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the examples illuftrating them, which are too extenfive however to be here introduced. This chapter contains above 60 pages, and deferves the attention, not only of thofe who would understand the meaning of a law, but even of those who would enter into the fenfe and fpirit of any other compofition.
Let us therefore proceed to the eighth chapter, the title of which is, of Civil Subjection, and Civil Liberty. The notion of fubjection confifts in being obliged to act at the dif cretion, or according to the judgment and will of others. When therefore the matter of an obligation, founded in compact, is left in any refpect to be determined by the difcretion and choice of thofe to whom we become thus obliged; the compact, in fo far as it thus gives them a right to judge for us, and prefcribe to us, gives them alfo an authority over us, and places us in a state of subjection to this authority. And as to civil liberty, the Doctor places it in this light: The individuals, fays he, in a free ftate, are not free from civil fubjection, any more than they are in any other ftate. But in a free ftate, the collective body of the whole fociety is free, or not under any fubjection; becaufe the collective body in fuch a state, is not bound by any act of legiflation, in which it does not immediately and directly concur, either by itself, or by its reprefentatives. This general body, which is usually called the people, does not indeed referve to itself a full power of legiflation; but it referves fuch an independent power, as prevents its fubjection: for tho' it has not a power of making Jaws by its own judgment and will, yet without its own judg ment and will, fignified by its reprefentatives, no laws will be binding upon it. Having defined and afcertained the notions of fubjection and liberty, he thus candidly introduces, and dexterously obviates, the following objection; an objection arifing feemingly out of his own principles. You may therefore afk, perhaps, continues he, of what importance it is to individuals, what form of government they live under, if an abfolute monarchy, or an abfolute Ariftocracy, whilft they take away the civil liberty of the whole collective body, leave the feveral members the fame right to their civil liberty that they would have had under a popular conftitution? The anfwer to this queftion is obvious: There is a wide difference between the right of individuals to their civil liberty, and their enjoyment of that liberty in fact. Under every form of go vernment civil liberty is the fame in right, but there is not the fame fecurity under every form, that it will be fo in fact. For tho' the members of a civil fociety are not flaves in right to
an abfolute Monarch; yet is he in fuch a fituation, as gives him opportunity, and arms him with ftrength, to treat them in fact, as if they were his flaves. It is poffible that a fovereign Prince, who has abfolute power, may make the general good of his people the measure of his conduct. But it is likewife poffible that he may hold the oppofite conduct; and inftead of regarding their intereft, compel them, as if they were his faves, to advance a feparate interest of his own. The feveral members of the fociety, in fuch a fituation, do not enjoy their civil Liberty; for tho' the nature of the conftitution does not take it from them of right, yet the injuftice of him who adminifters the constitution, takes it from them in fact. Since, therefore, in the nature of the thing there is a poffibility, and fince from the general temper of mankind there is fome likelihood, that where all is left to the will of one man, the truft reposed in him will be abused, it is neceffary, in order to fecure the civil Liberty of the feveral Mem→ bers in fact, to preserve and maintain the civil Liberty of the collective body, by giving it fuch weight and influence in the legiflative, that nothing can be done there without its confent, or without the confent of its reprefentatives: For the civil Liberty of the whole collective body, is the support and se'curity of the civil Liberty of the feveral parts or members; and the loss of the former in right, will commonly be attended with the lofs of the other in fact.
Having explained, confirmed, and established the doctrine of Liberty, he adorns Liberty itself, like another Pallas, with a fword and shield; or, to speak lefs figuratively, fubjoins the doctrine of Refiftance to that of Liberty. The power of civil Governors, as the Doctor well obferves, is neither necesfarily connected with their perfons, nor infinite_in_extent. "It ceafes by abdication, is over-ruled by the laws of God and Nature, and cannot reach beyond the limits, which either the civil constitution, or the ends of focial union, have prescribed to it. This power, therefore, of civil Governors fails of right, that is, they become deprived of all juft authority, when they abdicate their power; when they command what is contrary to the laws of God and Nature; when they ufurp any branch of power, which the conftitution of their country never gave; or when they exercise a power which is inconfiftent with the ends of focial union, and which confequently no civil conftitution whatsoever could give. When their power thus fails, and when they become thus deprived of authority, the fubjection of the people ceafes. The force which Governors then employ, whether to compel obedience,
or to punifh difobedience, is unjuft force; and altho' the people may, perhaps, fubmit to it, if they pleafe; yet, because the force is unjuft, the law of Nature does not oblige them to it, but allows them to have recourfe to the neceflary means of relieving themselves from it, and of fecuring themselves against it; to the means of refiftance, by oppofing force to force. Yet this right or liberty of refiftance, is not properly, according to the Doctor's notion of it, a civil power, but a natural right. It is not an authority given to the people by the civil union, but it is what remained of natural Liberty, exempted from the obligations of that union. The fupreme power of Governors is a civil power; the right which the people have to refift tyrannical oppreffion is a natural right. The fupreme power of Governors arofe from civil union, and was vested in them by the law or compact which formed the constitution: the right which the people have to refift tyrannical oppreffion arofe from Nature, and fubfifts during civil union, by means of those limits fixed to all civil power, by the ends and purposes of fuch union. Hence, adds the Doctor, we may understand what it is that puts the difference between rebellion and fuch refiftance as is lawful. It is rebellion to refift the fupreme Governors, whilft they keep within the natural limitations of fupreme power, and only command or enforce what is neceflary, or conducive to the general welfare and fecurity: whereas the refiftance which is lawful, is a refiftance to thefe Governors, when they abuse the natural ftrength which the fupreme power has put into their hands, to the unfocial purpofes of tyranny and oppreffion.
The Doctor concludes this chapter, wherein he hath fo clearly fixed the boundaries of power and authority on the one fide, and of liberty and fubjection on the other, with vindicating the doctrine of refiftance from certain pernicious confequences endeavoured to be deduced from it, and drawn up in array against it, as, arguments ab abfurdo. Our fummary of what the Doctor hath faid in reply, will fufficiently intimate, to the intelligent reader, what those reasonings are, tho' they do not here appear in form.
When the Governors of a State, who have the keeping of the public understanding, and act with the public force, injure the members of it by tyranny and lawless oppreffion; the focial means of redrefs fail, and no other means are left, befides that of resistance. It is true, indeed, that in a fociety, where the people have recourfe to this, there is no focial peace and order. But it is equally true, that the focial peace and order are not broken in upon by fuch refiftance, but were already 8 broken
broken in upon by tyranny and oppreffion. Some fort of peace and fubordination may, indeed, fubfift in a civil fociety, notwithstanding the Governors of it violate all the focial rights of the people; provided the people will fit ftill, and quietly fubmit to injuries. But this is not focial peace and order; for these are disturbed by tyranny and oppreffion. The right of refiftance, therefore, as it does not take place till focial peace and order are thus disturbed, cannot be the cause which difturbs them: it finds them difturbed already; and its proper end is, to reftore them for the prefent, and to fecure them for the future.
That a right may be abused, does not prove, that no such right exifts. If we conclude, on the one hand, that the people have no right of refiftance, because this right is capable of being abufed; we might for the fame reafon conclude, on the other hand, that fupreme Governors have no authority. The right of refiftance will, indeed, render the general notion of rebellion lefs extenfive in its application to particular facts. All ufe of force against persons, invefted with fupreme power, would come under the notion of rebellion, had the people no right of this fort; whereas, if they have fuch a right, the ufe of force to repel tyrannical and unfocial oppreffion, when it cannot be removed by any other means, must have fome other name given it. So that however true it may be, that, in confequence of this right, fupreme Governors will be liable to fome external checks, arifing out of the law of Nature, to which otherwise they would not be liable; yet it cannot be properly faid to expofe them to rebellion. The fecurity of civil Governors depends, partly upon the confciences of their subjects, and partly upon the natural strength and influence which they have in their hands. The ties of confcience procure them obedience and fubmiffion upon a principle of duty; and the strength and influence, which go along with their office, procure the like obedience and fubmiffion from fuch as would difregard their duty, were it not enforced by compulfion. They will have this latter fecurity to guard their perfons, and fupport their authority, whether the people have a right of refiftance or not. And, in fact, there is more danger of Governors making an undue use of their strength and influence, to fupport themfelves when they do wrong, than of their wanting a fufficient fecurity against any attempts. of faction, when they do right: and it is more likely, that they fhould have it in their power to compel the people to submit to unfocial oppreffion, than that they fhould be in danger of being hurt by rebellion, under a pretence of a right to resist
ance. But even this very, ftrength and influence, great and extenfive as it is, is not their only fecurity; for, fo long as they pay a due regard to the common good, the principle of confcience, than which there is not a ftronger and more univerfal, will procure them focial obedience and fubmiffion, and fupport their authority.
The Law of Nations is what next falls under the Doctor's notice; and of this he treats in the ninth chapter. However, as he himself looks upon the Law of Nations to be much the fame with the Law of Nature, as it takes place among independent individuals, and which makes the fubject of his whole fir volume; and as he introduces the Law of Nations into this fecond volume, among the pofitive laws of human infti. tution, rather in complaifance to Grotius, and as his Commentator, than that he thought this the proper place for it we should have entirely paffed over this chapter, had it not been for a particular article in it, which affords us the pleafure of taking part with the Doctor in oppofition to Grotius, The queftion between them is this; Whether it would be lawful for a State, in order to preferve itself from being deftroyed, to deliver one of its members, who had committed no crime, into the hands of a powerful enemy? Grotius affirms this to be lawful, on the part of the State; our Aur thor denies it, but with caution and referve, and after having made many conceffions. He reafons thus: Tho' no per fon has a right to withdraw himself from the State or Go vernment to which he belongs, unless the public either exprefsly, or tacitly, confents to it; yet, whenever the State is in fuch circumstances as not to be able to afford protection, which is the end of the focial union, the obligation of the fo cial compact will thus be fuperfeded, and he will be at liberty to provide for himself by quitting the fociety. A like neceffity on the part of the fociety, as when it cannot defend itself, fhould it undertake the defence of fome particular perfon belonging to it, will juftify the withdrawing of protection: and this conduct does no damage to the individual: for, if the fociety could not défend itfelf, without deferting him, it certainly could not defend him, were it ever fo willing. But the.no alon of deferting a fubject, differs widely from that of deliver, ing him into the enemy's hands. A right only to defert him, leaves him at liberty to provide for his own fafety; whereas a right to deliver him up, implies an obligation on his part to fubmit to be delivered, and a right in the fociety to feize him by force, and prevent his efcape. The topics, continues the Doctor, commonly made ufe of, in this question, are, on one