« VorigeDoorgaan »
is the worst and newest opinion of LOCKE ON GOVERNMENT. all others; and is the chief cause [Continued from Page 165.] why sects and schisms do so much abound, and true knowledge is kept at distance from us; besides yet a
Of Paternal Power, greater danger which is init. For when 52. It may perhaps he censured as God shakes a kingdom, with strong of this nature, to find fault with words
an impertinent criticism, in a discourse and healthful commotions, to a geo and names, that have obtained in the neral reforming, it is not untrue that world : and yet possibly it may not be many sectaries and false teachers are
amiss to offer new ones, when the old then busiest in seducing. But yet are apt to lead men into mistakes, as more true it is, that God then raises this of paternal power probably has to his own work men of rare abilities, done, which seems so to place the
powand more than common industry,
er of parents over their children wholly not only to look back and revise share in it; whereas, if we consult rea
in the father, as if the mother had no what hath been taught heretofore,
son or revelation, we shall find, she hath but to gain further, and to go on an equal title. This may give one reasome new enlightened steps in the son to ask, whether this might not be discovery of truth, * * *
more properly called parentul power ? There have been not a few since for whatever obligation nature and the the beginning of this parliament, right of generation lays on children, it both of the presbytery and others, the concurrent causes of it. And ac
must certainly bind them equal to both who by their unlicensed books, to cordingly we see the positive law of God the contempt of an inprimatur, first every where joins them together, with. broke that triple ice clung aboutour out distinction, when it commands the hearts, and taught the people to see
obedience of children. Honour thy day: I hope that none of those were father and thy mother, Exod. xx. 17.
Whosoever curseth his father or his mothe persuaders to renew upon us
ther, Lev. xx. 9. Ye shall fear egery this bondage, which they themselves
man his mother and his futher, Lev. xix. have wrought so much good by con- 3. Children, obey your parents, &c. temning.
Eph. vi. 1. is the stile of the Old and And as for regulating the press, New Testament. let no man think to have the honour 53. Had but this one thing been well of advising ye better than yourselves considered, without looking any deeper have done in that order published into the matter, it might perhaps have next before this, • That no book be kept men from running into those gross printed, unless the printer's, and the power of parents; which, however it
mistakes, they have made, about this author's name, or at least the printer's might, without any great harshness, be registered.” Errors in a good go- bear the name of absolute dominion, vernment and in a bad are equally and regal authority, when under the almost incident; for what magistrate title of paternal power it seemed appromay not be misinformed, and much priated to the father, would yet have the sooner, if liberty of printing he sounded but oddly, and in the very
name shewn the absurdity, if this supreduced into the power of a few? posed absolute power over children bad But to redress willingly and speedily been called parental ; and thereby have what hath been erred, and in highest discovered, that it belonged to the mos authority to esteem a plain adver-ther too, for it will but very ill serve tisement more than others have done the turn of those men, who contend so a sumptuous bride, is a virtue (ho- much for the absolute power and aunoured Lords and Commons !) an
thority of the fatherhood, as they call
it, that the mother should have any swerable to your highest actions, and share in it; and it would have but ill whereof none can participate but supported the monarchy they contend greatest and wisest men.
for, when by the very name it appeared, THE END,
that that fundamental authority, from all his posterity, the law of reason. But whence they would derive their govern- his offspring having another way of en: ment of a single person only, was not trance into the world, different from placed in one, but two persons jointly. bim, by a natural birth, that produced But to let this of names pass.
them ignorant and without the use of 54. Though I have said above, Chap: reason, they were not presently under II. That all men by nature are equal, I that law; for no body can be under a cannot be supposed to understand all law, which is not promulgated to him ; sorts of equality : age or virtue may give and by this law being promulgated or men a just precedency : excellency of made known by reason ouly, he that is parts and merit may place others above not come to the use of his reason, canthe common level? birth may subject not be said to be under this law; and some, and alliance or benefit others, to Adam's children, being not presently as pay an observance to those to whom soon as born under this law of reason, nature, gratitude, or other respects, were not presently free: for law, in its may have made it due: and yet all this true notion, is not so much the limitaconsists with the equality, which all men tion as the direction of a free and intelare in, in respect of jurisdiction or do- ligent agent to his proper interest, and minion one over another; which was prescribes no farther than is for the gethe equality I there spoke of, as proper neral good of those under that law: could to the business in hand, being that equal they be happier without it, the law, as right, that every man hath, to his na- an useless thing, would of itself vanish; turul freedom, without being subjected and that ill deserves the name of conto the will or authority of any other man. finement which hedges us in only from
55. Children, I confess, are not born bogs and precipices. So that, however in this full state of equality, though they it may be mistaken, the end of law is are born to it. Their parents have a not to abolish or restrain, but to presort of rule and jurisdiction over them, serve and enlarge freedom : for in all when they come into the world, and for the states of created beings capable of some time after : but it is but a tempo- laws, where there is no law, there is no rary one. The bonds of this subjection freedom : for liberty is, to be free from are like the swaddling 'clothes they are restraint and violence from others; which wrapt up in, and supported by, in the cannot be, where there is nu law : but weakness of their infancy : age and rea- freedom is not, as we are told, a liberty son, as they grow up, loosen them, till for every man to do what he lists : (for at length they drop quite off, and leave who could be free, when every other a man at his own free disposal.
man's humour night domineerover him?) 56. Adam was created a perfect man, but a liberty to dispose, and order as he his body and mind in full possession of lists, his person, actions, possessions, their strength and reason, and so was and his whole property, within the alcapable, from the first instant of his be- lowance of those laws under which he ing to provide for his fown support and is, and therein not to be subject to the preservation, and govern his actions ac- arbitrary will of another, but freely folcording to the dictates of the law of low bis own, reason which God had implanted in bim. 58. The power, then, that parents From him the world is peopled with his have over their children, arises from that descendants, who are all born infants, duty which is incumbent on them, to weak and helpless, without knowledge take care of their offspring, during the or understanding : but to supply the de- imperfect state of childhood. To infects of this imperfect state, till the im- form the mind, and govern the actions provement of growth and age hath re- of their yet ignorant non-age, till reason moved them, Adam and Eve, and after shall take its place, and ease them of them all parents were, by the law of that trouble, is what the children want, nature, under an obligation to preserve, and the parents are bound to: for God nourish, and educate the children they having given man an understanding to had begotten; not as their own work direct his actions, has allowed him a manship, but the workmanship of their freedom of will, and liberty of acting, as own maker, the Almighty, to whom they properly. belonging thereunto, within the were to be accountable for them.
bounds of that law he is under. But 57. The law, that was to govern whilst he is in an estate, wherein he has Adam, was the same that was to govern not understanding of his own to direct
his will, he is not to have any will of degree of reason, wherein he might be his own to follow : he that understands supposed capable of knowing the law, for him, must will for him too; he must and so living within the rules of it, he is prescribe to his will, and regulate his never capable of being a free man, he is actions; but when he comes to the es- never let loose to the disposure of his tate that made his father a free man, the own will (because he knows no bounds son is a free man too.
to it, has no understanding, its proper 59. This holds in all the laws a man guide) but is continued under the tuition is under, whether natural or civil. Is a and government of others, all the time man under the law of nature ? What his own understanding is uncapable of inade him free of that law? What gave that charge. And so lunatics and ideots him a free disposing of his property, ac- are never set free from the government cording to his own will, within the com- of their parents; children, who are not pass of that law? I answer, a state of as yet come unto those yeurs whereat they maturity wherein he might be supposed may have; and innocents which ure ere capable to know that law, that so be cluded by u nuturat defect from ever hamight keep his actions within the bounds ving; thirdly, madmen, which for the of it. When he has acquired that state, present cannot possibly have the use of he is presumed to know how far that right reason to guide themselves, have for law is to be his guide, and how far he their guide, the reason that guideth other may make use of his freedoin, and so men which are tutors over them, to seek comes to have it; till then, somebody and procure their good for them, says else must guide him, who is presumed Hooker, Eccl. Pol. lib. i. sect. 7. All to know how far the law allows a liberty. which seems no more than that duty, If such a state of reason, such an age of which God and nature bas laid on man, discretion made him free, the same shall as well as other creatures, to preserve make his son free too. Is a man under their offspring till they can be able to the law of England? What made him shift for themselves, and will scarce free of that law? that is, to have the li- amount to an instance or proof of paberty to dispose of his actions and posses- rents' regal authority. sions according to his own will, within the 61. Thus we are born free, as we are permission of that law? A capacity of born rational; not that we have actually knowing that law; which is supposed by the exercise of either : age, that brings that law, at the age of one-and-twenty one, brings with it the other too. And years, and in some cases sooner. If this thus we see how natural freedom and made the father free, it shall make the son subjection to parents may consist togea free too. Till then we see the law allows ther, and are both founded on the same the son to have no will, but he is to be principle. A child is free by his father's guided by the will of his father or guar- title, by his father's understanding, which dian, who is to understand for him. is to gorern him till he bath it of his. And if the father die, and fail to substi- own. The freedom of a man ut yeurs of lute a deputy in his trust; if he hath not discretion, and the subjection of a child provided a tutor, to govern his son, du- to parents whilst yet short of that age, ring his minority, during his want of un- are so consistent, and so distinguishable, derstanding, the law takes care to do it; that the most blinded contenders for some other must govern him, and be a monarchy, by right of fatherhood, canwill to him, till be hath attained to not miss this difference; the most obe a state of freedom, and his understand- stinate cannot but allow their consising be fit to take the government of his tency; for were their doctrine all true, will. But after that, the father and son were the right heir of Adam now known, are equally free as much as pupil and and hy that title settled a monarch in tucor after non-age; equally subjects of his throne, invested with all the absolute the same law together, without any do- unlimited power Sır Robert Filmer talks minion left in the father over the life, of; if he should die as soon as his beir liberty, or estate of his son, whether were born, must not the child, notwitha they be only in the state and under the standing he were never su free, never so law of nature, or under the positive laws much sovereign, be in subjection to his of an established government.
mother and nurse, to tutors and govern60. But if, through defects that may ors, till age and education brought him happen out of the ordinary course of reason and ability to govern himself and naluse, any one comes not to such a others The necessities of his life, the VOL, IX,
by all concurrence of signs, and by the ill-deputed care of their religion the general instinct of holy and de- into their own hands again. A little vuut men, as they daily and so- generous prudence, a little forbearlemnly express their thoughts, God ance of one another, and some grain is decreeing to bring some new and of charity might win all these dili- ' great period in his church, even to gencies to join and unite into one the reforming of reformation itself; general and brotherly search after what does he then but reveal him- truth ; could we but forego this preself to his servants, and as his man- latical tradition of crowding free conner is, first to his Englishmen? I sciences and christian liberties into say as his manner is, first to us, canons and precepts of men. I doubt though we mark not the method of not, if some great and worthy stranhis counsels, and are unworthy.. Be- ger should come among us, wise to hold now this vast city; a city of re- discern the mould and temper of a fuge, the mansion-house of liberty, people, and how to govern it, obencompassed and surrounded with serving the high hopes and aims, the his protection; the shop of war hath' diligent alacrity of our extended not there more anvils and hammers thoughts and reasonings in the pure waking, to fashion out the plates suance of truth and freedom, but and instruments of armed justice in that he would cry out as Pyrrhus defence of beleagured truth, than did, admiring the Roman docility there be pens and heads there, site and courage ; If such were my Epiting by their studious lamps, mu- rots, I would not despair the greatest sing, searching, revolving new no- design that could be attempted to tions and ideas wherewith 10 present, make a church or kingdom happy. as with their homage and their fealty, When a city shall be as it were the appraching reformation ; others besieged and blocked about, her naas fast reading, trying all things, vigable river infested, inroads and assenting to the force of reason and incursions round, defiance and battle convincement. What could a man oft rumoured to be marched up, even require more from a nation so pliant to her walls and suburb trenches; and so prone to seek after knowledge that then the people, or the greater What wants there to such a towardly part, more than at other times, wholly and pregnant soil, but wise and taken up with the study of highest faithful labourers, to make a know. and most important matters to be ing people, a nation of prophets, of reformed, should be disputing, reasages, and of worthies : 'We reckon soning, reading, inventing, discoursmore than five months yet to har ing, even to a rarity and admiration, vest; there need not be five weeks, things not before discoursed or writhad we but eyes to lift up, the fields ten of, argues first a singular good are white already. Where there is will, contendedness, and confidence much desire to learn there of necessity, in your prudent foresight, and safe will be much arguing, much writing, government, Lords and Commons; many opinions : for opinion in good and from thence derives itself to a men is but knowledge in the making. gallant bravery and well grounded Under these fantastic terrors of sect contempt of their enemies, as if there and schism, we wrong the earnest were no small number of as great and zealous thirst after knowledge spirits among us, as his was who and understanding, which God hath when Rome was nigh besieged by stirred up in this city. What some Hannibal, being in the city, bought lament of, we rather should rejoice that piece of ground at no cheap at, should rather praise this pious rate, whereon Plannibal himself enforwardness among men, to reassume camped his own regiment. Next, it
is a lively and cheerful presage of ting and free speaking, there cannot our happy success and victory. For be assigned a truer than your own as in a body when the blood is fresh mild, and free, and humane governthe spirits pure and vigorous, not ment; it is the liberty, Lords and only to vital, but to rational facul- Commons, which your own valorous ties, and those in the acutest, and and happy counsels have purchased the pertest operations of wit and sub- us; liberty, which is the nurse of all tlety, it argues in what good plight great wits : this is that which hath and constitution the body is ; so rarified and enlightened our spirits like when the cheerfulness of the people the influence of Heaven ; this is that is so sprightly up, as that it has not which hath enfranchised, enlarged, and , only wherewith to guard well its own lifted up our apprehensions degrees freedom and safety, but to spare, above themselves. Ye cannot make and to bestow upon the solidest and us now less capable, Jess knowing, sublimest points of controversy and less eagerly pursuing of the truth, new invention, it betokens us not unless ye first make yourselves, that degenerated, nor drooping to a fatal made us so, less the lovers, less the decay, by casting off the old and founders of our true liberty. We wrinkled skin of corruption to out- can grow ignorant again, brutish, live these pangs, and was young formal, and slavish, as ye found us; again, entering the glorious ways of but you then must first become that truth and prosperous virtue, destined which ye cannot be, oppressive, arto become great and honourable in bitrary, and tyrannous, as they were these latter ages. Methinks I see in from whom ye have freed us.
That my mind a noble and puissant na.. our hearts are now more capacious, tion rousing herself like a strong our thoughts more erected to the man after sleep, and shaking her search and expectation of greatest invincible locks: methinks I see and exactest things, is the issue of her as an eagle muing her mighty your own virtue propagated in us; youth, and kindling her undazzled ye cannot suppress that, unless ye eyes at the full midday beam; purg. reinforce an abrogated and merciless ing and unscaling her long abused law, that fathers may dispatch at sight at the fountain itself of heavenly will their own children. And who radiance; while the whole noise of shall then stick closest to ye and extimorous and flocking birds, with cite others ? Not he who takes up those also that love the twilight, arms for coat and conduct, and his flutter about, amazed at what she four nobles of Danegelt. Although
I dispraise not the defence of just What should ye do then, should immunities, yet love my peace better, ye suppress all this flowery crop of if that were all. Give me the liberty knowledge and new light sprung up to know, to utter, and to argue freely and yet springing daily in this city? aceording to conscience, above all liShould ye set an oligarchy of twenty berties. engrossers over it, to bring a famine What would be best advised then, upon our minds again, when we if it be found so hurtful and so unshall know nothing but what is mea- equal to suppress opinions for the sured to us by their bushel ? Be- newness or the unsuitableness to a lieve it, Lords and Commons! they customary acceptance, will not be who counsel ye to such a suppressing, my task to say; I shall only repeat do as good as bid you suppress your what I have learned from one of your selves; and I will soon show you own honourable number, a right how. If it be desired to know the noble and pious lord, who had he immediate cause of all this frec wri. not sacrified his life and fortunes to