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t/.Z. . Accession No. 

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IT was the speech of the Roman people, to whom 
the name of king had been rendered odious, as 
well by the tyranny of the Tarquins as by the 
genius and decretals of that city ; it was the speech, 
I say, of the public, however pronounced from a 
private mouth, (if yet Cato the censor were no 
more than such) : that all kings are to be reckoned 
amongst ravenous beasts. But what a beast of prey 
was the Roman people ; whilst with its conquering 
eagles it erected its proud trophies so far and wide 
over the world, bringing the Africans, the Asiatics, 
the Macedonians, an$l the Achseans, with many 
other despoiled nations, into a specious bondage, 
with the pretence of preferring them to be deni- 
zens of Rome ! So that if Cato's saying were 
a wise one, it was every whit as wise, that of 
Pontius Telesinus ; who flying about with open 
mouth through all the companies of his army in 
that famous encounter which he had with Sylla, 
cried out : that Rome herself, as well as Sylla , 
was to be raxed; for that there would always be 


wolves and depredators of their liberty, unless the 
forest that lodged them were grubbed up by the 
roots. To speak impartially, both sayings are 
very true: that man to man is a kind of God; 
and that man to man is an arrant wolf. The first 
is true, if we compare citizens amongst themselves ; 
and the second, if we compare cities. In the one, 
there is some analogy of similitude with the Deity ; 
to wit, justice and charity, the twin sisters of 
peace. But in the other, good men must defend 
themselves by taking to them for a sanctuary the 
two daughters of war, deceit and violence : that 
is, in plain terms, a mere brutal rapacity. Which 
although men object to one another as a reproach, 
by an inbred custom which they have of behold- 
ing their own actions in the persons of other men, 
wherein, as in a mirror, all things on the left side 
appear to be on the right, and all things on the 
right side to be as plainly on the left; yet the 
natural right of preservation, which we all receive 
from the uncontrolable dictates of necessity, will 
not admit it to be a vice, though it confess it to 
be an unhappiness. Now that with Cato himself, 
a person of so great a renown for wisdom, ani- 
mosity should so prevail instead of judgment, and 
partiality instead of reason, that the very same 
thing which he thought just in his popular state, 
he should censure as unjust in a monarchical; 
other men perhaps may have leisure to admire. 
But I have been long since of this opinion ; that 


there was never yet any more than vulgar pru- 
dence, that had the luck of being acceptable, to the 
giddy people ; but either it hath not been under- 
stood, or else having been so hath been levelled 
and cried down. The more eminent actions and 
apothegms, both of the Greeks and Romans, have 
been indebted for their eulogies not so much to 
the reason, as to the greatness of them ; and very 
many times to that prosperous usurpation, (with 
which our histories do so mutually upbraid each 
other), which as a conquering torrent carries all 
before it, as well public agents as public actions, in 
the stream of time. Wisdom, properly so called, 
is nothing else but this : the perfect knowledge of 
the truth in all matters whatsoever. Which being 
derived from the registers and records of things ; 
and that as it were through the conduit of certain 
definite appellations ; cannot possibly be the work 
of a sudden acuteness, but of a well-balanced 
reason ; which by the compendium of a word, we 
call philosophy. For by this it is that a way is 
opened to us, in which we travel from the con- 
templation of particular things to the inference or 
result of universal actions. Now look, how many 
sorts of things there are, which properly fall within 
the cognizance of human reason ; into so many 
branches does the tree of philosophy divide itself. 
And from the diversity of the matter about which 
they are conversant, there hath been given to 
those branches a diversity of names too. For 


treating of figures, it is called geometry ; of motion, 
physic ; of natural right, morals ; put altogether, 
and they make up philosophy. Just as the British, 
the Atlantic, and the Indian seas, being diversely 
christened from the diversity of their shores, do 
notwithstanding all together make up the ocean. 
And truly the geometricians have very admirably 
performed their part. For whatsoever assistance 
doth accrue to the life of man, whether from the 
observation of the heavens or from the description 
of the earth, from the notation of times, or from 
the remotest experiments of navigation ; finally, 
whatsoever things they are in which this present 
age doth differ from the rude simpleness of anti- 
quity, we must acknowledge to be a debt which 
we owe merely to geometry. If the moral philo- 
sophers had as happily discharged their duty, I 
know not what could have been added by human 
industry to the completion of that happiness, which 
is consistent with human life. For were the nature 
of human actions as distinctly known as the nature 
of quantity in geometrical figures, the strength of 
avarice and ambition, which is sustained by the 
erroneous opinions of the vulgar as touching the 
nature of right and wrong, would presently faint 
and languish ; and mankind should enjoy such an 
immortal peace, that unless it were for habitation, 
on supposition that the earth should grow too 
narrow for her inhabitants, there would hardly be 
left any pretence for war. But now on the con- 


trary, that neither the sword nor the pen should 
be allowed any cessation ; that the knowledge of 
the law of nature should lose its growth, not 
advancing a whit beyond its ancient stature ; that 
there should still be such siding with the several 
factions of philosophers, that the very same action 
should be decried by some, and as much elevated 
by others ; that the very same man should at 
several times embrace his several opinions, and 
esteem his own actions far otherwise in him- 
self than he does in others : these, I say, are so 
many signs, so many manifest arguments, that 
what hath hitherto been written by moral philoso- 
phers, hath not made any progress in the know- 
ledge of the truth ; but yet hath took with the 
world, not so much by giving any light to the un- 
derstanding as entertainment to the affections, 
whilst by the successful rhetorications of their 
speech they have confirmed them in their rashly 
received opinions. So that this part of philosophy 
hath suffered the same destiny with the public 
ways, which lie open to all passengers to traverse 
up and down : or the same lot with highways and 
open streets, some for divertisement, and some 
for business ; so that what with the impertinences 
of some and the altercations of others, those ways 
have never a seed time, and therefore yield never 
a harvest. The only reason of which unluckiness 
should seem to be this ; th^t amongst all the 
writers of that part of philosophy there is not 


one that hath used an idoneous principle of trac- 
tation. For we may not, as in a circle, begin the 
handling of a science from what point we please 
There is a certain clue of reason, whose beginning 
is in the dark ; but by the benefit of whose conduct 
we are led as it were by the hand into the clearest 
light. So that the principle of tractation is to be 
taken from that darkness ; and then the light tc 
be carried thither for irradiating the doubts. As 
often therefore as any writer doth either weaklj 
forsake that clue, or wilfully cut it asunder; he 
describes the footsteps, not of his progress ir 
science, but of his wanderings from it. And from 
this it was, that when I applied my thoughts to the 
investigation of natural justice, I was presently ad- 
vertised from the very word justice, (which signifies 
a steady will of giving every one his own)) that mj 
first enquiry was to be, from whence it proceeded 
that any man should call anything rather his own, 
than another mans. And when I found that this 
proceeded not from nature, but consent ; (for what 
nature at first laid forth in common, men did after- 
wards distribute into several impropriations^) ; 1 
was conducted from thence to another inquiry ; 
namely, to what end and upon what impulsive^ 
when all was equally every man's in common, men 
did rather think it fitting that every man should 
have his inclosure. And I found the reason was, 
that from a commupity of goods there must needs 
arise contention, whose enjoyment should be great- 


est. And from that contention all kind of calami- 
ties must unavoidably ensue, which by the instinct 
of nature every man is taught to shun. Having 
therefore thus arrived at two maxims of human 
nature ; the one arising from the concupiscible 
part, which desires to appropriate to itself the use 
of those things in which all others have a joint in- 
terest; the other proceeding from the rational, 
which teaches every man to fly a contra-natural 
dissolution, as the greatest mischief that can arrive 
to nature : which principles being laid down, I 
seem from them to have demonstrated by a most 
evident connexion, in this little work of mine, 
first, the absolute necessity of leagues and con- 
tracts, and thence the rudiments both of moral 
and of civil prudence. That appendage which is 
added concerning the regiment of God, hath been 
done with this intent; that the dictates of God 
Almighty in the law of nature, might not seem 
repugnant to the written law, revealed to us in his 
word. I have also been very wary in the whole 
tenour of my discourse, not to meddle with the 
civil laws of any particular nation whatsoever: 
that is to say, I have avoided coming ashore, which 
those times have so infested both with shelves and 
tempests. At what expense of time and industry 
I have been in this scrutiny after truth, I am 
not ignorant ; but to what purpose, I know not. 
For being partial judges of ourselves, we lay a 
partial estimate upon our own productions. I 


therefore offer up this book to your Lordship's, not 
favour, but censure first ; as having found by many 
experiments, that it is not the credit of the author, 
nor the newness of the work, nor yet the orna- 
ment of the style, but only the weight of reason, 
which recommends any opinion to your Lordship's 
favour and approbation. If it fortune to please, 
that is to say, if it be sound, if it be useful, if it be 
not vulgar ; I humbly offer it to your Lordship, as 
both my glory and my protection. But if in any- 
thing I have erred, your Lordship will yet accept 
it as a testimony of my gratitude ; that the means 
of study, which I enjoyed by your Lordship's good- 
ness, I have employed to the procurement of your 
Lordship's favour. The God of heaven crown your 
Lordship with length of days, in this earthly sta- 
tion ; and in the heavenly Jerusalem with a crown 
of glory. 

Your Honour's most humble, 

and most devoted Servant, 



READER, I promise thee here such things, which 
ordinarily promised do seem to challenge the 
greatest attention, (whether thou regard the dig- 
nity or profit of the matter treated, or the right 
method of handling it, or the honest motive and 
good advice to undertake it, or lastly the modera- 
tion of the author,) and I lay them here before 
thine eyes. ,In this book thou shalt find briefly 
described the duties of men : first, as men ; then 
as subjects ; lastly, as Christians. Under which 
duties are contained, not only the elements of the 
laws of nature and of nations, together with the 
true original and power of justice ; but also the 
very essence of Christian religion itself, so far 
forth as the measure of this my purpose could 
well bear it. 

Which kind of doctrine, excepting what relates 
to Christian religion, the most ancient sages did 
judge fittest to be delivered to posterity, either 
curiously adorned with verse, or clouded with al- 
legories, as a most beautiful and hallowed mystery 


of royal authority ; lest by the disputations of pri- 
vate men it might be defiled. Other philosophers 
in the mean time, to the advantage of mankind, 
did contemplate the faces and motions of things ; 
others, without disadvantage, their natures and 
causes. But in after times, Socrates is said to have 
been the first who truly loved this civil science ; 
although hitherto not thoroughly understood, yet 
glimmering forth as through a cloud in the govern- 
ment of the commonweal : and that he set so great 
a value on this, that utterly abandoning and de- 
spising all other parts of philosophy, he wholly 
embraced this, as judging it only worthy the labour 
of his mind. After him comes Plato, Aristotle, 
Cicero, and other philosophers, as well Greek as 
Latin. And now at length all men of all nations, 
not only philosophers but even the vulgar, have and 
do still deal with this as a matter of ease, exposed 
and prostitute to every mother-wit, and to be at- 
tained without any great care or study. And, which 
makes mainly for its dignity, those who suppose 
themselves to have it, or are in such employment 
as they ought to have it, do so wonderfully please 
themselves in its idea, as they easily brook the 
followers of other arts to be esteemed and styled in- 
genuous, learned, skilful, and what you will, except 
prudent : for this name, in regard of civil know- 
ledge, they presume to be due to themselves only. 
Whether therefore the worth of arts is to be 
weighed by the worthiness of the persons who en- 


tertain them, or by the number of those who have 
written of them, or by the judgment of the wisest ; 
certainly this must carry it, which so nearly re- 
lates to princes, and others engaged in the govern- 
ment of mankind ; in whose adulterate species also 
the most part of men do delight themselves, and 
in which the most excellent wits of philosophers 
have been conversant. The benefit of it, when 
rightly delivered, that is, when Derived from true 
principles by evident connection, .we shall then 
best discern, when we shall but well have consid- 
ered the mischiefs that have befallen mankind from 
its counterfeit and babbling form. For in mat- 
ters wherein we speculate for the exercise of our 
wits, if any error escape us, it is without hurt; 
neither is there any loss, but of time only. But 
in those things which every man ought to meditate 
for the steerage of his life, it necessarily happens 
that not only from errors, but even from igno- 
rance itself, there arise offences, contentions, nay, 
even slaughter itselfr Look now, how great a pre- 
judice these are ; such and so great is the benefit 
arising from this ddfctrine of morality truly de- 
clared. How many kings, and those good men 
too, hath this one error, that a tyrant king might 
lawfully be put to death, been the slaughter of! 
How many throats hath this false position cjit, 
that a prince for some causes may by some certain 
men be deposed ! And what bloodshed hath not 
this erroneous doctrine caused, that kings are 

VOL. II. b 


not superiors to, but administrators for the 
titude ! Lastly, how many rebellions hath this 
opinion been the cause of, which teacheth that the 
knowledge whether the commands of kings be just 
or unjust, belongs to private men ; and that be- 
fore they yield obedience, they not only may, but 
ought to dispute them ! Besides, in the moral phi- 
losophy now commonly received, there are many 
things no less dangerous than those, which it mat- 
ters not now to recite. I suppose those ancients 
foresaw this, who rather chose to have the science 
of justice wrapped up in fables, than openly ex- 
posed to disputations. For before such questions 
began to be moved, princes did not sue for, but 
already exercised the supreme power. They kept 
their empire entire, not by arguments, but by 
punishing the wicked and protecting the good. 
Likewise subjects did not measure what was just 
by the sayings and judgments of private men, but 
by the laws of the realm ; nor were they kept in 
peace by disputations, but by power and authority. 
Yea, they reverenced the supreme power, whether 
residing in one man or in a council, as a certain 
visible , divinity. Therefore they little used, as in 
our days, to join themselves with ambitious and 
||ellish spirits, to the utter ruin of their state. For 
they could not entertain so strange a fancy, as not 
to desire the preservation of that by which they 
were preserved. In truth, the simplicity of those 
times was not yet capable of so learned a niece of 


folly. Wherefore it was peace and a golden age, 
which ended not before that, Saturn being expelled, 
it was taught lawful to take up arms against kings. 
This, I say, the ancients not only themselves saw, 
but in one of their fables they seem very aptly to 
have signified it to us. For they say, that when 
Ixion was invited by Jupiter to a banquet, he fell 
in love, and began to court Juno herself. Offering 
to embrace her, he clasped a cloud ; from whence 
the Centaurs proceeded, by nature half men, half 
horses, a fierce, a fighting, and unquiet generation. 
Which changing the names only, is' as much as 
if they should have said, ( that private men being 
called to councils of state, desired to prostitute 
justice, the only sister and wife of the supreme, to 
their own judgments and apprehensions ; but em- 
bracing a false and empty shadow instead of it, 
they have begotten those hermaphrodite opinions of 
moral philosophers, partly right and comely, partly 
brutal and wild ; the causes of all contentions and 
bloodsheds^ Since therefore such opinions are 
daily seen to arise, if any man now shall dispel 
those clouds, and by n^ost firm reasons demon- 
strate that there are no authentical doctrines con- 
cerning right and wrong, good and evil, besides 
the constituted laws in each realm and govern- 
ment ; and that the question whether any future 
action will prove just or unjust, good or ill, is to 
be demanded of none but those to whom the su- 
preme hath committed the interpretation of his 


laws : surely he will not only show us the highway 
to peace, but will also teach us how to avoid the 
close, dark, and dangerous by-paths of faction and 
sedition ; than which I know not what can be 
thought more profitable. 

Concerning my method, I thought it not suffi- 
cient to use a plain and evident style in what I 
have to deliver, except I took my beginning from 
the very matter of civil government, and thence 
proceeded to its generation and form, and the first 
beginning of justice. For everything is best un- 
derstood by its constitutive causes. For as in a 
watch, or some such small engine, the matter, 
figure, and motion of the wheels cannot well be 
known, except it be taken insunder and viewed 
in parts ; so to make a more curious search into 
the rights of states and duties of subjects, it is 
necessary, I say, not to take them insunder, but 
yet that they be so considered as if they were dis- 
solved ; that is, that we rightly understand what 
the quality of human nature is, in what matters it 
is, in what not, fit to make up a civil government, 
and how men must be agreed amongst themsejves 
that intend to grow up into a well-grounded state. 
Having therefore followed this kind of method, in 
the first place I set down for a principle, by experi- 
qnce known to all men and denied by none, to wit, 
that the dispositions of men are naturally such, that 
OX<?ept they be restrained through fear of some 
coercive power, every man will distrust and dread 


each other ; and as by natural right he may, so by 
necessity he will be forced to make use of the 
strength he hath, toward the preservation of him- 
self. You will object perhaps, that there are some 
who deny this. Truly so it happens, that very 
many do deny it. But shall I therefore seem to 
fight against jnyself, because I affirm that the same 
men confess and deny the same thing ? In truth 
I do not ; but they do, whose actions disavow what 
their discourses approve of. We see all countries, 
though they be at peace with their neighbours, 
yet guarding their frontiers with armed men, their 
towns with walls and ports, and keeping constant 
watches. To what purpose is all this, if there be 
no fear of the neighbouring power ? We see even 
in well-governed states, where there are laws and 
punishments^appointed for offenders, yet particular 
men travel not without their sword by their sides 
for their defences ; neither sleep they without 
shutting not only their doors against their fellow 
subjects, but also their trunks and coffers for fear 
of domestics. Can men give a clearer testimony 
of. the distrust they ha^e each of other, and all of 
all ? Now, since they do thus, and even countries 
as well as men, they publicly profess their mutual 
fear and diffidence. But in disputing they deny 
it ; that is as much as to say, that out of a desire 
they have to contradict others, they gainsay them- 
selves. Some* object that this principle being ad- 
mitted, it would needs follow, not only that all 


men were \vjcked, (which perhaps though it seem 
hard, yet we must yield to, since it is so clearly 
declared by holy wrty), but also wicked by nature, 
which cannot be granted without impiety. But 
this, that men are evil by nature, follows not 
from this principle. For though the wicked were 
fewer than the righteous, yet because we cannot 
distinguish them, there is a necessity of sus- 
pecting, heeding, anticipating, subjugating, self- 
defending, ever incident to the most honest and 
fairest conditioned. Much less does it follow, 
that those who are wicked, are so by nature. For 
though from nature, that is, from their first birth, 
as they are merely sensible creatures, they have 
this disposition, that immediately as much as in 
them lies they desire and do whatsoever is best 
pleasing to them, and that either through fear they 
fly from, or through hardness repel those dangers 
which approach them ; yet are they not for this 
reason to be accounted wicked. For the affec- 
tions of the mind, which arise only from the lower 
parts of the soul, are not wicked themselves ; but 
the actions thence proceeding may be so some- 
times, as when they are either offensive or against 
duty. Unless you give children all they ask for, 
they are peevish and cry, aye, and strike their 
parents sometimes; and all this they have from 
nature. Yet are they free from guilt, neither may 
we properly call them wicked ; first, because they 
hurt ; next, because wanting the free use 


of reason they are exempted from all duty. These 
when they come to riper years, having acquired 
power whereby they may do hurt, if they shall 
continue to do the same things, then truly they 
both begin to be, and are properly accounted 
wicked. Insomuch as a wicked man is almost 
the same thing with a child grown strong and 
sturdy, or a man of a childish disposition ; and 
malice the same with a defect of reason in that 
age when nature ought to be better governed 
through good education and experience. Unless 
therefore we will say that men are naturally evil, 
because they receive not their education and use 
of reason from nature, we must needs acknow- 
ledge that men may derive desire, fear, anger, and 
other passions from nature, and yet not impute 
the evil effegts of those unto nature. The founda- 
tion therefore which I have laid, standing firm, 
I demonstrate, in the first place, that the state of 
men without civil society) which state we may 
properly call the state of nature, is nothing else 
but a mere war of all against all ; and in that war 
all men have equal right unto all things. Next, 
that all men as soon as they arrive to understand- 
ing of this hateful condition, do desire, even 
nature itself compelling them, to be freed from this 
misery. But that this cannot be done, except by 
compact, they all quit that right they have to all 
things. Furthermore, I declare and confirm what 
the nature of compact is ; how and by what means 


the right of one might be transferred unto another 
to make their compacts valid; also what rights, 
and to whom they must necessarily be granted, 
for the establishing of peace ; I mean, what those 
dictates of reason are, which may properly be 
termed the laws of nature. And all these are con- 
tained in that part of this book which I entitle 

These grounds thus laid, I show further what 
civil government, and the supreme power in it, 
and the divers kinds of it are ; by what means it 
becomes so ; and what rights particular men, who 
intend to constitute this civil government, must 
so necessarily transfer from themselves on the 
supreme power, whether it be one man or an as- 
sembly of men, that, except they do so, it will 
evidently appear to be no civil government, but 
the rights which all men have to all things, that 
is, the rights of war will still remain. Next I dis- 
tinguish the divers kinds of it, to wit, monarchy, 
aristocracy, democracy ; and paternal dominion, 
and that of masters over their servants. I declare 
how they are constituted, and I compare their 
several conveniences and inconveniences, each 
with other. Furthermore, I unfold what those 
things are which destroy it, and what his or their 
duty is, who rule in chief. Last of all, I explicate 
the natures of law and of sin ; and I distinguish 
law from counsel, from compact, from that which 
I c$ll right. All which I comprehend under the 
title of Dominion. 


In the last part of it, which is entitled Religion, 
lest that right, which by strong reason, in the pre- 
ceding discourse, I had confirmed the sovereign 
powers to have over their subjects, might seem to 
be repugnant to the sacred Scriptures ; I show, in 
the first place, how it repugns not the divine right, 
for as much as God overrules all rulers by nature, 
that is, by the dictates of natural reason. In the 
second, forasmuch as God himself had a peculiar 
dominion over the Jews, by virtue of that ancient 
covenant of circumcision. In the third, because 
God doth now rule over us Christians, by virtue of 
our covenant of baptism. And therefore the au- 
thority of rulers in chief, or of civil government, 
is not at all, we see, contrary to religion. 

In the last place, I declare what duties are ne- 
cessarily required from us, to enter into the king- 
dom of heaven. And of those I plainly demonstrate, 
and conclude out of evident testimonies of holy 
writ according to the interpretation made by all, 
that the obedience, which I have affirmed to be 
due from particular Christian subjects unto their 
Christian princes, cannot* possibly in the least sort 
be repugnant unto Christian religion. 

You have seen my method : receive now the rea- 
son which moved me to write this. I was studying 
philosophy for my mind sake, and I had gathered 
together its first elements in all kinds; and having 
digested them into three sections by degrees, I 
thought to have written them, so as in the first 


I would have treated of body and its general pro- 
perties ; in the second of man and his special 
faculties and affections ; in the third, of civil go- 
vernment and the duties of subjects. Wherefore 
the first section would have contained the first 
philosophy, and certain elements of physic ; in it 
we would have considered the reasons of time, 
place, cause, power, relation, proportion, quan- 
tity, figure, and motion. In the second, we would 
have been conversant about imagination, memory, 
intellect, ratiocination, appetite, will, good and 
evil, honest and dishonest, and the like. What this 
last section handles, I have now already showed 
you. Whilst I contrive, order, pensively and slowly 
compose these matters ; (for I only do reason, I 
dispute not) ; it so happened in the interim, that 
my country, some few years before the civil wars 
did rage, was boiling hot with questions concern- 
ing the rights of dominion and the obedience due 
from subjects, the true forerunners of an approach- 
ing war ; and was the cause which, all those other 
matters deferred, ripened and plucked from me 
this third part. Therefore it happens, that what 
was last in order, is yet come forth first in time. 
And the rather, because I saw that, grounded on 
its own principles sufficiently known by experi- 
ence, it would not stand in need of the former 
sections. Yet I have not made it out of a desire 
<Jf praise : although if I had, I might have de- 
fended myself wi^ this fair excuse, that very few 


do things laudably, who are not affected with com* 
inendation : but for your sakes, readers, who I 
persuaded myself, when you should rightly appre- 
hend and thoroughly understand this doctrine I 
here present you with, would rather choose to 
brook with patience some inconveniences under 
government, (because human affairs cannot pos- 
sibly be without some), than self-opiniatedly disturb 
the quiet of the public ; that, weighing -the justice 
of those things you are about, not by the persua- 
sion and advice of private men, but by the laws of 
the realm, you will no longer suffer ambitious men 
through the streams of your blood to wade to their 
own power ; that you will esteem it better to enjoy 
yourselves in the present state, though perhaps not 
the best, than by waging war endeavour to pro- 
cure a reformation for other men in another age, 
yourselves in the meanwhile either killed or con- 
sumed with age. Furthermore, for those who will 
not acknowledge themselves subject to the civil 
magistrate, and will be exempt from all public 
burthens, and yet will live under his jurisdiction, 
and look for protection from the violence and in- 
juries of others, that you would not look on them 
as fellow-subjects, but esteem them for enemies 
and spies ; and that ye rashly admit not for God's 
word all which, either openly or privately, they 
shall pretend to be so. I say more plainly, if any 
preacher, confessor, or casuist, shall but say that 
this doctrine is agreeable with God's word, namely, 


that the chief ruler, nay, any private man may law- 
fully be put to death without the chief's command, 
or that subjects may resist, conspire, or covenant 
against the supreme power ; that ye by no means 
believe them, but instantly declare their names. 
He who approves of these reasons, will also like 
my intentions in writing this book. 

Last of all, I have propounded to myself this rule 
through this whole discourse. First, not to define 
aught which concerns the justice of single actions, 
but leave them to be determined by the laws. 
Next, not to dispute the laws of any government 
in special, that is, not to point which are the laws 
of any country, but to declare what the laws of 
all countries are. Thirdly, not to seem of opinion, 
that there is a less proportion of obedience due to 
an aristocracy or democracy than a monarchy. 
For though I have endeavoured, by arguments in 
my tenth chapter, to gain a belief in men, that 
monarchy is the most commodious government; 
which one thing alone I confess in this whole book 
not to be demonstrated, but only probably stated ; 
yet every where I expressly say, that in all kind of 
government whatsoever there ought to be a 
supreme and equal power. Fourthly, not in any- 
wise to dispute the positions of divines, except 
those which strip subjects of their obedience, and 
shake the foundations of civil government. Lastly, 
lest I might imprudently set forth somewhat of 
which there would be no need, what I had thus 


written I would not presently expose to the pub- 
lie. Wherefore I got some few copies privately 
dispersed among some of my friends ; that discry- 
ing the opinions of others, if any things appeared 
erroneous, hard, or obscure, I might correct, soften 
and explain them. 

These things I found most bitterly excepted 
against. That I had made the civil powers too 
large ; but this by ecclesiastical persons. That I 
had utterly taken away liberty of conscience ; but 
this by sectaries. That I had set princes above 
the civil laws ; but this by lawyers. Wherefore I 
was not much moved by these men's reprehensions, 
as who in doing this, did but do their own busi- 
ness ; except it were to tie those knots somewhat 

But for theiir sakes who have a little been stag- 
gered at the principles themselves, to wit, the 
nature of men, the authority or right of nature, 
the nature of compacts and contracts, and the 
original of civil government; because in finding 
fault they have not so much followed their pas- 
sions, as their common-sense, I have therefore in 
some places added some annotations, whereby I 
presumed I might give some satisfaction to their 
differing thoughts. Lastly, I have endeavoured to 
offend none, beside those whose principles these 
contradict, and whose tender minds are lightly 
offended by every difference of opinions. 

Wherefore, if ye shall meet with some things 


which have more of sharpness, and less of certainty 
than they ought to have, since they are not so 
much spoken for the maintenance of parties as the 
establishment of peace, and by one whose just 
grief for the present calamities of his country may 
very charitably be allowed some liberty ; it is his 
only request to ye, Readers, ye will deign to re- 
ceive them with an equal mind. 




1. Of the state of men without civil society ... 1 

2. Of the law of nature concerning contracts . . 14 

3. Of the other laws of nature 29 

4. That the law of nature is a divine law . . 59 


5. Of the causes and first original of civil government . 63 

6. Of the right, whether we consider it in an assembly or 

in one person, which he hath who is endued with 
supreme authority . . . . . .71 

7. Of the three kinds of government, Democracy, Aristo- 

cracy, and Monarchy ...... 92 

8. Of the right which lords and masters have over their 

servants ........ 108 

9. Of the right which parents have over their children, 

and of a kingdom paternal . . . . . 114 

10. A comparison of the three kinds of government, each 

with other, according to the inconveniences of each 

one 12G 

11. The places and examples of Scripture concerning the 

right of government, which make for proof of the 
foresaid doctrines , . 143 



12. Of the inward causes which dissolve all civil govern- 

ment 14-9 

13. Of the duties of those men who sit at the helm of state 165 

14. Of laws and sins 182 


15. Of Gods government by nature . . . .201 

16. Of his government by the old covenant . . . 226 

17. Of his government by the new covenant . . . 250 

18. Of those things which are necessary for our entrance 

into the kingdom of heaven 298 







1. The Introduction. 2. That the beginning of civil society is 
from mutual fear. 3. That men by nature are all equal. 
4. Whence the will of mischieving each other ariseth. 5. The 
discord arising from comparison of wits. 6. From the appetite 
many have to the same thing. 7. The definition of right. 8. A 
right to the end, gives a right to the means necessary to that 
end. 9. By the right of nature, every man is judge of the 
means which tend to his own preservation. 10. By nature 
all men have equal right to ail things. 11. This right which 
all men have to all things, is unprofitable. 12. The state of 
men without civil society, is a mere state of war : the defini- 
tions of peace and war. 13. War is an adversary to man's 
preservation. 14. It is lawful for any man, by natural right, 
to compel another whom he hath gotten in his power, to 
give caution of his future obedience. 15. Nature dictates the 
seeking after peace. 

THE faculties of human nature may be reduced CHAP. i. 
unto four kinds ; bodily strength, experience, rea- 
son, passion. Taking the beginning of this fol- 
lowing doctrine from these, we will declare, in 
the first place, what manner of inclinations men 
who are endued with these faculties bear towards 
each other, and whether, and by what faculty 
they are born apt for society, and to preserve 

VOL. II. // B 


CHAP. i. 

That the 

from fear. 

themselves against mutual violence ; then proceed- 
ing, we will shew what advice was necessary to be. 
taken for this business, and what are the condi- 
tions of society, or of human peace ; that is to say, 
(changing the words only), what are the fundamental 
laws of nature. 

2. The greatest part of those men who have 
written aught concerning commonwealths, either 
Sll pp ose ^ or require us or beg of us to believe, that 
man is a creature born fit * for society. The Greeks 

* Born fit.~] Since we now see actually a constituted society 
among men, and none living out of it, since we discern all de- 
sirous of congress and mutual correspondence, it may seem a 
wonderful kind of stupidity, to lay in the very threshold of this 
doctrine such a stumbling block before the reader, as to deny 
man to be born fit for society. Therefore I must more plainly say, 
that it is true indeed, that to man by nature, or as man, that is, 
as soon as he is born, solitude is an. enemy ; for infants have 
need of others to help them to live, and those of riper years to 
help them to live well. Wherefore I deny not that men (even 
nature compelling) desire to come together. But civil societies 
are not mere meetings, but bonds, to the making whereof faith 
and compacts are necessary ; the virtue whereof to children and 
fools, and the profit whereof to those who have not yet tasted 
the miseries which accompany its defects, is altogether un- 
known ; whence it happens, that those, because they know not 
what society is, cannot enter into it ; these, because ignorant of 
the benefit it brings, care not for it. Manifest therefore it is, 
that all men, because they are born in infancy, are born unapt 
for society. Many also, perhaps most men, either through de- 
fect of mind or want of education, remain unfit during the whole 
course of their lives; yet have they, infants as well as those of 
riper years, a human nature. Wherefore man is made fit for 
society not by nature; but by edncation. Furthermore, although 
man were born in such a condition as to desire it, it follows not, 
that he therefore were born fit to enter into it. For it is one 
thing to desire, another to be in capacity fit for what we desire ; 
for even they, who through their pride, will not stoop to equal con- 
ditions, without which there can be no society, do yet desire it. 


call him &>ov TroAm/eov; and on this foundation CHAP. i. 
they so build up the doctrine of civil society, as if Th ^~^ ' 
for the preservation of peace, and the government beginning of 
of mankind, there were nothing else necessary than iTfrom^fea^ 
that men should agree to make certain covenants 
and conditions together, which themselves should 
then call laws. Which axiom, though received by 
most, is yet certainly false ; and an error proceed- 
ing from our too slight contemplation of human 
nature. For they who shall more narrowly look 
into the causes for which men come together, and 
delight in each other's company, shall easily find 
that this happens not because naturally it could 
happen no otherwise, but by accident. For if by 
nature one man should love another, that is, as 
man, there could no reason be returned why every 
man should not equally love every man, as being 
equally man ; or why he should rather frequent 
those, whose society affords him honour or profit. 
We do not therefore by nature seek society for its 
own sake, but that we may receive some honour or 
profit from it ; these we desire primarily, that 
secondarily. How r , by what advice, men do meet, 
will be best known by observing those things which 
they do when they are met. For if they meet for 
traffic, it is plain every marf regards not his fellow, 
but his business ; if to discharge some office, a 
certain market-friendship is begotten, which hath 
more of jealousy in it than true love, and whence 
factions sometimes may arise, but good will never ; 
if for pleasure and recreation of mind, every man 
is wont to please himself most with those things 
which stir up laughter, whence he may, according to 
the nature of that which is ridiculous, by compa- 



CHAP. i. rison of another man's defects and infirmities, pass 
TbTTth^ ' the more current in his own opinion. And although 
beginning of this be sometimes innocent and without offence, 

mutual society .. -IITII 

is from fear, yet it is manifest they are riot so much delighted 
with the society, as their own vain glory. But for 
the most part, in these kinds of meeting we wound 
the absent ; their whole life, sayings, actions are ex- 
amined, judged, condemned. Nay, it is very rare 
but some present receive a fling as soon as they part ; 
so as his reason was not ill, who was wont always 
at parting to go out last. And these are indeed 
the true delights of society, unto which we are 
carried by nature, that is, by those passions which 
are incident to all creatures, until either by sad ex- 
perience or good precepts it so fall out, which in 
many it never happens, that the appetite of present 
matters be dulled with the memory of things past: 
without which the discourse of most quick and 
nimble men on this subject, is but cold and 

But if it so happen, that being met they pass 
their time in relating some stories, and one of them 
begins to tell one which concerns himself ; instantly 
every one of the rest most greedily desires to speak 
of himself too ; if one relate some wonder, the 
rest will tell you miracles, if they have them ; if not, 
they will feign them. Lastly, that I may say some- 
what of them who pretend to be wiser than others : 
if they meet to talk of philosophy, look, how many 
men, so many would be esteemed masters, or else 
they not only love not their fellows, but even per- 
secute them with hatred. So clear is it by ex- 
perience to all men who a little more narrowly 
consider human affairs, that all free congress 


ariseth either from mutual poverty, or from vain CHAP. i. 
glory, whence the parties met endeavour to carry i^"^ ' 
with them either some benefit, or to leave behind beginning of 
them that same cuSoKijueiv, some esteem and honour ITfr 
with those, with w r hom they have been conversant. 
The same is also collected by reason out of the de- 
finitions themselves of will, good, honour, prqfita- 
ble. For when we voluntarily contract society, in 
all manner of society we look after the object of the 
will, that is, that which every one of those who ga- 
ther together, propounds to himself for good. Now 
whatsoever seems good, is pleasant, and relates 
either to the senses, or the mind. But all the mind's 
pleasure is either glory, (or to have a good opi- 
nion of one's self), or refers to glory in the end ; 
the rest are sensual, or conducing to sensuality, 
which may be all comprehended under the word 
conveniences. All society therefore is either for 
gain, or for glory ; that is, not so much for love of 
our fellows, las for the love of ourselves. But no 
society can be great or lasting, which begins from 
vain glory. Because that glory is like honour ; if 
all men have it no man hath it, for they con- 
sist in comparison and precellence. Neither doth 
the society of others advance any whit the cause of 
my glorying in myself; for every man must ac- 
count himself, such as he can make himself with- 
out the help of others. But though the benefits 
of this life may be much furthered by mutual help ; 
since yet those may be better attained to by domi- 
nion than by the society of others, I hope no 
body will doubt, but that men would much more 
greedily be carried by nature, if all fear were re- 
moved, to obtain dominion, than to gain society. 


That men 
by nature 
are all equal. 

CHAP. i. We must therefore resolve, that the original of all 
" ' great and lasting societies consisted not in the 
mutual good will men had towards each other, but 
in the mutual fear* they had of each other. 

3. The cause of mutual fear consists partly in 
the natural equality of men, partly in their mutual 
will of hurting : whence it comes to pass, that we 
can neither expect from others, nor promise to 
ourselves the least security. For if we look on 
men full-grown, and consider how brittle the 
frame of our human body is, which perishing, all 
its strength, vigour, and wisdom itself perisheth 
with it ; and how easy a matter it is, even for the 
weakest man to kill the strongest: there is no 
reason why any man, trusting to his own strength, 
should conceive himself made by nature above 

* The mutual fear.'] It is objected : it is so improbable that 
men should grow into civil societies out of fear, that if they had 
been afraid, they would not have endured each other's looks. 
They presume, I believe, that to fear is nothing else than to be 
affrighted. I comprehend in this word fear, a certain foresight 
of future evil ; neither do I conceive flight the sole property of 
fear, but to distrust, suspect, take heed, provide so that they 
may not fear, is also incident to the fearful. They who go to 
sleep, shut their doors ; they who travel, carry their swords with 
them, because they fear thieves. Kingdoms guard their coasts 
and frontiers with forts and castles ; cities are compact wifch walls ; 
and all for fear of neighbouring kingdoms and towns. Even the 
strongest armies, and most accomplished for fight, yet sometimes 
parley for peace, as fearing each other's power, and lest they 
might be overcome. It is through fear that men secure them- 
selves by flight indeed, and in corners, if they think they 
cannot escape otherwise; but for the most part, by arms and 
defensive weapons; whence it happens, that daring to come 
forth they know each other's spirits. But then if they fight, 
civil society ariseth from the victory ; if they agree, from their 
agreement * 


others. They are equals, who can do equal things CHAP. i. 
one against the other ; but they who can do the ' ' 
greatest things, namely, kill, can do equal 
things. All men therefore among themselves are 
by nature equal ; the inequality we now discern, 
hath its spring from the civil law. 

4. All men in the state of nature have a desire wiK>ue*ti. e 
and will to hurt, but not proceeding from the same chLin^u 
cause, neither equally to be condemned. For one othcr ari * elh - 
man, according to that natural equality which is 
among us, permits as much to others as he as- 
sumes to himself ; which is an argument of a tem- 
perate man, and one that rightly values his power. 
Another, supposing himself above others, will have 

a license to do what he lists, and challenges re- 
spect and honour, as due to him before others ; 
which is an argument of a fiery spirit. This 
man's will to hurt ariseth from vain glory, and 
the false esteem he hath of his own strength ; the 
other's from the necessity of defending himself, 
his liberty, and his goods, against this man's vio- 

5. Furthermore, since the combat of wits is the TIM? discord 
fiercest, the greatest discords which are, must ne 
cessarily arise from this contention. For in this 

case it is not only odious to contend against, but 
also not to consent. For not to approve of \vhat a 
man saith, is no less than tacitly to accuse him of 
an error in that thing which he speaketh : as in 
very many things to dissent, is as much as if you 
accounted him a fool whom you dissent from. 
Which may appear hence, that there are no wars so 
sharply waged as between sects of the same reli- 
gion, and factions of tlje same commonweal, where 


CHAP. i. the contestation is either concerning doctrines or 
' ' ' politic prudence. And since all the pleasure and 
jollity of the mind consists in this, even to get 
some, with whom comparing, it may find somewhat 
wherein to triumph and vaunt itself; it is impossi- 
ble but men must declare sometimes some mutual 
scorn and contempt, either by laughter, or by 
words, or by gesture, or some sign or other ; than 
which there is no greater vexation of mind, and 
than from which there cannot possibly arise a 
greater desire to do hurt. 

From the appe- 6. But the most frequent reason why men desire 
- to hurt each other, ariseth hence, that many men at 
the same time have an appetite to the same thing ; 
which yet very often they can neither enjoy in 
common, nor yet divide it ; whence it follows that 
the strongest must have it, and who is strongest 
must be decided by the sword. 

j % Among so many dangers therefore, as the 

tion of right ' 1 i -V i 11 

natural lusts of men do daily threaten each other 
withal, to have a care of one's self is so far from 
being a matter scornfully to be looked upon, that 
one has neither the power nor wish to have 
done otherwise. For every man is desirous of what 
is good for him, and shuns what is evil, but chiefly 
the chiefest of natural evils, which is death ; and 
this he doth by a certain impulsion of nature, no less 
than that whereby a stone moves downward. It 
is therefore neither absurd nor reprehensible^ 
neither against the dictates of true reason, for a 
man to use all his endeavours to preserve and de- 
fend his body and the members thereof from death 
and sorrows. But that which is not contrary 
to right reason, that all mjen account to be done 


justly, and with right. Neither by the word right CHAP. T. 
is anything else signified, than that liberty which ' ' ' 
every man hath to make use of his natural faculties 
according to right reason. Therefore the first 
foundation of natural right is this, that every man 
as much as in him lies endeavour to protect his 
life and members. 

8. But because it is in vain for a man to have a A right to 
right to the end, if the right to the necessary S^Tn^t 6 * 
means be denied him, it follows, that since every to the meam 
man hath a right to preserve himself, he must also 

be allowed a right to use all the means, and do 
all the actions, without which he cannot preserve 

9. Now whether the means which he is about to s y the right 

, , . . . of nature, CTery 

use, and the action he is performing, be necessary roan u judge 
to the preservation of his life and members or not, ^JJjJ J^J 
he himself, by the right of nature, must be judge. ^ preservation. 
For if it be contrary to right reason that I should 
judge of mine own peril, say, that another man is 
judge. Why now, because he judgeth of what con- 
cerns me, by the same reason, because we are 
equal by nature, will I judge also of things which 
do belong to him. Therefore it agrees with right 
reason, that is, it is the right of nature that I 
judge of his opinion, that is, whether it conduce 
to my preservation or not. 

10. Nature hath given to every one a right to BT right r 

,_.. i / i /% -I nature, all men 

au ; that is, it was lawful for every man, in the have equal right 
bare state of nature, * or before such time as men to dl thinss * 

* In the bare state of nature."] This is thus to be under- 
stood : what any man does in the bare state of nature, is inju- 
rious to no man ; not that in such a state he cannot offend God, 
or break the laws of nature ; for injustice against men presup- 


CHAP. i. had engaged themselves by any covenants or 
By right of ' bonds, to do what he would, and against whom he 
nature, aii men thought fit, and to possess, use, and enjoy all 

have equal right . \ TVT 

to aii things, what he would, or could get. Now because what- 
soever a man would, it therefore seems good to 
him because he wills it, arid either it really doth, 
or at least seems to him to contribute towards his 
preservation, (but we have already allowed him to 
be judge, in the foregoing article, whether it doth 
or not, insomuch as we are to hold all for neces- 
sary whatsoever he shall esteem so), and by the 
7th article it appears that by the right of nature 

poseth human laws, such as in the state of nature there are none. 
Now the truth of this proposition thus conceived, is sufficiently 
demonstrated to the mindful reader in the articles immediately 
foregoing ; but because in certain cases the difficulty of the con- 
clusion makes us forget the premises, I will contract this argu- 
ment, and make it most evident to a single view. Every man 
hath right to protect himself, as appears by the seventh article. 
The same man therefore hath a right to use all the means which 
necessarily conduce to this end, by the eighth article. But those 
are the necessary means which he shall judge to be such, by the 
ninth article. He therefore hath a right to make use of, and to 
do all whatsoever he shall judge requisite for his preservation ; 
wherefore by the judgment of him that doth it, the thing done is 
either right or wrong, and therefore right. True it is therefore 
in the bare state of nature, &c. But if any man pretend somewhat 
to tend necessarily to his preservation, which yet he himself doth 
not confidently believe so, he may offend against the laws of 
nature, as in the third chapter of this book is more at large de- 
clared. It hath been objected by some : if a son kill his father, 
doth he him no injury ? I have answered, that a son cannot be 
understood to be at any time in the state of nature, as being 
under the power and command of them to whom he owes his 
protection as soon as ever he is born, namely, either his father's 
or his mothers, or him that nourished him ; as is demonstrated 
in the ninth chapter. 


those things may be done, and must be had, which CHAP. i. 
necessarily conduce to the protection of life and ' ' 
members, it follows, that in the state of nature, to 
have all, and do all, is lawful for all. And this is 
that which is meant by that common saying, na- 
ture hath given all to all. From whence we under- 
stand likewise, that in the state of nature profit is 
the measure of right. 

1 1 . But it was the least benefit for men thus to The right of 
have a common right to all things. For the effects unprofitable. 
of this right are the same, almost, as if there had 

been no right at all. For although any man might 
say of every thing, this is mine., yet could he not 
enjoy it, by reason of his neighbour, who having 
equal right and equal power, would pretend the 
same thing to be his. 

12. If now to this natural proclivity of men, to The state of men 
hurt each other, which they derive from their ^aiT/wTr. 
passions, but chiefly from a vain esteem of them- 
selves, you add, the right of all to all, wherewith 

one by right invades, the other by right resists, and 
whence arise perpetual jealousies arid suspicions 
on all hands, and how hard a thing it is to provide 
against an enemy invading us with an intention 
to oppress and ruin, though he come with a small 
number,- and no great provision ; it cannot be de- 
nied but that the natural state of men, before they 
entered into society, was a mere war, and that not 
simply, but a war of all men against all men. For The definition of 
what is WAR, but that same time in which the war "^ peace ' 
will of contesting by force is fully declared, either 
by words or deeds ? The time remaining is 
termed PEACE. 


CHAP. T. 13. But it is easily judged how disagreeable a 
ww is an ad- $&&% to the preservation either of mankind, or of 
vewary toman's each single man, a perpetual war is. But it is per- 

preservation. . . ' r r . i - 

petual m its own nature ; because m regard of the 
equality qf those that strive, it cannot be ended by 
victory. For in this state the conqueror is subject 
to so much danger, as it were to be accounted a 
miracle, if any, even the most strong, should close 
up his life with many years and old age. They 
of America are examples hereof, even in this pre- 
sent age : other nations have been in former ages ; 
which now indeed are become civil and flourishing, 
but were then few, fierce, short-lived, poor, nasty, 
and deprived of all that pleasure and beauty of 
life, which peace and society are wont to bring 
with them. Whosoever therefore holds, that it 
had been best to have continued in that state in 
which all things were lawful for all men, he con- 
tradicts himself. For every man by natural neces- 
sity desires that which is good for him : nor is 
there any that esteems a war of all against all, 
which necessarily adheres to such a state, to be 
good for him. And so it happens, that through fear 
of each other we think it fit to rid ourselves of this 
condition, and to get some fellows ; that if there 
needs must be war, it may not yet be against all 
men, nor without some helps. 

That by the 14, Fellows are gotten either by constraint, or 
it is lawful for' by consent ; by constraint, when after fight the 
mhe conqueror makes the conquered serve him, either 
i^ trough fear of death, or by laying fetters on him : 
for his by consent, when men enter into society to help 

fatureobedience. J , , , ^ - A . ., ^ 

each other, both parties consenting without any 
constraint. But the conqueror may by right 


compel the conquered, or the strongest the weaker, CHAP. i. 
(as a man in health may one that is sick, or he """""" ' 
that is of riper years a child), unless he will choose 
to die, to give caution of his future obedience. For 
since the right of protecting ourselves according 
to our own wills, proceeded from our danger, and 
our danger from our equality, it is more conso- 
nant to reason, and more certain for our conserva- 
tion, using the present advantage to secure our- 
selves by taking caution, than when they shall be 
fall grown and strong, and got out of our power, 
to endeavour to recover that power again by doubt- 
ful fight. And on the other side, nothing can be 
thought more absurd, than by discharging whom 
you already have weak in your power, to make 
him at once both an enemy and a strong one. 
From whence we may understand likewise asl a co- 
rollary in the natural state of men, that a sure and 
irresistible power confers the right of dominion 
and ruling over those who cannot resist ; inso- 
much, as the right of all things that can be done, 
adheres essentially and immediately unto this om- 
nipotence hence arising. 

15. Yet cannot men expect any lasting preser- Nature die- 

tates the seek- 

vation, continuing thus in thq state of nature, that in g after peaee. 
is, of war, by reason of that equality of power, 
and other human faculties they are endued withal. 
Wherefore to seek peace, where there is any hopes 
of obtaining it, and where there is none, to enquire 
out for auxiliaries of war, is the dictate of right 
reason, that is, the law of nature ; as shall be 
showed in the next chapter. 




1. That the law of nature is not an agreement of men, but the 
dictate of reason. 2. That the fundamental law of nature, is 
to seek peace, where it may be had, and where not, to defend 
ourselves. 3. That the first special law of nature, is not tc 
retain our right to all things. 4. What it is to quit our right : 
what to transfer it. 5. That in the transferring of our right, 
the will of him that receives it is necessarily required, 6. No 
words but those of the present tense, transfer any right, 
7. Words of the future, if there be some other tokens to sig- 
nify the will, are valid in the translation of right. 8. In mat- 
ters of free gift, our right passeth not from us through any 
words of the future. 9. The definition of contract and com- 
pact. 10. In compacts, our right passeth from us through 
words of the future. 11. Compacts of mutual faith, in the 
state of nature are of no effect and vain ; but not so in civil 
government. 12. That no man can make compacts with 
beasts, nor yet with God without revelation. 13. Nor yet 
make a vow to God. 14. That compacts oblige not beyond 
our utmost endeavour. 15. By what means we are freed 
from our compacts. 16. That promises extorted through fear 
of death, in the state of nature are valid. 17. A later compact 
contradicting the former, is invalid. 18. A compact not to 
resist him that shall prejudice my body, is invalid. 19. A 
compact to accuse one's self, is invalid. 20. The definition of 
swearing. 21. That swearing is to be conceived in that form 
which he useth that takes the oath. 22. An oath superadds 
nothing to the obligation which is made by compact. " 23. An 
oath ought not to be pressed, but where the breach of com- 
pacts may be kept private, or cannot be punished but from 
God himself. 

CHAP. ii. * A LL aut h rs agree not concerning the definition 

' ' of the natural law, who notwithstanding do very 

That the law - , - . , . ... mi 

of nature is not often make use of this term in their writings. The 

method therefore wherein we begin from definitions 
' of reason. an( j exclusion of all equivocation, is only proper 


to them who leave no place for contrary disputes. CHAP. n. 
For the rest, if any man say that somewhat is done n ^" t he"iaw' 
against the law of nature, one proves it hence ; be- of nature is not 

. _ 11 / an agree 110610 * <>f 

cause it was done against the general agreement of men, but the me. 
all the mqst wise and learned nations : but this tete reason * 
declares not who shall be the judge of the wisdom 
and learning of all nations. Another hence, that it 
was done against the general consent of all man- 
kind ; which definition is by no means to be ad- 
mitted. For then it were impossible for any but 
children and fools, to offend against such a law ; 
for sure, under the notion of mankind, they com- 
prehend all men actually endued with reason. 
These therefore either do nought against it, or if 
they do augbt, it is without their own consent, and 
therefore ought to be excused. But to receive the 
laws of nature from the consents of them who 
oftener break than observe them, is in truth un- 
reasonable. Besides, men condemn the same things 
in others, which they approve in themselves ; 
on the other side, they publicly commend what 
they privately condemn ; and they deliver their 
opinions more by hearsay, than any speculation 
of their own ; and they accord more through 
hatred of some object, through fear, hope, love, or 
some other perturbation pf mind, than true reason. 
And therefore it comes to pass, that whole bodies 
of people often do those things with the greatest 
unanimity and earnestness, which those writers most 
willingly acknowledge to be against the law of na- 
ture. (But since all do grant, that is done by right, 
which is not done against reason, we ought to judge 
those actions only wrong, which are repugnant to 
right reason, that is, which contradict some certain 


CHAP. ii. truth collected by right reasoning from true prin- 
*~~* ciples. But that which is done wrong, we say it is 
done against some law. Therefore true reason is 
a certain law; which, since it is no less a part 
of human nature, than any other faculty or affec- 
tion of the mind, is also termed natural. There- 
fore the law of nature, that I may define it, is 
the dictate of right reason, * conversant about 
those things which are either to be done or omit- 
ted for the constant preservation of life and mem- 
bers, as much as in us lies. 
That the funda- 2. But the first and fundamental law of nature 

mental law of . . 

nature, is to seek is, that peace is to be sought after, where it may he 
ound; and where not, there to provide ourselves 

f or hel P s f W(ir - For we showed ^ the last arti- 
cle of the foregoing chapter, that this precept is 
the dictate of right reason ; but that the dictates 

* Right reason.] By right reason in the natural state of men, 
I understand not, as many do, an infallible faculty, but the act 
of reasoning, that is, the peculiar and true ratiocination of every 
man concerning those actions of his, which may either redound 
to the damage or benefit of his neighbours. I call it peculiar, 
because although in a civil government the reason of the supreme, 
that is, the civil law, is to be received by each single subject for 
the right ; yet being without this civil government, in which 
state no man can know right reason from false, but by comparing 
it with his own, every man's own reason is to be accounted, not 
only the rule of his own actions, which are done at his own peril, 
but also for the measure of another man's reason, in such things 
as do concern him. I call it true, that is, concluding from true 
principles rightly framed, because that the whole breach of the 
laws of nature consists in the false reasoning, or rather folly of 
those men, who see not those duties they are necessarily to per- 
form towards others in order to their own conservation. But the 
principles of right reasoning about such like duties, are those 
which are explained in the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and 
seventh articles of the first chapter. 


of right reason are natural laws, that hath been CHAP. n. 
newly proved above. But this is the first, because ' ' 
the rest are derived from this, and they direct the 
ways either to peace or self-defence. 

3. But one of the natural laws derived from this The first P^W 

, _ i -* 7 7 /* 77 ^ aw ^ nature is, 

fundamental one is this : that the right of all men that our rights to 
to all things ought not to be retained ; but that n 
some certain rights ought to be transferred or re- 
linquished. For if every one should retain his 
right to all things, it must necessarily follow, that 
some by right might invade, and others, by the 
same right, might defend themselves against them. 
For every man by natural necessity endeavours to 
defend his body, and the things which he judgeth 
necessary towards the protection of his body. There- 
fore war would follow. He therefore acts against 
the reason of peace, that is, against the law of 
nature, whosoever he be, that doth not part with 
his right to all things. 

4. But he is said to part with his right, who what it 

, . . quit our right : 

either absolutely renounceth it, or conveys it to whattoconveyit 

another. He absolutely renounceth it, who by 

some sufficient sign or meet tokens declares, that 

he is willing that it shall never be lawful for him 

to do that again, which before by right he might 

have done. But he conveys it to another, who by 

some sufficient sign or "meet tokens declares to 

that other, that he is willing it should be unlawful 

for him to resist him, in going about to do some- 

what in the performance whereof he might before 

with right have resisted him. >But that the con- 

veyance of right consists merely in not resisting, 

is understood by this, that before it was conveyed, 

he to whom he conveyed it, had even then also a 




The win of 

be conveyed. 

CHAP. ii~ right to all ; whence he could not give any new right ; 

^ ' " but the resisting right he had before he gave it, 
by reason whereof the other could not freely en- 
joy his rights, is utterly abolished., Whosoever 
therefore acquires some right in the natural state 
of men, he only procures himself security and free- 
dom from just molestation in the enjoyment of his 
primitive right. As for example, if any man shall 
sell or give away a farm, he utterly deprives him- 
self only from all right to this farm ; but he does 
not so others also. 

5. But in the conveyance of right, the will is re- 
quisite not only of him that conveys, but'of him 
a ls that accepts it. If either be wanting, the 
Y ig}^ remains. For if I would have given what was 
mine to one who refused to accept of it, I have 
not therefore either simply renounced my right, or 
conveyed it to any man. For the cause which moved 
me to part with it to this man, was in him only, 
not in others too. 

(j. g u t if there be no other token extant of our 

. . 

will either to quit or convey our right, but only 
the time present. wor( j s . those words must either relate to the pre- 

sent or time past ; for if they be of the future only, 
they convey nothing. For example, he that speaks 
thus of the time to come, / will give to-morrow, 
declares openly that yet he hath not given it. So 
that all this day his right remains, and abides to- 
morrow too, unless in the interim he actually be- 
stows it : for what is mine, remains mine till I 
have parted with it. But if I shall speak of the 
time present, suppose thus ; / do give or have 
given you this to be received to-morrow : by these 
words is signified that I have already given it, and 

words con. 

vey not, except 

they relate to 


that his right to receive it to-morrow is conveyed CHAP. n. 
to him by me to-day. "~ ' ""* 

7- Nevertheless, although words alone are not words of 
sufficient tokens to declare the will; if yet 
words relating to the future there shall 
other signs be added, they may become as valid as be not wanting. 
if they had been spoken of the present. If there- 
fore, as by reason of those other signs, it appear that 
he that speaks of the future, intends those words 
should be effectual toward the perfect transferring 
of his right, they ought to be valid. For the con- 
veyance of right depends not on words, but, as 
hath been instanced in the fourth article, on the 
declaration of the will. 

8. If any man convey some part of his right to in matters of 

,,, , . - t n free gift, words 

another, and doth not this tor some certain benefit of the future 

i n . convey no right. 

received, or tor some compact, a conveyance in 
this kind is called a gift or free donation. But in 
free donation, those words only oblige us, which sig- 
nify the present or the time past ; for if they re- 
spect the future, they oblige not as words, for the 
reason given in the foregoing article. It must needs 
therefore be, that the obligation arise from some 
other tokens of the will. But, because whatsoever is 
voluntarily done, is done for some good to him that 
wills it $ there can no other token be assigned of the 
will to give it, except some benefit either already 
received, or to be acquired. But it is supposed 
that no such benefit is acquired, nor any compact 
in being ; for if so, it would cease to be a free gift. 
It remains therefore, that a mutual good turn with- 
out agreement be expected. But no sign can be 
given, that he, who used future words toward him 
who was in no sort engaged to return a benefit, 



CHAP. ii. should desire to have his words so understood as 
' ' ' to oblige himself thereby. Nor is it suitable to 
reason, that those who are easily inclined to do 
well to others, should be obliged by every promise, 
testifying their present good affection. And for this 
cause, a promiser in this kind must be understood 
to have time to deliberate, and power to change 
that affection, as well as he to whom he made that 
promise, may alter his desert. But he that deli- 
berates, is so far forth free, nor can be said to have 
already given. But if he promise often, and yet 
give seldom, he ought to be condemned of levity, 
and be called not a donor, but doson. 

Thedefmi- 9. But the act of two, or more, mutually con- 

tion of contract . . . . , _. , -L 

and covenant, veying their rights, is called a contract. But in 
every contract, either both parties instantly per- 
form what they contract for, insomuch as there is 
no trust had from either to other ; or the one per- 
forms, the other is trusted; or neither perform. 
Where both parties perform presently, there the 
contract is ended as soon as it is performed. But 
where there is credit given, either to one or both, 
there the party trusted promiseth after-perform- 
ance ; and this kind of promise is called a cove- 

in covenants, we |Q g u t the covenant made by the party trusted 
rights by words with him who hath already performed, although 
tbe the promise be made by words pointing at the fu- 
ture, doth no less transfer the right of future time, 
than if it had been made by words signifying the 
present or time past. For the other's performance 
is a most manifest sign that he so understood the 
speech of him whom he trusted, as that he would 
certainly make performance also at the appointed 


time ; and by this sign the party trusted knew CHAP. n. 
himself to be thus understood ; which because he ' ' 
hindered not, was an evident token of his will to 
perform. The promises therefore which are made 
for some benefit received, which are also cove- 
nants, are tokens of the will; that is, as in the 
foregoing section hath been declared, of the last 
act of deliberating, whereby the liberty of .non-per- 
formance is abolished, and by consequence are obli- 
gatory. For where liberty ceaseth, there beginneth 

11. But the covenants which are made in con- covenants, in 
tract of mutual trust, neither, party performing out 
of hand, if there arise* a just suspicion in either 
of them, are in the state of nature invalid. For he c 
that first performs, by reason of the wicked dispo- 
sition of the greatest part of men studying their 
own advantage either by right or wrong, exposeth 
himself to the perverse will of him with whom 
he hath contracted. For it suits not with reason, 
that any man should perform first, if it be not 
likely that the other will make good his promise 
after ; which, whether it be probable or not, he 
that doubts it must be judge of, as hath been 
showed in the foregoing chapter in the ninth article. 
Thus, I say, things stand in the state of na- 
ture. But in a civil state, when there is a power 
which can compel both parties, he that hath con- 


* Arise."] For, except there appear some new cause of fear, J 
either from somewhat done, or some other token of the will not 
to perform from the other part, it cannot be judged to be a just 
fear ; for the cause which was not sufficient to keep him from 
making compact, must not suffice to authorize the breach of it, 
being made. 


CHAP. ii. tracted to perform first, must first perform; be- 
' " ' cause, that since the other may be compelled, the 

cause which made him fear the other's non-perfor- 

mance, ceaseth. 
That no 12. But from this reason, that in all free gifts 

man can make 1 , /* i 

compacts with and compacts there is an acceptance of the con- 

veyance of right required : it follows that no man 
out revelation. can com p ac t with him who doth not declare his 
acceptance. And therefore we cannot compact 
with beasts, neither can we give or take from them 
any manner of right, by reason of their want of 
speech and understanding. Neither can any man 
covenant with God, or be obliged to him by vow ; 
except so far forth as it appears to him by Holy 
Scriptures, that he hath substituted certain men 
who have authority to accept of such-like vows and 
covenants, as being in God's stead. 

Nor yet vow 13. Those therefore do vow in vain, who are in 
the state of nature, where they are not tied by any 
civil law, except, by most certain revelation, the 
will of God to accept their vow or pact, be made 
known to them. For if what they vow be contrary 
to the law of nature, they are not tied by their 
vow ; for no man is tied to perform an unlawful 
act. But if what is vowed, be commanded by some 
law of nature, it is not their vow, but the law it- 
self which ties them. But if he were free, before 
his vow; either to do it or not do it, his liberty re- 
mains ; because that the openly declared will of the 
obliger is requisite to make an obligation by vow ; 
which, in the case propounded, is supposed not to 
be. Now I call him the obliger, to whom any one 
is tied ; and the obliged, him who is tied. 


14. Covenants are made of such things only as CHAP.II. 
fall under our deliberation. For it can be no cove- ' ' 

n / -r Compacts 

nant without the will of the contractor. But th 

will is the last act of him who deliberates ;; where- 
fore they only concern things possible and to come. 
No man, therefore, by his compact obligeth him- 
self to an impossibility. But yet, though we often 
covenant to do such things as then seemed possible 
when we promised them, which yet afterward ap- 
pear to be impossible, are we not therefore freedfrom 
all obligation. The reason whereof is, that he who 
promiseth a future, in certainty receives a present 
benefit, on condition that he return another for it. 
For his will, who performs the present benefit, hath 
simply before it for its object a certain good, equally 
valuable with the thing promised ; but the thing 
itself not simply, but with condition if it could be 
done. But if it should so happen, that even this 
should prove impossible, why then he must perform 
as much as he can. Covenants, therefore, oblige us 
not to perform just the thing itself covenanted for, 
but our utmost endeavour ; for this only is, the 
things themselves are not in our power. 

15. We are freed from covenants two ways, in what man. 
either , by performing, or by being forgiven. By 
performing, for beyond that we obliged not our- 
selves. By being forgiven, because he whom we 
obliged ourselves to, by forgiving is conceived to 
return us that right which we passed over to him. 

For forgiving implies giving, that is, by the fourth 
article of this chapter, a conveyance of right to him 
to whom the gift is made. 

16. It is a usual question, whether compacts 


CHAP, ii. extorted from us through fear, do oblige or not. 
Promise* forced ^ or exam pl e > H, to redeem my life from the power 
from us through of a robber, I promise to pay him 1001. next day. 

fear of death, are , . _ .,, , 

valid m the state and that 1 will do no act whereby to apprehend 
and bring him to justice: whether I am tied to keep 
promise or not. But though such a promise must 
sometimes be judged to be of no effect, yet it is not 
to be accounted so because it proceedeth from fear. 
For then it would follow, that those promises which 
reduced men to a civil life, and by which laws were 
made, might likewise be of none effect ; (for it pro- 
ceeds from fear of mutual slaughter, that one man 
submits himself to the dominion of another) ; and 
he should play the fool finely, who should trust his 
captive covenanting with the price of his redemp- 
tion. : It holds universally true, that promises do 
oblige, when there is some benefit received, and 
when the promise, and the thing promised, belawful. 
But it is lawful, for the redemption of my life, both 
to promise and to give what I will of mine own 
to any man, even to a thief. We are obliged, there- 
fore, by promises proceeding from fear, except the 
civil law forbid them ; by virtue whereof, that which 
is promised becomes unlawful. 

*7. Whosoever shall contract with one to do or 
invaiid. om i t somewhat, and shall after covenant the con- 
trary with another, he maketh not the former, but 
the latter contract unlawful. For he hath no longer 
right to do or to omit aught, who by former con- 
tracts hath conveyed it to another. Wherefore he 
can convey no right by latter contracts, and what 
is promised is promised without right. He is there- 
fore tied only to his first contract, to break which 
is unlawful. 


18. No man is obliged by any contracts whatso- CHAP, n. 
ever not to resist him who shall offer to kill, wound, 
or any other way hurt his body. For there is 
every man a certain high degree of fear, through 
which he apprehends that evil which is done to 
him to be the greatest ; and therefore by natural 
necessity he shuns it all he can, and it is supposed 
he can do no otherwise. When a man is arrived 
to this degree of fear, we cannot expect but he will 
provide for himself either by flight or fight. Since 
therefore no man is tied to impossibilities, they 
who are threatened either with death, (which is the 
greatest evil to nature), or wounds, or some other 
bodily hurts, and are not stout enough to bear them, 
are not obliged to endure them. Furthermore, he 
that is tied by contract is trusted ; for faith only 
is the bond of contracts ; but they who are brought 
to punishment, either capital or more gentle, are 
fettered or strongly guarded ; which is a most cer- 
tain sign that 'they seemed not sufficiently bound 
from non-resistance by their contracts. It is one 
thing, if I promise thus : if I do it not at the day 
appointed, kill me. Another thing, if thus : if I do 
it not, though you should offer to kill me, I will 
not resist. All men, if need be, contract the first 
way, and there is need sometimes. This second 
way, none ; neither is it ever needful. For in the 
mere state of nature, if you have a mind to kill, 
that state itself affords you a right ; insomuch as 
you need not first trust him, if for breach of trust 
you will afterwards kill him. But in a civil state, 
where the right of life and death and of all corpo- 
ral punishment is with the supreme, that same 
right of killing cannot be granted to anv private 


CHAP. ii. person. Neither need the supreme himself con- 
' tract with any man patiently to yield to his pun- 
ishment ; but only this, that no man offer to defend 
others from him. N If in the state of nature, as be- 
tween two realms, there should a contract be made 
on condition of killing if it were not performed, 
we must presuppose another contract of not kill- 
ing before the appointed day. Wherefore on that 
day, if there be no performance, the right of war 
returns, that is a hostile state, in which all things 
are lawful, and therefore resistance also^ Lastly, 
by the contract of not resisting, we are obliged, of 
two evils to make choice of that which seems the 
greater. For certain death is a greater evil than 
fighting. But of two evils it is impossible not to 
choose the least. By such a compact, therefore, 
we should be tied to impossibilities ; which is con- 
trary to the very nature of compacts. 

The compact 19. Likewise no man is tied by any compacts 
whatsoever to accuse himself, or any other, by 
whose damage he is like to procure himself a bit- 
ter life. Wherefore neither is a father obliged to 
bear witness against his son, nor a husband against 
his wife, nor a son against his father, nor any man 
against any one by whose means he hath his sub- 
sistence ; for in vain is that testimony which is 
presumed to be corrupted from nature. But 
although no man be tied to accuse himself by any 
compact, yet in a public trial he may by torture 
be forced to make answer. But such answers are 
no testimony of the fact, but helps for the search- 
ing out of truth ; so that whether the party tortured 
his answer be true or false, or whether he answer 
not at all, whatsoever he doth, he doth it by right. 


20.vJ3wearing is a speech joined to a promise, CHAP. IT. 
whereby the promiser declares his renouncing of Th 7 del [ nitio ^ 
God's mercy, unless he perform his word. Which of an oath. 
definition is contained in the words themselves, 
which have in them the very essence of an oath, 
to wit, so God help me, or other equivalent, as 
with the Romans, do thou Jupiter so destroy the 
deceiver, as I slay this same beast. Neither is this 
any let, but that an oath may as well sometimes 
be affirmatory as promissory ; for he that confirms 
his affirmation with an oath, promiseth that he 
speaks truth. But though in some places it was 
the fashion for subjects to swear by their kings, 
that custom took its original hence, that those 
kings took upon them divine honour. For oaths 
were therefore introduced, that by religion and 
consideration of the divine power, men might 
have a, greater dread of breaking their faiths, than 
that wherewith they fear men, from whose eyes 
their actions may lie hid. 

2 1 . Whence it follows that an oath must be The swearing 
conceived in that form, which he useth who takes vea L that 
it ; for in vain is any man brought to swear by a Sj 

God whom he believes not, and therefore neither 
fears him. For though by the light of nature it 
may be* known that there is a God, yet no man 
thinks he is to swear by him in any other fashion, 
or by any other name, than what is contained in 
the precepts of his own proper, that is (as he who 
swears imagines) the true religion. 

22. By the definition of an oath, we may under- swearing adds 

-. , . _ , . nothing to the 

stand that a bare contract obligeth no less, than obligation which 
that to which we are sworn. For it is the contract M bj compact< 
which binds us ; the oath relates to the divine 




An oath is not 
to be pressed, 
but where the 
breach of con- 
tract can either 
be kept private, 
or not be pun- 
ished but from 
God alone. 

punishment, which it could not provoke, if the 
breach of contract were not in itself unlawful ; but 
it could not be unlawful, if the contract were not 
obligatory. Furthermore, he that renounceth the 
mercy of God, obligeth himself not to any punish- 
ment ; because it is ever lawful to deprecate the 
punishment, howsoever provoked, and to enjoy 
God's pardon if it be granted. The only effect 
therefore of an oath is this ; to cause men, who are 
naturally inclined to break all manner of faith, 
through fear of punishment to make the more 
conscience of their words and actions. 

23. To exact an oath where the breach of con- 
tract, if any be made, cannot but be known, and 
where the party compacted withal wants not 
power to punish, is to do somewhat more than is 
necessary unto self-defence, and shews a mind de- 
sirous not so much to benefit itself, as to prejudice 
another. For an oath, out of the very form of 
swearing, is taken in order to the provocation of 
God's anger, that is to say, of him that is omnipo- 
tent, against those who therefore violate their faith, 
because they think that by their own strength they 
can escape the punishment of men ; and of him 
that is omniscient, against those who therefore 
usually break their trust, because they hope that 
no man shall see them. 




1. The second law of nature, is to perform contracts. 2. That 
trust is to be held with all men without exception. 3. What 
injury is. 4. Injury can be done to none but those with whom 
we contract. 5. The distinction of justice into that of men, 
and that of actions. 6. The distinction of commutative and 
distributive justice examined. 7. No injury can be done to 
him that is willing. 8. The third law of nature, concerning 
ingratitude. 9. The fourth law of nature, that every man 
render himself useful. 10. The fifth law, of mercy. 11. The 
sixth law, that punishments regard the future only. 12. The 
seventh law, against reproach. 13. The eighth law, against 
pride. 14. The ninth law, of humility. 15. The tenth, of 
equity, or against acceptance of persons. 16. The eleventh, 
of things to be had in common. 17. The twelfth, of things 
to be divided by lot. 18. The thirteenth, of birthright and 
first possession. 19. The fourteenth, of the safeguard of them 
who are mediators for peace. 20. The fifteenth, of consti- 
tuting an umpire. 21. The sixteenth, that no man is judge 
in his own cause. 22. The seventeenth, that umpires must be 
without all hope of reward from those whose cause is to be 
judged. 23. The eighteenth, of witnesses. 24?. The nine- 
teenth, that there can no contract be made with the umpire. 
25. The twentieth, against gluttony, and all such things as 
hinder the use of reason. 26. The rule by which we may 
presently know, whether what we are doing be against the law 
of nature or not. 27. The laws of nature oblige only in the 
court of conscience. 28. The laws of nature are sometimes 
broke Uy doing things agreeable to those laws. 29. The 
laws of nature are unchangeable. 30. Whosoever endeavours 
to fulfil the laws of nature, is a just man. 31 . The natural and 
moral law are one. 32. How it comes to pass, that what hath 
been said of the laws of nature, is not the same with what 
philosophers have delivered concerning the virtues. 33. The 
law of nature is not properly a law, but as it is delivered in 
Holy Writ. 

1. ANOTHER of the laws of nature is, to perform CHAP. in. 
contracts, or to keep trust. For it hath been ' ' ' 


CHAP. in. showed in the foregoing chapter, that the law of 
The second law nature commands every man, as a thing necessary, 
" to ' 3ta " 1 P eace > tP convey certain rights from 
each to other ; and that this, as often as it shall 
happen to be done, is called a contract. But this 
is so far forth only conducible to peace, as we 
shall perform ourselves what we contract with 
others shall be done or omitted ; and in vain 
would contacts be made, unless we stood to them. 
Because therefore to stand to our covenants, or to 
keep faith, is a thing necessary for the obtaining 
of peace ; it will prove, by the second article of the 
second chapter, to be a precept of the natural 
That faith is 2. Neither is there in this matter any exception 

to he kept with . J . _ r 

aii men with- or the persons with whom we contract ; as if they 
out exception. k ee p no f^th ^fifa others, or hold that none 

ought to be kept, or are guilty of any other kind 
of vice. For he that contracts, in that he doth 
contract, denies that action to be in vain ; and it is 
against reason for a knowing man to do a thing in 
vain ; and if he think himself not bound to keep 
it, in thinking so he affirms the contract to be 
made in vain. He therefore who contracts with 
one with whom he thinks he is not bound to keep 
faith, he doth at once think a contract to be a 
thing done in vain, and not in vain 4 which is ab- 
surd. Either therefore we must hold trust with 
all men, or else not bargain with them ; that is, 
either there must be a declared war, or a sure and 
faithful peace. 

injury defined. 3. The breaking of a bargain, as also the taking 
back of a gift, (which ever consists in some action 
or omission), is called an injury. But that action 


or omission is called unjust ; insomuch as an injury, CHAP. in. 
and an unjust action or omission, signify the same ' ' ' 
thing, and both are the same with breach of con- 
tract and trust. ( And it seems the word injury 
came to be given to any action or omission, be- 
cause they were without right ; he that acted or 
omitted, having before conveyed his right to some 
other. And there is some likeness between that 
which in the common course of life we call injury , 
and that which in the Schools is usually called 
absurd. For even as he who by arguments is 
driven to deny the assertion which he first main- 
tained, is said to be brought to an absurdity ; in 
like manner, he who through weakness of mind 
does or omits that which before he had by con- 
tract promised not to do or omit, commits an in- 
jury, and falls into no less contradiction than he 
who in the Schools is reduced to an absurdity. 
For by contracting for some future action, he wills 
it done ; by not doing it, he wills it not done : which 
is to will a thing done and not done at the same 
time, which is a contradiction. An injury there- 
fore is a kind of absurdity in conversation, as an 
absurdity is a kind of injury in disputation. 

4. From these grounds it follows, that an in- An injury can 
jury can be done to no man* but him with whom h"m wiViThom 

^e contract. 

* Injury can be done to no man, Sfc.] The word injustice 
relates to some law : injury, to some person, as well as some law. 
For what is unjust, is unjust to all ; but there may an injury be 
done, and yet not against me, nor thee, but some other ; and 
sometimes against no private person, but the magistrate only ; 
sometimes also neither against the magistrate, nor any private 
man, but only against God. For through contract and con- 
veyance of right, we say, that an injury is done against this 
or that man. Hence it is, which we see in all kind of govern- 


CHAP. in. we enter covenant, or to whom somewhat is made 
' " ' over by deed of gift, or to whom somewhat is pro- 
mised by way of bargain. And therefore damaging 
and injuring are often disjoined./ For if a master 
command his servant, who hath promised to obey 
him, to pay a sum of money, or carry some pre- 
sent to a third man ; the servant, if he do it not, 
hath indeed damaged this third party, but he in- 
jured his master only. So also in a civil govern- 
ment, if any man offend another with whom he 
hath made no contract, he damages him to whom 
the evil is done ; but he injures none but him to 
whom the power of government belongs. For if he 
who receives the hurt should expostulate the mis- 
chief, he that did it should answer thus : what 
art thou to me ; why should I rather do accord- 
ing to your than mine own will, since I do not 
hinder but you may do your own, and not my 
mind? In which speech, where there hath no 
manner of pre-contract passed, I see not, I confess, 
what is reprehensible. 

The distinction 5. These words, just arid unjust, as also justice 

of justice into . . ' * . J ' . J 

thatofmenand and injustice, are equivocal ; for they signify one 
actions. thing when they are attributed to persons, another 
when to actions. When they are attributed to 
actions, just signifies as much as what is done with 
right, and unjust, as what is done with injury. He 
who hath done some just thing, is not therefore 

ment, that what private men contract between themselves by 
word or writing, is released again at the will of the obliger. 
But those mischiefs which are done against the laws of the land, 
as theft, homicide, and the like, are punished, not as he wills 
to whom the hurt is done, but according to the will of the 
magistrate ; that is, the constituted laws. 


said to be a just person, but guiltless ; and he that CHAP. in. 
hath done some unjust thing, we do not therefore ' ' 
say he is an unjust, but guilty man. But when 
the words are applied to persons, to be just signi- 
fies as much as to be delighted in just dealing, to 
study how to do righteousness, or to endeavour in 
all things to do that which is just ; and to be un- 
just is to neglect righteous dealing, or to think it 
is to be measured not according to my contract, 
but some present benefit. So as the justice or in- 
justice of the mind, the intention, or the man, is 
one thing, that of an action or omission another ; 
and innumerable actions of a just man may be un- 
just, and of an unjust man, just. But that man is 
to be accounted just, who doth just things because 
the law commands it, unjust things only by reason 
of his infirmity ; and he is properly said to be un- 
just, who doth righteousness for fear of the punish- 
ment annexed unto the law, and unrighteousness 
by reason of the iniquity of his mind. } 

6. The justice of actions is commonly distin- The distinc. 

. i -i , i>i A A* -i T , -i tionofcommu- 

guished into two kinds, commutative and dist.nbu- tative and di. 
tiye ; the former whereof, they ""say, consists i 
arithmetical, the latter in geometrical proportion ; 
and that is conversant in exchanging, in buying, 
selling, borrowing, lending, location and conduc- 
tion, and other acts whatsoever belonging to con- 
tractors ; where, if there be(aii equal return made, 
hence, they say, springs a commutative justice :) but 
this is busied about the dignity and merits of men ; 
so as if there be rendered to every man Kara rfiv 
a&'av, more to him who is more worthy, and less to 
him that deserves less, and thatif proportionably ; 
hence, they say, ariseth distributive justice.) I ac- 



CHAP. HI. knowledge here some certain distinction of equal- 
The distinct ^7 2 to w ^ ^^ one * s an equality simply so 
tion of comma- called; as when two things of equal value are com- 

tative and dis- . 

tributivejus. pared together, as a pound of silver with twelve 
ounces of the same silver : the other is an equality 
secundum quod ; as when a thousand pounds is to 
be divided to a hundred men, six hundred pounds 
are given to sixty men, and four hundred to forty, 
where there is no equality between six hundred 
and four hundred ; but when it happens that there 
is the same inequality in the number of them to 
whom it is distributed, every one of them shall 
take an equal part, whence it is called an equal 
distribution. But such like equality is the same 
thing with geometrical proportion. But what is 
all this to justice ? For neither if I sell my goods 
for as much as I can get for them, do I injure the 
buyer, who sought and desired them of me ; 
neither if I divide more of what is mine to him 
who deserves less, so long as I give the other what 
I have agreed for, do I wrong to either. Which 
truth our Saviour himself, being God, testifies in 
the Gospel. This therefore is no distinction of 
justice, but of equality. Yet perhaps it cannot be 
denied but that justice is a certain equality, as 
consisting in this only ; that since we are all equal 
by nature, one should not arrogate more right to 
himself than he grants to another, unless he have 
fairly gotten it by compact. And let this suffice 
to be spoken against this distinction of justice, 
although now almost generally received by all ; lest 
any man should conceive an injury to be somewhat 
else than the breach of faith or contract, as hath 
been defined above. 


7. It is an old saying, volenti non fit injuria, CHAP. m. 
the willing man receives no injury ; yet the truth "" ' 
of it may be derived from our principles. For^lZTtohim 
grant that a man be willing that that should be that i8 willing " 
done which he conceives to be an injury to him ; 

why then, that is done by his will, which by con- 
tract was not lawful to be done. But he being will- 
ing that should be done which was not lawful by 
contract, the contract itself (by the fifteenth article 
of the foregoing chapter) becomes void. The 
right therefore of doing it returns ; therefore it is 
done by right ; wherefore it is no injury. 

8. The third precept of the natural law is, that The thml 

7.77 x, 7 law of nature, 

you suffer not him to be the worse jor you, who, of ingratitude. 
out of the confidence he had in you, first did you 
a good turn ; or that you accept not a gift, but 
with a mind to endeavour that the giver shall 
have no just occasion to repent him of his gift. 
For without this, he should act without reason, that 
would confer a benefit where he sees it would be 
lost ; and by this means all beneficence and trust, 
together with all kind of benevolence, would be 
taken from among men, neither would there be 
aught of mutual assistance among them, nor any 
commencement of gaining grace and favour ; by 
reason whereof the state ojf war would necessarily 
remain, contrary to the fundamental law of na- 
ture. But because the breach of this law is not a 
breach of trust or contract, (for we suppose no 
contracts to have passed among them), therefore is 
it not usually termed an injury ; but because good 
turns and thanks have a mutual eye to each other, 
it is called ingratitude. 



The fourth 
law of nature, 
that every 
man render 
himself useful. 

CHAP,, in. 9. The fourth precept of nature is, that every 
man render himself useful unto others : which 
that we may rightly understand, we must remem- 
ber that there is in men a diversity of dispositions 
to enter into society, arising from the diversity of 
their affections, not unlike that which is found in 
stones, brought together in the building, by reason 
of the diversity of their matter and figure. For as 
a stone, which in regard of its sharp and angular 
form takes up more room from other stones than 
it fills up itself, neither because of the hardness of 
its matter can it well be pressed together, or 
easily cut, and would hinder the building from 
being fitly compacted, is cast away, as not fit for 
use : so a man, for the harshness of his dispo- 
sition in retaining superfluities for himself, and 
detaining of necessaries from others, and being 
incorrigible by reason of the stubbornness of his 
affections, is commonly said to be useless and 
troublesome unto others. Now, because each one 
not by right only, but even by natural necessity, is 
supposed with all his main might to intend the 
procurement of those things which are necessary 
to his own preservation ; if any man will contend 
on the other side for superfluities, by his default 
there will arise a war ; because that on him alone 
there lay no necessity of contending ; he therefore 
acts against the fundamental law of nature. Whence 
it follows, (which we were to show), that it is a pre- 
cept of nature, that every man accommodate him- 
self to others. \ But he who breaks this law* may be 
called useless and troublesome. Yet Cicero oppo- 
seth inhumanity to this usefulness, as having re 
gard to this very law. 


10. The fifth precept of the law of nature is, CHAP, in, 
that we must forgive him who repents and asks ^"^ ]aw " 
pardon for what is past, having first taken can- of nature, or 
tionfor the time to come. The pardon of what is 
past, or the remission of an offence, is nothing 
else but the granting of peace to him that asketh 
it, after he hath warred against us, and now is be- 
come penitent. But peace granted to him that 
repents not, that is, to him that retains a hostile 
mind, or that gives not caution for the future, 
that is, seeks not peace, but opportunity; is not 
properly peace, but fear, and therefore is not com- 
manded by nature. Now to him that will not 
pardon the penitent and that gives future caution, 
peace itself it seems is not pleasing : which is con- 
trary to the natural law. 

1 1 . The sixth precept of the natural law is, that The sixth law, 

, r . j - that punish- 

in revenge ana punishments we must have our eye mentsoniyre- 
not at the evil past, but the future good : that gard the fotur8 ' 
is, it is not Idwful to inflict punishment for any 
other end, but that the offender may be corrected, 
or that others warned by his punishment may be- 
come better. But this is confirmed chiefly from 
hence, that each man is bound by the law of na- 
ture to forgive one another, provided he give cau- 
tion for. the future, as Jiath been showed in the 
foregoing article. Furthermore, because 'revenge, 
if the time past be only considered, is nothing else 
but a certain triumph and glory of mind, which 
points at no end ; for it contemplates only what is 
past, but the end is a thing to come ; but that 
which is directed to no end, is vain : that revenge 
therefore which regards not the future, proceeds 
from vain glory, and is therefore without reason. 


CHAP. in. But to hurt another without reason, introduces a 
' ' war, and is contrary to the fundamental law of 
nature. It is therefore a precept of the law of 
nature, that in revenge we look not backwards, 
but forward. ( Now the breach of this law is com- 
monly called cruelty. 

rhe seventh J2. But because all signs of hatred and con- 

!aw of nature, ~ i r i 

igainst slander, tempt provoke most of all to brawling and fight- 
ing, insomuch as most men would rather lose their 
lives (that I say not, their peace) than suffer slan- 
der ; it follows in the seventh place, that it is pre- 
scribed by the law of nature, that no man, either 
by deeds or words, countenance or laughter, do 
declare himself to hate or scorn another. The 
breach of which law is called reproach. But 
although nothing be more frequent than the scoffs 
and jeers of the powerful against the weak, and 
namely, of judges against guilty persons, which 
neither relate to the offence of the guilty, nor the 
duty of the judges ; yet these kind of men do act 
against the law of nature, and are to be esteemed 
for contumelious. 

The eighth law, 13. The question whether of two men be the 

against pride. 111 i 11 

more worthy, belongs not to the natural, but civil 
state. For it hath been showed before (Chap. I. 
Art. 3) that all men by nature are equal ; and 
therefore the inequality which now is, suppose 
from riches, power, nobility of kindred, is come 
from the civil law. I know that Aristotle, in his 
first book of Politics, affirms as a foundation of 
the whole political science, that some men by 
nature are made worthy to command, others only 
to serve ; as if/lord and servant were distinguished 
not by consent of men, but by an aptness, that is, 


a certain kind of natural knowledge or ignorance. CHAP. HI. 
Which foundation is not only against reason, (as ' ' 
but now hath been showed), but also against ex- 
perience. For neither almost is any man so dull 
of understanding as not to judge it better to be 
ruled by himself, than to yield himself to the 
government of another ; neither if the wiser and 
stronger do contest, have these always or often 
the upper hand of those. Whether therefore men 
be equal by nature, the equality is to be acknow- 
ledged ; or whether unequal, because they are like 
to contest for dominion, it is necessary for the 
obtaining of peace, that they be esteemed as 
equal ; and therefore it is in the eighth place a 
precept of the law of nature, that every man be 
accounted by nature equal to another ; the con- 
trary to which law is pride. 

14. As it was necessary to the conservation of The ninth law, 
each man that he should part with some of his ofhuraillty ' 
rights, so it is no less necessary to the same con- 
servation that v he retain some others, to wit, the 
right of bodily protection, of free enjoyment of 
air, water, and all necessaries for life.' Since 
therefore many common rights are retained by 
those who enter into a peaceable state, and that 
many peculiar ones ar*e also acquired, hence 
ariseth this ninth dictate of the natural law, to 
wit, that what rights soever any man challenges to 
himself, he also grant the same as due to all the 
rest ; otherwise he frustrates the equality acknow- 
ledged in the former article. For what is it else 
to acknowledge an equality of persons in the 
making up of society, but to attribute equal right 
and power to those whom no reason would else 


CHAP, in. engage to enter into society r But to ascribe 
^ equal things to equals, is the same with giving 
things proportional to proportionals. The obser- 
vation of this law is called meekness, the violation 
7rAeovm ; the breakers by the Latins are styled im- 
modici et immodesti. 

Jf h eqSt^or aw ! 5 ' In the tenth P lace ^ is commanded by the 
against accept, law of nature, that every man in dividing right to 

ance of persons. ./ 7 7 . 7 / * .-. oo 

others, shew himself equal to either party. By 
the foregoing law we are forbidden to assume 
more right by nature to ourselves, than we grant 
to others. We may take less if we will; for that some- 
times is an argument of modesty. But if at any 
time matter of right be to be divided by us unto 
others, we are forbidden by this law to favour one 
more or less than another. For he that by favour- 
ing one before another observes not this natural 
equality, reproaches him whom he thus underva- 
lues : but it is declared above, that a reproach is 
against the laws of nature. The observance of this 
precept is called equity ; the breach, respect of 
persons. The Greeks in one word term it 

The eleventh 16. From the foregoing law is collected this 

law, of things _ 

to be had in eleventh, those things which cannot be divided, 
common. mus ( ~b e used in common if they can, and if the 
quantity of the matter permit, every man as much 
as he lists; but if the quantity permit not, then with 
limitation, and proportionally to the number of the 
users.' For otherwise that equality can by no means 
be observed, which we have showed in the fore- 
going article to be commanded by the law of na- 

17- Also what cannot be divided nor had in 


common, it is provided by the law of nature, CHAP. in. 
which may be the twelfth precept, that the use ^f^'^^ ' 
that thins be either by turns, or adjudged to oweiaw.of things to 

, i i . 7,7 . *j .'7 . , 7 be divided by lot. 

only by lot ; ana that in the using it by turns, it be 
also decided by lot, who shall have the first use 
of it. For here also regard is to be had unto 
equality : but no other can be found but that of 

18. But all lot is twofold, arbitrary or natural. ^ eth j r ^ h 

' y law, of birth- 

Arbitrary is that which is cast by the consent of right and fit 
the contenders, and it consists in mere chance, as p088es * lon ' 
they say, or fortune. Natural is primogeniture, 
in Greek fcXrjpovo^ia, as it were, given by lot ; or first 
possession. Therefore the things which can 
neither be divided nor had in common, must be 
granted to the first possessor ; as also those things 
which belonged to the father are due to the son, 
unless the father himself have formerly conveyed 
away that right to some other. Let this therefore 
stand for the thirteenth law of nature. 

19. The fourteenth precept of the law of nature The fourteenth 
is, that safety must be assured to the mediators 

for peace. For the reason which commands the 
end, commands also the means necessary to the 
end. But the first dictate of reason is peace ; all 
the rest are means to obtain it, and without which 
peace cannot be had. But neither can jpeace be 
had without mediation, nor mediation without 
safety. It is therefore a dictate of reason, that is, 
a law of nature, that w r e must give all security to 
the mediators for peace. 

20. Furthermore because, although men should The fifteenth 

in-i , , . . law, of appoint- 

agree to make all these and whatsoever other laws i ng 
of nature, and should endeavour to keep them, 


CHAP. in. yet doubts and controversies would daily arise 
r ~~' concerning the application of them unto their ac- 
tions, to wit, whether what was done were against 
the law or not, which we call the question of right ; 
whence will follow r a fight between parties, either- 
sides supposing themselves wronged : it is there- 
fore necessary to the preservation of peace, because 
in this case no other fit remedy can possibly be 
thought on, that both the disagreeing parties refer 
the matter unto some third, and oblige themselves 
by mutual compacts to stand to his judgment in 
deciding the controversy. And he to whom they 
thus refer themselves, is called an arbiter. It is 
therefore the fifteenth precept of the natural law, 
that both parties disputing concerning the matter 
of right, submit themselves unto the opinion and 
judgment of some third. 
The sixteenth 21. But from this ground, that an arbiter or 

law, that no T . 

man be judge judge is chosen by the differing parties to deter- 

mhlsowncause ' mine the controversy, we gather that the arbiter 
must not be one of the parties. For every man is 
presumed to seek what is good for himself natu- 
rally, and what is just only for peace sake and 
accidentally ; and therefore cannot observe that 
same equality commanded by the law of nature, so 
exactly as a third man would do. It is therefore 
in the sixteenth place contained in the law of na- 
ture, that no man must be judge or arbiter in his 
own cause. 

The seven- 22. From the same ground follows in the seven- 

t teenth place, that no man must be judge -, who pro- 
waS P oun ds unto himself any hope of profit or glory 

from the parties from the victory of either part : for the like rea- 

whoee cause ** . - , 

is to be judged, son sways here, as in the foregoing law. 


23. But when there is some controversy of the CHAP. in. 
fact itself, to wit. whether that be done or not "~ ' ' 

. The eighteenth 

which is said to be done, the natural law wills iaw,of witnesses. 
that the arbiter trust both parties alike, that is, 
because they affirm contradictories, that he believe 
neither. He must therefore give credit to a third, 
or a third and fourth, or more, that he may be 
able to give judgment of the fact, as often as by 
other signs he cannot come to the knowledge of it. 
The eighteenth law of nature therefore enjoins 
arbiters and judges of fact, that where firm and 
certain signs of the fact appear not, there they 
rule their sentence by such witnesses as seem 
to be indifferent to both parts. 

24. From the above declared definition of an ar- The nine- 
biter may be furthermore understood, that no con- luaTno^'tract 
tract or promise must pass between him and the *. ^ e m . a u d ^ 
parties whose judge he is appointed, by virtue 
whereof he may be engaged to speak in favour 
of either part, nay, or be obliged to judge ac- 
cording to equity, or to pronounce such sentence 
as he shall truly judge to be equal. The judge 
is indeed bound to give such sentence as he shall 
judge to be equal, by the law of nature recounted 
in the 15th article: to the obligation of which 
law nothing can be added by way of compact. 
Such compact therefore would be in vain. Be- 
sides, if giving wrong judgment he should con- 
tend for the equity of it, except such compact be 
of no force, the controversy would remain after 
judgment given: which is contrary to the constitu- 
tion of an arbiter, who is so chosen, as both parties 
have obliged themselves to stand to the judgment 
which he should pronounce. The law of nature 


CHAP. in. therefore commands the judge to be disengaged, 
' ' ' which is its nineteenth precept. 
The twentieth 25. Furthermore, forasmuch as the laws of na- 

law, against glut- 

tony and such ture are nought else but the dictates of reason ; so 
tiwueof rouwla as > unless a man endeavour to preserve the faculty 
of right reasoning, he cannot observe the laws of 
nature ; it is manifest, that he who knowingly or 
willingly doth aught whereby the rational faculty 
may be destroyed or weakened, he knowingly and 
willingly breaks the law of nature. For there is no 
difference between a man who performs not his 
duty, and him who does such things willingly as 
make it impossible for him to do it. But they 
destroy and weaken the reasoning faculty, who do 
that which disturbs the mind from its natural state ; 
that which most manifestly happens to drunkards, 
and gluttons. We therefore sin, in the twentieth 
place, against the law of nature by drunkenness. 
The mie by 26. Perhaps some man, who sees all these pre- 
may presently cepts of nature derived by a certain artifice from 

the single dictate of reason advising us to look to 
^ e preservation and safeguard of ourselves, will 
of nature or not. g a y that the deduction of these laws is so hard, 
that it is not to be expected they will be vulgarly 
known, and therefore neither will they prove 
obliging : for laws, if they be not known, oblige not, 
nay indeed, are not laws. /To this I answer, it is 
true, that hope, fear, anger, ambition, covetousness, 
vain glory, arid other perturbations of mind, do hin- 
der a man, so as he cannot attain to the knowledge 
of these laws whilst those passions prevail in him : 
but there is no man who is not sometimes in a quiet 
mind. At that time therefore there is nothing easier 
for him to know, though he be never so rude and 


unlearned, than this only rule, that when he doubts CHAP. in. 
whether what he is now doing to another may be ' 
done by the law of nature or not, he conceive 
himself to be in that other's stead. Here instantly 
those perturbations which persuaded him to the 
fact, being now cast into the other scale, dissuade 
him as much, And this rule is not only easy, but is 
anciently celebrated in these words, quod tibi fieri 
non vis, alteri ne feceris : do not that to others, 
you would not have done to yourself. 

27. But because most men, by reason of their The laws of na- 

j , f*> 4. j. ture oblige only 

perverse desire of present profit, are very unapt to i n the court of 
observe these laws, although acknowledged by conscience 
them; if perhaps some, more humble than the 
rest, should exercise that equity and usefulness 
which reason dictates, the others not practising 
the same, surely they would not follow reason in 
so doing : nor would they hereby procure them- 
selves peace, but a more certain quick destruction, 
arid the keepers of the law become a mere prey to 
the breakers of it. It is not therefore to be ima- 
gined, that by nature, that is, by reason, men are 
obliged to the exercise of all these laws * in that 

* The exercise of all these laws.'] Nay, among these laws 
some things there are, the omission whereof, provided it be done 
for peace or self-preservation, seems rather to be the fulfilling, 
than breach of the natural law. For he that doth all things against 
those that do all things, and plunders plunderers, doth equity. 
But on the contrary, to do that which in peace is a handsome 
action, and becoming an honest man, is dejectedness and poor- 
ness of spirit, and a betraying of one's self, in the time of warl But 
there are certain natural laws, whose exercise ceaseth not even in 
the time of war itself, j For I cannot understand what drunkenness 
or cruelty, that is, revenge which respects not the future good, 
can advance toward peace, or the preservation of any man. 


CHAP. in. state f men wherein they are not practised by 

' others. We are obliged yet, in the interim, to a 

readiness of mind to observe them, whensoever 

their observation shall seem to /conduce to the end 

for which they were ordained. We must therefore 

conclude, that the law of nature doth always and 

everywhere oblige in the internal court, or that of 

conscience ; but not always in the external court, 

but then only when it may be done with safety. 

The laws of 28. But the laws which oblige conscience, may 

nature are some- , 

times broken by be broken by an act not only contrary to them, but 

to A^awt 16 also agreeable with them; if so be that he who does 

it, be of another opinion. For though the act itself 

be answerable to the laws, yet his conscience is 

against them. 

The laws 29. The laws of nature are immutable and 

are immutable eternal \ what they forbid, can never be lawful ; 
nd eternal w hat they command, can never be unlawful: For 
pride, ingratitude, breach of contracts (or in- 
jury), inhumanity, contumely, will never be law- 
ful, nor the contrary virtues to these ever un- 
lawful, as we take them for dispositions of the 
mind, that is, as they are considered in the court 
of conscience, where only they oblige and are 
laws. Yet actions may be so diversified by cir- 
cumstances and the civil law, that what is done 
with equity at one time, is guilty of iniquity at 
another ; and what suits with reason at one time, 

Briefly, in the state of nature, what is just and unjust, is not to be 
esteemed by the actions but by the counsel and conscience of the 
actor. That which is done out of necessity, out of endeavour for 
peace, for the preservation of ourselves, is done with right, 
otherwise every damage done to a man would be a breach of the 
natural law, and an injury against God, 


is contrary to it another. Yet reason is still the CHAP. HI. 
same, and changeth not her end, which is peace ~~ T ^ 
and defence, nor the means to attain them, to 
wit, those virtues of the mind which we have de- 
clared above, and which 1 cannot be abrogated by 
any custom or law whatsoever. 

30. It is evident by what hath hitherto been ^J^^JJ 
said, how easily the laws of nature are to be ob- the ^'\ of iia - 
served, because they require the endeavour only, 

(but that must be true and constant) ; which who- 
so shall perform, we may rightly call him just. 
For he who tends to this with his whole might, 
namely, that his actions be squared according to 
the precepts of nature, he shows clearly that he 
hath a mind to fulfil all those laws ; which is all 
we are obliged to by rational nature. Now he that 
hath done all he is obliged to, is a just man. 

31. All writers do agree, that the natural law is The natural 

law is the same 

the same with the moral. Let us see wherefore with the moral. 
this is true. We must know r , therefore, that good 
and evil are names given to things to signify the 
inclination or aversion of them, by whom they w r ere 
given. But the inclinations of men are diverse, 
according to their diverse constitutions, customs, 
opinions ; as we may see in those things we appre- 
hend by sense, as by tasting, touching, smelling ; 
but much more in those which pertain to the com- 
mon actions of life, where what this man com- 
mends, that is to say, calls good, the other under- 
values, as being evil. Nay, very often the same 
man at diverse times praises and dispraises the 
same thing. Whilst thus they do, necessary it is 
there should be discord and strife. They are, 
therefore, so long in the state of war, as by reason 



CHAP. in. of the diversity of the present appetite, they mete 
' " "" good and evil by diverse measures. All men easily 
acknowledge this state, as long as they are in it, to 
be evil, and by consequence that peace is good. 
They therefore who could not agree concerning 
a present, do agree concerning a future good ; 
which indeed is a work of reason ; for things pre- 
sent are obvious to the sense, things to come to our 
reason only. Reason declaring peace to be good, 
it follows by the same reason, that all the neces- 
sary means to peace be good also ; and there- 
fore that modesty, equity, trust, humanity, mercy, 
(which we have demonstrated to be necessary to 
peace), are good manners or habits, that is, virtues. 
The law therefore, in the means to peace, com- 
mands also good manners, or the practice of virtue ; 
and therefore it is called moral. 

whence 32. But because men cannot put off this same 

pass, that what irrational appetite, whereby they greedily prefer 
wiring <he the present good (to which, by strict consequence, 
law, is not the man y unforsecu evils do adhere) before the future ; 

same with what J ' ' 

hath been de- it happens, that though all men do agree in the 
wphew cuncem. commendation of the foresaid virtues, yet they dis- 
a g ree ^i concerning their nature, to wit, in what 
each of them doth consist. For as oft as another's 
good action displeaseth any man, that action hath 
the name given of some neighbouring vice ; like- 
wise the bad actions which please them, are ever 
intituled to some virtue. Whence it comes to pass 
that the same action is praised by these, and called 
virtue, and dispraised by those, and termed vice. 
Neither is there as yet any remedy found by phi- 
losophers for this matter. For since they could not 
observe the goodness of actions to consist in this, 

the virtues. 


that it was in order to peace, and the evil in this, CHAP. HI. 
that it related to discord, they built a moral phi- N ~~""~ t ' 
losophy wholly estranged from the moral law, and 
unconstant to itself. For they would have the na- 
ture of virtues seated in a certain kind of medio- 
crity between two extremes, and the vices in the 
extremes themselves; which is apparently false. 
For to dare is commended, and, under the name of 
fortitude is taken for a virtue, although it be an 
extreme, if the cause be approved. Also the quan- 
tity of a thing given, whether it be great or little, 
or between both, makes not liberality, but the cause 
of giving it. Neither is it injustice, if I give any 
man more of what is mine own than I owe him. 
The laws of nature, therefore, are the sum of moral 
philosophy; whereof I have only delivered such 
precepts in this place, as appertain to the preser- 
vation of ourselves against those dangers which 
arise from discord. But there are other precepts 
of rational nature, from whence spring other vir- 
tues ; for temperance, also, is a precept of reason, 
because intemperance tends to sickness and death. 
And so fortitude too, that is, that same faculty of 
resisting stoutly in present dangers, and which 
are more hardly declined than overcome ; because 
it is a means tending to the preservation of him 
that resists. 

33. But those which we call the laws of nature, The law of na - 
(since they are nothing else but certain conclusions, 
understood by reason, of things to be done and 
omitted ; but a law, to speak properly and accu- 
rately, is the speech of him who by right com- 
mands somewhat to others to be done or omitted), 
are riot in propriety of speech laws, as they pro- 



CHAP. in. ceed from nature. Yet, as they are delivered by 
' ' God in holy Scriptures, as we shall see in the chap- 
ter following, they are most properly called by the 
name of laws. For the sacred Scripture is the speech 
of God commanding over all things by greatest 



1. The natural and moral law is divine. 2. Which is confirmed 
in Scripture, in general. 3. Specially, in regard of the funda- 
mental law of nature in seeking of peace. 4. Also in regard 
of the first law of nature in abolishing all things to be had in 
common. 5. Also of the second law of nature, concerning faith 
to be kept. 6. Also of the third law, of thankfulness. 7. Also of 
the fourth law, of rendering ourselves useful. 8. Also of the fifth 
law, concerning mercy. 9. Also of the sixth law, that punish- 
ment only looks at the future. 10. Also of the seventh law, 
concerning slander. 11. Also of the eighth law, against pride. 
12. Also of the ninth law, of equity. 13. Also of the tenth 
law, against respect of persons. 14. Also of the eleventh law, 
of having those things in common which cannot be divided. 

15. Also of the twelfth law, of things to be divided by lot. 

16. Also of appointing a judge. 17. Also of the seventeenth 
law, that the arbiters must receive no reward for their sen- 
tence. 18. Also of the eighteenth law, concerning witnesses. 
19. Also of the twentieth law, against drunkenness. 20. Also 
in respect of that which hath been said, that the law of nature 
is eternal. 21. Also that the laws of nature do pertain to con- 
science. 22. Also that the laws of nature are easily observed. 
23. Lastly, in respect of the rule by which a man may pre- 
sently know, whether what he is about to act, be against the 
law of nature, or not. 24. The law of Christ is the law of 

The natural i. THE same law which is natural and moral, is 
also wont to be called divine, nor undeservedly ; as 
well because reason, which is the law of nature, is 


given by God to every man for the rule of his ac- CHAP. iv. 
tions ; as because the precepts of living which are ' ' ' 
thence derived, are the same with those which have 
been delivered from the divine Majesty for the 
laws of his heavenly kingdom, by our Lord Jesus 
Christ, and his holy prophets and apostles.) What 
therefore by reasoning we have understood above 
concerning the law of nature, we will endeavour to 
confirm the same in this chapter by holy writ. 

2. But first we will shew those places in which which is con- 
it is declared, that the divine law is seated in right ti^Tm' general". 
reason. Psalm xxxvii. 30, 31 : The mouth of the 
righteous will be exercised in wisdom, and his 
tongue will be talking of judgment : the law 
of God is in his heart. Jeremiah xxx. 33 : / 
will put my law in their inward parts, and write 
it m their hearts. Psalm xix. 7 The law of 
the Lord is an undcfiled law, converting the soul. 
Verse 8 : The commandment of the Lord is pure, 
and giveth light unto the eyes. Deuteron. xxx. 1 1 : 
This commandment, which I command thee this 
day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far 
off, Sfc. Verse. 14 : But the word is very nigh 
unto thee in my mouth, and in thine heart, that 
thou mayest do it. Psalm cxix. 34 : Give me un- 
derstanding, and I shall keep thy law. Verse 105: 
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto 
my paths. Prov. ix. 10 : The knowledge of the 
holy is understanding. Christ the law-giver, 
himself is called (John i. 1) : the word. The same 
Christ is called (verse 9) : the true light, that 
lighteth every man that cometh in the world. All 
which are descriptions of right reason, whose 
dictates, we have showed before, are the laws of 
nature. E 2 


CHAP. iv. 3. But that that which we set down for the fun- 
damental law of nature, namely, that peace was to 
ke sought for, is also the sum of the Divine law, 
will be manifest by these places. Rom. iii. 17 : 
g o peace. ff t ^gj i f eousness ^ w hi c h is the sum of the law, is 

called the way of peace. Psalm Ixxxv. 10 : 
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other. 
Matth. v. 9 : Blessed are the peace-makers, for 
they shall be called the children of God. And 
after St. Paul, in his sixth chapter to the Hebrews, 
and the last verse, had called Christ (the legislator 
of that law we treat of), an High-priest for ever 
after the order of Melchisedec : he adds in the 
following chapter, the first verse : This Melchise- 
dec was king of Salem, priest of the most high 
God, &c. (Verse 2) : First being by interpreta- 
tion king of righteousness, and after that also 
king of Salem, which is, king of peace. Whence 
it is clear, that Christ, the King, in his kingdom 
placeth righteousness and peace together. Psalm 
xxxiv. 14 : Eschew evil and do good ; seek peace 
and pursue it. Isaiah ix. 6, 7 ' Unto us a child is 
born, unto us a son is given, and the government 
shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be 
called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, 
the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. 
Isaiah Iii. 7 : How beautiful upon the mountains 
are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, 
that publisheth peace, that bringeth good tidings 
of good, that publisheth salvation, thatsaith unto 
Sion, thy God reigneth ! Luke ii. 14: In the 
nativity of Christ, the voice of them that praised 
God, saying, Glory be to God on high, and in 
earth peace, good-will towards men. And Isaiah 


liii. 5 : the Gospel is called the chastisement of our CHAP. TV. 
peace. Isaiah lix. 8 : Righteousness is called " ' 
the way of peace. The way of peace they know 
not, and there is no judgment in their goings. 
Micah v. 4, 5, speaking of the Messias, he saith 
thus : He shall stand and feed in the strength of 
the Lord) in the majesty of the name of the Lord 
his God, and they shall abide, for now shall he 
be great unto the end of the earth ; and this man 
shall be your peace, &c. Prov. iii. I, 2 : My son, 
forget not my law, but let thine heart keep my 
commandments; for length of days, and long life, 
and peace, shall they add to thee. 

4. What appertains to the first law of abolishing Also in regard 

/ -11 i - of the first 

the community ot all things, or concerning the in- law of nature, 
troduction of meum and tuum ; we perceive in the S'SS^be 
first place, how great an adversary this same com- had in common - 
munity is to peace, by those words of Abraham to 
Lot (Gen. xiii. 8, 9) : Let there be no strife, I pray 
thee, between thee and me, and between thy herd- 
men and my herdmen; for we be brethren. Is not 
the whole land before thee ? Separate thyself, I 
pray thee from me. And all those places of Scrip- 
ture by which we are forbidden to trespass upon 
our neighbours : as, Thou shalt not kill, thou shall 
not commit adultery, thou shalt not steal, &c. do 
confirm the law of distinction between mine and 
thine ; for they suppose the right of all men to all 
things to be taken away. 

5. The same precepts establish the second law Also of the 
of nature, of keepingjtrjust. For what doth, Thou Se, <LenSng 
shalt not invade another's right, import, but this ? faith to be kept * 
Thou shalt not take possession of that, which by 

thy contract ceaseth to be thine: but it is expressly 


CHAP. iv. set down ? Psalm xv. 1 : to him that asked, 
* ' "" Lord who shall dwell in thy tabernacle ? it is 
answered (verse 4) : He that swear eth unto his 
neighbour, and disappointeth him not. And Prov. 
vi. 12: My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if 
thou have stricken thy hand with a stranger, thou 
art snared with the words of thy mouth. 

thtdfuw'of . The third law concerning gratitude, is proved 

thankfulness, by these places . Deut. xxv. 4: Thou shalt not 
muzzle the ox, when he treadeth out the corn : 
which St. Paul (1 Cor. ix. 9) interprets to be 
spoken of men, not oxen only. Prov. xvii. 13 : 
Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not 
depart from his house. And Deut. xx. 10, 11 : 
When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against 
it, then proclaim peace unto it. And it shall be, 
if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto 
thee, then it shall be that all the people that is 
found therein, shall be tributaries unto thee, and 
they shall serve thee. Prov. iii. 29 : Devise not 
evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth 
securely by thee. 

Also of the fourth 7. To the fourth law of accommodating our- 
f. selves, these precepts are conformable : Exod. 
xxiii. 4, 5 : If thou meet thine enemy s ox, or his 
ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back 
to him again. If thou see the ass of him that 
hateth thee, lying under his burden, and wouldst 
forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with 
him. Also (verse 9) : Thou shalt not oppress a 
stranger. Prov. iii. 30 : Strive not with a man 
without a cause, if he have done thee no harm. 
Prov. xv. 18 : A wrathful man stir r eth up strife ; 
but he that is slow to anger, appeaseth strife. 


Prov. xviii. 24 : There is a friend that sticheth CHAP. iv. 
closer than a brother. The same is confirmed, ' ' 
Luke x, by the parable of the Samaritan, who 
had compassion on the Jew that was wounded by 
thieves ; and by Christ's precept (Matth. v. 39) : 
But I say unto you that ye resist not evil ; but 
whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, 
turn to him the other also. 

8. Among infinite other places which prove the Also of the 

/> / -i i i it /r i i T/ ^h ^ aw con " 

fifth law, these are some : Matth. vi. 14, 15 : If you ceming mercy. 
forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Fa- 
ther will also forgive you : but if you forgive not 
men their trespasses, neither will your Father for- 
give your trespasses. Matth. xviii. 21, 22 : Lord 
how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I 
forgive him ? Till seven times ? Jesus saith unto 
him ; I say not till seven times, but till seventy 
times seven times ; that is, toties quoties. 

9. For the confirmation of the sixth law, all those AI SO of the sixth 
places are pertinent which command us to shew ^^"00^ 
mercy, such as Matth. v. 7 : Blessed are the mer at the future ' 
ciful,for they shall obtain mercy. Levit. xix. 18 : 

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge 
against the children of thy people. But there 
are, who not only think this law is not proved by 
Scripture, but plainly disproved from hence ; that 
there is an eternal punishment reserved for the 
wicked after death, where there is no place either 
for amendment or example. Some resolve this 
objection by answering, that God, whom no law 
restrains, refers all to his glory, but that man must 
not do so ; as if God sought his glory, that is to 
say, pleased himself in the death of a sinner. It 
is more rightly answered, that the institution of 


CHAP. iv. eternal punishment was before sin, and had regard 
' r ~~' to this only, that men might dread to commit sin 

for the time to come. 
Also of the iQ t The words of Christ prove this seventh: 

seventh law, con- ,-.. . T>T- 

ceming slander. (Matth. v. 22) : But I say unto you, that whosoever 
is angry with his brother without a cause, shall 
be in danger of the judgment ; and whosoever 
shall say unto his brother Racha, shall be in 
danger of the council ; but whosoever shall say, 
thoufool, shall be in danger of hell-fire. Prov. x. 
18: He that utter eth a slander, is a fool. Prov. 
xiv. 21 : He that despiseth his neighbour, sinneth. 
Prov. xv. 1 : Grievous words stir up anger. Prov. 
xxii. 10) : Cast out the scorner, and contention 
shall go out, and reproach shall cease. 

Also of 11. The eighth law of/ acknowledging equality 

of nature, that is, of humility, is established by 
these places : Matth. v. iii : Blessed are the poor 
in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Prov. vi. 16-19 : These six things doth the 
Lord hate, yea, seven are an abomination unto 
him. A proud look, &c. Prov. xvi. 5 : Every 
one that is proud, is an abomination unto the 
Lord ; though hand join in hand 9 he shall not be 
unpunished. Prov. xi. 2 : When pride cometh, 
then cometh shame; but with the lowly is wisdom. 
Thus Isaiah xl. 3 : (where the coming of the Mes- 
sias is shewed forth, for preparation towards his 
kingdom) : The voice of him that cried in the 
wilderness, was this : Prepare ye the way of the 
Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for 
our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and 
every mountain and hill shall be made low: which 
doubtless is spoken to men, and not to mountains. 


12. But that same equity, which we proved in CHAP. iv. 
the ninth place to be a law of nature, which com- Algoof T the ~" 
mands every man to allow the same rights to others th, of equity. 
they would be allowed themselves, and which con- 
tains in it all the other laws besides, is the same 

which Moses sets down (Levit. xix. 18) : Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour as thyself. And our Saviour 
calls it the sum of the moral law : Matth. xxii. 
36-40 : Master^ which is the great commandment 
in the law ? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love 
the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with 
all thy soul, and with all thy mind ; this is the 
first and great commandment ; and the second is 
like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as 
thyself. On these two commandments hang all 
the law and the prophets. But to love our neigh- 
bour as ourselves, is nothing else but to grant him 
all we desire to have granted to ourselves. 

13. By the tenth law respect of persons is for- Abo the tenth, 
bid ; as also by these places following : Matth. S 

v. 45 : That ye may be children of your Father 
which is in heaven ; for he maheth the sun to rise 
on the evil, and on the good, &c. Coloss. iii. 11 : 
There is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor 
uncircumcision, barbarian or Scythian, bond or 
free, but Christ is all, and in all. Acts x. 34 : 
Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter 
of persons. 2 Chron. xix. 7 * There is no ini- 
quity with the Lord our God, nor respect of per- 
sons, nor taking of gifts. Ecclesiasticus xxxv. 12 : 
The Lord is Judge, and with him is no respect of 
persons, Rom. ii. 1 1 : For there is no respect 
of persons with God. 



of having those 

things in com- 

Also of the 

CHAP. iv. 14. The eleventh law, which commands those 
isoofthe"^ things to be held in common which cannot be di- 
vided, I know not whether there be any express 

. . J . 

place m scripture tor it or not ; but the practice 
appears every where, in the common use of wells, 
ways, rivers, sacred things, &c ; for else men could 
not live. 

15. We said in the twelfth place, that it was a 
law of nature, that where things could neither be 

divided by lot. divided nor possessed in common, they should be 
disposed by lot. Which is confirmed, as by the 
example of Moses who, by God's command (Numb. 
xxvi. 55), divided the several parts of the land of 
promise unto the tribes by lot : so (Acts i. 24) 
by the example of the Apostles, who received 
Matthias before Justus into their number, by 
casting lots, and saying, Thou, Lord, who knowest 
the hearts of all men, show whether of these two 
thou hast chosen, &c. Prov. xvi. 33 : The lot is 
cast into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof 
is of the Lord. And, which is the thirteenth law, 
the succession was due unto Esau, as being the 
first born of Isaac ; if himself had not sold it (Gen. 
xxv. 33), or that the father had not otherwise ap- 

16. St. Paul, writing to the Corinthians (.1 Epist. 
vi ^ repre h en ds the Corinthians of that city for 
going to law one with another before infidel 
judges, who were their enemies : calling it a 
fault, that they would not rather take wrong, and 
suffer themselves to be defrauded ; for that is 
against that law, whereby we are commanded to 
be helpful to each other. But if it happen the 
controversy be concerning things necessary, what 

Also of a P - 
pointing a judge. 


is to be done ? Therefore the Apostle (verse 5) CHAP. iv. 
speaks thus : / speak to your shame. Is it so, ' ' ' 
that there is not one wise man among you, no, not 
one that shall be able to judge between his bre- 
thren? He therefore, by those words, confirms 
that law of nature which we called the fifteenth, 
to wit, where controversies cannot be avoided; 
there by the consent of parties to appoint some 
arbiter, and him some third man v ; so as (which is 
the sixteenth law) neither of the parties may be 
judge in his own cause. 

17. But that the judge or arbiter must receive ^iso of these- 

. . . , - venteentli law, 

no reward for his sentence, which is the seven- that the arbiters 

teenth law appears, Exod. xxiii. 8 : Thou shalt 

take no gift ; for the gift blindeth the wise, and their 8entenco - 

perverteth the words of the righteous. Ecclesias- 

ticus xx. 29 : Presents and gifts blind the eyes of 

the wise. Whence it follows, that he must not be 

more obliged to one part than the other ; which is 

the nineteenth law ; and is also confirmed, Deut. 

i. 17 : Ye shall not respect persons in judgment, 

ye shall hear the small as well as the great ; and 

in all those places which are brought against re- 

spect of persons. 

18. That in the judgment of fact witnesses Alsooftlieei 8 h 

i i i i i-i i teontli, concera- 

had, which is the eighteenth law, the ing witnesses. 
Scripture not only confirms, but requires more 
than one. Deut. xvii. 6 : At the mouth of two 
witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is 
worthy of death be put to death. The same is 
repeated Deut. xix. 15. 

19. Drunkenness, which we have therefore inAisoofthe 
the last place numbered among the breaches of the iT^agaLt 
natural law, because it hinders the use of right dmnkenness - 


CHAP. iv. reason, is also forbid in Sacred Scripture for the 
' same reason. Prov. xx. 1 : Wine is a mocker, 
strong drink is raging, whosoever is deceived 
thereby is not wise. And Prov. xxxi. 4, 5 : It is 
not for kings to drink wine, lest they drink and 
forget the law, and pervert the judgment of 
any of the afflicted. But that we might know that 
the malice of this vice consisted not formally in 
the quantity of the drink, but in that it destroys 
judgment and reason, it follows in the next verse : 
Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, 
and wine to those that be heavy of heart. Let 
him drink and forget his poverty, and remember 
his misery no more. Christ useth the same reason 
in prohibiting drunkenness (Luke xxi. 34) : Take 
heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts 
be overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness. 
Also m respect 20. That we said in the foregoing chapter, the 
law of nature is eternal, is also proved out of Matth. 
. v - 18 : v <*rily I say unto you, till heaven and 
earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise 
pass from the law ; and Psalm cxix. 160: Every 
one of thy righteous judgments endureth for 

Also that the 21. We also said, that the laws of nature had 
do W pertah? ure regard chiefly unto conscience ; that is, that he is 

to conscience. j ug ^ W J 1Q fty 1 a |J possible endcaVOUr StrfvCS tO fulfil 

them. And although a man should order all his 
actions so much as belongs to external obedience 
just as the law commands, but not for the law's 
sake, but by reason of some punishment annexed 
unto it, or out of vain glory ; yet he is unjust. 
Both these are proved by the Holy Scriptures. 
The first (Isaiah lv.7) : Let the wicked for sake his 


way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let CHAP. iv. 
him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy ' ' ' 
upon him ; and to our God, for he will abundantly 
pardon. Ezek. xviii. 31 : Cast away from you 
all your transgressions whereby you have trans- 
gressed, and make you a new heart and a new 
spirit ; for why will you die, House of Israel ? 
By which, and the like places, we may sufficiently 
understand that God will not punish their deeds 
whose heart is right. The second, out of Isaiah xxix. 
13, 14 : The Lord said, forasmuch its this people 
draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips 
do honour me, but have removed their hearts far 
from me, therefore I will proceed, &c. Matth. 
v. 20 : Except your righteousness shall exceed 
the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, 
ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of 
heaven. And in the following verses, our Saviour 
explains to them how that the commands of God 
are broken, not by deeds only, but also by the 
will. For the Scribes and Pharisees did in outward 
act observe the law most exactly, but for glory's 
sake only ; else they would as readily have broken 
it. There are innumerable places of Scripture in 
which is most manifestly declared, that (God ac- 
cepts the will for the deed, and that as well in 
good as in evil actions.; 

22. That the law of nature is easily kept, Christ Also that 

C^^ * * tjj e laws of 

himself declares (Matth. xi. 28, 29, 30) : Come un- nature are 
to me, &c. Take my yoke upon you, and learn easily obsenredt 
of me, &c ; for my yoke is easy, and my burden 

23. Lastly, the rule by which I said any man Las%, in re- 
might know, whether what he was doing were 


CHAP. iv. contrary to the law or not, to wit, what thou 
a man may wouldst not be done to, do not that to another ; is 
presently know, almost in the self-same words delivered by our 
is about to act be Saviour (Matth. vii. 12): Therefore all things 
r not. whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, 
do you even so to them. 

law of 24. As the law of nature is all of it divine, so 

law of nature, the law of Christ by conversion (which is wholly 
explained in the v. vi. and vii. chapters of St. 
Matthew's Gospel), is all of it also (except that 
one commandment, of not marrying her who is put 
away for adultery ; which Christ brought for expli- 
cation of the divine positive law, against the Jews, 
who did not rightly interpret the Mosaical law) 
the doctrine of nature. I say, the whole law of 
Christ is explained in the fore-named chapters, not 
the whole doctrine of Christ ; for faith is a part of 
Christian doctrine, which is not comprehended 
under the title of a law. For laws are made and 
given in reference to such actions as follow our 
will ; not in order to our opinions and belief, which 
being out of our power, follow not the will. , 




1. That the laws of nature are not sufficient to preserve peace. 

2. That the laws of nature, in the state of nature, are silent. 

3. That the security of living according to the laws of nature, 
consists in the concord of many persons. 4. That the concord 
of rnany persons is not constant enough for a lasting peace. 
5. The reason why the government of certain brute creatures 
stands firm in concord only, and why not of men. 6. That not 
only consent, but union also, is required to establish the peace 
of men. 7. What union is. 8. In union, the right of all men 
is conveyed to one. 9. What civil society is. 10. What a 
civil person is. 11. What it is to have the supreme power, 
and what to be a subject. 12. Two kinds of cities, natural, 
and by institution. 

1 . IT is of itself manifest that the actions of men CHAP. v. 
proceed from the will, and the will from hope and * ' ' 

^ * r That the laws 

fear, insomuch as when they shall see a greater of nature 
good or less evil likely to happen to them by the fo r u^conser- 
breach than observation of the laws, they will vation of peace * 
wittingly violate them. The hope therefore which 
each man hath of his security and self-preserva- 
tion, consists in this, that by force or craft he may 
disappoint his neighbour, either openly or by stra- 
tagem. Whence we may understand, that the 
natural laws, though well understood, do not in- 
stantly secure any man in their practice ; and con- 
sequently, that as long as there is no caution had 
from the invasion of others, there remains to every 


CHAP. v. man that same primitive right of self-defence by 

" ' ' such means as either he can or will make use of, 

that is, a right to all things, or the right of war. 

And it is sufficient for the fulfilling of the natural 

law, that a man be prepared in mind to embrace 

peace when it may be had. 

That the laws 2. It is a trite saying, that all laws are silent in 

of nature, in , . _ ' . . - . 

a state of na- the time ot war, and it is a true one, not only it we 
e, are silent, . o f fa^ civil, but also of the natural laws, pro- 

vided they be referred not to the mind, but to the 
actions of men, by chap. Hi. art. 27. And we mean 
such a war, as is of all men against all men ; such 
as is the mere state of nature ; although in the 
war of nation against nation, a certain mean was 
wont to be observed. And therefore in old time, 
there was a manner of living, and as it were a 
certain economy, which they called \riaTpiKriv, living 
by rapine ; which was neither against the law of 
nature (things then so standing), nor void of glory 
to those who exercised it with valour, not with 
cruelty. Their custom was, taking away the rest, 
to spare life, and abstain from oxen fit for plough, 
and every instrument serviceable to husbandry. 
Which yet is not so to be taken, as if they were 
bound to do thus by the law of nature ; but that 
they had regard to their own glory herein, lest by 
too much cruelty they might be suspected guilty 
of fear. 

That the secu. 3. Since therefore the exercise of the natural 
Wording to 8 the law is necessary for the preservation of peace, and 
lollist^rthe ^ at f r t^e exer cise of the natural law security is 
agreement of no less necessary ; it is worth the considering w r hat 
ma 7 that is which affords such a security. For this 

matter nothing else can be imagined, but that 


each man provide himself of such meet helps, as CHAP. v. 
the invasion of one on the otfier may be rendered ' ' ' 
so dangerous, as either of. them may think it bet- 
ter to refrain than to meddle. But first, it is plain 
that the consent of two or three cannot make good 
such a security ; because that the addition but of 
one, or some few on the other side, is sufficient to 
make the victory undoubtedly sure, and heartens 
the enemy to attack us. It is therefore necessary, 
to the end the security sought for may be obtained, 
that the number of them who conspire in a mutual 
assistance be so great, that the accession of some 
few to the enemy's party may not prove to them 
a matter of moment sufficient to assure the vic- 

4. Furthermore, how great soever the number That the agree. 
of them is who meet on self-defence, if yet they notcota?t 
agree not among themselves of some excellent J^a lasting 
means whereby to compass this, but every man peace - 
after his own manner shall make use of his endea- 
vours, nothing will be done ; because that, divided 
in their opinions, they will be a hinderance to 
each other ; or if they agree well enough to some 
one action, through hope of victory, spoil, or re- 
venge, yet afterward, through diversity of wits 
and counsels, or emulation and envy, with which 
men naturally contend, they will be so torn and 
rent, as they will neither give mutual help nor desire 
peace, except they be constrained to it by some 
common fear. Whence it follows that the consent 
of many, (which consists in this only, as we have 
already defined in the foregoing section, that they 
direct all their actions to the same end and the 
common good), that is to say, that the society pro- 



CHAP. v. ceeding from mutual help only, yields not that 

" ' security which they seek for, who meet and agree 

in the exercise of the above-named laws of nature ; 

but that somewhat else must be done, that those 

who have once consented for the common good to 

peace and mutual help,/ may by fear be restrained 

lest afterwards they again dissent, when their 

private interest shall appear discrepant from the 

common good. > 

why the go- 5 Aristotle reckons among those animals which 

vermnentofsome m 

brute creatures he calls politic, not man only, but divers others, 
concord Son, as the ant, the bee, &c. ; which, though they be 
nd not so of Destitute o f reason, by which they may contract 
and submit to government, notwithstanding by 
consenting, that is to say, ensuing or eschewing 
the same things, they so direct their actions to a 
common end, that their meetings are not obnoxious 
unto any seditions. Yet is not their gathering 
together a civil government, and therefore those 
animals not to be termed political ; because their 
government is only a consent, or many wills con- 
curring in one object, not (as is necessary in civil 
government) one will. It is very true, that in 
those creatures living only by sense and appetite, 
their consent of minds is so durable, as there is no 
need of anything more to secure it, and. by con- 
sequence to preserve peace among them, than 
barely their natural inclination. But among men 
the case is otherwise. For, first, among them there 
is a contestation of honour and preferment ; among 
beasts there is none : whence ' hatred and envy, out 
of which arise sedition and war, is among men ; 
among beasts no such matter. Next, the natural 
appetite of bees, and the like creatures, is con- 


formable ; and they desire the common good, which CHAP. v. 
among them differs not from their private. But^T"* " 

. 7. Why the go- 

man scarce esteems anything good, which hath not vemmentofsome 

, . / , i . . brute creatures 

somewhat of eminence m the enjoyment, more stands firm, & c . 
than that which others do possess. Thirdly, those 
creatures which are void of reason, see no defect, 
or think they see none, in the administration of 
their commonweals ; but in a multitude of men 
there are many who, supposing themselves wiser 
than others, endeavour to innovate, and divers in- 
novators innovate divers ways ; which is a mere 
distraction and civil war. Fourthly, these brute 
creatures, howsoever they may have the use of their 
voice to signify their affections to each other, yet 
want they that same art of words which is neces- 
sarily required to those motions in the mind, 
whereby good is represented to it as being better, 
and evil as worse than in truth it is. But the 
tongue of man is a trumpet of war and sedition : 
and it is reported of Pericles, that he sometimes 
by his elegant speeches thundered and lightened, 
and confounded whole Greece itself. Fifthly, they 
cannot distinguish between injury and harm ; 
thence it happens that as long as it is well with 
them, they blame not their fellows. But those 
men are of most trouble to the republic, who have 
most leisure to be idle ; for they use not to con- 
tend for public places, before they have gotten the 
victory over hunger and cold. Last of all, the 
consent of those brutal creatures is natural ; that 
of men by Compact only, that is to say, artificial., 
It is therefore no matter of wonder, if somewhat 
more be needful for men to the end they may live 
in peace. Wherefore consent or contracted so- 



CHAP. v. ciety, without some common power whereby par- 

' ' ' ticular men may be ruled through fear of punish- 

ment, doth not suffice to make up that security, 

which is requisite to the exercise of natural jus- 


That not (5. Since therefore the conspiring of many wills 

only consent, -11, 

but union also, to the same end doth not suffice to preserve peace, 

and to make a lasting defence, it is requisite that, 
peace of men. j n fa ose necessary matters which concern peace and 
self-defence, there be but one will of all men. But 
this cannot be done, unless every man will so sub- 
ject his will to some other one, to wit, either man 
or council, that whatsoever his will is in those 
things which are necessary to the common peace, 
it be received for the wills of all men in general, 
and of every one in particular. Now the gathering 
together of many men, who deliberate of what is to 
be done or not to be done for the common good 
of all men, is that which I call a council., 
what union is. J. This submission of the wills of all those men 
to the will of one man or one council, is then 
made, when each one of them obligeth himself by 
contract to every one of the rest, not to resist the 
will of that one man or council, to which he hath 
submitted himself ; that is, that he refuse him not 
the use of his wealth and strength against any 
others whatsoever ; for he is supposed still to re- 
tain a right of defending himself against violence : 
and this is called union. But we understand that 
to be the will of the council, which is the will of 
the major part of those men of whom the council 

in union, the 8. But though the will itself be not voluntary, 
nif trans. but only the beginning of voluntary actions ; (for 

(erred to one. 


we will not to will, but to act) ; and therefore falls CHAP. v. 
least of all under deliberation and compact ; yet he ' ' ' 
who submits his will to the will of another, con- 
veys to that other the right of his strength and 
faculties.) Insomuch as when the rest have done the 
same, he to whom they have submitted, hath so 
much power, as (by the terror of it he can conform 
the wills of particular men unto unity and concord. 

9. Now union thus made, is called a city or civil what cmi 
society ; and also a civil person. For when there is s ciety "' 
one will of all men, it is to be esteemed for one 
person ; and by the word one, it is to be known 

and distinguished from all particular men, as hav- 
ing its own rights and properties. Insomuch as 
neither any one citizen, nor all of them together, 
(if we except him, whose will stands for the will of 
all), is to be accounted a city. A city therefore, 
(that we may define it), is one person, whose will, 
by the compact of many men, is to be received for 
the will of them all; so as he may use all the power 
and faculties of each particular person to the 
maintenance of peace, and for common defence. 

10. But although every city be a civil person, mat a civil 

. ., . . . person is. 

yet every civil person is not a city; tor it may 
happen that many citizens, by the permission of 
the city,' may join together in one person, for the 
doing of certain things. These now will be civil 
persons ; as the companies of merchants, and many 
other convents. But cities they are not, because 
they have not submitted themselves to the will of 
the company simply and in all things, but in cer- 
tain things only determined by the city, and on 
such terms as it is lawful for any one of them to 
contend in judgment against the body itself of the 



What it 
is to have 
the supreme 
power, what 
to be subject. 

CHAP. v. sodality ; which is by no means allowable to a 
' " ' citizen against the city. Such like societies, there- 
fore, are civil persons subordinate to the city. 

1 1. In every city, that man or council, to whose 
will each particular man hath subjected his will 
so as hath been declared, is said to have the 
supreme power, or chief command, or domi- 
nion. Which power and right of commanding, 
consists in this, that each citizen hath conveyed all 
his strength and power to that man or council ; 
which to have done, because no man can transfer 
his power in a natural manner, is nothing else 
than to have parted with his right of resisting. 
Each citizen, as also every subordinate civil per- 
son, is called the subject of him who hath the 
chief command. 

12. By what hath been said, it is sufficiently 
showed in what manner and by what degrees 
many natural persons, through desire of preserving 
themselves and by mutual fear, have grown to- 
gether into a civil person, whom we have called a 
city. But they who submit themselves to another 
for fear, either submit to him whom they fear, or 
some other whom they confide in for protection. 
They act according to the first manner, who are 
vanquished in war, that they may not be slain ; 
they according to the second, who are not yet 
overcome, that they may not be overcome. The 
first manner receives its beginning from natural 
power, and may be called the natural beginning of 
a city ; the latter from the council and constitu- 
tion of those who meet together, which is a begin- 
ning by institution. \ Hence it is that there are 
two kinds of cities ; the one natural, such as the 

Two kinds of 
cities, natural, 
and by institu- 
tion. * 


paternal and despotical ; the other institutive, which CHAP. v. 
may be also called political. In the first, the lord """ "f 

. i*. i - i -i-i Two kinds of 

acquires to himself such citizens as he will ; in the <*, natural 
other, the citizens by their own wills appoint a lord Son. ymstltu " 
over themselves, whether he be one man or one 
company of men, endued with the command in 
chief. But we will speak, in the first place, of a 
city political or by institution ; and next, of a city 



1. There can no right be attributed to a multitude out of civil 
society, nor any action to which they have not under seal con- 
sented. 2. The right of the greater number consenting, is the 
beginning of a city. 3. That every man retains a right to 
protect himself according to his own free will, so long as there 
is no sufficient regard had to his security. 4. That a coercive 
power is necessary to secure us. 5. What the sword of justice 
Is. 6. That the sword of justice belongs to him, who hath the 
chief command. 7- That the sword of war belongs to him. 
also. 8. All judicature belongs to him too. 9. The legisla- 
tive power is his only. 10. The naming of magistrates and 
other officers of the city belongs to him. 1 1. Also the exami- 
nation of all doctrines. 12. Whatsoever he doth is unpunish- 
able. 13. That the command his citizens have granted is 
absolute, and what proportion of obedience is due to him. 
14. That the laws of the city bind him not. 15. That no man 
can challenge a propriety to anything against his will. 1 6. By 
the laws of the city only we come to know what theft, murder, 
adultery, and injury is. 17. The opinion of those who would 
constitute a city, where there should not be any one endued with 
an absolute power. 18. The marks of supreme authority. 19. 
If a city be compared with a man, he that hath the supreme 
power is in order to the city, as the human soul is in relation 
to the man. 20. That the supreme command cannot by right 
be dissolved through their consents, by whose compacts it was 
first constituted. 


CHAP. vi. 1 WE must consider, first of all, what a multitude* 
There can n^ ^ meii > gathering themselves of their own free 
right be atttf. wills into society, is; namely, that it is not any 

bated to amul- J) J9 J 

* Multitude, #c.] The doctrine of the power of a city over its 
citizens, almost wholly depends on the understanding of the dif- 
ference which is between a multitude of men ruling, and a multi- 
tude ruled. For such is the nature of a city, that a multitude or 
company of citizens not only may have command, but may also 
be subject to command ; but in diverse senses. Which difference I 
did believe was clearly enough explained in the first article ; but 
by the objections of many against those things which follow, I 
discern otherwise. Wherefore it seemed good to me, to the end I 
might make a fuller explication, to add these few things. 

By multitude, because it is a collective word, we understand 
more than one : so as a multitude of men is the same with many 
men. The same word, because it is of the singular number, signi- 
fies one thing ; namely, one multitude. But in neither sense can a 
multitude be understood to have one will given to it by nature, 
but to each a several ; and therefore neither is any one action 
whatsoever to be attributed to it. Wherefore a multitude cannot 
promise, contract, acquire right, convey right, act, have, possess, 
and the like, unless it be every one apart, and man by man ; so as 
there must be as many promises, compacts, rights, and actions, as 
men. Wherefore a multitude is no natural person. But if the 
same multitude do contract one with another, that the will of one 
man, or the agreeing wills of the major part of them, shall be re- 
ceived for the will of all ; then it becomes one person. For it is 
endued with a will, and therefore can do voluntary actions, such 
as are commanding, making laws, acquiring and transferring of 
right, and so forth ; and it is oftener called the people, than the 
multitude. We must therefore distinguish thus. When we say 
the people or multitude wills, commands, or doth anything, it is 
understood that the city which commands, wills and acts by the will 
of one, or the concurring wills of more ; which cannot be done 
but in an assembly. But as oft as anything is said to be done by 
a multitude of men, whether great or small, without the will of 
that man or assembly of men, that is understood to be done by a 
subjected people ; that is, by many single citizens together ; and 
not proceeding from one will, but from diverse wills of diverse 
men, who are citizens and subjects, but not a city. 


one body, but many men, whereof each one hath CHAP. vi. 
his own will and his peculiar judgment concern- titnde ^^ 
ine; all things that may be proposed. And though ^ <>v of civil 

, . , i -i i_ society ; nor any 

by particular contracts each single man may have action, to wtoh 
his own right and propriety, so as one may say ^ 
Ms is mine, the other, that is his ; yet will there ticular 
not be anything of which the whole multitude, as 
a person distinct from a single man, can rightly 
say, this is mine, more than another's. Neither 
must we ascribe any action to the multitude, as its 
own ; but if all or more of them do agree, it will 
not be an action, but as many actions as men. 
For although in some great sedition, it is com- 
monly said, that the people of that city have taken 
up arms ; yet is it true of those only who are in 
arms, or who consent to them. For the city, which 
is one person, cannot take up arms against itself. 
Whatsoever, therefore, is done by the multitude, 
must be understood to be done by every one of 
those by whom it is made up ; and that he, who 
being in the multitude, and yet consented not, nor 
gave any helps to the things that were done by it, 
must be judged to have done nothing. Besides, in 
a multitude not yet reduced into one person, in 
that manner as hath been said, there remains that 
same state of nature iii which all things belong to 
all men ; and there is no place for meum and tuum, 
which is called dominion and propriety, by reason 
that that security is not yet extant, which we have 
declared above to be necessarily requisite for the 
practice of the natural laws. 

2. Next, we must consider that every one of the The beginning 

, J of a city is the 

multitude, by whose means there may be a begin- right of the ma, 
ning to make up the city, must agree with the Jorpartagreein8> 


CHAP. vi. rest, that in those matters which shall be pro- 
%x ~~" "" pounded by any one in the assembly, that be re- 
ceived for the will of all, which the major part 
shall approve of; for otherwise there will be no 
will at all of a multitude of men, whose wills and 
votes differ so variously. Now, if any one will 
not consent, the rest, notwithstanding, shall among 
themselves constitute the city without him. Whence 
it will come to pass, that the city retains its primi- 
tive right against the dissenter ; that is, the right of 
war, as against an enemy. 

3 - But because we said in the foregoing chapter, 

protecting him- the sixth article, that there was required to the 

self according to.., -i i 11 

his own judg. security ot men, not only their consent, but also 
. the subjection of their wills in such things as were 
necessary to peace and defence ; and that in that 
union and subjection the nature of a city consisted ; 
we must discern now in this place, out of those 
things which may be propounded, discussed, and 
stated in an assembly of men, all whose wills, are 
contained in the will of the major part, what 
things are necessary to peace and common de- 
fence. But first of all, it is necessary to peace, 
that a man be so far forth protected against the 
violence of others, that he may live securely ; that 
is, that he may have no just cause to feat others, 
so long as he doth them no injury. Indeed, to 
make men altogether safe from mutual harms, so 
as they cannot be hurt or injuriously killed, is im- 
possible; and, therefore, comes not within delibera- 
tion. But care may be had, there be no just cause 
of fear ; for security is the end wherefore men sub- 
mit themselves to others ? which if it be not had, no 
man is supposed to have submitted himself to 


aught, or to have quitted his right to all things, CHAP. vi. 
before that there was a care had of his security. "" ' ' 

4. It is not enough to obtain this security, that That a coercive 

. . power is neees- 

every one of those who are now growing up into a saiy for security. 
city, do covenant with the rest, either by words or 
writing, not to steal, not to kill, and to observe 
the like laws ; for the pravity of human disposi- 
tion is manifest to all, and by experience too well 
known how little (removing the punishment) men 
are kept to their duties through conscience of their 
promises. ' We must therefore provide for our 
security, not by compacts, but by punishments; 
and there is then sufficient provision made, when 
there are so great punishments appointed for every 
injury, as apparently it prove a greater evil to have 
done it, than not to have done it. For all men, by 
a necessity of nature, choose that which to them 
appears to be the less evil. 

5. Now, the right of punishing is then under- what the sword 

-i -i . . i of justice is. 

stood to be given to any one, when every man 
contracts not to assist him who is to be punished. 
But I will call this right, the sword of justice. 
But these kind of contracts men observe well 
enough, for the most part, till either themselves or 
their near friends are to suffer. 

6. Because, therefore, for the security of parti- T^* ** 8Word 

' * * * of justice be- 

cular men, and, by consequence, tor the common ion gs to him 
peace, it is necessary that the right of using the 
sword for punishment be transferred to some man 
or council ; that man or council is necessarily un- 
derstood by right to have the supreme power in 
the city. For he that by right punisheth at his 
own discretion, by right compels all men to all 
things which he himself wills ; than which a greater 
command cannot be imagined. 


CHAP. vi. 7- But in vain do they worship peace at home, 
That the sword w ^ cannot defend themselves against foreigners ; 
of war belong* neither is it possible for them to protect themselves 

to him also. . , 

against foreigners, whose forces are not united. 
And therefore it is necessary for the preservation 
of particulars, that there be some one council or 
one man, who hath the right to arm, to gather to- 
gether, to unite so many citizens, in all dangers 
and on all occasions, as shall be needful for common 
defence against the certain number and strength 
of the enemy ; and again, as often as he shall find 
it expedient, to make peace with them. We must 
understand, therefore, that particular citizens have 
conveyed their whole right of war and peace unto 
some one man or council ; and that this right, 
which we may call the sword of war, belongs to 
the same man or council, to whom the sword of 
justice belongs. For no man can by right compel 
citizens to take up arms and be at the expenses of 
war, but he who by right can punish him who doth 
not obey. Both swords therefore, as well this of 
war as that of justice, even by the constitution 
itself of a city and essentially do belong to the 
chief command. 

The power of 8. But because the right of the sword, is nothing 
else but to have power by right to use the sword 
at his own will, it follows, that the judgment of its 
right use pertains to the same party ; for if the 
power of judging were in one, and the power of 
executing in another, nothing would be done. For 
in vain would he give judgment, who could not 
execute his commands ; or, if he executed them by 
the power of another, he himself is not said to have 
the power of the sword, but that other, to whom 


he is only an officer. All judgment therefore, in CHAP. vi. 
a city, belongs to him who hath the swords ; that is, ' ' 
to him who hath the supreme authority. 

9. Furthermore, since it no less, nay, it much Thele ? i ? 1 ? ti T B 

y 7 Jy power is his also. 

more conduceth to peace, to prevent brawls from 
arising than to appease them being risen ; and 
that all controversies are bred from hence, that the 
opinions of men differ concerning meum and tuum, 
just and unjust, profitable and unprofitable, good 
and evi^ honest and dishonest, and the like ; which 
every man esteems according to his own judgment : 
it belongs to the same chief power to make some 
common rules for all men, and to declare them pub- 
licly, by which every man may know what may be 
called his, what another's, what just, what unjust, 
what honest, what dishonest, what good, what evil ; 
that is summarily, what is to be done, what to be 
avoided in our common course of life. But those 
rules and measures are usually called the civil laws, 
or the laws of the city, as being the commands of 
him who hath the supreme power in the city. And 
the civil laws (that we may define them) are 
nothing else but the commands of him who hath 
the chief authority in the city, for direction of 
the future actions of his citizens. 

10. Furthermore, since the affairs of the city, That the naming 
both those of war and peace, cannot possibly be all LXcIrs be. 
administered by one man or one council without longstohimal80 ' 
officers and subordinate magistrates ; and that it 
appertaineth to peace and common defence, that 
they to whom it belongs justly to judge of contro- 
versies, to search into neighbouring councils, pru- 
dently to wage war, and on all hands warily to 
attend the benefit of the city, should also rightly 


CHAP. vi. exercise their offices ; it is consonant to reason 

""""""" "* that they depend on, and be chosen by him who 

hath the chief command both in war and in peace. 

The examination n. It is also manifest, that all voluntary actions 

of doctrines be-, ,.,../. i .11 T 

longs to him like- have their beginning from, and necessarily depend 
wwe ' on the will ; and that the will of doing or omitting 

aught, depends on the opinion of the good and evil, 
of the reward or punishment which a man conceives 
he shall receive by the act or omission : so as the 
actions of all men are ruled by the opinions of each. 
Wherefore, by evident and necessary inference, we 
may understand that it very much concerns the 
interest of peace, that no opinions or doctrines be 
delivered to citizens, by which they may imagine 
that either by right they may not obey the laws of 
the city, that is, the commands of that man or 
council to whom the supreme power is committed, 
or that it is lawful to resist him, or that a less pun- 
ishment remains for him that denies, than for him 
that yields obedience. For if one command some- 
what to be done under penalty of natural death, 
another forbid it under pain of eternal death, and 
both by their own right, it will follow that the 
citizens, although innocent, are not only by right 
punishable, but that the city itself is altogether dis- 
solved. For no man can serve two masters j nor is 
he less, but rather more a master, whom we believe 
we are to obey for fear of damnation, than he 
whom we obey for fear of temporal death. It fol- 
lows therefore that this one, whether man or 
court, to whom the city hath committed the su- 
preme power, have also this right ; that he . both 
judge what opinions* and doctrines are enemies 

* Judge what opinions, <Sfe.] There is scarce any principle, 


unto peace, and also that he forbid them to be CHAP. vi. 

12. Last of all. from this consideration, that whatsoever 

11 i i i "ii -i i lie doth is 

each citizen hath submitted his will to has who unpunishable. 
hath the supreme command in the city, so as he 
may not employ his strength against him ; it fol- 

neither in the worship of God jior [in human sciences, from 
whence there may not spring dissensions, discords, reproaches, 
and by degrees war itself. Neither^doth this happen by reason of 
the falsehood of the principle, but of the disposition] of men, 
who, seeming wise to themselves, will needs appear such to all 
others. But though such dissensions cannot be hindered from 
arising, yet may they be restrained by the exercise of the su- 
preme power, that they prove no hindrance to the public peace., 
Of these kinds of opinions, therefore, I have not spoken in this 
place. There are certain doctrines wherewith subjects being 
tainted, they verily believe that obedience may be refused to the 
city, and that by right they may, nay ought, to oppose and fight 
against chief princes and dignities. Such are those which, 
whether directly and openly, or more obscurely and by conse- 
quence, require obedience to be given to others beside them to 
whom the supreme authority is committed. I deny not but this 
reflects on that power which many, living under other govern- 
ment, ascribe to the chief head of the Church of Rome, and 
also on that which elsewhere, out of that Church, bishops require 
in their's to be given to them ; and last of all, on that liberty 
which the lower sort of citizens, under pretence of religion, do 
challenge to themselves. For what civil war was there ever in the 
Christian world, which did not either grow from, or was nourished 
by this root? The judgment therefore of doctrines, whether 
they be repugnant to civil obedience or not, and if they be re- 
pugnant, the power of prohibiting them to be taught, I do here 
attribute to the civil authority. For since there is no man who 
grants not to the city the judgment of those things which belong 
to its peace and defence, and it is manifest that the opinions 
which I have already recited do relate to its peace ; it follows ne- 
cessarily, that the examination of those opinions, whether they 
be such or not, must be referred to the city; that is, to him who 
hath the supreme authority. 


CHAP, vi. lows manifestly, that whatsoever shall be done by 
him who commands, must not be punished. For as 
he who hath not power enough, cannot punish him 
naturally, so neither can he punish him by right, 
who by right hath not sufficient power. 
That he hath 13. it i s mo st manifest by what hath been said, 

an absolute do- J 

minion granted that m every perfect city, that is, where no citizen 
1 w C hat hath right to use his faculties at his own discretion 
for the preservation of himself, or where the right 

unto him. O f ^e private sword is excluded ; there is a supreme 
power in some one, greater than which cannot by 
right be conferred by men, or greater than which 
no mortal man can have over himself. But that 
power, greater than which cannot by men be con- 
veyed on a man, we call absolute.* For whoso- 

* Absolute."] A popular state openly challengeth absolute do- 
minion, and the citizens oppose it not. For, in the gathering toge- 
ther of many men, they acknowledge the face of a city ; and even 
the unskilful understand, that matters there are ruled by council. 
Yet monarchy is no less a city than democraty ; and absolute 
kings have their counsellors, from whom they will take advice, 
and suffer their power, in matters of greater consequence, to be 
guided but not recalled. But it appears not to most men, how a 
city is contained in the person of a king. And therefore they ob- 
ject against absolute command : first, that if any man had such a 
right, the condition of the citizens would be miserable. For thus 
they think ; he will take all, spoil all, kill all ; and every man 
counts it his only happiness, that he, is not already spoiled and 
killed. But why should he do thus ? j ^Tot because he can ; for un- 
less he have a mind to it, he will not do it. Will he, to please 
one or some few, spoil all the rest ? First, though by right, that 
is, without injury to them, he may do it, yet can he not do it 
justly, that is, without breach of the natural laws and injury 
against God. And therefore there is some security for subjects 
in the oaths which princes take. Next, if he could justly do it, 
or that he made no account of his oath, yet appears there no rea- 
son why he should desire it, since he finds no good in it. But it 


ever hath so submitted his will to the will of the CHAP, vi, 
city, that he can, unpunished, do any thing, make * 7"^ 
laws, judge controversies, set penalties, make use absolute 
at his own pleasure of the strength and wealth of domunon ' &C4 
men, and all this by right ; truly he hath given him 
the greatest dominion that can be granted. This 
same may be confirmed by experience, in all the 
cities which are or ever have been. For though it 
be sometimes in doubt what man or council hath 
the chief command, yet ever there is such a com- 
mand and always exercised, except in the time of 
sedition and civil war ; and then there are two chief 
commands made out of one. Now, those seditious 
persons who dispute against absolute authority, do 

cannot be denied, but a prince may sometimes have an inclina- 
tion to do wickedly. But grant then, that thou hadst given him a 
power which were not absolute, but so much only as sufficed to 
defend thee from the injuries of others; which, if thou wilt be 
safe, is necessary for thee to give ; are not all the same things to 
be feared ? F6r he that hath strength enough to protect all, 
wants not sufficiency to oppress all. Here is no other difficulty 
then, but tha^ human affairs cannot be without some inconve- 
nience. And this inconvenience itself is in the citizens, not in 
the government. For if men could rule themselves, every man by 
his own command, that is to say, could they live according to the 
laws of nature, there would be no need at all of a city, nor of a 
common coercive power. Secondly, they object, that there is 
no dominion in the Christian*world absolute. Which, indeed, is 
not true ; for all monarchies, and all other states, are so. For 
although they who have the chief command, do not all those 
things they would, and what they know profitable to the city ; 
the reason of that is, not the defect of right in them, but the con- 
sideration of their v <utizgns, who busied about their private in- 
terest, and careless of what tends to the public, cannot sometimes 
be drawn to perform their duties without the hazard of the city. 
Wherefore princes sometimes forbear the exercise of their right ; 
and prudently remit somewhat of the act, but nothing of their 



CHAP. vi. not so much care to destroy it, as to convey it on 
That he hath others t for removing this power, they together 
an absolute take away civil society, and a confusion of all 

dominion, &o> 

things returns. There is so much obedience joined 
to this absolute right of the chief ruler, as is neces- 
sarily required for the government of the city, that 
is to say, so much as that right of his may not be 
granted in vain. Now this kind of obedience, 
although for some reasons it may sometimes by 
right be denied, yet because a greater cannot be 
performed, we will call it simple. But the obli- 
gation to perform this grows not immediately from 
that contract, by which we have conveyed all our 
right on the city ; but immediately from hence, that 
without obedience the city's right would be frus- 
trate, and by consequence there would be no 
city constituted. For it is one thing if I say, / 
give you right to command what you will ; another, 
if I say, I will do whatsoever you command. And 
the command may be such, as I would rather die 
than do it. Forasmuch, therefore, as no man can 
be bound to will being killed, much less is he tied 
to that which to him is worse than death. If 
therefore I be commanded to kill myself, I am not 
bound to do it. For though I deny to do it, yet the 
right of dominion is not frustrated; since others 
may be found, who being commanded will not re- 
fuse to do it ; neither do I refuse to do that, which 
I have contracted to do. In like manner, if the 
chief ruler command any man to kill him, he is 
not tied to do it ; because it cannot be conceived 
that he made any such covenant. Nor if he com- 
mand to execute a parent, whether he be innocent 
or guilty and condemned by the law ; since there 


are others who being commanded will do that* and 
a son will rather die than live infamous and hated 
of all the world. There are many other cases in 
which, since the commands are shameful to be 
done by some and not by others, obedience tmay 
by right be performed by these, and refused by 
those ; and this without breach of that absolute 
right which was given to the chief ruler. For in no 
case is the right taken away from him, of slaying 
those who shall refuse to obey him. But they who 
thus kill men, although by right given them from 
him that hath it, yet if they use that right other- 
wise than right reason requires, they sin against 
the laws of nature, that is, against God. 

14. Neither can any man give somewhat to That he is 
himself ; for he is already supposed to have what observe the 
he can give himself. Nor can he be obliged to laws of the city> 
himself; for the same party being both the obliged 
and the obliger, and the obliger having power to 
release the obliged, it were merely in vain for a 
man to be obliged to himself ; because he can re- 
lease himself at his own pleasure, and he that 
can do this is already actually free. Whence it is 
plain, that the city is not tied to the civil laws ; for 
the civil laws are the laws of the city, by which, 
if she were engaged, she should be engaged to 
herself. Neither can the city be obliged to her 
citizen ; because, if he will, he can free her from 
her obligation ; and he will, as oft as she wills ; for 
the will of every citizen is in all things compre- 
hended in the will of the city ; the city therefore 
is free when she pleaseth, that is, she is now ac- 
tually free. But the will of a council, or one who 
hath supreme authority given him, is the will of 



.CHAP. vi. the city : he therefore contains the wills of all 
* *~~* particular citizens. Therefore neither is he bound 
to the civil laws ; for this is to be bound to himself; 
nor to any of his citizens. 

That no man 15. Now because, as hath been shown above, 
before the constitution of a city all things belonged 
to all men ; nor is there that thing which any man 
can so C Q\\ fa S} as an y other may not, by the same 
right, claim as his own ; for where all things are 
common, there can be nothing proper to any man ; 
it follows, that propriety received its beginning * 
when cities received their's, and that that only is 
proper to each man, which he can keep by the 
laws and the power of the whole city, that is, of 
him on whom its chief command is conferred. 
Whence we understand, that each particular citizen 
hath a propriety to which none of his fellow- 
citizens hath right, because they are tied to the 
same laws ; but he hath no propriety in which the 
chief ruler (whose commands are the laws, whose 
will contains the will of each man, and who by 
every single person is constituted the supreme 
judge) hath not a right. But although there be 
many things which the city permits to its citizens, 
and therefore they may sometimes go to law 
against their chief; yet is not that action be- 

* Propriety received its beginning, fyc."] What is objected by 
some, that the propriety of goods, even before the constitution of 
cities, was found in fathers of families, that objection is vain ; 
because I have already declared, that a family is a little city. For 
the sons of a family have a propriety of their goods granted them 
by their father, distinguished indeed from the rest of the sons of 
the same family, but not from the propriety of the father himself. 
But the fathers of divers families, who arc subject neither to any 
common father nor lord, have a common right in all things. 


longing to civil right, but to natural equity . v JDHAP. vi 
Neither is it concerning what* by right he may "~~ * '~^ 
do who hath the supreme power, bat what he hath 
been willing should be done ; and therefore he 
shall be judge himself, as though (the equity of 
the cause being well understood) he 'could not 
give wrong judgment. 

16. Theft, murder, adultery, and all injuries, it"fcn<>t> 

> ' -7' J t 'the civilians 

are forbid by the laws of nature; but what is to what theft, mur- 
be called theft , what murder, what adultery, what a 
injury in a citizen, this is not to be determined by 
the natural, but by the civil law. . For not every 
taking away of the thing which another possesseth, 
but only another man's goods, is theft ; but what 
is our's, and what another's, is a question belong- 
ing to the civil law. In like manner, not every 
killing of a man is murder, but only that which 
the civil law forbids ; neither is all encounter with 
women adultery, but only that which the civil law 
prohibits. Lastly, all breach of promise is an in- 
jury, where the promise itself is lawful ; but where 

* What by right he may do, fc.] As often as a citizen is 
granted to have an action of law against the supreme, that is, 
against the city, the question is not in that action, whether the 
city may by right keep possession of the thing in controversy, 
but whether by the laws formerly made she would keep it; for 
the law is the declared will of the supreme. Since then the city 
may raise money from the citizens under two titles, either as 
tribute, or as debt ; in the former case there is no action of law 
allowed, for there can be no question whether the city have right 
to require tribute; in the latter it is allowed, because the city 
will take nothing from its citizens by fraud or cunning, and yet 
if need require, all they have, openly. And therefore he that 
condemns this place, saying, that by this doctrine it is easy 
for princes to free themselves from their debts, he does it im- 


OHAB..VI. there is no right to make any compact, there can 
T*^T^~"T be no conveyance of it, and therefore there can no 

It is Known by * 

theciviiiaws iniury follow, as hath been said in the second 

what theft, &c. / !. A ,L- i , >* TVT i ^ ^^ 

chapter, Article 17. Now what we may contract 
for, and what not, depends wholly upon the civil 
laws. The city of Lacedsemon therefore rightly 
ordered, that those young men who could so take 
away certain goods from others as not to be 
caught, should go unpunished ; for it was nothing 
else but to make a law, that what was so acquired 
should be their own, and not another's. Rightly 
also is that man everywhere slain, whom we kill in 
war or by th^necessity of self-defence. So also 
that copulation ^which in one city is matrimony, in 
another will be judged adultery. Also those con- 
tracts which make up marriage in one citizen, do 
not so in another, although of the same city ; be- 
cause that he who is forbidden by the city, that is, 
by that one man or council whose the supreme 
power is, to contract aught, hath no right to make 
any contract, and therefore having made any, it is 
not valid, and by consequence no marriage. But 
his contract which received no prohibition, was 
therefore of force, and so was matrimony. Neither 
adds it any force to any unlawful contracts, that 
they were made by an oath or sacrament;* for 

* That they were made by an oath or sacrament, #c.] Whether 
matrimony be a sacrament, (in which sense that word is used by 
some divines), or not, it is not my purpose to dispute. Only I say, 
that the legitimate contract of a man and woman to live together, 
that is, granted by the civil law, whether it be a sacrament or not, 
is surely a legitimate marriage ; but that copulatipn which the 
city hath prohibited is no marriage, since it is of (he essence of 
marriage to be a legitimate contract. 1 There were legitimate 
marriages in many places, as among the Jews, the Grecians, the 


those add nothing to the strengthening of the CHAF.VJ. 
contract, as hath been said above, Chap. n. Art. 22. *~ -'- - 
What therefore theft, what murder, what adultery, 
and in general what injury is, must be known by 
the civil laws ; that is, the commands of him who 
hath the supreme authority. 

17. This same supreme command and absolute The P inion of 

*, those who would 

power, seems so harsh to the greatest part of men, constitute a city, 
as they hate the very naming of them ; which 
happens chiefly through want of knowledge, what 
human nature and the civil laws are ; and partly 
also through their default, who, when they are in- 
vested with so great authority, abuse their power 
to their own lust. That they may therefore avoid 
this kind of supreme authority, some of them will 
have a city well enough constituted, if they who 
shall be the citizens' convening, do agree concern- 
ing certain articles propounded, and in that con- 
vent agitated and approved, and do command 
them to be observed, and punishments prescribed 
to be inflicted on them who shall break them. To 
which purpose, and also to the repelling of a 
foreign enemy, they appoint a certain and limited 
return, with this condition, that if that suffice not, 
they may call a new convention of estates. Who 

Romans, which yet might be dissolved. But with those who per- 
mit no such contracts but by a law that they shall never be 
broke, wedlock cannot be dissolved ; and the reason is, because 
the city hath commanded it to be indissoluble, not because ma- 
trimony is a sacrament. Wherefore the ceremonies which at 
weddings are to be performed in the temple, to bless, or, if I may 
say so, to consecrate the husband and wife, will perhaps belong 
only to the office of clergymen ; all the rest, namely, who, when, 
and by what contracts marriages may be made, pertains to the 
laws pf the city. 


CHAP, vi* sees not in a city thus constituted, that the assem- 
~~ * bly who prescribed those things had an absolute 
power ? If therefore the assembly continue, or 
from time to time have a certain day and place of 
meeting, that power will be perpetual. But if they 
wholly dissolve, either the city dissolves with 
them, and so all is returned to the state of war : or 
else there is somewhere a power left to punish 
those who shall transgress the laws, whosoever or 
how many soever they be that have it ; which can- 
not possibly be without an absolute power. For he 
that by right hath this might given, by punish- 
ments to restrain what citizens he pleaseth, hath 
such a power as a greater cannot possibly be 
given by any citizens. 
The notes of su. jg^ it i s therefore manifest, that in every city 

preme authority. ' J J 

there is some one man, or council, or court, who 
by right hath as great a power over each single 
citizen, as each man hath over himself considered 
out of that civil state ; that is, supreme and abso- 
lute, to be limited only by the strength and forces 
of the city itself, and by nothing else in the world. 
For if his power were limited, that limitation must 
necessarily proceed from some greater power. For 
he that prescribes limits, must have a greater 
power than he who is confined by them. Now that 
confining power is either without limit, or is again 
restrained by some other greater than itself ; and 
so we shall at length arrive to a power, which hath 
no other limit but that which is the terminus ulti- 
mas of the forces of all the citizens together. That 
same is called the supreme command ; and if it be 
committed to a council, a supreme council, but if 
to one man, the supreme lord of the city. Now 


the notes of supreme command are these : 'to make CHAP, vn 
and abrogate laws, to determine war and peace, *"~'~ r ~" ' 
to know and judge of all controversies, either by 
himself, or by judges appointed by him ; to elect 
all magistrates, ministers, and counsellors.) Lastly, 
if there be any man who by right can do some 
one action, which is not lawful for any citizen or 
citizens to do beside himself, that man hath ob- 
tained the supreme power. For those things 
which by right may not be done by any one or 
many citizens, the city itself can only do. He 
therefore that doth those things, useth the city's 
right ; which is the supreme power. 

19. They who compare a city and its citizens 
with a man and his members, almost all say, th 
he who hath the supreme power in the city is in 
relation to the whole city, such as the head is t 
the whole man. But it appears by what hathn' S ouiiatothe 
been already said, that he who is endued with" 11 ' 
such a power, whether it be a man or a court, 
hath a relation to the city, not as that of the head, 
but of the soul to the body. For it is the soul by 
which a man hath a will, that is, can either will or 
nill ; so by him who hath the supreme power, and 
no otherwise, the city hath a will, and can either 
will or nill. A court *of counsellors is rather to 
be compared with the head, or one counsellor, 
whose only counsel (if of any one alone) the chief 
ruler makes use of in matters of greatest moment : 
for the office of the head is to counsel, as the soul's 
is to command. 

20* Forasmuch as the supreme command is con- That the u- 
stituted by virtue of the compacts which each cannot^y right 
single citizen or subject mutually makes with the bediwolvedby 


CHAP. vi. other ; but all contracts, as they receive their force 
their consents f rom ^ e contractors, so by their consent they lose 
** again and are broken : perhaps some may infer 
hence, that by the consent of all the subjects to- 
gether the supreme authority may be wholly taken 
away. Which inference, if it were true, I cannot 
discern what danger would thence by right arise 
to the supreme commanders. For since it is sup- 
posed that each one hath obliged himself to each 
other ; if any one of them shall refuse, whatsoever 
the rest shall agree to do, he is bound notwith- 
standing^ Neither can any man without injury to 
me, do that which by contract made with me he 
hath obliged himself not to do. But it is not to be 
imagined that ever it will happen, that all the sub- 
jects together, not so much as one excepted, will 
combine against the supreme power. Wherefore 
there is no fear for rulers in chief, that by any 
right they can be despoiled of their authority. If, 
notwithstanding, it were granted that their right 
depended only on that contract which each man 
makes with his fellow-citizen, it might very easily 
happen that they might be robbed of that domi- 
nion under pretence of right. For subjects being 
called either by the command of the city, or sedi- 
tiously flocking together, most men think' that the 
consents of all are contained in the votes of the 
greater part ; which in truth is false. For it is not 
from nature that the consent of the major part 
sfiould be received for the consent of all, neither 
is it true in tumults ; but it proceeds from civil in- 
stitution : and is then only true, when that man or 
court which hath the supreme power, assembling 
his subjects, by reason of the greatness of their 


number allows those that are elected a power of CHA*. 
speaking for those who elected them; and will^^ 
have the major part of voices, in such matters as preme power 
are by him propounded to be discussed, to be 
effectual as the whole. But we cannot imagine 
that he who is chief, ever convened his subjects 
with intention that they should dispute his right ; 
unless weary of the burthen of his charge, he de- 
clared in plain terms that he renounces and 
abandons his government. Now, because most 
men through ignorance esteem not the consent of 
the major part of citizens only, but even of a very 
few, provided they be of their opinion, for the 
consent of the whole city ; it may very well seem 
to them, that the supreme authority may by right 
be abrogated, so it be done in some great assembly 
of citizens by the votes of the greater number. 
But though a government be constituted by the 
contracts of , particular men with particulars, yet 
its right depends not on that obligation only; 
there is another tie also towards him who com- 
mands. For each citizen compacting with his fel- 
low, says thus : / convey my right on this party, 
upon condition that you pass yours to the same : 
by which means, that right which every man had 
before to use his faculties to his own advantage, 
is now wholly translated on some certain man or 
council for the common benefit. Wherefore what 
by the mutual contracts each one hath made with 
the other, what by the donation of right which 
every man is bound to ratify to him that com- 
mands, <ithe government is upheld by a double 
obligation from the citizens ; first, that which is 
due to their fellow-citizens ; next, that which they 


CUAP. vi. owe to their prince.; Wherefore no subjects, how 
1 ~ many soever they be, can with any right despoil 
him who bears the chief rule of his authority, even 
without his own consent. 



1. That there are three kinds of government only, democracy, 
aristocracy, monarchy. 2. That oligarchy is not a diverse form 
of government distinct from aristocracy, nor anarchy any form 
at all. 3. That a tyranny is not a diverse state from a legitimate 
monarchy. 4?. That there cannot be a mixed state, fashioned 
out of these several species. 5. That democracy, except there 
be certain times and places of meeting prefixed, is dissolved. 
6. In a democracy the intervals of the times of meeting must 
be short, or the administration of government during the in- 
terval committed to some one. 7. In a democracy, particulars 
contract with particulars to obey the people : the people is 
obliged to no man. 8. By what acts aristocracy is constituted. 
9. In an aristocracy the nobles make no compact, neither are 
they obliged to any citizen or to the whole people. 10. The 
nobles must necessarily have their set meetings. 11. By 
what acts monarchy is constituted. 12. Monarchy id by com- 
pact obliged to none for the authority it hath received. 
13. Monarchy is ever in the readiest capacity to exercise all 
those acts which are requisite to good government. 14. What 
kind of sin that is, and what sort of men are guilty .of it, when 
the city performs not its office towards the citizens, nor the 
citizens towards the city. 15. A monarch made without limi- 
tation of time hath power to elect his successor. 16. Of 
limited monarchs. 17. A monarch, retaining his right of 
government, cannot by any promise whatsoever be conceived 
to have parted with his right to the means necessary to the 
exercise of his authority. 18. How a citizen is freed from 

There are three I . WE have already spoken of a city by institu* 
' tion in its genus ; we will now say somewhat of 


its species. As for the difference of cities, it is CHAP.VU, 
taken from the difference of the persons to whom """""' " 

*__,.. . moeracy, aristo- 

the supreme power is committed. This power is cracy, and mo- 

committed either to one man, or council, or some narcliy ' 

one court consisting of many men. Furthermore, 

a council of many men consists either of all the 

citizens, insomuch as every man of them hath a 

right to vote, and an interest in the ordering of 

the greatest affairs, if he will himself ; or of a part 

only. From whence there arise three sorts of 

government ; the one, < when the power is in a 

council where every citizen hath a right to vote ; 

and it is called a democracy. The other, when it is in 

a council, where not all, but some part only have 

their suffrages ; and we call it an aristocracy. The 

third is that, when the supreme authority rests 

only in one ; and it is styled a monarchy. In the 

first, he that governs is called Sf^ioc, the people ; 

in the secpnd, the nobles ; in the third, the 


2. Now, although ancient writers of politics oligarchy is no 
have introduced three other kinds of government Let "from 1 
opposite to these ; to wit, anarchy or confusion to ^ 
democracy ; oligarchy, that is, the command of state at a11 - 
some few, to aristocracy, and tyranny to monarchy; 
yet are*tiot these threfc distinct forms of govern- 
ment, but three diverse titles given by those who 
were either displeased with that present govern- 
ment or those that bare rule.) For men, by giving 
names, do usually not only signify the things them- 
selves, but also their own affections, as love, ha- 
tred, anger, and the like. Whence it happens that 
what one man calls a democracy, another calls an 
anarchy ; what one counts an aristocracy, another 


CHAP, vir, esteems an oligarchy ; and whom one titles a king, 
""""^ ' another styles him a tyrant. So as we see, these 
names betoken not a diverse kind of government, 
but the diverse opinions of the subjects concerning 
him who hath the supreme power. For first, who 
sees not that anarchy is equally opposite to all the 
aforenamed forms ? For that word signifies that 
there is no government at all, that is, not any city. 
But how is it possible that no city should be the 
species of a city ? Furthermore, what difference 
is there between an oligarchy, which signifies the 
command of &few or grandees, or an aristocracy, 
which is that of the prime or chief heads, more 
than that men differ so among themselves, that the 
same things seem not good to all men ? Whence it 
happens that those persons, who by some are looked 
on as the best, are by others esteemed to be the 
worst of all men. 

That a tyranny 3. B u t men ^y re ason of their passions, will 

is not a diverse * J . 

state from a iegi. very hardly be persuaded that a kingdom - and 

timate monarchy J ^ -f i j * ,_ i_ ^ i 

tyranny are not diverse kinds of cities; who though 
they would rather* have the city subject to one 
than many, yet do they not believe it to be well 
governed unless it accord with their judgments.) 
But we must discover by reason, and not by pas- 
sion, what the difference is between a king and a 
tyrant. But first, they differ not in this, that a 
tyrant hath the greater power ; for greater than 
the supreme cannot be granted ; nor in this, that 
one hath a limited {>ower, the other not ; for he 
whose authority is limited, is no king, but his sub- 
ject that limits him. Lastly, neither differ they in 
their manner of acquisition ; for if in a democra- 
tical or aristocratical government some one citi- 


zen should, by force, possess himself of the su- CHAP.VIP. 
preme power, if he gain the consent of all the *-~-*~~* 
citizens, he becomes a legitimate monarch ; if not, 
he is an energy, not a tyrant. They differ there- 
fore in the sole exercise of their command, inso- 
much as he is said to be a king who governs well, 
and he a tyrant that doth otherwise. The case 
therefore is brought to this pass ; that a king, legi- 
timately constituted in his government, if he seem 
to his subjects to rule well and to . their liking, 
they afford him the appellation of a king ; if not, 
they count him a tyrant. Wherefore we see a 
kingdom and tyranny are not diverse forms of 
government, but one and the self-same monarch 
hath the name of a king given him in point of 
honour and reverence to him, and of a tyrant in 
way of contumely and reproach. But what we 
frequently find in books said against tyrants, took 
its original from Greek and Roman writers, whose 
government was partly democratical, and partly 
aristocratical, and therefore not tyrants only, but 
even kings were odious to them. 

4. There are, who indeed do think it necessary That there 
that a supreme command should be somewhere ex- steteTe'foraed 
tant in a city ; but if it should be in any one, n^eV wnaT*" 
either man or council, it would follow, they say, that of s vernment - 
al! 4 the citizens must be slaves. Avoiding this condi- 
tion, they imagine that there may be a certain form 
of government compounded of those three kinds we 
have spoken of, yet different from each particular ; 
which they call a mixed monarchy, or mixed aris 
tocracy, or mixed democracy, according as any one 
of these three sorts shall be more eminent than 
the rest. For example, if the naming of magistrates 


CHAP, vii. and the arbitration of war and peace should belong 
""" "^ to the King, judicature to the Lords, and contribu- 
tion of monies to the People, and the power of 
making laws to all together, this kind of state 
would they call a mixed monarchy forsooth. But 
if it were possible that there could be such a state, 
it would no whit advantage the liberty of the sub- 
ject. For as long as they all agree, each single 
citizen is as much subject as possibly he can be : 
but if they disagree, the state returns to a civil 
war and the right of the private sword; which 
certainly is much worse than any subjection what- 
soever. But that there can be no such kind of go- 
vernment,* hath been sufficiently demonstrated in 
the foregoing chapter, art. 6-12. 

5. Let us see a little now, in the constituting of 

Thatdempcra- eac h f orm o f government what the constitutors do. 

cy,exceptit have o V i % ft 

certain timesan^ Those who met together with intention to erect 

places of meet- . , . , 

ing prescribed, a city, were almost in the very act of meeting, a 
ia dissolved, democracy. For in that they willingly met, they 

* But that there can be no such kind of government.'] Most 
men grant, that a government ought not to be divided ; but they 
would have it moderated and bounded by some limits. Truly it 
is very reasonable it should be so; but if these men, when they 
speak of moderating and limiting, do understand dividing it, they 
make a very fond distinction. (Truly, for my part, I wish that 
not only kings, but all other persons endued with supreme autho- 
rity, would so temper themselves as to commit no wrong, and 
only minding their charges, contain themselves within the limits 
of the natural and divine laws?) But they who distinguish thus, 
they would have the chief power bounded and restrained by 
others : which, because it cannot be done but they who do set 
the limits must needs have some part of the power, whereby they 
may be enabled to do it, the government is properly divided, not 


are supposed obliged to the observation of what CHAP, viu 
shall be determined by the major part ; which, *" ' ' 
while that convent lasts, or is adjourned to some 
certain days and places, is a clear democracy. For 
that convent, whose will is the will of all the citi- 
zens, hath the supreme authority ; and because in 
this convent every man is supposed to have a right 
to give his voice, it follows that it is a democracy, 
by the definition given in the first article of this 
chapter. \ But if they depart and break up the con- 
vent, and appoint no time or place where and 
when they shall meet again, the public weal re- 
turns to anarchy and the same state it stood in 
before their meeting, that is, to the state of all 
men warring against all. The people, therefore, 
retains the supreme power, no longer than there is 
a certain day and place publicly appointed and 
known, to which whosoever will may resort. For 
except known and determined, they may 
either meet at divers times and places, that is, in 
factions, or not at all ; and then it is no longer 
Si/uoc, the people, but a dissolute multitude, to 
whom we can neither attribute any action or right. 
Two things therefore frame a democracy ; whereof 
one, to wit, the perpetual prescription of convents, 
makes 8r?juov, the people; the other, which is a 
plurality of voices, TO icparoc, or the power. ,} 

6. Furthermore, it will not be sufficient for the in democracy, 

... the intervals 

people, so as to maintain its supremacy, to have of the times of 

some certain known times and places of meeting, ^ 
unless that either the(mtervals of the times be of ^u 
less distance, ttian that anything may in the mean- nt commuted 
time happen whereby, by reason of the defect of 
power, the city may be brought into some danger ; 



CHAP. vn. or at least that the exercise of the supreme autho* 
' " ' rity be, during the interval, granted to some one 
man or counciL For unless this be done, there is 
not that wary care and heed taken for the defence 
and peace of single men, which ought to be ; and 
therefore it will not deserve the name of a city, be- 
cause that in it, for want of security, every -man's 
right of defending himself at his own pleasure 
returns to him again. 

in a democracy, 7. Democracy is not framed by contract of par- 

particulars con- . ii 7 i 

tract with par- ticular persons with the people, but by mutual 

compacts of single nten each with- other. But 
S J bliged h ence ft appears, in the first place, that the persons 
contracting must be in being before the contract 
itself. But the people is not in being before the con- 
stitution of government, as not being any person, 
but a multitude of single persons ; wherefore there 
could then no contract pass between the people and 
the subject. Now, if after that government is 
framed, the subject make any contract with the 
people, it is in vain ; because the people contains 
within its will the will of that subject, to whom it 
is supposed to be obliged ; and therefore may at 
its own will and pleasure disengage itself, and by 
consequence is now actually free. But in the 
second place, that single persons do contract each 
with other, may be inferred from hence ; that in 
vain sure would the city have been constituted, if 
the citizens had been engaged by no contracts to 
do or omit what the city should command to be 
done or omitted. Because, therefore, such kind 
of compacts must be understood to pass as neces- 
sary to the making up of a city, but none can be 
made (as is already shewed) between the subject 


and the people ;(it follows, that they must be made CHAP.VH. 

between single citizens, namely, that each man ' ' * 

contract to submit his will to the will of the major 

part, on condition that the rest also do the like. As 

if every one should say thus : I give up my right 

unto the people for your sake, on condition that 

you also deliver up yours for mine.". 

8. An aristocracy or council of nobles endowed By "??* acts 

J an aristocracy 

with supreme authority, receives its original from fa framed. 
a democracy, which gives up its right unto it. 
Where we must understand that certain men dis 
tinguished from others, either by eminence of title, 
blood, or some other character, are propounded to 
the people, and by plurality of voices are elected ; 
and being elected, the whole right of the people or 
city is conveyed on them, insomuch as whatsoever 
the people might do before, the same by right may 
this court of elected nobles now do. Which being 
done, it is cKar that the people, considered as one 
person, its supreme authority being already trans- 
ferred on these, is no longer now in being. 

9. As in democracy the people, so in an aristo- in an aristo. 
cracy the court of nobles is free from all manner of Swm^no 
obligation. For seeing subjects not contracting S^S^tT 
with the people, but by mutual compacts among ay citizen, or to 

r r * J r foe whole people. 

themselves, were tied to all that the people did ; 
hence also they were tied to that act of the people, 
in resigning up its right of government into the 
hands of nobles. Neither could this court, although 
elected by the people, be by it obliged to anything. 
JPor being erected, the people is at once dissolved, 
as was declared above, and the authority it had as 
being a person, utterly vanisheth. Wherefore the 





The nobles 
must necessa- 
rily have their 
set meetings. 

By what 
acts a monar- 
chy is framed. 

That the mo. 


obligation which was due to the person, must also 
vanish, and perish together with it x ) 
.10. Aristocracy hath these considerations, toge- 
ther with democracy. First, that without an ap- 
pointment of some certain times and places, at 
which the court of nobles may meet, it is no longer a 
court, or one person, but a dissolute multitude with- 
out any supreme power. Secondly, that the times 
of their assembling cannot be disjoined by long in- 
tervals without prejudice to the supreme power, 
unless its administration be transferred to some 
one man. Now the reasons why this happens, are 
the same which we set down in the fifth article. 

11. As an aristocracy, so also a monarchy is 
derived from the power of the people, transferring 
its right, that is, its authority on one man. Here 
also we must understand, that some one man, 
either by name or some other token, is propounded 
to be taken notice of above all the rest ; and that 
by a plurality of voices the whole right of the peo- 
ple is conveyed on him ; insomuch as whatsoever 
the people could do before he were elected, the 
same in every respect may he by right now do, 
being elected. Which being done, the people is 
no longer one person, but a rude multitude, as 
being only one before by virtue of the supreme 
command, whereof they now have mads a convey- 
ance from themselves on this one man. 

\2.{ And therefore neither doth the monarch 
oblige himself to any for the command he receives. 
F r he receives it from the people ; but as hath 
been shewed above, the people, as soon as that act 
is do,ne, ceaseth to be a person ; but the person 
vanishing, all obligation to the person vanisheth. 


The subjects therefore are tied to perform obe- CHAP. vu. 
dience to the monarch, by those compacts only by ' ' ' 
which they mutually obliged themselves to the ob- 
servation of all that the people should command 
them, that is, to obey that monarch, if he were 
made by the people. 

13. But a monarchy differs as well from an A monarch 
aristocracy as a democracy, in this chiefly ; that read"r l ca*acity 
in those there must be certain set times and places 2^^ which 
for deliberation and consultation of affairs, that is, are requisite u. 
for the actual exercise of it in all times and places. we goverwn5 ' 
For the people or the nobles not being one natural 
person, must necessarily have their meetings. The 
monarch, who is one by nature, is always in a pre- 

sent capacity to execute his authority. 

14. Because we have declared above, (in art. **> Wnd of 

^ \ -i i 11 i sin that is, and 

7, 9, 12), that they who have gotten the supreme what sort of 

command, are by no compacts obliged to any man, 
it necessarily follows, that they can do no injury ^f^ 6 
to the subjects. For injury, according: to the de- to the 

. . J T . T . , . , northe citizens 

nmtion made m chap. in. art. 3, is nothing else towards the city 
but a breach of contract ; and therefore where no 
contracts have part, there can be no injury. Yet 
the people, the nobies, and the monarch may di- 
verse ways transgress against the other laws of 
nature," as by cruelty* iniquity, contumely, and 
other like vices, which come not under this strict 
and exact notion of injury. But if the subject 
yield not obedience to the supreme, he will in pro- 
priety of speech be said to be injurious, as well to 
his fellow-subjects, because each man hath com- 
pacted with jthe other to obey ; as to his chiej 
ruler, in resuming that right which he hath given 


CHAP. vu. him, without his consent. And in a democracy or 
**""** ' aristocracy, if anything be decreed against any law 
of nature, the city itself, that is, the civil person 
sins not, but those subjects only by whose votes 
it was, decreed ; for sin is a consequence of the na- 
tural express will, not of the political, which is 
artificial. For if it were otherwise, they would be 
guilty by whom the decree was absolutely dis- 
liked. But in a monarchy, if the monarch make 
any decree against the laws of nature, he sins 
himself; because in him the civil will and the na- 
tural are all one, 

A monarch 15. The people who are about to make a mo- 
o? narch, may give him the supremacy either simply 
without limitation of time, or for a certain season 
and time determined. If simply, we must under- 
stand that he who receives it, hath the self-same 
power which they had who gave it. On the same 
grounds, therefore, that the people by right could 
make him a monarch, may he make another mo- 
narch. (Insomuch as the monarch to whom the 
command is simply given, receives a right not of 
possession only, but of succession also ; so as he 
may declare whom he gleaseth for his successor*} 

of limited 16. But if the power be given for a time limited, 

we must have regard to somewhat more than the 
bare gift only. First, whether the people convey- 
ing its authority, left itself any right to meet at 
certain times and places, or not. Next, if it have 
reserved this power, whether it were done so as 
they might meet before that time were expired, 
which they prescribed to the monarch. Thirdly, 
whether they were contented to meet only at the 
will of that temporary monarch, and not other- 


wise. Suppose now the people had delivered up CHAP* vn. 
its power to some one man for term of life only ; ~ "^ 
which being done, let us suppose in the first place, 
that every man departed from the council without 
making any order at all corjcerning the place, where 
after his death they should meet again to make a 
new election. In this case, it is manifest by the 
fifth article of this chapter, that the people ceaseth 
to be a person, and is become a dissolute multi- 
tude ; every one whereof hath an equal, to wit, a 
natural right to meet with whom he lists at divers 
times, and in what places shall best please him ; 
nay, and if he can, engross the supreme power to 
himself, and settle it on his own head. What mo- 
narch soever, therefore, hath a command in such a 
condition, he is bound by the law of nature, 
set down in chap. in. art. 8, of not returning 
evil for good, prudently to provide that by his 
death the city suffer not a dissolution p) either 
by appointing a certain day and place, in which 
those subjects of his, who have a mind to it, 
may assemble themselves, or else by nominating a 
successor ; whether of these shall to him seem 
most conducible to their common benefit. He 
therefore, who on this foresaid manner hath re- 
ceived his command during life, hath an absolute 
power, and may at his discretion dispose of the 
succession. In the next place, if we grant that the 
people departed not from the election of the tem- 
porary monarch, before they decreed a certain time 
and place of meeting after his death ; then the 
monarch being dead, the authority is confirmed in 
the people, not by any new acts of the subjects, 
but by virtue of the former right. For all the su- 


CHAP. vii. preme command, as dominion, was in the people ; 
but the use and exercise of it was only in the 
temporary monarch, as in one that takes the benefit, 
but hath not the right. But if the people after the 
election of a temporary monarch, depart not from 
the court before they have appointed certain times 
and places to convene during the time prescribed 
him ; as the dictators in ancient times were made 
by the people of Rome ; such an one is not to be 
accounted a monarch, but the prime officer of the 
people. And if it shall seem good, the people may 
deprive him of his office even before that time ; as 
the people of Rome did, when they conferred an 
equal power on Minutius, master of the horse, with 
Gtuintus Fabius Maximus, whom before they had 
made dictator. The reason whereof is, that it is 
not to be imagined, that he, whether man or coun- 
cil, who hath the readiest and most immediate 
power to act, should hold his command on such 
terms, as not to be able actually to execute it ; for 
, command is nothing else but a right of command- 
ing, as oft as nature allows it possible. Lastly, if 
the people having declared a temporary monarch, 
depart from the court on such terms, as it shall 
not be lawful for them to meet without the com- 
mand of the monarch, we must understand the 
people to be immediately dissolved, and that his 
authority, who is thus declared, is absolute ; foras- 
much as it is not in the power of all the subjects 
to frame the city anew, unless he give consent who 
hath now alone the authority. Nor matters it, 
that he hath perhaps made any promise to as* 
semble his subjects on some certain times ; since 
there remains no person now in being, but at his 


discretion, to whom the promise was made. What CHAP. vn. 
we have spoken of these four cases of a people 
electing a temporary monarch, will be more clearly 
explained by comparing them with an absolute mo- 
narch who hath no heir-apparent. For the people 
is lord of the subject in such a manner, as there 
can be no heir but whom itself doth appoint. 
Besides, the spaces between the times of the sub- 
jects' meeting, may be fitly compared to those 
times wherein the monarch sleeps ; for in either 
the acts of commanding cease, the power remains. 
Furthermore, to dissolve the convent, so as it can- 
not meet again, is the death of the people ; just as 
sleeping, so as he can never wake more, is the death 
of a man. As therefore a king who hath no heir, 
going to his rest so as never to rise again, that is, 
dying, if he commit the exercise of his regal 
authority to any one till he awake, does by conse- 
quence give him the succession ; the people also 
electing a temporary monarch, and not reserving 
a power to convene, delivers up to him the whole 
dominion of the country. Furthermore, as a king 
going to sleep for some season, entrusts the ad- 
ministration of his kingdom to some other, and 
waking takes it again ; so the people having elected 
a temporary monarch, and withal retaining a right 
to meet at a certain day and place, at that day re- 
ceives its supremacy again. And as a king who 
hath committed the execution of his authority to 
another, himself in the meanwhile waking, can re- 
cal this commission again when he pleaseth ; so 
the people, who during the time prescribed to the 
temporary monarch doth by right convene, may if 
they please deprive the monarch of his authority. 


. VH. Lastly, the king, who commits his authority to 
' ' ' another while himself sleeps, not being able to 
wake again tilL he whom he entsustedgive csjasent, 
loses at once both his power and his life ; so the 
people, who hath given the supreme power to a 
temporary monarch in such sort as they cannot 
assemble without his command, is absolutely dis- 
solved, and the power remains with him whom they 
have chosen. 
A monarch re. \j t jf the monarch promise aught to ajiy one 

taining his right J 

of government, or many subjects together, by consequence where- 

of the exercise of his power may suffer prejudice, 
promise or compact, whether made by oath 
W the bis or w ftkout it, is null. For all compact is a con- 

means necessary veyance of right, which by what hath been said in 
.the fourth article of the second chapter, requires 
meet and proper signs of the will in the conveyer. 
But he who sufficiently signifies his will of retain- 
ing the end, doth also sufficiently declare that he 
quits not his right to the means necessary to that 
end. Now he who hath promised to part with 
somewhat necessary to the supreme power, and 
yet retains the power itself, gives sufficient tokens 
that he no otherwise promised it, than so far forth 
as the power might be retained without it. When- 
soever therefore it shall appear, that what is pro- 
mised cannot be performed without prejudice to 
the power, the promise must be valued as not 
made, that is, of no effect. 

By what means is. We have seen how subjects, nature dicta- 
ting, have obliged themselues by mutual compacts 
to obey the supreme power. We will see nowby 
what means it comes to pass, that they are released 
from these bonds of obedience. And first of all, 


this happens by rejection^ namely, if a man cast CHAP, vn* 
off or forsake, but convey not the right of his B ^ tm&m9 
command on some other* For what is thus re- a subject is freed 
jected, ip openly exposed to all alike, catch who 
catch can ; whence again, by the right of nature, 
every subject may heed the preservation of himself 
according to his own judgment. In the second 
place, if the kingdom fall into the power of the 
enemy, so as there can no more opposition be 
made against them, we must understand that he 
who before had the supreme authority, hath now 
lost it : for when the subjects have done their full 
endeavour to prevent their falling into the enemy's 
hands, they have fulfilled those contracts of obe- 
dience which they made each with other ; and 
what, being conquered, they promise afterwards to 
avoid death, they must with no less endeavour 
labour to perform. Thirdly, in a monarchy, (for a 
democracy and aristocracy cannot fail), if there be 
no successor, all the subjects are discharged from 
their obligations ; for, no man is supposed to be 
tied he knows not to whom ; for in such a case it 
were impossible to perform aught. And by these 
three ways, all subjects are restored from their 
eivtt subjection to that liberty which all men have 
to all things ; to wit, natural and savage; for the 
natural state hath the same proportion to the civil, 
(I mean, liberty to -subjection), which passion hath 
to reason, or a beast to a man. Furthermore, each 
subject may lawfully bfe freed from his subjection 
by the tvill of him who hath the supreme power, 
namely, if he change his soil ; which may be done 
two ways, either by perahission", as he who gets 


. vn. license to dwell in another country ; or command, 
' as he who is banished. In both cases, he is free 
from the laws of his former country ; because he 
is tied to observe those of the latter. 



1. What lord and servant signify. 2. The distinction of ser- 
vants, into such as upon trust enjoy their natural liberty, and 
slaves, or such as serve being imprisoned or bound in fetters. 
3. The obligation of a servant arises from the liberty of body 
allowed him by his lord. 4-. Servants that are bound, are not 
by any compacts tied to their lords. 5. Servants have no 
propriety in their goods against their lord. 6. The -lord may 
sell his servant, or alienate him by testament. 7* 'The lord 
cannot injure his servant. 8. He that is lord of the lord, is 
lord also of his servants. 9. By what means servants are 
freed. 10. Dominion over beasts belongs to the right of 

* * N ^ e two f re gi n g chapters we have treated 
of an institutive or framed government, as being 
that which receives its original from the consent 
of many, who by contract and faith mutually given 
have obliged each other. Now follows what may 
be said concerning a natural government ; which 
may also be called acquired, because St is that 
which is gotten by power and natural force. But 
we must know in the first place, by what means 
the right of dominion may be gotten over the per- 
sons of men. Where such a right is gotten, there 
is a kind of a little kingdom ; for to be a king, is 
nothing else but to have dominion over many per- 
sons ; and thus a great family is a kingdom, and a 
little kingdom a family. Let us return again to 



the state of nature, andCgpnsider men as if but CHAP, mi. 
even now sprung out of the earth, and suddenly, Wliatlo ' rd 
like mushrooms, come to full maturity, without all and 8ervflnt *" 
kind of engagement to each other) There are but 
three ways only, whereby one can have a dominion 
over the person of another ; whereof the first is, 
if by mutual contract made between themselves, for 
peace and self-defence's sake, they have willingly 
given up themselves to the power and authority of 
some man, or council of men ; and of this we have 
already spoken. The second is, if a man taken 
prisoner in the wars, or overcome, or else distrust- 
ing his own forces, to avoid death, promises the 
conqueror or the stronger party his service, that 
is, to do all whatsoever he shall command him. In 
which contract, the good which the vanquished or 
inferior in strength doth receive, is the grant of his 
life, which by the right of war in the natural state 
of men he might have been deprived of ; but the 
good which he promises, is his service and obe- 
dience. By virtue therefore of this promise, there 
is as absolute service and obedience due from the 
vanquished to the vanquisher, as possibly can be, 
excepting what repugns the divine laws ; for he 
who is obliged to obey the commands of any man 
before he knows what he will command him, is 
simply and without any restriction tied to the per- 
formance of all commands whatsoever. Now he 
that is thus tied, is called a servant ; he to whom 
he is tied, a lord. Thirdly, there is a right ac- 
quired over the person of a man by generation ; 
of which kind x>f acquisition somewhat shall be 
spoken in the following chapter. 

2. Every one tha,t is taken in the war, and hath 




The distinction 
of servants, into 
such as upon 
trust enjoy their 
natural liberty, 
and slaves, or 
such as serve 
being imprison- 
ed or fettered. 

The obligation 
of a servant 
ariseth from 
that freedom 
which is granted 
him by his lord. 

Servants that 
are bound, are 
not obliged to 
their lord by 
any contract. 

his life spared him, is not supposed to have con- 
tracted with his lord ; for every one is not trusted 
with so much of his natural liberty, as to be able, 
if he desired it, either to fly away, or quit his ser- 
vice, or contrive any mischief to his lord. And 
these serve indeed, but within prisons or bound 
within irons ; and therefore they were called not 
by the common name of servant only, but by the 
peculiar name of slave ; even as now at this day, 
un serviteur, and un serf, or un esclave have di- 
verse significations. 

3. The obligation therefore of a servant to his 
lord, ariseth not from a simple grant of his life ; 
but from hence rather, that he keeps him not 
bound or imprisoned. For all obligation derives 
from contract ; but where there is no trust, there 
can be no contract, as appears by chap. ii. art. 9 ; 
where a compact is defined to be the promise of 
him who is trusted. There is therefore a cpiafi- 
dence and trust which accompanies the benefit of 
pardoned life, whereby the lord affords him his 
corporal liberty ; so that if no obligation nor bonds 
of contract had happened, he might not only have 
made his escape, but also have killed his lord who 
was the preserver of his life. 

4. Wherefore such kind of servants as are re- 
strained by imprisonment or bonds, are not com- 
prehended in that definition of servants given 
above ; because those serve not for the contract's 
sake, but to the end they may not suffer. And 
therefore if they fly, or kill their lord, they offend 
not against the laws of nature. For to bind any 
man, is a plain sign that the binder supposes him 


that is bound, not to be sufficiently tied by any CHAP. vnr. 
other obligation. ' ' 

5. The lord therefore hath no less dominion servants have 

i i i no propriety 

over a servant that is not, than over one that is in their goods 
bound ; for he hath a supreme power over both, a s am$ttbeirl< * d 
and may say of his servant no less than of another 
thing, whether animate or inanimate, this is mine. 
Whence it follows, that whatsoever the servant 
had before his servitude, that afterwards becomes 
the lord's ; and whatsoever he hath gotten, it was 
gotten for his lord. For he that can by right 
dispose of the person of a man, may surely dis- 
pose of all those things which that person could 
dispose of. There is therefore nothing which the 
servant may retain as his own against the will of 
his lord ; yet hath he, by his lord's distribution, a 
propriety and dominion over his own goods : inso- 
much as one servant may keep and defend them 
against the invasion of his fellow-servant, in the 
same manner as hath been shewed before, that a 
subject hath nothing properly his own against tlie 
will of the supreme authority, but every subject 
hath a propriety against his fellow-subject 

6. Since therefore both the servant himself, and The lord may 
all that belongs to him are his lord's, and by the or alienate him' 
right of nature every mail may dispose of his own by testament * 
in what manner he pleases ; the lord may either 

sell, lay to pledge, or by testament convey the do- 
minion he hath over his servant, according to his 
own will and pleasure. 

7. Furthermore, what hath before been demon- 
strated concerning subjects in an institutive go- to 
vernment, namely, that he who hath the supreme 
power can do his subject no injury ; is true also 


CHAP. viii. concerning servants, because they have subjected 

' ' ' their will to the will of the Lord. Wherefore, 

whatsoever he doth, it is done with their will ; but 

'no injury can be done to him that willeth it. 

He that is s. But if it happen that the lord, either by cap- 

lord of the .. , 

lord, is lord also tivity or voluntary subjection, doth become a Cr- 
onus servants. ^^ Qr m fij ec f to ano ther, that other shall not 

only be lord of him, but also of his servants ; su- 
preme lord over these, immediate lord over him. 
Now because not the servant only, but also all he 
hath, are his lord's ; therefore his servants now 
belong to this man, neither can the mediate lord 
dispose otherwise of them than shall seem good to 
the supreme. And therefore, if sometime in civil 
governments the lord have an absolute power over 
his servants, that is supposed to be derived from 
the right of nature, and not constituted, but 
slightly passed over by the civil law. 
By what 9. A servant is by the same manner freed from 

means ser- ,. i i t ... 

vantsar*f.eed. his servitude, that a subject m an institutive go- 
vernment is freed from his subjection. First, 
if his lord enfranchise him ; for the right which 
the servant transferred to his lord over himself, 
the same may the lord restore to the servant 
again. And this manner of bestowing of liberty 
is called manumission ; which is just as if a city 
should permit a citizen to convey himself under 
the jurisdiction of some other city. Secondly, if 
the lord cast off his servant from him ; which in a 
city is banishment ; neither differs it from manu- 
mission in effect, but in manner only. For there, 
! liberty is granted as a favour, here, as a punish- 
ment : in both, the dominion is renounced. 
Thirdly, if the servant be taken prisoner, the old 


servitude is abolished by the new ; for as all other CHAP. vm. 

things, so servants also are acquired by war, whom ' *"""""" 

in equity the lord must protect, if he will have 

them to be his. Fourthly, the servant is freed for 

want of knowledge of a successor, the lord dying 

(suppose) without any testament or heir. For no 

man is understood to be obliged, unless he know 

to whom he is to perform the obligation. Lastly, 

the servant that is put in bonds, or by any other 

means deprived of his corporal liberty, is freed 

from that other obligation of contract. For there 

can be no contract where there is no trust, nor 

can that faith be broken which is not given. But 

the lord who himself serves another, cannot so 

free his servants, but that they must still continue 

under the power of the supreme ; for, as hath 

been shewed before, such servants are not his. but 

the supreme lord's. 

10. We get a right over irrational creatures, in The dominion 

- v ., T .1 ^over beasts 

the same manner that we do over the persons of i s by the 
men ; to wit, by force and natural strength. For rightof nature ' 
if in the state of nature it is lawful for every one, 
by reason of that war which is of all against all, to 
subdue and also to kill men as oft as it shall seem 
to conduce unto their good ; much more will the 
same be lawful against brutes ; namely, at their own 
discretion to reduce those to servitude, which by 
art may be tamed and fitted for use, and to perse- 
cute and destroy the rest by a perpetual war as 
dangerous and noxious. (jOur dominion therefore 
over beasts, hath its original from the right of na- 
ture* not from divine positive right. For if such 
a right had not been before the publishing of the 
Sacred Scriptures, no man by right might have 



CHAP. vin. killed a beast for his food, but he to whom the di- 
The dominion v * ne pl easure was made manifest by holy writ ; a 

most hard condition for men indeed, whom the 
right of nature, beasts might devour without injury, and yet they 
might not destroy them. Forasmuch therefore as 
it proceeds from the right of nature, that a beast 
may kill a man, it is also by the same right that a 
man may slay a beast. 



1. Paternal dominion arisethnot from generation. 2. Dominion 
over infants belongs to him or her who first hath them in their 
power. 3. Dominion over infants is originally the mother's. 
4. The exposed infant is his, from whom he receives his pre- 
servation. 5. The child that hath one parent a subject, and 
the other a sovereign, belongs to him or her in authority. 
6. In such a conjunction of man and woman, as neither hath 
command over the other, the children are the mother's, unless 
by compact or civil law it be otherwise determined. 7. Chil- 
dren are no less subject to their parents, than servants to their 
lords and subjects to their princes. 8. Of the honour of pa- 
rents and lords. 9. Wherein liberty consists, and the difference 
of subjects and servants. 10. There is the same right over 
subjects in an hereditary government, which there is in an 
institutive government. 11. The question concerning the 
right of succession belongs only to monarchy. 12. A monarch 
may by his will and testament dispose of his supreme authority : 
13. Or give it, or sell it. 14. A monarch dying without tes- 
tament, is ever supposed to will that a monarch should succeed 
him : 15. And some one of his children : 16. And a male 
rather than female : 17* And the eldest rather than the 
younger: 18. And his brother, if he want issue, before all 
others. 19. In the same manner that men succeed to the 
power, do they also succeed to the right of succession. 

1. So ORATES is a man, and therefore a living 


creature, is right reasoning ; and that most evi- CHAP. ix. 
dent, because there is nothing needful to the ac- ^ 
knowledging of the truth of the consequence, but moo anseth not 
that the word man be understood; because a from generation - 
living creature is in the definition itself of a man, 
and every one makes up the proposition which was 
desired, namely this, man is a living creature. 
And this, Sophroniscus is Socrates' father, and 
therefore his lord) is perhaps a true inference, but 
not evident ; because the word lord, is not in the 
definition of a father : wherefore it is necessary, to 
make it more evident, that the connexion of father 
and lord be somewhat unfolded. Those that have 
hitherto endeavoured to prove the dominion of a 
parent over his children, have brought no other 
argument than that of generation ; as if it were of 
itself evident, that what is begotten by me is mine ; 
just as if a man should think, that because there 
is a triangle, it appears presently, withoiit any fur- 
ther discourse, that its angles are equal to two 
right. Besides, since dominion, that is, supreme 
power is indivisible, insomuch as no man can serve 
two masters ; but two persons, male and female, 
must concur in the act of generation ; it is impossi- 
ble that dominion should at all be acquired by 
generation only. Wherefore we will, with the more 
diligence, in this place inquire into the original 
of paternal government. 

2. We must therefore return to the state of na- Dominion over 
ture, in which, by reason of the equality of nature, him who 
all men of riper years are to be accounted equal. 
There by right of nature the conqueror is lord of 
the conquered. By the right therefore of nature, 
the dominion over the infant first belongs to him 



CHAP. ix. who first hath him in his power. But it is mani- 

' ' fest that he who is newly born, is in the mother's 

power before any others ; insomuch as she may 

rightly, and at her own will, either breed him up 

or adventure him to fortune. 

Dominion 3. jf therefore she breed him, because the state 

over infants . ' 

is originally of nature is the state of war, she is supposed to 
e mo ers. fafag ^^ U p on ^g con( jition ; that being grown 
to full age he become not her enemy ; which is, 
that he obey her. For since by natural necessity 
we all desire that which appears good unto us, it 
cannot be understood that any man hath on such 
terms afforded life to another, that he might both 
get strength by his years, and at once become an 
enemy. But each man is an enemy to that other, 
whom he neither obeys nor commands. Arid thus in 
the state of nature, every woman that bears chil- 
dren, becomes both a mother and a lord. But what 
some say, that in this case the father, by reason of 
the pre-eminence of sex, and not the mother be- 
comes lord, signifies nothing. , For both reason 
shows the contrary ; because the inequality of their 
natural forces is not so great, that the man could 
get the dominion over the woman without war. 
And custom also contradicts not ; for women, 
namely Amazons, have in former times waged war 
against their adversaries, and disposed of their 
children at their own wills. And at this day, in 
divers places women are invested with the princi- 
pal authority ; neither do their husbands dispose 
of their children, but themselves ; which in truth 
they do by the right of nature ; forasmuch as they 
who have the supreme^ are npiliedjitaU 
(asJhati^ the civil laws. Add also, 


that in the state of nature it cannot be known who CHAP. ix. 

is the father, but by the testimony of the mo- ' ' 

ther ; the child therefore is his whose the mother 

will have it, and therefore her's. Wherefore/origi- 

nal dominion over children belongs to the mother : 

and among men no less than other creatures, the 

birth follows the belly. 

4. The dominion passes from the mother to The e 
others, divers ways. First, if she quit and forsake 
her right by exposing the child. He therefore 
that shall bring up the child thus exposed, shall 
have the same dominion over it which the mother 
had. For that life which the mother had given it, 
(not by getting but nourishing it), she now by 
exposing takes from it. Wherefore the obliga- 
tion also which arose from the benefit of life, is by 
this exposition made void. Now the preserved 
oweth all to the preserver, whether in regard of his 
education as to a mother, or of his service as to a 
lord. For although the mother in the state of na- 
ture, where all men have a right to all things, may 
recover her son again, namely, by the same right 
that anybody else might do it ; yet may not the 
son rightly transfer himself again unto his mother. 

5. Secondly, if the mother be taken prisoner. 11168011 

, . , . , , , , , , * of a subject 

her son is his that took "her ; because that he who and chief, is MS 
hath dominion over the person, hath also dominion **"* conunands - 
over all belonging to the person ; wherefore over 
the son also, as hath been shewed in the foregoing 
chapter, in the fifth article. Thirdly, if the mo- 
ther be a subject under what government soever, 
he that hath the supreme authority in that govern- 
ment, will also have the dominion over him that is 
born of her ; for he is lord also of the mother, who 


CHAP. ix. is bound to obey him in all things. Fourthly, if a 
' ' ' woman for society's sake give herself to a man on 
this condition, that he shall bear the sway; he 
that receives his being from the contribution of 
both parties, is the father's, in regard of the com- 
mand he hath over the mother. But if a woman 
bearing rule shall have children by a subject, the 
children are the mother's ; for otherwise the wo- 
man can have no children without prejudice to her 
authority. And universally, if the society of the 
male and female be such an union, as the one 
have subjected himself to the other, the children 
belong to him or her that commands. 
D such a con 6. But in the state of nature, if a man and 

motion of male 

od female, as wtffcian contract so, as neither is subject to the 
ommanduig * e command of the other, the children are the mo- 
STSTchiu tier's, f r the reasons above given in the third 
ren are the article , unless by pacts it be otherwise provided. 

lother's ; except -_ - 7 i T / -i i 

y pact or civil For the mother may by pact dispose ot her right as 
she lists; as heretofore hath been done by the 
Amazons, who of those children which have been 
begotten by their neighbours, have by pact allowed 
them the males, and retained the females to them- 
selves. But in a civil government, if there be a 
contract of marriage between a man and woman, 
the children are \\& father's ; because in all cities, 
to wit, constituted of fathers, not mothers govern- 
ing their families, the domestical command belongs 
to the man ; and such a contract, if it be made ac- 
cording to the civil laws, is called matrimony. But 
if they agree only to lie together, the children are 
the father's or the mother's variously, according to 
the differing civil laws of divers cities. 


7. Now because, by the third article, the mother CHAP. IK. 
is originally lord of her children, and from her ' ' ' 

i i * i i -i Children 

the father, or somebody else by derived right ; it are no lew sub. 
is manifest that the children are no less subject to 
those by whom they are nourished and brought [* 
up, than servants to their lords, and subjects toJ ectstotheircit y' 
him who bears the supreme rule ; and that a pa- 
rent cannot be injurious to his son, as long as he is 
under his power. A son also is freed from subjec- 
tion in the same manner as a subject and servant 
are. For emancipation is the same thing with 
manumission, and abdication with banishment. 

8. The enfranchised son or released servant, or the honour 

*\ . /i-7T-i/T due to parent* 

do now stand in less tear of their lord and father, and lords. 
being deprived of his natural and lordly power 
over them ; and, if regard be had to true and in- 
ward honour, do honour him less than before. 
For honour, as hath been said in the section above, 
is nothing else but the estimation of another's 
power ; and therefore he that hath least power, 
hath always least honour.} But it is not to be 
imagined, that the enfranchiser ever intended so 
to match the enfranchised with himself, as that he 
should not so much as acknowledge a benefit, but 
should so carry himself in all things as if he were 
become wholly his equal. It must therefore be ever 
understood, that he who is freed from subjection, 
whether he be a servant, son, or some colony, doth 
promise all those external signs at least, whereby 
superiors used to be honoured by their inferiors. 
From whence it follows, that the precept of ho- 
nouring our parents, belongs to the law of nature, 
not only under the title of gratitude, but also of 


CHAP. ix. 9. What then, will some one demand, is the 
wherein liberty Difference between a son, or between a subject and 
aotheonsist;anaa servant ? ..Neither do I know that any writer 
betweJ7ubjtct hath fully declared what liberty and what slavery 
and servants. j g Commonly,to do all things according to our own 
fancies, and that without punishment, is esteemed 
to be liberty /; not to be able to do this, is judged 
bondage ; which in a civil government, and with 
the peace of mankind, cannot possibly be done ; 
because there is no city without a command and a 
restraining right. Liberty, that we may define it, 
is nothing else but an absence of the lets and hin- 
drances of motion ; as water shut up in a vessel 
is therefore not at liberty, because the vessel hin- 
ders it from running out ; which, the vessel being 
broken, is m&Aefree. And every man hath more 
or less liberty, as he hath more or less space in 
which he employs himself : as he hath more liberty, 
who is in a large, than he that is kept in a close 
prison. And a man may be free toward one part, 
and yet not toward another ; as the traveller is 
bounded on this and that side with hedges or 
stone walls, lest he spoil the vines or corn neigh- 
bouring on the highway. And these kinds of lets 
are external and absolute. In which sense all ser- 
vants and subjects are free, who are not fettered 
and imprisoned. There are others which are arbi- 
trary, which do not absolutely hinder motion, but 
by accident, to wit, by our own choice ; as he that 
is in a ship, is not so hindered but he may cast 
himself into the sea, if he will. And here also the 
more ways a man may move himself, the more 
liberty he hath. And herein consists civil liberty ; 
for no man, whether subject, son, or servant, is 


so hindered by the punishments appointed by the CHAP. ix. 
city, the father, or the lord, how cruel soever, but ' ' 
that he may do all things, and make use of all 
means necessary to the preservation of his life and 
health. For my part therefore I cannot find what 
reason a mere servant hath to make complaints, if 
they relate only to want of liberty; unless he 
count it a misery to be restrained from hurting 
himself, and to receive that life, which by war, or 
misfortune, or through his own idleness was for- 
feited, together with all manner of sustenance, 
and all things necessary to the conservation of 
health, on this condition only, that he will be 
ruled. For he that is kept in by punishments laid 
before him, so as he dares not let loose the reins to 
his will in all things, is not oppressed by servitude, 
but is governed and sustained. But this privilege 
free subjects and sons of a family have above ser- 
vants in every government and family where ser- 
vants are ; that they may both undergo the more 
honourable offices of the city or family, and also 
enjoy a larger "possession of things superfluous. 
And herein lies the difference between a free 
subject and a servant, that he \sfree indeed, who 
serves his city only ; but a servant is he, who also 
serves his fellow-subject. All other liberty is an 
exemption from the laws of the city, and proper 
only to those that bear rule. 

1 0. A father with his sons and servants, grown There is the 
into a civil person by virtue of his paternal juris- 
diction, is called a, family, this family, if through 
multiplying of children and acquisition of servants tive government 
it becomes numerous, insomuch as without casting 
the uncertain die of war it cannot be subdued, will 


. ix. be termed an hereditary kingdom. Which though 
' ' " it differ from an instiluiive monarchy, being ac- 
quired by force, in the original and manner of its 
constitution ; yet being constituted, it hath all the 
same properties, and the right of authority is every- 
where the same ; insomuch as it is not needful to 
speak anything of them apart. 
The question 1 1. It hath been spoken, by what right supreme 

concerning the . . , r _ *__ , . 

right of succes- authorities are constituted. We must now briefly 

tell you, by what right they may be continued. 
Now the right by which they are continued, is that 
which is called the right of succession. Now be- 
cause in a democracy the supreme authority is with 
the people, as long as there be any subjects in 
being, so long it rests with the same person ; for 
the people hath no successor. In like manner in 
an aristocracy, one of the nobles dying, some 
other by the rest is substituted in his place ; and 
therefore except they all die together, which I 
suppose will never happen, there is no succession. 
The query therefore of the right of succession 
takes place only 'in an absolute monarchy. For 
they who exercise the supreme power for a time 
only, are themselves no monarchs, but ministers 
( of state. 

A monarch 12. But first, if a monarch shall by testament 
of appoint one to succeed him, the person appointed 
shall succeed. For if he be appointed by the 
people, he shall have all the right over the city 
which the people had, as hath been showed in 
chap. vn. art. 11. But the people might choose 
him ; by the same right therefore may he choose 
another. But in an hereditary kingdom, there are 
the same rights as in an institutive. Where- 


fore every monarch may by his will make a sue- CHAP, rx. 
cessor. ' ' ' 

13. But what a man may transfer on another Or ^ u . 

. . . away, or sell it. 

by testament, that by the same right may he, yet 
living, give or sell away. To whomsoever therefore 
he shall make over the supreme power, whether 
by gift or sale, it is rightly made. 

14. But if living he have not declared his will A monarch 

... dying without 

concerning his successor by testament nor other- testament, is 
wise, it is supposed, first, that he would not have S 

his government reduced to an anarchy or the 
state of war, that is, to the destruction of hi? 
subjects ; as well because he could not do that 
without breach of the laws of nature, whereby he 
was obliged to the performance of all things ne- 
cessarily conducing to the preservation of peace ; 
as also because, if that had been his will, it had not 
been hard for him to have declared that openly. 
Next, because, the right passeth according to the 
will of the father, we must judge of the successor 
according to the signs of his will. It is understood 
therefore, that he would have his subjects to be 
under a monarchical government, rather than any 
other, because he himself in ruling hath before ap- 
proved of that state by his example, and hath not 
afterward, either by any word or deed condemned it. 

15. Furthermore, because by natural necessity And some one 
all men wish them better, from whom they receive 
glory and honour, than others ; but every man 
after death receives honour and glory from his 
children, sooner than from the power of any other 
men : hence we gather, that a father intends bet- 
ter for his children than any other person's. It is 
to be understood therefore, that the will of the 



Ami a male ra- 

And of the 

CHAP. ix. father, dying without testament, was that some of 
' ' " his children should succeed him. Yet this is to be 
understood with this proviso, that there be no 
more apparent tokens to the contrary : of which 
kind, after many successions, custom may be one. 
For he that makes no mention of his succession, 
is supposed to consent to the customs of his realm. 

16. Among children the males carry the pre- 
eminence; in the beginning perhaps, because for 
the most part, although not always, they are fitter 
for the administration of greater matters, but spe- 
cially of wars ; but afterwards, when it was grown 
a custom, because that custom was not contra- 
dicted. And therefore the will of the father, un- 
less some other custom or sign do clearly repugn 
it, is to be interpreted in favour of them, 

17. Now because the sons are equal, and the 
power cannot be divided, the eldest shall succeed. 
p or jf there be any difference by reason of age, 
the eldest is supposed more worthy; for nature 
being judge, the most in years (because usually it 
is so) is the wisest ; but other judge there cannot 
be had. But if the brothers must be equally valued, 
the succession shall be by lot. But primogeniture 
is a natural lot, and by this the eldest is already pre- 
ferred ; nor is there any that hath power to judge, 
whether by this or any other kind of lots the mat- 
ter is to be decided. Now the same reason which 
contends thus for the first-born son, doth no less 
for the first-born daughter. 

And his brother, 18. But if he have no children, then thecom- 
mand shall pass to his brothers and sisters; for 
the same reason that the children should have suc- 
ceeded, if he had had them. For those that are 

the younger: 


nearest to us in nature, are supposed to be near- CHAP. ix. 
est in benevolence. And to his brothers sooner ' ' 
than his sisters, and to the elder sooner than the 
younger ; for the reason is the same for these, that 
it was for the children. 

19. Furthermore, by the same reason that men in the s 
succeed to the power, do they also succeed to the 
right of succession. For if the first-born die before i 
the father, it will be judged that he transferred his c f dto the : ri ht 

* ^ JO f ., , , i f 8ucce8won - 

right of succession unto his children ; unless the 
father have otherwise decreed it. And therefore 
the nephews will have a fairer pretence to the suc- 
cession, than the uncles. I say all these things will 
be thus, if the custom of the place (which the 
father by not contradicting will be judged to have 
consented to) do not hinder them. 




1 . A comparison of the natural state with the civil. 2. The con- 
veniences and inconveniences of the ruler and his subjects are 
alike. 3. The praise of monarchy. 4. The government under 
one, cannot be said to be unreasonable in this respect, namely, 
because one hath more power than all the rest. 5. A rejection 
of their opinion, who say, that a lord with his servants cannot 
make a city. 6. Exactions are more grievous under a popular 
state, than a monarchy. 7. Innocent subjects are less exposed 
to penalties under a monarch, than under the people. 8. The 
liberty of single subjects is not less under a monarch, than 
under a people. 9. It is no disadvantage to the subjects, that 
they are not all admitted to public deliberations. 10. Civil 
deliberations are unadvisedly committed to great assemblies, 
by reason of the unskilfulness of the most part of men : 1 1 . In 
regard of eloquence : 12. In regard of faction : 13. In regard 
of the unstableness of the laws: 14. In regard of the want 
of secrecy. 15. That these inconveniences adhere to demo- 
cracy, forasmuch as men are naturally delighted with the 
esteem of wit. 16. The inconveniences of a city arising from 
a king that is a child. 17- The power of generals is an evident 
sign of the excellence of monarchy. 18. The beat state of 
a city is that, where the subjects are the ruler's inheritance. 
1 9. The nearer aristocracy draws to monarchy, the better it is ; 
the further it keeps from it, the worse. 

CHAP. x. 1- WHAT democracy , aristocracy, and monarchy 
_, a k a th a j rea( jy been spoken ; but which of them 

A comparing the ' J . , . 

state of nature tends most to the preservation ot the subjects 

with the civil. , . ,1 -, * . 

peace and procuring their advantages, we must 
see by comparing them together. But first let us 
set forth the advantages and disadvantages of a 
city in general ; lest some perhaps should think it 
. better, that every man be left to live at his own 
will, than to constitute any society at all. Every 
man indeed out of the state of civil government 


hath a most entire, but unfruitful liliirty ; because CHAP. x. 
that he who by reason of his own liberty acts all "" ' ' 
at his own will, must also by reason of the same 
liberty in others suffer all at another's will. But 
in a constituted city, every subject retains to him- 
self as much freedom as suffices him to live well 
and quietly; and there is so much taken away 
from others, as may make them not to be feared. 
Out of this state, every man hath such a right to 
all, as yet he can enjoy nothing ; in it, each one 
securely enjoys his limited right. Out of it, any 
man may rightly spoil or kill another ; in it, none 
but one. Out of it, we are protected by our own 
forces ; in it, by the power of all. Out of it, no 
man is sure of the fruit of his labours ; in it, all 
men are. Lastly, out of it, there is a dominion of 
passions, war, fear, poverty, slovenliness, solitude, 
barbarism, ignorance, cruelty ; in it, the dominion 
of reason, peace, security, riches, decency, society, 
elegancy, sciences, and benevolence. 

2. Aristotle, in his seventh book and fourteenth TIW &* 

J t m losses of the ru 

chapter of his Politics, saith, that there are two | and his sub 
sorts of governments ; whereof the one relates to Jec "* * 
the benefit of the ruler , the other to that of the 
subjects. As if where subjects are severely dealt 
with, there were one, > and where more mildly, 
there were another form of government. Which 
opinion may by no means be subscribed to ; for all 
the profits and disprofits arising from government 
are the same, and common both to the ruler and 
the subject. The damages which befall some par- 
ticular subjects through misfortune, folly, negli- 
gence, sloth, or his own luxury, may very well be 
severed from those which concern the ruler. But 


CHAP. x. those relate not to the government itself, being 
The gains and suc ^ as ma Y happen in any form of government 
10^ of a* ru. whatsoever. If these same happen from the first 

l-r and hw sub- ... - rr 

jects are alike, institution of the city, they will then be truly called 
the inconveniences of government ; but they will 
be common to the ruler with his subjects, as their 
benefits are common. But the first and greatest 
benefit, peace and defence, is to both ; for both he 
that commands, and he who is commanded, to the 
end that he may defend his life makes use at once 
of all the forces of his fellow-subjects. And in 
the greatest inconvenience that can befall a city, 
namely, the slaughter of subjects arising from an- 
archy, both the commander and the parties com 
manded are equally concerned. Next, if the ruler 
levy such a sum of vast moneys from his subjects, 
as they are not able to maintain themselves and 
their families, nor conserve their bodily strength 
and vigor, the disadvantage is as much his as theirs, 
who, with never so great a stock or measure of 
riches, is not able to keep his authority or his 
riches without the bodies of his subjects. But if he 
raise no more than is sufficient for the due admi- 
nistration of his power, that is a benefit equally to 
himself and his subjects, tending to a common 
peace and defence. Nor is it imaginable which 
way public treasures can be a grievance to private 
subjects, if they be not so exhausted as to be wholly 
deprived from all possibility to acquire, even by 
their industry, necessaries to sustain the strength 
of their bodies and minds. For even thus the 
grievance would concern the ruler ; nor would it 
arise from the ill-institution or ordination of the 
government, because in all manner of governments 


subjects may be oppressed ; but from the ill-admi- CHAP, x. 
nistration of a well-established government^ ' ' "" 

3. Now that monarchy ', of the foresaid forms of The praise 
democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy, hath the m<marc y ' 
pre-eminence, will best appear by comparing the 
conveniences and inconveniences arising in each 
one of them. Those arguments therefore, that the 
whole universe is governed by one God ; that the 
ancients preferred the monarchical state befdre 
all others, ascribing the rule of the. gods to one 
Jupiter ; that in the beginning of affairs and of 
nations, the decrees of princes were held for laws ; 
that paternal government, instituted by God himself 
in the creation, was monarchical ; that other go- 
vernments were compacted by the artifice of men* 
out of the ashes of monarchy, after it had been 
ruined with seditions ; and that the people of God 
were under the jurisdiction of kings : although, 
I say, these do hold forth monarchy as the more 
eminent to us, yet because they do it by examples 
and testimonies, and not by solid reason, we will 
pass them over. 

* Compacted by the artifice of men, "<?.] It seems the ancients 
who made that same fable of Prometheus, pointed at this. They 
say that Prometheus, having stolen fire from the sun, formed a 
man out of clay, and that for this deed he was tortured by Jupiter 
with a perpetual gnawing in his liver. Which is, that by human 
invention, which is signified by Prometheus, laws and justice were 
by imitation taken from monarchy ; by virtue whereof, as by fire 
removed from its natural orb, the -multitude, as the dirt and dregs 
of men, was as it were quickened and formed into a civil person ; 
which is termed aristocracy or democracy. But the author and 
abettors being found, who might securely and quietly have lived 
under the natural jurisdiction of kings, do thus smart for it ; that 
being exposed still to alteration, they are tormented with perpe- 
tual cares, suspicions, and dissensions. 




CHAP. x. 4. Some there are, who are discontented with 
The govern the government under one, for no other reason but 
ment of one can. Because it is under one ; as if it were an unreason- 

not be said to ,-11 

be evil in this able thing, that one man among so many should so 
fer excel in power, as to be able at his own plea- 
re to dispose of all the rest. These men, sure, 
if they could, would withdraw themselves from 
under the dominion of one God. But this excep- 
tion against one is suggested by envy, while they 
see one man in possession of what all desire. For 
the same cause, they would judge it to be as unrea- 
sonable if &few commanded, unless they them- 
selves either were, or hoped to be of the number. 
For if it be an unreasonable thing that all men have 
not an equal right, surely an aristocracy must be 
unreasonable also. But because we have showed 
that the^ state of equality is the state of war, and 
that therefore inequality was introduced by a gene- 
ral consent ; this inequality, whereby he whom we 
have voluntarily given more to, enjoys more, is no 
longer to be accounted an unreasonable thing. 
The inconveniences therefore which attend the do- 
minion of one man, attend his person, not his unity. 
Let us therefore see whether brings with it the 
'greater grievances to the subject, the command of 
one man, or of many. 

5. But first we must remove their opinion, who 
deny that to be any city at all, which is compacted 
^ n ^ver so great a number of servants under a 

ot make a city. common lord. In the ninth article of the fifth 
chapter, a city is defined to be one person made 
out of many men, whose will by their own con- 
tracts is to be esteemed as the wills of them all ; 
insomuch as he may use the strength and faculties 

Rejection of 


of each single person for the public peace and CHAP, x, 
safety* And by the same article of the same chap- "~* 
ter, one person is that, when the wills of many are 
contained in the will of one. But the will of each 
servant is contained in the will of his lord ; as hath 
been declared in the fifth article of the eighth 
chapter ; so as he may employ all their forces and 
faculties according to his own will and pleasure. 
It follows therefore that that must needs be a city, 
which is constituted by a lord and many servants. 
Neither can any reason be brought to contradict 
this, which doth not equally combat against a city 
constituted by a father and his sons. For to a 
lord who hath no children, servants are in the na- 
ture of sons ; for they are both his honour and 
safeguard ; neither are servants more subject to 
their lords, then children to their parents, as hath 
been manifested above in the fifth article of the 
eighth chapter. 

6. Among other grievances of supreme autho- The exactions 
rity one is, that the ruler, beside those monies 
necessary for public charges, as the maintaining of 
public ministers, building, and defending of castles, the monarch. 
waging wars, honourably sustaining his own house- 
hold, may also, if he will, exact others through his 
lust, whereby to enrich his sons, kindred, fa- 
vourites, and flatterers too. I confess this is a 
grievance, but of the number of those which ac- 
company all kinds of government, but are more 
tolerable in a monarchy than in a democracy. For 
though the monarch would enrich them, they can- 
not be many, because belonging but to one. But 
in a democracy, look how many demagogues, that 
is, how many powerful orators there are with the 



CHAP. x. people, (which ever are many, and daily new ones 
1 ' " growing), so many children, kinsmen, friends, and 
flatterers are to be rewarded. For every of them 
desire not only to make their families as potent, as 
illustrious in wealth, as may be, but also to oblige 
others to them by benefits, for the better strength- 
ening of themselves. A monarch may in great 
part satisfy his officers and friends, because they 
are not many, without any cost to his subjects ; I 
mean without robbing them of any of those trea- 
sures given in for the maintenance of war and 
peace. In a democracy r , where many are to be 
satisfied, and always new ones, this cannot be done 
without the subject's oppression. Though a mo- 
narch may promote unworthy persons, yet oft 
times he will not do it ; but in a democracy, all the 
popular men are therefore supposed to do it, be- 
cause it is necessary ; for else the power of them 
who did it, would so increase, as it would not 
only become dreadful to those others, but even to 
the whole city also. 

7. Another grievance is, that same perpetual 
- fear of death, which every man must necessarily be 
* n while he considers with himself, that the ruler 
under the people, j^^ p Owe r not only to appoint what punishments 
he lists on any transgressions, but that* be may 
also in his wrath and sensuality slaughter his in- 
nocent subjects, and those who never offended 
against the laws. And truly this is a very great 
grievance in any form of government, wheresoever 
it happens ; for it is therefore a grievance, because 
it is, not because it may be done. But it is the 
fault of the ruler, not of the government. ^For all 
the acts of Nero are not essential to monarchy ;) 

innocent ub. 


yet subjects are less often undeservedly condemned CHAP. x. 
under one ruler, than under the people. For r ~~' 

,*,., Innocent sub- 

kings are only severe against those who either jects are ie.ob. 
trouble them with impertinent counsels, or oppose SSat, t ifc ltt ' 
them with reproachful words, or control tjieir 
wills ; but they are the cause that that excess of 
power which one subject might have above another, 
becomes harmless. Wherefore some Nero or Ca- 
ligula reigning, no men can undeservedly suffer 
but such as are known to him, namely, courtiers, 
and such as are remarkable for some eminent 
charge ; and not all neither, but they only who 
are possessed of what he desires to enjoy. For 
they that are offensive and contumelious, are de- 
servedly punished. Whosoever therefore in a mo- 
narchy will lead a retired life, let him be what he 
will that reigns, he is out of danger. For the am- 
bitious only suffer ; the rest are protected from the 
injuries of fhe more potent. But in a popular 
dominion, there may be as many Neros as there 
are orators who soothe the people. For each one 
of them can do as much as the people, and they 
mutually give way to each other's appetite, as it 
were by this secret pact, spare me to-day and 
ril spare thee to-morrow, while they exempt those 
from punishment, who to satisfy their lust and pri- 
vate hatred have undeservedly slain their fellow- 
subjects^ Furthermore, there is a certain limit in 
private power, which if it exceed, it may prove 
pernicious to the realm ; and by reason whereof 
it is necessary sometimes for monarchs to have 
a care, that the common weal do thence receive 
no prejudice. ) When therefore this power con- 
sisted in the multitude of riches, they lessened it 



CHAP. x. by diminishing their heaps ; but if it were in popu- 
"""^ lar applause, the powerful party, without any other 
crime laid to his charge, was taken from among 
them. The same was usually practised in demo- 
cracies. For the Athenians inflicted a punishment 
often years' banishment on those that were power- 
ful, merely because of their powers, without the 
guilt of any other crime. And those who by 
liberal gifts did seek the favour of the common 
people, were put to death at Rome, as men ambi- 
tious of a kingdom. In this democracy and mo- 
narchy were even ; yet differed they much in fame. 
Because fame derives from the people ; and what 
is done by many, is commended by many. And 
therefore what the monarch does, is said to be 
done out of envy to their virtues ; which if it were 
done by \he people > would be accounted policy. 

8. There are some, who therefore imagine mo- 
narchy to be more grievous then democracy) be- 

CaUS6 ther6 ls leSS libert Y in that > thai1 in this - If 

by liberty they mean an exemption from that sub- 
jection which is due to the laws, that is, the com- 
mands of the people ; neither in democracy, n6i* 
in any other state of government whatsoever, is 
there any such kind of liberty. If they suppose 
liberty to consist in this, that there be ffew laws, 
few prohibitions, and those too such, that except 
they were forbidden, there could be no peace ; 
then I deny that there is more liberty in democracy 
than monarchy ; for the one as truly consisteth 
with such a liberty, as the other. For although 
the word liberty may in large and ample letters be 
written over the gates of any city whatsoever, yet 
is it not meant the subject's, but the city's liberty ; 

Single persons 
have no less 
liberty under 
a monarch, than 


neither can that word with better right be inscribed CHAP. x. 
on a city which is governed by the people, than .' f 
that which is ruled by a monarch. [But when pri- hlvenoLw 
vate men or subjects demand liberty, under the hberty ' &c * 
name pf liberty they ask not for liberty, but domi- 
nion jl which yet for want of understanding they 
little consider. For if every man would grant the 
same liberty to another, which he desires for him- 
self, as is commanded by the law of nature ; that 
same natural state would return again, in which 
all men may by right do all things ; which if they 
knew, they would abhor, as being worse than all 
kinds of civil subjection whatsoever. But if any 
man desire to have his single freedom, the rest be- 
ing bound, what does he else demand but to have 
the dominion ? For whoso is freed from all bonds, 
is lord over all those that still continue bound. 
Subjects therefore have no greater liberty in a 
popular, than in a monarchical state. That which 
deceives them, is the equal participation of com- 
mand and public places. For where the authority 
is in the people, single subjects do so far forth 
share in it, as they are parts of the people ruling ; 
and they equally partake in public offices, so far 
forth as they have equal voices in choosing magis- 
trates and public ministers. And this is that which 
Aristotle aimed at, himself also through the custom 
of that time miscalling dominion liberty. (Polit. 
lib. vi. cap. 2.) In a popular state there is liberty 
by supposition ; which is a speech of the vul- 
gar, as \f no man were free out of this state. 
From whence, by the way, we may collect, that 
those subjects who in a monarchy deplore their 
lost liberty, do only stomach this, that they are 
tint rpnftivftd to the. steamere of the commonweal. 




It is no dis- 
advantage to 
the subjects, 
that they are 
not all admitted 
to the public 

Civil delibera- 
tions are un- 
advisedly com- 
raitted to many, 
by reason of 
the unskilfulness 
of moat men: 

9* But perhaps for this very reason, some will 
say that a popular state is much to be preferred 
before a monarchical ; because that where all men 
have a hand in public businesses, there all have an 
opportunity to shew their wisdom, knowledge, and 
eloquence, in deliberating matters of the greatest 
difficulty and moment; which by reason of that 
desire of praise which is bred in human nature, is 
to them who excel in such-like faculties, and seem 
to themselves to exceed others, the most delightful 
of all things. ( But in a monarchy, this same way 
to obtain praise and honour is shut up to the 
greatest part of subjects j and what is a grievance 
if this be none ? I will tell you : to see his opinion, 
whom we scorn, preferred before ours ; to have 
our wisdom undervalued before our own faces ; by 
an uncertain trial of a little vain glory, to undergo 
most certain enmities (for this cannot be avoided, 
whether we have the better or the worse) ; to hate 
and to be hated, by reason of the disagreement of 
opinions ; to lay open our secret councils and ad- 
vices to all, to no purpose and without any benefit; 
to neglect the affairs of our own family : these, I 
say, are grievances. But to be absent from a trial 
of wits, although those trials are pleasant to the 
doquent, is not therefore a grievance to $hem ; 
unless we will say, that it is a grievance to valiant 
men to be restrained from fighting, because they 
delight in it. 

10. Besides, there are many reasons, why delibe- 
rations are less successful in great assemblies than 
in lesser councils. Whereof one is, that to advise 
rightly of all things conducing to the preservation 
of a commonweal, we must not only understand 


matters at home, but foreign affairs too. At home, CHAP. x. 
by what goods the country is nourished and de- ' ' 
fended, and whence they are fetched ; what places 
are fit to make garrisons of; by what means sol- 
diers are best to be raised and .maintained ; what 
manner of affections the subjects bear towards 
their prince or governors of their country ; and 
many the like. Abroad, what the power of each 
neighbouring country is, and wherein it consists ; 
what advantage or disadvantage we may receive 
from them ; what their dispositions are both to us- 
ward, and how affected to each other among 
themselves ; and what counsel daily passeth among 
them. Now, because very few in a great assembly 
of men understand these things, being for the most 
part unskilful, that I say not incapable of them, 
what can that same number of advisers with their 
impertinent opinions contribute to good counsels, 
other than mere lets and impediments ? 

11. Another reason why a ffreat assembly is By reason of 

^ i^ x- i_ their eloquence : 

not so fit for consultation is, because every one 
who delivers his opinion holds it necessary to 
make a long-continued speech; and to gain the 
more esteem from his auditors, he polishes and 
adorns it with the best and smoothest language. 
Now the nature of eloquence is to make good and 
evil, profitable and unprofitable, honest and dis 
honest 9 appear to be more or less than indeed they 
are ; and to make that seem just which is unjust, 
according as it shall best suit with his end that 
speaketh: for this is to persuade. And though 
they reason, yet take they not their rise from true 
principles, but from vulgar received opinions, 
which for the most part are erroneous. Neither 


CHAP. x. endeavour they so much to fit their speech to the 
' nature of the things they speak of, as to the pas- 
sions of their minds to whom they speak ; whence 
it happens, that opinions are delivered not by right 
reason, but by a certain violence of mind. ( Nor 
is this fault in the man, but in the nature itself of 
eloquence, whose end, as all the masters of rheto- 
ric teach us, is not truth (except by chance), but 
victory ; and whose property is not to inform, but 
to allure. y 

By reason J2. The third reason why men advise less suc- 

uf faction : * 

cessfully in a great convent is, because that thence 
arise factions in a commonweal ; and out of fac- 
tions, seditions and civil war. For when equal 
orators do combat with contrary opinions and 
speeches, the conquered hates the conqueror and 
all those that were of his side, as holding his 
council and wisdom in scorn, and studies all 
means to make the advice of his adversaries pre- 
judicial to the state : for thus he hopes to see the 
glory taken from him, and restored unto himself. 
Furthermore, where the votes are not so unequal, 
but that the conquered have hopes, by the acces- 
sion of some few of their own opinion, at another 
sitting to make the stronger party, the chief heads 
do call the rest together ; they advise a part bow 
they may abrogate the former judgment given ; 
they appoint to be the first and earliest at the next 
convent ; they determine what, and in what order 
each man shall speak, that the same business may 
again be brought to agitation ; that so what was 
confirmed before by the number of their then pre- 
sent adversaries, the same may now in some mea- 
sure become of no effect to them, being negligently 


absent. And this same kind of industry and diii- CHAP. x. 
gence which they use to make a people, is com- **-**' 
monly called a faction. But when a faetion is 
inferior in votes, and superior, or not much infe- 
rior in power, then what they cannot obtain by 
craft and language, they attempt by force of arms ; 
and so it comes to a civil war. But some will say, 
these things do not necessarily, nor often happen. 
He may as well say, that the chief parties are not 
necessarily desirous of vain glory,, and that the 
greatest of them seldom disagree in great mat- 

13. It follows hence, that when the legislative B / reason , 

P of the unsettled- 

pOWer resides in such convents as these, $he laws ness of the laws. 

must needs be inconstant ; and change, not ac- 
cording to the alteration of the state of affairs, 
nor according to the changeableness of men's 
minds, but as the major part, now of this, then of 
\h&t faction, do convene. Insomuch as the laws 
do float here and there, as it were upon the 

14. In the fourth place, the counsels of great For want 
assemblies have this inconvenience ; that whereas secrecy ' 
it is oft of great consequence that they should be 
kept secret, they are for the most part discovered 

to the enemy before they can be brought to any 
effect ; and their power and will is as soon known 
abroad, as to the people itself commanding at 

15. These inconveniences, which are found in These mcon. 
the deliberations of great assemblies, do so far I!u^w C to de. 
forth evince monarchy to be better than dem 

cracy, as in democracy affairs of great conse- 
quence are oftener trusted to be discussed by such opinion of wit. 



CHAP, x. like committees, than in a monarchy. Neither can 
~ it easily be done otherwise. For there is no rea- 
son why every man should not naturally mind his 
own private, than the public business, but that 
here he sees a means to declare his eloquence, 
whereby he may gain the reputation of being in- 
genious and wise, and returning home to his 
friends, to his parents, to his wife and children, 
rejoice and triumph in the applause of his dexte- 
rous behaviour. As of old, all the delight Marcus 
Coriolanus had in his warlike actions, was to see 
his praises so well pleasing to his mother. But if 
the people in a democracy would bestow the 
power of deliberating in matters of war and 
peace, either on one, or some very few, being con- 
tent with the nomination of magistrates and pub- 
lic ministers, that is to say, with the authority 
without the ministration; then it must be con- 
fessed, that in this particular democracy and 
monarchy would be equal. 

16. Neither do the conveniences or inconve- 
niences which are found to be more in one kind 
f go vermnent than another, arise from hence, 
namely, because the government itself, or the ad- 
ministration of its affairs, are better committed to 
one than many; or on the other side, tb many 
than to some few. For government is the power, 
the administration of it is the act. Now the 
power in all kinds of government is equal ; the 
acts only differ, that is to say, the actions and 
motions of a commonweal, as they flow from the 
deliberations of many or few, of skilful or imperti- 
nent men. Whence we understand, that the con- 
veniences or inconveniences of any government 


depend not on him in whom the authority resides, CHAP. x. 
but on his officers ; and therefore nothing hinders r ~""" 
but that the commonweal may be well governed, 
although the monarch be a woman, or youth, or 
infant, provided that they be fit for affairs who 
are endued with the public offices and charges. 
And that which is said, woe to the land whose 
king is a child, doth not signify the condition of 
a monarchy to be inferior to a popular state ; but 
contrariwise, that by accident it is the grievance 
of a kingdom, that the king being a child, it often 
happens, that many by ambition and power intru- 
ding themselves into public councils, the govern- 
ment comes to be administered in a democratical 
manner; and that thence arise those infelicities, 
which for the most part accompany the dominion 
of the people. 

17- But it is a manifest sign that the most ab-Tiie power of 
solute monarchy is the best state of government, 
that not only kings, but even those cities which 5 e 
are subject to the people or to nobles , give the 
whole command of war to one only ; and that so 
absolute, as nothing can be more. Wherein, by 
the way, this must be noted also ; that no king can 
give a general greater authority over his army, 
than he himself by right may exercise over all his 
subjects. Monarchy therefore is the best of all 
governments in the camps. But what else are many 
commonwealths, than so many camps strengthened 
with arms and men against each other ; whose 
state, because not restrained by any common 
power, howsoever an uncertain peace, like a short 
truce, may pass between them, is to be accounted 
for the state of nature ; which is the state of war. 


CHAP* x. 18. Lastly, since it was necessary for the pre- 
The best state servation of ourselves to be subject to some man 
weai^rTC or counc ^9 we cannot on better condition be sub- 
whew the sub. ject to any, than one whose interest depends upon 
ler'siSerita^e. our safety and welfare; and this then comes to 
pass, when we are the inheritance of the ruler. 
> For every man of his own accord endeavours the 
preservation of his inheritance. But the lands 
and monies of the subjects are not only the prince's 
treasure, but their bodies and wildy minds. Which 
will be easily granted by those, who consider at 
how great rates the dominion of lesser countries is 
valued ; and how much easier it is for men to pro- 
cure money, than money men. Nor do we readily 
meet with any example that shows us when any 
subject, without any default of his own, hath by 
his prince been despoiled of his life or goods, 
through the sole licentiousness of his authority, 
Aristocracy j9. Hitherto we have compared a monarchical 

is so much het- x / 

ter,byhowmuch with a popular state ; we have said nothing of 
aristocracy. We may conclude of this, by what 
hath been said of those, that that which is heredi- 
tarv, and content with the election of magistrates ; 

distant from it. ? , -. ,., f I 

which transmits its deliberations to some tew, and 
those most able ; which simply imitates the govern- 
ment of monarchs most, and the people least of 
all ; is for the subjects both better and more last- 
ing than the rest. 






1. The beginning of institutive government from the consent of 
the people. 2. Judicature and wars depend on the will of su- 
preme commanders. 3. That they who have the chief autho- 
rity, are by right unpunishable. 4. That without a supreme 
power there is no government, but anarchy. 5. That from 
servants and sons there is a simple obedience due to their lords 
and parents. 6. Absolute authority proved by most evident 
places, as well of the New as the Old Testament. 

1 . WE have, in the sixth chapter and the second CHAP. XT. 
article, so derived the original of institutive or 
political government from the consent of the mu 

.,, . . , ,, tive government 

titude, that it appears they must either all consent, from the consent 
or be esteemed as enemies. Such was the begin- of tbe people ' 
ning of God's government over the Jews instituted 
by Moses, (Exod. xix. 5-8) : If ye will obey my 
voice indeed, &c. Ye shall be unto me a kingdom 
of priests, &c. And Moses came and called the 
elders of the people, &c. And all the people an- 
swered, and said: All that the Lord hath spoken 
we will do. Such also was the beginning of Moses's 
power under God, orchis vicegereney, (Exod. xx. 
18-19) : And all the people saw the thunderings 
and lightenings, and the noise of the trumpet, &c. 
And they said unto Moses, speak thou unto us, and 
we will hear. The like beginning also had Saul's 
kingdom, (1 Sam. xii. 12, 13): When ye saw that 
Nahash king of the children of Amman came out 
against you, ye said unto me, nay, but a king shall 
reign over us, when the Lord your God was your 


CHAP, xi. king. Now inerefore behold the king whom ye have 
' " "" chosen, and whom ye have desired. But the major 
part only consenting, and not all ; for there were 
certain sons of Belial, who said, (1 Sam. x. 27), 
How shall this man save us ? And they de- 
spised him ; those who did not consent, were put 
to death as enemies. And the people said unto 
Samuel (1 Sam. xi. 12) : Who is he that said, 
shall Saul reign over us ? Bring the men, that 
we may put them to death. 

jSicSt^d 2 - * n *^ e same s * xt h chapter, the sixth and 
determination of seventh articles, I have showed that all judgment 

wars, depend on, - 11 /. 

the will of the and wars depend upon the will and pleasure of 
supreme officer. kj m w ^ Q fo^^ t k e SU p reme authority ; that is to 

say, in a monarchy, on a monarch or king ; and 
this is confirmed by the people's own judgment. 
1 Sara. viii. 20 ; We also will be like all the na- 
tions, and our king shall judge us, and go out 
before us, and fight our battles. And what pertains 
to judgments, and all other matters whereof there 
is any controversy, whether they be good or evil, 
is confirmed by the testimony of King Solomon, 
(1 Kings iii. 9) : Give therefore thy servant an 
understanding heart to judge thy people, that 
I may discern between good and evil. And that 
of Absolom, (2 Sam. xv. 3) : There is no man 
deputed of the king to hear thee. 
They who 3. That kinffs may not be punished by their 

have the su. 11,1 11 i i 

subjects, as hath been showed above m the sixth 
* chapter and the twelfth article, King David also 
confirms ; who, though ^Saul sought to slay him, 
did notwithstanding refrain his hand from killing 
him, and forbade Abishai, saying, (1 Sam. xxvi. 9) : 
Destroy him not ; for who can stretch forth his 


hand against the Lord's anointed, and be inno- CHAP* * 
cent 9 And when he had cut off the skirt of ' rJi " L 
his garment, (1 Sam. xxiv. 6) : The Lord forbid, 
saith he, that I should do this thing unto my 
master the Lord's anointed, to stretch forth mine 
hand against him. And (2 Sam. i. 1 5) commanded 
the Amakkite, who for his sake had slain Saul, to 
be put to death. 

4. That which is said in the seventeenth chapter That with, 
of Judges, at the sixth verse : In tjiose days t 

was no king in Israel, but every man did 
which was right in his own eyes : as though where 
there were not a monarchy, there were an anarchy 
or confusion of all things : may be brought as a 
testimony to prove the excellency of monarchy 
above all other forms of government ; unless that 
by the word king may perhaps be understood not 
one man only, but also a court ; provided that in 
it there reside a supreme power. Which if it be 
taken in tliis sense, yet hence it may follow, that 
without a supreme and absolute power (which we 
have endeavoured to prove in the sixth chapter) 
there will be a liberty for every man to do what 
he hath a mind, or whatsoever shall seem right to 
himself ; which cannot stand with the preservation 
of mankind. And -therefore in all government 
whatsoever, there is ever a supreme power under- 
stood to be somewhere existent. 

5. We have, in chap. vm. art. 7 and 8, said ^gJ 
that servants must yield a simple obedience to * lords wd 
their lords, and in chap ix. art. 7, that 

owe the same obedience to their parents. Saint 
Paul says the same thing concerning servants 
(Coloss. iii. 22) : Servants obey in all things your 



CHAP* xi. masters according to the flesh, not with eye- 

""" J *~~" service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of 

hearty fearing God. Concerning sons (Colos. 

iiL 20) : Children obey your parents in all things, 

for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord. Now as 

we by simple obedience understand all things 

which are not contrary to the laws of God ; so 

in those cited places of St. Paul, after the word 

all things, we must suppose, excepting those 

which are contrary to the laws of God. 

The absolute 0. But that I may not thus by piecemeal prove 

power of princes .. T ii . , 

proved by most the right of princes, I will now instance those 

teofaTs^. testimonies which altogether establish the whole 
P wer 5 namely, that there is an absolute and 
simple obedience due to them from their subjects. 
And first out of the New Testament : Matth. 
xxiii.2,3 : The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses* 
seat ; all therefore, whatsoever they bid you ob- 
serve, that observe and do. Whatsoever they 
bid you (says Christ) observe, that is to say, obey 
simply. Why ? Because they sit in Moses' seat ; 
namely, the civil magistrate's, not Aaron, the 
priest's. Rom. xiii. 1, 2 : Let every soul be sub- 
ject to the higher powers ; for there is no power 
but of God ; the powers that be are ordained 
of God ; whosoever therefore resisteth the power, 
resisteth the ordinance of God ; and they that 
resist, shall receive to themselves damnation. 
Now because the powers that were in St. Paul's 
time, were ordained of God, and all kings did at 
that time require an absolute entire obedience 
from their subjects, it follows that such a power 
was ordained of God. 1 Peter ii. 13-15 : Submit 
yourselves unto every ordinance qf man for the 


Lord's sake, whether it be to the king as su- CHAP. XI* 
preme, or unto 'governors as unto them that are ' r ~ - ' 
sent by him for the punishment of wicked doers, power of pri 
and for the praise of them that do well ; jfor provcd ' &c 
so is the will of God Again St. Paul to Titus, 
(chap. iii. 1) : Put them in mind to be subject to 
principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, Sfc. 
What principalities r Was it not to the principa- 
lities of those times, which required an absolute 
obedience ? Furthermore, that we may come to 
the example of Christ himself, to whom the king- 
dom of the Jews belonged by hereditary right 
derived from David himself; he, when he lived in 
the manner of a subject, both paid tribute unto 
Caesar, and pronounced it to be due to him, Matth. 
xxii. 21 : Give unto Casar (saith he) the things 
which are Caesar's, and unto God the things which\ 
are God's. When it pleased him to show himself a 
king, he reqirired entire obedience, Matth. xxi. 2, 3 : 
Go (said he) into the village over against you, and 
straight-way ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt 
with her ; loose them, and bring them unto me ; 
and if any man say aught . unto you, ye shall 
say the Lord hath need of them. This he did 
therefore by the right of being lord, or a king of 
the Jews. But to take away a subject's goods on 
this pretence only, because the Lord hath need of 
them, is an absolute power. The most evident 
places in the Old Testament are these : Deut. v. 27: 
Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God 
shall say ; and speak thou unto us all that the 
Lord our God shall speak unto thee, and we will 
hear it, and do it. But under the word all, is 
contained absolute obedience. Again to Joshua 


CHAP. xi. (Joshua i. 16-18): And they answered Joshua, 
The absolute saying, all that thou commandest us, we will do; 
whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go ; 
according as we hearkened unto Moses in all 
things, so will we hearken unto thee ; only the 
Lord thy God be with thee, as he was with 
Moses ; whosoever he be that doth rebel against 
thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy 
words in all that thou commandest him, he shall 
be put to death. And the parable of the bramble 
(Judges ix. 14, 15) : Then said all the trees unto 
the bramble, Come thou and reign over us. And 
the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye 
anoint me king over you, then come and put your 
trust in my shadow ; and if not, let fire come out 
of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. 
The sense of which words is, that we must ac- 
quiesce to their sayings, whom we have truly con- 
stituted to be kings over us, unless we would choose 
rather to be consumed by the fire of a civil war. 
But the regal authority is more particularly de- 
scribed by God himself, in 1 Sam. viii. 9, &c. : Show 
them the right of the king that shall reign over 
them, 8fc. This shall be the right of the king 
that shall reign over you ; he will take your sons, 
and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, 
and to be his horsemen, and some shall run before 
his chariots, fyc. And he will take your daughters 
to be confectionaries, Sfc. And he will take 
your vineyards, and give them to his servants, 8fc. 
Is not this power absolute ? And yet it is by God 
himself styled the king's right. Neither was any 
man among the Jews, no not the high-priest him- 
self, exempted from this obedience. For when the 


king, namely, Solomon, said to Abiathar the priest CHAP, xi* 
(1 Kings ii. 26, 27) ' Get thee to Anathoth unto *~~~* ' 

\ o * ' The absolute 

thine own fields ;for thou art worthy of death ; but power of priiu** 
/ will not at this time put thee to death, because proved> ** 
thou barest the ark of the Lord God before 
David my father 9 and because thou hast been af- 
flicted in all wherein my father was qfflicted. So 
Solomon thrust out Abialhar from being priest 
unto the Lord ; it cannot by any argument be 
proved, that this act of his displeased the Lord ; 
neither read we, that either Solomon was reproved, 
or that his person at that time was any whit less 
acceptable to God. 



1 . That the judging of good and evil belongs to private persons is 
a seditious opinion. 2. That subjects do sin by obeying their 
princes is a seditious opinion. 3. That tyrannicide is lawful is 
a seditious opinion. 4. That those who have the supreme power 
are subject to the civil laws is a seditious opinion. 5. That the 
supreme power may be divided is a seditious opinion. 6. That 
faith and sanctity are not acquired by study and reason, but 
always supernaturally infused and inspired, is a seditious 
opinion. 7. That each subject hath a propriety or absolute 
dominion of his own goods is a seditious opinion. 8. Not to 
understand the difference between the people and the multitude, 
prepares toward sedition. 9. Too great a tax of money, though 
never so just and necessary, prepares toward sedition. 10. Am- 
bition disposeth us to sedition. 11. So doth the hope of success. 
12. Eloquence alone without wisdom, is the only faculty need- 
ful to raise seditions. 13. How the folly of the common people, 
and the elocution of ambitious men, concur to the destruction 
of a common- weal, 

1 . HITHERTO hath been spoken, by what causes 


CHAP. xii. and pacts commonweals are constituted, and what 
rights of princes are over their subjects. Now 
we W *^ Briefly sa Y somewhat concerning the causes 

longs to private which dissolve them, or the reasons of seditions. 
Now as in the motion of natural bodies three 
things are to be considered, namely, internal dis- 
position, that they be susceptible of the motion to 
be produced ; the external agent, whereby a cer- 
tain and determined motion may in act be pro- 
duced ; and the action itself: so also in a com- 
monweal where the subjects begin to raise tumults, 
three things present themselves to our regard ; 
first, the doctrines and the passions contrary to 
peace, wherewith the minds of men are fitted and 
disposed ; next, their quality and condition who 
solicit, assemble, and direct them, already thus 
disposed, to take up arms and quit their alle- 
giance ; lastly, the manner how this is done, or 
the faction itself. But one and the first which 
disposeth them to sedition, is this, that the know- 
ledge of good and evil belongs to each single 
man. In the state of nature indeed, where every 
man lives by equal right, and has not by any 
mutual pacts submitted to the command of others, 
we have granted this to be true ; nay, proved it 
in chap. i. art. 9. But in the civil state it Is false. 
For it was shown (chap. vi. art. 9) that the civil 
laws were the rules of good and evil, just and 
unjust, honest and dishonest ; that therefore what 
the legislator commands, must be held hr good, 
and what he forbids for evil. And the legisla- 
tor is ever that person who hath the supreme 
power in the commonweal, that is to say, the mo- 
narch in a monarchy. We have confirmed the same 
truth in chap. xi. art. 2, out of the words of Solo- 


mon. For if private men may pursue that as good CHA*. 
and shun that as evil, which appears to them to be 

so, to what end serve those words of his: Give^mot good 

, , * . .-, . TAT and evil, &. 

therefore unto thy servant an understanding 
heart, to judge thy people, that I may discern be- 
tween good and evil ? Since therefore it belongs 
to kings to discern between goorfand evil, wicked 
are those, though usual, sayings, that he only is a 
king who does righteously 9 and that kings must 
not be obeyed unless they command us just 
things ; and many other such like. Before there 
was any government, just and unjust had no 
being, their nature only being relative to some 
command : ; ajid every action in its own nature is 
indiiFerent ; that it becomes just or unjust ', pro- 
ceeds from the right of the magistrate. Legiti- 
mate kings therefore make the things they com- 
mand just, by commanding them, and those which 
they forbid, unjust, by forbidding them. But priU 
vate men, while they assume to themselves the 
knowledge of good and evil, desire to be even as 
kings ; which cannot be with the safety of the 
commonweal. The most ancient of all God's com- 
mands is, (Gen. ii. 17) ' Thou shalt not eat of the 
tree of knowledge of good and evil : and the most 
ancient of all diabolical temptations, (Gen. iii. 5) : 
Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil ; and 
God's expostulation with man, (verse 11) : Who 
told thee that thou wert naked ? Hast thou eaten 
of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou 
shouldst not eat ? As if he had said, how comest 
thou to judge that nakedness, wherein it seemed 
good to me to create thee, to be shameful, except 
tbou frave arrogated to thyself the knowledge of 
good and evil. 


CHAP*xir. 2. Whatsoever any man doth against his con-* 
Thatsutyectsdo sc i ence > is a sin ; for he who doth so, contemns 
>>eyig the law. But we must distinguish. That is my 

their princes, is a . , ..,,,. i 

seditious opinion sin indeed, which committing I do believe to be 
my sin ; but what I believe to be another man's 
sin, I may sometimes do that without any sin of 
mine. ; For if I be commanded to do that which 
is a sin in him who commands me, if I do it, and 
he that commands me be by right lord over me, 
I sin not} For if I wage war at the commandment 
of my prince, conceiving the war to be unjustly 
undertaken, I do not therefore do unjustly ; but 
rather if I refuse to do it, arrogating to myself the 
knowledge of what is just and unjust, which per- 
tains only to my prince. They who observe not this 
distinction, will fall into a necessity of sinning, as 
oft as anything is commanded them which either 
is, or seems to be unlawful to them : for if they 
obey, they sin against their conscience ; and if 
they obey not, against right. If they sin against 
their conscience, they declare that they fear not 
the pains of the world to come ; if they sin against 
right, they do, as much as in them lies, abolish hu- 
man society and the civil life of the present world. 
Their opinion therefore who teach, that subjects 
sin when they obey their prince's commands which 
to them seem unjust, is both erroneous, and to be 
reckoned among those which are contrary to civil 
obedience ; and it depends upon that original error 
which we have observed above, in the foregoing 
article. For by our taking upon us to judge of 
good and evil, we are the occasion that as well our 
obedience, as disobedience, becomes sin unto us. 
3. The third seditions doctrine springs from the 


same root, that tyrannicide is lawful; nay, at this CHAP* xir* 
day it is by many divines, and of old it was by all the ^ v^^ 
philosophers, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, Plu-fWefciawfui, 
tarch, and the rest of the maintainers of the Greek opbfoL ** 
and Roman anarchies, held not only lawful, but 
even worthy of the greatest praise. And under 
the title of tyrants, they mean not only monarchs, 
but all those who bear the chief rule in any go- 
vernment whatsoever ; for not Pisistratus only at 
Athens, but those Thirty also who succeeded him, 
and ruled together, were all called tyrants. But 
he whom men require to be put to death as being 
a tyrant, commands either by right or without 
right. If without right, he is an enemy, and by 
right to be put to death ; but then this must not 
be called the killing a tyrant, but an enemy. If 
by right, then the divine interrogation takes place : 
Who hath told thee that he was a tyrant ? Hast 
thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee 
that thou sKouldst not eat ? For why dost thou 
call him a tyrant, whom God hath made a king, 
except that thou, being a private person, usurpest 
to thyself the knowledge of good and evil ? But 
how pernicious this opinion is to all governments, 
but especially to that which is monarchical, we 
may hence discern ; namely, that by it every king, 
whether good or ill, stands exposed to be con- 
demned by the judgment, and slain by the hand 
of every murderous villain. 

4. The fourth opinion adversary to civil society, 
is their's who hold, that they who bear rule are the s 
subject also to the civil laws. Which hath been ] 
sufficiently proved before not to be true, in chap vi. J 
art. 14, from this argument : that a city can 


CHAP, xn. neither be bound to itself, nor to any subject ; not 
That even they to ftself, because no man can be obliged except it 
who h^ve the be to another; not to any subject, because the 

supreme power .,, J J 

are subject, &c, single wills of the subjects are contained in the 
will of the city ; insomuch that if the city will be 
free from all such obligation, the subjects will so 
too ; and by consequence she is so. But that which 
holds true in a city, that must be supposed to be 
true in a man, or an assembly of men who have 
the supreme authority ; for they make a city, 
which hath no being but by their supreme power. 
Now that this opinion cannot consist with the very 
being of government, is evident from hence ; that 
by it the knowledge of what is good and evil, that 
is to say, the definition of what is, and what is not 
against the laws, would return to each single per- 
son. Obedience therefore will cease, as oft as 
anything seems to be commanded contrary to the 
civil laws, and together with it all coercive juris- 
diction ; which cannot possibly be without the 
destruction of the very essence of government. 
Yet this error hath great props, Aristotle and 
others ; who, by reason of human infirmity, sup- 
pose the supreme power to be committed with 
most security to the laws only. But they seem to 
have looked very shallowly into the nature of 
government, who thought that the constraining 
power, the interpretation of laws, and the making 
of laws, all which are powers necessarily belong- 
ing to government, should be left wholly to the 
laws themselves. Now although particular sub- 
, jects may sometimes contend in judgment, and go 
to law with the supreme magistrate ; yet this is 
only then, when the question is not what the ma- 


gistrate may, but what by a certain rule lie hath 
declared he would do. As, when by any law the 
judges sit upon the life of a subject, the question is 
not whether the magistrate could by his absolute 
right deprive him of his life ; but whether by that 
law his will was that he should be deprived of it. 
But his will was r he should, if he brake the law ; 
else his will was, he should not. This therefore, 
that a subject may have an action of law against 
his supreme magistrate, is not strength of argu- 
ment sufficient to prove, that he is tied to his own 
laws. On the contrary, it is evident that he is not 
tied to his own laws ; because no man is bound to 
himself. Laws therefore are set for Titius and 
Caius, not for the ruler. However, by the ambi- 
tion of lawyers it is so ordered, that the laws to 
unskilful men seem not to depend on the authority 
of the magistrate, but their prudence. 

5. In the fifth place, that the supreme authority That the u- 
may be divided, is a most fatal opinion to all com- may 
monweals. But diverse men divide it diverse ways. aSto 
For some divide it, so as to grant a supremacy to 
the civil power in matters pertaining to peace and 
the benefits of this life ; but in things concerning 
the salvation of the soul they transfer it on others. 
Now, because justice, is of all things most neces- 
sary to salvation, it happens that subjects measur- 
ing justice, not as they ought, by the civil laws, 
but by the precepts and doctrines of them who, in 
regard of the magistrate, are either private men or 
strangers, through a superstitious fear dare not per- 
form the obedience due to their princes ; through 
fear falling into that which they most feared. Now 
what can be more pernicious to any state, than 


CHAP. xii. that men should, by the apprehension of ever- 
^"^"^ "* lasting torments, be deterred from obeying their 
princes, that is to say, the laws ; or from being 
jnst ? There are also some, who divide the supreme 
authority so as to allow the power of war and 
peace unto one whom they call a monarch ; but the 
right of raising money they give to some others, 
and not to him. But (because monies are the 
sinews of war and peace, they who thus divide the 
authority, do either really not divide it at all, but 
place it wholly in them in whose power the money 
is, but give the name of it to another : or if they 
do really divide it, they dissolve the government. 
For neither upon necessity can war be waged, nor 
can the public peace be preserved without moneys 
that feith ana 6. It is a common doctrine,' that faith and 

loliness are not - 71,71.1 

icquiredby holiness are not acquired by study and natural 
^bttTanever reason, but are always supernaturally infused 
an ^ i ns pi re d ^ me n. Which, if it were true, I 
understand not why we should be commanded to 

Utioiw opinion. . . 

give an account of our faith ; or why any man, 
who is truly a Christian, should not be a prophet ; 
or lastly, why every man should not judge what is 
fit for him to do, what to avoid, rather out of his 
own inspiration, than by the precepts of his supe- 
riors or right reason. A return therefore must be 
made to the private knowledge of good and evil ; 
which cannot be granted without the ruin of all 
governments. This opinion hath spread itself so 
largely through the whole Christian world, that 
the number of apostates from natural reason is 
almost become infinite. And it sprang from sick- 
brained men, who having gotten good store of holy 
words by frequent reading of the Scriptures, made 


such a connexion of them usually in their preach- CHAP* xii. 
ing, that their sermons, signifying just nothing, ' r ~*~" 
yet to unlearned men seemed most divine. For he 
whose nonsense appears to be a divine speech, 
must necessarily seem to be inspired from above. 
7. The seventh doctrine opposite to government, 

is this ; that each subject hath an absolute domi- propriety or ab. 

. T 7 T /*.** solute dominion 

mon over the goods he is in possession oj : that over their own 
is to say, such a propriety as excludes not only 
the right of all the rest of his fellow-subjects 
to the same goods, but also of the magistrate him- 
self. Which is not true ; for they who have a lord 
over them, have themselves no lordship, as hath 
been proved chap. viii. art. 5. Now the magistrate 
is lord of all his subjects, by the constitution of 
government. Before the yoke of civil society was 
undertaken, no man had any proper right ; all 
things were common to all men. Tell me therefore, 
how gottest thou this propriety but from the ma- 
gistrate ? ' How got the magistrate it, but that 
every man transferred his right on him ? And 
thou therefore hast also given up thy right to him. 
Thy dominion therefore, and propriety, is just so 
much as he will, and shall last so long as he 
pleases ; even as in a family, each son hath such 
proper goods, and o long lasting, as seems good 
to the father. But the greatest part of men who 
profess civil prudence, reason otherwise. We are 
equal, say they, by nature ; there is no reason why 
any man should by better right take my goods 
from me, than I his from him. We know that 
money sometimes is needful for the defence and 
maintenance of the public ; but let them who re- 
quire it, show us the. present necessity, and they 


CHAP. xii. shall receive it. They who talk thus know not, 
~ ' ~ that what they would have, is already done from 
the beginning, in the very constitution of govern- 
ment ; and therefore speaking as in a dissolute 
multitude and yet not fashioned government, they 
destroy the frame. 

Notto tow 8. j n the last place, it is a great hindrance to 

toe aiirerence . , i 

between a civil government, especially monarchical, that men 
institute, P *U. distinguish not enough between a people and a 
pare* to sedition. mu ltit u rf et The people is somewhat that is one, 
having one will, and to whom one action may be 
attributed ; none of these can properly be said of 
a multitude. The people rules in all governments. 
For even in monarchies the people commands ; 
for the people wills by the will of one man ; but 
the multitude are citizens, that is to say, subjects. 
In a democracy and aristocracy, the citizens are the 
multitude, but the court is the people. And in a 
monarchy, the subjects are the multitude, and 
(however it seem a paradox) the king is the people. 
The common sort of men, and others who little 
consider these truths, do always speak of a great 
number of men as of the people, that is to say, the 
city. They say, that the city hath rebelled against 
the king (which is impossible), and that the people 
will and nill what murmuring and discontented 
subjects would have or would not have ; under pre- 
tence of the people stirring up the citizens against 
the city, that is to say, the multitude against the 
people. And these are almost all the opinions, 
wherewith subjects being tainted do easily tumult. 
And forasmuch as in all manner of government 
majesty is to be preserved by him or them, who 
have the supreme authority ; the crimen l&sa ma* 
jestatis naturally cleaves to these opinions. 


9. There is nothing more afflicts the mind of CHAP.XI& 
man than poverty, or the want of those things ^ " ta ' 
which are necessary for the preservation of life tax of money, 

and honour. And though there be no man 
knows, that riches are gotten with industry, and 
kept by frugality, yet all the poor commonly lay 
the blame on the evil government, excusing their 
own sloth and luxury ; as if their private goods 
forsooth were wasted by public exactions. But 
men must consider, that they who have no patri- 
mony, must not only labour that they may live, 
but fight too that they may labour. Every one 
of the Jews, who in Esdras' time built the walls 
of Jerusalem, did the work with one hand, and 
held the sword in the other. In all government, 
we must conceive that the hand which holds the 
sword, is the king or supreme council, which is no 
less to be sustained and nourished by the subjects' 
care and industry, than that wherewith each man 
procures himself a private fortune ; and that cus- 
toms and tributes are nothing else but their reward 
who watch in arms for us, that the labours and 
endeavours of single men may not be molested by 
the incursion of enemies ; and that their complaint, 
who impute their poverty to public persons, is not 
more just, than if they should say that they are 
become in want by paying of their debts. But the 
most part of men consider nothing of these things. 
For they suffer the same thing with them who 
have a disease they call an incubus ; which spring- 
ing from gluttony, it makes men believe they are 
invaded, oppressed, and stifled with a great weight. 
Now it is a thing manifest of itself, that they who 
seem to themselves to be burthened with the whole 



Ambition di*- 
poseth men 
to sedition: 

CHAP.xn. load of the commonweal, are prone to be seditious ; 
*~~~ and that they are affected with change, who are 
distasted at the present state of things. 

10* Another noxious disease of the mind is 
theirs, who having little employment, want honour 
and dignity. All men naturally strive for honour 
and preferment ; but chiefly they, who are least 
troubled with caring for necessary things. For 
these men are invited by their vacancy, sometimes 
to disputation among themselves concerning the 
commonweal, sometimes to an easy reading of 
histories, politics, orations, poems, and other plea- 
sant books ; and it happens that hence they think 
themselves sufficiently furnished both with wit and 
learning, to administer matters of the greatest 
consequence. Now because all men are not what 
they appear to themselves ; and if they were, yet 
all (by reason of the multitude) could not be re- 
ceived to public offices ; it is necessary that many 
must be passed by. These therefore conceiving 
themselves affronted, can desire nothing more, 
partly out of envy to those who were preferred 
before them, partly out of hope to overwhelm 
them, than ill-success to the public consultations. 
And therefore it is no marvel, if with greedy ap- 
petites they seek for occasions of innovations. 

1 1 . The hope of overcoming is also to be num- 
bered among other seditious inclinations. For let 
there be as many men as you will, infected with 
opinions repugnant to peace and civil government ; 
let there be as many as there can, never so much 
wounded and torn with affronts and calumnies by 
them who are in authority ; yet if there be no 
hove of having the better of them, or it appear not 

So doth hope 
of success. 


sufficient, there will no sedition follow ; every man CHAP. xn. 
will dissemble his thoughts, and rather content ~ -~ 
himself with the present burthen than hazard a 
heavier weight. There are four things necessarily 
requisite to this hope. Numbers, instruments, 
mutual trust, and commanders. To resist public 
magistrates without a great number, is not sedi- 
tion, but desperation. By instruments of war, I 
mean all manner of arms, munition, and other ne- 
cessary provision : without which number can do 
nothing. Nor arms neither, without mutual trust. 
Nojr all these, without union under some comman- 
der, whom of their own accord they are content to 
obey ; not as being engaged by their submission 
to his command ; (for we have already in this very 
chapter, supposed these kind of men not to under- 
stand being obliged beyond that which seems right 
and good in their own eyes) ; but for some opinion 
they have of his virtue, or military skill, or resem- 
blance of humours. If these four be near at hand 
to men grieved with the present state, and measur- 
ing the justice of their actions by their own judg- 
ments ; there will be nothing wanting to sedition 
and confusion of the realm, but one to stir up and 
quicken them. 

12. Sallust's character of Cataline, than whom Eloquence alone 

.... without -wisdom 

there never was a greater artist in raising sedi- is the oni y fa- 
tions, is this : that he had great eloquence, and 
little wisdom. He separates wisdom from elo- 
quence ; attributing this as necessary to a man 
born for commotions ; adjudging that as an in- 
structress of peace and quietness. Now eloquence 
is twofold. The one is an elegant and clear ex- 
pression of the conceptions of the mind ; and 



CHAP. xii. riseth partly from the contemplation of the things 
ne ^ emse l ves > partly from an understanding of words 
wisdom taken in their own proper and definite significa- 
o turn. The other is a commotion of the passions 

raise seditions. Q f fa e ^md, such as are hope, fear, anger, pity ; 
and derives from a metaphorical use of words 
fitted to the passions. That forms a speech from 
true principles ; this from opinions already re- 
ceived, what nature soever they are of. The art 
of that is logic, of this rhetoric ; the end of that 
is truth, of this victory. Each hath its use ; that in 
deliberations, this in exhortations ; for that is nqyer 
disjoined from wisdom, but this almost ever. But 
that this kind of powerful eloquence, separated 
from the true knowledge of things, that is to say, 
from wisdom, is the true character of them who 
solicit and stir up the people to innovations, may 
easily be gathered out of the work itself which 
they have to do. For they could not poison the 
people with those absurd opinions contrary to 
peace and civil society, unless they held them 
themselves ; which sure is an ignorance greater 
than can well befall any wise man. For he that 
knows not whence the laws derive their power, 
which are the rules of just and unjust, honest and 
dishonest, good and evil; what makes ind pre- 
serves peace among men, what destroys it ; what 
is his, and what another's ; lastly, what he would 
have done to himself, that he may do the like to 
others : is surely to be accounted but meanly wise. 
But that they can turn their auditors out of fools 
into madmen ; that they can make things to them 
who are ill-affected, seem worse, to them who are 
well-affected^ seem evil ; that they can enlarge 


their hopes, lessen their dangers beyond reason : CHAP, xjf* 
this they hare from that sort of eloquence, not '-"-'" " T ~- 
which explains things as they are, but from that 
other ^ which by moving their minds, makes all 
things to appear to be such as they in their minds, 
prepared before, had already conceived them. 

13. Many men, who are themselves very t?ellj? owthefollyof 

tne coinmon peo- 

affected to civil society, do through want of know- P le ' aud theel - 

i j -i i. /* * * quence of arnbi* 

ledge co-operate to the disposing of subjects turns men, con. 
minds to sedition, whilst they teach young men aSSJS^m 
doctrine conformable to the said opinions in their monweal - 
schools, and all the people in their pulpits. Now 
they who desire to bring this disposition into act, 
place their whole endeavour in this : first, that 
they may join the ill-affected together into faction 
and conspiracy ; next, that themselves may have 
the greatest stroke in the faction. They gather 
them into faction, while they make themselves the 
relators and interpreters of the counsels and ac- 
tions of single men, and nominate the persons and 
places to assemble and deliberate of such things 
whereby the present government may be reformed, 
according as it shall seem best to their interests. 
Now to the end that they themselves may have the 
chief rule in the faction, the faction must be kept 
in a faction ; that is to say, they must have their 
secret meetings apart with a few, where they may 
order what shall afterward be propounded in a 
general meeting, and by whom, and on what sub- 
ject, and in what order each of them shall speak, 
and how they may draw the powerfullest and most 
popular men of the faction to their side. And 
thus when they have gotten a faction big enough, 
in which they may rule by their eloquence, they 



CHAP, xii, move it to take upon it the managing of affairs. 
HOW the foiiy ^ n ^ tkus '^7 sometimes oppress the common- 
of the common wealth, namely, where there is no other faction to 

people, &c 

oppose them ; but for the most part they rend it, 
and introduce a civil war. For folly and eloquence 
concur in the subversion of government, in the 
same manner (as the fable hath it) as heretofore 
the daughters of Pelias, king of Thessaly, con- 
spired with Medea against their father. They 
going to restore the decrepit old man to his youth 
again, by the counsel of Medea they cut him into 
pieces, and set him in the fire to boil ; in vain ex- 
pecting when he would live again. So the com- 
mon people, through their folly, like the daughters 
of Pelias, desiring to renew the ancient govern- 
ment, being drawn away by the eloquence of ambi- 
tious men, as it were by the witchcraft of Medea ; 
divided into faction they consume it rather by 
those flames, than they reform it. 




I . The right of supreme authority is distinguished from its exer- 
cise. 2. The safety of the people is the supreme law. 3. It 
behoves princes to regard the common benefit of many, not 
the peculiar interest of this or that man. 4. That by safety is 
understood all manner of conveniences. 5. A query, whether it 
be the duty of kings to provide for the salvation of their sub- 
jects' souls, as they shall judge best according to their own 
consciences. 6. Wherein the safety of' the people consists. 

7. That discoverers are necessary for the defence of the people. 

8. That to have soldiers, arms, garrisons, and moneys in rea- 
diness, in time of peace, is also necessary for the defence of the 
people. 9. A right instruction of subjects in civil doctrines, 
is necessary for the preserving of peace. 10. Equal distribu- 
tions of public offices conduces much to the preservation of 
peace. 11. It is natural equity, that monies be taxed accord- 
ing to what every man spends, not what he possesses. 1 2. It 
conduceth to the preservation of peace, to keep down ambi- 
tious men. 13. And to break factions. 14. Laws whereby 
thriving arts are cherished and great costs restrained, conduce 
to the enriching of the subject. 15. That more ought not to 
be defined by the laws, than the benefit of the prince and his 
subjects requires. 16. That greater punishments must not be 
inflicted, than are prescribed by the laws. 13. Subjects must 
have right done them against corrupt judges. 

1. BY what hath hitherto been said, the duties of CHAP, xn 
citizens and subjects in any kind of government 1 ^" fi ^ on 
whatsoever, and the power of the supreme ruler p *J* 
over them are apparent. But we have as yet 
nothing of the duties of rulers, and how they 
ought to behave themselves towards their subjects. 
We must then distinguish between the right and 
the exercise of supreme authority ; for they can 
be divided. As for example, when he who hath 
the right, either cannot or will not be present in 


CHAP. xni. judging trespasses, or deliberating of affairs. For 
^ kings sometimes by reason of their age cannot 
order their affairs ; sometimes also, though they 
can do it themselves, yet they judge it fitter, being 
satisfied in the choice of their officers and counsel- 
lors, to exercise their power by them. Now where 
the right and exercise are severed, there the 
government of the commonweal is like the ordi- 
nary government of the world ; in which God, the 
mover of all things, produceth natural effects by 
the means -of secondary causes. But where he to 
whom the right of ruling doth belong, is himself 
present in all judicatures, consultations, and public 
actions, there the administration is such, as if God, 
beyond the ordinary course of nature, should im- 
mediately apply himself unto all matters. We will 
therefore in this chapter summarily and briefly 
speak somewhat concerning their duties, who ex- 
ercise authority, whether by their own or other's 
right. Nor is it my purpose to descend into those 
things, which being diverse from others, some 
princes may do, for this is to be left to the political 
practices of each commonweal. 

The safety of 9 Now all the duties of rulers are contained in 
this one sentence, the safety of the people is the 
supreme law. For although they who among men 
obtain the chiefest dominion, cannot be subject to 
laws properly so called, that is to say, to the 
wijl of men, because to be chief and subject, are 
contradictories ; yet is it their duty in all things, 
as much as possibly they can, to yield obedience 
unto right reason, which is the natural, moral, and 
divine law. But because dominions were consti- 
tuted for peace's sake, and peace was sought after 


for safety's sake 5 he, who being placed in authority, CHAP, 
shall use his power otherwise than to the safety of 
the people, will act against the reasons of peace, 
that is to say, against the laws of nature.; Now as 
the safety of the people dictates a law by which 
princes know their duty, so doth it also teach 
them an art how to procure themselves a benefit ; 
for the power of the citizens is the power of the 
city, that is to say, his that bears the chief rule in 
any state. 

3. By the people in this place we understand, it is the 
not one civil person, namely, the city itself which 
governs, but the multitude of subjects which are 
governed. For the city was not instituted for its 
own, but for the subjects' sake : and yet a parti- 
cular care is not required of this or that man. For 

the ruler (as such) provides no otherwise for the 
safety of his people, than by his laws, which are 
universal ; ,and therefore he hath fully discharged 
himself, if he have thoroughly endeavoured by 
wholesome constitutions to establish the welfare of 
the most part, and made it as lasting as may be ; 
and that no man suffer ill, but by his own default, 
or by some chance which could not be prevented. 
But it sometimes conduces to the safety of the 
most part, that wicked men do suffer. 

4. But by safety must be understood, not the BJ safety bun. 

l * c IT - u 4, J3.- deratoodaHman 

sole preservation of life m what condition soe verier of benefits. 
but in order to its happiness. For to this end did 
men freely assemble themselves and institute a 
government, th$t they might, as much as their 
human condition would afford, live deljghtftdly. 
They therefore who had undertaken the adminis- 
tration of power in such a kind of government, 


CHAP. xni. would sin against the law of nature, (because 
against their trust, who had committed that power 
unto them), if they should not study, as much as 
by good laws could be effected, to furnish their 
subjects abundantly, not only with the good things 
belonging to life, but also with those which ad- 
vance to delectation. They who have acquired 
dominion by arms, do all desire that their subjects 
may be strong in body and mind, that they may 
serve them the better. Wherefore if they should 
not endeavour to provide them, not only with such 
things whereby they may live, but also with such 
whereby they may grow strong and lusty, they 
would act against their own scope and end. 

5 - And first of all > P rinces do believe that it 

provide mainly concerns eternal salvation, what opinions 

for the salvation iij/r^iT^-^ ji_^. c i 

of their subjects- are held of the Deity, and what manner of worship 
shaii' Hgifbest he is to be adored with. Which being supposed, it 
ma y ^ e demanded whether chief rulers, and who- 
soever they be, whether one or more, who exercise 
supreme authority, sin not against the law of na- 
ture, if they cause not such a doctrine and worship 
to be taught and practised, or permit a contrary to 
be taught and practised, as they believe necessarily 
conduceth to the eternal salvation of their sub- 
jects. It is manifest that they act against their 
conscience ; and that they will, as much as in 
them lies, the eternal perdition of their subjects. 
For if they willed it not, I see no reason why they 
should suffer (when being supreme they cannot be 
compelled) such things to be taught and done, for 
which they believe them to be in a damnable 
state. But we will leave this difficulty in sus- 


0. The benefits of subjects, respecting this life CHAP* xni. 
only, may be distributed into four kinds. { 1. That ^^/^ 
they be defended against foreign enemies. 2. That ** of * 
peace be preserved at home. 3. That they be en _ peopecoMI8 
riched, as much as may consist with public security. 
4. That they enjoy a harmless liberty.; For su- 
preme commanders can confer no more to their 
civil happiness, than that being preserved frcftn 
foreign and civil wars, they may quietly enjoy that 
wealth which they have purchased by their own 

7. There are two things necessary for the peo- That discoverers 
pie's defence ; to be warned and to be forearmed, the defence of 
For the state of commonwealths considered 
themselves, is natural, that is to say, hostile. 
Neither if they cease from fighting, is it therefore 
to be called peace ; but rather a breathing time, in 
which one enemy observing the motion and coun- 
tenance of the other, values his security not ac- 
cording to the pacts, but the forces and counsels 
of his adversary. And this by natural right, as 
hath been showed in chap. n. art. 11, from this, 
that contracts are invalid in the state of nature, 
as oft as any just fear doth intervene. It is there- 
fore necessary to the defence of the city, first, 
that there be some who may, as near as may be, 
search into and discover the counsels and motions 
of all those who may prejudice it. For discover- 
ers to ministers of state, are like the beams of the 
sun to the human soul. And we may more truly 
say in vision political, than natural, that the sensi- 
ble and intelligible species of outward things, not 
well considered by others, are by the air trans- 
ported to the soul ; that is to say, to them who 


CHAP* xm. have the supreme authority: and therefore are 
""""^ they no less necessary to the preservation of the 
state, than the rays of the light are to the conser- 
vation of man. Or if they be compared to spider's 
webs, which, extended on all sides by the finest 
threads, do warn them, keeping in their small holes, 
of all outward motions ; they who bear rule, can 
no more know what is necessary to be commanded 
for the defence of their subjects without spies, than 
those spiders can, when they shall go forth, and 
whither they shall repair, without the motion of 
those threads. 

TO have soldiers, g. Furthermore, it is necessarily requisite to the 
and Inoney in ' people's defence, that they be forearmed. Now 
to be forearmed is to be furnished with soldiers, 
arms, ships, forts, and monies, before the danger 
be instant ; for the lifting of soldiers and taking 
up of arms after a blofcr is given, is too late at 
least, if not impossible. In like manner, not to 
raise forts and appoint garrisons in convenient 
places before the frontiers are invaded, is to be 
like those country swains, (as Demosthenes said), 
who ignorant of the art of fencing, with their 
bucklers guarded those parts of the body where 
they first felt the smart of the strokes. But they 
who think it then seasonable enough to raise 
monies for the maintenance of soldiers and other 
charges of war, when the danger begins to show 
itself, they consider not, surely, how difficult a 
matter it is to wring suddenly out of close-fisted 
men so vast a proportion of monies. For almost 
all men, what they once reckon in the number of 
their goods, do judge themselves to have such a 
right and propriety in it, as they conceive them- 


selves to be injured whensoever they ae forced to CHA?. 
employ but the least part of it for the public good. ' ' 
Now a sufficient stock of monies to defend the 
country with arms, will not soon be raised out of 
the treasure of imposts and customs. We must 
therefore, for fear of war, in time of peace hoard 
up good sums, if we intend the safety of the com- 
jnonwfcal. Sjince therefore it necessarily belongs 
to rulers, for the subjects' safety to discover the 
enemy's counsel, to keep garrisons, and to have 
money in continual readiness; and that princes 
are, by the law of nature, bound to use their whole 
endeavour in procuring the welfare of their sub- 
jects ; it follows, that it is not only lawful for them 
to send out spies, to maintain soldiers, to 'build 
forts, and to require monies for these purposes ; 
but also not to do thus is unlawful. To which 
also may be added, whatsoever shall seem to con- 
duce to the Jassening of the power of foreigners 
whom they suspect, whether by slight or force. 
For rulers are bound according to their power to 
prevent the evils they suspect ; lest peradventure 
they may happen through their negligence. 

9. But many things are required to the conser- 
vation of inward peace ; because many things con- i 

/ 1- Al_ U 1- J A T- J? l_x\ i8 n C 

cur (as hath been showed in the foregoing chapter) the preserving 
to its perturbation. We have there showed, that peace * 
some things there are, which dispose the minds of 
men to sedition, others which move and quicken 
them so disposed. Among those which dispose 
them, we have reckoned in the first place certain 
perverse doctrines. It is therefore the duty of 
those who have the chief authority, to root those 
out of the minds of men, not by commanding, but 


CHAP. xiii. by teaching ; not by the terror of penalties, but by 
A tight intone. ^ e P ers picuity of reasons. The laws whereby this 

Sd^id^totew ev ^ ma ^ ^ e ^kstood* are not to b e ma( * e against 
u necessary, &c! the persons erring, but against the errors them- 
selves. ; Those errors which, in the foregoing chap- 
ter, we affirmed were inconsistent with the quiet 
of the commonweal, have crept into the minds of 
ignorant men, partly from the pulpit, partly from 
the daily discourses of men, who, by reason of 
little employment otherwise, do find leisure enough 
to study ; and they got into these men's minds by 
the teachers of their youth in public schools. 
Wherefore also, on the other side, if any man 
would introduce sound doctrine, he must begin 
from the academies. There the true and truly 
demonstrated foundations of civil doctrine are to 
be laid; wherewith young men, being once en- 
dued, they may afterward, both in private and 
public, instruct the vulgar. And this they will do 
so much the more cheerfully and powerfully,, by 
how much themselves shall be more certainly con- 
vinced of the truth of those things they profess 
and teach. For seeing at this day men receive 
propositions, though false, and no more intelligible 
than if a man should join together a company of 
terms drawn by chance out of an urn, by reason 
of the frequent use of hearing them ; how much 
more would they for the same reason entertain 
true doctrines, suitable to their own understand- 
ings and the nature of things ? ( I therefore con- 
ceive it to be the duty of supreme officers, to 
cause the true elements of civil doctrine to be 
written, and to command them to be taught in all 
the colleges of their several dominions. 


10. In the next place we showed, that grief of CHAP, 
mind arising from want did dispose the subjects to 
sedition ; which want, although derived from their <* of puwie 
own luxury and sloth, yet they impute it to those 
who govern the realm, as though they were 
drained and oppressed by public pensions. Not- 
withstanding, it may sometimes happen that this 
complaint may be just ; namely, when the burthens 
of the realm are unequally imposed on the sub- 
jects ; for that which to all together is but a light 
weight, if many withdraw themselves it will be 
very heavy, nay, even intolerable to the rest : 
neither are men wont so much to grieve at the 
burthen itself, as at the inequality. With much 
earnestness therefore men strive to be freed from 
taxes ; and in this conflict the less happy, as being 
overcome, do envy the more fortunate. To re- 
move therefore all just complaint, it is the interest 
of the public quiet, and by consequence it concerns 
the duty of * the magistrate, to see that the public 
burthens be equally borne. Furthermore, since 
what is brought by the subjects to public use, is 
nothing else but the price of their bought peace, 
it is good reason that they who equally share in 
the peace, should also pay an equal part, either by 
contributing their monies or their labours to the 
commonweal. Now it is the law of nature, (by 
art. 15, chap, in), that every man in distributing 
right to others, do carry himself equal to all. 
Wherefore rulers are, by the natural law, obliged 
to lay the burthens of the commonweal equally on 
their subjects.) 

1 L Now in this place we understand an equality, it is natural 
not of money, but of burthen ; that is to say, an 3 to t^e 




according to 
what every 
man spends, 
not to irhat 
be possessetb. 

It conduces 
to the preser- 
vation of peace, 
to depress 
the ambitious. 

equality of reason between the burthens afad the 
benefits. For although all equally enjoy peace* 
yet the bfenefits springing from theiiee are hot 
equal to all ; for some get greater possessions, 
others less ; and again, some consume leg*, others 
moife. It may therefore be demanded, whether 
subjects ought to contribute to the public accord- 
ing to thfe rate of what they gain, or of what they 
spend : that is to say, whether the persons must be 
taxed, so as to pay contribution according to their 
wealth ; or the goods themselves, that every man 
contribute according to what he Spends. But if 
we consider, where monies are raised according to 
wealth, there they who have made equal gain, have 
not tfqual possessions, because that one preserves 
what he hath got by frugality, another wastes it 
by luxury, and therefore equally rejoicing in the 
benefit of peace, they do not equally sustain the 
burthens of the commonweal : and on the other 
side, where the goods themselves are taxed, there 
every man, while he spends his private goods, in 
the very act of consuming them he undiscernftbly 
pays part due to the commonweal, according to, 
not what he hath, but what by the benefit of the 
realm he hath had : it is no more to be doubted* 
but that the former way of commanding loonies is 
against equity, and therefore against the duty of 
rulers ; the latter is agreeable to reason, and the 
exercise of their authority* 

12, In the third place we said, that that trouble 
of mifcd which riseth from ambition, was offensive 
to public peace. For there are some, who seeming 
to themselves to be wiser than others, and more 
sufficient for the managing of affairs than they 


who at present do govern, trtien they cfcii nocftAr. *ni. 
otherwise declare hoW profitable their virtue would ' *~~* 
prove to the commonweal, they show it by harming 
it. But because ambition and greediness of honours 
cannot be rooted out of tte minds of men, it is not 
the duty of rulers to endeavour it ; but by constant 
application of rewards and punishments they tnay 
go order it, that (men may know that the way to 
honour is not by contempt of the present goveiH- 
ment, nor by factions and the popular air, but by 
the contraries. They are good men who observe 
the decrees, the laws, and rights of their fathers. 
If with a constants order we saw these adorned 
with honours, but the factious punished and had 
in contempt by those who bear command, there 
would be more ambition to obey than withstand. 
Notwithstanding, it so happens soinetimes, that as 
we must stroke a horse by reason of his too much 
fierceness, so a stiff-necked subject must be flat- 
tered for fear of his power ; but as that happens 
when the rider, so this when the commander is in 
danger of falling. But we speak here of those 
whose authority and power is entire. Their duty, 
I say, it is to cherish obedient subjects, and to de- 
press the factious all they can ; nor can the public 
power be otherwise preserved, nor the subjects' 
quiet without it.) 

13. But if it be the duty of princes to restrain And to ais- 

,. - -i. \ solve factions. 

the factious, touch more does it concern them to 
dissolve and dissipate the (factions themselves. 
Now I call & faction, a multitude of subjects ga- 
thered together either by mutual contracts among 
themselves, or by the power of some one, without 
his or their authority who bear the supreme rule. 


CHAP. xui. A faction, therefore, is as it were a city in a city : 
' " ' for as by an union of men in the state of nature, a 
city receives its being, so by a new union of sub- 
jects there ariseth & faction. According to this 
definition, a multitude of subjects who have bound 
themselves simply to obey any foreign prince or 
subject, or have made any pacts or leagues of 
mutual defence betwefin themselves against all 
men, not excepting those who have the supreme 
power in the city, is a faction. Also favour with 
the vulgar, if it be so great that by it an aTmy 
may be raised, except public caution be given 
either by hostages or some other pledges, contains 
faction in it. The same may be said of private 
wealth, if it exceed; because all things obey 
money. Forasmuch therefore as it is true, that 
the state of cities among themselves is natural and 
hostile, those princes who permit factions, do as 
much as if they received an enemy within their 
walls which is contrary to the subjects' safety, 
and therefore also against the law of nature. 
Laws whereby , 14. There are two things necessary to the en- 
cherished and riching of the subjects, labour and thrift ; there 

a third which helps, to wit, the natural in- 
crease f the earth and water ; and there is a 
of the subject, fourth too, namely, the militia, which sometimes 
augments, but more frequently lessens the subjects' 
stock. The two first only are necessary. For a 
city constituted in an island of the sea, no greater 
than will serve for dwelling, may grow rich with- 
out sowing or fishing, by merchandize and handi- 
crafts only ; but there is no doubt, if they have a 
territory, that they may be richer with the same 
number, or equally rich being a greater number. 


But the fourth, namely, the militia, was of old <*HAP. xnr* 
reckoned in the number of the gaining arts, under "" ' ' 

7 . , . Lawn whereby 

the notion ot booting or taking prey ; and it was gaining arts are 
by mankind, dispersed by families before the con- chenshed ' &c * 
stitution of civil societies, accounted just and 
honourable. For preying is nothing else but a war 
waged with small forces. And great commonweals, 
namely, that of Rome and 'Athens, by the spoils of 
war, foreign tribute, and the territories they have 
purchased by their arms, have sometimes so im- 
proved the commonwealth, that they have not 
only not required any public monies from the 
poorer sort of subjects, but have also divided to 
each of them both monies and lands. But this 
kind of increase of riches is not to be brought 
into rule and fashion. For the militia, in order to 
profit, i& like a die ; wherewith many lose their 
estates, but few improve them. Since therefore 
there are three things only, the fruits of the earth 
and water, labour, and thrift, which are expedient 
for the enriching of subjects, the duty of command- 
ers in chief shall be conversant only about those 
three. For the first those laws will be useful, which 
countenance the arts that improve the increase of 
the earth and water ; such as are husbandry and 
fishing. For the second all laws against idleness, and 
such as quicken industry, are profitable ; as such 
whereby the art of navigation, by help whereof 
the commodities of the whole world, bought almost 
by labour only, are brought into one city ; and the 
mechanics, under which I comprehend all the arts 
of the most excellent workmen ; and the mathe- 
matical sciences, the fountains of navigatory and 
mechanic employments, are held in due esteem 



CHAP. xiii. and honour. For the third those laws are useful, 
*~ i ' whereby all inordinate expense, as well in meats 
as in clothes, and universally in all things which are 
consumed with usage, is forbidden. Now because 
such laws are beneficial to the ends above specified, 
it belongs also to the office of supreme magistrates 
to establish them. 

That more 15. The liberty of subjects consists not in being 
exempt from the laws of the city, or that they 
W ^ k ftve *he supreme power cannot make what 

fit of prince and laws they have a mind to. But because all the 

u jects require. mot j ons an( j ac ti on g o f subjects are never circum- 

scribed by laws, nor can be, by reason of their 
variety ; it is necessary that there be infinite cases 
which are neither commanded nor prohibited, but 
every man may either do or not do them as he lists 
himself. In these, each man is said to enjoy his 
liberty ; and in this sense liberty is to be under- 
stood in this place, namely, for that part of natural 
right which is granted and left to subjects by the 
civil laws. As water inclosed on all hands with 
banks, stands still and corrupts ; having no bounds, 
it spreads too largely, and the more passages it 
finds -the more freely it takes its current ; so sub- 
jects, if they might do nothing without, the com- 
mands of the law, would grow dull and unwieldy 1 ; 
if all, they would be dispersed ; and the more is 
left undetermined by the laws, the more liberty 
they enjoy. : Both extremes are faulty ; for laws 
were not invented to take away, but to direct 
men's actions ; even as nature ordained the banks, 
not to stay, but^to g} the course of the stream. 
The measure of this liberty is to be taken from the 
subjects' and the city's good. Wherefore, in the 


first place, it is against the charge of those who CHAP. xm. 

command and have the authority of making laws, ~~ L " ~" 

that there should be more laws than necessarily 

serve for good of the magistrate and his subjects. 

For since men are wont commonly to debate what 

to do or not to do, by natural reason rather than 

any knowledge of the laws, where there are more 

laws than can easily be remembered, and whereby 

such thiiigs are forbidden as reason of itself pro- 

hibits not of necessity, they must through igno- 

rance, without the least evil intention, fall within 

the compass of laws, as gins laid to entrap their 

harmless liberty ; which supreme commanders are 

bound to preserve for their subjects by the laws of 


16. It is a great part of that liberty, which is That greater 

,, .., , - i punishments 

harmless to civil government and necessary for each must not be in. 

subject to live happily, that there be no penalties 
dreaded but what they may both foresee and I ok bythelaw8> 
for ; and this is done, where there are either no 
punishments at all defined by the laws, or greater 
not required than are defined. Where there are 
none defined, there he that hath first broken the 
law, expects an indefinite or arbitrary punishment ; 
and his fear is supposed boundless, because it re- 
lates to an unbounded evil. Now the law of nature 
commands them who are not subject to any civil 
laws, by what we have said in chap. in. art. 1 1, 
and therefore supreme commanders, that in taking 
revenge and punishing they must not so much re- 
gard the past evil as the* future good ; and they 
sin, if they entertain any other measure (jn arbi- 
trary punishment than the public benefit^ But 
where the punishment is defined; either by a 


CHAP. xm. law prescribed, as when it is set down in plain 
' ' words that he that shall do thus or thus, shall 
syffer so and so; or by practice, as when the 
penalty, not by any law prescribed, but arbitrary 
from the beginning, is afterward determined by 
the punishment of the first delinquent ; (for natu- 
ral equity commands that equal transgressors be 
equally punished) ; there to impose a greater pe- 
nalty than is defined by the law, is against the law 
of nature. For the end of punishment is not to 
compel the will of man, but to fashion it, and to 
make it such as he would have it who hath set the 
penalty. And deliberation is nothing else but a 
weighing, as it were in scales, the conveniences 
and inconveniences of the fact we are attempting ; 
where that which is more weighty, doth necessa- 
rily according to its inclination prevail with us. 
If therefore the legislator doth set a less penalty 
on a crime, than will make our fear more consider- 
able with us than our lust, that excess of lust 
above the fear of punishment, whereby sin is com- 
mitted, is to be attributed to the legislator, that is 
to say, to the supreme ; and therefore if he inflict a 
greater punishment than himself hath determined 
in his laws, he punisheth that in another in which 
he sinned himself. 

subjects 17. it pertains therefore to the harmless and 

must have - r 

right restored necessary liberty of subjects, that every man may 
udges! without fear enjoy the rights which are allowed him 
by the laws. For it is in vain to have our own 
distinguished by the laws from another's, if by 
wrong judgment, robbery, or theft, they may be 
again confounded. But it falls out so, that these do 
happen where judges are corrupted. For the fear 


whereby men are deterred from doing evil, ariseth CHAP. xiti. 
not from hence, namely, because penalties are set, 
but because they are executed. For we esteem 
the future by what is past, seldom expecting what 
seldom happens. If therefore judges corrupted unjU8tjudges * 
either by gifts, favour, or even by pity itself, do 
often forbear the execution of the penalties due by 
the law, and by that means put wicked men in 
hope to pass unpunished : honest subjects encom- 
passed with murderers, thieves, and knaves, will 
not have the liberty to converse freely with each 
other, nor scarce to stir abroad without hazard ; 
nay, the city itself is dissolved, and every man's 
right of protecting himself at his own will returns 
to him. The law of nature therefore gives this 
precept to supreme commanders, that they not 
only do righteousness themselves, but that they 
also by penalties cause the judges, by them ap- 
pointed, to do the same ; that is to say, that they 
hearken to the complaints of their subjects ; and 
as oft as need requires, make choice of some ex- 
traordinary judges, who may hear the matter de- 
bated concerning the ordinary ones. 




1. How law differs from counsel. 2. How from covenant. 
3. How from right. 4. Division of laws into divine and hu- 
man: the divine into natural and positive; and the natural 
into the laws of single men and of nations. 5. The division of 
human, that is to say, of civil laws into sacred and secular. 
6. Into distributive and vindicative. 7. That distributive and 
vindicative are not species, but parts of the laws. 8. All law 
is supposed to have a penalty annexed to it. 9. The precepts 
of the decalogue of honouring parents, of murder, adultery, 
theft, false witness, are civil laws. 10. It is impossible to 
command aught by the civil law contrary to the law of nature. 
11. It is essential to a law, both that itself and also the law- 
giver be known. 12. Whence the lawgiver comes to be known. 
13. Publishing and interpretation are necessary to the know- 
ledge of a law. 14. The division of the civil law into written 
and unwritten. 15. The natural laws are not written laws ; 
neither are the wise sentences of lawyers nor custom laws 
of themselves, but by the consent of the supreme power. 
16. What the word sin, most largely taken, signifies. 17. The 
definition of sin. 18. The difference between a sin of infir- 
mity and malice. 19. Under what kind of sin atheism is con- 
tained. 20. What treason is. 21 . That by treason not the 
civil, but the natural laws are broken. 22. And that therefore 
it is to be punished not by the right of dominion, but by the 
right of war. 23. That obedience is not rightly distinguished 
into active and passive. 

CHAP. xiv. 1. THEY who less seriously consider the force of 
"~ ' .. " words, do sometimes confound law with counsel* 

Mow law diners ^ ' 

from counsel, sometimes with covenant, sometimes with right. 
They confound law with counsel, who think that 
it is the duty of monarchs not only to give ear to 
their counsellors, but also to obey them ; as though 
it were in vain to take counsel, unless it were also 
followed. We must fetch the distinction between 
counsel and law, from the difference between 


counsel and command. Now counsel is a precept, CHAP. xiv. 
in which the reason of my obeying it is taken ~~ " ' 
from the thing itself which is advised; but com- 
mand is a precept, in which the cause of my obe- 
dience depends on the will of the commander. For 
it is not properly said, thus I will and thus I com- 
mand, except the will stand for a reason. Now 
when obedience is yielded to the laws, not for the 
thing itself, but by reason of the adviser's will, the 
law is not a counsel, but a command, and is defined 
thus: law is the commando/ that per son, whether 
man or court, whose precept contains in it the 
reason of obedience: as the precepts of God in re- 
gard of men, of magistrates in respect of their 
subjects, and universally of all the powerful in re- 
spect of them who cannot resist, may be termed 
their laws. Law and counsel therefore differ 
many ways. Law belongs to him who hath 
power over hem whom he adviseth ; counsel 
to them who have no power. To follow what is 
prescribed by law, is duty ; what by counsel, is 
free-will. Counsel is directed to his end, that re- 
ceives it; law, to his that gives it. Counsel is 
given to none but the willing ; law even to the 
unwilling. To conclude, the right of the counsel- 
lor is made void by the will of him to whom he 
gives counsel ; the right of the law-giver is not 
abrogated at the pleasure of him who hath a law 

2. They confound law and covenant, who con- HOW it differs 

,, , ,. ,, . from a covenant. 

ceive the laws to be nothing else but certain 
ojuoXoyi/uara, or forms of living determined by the 
common consent of men. Among whom is Aris- 
totle, who defines law on this manner ; No/uo? *<m 


DHAP. XIV. Xo-yoe (Lgucrju^voc **ff o/ioXo-yiav icotv^v TroXewc, 

Howit differs **** ^ C * Trparrav <Ejca<yra : that is to say, law is a speech, 
fcom a covenant limited according to the common consent of the 
city, declaring every thing that we ought to do. 
Which definition is not simply of law, but of the 
civil law. For it is manifest that the divine laws 
sprang not from the consent of men, nor yet the 
laws of nature. For if they had their original 
from the consent of men, they might also by the 
same consent be abrogated; but they are un- 
changeable. But indeed, that is no right definition 
of a civil law. For in that place, a city is taken 
either for one civil person, having one will ; or for 
a multitude of men, who have each of them the 
liberty of their private wills. If for one person, 
those words common consent are ill-placed here ; 
for one person hath no common consent. Neither 
ought he to have said, declaring what was needful 
to be done, but commanding ; for what the city 
declares, it commands its subjects. He therefore 
by a city understood a multitude of men, declaring 
by common consent (imagine it a writing con- 
firmed by votes) some certain forms of living. 
But these are nothing else but some mutual con- 
tracts, which oblige not any man (and therefore 
are no laws) before that a supreme power being 
constituted, which can compel, have sufficient 
remedy against the rest, who otherwise are not 
likely to keep them. Laws therefore, according 
to this definition of Aristotle, are nothing else but 
naked and weak contracts ; which then at length, 
when there is one who by right doth exercise the 
supreme power, shall either become laws or no 
laws at his will and pleasure. Wherefore he con- 


founds contracts with laws, which he ought not to CHAP. xiv. 
have done ; for contract is a promise, law a com- ' r ~' 
mand. In contracts we say, / will do this ; in 
laws, do this. Contracts oblige us ;* laws tie us 
fast, being obliged. A contract obligeth of itself; 
the law holds the party obliged by virtue of the 
universal contract of yielding obedience. There- 
fore in contract, it is first determined what is to 
be done, before we are obliged to do it ; but in 
law, we are first obliged to perform, and what is to 
be done is determined afterwards. Aristotle there- 
fore ought to have defined a civil law thus : a 
civil law is a speech limited ly the will of the 
city, commanding everything behoveful to be 
done. Which is the same with that we have given 
above, in chap. vi. art. 9 : to wit, that the civil 
laws are the command of him, whether man or 
court of men, who is endued with supreme power 
in the city, concerning the future actions of his 

3. They confound laws with right, who con- HOW it differs 
tinue still to do what is permitted by divine right, 
notwithstanding it be forbidden by the civil law. 
That which is prohibited by the divine law, can- 
not be permitted by the civil ; neither can that 
which is commanded by the divine law, be pro- 
hibited by the civil. Notwithstanding, that which 

* Contracts oblige vs."] To be obliged, and to be tied being 
obliged t seems to some men to be one and the same thing ; and 
that therefore here seems to be some distinction in words, but 
none indeed. More clearly therefore, I say thus : that a man is 
obliged by his contracts, that is, that he ought to perform for his 
promise sake ; but that the law ties him being obliged, that is to 
say, it compels him to make good his promise for fear of the 
punishment appointed by the law. ) 


CHAP. xiv. is permitted by the divine right, that is to say, 
*""" ' '~^ that which may be done by divine right, doth no 
whit hinder why the same may not be forbidden 
by the civil laws ; for inferior laws may restrain 
the liberty allowed by the superior, although they 
cannot enlarge them. Now natural liberty is a 
right not constituted, but allowed by the laws. 
For the laws being removed, our liberty is abso- 
lute. This is first restrained by the natural and 
divine laws ; the residue is bounded by the civil 
law ; and what remains, may again be restrained 
by the constitutions of particular towns and socie- 
ties. There is gr,eat difference therefore between 
law and right. \ For law is a fetter, right is free- 
dom ; and they differ like contraries. 

The division of 4. All law may be divided, first according to the 

laws into divine . J .,.. ^ 

and human; and diversity of its authors into divine and human. 
naturafl^dp^The divine, according to the two ways whereby 
the V natuTaiinto God hath made known his will unto men, is two- 

s of sin- fold . natural or moral, and positive. Natural is 

gle men, and * 

those of nations, that which God hath declared to all men by his 
eternal word born with them, to wit, their natural 
reason ; and this is that law, which in this whole 
book I have endeavoured to unfold. Positive is 
that, which God hath revealed to us by tke word 
of prophecy, wherein he hath spoken unto men as 
a man. Such are the laws which he gave to the 
Jews concerning their government and divine 
worship; and they may be termed the divine 
civil laws, because they were peculiar to the civil 
government of the Jews, his peculiar people. 
Again, the natural law may be divided into that 
of men, which alone hath obtained the title of the 
law of nature and that of cities, which mav be 


called that of nations, but vulgarly it is termed c # AP. xiv* 
the right of nations. The precepts of both are "-' -" 
alike. But because cities once instituted do put 
on the personal proprieties of men, that law, which 
speaking of the duty of single men we call na~ 
tural, being applied to whole cities and nations, 
is called the* L right of nations. And the same 
elements of natural law and right, which have 
hitherto been spoken of, being transferred to whole 
cities and nations, may be taken for 'the elements 
of the laws and right of nations. 

5. All human law is civil. For the state of TtodivU 

, . . . of human, that 

men considered out of civil society, is hostile ; 

which, because one is not subject to another, 
are no other laws beside the dictates of natural 
reason, which is the divine law. But in civil 
government the city only, that is to say, that man 
or court to whom the supreme power of the city 
is committed; is the legislator ; and the laws of the 
city are civil. The civil laws may be divided, 
according to the diversity of their subject matter, 
into sacred or secular. Sacred are those which 
pertain to religion, that is to say, to the ceremo- 
nies and worship of God : to wit, what persons, 
things, places, are to b consecrated, and in what 
fashion ; what opinions concerning the Deity are 
to be taught publicly ; and with what words and 
in what order supplications are to be made ; and 
the like ; and are not determined by any divine 
positive law. For the civil sacred laws are the 
human laws (which are also called ecclesiastical) 
concerning things sacred ; but the secular, under 
a general notion, are usually called the civil laws. 
6. Again, the civil law (according to the two 


CHAP. xiv. offices of the legislator, whereof one is to judge, 
into distributive ^ e ot ^ er to constrain men to acquiesce to his 
nd vindicative, judgments) hath two parts ; the one distributive, 
the other vindicative or penaL By the distribu- 
tive it is, that every man hath his proper rights ; 
Jhat is to say, it sets forth rules for all things, 
whereby we may know what is properly our's, 
what another man's ; so as others may not hinder 
us from the free use and enjoyment of our own, 
and we may not interrupt others in the quiet pos- 
session of their's ; and what is lawful for every 
man to do or omit, and what is not lawful. 
Vindicative is that, whereby it is defined what 
punishment shall be inflicted on them who break 
the law. 

Distributive 7 Now distributive and vindicative are not two 
we noTttTspe. several species of the laws, but two parts of the 
cies of the laws. same j aw> p or jf fa e j aw should say no more, 

but (for example) whatsoever you take with your 
net in the sea, be it yours, it is in vain. For 
although another should take that away from you 
which you have caught, it hinders not but that it 
still remains yours. For in the state of nature 
where all things are common to all, yours and- 
others are all one; insomuch as what the law de- 
fines to be yours, was yours even before the law, 
and after the law ceases not to be yours, although 
in another man's possession. Wherefore the law 
doth nothing, unless it be understood to be so 
yours, as all other men be forbidden to interrupt 
your free use and secure enjoyment of it at all 
times, according to your own will and pleasure. 
For this is that which is required to a propriety of 
goods ; not that a man may be able to use them, 


but to use them alone ; which is done by prohibiting CHAP, xiv* 

others to be an hinderance to him. But in vain ~~ J * 

do they also prohibit any men, who do not withal 
strike a fear of punishment into them. In vain 
therefore is the law, unless it contain both parts, 
that which forbids injuries to be done, and that 
which puhisheih the doers of them. The first of 
them, which is called distributive, is prohibitory , 
and speaks to all ; the second, which is styled 
vindicative or penary, is mandatory, and only 
speaks to public ministers. 

8. From hence also we may understand, that 
every civil law hath a penalty annexed to it, 

either explicitly or implicitly. For where the annexed to it 
penalty is not defined, neither by any writing, nor 
by example of any who hath suffered the punish- 
ment of the transgressed law, there the penalty is 
understood to be arbitrary ; namely, to depend on 
the will of the legislator, that is to say, of the su- 
preme commander. For in vain is that law, which 
may be broken without punishment. 

9. Now because it comes from the civil laws, The precepts 
both that every man have his proper right and 
distinguished from another's, and also that he is ^uU 
forbidden to invade another's rights ; it follows & lse 
that these precepts : Thou shalt not refuse to give are 

the honour defined by the laws, unto thy parents : 
Thou shalt not kill the man, whom the laws forbid 
thee to kill : Thou shalt avoid all copulation for- 
bidden by the laws : Thou shalt not take away 
another's goods, against the lord's will : Thou 
shalt not frustrate the laws and judgments by 
false testimony : are civil laws. The natural 
laws command the same things, but implicitly. 


CHAP. xiv. For the law of nature (as hath been said in <shap. 
v ~"' '~~* in. art, 2) commands us to keep contracts ; and 
therefore also to perform obedience, when we 
have covenanted obedience, and to abstain from 
another's goods, when it is determined by the 
civil law what belongs to another. But all sub- 
jects (by chap. vi. art. 13) do covenant to obey his 
commands who hath the supreme power, that is to 
say, the civil laws, in the very constitution of 
government, even before it is possible to break 
them. v For the law of nature did oblige in the 
state of nature ; where first, because nature hath 
given all things to all men, nothing did properly 
belong to another, and therefore it was not possi- 
ble to invade another's right; next, where all 
things were common, and therefore all carnal 
copulations lawful; thirdly, where was the state 
of war, and therefore lawful to kill ; fourthly, 
where all things were determined by every man's 
own judgment, and therefore paternal respects 
also ; lastly, where there were no public judg- 
ments, and therefore no use of bearing witness, 
either true or false. 

10., Seeing therefore our obligation to observe 

fels to coBunft&d i i i t 

aught by the those laws is more ancient than the promulgation 

laws themselves, as being contained in the 
law* of nature. ver y constitution of the city ; by the virtue of the 
natural law which forbids breach of covenant, the 
law of nature commands us to keep all the civil 
laws. For where we are tied to obedience before 
we know what will be commanded us, there we 
are universally tied to obey in all things.) Whence 
it follows, that no civil law whatsoever, which 
tends not to a reproach of the Deity, (in respect 


of whom cities themselves have no right of their CHAP. xiv 
own, and cannot be said to make laws), can possi- " "' u '^ 
bly be against the law of nature. For though the 
law of nature forbid theft, adultery, &c ; yet if the 
civil law command us to invade anything, that in- 
vasion is not theft, adultery, &c. For when the 
Lacedaemonians of old permitted their youths, by 
a certain law, to take away other men's goods, 
they commanded that these goods should not be 
accounted other men's, but their [own who took 
them; and therefore such surreptions were no 
thefts. In like manner, copulations of heathen 
sexes, according to their laws, were lawful mar- 

11. It is necessary to the essence of a law, that it u essential to 

, ,. , .1.1 i /> a law, that both 

the subjects be acquainted with two things : first, itanatheiegi*. 

what man or court hath the supreme power, that latorbeknown ' 

is to say, (the right of making laws; secondly, 

what the law itself says. For he that neither 

knew either to whom or what he is tied to, cannot 

obey ; and by consequence is in such a condition 

as if he were not tied at all. I say not that it is 

necessary to the essence of a law, that either one 

or the other be perpetually known, but only that 

it be once known. And if the subject afterward 

forget either the right he hath who made the law, 

or the law itself, that makes him no less tied to 

obey ; since he might have remembered it, had he 

a will to obey. 

12. The knowledge of the legislator depends whence 
on the subject himself ; for the right of making tor 
laws could not be conferred on any man without 

his own consent and covenant, either expressed or 
supposed ; expressed, when from the beginning the 


CHAP. xiv. citizens do themselves constitute a form of govern- 
' ' ' ing the city, or when by promise they submit them- 
selves to the dominion of any one ; or supposed at 
least, as when they make use of the benefit of the 
realm and laws for their protection and conserva- 
tion against others. \T?or to whose dominion we 
require our fellow subjects to yield obedience for 
our good, his dominion we acknowledge to be 
legitimate by that very request.; And therefore 
ignorance of the power of making laws, can never 
be a sufficient excuse ; for every man knows what 
he hath done himself. 

Promulgation 13. The knowledge of the laws depends on the 

and interpret* ... . , ,. , i JT , 

tion are neces- legislator ; who must publish them ; tor otherwise 
' " they are not laws. For law is the command of the 
law-maker, and his command is the declaration of 
his will ; it is not therefore a law, except the will 
of the law-maker be declared, which is done by 
promulgation. Now in promulgation two things 
must be manifest ; whereof one is, that he or they 
who publish a law, either have a right themselves 
to make laws, or that they do it by authority de- 
rived from him or them who have it ; the other is 
the sense of the law itself. Now, that the first, 
namely, published laws, proceed from him who 
hath the supreme command, cannot be manifest 
(speaking exactly and philosophically) to any, but 
them who have received them from the mouth of 
the commander. The rest believe ; but the rea-* 
sons of their belief are so many, that it is scarce 
possible they should not believe. And truly in a 
democratical city, where every one may be present 
at the making of laws if he will, he that shall be 
absent, must believe those that were present. But 


in monarchies and aristocracies, because it is CHAP. xiv. 
granted but to few to be present, and openly to 
hear the commands of the monarch or the nobles, 

, i . IP on a** necea- 

it was necessary to bestow a power on those few wrytotbeknow. 
of publishing them to the rest. And thus we be- ledge of a Uw ' 
Heve those to be the edicts and decrees of princes, 
which are propounded to us for such, either by the 
writings or voices of them whose office it is to 
publish them. But yet, when we have these causes 
of belief ; that we have seen the prince or supreme 
counsel constantly use such counsellors, secreta- 
ries, publishers, and seals, and the like argu- 
ments for the declaring of his will ; that he never 
took any authority from them; that they have 
been punished, who not giving credit to such like 
promulgations have transgressed the law ; not 
only he who thus believing shall obey the edicts 
and decrees set forth by them, is everywhere 
excused, but* he that not believing shall not 
yield obedience, is punished. For the constant 
permission of these things is a manifest sign 
enough and evident declaration of the command- 
er's will ; provided there be nothing contained in 
the law, edict, or decree, derogatory from his su- 
preme power. For it is not to be imagined that 
he would have aught taken from his power by any 
of his officers, as long as he retains a will to 
govern. (Now the sense of the law, when there is 
any doubt made of it, is to be taken from them to 
whom the supreme authority hath committed the 
knowledge of causes or judgments ; for to judge, 
is nothing else than by interpretation to apply the 
laws to particular cases. Now we may know who 
they are that have this office granted them, in the 


CHAP. xiv. same manner as we know who they be that have 
in-.- authority given them to publish laws. 

Again the civil law, according to its two- 

into written fold manner of publishing, is of two sorts, written 
and unwritten. By written, I understand that 
which wants a voice, or some other sign of the 
will of the legislator, that it may become a law. 
For all kind of laws are of the same age with 
mankind, both in nature and time ; and therefore 
of more antiquity than the invention of Jetters, 
and the art of writing. Wherefore not a writing, 
but a voice is necessary for a written law ; this 
alone is requisite to the being, that to the remem- 
brance of a law. For we read, that before letters 
were found out for the help of memory, that laws, 
contracted into metre, were wont to be sung. 
The unwritten, is that which wants no other pub- 
lishing than the voice of nature or natural reason ; 
such are the laws of nature. For the natural law, 
although it be distinguished from the civil, foras- 
much as it commands the will ; yet so far forth as 
it relates to our actions, it is civil. For example, 
this same, thou shalt not covet, which only apper- 
tains to the mind, is a natural law only ; but this, 
thou shalt not invade, is both natural and civil. 
For seeing it is impossible to prescribe such uni- 
versal rules, whereby all future contentions, which 
perhaps are infinite, may be determined ; it is to 
be understood that in all cases not mentioned by 
the written laws, the law of natural equity is to 
be followed, which commands us to distribute 
equally to equals ; and this by the virtue of the 
civil law, which also punisheth those who know- 
ingly and willingly do actually transgress the laws 
of nature. 


15. These things being understood, it appears, CHAP. 
first, that the laws of nature, although they were Thatth ; nttowal 
described in the books of some philosophers, are i 

* * 

-, , , . _ ten laws, neither 

not for that reason to be termed written laws : we the 

and that the writings of the interpreters of the I 
laws, were no laws, for want of the supreme au- ^ t 
thority ; nor yet those orations of the wise, that 8ent of * su - 

. preme power. 

is to say, judges, but so far forth as by the con- 
sent of the supreme power they part into custom ; 
and that then they are to be received among the 
written laws, not for the custom's sake, (which by 
its own force doth not constitute a law), but for 
the will of the supreme commander ; which ap- 
pears in this, that he hath suffered his sentence, 
whether equal or unequal, to pass into custom. 

16. Sin, in its largest signification, comprehends what the 

,,,, . ., word in, taken 

every deed, word, and thought against right rea- m its largest 
son. For every man, by reasoning, seeks out the sense ' 81gni e * 
means to the <end which he propounds to himself. 
If therefore he reason right, that is to say, begin- 
ning from most evident principles he makes a dis- 
course out of consequences continually necessary, 
he will proceed in a most direct way. Otherwise 
he will go astray, that is to say, he will either do, 
say, or endeavour somewhat against his proper 
end ; which when he hath done, he will indeed in 
reasoning be said to have erred, but in action and 
will to have sinned. For sin follows error, just as 
the will doth the understanding. And this is the 
most general acception of the word ; under which is 
contained every imprudent action, whether against 
the law, as to overthrow another man's house, or not 
against the law, as to build his own upon the sand. 

17. But when we speak of the laws, the word 


CHAP* xiv. sin is taken in a more strict sense, and signifies 
no * ever y thing done against right reason, but that 
only which is blctmeable ; and therefore it is called 
malum culpce, the evil of fault. But yet if any- 
thing be culpable, it is not presently to be termed 
a sin or fault ; but only if it be blameable with 
reason. We must therefore enquire what it is to 
be blameable with reason^ what against reason. 
Such is the nature of man, that every one calls 
that good which he desires, and evil which he 
eschews. And therefore through the diversity of 
our affections it happens, that one counts thatgoorf, 
which another counts evil ; and the same man 
what now he esteemed for good, he immediately 
after looks on as evil : and the same thing which 
he calls good in himself, he terms evil in another. 
For we all measure good and evil by the pleasure 
or pain we either feel at present, or expect here- 
after. Now seeing the prosperous actions of ene- 
mies, because they increase their honours, goods, 
and power ; and of equals, by reason of that strife 
of honours which is among them ; both seem and 
are irksome, and therefore evil to all; and men 
use to repute those evil, that is to say, to lay some 
fault to their charge, from whom they receive evil; 
it is impossible to be determined by the consent of 
single men, whom the same things do not please 
and displease, what actions are, and what not to 
be blamed. They may agree indeed in some cer- 
tain general things, as that theft, adultery, and 
the like are sins ; as if they should say that all 
men account those things evil 9 to which thay have 
given names which are usually taken in an evil 
sense. But we demand not whether theft be a sin, 
but what is to be termed theft ; and so conoerning 


others, in like manner. Forasmuch therefore as CHAP* xm 
in so great a diversity of censurers, what is by rea- ^ ~^ 
son blameable is not to be measured by the reason 
of one man more than another, because of the 
equality of human nature ; and there are no other 
reasons in being, but only those of particular men, 
and that of the city : it follows, that the city is to 
determine what with reason is culpable. So as a 
faulty that is to say, a sin, is that which a man 
does, omits, says, or wills, against -the reason of 
the city, that is, contrary to the laws/ 1 

18. But a man may do somewhat against the The difference 
laws through human infirmity, although he desire of fefantty 
to fulfil them ; and yet his action, as being against andm * hce - 
the laws, is rightly blamed, and called a sin. But 

there are some who neglect the laws ; and as oft 
as any hope of gain and impunity doth appear to 
them, no conscience of contracts and betrothed 
faith can withhold them from their violation. Not 
only the deeds, but even the minds of these men 
are against the laws. ( They who sin only through 
infirmity, are good men even when they sin ; but 
these, even when they do not sin, are wicked. 
For though both the action and the mind be re- 
pugnant to the laws, yet those repugnances are 
distinguished by different appellations. For the 
irregularity of the action is called aS/?jua, unjust 
deed; that of the mind aSiKia and KaKia, injustice 
and malice ; that is the infirmity of a disturbed 
soul, this the pravity of a sober mind. 

19. But seeing there is (no sin which is not under what 
against some law, and that there is no law which ism isconuuiJu 
is not the command of him who hath the supreme 

power, and that no man hath a supreme power 
which is not bestowed on him by our own con- 


CHAP. xiv. sent ; in what manner will he be said to sin, who 
^~ ' v "- r " either denies that there is a God. or that he governs 

Under what _, , , i . * 

kind of sinathe- the world, or casts any other reproach upon him r 
wmw contained. , . . e never submitted his will 

to God's willy not conceiving him so much as to 
have any being : and granting that his opinion 
were erroneous^ and therefore also a sin, yet 
were it to be numbered among those of impru- 
dence or ignorance^ which by right cannot be 
punished. This speech seems so far forth to be 
admitted, that though this kind of sin be the 
greatest and most hurtful, yet is it to be referred 
to sins of imprudence ;* but that it should be 

* Yet i$ it to be referred to sins of imprudence.'] Many find 
fault that I have referred atheism to imprudence, and not to in- 
justice ; yea by some it is taken so, as if I had not declared 
myself an enemy bitter enough against atheists. They object 
further, that since I had elsewhere said that it might be known 
there is a God by natural reason, I ought to have acknowledged 
that they sin at least against the law of nature, and therefore are 
not only guilty of imprudence, but injustice too. But I am so much 
an enemy to atheists, that I have both diligently sought for, and 
vehemently desired to find some law whereby I might condemn 
them of injustice. But when I found none, I inquired next what 
name God himself did give to men so detested by him. Now 
God speaks thus of the atheist : The fool hath said in his heart, 
there is no God. Wherefore I placed their sin in that rank which 
God himself refers to. Next I show them to be enemies of God. 
But I conceive the name of an enemy to be sometimes somewhat 
sharper, than that of an unjust man. Lastly, I affirm that they 
may under that notion be justly punished both by God, and 
supreme magistrates ; and therefore by no means excuse or ex- 
tenuate this sin. Now that I have said, that it might be known by 
natural reason that there is a God, is so to be understood, not as 
if I had meant that all men might know this ; except they 
think, that because Archimedes by natural reason found out what 
proportion the circle hath to the square, it follows thence, that 
every one of the vulgar could have found out as much* I say 
therefore, that although it may be known to some by the light of 


excused by imprudence or ignorance, is absurd. CHAP. XIV. 
For the atheist is punished either immediately by ' l ~" 
God himself, or by kings constituted under God ; 
not as a subject is punished by a king, because he 
keeps not the laws ; but as one enemy by another, 
because he would not accept of the laws ; that is 
to say, by the right of war, as the giants warring 
against God. For whosoever are not subject either 
to some common lord, or one to another, are ene- 
mies among themselves. 

20. Seeing that from the virtue of the covenant, mat th sin 

i -, . of ^ason is. 

whereby each subject is tied to the other to per- 
form absolute and universal obedience (such as is 
defined above, chap. vi. art. 13) to the city, that 
is to say, to the sovereign power, whether that be 
one man or council, there is an obligation derived 
to observe each one of the civil laws ; so that that 
covenant contains in itself all the laws at once ; 
it is manifest that the subject who shall renounce 
the general covenant of obedience, doth at once . 
renounce all the laws. Which trespass is so much 
worse than any other one sin, by how much to sin 
always, is worse than to sin once. ( And this is 
that sin which is called treason ; and it is a word 
or deed whereby the citizen or subject declares, 
that he will no longer obey that man or court to 
whom the supreme power of the city is entrusted. 
And the subject declares this same will of his by 
deed, when he either doth or endeavours to do 
violence to the sovereign's person, or to them who 
execute his commands, i Of which sort are traitors, 

reason that there is a God ; yet men that are continually engaged 
in pleasures or seeking of riches and honour ; also men that are 
not wont to reason aright, or cannot do it, or care not to do it ; 
lastly^ fools, in which number are atheists, cannot know this. 

200 , DOMINION. 

CHAP, xiv, regicides, and such as take tip arms against the 
city, or during a war fly to the enemy's side. And 
they show the same will in word, who flatly deny 
that themselves or other subjects are tied to any 
such kind of obedience, either in the whole, as he 
who should say that we must not obey him (keep- 
ing the obedience which we owe to God entire) 
simply, absolutely, and universally ; or in part, as 
he who should say, that he had no right to wage 
war at his own will, to make peace, enlist sol- 
diers, levy monies, elect magistrates and public 
ministers, enact laws, decide controversies, set 
penalties, or do aught else without which the 
state cannot stand. And these and the like 
words and deeds are treason by the natural, 
nbt the civil law. But it may so happen, that 
some action, which before the civil law was made, 
was not treason, yet will become such if it be 
done afterwards. As if it be declared by the law, 
that it shall be accounted for a sign of renouncing 
public obedience, that is to say, for treason, if any 
man shall coin monies, or forge the privy-seal ; he 
that after that declaration shall do this, will be no 
less guilty of treason than the other. Yet he sins 
less, because he breaks not all the laws at once, 
but one law only. For the law by calling that 
treason which by nature is not so, doth indeed by 
right set a more odious name, and perhaps a more 
grievous punishment on the guilty persons ; but 
it makes not the sin itself more grievous. 

Trewon breaks 21. But that sin, which by the law of nature is 

not the cml, but , .. . / i ,1^,1 

the natural law. treason, is a transgression of the natural, not the 
civil law. , For since our obligation to civil obe- 
dience, by virtue whereof the civil laws are valid, 
is before all civil law, and the sin of treason is 


naturally nothing else but the breach of that obli- CHAP, am 
gation ; it follows, that by the (sin of treason that "*" l>r ";'** * 
law is broken which preceded the civil law, to wit, 
the natural, which forbids us to violate covenants 
and betrothed faith. ; But if some sovereign prince 
should set forth a law on this manner, thou shall 
not rebel, he would effect just nothing. For ex- 
cept subjects were before obliged to obedience, 
that is to say, not to rebel, all law is of no force. 
Now the obligation which obligeth to what we 
were before obliged to, is superfluous. 

22. Hence it follows, that rebels, traitors, and And therefore u 
all others convicted of treason, are punished not S^ghf oTi^i 
by civil, but natural right ; that is to say, not as Jjjf^^ w 
civil subjects, but as enemies to the government ; 

not by the right of sovereignty and dominion, but 
by the right of war. 

23. There are some who think thqf those acts obedience uot 
which are done against the law, when the punish- gu^h^^ic- 
ment is determined by the law itself, are expiated, tiT6 and paMhre - 
if the punished willingly undergo the punishment ; 

and that they are not guilty before God of break- 
ing the natural law, (although by breaking the civil 
laws, we break the natural too, which command us 
to keep the civil), who have suffered the punish- 
ment which the law required ; as if by the law 
the fact were not prohibited, but a punishment 
were set instead of a price, whereby a license 
might be bought of doing what the law forbids. 
By the same reason they might infer too, that no 
transgression of the law were a sin ; but that 
every man might enjoy the liberty which he hath 
bought by his own peril. But we must know, that 
the words of the law may be understood in a two- 
fold sense. The one as containing two parts, (as 


CHAP. xiv. hath been declared above in art. 7), namely, that 
absolutely, prohibiting, as, thou shalt not do 
. **** ; an ^ reven Si n S* as > he that doth this, shall 

ive and passive, be punished. The other,' as containing a condition, 
for example,, thou shalt not do this thing, unless 
thou wilt suffer punishment ; and thus the law 
forbids not simply, but conditionally. If it be un- 
derstood in the first sense, he that doth it sins, 
because he doth what the law forbids to be done ; 
if in the second, he sins not, because he cannot be 
said to do what is forbidden him, that performs 
the condition. For in the first sense, all men are 
forbidden to do it ; in the second, they only who 
keep themselves from the punishment. In the 
first sense, the vindicative part of the law obligeth 
not the guilty, but the magistrate to require 
punishment ; in the second, he himself that owes 
the punishment, is obliged to exact it ; to the pay- 
ment whereof, if it be capital or otherwise grievous, 
he cannot be obliged. But in what sense the law 
is to be taken, depends on the will of him who 
hath the sovereignty. When therefore there is 
any doubt of the meaning of the law, since we are 
sure they sin not who do it not, it will be sin if 
we do it, howsoever the law may afterward be 
explained. For to do that which a man doubts 
whether it be a sin or not, when he hath freedom 
to forbear it, is a contempt of the laws; and 
therefore by chap. in. art. 28, a sin against the 
law of nature. ^Yain therefore is that same dis- 
tinction of obedience into active and passive ; as 
if that could be expiated by penalties constituted 
by human decrees, which is a sin against the law 
of nature, which is the law of God ; or as though 
they sinned not, who sin at their own peril.) 




1. The proposition of the following contents. 2. Over whom God 
is said to rule by nature. 3. The word of God threefold ; 
reason, revelation, prophecy. 4. The kingdom of God two- 
fold ; natural, and prophetic. 5. The right whereby God reign& 
is seated in his omnipotence. 6. The same proved from 
Scripture. 7. The obligation of yielding obedience to God, 
proceeds from human infirmity. 8. The laws of God in his 
natural kingdom, are those which are recited above in chap- 
ters n. in. 9. What honour and worship is. 10. Worship 
consists either in attributes or in actions. 11. And there is 
one sort natural, another arbitrary. 12. One commanded, 
another voluntary. 13. What the end or scope of worship 
is. 14-. What the natural laws are concerning God's attributes. 
15. What the actions are whereby naturally we do give wor- 
ship. 16. In God's natural kingdom, the city may appoint 
what worship of God it pleaseth. 17. God ruling by nature 
only, the city, that is to say, that man or court who under God 
hath the sovereign authority of the city, is the interpreter of 
all the laws. 18. Certain doubts removed. 19. What sin is 
in the natural kingdom of God ; and what treason against the 
Divine Majesty. 

1. WE have already in the foregoing chapters, CHAP.XV. 
proved both by reason and testimonies of holy ^ ro ' 05 i7 
writ that the estate of nature, that is to say, of tionofthfifol - 

- ,., , j_t " i . i lowing contents. 

absolute liberty, such as is theirs who neither 
govern nor are governed, is an anarchy or hostile 
state; that the precepts whereby to avoid this 
state, are the laws of nature ; that there can be 
no civil government without a sovereign ; and that 


CHAP. xv. they who have gotten this sovereign command, 
r ~' must be obeyed simply, that is to say, in all things 
which repugn not the commandments of God. 
There is this one thing only wanting to the com- 
plete understanding of all civil duty, and that is, 
to know which are the laws and commandments of 
God. For else we cannot tell whether that which 
the civil power commands us, be against the laws 
of God, or not ; whence it must necessarily hap- 
pen, that either by too much obedience to the civil 
authority we become stubborn against the divine 
Majesty ; or for fear of sinning against God we 
run into disobedience against the civil power. 
To avoid both these rocks, it is necessary to know 
the divine laws. Now because the knowledge of 
the laws depends on the knowledge of the king- 
dom, we must in what follows speak somewhat 
concerning the kingdom of God. 

whom God 2. The Lord is king, the earth may be glad 
jft ere qf. gaith the psalmist, (Psalm xcvii. 1). And 
again the same psalmist, (Psalm xcix. 1) : The Lord 
is king, be the people never so impatient ; he sit- 
teth between the cherubims, be the earth never so 
unquiet; to wit, whether men will or not, God is 
the king over all the earth ; nor is he moved from 
his throne, if there be any who deny; either his 
existence or his providence. Now although God 
govern all men so by his power, that none can do 
anything which he would not have done : yet this, 
to speak properly and accurately, is not to reign. 
For he is said to reign, who rules not by acting, 
but speaking 9 that is to say, by precepts and 
threatenings. And therefore we count not inani- 
mate nor irrational bodies for subjects in the king- 


dom of God, although they be subordinate to the CHAP. xv. 
divine power; because they understand not the - " - 
commands and threats of God : nor yet the 
atheists, because they believe not that there is a 
God ; nor yet those who believing there is a God, 
do not yet believe that he rules these inferior 
things ; for even these, although they be governed 
by the power of God, yet do they not acknowledge 
any of his commands, nor stand in awe of his 
threats, Those only therefore are supposed to be- 
long to God's kingdom, who acknowledge him to 
be the governor of all things, and that he hath 
given his commands to men, and appointed punish- 
ments for the transgressors. The rest we must 
not call subjects, but enemies of God. 

3. But none are said to govern by commands, The word of 

, i i 1111 , , God threefold; 

but they who openly declare them to those who re**, reveia- 
are governed by them. For the commands of the tMm ' prophe * 7 ' 
rulers, are the laws of the ruled ; but laws* they 
are riot, if not perspicuously published, insomuch 
as all excuse of ignorance may be taken away. 
Men indeed publish their laws by word or voice ; 
neither can they make their will universally known 
any other way. But God's laws are declared after 
a threefold manner : first, by the tacit dictates of 
right reason ; next, by immediate revelation, 
which is supposed to be done either by a super- 
natural voice, or by a vision or dream, or divine 
inspiration ; thirdly, by the voice of one man, 
whom God recommends to the rest, as worthy of 
belief, by the working of true miracles. Now he 
whose voice God thus makes use of to signify his 
will unto others, is called a prophet. These three 
manners may be termed the threefold word of 


CHAP. xv. God, to wit, the rational word, the sensible word, 
' and the word of prophecy. To which answer the 
three manners whereby we are said to hear God ; 
right reasoning, sense, and faith. God's sensible 
word hath come but to few ; neither hath God 
spoken to men by revelation, except particularly 
to some, and to diverse diversely ; neither have 
any laws of his kingdom been published on this 
manner unto any people. 

4 ' ^ n( * acc o r< ii n g to the difference which is be- 

foid: natural, tween the rational word and the word ofpro- 

and prophetic. 7 * i -i -i i /IT 

pnecy, we attribute a two-fold kingdom unto God : 
natural, in which he reigns by the dictates of 
right reason ; and which is universal over all who 
acknowledge the divine power, by reason of that 
rational nature which is common to all : and pro- 
phetical, in which he rules also by the word of 
prophecy ; which is peculiar, because he hath not 
given positive laws to all men, but to his peculiar 
people and some certain men elected by him. 
rhe right where. 5. God in his natural kingdom hath a right to 

t>y God governs, i i 11 i i i j 

s seated in his rule, and to punish those who break his laws, from 
>mmpotence. ^g so } e irresistible power. For all right over 
others is either from nature, or from contract. 
How the right of governing springs from contract, 
we have already showed in chap. vir j And the 
same right is derived from nature, in this very 
thing, that it is not by nature taken away. For 
when by nature all men had a right over all things, 
every man had a right of ruling over all as ancient 
as nature itself. But the reason why^ this was 
abolished among men, was no other but mutual 
fear, as hath been declared above in chap. n. art. 
3 ; reason, namely, dictating that they must forego 


that right for the preservation of mankind ; be- CHAP. xv. 
cause the equality of men among themselves, ac- " ' 
cording to their strength and natural powers, was 
necessarily accompanied with war ; and with war 
joins the destruction of mankind. Now if any 
man had so far exceeded the rest in power, that 
all of them with joined forces could not have re- 
sisted him, there had been no cause why he 
should part with that right, which nature had 
given him. The right therefore of dominion over 
all the rest would have remained with him, by 
reason of that excess of power whereby he could 
have preserved both himself and them. They 
therefore whose power cannot be resisted, and by 
consequence God Almighty derives his right of 
sovereignty from the power itself. And as oft as 
God punisheth or slays a sinner, although he 
therefore punish him because he sinned, yet may 
we not say that he could not justly have punished 
or killed him" although he had not sinned. Neither, 
if the will of God in punishing may perhaps have 
regard to some sin antecedent, doth it therefore 
follow, that the right of afflicting and killing de- 
pends not on divine power, but on men's sins. 

6. That question made famous by the disputa- The8anw P ro 1 

,. ., . 7 ., J7 . 7 / 7 ,7 from Scripture. 

tions or the ancients : why evil things bejal the 
good, and good things the evil: is the same with 
this of ours ; by what right God dispenseth good 
and evil things unto men ; and with its difficulty 
it not only staggers the faith of the vulgar con- 
cerning the divine Providence, but also philoso- 
phers, and which is more, even of holy men. 
Psalm Ixxiii. 1, 2, 3 : Truly God is good to Israel, 
even to such as are of a clean heart ; but as for 


CHAP. xv. me, my feet were almost gone, my steps had well 
, ' nigh slipped. And why ? I was grieved at the 

The same prorecl ? , T * i , i 

(h>m Scripture, wicked ; / do also see the ungodly in such pros- 
perity. A-nd how bitterly did Job expostulate 
with God, that being just he should yet be afflicted 
with so many calamities ! God himself with open 
voice resolved this difficulty in the case of Job, 
and hath confirmed his right by arguments drawn 
not from Job's sin, but from his own power. For 
Job and his friends had argued so among them- 
selves ; that they would needs make him guilty, 
because he was punished ; and he would reprove 
their accusation by arguments fetched from his 
own innocence. But God, when he had heard both 
him and them, refutes his expostulation, not by 
condemning him of injustice or any sin, but by 
declaring his own power, (Job xxxviii. 4) : Where 
wast thou (says he) when I laid the foundation of 
the earth, fyc. And for his friends, God pro- 
nounces himself angry against them (Job. xlii. 7) : 
Because they had not spoken of him the thing 
that is right, like his servant Job. Agreeable to 
this is that speech of our Saviour's in the man's 
case who was born blind : when, his disciples 
asking him whether he or his parents had sinned, 
that he was born blind, he answered, (John ix. 3) : 
Neither hath thin man sinned, nor his parents ; 
but that the works of God should be manifest in 
him. For though it be said, (Rom. v. 12), that 
death entered into the world by sin : it follows 
not but that God by his right might have made 
men subject to diseases and death, although they 
had never sinned ; even as he hath made the other 
animals mortal and sickly, although they cannot 


7. Now if God have the right of sovereignty CHAP. xv. 
from his power, it is manifest that the obligation ^"J/^ 
of yielding him obedience lies on men by reason of of yielding*** 

.1 i jfcTi i T T i dience unto God, 

their weakness.* For that obligation which rises proceeds from 
from contract, of which we have spoken in chap. n. humaninfirmi *- 
can have no place here ; where the right of ruling, 
no covenant passing between, rises only from 
nature. But there are two species of natural 
obligation. One, when liberty is taken away by 
corporal impediments, according to which we say 
that heaven and earth, and all creatures, do obey 
the common laws of their creation. The other, 
when it is taken away by hope or fear, according to 
which the weaker, despairing of his own power to 
resist, cannot but yield to the stronger. From 
this last kind of obligation, that is to say, from 
fear or conscience of our own weakness in respect 
of the divine power, it comes to pass that we are 
obliged to obey God in his natural kingdom ; rea- 
son dictating to all, acknowledging the divine 
power and providence, that there is no kicking 
against the pricks. 

8. Because the word of God. ruling; by nature Theiawsof 

-, . i^i i T i . . God in his natu- 

only, is supposed to be nothing else but right rai kingdom, ate 
reason, and the laws of kings can be known by S^TSftJ^ 

in chaps, u. in. 

* By reason of their weakness.] If this shall seem hard to any 
man, I desire him with a silent thought to consider, if there were 
two Omnipotents, whether were bound to obey. I believe he 
will confess that neither is bound. If this be true, then it is also 
true what I have set down ; that men are subject unto God, be- 
cause they are not omnipotent. And truly our Saviour admonish- 
ing Paul, who at that time was an enemy to the Church, that he 
should not kick against the pricks ; seems to require obedience 
from him for this cause, because he had not power enough to 



CHAP. xv. their word only ; it is manifest that the laws of 
* " God, ruling by nature alone, are only the natural 
laws ; namely, those which we have set down in 
chaps, ii. and in. and deduced from the dictates 
of reason, humility) equity, justice, mercy ; and 
other moral virtues befriending peace, which per- 
tain to the discharge of the duties of men one 
toward the other ; and those which right reason 
shall dictate besides, concerning the honour and 
worship of the Divine Majesty. We need not re- 
peat what those natural laws or moral virtues 
Sire ; but we must see what honours and what di- 
vine worship, that is to say, what sacred laws the 
same natural reason doth dictate. 

what honour 9. Honour to speak properly, is nothing else 

nnd worship are. _ . . f f ?. 

but an opinion of another s power joined with 
goodness ; and to honour a man, is the same with 
highly esteeming him : and so honour is not in 
the party honoured, but in the honourer. Now 
three passions do necessarily follow honour thus 
placed in opinion ; love, which refers to goodness ; 
hope and fear, which regard power. And from 
these arise all outward actions, wherewith the 
powerful are appeased and become propitious ; 
and which are the effects, and therefore also the 
natural signs of honour itself. But the word ho- 
nour is transferred also to those outward effects 
of honour ; in which sense, we are said to honour 
him, of whose power we testify ourselves, either 
in word or deed, to have a very great respect ; 
insomuch as honour is the same with worship. 
Now worship is an outward act, the sign of in- 
ward honour ; and whom we endeavour by our 
homage to appease if they be angry, or howsoever 


to make them favourable to us, we are said to CHAP. xv. 
worship. ' 

10. All signs of the mind are either words or worship - 

TT 11 / -i-i -i t consists either 

deeds ; and therefore all worship consists either in attributes, 
in words or deeds. Now both the one and the or in actions 
other are referred to three kinds ; whereof the first 
is praise, or public declaration of goodness ; the 
second a public declaration of present power, 
which is to magnify ', ptyaXwtiv ; the third is a 
public declaration of happiness, or of power se- 
cure also for the future, which is called ^aKapiff^og. 
I say that all kinds of honour may be discerned, 
not in words only, but in deeds too. But we then 
praise and celebrate in words, when we do it by 
way of proposition, or dogmatically, that is to say, 
by attributes or titles ; which may be termed prais- 
ing and celebrating categorically and plainly ; as 
when we declare him whom we honour to be libe- 
ral, strong, wise. And then in deeds, when it is 
done by consequence or by hypothesis or supposi- 
tion ; as by thanksgiving, which supposeth good- 
ness ; or by obedience, which supposeth power ; 
or by congratulation, which supposeth happiness. 

1 1 . Now whether we desire to praise a man in And there i> 
words or deeds, we shall find some things which , 
signify honour with all men : such as among attri- arbltrar y- 
butes, are the general words of virtues and 
powers, which cannot be taken in ill sense ; as 
good, fair, strong, just, and the like : and among 
actions, obedience, thanksgiving, prayers, and 
others of that kind, by which an acknowledgment 

of virtue and power is ever understood. Others, 
which signify honour but with some, and scorn 
with others, or else neither ; such as in attributes, 



CHAP. xv. are those words, which, according to the diversity 
' of opinions, are diversely referred to virtues or 
vices, to honest or dishonest things. As that a 
man slew his enemy, that he fled, that he is a phi- 
losopher, or an orator, and the like ; which with 
some are had in honour, with others in contempt. 
In deeds, such as depend on the custom of the 
place, or prescriptions of civil laws ; as in saluting 
to be bareheaded, to put off the shoes, to bend 
the body, to petition for anything standing, pros- 
trate, kneeling, forms of ceremony, and the like. 
Now that worship which is always and by all men 
accounted honourable, may be called natural ; the 
other, which follows places and customs, arbi- 

one command- 12. Furthermore, worship may be enjoined, to 
* wit, by the command of him that is worshipped, 
and it may be voluntary, namely, such as seems 
good to the worshipper. If it be enjoined, the ac- 
tions expressing it do not signify honour, as they 
signify actions, but as they are enjoined : fot they 
signify obedience immediately, obedience power ; 
insomuch as worship enjoined consists in obe- 
dience. Voluntary is honourable only in the 
nature of the actions ; which if they do signify 
honour to the beholders, it is worship, if not, it is 
reproach. Again, worship may be either public 
or private. But public, respecting each single 
worshipper, may not be voluntary ; respecting the 
city, it may. For seeing that which is done volun- 
tarily, depends on the will of the doer, there would 
not one worship be given, but as many worships as 
worshippers ; except the will of all men were uni- 
ted by the command of one. But private worship 


may be voluntary, if it be done secretly ; for what is CHAP. xv. 
done openly, is restrained either by laws or through ^"~ t ' 
modesty ; which is contrary to the nature of a 
voluntary action. 

13. Now that we may know what the scope and ^tthadpr 

J * aim of worship ii. 

end of worshipping others is, we must consider 
the cause why men delight in worship. And we 
must grant what we have showed elsewhere ; that 
joy consists in this, that a man contemplates virtue, 
strength, science, beauty, friends, or any power 
whatsoever, as being, or as though it were his 
own ; and it is nothing else but a glory or triumph 
of the mind, conceiving itself honoured, that is to 
say. loved and feared, that is to say, having the 
services and assistances of men in readiness. Now 
because men believe him to be powerful, whom 
they see honoured, that is to say, esteemed power- 
ful by others ; it falls out that honour is increased 
by worship ; and by the opinion of power true 
power is acquired. His end therefore, who either 
commands or suffers himself to be worshipped, is, 
that by this means he may acquire as many as he 
can, either through love or fear, to be obedient 
unto him. 

14. But that we may understand what manner TO* the 
of worship of God natural reason doth assign us, are concerning 
let us begin from his attributes. Where first, it is God>8 attnbute8 ' 
manifest that existence is to be allowed him ; for 

there can be no will to honour him, who, we think, 
hath no being. Next, those philosophers who 
said, that God was the world or the world's soul, 
that is to say, a part of it, spake unworthily of 
God ; for they attribute nothing to him, but wholly 
deny his being. For by the word God we under 



CUAP.XV. stand the world's cause. But in saying that the 
^^ e world is God, they say that it hath no cause, that 
natural laws is as much as there is no God. In like manner, 
s. they who maintain the world not to be created, 
but eternal ; because there can be no cause of an 
eternal thing, in denying the world to have a 
cause, they deny also that there is a God. They 
also have a wretched apprehension of God, who 
imputing idleness to him, do take from him the 
government .of the world and of mankind. For 
sfyy, they should acknowledge him omnipotent ; yet 
if ,he mind not these inferior things, that same 
thread-bare sentence will take place with them : 
quod supra nos, nihil ad nos ; what is above us, 
doth not concern us. And seeing there is nothing 
for which they should either love or fear him, truly 
he will be to them as though he were not at all. 
Moreover, in attributes which signify greatness 
or power, those which signify some finite or limited 
thing, are not signs at all of an honouring mind. 
For we honour not God w r orthily, if we ascribe 
less power or greatness to him than possibly 
we can. But every finite thing is less than we 
can; for most easily we may always assign and 
attribute more to a finite thing. No shape there- 
fore must be assigned to God, for all shape is 
finite ; nor must he be said to be conceived or 
comprehended by imagination, or any other faculty 
of our soul ; for whatsoever we conceive is finite. 
And although this word infinite signify a concep- 
tion of the mind, yet it follows not that we have 
any conception of an infinite thing. For when we 
say that a thing is infinite, we signify nothing 
really, but the impotency in our owu mind.; .as if 


is limited. Neither speak they honourably enough CHAP. xv. 
of God, who say we have an idea of him in our ^^ ' 
mind : for an idea is our conception ; but con- natural laws 

, * ^ . Al . are concerning 

ception we have none, except or a finite thing. Goa attribute. 
Nor they, who say that he hath parts, or that he 
is some certain entire thing ; which are also attri- 
butes of finite things. Nor that he is in any 
place ; for nothing can be said to be in a place, 
but what hath bounds and limits of its greatness 
on all sides. Nor that he is moved or is at rest ; 
for either of them suppose a being in some place. 
Nor that there are many Gods ; because not many 
infinites. Furthermore, concerning attributes of 
happiness, those are unworthy of God which sig- 
nify sorrow; (unless they be taken not for any 
passion, but, by a metonomy, for the effect) ; such 
as repentance, anger, pity. Or want ; as appe- 
tite, hope, concupiscence, and that love which is 
also called lust ; for they are signs of poverty ; 
since it cantiot be understood that a man should 
desire, hope, and wish for aught, but what he 
wants and stands in need of. Or any passive 
faculty ; for suffering belongs to a limited power, 
and which depends upon another. When we 
therefore attribute a will to God, it is not to be 
conceived like unto ours, which is called a rational 
desire ; (for if God desires, he wants, which for 
any man to say, is a contumely) ; but we must 
suppose some resemblance which we cannot con- 
ceive. In like manner when we attribute sight 
and other acts of the sense to him, or knowledge, 
or understanding, which in us are nothing else 
but a tumult of the mind, raised from outward 
obiects pressing the organs ; we must not think 


CHAP. xv. that any such thing befalls the Deity ; for it is a 
' " ' sign of power depending upon some other, which 
is not the most blessed thing. He therefore who 
would not ascribe any other titles to God than 
what reason commands, must use such as are 
either negative, as infinite, eternal, incomprehen- 
sible, &c. ; or superlative, as most good, most 
great, most powerful, &c. ; or indefinite, as good, 
just, strong, creator, king, and the like ; in such 
sense, as not desiring to declare what he is ; (which 
were to circumscribe him within the narrow limits 
of our phantasy) ; but to confess his own admira- 
tion and obedience, which is the property of hu- 
mility and of a mind yielding all the honour it 
possibly can do. For reason dictates one name 
alone which doth signify the nature of God, that 
is, existent, or simply, that he is ; and one in or- 
der to, and in relation to us, namely God, under 
which is corltained both King, and Lord, aud 

what those ac- \$ t Concerning the outward actions wherewith 

tions are, where- ^ -, . , , 1 j 1 i 

by naturally wo God is to be worshipped, as also concerning his 

do give worship fjjfeg . fa j g a 1 most general command of reason, 
that they be signs of a mind yielding honour. 
Under which are contained in the first place, 

" Qui fingit sacros auro vel marmore vultus, 
Non facit ille deos ; qui rogat, ille facit." 

For prayers are the signs of hope ; and hope 
is an acknowledgment of the divine power or 

In the second place, thanksgiving ; which is a 
sign of the same affection, but that prayers go 
before the benefit, and thanks follow it. 


In the third, gifts, that is to say, oblations and CHAP. xv. 
sacrifices ; for these are thanksgivings. * ^ 

/ , O What those ac- 

In the fourth, not to swear by any other. For tions are, where. 

, i / i ..I by naturally we 

a mans oatn is an imprecation or his wrath do give worship, 
against him if he deceive, who both knows 
whether he do or not, and can punish him if he 
do, though he be never so powerful ; which only 
belongs to God. For if there were any man from 
whom his subjects' malice could not lie hid, and 
whom no human power could resist, plighted faith 
would suffice without swearing ; which broken, 
might be punished by that man. And for this 
very reason there would be no need of an oath. 

In the fifth place, to speak warily of God ; for 
that is a sign of fear, and fear is an acknowledg- 
ment of power. It follows from this precept, that 
we may not take the name of God in vain, or use 
it rashly ; for either are inconsiderate. That we 
must not swear, where there is no need ; for that 
is in vain. But need there is none, unless it be 
between cities, to avoid or take away contention 
by force, which necessarily must arise where there 
is no faith kept in promises : or in a city, for the 
better certainty of judicature. Also, that we must 
not dispute of the divine nature ; for it is sup- 
posed that all things in the natural kingdom of 
God are inquired into by reason only, that is to 
say, out of the principles of natural science. But 
we are so far off by these to attain to the know- 
ledge of the nature of God, that we cannot so 
much as reach to the full understanding of all the 
qualities of our own bodies, or of any other crea- 
tures. Wherefore there comes nothing from these 
disputes, but a rash imposition of names to the 


CHAP. xv. divine Majesty according to the small measure of 
our conce ptions. It follows also, (which belongs 

tions are, where to the right of God's kingdom), that their speech 

by naturally we . . i , , -, ,. 

do give worship, is inconsiderate and rash, who say, that this or 
that doth not stand with divine justice. For even 
men count it an affront that their children should 
dispute their right, or measure their justice other- 
wise than by the rule of their commands. 

In the sixth, whatsoever is offered up in pray- 
ers, thanksgivings, and sacrifices, must in its 
kind be the best and most betokening honour ; 
namely, prayers must not be rash, or light, or 
vulgar, but beautiful, and well composed. For 
though it were absurd in the heathen to worship 
God in an image, yet was it not against reason 
to use poetry and music in their churches. 

Also oblations must be clean, and presents 
sumptuous ; and such as are significative either of 
submission or gratitude, or commemorative of 
benefits received. For all these proceed from a 
desire of honouring. 

In the seventh, that God must be worshipped 
not privately only, but openly and publicly in the 
sight of all men ; because that worship is so much 
more acceptable, by how much it begets honour and 
esteem in others ; as hath been declared before in 
art. 1 3. Unless others therefore see it, that which 
is most pleasing in our worship vanisheth. 

In the last place, that we use our best endeavour 
to keep the laws of nature. For the undervaluing 
of our master's command, exceeds all other affronts 
whatsoever; as on the other side, obedience is 
more acceptable than all other sacrifices. 

And these are principally the natural laws con- 


cerning the worship of God; those, I mean, which CHAP. xv. 
reason dictates to every man. But to whole cities, ' ' 
every one whereof is one person, the same natural 
reason further commands an uniformity of public 
worship. For the actions done by particular per- 
sons, according to their private reasons, are not 
the city's actions ; and therefore not the city's 
worship. But what is done by the city, is under- 
stood to be done by the command of him or them 
who have the sovereignty ; wherefore also together 
with the consent of all the subjects, that is to say, 

16. The natural laws set down in the foregoing in the natural 

. , . IT- i . i kingdom of God, 

article concerning the divine worship, only com- the city may ap . 

mand the giving of natural signs of honour. But ^ 

we must consider that there are two kinds of 

signs ; the one natural ; the other done upon 

agreement, or by express or tacit composition. 

Now because in every language the use of words 

and names come by appointment, it may also by 

appointment be altered ; for that which depends 

on and derives its force from the will of men, can 

by the will of the same men agreeing be changed 

again or abolished. Such names therefore as are 

attributed to God by the appointment of men, can 

by the same appointment be taken away. Now 

what can be done by the appointment of men, 

that the city may do. The city therefore by right, 

that is to say, they who have the power of the 

whole city, shall judge what names or appellations 

are more, what less honourable for God ; that is 

to say, what doctrines are to be held and professed 

concerning the nature of God and his operations. 

Now actions do signify not by men's appointment, 


CHAP. xv. but naturally ; even as the effects are signs of their 
' *~~~' causes. Whereof some are always signs of scorn 
to them before whom they are committed ; as 
those whereby the body's uncleanness is dis- 
covered, and whatsoever men are ashamed to do 
before those whom they respect. Others are 
always signs of honour, as to draw near and dis- 
course decently and humbly, to give way or to 
yield in any matter of private benefit. In these 
actions the city can alter nothing. But there are 
infinite others, which, as much as belongs to honour 
or reproach, are indifferent. Now these, by the 
institution of the city, may both be made signs of 
honour, and being made so, do in very deed become 
so. From whence we may understand, that we 
must obey the city in whatsoever it shall command 
to be used for a sign of honouring God, that is to 
say, for worship ; provided it can be instituted 
for a sign of honour ; because that is a sign of 
honour, which by the city's command is used for 

God ruling by \*j 9 w e have already declared which were the 

nature only, the _ , n j i i 

city, that is to laws of God, as well sacred as secular, in his go- 
SfwhiTrm. vernment by the way of nature only. Now be 
der God hath the cause there is no man but may be deceived in 

sovereignty, is J 

the interpreter reasoning;, and that it so falls out that men are of 

of all the laws. . . A , . 

different opinions concerning the most actions ; it 
may be demanded further, whom God would have 
to be the interpreter of right reason., that is to 
say, of his laws. And as for the secular laws, (I 
mean those which concern justice and the carriage 
of men towards men), by what hath been said be- 
fore of the constitution of a city, we have demon- 
stratively showed it agreeable to reason, that all 


judicature belongs to the city ; and that judica- CHAP. xv. 
ture is nothing else but an interpretation of the ; .1 v 

O r / God ruling by 

fowtf ; and by consequence, that every where cities, nature only, the 

,,.. ., 11 . city, that is to 

that is to say, those who have the sovereign power, sa y,thatman,&c 
are the interpreters of the laws. As for the sacred 
laws, we must consider what hath been before 
demonstrated in chap. v. art. 1 3, that every sub- 
ject hath transferred as much right as he could on 
him or them who had the supreme authority. But 
he could have transferred his right of judging the 
manner how God is to be honoured ; and therefore 
also he hath done it. That he could, it appears 
hence ; that the manner of honouring God before 
the constitution of a city, was to be fetched from 
every man's private reason. But every man can 
subject his private reason to the reason of the 
whole city. Moreover, if each man should follow 
his own reason in the worshipping of God, in so 
great a diversity of worshippers one would be apt 
to judge another's worship uncomely, or impious ; 
neither would the one seem to the other to honour 
God. Even that therefore which were most con- 
sonant to reason, would not be a worship ; be- 
cause that the nature of worship consists in this, 
that it be the sign of inward honour. But there 
is no sign, but whereby somewhat becomes known 
to others ; and therefore is there no sign of 
honour, but what seems so to others. Again, that 
is a true sign, which by the consent of men be- 
comes a sign ; therefore also that is honourable, 
which by the consent of men, that is to say, by 
the command of the city, becomes a sign of 
honour. It is not therefore against the will of 
God, declared by the way of reason only, to give 


. xv. him such signs of honour as the city shall com- 
' r "~ mand. Wherefore subjects can transfer their 
right of judging the manner of God's worship, on 
him or them who have the sovereign power. Nay, 
they must do it ; for else all manner of absurd 
opinions concerning the nature of God, and all ridi- 
culous ceremonies which have been used by any 
nations, will be seen at once in the same city. 
Whence it will fall out, that every man will believe 
that all the rest do offer God an affront ; so that it 
cannot be truly said of any, that he worships God ; 
for no man worships God, that is to say, honours 
him outwardly, but he who doth those things, 
whereby he appears to others for to honour him. 
It may therefore be concluded, that the interpre- 
tation of all laws, as well sacred as secular, (God 
ruling by the way of nature only), depends on the 
authority of the city, that is to say, that man or 
counsel to whom the sovereign power is commit- 
ted ; and that whatsoever God commands, he com- 
mands by his voice. And on the other side, that 
whatsoever is commanded by them, both concern- 
ing the manner of honouring God, and concerning 
secular affairs, is commanded by God himself. 
certain doubts ] 8. Against this, some man may demand, first, 
whether it doth not follow that the city must be 
obeyed, if it command us directly to affront God, 
or forbid us to worship him ? I say, it does not 
follow, neither must we obey. For to affront, or 
not to worship at all, cannot by any man be under- 
stood for a manner of worshipping. Neither also 
had any one, before the constitution of a city, of 
those who acknowledge God to rule, a right to deny 
him the honour which was then due unto him ; 


nor could he therefore transfer a right on the city CHAP. xv. 
of commanding any such things. Next, if it be Certeindoubte 
demanded whether the city must be obeyed, if it removed. 
command somewhat to be said or done, which is 
not a disgrace to God directly, but from whence 
by reasoning disgraceful consequences may be de- 
rived; as for example, if it were commanded to 
worship God in an image, before those who account 
that honourable : truly it is to be done.* For 
worship is instituted in sign of honour ; but to 
worship him thus, is a sign of honour, and in- 
creaseth God's honour among those who do so ac- 
count of it. Or if it be commanded to call God by a 
name, which we know not what it signifies, or how 
it can agree with this word God ; that also must 
be done. For what we do for honour's sake, (and 
we know no better), if it be taken for a sign of 
honour, it is a sign of honour ; and therefore if we 

* Truly it is* to be done."] We said in art. 14 of this chapter, 
that they who attributed limits to God, transgressed the natural 
law concerning God's worship. Now they who worship him in 
an image, assign him limits. Wherefore they do that which they 
ought not to do. And this place seems to contradict the former. 
We must therefore know first, that they who are constrained by 
authority, do not set God any bounds ; but they who command 
them. For they who worship unwillingly, do worship in very 
deed : but they either stand or fall there, where they are com- 
manded to stand or fall by a lawful sovereign. Secondly, I say 
it must be done, not at all times and everywhere, but on supposi- 
tion that there is no other rule of worshipping God, beside the 
dictates of human reason ; for then the will of the city stands 
for reason. But in the kingdom of God by way of covenant, 
whether old or new, where idolatry is expressly forbid, though 
the city commands us to worship thus, yet must we not do it. 
Which, if he shall consider, who conceived some repugnancy 
between this and art. 14, will surely cease to think so any longer. 


CHAP. xv. refuse to do it, we refuse the enlarging of God's 
certain doubts h nour ' The same judgment must be had of all 
removed. the attributes and actions about the merely ra- 
tional worship of God, which may be controverted 
and disputed. For though this kind of com- 
mands may be sometimes contrary to right reason, 
and therefore sins in them who command them ; 
yet are they not against right reason, nor sins in 
subjects ; whose right reason, in points of contro- 
versy, is that which submits itself to the reason of 
the city. Lastly, if that man or counsel who hath 
the supreme power, command himself to be wor- 
shipped with the same attributes and actions, 
wherewith God is to be worshipped ; the question 
is, whether we must obey ? There are many 
things, which may be commonly attributed both to 
God and men ; for even men may be praised and 
magnified. And there are many actions, whereby 
God and men may be worshipped. But the signi- 
fications of the attributes and actions are only to 
be regarded. Those attributes therefore, whereby 
we signify ourselves to be of an opinion, that there 
is any man endued with a sovereignty independent 
from God, or that he is immortal, or of infinite 
power, and the like ; though commanded by 
princes, yet must they be abstained from. As 
also from those actions signifying the same ; as 
prayer to the absent ; to ask those things which 
God alone can give, as rain and fair weather ; to 
offer him what God can only accept, as oblations, 
holocausts ; or to give a worship, than which a 
greater cannot be given, as sacrifice. For these 
things seem to tend to this end, that God may not 
be thought to rule ; contrary to what was supposed 


from the beginning. But genuflection, prostra- CHAP, xv. 
tion, or any other act of the body whatsoever, may ' ' " 
be lawfully used even in civil worship ; for they 
may signify an acknowledgment of the civil power 
only. For divine worship is distinguished from 
civil, not by the motion, placing, habit, or gesture 
of the body, but by the declaration of our opinion 
of him whom we do worship. As if we cast down 
ourselves before any man, with intention of de- 
claring by that sign that we esteem, him as God, it 
is divine worship ; if we do the same thing as a 
sign of our acknowledgment of the civil power, it 
is civil worship. Neither is the divine worship 
distinguished from civil, by any action usually un- 
derstood by the words Xarpiia and SouAa'a; whereof 
the former marking out the duty of servants, the 
latter their destiny, they are words of the same 
action in degree. 

19. From what hath been said may be gathered, what is sin 

^ , f. , in the natural 

that God reigning by the way or natural reason kingdom of God, 
only, subjects do sin, first if they break the moral 
laws ; which are unfolded in chapters n. and in. divine 
Secondly, if they break the laws or commands of 
the city, in those things which pertain to justice. 
Thirdly, if they worship not God Kara TO. vo^uca. 
Fourthly, if they confess not before men, both in 
words and deeds, that there is one God most good, 
most great, most blessed, the Supreme King of 
the world and of all worldly kings ; that is to say, 
if they do not worship God. This fourth sin in the 
natural kingdom of God, by what hath been said 
in the foregoing chapter in art. 2, is the sin of 
treason against the Divine Majesty. For it is a 
denying of the Divine Power, or atheism. For sins 



CHAP. xv. proceed here, just as if we should suppose some 
mat ' sin in man to ^ e ^ e sovereign king, who being himself 
Ae natural king, absent, should rule by his viceroy. Against whom 

domofGod,&c. ' J , , ,, 

sure they would transgress, who should not obey 
his viceroy in all things ; except he usurped the 
kingdom to himself, or would give it to some 
other. But they who should so absolutely obey 
him, as not to admit of this exception, might be 
said to be guilty of treason. 



1. Superstition possessing foreign nations, God instituted true 
religion by the means of Abraham. 2. By the covenant between 
God and Adam, all dispute is forbidden concerning the com- 
mands of superiors. 3. The manner of the covenant between 
God and Abraham. 4. In that covenant is contained an ac- 
knowledgment of God, not simply, but of him who appeared 
unto Abraham. 5. The laws unto which Abraham was tied, 
were no other beside those of nature, and the law of circum- 
cision. 6. Abraham was the interpreter of the word of God, 
and of all laws among those that belonged to him. 7. Abra- 
ham's subjects could not sin by obeying him. 8. God's cove- 
nant with the Hebrews on Mount Sinai. 9. From thence 
God's government took the name of a kingdom. 10. What 
laws were by God given to the Jews. 11. What the word of 
God is, and how to be known. 12. What was held the written 
word of God among the Jews. 13. The power of interpreting 
the word of God, and the supreme civil power, were united in 
Moses while he lived. 14. They were also united in the high- 
priest, during the life of Joshua. 15. They were united too 
in the high- priest until king Saul's time. 16. They were also 
united in the kings until the captivity. 17. They were so in 
the high-priests after the captivity. 18. Denial of the Divine 
Providence, and idolatry, were the only treasons against the 
Divine Majesty among the Jews ; in all things else they ought 
to obey their princes. 


1. MANKIND, from conscience of its own weak- cHAP.,xvi f 
ness and admiration of natural events, hath this ; 
that most men believe God to be the invisible 
maker of all invisible things ; whom they also fear, 
conceiving that, they have not a sufficient protec- ^^ 
tion in themselves. But the imperfect use they ofAbraham> 
had of their reason, the violence of their passions 
did so cloud them, that they could not rightly 
worship him. Now the fear of invisible things, 
when it is severed from right reason, is supersti- 
tion. It was therefore almost impossible for men, 
without the special assistance of God, to avoid 
both rocks of atheism and superstition. For this 
proceeds from fear without right reason ; that, from 
an opinion of right reason without fear. Idolatry 
therefore did easily fasten upon the greatest part 
of men ; and almost all nations did worship God 
in images and resemblances of finite things ; and 
they worshipped spirits or vain visions, perhaps 
out of fear falling them devils. But it pleased the 
Divine Majesty, as we read it written in the sacred 
history, out of all mankind to call forth Abraham, 
by whose means he might bring men to the true 
worship of him ; and to reveal himself supernatu- 
rally to him, and to make that most famous cove- 
nant with him and hig seed, which is called the 
old covenant or testament. He therefore is the 
head of true religion ; he was the first that after 
the deluge taught, th&t there was one God, the 
Creator of the universe. And from him the king- 
dom of God by way of covenants, takes its begin- 
ning. Joseph. Antiq. Jews, lib. i. cap. 7. 

2. In the beginning of the world God reigned By the c 
indeed, not only naturally, but also by way 



CHAP. xvi. covenant, over Adam and Eve ; so as it seems he 
aii dispute u for. wou ^ have no obedience yielded to him, beside 
bidden concern- that which natural reason should dictate, but by 

the commands _ . 

of superiors, the way oj covenant, that is to say, by the consent 
of men themselves. Now becaus.e this covenant 
was presently made void, nor ever after renewed, 
the original of God's kingdom (which we treat of 
in this place) is not to be taken thence. Yet this 
is to be noted by the way ; that by that precept of 
not eating of the tree of the knowledge of good 
and evil, (whether the judicature of good and evil, 
or the eating of the fruit of some tree were for- 
bidden), God did require a most simple obedience 
to his commands, without dispute whether that 
were good or evil which was commanded. For 
the fruit of the tree, if the command be wanting, 
hath nothing in its own nature, whereby the eating 
of it could be morally evil, that is to say, a sin. 

The manner of 3 N OW the covenant between God and Abraham 

the covenant 

between God was made in this manner, (Gen. xvii. 7, 8) : / will 
am. e 0f a fifi s fo m y covenan t between me and thee, and 
thy seed after thee in their generations, for an 
everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee and 
to thy seed after thee. And I will give unto thee 
and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou 
art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an 
everlasting possession ; and I will be their God. 
Now it was necessary to institute some sign, where- 
by Abraham and his seed should retain the me- 
mory of this covenant ; wherefore circumcision 
was added to the covenant, but yet as a sign only, 
(verse 10, 11): This is my covenant which ye shall 
keep between me and thee, and thy seed after 
thee ; every man-child among you shall be circum- 


cised 9 and ye shall circumcise the flesh of your CHAP. xvi. 
foreskin ; and it shall be a token of the covenant *" ' ' 
between me and you. It is therefore covenanted, 
that Abraham shall acknowledge God to be his 
God and the God of his seed, that is to say, that 
he shall submit himself to be governed by him ; 
and that God shall give unto Abraham the inheri- 
tance of that land wherein he then dwelt but as 
a pilgrim ; and that Abraham, for a memorial sign 
of this covenant, should take care to see himself 
and his male seed circumcised. 

4. But seeing that Abraham, even before the in that covenant 
covenant, acknowledged God to be the 
and King of the world ; (for he never doubted 
either of the being or the providence of God) ; who 

& ' ' unto Abraham. 

how comes it not to be superfluous, that God 
would purchase to himself with a price and by 
contract an obedience which was due to him by 
nature ; namely, by promising Abraham the land 
of Canaan, upon condition that he would receive 
him for his God ; when by the right of nature he 
was already so ? By those words therefore, to be 
a God unto thee and to thy seed after thee, we 
understand not that Abraham satisfied this cove- 
nant by a bare acknowledgment of the power and 
dominion which God had naturally over men, that 
is to say, by acknowledging God indefinitely, which 
belongs to natural reason ; but he must definitely 
acknowledge him, who said unto him, (Gen.xii.1,2): 
Get thee out of thy country ; 8fc. (Gen. xiii. 14) : 
Lift up thine eyes, Sfc : who appeared unto him, 
(Gen. xviii. 1, 2), in the shape of three celestial men ; 
and (Gen. xv. 1), in a vision ; and (verse 13), in a 
dream, which is matter of faith. In what shape 



CHAP.XVI. God appeared unto Abraham, by what kind of 
sound he spake to him, is not expressed. Yet it 
is plain that Abraham believed that voice to be 
the voice of God and a true revelation, and would 
have all his to worship him, who had so spoken 
unto him, for God the Creator of the world ; and 
that his faith was grounded on this, not that he 
believed God to have a being or that he was true 
in his promises, that which all men believe, but 
that he doubted not him to be God, whose voice 
and promises he had heard, and that the God of 
Abraham signified not simply God, but that God 
which appeared unto him ; even as the worship, 
which Abraham owed unto God in that notion, 
was not the worship of reason, but of religion 
and faith, and that which not reason, but God had 
supernaturally revealed. 

5. But we read of no laws given by God to 
Abraham, or by Abraham to his family, either 
then or after, secular or sacred ; excepting the 
commandment of circumcision, which is contained 


in the covenant itself. Whence it is manifest, that 
there were no other laws or worship, which Abra- 
ham was obliged to, but the laws of nature, ra- 
tional worship, and circumcision. 
Abraham among 0. Now Abraham was the interpreter of all 

his own was the , ,, . , , _ 

interpreter of laws, as well sacred as secular, among those that 
belonged to him ; not merely naturally, as using 
the laws of nature only, but even by the form of 
the covenant itself ; in which obedience is pro- 
mised by Abraham, not for himself only, but for 
his seed also ; which had been in vain, except his 
children had been tied to obey his commands. And 
how can that be understood, which God says 

The laws to 

and that of 



(Gen. xviii. 18, 19) : All the nations of the earth CHAP, xv 
shall be blessed in him ; for I know him, that he ' " ** 
will command his children and his household after 
him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord to 
do justice and judgment : unless his children and 
his household were supposed to be obliged to yield 
obedience unto his commands ? 

7. Hence it follows, that Abraham's subjects Abraham's ui 

, , ^ . . . 1 J J , 1 ... A 1. J ' eCtS C0uld n< 

could not sin in obeying mm, provided that Abra- sin in 
ham commanded them not to deny God's existence 
or providence, or to do somewhat expressly con- 
trary to the honour of God. In all other things, 
the word of God was to be fetched from his lips 
only, as being the interpreter of all the laws and 
words of God. For Abraham alone could teach 
them who was the God of Abraham, and in what 
manner he was to be worshipped. And they who 
after Abraham's death were subject to the sove- 
reignty of Isaac or Jacob, did by the same reason 
obey them in all things without sin, as long as 
they acknowledged and professed the God of 
Abraham to be their God. For they had submit- 
ted themselves to God simply, before they did it 
to Abraham, and to Abraham before they did it to 
the God of Abraham : again, to the God of Abra- 
ham, before they did it to Isaac. In Abraham's 
subjects therefore, to deny God was the only trea- 
son against the divine Majesty ; but in their pos- 
terity, it was also treason to deny the God of, Abra- 
ham, that is to say, to worship God otherwise than 
was instituted by Abraham, to wit, in images 
made with hands,* as other nations did ; which 

* In images made with hands.'] In chap. xv. art. 14, there we 
have showed such a kind of worship to be irrational. But if it 


CHAP. xvi. for that reason were called idolaters. And hitherto, 
** " ' subjects might easily enough discern what was to 
be observed, what avoided in the commands of 
their princes. 

go on now, following the guidance of the 

Hebrews at holy Scripture ; the same covenant was renewed 

ount mai. . an( J (Gen. XXVUL 13,14) 

with Jacob ; where God styles himself not simply 
God, whom nature doth dictate him to be, but dis- 
tinctly the God of Abraham and Isaac. After- 
ward being about to renew the same covenant by 
Moses with the whole people of Israel, (Exod. iii. 6) : 
/ am, saith he, the God of thy Father, the God of 
Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Ja- 
cob. Afterward, when that people, not only the 
freest, but also the greatest enemy to human sub- 
jection, by reason of the fresh memory of their 
Egyptian bondage, abode in the wilderness near 
mount Sinai, that ancient covenant was propounded 
to them all to be renewed in this manner (Exod.xix. 
5, 6) : Therefore if ye will obey my voice indeed, 
and keep my covenant, (to wit, that covenant which 
was made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) ; then 
shall ye be a peculiar treasure unto me, above all 
people ; for all the earth is mine, and ye shall be 
to me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. 
And all the people answered together, and said, 
(verse 8) All that the Lord hath spoken, will we 

be done by the command of a city, to whom the written word of 
God is not known nor received, we have then showed this wor- 
ship (in article 18) to be rational. But where God reigns by way 
of covenant, in which it is expressly warned not to worship thus, 
as in the covenant made with Abraham ; there, whether it be 
with or without the command of the city, it is ill done. 


9. In this covenant, among other things, we CHAP. xvi. 
must consider well the appellation of kingdom, not From thence 
used before. For although God, both by nature God ' 8 8 ven j; 

T ment was call- 

and by covenant made with Abraham, was their ea a kingdom. 
king, yet owed they him an obedience and worship 
only natural, as being his subjects ; and religious, 
such as Abraham instituted, as being the subjects 
of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their natural princes. 
For they had received no word of God beside the 
natural word of right reason ; neither had any 
covenant passed between God and them, otherwise 
than as their wills were included in the will of 
Abraham, as their prince. But now by the cove- 
nant made at Mount Sinai, the consent of each man 
being had, there becomes an institutive kingdom 
of God over them. That kingdom of God, so re- 
nowned in Scriptures and writings of divines, took 
its beginning from this time ; and hither tends 
that which ,God said to Samuel, when the Israelites 
asked a king (1 Sam. viii. 7) : They have not re- 
jected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should 
not reign over them ; and that which Samuel told 
the Israelites (1 Sam. xii. 12) : Ye said unto me, 
nay, but a king shall reign over us, when the Lord 
your God was your king ; and that which is said, 
Jer. xxxi. 31 : I will make a new covenant, &c. 
although I was an husband unto them; and the 
doctrine also of Judas Galilseus, where mention is 
made in Josephus* Antiq. of the Jews, (Book xviii. 
chap. 2), in these words : But Judas Galilaus was 
the first author of this fourth way of those who 
followed the study of wisdom. These agree in all 
the rest with the Pharisees, excepting that they 
burn with a most constant desire of liberty ; be- 


CHAP. xvi. lieving God alone to be held for their Lord and 
*~~~* ' prince ; and will sooner endure even the most 
exquisite kinds of torments, together with their 
kinsfolks and dearest friends, than call any mor- 
tal man their Lord. 

what laws were jo. The right of the kingdom being thus consti- 

by God given to . 

the jews. tuted by way of covenant, let us see in the next 
place, what laws God propounded to them. Now 
those are known to all, to wit, the decalogue, and 
those other, as well judicial as ceremonial laws, 
which we find from the twentieth chapter of Exo- 
dus to the end of Deuteronomy and the death of 
Moses. Now of those laws, delivered in general 
by the hand of Moses, some there are which oblige 
naturally, being made by God, as the God of 
nature, and had their force even before Abraham's 
time. Others there are which oblige by virtue of 
the covenant made with Abraham, being made by 
God as the God of Abraham, which had their force 
even before Moses's time, by reason of the former 
covenant. But there are others which oblige by 
virtue of that covenant only, which was made last 
with the people themselves ; being made by God, 
as being the peculiar king of the Israelites. Of 
the first sort are all the precepts of the decalogue 
which pertain unto manners ; such as, honour thy 
parents, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not commit 
adultery, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not bear 
false witness, thou shalt not covet ; for they are 
the laws of nature. Also the precept of not taking 
God's name in vain ; for it is a part of natural 
worship, as hath been declared in the foregoing 
chapter (art. 15). In like manner the second com- 
mandment, of not worshipping by way of any 


image made by themselves ; for this also is a part CHAP. xvi. 
of natural religion, as hath been showed in the ^ " w "~" 
same article. Of the second sort is the first com- 
mandment of the decalogue, of not having any 
other Gods ; for in that consists the essence of the 
covenant made with Abraham, by which God re- 
quires nothing else, but that he should be his God, 
and the God of his seed. Also the precept of 
keeping holy the Sabbath ; for the sanctification 
of the seventh day is instituted in memorial of the 
six days' creation, as appears out of these words 
(Exod. xxxi. 16-17) : It is a perpetual covenant, 
(meaning the Sabbath), and a sign between me and 
the children of Israel for ever ; for in six days 
the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the 
seventh day he rested, and was refreshed. Of the 
third kind are the politic, judicial, %&& ceremonial 
laws ; which only belonged to the Jews. The 
laws of the 'first and second sort written in tables 
of stone, to wit, the decalogue, was kept in the 
ark itself. The rest written in the volume of the 
whole law, were laid up in the side of itie ark, 
(Deut. xxxi. 26). For these, retaining the faith of 
Abraham, might be changed ; those could not. 

11. All God's law$ are God's word\ but all what the word 
God's word is not his law. I am the Lord thy 
God which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, 
is the word of God ; it is no law. Neither is all 
that, which for the better declaring of God's word 
is pronounced or written together with it, instantly 
to be taken for God's word. For, Thus saith the 
Lord, is not the voice of God, but of the preacher 
or prophet. All that, and only that, is the word 
of God^ which a true prophet hath declared God 


CHAP. xvi. to have spoken. Now the writings of the pro- 
comprehending as well those things which 
** which the prophet himself speaks, are 
therefore called the word of God, because they con- 
tain the word of God. Now because all that, and that 
alone, is the word of God, which is recommended to 
us for such by a true prophet, it cannot be known 
what God's word is, before we know who is the 
true prophet ; nor can we believe God^s word, 
before we believe the prophet. Moses was believed 
by the people of Israel for two things ; his mira- 
cles and his faith. For how great and most evi- 
dent miracles soever he had wrought, yet would 
they not have trusted him, at least he was not to 
have been trusted, if he had called them out of 
Egypt to any other worship than the worship of the 
God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob their fathers. 
For it had been contrary to the covenant made by 
themselves with God. In like manner two things 
there are ; to wit, supernatural prediction of 
things to come, which is a mighty miracle ; and 
faith in the God of Abraham, their deliverer out 
of Egypt ; which God proposed to all the Jews to 
be .kept for marks of a true prophet. He that 
wants either of these, is no prophet ; nor is it to 
be received for God's word, which he obtrudes for 
such. If faith be wanting, he is rejected in these 
words, (Deut. xiii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) : If there arise 
among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, 
and giveth thce a sign, or a wonder ; and the 
sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he 
spake unto tliee, saying, Let us go after other 
gods, 8fc. that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams 
shall be put to death. If prediction of events be 


wanting, he is condemned by these, (Deut. xviii. CHAP. xvf. 
21, 22) : And if thou say in thine heart, how *~~~* "* 
shall we know the word which the Lord hath not 
spoken ? When a prophet speaketh in the name 
of the Lord, if the thing follow not nor come to 
pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not 
spoken ; but the prophet hath spoken it presump- 
tuously. Now, that that is the word of God which 
is published for such by a true prophet ; and that 
he was held to be a true prophet among the Jews, 
whose faith was true, and to whose predictions the 
events answered ; is without controversy. But 
what it is, to follow other gods, and whether the 
events which are affirmed to answer their predic- 
tions, do truly answer them or not, may admit 
many controversies ; especially in predictions which 
obscurely and enigmatically foretel the event; such 
as the predictions of almost all the prophets are ; 
as who saw not God apparently, like unto Moses, 
but in dark speeches, and in figures. (Numb. xii. 8). 
But of these we cannot judge, otherwise than by 
the way of natural reason ; because that judg- 
ment depends on the prophet's interpretation, and 
on its proportion with the event. 

12. The Jews did hold the book of the whole what was held 
law, which was called Deuteronomy, for the written word of God 
word of God ; and that only (forasmuch as can be amon8 "" Jewa 
collected out of sacred history) until the captivity. 
For this book was delivered by Moses himself to 
the priests, to be kept and laid up in the side of 
the ark of the covenant, and to be copied out by 
the kings ; and the same a long time after, by the 
authority of king Josiah (2 Kings xxiii. 2), acknow- 
ledged again for the word of God. But it is not 


CHAP. xvi. manifest, when the rest of the books of the Old 
' Testament were first received into canon. But 
what concerns the prophets, Isaiah and the rest, 
since they foretold no other things than what were 
to come to pass, either in or after the captivity, 
their writings could not at that time be held for 
prophetic ; by reason of the law cited above (Deut. 
xviii. 21, 22), whereby the Israelites were com- 
manded not to account any man for a true prophet, 
but him whose prophecies were answered by the 
events. And hence peradventure it is, that the 
Jews esteemed the writings of those whom they 
slew when they prophesied, for prophetic after- 
ward ; that is to say, for the word of God. 

The power of 13. ft being known what laws there were under 

interpreting the 

of God, the old covenant, and what word of God received 
from the beginning ; we must furthermore con- 
sider, wit h whom the authority of judging, whether 
the writings of the prophets arising afterward 
were to be received for the word of God ; that is 
say, whether the events did answer their predic- 
tions or not ; and with whom also the authority 
of interpreting the laws already received, and the 
written word of God, did reside : which thing is 
to be traced through all jthe times and several 
changes of the commonwealth of Israel. But it is 
manifest that this power, during the life of Moses, 
was entirely in himself. For if he had not been the 
interpreter of the laws and word, that office must 
have belonged either to every private person, or 
to a congregation or synagogue of many, or to 
the high-priest or to other prophets. First, that 
that office belonged not to private men, or any 
congregation made of them, appears hence ; that 


they were not admitted, nay, they were prohibited CHAP. xvi. 
with most heavy threats, to hear God speak, other- ^" ' " 
wise than by the means of Moses. For it is written, interpreting the 
(Exod. xix. 24, 25) : Let not the priests and ^ 
people break through, to come up unto the Lord, 
lest he bgeak forth upon them. So Moses went 
down unto the people, and spake unto them. It is 
further manifestly and expressly declared, upon 
occasion given by the rebellion of Corah, Dathan, 
and Abiram, and the two hundred and fifty princes 
of the assembly, that neither private men nor the 
congregation should pretend that God had spoken 
by them, and by consequence that they had the 
right of interpreting God's word. For they con- 
tending, that God spake no less by them than by 
Moses, argue thus, (Numbers xvi. 3) : Ye take 
too much upon you, seeing all the congregation 
are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is 
among them. Wherefore then lift ye up your- 
selves above *the congregation of the Lord ? But 
how God determined this controversy, is easily 
understood by verses 33 and 35 of the same chap- 
ter, where Corah, Dathan, and Abiram went down 
alive into the pit, fyc. And there came out fire 
from the Lord, and consumed the two hundred 
and fifty men that offered incense. Secondly, that 
Aaron the high-priest had not this authority, is 
manifest by the like controversy between him (to- 
gether with his sister Miriam) and Moses. ~" For 
the question was, whether God spake by Moses 
only, or by them also ; that is to say, whether 
Moses alone, or whether they also were inter- 
preters of the word of God. For thus they said, 
(Numb. xii. 2) : Hath the Lord indeed spoken 


CHAP. xvi. only by Moses ? Hath he not also spoken by us ? 
Thrower of But ^od ^proved them ; and made a distinction 
interpreting the between Moses and other prophets, saying, (verse 

wordofGod,&c. ^ . v * , 7 , \ i 

6, 7) 8) : If there be a prophet among you, I the 
Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision t 
and will speak unto him in a dream : my servant 
Moses is not so, 8fc. For with him will I speak 
mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark 
speeches, and the similitude of the Lord shall he 
behold. Wherefore then were ye not afraid to 
speak against my servant Moses ? Lastly, that 
the interpretation of the word of God as long as 
Moses lived, belonged not to any other prophets 
whatsoever, is collected out of that place which we 
now cited, concerning his eminency above all 
others ; and out of natural reason, for as much as 
it belongs to the same prophet, who brings the 
commands of God, to unfold them too ; but there 
was then no other word of God, beside that which 
was declared by Moses. And out of this also, that 
there was no other prophet extant at that time, 
who prophesied to the people, excepting the se- 
venty elders who prophesied by the spirit of Moses. 
And even that Joshua, who was then Moses* 
servant, his successor afterward, believed to be 
injuriously done, till he knew it was by Moses* 
consent ; which thing is manifest by text of Scrip- 
ture, (Numb. xi. 25) : And the Lord came down 
in a cloud, 8fc. and took of the spirit that was 
upon Moses, and gave it unto the seventy elders. 
Now after it was told that they prophesied, Joshua 
said unto Moses, Forbid them, my lord. But 
Moses answered : Why enviest thoufor my sake ? 
Seeing therefore Moses alone was the messenger 


of God's word, and that the authority of interpret- CHAP. xvi. 
ing it pertained neither to private men, nor to the * ' ' 
synagogue, nor to the high-priest, nor to other 
prophets ; it remains that Moses alone was the 
interpreter of God's word, who also had the su- 
preme power in civil matters ; and that the con- 
ventions ot Corah with the rest of his complices 
against Moses and Aaron, and of Aaron with his 
sister against Moses, were raised, not for the salva- 
tion of their souls, but by reason of their ambition 
and desire of dominion over the people, 

14. In Joshua's time the interpretation of the^y . 
laws, and of the word of God, belonged to Eleazar the high-priest, 
the high-priest; who was also, under God, their 
absolute king. Which is collected, first of all, out 
of the covenant itself ; in which the common- 
wealth of Israel is called a priestly kingdom, or, 
as it is recited in 1 Peter ii. 9, a royal priest- 
hood. Whjch could in no wise be said, unless by 
the institution and covenant of the people, the 
regal power were understood to belong to the 
high-priest. Neither doth this repugn what hath 
been said before, where Moses, and not Aaron, 
had the kingdom under God. Since it is neces- 
sary, when one man institutes the form of a fu- 
ture commonwealth, that one should govern the 
kingdom which he institutes during his life, (whe- 
ther it be monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy) ; 
and have all that power for the present, which he 
is bestowing on others for the future. Now, that 
Eleazar the priest had not only the priesthood, 
but also the sovereignty, is expressly set down in 
Joshua's call to the administration. For thus it is 
written (Numb, xxvii. 18, 19, 20, 21) : Takethee 


CHAP. xvi. Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the 
' r "~' Spirit, and lay thine hand upon him, and set him 
before Eleaxar the priest, and before all the 
congregation, and give him a charge in their 
sight ; and tliou shalt put some of thine honour 
upon him, that all the congregation of the chil- 
dren of Israel may be obedient ; and he shall 
stand before Eleaxar the priest, who shall ask 
counsel for him after the judgment of Urim, 
before the Lord ; at his word shall they go out, 
and at his word shall they come in, and all the 
children of Israel with him, even all the congre 
gation. Where to ask counsel of God for what- 
soever is to be done, that is, to interpret God's 
word, and in the name of God to command in all 
matters, belongs to Eleazar ; and to go out and 
to come in at his word, that is to say, to obey, 
belongs both to Joshua and to all the people. It 
is to be observed also, that that speech, part of 
thy glory, clearly denotes that Joshua had pot a 
power equal with that which Moses had. In the 
meantime it is manifest, that even in Joshua's time 
the supreme power and authority of interpreting 
the word of God, were both in one person. 

They were also 15 After Joshua's death follow the times of the 

united in the .-i r> i i i 

high priest, until Judges until king Saul ; in which it is manifest 
s time. ^^ ^ e right of the kingdom instituted by God, 
remained with the high-priest. For the king- 
dom was by covenant priestly, that is to say, 
God's government by priests. And such ought it 
to have been, until that form, with God's consent, 
were changed by the people themselves; which 
was not done before that requiring a king God 
consented unto them, and said unto Samuel (1 Sam. 


viii. 7) : Hearken unto the voice of the people in CHAP. xvi. 
all that they say unto thee ; for they have not re- 

jectcd thee. but they have rejected me* that / raited m the 

Z U * a/ > - ..high priest, until 

should not reign over them. The supreme civilkm g sauvstime. 
power was therefore rightly due by God's own in- 
stitution to the high-priest; but actually that 
power was in the prophets, to whom (being raised 
by God in an extraordinary manner) the Israelites, 
a people greedy of prophets, submitted them- 
selves to be protected and judged, by reason of 
the great esteem they had of prophecies. The 
reason of this thing was, because that though 
penalties were set and judges appointed in the in- 
stitution of God's priestly kingdom ; yet, the right 
of inflicting punishment depended wholly on pri- 
vate judgment ; and it belonged to a dissolute 
multitude and each single person to punish or not 
to punish, according as their private zeal should 
stir them up. And therefore Moses by his own 
command punished no man with death ; but when 
any man was to be put to death, one or many 
stirred up the multitude against him or them, by 
divine authority, and saying, Thus saith the Lord. 
Now this was conformable to the nature of God's 
peculiar kingdom. For there God reigns indeed, 
where his laws are obeyed not for fear of men, but 
for fear of himself. And truly, if men were such 
as they should be, this were an excellent state of 
civil government ; but as men are, there is a coer- 
cive power (in which I comprehend both right and 
might) necessary to rule them. And therefore 
also God, from the beginning, prescribed laws by 
Moses for the future kings (Deut. xvii. 1 4-20) . And 
Moses foretold this in his last words to the people, 


CHAP. XVT. saying (Deut. xxxi. 29) : / know that after my 
The wereTiso ^ ea ^ V c Wl ^ utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn 
umted in the aside from the way that I have commanded you. 

high-priest, until ^ J J > 

wng saurs time. &c. When therefore according to this prediction 
there arose another generation (Judges ii.10-1 \]who 
knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had 
done for Israel, the children of Israel did evil in 
the sight of the Lord, and served Balaam; to 
wit, they cast off God's government, that is to say, 
that of the priest, by whom God ruled ; and after- 
ward, when they were overcome by their enemies 
and oppressed with bondage, they looked for God's 
will, not at the hands of the priest any more, but 
of the prophets. These therefore actually judged 
Israel ; but their obedience was rightly due to the 
high-priest. Although therefore the priestly king- 
dom, after the death of Moses and Joshua, was 
without power ; yet was it not without right. 
Now that the interpretation of God's word did 
belong to the same high-priest, is manifest by 
this ; that God, after the tabernacle and the ark 
of the covenant was consecrated, spake no more 
in Mount Sinai, but in the tabernacle of the cove- 
nant, from the propitiatory which was between 
the cherubims, whither it was not lawful for any to 
approach except the high-priest. If therefore re- 
gard be had to the right of the kingdom, the 
supreme civil power and the authority of inter- 
preting God's word were joined in the high-priest. 
If we consider the fact, they were united in the 
prophets who judged Israel. For as judges, they 
had the civil authority ; as prophets, they inter- 
preted God's word. And thus every way hitherto 
these two powers continued inseparable. 


16. Kings being once constituted, it is no doubt CHAP. XVK 
but the civil authority belonged to them. For the ^ w " eTe ~ 
kingdom of God by the way of priesthood (God unile(1 in tbe 

. , i i T TV kings, until 

consenting to the request or the Israelites) was the captivity, 
ended ; which Hierom also marks, speaking of the 
books of Samuel. Samuel, says he, Eli being dead 
and Saul slain, declares the old law abolished. 
Furthermore, the oaths of the new priesthood and 
new sovereignty in Zadok and David, do testify 
that the right, whereby the kings did rule, was 
founded in the very concession of the people. The 
priest could rightly do whatsoever every man 
could rightly do himself ; for the Israelites granted 
him a right to judge of all things, and to wage 
war for all men ; in which two are contained all 
right whatsoever can be conceived from man to 
man. Our king say they (1 Sam. viii. 20) shall 
judge us, and go out before us, and fight our 
battles. Judicature therefore belonged to the 
kings. But to judge is nothing else, than by in- 
terpreting to apply the laws to the facts. To 
them therefore belonged the interpretation of laws 
too. And because there was no other written 
word of God acknowledged beside the law of 
Moses, until the captivity ; the authority of inter- 
preting Gods word did" also belong to the kings. 
Nay, forasmuch as the word of God must be taken 
for a law, if there had been another written word 
beside the Mosaical law, seeing the interpretation 
of laws belonged to the kings, the interpretation 
of it must also have belonged to them. When the 
book of Deuteronomy, in which the whole Mosaical 
law was contained, being a long time lost was 
found again ; the priests indeed asked counsel of 


CHAP. xvi. God concerning that book, but not by their own 
They were' authority, but by the commandment of Josiah ; 
S^urtS* an( ^ not i mme( liately neither, but by the means .of 
the captivity. Holda the prophetess. Whence it appears that 
the authority of admitting books for the word of 
God, belonged not to the priest. Neither yet fol- 
lows it, that that authority belonged to the pro- 
phetess ; because others did judge of the prophets, 
whether they were to be held for true or not. For 
to w 7 hat end did God give signs and tokens to all 
the people, whereby the true prophets might be 
discerned from the false ; namely, the event of 
predictions, and conformity with the religion esta- 
blished by Moses ; if they might not use those 
marks ? The authority therefore of admitting 
books for the word of God) belonged to the king ; 
and thus that book of the law was approved, and 
received again by the authority of king Josiah ; as 
appears by the second book of the Kings, chap. 
xxii. xxiii. : where it is reported that he gathered 
together all the several degrees of his kingdom, 
the elder s> priests, prophets, and all the people ; 
and he read in their ears all the words of the 
covenant ; that is to say, he caused that covenant 
to be acknowledged for the Mosaical covenant ; 
that is to say, for the word of God ; and to be 
again received and confirmed by the Israelites. 
The civil power therefore, and the power of dis- 
cerning God's word from the words of men, and 
of interpreting God's word even in the days of the 
kings, was wholly belonging to themselves. Pro- 
phets were sent not with authority, but in the 
form and by the right of proclaimers and preach- 
ers, of whom the hearers did judge. And if per- 


haps these were punished who did not listen to CHAP. xvi. 
them plainly, teaching easy things ; it doth not The ~ ^ eTe ~ 
thence follow, that the kings were obliged to fol- united in the 
low all things which they, in God's name, did de- t 
clare were to be followed. For though Josiah, the 
good king of Judah, were slain because he obeyed 
not the word of the Lord from the mouth of 
Necho king of Egypt ; that is to say, because he 
rejected good counsel though it seemed to come 
from an enemy ; yet no man I hope will say that 
Josiah was, by any bond either of divine or human 
laws, obliged to believe Pharaoh Necho king of 
Egypt, because he said that God had spoken to 
him. But what some man may object against 
kings, that for want of learning they are seldom 
able enough to interpret those books of antiquity, 
in the which God's word is contained ; and that 
for this cause, it is not reasonable that this office 
should depepd on their authority ; he may object 
as much against the priests and all mortal men ; 
for they may err. And although priests were bet- 
ter instructed in nature and arts than other men, 
yet kings are able enough to appoint such inter- 
preters under them ; and so, though kings did not 
themselves interpret the word of God, yet the 
office of interpreting them might depend on their 
authority. And they who therefore refuse to yield 
up this authority to kings, because they cannot 
practice the office itself, do as much as if they 
should say, that the authority of teaching geome- 
try must not depend upon kings, except they 
themselves were geometricians. We read that 
kings have prayed for the people ; that they have 
blessed the people ; that they have consecrated the 


CHAP.^VI. temple ; that they have commanded the priests ; 
^ ' ' that they have removed priests from their office ; 
that they have constituted others. Sacrifices in- 
deed they have not offered ; for that was hereditary 
to Aaron and his sons. But it is manifest, as in 
Moses' lifetime, so throughout all ages, from king 
Saul to the captivity of Babylon, that the priest- 
hood was not a maistry, but a ministry. 

The same were \j t After their return from Babylonian bond- 
united in the J . 
priests, after age, the covenant being renewed and signed, the 
captmty. p r i es tly kingdom was restored to the same manner 
it was in from the death of Joshua to the begin- 
ning of the kings ; excepting that it is not ex- 
pressly set down, that the returned Jews did give 
up the right of sovereignty either to Esdras, by 
whose direction they ordered their state, or to any 
other beside God himself. That reformation seems 
rather to be nothing else, than the bare promises 
and vows of every man, to observe those things 
which were written in the book of the law. Not- 
withstanding, (perhaps not by the people's inten- 
tion), by virtue of the covenant which they then 
renewed, (for the covenant was the same with that 
which was made at Mount Sinai), that same state 
was a priestly kingdom ; that is to say, the su- 
preme civil authority and the sacred were united 
in the priests. Now, howsoever through the 
ambition of those who strove for the priesthood, 
and by the interposition of foreign princes, it was 
so troubled till our Saviour Jesus Christ's time, 
that it cannot be understood out of the histories 
of those times, where that authority resided ; yet 
it is plain, that in those times the power of inter- 
preting God's word was not severed from the 
supreme civil power. 


18. Out of all this, we may easily know how the CHAP. xvi. 
Jews, in all times from Abraham unto Christ, were . TT* 

' * Among the Jews, 

to behave themselves in the commands of their the denial of the 

-n , . , T , Divine provi- 

princes, tor as in kingdoms merely human, men dence and idoia. 

must obey a subordinate magistrate in all things, 
excepting when his commands contain in them *e Divine Ma, 

Jr O jesty: in all other 

some treason ; so in the kingdom of God, the things they 
Jews were bound to obey their princes, Abraham, their prince? 
Isaac, Jacob, Moses, the priest, the king, every 
one during their time in all things,, except when 
their commands did contain some treason against 
the Divine Majesty. Now treason against the Di- 
vine Majesty was, first, the denial of divine provi- 
dence ; for this was to deny God to be a king by 
nature : next, idolatry, or the worship not of 
other, (for there is but one God), but of strange 
Gods ; that is to say, a worship though of one 
God, yet under other titles, attributes, and rites, 
than what were established by Abraham and 
Moses ; for this was to deny the God of Abra- 
ham to be their king by covenant made with 
Abraham and themselves. In all other things 
they were to obey. And if a king or priest, 
having the sovereign authority, had commanded 
somewhat else to be done which was against the 
laws, that had been his-sin, and not his subject's ; 
whose duty it is, not to dispute, but to obey the 
commands of his superiors. 



1. The prophecies concerning Christ's dignity. 2. The pro- 
phecies concerning his humility and passion. 3. That Jesus 
was that Christ. 4?. That the kingdom of God by the new 
covenant, was not the kingdom of Christ, as Christ, but as 
God, 5. That the kingdom by the new covenant is heavenly, 
and shall begin from the day of judgment. 6. That the go- 
vernment of Christ in this world was not a sovereignty, but 
counsel, or a government by the way of doctrine and persua- 
sion. 7. What the promises of the new covenant are, on both 
parts. 8. That no laws are added by Christ, beside the insti- 
tution of the sacraments. 9. Repent ye, be baptized, keep 
the commandments, and the like forms of speech, are not 
laws. 10. It pertains to the civil authority, to define what 
the sin of injustice is. 11. It pertains to the civil authority, 
to define what conduces to the peace and defence of the city. 
12. It pertains to the civil authority, to judge (when need re- 
quires) what definitions and what inferences are true. 13. It 
belongs to the office of Christ, to teach morally, not by the 
way of speculation, but as a law ; to forgive sins, and to teach 
all things whereof there is no science, properly so called. 14. A 
distinction of things temporal from spiritual. 15. In how many 
several sorts the word of God may be taken. 16. That all 
which is contained in Holy Scripture, belongs not to the canon 
of Christian faith. 17. That the word of a lawful interpreter 
of Holy Scriptures, is the word of God. 18. That the autho- 
rity of interpreting Scriptures, is the same with that of deter- 
mining controversies of faith. 19. Divers significations of a 
Church. 20. What a Church is, to which we attribute rights, 
actions, and the like personal capacities. 21. A Christian city 
is the same with a Christian Church. 22. Many cities do not 
constitute one Church. 23. Who are ecclesiastical persons. 
24. That the election of ecclesiastical persons belongs to the 
Church, their consecration to pastors. 25. That the power of 
remitting the sins of the penitent, and retaining those of the 
impenitent, belongs to the pastors ; but that of judging con- 
cerning repentance belongs to the Church. 26. What excom- 
munication is, and on whom it cannot pass. 27. That the 
interpretation of Scripture depends on the authority of the 
city. 28. That a Christian city ought to interpret Scriptures 
by ecclesiastical pastors. 


1. THERE are many clear prophecies extant in 

the Old Testament concerning our Saviour Jesus Tha ~ ro * lie ^ 

Christ, who was to restore the kingdom of God <** concerning 

, A , f L rT. v- . Christ's dignity. 

by a new covenant; partly foretelling his regal 
dignity, partly his humility and passion. Among 
others concerning his dignity, these. God, blessing 
Abraham, makes him a promise of his son Isaac ; 
and adds (Gen. xvii. 16): And Icings of people 
shall be of him. Jacob blessing his son Judah 
(Gen. xlix. 10) : The sceptre, quoth he, shall not 
depart from Judah. God to Moses (Deut. xviii. 1 8) : 
A prophet, saith he, will I raise them up from 
among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put 
my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto 
them all that I shall command him ; and it shall 
come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto 
my words, which he shall speak in my name, I will 
require it of him. Isaiah (Isai. vii. 14): The Lord 
himself shall give thee a sign ; Behold a virgin 
shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his 
name Emmanuel. The same prophet (Isaiah ix. 6) : 
Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and 
the government shall be upon his shoulders ; and 
his name shall be called wonderful, counsellor, the 
mighty God, the everlasting FatJier, the Prince of 
Peace. And again (Ifcaiah xi. 1-5) : There shall 
come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a 
branch shall grow out of his roots ; the spirit of 
the Lord shall rest upon him, &c. ; He shall not 
judge qfter the sight of his eyes, neither reprove 
after the hearing of his ears ; but with righteous- 
ness shall he judge the poor, &c. ; And he shall 
smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with 
the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. 


cHAP.xvn. Furthermore in the same Isaiah (chapters li. to 
The pro'. ~ Ixii.)/ there is almost nothing else contained but a 
phecies of description of the coming and the works of Christ. 
is s igm jerenjiajj (j erem . xxxi. 31) : Behold the days come, 
saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant 
with the house of Israel, and with the house of 
Judah. And Baruch (Bar. iii. 35-37) : This is our 
God, &c. Afterward did he show himself upon 
earth, and conversed with men. Ezekiel (Ezek. 
xxxiv. 23-25) : I will set up one shepherd over tJiem, 
and he shall feed them ; even my servant David. 
And I will make with them a covenant of peace, 
&c. Daniel (Dan. vii. 13-14) : / saw in the night 
visions ; and behold one like the Son of Man 
came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the 
ancient of days ; and they brought him near be- 
fore him ; and there was given him dominion, and 
glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and 
languages should serve him ; his dominion is an 
everlasting dominion, &c. Haggai (Haggai ii. 6-7) 
Yet once it is a little while, and I will sliake the 
Jieaven, and t/ie earth, and the sea, and tJie dry 
land ; and I will shake all nations ; and tJie de- 
sire of all nations shall come. Zachariah, under 
the type of Joshua the high-priest (Zach. iii. 8) : 
/ will bring forth my servant the branch, &c. And 
again (Zach. vi. 12) : Behold tJie man whose name 
is the Branch. And again (Zach. ix. 9) : Rejoice 
greatly daughter of Zion, shout O daughter of 
Jerusalem ; behold thy king cometh to tJiee ; he 
is just, /taving salvation. The Jews moved by 
these and other prophecies, expected Christ their 
king to be sent from God ; who should redeem 
them, and furthermore bear rule over all nations. 


Yea, this prophecy had spread over the whole CHAP.XVH. 
Roman empire ; which Vespasian too, though ' ' ' 
falsely, interpreted in favour of his own enter- 
prises ; that out of Judea should come he tliat 
should have dominion. 

2. Now the prophecies of Christ's humility and ^ prophecies 

r r J of Christ's humi- 

passion, amongst others are these : (Isaiah 1m. 4) : % and passion. 
He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows ; 
yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and 
Afflicted ; and by and by (verse 7) ; He was op- 
pressed, }ie was afflicted, yet he opened not his 
mouth ; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter , 
and as a sheep before her sJiearer is dumb, so 
opened he not his mouth, &c. And again (verse 8) : 
He was cut out of ilie land of the living ; for tlte 
transgression of my people was he stricken, &c. 
(Verse 12) : Therefore I will divide him a por- 
tion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil 
with the strong ; because he hath poured out his 
soul unto death, and lie was numbered with the 
transgressors, and lie bare the sin of many, and 
made inter cession for the transgressors. And that 
of Zachariah (Zach. ix. 9): He is lowly, riding upon 
an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 

3. In the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Jesus our ximtjesus 
Saviour, a Galilean, began to preach ; the son, as was the Chmt 
was supposed, of Joseph ; declaring to the people 

of the Jews, that the kingdom of God expected by 
them was now come, and that himself was a king, 
that is to say, the Christ ; explaining the law, 
choosing twelve apostles, and seventy disciples, 
after the number of the princes of the tribes, and 
seventy elders (according to the pattern of Moses) 
to the ministry ; teaching the way of salvation by 


CHAP.XVII. himself and them ; purging the temple, doing 
' ' great signs, and fulfilling all those things which 
the prophets had foretold of Christ to come. That 
this man, hated of the Pharisees, whose false doc- 
trine and hypocritical sanctity he had reproved ; 
and by their means, of the people accused of un- 
lawful seeking for the kingdom, and crucified ; 
was the true Christ and king promised by God, 
and sent from his Father to renew the new cove- 
nant between them and God ; both the evangelists 
do show, describing his genealogy, nativity, life, 
doctrine, death, and resurrection ; and by compar- 
ing the things which he did with those which 
were foretold of him, all Christians do consent to. 

That the king- 4 Now f rom ^jg fl^ Christ was sent from 

dom of God by * 

the new cove. God his Father to make a covenant between him 
and the people, it is manifest, that though Christ 
were equal to his Father according to his nature, 
yet was he inferior according to the right of the 
kingdom. For this office, to speak properly, was 
not that of a king, but of a viceroy ; such as 
Moses' government was ; for the kingdom was 
not his, but his Father's. Which Christ himself 
signified when he was baptized as a subject, and 
openly professed when he taught his disciples to 
pray, Our Father, thy kingdom come, &c. : and 
when he said (Matth. xxvi. 29) : / will not drink 
of the blood of itte grape, until that day when I 
shall drink it new with you in the kingdom of my 
Father. And St. Paul (I Cor. xv. 22-24) : As in 
Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive ; 
but every man in his own order ; Christ the first 
fruits ; afterward they that are Chrisfs, who be- 


lieved in his coming ; then cometh the end when CHAP.XVH 
he shall have delivered up the kingdom to -God *" ' ' 
even his Father. The same notwithstanding is 
also called the kingdom of Christ : for both the 
mother of the sons of Zebedee petitioned Christ, 
saying (Matth. xx. 21) : Grant that tJiese my two 
sons may sit 9 the one on thy right hand, the other 
on thy left, in thy kingdom: and the thief on 
the cross (Luke xxiii. 42) : Lord remember me 
when thou comest into thy kingdom : and St. Paul 
(Ephes. v. 5) : For this know ye, that no whore- 
monger ', &c. shall enter into the kingdom of God, 
and of Christ\ and elsewhere (2 Tim. iv. 1) : / 
charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus 
Christ, who sJiall judge the quick and dead at his 
appearing, and his kingdom, &c. : (verse 18) : 
And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil 
work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly king- 
dom. Nor is it to be marveled at, that the same 
kingdom is Attributed to them both ; since both 
the Father and the Son are the same God ; and 
the new covenant concerning God's kingdom, is 
not propounded in the name of the Father ; but 
in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost, as of one God. 

5. But the kingdom of God, for restitution That the king, 
whereof Christ was sent from God his Father, the 
takes not its beginning before his second coming ; 
to wit, from the day of judgment, w r hen he shall 
come in majesty accompanied with his angel. For 
it is promised the apostles, that in the kingdom of 
God they shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel, 
(Matth. xix. 28) : Ye which have followed me in the 
regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in the 


CHAP.XVII. throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve 
That the king, thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel : which 
domof God by i s no t to be done till the day of judgment. Christ 

the new covenant J * 

is heavenly, &c. therefore is not yet in the throne of his majesty ; 
nor is that time, when Christ was conversant here 
in the world, called a kingdom, but a regenera- 
tion ; that is to say, a renovation or restitution of 
the kingdom of God, and a calling of them who 
were hereafter to be received into his kingdom. 
And where it is said (Matth. xxv. 31-32) : When the 
Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the 
holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the 
throne of his glory, and before him shall be 
gathered all nations ; and he shall separate them 
one from another, as a shepherd divideth his 
sheep from the goats : we may manifestly gather 
that there will be no local separation of God's sub- 
jects from his enemies, but that they shall live 
mixed together until Christ's second coming. 
Which is also confirmed by the comparison of the 
kingdom of heaven with wheat mingled with 
darnell, and with a net containing all sorts of 
fish. But a multitude of men, enemies and sub- 
jects, living promiscuously together, cannot pro- 
perly be termed a kingdom. Besides, the apos- 
tles, when they asked our Saviour, whether he 
would at that time when he ascended into heaven, 
restore the kingdom unto Israel ; did openly test- 
ify, that they then, when Christ ascended, thought 
the kingdom of God not to be yet come. Further- 
more, the words of Christ, My kingdom is not of 
this world : and, / will not drink, &c. till the 
kingdom of God come : and, God hath not sent 
his Son into the world, to judge the world, but 


that the world through him might be saved; and, CHAP.XVJJ. 
If any man hear my words, and keep them not, I *""""""' 
judge him not ;for I came not to judge the world, 
but to save the world : and, M an, who made me 
a judge or divider between you ? and the very 
appellation of the kingdom of heaven testifies 
as much. The same thing is gathered out of 
the words of the prophet Jeremiah, speaking^of 
the kingdom of God by the new covenant (Jer. 
xxxi. 34) : They shall teach no more every man 
his neighbour ; saying, Know the Lord. For 
they shall all know me, from the least of them to 
the greatest of them, saith the Lord : which can- 
not be understood of a kingdom in this world. 
The kingdom of God therefore, for the restoring 
whereof Christ came into the world; of which 
the prophets did prophecy, and of which praying 
we say, Thy kingdom come ; if it is to have sub- 
jects locally ^eparated from enemies, if judicature, 
if majesty, according as hath been foretold ; shall 
begin from that time, wherein God shall separate 
the sheep from the goats ; wherein the apostles 
shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel ; wherein 
Christ shall come in majesty and glory ; wherein 
lastly, all men shall so know r God, that they shall 
not need to be taught ; that is to say, at Christ's 
second coming, or the day of judgment. But if 
the kingdom of God were now already restored, 
no reason could be rendered why Christ, having 
completed the work for which he was sent, should 
corns again ; or why we should pray, Thy kingdom 

6. Now, although the kingdom of God by The government 
Christ to be established with a new covenant, were 



CHAP.XVII. heavenly ; we must not therefore think, that they, 
w^i^Tbut w ^ believing in Christ would make that covenant, 
counsel, or a go. were not so to be governed here on the earth too, 
of^trine^d 1 as that they should persevere in their faith and 
persuasion. obedience promised by that covenant. For in 
vain had the kingdom of heaven been promised, if 
we were not to have been led into it ; but none 
can be led, but those who are directed in the way. 
Moses, when he had instituted the priestly king- 
dom, himself though he were no priest, yet ruled 
and conducted the people all the time of their 
peregrination, until their entrance into the pro- 
mised land. In the same manner is it our Saviour's 
office, (whom God in this thing would have like 
unto Moses), as he was sent from his Father, so to 
govern the future subjects of his heavenly kingdom 
in this life, that they might attain to and enter into 
that ; although the kingdom were not properly his, 
but his Father's. But the government whereby 
Christ rules the faithful ones in this life, is not 
properly a kingdom or dominion, but a pastoral 
charge, or the right of teaching ; that is to say, 
God the Father gave him not a power to judge of 
meum and tuum, as he doth to the kings of the 
earth ; nor a coercive power, nor legislative ; but 
of showing to the world, and teaching them the 
way and knowledge of salvation ; that is to say, 
of preaching and declaring what they were to do, 
who would enter into the kingdom of heaven. 
That Christ had received no power from his 
Father to judge in questions of meum and tuum, 
that is to say, in all questions of right among 
those who believed not, those words above cited do 
sufficiently declare : Man, who made me a judge 


or divider between you ? And it is confirmed by CHAP.XVJI. 
reason. For seeing Christ was sent to make a fri T""~ l ' 

^ . The government 

covenant between God and men ; and no man is of Christ in th 
obliged to perform obedience before the contract 
be made ; if he should have judged of questions of 
right, no man had been tied to obey his sentence. 
But that the discerning of right was not commit- 
ted to Christ in this world, neither among the 
faithful nor among infidels, is apparent in this ; 
that that right without all controversy belongs to 
princes, as long as it is not by God himself dero- 
gated from their authority. But it is not deroga- 
ted before the day of judgment ; as appears by 
the words of St. Paul, speaking of the day of 
judgment (1 Cor. xv. 24) : Then cometh the end, 
when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to 
God even the Father, when he shall have put down 
all rule, and all authority, and power. Secondly, 
the words o our Saviour reproving James and 
John, when they had said (Luke ix. 54) : Wilt thou 
that we callfor fire from heaven, that it may con- 
sume them ? (namely the Samaritans, who had de- 
nied to receive him going up to Jerusalem) : and 
replying (verse 56), The Son of man is not come to 
destroy souls, but to save them ; and those words : 
Behold I send you as sheep among wolves ; Shake 
qff the dust of your feet ; and the like ; and those 
words, God sent not his Son into the world, to judge 
the world, but that the world through him might 
be saved ; and those : If any man hear my words, 
and keep them not, I judge him not ; for 1 came 
not to judge the world, &c. : do all show, that he 
had no power given him to condemn or punish 
any man. We read indeed, that the Father 


r. \vii>judgetk no man, but hath committed all judgment 

"" ' " to the Son ; but since that both may, and must be 
understood of the day of future judgment, it doth 
not at all repugn what hath been said before. 
Lastly, that he was not sent to make new laws, and 
that therefore by his office and mission he was no 
legislator properly so Called, nor Moses neither, 
but a bringer and publisher of his Father's laws, 
(for God only, and neither Moses nor Christ, was 
a king by covenant), is collected hence ; that he 
said, / came not to destroy, (to wit, the laws be- 
fore given from God by Moses, which he presently 
interprets), but to fulfil ; and, He that shall 
break one of the least of these commandments, 
and shall teach men so, he shall be called least 
in the kingdom of heaven. Christ therefore had 
not a royal or sovereign power committed to him 
from his Father in this world, but councillary and 
doctrinal only ; which himself signifies, as well 
then when he calls his apostles not hunters, but 
fishers of men ; as when he compares the kingdom 
of God to a grain of mustard-seed, and to a little 
leaven hid in meal. 

what the 7 God promised unto Abraham, first, a nume- 

S^TwvenJt 6 rous seed, the possession of the land of Canaan, 
areon both parts an( j a b} ess i n g upon all nations in his seed, on this 
condition ; that he and his seed should serve him : 
next, unto the seed of Abraham according to the 
flesh, a priestly kingdom, a government most 
free, in which they were to be subject to no hu- 
man power, on this condition ; that they should' 
serve the God of Abraham on that fashion which 
Moses should teach : lastly, both to them and to 
all nations, a heavenly and eternal kingdom, on 


condition that they should serve the God of Abra- CHAP.XVH. 
ham on that manner which Christ should teach. w ^[^ ' 
For by the new, that is to say, the Christian c0t?- promises of the 
nant, it is covenanted on men's part, to serve the 
God of Abraham on that manner which Jesus 
should teach : on God's part, to pardon their sins, 
and bring them into his celestial kingdom. We 
have already spoken of the quality of the heavenly 
kingdom, above in art. 5 ; but it is usually called, 
sometimes the kingdom of heaven, sometimes the 
kingdom of glory, sometimes the life eternal. 
What is required on men's part, namely, to serve 
God as Christ should teach, contains two things ; 
obedience to be performed to God, (for this is to 
serve God) ; wA faith in Jesus, to wit, that we be- 
lieve Jesus to be that Christ who was promised by 
God ; for that only is the cause why his doctrine 
is to be followed, rather than any other's. Now 
in holy Scriptures, repentance is often put instead 
of obedience; because Christ teacheth every where, 
that with God the will is taken for the deed ; but 
repentance is an infallible sign of an obedient 
mind. These things being understood, it will 
most evidently appear out of many places of sa- 
cred Scripture, that those are the conditions of 
the Christian covenant -which we have named ; to 
wit, giving remission of sins and eternal life on 
God's part ; and repenting and believing in Jesus 
Christ, on men's part. First, the words, (Mark 
i. 15) : The kingdom of God is at hand ; Repent 
ye and believe the gospel, contain the whole cove- 
nant. In like manner those (Luke xxiv. 46-47) : 
Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to 

oii-ffijv nnrl //> fj'o/? frnvn ilia /7/?/ys7 tlta tJti/rsJ fJft/ti 


cHAP.xvn. and that repentance and remission of sins should 
wh^^to be preached in his name among all nations, begin- 
promises of the n fag a f Jerusalem. And those (Acts iii. 19) : He- 

new covenant ^ t ' 

are on both port*, pewtf ana be converted, that your sins may be 
blotted out when the -times of refreshing shall 
come, &c. And sometimes one part is expressly 
propounded, and the other understood, as here 
(John iii. 36) : He that believeth in the Son, hath 
everlasting life ; He that believeth not the Son, 
shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth 
on him : where faith is expressed, repentance not 
mentioned ; and in Christ's preaching (Matth. 
iv. 17) : Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at 
hand: where repentance is expressed, faith is un- 
derstood. But the parts of this new contract are 
most manifestly and formally set down there, 
where a certain ruler, bargaining as it were for 
the kingdom of God, asketh our Saviour (Luke 
xviii. 18) : Good Master, what shall I do to in- 
herit eternal life? But Christ first propounds 
one part of the price, namely, observation of the 
commandments, or obedience ; which when he 
answered that he bad kept, he adjoins the other, 
saying (verse 22) : Yet lackest thou one thing ; 
Sell all that thou hast, and distribute to the poor, 
and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and 
come, follow me. This was matter of faith. He 
therefore not giving sufficient credit to Christ 
and his heavenly treasures, went away sorrowful. 
The same covenant is contained in these words 
(Mark xvi. 16) : He that believeth and is baptized, 
shall be saved ; but he that believeth not, shall be 
damned: where faith is expressed, repentance is 
supposed in those that are baptized. And in these 


words (John iii. 5) : Except a man be born again CHAP.XVH. 
of water and the Holy Ghost , he cannot enter into *"" ' ' 
the kingdom of heaven: where, to be born of water, 
is the same with regeneration, that is to say, con- 
version to Christ. Now that baptism is required 
in the two places cited just before, and in divers 
others, we must understand, that what circum- 
cision was to the old covenant, that baptism is to 
the new. Seeing therefore that was not of the 
essence, but served for a memorial of the old cove- 
nant, as a ceremony or sign, (and was omitted in 
the wilderness) ; in like manner this also is used, 
not as pertaining to the essence, but in memory 
and for a sign of the new covenant which we make 
with God. And provided the will be not wanting, 
the act through necessity may be omitted ; but 
repentance and faith, which are of the essence of 
the covenant, are always required. 

8. In the kingdom of God after this life, there There are no 

... , , < - , - . laws added by 

will be no laws ; partly, because there is no room Christ, beside 
for laws, where there is none for sins ; partly, 
because laws were given us from God, not to di- 
rect us in heaven, but unto heaven. Let us now 
therefore inquire what laws Christ established not 
himself ; for he would not take upon him any 
legislative authority, as hath been declared above 
in art. 6 ; but propounded to us for his Father's. 
We have a place in Scripture, where he contracts 
all the laws of God published till that time, into two 
precepts. (Matth. xxii. 37, 38, 39, 40) : Thou shalt 
love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, with 
all thy soul, . and with all thy mind ; this is 
the greatest and first commandment. And the 
second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neigh- 


C&AP.XVII. lour as thyself. On these two commandments 
There are no hang* all the law and the prophets. The first of 

these was given before by Moses in the same words 
the institution of (Dent. vi. 5) ; and the second even before Moses ; 
e sacraments. or .^ . g ^ e na (- ura i j aw ^ having its beginning with 

rational nature itself: and both together is the 
sum of all laws. For all the laws of divine natural 
worship, are contained in these words, Thou shall 
love God; and all the laws of divine worship due 
by the old covenant, in .these words, Thou shalt 
love thy God, that is to say, God, as being the pe- 
culiar King of Abraham and his seed ; and all the 
laws natural and civil, in these words, Thou shalt 
love thy neighbour as thyself. For he that loves 
God and his neighbour, hath a mind to obey all 
laws, both divine and human. But God requires 
no more than a mind to obey. We have another 
place where Christ interprets the laws, namely, the 
fifth, sixth, and seventh entire chapters of St. 
Matthew's Gospel. But all those laws are set down 
either in the decalogue or in the moral law, or are 
contained in the faith of Abraham ; as that law 
of not putting away a wife is contained in the 
faith of Abraham. For that same, two shall be 
one flesh, was not delivered either by Christ first, 
or by Moses, but by Abraham, who first preached 
the creation of the world. The laws therefore 
which Christ contracts in one place, and explains 
in another, are no other than those to which all 
mortal men are obliged, who acknowledge the God 
of Abraham. Beside these, we read not of any 
law given by Christ, beside the institution of the 
sacraments of baptism and the eucharist. 

9. What may be said then of these kind of pre- 


cepts, Repent, Be baptized, Keep the Command- CHAP.XVII. 
ments, Believe the Gospel, Come unto me, Sett all ^^^ 
that thou hast. Give to the poor, Follow me ; and the like forms, 
the like ? We must say that they are not laws, 
but a calling of us to the faith : such as is that 
Isaiah (Iv. 1): Come; buy wine and milk without 
money and without price. Neither if they come 
not, do they therefore sin against any law, but 
against prudence only; neither shall their infi- 
delity be punished, but their former sins. Where- 
fore St. John saith of the unbeliever, The wrath 
of God abideth on him ; he saith not, The wrath 
of God shall come upon him. And, He that be- 
lieve th not, is already judged ; he saith not, shall 
be judged, but is already judged. Nay, it cannot 
be well conceived, that remission of sins should be 
a benefit arising from faith, unless we understand 
also on the other side, that the punishment of sins 
is an hurt proceeding from infidelity. 

10. From' hence, that our Saviour hath pre- 
scribed no distributive laws to the subjects of rity. 
princes, and citizens of cities ; that is to say, hath 
given no rules whereby a subject may know and 
discern what is his own, what another mans, nor 
by what forms, words, or circumstances a thing 
must be given, delivered, invaded, possessed, that 
it may be known by right to belong to the re- 
ceiver, invader, or possessor : we must necessa- 
rily understand that each single subject (not only 
with xmbelievers, among whom Christ himself 
denied himself to be a judge and distributor, but 
even with Christians) must take those rules from 
his city, that is to say, from that man or council 
^vhich hath the supreme power. It follows there- 


CHAP.xvii. fore, that by those laws ; Thou shalt not kill, 
it belong to Thod shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not 

i autho- steal, Honour thy father and mother ; nothing 

rity to define , 9 9 . * , ^ . , , . , , . P 

what the sin else was commanded, but that subjects, and citi- 

zeng ^ sho^ absolutely obey their princes in all 
questions concerning meum and tuum, their own 
and others' right. For by that precept, Thou shalt 
not kill, all slaughter is not prohibited ; for he 
that said, Thou shalt not kill, said also, (Exod. 
xxxv. 2) : Whosoever doth work upon the sabbath, 
shall be put to death. No, nor yet all slaughter, 
the cause not being heard; for he said, (Exod. 
xxxii. 27) : Slay every man his brother, and every 
man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 
(Verse 28) : And there fell of the people about 
three thousand men. Nor yet all slaughter of an 
innocent person ; for Jephtha vowed (Judges xi. 
31) : Whosoever comet h forth, fyc. I will offer 
him up for a burnt offering unto the Lord ; and 
his vow was accepted of God. What then is for- 
bidden f Only this : that no man kill another, 
who hath not a right to kill him ; that is to say, 
that no man kill, unless it belong to him to do so. 
The law of Christ therefore concerning killing, 
and consequently all manner of hurt done to any 
man, and what penalties are to be set, commands 
us to obey the city only. In like manner, by that 
precept, Thou shalt not commit adultery, all man- 
ner of copulation is not forbidden ; but only that 
of lying with another man's wife. But the judg- 
ment, which is another man's wife, belongs to the 
city ; and is to be determined by the rules which 
the city prescribes. This precept therefore com- 
mands both male and female to keep that faith 


entire, which they have mutually given according CH AP.XVH. 
to the statutes of the city. So also by the precept, "" ' "* 
thou shalt not steal, all manner of invasion or 
secret surreption is not forbidden ; but of another 
mans only. The subject therefore is commanded 
this only, that he invade not nor take away aught 
which the dty prohibits to be invaded or taken 
away ; and universally, not to call anything mur- 
der, adultery, or theft, but what is done contrary 
to the civil laws. Lastly, seeing Christ hath com- 
manded us to honour our parents, and hath not 
prescribed with what rites, what appellations, and 
what manner of obedience they are to be honoured; 
it is to be supposed that they are to be honoured 
with the will indeed, and inwardly, as kings and 
lords over their children, but outwardly, not be- 
yond the city's permission, which shall assign to 
every man, as all things else, so also his honour. 
But since the nature of justice consists in this, that 
every man have his own given him ; it is manifest, 
that it also belongs to a Christian city to deter- 
mine what is justice, what injustice, or a sin against 
justice. Now what belongs to a city, that must be 
judged to belong to him or them who have the 
sovereign power of the city. 

11. Moreover, because our Saviour hath not it belongs to 
showed subjects any other laws for the govern- tTdefine wL^ 
merit of a city, beside those of nature, that is to"p"^* d 
say, beside the command of obedience ; no subject safct y f thecit * r - 
can privately determine who is a public friend, 
who an enemy, when war, when peace, when 
truce is to be made, nor yet what subjects, what 
authority and of what men, are commodious or 
prejudicial to the safety of the commonweal. 


CHAP.XVII. These and all like matters therefore are to be 
' ' learned, if need be, from the city, that is to say, 

from the sovereign powers. 

ciJ^Sorit^ he 12> Furthermore, all these things, to build cas- 
t o judge, when ties, houses, temples ; to move, carry, take away 

need requires, . , i ^ ^ i i 

what definitions mighty weights ; to send securely over seas ; to 
contrive engines, serving for all manner of uses; 
to be well acquainted with the face of the whole 
world, the courses of the stars, the seasons of the 
year, the accounts of the times, and the nature of 
all things ; to understand perfectly all natural and 
civil rights ; and all manner of sciences, which, 
comprehended under the title of philosophy, are 
necessary partly to live, partly to live well ; I say, 
the understanding of these (because Christ hath 
not delivered it) is to be learnt from reasoning ; 
that is to say, by making necessary consequences, 
having first, taken the beginning from experience. 
But men's reasonings are sometimes right, some- 
times wrong ; and consequently, that which is 
concluded and held for a truth, is sometimes 
truth, sometimes error. Now errors, even about 
these philosophical points, do sometimes public 
hurt, and give occasions of great seditions and in- 
juries. It is needful therefore, as oft as any con- 
troversy ariseth in these matters contrary to 
public good and common peace, that there be 
somebody to judge of the reasoning, that is to say, 
whether that which is inferred, be rightly inferred 
or not ; that so the controversy may be ended. 
But there are no rules given by Christ to this pur- 
pose, neither came he into the world to teach 
logic. It remains therefore that the judges of 
such controversies, be the same with those whom 



<3od by nature had instituted before, namely, 'those CHAP.XVII. 
who in each city are constituted by the sovereign. " * 
Moreover, if a controversy be raised of the accu- 
rate and proper signification, that is, the definition 
of those names or appellations which are com- 
moiily used ; insomuch as it is needful for the 
peace of the city, or the distribution of right, to be 
determined ; the determination will belong to the 
city. For men, by reasoning, do search out such 
kind of definitions in their observation of diverse 
conceptions, for the signification whereof those 
appellations were used at diverse times and for di- 
verse causes. But the decision of the question, 
whether a man do reason rightly, belongs to the 
city. For example, if a woman bring forth a child 
of an unwonted shape, and the law forbid to kill 
a man ; the question is, whether the child be a 
man. It is demanded therefore, what a man is. 
No man doubts but the city shall judge it, and that 
without taking an account of Aristotle's definition, 
that man is a rational creature. And these things, 
namely, right, policy, and natural sciences, are 
subjects concerning which Christ denies that it 
belongs to his office to give any precepts, or teach 
any thing beside this only ; that in all controver- 
sies about them, every single subject should obey 
the laws and determinations of his city. Yet must 
we remember this, that the same Christ, as God, 
could not only have taught, but also commanded 
what he would. 

1 3. The sum of our Saviour's office was, to teach i* thongs to & 
the way and all the means of salvation and eternal to 
life. But justice and civil obedience, and observa- ^ 
tion of all the natural laws, is one of the means to ***; 


CHAP.XVH. salvation. Now these may be taught two ways ; 
sin,and to teach one > a8 ^eorems, by the way of natural reason, by 
di thing* where, drawing right and the natural laws from human 

of there is no sci- . . , , 

once properly so principles and contracts; and this doctrine thus 
ed ' delivered, is subject to the censure of civil powers. 

The other, as laws, by divine authority, in showing 
the will of God to be such ; and thus to teach, be- 
longs only to him to whom the will of God is 
supernaturally known, that is to say, to Christ. 
Secondly, it belonged to the office of Christ to 
forgive sins to the penitent ; for that was necessary 
for the salvation of men who had already sinned. 
Neither could it be done by any other. For 
remission of sins follows not repentance naturally, 
as a debt ; but it depends, as a free gift, on the 
will of God supernaturally to be revealed. Thirdly, 
it belongs to the office of Christ to teach all those 
commandments of God, whether concerning his 
worship, or those points of faith which cannot be 
understood by natural reason, but only by revela- 
tion ; of which nature are those, that he was the 
Christ ; that his kingdom was not terrestrial, but 
celestial; that there are rewards and punishments 
after this life ; that the soul is immortal ; that 
there should be such, and so many sacraments ; 
and the like. 

A distinction or 14. From what hath been said in the foregoing 
chapter, it is not hard to distinguish between 
things spiritual and temporal. For since by 
spiritual, those things are understood, which have 
their foundation on the authority and office of 
Christ, and, unless Christ had taught them, could 
not have been known; and all other things are 
temporal ; it follows, that the definition and deter- 


minatioii of what is just and unjust, the cognizance CHAP.XVH, 
of all controversies about the means of peace and *~~" ' 
public defence ', and the examination of doctrines 
wd books in all manner of rational science, de- 
pends upon the temporal right ; but those which 
are mysteries of faith, depending on Christ's word 
and authority only, their judgments belong to 
spiritual right. But it is reason's inquisition, 
and pertains to temporal right to define what is 
spiritual, and what temporal; because our Sa- 
viour hath not made that distinction. For although 
St. Paul in many places distinguish between spiri- 
tual things and carnal things; and call (Rom. 
viii.5: 1 Cor.xii.8-10) those things spiritual, which 
are of the spirit, to wit, the word of wisdom, the 
word of knowledge, faith, the gift of healing, the 
working of miracles, prophecy, divers kind of 
tongues, interpretation of tongues ; all super- 
naturally inspired by the Holy Ghost, and such as 
the carn 4 al man understands not, but he only who 
hath known the mind of Christ (2 Cor. ii. 14-16) ; 
and those things carnal, which belong to worldly 
wealth (Rom. xv. 27) ; and the men carnal men 
(1 Cor. iii. 1-3) : yet hath he not defined, nor given 
us any rules whereby we may know what proceeds 
from natural reason, what from supernatural in- 

15. Seeing therefore it is plain that our Saviour The word of 
hath committed to, or rather not taken away from ^ 
princes, and those who in each city have obtained 
the sovereignty, the supreme authority of judging 
and determining all manner of controversies about 
temporal matters ; we must see henceforth to 
whom he hath left the same authority in matters 


CHAP.XVII. spiritual* Which because it cannot be known, 
The word of exce pt it be out of the word of God and the tradi- 
ood many tiou of the Church, we must enquire in the next 
ways en. p| ace w h a t th e wor d o f God is, what to interpret 
it, what a Church is, and what the will and com- 
mand of the Church. To omit that the word of 
God is in Scripture taken sometimes for the Son 
of God, it is used three manner of ways. First, 
most properly for that which God hath spoken. 
Thus, whatsoever God spake unto Abraham, the 
patriarchs, Moses, and the prophets, our Saviour 
to his disciples, or any others ; is the word of God. 
Secondly, whatsoever hath been uttered by men 
on the motion or by command of the Holy Ghost ; 
in which sense we acknowledge the Scriptures to 
be the word of God. Thirdly, in the New Testa- 
ment indeed, the word of God most frequently 
signifies the doctrine of the gospel, or the word 
concerning God, or the word of the kingdom of 
God by Christ. As where it is said (Matth. iv. 23) 
that Christ preached the gospel of the kingdom : 
where the apostles are said to preach the word of 
God (Acts xiii. 46) : where the word of God is 
called the word of life (Acts v. 20) : of the word 
of tjte gospel (Acts xv. 7) : the word faith (Rom. 
x. 8) : the word of truth, that is to say, (adding an 
interpretation) the gospel of salvation, (Eph. i. 13) : 
and where it is called the word of the apostles ; 
for St. Paul says (2 Thess. iii. 14) : If any man 
obey not our word, &c. Which places cannot be 
otherwise meant than of the doctrine evangelical. 
In like manner, where the word of God is said 
to be sown, to increase, and to be multiplied (Acts 
xii. 24 : and xiii. 49) : it is very hard to conceive 


this to be spoken of the voice of God or of his CHAP.XVII* 
apostles ; but of their doctrine, easy. And in ' " " 
this third acception is all that doctrine of the 
Christian faith, which at this day is preached in 
pulpits and contained in the books of divines, the 
word of God. 

16. Now the sacred Scripture is entirely the AH twng. 

, ^ i . . . j ,. - . contained in 

word of Uod in this second acception, as being the scripture, 
that which we acknowledge to be inspired from^S,^^ 
God ; and innumerable places of it, in the first. Chri8tian faith - 
And seeing the greatest part of it is conversant 
either in the prediction of the kingdom of heaven, 
or in prefigurations before the incarnation of 
Christ, or in evangelization and explication after ; 
the sacred Scripture is also the word of God, and 
therefore the canon and rule of all evangelical 
doctrine, in this third signification ; where the 
word of God is taken for the ivord concerning 
God, that is to say, for the gospel. But because 
in the same Scriptures we read many things politi- 
cal, historical, moral, physical, and others which 
nothing at all concern the mysteries of our faith ; 
those places, although they contain true 9octrine, 
and are the canon of such kind of doctrines^yet 
can they not be the canon of the mysteries 6f 
Christian religion. 

17* And truly, it is not the dead voice or letter * rdof 
of the word of God, which is the canon of Chris- t 
tian doctrine ; but a true and genuine determina- 
tion. For the mind is not governed by Scriptures, 
unless they be understood. There is need there- 
fore of an interpreter to make the Scriptures 
canon, and hence follows one of these two things ; 
that either the word of the interpreter is the word 



CHAP.XVH. of God, or that the canon of Christian doctrine is 
' ' not th'e word of God. The last of these must ne- 
cessarily be false ; for the rule of that doctrine 
which cannot be known by any human reason, but 
by divine revelation only, cannot be less than 
divine ; for whom we acknowledge not to be able 
to discern whether some doctrine be true or not, it 
is impossible to account his opinion for a rule in 
the same doctrine. The first therefore is true, that 
the word of an interpreter of Scriptures is the 
word of God. 

The authority ] g. Now that interpreter whose determination 
e hath the honour to be held for the word of God, is 
not every one that translates the Scriptures out of 
the Hebrew and Greek tongue, to his Latin audi- 
tors in Latin, to his French in French, and to 
other nations in their mother tongue ; for this is 
not to interpret. For such is the nature of speech 
in general, that although it deserve the chief place 
among those signs whereby we declare our con- 
ceptions to others, yet cannot it perform that 
office alone without the help of many circum- 
stances. For the living voice hath its interpreters 
present, to wit, time, place, countenance, gesture, 
the counsel of the speaker, and himself unfolding 
his own meaning in other words as oft as need is. 
To recall these aids of interpretation, so much de- 
sired in the writings of old time, is neither the 
part of an ordinary wit, nor yet of the quaintest, 
without great learning and very much skill in 
antiquity. It sufficeth not therefore for interpre- 
tation of Scriptures, that a man understand the 
language wherein they speak. Neither is every 
one an authentic interpreter of Scriptures, who 


writes comments upon them. For men may err ; CHAP,XVU % 
they may also either bend them to serve their own ' """"""" 
ambition ; or even resisting, draw them into bon- 
dage by their forestallings ; whence it will follow, 
that an erroneous sentence must be held for the 
word of God. But although this might not hap- 
pen, yet as soon as these commentators are de- 
parted, their commentaries will need explications ; 
and in process of time, those explications exposi- 
tions ; those expositions new commentaries, with- 
out any end. So as there cannot, in any written 
interpretation whatsoever, be a canon or rule of 
Christian doctrine, whereby the controversies of re- 
ligion may be determined. It remains, that there 
must be some canonical interpreter, whose legiti- 
mate office it is to end controversies begun, by ex- 
plaining the word of God in the judgments them- 
selves ; and whose authority therefore must be no 
less obeyed, than theirs who first recommended 
the Scripture itself to us for a canon of faith ; and 
that one and the same person be an interpreter qf 
Scripture, and a supreme judge qf all manner qf 

19. What concerns the word ecclesia, or Church, Divers 

.... ' , * nifications 

originally it signifies the same thing that concio or of a church. 
a congregation does in Latin ; even as ecclesias- 
tes or churchman, the same that concionator or 
preacher, that is to say, he who speaks to the con- 
gregation. In which sense we read in the Acts 
of the Apostles, of a Church confused^ and of a 
lawful Church (Acts xix, 32-39) : that, taken for a 
concourse of people meeting in way of tumult; 
this, for a convocated assembly. But in holy writ 
by a Church qf Christians, is sometimes understood 



CHAP.XVII. the assembly, and sometimes the Christians them- 
Divewsi^ selves, although not actually assembled, if they be 
nifications permitted to enter into the congregation and to 
communicate with them. For example, Tell it to 
the Church, (Matth. xviii. 17), is meant of a Church 
assembled ; for otherwise it is impossible to tell 
any thing to the Church. But He laid waste 
the Church, (Acts viii. 3), is understood of a 
Church not assembled. Sometimes a Church is 
taken for those who are baptized, or for the pro- 
fessors of the Christian faith, whether they be 
Christians inwardly or feignedly ; as when we 
read of somewhat said or written to the Church, 
or said, or decreed, or done by the Church. 
Sometimes for the elect only, as when it is called 
holy and without blemish (Ephes. v. 27). But the 
elect, as they are militant, are not properly called 
a Church ; for they know not how to assemble ; 
but they are & future Church, namely, in that day 
when severed from the reprobate they shall be 
triumphant. Again, a Church may be sometimes 
taken for all Christians collectively ; as when 
Christ is called the head of his Church (Ephes. v* 
23) ; and the head of his body the Church (Coloss. 
i. 18). Sometimes for its parts ; as the Church 
of Ephesus, the Church which is in his house > the 
seven Churches, &c. Lastly, a Church, as it is taken 
for a company actually assembled, according to the 
divers ends of their meeting, signifies sometimes 
those who are met together to deliberate and judge ; 
in which sense it is also called a council and a 
synod ; sometimes those who meet together in the 
house of prayer to worship God, in which signifi- 
cation it is taken in the 1 Cor. xiv. 4, 5, 23, 28, &c* 


* 20. Now a Church, which hath personal rights CHAP.XVU, 
and proper actions attributed to it, and of "which ^p ' 
that same must necessarily be understood, Tell it church is, to 
to the Church, and he that obeys not the Church, 
and all such like forms of speech, is to be defined 
so as by that word may be understood a multitude P 6 * to 
of men, who have made a new covenant with God 
in Christ, that is to say, a multitude of them who 
have taken upon them the sacrament of baptism ; 
which multitude may both lawfully be called to- 
gether by some one into one place, and, he so call- 
ing them, are bound to be present either in person 
or by others. For a multitude of men, if they 
cannot meet in assembly when need requires, is 
not to be called a person. For a Church can 
neither speak, nor discern, nor hear, but as it is a 
congregation. Whatsoever is spoken by particular 
men, (to wit, as many opinions almost as heads), 
that is the speech of one man, not of the Church. 
Furthermore, if an assembly be made, and it be 
unlawful, it shall be considered as null. Not any 
one of these therefore who are present in a tumult, 
shall be tied to the decree of the rest ; but specially 
if he dissent. And therefore neither can such a 
Church make any decree ; for then a multitude is 
said to decree somewhat, when every man is obliged 
by the decree of the major part. We must there- 
fore grant to the definition of a Church, to which 
we attribute things belonging to a person, not only 
a possibility of assembling, but also of doing it law- 
fully. Besides, although there be some one who may 
lawfully call the rest together ; yet if they who are 
called, may lawfully not appear ; which may hap- 
pen among men who are not subject one to another ; 


CHAP.XVII. that same Church is not one per son. For by what 
' right they, who being called to a certain time and 
place do meet together, are one Church ; by the 
same, others flocking to another place appointed 
by them, are another Church. And every number 
of men of one opinion is a Church ; and by conse- 
quence, there will be as many Churches as there are 
divers opinions ; that is to say, the same multitude 
of men will at once prove to be one, and many 
Churches. Wherefore a Church is not one, except 
there be a certain and known, that is to say, a 
lawful power, by means whereof every man may 
be obliged to be present in the congregation, either 
himself in person, or by proxy ; and that becomes 
one, and is capable of personal functions, by the 
union of a lawful power of convocating synods and 
assemblies of Christians ; not by uniformity of doc- 
trine ; and otherwise it is a multitude, and persons 
in the plural, howsoever agreeing in opinions. 
A chmtin 21 . It follows what hath been already said by 
with" Chris" 16 necessary connexion, that a city of Christian men 
tian cnurcii. an( } a church is altogether the same thing, of the 
same men, termed by two names, for two causes. 
For the matter of a city and a Church is one, to 
wit, the same Christian men. And the form, which 
consists in a lawful power of assembling them, is 
the same too ; for it is manifest that every subject 
is obliged to come thither, whither he is summoned 
by his city. Now that which is called a city, as it 
is made up of men, the same, as it consists of Chris- 
tians, is styled a Church. 

Many cities 22. This too is very coherent with the same 
. points : %f there be many Christian cities, they 
are not altogether personally one Church. They 


may indeed by mutual consent become one Church, CHAP.XVH, 
but no otherwise than as they must also become M ydttT 
one city. For they cannot assemble but at some ***&- 

J . 1 tuteoneChurct 

certain time, and to some place appointed. But 
persons, places, and times, belong to civil right ; 
neither can any subject or stranger lawfully set 
his foot on any place, but by the permission of the 
city, which is lord of the place. But the things 
which cannot lawfully be done but by the permis- 
sion of the city, those, if they be lawfully done, are 
done by the city's authority. The universal Church 
is indeed one mystical body, whereof Christ is the 
head ; but in the same manner that all men to- 
gether, acknowledging God for the ruler of the 
world, are one kingdom and one city ; which not- 
withstanding is neither one person, nor hath it 
one common action or determination. Further- 
more, where it is said that Christ is the head of 
his body the Church, it manifestly appears that 
that was spoken by the Apostle of the elect ; who, 
as long as they are in this world, are a Church 
only in potentia ; but shall not actually be so 
before they be separated from the reprobate, and 
gathered together among themselves in the day of 
judgment. The Church of Rome of old was very 
great, but she went not beyond the bounds of her 
empire, and therefore neither was she universal; 
unless it were in that sense, wherein it was also 
said of the city of Rome, Orbemjam totum victor 
Romanus habebat ; when as yet he had not the 
twentieth part of it. But after that the civil empire 
was divided into parts, the single cities thence 
arising were so many Churches : and that power 
which the Church of Rome had over them, might 



Who are 

CHAP.XVII. perhaps wholly depend on the authority of those 
"""""" * Churches, who having cast off the emperors, were 
yet content to admit the doctors of Rome. 

23. They may be called churchmen, who exer- 
cise a public office in the Church. But of offices, 
there was one a ministery, another a maistery. 
The offices of the ministers, was to serve tables, to 
take care of the temporal goods of the Church, 
and to distribute, at that time when all propriety 
of riches being abolished they were fed in common, 
to each man his portion. The maisters, accord- 
ing to their order, were called some apostles, some 
bishops, some presbyters, that is to say, elders ; 
yet not so, as that by the name of presbyter, the 
age, but the office might be distinguished. For 
Timothy was a presbyter, although a young man. 
But because for the most part the elders were re- 
ceived into the maistership, the word, denoting 
age, was used to signify the office. The same 
maisters, according to the diversity of their em- 
ployments, were called some of them apostles, 
some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors or 
teachers. And the apostolical work indeed was 
universal ; the prophetical, to declare their own 
revelations in the Church ; the evangelical, to 
preach or to be publishers of the gospel among the 
infidels ; that of the pastors, to teach, confirm, 
and rule the minds of those who already believed. 

24. In the election of churchmen two things are 
to be considered ; the election of the persons, and 
their consecration or institution, which also is called 
ordination. The first twelve apostles Christ himself 
both elected and ordained. After Christ's ascen- 
sion, Matthias was elected in the room of Judas the 

The election 
of churchmen 
belongs to the 
Church; their 
to the pastors. 


traitor ; the Church, which at that time consisted CHAP 
of a congregation of about one hundred and twenty 
men, choosing two men ; and they appointed two, 
Joseph and Matthias : but God himself by 
approving of Matthias. And St. Paul calls these 
twelve the first and great apostles ; also the apos- 
tles of the circumcision. Afterward were added 
two other apostles, Paul and Barnabas ; ordained 
indeed by the doctors and prophets of the Church 
of Antioch (which was a particular Church) by 
the imposition of hands ; but elected by the com- 
mand of the Holy Ghost. That they were both 
apostles, is manifest in Acts xiii. 2, 3. That they 
received their apostleship from hence, namely, be- 
cause they were separated, by command of the 
spirit, for the work of God from the rest of the 
prophets and doctors of the Church of Antioch, 
St. Paul himself shows ; who calls himself, for dis- 
tinction sake (Rom. i. 1), an apostle separated 
unto the Gospel of God. But if it be demanded 
further, by what authority it came to pass, that 
that was received for the command of the Holy 
Ghost, which those prophets and doctors did say 
proceeded from him ; it must necessarily be an- 
swered, by the authority of the Church of Antioch. 
For the prophets and doctors must be examined by 
the Church, before they be admitted. For St. John 
(lEpist.iv. 1) saith: Believe not every spirit; but try 
the spirits, whether they are of God; because many 
false prophets are gone out into the world. But 
by what Church, but that to which that epistle was 
written? In like manner St. Paul (Gal. ii. 14) 
reproves the Churches of Galatia, because they 
Judaized ; although they seemed to do so by the 


CHAP.X vii. authority of Peter. For when he had told them, that 
The election k e had reprehended Peter himself in these words : 
of churchmen If thou being a Jew, lives t after the manner of 
& c . e Gentiles > and not as do the Jews ; why compellest 
thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews : not long 
after he questions them, saying (Gal. iii. 2) : This 
only would I learn of you : received ye the Spirit 
by the works of the law, or by the hearing of 
faith ? Where it is evident, that it was Judaism 
which he reprehended the Galatians for, notwith- 
standing that the apostle Peter compelled them to 
Judaize. Seeing therefore it belonged to the 
Church, and not to Peter, and therefore also not 
to any man, to determine what doctors they should 
follow; it also pertained to the authority of the 
Church of Antioch, to elect their prophets and doc- 
tors. Now, because the Holy Ghost separated to 
himself the apostles Paul and Barnabas by the im- 
position of hands from doctors thus elected, it is 
manifest, that imposition of hands and consecra- 
tion of the prime doctors in each Church, belongs 
to the doctors of the same Church. But bishops, 
who were also called presbyters, although all pres- 
byters were not bishops, were ordained sometimes 
by apostles ; for Paul and Barnabas, when they had 
taught in Derbe, Lystra, and Iconium, ordained 
elders in every Church (Acts xiv. 23) : sometimes 
by other bishops ; for Titus was by Paul left in 
Crete, that he should ordain elders in every city 
(Tit. i. 5). And Timothy was advised (1 Tim. iv. 14) 
Not to neglect the gtft that was in him, which was 
given him by prophecy with the laying on of the 
hands qf the presbytery. And he had rules given 
him concerning the election of presbyters. But 


that cannot be understood otherwise, than of the or- CHA#.X **f , 

dination of those who were elected by the Church ; ' "-" Uii 

for no man can constitute a doctor in the Church, 

but by the Church's permission. For the duty of 

the apostles themselves was not to command, but to 

teach. And although they who were recommended 

by the apostles or presbyters, were not rejected, 

for the esteem that was- had of the recommenders ; 

yet seeing they could not be elected without the 

will of the Church, they were also supposed elected 

by the authority of the Church. In like manner 

ministers, who are called deacons, were ordained 

by the apostles ; yet elected by the Church. For 

when the seven deacons were to be elected and 

ordained, the apostles elected them not : but, look 

ye out, say they (Acts vi. 3, 5, 6), among you, 

brethren, seven men of honest report, 8fc+ : and 

they chose Stephen, 8fc.: and they set them before 

the apostles. It is apparent therefore by the cus- 

tom of the primitive Church under the apostles, that 

the ordination or consecration of all churchmen, 

which is done by prayer and imposition of hands, 

belonged to the apostles and doctors ; but the 

election of those who were to be consecrated, to 

the Church. 

25. Concerning the power of binding and loos- The power of 
ing, that is to say, of remitting and retaining 
sins ; there is no doubt but it was given by 

to the pastors then yet for to come, in the same penitent, belongs 

r J y to the pastors ; 

manner as it was to the present apostles. Now but judgment of 
the apostles had all the power of remitting of sins ^ 
given them, which Christ himself had. As the 
Father hath sent me, says Christ, (John xx. 21), so 
send I you ; and he adds (verse 22) : Whose soever 


CHAP.XVJK sins ye remit, they are remitted; and whose soever 
Thepowerof s * m 1f e r ^^ 9 they are retained. But what bind- 
remitting sina , to j n g an( j loosing, or remitting and retaining of sins, 

the penitent, &c. . . . /. S i -n r. & .,. 

is, admits of some scruple. For first, to retain his 
sins, who being baptized into remission of sins, is 
truly penitent, seems to be against the very cove- 
nant itself of the New Testament ; and therefore 
could not be done by Christ himself, much less by 
his pastors. And to remit the impenitent, seems 
to be against the will of God the Father, from 
whom Christ was sent to convert the world and to 
reduce men unto obedience. Furthermore, if each 
pastor had an authority granted him to remit and 
retain sins in this manner, all awe of princes and 
civil magistrates, together with all kind of civil 
government would be utterly destroyed. For 
Christ hath said it, nay even nature itself dictates, 
that we should not fear them who slay the body, 
but cannot kill the soul ; but rather fear him, who 
can cast both soul and body into hell (Matth. 
x. 28). Neither is any man so mad, as not to 
choose to yield obedience rather to them who can 
remit and retain their sins, than to the powerfulest 
kings. Nor yet on the other side is it to be 
imagined, that remission of sins is nothing else 
but an exemption from ecclesiastical punishments. 
For what evil hath excommunication in it, beside 
the eternal pains which are consequent to it ? Or 
what benefit is to be received into the Church, if 
there were salvation out of it ? We must there- 
fore hold, that pastors have power truly and abso-> 
lutely to forgive sins ; but to the penitent : and to 
retain them ; but of the impenitent. But while 
men think that to repent, is nothing else, but that 


fevery one condemn his actions and change those CHAP-XVIJ, 
counsels which to himself seem sinful and blame- ^^^ 
able ; there is an opinion risen, that there may be remittin to 

*t * *. the penitent, fcc, 

repentance before any confession of sins to men, 
and that repentance is not an effect, but a cause of 
confession. And thence the difficulty of those, who 
say that the sins of the penitent are already for- 
given in baptism, and their's who repent not, can- 
not be forgiven at all, is against Scripture, and 
contrary to the words of Christ, whose soever 
sins ye remit, &c. We must therefore, to resolve 
this difficulty, know in the first place, that a true 
acknowledgment of sin is repentance. For he 
that knows he hath sinned, knows he hath erred ; 
but to will an error, is impossible ; therefore he 
that knows he hath sinned, wishes he had not done 
it ; which is to repent. Further, where it may be 
doubtful whether that which is done be a sin or 
not, yve must consider, that repentance doth not 
precede confession of sins, but is subsequent to it : 
for there is no repentance but of sins acknow- 
ledged. The penitent therefore must both ac- 
knowledge the fact, and know it to be a sin, that 
is to say, against the law. If a man therefore 
think, that what he hath done is not against the 
law, it is impossible he should repent of it. Be- 
fore repentance therefore, it is necessary there be 
an application of the facts unto the law. But it is 
in vain to apply the facts unto the law without an 
interpreter : for not the words of the law, but the 
sentence of the law-giver is the rule of men's ac- 
tions. But surely either one man, or some men 
are the interpreters of the law ; for every man is 
not judge of his own fact, whether it be a sin or 


CHAP.XVII. not. Wherefore the fact, of which we doubt 
whether it be a sin or not, must be unfolded be* 

some man or men ; and t * ie doing of this is 
confession. Now when the interpreter of the law 
hath judged the fact to be a sin, if the sinner sub- 
mit to his judgment and resolve with himself not 
to do so any more, it is repentance ; and thus, 
either it is not true repentance, or else it is not 
antecedent, but subsequent to confession. These 
things being thus explained, it is not hard to un- 
derstand what kind of power that of binding and 
loosing is. For seeing in remission of sins there 
are two things considerable ; one, the judgment or 
condemnation whereby the fact is judged to be a 
sin ; the other, when the party condemned does 
acquiesce and obey the sentence, that is to say, re- 
pents, the remission of the sin ; or, if he repent 
not, the retention : the first of these, that is to say, 
the judging whether it be a sin or not, belongs to 
the interpreter of the law, that is, the sovereign 
judge ; the second, namely, remission or retention 
of the sin, to the pastor ; and it is that, concerning 
which the power of binding and loosing is conver- 
sant. And that this was the true meaning of our 
Saviour Christ in the institution of the same power, 
is apparent in Matth. xviii. 15-18, thus* He there 
speaking to his disciples, says : If thy brother sin 
against thee, go and tell him his fault between him 
and thee alone. Where we must observe by the 
way, that if thy brother sin against thee> is the 
same with, if he do thee injury ; and therefore 
Christ spake of those matters which belonged to 
the civil tribunal. He adds ; if he hear thee not, 
(that is to say, if he deny that he hath done it, or 


if having confessed the fact, he denies it to be un- CHAP.XVIK 
justly done), take with thee yet one or two ; and if *~~~*-~~* 
he refuse to hear them, tell it to the Church. But remitting sin t 
why to the Church, except that she might judge 
whether it were a sin or not ? But if he refuse to 
hear the Church ; that is, if he do not submit to 
the Church's sentence, but shall maintain that to 
be no sin, which she judges to be a sin ; that is to 
say, if he repent not ; (for certain it is, that no man 
repents himself of the action which he conceives 
not to be a sin) ; he saith not, Tell it to the apos- 
tles ; that we might know that the definitive sen- 
tence in the question, whether it were a sin or not, 
was not left unto them ; but to the Church. But 
let him be unto thee, says he, as an lieathen, or pub- 
lican ; that is, as one out of the Church, as one that 
is not baptized, that is to say, as one whose sins are 
retained. For all Christians were baptized into re- 
mission of sins. But because it might have been 
demanded, who it was that had so great a power, 
as that of withholding the benefit of baptism from 
the impenitent ; Christ shows that the same per- 
sons, to whom he had given authority to baptize 
the penitent into the remission of sins, and to 
make them of heathen men Christians, had also 
authority to retain their sins who by the Church 
should be adjudged to be impenitent, and to make 
them of Christian men heathens : and therefore 
presently subjoins : Verily I say unto you, whose 
soever sins ye shall bind upon earth, they shall be 
bound also in heaven ; and whose soever sin$ ye 
shall loose upon earth, they shall be loosed also in 
heaven. Whence we may understand, that the 
power of binding and loosing, or of remitting and 


CHAP.XVII retaining of sins, which is called in another place 
* r """~' the p6wer of the keys, is not different from the 
power given in another place in these words 
(Matth. xxviii. 19) : Go, and teach all nations, 
baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of 
the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And even as the 
pastors cannot refuse to baptize him whom the 
Church judges worthy, so neither can they retain 
his sins whom the Church holds fitting to be ab- 
solved, nor yet remit his sins whom the Church 
pronounceth disobedient. And it is the Church's 
part to judge of the sin, the pastor's to cast out or 
to receive into the Church those that are judged. 
Thus St. Paul to the Church of Corinth ( 1 Cor. v. 1 2) : 
Do not ye judge, saith he, of those that are within ? 
Yet he himself pronounced the sentence of excom- 
munication against the incestuous person. / indeed, 
saith he (verse 3), as absent in body, but present in 
Spirit, &c. 

whatexcom- 26. The act of retaining sins is that which is 
on whom* called by the Church excommunication, and by St. 

cannot pass. p ai j deH ver i n g over to Satan. The word excom- 
munication sounding the same with dwotrvmywyov 
iroielv, casting out of the synagogue, seems to be 
borrowed from the Mosaical law ; wherein they 
who were by the priest adjudged leprous, were 
commanded (Levit. xiii. 46) to be kept apart out of 
the camp, until by the judgment of the priest 
they were again pronounced clean, and by certain 
rites, among which the washing of the body was 
one, were purified. From hence in process of time 
it become a custom of the Jews, not to receive 
those who passed from Gentilism to Judaism, sup- 
posing them to be unclean, unless they were first 
washed; and those who dissented from the doctrine 


of the synagogue, they cast out of the synagogue. 
By resemblance of this custom, those that came to 
Christianity, whether they were Jews or Gentiles, <*>< **> 
were not received into the Church without bap- it cannot paw. 
tism ; and those that dissented from the Church, 
were deprived of the Church's communion. Now, 
they were therefore said to be delivered over to 
Satan, because all that was out of the Church, was 
comprehended within his kingdom. The end of 
this kind of discipline was, that being destitute for 
a time of the grace and spiritual privileges of the 
Church, they might be humbled to salvation ; but 
the effect in regard of secular matters, that being 
excommunicated, they should not only be prohi- 
bited all congregations or churches, and the parti- 
cipation of the mysteries, but as being contagious 
they should be avoided by all other Christians, even 
more than heathen. For the apostle allowed to ac- 
company with heathen ; but with these, not so much 
as to eat (1 Cor. v. 10-11). Seeing then the effect 
of excommunication is such, it is manifest, in the 
first place, that a Christian city cannot be excom- 
municated. For a Christian city is a Christian 
Church, (as hath been declared above, in art. 21), 
and of the same extension ; but a Church cannot be 
excommunicated. For either she must excommu- 
nicate herself, which is impossible ; or she must be 
excommunicated by some other Church ; and this, 
either universal or particular. But seeing an uni- 
versal Church is no person^ (as hath been proved 
in art. 22), and therefore neither acts nor does 
any thing, it cannot excommunicate any man ; and 
a particular Church by excommunicating another 
Church, doth nothing. For where there is not one 




What excom- 
munication fa, 
and on whom 
it cannot pass. 

CHAP. xvn. common congregation, there cannot be any excom- 
munication. Neither if some one Church (suppose 
that of Jerusalem), should have excommunicated 
another, (suppose that of Rome), would it any 
more have excommunicated this, than herself : for 
he that deprives another of his communion, de- 
prives himself also of the communion of that other. 
Secondly, no man can excommunicate the subjects 
of any absolute government all at once, or forbid 
them the use of their temples or their public wor- 
ship of God. For they cannot be excommunicated 
by a Church, which themselves do constitute. For 
if they could, there would not only not remain a 
Church, but not so much as a commonweal, and 
they would be dissolved of themselves; and this 
were not to be excommunicated or prohibited. But 
if they be excommunicated by some other Church, 
that Church is to esteem them as heathen. But no 
Christian Church, by the doctrine of Christ, can 
forbid the heathen to gather together and commu- 
nicate among themselves, as it shall seem good to 
their cities ; especially if they meet to worship 
Christ, although it be done in a singular custom 
and manner : therefore also not the excommunica- 
ted, who are to be dealt with as heathen. Thirdly, 
a prince who hath the sovereign power, cannot be 
excommunicated. For by the doctrine of Christ, 
neither one nor many subjects together can inter- 
dict their prince any public or private places, or 
deny him entrance into any assembly whatsoever, 
or prohibit him the doing of what he will with his 
own jurisdiction. For it is treason among all cities, 
for any one or many subjects jointly to arrogate to 
themselves any authority over the whole city, Btit 


they who arrogate to themselves an authority over CHAP.XVH. 
him who hath the supreme power of the city, do 
arrogate the same authority over the city itself, 
Besides, a sovereign prince, if he be a Christian, 
hath this further advantage ; that the city whose 
will is contained in his, is that very thing which we 
call a Church. The Church therefore excommuni- 
cates no man, but whom it excommunicates by the 
authority of the prince. But the prince excommu- 
nicates not himself ; his subjects therefore cannot 
do it. It may be indeed, that an assembly of re- 
bellious citizens or traitors may pronounce the 
sentence of excommunication against their prince ; 
but not by right. Much less can one prince be 
excommunicated by another ; for this would prove 
not an excommunication, but a provocation to war 
by the way of affront. For since that is not one 
Church, which is made up of citizens belonging to 
two absolute cities, for want of power of lawfully 
assembling them, (as hath been declared before, in 
art. 22) ; they who are of one Church are not 
bound to obey another, and therefore cannot be 
excommunicated for their disobedience. Now, 
what some may say, that princes, seeing they are 
members of the universal Church, may also by the 
authority of the universal Church be excommunica- 
ted, signifies nothing: because the universal Church, 
(as hath been showed in art. 22), is not one person, 
of whom it may be said that she acted, decreed, 
determined, excommunicated, absolved, and the like 
personal attributes ; neither hath she any gover- 
nor upon earth, at whose command she . may as- 
semble and deliberate. For to be guide of the 
universal Church, and to have the power of assetn- 



CHAP.XVII. bling her, is the same thing as to be governor and 
* ' ' lord over all the Christians in the world ; which is 

granted to none, but God only. 
The interpre- 37. it h a th been showed above in art. 18, that the 

tation of Scrip- . . - __ _ . 

ture depends authority of interpreting the Holy scriptures con- 
sisted not in this, that the interpreter might without 
punishment expound and explicate his sentence and 
opinion taken thence unto others, either by writing 
or by his own voice ; but that others have not a right 
to do or teach aught contrary to his sentence ; inso- 
much as the interpretation we speak of, is the same 
with the power of defining in all manner of con- 
troversies to be determined by sacred Scriptures. 
Now we must show that that power belongs to 
each Church ; and depends on his or their authority 
who have the supreme command, provided that they 
be Christians. For if it depend not on the civil au- 
thority, it must either depend on the opinion of each 
private subject, or some foreign authority. But 
among other reasons, the inconveniences that must 
follow private opinions, cannot suffer its dependance 
on them. Of which this is the chief ; that not only 
all civil obedience would be taken away (contrary 
to Christ's precept) ; but all human society and 
peace would be dissolved (contrary to the laws of 
nature). For seeing every man is his own inter- 
preter of Scripture, that is to say, since every man 
makes himself judge of what is pleasing and dis- 
pleasing unto God ; they cannot obey their princes, 
before that they have judged whether their com- 
mands be conformable to the word of God, or not. 
And thus either they obey not, or they obey for 
their own opinion's sake ; that is to say, they obey 
themselves, not their sovereign ; civil obedience 


therefore is lost. Again, when every man follows CHAP.XVH- 
his own opinion, it is necessary that the controver- 
sies which rise among them, should become i 

,, 1-1-11 i 'ii ture depend* 

merable and indeterminable ; whence there will on the autho- 
breed among men, who by their own natural inclina- nty e Clly ' 
turns do account all dissensions an affront, first ha- 
tred, then brawls and wars ; and thus all manner of 
peace and society would vanish. We have further- 
more for an example, that which God under the 
old law required to be observed concerning the 
book of the law ; namely, that it should be trans- 
cribed and publicly used ; and he would have it 
to be the canon of divine doctrine, but the contro- 
versies about it not to be determined by private 
persons, but only by the priests. Lastly, it is our 
Saviour's precept, that if there be any matter of 
offence between private persons, they should hear 
the Church. Wherefore it is the Church's duty to 
define* controversies ; it therefore belongs not to 
private men, but to the Church to interpret Scrip- 
tures. But that we may know that the authority of 
interpreting God's Wordy that is to say, of deter- 
mining all questions concerning God and religion, 
belongs not to any foreign person whatsoever ; we 
must consider, first, what weight such a power 
has in the minds of the citizens, and their actions. 
For no man can be ignorant that the voluntary 
actions of men, by a natural necessity, do follow 
those opinions which they have concerning good 
and evil, reward and punishment. Whence it hap- 
pens, that necessarily they would choose rather to 
obey those, by whose judgment they believe that 
they shall be eternally happy or miserable. Now, 
by whose judgment it is appointed what doctrines 


CHAP.XVII. are necessary to salvation, by their judgment do 
ThTtetT^T men ex P ec t ^eir eternal bliss or perdition ; they 
tation of scrip- w il] therefore yield them obedience in all things. 

tare depends _.__ .,,. , . . . , , 

on the autho- Which being thus, most manifest it is, that those 
nty O f the city. su | > j ectg ^ w jj O believe themselves bound to acquiesce 

to a foreign authority in those doctrines which are 
necessary to salvation, do not per se constitute a 
city, but are the subjects of that foreign power. 
Nor therefore, although some sovereign prince 
should by writing grant such an authority to any 
other, yet so as he would be understood to have 
retained the civil power in his own hands, shall 
such a writing be valid, or transfer aught neces- 
sary for the retaining or good administration of 
his command. For by chap. n. art. 4, no man is 
said to transfer his right, unless he give some 
proper sign, declaring his will to transfer it. 
But he who hath openly declared his will to keep 
his sovereignty, cannot have given a sufficient sign 
of transferring the means necessary for the keeping 
it. This kind of writing therefore will not be a 
sign of will, but of ignorance in the contractors. 
We must consider next, how absurd it is for a city 
or sovereign to commit the ruling of his subjects' 
consciences to an enemy ; for they are, as hath 
been showed above in chap. v. art. 6, in an hostile 
state, whosoever have not joined themselves into 
the unity of one person. Nor contradicts it this 
truth, that they do not always fight : for truces are 
made between enemies. It is sufficient for an hos- 
tile mind, that there is suspicion ; that the frontiers 
of cities, kingdoms, empires, strengthened with 
garrisons, do with a fighting posture and counte- 
nance, though they strike not, yet as enemies mu- 


tually behold each other. Lastly, how unequal is CHAP.XVII. 
it to demand that, which by the very reason, of your < ~~ 11 ' 
demand you confess to be the right of another. I 
am the interpreter of Scriptures to you, who are 
the subject of another state. Why ? By what 
covenants passed between you and me ? By divine 
authority. Whence known ? Out of holy Scrip- 
ture : behold the book, read it. In vain, unless I 
may also interpret the same for myself. That in- 
terpretation therefore doth by right belong to me, 
and the rest of my private fellow-subjects ; which 
we both deny. It remains therefore that in all 
Christian Churches, that is to say, in all Christian 
cities, the interpretation of sacred Scripture, that 
is to say, the right of determining all controversies, 
depends on and derives from the authority of that 
man or council, which hath the sovereign power of 
the city. 

28. Now because there are two kinds of contro- A Christian 
versies : the one about spiritual matters, that is to Jjjft sSpfSw 
say, questions of faith, the truth whereof cannot bj clei ymeu ' 
be searched into by natural reason ; such are the 
questions concerning the nature and office of 
Christ, of rewards and punishments to come, of 
the sacraments, qf outward worship, and the like : 
the other, about questions of human science, whose 
truth is sought out by natural reason and syllo- 
gisms, drawn from the covenants of men, and 
definitions, that is to say, significations received 
by use and common consent of words ; such as 
are all questions of right and philosophy ; for ex- 
ample, when in matter of right it is questioned, 
whether there be a promise and covenant, or not, 
that is nothing else but to demand whether such 
words, spoken in such a manner, be by common 


CHAP.xvn. use and consent of the subjects a promise or cove- 
A Christian" nant; which if they be so called, then it is true 
eity must inter, that a contract is made ; if not. then it is false: 

pret Scriptures 

by clergymen, that truth therefore depends on the compacts and 
consents of men. In like manner, when it is de- 
manded in philosophy, whether the same thing 
may entirely be in divers places at once ; the de- 
termination of the question depends on the know- 
ledge of the common consent of men, about the 
signification of the word entire. For if men, 
when they say a thing is entirely somewhere, do 
signify by common consent that they understand 
nothing of the same to be elsewhere ; it is false 
that the same thing is in divers places at once. 
That truth therefore depends on the consents of 
men, and by the same re&son, in all other ques- 
tions concerning right and philosophy. And they 
who do judge that anything can be determined, 
contrary to this common consent of men concern- 
ing the appellations of things, out of obscure 
places of Scripture ; do also judge that the use of 
speech, and at once all human society, is to be 
taken away. For he who hath sold a whole 
field, will say he meant one whole ridge ; and will 
retain the rest as unsold. Nay, they take away 
reason itself ; which is nothing else but a search- 
ing out of the truth made by such consent. This 
kind of questions, therefore, need not be deter- 
mined by the city by way of interpretation of 
Scriptures ; for they belong not to God's Word, 
in that sense wherein the Word of God is taken 
for the Word concerning God ; that is to say, for 
the doctrine of the gospel. Neither is he who 
hath the sovereign power in the Church, obliged 


to employ any ecclesiastical doctors for the judg- CHAP.XVH. 
ing of any such kind of matters as these. But for A ^.'. -' ' 

x"u J*J* j* */! i Christian 

the deciding ot questions of faith, that is to say, city mit inter- 
concerning God, which transcend human capacity, 
we stand in need of a divine blessing, (that we 
may not be deceived at least in necessary points), 
to be derived from Christ himself by the imposi- 
tion of hands. For, seeing to the end we may 
attain to eternal salvation we are obliged to a 
supernatural doctrine, and which therefore it is 
impossible for us to understand; to be left so 
destitute as that we can be deceived in necessary 
points, is repugnant to equity. This infallibility 
our Saviour Christ promised (in those things 
which are necessary to salvation) to his apostles 
until the day of judgment ; that is to say, to the 
apostles, and pastors succeeding the apostles, who 
were to be consecrated by the imposition of hands. 
He therefore, who hath the sovereign power in the 
city, is obliged as a Christian, where there is any 
question concerning the mysteries of faith, to in- 
terpret the Holy Scriptures by clergymen lawfully 
ordained. And thus in Christian cities, the judg- 
ment both of spiritual and temporal matters be- 
longs unto the ci^il authority. And that man or 
council who hath the supreme power, is head both 
of tJw city and of the Church ; for a Church and a 
Christian city is but one thing. 




1. The difficulty propounded concerning the repugnancy of 
obeying God and men, is to be removed by the distinctions 
between the points necessary and not necessary to salvation. 
2. All things necessary to salvation, are contained in faith and 
obedience. 3. What kind of obedience that is, which is required 
of us. 4. What faith is, and how distinguished from profes- 
sion, from science, from opinion. 5. What it is to believe in 
Christ. 6. That that article alone, that Jesus is the Christ, is 
necessary to salvation ; is proved from the scope of the evan- 
gelists. 7. From the preachings of the apostles. 8. From 
the easiness of Christian religion. 9. From this also, that it is 
the foundation of faith. 10. From the roost evident words of 
Christ and his apostles. 1 1 . In that article is contained the 
faith of the Old Testament. 12. How faith and obedience 
concur to salvation. 13. In a Christian city, there is no con- 
tradiction between the commands of God and of the city. 
14. The doctrines which this day are controverted about reli- 
gion, do for the most part relate to the right of dominion. 

cHAp.xvm 1. IT was ever granted, that all authority in secu- 
'-. , * lar matters derived from him who had the sove- 

Ine aitncuity 

propounded reign power, whether he were one man or an 

concerning the i * / rm ^ ^i * i 

repugnance of assembly of men. That the same in spiritual 
matter* depended on the authority of . the Church, 
* s man tf est by the lastly foregoing proofs ; and be- 
the sides by this, that all Christian cities are Churches 
' endued with this kind of authority. From whence 

Baiyto*aivation. a man ^ ^^g^ but ^jj o f apprehension, may col- 
lect, that in a Christian city, that is to say, in a 
city whose sovereignty belongs to a Christian 
prince or council, all power, as well spiritual as 
secular, is united under Christ, and therefore it is 
to be obeyed in all things. But on the other side, 


because we must rather obey God than men, there CHAP.XVUI 
is a difficulty risen, how obedience may safely ^^^ 
be yielded to them, if at any time somewhat propounded 
should be commanded by them to be done which ^ugna* of 
Christ hath prohibited. The reason of this diffi- 
culty is, that seeing God no longer speaks to us by 
Christ and his prophets in open voice, but by the 
holy Scriptures, which by divers men are diversely 
understood ; they know indeed what princes and 
a congregated Church do command ; but whether 
that which they do command, be contrary to the 
word of God or not, this they know not ; but with 
a wavering obedience between the punishments of 
temporal and spiritual death, as it were sailing be- 
tween Scylla and Charybdis, they often run them- 
selves upon both. But they who rightly distin- 
guish between the things necessary to salvation, 
and those which are not necessary, can have none 
of this <kind of doubt. For if the command of the 
prince or city be such, that he can obey it without 
hazard of his eternal salvation, it is unjust not to 
obey them ; and the apostle's precepts take place 
(Col. iii. 20-22) : Children obey your parents in all 
things : servants in all things obey your masters 
according to the flesh. And the command of Christ 
(Matth. xxiii. 2-3) : The Scribes and Pharisees sit 
in Moses' chair ; all things therefore whatsoever 
they command you, that observe and do. On the 
contrary, if they command us to do those things 
which are punished with eternal death, it were 
madness not rather to choose to die a natural 
death, than by obeying to die eternally : and then 
comes in that which Christ says (Matth. x. 28) : 
Fear not them who kill the body, but cannot kill 


CHAp.xvin the soul. We must see, therefore, what all those 

' " "" things -are, which are necessary to salvation. 
AII things ne. 2. Now all things necessary to salvation are 

cewaiy to sal- i i i /? * 177- 

vation,arecon- comprehended in two virtues 9( /a}/A and obedience. 

The latter of these, if it could be perfect, would 
alone suffice to preserve us from damnation ; but 
because we have all of us been long since guilty of 
disobedience against God in Adam, and besides we 
ourselves have since actually sinned, obedience is 
not sufficient without remission of sins. But this, 
together with our entrance into the kingdom of 
heaven, is the reward of faith ; nothing else is re- 
quisite to salvation. For the kingdom of heaven 
is shut to none but sinners, that is to say, those 
who have not performed due obedience to the 
laws ; and not to those neither, if they believe the 
necessary articles of the Christian faith. Now, if 
we shall know in what points obedience doth con- 
sist, and which are the necessary articles of the 
Christian faith ; it will at once be manifest what 
w r e must do, and what abstain from, at the com- 
mand of cities and of princes. 

what kind 3. But by obedience in this place is signified not 

Utis,*hich the fact, but the will and desire wherewith we 

i required of us. p ur p 0ge ^ an( j en( j eavour as milch aS WC C|U1, tO 

obey for the future. In which sense the word 
obedience is equivalent to repentance ; for the 
virtue of repentance consists not in the sorrow 
which accompanies the remembrance of sin ; but in 
our conversion into the way, and full purpose to sin 
no more ; without which that sorrow is said to be 
the sorrow not of a penitent, but a desperate per- 
son* But because they who love God cannot but 
desire to obey the divine law, and they who love 


their neighbours cannot but desire to obey the CHAP.XVIU 
moral law ; which consists (as hath been showed __ 4 " 

^ WJtxat inna 

above in chap, in.) in the prohibition of pride, in- of obedience 
gratitude, contumely, inhumanity, cruelty, injury, \& required of u*. 
and the like offences, whereby our neighbours are 
prejudiced ; therefore also love, or charity, is equi- 
valent to the word obedience. Justice, also, which is 
a constant will of giving to every man his due, is 
equivalent with it. But \\\s& faith and repentance 
are sufficient for salvation, is manifest by the cove- 
nant itself of baptism. For they who were by 
Peter converted on the day of Pentecost, demand- 
ing him, what they should do : he answered (Acts 
ii. 38) : Repent and be baptized every one of you, 
in the name of Jesus, for the remission of your 
sins. There was nothing therefore to be done for 
the obtaining of baptism, that is to say, for to en- 
ter into the kingdom of God, but to repent and 
believe in tJie name of Jesus ; for the kingdom of 
heaven is promised by the covenant which is made 
in baptism. Furthermore, by the words of Christ, 
answering the lawyer who asked him what he 
should do to inherit eternal life (Luke xviii. 20) : 
Thou hnowest tlie commandments : Thou shalt not 
Mil, thon shalt not commit adultery, &c. : which 
refer to obedience ; and (Mark x. 21) : Sell all 
that thou hast, and come and follow me : which 
relates to faith. And by that which is said : The 
just shall live by faith ; not every man, but the 
just ; for justice is the same disposition of will 
which repentance and obedience are. And by the 
words of St. Mark(i. 15): The time is fulfilled, and 
the kingdom of God is at hand; repent ye, andbe* 
lieve the gospel; by which words is not obscurely 


CHAP.xvni signified, that there is no need of other virtues for 
' ' our entrance into the kingdom of .God, excepting 
those of repentance and faith. vThe obedience 
therefore which is necessarily required to salva- 
tion, is nothing else but the will or endeavour to 
obey ; that is to say, of doing according to the 
laws of God ; that is, the moral laws, which are 
the same to all men, and the civil laws ; that is to 
say, the commands of sovereigns in temporal mat- 
ters, and the ecclesiastical laws in spiritual.} Which 
two kinds of laws are divers in divers cities and 
Churches, and are known by their promulgation 
and public sentences. 

what faith 4. That we may understand what the Christian 

distinguished faith is, we must define faith in general ; and 
^msS^and distinguish it from those other acts of the mind, 
from opinion, wherewith commonly it is confounded. The ob- 
ject of faith universally taken, namely, for that 
which is believed, is evermore a proposition, that 
is to say, a speech affirmative or negative, which 
we grant to be true. But because propositions are 
granted for divers causes, it falls out that these 
kind of concessions are diversely called. But we 
grant propositions sometimes, which notwithstand- 
ing we receive not into our minds ; and this either 
for a time, to wit, so long, till by consideration of 
the consequences we have well examined the truth 
of them, which we call supposing ; or also simply, 
as through fear of the laws, which is to profess, 
or confess by outward tokens ; or for a voluntary 
compliance sake, which men use out of civility to 
those whom they respect, and for love of peace to 
others, which is absolute yielding. Now the pro- 
positions which we receive for truth, we always 


grant for some reasons of our own ; and these are CHAP.XVIII 

derived either from the proposition itself, or from What faith . 

the person propounding. They are derived from andhowdi*- 

the proposition itself, by calling to mind what tingui * Ud>&c 

things those words, which make up the proposi- 

tion, do by common consent usually signify. If 

so, then the assent which we give, is called know- 

ledge or science. But if we cannot remember 

what is certainly understood by those words, but 

sometimes one thing, sometimes another seem to 

be apprehended by us, then we are said to think. 

For example, if it be propounded that two and 

three make five ; and by calling to mind, that the 

order of numeral words is so appointed by the 

common consent of them who are of the same lan- 

guage with us, (as it were, by a certain contract 

necessary for human society), that^tf shall be the 

name of so many unities as are contained in two 

and three taken together, a man assent that this 

is therefore true, because two and three together 

are the same with five : this assent shall be called 

knowledge. And to know this truth is nothing 

else, but to acknowledge that it is made by our- 

selves. For by whose will and rules of speaking 

the number | | is called two, | j j is called three, and 

| | ) | | is called five ; by their will also it comes 

to pass that this proposition is true, two and 

three taken together make five. In like manner 

if we remember what it is that is called theft, and 

what injury ; we shall understand by the words 

themselves, whether it be true that theft is an in- 

jury, or not. Truth is the same with a true pro- 

position ; but the proposition is true in which the 

word consequent, which by logicians is called the 


CHAP.XVIII predicate, embraceth the word antecedent, in its 
mat faith 7s amplitude, which they call the subject. And to 

know truth, is the same thine as to remember that 

tinguiahed, &c. * IT, A i s f 

it was made by ourselves by the very usurpation of 
the words. Neither was it rashly nor unadvisedly 
said by Plato of old, that knowledge was memory. 
But it happens sometimes, that words although they 
have a certain and defined signification by consti- 
tution, yet by vulgar use either to adorn or deceive, 
they are so wrested from their own significations, 
that to remember the conceptions for which they 
were first imposed on things, is very hard, and not 
to be mastered but by a sharp judgment and very 
great diligence. It happens too that there are 
many words, which have no proper, determined, 
and everywhere the same signification; and are 
understood not by their own, but by virtue of 
other signs used together with them. Thirdly, 
there are some words of things unconceivable. Of 
those things, therefore, whereof they are the words, 
there is no conception ; and therefore in vain do 
we seek for the truth of those propositions, which 
they make out of the words themselves. In these 
cases, while by considering the definitions of words 
we search out the truth of some proposition, ac- 
cording to the hope we have of finding it, we think 
it sometimes true, and sometimes false ; either of 
which apart is called thinking, arid also believing ; 
both together, doubting. But when our reasons, 
for which we assent to some proposition, derive 
not from the proposition itself , but from the per- 
son propounding ', whom we esteem so learned that 
he is not deceived, and we see no reason why he 
should deceive us; our assent, because it grows 


not from any confidence of our own, but from CHAP.XVIH 
another man's knowledge, is called faith: And ' """"^ 
by the confidence of whom we do believe, we are 
said to trust them, or to trust in them. By what 
hath been said, the difference appears, first, be- 
tween faith and profession ; for that is always 
joined with inward assent ; this not always. That 
is an inward persuasion of the mind, this an out- 
ward obedience. Next, between faith and opinion ; 
for this depends on our own reason, that on the 
good esteem we have of another. Lastly, between 
faith and knowledge ; for this deliberately takes 
a proposition broken and chewed ; that swallows it 
down whole and entire. The explication of words, 
whereby the matter enquired after is propounded, 
is conducible to knowledge ; nay, the only way to 
know, is by definition. But this is prejudicial to 
faith ; for those things which exceed human capa- 
city, and are propounded to be believed, are never 
more evident by explication, but, on the contrary, 
more obscure and harder to be credited. And the 
same thing befalls a man, who endeavours to de- 
monstrate the mysteries of faith by natural reason, 
which happens to a sick man, who will needs chew 
before he will swallow his wholesome but bitter 
pills ; whence it comes to pass, that he presently 
brings them up again ; which perhaps would other- 
wise, if 'he had taken them well down, have proved 
his remedy. 

5. We have seen therefore what it is to believe, what it is to 
But what is it to believe in Christ ? Or what pro- beUeveinChrist 
position is that, which is the object of our faith in 
Christ ? For when we say, / believe in Christ, we 
signify indeed whom, but not what we believe. 



CHAP.XVIII Now, to believe in Christ is nothing else but to 
r ~ : ""' believe that Jesus is the Christ, namely, he who ac- 
cording to the prophecies of Moses and the prophets 
of Israel, was to come into this world to institute 
the kingdom of God. And this sufficiently ap- 
pears out of the words of Christ himself to Martha 
(John xi. 25-27) : / am, saith he, the resurrection 
and the life ; he that believeth in me, though he 
were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth 
and believeth in me, shall never die. Believest 
thou this ? She saith unto him, yea, Lord, I be- 
lieve that thou art the Christ the Son of God, 
which should come into the world. Tn which 
words, we see that the question, believest thou in 
me, is expounded by the answer, thou art the Christ. 
To believe in Christ therefore is nothing else but to 
believe Jesus himself, saying that he is the Christ. 
That that ar- 6. Faith and obedience both necessarily con- 
5eiLlTthe hat curring to salvation, what kind of obedience that 
Christ, isneces- same j s an( j to w } lom d ue i )a th been showed 

gary to salvation, ' y 

is proved out above in art. 3. But now we must enquire what 

the eva^geLts. articles of faith are requisite. And I say, that to 

a Christian* there is no other article of faith re- 

* / say, that to a Christian.'} Although I conceive this assertion 
to be sufficiently proved by the following reasons, yet I thought 
it worth my labour to make a more ample explication of it ; be- 
cause I perceive that being somewhat new, it may possibly be 
distasteful to many divines. First therefore, when I say this 
article, that Jesus is the Christ, is necessary to salvation ; I say 
not that faith only is necessary, but I require justice also, or that 
obedience which is due to the laws of God ; that is to say, a will 
lo live righteously. Secondly, I deny not but the profession of 
many articles, provided that that profession be commanded by the 
Church, is also necessary to salvation. But seeing faith is inter- 
nal, profession external, I say that the former only is properly 
faith ; the latter a part of obedience ; insomuch as that article 


quisite as necessary to salvation, but only this, CHAP.XVIH 
that Jesus is the Christ. But we must distin- ~~ ~ "~f , 

1 nat that article 

guish, as we have already done before in art. 4, aione,thatjesu 

? _ /. .,* j s* A * * the Christ, &c. 

between jaitti and profession. A profession, 
therefore, of more articles, if they be commanded, 
may be necessary ; for it is a part of our obedience 
due to the laws. But we enquire not now what 
obedience, but what f /inrfA is necessary to salvation. 
And this is proved, first, out of the scope of the 

alone sufficeth for inward belief, but is not sufficient for the out- 
ward profession of a Christian. Lastly, even as if I had said 
that true and inward repentance of sins was only necessary to 
salvation, yet were it not to be held for a paradox ; because we 
suppose justice, obedience, and a mind reformed in all manner of 
virtues to be contained in it. So when I say that the faith of one 
article is sufficient to salvation, it may well be less wondered at ; 
seeing that in it so many other articles are contained. For these 
words, Jesus is tlie Christ, do signify that Jesus was that person, 
whom God had promised by his prophets should come into the 
world to establish his kingdom ; that is to say, that Jesus is the 
Son of Gdd, the creator of heaven and earth, born of a virgin, 
dying for the sins of them who should believe in him ; that he 
was Christ, that is to say, a king ; that he revived (for else he 
were not like to reign) to judge the world, and to reward every 
one according to his works (for otherwise he cannot be a king) ; 
also that men*shall rise again, for otherwise they are not like to 
come to judgment. The whole symbol of the apostles is there- 
fore contained in this one article. Which, notwithstanding, I 
thought reasonable to contract thus; because I found that many 
men for this alone, without the rest, were admitted into the king- 
dom of God, both by Christ and his apostles ; as the thief on the 
cross, the eunuch baptized by Philip, the two thousand men con- 
verted to the Church at once by St. Peter. But if any man be 
displeased that I do not judge all those eternally damned, who do 
not inwardly assent to every article defined by the Church, and 
yet do not contradict, but, if they be commanded, do submit : I 
know not what I shall say to them. For the most evident testi- 
monies of Holy Writ, which do follow, do withhold me from 
altering my opinion. 

X 2 


CHAP.XVIII Evangelists, which was, by the description of our 
That tbit a7tkie Saviour's life, to establish this one article : and we 
alone, that Jesus s h a u know that such was the scope and counsel of 

is the Christ, &c. r _ .., 

the Evangelists, if we observe but the history itselt. 
St. Matthew (chap. L), beginning at his genealogy, 
shows that Jesus was of the lineage of David, born 
of a virgin : chap, ii., that he was adored by the 
wise men as king of the Jews ; that Herod for the 
same cause sought to slay him : chap, iii., iv., that 
his kingdom was preached both by John the Bap- 
tist and himself : chapters v. vi. vii., that he taught 
the laws, not as the Scribes, but as one having au- 
thority : chapters viii. ix., that he cured diseases 
miraculously : chap, x., that he sent his apostles, 
the preachers of his kingdom, throughout all the 
parts of Judea to proclaim his kingdom : chap, xi., 
that he commanded the messengers, sent from John 
to enquire whether he were the Christ or not, to 
tell him what they had seen, namely, the miracles 
which were only compatible with Christ : chap, xii., 
that he proved and declared his kingdom to the 
Pharisees and others by arguments, parables, and 
signs ; and the following chapters to xxi., that he 
maintained himself to be the Christ against the 
Pharisees: chap., xxi., that he was saluted with 
the title of king, when he entered into Jerusalem : 
chaps, xxii., xxiii., xxiv., xxv., that he forewarned 
others of false Christs ; and that he showed in 
parables what manner of kingdom his should be : 
chaps, xxvi. xxvii., that he was taken and accused 
for this reason, because he said he was a king ; and 
that a title was written on his cross, this is Jesus 
the king of the Jews : lastly, chap, xxviii., that 
after his resurrection, he told his apostles that all 


power was given unto him both in heaven and in CHAP.XVIH 
earth. All which tends to this end ; that we 'should ' ' 
believe Jesus to be the Christ. Such therefore was 
the scope of St. Matthew in describing his gospel. 
But such as his was, such also was the rest of the 
Evangelists; which St. John sets down expressly in 
the end of his gospel (John xx. 31) : These things, 
saith he, are written, that ye may know that Jesus 
is the Christ, the Son of the living God. 

7. Secondly, this is proved by the preaching of Bythe 
the apostles. For they were the proclaimers of his 8ennons 
kingdom ; neither did Christ send them to preach 
aught but the kingdom of God (Luke ix. 2 : Acts 

x. 42). And what they did after Christ's ascen- 
sion, may be understood by the accusation which 
was brought against them (Acts xvii. 6-7) - They 
drew Jason, saith St. Luke, and certain brethren 
unto the rulers of the city, crying, these are the 
men that have turned the world upside down, and 
are come hither also, whom Jason hath received ; 
and these all do contrary to the decrees of Casar, 
saying that there is another king, one Jesus. It 
appears also, what the subject of the apostle's ser- 
mon was, out of these words (Acts xvii. 2-3) : 
Opening and alleging out of the Scriptures (to 
wit, of the Old Testament) that Christ must needs 
have suffered and risen again from the dead; and 
that this Jesus is the Christ. 

8. Thirdly, by the places, in which the easiness By tu? easin 
of those things, which are required by Christ to the ilgion" 8 ** 11 
attaining of salvation, is declared. For if an inter- 
nal assent of the mind were necessarily required 

to the truth of all and each proposition, which this 
day is controverted about the Christian faith, or by 


CHAP.xvni divers churches is diversely defined ; there would 
' " ' be nothing more difficult than the Christian reli- 
gion. And how then would that be true (Matth. 
xi. 30) : My yoke is easy and my burden light ; 
and that (Matth. xviii. 6) : little ones do believe in 
him ; and that (1 Cor. i. 21): it pleased God by 
the foolishness of preaching, to save those that be- 
lieve ? Or how was the thief hanging on the cross 
sufficiently instructed to salvation, the confession 
of whose faith was contained in these words : Lord, 
remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom ? 
Or how could St. Paul himself, from an enemy, so 
soon become a doctor of Christians ? 

By this, that 9. Fourthly, by this, that that article is the foun- 
dation offdth. dation of faith ; neither rests it on any other foun- 
dation. Matth. xxiv. 23, 24 : If any man shall say 
unto you, Lo here is Christ, or he is there ; be- 
lieve it not. For there shall arise false Christs 
and false prophets, and shall show great signs 
and wonders, &c. Whence it follows, that for the 
faith's sake which we have in this article, we must 
not believe any signs and wonders. GaL i. S : 
Although we or an angel from heaven, saith the 
apostle, should preach to you any other gospel, 
than what we have preached ; let him be accursed. 
By reason of this article, therefore, we might not 
trust the very apostles and angels themselves, and 
therefore, I conceive, not the Church neither, if 
they should teach the contrary. 1 John iv. 1-2 : 
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits 
whether they are of God ; because many false 
prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby 
know ye the spirit of God; every spirit that con- 
fesseth Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of 


God, &c. That article therefore is the measure of CHAP.XVW 
the spirits, whereby the authority of the do.ctors is 
either received, or rejected. It cannot be denied, u 
indeed, but that all who at this day are Christians, datMmoff<uth - 
did learn from the doctors that it was Jesus, who did 
all those things whereby he might be acknow- 
ledged to be the Christ. Yet it follows not, that 
the s&ine persons believed that article for the doc- 
tor's or the Church's, but for Jesus' own sake. 
For that article was before the Christian Church, 
(Matth. xvi. 18) ^ although all the rest were after 
it ; and the Church was founded upon it, not it 
upon the Church. Besides, this article, that Jesus 
is the Christ^ is so fundamental, that all the rest 
are by St. Paul (1 Cor. iii. 11-15) said to be built 
upon it : For other foundation can no man lay, 
than that which is laid ; which is Jesus Christ ; 
that is to say, that Jesus is the Christ. Now if 
any man build upon this foundation, gold, silver, 
precious stones, wood, hay, stubble ; every man's 
work shall be made manifest ; if any man's work 
abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall re- 
ceive a reward ; if any man's work shall be burnt, 
he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved. 
From whence it plainly appears, that by founda- 
tion is understood this article, that Jesus is the 
Christ : for gold, and silver, precious stones, wood, 
hay, stubble, whereby the doctrines are signified, 
are not built upon the person of Christ : and also, 
that false doctrines may be raised upon this foun- 
dation; yet not so as they must necessarily be 
damned who teach them. 

10. Lastly, that this article alone is needful to 
be inwardly believed, may be most evidently proved 


CHAp.xviii out of many places of holy Scripture, let who will 
By the 'lain ^ e ^ interpreter. John v. 39 : Search the Scrip- 
.words of chnst tures ; for in them ye think ye have eternal life ; 
and they are they which testify of me. But 
Christ meant the Scriptures of the Old Testament 
only ; for the New was then not yet written. 
Now, there is no other testimony concerning 
Christ in the Old Testiment, but that an eternal 
king was to come in such a place, that he was to 
be born of such parents, that he was to teach and 
do such things whereby, as by certain signs, he 
was to be known. All which testify this one 
thing ; that Jesus who was so born, and did teach 
and do such things, was the Christ. Other faith 
then was not required to attain eternal life, besides 
this article, John xi. 26 : Whosoever liveth and 
bclieveth in me, shall never die. But to believe 
in Jesus, as is there expressed, is the same with 
believing that Jesus was the Christ. He therefore 
that believes that, shall never die ; and by conse- 
quence, that article alone is necessary to salvation. 
John xx. 31 : These are written, that ye might be- 
lieve that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God ; 
and that believing, ye might have life through his 
name. Wherefore he that believes thus, shall have 
eternal life ; and therefore needs no other faith. 
1 John iv. 2 : Every spirit, that coqfesseth that 
Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God. And 
1 John v. 1 : Whosoever believeth that Jesus is 
the Christ, is lorn of God. And verse 5 : Who is 
he that overcometh the world, but he that believe th 
that Jesus is the Son of God ? If therefore there 
be no need to believe anything else, to the end a 
man may be of God, born of God, and overcome 


the world, than that Jesus is the Christ ; that one CHAP.XVIII 
article then is sufficient to salvation. Acts viii. r "~"' 
36-37 : See, here is water ; what doth hinder me 
to be baptized 9 And Philip said, If thou be- 
lievest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And 
he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ 
is the Son of God. If then this article being be- 
lieved with the whole heart, that is to say, with in- 
ward faith, was sufficient for baptism ; it is also 
sufficient for salvation. Besides 'these places, there 
are innumerable others, which do clearly and ex- 
pressly affirm the same thing. Nay, wheresoever 
we read that our Saviour commended the faith of 
any one, or that he said, thy faith hath saved thee, 
or that he healed any one for his faith's sake; 
there the proposition believed was no other but 
this, Jesus is the Christ, either directly or conse- 

11. But because no man can believe Jesus to fo in IMS article 
the Christ, who, when he knows that by Christ is the faith of the 
understood that same king, who was promised from Old Testament - 
God by Moses and the prophets for to be the king 
and Saviour of the world, doth not also believe Moses 
and the prophets ; neither can he believe these, 
who believes not that God is, and that lie governs 
the world; it is necessary, that the faith of God 
and of the Old Testament be contained in this 
faith of the New. Seeing therefore that atheism, 
and the denial of the Divine Providence, were the 
only treason against the Divine Majesty in the 
kingdom of God by nature ; but idolatry also in 
the kingdom of God by the old covenant ; now in 
this kingdom, wherein God rules by way of a new 
covenant, apostacy is also added, or the renuncia- 


ciiAP.xvm tion of this article once received, that Jesus is the 
' Christ. Truly other doctrines, provided they have 
their determination from a lawful Church, are not 
to be contradicted ; for that is the sin of disobe- 
dience. But it hath been fully declared before, that 
they are not needful to be believed with an inward 
HOW faith ana 12. Faith and obedience have divers parts in ac- 

obedience do ,. _ . _ . ^ _.. . . ^ 

concur to soi- complishmg the salvation ot a Christian ; for this 
vation. contributes the power or capacity, that the act ; 
and either is said to justify in its kind. For Christ 
forgives not the sins of all men, but of the peni- 
tent or the obedient, that is to say, the just. I 
say not the guiltless, but the,;^ ; for justice is a 
willjof obeying the laws, and may be consistent 
with a sinner ; and with Christ, the will to obey is 
obedience. For not every man, but the just shall 
live by faith. Obedience therefore justifies, be- 
cause it mdketh just ; in the same manner as 
temperance maketh temperate, prudence prudent, 
chastity chaste ; namely, essentially ; and puts a 
man in such a state, as makes him capable of par- 
don. Again, Christ hath not promised forgiveness 
of sins to all just men; but only those of them 
who believe him to be the Christ. Faith therefore 
justifies in such a sense as a judge may be said to 
justify, who absolves, namely, by the sentence 
which actually saves a man ; and in this acception 
of justification (for it is an equivocal term) faith 
alone justifies ; but in the other, obedience only. 
(But neither obedience alone, nor faith alone, do 
I save us ; but both together. 
in a Christian is. By what hath been said hitherto, it will be 

city there is no , . - _ _^ . . . 

contrariety be- easy to discern what the duty of Christian subjects 


is towards their sovereigns ; who, as long as they CHAP.XVIII 
profess themselves Christians, cannot command ^ ^ ^ 
their subjects to deny Christ, or to offer him any mandofGod, 
contumely : for if they should command this, they "* 
would profess themselves to be no Christians. For 
seeing we have showed, both by natural reason and 
out of holy Scriptures, that subjects ought in all 
things to obey their princes and governors, ex- 
cepting those which are contrary to the command 
of God ; and that the commands of God, in a 
Christian city, concerning temporal affairs, that 
is to say, those which are to be discussed by hu- 
man reason, are the laws and sentence of the city, 
delivered from those who have received authority 
from the city to make laws and judge of contro- 
versies ; but concerning spiritual matters, that is 
to say, those which are to be defined by the holy 
Scripture, are the laws and sentences of the city, 
that is to say, the Church, (for a Christian city and 
a Church, as hath been showed in the foregoing 
chapter, art. 10, are the same thing), delivered by 
pastors lawfully ordained, and who have to that 
end authority given them by the city ; it mani- 
festly follows, that in a Christian commonweal 
obedience is due to the sovereign in all things, as 
well spiritual as temporal. And that the same 
obedience, even from a Christian subject, is due in 
all temporal matters to those princes who are no 
Christians, is without any controversy ; but in mat- 
ters spiritual, that is to say, those things which 
concern God's worship, some Christian Church is to 
be followed. For it is an hypothesis of the Chris- 
tian faith, that God speaks not in things super- 
natural but by the way of Christian interpreters 


CHAP.XVIII of holy Scriptures. But what ? ( Must we resist 
princes, when we cannot obey them ? Truly, no ; 
for this is clntrary to our civil covenant. What 
must we do then ? Go to Christ by martyrdom ; 
which if it seem to any man to be a hard saying, 
most certain it is that he believes not with his 
whole heart, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of 
the living God ; for he would then desire to be 
dissolved, and to be with Christ ; but he would by a 
feigned Christian faith elude that obedience, which 
he hath contracted to yield unto the city. 
^hichTwTda 8 14 * ^ ut some men perhaps will wonder, if (ex- 
are controvert, ccpting this one article, that Jesus is the Christ, 

ed about reli- , . . _ . ' . . . 9 

gion, do for the which only is necessary to salvation in relation to 
^fright 1 8 internal faith) all the rest belong to obedience; 
dominion. which may be performed, although a man do not 
inwardly believe, so he do but desire to believe, 
and make an outward profession, as oft as need re- 
quires, of whatsoever is propounded by the Church ; 
how it comes about that there are so many tenets, 
which are all held so to concern our faith, that ex- 
cept a man do inwardly believe them, he cannot 
enter into the kingdom of heaven. But if he con- 
sider that, in most controversies, the contention is 
. about human sovereignty ; in some, matter of gain 
and profit ; in others, the glory of wits : he will 
surely wonder the less. The question about the 
propriety of the Church, is a question about the 
right of sovereignty. For it being known what a 
Church is, it is known at oijce to whom the rule 
over Christains doth belong. x For if every Christian 
city be that Church, which Christ himself hath com- 
manded every Christian, subject to that city, to 
hear ; then every subject is bound to obey his city, 


that is to say, him or them who have the supreme CHAP.XVIH 
power, not only in temporal, but also in spiritual Thedo j trijM J 
matters. But if every Christian city be not that which thaa : 
Church, then is there some other Church more JT 
universal, which must be obeyed. All Christians gion> 
therefore must obey that Church, just as they 
would obey Christ, if he came upon earth. It will 
therefore rule either by the way of monarchy, 
or by some assembly. This question then con- 
cerns the right of ruling. To -the same end be- 
longs the question concerning infallibility. For 
whosoever were truly and internally believed by 
all mankind, that he could not err, would be sure 
of all dominion, as well temporal as spiritual, over 
all mankind, unless himself would refuse it. For 
if he say that he must be obeyed in temporals , be- 
cause it is supposed he cannot err, that right of 
dominion is immediately granted him. Hither 
also tends the privilege of interpreting Scriptures. 
For he to whom it belongs to interpret the con- 
troversies arising from the divers interpretations 
of Scriptures, hath authority also simply and abso- 
lutely to determine all manner of controversies 
whatsoever. But he who hath this, hath also the 
command over all men who acknowledge the 
Scriptures to be the word of God. To this end 
drive all the disputes about the power of remitting 
and retaining sins ; or the authority of excommu- 
nication. For every man, if he be in his wits, will 
in all things yield that man an absolute obedience, 
by virtue of whose sentence he believes himself to 
be either saved or damned. Hither also tends the 
power of instituting societies. For they depend 
on him by whom they subsist, who hath as many 


CHAP.XVIII subjects as monks, although living in an enemy's 

The doJtrines c **y* T ^it: n 4 also refers the question con- 
wWch this day cerninff th& judfce of lawful matrimony. For he 

awcontrovert. , J*jf . * J . y . 

ed about reii- to whom tmt judicature belongs, to him also per- 
gioo,<fcc. tsujfc the knowledge of all those eases which con- 
cern the inheritance and succession of all the 
goods and rights, not of private men only, but also 
of sovereign princes. And hither also in some 
respect tends the virgin life of ecclesiastical per- 
sons ; for unmarried men have less coherence than 
others with civil society. And besides, it is an in- 
convenience not to be slighted, that princes must 
either necessarily forego the priesthood, which is 
a great bond of civil obedience ; or have no here- 
ditary kingdom. To this end also tends the ca- 
nonization of saints, which the heathen called 
apotheosis. For he that can allure foreign subjects 
with so great a reward, may bring those who are 
greedy of such glory, to dare and do anything. 
For what was it but an honourable name with pos- 
terity, which the Decii and other Romans sought 
after ; and a thousand others, who cast themselves 
upon incredible perils ? The controversies about 
purgatory, and indulgences, are matter of gain. 
The questions of free-will, justification* and the 
manner of receiving Christ in the sacrament, are 
philosophical. There are also questions concern- 
ing some rites not introduced, but left in the 
Church not sufficiently purged from Gentilism. 
But we need reckon no more. All the world 
knojvj^that such is the nature of men, that dissent- 
ing IJfiMieBtions which concern their power, or 
prqfljJMlt- ^pre-eminence of wit, they slander and 
curse eaoh other. It is not therefore to be won- 


dered at, if almost all tenets, auer men grew hot CHAP.XVIU 
with disputings, are held forth by some orjjther Thedo ^ rijies 
to be necessary to salvation and for our entrance which thb any 
into the kingdom of heaven. Insomuch as theyl^utoutreiL 
who hold them not, are not only condemned as gion ' &c * 
guilty of disobedience ; which in truth they are, 
after the Church hath once defined them ; but of 
infidelity : which I have declared above to be 
wrong, out of many evident places of Scripture. 
To which I add this one of Saint Paul's (Rom. xiv. 
3, 5) : Let not him that eateth, despise him that 
eateth not, and let not him that eateth not, judge 
him that eateth ; for God hath received him. One 
man esteemeth one day above another, another 
esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be 
fully persuaded in his own mind. 


i ON DUN: