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only with an intention in every one the better to preserve himself, his liberty and property ; (for no rational creature can be supposed to change his condition with an intention to be worfe) the power of the society, or legislative constituted by them, can never be supposed to extend farther, than the common good; but is obliged to secure every one's property, by providing against those three defects above mentioned, that made the state of nature so unsafe and uneasy. And so whoever has the legislative or fupreme power of any wealth, is bound to govern by established standing laws, promulgated and known to the people, and not by extemporary decreeś ; by indifferent and upright judges, who are to decide controversies by those laws; and to employ the force of the community at home, only in the execution of such laws, or abroad to prevent or redress foreign injuries, and secure the community from inroads and invasion. And all this to be directed to no other end, but the peace, safety, and public good of the people.


CH A P. X. Of the Forms of a Common-wealth. $. 132. THE majority having, as has been

Thewed, upon men's first uniting into society, the whole power of the com


munity naturally, in them, may employ all that power in making laws for the community from time to time, and executing those laws by officers of their own appointing ; and then the form of the government is a perfect democracy: or else may put the

power of making laws into the hands of a few select men, and their heirs or successors; and then it is an oligarchy: or else into the hands of one man, and then it is a monarchy: if to him and his heirs, it is an hereditary monarchy: if to him only for life, but upon his death the power only of nominating a successor to return to them ; an elective monarchy. And lo accordingly of these the community may make compounded and mixed forms of government, as they think good. And if the legislative power be at first given by the majority to one or more persons only for their lives, or any limited time, and then the supreme power to revert to them again ; when it is fo reverted, the community may dispose of it again anew into what hands they please, and so constitute a new form of government: for the form of government depending upon the placing the supreme power, which is the legislative, it being impossible to conceive that an inferior

power should prescribe to a superior, or any but the supreme make laws, according as the. power of making laws is placed, such is the form of the commons wealth.

X 4

S. 133.

$. 133. By common-wealth, I must be understood all along to mean, not a democracy, or any form of government, but any independent community, which the Latines fignified by the word civitas, to which the word which best answers in our language, is common-wealth, and most properly expresses such a society of men, which community or city in English does not; for there may be fübordinate communities in a government; and city amongst us has a quite different notion from common-wealth : and therefore, to avoid ambiguity, I crave leave to use the word common-wealth in that sense, in which I find it used by king James the first; and I take it to be its genuine fignification ; which if any body dislike, I consent with him to change it for a better.

$. 134. T

The great

C H A P. XI.
Of the Extent of the Legislative Power.

HE great end of men's entering

into society, being the enjoyment of their properties in peace and safety, and the great instrument and means of that being the laws established in that society; the first and fundamental positive law of all common-wealths is the establishing of the legislative power ; as the first and fundamental natural


law, which is to govern even the legislative itself, is the preservation of the society, and (as far as will consist with the public good) of every person in it. This legislative is not only the Jupreme power of the common-wealth, but sacred and unalterable in the hands where the community have once placed it; nor can any edict of any body else, in what form soever conceived, or by what power soever backed, have the force and obligation of a law, which has not its fanction from that legislative which the public has chosen and appointed : for without this the law could not have that, which is absolutely necessary to its being a law, * the consent of the society, over whom no body can have a power to make laws, but by their own consent, and by authority re


* The lawful power of making laws to command whole politic societies of men, belonging so properly unto the same intire societies, that for any prince or potentate of what kind foever upon earth, to exercise the same of himself, and not by express commission immediately and personally received from God, or else by authority derived at the first from their consent, upon whose persons they impose laws, it is no better than mere tyranny. Laws they are not therefore which public approbation hath not made so. Hooker's Eccl. Pol. I. i. Jeet.

Of this point therefore we are to note, that fith men naturally have no full and perfect power to command whole politic multitudes of men, therefore utterly without our confent, we could in such fort be at no man's commandment living. And to be commanded do consent, when that fociety, whereof we be a part, hath at any time before consented, without revoking the fame after by the like universal agreement.

Laws therefore human, of what kind so ever, are available by consent. Ibid,



ceived from them; and therefore all the obedience, which by the most folemn ties any one can be obliged to pay, ultimately terminates in this supreme power, and is directed by those laws which it enacts: nor can any oaths to any foreign power whatsoever, or any domestic subordinate power, discharge any member of the society from his obedience to the legislative, acting pursuant to their trust; nor oblige him to any obedience contrary to the laws so enacted, or farther than they do allow; it being ridiculous to imagine one can be tied ultimately to obey any power in the fociety, which is not the supreme.

§. 135. Though the legislative, whether placed in one or more, whether it be always in being, or only by intervals, though it be the supreme power in every common-wealth; yet,

First, It is not, nor can possibly be absolutely arbitrary over the lives and fortunes of the people : for it being but the joint power of every member of the society given up to that person, or assembly, which is legislator ; it can be no more than those persons had in a state of nature before they entered into fociety, and gave up to the community : for no body can transfer to another more power than he has in himself; and no body has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life or property of another. A man,


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