Front Page Titles (by Subject) 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 Oceana and Other Works
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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. - 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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THE THIRD BOOK, CONTAINING A MODEL OF POPULAR GOVERNMENT,
THERE is between the discourses of such as are commonly call’d natural philosophers, and those of anatomists, a large difference; the former are facil, the latter difficult. Philosophers, discoursing of elements for example, that the body of man consists of fire, air, earth and water, are easily both understood and credited, seeing by common experience we find the body of man returns to the earth from whence it was taken. A like entertainment may befal elements of government, as in the first of these books they are stated. But the fearful and wonderful making, the admirable structure and great variety of the parts of man’s body, in which the discourses of anatomists are altogether conversant, are understood by so few, that I may say they are not understood by any. Certain it is, that the delivery of a model of government (which either must be of no effect, or imbrace all those muscles, nerves, arterys and bones, which are necessary to any function of a well-order’d commonwealth) is no less than political anatomy. If you com short of this, your discourse is altogether ineffectual; if you com home, you are not understood: you may, perhaps, be call’d a learned author; but you are obscure, and your doctrin is impracticable. Had I only suffer’d in this, and not the people, I should long since have left them to their humor; but seeing it is they that suffer by it, and not my self, I will be yet more a fool, or they shall be yet wiser. Now coms into my head what I saw long since upon an Italian stage, while the spectators wanted hoops for their sides. A country fellow came with an apple in his hand; to which, in a strange variety of faces, his teeth were undoubtedly threaten’d, when enter’d a young anatomist brimful of his last lesson, who, stopping in good time the hand of this same country fellow, would by no means suffer him to go on with so great an enterprize, till he had first nam’d and describ’d to him all the bones, nerves, and muscles which are naturally necessary to that motion: at which, the good man being with admiration plainly chopfallen, coms me in a third, who, snatching away the apple, devour’d it in the presence of them both. If the people, in this case wherof I am speaking, were naturally so well furnish’d, I had here learn’d enough to have kept silence: but their eating, in the political way, of absolute necessity requires the aid of som political anatomist: without which, they may have appetits, but will be chopfallen. Examples wherof they have had but too many; one I think may be insisted upon without envy.
THIS is that which was call’d the agreement of the people, consisting in som of these propositions:
The anarchy of the levellers.That there be a representative of the nation consisting of four hundred persons, or not above.
WHICH proposition puts the bar on the quite contrary side; this being the first example of a commonwealth, wherin it was conceiv’d, that five hundred thousand men, or more, might be represented by four hundred. The representation of the people in one man, causes monarchy; and in a few, causes oligarchy: the many cannot be otherwise represented in a state of liberty, than by so many, and so qualify’d, as may within the compass of that number and nature imbrace the interest of the whole people. Government should be establish’d upon a rock, not set upon a precipice: a representative consisting but of four hundred, tho in the nature therof it be popular, is not in it self a weapon that is fix’d, but has somthing of the broken bow, as still apt to start aside to monarchy. But the paucity of the number is temper’d with the shortness of the term, it being farther provided,
That this representative be biennial, and sit not above eight months. But seeing a supreme council in a commonwealth is neither assembl’d nor dissolv’d, but by stated orders directing upwards an irresistible strength from the root, and as one tooth or one nail is driven out by another; how is it provided that this biennial council shall not be a perpetual council? Wheras nothing is more dangerous in a commonwealth than intire removes of council, how is it provided that these shall be men sufficiently experienc’d for the management of affairs? and last of all, wheras dissolution to soverain power is death, to whom are these after their eight months to bequeath the commonwealth? in this case it is provided,
That there be a council of state elected by each new representative, within twenty days after their first meeting, to continue till ten days after the meeting of the next representative. In which the faults observ’d in the former order, are so muchworse, as this council consists of fewer.Book III.Thus far this commonwealth is oligarchy: but it is provided,
That these representatives have soverain power, save that in som things the people may resist them by arms. Which first is a flat contradiction, and next is downright anarchy. Where the soverain power is not as entire and absolute as in monarchy it self, there can be no government at all. It is not the limitation of soverain power that is the cause of a commonwealth, but such a libration or poize of orders, that there can be in the same no number of men having the interest, that can have the power; nor any number of men having the power, that can have the interest, to invade or disturb the government. As the orders of commonwealths are more approaching to, or remote from this maxim (of which this of the levellers has nothing) so are they more quiet or turbulent. In the religious part only, proposing a national religion and liberty of conscience, tho without troubling themselves much with the means, they are right in the end.
AND for the military part, they provide,
That no man (even in case of invasion) be compellable to go out of the country where he lives, if he procures another to serve in his room. Which plainly intails upon this commonwealth a fit guard for such a liberty, even a mercenary army; for what one dos of this kind, may and will (where there is no bar) be don by all: so every citizen by mony procuring his man, procures his master. Now if this be work of that kind which the people in like cases (as those also of Rome, when they instituted their tribuns) do usually make, then have I good reason not only to think, but to speak it audibly, That to sooth up the people with an opinion of their own sufficiency in these things, is not to befriend them, but to feed up all hopes of liberty to the slaughter. Yet the Leveller, a late* pamphlet, having gather’d out of Oceana the principles by him otherwise well insinuated, attributes it to the agitators, or that assembly which fram’d this wooden agreement of the people: That then som of that council asserted these principles, and the reason of them.
BUT railery apart, we are not to think it has bin for nothing that the wisest nations have in the formation of government as much rely’d upon the invention of som one man, as upon themselves: for wheras it cannot be too often inculcated, that reason consists of two parts, the one invention, the other judgment; a people or an assembly are not more eminent in point of judgment, than they are void of invention. Nor is there in this any thing at all against the sufficiency of a people in the management of a proper form, being once introduc’d, tho they should never com to a perfect understanding of it. For were the natural bodys of the people such as they might commonly understand, they would be (as I may say) wooden bodys, or such as they could not use; wheras their bodys being now such as they understand not, are yet such as in the use and preservation whereof they are perfect.
THERE are in models of government things of so easy practice, and yet of such difficult understanding, that we must not think them even in Venice, who use their commonwealth with the greatest prudence and facility, to be all, or any considerable number of them, such as perfectly understand the true reason or anatomy of that government: nor is this a presumtuous assertion, since none of those Venetians, who have hitherto written of their own form, have brought the truth of it to any perfect light. The like perhaps (and yet with due acknowledgment to Livy) might be said of the Romans. The Lacedemonians had not the right understanding of their model, till about the time of Aristotle it was first written by Dicearchus, one of his scholars. How egregiously our ancestors (till those foundations were broken which at length have brought us round) did administer the English government, is sufficiently known. Yet by one of the wisest of our writers (even my lord Verulam) is Henry the Seventh parallel’d with the legislators of antient and heroic times, for the institution of those very laws which have now brought the monarchy to utter ruin. The commonwealths upon which Machiavel in his discourses is incomparable, are not by him, any one of them, sufficiently explain’d or understood. Much less is it to be expected from a people, that they should overcom the like difficultys, by reason wherof the wisest nations (finding themselves under the necessity of a change or of a new government) induc’d by such offers as promis’d fair, or against which they could find no exceptions, have usually acted as men do by new clothes; that is, put them on, that, if they be not exactly fit at first, they may either fit themselves to the body in wearing, or therby more plainly shew wherin they can be mended even by such as would otherwise prove but bad workmen. Nor has any such offer bin thought to have more presumption, much less treason in it, than if one conscious of his skill in architecture should offer himself to the prince or state to build a more convenient parlament house. England is now in such a condition, that he who may be truly said to give her law, shall never govern her; and he who will govern her, shall never give her law. Yet som will have it, that to assert popular power, is to sow the seed of civil war, and object against a commonwealth, as not to be introduc’d but by arms; which by the undeniable testimony of latter experience, is of all other objections the most extravagant: for if the good old cause, against the desire even of the army, and of all men well affected to their country, could be trod under foot without blood, what more certain demonstration can there be, that (let the deliberations upon, or changes of government, be of what kind soever which shall please a parlament) there is no appearance that they can occasion any civil war? Streams that are stop’d may urge their banks; but the course of England, into a commonwealth, is both certain and natural. The ways of nature require peace: the ways of peace require obedience to the laws: laws in England cannot be made but by parlaments: parlaments in England are com to be mere popular assemblys: the laws made by popular assemblys (tho for a time they may be aw’d, or deceiv’d, in the end) must be popular laws; and the sum of popular laws must amount to a commonwealth. The whole doubt or hazard of this consequence remains upon one question, Whether a single council consisting but of four hundred, indu’d both with debate and result; the keys of whose doors are in the hands of ambitious men; in the croud and confusion of whose election the people are as careless as tumultuous, and easy, thro the want of good orders, to be deluded; while the clergy (declar’d and inveterat enemys of popular power) are laying about, and sweating in the throng, as if it were in the vineyard; upon whose benches lawyers (being feather’d and arm’d, like sharp and sudden arrows, with a privat interest pointblank against the public) may and frequently do swarm, can indeed be call’d a popular council? This, I confess, may set the whole state of liberty upon the cast of a dy; yet questionless it is more than odds on the behalf of a commonwealth, when a government labors in frequent or long struggles, not thro any certain biass of genius or nature that can be in such a council, but thro the impotence of such conclusions as may go awry, and the external force or state of property now fully introduc’d: whence such a council may wander, but never find any rest or settlement, except only in that natural and proper form of government which is to be erected upon a mere popular foundation. All other ways of proceding must be void, as inevitably guilty of contradiction in the superstructures to the foundation; which have amounted, and may amount to the discouragement of honest men, but with no other success than to imbroil or retard business: England being not capable of any other permanent form than that only of a commonwealth; tho her supreme council be so constituted, that it may be monarchically inclin’d. This contradiction in the frame is the frequent occasion of contradictory expostulations and questions. How, say they, should we have a commonwealth? Which way is it possible that it should com in? And how, say I, can we fail of a commonwealth? What possibility is there we should miss of it?
IF a man replys, he answers thus: No army ever set up a commonwealth. To the contrary, I instance the army of Israel under Moses; that of Athens about the time of Alcibiades; that of Rome upon the expulsion of the Tarquins; those of Switzerland and Holland. But, say they, other armies have not set up commonwealths. True indeed, divers other armys have not set up commonwealths; yet is not that any argument why our armys should not. For in all armys that have not set up commonwealths, either the officers have had no fortunes or estates at all, but immediatly dependent upon the mere will of the prince, as the Turkish armys, and all those of the eastern countrys; or the officers have bin a nobility commanding their own tenants. Certain it is, that either of these armys can set up nothing but monarchy. But our officers hold not estates of noblemen able upon their own lands to levy regiments, in which case they would take home their people to plow, or make hay; nor are they yet so put to it for their livelihood, as to depend wholly upon a prince, in which case they would fall on robbing the people; but have good honest popular estates to them and their heirs for ever. Now an army, where the estates of the officers were of this kind, in no reason can, in no experience ever did set up monarchy. Ay but, say they, for all that, their pay to them is more considerable than their estates. But so much more must they be for a commonwealth, because the parlament must pay: and they have found by experience, that the pay of a parlament is far better than that of a prince. But the four hundred being monarchically inclin’d, or running upon the interest of those irreconcilable enemys of popular power, divines and lawyers, will rather pay an army for commanding, or for supporting of a prince, than for obeying. Which may be true, as was acknowledg’d before, in the way: but in the end, or at the long run, for the reasons mention’d, must be of no effect.
THESE arguments are from the cause; now for an argument to sense, and from the effect: If cur armys would raise mony of themselves, or, which is all one, would make a king, why have they not made a king in so many years? Why did they not make one yesterday? Why do they not to-day? Nay, why have they ever bin, why do they still continue to be of all others in this point the most averse and refractory?
BUT if the case be so with us, that nature runs wholly to a commonwealth, and we have no such force as can withstand nature, why may we not as well have golden dreams of what this commonwealth may be, as of the Indys, of Flanders, or of the Sound? The frame of a commonwealth may be dreamt on, or propos’d two ways; the one in theory, or notionally, in which it is of easy understanding, but of difficult practice: the other practically, in which it is of difficult understanding, but of facil use. One of these ways is a shooinghorn and the other the shoo; for which cause I shall propose both, as first notionally, thus:
The Model propos’d notionally.1. That the native territory of the commonwealth be divided, so equally as with any convenience it may, into fifty tribes or precincts.
2. That the people in each tribe be distinguish’d, first by their age, and next by the valuation of their estates: all such as are above eighteen, and under thirty, being accounted youth; and all such as are thirty or upwards, being accounted elders. All such as have under one hundred pounds a year in lands, goods, or mony, being accounted of the foot; and all such as have so much or upwards, being accounted of the horse.
3. That each tribe elect annually out of the horse of their number two elders to be knights; three elders out of the same, and four elders more out of the foot of their number, to be deputys or burgesses. That the term of each knight and burgess, or deputy so elected, be triennial; and that whoever has serv’d his triennial term in any one of these capacitys, may not be reelected into any one of the same, till a triennial vacation be expir’d.
4. That in the first year of the commonwealth there be a senat so constituted, of three hundred knights, that the term of one hundred may expire actually; and that the hundred knights, annually elected by two in each tribe, take in the senat the places of them whose term coms to be thus annually expir’d.
5. That in the first year of the commonwealth there be a representative of the people, consisting of one thousand and fifty deputys; four hundred and fifty of them being horse, and the rest foot. That this representative be so constituted, that the term of two hundred of the foot, and of one hundred and fifty of the horse, expire annually; and that the two hundred foot, and one hundred and fifty horse elected annually, by four of the foot, and three of the horse in each tribe, take the places in this representative of them whose terms com thus annually to be expir’d.
6. That the senat have the whole authority of debate; that the representative have the whole power of result, in such a manner, that whatever (having bin debated by the senat) shall by their authority be promulgated, that is, printed and publish’d, for the space of six weeks; and afterwards (being propos’d by them to the representative) shall be resolv’d by the people of the same in the affirmative, by the law of the land.
THUS much may suffice to give implicitly a notional account of the whole frame. But a model of government is nothing as to use, unless it be also deliver’d practicably; and the giving of a model practicably, is so much the more difficult, that men, not vers’d in this way, say of it (as they would of the anatomy of their own bodys) that it is impracticable. Here lys the whole difficulty: such things as, trying them never so often, they cannot make hang together, they will yet have to be practicable; and if you would bring them from this kind of shifts, or of tying and untying all sorts of knots, to the natural nerves and ligaments of government, then with them it is impracticable. But to render that which is practicable, facil; or to do my last indeavor of this kind, of which if I miss this once more, I must hereafter despair: I shall do two things; first, omit the ballot, and then make som alteration in my former method.
THEY who have interwoven the ballot with the description of a commonwealth, have therby render’d the same by far the more complete in it self; but in the understanding of their readers, as much defective: wherfore presuming the use of the ballot throout the orders of this model, I shall refer it to practice; in which it will be a matter of as much facility, as it would have bin of difficulty in writing. And for the method I have chosen, it is the most natural and intelligible, being no more than to propose the whole practicably: first, in the civil; secondly, in the religious; then in the military; and last of all in the provincial part of the model.
Containing the Civil Part of the Model, propos’d practicably.
SEEING it has bin sufficiently prov’d, that empire follows the nature of property; that the particular kind of empire or government depends upon the special distribution (except in small countrys) of land; and that where the balance in property has not bin fix’d, the nature of the government (be it what you will) has bin floting: it is very reasonable that, in the proposition of a commonwealth, we begin with a fixation of the balance in property; and this being not otherwise to be don than by som such laws as have bin commonly call’d agrarian, it is propos’d,
1. Agrarian laws.THAT every one holding above two thousand pounds a year in land, lying within the proper territory of the commonwealth, leave the said land equally divided among his sons; or else so near equally, that there remain to the eldest of them not above two thousand pounds a year in land so lying. That this proposition be so understood, as not to concern any parent having no more than one son, but the next heir only that shall have more sons; in such sort, as nothing be hereby taken from any man, or from his posterity, but that fatherly affection be at all points extended as formerly, except only that it be with more piety, and less partiality. And that the same proposition, in such familys where there are no sons, concern the daughter or daughters in the like manner.
THAT no daughter, being neither heir nor coheir, have above fifteen hundred pounds in portion, or for her preserment in marriage. That any daughter, being an orphan, and having seven hundred pounds or upwards in portion, may charge the state with it. That the state being so charg’d, be bound to manage the portion of such an orphan for the best, either by due payment of the interest of the same; or, if it be desir’d, by way of annuity for life, at the rate of one hundred pounds a year, for every seven hundred pounds so receiv’d. The manner wherof being elsewhere shewn, is not needful to be repeated.
That these propositions prevent the growing of a monarchical nobility, is their peculiar end: wherfore that this should hold the weight of an objection in a popular balance, already introduc’d thro the failure of a monarchical nobility, or thro a level made not by the people, but by the kings or themselves, were preposterous. Yet upon this score (for I see no other) is there such animosity against the like laws, that wise men have judg’d it an indiscretion, in such as are affected to popular government, not to temporize in this point; at least, till a commonwealth were first introduc’d. To which judgment I am by no means inclining: first, Because the whole stream of this kind of government is so clear and pellucid, as to abhor having any thing in the bottom which may not appear at the very top. Secondly, Because an agrarian, not brought in with the introduction of a commonwealth, was never yet known to be brought in after the introduction of a commonwealth. And thirdly, Because the change of balances in states, thro the want of fixation, has bin so sudden, that between the reign of Henry the Seventh, and that of Queen Elizabeth, being under fifty years, the English balance of monarchical became popular; and that of Rome, between the lives of Scipio and of Tiberius Gracchus, being also under fifty years, of popular became monarchical. Nevertheless, if there remains any cure of animosity that may be safe, it must be prudent:Chap. I. and such a cure (if we be not so abandon’d to mere fancy, as to sacrifice all prudence to it) there may be in the addition of this clause;
Additional clause to the agrarian.THAT no agrarian law hereby given to this commonwealth, or to be hereafter given to the same, or to any province of the same, be understood to be otherwise binding, than to the generation to com, or to the children to be born seven years after the enacting of the law.
Upon the addition of this clause, it may be safely said of these agrarian laws, that they concern not any man living: and for posterity, it is well known, that to enact a law, is no more in their regard, than to commend a thing to their choice; seeing they, if so pleas’d, can no more be devested of the power to repeal any law enacted by their ancestors, than we are of repealing such laws as have bin enacted by ours.
To this it may be objected, that agrarian laws, being once enacted, must have brought estates to the standard of the same, before posterity can com into a capacity to judg of them. But this is the only means wherby posterity can com to a true capacity to judg of them: first, because they will have had experience of the laws wherof they are to judg: and secondly, because they will be void of all such imaginary interests as might corrupt their judgment, and do now certainly corrupt ours.
The first parallel.The balance of the commonwealth of Israel, thro the distribution of lands at the introduction of the same, became popular; and becoming popular, was fix’d by the law for the jubile.Deut. 25. 28.That which was sold, shall remain in the hands of them that bought it till the year of jubile; and in the jubile it shall go out, and he shall return to his possession. The ways in Israel, and in the commonwealth propos’d, where the popular balance is not made but found, are divers; but the agrarian laws in each, as to the end, which is the preservation of the balance, are of a like effect.
To rise thus from true foundations to proper superstructures, the first step from the balance thus fix’d into the orders of a commonwealth, is not otherwise to be taken than by certain distributions or divisions of the people, wherof som are to be personal, and som local.
Freemen and servants.The first personal division of a people, is into freemen and servants. Freemen are such as have wherwithal to live of themselves; and servants, such as have not. This division therfore is not constitutive, but naturally inherent in the balance; nor, seeing all government is in the direction of the balance, is it possible for the superstructures of any to make more freemen than are such by the nature of the balance, or by their being able to live of themselves.
The second parallel.All that could in this matter be don, even by Moses himself, is contain’d in this proviso: if thy brother that dwells by thee be grown poor, and be sold to thee, thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bond-servant:Levit. 25. 29. but as a hir’d servant, and a sojourner he shall be with thee, and shall serve thee to the year of jubile. And then shall he depart from thee, both he and his children with him, and shall return to his own family, and to the possession of his fathers shall he return.
The nature of riches consider’d, this division into freemen and servants is not properly constitutive, but as it were natural. To com to such divisions as are both personal and constitutive, it is propos’d,
3. Horse and foot.THAT all citizens, that is, freemen, or such as are not servants, be distributed into horse and foot. That such of them as have one hundred pounds a year in lands, goods or mony, or above that proportion, be of the horse; and all such as have under that proportion, be of the foot.
4. Elders and youth.THAT all elders or freemen, being thirty years of age or upwards, be capable of civil administration: and that the youth, or such freemen, as are between eighteen years of age and thirty, be not capable of civil administration, but of military only; in such a manner as shall follow in the military part of this model.
Now, besides personal divisions, it is necessary in order to the framing of a commonwealth, that there be som such as are local. For these therfore it is propos’d,
5. Precinct of the parish.THAT the whole native, or proper territory of the commonwealth, be cast, with as must exactness as can be convenient, into known and fix’d precincts or parishes.
6. Parochial congregations and deputys.THAT the elders, resident in each parish, annually assemble in the same; as for example, upon Monday next insuing the last of December. That they then and there elect out of their own number every fifth man, or one man out of every five, to be for the term of the year insuing, a deputy of that parish; and that the first and second so elected be overseers, or presidents, for regulating of all parochial congregations, whether of the elders or of the youth, during the term for which they were elected.
7. Precinct of the hundred.THAT so many parishes lying nearest together, whose deputys shall amount to one hundred or thereabout, be cast into one precinct call’d the hundred. And that in each precinct call’d the hundred, there be a town, village, or place appointed to be the capital of the same.
8. Assembly or muster of the hundred.THAT the parochial deputys elected throout the hundred, assemble annually; for example, upon Monday next insuing the last of January, at the capital of their hundred. That they then and there elect out of the horse of their number one justice of the peace, one juryman, one captain, one insign: and out of the foot of their number, one other juryman, one high constable, &c.
Tho our justices of the peace have not bin annual, yet that they may so be is apparent, because the high sherifs, whose office is of greater difficulty, have always bin annual: seeing therfore they may be annual, that so they ought in this administration to be, will appear, where they com to be constitutive of such courts as, should they consist of a standing magistracy, would be against the nature of a commonwealth. But the precincts hitherto being thus stated, it is propos’d,
9. Precinct of the tribe.THAT every twenty hundreds, lying nearest and most conveniently together, be cast into one tribe. That the whole territory being after this manner cast into tribes, som town, village, or place be appointed to every tribe for the capital of the same. And that these three precincts, that is, the parish, the hundred, and the tribe (whether the deputys, thenceforth annually chosen in the parishes or hundreds, com to increase or diminish) remain firm and inalterable for ever, save only by act of parlament.
These divisions, or the like, both personal and local, are that in a well-order’d commonwealth, which stairs are in a good house; not that stairs in themselves are desirable, but that without them there is no getting into the chambers. The whole matter of cost and pains, necessary to the introduction of a like model, lys only in the first architecture, or building of these stairs; that is, in stating of these three precincts: which don, they lead you naturally and necessarily into all the rooms of this fabric. For the just number of tribes into which a territory thus cast may fall, it is not very easy to be guest: yet, because for the carrying on of discourse it is requisit to pitch upon som certainty, I shall presume that the number of the tribes, thus stated, amounts to fifty; and that the number of the parochial deputys annually elected in each tribe, amounts to two thousand. Be the deputys more or fewer by the alterations which may happen in progress of time, it disorders nothing. Now to ascend by these stairs into the upper rooms of this building, it is propos’d,
10. Assembly or muster of the tribe.THAT the deputys elected in the several parishes, together with their magistrats and other officers both civil and military, elected in their several hundreds, assemble or muster annually; for example, upon Monday next insuing the last of February at the capital of their tribe.
How the troops and companys of the deputys, with their military officers or commanders thus assembl’d, may, without expence of time, be straight distributed into one uniform and orderly body, has bin elsewhere* shewn, and is not needful to be repeated. For their work, which at this meeting will require two days, it is propos’d,
11. Magistrats of the tribe.THAT the whole body thus assembl’d, upon the first day of the assembly, elect out of the horse of their number one high sherif, one lieutenant of the tribe, one custos rotulorum, one conductor, and two censors. That the high sherif be commander in chief, the lieutenant commander in the second place, and the conductor in the third, of this band or squadron. That the custos rotulorum be mustermaster, and keep the rolls. That the censors be governors of the ballot. And that the term of these magistracys be annual.
These being thus elected, it is propos’d,
12. The prerogative troop.THAT the magistrats of the tribe, that is to say, the high sherif, lieutenant, custos rotulorum, the censors, and the conductor, together with the magistrats and officers of the hundreds, that is to say, the twenty justices of the peace, the forty jurymen, the twenty high constables, be one troop, or one troop and one company apart, call’d the prerogative troop or company. That this troop bring in and assist the justices of assize, hold the quarter sessions in their several capacitys, and perform their other functions as formerly.
By this means the commonwealth at its introduction may imbrace the law as it stands, that is, unreform’d; which is the greatest advantage of such reformations: for to reform laws before the introduction of the government, which is to shew to what the laws in reformation are to be brought or fitted, is impossible. But these magistrats of the hundreds and tribes being such wherby the parlament is to govern the nation, this is a regard in which they ought to be further capable of such orders and instructions as shall therto be requisit: for which cause it is propos’d,
13. The phylarch.THAT the magistrats of the tribe, that is to say, the high sherif, lieutenant, custos rotulorum, the censors, and the conductor, together with the twenty justices elected at the hundreds, be a court for the government of the tribe call’d the phylarch; and that this court procede in all matters of government, as shall from time to time be directed by act of parlament.
By these courts the commonwealth will be furnish’d with true channels, wherby at leisure to turn the law into that which is sufficiently known to have bin its primitive course, and to a perfect reformation by degrees, without violence. For as the corruption of our law procedes from an art inabled to improve its privat interest; or from the law upon the bench, and the jury at the bar: so the reformation of our law must com from disabling it as an art to improve its privat interest; or to a jury upon the bench, and the law at the bar, as in Venice.
The third parallel.JUDGES and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates which the Lord thy God gives thee throout thy tribes, and they shall judg the people with just judgment.Deut. 16. 18. These courts, whose sessionhouse was in the gates of every city,Book 2. were shewn each of them to have consisted of twenty-three elders, which were as a jury upon the bench, giving sentence by plurality of votes, and under a kind of appeal to the seventy elders or senat of Israel, as was also shewn in the second book.
This, or the like, by all example, and beyond any controversy, has bin, and is the natural way of judicature in commonwealths. The phylarchs, with a court or two of appeals eligible out of the senat and the people, are at any time with ease and very small alteration to be cast upon a triennial rotation: which, in all things besides proceding after the manner of the Venetian quarrancys, will be in this case perfect orders.
To return: the first day’s election at the tribe being as has bin shewn, it is propos’d,
14. Knights and burgesses.THAT the squadron of the tribe, on the second day of their assembly, elect two knights and three burgesses out of the horse of their number, and four other burgesses out of the foot of their number. That each knight upon election forthwith make oath of allegiance to the commonwealth; or refusing this oath, that the next competitor in election to the same magistracy, making the said oath, be the magistrat; the like for the burgesses. That the knights, thus sworn, have session in the senat for the term of three years; and that the burgesses thus sworn be of the prerogative tribe, or representative of the people for the like term.
Now wheras this proposition is sufficient for the perpetuation of the senat and the assembly of the people, being once instituted, but not sufficient for the full and perfect institution of them, it necessitats the addition in this place, not of a permanent order, but of an expedient for the first year’s election only; which may be this:
Expedient for the first year’s election.“THAT for the full and perfect institution of the assemblys mention’d, the squadron of the tribe in the first year of the commonwealth elect two knights for the term of one year, two other knights for the term of two years, and lastly, two knights more for the term of three years: the like for the burgesses of the horse first, and then for those of the foot.”
By this expedient the senat in fifty tribes is constituted of three hundred knights or senators, wherof one hundred, by the expiration of their terms, com annually to fall; and another hundred at the same time to enter. The like for the prerogative tribe or assembly of the people, which, consisting of the whole of one thousand and fifty, suffers the like alteration in one third part, or in the yearly exchange of one hundred and fifty burgesses: by which means the motion or rotation of these assemblys is annual, triennial, and perpetual. For the full dispatch of the foregoing elections there remains but one proposition more, which is this:
15. Proviso.THAT a magistrat or officer elected at the hundred be therby excluded from being elected a magistrat of the tribe, or of the first day’s election: that no former election whatsoever exclude a man from the second day’s election at the tribe, or to be chosen a knight or burgess. That a man being chosen a knight or burgess, who before was chosen a magistrat or officer of the hundred or tribe, delegat his former office, or magistracy in the hundred or the tribe, to any other deputy being no magistrat nor officer, and being of the same hundred and of the same order, that is, of the horse or foot respectively. That the whole and every part of the foregoing orders for election in the parishes, the hundreds, and the tribes, be holding and inviolable upon such penaltys in case of failure, as shall hereafter be provided by act of parlament against any parish, hundred, tribe, deputy or person so offending.
Without som such provision as is contain’d in the former part of this provision, men would be inconveniently excluded from preferment, or the tribe obliged to return to the ballot; and so to spend more time for trifles than is requir’d by their real business.
The fourth parallel.The representative of Israel collected monthly by the two thousand out of each tribe (if we consider what method must have bin us’d in such elections) intimats, first,2 Chron. 27. that there were subdivisions to that end in each tribe, perhaps of the nature of our hundreds and parishes: secondly, that there were qualifications in those elections as to the patriarchs or chief fathers, and as to the people with their captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds; which is enough thus far to approve and recommend the foregoing propositions.
The senat, and the congregation or representative of the people, are in every commonwealth the main orders. The stairs or degrees of ascent to these being now mounted, it remains that I lead you into the rooms of state, or the assemblys themselves: which shall be perform’d, first, by shewing their frame, and next by by shewing their uses or functions. To bring you first into the senat, it is propos’d,
16. Frame of the senat.THAT the knights of the annual election in the tribes take their places on Monday next insuing the last of March in the senat. That the like number of knights, whose session determins at the same time, recede. That every knight or senator be paid out of the public revenue quarterly, one hundred twenty-five pounds during his term of session, and be oblig’d to sit in purple robes.
17. Senatorian magistrats.THAT annually, upon the reception of the new knights, the senat procede to the election of new magistrats and counsillors. That for magistrats they elect one general, one speaker, and two censors, each for the term of one year; these promiscuously: and that they elect one commissioner of the great seal, and one commissioner of the treasury, each for the term of three years, and out of the new knights only.
This proposition supposes the commissioners of the seal and those of the treasury to consist each of three, wheel’d by the annual election of one into each order, upon a triennial rotation. For farther explanation of the senatorian magistracys, it is propos’d,
18. The general sitting, and the speaker.THAT the general and speaker, as CONSULS of the commonwealth, and presidents of the senat, be, during the term of their magistracy, paid quarterly five hundred pounds: that the insigns of these magistracys be a sword born before the general, and a mace before the speaker: that they be oblig’d to wear ducal robes; and that what is said of the general in this proposition, be understood only of the general sitting, and not of the general marching.
19. The general marching.THAT the general sitting, in case he be commanded to march, receive field pay; and that a new general be forthwith elected by the senat to succede him in the house, with all the rights, insigns, and emoluments of the general sitting: and this so often as one or more generals are marching.
20. Commissioners of the seal and of the treasury.THAT the three commissioners of the great seal, and the three commissioners of the treasury, using their insigns and habit, and performing their other functions as formerly, be paid quarterly to each of them three hundred seventy-five pounds.
21. The censorsTHAT the censors be each of them chancellor of one university by virtue of their election: that they govern the ballot; that they be presidents of the council for religion; that each have a silver wand for the insign of his magistracy; that each be paid quarterly three hundred seventy-five pounds, and be oblig’d to wear scarlet robes.
THAT the general sitting, the speaker, and the six commissioners abovesaid, be the signory of this commonwealth.
22. The signory.This for the senatorian magistrats. For senatorian councils it is propos’d,
23. Council of state.THAT there be a council of state consisting of fifteen knights, five out of each order or election; and that the same be perpetuated by the annual election of five out of the new knights, or last elected into the senat.
24. Councils of religion, of trade.THAT there be a council for religion consisting of twelve knights, four out of each order, and perpetuated by the annual election of four out of the knights, last elected into the senat. That there be a council for trade, consisting of a like number, elected and perpetuated in the same manner.
25. Council of war.THAT there be a council of war, not elected by the senat, but elected by the council of state out of themselves. That this council of war consist of nine knights, three out of each order, and be perpetuated by the annual election of three out of the last knights, elected into the council of state.
26. The dictator.THAT in case the senat adds nine knights more out of their own number to the council of war, the said council be understood by this addition to be DICTATOR of the commonwealth for the term of three months, and no longer, except by farther order of the senat the said dictatorian power be prolong’d for a like term.
27. The proposers general.THAT the signory have session and suffrage, with right also jointly or severally to propose, both in the senat and in all senatorian councils.
28. Provosts, or particular proposers.THAT each of the three orders, or divisions of knights in each senatorian council, elect one provost for the term of one week; and that any two provosts of the same council so elected may propose to their respective council, and not otherwise.
29. Academy.THAT som fair room or rooms well furnish’d and attended, be allow’d at the states charge for a free and open academy to all comers at som convenient hour or hours towards the evening. That this academy be govern’d according to the rules of good breeding, or civil conversation, by som or all of the proposers; and that in the same it be lawful for any man by word of mouth or by writing, in jest or in earnest, to propose to the proposers.
From the frame or structure of these councils, I should pass to their functions; but that besides annual elections, there will be som biennial, and others emergent: in which regard it is propos’d, first, for biennial elections,
30. Embassadors in ordinary.THAT for embassadors in ordinary, there be four residences; as France, Spain, Venice, and Constantinople: that every resident, upon the election of a new embassador in ordinary, remove to the next residence in the order nominated, till having serv’d in them all, he returns home. That upon Monday next insuing the last of November, there be every second year elected by the senat som fit person, being under thirty-five years of age, and not of the senat or popular assembly: that the party so elected, repair upon Monday next insuing the last of March following, as embassador in ordinary to the court of France, and there reside for the term of two years, to be computed from the first of April next insuing his election. That every embassador in ordinary be allow’d three thousand pounds a year during the term of his residences; and that if a resident coms to dy, there be an extraordinary election into his residence for his term, and for the remainder of his removes and progress.
31. Emergent elections.THAT all emergent elections be made by scrutiny, that is, by a council, or by commissioners proposing, and by the senat resolving in the manner following: that all field-officers be propos’d by the council of war; that all embassadors extraordinary be propos’d by the council of state; that all judges and serjeants at law be propos’d by the commissioners of the great seal; that all barons and officers of trust in the exchequer, be propos’d by the commissioners of the treasury: and that such as are thus propos’d, and approv’d by the senat, be held lawfully elected.
These elections being thus dispatch’d, I com to the functions of the senat, and first, to those of the senatorian councils: for which it is propos’d,
32. Function of the senatorian councils.THAT the cognizance of all matters of state to be consider’d, or law to be enacted, whether it be provincial or national, domestic or foren, pertain to the council of state. That such affairs of either kind, as they shall judg to require more secrecy, be remitted by this council, and belong to the council of war, being for that end a select part of the same. That the cognizance and protection both of the national religion, and of the liberty of conscience equally establish’d in this nation, after the manner to be shewn in the religious part of this model, pertain to the council for religion. That all matters of traffic, and the regulation of the same, belong to the council of trade. That in the exercise of these feveral functions, which naturally are senatorian or authoritative only, no council assume any other power than such only as shall be settl’d upon the same by act of parlament.
33. Function of the senat.THAT what shall be propos’d to the senat by any one or more of the signory or proposers general; or whatever was propos’d by any two of the provosts or particular proposers to their respective council, and upon debate at that council shall com to be propos’d by the same to the senat, be necessarily debatable and debated by the senat. That in all cases wherin power is committed to the senat by a law made, or by act of parlament, the result of the senat be ultimat: that in all cases of law to be made, or not already provided for by an act of parlament, as war and peace, levy of men or mony, or the like, the result of the senat be not ultimat. That whatsoever is resolv’d by the senat, upon a case wherin their result is not ultimat, be propos’d by the senat to the prerogative tribe or representative of the people; except only in cases of such speed or secresy, wherin the senat shall judg the necessary slowness or openness in this way of proceding to be of detriment or danger to the commonwealth.
34. Function of the dictator.THAT if upon the motion or proposition of a council or proposer general, the senat adds nine knights promiscuously chosen out of their own number, to the council of war; the same council, as therby made dictator, have power of life and death, as also to enact laws in all such cases of speed or secresy, for and during the term of three months and no longer, except upon a new order from the senat. And that all laws enacted by the dictator be good and valid for the term of one year, and no longer; except the same be propos’d by the senat, and resolv’d by the people.
This dictatorian council (as may already appear) consists fundamentally of the signory, with nine knights elected by the council of state, additionally of nine knights more emergently chosen by the senat, and of the four tribuns of course; as will appear when I com to speak of that magistracy. Now if dictatorian power be indeed formidable, yet this in the first place is remarkable, that the council here offer’d for a dictator is of a much safer constitution, than what among us hitherto has bin offer’d for a commonwealth; namely, a parlament and a council in the interim. For here is no interim, but all the councils of the commonwealth not only remaining, but remaining in the exercise of all their functions, without the abatement of any; speed and secrecy belonging not to any of them, but to that only of the dictator. And if this dictatorian council has more in it of a commonwealth than has hitherto among us bin either practis’d or offer’d, by what argument can it be pretended that a commonwealth is so imperfect thro the necessity of such an order, that it must needs borrow of monarchy; seeing every monarchy that has any senat, assembly, or council in it, therby most apparently borrows more of a commonwealth, than there is to be found of monarchy in this council?
The fifth parallel.To dismiss this whole senat with one parallel: The institution of the seventy elders in Israel (as was shewn in the second book) for their number related to an accident, and a custom therupon antiently introduc’d. The accident was, that the sons of Jacob who went into Egypt were so many; these, first governing their familys by natural right, came, as those familys increas’d, to be for their number retain’d and continu’d in the nature of a senatorian council, while the people were yet in Egyptian bondage. So we, having had no like custom, have as to the number no like inducement. Again, the territory of Canaan amounted not to a fourth of our country; and in government we are to fit our selves to our own proportions. Nor can a senat, consisting of few senators, be capable of so many distributions as a senat consisting of more.2 Chr. 19. 11. Yet we find in the restitution of the sanhedrim by Jehoshaphat, that there was Amariahchief in all matters of the Lord, that is, in judgment upon the laws, which, having bin propos’d by God, were more peculiarly his matters; and Zebadiahchief in all the king’s matters, that is, in political debates concerning government, or war and peace.Judg. 11. 5, 11. Lastly, When the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the people of Israel madeJephthanot only captain, but head over them. So the judg of Israel, being no standing magistrat, but elected upon emergencys, supplys the parallel as to dictatorian power in a commonwealth.
Debate is the natural parent of result; whence the senat throout the Latin authors is call’d fathers, and in Greec authors the compellation of a popular assembly is men; as men of Athens, men of Corinth, men of Lacedemon:Acts 7. 2. & 22. 1. nor is this custom heathen only, seeing these compellations are us’d to the senat and the people of the Jews, not only by Stephen,Luke throout is perfectly well skill’d in the customs of commonwealths. but also by Paul, where they begin their speeches in this manner: Men, brethren, and fathers. To com then from the fathers to the people, the popular assembly, or prerogative tribe; it is propos’d,
THAT the burgesses of the annual election return’d by the tribes, enter into the prerogative tribe upon Monday next insuing the last of March; and that the like number of burgesses, whose term is expir’d, recede at the same time.35. Fabric of the prerogative tribe. That the burgesses thus enter’d elect to themselves out of their own number, two of the horse; one to be captain, and the other to be cornet of the same: and two of the foot; one to be captain, the other to be insign of the same, each for the term of three years. That these officers being thus elected, the whole tribe or assembly procede to the election of four annual magistrats; two out of the foot, to be tribuns of the foot; and two out of the horse, to be tribuns of the horse. That the tribuns be commanders of this tribe in chief, so far as it is a military body; and presidents of the same, as it is a civil assembly. And lastly, that this whole tribe be paid weekly as follows. To each of the tribuns of horse, seven pounds. To each of the tribuns of foot, six pounds. To each of the captains of horse, five pounds. To each of the captains of foot, four pounds. To each of the cornets, three pounds. To each of the insigns, two pounds seven shillings. To every horseman two pounds, and to every one of the foot one pound ten shillings.
For the salarys of the senat and the people together; they amount not to three hundred thousand pounds a year; which is cheaper by near two parts in three, than the chief magistracy ever did or can otherwise cost: for if you give nothing (omnia dat qui justa negat) men will be their own carvers. But to procede, it is propos’d,
THAT inferior officers, as captains, cornets, insigns, be only for the military disciplin of the tribe. That the tribuns have session in the senat without suffrage; that they have session of course in the dictatorian council, so often as it is created by the senat, and with suffrage.36. Offices of the officers. That they be presidents of the court in all cases to be judg’d by the people.
37. Appeal to the people.THAT peculat or defraudation of the public, and all cases tending to the subversion of the government, be triable by this representative; and that there be an appeal to the same in all causes, and from all magistrats, courts and councils, whether national or provincial.
The sixth parallel.This judicatory may seem large: but thus the congregation of Israel, consisting of four hundred thousand, judg’d the tribe of Benjamin. Thus all the Roman tribes judg’d Coriolanus.Judg. 20. Halicar. Janotti. And thus duke Loredano was try’d by the great council of Venice, consisting yet of about two thousand.
This is as much as I have to say severally of the senat and the people; but their main functions being joint, as they make one parlament, it is farther propos’d,
38. The main function of the senat.THAT the right of debate, as also of proposing to the people, be wholly and only in the senat; without any power at all of result, not deriv’d from the people.
39. The main function of the prerogative tribe.THAT the power of result be wholly and only in the people, without any right at all of debate.
THAT the senat having debated and agreed upon a law to be propos’d, cause promulgation of the same to be made for the space of six weeks before proposition; that is, cause the law to be printed and publish’d so long before it is to be propos’d.
40. Promulgation.THAT promulgation being made, the signory demand of the tribuns, being present in the senat, an assembly of the people.41. Manner of proposition. That the tribuns, upon such a demand of the signory or of the senat, be oblig’d to assemble the prerogative tribe in arms by sound of trumpet, with drums beating and colors flying, in any town, field, or market-place being not above six miles distant, upon the day and at the hour appointed; except the meeting, thro any inconvenience of the weather or the like, be prorogu’d by the joint consent of the signory and the tribuns. That the prerogative tribe being assembl’d accordingly, the senat propose to them by two or more of the senatorian magistrats, thereto appointed at the first promulgation of the law. That the proposers for the senat open to the people the occasion, motives, and reasons of the law to be propos’d; and the same being don, put it by distinct clauses to the ballot of the people. That if any material clause or clauses be rejected by the people, they be review’d by the senat, alter’d, and propos’d (if they think fit) to the third time, but no oftner.
42. Act of parlament.THAT what is thus propos’d by the senat, and resolv’d by the people, be the law of the land, and no other, except as in the case reserv’d to the dictatorian council.
The seventh parallel.The congregation of Israel being monthly, and the representative propos’d being annual and triennial, they are each upon courses or rotation: the congregation of Israel consisting of twenty four thousand, in which the whole number of the princes of the tribes and of the princes of the familys amounted not, I might say, to one hundred, but will say to one thousand; it follows, that the lower sort in the congregation of Israel held proportion to the better sort, above twenty to one. Wheras in the representative propos’d, the lower sort hold proportion to the better sort but six to four; and that popular congregation where the lower sort hold but six to four, is by far the most aristocratical that is or ever was in any well-order’d commonwealth, except Venice: but if you will have that gentry to be all of one sort, or if you allow them to be of a better and of a meaner sort, Venice is not excepted. The sanhedrim made no law without the people; nor may the senat in this model: but the sanhedrim with the congregation might make laws; so may the senat, in our model, with the representative of the people.Ezra 10. 8. Lastly, as the congregation in Israel was held either by the princes in person, with their staves and standards of the camp, or by the four and twenty thousand in military disciplin; so the representative propos’d is in the nature of a regiment.
ExceptingVenice, where there is a shadow, and but a shadow of law made by the senat (for the soverain power is undeniably in the great council) and Athens, where a law made by the senat was current as a probationer for one year before it was propos’d to the people; there neither is nor has bin any such thing in a commonwealth as a law made by the senat. That the senat should have power to make laws, reduces the government to a single council; and government by a single council, if the council be of the many, is anarchy, as in the assembly of the Roman people by tribes, which always shook, and at length ruin’d that commonwealth: or, if the council be of the few, it is oligarchy, as that of Athens consisting of the four hundred, who nevertheless pretended to propose to five thousand, tho they did not.Thucyd. lib. 8. Of which says Thucydides,This was indeed the form pretended in words by the four hundred; but the most of them, thro privat ambition, fell upon that by which an oligarchy made out of a democracy is chiefly overthrown: for at once they claim’d every one not to be equal, but to be far the chief. Anarchy, or a single council consisting of the many, is ever tumultuous, and dos ill even while it means well. But oligarchy, seldom meaning well, is a faction wherin every one striving to make himself, or som other from whom he hopes for advantages, spoils all. There is in a commonwealth no other cure of these, than that the anarchy may have a council of som few, well chosen, and elected by themselves, to advise them; which council so instituted, is the senat: or that the oligarchy have a popular representative to balance it; which both curing tumult in the rash and heady people, and all those corruptions which cause factiousness in the sly and subtil few, amount to the proper superstructures of a well-order’d commonwealth. As, to return to the example of the oligarchy in Athens, where the four hundred (whose reign, being very short, had bin as seditious) were depos’d; and the soverainty was decreed to a popular council of five thousand, with a senat of four hundred annually elective upon courses, or by rotation.Lib. 8. Of this says Thucydides,Now first (at least in my time) the Athenians seem to have order’d their state aright, it consisting of a moderat temper both of the few and the many. And this was the first thing that, after so many misfortunes, made the city again to raise her head. But we in England are not apt to believe, that to decree the soverainty to thousands, were the way to make a city or a nation recover of its wounds, or to raise its head. We have an aversion to such thoughts, and are sick of them. An assembly of the people soverain! Nay, and an assembly of the people consisting in the major vote of the lower sort! Why, sure it must be a dull and unskilful thing. But so is the touchstone in a goldsmith’s shop, a dull thing, and altogether unskill’d in the trade; yet without this, would even the master be deceiv’d. And certain it is, that a well-order’d assembly of the people is as true an index of what in government is good or great, as any touchstone is of gold.
A council (especially if of a loose election) having not only the debate, but the result also, is capable of being influenc’d from without, and of being sway’d by interest within. There may be a form’d, a prejudic’d party, that will hasten or outbaul you from the debate to the question, and then precipitat you upon the result: wheras if it had no power of result, there could remain to the same no more than debate only, without any biass, or cause of diverting such debate from maturity; in which maturity of unbiass’d debate lys the final cause of the senat, and the whole light that can be given to a people. But when this is don, if your resolving assembly be not such as can imbibe or contract no other interest than that only of the whole people, all again is lost: for the result of all assemblys gos principally upon that which they conceive to be their own interest. But how an assembly upon rotation, consisting of one thousand, where the vote is six to four in the lower sort, should be capable of any other interest than that only of the whole people by which they are orderly elected, has never yet bin, nor, I believe, ever will be shewn. In a like distribution therfore of debate and result, consists the highest mystery of popular government; and indeed the supreme law, wherin is contain’d not only the liberty, but the safety of the people.
For the remainder of the civil part of this model, which is now but small, it is farther propos’d,
43. Rule for vacations.THAT every magistracy, office, or election throout this whole commonwealth, whether annual or triennial, be understood of consequence to injoin an interval or vacation equal to the term of the same. That the magistracy of a knight and of a burgess, be, in this relation, understood as one and the same; and that this order regard only such elections as are national or domestic, and not such as are provincial or foren.
44. Exception from the rule.THAT, for an exception from this rule, where there is but one elder of the horse in one and the same parish, that elder be eligible in the same without interval; and where there be above four elders of the horse in one and the same parish, there be not above half, nor under two of them eligible at the same election.
Otherwise the people, beyond all manner of doubt, would elect so many of the better sort at the very first, that there would not be of the foot or of the meaner sort enough to supply the due number of the popular assembly or prerogative tribe: and the better sort being excluded subsequent elections by their intervals, there would not be wherwithal to furnish the senat, the horse of the prerogative tribe, and the rest of the magistracys; each of which obstructions is prevented by this exception. Where, by the way, if in all experience such has bin the constant temper of the people, and can indeed be reasonably no other, it is apparent what cause there can be of doubt who in a commonwealth of this nature must have the leading. Yet is no man excluded from any preferment; only industry, which ought naturally to be the first step, is first injoin’d by this policy, but rewarded amply: seeing he who has made himself worth one hundred pounds a year, has made himself capable of all preferments and honors in this government. Where a man from the lowest state may not rise to the due pitch of his unquestionable merit, the commonwealth is not equal; yet neither can the people, under the limitations propos’d, make choice (as som object) of any other than the better sort; nor have they at any time bin so inclining to do, where they have not bin under such limitations. Be it spoken, not to the disparagement of any man, but on the contrary to their praise whose merit has made them great, the people of England have not gon so low in the election of a house of commons, as som prince has don in the election of a house of lords. To weigh election by a prince with election by a people, set the nobility of Athens and Rome by the nobility of the old monarchy, and a house of commons freely chosen by the nobility of the new. There remains but the quorum, for which it is propos’d,
45. The quorum.THAT, throout all the assemblys and councils of this commonwealth, the quorum consist of one half in the time of health, and of one third part in a time of sickness, being so declar’d by the senat.
How the city government, without any diminution of their privileges, and with an improvement of their policy, may be made to fall in with these orders, has* elswhere bin shewn in part, and may be consider’d farther at leisure. Otherwise the whole commonwealth, so far as it is merely civil, is in this part accomplish’d. Now as of necessity there must be a natural man, or a man indu’d with a natural body, before there can be a spiritual man, or a man capable of divine contemplation; so a government must have a civil, before it can have a religious part: and if a man furnisht only with natural parts can never be so stupid as not to make som reflections upon religion, much less a commonwealth; which necessitats the religious part of this model.
Containing the Religious Part of this Model, propos’d practicably.
THERE is nothing more certain or demonstrable to common sense, than that the far greater part of mankind, in matters of religion, give themselves up to the public leading. Now a national religion rightly establish’d, or not coercive, is not any public driving, but only the public leading. If the public in this case may not lead such as desire to be led by the public, and yet a party may lead such as desire to be led by a party, where would be the liberty of conscience as to the state? Which certainly in a well-order’d commonwealth, being the public reason, must be the public conscience. Nay, where would be the liberty of conscience in respect of any party which should so procede as to shew, that without taking their liberty of conscience from others, they cannot have it themselves? If the public, refusing liberty of conscience to a party, would be the cause of tumult, how much more a party refusing it to the public? And how, in case of such a tumult, should a party defend their liberty of conscience, or indeed their throats, from the whole or a far greater party, without keeping down or tyrannizing over the whole or a far greater party by force of arms? These things being rightly consider’d, it is no wonder that men, living like men, have not bin yet found without a government, or that any government has not bin yet found without a national religion; that is, som orderly and known way of public leading in divine things, or in the worship of God.
A national religion being thus prov’d necessary, it remains that I prove what is necessary to the same: that is, as it concerns the state, or in relation to the duty of the magistrat.
Certain it is, that religion has not seen corruption but by one of these three causes: som interest therwith incorporated, som ignorance of the truth of it, or by som complication of both. Nor was ever religion left wholly to the management of a clergy that escap’d these causes, or their most pernicious effects; as may be perceiv’d in Rome, which has brought ignorance to be the mother of devotion, and indeed interest to be the father of religion.Chap. II. Now the clergy not failing in this case to be dangerous, what recourse but to the magistrat for safety? specially seeing these causes, that is, interest and ignorance (the one proceeding from evil laws, the other from the want of good education) are not in the right or power of a clergy, but only of the civil magistracy Or if so it be that magistrats are oblig’d in duty to be nursing fathers and nursing mothers to the church; how shall a state in the sight of God be excusable, that takes no heed or care lest religion suffer by causes, the prevention or remedy wherof is in them only?Isa. 49. 23. To these therfore it is propos’d,
46. Universitys.THAT the universitys being prudently reform’d, be preserv’d in their rights and indowments, for and towards the education and provision of an able ministry.
Joh. 5. 39.We are commanded by Christ to search the Scriptures: the Scriptures are not now to be search’d but by skill in tongues: the immediat gift of tongues is ceas’d: how then should skill in tongues be acquir’d but mediatly, or by the means of education? How should a state expect such an education (particularly, for a matter of ten thousand men) that provides not for it? And what provision can a state make for this education, but by such schools so indow’d and regulated, as with us are the universitys? These therfore are a necessary step towards the prevention of such ignorance or interest, as thro the infirmitys or bias of translators, interpreters, and preachers, both have and may frequently com to be incorporated with religion; as also to the improvement or acquisition of such light as is by the command of Christ to be attain’d or exercis’d in searching the Scriptures.
The eighth parallel.The excellent learning of the Levits in all kinds, not ordinarily infus’d, but acquir’d (there having bin among them as well the teacher as the scholar) leaves little doubt but their forty-eight citys were as so many universitys.1 Chron. 25 8. These, with their suburbs or indowments,Mal. 2. 12. contain’d in the whole (each of their circuits in land reckon’d at four thousand cubits deep) about a hundred thousand acres; that is, if their measure was according to the common cubit: if according to the holy cubit (as with Levits was most likely) twice so much; which, at the lowest account, I conceive to be far above the revenues of both our universitys.
These being order’d as has bin said, it is propos’d,
47. Augmentation of livings.THAT the legal and antient provision for the national ministry be so augmented, that the meanest sort of livings or benefices, without defalcation from the greater, be each improv’d to the revenue of one hundred pounds at least.
The ninth parallel.This, in regard the way is by tithes, coms up so close to the orders of Israel, as, in our day, may shew that a commonwealth may com too near that pattern to be lik’d. We find not indeed that the apostles either took or demanded tithes; in which case the priests, who were legally possest of them, might have had suspicion that they, under color of religion, had aim’d at the violation of property. But putting the case, that generally the priests had bin converted to the Christian faith, whether the apostles would for that reason have injoin’d them to relinquish their tithes? Or what is there in the Christian religion to favor any such surmise? To me there seems abundantly enough to the contrary. For if the apostles stuck not to comply with the Jews in a ceremony which was of mere human invention, and to introduce this, as they did ordination by imposition of hands, into the Christian church; that they would, upon a like inducement, have refus’d a standing law undoubtedly Mosaical, is in my opinion most improbable. So that, I conceive, the law for tithes now in being may or may not be continu’d, at the pleasure of the lawgivers, for any thing in this case to the contrary. Confident I am, that the introducing of this model in the whole, which is thought impracticable, were not to willing minds so difficult a work as the abolition of tithes.
But benefices, whether by way of tithes or otherwise, being thus order’d, it is propos’d,
48. Ordination.THAT a benefice becoming void in any parish, the elders of the same may assemble and give notice to the vice-chancellor of either university by a certificat, specifying the true value of that benefice: that the vice-chancellor, upon the receit of this certificat, be oblig’d to call a congregation of his university: that the congregation of the university to this end assembl’d, having regard to the value of the benefice, make choice of a person sit for the ministerial function, and return him to the parish so requiring: that the probationer thus return’d to a parish by either of the universitys, exercise the office, and receive the benefits as minister of the parish for the term of one year: that the term of one year being expir’d, the elders of the parish assemble and put the election of the probationer to the ballot: that if the probationer has three parts in four of the balls or votes in the affirmative, he be therby ordain’d and elected minister of that parish; not afterwards to be degraded or remov’d, but by the censor of the tribe, the phylarch of the same, or the council of religion in such cases as shall be to them reserv’d by act of parlament: that in case the probationer coms to fail of three parts in four at the ballot, he depart from that parish; and if he returns to the university, it be without diminution of the former offices or preferments which he there injoy’d, or any prejudice to his future preferment: and that it be lawful in this case for any parish to send so often to either university, and it be the duty of either vice-chancellor upon such certificats to make return of different probationers, till such time as the elders of that parish have fitted themselves with a minister of their own choice and liking.
In case it was thought fit that a probationer thus elected should, before he departs, receive imposition of hands from the doctors of the university, I cannot see what the most scrupulous in the matter of ordination could find wanting. But let this be so, or otherwise, it is indifferent. The universitys, by proposing to the congregation in every parish, do the senatorian office; and the people, thus fitting themselves by their suffrage or ballot, reserve that office which is truly popular, that is the result, to themselves.
The tenth parallel.MOSES (for so far back the divines reach at ordination) in the institution of the senat of Israel, wherein he can never be prov’d to have us’d imposition of hands, performing the senatorian office,Deut. 1. caus’d the people to take wise men, and understanding,Numb. 11. and known among their tribes, wherof the lot fell upon all but Eldad and Medad. And the apostles doing the senatorian office,Acts 1. 26. in like manner without imposition of hands, caus’d the whole congregation to take two, wherof the lot of apostleship fell upon Matthias. So that this way of ordination being that which was instituted by Moses, and the chief or first of those which were us’d by the apostles, is both mosaical and apostolical.See Book 2. chap. 8. Nor has a well-order’d commonwealth any choice left of those other ways of ordination, us’d by the apostles in complaisance to worse sort of government; but is naturally necessitated to this, that is, to the very best.
Ordination being thus provided for, it is propos’d,
49. National religion, and provision against scandalous ministers.THAT the national religion be exercis’d according to a directory in that case to be made, and publish’d by act of parlament. That the national ministry be permitted to have no other public preferment or office in this commonwealth. That a national minister being convict of ignorance or scandal, be movable out of his benefice by the censors of the tribe, under an appeal to the phylareh, or to the council of religion.Chap. III.
THAT no religion, being contrary to or destructive of Christianity, nor the public exercise of any religion, being grounded upon or incorporated into a foren interest, be protected by or tolerated in this state.50. Liberty of conscience. That all other religions, with the public exercise of the same, be both tolerated and protected by the council of religion; and that all professors of any such religion be equally capable of all elections, magistracys, preferments, and offices in this commonwealth, according to the orders of the same.
Upon the whole of these propositions, touching church disciplin, we may make these observations. Thus neither would the party that is for gifted men, and enemys to learning, thro ignorance (which else in all probability they must) lose religion; nor the clergy be able to corrupt it by interest. But decency and order, with liberty of conscience, would still flourish together; while the minister has a preferment he sought, the parish a minister they chose, the nation a religion according to the public conscience, and every man his Christian liberty. He therfore that indeavours to confute this chapter, must either shew how these things may be omitted, or more effectually provided for; or tithe mint and cumin, and neglect the weightier things of lawgiving.
A commonwealth having, in the establishment of religion, made resignation of herself to God, ought in the next place to have regard to the natural means of her defence; which introduces the military part of this model.
Containing the Military Part of this Model, propos’d practicably.
THE military part, on which at present I shall discourse little, consists in the disciplin of the youth, that is, of such as are between eighteen and thirty years of age: and for the disciplin of the youth it is propos’d,
51. Disciplin of the youth.THAT annually upon Wednesday next insuing the last of December, the youth of each parish (under the inspection of the two overseers of the same) assemble and elect the fifth man of their number, or one in five of them, to be for the term of that year deputys of the youth of that parish.
52. Their troops, and sports.THAT annually on Wednesday next insuing the last of January, the said deputys of the respective parishes meet at the capital of the hundred (where there are games and prizes allotted for them, as has bin shew’d* elswhere) and there elect to themselves out of their own number, one captain, and one insign. And that of these games, and of this election, the magistrats and officers of the hundreds be presidents, and judges for the impartial distribution of the prizes.
53. Their squadrons, and exercises.THAT annually upon Wednesday next insuing the last of February, the youth thro the whole tribe thus elected, be receiv’d at the capital of the same, by the lieutenant or commander in chief, by the conductor, and by the censors; that under the inspection of these magistrats, the said youth be entertain’d with more splendid games, disciplin’d in a more military manner, and be divided by lot into sundry parts, or essays, according to the rules* elswhere given.
THAT the whole youth of the tribe, thus assembl’d, be the first essay. That out of the first essay, there be cast by lot two hundred horse, and six hundred foot: that they whom their friends will, or themselves can mount, be accounted horse, the rest foot.54. The second essay, or the standing army. That these forces (amounting in the fifty tribes to ten thousand horse, and thirty thousand foot) be always ready to march at a week’s warning: and that this be the second essay, or the standing army of the commonwealth.
55. Provincial guards.THAT for the holding of each province, the commonwealth in the first year assign an army of the youth, consisting of seven thousand five hundred foot, and one thousand five hundred horse. That for the perpetuation of these provincial armys or guards, there be annually, at the time and places mention’d, cast out of the first essay of the youth in each tribe ten horse, and fifty foot: that is, in all the tribes five hundred horse, and two thousand five hundred foot for Scotland; the like for Ireland; and the like of both orders for the sea guards: being each oblig’d to serve for the term of three years upon the states pay.
The standing army of the commonwealth consisting thus of forty thousand, not soldiers of fortune neither in body nor in pay, but citizens at their vocations or trades, and yet upon command in continual readiness; and the provincial armys each consisting of nine thousand in pay in body, and possess’d of the avenues and places of strength in the province, it is not imaginable how a province should be so soon able to stir, as the commonwealth must be to pour forty thousand men upon it, besides the sea guards. Nor coms this militia thus constituted, except upon marches, to any charge at all; the standing army having no pay, and the provinces,The eleventh parallel. wherof the sea thus guarded will be none of the poorest, maintaining their own guards. Such is the military way of a commonwealth, and the constitution of its armys, whether levy’d by suffrage, as in Rome; or by lot, as in Israel.Judg. 20. 9.
WE will go up by lot against Gibeah.
Standing forces being thus establish’d; for such as are upon emergent occasions to go forth, or march, it is propos’d,
56. The third essay, or army marching.THAT the senat and the people, or the dictator having decreed or declar’d war, and the field officers being appointed by the council of war; the general, by warrant issu’d to the lieutenants of the tribes, demand the second essay, or such part of it as is decreed; whether by way of levy or recruit. That by the same warrant he appoint his time and rendevouz: that the several conductors of the tribes deliver him the forces demanded at the time and place appointed. That a general thus marching out with the standing army, a new army be elected out of the first essay as formerly, and a new general be elected by the senat; that so always there be a general sitting, and a standing army, what generals or armys soever be marching. And that in case of invasion the bands of the elders be oblig’d to like duty with those of the youth.
57. Poena ἀ[Editor: illegible character]ϱατε[Editor: illegible character]ας, or the guardian of education and liberty.THAT an only son be discharg’d of these dutys without prejudice. That of two brothers there be but one admitted to foren service at one time. That of more brothers, not above a half. That whoever otherwise refuses his lot, except upon cause shown he be dispens’d with by the phylarch, or upon penitence be by them pardon’d and restor’d, by such refusal be uncapable of electing, or being elected in this commonwealth; as also that he pay to the state a fifth of his revenue for protection, besides taxes. That divines, physicians, and lawyers, as also trades not at leisure for the essays, be so far exemted from this rule, that they be still capable of all preferments in their respective professions, with indemnity, and without military education or service.
A commonwealth whose militia consists of mercenarys, to be safe, must be situated as Venice, but can in no wise be great. The industry of Holland is the main revenue of that state; whence not being able to spare hands to her arms, she is cast upon strangers and mercenary forces, thro which we in our time have seen Amsterdam necessitated to let in the sea upon her, and to becom (as it were) Venice. To a popular government that could not do the like, mercenary arms have never fail’d to be fatal; whence the last proposition is that which in every well-order’d commonwealth has bin look’d to as the main guard of liberty.
The twelfth parallelIn this Israel was formidable beyond all other commonwealths, with a kind of fulmination. Saul when he heard the cruelty of Nahash the Ammonit, at the leaguer of Jabesh-Gilead, took a yoke of oxen and hew’d them in pieces, and sent them throout the coasts of Israel,1 Sam. 11. 7.by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever coms not out afterSaul,and afterSamuel,so shall it be don to his oxen.Judg. 5. 23. Which amounted not only to a confiscation of goods (the riches of the Israelits lying most in their cattle) but to a kind of anathema, as more plainly appears, where it is said, Curse ye Meroz, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants therof, because they came not forth to help the Lord against the mighty.Judg. 21. Nay this (ἀϛϱατεία) desertion of the military orders and services in Israel, was somtimes punish’d with total extermination, as after the victory against Benjamin, where the congregation or political assembly of that people, making inquisition what one of the tribes of Israel came not up to the Lord in Mizpeh (the place where before the taking of Jerusalem they held, as I may say, their parlaments) and finding that there came none to the camp from Jabesh-Gilead, sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabesh-Gilead with the edg of the sword, and the women and the children: which was don accordingly.
But by this time men will shrink at this as a dreadful order, and begin to compute that a commonwealth, let her prerogatives for the rest be what they will, must at this rate be but a dear purchase: wheras indeed, if this way costs somthing, there is no other that dos not hazard all; forasmuch as discarding this order, play your game as you can, you are some time or other a prey to your enemys, or to your mercenarys. This certainly is that root in (the penetralia) the bowels of a commonwealth, whence never any court arts, or politeness, could attain to the gallantry or splendor of the education in popular governments. For let any man (remembring what it was to be a Gideon, a Miltiades, a Timoleon, a Scipio, or a magistrat in a commonwealth) consider if there should be no way with us to magistracy, but by having serv’d three years at sea, and three years at land, how the whole face and genius of education, both in the better and in the lower sort, would of necessity be chang’d in this nation, and what kind of magistrats such experience in those services must create to the commonwealth. Consider, whether the threaten’d punishments of this order, tho thro unacquaintance they may at first sight have som brow, would not, as they have don in other commonwealths of like structure, even with low spirits, expire in scorn and contempt, or thro the mere contemplation of the reward of honor, nay of the honor it self, in which point where right has not bin don, men, under governments of this nature, have bin much more apt to heats; as where the men of Ephraim fought against Jeptha, for an affront in this kind which they conceiv’d him to have put upon them.Judg. 12.Wherfore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? We will burn thy house upon thee with fire. Nor is this way so expensive of the purse or of blood. Not of the public purse, because it detests mercenarys; nor of the privat purse, because the ways of education thus directed, are all assisted with the states pay: so that a man in this road might educat three children cheaper, and to the most solid ends, than he could any one to trifles in those which among us hitherto have bin usual. And as to blood, there is nothing more certain, than that idleness, and its inseparable companion luxury, are excedingly more wastful as of the purse, so of health, nay and of life it self, than is war; which nevertheless this order is such as dos rather prevent than necessitat, in regard that to be potent in arms is the way of peace. But wheras in a martial commonwealth there may be men having exceded the thirtieth year of their age, who like those of Ephraim would yet take it ill to be excluded the lists of honor, and it must also be to the detriment of the commonwealth that they should; for these, whom we may call volunteers, it is propos’d,
58. Volunteers.THAT upon warrants issu’d forth by the general for recruits or levys, there be an assembly of the phylarch in each tribe; that such volunteers, or men being above thirty years of age, as are desirous of farther imployment in arms, appear before the phylarch so assembl’d. That any number of these, not exceeding one moiety of the recruits or levys of that tribe, may be taken on by the phylarch, so many of the youth being at the discretion of this council disbanded, as are taken on of the volunteers. That the levys thus made, be conducted by the conductor of the respective tribe to the rendevouz appointed. And that the service of these be without other term or vacation, than at the discretion of the senat and the people, or such instructions to the general, as shall by them in that case be provided.
Thus much for the military or defensive part of this model.Mat. 18. 7. For offences in general it is written, Wo unto the world because of offences; for it must needs be that offences com, but wo to that man by whom the offence coms. Among offences are offensive wars: now it being out of question, that for the righteous execution of this wo upon him or them by whom the offence coms, a war may be just and necessary, as also that victory in a just and necessary war may intitle one prince or one people to the dominion or empire of another prince or people; it is also out of question, that a commonwealth, unless in this case she be provided both to acquire, and to hold what she acquires, is not perfect: which consideration brings me to the provincial part of this model.
Containing the Provincial Part of this Model, propos’d practicably.
THE word province is with Roman authors of divers significations. By these it is taken sometimes for magistracy; as that of the consul, which is call’d his province: somtimes for any religion or country, in which a Roman captain or general was commanded to make war; but specially for such a country as was acquir’d and held by arms, or by provincial right.Esth. 1. 1. The word is of the like different use in Scripture; as where it is said, That Ahasuerusreign’d over a hundred and seven provinces; by which are understood as well the divisions of the native, as those of the acquir’d territorys.Ezra 5. 8. But where Tanais the governor writes to the king of Assyria concerning the province of Judea, it is understood a country acquir’d and held by arms; which coms to the usual signification of the word with the Romans, it being in this sense that the governor Felix ask’d Paul of what province he was, and came to understand that he was of Cilicia, then a province of the Roman empire:Acts 23. 34. and this signification is that in which I take the word throout this chapter.
The mighty load of empire which happen’d to the commonwealth of Rome thro the acquisition of many and vast provinces, is that wherto the songs of poets, and the opinions of more serious writers attribute the weight which they say oversway’d her. But this judgment, tho in itself right, is not in the manner they take it to be swallow’d without chewing. For how probable it is that the succeding monarchy was able to support a weight in this kind, which the commonwealth could not bear, may at this distance be discern’d, in that the provinces were infinitely more turbulent in the reign of the emperors, than in that of the commonwealth, as having a far stronger interest, thro ambition of attaining to the whole, to tear the empire in pieces: which they did, while divers provinces made divers emperors, which before could not hope to make divers commonwealths, nor to acquire safety by retreat to a petty government.Plutarch in Gracch. But in this, the acquisition of provinces devour’d the commonwealth of Rome, that, she not being sufficiently fortify’d by agrarian laws, the nobility, thro’ the spoil of provinces, came to eat the people out of their popular balance or lands in Italy by purchases; and the lands that had been in the hands of the many, coming thus into the hands of the few, of natural and necessary consequence there follows monarchy.
Now that England, a monarchy, has bin seiz’d of provinces (one of them, while France was such, being as great as any one of the Roman) is a known thing; and that the militia propos’d by the present model, contains all the causes of greatness that were in that of Rome, is to such as are not altogether strangers to the former no less than obvious. Now of like causes not to presume like effects, were unreasonable. The safety therfore of the foregoing agrarian, as hitherto propos’d, or that lands be divided in their descent, must in this case be none at all, unless there be som stop also given in their accumulation by way of purchase; lest otherwise the spoil of som mighty province be still sufficient to eat out the people by purchase.
To submit therfore in this place (for ought I perceive) to inevitable necessity, it is propos’d,
5 Additional propositions to the agrarian.THAT (great commonwealths having bin overthrown by the spoil of provinces) an estate of two thousand pounds a year in land, be incapable of any accumulation by way of purchase.
Donations and inheritances will be fewer than to be dangerous; and as some fall, others will be dividing in their descent. But to resume the discourse upon the agrarian laws, which, because they were not till in this proposition complete, remains imperfect. That to agrarian laws som standard is necessary, appears plainly enough. This standard in a well-founded monarchy, must bar recess; and in a well-founded commonwealth must bar increase. For certain it is, that otherwise each of the policys dos naturally breed that viper which eats out the bowels of the mother: as monarchy, by pomp and luxury, reduces her nobility thro debt to poverty, and at length to a level with the people, upon which no throne ever stood or can stand: such was the case of this nation under her latter princes. And a commonwealth by her natural ways of frugality, of fattening and cockering up of the people, is apt to bring estates to such excess in som hands, as eating out the rest, bows the neck of a free state or city to the yoke, and exposes her to the goa of a lord and master, which was the case of Rome under her perpetual dictators. But why yet must this standard of land in the present case, be neither more nor less than just two thousand pounds a year? truly, where som standard was necessary to be nam’d, I might as well ask why not this as well as any other? yet am I not without such reasons why I have pitch’d upon this rather than any other, as I may submit to the judgment of the reader in the following computation or comparison of the divers effects or consequences of so many different standards, as by the rules of proportion may give sufficient account of the rest.
Let the dry rent of England (that is, at the rate a man may have for his land without sweating) be computed at ten millions: this presum’d, if you set the standard at ten thousand pounds a year, the whole territory can com into no fewer than one thousand hands. If you set it at five thousand pounds a year, it can com into no fewer than two thousand hands; and if you set it at two thousand pounds a year, it can com into no fewer than five thousand hands. It will be said, in which way you please, it will never com into so few hands as are capable of having it; which is certain: yet because the effects in their approaches would be such as may be measur’d by their extremes, I shall pitch upon these as the readiest way to guide my computation. The balance in a thousand hands might affect the government with a hankering after monarchy; in two thousand hands it might usurp it, as did the Roman nobility, and therby occasion a feud between the senat and the people. These not only in the extremes, but with much of a like nature in the approaches.
But letting these pass, as also the numbers or compass necessary to the rotation of such a commonwealth (none of which inconveniences are incident to the standard of two thousand pounds a year, as that wherby land can com into no fewer than five thousand proprietors) we will suppose these standards to be each of them, as to the safety of the government, indifferently practicable.
Yet it is recorded by experience, and wise authors, that the true cause whence England has bin an overmatch in arms for France, lay in the communication or distribution of property to the lower sort; and for the same cause let it be consider’d, if the commonwealth upon the standard of two thousand pounds a year (cæteris paribus) must not necessarily be an overmatch in the potency of its militia for the other two. Such are the advantages, such is the glory of the like moderation to the public. Mony (says the lord Verulam) is like muck, not good except it be spread. Much rather in popular government is this holding as to land, the latter having upon the state a far stronger influence, at least in larger territorys, than mony: for in such, mony, while scarce, cannot overbalance land; and were silver and gold as plentiful as brass or iron, they would be no more, nor would land be less worth. And for privat men, were it not that it is easier to fill the belly of a glutton than his eys, not only virtue, but the beatitude of riches, would be apparently consistent in a mean. But what need I play the divine or the philosopher upon a doctrin, which is not to diminish any man’s estate, not to bring any man from the customs to which he has bin inur’d, nor from any emergent expectation he may have; but regards only the generation to com, or the children to be born seven years after the passing such a law? whence it must needs follow, that putting the case this agrarian be introduc’d, it is to our age as if there were none; and if there be no agrarian, it is to our age as if there was one. The difference is no more, than that in the one way the commonwealth is at all points secur’d, and in the other it is left to its fortune even in the main. Of such soverain effect are the like laws, that I would go yet farther, and propose,
60. Agrarian for Scotland and Ireland.THAT in Scotland the standard be set at five hundred pounds a year; in Ireland at two thousand pounds a year in land; the rest for each as for England.
Narrowness of an agrarian for Scotland, being a martial country, would make the larger provision of a good auxiliary militia; and largeness of an agrarian for Ireland, being less martial, would cast a sop into the jaws of the avarice of those who should think it too much confin’d in England. And lest the provincials in this case should think themselves worse dealt with than the citizens themselves, the sum of the agrarian laws being cast up together, any man in the three nations may hold four thousand five hundred pounds a year in land; and any small parcel of land, or mere residence in England, makes a provincial a citizen. Should the commonwealth increase in provinces, the estates at this rate both of the citizens and provincials would be more and greater than ever were those of the antient nobility of these nations; and without any the least hazard to liberty. For he, who considering the whole Roman story, or that only of the Gracchi in Plutarch, shall rightly judg, must confess, that had Rome preserv’d a good agrarian but in Italy, the riches of its provinces could not have torn up the roots of its liberty, but on the contrary must have water’d them. It may be said, What need then of putting an agrarian upon the provinces? I answer: for two reasons: first is indulgence to the provincials and the second, advantage to the commonwealth. For the first, it is with small foresight apparent enough, that the avarice of the citizen being bounded at home, and having no limits in the provinces, would in a few years eat up the provincials, and bring their whole countrys (as the Roman patricians did Italy) to sound in their fetters, or to be till’d by their slaves or underlings. And so, for the second, the commonwealth would by such means lose an auxiliary militia, to be otherwise in Scotland only more worth than the Indys. The things therfore thus order’d, it is propos’d,
61. Provincial councils.THAT upon the expiration of magistracy in the senat, or at the annual recess of one third part of the same, there be elected by the senat out of the part receding, into each provincial council, four knights for the term of three years; therby to render each provincial council (presuming it in the beginning to have bin constituted of twelve knights, divided after the manner of the senat by three several lists or elections) of annual, triennial, and perpetual revolution or rotation.
62. Provincial governors or generals.THAT out of the same third part of the senat annually receding, there be to each province one knight elected for the term of one year. That the knight so elected be the provincial general or governor. That a provincial governor or general receive annually in April at his rendevouz appointed, the youth or recruits elected in the precedent month to that end by the tribes, and by their conductors deliver’d accordingly. That he repair with the said youth or recruits to his province, and there dismiss that part of the provincial guard or army whose triennial term is expir’d. That each provincial governor have the conduct of affairs of war and of state in his respective province, with advice of the provincial council; and that he be president of the same.
63. Provincial provosts.THAT each provincial council elect three weekly proposers, or provosts, after the manner, and to the ends already shewn in the constitution of senatorian councils; and that the provost of the senior list, during his term, be president of the council in absence of the general.
THAT each provincial council procede according to instructions receiv’d from the council of state, and keep intelligence with the same by any two of their provosts, for the government of the province, as to matters of war or state.64. Subordination and function of provincial councils. That upon levys of native or proper arms by the senat, and the people, a provincial council (having to that end receiv’d orders) make levys of provincial auxiliarys accordingly. That auxiliary arms upon no occasion whatsoever excede the proper or native arms in number. That for the rest, the provincial council maintain the provincials, defraying their peculiar guards and council, by such a known proportion of tributs, as on them shall be set by the senat and the people, in their proper rights, laws, libertys and immunitys, so far as upon the merits of the cause wherupon they were subdu’d, it seem’d good to the senat and the people to confirm them. And that it be lawful for the provincials to appeal from their provincial magistrats, councils, or generals, to the people of England.
In modelling a commonwealth, the concernment of provincial government coms in the last place; for which cause I conceive any long discourse upon these orders to be at present unnecessary: but certain things there are in the way which I am unwilling to let slip without pointing at them.
Whether men or mony be the nerve of war.Som will have men, som will have mony to be the nerve of war; each of which positions, in proper cases, may be a maxim: for if France, where the main body of the people is imbas’d; or Venice, which stands upon a mercenary militia, want mony, they can make no war. But it has heretofore bin otherwise with commonwealths. Roman historians (as is observ’d by Machiavel) in their military preparations or expeditions, make no mention of mony, unless what was gain’d by the war, and brought home into the treasury; as the spoil of Macedon by Emilius Paulus, being such, as the people for som years after were discharg’d of their tribute. Not that their wars were made altogether without mony: for if so, why should the people at any time before have paid tribute? or why upon this occasion were they excus’d? but that the mony in which their wars stood them, was not considerable in comparison of that which is requisit where mony may be counted the nerve of war; that is, where men are not to be had without it. But Rome, by virtue of its orders, could have rais’d vaster numbers of citizens and associats than perhaps it ever did, tho during the consulat of Pappus and Regulus, she levy’d in Italy only seventy thousand horse, and seven hundred thousand foot. Should we conceive the nerve of this motion to have bin mony, we must reckon the Indys to have bin exhausted before they were found; or so much brass to have bin in Italy, as would have made stones to be as good as mony. A well-order’d commonwealth dos these things not by mony, but by such orders as make of its citizens the nerve of its wars. The youth of the commonwealth propos’d are esteem’d in all at five hundred thousand. Of these there is an annual band, consisting of one hundred thousand. Of this one hundred thousand there is a standing army consisting of thirty thousand foot and ten thousand horse, besides such as being above thirty years of age, shall offer themselves as voluntiers: of which the number is in no wise likely to be few. To the standing army the provinces, or that only of Scotland, being both populous and martial, can afford at any time an equal number of auxiliarys.
These orders, thus sum’d up together, render this commonwealth ordinarily able to wage war with fourscore thousand men; a force which, it is known, not any prince in Christendom is able to match in virtue, number, or disciplin. For these the commonwealth in her sea guard has always at hand sufficient waftage, or at least such a sufficient convoy as may make any vessels at hand a sufficient transportation: all this, I say, by virtue of orders. Not but that the march, the equipage, the waftage of so great an army must cost mony; but that it will com to no account in comparison of a lingring war made by a matter of thirty thousand mercenarys, the very consumtion of a state: wheras fourscore thousand men so disciplin’d and so furnish’d, as has bin shewn, being once transported, must suddenly com to be no charge, or make the war defray it self.
But ’tis objected, that to reckon upon such a militia were to suppose a large country capable of being a commonwealth; wheras we hold them learn’d, who say that no commonwealth has consisted of more than som one city or town.Whether a commonwealth has confisted of more than one city or town. But in what language or in what geography, are the twelve tribes of Israel; the (δήμοι) peopledoms or prytanys of Athens, which Theseus gather’d into one body; the tribes and linages in Lacedemon instituted by Lycurgus; the five and thirty Roman tribes planted between the rivers Vulturnus and Arno, or between the citys now call’d Capua and Florence; the 13 cantons of the Switzers; the seven united provinces of the low countrys, understood to have bin or to be but one city or town? whether were not the people of Israel under their commonwealth six hundred thousand? what reason can be given why the government that could take in six hundred thousand, might not as well take in twice that number? how much short came the country, planted by the Roman tribes, of 150 miles square? or how much over is England? and what reason can be given why a government, taking in 150 miles square, might not as well take in twice that compass? whether was our house of commons under monarchy not collected from the utmost bounds of the English territory? and whether had the laws by them enacted not their free course to the utmost limits of the same? and why should that be impossible or impracticable to a representative of the people in a commonwealth, which was so facil and practicable to a representative of the people under monarchy?
It is a wonder how the commonwealth of Rome, which held as it were the whole world by provinces, should be imagin’d by any man to have consisted but of one town or city.
But to return: it is alleg’d by others, and as to provincial government very truly, that a commonwealth may be a tyranny: nor do I think that Athens, in this point, came short of any prince: Rome, on the other side, was (according to the merits of the cause) as frequent in giving liberty as in taking it away. The provinces of Venice and of Switzerland would not change their condition with the subjects of the best prince. However, the possibility in a commonwealth of tyrannizing over provinces, is not to be cur’d; for be the commonwealth or the prince a state or a man after God’s own heart, there is no way of holding a province but by arms.
The thirteenth parallel.WHEN the Syrians of Damascus came to succor Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men: then David put garisons in Syria of Damascus, and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts; and the Lord preserv’d David whithersoever he went.2 Sam. 8. 5, 6.
With this parallel I draw the curtain, and close (be it comedy to such as are for tragedy) the model; appealing to the present, or the next age, whether throout I have not had God himself for my vouchee.See the corollary of Oceana. In the mean time, there is nothing hereby propos’d which may not stand with a supreme magistrat.
Sect. 1. That a commonwealth not rightly order’d, is less seditious than the best of monarchys.FOR a nation to be still upon the cast of a dy, to be ever in trepidation as to the main chance of government, is a dreadful state of things. Such indeed with us has bin the constitution of our late governments, of which therfore not any can be call’d a commonwealth. Yet has the like state of things (in favor of monarchs, and thro the industry of the clergy) bin for many ages, that wherof commonwealths unheard are still accus’d and condemn’d. For proof in this case, the tribunitian storms of the Roman people are thought abundantly sufficient. But these having bin without blood, if with our affairs they hold any parallel, are not to be compar’d with the barons wars, those of York and Lancaster, or the like; but with the contests or strivings of our parlaments with their kings, while such disputes came not to arms. Or if the Roman fields from the time of the Gracchi grew bloody, we have known a matter of a dozen years in which ours might have compar’d with them.See Book 2. chap. 4. The seditions under the commonwealth of Rome to those under the empire, hold such a proportion, as the seditions under the commonwealth of Israel to those under their kings. I am contented at this time, for discourse sake, that the seditions of Venice should pass as they are computed by Mr. Wren: let those also which have happen’d in the commonwealths of the Switzers, and of the united provinces, by the skill of som man who may be thought more impartial than my self, be rightly enumerated and added. This being don, let the seditions that have happen’d in the monarchys of England, France, and Spain, be as impartially sum’d up; and I may venture to promise you, that you shall not find the sum of the seditions which have happen’d in those three commonwealths, to balance the foot of the account with those seditions which have happen’d in any one of those monarchys: nor are we without sufficient inducement to believe, that the whole account in this particular of those commonwealths which have bin in the world, can com any whit nearer to that of the monarchys. But this being so, be it also suppos’d, tho not granted, that a commonwealth is a seditious government, yet must it be the least seditious government.[Editor: illegible character]λληνιϰῶν. Lib. 4. The republic of Corinth never suffer’d but that one sedition which is describ’d by Xenophon; and this too from an external cause.
Sect. 2. That Mr. Wren’s opposition of popular prudence amounts to a confirmation of it.But I am the more confirm’d by the assaults of Mr. Wren, to have no less than demonstrated in the propos’d model, that a commonwealth rightly order’d is altogether incapable of sedition, and so consequently of dissolution, that is, from any internal cause. To render his consutation intire, and the truth of this assertion the more conspicuous, I shall first insert those rules or maxims wherby a model of a commonwealth may be exactly prov’d or examin’d, and then shew how they totally enervat and overturn those arguments elaborated by Mr. Wren towards the examination and confutation of the model propos’d.
How a model of popular government may be try’d or examin’d.The maxims or rules wherby a well-order’d model of popular government may be most exactly prov’d or examin’d, are specially two:
It is not in the power of nature that there should be an effect, where there is not the cause of that effect; and in a frame of government that is exactly according to the foregoing maxims, there can be no cause of sedition or dissolution. A model of government therfore that will hold examination by these maxims, must (without ostentation, or with Mr. Wren’s patience) be perfect.
Now let us observe how he bestirs himself to examin and confute this model. As to contradiction, he dos not so much as pretend that there is any guile in it; yet will not allow it to have any truth:W. p. 78.For, says he, as in a fiction the soveral members may be so contriv’d, as not to give one another the ly, but be all contain’d within the limits of verisimilitude, and yet the whole remain without the least syllable of truth; so in a model of government. To which I answer, that there being a truth of nature, and a truth of fact, this way of Mr. Wren’s disputing is mere equivocation. For the model is not propos’d to shew the truth of fact, or that there has bin any such exactly in practice; but to shew the truth of nature, or that such a model is practicable: wherfore he needed not to have alleg’d that it has not the truth of fact, which we all know; but was to shew where it fails of such a truth in nature as can any way render it impracticable.Ibid. But instead of this, he is gon to the moon; and will read us a lecture in politics by the planets, or the various hypotheses of celestial motions, which may be excogitated including no absurdity in themselves, and yet perhaps not any one of them prove to be the true method of nature. But may a man therfore argue in this manner? It is very hard to know certainly which are the highways of the planets, therfore there can be no certain knowledge which are the highways to London. Let us e’en say, Because the rotation of the world may as well go upon the heavens as upon the earth, therfore a man may as well go upon his head as upon his heels, and a commonwealth as well stand upon a milkwoman’s pattins, as upon the strongest interest, or the interest of the strongest.
W. p. 179.So much for contradiction. Now for inequality, says Mr. Wren,Tho it should be allow’d Mr.Harrington,that his commonwealth has none in it, yet would it fail of attaining the perfection of government, seeing there is an equality in the nature of man, which is not rectify’d by the model of his commonwealth. As if the equality of a government was pretended to be such, as should make a crooked man straight, a wicked man good, or a passionat man a philosopher; and it were not perfect, in being sufficient to prevent any influence that wickedness or passion in a man or men may have upon the government. But for farther discovery of these inequalitys in the nature of man, that are not rectify’d by the model, Mr. Wren sends us to his eighth and ninth chapters, where he produces them in such order, as I shall observe in repeating him.Pag. 84.Whensoever, says he, under popular government the number of those whose offences have render’d them liable to the severity of laws, is considerable enough to quality them for attemt, popular government has no more security than any other, of being free from sedition. It is very true: but Mr. Wren was oblig’d to shew how in an equal commonwealth, or under the model propos’d, it was possible that the number of such men should com to be considerable enough to qualify them for such an attemt. But in this kind he is no otherwise provided than to tell us, That of this original and extraction, as to the main, wasCatilin’s attemt upon the Roman commonwealth. So undertaking against Oceana, or the most equal commonwealth, he is com to arguing against Rome, or the most inequal commonwealth; and at such a time too, when being no longer capable of liberty, but ready for bonds, there were other partys besides Catilin’s, and others besides such as were obnoxious to the laws, that lay in wait for her: as Pompey and his party, or at least Cesar and his, who at length carry’d it; so that this feat was not so much perform’d by men otherwise liable to severity of laws, as by men puff’d up by ambition But let these have bin of which sort he will, it remains with him to shew, how there should be of either kind enough in Oceana for a like attemt. It is known, that long before this happen’d in Rome, the whole of that commonwealth was in the hands of three men, Cesar, Pompey, and Crassus: wherfore he should have first shewn, which way the whole of the commonwealth of Oceana might com into the hands of three, or of a few men. But leaving this untouch’d, he runs making a dust, and a doubt where the soverain power of Oceana can be; which even in Rome, as inequal as it was, is acknowleg’d to have bin in the assemblys of the people; and in Athens,Thucydides expresly says, That the soverainty was in the five thousand.Lib. 5. Who ever doubted but where the ultimat result is, there also must be the soverainty? and the ultimat result of Oceana is in the prerogative tribe, or representative of the people.Pag. 84. Then says he, This representative thinking it their interest, may dissolve the government, and perpetuat themselves, and may com to think it their interest. For the desire of power being natural to man, a far greater share of power remains with every particular man, when the soverain power is divided among so many, than when the same power is divided among two hundred thousand. But I shew’d that this representative has the whole soverain power in themselves, not divided with any other, or with the five hundred thousand; which I suppose he means by the two hundred thousand he mentions. Now this representative cannot be understood to have the soverain power by overbalance of strength, because they are but one thousand to five hundred thousand; so it is plain that they have it by consent, or by orders only: wherfore these orders they have not the power, or strength, nor the interest to break; because breaking their orders (by which only, and not by strength, the power is in themselves) they com to divide the power that was in themselves, with the five hundred thousand, as they, who, in defect of the orders, have the far greater strength, and no legal bar.W. p. 85. Yet says he, That a representative is not incapable of making such an attemt as this, will (it is not improbable) easily find belief with those who are acquainted with the actions of these last eighteen years. Which is as much as to say, That because a representative, by and with the people, may have both the interest, and the power or strength to free themselves of a broken monarchy; therfore a representative may, without and against the people, have both the interest, and the power or strength to break the orders of the most equal commonwealth. But if the representative of Oceana has not the power or strength to break their orders, and perpetuat themselves, much less the senat. True it is, if we look upon som other commonwealths, a senat might have the interest to do it; but not where the senat has bin upon rotation. To add then to Mr. Wren’s faculty of opposition greater strength than is in it; if the senat of Oceana would do any thing of this kind, their readiest way were by creating of the dictator. The dictator being created, has soverain power in carrying on the orders of the commonwealth: but those do not perpetuat their power; this therfore cannot be don but by force or arms. The arms of the commonwealth are both numerous, and in a posture or readiness; but they consist of its citizens: and for the dictator to bring the citizen to break the commonwealth, were for a general to command his army to cut their own throats. It is true, the Roman decemvirs put in for prolongation; but, tho in the most inequal commonwealth, they could not make it stand one year, because of the citizens in arms: and for mercenarys there are none in Oceana; is this news? there were none in Israel, there were none in Athens, there were none in Lacedemon, there were none in Rome, while those commonwealths flourish’d. But were there mercenarys, as he might perhaps reckon servants, they are unarm’d, undisciplin’d; they cannot rise thro the vast bodys of citizens in arms both elders and youth; or if they would rise, they could be nothing in their hands. The Roman slaves, and the Lacedemonian helots, being far of another and more dangerous nature, never rose against their lords but to their own destruction. All this while I say nothing of the security which is in the frame of this dictator, beyond any example or interest of prolongation to be found either in the Roman dictator or the Venetian council of ten, each wherof having had the like power, did never discover any such inclination. It is true, that in the time of Sylla, the Roman dictator began to be perpetual; but this is not to be attributed so much to the imperfection of the order, as to the change of the balance. But if the dictator of Oceana cannot have the interest, or, having the interest, cannot have the power or strength to perpetuat that magistracy, much less can the senat.
The sum of what has bin said may be thus cast up, as to the whole constitution. If things or persons that have neither the right nor the might, may prevail against things and persons who have both the right and the might; then may one order of this commonwealth break the whole system: but the might, thro the foundation or popular balance of property, being in the whole people, and the whole superstructures of this commonwealth being nothing else but an equal distribution of common right to the whole people, who are possest of the might; they who have the might, have not the interest to break, but to preserve the orders; which therfore no other can have the power or strength to break, or som other breaking, must but lose that which they pretend to gain, to wit, the right, which in this case must still fall to the might devolving upon the people.W. p. 87. That Mr. Wren will needs fancy the tribes or citys in Oceana, as those in the united provinces, or the cantons of Switzerland, to be distinct soveraintys, concerns not me, seeing the form of Oceana is far otherwise; nor indeed him, seeing neither do the citys in Holland, nor the cantons in Switzerland, go about to dissolve their commonwealths or leagues. The champion having thus fail’d at the head, is contented to play low.W. p. 181.Tho there be care taken, says he, that at the assembly of the hundred and the tribe, such and such magistrats should be elected out of the horse, there is no necessary provision there should be any horse there, out of which to elect. And where can they be then, if not in som parish? He might better have said, that at the parish there was no care taken, that the people should not elect too many of the horse, which being indeed the defect of the former, is in this edition rectify’d.See proposition 44. His last exception is against the place where I say, that They who take upon them the profession of theology, physic or law, are not at leisure for the essays,W. p. 183.wherby the youth commence for all magistracy andhonors, in the commonwealth. To which reason he offers not so much as any answer: nor pretends any other argument against it, than that this excludes divines, lawyers, and physicians, from those honors to which their parish clerks, their scriveners, and their apothecarys, nay farriers and coblers may attain. And what can I help that, if it ought nevertheless so to be, for a reason which he cannot answer? Nay, if so it be in common practice where the reason is nothing near so strong, seeing a parish clerk, a scrivener, an apothecary, nay a cobler or a farrier, is not uncapable of being of the common council, nor yet of being an alderman or lord mayor of London; which nevertheless that a divine, a lawyer, or a physician should be, were absurd to think. Divines have a plow from which they ought not to look back: they have above a tenth of the territory, with which they ought to be contented; and more than all, civil interest contracted by a clergy, corrupts religion. For lawyers, their practice and magistracys are not only the most gainful, but for life; and in a commonwealth, neither is accumulation of magistracy just or equal, nor the confounding of executive and legislative magistracy safe. Will Mr. Wren believe one of our own lawyers, and one of the learnedst of them upon this point?Verulam de Aug. Scien. lib. 8. cap. 3. It is the lord Verulam:They, says he, who have written (de legibus) of lawmaking, have handl’d this argument as philosophers, or as lawyers. Philosophers speak higher than will fall into the capacity of practice (to which may be refer’d Plato’s commonwealth, Sir Thomas More’sUtopia, with his own Atlantis) and lawyers being obnoxious, and addicted each to the laws of their particular country, have no freedom nor sincerity of judgment, but plead as it were in bonds. Certainly the cognizance of these things is most properly pertaining to political persons, who best know what stands with human society, what with the safety of the people, what with natural equity, with antient prudence, and with the different constitution of commonwealths. These therfore, by the principles and precepts of natural equity and good policy, may and ought to determin of laws. For physicians, who (as such) have in the management of state-affairs no prejudice, if you open them the door, they will not at all, or very rarely, com in: wherby it appears, first, that such a bar may in som cases be no violation of liberty; and, secondly, that the divines, who for better causes might be as well satisfy’d, and for more unanswerable reasons ought to forbear, yet are impatient, and give a full testimony that their meaning is not good.
Thus is the commonwealth by Mr. Wren oppos’d, by him asserted. There remains no more to the full confutation of his book, than to shew how the monarchy by him asserted is by him destroy’d. This is to be don by the examination of his ninth chapter, which is the next of those to which he refer’d us.
Sect. 3. That Mr. Wren’s assertion of monarchy amounts to the subversion of it.The opposition made by Mr. Wren to a commonwealth, and his pretended asserting of monarchy, run altogether upon Mr. Hobbs’s principles, and in his very words; but for want of understanding, much enervated: so that Mr. Wren’s whole feat of arms coms but to have given me a weaker adversary for a stronger. In soverainty, says he, the diffus’d strength of the multitude is united in one person; which in a monarchy is a natural person; in a state, an artificial one procreated by the majority of votes.W. p. 97.This then is the grand security of all soverains, whether single persons or assemblys,W. p. 99.that the united forces of their subjects, with which they are invested, is sufficient to suppress the beginnings of seditions. Who reads Mr. Hobbs, if this be news? But what provision is made by either of these authors, that the forces of these subjects must needs be united? Is union in forces, or in government, an effect wherof there is no cause? Or to what cause are we to attribute this certain union and grand security?W. p. 103. Why let there be such a nobility as may be a monarch’s guard against the people. And lest a monarch stand in need of another guard against this nobility, let none of these excel the rest of his order in power or dignity. Which effects or ends, thus commanded, vouchsafe not to acquaint us with their ways:Ibid. Yes, let the nobility have no right to assemble themselves for electing a successor to the monarchy, or for making a war or peace, or for nominating the great ministers of state, or for performing any other act which by the nature of it is inseparable from the soverain power. But why then must such a nobility be a guard against the people, and not rather a guard for the people, seeing both their interests and sufferings at this rate are the same, and include those very causes for which, in the barons war, the nobility became incendiarys and leaders of the people of England against their kings, and so those wherby their captain came to excel the rest of his order in power or dignity?W. p. 105. But for this the prince is to be provided, by having always in pay a sufficient militia; and som places of strength where a few may be secure against a number. For places of strength, citadels, or castles, there were in the time of the barons wars more than som; yet were they, as to this purpose, none. But a militia is one thing, and a sufficient militia is another; where the government consists of a nobility and of a people, what sufficient part of the property or revenue of the territory can there remain to the prince, wherby to have always in pay such a militia, as may be sufficient to keep the nobility and the people from joining, or to suppress them being join’d? If these be small armys, the like may befal them which befel those of the kings in the wars of the barons.W. p. 106. And if they be great armys, the prince has not wherwithal to support or content them; nay if he had, Mr. Wren tells us plainly, That princes who keep great armys, as guards to their persons or empires, teach us that this is to walk upon precipices; there being no possibility of preventing such an army (specially if they ly still without imployment) from acquiring an interest distinct from that of the prince. Wherfore (to follow Mr. Wren, and no other leader, in his own words against himself) this militia being great, cannot be so instituted, as to have no interest besides the pay it receives from the monarch; nor so as to have no hopes of being safe in their own strength, if they should withdraw themselves from the service and obedience due to him: and being not great, against the whole order or orders of the nobility and the people they cannot be sufficient.W. p. 107. What then remains but to say, that Mr. Wren having declar’d the perfection of monarchical government to consist in a mixture of monarchy by a nobility, and a monarchy by arms, has as to his model intirely subverted monarchy? In this way of disputing, I have rather follow’d my leader than reason; the true answer being that which was given in the preface, namely, that an army to be effectual in England, must be such where the officers have popular estates, or where they have such estates as had the antient nobility: in the latter case, they make a king; in the former, a commonwealth. But Mr. Wren will have his own way; and therfore, to conclude, let me but desire him to lay his hand upon his heart, and then tell me, whether the condition of the nobility (to whose favor in my exclusion he pretends a meritorious title) sharing eminently and according to their rank with the people in the commonwealth by me propos’d; or the condition of the nobility under the insolence and burden of a mercenary army, sharing equally with the people in oppression and slavery, or reviving the old barons wars for new liberty, in the monarchy by him propos’d, be the more desirable. And to speak a word for my adversary, we will submit it wholly to the present nobility, whether Mr. Wren or I be so extravagant in these things, that they have or can have any other than the like choice.W. p. 107. Yet enters not Mr.Wreninto despair of living to injoy his share (which ought to be a good one) of the felicitys which will belong to the subjects of such a government. He looks upon persons, but things are invincible.
The rest of his book (to which The Prerogative of Popular Government is still a complete answer) consists altogether of gross evasion or invective, or of drawing out of story against popular prudence such imaginary swords as do but stand bent. To rectify or streighten these, I may hereafter present him (if any man shall think it worth the while) with a fuller answer.
A WORD CONCERNING A HOUSE of PEERS.
NO man knowing what is necessary to the foundation or being of a popular government, can hope or expect the introduction of any such form, where monarchy is not impracticable. They (where monarchy is impracticable) who com first to discover it, and be convinc’d of it, if reason be not altogether depos’d, are inevitable leaders. hence it is that our commonwealthsmen are already renown’d throout this nation for their invincible reasons, even by the confession of their opponents, or such as procede nevertheless in other ways. But where seed is so well sown and rooted, intervening possession and interests are like such weather as holding back the spring, yet improves the harvest: commonwealthsmen indeed may have a cold time on’t, but upon the commonwealth it must bestow fermentation. Had our incomparable assertors of public liberty appear’d before a universal eviction of the necessity which inforces their cause, it must have bin thro such a reluctancy, as would have made them glad to do things by halves, which is the only rock to a rising commonwealth of scandal, or of danger; the whole being such against which there is nothing to be alleg’d, and the half what may be easily confuted. These things consider’d, what appearance is there but that it must redound to the greater advantage of our commonwealthsmen, that we are under the force of a present humour which abhors the very name of a commonwealth? seeing by this means one of two things must of necessity happen, and com shortly to public view or discovery: either that monarchy is practicable, or that it is not practicable; I mean, in our state of affairs, or in this present distribution of the balance. If monarchy be found practicable, commonwealthsmen are satisfy’d in their consciences, and so ready in fair ways to return, and submit not only for wrath, but for conscience sake. But (let divines cry Atheism, and lawyers Treason) if it be once discover’d to common understanding that monarchy is impracticable, then in coms the commonwealth, not by halves, but with all its tackling, full sail, displaying its streamers, and flourishing with top and topgallant.
The ways wherby it is at hand to be discover’d whether monarchy be practicable or impracticable, are particularly two; the one quicker, the other slower: the quicker way will be by the workmen, the slower by the work.
If the workmen, being willing, be yet overcom by the mere obstinacy of their matter, it amounts to a plain confession, that monarchy is impracticable. And if they give away the libertys of the people, they are overcom by the obstinacy of the matter; for that is not their work: nor any other work than such as must be useless, not so much in regard of it self (tho that may be true enough) as by the want of any other security than what the prince had before, that is, an army. And such an army, which for security is as good as none at all, nay the very contrary, as has bin shewn already:Art of lawgiving, p. 406. nor to be alter’d with better success than theirs, who became princes in Grecian and Sicilian states.
But if the workmen give not away the libertys of the people, then must they so limit their prince, that he can in no manner invade those libertys; and this by any other means than the full and perfect introduction of a well-order’d commonwealth, they will find to be utterly impossible: so either way they are overcom by the mere obstinacy of their matter.
If thro som secret dictat (as when the senat of Rome was conviva cæsaris) or a hast to make riddance, this be not perceiv’d by the workmen, it will be but the more perceivable by the work when it coms to wearing or in practice; and the flaws or grievances being found insupportable, the next parlament, thro the mere want of any other remedy, must introduce a commonwealth.
GOOD, and egregiously prophetical! But what say you for all this, if we have a house of peers, and that even for the Lord’s sake, there being no other way to secure liberty of conscience? Why I say, if we have a house of peers, it must be a house of old peers, or a house of new peers, or a house of the one and the other. Moreover I say, let it be which way you will, such a house may at som time, or for som reason, be personally affected to liberty of conscience; but is a constitution in it self naturally averse, and contrary to liberty of conscience, and therfore can be no security to the same, whether the lords be spiritual, or temporal, or partiperpale.
Lords spiritual are inspir’d with a third estate, or share of a realm, which gives no toleration to any religion, but that only asserting this point, which is monarchy. Setting this oracle, and som like reasons of state aside, we may think that every soverainty (as such) has liberty of conscience: this a king having, cannot give; and a people having, will not lose. For liberty of conscience is in truth a kind of state, wherin a man is his own prince: but a house of peers sets up another prince; it cannot stand without a king. If the balance be in the lords, as before Henry the Seventh, yet must they have a king to unite them, and by whom to administer their government; and if the balance be not in the lords, they stand or fall with the king, as the house of peers in the long parlament, and the king falling, their government devolves to the people. Again, a house of peers having the overbalance, signifys somthing; in which case it has not bin known to be for liberty of conscience: and not having the overbalance, signifys nothing; in which case it cannot secure the liberty of conscience. Thus a house of peers, whether somthing or nothing, is no way for the liberty of conscience; but every way for a king: and a king is a defender of the faith. The faith wherof a king is defender, must be that which is, or he shall call his own faith; and this faith it concerns his crown and dignity, that he defend against all other faiths. True it is, that a king for a step to a throne, may use what is readiest at hand: otherwise where there is liberty of conscience, to assert civil liberty by Scripture can be no atheism; which lames a prince of one arm. But where liberty of conscience is not at all, or not perfect, divines, who (for the greater part) are no fair huntsmen, but love dearly to be poaching or clubbing with the secular arm (tho if we, who desire no such advantages, might prosecute them for abusing Scripture, as they have don this thousand years, to all the ends, intents, and purposes of monarchy, they would think it a hard case) divines, I say, not only brand the assertors of civil liberty with Atheism, but are som of them studious in contrivances, and quaint in plots to give a check or remove to this or that eminent patriot, by the like pretences or charges; which succeding accordingly by the power of a parlament, they may at length com to have a parlament in their power. Where there is no liberty of conscience, there can be no civil liberty; and where there is no civil liberty, there can be no security to liberty of conscience: but a house of peers is not only a necessary, but a declar’d check upon civil liberty: therfore it can be no security to liberty of conscience. And so much for this particular.
Now to make upon the other parts propos’d, and in a mere civil sense, som farther conjecture.
When a house of peers sets up a house of commons, as in the barons wars, they will govern the commons well enough for their own purpose, and not seldom the king too.
But we are to speak of a thing without any example, a house of peers set up by a house of commons; nor, in the want of example, are we thought worthy by our adversarys to be furnish’d with reason: so the guidance of our discourse upon this point is committed to mother wit, a notable gossip, but not so good a politician.
Nevertheless, if this house consists of old peerage only, we have direction enough to know how that will be; for either the single person, or the commons will be predominant in the government: if the commons be so, then it will be with the peers, as it was before their last seclusion; that is, while they do as the commons would have them, they may sit; otherwise they are sent home. And if the single person be predominant, it can be no otherwise than by an army; in which case the old peers being not in arms, nor having any help that way, are as much under the yoke as the commons. By which it may be apparent, that it is the great interest of the present peerage, that there be a well-order’d commonwealth: otherwise the commons being in bondage, the lords, whom that least becoms, are but equal with them: and being free, the lords are not the head, but at the foot of them; wheras in an equal commonwealth, that the nobility be not at the head, or have not the leading, is quite contrary to all reason and experience.
If the house consists of new peers only, it must consist of the chief officers in the army; which immediatly divides the government into two distinct governments: the one in the house of commons, whose foundation is the body of the people; the other in the house of peers, whose foundation is the army. This army if it remains firm to the peers, they not only command the commons, but make and unmake kings as they please; or as ambitious partys and persons among themselves are diligent or fortunat: but if the army (as is most and more than most likely) coms off to the commons, the peers are nothing, and the commons introduce a commonwealth.
If the house consists of new peers and old, the old peers while they like it, are cyphers to new figures; and when they like it not, may go home again: nor whether they stay or go, is this case so different from the former, as to be any greater obstruction to a commonwealth.
To hate the very name of a commonwealth, or not to see that England can be no other, is as if men were not in earnest. It is ask’d of the commons what the protector shall be, and he can be nothing but what they will. It is ask’d of the commons what the other house shall be, and it can be nothing but what the commons will. The commons are ask’d whose the army, whose the militia, whose the negative vote is; nor can these be otherwise determin’d than as they please. The commons are ask’d whether they will make such a war, whether they will pay such a debt, whether they will advance such a sum; all which are intirely at their discretion: therfore actually and positively England is a commonwealth. Nay, and that there remain not the least doubt, whether it be safe for any man to say thus much, the present government has either no legal denomination at all, or is legally denominated the commonwealth: the question of the future state of it coms not one whit upon the matter, which is already granted, but upon the form only. A commonwealth for the matter makes it self; and where they will not bestow upon it the form necessary, fails not of coming to ruin, or, at least, to disgrace the workmen: or, to speak more properly and piously, a commonwealth is not made by men, but by God; and they who resist his holy will, are weapons that cannot prosper.
Feb. 20. 1659.
SIX POLITICAL TRACTS WRITTEN ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS.
I. Valerius and Publicola. A Dialog.
II. A System of Politics, delineated in short and easy Aphorisms, now first publish’d from the Author’s own Manuscript.
III. Political Aphorisms.
IV. Seven Models of a Commonwealth, ancient and modern, &c.
V. The Ways and Means of introducing a Commonwealth by the Consent of the People.
VI. The humble Petition of divers well affected Persons: With the Parlament’s Answer therto.
[* ]A later pamphlet call’d XXV Querys, using the balance of property, which is fair enough, refers it to Sir Thomas Smith’s 15th chap. (de repub. populi ingenio accommodanda) where the author speaks not one word of property; which is very foul.
[* ]In Oceana.
[* ]In Oceana.
[* ]In Oceana.
[* ]In Oceana.