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may learn from thence, why that name is sometimes given to those who are eminent in political bodies, and to whom it does belong.
Some men account the head to be so absolutely the seat of all the senses, as to derive even that of feeling, which is exercised in every part, from the brain; but I think it is not doubted that all the rest have both their seat and function in the head; and whatsoever is useful or hurtful to a man, is by them represented to the understanding; as Aristotle says, Nihil est intellectu, quod non sit prius in sensu.” This is properly the part of every magistrate: he is the sentinel of the public, and is to represent what he discovers beneficial or hurtful to the society; which office belongs not only to the supreme, but proportionably to the subordinate. In this sense were the chief men among the Israelites called "heads of their father's house, choice and mighty men of valour, chiefs of the princes."* And in the following chapter mention is made of "nine hundred and fifty Benjamites, chief men in the house of their fathers." These men exercised a charitable care over such as were inferior to them in power and valour, without any shadow of sovereignty, or possibility that there could be so many sovereigns: and such as were under their care are said to be their brethren; which is not a word of majesty and domination, but of dearness and equality. The name, therefore, of head, may be given to a sovereign, but
* 1 Chron. vii. 40.
it implies nothing of sovereignty; and must be exercised with charity, which always terminates in the good of others. The head cannot correct or chastise; the proper work of that part is only to indicate; and he who takes upon him to do more is not the head. A natural body is homogeneous, and cannot subsist, if it be not so. We cannot take one part of a horse, another of a bear, and put upon them the head of a lion; for it would be a monster, that would have neither action nor life. The head must be of the same nature with the other members, or it cannot subsist. But the lord or master differs in species from his servants and slaves: he is not, therefore, properly their head.
Besides, the head cannot have a subsistence without the body, nor any interest contrary to that of the body; and it is impossible for any thing to be good for the head, that is hurtful to the body. A prince, therefore, or magistrate, who sets up an interest in himself distinct from, or repugnant to, that of the people, renounces the title or quality of their head. Indeed, Moses was the head of the Israelites: for when God threatened to destroy that people, and promised to make him a great nation, he waved the particular advantages offered to himself, interceded for them, and procured their pardon. Yet he was not able to bear the weight of the government alone; but desired that some might be appointed to assist him. Gideon was the head of the same people; but he would not reign himself, nor suffer his sons to
reign over them. Samuel was also their head; he took nothing from any man, defrauded none, took bribes from no man, oppressed none; God and the people were his witnesses; he blamed them for their rebellion against God in asking a king, but was no way concerned for himself, or his family. David likewise had a right to that title; for he desired, that God would spare the people, and turn the effect of his anger against himself, and the house of his father. But Rehoboam was not their head; for though he acknowledged, that his father had laid a heavy yoke upon them, yet he told them he would add to the weight; and that if his father had chastised them with whips, he would chastise them with scorpions. The head is no burden to the body, and can lay none upon it; the head cannot chastise any member; and he who does so, be it more or less, cannot be the head. Jeroboam was not the head of the revoltingtribes; for the head takes care of the members, and to provide for the safety of the whole; but he, through fear that the people going to Jerusalem to worship should return to the house of David, by setting up idols to secure his own interests drew guilt and destruction upon them. Though it should be granted, that Augustus, by a gentle use of his power, had in a manner expiated the detestable villanies committed in the acquisition, and had truly deserved to be called the head of the Romans; yet that title could no way belong to Caligula, Claudius, Nero, or Vitellius, who neither had the qualities required in the head, nor the understanding or will to perform the office. Nay, if I should carry the matter father, and
acknowledge that Brutus, Cincinnatus, Fabius, Camillus, and others, who, in the time of their annual or shorter magistracies, had by their vigilance, virtue, and care to preserve the city in safety, and to provide for the public good, performed the office of the head, and might deserve the name; I might justly deny it to the greatest princes that have been in the world, who having their power for life, and leaving it to descend to their children, have wanted the virtues required for the performance of their duty; and I should less fear to be guilty of an absurdity in saying, that a nation might every year change its head, than that he can be the head, who cares not for the members, nor understands the things that can conduce to their good, most especially if he set up an interest in himself against them. It cannot be said, that these are imaginary cases, and that no prince does these things; for the proof is too easy, and the examples too numerous. Caligula could not have wished the Romans but one head, that he might cut it off at once, if he had been that head, and had advanced no interest contrary to that of the members. Nero had not burned the city of Rome, if his concernments had been inseparably united to those of the people. He who caused above three hundred thousand of his innocent, unarmed subjects, to be murdered, and filled his whole kingdom with fire and blood, did set up a personal interest repugnant to that of the nation; and no better testimony can be required to shew that he did so, than a letter written by his son, to take off the penalty due to one of the chief ministers of those cruelties, for this reason,
that what he had done, was "by the command, and for the service of his royal father." King John did not pursue the advantage of his people, when he endeavoured to subject them to the Pope, or the Moors. And whatever prince seeks assistance from foreign powers, or makes leagues with any stranger or enemy for his own advantage against his people, however secret the treaty may be, declares himself not to be the head, but an enemy to them. The head cannot stand in need of an exterior help against the body, nor subsist when divided from it. He, therefore, that courts such an assistance, divides himself from the body; and if he do subsist, it must be by a life he has in himself distinct from that of the body, which the head cannot have.
But besides these enormities, that testify the most wicked rage and fury, in the highest degree, there is another practice, which no man that knows the world, can deny to be common with princes, and incompatible with the nature of a head. The head cannot desire to draw all the nourishment of the body to itself, nor more than a due proportion. If the rest of the parts are sick, weak, or cold, the head suffers equally with them; and, if they perish, must perish also. Let this be compared with the actions of many princes we know, and we shall soon see which of them are heads of the people If the gold brought from the Indies, has been equally distributed by the kings of Spain to the body of that nation, I consent they may be called the heads. If the kings of France assume no more of the riches of