Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAPTER IV: Of a War made by Subjects against their Superiors. - The Rights of War and Peace (2005 ed.) vol. 1 (Book I)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
CHAPTER IV: Of a War made by Subjects against their Superiors. - Hugo Grotius, The Rights of War and Peace (2005 ed.) vol. 1 (Book I) 
The Rights of War and Peace, edited and with an Introduction by Richard Tuck, from the Edition by Jean Barbeyrac (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 1.
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Of a War made by Subjects against their Superiors.
1.The Question stated.I. Private Men may certainly make War against private Men, as a Traveller against a Robber, and Sovereign Princes against Sovereign Princes, as David against the King of the Ammonites; and so may private Men against Princes, but not their own, as Abraham did against the King of Babylon,2 Sam. x. and other neighbouring Princes; so may Sovereign Princes against private Men, whether their own Subjects, as David1 against the Party of Ishbosheth, or Strangers, as the Romans against Pirates.<102>Gen. xiv.
The only Question is, whether private or publick Persons may lawfully make War against those that are set over them, whether as supreme, or subordinate. First, it is agreed on all Sides, that they that are commissioned by the higher Powers may make War against their Inferiors, as Nehemiah did by the Authority of Artaxerxes, against the neighbouring petty Princes.Nehem. Ch. ii. & iv. Thus the2Roman Emperors allowed the Proprietor of an Heritage to drive away Harbingers or Quarter-masters. But the main Question is, What is lawful for Subjects to do against their Sovereign, or those that act by his Authority. This is allowed by all good Men, that if3 the civil Powers command any Thing contrary to the Law of Nature, or the Commands of God, they are not to be obeyed. For the Apostles,Acts iv. 19. — v. 29. when they alledged, that we must obey God rather than Man, did but appeal to a Principle of Reason, engraved on the Minds of Men, which4Plato expresses almost in the very same Words. But if for this, or any other Cause, any Injury be done us by the Will of our Sovereign, we ought rather to bear it patiently, than to resist by Force.
II.War against Superiors, as such is unlawful by the Law of Nature.II. Indeed all Men have naturally a Right to secure themselves from Injuries by Resistance, as we said before. But civil Society being instituted for the Preservation of Peace, there immediately arises a superior Right in the State over us and ours, so far as is necessary for that End. Therefore the State has a Power to prohibit the unlimited Use of that Right towards every other Person, for maintaining publick Peace and good Order, which doubtless it does, since otherwise it cannot obtain the End proposed;1 for if that promiscuous Right of Resistance should be allowed, <103> there would be no longer a State, but a Multitude without Union, such as the2Cyclops were, every one gives Law to his Wife and Children. A Mob where all are Speakers, and no Hearers. Or the3Aborigines, whom Sallust mentions as a wild and savage People, without Laws, without Government, loose and dissolute. And in another Place the4Getulians, who had neither Customs, Laws, nor Magistrates. So we find that the Resistance in Question, is looked upon as unlawful, according to the Usage of all States. All human Societies (St. Augustine5 tells us) unanimously agree to obey Kings. So Aeschylus,6 τραχὺς μόναρχος κ’ ὀυχ’ ὑπεύθυνος κρατει̑, A King absolute, accountable to none. And in Sophocles,7 Ἀρχοντές εἰσιν, ὥσθ’ ὑπεικτέον·, τί μὴ; They are Princes, we must obey; why not? And in Euripides,8 Τὰς τω̂ν κρατούντων ἀμαθίας χρεὼν ϕέρειν, We must bear with the Follies of Princes. Agreeably whereto is that we quoted above out of Tacitus; and in another Place he says,9The Gods have bestowed a sovereign Power on Princes, leaving Subjects the Glory to obey. And, The bad Treatment we receive from a King, must be looked on as good<104> Treatment. Seneca10 says, We must bear patiently whatever the King commands, whether just or not: a Thought which he borrowed from11Sophocles. And likewise in Sallust,12To do any Thing with Impunity, is peculiar to a King.
Hence it is, that the Majesty (that is, the Dignity and Authority) of the Sovereign, whether it be King or State, is fenced with so many Laws, and so many Penalties; which Authority could not be maintained, if it were lawful to resist.13 If a Soldier resist his Officer that corrects him, if he lays hold on the Cane, he is degraded; but if he wilfully break it, or strike again, he is punished with Death. And in Aristotle,14If a Magistrate strikes, he shall not be struck again.
III.Nor allowed by the Hebrew Law.III. By the Hebrew Law, he that was disobedient, either1 to the High-Priest, or to the extraordinary Governor appointed by God, was to be put to Death. But that which in Samuel is spoken of the Right of Kings,2 to him that thoroughly considers it, appears not to be understood of a true Right,Jos i. 18. Deut. xvii. 12. 1 Sam. viii. 11. Deut. xvii. 14. that is, of a Power to do honestly and justly, (for a far different Way of living is prescribed to a King, in that Part of the Law which treats of a King’s Duty) nor of barely what he will do; for that would not have been extraordinary in him, when even private Men do likewise Injuries3 to private Men; but it is to be understood of an Action,<105> whether just or not, as has in it some Effect of Right, that is, it implies the Obligation4 of Nonresistance. Therefore it is added, when People are thus oppressed, they should cry unto GOD for Help,5 as if no Remedy were to be expected from Man. It is then a Right, in the same Sense as it is said that6the Pretor renders Justice, even when he pronounces an unjust Sentence.
IV.Nor by the Law of the Gospel, as proved by Scripture.IV. Where Christ in the New Testament commands to give to Caesar the Things that are Caesar’s, he certainly intended, that his Disciples should yield as great, if not a greater Obedience (both active and passive) to the higher Powers, than what the Jews were bound to pay to their Kings. Which St. Paul (who could best interpret the Words of his Lord) largely describing the Duties of Subjects,Rom. xiii. says among other Things, He that resists the Power, resists the Ordinance of God, and they that resist, shall receive unto themselves Damnation. And a little further, for he is the Minister of God to thee for Good. And again, Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for Wrath, but also for Conscience Sake. He includes in Subjection the Necessity1 of Nonresistance, not only such as arises from the Apprehension of a worse Evil, but such a one as flows from the Sense of our Duty, whereby we stand obliged not only to Man, but to GOD also: He adds two Reasons for it; First, because GOD has approved of this Ordinance of commanding and obeying, both formerly in the Jewish Law, and now in the Evangelical, wherefore the publick Powers are to be esteemed by us, as ordained by GOD himself; for we make those Acts our own, which we support and countenance by our Authority. Secondly, because this Ordinance tends to our Advantage. But some may say, to bear Injuries is not advantageous; to which others, more truly, than pertinently to the Apostle’s Meaning, as I suppose, say, these Injuries are also advantageous to us, because such a Patience shall not lose its Reward. The Apostle seems to me to have regarded the general End proposed in this Ordinance, which is the2 publick Peace, wherein is comprehended that also of every particular Person. And certainly this Advantage we<106> commonly receive from the sovereign Powers: For no Body ever wished ill to himself, and the Happiness of the Prince depends on the Happiness of his Subjects, sint quibus imperes, leave some to reign over,3 said one to Sylla. The Hebrews have a Proverb,4If there were no sovereign Power, we should swallow up one another alive. To which agrees that of5 St. Chrysostom, Take away the Governors of States, Men would be more savage than Brutes, not only biting but devouring one another.
If the supreme Magistrate sometimes, through Fear, Anger, or some other Passion deviates from the straight Path, that leads to publick Tranquillity; it ought to be considered as a rare Case, and an Evil which, as Tacitus6 observes, is made up by good Offices. It is enough for the Laws to regard that which generally happens, as7Theophrastus said, and to which we may apply that of8Cato, No Law can be convenient for every particular Person, it is enough, if it be beneficial in general, and to the greater Part. But as to such Cases, which rarely happen, they ought to be submitted to the general Rules. For though the Reason of the Law does not take Place in such or such a particular Case, yet it subsists in its Generality, to which particular Cases ought to make no Exception; because that is much better, than to live without Law; or to allow every Man to be a Law to himself. Seneca speaks pertinently to this Purpose.9It is better not to admit of an Excuse, though just, from a few, than that all should be allowed to make what Excuse they please.
Here we shall cite that remarkable10 Saying of Pericles in Thucydides.11I esteem it better, even for private Men, that the State in general flourish, though they themselves do not thrive in it, than that they should flourish in their Affairs, and the Publick suffer. For let a Man’s private Affairs be never so prosperous, yet if his Country be lost, he must perish with it. On the contrary, if the State flourish, a Man in bad Circumstances may mend his Condition. Since then the State can relieve private Persons in their Misfortunes, but private Persons cannot do the same Thing in regard to the State; ought not every one to concur in defending it, instead of acting like you, who, being overwhelmed with your domestick Losses, abandon the Care of the publick Safety? Which Livy speaks in short,12If the Commonwealth flourish, it secures every Man’s private Estate, but by betraying the Publick, you will never preserve your own. And Plato observed,13 τὸ μὲν γὰρ κοινὸν ξυνδι, &c. That which is the Bond of States, is the Care of the publick Good, and that which destroys them is the minding only one’s private Advantage; therefore it concerns both the State and private Men, to prefer the Interest of the publick to that of particular Persons. And Xenophon,14 ὅστις ἐν πολέμῳ, &c. He that<107> mutinies against his General in War, offends against his own Safety. And Jamblichus,15private Interest is inseparable from the Publick, each particular Advantage is included in the Publick; for as in the natural Body, so in the political, the Preservation of the Parts depends on that of the Whole.
Now, in publick Matters there is nothing more considerable than the Order of Government I have spoken of, which is incompatible with the Right of Resistance left to private Persons. I shall explain this out of an excellent Place in Dion Cassius, οὐ μέν τοι καὶ ἐγὼ, &c.16I think it neither decent for a Prince to submit to his Subjects, nor can one ever be in Safety, if those who ought to obey pretend to command. Do but consider what a strange Disorder it would cause in a Family, if Children should be allowed to despise their Parents, and what in Schools, if Scholars should slight their Masters; what Health for Patients that will not be ruled by their Physicians? Or what Security for those in a Ship, if the Sailors will not follow the Orders of the Pilot? For Nature has made it necessary, and useful to Mankind, that some should command, and some should obey.
1 Ep ii. 17, 18, 19, 20.To the Testimony of St. Paul, we shall add that of St. Peter, whose Words are these, Honour the King; Servants be subject to your Masters, with all Fear, not only to the Good and Gentle, but also to the Froward; for this is thank-worthy if a Man for Conscience toward GOD endure Grief, suffering wrongfully. For what Glory is it, if when ye be buffeted for your Faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is17acceptable with GOD. He immediately confirms this by the Example of CHRIST. And Clement in his Constitutions, expresses the same Sense in these Words, ὁ δου̑λος, &c. Let the Servant love his Master with the Fear of God, though he be wicked and unjust. Here we may observe two Things. First, that what is said of Submission to Masters, however froward they are, ought18 to be applied to Kings. For that which follows, being built upon the same Foundation, respects the Duty of Subjects as well as of Servants; and secondly, that the Submission, to which we are bound, implies an Obligation to bear Injuries with Patience; as it is usually said of Parents,19Love your Parent if he is just; if not, bear with him.20 A young Man of Eretria, who had been long a Disciple to Zeno, being asked, what he had learnt, answered, ὀργὴν πατρὸς ϕέρειν, To bear my Father’s Anger. And Justin says of Lysimachus, He suffered the Cruelty of his King as patiently, as if he had been his Father. And in Livy, As the harsh Temper of our Parents, so also that of our Country, is to be softened by patient Suffering. So in Tacitus,21The Humours of Kings must be born. And in another Place, Good Emperors are to be desired, but whatsoever they<108> are, they must be obeyed. Claudian22 commends the Persians, who obeyed their Kings, though cruel.
V.And by the Practice of the primitive Christians.V. Neither did the Practice of the1 primitive Christians, the best Interpreter of the Law, deviate from this Law of God. For though the Roman Emperors were sometimes the very worst of Men, and there wanted not those, who under the Pretence of serving the State opposed them, yet the Christians could never be persuaded to join with them. In the Constitutions of Clement we have βασιλεία οὐ θεμιτὸν ἐπανιστασθαι, It is not lawful to resist the King’s Authority. And Tertullian says in his Apology, 2Whence are your Cassius’s, your Niger’s, and your Albinus’s? Whence those who besiege Caesar between the two Laurels? Whence those who wrestle with him only for an Opportunity of throttling him? Whence those who force the Palace Sword in Hand, Fellows bolder than so many3 Sigerius’s (so the Manuscript in the Hands of those accomplished worthy Gentlemen Mess. du Puys expressly has it) and Parthenius’s? If I am not mistaken from among the Romans, that is, from among those who are not Christians. What he says of the Wrestling relates to Commodus’s Murder committed by a Wrestler, by the Order of Aelius Laetus, Captain of the Emperor’s Lifeguard; but there never was a wickeder Wretch living than that Emperor. Parthenius, whose Fact also Tertullian mentions here with Horror, was he who killed that worst of Emperors Domitian. To these he compares Plautian the4 Captain of the Guard, who would have slain the bloody Emperor Septimius Severus in his own Palace. Piscennius Niger5 in Syria, and Clodius Albinus in Gaul and Britain, took up Arms against this Septimius Severus, as if out of Zeal and Affection to the Commonwealth. But their Enterprize was also disappointed by the Christians, as Tertullian glories in his Treatise to Scapula:6 We are reproached with Treason; but never could Christians be found to act the Albinians, or Nigrians, or Cassians. Those Cassians were they who followed Avidius Cassius, a Man of great Note, who took up Arms in Syria, under a Pretence of restoring the Commonwealth, which the Negligence of M. Antonin7 was like to ruin.
Though8 St. Ambrose was persuaded that Valentinian the second did him an Injury, and not only to himself, but to his Flock, and even to CHRIST, yet he would not take the Advantage of the People’s Inclination to resist; but said,9 <109> Whatever Violence is offered me, I cannot resist; I can grieve, weep, and mourn. Against Arms, Soldiers and Goths, I have no other Arms but Tears, for these are the Defences of a Priest, in any other Manner I neither ought nor can resist. And presently after, I was commanded to appease the Tumult, I answered, it was in my Power not to stir them up, but that it was only in the Power of GOD to quiet them.Theodoret. Hist. Eccles. Lib. V. Cap. XIV. The same St. Ambrose would not make use of the Forces of Maximus against the same Emperor, though an Arian, and a great Persecutor of the Church. Thus Gre-<110>gory Nazianzen relates, that Julian the Apostate was diverted from bloody Designs (against the Church) by the Tears of the Christians, adding,10this was the only Remedy against Persecution. Yet his Army was almost all Christians. Besides, as the same Nazianzen observes, that Cruelty of Julian was not only full of Injustice towards the Christians, but had exposed the State to the utmost Danger: To which we shall add that of11 St. Augustine, where he expounds those Words of St. Paul to the Romans, It is necessary for the Good of this Life, that we submit to the Sovereign Powers, and not resist if they should take any Thing from us.
VI.Inferior Magistrates to make War against the Sovereign unlawful, proved by Reason and Scripture.VI. There are some1 Learned Men in this Age, who, suiting themselves to Times, and Places, first (as I think) persuade themselves, and then others, that what we have already said (in Relation to Non-resistance) takes Place only in Regard to private Men, but not in Regard to inferior Magistrates, who they think have Right to resist the Injuries of their Sovereign; nay, and that they fail in their Duty when they do not; which Opinion is not to be admitted. For as in Logick there is a middle Species, which with Respect to the Genus above it is still a Species, but in Respect of the Species below it,Genus speciale as Seneca calls it, Epist. LVIII. a Genus: So those Magistrates, in Respect to their Inferiors, are publick Persons, but in Respect to their Superiors, are but private Persons.2 All the civil Power, that such Magistrates have, is so subject to the Sovereign,Averroes, V. Metaphys. com. 6. that whatever they do against his Will is done without Authority, and consequently ought to be considered only as a private Act. In a Word, according to the Maxim of Philosophers, which may be here applied, all Order necessarily relates to something that is First; and they, who think otherwise, seem to me to introduce such a State of Things as the Ancients fabled to have been in Heaven before there was a sovereign Majesty, when the lesser Gods did not submit to Jupiter. That Order3 which I have spoken of, and ὑπαλληλισμὸς, Subordination, is not only apprehended by common Sense, as appears by the excellent4 Sayings which we find on that Subject in Authors both Pagan and Christian; but it is also supported by divine Authority;1 Peter ii. 13. for St. Peter bids us be subject to the King, otherwise than to Magistrates; to the King as supreme, that is5 without Exception, but only to those Things which GOD directly commands, who approves, and not forbids, our bearing of an Injury.Rom. xiii. 1. But to Magistrates as deputed by the King, that is deriving their Authority from him. And when St. Paul would have every Soul be subject to the higher Powers, he also included inferior Magistrates. Neither do we find among the Hebrews, where there were so many Kings regardless of all Right both divine and human, that any inferior Magistrates, among whom there were many pious and valiant Persons, ever assumed the Liberty to resist their Kings by Force, unless they had a special Commission from GOD,<111> who has a sovereign Power over Kings themselves; on the contrary,1 Sam. xv. 30. what the Duty of great Men is to their King, Samuel instructs us, who before the Elders and the People gave to Saul, though now governing wickedly, the usual Reverence.
And so likewise the State of the publick Divine Worship always depended upon the Will of the King, and the6Sanhedrim: For whereas, after the King, the Magistrates, together with the People, promised they would be faithful to GOD; that ought to be understood,7 so far as it should be in the Power of every one of them. Nay, the very Images of their false Gods, which were publickly set up, were never thrown down, as we read, but at the Command of the People, when the Government was Republican, or of the King, when it was monarchical. And if Force was sometimes made use of against the Kings, it is related barely as a Fact that Providence had permitted, and without any Mark of Approbation.
Those of the contrary Opinion often urge that Saying of the Emperor Trajan, who delivering a Sword to a Captain of the Praetorian Band, said,8Use this for me, if I govern well; and against me, if ill. We must know, that Trajan (as appears by Pliny’s Panegy rick) took particular Care to shew no Marks of Royalty, and9 to act merely as Head of the State, consequently subject to the Judgment of the Senate and People, whose Decrees the Captain of the Guard was to execute, even against the Prince himself: The like we read of M. Antoninus,10 who would not touch the public Treasure without consulting the Senate.
VII.What is to be done in case of extreme and inevitable Necessity.VII. A more difficult Question is, whether the Law of Non-resistance obliges us in the most extreme and inevitable Danger. For some of the Laws of GOD, however general they be, seem to admit of tacit Exceptions in Cases of extreme Necessity; for so it was determined by the Jewish Doctors concerning the Law of their Sabbath in the Time1 of the Maccabees; whence arose the famous Saying,2The Danger of Life drives away the Sabbath. And the Jew in Synesius gives this Reason for the Breach of the Law of the Sabbath,1 Maccab. ix. 10, 43, 44. σαϕω̂ς ὑπὲρ ψυχη̑ς θέομεν, we were in manifest Danger of our Lives, which Exception is approved of by CHRIST himself; as also in that Law of not eating the Shew Bread.Mat. xii. 4. And the Hebrew Rabbins, following an old Tradition, rightly add the same Exception to their Laws concerning forbidden Meats, and some others of the like Kind. Not that GOD has not a full Right to oblige us to do or not do some Things, even though we should be thereby exposed to certain Death; but that some of his Laws are of such a Nature as cannot be easily believed to have been given in so rigid a Manner, which ought still more to be presumed as to human Laws.
I do not deny, but that some Acts of Virtue may by a human Law be commanded, though under the evident Hazard of Death. As for a Soldier not to quit3 his Post; but it is not easily to be imagined, that such was the Intention of the<112> Legislator; and it is very probable that Men have not received so extensive a Power over themselves or others, except in Cases where extreme Necessity requires it. For all human Laws are, and ought to be so enacted, as that there should be some Allowance for human Frailty. But this Law (of which we now treat) seems to depend upon the Intention of those who first entered into civil Society, from whom the Power of Sovereigns is originally derived. Suppose then they had been asked, Whether they pretended to impose on all Citizens the hard Necessity of dying, rather than to take up Arms in any Case, to defend themselves against the higher Powers; I do not know, whether they would have answered in the affirmative: It may be presumed, on the contrary, they would have declared that one ought not to bear with every Thing, unless the Resistance would infallibly occasion great Disturbance in the State, or prove the Destruction of many Innocents. For what Charity recommends in such a Case to be done, may, I doubt not, be prescribed by a human Law.
Some may say, that this rigorous Obligation to suffer Death, rather than at any Time to resist an Injury offered by the Civil Powers, is not imposed by any human but the Divine Law. But we must observe, that Men did not at first unite themselves in Civil Society by any special Command from GOD, but of their own free Will, out of a Sense of the Inability of separate Families to repel Violence;1 Pet. ii. 13. whence the Civil Power is derived,Rom. xiii. 1. which therefore St. Peter calls a human Ordinance, tho’ elsewhere it is called a Divine Ordinance, because GOD approved of this wholesome Institution of Men. But GOD, in approving a human Law, is thought to approve of it as human, and afterahuman Manner.Adversus Monarchomachos, I. 3. c. 8. & I. 6. c. 23. & 24.Barclay, the stoutest Assertor of Regal Power, does thus far allow that the People, or a considerable Part of them, have a Right to defend them selves against their King, when he becomes excessively cruel; tho’ otherwise, that Author considers the King as above the whole Body of the People. I can easily apprehend that, the more considerable a Thing is which runs the Risk of perishing, the more Equity requires that the Words of the Law be restrained, to authorise the Care of preserving such a Thing. But I dare not condemn indifferently all private Persons, or a small Part of the People, who finding themselves reduced to the last Extremity, have made use of the only Remedy left them, in such a Manner as they have not neglected in the mean Time to take care, as far as they were able, of the publick Good.1 Sam. xxii. 2. — xxiii. 13. For David, who (bating some particular Facts) was so famed for living exactly according to Law, did yet entertain about him, first four hundred, and afterwards more, armed Men; and to what End did he so, unless for4 the Defence of his own Person, in Case he should be attacked? But we must also observe, that David did not do this till he was assured by Jonathan, and many other infallible Proofs, that Saul really sought his Life: And moreover, he neither seized on any City, nor sought Occasions of Fighting, but lurked about, sometimes in by-Places, sometimes among foreign Nations; with this Resolution, to avoid all Occasions of injuring his own Countrymen.
The Example of the Maccabees might likewise be alledged here. For ’tis in vain that some pretend to justify their Enterprize, upon the Account that Antiochus was only an Usurper. In all History, we do not find that the Maccabees, and those of their Party, give Antiochus any other Title than that of King: And indeed they could not call him otherwise, since the Jews had for a long Time acknowledged the Kings of Macedonia for their Sovereigns, to whose Right Antiochus had succeeded. It is trueDeut. xvii. 15. the Law forbad a Stranger to be set over them; but that ought to be understood of a voluntary Election, and not of what the People might be forced to do through the Necessity of the Times. As to what others say, that<113> the Maccabees acted by Vertue of the Right which their Nation had to demand Liberty, or the Power of governing themselves, this Reason has no more Weight in it than the other. For the Jews having been formerly conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, were fallen by the same Right of War, under the Dominion of the5Medes and Persians, Successors of the Chaldeans; and the whole Empire of the Medes and Persians had passed to the Macedonians:See Justin. I. 36. c. 3. Hence Tacitus calls the Jews,6The most contemptible People that were conquered, whilst the East was under the Dominion of the Assyrians, Medes, and Persians. Neither did they obtain any Condition from Alexander, or his Successors, but without any Terms submitted to them, as they had before done to Darius. And tho’ they were sometimes allowed to use publickly their own Rites, and their own Laws, this was only a precarious Right, granted by the Favour of the reigning Princes; and not by Vertue of a fundamental Law of the Government. There is nothing then that could justify the Maccabees (in taking up Arms) but extreme and inevitable Danger, which might do it, so long as they kept within the Bounds of Self-Preservation, and like David, retired to secret Places for Security, without using their Arms unless first assaulted.
There is still another Caution to be observed here, which is, that even in such Extremity the Person of the Sovereign must be spared. Those who think that David spared Saul, not to discharge an indispensible Duty, but out of Generosity, founded on the Desire of arising to an extraordinary Degree of Perfection; those, I say, are certainly7 mistaken: For David himself openly declared, that no<114> Man could be innocent,1 Sam. xxvi. 9. that stretched forth his Hand against the LORD’s Anointed. For he knew it was written in the Law, Thou shalt not revile the Gods, that is,Ex. xxii. 28. the Supreme Judges. Thou shalt not curse the8Rulers of thy People. In which Law special Mention being made of the supreme Powers, it plainly shews, that some special Duty is required. Wherefore OptatusLib. 2.Milevitanus, speaking of this Fact of David, says, GOD’s special Command, coming fresh into his Memory, restrained him. And makes David say, I was willing to overcome mine Enemy, but I chose rather to keep the Commands of GOD.
9 To slander any private Person is not lawful, therefore of a King we must not speak Evil,10 tho’ it be true. Because, as the Writer of the Problems (fathered upon Aristotle) says, ὁ κακηγορω̂ν, &c.11He that speaks Evil of the Magistrate, offends against the whole Body of the People. But if we must not speak Evil of<115> him, much less must we use Violence against him. David was struck with Remorse,121 Sam. xxiv. 6. for having cut offa Piece of Saul’s Garment: So much did he regard the Person of a King as sacred! And indeed, the Sovereign Power being necessarily13 exposed to the Hatred of many, he that is invested with it, ought in a particular Manner to be rendered venerable, and secured from every Sort of Insult. The Romans even secured the Authority of the Tribunes of the People, declaring their Persons14inviolable. Among the Sayings of the Essenes, this was one,15Kings are to be accounted sacred. And we find that famous Passage in Homer,
16He was afraid lest any sad Accident should happen to17the Leader of the People. It is not without Reason, that Those Nations, who live under a monarchical Government, reverence the Name of Kings, as if they were Gods; as18Quintus Curtius observes. So Artaban the Persian,19Among many excellent Laws we have, this seems to be the best, which commands us to honour and adore our Kings, as the Image of GOD, who preserves all Things. And in Plutarch, of Agis,20 οὐ θεμιτὸν οὐδὲ νενομεσμένον βασιλέως, &c. It is not permitted by the Laws of GOD or Man, to offer Violence to the Person of a King.
But here is a more difficult Question, Whether what was lawful for David and the Maccabees, may be lawful for us Christians, whose Lord and Master, CHRIST, so often bidding us21 take up our Cross, seems to require from us a<116> greater Measure of Patience? Indeed when the higher Powers threaten us with Death for our Religion, CHRIST grants Leave to flee, especially to those whom the necessary Duties of their Calling tie to no particular Place; but22 he allows nothing beyond Flight.1 Ep. ii. 21, &c. And St. Peter tells us, That CHRIST in Suffering left us an Example, that we should follow23his Steps, who did no Sin, neither was Guile found in his Mouth; who being reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatned not,1 Ep. iv. 12, &c.but committed himself to him that judge the righteously. Nay he bids us Christians give Thanks to GOD, and rejoice, when we suffer Persecution for our Religion. And it was this Constancy in Suffering, that chiefly contributed to the Establishment of Christianity, as appears from History.
Wherefore, I think that the primitive Christians, who, living near the Times of the Apostles, and of apostolical Men, understood and24 practised their Precepts, bet-<117>ter than the Christians of following Ages, are very much injured by those who suppose that they rather wanted Power than Will to defend themselves, in imminent Danger of Death. Indeed Tertullian would have been very imprudent, nay, impudent, to have so confidently affirmed a Falshood to the Emperors, who couldnot be ignorant of it, writing thus,25If we had a Mind to deal with you as declared Enemies, and not only as secret Enemies, could we want Forces and Troops sufficient for such an Enterprize? The Moors, the Marcomanni, the Parthians themselves, or such other Nations, which, however great they be, are yet confined within a certain Extent of Country, and within the Bounds of their own Dominions; Do those Nations, I say, form a more numerous Multitude than we, who are spread over the whole World? We are but of Yesterday, in a Manner, and yet we already fill all Places in your Dominions, your Cities, Islands, Provinces, Castles, Towns; your very Camps, Tribes, Wards, Palace, Senate, Courts of Judicature, publick Places; and in a Word, we only leave you the Temples of your Gods. Disposed as we are to suffer ourselves so willingly to be butchered, what Wars should we not have been in a Condition to undertake, and with what Ardour should we not have engaged in them, however inferior we might have been in Forces, had we not been taught by our Religion, that it is better to be killed than to kill? Also Cyprian follows his Master, and thus declares,26Hence it is, that none of us, when apprehended, makes Resistance, or defends himself against your unjust Violence; tho’ our People are extremely numerous. The certain Hope of a future Vengeance produces in us this Patience. Thus the Innocent yield to the Guilty. And Lactantius,27For we confide in the Majesty of GOD, who is able as well to revenge the Contempt of himself, as the Hardships and Injuries done to his Servants. Wherefore we suffer inexpressible Miseries, and do not repine, but refer the avenging of them to the Almighty. St. Augustin had precisely in View the Case under Consideration, when he said,28A good Man should take Care above all Things not to engage in War, but when he may do it lawfully; for that is not always lawful. And again,29When Princes err, they presently make Laws to defend their Errors, to the Prejudice of Truth, by which the Righteous are tried, and crowned (with Martyrdom). And again,30So are Sovereigns to be endured by their Subjects, and Masters by their Servants, as that by suffering these temporal Things with Patience and Resignation, they may have just Reason to hope for Rewards that are eternal. Which he further illustrates by the Example of the primitive Christians.31Neither did the City of CHRIST, (tho’ it was then wandering and vagabond upon Earth, and had vast Numbers of People to assist it against its wicked Persecutors) fight for temporal Salvation, but chose rather to make no Resistance, that it might obtain an eternal one. They were bound, imprisoned, beaten, tormented, burnt, torn in Pieces, massacred, and yet they multiplied more and more. To fight for Safety, was, in their Opinion, nothing else than to despise this Life, in order to acquire another that is more excellent.<118>
Nor are the Observations of St. Cyril less admirable, upon that Passage in St. John of St. Peter’s Sword. The Thebaean Legion, as we read in the Acts of their Martyrdom, consisted of 6666 Soldiers, and all Christians. Who,Martignac. St. Maurice. when the Emperor Maximianus would have compelled the whole Army to sacrifice to false Gods, at Octodurum, first removed to Agaunum, and when the Emperor had sent one thither, to command them to come and sacrifice, and they had refused to do it; he sent Officers to put every tenth Man to Death, who easily executed his Order, no Man offering to resist.
Mauritius,32 Commander of that Legion, (from whom the Town of Agaunum in Switzerland, was afterwards called St. Maurice) as Eucherius, Bishop of Lyons, records, thus spake to his Soldiers at that Time. How did I fear, lest any of you, under the Shew of Self-Defence (as it is easy for armed Men to do) should have endeavoured by Force to prevent their blessed Martyrdom? I was preparing, in order to divert you from that Design, to set before you the Example of JESUS CHRIST, who expressly commanded the Apostle to put the Sword into the Scabbard, which he had drawn in his Master’s own Defence; teaching us that all the Force of Arms is not able to shake Christian Constancy. This, I say, is what I intended to represent to you, that none of you, by employing a mortal Arm, should oppose the Glory of an immortal Action; and that, on the contrary, every one might finish with Stedfastness the Work he hath so happily begun. When, this Execution being over, the Emperor commanded the same Thing to the Survivors, as he had before done to the others, they all unanimously answered, Indeed, Caesar, we are your Soldiers, and we took up Arms in Defence of the Roman Empire, never has there been seen amongst us either a Deserter, or Traitor, or Coward: And we should willingly obey the Orders which you give us to Day, if the Christian Religion, in which we have been instructed, did not forbid us to worship Demons, or approach Altars always polluted with innocent Blood. We know you designed either to make Christians commit Sacrilege, or to frighten us, by the Example of those that have been decimated. But you need not search far off for People that do not conceal themselves: We are all Christians, and we declare it to you. Our Bodies are in your Power, but you cannot make yourself Master of our Souls, which are always turned towards CHRIST their Creator.
Then Exuperius, Standard-Bearer to that Legion, thus addressed them. You see me (brave fellow Soldiers) carry the Standards of secular Wars. But it is not to that Sort of War that I now call you; you have other Battles to fight: There are other Arms you ought to make Use of, to open the Way to the Kingdom of Heaven. And then he sent this Message to the Emperor, It is not Despair, the most powerful Resource in Dangers, that has armed us, O Caesar, against you. We have Arms in our Hands,33but we do not resist, because we rather chuse to die, than overcome, and to fall Innocents, rather than to live Criminals. And again, We throw away our Weapons, your Executioner shall find our Hands without Defence, but our Hearts armed with the Buckler of Christian Faith.<119>
After this followed the Slaughter of those Soldiers who suffered Death without Resistance, of which Eucherius gives this Account.34The Greatness of their Number did not secure them from Sufferings, though innocent; whereas even Criminals come off with Impunity, when numerous. We have the same Account of it in the old Martyrology. They were massacred on every Side, without saying a Word. They threw down their Arms, and presented their Throats and naked Breasts to their Persecutors. They took no Advantage of their great Number, nor made Use of the Arms they held in their Hands, to defend the Justice of their Cause at the Point of the Sword; but wholly taken up with this Thought, that they confessed the Name of him, who was led dumb to the Slaughter, and as a Lamb did not open his Mouth, they also like the innocent Flock of CHRIST’s Sheep, suffered themselves to be torn in Pieces by furious Wolves.
And when the Emperor Valens wickedly and cruelly35 persecuted those Christians who according to the Holy Scriptures, and the Traditions of the Fathers professed CHRIST to be ὁμοούσιον, of the same Substance, (with GOD his Father) though they were very numerous, they never defended themselves by Arms.1 Pet. ii. 21. Certainly where Patience is recommended to us in the new Testament, there we find36 CHRIST’s own Example proposed to us (as we have just now read it was to the Thebaean Legion) for our Imitation; whose Patience reached even unto Death.Mat. x. 39. And he himself declares, that whoever loseth his Life in that Manner truly finds it. Thus having proved, that those who are invested with the sovereign Power,Luke xvii. 33. cannot lawfully be resisted; we must now admonish the Reader of some Things, lest he should think those Men transgress this Law, who really do not.
VIII.A free People may make War against their Prince.VIII. First therefore, Those Princes who depend on the People, whether they at first were established on that Foot, or their Authority was thus rendered subordinate by a posterior Agreement,1 as in Sparta, if they offend against the Laws, and the State, may not only be resisted by Force; but if it be necessary, may be punished by Death, as it befel Pausanias2 the Spartan King. Such was the Condition of the most ancient Kings of divers Countries in Italy; so that it is no Wonder, if Virgil having related the horrible Cruelties of Mezentius, adds,
3All Etruria, justly incensed and rising up in Arms against that King, required him to be immediately put to death.
IX.And against a King that has abdicated his Kingdom.IX. Secondly, If a King, or any other Prince, has abdicated his Government, or manifestly abandoned1 it; after that Time, we may do the same to him, as to any private Man; but Negligence2 in discharging the Functions of Government is not to be taken for a real Abdication.<120>
X.Or against a King that would alienate his Kingdom; but only to prevent the Delivery of it.X. Thirdly, If a King alienates his Kingdom; or renders it dependent on any other Power,1 he forfeits the Crown, according to Barclay. For my Part, I dare not pronounce peremptorily in that Manner. For, when the Question is concerning a Kingdom,2 either elective or successive, but conferred by a free Consent of the People, such an Act (of Alienation) is in itself void, and whatsoever is in itself void, can have no3 effect of a Right.Lib III. Ch. XVI. Advers. Monarcho-mach. Upon this Principle Civilians maintain, that an Usufructuary to whom we have compared such Princes, if he yields up4 his Right to any other than the Proprietor himself, does an Act that is of no Force: And this Opinion seems to me best founded. For, as to what is said,5 that the Fruits and Profits revert to the Landlord; it must be6 understood after such a Time when the Use and Profits were to terminate. Yet if a King should endeavour actually to deliver up his Kingdom, or to subject it to another, I doubt not, but in such a Case, he may be resisted. For Sovereignty (as I have said) is one Thing, and the Manner of holding it another. The People may hinder any Change in the latter; the Power of making such a Change not being comprehended in the Right of Sovereignty. To which we may fitly apply that of Seneca, in a Case not much different7Though our Father is to be obeyed in all Things, yet not in those, whereby he ceases to be a Father.
XI.Or against a King that behaves himself as an Enemy to the whole Body of the People.XI. Fourthly, The same Barclay observes, that if a King shall, like an Enemy,1 design the utter Destruction of the whole Body of his People, he loses his Kingdom; which I grant. For the Design of Governing, and the Design of destroy-<121>ing are inconsistent together. Wherefore he that declares himself an Enemy to the whole Nation, is presumed by that very Act to renounce the Government. But such an Excess of Fury2 can hardly, in my Opinion, enter the Thoughts of a King, that is in his right Senses, and that governs only one Nation. But if he govern several, it may so happen, that in Favour to one, he should endeavour3 to destroy another, in order to people the Lands of the former with Colonies sent from the latter.
XII.And against a King, who breaks the Condition, upon which he was admitted.XII. Fifthly, If a Kingdom be forfeited, either1 for Felony against him of whom it is a Fief, or by vertue2 of a Clause in the Act whereby the Sovereignty had been conferred, and which declares that if the King does such or such a Thing, his Subjects shall from that Time be absolved from all Allegiance to him, then also a King becomes a private Person.
XIII.And against a King, who having but one Part of the Sovereign Power invades the other.XIII. Sixthly, If a King should have but one Part of the sovereign Power, and the Senate or People1 the other, if such a King shall invade that Part which is not his own, he may justly be resisted, because he is not Sovereign in that Respect. Which I believe may take Place, though in the Division2 of the Sovereignty, the Power of making War fell to the King, for that is to be understood of a foreign War: Since whoever has a Share of the Sovereignty must have at the same Time a Right to defend it. And when the Case is so, the King may, by the Right of War, lose even his Part of the Sovereignty.
XIV.And against him, who grants such a Licence in certain Cases.XIV. Seventhly, If in the conferring of the Crown, it be expressly stipulated,1that in some certain Cases the King may be resisted; even though that Clause does not imply any Division of the Sovereignty, yet certainly some Part of natural Liberty2 is reserved to the People, and exempted from the Power of the King. Now every one in alienating his Rights in Favour of another may do it under what Restriction he pleases.
XV.An Usurper, how far to be obeyed.XV. We have treated of him, who has now, or has had a Right to govern; it now remains, that we say something of him that usurps the Government; not after he has either by long Possession, or Agreement obtained1 a Right to it, but so long as2 the Cause of his unjust Possession continues. The Acts of Sovereignty exercised by such an Usurper may have an obligatory Force, not by vertue of his Right, (for he has none) but because it is very probable that the lawful Sovereign, whether it be the People themselves, or a King, or a Senate, chuses rather that the Usurper should be obeyed during that Time, than that the Exercise of the Laws and Justice<122> should be interrupted, and the State thereby exposed to all the Disorders of Anarchy. Cicero condemns Sylla’s Laws, as cruel upon the Children of the Outlaws, making them incapable of Honours; yet he thought they ought to be observed, affirming (as Quintilian3 tells us) that this was so necessary, considering the Circumstances of the State at that Time,4 that if they were abrogated it could not subsist. Florus also says of the Acts of the same Sylla: Lepidus endeavoured to repeal the Acts of that great Man, and not without Reason, if he could have done it, without great Hurt to the Commonwealth. And again, It was necessary for the State, then sick and wounded, to rest at any Rate, lest her Wounds should be ripped open in going about to cure it.
But in those Things, which are not so necessary for the public Good, and which contribute towards establishing the Usurper in his unjust Possession, if by disobeying we run no great Hazard, we must not obey. But the Question is, whether it be lawful to depose such an Usurper, or even to kill him.
XVI.An Usurper may be killed during the War, if no Contract be made with him.XVI. And First, If he has seized on the Government in Consequence of an unjust War, and which had not all the Qualities required by the Law of Nations, and if no Treaty has been made afterwards,1 or any Oath of Fidelity taken to him; in a word, if he has no other Title to Possession, than mere Force, the Right of War seems to continue intire, and2 consequently what may lawfully be done against an Enemy, may be lawfully attempted against him, whom any private Man may kill. Against Traitors and publick Enemies every private Man (says3Tertullian) is a Soldier. So against Deserters,4 any Man is allowed by the Roman Law to take Revenge, in the Name of the Publick, for the common Safety.
XVII.By vertue of an antecedent Law.XVII. I think, with1Plutarch, the same may be said of him, who has usurped the sovereign Authority in a State where there was already a Law, impowering any Person to kill him, who should do such or such a Thing, visible and manifestly designed: as for Example, if a private Man should go with a Guard about<123> him, should assault a Fort, or kill a Citizen uncondemned, or illegally condemned, or presume to create a Magistrate without being elected by legal Votes. Many such Laws were extant in the States of Greece, with whom it was reputed lawful to kill such Tyrants. Such was2Solon’s Law at Athens, after the Return from the Piraeus, against such as should abolish popular Government, or after its being abolished, should exercise any publick Office. And such was the3Valerian Law at Rome, if any one bore an Office without the Order of the People; and the Consular Law, after the Decemviral Government,4 that no Man should create a Magistrate without an Appeal; and he that did it might lawfully be killed.
XVIII.By his Commission who has a Right to the Crown.XVIII. Nor will it be less lawful to kill an Usurper if there be an express Order for it from the lawful Sovereign, whether King, People, or Senate. The Guardians of the Heir to the Crown have the same Right; and it was by Vertue of that Right, that Jehoiada drove Athalia from the Throne, which belonged to his Pupil Joash.
2 Chron. xxiii.XIX. 1. Unless in one of these Cases, I do not see how it can be lawful for any private Man, either to dethrone or kill an Usurper.XIX.Why an Usurper is not to be killed, but in these Cases. Because it may be, he that has the true Right, had rather leave the Usurper in quiet Possession, than engage his Country in dangerous Troubles and bloody Wars, which generally follow the expelling, or killing such Men, especially if they have a strong Faction at home, or powerful Friends abroad. It is at least uncertain, whether the King, or Senate, or People, to whom the sovereign Authority lawfully belongs, would be willing that Matters should be brought to that dangerous Extremity; and whilst their Mind on that Head is not known, all Force would be unjust. Favonius said1 χει̑ρον εἷναι μοναρχίας ἀνόμου πόλεμον ἐμϕύλιον, A Civil War is worse than the Necessity of submitting to an unlawful Government. And Cicero,2Any Peace is preferable to a Civil War. And T. Quintius Flaminius,3 that it was4 better to leave Nabis Ty-<124>rant of Lacedemon, in Possession of the Government, than to ruin that City by endeavouring to restore its Liberty. To this Purpose was the Advice of5Aristophanes, not to nourish a Lion in the City, but if he were nourished, to bear with him.
2. It is certainly a Matter of the utmost Consequence, to determine6 whether we ought to continue quiet, or endeavour at any Rate to recover Liberty; as Tacitus speaks. And Cicero calls it,7A difficult Question in Politicks, whether when our Country is opprest with Tyranny, we may endeavour to rescue it, tho’ with the extreme Hazard of the State. Therefore private Persons must not setup for Judges in such an Affair, that concerns the whole Body of the People. So that there’s great Injustice in this Expression,
We take up Arms9to free the City from Tyrants, to whose Yoke it is ready to submit. As there is also in that Answer of Sylla, who being asked,10 why he came into his Country so armed; replied, to deliver it from Tyrants.
3. Plato,11 and after him Cicero,12 lay down a more reasonable Maxim, Do not meddle, say they, in what concerns the Government, but so far as you can promise yourself the Approbation of your fellow Citizens; offer no Violence either to your Father or your Country. To the same Sense is that of Sallust:13For tho’ you could govern your Country, or Parents, by Force, and correct Offences, yet it is an odious Enterprize, especially when all Changes of Government are generally attended with Slaughter, Banishments, and other Miseries of War. Not much different is that of Stallius in Plutarch, in the Life of Brutus,14It is not fit for a prudent and wise Man to expose himself to Dangers and Troubles for Knaves and Fools. To which we may refer that of St. Ambrose,15This also will gain you Reputation, to rescue the Poor out of the Hands of the Oppressor, to deliver the Condemned from Death, as far as you can do it without occasioning Troubles and Disorders, lest otherwise you should seem to have done it more out of Ostentation than Compassion, and so cause greater Wounds than those you propose to cure. Thomas Aquinas said,Secund. Secund. Quaest. 42. Art. 11. that one becomes sometimes guilty of Sedition, by attempting to destroy even a tyrannical Government.
4. The Fact of Ehud, against Eglon King of Moab, should not move us to the contrary Opinion; for the Scriptures positively tell us,Judges iii. 15. that GOD raised up Ehud to deliver Israel, that is, by giving16 him a special Commission for that Purpose. Neither is it certain,Neh. ix. 27.17 that this King of Moab had not by Agreement any Right of Sovereignty; for GOD did execute his Judgments even against other law-<125>ful Kings,2.Kings ix. by such Instruments as he himself pleased, as by Jehu against Jehoram.XX.In a controverted Right no private Man to be Judge.
XX. But especially in a controverted Right, no private Person ought to determine; for then he ought to side with Possessor. Thus CHRIST commanded us to pay Tribute to Caesar, because the Money had his Image or Superscription;Matt. xxii. 20. that is, because he was then in Possession of the Government; for the Power of Coining Money is a certain Sign of Possession.P. Bezar. Hist. Genuens. I. 18.
[1 ]This Example is criticised by Commentators, who will not allow it to be just. Ishbosheth, say they, had been acknowledged King by the eleven Tribes, over which he reigned two Years, 2 Sam. ii. 10. David himself was so far from considering him as a rebellious Subject, that he gives him the Character of a just Man. Ibid. iv. 11. and punishes his Murtherers. The Promise, which GOD had made of transferring the Crown to David, and his Descendents, specifies no fixt Time; nor was it to be fulfilled ’till after the Death of Saul and Ishbosheth. Hence it is concluded, that those who sided with Ishbosheth were his Subjects, and not David’s. But it appears from the sacred History, that tho’ David had been privately appointed by Samuel, and that but Few were at first acquainted with the Will of GOD, who designed he should succeed Saul; it afterwards became publickly known, and reached the Court of the Prince on the Throne. Jonathan says to David, in the Wilderness of Ziph, Thou shalt be King over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also my Father Saul knoweth. 1 Sam. xxiii. 17. Saul himself makes the same Declaration, when he acknowledges the Generosity of the Man, whom he had persecuted with so much Rage and Cruelty, I know well that thou shalt surely be King, and that the Kingdom of Israel shall be established in thy Hand: Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my Seed after me, and that thou will not destroy my Name out of my Father’s House. Ibid. xxiv. 20, 21. From which Words it is evident, that he looked on David as the Man who was to be his immediate Successor, according to a Promise from Heaven. When the eleven Tribes made their Submission to David, they owned they knew the Lord had said to him, Thou shalt feed my People Israel, and thou shalt be a Captain over Israel. 2 Sam. v. 2. So that, by Vertue of that Divine Election, all who were acquainted with it, were obliged to receive David as their lawful King, on Saul’s Demise. For the Case was not the same among the Hebrews, as among other People, who being directed by no extraordinary Revelation, bestowed on their Kings all the Power they had over them. The Israelites were but lately come out of the Theocracy; and though GOD, in Compliance with their imprudent and obstinate Demand, had granted them a Change of that happy Form of Government into a Human Monarchy, he did not thereby divest himself of the Right of making the immediate Choice of their Kings, when he pleased. It was thus that Saul the first King of Israel ascended the Throne. David, therefore, having been anointed by Samuel, in Saul’s Life-time, had an incontestible Title to the Succession; and consequently, the eleven Tribes, who owned Ishbosheth, might be considered as so many rebellious Subjects against the lawful Sovereign; and the more so, because they need only have consulted their usual Oracle, the Urim and Thummim, in Order to know the Will of GOD. If David punished the Murtherers of Ishbosheth, as having killed a just, or innocent, Man; it was not because he did not look on him as an Usurper of his Right; but he calls him innocent in Regard to Rechab and Baanah, who had dispatched him by their own private Authority, without any Injury received from him. And he himself would spare the Lives of Saul’s Children, on the Account of the Oath he had taken to their Father; in Consideration of which he pardoned Ishbosheth, and would never have hurt him. See Mr. Le Clerc, on 2 Sam. iv. 11.
[2. ]Licentiam enim Domino (Praedii) actori, ipsique plebi Serenitas nostra commisit, ut eum, qui praeparandi gratiâ ad possessionem venerit, expellendi habeat facultatem, nec crimen aliquod pertimescat: quum sibi arbitrium ultionis suae sciat esse concessum; rècteque sacrilegum prior arceat, qui primus invenit.Cod. Lib. XII. Tit. XLI. De Metatis & Epidemeticis. Leg. V.
[3. ]See Book II. Chap. XXVI. § 3.
[4. ]In Socrates’s Apology, where he makes that Philosopher express himself in the following Manner: I honour and love you; [speaking to the Athenians] but will obey GOD, rather than you. Tom. I. p. 29. Edit. H. Steph.
[1 ]We are here to consider, first single Persons, and then the Body of the People. In Regard to single Persons, it is certain that the End of civil Society in general requires that each of them should not have a Right to resist the supreme Power, as often as he thinks himself aggrieved by it. For, besides that a Superior may be wrongfully accused on that Article, whoever submits to human Authority, must be sensible that the Person, in whose Favour he divests himself of part of his Liberty, is and always will be Man, that is, subject to Mistakes, and Failures in the Discharge of his Duty; and is therefore to be supposed to acknowledge him for his Master on that Foot. Consequently, he at the same Time grants him a Right, not to treat him in any Manner unjustly (no Man can ever give or have a real Right to commit the least Injustice) but to require that he shall not be divested of his Authority, for every Abuse of it. A Man, who never abuses his Power, ought to be considered as a Man not to be found; and no Authority would be lasting, or sufficient for producing the Effect, for which it is designed, if it could be so easily lost. But it doth not thence follow, that a particular Person either doth or ought necessarily to engage to suffer every Thing from his Superiors, without ever opposing Force with Force. Were it so, those who enter into any Society, where they are to obey; would without Dispute be in a worse Condition, than before; and nothing could oblige them to divest themselves of that natural Liberty, of which every Man is so jealous. Even such as submit to a Conqueror, would have done better, had they continued in a State of War with him. We must distinguish therefore between doubtful, or supportable Injustices, and manifest or insupportable Injustices. The former are to be born; but, strictly speaking, there is no Obligation to bear the latter; and if we sometimes ought to bear them, it is by no Means out of Regard to the Person, who commits them, but for the Good of Society. So that, if there is no Room to apprehend that Resistance will occasion greater Evils and Disorders, than those to which the Society already is exposed, or those to which it is in Danger of being exposed, we may safely employ our whole Right against the Man, who, by an Excess of Madness, has disengaged us from the Tie of Subjection, and entered into a State of War with us. Now, that there are some manifest and enormous Injustices, in regard to which a private Person cannot deceive himself, and conceive an unwarrantable Prejudice against his Prince will be easily granted, if we enquire well into the Nature of Things, and the Conduct of Sovereigns, become Tyrants. Who can doubt, for Example, whether a Prince, who attempts to kill one of his Subjects, or deprive him of his Goods, without any Crime committed by the Sufferer, and without the Formality of a Trial, for no other Reason but his own good Pleasure, or for some Reason evidently unjust, as for his refusing to believe what he knows to be false, particularly in Matters of Religion; who, I say, can doubt that this is one of those enormous and insupportable Abuses of the supreme Authority, the Toleration of which, is so far from being necessary for the Sake of preserving Order, and for the public Peace, that it is directly contrary to and destructive of both? Have we not even commonly very great Reason to believe, that a Prince who proceeds those Lengths in Regard to one or more particular Persons, will not stop there, and that the rest may expect the like Treatment? If the public Interest requires those, who obey, should suffer some Thing, it no less requires that those, who command, should be afraid of putting their Patience to the utmost Trial. A Man, who imagines himself allowed to do what he pleases to his Inferiors, is capable of doing every Thing. It is true, indeed, that commonly speaking, one, or some few particular Persons, would resist to no Purpose, and only draw greater Evils on their own Heads. But this is a prudential Consideration, which makes no Diminution in their Right, to oppose a Superior, who by enormous and insupportable Acts of Injustice, and the Violation of his Engagements to them, has discharged them of their Obligations to him. What I have already laid down, takes Place, and that much more, in Relation to a whole People, or the greater Part of it. The greater the Number of the Oppressed is, the more the Oppressor deserves to be brought to Reason. The Tyrant in that Case has less Reason to complain, as hardly any Thing but a horrible Excess of Ambition and Madness could have obliged the Body of the Nation to rise against him. See what I have said on Pufend.Book VII. Cap. VIII. § 6. Note I.
[2. ]Odyss. Lib. IX. v. 114, 115. Eurip. In Cyclop. v. 120.
[3. ]Bell. Catalin. Cap. VI.
[4. ]Idem. Bell. Jug. Cap. XXI. Edit. Wass. Our Author, in a Note on this Place, adds the Example of the Bebrycians, and quotes these Words of Val. Flaccus :
But all the Poet means here is, that those People observed no Law of Justice or Humanity in their Behaviour to others; as appears from the Sequel, where he tells us, they killed all Strangers, who landed in their Country, and sacrificed them to Neptune. The following Verses, from the same Author, sufficiently explain those already produced:
But, to evince the Want of Exactness in the Application, it is sufficient to say that the Country of the Bebrycians was a Kingdom, where Amycus reigned, as the same Poet informs us. v. 99, 101.
[5. ]Confess. Lib. III. Cap. VIII. This Passage, which is quoted in the Canon Law, Distinct. VIII. Can. 2. only says that a Sovereign is to be obeyed. Who doubts it? The Question is only how far he is to be obeyed. All the Authorities, alledged by our Author, or others, when well examined, do not prove it has been the general Opinion of all Nations, that the Subject is to bear every Thing from the Sovereign, and that it is never allowable to resist him in any Case. The same Authors, in whom we find such Sentences, as the Partisans of absolute Non-resistance affect to heap together, in other Places sometimes bestow the most exalted Character on such as have had Courage enough to dispatch a Tyrant; as the learned Schelius observes, in his Treatise De Jure Imperii, p. 336.
[6. ]Eschylus speaks of an independent King, who exercises his Power with Severity, as a Matter of Fact only.
[7. ]Sophocles makes Ajax say this in Regard to Menelaus and Agamemnon, acknowledging his Fault in giving Way to a violent Excess of Passion, because Achilles’s Arms had been given to another. Ajax. v. 677.
[8. ]This Passage is entirely misapplied. It doth not contain a Precept, though Cicero calls it so, in a Letter to Atticus. Lib. II. Epist. XXV. It only expresses the Necessity, to which Men are reduced of suffering the Follies of those, on whom they depend. Polynices excuses himself to his Mother for having married the Daughter of Adrastus, King of Argos, with a View of facilitating his Return to his own Country, and mounting the Throne from which he was debarred by his Brother Eteocles. On this Occasion, he sets forth all the Hardships of Banishment, and among the rest, that in that Situation, a Man is obliged to bear with the Follies and Extravagancies of those who reign, in the Place of their Exile. Phoeniss. v. 396. so that he is very far from designing to speak of a Right inherent in Kings to commit such Follies with Impunity.
[9. ]The Historian makes M. Terentius, a Roman Knight, speak in the Senate, and address himself to Tiberius, as if he was present, in this Manner: The Gods have given you, &c. Annal. Lib. VI. Cap. VIII. Num. I.
[10. ]Aequum atque iniquum Regis Imperium feras: These are the Words of Creon, King of Corinth, in Med. v. 195. The preceding Line, Indigna digna habenda sunt, Rex quae facit, is only a Parody of a Sentence in Plautus, Indigna digna habenda sunt Herus quae facit. Captiv. Act. II. Scn. I. v. 6. I find that Lipsius has parodied the Verse of the Latin Poet in the same Manner in his Politics, Lib. VI. Cap. V. from whom perhaps our Author took it.
[11. ]Antigon, v. 681, 682.
[12. ]Bell. Jugurth, Cap. XXXVI. This is said by Memmius, a Tribute of the Roman People, and a zealous Assertor of public Liberty. He had no Intention to compliment Kings with a Right to do what they pleased with Impunity; he only meant that Affairs usually take this Course, that such is the Custom of Kings, and the Success of their evil Actions. Upon which Milton (Defens. Cap. II. p. 34.) judiciously alledges the following Quotation from Cicero, which the Reader may compare with the Passage in the Book of Samuel, of which we shall speak in a Note on the next Paragraph. None of us is unacquainted with the Practice of Kings, though we cannot speak of it from our own Experience. This is the Stile of their Orders, Take Notice, and obey; if you add to your Requests Complaints: and this of their Menaces, If I find you here a second Time, you shall die. Terms, which we are not only to read and consider for our Amusement, but consider as a Lesson to caution us against coming under such a Power. Orat. pro C. Rabirio Postum. Cap. XI. Our Author, in a Note on this Place, refers us to a Passage of Josephus, which he had before quoted, in Note 3. on § 22. of the foregoing Chapter.
[13. ]Digest.Lib. XLIX. Tit. XVI. De Re Militari. Leg. XIII. § 4. See Ruffus’sLeges Militares. Cap. XV. published with Vegetius. by Plantin, in 1607.
[14. ]Ethic. Nicom. Lib. V. Cap. VIII. p. 64. Edit. Paris. This Passage is not intirely to the Purpose. The Philosopher is treating of the Penalty of Retaliation; to shew that it would be sometimes contrary to Justice, he instances in the Case of a subaltern Magistrate, who should, without just Cause, strike one of his Inferiors; and maintains that it would not be suitable to the Character of such a Person, that he should be sentenced to receive Correction in the same Manner. It can be inferred only by Way of Consequence, from this Example, and that of Military Discipline, before all edged, that, commonly speaking, Inferiors ought not to resist the supreme Power, or sub-altern Officers, acting in his Name, and by his Authority.
[1 ]The Law speaks of such as should insolently despise (for so it is in the Text) the Decision of the Judges established by GOD, for explaining and applying the Laws of Moses, in doubtful Cases. So that this is wide of the Question in Hand, where we must always suppose a manifest Injustice. See Mr. Le Clerc on Deut. XVII. 12.
[2. ]Our Author, with several Interpreters, supposes that, when Samuel told the Israelites how Kings would treat them, he spoke of Right, and not only of Fact.Pufend. in B. VII. Chap. VI. § 9. gives us a Paraphrase on the Words of the Prophet, in which he explains them to us so as to make them mean no more than what a King, whether absolute or not, may lawfully require. But in Order to perform this to his Mind, he is obliged to soften the Force of the original Expressions, contrary to the Rules of Criticism. We need only consider the following Words: He (the King) will take your Fields, and your Vineyards, and your Oliveyards, the best of them and give them to his Servants. v. 14. These are manifest Acts of Tyranny; and the Story of Naboth sufficiently shews, that the most abandoned Princes dared not maintain that Subjects were obliged to suffer the Seizure of their Goods or Estates, even though they are paid for them beyond their just Value. Whence it appears, that it was not thought that Samuel in any Manner design’d to fix the Right of a King, or the Obligation of the Subject, but only tolet the People know to what Calamities they would be exposed by the Abuse of the royal Power and Strength. The Prophet’s View, which was to divert the Israelites from persisting in their Demands, requires no more; and the original Word, usually rendered Right, jus, frequently signifies in Scripture the Manner of Proceeding, or Custom. The Example, which I have given, after the Commentators, on Pufendorf, as before quoted, is sufficient for putting this beyond Dispute. Besides, the divine Goodness and Sanctity do not, I think, allow us to imagine he designed to give the least Insinuation, which might give Kings Occasion to be lieve themselves warranted to do what they pleased, and neglect the Duties so clearly prescribed in the Law. This would be a sort of Contradiction, unworthy of an infinitely perfect Being.
[3. ]True; but then there is a wide Difference between the Injuries, which private Persons may do one to another in a State, where the Laws are observed, and that which a wicked Prince may do to his Subjects. For, as it has been observed, and as every one plainly sees, the Strength lodged in the Hands of Princes puts them in a Condition of oppressing their Subjects a thousand Ways, which are out of the Power of private Persons. Shall a Citizen, for Example, seize on his Neighbour’s Field or Vineyard, with Impunity? Shall he take away his Children, or Servants by Force?
[4. ]Or rather a physical Inability to resist. The Israelites, as Mr. Le Clerc observes on the Passage under Consideration, never were of Opinion that no one, even the Body of the People, could not lawfully resist the King. This is evident from the Manner, in which the ten Tribes shook off the Yoke of Rehoboam, and the Example of several Tyrants, who were killed in the same Kingdom of Israel. Our Author, in a Note on this Place, quotes what Philo makes the Jews of Alexandria say, when they place their own Conduct in Opposition to that of the Natives of the Country. When were we suspected of Faction? When did not all the World look on us as a peaceable People? Is not our daily Behaviour irreproachable, and such as tends to promote Concord, and the Good of Society? In Flaccum, pag. 978. Edit. Paris. But it doth not thence follow that the Jews, even after the Captivity, were of Opinion, that Resistance is never allowable. The Example of the Macchabees, and the whole History of that Nation, manifestly shew the contrary. See Milton, Defens. Cap. IV. pag. 115, &c. When they were violently harassed by the Roman Governours, they submitted because they were not in a Capacity of resisting; though, to shew their Innocence, and appease their Persecutors, they sometimes valued themselves on their forced Patience, as when Petronius went with an Order from Caligula to place that impious Prince’s Statue in the Temple. See Josephus, Antiq. Jud. Lib. XVIII. Cap. XI. and Philo, De Legat. ad Caium, pag. 1025, 1026. But I do not find in either of these Historians the Words quoted by the English Author, already mentioned, as an Acknowledgement made by the Jews themselves of their own Weakness. Πολεμει̑ν μὲν οὐ βουλόμενοι, διὰ τὸ μήδ’ ἀνδύνασθαι: that they would not fight, because they were notable, pag.133. I only observe that Josephus says, that when Petronius was on his March for Judea at the Head of three Legions, and a Body of auxiliary Troops from Syria, the Jews either could not imagine they were to be employed against them, or were sensible of their own Inability to defend themselves. De Bell. Jud. Lib. II. Cap. XVII.
[5. ]But the Israelites frequently implored the Divine Assistance, in the Time of the Judges, when oppressed by any neighbouring King or People; and will any one say they were then forbidden to resist the Oppressor, when it was in their Power? The Prophet certainly means no more than that GOD, to punish them for demanding a monarchical Form of Government, at any Rate, and in some Manner agains this Will, would not change it, by his Providence, when they came to feel the grievous Inconveniencies attending it. And the Prediction was justified by the Event. See Mr. Le Clerc on the Place.
[6. ]Digest.De Justitiâ & Jure. Lib. I. Tit. I. Leg. XI.
[1 ]True; but the Apostle doth not here direct us how we are to behave ourselves toward the Powers, in all Cases, and however they act. So far from that, that he supposes a Magistrate who acts like a true Minister of GOD, and employs his Authority for the Good of those whom he governs.
[2. ]St. Chrysostom says very well that the Prince laboursin Concert with a Preacher of the Gospel. Grotius.
[3. ]Fursidius to Sylla.Florus.Lib. III. Cap. XXI. num. 25. See Plutarch in Sylla. p. 472. and St. Aug.De Civit. Dei. Lib. III. Cap. XXVIII. Grotius.
[4. ]It occurs in the Pirke Aboth, or sentences of the Jewish Doctors; and is attributed to the Rabbi Hananias. Pray, says he, for the Peace of the Kingdom; for, if there was no Fear (of the Magistrate) Men would eat one another alive. Cap. III. p. 42. Edit. P. Fagii. 1541.
[5. ]De Statuis. Hom. VI. That Father repeats the same Thought in two or three other Places. If you take away the Courts of Judicature, you at the same Time take away all Order of Life, ibid. Tell me not of Persons, who have abused their Authority; but consider the Beauty of the Establishment itself, and you will see the great Wisdom of the first Author of it, ibid. If you take away them (the Magistrates) all is ruined. We shall then have no Cities, no Lands, no Market-Place, or any Thing fix’d and certain. All Things will be turned Topsy-turvy, and the Stronger will devour the Weaker. In Epist. ad Romanos. We have another Passage to the same Purpose on the Epistle to the Ephesians.Grotius.
[6. ]Hist.Lib. IV. Cap. LXXIV.
[7. ]Digest. Lib. I. Tit. III. De Legibus, &c. Leg. VI. See also Lib. V. Tit. IV. Si pars hereditatis petatur. Leg. III.
[8. ]Satis commoda omnibus &c. sufficiently accommodated to all, &c. Livy, Lib. XXXIV. Cap. III. num. 5.
[9. ]The Philosopher says this in Regard to Laws concerning insolvent Debtors; on which Occasion he asks: Do you suppose our Forefathers not prudent and judicious enough to understand it would be the highest Piece of Injustice to treat a Man, who has thrown away what he borrowed in Gaming and Debauchery, in the same Manner, as one who has lost both another Man’s Substance and his own by Fire, Robbery, or any other sad accident? They admitted of no Exception, says he, that Men might know they were obliged to keep their Word. For it were better, &c. De Benefic. Lib. VIII. Cap. XVI.
[10. ]Lib. II. Cap. LX. Edit. Oxon.
[11. ]Thus likewise St. Ambrose lays it down for a Maxim, that the Interest of each particular Person is the same with that of the Public. De Offic. Lib. III. (Cap. IV.) The Lawyers hold the same in the contract of Partnership: For that is always to be done which is to the Advantage of the whole Company, not what is for the private Interest of one of the Partners.Digest.Lib. XVII. Tit. II. Pro Socio. Leg. LXV. § 5. See also Cod.Lib. VI. Tit. LI. De Caducis tollendis. Leg. unic. § 14. Grotius.
[12. ]Lib. XXVI. Cap. XXXVI. num. 9.
[13. ]De Legib. Lib. IX. p. 875. Tom. II. Edit. H. Steph.
[14. ]De Exped. Cyri. Lib. VI. Cap. I. § 19. Edit. Oxon.
[15. ]Our Author has quoted this Passage in Latin only. I have not been able to find it either in Jamblichus’s Life of Pythagoras, nor in his Protrepticon. Perhaps he has used the Name of that Philosopher for that of some other. However, we have a Thought very like it in Hierocles.Wherefore we are not to separate the public from the private Good, but consider them as one and the same. For what is advantageous to our Country, is common to all, and shared by each in particular; for the whole, considered as separate from the Parts, is nothing. In Stob. Serm. XXXIX.
[16. ]This is Part of Julius Caesar’ s Speech to his mutinous Soldiers at Plaisance. Lib. XLI. pag. 189. Ed. H. Steph.
[17. ]Tertullian says that in fearing Men we honour GOD. De Poenit.Grotius.Chap. VII. But the Discourse there turns on a different Subject.
[18. ]This Consequence can be drawn only by Accommodation; and even then it will not follow that the Subject is obliged to suffer every Thing, since even a Slave has a Right to the Protection of the Laws, when he meets with insupportable Treatment from his Master. See Mr. Noodt’s Discourse on the Power of Sovereigns, p.254. second Edition of the French Translation. Besides, the Precepts here laid down by the Apostle, were partly grounded on particular Circumstances, as we shall shew in the 24th Note on the 7th Paragraph. In short, one may say of those general Precepts, which recommend Submission to the sovereign Power, what our Author him selfsays of those which relate to the Submission of Slaves to their Masters, Book II. Chap. V. § 29. See likewise Schelius’s Interpretation of these Passages of St. Peter, and St. Paul, in his Treatise De Jure Imperii, p. 316, &c.
[19. ]Publ. Syrus, v. 23.
[20. ]Aelian, Var. Hist. Lib. IX. Cap. XXXIII. Justin.Lib. XV. Cap. III. num. 10. Liv. Lib. XXVII. Cap. XXXIV. num. 13. Terence makes a young Man say, it is his Duty to bear with the ill Usage of his Mother. Hecyr. Act. III. Scen. I. v. 21. Cicero lays it down as a Precept, that Men ought not only to be silent in Regard to the Injuries received from their Parents, but also to suffer them with Patience. Orat. pro Cluentio. St. Chrysostom has some beautiful Thoughts on this Maxim on the Epistle to Timothy, and in his fifth Book against the Jews. To the same Purpose is what Epictetus, and his Commentator Simplicius have said, of every Thing having two Handles. Cap. LXV.
[21. ]Annal. Lib. XII. Cap. XI. num. 3. and Hist. Lib. IV. Cap. VIII. num. 3.
[22. ]In Eutrop.Lib. II. v. 479, 480.
[1 ]This appears from Canon XVIII. of the Council of Chalcedon, repeated in Canon IV. of the Council in Trullo, and by the IV. Council of Toledo; the II. Capitulary of Charlesthe Bald, in Villâ Colonia; and by the V. Canon of the Council of Soissons.Grotius. See Note 24. on § 7. and the Preliminary Discourse § 52.
[2. ]Apolog. Cap. XXXV.
[3. ]The Conspirators against him (Domitian) were Parthenius, and Sigerius (for it must be read Σιγήριος not Σιγηρός) both Gentlemen of his Bed-Chamber.Xiphilin, p. 237. Edit. Steph.Martial, addressing himself to one, who attempted to pass for a Courtier tells him, He talks only of Sigerius’s and Parthenius’s. Lib. IV. Epigr. LXXIX. The Name of Sigerius is corrupted not only in Tertullian, where we find Stephanis in its Room; but also in Suetonius, Vita Domitiani, Cap. XVII. where we find Saturius; and Aurelius Victor who calls that Traitor Casperius, Cap. XII. Num. 8. Grotius.
[4. ]See Herodian, Lib. III. Cap. XI. Edit. Boecler.
[5. ]But, as the learned Gronovius observes on this Place, Pescennius Niger, and Clodius Albinus had been declared Emperors by the Soldiers under their Command, at the same Time that Septimius Severus was named by his Troops. So that it might as well be said he took Arms against the two first; who were considered under the Character of Rebels, only because they had the Misfortune to be defeated.
[6. ]Ad Scapulam, Cap. II.
[7. ]He pretended that that Prince by a natural Excess of Clemency, and too great an Application to Philosophy, neglected the Discovery and Punishment of Offenders, and particularly the Governors of Provinces, who inriched themselves with the Spoils of the People. See Avidius Cassius’s Letter to his Son-in-Law, in his Life, written by Vulcatius Gallicanus, Cap. XIV.
[8. ]In the first Edition of this Work, the Author had inserted a Passage of St. Cyprian, before what he here says of St. Ambrose. It is probable he retrenchedit, because it is quoted, § 7. Note 25, where it appears with more Exactness.
[9. ]The first of these Passages is inserted in the Canon Law, Caus. XXIII. Quaest. VIII. An Episcopis vel quibuslibet Clericis suâ liceat, &c. Can. XXI. (the secondappears in the same Place). Will you hurry me to Prison? Will you lead me to Execution? I take a Pleasure in submitting. I will not defend myself by raising the People. Epist. XXXIII. Gregorythe Great says something of the same Nature (which is also quoted in the Canon Law, as above, Can. XX.) If I would have had a Hand in the Death of the Lombards, that Nation had now been without King, Dukes or Counts, and dispersed in the utmost Confusion and Disorder. Lib. VII. Epist. I. Grotius.
[10. ]Orat. I. in Julian. p. 94. Edit. Colon. 1690.
[11. ]Proposit. LXXIV. But St. Augustin adds, to which their Power over temporal Affairs is extended. Our Author has omitted these Words, as seeming to contain a Restriction, which confines the Doctrine of Non-resistance to those Cases, where the Sovereign does not exceed the Bounds of his Power. But the Sequel of the Discourse is not sufficiently clear, for determining what was St. Augustin’s Opinion at that Time.
[1 ]The Author, in a Note on this Place refers his Readers to Peter Martyr, on Judges iii. Paraeus, on Rom. xiii. Junii BrutiVindiciae, contra Tyrannos; and Danaeus, Lib. VI. Politic. &c.
[2. ]This is true; but it may be likewise said that, supposing it lawful even for private Subjects in certain Cases to resist their Prince, as we have already shewn it is; it will follow that the Magistrates, as Persons of a public Character, who therefore must be better acquainted with State Affairs, and are capable of making an effectual Resistance, are on that Account more particularly authorized to labour for the public Good. For, in short, it is necessary that somebody should begin, and shew others the Way.
[3. ]Thus in a Family, the Father is the first; the Mother and Children hold the next Places; after them are the ordinary Servants, and then the extraordinary Servants. See St. Chrysostom, on 1 Cor. xiii. 3. Grotius.
[4. ]Every Kingdom depends on a more powerful Kingdom.Seneca, Thyestes. v. 612. All Things govern and are governed in their Turns.Statius, Lib. III. Sylv. III. v. 49, 50. St. Augustin has a remarkable Passage to this Purpose. Consider, says that Father, the Degrees of Subordination in human Affairs. If an Intendant of the Police commands a Thing, is it not to be done? But not, when the Proconsul orders the contrary; the same is to be said when a Consul requires one Thing, and the Emperor another. In which Case, you do not despise the Power, but only chuse to obey a superior Power. Nor ought the Inferior to resent this Conduct, which gives the Preference to the Superior. This is quoted in the Canon Law, Caus. XI. Quaest. III. Can. 97. We find almost the same in his VI Sermon, De Verbis Domini. That Father elsewhere says, speaking of Pilate, that GOD gave him such an Authority, as subjected him to that of the Emperor. In Joan. Tom. IX. p. 369. Edit. Basil Erasm.Grotius.
[5. ]Our Author, as the learned Gronovius observes, gives these Words a different Explanation in his Notes on the New Testament: as Sovereign, that is, as one, who owns no Superior.
[6. ]I have already observed that the Antiquity and Perpetuity of the Sanhedrim, supposed by our Author, are at least uncertain.
[7. ]That is, the Attachment, which every Israelite ought to have for his Religion, obliged neither private Persons, nor inferior Magistrates, to become Iconoclasts by their own Authority, or in any other violent Manner oppose the idolatrous Worship introduced or tolerated by the King; because that would be an Incroachment on his Right. But the present Question does not turn on such Cases.
[8. ]This Speech is preserved by Xiphilin, in his Abridgment of Dion Cassius, Vit. Traj. p. 248. Ed. H. Steph. See also Zonaras, in the Life of the same Emperor. Annal. Tom. II. Pliny’sPaneg. Cap. LXVII. Num. 8. Edit. Cellar. and Cassiodorus, Var. VIII. 13.
[9. ]Pertinax and Macrinus imitated Trajan in that Particular, as appears from the fine Speeches put into their Mouth by Herodian. Grotius.
[10. ]Xiphilin, in that Emperor’s Life, p. 281.
[1 ]See I Maccab. ii. 41. Since that Time the common Opinion of the Jews was, that the Law allowed them to defend themselves, but not to attack the Enemy, on the Sabbath Day. Josephus, Antiq. Lib. XIV. Cap. VIII. Our Author alludes to this in Mark iii. 4. as Mr. Le Clerc has very well observed.
[2. ]This Sentence occurs in the Babylonish Talmud. See our Author on Matt. xii. 11. and Buxtorf, Synag. Jud. Cap. XVI.
[3. ]See Josephus, where he speaks of Saul’s Guards. We learn from Polybius, that among the Romans, he who quitted his Post was punished with Death.Grotius.
[4. ]Some Commentators on this Place say, that David, having been anointed King by Samuel, was not from that Time to be considered as a private Subject. But it has been judiciously answered by others, that David was not to be King during Saul’s Life, and that he himself, from the Time of his being anointed to the Death of Saul, constantly acknowledged him the lawful King of Israel.
[5. ]The learned Gronovius blames our Author for blindly following Tacitus, who pretends, that the Jews were under the Dominion of the Medes; which is false, unless the Assertion is understood only of Darius the Mede, or Nabonnides, mentioned by the Prophet Daniel. The Jews being conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, became subject to the Persians as soon as Cyrus took Babylon. I find, however, that both the Emperor Julian, and the Patriarch Cyril, tho’ his Antagonist, were of Opinion, that the Jews had been dependent on the Medes; and in this they copied the Error of the common Chronology, which made the Empire of the Medes succeed that of the Assyrians, p. 210. Edit. Spanheim.
[6. ]Hist. Lib. V. Cap. VIII. Num. 3.
[7. ]I cannot think them so much mistaken. It appears from the Discourse which passed between David and Saul, near the Cave where the former had the Life of the latter in his Power, that David valued himself on acting generously with his mortal Enemy, and that Saul was touched with that extraordinary Greatness of Soul. David observes to Saul, that he was so far from conspiring against him, with which he had been charged, that he refused to take Advantage of an Opportunity of killing him which offered itself. Wherefore hearest thou Men’s Words, saying, Behold David seeketh thy Hurt? Behold this Day thine Eyes have seen how the LORD had delivered thee to Day into mine Hand in the Cave, and some bad me kill thee, but I spared thee, &c. 1 Sam. xxiv. 9, 10. Whereupon Saul acknowledged the Obligation, without insisting on the inviolable Sanctity of his Person. He fairly owns that David had waved the Right which his Treatment had given him; and that so noble an Act of Generosity had made him worthy of the Crown which had been promised him, Thou art more righteous than I; for thou hast rewarded me Good, whereas I have rewarded thee Evil.—For if a Man findeth his Enemy will he let him go well away?—And now behold I know well that thou shalt surely be King, &c. ver. 17, 19, 20. “If David had killed Saul, ” (I borrow the very Words of Mr. Le Clerc’s Commentary) “who had been guilty of so cruel an Abuse of his Authority, who had long persecuted him in so furious a Manner, who put to Death all such as lay under a Suspicion of favouring him, and had sacrificed a great Number of innocent Priests to his Rage and Resentment, no one would have been surprized at his Conduct, or charged him with a Crime. But David, generous as he was, resolved to act in a very different Manner, to let all the World know his Innocence, and his Dispositions in regard to the King, who took all Occasions to distress him. He likewise shewed, that tho’ he had been anointed to succeed Saul, he had in no Manner sought for the Royal Dignity, nor done any Thing which might encourage the least Suspicion of his thinking the King’s Life too long. He thought himself obliged to prevent all the Calumnies of his Enemies, or those who envied him, and might have accused him of Ambition and Rebellion. He was resolved to ascend the Throne in a Manner that Envy itself should not blame. These were the true Reasons of his Magnanimity; but to avoid making a Show of it, he alledges two others: that Saul was his Lord; and that he had been anointed by GOD’s Command. But the Man who violates all Sorts of Laws, by his Conduct towards his Servants, is no longer their Master.—No Man commands or obeys but on certain Conditions, which ought to be observed on both Sides; without which human Society is utterly destroyed, and its Laws trampled on. Thus a Prince forfeits the Right which his Unction gave him, when he renders himself intirely unworthy of the Favour of God, by whose Order he was anointed. But David would not make use of his Right, for the Reasons already alledged; and because Saul was his Father-in-Law. To which we may add, that as he himself had been anointed, in Order to succeed that Prince, it was his Interest that it should be thought unlawful for any one to kill a King.” This seems evident from his Behaviour to the Amalekite, who thought to make his Court to him, by bragging of his having dispatched Saul, at his own Request, to save him from falling into the Hands of the Philistines. For, tho’ David at that Time believed the Fact, he ordered him to be killed on the Spot, who, on the Supposition of the Truth of the Report, had done Saul a Service. See Mr. Le Clerc on 2 Samuel i. 14. It may farther be observed, that, as Saul had been chosen by GOD in an extraordinary Manner, anointed and consecrated by one of his Prophets, honoured with the Gift of Prophecy, and made a visible Instrument in the Hand of the ALMIGHTY, for gaining great Victories over the Enemies of Israel, David might have been tender of his Life on those Considerations, which will not conclude in Favour of all other Princes, who arrive at their Dignity by the common Ways. Besides, when he twice spared Saul’s Life, he was able to do it without endangering his own; so that his Conduct on those Occasions is nothing to the Purpose, in regard to such as have no other Remedy against a Tyrant, than that of repelling him, even with the Hazard of killing him. And after all, the Words of David, how ever they may be understood, are not an Oracle or Divine Precept. There is no Reason for believing that he then spoke by Divine Inspiration, or that GOD put these Words into his Mouth, as a Rule for all Men’s Conduct.
[8. ]Josephus introduces Joab speaking thus to Shimei, Shalt not thou die, who hath spoken ill of him whom GOD hath appointed to reign? Antiq. Lib. VII. Cap. X. Grotius.
[9. ]The same Jewish Historian observes, that when David had cut off a Piece of Saul’s Garment when he surprized him in the Cave, he immediately repented, and said it was not lawful for a Subject to kill his Master. Antiq. Lib. VI. Cap. XIV. And a little after, that when he entered Saul’s Tent, and found his Guards asleep, Abishaï would have killed him; but David diverted him from that Action, saying, It was a heinous Crime to kill a King, even tho’ he was wicked; and that the Person who should commit it, would be punished by him, who invested him with the Royal Dignity.Grotius.
[10. ]It is certain that we ought not lightly to defame Princes every Time they are guilty of Faults, or an Abuse of their Power. As I have already observed, the same Reason that obliges us to bear with their unjust Actions, to a certain Point, likewise engages us to spare their Reputation, to avoid giving Occasion of making their Authority contemptible. Those Preachers therefore, who are for bringing their Magistrates to the Scaffold, whenever they imagine them faulty, are certainly so far from being authorised to do so by the Duties of their Ministry, that they are undoubtedly very much to be condemned. But it does not thence follow, that even tho’ a Prince becomes a Tyrant, it is a Crime to speak of what is notorious, and call Things by their right Names. Nor can it be proved that this is prohibited by the Law in Question. So that the Argument, or rather the Consequence which our Author undertakes to draw from it, cannot reasonably extend so far, how general soever the Terms may appear, which here, and in an Infinity of other Places, ought to be restrained, as much as the Nature of the Subject requires or allows.
[11. ]The Philosopher, enquiring into the Reasons of the Difference of Punishments established by Law, says, Private Persons are not punished for speaking ill one of another; but that Penalties are inflicted on those who take the same Liberty with a Magistrate. This he calls a wise Institution, because, as he observes, such a one is judged not only to offend against the Magistrate thus abused, but also against the State, which he represents. Probl. Sect. XXIX. Num. 14. p. 814. Tom. II. Edit. Paris. The Emperor Julian observes that, The Laws made in Favour of Princes are severe; so that he who commits an Outrage on a Prince, is at the same Time guilty of trampling on the Laws. In Misopog. p. 342. Edit. Spanheim.Grotius.
[12. ]It was not because he thought he had violated the Respect due to his Enemy; but, as Mr. Le Clerc observes, tho’ David did this to convince Saul how easily he might have killed him, if he had been so disposed, he felt some inward Uneasiness, (for that is the Sense of the original Expression, David’s Heart smote him, not he repented) he felt, I say, some inward Uneasiness, lest Saul, being whimsical, should put a different Construction upon the Matter.
[13. ]Quintilian says, Such is the Fate of all who are engaged in the Administration of the Commonwealth, that they are exposed to some Hatred and Envy, even when they are doing what is most conducive to the publick Good. Declam. CCCXLVIII. See Livia’s Speech to Augustus on that Subject, in Xiphilin’s Abridgment of Dion. p. 85, 86. Edit. H. Steph.Grotius.
[14. ]Ἄσυλοι. See Dionysius Halicarnassensis, Antiq. Rom. Lib. VI. Cap. LXXXIX. p. 395. Edit. Oxon.Livy, Lib. III. Cap. LV. Appian of Alexandria, Bello Civil. p. 628. Edit. Toll. and what our Author says, B. III. Chap. LXIX. § 8. Note 3.
[15. ]The Author quotes no one in this Place. All I find to the Purpose in Josephus is, that according to the Essenians, Fidelity is due to all Men, but chiefly to Princes, because they are not raised to that Dignity without the Will or Permission of GOD. De Bello Jud. Lib. II. Cap. XII.
[16. ]If a Man kills a Sheep, says St. Chrysostom, he only makes a small Diminution in the Flock; but when the Shepherd is killed, the whole Flock is dispersed. On 1 Tim. i. Seneca delivers himself in the following Manner, The Subjects are on the Guard in the Night for their Prince’s Security: They surround and defend him, and meet those Dangers which threaten his Person. It is not without good Reason that Nations and Cities have agreed thus to love and defend their Kings, and sacrifice their Lives and Fortunes for the Preservation of their Sovereign. Nor is it Folly, or a Neglect of one’s own Life, which induces so many thousands to expose themselves to the utmost Dangers for one Person, and by the Death of great Numbers, redeem the Life of one who is, sometimes, in the Course of Nature near his End. As the whole Body is interested in the Cure of the Soul—so this immense Multitude, acting for the Defence of one Man’s Life, is governed by him as their Soul, and is influenced by him in such a Manner, that the Subjects would destroy themselves by their own Strength, were they not supported by his Prudence and Wisdom: They are therefore careful of their own Safety, &c. De Clementia, Lib. I. Cap. III. See what is said on this Subject, B. II. Chap. I. § 9. Grotius.
[17. ]Iliad. Lib. V. ver. 566, 567.
[18. ]Lib. X. Cap. III. Num. 3.
[19. ]This Passage has been quoted in Note 6. on Chap. III. § 16.
[20. ]He says that when Demochares, one of the Ephori, was going to seize Agis, King of Lacedemonia, the publick Officers, and others on the Spot, declined the Task, thinking it unlawful to lay Hands on the King’s Person. Vita Agid. & Cleom. p. 804. Tom. I. Edit. Wech.
[21. ]Our Saviour, at two several Times, commanded his Disciples to carry their Cross, when he gave the twelve Apostles Instructions for their Behaviour in Preaching the Gospel, Matt. x. 38. Mark viii. 34. Luke ix. 23. and when he was going to Cesarea Philippi, followed by great Crowds of People, Matt. xvi. 24. Luke xiv. 27. By which Words he meant no more than that Christians ought to be disposed to bear Persecution, and all Sorts of Afflictions in general, with Patience, when they are not in a Condition to guard themselves against them; for he no where forbids the Use of innocent Means, when in our Power. As a sick Person, therefore, how strongly soever he may be obliged to Patience, is allowed to take what he thinks conducive to his Cure: So a Man, unjustly oppressed, may employ what Force he is Master of, for delivering him from Oppression. Besides, as the learned Gronovius observes on this Place, our Lord’s Precept regards all Christians in general, of all Ranks and Stations. Now, as this Obligation to Patience does not tie up the Hands of Princes and Magistrates, or deprive them of the Power of chastising their rebellious and seditious Subjects, so neither does it deprive private Persons of a Right to resist the Rage of a Prince or Magistrate, who behaves himself like a Tyrant to them.
[22. ]The Passage intimated by our Author, is that of Matthew x. 23. When they persecute you in one City, fly to another. This Advice is directed to the Apostles, and relates to them in particular, as appears from the Words immediately following, For verily I say unto you, you shall not have gone over the Cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come. See Dr. Hammond and Mr. Le Clerc on that Text. So that there is no general Maxim, for teaching all that is allowable for Christians, when in any Manner oppressed or persecuted; and Gronovius’s Answers here are superfluous. Our Author has confuted himself, in his Commentary on the Gospels, published since the Work now before us, where he thus paraphrases the Passage under Consideration. “The Meaning is; when you shall be driven out of one City, let not this make you renounce the Functions of your Ministry: Fly then to some other Place; not to a Desart, to provide for your own Security, but to some other City, to endeavour to produce Fruit by your Instructions. Whence it appears, says he, that this Passage will by no Means afford a Proof for deciding the Question, Whether it is allowable to fly, with the sole View of avoiding present Dangers? ”
[23. ]The Patience to which we are obliged by our Saviour’s Example, is to be understood in the same Sense with his Exhortation to carry our Cross; of which we have already spoken in Note 21. on this Paragraph. Were we obliged to imitate the Conduct of JESUS CHRIST in all Particulars, every Man ought voluntarily to offer himself to Torments, and an ignominious Death; which our Author would not allow. He has himself refuted the Argument drawn from the Example of JESUS CHRIST, for the Support of the Opinion, which he himself thinks too rigid, of those who pretend we ought not to repel an Enemy so far as to take away his Life, Chap. II. § 8. and Chap. III. § 3.
[24. ]I have already observed, and shewn by Examples, (Note 2. on § 52. of the Preliminary Discourse to this Work) that the first Christians cannot be considered as the best Expositors of the Holy Scriptures, or Models for our Conduct on all Occasions. We are very well assured that they entertained extravagant Notions on the Point before us, which put them on extending the Obligation of suffering Martyrdom, far beyond its just Bounds. Our Author, who was sensible of this, retrenched the following Words in the later Editions, which in the first appeared at the End of this Paragraph, “Tho’ we should grant,” said he, “that this is a Counsel, and not an indispensible Precept, it would still be more safe, in the Presence of GOD, to comply with it, since the first Christians, even when they could have fled, or been silent, frequently sought so honourable a Death, in certain Hopes that such as attested their Faith in that Manner, did thereby receive a full Remission of all their Sins; that immediately after their Death they in some Manner enjoyed a Glory like that expected after the Resurrection; and had the Promise of a large Reward in the World to come.” See Mr. Dodwell’s XII. Dissertation on St. Cyprian. To this we may add, that from some Passages of Scripture misinterpreted, they imagined the Day of Judgment very near, as is observed by the learned Gronovius; and while they were full of this Persuasion, we are not to be surprized, that they had no Concern for the good Things of this World, or even for Life itself, the Preservation of which animates Men to repel the Injuries of a Tyrant. They also sometimes gave too literal a Sense to what the Gospel says concerning the good Things of this World, the Concern for which our Saviour would have us neglect, not absolutely, but only when we cannot enjoy them without Prejudice to our Conscience. Thus the Conduct of those first Votaries of Christianity ought not to be proposed as a Model for all Christians in general, who have not the same Ideas, nor are in the same Dispositions: Even tho’ they had been inclined to resist their Persecutors, they would not have been in a Condition of attempting it. It is in vain to amuse the World with their great Numbers; they were a scattered Multitude, and very inconsiderable, in Comparison of their Enemies; they were for the most part Persons in mean and low Stations, without Arms, without Forces, without any other Leaders than the Ecclesiasticks, who were not Men of much Distinction; they assembled in private, and consequently could not get together in great Numbers: A single Legion would have been sufficient for defeating all their Projects. But when the Emperors had embraced Christianity, the Christians proceeded on very different Principles. See Milton, Defensio, Cap. IV. p. 136, &c. As also the Speech of Dr. Burnet, late Bishop of Salisbury, at Dr. Sacheverel’s Trial. In short, it was of the utmost Importance to the Establishment of the Gospel, that the Christians should not lie under the least Suspicion of being seditiously disposed. And that the more, because, as our Author himself observes on Rom. xiii. 1. the Jews, from whom the first Disciples of the Gospel came, were prejudiced by a false Notion, founded on a Passage in Deut. (xvii. 15.) misinterpreted, which made them look on all Authority exercised by Foreigners as unlawful, so that they did not think themselves obliged in Conscience to obey any Sovereigns but those of their own Nation. If therefore the Christians in those early Times waved their Right on so strong Considerations, no Consequence can be drawn from their Behaviour, that will affect those who have lived since Christianity is established in the World.
[25. ]Apol. Cap. XXXVII. Edit. Herald.
[26. ]Ad Demetrian. p. 192. Edit. Fell. Brem. The same Father elsewhere expresses himself in the following Manner, The Enemy knows that the Soldiers of JESUS CHRIST are sober and vigilant, and stand armed for the Engagement; that they may die, but cannot be conquered; and are therefore invincible, because they fear not Death, nor resist those who attack them; not being allowed, tho’ innocent, to kill the guilty; but thinking themselves obliged to resign their Life, and their Blood chearfully, Lib. I. Epist. I. Edit. Erasm. (Ep. LX. Edit. Fell. p. 142.) Grotius.
[27. ]Instit. Div. Lib. V. Cap. IX. Num. 9. Edit. Cellar.
[28. ]Lib. VI. Quaest. X. in Josuam. This Passage is quoted in the Canon Law, Caus. XXIII. Quaest. II. Can. 11.
[29. ]Epist. CLXVI. This Passage is also quoted in the Canon Law, Cause XI. Quaest. III. Can. 98.
[30. ]The Author doth not tell us whence he took this Passage. It is probable he quotes it on the Credit of his Memory, as well as the preceding, which is therefore somewhat differently worded than the Original.
[31. ]De Civit. Dei. Lib. XXII. Cap. VI. Saint Cyril hath some excellent Expressions on the same Subject, in his Explanation of that Passage of St. John, where Peter’s Sword is mentioned, Chap. XVIII. Ver. 11.Grotius.
[32. ]The Swiss pay a great Veneration to the Memory of that Martyr. See Franc. Guilliman, De rebus Helvet, Lib. I. Cap. XV. and Lib. II. Cap. VIII. The Legion commanded by Mauritius is also placed in the Rank of the most illustrious Martyrs, who suffered Death in the tenth Persecution, as appears from an old Relation of the Translation of St. Justin’s Relicks, to the Monastery of new Corbie.Albert Krantzius speaks of some Martyrs of the Thebaean Legion, whose Bodies were removed to Brunswick. Saxonick. VII. 16. Grotius.
[33. ]The Jews of Alexandria formerly expressed themselves in a like Manner to Flaccus, We are, as you see, unarmed; and yet we are by some accused of coming hither as Enemies. We hold our Hands, which Nature has given every Man for his Defence, behind our Backs, where they can be of no Service to us; exposing our Bodies to any who are disposed to kill us.Grotius.
[34. ]The Greatness of their Number did not secure them from Sufferings, though innocent; whereas even Criminals come off with Impunity, when numerous; quum inultum (not multum, according to our Author’s Correction) esse soleat, quod multitudo deliquit.
[35. ]See the Fragments of John of Antioch, published from a Manuscript, in the Hands of the late Mr. de Peiresc, a Person worthy of immortal Reputation. p. 846. Grotius.
[36. ]See my 23 Note on this Paragraph.
[1 ]Plutarch tells us that Lysander being killed (in a Battle) the Spartans were so deeply affected at his Death, that they pronounced Sentence on the King. (Pausanias.) who fled to Tegea, to avoid the Execution of it. In Lysand. p. 450. Tom. I. Edit. Wech. The same Author says, that the Lacedemonians dethron’d some of their Kings, whose infamous Lives had rendered them unworthy of the Royal Dignity. Compar. Lysand. and Syllae. p. 476. See likewise what he says of Agis, who was condemned to die, though unjustly. The Mosynecians, (or Mossynians, a People of Pontus) elect their Kings, keep them under close Confinement; and oblige them to fast a whole Day, when they commit a Fault in the Execution of their Office; says Pompon. Mela, Lib. I. Cap. XIX. Num. 7. See Isaac Vossius’s Note on that Place. Grotius.
[2. ]This Pausanias, the Spartan General, was indeed of the Royal Family, but not King. He had been no more than Guardian to his Cousin Plistarchus, Son to King Leonidas, as the learned Gronovius here observes. See Thucyd.Lib. I. Cap. CXXXII. Edit. Oxon.
[3. ]Virgil, Aen. VIII. v. 494. &c.
[1 ]As when Henry III. King of Poland, being apprised of the Death of his Brother Charles IX. King of France, left Cracow privately, and went for France, in 1574. Whereupon, the Poles chose another King, the following Year. See also the Debates between the two Houses of Parliament on the Abdication of James II. King of England, in the Supplement to Sir Rich. Steel’sCrisis.
[2. ]Provided such Negligence be not very considerable; for if it be carried so far that the King lets the Affairs of the State run entirely into Disorder and Confusion, I make no Doubt that the People have a Right to consider his Conduct as a real Abdication. The Thing speaks for itself; and I find Mr. Vander Muelen of the same Opinion, in his Commentary on this Place.
[1 ]As when he makes the Kingdom feudatary or tributary. Boecler pretends that the Author, here quoted, speaks only of this Case, and not of the former, or of a real, full and intire Alienation. But as Barclay looks on him as for feiting the Crown, who does the least, he could not reasonably pass any other Judgment on him who does what is more. The same Commentator finds a difficulty in owning that the Case under Consideration is of such Importance and deserves so heavy a Punishment: He even endeavours to make our Author contradict himself, in Regard to what he has laid down, in the foregoing Chapter, § 21, &c. that a Prince, doth not cease to be a Sovereign, though he is tributary or feudatary to another. But as he who attempts to subject his Kingdom in this Manner, has no Right to do it by his own Authority, and without the Consent of the People, such an Act is sufficient for discharging the People from the Obedience, which they promised him only on Condition, either express or tacit, that he should make no such Attempt. It is unnecessary to say the Good of the State sometimes requires it; for that is not the Question; and in that Case, he must always be authorized by the Consent of the Nation, either expressed, or presumed on convincing Reasons.
[2. ]See Cap. III. § 10 and § 11.
[3. ]That is, the Act of Alienation, or Subjection performed by the King, neither turns to his Prejudice, nor to the Advantage of the Person, in whose Favour he alienated or subjected the Kingdom; and consequently, he loses nothing of his Right to the Crown, by an Act like this, which is void and of no Effect. See Book II. Chap. VI. § 3, 9. But I do not see how this Doctrine agrees with the Permission granted by our Author, to resist such a Prince, when he actually undertakes to give up, or subject his Crown. He thereby only puts in Execution what was already done, as far as in him lay, by a Contract and Engagement with another Power; and if that Engagement did not make him forfeit the Sovereignty, by what Authority shall the People resist him, when he sets about the Execution of it? The Truth is, every Prince, who having no Right so to do, undertakes to alienate or subject his Kingdom, without the Consent of the People, doth thereby violate a fundamental Law of the State; and thus really forfeits the Sovereignty; as Barclay teaches, who is in other Respects a zealous Defender of the Sovereign’s Rights. Here too Mr. Vander Muelen is of the same Opinion with me; and considers such an Action in a King, as a manifest Abdication of the Crown. See some Instances of this Sort in Huber’s Treatise De Jure Civit. Lib. I. Sect. IX. Cap. VI. § 36, 37.
[4. ]Institut. Lib. II. Tit. IV. De Usufructu. §3.
[5. ]Digest. Lib. XXIII. Tit. III. De Jure Dotium. Leg. LXVI.
[6. ]But some maintain the contrary, and in my Opinion on better Grounds; as appears from Mr. Noodt’s Treatise De Usufructu. Lib. II. Cap. X. where he distinguishes between the old and new Law on this Subject; and explains the Law in Question, as well as the Paragraph quoted from the Institutes in the foregoing Note. So that, even though an Usufructuary might in all Respects be compared to the Sovereign of an elective or successive Kingdom, this would rather make against our Author than for him. Let Men of Judgment determine whether Mr. Van De Water, has urged such Reasons as are sufficient for supporting the opposite Opinion, in his Observations Juris, Lib. III. Cap. XI. which appeared in 1713, soon after Mr. Noodt’s Works, among which the Treatise De Usufructu, was first published.
[7. ]That Author proposes an Enquiry whether this ought to be done. Controv. Lib. II. Cap. IX. p. 158. Edit. Elziv. 1672.
[1 ]On this Principle Gracchus ingeniously maintained, that a Tribune of the People ceases, to be such, and is entirely divested of his Power. His Discourse on that Subject is worth reading; and may be seen in Plut.Vit. Tib. & C. Gracchi. p. 831, 832. Tom. I. Edit. Wech.John Major, (or Mair) in his Treatise on Book IV. of Peter Lombard’s Sentences, says that a People can not divest themselves of the Power of deposing the Prince, when he endeavours their Destruction. A Principle, which ought to be softened, and explained, as we shall here explain it. Grotius.
[2. ]A Prince may be in the Case here specified, though he doth not, like Caligula, wish the whole People had but one Head, that he might dispatch them at one Stroke; or though he expresses no formal and direct Design of destroying his Subjects. It is sufficient that his Actions have a manifest Tendency that Way. Nor is there any Obligation of waiting till there is no Remedy for the Evil. See Note I. on Pufend.B. VII. Chap. VIII. § 6.
[3. ]Philip II. King of Spain was charged with such a Design, in Regard to the Low Countries. See somewhat of the like Nature, attributed to Philip, King of Macedonia, in Liv. Lib. XI. Cap. III.
[1 ]See the foregoing Chap. § 23.
[2. ]See also Chap. III. § 16.
[1 ]We have an Instance of this Kind in the Republic of Genoa in Peter Bizar.Lib. XVIII. and in Bohemia, under Wenceslaus, in Dubray’sHist. Lib. X. See Azor, Institut. Moral. Lib. X. Cap. VIII. and Lambert of Schaffnaburg, in Relation to the Emperor Henry IV. Grotius.
[2. ]The learned Grotius [[sic:Gronovius observes that our Author in this Place gives a tacit Answer to the Heads of the Charge brought against Barneveld; and refers the Reader to his Defence, entitled, Apologeticus eorum, qui Hollandiae Westfrisiaeque, &c. ex legibus praefuerunt ante mutationem quae evenit anno 1618. Cap. X. But the Case is not exactly the same; as will appear on comparing what our Author says in that Piece with what he says here.]]
[1 ]See some Examples of this Kind in Mr. De Thou’s History, Lib. CXXXI. on the Year 1604. p. 1037, 1038. Edit. Francof. and Lib. CXXXIII. on the Year 1605. p. 1074; both relate to Hungary. As also in Meyer’sAnnal Belgic. on the Year 1339, in regard to Brabant and Flanders; and on the Year 1468, in Relation to the Treaty between Lewis XI. King of France, and Charles, Duke of Burgundy. See also what Chytraeus says of Poland, Saxonic. Lib. XXIV. and what Bonfinius relates of Hungary, Decad. IV. Lib. IX. Grotius.
[2. ]Why is it not plainly and directly said that this Reservation disengages the Subject from their Obedience, whenever the Case happens; so that if the Prince is obstinately bent on doing what is prohibited by such a Clause, which has the Force of a fundamental Law, the People ought to consider him no longer as their Sovereign? It is not conceivable that the Restriction can naturally have any other End, or Effect.
[1 ]See B. II. Chap. IV. § 14.
[2. ]Compare all this with what Pufendorf says on the same Subject, B. VII. Chap. VIII. § 9, 10. and in his academical Dissertation De Interregnis. § 16.
[3. ]Quintil.Instit. Orat. Lib. XI. Cap. I. pag. 981. Edit. Burm.
[4. ]Because the Children of the Outlaws would have put the whole State in Confusion. And the Persons, on whom Sylla had bestowed the Estates of those Outlaws, would not easily have restored them, as Florus observes, in the Quotation here alledged, which stands thus at large. For Lepidus, full of Insolence, and fond of Innovations, attempted to annul the Acts of that great Man; and not without good Reason, if it had been practicable without great Prejudice to the Commonwealth. For when Sylla, the Dictator, by the Right of War, had outlawed his Enemies, who survived that Revolution, Lepidus, by recalling them, only called them to renew the War; and since the Estates of the proscribed Citizens, though unjustly seized, and alienated by Sylla, had been taken from them by some sort of Right; a Re-demand of such Estates would certainly have involved the State in fresh Troubles. It was advisable therefore on any Terms to allow the sick and wounded Commonwealth some Repose, lest its Wounds should be opened again by the very Means taken for its Cure. Lib. III. Cap. XXIII. Num. 2, 3, 4.
[1 ]See B. II. Chap. XIII. § 15. and B. III. Chap. XIX. § 2, &c. of this Work.
[2. ]The learned Gronovius in this Place applies what a Roman Senator said in Regard to the Decemvirs: As if the Roman People had any War, which more deserved their Attention than that which Men,... who, though but private Persons, assumed Marks of Magistracy, and acted in the Character of Sovereigns.Liv. Lib. III. Cap. XXXIX. Num. 8.
[3. ]Apolog. Cap. II.
[4. ]The Roman Law speaks thus: We allow Persons in every Province full Power and Right to distress Deserters. If they shall dare to resist, we command that their Punishment be expeditious, wherever they are found. Let all Men know they are hereby invested with a Right to act in the Name of the Public against public Robbers and those who desert from the Army; and that this Right is to be employed for the Peace of the Commonwealth.Cod.Lib. III. Tit. XXVII. Quando liceat unicuique sine Judice se vindicare, &c. Leg. II.
[1 ]I shall set down Plutarch’s Way of Reasoning, on which our Author grounds the Opinion here attributed to him. The Philosopher undertakes to prove that it cannot be said all Things are directed by Fate, or are so many Effects and Consequences of Fate, Καθ’ εἱμαρμένην, though every Thing is included in Fate. He then makes Use of this Comparison. Every Thing comprehended in the Law, is not therefore legal, or according to Law; thus Treason, Desertion, Adultery, and many other Acts of the like Nature, are comprehended in the Law; and yet no Man will venture to affirm any of them to be lawful. Nor would I say that an Action of extraordinary Bravery, killing a Tyrant, or other great Achievement, is according to Law. For only what the Law enjoins deserves that Appellation. If therefore the Law enjoins the Actions already specified, how shall a Man be cleared of Disobedience, and offending against the Law, who engages in none of the said Actions? Or if he is thereby disobedient, and offends against the Law, would it not be just to punish a Person? But if this is absurd, that only, which is prescribed by the Law, is to be termed, legal, and according to Law; and thus only what necessarily follows from, or is conformable to the divine Regulations and Determinations, can be said to be done by Fate, or according to Fate... Fate doth indeed comprehend all Things... but they will not fall out by Necessity; but every Thing will come to pass according to its Nature. De Fato, p. 570. Ed. Wech. Tom. II. This Comparison is somewhat far fetched, and grounded on a Quibble, which is unworthy of a Philosopher.
[2. ]I find it mentioned by the Orator Andocides, who, addressing himself to Epichares, tells him, that a Man who should kill him, would be deemed innocent, even according to the Law of Solon, viz. If any one abolishes the Athenian Democracy, or exercises any publick Office after such Abolition, let him be reckoned an Enemy to the Athenians, and be killed with Impunity to the Person who dispatches him. Orat. I.p.219, 220. Edit. Hanov.
[3. ]Dionysius of Halicarnassus reports this Law in the following Terms, He (Valerius) made most excellent Laws, of great Advantage to the Publick; in one of which he expressly ordered, that no Man should act in a publick Office, except he received it from the Hands of the People, under Pain of Death; and declared the Person who should kill such an Intruder innocent. Antiq. Rom. Lib. V. Cap. XIX. p. 281. Edit. Oxon.Livy expresses himself thus, on the same Occasion, He made Laws for appealing to the People against the Magistrates, and punishing the Man with Confiscation of his Estate, and Death, who should attempt to seize the Sovereignty. Lib. II. Cap. VIII. Num. 2. Edit. Cleric. See his Note on that Place. Our Author quotes the two following Passages from Plutarch, in a Note, who expresses himself in Terms somewhat different, For if any one attempts to become a Tyrant, Solon ordered him to be seized and punished; but Publicola allows such a one to be dispatched without that Formality. Vit. Public. p. 110. He made a Law which allowed any one to kill the Man, without any Trial, who should aspire at the Tyranny; and ordered, that the Person who dispatched him, should be deem’d innocent, on bringing Proofs of the Crime, p. 103. Where it may be observed, that Plutarch is mistaken concerning the Law of Solon, asisevident from the Passage of Andocides, quoted in the foregoing Note.
[4. ]Our Author here uses the Words of Livy, tho’ he doth not quote them. This Law was made by Valerius, Grandson to Publicola, in Conjunction with his Collegue in the Consulship, M. Horatius, Lib. III. Cap. LV. Num. 4, 5.
[1 ]Plutarch, Vit. M. Bruti, p. 989. Edit. Wech.
[2. ]Philippic. II. Cap. XV. p. 445. Edit. Graev.
[3. ]Livy, Lib. XXXIV. Cap. XLIX. Num. 1, &c.
[4. ]Plutarch expresses this in the following Manner, Titus alledged in Defence of his Conduct, that he had put an End to the War, because he perceived the Tyrant could not be destroyed, without doing great Damage to the rest of the Spartans. Vit. T. Q. Flamin. p. 376. It will not be amiss to give the Reader in this Place, the Saying of a Lacedemonian, who in reading an Epigram, the Sense of which was, These Men fell before the Gates of Selinus, in attempting to extinguish Tyranny; said, They deserved to die; for they ought to have waited till the Tyranny consumed itself intirely. Ὁ δὲ ἀναγνούς τὸ ἐπίγραμμα του̑το,
Δικαίως, εἷπε τεθνάκανται τοὶ ἄνδρες· ἔδει γὰρ ἀϕέμεν ὅλαν αὐτὰν κατακαη̑μεν. Vit. Lycurg. p. 52. Grotius.
[5. ]Ranae, v. 1478, &c. Edit. Kuster.
[6. ]Tacitus, Hist. Lib. IV. Cap. LXVII. Num. 5.
[7. ]Epist. ad Attic. Lib. IX. Ep. IV.
[8. ]Lucan, Lib. I. v. 351. They are the Words of Julius Caesar.
[9. ]Thus Antiochus the Great, undertaking a War against the Romans, did it under Pretence of giving the Grecians their Liberty, who had not Need of it.Plutarch, Vit. Cat. Maj. p. 342. Grotius.
[10. ]The Embassadors finding him on the Road, asked him why he attacked his Country in a hostile Manner? To which he replied, that he appeared in Arms in Order to free it from Tyrants.Appian, Bell. Civ. Lib. I. p. 648. Edit. Toll. (384 H. Steph.)
[11. ]Our Author here quotes that Philosopher’s seventh Epistle to Perdiccas. I have given the Passage at Length, in my Remarks on Pufendorf, B. VII. Chap. VIII. § 5. Note 1. But it is more probable, that Cicero had the following Words of the Dialogue, entitled Crito, in View, In the Conduct of War, in the Tribunals of Justice, and on all other Occasions, the Orders of the State, and our Country are to be obeyed; or we are to advise what is just in its own Nature. But it is not allowable to commit Violence either on a Father or a Mother, and much less on our Country. Tom. I. p. 51. Edit. Steph.
[12. ]Lib. I. Epist. ad Famil. IX. p. 50. Edit. Maj. Graev.
[13. ]Bell. Jugurth. Cap. III. Edit. Wass.
[14. ]Vit. M. Bruti. p. 989. Tom. I. Edit. Wech.
[15. ]De Offic. Lib. II. Cap. XXI.
[16. ]There is nothing in Judges iii. 15. that authorises this Explication. It is only said that GOD raised up Ehud to deliver the Israelites. See Mr. Le Clerc’s Comment on Verse 20th of that Chapter.
[17. ]Nor do we find any Thing that gives Room to suspect it.