amity, Assistance, Fidelity and Commerce,[171] between divers Commonweals; or else to the well-being of all lesser Societies and Families; or, lastly, to the Concord and Happiness of the particular Members of the fame Community ; the Good of the lefser being still made subordinate to that of the greater Body, according to the Rules before laid down. I have been the more particular in determining the true Standard of this first and most general Vertue, viz. Justice, because all the reft of the homiletical Vertues depending upon it, and being to be explained according to the same measure, there will be no need particularly to repeat it.

§. 14. But we thall now pass to the homiletical Vertues themselves; that is, those which particularly regard Humane Conversation; which sort of Vertue I thus define : (viz.) A Justice expressed towards others by the use of voluntary Signs, conducing to the Common Good of Mankind: And though by Voluntary Signs I chiefly mean Speech, yet I here also take in all those motions of the Countenance, and outward Gestures of the Body, which usually signifie the voluntary Declarations of the Mind, since in all these, Affability and Gravity ought to be still conspicuous; but in Discourse, moderate Silence and Veracity serve to keep us within the true bounds of Conversation :[172] Nor can I better explain the grounds of Affability and Gravity, than by putting you in mind of what we have already proved, That in all Acts of Justice towards others, true Prudence, and the largest Benevolence are required. Thus when all the due Signs of Prudence, or Discretion, are express’d in a Man's Behaviour and Conversation, it is then called Gravity ; but when in those Actions there appears also all tokens of Goodwill, or Benevolence, it is called Affability, from whence the opposite Vices are better understood; that is, on the one fide, too great Severity and Moroseness of Manners; and on the other, all Levity, and Vanity in Conversation, are repugnant to true Gravity : And so likewise to Affability on the one side, Flattery, on the other, Morosity, are directly opposite.

§. 15. But because Speech is the true Interpreter of the Mind, and only proper to Mankind, therefore this great Law of Nature prescribes a mean in expressing this natural Justice and Benevolence in our Discourse, and which is most conspicuous in divers Vertues relating to Conversation; for, in the first place, wę are enjoyned Silence, whenever that reverence we owe to God, or our Superiours, require it, or that the Secrets of the Commonweal, our Friends, Families, or those [173] relating to our own private Concerns, should not be discovered ; which yet is only a Vertue, as it is subservient to the Common Good; to which is opposed on the one side, all unnecessary reservedness, or sparingness of Speech; which is not only an Enemy to all pleasant Conversation, but also extreamly hinders all Knowledge, which are the chief Benefits of Humane Society. But since all these ways of expressing our Minds by Words, do either regard things past, or present: This Law of the Common Good, prescribes us so to speak concerning things past or present, as we really know, or believe them to be, which is Veracity; or else if it only respect future things to be performed by us, it prescribes, That we only promise such things to others, which may tend to, or at least consist with the Common Good, whether our Promises are made without any Condition, or else with such Conditions as the nature of this great end may require: And as from these Promises, which are but Agreements, or Contracts, between several Persons, springs most of that Trade, or Commerce, which is used amongst Men; and this Vertue which maintains and fulfills these Promises, or Agreements, is known by the Name of Faith, or Fidelity, so justly esteemed amongst all Nations, but yet still it proceeds [174] from the same Intention, and is directed to the same End, that Men were desirous to enter into Compacts, and that they ought to observe them when made; it being neither lawful to make, or keep any, but such as may well be performed without the least violation of this great Law of endeavouring the Common Good : So that Justice, which properly consists in the Observation of some Law, is so far from being resolved (as some would have it) into the bare Observation of Compacts, that on the contrary it cannot be well understood, whether any Promise does oblige, until we are first satisfied, that such a Bargain, or Compact, does consist either with the express Command, or at least Pere's mission of this great Law of Nature.

§. 16. Lastly, as for those Vertues which more immediately depend upon our Benevolence towards others, since these cannot be expressed in our Discourse, unless something pleasant be mingled with it, for their fakes with whom we converse: This when performed as it ought, is called Civility, or good Breeding. But ibis Vertue is still to be circumscribed by the fame bounds as the rest ; for by this Law it is provided, That nothing be ever spoke, so much as in jest, which may intrench upon that Veneration we owe to God, or that may diminish the Happiness, or [175] good Name, of any honest and innocent Persons; and this Rule will be best observed, if neither the Laws of Nature, nor the revealed Will of God, nor those of our own Commonweal, nor the private Concerns of Families, nor yet of particular Persons, be rendred ridiculous by our foolish and unseasonable Raillery: And as those who offend against these Rules, are guilty of Scurrility and Prophaneness ; so, on the other fide, such as do absolutely avoid all innocent Mirth and Pleasantness in Conversation, do fall into the other extream of Crabbedness and Morosity.

§. 17. This may suffice concerning the first special Rule laid down, about our granting to others such a share of the Necessaries and Conveniencies of Life, as their Necessities require, which is derived from the general Vertue of Justice, to which all those Vertues we have now spoken of, are to be referred: So likewise the second Rule (derived from this Justice) viz. of a reserving such a share of those things, as that we may be in a Condition to provide for our selves and Families; yet so as may still consist with the Good and Happiness of others. This Rule also constitutes and preserves the Rights of particular Persons, in order to the promoting the Common Good of Mankind; and [176] therefore we have only so far à Right to all the Necessaries of Life, and are Likewise obliged so to make use of them, as may best conduce to this End, (or at least not to do any thing to prejudice it) so that even Self-love ought to give place to this Law, and contain it self within those due bounds, which the former general Rule, of yielding to others their just Rights, does prescribe ; tho a limitted Self-love is always lawful, as being commanded by the Law of Nature, in order to this great End. And I have already shewn, That there is a necessity of a Right and Propriety to particular Persons in divers things, as necessary for their own Happiness and Preservation, yet subordinate to that of the Common Good, which consists in that of all its particular Members: So that the endeavour of this being once enjoyned, the care of the former must necessarily follow, since the Happiness and Good of others, cannot be procured by us, if we absolutely neglect our own. But as the Body and Soul are the two essential Parts of our Nature, a due Care of both is still supposed to be prescribed by all due means, in order to this End.

§. 18. But it is not to my purpose to lay down any Rules concerning the Culture of the Mind, That being the Business of Ethicks, [177] or Moral Philosophy, which it is not my Intention here particularly to treat of; only I shall add something farther concerning Temperance, and the subordinate Vertues therein contained, than I thought to speak of, when I last mentioned that Vertue ; I shall therefore thus define Temperance, to be a Justice towards our selves, in the due Care of our Bodies, and Fortunes, for our own Preservation, in order to the Common Good : For though this Vertue prescribes divers moral Rules of Health, concerning Sleep, Diet, Continence, &c. yet they differ much from the natural Rules of Physicians concerning the same things, who think they have sufficiently done their part, in giving their Rules, or Advice, concerning the Health of their Patients; whereas the fame Rules, morally considered, and constituting this Temperance as a Vertue, are directed to a far nobler End, (viz.) the preservation of Health, both of Body and Soul, in order to the Common Good; for surely no Man can look upon a Man to be endued with this Vertue, who should never so carefully observe all the Directions of his Physician, only for the preservation of his own Health, without any consideration of the Laws of Nature relating to this great End. And further, If any Man, though without any [178] prejudice to his Health, do so much indulge his Genius, as to keep a Table above his Estate, and thereby become unable to provide for his Family, or to contribute to the publick charges of the Commonweal, he is highly guilty of Intemperance, though perhaps he may do it without any prejudice to his Health.

§. 19. And as for that other sort of Temperance, called Chastity, or Continence, I need not farther to declare how much the Common Good and Happiness of Mankind depend upon it, having already shewn divers of those Evils, and inconveniencies, that do necessarily follow the contrary Vices: I shall only add, That it is sufficient that the commission of this Offence of incontinence, makes a Man guilty of another's Sin, as well as his own: Therefore I define Chastity to be the abstaining from all inordinate, or forbidden Lusts, in order to the Common Good, or for the propagation of Mankind; and therefore is not only confined to the bare forbidding of Fornication, but also extends itself to that moral Obligation, or Contract, which we call Marriage: So that our of a consideration of this great End, those promiscuous Copulations between Brothers and Sisters, and divers other near Relations, which upon the first Peopling of the World were lawful, because then necessary [179] for the propagation of Mankind, are now, for the same Reason, become unlawful; since without an abhorrence of this Copulation between Brothers and Sisters, it were hard, if not impossible, that the Chastity of such young Persons, conversing so constantly and intimately together from their youth, should be otherwise preserved, without an early prepossession of the horrour of such promiscuous Copulations. And hence also I suppose, That Natural Reason taught most Nations, after Mankind began to be multiplied upon the Earth; and the memory of their first original Relation they had to each other, to be forgotten, to prohibit Marriage between near Relations, that by this means new Friendships, and stricter Bonds of Amity, should be contracted between Families and Persons not nearly related in Blood; from whence a larger diffusion of Friendship and Kindness, proceeding from this Relation, might be spread amongst Persons not only of the same Commonweal, but of divers Nations; and also that those Factions, and Enmities, which would often happen between particular Men, and Families, were they only to marry into their own Clan, or Tribe, may be prevented; or if begun, may, by fresh Alliances, be reconciled and taken away. So that it is evident, [180] That the Reason of this Vertue of Chastity, or Continence, can no way be truly explained, or understood, without a true knowledge of the End for which it was ordained, viz. the Common Peace, Happiness, and Preservation of Mankind.

§. 20. I shall only add somewhat more concerning that other sort of Temperance, relating to our seeking after, and acquiring those outward Goods often conducing, though not absolutely necessary, to our Well being, (viz.) Riches and Honour; and therefore the same general Law which limits our Love towards our selves, in order to the Common Good, ought also, from the same Consideration, to limit and regulate our Desires, both in acquiring and keeping these Advantages; and therefore they are to be sought for to no other End, than as they may render us more capable of promoting the great End above-mentioned, and to which they ought always to be subordinate. The former of these Vertues relating to Riches, is called Moderation, which is a limitted Care in acquiring and keeping Riches; of which I need speak no farther, having sufficiently shewn the Measure and Reason of it, when I defined Liberality and Frugality, with their opposite Vices: The other sort of Temperance relating to Honours, is [181] called Modesty, and may be defined a Justice towards our selves, in a reasonable Desire of Honours, in order to the Common Good; and therefore consists in a due Mediocrity, as well in desiring Honours, as avoiding Infamy; and this Vertue, as it curbs the Desire from seeking higher Things than the Person really deserves, or may well pretend to, in order to this great End, is called Humility; which is a low or true esteem of a Man's self, or personal Merits. But as this Desire of the Common Good, often elevates the Mind to the performing of great and noble Actions, whereby he may acquire the highest Honours, it is then called Magnanimity; and therefore the Magnanimous is still supposed to be endued with perfect Vertue, and a most large Desire of the Common Good of Mankind, as believing he hath reason to judge himself worthy of any Honour that he can justly pretend to: And I suppose every Man is sensible, That it is a part of the same Vertue, not only to seek for true Honour, but also to take care to preserve it, when it is obtained: And from the Consideration of these Vertues, the contrary Vices are more easily understood; for Pride is directly opposite both to Magnanimity, and Humility shewing it self in a preposterous Ambition, foolish Arrogance, or Vain-glory; and so [182] Pusillanimity, or meanness of Spirit, is directly contrary to Magnanimity.

§. 21. Thus we have run through almost all the particular Vertues, and do still find in each of them a constant Respect, or Tendency, to the Common Good of Mankind: So that whether they regard our selves or others, the same great End is still intended by God, the most Wife Legislator: And this Law being thus established, there is therein contained the largest and most diffusive Society between divers Nations, or Commonweals, and the truest Love and Benevolence between all the Members of the same Commonweal, as also between particular Families: So that there may be hence demonstrated and determined the certain Rules and Measures of true Piety towards God, as distinguish'd from Impiety and Superstition; and also of all other Vertues towards Men, which must be first truly known, and applied to their right Objects, that the Names of these Vertues, when falsly imposed on Actions contrary to the Laws of God and Nature, may not deceive us: For it is hence evident, That all the parts of universal Justice and Benevolence, (viz.) all the particular Vertues contained under them, are [183] only commanded in order to this Common Good; because it is manifest by Experience, That such Just and Benevolent Actions, are always endued with a natural Power of procuring and promoting the Common Peace and Happiness of divers Nations and Commonweals, as also of lesser Societies and particular Persons; of all which, considered in their due order and subordination to each other, this Common Good of Mankind is made up, and consists.

§. 22. And, farther, it may be hence clearly shewn what is that Right Reason, by which every prudent Man ought to prescribe to himself a just Mediocrity in all his moral Actions; for it only consists in practical Propositions, proposing or declaring to us this great End; and also shewing us all the means in our Power whereby we may attain it; which are those that, in the first place, prescribe the Rules of Piety, and Divine Worship, both private and publick. (2.) Those that concern the Society and Commerce of divers Nations and Commonweals. (3.) All positive Laws, whether Civil or Domestick, tending to the Good of the Civil Society wherein we live. (4.) True and rational Conclusions, drawn from Knowledge, or Experience, either of our selves, or others, [184] concerning the natural Efficacy of Things and Actions, all which are at last resolved into the natural Power of such Humane Actions, as may either benefit, or hurt Mankind, considered apart, or in an aggregate Body, as in a Family, or Nation; since Experience doth not with less certainty teach us, what kind of Actions are beneficial, or hurtful to Mankind; then it shews what sort of Diet will either nourish, or destroy us: Nor is it more difficult to understand the Truth of this Proposition, That a right, or equal Distribution of all Things necessary for Life, is requisite to the Common Good and Happiness of Mankind, than it is to know in Physick, That it is necessary for the Life and Health of an Animal, that a due proportion of Nourishment be equally distributed to all its Parts, or Members; both which Truths, are grounded on the same natural Principles, (viz.) That the same Things which preserve the whole, do also preserve all its parts; and, vice versa, the same Things which preserve all the Parts, or Members, do likewise serve to the Conservation of the whole; which being evident from true Principles, is a Science taught by Experience, drawn from the Nature of Things.


§. 23. And thus from the immutable Efficacy of Corporeal Causes of this sort; for the production of their Effects on all Humane Bodies▪ depends all the Certainty and Knowledge of Natural Philosophy and Physick: So likewise from their immutable Influence, or Powers on Humane Actions, for the Conservation of particular Persons, Families, and Commonweals, proceeds all the Certainty of those practical Propositions, called Natural Laws, which constitute Moral Philosophy, shewing and determining the Nature of all Vertues and Vices: Nor is that variety of Actions, which may be prescribed to Persons in distinct Families, or Commonweals, and under various Circumstances of Life, more repugnant to the constant Care of preserving all the Parts, or Members, which contribute to this great End, than the diversity of Diety, and ways of living peculiar to divers, Climates, Ages, or Constitutions of Men's Bodies, are to the constant Care that all Men have of preserving their own Lives and Healths, according to the several Necessities of their Natures: For as in these we cannot, by doing whatever we will, promote this End; but Nature hath put some limits thereunto, although our weak Understandings cannot attain to a nice, or mathematical exactness in assigning them, as [186] we may live long and healthfully enough, without weighing our Meat and Drink, like Lessius; so we may likewise procure the Common Good, as far as lies in our Power, although we do not always perform that which is absolutely or simply best in all Cases; it is as much as God the Legislator requires, if we truly endeavour it, and contribute as far as we are able unto this great End.

§. 24. In the last place, I shall here repeat what I have before laid down, That this Common Good of Rationals, as it is a Collection of all natural Goods (and the greatest of all others) so it is the true Standard of all other Goods, either natural, or moral: So that by our comparing them with this, we may truly determine whether they are greater, or less than each other; and so whether they are principally to be desired and sought after, or to be postponed to other greater Goods. Likewise the same measure where the proportion of these Goods is taken, gives us a true estimate of all the contrary Evils, and so shews us what is more, or less to be avoided, or repented of.

§. 25. We may also hence learn what degrees of Passions, or Affections are lawful; for it is certain, That only such a proportion of Affections are required, as are congruous to our Rational Nature, and [187] exactly answering the true Estimate of those good, or evil Things by which they are excited; but since the Government of our Appetites and Passions, is a thing of so great moment, as that on which all our Vertue and Happiness (as far as it is in our Power) depends; which Government proceeds from our knowledge of a true measure of all Goods, and Evils, according to which they are to be judged; therefore I shall be the larger in explaining what I have a little before laid down, (viz.) That the Common Good ought to be the Standard of all our Affections and Passions, as being so ordained by God, and determined by the Nature of Things; which is evident, in that we have demonstrated this Common Good, to be that great End, to whose prosecution all Men are naturally obliged, by the Will of God, as a Legislator, who must have given us the knowledge of any thing as Good, or Evil, to little purpose, unless he had also given us a Rule by which we might judge of the several measures, or degrees of this Goodness: So that this Common Good being once established as a certain Measure, or Standard for this End, the Good of each particular Person will bear such a proportion to that of the whole Body of [188] Rationals, as the Soundness of any one Member, does to the Health of the whole Body. So from the knowledge of this Order of divers subordinate Goods, and the proportion which any one of them bears to the Common, or Greatest Good, may easily be deduced how much the Well-being, or Happiness of every single Person, may contribute to that of the whole Family; the Felicity of a Family, to that of a Commonwealth; that of a Commonweal, to the Happiness of all Nations; and of all these considered together, what proportion they may bear to the Common Felicity of Mankind. So that hence you may be easily satisfied how much the knowledge of this one Truth, conduces to our right prosecution of this great End, and, indeed, Sum of all the Laws of Nature.

§. 26. Lastly, (which yet ought rather to have been put in the first place of all) let us consider the chief and principal of all the moral Vertues, Love, or Piety towards God, expressed in all the Acts of Divine Worship, as Prayer, Praise, Thanksgiving, &c. This must needs be a Vertue, since it does that which is highly grateful and pleasing to God the Head of all Rational Beings, and speaking after the manner [189] of us Men, performing somewhat Good, and agreeable to his Divine Nature; and which also in respect of our selves, makes us most happy, not only by rendring the Deity propitious to us, but also by a nearer spiritual approach and conversation with it, in those holy Exercises, it puts us in the happiest state we can be capable of in this mortal Life, and so makes us more able to perform the great End of our Creation, (viz.) Our contributing to the Common Good of Rational Beings.

§. 27. I have been the larger in laying down, and explaining this Law, as a Measure, or Standard of all good Actions, to the end that we should esteem all Good, or Evil, not as it more or less profits or hurts our own particular Bodies alone, but as it may more or less add to, or detract from this Common Good: So that in comparing of all Goods together, whether Natural or Moral, we ought still to look upon that as the greatest Good which conferrs most; and that to be the least, which contributes least to this great End, which is therefore to be desired, or prosecuted by us with proportionable Affections and Endeavours: From whence also may be drawn a general and powerful Remedy, against all those inordinate Passions proceeding from excessive Self-Love, [190] by which Men are most commonly drawn to hurt or injure others: For a Man who thus governs himself, will not extravagantly desire any of these outward Things, nor suffer his Soul to be disturbed by the consciousness of any Crime, who judges nothing truly Good, but what really conduces to the common Good of Rationals.

§. 28. Thus I hope I have demonstrated the true Reasons and Grounds of Moral Good and Evil, or of Vertue and Vice; and have endeavoured to render Moral Philosophy (or the true Knowledge of the Laws of Nature) a practical Science, and not merely Speculative, or Notional, like that of the Stoicks; who whilst they allowed nothing to be really good, but Vertue; or Evil; except Vice; and kept such a pother to extol the real Good of the former, and declaim against the certain Evil of the latter; yet by not giving us the true Reasons, or Grounds, why Vertue should be embraced, and Vice avoided, they rendred their Philosophy merely speculative, and only fit for those idle Porches in which they declaimed, scarce having any farther influence upon the Actions of Life, when either their own Affections, or any powerful outward Temptation, did at any time prompt them to act contrary thereunto: [191] For Vertue is only to be esteemed as the highest or most perfect Good; not as it is a well-sounding Word, or that fills our Minds with some vain empty Notions, but as it determines our Actions to their utmost influeence upon the Common Good of Rational Beings, which is the only true Piety, as consisting in the Performance of the Commands and Will of God, by the imitation of his Divine Goodness and Beneficence.

§. 29. So that I shall conclude this Chapter with Dr. Parker's excellent Consideration on this Subject; and which being better than any thing that I can now think of, I shall make bold to give it you almost in his own Words,Demonstration of the Law, &c. pag. 23. with a little alteration. So that it is now demonstratively certain by induction of Particulars (according to the method we have now taken) that every Vertue hath some natural Efficacy to promote the Common Good of Rationals; and is no otherwise a Vertue, but as it contributes to this great End, and that each Man's true private Interest and Happiness, is therein contained, and inseparably connected with it, by the necessary order of Nature, i. e by the Contrivance and Wisdom of Divine Providence: So that nothing can be more evident, than that its Author [192] commands all his Rational Creatures, that are capable of any knowledge of his Will, and sence of their Duty, to act suitably to that Order of Things which he hath established in the World, and to that Declaration of his Will, which he hath made by that Establishment, in order to the bringing about this great End of the Common Good of Rational Beings.



Containing an Answer to such Objections as may be made against the Law of Nature, thus explained and reduc'd into this Proposition, Of Endeavouring the Common Good of Rational Beings; with a Conclusion, proving this to be the sum of all Laws, whether Natural or Revealed.

§. 1. SInce there are two sorts of men, who according to their several Principles, and Inclinations, may make different Objections against this our Method of proving, and deducing the Law of Nature, and contracting it into this sing'e easie Proposition, of our endeavouring the common good of Rational Beings; I shall therefore divide them into Platonists, or Epicureans. Those who put the whole stress of their belief of the Laws of Nature upon innate Ideas, or Principles of Moral Good and Evil imprest by God upon mens Souls; and who, I doubt not, may have a true zeal (though without knowledge) for this Common Good; which is more than I can promise for those, who falling into the other extream, will not acknowledge that we can have any true or certain notion, or idea, of this Common Good, so as to make it the [194] main end of all our Actions. I shall therefore in the first place consider those Objections that may be made by the former sort of Men; whose first Objection may be this, That it is most suitable to the goodness of God to imprint upon the minds of men certain Characters and Notions of himself, and also of those Moral Duties which he requires of them; and not to leave them in the dark, and in doubt about things of so great a Concernment to them; since by that means he would not only have secured himself of that Worship and Veneration which is due from so Intelligent a Creature as Man, but would also with great ease and certainty have taught him his duty towards himself, and others, without puting him to the trouble and pains of discovering his Existence, and all those Moral Duties that depend upon it, by so tedious a Method as I have here proposed; which every man hath not time to inquire into, nor perhaps Faculties strong enough to make such rational Conclusions or Deductions from the Nature of God, and other things, for the understanding of the Laws of Nature, as we have here laid down: and therefore, that God (who doth all things by the best and easiest means) hath imprest all the Notions or Ideas of Good and Evil upon mens Souls.


§. 2. To which Objection I need return no other Answer than what is already made by the Author of the Essay concerning Human Vnderstanding (so often cited by me); I shall therefore give it to you in his own words, Book I. chap. 4. §. 12. This Argument, if it be of any force, will prove much more than those who use it in this case expect from it; for if we may conclude, That God hath done for men, all that men shall judge is best for them, because it is suitable for his Goodness so to do; it will prove not only, that God hath imprinted on the minds of men an Idea of himself; but that he hath plainly stamped there, in fair Characters, all that men ought to know or believe of him, and all that they ought to do in obedience to his Will; and that he hath given them a Will and Affections conformable to it. This no doubt every one will think is better for men, than that they should in the dark grope after Knowledge, as St. Paul tell us, all Nations did after God, Acts VIII. 27, or than that their Wills should clash with their Vnderstandings, and their Appetites cross their Duty. The Romanists say, 'Tis best for men, and so suitable to the Goodness of God, that there should be an Infallible Iudge of Controversies on Earth, and therefore there is one: And I by the same reason say, 'Tis better for men that every man himself should be infallible. I leave them to consider, whether by the force of this Argument [196] they shall think that every man is so. I think it a very good Argument to say, the infinitely Wise God hath made it so, and therefore it is best. But it seems to me a little too much confidence of our Wisdom, to say, I think it best, and therefore God hath made it so; and in the matter in hand, it will be in vain to argue from such a Topick, that God hath done so, when certain Experience shews us that he hath not. But the Goodness of God hath not been wanting to men, without such original impressions of Knowledge, or Ideas stamped on the mind, since he hath furnished man with those Faculties which will serve for the sufficient discovery of all things requisite to the end of such a Being: And I doubt not but to shew, that a man by the right use of his natual Abilities may, without any innate Principles, attain to the knowledge of a God, and other things that concern him: God having endued man with those faculties of Knowledge which he hath, was no more obliged by his Goodness to implant these innate Notions in his Mind, than that having given him Reason, Hands and Materials, he should also build him Bridges, or Houses; which some People in the World, however of good natural parts, do either totally want, or are but ill provided of as well as others are, (perhaps) wholly without Ideas of God, and Principles of Morality, or at least have but very ill ones. The reason in both Cases being this, That they never employed their Parts, Faculties [197] and Powers industriously that way, but contented themselves with the Opinions, Fashions, and things of their Countrey, as they found them, without looking any farther. So far this Learned Author.

§. 3. And as for what is farther urged, the difficulties of the coming to the knowledge of the Being of a God, by the method we propose, if this were not plainly to be read from the great Book of the World, St. Paul had in vain accused the general corruption of the Gentiles, and their loss of the knowledge of the true God, as he doth in the 1st of the Romans, v. 19, 20. Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power, and Godhead: so that they are without exaus. Where you may observe, the Apostle here appeals to the common Reason of Mankind, guided by things without us, for the proof of the Existence of a Delty, that they may be left without all excuse for this their wilful ignorance and neglect.

§. 4. And as for the other part of the Objection, concerning the difficulty and laboriousness [198] of the Method we have here proposed, for the discovery of the Law of Nature, and the weakness of mens Faculties, for the making such rational Conclusions from the Nature of Things; I think that will signifie much less than the former, if those that make this Objection will please to consider how obvious such Conclusions are, and how easily made out, in the Third Chapter of this Discourse; where I particularly treat of the Natural Power of mens Minds, in making Observations from the Nature of Things, and reducing them into certain practical Propositions, in order to their own future happiness, in conjunction with that of others: So that I think I may safely affirm, that those who are not of Natural Parts sufficient to discover the Being of a God, and a Providence; as also to understand the Laws of Nature, which depend upon that Knowledge: If they did but duly apply their Minds to think upon their own Original, and that of the World, by true Principles of Reason, must be either Fools or Madmen, and so not capable Subjects of the Laws of Nature, as not being to be reckoned amongst rational Creatures; or else, which is worse, are down-right Atheists; who, to indulge their own unreasonable Lusts and Passions, do absolutely deny all those clear Demonstrations from Natural Things, which [199] are brought for the proof of a Deity, and of their Duty towards it.

§. 5. And tho I grant that all men do not ordinarily reduce all the Laws of Nature into this one single Proposition, of endeavouring this common good of Rational Beings, or may not have an explicite Notion of it; Yet this will not hinder, but that they may for all that really pursue it, tho' they may not have so large and perfect a knowledge of the grounds of their Duty, as they would have if they were sensible of this Idea: For if a man be but throughly convinced that he is not made for himself alone, but that he ought to mind the good and preservation of others besides himself; and that he doth truly observe the Laws of Nature, towards himself, by a temperate and a rational Life: As also, towards his Neighbour, by observing that great Rule, of doing as he would be done by, in all cases towards others. I say, such a man, tho' never so simple and ignorant in other things, doth really contribute his share of endeavour towards procuring the common good: And tho' he may not distinctly know all the true reasons and grounds of his own Actions; yet if he thus lead his Life, and observe all these Rules tending to this End, I doubt not but that he will meet with [200] all those Rewards intended by God for Vertuous Actions; provided he have never heard of, or at least wilfully refused the more perfect Law of the Gospel, delivered by our Saviour Jesus Christ, when duly proposed to him. Thus a Countrey Carpenter may deserve sufficient Wages, and Commendation, if he can build a House, and honestly perform his Work, according to those few practical Rules he hath learnt, tho' he doth not understand all the Principles of Geometry, or Architecture, according to which, all that he hath wrought may easily be demonstrated to him, if he will but take the pains to understand them.

§. 6. There is another Objection which this sort of men may make against our Method of finding out, and demonstrating this great Law of Nature, in that I make every man's obligation to endeavour it, to arise from its being good or evil to himself alone; whereby it may seem, as if we supposed the honour of God, and the common good of mankind were to be postponed▪ and made subservient to the happiness of any particular person. To satisfie which Scruple, I do in the first place affirm, that we do not intend any such thing, since we have all along endeavoured to establish the quite contrary Doctrine; For I assert, [201] that no man hath any Right, properly so called, to his own Life or Being, but in order, and as it conduces to the honour and service of God, and the common good of mankind. I shall therefore now more distinctly declare how these (tho' some may think them contrary to each other) do very well consist. In the first place therefore I desire you to take notice, that our Natural Obligation to this Law is not discovered by us in the same order and method, as it is constituted by God in the nature of Things; for our weak finite Understandings, when acting without the assistance of Divine Revelation, do slowly enough at first, attain to the knowledge of Individual, or Single Things; and thence taking rise from such common effects as are most obvious to our Senses, proceed to their more obstruse Causes, until at length discovering one Infinite Being, called God, to be the first Cause and Creator of all things. We from thence collect not only what is his Nature, but also what is his Will; whereby we do not only find that he is the best, and most perfect Being; But that as such, he willeth and procures the good and preservation, not of some few Singulars alone, but of the whole Species of Mankind. And lastly, that he would have us men cooperate, as subordinate, (tho free Agents) to this End, as the greatest and worthiest [202] we can undertake: Which tho' it be the last thing we come to the knowledge of, yet is that which is first and chiefly intended by God, as the principal object of our Knowledge, and the main End of all our Moral Actions. So that it seems evident, this knowledge of our selves, and of things thus learnt from experience and observation, was intended by God, only to serve as steps to raise us to that larger knowledge, and nobler desire of pursuing the common good of Rationals, as the sum of all our Moral Duties. And that our Wills and Affections towards this end, are not to be regulated or directed in the same order, by which this common good comes to be discovered; i. e. (with a respect to our selves alone); but from a true judgment concerning the measures of that natural good and perfection therein contained. So that tho' we are at first indeed excited to the procuring our own happiness, as the prime and most natural motive of all our Actions; yet we come at last upon better consideration to discover, that this happiness of ours is contained in our endeavours of the Common good of Rational Beings, and is inseparable from it, as the conservation of any of our particular Members is contained in the health and preservation of the whole Body.


§. 7. And this Proposition, that every single man's good is contained in the common-good, proves indeed, that the sanction of this general Law, is by rewards and punishments to Every single man: But that Every is not to be restrained to my self, or any one man alone, but extends alike to each other man, or all men: Since it is evident, that these words (Every man) collectively taken, amount to all men; as every part collectively taken signifies the whole. And tho' the main end intended by God, the Legislator, from such Rewards and Punishments, are obedience to his Laws, and the preservation of Mankind, as his Subjects (which are indeed of much greater value to him, than the happiness of any one single person); Yet will it not detract from the perfection or sincerity of this obedience, if from the consideration of a man's own particular happiness or misery, he thereby comes to consider and understand, that God hath commanded him to pursue an higher and nobler end than that alone; yet to which his own happiness or misery are inseparably connected.

§. 8. I come in the last place to these objections, that may be made by men of quite contrary Principles; and who will not acknowledge, that we either can, or ought to [204] propose this common good, as the Sum of all the Laws of Nature, and the main end of all our Moral Actions. Their first objection may be this; That it seems not suitable to God's Infinite Goodness, and Power, and Wisdom, in the Government of Mankind, if he did really intend its good and happiness (as we here suppose) to permit so great a Design to be so often disturbed, if not quite frustrated, in divers parts of the World, by the various Passions, and unreasonable Appetites, of so many violent, wicked and unjust men; which, if Mankind is well considered, do make up the greatest part of this Aggregate Body.

In answer to this objection, I might tell those that make it, that the true original of that depraved State of Mankind, and from which all that Disorder, which we now find in Humane Nature is derived, was the Fall of Adam, the first Father of Mankind; who thereby conveyed a weakness of Reason, and that prevailing Power which we feel in our sensual Appetites and Passions to all his Posterity, whereby man is become very prone to Evil, and too apt to transgress the Laws of Nature. But I shall not insist upon this, because the Gentlemen with whom I have to do, may laugh at all Divine Revelation, not accept of any Proofs as sufficient, but what can be brought from meer Natural Reason, [205] I shall therefore answer them in their own way; and shall first of all grant; That God might, if he had thought fit, have created Man without any possibility of sinning, and have determined him only to that which is morally good. But then God hath not created a Man, but quite another Creature: For he having made Man to consist of two different Principles, a Body and a Soul; the one to be driven on by Sensual Appetites and Passions; the other to be governed by Reason: It was necessary that he should be carried towards Good or Evil, as one or other of these should prevail. So that considering what sort of Creature God hath made us, he hath done all he needed to do towards the good and happiness of Mankind; Supposing that he hath created us, and deals with us as free, voluntary Agents, endued with a freedom of choice, either to deliberate upon the consequence and nature of all our Moral Actions before we do them; and either to act according to the Rules of Right Reason, or else clean contrary thereunto, that is, wholly at random, or by chance, which is unworthy our Rational Nature.

§. 9. So that God having thus left the greatest part of man's happiness in his own power, either to be obtained by endeavouring this [206] common good; or else missed of, or lost by his own neglect of it. It is not to be wondered, if mens unreasonable Appetites and Passions, looking no farther than their present Pleasures, or outward Advantages, do often carry them away without any consideration of those future, but as certain and greater evils which may follow them in the whole course of their lives. By which abuse of mens natural Freedom, I grant the good and happiness of Mankind is very much disturbed and diminished: Therefore it is no wonder, that (tho' God's will be sufficiently declared against such Actions,) it is not more often observed and followed; nor could God have ordered things better or otherwise than they are; unless he should have made man with out all freedom of choice, and have determined his Will only to one sort of Actions; which had rendered him quite another Creature, and incapable of those rewards and punishments, which are absolutely necessary for the government of man, as he is made by God, a free, voluntary Agent. Secondly, Tho' God hath thus made us free Agents, but that by the ill use of our Faculties, we become more prone to evil Actions than good ones; Yet it must still be acknowledged, God's Infinite Power and Providence hath set such limits to the unruly Appetites and [207] Passions of wicked men, that tho' it must be confessed, that by private Violence, Wars and Persecutions for Religion, they do more mischief to Mankind than all the Savage Beasts, Earthquakes or Plagues in the World ever did: Yet this is but in some few particular Places or Countries at a time; and God hath so restrained these Passions and Lusts, not only by Natural, Divine and Civil Laws; but also by necessary ill consequences that follow such Actions; that it is not often that such men can accomplish their wicked designs with that success and pleasure they propose to themselves. And in those Countries where these Violences are acted, the Scene often alters: And in those Countries where Civil-Wars and Persecution for Religion, have not only very much disturbed the Common Peace and Happiness, but also diminished the number of the Inhabitants, God doth often think fit, either through mens weariness of Wars, or by the sudden death of a Cruel and Ambitious Prince (who was the chief cause of it) again to restore peace and happiness to these Kingdoms or Countries where Civil-Wars and Persecutions had before so cruelly raged, and so long prevailed. So that notwithstanding all that can be objected, against God's intending the good and happiness of Mankind; it is certain, that [208] from the beginning of the World to this day, he hath preserved it in the same State; as he hath also done all other Species of Creatures. So that we may boldly affirm, the number of men in the world rather increases than diminishes; tho' it may please God, for the correction or extirpation of some extremely wicked, and incorrigible Nations, to permit them to be oppressed, diminished, or quite destoyed by Forreign Force, Civil Wars, or Domestick Tyranny.

§. 10. A Second Objection that may be brought by those of Epicurean Principles, is, That if the Being of a God, and the certainty of the Laws of Nature be so easy to be found out, and discovered by mens Natural Reasons and Observations; how it comes to pass that there are some whole Nations in the World, who have (as we know of) no Notions at all of a God, or a Moral Good or Evil; as Travellers report of those Negroes, who inhabit near the Bay of Soldania, not far from the Cape of Good-Hope; who also fell their Children for Slaves, to those that will give most for them: As also others in the West and East-Indies; that make War upon, and devour all Strangers they can take Prisoners Others, as in the Isle of Formosa, rendring abortive all Children that the Mothers conceive, [209] before they are thirty years old. Others in the West-Indies, and in Africa, stealing from Strangers whatsoever they can lay their hands on. It were tedious to relate all the particular Instances of this kind. Whosoever desires to see more of them. may consult the Learned Author of the above-mentioned Essay of Human Understanding, Book the I. Chap. III. §. 9. besides what he may himself collect from his own reading, or observation. So that it may be urged, that if these People are part of Mankind, and therefore Rational Creatures, how it comes to pass that they should not be able, as well as we, to come to the knowledge of a God, and of those Natural Laws, which we suppose to be given to Mankind?

§. 11. To all which I shall reply, not by denying, as some do, the matters of Fact themselves, which is an easy, but too positive a way of confutation; but shall take them at present for granted, since they are delivered to us by many Authors of sufficient credit. And therefore, first of all, I think I may safely affirm, That tho' these Instances may be of considerable weight, against those who found all our Knowledge of the Laws of Nature upon certain Innate Principles, or the common consent of Mankind: Yet they will [210] prove nothing against us, who have, I hope, made out the certainty and obligation of this Law, from more evident Principles: So that the contrary belief or practice of divers Nations in the World, is no more an Argument against the Being of a God, or of the Laws of Nature, than their ignorance in Arithmetick and Geometry, is against the certainty or usefulness of those Sciences; these people, being most of them not able to reckon beyond their ten Fingers. Now setting aside Innate Ideas, and Consent of Nations, as proofs of the Laws of Nature; what other means do there remain; but the uncertain Tradition of a God, and these Moral Laws from their Parents, or Ancestors; or else to discover them by Reason, and taking observation from the Nature of things, according to the method here laid down. The former of these (if they had ever any such thing) it is certain that they have now quite lost so that no Footsteps of it now remains among them. And as for the latter, these ignorant and barbarous Nations, being wholly taken up, through the whole course of their lives, either in procuring for themselves the common necessaries for life, or else in brutish and sensual Lusts and Pleasures; it is no wonder that they give themselves no time or opportunity to think of these things, nor yet employ [211] their thoughts, in considering the cause of their Being, or for what end they came into the World. So that it is not strange that they should be so little sensible of the Being of a God, and what Worship or Duties he requires of them: Nor can I give a better account of this ignorance, than what you may find in the Author last mentioned, who thus concludes his Paragraph against the necessity of Innate Principles (already cited in the beginning of this Chapter.)

‘Had you or I been born (says he) at the Bay of Soldania, possibly our Thoughts and Notions had not exceeded these brutish ones of the Hoteutots that inhabit there: And had the Virginian King, Apochancana, been educated in England, he had perhaps, been as knowing a Divine, and as good a Mathematician as any in it. The difference between him, and a more improved English-man, lying barely in this, That the exercise of his Faculties was bounded within the Ways, Modes and Notions of his own Countrey, and was never directed to any other, or farther Enquiries: And if he had not any Idea of a God, as we have, it was only because he pursued not those Thoughts that would certainly have led him to it.’


§. 12. Which account, tho' it were sufficient alone to take off this difficulty, yet I shall farther add; That altho it is true the Existence of a God, and the Laws of Nature are to be discovered by Natural Reason; yet this must be exerted, and made use of according to a right Method, and is like the Talent in the Gospel, either to be infinitely increased, or else may be buried, without ever being made use of as it ought. So that mens not making use of their Reason, and those Faculties which God hath given them, is no more an Argument against God's not having given men sufficient Means and Faculties to attain to the knowledge of these things, than if a man, who by perpetual sitting still, should have lost the use of his Legs, had reason to find fault with God, for not giving him sufficient means of going, and helping himself. So that it seems evident to me, that it is left in most mens power, whether they will by a due use of their Reason, raise themselves to the highest perfection and happiness that thei human nature is capable of; or else by employing their minds about meer sensual objects and carnal enjoyments, debase themselves into the state of Brutes: For I am satisfied, that it is not reasoning about common and outward things, that constitutes the only difference between us and them; since they reason [213] right about those things that are the objects of their Senses; but that it rather consists in the more excellent Faculties of framing Universal Ideas, and by a due enquiry into the causes and nature of things, of coming to the knowledge of God, and of his Will, either naturally declared, according to the method here laid down; or else supernaturally revealed in the Holy Scripture. And indeed, I think, a Dog or a Horse, to be a much better Creature than a Man, who hath never had, or else hath totally extinguished the belief of a God, and of his Duty towards him; for the one lives according to its nature, and those Faculties God hath given it: But a Man, who wants the knowledge of God, and of his duty towards him, by neglecting the chief end of his Creation, and by giving himself wholly up to the government of his Passions, and unreasonable Appetites, debases his nature, and so becomes, by his own fault, like a Brute.

§. 13. The last Objection that I can think of, and which may be also made by Mr. Hobs's Disciples, is; That they look upon this endeavour of the Common Good of Mankind, as a meer Platonick Idea, or Term of Art, without any reality in nature to support it. Of which opinion Mr. Hobs seems to be, when [214] he tells us, in his Leviath. Book I. chap. 4. That of Names, some are proper and singular to ore only thing, as Peter, John, This Man, this Tree; and some are common to many things, as Man, Horse, Tree, every of which, though but one name, is nevertheless the name of divers particular things, in respect of all which together it is called an universal, there being nothing in the World universal, but Names. For the things named are every one of them individual and singular. So that on these Principles we can have no knowledge of any common good out of a Commonwealth, where it arises merely from Compacts; every man being naturally determined to seek his own particular preservation and satisfaction, without the least consideration of any thing else.

§. 14. In answer to which Objection, I desire you to take notice, That if in our Description of the Law of Nature, or Explication of it, we had any where supposed, that in this endeavour of the common Good, a Man either could, or ought to neglect his own preservation, and true happiness, there might have been some reason for this Objection; But since I have proved, that the true good and happiness of every particular person is included in the Common Good of Rationals, and depends inseparably upon it; though I grant [215] every man's own happiness and misery is a main motive of his acting to this end, and also consists in a right endeavour of it; which if it be so, this part of the Objection falls of it self, unless they will affirm, That a Man's self-preservation and happiness only consists in the present satisfaction of his own sensual Appetites and Passions, let what will be the consequence; which how false and unreasonable a thing it is, any rational Man may judge. 2dly, We have also sufficiently made out, that there is an unalterable Common Good and Evil established by God in the nature of things, necessary for the preservation, or tending to the destruction, not only of this, or that particular man, but for all the men in the World, conceived under the collective Idea of Mankind, and that in the state of Nature, and out of a Civil State or Commonwealth: Since by comparing our own particular Natures with those of all other men, and finding them to agree in the same Wants, general Properties, and desires of like things necessary for life, and an aversion to others destructive to it, we can thereby certainly determine what Things or Actions will conduce not only to our own happiness and preservation, but to all others of our own Kind. From whence there arises a clear Idea of the Common Good of Mankind, since (as I have [216] already proved) one peculiar Faculty of human Nature different from that of Beasts, is, to abstract universal Ideas from particular things, and then to give general Names to those Ideas, which though they are but Creatures of our own understanding, and not existing out of our own Brains; yet are for all that true Ideas of the general Natures of those things from whence they are taken; and as for the general Names of them, if there were not real notions in our minds, agreeable to the nature of those things from whence they were taken, and that before any Names imposed upon them, they would indeed be nonsense, or meer empty Sounds, without any Ideas to support them: But the before-cited Author of the Essay of Humane Vnderstanding, Book II. Chap. 24. grants, That the Mind hath a power to make complex, collective Ideas of Substances, which he so calls, because such Ideas are made up of many particular Substances, considered together as united into one Idea, and which so joined, are looked on as one; v. g. the Idea of such a collection of men as make an Army, though consisting of a great number of distinct Substances, is as much one Idea as the Idea of a Man. And the great collective Idea of all Bodies whatsoever, signified by the name World, is as much one Idea, as the Idea of any the least particle of matter in it; it sufficing to the unity of any Idea, that it be [217] considered as one Representation, or Picture, tho made up of never so many particulars. And he likewise farther grants, That it is not harder to conceive how an Army of Ten thousand men should make one Idea, than how a Man should make one Idea; it being as easie to the mind to unite into one the Idea of a great number of men, to consider it as one, as it is to unite into one particular all the distinct Ideas that make up the composition of a Man, and consider them altogether as one.

Therefore I can see no reason, why any man by considering the nature of all the Men in the World, may not only have a true Idea of all Mankind, but also of the things or means that may produce their common good, or happiness, as well as a General of an Army of 100000 men can have a true Idea of that collective Body of Men, and order all things necessary for their common safety and preservation; And if Mr. Hobs's Assertion be true, That there is nothing universal but Names, his beloved Sciences of Arithmetick and Geometry would also be false and uncertain; since they only considering Numbers, Lines and Figures in general, and collecting universal Ideas from thence, do raise true Rules or Axioms in those Sciences from those universal Ideas, though there be nothing really existing in Nature out of our own Brains, but Units [218] and single bodies. And therefore Mr. H. is mistaken, when he will have nothing to have any real Existence in nature but single things, as if our abstract Idea's of Universals were Nothing, because they are not Bodies: But if these general Idea's are true, as agreeing with the things from whence they are taken, it will also follow, that they have a real existence, and consequently may have Names given them, whereby to signifie and represent them to our own minds, and those of others we converse with. So that whatsoever we find to contribute to the Preservation, Happiness and Perfection of all the men we know, or have heard of, we may as certainly conclude to be naturally good for all Mankind, and so a much greater good than that of any one particular Person; which Mr. H. himself acknowledges in his Treatise De homine, Chap. 11. §. 14. where treating of the Degrees of Good, which of them are greater or less he plainly declares, that to be a greater good (coeteris paribus) which is so to more men, than that which is so to fewer.

So that if the Rational and free use of a man's Will consists in its consent with that true judgment the Understanding makes, concerning those things that agree in one Common Nature; and if we can thereby truly judge or determine what things are necessary, or beneficial [219] for the Natures of all other men, as well as our own; I see no reason why we may not desire, that they should also enjoy the like good things with our selves, and likewise endeavour (as far as lies in our power) to procure it for them; since it is also a Duty imposed upon us by God; and that we lie under sufficient obligations to do it, we have already proved.

In short, This Common Good of Rationals, being thus made known to us, may very well be proposed as the end of all our Moral Actions, and being the greatest we can desire or imagine, the Understanding judging aright, cannot but determine, that this Knowledge and Desire will more conduce to the Happiness and Perfection of our Human Nature, than that of any lesser Good: So that if this be greater than any other Good we can come to the knowledge of, it will likewise prove to be the greatest and noblest end men can propose to themselves. And Mr. H. himself is also sometimes sensible of this Common Good, when in the 31 Chap. of his Leviathan, in the last Page, he hath made in his Latin Translation, this Addition.

That he doth not despair that this Doctrine of his being become more acceptable by custom, will at length be received bono publico, for the Common Good.


So that it seems he presages his Doctrine will come one day to be beneficial not only to one particular State, or Commonwealth, but for the Common Good of all men, who are with him yet in the State of Nature: And if Mr. H. hath so perfect a Notion of the Common Good of all Nations, I think there will be no great difference but in Words, between that and the Common Good which we maintain.

§. 15. But to come to a conclusion; I hope, notwithstanding all that hath been objected to the contrary, it hath been sufficiently made out, that not only all the Moral Virtues are contained in, and may be reduced to this one Principle, Of endeavouring the Common Good of Rational Beings; But that likewise all the Laws of Nature, (which are but the Exercise or Practice of these particular Vertues upon their due Objects, may be also reduced into this single Proposition; since they all of them respect either a man's Duty towards God, by a dué worship of him, or else towards himself, in the exercise of Temperance, &c. or else by the due observation of Justice and Charity, or the most diffusive Benevolence towards others of our own Kind; according to the Order we have already laid down in the former Chapter. All which is [221] but our endeavouring to procure (as far as we are able) this Common Good of Rational Agents.

'Tis true Mr. H. in his Lev. Chap. 13. contracts all the Laws of Nature into this short and easy Rule which he says is intelligible even by the meanest capacities (viz.) Do not that to another, thou wouldest not have done to thy self. Which Rule, tho' very true, and the same in effect, which was given by our Blessed Saviour himself; yet without the consideration of the Common Good of Mankind, would too often fail. For if this Rule were strictly and literally to be understood, no Prince, Judge, or other Magistrate, could condemn a Malefactor to death; for in so doing, he did that to another, which he would not have done to himself, in the like State: Since he himself, as well as the Criminal he condemns, would then desire to be pardoned if he could. But indeed the reason why all Judges, and other inferior Officers of Justice, are excused from the observation of this Rule, in their publick Capacities, is, Because they do not then act as private persons, but as publick Representatives, or Trustees, with whom the Common Good and Peace of the whole Kingdom or Commonwealth is intrusted; which (as I have already shewn) makes but a small part of the Common Good of all Rational Agents.


§. 16. There are likewise others who reduce the Laws of Nature into this single Rule or Precept, Preserve or do good to thy self, and any other innocent persons as to thy self: Which tho' I grant to be a true Rule, as containing our Saviour's Epitome of the Commandments of the Second Table, Love thy Neighbour as thy self: Yet doth it not express the Reason or Principle on which it is founded; for we have no reason to love our Neighbour, but as they partake of the same Common Rational Nature with our selves; and that our doing them good, doth conduce to the preservation and happiness of the whole Body of Mankind; of which that person, as well as our selves, are but small parts, or Members: Nor have we any particular obligation to endeavour our own particular Good, but as it conduces to, and is part of the Common Good of Mankind.

§. 17. And as the whole Law of Nature, so likewise the Revealed Law, given from God by Moses to the Iews, and intended in due time to be made known to all Mankind; tends to no other end, than this great Law of endeavouring the Common Good of Rational Agents. For all the Precepts of the First Table of the Decalogue, which prescribe our Duty towards God, and which our Saviour [223] hath so excellently well contracted into this single Precept, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, &c. contain nothing more than this great Rule. For as God, before he thought fit to create the World, and whilst there was yet no Creature to worship or serve him, was not then less happy or perfect; so neither now he hath created them is he the happier, if we worship him, or the more unhappy, if we omit it. For man being created as an Object for the Divine Goodness to exert it self upon, it must necessarily follow, that all the Precepts of the First Table, as well as of the Second, are in some sort intended for Man's Good and Happiness, as well as God's Honour and Service. So that even that Great Commandment of keeping holy the Seventh day, which most chiefly respects God's own Glory and Service, did also promote the Good and Happiness not only of the Iews, God's particular Subjects, but also of all Mankind, whensoever this Law should be discovered to them. So that tho' it commands the dedicating of that day to the Worship and Service of God, and is observed in obedience to his Commands; Yet even in this, he does not design his own Glory and Honour alone; (nay, according to [224] Saint Austin, Our Good only) but also our Good and Happiness;—Credendum est totum qd; colitur Deus, homini prodesse, non Deo. De Civit. Dei Lib. X. Cap. 5. which is then most perfect and compleat, when we bestow our time in the contemplation of his Infinite Perfections and Goodness towards us, and in rendring him thanks for his unspeakable Benefits. So that though I grant he hath made and ordained us for his Service; yet he hath so constituted our Nature, as to make our highest happiness inseparably connected with all the particular Acts of his Worship. And therefore our Saviour reproves the Iews, when they found fault with him, for suffering his Disciples to pluck the Ears of Corn on the Sabbath day, expresly telling them, That if they had known what this means,Matt. 12.7, 8.I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, they would not have condemned the guiltless; for the Son of Man [i. e. not Christ alone, but every Christian] is Lord even of the Sabbath-day: And in St. Mark, Mark 2.27. That the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Thereby teaching us, that the Sabbath it self was also instituted for Man's sake; and that in cases of necessity, he is Master of it. And so likewise our Saviour himself, by chusing to do his greatest Miracles of healing on the [225] Sabbath-day, hath taught us, that the performance of acts of Charity and Mercy on that Day, is a great and necessary part of God's Service.

§. 18. But as for the Precepts of the Second Table, I need not insist upon them; because our Saviour himself hath contracted them all, (even that of honouring our Parents) into this short Precept, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self: Which is no more than to bid us endeavour the common good of Mankind, to the utmost of our power. So that as this Law of the most diffusive Benevolence of Rational Agents, contains the Sum of all the Laws of Nature, as also of the Moral Law, contained in the Ten Commandments; so likewise is it the Sum of the whole Gospel delivered by our Saviour Christ, and his Apostles. For as one great design of our Saviour's coming into the World, was by his most excellent Precepts and Examples, to exalt the Law of Nature to a higher perfection, than what Men, by the common use of Reason, could generally attain to; so likewise was it one of the main designs of his coming, to restore the Law of Moses to its Primitive Purity and Perfection; and to free it from those false Interpretations and Traditions, with which the Pharisees had corrupted it. For whereas [226] they had confined the observation of that Command of loving our Neighbours, only to outward Acts, or at least, restrained it only to those of their own Nation or Religion; our Saviour Christ commands a greater perfection, and forbids even so much as the thoughts or desires of Murder, Adultery, &c. And whereas the Iews did suppose, that they were not obliged to shew Acts of Charity or Mercy, to those of a different Religion from themselves,Luk. 10.30. our Saviour teacheth them by that excellent Parable of the Traveller that fell amongst Thieves, and was taken up and cured by the merciful Samaritan, when the ill-natured Priest and Levite had passed him by, saying to the Lawyer who had ask'd, Who is my Neighbour, Go thy ways, and do thou likewise. By which he plainly intimates; That we ought to do all Acts of Charity and Benevolence, to all persons that stand in need of them, let their Nation or Religion be never so different from our own. So that whosoever will but seriously consider the great end of our Saviour Christ's coming into the World, and also the whole scope and design of his Doctrine; will find, that it was only to procure, as well by his Example as Precepts, the good and happiness of all Mankind. For to what end else did he take upon him the Form of a Servant, [227] and endured a poor and miserable life, with an ignominious Death, but to procure everlasting happiness for all those that should truly believe in him? Or to what other end were all those excellent Precepts, so often given by Christ and his Apostles, of loving one another? And therefore St. Paul tells the Romans, Chap. 13. v. 8. that he that loveth another, hath fulfilled the Law: And more fully in the last Chapter to the Galatians, v. 14. For the Law is fulfilled in this one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self. And in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, Cap. 13. he is very large and particular in setting forth the necessity, and exalting the excellency of Charity, above all the other Spiritual Graces; without which, he tells them, If he had Faith so as to remove Mountains; yet, if he had not Charity, he were nothing. Now what is this Charity, but an unfeigned love and good-will to all Mankind? Ch. 2.17. And St. Iames tells us, That Faith without Works is dead, being alone. And St. Iohn in his First Epistle, makes the love of our Brethren, (that is of all men) the great sign and demonstration of our love to God, when he tells them, that if a man says, I love God, and hateth his Brother, he is a lyar; for he that loveth not his Brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen. And this Commandment we have from him, That he [228] who loveth God, love his Brother also. So that whoever will but consider what hath here been said, cannot but acknowledge, that this excellent Doctrine of the Gospel, concerning the most intense love towards God, and the most diffusive Charity towards Men, doth not only far exceed all the Precepts of Philosophers, but also the Revealed Law of Moses it self. Now what can be the design of all these excellent Precepts? but by all the Commands and Perswasions imaginable, and by all the Promises of the most glorious Rewards and Threatnings of the most terrible and lasting Punishments, to advance the Glory of God, and to procure the Welfare and Happiness of the whole Race of Mankind.

§. 19. To conclude; Though I suppose the Law of Nature, if duly observed, where it hath pleased God to give men no other knowledge or discovery of his Will, may yet give them a rational share of happiness, not only in this Life, but in that to come; yet I hope no indifferent or rational Man, but upon due consideration of the lapsed and depraved state of Humane Nature, and how prone it is to be carried away by exorbitant Lusts and Passions, contrary to the Dictates of right Reason, and his own Conscience, but must also acknowledge, that it was a great demonstration [229] of God's Goodness and Mercy, to give us the most Glorious Light of his Gospel; and to send his Blessed Son, not only to instruct us, but also to die for us. Which great Mystery, that in God's due time, and according to his Promise, may be speedily revealed to all Mankind, we ought daily to make it our hearty Prayers to his Divine Majesty, That every Heart may know, and every Tongue confess, That Iesus is both Lord and Christ; who hath brought Life and Immortality to light, through the Gospel.

The End of the First Part.





THE HEADS OF THE SECOND PART. BEING A Confutation of Mr. H's Principles.

THE Introduction Containing the Reasons why we have put these Answers to Mr. H's Principles into this Method. Sect. 1.

The Heads of the First Principle.

That Man is not a Creature born apt for Society.

His Reasons for it; That a Man is not a Sociable Creature by Nature, but Accident; for otherwise we should love all men alike. All Society proceeds from Self-interest; this resolved into mutual Fear, or else desire of Glory and Dominion over others. Sect. 2.


1. Answer, That these words, born unapt for Society, are equivocal; since who doth not know how unapt Children and Fools are to understand the force of Compacts. Mr. H. takes his whole measure of Humane Nature from those Passions that precede the use of Reason and Experience, which are also natural, as he himself confesses in another place. Sect. 3.

That is natural which every man, when of years of Discretion, either doth, or may attain to. Sect. 4.

Answer to his 2d Argument concerning Interest; Society, though desired for a man's own good, or Interest, doth not make it for all that less natural. Sect. 5.

Answer to his Argument from Fear; not the cause of Natural, but of Civil Society, which we are not now treating of. Sect. 6.

Answer to his Instances from the Company he had kept; which being some witty, ill-natured men, no standard can be taken from thence of the nature of all men. Sect. 7.

Answer to his Argument concerning Dominion: No Man able by his own single Power to force all the rest of Mankind to submit to his Will. Sect. 8.

Mr. H. himself doth not deny, but that men cannot subsist or live without Society, though to evade this, he consounds Natural [233] with Civil Society; the absurdity of which is exposed by shewing it to be besides the Question. Sect. 9.

The Heads of the Second Principle.

That all men are by nature equal.

His Argument proved from Mens mutual will and power of hurting each other; and chiefly from the power which all men, even the most weak, have of taking away each others lives. Sect. 1.

Answer. This equality, though granted, doth not prove that all men are by nature equal as to all things. Sect. 2.

The Heads of the Third Principle.

That there is a mutual will or desire in all men of hurting each other.

His Argument proposed, That tho some men according to a natural Equality will allow to other men the same things as to themselves; yet that the major part of men are not so modest, but will arrogate to themselves honour above others, or else will assault other mens Goods, or Persons, out of a false esteem of their own Power; from thence arises a necessity of others defending their Persons and Goods against them. This proved also from [234] the great Contention arising among men from strife of wit; And lastly from many desiring the same thing at once. Sect. 1.

Answer. None but Fools and wicked Men can have a desire to hurt those that have done them no injury; so that this does not reach all men, nor yet that even these have a will to hurt all men alike, but only those that stand in their way, or whose Goods they desire. Self-defence argues no desire of hurting others. Sect. 2.

Answer to his 2d Argument, from mens contention of wit; difference of Opinion, no real ground of mens destroying each other. Sect. 3.

Answer to his Argument, from mens desire to think well of themselves, and to contemn others; viz. That this Observation doth not reach all men, but only those foolish and unreasonable men he describes. Sect. 4.

Answer to his Argument, from many men desiring the same thing at once. This, tho true, among Brutes and wicked, and unreasonable Men, yet doth not reach all Mankind, since Reason dictates the contrary; God hath bestowed enough of the necessaries of life among Mankind in the state of Nature, so that they need not fight for them. Sect. 5.


Heads of the Fourth Principle.

That Nature hath given to all men a right to all things.

Mr. H's Argument proposed, That all men having a Right to preserve themselves, have also a Right to judge of the means of their own preservation; therefore whatever they think conduces thereunto, they have a Right to, let it be what it will; Profit being here the only measure of Right. Sect. 1.

Answer. Mr. H's Argument reduced into a Syllogisme, shews, That all men have not a right to all things, but only so many of them as they shall think necessary for their own preservation: Yet even here that mens false Judgment concerning the means, cannot give them a right to all things whatever, tho judging never so unreasonably. Sect. 2.

Farther proved from Mr. H's own Definition of right Reason; Right never used properly, but with respect to some Law acknowledged by Mr. H. himself, in his Treatise De Cive. Mr. H's Errors and Contradictions of himself about the use of the word Right Reason. Sect. 3.

Not true, that in a Commonwealth the publick Reason, or Law thereof, is always to be taken for Right, or that no man can distinguish [236] true Reason from false, but by comparing it with his own. Mr. H's Argument reduced into a Syllogism; whereby it appears, That the major is false. Mens false Judgments, or Reasons, cannot alter the nature of things, nor can give them a right to all things. Sect. 4.

Mr. H's Error in this matter; whence it proceeds. Sect. 5.

No Rule of deciding any doubt, or difference in the state of Nature, but the nature of things, or consent of the Parties concerned. Sect. 6.

Humane Nature will ever acknowledge a difference between Right and False Reason, and that according to Mr. H's own definition of it. Sect. 7.

But to evade this Difficulty, M. H. supposes all men to be necessarily evil, or to be so by Nature. The Argument of the Author of Tractatus Theologico politicus, to the same effect; That whatever Action, though never so wicked or unreasonable any man doth, he hath a right to do it, because he could act no otherwise at that time. Sect. 8.

Those Arguments refuted: Necessity never called a Right, that word being never used, but with respect to Men capable of Reason, and Deliberation; Men of sound Minds, and mature Age, can never plead Ignorance, [237] nor be excused if they voluntarily give themselves up to be governed wholly by their own Appetites and Passions. Sect. 9, 10.

Mr. H's Excuse; That in the state of Nature, and where there is no Legislator, Mens Passions are no sins. Answered, Since there is no State either Natural, or Civil, wherein God ceases to be a Legislator, or that the Laws of Nature are not properly Laws. Sect. 10.

Mr. H's Artifice in taking away all Freedom from Mankind, and making all Actions necessary, whereby he destroys all the grounds of Moral Good and Evil; his contradicting himself, when he acknowledges this Right of all men to all things to be unprofitable, since himself before makes Utility to be the measure of all Right.

The Heads of the Fifth Principle.

That in the state of Nature, whatsoever any one doth to another is no injury.

Mr. H's Arguments for this; That in the state of Nature there are no Laws; where there is no Law, there is no Injustice; where there is no Injustice, there is no Injury; Iustice and Injustice, no Faculties either of the Body, or Mind; for Injustice supposes some Propriety or Dominion, which cannot be supposed in this State. The [238] same Opinion held by Epicurus long ago, Sect. 1.

Answer. The Dictates of Right Reason, or the Laws of Nature, are the Laws of God, and therefore give every man a right to his Life, and all means necessary thereunto. So that whatever a man enjoys by the Right of Nature, it must be Injury and Injustice to take it away. And Mr. H. himself agrees, that to be injurious, which is repugnant to Right Reason; that is, to any known Truth, that may be collected from thence. He likewise acknowledges the Dictates of Right Reason to be the Laws of Nature, and therefore must confer a right to every man to their Lives, and all the Necessaries thereof. Sect. 2.

Yet Mr. H. when he is hard prest, cannot deny, but that there may be injury done to another, in the state of Nature; as when a Son kills his Father, but hath this Subterfuge, that a Son cannot be understood in the State of Nature to his Father. This Opinion confuted: That every man owes the like gratitude to any other who should maintain and educate him, as to his Father; and it would be as much injury to hurt the one, as the other. Sect. 3.

This Argument in his Lev. false and precacarious. For if God, in the State of Nature, is truly a Legislator, then the Laws [239] of Nature are truly Laws; but this is already proved. Sect. 4.

The Heads of the Sixth Principle.

That nothing is Good or Evil in the State of Nature.

Mr. H's Reason for it: That every Man in the State of Nature, makes his own Iudgment or Appetite the Rule of Good and Evil; which are ever understood with respect to the Party that uses them; and that in the State of Nature, is either every man's own self; or in a Civil, of the Persons that represent the Commonwealth. Sect. 1.

This he explains Physically in his Human Nature, from the different Motions which those Objects produce in the Brain, proceeding from mens different Temperaments. Sect. 2.

Answer. Mr. H's uncertainty and looseness in his Notions of Good or Evil observed. Sect. 3.

That notwithstanding the variety of Tempers or Humours, or the different Genius of particular Nations in some Customs, &c. yet they for the most part agree in certain Notions necessary for the Common Good and Preservation; and consequently that of all Mankind. Sect. 4.


A more certain Account of Good and Evil, as well Natural as Moral, than what Mr. H. hath given us. Sect. 5.

Mr. H. notwithstanding all he hath said to the contrary, acknowledges a Common Good in the state of Nature. Sect. 6.

The difference between a Natural and a Moral Good, and wherein it consists. The confounding of these, the great cause of Mr. H's. Errours in this Matter. Sect. 7.

Mr. H. sometimes blames this narrow Humour in some men, that desire nothing but their own private advantage; and likewise confesses that that is a greater good which benefits more persons, than what doth good but to a few. Sect. 8.

That notwithstanding all what Mr. H. hath said to the contrary, all rational and good men must acknowledge, that to be good, which tends to the happiness and preservation of Mankind, and which likewise may any ways contribute to effect it: That if we do not make the Common Good of Rational Agents, the End of all our Actions; all our Notions about Moral, as well as Natural Good, will be various and uncertain. Sect. 9.


The Heads of the Seventh Principle.

That the State of Nature is a State of War.

That all Mr. H's precedent Principles, tend only to prove this darling one: If therefore, those are well answered, this Principle must fall. His New Reasons in his Leviathan proposed: He deduces this state of War from Three Causes in the Nature of Man.

1st, Competition. 2dly, Diffidence. 3ly, Glory. Each of which do in their turns make men fall together by the ears. A state of War, not only that of actual fighting, but all that time wherein mens Inclination to it may be certainly known; illustrated by a Simile of rainy Weather. Sect. 1.

Answer to this Argument: 'Tis first observed, that Mr. H. differs in his manner of proving the necessity of this state of War; differs in his Leviathan, from that in his De Cive: Since he here only supposes such a War to be lawful, without any other proof. Sect. 2.

2d. Observation, That this Author in his Argument here proposed, doth still take the Natural state of Man only from his Passions, without any consideration of Reason or Experience; which is contrary to what he had before laid down, when he made Experience [242] any of the Faculties of the Mind. Yet that none of these Passions do necessarily and uninevitably hurry men into a State of War. Sect. 3.

That none of these Persons, if governed by Reason, ought to incite men to War; and that Reason can never perswade men to fall together by the ears, out of Competition. Sect. 4.

That Diffidence of others, can never, if duly considered, be any Motive to make War with all men; since such a War is not only destructive in its own nature, but also impracticable. Sect. 5.

Mr. H. appeals to experience of what men do for their own security, answered; as also his Simile from the Weather. Sect. 6

He himself grants that there was never actually throughout the World, such a state of War, as he describes. His instances from the Savage People of America make rather against, than for him; proved by Authorities of Travellers. Sect. 7.

His Instance from the practice of Sovereign Powers, proved to be of no force. Sect. 8.

Answer to his Argument from the Passion of Glory, which doth not inevitably hurry men to War, since it is more often mastered by other greater Passions; as Fear of Death, [243] Desire of things necessary, &c. Observation; That the same Passions which excite men to War, do also, with him, at other times perswade them to Peace; and that those Passions are really the more strong, that do so. Sect 9.

Mr. H's Argument from certain Peculiarities in Humane Nature; why men cannot live as sociably with each other as Brutes? The 1st. Competition for Honours, &c. Answer, No Argument to be drawn from this, in the state of Nature. Sect. 10.

His 2d Reason answered; That the Common Good, among Brutes, differs not from the Private, as it does among Men. Sect 11.

Answer to his 3d. Instance; That Creatures not having the use of Reason, do not find fault with the Administration of the Commonwealth; That this can be no Argument in the state of Nature, before Commonwealths are instituted, &c. Sect. 12.

Answer to his 4th Reason; That Brutes have not the use of Speech, and so cannót make Good seem Evil, and Evil Good: Men not in a worse condition than Brutes, by reason of Speech, but rather in a better. Sect. 13.

Answer to his 5th Reason; That Brutes do not distinguish between Injury and Damage, whereas it is otherwise in men. Sect. 14.


Answer to his last Reason; That the agreement of Brutes is natural; but in Men artificial. Sect. 15.

So much granted Mr. H. That men are tormented with divers Passions, which Beasts are not: And so on the other side, men are endued with other Passions, which move them more strongly to Concord. Sect. 16.

A farther Consideration of the absurdity and Inconsistency of this Hypothesis, of a Natural state of War. Sect. 17.

The Heads of the Eighth Principle.

That mutual Compacts of Fidelity are void in the state of Nature; but not so in a Commonwealth.

His Reason for it: Because where Covenants are made upon a mutual trust of future Performances, either Party may chuse whether he will perform, or not; because he is not sure that the other will perform his Part also: And of this he is the sole judge: But that it is otherwise in a Civil State, where there is a Common Power to compel either of them that refuse. Sect. 1.

The reason apparent why he supposes Civil Sovereigns always in a state of War. Sect. 2.


Upon these Principles it is altogether in vain for Princes or States, to make any Leagues or Treaties of Peace with each other. This Notion gives them also a Right of putting to death, or making Slaves of Embassadors, and all others that come into their Dominions. Sect. 3.

That upon this Principle of Mr. H's. if Compacts do not bind in the state of Nature; neither will they be of any force in a Civil State, if either all, or the major part of the Contractors, should have all at once a mind to break them; upon pretence, that either others do not perform their Parts, or that they fear they will not do it. Sect. 4.

Mr. H. far exceeds his Master Epicurus in this Evil Principle. Sect. 5.

The Heads of the Ninth Principle.

The Law of Nature is not truly a Law, unless as it is delivered in the Holy Scripture.

His Reasons for it: That though they are Dictates of Reason, yet that for want of a Legislator, and of sufficient security for those that shall observe them; they are not Laws, but as delivered in Scripture. Sect. 1.

That it hath been already proved, that this Law of endeavouring the Common Good, is the sum of all the Laws of Nature, and that [246] proceeding from God, and established by sufficient Rewards and Punishments; it hath all the Conditions required to a Law. That the defect of other Writers, in not taking the like Method, hath been the cause of Mr. H's▪ and others falling into this Error. This Law not being given in any set form of Words, no Objection against its certainty, or plainness. Sect. 2.

This Law of Nature being to be collected from our own Natures, and that of things, is capable of being known even by persons born deaf and dumb. Mr. H. acknowledges▪ these Laws to be properly so, as proceeding from God. His allowing that those Laws oblige only to a desire or endeavour of the Mind, that they should be observed, a meer Evasion. Answer to his Objection, of the want of Rewards and Punishments, he himself having obviated this, by confessing in his Lev. that they are established by natural Rewards and Punishments: If the Law of Nature is not properly a Law, then there are no natural Rights properly so call'd. Sect. 3.

Answer to his main Reason; That we are not obliged to external Acts, for want of sufficient security; That if this were a sufficient Objection; then neither Civil Laws would oblige. Divine Punishments, as certain as Humane. Sect. 4.


That mens greatest Security consists in a strict observation of all the Laws of Nature▪ Mr. H. in some places acknowledges, That if we do not observe the Laws of Nature, we shall fall into other Evils, besides those that proceed from the violence of Men. Sect. 5.

Two Reasons proposed; shewing the falseness of this Argument of Mr. H. The one, the Declaration of all Civil Sovereigns concerning mens Innocency till accused; The other from Mr. H's own Concession of a much greater Insecurity that will follow from their non-observation; (viz.) a War of all men against all, which is the most miserable State of all others. Sect. 6, 7.

The Heads of the Tenth Principle.

That the Laws of Nature are alterable at the will of the Civil Sovereign.

That this is but a consequence of his former Principle, That nothing is good or evil in the state of Nature; his Arguments for this Principle, Because it proceeds from Civil Laws, that every man should have distinct Rights to himself, as also should not invade those of others; it follows that these Precepts, Thou shalt honour thy Parents; Thou shalt not kill, &c. are Civil Laws, and that the Laws of Nature prescribe the same things, yet implicitely; for the same [248] Law commands all Compacts to be observed; and that to yield obedience, when obedience is due, was covenanted at the Institution of the Commonwealth; and therefore whatever Civil Sovereigns command concerning these things, must be obeyed, since they alone can appoint what shall be yours, or anothers, or what shall be Murther, Theft, &c. Sect. 1.

Nothing written by Mr. H. more wickedly or loosely, nor wherein he more contradicts himself, than in this Principle. The main foundations of which are already destroyed. No Compacts made at the Institution of any Commonwealth, which can be of greater force than the Law of Nature. The dreadful Consequences that will follow from the contrary Principle; Mr. H. allowing even Idolatry it self to be lawful, if commanded by the Supream Powers.

That the Secondary Laws of Nature can never contradict, or alter those that are prior to them, as more conducing to the Common Good; though Civil Laws may restrain, or enlarge several particular Instances. His Example of the Lacedemonian Boys answered. Sect. 2.

A Concluding Instance in answer to this, from that Law of ours, against relieving wandring Beggars. Sect. 3.


Uncertain, whether Mr. H. broached this dangerous Doctrine out of ignorance, or design of flattering Civil Sovereigns; yet that by this he endeavours to destroy all Vertue and Goodness in Princes, and all obligation of Obedience in Subjects, whenever they are strong enough to rebel. Sect. 4.

The Conclusion; containing an Apology for the length of these Confutations. Sect. 5.




The Second Part:

Wherein the Moral Principles of Mr. Hobbs's De Cive & Leviathan, are fully Considered, and Confuted.


§. 1 THough perhaps it may not seem unnecessary, after so much as hath been said, to prove the certainty, and constant obligation of the Law of Nature, of endeavouring the Common Good of all Rational Beings; more particularly to confute the Principles of Epicurus, and his Follower Mr. H. it being a true Maxim in other Sciences, as well as Geometry, Rectum est Index sui, & obliqui: Yet since those Authors have not only poisoned the World with their pernicious Tenets, but have also endeavoured to support them with the specious appearances of Reason and Argument; it may be expected, that we should say somewhat in [252] answer to these Reasons and Arguments Mr. H. the Reviver of those Principles in this Age, hath brought in his Book De Cive & Leviathan, to maintain and support them. And therefore I have thought fit to add some Considerations, and Confutations of them, as far as they contradict the Principles we have here laid down; and rather to put them here all together at the end, than in the Body of our Treatise of the Law of Nature; since there they would not only have interrupted the Coherence of the Discourse it self, but would have also disturbed, and taken off the minds of the ordinary Readers (for whom I chiefly intend it) from a due consideration of the truth and connexion of the things therein contained. And therefore I have thought fit rather to cast them all together into a distinct part by themselves; since if you are Master of that former Part of this Discourse, you will easily perceive, not only the Falshood and Absurdity of Mr. H's Principles, but that it was from his Ignorance, or Inconsideration of this great Principle of the Common Good of Rational Beings, that he first fell into those Errors, and made private Self-preservation not only the first motive (which had been true enough) but also the sole end of all Moral Actions, which is altogether false, and below the dignity, not only of a Philosopher, but a Man. I have therefore [253] gone through all his Moral Principles in order; and as for his Politick ones, if these are false, they will need no other Confutation; and I have reduced them into certain Heads, or Propositions, and have truly given you this Sum of Arguments, that no man may find fault with me for misrepresenting his Opinions.


Man is not a Creature born apt for Society.

§. 1. MR. H. in his Philosophical Elements, or Treatise De Cive, Chap. 1. §. 2. lays down, and maintains this Principle, and gives certain specious Reasons for it; which because they are somewhat tedious, and divers of them very trivial, I shall rather chuse to contract them, than be at the trouble of transcribing all that he hath loosely enough laid down for the maintenance of this Assertion; referring you, if you doubt whether I rightly represent his meaning, to the Author himself in the place above-cited.

He there in the first place supposes, that Man is not a Sociable Creature, because it could not be otherwise in Nature, but only by accident; for if Man loved Man naturally, there could be no reason [254] given why every one should not love every one alike, as being alike Man; or why he should rather frequent those in whose Society Honour and Profit is conferred, rather on himself, than others. Therefore we do not by nature seek Companions, but to be either honoured, or profited by them. These in the first place; but those in the second; And this he thinks he hath sufficiently proved, by shewing us for what end men herd together, and what they do when they are met; for if they come together for Commerce-sake, every one minds not his Companion's, but his own Interest. If for Publick Affairs, there arises a certain Court-friendship, having more of mutual fear than love; from whence often Faction, but never Good-will is produced. If for the sake of Mirth and Pleasure, every one is wont to please himself in those things which raise laughter; from whence he may (as it is the nature of what is ridiculous) by the comparison of another's weakness or infirmity, become more acceptable to himself: And he there proceeds to shew from several Observations he had made in the Companies he had kept, That all men that converse together either for the sake, or the instruction of others, do only seek Company for their own profit, or glory, and not the good of others; that is, for the love of himself, not of his Companions: And therefore since Man can never seek Civil Society, only out of a desire of glory; and although the Profits and Conveniences [255] of life may be encreased by mens mutual assistance, yet since that may be much better procured by a dominion over others, than by their Society, no body can doubt, but that men are more vehemently carried by their Nature, when fear is removed, to dominion, than Society; therefore it is to be laid down for a Principle, That the original of all great and lasting Societies did not proceed from the mutual Benevolence of Men, but their mutual Fear; And by Fear, as he tells us in the Annotation to this Paragraph, he doth not mean only to be frightned, but under that word Fear, he comprehends any prospect of a future Evil, as to distrust, suspect, beware, and to provide that they may not fear, to be also the part of those who are afraid.

§. 2. Having given you the Author's Sense, and in great part his own words; I shall now proceed to make some Observations upon them; and in the first place must observe, That the main strength of his Arguments consists in the ill, or false use of these words, unapt for Society. For if he only understands by them, that Men are born actually unapt for Civil Society, because they are Infants, or else unexperienced of the Evils proceeding from the Wants thereof; this is indeed a great discovery, and worthy a Philosopher, that Children, or People without experience, are not [256] able to understand the meaning or force of Compacts; or are unable immediately to enter into a Civil State. Nor is his Reason any better; That though Infants and persons of full Age, though unexperienced, partake of Human Nature; yet being thus unapt for Society, Man is not made fit for it by Nature, but Discipline.

§. 3. From whence I observe, That he only takes the measure of Humane Nature, from those Passions which precede the use of Reason, Experience, and Discipline. And as they first and chiefly shew themselves in Children and Fools; or persons unexperienced. Whereas, according to the Opinion of the best Philosophers, we suppose the truer nature of Man, ought rather to be taken from his utmost Perfection, viz. his Reason, or the power of deducing Effects from their Causes; by which alone, he is distinguished from Brutes: And so the Will may incline us to those things, which Reason shall judge most fit and convenient for our Natures. And therefore Mr. H. doth very absurdly, to oppose Experience, and Discipline, to Nature; since whatever men learn by either of these, they must still attain to it by the force of their Rational Natures, and those Faculties of Reason and Speech, which Brutes are not capable [257] of: And therefore the nature of a Creature is best judged of from the utmost Perfection it attains to: As the Nature of a Plant is not to be taken from its first appearance, or as soon as ever it peeps out of the Earth, but from its utmost state of perfection, when it comes to bear Flowers, Seed, or Fruit. And even that Experience, to which Mr. H. attributes all our Reason, he himself grants to be a natural, and not acquired Power: See his Leviathan, Chap. 8. where treating of Intellectual Vertues, he hath these Words; The Intellectual Vertues are of two sorts, Natural, and acquired. By Natural, I mean not that which a man hath from his Birth, for that is nothing else but sense, wherein men differ so little from one another, and from brute Beasts, as it is not to be reckoned amongst the Virtues. But I mean that Wit, which is gotten by use only, and experience, without method, culture, or Instruction.

§. 4. To conclude this Head, I desire those Gentlemen of his Opinion, to take notice, That all Philosophers, and Writers of Politicks, as well as Mr. H. were not ignorant how unfit Infants, and Grown Persons, without experience, or labouring under any unruly Passion, were to enter into Leagues, or Compacts; or to perform any of the Duties of a Civil Society: But yet for all that, they supposed [258] man to be born for those ends; which by the force of his Rational Nature, he may at last attain to, unless something preternatural (such as are those disorderly Passions, or Diseases of the Mind) intervene: And Iuvenal's Saying is as old as true; Non aliud Natura, aliud Sapientia dictat. And sure it is a childish Inference, and favours more of Sophistry, than true Philosophy, to say, Men are born Infants, and therefore unapt for Civil Society. Since any Country Fellow could have taught him better, who thinks his Son born apt to be a Plough-man, or a Grasier, though he knows he will not be able to hold the Plough, until he is twelve or thirteen years of age▪ Nor yet to understand Grazing, until he is able to ride and go to Market.

§. 5. But let us now more particularly examine the Reasons this Author there gives us, why Man is a Creature naturally unapt for Society, which he will have to be only by accident; Because if one man loved another naturally as man, there could be no reason why every man should not love every man alike; or wherefore he should rather frequent those in whose company he is most likely to get Honour and Profit. Therefore we do not naturally seek Companions, i. e. for their own sakes; but either to gain Honour or Prosit by them: These in the first place; but those in the Second, &c.


In answer to which, I grant indeed, that particular persons, when they joyn with others, in any Society or Company, do usually consider some peculiar end, either of Profit or Pleasure; which may thence redound to themselves. Yet doth it not therefore follow that Man is not a Creature designed by God for Society; or that he is not obliged by the Laws of Nature, or right Reason to be friendly and sociable even to those from whom no present advantage can be expected. For tho' it be granted, that men either from a peculiar agreement of dispositions, or that they suppose they can sooner obtain some particular end or advantage, in some mens Conversation than others; and do therefore prefer such mens Company before others; yet does not this prove, That man is not naturally a Sociable Creature: Since he himself grants, That men can neither live comfortably, nor be so much as bred up, or preserved, without the help and society of others.

Therefore if he is determined to the end, viz. happiness, and self-preservation, he is likewise as necessarily determined to the means, (viz.) Society. And his inclination to this or that man's company more than others, is no more an Argument against our Natures requiring Society, than if I should argue▪ That because I love Mutton better than Veal▪ [260] therefore it is not from my nature, but only by accident, that I am ordained to preserve my life by eating. And as for the instances which he gives, to let us see with what intent men meet together, from what men do when they are met. It is plain that Mr. H. here confounds that natural Society, which is absolutely necessary for man's preservation, with these particular Clubs or Companies, which men keep for their greater pleasure or advantage▪ And though I have already granted, that some mens particular profit or pleasure may be promoted or increased, by frequenting some mens Companies, rather than others; as suppose there be a greater agreement of Dispositions; or that we have been more used to this or that man's Company by Education, or long acquaintance, &c. And though it be likewise granted, that a man does more frequent their Company, among whom he finds most honour and profit. Since every man may lawfully pursue his own pleasures and advantages (if he knows rightly how to judge of it.) Yet this doth not at all contradict man's sociable nature, provided the Common Bonds of Society be not broken and disturbed, by any mans more particular Interests or Inclinations; and God has not so designed us to good for others, as that we should neglect all care of our selves; but that [261] this sociableness is therefore to be observed by mankind, that by a mutual communication of humane assistances, and other natural goods, between divers persons, we may more conveniently promote our own pleasure or advantage jointly with that of others; Since a mutual love and benevolence, is to be observed among men, though not otherwise related to each other, than by the common relation of Humanity, and with whom we may preserve a sufficient concord, by doing them good, rather than hurt, whenever it lies in our power. And though a man, when he joyns himself with some particular Company, will in the first place consider his own pleasure or profit, before that of his Companions: Yet ought he not so to consult his private advantage, as that the good of the Civil Society, or of Mankind in general, be thereby prejudiced, by injuring any of its particular Members: And a man as well in Natural, as Moral and Civil Actions, may propose his own pleasure or profit, in the first place, though he may also intend some higher or nobler end of his thus acting. Thus a man who intends to marry, may lawfully propose to himself his own pleasure and satisfaction; though the great end of Marriage, (and which he may also chiefly intend) be the propagation of Mankind. So likewise a Master or Tutor that [262] instructs others, may lawfully propose to himself his own profit or advantage thereby; though he may also ultimately intend the instruction of his Scholars, or Pupils (that is, the Common Good of Mankind) as the great end of his taking that Profession. So likewise in Civil Societies or Commonwealths, a man may propose to himself his own Security, Profit, or Honour, as a reason why he bestows his time and labour, or ventures his life in the service of the Publick: And yet he may farther propose to himself the love of his Countrey, or the good of the Commonwealth, as the great End of his Actions.

§. 6. So that it is to little purpose, which Mr. H. alledges, That the original of the greatest and most lasting Societies, to wit, Commonwealths, did not proceed from mutual Good-will, but mutual Fear; (the Word Fear being used for any fore-sight, or precaution of a future Evil.) For we are not here considering the original of Civil Societies, but of that natural sociableness among men, which we look upon as most necessary and agreeable to the nature of man; though some particular men being also sensible how obnoxious they were to the Injuries of those who sought their own pleasure or profit, without any consideration of the [263] interest or good of others, did, to prevent them, unite themselves together in that stricter League of Amity, called Civil Society. So that this Common Amity or Benevolence, cannot be omitted to be first supposed, even in the very constitution of Common wealths: Since those who founded them, must have been before united, either by some natural relation; and a mutual confidence in, or benevolence towards each other; although perhaps, others might afterwards, out of fear of their Power, or a liking of their Government, be compelled or allured, to joyn or associate themseves with them.

§. 7. But as for those Instances Mr. H. gives us of those that seek Society only to censure the Lives and Actions of other men; thereby to gain Glory to themselves, from the Follies or Infirmities of those they converse with; Such sort of Conversation, consisting for the most part of some idle ill-natured men, who count themselves Wits, and have little else to do, but to speak ill of, and censure others, does not concern the major part of Mankind; who needing each others Society, for more necessary occasions, have commonly other Business to discourse of, when they meet.


§. 8. As for the rest of those things he says, That the Necessaries of life may be much better procured by dominion over, than by the Society of others, that is altogether false, and precarious; since no man by his own single strength, and without the voluntary help or society of others, could ever yet subdue, and make Slaves of all other men he met with: And therefore if any man ever increased his natural power or advantage over others, it was not by vertue of his own sole power or strength, but by mens deference to his Valour, or Vertue, when they chose him for their Head, or Leader; or else that they followed him, and obeyed his Commands as their Father, or Grandfather, out of reverence to his Wisdom, or Gratitude for his Benefits.

§. 9. To conclude, He himself there objects, that men cannot grow up, or live contentedly without the society and assistance of others: And therefore cannot deny, but men desire the society of each other, their Nature compelling them thereunto. But to come off from this Objection, he will have nothing called Society, but Commonwealths; which, says he, are not meer Meetings, but Leagues, for making of which Compacts are necessary. And therefore still argues, that Infants, and [265] those that are unexperienced, are uncapable of them, &c. Upon which I shall only observe, That Mr. H. imposes upon himself, and others, by confounding that first, and most natural amity, and sociableness of Persons of one and the same Family, as of Husband and Wife, Parents and Children, &c. towards each other, with that artificial Society, which proceeding wholly from Compacts, we call a Commonwealth: So likewise he imposes on his Readers in the use of the words Nature, and Natural (as I have partly shewn already) for by these words is commonly understood, either something that is by Nature inseparably proper to its subject, as to a Fish to swim; and other things are natural and proper to a Creature, not as a meer Animal, but as of such a Species, and at such an Age; as for a Man to go upon two Legs, and speak. Lastly, It sometimes signifies an aptness in a Subject to receive some farther perfection by culture and discipline, with which Nature intended it should be endued. So the Earth is intended by Nature for the production of Vegetables; yet it doth not naturally bring forth all Plants in all places alike, without Plowing, or Setting; yet are not these Plants so sown, or set, less natural for all that: So likewise I have already proved, that whatever perfection we attain to by the power of our Reason or Experience, [266] it is not less natural notwithstanding.


All Men by Nature are equal.

§. 1. WHich he thus undertakes to make out in the Chapter last cited, §. 3. The cause of mutual Fear consists partly in mens natural equality, partly in their mutual Will of hurting; from whence it happens, that we are neither able to expect security from others, nor yet afford it to our selves; For if we consider Men grown up, and take notice how frail the Frame of a Man's Body is (which failing, all his force, strength and wisdom fails together with it) and how easie it is for any the most weak, to kill the strongest Man; there is no reason, that any man trusting in his own strength, should suppose himself superior by Nature to others. For those are equal, who are able to do the like things against each other; but those who can do the greatest thing, that is, take away life, are able to do like, or equal things to each other; therefore all men are by nature equal, that unequality which now is, being introduced by Civil Laws.


§. 2. Before I answer which, I shall first make these Concessions and Limitations: First, I grant, That all Civil Inequality of Persons is introduced by Civil Laws. 2dly, That there is also such a natural equality among Men, that there is nothing which one man can arrogate to himself as a Man, but by the same reason which he judges it fit or necessary for himself, he must also judge it alike fit and necessary for another man, who stands in like need of it. Thus if Victuals, Cloaths, and Liberty, are things necessary for his own being, and preservation, they are likewise equally necessary for the well-being and preservation of all other men, and consequently that they have a like right to them; from which natural equality proceeds that great Rule of the Law of Nature, To do to others, as we would have others do to us: And in this sense I agree with him, that all men are equal; so that in this sense it is so far from being a cause of war, or dissention among men, that it rather perswades to amity and concord: Yet doth not this equality hinder, but that there is notwithstanding a natural unequality of strength or power amongst men, both in body and mind; since any man, that doth but observe the great difference there is in both the strength and understanding of some persons above others, but will grant, that there is as [268] great, or greater difference between some men and others, than there is between some Brutes (supposing Apes, or Elephants) and men, in understanding: Yet does there not any natural equality follow from the Reason Mr. H. here gives us, That those are equal, that are able to do the like things to each other, to wit, take away their lives: For besides that, there are some born maimed, and cripled, or else so void of understanding, as not to have either the will or ability to hurt or kill others; and if a Coward and a stout man are to fight, or a very weak man and a strong, will any man say that they are an equal match? And this Mr. H. tells us, That it is easie for the weakest to kill the strongest man; he grants it must either be by chance, cunning, or surprize. I grant indeed it may happen by chance, and yet this will not make the match to be equal; any more than it is in Cockfighting, where the Gamesters will lay five to one on such a Cock's side against another set down to fight with him; and though perhaps the weaker Cock may happen to kill the stronger by a chance stroke, yet no man will therefore affirm, that both these Cocks were equal by nature; the same may be said of Men. But it may be replied, That there is a great difference between Men and Beasts, since though Brutes cannot, yet a Man weaker in body or [269] mind than another he would be revenged of, may join, or combine with one as wise and strong as his Adversary, and then they will be an equal Match in point of strength. If this were a good Argument, it would prove more, or rather contrary to that for which it is designed; for this weaker man may combine with one as strong and wise as the other, and then the odds will be apparently on the weaker man's side: But if I should grant the utmost that can be asked, that both these mens wit and strength taken together, are still but an equal match to the other, may not this wiser and stronger man as well also combine with others as wise and strong as himself, and then will not the unequality be much greater than it was before? And as for cunning, or surprize, it signifies as little, since the stronger man may be as cunning as the other, and may have also as good luck in surprising him at unawares; but it is indeed a very trivial Argument to prove this natural equality, because those are equal that are able to do the like things to each other; since this were to level Man with the most despicable Creatures; For there is scarce any Beast, nay Insect, so weak, but may sometime or other destroy a man by force, or surprize; and we read of a Pope who was choaked by swallowing of a Fly in his Drink, which if it could be [270] supposed to be done by the Fly on purpose, would make the Fly and the Pope to be equal by Nature.


That there is a mutual will or desire in all men in the state of Nature, of hurting each other.

§. 1. WHich Mr. H. thus endeavours to prove in the same Chapter of his De Cive.

There is a will (says he) indeed in all men of doing hurt in the state of Nature, but not from the same cause, nor alike culpable. For one man, according to a natural equality, allows to others all the same things as to himself, which is the part of a modest man, and of one that rightly measures his own strength; another esteeming himself superior to others, will have all things to be lawful for himself only, and arrogates an honour to himself above others, which is the part of a proud disposition; therefore the will of hurting is in this man from a vain glory; and a false esteem of his own power, as it is in the other from a necessity of defending his own Goods and Liberty against the other's violence. Besides, since the strife of wit is the greatest amongst men, it is necessary that very great discord should arise from that Contention; [271] for it is not only odious to contradict, but also not to consent; for not to consent to another in a thing, is tacitly to accuse him of error in that matter; so likewise to dissent in very many things, is as much as to count him a Fool; which may appear from hence, that no Wars are more sharply prosecuted, than between different Sects of the same Religion, and the Factions of the same Commonwealth, where there is a strife concerning Doctrine, or Civil Prudence. But since all pleasure and satisfaction of mind consists in this, That a man may have somewhat, by which, comparing himself with others, he may think highly well of himself; it is impossible but that they should shew their mutual hatred and contempt sometimes, either by laughter, words or gestures, or by some outward sign, than which there is indeed no greater vexation of, mind, neither from which a greater desire of hurting can arise. But the most frequent cause why men desire to hurt each other, arises from hence, that many desire the same thing at once; yet (which very often happens) they neither may, nor can enjoy it in common, nor will yet divide it; from whence it follows, that it must be given to the stronger; but who is the stronger, can only be known by fighting.

§. 2. From which, I shall first observe, That it is not true, that in the state of Nature, [272] there is in all men a like will of hurting each other: For in this State, the first, and most natural condition to be considered is, when men have not as yet at all provoked each other, nor done them either good or harm. And in this condition, none but a Fool, a Wicked man, or a Mad-man can have any desire to hurt another, who hath given him no provocation for it: Though I grant, that there are too many men (such as Mr. Hobbs describes) who will arrogate more things to themselves, than they either deserve, or really need; yet even in these men, there is not a will to hurt every man alike, but only those who stand in their way; and whose Goods, or other things, they may think may be useful for themselves. Nor yet are these all Mankind, since he grants there are some, and perhaps as many, or more; who, according to natural equality, will allow to others all the same things, as to themselves, which he grants is the part of a modest man, and who makes a true estimate of his own strength. And certainly, if this modest man judges according to right reason, who allows to others the same things, as to himself; this violent or proud man (he here describes) cannot acquire any right to the liberty or goods of others, from his own unreasonable judgment, and false estimation of his own strength or merit: [273] Nor is this self-defence, of the modest or honest man, properly a desire to hurt the other, but only a necessity to defend himself against his assaults, since he had no intention to hurt him, before this violent man gave him a just provocation.

§. 3. As for that strife of Wit, which (as he says) is the greatest among men; though there may be some difference in Opinions, and Contentions arise from thence; Yet doth it not therefore follow, that there must from thence necessarily arise a desire in all men, of hurting or destroying others: For there are many of so equal and reasonable a disposition, that they can find no cause of hating, much less of hurting others; though they often differ from them in opinion; or that they must take all others for fools, if they prefer their own Judgment before another Man's.

And as for Mr. H's Instances, that there are no Wars more sharp than those between the different Sects of the same Religion, or the Factions of the same Commonwealth, these Examples will not make out that for which he produces them; Since he grants, Wars about Religion do seldom happen, but amongst those of different Sects in the same Religion; which shews it doth not proceed from the Natural State of Mankind, which [274] ought to be governed by Reason, not Superstition; much less from natural Religion, but from an unreasonable Superstition, or blind Zeal, too often inflamed by the Priests of either Party; making it not their own, but God's Cause, or Glory, (as they call it) for which they would have them fight, persecute, and destroy each other. And as for the Wars and Contentions between the different Factions of the same Commonwealth; it is apparent they have no place in the meer state of Nature; since they are produced by mens entring into Civil Society; aud therefore they are not fairly urged by Mr. H. as an Instance of their desire to hurt each other in the state of Nature.

§. 4. In answer to his Assertion, That all satisfaction of the mind is placed in something, by which a man comparing himself with others, may thereby think highly well of himself: And therefore it is impossible but they must declare their hatred and contempt of each other, sometimes either by laughter, &c. than which there can be no greater vexation, neither from which a greater desire of revenge doth usually arise.

I thus reply: First, Neither does this Observation reach, so that they must needs take pleasure in puting a higher value upon themselves, than they deserve; or that right Reason, [275] or Prudence, should perswade them to affront others, either by Words or Actions: Neither yet to take for Affronts, and mortal Injuries, all those things, which any silly, ill-bred Fellow may happen to do: Since such quarrels do not proceed either from Nature, or Reason, but from foolish Customs, and bad Education; as appears in making, giving the lie, an affront, which was not so, till about an Age agone; neither is among other Nations, but us Europeans, any occasion of a Quarrel: Nor yet is there any necessity, but that men may, and often do differ from each other, in opinion and words too, without giving one another the lie, or any just occasion of offence: And therefore these are no sufficient grounds to raise a general Rule of the Natural state of all Mankind, from the indiscretion, or ill manners of some, nay many men.

§. 5. As for his last Reason, from the desire of divers men at once to the same thing, which cannot be decided without fighting.

In answer to this, I grant this may be true amongst Brutes; as also amongst brutish and unreasonable men: But since God hath endued men with Reason, either to divide the thing, if it be capable of division; or else to use it by turns, where it is not, where [276] divers have an equal right in it; or else to leave it wholly to the first occupant; since every man hath a natural right to what he thus acquires, as is fully proved in the precedent discourse. Therefore granting mens Lusts and Passions do often encline them to War and contention, yet are not they therefore determined, or necessitated thereunto; seeing God hath given Man Reason to foresee, as also to prevent the evils of War; and has likewise endued them with as strong Passions (as Mr. H. acknowledges) to incline them to peace; as hath been more fully made out, when we speak of the Natural State of Mankind: Neither in the state of Nature, hath God made so niggardly a distribution of things, that no man can desire; or make use of any thing necessary for life, but presently another must start up to be his competitor for it: Since if men lived according to right Reason, and the necessities of Nature, and still used the Fruits of the whole Earth in Common, there would be yet left a sufficient stock to supply the Necessities of them all, without coveting the Goods of others, or taking away that they are already possessed of.



That Nature hath given to every one a right to all things. De Cive. C. 1. §. 10.

§. 1. THAT is (as he explains it) in a meer natural state, or before men were obliged to each other by any Compacts, it was lawful for every one to do all things whatsoever, and against whomsoever it pleased him so to do; and to possess, use, and enjoy all things, which he would or could; but Since whatsoever things any one would have, they either seemed good for himself, because he desires them, and do either conduce to his own preservation, or at least may seem to conduce to it: But whether those things do really conduce to this end, he supposes he hath in the former Article proved the Person himself to be sole judge. So that those must be counted as necessary means, which he judges as such: And by the 7th Article aforegoing, those things are done and enjoyed by the right of Nature, which do necessarily conduce to the preservation of his own life and members: Whence it follows, to have and do all things in the state of Nature, is lawful for all men; and this is what is commonly said, That Nature hath given all things to all men: From whence also it is understood, that in the state of nature, Profit or utility, is the measure of Right.


Which Argument in his Annotations to this Article, he thus explains and contracts.

This is so to be understood, that that which anyone may do, in a meer natural state, is injurious to no man: Not that in such a state it is impossible to sin against God, or to violate the Laws of Nature; but injustice towards men supposes Human Laws, which are not in the state of Nature▪ But the truth of the proposition so understood, is demonstrated to the mindful Reader, in the foregoing Paragraphs: But because in some cases, the hardness of the Conclusion drives out the memory of the Premises, he contracts the Argument, and lays it thus to be seen at once; By Art, the 7th it is proved, that every one hath a right of preserving himself; and by Art. the 8th. Therefore the same person hath a right to use all means necessary thereunto. But by Art. the 9th, Those means are necessary, which he shall judge to be so. Therefore the same person hath a right to have, and possess all things which he shall judge necessary for his own preservation: Therefore in the judgment of the doer, that which is done, either by Right, or by Injury. Therefore it is done by Right, because in the state of Nature nothing is injurious.

I have made bold to add this last Clause from what went before, because otherwise the Argument is imperfect.


Therefore it is evidently true, That in a mere natural State, every man hath a right to all things.

§. 2. For the destroying of which Principle, as also for the answering the Arguments which he brings to support it, I shall in the first place observe, That the Author's Conclusion▪ which he makes from his Premises in his Annotations, viz. That every man hath a right to do, and possess all things which himself shall judge necessary for his own preservation, is not the same which he draws from the same Premises in the Text, (viz.) That every man hath a right to have, and do all things in the state of Nature. For indeed from his own Principles no other Conclusion can follow, than what he hath now drawn from thence in his Annotation; for no man in his right Senses ever yet judged, that to have, and do all things whatever, was absolutely necessary for his preservation; only that he had a right indefinitely to as many of them as he should judge necessary for this End. 2dly, Neither ought a man in the state of Nature to propose the bare preservation of his own Life, and Members, as the only end of living, since that may be enjoyed by those who are really very miserable, as may be observed in such as labour under tedious and constant Infirmities, or are [280] condemned to the Mines, or Gallies, or suffer themselves to be carried away by any domineering, or irrational Appetite or Passion▪And if the preservation of a man's Life and Members, were the only ends of life; then if another in the state of Nature should threaten to kill or maim him, unless he would deny, or blaspheme God, or murther his Father, it were upon this Principle lawful, nay necessary for him so to do; it being the only means by which he could preserve his life and Limbs. 3dly, Neither doth any man's rash or false judgment, that such a thing is necessary for his own preservation, confer on him a right to that thing; for then God had given him a right to all things they should in any passion, or rash and inconsiderate humour fancy necessary for that end, tho it really tended to their destruction, or that of other innocent men; So that if a man should think the blood of his dearest Friend would cure him of some Distemper he lay under, he might lawfully upon this Principle murther him (if he could do it safely); And then God should have given men a right of destroying themselves and others, whenever they thought (though falsly) that it conduced to their preservation, the satisfaction of their unreasonable Appetites or Humours: since such an unlimited Right, or rather License, can be so far from conducing to [281] any man's preservation, that if any men should ever have gone about to put it in practice, it would have long since produced not only their own destruction, but that of all Mankind.

§. 3. And if Mr. H. his own definition of right Reason be true, Art. 7th of this Chapter, That it is a liberty of using a man's Faculties according to right Reason; then certainly right Reason can never judge contradictory Propositions to be true, as that I should in the state of Nature have a right to all things my Neighbour was possessed of, and his life into the bargain, if I thought it might conduce to my self-preservation; and that this should be likewise as true, and rational a conclusion, that he should have the like right against me; since the word right is never used by any Writers of this Subject, but with respect to some Law, either Natural, or Civil, which Mr. H. acknowledges in the next Chapter, Art. 1st, in these words. But since all do grant that to be done by Right, which is not done contrary to right Reason, we ought to suppose that done by Injury, which is repugnant to right reason; or which contradicts some truth collected from true Principles by right Reason; but that is done by Injury, which is done against some Law, therefore right Reason is a certain Law, which is called natural, [282] since it is not less a part of Humane Nature than any other Faculty or Affection of the Mind: as Mr. H. himself confesses in this 2d Chapter of this Treatise De Cive, §. 1. tho he strives to avoid the force of it in his Annotations to this Article; where, by right Reason in the state of Nature, he tells us, He does not thereby understand (as many do) any infallible Faculty in men, but the Act of Ratiocination; that is, every man's own true reason concerning his own Actions, as they may redound to the profit or hurt of himself, or other men; and the reason why he calls it a mans own Reason, is, that though in a Commonwealth the reason thereof, that is, the Civil Law, is to be taken as right by all the Subjects; yet out of a Commonwealth, where no man can distinguish right Reason from false, but by comparing it with his own, every man's own Reason is not only to be taken for the Rule of his own Actions, but also in his own Affairs, for the measure of all other mens Reason: But how this will agree with what follows, I cannot tell; When he calls right Reason that which concludes from true Principles; because that in false ratiocination, or in the folly of men not observing those duties towards others which are necessary to their own preservation, consists all the violation of natural Laws.

But how false ratiocination, or folly, should give them a right to all they have a mind to [283] act thus towards others, I cannot apprehend; but from these words of Mr. H. I shall only observe, That though I do not suppose Reason to be any infallible Faculty, any more than the casting up of an Account into a Sum total, though false, to be right Arithmetick, or true Counting; yet by right Reason, when it is not erroneous, is to be understood the true exercise of that Faculty; not erroneous in its judgments, and therefore doth not consist in the bare act of Ratiocination, but in its true effects; that is, when true Propositions, or Premises, being laid up in the memory, those Conclusions are drawn from thence, which when they are practical, and contain true moral Rules of life, are called Laws of Nature.

§. 4. And therefore it is not true, that in a Commonwealth the publick Reason, or Law thereof, are to be always taken for Right; for then if the Laws of the Commonwealth should enact Parricide, Ingratitude, and breach of Faith, to be exercised as Vertues, and to conduce to the good and preservation of Mankind, they would presently become so; which, I suppose, neither this Author, nor any rational Man would affirm. Nor is his other Proposition any truer, that out of a Commonwealth, no man can distinguish right Reason from false, but by comparing it [284] with his own; and therefore that must be the measure of all his Actions, from whence he deduces the right of all men to all things; which Argument I shall reduce into the form of a Syllogism, that you may the better judge of its truth. It is lawful in the state of Nature for every one to possess all things, and to do all things towards all men, which some Iudge shall judge necessary for the preservation of his own life and Members: But those things that every man himself shall judge to be necessary to his preservation, those the only Iudge in this case judges to be necessary for this end; (for he had proved before, that himself is the only Judge in the state of Nature, what things are necessary for his preservation;) therefore to have, and do all things, &c. is necessary for a man's own preservation. In which Syllogism the major is certainly false, because though a man's self be the sole Judge in the state of Nature, yet he may give a false Sentence, and suppose those things to be necessary for his preservation which really are not; neither is there any reason that in the state of Nature, any more than in a Civil State, the bare Sentence of a Judge should confer a true and equitable Right on any man to an Estate, if the Judge determines contrary to all the Rules of Law and Equity. So likewise in the state of Nature, a man's own judgment can confer no [285] Right upon him, when he quits the only true Rules of his Judgment, which in this State can only be the Laws of Nature, or right Reason, and the nature of things, and Mankind, from whence only they are drawn. Nor can there be any State supposed, either Natural, or Civil, in which there is no Rule of Humane Judgment, or that whatsoever a man's mind shall rashly suppose things to be, that they must presently become such as he hath fancied them: Since the utility of things necessary for the preservation of Humane Nature depend not upon mens rash judgments, but upon the force of their natural Causes; and a man by thus falsly judging, that he had a right to all things that he hath a mind to, and that they are absolutely necessary for his preservation, can no more make them become so, than if he should judge that Ratsbane were Sugar-candy, it would be thereby presently turned into wholsome Food: So likewise those general, and universal Causes, which procure the preservation, or mischief of Mankind, do depend upon such fixt Principles in Nature, as are not to be altered by the judgment of any Judge, whether he be a single man in the state of Nature, or the Supream Powers in a Commonwealth.


§. 5. But this Error of Mr. H. concerning the force of his Sentence, which thus falsly pronounces an absolute Dominion over all men, and all things, to be necessary for his preservation, and thereby to confer a Right thereunto; seems to proceed from hence, That he having observed in a Civil State the Sentence of the Supream Magistrate, or Judge, had that force with the Subjects, that whether his Sentence were according to the Rules of Law, or natural Equity, or not, it was nevertheless to be obeyed, and submitted to: Whereas this Submission proceeds wholly from their Consents who instituted the Commonwealth, in order to the publick Good, and for the putting some end to Controversies; since all the Subjects must submit to the Judgment of the Supream Power, or Magistrate, whether it be right or wrong; because they are all satisfied, that it conduces more to their common quiet and safety, that some few should sometimes suffer through an unjust Judgment, than that Controversies should be endless, or at least not without Civil Wars, or Disturbances. So that it is evident, That it is only from a greater care of the Common Good, than of the Lives or Estates of any particular person that lays a foundation for this Prerogative, which though I grant belongs to all Supream Powers, yet if this once [287] come to be generally and notoriously abused by constant course of wilful Violence, Oppression and Injustice, so that the Subjects cannot longer bear it, they will quickly make their appeal somewhere else, unless they are hindred by some predominant Power, or Force over them.

§. 6. But on the other side it is certain, That men in the state of Nature cannot admit of any final Judgment, or determination of a doubt or difference, besides an evidence either from the things themselves, or from that trust or credit they place in some mens either Judgment or Testimony, whereby all manner of doubt or scruple is clearly removed out of the minds of the Parties concerned; and that it appears evident to them, that they are not imposed upon; neither can there be any end of debates amongst divers Pretenders, unless one Party being convinced by the strength of the other's Reasons, come over to his, or their Opinion; or else being satisfied of the Knowledge and Integrity of some third Person, as an Arbitrator, do willingly submit to his Sentence.

§. 7. For Humane Nature will ever acknowledge a difference between right Reason, and false; and between a just, and an [288] unjust Judgment; and 'tis only Truth and right Reason that have this Prerogative, that they can confer a right on us of doing those things which they prescribe. For even Mr. H. in his definition of Right, acknowledges, that it is only a liberty of using our Faculties according to right Reason; whereas all Error, or false Judgment, whether it be concerning Necessaries for the preservation of Life, or in any other practical matter, can give no man a right of doing that which he then falsly judges necessary for his preservation. And therefore Mr. H's Conclusion, where he acknowledges at last, That right Reason is that which concludes from true Principles; and likewise that in the false reasoning, and folly of men, in not understanding their Duties towards other men, consists all the violation of the Laws of Nature; grants as much as I can desire; but how this will agree with that loose definition of Reason, where he supposes every man's reason to be alike right, I desire any of his Disciples to shew me. Therefore to conclude, I can only allow that to be practical right Reason, which gives us leave to undertake things reasonable and possible, and that forbids a man to arrogate to himself alone a dominion over all men, and all things, which is needless and impossible, indeed wholly pernicious to his preservation.


§. 8. But to avoid this difficulty, Mr. H. and his Followers fly to the Subterfuge of a natural necessity in men, that so judge thus falsly, and act contrary to the Laws of Nature, or Reason: And therefore in his Preface to this Treatise, he supposes all men to be evil by Nature, and makes them necessarily determined by their Appetites and Passions (before they are endued with Reason and Discipline) to act mischievously, and unreasonably; and therefore tells us, that Children, unless you give them every thing they desire, cry, and are angry, and will strike their very Fathers and Mothers; and it is by nature they do so, and yet are blameless; as well because they cannot hurt, as also that wanting the use of Reason, they are yet free from all its Duties: But the same persons, when grown up, and having got strength enough to hurt, if they hold on to do the same things, they then begin both to be, and to be called evil. So that a wicked man is almost the same thing, as an overgrown Child, or a man of a childish disposition, because there is the same defect of Reason at that age, in which by Nature, improved by Discipline, and experience of its inconveniencies, it commonly happens to be amended. So likewise the Author of Tractatus Theologico Politicus, who more openly than Mr. H. (but upon the same Principles) endeavours to destroy all Religion, both Natural, and Revealed; argues to this purpose, [290] in the 16th Chap. of the said Treatise. First, By the Law of Nature, He understands nothing but the Nature of every Individual; according to which, we conceive each of them naturally determined to exist after a certain manner. Thus Fishes are ordained to swim, and the great ones to devour the less: Therefore Fishes live in the Water, and devour each other by the highest Right: For Nature considered simply, hath a right to all things it can do, or its right extends it self, as far as its power; Since the power of Nature is but the power of God, who hath the highest right to all things. But because the power of Vniversal Nature, is nothing but the power of all the Individual Creatures together, it follows that every Individual hath the highest right to all things it can do; that is, it extends it self as far as its power. And since it is the first Law of Nature, that every thing should endeavour, as far as it is able, to preserve it self in its Natural State: and that, without any consideration of other Creatures, but only of it self: Therefore it follows, that every Individual hath the highest right to exist, and operate, as it is thus naturally determined: Nor will he allow any difference, by Nature, between men and other Creatures; neither between men endued with Reason, and those that have not yet attained the use of it; neither between Fools and Madmen, and others that are of sound Vnderstanding; and his Reason is this, For whatever [291] any Creature doth by the force of its Nature, it doth it by the highest Right, viz. because it acts as it is by Nature determined, neither is it able to act otherwise: Therefore among men, whilst considered as living under the meer Empire of Nature, as well he that doth not yet understand Reason, or hath not acquired a habit of Virtue, lives by the highest Right, according to the Laws of his own Appetite, as well as he that directs his Life according to the Rules of Reason. So that as a Wise-man hath a Right to all things that Reason dictates, or of living according to its Rules: So likewise the ignorant and foolish hath a like right to all things which their Appetites desire. So that every man's Natural Right, is not determined by Right Reason, but by Power and Appetite. For all men are not naturally ordained to operate according to the Laws of Reason, but on the contrary are born ignorant of all things; and before they come to know the true Rules of life, or acquire a habit of Vertue, a great part of their life slips away, tho' they are never so well educated: And therefore he concludes, that whatever any one does in order as he thinks to his own preservation, or the satisfaction of Sensual Appetites, whilst he is in this meer state of Nature, it is lawful, because the only Rule he hath to act by.

§. 9. Having given you all that can be said for this wicked, as well as foolish Opinion, [292] in their own words; I shall now endeavour to confute it. In the first place therefore I observe, that this which they call the right of Nature, and which Mr. H. defines to be a state of perfect Liberty, is in their sense no other than that of absolute necessity: And therefore I shall leave it to the Reader to judge how properly this word Right belongs to Brutes, Infants, and Fools. For the Word Right is used by those that treat of Ethicks, only in respect of reasonable men, as capable of deliberation and judgment, and endued with freedom of Action, and so subject to Laws. For to call that necessity, by which Fishes devour each other, and Mad-men beat their Keepers, a Right, were as proper to talk of a Right of Stones to fall downwards: no Philosophers but these, ever using the word Right for necessity, but a liberty left by the Law of Nature, of acting according to Reason: 2ly, The last Author confounds the nature of Beasts, Fools and Mad-men, who have no knowledge of a God, or sense of a Moral Good and Evil, with that of rational Creatures, who are ordained for greater ends, and to be governed by a higher Law, than that of meer Appetite or Passion: And I desire these Gentlemen to shew us, that such unreasonable Appetites and Passions do necessarily and unevitably carry men to act constantly [293] according to them; so that the men had then no power left, to oppose, resist or restrain them: and tho' we grant that Children are not yet sensible; and Fools and Mad-men are never perhaps capable of the Laws of Reason or Nature, and so cannot be subject to them, nor are to be esteemed amongst voluntary Agents: Yet doth it not follow, that those that are of Mature Age, and sound Minds, and so cannot plead invincible ignorance of the Laws of Nature, but out of their own wilful humour, or unreasonable Appetites, neglect to know or learn, or through wilful ignorance transgress it, should claim the like exemption. For though we are not angry with Children, or natural Fools, if they cry for, or take away any thing they see, and pity mad people, even while they are outragious with those that tend them: Yet have we not the same forbearance and pity for men of sound Minds, and mature Age, if they do the like unreasonable things, and govern themselves by no other Law, but their own unreasonable Appetites and Passions; Since it was in their power both to have known and acted otherwise; and to have deliberated and judged, whether it were not better for them to forbear such evil Acts, than to do them.


§. 10. Neither can invincible ignorance be any excuse as to them; for though perhaps they may not have Brains fit for the Mathematicks, or are not able to deduce all the Laws of Nature from their true Principles; yet by the Precepts of others, as well as their own Reason, and the observation of their own Natures, as well as other mens, they might easily have learnt all the Duties of an honest man; that is, their Duty towards their Neighbour, by that Golden Rule, of doing as they would be done by: And their Duty towards themselves, by endeavouring their own true happiness and preservation, by the only means tending thereunto, viz. Without injuring others; and doing their Duty towards God, in reverencing him, and obeying his Will, when discovered to them; also in endeavouring, to the utmost of their power, the Common Good of Mankind; and all which Principles have been ever so natural to men, that they have in all Ages acknowledged them to have still remained the same. Therefore Mr. H. as also the Author of the Treatise last mentioned, are very much mistaken, so directly to oppose our knowledge of the Laws of Nature, to the Rational Nature of Man; as if he were so much beholden to Art for them, that he could never have acquired them himself, without teaching; [295] which were all one as to say, That because most men learn Arithmetick., therefore it is so absolutely besides, or above Nature, that no man ever attained it of himself, which is contrary both to Reason and Experience, since both Arithmetick and Geometry, as also Ethicks, must have been natural to those that first taught them.

But I have already sufficiently proved by Mr. H's own Concession, That Reason and Experience are as natural to Humane Nature, as Hunting is to Dog's, tho in both of them there is required both Exercise and Experience to learn it.

§. 11. Nor doth Mr. H's Excuse, which he gives us in the 13th Chapter of his Leviathan, signify any thing; (viz.) That mens Passions in the state of Nature are no Sins, nor the Actions which proceed from them, as long as they see no Power which can prohibit them; For neither can a Law be known before it be made, neither can it be made, till they have agreed upon a Legislator. To which may be easily answered, that Mr. H. all along proceeds upon this False Supposition, That God is not a Legislator without Divine Revelation; nor that the Laws of Nature are properly his Laws; both which Assertions, if they have been proved false in the preceding Discourse, it will [296] certainly follow, that the Laws of Nature or Reason proceeding from God himself▪ are truly Laws; and the Actions prohibited by them are Sins, although men will not through wilful Ignorance discover this Legislator, nor will consent to his Laws. And Mr. H. himself acknowledges in his Chapter of Laws, that the Subjects lie under an obligation to obey them, if it can be made appear to them that the Legislator is endued with a Supream Power over them, and hath both sufficiently established, and promulgated his Laws; both which may be truly affirmed of the Laws of Nature.

§. 12. But indeed Mr. H. and his Followers have done very cunningly in taking away all freedom from Mankind, and to suppose an absolute necessity of all moral Actions; since they could not otherwise destroy the Laws of Nature, and equal Men with Brutes, but by pulling up all the Foundations of moral Good and Evil.

But I need say no more on this Subject to shew the folly and unreasonableness of this Opinion, than to put down Mr. H's words on this Subject in Art. 11. of this Chapter, Where he confesses that this Right of all men to all things, is absolutely unprofitable for Mankind, because the effect of this Right is all one, as if [297] there were no such Right at all. For although any man might say of every thing, This is mine; yet could he not use it, because of his Neighbour, who might by an equal Right pretend that it was his. Which is as good as to own, that this right is none at all: For he himself in the Article before-going, makes Utility to be the measure of all Right; but here is a Right without any Utility at all; therefore these words Right and Vnprofitable, are contradictory; for Right refers in this definition to some use or profit that a man may make of his natural Liberty; but to be unprofitable, owns that there is no use or need of this natural Liberty in that matter.


That in the state of Nature, whatsoever any one doth to another, cannot be injurious to any Person.

§. 1. BEcause, says he, Injustice towards men supposes Humane Laws, none of which are yet in being in the meer state of Nature, De Cive, Cap. 1. Annot. ad §. 10. which he thus likewise endeavours to prove in his Leviathan, Chap. 13. Where there is no common Power, there is no Law; where there is no Law, no Injustice; [298] Force and Fraud are in War the two Cardinal Vertues; Iustice and Injustice are none of the Faculties either of the Body or Mind; If they were, they might be in a man that were alone in the World, as well as his Senses and Passions: They are all Qualities that relate to men in Society, not in Solitude. It is consequent also to the same condition that there be no Propriety, no Dominion, no Mine and Thine distinct, but only that to be every man's that he can get, and for so long as he can keep it: All which is no more than what Epicurus long ago asserted, as Diogenes Laertius hath told us in the Account he gives of his Life and Opinions; To this effect, That between those Animals which cannot be joined by any Compact or Bargain, that they should not hurt each other; there is no Right, or Injury: So it is likewise amongst Nations, which either will not, or cannot enter into Compact; that they do neither hurt, nor are hurt; For Injustice is nothing in it self; although in some places such a Bargain is made by mutual Compacts that they should not hurt each other. So that Injury is no evil in it self, but only consists in a fear, or suspicion, lest it should not be concealed from those who are appointed Revengers of such Injuries.

§. 2. In answer to all which, I doubt not to prove, that these Principles of Epicurus, as well as of Mr. H. and his Disciples, are taken [299] up without any just or solid grounds; for by the dictates of right Reason, considered as (they are) the natural Laws of God, a perfect Right is given to every man to his Life, and all those necessary means thereunto, without which he cannot subsist. For whatever a man enjoys by the right of Nature, it must needs be injury and injustice to take it away: for every invasion or violation of another's Right or Property, is Injury, by whatever Law he enjoys it: And much more if that Right be conferred upon him by the Law of Nature, given by God as a Legislator, than if it proceeded from meer Humane Compacts. And though Mr. H. here asserts, That no injury can be done to any man, with whom we have made no Compact; yet Chap. 2. Art. 1. of his De Cive, he says, That since all men will grant that to be done by Right, which is not contrary to right Reason; we ought to believe that to be done by Injury, which is repugnant to right Reason; that is, which contradicts any Truth collected by right Reason from true Principles: But what is done by Injury, we acknowledge to be done contrary to some Law. So that here he grants, that an Injury may be done contrary to the Laws of Nature, before any Compact, or translation of our Right to another; and since he there acknowledges those Dictates of Reason to be Laws, I would fain see how [300] those can give any man such a right to invade, or violate the Rights of another: For Right (as he himself well defines it) being a Liberty granted by right Reason, requires that men, who pretend to act or speak according to its Dictates, cannot act contradictorily to its other Principles, or Conclusions. And 'twere to no purpose for him to say, that the Injury is done to God alone, when his Laws are broken, unless he can shew that those Laws of God do not confer a right on men to their Lives, and all the necessaries thereof; and do not likewise prohibit others from violating this Right so granted.

§. 3. But yet this Author, when he is prest hard, does acknowledge, that there may be injury done to another out of Civil Government: For it being objected, whether if a Son should kill his Father in the state of Nature, he should not do him an injury; he answers, That a Son cannot be understood to be in a natural State in respect of his Parents, he being as soon as ever he is born▪ under their power and command, to whom he owes his being and preservation.

Yet sure a man's Parents, by begetting and breeding him up, do not thereby acquire a property or dominion over him as long as he lives; though I grant Children, when they [301] either marry, or otherwise, become lawfully discharged from the government of their Parents, still owe a filial piety and gratitude to them; and that it is a great impiety and injury in Children towards them, to hurt or destroy them, though they are no longer under their power and command. So likewise the same Law of Nature, which prescribes gratitude to these our natural Benefactors, doth make it injurious for any man to hurt or kill any other Person, who had educated, or maintained him, or otherwise highly obliged him; since the same Laws of Gratitude that make it injurious to hurt, or murther his Father in the state of Nature, do also command the like duty towards any other Benefactor.

§. 4. But his Argument in his Leviathan is much more false and precarious; when he argues, That where there is no common Power, there is no Law; and where there is no Law, there is no Injustice. All which he brings to prove the necessity of his natural state of War. For, first, though I grant, where there is no Common Power, (that is, no Legislator) there is no Law, yet that is not true of the Laws of Nature; since if they proceed from God as a Legislator (as I hope we have proved in the precedent Discourse) they are truly Laws, before any Civil Power was instituted to [302] make Laws, or to see them observed; and consequently that it is the highest injury and injustice to take away any thing from others being innocent, and doing us no hurt, that is necessary for their Life, or preservation, which they are already possest of; and though it is true, that Justice and Injustice are no natural Faculties of the Mind, yet right Reason is; from whence all Justice is deduced, and which a man is always bound to exercise as soon as he becomes capable of being a Member of Humane Society: (I do not mean a Civil one) and if there be a natural Equity (as this Author acknowledges, De Cive, cap. 14. §. 14.) there is likewise a natural Justice, and Injustice too: but I shall say more of this in the next Principle.


That in the state of Nature there is nothing Good, or Evil.

§. 1. I Shall here give you Mr. H's Opinion, and his Reasons for it, in his own words, as they are in his Leviathan, cap. 6. Whatsoever is the object of any man's Appetite, or Desire, that is it which he for his part calls Good; and the object of his Hate, and Aversion, Evil: [303] and of his Contempt, Vile and Inconsiderable. For these words of Good, Evil, and Contemptible, are ever used with relation to the Person that useth them, there being nothing simply and absolutely so; Nor any common Rule of Good and Evil to be taken from the nature of the Objects themselves, but from the person of the Man (where there is no Commonwealth) or, (in a Commonwealth) from the Person that represents it; or from an Arbitrator, or Iudge, whom men by disagreeing shall by consent set up, and make his Sentence the Rule thereof. He speaks to the same effect in all his other Works; as in De Cive, cap. 4. §. 17. in his De Homine, cap. 11. which it were tedious here to repeat; and therefore I refer you to the places I have here cited.

§. 2. But this he endeavours Physically to explain in his little Treatise of Humane Nature, cap. 7. § 1. compared with Chap. 3. where he supposes, That the motion, in which consists the conception of things without any intervention of the Iudgment, passes from the Brain to the Heart; and as it there hinders, or helps its vital motion, it is said to please or displease; But that which so pleases any one, he calls Good: And that which displeases him, Evil: and hence from the diversity of Constitutions, or Temperaments, there are divers Opinions of [304] Good that is naturally and necessarily so. And in the state of Nature unblameably, from his Opinion that judges it.

§. 3. There is nothing that Mr. H. hath written more loosely, and unlike a Philosopher, than these unstable Opinions both of natural and moral Good and Evil. And therefore it is a matter of great moment to have a fixed and constant notion of Good; because as long as this is fluctuating and uncertain, all knowledge of our true Felicity (which is the greatest Good of every man) as also of the Laws of Nature, and of all particular Vertues, (which are nothing but the means and causes of obtaining this Good) will be likewise various, wandring and uncertain.

§. 4. Therefore, although it must be confest, that because of some peculiarity in the divers Temperaments of men, it sometimes happens that one sort of Diet, or Medicines, may be hurtful to one, which may not prove so to another; yea, which Experience hath approved, not only to be innocent, but wholsome for others: Something like which may be observed in the Genius and Manners of Nations quite different from others, in some particular Customs and Constitutions; yet this doth not any more take away the common [305] Consent of Mankind concerning the nature of Good, and its constituent parts and degrees, than the small difference of mens Faces takes away the agreement between them in their common Natures as Men, or that general likeness that is between them, in the conformation and use of their principal Parts. For sure there is no Nation so barbauros which will not own, that there are greater hopes and satisfaction in loving, and obeying God, than in blaspheming and disobeying of him. There is scarce any Nation that is not sensible, that filial duty towards Parents, gratitude to their Benefactors, love and kindness to their Friends and Neighbours, fidelity in their Promises and Agreements, are good and necessary for their own welfare and preservation, and consequently of Mankind. No difference of Temper makes any man in his Senses not perceive it to be good for all men, that the Lives, Liberties Estates and Members of all innocent Persons, should be preserved; And therefore that the killing, or robbing of them should be every-where prohibited under the most severe Penalties. Or lastly, What peculiar humour in men can make them not think it good and beneficial for particular Families and Nations, that the Conjugal Fidelity of the Marriage-bed, the Chastity should be preserved inviolated. The [306] same may be said concerning the right of using and enjoying all those outward things, that are necessary for life, or conduce to our health, fame, honour, the education of our Children, and the preservation of Friendship, since in their Judgment concerning the goodness of these things about which the whole business of the Laws of Nature, and of most Civil Laws is taken up, all rational men do as equally agree in their Opinions as concerning the whiteness of Snow, or the brightness of the Sun; Though I do not lay the main stress of their obligation to these Actions on this general Agreement, since I have laid down contrary Principles in the foregoing Discourse.

§. 5. But I shall now proceed to give you a more true and setled Notion of Good and Evil, both natural and moral: I therefore define Good in general to be, that which preserves, encreases, or perfects the Faculties and Powers of one or more things; for by these effects that peculiar agreeableness of one thing with another declares it self to us, and which is requisite to make any thing to be truly called good for the nature of this Being before others. Which effects likewise discover to us the hidden powers, and intrinsick natures of things. These strike upon our Senses, and beget [307] a knowledge in us of those things from whence they flow; which Goods I grant may be different, according to the divers natures of those Beings which they respect. Thus a suitable Soyl, Air, and Moisture are naturally good for Plants, because they are agreeable to their nature, and are necessary for their preservation, growth and perfection: So likewise convenient Food, Health and Liberty, are naturally good for an Animal; since they serve for their preservation and happiness as long as they continue to live. So likewise, That is also good for man, which preserves and encreases the powers of his Mind and Body, without doing hurt to, or prejudicing any others of his own kind; nor doth the mind of Man make these Rules concerning the nature of one, or a few Creatures of a sort, but is able from the knowledge it hath of singulars, to make certain general Propositions, or Conclusions, concerning what is good, or evil, for the whole Species, or Kind, whose nature he hath enquired into; because, since there is the same general nature in every one of the Individuals of this or that Kind, the true happiness of one or more of them being once known, it is easie likewise to know what share and kind of happiness is to be desired by all of them: For it is apparent, That the improvement of the Understanding [308] in knowledge, and the government of the Will by sedate and regular Affections; as also the health and vigour of the Body, in which the true happiness of any particular man does chiefly consist, do also comprehend (if universally considered) the common happiness of all men, that ever have been, or shall be born, which also may be affirmed concerning the means to these natural Goods, and which are required as necessary to all Mankind; such as Food, Exercise, Sleep, and the like; And this, because of the identity between the parts and the whole; that is, between the nature of any one, or more men, with that whole Systeme of Rational Agents, comprehended under the general Name and Idea of Mankind. From whence it also follows, that whatsoever doth good to one member, or part of this aggregate Body, all the rest being unhurt, or unprejudiced, thereby may be truly said to do good to the whole aggregate Body of Mankind; which Consideration may excite us to a due care of our selves, provided it be not prejudicial to others from a consideration of the common Good of Mankind. Analogically unto this we may also judge, that to promote the efficacy of God's Natural Right to rule our selves, and all other rational Creatures, is to perform a thing good, or grateful to God, as Supream Governour of [309] the World; and this we do by a due care to promote obedience to his own Laws, either in our selves, or others.

And therefore, though we so far agree with Mr. H. that that may be called good which is agreeable to any other Being, and so must be meant relatively; yet doth not this always refer to the Appetite of him that desires it, nor yet to the irrational Opinions of any one or more men, if they judge contrary to the Rules and Principles of Nature or Reason. And therefore, though a Wench that hath the Green-Sickness, by reason of her depraved Appetite, may fancy Tobacco-pipes, or Charcoal to have an excellent relish, and so to be good for her; yet will not her thinking so, make them become a wholsome nourishment. The like may be said of any Actions, or Vices, which a Vicious or unreasonable man may take pleasure in; such as Drunkenness, Whoredom, &c. which howsoever they may please him at the present, yet will certainly in time destroy him in this life, or in that to come. And therefore it is not true, which Mr. H. here lays down, That all Good and Evil is only to be taken in respect of him whom at that time it pleases or displeases: Whereas every rational Man ought first rightly to judge what things are good, and then to desire them, because they [310] are really so; that is, because their natural powers or effects are really helpful, or agreeable to our Nature: And to consider a private Good, as that which profits one person; and a common Good, as it profits many. And that not because it is at that instant desired, and approved of out of a depraved Appetite, or wanton humour: it being only the part of Brutes, Mad-men and Fools, to measure the goodness of Things, or Actions, by their present Lusts, without any government of Reason, or thoughts of the future.

§. 6. But Mr. H. himself doth sometimes talk more soberly; and though he doth here, as also elsewhere, inculcate, That every thing is either good, or evil, according to the opinion of the Person that so judges it (in the state of Nature) or else (in a Civil State) of the Person that represents the Commonwealth; yet in his Leviathan, Chap. 30. when he reckons up the Offices of the Civil Soveraign, he makes one of the chiefest to be the making of good Laws. Now he there tells us, A good Law is that which is needful for the good of the People, and withal perspicuous; and a little farther he thus goes on; And therefore a Law that is not needful, having not the true end of a Law, is not good. A Law may be conceived to be good, when it is for the benefit of [311] the Sovereign, though it be not necessary for the People; but it is not so: where you see, the good of the People (which is certainly that which is common to many) is here acknowledg'd by him, and proposed as the main end of the Legislator's Duty: But this end being thus proposed, the true nature of it is first to be known, and determined, before the Law can prescribe what is good or evil for the People. So likewise Chap. 14. §. 4. of his De Cive, speaking concerning the Rules of right Judgment in a Civil State, he tells us; That since it is impossible to prescribe any Vniversal Rules whereby all Controversies (which will be infinite, may be judged) it is still understood in every case pretermitted by the written Laws, that the Law of natural Equity is to be followed. Where you see he grants that the Laws of natural Equity may be known, and followed; And that divers more Cases may be determined from thence, than can be by the Civil Laws themselves: but we do only so far contend with him, that some Rules of Equity may be so evidently and naturally known, that all honest and sincere men cannot at all differ about them; though in the mean time we freely grant, That there are divers things so indifferent, that no human Reason can universally determine, that it is more necessary for the common Good, that a thing be [312] done, or a Case judged this way, rather than the other.

§. 7. Having stated what we mean by a natural Good, and Evil; I shall now give a right notion of a moral Good, and how it differs from the former. A moral Good is those voluntary Actions and Habits which are conformable to the Law of Nature, or Reason, considered as given by God, as a Law-giver, for a Rule of all our Humane, or voluntary Actions: For there are many natural Goods that conduce to a man's happiness, which are not morally good, nor are commanded by any Law. Such as are quickness of Wit, Learning, Strength of Mind and Body, &c. On the other side, I suppose, that no Action of the Will can be commanded by God, (and so morally good) which doth not by is own nature, as well as from the Will of God (the Legislator) conduce to the happiness of Mankind: The not taking notice of which distinction, between natural and moral Goods, hath been the occasion of another great Error in Mr. H. when he makes that which seems good to every man's own self, to be the only object of his desires, as he doth in his De Cive, Cap. 1. Art. 2. which he likewise more fully expresses in Cap. 3. Artic. 21. Every one is presumed to seek that which is good [313] for himself; but that which is just only by accident, and for peace sake; viz. That which is just, he will only have to regard another's good; which he supposes no man will seek, unless it were for fear of those Evils which proceed from a state of War: But all he says only tends to prove, that men are so framed, that it is repugnant to their Nature, and so absolutely impossible for them to mind, or desire any thing, unless for their own particular worldly profit, and glory, as he hath laid down in those Principles we have already considered.

§. 8. But I cannot but take notice, that Mr. H. himself in his Treatise De Homine, (published after his De Cive) Cap. 12. §. 1. seems not at all to approve of this ill humour in men, by these words. We confess that it may so fall out through the ill use of his free will, that a man of a narrow Soul may consider nothing but himself, and so may desire nothing but what he judges for his own private advantage. And in the same Treatise, Cap. 11. §. 14. where he doth purposely consider which is the greater, or lesser amongst Goods; he plainly confesses, That it is a greater good which benefits more persons, than that which doth good to fewer.


§. 9. But giving him leave to contradict himself as much as he will, yet notwithstanding all that he hath said to the contrary, I doubt not but all rational and good men are of a more generous Spirit; who do not only esteem that to be good, which is good for themselves alone, but also whatsoever tends to the conservation, happiness and perfection of Mankind. And whatsover they thus esteem to be good, that they will also desire, wish for, and contribute their utmost endeavour to procure for others, as well as themselves: Nor do I see any reason to hinder, but that whatsoever I find agreeable to any mans Nature, I may do my endeavour, as far as lies in my power, that he may obtain it; But this much I must freely confess, That if men do not propose to themselves one common End, or Effect, viz. the common good of Rational Agents, whose Causes (whether efficient, or perfective) should be before-hand agreed on to be Good; and those that hinder its production, Evil; the words Good and Evil will always be equivocal, various, and uncertain; being still to be taken in as many different Senses, as there are particular Men. So that whatsoever Action, or thing, is called good by any one man, because it serves his turn; that other men, if it crosses their desires, will be sure to call evil, which is incongruous [315] to Reason, and to the Communication of knowledge among men, which is the main end of Speech; Whereas, if the words Good and Evil are applied to those things which concern the nature of Rational Beings in general, they will have a certain and determinate sense and signification, which will not only be constantly true, and intelligible, but prove most useful and profitable to all Mankind; and that we are not only capable of understanding, but also of contributing our Endeavours for the procuring of this Common Good, and are also under a sufficient obligation thereunto, is, I hope, fully made out in the Fourth Chapter of the precedent Discourse, where we expresly treat of the Law of Nature, and its obligation.


That the State of Nature is a State of War.

§. 1. ALL the Principles that Mr. H. hath hitherto laid down, have been only in order to the establishing this Darling Principle of the natural state of War. But since we have already in our Answer to his former Principles, shewn their falshood and absurdity; If those Foundations be ill laid, the [316] Superstructure must needs be infirm, and therefore I shall omit all that he hath in his De Cive inferred from those false Principles; and shall only apply my self to what he hath in his 13th Chapter of his Leviathan, given us a-new for the proof of this Principle, and which doth not depend upon the former; For here he derives this natural State of War from Three Principal Causes in the nature of Man. First, Competition. Secondly, Diffidence. Thirdly, Glory. The first makes man invade for Gain. The second for Safety, and the third for Reputation. The first use Violence to make themselves Masters of other Mens persons, Wives, Children and Cattel. The second to defend them. The third for Trifles; as a word, a smile, a different Opinion, and any other sign of undervaluing, either directly in their persons, or by reflection on their Kindred, their Friends, their Nation, their Profession, or their Name. Hereby it is manifest, That during the time men live without a Common Power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called War, as is of every man against every man. For War consists not in Battel only, or the Act of Fighting; but in a tract of time wherein the will to contend by Battel is sufficiently known. And therefore the notion of time is to be considered in the nature of War, as it is in the nature of Weather. For as the nature of Foul-weather lies [317] not in a shower or two of Rain, but in an inclination thereto of many days together. So the nature of War consists not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary. All other is Peace.

§. 2. In answer to which, I must first take notice, That Mr. H. in his Leviathan deduces this Right of War of all men against all, from other Principles than he doth in his De Cive, Chap. 1. §. 12. where from the supposed right of all men to all things, he deduces a war of all men against all, and which renders it both lawful and necessary: But in his Leviathan, in the Chapter here cited, he first asserts the state of Nature to be a state of War, and from thence argues all things therein to be lawful; as you may see in the Conclusion of that Chapter, where he tells us, That by the same right that one man invades, the other resists; from whence arises a War on both sides just. So that being not at all sollicitous about the Right of making War, he only supposes this War must needs arise from the nature of mens Passions, and Desires; and this War being once supposed, he positively asserts, That it must follow (though without any proof) that there is in this State nothing just, or unjust: Indeed his way of arguing in his Leviathan [318] is more plausible, but less close than the former in his De Cive; For all Persons of sense must agree, that a War ought first to be proved just, before it can be thence deduced what things are lawful therein, even towards Enemies: Neither doth himself suppose that all things are lawful, even in the justest War; for in his De Cive, Annot. ad Art. 37. cap. 3. he grants that Drunkenness, and Cruelty, are not to be practised even in War; and therefore it is necessary that some natural Principles, or Laws, be first acknowledged, by whose command or permission we may be able to judge of any War, whether it be just, or not, or before we can thence infer those things to be lawful which are acted therein; for otherwise even contradictory Propositions may be alike true; and Titius, for example, might have a right to the Life and Goods of Sempronius, if he thought them necessary for his own Preservation; and so likewise Sempronius would have the same Right against Titius: which would be contrary to all the Rules of right Reason, and Equity; and this is so evident, that Mr. H. himself, although in the latter part of this first Chapter, De Cive, he affirms, That in the state of Nature, there is no difference between just and unjust; yet in the former part he endeavours to prove, that this power of making War [319] ought to be allowed to every man in that state as necessary to his own preservation; which is all one, as if he had affirmed this War to be just and lawful on both sides; which is contrary to Reason. But whatsoever proves any thing to be just, and lawful in any State, must likewise suppose, that there is a difference between lawful and unlawful in the same State, and must suppose some Law in force, by whose command or permission at least, that Act becomes lawful: which, as we endeavour to establish, so doth Mr. H. as plainly destroy it, whilst he asserts no difference between just and unjust: but with what reason I shall leave it to the indifferent Reader to judge.

§. 3. But since I have already answered those Preliminary Principles which he hath laid down in his De Cive, to prove the necessity of this state of War, there remains nothing else for us to do, but to examine those new Reasons Mr. H. hath here given us in this Chapter of his Leviathan to prove this state of War to be both natural, and necessary; which he here deduces from three Affections in the nature of man. 1. Competition for the same thing. 2. Diffidence of each other. 3. Glory to himself. The first is manifest; That during the time men live without [320] out a Common Power to keep them in awe, they are in that Condition which is called War.

Whence I cannot but again observe, That this Author takes the natural state of Mankind only from their Passions, without any consideration of Reason, or Experience; although he hath already supposed both of these to be natural Faculties of the Mind: and the true nature of a thing is to be taken not from its imperfections, or weaknesses, but from the utmost perfection that it is by its nature capable of; and therefore this Author hath dealt very preposterously to treat of the natural State of Man, as of a meer Animal, only governed by the force of his Passions; whereas, the principal part of Man, and which ought to have the government over all the other Faculties, is Reason; or that Faculty of the rational Soul, whose due use and exercise ought not to be excluded, but rather conjoined with the operations of all the other natural Faculties, by any Writer who will truly describe the Nature of Man; nor yet are men necessarily impelled by these Passions, as meer Machines are driven or moved by the Wind, or Weights; but that they may be governed, and restrained by Reason, or fear of future evil: so that they do not hurry men into War by any natural, or [321] inevitable necessity. Indeed those Ideas of the Mind, which are necessarily generated therein from the impulse of outward Objects, are not prohibited by the Law of Nature, because we are design'd by God to govern those Actions only which are in our powers: Whereas these Passions and Ideas, from whence Mr. H. collects this state of War to be necessary, are of this sort, since being concerning things future, and at a distance, and depending upon mens reason, and foresight, they may be also governed thereby; and Mr. H. himself acknowledges in his De Cive, Chap. 3. §. 31. That though men, because of their different Appetites, cannot agree of the present, yet they may of the future, and from thence acknowledges, that Peace is to be sought as the foundation of all natural Law.

§. 4. And therefore I think I shall be able easily to shew, that every one of these three Master-Passions, which he hath here described as the Causes of War, ought (if governed by Reason) to persuade the contrary. And in the first place, for his Passion of Competition, That when two men desire the same thing, which they cannot both enjoy, they become Enemies; and in the way to their end, endeavour to destroy, or subdue one another. Now certainly Reason in this Case will never [322] incite a rational man to enter into a state of War with another, for the obtaining of that which he hath a mind to as well as he. For if it be a thing the other is already possessed of, he ought by the Rules of Reason, and Equity, to let him enjoy it by right of Occupancy or Possession; it being then necessary for his preservation, or happiness; and he himself, if possessed of the like thing, would think it reasonable that he should be likewise permitted quietly to enjoy it: So that if he act by one Rule in relation to himself, and by another in respect of all other men, in the same Case, or Circumstances, this must be altogether unreasonable: And Mr. H. himself doth sufficiently shew the grievous mischeifs of such an unreasonable way of proceeding, when he tells us, That from hence it comes to pass; That where an Invader hath no more to fear than another man's single Power, If one plant, sow, build or possess a convenient Seat, others may probably be expected to come prepared with Forces united to dispossess and deprive him, not only of the Fruit of his Labour, but also of his Life, or Liberty; and the Invader again is in the like danger of another. To which I may also add, and he again of a third; till at last all the Owners of it being successively destroyed, the House or Seat will become void, and no man left to inhabit it; which Condition Mr. H. himself [323] confesses to be so sad, and deplorable, that he will have Mankind from the Dictates of Reason to do all they can to get out of it, by entering into a Civil Society. But I suppose that right Reason will rather hinder all rational men from ever falling into this State at all, if they can by any means avoid, or prevent it; since Peace is to be valued from its own Conveniences without trying, or comparing it with the Evils of War, as Health is valuable for its own agreeableness to our Natures, without trying by woful experience▪ what sickness is.

§. 5. And as for his next Passion, Diffidence of each other; That there is no way for any man to secure himself, so reasonable as Anticipation; that is, by force, or wiles, to master the persons of all men he can, so long, till he see no other Power great enough to endanger him. And that this is no more than his own conservation requires, and is generally allowed. Now can all this reasonably persuade a man to put himself in so hazardous a condition, as by force, or fraud, as to go about to master and subdue all those he will be afraid of; or to think he is able to do this by his own single strength till he sees no other Power great enough to endanger him? Since for any man to be able to do this, he must have more cunning, natural Strength [324] and Courage and Cunning, than ever Homer supposed Vlisses, or Achilles, to have been masters of; or our Modern Romance-makers can feign in their Heroes; Since upon these Terms of Self-preservation, a man (like a Game-Cock) would be forced to fight a Battel, or two, every day whilst he lived, and how long this would last, supposing other men of equal strength, and as well prepared as himself, I refer him to the experiment of fighting-Cocks, who seldom survive the twelfth or thirteenth Battel; and though it is true, that there are some that taking pleasure in contemplating their own Power in Acts of Conquests, which they may pursue farther than their own Security requires; yet this was never known to be performed by any man's single strength, but by a Combination with divers others, who through the esteem they had of his Integrity, or Courage, chose such a man to be their Leader, or Prince, before another: And this Account, both the Ancient Historians, and Poets, give us of the Original of the first Monarchs, and Ancient Kings, in the Heroical Times; and admitting the first Kingdoms to have begun by Fathers, or Patriarchs of Families, as some Divines suppose, yet they could never have raised a sufficient Force to have conquered others, without the Combination of the Heads or Fathers of other Families: [325] Nor could Nimrod himself, (who is supposed the first Tyrant, or Conqueror,) ever have enlarged the Bounds of his Empire by his own single strength, or that of his particular Family, without such a Combination which requires Compacts between the Persons that make it; and when they once do this, they are then no longer in the meer state of Nature, having set up and acknowledged a common Power over them to keep them in awe: from whence it appears, that it is ridiculous, nay absolutely impossible, for any single man to take pleasure in contemplating his own Power in Acts of Conquest by his own personal Valour, or Cunning, as Mr. H. supposes a man may do in the state of Nature.

§. 6. And as for his appeal to Experience, That when a man taking a Iourney, arms himself; when going to Bed, he locks his Doors; when even in his House, he locks his Chests: And asks what opinion he hath of his Fellow-subjects, when he rides armed, and shuts his Doors; or of his Children and Servants, when he locks his Chests; And whether he doth not thereby accuse Mankind as much by his Actions, as he doth by his Words? To all which I answer, No, he doth not. For though I grant it is no fault to distrust, and secure himself as well [326] as he can against violent and unjust Persons, either upon the Road, or in his own House; yet doth not this Diffidence accuse all his Fellow-subjects, or all his Children, and Servants, much less all Mankind, of a design to murther, or rob him; or give him any Right to make War upon them by way of anticipation; for when he goes armed, or locks his Doors, or Chests, 'tis true, he grants there are some violent and wicked Persons, whom he would secure himself against: yet doth not this accuse all Mankind of this wicked Design, since a man will do all this, if he be satisfied that there are but two or three Thieves between his own House and London; or but one thievish Person in his Family, which is but a small proportion to a whole Countrey, or Kingdom, or even to his own particular Family▪ much less doth he thereby pass a Censure upon all Mankind: though it is true, he thereby acknowledges, that there is, and ever will be, amongst men, divers who are more governed by their present Appetites and Passions, than by Reason, or the Laws of Nature. Much less doth such a diffidence give a man a right in the state of Nature of setting upon, mastering, and killing all Persons whatsoever, that he fancies have power sufficient to endanger him in his Life, or Goods, before they have given some sufficient [327] signs that they intend so to do; for then it might be lawful (were it not for the Laws) for a man, when he is thus armed, to set upon, not only Thieves, but every man he meets, for fear he should set upon him first; nay, might likewise kill, or knock in the Head, (if he were in the meer state of Nature) any of his Children, or Servants, or even his Wife her self, if he did but fancy they went about to murther, or rob him; which how wicked and unreasonable a thing it would be, I leave to any man's Reason and Conscience to judge. Nor does his comparing the state of War to the nature of Foul-weather, at all help him, which he saith, doth not lie in a shower or two of Rain, but in an inclination thereto of many days together: So the nature of War consists not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto: all which I easily grant, but he must likewise own that it is never called a Rainy, or foul Season, till it hath actually rained; till then we never say it is foul weather, though it be never so cloudy; so neither is this bare inclination to hurt, an actual War, till there hath been some signs or tokens of hostility expressed.


§. 7. Yet he grants there was never such a condition of War as this that he describes generally all over the World: But that there are many places where men live so now, and Instances in many savage People of America; where, except the Government of small Families (the concord whereof depends on Natural Lust) they have no Government at all, and live at this day in that brutish manner he hath before described: But were it so as he affirms that brutish way of living, which is in too many Particulars practised by these Savage People, both in Affrica, and America, where they have almost lost all knowledge of a God, or of a Moral Good and Evil; Ought the Practice of such Barbarous People to be of sufficient Authority to prove, that they live according to the true state of Human Nature, or that they have a right to live and act thus in all things they thus unreasonably practice? But had this Author read any true or exact relations of those Places in America he mentions, he might have found that in many of those Nations,Vi Jo. Lerius Hist. Brasil; as also the French History of the Caribbè Islands. even, where there is no Civil Power to keep them in awe, and tho' they have no other Government in time of Peace, but that of the Fathers, or Heads of Families: Yet doth not their concord wholly depend upon Natural Lust: For [329] besides the Government of Husbands over their Wives, and those conjugal Duties and Services which their Wives yield them in these Places; Parents are more fond of their Children, and Children again are more dutiful and kind to their Parents, and take more care of them when they are sick or old, than they commonly do with us: And though there be no Common Power to keep them in awe, yet having no Riches, but the meer necessary Utensils of Living, nor any Honours, except Military, to contend for, and which are not obtained without great hardships and sufferings; and having also few Words of contempt, or disgrace among them; whole Towns, nay Nations, have lived together for many Ages in sufficient Amity and Concord, without ever falling together by the ears. And if there be any Murthers and Adulteries committed among them, every particular person injured, or else the Relations of the Party slain, are their own Judges and Executioners; the mutual fear of which, joyned with the Natural Peaceable Temper of the People, causes fewer of those Crimes to be committed among them, than with us, where there are Laws and Publick Officers appointed to punish all such Injuries: And for the Truth of this, I refer you to two Authors of undoubted Credit, (viz.) Lerius in his History of his Navigation to Brazil, [330] Chap. 18. and the French Author of the Natural History of the Caribbè Islands, Part. 2d. Chap. 11. and §. 19. besides other Authors on this Subject, whom you may consult in Purchas's Pilgrimes, in his Volume of America. And though these People have often Wars with their Neighbours, yet is it not with all, but only some particular Nations, with whom they have constant Wars, and eat them when they can take them Prisoners. Yet do they at the same time maintain Peace with all others. So remote is it from Truth, that any Nation in the World can live and subsist, by maintaining a constant War against all others. Nor did I ever hear of any more than one People or Nation in the West-Indies, near Carolina, called the Westoes, that made this Fatal Experiment, by making war upon all their Neighbours, one after another, till they were in a short time reduced from 7000 Fighting Men, to 700, and were afterwards quite extirpated by those Nations they had injured: Which Relation I receiv'd from a Gentleman of Quality, who hath a considerable Interest in those parts. So impossible a thing it is, for Mankind to subsist, or be preserved a year together in Mr. H's imaginary State of War.

§.8. Nor is his other Instance from the Actions of Kings, and Persons of a Soveraign Authority, any better, whom he makes like Gladiators, [331] Having their Weapons pointing, and their eyes fixed on each other; That is, their Forts, Garrisons and Guns, upon the Frontieres of their Kingdoms, and continual Spies upon their Neighbours, which is a posture of War. Where I may first observe, that he doth not directly affirm, That all Princes are in a State, but only in a Posture of War, which I grant is both lawful and necessary: Since no Prince or Commonwealth can be secure, that his Neighbours will constantly observe the Laws of Nature, and not invade his Territories, without any just cause given. Yet I think no Prince, or other Supreme Power (whom he makes the only Judges of Good and Evil) will be so wicked or unreasonable to affirm, that they have a natural right to invade the Territories, Lives and Estates of all Neighbouring Princes, and their Subjects; much less, when they have made Leagues or Compacts of Peace with each other, that they are not obliged to observe them, only for prevention that they may not do the like to them, and break their Compacts first: For that he himself confesses to be absolutely contrary to the Laws of Nature, and of Right Reason. But that upon Mr. H's Principles such Compacts being made in the meer State of Nature, and without any Common Power to see them observed, do not at all oblige, I shall shew you more particularly by and by.


§. 9. I come now to his last Passion, (viz.) Glory, for which he would have all men to be naturally in a State of War. But admitting that divers men look that their Companions should value them at the same rate as they do themselves; and upon the least signs of Contempt, or undervaluing, naturally endeavour as far as they dare, to extort a greater value from their Contemners, which amongst them that have no Common Power to keep them quiet, may be enough to make them destroy each other. Yet doth not this hold true in every man; for even among those that labour under this Passion of Vain-glory, there are many in whom fear of others is a much more predominate passion, and such will rather take an affront, than venture to beat or kill another to revenge it: Since the hazard is certain, but the Victory (supposing the person every way his equal) uncertain. And if this Vain-glory may be so far mastered by another stronger Passion; why may it not also be overpowered by Reason? For a rational man will consider, that he cannot force men to have a better esteem of his Words or Actions by fighting every one that shall declare their dislike of them, or else knows that he is not at all the worse for the foolish censures of unreasonable men; or that he is obliged to take for an affront, whatsoever every scurrilous impertinent Fellow shall intend so: [333] And he himself doth here likewise suppose, that there are other as strong Passions that incline men to Peace, as fear of Death, desire of such things as are necessary; commodious living; and a hope by their Industry to obtain them; from whence I observe, that the greatest part of these Passions which now incline men to Peace, are but the same in other words, which before inclined them to War: For what is this Diffidence of another, and this Anticipation, which he makes so reasonable, but a fear of Death, or other mischief, from those whom he thus goeth about to prevent? And what is this desire of things necessary for life, but a Branch of that Right which he supposes all men have to all things? But granting that the same Passions may in some men produce different effects; yet if these Passions that incline men to peace are more strong and powerful than those that excite them to War, then certainly Peace will be their more constant and Natural State: Since as Mariners relate the violent blowing of two contrary winds, doth often in the Center of their Motion produce a Calm. And therefore Mr. H. proceeds very rashly, to lay such a great stress on those Passions, which provoke men to War, without also considering, and putting into the contrary Scale all those that incline men to the contrary, which certainly are more prevalent [334] in most men: For what can more strongly influence mens Actions, than fear of Death, and all those other miseries which he himself so lively describes to be the necessary Consequences of the State of War: And whereas he tells us, that reason suggesteth convenient Articles of peace; I think I have sufficiently proved, that Reason is so far from needing Articles of peace, that it can never prompt considering men to believe themselves naturally in so dangerous and miserable a State, as this which Mr. H. supposes; much less to fall into it on purpose, without any just cause given. But since this Author undertakes to give us many Reasons why mens Passions will not permit them to live in peace as well as divers other Creatures, whom he confesses can do so without Laws; We will a little examine those Reasons he brings, Why mens Nature will not naturally permit them to live in peace, as well as those brute Creatures; and therefore I shall put them down in his own Words, as you may find them in his Lev. Chap. 17.

§. 10. It is true, that certain living Creatures, as Bees and Ants, live sociably one with another (which are therefore by Aristotle, numbred amongst Political Creatures) and yet have no other Direction than their particular Iudgments, [335] and Appetites, not Speech, whereby one of them can signifie to another, what he thinks expedient for the Common Benefit. And therefore some men may perhaps desire to know why mankind cannot do the same? To which I answer.

First, That men are continually in competition for Honour and Dignity, which these Creatures are not; and consequently amongst men, there ariseth from that ground, Envy and Hatred, and finally War; but amongst these not so.

To which I reply, That these Civil Honours, about which he supposes these Contentions do so often arise amongst men, have no place in the State of Nature, being not known amongst men, before the Institution of Commonwealths; and therefore they cannot in this State, which he now treats of, contend for them more than Brutes. So that the only true Glory and Honour which can be found, out of a Civil Government, is as Cicero very well defines it in his Tusc. Quest. the agreeing praise of good men, and the uncorrupted Suffrages of those that rightly judge of excellent Vertue. But all the Vertues being contained under the study of the Common Good of Rational Beings, from thence alone can spring the praise of good men: And the desire of such Honour, is so far from causing a War against all men, that as from a contrary [336] Principle, men may by this be excited to the exercise of all those Virtues, which Mr. H. himself allows, Lev. Chap. 15. to be the necessary means of Common Peace and Safety.

§. 11. His Second Reason is, that amongst these Creatures, the Common Good differeth not from the Private; and being by nature inclined to their Private, they procure thereby the Common Benefit. But Man, whose joy consisteth in comparing himself with other men, can relish nothing, but what is eminent.

To which we may reply, that Mr. H. has done us a Courtesie, in acknowledging before he is aware; that even out of Civil Government, there is some common and publick Good, which may be indeed procured even by Brutes themselves: And he has elsewhere also told us (as in his Treatise De Homine, Chap. 10. the very last Words) But we suppose the knowledge of the Common Good, to be a fit means to bring men both to Peace, and Vertue; because it is both amiable in its own Nature, and the surest defence of each man's private Good. And sure its difference in some cases from the private good of some men, is no sufficient Reason why men should rather fall out and fight among themselves, than Bees or Ants, whose Common Good is likewise distinguished from [337] the private. But as for what he affirms, concerning the Nature of men, if it be universally understood of all men (as his words seem to intend) 'tis false, and spoken without all manner of proof, unless we must be sent back to his general Demonstration of these things in his Introduction to his Lev. when he advises every man to this Rule, Nosce teipsum; and therefore would teach us from the Similitude of the thoughts any passions of one man to those of another, thereby to know what are the thoughts of all other men, upon the like occasion. Perhaps Mr. Hobbs knew himself very well, and was sensible there was nothing more pleasant to him, than comparing himself with other men, and so could relish nothing in himself, either as his own Natural Endowments, or acquired Improvements, but what was more eminent, and greater than other mens; and from thence gathered the same thoughts to be in all others: But he ought to have shewn something in the nature of man, from whence it is necessary that all men should so judge; for certainly all that are truly rational, can know from the true use of things, and from the necessity of their own Natures, how to judge concerning their own things, whether they are pleasant or not, and to what degree they do delight them, without comparing them with those of other men: So that indeed [338] none but the foolish or envious can only be pleased, as far as their own things exceed those of others. But if he would have this censure, only to concern such men, it will not then afford a sufficient cause of an Universal War of all men against all; And though perhaps Strife and Contention may be begun amongst such envious, foolish People, yet the strength or reason of the more prudent and peaceable may easily restrain it, that it shall never hurt, or destroy all men, by making them enter into a state of War against all.

§. 12. His Third Reason is, That these Creatures having not (as man) the use of Reason, do not see (or at least think they see) any fault in the administration of their Common business: Whereas amongst men, there are very many that think themselves. Wiser, and Abler to govern the Publick, better than the rest; and those strive to Reform, and Innovate, one this way, another that way, and thereby bring it into Distraction, and Civil War.

To which we may thus Reply, That this Reason offers nothing whereby men may live less peaceably among themselves, if they were in the state of Nature, and Subjects to no Civil Government, than Brutes: But in this state, mens Natural Propensions to universal [339] Benevolence, and to the Laws of Nature, would have some place, notwithstanding what he hath here alledged to the contrary; as I have sufficiently proved in the precedent Discourse. Nor doth he here offer any thing whereby men could less agree among themselves to institute a Commonwealth, for this is the thing whose causes we are now seeking for. But he only objects something, which will hinder them from preserving it, when it is instituted; and therefore this will also shake all the foundations of Peace, even in a Commonwealth, when it is made never so firm according to his own model. But we do well to consider, whether mens Reason does not more powerfully promote Peace and Concord, by detecting many errors of the Imaginations and Passions, than it doth Discord, by its fallibility about those things which are necessary, being but few, and those plain enough. Besides, men do not presently make War, as soon as they suppose they spy out somewhat they may blame in the Administration of publick Affairs; for the same reason which discovers the fault, does also tell them, that many things are to be born with for Peace sake, and sugggests divers means whereby an emendation of that fault, or miscarriage, may be peaceably procured.


So that I dare appeal to the Judgment of the indifferent Reader, whether the condition of Mankind is worse than that of Brutes, because it is Rational; and whether Mr. H. doth not judge very hardly of all men, by making their Reason guilty of all these miseries, which in other places he imputes only to the Passions; and from this cause would prove that men must live less peaceably with each other than Brute Creatures. In short, Mr. H's Answer is nothing to the purpose, for our inquiry is concerning the obligation of the precepts of Reason in the state of Nature; and his Answer is, That most mens Reason is so false, as that it would dissolve all Commonwealths already constituted.

§. 13. His fourth Reason is, That these Creatures, tho they have some use of voice in making known to one another their desires, and other affections; yet they want that art of words by which some men can represent to others, that which is Good in the likeness of Evil, and Evil in the likeness of Good; and augment or diminish the apparent greatness of Good and Evil, discontenting men, and troubling their peace at their pleasure.

The force of which Answer is no more than this; That because it sometimes falls out, that the common People are moved to [341] Mutiny and Sedition by a specious, or sophistical Sermon, or Oration, that therefore men, as having the use of Speech, cannot maintain peace among themselves: which consequence is certainly very loose; for he ought to prove, that all men do necessarily and constantly make such Speeches, tending to Civil War, and Sedition; and also that such Speeches, when heard, do constantly prevail on their Auditors, or the most part of them, that they should presently take up Arms: For it may be, that even the Vulgar may see through such false and specious Speeches, and may not suffer themselves to be deluded by them. It may also happen, that they may rather give credit to the peaceable Speeches of the more wise, and moderate, as founded upon more solid Reasons: And it may be, that they will rather consider the true weight of the Arguments, than the empty sound of the Words; and certainly mens rational Nature leads them to do this; for they know they cannot be fed, or defended by Words, but by Actions proceeding from mutual Benevolence: What then doth hinder, but that the Eloquence and Reason of the Good and Peaceable may not often prevail, with which both the Reason of the Speaker, the true interest of the Auditors, and the nature of things do all agree; But I [342] shall speak no more of this Subject now, having in the precedent Discourse sufficiently proved, That men receive much greater Benefits from the use of Speech (though it may sometimes be the cause of Civil Discords, and Wars) than they do Evils and Mischiefs thereby. And I suppose Mr. H. himself (were he alive) would confess that Mankind would not be rendered more peaceable, or easie to be governed, had they been all created dumb, or else had all their Tongues been cut out by the irresistible power of his great Leviathan, the Civil Soveraign.

§. 14. His fifth Reason is, That irrational Creatures cannot distinguish between Injury, and Damage; and therefore as long as they be at ease, they are not offended at their Fellows: Whereas man is then most troublesome, when he is most at ease; for then it is that he loves to shew his wisdom, and controul the Actions of them that govern the Commonwealth.

By which Antithesis, he would infer, That men live together less peaceably than Brutes, because they distinguish between Injury and Damage: But we think much otherwise; and that most men would more willingly suffer some damage, even done by other men, so it be not done injuriously. And I acknowledge that all the distinction between these [343] two, is founded in the knowledge of Right, and Law, which indeed is only proper to men. But that this Knowledge should make them more prone to violate the publick Peace, and to trample upon the Laws and Rights of their Superiors, I can by no means admit; much less, that Subjects that abound in peace, and riches, are more apt to envy their Superiors, and to shew their wisdom in finding fault with their Rulers; or that the Subjects of England, for example, who (God be thanked enjoy both sufficient peace, and plenty) are more apt to find fault with their Governors, than those in France or Turkey, where they are poor and miserable by Taxes, and other Severities; or that they can even there forbear repining at the cruel Treatment of their Rulers, though perhaps their Spirits may be so debased, and their Powers so weakned by this oppression, that they may not be so able to shew it by publick discourse, much less by resistance; and so free themselves from this Tyranny, as perhaps they would do if they had sufficient Riches and Courage. And that I conceive is the true reason why this Author is such an Enemy in all his Books to the happiness and wealth of the People, whom he would all along make Slaves instead of Subjects.


But suppose that the lawful Rights of Princes are sometimes violated by the unbridled Lusts of some evil men, yet I do not see how this knowledge of the difference between those things which are done by right, and those which are done by wrong, do render them more apt to do Injuries to others. But he tells us, That man is then most troublesome, when he is at ease. But sure, it is not without Injustice, that he imputes the Faults of some men to all Mankind, and that without any proof; unless, perhaps, finding such Passions in himself, he thence concluded that they must likewise be natural to all others, according to the method he makes use of in his Introduction to this Book; which I have before taken notice of, when he bids us examine this similitude of Passions, and so whether they do not agree with his own Thoughts. But I must freely confess they do not agree with mine; let me be but happy, and want nothing, and though others may be richer, or happier, I shall not envy them, nor am I at all the worse for it: But indeed Mr. H. does very preposterously to alledge this fault of mens love to shew their wisdom, and controul the Actions of them that govern the Commonwealth, against all Mankind; whilst he yet supposes men in the state of Nature, which sure (according to his [345] own Hypothesis) precedes all Civil Government.

But we are now come to Mr. H's last Reason; and let us see if he can thereby prove any better, That Mankind is less prone to Peace than Brute Creatures.

§. 15. Lastly, The agreement of these Creatures is natural, that of Men is by Covenant only, which is artificial; and therefore it is no wonder if there be somewhat else required, besides Covenants to make their Agreement constant, and lasting; which is a Common Power to keep them in awe, and to direct their Actions to the common benefit.

To which I reply, That the true natural Causes intrinsical to Men as they are Animals, and which can bring them to consent to the exercise of Peace, and mutual Benevolence amongst themselves, are alike with those that are found in other Animals, even the fiercest, and cruellest, suppose Lions, or Bears, (if you will) as I hope I have sufficiently proved in the former part of this Treatise. Nor can Mr. H. shew any thing which is wanting to man, but yet is found in Brutes as a cause of their peaceable agreement; for that which he urges, That the Agreement of these Creatures is natural, that of men is by Covenant only, and therefore artificial, may [346] perhaps impose upon the Vulgar, but may easily be confuted by any one that will but consider to the next Consequence: For those very Compacts or Covenants he mentions, are made by the power, as well of mens Rational, as Animal Natures: And certainly if there had been no Covenants made among men, and that they had not the use of Reason, yet the common Nature of Animals of the same kind, would have had as much force with them, as with other Creatures, that they should agree to maintain a mutual benevolence, as well as Brutes of the same kind, without destroying each other, whose agreement is by him acknowledged to be natural: What then hinders, but after there is besides added to Mankind Reason, and the use of Speech, but that the same natural agreement may still remain? Reason sure doth not take away the natural endeavours, and propensions to Concord in Man, more than other Animals; neither is this agreement less natural, or constant, because it is expressed by words: As our Appetite, and taking in of Food, do not cease to be natural Actions in us, although we may express this Appetite by words, or signs; and may also appoint the time, place, and what sort of Meat we will eat. And Mr. H. himself (as well as others) does sometimes acknowledge Reason [347] to be a natural Faculty, as he does in his De Cive, in the place already quoted: From whence it follows; That this stricter Society or Agreement which Reason dictates should be established by Compacts, wholly proceeds from the rational Nature of Mankind. But it will farther appear, That this Agreement proceeding from the use of Speech, is therefore more fitly called natural, if we consider our practical Reason to be altogether determined from the nature of the best End we can foresee or propose; and the best means we can use thereunto. And farther, there is nothing more can be effected by the utmost endeavours of our Reason, than that those propensions to concord, with others of our own kind, (which are so natural to all Animals) should be directed to their fit object (viz.) all other rational Creatures, and that all our particular actions should be thence exerted according to their due place, time, and other circumstances. So that the very taking in of Meat, and Drink, is most natural, and proceeds from the natural constitution of an Animal. Yet this in all particular cases, is best governed, and directed by a man's Reason, taking care of his own Health without any irregularities in his Diet; whilst those precepts of thus regulating his Diet, whose force and certainty he observes [348] from the Nature of things, and his own particular Constitution, may very well deserve in some cases, the name of an Art.

Therefore Mr. H. hath done very ill in making that agreement among men, which is expressed by Compacts, to be so artificial, as it must be quite opposed to what is natural.

I shall not indeed deny, those words by which Compacts are expressed, to have proceeded from the Arbitrary agreements of men: Yet that consent of their minds, concerning the mutual offices of Benevolence, of which words are only the signs, is altogether Natural: For in that consent of minds concerning the mutual commutation of Duties, consists the whole Nature of Compacts; as all its obligation proceeds from thence: But the knowledge and will of constituting some signs, either by words or Actions, whereby this sort of consent may be declared, is so natural, and easy to men, without any Teaching, that it may be observed in persons born Deaf and Dumb, as I have given some instances in the foregoing Discourse. In short, this consent express'd by Compacts, concerning, these most general acts of Benevolence, which may be considered in any disquition concerning the Laws of Nature, is either not to be called Artificial, or if it be so termed, that Term is so to be understood, [349] as it agrees with all mens natural Consents, and not as it may be opposed to them; that so it may become thereby less firm and durable, as Mr. H. supposes it; for the signification of a natural Consent, constituted by words, tho with some kind of Art, doth not at all diminish its firmness or duration; and therefore I think it doth sufficiently appear, that Mr. H. is very much mistaken, when he supposes that the agreement of Brutes of the same kind is more constant and natural than that among men; and that mens natural propensions to a Benevolence towards others, are not so strong in men, as in other Animals: So that I shall leave it to the impartial Reader, whether upon a due consideration of his Answers, and our Replies, he will conclude, as this Author doth in his Treatise de homine, chap. 10. That men do exceed Wolves, Bears, and Serpents, in Cruelty and Rapacity, who are not rapacious beyond hunger; which if he had affirmed of some men who are degenerated from all sentiments of humanity, had not been much amiss; but to affirm it of all mankind in general, is too severe and false a censure to be let pass: Whereas it must be at the worst, acknowledged, That no general Propositions can be made, concerning the particular Passions and Humours of all men; since there is not only [350] a greater difference of Wit, but also a greater variety of Passions and Inclinations amongst men, than brutes; and that not only among whole Nations, but particular persons: For all the kinds of brutes have almost the like Inclinations, and are governed by the like passions and appetites; so that if you know one of them, you almost know them all; but in mankind, so many men, so many Minds, and so many almost several Humours and Dispositions: And which is more, the same man doth not only differ from others, but also oftentimes from himself; and that which at one time he mightily loves and approves of, at another he abhors and condemns.

§. 16. Yet so much I shall grant Mr. H. That men are tormented with many Passions unknown to Brutes, such as are Coveteousness, Ambition, Vain-glory, Envy, Emulation, or Strife of Wit, with the Sense of which Brutes are not at all concerned; all which I confess, do extremely hinder mens natural Peace and Concord: So on the other side, he hath not only several other Passions, that as strongly persuade him to seek and observe them, yet God hath also endued him with reason whereby from the consideration of his own Nature, and of other things, he may attain a knowledge of his Deity, and be thereby [351] led to discover, that all the Laws of Nature are not only bare dictates of Reason, but are also Laws truly established by the Will of God the Legislator, for his own Honour, and the Happiness and Preservation of Mankind; but so far I shall agree with Mr. H., that in any Country, where men live without any knowledg of a Law, either natural or reveal'd, that in all those places they are in as bad or worse state than Brutes can be imagined to be.

§. 17. To conclude, I cannot but take notice, that Mr. H's Hypothesis labours under these great Absurdities. First, He supposes that in the State of Nature a man's Reason tells him, that his Self-preservation cannot be obtained without this War against all men; but afterwards finding by experience the fatal Evils and Mischiefs proceeding from this kind of Life, to have also by his reason found out, and then proposed those Conditions of Peace, called Laws of Nature, in order to his own Happiness and Self-preservation; as if right Reason could ever dictate contradictory or opposite means to this same end, such as are a State of War, and a State of Peace; a neglect and violation of all the Laws of Nature, as lawful and necessary for a man's safety in the State of Nature, and a [352] strict observation of them when once entered into a Civil State, for the same design.

Secondly, This Hypothesis is highly derogatory to the Goodness and Providence of God; for if he were the Author and Creator of Mankind (as certainly he was) then whoever believes this Vid. Dr. Parker's Ecclesiastical Policy, Chap. 4. p. 126, 127. Hypothesis, must also believe that God contrived things so ill, that unless his Creatures had been more cunning and provident than himself, they must of necessity (like the Earth-born Brethren in Ovid's Metamorphosis, have perished by each others hands as soon as they were made. So that the preservation and well-being of Mankind would be entirely attributed to their own Wit and Cunning, and not to God's Goodness or Providence, who must have sent his Creatures into the World in such an evil state as should oblige them first to seek their own mutual Ruin and Destruction, as the way to their Preservation. So that Mankind must owe all the happiness and comfort of their Lives, not to their Creator, but themselves: since with him the Laws of Nature, whereby they are preserved, were not given or established by God their Legislator, but are only so many Rules of Art or humane Wit, like other Inventions [353] of mens contriving, and still suppose man to be departed from that natural state of War in which God put him, into an Artificial one of Peace of his own making: But certainly the Deity that made us (if we suppose him Good and Wise) made us not to be miserable (as Mr. H. himself confesses we must have been) had we continued in this state of War. So that to suppose God made us, and left us in that condition, it is directly to deny our Creator's Goodness. And then if we suppose him wise, we cannot imagine that he would frame a sort of Creatures only to destroy themselves, unless we can believe his only design was to sport himself in their folly and madness, in beholding them by all the ways and arts of Force and Fraud contriving their own mutual Destruction. And therefore if the Creation of Man were the product of the Divine Wisdom and Goodness, his Natural State must have been that of Peace, and not such a Condition as that which this Author supposes.

Lastly, Mr. H. doth himself ingeniously confess, that he believes there was never actually such a state of War, as he supposes and describes: And therefore, tho I grant it is both lawful and usual for natural Philosophers, who not being able through the imbecility of our humane Faculties, to discover [354] the true nature and essences of Bodies, or other Substances, do therefore take a liberty to seign or suppose such an Hypothesis, as they think will best suit with the nature of the things themselves, of which they intend to treat; and from thence to frame a body of natural Philosophy, or Physicks, as Aristotle of old, and Monsieur Des Cartes, in our age have performed: Yet can we not allow the same liberty in moral or practical Philosophy, as in speculative. And therefore such a precarious Hypothesis, as this of a natural state of War, is by no means to be admitted as the necessary consequence of that natural Right, which every man hath to preserve himself: For whether we consider Mankind to have been together with the world, generated from all eternity, as Aristotle, and the more modern Platonists did believe; or else to have sprung out of the earth like Mushrooms, as Epicurus of old, and Mr. H. in his De Cive suppose; or else as we (according to the Divine Revelation of the holy Scriptures) do believe, That Mankind was at first propagated from one Man, and one Woman, created for that purpose by God: Now let us at present suppose which of these we please to be the true Original of Mankind, we cannot from thence with any reason conclude, that it was at any time such a state of War of [355] all men against all; for if, according to the first Hypothesis, we suppose Mankind to be Eternal, they were likewise from all Eternity propagated by distinct Families, and divided into several Nations, and Commonwealths, as they are at this day: But if it be objected, that those distinct Nations or Commonwealths, were always such from all Eternity; Then it will likewise follow, that they were also from all Eternity in the same state they now are; that is, not of War, but Peace. But we shall further shew the absurdity of that Supposition, before we have concluded our Considerations upon this Head. So on the other side, if we proceed upon the Epicurean Hypothesis, of Mankind's springing out of the Earth; if we do not likewise suppose them to have been made like Game-Cocks, or those Earth-born men I have already mentioned, who presently fell a fighting, and destroying each other without any Cause; it will not do the business: And therefore let us now with Mr. H. suppose these men, being all made of equal strength, both of body and mind; it is plain, that they must be at first in a state of Peace, before they could ever fall together by the Ears; so then the state of Peace was Prior in Nature to that of War, and also more agreeable to Human Nature.


2dly, Supposing these Earth-born men to have been all rational Creatures, and equal in strength and cunning, they would never have entered into a state of War, and have fallen a cutting each others Throats without some just Cause, or Provocation first given. For if they were all equal, every man would consider each of his Fellows as of a like ability with himself; and that if he struck him first without any cause, he would be as well able to resist, and make his party good with him, as he could be to hurt him; the fear of which would have rather caused Peace than War: Since whoever struck first, could not be sure of the Victory; And if any two should have fallen to Cuffs, this could be no reason for all the rest to have also fallen together by the Ears, since there was no cause why they should suppose a Will or Inclination in each other to War, till they had expressed it by some outward signs; so that this natural Equality among men, and mutual fear of each other, which Mr. H. supposes to be the chief causes of War, would certainly have rather inclined these men to Peace.

But if we follow the Divine Authority of the Holy Scriptures, it is then certain, That all Mankind being derived from one Man, and one Woman, their Children could never be in this state of war towards their Parents, [357] by Mr. H's own confession; much less could the Parents ever be so unnatural towards their Children, who were made out of their own Substance; nor yet could the Brothers, or Sisters, who partake of the same Human Nature derived from their Common Parents, and who were bred up together from their Infancy in a state of Peace and Amity, be rationally supposed presently to have fallen together by the ears without any other cause, or provocation given, than Mr. Hs Passions of mutual distrust, and desire of glory: Therefore when after the Fall of Adam, man's Nature was degenerated into that state we now find it, wherein mens Passions, I own, do too often domineer over their Reason; and that Cain, through Malice and Envy, slew his Brother, as we read in Genesis. Of this state of War, as it is the first Example of man's Degeneracy, so it is also of God's dislike, and punishment of this cruel Sin of Murther, which is indeed but the effect of this Author's state of War.

But I beg the Reader's pardon if I have been too prolix in the confutation of this Principle; this being the main foundation of all those Evil and False Opinions contained in this Author's Moral and Political Works: if therefore this is throughly destroyed, all that is built upon it will fall of it self. But since Mr. H. hath by his Supposition of certain [358] Compacts, or Covenants, undertaken to shew a Method how men got out of this wretched state of War; in which let us see whether his next Principle answers the Designs he proposes.


§. 1. That mutual Compacts of Fidelity in the State of Nature, are void, but not so in a Commonwealth.

WHich Principle he expresses and proves at large, in his de Cive, cap. in these words: But those Covenants that are made by Contract, where there is a mutual Trust, neither party performing any thing presently in the state of Nature, if any just Fear shall arise on either side, are void. For he who first performs, because of the evil disposition of the greatest part of men, only studying their own profit, no matter whether by right or wrong, betrays himself to the lust of him with whom he contracts: For there is no reason that any man should perform first, if it is not likely that the other will perform afterwards; which whether it be likely or not, he who fears, must judge, as it is shewn in the former Chapter, Art. 9. I say things are thus in the state of nature; but in a Civil state, where [359] there is one who can compel them both, he who by Contract is first to perform, ought first to do it. For since the other may be compelled, the reason ceases, for which he feared the other would not perform.

Which Principle is somewhat otherwise expressed in his Lev. chap. 14. which since it differs something from the other, in the manner of expression, I shall likewise give in you his own words. If a Covenant be made wherein neither of the Parties perform presently, but trust one another, in the condition of mere nature (which is a condition of War of every man against every man) upon any reasonable supposition, it is void; but if there be a common Power set over them both, with right and force sufficient to compel performance, it is not void; for he that performeth first, hath no assurance the other will perform afterwards, because the mere bonds of words are too weak to bridle mens Ambition, Avarice, Anger, and other Passions, without the fear of some coercive Power, (which in the condition of mere Nature, where all men are equal, and judges of the justness of their own fears, cannot possibly be supposed); and he which performs first, doth but betray himself to his enemy, contrary to the Right (he can never abandon) of defending his life, and means of living.


§. 2. You may now more plainly see the reason why he supposes in the foregoing Chapter, That all Kings and persons of Soveraign Authority, are always in a posture, or state of War; which he more plainly expresses in his de Cive, chap. 10. §. 17. in these words; But what are divers Commonwealths, but so many Garisons fortified against each other with Arms and Ammunition? Whose State, because they are kept in awe by no common Power, (altho an uncertain Peace, or short Truces may intervene) is yet to be accounted for the state of Nature, that is, for a state of War. From all which it is easie to deduce the grievous mischiefs that would thereby happen to mankind. For in the first place these Civil Sovereigns he mentions, can never be obliged by any Covenants from making War upon, and ruining each other, nor can be accused for breach of Faith, or Infidelity, when they do so; for being still in the state of Nature, that will necessarily follow, which he lays down at the end of his former Chapter, as the consequences of this state: To this War of every man against every man, this also is consequent, that nothing can be unjust. The notions of Right and Wrong, Iustice and Injustice, have there no place; where there is no common Power, there is no Law; where no Law, no Injustice. Force and Fraud are in War the two Cardinal Vertues.


§. 3. So that you see upon these Principles it is altogether in vain for Princes to make any Articles or Covenants of Peace with each other; no, not if they swear to them never so solemnly; for in the last words of this Chapter he tells us, That the Oath adds nothing to the obligation; for a Covenant, if lawful, binds in the sight of God, without the Oath, as much as with it; if unlawful, binds not at all, tho it be confirmed with an Oath: So that if the Covenant could not oblige, the Oath will serve to as little purpose: What Princes will thank him for this Doctrine, I know not; but I hope it is not an Apology for the late actions of any Princes but the Ottoman Emperor, and our Christian Grand Signior on the other side the water; but if the state of Princes towards each other is so bad, that of the Subjects is much worse; for from these Principles the safety of all Ambassadors, Merchants, and Travellers in the Territories of any Prince or State with whom we are at Peace, is thereby utterly taken away; nor can the Subjects be in a better condition than their Masters; for by this Author's determination, they are presently Enemies as soon as they come under a Foreign Power: For such Princes being always in the state of Nature towards each other, it is a part of their Natural Right or [362] Prerogative, to force all those that are weaker to give a Caution of their future Obedience (and good behaviour) unless they will rather suffer Death. For nothing can be imagined more absurd, than that he who being weak you have in your power, by letting him go, you may render both strong, and your Enemy. All which are his own words, in his De Cive, Cap. 1. §. 14. Nor can I understand what he means by a future Caution of Obedience, but the Submission of those who are thus seized upon, and their coming into the same Commonwealth, and subjecting themselves wholly to their Empire, who thus lay hold on them: For he tells us presently after, That a certain and irresistible Power confers a Right of Governing and Ruling those, who cannot resist it. So that if this Doctrine be true, in what an ill condition are Ambassadors, and other Strangers in foreign Countries now at League with us, any one may easily perceive. Well, but suppose such Strangers could or would submit themselves absolutely to these Foreign Powers, they may yet chuse whether they will accept it, since no Law of Nature, according to Mr. H's Principles, can oblige Foreigners to any outward Acts of Kindness or Mercy towards others, who are not of the same Commonwealth, since they may either accept of this their Submission, or else refuse it, [363] and put them to Death, tho otherwise never so innocent.

§. 4. But if Compacts with those of different Commonwealths, whether Princes or Subjects, are of so little force, let us see whether they will signify any more among those, who having agreed to renounce this State of Nature, are willing to transfer all their Power upon one, or more Persons, and so enter into his Commonwealth. Where, first, I desire you to observe, that these Pacts or Covenants, by which every Man renounces his Natural Right, are still made in the State of Nature, in which State, it is lawful for any Man to doubt of another's Fidelity; but whether a Man justly fears that another will not perform his part, he that fears, is the only Judge; and therefore Mr. H. concludes, that every man hath cause to fear, whenever he is afraid. Which reason, if it were of any force, would infer, that not only those Compacts are invalid in which nothing is performed on either part; but also those in which any thing of any moment remains yet to be done by either Party, for he who will not keep Faith any longer, may when he pleases pretend to be afraid, lest the other should break his Faith with him, and that very justly, whilst he himself is the [364] only Judge of it; and therefore his Reason (which is always supposed to be right) may not only tell him, that he need not perform his part of the Covenant, but also that it is absolutely void, if he thinks fit to make it so. But if any one will say, that he himself hath prevented this Objection by his Annotation to this Article; as also in his Lev. in this Chap. That the Cause of fear, which makes such a Covenant invalid, must be always something arising after the Covenant made, as some new fact, or other sign of the Will not to perform, else it cannot make the Covenant void. For that which could not hinder a Man from promising, ought not to be admitted as an hindrance of performing. All which, tho it be very true, yet if what he hath already alledged in his foregoing Section be also true, it will not signify any thing; because he there tells us, that whether it is likely that he will perform, or not, he who is afraid, is the only Judge, (right or wrong, it is all one) and therefore this fear of another mans failing in his trust, may either arise from his calling to mind the false and evil Disposition of all men, which before the Compact he had not well considered, or else he may suppose any Act of the other Parties (tho never so innocent) to be a sufficient sign of his Will not to perform his part. Nor is there any thing in the State [365] of Nature, which can make such a timerous man secure of the Fidelity of others, for the performance of their Compact; because as Mr. H. tells us in his De Cive, Cap. 5. §. 1, 2. Cap. 7. §. 27. All the hope of security is placed, in that a man may prevent all others, either openly, or by surprise. So, that altho it appears that the Utility of observing of Compacts be never so manifest, yet cannot it by this Principle lay any firm Obligation upon mens minds, but that they may depart from them, whenever they will neglect or oversee this Utility, or that they think they may better secure their own interest by any other means; since the Will and Conscience of man can never be so obliged by their naked Compacts, that they may not depart from, or act contrary to them, whensoever they think they may safely, and for their own private advantage do it. For the Obligation will not only cease, if it shall please all those who have so covenanted to depart from their Covenants at once, as when men discharge themselves of them by mutual consent: But supposing also this consent still to continue, the force of an Obligation will yet be wanting; for since that dictate of Reason of keeping Compacts, has not as yet attained the force of a Law, as being made (as I have already observed) in the meer state of [366] Nature; any single Person, according to his particular Humour, or predominant Passion of Fear, or Suspicion, or Self-interest, may depart from this dictate of Reason, tho the rest do not agree so to do; because no man according to Mr. H. in the Law of Nature, can ever be tied by any Compact to quit the doing of that which he judges necessary for his own Interest, or Self-defence. For in the very beginning of this 14th Chapter in his Lev. he defines a Law of Nature to be a Precept, or general Rule found out by Reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that which is destructive of his Life, or takes away the means of preserving the same, and to omit that by which he thinketh it may be best preserved. So that for the preservation of a man's life, or whenever he thinks those Compacts may take away the means of preserving it, he may without crime fail in keeping his Compacts either for Publick Peace, or the observation of Justice with his Fellow-subjects, or of Fidelity, or of Obedience to his Civil Sovereign; who upon these Principles, is in no better a condition, nor so good, as any of his Subjects: Because Mr. H. doth not allow in his Leviathan, Cap. 18. of any compacts to be made between the Sovereign, and the Subjects; who only Covenant one with the other, and not with him, to give up their [367] right of governing themselves to this man, or Assembly of men, and that they do thereby authorize all his Actions. So that since this Compact is made in the state Nature, and that this Law of keeping of Compacts, is only a dictate of Reason, and no Law; it can lay no higher obligation upon mens Consciences in the state of Nature, than any other Law of Nature, which Mr. H. plainly tells us Chap. 17. In the state of Nature do not oblige, nor can the Common Power set over men, lay any obligation in Conscience upon them, why they should not break these Compacts towards each other, when ever they think it convenient: For since the Civil Sovereign can only oblige them to its outward observation by those Punishments as he pleases to appoint for such offences as are destructive to the Publick Peace, every man that will venture the fear of discovery, or being taken, or whenever he thinks he can make a Party strong enough to defend himself from those that would punish him for the breach of them; may safely, nay lawfully, transgress them, when-ever the awe, or fear of the Civil Sovereign ceases. So that it is evident there doth still need some higher Law, or Principle than this of meer Fear of the Civil Power to make men honest, or to keep their Compacts when they have made them.


§. 5. To Conclude, Mr. H. doth far exceed his Master Epicurus in this rare invention; for that old Fellow, one would think, had sufficiently shaken the foundations of all common Peace, and Justice, when he laid down in his ratis sententiis or established dictates, That there is no such thing as Iustice between those Nations who either could not, Vi. Diog. Laert. in vita Epicuri., or would not enter into mutual Covenants that they should not hurt, or be hurt by each other; Yet however, he thought fit to leave the force of those Compacts unviolated, although there was no common Power over them, which might keep those Nations in awe. But Mr. H. that he might indulge as much as he could to his darling passion of Fear, hath also allowed men this Liberty, That in the state of Nature, Compacts of mutual Fidelity may by right be violated, without any other cause given than the fear or suspicion of the Party afraid.



The Law of Nature is not properly a Law, unless as it is delivered in the Holy Scriptures.

§. 1. WHich Principle he endeavours to prove in his De Cive Cap. 3. Art. the last, in these words: But those that we call Laws of Nature, being nothing else but certain conclusions understood by reason concerning the doing of things; (whereas a Law properly and accurately speaking, is the word of him that commands something to be done, or not done by others); they are not Laws, properly speaking, as they proceed from Nature: Yet as far as they are given by God in the Holy Scripture, they are properly called by the name of Laws; Which likewise he hath more briefly contracted in his Leviathan, Cap. 15. in these words: These dictates of Reason, men use to call by the Name of Laws, but improperly, for they are but Conclusions, or Theorems concerning what conduceth to the conservation and defence of themselves; whereas Law properly is the word of him, that by right hath a command over others. But yet if we consider the same Theorems as delivered in the word of God, that by right commands all things, then are they properly called Laws.


§. 2. The Reason for which opinion he gives us in his De Cive Cap. 5 §. 1, 2, 3. in these words; It is self-manifest, that the actions of men do proceed from their Will, and their Will from Hope and Fear: So that as often as it seems, that a greater Good, or lesser Evil is like to happen to them, from the violation of Laws, men willingly violate them; therefore every man's hope of security and preservation is placed in this, that he may be able to prevent his Neighbour either by his own force or art, openly or at unawares. From whence it is plain, that the Laws of Nature do not presently, as soon as they are known, give sufficient security to every one of observing them; and therefore as long as no caution can be obtained from the Invasion of others, that Primitive Right must still remain to every one, of taking Care of himself by all the ways that he will, or can; which is the Right of all men, to all things, or the Right of War; and it suffices for the fulfilling of the Law of Nature, that any one should be ready or willing to have Peace when it may be had with security.

§. 3. So likewise in his Leviathan, Chap. 14. tho he grants that the Laws of Nature ought to be observed, yet because they are contrary to our Natural Passions, that carry us to Partiality, Pride, Revenge, and the like; and their Covenants [371] without the Sword, are but Words, and have no strength to secure a man at all; therefore notwithstanding the Laws of Nature, if there be no Power erected, or not great enough for our security, every man will, and may lawfully rely on his Strength and Art, for caution against all other men. And in his 15th. Chap. of his Leviathan, he farther tells us, The Laws of Nature oblige in foro interno, that is to say, they bind to a desire that they should take place: But in foro externo, that is, to the putting them in Act, not always. For he that should be modest and tractable, and perform all he promises in such time, and place, where no man else would do so, should but make himself a Prey to others, and procure his own certain Ruin, contrary to the ground of all the Laws of Nature, which tend to Nature's Preservation.

§. 4. I have been the larger in giving you his own words in this place, because I could not well contract them without spoiling his sense; and also that you may the better see whether he be clearly answered, or not. In the First place therefore, if it be already made out in the precedent Discourse, that in this Proposition of endeavouring the Common Good of Rational Beings, are contained all the Laws of Nature, and that it doth likewise appear to proceed from God, from the [372] Nature of things, and those Rewards and Punishments he hath annexed to its observation and transgression: Then notwithstanding what Mr. H. hath here said, this Law of Nature is properly a Law; as having all the conditions necessary thereunto: But that which might lead Mr. H. into this Error, was, That all Writers upon this Subject, thought it sufficient to define the Law of Nature to be only a Dictate of right Reason, without deducing its Authority from God, as a Legislator: Or if they have supposed God the Author of it, as Suarez in his Book de Legibus; and Grotius in his de Iure Belli & pacis have done: Yet they contented themselves with supposing, that God had impress'd these Idea's upon mens Souls, as so many innate Notions, which they call the Light of Nature, without shewing us by some more plain or certain means (as our Author hath done in the preceding Discourse) how we may attain to the knowledge of this Law. The weakness, or precariousness of which Hypothesis being discovered by Mr. H. gave him occasion to suppose that the Law of Nature was not properly a Law, for want of a Legislator; and farther, they having defined this Law of Nature to be a dictate of right reason, which seems only proper to revealed or Civil Laws, delivered in some set form of [373] words, Mr. H. hath here also defined a Law, To be the Word, or Speech of him who hath a Right to Command a thing to be done, or not to be done: And so the Laws of Nature not being delivered in any set form of words, cannot be upon these grounds properly Laws.

§. 5. But I think we have already sufficiently proved, that the Law of Nature, being to be collected from our own Natures, and that of other things without us, does not consist in any set form of words, but in those true Notions or Idea's taken from the things themselves: And we have already shown, that Persons born deaf or dumb; are capable of understanding this Law, though they have not the use of words. And Mr. H. himself before he is aware, doth sufficiently confess this Truth in more places than one of his de Cive. For after he hath in the last Art. of his Third Chap. denied the Laws of Nature to be properly Laws, he begins his 4th. Chap. with these Words.

That which is called the Natural, and Moral, the same is wont to be also called the Divine Law, nor undeservedly; because Reason, which is the very Law of Nature, is immediately given by God to every man, as the Rule of his Actions, as also because the Precepts of Life which are [374] thence derived, are the same which are given by the Divine Majesty for the Laws of his Heavenly Kingdom by our Lord Iesus Christ, and his Holy Apostles. Those things therefore which may be before understood by Reason concerning the Law of Nature, the same we shall endeavour to confirm from the Holy Scripture. So likewise in his 15th. Chap. Article 3. he tells us, That the Laws of God are declared after a Threefold manner. The First of which is by the Tacit Dictates of Right Reason: From both which places we may plainly collect, That if the Laws of Nature are Dictates of right Reason, and if the Laws of God and Nature, or Reason, are all one and the same, and that Right Reason is the very Law of Nature, and is immediately given by God to every Man as a Rule of his Actions, it will likewise as necessarily follow, that those Laws or Dictates of Reason are also Divine, since they proceed from God as a Legislator. Nor will it serve his turn to alledge, as he doth in his Leviathan 15. Chap. That the same Laws (viz.) of Nature, because they oblige only to a desire, and endeavour (I mean an unfeigned and constant endeavour) are easy to be observed. For in that he requireth nothing but endeavour; he that endeavoureth their performance, as far as he can fulfilleth them, and he that fulfilleth the Laws, is just.


§. 6. This will prove a meer Evasion, if you please to consider, That unless the Laws of Nature regard the outward Actions of men, they cannot partake of the nature of Laws, nor do they carry any obligations along with them, because it is impossible to seek Peace with others, or to depart from our natural Rights by any internal Act of the Mind alone, without outward Actions, and most of those Actions do in their own nature necessarily regard, and concern others besides our selves. But if he should reply, that such Actions are improperly called Laws, for want of Rewards and Punishments: To this we may likewise return, That we have already fully proved in this Discourse, that they carry with them the true force of Laws, as containing all the Conditions necessary thereunto. And he himself in his Leviathan, chap. 21. doth expresly acknowledge, and set down divers of those natural Punishments which are appointed by God as natural effects of the Transgression or breach of the Law of Nature. Which Passage, because I have already transcribed it in the Discourse it self, Chap. 3. I shall therefore refer you thither. But in short, If there be no Laws of Nature properly so called, in the state of Nature, it will likewise necessarily follow, that there is no such thing as Natural Rights properly so [376] called; And so his Right of all men to all things, and to make war upon all men, will be very improperly called a Right; for they cannot be properly so, but as they are granted, or permitted us, by some Laws properly so called, which in this state can only be those of God, or Nature.

§. 7. But we are weary of such Contradictions, and therefore let us now farther examine the only Reason he brings why he denies their obligation to external Acts in the state of Nature, (viz.) Because we cannot be secured that others will observe them in those things which are necessary to our preservation; [and therefore infers] that every man's hopes of his own Security are placed in this, That by his own Force or Wiles he may prevent his Neighbour openly, or at unawares. This is that invincible Argument which seems strong enough in his Judgment to destroy all outward Obligations to the whole Law of Nature. Yet I think for all that, it is easy enough to be answered. And therefore in the first place, we reply, That there is no need of supposing such a perfect Security to be afforded by the Laws of Nature concerning other mens observing them, as must needs be free from all Fear, before we can be obliged to external Actions conformable to them; for [377] the Will of God, the first Cause, being known, whereby he establishes these Laws, there will arise a certain obligation to the performance of such external Actions; though some men may be so wicked, as to break, or neglect them, and to practice evil and violent Actions towards those that would observe them.

But I shall now farther prove (notwithstanding this Objection) that we are under a greater obligation to the Laws of Nature, than we are to the Civil Laws of our Country, to whose external obedience he will have all men whatsoever obliged. For all Persons, although they are not under the same Commonwealth, yet are all Members of the same more large Empire of God himself. Now it is most notorious, that those that are Subjects to the same Civil Power, cannot be perfectly secure, either that their Fellow-subjects will observe all the Civil Laws, by abstaining from Murther, Robbery, or Rebellion, &c. or that the Civil Sovereign can, or will always punish all the Transgressors of his Laws, especially where Factions are potent, though he is never so watchful over the Publick Good. So that if to these cautious Men of Mr. H's Principles, it seems a sufficient Reason for their outward obligation to the Civil Laws, if it appears more probable that the [378] Civil Sovereign both will, and can take care of the Authority of his Laws, by protecting the Obedient, and punishing the Refractory, than that he will forbear, or neglect so to do; it will likewise follow, That to all men who exercise true Piety, and Obedience to God's Natural Laws, their obligation to observe them will not prove the more infirm, though God doth not always presently, and immediately punish all the Transgressions and Violations of his Natural Laws; it being a sufficient security to them of his Goodness and Justice, since he will certainly inflict more severe Punishments upon their Transgressors, either in this life, or in that to come, than any Humane Power can do upon Offenders against their Civil Laws. So that if Mr. H's Argument were valid, not only the outward obligation of all Natural, but also of all Civil Laws, would be quite destroyed; since in neither State we can be perfectly secure, that all others will observe them; and indeed he demands that which is altogether impossible, when he requires an absolute and perfect Security concerning future voluntary Actions, either in a Civil, or a Natural State; which as such can be only contingent.


§. 8. But if he will permit us to call that a State of security, which is the most free of any from the fear of future Danger, or Misery, we assert, That God has made it manifest to all men, by all those signs, (which we have already shown to be sufficient to evince our Obligation) that even out of a Civil Government, he shall be much more safe from all sorts of Evil, who shall most strictly and constantly observe all the Laws of Nature in his outward Actions, as well as internal Inclinations, than he who (according to Mr. H's Doctrine) shall seek this Security by endeavouring to prevent, and assault all other men by force or fraud.

But it is necessary when we compare the dangers, or security of the good or just men, (which are only those who observe the Laws of Nature in their outward Actions) as also of the wicked or unjust, who do otherwise, to make a true Experiment, which of these will give most certain security; there is not only to be reckoned into this account, those Evils which may happen to them from the Violence of other men, but also those, which such wicked men bring upon themselves by their inconstant and unreasonable way of living, as also by their inordinate [380] Passions, such as Envy, Anger, Intemperance, &c. and moreover, all those Evils, or Punishments, which may with reason be feared from God, both in this Life, and in that to come; which also are to be compared not in any one particular case, or in a few circumstances only, but in all those that may happen through the whole course of their Lives; for otherwise it is impossible, that we should truly judge which course of Life, either that of constant Justice or Injustice would be more secure. But we have, I hope already, sufficiently made out, that their condition is much more happy and secure, who observe the Laws of Nature in the whole course of their Actions, than those who act otherwise.

To which I shall only add, That altho Mr. H. himself, when he treats of the security requisite to the outward Observation of the Laws of Nature, doth wholly insist upon a perfect security from the Invasion of other men, and affirms, Because it is not to be had in the State of Nature, that therefore no body is obliged in that State to outward acts of Justice, but hath still a right to all things, and of making War upon all Men; Yet in other places of his Book, as if he had forgot himself, he doth acknowledge (altho but sparingly) that he himself perceived that [381] there was a sufficient Obligation to an external Conformity to the Laws of Nature, even out of a Civil State, lest we should fall into other Evils besides those which may be feared from the violence of men. As for Example, when he endeavours to prove in his De Cive, Cap. 3. §. 2, 3. That Faith is to be kept with all men, he fetches his reason from hence, That he who violates his Covenant, commits a Contradiction, which he acknowledges to be an Absurdity in Humane Conversation. And therefore, if he can admit in this case, that it is better to observe, than to violate our Covenants, lest we should fall into a Contradiction; what reason is there, why we should not also universally infer the same consequence from the breach of every Law of Nature, and consequently an Obligation to all their outward Actions? So that it will be better to observe than to transgress them in the State of Nature, because their Violation doth still imply a Contradiction or Absurdity in all Humane Society or Conversation; for whosoever will seriously consider the Nature of rational Agents, will acknowledge, that all the Felicity possible for them, doth depend upon the Common Good and Happiness of the whole System, as its necessary and adequate Cause; and therefore every man ought to seek both of them together; [382] for whensoever he transgresses any Law of Nature, he then separates his own private Good or Advantage, from that of the publick; which being contradictory ways of acting, must needs raise a Civil War, or Contest in a mans own Conscience, between his Reason, and his Passions, which must grievously disturb its Tranquility; which Evil, since it also takes away his Peace and Security, is no contemptible Punishment naturally inflicted by God for such Offences.

§. 9. I shall now only propose two Reasons more, whereby I think we may demonstrate the falseness of this Argument of Mr. H. The first is, That Presumption of the Civil Laws, both in our own, and all other Kingdoms, which sufficiently declares what Judgment Civil Sovereigns (whom this Author makes the only Judges of right or wrong) have made of Humane Nature; to wit, that every one is presumed to be good, until the contrary be proved by some outward Action, and that made out by sufficient Proof or Testimony; and therefore, if their Judgment be true, he must own all other men ought not to be esteemed as Enemies, or so wicked as he is pleased to suppose; so that they may be set upon and [383] killed, tho never so innocent, for any private mans security. And this Presumption is more strong against Mr. H. because he founds that Security, which he acknowledges to be sufficient in Commonwealths, upon those Punishments by which the Supreme Powers can restrain all Invaders of other mens Rights; but it is certain, that no Punishments are inflicted in Civil States, unless according to the Sentence of some Judges, who always give Sentence according to this Presumption. This therefore is either a true Presumption, and so able to direct our Actions in the State of Nature, or else even in Commonwealths there is not to be found a sufficient security by the Laws made and Punishments inflicted according to this Presumption; and so neither Civil Laws themselves do oblige us to outward Acts, and thus every Commonwealth would soon be dissolved. But since we are satisfied, that publick Judgments given according to this Presumption, do for the most part render mens Lives secure enough, and certainly much more safe, than if all who are arraigned at the Bar were presumed to be Enemies, and according to Mr. H's rule of prevention, should be all forthwith condemned to suffer as guilty; therefore it also follows, that the private Judgments of particular men concerning [384] others, made according to this Presumption, do more conduce to the security of all men, than this Authors rash Presumption of the Universal Pravity of all men, and would thence persuade us that all others in the State of Nature are to be prevented, and set upon by force and fraud.

§. 10. A second reason to prove, that the violation of the Laws of Nature, as to outward acts, will procure us less security than their exact observation, may be drawn from hence, That Mr. H. himself confesses, there will thence necessarily follow a War of all men against all; which War being once supposed, he rightly acknowledges, that all men would become miserable, and must presently perish: From whence it appears, that all security is sought for in vain, by this mad state; so that there can remain no more hopes of it; tho Mr. H. teaches otherwise in his de Cive, cap. 5. §. 1. and Lev. cap. 13. viz. That in the mutual fear of men, no body hath a better way of security, than by this anticipation or prevention; that is, every one may endeavour so long to subject all others by force or fraud, as he sees any man left, of whom he ought to beware; that is, as long as there is one man left alive; and so the whole earth would soon become a desart, and the common sepulchre [385] of mankind; for no man can provide any aid or assistance for himself from other men in this state, because Covenants of mutual Faith, by which alone others can be joined in Society with him, will not oblige to external acts in this state, as I have shewed he acknowledges; and therefore there remains no security by this way of anticipation: So that if there be any security in Nature, I appeal to the reasons and consciences of men, whether this is not more likely to be had by the endeavour of the common Good of Mankind, by doing good and not evil to those who have done us no harm, than by Mr. H.'s method of Anticipation which can yield no security at all.


That the Laws of Nature are alterable at the Will of the Civil Soveraign.

§. 1. THis is a natural consequence from what he hath already laid down, That nothing is morally good or evil in the state of Nature, before the Institution of a Commonwealth. Yet that you may see that I do not impose upon Mr. H. in this Assertion, I will give you his own words, in his de [386] Cive, cap. 14. §. 9, 10. But because it arises from Civil Laws, that as well every one should have a proper Right to himself, distinct from that of another, as also that he may be forbidden to invade other mens Properties, it follows that these Precepts, Honour thy Parents, Thou shalt not defraud any man in that which is appointed by the Laws; Thou mayest not kill a man whom the Laws forbid thee to kill; Thou shalt avoid all Carnal Copulation forbidden by the Laws; Thou shalt not take away another mans Goods without his consent; Thou shalt not frustrate Laws and Iudgments by false Witness, are all Civil Laws. It is true, the Laws of Nature prescribe the same things, but immplicity; for the Law of Nature, as is said before, Cap. 3. §. 2. commands Compacts to be observed; and therefore, also to yield Obedience when Obedience was covenanted; and to abstain from what is anothers, when it is defined by the Civil Law, what it is; but all the Subjects do Covenant from the Constitution oi the Commonwealth, to yield Obedience to his Commands, who hath the supream Power, that is to the Civil Laws. For the Law of Nature did oblige in the state of Nature, where first of all where Nature gave all things to all men, nothing was anothers, and therefore impossible to invade it; and in the next place, where all things were common; therefore also all Carnal Copulations were lawful. Thirdly, Where [387] there was a state of War, it was then lawful to kill any man. Fourthly, Where all things were determined by a man's own Iudgment, therefore also were the Honours and Duties due to Fathers. Lastly, Where there were no publick Iudgments, therefore there was no need of giving Testimony either true or false; since therefore the Obligation to observe those Laws, is prior to the Promulgation of them, as being contained in the very constitution of the Commonwealth, by vertue of this Law of Nature, which prohibits the violation of Compacts; the Law of Nature commands all Civil Laws to be observed. For where we are under an Obligation to Obedience, before we know what will be commanded, we are there universally, and in all things obliged to obey; from whence it follows, That no Civil Law which is not made in reproach to God, (in respect of whom, all Commonwealths are not at their own Disposals, nor can be said to give Laws), cannot be against the Law of Nature. For altho the Law of Nature prohibits Theft, Adultery, &c. Yet if the Civil Laws should command you to take away any thing from another, or to lye with any Woman; that is not Theft, Adultery, &c. For the Lacedemonians of old, when by a certain Law, they permitted their Boys privately to take away other people's Goods; they then commanded those Goods not to be the Owners, but theirs who thus stole [388] them. And therefore such a private taking, was no Theft. In like manner, the promiscuous Copulation of Sexes amongst the Heathens, according to their own Laws, were lawful Marriages.

§. 2. There is nothing that Mr. H hath written more rudely and wickedly, and wherein he more contradicts himself, than in this Assertion, concerning the mutability of the Laws of Nature, as to outward Actions; since he himself tells us immediately after, That the Laws of Nature are immutable and eternal; and that Injustice, Ingratitude, Arrogance, Pride, Iniquity, Acception of Persons, and the like, can never be made lawful: for it can never be that War shall preserve life, and Peace destroy it. But how the Laws of Nature can be immutable, and yet alterable as to outward Actions, at the Will of the Civil Soveraign, I cannot comprehend.

But since we have already destroyed those two main Principles introductive to this, (viz.) That no Action is good or evil in the state of Nature, till either the revealed Law of God, or that of the Civil Soveraign hath made it so; and also that the Laws of Nature are not properly Laws in the state of Nature; Let us now examine the only reason he here gives us for this Assertion, which is [389] this; That the Law of Nature which prohibits the violation of Compacts, commands all Civil Laws to be observed; since our Obedience to the Supream Powers is one of the first Compacts that men made at the Institution of the Commonwealth; granting all which to be true, yet was it not absolutely, or in all things, that this Obedience was promised, but only in such as regard the publick good of the Commonwealth, or tend to the common Good or Preservation of Mankind; for if the Civil Soveraign should make a Law, that every one might knock his Father in the Head, when he came to such an Age, and marry his Mother, or rob any other man, tho' his dearest Friend, of all the necessaries of Life: All these wicked Actions will become lawful to be done, nay, every man were obliged to do them, if the Law of Nature commanded all Civil Laws to be observed without distinction; but he here tells us, That no Civil Laws can be against the Law of Nature, which are not made in direct reproach to God. And upon this Principle no Law can be so, but what directly denies his Existence; since in his Leviathan, Ch.—he makes even Idolatry lawful, if it be once commanded by his infallible Leviathan, the Supream Power: But if Mr. H. had but read and considered any ordinary System of Ethicks, [390] he would have found, that it was one of the first Principles in that Science, that the Laws of Nature (like the moral Vertues) are so nearly linked, and have such an inseparable dependance upon each other, that the first and prior Laws of Nature can never be contradicted by the latter, or secondary. And therefore tho' it is true, that Compacts are to be observed by the Law of Nature, and that Obedience to the Commands of the Civil Soveraign, is one of those Compacts which men make when they institute, and enter into a Commonwealth, or Civil State; yet were those Promises of Obedience only made concerning such things, which the Laws of Nature have commanded, or permitted to be done, in order to the common good of rational Beings. I grant therefore, That the Civil Laws of every Commonwealth, as they may appoint what outward Rewards or Punishments they please for the Observation or Transgression of the Law of Nature; and also in order to this end may ordain what outward Acts shall be called Murder, Adultery, Theft, &c. yet doth it not therefore follow, That they have a Power to alter the Nature of all moral Actions, and so make a new Law of Nature; tho' I own they may enlarge or restrain their exercise in some particular Actions or Instances. But since this [391] is best cleared by examples, I shall here give you some of each sort. First, Therefore tho' our Laws give leave to men to converse alone with married Women without any Crime, yet in divers Countries it is not so, But whoever is found alone in the Company of another man's Wife without his leave, it is lawful for the Husband to kill them both; because such private Congresses being esteem'd as bad as downright Adultery, the Punishment of it is left as it was in the state of Nature, to the discretion of the Husband: But doth it therefore follow, That the Supream Power might make a Law, whereby it may be lawful for a Husband to kill every man that should but happen to look upon his Wife, because he may at the same time commit Adultery with her in his heart? So likewise by our Law, the Husband is to be esteemed the Father of all Children which his Wife shall bring forth, if he were within the English Dominions at the time when the Child was Begot, though he were at that same time an Hundred Miles off, and though the Mother should assure the Child, that not her Husband, but another man were really his Father; Yet is not such a Child obliged to believe her, or to pay any Duty or respect to that Person, though he be really his Father: But will it therefore follow, [392] that the King and Parliament may make a Law, That no Child whatsoever should Honour and Obey his Parents. But to come to the Author's last instance of the Lacedemonian Boys; I will not deny but it might be lawful for the Spartans (as the Egyptians likewise did) to make a Law, That private Thefts committed without discovery, or violence to mens Persons, should not only alter the Property in the things stolen, bu also pass unpunished; since this may very well consist with the Publick Peace and safety of the People, and may also tend to the Publick good of the Commonwealth; since it might not only make men more careful of their Goods, but might also serve to make those Boys more crafty, secret, and undertaking in greater matters, when they should come to be men; which as Plutarch tells us, was the main reason why Licurgus made this Law: But does it therefore follow, that either the Lacedemonians or Egyptians might have made it Lawful for Thieves and Robbers to assault all mens Persons, and take away their Goods by Force, or to Rob men of those things (such as Food and Rayment) which are absolutely necessary for Human Life, or that such a Law could ever have been made practicable, or have been observed, without the absolute dissolution of the Civil [393] Government? Whereas if Mr. H. had but considered the distinction between that Natural and Civil Property, which we have made out in the first Chap. of the preceding Discourse, he had never fallen into this Error, of supposing all Theft or Robbery whatsoever to become Lawful, if once ordained so by the Supreme Power.

§. 3. I shall give you but one instance more from the Laws of our own Kingdom, by which it is enacted, That whoever shall relieve a way going Beggar, Stat 7. Jacobi. Cap. 7. shall forfeit Ten shillings to the Poor of the Parish; which Law was made for the Publick Good, and to prevent Wandering, Idleness, and Beggary in the Poorer sort of People. But doth it therefore follow, that it might be Lawful for the King and Parliament to make a Law against all Charity, or Relief of the Poor whatsoever? So that you may see, that no Civil Laws whatsoever, can lay any obligation upon mens Consciences, but as they either regard the publick Good of the Commonwealth, or the more general good of all Rational Beings.

§. 4. But whether Mr. H. fell into this Error for want of a due knowledge and consideration [394] of this great Law of Nature; or else out of a desire to flatter all Civil Sovereigns, is hard to determine; though it be very suspitious, that he did it rather out of design than ignorance; since he teaches us in his de Cive, and Lev. That Princes being free from all Promises and Compacts to their Subjects, may dispose of their Lives and Fortunes at their pleasure, and therefore can do them no injury, though they treat them never so cruelly, because he is in respect of them still in the state of Nature; by which means he at once endeavours to destroy all Virtue and Goodness in Princes, and all Reverence and Respect in the minds of their Subjects; and makes no difference between a Nero or Caligula, and a Trajan or an Antonine. And consequential to this, he likewise makes the will of the Supreme Power, though perhaps but one single man, to be the only measure of Good and Evil, Just and Unjust: So that whatever he Commands or Forbids, must immediately be look'd upon as Good or Evil, because he hath Commanded it, or Forbidden it; by which means, Princes would have no other Rules left them of their Moral, or Politick Actions, but their own Arbitrary Humours, or Wills: Which if it were so, men would be in a much worse condition under the Power of this irresistible Leviathan, than they were [395] in the state of Nature; since a man is in more danger, as to his Life and Fortune, who is at the Mercy of one Cruel and unreasonable man, who commands an Hundred thousand men, than he who was before in danger of the violence of an Hundred thousand single men in the state of Nature, since it was Lawful for him to have provided for his own security by combination with others, which in a Civil state it is upon his Principles unlawful to do; though I confess, not being true to them, he leaves every man a Right of self-defence, or Resistance, even under a Civil Government whenever he is strong enough to Rebel, or Resist the Magistrate, by which means he takes away with one hand, all that he had before bestowed with the other.

§. 5. But I think I have now sufficiently exposed the Falseness, as well as Wickedness of those Principles: And though I will not be so uncharitable as to affirm, that either Mr. H., or all his Followers, either did, or would always act according to them, (yet as Cicero long since observed in his Offices) they have more reason to thank the natural goodness and generosity of their own Natures, than the Doctrines they have embraced, if they do not. But if I have been too tedious [396] in the performance, I hope the Reader will pardon me, if these pernicious Principles are sufficiently Confuted at last, since it is impossible for any man to judge of their Truth or Falsehood, without first considering the Author's Opinion, in his own words, and then strictly examining the reasons he brings for them; which could not well be contracted into a less compass. But having not only, I hope, laid foundations for a more solid building in the precedent Discourse; but also cleared off that Rubbish in this second Part, that might obstruct its Evidence in the minds of all Candid and indifferent Readers; I shall therefore beseech God, the great Ruler of mens hearts and affections, That what we have said in this Treatise, may have that good effect, as if not to produce, yet at least to increase true Piety towards God, and good Will and Charity among men.





Books Printed for Richard Baldwin.

STate Tracts: Being a farther Collection of Several Choice Treatises relating to the Government. From the Year 1660 to 1689. Now Published in a Body to shew the Necessity, and clear the Legality of the Late Revolution, and our present Happy Settlement, under the Auspicious Reign of Their Majesties, King William and Queen Mary.

Mathematical Magick: Or, The Wonders that may be performed by Mechanical Geometry. In Two Books. Concerning Mechanical Powers, and Motions. Being one of the most Easie, Pleasant, Useful, (and yet most neglected) part of Mathematicks. Not before treated of in this Language. By I. Wilkins, late Lord Bishop of Chester. The Fourth Edition.

Bibliotheca Politica: Or a Discourse by way of Dialogue, Whether Monarchy be Iure Divino: Collected out of the most Approved Authors, both Ancient and Modern. Dialogue the First.

Dialogue the Second. Whether there can be made out from the Natural, or Revealed Law of God, any Succession to Crowns by Divine Right?

Dialogue the Third. Whether Resistance of the Supream Power by a whole Nation, or People, in cases of the last Extremity can be Justified by the Law of Nature, or Rules of the Gospel?

Dialogue the Fourth. Whether Absolute Non-Resistances of the Supream Powers be enjoined by the Doctrine of the Gospel, and was the Ancient Practice of the Primitive Churh, and the constant Doctrine of our Reformed Church of England?


The Speech of the Right Honourable Thomas Earl of Stamford, Lord Gray of Grooby, &c. at the General Quarter-Sessions held for the County of Leicester, at Michaelmas, 1691. His Lordship being made Custos Rotulorum for the said County by the late Lord Commissioners of the Great Seal.

Truth brought to Light: Or, The History of the First 14 Years of King Iames the I. In Four Parts. I. The Happy State of England at His Majesty's Entrance; The Corruption of it afterwards. With the Rise of particular Favourites, and the Divisions between This and other States abroad. II. The Divorce betwixt the Lady Francis Howard and Robert Earl of Essex, before the King's Delegates, authorized under the King's Broad Seal. As also the Arraignment of Sir Iervis Yelvis, Lieutenant of the Tower, &c. about the Murther of Sir Thomas Overbury, with all Proceedings thereupon, and the King's gracious Pardon and Favour to the Countess. III. A Declaration of His Majesty's Revenue since he came to the Crown of England; with the Annual Issues, Gifts, Pensions, and Extraordinary Disbursements. IV. The Commissions and Warrants for the burning of two Hereticks, newly revived, with two Pardons, one for Theophilus Higgons, the other for Sir Eustace Hart.

The Memoirs of Monsieur Deageant: Containing the most secret Transactions and Affairs of France, from the Death of Henry VI. till the beginning of the Ministry of the Cardinal de Richlieu. To which is added a particular Relation of the Arch-bishop of Embrun's Voyage into England, and of his Negotiation for the Advancement of the Roman Catholick Religion here; together with the Duke of Bukingham's Letter to the said Archbishop about the Progress of that Affair; which happened the last Years of K. Iames I. [PB] his Reign. Faithfully Translated out of the French Original.

The Present State of Christendom consider'd. In Nine Dialogues between, I. The present Pope Alexander the VIIIth, and Lewis the XIV. II. The Great Duke of Tuscany, and the Duke of Savoy. III. King Iames the Second, and the Marescal de la Fuillade. IV. The Duke of Lorrain, and the Duke of Schomberg. V. The Duke of Lorrain, and the Elector Palatine. VI. Lewis the XIVth, and the Marquis de Louvois. VII. The Advoyer of Berne, and the Chief Syndic of Geneva. VIII. Cardinal Ottoboni, and the Duke de Chaulnes. IX. The Young Prince Abafti, and Count Teckely.

A New, Plain, Short, and Compleat French and English Grammar; whereby the Learner may attain in few Months to Speak and Write French Correctly, as they do now in the Court of France. And wherein all that is Dark, Superfluous, and Deficient in other Grammars, is Plain, Short, and Methodically supplied. Also very useful to Strangers, that are desirous to learn the English Tongue: For whose sake is added a Short, but very Exact English Grammar. The Second Edition. By Peter Berault.