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For FEBRUARY, 1911.
TWO TREATISES ON GOVERNMENT.-By JOHN LOCKE.
IN THE FORMER, THE FALSE PRINCIPLES AND FOUNDATION OF
AND OVERTHROWN. THE LATTER IS AN ESSAY
AND END OF CIVIL GOVERNMENT.
a popular style, and well-turned periods: for if any one will be at the pains, bim
self, in those parts, which are here unReader, thou hast here the begin- touched, to strip Sir Robert's discourses ning and end of a discourse concerning of the flourishi of doubtful expressions, government; what fate has otherwise and endeavour to reduce his words to disposed of the papers that should have direct, positive, intelligible propositions, filled up the middle, and were more and then compare them one with anothan all the rest, it is not worth while ther, he will quickly be satisfied, there to tell thee. These, which remain, I was never so much glih nonsense put hope are sufficient to establish the throne together in well-sounding English. If of our great restorer, or present King he think it not worth while to examine William ; to make good his title, in the his works all through, let him make an consent of the people, which being the experiment in that part, where he treats ONLY one of all lawful governments, be of usurpation; and let him try, whether has more fully and clearly, than any be can, with all his skill, make Sir Roprince in christendom; and to justifybert intelligible, and consistent with to the world the people of England, himself, or common sense. I should whose love of their just and natural not speak so plainly of a gentleman, rights, with their resolution to preserve long since past answering, had not the them, saved the nation when it was on pulpit, 'of late years, publicly owned the very brink of slavery and ruin. If bis doctrine, and made it the current these papers bave that evidence, I Aat- divinity of the times. It is necessary ter myself is to be found in thein, there those men, who taking on them to be will be no great miss of those which are teachers, have so dangerously misled lost, and my reader may be satisfied others, should be openly shewed of what without, them: for I imagine, I shall authority this their patriarch is, whom have neither the time, nor inclination they have so blindly followed ; so that to repeat my pains, and fill up the they may either retract what upon so ill wanting part of my answer, by tracing grounds they have vented, and cannot Sir Robert again, through all the wind be maintained; or else justify those ings and obscurities, which are to be principles which they preached up for met with in the several branches of his gospel; though they had no better an wonderful system. The king, and body author than an English courtier; for I of the nation, have since so thoroughly should not have writ against Sir Ro. confuted his hypothesis, that I suppose bert, or taken the pains to shew bis no body hereafter will have either the mistakes, inconsistencies, and want of confidence to appear against our com- (what he so much boasts of, and premon safety, and be again an advocate tends wholly to build on scripture-proofs, for slavery; or the weakness to be de- were there not men amongst us, who, ceived with contradictions dressed up in by crying up his books, and espousing
his doctrine, save me from the reproach serious discourse meant in earnest, of writing against a dead adversary. had not the gravity of the title and They have been so zealous in this point, en
'; epistle, the picture in the front of that, if I have done hiin any wrong, I cannot hope they should spare me. I
the book, and the applause that folwish, where they had done the truth Towed it, required me to believe, and the public wrong, they would be as that the author and publisher were ready to redress it, and allow its just both in earnest. I therefore took it weight to this reflection, viz. that there into my hands with all the expeccannot be done a greater mischief to tation, and read it through wi
tation, and read it through with all prince and people, than the propagating the attention due to a treatise that wrong notions concerning government;
made such a noise at its coining athat so at l'ast all times might not have reason to complain of the drum eccle
broad, and cannot but confess mysiastic. If any one, concerned really self mightily surprised, that in a for truth, undertake the confutation of book, which was to provide chains iny hypothesis, I promise him either to for all mankind, I should find norecant my mistake, upon fair conviction;
thing but a rope of sand, useful or to answer his difficulties. But he
perhaps to such, whose skill and must remember two things.
business it is to raise a dust, and First, That cavilling here and there, at some expression, or little incident of
would blind the people, the better my discourse, is not an answer to iny to mislead them; but in truth not book.
of any force to draw those into bonSecondly, That I shall not take rail- dage, who have their eyes open, and ing for arguments, nor think either of
so much sense about them, as to these worth my notice: though I shall
consider, that chains are but an ill always look on myself as bound to give
wearing, how much care soever satisfaction to any one who shall appear to be conscientiously scrupulous in the
in the hath been taken to file and polish point, and shall shew any just grounds them. for luis scruples.
2. If any one think I take too I have nothing more, but to advertise much liberty in speaking so freely the reader, that “ Observations” stands of a man, who is the great cham. for Observations on Hobbes, Milton, &c. pion of absolute powers, and the and that a bare quotation of pages al
idol of those who worship it; I beways mean Pages of his Patriarcha. Edit. 1680.
seech him to make this small allow. ance for once, to one, who, even
after the reading of Sir Robert's ON GOVERNMENT.
book, cannot but think himself, as
the laws allow him, a freeman: and ! BOOK 1.
I know no fault it is to“ do so, unCHAPTER 1.
less any one better skilled in the 1. Slavery is so vile and misera- fate of it, than 1, should have it ble an estate of man, and so directly revealed to him, that this treatise. oppositse to the generous temper and which has lain dormant so long, courage of our nation, that it is was, when it appeared in the world, hardly to be conccived, that an En- to carry, by strength of its arguglishman, much less a gentleman, ments, all liberty out of it; and Should plead for it. And truly I that from thenceforth our author's should have taken Sir Robert Film short model was to be the pattern mer's Patriarcha, as any other trea- in the mount, and the perfect stan.
rise, which would persuade all men, dard of politics for the future. His - that they are slaves, and ought to system lies in a little compass, it is be so, for such another exercise of no more but this, . wit, as was his who writ the enco. That all government is absolute wiun of Nere;' rather than for a monurchy,
And the ground he builds on, is p. 4. That Heyward, Blackwood, this,
Barclay, and others, that have bravely That no man is born free.
vindicated the right of kings in most 3. In this last age a generation of points, never thought of this, but men has sprung up amongst us, that with one consent admitted the natural would flatter princes with an opinion, liberty and equality of mankind, that they have a divine right to ab- 5. By whom this doctrine came solute power, let the laws by which at first to be broached, and brought they are constituted, and are to go in fashion amungst us, and what vern, and the conditions under which sad effects it gave rise to, I leave to they enter upon their authority, be historians to relate, or to the mê, what they will, and their engage- mory of those, who were contemments to observe them never so well poraries with Srbthorpe and Manwaratitied by solemn oaths and pro- ring, to recollect. My businessmat mises. To make way for this doc- present is only to consider what Sır trine, they have denied mankind a R. Filmer, who is allowed to have right to natural freedom; whereby carried this argument farthest, and they have not only, as much as in is supposed to have brought it to them lies, exposed all subjects to perfection, has said in it; for him the utmost misery of tyranny and every one, who would be as fashion. oppression, but have also unsettled able as French was at court, has the titles, and shaken the thrones of learned ; and runs away with this princes: (for they too, by these mens short system of politics, viz. Men. system, except only one, are all are not born free, and therefore could born slaves, and by divine right are never have the liberty to choose either subjects to Adam's right heir ;) as governors, or forms of government. if they had designed to make war Princes have their power absolute, upon all government, and subvert and hy divine right; for slaves could the very foundations of human so- never have a right to compact or ciety, to serve their present turn. consent. Adam was an absolute
4. However we must believe them monarch, and so are all princes ever upon their own bare words, when they since. tell us, we are all born slaves, and
CHAPTER II. we must continue so, there is no re Of Paternal and Regal Power.. medy for it; life and thraldom we 6. Sir R. Filmer's great position entered into together, and can never is, that men are not naturally free. be quit of the one, till we part with This is the foundation on which his the other. Scripture or reason I am absolute monarchy stands, and from sure do not any where say so, not which it erects itself to such an withstanding the noise of divine height, that its power is above every right, as if divine authority hath power, caput inter nubila, so high subjected us to the unlimited will above all earthly and human things, of another. An admirable state of that thought can scarce reach it; mankind, and that which they have that promises and oaths, which tye not had wit enough to find out till the infinite Deity, cannot confine this latter age. For, however Sir it. But if this foundation fails, all R, Filmer seems to condemn the his fabric falls with it, and governmovelty of the contrary opinion, ments must be left again to the old Patr. p. 3. yet I believe it will be way of being made by contrivance, hard for him to find any other age, and the consent of men ('AvIqwtiiwa or country of the world, but this, utích:) making use of their reason to which has asserted monarchy to be unite together into society. To provo jure divino. And he confesses, Patr. this grand positivn of his, he telle
us, p. 12. Men are horn in subjection phantom, called the fatherhood, to their parcats, and therefore can. which whoever could catch, prenot be free. And this authority of sently got empire, and unlimited atparepts, he calls royal authority, p. solute power. He assures us how 12, 14. Fatherly authority, right this fatherhood began in Adam, conof futherhood, p. 12, 20. One would inued its course, and kept the world have thought he would, in the be- in order all the time of the patriarchs ginning of such a work as this, on till the food, got out of the ark which was to depend the authority with Noah and his sons, made and of princes, and the obedience of supported all the kings of the earth subjects, have told us expressiy, 'till the captivity of the Israclites in what that fatherly authority is, have Egypt, and then the poor fatherhood defined it, though not limited it, was under hatches, till God, by gibecause in some other treatises of ving the Israelites kings, re-established his he tells us, it is unlimited, and the ancient and prime right of the unlimitable ;* he should at least have lineal succession in paternal governgiven us such an account of it, that ment. This is his business from p. we might have had an entre notion 12. te p. 19. And then obviating of this fatherhood or fatherly autho- an objection, and clearing a diffirity, whenever it came in our way culty or two, with one half reason, in his writings: this I expected to p. 23. to confirm the natural right have found in the first chapter of his of regal power, he ends the first Patriarcha. But instead thereof, chapter. I hope it is no injury to having, 1. En passant, made his call an balf quotation an half reaobeysance to the arcana imperii, p. son: for God says, Honour thy fa5. 2. made his compliment to the ther and thy mother ; but our author rights and liberties of this, or any contents himself with half, leaves other nation, p. 6. which he is go out thy mother quite, as little sering presently to pull and destroy; viceable to his purpose. But of that and, 3. made his leg to those learn- more in another place. ed men, who did not see so far into 7. I do not think our author so litthe matter as himself, p. 7. he comes tle skilled in the way of writing disto fall on Bellarmine, p. 8. and, by courses of this nature, nor so carea victory over him, establishes his fa- less of the point in hand, that he by therly authority beyond any question. oversight commits the fault, that he Bellarmine being routed by his own himself, in his Anarchy of a mixed confession, p. 11. the day is clear Monarchy, p. 239. objects to Mr. got, and there is no more need of Hunton in these words : where first any forces : for having done that, I I charge the author, that he hath nut observe not that he states the ques- given us any definition, or description tion, or rallies up any arguments to of monarchy in general ; for by the make good his opinion, but rather rules of method he should have first tells us the story, as he thinks fit, defined. And by the like rule of of this strange kind of domineering method Sir Robert should have told
us, what his fatherhood or fatherly * In grants and gifts that have their authority is, before he had told us, original from God or nature, as the in whom it was to be found, and power of the father hath, no inferior talked so much of it. But perhaps power of man can limit, nor make any Sir Robert found, that this fatherly law of prescription against them. Ob
authority, this power of fathers, and servations, 158.
The scripture teaches, that supreme of kings, for he makes them both power was,originally in the father, with the same, p. 24. would make a very Out any limitation. Observations, 245. odd and frightful figure, and very disagreeing with what either children also made by kings, was this ; when imagine of their parents, or subjects kings were either busied with wars, or of their kings, if he should have given distracted with public cares, so that us the whole draught together in that every private man could not have acgigantic form, he had painted it in cess to their persons to learn their his own fancy; and therefore, like a wills and pleasure, then were laws of wary physician, when he would have necessity invented, that so every par, his patient swallow some harsh orticular subject might find his prince's corrosive liquor, he mingles it with pleasure decyphered unto him in the a large quantity of that which may tables of his laws, p. 92. In a modilute it; that the scattered parts narchy, the king must by necessity be may go down with less feeling, and above the laws, p. 100. A perfect cause less aversion.
kingdom is that, wherein the king 8. Let us then endeavour to find rules all things according to his own what account he gives us of this will, p. 100. Neither common nor fatherly authority, as it lies scattered statute laws are, or can be, any diin the several parts of his writings. minution of that general power, which And first, as it was vested in Adam, kings have over their people by right he says, Not only Adam, but the of fatherhood, p. 115. Adam was succeeding patriarchs, had, by right the father, king, and lord over his of fatherhood, royal authority over family; a son, a subject, and a sertheir children, p. 12. This lordship vant or slave, were one and the same which Adam by command had over the thing at first. The father had power whole world, and by right descending to dispose or sell his children or serfrom him the patriarchs did enjoy, was vants; whence we find, that the first as large and ample as the absolute do reckoning up of goods in scripture, minion of any monarch, which hath the man-servent and the maid-servant been since the creation, p. 13. Do are numbered among the possessions minion of life and death, making war, and substance of the owner, as other and concluding peace, p. 13. Adam goods were, Observations, Pref. God and the patriarch had absolute power also hath given to the father a right of life and death, p. 35. Kings, in or liberty, to alien his power over his the right of parents, succeed to the children to any other; whence we find Exercise of supreme jurisdiction, p. 19. the sale and gift of children to have As kingly power is by the law of God, been much in use in the beginning of sn it hath no inferior law to limit it; the world, when men had their servants Adam was lord of all, p. 40. The for a possession and un inheritance, father of a family governs by no other as well as other goods ; whereupon we law, than by his own will, p. 78. find the power of castrating and maThe superiority of princes is above king eunuchs much in use in old times, laws, p. 79. The unlimited jurisdic- Observations, p. 155. Law is 10tion of kings is so amply described by thing else but the will of him that hath Samuel, p. 80. Kings are above the the power of the supreme father, Oblaws, p. 93. And to this purpose servations, p. 223. It was God's see a great deal more which nur au- ordinunce that the supremacy should thor delivers in Bodin's words: it is be unlimited in Adam, and as large certain, that all laws, privileges, and as all the acts of his will ; and as in grants of princes, have no force, but him so in all others that have supreme during their life; if they be not rati- power, Observations, p. 245. fied by the express consent, or by suf-' 9. I have been fain to trouble my ferance of the prince following, espe- reader with these several quotations eially privileges, Observations, p. in our author's own words, that in 279. The reason why laws have been them might be seen his own descrip