that in his own case : and he that has received laws, and not by extemporary right on his side, having ordinarily but dictates and undetermined resolutions ; his own single strength, hath not force for then mankind will be in a far worse enough to defend himself from injuries, condition than in the state of nature, or to punish delinquents. To avoid these if they shall have armed one, or a few inconveniences, which disorder men's men with the joint power of a multitude, properties in the state of nature, men to force them to obey at pleasure the unite into societies, that they may have exorbitant and unlimited' decrees of the united strength of the whole society their sudden thoughts, or unrestrained, to secure and defend their properties, and till that monient unknown wills, and may have standing rules to bound without having any nieasures set down it, by which every one may know what which may guide and justify their acis his. To this end it is that men give : tions: for all the power the government up all their natural power to the society has, being only for the good of the sowhich they enter into, and the commu- ciety, as it ought not to be arbitrary nity put the legislative power into such and at pleasure, so it ought to be exerhands as they think fit, with this trust, cised by established and promulgated that they shall be governed hy declared laws ; that both the people may kubw laws, or else their peace, quiet, and their duty, and be safe and secure withproperty will still be at the same .un- in the limits of the law; and the rulers certainty, as it was in the state of nature. too kept wit beir bounds, and not

137. Absolute arbitrary power, or be tempted, by the power they have governing without settled standing laws, in their hands; to employ it to such can neither of them consist with the purposes, and by such measures, as ends of society and government, which they would not have known, and own men would not quit the freedom of the not willingly. state of nature for, and tie themselves 138. Thirdly, The supreme power canup under, were it not to preserve their not take from any man any part of his prolives, liberties and fortunes, and by perty without his own consent: for the stated rules of right and property to se- preservation of property being the end of cure their peace and quiet. It cannot government, and that for which men be supposed that they should intend, enter into society, it necessarily suphad they a power so to do, to give any poses and requires, that the people one, or more, an absolute arbitrary should have property, without which power over their persons and estates, they must be supposed to lose that, by and put a force into the magistrate's entering into society, which was the end hand to execute his unlimited will arbi- for which they entered into it; too gross trarily upon them. This were to put an absurdity for any man to own. themselves into a worse condition than Men, therefore, in society having prothe state of nature, wherein they had perty, they have such a right to the a liberty to defend their right against goods, which by the law of the commuthe injuries of others, and were upon nity are theirs, that no body bath a right equal terms of force to maintain it, whe- to take their substance or any part of it ther invaded by a single man, or many from them, without their own consent : in combination. . Whereas by supposing without this they have no property at they have given up themselves to the all; for I have truly no property in that, absolute arbitrary power and will of a which another can by right take from legislator, they have disarmed them- me, when he pleases, against my conselves, and armed him, to make a prey sent. Ilence it is a mistake to think, of them when he pleases; he being in that the supreme or legislative power of a much worse condition, who is exposed any commonwealth can do what it will, to the arbitrary power of one man; who and dispose of the states arbitrarily, or has the command of 100,000, than he take any part of them at pleasure. This that is exposed to the arbitrary power is not much to be feared in governments of 100,000 single men; no body being where the legislative consists, wholly or secure, that his will, who has such a in part, in assemblies which are variable, command, is better than that of other whose members, upon the dissolution of men, though his force be 100,000 times the assembly, are subjects under the stronger. And therefore, whatever form common laws of their country, equally the commonwealth is under, the ruling with the rest,

But in governments, power ought to govern by declured and where the legislative is in one lasting as


assembly always in being, or in one man, 140. It is true, governments cannot as in absolute monarchies, there is dan- be supported without great charge, and ger still, that they will think themselves it is fit every one who enjoys his share to have a distinct interest from the rest of the protection, should pay out of his of the community; and so will be

apt estate his proportion for the mainteincrease their own riches and power, by

nance of it. But still it must be with taking what they think fit from the pen- his own consent, i. e. the consent of the ple: for a man's property is not at all majority, giving it either by themselves, secure, though there be good and equ:-' or their representatives chosen by them : table laws to set the bounds of it be- for if any one shall claim a power to lay tween him and his fellow subjects, if he and levy taxes on the people, by his own who commands those subjects' have authority, and without such consent of power to take from any private man, the people, he thereby invades the funwhat part he pleases of his property, and dumental law of property, and subverts use and dispose of it as he thinks good. the end of government: for what pro

139. But government, into whatsoever perty have I in that, which another may hands it is put, being, as I have before by right take, when he pleases, to binshewed, intrusted with this condition, self? and for this end, that men might have 141, Fourthly, The legislative cannot and secure their properties; the prince, transfer the power of muking laws to any or senate, however it may have power other hands: for it beng but delegated to make laws, for the regulating of pro power from the people, they who have perty between the subjects one amongst

it cannot pass it over to others. The another, yet can never have a power to

people alone can appoint the form of take to themselves the whole, or any

the commonwealth, which is by constipart of the subject's property, without tuting the legislative, and appointing in their own consent: for this would be in whose hands that shall be. And when effect to leave them no property at all.

the people have said, We will submit to And to let us see, that even absolute rules, and be governed by laws made by power, where it is necessary, is not urbis such men, and in such forms, no body trury by being absolute, bet is still li- else can say other men shall make laws mited by that reason, and confined to for them; nor can the people be bound thuse ends, which required it in some

by any laws, but such as are enacted by cases to be absolute, we need look no those whom they have chosen, and aufarther than the common practice of thorised to make laws for them. The martial discipline : for the preservation power of the legislative, being derived of the army, and in it of the whole com- from the people by a positive voluntary monwealth, requires an absolute obe- grant and institution, can be no other dience to the command of every superior than what that positive grant conveyed, officer, and it is justly death to disobey which being only to make laws, and not or dispute the most dangerous or unrea- to make legislators, the legislative can sonable of them; but yet we see, that have no power to transfer their authorineither the serjeant, that could com

ty of making laws, and place it in other mand a soldier to march up to the mouth hands. of a cannon, or stand in a breach, where 142. These are the bounds, which the he is almost sure to perish, can com

trust that is put in then by the society, mand that soldier to give him one penny

and the law of God and nature, bave set of his money; nor the general, that can to the legislative power of every comcondemn him to death for deserting his monwealth, in all forms of government

, post, or for not obeying the most despe- First, They are to govern by promulrate orders, can yet, with all his absolute gated established laws, not to be varied power of life and death, dispose of one in particular cases, but to have one rule farthing of that soldier's estate, or seize for rich and poor, for the favourite at one jot of his goods; whom yet he can court, and the country man at plough. cominand any thing, and hang for the Secondly, These laws also ought to be Jeast disobedience; because such a blind designed for no other end ultimately, obedience is necessary to that end, for but the good of the people. which the commander has his power,

Thirdly, They must not raise taxes on viz. the preservation of the rest ; but the the property of the people, without the disposing of his goods has nothing to do consent of the people, given by theinwith it.

selves, or their deputies. And this pro

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perly concerns only such governments, both by your royal word and act ;where tbe legislative is always in being, What could your Majesty have done or at least where the people have not re

more for uss Or what is left for served any part of the legislative to deputies, to be from time to time chosen

us further to ask of the King? And by themselves.

forasmuch as it bath pleased your Fourthly, the legislative neither must most excellent Majesty, to give this nor can transfer the power of muking safe port to your poor subjects, so laws to any body else, or place it any long tossed with tempests, and justly where, but where the people have.

to believe, that loyalty is not intail. (It was our intention to have given ed to a party, as ive hope we shall the remainder of this excellent work

ever justify the credit, which your to our readers, but this being the Majesty's charity in that point hath concluding number, we are prevent

given us; so we shall not ccase 10 ed. The remaining Chapters relate bow our knees to the God whom we to the duties of the different branches

serve, and hy whom kings reign, of the legislature, and the right of beseeching him to recompense this the people to resist, when rulers act royal favour to your Majesty, with contrary to their trust, by setting up length of days, uninterrupted health, “ their own arbitrary will, contrary, felicity in your royal relations, suc: to, or above the laws, or by bribing

cess in your great councils and afor corrupring members, candidates, fairs, and finally, with the most or voters, thus cutting up govern- glorious liberty of the sons of God, “ ment by the roots, and poisoning heartily crying, as with one voice, “ the very fountain of public sccu- Let the king live for ever! rity

Subscribed on the behalf of ourselves, and the rest of our persuasion.



I havr alrrady found two good HIS ANSWER.

effects of my declaration; the casing (From Lord Somers's Tructs.

and pleasing my subjects you speak

of, and my restoring to God the Presented to the King by Mr. Hurst, empire over conscience: It has been

Mr. Chester, Mr. Slater, Mr. my judgment a long time, that none Cor, Mr. Roswell, Mr. Turner, has or ought to have any power Mr. Franklin, Mr. Deal, and Mr. over the conscience, but God! I Reynolds. With his Majesty's gra. understand there are some jealousies cious Answer.

among my subjects, that I have May it please your most Sacred done ihis in a design; but you look Majesty,

like gentlemen of too great ingenuity To believe the thankfulness of our to entertain any such suspicion. hearts, beyond any expressions of Gentlemen, I protest before God, our lips or pens, for your most gra- and I desire you to tell all manner cious declaration for liberty for us, of people of all persuasions, as you in the worship of God, which we have opportunity to converse with trust we shall ever value above our them, that I have no other design property, as that without which we than that I have spoke of. could enjoy nothing which we could And Gentlemen, I hope to live to call our own, without the greatest see the day hen you shall as well uneasiness imaginable : But your hare Magna CHARTA for the LiMajesty having in the same decla. BERTY OF CONSCIENCE, as you have ration also secured that unto us, had for your properties !


And now gentlemen, do you so lar hond of union they were thus preach to your hearers as they may united, I know of no historian that be good christians, and then I do hath given us any information. not question but they will be good There were seven tribes of Saxons, subjects.

that arrived, in Britain, about the same time under so many different

leaders; but, as they had all the AN ESSAY ON THE ENGLISH CON- same intentions, so far as to estaSTITUTION UNDER THE SAXON blish the same form of government, GOVERNMENT.

I shall consider them, in this re

spect, indiscriminately. The first principles of a governo They first divided the land into ment, that is founded upon the na- small parts, and that divided the in. tural rights of mankind, is the prin- habitants, upon that land ; and ciple of annual election. Liberty made them a distinct, and separate and election, in this case, are syno- people, from any other. This divinymous terms; for, where there is sion they called a tithing. llere no election, there can be no liberty, they established a government, which and therefore the preservation of was, no doubt, the same as that un. this elective power, in its full ex- der which they lived, in their motent, is the preservation of liberty in ther-country; and, with as little its full extent; and, where that is doubt, we may say,

it was the same restrained, in any degree, liberty is which is used, in our corporations, restrained, just in proportion ; and at this day; as will, hereafter, more where that is destroyed, by any fully appear. They had two soris power in a state whether military or of tithings, one called a town tithing, civil

, liberty is also destroyed by and the other a rural tithing. These that power, whether it be lodged in were governed upon the saine prin. the hands of one man, one hundred, ciples, only thus distinguished; as or one thousand.

one is expressive of a town, having There is a natural difficulty in such a number of inhabitants, as to placing manking in such a situation make a tithing of itself; and the that they may delegate their power other of a tithing situated in the ruto others, without confusion or in- ral part of the kingdom. Thus they convenience to themselves. It is in went on, as they conquered the counthis point, that we are so much in- try, to divide the land, till they had debted to our Saxon forefathers, for cut out the whole kingdom into titheir plan of government; by which things; and established the same the people of England are so situated form of government in each. as to be able to elect, or delegate In this manner they provided for their power, with the greatest faci- the internal police of the whole lity; and to a degree beyond the country, which they vested in the conception of all nations before them. inhabitants of the respective tithings:

It is reported, by historians, that who annually elected the magistrates our Saxon forefathers had no kings that were to administer justice to in their own country, but lived in them, 'agreeable to the laws, and tribes, or small communities, go- customs, they had brought with verned by laws of their own making, them, from their mother-country. and magistrates of their own elect- And this internal police was so ex. ing; and further, that a number of cellent, in its nature, that it hath these communities were united toge. had the encomiums of most authors ther for their mutual defence and of our history; who observe, that, protection. But, by what particu. in the reign of Alfred, it was in so great perfection, that, if a golden their military concerns. This union bracelet had been exposed upon the necessarily created a larger division high road, no man durst have of the land, equal to the number of touched it!

tithings that were thus united; and The principal officer of a tithing this they called a wapentake, or weawas vested with the executive autho- pontake. Here likewise they estarity of the tithing. They had likewise blished a court of council, and a a legislative authority, in every ti- court of law, which last was called thing, which made laws, and regula- a wapentake-court. In the court of tions, for the good government of the council, the chief magistrates, of tithings. Besides these, they had a every tithing, assembled, to elect court of law, whose jurisdiction was the officers of the militia, to their confined within the same limits. All respective command, and regulate which were.created by the elective all matters relating to the militia ; power of the people, who were resi- in which every individual tithing dent inhabitants of the tithing; and was concerned. The court of law the right of election was placed, in was to inforce these regulations, every man that paid his shot, and within that jurisdiction. bore his lot. From hence we may Let us now consider the third, and easily perceive, that, under the es- last division, which they made in tablishment of these tithings, by rea- the land. This was composed of a son of their smallness, the natural, certain number of wapentakes, united rights of mankind might very well together; which they called a shire, be preserved in the fullest extent; as or one complete share, or part, into they could delegate their power by which they divided the land. This election, without any confusion, or division completed their system of inconvenience to the inhabitants. internal police; by uniting all the

Having advanced thus far, we tithings, within the shire, into one shall make one observation ; which body, subject to such laws and reis, that all elective power in the peo- gulations as should be made in their ple at large, after it had established shire-gemots, or shire-parliaments; the executive, and legislative autho- for the benefit and good government rity, in the tithing, for one year, of the shire. and duly vested the officers in the The members that composed the respective departments, then stopped; shiregemot were still the chief offiand proceeded no farther than the cers of the tithings; who always retithings. But the principal officer, presented the tithings in every thing, of each tithing (whom for distinc. in which they were concerned. It tion's sake we shall call mayor) had, was in this shire-gemot, where the afterwards, the whole care of the great officers of the shire, were interest of the people of the tithing, elected to their office; who consevested in himself alone, in every quently were elected, by the immematter that respected their connec- diate representatives of the people, tion with the higher orders of the but not by the people at large. This state. For these tithings were the seems to evince what historians obroot from whence all authority, in serve, that the great officers, of the the higher orders of the state, sprung. shires were elected by their peers.

The first connexion the tithings 'What I understand by this is, that had with one another was to form they were elected by men, wh an establishment for the military de- members of the wittena-gemot, or fence of the country. For this end, parliament; and consequently peers, a number of these tithings were or equals, at that day, to any men united togethe, so far as related to in England. There were many ti


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