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fere in such a manner, that if every man were to have his will, human society would be like the waves of the sea in a storm, dashing and breaking one another to pieces. They must therefore be under some law, some rule ; and consequently there must be some Ruler to enforce it: for a law considered in itself is a speculation, and can effect nothing. Unless confusion is to prevail, the authority of some over others is as necessary to the world, as that God should govern the universe, and keep the elements in order. For this purpose He that certainly rules the natural world hath as certainly placed himself at the head of the active world : he hath made laws, to restrain the will of man, and keep it in subjection to himself. His ten commandments are an absolute check upon the unlawful will of one man, that it may not interfere with the lawful will of another, but may leave him in the quiet possession of every thing that is his; and in so doing God hath established the right of possession. And if there be a right of possession, and laws cannot execute themsel for what can letters and papers and bool
there must be persons to se
executed: in order to which
le power those who wis!
nd who are
they? they? Who, but the men that cry out for liberty? Honest men want no liberty, but that of being secure and unmolested in their possessions ; for which end law and government were established in the world. Liberty and government, in the mouths of some men, are two opposite things, but they are in their nature the same. Laws may be mild and favourable to the people: but government must be government: there may be liberty under it, but there can be no liberty against it. For as the total absence of government would be absolute confusion; so every relaxation of government is a weakness which partakes of anarchy, and must be attended with many of its effects. If you would know what a nation is with government, and what without it, look at a man of sense, and a madman. The man of sense walks by rule: he has a regard to the happiness of others as well as his own, knowing that they have an equal right to it; and he lives in subjection to the laws of God and man. In the madman, the governing principle is gone : "he has no rule, but his inclination to folly and mischief: it is dangerous to meet him abroad ; therefore he is shut up, and his liberty is taken ray for the safety of all honest sober people, go regularly about their business. If there
should be a majority of lunatics, they would vote themselves to be the only people of sense, and pronounce the sober part of the world to be mad. If in such a case there should not be power enough to restrain them, in what a fearful condition should we be! God Almighty deliver us from it! And it is certainly his will that we should be delivered from it, by his appointing law and government amongst us.
Let us then ask what this government is? When men are gathered into an orderly society, they are called a body ; because, like a body, they are under some head, which rules and directs all the rest of the members. If the head is stricken off from a body, that body falls into convulsions, and becomes a shocking spectacle. If the head is of no effect, the body is like that of a madman, acting extravagantly and doing mischief. Every body therefore must have some effective head to rule and direct, and a people under a government of due authority, and who are themselves in due subordination, are, like the body of man when in a rational and healthy state, and in a fair way to continue so. The two cases of an army by land, and a ship at sea, are plain cases, which shew that whatever the constitution of a government may be in theory, it - , in practice, under some one leader,
as a natural body has one head. The ship then keeps her destined course ; but if the crew are mutinous, and rise upon the commander, then the ship turns pirate and plunders the world, or changes her course, and sets sail for some paradise of fools in a remote part of the uni
The history of such a crew would be something like the history of a certain nation, now in a state of piracy against the world, whose directors are nothing but criminals, and, as such, merit the fate of robbers and ruffians, which by the just judgment of God many
of them have met with.
The sum of the matter is this. Man is not under his own will, but under the will of God: and as man doth not know the will of God, nor can know it; the laws of society must originally come from God; and the authority to execute those laws must be from the same. He that kills a man for his own will and pleasure without law is a murderer: he that kills him with law is a judge or ruler; one into whose hand God, for the maintaining of his own laws, and the safety of the people, puts a sword: and if he holds that sword in vain, evil prevails, and the hand is turned against himself. This was the case of the
tunate King of France; of whom it is said, that
Look upon the natural world, and see how
laws, overturn the whole order of things,