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The Seventh Query. - 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 Seventh Query.
What and how many be those little Things, and poor Mistakes, which the Author below a Gentleman of his Parts hath entertain’d?
The Doctor’s Answer.
THOSE little things and poor mistakes I confined to the matters of the church; for innovating wherin these latter times make exceptions against our translation, delight in some notions of words in Scripture, vent new interpretations, make strange inferences, in which to rest satisfy’d is below, &c. Such Page 16. from notion or origination of Ecclesia to infer democratical government of the church; and that inference for the right of gathering churches now, Page 28. So after in the model, what is said for the notion of χειρο[Editor: illegible character]ονεῖν to the prejudice of due ordination, and the like.
IN Judges xx. 2. the civil congregation of the chief of all the tribes of Israel, is called ecclesia dei: and not only Greek writers, as particularly Æschines, use that word for the assemblies of the people in the Grecian commonwealths, but Luke also speaking of the people of Ephesus, he saith, Erat autem ecclesia confusa: wherfore this word having been of this use before the Apostles, and being applied by them unto their convocations or assemblies, there must needs have been some reason, why they made choice of this, rather than of any other. Now if the reason had not been that they intended the church to be democratical, why would they borrow a word that is of that sense? or why should you think that they would give names unto things not according unto their nature; seeing if they had intended it should have been aristocratical, they might as well have taken the word γερȣσία or senate? wherefore, says Calvin the lawyer, Sumpserint apostoli illud melius nomen ad significandum ecclesiam, ut ostenderent politiam populi dei esse quidem democraticam, &c. I have shewed you my reasons, and given you my testimony, and yet you that have neither, call this a notion. Then for the chirotonia, or holding up of hands, it was the way of giving suffrage in some of those popular assemblies, more particularly, that of Athens, and this word the Apostles also came to borrow for the suffrage of their congregations, as in the Greek, Acts xiv. 23. where they use the word χειρο[Editor: illegible character]ονήσαν[Editor: illegible character]ες, the same that was used by the Athenians, signifying holding up of hands, or their manner of suffrage: but this the English translators have left out, and where they should have render’d the place, and when they had ordained elders, by the holding up of hands in every congregation, they render it, when they had ordain’d them elders in every church. Now you, though you know this well enough, never lay any blame upon the translators, but with them that find fault with the translation, as if it were less impiety in divines to corrupt the Scriptures, than in others to vindicate them from corruption. And this is another of those things which you have the considence to call notions, albeit in so doing you must needs sin against your own conscience: but what is that to interest? if this place be restored, ordination is restored unto the people; and so divines losing it, there is an end of priest-crast, as by telling the story of this invention, though in brief, will better appear; ordination in the commonwealth of Israel being primarily nothing else but election of magistrates, was performed by the suffrage of the people or (as is shewn by the Talmudists upon Numb. xi. in Eldad and Medad) by the ballot. Nor was it otherwise till the sanhedrim got a whim of their own, without any precept of God, to ordain their successors by the chirothesia or imposition of hands, and the parties being so ordained called Preshyters, became capable of being elected into the judicatories, whereby cheating the people of the right of electing their magistrates, the sanhedrim instituted the first Presbyterian government; nevertheless this form as to the imposition of hands, was not always held so necessary among the Jews but if the party were absent it might be done by letter, and somtimes, though he were present, it was done by verse or charm only. But whereas the senate, if not every senator, by this innovation had right to ordain; by Hilel high priest and prince of the sanhedrim, who liv’d some three hundred years before Christ, means was found to get the whole power into his hand, which being of such consequence, that no magistrate could thenceforth be made but by the high priest, it changed this same first presbytery, the high priests becoming afterwards monarchs, as I may say, into the first Papacy; for this track was exactly trodden over again by the Christians: first, to the presbytery, from thence to the bishop, and that by means of the same chirothesia or imposition of hands taken up from the Jews, and out of this bishop stept up the Pope, and his seventy cardinals, anciently the presbytery, or seventy elders of Rome, in imitation of those of Israel. Moreover it is the judgment of good divines, as Bullinger, Musculus, P. Martyr, Luther and Melancthon, that this chirothesia or imposition of hands is not necessary, for that the Apostles took up som things from the Jews, as community of goods, which are not necessary, you will not deny: and if this were not of that kind, then wherfore in the place alledged, where the chirotonia, prayer and fasting, as all things necessary unto ordination, are mention’d, is the chirothesia omitted even by the Apostles themselves? Nor can you find that it was otherwise than sparingly used by them in comparison of the chirotonia or suffrage of the people; and perhaps there only, where the people had not the civil right of any such suffrage, by which where it was, they ordained elders in every church. And in this place comes that of your answer unto the 7th query, namely, that the church acted three hundred years before the civil power became Christian, to be very questionable. For that Tarsus a city of Cilicia was so free, that Paul, being a native thereof, claimeth the right of a Roman, is clear in Scripture; nor is it more obscure in story, that the people in the cities of Lycia, Pamphylia, Lycaonia, or Cappadocia, in which the Apostle ordain’d ecclesiastical elders by the chirotonia of the church or congregation, had not only the ancient right but custom of electing their civil elders in the same manner. And where was the necessity or sense, that the Apostles to convert them unto the Christian religion, should go about to depose them, than which nothing could have caused a greater jealousy, obstruction or scandal upon their doctrine? but if the Apostles used the words ecclesia and chirotonia in these places, according unto the right of the people, and the known sense, in which they had bin always taken, then acted not the church three hundred years nor half a hundred years before the civil power became Christian. And if the bishops, when the emperors became Christian, made no bones of receiving their mitres from the civil magistrate, they must have don ill, had they known or conceived that the church in the purest times had waved the civil magistracy. Paul arriving at Athens converts Dionysius one of the senators, and som others unto the Christian faith. Suppose he had converted the whole senate and the people, what sober man can imagine, that he would have disputed with the congregation the sense of their former name ecclesia, or the right of electing their new elders by their old chirotonia or suffrage by holding up of hands? but he converted but a few; wherfore as he had no aid, so he had no hindrance from the magistrate. This, then, was a gather’d church, I think, or what was it? if the Prophets in Israel went up and down preaching unto the people, by whom they were followed; and if som of these that were thus followed were true, and more of them false, the people that followed them could not be all of the same persuasion, though it is like that no man would follow such an one as he was not persuaded was true. But the people choosing at their own discretion whom they would follow, how could these congregations be less gather’d than those, when the people were divided into three fects, Pharisees, Sadduces, and Esseans, which could be no other? nor doth the sanhedrim, though they had the government of the national religion, sending unto John the Baptist (John xi 25.) to know who he was, and why he baptized, refuse him the like prophetic right, used by him first, and afterwards by our Saviour and the Apostles, without the authority of the sanhedrim: nor doth Paul blame the congregations of Apollos and Cephas (1 Cor. i.) in that they were gather’d, but in that they put too much upon them that gathered them. How then doth it appear that my inference for gathered congregations now, is a little thing or poor mistake, below a gentleman of parts; when I say no more, than that gather’d congregations were in use both before and after Christ, notwithstanding the national religion that was then settled? and therfore gathered congregations for any thing in the Old or New Testament that I can find to the contrary, might be now, though a national religion were settled. And if this be not true, the testimony, which you bear in your present practice, is against your self; for what else are your congregations now, that will use none other than the common-prayer, but gathered?
To conclude, it should seem by you, that if the national religion were so settled, that the meddling with holy things by any other than a divine, might be resolv’d as boldly, and, to use a fine word, opinionately done, as if it were against an article of our creed; you would be pleas’d. But the national religion and the liberty of conscience so ordain’d in Oceana, that neither the interest of the learned, nor the ignorance of the unlearned can corrupt religion in which case though there might, yet there is no probability, that there would be any gathered congregations, this being the peculiar remedy for that which you hold a disease) you are displeas’d: for thus you conclude.
YOU see I have used freedom again, it is like you will think too much; but I desire you would allow me the privilege of the old saying, suo quisque sensu abundet, and not trouble yourself with interrogating me, from whom you can draw so little satisfaction. I never made it my study to model or shape out forms of government, but to yield obedience to every lawful command proceding from authority, how perfect, or otherwise the form was. In a word, Sir, I honour your parts, wish them imployed as may be most for the service of God and his church, and do promise myself in all friendly and Christian offices,
SIR, Your humble Servant,
Nov. 26. 1656.
To which I say that
I HAVE not heard a divine quote Scripture (Quisque suo sensu abundet) as an old saying; but you are not contented to do so only, but to use it accordingly; for wheras (Rom. xiv. 15.) it is indulged by the Apostles as to indifferent things, this was never intended to be an argument, that the seventy elders were erected upon the advice of Jethro, that Moses instituted a monarchy, that Gideon was king of Israel, or indeed for any thing that you have said. And therefore however you call it interrogatory, it is civil enough in such a case to desire better reason; but do not fear that I should give you any more in this kind, nor had I at all, if wheras you confess in the close that you have not studied these things, you had but said so much in the beginning, for there had been an end.
This study indeed, as I have shewed elsewhere, is peculiar unto gentlemen; but if it be of your goodness that you study not to shape such work, must it ever be the study of your tribe to mis-shape it? is it in such less impiety to have ruin’d a kingdom, than in any other to shew the true principles of a commonwealth? or wheras the nature of the politics, or such civil power (witness the sanhedrim of Israel) as cometh nearest unto God’s own pattern, regards as well religion as government, and is receptible of gentlemen; doth it follow that I have not laid out the best of my parts in my vocation, to the service of God and his church, because you, in your pretended zeal, have chosen to insinuate the contrary by a prayer? but he, unto whom you have addressed yourself, knoweth the secrets of all hearts. To him therefore I appeal, whether I have not sought him in a work of universal charity; and whether one end of this present writing be not, lest you making use of your great authority thus to prejudice such a work, should hurt them most, whom you love best; it being apparent unto any man, that can see and understand the balance of government with the irresistible consequence of the same, that by such time as the vanity of men’s ways shall have tried them a little more, it will be found that God in his infinite goodness and mercy, hath made that only possible for us, which is best for us all, most for the good of mankind, and his own glory. And so notwithstanding the heat of our dispute, which so far as it hath not resisted nor exceeded truth, cannot have been very sinful or uncharitable, I do oblige myself in all the devoirs of
SIR, Your affectionate Friend, and humble Servant,
London, Jan. 3. 1656.
THE STUMBLING-BLOCK OF DISOBEDIENCE and REBELLION,
Let no Man put a Stumbling-Block in his Brother’s Way, Rom. xiv. 13.
I GAVE my judgment upon your late book (that I mean against Calvin) in such manner among som gentlemen, that they desired me to write something in answer to it, which if there happen to be need, I may. In the mean time it will, perhaps, be enough, if I acquaint you with as much as I have acquainted them. In this book of yours you speak some things as a politician only, others as a politician and a divine too. Now to repeat a few, and yet as many I think as are needful of each kind, I shall begin with the former.
The rise, progress, and period of the commonwealth of Lacedemon is observable in authors by these steps.
1. The insufficiency of the monarchy.
2. The form of the commonwealth.
3. An infirmity in the form, and a cure of it.
4. The corruption and dissolution of the whole.
All which happened within the compass of eight hundred years.
P. 39, 40, 41.To the first you say, That the Spartan kings were as absolute monarchs as any in those times, till Eurytion, or Eurypon, to procure the favour and good-will of the rascal-rabble (so you commonly call the people) purchas’d nothing but the loss of royalty, besides an empty name unto his family, thence call’d the Euripontidæ.
It is true that Plutarch in the life of Lycurgus says, That Eurypon was the first, who, to obtain favour with the people, let loose the reins of government; and this he saith there without shewing any necessity that lay upon the king so to do: nevertheless that such necessity there was, is apparent in Agis, where he affirmeth, That a king of Lacedemon could never come to be equal unto any other king, but only by introducing equality among the people; forasmuch as a servant or lieutenant of Seleucus, or Ptolemy, was worth more than ever were all the kings of Sparta put together. Which latter speech, if a man consider the narrowness of the Laconic territory, being but a part of Peloponnesus, must needs evince the former action to have been not so voluntary in Eurypon, as in prudence unavoidable. But Eurypon having by this means rather confessed the infirmity of the monarchy, than introduced any cure of the government, it remained that the people not yet brought under fit orders must needs remain in disorders, as they did till the institution of the commonwealth.
The monarchy, that is or can be absolute, must be founded upon an army planted by military colonies upon the overbalance of land being in dominion of the prince; and in this case there can neither be a nobility, nor a people to gratify, at least without shaking the foundation, or disobliging the army. Wherefore the Spartan kings having a nobility or people to gratify, were not absolute. It is true, you call the kings of France absolute; so do others, but it is known that in the whole world there is not a nobility nor a people so frequently flying out or taking arms against their princes, as the nobility and people of France.
The monarch, that is founded upon a nobility, or a nobility and the people (as by the rise and progress of the Norman line in our story is apparently necessary) must gratify the nobility, or the nobility and the people, with such laws and libertys as are fit for them, or the government (as we have known by experience, is found in France, and no doubt was seen by Eurypon) becometh tyrannical, be the prince otherwise never so good a man.
ThusCarilaus, in whose reign the commonwealth was instituted by Lycurgus, is generally affirmed to have been a good man, and yet said by Aristotle to have been a tyrant. It remaineth therefore with you to shew how a good man can otherwise be a tyrant than by holding monarchical government without a sufficient balance, or if you please, how he that shall undertake the like, be he never so good or well deserving a man, can be any other; or confess that not the favour of princes (by which if they be well balanced they lose nothing) nor the usurpation of the people (by which without a popular balance they get nothing) but the infirmity of the monarchy caused the commonwealth of Lacedemon. And what less is said by Plutarch, or thus rendered by yourself:p. 41.Not the people only sent messages to Lycurgus for his counsel, but the kings were as desirous he should return from his travels, in hopes that his presence would bridle and restrain the people: but Lycurgus applied not himself unto either, being resolved to frame both into one commonwealth.
p. 43.To the form of this commonwealth, you say, That whatever the kings lost, the people got little by this alteration, being lest out of all imployment in affairs of state, and forced to yield obedience unto thirty masters, wheras before they had but two.
A strange affirmation, seeing the oracle containing the model of Lacedemon is thus recorded by your author, When thou hast divided the people into tribes and linages, thou shalt establish the senat, consisting with the two kings of thirty senators, and assemble the people as there shall be occasion, where the senat shall propose and dismiss the people without suffering them to debate. Now who seeth not that the people having no right to debate, must therefore have had the right to resolve, or else were to be assembled for nothing? but the ultimate result is the sovereign power in every government. It is true, the Greek of the oracle is obsolete, and abstruse; but then it is not only interpreted by Plutarch in the sense I have given, but by the verses of the poet Tyrteus, which the kings themselves, tho they would have made other use of, acknowledged unto the people to be authentick.
Of many other testimonies, I shall add no more than one out of Isocrates; I am not ignorant, saith he, to the Areopagites, that the Lacedemonians flourish for this cause especially, that their government is popular.
p. 45.To the infirmity of this form, and the cure of it you say, That the royalty and power of the kings being thus impaired, the people absolutely discharged from having any hand at all in publick government, and the authority of the senate growing every day more insolent and predominant, by reason that (albeit the senators were elected by the people) they had their places for term of life, the kings resolved upon a course of putting the people into such a condition as might enable them to curb and controul the senators, to which end they ordained the ephori, magistrates to be annually chosen out of the body of the people.
In which first you make that to be a practice of the kings against the senate, which by your author is plain to have been a combination of the kings, and the senate against the people; for the people upon the insolency and predominancy of the kings and the senate, fell, as in that case the inevitable nature of them, upon counsel how to defend themselves, and so assumed the power of debate. Hereupon the kings Theopompus and Polidore would have added unto the tenor of the oracle, that if the people went about by debate to change the propositions of the senate, it should be lawful for the kings and the senate to null the result of the people; which practice, if it had past, must have made the kings and the senate altogether uncontroulable; wherefore the people incensed at it, put a bit into the mouth of the senate, by the institution of the ephori.De Leg. 3. This is the clear sense of Plutarch, which he taketh out of Plato, who affirmeth the ephorate to have been set up against the hereditary power of the kings; with whom agree both Aristotle and Cicero; the former affirming this magistracy to contain the whole commonwealth, inasmuch as the people having obtained it, were quiet;Pol. lib. 2. and the latter that the ephori in Lacedemon were so opposed to the kings, as the tribunes in Rome to the consuls.De Leg. 3. Now if other authors attribute the institution of the ephori unto the kings, and there be a story affirmed as well by Plutarch as others, that Theopompus having thus created the ephori, and being told by his queen he had done that which would leave narrower power to his children, answered well, that it would leave that which would be narrower, but longer: this is neither any riddle nor kind of contradiction to the former sense, seeing, when we say that Henry the Third instituted the parliament to be assistant to him in his government, we no more doubt of that, than how it is to be understood. Nor if his queen had said as she of Lacedemon, and our king had made the like answer, would that have altered any thing, or proved the woman to have been, as you will have it, the better prophet, seeing either government lasted longer for either reformation, nor came to alter, but through the alteration of the balance, which was nothing to the woman’s prophecy.
The ruin of this balance, and corruption of the commonwealth, you wholly omit, to the end, that picking up your objections against the government in vigour, out of the rubbish and dissolution of it you may cast dust in mens eyes, or persuade them that the ephori trusting to the power and interest they had in the commonalty, came to usurp upon the kings, and to be tyrants, as they are called by Plato and Aristotle; so you affirm.p. 55.
But the truth is thus recorded by Plutarch in the life of Agis. So soon as the Lacedemonians having ruined Athens, became full of gold and silver, the commonwealth began to break. Nevertheless, the lots or division of lands made by Lycurgus yet remaining, the equality of the foundation held good, till Epictetus, an ill-natured fellow, became ephore, and having a mind to disinherit his son, got a law to pass, whereby any man might dispose of his lot as he pleased. This by him pursued of mere malice to his son, was hurried on by the avarice of others, whose riches came thus to eat the people so clearly out of their lands, that in a short time there remained not above an hundred freeholders in all Sparta. This he shews to have been the rise of the oligarchy. The oligarchy thus balanced totally excluded the people, and murther’d Agis, the first king that was ever put to death by the ephori; and to these times, about which Plato and Aristotle lived, relateth that tyranny, which they, who, as was shewn, commended the ephorate in the commonwealth, now laid into it in oligarchy. Thus have you fetcht arguments against a commonwealth, that are nothing to it. Again, whereas Agis and Cleomenes, by the restitution of the lots of Lycurgus, were assertors of popular power, you insinuate them to have been assertors of monarchy; such is your play with human authors, or as a politician. Now let us see, whether you have dealt any thing better with Scripture, or bin more careful as a divine. In order to this discovery, I shall repeat that piece of Calvin, which you call the stumbling-block of disobedience. Calvin having preached obedience to your good approbation, comes at length to this expression:Calv. Inst. lib. c. 20. § 31.But still I must be understood of private persons; for if there be now any popular officers ordained to moderate the licentiousness of kings (such as were the ephori, set up of old against the kings of Sparta, the tribuns of the people against the Roman consuls, and the demarchs against the Athenian senate, of which power perhaps, as the world now goes, the three estates are seized in each several kingdom when solemnly assembled) so far am I from hindring them to put restraints upon the exorbitant power of kings, as their office binds them, that I conceive them rather to be guilty of perfidious dissimulation, if they connive at kings, when they play the tyrants, or wantonly insult on the people; in that so doing they betray the liberty of the subject, of which they know themselves to be made guardians by God’s own ordinance.
WhatCalvin says of the Athenian demarchs, they having been magistrats of another nature, is a mistake, but such an one, as destroys no other part of his assertion, the rest of the parenthesis, or that which he saith of the ephori, and the tribuns being confirmed, as hath been already shewn by Plato and Aristotle, by Cicero and Plutarch. Wherefore of the ephori and the tribuns enough; now why the estates in a Gothick Model should be of less power, no politician in the world shall ever shew a reason; the estates are such by virtue of their estates, that is, of their over-balance in dominion. You are then either speculatively to shew how the over-balance of dominion should not amount unto empire, or practically that the over-balance of dominion hath not amounted unto empire, and that in a quiet government, or it can be no otherwise in a quiet government, than that the over-balance of dominion must amount unto empire. This principle being now sufficiently known, is the cause it may be why you choose in this place to speak rather like a divine, as you suppose, than a politician.p. 290. For you would fain learn, you say, of Calvin, in what part of the word of God we shall find any such authority given to such popular magistrats, as he tells us of.
To which by the way I answer, that God founded the Israelitish government upon a popular balance; that we find the people of Israel judging the tribe of Benjamin, and by the oracle of God, levying war against them, which are acts of sovereign power: therefore a popular balance, even by the ordinance of God himself expressed in Scripture, amounted unto empire.Judg. xx.
p. 290.But you, when you have asked in what part of the word of God we shall find any such authority given to popular magistrats; answer, not in the Old Testament, you are sure. For when Moses first ordained the seventy elders, it was not to diminish any part of that power which was invested in him, but to ease himself of some part of the burthen lying upon him, as you will have to appear plainly by the 18th of Exodus, where Moses upon the advice of Jethro chose able men out of all Israel, and made them rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.Numb. [Editor: illegible character] 46. Now I am sure that about this time the number of the men of Israel was above six hundred thousand, and so any man may be sure that the elders thus chosen (should we count but the rulers of the thousands only) must have come at the least to six hundred: wherefore, you cannot be sure that this makes any thing to the election of the seventy elders.
Well, but out of these, say you, God afterwards, in the eleventh of Numbers, willed Moses to choose the seventy elders.
You may do me a greater favour than you can suddenly imagine, to tell me really for what cause, or upon what authority your speech is so positive, that God willed Moses to choose the seventy elders out of those that were chosen in the eighteenth of Exodus. For whereas Moses is willed to choose them out of such as he knew to be elders, such there were in honour among the people, though not in power, before the election of those advised by Jethro, as appears, Ex. iii. 16. and iv. 29. But had this been as you would have it, what is the necessity, that because there lay an appeal unto Moses from those in Exodus, that is, from the Jethronian elders, or courts which sat afterwards in the gates of the temple, and of every city; therefore there must needs lie an appeal from the seventy elders or the sanhedrim unto Moses, especially while the whole stream of Jewish writers or Talmudists, who should have had some knowledge in their own commonwealth, unanimously affirms that there was no such thing?Grotius ad Ex. xviii. 21. Whereupon to the election of the former elders, saith Grotius, in the place of these came the judges in the gates, and in the place of Moses the sanhedrim. Nor need we go farther than the Scripture, for the certainty of this assertion, where the seventy are chosen not to stand under Moses,Numb. xi. but with him; not to diminish his burthen, or bear it under him, with an appeal in difficult cases to him, as is expressed in the election of the Jethronian elders, but to bear the burthen with him, and without any mention of such appeal. Moses before the election of the Jethronian judges had the whole burthen of judicature lying upon him; after their election, the burthen of the appeals only: wherefore if the seventy elders were indeed instituted to bear the burthen with Moses, there thenceforth lay no appeal unto Moses, which is yet clearer in this precept:Deut. xvii. 8.If there arise a matter of controversy within thy gates, (which plainly is addrest to the Jethronian courts) too hard for thee in judgment, then shalt thou come unto the priest and the Levite, (by which in the sense of all authors Jewish and Christian is understood the sanhedrim) or to the judge that shall be in those days, (the suffes or dictator) and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment: whence by the clear sense of Scripture, all matter of appeal in Israel lay unto the sanhedrim.p. 292. Your next argument, that there must be nothing in all this but easing the supreme magistrate of some part of the burthen, which was before too heavy for him, without any diminution in the least respect of his power, is, that when God had taken of the Spirit which was upon Moses, and put it upon the seventy elders, the Spirit yet rested upon Moses in as full a measure as it did at first: I grant in a fuller, for I believe his wisdom was the greater for this diminution of his power, it being through the nature of the balance apparently impossible that he could be any more than a prince in a commonwealth. But your argument can be of no force at all, unless you will have him to have been less wise, for not assuming sovereign power, where, without confusion, it was altogether impossible he should have held it. A prince in a commonwealth subsisteth by making himself, or being made of use unto the free course of popular orders; but a sovereign lord can have no other subsistence or security, than by cutting off or tearing up all roots, that do naturally shoot or spring up into such branches. To conclude, if the congregation of the people, in law to be made, had such power as was shewn, and in law, so made, the ultimate appeal lay unto the sanhedrim; why, are not here two estates in this commonwealth, each by God’s own ordinance, and both plain in Scripture? Well, but when they came, you will say, to make unto themselves kings, whatever power they had formerly, was now lost. This at best were but to dispute from the folly of a people against an ordinance of God; for what less is testified by himself in those words to Samuel, They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me that I should not reign over them?1 Sam. viii. 7. The government of the senate and the people is that only, which is or can be the government of laws and not of men, and the government of laws and not of men, is the government of God and not of men:Arist. pol. 3. c. 12.He that is for the government of laws, is for the government of God; and he that is for the government of a man, is for the government of a beast. Kings, no question, where the balance is monarchical, are of divine right, and, if they be good, the greatest blessings that the government so standing can be capable of; but the balance being popular, as in Israel, in the Grecian, in the Sicilian tyrannies, they are the direst curse that can befal a nation. Nor are divines, who will always have them to be of divine right, to be hearkned to, seeing they affirm that which is clean contrary to Scripture, for in this case, saith Hosea, they have set up kings, and not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not.Hos. viii. 4.Pharaoh may impose the making of brick without the allowance of straw, but God never required of any man or of any government, that they should live otherwise, than according to their estates. It is true if a man’s want make him a servant, there are rules in Scripture that enjoin him the duty of a servant: but shew me the rule in Scripture that obligeth a man who can live of himself unto the duty of a servant. Hath God less regard unto a nation than to a man?Hos. xiii. Yet the people of Israel, continuing upon a popular agrarian, though God forewarned them, that by this means they would make themselves servants, would needs have a king; whence, saith the same prophet, O Israel, thou hast destroyed thy self, but in me is thine help; I will be thy King (which foretels the restitution of the commonwealth, for) where is any other that may save thee in all thy cities? and thy judges of whom thou saidst give me a king and princes. I gave thee a king in mine anger, (that is in Saul,) and I took him away in my wrath, that is in the captivity; so at least saith Rabbi Bechai, with whom agree Nachmoni, Gyschome, and others. Kimchi, it is true, and Maimonides, are of opinion, that the people making a king, displeased God not in the matter, but in the form only, as if the root of a tree, the balance of a government, were form only and not matter. Nor do our divines yet, who are divided into like parties, see more than the rabbies. Both the royalists and the commonwealthsmen of each sort, that is, whether divines or Talmudists, appeal unto the letter of the law, which the royalists (as the translators of our Bible) render thus:Deut. xvii. 14.When thou shalt say (the commonwealthsmen, as Diodati thus, If thou com to say) I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are about me, thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose. The one party will have the law to be positive, the other contingent, and with a mark of detestation upon it; for so where God speaketh of his people’s doing any thing like the nations that were about them, it is every where else understood. But let these, which are no niceties, be as you will; who seeth not that to argue from this place for the necessity of the king, is as if one from that foregoing should argue for the necessity of the judges?Verse 9. The words are these, Thou shalt come unto the priest and to the Levite, which, as was said, is to the sanhedrim, and (that is or) to the judge that shall be in those days.Book 5. c. 2. Yet that the judge, not by any necessity implied in these words, but through the mere folly of the people came to be set up in Israel, is plain by Josephus, where he shews that the Israelites laying by their arms, and betaking themselves unto their pleasures, while they did not as God had commanded, root out the Canaanites from among them, but suffered them to dwell with them, suffered also the form of their commonwealth to be corrupted, and the senate to be broken; the senators nor other solemn magistrates being elected as formerly, which both in word and fact is confirmed also by the Scripture. In words, as where it is thus written:Judg. ii. 16.When Joshua had let the people go (that is, had dismissed the army, and planted them upon their popular balance) the children of Israel went every man unto his own inheritance to possess the land, and the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that out-lived Joshua, that is, while the sanhedrim continued after him; but when the elders hereof came to die, and the people elected them no successors, they lived evil in the sight of the Lord, and having broken their civil orders, forsook also their religion, the government whereof depended upon the sanhedrim, and served Baalim.Judg. i. 3. And for the matter of fact included in these words, it farther appears, where Judah said unto Simeon his brother, come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites, and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot; so Simeon went with him By which the tribes leaguing at their pleasure one with another, it is plain, that the sanhedrim, their common ligament, was broken.Pacuvius apud Livium, lib. 23. Now except a man shall say, that this neglect of God’s ordinance was according unto the law of God, there is no disputing from that law to the necessity of the judge, which happened through no other than this exigence (quippe aut rex, quod abominandum, aut quod unum liberæ civitatis consilium est, senatus habendus est) wherefore the judge of Israel was not necessitated by the will of God, but foreseen only by his providence, not imposed by the law, but provided by it as an expedient in case of necessity; and if no more can be pleaded from the law for the judge against whom God never declared, much less is there to be pleaded from the same for the king, against whom he declared so often. There is nothing more clear nor certain in Scripture, than that the commonwealth of Israel was instituted by God; the judges and the kings no otherwise, than through the imprudence and importunity of the people. But you who have no better name for the people in a commonwealth than the rascally rabble, will have kings at a venture to be of divine right, and to be absolute; whereas in truth, if divine right be derived unto kings, from these of the Hebrews only, it is most apparent that no absolute king can be of divine right.Deut. xvii. For these kings, if they were such by the law alledged, then by the same law they could neither multiply horses nor wives, nor silver nor gold, without which no king can be absolute; but were to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, and so by consequence were regulated monarchs; nay, could of right enact no law, but as those by David for the reduction of the ark, for the regulation of the priests, for the election of Solomon, which were made by the suffrage of the people, no otherwise than those under the kings of Rome, and ours under the late monarchy. What then is attributed by Calvin unto popular magistrates, that is not confirmed by Scripture and reason? Yet nothing will serve your turn, but to know what power there was in the sanhedrim to controul their kings: to which I answer, that both Schickardus and Grotius, with the full consent of the Talmudists, have assured you, that in case the king came to violate those laws and statutes, it was in the power of the sanhedrim to bring him unto corporal punishment.De jure B. ac P. lib 1. cap. 1. Moreover it is shewn by the latter out of Josephus, that Hyrcanus, when he could not deliver Herod from the sanhedrim by power, did it by art. Nor is your evasion so good as that of Hyrcanus, while you having nothing to say to the contrary, but that Herod when he was questioned was no king, shuffle over the business without taking any notice as to the point in controversy, that Hyrcanus, who could not save Herod from the question, was king.
2 Chr. xix.The manner of the restitution of the sanhedrim made by Jehoshaphat plainly shews, that even under the monarchy the power of the sanhedrim was co-ordinate with that of the kings, at least, such is the judgment of the Jewish writers; for saith Grotius, the king (as is rightly noted by the Talmudists) was not to judge in some cases; and to this the words of Zedekiah seem to relate, where to the sanhedrim demanding the prophet Jeremiah, he said, Behold he is in your hands, for the king is not he that can do any thing with you.Ad Mat. v.Jer. xxxviii. 5. Nor, except David, had ever any king session or vote in this council. To which soon after he adds, that this court continued till Herod the Great, whose insolence, when exalting itself more and more against the law, the senators had not in time, as they ought, suppressed by their power; God punished them in such manner for the neglect of their duty, that they came all to be put to death by Herod, except Sameas only, whose foresight and frequent warning of this or the like calamity they had as frequently contemned. In which words Grotius following the unanimous consent of the Talmudists, if they knew any thing of their own orders, expresly attributes the same power unto the sanhedrim, and chargeth them with the same duty in Israel, that is attributed unto the three estates in a Gothick Model, and charged upon these by Calvin.
p. 289.Thus that there never lay any appeal from the sanhedrim unto Moses, nor, except when the Jews were in captivity, or under provincial government, to any other magistrate, as also that they had power upon their kings, being that your self say, Is the objection paramount, and which not answered, you confess that the three estates convened in parliament, or any other popular magistrate Calvin dreams of, notwithstandingany discontinuance or non-usage on their parts, or any prescription alledged by kings to the contrary, may resume and exercise that authority which God hath given them, whenever they shall find a fit time for it. And this letter shewing plainly that you have in no wise answered this objection, it remains that your whole book, even according to your own acknowledgment, is confuted by this letter. Or if you be of another mind, I shall hope to hear farther from you.
A Letter unto Mr. Stubs, in Answer to his Oceana weighed, &c.
SIR, to begin with the best piece of your work; your quotations in the title page spoiled with ill application, I shall first set right. You see that all councils, all things are upon the rota, upon the wheel. From that rota only which I suppose you mean; what came forth, came forth unfoiled, and as it went in. We do not by this trial despair, but with a little sense, the right institution of such a society may come to compare with Piccadilly, play-houses, or horse-matches; but if these be yet preferred, then indeed
Thus applied there may be sense in this quotation. So for your other, had it been affixed unto your former book, and applied to your self, or those unto whom you wrote journey-work for oligarchy, it might have been well said as in Asinar,
Thus taken, you know it is true. And so your title-page being in part rectified, I come
To your Preface.
Mr. Harrington says, That without a national religion there can be no liberty of conscience. And you answer, That in Athens and Rome there were national religions; therefore in Athens and Rome there was no liberty of conscience; which is so much the more absurd, in that you cite Petit for confirmation of your consequence, who affirms the contrary, and that by undeniable authorities, as may be seen in the second, third, and fourth pages of his discourse upon the Attick laws, the sum whereof amounts unto thus much, That albeit there were in Athens laws for the national religion, yet it by law was in the Areopagites also to give liberty unto any other way of worship, which liberty so given was law, and became a man’s right, whether it were to a publick or private way of worship; in which manner it is affirmed and proved by the same Petit, that into Athens, besides the national religion of that country, were introduced the religions of almost every other country. The same he affirmeth of Rome, where, notwithstanding the national religion therein established by Romulus, it is vulgarly known that scarce any country was subdued by them, whose religion they did not insert into their own.
And where is your truth, who say, That Mr. Harrington entertains us with discourse of Paul’s trial at Athens? Where doth he say that Paul was tried there? Or what saith he of Paul’s preaching there, other than is affirmed by other pens, as that particularly of Grotius? But out of this you fall merrily, as thus: Once upon a time there was a man called William Thomas, therefore William and Thomas must for evermore be one and the same man.
This is your way of disputing, which you carry on in like manner, for example thus:
Every man is to be taxed for that estate whereof he is not owner.
NowOceana is an estate, whereof Mr. Harrington is not owner.
ThereforeOceana is an estate, for which we are to tax Mr. Harrington.
If the minor be denied, as that Oceana is an estate whereof Mr. Harrington is not owner, your discourse implies this or the like proof of it.
Where any one man and no other is the constant defender of one and the same estate or propriety, that one and the same estate or propriety is not his, but some others.
But Mr. Harrington and no other is the constant defender of Oceana.
ThereforeOceana is no estate or propriety of Mr. Harrington’s, but of some other. Now if it please you,
To the Body of your Work.
Sir, to a man who pretends not to understand a language, it is no shame not to understand that language; but it is a shame to a man, and a scholar who pretends to sense, not to understand sense. If I shall make it plain that in this point you come short, I shall have vindicated the Greek of your authors from your ignorant application of the same, without troubling the reader with any more languages than his mother tongue. You, in pretending to have sound Oceana light, weigh only Sparta, nor that truly.
First, Because the senate of Sparta was instituted by Lycurgus, you argue, That it was not instituted eligible by the people; whereas all authors, particularly Aristotle, lib. 4. cap. 9. affirm, That the magistrates in Sparta were all chosen by the people, as that of senator; or chosen, and also born by the people, as that of ephori.
For the mistakes you lay unto Mr. Harrington in the Greek, as, That the tribes in Lacedemon were pre-existent to the oracle, what maketh that to the purpose? And that the word obæ doth not signify lineages, you will harldly persuade, seeing Amyot, thought to be as good an interpreter of the Greek as Mr. Stubs, in rendring the oracle, hath these words, Aprez que tu auras divisé le peuple en ligniees. But I will not trouble the reader with foreign languages: things indisputable shall hereafter be brought for interpretation of the words you dispute at a dear rate, giving so much Greek for two-pence as you have made not worth an half-penny. Mr. Harrington states the commonwealth of Sparta thus;
Lycurgus instituted a senate eligible by the people for life, with right to debate and propose, and a popular assembly with power to resolve. To which he adds theplace in Plutarch. Lycurgus having thus tempered the form of this commonwealth, it seemed nevertheless to them who came after, that the small number of thirty persons (and for life) whereof this senate consisted, was the cause of greater force and authority in the same than was convenient; for which cause to hold in this same senate, they (the people) gave them the senate, (as Plato saith) the curb, which was the power and authority of the ephori, magistrates created about one hundred and thirty years after the death of Lycurgus, in the time of king Theopompus, who to his wife reproaching him in disdain, that he must thus basely leave his kingdom less unto his successors, than he had received of his predecessors; made answer, That he should leave it greater, in regard that it would be more firm and durable.
Hereby it is apparent, when the senate upon these advantages of fewness and for life, began to propose perversely unto the people, then the people began to add, diminish, pervert, and evert what the senate proposed, that is, they began (as in like cases is unavoidable) to debate. And the people thus taking upon them to debate, Polydorus and Theopompus being kings, endeavoured to add unto the fundamental law, that if the people did not determine well, then the senators and the kings should stop the procedure. Hereupon, for the defence of their fundamental laws, the people erected the court of the ephori, consisting of annual magistrates chosen by and out of themselves, and with power to question any of their kings or senators upon their lives, that should go about to pervert those laws. Thus by this patch of the ephori, came that flaw in Sparta (wherewith Mr. Harrington for that reason proposing otherwise, is not concerned) to be amended. And this is the account he gives of that commonwealth, which you, perverting the whole story, go about to weigh otherwise.
1. Inferring that the people were guilty of those miscarriages, which it is plain proceeded from the senate, and were rectified by the people, in the institution of that curb upon the senate (as is plainly shewn by Plutarch) in the institution of the ephori.
2. You infer from you know not what, that the senate had a negative vote, and yet confess that the people had no right to debate. Whereas to leave words or canting, (for your Greek, as you use it, amounts to no more) and come as I said to the undeniable testimony of things or of sense; if the popular assembly had no right to debate, how should the senate have a negative? or if the popular assembly had right to the result only, then who but themselves could have the negative? Contra rationem nemo sobrius, contra experientiam nemo sanus. For that which you alledge out of Demosthenes, as that he calleth the senate of Sparta lords of the people, it can (considering the nature of this commonwealth, which Isocrates to the Areopagites affirms to be popular) be no otherwise understood, than as they who have the like function, I mean of debating and proposing unto the parliament in Scotland, are called lords of the articles. Lord in this sense, as you (in great letters setting a mark upon your ignorance, and not interpreting your text) would imply, doth not signify sovereign, for neither are the lords of the articles sovereign, nor doth Demosthenes affirm that of the senate of Sparta. But where the proposers are few, and for life, as in Lacedemon, and as the greater nobility or officers in Scotland, they may in some sense be called lords of the people, though not they, but the people have the result.
LETTER TO MR. STUBS.
To conclude, Mr. Harrington hath long since shewed, that among the Greeks, the words oligarchy and democracy, were understood in such manner, that where the popular assembly had the result only, there the commonwealth was sometimes called oligarchy, especially if the proposing council consisted of few, and for life, as in Sparta; and where the people had not only the result but debate also, that was called democracy, as in Athens. Hence that an oligarchist in your sense, or one that hath endeavoured to make helots and Gibeonites, or servants of such as are now his lords and masters, is no ideot, there is no consequence, even for what hath happened in our days. Quid verba audio, cum facta videam? &c.
March 6. 1659.
Ad populum phaleras, ego te intus et in cute novi.
EPISTLE to the READER.
THEY say well, that a man who hath written should not trouble himself with such as write against him; but let the world hear on both ears, and then judge. That this in time would do well enough in my case, I make as little doubt as another. Nevertheless, where through silence there may be damage, at the tenderest point or season, I hold my self obliged forthwith to answer the present book, though it be but meer raillery or jest: and for this cause, if I also be merry, you will have me excused. Another instigation or spur to this laudable adventure, is, that as gloves which have lain in Spanish skins give notice of themselves in fair assemblies, so hath some book by having lain in some man’s pocket. For order, though where there are but two speakers, I shall scarce observe the laws of a play, yet the best method I can upon this occasion fit my self withal, will be by distributing my discourse into acts and scenes. The acts, as well because I have not taken my degrees, as that multitudes of university scholars (they say, soberly and seriously) profess themselves to be converted by Mr. Wren, shall not be dramatical, but university acts: and to these, being the scholars slight me for a law-giver, I will for once give such laws, as, let them do what they can, they shall never evade. The same shall be done in such manner, as, if they cannot answer nor get loose from my first act, then will I thereupon declare my self a batchelor of arts: if they cannot answer or get loose from my second act, then will I be undeniably a master of arts: the third shall make me in like manner a batchelor of law; the fourth, a doctor of law, and perhaps of divinity. For without confutation by divines or lawyers, there will be no reason why my exercises are not sufficiently performed; and these being sufficiently performed, why have not I legitimately acquired my degrees? then in the latter end, I will do something to go out orator; and in the last place, shall I stand to be poet laureat. But you must think that a man may as lawfully be two years, if he have nothing else to do, about business of such importance, as Mr. Wren hath been about less matters. Be then attentive: for the present you shall have the first act; and what you find Mr. Wren or me to be in this, I here engage my reputation, that the respect characters shall be made good throughout.
But now upon occasion of these acts, I warrant you we shall have my antagonist go pitifully complaining unto Dr. Wilkins, of disingenuous contumely thrown upon the university. Goodness! what is an university, at least one where they can call such a writer as Mr. Wren ingenious; and such trumpery as his writings, full satisfaction or conviction, that it should be unlawful for any man, though but a ballad-singer, to laugh such a white mother into red cheeks!
March 20, 1656.
THE PROLOGUE, In Answer to Mr. Wren’s PREFACE.
GENTLE Mr. Wren, (sine ira & obsequio) without passion or partiality, give me your hand, and let me as it were by some familiar and unstudied discourse, treat with you upon the contents of that same book you call Monarchy asserted, and so forth.
Sir, for method, I shall take those places which are most material, in the order you have borrowed for them, and so bestowed upon them; omitting none that is not implied in the answer I shall give unto these: you shall not find me skipping, as you do, whole pages and chapters. And whereas you (upon my taking that liberty which is every man’s right, of using a libel without a name, as he thinks fit) have appealed in the conclusion unto my lords, the provosts of Oceana, as if I had given you ill language; and have also in divers and sundry places of your work, as it were, dared my muse; I shall at leisure (it may be within two years) add a piece of oratory, addressed unto the said lords, the provosts of the academy in Oceana, and some poems not abhorring from your desires or provocations, not in the thunder-thumping way of grandsire Virgil, but in the sugar’d speech of mine uncle Chaucer. If you please by the way to take a lick of it, I shall at this distance from the Opera, insert the prologue.
Pray, Sir, ha’ me commended to them that say, your book is unanswerable, and let them know, it is to them that the prologue is spoken. The body of the work is heroick; the title thereof bequeathed by famous Selden, runneth thus: The wars of the makers of mouse-traps against Inigo Jones; and it beginneth in this wise.
Look you there now, is not this fair? you have the length of my weapon. Moreover, I have manifested unto you the whole order of my work. Now to my tackling.
Noble Mr. Wren, you have declared your self to be of an assembly of men who are known both at home and abroad to be of the most learned persons of this age: and some suspect it to have been under their eye, that you have been about two years in answering my last book; an enterprise in which you have performed, seeing you now own the former, your second adventure in like chivalry; yet where I vouch Aristotle, Machiavel, and like authors for the undoubted right, which a private man may claim in treating upon the politicks, or upon the nature of government, you tell me, that this privilege is not to be extended unto every little writer. I, against whom one of the assembly, known both at home and abroad to be of the most learned persons of this age, hath written twice, and been so long about it, a little writer! Sir, you forgot your self.
Again, the testimony of Machiavel throughout his works, is, that he intendeth not carelesly to start some philosophical opinion, but applieth every thing home and expresly unto Italy, though not without some despair, yet with the ardour, or, if you will have it so, with the heat and passion belonging unto so noble a design. Wherefore for you to adoperate this testimony quite contrary to the truth of it, as a proof that my way of writing hath no affinity with this author’s, is subornation of a witness.
W. p. 107.But, good Mr. Wren, is your proposition of German-horse, or, which is all one, of a mercenary army for a standing government, such as professeth to have any fiction or romance, while you enter not into despair (as you say) of living to enjoy your share of the felicities which will belong unto the subjects of such a government, or adapted to the occasions or necessities of a particular juncture? is it such as in so many fair compliments wherewith you interweave me nominally, is proposed with the temper and moderation becoming a philosophical opinion, and not with the heat and passion belonging to a design? was my book which named no man, a libel or a pasquin; and are both yours, each page whereof is endued with my name, most serious tracts, and true history? alas, that ever I fell into the hands of such an historian: what will become of my name, preserved in such sugar’d eloquence to future ages?Hen. VII. but notwithstanding you are a great historian, Mr. Wren, yet as concerning Christopher Columbus, and because you will go to that, as concerning Sebastian Gabato likewise,Page 188. I appeal unto my lord Verulam, whether they first framed not designs or cards before they found out their discoveries; or if discoveries cannot be made but by design or chance, what need I appeal to any man for this, seeing it is known that they made their previous contracts with princes, before they undertook their adventures? what mean you then to say, that they who understand that Christopher Columbus must first have been at the Indies, before he could make a card to teach others the way thither, will go near to suspect Mr. Harrington’s abilities in modelling a commonwealth, till he have spent some years in the ministry of state?
Good Sir, besides the trick you put upon your reader, in your antecedent, you are quite out in your consequence. For how many years, I pray you, had Lycurgus, or Numa Pompilius spent in the ministry of state before they modelled their governments? or what modelling of government hath been bequeathed unto the world, by all the ministers of state in France, since the dissolution of the three estates, the ancient model of that government; or by all the ministers of state since Henry the Seventh in England; or have not these rather been the ruin of the English model? Mr. Wren, if you will believe me, the main, nay the whole ability of modelling a commonwealth, lyeth in two things; the one, in being well versed in ancient prudence; the other, in being disengaged from all parties: neither of which qualifications is common with ministers of state.
Talk not to me of French taylors; to model is not so easy a thing as you take it for, if we may but count our late changes of government: when the king left the parliament, and the two houses governed without a king, there was one change. When the peers were excluded, and the commons governed without king and peers, there was two: when the commons were excluded, and the general governed alone, there were three: when the general governed with a convention of his own making, there were four: when by the major-generals, there were five: when the protector governed by the instrument, there were six: when he governed by the petition and advice, there were seven; the present should be the eighth: nor hitherto hath there been any model at all, or any such as the makers themselves have approved of. I hope I give no offence; for I say but as they say: but you are such a man, you can shew me no body so good at modelling as I, except it be your self; who I am sure have had as little ministry; and yet the next dung-hill, which is your own sweet book, you think fittest to be my magazine. Why seeing you will have it so, come your ways.
Scene I. In Answer to Chap. I.
Whether Prudence be well distinguished into ancient and modern.
FOUGH! this same mixen in the stirring, is like pepper in the nose; but he faith it is hellebore for to purge heads.
Now as concerning purging of heads, Mr. Wren, there seemeth already to peep out a question. Do your universities (gentle Sir) derive their learning from Nimrod, from the kings of China, from the monarchies? (to be equally with Macedon, I doubt, as to this point, passed over in wise silence) Are they descended (do you understand me?) from the times in Greece called by Thucydides, The imbecillity of ancient times; from those in Rome, called by Florus, The childhood of that government? or speak out, is their whole stock of learning, without which they had not had any kind of thing whereupon to set up, derived from the Hebrew, the Greek, and the Roman commonwealths? if so, Mr. Wren, whether I pray you call you not now that stock of learning ancient learning, albeit they could not call it so then? and if politicians have no other pedigree of prudence, than the same that you have of learning, why is not that prudence, which they have received in the like manner, ancient prudence, albeit those commonwealths could not call it so then?
To shift these things which are thus plain, you are in this chapter a wonderful artificer; yet cometh all but to this, that neither Thucydides nor Florus divide prudence into ancient and modern. Why, Mr. Wren, neither did the commonwealths mentioned divide learning into ancient and modern. This distinction belongs unto latter times, in regard of some modern learning that is of latter invention. So, Mr. Wren, in regard of some modern prudence, which first I tell you what it is, namely, government by king, lords and commons: and secondly, how it came in, namely, by the Goths and Vandals. I call the prudence (do you mark?) of those ancient commonwealths, ancient prudence; and the prudence remaining unto us from these Goths and Vandals, modern prudence. What could you desire more? nay, and this is according unto the plain sense of Janotti too: for, saith he, as to his two limits or periods of time, of the former, or that wherein Rome was opposed by the arms of Cæsar, came the second, or that when Italy was overrun by the Huns, Goths, Vandals and Lombards; and of the second came all that alteration, which hath given unto the world the face in which we now see it, and utterly lost it that face which it had in the time of the Romans. Wherein relation unto the two governments (the one popular, which was the more ancient; and the other by king, lords and commons, which is the more modern) is so plain, that you are put unto a shift, who can say no more than that I make Janotti author of the division of prudence into ancient and modern. How dare you for your reputation do thus, Mr. Wren? while first by your own acknowledgment I infer this division from more ancient authors, as Thucydides and Florus: and secondly, my words relating unto Janotti do no where from him derive the division of prudence into ancient and modern, as to those terms, upon which runneth your equivocation; but fortify this division of my own, by the two periods of time by him observed, and that are of like sense with these terms.
But, Mr. Wren, there was never the like of you! whereas the question by me proposed, was, whether prudence be not rightly divided into ancient and modern, you have conveyed it into a question, whether monarchy be not a more ancient government than a commonwealth? this have I hitherto not disputed, as that which concerneth not the present controversy.De cor. polit. But seeing it may be for your service, I do flatly deny that monarchy is the more ancient government; not that Mr. Hobbs holdeth democracy to be of all governments the first in order of time; but first, because upon the place where it is said, that Nimrod was a mighty hunter before the Lord, it is resolved by divines that Nimrod was the first monarch.Gen x. 8. Now, Sir, Nimrod began his reign about the one thousand eight hundredth year of the world: whence I conclude thus: either the world had no government till Nimrod, or a commonwealth may be above a thousand years elder than monarchy: nay, unless you can find some government that was neither a commonwealth nor a monarchy, must have been no less. I know what you will say, That the government till Nimrod was by fathers of families. Why so, I hope, you will yield it was afterwards, at least in the line of Shem. Now let us compute from Noah, and consider in the posterity of Shem, what judgment may be made of the government by fathers of families; or whether this were indeed, as divines affirm, monarchical, or may not much rather be esteemed popular.
Gen. xi.Noah had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japhet; of Shem, by Arphaxad and others, descended Reu; of Reu, Serug; of Serug, Nahor; of Nahor, Terah; of Terah, Abram; of Abram, Isaac; of Isaac, Jacob; and of Jacob descended the commonwealth of Israel. So much for the elder brother, which was Shem. Now, Sir, for the second son of Noah, that is Ham:Gen. x. of Ham descended Cush, and of Cush, Nimrod: by which, plain it is at the first sight, that the commonwealth, as to precedence in dignity, is of the elder house; and as to precedence in time, unless you can shew the descendants of Shem to have been under monarchy, must also have been the more ancient government, that is, if government by fathers of families were popular.Gemara Babylonia ad tit. Sunhedrim. Now as to this, it is a tradition with the Rabbins, that there were seven precepts delivered to the children of Noah: 1. Concerning judicatories: 2. Concerning blasphemy: 3. Concerning perverse worship: 4. Concerning uncovering of nakedness: 5. Concerning the shedding of man’s blood: 6. Concerning rapine or thest: 7. Concerning eating of things strangled, or of a member torn from a living creature. This tradition throughout the Jewish government is undoubted: for to such as held these precepts, and no more, they gave not only, as I may say, toleration, but allowed them to come so near unto the temple as the gates, and called them proselytes of the gates. Nor do I think the proof in Scripture of these precepts, though not set down together, to be obscure:Levit. xviii. 6. 24. as where it is said, None of you shall approach to any that is near kin to him, to uncover their nakedness:—for in all these the nations (that is, the Canaanites) are defiled, which I cast out before you. The Canaanites were descended from Ham; and that in these words it must be implied that they had violated the foregoing precepts, is in my judgment evident, seeing there is nothing in the law of nature why a man might not approach in this manner unto one that is near of kin to him.
Gen. ix.Again, that two other of these precepts were given by God unto Noah, the Scripture is plain, where he saith, Flesh with the life thereof, which is the bloodthereof, shall you not eat. And whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed. Whence it must follow, that either fathers of families were not subject unto this law, which because it is given generally and without any exception, were absurd to think; or else that during patriarchal government, they subjected themselves unto some common judicatories, according unto the first of the seven precepts. Of which saith Maimonides, By this the sons of Noah constituted judges in every city, to judge of the other six precepts, and to govern the people; and the Gemara Babylonia saith, That this was done after the manner that Moses commanded Judges to be set in the gates throughout the tribes. By the advice of Jethro to Moses, the like should have been the custom of the Midianites, who, (as also the Gibeonites, descended of the same line with the monarchy of Nimrod, and for ought perhaps to the contrary, of as ancient standing) were a commonwealth. But above all, it should seem by some of the Rabbins, that there was a consistory or senate instituted by Shem, which was of use with his posterity. Now if patriarchal government was exercised by or under the common ligament of a senate or consistory, then was the government of the patriarchs of a popular nature, or a commonwealth; at least these, Mr. Wren must be disproved by them, who will have monarchy out of all controversy to be the more ancient government.
Good Sir, I do not know, nor do I think that this same way (do you see?) of disputation hath any predecessor.W. preface. What do you tell me then, that you have cause to think by the last or any book of mine, that my stores of reason and arguments are brought very low? you see already that it is far otherwise. Tell not me in this place, that Doderus is as good a book as the bible; nor let divines (for a thing that I know) run here as they do from the Scripture unto Heathen authors. It is confest that Diodorus Siculus; Aristotle, Cicero, Salust and Trogus say, That in the beginning of things and of nations, the power was in monarchs. But then the Heathen stories know nothing beyond Nimrod, or his successor Belus; which is no excuse to you, while the Scripture is so much a more ancient record; much less to divines, at least such of them as preach against the squaring of government according to the rule of Heathen authors. Mr. Wren, (to be plain) there are of these that have a strange kind of frowardness: if a commonwealth be described out of Heathen authors, they will undertake to prove that of Israel to have been a government of king, lords and commons. And if a commonwealth be out of this of Israel described unanswerably otherwise, then they run to Aristotle, Trogus, and the rest of the Heathens, for the antiquity of monarchy. When none of this will do, they fall flatly upon conjuring the people to take heed how they hearken unto men of wit, reason, or learning, and not in any wise to be led but by grace, and such grace only as is without any mixture of wit, reason, or learning. Mr. Wren, I desire them but to tell us once, what they mean by such grace as is without any mixture of wit, reason, or learning; and you in the mean time to consider, that Heathen authors, though they give monarchy the precedence in time, are very far from giving it the van in prudence.Pol. lib. [Editor: illegible character] Nay, for this matter you will find them so much of one mind, that we need hear no more of them than Aristotle, who divides monarchy into two kinds; the one whereof he calleth barbarous,cap. 10, 11. and in this he relates to your Nimrod, or your Eastern monarchs; the other heroick, in which he relates expresly to principality in a commonwealth, and namely, that of the Lacedemonian kings. Say you then, to which giveth he the van in dignity; to the heroick, or to the barbarous prudence? but it is no matter, strike up and let us have the rodomontado, which it pleaseth you shall be of or belong unto the present scene: this (say you, for you may as well say it of this as of any thing else) approaches very near unto raving, and gives me cause to suspect I have taken a wrong course of curing Mr. Harrington’s political distempers. For whereas I think to do it by giving him more light, knowing men (and known to be of the learnedest in this age) are of opinion, that I ought to have shut up the windows, and so forth. Now very passing good indeed-law!
Scene II. In Answer to Chap. II.
Whether a Commonwealth be rightly defined to be a Government of Laws and not of Men, and a Monarchy to be the Government of some Man or few Men, and not of Laws.
THE readiest way, Mr. Wren, of dispatch with the present question, will be to shew how far you and I are at length agreed; and we are agreed, that law proceeds from the will of man, whether a monarch or a people; that this will must have a mover; and that this mover is interest.
Now, Sir, the interest of the people is one thing; it is the publick interest; and where the publick interest governeth, it is a government of laws, and not of men. The interest of a king or of a party, is another thing; it is a private interest; and where private interest governeth, it is a government of men, and not of laws. What ails ye! if in England there have ever been any such thing as a government of laws, was it not magna charta? well, and have not our kings broken magna charta some thirty times? I beseech you, Sir, did the law govern when the law was broken? or was that a government of men? on the other side, hath not magna charta been as often repaired by the people? and the law being so restored, was it not a government of laws, and not of men? I think you are wild! why have our kings in so many statutes or oaths engaged themselves to govern by law, if there were not in kings a capacity of governing otherwise? and if so, then by every one of those oaths or statutes it is agreed both by king and people that there is a government by laws, and a government by men. Why goodness, Mr. Wren! is there not a government of men, and a government of laws? where do you dwell! such as have laid people in lavender for the late great man and his government, it is now thought will be left unto the law and her government. Come, come; divines and lawyers are indeed good men to help a prince at a dead lift; but they are known well enough: for they will no sooner have set him up, than if he do not govern by their laws, they will be throwing sticks at him. But do you hear? if a prince would be intirely freed of such danger, let him get a parliament of mathematicians.
What miracles hath Mr. Hobbes done in this kind! and how many more are there will make you a king by geometry? but I shall at this time content myself, Sir, to let them pass, and consider only your grand mathematical demonstration, with the nooks, crooks, angles and appertenances of the same. You gentlemen of lower forms, be attentive; it hath past the trial and test of the doctor’s academy, consisting of men known to be of the learnedest of this age; and the manner thereof is as followeth:
TO be plain (and rouzing) if the declared will of the supreme power be considered as the immediate cause of government, then a monarchy is as much as a commonwealth, an empire of laws and not of men. If we look farther back, and consider the person whose will is received as law, a commonwealth is, as much as a monarchy, an empire of men, and not of laws.
(Here, Sir, is your cast for the game: now, Sir, for your shout.)
THIS is so manifest, and yet Mr. Harrington so firmly resolved not to understand it, that considering his temper, I must needs applaud his resolution of having nothing to do with the mathematicks; for half this obstinacy would be enough to keep him from apprehending, that the three angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles.
Mr.Wren, you spit crooked pins; you should be exorcised. For pray now hear me, did you ever see ’em choose knights of the shire? Those same people, the high shoone, as you call them, expect not, I conceive, that angels should come down there to ride upon their shoulders: nor, I doubt if the truth were known, do they greatly care for saints; they are most for men that drink well, or at least for such as eat good meat in their houses. Nor have I found by my reading, that those same high shoone have at any time set the worthy gentleman on foot, and taken his horse upon their backs: by which it is manifest, that they do not conceive their laws to be made by any thing above the nature of man, as angels; or below the nature of man, as horses. Now, Sir, all you have proved by your wonderful mathematicks, is, that laws are neither made by angels nor by horses, but by men; therefore the high shoone are as good mathematicians as your self. The voice of the people is as much the voice of men, as the voice of a prince is the voice of a man; and yet the voice of the people is the voice of God, which the voice of a prince is not, no not as to law-giving, the voice of the prince who was a man after God’s own heart:1 Chron. xiii. for thus David proposeth unto the congregation of Israel: If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the Lord our God—let us bring the ark to us. David, in matter of law-giving, maketh not himself, but the people judge of what was of God; and the government of laws, saith Aristotle, is the government of God.
Liv. li. 2.Mr.Wren, were you contented to be no wiser that Titus Livius, (who in passing from the government of the Roman kings unto that of the commonwealth, hath this transition; I come now unto the empire of laws more powerful than that of men) some who conceive the said Titus to have done passing well, would think you the better politician, for not taking the upper hand of him. You will not find that Augustus Cæsar, in whose time this author wrote, did set any Mr. Wren upon him; which is a shrewd suspicion that princes in that age either wanted such a wit as you are, or would scarce have thanked you for your subtil argument, somewhat too mercurial to stay even in your own head.W. p. 171. For do not you yourself say in another place, that a commonwealth having no eyes of her own, (as if this of all other were a mark of blindness) is forced to resign her self to the conduct of laws? What imply you in this, less than that a monarch is not forced to resign himself unto the conduct of laws? Or what less can follow from this confession of your own, than that a commonwealth is a government of laws and not of men, and that a monarchy is a government of a man, or some few men, and not of laws?W. p. 172. Nay, Mr. Wren, nor is it once that your mind misgives you; for soon after you are at it again, in shewing what you fancy befals a commonwealth as she is a government of laws.
Sir, for this rhime I have some reason; seeing in a monarchy, that the laws being made according to the interest of one man or a few men, must needs be more private and partial, than suits with the nature of justice; and in a commonwealth, that laws being made by the whole people, must come up to the publick interest, which is common right and justice; are propositions, which Mr. Wren can confess to have indeed some sense in them. But this milk, alas! is kick’d down again, while you add, that they have not any more truth than those other which wanted sense. Now this is a sad case; yet such, as you say, will be apparent, if we examine the different tempers of a single person, and a multitude acting laws.
Are we no farther yet? I verily believed that the different temper of a single person, and of a popular assembly, had been long since considered in the propositions already granted, in as much as the single person is tempered by a private, the multitude by the publick interest: which were heretofore by your self acknowledged to be the first movers of will, and so the efficient causes of law. If your mathematicks, or what shall I call them? would but hold to any thing, we might have some end. But for the discovery of these different tempers, you forget all that is past, and begin a-new in this manner.
When a monarch acts the legislator’s part, he ought to be so far from partiality, or respecting his own private interest, that he is then chiefly to direct his thoughts to the common good, and take the largest prospect of publick utility, in which his own is so eminently included.
This proposition then of yours is opposed to mine, or those in which you say there is some sense, but no truth: so in this, both the sense and the truth should be apparent. But, Mr. Wren, if I should say, that the father of a family, in giving rules to the same, ought to be so far from respecting his private interest, or the regard of keeping his whole estate and command unto himself, and holding the servants that live upon him, short, or in necessity to obey him, and work for him, that he were to take a larger, nay, the largest prospect of what is the publick utility of the men that serve him, which is to attain unto means whereby to live of themselves: should I say that a father of a family would find the common and natural interest of his servants, which is to be free, that wherein his own interest, which is to have servants, is eminently included; I am confident you would neither allow this assertion to be truth or sense. The like I say to your monarchy, whether it be by a single person, or by a nobility. A monarchy not keeping the people in servitude, is no monarchy; therefore either servitude must be the interest of the people, or the interest of the people is not that, to which a monarch ought chiefly to direct his thoughts. Yet can you not believe that there are many examples to be produced of princes, who in enacting laws have considered their own private personal interest? You are costive of belief, Mr. Wren: consider the Turkish and Eastern monarchies, and shew me any one of their laws from any other principle. It is true, in monarchies by a nobility, or by parliaments, princes have not in enacting laws been able to make so thorough work: for which cause, lest laws so enacted should give check unto this private interest so essential to monarchy, they have still been breaking them. But neither can you believe that laws have been broken by any prince, seeing that in buying aud selling, and other private contracts, princes are content to tie themselves up to the same rules which they prescribe to others. Rare! A king that plays fair at piquet, can never break Magna Charta. Cæsar paid no less for an horse than another man; therefore Cæsar’s monarchy was a lawful purchase. O! but such laws, as upon that occasion were made by Cæsar, were necessary to attaining the ends of government. Good! and so that which is necessary unto a private interest, or a single person, towards the attaining unto the ends of government, the same cometh up to the publick interest, which is common right and justice. Is this disputing, Mr. Wren, or is it fidling? Yet again: A prince breaketh not the law, but for the publick tranquillity. Wonderful! not the tinkers that fight, but the constable breaks the peace. That the posse comitatus is according unto the laws; or that there is a war in the law for the maintenance of the publick peace, I have heard; but that the publick peace is in any case, by the breach of the publick peace, whereof the laws only are the bond, to be defended, in good earnest I have not formerly heard. Yet take heed, I pray. On this side of yours, there must be no fond imagination: but on the other side, say you, there can be no fonder imagination, than to think that (in the republick of Israel framed by God or Moses, in the four hundred thousand that judged Benjamin, in all, in any of the commonwealths) or when any multitude is assembled to enact laws, it is necessary their resolutions (though those of a single person must) should be consonant to publick justice. I have a weary life with you, Mr. Wren, and with such of your admirers, as if at their pleasure I pick not straws, can soberly and seriously resolve you to be conqueror of Mr. Harrington; what is that? nay, of Moses, of Solon, and Lycurgus. The straw that is your first lance in this encounter, is, that a great part of this multitude (so you will have it called, though politicians understand not a people under orders by the word multitude, but the contrary) will not, for want of capacity, comprehend what this justice and interest is.
Sir, if a man know not what is his own interest, who should know it? And that which is the interest of the most particular men, the same, being summed up in the common vote, is the publick interest. O! but the abler sort will presently be divided into factions and junctos; and under pretence of publick interest, will prosecute their own designs.
But, good Sir, if these abler sort act as a council under a single person, what should hinder them from doing the like, except they debate only, and propose unto the prince, who only may resolve? Wherefore, if in popular government the senate or council of the people have no more than the debate, and the result remain wholly unto a popular council having no power to debate; how can the abler sort any more divide into junctos or factions under popular government, than under monarchical? Speak your conscience; the interest of the people being as you say, that justice be impartially administred, and every man preserved in the enjoyment of his own; whether think you the more probable way unto this end, that a council, or the abler sort, propose, and a single interest, that is, a single person, resolve; or that the abler sort propose, and the common interest, that is, the whole people, have the result? O! but take heed; for it is to be remembred, that the greatest part of laws concerns such matters as are the continual occasion of controversy between the people of a nation, such as regard regulation of trade, privileges of corporations, &c. Sweet Mr. Wren! are there more corporations in England, than distinct sovereignties in the United Provinces? Have those people no trade in comparison of ours? Or what quarrels have they about it? Persuade them to have a king; and to this end be sure you tell them, that if we had not had kings in England, there had certainly, instead of the barons wars, been wars between the tanners and clothiers; and instead of those of York and Lancaster, others between the shoemakers and the hosiers. Say, if you have any ingenuity, do you not make me pick straws? But the longest straw comes here after all, say you.
IT being essential to popular assemblies, that the plurality of votes should oblige the whole body, those laws which lay claim to the consent of all, are very often the resolutions of but a little more than half, and must consequently go less in their pretensions to publick interest.
Gentlemen, here are forty of you, whereof five and twenty see in yonder grove a rook’s-nest, which the other fifteen of you see not; now, gentlemen, is that less a rook’s-nest for this? Or do these five and twenty see farther than those fifteen? If so it be with every thing that is to be seen, felt, heard, or understood, how cometh the world to be resolved otherwise upon any thing, than that, quod pluribus visum id valeat, which appeared unto the most, is most authentick? And what can you desire more of certainty in a government, than all that certainty which can be had in the world?
It was even now that we came from the prince to the people; now from the people to the prince again. Good Mr. Wren, why do you say, or whoever said the like, that those laws which are reputed the people’s greatest security against injustice and oppression, have been established by the authority of some prince? Do you find any such thing in Israel, Athens, Lacedemon, Rome, Venice, Holland, Switz? But you equivocate; as to authority in princes, magistrates, or sole legislators, in matter of law-giving, you well know that I am for it; but not as you impose upon this term for their power. Thus be it granted, that Alfred, Edward, Lewis, Alphonso, have been excellent legislators; what is this to power, or to your purpose, seeing the laws proposed by authority of these princes, were enacted no otherwise than as Poining’s laws, by the power of the people, or assemblies of their three estates? But above all, say you, several of the Roman emperors, and chiefly Justinian, have fabricated those laws so much admired for their reason and equity, which have stretched themselves farther than ever the Roman legions were able to march, and which are still embraced by those people, who have long since ceased to acknowledge the Roman empire. Herein you have paid your self to some purpose: for most eloquent Mr. Wren, who but your self saith, that Justinian fabricated those laws you speak of? I have heard indeed, that he compiled them; and surely, Sir, in that work of his, he did but new vamp the old boots of the people of Rome. Nay, good Mr. Wren, your Roman emperors at the gallantest were no better; for the full proof whereof, I need go no foot farther than your own sweet self; for do not you give out of Justinian this very definition of a law, Lex est, quod populus Romanus senatorio magistratu interrogante (veluti consule) constituebat?W. p. 59. How say you then, that Justinian fabricated these laws, which he plainly telleth you were proposed by the senate, and resolved by the people of Rome? Do you see what your emperors themselves acknowledged to have been a government of laws, and more excellent than a government of men, though they themselves were the men that governed? And you your self have said enough to confirm, that the justice of the dead people went farther than the arms of the living emperors; nay, and that such laws as are yet of the greatest treasures in the world, are still extant of the Roman people, though of the emperors there remain nothing that is good.
But say you, on the other side (you may please to say as you will, but it is on the same side yet) those commonwealths that have been most celebrated for their laws, have received them from the hands of a sole legislator; which both words and things, though you list not to acknowledge it, every body knows that I taught you. Now let us see how you can hit me with my own weapon; therefore it may be doubted, whether these people of Athens and Lacedemon thought so well of themselves, as Mr. Harrington seems to do of popular assemblies. Why, do not I say, that a popular assembly, as to the formation or fabricating of government, through the want of invention, must of necessity have some sole legislator? What fault do you find with Mr. Harrington? Why, that with such repeated confidence he asserts, that the people never fail to judge truly of the publick interest, where (the legislator) the senate discharge their duty. And what have you been saying all this while in these examples of Solon and Lycurgus, whose laws being by them prudently proposed unto the people, were as prudently judged, and thereupon enacted by the people? So likewise for the Roman decemvirs: for if you think that these did any more than propose to the people, or that any law of theirs was otherwise good than as voted and commanded by the people, you should go to school. Yet that if the legislator or the senate divide well, the people shall be sure to make a good choice, you must confess is too hard for your faith. Why, if it be matter of faith, you might have let it alone. But do you think it right in civil matters, that the tenderness of faith should supply the want of sense in you? or what is the scruple can yet remain in your conscience? Goodness! the observation which Anacharsis made, who said of the popular assemblies in Greece, that wise men propounded matters, and fools decided them. Why, Mr. Wren, Anacharsis would not lose his jest, and you cannot find it. Do you think that the commonwealths of Greece thought Anacharsis, for this fine thing, wiser than Lycurgus, Solon, or themselves? Why, Mr. Wren, in this earnest you make yourself the jester. But let you alone, you will be the Gascon still; that which is thrown out of the windows where-ever you come, is no less than the whole house; or if you leave any thing, it is but that you are weary to discover all the weak arguments and false inferences of Mr. Harrington, as a work to others of small profit, and to your self of little glory. Poor Mr. Harrington! He will now leave you a while to take breath, and confer a little with your patron.
DoctorWilkins having laughed so much as is suggested in the epistle, should not methinks be altogether left out of our game. He in his book called Mathematical Magic, pretends to a balance too.B. 1. c. 14. And his balance is made for all the world like a jack; the whole force of which engine consisteth in two double pullies, twelve wheels and a sail; the sail is instead of the crest of the jack, at which a fellow stands blowing; and by blowing in this manner, the said author pretendeth to demonstrate mathematically, that the said fellow, with the said jack, shall tear you up the strongest oak by the roots. This, to men who know that some ships in a storm will break the strongest anchor that is made of iron, and the strongest cable that is made of hemp, must needs be wonderful: of what then must this jack and this string be made, that it break not before it fetch up this oak? Nay, how can any man blow a million of years together?Ch. 16. Or if he could, where would the oak or the jack be? And in a less time the oak, it is confest, could not by this means be removed one inch. This nevertheless must be a mathematical demonstration. Goodness! what stuff is here for mathematicians, upon which to usurp demonstration in such wise, that it must be forbidden unto all the rest of mankind?
Mr.WREN, I have Du Moulin, and Sanderson; will you deny these authors to be good logicians? Upon the credit of my two eyes, in all their examples of demonstration, they have not one that is mathematical. Are not they clearly on my side then, that there may be demonstration, and yet not mathematical? Why sure there may, Sir; nay, and such a demonstration may be every whit as valid and convincing, as if it were mathematical. For this I appeal to Mr. Hobbes: All true ratiocination, saith he, which taketh its beginning from true principles, produceth science, and is true demonstration.Elements, p. 63. This afterwards he declares in all sorts of doctrines or arts, and consequently in the politicks, to be holding. Wherefore, say I, if we commonwealthsmen have nothing that can be so strong or holding as this same jack and jack-line of Doctor Wilkins’s, let us e’en with patience turn the spit, while our salary men eat the roast meat.
But now, Sir, mark me well: What was always so and no otherwise, and still is so and no otherwise, the same shall ever be so and no otherwise. What think you of this for a principle? A principle which is right and straight, should be such as admitteth of as little proof or denial, as that the fire burns. I can no more prove the one than the other: wherefore if you can no more deny the one than the other, by the leave of your mathematicians, this principle is no less sure and certain than the best in their art: and what ratiocination I use in my politicks, that taketh not its beginning, or is not legitimately and undeniably derived from this principle, I am contented should go for nothing. What would you have more? Or, why must I be hit in the teeth with the want of demonstration? Stand away, I will demonstrate that’s certain: but here is the mischief; not every man that pretends unto understanding in the politicks, hath conversed with them; and so in these, through mere want of understanding, a man will confidently deny, what in other conversation, where he is more skilled, he would be ashamed to question. For this cause I will not fall full butt upon the politicks at first dash, but begin fairly and softly, puris naturalibus.
That conversation, which with men is most general, I apprehend, to be with women: and so here I come with my first demonstration.
WHAT was always so, and not otherwise, and still is so, and not otherwise, the same shall ever be so, and not otherwise.
BUT, Sir, women have been always some handsome, and some unhandsome, and not otherwise, and women still are some handsome, and some unhandsome, and not otherwise.
THEREFORE, women shall ever be some handsome, and some unhandsome, and not otherwise.
Mr.WREN, the reason why I begin to demonstrate in this manner, or in something merely natural and known to every body, is, that otherwise I should never stave men off from saying, that what was always so, and not otherwise, and still is so, and not otherwise, must ever be so, and not otherwise, must needs be true; that is, except a man can give a reason why it may be otherwise. This is that when I come unto the politicks, things not less natural, but only more remote from men’s knowledge or acquaintance, which they will be all sure enough to return. Wherefore let them begin here to shew me such reason as hereafter they will ask, that is, why women, notwithstanding what is past or present, may for the future be all handsome. Would not the undertaking of such an adventure be a notable ridiculous piece of knight-errantry? in sooth, Mr. Wren, though men will not so easily see it, it is no otherwise in the politicks, which are not to be erected upon fancy, but upon the known course of nature; and therefore are not to be confuted by fancy, but by the known course of nature. Remember, Sir, anatomy is an art; but he that demonstrates by this art, demonstrates by nature, and is not to be contradicted by fancy, but by demonstration out of nature. It is no otherwise in the politicks. These things therefore being duly considered, I proceed.
WHAT always was so, and still is so, and not otherwise, the same shall ever be so, and not otherwise.
BUT where the senate was upon rotation, and had not the ultimate result, there was not any feud between the senate and the people; and where the senate is upon rotation, and hath not the ultimate result, there is no feud between the senate and the people.
THEREFORE, where the senate shall be upon rotation, and not have the ultimate result, there shall be no feud between the senate and the people.
I know the humour of these times: though any thing that will patch be now called prudence, it will be known that what is after this manner undeniably deducible from the major of these propositions, is prudence or policy, and no other.
ὃτι.But Mr. Wren, true it is that the demonstration given is but hoti, that is, from the effect; which tho a certain effect imply a certain cause, and come after that manner to be as good and undeniable a proof as the other demonstration; yet because this is not so honourable an argument as the other, I shall now give you the same, dihoti, or from the cause.διοτὶ
WHERE the senate hath no interest distinct or divided from the interest of the people, there can be no feud between the senat and the people.
BUT where the senate is upon rotation, and hath not the ultimate result, there the senate can have no interest distinct or divided from the interest of the people.
THEREFORE, where the senate is upon rotation, and hath not the ultimate result, there can be no feud between the senate and the people.
Sir, this I say is dihoti: and seeing it is a custom with you to give my things a turn over the tongue, I am resolved hereafter to hoti them and dihoti them in such manner, as shall make you take your teeth. You will say, that I am a passionate gentleman. But what hath any man to do in this place to tell me of the feuds between the senate and the people of Rome, or those of the states in regulated or Gothick monarchies? did I ever undertake to hoti or dihoti any of these? if they break loose, let them look to that whom it concerneth. Nevertheless, I say, that laws, whether in commonwealths, or regulated monarchies, are made by consent of the senate and the people, or by consent of the states, or lords and commons. And I pray you Mr. Wren, what is in your allegation to confute this saying? your words are these:
IF any one of these states have, in case of difference, a just power to force the obedience of the other, it is all one as if they were private persons; but if no one of them be acknowledged to have such power, then it comes in case of disagreement to a state of war.
But doth this prove, that in case of a senate upon rotation, there may be feud between them and the people? or that laws in regulated monarchy are not enacted by the lords or commons? you might as well have argued thus, Mr. Wren: these same lords and commons have power enough to disagree, or make wars; therefore they have no power to agree or to make laws: or what doth this concern me?
But now for the jig at parting. Mr. Hobbes saith, that Aristotle and Cicero wrote not the rules of their politicks from the principles of nature, but transcribed them into their book out of the practice of their own commonwealths, as Grammarians describe the rules of language out of the practice of the times. Mr. Wren, if I had answered Mr. Hobbes thus; that the whole force of his argument amounted but to this, that because Grammarians describe the rules of language out of the practice of the times, therfore Aristotle and Cicero did so in their discourses of government; what would you have said? but because Mr. Hobbes doth not prove, but illustrate what he saith by way of similitude; therefore I answer him by way of similitude in this manner: “That for Mr. Hobbes to say, Aristotle and Cicero wrote not the rules of their politicks from the principles of nature, but transcribed them into their book out of the practice of their own commonwealths, is as if a man should say of the famous Harvey, that he transcribed his circulation of the blood, not out of the principles of nature, but out of the anatomy of this or that body.” Yet you answer me, that the whole force of this objection amounteth but to this; that because Harvey in his circulation hath followed the principles of nature, therefore Aristotle and Cicero have don so in their discourses of government. Mr. Wren, I have complained of you for repeating me fraudulently, but not so often as I might: for whereas upon this occasion I told you, “that a similitude is brought for illustration, or to shew how a thing is, not to prove that it is so:” you repeat me thus: Mr. Harrington assured me in his last book, that he produced this only as a similitude, and never intended that any man should look for reason or argument in it. Sir, though a similitude have not that proof in it, which may draw a man, yet it hath such inducement in it as may lead a man. But, why should I be troubled, seeing in the close you heartily crave my pardon? good Mr. Wren, abundantly enough: nay, no more, no more, I beseech you. Look you, do what I can, he will be making reparation too. Well then, if it must be so, what is it? why, say you, by way of reparation to Mr. Harrington, I make here a solemn declaration, that for the future he shall have no cause to accuse me for expecting reason or argument in any of his discourses. O ingenuity! he confesseth that he hath taken my similitude for an argument, my goose for my pig; and the satisfaction promised comes to this, that he will take my arguments for similitudes: when he should be shooing my goose, he is soling my pig? for which he will make, as ye shall find hereafter, this amends, that when he should be soling my pig, he will be shooing my goose. Mr. Wren, good night.
The next is the balance. Gentlemen, to-morrow we play Hunks that bears thirty dogs.
Hunks of the hear-garden to be feared if he come nigh one.
Pour enclouer le Canon.
IT is obvious and apparent unto sense, that Venice, Holland, Switz, are not molested with civil war, strife or sedition, like Germany, France, Spain, and England; yet will men have a commonwealth to be a confusion. What confusions, we have had in England, while the Norman line strove for absolute power; while the barons strove for ancient liberty; while the houses of York and Lancaster strove for royal dignity; and last of all, during these eighteen years, in the wars that have been between the king and the people, in the difference of judgment both concerning religion and government, and under the perfidious yoke of the late tyranny, is known. At the apparition, or but name of a commonwealth, and before any such orders are introduced, or perhaps truly understood, all men, or the most of them, are upon a sudden agreed that there be a good and perfect fixation of the army unto the old cause; and that the remnant of the long parliament be assembled: so we have this for a taste or relish of a commonwealth, that of the eighteen, the present year is already the most unanimous. Nor can this be attributed unto chance; seeing the wit of man, our case considered, could not, I think, have invented a more natural and necessary way of launching into the orders of a commonwealth, than first by fixation of the army so, as no council ensuing may have any ambitious party on which to set up: and then to assemble that council, which hath given testimony of it self, to have been the most popularly addicted. By these it is no less than demonstrated, that the army is faithful, and the people, for the most active part of them, which in like cases cometh to more than all the rest, is wife. Be it granted, that the far greater part of them (Libertatis dulcedine nondum experta) would force us unto the continuation of monarchy, if they could, this is the old temper of a people in like cases: thus the Romans, upon the death of Romulus, forced the senate, who would have introduced a commonwealth, to elect Numa with the succeeding kings; and could not be brought unto the abolition of monarchy, till it was imposed upon them by Brutus to abjure it. Nevertheless, this people having once tasted of liberty, were of all others the most constant assertors of the same. It causeth with the best politicians despair, and, as it were, a kind of tearing themselves, that the people, even where monarchy is apparently unpracticable, and they have no way but a commonwealth or confusion, hold their ancient laws and customs unalterable, and persecute such as advise the necessary change of them, how plainly soever demonstrated, as authors of innovation, with hatred, if not in tumult and with violence, as when Lycurgus in a like assault lost one of his eyes.See M. E. 1. c. 9. Here is the discouragement; the many through diversity of opinions, want of reach into the principles of government, and unacquaintance with the good that may by this means be acquired, are never to be agreed in the introduction of a new form: but then there is also this consolation, that the many upon introduction of a new form, coming once to feel the good, and taste the sweet of it, will never agree to abandon it. This is all the comfort that politicians, in like cases, have been able to give themselves, upon consideration of the nature of people in general. But if we consider the nature of the people of England, I am much deceived, or the consolation of knowing men, and good patriots, may yet be far greater. For though the people of England may be twenty to one for monarchy, they are but deceived by the name, seeing they having of late years been more arbitrarily governed than formerly, desire no more under this name, in the truth of their meaning, than not to be at the will of men, but return unto the government of laws; for the late monarchy being rightly considered, was indeed no more than an unequal commonwealth; only here is the fault of all unequal commonwealths; they pretend to be governments of laws, and at the same time defer unto some one, or few men, such power, prerogative and preheminence, as may invade and oppress laws; which fault was the cause of perpetual feud, or at least jealousy between our kings and our parlaments. But there is in relation unto the people of England, yet a greater encouragement unto commonwealthsmen, for though if we look upon the true cause of popular government the balance hath been many years in turning, yet since it came to be so perceivable as to cause any mention of a commonwealth, it is but a short time. Should we go so far as to compute it from the beginning of the late war, it exceedeth not eighteen years, in which the eyes and affections of the people are so wonderfully opened and extended, that I do not think there are fewer than fifty thousand of the more active and knowing that drive vigorously at a commonwealth; while the rest are not only calm and passive, but mature for any good impression without danger, or indeed appearance of any war or tumult that can ensue upon the introduction of a new form: nor is there the least improbability that an equal commonwealth may be receiv’d with embraces, seeing a tyranny came not only in, but was supported without blood. But if people for the extent of their territory, and for their bulk or number so great as this of England, should fall (to take a larger compass than I hope we shall need) within the space of thirty years out of monarchy, to which they have ever been accustomed, into a commonwealth of which they have had no experience nor knowledge, and that (except in the ruin of monarchy, which, how infirm soever, useth not to expire otherwise) without rapine, war, or indeed without any great confusion, I doubt whether the world can afford another example of the like natural, easy and sudden transition of one government into another. Yet ere two parts in three of this time be expired, men can be despairing. In what, say they, have you shewn us, that we must necessarily be a commonwealth? why in this, say I, that you cannot shew me how we should be any thing else. In what posture, say they, do we see the people to give us this hope? why in the very best, say I, that in this state of affairs, a people, if you consider their humour or nature, could have cast themselves into. This posture or return is thus, or at least thus I take it to be. The armies of this nation by restitution of their old officers, are fixed, resolved upon, and encouraged by the most active part of the people towards the prosecution of the old cause, or introduction of a popular form. The framing of this form is modestly and dutifully defer’d by them unto the civil power in the restitution of the long parliament, in that remnant of the same, which declared for, and obligeth themselves unto this end.
Now putting this to be the case, I come to the scope of this paper, which is to discourse upon this posture; in which to my understanding, there are but three things that can interpose between us and a commonwealth, and but two more that can interpose between us and an equal commonwealth. The things that may interpose between us and a commonwealth, are such monarchy, as can no otherwise get up than by foreign invasion; or tyranny, which at the strongest among us was not of any duration, and which changing hands must still be weaker. Of these two, they being only possible, and not a whit probable, I shall say no more. But the third thing which can interpose between us and the commonwealth is oligarchy, which in like cases hath been more probable and incidental, than I conceive it to be at the present. Such a thing if it be introduced among us, is most likely to be of this form.
It may consist of a council not elected by the people, but obtruded upon us, under the notion of a senate or a balance, or of religion; and it may be for life, or for some certain or pretended term, with a duke or princely president at the head of it, or without one.
The power at which such a council doth naturally drive, is to call parliaments, and to govern in the intervals. But the success of such council, will be, that if in calling parliaments, it do not pack them, it will be forthwith ruined; and if it do pack them, then the case of such a council, and a parliament, will be no otherwise different from the case of a single person and a parliament, than that more masters, less able to support their greatness, and whose greatness we shall be less able to support, will be a burthen by so much more heavy, than one master more able to support his greatness, and whose greatness we were more able to support. But this will either not be, or be of no continuance.
The things that can interpose between us and an equal commonwealth, are either a senate for life, or an optimacy.
The seventy elders in Israel were a senate for life: this though constitutively elected by the people, became after the captivity, or in the Jewish commonwealth (how anciently is uncertain) meer oligarchy, by the means of ordination; no man being capable of magistracy, except he were a presbyter, no man being made a presbyter but by laying on of hands, and the prince with the senate engrossing the whole power of laying on of hands.
Nor were the people thus excluded, and trampled upon by the Pharisees, under other colour than that of religion, or tradition derived in their oral law or cabala from Moses, in whose chair they sat, and not only pretended their government to be a government of Saints, but in some things bad fairer for that title than others, who assumed it afterwards. For that they did miracles, is plain in these words of our Saviour unto them: If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. Matt. xii. 27. By which I may believe that miracles themselves do not in any wise oblige us to hope that such a state of government can be religious or honest; much less, where there are no miracles, nor any such certain distinction to be outwardly made between a saint and an hypocrite, as may secure us that we shall not have hypocrites imposed upon us for saints. The surest restimony of saintship in rulers, is, when they are willing to admit of such orders in government, as restrain the power to do wickedly, or of lording it over their brethren.
Upon the pattern of the high-priest, and the seventy elders, arose the government of the Pope and his seventy cardinals, pretending also unto saintship; which nevertheless is as little yielded unto them, as they assume that a council of seventy for life is a good guard of the liberty of conscience.
The next senate for life, was that of Lacedemon, consisting of two kings hereditary, and twenty-eight senators elective. These notwithstanding they were not eligible but by the people, and at the sixtieth year of their age, and by the balance or equal agrarian of their commonwealth, could not any one of them excel the meanest citizen in their lot, or shares in land; so vigorously attempted to draw the whole result of the commonwealth unto themselves, that if the people had not striven as vigorously for the preservation of their right, they had been excluded from making their own laws. The expedient found out by the people in this exigent, was their election of five annual magistrates out of their own number, called the ephori, with power to try, condemn and execute any of their kings or senators, which thenceforth should go about to subvert the fundamental laws of their government, by which it belonged unto the senate to debate and propose only, and unto the assembly of the people to resolve. Without this expedient (which in another commonwealth not planted upon a like agrarian, would have availed little, as the Roman people heard afterwards by their tribuns) had the people of Lacedemon through a senate for life been deprived of their liberties.
TheRoman commonwealth was also founded upon a senate for life; which, though first instituted by election of the people, came afterwards to be such into which their children found other admittance, in such manner as from hence grew a patrician order, ingrossing not only the senate, and excluding the people from bearing magistracy in the commonwealth, but oppressing them also by an heavy yoke of tyranny, which causeth perpetual feud between this senate and the people, and in the end the ruin of the commonwealth; yet entituled this nobility themselves unto these prerogatives, no otherwise than by such religious rites, as among them were believed to confer saintship, and thereby to intitle them unto a dominion over the people, in which they were also aided by the optimacy.
Now examples of a senate for life being of like nature and necessary consequence, it is my hope and prayer, that never any such be introduced in England
But in case of an optimacy, a commonwealth, though not admitting of a senate for life, may yet be unequal.
ATHENS consisted of a senate upon annual rotation; yet through the optimacy, which was instituted by Solon, came under such a yoke of the nobility, as upon victory obtained in the battle of Platæa, they took the opportunity to throw off, and reduce the commonwealth unto more equality.
An optimacy is introduced, where a people is not only divided by tribes according to their habitation; but every tribe into classes, according unto their estates or different measures in riches; as if you should cast all that have above two thousand pounds a year, into one classis; all that have above one thousand pounds a year, into another; all that have above five hundred, into a third; and so forth, for as many classes as you like to make.
Now if in this case the first and second classes may give the suffrage of the whole people, as in Rome; or that these only may enjoy the senate, and all the magistracies, though but upon rotation, as in Athens; yet the people, as to these parts being excluded, the commonwealth must needs remain unequal: wherefore this also ought to be forewarned, to the end that it may be prevented.
To conclude, if we in England can have any monarchy, we shall have no commonwealth; but if we can have no monarchy, then bar but a senate for life, and an optimacy, and we must have an equal commonwealth. Successive parliaments, whether immediately, or with councils in the intervals, and like fancies, will be void of effect, as of example, or reason.
But an abundance of things is tedious; we would have such a commonwealth as may be dictated in a breath. Thus then: let a senate be constituted of three hundred, and a popular assembly of one thousand and fifty, each for the term of three years, and to be annually changed in one third part. But in case a commonwealth were thus briefly dictated, what would this abate of those many things, which must of necessity go unto a like structure, that it may be equally and methodically brought up from a firm and proper foundation? there is no way of dictating a commonwealth unto facile practice, but by the seeming difficulty of the whole circumstances requisite, even to a title. Nevertheless to try again: let the lands throughout England be all cast into some parish. Let every parish elect annually a fifth man; let every hundred of these fifth men, with the places of their habitation, constitute one hundred; then cast twenty of these hundreds into one tribe or shire. Putting the case the tribes or shires thus stated amount unto fifty, let the fifty men or deputies in every tribe or shire, elect annually two out of their own number, to be senators for three years, and seven to be of the assembly of the people for a like term, each term obliging unto an equal interval: which senate being for the first year constituted of three hundred, and the assembly of the people of one thousand and fifty, gives you those bodies upon a triennial rotation, and in them the main orders of an equal commonwealth. If you must have a commonwealth, and you will have an equal commonwealth, then (pardon my boldness) after this or some like manner must you do, because like work never was, nor can be done any otherwise.
May 2. 1659.
A DISCOURSE UPON THIS SAYING:
DAVID was a man after God’s own heart, yet made the people judges of what was of God, and that even in matters of religion; as where he proposeth unto the representative, consisting of twenty-four thousand, in this manner: If it seem good unto you, and that it be of the Lord our God, let us—bring again the ark of our God to us: for we enquired not at it in the days of Saul, 1 Chro. xiii. But men in this nation blow hot and cold: one main exception which the prelatical and Presbyterian sects have against popular government, is, that as to religion it will trust every man unto his own liberty; and that only, for which the rest of the religious sects apprehend popular government, is, that the spirit of the nation (as they say) is not to be trusted with the liberty of conscience, in that it is inclining to persecute for religion. What remedy? ask the former sects, or parties different in judgment as to matter of religion, (for the word signifies no more) they tell you a king; ask the latter, they tell you some certain or convenient number of princes, or an oligarchy. But saith the Scripture, Put not your trust in princes. It doth not any where say the like of the congregation of the Lord, or of the people; but rather the contrary, as is implied in the example already alledged of David’s proposition unto the representative of Israel, and is yet plainer in the proposition of Moses unto the whole people, even before they were under orders of popular government; and when they were to introduce such orders, as where he saith, Take unto you wise men, and known among your tribes, and I will make them rulers over you Now these rulers thus elected by the people, were supreme, both in matter of religion and government: in which words therefore, both by the command of God, and the example of Moses, you have the spirit of the people trusted with all matters either civil or religious. Throughout the Testaments, Old and New, (as I have over and over demonstrated unto you) the proceedings of God, as to the matter of government, go not beside the principles of human prudence the breadth of one hair. Let saints therefore, or others, be they who or what they will, work otherwise in like cases, or (to speak more particularly unto the present state of things) obtrude upon us oligarchy, when they can or dare, they shall be, and soon confess themselves to be below men, even of natural parts. In the mean while, having thus the free leave and encouragement both of Scripture and religion, I come unto a farther disquisition of this point by the card of reason, and the course of prudence.
In all the circle of government, there are but three spirits; the spirit of a prince the spirit of the oligarchy, and the spirit of a free people: wherefore if the spirit of a free people be not to be trusted with their liberty, or, which is all one, with the government, then must it follow of necessity, that either the spirit of a prince, or of the oligarchy, is to be trusted with the liberty of the people, or with their government.
What the spirit of a prince intrusted with the government or liberty of the people hath been, we have had large experience; and full enough of the spirit of the oligarchy: for a single council having both the right of debate and result, never was nor can be esteemed a commonwealth, but ever was and will be known for mere oligarchy. It is true, that the spirit of the people, in different cases, is as different as that of a man. A man is not of that spirit when he is sick, as when he is well: if you touch a sick man, you hurt him; if you speak to him, he is froward; he despairs of his health; he throws down his medicines: but give him ease, he is debonnaire and thankful; give him a cure, and he blesseth you. It is no otherwise with the people. A people under a yoke which they have lost all hopes of breaking, are of a broken, a slavish, a pusillanimous spirit, as the paisant in France. A people under a yoke which they are not out of hopes to break, are of an impatient, of an active, and of a turbulent spirit, as the Romans under their senate for life, the Hollanders under the king of Spain, and the English, after the ruin of the nobility, under the late monarchy. A people broken loose from their ancient and accustomed form, and yet unreduced unto any other, is of a wild, a giddy spirit; and, as the politician saith, like some bird or beast, which having been bred in a lease or chain, and gotten loose, can neither prey for itself, nor hath any body to feed it, till, as commonly comes to pass, it be taken up by the remainder of the broken chain or lease, and tyed so much the shorter; as befel those in Spain after the war of the commonalties, and the Neapolitans after that of Mazinello. But a people under orders of popular government, are of the most prudent and serene spirit, and the voidest of intestine discord or sedition; as the Venetians, the Switz and the Hollanders.
Wherefore thus we may in no wise argue: A ship without tackling and steerage is not to be trusted with any freight, nor can make any voyage; therefore a ship with tackling and steerage is not to be trusted with any freight, nor can make any voyage. But to say that the people not under fit orders of popular government, are not capable of liberty; therefore the people under fit orders of popular government, are not capable of liberty, is no better. As the former argument breaketh up all hope of trade, so the latter breaketh up all hopes of popular government.
Here lyeth the point. The mariner trusteth not unto the sea, but to his ship. The spirit of the people is in no wise to be trusted with their liberty, but by stated laws or orders; so the trust is not in the spirit of the people, but in the frame of those orders, which, as they are tight or leaky, are the ship out of which the people being once imbarqued, cannot stir, and without which they can have no motion.
IF the trumpet gave an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself unto the battle? It is not a multitude that makes an army, but their discipline, their arms, the distribution of them into troops, companies, regiments, and brigades, this for the van, that for the rear-ward; and these bodies must either rout themselves, which is not their interest, or have no motion at all, but such only as is according unto orders. If they march, if they halt, if they lodge, if they charge, all is according unto orders. Whereof he that giveth the orders, trusteth not to the army, but the army trusteth him. It is no otherwise in the ordering of a commonwealth. Why say we then, that the people are not to be trusted, while certain it is, that in a commonwealth rightly ordered, they can have no other motion than according unto the orders of their commonwealth? Have we not seen what difference there may be in an house elected by the counties only, and an house elected both by the boroughs and the counties? Is this so much from the people, as from their orders? The Lacedemonian senate for life, before the institution of the ephori, was dangerous; after the institution of the ephori, was not dangerous. The Venetians, before the introduction of their present policy, were very tumultuous; since the introduction of the same, are the most serene commonwealth. Was this from the people who are the same, or from the difference of their orders? If you will trust orders, and not men, you trust not unto the people, but unto your orders: see then that your orders be secure, and the people fail not.
You the present rulers of England, now the object of angels and men, in the fear of God look to it. I dare boldly say, and the world will say to all posterity, if England through the want of orders be ruined, it was not that you needed to trust the people, but that the people trusted you.
And of what orders have some of you that lay the people so low, and think yourselves only to be trusted, made offer? Do you not propose,
THAT they who are or shall be intrusted, (with power or authority) be such as shall be found to be most eminent for godliness, faithfulness and constancy to the good old cause and interest of these nations?
Now I beseech you consider, if you mean to make your selves judges, without the people or parliament, in such manner as you have owned your commander in chief, who are godly, and what the interest of the nation is, what kind of commonwealth this must make. Or if you mean to make the people judges, without which it is impossible there should be any well-ordered commonwealth, whether you can give them any other rule than according unto Moses, Take ye wise men, and understanding, and known among your tribes.
Consider whether those you would indemnify for strengthning the late unnatural and dishonourable yoke, be eminent for godliness, faithfulness to the good old cause, or for asserting the interest of these nations; and whether to impose such qualifications as may bring these or the like again into power, be the more probable way unto a free state; or to leave the people according to the rule of Moses, unto their judgment in these cases.
You propose, That to the end the legislative authority of this commonwealth may not by their long sitting become burthensom or inconvenient, there may be effectual provision made for a due succession thereof.
I beseech you to consider what example can be produced of any one commonwealth wherein the legislative authority was not continually extant or sitting; and what reason there can be that it should possibly be otherwise, the government remaining a commonwealth. Consider whether in case the two houses of parliament had been heretofore perpetually sitting, the government had not been a commonwealth; whether the intervals of the same, were not that in a good part, which caused it to be monarchical; and so, whether the legislative authority in a commonwealth being intermitted, must not convert the commonwealth into monarchy, in case the intervals be guided by a single person; or into oligarchy, in case they be guided by a council. Lastly, consider whether such a council in the intervals of parliaments, be not, of all others, that mole-hill by which a tyrant can be most conveniently raised for a jump into a throne; or what there is in this case to withstand him, though Whitehall should be sold or pulled down.
Again, you propose, That the legislative power be in a representative consisting of an house successively chosen by the people, and of a select senate, co-ordinate in power.
Upon which I beseech you to consider whether there can be any safe representative of the people, not constituted of such a number, and by such rules as must take in the interest of the whole people. Whether there be not difference between the interest which a people can have under monarchy, and the interest which a people ought to have under a commonwealth: and whether it be a good argument, that an assembly of four hundred upon intervals, was a sufficient representative of the people under monarchy, or under lords on whom they depended; therefore the like may be sufficient under a commonwealth, where they are their own lords, and have no dependence. I beseech you to consider whether it be natural unto any assembly to resolve otherwise than according unto the interest of that assembly. Whether it be not natural unto the senate, especially being not elected by the people, but obtruded, and, as I suspect, for life, to debate according as they intend to resolve, and to resolve according to the interest of the few, or of a party. Whether it be not unnatural, confused and dangerous unto a representative of the people, rightly constituted, to debate, whether it be not natural to such a representative to resolve according unto the interest of the whole people. Whether the senate resolving according unto the interest of the few, and the representative resolving according to the interest of the many, be not the certain way of creating feud between the senate and the people, or of introducing blood and civil war. And last of all, whether to declare the senate and the representative co-ordinate, be not to give unto either council both the debate, and the result indifferently, and in that the unavoidable occasion of such feud.
Lastly, you propose, That the executive power be in a council of state.
Upon which I beseech you to consider whether ever the prytans in Athens, the college in Venice, or a council of state in any commonwealth, had any executive power, except in the management perhaps of a war or treaty with foreign states.
Upon the whole, I beseech you to consider whether these propositions, and such like, be not contrary unto the whole course of popular prudence in all or any one commonwealth, and tending unto the certain destruction, or at least intolerable confusion of the people. Yet are these, I suppose, intended by you as a bar unto monarchy, and a guard unto the liberty of conscience.
To the Orders of a COMMONWEALTH. The whole territory is equally divided into fifty tribes or shires; in every one of these tribes, the people of each parish elect out of themselves one man in five to be for that year a deputy of that parish. I but, they will choose cavaliers or Presbyterians. Well, if that be the worst, for discourse sake be it so. These deputies thus chosen in each parish, are upon some certain day in their year to assemble at the capital of their tribe or shire, and there to elect a few to be knights or senators, and a fuller number to be burgesses or deputies in the representative of the people. Good: and these also must therefore be such as were their electors. So the sovereign assemblies of the nation will consist of Presbyterians and cavaliers; and being thus constituted, will either introduce monarchy, or invade the liberty of conscience, or both.
But these at their election take an oath of allegiance unto the commonwealth. An oath is nothing. How! not among Christians? Let us see what it hath been among Heathens. Brutus having driven out the Tarquins, or Roman kings, thought the spirit of that people not yet fit to be trusted with their liberty; and for this cause gave them an oath, whereby they abjured kings; which was then thought and found in that case to be enough. But if this would not have served the turn, what could? For Brutus to have expelled the kings, and yet not to have given the people their liberty, he well knew was not to have driven forth monarchy, but to have laid obligation upon the people to bring it back again in hatred of the oligarchy; as we in our way of proceeding have felt, and continue still to feel, yet blame the people upon as good grounds as if we should say, the people are impatient of trusting oligarchy with their liberty; therefore the people are not to be trusted with their liberty. But supposing an oath were as slight a matter as indeed in these days it is made; these sovereign assemblies, tho’ they should be thus constituted of Presbyterians and cavaliers only, yet could in no wise either introduce monarchy, or invade the liberty of conscience, for these reasons. The natural tendency of every thing, is unto the preservation of itself; but cavaliers and Presbyterians under these orders are a commonwealth; therefore their natural tendency must be to the preservation of the commonwealth. It is not so long since a roundhead was made a prince; did he make a commonwealth? Or what more reason can there be, why if you make cavaliers and independents a commonwealth, they should make a king? What experience is there in the world, that the greatest cavaliers being once brought under the orders of popular government rightly balanced, did not thenceforth detest monarchy? The people of Rome, libertatis dulcedine nondum experta, were the greatest cavaliers in the world; for above one hundred years together they obstructed their senate, which would have introduced a commonwealth, and caused them to continue under monarchy; but from the first introduction of popular government, continued under perfect detestation of the very name.
Putting the case that the senate could have a will to destroy it self, and introduce monarchy, you must also put the case that they may have some interest to do it; for the will of every assembly ariseth from the interest of the same. Now what interest can there be in a senate thus instituted, to destroy it self and set up monarchy?
The senate can do nothing but by proposing unto the people: it is not possible for them to agree unto any thing that can be proposed, without debating it; nor can any debate tend unto any such agreement, but in the force of reasons thereunto conducing. Now what reason had ever any senate, or can any senate ever have, to incline them unto such an end?
No man nor assembly can will that which is impossible: but where a commonwealth is rightly balanced, that a monarchy can there have any balance, except the senate can persuade people to quit three parts in four of the whole territory unto a prince, or to a nobility, is impossible. But if the introduction of monarchy can neither be in the will of the senate, though that should consist altogether of cavaliers and Presbyterians, then much less can it be in the will of the assembly of the people, though this also should consist altogether of cavaliers and Presbyterians.
But while we talk, that the people will be so rash in elections, we observe not that this is but the rashness of the few, exalting their wisdom above the wisdom of the people. If it be not seen that a commonwealth so ordered as hath been shewn, must of necessity consist in the senate of the wisdom, and in the popular assembly of the interest of the whole nation, after such manner that there can be no law not invented by the wisest, and enacted by the honestest, what the people under such a form shall do, cannot be judged: and if this be seen, we must either believe that the exclusion of monarchy, and the protection of liberty of conscience, concern not the wisdom or interest of the nation, in which case they are points upon which the present power ought in no wise to insist; or that being according unto the wisdom and interest of the nation, that wisdom and interest so collected as hath been shewn, must be much more able to judge of, obliged to adhere unto, and effectual to prosecute those ends, than any hundred or two hundred men in the world, were they never so select and unbiassed. Which nevertheless is not said against the ways we have to go, but for the end in which we are to acquiesce.
The distinction of liberty into civil and spiritual, is not ancient, but of a later date; there being indeed no such distinction, for the liberty of conscience once granted separable from civil liberty, civil liberty can have no security. It was the only excuse that the late tyrant pretended for his usurpation, that he could see no other means to secure the liberty of conscience. Suppose an oligarchy were like minded, would it follow that the tyrant did not, or that the oligarchy could not usurp civil liberty? Or is not this the only plausible way by which they might? What encouragement, except for present ends, or some short time, hath liberty of conscience had to trust more unto men, than civil liberty? Or what became of that civil liberty which was at any time trusted unto a prince, or to the oligarchy? On the other side, where hath that free state or commonwealth been ever known, that gave not liberty of conscience?
InIsrael at the worst, or when it was scarce a commonwealth, Paul earnestly beholding the council, that is, the sanhedrim, or senate of the Jews, cryed out—Men and brethren—of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question: and when he had so said, there arose dissention between the Pharisees and the Sadduces—For the Sadduces say, that there is no resurrection, neither angel nor spirit; but the Pharisees confess both, Acts xxiii. Howbeit the Sadduces, for the rest adhered unto the Scriptures of the Old Testament, of which the Pharisees made little or no account in respect of their oral law, or traditions. Whence it followeth, that in this senate there were two religions, and by consequence that in this commonwealth there was liberty of conscience; and so much the rather, in that besides these sects, and that also of the essenes, this commonwealth consisted in a good part of proselytes of the gates, who did not at all receive the law of Moses, but only the precepts given by God to Noah.
PAUL, Acts xvii. in like manner, seeming to be a setter forth of strange gods, in the commonwealth of Athens, because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection; and the Athenians, being given to spend their time in telling or hearing some new thing, they took him and brought him, not by application of any violence, but out of curiosity and delight in novelties, unto Areopagus, or unto the famous senate in Athens, called The Areopagites, honoured by Cicero to furnish an argument against Atheists, where he argued, that to say, the world is governed without God, is as if one should say, that the commonwealth of Athens is governed without the Areopagites. Paul being thus brought unto Areopagus, or unto the place, that you may see it was not under custody, where the senators used to walk, stood in the midst of Mars-hill, and preached: now the Areopagites, or senators, were some Epicureans, who held as the Sadduces, and others Stoicks, who held as the Pharisees: and when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some, that is, the Epicureans, mocked, and others, that is, the Stoicks, said, we will hear thee again of this matter. And Paul, for another argument that he was all this while at his own disposing, and full freedom, departed from among them. Howbeit, certain men clave unto him, and believed, among which was Dionysius the Areopagite. So in the senate of Athens there were now three religions; the Epicurean, Stoick, and Christian; whence it must needs follow, that in the commonwealth of Athens, there was liberty of conscience. Men that are vers’d in Roman authors will have little reason to doubt, that the learnedst of this people gave not much credit unto the fabulous religion that among them was national. Among these, as is yet apparent by his writings, was Cicero, who nevertheless lamenteth, that he found it easier to pull down a religion, than to set up any; yet was neither Cicero, nor any man of his judgment, for this, less capable of being consul, or of any other magistracy. All things are not equally clear in every story, yet shall no man give one reason or example that it hath been otherwise in any commonwealth.
It is true, that the Popish commonwealths do not give the liberty of conscience. No man can give that which he hath not: they depend in part, or in the whole, as to religion, upon the church of Rome; and so have not the liberty of conscience to give: but even these do not take it away; for there is no Popish commonwealth that endureth any inquisition. Now I say, if there be no reason nor example that a commonwealth ever did invade the liberty of conscience, either there must be some cause in nature, which hath hitherto had no effect, or there is no reason why a commonwealth can invade the liberty of conscience. But the reason why it cannot, is apparent: for the power that can invade the liberty of conscience, can usurp civil liberty; and where there is a power that can usurp civil liberty, there is no commonwealth. To think otherwise, is to measure a commonwealth by the overflowing and boundless passions of a multitude, not by those laws or orders, without which a free people can no otherwise have a course, than a free river without the proper channel. Yet as far as we in this nation do yet stand from this object, we can perceive a difference between men, and orders or laws. A man will trust the law for a thousand pound, nay must trust it with his whole estate. But he will not trust a man for an hundred pounds; or if he do, he may repent it. They who dare trust men, do not understand men; and they that dare not trust laws or orders, do not understand a commonwealth. I told a story of my travels to some gentlemen that were pleased with it. The Italians are a grave and prudent nation, yet in some things no less extravagant than the wildest; particularly in their carnival or sports about Shrovetide: in these they are all mummers, not with our modesty, in the night, but for divers days together, and before the sun; during which time, one would think, by the strangeness of their habit, that Italy were once more overrun by Goths and Vandals, or new peopled with Turks, Moors, and Indians, there being at this time such variety of shapes and pageants. Among these, at Rome I saw one, which represented a kitchen, with all the proper utensils in use and action. The cooks were all cats and kitlings, set in such frames, so try’d and so ordered that the poor creatures could make no motion to get loose, but the same caused one to turn the spit, another to baste the meat, a third to scim the pot, and a fourth to make green-sauce. If the frame of your commonwealth be not such, as causeth every one to perform his certain function as necessarily as this did the cat to make green-sauce, it is not right.
But what talk we of frames or orders? Though we have no certain frame, no sitting orders, yet in this balance there are bounds, set even by his hand who stilleth the raging of the sea, and the madness of his people. Let the more wary Cavalier, or the fiery Presbyterian, march up when he may into the van, he shall lead this nation into a commonwealth, or into certain perdition. But if the old officers, men for the greater part of small fortunes, but all of large souls, ancient heroes, that dared to expose themselves unto ruin for their country, be restored unto their most deserved commands, this will be done, and done without a bloody nose, or a cut finger.
We hope ye are saints; but if you be men, look with all your might, with all your prudence, above all, with fervent imploration of GOD’s gracious assistance, who is visibly crowning you, unto the well ordering of your commonwealth. In the manner consists the main matter. Detest the base itch of the narrow oligarchy. If your commonwealth be rightly instituted, seven years will not pass, ere your clusters of parties, civil and religious, vanish, not through any force, as when cold weather kills flies; but by the rising of greater light, as when the sun puts out candles. These in the reason of the thing are demonstrable, but suit better with the spirit of the present times, by way of prophecy. England shall raise her head to ancient glory, the heavens shall be of the old metal, the earth no longer lead, nor shall the sounding air eternally renounce the trumpet of fame.
May 16. 1659.
A DISCOURSE SHEWING,
THE present case considered, I need say no more, than, if there be no bar, a parliament may consist wholly, or in the greater part, of Presbyterians or royalists; and if there be a bar, it is no government by parliaments, but by the bar that is upon them; which must be of greater danger. But the house of commons, as hath been hitherto usual in England, consisted of about four hundred deputies of the people, for the most part gentlemen, and old stagers, elected again and again unto the same employment, without vacation: this is that which being sweet in the stomach of divers, is the old love for which they detest new forms. Such an assembly, for the number or nature of their elections, is somewhat too low and too large to come up unto the true interest of a king, and too high and too narrow to descend wholly unto the true interest of the people; they have antiently provided diligently, that they might hawk and hunt without impediment of the king, and of the lower sort, to whom it was almost capital to spoil their game: and though this may seem but a jesting instance, yet have the rest of their laws, for their pitch, been much of the middle way, or of the like genius, while they were under a nobility; but since, through the natural decay of that order, they came to a greater height, it hath been to endure no check. Wherefore as it hath been found under a king, that such an assembly will endure no king, through the check they apprehend from him; so it will be found that under a commonwealth they will be addicted unto the introduction of monarchy, through the check they apprehend from the people.
Certain it is, that an alteration of government going no farther than the institution of parliaments, and a council in the intervals, can come to no more than that, so often as the council shall be changed for a king, or the king for a council, so often the commonwealth (if this deserve any such name) must be changed into monarchy, and the monarchy into a commonwealth; which changes may be made with such ease and suddenness, that every night it may be a cast of a dye, what the government shall be the next morning. Where the alteration (I say) of the government is no greater than from a king’s chair, to a narrow bench of counsellors; there goeth no more to make a single person, than throwing down the bench, and setting up the chair; nor to make a commonwealth (such an one as it is) than throwing down the chair, and setting up the bench. But for the farther discovery of such causes, as in so strange and unheard-of innovation may give frequent or continual mutation, if this posture of things be upheld (as I cannot see how otherwise it should stand) by an army. Let us consider three things:
First, What is incident unto such an army.
Secondly, What is incident unto such a council.
And thirdly, What is incident unto such a parliament.
It is incident unto such an army, let the body thereof be never so popularly affected, to be under a monarchical administration, or to be top-heavy in their great officers, which will have power, whether they will or no, to oversway both the army and the government; as in the setting up of the late single person. Again, if the body of the army mutiny against the government, neither their great officers, nor any thing else in the parliament or council, can withstand them; as in the pulling down of the latter single person: whence it is evident that such an army can be no foundation of any settlement.
A council in the intervals, though it should rule well, will yet have a tendency toward preservation or prolongation of itself; and if it rule ill, will be obnoxious unto parliaments. For which cause, what help for themselves shall be in their power, is to be presumed, will be in their will; and they have the same power which the king had, or which is all one, are in as effectual a posture to obstruct or elude the meeting of parliaments; therefore it will be in their will to do it. And if they will this, they reduce the government into oligarchy, then into faction, and last of all, into confusion.
The people this while must unavoidably perceive this council to consist of too few to be fellows, and of too many to be masters. For which cause being all broken into faction, some for a commonwealth, and some for monarchy, parliaments coming by gusts, whether with or against the will of the council, will either be torn with like faction among themselves, or pull down the council as no government, and endeavour some settlement. Now if a monarchy (as most likely, because most obvious) be set up, it can be no settlement, because it is quite contrary unto the balance of the nation; and so they mend nothing, but make greater confusion. And a commonwealth or democracy consisteth of such orders and such novelties in this land, as will never be light upon by an assembly, nor credited by such as are unexperienced in the art. So that this nation going thus far about, will come but unto that very point, where it now stands at gaze, or to far greater confusion; for which there is no remedy, save only that they who are in power would lay aside all prejudice unto pretended novelties and innovations, or rather not give themselves unto such novelties as tend unto confusion, (for such have been the late changes) but consider such antiquities as have been, and must be the rule and reason of a wise proceeding in that, which by the providence of God never was before, and yet is now come to be the truth of their case.
But if what hath been hitherto shewn, be the certain consequence of parliaments with a council in the intervals, as that it will be no settlement, but a state now setting up, then pulling down kings or single persons; it is apparent that what introduceth monarchy, introduceth suppression of civil liberty, and in that, of liberty of conscience. Wherefore certain it is, that the spirit of a parliament with a council in the intervals, is not to be trusted, lest it introduce monarchy and suppression of liberty, and in that, of the liberty of conscience; nor the spirit of any form whatsoever, but that only of a democracy or free state, which is the same that through novelties introduced by God himself, is only practicable as a settlement in the present case of this distracted nation.
The true form of a democracy or free state consisteth especially in this, that as to lawgiving, the wisdom of the nation propose, and the interest of the nation resolve. If this be possible in England, then it is impossible, that there should be in England greater security unto liberty, whether civil or of conscience, which but for a new distinction is the same. Now that it is possible and easily practicable to frame such standing assemblies in England, whereof the one shall contain the wisdom, the other the interest of the whole nation, hath been long since evinced.
But men that go upon picking up arguments against an house out of the rubbish, and distinguish not between the people under the ruins of the old government, and what they must needs be when raised into a proper structure of a new frame, will say, that the people have a general aversion from being built up into any new form at all. So hath the rubbish, and yet it may have good stones and beams in it. They will say, that there is a general disaffection, nay hatred, throughout the countries, unto the government; and that more now, than in the time of the late usurper. Which I easily believe, because the change of a person, with what loss soever, is yet a less change than the change of a government. The former is a change from a thing that was known, to another that is known; but the latter must be a change from a thing that hath been known in this nation, to a thing that was never known in this nation. A man that walketh, treadeth, with almost equal boldness his next step, if he see it, though it be in the dirt; but let it be never so fair, if he see it not, he stands stock-still. This is the present state of the people, and this effect in the people is especially occasioned by their natural distrust of such novelties as they cannot penetrate or discover what they are. Nor is it an ill pulse, the case considered, in which it signifies no other than their constancy, and dear affection unto their old laws and ways, how unfit soever they be now become. Wherfore, so soon as you have fitted them better, none of this will be against you, but all for you. It is certain, that a people under proper orders, is the least effeminate, and most manly government in the world. But such an one as hath no experience or knowledge in these, hath a frowardness, that is altogether childish. What they find uneasy, they tear off and throw away; as in the late war; but no sooner find the nakedness unto which by like means they are brought, than being unable to clothe themselves, they fall into an unmanly penitence, and betake themselves unto picking up of their old trappings. If there be not men at the head of them, who by introduction of a proper form, can clothe their nakedness, and reduce their passion unto temper, there is nothing to be expected, but darkness, desolation and horror.
Now if you be saints, do good unto them that hate you, and would persecute you. Now cast your bread upon the waters, and after many days, nay after a few days, you shall find it.
That the people of this land have an aversion from novelties or innovations, that they are incapable of discourse or reasoning upon government, that they do not understand the true form of a free and equal commonwealth, is no impediment unto them, nor excuse unto wise and honest men, why they should not be imbarked.
As the foul of man being by the wisdom of God imbarked in flesh, doth all the functions of the body, not that she understandeth it, but that she can work no otherwise; so the body of a people, by the wisdom of one man, (if there be any such man, as having such power, can be so honest) or of a few men (if there be any so few, as having such power, can agree in such a matter) imbarked in the true form of a government, do all the functions of the same, not that they understand it; for how much understood they the late monarchy, when it was in the greatest vigour; but that through the necessity of the form, except it came to be insufficient (as through the late decay of the church and the nobility) they can work no otherwise than according unto the nature of it.
If the form thus introduced be that of a free and equal commonwealth, the people not being able to work otherwise than according unto the nature of it, can never introduce monarchy, nor persecution for conscience, because either of these is contrary and destructive unto the nature of the form.
That the former is so, I need not prove; and that the latter is so, is obvious. For without invading civil liberty, there is no invasion of the liberty of conscience; and by invading civil liberty, this form is dissolved. But some will say, Thrust the people into innovations unto which they have so great aversion? before they can be brought to understand them, and against their consent? what a violation of freedom! what a difficulty! what an injustice!
But taking all this together; what less can be said to whatever the parliament shall next introduce? or if you take them apart.
As to aversion, I have already spoken; it is not any malice in the people, but their nature in this case, which being through mere want of acquaintance with such things as they can no wise understand but by trial, is not to be rectified but by the introduction of such a form as they finding far more worthy of their holding, will by changing of the hand, but improve their more deserved constancy.
As to the difficulty of introducing a new form, of obtaining the people’s consent, and the violation that in failure of the same may be made upon liberty, I say, that elections, at divers times, have already been divers; that in this there hath been no violation of liberty, nor difficulty in obtaining the people’s consent: and such elections as will necessarily introduce the whole form of a new commonwealth, have no such difference in them from the former, that they should not be as easily consented unto, and performed by the people; and this done by ordaining the cause, they have ordained the effect, and so introduced the new form by common and universal consent.
Lastly, if it be just that the people should have their liberty, they will soon find by this change, that they both have it, and know how to hold it: which a people once finding, were never willing to part with; and in this consisteth the strongest security against monarchy, and for liberty of conscience.
To conclude: this to our present commonwealthsmen is dictated by universal experience, and written by the best politicians, as their certain doom.
If they introduce a well-ordered commonwealth, they shall be safe while they live, and famous when they are dead; and if they introduce not a well-ordered commonwealth, they shall be unsafe while they live, and infamous when they are dead.
July 21, 1659.
Certain Maxims calculated unto the present State of England.
WHERE nothing is to be obtained by reasoning, there every thing is referred to event; and so are these maxims.
1. WHERE there is no publick endowment of a ministry, there can be no national religion.
2. WHERE there is no national religion, there can neither be any government, nor any liberty of conscience.
3. WITHOUT invasion there may be a tumult, but can be no civil war in England.
4. WITHOUT a civil war, there can be no monarchy in England.
5. WHERE there is no situation like that of Venice, there can be no lasting oligarchy.
6. A commonwealth upon intervals is against nature.
7. Parliaments upon intervals set up kings or tyrants.
8. Parliaments when they are salariated, will sit in harvest.
9. Caput reipublicæ est nosse rempublicam. When the orders of any one commonwealth that is or hath been, are rightly understood by such as have the power, England will be a commonwealth.
10. IF the narrowest commonwealth require at least twice the root of the largest monarchy, and the English monarchy were founded upon two assemblies containing six or seven hundred; then a commonwealth in England, must be founded upon assemblies consisting of about thirteen hundred at the least.
11. IF justice be the common interest, and the common interest be justice; then private or partial interest, opposed unto the common, must be injustice.
12. IF the laws of the people must needs go upon the common interest, and the laws of the oligarchy must needs go upon partial or private interest, opposed to the common; then the laws of the people must be just, and the laws of the oligarchy must be unjust.
13. EVIL men, that can do no other than make just laws, are safer than good men, that must either make unjust laws, or ruin themselves.
A PARALLEL OF The SPIRIT of the PEOPLE WITH The SPIRIT of Mr. ROGERS; AND
MR. ROGERS’s first character of himself is, that he is one through grace kept under many sufferings a faithful servant to Jesus Christ, his cause, and the commonwealth.
The character that by men of his judgment is but too often given of the people, is, that they are profane wretches, haters of the godly, or of a persecuting spirit. Whereas if the jayls be looked into under any commonwealth that is popular, the most of the prisoners will be found to be in for matter of crime, few for debt, and none at all for conscience; the contrary whereof is known in other governments. And this is matter of fact, whereof every man, that doth not like Mr. Rogers give his spirit wholly unto passion, and never think himself bound either to give or take any one reason or example, is a competent judge.
But men skill’d in common conversation know, that if the people be offended by a man upon whom they live, they are very patient; but if they be offended by a man upon whom they do not live, they are very apt to fly out; and their common expression upon this occasion is, What care I for him? I can live without him. From the common and vulgar expression of this reason or truth, the whole spirit of the people, even as to matter of government, may be defined; which in the definition (because there are but too many who in like comparisons boast their spirit for righteousness, godliness and justice above that of the people) I shall make bold to parallel with that of Mr. Rogers.
The spirit of the people, where they live by a king, will obey a king very faithfully. Mr. Rogers is not for a king upon any terms whatsoever.
The people, where they subsist by lords, are always faithful unto their lords; and where they are under the power of a few by whom they subsist not, never desist from shaking that yoke.
The spirit of Mr. Rogers is not for the government of lords, or such as might pretend any such reason of their government; but for the government of a few, that cannot pretend any such reason of their government; which therefore can have no justice nor bottom.
A people that can live of themselves, neither care for king nor lords, except through the mere want of inventing a more proper way of government; which till they have found, they can never be quiet; wherefore to help a people at this streight, is both the greatest charity to our neighbour, and the greatest service that a man can do unto his country.
The spirit of Mr. Rogers is not only to have a people that can live of themselves, to be governed by none other but such as himself; but throwing away all modesty, is a professed enemy to any man that at such a streight shall fairly offer a charity to the people, or a service unto his country.
Whether he be wronged thus far, I leave unto the reader in what follows; where what the sense is, we must guess; but the words are certainly Mr. Rogers’s. He takes me up, after having handled Mr. Baxter like himself in this manner:
BUT in the winding up our discourse, I am surprised or way-laid with Mr. Harrington’s correspondence with Mr. Baxter against an oligarchy, (I wish he had been as much against anarchy or Atheism) if he means by it the parliament, or such a parliament, or the body of adherents to the cause, as one of them I believe he must, and some say all; (wherein Mr. Baxter and he agree.)Mark his art in slandering: he dareth not to call me Atheist, because by my writings all men may know that I am none. But when he tells us his meaning without mumping and scoffing, (which we must understand before we reply) he may hear further.
I ever understood and explained oligarchy, without mumping or scoffing, to be the reign of the few, or of a party, excluding the main body of the people; yet faith he, From their old mumpsibus, and his new sumpsibus, good Lord deliver me. He should be fined 5 l. By the new sumpsibus, he intimates that he means the government by a senate and by the people: and the reason why he deprecates this by his litany is, that most undoubtedly it must bring in a single person. This consequence he pursueth with much Greek, in which you shall see how well he understandeth that language, or indeed any ancient commonwealth or author. His first Greek quotation, as you may find at length in his 72 page, importeth that in Lacedemon no man stood up by the way of honour, but to a king, or to an ephore. This, without mumping or scoffing, he englisheth thus, None stood or were raised up (meaning in the commonwealth of Lacedemon) but a king and the ephore; whence he infers, That a single person had an executive power there. Then out of Heraclides he sets down a text which shews, that the thesmothetæ in Athens were sworn not to take bribes; or if they did, were to pay a statue of gold to Apollo; and this he englisheth thus: The thesmothets were not to take bribes, nor to set up the golden image, which he understands of a king: and finding a king priest in that commonwealth, (as in ours there is a king-herald) he concludes that they did set up a king; and so, that the senate and the people is a government inclining to set up a single person. Nor is there much of his quotations out of ancient authors, that is less mistaken, and it may be out of Scripture. You shall have but one piece more of him, which is concerning rotation: of this saith he,
Well bowl’d Mr. Rogers.Whether this way be not, of any, the most liable to an ostracism, let any judge, by discouraging, laying aside, or driving out of the land, the most publickly spirited worthies that are in it; men of the greatest ability, gallantry, and sidelity, by which means a many brave governments have been utterly destroyed: as the Athenians, Argives, Thebans, Rhodians, and others. It is said in Athens, Ἰππίας ἐ[Editor: illegible character]υράννει, ϰαὶ τὸν περὶ Ὀϛπαϰισμ[Editor: illegible character] νόμον εἰσηγήσα[Editor: illegible character]ο, δὲ Ἄλλοι τε ὠϛϱαϰίσϑησαν ϰαὶ Ξάνθιππ[Editor: illegible character] ϰαὶ Ἀριϛείδηϛ· That Hippias plaid the tyrant, and he brought forth the law of ostracism; but others were cast into exile by it, such as Xantippus, Aristides, &c. Nor can we but foresee, how fast the wheel of their rotation would boult or fling out the best and ablest in the commonwealth, for bran, leaving the worst behind in, of all others.Steal a little more, and say his cake is dough. And yet of this must his cake be made, which, after it is baked, he would have divided by silly girls! a pretty sport for the mummers indeed, or those nimblewitted house-wives (that with vice can outvie the virtues of the best) to learn so lightly the whole mystery of a commonwealth, and most abstruse intrigues or cabals of state (page 13. Oceana) that when these Joans are weary with their bobbins, they may bob our ears bravely, with a garrulous rule; and when they lag in their bonelace, they may lace our bones, (for loggerheads,) to let them lay down the distaff, and take up the scepter; leave the spindle, and divide the spoil; yea, then sit like magpies at their doors, dumb saints in their idol’s churches! goats in their gardens! devils in their houses! angels in the streets! and syrens at their windows! as they say of the Italians; for when they can live no longer by their work, they shall live by their wits, in Mr. Har.’s commonwealth, that sifts out the best, and keeps in the worst to make his cake with. But in Lacedemon, Λυϰ[Editor: illegible character]ργος ὁ Σὐνόμȣ ϖαῖς διϰαίȣς βȣλη[Editor: illegible character]εὶς ἀποφῆναι Δαϰεδαιμονίȣς, ὑπὲρ τ[Editor: illegible character]τȣ γὲ [Editor: illegible character] ϰαλȣς τȣς μισϑȣς ἠϱύσα[Editor: illegible character]ο. Lycurgus the son of Eunomus, willing to endow the Laceaemonians with their dues in righteousness and justice, took not away any worthy or good reward from any one. And the Thebans, to encourage dignity, and keep up the honour of magistracy from contempt, made a law, Ut nemo habilis esset, ad honores reipublicæ, suscipiendos, nisi decem annis à Mercaturâ destitisset, &c. That no man should be accounted qualified for the honours of the commonwealth, i. e. in magistracy, unless he had first left his merchandizing ten years: such a care had they to keep out the Joans and Toms, which Mr. H. admits, by turns and times, as the rotation boults them into the government, and their betters out. And what was said of Clisthenes an Athenian, Κλεισϑένης δὲ τὸ δεῖν ἐξοϛϱαϰίζεϑαι εἰσηγησάμεν[Editor: illegible character], ἀυτος ἔτοχε τῆς ϰαταδίϰης πρωτ[Editor: illegible character], might possibly be applied to Mr. H. were their rogation effected; that he was one of the first that introduced this government by ostracism, and one of the first that felt it, and would have retroduced it; the first that brought it in, and the first that wrought it out.Mark the ingenuity of these men: that I have written the commonwealth of Israel, they will take no notice: nor that from thence especially rotation is derived. Therefore let him secure his own bull, before he baits another’s, and take his play! [Editor: illegible character]ϰἄν β[Editor: illegible character]ς ἀπολοιτο, εἰ μὴ γείτων ϰαϰὸς εἴη.
Lastly, I would willingly be informed how his new platforms or principles Paganish or Popish, fetch’d from Athens, or from Venice, can, without cruciating extremities and applications, be adequated to our commonwealth under Christian profession? so that Quæ semel possidebant Papistæ, semper possideant Rapistæ; what the Papists once had, Rapists and ravenous ones would ever have, viz. our rights and liberties from us; nor could it be acquired, I think, without greater advantages to Papists and Atheists than to us, seeing the very interest of the son of God, and saints in the nation, the best and noblest cause on earth, in all the integrating parts thereto, is not taken notice of in his platform; neither in the balance nor the wheel; in the ballot nor rotation (or rogation) of it; so that Differs curandi tempus in annum? Quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur achivi.No! find them another way for liberty of conscience. I may conclude with Mr. B. p. 240. That God having already given us the best fundamental laws; let us have but good magistrates, and we shall have good derivative laws, or human. It was a law among the Cretians, that τ[Editor: illegible character]ς ϖαἶδας μανθάνειν τȣς Νόμȣς ἐϰέλευον μετὰ τίν[Editor: illegible character] μελωδίας ἴνα ἐϰ της μȣσιϰης ψυχαγωγῶν ται ϰαὶ ἐυϰολώτερον οὐτ[Editor: illegible character]ς τῆ μνήμ[Editor: illegible character] παραλαμβάνωσι, &c. That their children should learn their laws with melody; that from the MUSICK they might take great pleasure in them, and more easily commit them to memory. We need no such law, to endear or dulcify our cause or the laws of it in the commonwealth. If the foundation of it be that, which the hand of the Almighty hath laid amongst us both for church and state, from Christian principles, rather than from Paganish or meer morals, it will make most excellent harmony in the ears and hearts of all men and Christians; And the governours of Judah shall say in their hearts, the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength, in the Lord of hosts their God, Zach. xii. 5. Thus our governors thought of them in the days of straits, and will again see it, one of their best interests, to have their prayers and their God, as well as their purses and blood, engaged for them; and not disoblige them upon jealousies suggested by the enemy, who for their virgin fidelity, and untainted adherence to the cause, may be called πα[Editor: illegible character]θενίȣς, as the Lacedemonians did their wives after their innocency did break out, and get above the clouds of suspicion and reproach. But if, after all, they will be planting and founding us again in the spirit of the nation, as if God had owned no cause, or made no signal discrimination; or shaken no such foundations of the earth, &c. which their lord general pretended as one ground of their interruption, which Mr. H. and others would hurry them into, to the endangering of the cause, and the disobliging the adherents; then will the Jehovah, that keepeth covenant with his people, and not alter the thing that is gone out of his lips, Psal. lxxxix. 34. Acts ii. 30. and iii. 20, 21. raise up others in their stead, to carry on this his cause, both in the civils and the spirituals; and to form another people for himself to shew forth his praise, Isa xliii. 21. Then they that rule over men, shall be just, ruling in the fear of God; and they shall be as the light of the morning when the sun ariseth; a morning without clouds, and as the tender grass that springeth out of the earth, by a clear shining after rain, 2 Sam. xxiii. 3, 4. which that these may be, agrees better with my prayer, than with his proposals I am sure. But thus I leave him whom Mr. B. has quoted as a stumbling-block before me; whom I am not only gotten over, but I presume have given a good lift to the removing of him out of others way, as to the right foundation of the commonwealth, and stating the cause.
You might have more; but because it is no better, here is enough. I could never yet find among men like Mr. Rogers, that my spirit is likely to pass with them for any more than a moral spirit; and there is nothing more usual among divines that make mention of me, than to call me mad-man or Atheist. On the other side, Mr. Rogers, and most of them that thus use me, hold themselves to be men of sanctified spirits. Yet without boasting, and upon provocation, I submit it unto the reader, whether Mr. Rogers or my self be of the better spirit: nor do I blame him so much for emptying himself lustily of that which burthened him; passion in a man is far more pardonable than malice. He accuseth me in his title page, of venom and vilification towards the honourable members now in parliament; which, for any thing he hath said, or can say to prove it, is not only to bear false witness against his neighbour, but in seeking the destruction of his neighbour by false witness, to blast a cause which he is no otherways able to invade. Let this be considered; for if it prove to be the truth of his meaning, it must be from an evil spirit. However, the reader may now easily judge, whether the spirit of the people, excluding no man, or the spirit of Mr. Rogers, and such like, which is that which he would have, excluding the people, be the fitter to be trusted with the government.
Sept. 2. 1659.
Reader, I intreat your pardon; I know well enough that this is below me; but something is to be yielded to the times: and it hath been the employment of two or three hours in a rainy day.
A sufficient Answer to Mr. STUBB.
THERE is a book newly put forth by Mr. Stubb, intituled, A Letter to an Officer, &c. which in brief comes to this, that he would have a select senate for life, consisting of Independents, Anabaptists, Fifth-Monarchy-men, and Quakers; for which he is pleased to quote Deut. xxiii. that he would have all such as adhered unto the parliament against Sir G. Booth, to be inrolled as the people of England: that he would have all the rest of the people of England to be Helots, Gibeonites, or Paysants. This book I have read; and I have heard a tale of one, who, to get something, pretended the shewing of a strange beast, and horse and no horse, with the tail standing where the head should stand; which when all came to all, was a mare, with her tail ty’d to the manger; the lively emblem of an oligarchy. Mr Stubb pretending to shew his learning, takes those things, as it were changing the sex of them, which I have written, and in his writings turns their tails unto the manger. Now this, as to the unlearned reader, is that upon which it is to no purpose to move any controversy; and as to the learned, I need no more than appeal, whether in their proper stables, or in the best authors, the heads of them stand, as I have set them, or the tails as Mr. Stubb hath set them. Only let me say, that as to a select senate, understanding thereby a senate not elected by the people, there is no more of this in all story, than the senate of Rome only. Whence it is undeniable by any man of common understanding, that a select senate bringeth in a select interest, that a select interest causeth feud between that select interest, and the common interest, and so between the senate and the popular assembly; which coal in England it is fitter for such as Mr. Stubb and his patrons to blow, than for such as understand story, government, and common honesty. But their reasons who decry the possibility or plausibility of such acts or orders as these, it pleaseth him to call high rodomontado’s. Now which are the higher rodomontado’s, these, or those which he useth in siourishing the justitia of Aragon, a patch in a monarchy, which his design is to translate by a select senate, into a commonwealth, I leave any man to judge, even by the testimony of his own author Blanca, and in a place cited by himself, though not so well rendered. Our ancestors, saith Blanca, have three ways secured our liberties; by the justitia, by the great POWER of the ricos hombres (now he speaks,) and by the privilege of the union. The first was a civil and forensick curb, a gown, the second was a domestick and more restraining one, (I think so, the purse and the power,) the third popular and warlike, an excellent militia. Now let any man say, even after Blanca, if without the nobility, in whom was the balance of this monarchy, and their retainers and dependents, of which consisted the militia, this court of the poor gownman called Justitia, must not have been a very likely thing to restrain a prince; or consider whether without this same mummery of the Arragonians, house of peers and of commons in other monarchies, have not every whit as much restrained their kings, and more, seeing this toy, at every election of the magistrate called Justitia, it received not breath but from a king, was blown away by a king. His other instances, as the thirty-six curators of the publick appointed unto Lewis the Eleventh of France, by the three estates, and the twenty-five select peers, given unto king John of England, were like shifts, and had less effect. Security in government must be from entireness of form; and entireness of form must be from soundness or rightness of foundation. But Mr. Stubb founding himself upon the authority of Aristotle, that the Western parts are not capable of a right commonwealth, is declaredly for a wrong commonwealth in England. He minds not that Venice, for the capacity, is a righter commonwealth than was ever any in Greece; nor that the present state of England is of a far different, if not a quite contrary nature to that of the western parts, in the time of Aristotle.
A PROPOSITION In order to the proposing of A Commonwealth or Democracy.
IF the parliament shall be pleased to appoint a committee to receive Mr. Harrington’s proposals for settling the government of this commonwealth, it is humbly proposed that unto the committee of the house may be added,
The Earl of Northumberland.
The Earl of Denbigh.
The Earl of Clare.
The Earl of Kingston.
The Duke of Buckingham
Lord Grey of Wark.
Richard Nevil, Esq;
Mr. Nathaniel Fiennes.
Lord Mayor of London.
Mr. William Pierepoint.
Sir John Eveling.
Mr. Anslo of Ireland.
Sir Paul Neal.
Mr. John Trevor.
Captain Adam Baynes.
Mr. Josias Bernards.
Mr. Samuel Moyer.
Mr. Anthony Samuel.
Mr. Maximilian Petty.
Mr. William Harrington.
Mr. Baxter of Kidderminster.
Mr. Arthur Eveling.
Captain Andrew Ellis.
Mr. Challinor Chute.
Mr. Sling[Editor: illegible character]y Bethel.
Sir Cheany Culpepper.
Sir Henry Blount.
Sir Horatio Townshend.
Sir Anthony Ashly Cooper.
Mr. Job Charleton.
Mr. Edward Waller.
Colonel John Clark.
Mr. John Denham.
Mr. Hugh Bisscowen.
Sir George Booth.
Mr. Robert Roles.
Sir Orlando Bridgeman.
Mr. Robert Stevens.
Mr. William James.
Sir Justinian Isham.
Lieutenant Colonel Kelsey.
Sir Robert Honnywood.
Mr. Philip Nye.
Dr. Thomas Goodwin.
Charles Howard, Esq;
Sir Thomas Gower.
Lord Com. Bradshaw.
Colonel James Berry.
Major William Packer.
Sir William Waller.
Colonel Edmond Salmon.
Colonel Francis Hacker.
Mr. Richard Knightley.
Colonel John Burch.
Mr. John Swynfen.
Mr. Thomas Bampfield.
Colonel John Okey.
Mr. William Kiffen.
Mr. Frecheville of Stavely.
Mr. James Morley
Dr. Philip Carteret.
Captain Richard Dean.
Adjutant-General William Allen.
Mr. William Forester of Aldermarton.
Mr. Edward Harison.
Mr. Arthur Samwell.
Mr. Samuel Tull.
Mr. Edward Salloway
That this committee sit Tuesdays and Fridays, by three of the clock in the afternoon, in the banqueting-house, court of requests, or painted chamber, the doors being open, and the room well fitted for all comers; and that Mr. Harrington having proposed by appointment of the parliament, such others may propose as shall have the leave of the parliament.
This by friends of the commonwealth is proposed with Mr. HARRINGTON’s consent.
The Reasons for this Proposition are these:
IT is the fairest way of proposing a government, that it be first proposed to conviction, before it be imposed by power.
THE persons herein nominated being convinced, it must necessarily have an healing effect.
THE ROTA: OR, A Model of a free State, or equal Commonwealth.
Once proposed and debated in brief, and to be again more at large proposed to, and debated by a free and open Society of ingenious Gentlemen.
Ite fortes, ita fœlices.
At the ROTA. Decem. 20. 1659.
RESOLVED, that the proposer be desired, and is hereby desired to bring in a model of a free state, or equal commonwealth, at large, to be farther debated by this society, and that in order thereunto it be first printed.
RESOLVED, that the model being proposed in print, shall be first read, and then debated by clauses.
RESOLVED, that a clause being read over night, the debate thereupon begin not at the sooner till the next evening.
RESOLVED, that such as will debate, be desired to bring in their queries upon, or objections against the clause in debate, if they think fit, in writing.
RESOLVED, that debate being sufficiently had upon a clause, the question be put by the ballotting-box, not any way to determine of, or meddle with the government of these nations, but to discover the judgment of this society, upon the form of popular government, in abstract, or secundum artem.
The Principles of Government.
ALL government is founded upon over-balance, in propriety.
If one man hold the over-balance unto the whole people in propriety, his propriety causeth absolute monarchy.
If the few hold the over-balance unto the whole people in propriety, their propriety causeth aristocracy, or mixed monarchy.
If the whole people be neither over-balanced by the propriety of one, nor of a few, the propriety of the people, or of the many, causeth the democracy, or popular government.
The government of one against the balance, is tyranny.
The government of a few against the balance, is oligarchy.
The government of the many, (or attempt of the people to govern) against the balance, is rebellion, or anarchy.
Where the balance of propriety is equal, it causeth a state of war.
To hold, That government may be founded upon community, is to hold, that there may be a black swan, or a castle in the air; or, that what thing soever is as imaginable, as what hath been in practice, must be as practicable, as what hath been in practice.
If the over-balance of propriety be in one man, it necessitateth the form of government to be like that of Turky.
If the over-balance of propriety be in the few, it necessitateth the form of the government to be like that of king, lords, and commons.
If the people be not over-balanced by one, or a few, they are not capable of any other form of government, than that of a senate, and a popular assembly. For example, as followeth.
For the FORM or MODEL in Brief of a FREE STATE, or equal COMMONWEALTH. It hath been proposed in this Manner:
1. LET the whole territory of Oceana be divided as equally as may be, into fifty parts or shires.
2. Let the whole inhabitants (except women, children, and servants) be divided according unto their age into elders and youth; and according unto their estates into horse and foot.
3. Let all such as are eighteen years of age or upwards to thirty, be accounted youth; and all such as are thirty or upwards, be accounted elders.
4. Let all such as have one hundred pounds a year, or upwards, in lands, goods, or money, be accounted of the horse; and all such as have under, be accounted of the foot of the commonwealth.
5. Let every parish in a shire elect annually the fifth elder of the same, to be for that year a deputy of that parish; if a parish be too small, let it be laid as to this purpose, unto the next; and in this respect, let every part of the territory appertain to some parish.
6. Where there is but one elder of the horse in a parish, let him be annually eligible, without interval: where there are more elders of the horse, let no deputy of the parish be re-eligible, but after the interval of one year.
7. Where there be four elders of the horse, or more, in one and the same parish, let not under two, nor above half of them, be elected, at one and the same election, or time.
8. Let the deputies thus elected at the parishes, assemble annually at the capital of their shire, and let them then and there elect out of their own number, two elders of the horse to be knights or senators, three elders of the horse, and four elders of the foot, to be of the assembly of the people, for the term of three years, injoining an equal vacation, or interval, before they can be re-elected in either of these capacities.
9. Let there be elected at the same time in each shire, the first year only, two other knights, and seven other deputies for the term of one year, and two other knights, with seven other deputies, for the term of two years, which in all constituteth the senate of three hundred knights, and the popular assembly of one thousand and fifty deputies, each being upon a triennial rotation, or annual change in one third part.
10. Let the senate have the whole authority or right of debating and proposing unto the people; let the popular assembly have the whole power of result; and let what shall be proposed by the senate, and resolved by the popular assembly, be the law of Oceana.
TWO assemblies thus constituted, must necessarily amount unto the understanding and the will, unto the wisdom and the interest of the whole nation; and a commonwealth, where the wisdom of the nation proposeth, and the interest of the people resolveth, can never fail in whatever shall be farther necessary for the right constituting of itself.
The MODEL at large of a FREE STATE, or equal COMMONWEALTH. Proposed in four Parts:
First, the Civil } Part. } Thirdly, the Military
Secondly, the Religious } Part. } Fourthly, the Provincial
For the Civil Part, it is proposed,
1. THAT the whole native or proper territory of Oceana (respect had unto the tax-role, unto the number of people, and to the extent of territory) be cast with as much exactness as can be convenient, into fifty precincts, shires, or tribes.
2. That all citizens, that is, free-men, 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 money, or above that proportion, be accounted of the horse; and all such as have under that proportion, be accounted of the foot.
3. That all elders or free-men, being thirty years of age, or upwards, be capable of civil administration; and that the youth, or such free-men as are between eighteen years of age and thirty, be not capable of civil administration, but of military only, in such manner as shall follow in the military part of this model.
4. That the elder’s resident in each parish, annually assemble in the same; as for example, upon Monday next ensuing 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 ensuing a deputy of that parish; and that the first and second so elected, be overseers, or presidents for the regulating of all parochial congregations, whether of the elders, or of the youth, during the term for which they were elected.
5. That so many parishes lying nearest together, whose deputies shall amount to one hundred, or thereabouts, be cast into one precinct, called the hundred: and that in each precinct called the hundred, there be a town, village, or place appointed, to be the capital of the same.
6. That the parochial deputies elected throughout the hundred assemble annually; for example, upon Monday next ensuing 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 ensign; and out of the foot of their number, one other juryman, one high constable, &c.
7. That every twenty hundreds lying nearest, and most conveniently together, be cast into one tribe, or shire. That the whole territory being after this manner cast into tribes, or shires, some town, village, or place, be appointed unto every tribe, or shire, for the capital of the same: and that these three precincts, that is, the parish, the hundred, and the tribe, or shire, whether the deputies thenceforth annually chosen in the parishes, or hundreds, come to increase, or diminish, remain firm, and unalterable for ever, save only by act of parliament.
8. That the deputies elected in the several parishes, together with their magistrates, and other officers, both civil and military, elected in their several hundreds, assemble, or muster annually; for example, upon Monday next ensuing the last of February, at the capital of their tribe, or shire.
9. That the whole body thus assembled upon the first day of the assembly, elect out of the horse of their number one high sheriff, one lieutenant of the tribe, or shire, one custos rotulorum, one conductor, and two censors. That the high sheriff 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 muster-master, and keep the rolls. That the censors be governors of the ballot. And that the term of these magistracies be annual.
10. That the magistrates of the tribe, that is to say, the high sheriff, lieutenant, custos rotulorum, the censors, and the conductor, together with the magistrates and officers of the hundred, that is to say, the twenty justices of the peace, the forty jurymen, the twenty high constables, be one troop, and one company apart, called the prerogative troop, or company. That this troop bring in, and assist the justices of assize, hold the quarter-sessions in their several capacities, and perform their other functions as formerly.
11. That the magistrates of the tribe, or shire, that is to say, the high sheriff, 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 called the phylarch; and that this court proceed in all matters of government, as shall from time to time be directed by act of parliament.
12. That the squadron of the tribe, upon 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 the knights have session in the senate, for the term of three years, and that the burgesses be of the prerogative tribe, or representative of the people for the like term. That if in case of death, or expulsion, a place become void in the senate, or popular assembly, the respective shire or tribe have timely notice from the seignory, and proceed in the manner aforesaid unto extraordinary election of a deputy or senator, for the remaining part of the term of the senator or deputy, deceased or expelled.
13. That for the full and perfect institution, at once, of the assemblies mentioned, the squadron of each tribe or shire, 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.
14. That a magistrate, or officer elected at the hundred, be thereby barred from being elected a magistrate of the tribe, or of the first day’s election. That no former election whatsoever bar a man of 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 magistrate or officer of the hundred or tribe, delegate his former office or magistracy in the hundred or the tribe, to any other deputy, being no magistrate nor officer, and being of the same hundred, and of the same order, that is, of the horse, or of the 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 inviolate upon such penalties, in case of failure, as shall hereafter be provided by act of parliament against any parish, hundred, tribe or shire, deputy or person so offending.
15. That the knights of the annual election in the tribes take their places on Monday next ensuing the last of March, in the senate. That the like number of knights, whose session determineth at the same time, recede. That every knight or senator be paid out of the publick revenue quarterly seventy-five pounds, during his term of session, and be obliged to fit in purple robes.
16. That annually upon reception of the new knights, the senate proceed unto election of new magistrates and counsellors. That for magistrates they elect one archon or general, one orator or 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, out of the new knights only.
17. That the archon or general, and the orator or speaker, as consuls of the commonwealth, and presidents of the senate, be during the term of their magistracy paid quarterly five hundred pounds: that the ensigns of these magistracies be, a sword born before the general, and a mace before the speaker: that they be obliged to wear ducal robes: and that what is said of the archon or general in this proposition, be understood only of the general sitting, and not of the general marching.
18. That the general sitting, in case he be commanded to march, receive fieldpay; and that a new general be forthwith elected by the senate to succeed him in the house, with all the rights, ensigns and emoluments of the general sitting, and this so often as one or more generals are marching.
19. That the three commissioners of the great seal, and the three commissioners of the treasury, using their ensigns and habit, and performing their other functions as formerly, be paid quarterly unto each of them three hundred seventy-five pounds.
20. That the censors be each of them chancellor of one university by vertue of their election: that they govern the ballot: that they be presidents of the council for religion: that they have under appeal unto the senate right to note and remove a senator that is scandalous: that each have a silver wand for the ensign of his magistracy: that each be paid quarterly three hundred seventy-five pounds, and be obliged to wear scarlet robes.
21. That the general sitting, the speaker, and the six commissioners abovesaid, be the seigniory of this commonwealth.
22. 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 senate.
23. 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 senate. That there be a council for trade consisting of a like number, elected and perpetuated in the same manner.
24. That there be a council of war, not elected by the senate, 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.
25. That in case the senate add nine knights more out of their own number into the council of war, the said council be understood by such addition, to be dictator of the commonwealth, for the term of three months, and no longer, except by further order of the senate the said dictatorian power be prolonged for a like term.
26. That the seigniory have session and suffrage, with right also, jointly or severally, to propose both in the senate and in all senatorian councils.
27. 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 unto the respective council, and not otherwise.
28. That some fair room or rooms well furnished and attended, be allowed at the state’s charge for a free and open academy unto all comers, at some convenient hour or hours, towards the evening. That this academy be governed according to the rules of good breeding or civil conversation, by some 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 unto the proposers.
29. That for embassadors in ordinary there be four residences, as France, Spain, Venice, and Constantinople. That every resident upon election of a new embassador in ordinary, remove to the next residence in the order nominated, till having served in them all, he return home. That upon Monday next ensuing the last of November, there be every second year elected by the senate some fit person, being under thirty-five years of age, and not of the senate, nor of the popular assembly. That the party so elected repair upon Monday next ensuing the last of March following, as embassador in ordinary unto the court of France, and there reside for the term of two years, to be computed from the first of April next ensuing his election. That every embassador in ordinary be allowed three thousand pounds a year, during the term of his residencies; and that if a resident come to die, there be an extraordinary election into his residence for his term, and for the remainder of his removes, and progress.
30. That all emergent elections be made by scrutiny, that is, by a council, or by commissioners proposing, and by the senate resolving in the manner following: that all field officers be proposed by the council of war: that all embassadors extraordinary be proposed by the council of state: that all judges and serjeants at law be proposed by the commissioners of the great seal. That all barons and officers of trust in the exchequer be proposed by the commissioners of the treasury, and that such as are thus proposed and approved by the senate, be held lawfully elected.
31. That the cognizance of all matter of state to be considered, or law to be enacted, whether it be provincial or national, domestick or foreign, appertain unto the council of state. That such affairs of either kind as they shall judge to require more secrecy, be remitted by this council, and appertain unto 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 established, after the manner to be shewn in the religious part of this model, appertain unto the council for religion. That all matter of traffick and regulation of the same appertain unto the council for trade. That in the exercise of these several functions, which naturally are senatorian or authoritative only, no council assume any other power, than such only as shall be estated upon the same by act of parliament.
32. That what shall be proposed unto the senate by one or more of the seigniory or proposers general, or whatever was proposed by any two of the provosts, or particular proposers, unto their respective council; and upon debate at that council shall come to be proposed by the same unto the senate, be necessarily debatable and debated by the senate. That in all cases wherein power is derived unto the senate by law made or by act of parliament, the result of the senate be ultimate; that in all cases of law to be made, or not already provided for by act of parliament, as war and peace, levy of men, or money or the like, the result of the senate be not ultimate. That whatsoever is decreed by the senate upon a case wherein their result is not ultimate, be proposed by the senate unto the prerogative tribe, or representative of the people, except only in cases of such speed or secrecy, wherein the senate shall judge the necessary slowness, or openness, in this way of proceeding, to be of detriment, or danger unto the commonwealth.
33. That if upon the motion or proposition of a council or proposer general, the senate add nine knights, promiscuously chosen out of their own number unto the council of war; the same council, as thereby made dictator, have power of life and death, as also to enact laws in all such cases of speed or secrecy for and during the term of three months and no longer, except upon new order from the senate. 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 proposed by the senate, and resolved by the people.
34. That the burgesses of the annual election returned by the tribes, enter into the prerogative tribe, popular assembly, or representative of the people, upon Monday next ensuing the last of March; and that the like number of burgesses, whose term is expired, recede at the same time. That the burgesses thus entered, elect unto 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, and the other to be ensign of the same; each for the term of three years. That these officers being thus elected, the whole tribe or assembly proceed to the election of four annual magistrates, two out of the foot to be tribunes of the foot, and two out of the horse to be tribunes of the horse. That the tribunes 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 followeth: unto each of the tribunes of horse seven pounds. Unto each of the tribunes of foot six pounds. Unto each of the captains of horse five pounds. Unto each of the captains of foot four pounds. Unto each of the cornets three pounds. Unto each of the ensigns two pounds seven shillings. Unto every horseman two pound; and to every one of the foot one pound ten shillings.
35. That inferior officers, as captains, cornets, ensigns, be only for the military discipline of this squadron or tribe. That the tribunes have session in the senate without suffrage; that they have session of course and with suffrage in the dictatorian council, so often as it is created by the senate. That they be presidents of the court in all cases, to be judged by the people: and that they have right under an appeal unto popular assembly, to note or remove any deputy or burgess that is scandalous.
36. That peculate or defraudation of the publick, all cases tending to the subversion of the government, be triable by this representative; and that there be an appeal unto the same in all causes, and from all magistrates, courts, and councils, whether national or provincial.
37. That the right of debate, as also of proposing to the people, be wholly and only in the senate, without any power at all of result, not derived from the people.
38. That the power of result be wholly and only the popular assembly, without any right at all of debate.
39. That the senate having debated and agreed upon a law to be proposed, 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 published, so long before it is to be proposed.
40. That promulgation being made, the seigniory demand of the tribunes being present in the senate, an assembly of the people. That the tribunes upon such demand by the seigniory or by the senate, be obliged to assemble the prerogative tribe or representative of the people in arms by sound of trumpet with drums beating, and colours 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 through inconvenience of the weather, or the like, be prorogued by consent of the seigniory and the tribunes: that the prerogative tribe being assembly accordingly, the senate propose to them by two or more of the senatorian magistrates thereunto appointed, at the first promulgation of the law: that the proposers for the senate open unto the people the occasion, motives and reasons of the law to be proposed; and the same being done, put it by distinct clauses unto the ballot of the people. That if any material clause or clauses be rejected by the people, they be reviewed by the senate, altered, and proposed, if they think fit, to the third time, but no oftner.
41. That what is thus proposed by the senate, and resolved by the people, be the law of the land, and no other, except as in the case reserved unto the dictatorian council.
42. That every magistracy, office, or election, throughout this whole commonwealth, whether annual or triennial, be understood of consequence, to injoin an interval or vacation equal unto 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 and domestick, and not such as are provincial or foreign.
43. That for an exception to 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 four elders of the horse or above in one and the same parish, there be not under nor above half of them eligible at the same election.
44. That throughout all the assemblies 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 declared by the senate.
For the religious Part, it is proposed:
45. THAT the universities, being prudently reformed, be preserved in their rights and indowments for and towards the education and provision of an able ministry.
46. That the legal and ancient provision for the national ministry be so augmented, that the meanest sort of livings or benefices, without defalcation from the greater, be each improved to the revenue of one hundred pounds a year, at the least.
47. That a benefice becoming void in any parish, the elders of the same may assemble, and give notice unto the vice-chancellor of either university, by certificate, specifying the true value of that benefice; that the vice-chancellor upon a receipt of such certificate, be obliged to call a congregation of the university; that the congregation of the university to this end assembled, having regard unto the value of the benefice, make choice of a person fitted for the ministerial function, and return him unto the parish so requiring; that the probationer, thus returned unto a parish, by either of the universities, exercise the office and receive the benefits, as minister of the parish for the term of one year. That the term of one year expired, the elders of the parish assemble, and put the election of the probationer unto the ballot. That if the probationer have three parts in four of the balls or votes in the affirmative, he be thereby ordained and elected minister of that parish; not afterwards to be degraded or removed but by the censors of the tribe, the phylarch of the same, or the council of religion, in such cases as shall be unto them reserved by act of parliament. That in case the probationer come to fail of three parts in four at the ballot, he depart from that parish; and if he return unto the university, it be without diminution of the former offices or preferments which he there enjoyed, or any prejudice unto his future preferment; and that it be lawful in this case for any parish to send so often to either university, and be the duty of either vice-chancellor, upon such certificates, 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.
48. That the national religion be exercised according to a directory in that case, to be made and published by act of parliament. That the national ministry be permitted to have no other publick preferment or office in this commonwealth. That a national minister being convict of ignorance or scandal, be moveable out of his benefice by the censors of the tribe, under an appeal unto the phylarch, or to the council for religion.
49. That no religion being contrary unto, or destructive of Christianity, nor the publick exercise of any religion, being grounded upon, or incorporated into a foreign interest, be protected by, or tolerated in this state. That all other religions, with the publick 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, magistracies, preferments and offices, in this commonwealth, according unto the orders of the same.
For the military Part it is proposed:
50. THAT annually upon Wednesday next ensuing 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, deputies of the youth of that parish.
51. That annually, on Wednesday next ensuing the last of January, the said deputies of the respective parishes meet at the capital of the hundred, where there are games and prizes allotted for them, as hath been shewed elsewhere, that there they elect to themselves out of their own number, one captain, and one ensign. And that of these games, and this election, the magistrates, and officers of the hundred, be presidents and judges for the impartial distribution of the prizes.
52. That annually, upon Wednesday next ensuing the last of February, the youth through the whole tribe thus elected, be received at the capital of the same, by the lieutenant, as commander in chief, by the conductor, and by the censors; that under inspection of these magistrates, the said youth be entertained with more splendid games, disciplined in a more military manner, and divided by lot into sundry parts or essays, according to rules elsewhere given.
53. That the whole youth of the tribe thus assembled 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. 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.
54. 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 armies, or guards, there be annually at the time and place mentioned, cast out of the first essay of the youth, in each tribe or shire ten horse, and fifty foot; that is, in all the tribes five hundred horse, and two thousand five hundred foot for Marpesia, the like for Pampea, and the like of both orders for the sea-guards, being each obliged to serve for the term of three years upon the state’s pay.
55. That the senate and the people, or the dictator, having decreed or declared war, and the field-officers being appointed by the council of war; the general, by warrant issued unto 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 rendezvous; that the several conductors of the tribes or shires 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 senate; that so always there be a general sitting, and a standing army, what generals soever be marching. And that in case of invasion, the bands of the elders be obliged unto like duty with those of the youth.
56. That an only son be discharged of these duties without prejudice. That of two brothers, there be but one admitted to foreign service at one time. That of more brothers not above half. That whoever otherwise refuseth his lot, except upon cause shewn he be dispensed withal by the phylarch, or upon penitence, he be by them pardoned and restored, by such refusal be uncapable of electing, or being elected in this commonwealth; as also, that he pay unto 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 forth exempted from this rule, that they be still capable of all preferments in their respective professions with indemnity.
57. That upon warrants issued forth by the general for recruits or levies, there be an assembly of the phylarch in each tribe: that such voluntiers, or men being above thirty years of age, as are desirous of farther imployment in arms, appear before the phylarch so assembled. That any number of these not exceeding one moiety of the recruits or levies of that tribe or shire, 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 voluntiers. That the levies thus made, be conducted by the conductor of the respective tribe or shire, unto the rendezvous appointed: and that the service of these be without other term or vacation, than at the discretion of the senate and the people, or such instructions unto the general, as shall by them in that case be provided.
For the provincial Part it is proposed:
58. THAT upon expiration of magistracy in the senate, or at the annual recess of one third part of the same, there be elected by the senate out of the part receding into each provincial council four knights for the term of three years, thereby to render each provincial council, presuming it in the beginning to have been constituted of twelve knights, divided after the manner of the senate, by three several lists or elections, of annual, triennial and perpetual revolution or rotation.
59. That out of the same third part of the senate annually receding, there be unto each province one knight elected for the term of one year. That the knight so elected be the provincial archon, general or governor. That a provincial archon, governor or general, receive annually in April, at his rendezvous appointed, the youth or recruits elected in the precedent month to that end by the tribes, and by their conductors delivered accordingly. That he repair with the said youth and recruits, unto his respective province, and there dismiss that part of the provincial guard or army, whose triennial term is expired. 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.
60. 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 provincial archon, or general.
61. That each provincial council proceed according unto instructions received 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 matter of war, or of state. That upon levies of native, or proper arms, by the senate and the people, a provincial council, having unto that end received orders, make levies of provincial auxiliaries accordingly. That auxiliary arms upon no occasion whatsoever exceed 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 known proportion of tributes, as on them shall be set by the senate and the people, in their proper rights, laws, liberties and immunities, so far forth as upon the merits of the cause, whereupon they were subdued, it seemed good unto the senate and the people to confirm them. And that it be lawful for the provincials to appeal from their provincial magistrates, councils, or generals, to the people of Oceana.