Front Page Titles (by Subject) Appendix 1. Richard Cumberland’s Original Dedication to De Legibus Naturae - A Treatise of the Laws of Nature
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Appendix 1. Richard Cumberland’s Original Dedication to De Legibus Naturae - Richard Cumberland, A Treatise of the Laws of Nature 
A Treatise of the Laws of Nature, translated, with Introduction and Appendix, by John Maxwell (1727), edited and with a Foreword by Jon Parkin (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005).
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Richard Cumberland’s Original Dedication to De Legibus Naturae
The Author’s Dedication.1
To the Right Honourable Sir Orlando Bridgman Knight and Knight Baronet, Lord High Chancellor of England, Keeper of the Great Seal, and of his Majesty King Charles the Second’s most honourable Privy Council.2
My most noble LORD,
The two Reasons which chiefly prevail with all Authors, who dedicate Books, are either, First, the Importance of the Subject; or, Secondly, The particular Situation and Circumstances of the Author himself. Both these Reasons prevail with me to address this Performance to your Lordship.
For since the Laws of Nature, the Subject-matter of this Work, are the Solid Foundations of that Equity which your Lordship, from your own innate Disposition, so fondly admire; and since in the High Court of Chancery, where, by the Royal Favour of our most gracious So vereign, you preside as supreme Judge, it must appear a Piece of unpardonable Injustice in me, to have sought after any other Patron.
In this controversial Treatise, however, we do not only discourse upon the Maxims of Equity in particular, but upon Religion, upon Justice, and upon Civil Government in general.
These Principles, which your Lordship holds in the highest and dearest Esteem, are, as we complain, attacked by Mr. Hobbes.
For, altho’ this Gentleman, at some times, allows the Dictates of Reason, which concern these Points, to be impressed upon every human Mind, by Almighty God, as Rules of Action [De Cive, ch. 4. Sect. 1.]; yet he, notwithstanding this Concession, obstinately denies any such Dictates to lay an Obligation upon outward Acts, conformable to these Dictates [De Cive, ch. 3. Sect. 27]: Or, that they are, in any Propriety of speaking, Laws, unless they first be established upon Civil Authority[De Cive, ch. 5. Sect. 2, 5.]: And, unless they first are guarded by the Sanctions of the Civil Magistrate [De Cive, ch. 6. Sect 3.]. In short, he utterly denies that any such Laws are the Concern of those who are not Members of the same Civil Community.
These are the prevailing Opinions, the ruling Principles, the Κυρία Δόξα of Mr. Hobbes; and, from which his most fundamental Maxims are deduced. Hence he concludes [Leviathan in English, Chap. 26. pag. 143], that in all the several Constitutions of Civil Government, from the highest to the lowest, one with another, the Members of one Community may act as they please by the Members of any other; all being, as he says, in a perpetual State of War, notwithstanding that the Compacts of mutual Faith and Fidelity be as binding and obligatory as possibly can be devised.
From hence, he peremptorily insists upon it, That all Men lawfully may take away Life, with the Necessaries and Comforts thereunto belonging, from all Men, provided they be in a State which he imagines and calls natural; or, provided they be not Members of the same Civil Community.
Whereas we, on the contrary, maintain, That these Principles are not only repugnant to the Divine Authority over the external Acts and Behaviour of Mankind, and which Natural Religion dictates; but we also affirm this Conclusion to follow as a direct Consequence from his Principles, That Almighty God has not laid an Obligation upon any Man to the external Acts of Justice and Fidelity, without which it is, in the Nature of Things, impossible for any peaceable Society or Intercourse amongst Mankind to subsist.
For, taking away the Sanction of that Obligation, which these Dictates of Reason derive from the Authority of Almighty God, it is no Matter of Wonder if Mr. Hobbes cannot produce any other Tye of Obligation binding enough to restrain the unbounded Liberty of Mankind.
For all Civil Authority, as being inferior to the Divine Authority of the Laws of Nature, becomes weak and helpless, unless aided by Nature’s Laws, which lay the Obligation upon outward Acts, as the wise Foundation, and the well-connected Security of such Authority.
But, besides this: He is not satisfied totally to demolish the Foundations of Civil Society and Laws, unless he can overset and change Laws, even after they were written and established, to favour every Vice according to the Humour of his Leviathan.
In order, therefore, that Lawyers may have no Business at all upon their Hands, he introduces armed Force, as the Interpreter of Law, which is, with Sword in Hand, to cut short all knotty Points. And, he openly declares, in the very same Chapter of his Book called the Leviathan, That our Judges of the English Common Law are not Judges but Lawyers [Leviathan in English, Pages 143 and 147].
Since, therefore it is so well known, my Lord, to all the World, how zealous you have always appeared in the Cause of Piety, Religion and Justice, you justly claim the first Right to this Treatise: Because, you constantly and propitiously promote that universal Good of the whole Community, under which [universal Good] are contained Religion and universal Good-will, and in these we shall find comprehended all the Laws of Nature.
Your Lordship’s Piety towards God, is fully demonstrated from your Bounty to his Church, by endowing the Episcopal See of Chester with Land, as also many Parishes with Glebes, for the Accommodation of resident Curates.3
You, my Lord, in one capacity, exercise and practice Benevolence to Mankind in general, as a Member of the Privy Council, (where the grand Concernments of universal Trade and public Treatiesare transacted) and where your Lordship most religiously reveres the Laws of Nations, of Public Contracts, of Public Peace; and where, in all Consultations, you utterly abhor and abominate even every the least Appearance of, Invasion upon Property.
In your Lordship’s other Capacity, you likewise shew yourself a steady, faithful Subject to that Constitution of Government under which you are born, and for the Support of which (in Lucan’s Character of Cato) you delighted to stand, when it was even overcome and oppressed.
Neither would your Lordship submit to an usurping Tyrant, altho’ in actual Possession, and at a Time when Mr. Hobbes avowedly maintained and openly supported, as Doctrines, that this usurped Power, and a quiet Submission to it, were lawful [Leviathan in English, at the Conclusion, pag. 300].
In short, the Subject Matter of this Treatise apologizes best for me; and, to speak ingenuously, is the original Source of this Dedication.
As to the AUTHOR; it is sufficient to say, That he lies under Obligations to your Lordship as his Patron, which he with Pleasure and Gratitude acknowledges: And, that the Production of his Studies and Labours belong of Right to you, he being, in a Manner, born under your Lordship’s Roof.5
I have, indeed, these further Views in dedicating this Book to your Lordship, that it may prove more acceptable to Men of Letters, who rise and flourish under your Lordship’s Protection;6 and because I am, in my Conscience convinced, that this Treatise will be most highly acceptable to your Lordship’s Sons, who inherit their Father’s Virtues.
What now only remains is, humbly to ask Pardon, that I have presumed to declare publicly, those Acts of Goodness which you liberally performed for the Good of the Church with all possible Secrecy.
I have not addressed myself to your Lordship with the least View towards Flattery, but from an inward Persuasion, that your great Liberality will redound to the Glory of the Reformation, and shine as an Example illustrious enough for men of the highest Figure and Fortune to behold, admire, and as truly worthy of their own Imitation.
Above all, I beseech your Lordship’s Pardon for having detained you too long from Affairs of the first Importance. I therefore now retire to my daily Supplication, which is, That God may, as long as possible, preserve your Lordship a Blessing to his Church, to our gracious Sovereign, to these Realms, and to us all: All Mankind.
I am, MY LORD,