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that had the name of kings in Sparta, Arragon, England, Poland, and other places. They, therefore, that did thus institute, regulate, and restrain, create magistracies, and give them names and powers, as seemed best to them, could not but have in themselves the coercive as well as the directive over them; for the regulation and restriction is coercion; but most of all the institution, by which they could make them to be or not to be. As to the exterior force, it is sometimes on the side of the magistrate, and sometimes on that of the people; and as magistrates, under several names, have the same work incumbent upon them, and the same power to perform it, the same duty is to be exacted from them, and rendered to them which being distinctly proportioned by the laws of every country, I may conclude, that all magistratical power, being the ordinance of man, in pursuance of the ordinance of God, receives its being and measure from the legislative power of every nation. And whether the power be placed simply in one, a few, or many men; or in one body, composed of the three simple species; whether the single person be called king, duke, marquis, emperor, sultan, mogul, or grand seignior; or the number go under the name of senate, council, pregadi, diet, assembly of estates, and the like, it is the same thing. The same obedience is equally due to all, whilst, according to the precept of the apostle, they do the work of God for our good and if they depart from it, no one of them has a better title than the other to our obedience.
LAWS WERE MADE TO DIRECT AND INSTRUCT MAGISTRATES; AND, IF THEY WILL NOT BE DIRECTED, TO RESTRAIN THEM.
I KNOW not who they are, that our author introduces to say, that "the first invention of laws was to bridle or moderate the over-great power of kings ;" and, unless they give some better proof of their judgment in other things, shall little esteem them. They should have considered, that there are laws in many places where there are no kings; that there were laws in many before there were kings; as in Israel, the law was given three hundred years before they had any; but most especially, that as no man can be a rightful king, except by law, nor have any just power, but from the law, if that power be found to be over-great, the law that gave it must have been before that which was to moderate, or restrain it; for that could not be moderated, which was not in being. Leaving, therefore, our author to fight with these adversaries, if he pleases, when he finds them, I shall proceed to examine his own positions. "The truth is," says he, "the original of laws was, for the keeping of the multitude in order. Popular estates could not subsist at all without laws, whereas kingdoms were governed many ages without them. The people of Athens, as soon as they gave over kings, were forced to give power to Draco first, then to Solon, to
make them laws." If we will believe him, therefore, wheresoever there is a king, or a man who, by having power in his hands, is in the place of a king, there is no need of law. He takes them all to be so wise, just, and good, that they are laws to themselves, "leges viventes." This was certainly verified by the whole succession of the Cæsars, the ten last kings of Pharamond's race, all the successors of Charles the Great, and others, that I am not willing to name; but, referring myself to history, I desire all reasonable men to consider, whether the piety and tender care, that were natural to Caligula, Nero, or Domitian, was such a security to the nations that lived under them, as without law to be sufficient for their preservation: for, if the contrary appears to be true, and that their government was a perpetual exercise of rage, malice, and madness, by which the worst of men were armed with power to destroy the best, so that the empire could only be saved by their destruction, it is most certain, that mankind can never fall into a condition, which stands more in need of laws to protect the innocent, than when such monsters reign, who endeavour their extirpation, and are too well furnished with means to accomplish their detestable designs. Without any prejudice, therefore, to the cause that I defend, I might confess, that all nations were at the first governed by kings, and that no laws were imposed upon those kings, till they, or the successors of those, who had been advanced for their virtues, by falling into vice and corruption, did manifestly discover the inconveniences of depending upon their will. Besides these, there are also chil
dren, women, and fools, that often came to the succession of kingdoms, whose weakness and ignorance stand in as great need of support and direction, as the desperate fury of the others can do of restriction. And if some nations had been so sottish, not to foresee the mischief of leaving them to their will, others, or the same, in succeeding ages discovering them, could no more be obliged to continue in so pernicious a folly, than we are to live in that wretched barbarity, in which the Romans found our ancestors when they first entered this island.
If any man say, that Filmer does not speak of monsters, nor of children, women, or fools, but of wise, just, and good princes: I answer, that if there be an inherent right in kings, as kings, of doing what they please; and in those who are next in blood, to succeed them and inherit the same, it must belong to all kings, and such as upon title of blood would be kings. And as there is no family that may not, and does not, often produce such as I mentioned, it must also be acknowledged in them; and that power which is left to the wise, just, and good, upon a supposition that they will not make an ill use of it, must be devolved to those who will not, or cannot, make a good one; but will either maliciously turn it to the destruction of those they ought to protect, or through weakness suffer it to fall into the hands of those that govern them; who are found by experience to be for the most part the worst of all, most apt to use the basest arts, and to flatter the humours, and foment the vices, that are most prevalent in weak and vicious
princes. Germanicus, Corbulo, Valerius Asiaticus, Thraseas, Soranus, Helvidius Priscus, Julius Agricola, and other excellen tmen, lived in the times of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero: but the power was put into the hands of Sejanus, Macro, Tigellinus, and other villains like to them: and I wish there were not too many modern examples to shew, that weak and vicious princes will never chuse such as will preserve nations from the mischiefs that would ensue from their own incapacity or malice; but that they must be imposed upon them by some other - power, or nations be ruined for want of them. This imposition must be by law, or by force. But as laws are made to keep things in good order, without the necessity of having recourse to force, it would be a dangerous extravagance to arm that prince with force, which probably in a short time must be opposed by force; and those who have been guilty of this error, as the kingdoms of the east, and the ancient Roman empire, where no provision was made by law against ill-governing princes, have found no other remedy than to kill them, when by extreme sufferings they were driven beyond patience; and this fell out so often, that few of their princes were observed to die by a common death. But since the empire was transmitted to Germany, and the emperors restrained by laws, that nation has never been brought to the odious extremities of suffering all manner of indignities, or revenging them upon the heads of princes. And if the Pope had not disturbed them upon the account of religion, nor driven their princes to disturb others, they might have passed many