Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

skilfulness of the contractor : for the first is direct uncharitableness to the person, and injustice in the thing; because the man's necessity could not naturally enter into the consideration of the value of the commodity; and the other is deceit and oppression : much less must any man make necessities; as by engrossing a commodity, by monopoly, by detaining corn, or the like indirect arts; for such persons are unjust to all single persons, with whom, in such cases, they contract, and oppressors of the public.

6. In intercourse with others, do not do all, which you may lawfully do; but keep something within thy power: and, because there is a latitude of gain in buying and selling, take not thou the utmost penny, that is lawful, or which thou thinkest so; for although it be lawful, yet it is not safe; and he that gains all, that he can gain lawfully, this year, possibly, next year, will be tempted to gain something unlawfully.

7. He that sells dearer, by reason he sells not for ready money, must increase his price no higher, than to make himself recompence for the loss, which, according to the rules of trade, he sustained by his forbearance, according to common computation, reckoning in also the hazard, which he is prudently, warily, and charitably, to estimate. But although this be the measure of his justice, yet because it happens either to their friends, or to necessitous and poor persons, they are, in these cases, to consider the rules of friendship and neighbourhood, and the obligations of charity, lest justice turn into unmercifulness.

8. No man is to be raised in his price or rents in regard of any accident, advantage, or disadvantage, of his person d. A prince must be used conscionably, as well as a common person ; and a beggar be treated justly, as well as a prince: with this only difference, that, to poor persons, the utmost measure and extent of justice is unmerciful, which, to a rich person, is innocent, because it is just; and he needs not thy mercy and remission.

9. Let no man, for his own poverty, become more oppressing and cruel in his bargain, but quietly, modestly, diligently, and patiently, recommend his estate to God, and follow its interest, and leave the success to him: for such courses will

d Mercantia non vuol nè amici nè parenti.

more probably advance his trade; they will certainly procure him a blessing and a recompence; and, if they cure not his poverty, they will take away the evil of it: and there is nothing else in it, that can trouble him.

10. Detain not the wages of the hireling; for every degree of detention of it beyond the time is injustice and uncharitableness, and grinds his face, till tears and blood come out: but pay him exactly according to covenant, or according to his needs.

11. Religiously keep all promises and covenants, though made to your digadvantage, though afterwards you perceive, you might have been better: and let not any precedent act of yours be altered by any after-accident. Let nothing make you break your promise, unless it be unlawful, or impossible: that is, either out of your natural, or out of your civil power, yourself being under the power of another; or that it be intolerably inconvenient to yourself, and of no advantage to another; or that you have leave expressed, or reasonably presumed

12. Let no man take wages or fees for a work, that he cannot do, or cannot with probability undertake, or in some sense profitably, and with ease, or with advantage manage. Physicians must not meddle with desperate diseases, and known to be incurable, without declaring their sense beforehand; that, if the patient please, he may entertain him at adventure, or to do him some little ease. Advocates must deal plainly with their clients, and tell them the true state and danger of their case; and must not pretend confidence in an evil cause: but when he hath so cleared his own innocence, if the client will have collateral and legal advantages obtained by his industry, he may engage his endeavour, provided he do no injury to the right cause, or any man's person.

13. Let no man appropriate to his own use, what God, by a special mercy, or the republic, hath made common'; for that is both against justice and charity too: and, by miraculous accidents, God hath declared his displeasure against such enclosure. When the kings of Naples enclosed the gardens of Enotria, where the best manna of Calabria descends, that no man might gather it without paying tribute, the manna ceased, till the tribute was taken off; and then it came again : and so, when after the third trial, the princes found, they could not have that in proper, which God made to be common, they left it as free as God gave it. The like happened in Epire; when Lysimachus laid an impost upon the Tragasæan salt, it vanished, till Lysimachus left it public. And when the procurators of King Antigonus imposed a rate upon the sick people, that came to Edepsum to drink the waters, which were lately sprung, and were very healthful, instantly the waters dried up, and the hope of gain perished.

e Sargam ad sponsalia, quia promisi, quamvis non concoxerim : sed non, si febricitavero : subest enim tacita exceptio, si potero, si debebo. Effice ut idem status sil, cùm exigitur, qui fuit, cùm promitterem. Destituere levitas non eril, si aliquid intervenit novi. Eadem mihi omnia præsla : et idem sum. lib. iv. cap. 39. de benefic, Ruhk, vol. iv. p. 197. Seneca.

I Brassarol. in exam. simpl.

The sum of all is in these words of St. Paul, man go beyond and defraud his brother, in any matter; because the Lord is the avenger of all such h.” And our blessed Saviour, in the enumerating the duties of justice, besides the commandment of Do not steal,” adds, “ Defraud noti,” forbidding (as a distinct explication of the old law) the tacit and secret theft of abusing our brother in civil contracts. And it needs no other arguments to enforce this caution, but only, that the Lord hath undertaken to avenge all such persons. And as he always does it in the great day of recompences; so very often he does it here, by making the unclean portion of injustice to be as a canker-worm eating up all the other increase: it procures beggary, and a declining estate, or a caitiff cursed spirit, an ill name, the curse of the injured and oppressed person, and a fool or a prodigal to be his heir.

« Let no

SECTION IV.

Of Restitution.

Restitution is that part of justice, to which a man is

b 1 Thess. iv. 6.

& Cælius Rhod I. ix. e. 12, Athenæ. Deipuos. I. iij. i Lev. xix. 13. 1 Cor. vi. 8. Matt. x. 19.

obliged by a precedent contract, or a foregoing fault, by his own act or another man's, either with, or without, his will. He, that borrows, is bound to pay, and much more he, that steals or cheatsk. For if he that borrows, and pays not when he is able, be an unjust person and a robber, because he possesses another man's goods, to the right owner's prejudice; then he, that took them at first without leave, is the same thing in every instant of his possession, which the debtor is after the time, in which he should, and could, have made payment. For, in all sins, we are to distinguish the transient or passing act from the remaining effect or evil. The act of stealing was soon over, and cannot be undone; and for it the sinner is only answerable to God, or his vicegerent; and he is, in a particular manner, appointed to expiate it by suffering punishment, and repenting, and asking pardon, and judging and condemning himself, doing acts of justice and charity, in opposition and contradiction to that evil action. But because, in the case of stealing, there is an injury done to our neighbour; and the evil still remains after the action is past; therefore for this we are accountable to our neighbour, and we are to take the evil off from him, which we brought upon him; or else he is an injured person, a sufferer all the while: and that any man should be the worse for me, and my direct act, and by my intention, is against the rule of equity, of justice, and of charity'; I do not that to others, which I would have done to myself; for I grow richer upon the ruins of his fortune. Upon this ground, it is a determined rule in divinity, “ Our sin can never be pardoned, till we have restored what we unjustly took, or wrongfully detain:” restored it (I mean) actually, or in purpose and desire, which we must really perform, when we can. And this doctrine, besides its evident and apparent reasonableness, is derived from the express words of Scripture reckoning restitution to be a part of repentance, necessary in order to the remission of our sins. “ If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, &c. he shall surely live, he shall not diem.” The practice of this part of justice is to be directed by the following rules, * Chi non vuol rendere, fa mal a prendere.

Si tuà culpâ datum est damnum, jure super bis satisfacere te oportet. m Ezek. xxxii, 15.

Rules of making Restitution. 1. Whosoever is an effective real cause of doing his neighbour wrong, by what instrument soever he does it (whether by commanding, or encouraging it, by counselling, or commending it", by acting it, or not hindering it, when he might, and oughto, by concealing it or receiving it) is bound to make restitution to his neighbour; if, without him, the injury had not been done, but, by him or his assistance, it was. For, by the same reason, that every one of these is guilty of the sin, and is cause of the injury, by the same they are bound to make reparation; because by him his neighbour is made worse, and therefore is to be put into that state, from whence he was forced. And suppose that thou hast persuaded an injury to be done to thy neighbour, which others would have persuaded, if thou hadst not, yet thou art still obliged, because thou really didst cause the injury; just as they had been obliged, if they had done it: and thou art not at all the less bound, by having persons as ill-inclined, as thou wert.

2. He, that commanded the injury to be done, is first bound; then he, that did it; and after these, they also are obliged, who did so assist, as without them the thing would not have been done. If satisfaction be made by any of the former, the latter is tied to repentance, but no restitution: but if the injured person be not righted, every one of them is wholly guilty of the injustice; and therefore bound to restitution, singly and entirely.

3. Whosoever intends a little injury to his neighbour, and acts it, and by it a greater evil accidentally comes, he is obliged to make an entire reparation of all the injury, of that, which he intended; and of that, which he intended not, but yet acted by his own instrument going further than he at first purposed itp. He, that set fire on a plane-tree to spite

και ο γαρ έπαινέσας τον δεδρακότα, ουδέν τι ήσσον των πεπραγμένων αυτούργος γίνεται. Totilas apud Procop. Goth. 3. Qui laudat servum fugitivum, tenetur. Non eniin oportet laudando augeri malum. Ulpian. in lib. i. cap. de servo corruplo.

ο ο εμπρησμένος του ανάψαντος αλλά και του κατασβήσαι δυναμένου, δράσαι δε τοιούτο nes peine Bouandártoś. Nicet. Choniut. in Michael. Comnen. Sic Syri ab Amphyctionibus judicio damnati, quia piraticam non prohibuerunt, cùm poterant.

P Etiamsi parlem damni dare noluisti, in totum quasi prudens dederis, tenendas es. Ex toto enim noluisse debet qui iinprudentiâ defenditur. Sen. Contr. Involuntarium ortam ex rolaplario censetur pro voluntario. Strabo,

« VorigeDoorgaan »