Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. II.: Whether a Commonwealth be rightly defin'd to be a Government of Laws and not of Men, and a Monarchy to be the Government of som Man, or a few Men, and not of Laws? - The Oceana and Other Works
CHAP. II.: Whether a Commonwealth be rightly defin’d to be a Government of Laws and not of Men, and a Monarchy to be the Government of som Man, or a few Men, and not of Laws? - James Harrington, The Oceana and Other Works 
The Oceana and Other Works of James Harrington, with an Account of His Life by John Toland (London: Becket and Cadell, 1771).
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- Advertisement to the Reader.
- To the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, Sherifs, and Common Council of London.
- The Preface.
- The Life of James Harrington.
- The Mechanics of Nature:
- The Grounds and Reasons of Monarchy Considered: and Exemplify’d In the Scotish Line, Out of Their Own Best Authors and Records.
- The Commonwealth of Oceana. to His Highness the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
- The Introduction, Or Order of the Work.
- The Preliminarys, Shewing the Principles of Government.
- The Second Part of the Preliminarys.
- The Council of Legislators.
- Oceana: the Model of the Commonwealth of Oceana.
- Anno Dom.
- Anno Domini.
- Anno Domini.
- Epitome of the Whole Commonwealth.
- Libertas. the Proclamation of His Highness the Lord Archon of Oceana Upon Promulgation of the Model.
- The Prerogative of Popular Government.
- Epistle to the Reader.
- The First Book, Containing: a Full Answer to All Such Objections As Have Hitherto Bin Made Against Oceana.
- The Preface.
- Chap. I. Antient and Modern Prudence.
- Chap. I.: Whether Prudence Be Well Distinguish’d Into Antient and Modern.
- Chap. II.: Whether a Commonwealth Be Rightly Defin’d to Be a Government of Laws and Not of Men, and a Monarchy to Be the Government of Som Man, Or a Few Men, and Not of Laws?
- Chap. III.: Whether the Balance of Dominion In Land Be the Natural Cause of Empire?
- Chap. IV. Chap. IV.: Whether the Balance of Empire Be Well Divided Into National and Provincial; and Whether These Two, Or Any Nations That Are of Distinct Balance, Coming to Depend Upon One and the Same Head, Such a Mixture Creates a New Balance.
- Chap. V.: Whether There Be Any Common Right Or Interest of Mankind Distinct From the Parts Taken Severally; and How By the Orders of a Commonwealth It May Be Best Distinguish’d From Privat Interest.
- Chap. VI.: Whether the Senatusconsulta, Or Decrees of the Roman Senat, Had the Power of Laws?
- Chap. VII.: Whether the Ten Commandments Were Propos’d By God Or Moses, and Voted By the People of Israel.
- Chap. VIII.: Whether a Commonwealth Coming Up to the Perfection of the Kind, Coms Not Up to the Perfection of Government, and Has No Flaw In It.
- Chap. IX.: Whether Monarchy Coming Up to the Perfection of the Kind, Coms Not Short of the Perfection of Government, and Has Not Som Flaw In It. In Which Is Also Treated of the Balance of France; of the Original of a Landed Clergy; of Arms, and Their Ki
- Chap. X.: Whether a Commonwealth That Was Not First Broken By Her Self, Was Ever Conquer’d By the Arms of Any Monarch?
- Chap. XI.: Whether There Be Not an Agrarian, Or Som Law of Laws of That Nature, to Supply the Defect of It In Every Commonwealth: and Whether the Agrarian, As It Is Stated In Oceana, Be Not Equal and Satisfactory to All Interests.
- Chap. XII.: Whether Courses Or a Rotation Be Necessary to a Well-order’d Commonwealth. In Which Is Contain’d the Courses Or Parembole of Israel Before the Captivity, Together With the Epitome of Athens and Venice.
- The Second Book; Or, a Political Discourse Concerning Ordination: Against Dr. H. Hammond, Dr. L. Seaman, and the Authors They Follow.
- Advertisment to the Reader.
- Order of the Discourse.
- A Political Discourse Concerning Ordination.
- The Introduction, Or First Chapter.
- Chap. II.: That the Citys, Or Most of Them Nam’d In the Perambulation of the Apostles Paul and Barnabas, Were At That Time Under Popular Government. In Which Is Contain’d the Administration of a Roman Province.
- Chap. III.: The Deduction of the Chirotonia From Popular Government, and of the Original Right of Ordination From the Chirotonia. In Which Is Contain’d the Institution of the Sanhedrim Or Senat of Israel By Moses, and That of Rome By Romulus
- Chap. IV.: The Deduction of the Chirothesia From Monarchical Or Aristocratical Government, and of the Second Way of Ordination From the Chirothesia. In Which Is Contain’d the Commonwealth of the Jews As It Stood After the Captivity.
- Chap. V.: Whether the Chirotonia Mention’d In the Fourteenth of the Acts Be Indeed, As Is Pretended By Dr. Mammond, Dr. Seaman, and the Authors They Follow, the Same With the Chirothesia, Or a Far Different Thing. In Which Are Contain’d the
- Advertisement to the Reader, Or Direction to the Answerer.
- An Answer to Three Objections Against Popular Government, That Were Given Me After These Two Books Were Printed.
- The Art of Lawgiving: In Three Books.
- The Order of the Work.
- The First Book.
- The Second Book.
- The Third Book.
- The First Book, Shewing the Foundations and Superstructures of All Kinds of Government.
- The Preface. Considering the Principles Or Nature of Family Government.
- Chap. I.: Considering the Principles Or Balance of National Governments; With the Different Kinds of the Same.
- Chap. II.: Shewing the Variation of the English Balance.
- Chap. III.: Of Fixation of the Balance, Or of Agrarian Laws.
- Chap. IV.: Shewing the Superstructures of Governments.
- The Conclusion: Observing That the Principles of Human Prudence Being Good Without Proof of Scripture, Are Nevertheless Such As Are Provable Out of Scripture.
- The Second Book, Containing the Commonwealths of the Hebrews; Namely, Elohim, Or the Commonwealth of Israel; and Cabala, Or the Commonwealth of the Jews.
- The Preface, Shewing That There Were Commonwealths Before That of Israel.
- Chap. I.: Shewing That Israel Was a Commonwealth.
- Chap. II.: Shewing What Commonwealth Israel Was.
- Chap. III.: Shewing the Anarchy, Or State of the Israelits Under Their Judges.
- Chap. IV.: Shewing the State of the Israelits Under Their Kings, to the Captivity.
- Chap. V.: Shewing the State of the Jews In the Captivity; and After Their Return Out of It; With the Frame of the Jewish Commonwealth.
- Chap. VI.: Shewing How Ordination Was Brought Into the Christian Church, and the Divers Ways of the Same That Were At Divers Times In Use With the Apostles.
- The Conclusion: Shewing That Neither God, Nor Christ, Or the Apostles, Ever Instituted Any Government Ecclesiastical Or Civil Upon Any Other Principles Than Those Only of Human Prudence.
- The Third Book, Containing a Model of Popular Government, Practically Propos’d According to Reason, Confirm’d By the Scripture, and Agreable to the the Present Balance Or State of Property In England.
- The Preface. Containing a Model of Popular Government, Propos’d Notionally.
- Chap. I.: Containing the Civil Part of the Model, Propos’d Practicably.
- Chap. II.: Containing the Religious Part of This Model, Propos’d Practicably.
- Chap. III.: Containing the Military Part of This Model, Propos’d Practicably.
- Chap. IV.: Containing the Provincial Part of This Model, Propos’d Practicably.
- The Conclusion: Shewing How the Model Propos’d May Be Prov’d Or Examin’d; and Giving a Brief Answer to Mr. Wren’s Last Book, Intitl’d, Monarchy Asserted Against Mr. Harrington’s Oceana.
- A Word Concerning a House of Peers.
- Six Political Tracts Written On Several Occasions.
- Valerius and Publicola: Or, the True Form of a Popular Commonwealth Extracted Ex Puris Naturalibus.
- To the Reader.
- To the Parlament of the Commonwealth of England, &c. the Humble Petition, &c.
- The Petitioner to the Reader.
- A System of Politics Delineated In Short and Easy Aphorisms. Publish’d From the Author’s Own Manuscript.
- Chap. I.: Of Government.
- Chap. II.: Of the Matter of Government.
- Chap. III.: Of the Privation of Government.
- Chap. IV.: Of the Form of Government.
- Chap. V.: Of Form In the Civil Parts.
- Chap. VI.: Of Form In the Religious Part.
- Chap. VII.: Of Form In the Military Part.
- Chap. VIII.: Of Form In the Legal Part.
- Chap. IX.: Of Form In the Judicial Part.
- Chap. X.: Of the Administration of Government, Or Reason of State.
- Political Aphorisms.
- Seven Models of a Commonwealth: Or, Brief Directions Shewing How a Fit and Perfect Model of Popular Government May Be Made, Found, Or Understood.
- The First Part.
- Divers Models the First Model of Popular Government Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Israel.
- A Second Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d.
- A Third Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Sparta.
- A Fourth Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Athens.
- A Fifth Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Rome.
- A Sixth Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Venice.
- A Seventh Model of a Commonwealth Propos’d. the Commonwealth of Holland.
- The Second Part, Proposing a Model of a Commonwealth Fitted to the Present State of This Nation.
- Conclusion; Or, the Use of These Propositions.
- The Ways and Means Wherby an Equal and Lasting Commonwealth May Be Suddenly Introduc’d, and Perfectly Founded, With the Free Consent and Actual Confirmation of the Whole People of England.
- The Humble Petition of Divers Well Affected Persons, Deliver’d the 6th Day of July, 1659, With the Parlament’s Answer Therto.
- Appendix, Containing All the Political Tracts of James Harrington, Esq; Omitted In Mr. Toland ’s Edition of His Works.
- Pian Piano: Or, Intercourse Between H. Ferne, D. D. And J. Harrington, Esq; Upon Occasion of the Doctor’s Censure of the Commonwealth of Oceana.
- Epistle to the Reader.
- Intercourse Between H. Ferne, D. D. And James Harrington, Esq; Upon Occasion of the Doctor’s Censure of the Commonwealth of Oceana.
- The Queries I Shall Interweave With the Doctor’s Answer Unto Each of Them, Returned Unto Me With This Preamble.
- The First Query. How Much, Or In What the Author of Oceana Is Mistaken, to Think the Commonwealth of the Hebrews Appliable to His Purpose.
- The Second Query.
- The Third Query.
- The Fourth Query.
- The Fifth Query.
- The Sixth Query.
- The Seventh Query.
- The Stumbling-block of Disobedience and Rebellion, Cunningly Imputed By P. H. Unto Calvin, Remov’d, In a Letter to the Said P. H. From J. H.
- A Letter Unto Mr. Stubs, In Answer to His Oceana Weighed, &c.
- Politicaster: Or, a Comical Discourse In Answer to Mr. Wren ’s Book, Intituled, Monarchy Asserted, Against Mr. Harrington’ S Oceana.
- Pour Enclouer Le Canon.
- A Discourse Upon This Saying: the Spirit of the Nation Is Not Yet to Be Trusted With Liberty; Lest It Introduce Monarchy, Or Invade the Liberty of Conscience.
- A Discourse Shewing, That the Spirit of Parliaments, With a Council In the Intervals, Is Not to Be Trusted For a Settlement; Lest It Introduce Monarchy, and Persecution For Conscience.
- A Parallel of the Spirit of the People With the Spirit of Mr. Rogers; and an Appeal Thereupon Unto the Reader, Whether the Spirit of the People, Or the Spirit of Men Like Mr. Rogers, Be the Fitter to Be Trusted With the Government.
- A Sufficient Answer to Mr. Stubb.
- A Proposition In Order to the Proposing of a Commonwealth Or Democracy.
- The Rota: Or, a Model of a Free State, Or Equal Commonwealth.
Whether a Commonwealth be rightly defin’d to be a Government of Laws and not of Men, and a Monarchy to be the Government of som Man, or a few Men, and not of Laws?
THAT part of the preliminarys which the prevaricator, as is usual with him, recites in this place falsly and fraudulently, is thus: relation had to these two times (that of antient and that of modern prudence) the one, as is computed by Janotti, ending with the liberty of Rome, the other beginning with the arms of Cæsar (which extinguishing liberty, became the translation of antient into modern prudence, introduc’d in the ruin of the Roman empire by the Goths and Vandals) GOVERNMENT (to define it de jure, or according to antient prudence) is an art wherby a civil society of men is instituted and preserv’d, upon the foundation of common right or interest; or (to followAristotleandLivy) it is an empire of laws, and not of men.
AND government, to define it de facto, or according to modern prudence, is an art wherby som man, or som few men, subject a city or a nation, and rule it according to his or their privat interest; which, because laws in such cases are made according to the interest of a man, or som few familys, may be said to be an empire of men, and not of laws.
Hereby it is plain, whether in an empire of laws, and not of men, as a commonwealth; or in an empire of men, and not of laws, as monarchy: first, That law must equally procede from will, that is, either from the will of the whole people, as in a commonwealth; from the will of one man, as in an absolute, or from the will of a few men, as in a regulated monarchy.
Secondly, That will, whether of one or more, or all, is not presum’d to be, much less to act without a mover.
Thirdly, That the mover of the will is interest.
Fourthly, That interests also being of one, or more, or of all; those of one man, or of a few men, where laws are made accordingly, being more privat than coms duly up to the law, the nature wherof lys not in partiality but in justice, may be call’d the empire of men, and not of laws: and that of the whole people coming up to the public interest (which is no other than common right and justice, excluding all partiality or privat interest) may be call’d the empire of laws, and not of men. By all which put together, wheras it is demonstrable that in this division of government I do not stay at the will, which must have som motive or mover, but go to the first and remotest notion of government, in the foundation and origination ofit, in which lys the credit of this division, and the definition of the several members,Chap. II. that is to say, of interest, whether privat or public; the prevaricator tells me, that this division of government having (he knows not how) lost its credit,Confid. p. 6.the definitions of the several members of it need not be consider’d further, than that they com not at all up to the first and remotest notion of government in the foundation and origination of it, in which lys all the difficulty; and being here neglected, there is little hope the subsequent discourse can have in it the light of probable satisfaction, much less the force of infallible demonstration.
Very good! interest it should seem then is not the first and remotest notion of government, but that which he will outthrow; and at this cast, by saying, that the declaration of the will of the soverain power is call’d law:Consid. p. 8.which if it outlives the person whose will it was, it is only because the persons who succede in power are presum’d to have the same will, unless they manifest the contrary, and that is the abrogation of the law; so that still the government is not in the law, but in the person whose will gave a being to that law. I might as well say, the declaration to all men by these presents that a man ows mony is call’d a bond; which if it outlives the person that enter’d into that bond, it is only because the persons that succede him in his estate, are presum’d to have the same will, unless they manifest the contrary, and that is, the abrogation or cancelling of the bond; so that still the debt is not in the bond, but in his will who gave a being to that bond. If it be alleg’d against this example, that it is a privat one, the case may be put between several princes, states or governments, or between several states of the same principality or government, whether it be a regulated monarchy or a commonwealth; for in the like obligation of the states (as of the king, the lords, and commons) or partys agreeing, authoritate patrum & jussu populi, till the partys that so agreed to the obligation, shall agree to repeal or cancel it, lys all law that is not merely in the will of one man, or of one state, or party, as the oligarchy. But not to dispute these things further in this place, let the government be what it will, for the prevaricator to fetch the origination of law no further than the will (while he knows very well that I fetch’d it from interest, the antecedent of will) and yet to boast that he has outthrown me, I say he is neither an honest man, nor a good bowler. No matter, he will be a better gunner; for where I said that the magistrat upon the bench is that to the law, which a gunner upon his platform is to his cannon, he gos about to take better aim, and says, If the proportion of things be accurately consider’d, it will appear that the laden cannon answers not to the laws, but to the power of the person whose will created those laws: which if som of them that the power of the person whose will created them, intended should be of as good stuff or carriage as the rest, do nevertheless according to the nature of their matter or of their charge, com short or over, and others break or recoil; sure this report of the prevaricator is not according to the bore of my gun, but according to the bore of such a gunner. Yet again, if he be not so good a gunner, he will be a better anatomist: for wheras I affirm, that to say, Aristotle and Cicero wrote not the rights or rules of their politics from the principles of nature, but transcrib’d them into their books out of the practice of their own commonwealths, is as if a man should say of famous Harvey, that he transcrib’d his circulation of the blood, not out of the principles of nature, but out of the anatomy of this or that body: he answers, that the whole force of this objection amounts but to this, that becauseHarveyin his circulation hasfollow’d the principles of nature, therfore Aristotle and Cicero have don so in their discourses of government.
Pretty! it is said in Scripture, Thy word is sweet as hony: amounts that but to this, because hony is sweet, therfore the word of God is sweet? to say that my lord protector has not conquer’d many nations, were as if one should say, Cæsar had not conquer’d many nations: amounts that but to this, because Cæsar conquer’d many nations, therfore my lord protector has conquer’d many nations? what I produce as a similitude, he calls an objection; where I say, as, he says, because: what ingenious man dos not detest such a cheat! a similitude is brought to shew how a thing is or may be, not to prove that it is so; it is us’d for illustration, not as an argument: the candle I held did not set up the post, but shew where the post was set, and yet this blind buzzard has run his head against it. Nor has he yet enough; if he be not the better naturalist, he will be the better divine, tho he should make the worse sermon. My doctrin and use upon that of Solomon,I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the ground, discovers the true means wherby the principles of power and authority, the goods of the mind and of fortune, may so meet and twine in the wreath or crown of empire, that the government standing upon earth like a holy altar, and breathing perpetual incense to heaven in justice and piety, may be somthing, as it were between heaven and earth; while that only which is propos’d by the best, and resolv’d by the most, becoms law, and so the whole government an empire of laws, and not of men.Consid. p. 7. This he says is a goodby sermon; it is honest, and sense. But let any man make sense or honesty of this doctrin, which is his own; To say that laws do or can govern, is to amuse ourselves with a form of speech, as when we say time, or age, or death, dos such a thing; to which indeed the phansy of poets, and superstition of women, may adapt a person, and give a power of action; but wise men know they are only expressions of such actions or qualifications as belong to things or persons.
Speak out; is it the word of God, or the knavery and nonsense of such preachers that ought to govern? are we to hearken to that of the Talmud, there is more in the word of a scribe, than in the words of the law; or that which Christ therupon says to the Pharisees, You have made the word of God of no effect by your traditions?Mat. 15. 6. say, is the commonwealth to be govern’d in the word of a priest or a Pharisee, or by the vote of the people, and the interest of mankind?