by Thomas Hobbes


  NATURE (the art whereby God hath made and governs the world) is by
the art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated,
that it can make an artificial animal. For seeing life is but a motion
of limbs, the beginning whereof is in some principal part within,
why may we not say that all automata (engines that move themselves
by springs and wheels as doth a watch) have an artificial life? For
what is the heart, but a spring; and the nerves, but so many
strings; and the joints, but so many wheels, giving motion to the
whole body, such as was intended by the Artificer? Art goes yet
further, imitating that rational and most excellent work of Nature,
man. For by art is created that great LEVIATHAN called a COMMONWEALTH,
or STATE (in Latin, CIVITAS), which is but an artificial man, though
of greater stature and strength than the natural, for whose protection
and defence it was intended; and in which the sovereignty is an
artificial soul, as giving life and motion to the whole body; the
magistrates and other officers of judicature and execution, artificial
joints; reward and punishment (by which fastened to the seat of the
sovereignty, every joint and member is moved to perform his duty)
are the nerves, that do the same in the body natural; the wealth and
riches of all the particular members are the strength; salus populi
(the people's safety) its business; counsellors, by whom all things
needful for it to know are suggested unto it, are the memory; equity
and laws, an artificial reason and will; concord, health; sedition,
sickness; and civil war, death. Lastly, the pacts and covenants, by
which the parts of this body politic were at first made, set together,
and united, resemble that fiat, or the Let us make man, pronounced
by God in the Creation.
  To describe the nature of this artificial man, I will consider

  First, the matter thereof, and the artificer; both which is man.
  Secondly, how, and by what covenants it is made; what are the rights
and just power or authority of a sovereign; and what it is that
preserveth and dissolveth it.
  Thirdly, what is a Christian Commonwealth.
  Lastly, what is the Kingdom of Darkness.

  Concerning the first, there is a saying much usurped of late, that
wisdom is acquired, not by reading of books, but of men.
Consequently whereunto, those persons, that for the most part can give
no other proof of being wise, take great delight to show what they
think they have read in men, by uncharitable censures of one another
behind their backs. But there is another saying not of late
understood, by which they might learn truly to read one another, if
they would take the pains; and that is, Nosce teipsum, Read thyself:
which was not meant, as it is now used, to countenance either the
barbarous state of men in power towards their inferiors, or to
encourage men of low degree to a saucy behaviour towards their
betters; but to teach us that for the similitude of the thoughts and
passions of one man, to the thoughts and passions of another,
whosoever looketh into himself and considereth what he doth when he
does think, opine, reason, hope, fear, etc., and upon what grounds; he
shall thereby read and know what are the thoughts and passions of
all other men upon the like occasions. I say the similitude of
passions, which are the same in all men,- desire, fear, hope, etc.;
not the similitude of the objects of the passions, which are the
things desired, feared, hoped, etc.: for these the constitution
individual, and particular education, do so vary, and they are so easy
to be kept from our knowledge, that the characters of man's heart,
blotted and confounded as they are with dissembling, lying,
counterfeiting, and erroneous doctrines, are legible only to him
that searcheth hearts. And though by men's actions we do discover
their design sometimes; yet to do it without comparing them with our
own, and distinguishing all circumstances by which the case may come
to be altered, is to decipher without a key, and be for the most
part deceived, by too much trust or by too much diffidence, as he that
reads is himself a good or evil man.
  But let one man read another by his actions never so perfectly, it
serves him only with his acquaintance, which are but few. He that is
to govern a whole nation must read in himself, not this, or that
particular man; but mankind: which though it be hard to do, harder
than to learn any language or science; yet, when I shall have set down
my own reading orderly and perspicuously, the pains left another
will be only to consider if he also find not the same in himself.
For this kind of doctrine admitteth no other demonstration.

                            THE FIRST PART
                                OF MAN

                               CHAPTER I
                               OF SENSE

  CONCERNING the thoughts of man, I will consider them first singly,
and afterwards in train or dependence upon one another. Singly, they
are every one a representation or appearance of some quality, or other
accident of a body without us, which is commonly called an object.
Which object worketh on the eyes, ears, and other parts of man's body,
and by diversity of working produceth diversity of appearances.
  The original of them all is that which we call sense, (for there
is no conception in a man's mind which hath not at first, totally or
by parts, been begotten upon the organs of sense). The rest are
derived from that original.
  To know the natural cause of sense is not very necessary to the
business now in hand; and I have elsewhere written of the same at
large. Nevertheless, to fill each part of my present method, I will
briefly deliver the same in this place.
  The cause of sense is the external body, or object, which presseth
the organ proper to each sense, either immediately, as in the taste
and touch; or mediately, as in seeing, hearing, and smelling: which
pressure, by the mediation of nerves and other strings and membranes
of the body, continued inwards to the brain and heart, causeth there a
resistance, or counter-pressure, or endeavour of the heart to
deliver itself: which endeavour, because outward, seemeth to be some
matter without. And this seeming, or fancy, is that which men call
sense; and consisteth, as to the eye, in a light, or colour figured;
to the ear, in a sound; to the nostril, in an odour; to the tongue and
palate, in a savour; and to the rest of the body, in heat, cold,
hardness, softness, and such other qualities as we discern by feeling.
All which qualities called sensible are in the object that causeth
them but so many several motions of the matter, by which it presseth
our organs diversely. Neither in us that are pressed are they anything
else but diverse motions (for motion produceth nothing but motion).
But their appearance to us is fancy, the same waking that dreaming.
And as pressing, rubbing, or striking the eye makes us fancy a
light, and pressing the ear produceth a din; so do the bodies also
we see, or hear, produce the same by their strong, though unobserved
action. For if those colours and sounds were in the bodies or
objects that cause them, they could not be severed from them, as by
glasses and in echoes by reflection we see they are: where we know the
thing we see is in one place; the appearance, in another. And though
at some certain distance the real and very object seem invested with
the fancy it begets in us; yet still the object is one thing, the
image or fancy is another. So that sense in all cases is nothing
else but original fancy caused (as I have said) by the pressure that
is, by the motion of external things upon our eyes, ears, and other
organs, thereunto ordained.
  But the philosophy schools, through all the universities of
Christendom, grounded upon certain texts of Aristotle, teach another
doctrine; and say, for the cause of vision, that the thing seen
sendeth forth on every side a visible species, (in English) a
visible show, apparition, or aspect, or a being seen; the receiving
whereof into the eye is seeing. And for the cause of hearing, that the
thing heard sendeth forth an audible species, that is, an audible
aspect, or audible being seen; which, entering at the ear, maketh
hearing. Nay, for the cause of understanding also, they say the
thing understood sendeth forth an intelligible species, that is, an
intelligible being seen; which, coming into the understanding, makes
us understand. I say not this, as disapproving the use of
universities: but because I am to speak hereafter of their office in a
Commonwealth, I must let you see on all occasions by the way what
things would be amended in them; amongst which the frequency of
insignificant speech is one.
                              CHAPTER II
                            OF IMAGINATION

  THAT when a thing lies still, unless somewhat else stir it, it
will lie still for ever, is a truth that no man doubts of. But that
when a thing is in motion, it will eternally be in motion, unless
somewhat else stay it, though the reason be the same (namely, that
nothing can change itself), is not so easily assented to. For men
measure, not only other men, but all other things, by themselves:
and because they find themselves subject after motion to pain and
lassitude, think everything else grows weary of motion, and seeks
repose of its own accord; little considering whether it be not some
other motion wherein that desire of rest they find in themselves
consisteth. From hence it is that the schools say, heavy bodies fall
downwards out of an appetite to rest, and to conserve their nature
in that place which is most proper for them; ascribing appetite, and
knowledge of what is good for their conservation (which is more than
man has), to things inanimate, absurdly.
  When a body is once in motion, it moveth (unless something else
hinder it) eternally; and whatsoever hindreth it, cannot in an
instant, but in time, and by degrees, quite extinguish it: and as we
see in the water, though the wind cease, the waves give not over
rolling for a long time after; so also it happeneth in that motion
which is made in the internal parts of a man, then, when he sees,
dreams, etc. For after the object is removed, or the eye shut, we
still retain an image of the thing seen, though more obscure than when
we see it. And this is it the Latins call imagination, from the
image made in seeing, and apply the same, though improperly, to all
the other senses. But the Greeks call it fancy, which signifies
appearance, and is as proper to one sense as to another.
Imagination, therefore, is nothing but decaying sense; and is found in
men and many other living creatures, as well sleeping as waking.
  The decay of sense in men waking is not the decay of the motion made
in sense, but an obscuring of it, in such manner as the light of the
sun obscureth the light of the stars; which stars do no less
exercise their virtue by which they are visible in the day than in the
night. But because amongst many strokes which our eyes, ears, and
other organs receive from external bodies, the predominant only is
sensible; therefore the light of the sun being predominant, we are not
affected with the action of the stars. And any object being removed
from our eyes, though the impression it made in us remain, yet other
objects more present succeeding, and working on us, the imagination of
the past is obscured and made weak, as the voice of a man is in the
noise of the day. From whence it followeth that the longer the time
is, after the sight or sense of any object, the weaker is the
imagination. For the continual change of man's body destroys in time
the parts which in sense were moved: so that distance of time, and
of place, hath one and the same effect in us. For as at a great
distance of place that which we look at appears dim, and without
distinction of the smaller parts, and as voices grow weak and
inarticulate: so also after great distance of time our imagination
of the past is weak; and we lose, for example, of cities we have seen,
many particular streets; and of actions, many particular
circumstances. This decaying sense, when we would express the thing
itself (I mean fancy itself), we call imagination, as I said before.
But when we would express the decay, and signify that the sense is
fading, old, and past, it is called memory. So that imagination and
memory are but one thing, which for diverse considerations hath
diverse names.
  Much memory, or memory of many things, is called experience.
Again, imagination being only of those things which have been formerly
perceived by sense, either all at once, or by parts at several
times; the former (which is the imagining the whole object, as it
was presented to the sense) is simple imagination, as when one
imagineth a man, or horse, which he hath seen before. The other is
compounded, when from the sight of a man at one time, and of a horse
at another, we conceive in our mind a centaur. So when a man
compoundeth the image of his own person with the image of the
actions of another man, as when a man imagines himself a Hercules or
an Alexander (which happeneth often to them that are much taken with
reading of romances), it is a compound imagination, and properly but a
fiction of the mind. There be also other imaginations that rise in
men, though waking, from the great impression made in sense: as from
gazing upon the sun, the impression leaves an image of the sun
before our eyes a long time after; and from being long and
vehemently attent upon geometrical figures, a man shall in the dark,
though awake, have the images of lines and angles before his eyes;
which kind of fancy hath no particular name, as being a thing that
doth not commonly fall into men's discourse.
  The imaginations of them that sleep are those we call dreams. And
these also (as all other imaginations) have been before, either
totally or by parcels, in the sense. And because in sense, the brain
and nerves, which are the necessary organs of sense, are so benumbed
in sleep as not easily to be moved by the action of external
objects, there can happen in sleep no imagination, and therefore no
dream, but what proceeds from the agitation of the inward parts of
man's body; which inward parts, for the connexion they have with the
brain and other organs, when they be distempered do keep the same in
motion; whereby the imaginations there formerly made, appear as if a
man were waking; saving that the organs of sense being now benumbed,
so as there is no new object which can master and obscure them with
a more vigorous impression, a dream must needs be more clear, in
this silence of sense, than are our waking thoughts. And hence it
cometh to pass that it is a hard matter, and by many thought
impossible, to distinguish exactly between sense and dreaming. For
my part, when I consider that in dreams I do not often nor
constantly think of the same persons, places, objects, and actions
that I do waking, nor remember so long a train of coherent thoughts
dreaming as at other times; and because waking I often observe the
absurdity of dreams, but never dream of the absurdities of my waking
thoughts, I am well satisfied that, being awake, I know I dream not;
though when I dream, I think myself awake.
  And seeing dreams are caused by the distemper of some of the
inward parts of the body, diverse distempers must needs cause
different dreams. And hence it is that lying cold breedeth dreams of
fear, and raiseth the thought and image of some fearful object, the
motion from the brain to the inner parts, and from the inner parts
to the brain being reciprocal; and that as anger causeth heat in
some parts of the body when we are awake, so when we sleep the
overheating of the same parts causeth anger, and raiseth up in the
brain the imagination of an enemy. In the same manner, as natural
kindness when we are awake causeth desire, and desire makes heat in
certain other parts of the body; so also too much heat in those parts,
while we sleep, raiseth in the brain an imagination of some kindness
shown. In sum, our dreams are the reverse of our waking
imaginations; the motion when we are awake beginning at one end, and
when we dream, at another.
  The most difficult discerning of a man's dream from his waking
thoughts is, then, when by some accident we observe not that we have
slept: which is easy to happen to a man full of fearful thoughts;
and whose conscience is much troubled; and that sleepeth without the
circumstances of going to bed, or putting off his clothes, as one that
noddeth in a chair. For he that taketh pains, and industriously lays
himself to sleep, in case any uncouth and exorbitant fancy come unto
him, cannot easily think it other than a dream. We read of Marcus
Brutus (one that had his life given him by Julius Caesar, and was also
his favorite, and notwithstanding murdered him), how at Philippi,
the night before he gave battle to Augustus Caesar, he saw a fearful
apparition, which is commonly related by historians as a vision,
but, considering the circumstances, one may easily judge to have
been but a short dream. For sitting in his tent, pensive and
troubled with the horror of his rash act, it was not hard for him,
slumbering in the cold, to dream of that which most affrighted him;
which fear, as by degrees it made him wake, so also it must needs make
the apparition by degrees to vanish: and having no assurance that he
slept, he could have no cause to think it a dream, or anything but a
vision. And this is no very rare accident: for even they that be
perfectly awake, if they be timorous and superstitious, possessed with
fearful tales, and alone in the dark, are subject to the like fancies,
and believe they see spirits and dead men's ghosts walking in
churchyards; whereas it is either their fancy only, or else the
knavery of such persons as make use of such superstitious fear to pass
disguised in the night to places they would not be known to haunt.
  From this ignorance of how to distinguish dreams, and other strong
fancies, from vision and sense, did arise the greatest part of the
religion of the Gentiles in time past, that worshipped satyrs,
fauns, nymphs, and the like; and nowadays the opinion that rude people
have of fairies, ghosts, and goblins, and of the power of witches.
For, as for witches, I think not that their witchcraft is any real
power, but yet that they are justly punished for the false belief they
have that they can do such mischief, joined with their purpose to do
it if they can, their trade being nearer to a new religion than to a
craft or science. And for fairies, and walking ghosts, the opinion
of them has, I think, been on purpose either taught, or not
confuted, to keep in credit the use of exorcism, of crosses, of holy
water, and other such inventions of ghostly men. Nevertheless, there
is no doubt but God can make unnatural apparitions: but that He does
it so often as men need to fear such things more than they fear the
stay, or change, of the course of Nature, which he also can stay,
and change, is no point of Christian faith. But evil men, under
pretext that God can do anything, are so bold as to say anything
when it serves their turn, though they think it untrue; it is the part
of a wise man to believe them no further than right reason makes
that which they say appear credible. If this superstitious fear of
spirits were taken away, and with it prognostics from dreams, false
prophecies, and many other things depending thereon, by which crafty
ambitious persons abuse the simple people, men would be would be
much more fitted than they are for civil obedience.
  And this ought to be the work of the schools, but they rather
nourish such doctrine. For (not knowing what imagination, or the
senses are) what they receive, they teach: some saying that
imaginations rise of themselves, and have no cause; others that they
rise most commonly from the will; and that good thoughts are blown
(inspired) into a man by God, and evil thoughts, by the Devil; or that
good thoughts are poured (infused) into a man by God, and evil ones by
the Devil. Some say the senses receive the species of things, and
deliver them to the common sense; and the common sense delivers them
over to the fancy, and the fancy to the memory, and the memory to
the judgement, like handing of things from one to another, with many
words making nothing understood.
  The imagination that is raised in man (or any other creature
endued with the faculty of imagining) by words, or other voluntary
signs, is that we generally call understanding, and is common to man
and beast. For a dog by custom will understand the call or the
rating of his master; and so will many other beasts. That
understanding which is peculiar to man is the understanding not only
his will, but his conceptions and thoughts, by the sequel and
contexture of the names of things into affirmations, negations, and
other forms of speech: and of this kind of understanding I shall speak
                             CHAPTER III

  BY CONSEQUENCE, or train of thoughts, I understand that succession
of one thought to another which is called, to distinguish it from
discourse in words, mental discourse.
  When a man thinketh on anything whatsoever, his next thought after
is not altogether so casual as it seems to be. Not every thought to
every thought succeeds indifferently. But as we have no imagination,
whereof we have not formerly had sense, in whole or in parts; so we
have no transition from one imagination to another, whereof we never
had the like before in our senses. The reason whereof is this. All
fancies are motions within us, relics of those made in the sense;
and those motions that immediately succeeded one another in the
sense continue also together after sense: in so much as the former
coming again to take place and be predominant, the latter followeth,
by coherence of the matter moved, in such manner as water upon a plain
table is drawn which way any one part of it is guided by the finger.
But because in sense, to one and the same thing perceived, sometimes
one thing, sometimes another, succeedeth, it comes to pass in time
that in the imagining of anything, there is no certainty what we shall
imagine next; only this is certain, it shall be something that
succeeded the same before, at one time or another.
  This train of thoughts, or mental discourse, is of two sorts. The
first is unguided, without design, and inconstant; wherein there is no
passionate thought to govern and direct those that follow to itself as
the end and scope of some desire, or other passion; in which case
the thoughts are said to wander, and seem impertinent one to
another, as in a dream. Such are commonly the thoughts of men that are
not only without company, but also without care of anything; though
even then their thoughts are as busy as at other times, but without
harmony; as the sound which a lute out of tune would yield to any man;
or in tune, to one that could not play. And yet in this wild ranging
of the mind, a man may oft-times perceive the way of it, and the
dependence of one thought upon another. For in a discourse of our
present civil war, what could seem more impertinent than to ask, as
one did, what was the value of a Roman penny? Yet the coherence to
me was manifest enough. For the thought of the war introduced the
thought of the delivering up the King to his enemies; the thought of
that brought in the thought of the delivering up of Christ; and that
again the thought of the 30 pence, which was the price of that
treason: and thence easily followed that malicious question; and all
this in a moment of time, for thought is quick.
  The second is more constant, as being regulated by some desire and
design. For the impression made by such things as we desire, or
fear, is strong and permanent, or (if it cease for a time) of quick
return: so strong it is sometimes as to hinder and break our sleep.
From desire ariseth the thought of some means we have seen produce the
like of that which we aim at; and from the thought of that, the
thought of means to that mean; and so continually, till we come to
some beginning within our own power. And because the end, by the
greatness of the impression, comes often to mind, in case our thoughts
begin to wander they are quickly again reduced into the way: which,
observed by one of the seven wise men, made him give men this precept,
which is now worn out: respice finem; that is to say, in all your
actions, look often upon what you would have, as the thing that
directs all your thoughts in the way to attain it.
  The train of regulated thoughts is of two kinds: one, when of an
effect imagined we seek the causes or means that produce it; and
this is common to man and beast. The other is, when imagining anything
whatsoever, we seek all the possible effects that can by it be
produced; that is to say, we imagine what we can do with it when we
have it. Of which I have not at any time seen any sign, but in man
only; for this is a curiosity hardly incident to the nature of any
living creature that has no other passion but sensual, such as are
hunger, thirst, lust, and anger. In sum, the discourse of the mind,
when it is governed by design, is nothing but seeking, or the
faculty of invention, which the Latins call sagacitas, and solertia; a
hunting out of the causes of some effect, present or past; or of the
effects of some present or past cause. Sometimes a man seeks what he
hath lost; and from that place, and time, wherein he misses it, his
mind runs back, from place to place, and time to time, to find where
and when he had it; that is to say, to find some certain and limited
time and place in which to begin a method of seeking. Again, from
thence, his thoughts run over the same places and times to find what
action or other occasion might make him lose it. This we call
remembrance, or calling to mind: the Latins call it reminiscentia,
as it were a re-conning of our former actions.
  Sometimes a man knows a place determinate, within the compass
whereof he is to seek; and then his thoughts run over all the parts
thereof in the same manner as one would sweep a room to find a
jewel; or as a spaniel ranges the field till he find a scent; or as
a man should run over the alphabet to start a rhyme.
  Sometimes a man desires to know the event of an action; and then
he thinketh of some like action past, and the events thereof one after
another, supposing like events will follow like actions. As he that
foresees what will become of a criminal re-cons what he has seen
follow on the like crime before, having this order of thoughts; the
crime, the officer, the prison, the judge, and the gallows. Which kind
of thoughts is called foresight, and prudence, or providence, and
sometimes wisdom; though such conjecture, through the difficulty of
observing all circumstances, be very fallacious. But this is
certain: by how much one man has more experience of things past than
another; by so much also he is more prudent, and his expectations
the seldomer fail him. The present only has a being in nature;
things past have a being in the memory only; but things to come have
no being at all, the future being but a fiction of the mind,
applying the sequels of actions past to the actions that are
present; which with most certainty is done by him that has most
experience, but not with certainty enough. And though it be called
prudence when the event answereth our expectation; yet in its own
nature it is but presumption. For the foresight of things to come,
which is providence, belongs only to him by whose will they are to
come. From him only, and supernaturally, proceeds prophecy. The best
prophet naturally is the best guesser; and the best guesser, he that
is most versed and studied in the matters he guesses at, for he hath
most signs to guess by.
  A sign is the event antecedent of the consequent; and contrarily,
the consequent of the antecedent, when the like consequences have been
observed before: and the oftener they have been observed, the less
uncertain is the sign. And therefore he that has most experience in
any kind of business has most signs whereby to guess at the future
time, and consequently is the most prudent: and so much more prudent
than he that is new in that kind of business, as not to be equalled by
any advantage of natural and extemporary wit, though perhaps many
young men think the contrary.
  Nevertheless, it is not prudence that distinguisheth man from beast.
There be beasts that at a year old observe more and pursue that
which is for their good more prudently than a child can do at ten.
  As prudence is a presumption of the future, contracted from the
experience of time past: so there is a presumption of things past
taken from other things, not future, but past also. For he that hath
seen by what courses and degrees a flourishing state hath first come
into civil war, and then to ruin; upon the sight of the ruins of any
other state will guess the like war and the like courses have been
there also. But this conjecture has the same uncertainty almost with
the conjecture of the future, both being grounded only upon
  There is no other act of man's mind, that I can remember,
naturally planted in him, so as to need no other thing to the exercise
of it but to be born a man, and live with the use of his five
senses. Those other faculties, of which I shall speak by and by, and
which seem proper to man only, are acquired and increased by study and
industry, and of most men learned by instruction and discipline, and
proceed all from the invention of words and speech. For besides sense,
and thoughts, and the train of thoughts, the mind of man has no
other motion; though by the help of speech, and method, the same
faculties may be improved to such a height as to distinguish men
from all other living creatures.
  Whatsoever we imagine is finite. Therefore there is no idea or
conception of anything we call infinite. No man can have in his mind
an image of infinite magnitude; nor conceive infinite swiftness,
infinite time, or infinite force, or infinite power. When we say
anything is infinite, we signify only that we are not able to conceive
the ends and bounds of the thing named, having no conception of the
thing, but of our own inability. And therefore the name of God is
used, not to make us conceive Him (for He is incomprehensible, and His
greatness and power are unconceivable), but that we may honour Him.
Also because whatsoever, as I said before, we conceive has been
perceived first by sense, either all at once, or by parts, a man can
have no thought representing anything not subject to sense. No man
therefore can conceive anything, but he must conceive it in some
place; and endued with some determinate magnitude; and which may be
divided into parts; nor that anything is all in this place, and all in
another place at the same time; nor that two or more things can be
in one and the same place at once: for none of these things ever
have or can be incident to sense, but are absurd speeches, taken
upon credit, without any signification at all, from deceived
philosophers and deceived, or deceiving, Schoolmen.

                              CHAPTER IV
                              OF SPEECH

  THE INVENTION of printing, though ingenious, compared with the
invention of letters is no great matter. But who was the first that
found the use of letters is not known. He that first brought them into
Greece, men say, was Cadmus, the son of Agenor, King of Phoenicia. A
profitable invention for continuing the memory of time past, and the
conjunction of mankind dispersed into so many and distant regions of
the earth; and withal difficult, as proceeding from a watchful
observation of the diverse motions of the tongue, palate, lips, and
other organs of speech; whereby to make as many differences of
characters to remember them. But the most noble and profitable
invention of all other was that of speech, consisting of names or
appellations, and their connexion; whereby men register their
thoughts, recall them when they are past, and also declare them one to
another for mutual utility and conversation; without which there had
been amongst men neither Commonwealth, nor society, nor contract,
nor peace, no more than amongst lions, bears, and wolves. The first
author of speech was God himself, that instructed Adam how to name
such creatures as He presented to his sight; for the Scripture goeth
no further in this matter. But this was sufficient to direct him to
add more names, as the experience and use of the creatures should give
him occasion; and to join them in such manner by degrees as to make
himself understood; and so by succession of time, so much language
might be gotten as he had found use for, though not so copious as an
orator or philosopher has need of. For I do not find anything in the
Scripture out of which, directly or by consequence, can be gathered
that Adam was taught the names of all figures, numbers, measures,
colours, sounds, fancies, relations; much less the names of words
and speech, as general, special, affirmative, negative, interrogative,
optative, infinitive, all which are useful; and least of all, of
entity, intentionality, quiddity, and other insignificant words of the
  But all this language gotten, and augmented by Adam and his
posterity, was again lost at the tower of Babel, when by the hand of
God every man was stricken for his rebellion with an oblivion of his
former language. And being hereby forced to disperse themselves into
several parts of the world, it must needs be that the diversity of
tongues that now is, proceeded by degrees from them in such manner
as need, the mother of all inventions, taught them, and in tract of
time grew everywhere more copious.
  The general use of speech is to transfer our mental discourse into
verbal, or the train of our thoughts into a train of words, and that
for two commodities; whereof one is the registering of the
consequences of our thoughts, which being apt to slip out of our
memory and put us to a new labour, may again be recalled by such words
as they were marked by. So that the first use of names is to serve for
marks or notes of remembrance. Another is when many use the same words
to signify, by their connexion and order one to another, what they
conceive or think of each matter; and also what they desire, fear,
or have any other passion for. And for this use they are called signs.
Special uses of speech are these: first, to register what by
cogitation we find to be the cause of anything, present or past; and
what we find things present or past may produce, or effect; which,
in sum, is acquiring of arts. Secondly, to show to others that
knowledge which we have attained; which is to counsel and teach one
another. Thirdly, to make known to others our wills and purposes
that we may have the mutual help of one another. Fourthly, to please
and delight ourselves, and others, by playing with our words, for
pleasure or ornament, innocently.
  To these uses, there are also four correspondent abuses. First, when
men register their thoughts wrong by the inconstancy of the
signification of their words; by which they register for their
conceptions that which they never conceived, and so deceive
themselves. Secondly, when they use words metaphorically; that is,
in other sense than that they are ordained for, and thereby deceive
others. Thirdly, when by words they declare that to be their will
which is not. Fourthly, when they use them to grieve one another:
for seeing nature hath armed living creatures, some with teeth, some
with horns, and some with hands, to grieve an enemy, it is but an
abuse of speech to grieve him with the tongue, unless it be one whom
we are obliged to govern; and then it is not to grieve, but to correct
and amend.
  The manner how speech serveth to the remembrance of the
consequence of causes and effects consisteth in the imposing of names,
and the connexion of them.
  Of names, some are proper, and singular to one only thing; as Peter,
John, this man, this tree: and some are common to many things; as man,
horse, tree; every of which, though but one name, is nevertheless
the name of diverse particular things; in respect of all which
together, it is called a universal, there being nothing in the world
universal but names; for the things named are every one of them
individual and singular.
  One universal name is imposed on many things for their similitude in
some quality, or other accident: and whereas a proper name bringeth to
mind one thing only, universals recall any one of those many.
  And of names universal, some are of more and some of less extent,
the larger comprehending the less large; and some again of equal
extent, comprehending each other reciprocally. As for example, the
name body is of larger signification than the word man, and
comprehendeth it; and the names man and rational are of equal
extent, comprehending mutually one another. But here we must take
notice that by a name is not always understood, as in grammar, one
only word, but sometimes by circumlocution many words together. For
all these words, He that in his actions observeth the laws of his
country, make but one name, equivalent to this one word, just.
  By this imposition of names, some of larger, some of stricter
signification, we turn the reckoning of the consequences of things
imagined in the mind into a reckoning of the consequences of
appellations. For example, a man that hath no use of speech at all,
(such as is born and remains perfectly deaf and dumb), if he set
before his eyes a triangle, and by it two right angles (such as are
the corners of a square figure), he may by meditation compare and find
that the three angles of that triangle are equal to those two right
angles that stand by it. But if another triangle be shown him
different in shape from the former, he cannot know without a new
labour whether the three angles of that also be equal to the same. But
he that hath the use of words, when he observes that such equality was
consequent, not to the length of the sides, nor to any other
particular thing in his triangle; but only to this, that the sides
were straight, and the angles three, and that that was all, for
which he named it a triangle; will boldly conclude universally that
such equality of angles is in all triangles whatsoever, and register
his invention in these general terms: Every triangle hath its three
angles equal to two right angles. And thus the consequence found in
one particular comes to be registered and remembered as a universal
rule; and discharges our mental reckoning of time and place, and
delivers us from all labour of the mind, saving the first; and makes
that which was found true here, and now, to be true in all times and
  But the use of words in registering our thoughts is in nothing so
evident as in numbering. A natural fool that could never learn by
heart the order of numeral words, as one, two, and three, may
observe every stroke of the clock, and nod to it, or say one, one,
one, but can never know what hour it strikes. And it seems there was a
time when those names of number were not in use; and men were fain
to apply their fingers of one or both hands to those things they
desired to keep account of; and that thence it proceeded that now
our numeral words are but ten, in any nation, and in some but five,
and then they begin again. And he that can tell ten, if he recite them
out of order, will lose himself, and not know when he has done: much
less will he be able to add, and subtract, and perform all other
operations of arithmetic. So that without words there is no
possibility of reckoning of numbers; much less of magnitudes, of
swiftness, of force, and other things, the reckonings whereof are
necessary to the being or well-being of mankind.
  When two names are joined together into a consequence, or
affirmation, as thus, A man is a living creature; or thus, If he be
a man, he is a living creature; if the latter name living creature
signify all that the former name man signifieth, then the affirmation,
or consequence, is true; otherwise false. For true and false are
attributes of speech, not of things. And where speech is not, there is
neither truth nor falsehood. Error there may be, as when we expect
that which shall not be, or suspect what has not been; but in
neither case can a man be charged with untruth.
  Seeing then that truth consisteth in the right ordering of names
in our affirmations, a man that seeketh precise truth had need to
remember what every name he uses stands for, and to place it
accordingly; or else he will find himself entangled in words, as a
bird in lime twigs; the more he struggles, the more belimed. And
therefore in geometry (which is the only science that it hath
pleased God hitherto to bestow on mankind), men begin at settling
the significations of their words; which settling of significations,
they call definitions, and place them in the beginning of their
  By this it appears how necessary it is for any man that aspires to
true knowledge to examine the definitions of former authors; and
either to correct them, where they are negligently set down, or to
make them himself. For the errors of definitions multiply
themselves, according as the reckoning proceeds, and lead men into
absurdities, which at last they see, but cannot avoid, without
reckoning anew from the beginning; in which lies the foundation of
their errors. From whence it happens that they which trust to books do
as they that cast up many little sums into a greater, without
considering whether those little sums were rightly cast up or not; and
at last finding the error visible, and not mistrusting their first
grounds, know not which way to clear themselves, spend time in
fluttering over their books; as birds that entering by the chimney,
and finding themselves enclosed in a chamber, flutter at the false
light of a glass window, for want of wit to consider which way they
came in. So that in the right definition of names lies the first use
of speech; which is the acquisition of science: and in wrong, or no
definitions, lies the first abuse; from which proceed all false and
senseless tenets; which make those men that take their instruction
from the authority of books, and not from their own meditation, to
be as much below the condition of ignorant men as men endued with true
science are above it. For between true science and erroneous
doctrines, ignorance is in the middle. Natural sense and imagination
are not subject to absurdity. Nature itself cannot err: and as men
abound in copiousness of language; so they become more wise, or more
mad, than ordinary. Nor is it possible without letters for any man
to become either excellently wise or (unless his memory be hurt by
disease, or ill constitution of organs) excellently foolish. For words
are wise men's counters; they do but reckon by them: but they are
the money of fools, that value them by the authority of an
Aristotle, a Cicero, or a Thomas, or any other doctor whatsoever, if
but a man.
  Subject to names is whatsoever can enter into or be considered in an
account, and be added one to another to make a sum, or subtracted
one from another and leave a remainder. The Latins called accounts
of money rationes, and accounting, ratiocinatio: and that which we
in bills or books of account call items, they called nomina; that
is, names: and thence it seems to proceed that they extended the
word ratio to the faculty of reckoning in all other things. The Greeks
have but one word, logos, for both speech and reason; not that they
thought there was no speech without reason, but no reasoning without
speech; and the act of reasoning they called syllogism; which
signifieth summing up of the consequences of one saying to another.
And because the same things may enter into account for diverse
accidents, their names are (to show that diversity) diversely
wrested and diversified. This diversity of names may be reduced to
four general heads.
  First, a thing may enter into account for matter, or body; as
living, sensible, rational, hot, cold, moved, quiet; with all which
names the word matter, or body, is understood; all such being names of
  Secondly, it may enter into account, or be considered, for some
accident or quality which we conceive to be in it; as for being moved,
for being so long, for being hot, etc.; and then, of the name of the
thing itself, by a little change or wresting, we make a name for
that accident which we consider; and for living put into the account
life; for moved, motion; for hot, heat; for long, length, and the
like: and all such names are the names of the accidents and properties
by which one matter and body is distinguished from another. These
are called names abstract, because severed, not from matter, but
from the account of matter.
  Thirdly, we bring into account the properties of our own bodies,
whereby we make such distinction: as when anything is seen by us, we
reckon not the thing itself, but the sight, the colour, the idea of it
in the fancy; and when anything is heard, we reckon it not, but the
hearing or sound only, which is our fancy or conception of it by the
ear: and such are names of fancies.
  Fourthly, we bring into account, consider, and give names, to
names themselves, and to speeches: for, general, universal, special,
equivocal, are names of names. And affirmation, interrogation,
commandment, narration, syllogism, sermon, oration, and many other
such are names of speeches. And this is all the variety of names
positive; which are put to mark somewhat which is in nature, or may be
feigned by the mind of man, as bodies that are, or may be conceived to
be; or of bodies, the properties that are, or may be feigned to be; or
words and speech.
  There be also other names, called negative; which are notes to
signify that a word is not the name of the thing in question; as these
words: nothing, no man, infinite, indocible, three want four, and
the like; which are nevertheless of use in reckoning, or in correcting
of reckoning, and call to mind our past cogitations, though they be
not names of anything; because they make us refuse to admit of names
not rightly used.
  All other names are but insignificant sounds; and those of two
sorts. One, when they are new, and yet their meaning not explained
by definition; whereof there have been abundance coined by Schoolmen
and puzzled philosophers.
  Another, when men make a name of two names, whose significations are
contradictory and inconsistent; as this name, an incorporeal body, or,
which is all one, an incorporeal substance, and a great number more.
For whensoever any affirmation is false, the two names of which it
is composed, put together and made one, signify nothing at all. For
example, if it be a false affirmation to say a quadrangle is round,
the word round quadrangle signifies nothing, but is a mere sound. So
likewise if it be false to say that virtue can be poured, or blown
up and down, the words inpoured virtue, inblown virtue, are as
absurd and insignificant as a round quadrangle. And therefore you
shall hardly meet with a senseless and insignificant word that is
not made up of some Latin or Greek names. Frenchman seldom hears our
Saviour called by the name of Parole, but by the name of Verbe
often; yet Verbe and Parole differ no more but that one is Latin,
the other French.
  When a man, upon the hearing of any speech, hath those thoughts
which the words of that speech, and their connexion, were ordained and
constituted to signify, then he is said to understand it:
understanding being nothing else but conception caused by speech.
And therefore if speech be peculiar to man, as for ought I know it is,
then is understanding peculiar to him also. And therefore of absurd
and false affirmations, in case they be universal, there can be no
understanding; though many think they understand then, when they do
but repeat the words softly, or con them in their mind.
  What kinds of speeches signify the appetites, aversions, and
passions of man's mind, and of their use and abuse, I shall speak when
I have spoken of the passions.
  The names of such things as affect us, that is, which please and
displease us, because all men be not alike affected with the same
thing, nor the same man at all times, are in the common discourses
of men of inconstant signification. For seeing all names are imposed
to signify our conceptions, and all our affections are but
conceptions; when we conceive the same things differently, we can
hardly avoid different naming of them. For though the nature of that
we conceive be the same; yet the diversity of our reception of it,
in respect of different constitutions of body and prejudices of
opinion, gives everything a tincture of our different passions. And
therefore in reasoning, a man must take heed of words; which,
besides the signification of what we imagine of their nature, have a
signification also of the nature, disposition, and interest of the
speaker; such as are the names of virtues and vices: for one man
calleth wisdom what another calleth fear; and one cruelty what another
justice; one prodigality what another magnanimity; and one gravity
what another stupidity, etc. And therefore such names can never be
true grounds of any ratiocination. No more can metaphors and tropes of
speech: but these are less dangerous because they profess their
inconstancy, which the other do not.

                              CHAPTER V
                        OF REASON AND SCIENCE

  WHEN man reasoneth, he does nothing else but conceive a sum total,
from addition of parcels; or conceive a remainder, from subtraction of
one sum from another: which, if it be done by words, is conceiving
of the consequence of the names of all the parts, to the name of the
whole; or from the names of the whole and one part, to the name of the
other part. And though in some things, as in numbers, besides adding
and subtracting, men name other operations, as multiplying and
dividing; yet they are the same: for multiplication is but adding
together of things equal; and division, but subtracting of one
thing, as often as we can. These operations are not incident to
numbers only, but to all manner of things that can be added
together, and taken one out of another. For as arithmeticians teach to
add and subtract in numbers, so the geometricians teach the same in
lines, figures (solid and superficial), angles, proportions, times,
degrees of swiftness, force, power, and the like; the logicians
teach the same in consequences of words, adding together two names
to make an affirmation, and two affirmations to make a syllogism,
and many syllogisms to make a demonstration; and from the sum, or
conclusion of a syllogism, they subtract one proposition to find the
other. Writers of politics add together pactions to find men's duties;
and lawyers, laws and facts to find what is right and wrong in the
actions of private men. In sum, in what matter soever there is place
for addition and subtraction, there also is place for reason; and
where these have no place, there reason has nothing at all to do.
  Out of all which we may define (that is to say determine) what
that is which is meant by this word reason when we reckon it amongst
the faculties of the mind. For reason, in this sense, is nothing but
reckoning (that is, adding and subtracting) of the consequences of
general names agreed upon for the marking and signifying of our
thoughts; I say marking them, when we reckon by ourselves; and
signifying, when we demonstrate or approve our reckonings to other
  And as in arithmetic unpractised men must, and professors themselves
may often, err, and cast up false; so also in any other subject of
reasoning, the ablest, most attentive, and most practised men may
deceive themselves, and infer false conclusions; not but that reason
itself is always right reason, as well as arithmetic is a certain
and infallible art: but no one man's reason, nor the reason of any one
number of men, makes the certainty; no more than an account is
therefore well cast up because a great many men have unanimously
approved it. And therefore, as when there is a controversy in an
account, the parties must by their own accord set up for right
reason the reason of some arbitrator, or judge, to whose sentence they
will both stand, or their controversy must either come to blows, or be
undecided, for want of a right reason constituted by Nature; so is
it also in all debates of what kind soever: and when men that think
themselves wiser than all others clamour and demand right reason for
judge, yet seek no more but that things should be determined by no
other men's reason but their own, it is as intolerable in the
society of men, as it is in play after trump is turned to use for
trump on every occasion that suit whereof they have most in their
hand. For they do nothing else, that will have every of their
passions, as it comes to bear sway in them, to be taken for right
reason, and that in their own controversies: bewraying their want of
right reason by the claim they lay to it.
  The use and end of reason is not the finding of the sum and truth of
one, or a few consequences, remote from the first definitions and
settled significations of names; but to begin at these, and proceed
from one consequence to another. For there can be no certainty of
the last conclusion without a certainty of all those affirmations
and negations on which it was grounded and inferred. As when a
master of a family, in taking an account, casteth up the sums of all
the bills of expense into one sum; and not regarding how each bill
is summed up, by those that give them in account, nor what it is he
pays for, he advantages himself no more than if he allowed the account
in gross, trusting to every of the accountant's skill and honesty:
so also in reasoning of all other things, he that takes up conclusions
on the trust of authors, and doth not fetch them from the first
items in every reckoning (which are the significations of names
settled by definitions), loses his labour, and does not know anything,
but only believeth.
  When a man reckons without the use of words, which may be done in
particular things, as when upon the sight of any one thing, we
conjecture what was likely to have preceded, or is likely to follow
upon it; if that which he thought likely to follow follows not, or
that which he thought likely to have preceded it hath not preceded it,
this is called error; to which even the most prudent men are
subject. But when we reason in words of general signification, and
fall upon a general inference which is false; though it be commonly
called error, it is indeed an absurdity, or senseless speech. For
error is but a deception, in presuming that somewhat is past, or to
come; of which, though it were not past, or not to come, yet there was
no impossibility discoverable. But when we make a general assertion,
unless it be a true one, the possibility of it is inconceivable. And
words whereby we conceive nothing but the sound are those we call
absurd, insignificant, and nonsense. And therefore if a man should
talk to me of a round quadrangle; or accidents of bread in cheese;
or immaterial substances; or of a free subject; a free will; or any
free but free from being hindered by opposition; I should not say he
were in an error, but that his words were without meaning; that is
to say, absurd.
  I have said before, in the second chapter, that a man did excel
all other animals in this faculty, that when he conceived anything
whatsoever, he was apt to enquire the consequences of it, and what
effects he could do with it. And now I add this other degree of the
same excellence, that he can by words reduce the consequences he finds
to general rules, called theorems, or aphorisms; that is, he can
reason, or reckon, not only in number, but in all other things whereof
one may be added unto or subtracted from another.
  But this privilege is allayed by another; and that is by the
privilege of absurdity, to which no living creature is subject, but
men only. And of men, those are of all most subject to it that profess
philosophy. For it is most true that Cicero saith of them somewhere;
that there can be nothing so absurd but may be found in the books of
philosophers. And the reason is manifest. For there is not one of them
that begins his ratiocination from the definitions or explications
of the names they are to use; which is a method that hath been used
only in geometry, whose conclusions have thereby been made
  1. The first cause of absurd conclusions I ascribe to the want of
method; in that they begin not their ratiocination from definitions;
that is, from settled significations of their words: as if they
could cast account without knowing the value of the numeral words,
one, two, and three.
  And whereas all bodies enter into account upon diverse
considerations, which I have mentioned in the precedent chapter, these
considerations being diversely named, diverse absurdities proceed from
the confusion and unfit connexion of their names into assertions.
And therefore,
  2. The second cause of absurd assertions, I ascribe to the giving of
names of bodies to accidents; or of accidents to bodies; as they do
that say, faith is infused, or inspired; when nothing can be poured,
or breathed into anything, but body; and that extension is body;
that phantasms are spirits, etc.
  3. The third I ascribe to the giving of the names of the accidents
of bodies without us to the accidents of our own bodies; as they do
that say, the colour is in the body; the sound is in the air, etc.
  4. The fourth, to the giving of the names of bodies to names, or
speeches; as they do that say that there be things universal; that a
living creature is genus, or a general thing, etc.
  5. The fifth, to the giving of the names of accidents to names and
speeches; as they do that say, the nature of a thing is its
definition; a man's command is his will; and the like.
  6. The sixth, to the use of metaphors, tropes, and other
rhetorical figures, instead of words proper. For though it be lawful
to say, for example, in common speech, the way goeth, or leadeth
hither, or thither; the proverb says this or that (whereas ways cannot
go, nor proverbs speak); yet in reckoning, and seeking of truth,
such speeches are not to be admitted.
  7. The seventh, to names that signify nothing, but are taken up
and learned by rote from the Schools, as hypostatical,
transubstantiate, consubstantiate, eternal-now, and the like canting
of Schoolmen.
  To him that can avoid these things, it is not easy to fall into
any absurdity, unless it be by the length of an account; wherein he
may perhaps forget what went before. For all men by nature reason
alike, and well, when they have good principles. For who is so
stupid as both to mistake in geometry, and also to persist in it, when
another detects his error to him?
  By this it appears that reason is not, as sense and memory, born
with us; nor gotten by experience only, as prudence is; but attained
by industry: first in apt imposing of names; and secondly by getting a
good and orderly method in proceeding from the elements, which are
names, to assertions made by connexion of one of them to another;
and so to syllogisms, which are the connexions of one assertion to
another, till we come to a knowledge of all the consequences of
names appertaining to the subject in hand; and that is it, men call
science. And whereas sense and memory are but knowledge of fact, which
is a thing past and irrevocable, science is the knowledge of
consequences, and dependence of one fact upon another; by which, out
of that we can presently do, we know how to do something else when
we will, or the like, another time: because when we see how anything
comes about, upon what causes, and by what manner; when the like
causes come into our power, we see how to make it produce the like
  Children therefore are not endued with reason at all, till they have
attained the use of speech, but are called reasonable creatures for
the possibility apparent of having the use of reason in time to
come. And the most part of men, though they have the use of
reasoning a little way, as in numbering to some degree; yet it
serves them to little use in common life, in which they govern
themselves, some better, some worse, according to their differences of
experience, quickness of memory, and inclinations to several ends; but
specially according to good or evil fortune, and the errors of one
another. For as for science, or certain rules of their actions, they
are so far from it that they know not what it is. Geometry they have
thought conjuring: but for other sciences, they who have not been
taught the beginnings, and some progress in them, that they may see
how they be acquired and generated, are in this point like children
that, having no thought of generation, are made believe by the women
that their brothers and sisters are not born, but found in the garden.
  But yet they that have no science are in better and nobler condition
with their natural prudence than men that, by misreasoning, or by
trusting them that reason wrong, fall upon false and absurd general
rules. For ignorance of causes, and of rules, does not set men so
far out of their way as relying on false rules, and taking for
causes of what they aspire to, those that are not so, but rather
causes of the contrary.
  To conclude, the light of humane minds is perspicuous words, but
by exact definitions first snuffed, and purged from ambiguity;
reason is the pace; increase of science, the way; and the benefit of
mankind, the end. And, on the contrary, metaphors, and senseless and
ambiguous words are like ignes fatui; and reasoning upon them is
wandering amongst innumerable absurdities; and their end, contention
and sedition, or contempt.
  As much experience is prudence, so is much science sapience. For
though we usually have one name of wisdom for them both; yet the
Latins did always distinguish between prudentia and sapientia;
ascribing the former to experience, the latter to science. But to make
their difference appear more clearly, let us suppose one man endued
with an excellent natural use and dexterity in handling his arms;
and another to have added to that dexterity an acquired science of
where he can offend, or be offended by his adversary, in every
possible posture or guard: the ability of the former would be to the
ability of the latter, as prudence to sapience; both useful, but the
latter infallible. But they that, trusting only to the authority of
books, follow the blind blindly, are like him that, trusting to the
false rules of a master of fence, ventures presumptuously upon an
adversary that either kills or disgraces him.
  The signs of science are some certain and infallible; some,
uncertain. Certain, when he that pretendeth the science of anything
can teach the same; that is to say, demonstrate the truth thereof
perspicuously to another: uncertain, when only some particular
events answer to his pretence, and upon many occasions prove so as
he says they must. Signs of prudence are all uncertain; because to
observe by experience, and remember all circumstances that may alter
the success, is impossible. But in any business, whereof a man has not
infallible science to proceed by, to forsake his own natural judgment,
and be guided by general sentences read in authors, and subject to
many exceptions, is a sign of folly, and generally scorned by the name
of pedantry. And even of those men themselves that in councils of
the Commonwealth love to show their reading of politics and history,
very few do it in their domestic affairs where their particular
interest is concerned, having prudence enough for their private
affairs; but in public they study more the reputation of their own wit
than the success of another's business.

                              CHAPTER VI

  THERE be in animals two sorts of motions peculiar to them: One
called vital, begun in generation, and continued without
interruption through their whole life; such as are the course of the
blood, the pulse, the breathing, the concoction, nutrition, excretion,
etc.; to which motions there needs no help of imagination: the other
is animal motion, otherwise called voluntary motion; as to go, to
speak, to move any of our limbs, in such manner as is first fancied in
our minds. That sense is motion in the organs and interior parts of
man's body, caused by the action of the things we see, hear, etc., and
that fancy is but the relics of the same motion, remaining after
sense, has been already said in the first and second chapters. And
because going, speaking, and the like voluntary motions depend
always upon a precedent thought of whither, which way, and what, it is
evident that the imagination is the first internal beginning of all
voluntary motion. And although unstudied men do not conceive any
motion at all to be there, where the thing moved is invisible, or
the space it is moved in is, for the shortness of it, insensible;
yet that doth not hinder but that such motions are. For let a space be
never so little, that which is moved over a greater space, whereof
that little one is part, must first be moved over that. These small
beginnings of motion within the body of man, before they appear in
walking, speaking, striking, and other visible actions, are commonly
called endeavour.
  This endeavour, when it is toward something which causes it, is
called appetite, or desire, the latter being the general name, and the
other oftentimes restrained to signify the desire of food, namely
hunger and thirst. And when the endeavour is from ward something, it
is generally called aversion. These words appetite and aversion we
have from the Latins; and they both of them signify the motions, one
of approaching, the other of retiring. So also do the Greek words
for the same, which are orme and aphorme. For Nature itself does often
press upon men those truths which afterwards, when they look for
somewhat beyond Nature, they stumble at. For the Schools find in
mere appetite to go, or move, no actual motion at all; but because
some motion they must acknowledge, they call it metaphorical motion,
which is but an absurd speech; for though words may be called
metaphorical, bodies and motions cannot.
  That which men desire they are said to love, and to hate those
things for which they have aversion. So that desire and love are the
same thing; save that by desire, we signify the absence of the object;
by love, most commonly the presence of the same. So also by
aversion, we signify the absence; and by hate, the presence of the
  Of appetites and aversions, some are born with men; as appetite of
food, appetite of excretion, and exoneration (which may also and
more properly be called aversions, from somewhat they feel in their
bodies), and some other appetites, not many. The rest, which are
appetites of particular things, proceed from experience and trial of
their effects upon themselves or other men. For of things we know
not at all, or believe not to be, we can have no further desire than
to taste and try. But aversion we have for things, not only which we
know have hurt us, but also that we do not know whether they will hurt
us, or not.
  Those things which we neither desire nor hate, we are said to
contemn: contempt being nothing else but an immobility or contumacy of
the heart in resisting the action of certain things; and proceeding
from that the heart is already moved otherwise, by other more potent
objects, or from want of experience of them.
  And because the constitution of a man's body is in continual
mutation, it is impossible that all the same things should always
cause in him the same appetites and aversions: much less can all men
consent in the desire of almost any one and the same object.
  But whatsoever is the object of any man's appetite or desire, that
is it which he for his part calleth good; and the object of his hate
and aversion, evil; and of his contempt, vile and inconsiderable.
For these words of good, evil, and contemptible are ever used with
relation to the person that useth them: there being nothing simply and
absolutely so; nor any common rule of good and evil to be taken from
the nature of the objects themselves; but from the person of the
man, where there is no Commonwealth; or, in a Commonwealth, from the
person that representeth it; or from an arbitrator or judge, whom
men disagreeing shall by consent set up and make his sentence the rule
  The Latin tongue has two words whose significations approach to
those of good and evil, but are not precisely the same; and those
are pulchrum and turpe. Whereof the former signifies that which by
some apparent signs promiseth good; and the latter, that which
promiseth evil. But in our tongue we have not so general names to
express them by. But for pulchrum we say in some things, fair; in
others, beautiful, or handsome, or gallant, or honourable, or
comely, or amiable: and for turpe; foul, deformed, ugly, base,
nauseous, and the like, as the subject shall require; all which words,
in their proper places, signify nothing else but the mien, or
countenance, that promiseth good and evil. So that of good there be
three kinds: good in the promise, that is pulchrum; good in effect, as
the end desired, which is called jucundum, delightful; and good as the
means, which is called utile, profitable; and as many of evil: for
evil in promise is that they call turpe; evil in effect and end is
molestum, unpleasant, troublesome; and evil in the means, inutile,
unprofitable, hurtful.
  As in sense that which is really within us is, as I have said
before, only motion, caused by the action of external objects but in
appearance; to the sight, light and colour; to the ear, sound; to
the nostril, odour, etc.: so, when the action of the same object is
continued from the eyes, ears, and other organs to the heart, the real
effect there is nothing but motion, or endeavour; which consisteth
in appetite or aversion to or from the object moving. But the
appearance or sense of that motion is that we either call delight or
trouble of mind.
  This motion, which is called appetite, and for the appearance of
it delight and pleasure, seemeth to be a corroboration of vital
motion, and a help thereunto; and therefore such things as caused
delight were not improperly called jucunda (a juvando), from helping
or fortifying; and the contrary, molesta, offensive, from hindering
and troubling the motion vital.
  Pleasure therefore, or delight, is the appearance or sense of
good; and molestation or displeasure, the appearance or sense of evil.
And consequently all appetite, desire, and love is accompanied with
some delight more or less; and all hatred and aversion with more or
less displeasure and offence.
  Of pleasures, or delights, some arise from the sense of an object
present; and those may be called pleasures of sense (the word sensual,
as it is used by those only that condemn them, having no place till
there be laws). Of this kind are all onerations and exonerations of
the body; as also all that is pleasant, in the sight, hearing,
smell, taste, or touch. Others arise from the expectation that
proceeds from foresight of the end or consequence of things, whether
those things in the sense please or displease: and these are pleasures
of the mind of him that draweth in those consequences, and are
generally called joy. In the like manner, displeasures are some in the
sense, and called pain; others, in the expectation of consequences,
and are called grief.
  These simple passions called appetite, desire, love, aversion, hate,
joy, and grief have their names for diverse considerations
diversified. At first, when they one succeed another, they are
diversely called from the opinion men have of the likelihood of
attaining what they desire. Secondly, from the object loved or
hated. Thirdly, from the consideration of many of them together.
Fourthly, from the alteration or succession itself.
  For appetite with an opinion of attaining is called hope.
  The same, without such opinion, despair.
  Aversion, with opinion of hurt from the object, fear.
  The same, with hope of avoiding that hurt by resistence, courage.
  Sudden courage, anger.
  Constant hope, confidence of ourselves.
  Constant despair, diffidence of ourselves.
  Anger for great hurt done to another, when we conceive the same to
be done by injury, indignation.
  Desire of good to another, benevolence, good will, charity. If to
man generally, good nature.
  Desire of riches, covetousness: a name used always in
signification of blame, because men contending for them are displeased
with one another's attaining them; though the desire in itself be to
be blamed, or allowed, according to the means by which those riches
are sought.
  Desire of office, or precedence, ambition: a name used also in the
worse sense, for the reason before mentioned.
  Desire of things that conduce but a little to our ends, and fear
of things that are but of little hindrance, pusillanimity.
  Contempt of little helps, and hindrances, magnanimity.
  Magnanimity in danger of death, or wounds, valour, fortitude.
  Magnanimity in the use of riches, liberality.
  Pusillanimity in the same, wretchedness, miserableness, or
parsimony, as it is liked, or disliked.
  Love of persons for society, kindness.
  Love of persons for pleasing the sense only, natural lust.
  Love of the same acquired from rumination, that is, imagination of
pleasure past, luxury.
  Love of one singularly, with desire to be singularly beloved, the
passion of love. The same, with fear that the love is not mutual,
  Desire by doing hurt to another to make him condemn some fact of his
own, revengefulness.
  Desire to know why, and how, curiosity; such as is in no living
creature but man: so that man is distinguished, not only by his
reason, but also by this singular passion from other animals; in
whom the appetite of food, and other pleasures of sense, by
predominance, take away the care of knowing causes; which is a lust of
the mind, that by a perseverance of delight in the continual and
indefatigable generation of knowledge, exceedeth the short vehemence
of any carnal pleasure.
  Fear of power invisible, feigned by the mind, or imagined from tales
publicly allowed, religion; not allowed, superstition. And when the
power imagined is truly such as we imagine, true religion.
  Fear without the apprehension of why, or what, panic terror;
called so from the fables that make Pan the author of them; whereas in
truth there is always in him that so feareth, first, some apprehension
of the cause, though the rest run away by example; every one supposing
his fellow to know why. And therefore this passion happens to none but
in a throng, or multitude of people.
  Joy from apprehension of novelty, admiration; proper to man, because
it excites the appetite of knowing the cause.
  Joy arising from imagination of a man's own power and ability is
that exultation of the mind which is called glorying: which, if
grounded upon the experience of his own former actions, is the same
with confidence: but if grounded on the flattery of others, or only
supposed by himself, for delight in the consequences of it, is
called vainglory: which name is properly given; because a
well-grounded confidence begetteth attempt; whereas the supposing of
power does not, and is therefore rightly called vain.
  Grief, from opinion of want of power, is called dejection of mind.
  The vainglory which consisteth in the feigning or supposing of
abilities in ourselves, which we know are not, is most incident to
young men, and nourished by the histories or fictions of gallant
persons; and is corrected oftentimes by age and employment.
  Sudden glory is the passion which maketh those grimaces called
laughter; and is caused either by some sudden act of their own that
pleaseth them; or by the apprehension of some deformed thing in
another, by comparison whereof they suddenly applaud themselves. And
it is incident most to them that are conscious of the fewest abilities
in themselves; who are forced to keep themselves in their own favour
by observing the imperfections of other men. And therefore much
laughter at the defects of others is a sign of pusillanimity. For of
great minds one of the proper works is to help and free others from
scorn, and compare themselves only with the most able.
  On the contrary, sudden dejection is the passion that causeth
weeping; and is caused by such accidents as suddenly take away some
vehement hope, or some prop of their power: and they are most
subject to it that rely principally on helps external, such as are
women and children. Therefore, some weep for the loss of friends;
others for their unkindness; others for the sudden stop made to
their thoughts of revenge, by reconciliation. But in all cases, both
laughter and weeping are sudden motions, custom taking them both away.
For no man laughs at old jests, or weeps for an old calamity.
  Grief for the discovery of some defect of ability is shame, or the
passion that discovereth itself in blushing, and consisteth in the
apprehension of something dishonourable; and in young men is a sign of
the love of good reputation, and commendable: in old men it is a
sign of the same; but because it comes too late, not commendable.
  The contempt of good reputation is called impudence.
  Grief for the calamity of another is pity; and ariseth from the
imagination that the like calamity may befall himself; and therefore
is called also compassion, and in the phrase of this present time a
fellow-feeling: and therefore for calamity arriving from great
wickedness, the best men have the least pity; and for the same
calamity, those have least pity that think themselves least
obnoxious to the same.
  Contempt, or little sense of the calamity of others, is that which
men call cruelty; proceeding from security of their own fortune.
For, that any man should take pleasure in other men's great harms,
without other end of his own, I do not conceive it possible.
  Grief for the success of a competitor in wealth, honour, or other
good, if it be joined with endeavour to enforce our own abilities to
equal or exceed him, is called emulation: but joined with endeavour to
supplant or hinder a competitor, envy.
  When in the mind of man appetites and aversions, hopes and fears,
concerning one and the same thing, arise alternately; and diverse good
and evil consequences of the doing or omitting the thing propounded
come successively into our thoughts; so that sometimes we have an
appetite to it, sometimes an aversion from it; sometimes hope to be
able to do it, sometimes despair, or fear to attempt it; the whole sum
of desires, aversions, hopes and fears, continued till the thing be
either done, or thought impossible, is that we call deliberation.
  Therefore of things past there is no deliberation, because
manifestly impossible to be changed; nor of things known to be
impossible, or thought so; because men know or think such deliberation
vain. But of things impossible, which we think possible, we may
deliberate, not knowing it is in vain. And it is called
deliberation; because it is a putting an end to the liberty we had
of doing, or omitting, according to our own appetite, or aversion.
  This alternate succession of appetites, aversions, hopes and fears
is no less in other living creatures than in man; and therefore beasts
also deliberate.
  Every deliberation is then said to end when that whereof they
deliberate is either done or thought impossible; because till then
we retain the liberty of doing, or omitting, according to our
appetite, or aversion.
  In deliberation, the last appetite, or aversion, immediately
adhering to the action, or to the omission thereof, is that we call
the will; the act, not the faculty, of willing. And beasts that have
deliberation must necessarily also have will. The definition of the
will, given commonly by the Schools, that it is a rational appetite,
is not good. For if it were, then could there be no voluntary act
against reason. For a voluntary act is that which proceedeth from
the will, and no other. But if instead of a rational appetite, we
shall say an appetite resulting from a precedent deliberation, then
the definition is the same that I have given here. Will, therefore, is
the last appetite in deliberating. And though we say in common
discourse, a man had a will once to do a thing, that nevertheless he
forbore to do; yet that is properly but an inclination, which makes no
action voluntary; because the action depends not of it, but of the
last inclination, or appetite. For if the intervenient appetites
make any action voluntary, then by the same reason all intervenient
aversions should make the same action involuntary; and so one and
the same action should be both voluntary and involuntary.
  By this it is manifest that, not only actions that have their
beginning from covetousness, ambition, lust, or other appetites to the
thing propounded, but also those that have their beginning from
aversion, or fear of those consequences that follow the omission,
are voluntary actions.
  The forms of speech by which the passions are expressed are partly
the same and partly different from those by which we express our
thoughts. And first generally all passions may be expressed
indicatively; as, I love, I fear, I joy, I deliberate, I will, I
command: but some of them have particular expressions by themselves,
which nevertheless are not affirmations, unless it be when they
serve to make other inferences besides that of the passion they
proceed from. Deliberation is expressed subjunctively; which is a
speech proper to signify suppositions, with their consequences; as, If
this be done, then this will follow; and differs not from the language
of reasoning, save that reasoning is in general words, but
deliberation for the most part is of particulars. The language of
desire, and aversion, is imperative; as, Do this, forbear that;
which when the party is obliged to do, or forbear, is command;
otherwise prayer; or else counsel. The language of vainglory, of
indignation, pity and revengefulness, optative: but of the desire to
know, there is a peculiar expression called interrogative; as, What is
it, when shall it, how is it done, and why so? Other language of the
passions I find none: for cursing, swearing, reviling, and the like do
not signify as speech, but as the actions of a tongue accustomed.
  These forms of speech, I say, are expressions or voluntary
significations of our passions: but certain signs they be not; because
they may be used arbitrarily, whether they that use them have such
passions or not. The best signs of passions present are either in
the countenance, motions of the body, actions, and ends, or aims,
which we otherwise know the man to have.
  And because in deliberation the appetites and aversions are raised
by foresight of the good and evil consequences, and sequels of the
action whereof we deliberate, the good or evil effect thereof
dependeth on the foresight of a long chain of consequences, of which
very seldom any man is able to see to the end. But for so far as a man
seeth, if the good in those consequences be greater than the evil, the
whole chain is that which writers call apparent or seeming good. And
contrarily, when the evil exceedeth the good, the whole is apparent or
seeming evil: so that he who hath by experience, or reason, the
greatest and surest prospect of consequences, deliberates best
himself; and is able, when he will, to give the best counsel unto
  Continual success in obtaining those things which a man from time to
time desireth, that is to say, continual prospering, is that men
call felicity; I mean the felicity of this life. For there is no
such thing as perpetual tranquillity of mind, while we live here;
because life itself is but motion, and can never be without desire,
nor without fear, no more than without sense. What kind of felicity
God hath ordained to them that devoutly honour him, a man shall no
sooner know than enjoy; being joys that now are as incomprehensible as
the word of Schoolmen, beatifical vision, is unintelligible.
  The form of speech whereby men signify their opinion of the goodness
of anything is praise. That whereby they signify the power and
greatness of anything is magnifying. And that whereby they signify the
opinion they have of a man's felicity is by the Greeks called
makarismos, for which we have no name in our tongue. And thus much
is sufficient for the present purpose to have been said of the

                             CHAPTER VII

  OF ALL discourse governed by desire of knowledge, there is at last
an end, either by attaining or by giving over. And in the chain of
discourse, wheresoever it be interrupted, there is an end for that
  If the discourse be merely mental, it consisteth of thoughts that
the thing will be, and will not be; or that it has been, and has not
been, alternately. So that wheresoever you break off the chain of a
man's discourse, you leave him in a presumption of it will be, or,
it will not be; or it has been, or, has not been. All which is
opinion. And that which is alternate appetite, in deliberating
concerning good and evil, the same is alternate opinion in the enquiry
of the truth of past and future. And as the last appetite in
deliberation is called the will, so the last opinion in search of
the truth of past and future is called the judgement, or resolute
and final sentence of him that discourseth. And as the whole chain
of appetites alternate in the question of good or bad is called
deliberation; so the whole chain of opinions alternate in the question
of true or false is called doubt.
  No discourse whatsoever can end in absolute knowledge of fact,
past or to come. For, as for the knowledge of fact, it is originally
sense, and ever after memory. And for the knowledge of consequence,
which I have said before is called science, it is not absolute, but
conditional. No man can know by discourse that this, or that, is,
has been, or will be; which is to know absolutely: but only that if
this be, that is; if this has been, that has been; if this shall be,
that shall be; which is to know conditionally: and that not the
consequence of one thing to another, but of one name of a thing to
another name of the same thing.
  And therefore, when the discourse is put into speech, and begins
with the definitions of words, and proceeds by connexion of the same
into general affirmations, and of these again into syllogisms, the end
or last sum is called the conclusion; and the thought of the mind by
it signified is that conditional knowledge, or knowledge of the
consequence of words, which is commonly called science. But if the
first ground of such discourse be not definitions, or if the
definitions be not rightly joined together into syllogisms, then the
end or conclusion is again opinion, namely of the truth of somewhat
said, though sometimes in absurd and senseless words, without
possibility of being understood. When two or more men know of one
and the same fact, they are said to be conscious of it one to another;
which is as much as to know it together. And because such are
fittest witnesses of the facts of one another, or of a third, it was
and ever will be reputed a very evil act for any man to speak
against his conscience; or to corrupt or force another so to do:
insomuch that the plea of conscience has been always hearkened unto
very diligently in all times. Afterwards, men made use of the same
word metaphorically for the knowledge of their own secret facts and
secret thoughts; and therefore it is rhetorically said that the
conscience is a thousand witnesses. And last of all, men, vehemently
in love with their own new opinions, though never so absurd, and
obstinately bent to maintain them, gave those their opinions also that
reverenced name of conscience, as if they would have it seem
unlawful to change or speak against them; and so pretend to know
they are true, when they know at most but that they think so.
  When a man's discourse beginneth not at definitions, it beginneth
either at some other contemplation of his own, and then it is still
called opinion, or it beginneth at some saying of another, of whose
ability to know the truth, and of whose honesty in not deceiving, he
doubteth not; and then the discourse is not so much concerning the
thing, as the person; and the resolution is called belief, and
faith: faith, in the man; belief, both of the man, and of the truth of
what he says. So that in belief are two opinions; one of the saying of
the man, the other of his virtue. To have faith in, or trust to, or
believe a man, signify the same thing; namely, an opinion of the
veracity of the man: but to believe what is said signifieth only an
opinion of the truth of the saying. But we are to observe that this
phrase, I believe in; as also the Latin, credo in; and the Greek,
piseno eis, are never used but in the writings of divines. Instead
of them, in other writings are put: I believe him; I trust him; I have
faith in him; I rely on him; and in Latin, credo illi; fido illi;
and in Greek, piseno anto; and that this singularity of the
ecclesiastic use of the word hath raised many disputes about the right
object of the Christian faith.
  But by believing in, as it is in the Creed, is meant, not trust in
the person, but confession and acknowledgement of the doctrine. For
not only Christians, but all manner of men do so believe in God as
to hold all for truth they hear Him say, whether they understand it or
not, which is all the faith and trust can possibly be had in any
person whatsoever; but they do not all believe the doctrine of the
  From whence we may infer that when we believe any saying, whatsoever
it be, to be true, from arguments taken, not from the thing itself, or
from the principles of natural reason, but from the authority and good
opinion we have of him that hath said it; then is the speaker, or
person we believe in, or trust in, and whose word we take, the
object of our faith; and the honour done in believing is done to him
only. And consequently, when we believe that the Scriptures are the
word of God, having no immediate revelation from God Himself, our
belief, faith, and trust is in the Church; whose word we take, and
acquiesce therein. And they that believe that which a prophet
relates unto them in the name of God take the word of the prophet,
do honour to him, and in him trust and believe, touching the truth
of what he relateth, whether he be a true or a false prophet. And so
it is also with all other history. For if I should not believe all
that is written by historians of the glorious acts of Alexander or
Caesar, I do not think the ghost of Alexander or Caesar had any just
cause to be offended, or anybody else but the historian. If Livy say
the gods made once a cow speak, and we believe it not, we distrust not
God therein, but Livy. So that it is evident that whatsoever we
believe, upon no other reason than what is drawn from authority of men
only, and their writings, whether they be sent from God or not, is
faith in men only.

                             CHAPTER VIII
                      AND THEIR CONTRARY DEFECTS

  VIRTUE generally, in all sorts of subjects, is somewhat that is
valued for eminence; and consisteth in comparison. For if all things
were equally in all men, nothing would be prized. And by virtues
intellectual are always understood such abilities of the mind as men
praise, value, and desire should be in themselves; and go commonly
under the name of a good wit; though the same word, wit, be used
also to distinguish one certain ability from the rest.
  These virtues are of two sorts; natural and acquired. By natural,
I mean not that which a man hath from his birth: for that is nothing
else but sense; wherein men differ so little one from another, and
from brute beasts, as it is not to be reckoned amongst virtues. But
I mean that wit which is gotten by use only, and experience, without
method, culture, or instruction. This natural wit consisteth
principally in two things: celerity of imagining (that is, swift
succession of one thought to another); and steady direction to some
approved end. On the contrary, a slow imagination maketh that defect
or fault of the mind which is commonly called dullness, stupidity, and
sometimes by other names that signify slowness of motion, or
difficulty to be moved.
  And this difference of quickness is caused by the difference of
men's passions; that love and dislike, some one thing, some another:
and therefore some men's thoughts run one way, some another, and are
held to, observe differently the things that pass through their
imagination. And whereas in this succession of men's thoughts there is
nothing to observe in the things they think on, but either in what
they be like one another, or in what they be unlike, or what they
serve for, or how they serve to such a purpose; those that observe
their similitudes, in case they be such as are but rarely observed
by others, are said to have a good wit; by which, in this occasion, is
meant a good fancy. But they that observe their differences, and
dissimilitudes, which is called distinguishing, and discerning, and
judging between thing and thing, in case such discerning be not
easy, are said to have a good judgement: and particularly in matter of
conversation and business, wherein times, places, and persons are to
be discerned, this virtue is called discretion. The former, that is,
fancy, without the help of judgement, is not commended as a virtue;
but the latter which is judgement, and discretion, is commended for
itself, without the help of fancy. Besides the discretion of times,
places, and persons, necessary to a good fancy, there is required also
an often application of his thoughts to their end; that is to say,
to some use to be made of them. This done, he that hath this virtue
will be easily fitted with similitudes that will please, not only by
illustration of his discourse, and adorning it with new and apt
metaphors, but also, by the rarity of their invention. But without
steadiness, and direction to some end, great fancy is one kind of
madness; such as they have that, entering into any discourse, are
snatched from their purpose by everything that comes in their thought,
into so many and so long digressions and parentheses, that they
utterly lose themselves: which kind of folly I know no particular name
for: but the cause of it is sometimes want of experience; whereby that
seemeth to a man new and rare which doth not so to others: sometimes
pusillanimity; by which that seems great to him which other men
think a trifle: and whatsoever is new, or great, and therefore thought
fit to be told, withdraws a man by degrees from the intended way of
his discourse.
 In a good poem, whether it be epic or dramatic, as also in sonnets,
epigrams, and other pieces, both judgement and fancy are required: but
the fancy must be more eminent;  because they please for the
extravagancy, but ought not to displease by indiscretion.
  In a good history, the judgement must be eminent; because the
goodness consisteth in the choice of the method, in the truth, and
in the choice of the actions that are most profitable to be known.
Fancy has no place, but only in adorning the style.
  In orations of praise, and in invectives, the fancy is
predominant; because the design is not truth, but to honour or
dishonour; which is done by noble or by vile comparisons. The
judgement does but suggest what circumstances make an action
laudable or culpable.
  In hortatives and pleadings, as truth or disguise serveth best to
the design in hand, so is the judgement or the fancy most required.
  In demonstration, in council, and all rigorous search of truth,
sometimes does all; except sometimes the understanding have need to be
opened by some apt similitude, and then there is so much use of fancy.
But for metaphors, they are in this case utterly excluded. For
seeing they openly profess deceit, to admit them into council, or
reasoning, were manifest folly.
  And in any discourse whatsoever, if the defect of discretion be
apparent, how extravagant soever the fancy be, the whole discourse
will be taken for a sign of want of wit; and so will it never when the
discretion is manifest, though the fancy be never so ordinary.
  The secret thoughts of a man run over all things holy, prophane,
clean, obscene, grave, and light, without shame, or blame; which
verbal discourse cannot do, farther than the judgement shall approve
of the time, place, and persons. An anatomist or physician may speak
or write his judgement of unclean things; because it is not to please,
but profit: but for another man to write his extravagant and
pleasant fancies of the same is as if a man, from being tumbled into
the dirt, should come and present himself before good company. And
it is the want of discretion that makes the difference. Again, in
professed remissness of mind, and familiar company, a man may play
with the sounds and equivocal significations of words, and that many
times with encounters of extraordinary fancy; but in a sermon, or in
public, or before persons unknown, or whom we ought to reverence,
there is no jingling of words that will not be accounted folly: and
the difference is only in the want of discretion. So that where wit is
wanting, it is not fancy that is wanting, but discretion. Judgement,
therefore, without fancy is wit, but fancy without judgement, not.
  When the thoughts of a man that has a design in hand, running over a
multitude of things, observes how they conduce to that design, or what
design they may conduce unto; if his observations be such as are not
easy, or usual, this wit of his is called prudence, and dependeth on
much experience, and memory of the like things and their
consequences heretofore. In which there is not so much difference of
men as there is in their fancies and judgements; because the
experience of men equal in age is not much unequal as to the quantity,
but lies in different occasions, every one having his private designs.
To govern well a family and a kingdom are not different degrees of
prudence, but different sorts of business; no more than to draw a
picture in little, or as great or greater than the life, are different
degrees of art. A plain husbandman is more prudent in affairs of his
own house than a Privy Counsellor in the affairs of another man.
  To prudence, if you add the use of unjust or dishonest means, such
as usually are prompted to men by fear or want, you have that
crooked wisdom which is called craft; which is a sign of
pusillanimity. For magnanimity is contempt of unjust or dishonest
helps. And that which the Latins call versutia (translated into
English, shifting), and is a putting off of a present danger or
incommodity by engaging into a greater, as when a man robs one to
pay another, is but a shorter-sighted craft; called versutia, from
versura, which signifies taking money at usury for the present payment
of interest.
  As for acquired wit (I mean acquired by method and instruction),
there is none but reason; which is grounded on the right use of
speech, and produceth the sciences. But of reason and science, I
have already spoken in the fifth and sixth chapters.
  The causes of this difference of wits are in the passions, and the
difference of passions proceedeth partly from the different
constitution of the body, and partly from different education. For
if the difference proceeded from the temper of the brain, and the
organs of sense, either exterior or interior, there would be no less
difference of men in their sight, hearing, or other senses than in
their fancies and discretions. It proceeds, therefore, from the
passions; which are different, not only from the difference of men's
complexions, but also from their difference of customs and education.
  The passions that most of all cause the differences of wit are
principally the more or less desire of power, of riches, of knowledge,
and of honour. All which may be reduced to the first, that is,
desire of power. For riches, knowledge and honour are but several
sorts of power.
  And therefore, a man who has no great passion for any of these
things, but is as men term it indifferent; though he may be so far a
good man as to be free from giving offence, yet he cannot possibly
have either a great fancy or much judgement. For the thoughts are to
the desires as scouts and spies to range abroad and find the way to
the things desired, all steadiness of the mind's motion, and all
quickness of the same, proceeding from thence. For as to have no
desire is to be dead; so to have weak passions is dullness; and to
have passions indifferently for everything, giddiness and distraction;
and to have stronger and more vehement passions for anything than is
ordinarily seen in others is that which men call madness.
  Whereof there be almost as may kinds as of the passions
themselves. Sometimes the extraordinary and extravagant passion
proceedeth from the evil constitution of the organs of the body, or
harm done them; and sometimes the hurt, and indisposition of the
organs, is caused by the vehemence or long continuance of the passion.
But in both cases the madness is of one and the same nature.
  The passion whose violence or continuance maketh madness is either
great vainglory, which is commonly called pride and self-conceit, or
great dejection of mind.
  Pride subjecteth a man to anger, the excess whereof is the madness
called rage, and fury. And thus it comes to pass that excessive desire
of revenge, when it becomes habitual, hurteth the organs, and
becomes rage: that excessive love, with jealousy, becomes also rage:
excessive opinion of a man's own self, for divine inspiration, for
wisdom, learning, form, and the like, becomes distraction and
giddiness: the same, joined with envy, rage: vehement opinion of the
truth of anything, contradicted by others, rage.
  Dejection subjects a man to causeless fears, which is a madness
commonly called melancholy apparent also in diverse manners: as in
haunting of solitudes and graves; in superstitious behaviour; and in
fearing some one, some another, particular thing. In sum, all passions
that produce strange and unusual behaviour are called by the general
name of madness. But of the several kinds of madness, he that would
take the pains might enrol a legion. And if the excesses be madness,
there is no doubt but the passions themselves, when they tend to evil,
are degrees of the same.
  For example, though the effect of folly, in them that are
possessed of an opinion of being inspired, be not visible always in
one man by any very extravagant action that proceedeth from such
passion, yet when many of them conspire together, the rage of the
whole multitude is visible enough. For what argument of madness can
there be greater than to clamour, strike, and throw stones at our best
friends? Yet this is somewhat less than such a multitude will do.
For they will clamour, fight against, and destroy those by whom all
their lifetime before they have been protected and secured from
injury. And if this be madness in the multitude, it is the same in
every particular man. For as in the midst of the sea, though a man
perceive no sound of that part of the water next him, yet he is well
assured that part contributes as much to the roaring of the sea as any
other part of the same quantity: so also, though we perceive no
great unquietness in one or two men, yet we may be well assured that
their singular passions are parts of the seditious roaring of a
troubled nation. And if there were nothing else that bewrayed their
madness, yet that very arrogating such inspiration to themselves is
argument enough. If some man in Bedlam should entertain you with sober
discourse, and you desire in taking leave to know what he were that
you might another time requite his civility, and he should tell you he
were God the Father; I think you need expect no extravagant action for
argument of his madness.
  This opinion of inspiration, called commonly, private spirit, begins
very often from some lucky finding of an error generally held by
others; and not knowing, or not remembering, by what conduct of reason
they came to so singular a truth, as they think it, though it be
many times an untruth they light on, they presently admire
themselves as being in the special grace of God Almighty, who hath
revealed the same to them supernaturally by his Spirit.
  Again, that madness is nothing else but too much appearing passion
may be gathered out of the effects of wine, which are the same with
those of the evil disposition of the organs. For the variety of
behaviour in men that have drunk too much is the same with that of
madmen: some of them raging, others loving, others laughing, all
extravagantly, but according to their several domineering passions:
for the effect of the wine does but remove dissimulation, and take
from them the sight of the deformity of their passions. For, I
believe, the most sober men, when they walk alone without care and
employment of the mind, would be unwilling the vanity and extravagance
of their thoughts at that time should be publicly seen, which is a
confession that passions unguided are for the most part mere madness.
  The opinions of the world, both in ancient and later ages,
concerning the cause of madness have been two. Some, deriving them
from the passions; some, from demons or spirits, either good or bad,
which they thought might enter into a man, possess him, and move his
organs in such strange and uncouth manner as madmen use to do. The
former sort, therefore, called such men, madmen: but the latter called
them sometimes demoniacs (that is, possessed with spirits);
sometimes energumeni (that is, agitated or moved with spirits); and
now in Italy they are called not only pazzi, madmen; but also
spiritati, men possessed.
  There was once a great conflux of people in Abdera, a city of the
Greeks, at the acting of the tragedy of Andromeda, upon an extreme hot
day: whereupon a great many of the spectators, falling into fevers,
had this accident from the heat and from the tragedy together, that
they did nothing but pronounce iambics, with the names of Perseus
and Andromeda; which, together with the fever, was cured by the coming
on of winter: and this madness was thought to proceed from the passion
imprinted by the tragedy. Likewise there reigned a fit of madness in
another Grecian city which seized only the young maidens, and caused
many of them to hang themselves. This was by most then thought an
act of the devil. But one that suspected that contempt of life in them
might proceed from some passion of the mind, and supposing they did
not contemn also their honour, gave counsel to the magistrates to
strip such as so hanged themselves, and let them hang out naked. This,
the story says, cured that madness. But on the other side, the same
Grecians did often ascribe madness to the operation of the
Eumenides, or Furies; and sometimes of Ceres, Phoebus, and other gods:
so much did men attribute to phantasms as to think them aerial
living bodies, and generally to call them spirits. And as the Romans
in this held the same opinion with the Greeks, so also did the Jews;
for they called madmen prophets, or, according as they thought the
spirits good or bad, demoniacs; and some of them called both
prophets and demoniacs madmen; and some called the same man both
demoniac and madman. But for the Gentiles, it is no wonder; because
diseases and health, vices and virtues, and many natural accidents
were with them termed and worshipped as demons. So that a man was to
understand by demon as well sometimes an ague as a devil. But for
the Jews to have such opinion is somewhat strange. For neither Moses
nor Abraham pretended to prophesy by possession of a spirit, but
from the voice of God, or by a vision or dream: nor is there
anything in his law, moral or ceremonial, by which they were taught
there was any such enthusiasm, or any possession. When God is said
to take from the spirit that was in Moses, and give to the seventy
elders, the spirit of God, taking it for the substance of God, is
not divided.* The Scriptures by the Spirit of God in man mean a
man's spirit, inclined to godliness. And where it is said, "Whom I
have filled with the spirit of wisdom to make garments for Aaron,"*(2)
is not meant a spirit put into them, that can make garments, but the
wisdom of their own spirits in that kind of work. In the like sense,
the spirit of man, when it produceth unclean actions, is ordinarily
called an unclean spirit; and so other spirits, though not always, yet
as often as the virtue or vice, so styled, is extraordinary and
eminent. Neither did the other prophets of the Old Testament pretend
enthusiasm, or that God spoke in them, but to them, by voice,
vision, or dream; and the "burden of the Lord" was not possession, but
command. How then could the Jews fall into this opinion of possession?
I can imagine no reason but that which is common to all men; namely,
the want of curiosity to search natural causes; and their placing
felicity in the acquisition of the gross pleasures of the senses,
and the things that most immediately conduce thereto. For they that
see any strange and unusual ability or defect in a man's mind,
unless they see withal from what cause it may probably proceed, can
hardly think it natural; and if not natural, they must needs think
it supernatural; and then what can it be, but that either God or the
Devil is in him? And hence it came to pass, when our Saviour was
compassed about with the multitude, those of the house doubted he
was mad, and went out to hold him: but the Scribes said he had
Beelzebub, and that was it, by which he cast out devils; as if the
greater madman had awed the lesser.*(3) And that some said, "He hath a
devil, and is mad"; whereas others, holding him for a prophet, said,
"These are not the words of one that hath a devil."*(4) So in the
Old Testament he that came to anoint Jehu was a Prophet; but some of
the company asked Jehu, "What came that madman for?"*(5) So that, in
sum, it is manifest that whosoever behaved himself in extraordinary
manner was thought by the Jews to be possessed either with a good or
evil spirit; except by the Sadducees, who erred so far on the other
hand as not to believe there were at all any spirits, which is very
near to direct atheism; and thereby perhaps the more provoked others
to term such men demoniacs rather than madmen.

  * Numbers, 11. 25
  *(2) Exodus, 28. 3
  *(3) Mark, 3. 21
  *(4) John, 10. 20
  *(5) II Kings, 9. 11

  But why then does our Saviour proceed in the curing of them, as if
they were possessed, and not as it they were mad? To which I can
give no other kind of answer but that which is given to those that
urge the Scripture in like manner against the opinion of the motion of
the earth. The Scripture was written to show unto men the kingdom of
God, and to prepare their minds to become His obedient subjects,
leaving the world, and the philosophy thereof, to the disputation of
men for the exercising of their natural reason. Whether the earth's or
sun's motion make the day and night, or whether the exorbitant actions
of men proceed from passion or from the Devil, so we worship him
not, it is all one, as to our obedience and subjection to God
Almighty; which is the thing for which the Scripture was written. As
for that our Saviour speaketh to the disease as to a person, it is the
usual phrase of all that cure by words only, as Christ did, and
enchanters pretend to do, whether they speak to a devil or not. For is
not Christ also said to have rebuked the winds?* Is not he said also
to rebuke a fever?*(2) Yet this does not argue that a fever is a
devil. And whereas many of those devils are said to confess Christ, it
is not necessary to interpret those places otherwise than that those
madmen confessed Him. And whereas our Saviour speaketh of an unclean
spirit that, having gone out of a man, wandereth through dry places,
seeking rest, and finding none, and returning into the same man with
seven other spirits worse than himself;*(3) it is manifestly a
parable, alluding to a man that, after a little endeavour to quit
his lusts, is vanquished by the strength of them, and becomes seven
times worse than he was. So that I see nothing at all in the Scripture
that requireth a belief that demoniacs were any other thing but

  * Matthew, 8. 26
  *(2) Luke, 4. 39
  *(3) Matthew, 12. 43

  There is yet another fault in the discourses of some men, which
may also be numbered amongst the sorts of madness; namely, that
abuse of words, whereof I have spoken before in the fifth chapter by
the name of absurdity. And that is when men speak such words as, put
together, have in them no signification at all, but are fallen upon,
by some, through misunderstanding of the words they have received
and repeat by rote; by others, from intention to deceive by obscurity.
And this is incident to none but those that converse in questions of
matters incomprehensible, as the Schoolmen; or in questions of
abstruse philosophy. The common sort of men seldom speak
insignificantly, and are therefore, by those other egregious
persons, counted idiots. But to be assured their words are without
anything correspondent to them in the mind, there would need some
examples; which if any man require, let him take a Schoolman into
his hands and see if he can translate any one chapter concerning any
difficult point; as the Trinity, the Deity, the nature of Christ,
transubstantiation, free will, etc., into any of the modern tongues,
so as to make the same intelligible; or into any tolerable Latin, such
as they were acquainted withal that lived when the Latin tongue was
vulgar. What is the meaning of these words: "The first cause does
not necessarily inflow anything into the second, by force of the
essential subordination of the second causes, by which it may help
it to work?" They are the translation of the title of the sixth
chapter of Suarez's first book, Of the Concourse, Motion, and Help
of God. When men write whole volumes of such stuff, are they not
mad, or intend to make others so? And particularly, in the question of
transubstantiation; where after certain words spoken they that say,
the whiteness, roundness, magnitude, quality, corruptibility, all
which are incorporeal, etc., go out of the wafer into the body of
our blessed Saviour, do they not make those nesses, tudes, and ties to
be so many spirits possessing his body? For by spirits they mean
always things that, being incorporeal, are nevertheless movable from
one place to another. So that this kind of absurdity may rightly be
numbered amongst the many sorts of madness; and all the time that,
guided by clear thoughts of their worldly lust, they forbear disputing
or writing thus, but lucid intervals. And thus much of the virtues and
defects intellectual.

                              CHAPTER IX

  THERE are of are of knowledge two kinds, whereof one is knowledge of
fact; the other, knowledge of the consequence of one affirmation to
another. The former is nothing else but sense and memory, and is
absolute knowledge; as when we see a fact doing, or remember it
done; and this is the knowledge required in a witness. The latter is
called science, and is conditional; as when we know that: if the
figure shown be a circle, then any straight line through the center
shall divide it into two equal parts. And this is the knowledge
required in a philosopher; that is to say, of him that pretends to
  The register of knowledge of fact is called history, whereof there
be two sorts: one called natural history; which is the history of such
facts, or effects of Nature, as have no dependence on man's will; such
as are the histories of metals, plants, animals, regions, and the
like. The other is civil history, which is the history of the
voluntary actions of men in Commonwealths.
  The registers of science are such books as contain the
demonstrations of consequences of one affirmation to another; and
are commonly called books of philosophy; whereof the sorts are many,
according to the diversity of the matter; and may be divided in such
manner as I have divided them in the following table.
  I. SCIENCE, that is, knowledge of consequences; which is called
     also PHILOSOPHY

     A. Consequences from accidents of bodies natural; which is

        1. Consequences from accidents common to all bodies natural;
           which are quantity, and motion.

           a. Consequences from quantity, and motion indeterminate;
              which, being the principles or first foundation of
              philosophy, is called philosophia prima


           b. Consequences from motion, and quantity determined
              1) Consequences from quantity, and motion determined
                 a) By figure, By number
                   1] Mathematics,


              2) Consequences from motion, and quantity of bodies in
                 a) Consequences from motion, and quantity of the
                    great parts of the world, as the earth and stars,
                    1] Cosmography


                 b) Consequences from motion of special kinds, and
                    figures of body,
                    1] Mechanics, doctrine of weight

                       Science of ENGINEERS

        2. PHYSICS, or consequences from qualities

           a. Consequences from qualities of bodies transient, such
              as sometimes appear, sometimes vanish


           b. Consequences from qualities of bodies permanent
              1) Consequences from qualities of stars
                 a) Consequences from the light of the stars. Out of
                    this, and the motion of the sun, is made the
                    science of


                 b) Consequences from the influence of the stars,


              2) Consequences of qualities from liquid bodies that
                 fill the space between the stars; such as are the
                 air, or substance etherial
              3) Consequences from qualities of bodies terrestrial
                 a) Consequences from parts of the earth that are
                    without sense,
                    1] Consequences from qualities of minerals, as
                       stones, metals, etc.
                    2] Consequences from the qualities of vegetables
                 b) Consequences from qualities of animals
                    1] Consequences from qualities of animals in
                       a] Consequences from vision,


                       b] Consequences from sounds,


                       c] Consequences from the rest of the senses
                    2] Consequences from qualities of men in special
                       a] Consequences from passions of men,


                       b] Consequences from speech,
                          i) In magnifying, vilifying, etc.


                          ii) In persuading,


                          iii) In reasoning,


                          iv) In contracting,

                              The Science of JUST and UNJUST

     B. Consequences from accidents of politic bodies; which is

        1. Of consequences from the institution of COMMONWEALTHS, to
           the rights, and duties of the body politic, or sovereign

        2. Of consequences from the same, to the duty and right of
           the subjects
                              CHAPTER X

  THE POWER of a man, to take it universally, is his present means
to obtain some future apparent good, and is either original or
  Natural power is the eminence of the faculties of body, or mind;
as extraordinary strength, form, prudence, arts, eloquence,
liberality, nobility. Instrumental are those powers which, acquired by
these, or by fortune, are means and instruments to acquire more; as
riches, reputation, friends, and the secret working of God, which
men call good luck. For the nature of power is, in this point, like to
fame, increasing as it proceeds; or like the motion of heavy bodies,
which, the further they go, make still the more haste.
  The greatest of human powers is that which is compounded of the
powers of most men, united by consent, in one person, natural or
civil, that has the use of all their powers depending on his will;
such as is the power of a Commonwealth: or depending on the wills of
each particular; such as is the power of a faction, or of diverse.
factions leagued. Therefore to have servants is power; to have friends
is power: for they are strengths united.
  Also, riches joined with liberality is power; because it procureth
friends and servants: without liberality, not so; because in this case
they defend not, but expose men to envy, as a prey.
  Reputation of power is power; because it draweth with it the
adherence of those that need protection.
  So is reputation of love of a man's country, called popularity,
for the same reason.
  Also, what quality soever maketh a man beloved or feared of many, or
the reputation of such quality, is power; because it is a means to
have the assistance and service of many.
  Good success is power; because it maketh reputation of wisdom or
good fortune, which makes men either fear him or rely on him.
  Affability of men already in power is increase of power; because
it gaineth love.
  Reputation of prudence in the conduct of peace or war is power;
because to prudent men we commit the government of ourselves more
willingly than to others.
  Nobility is power, not in all places, but only in those
Commonwealths where it has privileges; for in such privileges
consisteth their power.
  Eloquence is power; because it is seeming prudence.
  Form is power; because being a promise of good, it recommendeth
men to the favour of women and strangers.
  The sciences are small powers; because not eminent, and therefore,
not acknowledged in any man; nor are at all, but in a few, and in
them, but of a few things. For science is of that nature, as none
can understand it to be, but such as in a good measure have attained
  Arts of public use, as fortification, making of engines, and other
instruments of war, because they confer to defence and victory, are
power; and though the true mother of them be science, namely, the
mathematics yet, because they are brought into the light by the hand
of the artificer, they be esteemed (the midwife passing with the
vulgar for the mother) as his issue.
  The value or worth of a man is, as of all other things, his price;
that is to say, so much as would be given for the use of his power,
and therefore is not absolute, but a thing dependent on the need and
judgement of another. An able conductor of soldiers is of great
price in time of war present or imminent, but in peace not so. A
learned and uncorrupt judge is much worth in time of peace, but not so
much in war. And as in other things, so in men, not the seller, but
the buyer determines the price. For let a man, as most men do, rate
themselves at the highest value they can, yet their true value is no
more than it is esteemed by others.
  The manifestation of the value we set on one another is that which
is commonly called honouring and dishonouring. To value a man at a
high rate is to honour him; at a low rate is to dishonour him. But
high and low, in this case, is to be understood by comparison to the
rate that each man setteth on himself.
  The public worth of a man, which is the value set on him by the
Commonwealth, is that which men commonly call dignity. And this
value of him by the Commonwealth is understood by offices of
command, judicature, public employment; or by names and titles
introduced for distinction of such value.
  To pray to another for aid of any kind is to honour; because a
sign we have an opinion he has power to help; and the more difficult
the aid is, the more is the honour.
  To obey s to honour; because no man obeys them who they think have
no power to help or hurt them. And consequently to disobey is to
  To give great gifts to a man is to honour him; because it is
buying of protection, and acknowledging of power. To give little gifts
is to dishonour; because it is but alms, and signifies an opinion of
the need of small helps.
  To be sedulous in promoting another's good, also to flatter, is to
honour; as a sign we seek his protection or aid. To neglect is to
  To give way or place to another, in any commodity, is to honour;
being a confession of greater power. To arrogate is to dishonour.
  To show any sign of love or fear of another is honour; for both to
love and to fear is to value. To contemn, or less to love or fear than
he expects, is to dishonour; for it is undervaluing.
  To praise, magnify, or call happy is to honour; because nothing
but goodness, power, and felicity is valued. To revile, mock, or
pity is to dishonour.
  To speak to another with consideration, to appear before him with
decency and humility, is to honour him; as signs of fear to offend. To
speak to him rashly, to do anything before him obscenely, slovenly,
impudently is to dishonour.
  To believe, to trust, to rely on another, is to honour him; sign
of opinion of his virtue and power. To distrust, or not believe, is to
  To hearken to a man's counsel, or discourse of what kind soever,
is to honour; as a sign we think him wise, or eloquent, or witty. To
sleep, or go forth, or talk the while, is to dishonour.
  To do those things to another which he takes for signs of honour, or
which the law or custom makes so, is to honour; because in approving
the honour done by others, he acknowledgeth the power which others
acknowledge. To refuse to do them is to dishonour.
  To agree with in opinion is to honour; as being a sign of
approving his judgement and wisdom. To dissent is dishonour, and an
upbraiding of error, and, if the dissent be in many things, of folly.
  To imitate is to honour; for it is vehemently to approve. To imitate
one's enemy is to dishonour.
  To honour those another honours is to honour him; as a sign of
approbation of his judgement. To honour his enemies is to dishonour
  To employ in counsel, or in actions of difficulty, is to honour;
as a sign of opinion of his wisdom or other power. To deny
employment in the same cases to those that seek it is to dishonour.
  All these ways of honouring are natural, and as well within, as
without Commonwealths. But in Commonwealths where he or they that have
the supreme authority can make whatsoever they please to stand for
signs of honour, there be other honours.
  A sovereign doth honour a subject with whatsoever title, or
office, or employment, or action that he himself will have taken for a
sign of his will to honour him.
  The king of Persia honoured Mordecai when he appointed he should
be conducted through the streets in the king's garment, upon one of
the king's horses, with a crown on his head, and a prince before
him, proclaiming, "Thus shall it be done to him that the king will
honour." And yet another king of Persia, or the same another time,
to one that demanded for some great service to wear one of the
king's robes, gave him leave so to do; but with this addition, that he
should wear it as the king's fool; and then it was dishonour. So
that of civil honour, the fountain is in the person of the
Commonwealth, and dependeth on the will of the sovereign, and is
therefore temporary and called civil honour; such as are magistracy,
offices, titles, and in some places coats and scutcheons painted:
and men honour such as have them, as having so many signs of favour in
the Commonwealth, which favour is power.
  Honourable is whatsoever possession, action, or quality is an
argument and sign of power.
  And therefore to be honoured, loved, or feared of many is
honourable, as arguments of power. To be honoured of few or none,
  Dominion and victory is honourable because acquired by power; and
servitude, for need or fear, is dishonourable.
  Good fortune, if lasting, honourable; as a sign of the favour of
God. Ill and losses, dishonourable. Riches are honourable, for they
are power. Poverty, dishonourable. Magnanimity, liberality, hope,
courage, confidence, are honourable; for they proceed from the
conscience of power. Pusillanimity, parsimony, fear, diffidence, are
  Timely resolution, or determination of what a man is to do, is
honourable, as being the contempt of small difficulties and dangers.
And irresolution, dishonourable, as a sign of too much valuing of
little impediments and little advantages: for when a man has weighed
things as long as the time permits, and resolves not, the difference
of weight is but little; and therefore if he resolve not, he
overvalues little things, which is pusillanimity.
  All actions and speeches that proceed, or seem to proceed, from much
experience, science, discretion, or wit are honourable; for all
these are powers. Actions or words that proceed from error, ignorance,
or folly, dishonourable.
  Gravity, as far forth as it seems to proceed from a mind employed on
something else, is honourable; because employment is a sign of
power. But if it seem to proceed from a purpose to appear grave, it is
dishonourable. For the gravity of the former is like the steadiness of
a ship laden with merchandise; but of the like the steadiness of a
ship ballasted with sand and other trash.
  To be conspicuous, that is to say, to be known, for wealth,
office, great actions, or any eminent good is honourable; as a sign of
the power for which he is conspicuous. On the contrary, obscurity is
  To be descended from conspicuous parents is honourable; because they
the more easily attain the aids and friends of their ancestors. On the
contrary, to be descended from obscure parentage is dishonourable.
  Actions proceeding from equity, joined with loss, are honourable; as
signs of magnanimity: for magnanimity is a sign of power. On the
contrary, craft, shifting, neglect of equity, is dishonourable.
  Covetousness of great riches, and ambition of great honours, are
honourable; as signs of power to obtain them. Covetousness, and
ambition of little gains, or preferments, is dishonourable.
  Nor does it alter the case of honour whether an action (so it be
great and difficult, and consequently a sign of much power) be just or
unjust: for honour consisteth only in the opinion of power. Therefore,
the ancient heathen did not think they dishonoured, but greatly
honoured the gods, when they introduced them in their poems committing
rapes, thefts, and other great, but unjust or unclean acts; in so much
as nothing is so much celebrated in Jupiter as his adulteries; nor
in Mercury as his frauds and thefts; of whose praises, in a hymn of
Homer, the greatest is this, that being born in the morning, he had
invented music at noon, and before night stolen away the cattle of
Apollo from his herdsmen.
  Also amongst men, till there were constituted great Commonwealths,
it was thought no dishonour to be a pirate, or a highway thief; but
rather a lawful trade, not only amongst the Greeks, but also amongst
all other nations; as is manifest by the of ancient time. And at
this day, in this part of the world, private duels are, and always
will be, honourable, though unlawful, till such time as there shall be
honour ordained for them that refuse, and ignominy for them that
make the challenge. For duels also are many times effects of
courage, and the ground of courage is always strength or skill,
which are power; though for the most part they be effects of rash
speaking, and of the fear of dishonour, in one or both the combatants;
who, engaged by rashness, are driven into the lists to avoid disgrace.
  Scutcheons and coats of arms hereditary, where they have any their
any eminent privileges, are honourable; otherwise not for their
power consisteth either in such privileges, or in riches, or some such
thing as is equally honoured in other men. This kind of honour,
commonly called gentry, has been derived from the ancient Germans. For
there never was any such thing known where the German customs were
unknown. Nor is it now anywhere in use where the Germans have not
inhabited. The ancient Greek commanders, when they went to war, had
their shields painted with such devices as they pleased; insomuch as
an unpainted buckler was a sign of poverty, and of a common soldier;
but they transmitted not the inheritance of them. The Romans
transmitted the marks of their families; but they were the images, not
the devices of their ancestors. Amongst the people of Asia, Africa,
and America, there is not, nor was ever, any such thing. Germans
only had that custom; from whom it has been derived into England,
France, Spain and Italy, when in great numbers they either aided the
Romans or made their own conquests in these western parts of the
  For Germany, being anciently, as all other countries in their
beginnings, divided amongst an infinite number of little lords, or
masters of families, that continually had wars one with another, those
masters, or lords, principally to the end they might, when they were
covered with arms, be known by their followers, and partly for
ornament, both painted their armor, or their scutcheon, or coat,
with the picture of some beast, or other thing, and also put some
eminent and visible mark upon the crest of their helmets. And this
ornament both of the arms and crest descended by inheritance to
their children; to the eldest pure, and to the rest with some note
of diversity, such as the old master, that is to say in Dutch, the
Here-alt, thought fit. But when many such families, joined together,
made a greater monarchy, this duty of the herald to distinguish
scutcheons was made a private office apart. And the issue of these
lords is the great and ancient gentry; which for the most part bear
living creatures noted for courage and rapine; or castles,
battlements, belts, weapons, bars, palisades, and other notes of
war; nothing being then in honour, but virtue military. Afterwards,
not only kings, but popular Commonwealths, gave diverse manners of
scutcheons to such as went forth to the war, or returned from it,
for encouragement or recompense to their service. All which, by an
observing reader, may be found in such ancient histories, Greek and
Latin, as make mention of the German nation and manners in their
  Titles of honour, such as are duke, count, marquis, and baron, are
honourable; as signifying the value set upon them by the sovereign
power of the Commonwealth: which titles were in old time titles of
office and command derived some from the Romans, some from the Germans
and French. Dukes, in Latin, duces, being generals in war; counts,
comites, such as bore the general company out of friendship, and
were left to govern and defend places conquered and pacified;
marquises, marchioness, were counts that governed the marches, or
bounds of the Empire. Which titles of duke, count, and marquis came
into the Empire about the time of Constantine the Great, from the
customs of the German militia. But baron seems to have been a title of
the Gauls, and signifies a great man; such as were the kings' or
princes' men whom they employed in war about their persons; and
seems to be derived from vir, to ber, and bar, that signified the same
in the language of the Gauls, that vir in Latin; and thence to bero
and baro: so that such men were called berones, and after barones; and
(in Spanish) varones. But he that would know more, particularly the
original of titles of honour, may find it, as I have done this, in Mr.
Selden's most excellent treatise of that subject. In process of time
these offices of honour, by occasion of trouble, and for reasons of
good and peaceable government, were turned into mere titles,
serving, for the most part, to distinguish the precedence, place,
and order of subjects in the Commonwealth: and men were made dukes,
counts, marquises, and barons of places, wherein they had neither
possession nor command, and other titles also were devised to the same
  Worthiness is a thing different from the worth or value of a man,
and also from his merit or desert, and consisteth in a particular
power or ability for that whereof he is said to be worthy; which
particular ability is usually named fitness, or aptitude.
  For he is worthiest to be a commander, to be a judge, or to have any
other charge, that is best fitted with the qualities required to the
well discharging of it; and worthiest of riches, that has the
qualities most requisite for the well using of them: any of which
qualities being absent, one may nevertheless be a worthy man, and
valuable for something else. Again, a man may be worthy of riches,
office, and employment that nevertheless can plead no right to have it
before another, and therefore cannot be said to merit or deserve it.
For merit presupposeth a right, and that the thing deserved is due
by promise, of which I shall say more hereafter when I shall speak
of contracts.

                              CHAPTER XI
                     OF THE DIFFERENCE OF MANNERS

  BY MANNERS, I mean not here decency of behaviour; as how one man
should salute another, or how a man should wash his mouth, or pick his
teeth before company, and such other points of the small morals; but
those qualities of mankind that concern their living together in peace
and unity. To which end we are to consider that the felicity of this
life consisteth not in the repose of a mind satisfied. For there is no
such finis ultimus (utmost aim) nor summum bonum (greatest good) as is
spoken of in the books of the old moral philosophers. Nor can a man
any more live whose desires are at an end than he whose senses and
imaginations are at a stand. Felicity is a continual progress of the
desire from one object to another, the attaining of the former being
still but the way to the latter. The cause whereof is that the
object of man's desire is not to enjoy once only, and for one
instant of time, but to assure forever the way of his future desire.
And therefore the voluntary actions and inclinations of all men tend
not only to the procuring, but also to the assuring of a contented
life, and differ only in the way, which ariseth partly from the
diversity of passions in diverse men, and partly from the difference
of the knowledge or opinion each one has of the causes which produce
the effect desired.
  So that in the first place, I put for a general inclination of all
mankind a perpetual and restless desire of power after power, that
ceaseth only in death. And the cause of this is not always that a
man hopes for a more intensive delight than he has already attained
to, or that he cannot be content with a moderate power, but because he
cannot assure the power and means to live well, which he hath present,
without the acquisition of more. And from hence it is that kings,
whose power is greatest, turn their endeavours to the assuring it at
home by laws, or abroad by wars: and when that is done, there
succeedeth a new desire; in some, of fame from new conquest; in
others, of ease and sensual pleasure; in others, of admiration, or
being flattered for excellence in some art or other ability of the
  Competition of riches, honour, command, or other power inclineth
to contention, enmity, and war, because the way of one competitor to
the attaining of his desire is to kill, subdue, supplant, or repel the
other. Particularly, competition of praise inclineth to a reverence of
antiquity. For men contend with the living, not with the dead; to
these ascribing more than due, that they may obscure the glory of
the other.
  Desire of ease, and sensual delight, disposeth men to obey a
common power: because by such desires a man doth abandon the
protection that might be hoped for from his own industry and labour.
Fear of death and wounds disposeth to the same, and for the same
reason. On the contrary, needy men and hardy, not contented with their
present condition, as also all men that are ambitious of military
command, are inclined to continue the causes of war and to stir up
trouble and sedition: for there is no honour military but by war;
nor any such hope to mend an ill game as by causing a new shuffle.
  Desire of knowledge, and arts of peace, inclineth men to obey a
common power: for such desire containeth a desire of leisure, and
consequently protection from some other power than their own.
  Desire of praise disposeth to laudable actions, such as please
them whose judgement they value; for of those men whom we contemn,
we contemn also the praises. Desire of fame after death does the same.
And though after death there be no sense of the praise given us on
earth, as being joys that are either swallowed up in the unspeakable
joys of heaven or extinguished in the extreme torments of hell: yet is
not such fame vain; because men have a present delight therein, from
the foresight of it, and of the benefit that may redound thereby to
their posterity: which though they now see not, yet they imagine;
and anything that is pleasure in the sense, the same also is
pleasure in the imagination.
  To have received from one, to whom we think ourselves equal, greater
benefits than there is hope to requite, disposeth to counterfeit love,
but really secret hatred, and puts a man into the estate of a
desperate debtor that, in declining the sight of his creditor, tacitly
wishes him there where he might never see him more. For benefits
oblige; and obligation is thraldom; and unrequitable obligation,
perpetual thraldom; which is to one's equal, hateful. But to have
received benefits from one whom we acknowledge for superior inclines
to love; because the obligation is no new depression: and cheerful
acceptation (which men call gratitude) is such an honour done to the
obliger as is taken generally for retribution. Also to receive
benefits, though from an equal, or inferior, as long as there is
hope of requital, disposeth to love: for in the intention of the
receiver, the obligation is of aid and service mutual; from whence
proceedeth an emulation of who shall exceed in benefiting; the most
noble and profitable contention possible, wherein the victor is
pleased with his victory, and the other revenged by confessing it.
  To have done more hurt to a man than he can or is willing to expiate
inclineth the doer to hate the sufferer. For he must expect revenge or
forgiveness; both which are hateful.
  Fear of oppression disposeth a man to anticipate or to seek aid by
society: for there is no other way by which a man can secure his
life and liberty.
  Men that distrust their own subtlety are in tumult and sedition
better disposed for victory than they that suppose themselves wise
or crafty. For these love to consult; the other, fearing to be
circumvented to strike first. And in sedition, men being always in the
precincts of battle, to hold together and use all advantages of
force is a better stratagem than any that can proceed from subtlety of
  Vainglorious men, such as without being conscious to themselves of
great sufficiency, delight in supposing themselves gallant men, are
inclined only to ostentation, but not to attempt; because when
danger or difficulty appears, they look for nothing but to have
their insufficiency discovered.
  Vain, glorious men, such as estimate their sufficiency by the
flattery of other men, or the fortune of some precedent action,
without assured ground of hope from the true knowledge of
themselves, are inclined to rash engaging; and in the approach of
danger, or difficulty, to retire if they can: because not seeing the
way of safety they will rather hazard their honour, which may be
salved with an excuse, than their lives, for which no salve is
  Men that have a strong opinion of their own wisdom in matter of
government are disposed to ambition. Because without public employment
in counsel or magistracy, the honour of their wisdom is lost. And
therefore eloquent speakers are inclined to ambition; for eloquence
seemeth wisdom, both to themselves and others.
  Pusillanimity disposeth men to irresolution, and consequently to
lose the occasions and fittest opportunities of action. For after
men have been in deliberation till the time of action approach, if
it be not then manifest what is best to be done, it is a sign the
difference of motives the one way and the other are not great:
therefore not to resolve then is to lose the occasion by weighing of
trifles, which is pusillanimity.
  Frugality, though in poor men a virtue, maketh a man unapt to
achieve such actions as require the strength of many men at once:
for it weakeneth their endeavour, which to be nourished and kept in
vigour by reward.
  Eloquence, with flattery, disposeth men to confide in them that have
it; because the former is seeming wisdom, the latter seeming kindness.
Add to them military reputation and it disposeth men to adhere and
subject themselves to those men that have them. The two former, having
given them caution against danger from him, the latter gives them
caution against danger from others.
  Want of science, that is, ignorance of causes, disposeth or rather
constraineth a man to rely on the advice and authority of others.
For all men whom the truth concerns, if they rely not on their own,
must rely on the opinion of some other whom they think wiser than
themselves, and see not why he should deceive them.
  Ignorance of the signification of words, is want of understanding,
disposeth men to take on trust, not only the truth they know not,
but also the errors; and which is more, the nonsense of them they
trust: for neither error nor nonsense can, without a perfect
understanding of words, be detected.
  From the same it proceedeth that men give different names to one and
the same thing from the difference of their own passions: as they that
approve a private opinion call it opinion; but they that mislike it,
heresy: and yet heresy signifies no more than private opinion; but has
only a greater tincture of choler.
  From the same also it proceedeth that men cannot distinguish,
without study and great understanding between one action of many men
and many actions of one multitude; as for example, between the one
action of all the senators of Rome in killing Catiline, and the many
actions of a number of senators in killing Caesar; and therefore are
disposed to take for the action of the people that which is a
multitude of actions done by a multitude of men, led perhaps by the
persuasion of one.
  Ignorance of the causes, and original constitution of right, equity,
law, and justice, disposeth a man to make custom and example the
rule of his actions; in such manner as to think that unjust which it
hath been the custom to punish; and that just, of the impunity and
approbation whereof they can produce an example or (as the lawyers
which only use this false measure of justice barbarously call it) a
precedent; like little children that have no other rule of good and
evil manners but the correction they receive from their parents and
masters; save that children are constant to their rule, whereas men
are not so; because grown strong and stubborn, they appeal from custom
to reason, and from reason to custom, as it serves their turn,
receding from custom when their interest requires it, and setting
themselves against reason as oft as reason is against them: which is
the cause that the doctrine of right and wrong is perpetually
disputed, both by the pen and the sword: whereas the doctrine of lines
and figures is not so; because men care not, in that subject, what
be truth, as a thing that crosses no man's ambition, profit, or
lust. For I doubt not, but if it had been a thing contrary to any
man's right of dominion, or to the interest of men that have dominion,
that the three angles of a triangle should be equal to two angles of a
square, that doctrine should have been, if not disputed, yet by the
burning of all books of geometry suppressed, as far as he whom it
concerned was able.
  Ignorance of remote causes disposeth men to attribute all events
to the causes immediate and instrumental: for these are all the causes
they perceive. And hence it comes to pass that in all places men
that are grieved with payments to the public discharge their anger
upon the publicans, that is to say, farmers, collectors, and other
officers of the public revenue, and adhere to such as find fault
with the public government; and thereby, when they have engaged
themselves beyond hope of justification, fall also upon the supreme
authority, for fear of punishment, or shame of receiving pardon.
  Ignorance of natural causes disposeth a man to credulity, so as to
believe many times impassibilities: for such know nothing to the
contrary, but that they may be true, being unable to detect the
impossibility. And credulity, because men love to be hearkened unto in
company, disposeth them to lying: so that ignorance itself, without
malice, is able to make a man both to believe lies and tell them,
and sometimes also to invent them.
  Anxiety for the future time disposeth men to inquire into the causes
of things: because the knowledge of them maketh men the better able to
order the present to their best advantage.
  Curiosity, or love of the knowledge of causes, draws a man from
consideration of the effect to seek the cause; and again, the cause of
that cause; till of necessity he must come to this thought at last,
that there is some cause whereof there is no former cause, but is
eternal; which is it men call God. So that it is impossible to make
any profound inquiry into natural causes without being inclined
thereby to believe there is one God eternal; though they cannot have
any idea of Him in their mind answerable to His nature. For as a man
that is born blind, hearing men talk of warming themselves by the
fire, and being brought to warm himself by the same, may easily
conceive, and assure himself, there is somewhat there which men call
fire and is the cause of the heat he feels, but cannot imagine what it
is like, nor have an idea of it in his mind such as they have that see
it: so also, by the visible things of this world, and their
admirable order, a man may conceive there is a cause of them, which
men call God, and yet not have an idea or image of Him in his mind.
  And they that make little or no inquiry into the natural causes of
things, yet from the fear that proceeds from the ignorance itself of
what it is that hath the power to do them much good or harm are
inclined to suppose, and feign unto themselves, several kinds of
powers invisible, and to stand in awe of their own imaginations, and
in time of distress to invoke them; as also in the time of an expected
good success, to give them thanks, making the creatures of their own
fancy their gods. By which means it hath come to pass that from the
innumerable variety of fancy, men have created in the world
innumerable sorts of gods. And this fear of things invisible is the
natural seed of that which every one in himself calleth religion;
and in them that worship or fear that power otherwise than they do,
  And this seed of religion, having been observed by many, some of
those that have observed it have been inclined thereby to nourish,
dress, and form it into laws; and to add to it, of their own
invention, any opinion of the causes of future events by which they
thought they should best be able to govern others and make unto
themselves the greatest use of their powers.

                             CHAPTER XII
                             OF RELIGION

  SEEING there are no signs nor fruit of religion but in man only,
there is no cause to doubt but that the seed of religion is also
only in man; and consisteth in some peculiar quality, or at least in
some eminent degree thereof, not to be found in other living
  And first, it is peculiar to the nature of man to be inquisitive
into the causes of the events they see, some more, some less, but
all men so much as to be curious in the search of the causes of
their own good and evil fortune.
  Secondly, upon the sight of anything that hath a beginning, to think
also it had a cause which determined the same to begin then when it
did, rather than sooner or later.
  Thirdly, whereas there is no other felicity of beasts but the
enjoying of their quotidian food, ease, and lusts; as having little or
no foresight of the time to come for want of observation and memory of
the order, consequence, and dependence of the things they see; man
observeth how one event hath been produced by another, and remembereth
in them antecedence and consequence; and when he cannot assure himself
of the true causes of things (for the causes of good and evil
fortune for the most part are invisible), he supposes causes of
them, either such as his own fancy suggesteth, or trusteth to the
authority of other men such as he thinks to be his friends and wiser
than himself.
  The two first make anxiety. For being assured that there be causes
of all things that have arrived hitherto, or shall arrive hereafter,
it is impossible for a man, who continually endeavoureth to secure
himself against the evil he fears, and procure the good he desireth,
not to be in a perpetual solicitude of the time to come; so that every
man, especially those that are over-provident, are in an estate like
to that of Prometheus. For as Prometheus (which, interpreted, is the
prudent man) was bound to the hill Caucasus, a place of large
prospect, where an eagle, feeding on his liver, devoured in the day as
much as was repaired in the night: so that man, which looks too far
before him in the care of future time, hath his heart all the day long
gnawed on by fear of death, poverty, or other calamity; and has no
repose, nor pause of his anxiety, but in sleep.
  This perpetual fear, always accompanying mankind in the ignorance of
causes, as it were in the dark, must needs have for object
something. And therefore when there is nothing to be seen, there is
nothing to accuse either of their good or evil fortune but some
power or agent invisible: in which sense perhaps it was that some of
the old poets said that the gods were at first created by human
fear: which, spoken of the gods (that is to say, of the many gods of
the Gentiles), is very true. But the acknowledging of one God eternal,
infinite, and omnipotent may more easily be derived from the desire
men have to know the causes of natural bodies, and their several
virtues and operations, than from the fear of what was to befall
them in time to come. For he that, from any effect he seeth come to
pass, should reason to the next and immediate cause thereof, and
from thence to the cause of that cause, and plunge himself
profoundly in the pursuit of causes, shall at last come to this,
that there must be (as even the heathen philosophers confessed) one
First Mover; that is, a first and an eternal cause of all things;
which is that which men mean by the name of God: and all this
without thought of their fortune, the solicitude whereof both inclines
to fear and hinders them from the search of the causes of other
things; and thereby gives occasion of feigning of as many gods as
there be men that feign them.
  And for the matter, or substance, of the invisible agents, so
fancied, they could not by natural cogitation fall upon any other
concept but that it was the same with that of the soul of man; and
that the soul of man was of the same substance with that which
appeareth in a dream to one that sleepeth; or in a looking-glass to
one that is awake; which, men not knowing that such apparitions are
nothing else but creatures of the fancy, think to be real and external
substances, and therefore call them ghosts; as the Latins called
them imagines and umbrae and thought them spirits (that is, thin
aerial bodies), and those invisible agents, which they feared, to be
like them, save that they appear and vanish when they please. But
the opinion that such spirits were incorporeal, or immaterial, could
never enter into the mind of any man by nature; because, though men
may put together words of contradictory signification, as spirit and
incorporeal, yet they can never have the imagination of anything
answering to them: and therefore, men that by their own meditation
arrive to the acknowledgement of one infinite, omnipotent, and eternal
God choose rather to confess He is incomprehensible and above their
understanding than to define His nature by spirit incorporeal, and
then confess their definition to be unintelligible: or if they give
him such a title, it is not dogmatically, with intention to make the
Divine Nature understood, but piously, to honour Him with attributes
of significations as remote as they can from the grossness of bodies
  Then, for the way by which they think these invisible agents wrought
their effects; that is to say, what immediate causes they used in
bringing things to pass, men that know not what it is that we call
causing (that is, almost all men) have no other rule to guess by but
by observing and remembering what they have seen to precede the like
effect at some other time, or times before, without seeing between the
antecedent and subsequent event any dependence or connexion at all:
and therefore from the like things past, they expect the like things
to come; and hope for good or evil luck, superstitiously, from
things that have no part at all in the causing of it: as the Athenians
did for their war at Lepanto demand another Phormio; the Pompeian
faction for their war in Africa, another Scipio; and others have
done in diverse other occasions since. In like manner they attribute
their fortune to a stander by, to a lucky or unlucky place, to words
spoken, especially if the name of God be amongst them, as charming,
and conjuring (the liturgy of witches); insomuch as to believe they
have power to turn a stone into bread, bread into a man, or anything
into anything.
  Thirdly, for the worship which naturally men exhibit to powers
invisible, it can be no other but such expressions of their
reverence as they would use towards men; gifts, petitions, thanks,
submission of body, considerate addresses, sober behaviour,
premeditated words, swearing (that is, assuring one another of their
promises), by invoking them. Beyond that, reason suggesteth nothing,
but leaves them either to rest there, or for further ceremonies to
rely on those they believe to be wiser than themselves.
  Lastly, concerning how these invisible powers declare to men the
things which shall hereafter come to pass, especially concerning their
good or evil fortune in general, or good or ill success in any
particular undertaking, men are naturally at a stand; save that
using to conjecture of the time to come by the time past, they are
very apt, not only to take casual things, after one or two encounters,
for prognostics of the like encounter ever after, but also to
believe the like prognostics from other men of whom they have once
conceived a good opinion.
  And in these four things, opinion of ghosts, ignorance of second
causes, devotion towards what men fear, and taking of things casual
for prognostics, consisteth the natural seed of religion; which, by
reason of the different fancies, judgements, and passions of several
men, hath grown up into ceremonies so different that those which are
used by one man are for the most part ridiculous to another.
  For these seeds have received culture from two sorts of men. One
sort have been they that have nourished and ordered them, according to
their own invention. The other have done it by God's commandment and
direction. But both sorts have done it with a purpose to make those
men that relied on them the more apt to obedience, laws, peace,
charity, and civil society. So that the religion of the former sort is
a part of human politics; and teacheth part of the duty which
earthly kings require of their subjects. And the religion of the
latter sort is divine politics; and containeth precepts to those
that have yielded themselves subjects in the kingdom of God. Of the
former sort were all the founders of Commonwealths, and the
lawgivers of the Gentiles: of the latter sort were Abraham, Moses, and
our blessed Saviour, by whom have been derived unto us the laws of the
kingdom of God.
  And for that part of religion which consisteth in opinions
concerning the nature of powers invisible, there is almost nothing
that has a name that has not been esteemed amongst the Gentiles, in
one place or another, a god or devil; or by their poets feigned to
be animated, inhabited, or possessed by some spirit or other.
  The unformed matter of the world was a god by the name of Chaos.
  The heaven, the ocean, the planets, the fire, the earth, the
winds, were so many gods.
  Men, women, a bird, a crocodile, a calf, a dog, a snake, an onion, a
leek, were deified. Besides that, they filled almost all places with
spirits called demons: the plains, with Pan and Panises, or Satyrs;
the woods, with Fauns and Nymphs; the sea, with Tritons and other
Nymphs; every river and fountain, with a ghost of his name and with
Nymphs; every house, with its Lares, or familiars; every man, with his
Genius; Hell, with ghosts and spiritual officers, as Charon, Cerberus,
and the Furies; and in the night time, all places with larvae,
lemures, ghosts of men deceased, and a whole kingdom of fairies and
bugbears. They have also ascribed divinity, and built temples, to mere
accidents and qualities; such as are time, night, day, peace, concord,
love, contention, virtue, honour, health, rust, fever, and the like;
which when they prayed for, or against, they prayed to as if there
were ghosts of those names hanging over their heads, and letting
fall or withholding that good, or evil, for or against which they
prayed. They invoked also their own wit, by the name of Muses; their
own ignorance, by the name of Fortune; their own lust, by the name
of Cupid; their own rage, by the name Furies; their own privy
members by the name of Priapus; and attributed their pollutions to
incubi and succubae: insomuch as there was nothing which a poet
could introduce as a person in his poem which they did not make either
a god or a devil.
  The same authors of the religion of the Gentiles, observing the
second ground for religion, which is men's ignorance of causes, and
thereby their aptness to attribute their fortune to causes on which
there was no dependence at all apparent, took occasion to obtrude on
their ignorance, instead of second causes, a kind of second and
ministerial gods; ascribing the cause of fecundity to Venus, the cause
of arts to Apollo, of subtlety and craft to Mercury, of tempests and
storms to Aeolus, and of other effects to other gods; insomuch as
there was amongst the heathen almost as great variety of gods as of
  And to the worship which naturally men conceived fit to be used
towards their gods, namely, oblations, prayers, thanks, and the rest
formerly named, the same legislators of the Gentiles have added
their images, both in picture and sculpture, that the more ignorant
sort (that is to say, the most part or generality of the people),
thinking the gods for whose representation they were made were
really included and as it were housed within them, might so much the
more stand in fear of them: and endowed them with lands, and houses,
and officers, and revenues, set apart from all other human uses;
that is, consecrated, made holy to those their idols; as caverns,
groves, woods, mountains, and whole islands; and have attributed to
them, not only the shapes, some of men, some of beasts, some of
monsters, but also the faculties and passions of men and beasts; as
sense, speech, sex, lust, generation, and this not only by mixing
one with another to propagate the kind of gods, but also by mixing
with men and women to beget mongrel gods, and but inmates of heaven,
as Bacchus, Hercules, and others; besides, anger, revenge, and other
passions of living creatures, and the actions proceeding from them, as
fraud, theft, adultery, sodomy, and any vice that may be taken for
an effect of power or a cause of pleasure; and all such vices as
amongst men are taken to be against law rather than against honour.
  Lastly, to the prognostics of time to come, which are naturally
but conjectures upon the experience of time past, and
supernaturally, divine revelation, the same authors of the religion of
the Gentiles, partly upon pretended experience, partly upon
pretended revelation, have added innumerable other superstitious
ways of divination, and made men believe they should find their
fortunes, sometimes in the ambiguous or senseless answers of the
priests at Delphi, Delos, Ammon, and other famous oracles; which
answers were made ambiguous by design, to own the event both ways;
or absurd, by the intoxicating vapour of the place, which is very
frequent in sulphurous caverns: sometimes in the leaves of the Sibyls,
of whose prophecies, like those perhaps of Nostradamus (for the
fragments now extant seem to be the invention of later times), there
were some books in reputation in the time of the Roman republic:
sometimes in the insignificant speeches of madmen, supposed to be
possessed with a divine spirit, which possession they called
enthusiasm; and these kinds of foretelling events were accounted
theomancy, or prophecy: sometimes in the aspect of the stars at
their nativity, which was called horoscopy, and esteemed a part of
judiciary astrology: sometimes in their own hopes and fears, called
and fears, called thumomancy, or presage: sometimes in the
prediction of witches that pretended conference with the dead, which
is called necromancy, conjuring, and witchcraft, and is but juggling
and confederate knavery: sometimes in the casual flight or feeding
of birds, called augury: sometimes in the entrails of a sacrificed
beast, which was haruspicy: sometimes in dreams: sometimes in croaking
of ravens, or chattering of birds: sometimes in the lineaments of
the face, which was called metoposcopy; or by palmistry in the lines
of the hand, in casual words called omina: sometimes in monsters or
unusual accidents; as eclipses, comets, rare meteors, earthquakes,
inundations, uncouth births, and the like, which they called portenta,
and ostenta, because they thought them to portend or foreshow some
great calamity to come: sometimes in mere lottery, as cross and
pile; counting holes in a sieve; dipping of verses in Homer and
Virgil; and innumerable other such vain conceits. So easy are men to
be drawn to believe anything from such men as have gotten credit
with them; and can with gentleness, and dexterity, take hold of
their fear and ignorance.
  And therefore the first founders and legislators of Commonwealths
amongst the Gentiles, whose ends were only to keep the people in
obedience and peace, have in all places taken care: first, to
imprint their minds a belief that those precepts which they gave
concerning religion might not be thought to proceed from their own
device, but from the dictates of some god or other spirit; or else
that they themselves were of a higher nature than mere mortals, that
their laws might the more easily be received; so Numa Pompilius
pretended to receive the ceremonies he instituted amongst the Romans
from the nymph Egeria and the first king and founder of the kingdom of
Peru pretended himself and his wife to be the children of the sun; and
Mahomet, to set up his new religion, pretended to have conferences
with the Holy Ghost in form of a dove. Secondly, they have had a
care to make it believed that the same things were displeasing to
the gods which were forbidden by the laws. Thirdly, to prescribe
ceremonies, supplications, sacrifices, and festivals by which they
were to believe the anger of the gods might be appeased; and that
ill success in war, great contagions of sickness, earthquakes, and
each man's private misery came from the anger of the gods; and their
anger from the neglect of their worship, or the forgetting or
mistaking some point of the ceremonies required. And though amongst
the ancient Romans men were not forbidden to deny that which in the
poets is written of the pains and pleasures after this life, which
divers of great authority and gravity in that state have in their
harangues openly derided, yet that belief was always more cherished,
than the contrary.
  And by these, and such other institutions, they obtained in order to
their end, which was the peace of the Commonwealth, that the common
people in their misfortunes, laying the fault on neglect, or error
in their ceremonies, or on their own disobedience to the laws, were
the less apt to mutiny against their governors. And being
entertained with the pomp and pastime of festivals and public games
made in honour of the gods, needed nothing else but bread to keep them
from discontent, murmuring, and commotion against the state. And
therefore the Romans, that had conquered the greatest part of the then
known world, made no scruple of tolerating any religion whatsoever
in the city of Rome itself, unless it had something in it that could
not consist with their civil government; nor do we read that any
religion was there forbidden but that of the Jews, who (being the
peculiar kingdom of God) thought it unlawful to acknowledge subjection
to any mortal king or state whatsoever. And thus you see how the
religion of the Gentiles was a part of their policy.
  But where God himself by supernatural revelation planted religion,
there he also made to himself a peculiar kingdom, and gave laws, not
only of behaviour towards himself, but also towards one another; and
thereby in the kingdom of God, the policy and laws civil are a part of
religion; and therefore the distinction of temporal and spiritual
domination hath there no place. It is true that God is king of all the
earth; yet may He be king of a peculiar and chosen nation. For there
is no more incongruity therein than that he that hath the general
command of the whole army should have withal a peculiar regiment or
company of his own. God is king of all the earth by His power, but
of His chosen people, He is king by covenant. But to speak more
largely of the kingdom of God, both by nature and covenant, I have
in the following discourse assigned another place.
  From the propagation of religion, it is not hard to understand the
causes of the resolution of the same into its first seeds or
principles; which are only an opinion of a deity, and powers invisible
and supernatural; that can never be so abolished out of human
nature, but that new religions may again be made to spring out of them
by the culture of such men as for such purpose are in reputation.
  For seeing all formed religion is founded at first upon the faith
which a multitude hath in some one person, whom they believe not
only to be a wise man and to labour to procure their happiness, but
also to be a holy man to whom God Himself vouchsafeth to declare His
will supernaturally, it followeth necessarily when they that have
the government of religion shall come to have either the wisdom of
those men, their sincerity, or their love suspected, or that they
shall be unable to show any probable token of divine revelation,
that the religion which they desire to uphold must be suspected
likewise and (without the fear of the civil sword) contradicted and
  That which taketh away the reputation of wisdom in him that
formeth a religion, or addeth to it when it is already formed, is
the enjoining of a belief of contradictories: for both parts of a
contradiction cannot possibly be true, and therefore to enjoin the
belief of them is an argument of ignorance, which detects the author
in that, and discredits him in all things else he shall propound as
from revelation supernatural: which revelation a man may indeed have
of many things above, but of nothing against natural reason.
  That which taketh away the reputation of sincerity is the doing or
saying of such things as appear to be signs that what they require
other men to believe is not believed by themselves; all which doings
or sayings are therefore called scandalous because they be
stumbling-blocks that make men to fall in the way of religion: as
injustice, cruelty, profaneness, avarice, and luxury. For who can
believe that he that doth ordinarily such actions, as proceed from any
of these roots, believeth there is any such invisible power to be
feared as he affrighteth other men withal for lesser faults?
  That which taketh away the reputation of love is the being
detected of private ends: as when the belief they require of others
conduceth, or seemeth to conduce, to the acquiring of dominion,
riches, dignity, or secure pleasure to themselves only or specially.
For that which men reap benefit by to themselves they are thought to
do for their own sakes, and not for love of others.
  Lastly, the testimony that men can render of divine calling can be
no other than the operation of miracles, or true prophecy (which
also is a miracle), or extraordinary felicity. And therefore, to those
points of religion which have been received from them that did such
miracles, those that are added by such as approve not their calling by
some miracle obtain no greater belief than what the custom and laws of
the places in which they be educated have wrought into them. For as in
natural things men of judgement require natural signs and arguments,
so in supernatural things they require signs supernatural (which are
miracles) before they consent inwardly and from their hearts.
  All which causes of the weakening of men's faith do manifestly
appear in the examples following. First, we have the example of the
children of Israel, who, when Moses that had approved his calling to
them by miracles, and by the happy conduct of them out of Egypt, was
absent but forty days, revolted from the worship of the true God
recommended to them by him, and, setting up* a golden calf for their
god, relapsed into the idolatry of the Egyptians from whom they had
been so lately delivered. And again, after Moses, Aaron, Joshua, and
that generation which had seen the great works of God in Israel were
dead, another generation arose and served Baal.*(2) So that Miracles
failing, faith also failed.

  * Exodus, 32. 1, 2
  *(2) Judges, 2. 11

  Again, when the sons of Samuel, being constituted by their father
judges in Beer-sheba, received bribes and judged unjustly, the
people of Israel refused any more to have God to be their king in
other manner than He was king of other people, and therefore cried out
to Samuel to choose them a king after the manner of the nations.* So
that justice failing, faith also failed, insomuch as they deposed
their God from reigning over them.

  * I Samuel, 8. 3

  And whereas in the planting of Christian religion the oracles ceased
in all parts of the Roman Empire, and the number of Christians
increased wonderfully every day and in every place by the preaching of
the Apostles and Evangelists, a great part of that success may
reasonably be attributed to the contempt into which the priests of the
Gentiles of that time had brought themselves by their uncleanness,
avarice, and juggling between princes. Also the religion of the Church
of Rome was partly for the same cause abolished in England and many
other parts of Christendom, insomuch as the failing of virtue in the
pastors maketh faith fail in the people, and partly from bringing of
the philosophy and doctrine of Aristotle into religion by the
Schoolmen; from whence there arose so many contradictions and
absurdities as brought the clergy into a reputation both of
ignorance and of fraudulent intention, and inclined people to revolt
from them, either against the will of their own princes as in France
and Holland, or with their will as in England.
  Lastly, amongst the points by the Church of Rome declared
necessary for salvation, there be so many manifestly to the
advantage of the Pope so many of his spiritual subjects residing in
the territories of other Christian princes that, were it not for the
mutual emulation of those princes, they might without war or trouble
exclude all foreign authority, as easily as it has been excluded in
England. For who is there that does not see to whose benefit it
conduceth to have it believed that a king hath not his authority
from Christ unless a bishop crown him? That a king, if he be a priest,
cannot marry? That whether a prince be born in lawful marriage, or
not, must be judged by authority from Rome? That subjects may be freed
from their allegiance if by the court of Rome the king be judged a
heretic? That a king, as Childeric of France, may be deposed by a
Pope, as Pope Zachary, for no cause, and his kingdom given to one of
his subjects? That the clergy, and regulars, in what country soever,
shall be exempt from the jurisdiction of their king in cases criminal?
Or who does not see to whose profit redound the fees of private
Masses, and vales of purgatory, with other signs of private interest
enough to mortify the most lively faith, if, as I said, the civil
magistrate and custom did not more sustain it than any opinion they
have of the sanctity, wisdom, or probity of their teachers? So that
I may attribute all the changes of religion in the world to one and
the same cause, and that is unpleasing priests; and those not only
amongst catholics, but even in that Church that hath presumed most
of reformation.

                             CHAPTER XIII

  NATURE hath made men so equal in the faculties of body and mind as
that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in
body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned
together the difference between man and man is not so considerable
as that one man can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which
another may not pretend as well as he. For as to the strength of body,
the weakest has strength enough to kill the strongest, either by
secret machination or by confederacy with others that are in the
same danger with himself.
  And as to the faculties of the mind, setting aside the arts grounded
upon words, and especially that skill of proceeding upon general and
infallible rules, called science, which very few have and but in few
things, as being not a native faculty born with us, nor attained, as
prudence, while we look after somewhat else, I find yet a greater
equality amongst men than that of strength. For prudence is but
experience, which equal time equally bestows on all men in those
things they equally apply themselves unto. That which may perhaps make
such equality incredible is but a vain conceit of one's own wisdom,
which almost all men think they have in a greater degree than the
vulgar; that is, than all men but themselves, and a few others, whom
by fame, or for concurring with themselves, they approve. For such
is the nature of men that howsoever they may acknowledge many others
to be more witty, or more eloquent or more learned, yet they will
hardly believe there be many so wise as themselves; for they see their
own wit at hand, and other men's at a distance. But this proveth
rather that men are in that point equal, than unequal. For there is
not ordinarily a greater sign of the equal distribution of anything
than that every man is contented with his share.
  From this equality of ability ariseth equality of hope in the
attaining of our ends. And therefore if any two men desire the same
thing, which nevertheless they cannot both enjoy, they become enemies;
and in the way to their end (which is principally their own
conservation, and sometimes their delectation only) endeavour to
destroy or subdue one another. And from hence it comes to pass that
where an invader hath no more to fear than another man's single power,
if one plant, sow, build, or possess a convenient seat, others may
probably be expected to come prepared with forces united to dispossess
and deprive him, not only of the fruit of his labour, but also of
his life or liberty. And the invader again is in the like danger of
  And from this diffidence of one another, there is no way for any man
to secure himself so reasonable as anticipation; that is, by force, or
wiles, to master the persons of all men he can so long till he see
no other power great enough to endanger him: and this is no more
than his own conservation requireth, and is generally allowed. Also,
because there be some that, taking pleasure in contemplating their own
power in the acts of conquest, which they pursue farther than their
security requires, if others, that otherwise would be glad to be at
ease within modest bounds, should not by invasion increase their
power, they would not be able, long time, by standing only on their
defence, to subsist. And by consequence, such augmentation of dominion
over men being necessary to a man's conservation, it ought to be
allowed him.
  Again, men have no pleasure (but on the contrary a great deal of
grief) in keeping company where there is no power able to overawe them
all. For every man looketh that his companion should value him at
the same rate he sets upon himself, and upon all signs of contempt
or undervaluing naturally endeavours, as far as he dares (which
amongst them that have no common power to keep them in quiet is far
enough to make them destroy each other), to extort a greater value
from his contemners, by damage; and from others, by the example.
  So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of
quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory.
  The first maketh men invade for gain; the second, for safety; and
the third, for reputation. The first use violence, to make
themselves masters of other men's persons, wives, children, and
cattle; the second, to defend them; the third, for trifles, as a word,
a smile, a different opinion, and any other sign of undervalue, either
direct in their persons or by reflection in their kindred, their
friends, their nation, their profession, or their name.
  Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common
power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is
called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man. For
war consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting, but in a
tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently
known: and therefore the notion of time is to be considered in the
nature of war, as it is in the nature of weather. For as the nature of
foul weather lieth not in a shower or two of rain, but in an
inclination thereto of many days together: so the nature of war
consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition
thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary. All
other time is peace.
  Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man
is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men
live without other security than what their own strength and their own
invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no
place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and
consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the
commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no
instruments of moving and removing such things as require much
force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no
arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual
fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary,
poor, nasty, brutish, and short.
  It may seem strange to some man that has not well weighed these
things that Nature should thus dissociate and render men apt to invade
and destroy one another: and he may therefore, not trusting to this
inference, made from the passions, desire perhaps to have the same
confirmed by experience. Let him therefore consider with himself: when
taking a journey, he arms himself and seeks to go well accompanied;
when going to sleep, he locks his doors; when even in his house he
locks his chests; and this when he knows there be laws and public
officers, armed, to revenge all injuries shall be done him; what
opinion he has of his fellow subjects, when he rides armed; of his
fellow citizens, when he locks his doors; and of his children, and
servants, when he locks his chests. Does he not there as much accuse
mankind by his actions as I do by my words? But neither of us accuse
man's nature in it. The desires, and other passions of man, are in
themselves no sin. No more are the actions that proceed from those
passions till they know a law that forbids them; which till laws be
made they cannot know, nor can any law be made till they have agreed
upon the person that shall make it.
  It may peradventure be thought there was never such a time nor
condition of war as this; and I believe it was never generally so,
over all the world: but there are many places where they live so
now. For the savage people in many places of America, except the
government of small families, the concord whereof dependeth on natural
lust, have no government at all, and live at this day in that
brutish manner, as I said before. Howsoever, it may be perceived
what manner of life there would be, where there were no common power
to fear, by the manner of life which men that have formerly lived
under a peaceful government use to degenerate into a civil war.
  But though there had never been any time wherein particular men were
in a condition of war one against another, yet in all times kings
and persons of sovereign authority, because of their independency, are
in continual jealousies, and in the state and posture of gladiators,
having their weapons pointing, and their eyes fixed on one another;
that is, their forts, garrisons, and guns upon the frontiers of
their kingdoms, and continual spies upon their neighbours, which is
a posture of war. But because they uphold thereby the industry of
their subjects, there does not follow from it that misery which
accompanies the liberty of particular men.
  To this war of every man against every man, this also is consequent;
that nothing can be unjust. The notions of right and wrong, justice
and injustice, have there no place. Where there is no common power,
there is no law; where no law, no injustice. Force and fraud are in
war the two cardinal virtues. Justice and injustice are none of the
faculties neither of the body nor mind. If they were, they might be in
a man that were alone in the world, as well as his senses and
passions. They are qualities that relate to men in society, not in
solitude. It is consequent also to the same condition that there be no
propriety, no dominion, no mine and thine distinct; but only that to
be every man's that he can get, and for so long as he can keep it. And
thus much for the ill condition which man by mere nature is actually
placed in; though with a possibility to come out of it, consisting
partly in the passions, partly in his reason.
  The passions that incline men to peace are: fear of death; desire of
such things as are necessary to commodious living; and a hope by their
industry to obtain them. And reason suggesteth convenient articles
of peace upon which men may be drawn to agreement. These articles
are they which otherwise are called the laws of nature, whereof I
shall speak more particularly in the two following chapters.

                             CHAPTER XIV

  THE right of nature, which writers commonly call jus naturale, is
the liberty each man hath to use his own power as he will himself
for the preservation of his own nature; that is to say, of his own
life; and consequently, of doing anything which, in his own
judgement and reason, he shall conceive to be the aptest means
  By liberty is understood, according to the proper signification of
the word, the absence of external impediments; which impediments may
oft take away part of a man's power to do what he would, but cannot
hinder him from using the power left him according as his judgement
and reason shall dictate to him.
  A law of nature, lex naturalis, is a precept, or general rule, found
out by reason, by which a man is forbidden to do that which is
destructive of his life, or taketh away the means of preserving the
same, and to omit that by which he thinketh it may be best
preserved. For though they that speak of this subject use to
confound jus and lex, right and law, yet they ought to be
distinguished, because right consisteth in liberty to do, or to
forbear; whereas law determineth and bindeth to one of them: so that
law and right differ as much as obligation and liberty, which in one
and the same matter are inconsistent.
  And because the condition of man (as hath been declared in the
precedent chapter) is a condition of war of every one against every
one, in which case every one is governed by his own reason, and
there is nothing he can make use of that may not be a help unto him in
preserving his life against his enemies; it followeth that in such a
condition every man has a right to every thing, even to one
another's body. And therefore, as long as this natural right of
every man to every thing endureth, there can be no security to any
man, how strong or wise soever he be, of living out the time which
nature ordinarily alloweth men to live. And consequently it is a
precept, or general rule of reason: that every man ought to
endeavour peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it; and when he
cannot obtain it, that he may seek and use all helps and advantages of
war. The first branch of which rule containeth the first and
fundamental law of nature, which is: to seek peace and follow it.
The second, the sum of the right of nature, which is: by all means
we can to defend ourselves.
  From this fundamental law of nature, by which men are commanded to
endeavour peace, is derived this second law: that a man be willing,
when others are so too, as far forth as for peace and defence of
himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all
things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men as
he would allow other men against himself. For as long as every man
holdeth this right, of doing anything he liketh; so long are all men
in the condition of war. But if other men will not lay down their
right, as well as he, then there is no reason for anyone to divest
himself of his: for that were to expose himself to prey, which no
man is bound to, rather than to dispose himself to peace. This is that
law of the gospel: Whatsoever you require that others should do to
you, that do ye to them. And that law of all men, quod tibi fieri
non vis, alteri ne feceris.
  To lay down a man's right to anything is to divest himself of the
liberty of hindering another of the benefit of his own right to the
same. For he that renounceth or passeth away his right giveth not to
any other man a right which he had not before, because there is
nothing to which every man had not right by nature, but only
standeth out of his way that he may enjoy his own original right
without hindrance from him, not without hindrance from another. So
that the effect which redoundeth to one man by another man's defect of
right is but so much diminution of impediments to the use of his own
right original.
  Right is laid aside, either by simply renouncing it, or by
transferring it to another. By simply renouncing, when he cares not to
whom the benefit thereof redoundeth. By transferring, when he
intendeth the benefit thereof to some certain person or persons. And
when a man hath in either manner abandoned or granted away his
right, then is he said to be obliged, or bound, not to hinder those to
whom such right is granted, or abandoned, from the benefit of it:
and that he ought, and it is duty, not to make void that voluntary act
of his own: and that such hindrance is injustice, and injury, as being
sine jure; the right being before renounced or transferred. So that
injury or injustice, in the controversies of the world, is somewhat
like to that which in the disputations of scholars is called
absurdity. For as it is there called an absurdity to contradict what
one maintained in the beginning; so in the world it is called
injustice, and injury voluntarily to undo that which from the
beginning he had voluntarily done. The way by which a man either
simply renounceth or transferreth his right is a declaration, or
signification, by some voluntary and sufficient sign, or signs, that
he doth so renounce or transfer, or hath so renounced or transferred
the same, to him that accepteth it. And these signs are either words
only, or actions only; or, as it happeneth most often, both words
and actions. And the same are the bonds, by which men are bound and
obliged: bonds that have their strength, not from their own nature
(for nothing is more easily broken than a man's word), but from fear
of some evil consequence upon the rupture.
  Whensoever a man transferreth his right, or renounceth it, it is
either in consideration of some right reciprocally transferred to
himself, or for some other good he hopeth for thereby. For it is a
voluntary act: and of the voluntary acts of every man, the object is
some good to himself. And therefore there be some rights which no
man can be understood by any words, or other signs, to have
abandoned or transferred. As first a man cannot lay down the right
of resisting them that assault him by force to take away his life,
because he cannot be understood to aim thereby at any good to himself.
The same may be said of wounds, and chains, and imprisonment, both
because there is no benefit consequent to such patience, as there is
to the patience of suffering another to be wounded or imprisoned, as
also because a man cannot tell when he seeth men proceed against him
by violence whether they intend his death or not. And lastly the
motive and end for which this renouncing and transferring of right
is introduced is nothing else but the security of a man's person, in
his life, and in the means of so preserving life as not to be weary of
it. And therefore if a man by words, or other signs, seem to despoil
himself of the end for which those signs were intended, he is not to
be understood as if he meant it, or that it was his will, but that
he was ignorant of how such words and actions were to be interpreted.
  The mutual transferring of right is that which men call contract.
  There is difference between transferring of right to the thing,
the thing, and transferring or tradition, that is, delivery of the
thing itself. For the thing may be delivered together with the
translation of the right, as in buying and selling with ready money,
or exchange of goods or lands, and it may be delivered some time
  Again, one of the contractors may deliver the thing contracted for
on his part, and leave the other to perform his part at some
determinate time after, and in the meantime be trusted; and then the
contract on his part is called pact, or covenant: or both parts may
contract now to perform hereafter, in which cases he that is to
perform in time to come, being trusted, his performance is called
keeping of promise, or faith, and the failing of performance, if it be
voluntary, violation of faith.
  When the transferring of right is not mutual, but one of the parties
transferreth in hope to gain thereby friendship or service from
another, or from his friends; or in hope to gain the reputation of
charity, or magnanimity; or to deliver his mind from the pain of
compassion; or in hope of reward in heaven; this is not contract,
but gift, free gift, grace: which words signify one and the same
  Signs of contract are either express or by inference. Express are
words spoken with understanding of what they signify: and such words
are either of the time present or past; as, I give, I grant, I have
given, I have granted, I will that this be yours: or of the future;
as, I will give, I will grant, which words of the future are called
  Signs by inference are sometimes the consequence of words; sometimes
the consequence of silence; sometimes the consequence of actions;
sometimes the consequence of forbearing an action: and generally a
sign by inference, of any contract, is whatsoever sufficiently
argues the will of the contractor.
  Words alone, if they be of the time to come, and contain a bare
promise, are an insufficient sign of a free gift and therefore not
obligatory. For if they be of the time to come, as, tomorrow I will
give, they are a sign I have not given yet, and consequently that my
right is not transferred, but remaineth till I transfer it by some
other act. But if the words be of the time present, or past, as, I
have given, or do give to be delivered tomorrow, then is my tomorrow's
right given away today; and that by the virtue of the words, though
there were no other argument of my will. And there is a great
difference in the signification of these words, volo hoc tuum esse
cras, and cras dabo; that is, between I will that this be thine
tomorrow, and, I will give it thee tomorrow: for the word I will, in
the former manner of speech, signifies an act of the will present; but
in the latter, it signifies a promise of an act of the will to come:
and therefore the former words, being of the present, transfer a
future right; the latter, that be of the future, transfer nothing. But
if there be other signs of the will to transfer a right besides words;
then, though the gift be free, yet may the right be understood to pass
by words of the future: as if a man propound a prize to him that comes
first to the end of a race, the gift is free; and though the words
be of the future, yet the right passeth: for if he would not have
his words so be understood, he should not have let them run.
  In contracts the right passeth, not only where the words are of
the time present or past, but also where they are of the future,
because all contract is mutual translation, or change of right; and
therefore he that promiseth only, because he hath already received the
benefit for which he promiseth, is to be understood as if he
intended the right should pass: for unless he had been content to have
his words so understood, the other would not have performed his part
first. And for that cause, in buying, and selling, and other acts of
contract, a promise is equivalent to a covenant, and therefore
  He that performeth first in the case of a contract is said to
merit that which he is to receive by the performance of the other, and
he hath it as due. Also when a prize is propounded to many, which is
to be given to him only that winneth, or money is thrown amongst
many to be enjoyed by them that catch it; though this be a free
gift, yet so to win, or so to catch, is to merit, and to have it as
due. For the right is transferred in the propounding of the prize, and
in throwing down the money, though it be not determined to whom, but
by the event of the contention. But there is between these two sorts
of merit this difference, that in contract I merit by virtue of my own
power and the contractor's need, but in this case of free gift I am
enabled to merit only by the benignity of the giver: in contract I
merit at the contractor's hand that he should depart with his right;
in this case of gift, I merit not that the giver should part with
his right, but that when he has parted with it, it should be mine
rather than another's. And this I think to be the meaning of that
distinction of the Schools between meritum congrui and meritum
condigni. For God Almighty, having promised paradise to those men,
hoodwinked with carnal desires, that can walk through this world
according to the precepts and limits prescribed by him, they say he
that shall so walk shall merit paradise ex congruo. But because no man
can demand a right to it by his own righteousness, or any other
power in himself, but by the free grace of God only, they say no man
can merit paradise ex condigno. This, I say, I think is the meaning of
that distinction; but because disputers do not agree upon the
signification of their own terms of art longer than it serves their
turn, I will not affirm anything of their meaning: only this I say;
when a gift is given indefinitely, as a prize to be contended for,
he that winneth meriteth, and may claim the prize as due.
  If a covenant be made wherein neither of the parties perform
presently, but trust one another, in the condition of mere nature
(which is a condition of war of every man against every man) upon
any reasonable suspicion, it is void: but if there be a common power
set over them both, with right and force sufficient to compel
performance, it is not void. For he that performeth first has no
assurance the other will perform after, because the bonds of words are
too weak to bridle men's ambition, avarice, anger, and other passions,
without the fear of some coercive power; which in the condition of
mere nature, where all men are equal, and judges of the justness of
their own fears, cannot possibly be supposed. And therefore he which
performeth first does but betray himself to his enemy, contrary to the
right he can never abandon of defending his life and means of living.
  But in a civil estate, where there a power set up to constrain those
that would otherwise violate their faith, that fear is no more
reasonable; and for that cause, he which by the covenant is to perform
first is obliged so to do.
  The cause of fear, which maketh such a covenant invalid, must be
always something arising after the covenant made, as some new fact
or other sign of the will not to perform, else it cannot make the
covenant void. For that which could not hinder a man from promising
ought not to be admitted as a hindrance of performing.
  He that transferreth any right transferreth the means of enjoying
it, as far as lieth in his power. As he that selleth land is
understood to transfer the herbage and whatsoever grows upon it; nor
can he that sells a mill turn away the stream that drives it. And they
that give to a man the right of government in sovereignty are
understood to give him the right of levying money to maintain
soldiers, and of appointing magistrates for the administration of
  To make covenants with brute beasts is impossible, because not
understanding our speech, they understand not, nor accept of any
translation of right, nor can translate any right to another: and
without mutual acceptation, there is no covenant.
  To make covenant with God is impossible but by mediation of such
as God speaketh to, either by revelation supernatural or by His
lieutenants that govern under Him and in His name: for otherwise we
know not whether our covenants be accepted or not. And therefore
they that vow anything contrary to any law of nature, vow in vain,
as being a thing unjust to pay such vow. And if it be a thing
commanded by the law of nature, it is not the vow, but the law that
binds them.
  The matter or subject of a covenant is always something that falleth
under deliberation, for to covenant is an act of the will; that is
to say, an act, and the last act, of deliberation; and is therefore
always understood to be something to come, and which judged possible
for him that covenanteth to perform.
  And therefore, to promise that which is known to be impossible is no
covenant. But if that prove impossible afterwards, which before was
thought possible, the covenant is valid and bindeth, though not to the
thing itself, yet to the value; or, if that also be impossible, to the
unfeigned endeavour of performing as much as is possible, for to
more no man can be obliged.
  Men are freed of their covenants two ways; by performing, or by
being forgiven. For performance is the natural end of obligation,
and forgiveness the restitution of liberty, as being a
retransferring of that right in which the obligation consisted.
  Covenants entered into by fear, in the condition of mere nature, are
obligatory. For example, if I covenant to pay a ransom, or service for
my life, to an enemy, I am bound by it. For it is a contract,
wherein one receiveth the benefit of life; the other is to receive
money, or service for it, and consequently, where no other law (as
in the condition of mere nature) forbiddeth the performance, the
covenant is valid. Therefore prisoners of war, if trusted with the
payment of their ransom, are obliged to pay it: and if a weaker prince
make a disadvantageous peace with a stronger, for fear, he is bound to
keep it; unless (as hath been said before) there ariseth some new
and just cause of fear to renew the war. And even in Commonwealths, if
I be forced to redeem myself from a thief by promising him money, I am
bound to pay it, till the civil law discharge me. For whatsoever I may
lawfully do without obligation, the same I may lawfully covenant to do
through fear: and what I lawfully covenant, I cannot lawfully break.
  A former covenant makes void a later. For a man that hath passed
away his right to one man today hath it not to pass tomorrow to
another: and therefore the later promise passeth no right, but is
  A covenant not to defend myself from force, by force, is always
void. For (as I have shown before) no man can transfer or lay down his
right to save himself from death, wounds, and imprisonment, the
avoiding whereof is the only end of laying down any right; and
therefore the promise of not resisting force, in no covenant
transferreth any right, nor is obliging. For though a man may covenant
thus, unless I do so, or so, kill me; he cannot covenant thus,
unless I do so, or so, I will not resist you when you come to kill me.
For man by nature chooseth the lesser evil, which is danger of death
in resisting, rather than the greater, which is certain and present
death in not resisting. And this is granted to be true by all men,
in that they lead criminals to execution, and prison, with armed
men, notwithstanding that such criminals have consented to the law
by which they are condemned.
  A covenant to accuse oneself, without assurance of pardon, is
likewise invalid. For in the condition of nature where every man is
judge, there is no place for accusation: and in the civil state the
accusation is followed with punishment, which, being force, a man is
not obliged not to resist. The same is also true of the accusation
of those by whose condemnation a man falls into misery; as of a
father, wife, or benefactor. For the testimony of such an accuser,
if it be not willingly given, is presumed to be corrupted by nature,
and therefore not to be received: and where a man's testimony is not
to be credited, he is not bound to give it. Also accusations upon
torture are not to be reputed as testimonies. For torture is to be
used but as means of conjecture, and light, in the further examination
and search of truth: and what is in that case confessed tendeth to the
ease of him that is tortured, not to the informing of the torturers,
and therefore ought not to have the credit of a sufficient
testimony: for whether he deliver himself by true or false accusation,
he does it by the right of preserving his own life.
  The force of words being (as I have formerly noted) too weak to hold
men to the performance of their covenants, there are in man's nature
but two imaginable helps to strengthen it. And those are either a fear
of the consequence of breaking their word, or a glory or pride in
appearing not to need to break it. This latter is a generosity too
rarely found to be presumed on, especially in the pursuers of
wealth, command, or sensual pleasure, which are the greatest part of
mankind. The passion to be reckoned upon is fear; whereof there be two
very general objects: one, the power of spirits invisible; the
other, the power of those men they shall therein offend. Of these two,
though the former be the greater power, yet the fear of the latter
is commonly the greater fear. The fear of the former is in every man
his own religion, which hath place in the nature of man before civil
society. The latter hath not so; at least not place enough to keep men
to their promises, because in the condition of mere nature, the
inequality of power is not discerned, but by the event of battle. So
that before the time of civil society, or in the interruption
thereof by war, there is nothing can strengthen a covenant of peace
agreed on against the temptations of avarice, ambition, lust, or other
strong desire, but the fear of that invisible power which they every
one worship as God, and fear as a revenger of their perfidy. All
therefore that can be done between two men not subject to civil
power is to put one another to swear by the God he feareth: which
swearing, or oath, is a form of speech, added to a promise, by which
he that promiseth signifieth that unless he perform he renounceth
the mercy of his God, or calleth to him for vengeance on himself. Such
was the heathen form, Let Jupiter kill me else, as I kill this
beast. So is our form, I shall do thus, and thus, so help me God.
And this, with the rites and ceremonies which every one useth in his
own religion, that the fear of breaking faith might be the greater.
  By this it appears that an oath taken according to any other form,
or rite, than his that sweareth is in vain and no oath, and that there
is no swearing by anything which the swearer thinks not God. For
though men have sometimes used to swear by their kings, for fear, or
flattery; yet they would have it thereby understood they attributed to
them divine honour. And that swearing unnecessarily by God is but
profaning of his name: and swearing by other things, as men do in
common discourse, is not swearing, but an impious custom, gotten by
too much vehemence of talking.
  It appears also that the oath adds nothing to the obligation. For
a covenant, if lawful, binds in the sight of God, without the oath, as
much as with it; if unlawful, bindeth not at all, though it be
confirmed with an oath.

                              CHAPTER XV
                       OF OTHER LAWS OF NATURE

  FROM that law of nature by which we are obliged to transfer to
another such rights as, being retained, hinder the peace of mankind,
there followeth a third; which is this: that men perform their
covenants made; without which covenants are in vain, and but empty
words; and the right of all men to all things remaining, we are
still in the condition of war.
  And in this law of nature consisteth the fountain and original of
justice. For where no covenant hath preceded, there hath no right been
transferred, and every man has right to everything and consequently,
no action can be unjust. But when a covenant is made, then to break it
is unjust and the definition of injustice is no other than the not
performance of covenant. And whatsoever is not unjust is just.
  But because covenants of mutual trust, where there is a fear of
not performance on either part (as hath been said in the former
chapter), are invalid, though the original of justice be the making of
covenants, yet injustice actually there can be none till the cause
of such fear be taken away; which, while men are in the natural
condition of war, cannot be done. Therefore before the names of just
and unjust can have place, there must be some coercive power to compel
men equally to the performance of their covenants, by the terror of
some punishment greater than the benefit they expect by the breach
of their covenant, and to make good that propriety which by mutual
contract men acquire in recompense of the universal right they
abandon: and such power there is none before the erection of a
Commonwealth. And this is also to be gathered out of the ordinary
definition of justice in the Schools, for they say that justice is the
constant will of giving to every man his own. And therefore where
there is no own, that is, no propriety, there is no injustice; and
where there is no coercive power erected, that is, where there is no
Commonwealth, there is no propriety, all men having right to all
things: therefore where there is no Commonwealth, there nothing is
unjust. So that the nature of justice consisteth in keeping of valid
covenants, but the validity of covenants begins not but with the
constitution of a civil power sufficient to compel men to keep them:
and then it is also that propriety begins.
  The fool hath said in his heart, there is no such thing as
justice, and sometimes also with his tongue, seriously alleging that
every man's conservation and contentment being committed to his own
care, there could be no reason why every man might not do what he
thought conduced thereunto: and therefore also to make, or not make;
keep, or not keep, covenants was not against reason when it conduced
to one's benefit. He does not therein deny that there be covenants;
and that they are sometimes broken, sometimes kept; and that such
breach of them may be called injustice, and the observance of them
justice: but he questioneth whether injustice, taking away the fear of
God (for the same fool hath said in his heart there is no God), not
sometimes stand with that reason which dictateth to every man his
own good; and particularly then, when it conduceth to such a benefit
as shall put a man in a condition to neglect not only the dispraise
and revilings, but also the power of other men. The kingdom of God
is gotten by violence: but what if it could be gotten by unjust
violence? Were it against reason so to get it, when it is impossible
to receive hurt by it? And if it be not against reason, it is not
against justice: or else justice is not to be approved for good.
From such reasoning as this, successful wickedness hath obtained the
name of virtue: and some that in all other things have disallowed
the violation of faith, yet have allowed it when it is for the getting
of a kingdom. And the heathen that believed that Saturn was deposed by
his son Jupiter believed nevertheless the same Jupiter to be the
avenger of injustice, somewhat like to a piece of law in Coke's
Commentaries on Littleton; where he says if the right heir of the
crown be attainted of treason, yet the crown shall descend to him, and
eo instante the attainder be void: from which instances a man will
be very prone to infer that when the heir apparent of a kingdom
shall kill him that is in possession, though his father, you may
call it injustice, or by what other name you will; yet it can never be
against reason, seeing all the voluntary actions of men tend to the
benefit of themselves; and those actions are most reasonable that
conduce most to their ends. This specious reasoning is nevertheless
  For the question is not of promises mutual, where there is no
security of performance on either side, as when there is no civil
power erected over the parties promising; for such promises are no
covenants: but either where one of the parties has performed
already, or where there is a power to make him perform, there is the
question whether it be against reason; that is, against the benefit of
the other to perform, or not. And I say it is not against reason.
For the manifestation whereof we are to consider; first, that when a
man doth a thing, which notwithstanding anything can be foreseen and
reckoned on tendeth to his own destruction, howsoever some accident,
which he could not expect, arriving may turn it to his benefit; yet
such events do not make it reasonably or wisely done. Secondly, that
in a condition of war, wherein every man to every man, for want of a
common power to keep them all in awe, is an enemy, there is no man can
hope by his own strength, or wit, to himself from destruction
without the help of confederates; where every one expects the same
defence by the confederation that any one else does: and therefore
he which declares he thinks it reason to deceive those that help him
can in reason expect no other means of safety than what can be had
from his own single power. He, therefore, that breaketh his
covenant, and consequently declareth that he thinks he may with reason
do so, cannot be received into any society that unite themselves for
peace and defence but by the error of them that receive him; nor
when he is received be retained in it without seeing the danger of
their error; which errors a man cannot reasonably reckon upon as the
means of his security: and therefore if he be left, or cast out of
society, he perisheth; and if he live in society, it is by the
errors of other men, which he could not foresee nor reckon upon, and
consequently against the reason of his preservation; and so, as all
men that contribute not to his destruction forbear him only out of
ignorance of what is good for themselves.
  As for the instance of gaining the secure and perpetual felicity
of heaven by any way, it is frivolous; there being but one way
imaginable, and that is not breaking, but keeping of covenant.
  And for the other instance of attaining sovereignty by rebellion; it
is manifest that, though the event follow, yet because it cannot
reasonably be expected, but rather the contrary, and because by
gaining it so, others are taught to gain the same in like manner,
the attempt thereof is against reason. Justice therefore, that is to
say, keeping of covenant, is a rule of reason by which we are
forbidden to do anything destructive to our life, and consequently a
law of nature.
  There be some that proceed further and will not have the law of
nature to be those rules which conduce to the preservation of man's
life on earth, but to the attaining of an eternal felicity after
death; to which they think the breach of covenant may conduce, and
consequently be just and reasonable; such are they that think it a
work of merit to kill, or depose, or rebel against the sovereign power
constituted over them by their own consent. But because there is no
natural knowledge of man's estate after death, much less of the reward
that is then to be given to breach of faith, but only a belief
grounded upon other men's saying that they know it supernaturally or
that they know those that knew them that knew others that knew it
supernaturally, breach of faith cannot be called a precept of reason
or nature.
  Others, that allow for a law of nature the keeping of faith, do
nevertheless make exception of certain persons; as heretics, and
such as use not to perform their covenant to others; and this also
is against reason. For if any fault of a man be sufficient to
discharge our covenant made, the same ought in reason to have been
sufficient to have hindered the making of it.
  The names of just and unjust when they are attributed to men,
signify one thing, and when they are attributed to actions, another.
When they are attributed to men, they signify conformity, or
inconformity of manners, to reason. But when they are attributed to
action they signify the conformity, or inconformity to reason, not
of manners, or manner of life, but of particular actions. A just man
therefore is he that taketh all the care he can that his actions may
be all just; and an unjust man is he that neglecteth it. And such
men are more often in our language styled by the names of righteous
and unrighteous than just and unjust though the meaning be the same.
Therefore a righteous man does not lose that title by one or a few
unjust actions that proceed from sudden passion, or mistake of
things or persons, nor does an unrighteous man lose his character
for such actions as he does, or forbears to do, for fear: because
his will is not framed by the justice, but by the apparent benefit
of what he is to do. That which gives to human actions the relish of
justice is a certain nobleness or gallantness of courage, rarely
found, by which a man scorns to be beholding for the contentment of
his life to fraud, or breach of promise. This justice of the manners
is that which is meant where justice is called a virtue; and
injustice, a vice.
  But the justice of actions denominates men, not just, but guiltless:
and the injustice of the same (which is also called injury) gives them
but the name of guilty.
  Again, the injustice of manners is the disposition or aptitude to do
injury, and is injustice before it proceed to act, and without
supposing any individual person injured. But the injustice of an
action (that is to say, injury) supposeth an individual person
injured; namely him to whom the covenant was made: and therefore
many times the injury is received by one man when the damage
redoundeth to another. As when the master commandeth his servant to
give money to stranger; if it be not done, the injury is done to the
master, whom he had before covenanted to obey; but the damage
redoundeth to the stranger, to whom he had no obligation, and
therefore could not injure him. And so also in Commonwealths private
men may remit to one another their debts, but not robberies or other
violences, whereby they are endamaged; because the detaining of debt
is an injury to themselves, but robbery and violence are injuries to
the person of the Commonwealth.
  Whatsoever is done to a man, conformable to his own will signified
to the doer, is not injury to him. For if he that doeth it hath not
passed away his original right to do what he please by some antecedent
covenant, there is no breach of covenant, and therefore no injury done
him. And if he have, then his will to have it done, being signified,
is a release of that covenant, and so again there is no injury done
  Justice of actions is by writers divided into commutative and
distributive: and the former they say consisteth in proportion
arithmetical; the latter in proportion geometrical. Commutative,
therefore, they place in the equality of value of the things
contracted for; and distributive, in the distribution of equal benefit
to men of equal merit. As if it were injustice to sell dearer than
we buy, or to give more to a man than he merits. The value of all
things contracted for is measured by the appetite of the
contractors, and therefore the just value is that which they be
contented to give. And merit (besides that which is by covenant, where
the performance on one part meriteth the performance of the other
part, and falls under justice commutative, not distributive) is not
due by justice, but is rewarded of grace only. And therefore this
distinction, in the sense wherein it useth to be expounded, is not
right. To speak properly, commutative justice is the justice of a
contractor; that is, a performance of covenant in buying and
selling, hiring and letting to hire, lending and borrowing,
exchanging, bartering, and other acts of contract.
  And distributive justice, the justice of an arbitrator; that is to
say, the act of defining what is just. Wherein, being trusted by
them that make him arbitrator, if he perform his trust, he is said
to distribute to every man his own: and this is indeed just
distribution, and may be called, though improperly, distributive
justice, but more properly equity, which also is a law of nature, as
shall be shown in due place.
  As justice dependeth on antecedent covenant; so does gratitude
depend on antecedent grace; that is to say, antecedent free gift;
and is the fourth law of nature, which may be conceived in this
form: that a man which receiveth benefit from another of mere grace
endeavour that he which giveth it have no reasonable cause to repent
him of his good will. For no man giveth but with intention of good
to himself, because gift is voluntary; and of all voluntary acts,
the object is to every man his own good; of which if men see they
shall be frustrated, there will be no beginning of benevolence or
trust, nor consequently of mutual help, nor of reconciliation of one
man to another; and therefore they are to remain still in the
condition of war, which is contrary to the first and fundamental law
of nature which commandeth men to seek peace. The breach of this law
is called ingratitude, and hath the same relation to grace that
injustice hath to obligation by covenant.
  A fifth law of nature is complaisance; that is to say, that every
man strive to accommodate himself to the rest. For the understanding
whereof we may consider that there is in men's aptness to society a
diversity of nature, rising from their diversity of affections, not
unlike to that we see in stones brought together for building of an
edifice. For as that stone which by the asperity and irregularity of
figure takes more room from others than itself fills, and for hardness
cannot be easily made plain, and thereby hindereth the building, is by
the builders cast away as unprofitable and troublesome: so also, a man
that by asperity of nature will strive to retain those things which to
himself are superfluous, and to others necessary, and for the
stubbornness of his passions cannot be corrected, is to be left or
cast out of society as cumbersome thereunto. For seeing every man, not
only by right, but also by necessity of nature, is supposed to
endeavour all he can to obtain that which is necessary for his
conservation, he that shall oppose himself against it for things
superfluous is guilty of the war that thereupon is to follow, and
therefore doth that which is contrary to the fundamental law of
nature, which commandeth to seek peace. The observers of this law
may be called sociable, (the Latins call them commodi); the
contrary, stubborn, insociable, forward, intractable.
  A sixth law of nature is this: that upon caution of the future time,
a man ought to pardon the offences past of them that, repenting,
desire it. For pardon is nothing but granting of peace; which though
granted to them that persevere in their hostility, be not peace, but
fear; yet not granted to them that give caution of the future time
is sign of an aversion to peace, and therefore contrary to the law
of nature.
  A seventh is: that in revenges (that is, retribution of evil for
evil), men look not at the greatness of the evil past, but the
greatness of the good to follow. Whereby we are forbidden to inflict
punishment with any other design than for correction of the
offender, or direction of others. For this law is consequent to the
next before it, that commandeth pardon upon security of the future
time. Besides, revenge without respect to the example and profit to
come is a triumph, or glorying in the hurt of another, tending to no
end (for the end is always somewhat to come); and glorying to no end
is vain-glory, and contrary to reason; and to hurt without reason
tendeth to the introduction of war, which is against the law of
nature, and is commonly styled by the name of cruelty.
  And because all signs of hatred, or contempt, provoke to fight;
insomuch as most men choose rather to hazard their life than not to be
revenged, we may in the eighth place, for a law of nature, set down
this precept: that no man by deed, word, countenance, or gesture,
declare hatred or contempt of another. The breach of which law is
commonly called contumely.
  The question who is the better man has no place in the condition
of mere nature, where (as has been shown before) all men are equal.
The inequality that now is has been introduced by the laws civil. I
know that Aristotle in the first book of his Politics, for a
foundation of his doctrine, maketh men by nature, some more worthy
to command, meaning the wiser sort, such as he thought himself to be
for his philosophy; others to serve, meaning those that had strong
bodies, but were not philosophers as he; as master and servant were
not introduced by consent of men, but by difference of wit: which is
not only against reason, but also against experience. For there are
very few so foolish that had not rather govern themselves than be
governed by others: nor when the wise, in their own conceit, contend
by force with them who distrust their own wisdom, do they always, or
often, or almost at any time, get the victory. If nature therefore
have made men equal, that equality is to be acknowledged: or if nature
have made men unequal, yet because men that think themselves equal
will not enter into conditions of peace, but upon equal terms, such
equality must be admitted. And therefore for the ninth law of
nature, I put this: that every man acknowledge another for his equal
by nature. The breach of this precept is pride.
  On this law dependeth another: that at the entrance into
conditions of peace, no man require to reserve to himself any right
which he is not content should he reserved to every one of the rest.
As it is necessary for all men that seek peace to lay down certain
rights of nature; that is to say, not to have liberty to do all they
list, so is it necessary for man's life to retain some: as right to
govern their own bodies; enjoy air, water, motion, ways to go from
place to place; and all things else without which a man cannot live,
or not live well. If in this case, at the making of peace, men require
for themselves that which they would not have to be granted to others,
they do contrary to the precedent law that commandeth the
acknowledgement of natural equality, and therefore also against the
law of nature. The observers of this law are those we call modest, and
the breakers arrogant men. The Greeks call the violation of this law
pleonexia; that is, a desire of more than their share.
  Also, if a man he trusted to judge between man and man, it is a
precept of the law of nature that he deal equally between them. For
without that, the controversies of men cannot be determined but by
war. He therefore that is partial in judgement, doth what in him
lies to deter men from the use of judges and arbitrators, and
consequently, against the fundamental law of nature, is the cause of
  The observance of this law, from the equal distribution to each
man of that which in reason belonged to him, is called equity, and (as
I have said before) distributive justice: the violation, acception
of persons, prosopolepsia.
  And from this followeth another law: that such things as cannot he
divided be enjoyed in common, if it can be; and if the quantity of the
thing permit, without stint; otherwise proportionably to the number of
them that have right. For otherwise the distribution is unequal, and
contrary to equity.
  But some things there be that can neither be divided nor enjoyed
in common. Then, the law of nature which prescribeth equity requireth:
that the entire right, or else (making the use alternate) the first
possession, be determined by lot. For equal distribution is of the law
of nature; and other means of equal distribution cannot be imagined.
  Of lots there be two sorts, arbitrary and natural. Arbitrary is that
which is agreed on by the competitors; natural is either primogeniture
(which the Greek calls kleronomia, which signifies, given by lot),
or first seizure.
  And therefore those things which cannot be enjoyed in common, nor
divided, ought to be adjudged to the first possessor; and in some
cases to the first born, as acquired by lot.
  It is also a law of nature: that all men that mediate peace he
allowed safe conduct. For the law that commandeth peace, as the end,
commandeth intercession, as the means; and to intercession the means
is safe conduct.
  And because, though men be never so willing to observe these laws,
there may nevertheless arise questions concerning a man's action;
first, whether it were done, or not done; secondly, if done, whether
against the law, or not against the law; the former whereof is
called a question of fact, the latter a question of right; therefore
unless the parties to the question covenant mutually to stand to the
sentence of another, they are as far from peace as ever. This other,
to whose sentence they submit, is called an arbitrator. And
therefore it is of the law of nature that they that are at controversy
submit their right to the judgement of an arbitrator.
  And seeing every man is presumed to do all things in order to his
own benefit, no man is a fit arbitrator in his own cause: and if he
were never so fit, yet equity allowing to each party equal benefit, if
one be admitted to be judge, the other is to be admitted also; and
so the controversy, that is, the cause of war, remains, against the
law of nature.
  For the same reason no man in any cause ought to be received for
arbitrator to whom greater profit, or honour, or pleasure apparently
ariseth out of the victory of one party than of the other: for he hath
taken, though an unavoidable bribe, yet a bribe; and no man can be
obliged to trust him. And thus also the controversy and the
condition of war remaineth, contrary to the law of nature.
  And in a controversy of fact, the judge being to give no more credit
to one than to the other, if there be no other arguments, must give
credit to a third; or to a third and fourth; or more: for else the
question is undecided, and left to force, contrary to the law of
  These are the laws of nature, dictating peace, for a means of the
conservation of men in multitudes; and which only concern the doctrine
of civil society. There be other things tending to the destruction
of particular men; as drunkenness, and all other parts of
intemperance, which may therefore also be reckoned amongst those
things which the law of nature hath forbidden, but are not necessary
to be mentioned, nor are pertinent enough to this place.
  And though this may seem too subtle a deduction of the laws of
nature to be taken notice of by all men, whereof the most part are too
busy in getting food, and the rest too negligent to understand; yet to
leave all men inexcusable, they have been contracted into one easy
sum, intelligible even to the meanest capacity; and that is: Do not
that to another which thou wouldest not have done to thyself, which
showeth him that he has no more to do in learning the laws of nature
but, when weighing the actions of other men with his own they seem too
heavy, to put them into the other part of the balance, and his own
into their place, that his own passions and self-love may add
nothing to the weight; and then there is none of these laws of
nature that will not appear unto him very reasonable.
  The laws of nature oblige in foro interno; that is to say, they bind
to a desire they should take place: but in foro externo; that is, to
the putting them in act, not always. For he that should be modest
and tractable, and perform all he promises in such time and place
where no man else should do so, should but make himself a prey to
others, and procure his own certain ruin, contrary to the ground of
all laws of nature which tend to nature's preservation. And again,
he that having sufficient security that others shall observe the
same laws towards him, observes them not himself, seeketh not peace,
but war, and consequently the destruction of his nature by violence.
  And whatsoever laws bind in foro interno may be broken, not only
by a fact contrary to the law, but also by a fact according to it,
in case a man think it contrary. For though his action in this case be
according to the law, yet his purpose was against the law; which,
where the obligation is in foro interno, is a breach.
  The laws of nature are immutable and eternal; for injustice,
ingratitude, arrogance, pride, iniquity, acception of persons, and the
rest can never be made lawful. For it can never be that war shall
preserve life, and peace destroy it.
  The same laws, because they oblige only to a desire and endeavour,
mean an unfeigned and constant endeavour, are easy to be observed. For
in that they require nothing but endeavour, he that endeavoureth their
performance fulfilleth them; and he that fulfilleth the law is just.
  And the science of them is the true and only moral philosophy. For
moral philosophy is nothing else but the science of what is good and
evil in the conversation and society of mankind. Good and evil are
names that signify our appetites and aversions, which in different
tempers, customs, and doctrines of men are different: and diverse
men differ not only in their judgement on the senses of what is
pleasant and unpleasant to the taste, smell, hearing, touch, and
sight; but also of what is conformable or disagreeable to reason in
the actions of common life. Nay, the same man, in diverse times,
differs from himself; and one time praiseth, that is, calleth good,
what another time he dispraiseth, and calleth evil: from whence
arise disputes, controversies, and at last war. And therefore so
long as a man is in the condition of mere nature, which is a condition
of war, private appetite is the measure of good and evil: and
consequently all men agree on this, that peace is good, and
therefore also the way or means of peace, which (as I have shown
before) are justice, gratitude, modesty, equity, mercy, and the rest
of the laws of nature, are good; that is to say, moral virtues; and
their contrary vices, evil. Now the science of virtue and vice is
moral philosophy; and therefore the true doctrine of the laws of
nature is the true moral philosophy. But the writers of moral
philosophy, though they acknowledge the same virtues and vices; yet,
not seeing wherein consisted their goodness, nor that they come to
be praised as the means of peaceable, sociable, and comfortable
living, place them in a mediocrity of passions: as if not the cause,
but the degree of daring, made fortitude; or not the cause, but the
quantity of a gift, made liberality.
  These dictates of reason men used to call by the name of laws, but
improperly: for they are but conclusions or theorems concerning what
conduceth to the conservation and defence of themselves; whereas
law, properly, is the word of him that by right hath command over
others. But yet if we consider the same theorems as delivered in the
word of God that by right commandeth all things, then are they
properly called laws.

                             CHAPTER XVI

  A PERSON is he whose words or actions are considered, either as
his own, or as representing the words or actions of another man, or of
any other thing to whom they are attributed, whether truly or by
  When they are considered as his own, then is he called a natural
person: and when they are considered as representing the words and
actions of another, then is he a feigned or artificial person.
  The word person is Latin, instead whereof the Greeks have
prosopon, which signifies the face, as persona in Latin signifies
the disguise, or outward appearance of a man, counterfeited on the
stage; and sometimes more particularly that part of it which
disguiseth the face, as a mask or vizard: and from the stage hath been
translated to any representer of speech and action, as well in
tribunals as theatres. So that a person is the same that an actor
is, both on the stage and in common conversation; and to personate
is to act or represent himself or another; and he that acteth
another is said to bear his person, or act in his name (in which sense
Cicero useth it where he says, Unus sustineo tres personas; mei,
adversarii, et judicis- I bear three persons; my own, my
adversary's, and the judge's), and is called in diverse occasions,
diversely; as a representer, or representative, a lieutenant, a vicar,
an attorney, a deputy, a procurator, an actor, and the like.
  Of persons artificial, some have their words and actions owned by
those whom they represent. And then the person is the actor, and he
that owneth his words and actions is the author, in which case the
actor acteth by authority. For that which in speaking of goods and
possessions is called an owner, and in Latin dominus in Greek
kurios; speaking of actions, is called author. And as the right of
possession is called dominion so the right of doing any action is
called authority. So that by authority is always understood a right of
doing any act; and done by authority, done by commission or license
from him whose right it is.
  From hence it followeth that when the actor maketh a covenant by
authority, he bindeth thereby the author no less than if he had made
it himself; and no less subjecteth him to all the consequences of
the same. And therefore all that hath been said formerly (Chapter XIV)
of the nature of covenants between man and man in their natural
capacity is true also when they are made by their actors,
representers, or procurators, that have authority from them, so far
forth as is in their commission, but no further.
  And therefore he that maketh a covenant with the actor, or
representer, not knowing the authority he hath, doth it at his own
peril. For no man is obliged by a covenant whereof he is not author,
nor consequently by a covenant made against or beside the authority he
  When the actor doth anything against the law of nature by command of
the author, if he be obliged by former covenant to obey him, not he,
but the author breaketh the law of nature: for though the action be
against the law of nature, yet it is not his; but, contrarily, to
refuse to do it is against the law of nature that forbiddeth breach of
  And he that maketh a covenant with the author, by mediation of the
actor, not knowing what authority he hath, but only takes his word; in
case such authority be not made manifest unto him upon demand, is no
longer obliged: for the covenant made with the author is not valid
without his counter-assurance. But if he that so covenanteth knew
beforehand he was to expect no other assurance than the actor's
word, then is the covenant valid, because the actor in this case
maketh himself the author. And therefore, as when the authority is
evident, the covenant obligeth the author, not the actor; so when
the authority is feigned, it obligeth the actor only, there being no
author but himself.
  There are few things that are incapable of being represented by
fiction. Inanimate things, as a church, a hospital, a bridge, may be
personated by a rector, master, or overseer. But things inanimate
cannot be authors, nor therefore give authority to their actors: yet
the actors may have authority to procure their maintenance, given them
by those that are owners or governors of those things. And therefore
such things cannot be personated before there be some state of civil
  Likewise children, fools, and madmen that have no use of reason
may be personated by guardians, or curators, but can be no authors
during that time of any action done by them, longer than (when they
shall recover the use of reason) they shall judge the same reasonable.
Yet during the folly he that hath right of governing them may give
authority to the guardian. But this again has no place but in a
state civil, because before such estate there is no dominion of
  An idol, or mere figment of the brain, may be personated, as were
the gods of the heathen, which, by such officers as the state
appointed, were personated, and held possessions, and other goods, and
rights, which men from time to time dedicated and consecrated unto
them. But idols cannot be authors: for an idol is nothing. The
authority proceeded from the state, and therefore before
introduction of civil government the gods of the heathen could not
be personated.
  The true God may be personated. As He was: first, Moses, who
governed the Israelites, that were that were not his, but God's
people; not in his own name, with hoc dicit Moses, but in God's
name, with hoc dicit Dominus. Secondly, by the Son of Man, His own
Son, our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, that came to reduce the Jews
and induce all nations into the kingdom of his Father; not as of
himself, but as sent from his Father. And thirdly, by the Holy
Ghost, or Comforter, speaking and working in the Apostles; which
Holy Ghost was a Comforter that came not of himself, but was sent
and proceeded from them both.
  A multitude of men are made one person when they are by one man,
or one person, represented; so that it be done with the consent of
every one of that multitude in particular. For it is the unity of
the representer, not the unity of the represented, that maketh the
person one. And it is the representer that beareth the person, and but
one person: and unity cannot otherwise be understood in multitude.
  And because the multitude naturally is not one, but many, they
cannot be understood for one, but in any authors, of everything
their representative saith or doth in their name; every man giving
their common representer authority from himself in particular, and
owning all the actions the representer doth, in case they give him
authority without stint: otherwise, when they limit him in what and
how far he shall represent them, none of them owneth more than they
gave him commission to act.
  And if the representative consist of many men, the voice of the
greater number must be considered as the voice of them all. For if the
lesser number pronounce, for example, in the affirmative, and the
greater in the negative, there will be negatives more than enough to
destroy the affirmatives, and thereby the excess of negatives,
standing uncontradicted, are the only voice the representative hath.
  And a representative of even number, especially when the number is
not great, whereby the contradictory voices are oftentimes equal, is
therefore oftentimes mute and incapable of action. Yet in some cases
contradictory voices equal in number may determine a question; as in
condemning, or absolving, equality of votes, even in that they condemn
not, do absolve; but not on the contrary condemn, in that they absolve
not. For when a cause is heard, not to condemn is to absolve; but on
the contrary to say that not absolving is condemning is not true.
The like it is in deliberation of executing presently, or deferring
till another time: for when the voices are equal, the not decreeing
execution is a decree of dilation.
  Or if the number be odd, as three, or more, men or assemblies,
whereof every one has, by a negative voice, authority to take away the
effect of all the affirmative voices of the rest, this number is no
representative; by the diversity of opinions and interests of men,
it becomes oftentimes, and in cases of the greatest consequence, a
mute person and unapt, as for many things else, so for the
government of a multitude, especially in time of war.
  Of authors there be two sorts. The first simply so called, which I
have before defined to be him that owneth the action of another
simply. The second is he that owneth an action or covenant of
another conditionally; that is to say, he undertaketh to do it, if the
other doth it not, at or before a certain time. And these authors
conditional are generally called sureties, in Latin, fidejussores
and sponsores; and particularly for debt, praedes and for appearance
before a judge or magistrate, vades.

                           THE SECOND PART
                           OF COMMONWEALTH

                             CHAPTER XVII
                          OF A COMMONWEALTH

  THE final cause, end, or design of men (who naturally love
liberty, and dominion over others) in the introduction of that
restraint upon themselves, in which we see them live in Commonwealths,
is the foresight of their own preservation, and of a more contented
life thereby; that is to say, of getting themselves out from that
miserable condition of war which is necessarily consequent, as hath
been shown, to the natural passions of men when there is no visible
power to keep them in awe, and tie them by fear of punishment to the
performance of their covenants, and observation of those laws of
nature set down in the fourteenth and fifteenth chapters.
  For the laws of nature, as justice, equity, modesty, mercy, and,
in sum, doing to others as we would be done to, of themselves, without
the terror of some power to cause them to be observed, are contrary to
our natural passions, that carry us to partiality, pride, revenge, and
the like. And covenants, without the sword, are but words and of no
strength to secure a man at all. Therefore, notwithstanding the laws
of nature (which every one hath then kept, when he has the will to
keep them, when he can do it safely), if there be no power erected, or
not great enough for our security, every man will and may lawfully
rely on his own strength and art for caution against all other men.
And in all places, where men have lived by small families, to rob
and spoil one another has been a trade, and so far from being
reputed against the law of nature that the greater spoils they gained,
the greater was their honour; and men observed no other laws therein
but the laws of honour; that is, to abstain from cruelty, leaving to
men their lives and instruments of husbandry. And as small families
did then; so now do cities and kingdoms, which are but greater
families (for their own security), enlarge their dominions upon all
pretences of danger, and fear of invasion, or assistance that may be
given to invaders; endeavour as much as they can to subdue or weaken
their neighbours by open force, and secret arts, for want of other
caution, justly; and are remembered for it in after ages with honour.
  Nor is it the joining together of a small number of men that gives
them this security; because in small numbers, small additions on the
one side or the other make the advantage of strength so great as is
sufficient to carry the victory, and therefore gives encouragement
to an invasion. The multitude sufficient to confide in for our
security is not determined by any certain number, but by comparison
with the enemy we fear; and is then sufficient when the odds of the
enemy is not of so visible and conspicuous moment to determine the
event of war, as to move him to attempt.
  And be there never so great a multitude; yet if their actions be
directed according to their particular judgements, and particular
appetites, they can expect thereby no defence, nor protection, neither
against a common enemy, nor against the injuries of one another. For
being distracted in opinions concerning the best use and application
of their strength, they do not help, but hinder one another, and
reduce their strength by mutual opposition to nothing: whereby they
are easily, not only subdued by a very few that agree together, but
also, when there is no common enemy, they make war upon each other for
their particular interests. For if we could suppose a great
multitude of men to consent in the observation of justice, and other
laws of nature, without a common power to keep them all in awe, we
might as well suppose all mankind to do the same; and then there
neither would be, nor need to be, any civil government or Commonwealth
at all, because there would be peace without subjection.
  Nor is it enough for the security, which men desire should last
all the time of their life, that they be governed and directed by
one judgement for a limited time; as in one battle, or one war. For
though they obtain a victory by their unanimous endeavour against a
foreign enemy, yet afterwards, when either they have no common
enemy, or he that by one part is held for an enemy is by another
part held for a friend, they must needs by the difference of their
interests dissolve, and fall again into a war amongst themselves.
  It is true that certain living creatures, as bees and ants, live
sociably one with another (which are therefore by Aristotle numbered
amongst political creatures), and yet have no other direction than
their particular judgements and appetites; nor speech, whereby one
of them can signify to another what he thinks expedient for the common
benefit: and therefore some man may perhaps desire to know why mankind
cannot do the same. To which I answer,
  First, that men are continually in competition for honour and
dignity, which these creatures are not; and consequently amongst men
there ariseth on that ground, envy, and hatred, and finally war; but
amongst these not so.
  Secondly, that amongst these creatures the common good differeth not
from the private; and being by nature inclined to their private,
they procure thereby the common benefit. But man, whose joy consisteth
in comparing himself with other men, can relish nothing but what is
  Thirdly, that these creatures, having not, as man, the use of
reason, do not see, nor think they see, any fault in the
administration of their common business: whereas amongst men there are
very many that think themselves wiser and abler to govern the public
better than the rest, and these strive to reform and innovate, one
this way, another that way; and thereby bring it into distraction
and civil war.
  Fourthly, that these creatures, though they have some use of voice
in making known to one another their desires and other affections, yet
they want that art of words by which some men can represent to
others that which is good in the likeness of evil; and evil, in the
likeness of good; and augment or diminish the apparent greatness of
good and evil, discontenting men and troubling their peace at their
  Fifthly, irrational creatures cannot distinguish between injury
and damage; and therefore as long as they be at ease, they are not
offended with their fellows: whereas man is then most troublesome when
he is most at ease; for then it is that he loves to show his wisdom,
and control the actions of them that govern the Commonwealth.
  Lastly, the agreement of these creatures is natural; that of men
is by covenant only, which is artificial: and therefore it is no
wonder if there be somewhat else required, besides covenant, to make
their agreement constant and lasting; which is a common power to
keep them in awe and to direct their actions to the common benefit.
  The only way to erect such a common power, as may be able to
defend them from the invasion of foreigners, and the injuries of one
another, and thereby to secure them in such sort as that by their
own industry and by the fruits of the earth they may nourish
themselves and live contentedly, is to confer all their power and
strength upon one man, or upon one assembly of men, that may reduce
all their wills, by plurality of voices, unto one will: which is as
much as to say, to appoint one man, or assembly of men, to bear
their person; and every one to own and acknowledge himself to be
author of whatsoever he that so beareth their person shall act, or
cause to be acted, in those things which concern the common peace
and safety; and therein to submit their wills, every one to his
will, and their judgements to his judgement. This is more than
consent, or concord; it is a real unity of them all in one and the
same person, made by covenant of every man with every man, in such
manner as if every man should say to every man: I authorise and give
up my right of governing myself to this man, or to this assembly of
men, on this condition; that thou give up, thy right to him, and
authorise all his actions in like manner. This done, the multitude
so united in one person is called a COMMONWEALTH; in Latin, CIVITAS.
This is the generation of that great LEVIATHAN, or rather, to speak
more reverently, of that mortal god to which we owe, under the
immortal God, our peace and defence. For by this authority, given
him by every particular man in the Commonwealth, he hath the use of so
much power and strength conferred on him that, by terror thereof, he
is enabled to form the wills of them all, to peace at home, and mutual
aid against their enemies abroad. And in him consisteth the essence of
the Commonwealth; which, to define it, is: one person, of whose acts a
great multitude, by mutual covenants one with another, have made
themselves every one the author, to the end he may use the strength
and means of them all as he shall think expedient for their peace
and common defence.
  And he that carryeth this person is called sovereign, and said to
have sovereign power; and every one besides, his subject.
  The attaining to this sovereign power is by two ways. One, by
natural force: as when a man maketh his children to submit themselves,
and their children, to his government, as being able to destroy them
if they refuse; or by war subdueth his enemies to his will, giving
them their lives on that condition. The other, is when men agree
amongst themselves to submit to some man, or assembly of men,
voluntarily, on confidence to be protected by him against all
others. This latter may be called a political Commonwealth, or
Commonwealth by Institution; and the former, a Commonwealth by
acquisition. And first, I shall speak of a Commonwealth by

                            CHAPTER XVIII

  A COMMONWEALTH is said to be instituted when a multitude of men do
agree, and covenant, every one with every one, that to whatsoever man,
or assembly of men, shall be given by the major part the right to
present the person of them all, that is to say, to be their
representative; every one, as well he that voted for it as he that
voted against it, shall authorize all the actions and judgements of
that man, or assembly of men, in the same manner as if they were his
own, to the end to live peaceably amongst themselves, and be protected
against other men.
  From this institution of a Commonwealth are derived all the rights
and faculties of him, or them, on whom the sovereign power is
conferred by the consent of the people assembled.
  First, because they covenant, it is to be understood they are not
obliged by former covenant to anything repugnant hereunto. And
consequently they that have already instituted a Commonwealth, being
thereby bound by covenant to own the actions and judgements of one,
cannot lawfully make a new covenant amongst themselves to be
obedient to any other, in anything whatsoever, without his permission.
And therefore, they that are subjects to a monarch cannot without
his leave cast off monarchy and return to the confusion of a disunited
multitude; nor transfer their person from him that beareth it to
another man, other assembly of men: for they are bound, every man to
every man, to own and be reputed author of all that already is their
sovereign shall do and judge fit to be done; so that any one man
dissenting, all the rest should break their covenant made to that man,
which is injustice: and they have also every man given the sovereignty
to him that beareth their person; and therefore if they depose him,
they take from him that which is his own, and so again it is
injustice. Besides, if he that attempteth to depose his sovereign be
killed or punished by him for such attempt, he is author of his own
punishment, as being, by the institution, author of all his
sovereign shall do; and because it is injustice for a man to do
anything for which he may be punished by his own authority, he is also
upon that title unjust. And whereas some men have pretended for
their disobedience to their sovereign a new covenant, made, not with
men but with God, this also is unjust: for there is no covenant with
God but by mediation of somebody that representeth God's person, which
none doth but God's lieutenant who hath the sovereignty under God. But
this pretence of covenant with God is so evident a lie, even in the
pretenders' own consciences, that it is not only an act of an
unjust, but also of a vile and unmanly disposition.
  Secondly, because the right of bearing the person of them all is
given to him they make sovereign, by covenant only of one to
another, and not of him to any of them, there can happen no breach
of covenant on the part of the sovereign; and consequently none of his
subjects, by any pretence of forfeiture, can be freed from his
subjection. That he which is made sovereign maketh no covenant with
his subjects before hand is manifest; because either he must make it
with the whole multitude, as one party to the covenant, or he must
make a several covenant with every man. With the whole, as one
party, it is impossible, because as they are not one person: and if he
make so many several covenants as there be men, those covenants
after he hath the sovereignty are void; because what act soever can be
pretended by any one of them for breach thereof is the act both of
himself, and of all the rest, because done in the person, and by the
right of every one of them in particular. Besides, if any one or
more of them pretend a breach of the covenant made by the sovereign at
his institution, and others or one other of his subjects, or himself
alone, pretend there was no such breach, there is in this case no
judge to decide the controversy: it returns therefore to the sword
again; and every man recovereth the right of protecting himself by his
own strength, contrary to the design they had in the institution. It
is therefore in vain to grant sovereignty by way of precedent
covenant. The opinion that any monarch receiveth his power by
covenant, that is to say, on condition, proceedeth from want of
understanding this easy truth: that covenants being but words, and
breath, have no force to oblige, contain, constrain, or protect any
man, but what it has from the public sword; that is, from the untied
hands of that man, or assembly of men, that hath the sovereignty,
and whose actions are avouched by them all, and performed by the
strength of them all, in him united. But when an assembly of men is
made sovereign, then no man imagineth any such covenant to have passed
in the institution: for no man is so dull as to say, for example,
the people of Rome made a covenant with the Romans to hold the
sovereignty on such or such conditions; which not performed, the
Romans might lawfully depose the Roman people. That men see not the
reason to be alike in a monarchy and in a popular government
proceedeth from the ambition of some that are kinder to the government
of an assembly, whereof they may hope to participate, than of
monarchy, which they despair to enjoy.
  Thirdly, because the major part hath by consenting voices declared a
sovereign, he that dissented must now consent with the rest; that
is, be contented to avow all the actions he shall do, or else justly
be destroyed by the rest. For if he voluntarily entered into the
congregation of them that were assembled, he sufficiently declared
thereby his will, and therefore tacitly covenanted, to stand to what
the major part should ordain: and therefore if he refuse to stand
thereto, or make protestation against any of their decrees, he does
contrary to his covenant, and therefore unjustly. And whether he be of
the congregation or not, and whether his consent be asked or not, he
must either submit to their decrees or be left in the condition of war
he was in before; wherein he might without injustice be destroyed by
any man whatsoever.
  Fourthly, because every subject is by this institution author of all
the actions and judgements of the sovereign instituted, it follows
that whatsoever he doth, can be no injury to any of his subjects;
nor ought he to be by any of them accused of injustice. For he that
doth anything by authority from another doth therein no injury to
him by whose authority he acteth: but by this institution of a
Commonwealth every particular man is author of all the sovereign doth;
and consequently he that complaineth of injury from his sovereign
complaineth of that whereof he himself is author, and therefore
ought not to accuse any man but himself; no, nor himself of injury,
because to do injury to oneself is impossible. It is true that they
that have sovereign power may commit iniquity, but not injustice or
injury in the proper signification.
  Fifthly, and consequently to that which was said last, no man that
hath sovereign power can justly be put to death, or otherwise in any
manner by his subjects punished. For seeing every subject is author of
the actions of his sovereign, he punisheth another for the actions
committed by himself.
  And because the end of this institution is the peace and defence
of them all, and whosoever has right to the end has right to the
means, it belonged of right to whatsoever man or assembly that hath
the sovereignty to be judge both of the means of peace and defence,
and also of the hindrances and disturbances of the same; and to do
whatsoever he shall think necessary to be done, both beforehand, for
the preserving of peace and security, by prevention of discord at
home, and hostility from abroad; and when peace and security are lost,
for the recovery of the same. And therefore,
  Sixthly, it is annexed to the sovereignty to be judge of what
opinions and doctrines are averse, and what conducing to peace; and
consequently, on what occasions, how far, and what men are to be
trusted withal in speaking to multitudes of people; and who shall
examine the doctrines of all books before they be published. For the
actions of men proceed from their opinions, and in the well
governing of opinions consisteth the well governing of men's actions
in order to their peace and concord. And though in matter of
doctrine nothing to be regarded but the truth, yet this is not
repugnant to regulating of the same by peace. For doctrine repugnant
to peace can no more be true, than peace and concord can be against
the law of nature. It is true that in a Commonwealth, where by the
negligence or unskillfulness of governors and teachers false doctrines
are by time generally received, the contrary truths may be generally
offensive: yet the most sudden and rough bustling in of a new truth
that can be does never break the peace, but only sometimes awake the
war. For those men that are so remissly governed that they dare take
up arms to defend or introduce an opinion are still in war; and
their condition, not peace, but only a cessation of arms for fear of
one another; and they live, as it were, in the procincts of battle
continually. It belonged therefore to him that hath the sovereign
power to be judge, or constitute all judges of opinions and doctrines,
as a thing necessary to peace; thereby to prevent discord and civil
  Seventhly, is annexed to the sovereignty the whole power of
prescribing the rules whereby every man may know what goods he may
enjoy, and what actions he may do, without being molested by any of
his fellow subjects: and this is it men call propriety. For before
constitution of sovereign power, as hath already been shown, all men
had right to all things, which necessarily causeth war: and
therefore this propriety, being necessary to peace, and depending on
sovereign power, is the act of that power, in order to the public
peace. These rules of propriety (or meum and tuum) and of good,
evil, lawful, and unlawful in the actions of subjects are the civil
laws; that is to say, the laws of each Commonwealth in particular;
though the name of civil law be now restrained to the ancient civil
laws of the city of Rome; which being the head of a great part of
the world, her laws at that time were in these parts the civil law.
  Eighthly, is annexed to the sovereignty the right of judicature;
that is to say, of hearing and deciding all controversies which may
arise concerning law, either civil or natural, or concerning fact. For
without the decision of controversies, there is no protection of one
subject against the injuries of another; the laws concerning meum
and tuum are in vain, and to every man remaineth, from the natural and
necessary appetite of his own conservation, the right of protecting
himself by his private strength, which is the condition of war, and
contrary to the end for which every Commonwealth is instituted.
  Ninthly, is annexed to the sovereignty the right of making war and
peace with other nations and Commonwealths; that is to say, of judging
when it is for the public good, and how great forces are to be
assembled, armed, and paid for that end, and to levy money upon the
subjects to defray the expenses thereof. For the power by which the
people are to be defended consisteth in their armies, and the strength
of an army in the union of their strength under one command; which
command the sovereign instituted, therefore hath, because the
command of the militia, without other institution, maketh him that
hath it sovereign. And therefore, whosoever is made general of an
army, he that hath the sovereign power is always generalissimo.
  Tenthly, is annexed to the sovereignty the choosing of all
counsellors, ministers, magistrates, and officers, both in peace and
war. For seeing the sovereign is charged with the end, which is the
common peace and defence, he is understood to have power to use such
means as he shall think most fit for his discharge.
  Eleventhly, to the sovereign is committed the power of rewarding
with riches or honour; and of punishing with corporal or pecuniary
punishment, or with ignominy, every subject according to the law he
hath formerly made; or if there be no law made, according as he
shall judge most to conduce to the encouraging of men to serve the
Commonwealth, or deterring of them from doing disservice to the same.
  Lastly, considering what values men are naturally apt to set upon
themselves, what respect they look for from others, and how little
they value other men; from whence continually arise amongst them,
emulation, quarrels, factions, and at last war, to the destroying of
one another, and diminution of their strength against a common
enemy; it is necessary that there be laws of honour, and a public rate
of the worth of such men as have deserved or are able to deserve
well of the Commonwealth, and that there be force in the hands of some
or other to put those laws in execution. But it hath already been
shown that not only the whole militia, or forces of the
Commonwealth, but also the judicature of all controversies, is annexed
to the sovereignty. To the sovereign therefore it belonged also to
give titles of honour, and to appoint what order of place and
dignity each man shall hold, and what signs of respect in public or
private meetings they shall give to one another.
  These are the rights which make the essence of sovereignty, and
which are the marks whereby a man may discern in what man, or assembly
of men, the sovereign power is placed and resideth. For these are
incommunicable and inseparable. The power to coin money, to dispose of
the estate and persons of infant heirs, to have pre-emption in
markets, and all other statute prerogatives may be transferred by
the sovereign, and yet the power to protect his subjects be
retained. But if he transfer the militia, he retains the judicature in
vain, for want of execution of the laws; or if he grant away the power
of raising money, the militia is in vain; or if he give away the
government of doctrines, men will be frighted into rebellion with
the fear of spirits. And so if we consider any one of the said rights,
we shall presently see that the holding of all the rest will produce
no effect in the conservation of peace and justice, the end for
which all Commonwealths are instituted. And this division is it
whereof it is said, a kingdom divided in itself cannot stand: for
unless this division precede, division into opposite armies can
never happen. If there had not first been an opinion received of the
greatest part of England that these powers were divided between the
King and the Lords and the House of Commons, the people had never been
divided and fallen into this Civil War; first between those that
disagreed in politics, and after between the dissenters about the
liberty of religion, which have so instructed men in this point of
sovereign right that there be few now in England that do not see
that these rights are inseparable, and will be so generally
acknowledged at the next return of peace; and so continue, till
their miseries are forgotten, and no longer, except the vulgar be
better taught than they have hitherto been.
  And because they are essential and inseparable rights, it follows
necessarily that in whatsoever words any of them seem to be granted
away, yet if the sovereign power itself be not in direct terms
renounced and the name of sovereign no more given by the grantees to
him that grants them, the grant is void: for when he has granted all
he can, if we grant back the sovereignty, all is restored, as
inseparably annexed thereunto.
  This great authority being indivisible, and inseparably annexed to
the sovereignty, there is little ground for the opinion of them that
say of sovereign kings, though they be singulis majores, of greater
power than every one of their subjects, yet they be universis minores,
of less power than them all together. For if by all together, they
mean not the collective body as one person, then all together and
every one signify the same; and the speech is absurd. But if by all
together, they understand them as one person (which person the
sovereign bears), then the power of all together is the same with
the sovereign's power; and so again the speech is absurd: which
absurdity they see well enough when the sovereignty is in an
assembly of the people; but in a monarch they see it not; and yet
the power of sovereignty is the same in whomsoever it be placed.
  And as the power, so also the honour of the sovereign, ought to be
greater than that of any or all the subjects. For in the sovereignty
is the fountain of honour. The dignities of lord, earl, duke, and
prince are his creatures. As in the presence of the master, the
servants are equal, and without any honour at all; so are the
subjects, in the presence of the sovereign. And though they shine some
more, some less, when they are out of his sight; yet in his
presence, they shine no more than the stars in presence of the sun.
  But a man may here object that the condition of subjects is very
miserable, as being obnoxious to the lusts and other irregular
passions of him or them that have so unlimited a power in their hands.
And commonly they that live under a monarch think it the fault of
monarchy; and they that live under the government of democracy, or
other sovereign assembly, attribute all the inconvenience to that form
of Commonwealth; whereas the power in all forms, if they be perfect
enough to protect them, is the same: not considering that the estate
of man can never be without some incommodity or other; and that the
greatest that in any form of government can possibly happen to the
people in general is scarce sensible, in respect of the miseries and
horrible calamities that accompany a civil war, or that dissolute
condition of masterless men without subjection to laws and a
coercive power to tie their hands from rapine and revenge: nor
considering that the greatest pressure of sovereign governors
proceedeth, not from any delight or profit they can expect in the
damage weakening of their subjects, in whose vigour consisteth their
own strength and glory, but in the restiveness of themselves that,
unwillingly contributing to their own defence, make it necessary for
their governors to draw from them what they can in time of peace
that they may have means on any emergent occasion, or sudden need,
to resist or take advantage on their enemies. For all men are by
nature provided of notable multiplying glasses (that is their passions
and self-love) through which every little payment appeareth a great
grievance, but are destitute of those prospective glasses (namely
moral and civil science) to see afar off the miseries that hang over
them and cannot without such payments be avoided.

                             CHAPTER XIX

  THE difference of Commonwealths consisteth in the difference of
the sovereign, or the person representative of all and every one of
the multitude. And because the sovereignty is either in one man, or in
an assembly of more than one; and into that assembly either every
man hath right to enter, or not every one, but certain men
distinguished from the rest; it is manifest there can be but three
kinds of Commonwealth. For the representative must needs be one man,
or more; and if more, then it is the assembly of all, or but of a
part. When the representative is one man, then is the Commonwealth a
monarchy; when an assembly of all that will come together, then it
is a democracy, or popular Commonwealth; when an assembly of a part
only, then it is called an aristocracy. Other kind of Commonwealth
there can be none: for either one, or more, or all, must have the
sovereign power (which I have shown to be indivisible) entire.
  There be other names of government in the histories and books of
policy; as tyranny and oligarchy; but they are not the names of
other forms of government, but of the same forms misliked. For they
that are discontented under monarchy call it tyranny; and they that
are displeased with aristocracy call it oligarchy: so also, they which
find themselves grieved under a democracy call it anarchy, which
signifies want of government; and yet I think no man believes that
want of government is any new kind of government: nor by the same
reason ought they to believe that the government is of one kind when
they like it, and another when they mislike it or are oppressed by the
  It is manifest that men who are in absolute liberty may, if they
please, give authority to one man to represent them every one, as well
as give such authority to any assembly of men whatsoever; and
consequently may subject themselves, if they think good, to a
monarch as absolutely as to other representative. Therefore, where
there is already erected a sovereign power, there can be no other
representative of the same people, but only to certain particular
ends, by the sovereign limited. For that were to erect two sovereigns;
and every man to have his person represented by two actors that, by
opposing one another, must needs divide that power, which (if men will
live in peace) is indivisible; and thereby reduce the multitude into
the condition of war, contrary to the end for which all sovereignty is
instituted. And therefore as it is absurd to think that a sovereign
assembly, inviting the people of their dominion to send up their
deputies with power to make known their advice or desires should
therefore hold such deputies, rather than themselves, for the absolute
representative of the people; so it is absurd also to think the same
in a monarchy. And I know not how this so manifest a truth should of
late be so little observed: that in a monarchy he that had the
sovereignty from a descent of six hundred years was alone called
sovereign, had the title of Majesty from every one of his subjects,
and was unquestionably taken by them for their king, was
notwithstanding never considered as their representative; that name
without contradiction passing for the title of those men which at
his command were sent up by the people to carry their petitions and
give him, if he permitted it, their advice. Which may serve as an
admonition for those that are the true and absolute representative
of a people, to instruct men in the nature of that office, and to take
heed how they admit of any other general representation upon any
occasion whatsoever, if they mean to discharge the trust committed
to them.
  The difference between these three kinds of Commonwealth consisteth,
not in the difference of power, but in the difference of convenience
or aptitude to produce the peace and security of the people; for which
end they were instituted. And to compare monarchy with the other
two, we may observe: first, that whosoever beareth the person of the
people, or is one of that assembly that bears it, beareth also his own
natural person. And though he be careful in his politic person to
procure the common interest, yet he is more, or no less, careful to
procure the private good of himself, his family, kindred and
friends; and for the most part, if the public interest chance to cross
the private, he prefers the private: for the passions of men are
commonly more potent than their reason. From whence it follows that
where the public and private interest are most closely united, there
is the public most advanced. Now in monarchy the private interest is
the same with the public. The riches, power, and honour of a monarch
arise only from the riches, strength, and reputation of his
subjects. For no king can be rich, nor glorious, nor secure, whose
subjects are either poor, or contemptible, or too weak through want,
or dissension, to maintain a war against their enemies; whereas in a
democracy, or aristocracy, the public prosperity confers not so much
to the private fortune of one that is corrupt, or ambitious, as doth
many times a perfidious advice, a treacherous action, or a civil war.
  Secondly, that a monarch receiveth counsel of whom, when, and
where he pleaseth; and consequently may hear the opinion of men versed
in the matter about which he deliberates, of what rank or quality
soever, and as long before the time of action and with as much secrecy
as he will. But when a sovereign assembly has need of counsel, none
are admitted but such as have a right thereto from the beginning;
which for the most part are of those who have been versed more in
the acquisition of wealth than of knowledge, and are to give their
advice in long discourses which may, and do commonly, excite men to
action, but not govern them in it. For the understanding is by the
flame of the passions never enlightened, but dazzled: nor is there any
place or time wherein an assembly can receive counsel secrecy, because
of their own multitude.
  Thirdly, that the resolutions of a monarch are subject to no other
inconstancy than that of human nature; but in assemblies, besides that
of nature, there ariseth an inconstancy from the number. For the
absence of a few that would have the resolution, once taken,
continue firm (which may happen by security, negligence, or private
impediments), or the diligent appearance of a few of the contrary
opinion, undoes today all that was concluded yesterday.
  Fourthly, that a monarch cannot disagree with himself, out of envy
or interest; but an assembly may; and that to such a height as may
produce a civil war.
  Fifthly, that in monarchy there is this inconvenience; that any
subject, by the power of one man, for the enriching of a favourite
or flatterer, may be deprived of all he possesseth; which I confess is
a great an inevitable inconvenience. But the same may as well happen
where the sovereign power is in an assembly: for their power is the
same; and they are as subject to evil counsel, and to be seduced by
orators, as a monarch by flatterers; and becoming one another's
flatterers, serve one another's covetousness and ambition by turns.
And whereas the favourites of monarchs are few, and they have none
else to advance but their own kindred; the favourites of an assembly
are many, and the kindred much more numerous than of any monarch.
Besides, there is no favourite of a monarch which cannot as well
succour his friends as hurt his enemies: but orators, that is to
say, favourites of sovereign assemblies, though they have great
power to hurt, have little to save. For to accuse requires less
eloquence (such is man's nature) than to excuse; and condemnation,
than absolution, more resembles justice.
  Sixthly, that it is an inconvenience in monarchy that the
sovereignty may descend upon an infant, or one that cannot discern
between good and evil: and consisteth in this, that the use of his
power must be in the hand of another man, or of some assembly of
men, which are to govern by his right and in his name as curators
and protectors of his person and authority. But to say there is
inconvenience in putting the use of the sovereign power into the
hand of a man, or an assembly of men, is to say that all government is
more inconvenient than confusion and civil war. And therefore all
the danger that can be pretended must arise from the contention of
those that, for an office of so great honour and profit, may become
competitors. To make it appear that this inconvenience proceedeth
not from that form of government we call monarchy, we are to
consider that the precedent monarch hath appointed who shall have
the tuition of his infant successor, either expressly by testament, or
tacitly by not controlling the custom in that case received: and
then such inconvenience, if it happen, is to be attributed, not to the
monarchy, but to the ambition and injustice of the subjects, which
in all kinds of government, where the people are not well instructed
in their duty and the rights of sovereignty, is the same. Or else
the precedent monarch hath not at all taken order for such tuition;
and then the law of nature hath provided this sufficient rule, that
the tuition shall be in him that hath by nature most interest in the
preservation of the authority of the infant, and to whom least benefit
can accrue by his death or diminution. For seeing every man by
nature seeketh his own benefit and promotion, to put an infant into
the power of those that can promote themselves by his destruction or
damage is not tuition, but treachery. So that sufficient provision
being taken against all just quarrel about the government under a
child, if any contention arise to the disturbance of the public peace,
it is not to be attributed to the form of monarchy, but to the
ambition of subjects and ignorance of their duty. On the other side,
there is no great Commonwealth, the sovereignty whereof is in a
great assembly, which is not, as to consultations of peace, and war,
and making of laws, in the same condition as if the government were in
a child. For as a child wants the judgement to dissent from counsel
given him, and is thereby necessitated to take the advice of them,
or him, to whom he is committed; so an assembly wanteth the liberty to
dissent from the counsel of the major part, be it good or bad. And
as a child has need of a tutor, or protector, to preserve his person
and authority; so also in great Commonwealths the sovereign
assembly, in all great dangers and troubles, have need of custodes
libertatis; that is, of dictators, or protectors of their authority;
which are as much as temporary monarchs to whom for a time they may
commit the entire exercise of their power; and have, at the end of
that time, been oftener deprived thereof than infant kings by their
protectors, regents, or any other tutors.
  Though the kinds of sovereignty be, as I have now shown, but
three; that is to say, monarchy, where one man has it; or democracy,
where the general assembly of subjects hath it; or aristocracy,
where it is in an assembly of certain persons nominated, or
otherwise distinguished from the rest: yet he that shall consider
the particular Commonwealths that have been and are in the world
will not perhaps easily reduce them to three, and may thereby be
inclined to think there be other forms arising from these mingled
together. As for example, elective kingdoms; where kings have the
sovereign power put into their hands for a time; or kingdoms wherein
the king hath a power limited: which governments are nevertheless by
most writers called monarchy. Likewise if a popular or
aristocratical Commonwealth subdue an enemy's country, and govern
the same by a president, procurator, or other magistrate, this may
seem perhaps, at first sight, to be a democratical or aristocratical
government. But it is not so. For elective kings are not sovereigns,
but ministers of the sovereign; nor limited kings sovereigns, but
ministers of them that have the sovereign power; nor are those
provinces which are in subjection to a democracy or aristocracy of
another Commonwealth democratically or aristocratically governed,
but monarchically.
  And first, concerning an elective king, whose power is limited to
his life, as it is in many places of Christendom at this day; or to
certain years or months, as the dictator's power amongst the Romans;
if he have right to appoint his successor, he is no more elective
but hereditary. But if he have no power to elect his successor, then
there is some other man, or assembly known, which after his decease
may elect a new; or else the Commonwealth dieth, and dissolveth with
him, and returneth to the condition of war. If it be known who have
the power to give the sovereignty after his death, it is known also
that the sovereignty was in them before: for none have right to give
that which they have not right to possess, and keep to themselves,
if they think good. But if there be none that can give the sovereignty
after the decease of him that was first elected, then has he power,
nay he is obliged by the law of nature, to provide, by establishing
his successor, to keep to those that had trusted him with the
government from relapsing into the miserable condition of civil war.
And consequently he was, when elected, a sovereign absolute.
  Secondly, that king whose power is limited is not superior to him,
or them, that have the power to limit it; and he that is not
superior is not supreme; that is to say, not sovereign. The
sovereignty therefore was always in that assembly which had the
right to limit him, and by consequence the government not monarchy,
but either democracy or aristocracy; as of old time in Sparta, where
the kings had a privilege to lead their armies, but the sovereignty
was in the Ephori.
  Thirdly, whereas heretofore the Roman people governed the land of
Judea, for example, by a president; yet was not Judea therefore a
democracy, because they were not governed by any assembly into which
any of them had right to enter; nor by an aristocracy, because they
were not governed by any assembly into which any man could enter by
their election: but they were governed by one person, which though
as to the people of Rome was an assembly of the people, or
democracy; yet as to the people of Judea, which had no right at all of
participating in the government, was a monarch. For though where the
people are governed by an assembly, chosen by themselves out of
their own number, the government is called a democracy, or
aristocracy; yet when they are governed by an assembly not of their
own choosing, it is a monarchy; not of one man over another man, but
of one people over another people.
  Of all these forms of government, the matter being mortal, so that
not only monarchs, but also whole assemblies die, it is necessary
for the conservation of the peace of men that as there was order taken
for an artificial man, so there be order also taken for an
artificial eternity of life; without which men that are governed by an
assembly should return into the condition of war in every age; and
they that are governed by one man, as soon as their governor dieth.
This artificial eternity is that which men call the right of
  There is no perfect form of government, where the disposing of the
succession is not in the present sovereign. For if it be in any
other particular man, or private assembly, it is in a person
subject, and may be assumed by the sovereign at his pleasure; and
consequently the right is in himself. And if it be in no particular
man, but left to a new choice; then is the Commonwealth dissolved, and
the right is in him that can get it, contrary to the intention of them
that did institute the Commonwealth for their perpetual, and not
temporary, security.
  In a democracy, the whole assembly cannot fail unless the
multitude that are to be governed fail. And therefore questions of the
right of succession have in that form of government no place at all.
  In an aristocracy, when any of the assembly dieth, the election of
another into his room belonged to the assembly, as the sovereign, to
whom belonged the choosing of all counsellors and officers. For that
which the representative doth, as actor, every one of the subjects
doth, as author. And though the sovereign assembly may give power to
others to elect new men, for supply of their court, yet it is still by
their authority that the election is made; and by the same it may,
when the public shall require it, be recalled.
  The greatest difficulty about the right of succession is in
monarchy: and the difficulty ariseth from this, that at first sight,
it is not manifest who is to appoint the successor; nor many times who
it is whom he hath appointed. For in both these cases, there is
required a more exact ratiocination than every man is accustomed to
use. As to the question who shall appoint the successor of a monarch
that hath the sovereign authority; that is to say, who shall determine
of the right of inheritance (for elective kings and princes have not
the sovereign power in propriety, but in use only), we are to consider
that either he that is in possession has right to dispose of the
succession, or else that right is again in the dissolved multitude.
For the death of him that hath the sovereign power in property
leaves the multitude without any sovereign at all; that is, without
any representative in whom they should be united, and be capable of
doing any one action at all: and therefore they are incapable of
election of any new monarch, every man having equal right to submit
himself to such as he thinks best able to protect him; or, if he
can, protect himself by his own sword; which is a return to
confusion and to the condition of a war of every man against every
man, contrary to the end for which monarchy had its first institution.
Therefore it is manifest that by the institution of monarchy, the
disposing of the successor is always left to the judgement and will of
the present possessor.
  And for the question which may arise sometimes, who it is that the
monarch in possession hath designed to the succession and
inheritance of his power, it is determined by his express words and
testament; or by other tacit signs sufficient.
  By express words, or testament, when it is declared by him in his
lifetime, viva voce, or by writing; as the first emperors of Rome
declared who should be their heirs. For the word heir does not of
itself imply the children or nearest kindred of a man; but
whomsoever a man shall any way declare he would have to succeed him in
his estate. If therefore a monarch declare expressly that such a man
shall be his heir, either by word or writing, then is that man
immediately after the decease of his predecessor invested in the right
of being monarch.
  But where testament and express words are wanting, other natural
signs of the will are to be followed: whereof the one is custom. And
therefore where the custom is that the next of kindred absolutely
succeedeth, there also the next of kindred hath right to the
succession; for that, if the will of him that was in possession had
been otherwise, he might easily have declared the same in his
lifetime. And likewise where the custom is that the next of the male
kindred succeedeth, there also the right of succession is in the
next of the kindred male, for the same reason. And so it is if the
custom were to advance the female. For whatsoever custom a man may
by a word control, and does not, it is a natural sign he would have
that custom stand.
  But where neither custom nor testament hath preceded, there it is to
he understood; first, that a monarch's will is that the government
remain monarchical, because he hath approved that government in
himself. Secondly, that a child of his own, male or female, be
preferred before any other, because men are presumed to be more
inclined by nature to advance their own children than the children
of other men; and of their own, rather a male than a female, because
men are naturally fitter than women for actions of labour and
danger. Thirdly, where his own issue faileth, rather a brother than
a stranger, and so still the nearer in blood rather than the more
remote, because it is always presumed that the nearer of kin is the
nearer in affection; and it is evident that a man receives always,
by reflection, the most honour from the greatness of his nearest
  But if it be lawful for a monarch to dispose of the succession by
words of contract, or testament, men may perhaps object a great
inconvenience: for he may sell or give his right of governing to a
stranger; which, because strangers (that is, men not used to live
under the same government, nor speaking the same language) do commonly
undervalue one another, may turn to the oppression of his subjects,
which is indeed a great inconvenience: but it proceedeth not
necessarily from the subjection to a stranger's government, but from
the unskillfulness of the governors, ignorant of the true rules of
politics. And therefore the Romans, when they had subdued many
nations, to make their government digestible were wont to take away
that grievance as much as they thought necessary by giving sometimes
to whole nations, and sometimes to principal men of every nation
they conquered, not only the privileges, but also the name of
Romans; and took many of them into the Senate, and offices of
charge, even in the Roman city. And this was it our most wise king,
King James, aimed at in endeavouring the union of his two realms of
England and Scotland. Which, if he could have obtained, had in all
likelihood prevented the civil wars which both those kingdoms, at this
present, miserable. It is not therefore any injury to the people for a
monarch to dispose of the succession by will; though by the fault of
many princes, it hath been sometimes found inconvenient. Of the
lawfulness of it, this also is an argument; that whatsoever
inconvenience can arrive by giving a kingdom to a stranger, may arrive
also by so marrying with strangers, as the right of succession may
descend upon them: yet this by all men is accounted lawful.

                              CHAPTER XX

  A COMMONWEALTH by acquisition is that where the sovereign power is
acquired by force; and it is acquired by force when men singly, or
many together by plurality of voices, for fear of death, or bonds,
do authorise all the actions of that man, or assembly, that hath their
lives and liberty in his power.
  And this kind of dominion, or sovereignty, differeth from
sovereignty by institution only in this, that men who choose their
sovereign do it for fear of one another, and not of him whom they
institute: but in this case, they subject themselves to him they are
afraid of. In both cases they do it for fear: which is to be noted
by them that hold all such covenants, as proceed from fear of death or
violence, void: which, if it were true, no man in any kind of
Commonwealth could be obliged to obedience. It is true that in a
Commonwealth once instituted, or acquired, promises proceeding from
fear of death or violence are no covenants, nor obliging, when the
thing promised is contrary to the laws; but the reason is not
because it was made upon fear, but because he that promiseth hath no
right in the thing promised. Also, when he may lawfully perform, and
doth not, it is not the invalidity of the covenant that absolveth him,
but the sentence of the sovereign. Otherwise, whensoever a man
lawfully promiseth, he unlawfully breaketh: but when the sovereign,
who is the actor, acquitteth him, then he is acquitted by him that
extorted the promise, as by the author of such absolution.
  But the rights and consequences of sovereignty are the same in both.
His power cannot, without his consent, be transferred to another: he
cannot forfeit it: he cannot be accused by any of his subjects of
injury: he cannot be punished by them: he is judge of what is
necessary for peace, and judge of doctrines: he is sole legislator,
and supreme judge of controversies, and of the times and occasions
of war and peace: to him it belonged to choose magistrates,
counsellors, commanders, and all other officers and ministers; and
to determine of rewards and punishments, honour and order. The reasons
whereof are the same which are alleged in the precedent chapter for
the same rights and consequences of sovereignty by institution.
  Dominion is acquired two ways: by generation and by conquest. The
right of dominion by generation is that which the parent hath over his
children, and is called paternal. And is not so derived from the
generation, as if therefore the parent had dominion over his child
because he begat him, but from the child's consent, either express
or by other sufficient arguments declared. For as to the generation,
God hath ordained to man a helper, and there be always two that are
equally parents: the dominion therefore over the child should belong
equally to both, and he be equally subject to both, which is
impossible; for no man can obey two masters. And whereas some have
attributed the dominion to the man only, as being of the more
excellent sex, they misreckon in it. For there is not always that
difference of strength or prudence between the man and the woman as
that the right can be determined without war. In Commonwealths this
controversy is decided by the civil law: and for the most part, but
not always, the sentence is in favour of the father, because for the
most part Commonwealths have been erected by the fathers, not by the
mothers of families. But the question lieth now in the state of mere
nature where there are supposed no laws of matrimony, no laws for
the education of children, but the law of nature and the natural
inclination of the sexes, one to another, and to their children. In
this condition of mere nature, either the parents between themselves
dispose of the dominion over the child by contract, or do not
dispose thereof at all. If they dispose thereof, the right passeth
according to the contract. We find in history that the Amazons
contracted with the men of the neighbouring countries, to whom they
had recourse for issue, that the issue male should be sent back, but
the female remain with themselves: so that the dominion of the females
was in the mother.
  If there be no contract, the dominion is in the mother. For in the
condition of mere nature, where there are no matrimonial laws, it
cannot be known who is the father unless it be declared by the mother;
and therefore the right of dominion over the child dependeth on her
will, and is consequently hers. Again, seeing the infant is first in
the power of the mother, so as she may either nourish or expose it; if
she nourish it, it oweth its life to the mother, and is therefore
obliged to obey her rather than any other; and by consequence the
dominion over it is hers. But if she expose it, and another find and
nourish it, dominion is in him that nourisheth it. For it ought to
obey him by whom it is preserved, because preservation of life being
the end for which one man becomes subject to another, every man is
supposed to promise obedience to him in whose power it is to save or
destroy him.
  If the mother be the father's subject, the child is in the
father's power; and if the father be the mother's subject (as when a
sovereign queen marrieth one of her subjects), the child is subject to
the mother, because the father also is her subject.
  If a man and a woman, monarchs of two several kingdoms, have a
child, and contract concerning who shall have the dominion of him, the
right of the dominion passeth by the contract. If they contract not,
the dominion followeth the dominion of the place of his residence. For
the sovereign of each country hath dominion over all that reside
  He that hath the dominion over the child hath dominion also over the
children of the child, and over their children's children. For he that
hath dominion over the person of a man hath dominion over all that
is his, without which dominion were but a title without the effect.
  The right of succession to paternal dominion proceedeth in the
same manner as doth the right of succession to monarchy, of which I
have already sufficiently spoken in the precedent chapter.
  Dominion acquired by conquest, or victory in war, is that which some
writers call despotical from Despotes, which signifieth a lord or
master, and is the dominion of the master over his servant. And this
dominion is then acquired to the victor when the vanquished, to
avoid the present stroke of death, covenanteth, either in express
words or by other sufficient signs of the will, that so long as his
life and the liberty of his body is allowed him, the victor shall have
the use thereof at his pleasure. And after such covenant made, the
vanquished is a servant, and not before: for by the word servant
(whether it be derived from servire, to serve, or from servare, to
save, which I leave to grammarians to dispute) is not meant a captive,
which is kept in prison, or bonds, till the owner of him that took
him, or bought him of one that did, shall consider what to do with
him: for such men, commonly called slaves, have no obligation at
all; but may break their bonds, or the prison; and kill, or carry away
captive their master, justly: but one that, being taken, hath corporal
liberty allowed him; and upon promise not to run away, nor to do
violence to his master, is trusted by him.
  It is not therefore the victory that giveth the right of dominion
over the vanquished, but his own covenant. Nor is he obliged because
he is conquered; that is to say, beaten, and taken, or put to
flight; but because he cometh in and submitteth to the victor; nor
is the victor obliged by an enemy's rendering himself, without promise
of life, to spare him for this his yielding to discretion; which
obliges not the victor longer than in his own discretion he shall
think fit.
  And that which men do when they demand, as it is now called, quarter
(which the Greeks called Zogria, taking alive) is to evade the present
fury of the victor by submission, and to compound for their life
with ransom or service: and therefore he that hath quarter hath not
his life given, but deferred till further deliberation; for it is
not a yielding on condition of life, but to discretion. And then
only is his life in security, and his service due, when the victor
hath trusted him with his corporal liberty. For slaves that work in
prisons, or fetters, do it not of duty, but to avoid the cruelty of
their task-masters.
  The master of the servant is master also of all he hath, and may
exact the use thereof; that is to say, of his goods, of his labour, of
his servants, and of his children, as often as he shall think fit. For
he holdeth his life of his master by the covenant of obedience; that
is, of owning and authorising whatsoever the master shall do. And in
case the master, if he refuse, kill him, or cast him into bonds, or
otherwise punish him for his disobedience, he is himself the author of
the same, and cannot accuse him of injury.
  In sum, the rights and consequences of both paternal and
despotical dominion are the very same with those of a sovereign by
institution; and for the same reasons: which reasons are set down in
the precedent chapter. So that for a man that is monarch of diverse
nations, he hath in one the sovereignty by institution of the people
assembled, and in another by conquest; that is by the submission of
each particular, to avoid death or bonds; to demand of one nation more
than of the other, from the title of conquest, as being a conquered
nation, is an act of ignorance of the rights of sovereignty. For the
sovereign is absolute over both alike; or else there is no sovereignty
at all, and so every man may lawfully protect himself, if he can, with
his own sword, which is the condition of war.
  By this it appears that a great family, if it be not part of some
Commonwealth, is of itself, as to the rights of sovereignty, a
little monarchy; whether that family consist of a man and his
children, or of a man and his servants, or of a man and his children
and servants together; wherein the father or master is the
sovereign. But yet a family is not properly a Commonwealth, unless
it be of that power by its own number, or by other opportunities, as
not to be subdued without the hazard of war. For where a number of men
are manifestly too weak to defend themselves united, every one may use
his own reason in time of danger to save his own life, either by
flight, or by submission to the enemy, as he shall think best; in
the same manner as a very small company of soldiers, surprised by an
army, may cast down their arms and demand quarter, or run away
rather than be put to the sword. And thus much shall suffice
concerning what I find by speculation, and deduction, of sovereign
rights, from the nature, need, and designs of men in erecting of
Commonwealths, and putting themselves under monarchs or assemblies
entrusted with power enough for their protection.
  Let us now consider what the Scripture teacheth in the same point.
To Moses the children of Israel say thus: "Speak thou to us, and we
will hear thee; but let not God speak to us, lest we die."* This is
absolute obedience to Moses. Concerning the right of kings, God
Himself, by the mouth of Samuel, saith, "This shall be the right of
the king you will have to reign over you. He shall take your sons, and
set them to drive his chariots, and to be his horsemen, and to run
before his chariots, and gather in his harvest; and to make his
engines of war, and instruments of his chariots; and shall take your
daughters to make perfumes, to be his cooks, and bakers. He shall take
your fields, your vineyards, and your olive-yards, and give them to
his servants. He shall take the tithe of your corn and wine, and
give it to the men of his chamber, and to his other servants. He shall
take your man-servants, and your maidservants, and the choice of
your youth, and employ them in his business. He shall take the tithe
of your flocks; and you shall be his servants."*(2) This is absolute
power, and summed up in the last words, you shall be his servants.
Again, when the people heard what power their king was to have, yet
they consented thereto, and say thus, "We will be as all other
nations, and our king shall judge our causes, and go before us, to
conduct our wars."*(3) Here is confirmed the right that sovereigns
have, both to the militia and to all judicature; in which is contained
as absolute power as one man can possibly transfer to another.
Again, the prayer of King Solomon to God was this: "Give to thy
servant understanding, to judge thy people, and to discern between
good and evil."*(4) It belonged therefore to the sovereign to be
judge, and to prescribe the rules of discerning good and evil: which
rules are laws; and therefore in him is the legislative power. Saul
sought the life of David; yet when it was in his power to slay Saul,
and his servants would have done it, David forbade them, saying,
"God forbid I should do such an act against my Lord, the anointed of
God."*(5) For obedience of servants St. Paul saith, "Servants obey
your masters in all things";*(6) and, "Children obey your parents in
all things."*(7) There is simple obedience in those that are subject
to paternal or despotical dominion. Again, "The scribes and
Pharisees sit in Moses' chair, and therefore all that they shall bid
you observe, that observe and do."*(8) There again is simple
obedience. And St. Paul, "Warn them that they subject themselves to
princes, and to those that are in authority, and obey them."*(9)
This obedience is also simple. Lastly, our Saviour Himself
acknowledges that men ought to pay such taxes as are by kings imposed,
where He says, "Give to Caesar that which is Caesar's"; and paid
such taxes Himself. And that the king's word is sufficient to take
anything from any subject, when there is need; and that the king is
judge of that need: for He Himself, as king of the Jews, commanded his
Disciples to take the ass and ass's colt to carry him into
Jerusalem, saying, "Go into the village over against you, and you
shall find a she ass tied, and her colt with her; untie them, and
bring them to me. And if any man ask you, what you mean by it, say the
Lord hath need of them: and they will let them go."*(10) They will not
ask whether his necessity be a sufficient title; nor whether he be
judge of that necessity; but acquiesce in the will of the Lord.

  * Exodus, 20. 19
  *(2) I Samuel, 8. 11-17
  *(3) Ibid., 8. 19, 20
  *(4) I Kings, 3. 9
  *(5) I Samuel, 24. 6
  *(6) Colossians, 3. 22
  *(7) Ibid., 3. 20
  *(8) Matthew, 23. 2, 3
  *(9) Titus, 3. 1
  *(10) Matthew, 21. 2, 3

  To these places may be added also that of Genesis, "You shall be
as gods, knowing good and evil."* And, "Who told thee that thou wast
naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee thou
shouldest not eat?"*(2) For the cognizance or judicature of good and
evil, being forbidden by the name of the fruit of the tree of
knowledge, as a trial of Adam's obedience, the devil to inflame the
ambition of the woman, to whom that fruit already seemed beautiful,
told her that by tasting it they should be as gods, knowing good and
evil. Whereupon having both eaten, they did indeed take upon them
God's office, which is judicature of good and evil, but acquired no
new ability to distinguish between them aright. And whereas it is said
that, having eaten, they saw they were naked; no man hath so
interpreted that place as if they had been formerly blind, and saw not
their own skins: the meaning is plain that it was then they first
judged their nakedness (wherein it was God's will to create them) to
be uncomely; and by being ashamed did tacitly censure God Himself. And
thereupon God saith, "Hast thou eaten," etc., as if He should say,
doest thou that owest me obedience take upon thee to judge of my
commandments? Whereby it is clearly, though allegorically, signified
that the commands of them that have the right to command are not by
their subjects to be censured nor disputed.

  * Genesis, 3. 5
  *(2) Ibid., 3. 11

  So that it appeareth plainly, to my understanding, both from
reason and Scripture, that the sovereign power, whether placed in
one man, as in monarchy, or in one assembly of men, as in popular
and aristocratical Commonwealths, is as great as possibly men can be
imagined to make it. And though of so unlimited a power, men may fancy
many evil consequences, yet the consequences of the want of it,
which is perpetual war of every man against his neighbour, are much
worse. The condition of man in this life shall never be without
inconveniences; but there happeneth in no Commonwealth any great
inconvenience but what proceeds from the subjects' disobedience and
breach of those covenants from which the Commonwealth hath its
being. And whosoever, thinking sovereign power too great, will seek to
make it less, must subject himself to the power that can limit it;
that is to say, to a greater.
  The greatest objection is that of the practice; when men ask where
and when such power has by subjects been acknowledged. But one may ask
them again, when or where has there been a kingdom long free from
sedition and civil war? In those nations whose Commonwealths have been
long-lived, and not been destroyed but by foreign war, the subjects
never did dispute of the sovereign power. But howsoever, an argument
from the practice of men that have not sifted to the bottom, and
with exact reason weighed the causes and nature of Commonwealths,
and suffer daily those miseries that proceed from the ignorance
thereof, is invalid. For though in all places of the world men
should lay the foundation of their houses on the sand, it could not
thence be inferred that so it ought to be. The skill of making and
maintaining Commonwealths consisteth in certain rules, as doth
arithmetic and geometry; not, as tennis play, on practice only:
which rules neither poor men have the leisure, nor men that have had
the leisure have hitherto had the curiosity or the method, to find

                             CHAPTER XXI
                      OF THE LIBERTY OF SUBJECTS

  LIBERTY, or freedom, signifieth properly the absence of opposition
(by opposition, I mean external impediments of motion); and may be
applied no less to irrational and inanimate creatures than to
rational. For whatsoever is so tied, or environed, as it cannot move
but within a certain space, which space is determined by the
opposition of some external body, we say it hath not liberty to go
further. And so of all living creatures, whilst they are imprisoned,
or restrained with walls or chains; and of the water whilst it is kept
in by banks or vessels that otherwise would spread itself into a
larger space; we use to say they are not at liberty to move in such
manner as without those external impediments they would. But when
the impediment of motion is in the constitution of the thing itself,
we use not to say it wants the liberty, but the power, to move; as
when a stone lieth still, or a man is fastened to his bed by sickness.
  And according to this proper and generally received meaning of the
word, a freeman is he that, in those things which by his strength
and wit he is able to do, is not hindered to do what he has a will to.
But when the words free and liberty are applied to anything but
bodies, they are abused; for that which is not subject to motion is
not to subject to impediment: and therefore, when it is said, for
example, the way is free, no liberty of the way is signified, but of
those that walk in it without stop. And when we say a gift is free,
there is not meant any liberty of the gift, but of the giver, that was
not bound by any law or covenant to give it. So when we speak
freely, it is not the liberty of voice, or pronunciation, but of the
man, whom no law hath obliged to speak otherwise than he did.
Lastly, from the use of the words free will, no liberty can be
inferred of the will, desire, or inclination, but the liberty of the
man; which consisteth in this, that he finds no stop in doing what
he has the will, desire, or inclination to do.
  Fear and liberty are consistent: as when a man throweth his goods
into the sea for fear the ship should sink, he doth it nevertheless
very willingly, and may refuse to do it if he will; it is therefore
the action of one that was free: so a man sometimes pays his debt,
only for fear of imprisonment, which, because no body hindered him
from detaining, was the action of a man at liberty. And generally
all actions which men do in Commonwealths, for fear of the law, are
actions which the doers had liberty to omit.
  Liberty and necessity are consistent: as in the water that hath
not only liberty, but a necessity of descending by the channel; so,
likewise in the actions which men voluntarily do, which, because
they proceed their will, proceed from liberty, and yet because every
act of man's will and every desire and inclination proceedeth from
some cause, and that from another cause, in a continual chain (whose
first link is in the hand of God, the first of all causes), proceed
from necessity. So that to him that could see the connexion of those
causes, the necessity of all men's voluntary actions would appear
manifest. And therefore God, that seeth and disposeth all things,
seeth also that the liberty of man in doing what he will is
accompanied with the necessity of doing that which God will and no
more, nor less. For though men may do many things which God does not
command, nor is therefore author of them; yet they can have no
passion, nor appetite to anything, of which appetite God's will is not
the cause. And did not His will assure the necessity of man's will,
and consequently of all that on man's will dependeth, the liberty of
men would be a contradiction and impediment to the omnipotence and
liberty of God. And this shall suffice, as to the matter in hand, of
that natural liberty, which only is properly called liberty.
  But as men, for the attaining of peace and conservation of
themselves thereby, have made an artificial man, which we call a
Commonwealth; so also have they made artificial chains, called civil
laws, which they themselves, by mutual covenants, have fastened at one
end to the lips of that man, or assembly, to whom they have given
the sovereign power, and at the other to their own ears. These
bonds, in their own nature but weak, may nevertheless be made to hold,
by the danger, though not by the difficulty of breaking them.
  In relation to these bonds only it is that I am to speak now of
the liberty of subjects. For seeing there is no Commonwealth in the
world wherein there be rules enough set down for the regulating of all
the actions and words of men (as being a thing impossible): it
followeth necessarily that in all kinds of actions, by the laws
pretermitted, men have the liberty of doing what their own reasons
shall suggest for the most profitable to themselves. For if we take
liberty in the proper sense, for corporal liberty; that is to say,
freedom from chains and prison, it were very absurd for men to clamour
as they do for the liberty they so manifestly enjoy. Again, if we take
liberty for an exemption from laws, it is no less absurd for men to
demand as they do that liberty by which all other men may be masters
of their lives. And yet as absurd as it is, this is it they demand,
not knowing that the laws are of no power to protect them without a
sword in the hands of a man, or men, to cause those laws to be put
in execution. The liberty of a subject lieth therefore only in those
things which, in regulating their actions, the sovereign hath
pretermitted: such as is the liberty to buy, and sell, and otherwise
contract with one another; to choose their own abode, their own
diet, their own trade of life, and institute their children as they
themselves think fit; and the like.
  Nevertheless we are not to understand that by such liberty the
sovereign power of life and death is either abolished or limited.
For it has been already shown that nothing the sovereign
representative can do to a subject, on what pretence soever, can
properly be called injustice or injury; because every subject is
author of every act the sovereign doth, so that he never wanteth right
to any thing, otherwise than as he himself is the subject of God,
and bound thereby to observe the laws of nature. And therefore it
may and doth often happen in Commonwealths that a subject may be put
to death by the command of the sovereign power, and yet neither do the
other wrong; as when Jephthah caused his daughter to be sacrificed: in
which, and the like cases, he that so dieth had liberty to do the
action, for which he is nevertheless, without injury, put to death.
And the same holdeth also in a sovereign prince that putteth to
death an innocent subject. For though the action be against the law of
nature, as being contrary to equity (as was the killing of Uriah by
David); yet it was not an injury to Uriah, but to God. Not to Uriah,
because the right to do what he pleased was given him by Uriah
himself; and yet to God, because David was God's subject and
prohibited all iniquity by the law of nature. Which distinction, David
himself, when he repented the fact, evidently confirmed, saying, "To
thee only have I sinned." In the same manner, the people of Athens,
when they banished the most potent of their Commonwealth for ten
years, thought they committed no injustice; and yet they never
questioned what crime he had done, but what hurt he would do: nay,
they commanded the banishment of they knew not whom; and every citizen
bringing his oyster shell into the market place, written with the name
of him he desired should be banished, without actually accusing him
sometimes banished an Aristides, for his reputation of justice; and
sometimes a scurrilous jester, as Hyperbolus, to make a jest of it.
And yet a man cannot say the sovereign people of Athens wanted right
to banish them; or an Athenian the liberty to jest, or to be just.
  The liberty whereof there is so frequent and honourable mention in
the histories and philosophy of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and
in the writings and discourse of those that from them have received
all their learning in the politics, is not the liberty of particular
men, but the liberty of the Commonwealth: which is the same with
that which every man then should have, if there were no civil laws nor
Commonwealth at all. And the effects of it also be the same. For as
amongst masterless men, there is perpetual war of every man against
his neighbour; no inheritance to transmit to the son, nor to expect
from the father; no propriety of goods or lands; no security; but a
full and absolute liberty in every particular man: so in states and
Commonwealths not dependent on one another, every Commonwealth, not
every man, has an absolute liberty to do what it shall judge, that
is to say, what that man or assembly that representeth it shall judge,
most conducing to their benefit. But withal, they live in the
condition of a perpetual war, and upon the confines of battle, with
their frontiers armed, and cannons planted against their neighbours
round about. The Athenians and Romans were free; that is, free
Commonwealths: not that any particular men had the liberty to resist
their own representative, but that their representative had the
liberty to resist, or invade, other people. There is written on the
turrets of the city of Luca in great characters at this day, the
word LIBERTAS; yet no man can thence infer that a particular man has
more liberty or immunity from the service of the Commonwealth there
than in Constantinople. Whether a Commonwealth be monarchical or
popular, the freedom is still the same.
  But it is an easy thing for men to be deceived by the specious
name of liberty; and, for want of judgement to distinguish, mistake
that for their private inheritance and birthright which is the right
of the public only. And when the same error is confirmed by the
authority of men in reputation for their writings on this subject,
it is no wonder if it produce sedition and change of government. In
these western parts of the world we are made to receive our opinions
concerning the institution and rights of Commonwealths from Aristotle,
Cicero, and other men, Greeks and Romans, that, living under popular
states, derived those rights, not from the principles of nature, but
transcribed them into their books out of the practice of their own
Commonwealths, which were popular; as the grammarians describe the
rules of language out of the practice of the time; or the rules of
poetry out of the poems of Homer and Virgil. And because the Athenians
were taught (to keep them from desire of changing their government)
that they were freemen, and all that lived under monarchy were slaves;
therefore Aristotle puts it down in his Politics "In democracy,
liberty is to be supposed: for it is commonly held that no man is free
in any other government."* And as Aristotle, so Cicero and other
writers have grounded their civil doctrine on the opinions of the
Romans, who were taught to hate monarchy: at first, by them that,
having deposed their sovereign, shared amongst them the sovereignty of
Rome; and afterwards by their successors. And by reading of these
Greek and Latin authors, men from their childhood have gotten a habit,
under a false show of liberty, of favouring tumults, and of licentious
controlling the actions of their sovereigns; and again of
controlling those controllers; with the effusion of so much blood,
as I think I may truly say there was never anything so dearly bought
as these western parts have bought the learning of the Greek and Latin

  * Aristotle, Politics, Bk VI

  To come now to the particulars of the true liberty of a subject;
that is to say, what are the things which, though commanded by the
sovereign, he may nevertheless without injustice refuse to do; we
are to consider what rights we pass away when we make a
Commonwealth; or, which is all one, what liberty we deny ourselves
by owning all the actions, without exception, of the man or assembly
we make our sovereign. For in the act of our submission consisteth
both our obligation and our liberty; which must therefore be
inferred by arguments taken from thence; there being no obligation
on any man which ariseth not from some act of his own; for all men
equally are by nature free. And because such arguments must either
be drawn from the express words, "I authorise all his actions," or
from the intention of him that submitteth himself to his power
(which intention is to be understood by the end for which he so
submitteth), the obligation and liberty of the subject is to be
derived either from those words, or others equivalent, or else from
the end of the institution of sovereignty; namely, the peace of the
subjects within themselves, and their defence against a common enemy.
  First therefore, seeing sovereignty by institution is by covenant of
every one to every one; and sovereignty by acquisition, by covenants
of the vanquished to the victor, or child to the parent; it is
manifest that every subject has liberty in all those things the
right whereof cannot by covenant be transferred. I have shown
before, in the fourteenth Chapter, that covenants not to defend a
man's own body are void. Therefore,
  If the sovereign command a man, though justly condemned, to kill,
wound, or maim himself; or not to resist those that assault him; or to
abstain from the use of food, air, medicine, or any other thing
without which he cannot live; yet hath that man the liberty to
  If a man be interrogated by the sovereign, or his authority,
concerning a crime done by himself, he is not bound (without assurance
of pardon) to confess it; because no man, as I have shown in the
same chapter, can be obliged by covenant to accuse himself.
  Again, the consent of a subject to sovereign power is contained in
these words, "I authorise, or take upon me, all his actions"; in which
there is no restriction at all of his own former natural liberty:
for by allowing him to kill me, I am not bound to kill myself when
he commands me. It is one thing to say, "Kill me, or my fellow, if you
please"; another thing to say, "I will kill myself, or my fellow."
It followeth, therefore, that
  No man is bound by the words themselves, either to kill himself or
any other man; and consequently, that the obligation a man may
sometimes have, upon the command of the sovereign, to execute any
dangerous or dishonourable office, dependeth not on the words of our
submission, but on the intention; which is to be understood by the end
thereof. When therefore our refusal to obey frustrates the end for
which the sovereignty was ordained, then there is no liberty to
refuse; otherwise, there is.
  Upon this ground a man that is commanded as a soldier to fight
against the enemy, though his sovereign have right enough to punish
his refusal with death, may nevertheless in many cases refuse, without
injustice; as when he substituteth a sufficient soldier in his
place: for in this case he deserteth not the service of the
Commonwealth. And there is allowance to be made for natural
timorousness, not only to women (of whom no such dangerous duty is
expected), but also to men of feminine courage. When armies fight,
there is on one side, or both, a running away; yet when they do it not
out of treachery, but fear, they are not esteemed to do it unjustly,
but dishonourably. For the same reason, to avoid battle is not
injustice, but cowardice. But he that enrolleth himself a soldier,
or taketh impressed money, taketh away the excuse of a timorous
nature, and is obliged, not only to go to the battle, but also not
to run from it without his captain's leave. And when the defence of
the Commonwealth requireth at once the help of all that are able to
bear arms, every one is obliged; because otherwise the institution
of the Commonwealth, which they have not the purpose or courage to
preserve, was in vain.
  To resist the sword of the Commonwealth in defence of another man,
guilty or innocent, no man hath liberty; because such liberty takes
away from the sovereign the means of protecting us, and is therefore
destructive of the very essence of government. But in case a great
many men together have already resisted the sovereign power
unjustly, or committed some capital crime for which every one of
them expecteth death, whether have they not the liberty then to join
together, and assist, and defend one another? Certainly they have: for
they but defend their lives, which the guilty man may as well do as
the innocent. There was indeed injustice in the first breach of
their duty: their bearing of arms subsequent to it, though it be to
maintain what they have done, is no new unjust act. And if it be
only to defend their persons, it is not unjust at all. But the offer
of pardon taketh from them to whom it is offered the plea of
self-defence, and maketh their perseverance in assisting or
defending the rest unlawful.
  As for other liberties, they depend on the silence of the law. In
cases where the sovereign has prescribed no rule, there the subject
hath the liberty to do, or forbear, according to his own discretion.
And therefore such liberty is in some places more, and in some less;
and in some times more, in other times less, according as they that
have the sovereignty shall think most convenient. As for example,
there was a time when in England a man might enter into his own
land, and dispossess such as wrongfully possessed it, by force. But in
after times that liberty of forcible entry was taken away by a statute
made by the king in Parliament. And in some places of the world men
have the liberty of many wives: in other places, such liberty is not
  If a subject have a controversy with his sovereign of debt, or of
right of possession of lands or goods, or concerning any service
required at his hands, or concerning any penalty, corporal or
pecuniary, grounded on a precedent law, he hath the same liberty to
sue for his right as if it were against a subject, and before such
judges as are appointed by the sovereign. For seeing the sovereign
demandeth by force of a former law, and not by virtue of his power, he
declareth thereby that he requireth no more than shall appear to be
due by that law. The suit therefore is not contrary to the will of the
sovereign, and consequently the subject hath the liberty to demand the
hearing of his cause, and sentence according to that law. But if he
demand or take anything by pretence of his power, there lieth, in that
case, no action of law: for all that is done by him in virtue of his
power is done by the authority of every subject, and consequently,
he that brings an action against the sovereign brings it against
  If a monarch, or sovereign assembly, grant a liberty to all or any
of his subjects, which grant standing, he is disabled to provide for
their safety; the grant is void, unless he directly renounce or
transfer the sovereignty to another. For in that he might openly (if
it had been his will), and in plain terms, have renounced or
transferred it and did not, it is to be understood it was not his
will, but that the grant proceeded from ignorance of the repugnancy
between such a liberty and the sovereign power: and therefore the
sovereignty is still retained, and consequently all those powers which
are necessary to the exercising thereof; such as are the power of
war and peace, of judicature, of appointing officers and
counsellors, of levying money, and the rest named in the eighteenth
  The obligation of subjects to the sovereign is understood to last as
long, and no longer, than the power lasteth by which he is able to
protect them. For the right men have by nature to protect
themselves, when none else can protect them, can by no covenant be
relinquished. The sovereignty is the soul of the Commonwealth;
which, once departed from the body, the members do no more receive
their motion from it. The end of obedience is protection; which,
wheresoever a man seeth it, either in his own or in another's sword,
nature applieth his obedience to it, and his endeavour to maintain it.
And though sovereignty, in the intention of them that make it, be
immortal; yet is it in its own nature, not only subject to violent
death by foreign war, but also through the ignorance and passions of
men it hath in it, from the very institution, many seeds of a
natural mortality, by intestine discord.
  If a subject be taken prisoner in war, or his person or his means of
life be within the guards of the enemy, and hath his life and corporal
liberty given him on condition to be subject to the victor, he hath
liberty to accept the condition; and, having accepted it, is the
subject of him that took him; because he had no other way to
preserve himself. The case is the same if he be detained on the same
terms in a foreign country. But if a man be held in prison, or
bonds, or is not trusted with the liberty of his body, he cannot be
understood to be bound by covenant to subjection, and therefore may,
if he can, make his escape by any means whatsoever.
  If a monarch shall relinquish the sovereignty, both for himself
and his heirs, his subjects return to the absolute liberty of
nature; because, though nature may declare who are his sons, and who
are the nearest of his kin, yet it dependeth on his own will, as
hath been said in the precedent chapter, who shall be his heir. If
therefore he will have no heir, there is no sovereignty, nor
subjection. The case is the same if he die without known kindred,
and without declaration of his heir. For then there can no heir be
known, and consequently no subjection be due.
  If the sovereign banish his subject, during the banishment he is not
subject. But he that is sent on a message, or hath leave to travel, is
still subject; but it is by contract between sovereigns, not by virtue
of the covenant of subjection. For whosoever entereth into another's
dominion is subject to all the laws thereof, unless he have a
privilege by the amity of the sovereigns, or by special license.
  If a monarch subdued by war render himself subject to the victor,
his subjects are delivered from their former obligation, and become
obliged to the victor. But if he be held prisoner, or have not the
liberty of his own body, he is not understood to have given away the
right of sovereignty; and therefore his subjects are obliged to
yield obedience to the magistrates formerly placed, governing not in
their own name, but in his. For, his right remaining, the question
is only of the administration; that is to say, of the magistrates
and officers; which if he have not means to name, he is supposed to
approve those which he himself had formerly appointed.

                             CHAPTER XXII

  HAVING spoken of the generation, form, and power of a
Commonwealth, I am in order to speak next of the parts thereof. And
first of systems, which resemble the similar parts or muscles of a
body natural. By systems, I understand any numbers of men joined in
one interest or one business. Of which some are regular, and some
irregular. Regular are those where one man, or assembly of men, is
constituted representative of the whole number. All other are
  Of regular, some are absolute and independent, subject to none but
their own representative: such are only Commonwealths, of which I have
spoken already in the five last precedent chapters. Others are
dependent; that is to say, subordinate to some sovereign power, to
which every one, as also their representative, is subject.
  Of systems subordinate, some are political, and some private.
Political (otherwise called bodies politic and persons in law) are
those which are made by authority from the sovereign power of the
Commonwealth. Private are those which are constituted by subjects
amongst themselves, or by authority from a stranger. For no
authority derived from foreign power, within the dominion of
another, is public there, but private.
  And of private systems, some are lawful; some unlawful: lawful are
those which are allowed by the Commonwealth; all other are unlawful.
Irregular systems are those which, having no representative, consist
only in concourse of people; which if not forbidden by the
Commonwealth, nor made on evil design (such as are conflux of people
to markets, or shows, or any other harmless end), are lawful. But when
the intention is evil, or (if the number be considerable) unknown,
they are unlawful.
  In bodies politic the power of the representative is always limited:
and that which prescribeth the limits thereof is the power
sovereign. For power unlimited is absolute sovereignty. And the
sovereign, in every Commonwealth, is the absolute representative of
all the subjects; and therefore no other can be representative of
any part of them, but so far forth as he shall give leave: and to give
leave to a body politic of subjects to have an absolute
representative, to all intents and purposes, were to abandon the
government of so much of the Commonwealth, and to divide the dominion,
contrary to their peace and defence, which the sovereign cannot be
understood to do, by any grant that does not plainly and directly
discharge them of their subjection. For consequences of words are
not the signs of his will, when other consequences are signs of the
contrary; but rather signs of error and misreckoning, to which all
mankind is too prone.
  The bounds of that power which is given to the representative of a
body politic are to be taken notice of from two things. One is their
writ, or letters from the sovereign: the other is the law of the
  For though in the institution or acquisition of a Commonwealth,
which is independent, there needs no writing, because the power of the
representative has there no other bounds but such as are set out by
the unwritten law of nature; yet in subordinate bodies, there are such
diversities of limitation necessary, concerning their businesses,
times, and places, as can neither be remembered without letters, nor
taken notice of, unless such letters be patent, that they may be
read to them, and withal sealed, or testified, with the seals or other
permanent signs of the authority sovereign.
  And because such limitation is not always easy or perhaps possible
to be described in writing, the ordinary laws, common to all subjects,
must determine what the representative may lawfully do in all cases
where the letters themselves are silent. And therefore
  In a body politic, if the representative be one man, whatsoever he
does in the person of the body which is not warranted in his
letters, nor by the laws, is his own act, and not the act of the body,
nor of any other member thereof besides himself: because further
than his letters or the laws limit, he representeth no man's person,
but his own. But what he does according to these is the act of every
one: for of the act of the sovereign every one is author, because he
is their representative unlimited; and the act of him that recedes not
from the letters of the sovereign is the act of the sovereign, and
therefore every member of the body is author of it.
  But if the representative be an assembly, whatsoever that assembly
shall decree, not warranted by their letters or the laws, is the act
of the assembly, or body politic, and the act of every one by whose
vote the decree was made; but not the act of any man that being
present voted to the contrary; nor of any man absent, unless he
voted it by procreation. It is the act of the assembly because voted
by the major part; and if it be a crime, the assembly may be punished,
as far forth as it is capable, as by dissolution, or forfeiture of
their letters (which is to such artificial and fictitious bodies,
capital) or, if the assembly have a common stock, wherein none of
the innocent members have propriety, by pecuniary mulct. For from
corporal penalties nature hath bodies politic. But they that gave
not their vote are therefore innocent, because the assembly cannot
represent any man in things unwarranted by their letters, and
consequently are not involved in their votes.
  If the person of the body politic, being in one man, borrow money of
a stranger, that is, of one that is not of the same body (for no
letters need limit borrowing, seeing it is left to men's own
inclinations to limit lending), the debt is the representative's.
For if he should have authority from his letters to make the members
pay what he borroweth, he should have by consequence the sovereignty
of them; and therefore the grant were either void, as proceeding
from error, commonly incident to human nature, and an insufficient
sign of the will of the granter; or if it be avowed by him, then is
the representer sovereign, and falleth not under the present question,
which is only of bodies subordinate. No member therefore is obliged to
pay the debt so borrowed, but the representative himself: because he
that lendeth it, being a stranger to the letters, and to the
qualification of the body, understandeth those only for his debtors
that are engaged; and seeing the representer can engage himself, and
none else, has him only debtor, who must therefore pay him, out of the
common stock, if there be any, or, if there be none, out of his own
  If he come into debt by contract, or mulct, the case is the same.
  But when the representative is an assembly, and the debt to a
stranger; all they, and only they, are responsible for the debt that
gave their votes to the borrowing of it, or to the contract that
made it due, or to the fact for which the mulct was imposed; because
every one of those in voting did engage himself for the payment: for
he that is author of the borrowing is obliged to the payment, even
of the whole debt, though when paid by any one, he be discharged.
  But if the debt be to one of the assembly, the assembly only is
obliged to the payment, out of their common stock, if they have any:
for having liberty of vote, if he vote the money shall be borrowed, he
votes it shall be paid; if he vote it shall not be borrowed, or be
absent, yet because in lending he voteth the borrowing, he
contradicteth his former vote, and is obliged by the latter, and
becomes both borrower and lender, and consequently cannot demand
payment from any particular man, but from the common treasury only;
which failing, he hath no remedy, nor complaint but against himself,
that being privy to the acts of the assembly, and to their means to
pay, and not being enforced, did nevertheless through his own folly
lend his money.
  It is manifest by this that in bodies politic subordinate, and
subject to a sovereign power, it is sometimes not only lawful, but
expedient, for a particular man to make open protestation against
the decrees of the representative assembly, and cause their dissent to
be registered, or to take witness of it; because otherwise they may be
obliged to pay debts contracted, and be responsible for crimes
committed by other men. But in a sovereign assembly that liberty is
taken away, both because he that protesteth there denies their
sovereignty, and also because whatsoever is commanded by the sovereign
power is as to the subject (though not so always in the sight of
God) justified by the command: for of such command every subject is
the author.
  The variety of bodies is almost infinite: for they are not only
distinguished by the several affairs for which they are constituted,
wherein there is an unspeakable diversity; but also by the times,
places, and numbers, subject to many limitations. And as to their
affairs, some are ordained for government; as first, the government of
a province may be committed to an assembly of men, wherein all
resolutions shall depend on the votes of the major part; and then this
assembly is a body politic, and their power limited by commission.
This word province signifies a charge or care of business, which he
whose it is committeth to another man to be administered for and under
him; and therefore when in one Commonwealth there be diverse countries
that have their laws distinct one from another, or are far distant
in place, the administration of the government being committed to
diverse persons, those countries where the sovereign is not
resident, but governs by commission, are called provinces. But of
the government of a province, by an assembly residing in the
province itself, there be few examples. The Romans, who had the
sovereignty of many provinces, yet governed them always by
presidents and praetors; and not by assemblies, as they governed the
city of Rome and territories adjacent. In like manner, when there were
colonies sent from England to plant Virginia, and Summer Islands,
though the government of them here were committed to assemblies in
London, yet did those assemblies never commit the government under
them to any assembly there, but did to each plantation send one
governor: for though every man, where he can be present by nature,
desires to participate of government; yet where they cannot be
present, they are by nature also inclined to commit the government
of their common interest rather to a monarchical, than a popular, form
of government: which is also evident in those men that have great
private estates; who, when they are unwilling to take the pains of
administering the business that belongs to them, choose rather to
trust one servant than an assembly either of their friends or
servants. But howsoever it be in fact, yet we may suppose the
government of a province or colony committed to an assembly: and
when it is, that which in this place I have to say is this: that
whatsoever debt is by that assembly contracted, or whatsoever unlawful
act is decreed, is the act only of those that assented, and not of any
that dissented, or were absent, for the reasons before alleged. Also
that an assembly residing out of the bounds of that colony whereof
they have the government cannot execute any power over the persons
or goods of any of the colony, to seize on them for debt, or other
duty, in any place without the colony itself, as having no
jurisdiction nor authority elsewhere, but are left to the remedy which
the law of the place alloweth them. And though the assembly have right
to impose mulct upon any of their members that shall break the laws
they make; yet out of the colony itself, they have no right to execute
the same. And that which is said here of the rights of an assembly for
the government of a province, or a colony, is applicable also to an
assembly for the government of a town, a university, or a college,
or a church, or for any other government over the persons of men.
  And generally, in all bodies politic, if any if any particular
member conceive himself injured by the body itself, the cognizance
of his cause belonged to the sovereign, and those the sovereign hath
ordained for judges in such causes, or shall ordain for that
particular cause; and not to the body itself. For the whole body is in
this case his fellow subject, which, in a sovereign assembly, is
otherwise: for there, if the sovereign be not judge, though in his own
cause, there can be no judge at all.
  In a body politic, for the well ordering of foreign traffic, the
most commodious representative is an assembly of all the members; that
is to say, such a one as every one that adventureth his money may be
present at all the deliberations and resolutions of the body, if
they will themselves. For proof whereof we are to consider the end for
which men that are merchants, and may buy and sell, export and
import their merchandise, according to their own discretions, do
nevertheless bind themselves up in one corporation. It is true,
there be few merchants that with the merchandise they buy at home
can freight a ship to export it; or with that they buy abroad, to
bring it home; and have therefore need to join together in one
society, where every man may either participate of the gain, according
to the proportion of his adventure, or take his own, and sell what
he transports, or imports, at such prices as he thinks fit. But this
is no body politic, there being no common representative to oblige
them to any other law than that which is common to all other subjects.
The end of their incorporating is to make their gain the greater;
which is done two ways: by sole buying, and sole selling, both at home
and abroad. So that to grant to a company of merchants to be a
corporation, or body politic, is to grant them a double monopoly,
whereof one is to be sole buyers; another to be sole sellers. For when
there is a company incorporate for any particular foreign country,
they only export the commodities vendible in that country; which is
sole buying at home, and sole selling abroad. For at home there is but
one buyer, and abroad but one that selleth; both which is gainful to
the merchant, because thereby they buy at home at lower, and sell
abroad at higher, rates: and abroad there is but one buyer of
foreign merchandise, and but one that sells them at home, both which
again are gainful to the adventurers.
  Of this double monopoly one part is disadvantageous to the people at
home, the other to foreigners. For at home by their sole exportation
they set what price they please on the husbandry and handiworks of the
people, and by the sole importation, what price they please on all
foreign commodities the people have need of, both which are ill for
the people. On the contrary, by the sole selling of the native
commodities abroad, and sole buying the foreign commodities upon the
place, they raise the price of those, and abate the price of these, to
the disadvantage of the foreigner: for where but one selleth, the
merchandise is the dearer; and where but one buyeth, the cheaper: such
corporations therefore are no other than monopolies, though they would
be very profitable for a Commonwealth, if, being bound up into one
body in foreign markets, they were at liberty at home, every man to
buy and sell at what price he could.
  The end then of these bodies of merchants, being not a common
benefit to the whole body (which have in this case no common stock,
but what is deducted out of the particular adventures, for building,
buying, victualling and manning of ships), but the particular gain
of every adventurer, it is reason that every one be acquainted with
the employment of his own; that is, that every one be of the
assembly that shall have the power to order the same; and be
acquainted with their accounts. And therefore the representative of
such a body must be an assembly, where every member of the body may be
present at the consultations, if he will.
  If a body politic of merchants contract a debt to a stranger by
the act of their representative assembly, every member is liable by
himself for the whole. For a stranger can take no notice of their
private laws, but considereth them as so many particular men,
obliged every one to the whole payment, till payment made by one
dischargeth all the rest: but if the debt be to one of the company,
the creditor is debtor for the whole to himself, and cannot
therefore demand his debt, but only from the common stock, if there be
  If the Commonwealth impose a tax upon the body, it is understood
to be laid upon every member proportionably to his particular
adventure in the company. For there is in this case no other common
stock, but what is made of their particular adventures.
  If a mulct be laid upon the body for some unlawful act, they only
are liable by whose votes the act was decreed, or by whose
assistance it was executed; for in none of the rest is there any other
crime but being of the body; which, if a crime, because the body was
ordained by the authority of the Commonwealth, is not his.
  If one of the members be indebted to the body, he may be sued by the
body, but his goods cannot be taken, nor his person imprisoned by
the authority of the body; but only by authority of the
Commonwealth: for they can do it by their own authority, they can by
their own authority give judgement that the debt is due; which is as
much as to be judge in their own cause.
  These bodies made for the government of men, or of traffic, be
either perpetual, or for a time prescribed by writing. But there be
bodies also whose times are limited, and that only by the nature of
their business. For example, if a sovereign monarch, or a sovereign
assembly, shall think fit to give command to the towns and other
several parts of their territory to send to him their deputies to
inform him of the condition and necessities of the subjects, or to
advise with him for the making of good laws, or for any other cause,
as with one person representing the whole country, such deputies,
having a place and time of meeting assigned them, are there, and at
that time, a body politic, representing every subject of that
dominion; but it is only for such matters as shall be propounded
unto them by that man, or assembly, that by the sovereign authority
sent for them; and when it shall be declared that nothing more shall
be propounded, nor debated by them, the body is dissolved. For if they
were the absolute representative of the people, then were it the
sovereign assembly; and so there would be two sovereign assemblies, or
two sovereigns, over the same people; which cannot consist with
their peace. And therefore where there is once a sovereignty, there
can be no absolute representation of the people, but by it. And for
the limits of how far such a body shall represent the whole people,
they are set forth in the writing by which they were sent for. For the
people cannot choose their deputies to other intent than is in the
writing directed to them from their sovereign expressed.
  Private bodies regular and lawful are those that are constituted
without letters, or other written authority, saving the laws common to
all other subjects. And because they be united in one person
representative, they are held for regular; such as are all families,
in which the father or master ordereth the whole family. For he
obligeth his children, and servants, as far as the law permitteth,
though not further, because none of them are bound to obedience in
those actions which the law hath forbidden to be done. In all other
actions, during the time they are under domestic government, they
are subject to their fathers and masters, as to their immediate
sovereigns. For the father and master being before the institution
of Commonwealth absolute sovereigns in their own families, they lose
afterward no more of their authority than the law of the
Commonwealth taketh from them.
  Private bodies regular, but unlawful, are those that unite
themselves into one person representative, without any public
authority at all; such as are the corporations of beggars, thieves and
gipsies, the better to order their trade of begging and stealing;
and the corporations of men that by authority from any foreign
person themselves in another's dominion, for the easier propagation of
doctrines, and for making a party against the power of the
  Irregular systems, in their nature but leagues, or sometimes mere
concourse of people without union to any particular design, not by
obligation of one to another, but proceeding only from a similitude of
wills and inclinations, become lawful, or unlawful, according to the
lawfulness, or unlawfulness, of every particular man's design therein:
and his design is to be understood by the occasion.
  The leagues of subjects, because leagues are commonly made for
mutual defence, are in a Commonwealth (which is no more than a
league of all the subjects together) for the most part unnecessary,
and savour of unlawful design; and are for that cause unlawful, and go
commonly by the name of factions, or conspiracies. For a league
being a connexion of men by covenants, if there be no power given to
any one man or assembly (as in the condition of mere nature) to compel
them to performance, is so long only valid as there ariseth no just
cause of distrust: and therefore leagues between Commonwealths, over
whom there is no human power established to keep them all in awe,
are not only lawful, but also profitable for the time they last. But
leagues of the subjects of one and the same Commonwealth, where
every one may obtain his right by means of the sovereign power, are
unnecessary to the maintaining of peace and justice, and, in case
the design of them be evil or unknown to the Commonwealth, unlawful.
For all uniting of strength by private men is, if for evil intent,
unjust; if for intent unknown, dangerous to the public, and unjustly
  If the sovereign power be in a great assembly, and a number of
men, part of the assembly, without authority consult a part to
contrive the guidance of the rest, this is a faction, or conspiracy
unlawful, as being a fraudulent seducing of the assembly for their
particular interest. But if he whose private interest is to be debated
and judged in the assembly make as many friends as he can, in him it
is no injustice, because in this case he is no part of the assembly.
And though he hire such friends with money, unless there be an express
law against it, yet it is not injustice. For sometimes, as men's
manners are, justice cannot be had without money, and every man may
think his own cause just till it be heard and judged.
  In all Commonwealths, if a private man entertain more servants
than the government of his estate and lawful employment he has for
them requires, it is faction, and unlawful. For having the
protection of the Commonwealth, he needeth not the defence of
private force. And whereas in nations not thoroughly civilized,
several numerous families have lived in continual hostility and
invaded one another with private force, yet it is evident enough
that they have done unjustly, or else that they had no Commonwealth.
  And as factions for kindred, so also factions for government of
religion, as of Papists, Protestants, etc., or of state, as patricians
and plebeians of old time in Rome, and of aristocraticals and
democraticals of old time in Greece, are unjust, as being contrary
to the peace and safety of the people, and a taking of the sword out
of the hand of the sovereign.
  Concourse of people is an irregular system, the lawfulness or
unlawfulness whereof dependeth on the occasion, and on the number of
them that are assembled. If the occasion be lawful, and manifest,
the concourse is lawful; as the usual meeting of men at church, or
at a public show, in usual numbers: for if the numbers be
extraordinarily great, the occasion is not evident; and consequently
he that cannot render a particular and good account of his being
amongst them is to be judged conscious of an unlawful and tumultuous
design. It may be lawful for a thousand men to join in a petition to
be delivered to a judge or magistrate; yet if a thousand men come to
present it, it is a tumultuous assembly, because there needs but one
or two for that purpose. But in such cases as these, it is not a set
number that makes the assembly unlawful, but such a number as the
present officers are not able to suppress and bring to justice.
  When an unusual number of men assemble against a man whom they
accuse, the assembly is an unlawful tumult; because they may deliver
their accusation to the magistrate by a few, or by one man. Such was
the case of St. Paul at Ephesus; where Demetrius, and a great number
of other men, brought two of Paul's companions before the
magistrate, saying with one voice, "Great is Diana of the
Ephesians"; which was their way of demanding justice against them
for teaching the people such doctrine as was against their religion
and trade. The occasion here, considering the laws of that people, was
just; yet was their assembly judged unlawful, and the magistrate
reprehended them for it, in these words, "If Demetrius and the other
workmen can accuse any man of any thing, there be pleas, and deputies;
let them accuse one another. And if you have any other thing to
demand, your case may be judged in an assembly lawfully called. For we
are in danger to be accused for this day's sedition, because there
is no cause by which any man can render any reason of this concourse
of people."* Where he calleth an assembly whereof men can give no just
account, a sedition, and such as they could not answer for. And this
is all I shall say concerning systems, and assemblies of people, which
may be compared, as I said, to the similar parts of man's body: such
as be lawful, to the muscles; such as are unlawful, to wens, biles,
and apostems, engendered by the unnatural conflux of evil humours.

  * Acts, 19. 40

                            CHAPTER XXIII

  IN THE last chapter I have spoken of the similar parts of a
Commonwealth: in this I shall speak of the parts organical, which
are public ministers.
  A public minister is he that by the sovereign, whether a monarch
or an assembly, is employed in any affairs, with authority to
represent in that employment the person of the Commonwealth. And
whereas every man or assembly that hath sovereignty representeth two
persons, or, as the more common phrase is, has two capacities, one
natural and another politic; as a monarch hath the person not only
of the Commonwealth, but also of a man, and a sovereign assembly
hath the person not only of the Commonwealth, but also of the
assembly: they that be servants to them in their natural capacity
are not public ministers; but those only that serve them in the
administration of the public business. And therefore neither ushers,
nor sergeants, nor other officers that wait on the assembly for no
other purpose but for the commodity of the men assembled, in an
aristocracy or democracy; nor stewards, chamberlains, cofferers, or
any other officers of the household of a monarch, are public ministers
in a monarchy.
  Of public ministers, some have charge committed to them of a general
administration, either of the whole dominion or of a part thereof.
Of the whole, as to a protector, or regent, may be committed by the
predecessor of an infant king, during his minority, the whole
administration of his kingdom. In which case, every subject is so
far obliged to obedience as the ordinances he shall make, and the
commands he shall give, be in the king's name, and not inconsistent
with his sovereign power. Of a part, or province; as when either a
monarch or a sovereign assembly shall give the general charge
thereof to a governor, lieutenant, prefect or viceroy: and in this
case also, every one of that province is obliged to all he shall do in
the name of the sovereign, and that not incompatible with the
sovereign's right. For such protectors, viceroys, and governors have
no other right but what depends on the sovereigns will; and no
commission that can be given them can be interpreted for a declaration
of the will to transfer the sovereignty, without express and
perspicuous words to that purpose. And this kind of public ministers
resembleth the nerves and tendons that move the several limbs of a
body natural.
  Others have special administration; that is to say, charges of
some special business, either at home or abroad: as at home, first,
for the economy of a Commonwealth, they that have authority concerning
the treasury, as tributes, impositions, rents, fines, or whatsoever
public revenue, to collect, receive, issue, or take the accounts
thereof, are public ministers: ministers, because they serve the
person representative, and can do nothing against his command, nor
without his authority; public, because they serve him in his political
  Secondly, they that have authority concerning the militia; to have
the custody of arms, forts, ports; to levy, pay, or conduct
soldiers; or to provide for any necessary thing for the use of war,
either by land or sea, are public ministers. But a soldier without
command, though he fight for the Commonwealth, does not therefore
represent the person of it; because there is none to represent it
to. For every one that hath command represents it to them only whom he
  They also that have authority to teach, or to enable others to teach
the people their duty to the sovereign power, and instruct them in the
knowledge of what is just and unjust, thereby to render them more
apt to live in godliness and in peace amongst themselves, and resist
the public enemy, are public ministers: ministers, in that they do
it not by their own authority, but by another's; and public, because
they do it, or should do it, by no authority but that of the
sovereign. The monarch or the sovereign assembly only hath immediate
authority from God to teach and instruct the people; and no man but
the sovereign receiveth his power Dei gratia simply; that is to say,
from the favour of none but God: all other receive theirs from the
favour and providence of God and their sovereigns; as in a monarchy
Dei gratia et regis; or Dei providentia et voluntate regis.
  They also to whom jurisdiction is given are public ministers. For in
their seats of justice they represent the person of the sovereign; and
their sentence is his sentence; for, as hath been before declared, all
judicature is essentially annexed to the sovereignty; and therefore
all other judges are but ministers of him or them that have the
sovereign power. And as controversies are of two sorts, namely of fact
and of law; so are judgements, some of fact, some of law: and
consequently in the same controversy, there may be two judges, one
of fact, another of law.
  And in both these controversies, there may arise a controversy
between the party judged and the judge; which, because they be both
subjects to the sovereign, ought in equity to be judged by men
agreed on by consent of both; for no man can be judge in his own
cause. But the sovereign is already agreed on for judged by them both,
and is therefore either to hear the cause, and determine it himself,
or appoint for judge such as they shall both agree on. And this
agreement is then understood to be made between them diverse ways;
as first, if the defendant be allowed to except against such of his
judges whose interest maketh him suspect them (for as to the
complainant, he hath already chosen his own judge); those which he
excepteth not against are judges he himself agrees on. Secondly, if he
appeal to any other judge, he can appeal no further; for his appeal is
his choice. Thirdly, if he appeal to the sovereign himself, and he
by himself, or by delegates which the parties shall agree on, give
sentence; that sentence is final: for the defendant is judged by his
own judges, that is to say, by himself.
  These properties of just and rational judicature considered, I
cannot forbear to observe the excellent constitution of the courts
of justice established both for common and also for public pleas in
England. By common pleas, I mean those where both the complainant
and defendant are subjects: and by public (which are also called pleas
of the crown) those where the complainant is the sovereign. For
whereas there were two orders of men, whereof one was lords, the other
commons, the lords had this privilege, to have for judges in all
capital crimes none but lords; and of them, as many as would be
present; which being ever acknowledged as a privilege of favour, their
judges were none but such as they had themselves desired. And in all
controversies, every subject (as also in civil controversies the
lords) had for judges men of the country where the matter in
controversy lay; against which he might make his exceptions, till at
last twelve men without exception being agreed on, they were judged by
those twelve. So that having his own judges, there could be nothing
alleged by the party why the sentence should not be final. These
public persons, with authority from the sovereign power, either to
instruct or judge the people, are such members of the Commonwealth
as may fitly be compared to the organs of voice in a body natural.
  Public ministers are also all those that have authority from the
sovereign to procure the execution of judgements given; to publish the
sovereigns commands; to suppress tumults; to apprehend and imprison
malefactors; and other acts tending to the conservation of the
peace. For every act they do by such authority is the act of the
Commonwealth; and their service answerable to that of the hands in a
body natural.
  Public ministers abroad are those that represent the person of their
own sovereign to foreign states. Such are ambassadors, messengers,
agents, and heralds, sent by public authority, and on public business.
  But such as are sent by authority only of some private party of a
troubled state, though they be received, are neither public nor
private ministers of the Commonwealth, because none of their actions
have the Commonwealth for author. Likewise, an ambassador sent from
a prince to congratulate, condole, or to assist at a solemnity; though
the authority be public, yet because the business is private, and
belonging to him in his natural capacity, is a private person. Also if
a man be sent into another country, secretly to explore their counsels
and strength; though both the authority and the business be public,
yet because there is none to take notice of any person in him, but his
own, he is but a private minister; but yet a minister of the
Commonwealth; and may be compared to an eye in the body natural. And
those that are appointed to receive the petitions or other
informations of the people, and are, as it were, the public ear, are
public ministers and represent their sovereign in that office.
  Neither a counsellor, nor a council of state, if we consider with no
authority judicature or command, but only of giving advice to the
sovereign when it is required, or of offering it when it is not
required, is a public person. For the advice is addressed to the
sovereign only, whose person cannot in his own presence be represented
to him by another. But a body of counsellors are never without some
other authority, either of judicature or of immediate
administration: as in a monarchy, they represent the monarch in
delivering his commands to the public ministers: in a democracy, the
council or senate propounds the result of their deliberations to the
people, as a council; but when they appoint judges, or hear causes, or
give audience to ambassadors, it is in the quality of a minister of
the people: and in an aristocracy the council of state is the
sovereign assembly itself, and gives counsel to none but themselves.

                             CHAPTER XXIV

  THE NUTRITION of a Commonwealth consisteth in the plenty and
distribution of materials conducing to life: in concoction or
preparation, and, when concocted, in the conveyance of it by
convenient conduits to the public use.
  As for the plenty of matter, it is a thing limited by nature to
those commodities which, from the two breasts of our common mother,
land and sea, God usually either freely giveth or for labour selleth
to mankind.
  For the matter of this nutriment consisting in animals,
vegetables, and minerals, God hath freely laid them before us, in or
near to the face of the earth, so as there needeth no more but the
labour and industry of receiving them. Insomuch as plenty dependeth,
next to God's favour, merely on the labour and industry of men.
  This matter, commonly called commodities, is partly native and
partly foreign: native, that which is to be had within the territory
of the Commonwealth; foreign, that which is imported from without. And
because there is no territory under the dominion of one
Commonwealth, except it be of very vast extent, that produceth all
things needful for the maintenance and motion of the whole body; and
few that produce not something more than necessary; the superfluous
commodities to be had within become no more superfluous, but supply
these wants at home, by importation of that which may be had abroad,
either by exchange, or by just war, or by labour: for a man's labour
also is a commodity exchangeable for benefit, as well as any other
thing: and there have been Commonwealths that, having no more
territory than hath served them for habitation, have nevertheless
not only maintained, but also increased their power, partly by the
labour of trading from one place to another, and partly by selling the
manufactures, whereof the materials were brought in from other places.
  The distribution of the materials of this nourishment is the
constitution of mine, and thine, and his; that is to say, in one word,
propriety; and belonged in all kinds of Commonwealth to the
sovereign power. For where there is no Commonwealth, there is, as hath
been already shown, a perpetual war of every man against his
neighbour; and therefore everything is his that getteth it and keepeth
it by force; which is neither propriety nor community, but
uncertainty. Which is so evident that even Cicero, a passionate
defender of liberty, in a public pleading attributeth all propriety to
the law civil: "Let the civil law," saith he, "be once abandoned, or
but negligently guarded, not to say oppressed, and there is nothing
that any man can be sure to receive from his ancestor, or leave to his
children." And again: "Take away the civil law, and no man knows
what is his own, and what another man's." Seeing therefore the
introduction of propriety is an effect of Commonwealth, which can do
nothing but by the person that represents it, it is the act only of
the sovereign; and consisteth in the laws, which none can make that
have not the sovereign power. And this they well knew of old, who
called that Nomos (that is to say, distribution), which we call law;
and defined justice by distributing to every man his own.
  In this distribution, the first law is for division of the land
itself: wherein the sovereign assigneth to every man a portion,
according as he, and not according as any subject, or any number of
them, shall judge agreeable to equity and the common good. The
children of Israel were a Commonwealth in the wilderness; but wanted
the commodities of the earth till they were masters of the Land of
Promise; which afterward was divided amongst them, not by their own
discretion, but by the discretion of Eleazar the priest, and Joshua
their general: who when there were twelve tribes, making them thirteen
by subdivision of the tribe of Joseph, made nevertheless but twelve
portions of the land, and ordained for the tribe of Levi no land,
but assigned them the tenth part of the whole fruits; which division
was therefore arbitrary. And though a people coming into possession of
a land by war do not always exterminate the ancient inhabitants, as
did the Jews, but leave to many, or most, or all of them their
estates; yet it is manifest they hold them afterwards, as of the
victor's distribution; as the people of England held all theirs of
William the Conqueror.
  From whence we may collect that the propriety which a subject hath
in his lands consisteth in a right to exclude all other subjects
from the use of them; and not to exclude their sovereign, be it an
assembly or a monarch. For seeing the sovereign, that is to say, the
Commonwealth (whose person he representeth), is understood to do
nothing but in order to the common peace and security, this
distribution of lands is to be understood as done in order to the
same: and consequently, whatsoever distribution he shall make in
prejudice thereof is contrary to the will of every subject that
committed his peace and safety to his discretion and conscience, and
therefore by the will of every one of them is to be reputed void. It
is true that a sovereign monarch, or the greater part of a sovereign
assembly, may ordain the doing of many things in pursuit of their
passions, contrary to their own consciences, which is a breach of
trust and of the law of nature; but this is not enough to authorize
any subject, either to make war upon, or so much as to accuse of
injustice, or any way to speak evil of their sovereign; because they
have authorized all his actions, and, in bestowing the sovereign
power, made them their own. But in what cases the commands of
sovereigns are contrary to equity and the law of nature is to be
considered hereafter in another place.
  In the distribution of land, the Commonwealth itself may be
conceived to have a portion, and possess and improve the same by their
representative; and that such portion may be made sufficient to
sustain the whole expense to the common peace and defence
necessarily required: which were very true, if there could be any
representative conceived free from human passions and infirmities. But
the nature of men being as it is, the setting forth of public land, or
of any certain revenue for the Commonwealth, is in vain, and tendeth
to the dissolution of government, to the condition of mere nature, and
war, as soon as ever the sovereign power falleth into the hands of a
monarch, or of an assembly, that are either too negligent of money
or too hazardous in engaging the public stock into long or costly war.
Commonwealths can endure no diet: for seeing their expense is not
limited by their own appetite but by external accidents, and the
appetites of their neighbours, the public riches cannot be limited
by other limits than those which the emergent occasions shall require.
And whereas in England, there were by the Conqueror diverse lands
reserved to his own use (besides forests and chases, either for his
recreation or for preservation of woods), and diverse services
reserved on the land he gave his subjects; yet it seems they were
not reserved for his maintenance in his public, but in his natural
capacity: for he and his successors did, for all that, lay arbitrary
taxes on all subjects' land when they judged it necessary. Or if those
public lands and services were ordained as a sufficient maintenance of
the Commonwealth, it was contrary to the scope of the institution,
being (as it appeared by those ensuing taxes) insufficient and (as
it appears by the late small revenue of the Crown) subject to
alienation and diminution. It is therefore in vain to assign a portion
to the Commonwealth, which may sell or give it away, and does sell and
give it away when it is done by their representative.
  As the distribution of lands at home, so also to assign in what
places, and for what commodities, the subject shall traffic abroad
belonged to the sovereign. For if it did belong to private persons
to use their own discretion therein, some of them would be drawn for
gain, both to furnish the enemy with means to hurt the Commonwealth,
and hurt it themselves by importing such things as, pleasing men's
appetites, be nevertheless noxious, or at least unprofitable to
them. And therefore it belonged to the Commonwealth (that is, to the
sovereign only) to approve or disapprove both of the places and matter
of foreign traffic.
  Further, seeing it is not enough to the sustentation of a
Commonwealth that every man have a propriety in a portion of land,
or in some few commodities, or a natural property in some useful
art, and there is no art in the world but is necessary either for
the being or well-being almost of every particular man; it is
necessary that men distribute that which they can spare, and
transfer their propriety therein mutually one to another by exchange
and mutual contract. And therefore it belonged to the Commonwealth
(that is to say, to the sovereign) to appoint in what manner all kinds
of contract between subjects (as buying, selling, exchanging,
borrowing, lending, letting, and taking to hire) are to be made, and
by what words and words and sign they shall be understood for valid.
And for the matter and distribution of the nourishment to the
several members of the Commonwealth, thus much, considering the
model of the whole work, is sufficient.
  By concoction, I understand the reducing of all commodities which
are not presently consumed, but reserved for nourishment in time to
come, to something of equal value, and withal so portable as not to
hinder the motion of men from place to place; to the end a man may
have in what place soever such nourishment as the place affordeth. And
this is nothing else but gold, and silver, and money. For gold and
silver, being, as it happens, almost in all countries of the world
highly valued, is a commodious measure of the value of all things else
between nations; and money, of what matter soever coined by the
sovereign of a Commonwealth, is a sufficient measure of the value of
all things else between the subjects of that Commonwealth. By the
means of which measures all commodities, movable and immovable, are
made to accompany a man to all places of his resort, within and
without the place of his ordinary residence; and the same passeth from
man to man within the Commonwealth, and goes round about,
nourishing, as it passeth, every part thereof; in so much as this
concoction is, as it were, the sanguification of the Commonwealth: for
natural blood is in like manner made of the fruits of the earth;
and, circulating, nourisheth by the way every member of the body of
  And because silver and gold have their value from the matter itself,
they have first this privilege; that the value of them cannot be
altered by the power of one nor of a few Commonwealths; as being a
common measure of the commodities of all places. But base money may
easily be enhanced or abased. Secondly, they have the privilege to
make Commonwealths move and stretch out their arms, when need is, into
foreign countries; and supply, not only private subjects that
travel, but also whole armies with provision. But that coin, which
is not considerable for the matter, but for the stamp of the place,
being unable to endure change of air, hath its effect at home only;
where also it is subject to the change of laws, and thereby to have
the value diminished, to the prejudice many times of those that have
  The conduits and ways by which it is conveyed to the public use
are of two sorts: one, that conveyeth it to the public coffers; the
other, that issueth the same out again for public payments. Of the
first sort are collectors, receivers, and treasurers; of the second
are the treasurers again, and the officers appointed for payment of
several public or private ministers. And in this also the artificial
man maintains his resemblance with the natural; whose veins, receiving
the blood from the several parts of the body, carry it to the heart;
where, being made vital, the heart by the arteries sends it out again,
to enliven and enable for motion all the members of the same.
  The procreation or children of a Commonwealth are those we call
plantations, or colonies; which are numbers of men sent out from the
Commonwealth, under a conductor or governor, to inhabit a foreign
country, either formerly void of inhabitants, or made void then by
war. And when a colony is settled, they are either a Commonwealth of
themselves, discharged of their subjection to their sovereign that
sent them (as hath been done by many Commonwealths of ancient time),
in which case the Commonwealth from which they went was called their
metropolis, or mother, and requires no more of them than fathers
require of the children whom they emancipate and make free from
their domestic government, which is honour and friendship; or else
they remain united to their metropolis, as were the colonies of the
people of Rome; and then they are no Commonwealths themselves, but
provinces, and parts of the Commonwealth that sent them. So that the
right of colonies, saving honour and league with their metropolis,
dependeth wholly on their license, or letters, by which their
sovereign authorized them to plant.

                             CHAPTER XXV
                              OF COUNSEL

  HOW fallacious it is to judge of the nature of things by the
ordinary and inconstant use of words appeareth in nothing more than in
the confusion of counsels and commands, arising from the imperative
manner of speaking in them both, and in many other occasions
besides. For the words do this are the words not only of him that
commandeth; but also of him that giveth counsel; and of him that
exhorteth; and yet there are but few that see not that these are
very different things; or that cannot distinguish between when they
when they perceive who it is that speaketh, and to whom the speech
is directed, and upon what occasion. But finding those phrases in
men's writings, and being not able or not willing to enter into a
consideration of the circumstances, they mistake sometimes the
precepts of counsellors for the precepts of them that command; and
sometimes the contrary; according as it best agreeth with the
conclusions they would infer, or the actions they approve. To avoid
which mistakes and render to those terms of commanding, counselling,
and exhorting, their proper and distinct significations, I define them
  Command is where a man saith, "Do this," or "Do not this," without
expecting other reason than the will of him that says it. From this it
followeth manifestly that he that commandeth pretendeth thereby his
own benefit: for the reason of his command is his own will only, and
the proper object of every man's will is some good to himself.
  Counsel is where a man saith, "Do," or "Do not this," and deduceth
his reasons from the benefit that arriveth by it to him to whom he
saith it. And from this it is evident that he that giveth counsel
pretendeth only (whatsoever he intendeth) the good of him to whom he
giveth it.
  Therefore between counsel and command, one great difference is
that command is directed to a man's own benefit, and counsel to the
benefit of another man. And from this ariseth another difference, that
a man may be obliged to do what he is commanded; as when he hath
covenanted to obey: but he cannot be obliged to do as he is
counselled, because the hurt of not following it is his own; or if
he should covenant to follow it, then is the counsel turned into the
nature of a command. A third difference between them is that no man
can pretend a right to be of another man's counsel; because he is
not to pretend benefit by it to himself: but to demand right to
counsel another argues a will to know his designs, or to gain some
other good to himself; which, as I said before, is of every man's will
the proper object.
  This also is incident to the nature of counsel; that whatsoever it
be, he that asketh it cannot in equity accuse or punish it: for to ask
counsel of another is to permit him to give such counsel as he shall
think best; and consequently, he that giveth counsel to his
sovereign (whether a monarch or an assembly) when he asketh it, cannot
in equity be punished for it, whether the same be conformable to the
opinion of the most, or not, so it be to the proposition in debate.
For if the sense of the assembly can be taken notice of, before the
debate be ended, they should neither ask nor take any further counsel;
for sense of the assembly is the resolution of the debate and end of
all deliberation. And generally he that demandeth counsel is author of
it, and therefore cannot punish it; and what the sovereign cannot,
no man else can. But if one subject giveth counsel to another to do
anything contrary to the laws, whether that counsel proceed from
evil intention or from ignorance only, it is punishable by the
Commonwealth; because ignorance of the law is no good excuse, where
every man is bound to take notice of the laws to which he is subject.
  Exhortation, and dehortation is counsel, accompanied with signs in
him that giveth it of vehement desire to have it followed; or, to
say it more briefly, counsel vehemently pressed. For he that exhorteth
doth not deduce the consequences of what he adviseth to be done, and
tie himself therein to the rigor of true reasoning, but encourages him
he counselleth to action: as he that dehorteth deterreth him from
it. And therefore they have in their speeches a regard to the common
passions and opinions of men, in deducing their reasons; and make
use of similitudes, metaphors, examples, and other tools of oratory,
to persuade their hearers of the utility, honour, or justice of
following their advice.
  From whence may be inferred, first, that exhortation and dehortation
is directed to the good of him that giveth the counsel, not of him
that asketh it, which is contrary to the duty of a counsellor; who, by
the definition of counsel, ought to regard, not his own benefit, but
his whom he adviseth. And that he directeth his counsel to his own
benefit is manifest enough by the long and vehement urging, or by
the artificial giving thereof; which being not required of him, and
consequently proceeding from his own occasions, is directed
principally to his own benefit, and but accidentally to the good of
him that is counselled, or not at all.
  Secondly, that the use of exhortation and dehortation lieth only
where a man is to speak to a multitude, because when the speech is
addressed to one, he may interrupt him and examine his reasons more
rigorously than can be done in a multitude; which are too many to
enter into dispute and dialogue with him that speaketh indifferently
to them all at once.
  Thirdly, that they that exhort and dehort, where they are required
to give counsel, are corrupt counsellors and, as it were, bribed by
their own interest. For though the counsel they give be never so good,
yet he that gives it is no more a good counsellor than he that
giveth a just sentence for a reward is a just judge. But where a man
may lawfully command, as a father in his family, or a leader in an
army, his exhortations and dehortations are not only lawful, but
also necessary and laudable: but when they are no more counsels, but
commands; which when they are for execution of sour labour,
sometimes necessity, and always humanity, requireth to be sweetened in
the delivery by encouragement, and in the tune and phrase of counsel
rather than in harsher language of command.
  Examples of the difference between command and counsel we may take
from the forms of speech that express them in Holy Scripture. "Have no
other Gods but me"; "Make to thyself no graven image"; "Take not God's
name in vain"; "Sanctify the Sabbath"; "Honour thy parents"; "Kill
not"; "Steal not," etc. are commands, because the reason for which
we are to obey them is drawn from the will of God our King, whom we
are obliged to obey. But these words, "Sell all thou hast; give it
to the poor; and follow me," are counsel, because the reason for which
we are to do so is drawn from our own benefit, which is this; that
we shall have "treasure in Heaven." These words, "Go into the
village over against you, and you shall find an ass tied, and her
colt; loose her, and bring her to me," are a command; for the reason
of their fact is drawn from the will of their master: but these words,
"Repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus," are counsel; because
the reason why we should so do tendeth not to any benefit of God
Almighty, who shall still be King in what manner soever we rebel,
but of ourselves, who have no other means of avoiding the punishment
hanging over us for our sins.
  As the difference of counsel from command hath been now deduced from
the nature of counsel, consisting in a deducing of the benefit or hurt
that may arise to him that is to be to be counselled, by the necessary
or probable consequences of the action he propoundeth; so may also the
differences between apt and inept counsellors be derived from the
same. For experience, being but memory of the consequences of like
actions formerly observed, and counsel but the speech whereby that
experience is made known to another, the virtues and defects of
counsel are the same with the virtues and defects intellectual: and to
the person of a Commonwealth, his counsellors serve him in the place
of memory and mental discourse. But with this resemblance of the
Commonwealth to a natural man, there is one dissimilitude joined, of
great importance; which is that a natural man receiveth his experience
from the natural objects of sense, which work upon him without passion
or interest of their own; whereas they that give counsel to the
representative person of a Commonwealth may have, and have often,
their particular ends and passions that render their counsels always
suspected, and many times unfaithful. And therefore we may set down
for the first condition of a good counsellor: that his ends and
interest be not inconsistent with the ends and interest of him he
  Secondly, because the office of a counsellor, when an action comes
into deliberation, is to make manifest the consequences of it in
such manner as he that is counselled may be truly and evidently
informed, he ought to propound his advice in such form of speech as
may make the truth most evidently appear; that is to say, with as firm
ratiocination, as significant and proper language, and as briefly,
as the evidence will permit. And therefore rash and unevident
inferences, such as are fetched only from examples, or authority of
books, and are not arguments of what is good or evil, but witnesses of
fact or of opinion; obscure, confused, and ambiguous expressions; also
all metaphorical speeches tending to the stirring up of passion
(because such reasoning and such expressions are useful only to
deceive or to lead him we counsel towards other ends than his own),
are repugnant to the office of a counsellor.
  Thirdly, because the ability of counselling proceedeth from
experience and long study, and no man is presumed to have experience
in all those things that to the administration of a great Commonwealth
are necessary to be known, no man is presumed to be a good
counsellor but in such business as he hath not only been much versed
in, but hath also much meditated on and considered. For seeing the
business of a Commonwealth is this; to preserve the people in peace at
home, and defend them against foreign invasion; we shall find it
requires great knowledge of the disposition of mankind, of the
rights of government, and of the nature of equity, law, justice, and
honour, not to be attained without study; and of the strength,
commodities, places, both of their own country and their
neighbours'; as also of the inclinations and designs of all nations
that may any way annoy them. And this is not attained to without
much experience. Of which things, not only the whole sum, but every
one of the particulars requires the age and observation of a man in
years, and of more than ordinary study. The wit required for
counsel, as I have said before (Chapter VIII), is judgement. And the
differences of men in that point come from different education; of
some, to one kind of study or business, and of others, to another.
When for the doing of anything there be infallible rules (as in
engines and edifices, the rules of geometry), all the experience of
the world cannot equal his counsel that has learned or found out the
rule. And when there is no such rule, he that hath most experience
in that particular kind of business has therein the best judgement,
and is the best counsellor.
  Fourthly, to be able to give counsel to a Commonwealth, in a
business that hath reference to another Commonwealth, it is
necessary to be acquainted with the intelligences and letters that
come from thence, and with all the records of treaties and other
transactions of state between them; which none can do but such as
the representative shall think fit. By which we may see that they
who are not called to counsel can have no good counsel in such cases
to obtrude.
  Fifthly, supposing the number of counsellors equal, a man is
better counselled by hearing them apart than in an assembly; and
that for many causes. First, in hearing them apart, you have the
advice of every man; but in an assembly many of them deliver their
advice with aye or no, or with their hands or feet, not moved by their
own sense, but by the eloquence of another, or for fear of displeasing
some that have spoken, or the whole by contradiction, or for fear of
appearing duller in apprehension than those that have applauded the
contrary opinion. Secondly, in an assembly of many there cannot choose
but be some interests are contrary to that of the public; and these
their interests make passionate, and passion eloquent, and eloquence
draws others into the same advice. For the passions of men, which
asunder are moderate, as the heat of one brand; in assembly are like
many brands that inflame one another (especially when they blow one
another with orations) to the setting of the Commonwealth on fire,
under pretence of counselling it. Thirdly, in hearing every man apart,
one may examine, when there is need, the truth or probability of his
reasons, and of the grounds of the advice he gives, by frequent
interruptions and objections; which cannot be done in an assembly,
where in every difficult question a man is rather astonied and dazzled
with the variety of discourse upon it, than informed of the course
he ought to take. Besides, there cannot be an assembly of many, called
together for advice, wherein there be not some that have the
ambition the ambition to be thought eloquent, and also learned in
the politics; and give not their advice with care of the business
propounded, but of the applause of their motley orations, made of
the diverse colored threads or shreds of thread or shreds of
authors; which is an impertinence, at least, that takes away the
time of serious consultation, and in the secret way of counselling
apart is easily avoided. Fourthly, in deliberations that ought to be
kept secret, whereof there be many occasions in public business, the
counsels of many, and especially in assemblies, are dangerous; and
therefore great assemblies are necessitated to commit such affairs
to lesser numbers, and of such persons as are most versed, and in
whose fidelity they have most confidence.
  To conclude, who is there that so far approves far approves the
taking of counsel from a great assembly of counsellors, that wisheth
for, or would accept of their pains, when there is a question of
marrying his children, disposing of his lands, governing his
household, or managing his private estate, especially if there be
amongst them such as wish not his prosperity? A man that doth his
business by the help of many prudent counsellors, with every one
consulting apart in his proper element, does it best; as he that useth
able seconds at tennis play, placed in their proper stations. He
does next best that useth his own judgement only; as he that has no
second at all. But he that is carried up and down to his business in a
framed counsel, which cannot move but by the plurality of consenting
opinions, the execution whereof is commonly, out of envy or
interest, retarded by the part dissenting, does it worst of all, and
like one that is carried to the ball, though by good players, yet in a
wheelbarrow, or other frame, heavy of itself, and retarded by the also
by the inconcurrent judgements and endeavours of them that drive it;
and so much the more, as they be more that set their hands to it;
and most of all, when there is one or more amongst them that desire to
have him lose. And though it be true that many eyes see more than one,
yet it is not to be understood of many counsellors, but then only when
the final resolution is in one in one man. Otherwise, because many
eyes see the same thing in diverse lines, and are apt to look
asquint towards their private benefit; they that desire not to miss
their mark, though they look about with two eyes, yet they never aim
but with one: and therefore no great popular Commonwealth was ever
kept up, but either by a foreign enemy that united them; or by the
reputation of some one eminent man amongst them; or by the secret
counsel of a few; or by the mutual fear of equal factions; and not
by the open consultations of the assembly. And as for very little
Commonwealths, be they popular or monarchical, there is no human
wisdom can uphold them longer than the jealousy lasteth of their
potent neighbours.

                             CHAPTER XXVI
                            OF CIVIL LAWS

  BY civil laws, I understand the laws that men are therefore bound to
observe, because they are members, not of this or that Commonwealth in
particular, but of a Commonwealth. For the knowledge of particular
laws belongeth to them that profess the study of the laws of their
several countries; but the knowledge of civil law in general, to any
man. The ancient law of Rome was called their civil law, from the word
civitas, which signifies a Commonwealth: and those countries which,
having been under the Roman Empire and governed by that law, retain
still such part thereof as they think fit, call that part the civil
law to distinguish it from the rest of their own civil laws. But
that is not it I intend to speak of here; my design being not to
show what is law here and there, but what is law; as Plato, Aristotle,
Cicero, and diverse others have done, without taking upon them the
profession of the study of the law.
  And first it is manifest that law in general is not counsel, but
command; nor a command of any man to any man, but only of him whose
command is addressed to one formerly obliged to obey him. And as for
civil law, it addeth only the name of the person commanding, which
is persona civitatis, the person of the Commonwealth.
  Which considered, I define civil law in this manner. Civil law is to
every subject those rules which the Commonwealth hath commanded him,
by word, writing, or other sufficient sign of the will, to make use of
for the distinction of right and wrong; that is to say, of that is
contrary and what is not contrary to the rule.
  In which definition there is nothing that is that is not at first
sight evident. For every man seeth that some laws are addressed to all
the subjects in general; some to particular provinces; some to
particular vocations; and some to particular men; and are therefore
laws to every of those to whom the command is directed, and to none
else. As also, that laws are the rules of just and unjust, nothing
being reputed unjust that is not contrary to some law. Likewise,
that none can make laws but the Commonwealth, because our subjection
is to the Commonwealth only; and that commands are to be signified
by sufficient signs, because a man knows not otherwise how to obey
them. And therefore, whatsoever can from this definition by
necessary consequence be deduced, ought to be acknowledged for
truth. Now I deduce from it this that followeth.
  1. The legislator in all Commonwealths is only the sovereign, be
he one man, as in a monarchy, or one assembly of men, as in a
democracy or aristocracy. For the legislator is he that maketh the
law. And the Commonwealth only prescribes and commandeth the
observation of those rules which we call law: therefore the
Commonwealth is the legislator. But the Commonwealth is no person, nor
has capacity to do anything but by the representative, that is, the
sovereign; and therefore the sovereign is the sole legislator. For the
same reason, none can abrogate a law made, but the sovereign,
because a law is not abrogated but by another law that forbiddeth it
to be put in execution.
  2. The sovereign of a Commonwealth, be it an assembly or one man, is
not subject to the civil laws. For having power to make and repeal
laws, he may, when he pleaseth, free himself from that subjection by
repealing those laws that trouble him, and making of new; and
consequently he was free before. For he is free that can be free
when he will: nor is it possible for any person to be bound to
himself, because he that can bind can release; and therefore he that
is bound to himself only is not bound.
  3. When long use obtaineth the authority of a law, it is not the
length of time that maketh the authority, but the will of the
sovereign signified by his silence (for silence is sometimes an
signified by his silence (for silence is sometimes an argument of
consent); and it is no longer law, than the sovereign shall be
silent therein. And therefore if the sovereign shall have a question
of right grounded, not upon his present will, but upon the laws
formerly made, the length of time shall bring no prejudice to his
right: but the question shall be judged by equity. For many unjust
actions and unjust sentences go uncontrolled a longer time than any
man can remember. And our lawyers account no customs law but such as
reasonable, and that evil customs are to be abolished: but the
judgement of what is reasonable, and of what is to be abolished,
belonged to him that maketh the law, which is the sovereign assembly
or monarch.
  4. The law of nature and the civil law contain each other and are of
equal extent. For the laws of nature, which consist in equity,
justice, gratitude, and other moral virtues on these depending, in the
condition of mere nature (as I have said before in the end of the
fifteenth Chapter), are not properly laws, but qualities that
dispose men to peace and to obedience. When a Commonwealth is once
settled, then are they actually laws, and not before; as being then
the commands of the Commonwealth; and therefore also civil laws: for
it is the sovereign power that obliges men to obey them. For the
differences of private men, to declare what is equity, what is
justice, and is moral virtue, and to make them binding, there is
need of the ordinances of sovereign power, and punishments to be
ordained for such as shall break them; which ordinances are
therefore part of the civil law. The law of nature therefore is a part
of the civil law in all Commonwealths of the world. Reciprocally also,
the civil law is a part of the dictates of nature. For justice, that
is to say, performance of covenant, and giving to every man his own,
is a dictate of the law of nature. But every subject in a Commonwealth
hath covenanted to obey the civil law; either one with another, as
when they assemble to make a common representative, or with the
representative itself one by one when, subdued by the sword, they
promise obedience that they may receive life; and therefore
obedience to the civil law is part also of the law of nature. Civil
and natural law are not different kinds, but different parts of law;
whereof one part, being written, is called civil the other
unwritten, natural. But the right of nature, that is, the natural
liberty of man, may by the civil law be abridged and restrained:
nay, the end of making laws is no other but such restraint, without
which there cannot possibly be any peace. And law was brought into the
world for nothing else but to limit the natural liberty of
particular men in such manner as they might not hurt, but assist one
another, and join together against a common enemy.
  5. If the sovereign of one Commonwealth subdue a people that have
lived under other written laws, and afterwards govern them by the same
laws by which they were governed before, yet those laws are the
civil laws of the victor, and not of the vanquished Commonwealth.
For the legislator is he, not by whose authority the laws were first
made, but by whose authority they now continue to be laws. And
therefore where there be diverse provinces within the dominion of a
Commonwealth, and in those provinces diversity of laws, which commonly
are called the customs of each several province, we are not to
understand that such customs have their force only from length of
time; but that they were anciently laws written, or otherwise made
known, for the constitutions and statutes of their sovereigns; and are
now laws, not by virtue of the prescription of time, but by the
constitutions of their present sovereigns. But if an unwritten law, in
all the provinces of a dominion, shall be generally observed, and no
iniquity appear in the use thereof, that law can be no other but a law
of nature, equally obliging all mankind.
  6. Seeing then all laws, written and unwritten, have their authority
and force from the will of the Commonwealth; that is to say, from
the will of the representative, which in a monarchy is the monarch,
and in other Commonwealths the sovereign assembly; a man may wonder
from whence proceed such opinions as are found in the books of lawyers
of eminence in several Commonwealths, directly or by consequence
making the legislative power depend on private men or subordinate
judges. As for example, that the common law hath no controller but the
Parliament; which is true only where a parliament has the sovereign
power, and cannot be assembled nor dissolved, but by their own
discretion. For if there be a right in any else to dissolve them,
there is a right also to control them, and consequently to control
their controllings. And if there be no such right, then the controller
of laws is not parlamentum, but rex in parlamento. And where a
parliament is sovereign, if it should assemble never so many or so
wise men from the countries subject to them, for whatsoever cause, yet
there is no man will believe that such an assembly hath thereby
acquired to themselves a legislative power. Item, that the two arms of
a Commonwealth are force and justice; the first whereof is in the
king, the other deposited in the hands of the Parliament. As if a
Commonwealth could consist where the force were in any hand which
justice had not the authority to command and govern.
  7. That law can never be against reason, our lawyers are agreed: and
that not the letter (that is, every construction of it), but that
which is according to the intention of the legislator, is the law. And
it is true: but the doubt is of whose reason it is that shall be
received for law. It is not meant of any private reason; for then
there would be as much contradiction in the laws as there is in the
Schools; nor yet, as Sir Edward Coke makes it, an "Artificial
perfection of reason, gotten by long study, observation, and
experience," as his was. For it is possible long study may increase
and confirm erroneous sentences: and where men build on false grounds,
the more they build, the greater is the ruin: and of those that
study and observe with equal time and diligence, the reasons and
resolutions are, and must remain, discordant: and therefore it is
not that juris prudentia, or wisdom of subordinate judges, but the
reason of this our artificial man the Commonwealth, and his command,
that maketh law: and the Commonwealth being in their representative
but one person, there cannot easily arise any contradiction in the
laws; and when there doth, the same reason is able, by
interpretation or alteration, to take it away. In all courts of
justice, the sovereign (which is the person of the Commonwealth) is he
that judgeth: the subordinate judge ought to have regard to the reason
which moved his sovereign to make such law, that his sentence may be
according thereunto, which then is his sovereigns sentence;
otherwise it is his own, and an unjust one.
  8. From this, that the law is a command, and a command consisteth in
declaration or manifestation of the will of him that commandeth, by
voice, writing, or some other sufficient argument of the same, we
may understand that the command of the Commonwealth is law only to
those that have means to take notice of it. Over natural fools,
children, or madmen there is no law, no more than over brute beasts;
nor are they capable of the title of just or unjust, because they
had never power to make any covenant or to understand the consequences
thereof, and consequently never took upon them to authorize the
actions of any sovereign, as they must do that make to themselves a
Commonwealth. And as those from whom nature or accident hath taken
away the notice of all laws in general; so also every man, from whom
any accident not proceeding from his own default, hath taken away
the means to take notice of any particular law, is excused if he
observe it not; and to speak properly, that law is no law to him. It
is therefore necessary to consider in this place what arguments and
signs be sufficient for the knowledge of what is the law; that is to
say, what is the will of the sovereign, as well in monarchies as in
other forms of government.
  And first, if it be a law that obliges all the subjects without
exception, and is not written, nor otherwise published in such
places as they may take notice thereof, it is a law of nature. For
whatever men are to take knowledge of for law, not upon other men's
words, but every one from his own reason, must be such as is agreeable
to the reason of all men; which no law can be, but the law of
nature. The laws of nature therefore need not any publishing nor
proclamation; as being contained in this one sentence, approved by all
the world, Do not that to another which thou thinkest unreasonable
to be done by another to thyself.
  Secondly, if it be a law that obliges only some condition of men, or
one particular man, and be not written, nor published by word, then
also it is a law of nature, and known by the same arguments and
signs that distinguish those in such a condition from other
subjects. For whatsoever law is not written, or some way published
by him that makes it law, can be known no way but by the reason of him
that is to obey it; and is therefore also a law not only civil, but
natural. For example, if the sovereign employ a public minister,
without written instructions what to do, he is obliged to take for
instructions the dictates of reason: as if he make a judge, the
judge is to take notice that his sentence ought to be according to the
reason of his sovereign, which being always understood to be equity,
he is bound to it by the law of nature: or if an ambassador, he is, in
all things not contained in his written instructions, to take for
instruction that which reason dictates to be most conducing to his
sovereign's interest; and so of all other ministers of the
sovereignty, public and private. All which instructions of natural
reason may be comprehended under one name of fidelity, which is a
branch of natural justice.
  The law of nature excepted, it belonged to the essence of all
other laws to be made known to every man that shall be obliged to obey
them, either by word, or writing, or some other act known to proceed
from the sovereign authority. For the will of another cannot be
understood but by his own word, or act, or by conjecture taken from
his scope and purpose; which in the person of the Commonwealth is to
be supposed always consonant to equity and reason. And in ancient
time, before letters were in common use, the laws were many times
put into verse; that the rude people, taking pleasure in singing or
reciting them, might the more easily retain them in memory. And for
the same reason Solomon adviseth a man to bind the Ten Commandments
upon his ten fingers.* And for the Law which Moses gave to the
people of Israel at the renewing of the Covenant, he biddeth them to
teach it their children, by discoursing of it both at home and upon
the way, at going to bed and at rising from bed; and to write it
upon the posts and doors of their houses;*(2) and to assemble the
people, man, woman, and child, to hear it read.*(3)

  * Proverbs, 7. 3
  *(2) Deuteronomy, 11. 19
  *(3) Ibid., 31. 12

  Nor is it enough the law be written and published, but also that
there be manifest signs that it proceedeth from the will of the
sovereign. For private men, when they have, or think they have,
force enough to secure their unjust designs, and convoy them safely to
their ambitious ends, may publish for laws what they please, without
or against the legislative authority. There is therefore requisite,
not only a declaration of the law, but also sufficient signs of the
author and authority. The author or legislator is supposed in every
Commonwealth to be evident, because he is the sovereign, who, having
been constituted by the consent of every one, is supposed by every one
to be sufficiently known. And though the ignorance and security of men
be such, for the most part, as that when the memory of the first
constitution of their Commonwealth is worn out, they do not consider
by whose power they use to be defended against their enemies, and to
have their industry protected, and to be righted when injury is done
them; yet because no man that considers can make question of it, no
excuse can be derived from the ignorance of where the sovereignty is
placed. And it is a dictate of natural reason, and consequently an
evident law of nature, that no man ought to weaken that power the
protection whereof he hath himself demanded or wittingly received
against others. Therefore of who is sovereign, no man, but by his
own fault (whatsoever evil men suggest), can make any doubt. The
difficulty cocsisteth in the evidence of the authority derived from
him; the removing whereof dependeth on the knowledge of the public
registers, public counsels, public ministers, and public seals; by
which all laws are sufficiently verified; verified, I say, not
authorized: for the verification is but the testimony and record;
not the authority of the law, which consisteth in the command of the
sovereign only.
  If therefore a man have a question of injury, depending on the law
of nature; that is to say, on common equity; the sentence of the
judge, that by commission hath authority to take cognizance of such
causes, is a sufficient verification of the law of nature in that
individual case. For though the advice of one that professeth the
study of the law be useful for the avoiding of contention, yet it is
but advice: it is the judge must tell men what is law, upon the
hearing of the controversy.
  But when the question is of injury, or crime, upon a written law,
every man by recourse to the registers by himself or others may, if he
will, be sufficiently informed, before he do such injury, or commit
the crime, whether it be an injury or not; nay, he ought to do so: for
when a man doubts whether the act he goeth about be just or unjust,
and may inform himself if he will, the doing is unlawful. In like
manner, he that supposeth himself injured, in a case determined by the
written law, which he may by himself or others see and consider; if he
complain before he consults with the law, he does unjustly, and
bewrayeth a disposition rather to vex other men than to demand his own
  If the question be of obedience to a public officer, to have seen
his commission with the public seal, and heard it read, or to have had
the means to be informed of it, if a man would, is a sufficient
verification of his authority. For every man is obliged to do his best
endeavour to inform himself of all written laws that may concern his
own future actions.
  The legislator known, and the laws either by writing or by the light
of nature sufficiently published, there wanteth yet another very
material circumstance to make them obligatory. For it is not the
letter, but the intendment, or meaning; that is to say, the
authentic interpretation of the law (which is the sense of the
legislator), in which the nature of the law consisteth; and
therefore the interpretation of all laws dependeth on the authority
sovereign; and the interpreters can be none but those which the
sovereign, to whom only the subject oweth obedience, shall appoint.
For else, by the craft of an interpreter, the law may be made to
bear a sense contrary to that of the sovereign, by which means the
interpreter becomes the legislator.
  All laws, written and unwritten, have need of interpretation. The
unwritten law of nature, though it be easy to such as without
partiality and passion make use of their natural reason, and therefore
leaves the violators thereof without excuse; yet considering there
be very few, perhaps none, that in some cases are not blinded by
self-love, or some other passion, it is now become of all laws the
most obscure, and has consequently the greatest need of able
interpreters. The written laws, if laws, if they be short, are
easily misinterpreted, for the diverse significations of a word or
two; if long, they be more obscure by the diverse significations of
many words: in so much as no written law, delivered in few or many
words, can be well understood without a perfect understanding of the
final causes for which the law was made; the knowledge of which
final causes is in the legislator. To him therefore there cannot be
any knot in the law insoluble, either by finding out the ends to
undo it by, or else by making what ends he will (as Alexander did with
his sword in the Gordian knot) by the legislative power; which no
other interpreter can do.
  The interpretation of the laws of nature in a Commonwealth dependeth
not on the books of moral philosophy. The authority of writers,
without the authority of the Commonwealth, maketh not their opinions
law, be they never so true. That which I have written in this treatise
concerning the moral virtues, and of their necessity for the procuring
and maintaining peace, though it be evident truth, is not therefore
presently law, but because in all Commonwealths in the world it is
part of the civil law. For though it be naturally reasonable, yet it
is by the sovereign power that it is law: otherwise, it were a great
error to call the laws of nature unwritten law; whereof we see so many
volumes published, and in them so many contradictions of one another
and of themselves.
  The interpretation of the law of nature is the sentence of the judge
constituted by the sovereign authority to hear and determine such
controversies as depend thereon, and consisteth in the application
of the law to the present case. For in the act of judicature the judge
doth no more but consider whether the demand of the party be consonant
to natural reason and equity; and the sentence he giveth is
therefore the interpretation of the law of nature; which
interpretation is authentic, not because it is his private sentence,
but because he giveth it by authority of the sovereign, whereby it
becomes the sovereign's sentence; which is law for that time to the
parties pleading.
  But because there is no judge subordinate, nor sovereign, but may
err in a judgement equity; if afterward in another like case he find
it more consonant to equity to give a contrary sentence, he is obliged
to do it. No man's error becomes his own law, nor obliges him to
persist in it. Neither, for the same reason, becomes it a law to other
judges, though sworn to follow it. For though a wrong sentence given
by authority of the sovereign, if he know and allow it, in such laws
as are mutable, be a constitution of a new law in cases in which every
little circumstance is the same; yet in laws immutable, such as are
the laws of nature, they are no laws to the same or other judges in
the like cases for ever after. Princes succeed one another; and one
judge passeth, another cometh; nay, heaven and earth shall pass; but
not one tittle of the law of nature shall pass; for it is the
eternal law of God. Therefore all the sentences of precedent judges
that have ever been cannot all together make a law contrary to natural
equity. Nor any examples of former judges can warrant an
unreasonable sentence, or discharge the present judge of the trouble
of studying what is equity (in the case he is to judge) from the
principles of his own natural reason. For example sake, it is
against the law of nature to punish the innocent; and innocent is he
that acquitteth himself judicially and is acknowledged for innocent by
the judge. Put the case now that a man is accused of a capital
crime, and seeing the power and malice of some enemy, and the frequent
corruption and partiality of judges, runneth away for fear of the
event, and afterwards is taken and brought to a legal trial, and
maketh it sufficiently appear he was not guilty of the crime, and
being thereof acquitted is nevertheless condemned to lose his goods;
this is a manifest condemnation of the innocent. I say therefore
that there is no place in the world where this can be an
interpretation of a law of nature, or be made a law by the sentences
of precedent judges that had done the same. For he that judged it
first judged unjustly; and no injustice can be a pattern of
judgement to succeeding judges. A written law may forbid innocent
men to fly, and they may be punished for flying: but that flying for
fear of injury should be taken for presumption of guilt, after a man
is already absolved of the crime judicially, is contrary to the nature
of a presumption, which hath no place after judgement given. Yet
this is set down by a great lawyer for the common law of England:
"If a man," saith he, "that is innocent be accused of felony, and
for fear flyeth for the same; albeit he judicially acquitteth
himself of the felony; yet if it be found that he fled for the felony,
he shall, notwithstanding his innocency, forfeit all his goods,
chattels, debts, and duties. For as to the forfeiture of them, the law
will admit no proof against the presumption in law, grounded upon
his flight." Here you see an innocent man, judicially acquitted,
notwithstanding his innocency (when no written law forbade him to fly)
after his acquittal, upon a presumption in law, condemned to lose
all the goods he hath. If the law ground upon his flight a presumption
of the fact, which was capital, the sentence ought to have been
capital: the presumption were not of the fact, for what then ought
he to lose his goods? This therefore is no law of England; nor is
the condemnation grounded upon a presumption of law, but upon the
presumption of the judges. It is also against law to say that no proof
shall be admitted against a presumption of law. For all judges,
sovereign and subordinate, if they refuse to hear proof, refuse to
do justice: for though the sentence be just, yet the judges that
condemn, without hearing the proofs offered, are unjust judges; and
their presumption is but prejudice; which no man ought to bring with
him to the seat of justice whatsoever precedent judgements or examples
he shall pretend to follow. There be other things of this nature,
wherein men's judgements have been perverted by trusting to
precedents: but this is enough to show that though the sentence of the
judge be a law to the party pleading, yet it is no law any judge
that shall succeed him in that office.
  In like manner, when question is of the meaning of written laws,
he is not the interpreter of them that writeth a commentary upon them.
For commentaries are commonly more subject to cavil than the text, and
therefore need other commentaries; and so there will be no end of such
interpretation. And therefore unless there be an interpreter
authorized by the sovereign, from which the subordinate judges are not
to recede, the interpreter can be no other than the ordinary judges,
in the same manner as they are in cases of the unwritten law; and
their sentences are to be taken by them that plead for laws in that
particular case, but not to bind other judges in like cases to give
like judgements. For a judge may err in the interpretation even of
written laws; but no error of a subordinate judge can change the
law, which is the general sentence of the sovereign.
  In written laws men use to make a difference between the letter
and the sentence of the law: and when by the letter is meant
whatsoever can be gathered from the bare words, it is well
distinguished. For the significations of almost all are either in
themselves, or in the metaphorical use of them, ambiguous; and may
be drawn in argument to make many senses; but there is only one
sense of the law. But if by the letter be meant the literal sense,
then the letter and the sentence or intention of the law is all one.
For the literal sense is that which the legislator intended should
by the letter of the law be signified. Now the intention of the
legislator is always supposed to be equity: for it were a great
contumely for a judge to think otherwise of the sovereign. He ought
therefore, if the word of the law do not fully authorize a
reasonable sentence, to supply it with the law of nature; or if the
case be difficult, to respite judgement till he have received more
ample authority. For example, a written law ordaineth that he which is
thrust out of his house by force shall be restored by force. It
happens that a man by negligence leaves his house empty, and returning
is kept out by force, in which case there is no special law
ordained. It is evident that this case is contained in the same law;
for else there is no remedy for him at all, which is to be supposed
against the intention of the legislator. Again, the word of the law
commandeth to judge according to the evidence. A man is accused
falsely of a fact which the judge himself saw done by another, and not
by him that is accused. In this case neither shall the letter of the
law be followed to the condemnation of the innocent, nor shall the
judge give sentence against the evidence of the witnesses, because the
letter of the law is to the contrary; but procure of the sovereign
that another be made judge, and himself witness. So that the
incommodity that follows the bare words of a written law may lead
him to the intention of the law, whereby to interpret the same the
better; though no incommodity can warrant a sentence against the
law. For every judge of right and wrong is not judge of what is
commodious or incommodious to the Commonwealth.
  The abilities required in a good interpreter of the law, that is
to say, in a good judge, are not the same with those of an advocate;
namely, the study of the laws. For a judge, as he ought to take notice
of the fact from none but the witnesses, so also he ought to take
notice of the law from nothing but the statutes and constitutions of
the sovereign, alleged in the pleading, or declared to him by some
that have authority from the sovereign power to declare them; and need
not take care beforehand what he shall judge; for it shall be given
him what he shall say concerning the fact, by witnesses; and what he
shall say in point of law, from those that shall in their pleadings
show it, and by authority interpret it upon the place. The Lords of
Parliament in England were judges, and most difficult causes have been
heard and determined by them; yet few of them were much versed in
the study of the laws, and fewer had made profession of them; and
though they consulted with lawyers that were appointed to be present
there for that purpose, yet they alone had the authority of giving
sentence. In like manner, in the ordinary trials of right, twelve
men of the common people are the judges and give sentence, not only of
the fact, but of the right; and pronounce simply for the complainant
or for the defendant; that is to say, are judges not only of the fact,
but also of the right; and in a question of crime, not only
determine whether done or not done, but also whether it be murder,
homicide, felony, assault, and the like, which are determinations of
law: but because they are not supposed to know the law of
themselves, there is one that hath authority to inform them of it in
the particular case they are to judge of. But yet if they judge not
according to that he tells them, they are not subject thereby to any
penalty; unless it be made appear they did it against their
consciences, or had been corrupted by reward.
  The things that make a good judge or good interpreter of the laws
are, first, a right understanding of that principal law of nature
called equity; which, depending not on the reading of other men's
writings, but on the goodness of a man's own natural reason and
meditation, is presumed to be in those most that had most leisure, and
had the most inclination to meditate thereon. Secondly, contempt of
unnecessary riches and preferments. Thirdly, to be able in judgement
to divest himself of all fear, anger, hatred, love, and compassion.
Fourthly, and lastly, patience to hear, diligent attention in hearing,
and memory to retain, digest, and apply what he hath heard.
  The difference and division of the laws has been made in diverse
manners, according to the different methods of those men that have
written of them. For it is a thing that dependeth on nature, but on
the scope of the writer, and is subservient to every man's proper
method. In the Institutions of Justinian, we find seven sorts of civil
  1. The edicts, constitutions, and epistles of prince; that is, of
the emperor, because the whole power of the people was in him. Like
these are the proclamations of the kings of England.
  2. The decrees of the whole people of Rome, comprehending the
Senate, when they were put to the question by the Senate. These were
laws, at first, by the virtue of the sovereign power residing in the
people; and such of them as by the emperors were not abrogated
remained laws by the authority imperial. For all laws that bind are
understood to be laws by his authority that has power to repeal
them. Somewhat like to these laws are the Acts of Parliament in
  3. The decrees of the common people, excluding the Senate, when they
were put to the question by the tribune of the people. For such of
them as were not abrogated by the emperors, remained laws by the
authority imperial. Like to these were the orders of the House of
Commons in England.
  4. Senatus consulta, the orders of the Senate: because when the
people of Rome grew so numerous as it was inconvenient to assemble
them, it was thought fit by the emperor that men should consult the
Senate instead of the people: and these have some resemblance with the
Acts of Council.
  5. The edicts of praetors, and in some cases of the aediles: such as
are the chief justices in the courts of England.
  6. Responsa prudentum, which were the sentences and opinions of
those lawyers to whom the emperor gave authority to interpret the law,
the law, and to give answer to such as in matter of law demanded their
advice; which answers the judges in giving judgement were obliged by
the constitutions of the emperor to observe: and should be like the
reports of cases judged, if other judges be by the law of England
bound to observe them. For the judges of the common law of England are
not properly judges, but juris consulti; of whom the judges, who are
either the lords, or twelve men of the country, are in point of law to
ask advice.
  7. Also, unwritten customs, which in their own nature are an
imitation of law, by the tacit consent of the emperor, in case they be
not contrary to the law of nature, are very laws.
  Another division of laws is into natural and positive. Natural are
those which have been laws from all eternity, and are called not
only natural, but also moral laws, consisting in the moral virtues; as
justice, equity, and all habits of the mind that conduce to peace
and charity, of which I have already spoken in the fourteenth and
fifteenth Chapters.
  Positive are those which have not been from eternity, but have
been made laws by the will of those that have had the sovereign
power over others, and are either written or made known to men by some
other argument of the will of their legislator.
  Again, of positive laws some are human, some divine: and of human
positive laws, some are distributive, some penal. Distributive are
those that determine the rights of the subjects, declaring to every
man what it is by which he acquireth and holdeth a propriety in
lands or goods, and a right or liberty of action: and these speak to
all the subjects. Penal are those which declare what penalty shall
be inflicted on those that violate the law; and speak to the ministers
and officers ordained for execution. For though every one ought to
be informed of the punishments ordained beforehand for their
transgression; nevertheless the command is not addressed to the
delinquent (who cannot be supposed will faithfully punish himself),
but to public ministers appointed to see the penalty executed. And
these penal laws are for the most part written together with the
laws distributive, and are sometimes called judgements. For all laws
are general judgements, or sentences of the legislator; as also
every particular judgement is a law to him whose case is judged.
  Divine positive laws (for natural laws, being eternal and universal,
are all divine) are those which, being the commandments of God, not
from all eternity, nor universally addressed to all men, but only to a
certain people or to certain persons, are declared for such by those
whom God hath authorized to declare them. But this authority of man to
declare what be these positive of God, how can it be known? God may
command a man, by a supernatural way, to deliver laws to other men.
But because it is of the essence of law that he who is to be obliged
be assured of the authority of him that declareth it, which we
cannot naturally take notice to be from God, how can a man without
supernatural revelations be assured of the revelation received by
the declarer? And how can he be bound to obey bound to obey them?
For the first question, how a man can be assured of the revelation
of another without a revelation particularly to himself, it is
evidently impossible: for though a man may be induced to believe
such revelation, from the miracles they see him do, or from seeing the
extraordinary sanctity of his life, or from seeing the extraordinary
wisdom, or extraordinary felicity of his actions, all which are
marks of God's extraordinary favour; yet they are not assured
evidences of special revelation. Miracles are marvellous works; but
that which is marvellous to one may not be so to another. Sanctity may
be feigned; and the visible felicities of this world are most often
the work of God by natural and ordinary causes. And therefore no man
can infallibly know by natural reason that another has had a
supernatural revelation of God's will but only a belief; every one, as
the signs thereof shall appear greater or lesser, a firmer or a weaker
  But for the second, how he can be bound to obey them, it is not so
hard. For if the law declared be not against the law of nature,
which is undoubtedly God's law, and he undertake to obey it, he is
bound by his own act; bound I say to obey it, but not bound to believe
it: for men's belief, and interior cogitations, are not subject to the
commands, but only to the operation of God, ordinary or extraordinary.
Faith of supernatural law is not a fulfilling, but only an assenting
to the same; and not a duty that we exhibit to God, but a gift which
God freely giveth to whom He pleaseth; as also unbelief is not a
breach of any of His laws, but a rejection of them all, except the
laws natural. But this that I say will be made yet clearer by, the
examples and testimonies concerning this point in Holy Scripture.
The covenant God made with Abraham in a supernatural manner was
thus, "This is the covenant which thou shalt observe between me and
thee and thy seed after thee."* Abraham's seed had not this
revelation, nor were yet in being; yet they are a party to the
covenant, and bound to obey what Abraham should declare to them for
God's law; which they could not be but in virtue of the obedience they
owed to their parents, who (if they be subject to no other earthly
power, as here in the case of Abraham) have sovereign power over their
children and servants. Again, where God saith to Abraham, "In thee
shall all nations of the earth be blessed: for I know thou wilt
command thy children and thy house after thee to keep the way of the
Lord, and to observe righteousness and judgement," it is manifest
the obedience of his family, who had no revelation, depended on
their former obligation to obey their sovereign. At Mount Sinai
Moses only went up to God; the people were forbidden to approach on
pain of death; yet were they bound to obey all that Moses declared
to them for God's law. Upon what ground, but on this submission of
their own, "Speak thou to us, and we will hear thee; but let not God
speak to us, lest we die"? By which two places it sufficiently
appeareth that in a Commonwealth a subject that has no certain and
assured revelation particularly to himself concerning the will of
God is to obey for such the command of the Commonwealth: for if men
were at liberty to take for God's commandments their own dreams and
fancies, or the dreams and fancies of private men, scarce two men
would agree upon what is God's commandment; and yet in respect of them
every man would despise the commandments of the Commonwealth. I
conclude, therefore, that in all things not contrary to the moral
law (that is to say, to the law of nature), all subjects are bound
to obey that for divine law which is declared to be so by the laws
of the Commonwealth. Which also is evident to any man's reason; for
whatsoever is not against the law of nature may be made law in the
name of them that have the sovereign power; there is no reason men
should be the less obliged by it when it is propounded in the name
of God. Besides, there is no place in the world where men are
permitted to pretend other commandments of God than are declared for
such by the Commonwealth. Christian states punish those that revolt
from Christian religion; and all other states, those that set up any
religion by them forbidden. For in whatsoever is not regulated by
the Commonwealth, it is equity (which is the law of nature, and
therefore an eternal law of God) that every man equally enjoy his

  * Genesis, 17. 10

  There is also another distinction of laws into fundamental and not
fundamental: but I could never see in any author what a fundamental
law signifieth. Nevertheless one may very reasonably distinguish
laws in that manner.
  For a fundamental law in every Commonwealth is that which, being
taken away, the Commonwealth faileth and is utterly dissolved, as a
building whose foundation is destroyed. And therefore a fundamental
law is that by which subjects are bound to uphold whatsoever power
is given to the sovereign, whether a monarch or a sovereign
assembly, without which the Commonwealth cannot stand; such as is
the power of war and peace, of judicature, of election of officers,
and of doing whatsoever he shall think necessary for the public
good. Not fundamental is that, the abrogating whereof draweth not with
it the dissolution of the Commonwealth; such as are the laws
concerning controversies between subject and subject. Thus much of the
division of laws.
  I find the words lex civilis and jus civile, that is to say, and law
and right civil, promiscuously used for the same thing, even in the
most learned authors; which nevertheless ought not to be so. For right
is liberty, namely that liberty which the civil law leaves us: but
civil law is an obligation, and takes from us the liberty which the
law of nature gave us. Nature gave a right to every man to secure
himself by his own strength, and to invade a suspected neighbour by
way of prevention: but the civil law takes away that liberty, in all
cases where the protection of the law may be safely stayed for.
Insomuch as lex and jus are as different as obligation and liberty.
  Likewise laws and charters are taken promiscuously for the same
thing. Yet charters are donations of the sovereign; and not laws,
but exemptions from law. The phrase of a law is jubeo, injungo; I
command and enjoin: the phrase of a charter is dedi, concessi; I
have given, I have granted: but what is given or granted to a man is
not forced upon him by a law. A law may be made to bind all the
subjects of a Commonwealth: a liberty or charter is only to one man or
some one part of the people. For to say all the people of a
Commonwealth have liberty in any case whatsoever is to say that, in
such case, there hath been no law made; or else, having been made,
is now abrogated.

                            CHAPTER XXVII

  A sin is not only a transgression of a law, but also any contempt of
the legislator. For such contempt is a breach of all his laws at once,
and therefore may consist, not only in the commission of a fact, or in
the speaking of words by the laws forbidden, or in the omission of
what the law commandeth, but also in the intention or purpose to
transgress. For the purpose to break the law is some degree of
contempt of him to whom it belonged to see it executed. To be
delighted in the imagination only of being possessed of another
man's goods, servants, or wife, without any intention to take them
from him by force or fraud, is no breach of the law, that saith, "Thou
shalt not covet": nor is the pleasure a man may have in imagining or
dreaming of the death of him from whose life he expecteth nothing
but damage and displeasure, a sin; but the resolving to put some act
in execution that tendeth thereto. For to be pleased in the fiction of
that which would please a man if it were real is a passion so adherent
to the nature both of man and every other living creature, as to
make it a sin were to make sin of being a man. Th consideration of
this has made me think them too severe, both to themselves and others,
that maintain that the first motions of the mind, though checked
with the fear of God, be sins. But I confess it is safer to err on
that hand than on the other.
  A crime is a sin consisting in the committing by deed or word of
that which the law forbiddeth, or the omission of what it hath
commanded. So that every crime is a sin; but not every sin a crime. To
intend to steal or kill is a sin, though it never appear in word or
fact: for God that seeth the thought of man can lay it to his
charge: but till it appear by something done, or said, by which the
intention may be argued by a human judge, it hath not the name of
crime: which distinction the Greeks observed in the word amartema
and egklema or aitia; whereof the former (which is translated sin)
signifieth any swerving from the law whatsoever; but the two latter
(which are translated crime) signify that sin only whereof one man may
accuse another. But of intentions, which never appear by any outward
act, there is no place for human accusation. In like manner the Latins
by peccatum, which is sin, signify all manner of deviation from the
law; but by crimen (which word they derive from cerno, which signifies
to perceive) they mean only such sins as may be made appear before a
judge, and therefore are not mere intentions.
  From this relation of sin to the law, and of crime to the civil law,
may be inferred, first, that where law ceaseth, sin ceaseth. But
because the law of nature is eternal, violation of covenants,
ingratitude, arrogance, and all facts contrary to any moral virtue can
never cease to be sin. Secondly, that the civil law ceasing, crimes
cease: for there being no other law remaining but that of nature,
there is no place for accusation; every man being his own judge, and
accused only by his own conscience, and cleared by the uprightness
of his own intention. When therefore his intention is right, his
fact is no sin; if otherwise, his fact is sin, but not crime. Thirdly,
that when the sovereign power ceaseth, crime also ceaseth: for where
there is no such power, there is no protection to be had from the law;
and therefore every one may protect himself by his own power: for no
man in the institution of sovereign power can be supposed to give away
the right of preserving his own body, for the safety whereof all
sovereignty was ordained. But this is to be understood only of those
that have not themselves contributed to the taking away of the power
that protected them: for that was a crime from the beginning.
  The source of every crime is some defect of the understanding, or
some error in reasoning, or some sudden force of the passions.
Defect in the understanding is ignorance; in reasoning, erroneous
opinion. Again, ignorance is of three sorts; of the law, and of the
sovereign, and of the penalty. Ignorance of the law of nature excuseth
no man, because every man that hath attained to the use of reason is
supposed to know he ought not to do to another what he would not
have done to himself. Therefore into what place soever a man shall
come, if he do anything contrary to that law, it is a crime. If a
man come from the Indies hither, and persuade men here to receive a
new religion, or teach them anything that tendeth to disobedience of
the laws of this country, though he be never so well persuaded of
the truth of what he teacheth, he commits a crime, and may be justly
punished for the same, not only because his doctrine is false, but
also because he does that which he would not approve in another;
namely, that coming from hence, he should endeavour to alter the
religion there. But ignorance of the civil law shall excuse a man in a
strange country till it be declared to him, because till then no civil
law is binding.
  In the like manner, if the civil law of a man's own country be not
so sufficiently declared as he may know it if he will; nor the
action against the law of nature; the ignorance is a good excuse: in
other cases ignorance of the civil law excuseth not.
  Ignorance of the sovereign power the place of a man's ordinary
residence excuseth him not, because he ought to take notice of the
power by which he hath been protected there.
  Ignorance of the penalty, where the law is declared, excuseth no
man: for in breaking the law, which without a fear of penalty to
follow were not a law, but vain words, he undergoeth the penalty,
though he know not what it is; because whosoever voluntarily doth
any action, accepteth all the known consequences of it; but punishment
is a known consequence of the violation of the laws in every
Commonwealth; which punishment, if it be determined already by the
law, he is subject to that; if not, then is he subject to arbitrary
punishment. For it is reason that he which does injury, without
other limitation than that of his own will, should suffer punishment
without other limitation than that of his will whose law is thereby
  But when a penalty is either annexed to the crime in the law itself,
or hath been usually inflicted in the like cases, there the delinquent
is excused from a greater penalty. For the punishment foreknown, if
not great enough to deter men from the action, is an invitement to it:
because when men compare the benefit of their injustice with the
harm of their punishment, by necessity of nature they choose that
which appeareth best for themselves: and therefore when they are
punished more than the law had formerly determined, or more than
others were punished for the same crime, it is the law that tempted
and deceiveth them.
  No law made after a fact done can make it a crime: because if the
fact be against the law of nature, the law was before the fact; and
a positive law cannot be taken notice of before it be made, and
therefore cannot be obligatory. But when the law that forbiddeth a
fact is made before the fact be done, yet he that doth the fact is
liable to the penalty ordained after, in case no lesser penalty were
made known before, neither by writing nor by example, for the reason
immediately before alleged.
  From defect in reasoning (that is to say, from error), men are prone
to violate the laws three ways. First, by presumption of false
principles: as when men, from having observed how in all places and in
all ages unjust actions have been authorised by the force and
victories of those who have committed them; and that, potent men
breaking through the cobweb laws of their country, the weaker sort and
those that have failed in their enterprises have been esteemed the
only criminals; have thereupon taken for principles and grounds of
their reasoning that justice is but a vain word: that whatsoever a man
can get by his own industry and hazard is his own: that the practice
of all nations cannot be unjust: that examples of former times are
good arguments of doing the like again; and many more of that kind:
which being granted, no act in itself can be a crime, but must be made
so, not by the law, but by the success of them that commit it; and the
same fact be virtuous or vicious fortune pleaseth; so that what Marius
makes a crime, Sylla shall make meritorious, and Caesar (the same laws
standing) turn again into a crime, to the perpetual disturbance of the
peace of the Commonwealth.
  Secondly, by false teachers that either misinterpret the law of
nature, making it thereby repugnant to the law civil, or by teaching
for laws such doctrines of their own, or traditions of former times,
as are inconsistent with the duty of a subject.
  Thirdly, by erroneous inferences from true principles; which happens
commonly to men that are hasty and precipitate in concluding and
resolving what to do; such as are they that have both a great
opinion of their own understanding and believe that things of this
nature require not time and study, but only common experience and a
good natural wit, whereof no man thinks himself unprovided: whereas
the knowledge of right and wrong, which is no less difficult, there is
no man will pretend to without great and long study. And of those
defects in reasoning, there is none that can excuse, though some of
them may extenuate, a crime in any man that pretendeth to the
administration of his own private business; much less in them that
undertake a public charge, because they pretend to the reason upon the
want whereof they would ground their excuse.
  Of the passions that most frequently are the causes of crime, one is
vainglory, or a foolish overrating of their own worth; as if
difference of worth were an effect of their wit, or riches, or
blood, or some other natural quality, not depending on the will of
those that have the sovereign authority. From whence proceedeth a
presumption that the punishments ordained by the laws, and extended
generally to all subjects, ought not to be inflicted on them with
the same rigor they are inflicted on poor, obscure, and simple men,
comprehended under the name of the vulgar.
  Therefore it happeneth commonly that such as value themselves by the
greatness of their wealth adventure on crimes, upon hope of escaping
punishment by corrupting public justice, or obtaining pardon by
money or other rewards.
  And that such as have multitude of potent kindred, and popular men
that have gained reputation amongst the multitude, take courage to
violate the laws from a hope of oppressing the power to whom it
belonged to put them in execution.
  And that such as have a great and false opinion of their own
wisdom take upon them to reprehend the actions and call in question
the authority of them that govern, and so to unsettle the laws with
their public discourse, as that nothing shall be a crime but what
their own designs require should be so. It happeneth also to the
same men to be prone to all such crimes as consist in craft, and in
deceiving of their neighbours; because they think their designs are
too subtle to be perceived. These I say are effects of a false
presumption of their own wisdom. For of them that are the first movers
in the disturbance of Commonwealth (which can never happen without a
civil war), very few are left alive long enough to see their new
designs established: so that the benefit of their crimes redoundeth to
posterity and such as would least have wished it: which argues they
were not so wise as they thought they were. And those that deceive
upon hope of not being observed do commonly deceive themselves, the
darkness in which they believe they lie hidden being nothing else
but their own blindness, and are no wiser than children that think all
hid by hiding their own eyes.
  And generally all vainglorious men, unless they be withal
timorous, are subject to anger; as being more prone than others to
interpret for contempt the ordinary liberty of conversation: and there
are few crimes that may not be produced by anger.
  As for the passions, of hate, lust, ambition, and covetousness, what
crimes they are apt to produce is so obvious to every man's experience
and understanding as there needeth nothing to be said of them,
saving that they are infirmities, so annexed to the nature, both of
man and all other living creatures, as that their effects cannot be
hindered but by extraordinary use of reason, or a constant severity in
punishing them. For in those things men hate, they find a continual
and unavoidable molestation; whereby either a man's patience must be
everlasting, or he must be eased by removing the power of that which
molesteth him: the former is difficult; the latter is many times
impossible without some violation of the law. Ambition and
covetousness are passions also that are perpetually incumbent and
pressing; whereas reason is not perpetually present to resist them:
and therefore whensoever the hope of impunity appears, their effects
proceed. And for lust, what it wants in the lasting, it hath in the
vehemence, which sufficeth to weigh down the apprehension of all
easy or uncertain punishments.
  Of all passions, that which inclineth men least to break the laws is
fear. Nay, excepting some generous natures, it is the only thing (when
there is appearance of profit or pleasure by breaking the laws) that
makes men keep them. And yet in many cases a crime may be committed
through fear.
  For not every fear justifies the action it produceth, but the fear
only of corporeal hurt, which we call bodily fear, and from which a
man cannot see how to be delivered but by the action. A man is
assaulted, fears present death, from which he sees not how to escape
but by wounding him that assaulteth him; if he wound him to death,
this is no crime, because no man is supposed, at the making of a
Commonwealth to have abandoned the defence of his life or limbs, where
the law cannot arrive time enough to his assistance. But to kill a man
because from his actions or his threatenings I may argue he will
kill me when he can (seeing I have time and means to demand protection
from the sovereign power) is a crime. Again, a man receives words of
disgrace, or some little injuries, for which they that made the laws
had assigned no punishment, nor thought it worthy of a man that hath
the use of reason to take notice of, and is afraid unless he revenge
it he shall fall into contempt, and consequently be obnoxious to the
like injuries from others; and to avoid this, breaks the law, and
protects himself for the future by the terror of his private
revenge. This is a crime: for the hurt is not corporeal, but
fantastical, and (though, in this corner of the world, made sensible
by a custom not many years since begun, amongst young and vain men) so
light as a gallant man, and one that is assured of his own courage,
cannot take notice of. Also a man may stand in fear of spirits, either
through his own superstition or through too much credit given to other
men that tell him of strange dreams and visions; and thereby be made
believe they will hurt him for doing or omitting diverse things which,
nevertheless, to do or omit is contrary to the laws; and that which is
so done, or omitted, is not to be excused by this fear, but is a
crime. For, as I have shown before in the second Chapter, dreams be
naturally but the fancies remaining in sleep, after the impressions
our senses had formerly received waking; and, when men are by any
accident unassured they have slept, seem to be real visions; and
therefore he that presumes to break the law upon his own or
another's dream or pretended vision, or upon other fancy of the
power of invisible spirits than is permitted by the Commonwealth,
leaveth the law of nature, which is a certain offence, and followeth
the imagery of his own or another private man's brain, which he can
never know whether it signifieth anything or nothing, nor whether he
that tells his dream say true or lie; which if every private man
should have leave to do (as they must, by the law of nature, if any
one have it), there could no law be made to hold, and so all
Commonwealth would be dissolved.
  From these different sources of crimes, it appears already that
all crimes are not, as the Stoics of old time maintained, of the
same alloy. There is place, not only for excuse, by which that which
seemed a crime is proved to be none at all; but also for
extenuation, by which the crime, that seemed great, is made less.
For though all crimes do equally deserve the name of injustice, as all
deviation from a straight line is equally crookedness, which the
Stoics rightly observed; yet it does not follow that all crimes are
equally unjust, no more than that all crooked lines are equally
crooked; which the Stoics, not observing, held it as great a crime
to kill a hen, against the law, as to kill one's father.
  That which totally excuseth a fact, and takes away from it the
nature of a crime, can be none but that which, at the same time,
taketh away the obligation of the law. For the fact committed once
against the law, if he that committed it be obliged to the law, can be
no other than a crime.
  The want of means to know the law totally excuseth: for the law
whereof a man has no means to inform himself is not obligatory. But
the want of diligence to enquire shall not be considered as a want
of means; nor shall any man that pretendeth to reason enough for the
government of his own affairs be supposed to want means to know the
laws of nature; because they are known by the reason he pretends to:
only children and madmen are excused from offences against the law
  Where a man is captive, or in the power of the enemy (and he is then
in the power of the enemy when his person, or his means of living,
is so), if it be without his own fault, the obligation of the law
ceaseth; because he must obey the enemy, or die, and consequently such
obedience is no crime: for no man is obliged (when the protection of
the law faileth) not to protect himself by the best means he can.
  If a man by the terror of present death be compelled to do a fact
against the law, he is totally excused; because no law can oblige a
man to abandon his own preservation. And supposing such a law were
obligatory, yet a man would reason thus: "If I do it not, I die
presently; if I do it, I die afterwards; therefore by doing it,
there is time of life gained." Nature therefore compels him to the
  When a man is destitute of food or other thing necessary for his
life, and cannot preserve himself any other way but by some fact
against the law; as if in a great famine he take the food by force, or
stealth, which he cannot obtain for money, nor charity; or in
defence of his life, snatch away another man's sword; he is totally
excused for the reason next before alleged.
  Again, facts done against the law, by the authority of another,
are by that authority excused against the author, because no man ought
to accuse his own fact in another that is but his instrument: but it
is not excused against a third person thereby injured, because in
the violation of the law both the author and actor are criminals. From
hence it followeth that when that man or assembly that hath the
sovereign power commandeth a man to do that which is contrary to a
former law, the doing of it is totally excused: for he ought not to
condemn it himself, because he is the author; and what cannot justly
be condemned by the sovereign cannot justly be punished by any
other. Besides, when the sovereign commandeth anything to be done
against his own former law, the command, as to that particular fact,
is an abrogation of the law.
  If that man or assembly that hath the sovereign power disclaim any
right essential to the sovereignty, whereby there accrueth to the
subject any liberty inconsistent with the sovereign power; that is
to say, with the very being of a Commonwealth; if the subject shall
refuse to obey the command in anything, contrary to the liberty
granted, this is nevertheless a sin, and contrary to the duty of the
subject: for he to take notice of what is inconsistent with the
sovereignty, because it was erected by his own consent and for his own
defence, and that such liberty as is inconsistent with it was
granted through ignorance of the evil consequence thereof. But if he
not only disobey, but also resist a public minister in the execution
of it, then it is a crime, because he might have been righted, without
any breach of the peace, upon complaint.
  The degrees of crime are taken on diverse scales, and measured,
first, by the malignity of the source, or cause: secondly, by the
contagion of the example: thirdly, by the mischief of the effect:
and fourthly, by the concurrence of times, places, and persons.
  The same fact done against the law, if it proceed from presumption
of strength, riches, or friends to resist those that are to execute
the law, is a greater crime than if it proceed from hope of not
being discovered, or of escape by flight: for presumption of
impunity by force is a root from whence springeth, at all times, and
upon all temptations, a contempt of all laws; whereas in the latter
case the apprehension of danger that makes a man fly renders him
more obedient for the future. A crime which know to be so is greater
than the same crime proceeding from a false persuasion that it is
lawful: for he that committeth it against his own conscience presumeth
on his force, or other power, which encourages him to commit the
same again, but he that doth it by error, after the error shown him,
is conformable to the law.
  He whose error proceeds from the authority of a teacher, or an
interpreter of the law publicly authorised, is not so faulty as he
whose error proceedeth from a peremptory pursuit of his own principles
and reasoning: for what is taught by one that teacheth by public
authority, the Commonwealth teacheth, and hath a resemblance of law,
till the same authority controlleth it; and in all crimes that contain
not in them a denial of the sovereign power, nor are against an
evident law, excuseth totally; whereas he that groundeth his actions
on his private judgement ought, according to the rectitude or error
thereof, to stand or fall.
  The same fact, if it have been constantly punished in other men,
is a greater crime than if there have been many precedent examples
of impunity. For those examples are so many hopes of impunity, given
by the sovereign himself: and because he which furnishes a man with
such a hope and presumption of mercy, as encourageth him to offend,
hath his part in the offence, he cannot reasonably charge the offender
with the whole.
  A crime arising from a sudden passion is not so great as when the
same ariseth from long meditation: for in the former case there is a
place for extenuation in the common infirmity of human nature; but
he that doth it with premeditation has used circumspection, and cast
his eye on the law, on the punishment, and on the consequence
thereof to human society; all which in committing the crime he hath
contemned and postponed to his own appetite. But there is no
suddenness of passion sufficient for a total excuse: for all the
time between the first knowing of the law, and the commission of the
fact, shall be taken for a time of deliberation, because he ought,
by meditation of the law, to rectify the irregularity of his passions.
  Where the law is publicly, and with assiduity, before all the people
read and interpreted, a fact done against it is a greater crime than
where men are left without such instruction to enquire of it with
difficulty, uncertainty, and interruption of their callings, and be
informed by private men: for in this case, part of the fault is
discharged upon common infirmity; but in the former there is
apparent negligence, which is not without some contempt of the
sovereign power.
  Those facts which the law expressly condemneth, but the lawmaker
by other manifest signs of his will tacitly approveth, are less crimes
than the same facts condemned both by the law and lawmaker. For seeing
the will of the lawmaker is a law, there appear in this case two
contradictory laws; which would totally excuse, if men were bound to
take notice of the sovereigns approbation, by other arguments than are
expressed by his command. But because there are punishments
consequent, not only to the transgression of his law, but also to
the observing of it he is in part a cause of the transgression, and
therefore cannot reasonably impute the whole crime to the
delinquent. For example, the law condemneth duels; the punishment is
made capital: on the contrary part, he that refuseth duel is subject
to contempt and scorn, without remedy; and sometimes by the
sovereign himself thought unworthy to have any charge or preferment in
war: if thereupon he accept duel, considering all men lawfully
endeavour to obtain the good opinion of them that have the sovereign
power, he ought not in reason to be rigorously punished, seeing part
of the fault may be discharged on the punisher: which I say, not as
wishing liberty of private revenges, or any other kind of
disobedience, but a care in governors not to countenance anything
obliquely which directly they forbid. The examples of princes, to
those that see them, are, and ever have been, more potent to govern
their actions than the laws themselves. And though it be our duty to
do, not what they do, but what they say; yet will that duty never be
performed till it please God to give men an extraordinary and
supernatural grace to follow that precept.
  Again, if we compare crimes by the mischief of their effects; first,
the same fact when it redounds to the damage of many is greater than
when it redounds to the hurt of few. And therefore when a fact
hurteth, not only in the present, but also by example in the future,
it is a greater crime than if it hurt only in the present: for the
former is a fertile crime, and multiplies to the hurt of many; the
latter is barren. To maintain doctrines contrary to the religion
established in the Commonwealth is a greater fault in an authorised
preacher than in a private person: so also is it to live profanely,
incontinently, or do any irreligious act whatsoever. Likewise in a
professor of the law, to maintain any point, or do any act, that
tendeth to the weakening of the sovereign power is a greater crime
than in another man: also in a man that hath such reputation for
wisdom as that his counsels are followed, or his actions imitated by
many, his fact against the law is a greater crime than the same fact
in another: for such men not only commit crime, but teach it for law
to all other men. And generally all crimes are the greater by the
scandal they give; that is to say, by becoming stumbling-blocks to the
weak, that look not so much upon the way they go in, as upon the light
that other men carry before them.
  Also facts of hostility against the present state of the
Commonwealth are greater crimes than the same acts done to private
men: for the damage extends itself to all: such are the betraying of
the strengths or revealing of the secrets of the Commonwealth to an
enemy; also all attempts upon the representative of the
Commonwealth, be it a monarch or an assembly; and all endeavours by
word or deed to diminish the authority of the same, either in the
present time or in succession: which crimes the Latins understand by
crimina laesae majestatis, and consist in design, or act, contrary
to a fundamental law.
  Likewise those crimes which render judgements of no effect are
greater crimes than injuries done to one or a few persons; as to
receive money to give false judgement or testimony is a greater
crime than otherwise to deceive a man of the like or a greater sum;
because not only he has wrong, that falls by such judgements, but
all judgements are rendered useless, and occasion ministered to
force and private revenges.
  Also robbery and depeculation of the public treasury or revenues
is a greater crime than the robbing or defrauding of a private man,
because to rob the public is to rob many at once; also the counterfeit
usurpation of public ministry, the counterfeiting of public seals,
or public coin, than counterfeiting of a private man's person or his
seal, because the fraud thereof extendeth to the damage of many.
  Of facts against the law done to private men, the greater crime is
that where the damage, in the common opinion of men, is most sensible.
And therefore:
  To kill against the law is a greater crime than any other injury,
life preserved.
  And to kill with torment, greater than simply to kill.
  And mutilation of a limb, greater than the spoiling a man of his
  And the spoiling a man of his goods by terror of death or wounds,
than by clandestine surreption.
  And by clandestine surreption, than by consent fraudulently
  And the violation of chastity by force, greater than by flattery.
  And of a woman married, than of a woman not married.
  For all these things are commonly so valued; though some men are
more, and some less, sensible of the same offence. But the law
regardeth not the particular, but the general inclination of mankind.
  And therefore the offence men take from contumely, in words or
gesture, when they produce no other harm than the present grief of him
that is reproached, hath been neglected in the laws of the Greeks,
Romans, and other both ancient and modern Commonwealths; supposing the
true cause of such grief to consist, not in the contumely (which takes
no hold upon men conscious of their own virtue), but in the
pusillanimity of him that is offended by it.
  Also a crime against a private man is much aggravated by the person,
time, and place. For to kill one's parent is a greater crime than to
kill another: for the parent ought to have the honour of a sovereign
(though he have surrendered his power to the civil law), because he
had it originally by nature. And to rob a poor man is a greater
crime than to rob a rich man, because it is to the poor a more
sensible damage.
  And a crime committed in the time or place appointed for devotion is
greater than if committed at another time or place: for it proceeds
from a greater contempt of the law.
  Many other cases of aggravation and extenuation might be added;
but by these I have set down, it is obvious to every man to take the
altitude of any other crime proposed.
  Lastly, because in almost all crimes there is an injury done, not
only to some private men, but also to the Commonwealth, the same
crime, when the accusation is in the name of the Commonwealth, is
called public crime; and when in the name of a private man, a
private crime; and the pleas according thereupon called public,
judicia publica, pleas of the crown; or private pleas. As in an
accusation of murder, if the accuser be a private man, the plea is a
private plea; if the accuser be the sovereign, the plea is a public

                            CHAPTER XXVIII
                      OF PUNISHMENTS AND REWARDS

  A punishment is an evil inflicted by public authority on him that
hath done or omitted that which is judged by the same authority to
be a transgression of the law, to the end that the will of men may
thereby the better be disposed to obedience.
  Before I infer anything from this definition, there is a question to
be answered of much importance; which is, by what door the right or
authority of punishing, in any case, came in. For by that which has
been said before, no man is supposed bound by covenant not to resist
violence; and consequently it cannot be intended that he gave any
right to another to lay violent hands upon his person. In the making
of a Commonwealth every man giveth away the right of defending
another, but not of defending himself. Also he obligeth himself to
assist him that hath the sovereignty in the punishing of another,
but of himself not. But to covenant to assist the sovereign in doing
hurt to another, unless he that so covenanteth have a right to do it
himself, is not to give him a right to punish. It is manifest
therefore that the right which the Commonwealth (that is, he or they
that represent it) hath to punish is not grounded on any concession or
gift of the subjects. But I have also shown formerly that before the
institution of Commonwealth, every man had a right to everything,
and to do whatsoever he thought necessary to his own preservation;
subduing, hurting, or killing any man in order thereunto. And this
is the foundation of that right of punishing which is exercised in
every Commonwealth. For the subjects did not give the sovereign that
right; but only, in laying down theirs, strengthened him to use his
own as he should think fit for the preservation of them all: so that
it was not given, but left to him, and to him only; and, excepting the
limits set him by natural law, as entire as in the condition of mere
nature, and of war of every one against his neighbour.
  From the definition of punishment, I infer, first, that neither
private revenges nor injuries of private men can properly be styled
punishment, because they proceed not from public authority.
  Secondly, that to be neglected and unpreferred by the public
favour is not a punishment, because no new evil is thereby on any
man inflicted; he is only left in the estate he was in before.
  Thirdly, that the evil inflicted by public authority, without
precedent public condemnation, is not to be styled by the name of
punishment, but of a hostile act, because the fact for which a man
is punished ought first to be judged by public authority to be a
transgression of the law.
  Fourthly, that the evil inflicted by usurped power, and judges
without authority from the sovereign, is not punishment, but an act of
hostility, because the acts of power usurped have not for author the
person condemned, and therefore are not acts of public authority.
  Fifthly, that all evil which is inflicted without intention or
possibility of disposing the delinquent or, by his example, other
men to obey the laws is not punishment, but an act of hostility,
because without such an end no hurt done is contained under that name.
  Sixthly, whereas to certain actions there be annexed by nature
diverse hurtful consequences; as when a man in assaulting another is
himself slain or wounded; or when he falleth into sickness by the
doing of some unlawful act; such hurt, though in respect of God, who
is the author of nature, it may be said to be inflicted, and therefore
a punishment divine; yet it is not contained in the name of punishment
in respect of men, because it is not inflicted by the authority of
  Seventhly, if the harm inflicted be less than the benefit of
contentment that naturally followeth the crime committed, that harm is
not within the definition and is rather the price or redemption than
the punishment of a crime: because it is of the nature of punishment
to have for end the disposing of men to obey the law; which end (if it
be less than the benefit of the transgression) it attaineth not, but
worketh a contrary effect.
  Eighthly, if a punishment be determined and prescribed in the law
itself, and after the crime committed there be a greater punishment
inflicted, the excess is not punishment, but an act of hostility.
For seeing the aim of punishment is not a revenge, but terror; and the
terror of a great punishment unknown is taken away by the
declaration of a less, the unexpected addition is no part of the
punishment. But where there is no punishment at all determined by
the law, there whatsoever is inflicted hath the nature of
punishment. For he that goes about the violation of a law, wherein
no penalty is determined, expecteth an indeterminate, that is to
say, an arbitrary punishment.
  Ninthly, harm inflicted for a fact done before there was a law
that forbade it is not punishment, but an act of hostility: for before
the law, there is no transgression of the law: but punishment
supposeth a fact judged to have been a transgression of the law;
therefore harm inflicted before the law made is not punishment, but an
act of hostility.
  Tenthly, hurt inflicted on the representative of the Commonwealth is
not punishment, but an act of hostility: because it is of the nature
of punishment to be inflicted by public authority, which is the
authority only of the representative itself.
  Lastly, harm inflicted upon one that is a declared enemy falls not
under the name of punishment: because seeing they were either never
subject to the law, and therefore cannot transgress it; or having been
subject to it, and professing to be no longer so, by consequence
deny they can transgress it, all the harms that can be done them
must be taken as acts of hostility. But in declared hostility all
infliction of evil is lawful. From whence it followeth that if a
subject shall by fact or word wittingly and deliberately deny the
authority of the representative of the Commonwealth (whatsoever
penalty hath been formerly ordained for treason), he may lawfully be
made to suffer whatsoever the representative will: for in denying
subjection, he denies such punishment as by the law hath been
ordained, and therefore suffers as an enemy of the Commonwealth;
that is, according to the will of the representative. For the
punishments set down in the law are to subjects, not to enemies;
such as are they that, having been by their own act subjects,
deliberately revolting, deny the sovereign power.
  The first and most general distribution of punishments is into
divine and human. Of the former I shall have occasion to speak in a
more convenient place hereafter.
  Human are those punishments that be inflicted by the commandment
of man; and are either corporal, or pecuniary, or ignominy, or
imprisonment, or exile, or mixed of these.
  Corporal punishment is that which is inflicted on the body directly,
and according to the intention of him that inflicteth it: such as
are stripes, or wounds, or deprivation of such pleasures of the body
as were before lawfully enjoyed.
  And of these, some be capital, some less than capital. Capital is
the infliction of death; and that either simply or with torment.
Less than capital are stripes, wounds, chains, and any other
corporal pain not in its own nature mortal. For if upon the infliction
of a punishment death follow, not in the intention of the inflicter,
the punishment is not to be esteemed capital, though the harm prove
mortal by an accident not to be foreseen; in which case death is not
inflicted, but hastened.
  Pecuniary punishment is that which consisteth not only in the
deprivation of a sum of money, but also of lands, or any other goods
which are usually bought and sold for money. And in case the law
that ordaineth such a punishment be made with design to gather money
from such as shall transgress the same, it is not properly a
punishment, but the price of privilege and exemption from the law,
which doth not absolutely forbid the fact but only to those that are
not able to pay the money: except where the law is natural, or part of
religion; for in that case it is not an exemption from the law, but
a transgression of it. As where a law exacteth a pecuniary mulct of
them that take the name of God in vain, the payment of the mulct is
not the price of a dispensation to swear, but the punishment of the
transgression of a law indispensable. In like manner if the law impose
a sum of money to be paid to him that has been injured, this is but
a satisfaction for the hurt done him, and extinguisheth the accusation
of the party injured, not the crime of the offender.
  Ignominy is the infliction of such evil as is made dishonourable; or
the deprivation of such good as is made honourable by the
Commonwealth. For there be some things honourable by nature; as the
effects of courage, magnanimity, strength, wisdom, and other abilities
of body and mind: others made honourable by the Commonwealth; as
badges, titles, offices, or any other singular mark of the
sovereigns favour. The former, though they may fail by nature or
accident, cannot be taken away by a law; and therefore the loss of
them is not punishment. But the latter may be taken away by the public
authority that made them honourable, and are properly punishments:
such are, degrading men condemned, of their badges, titles, and
offices; or declaring them incapable of the like in time to come.
  Imprisonment is when a man is by public authority deprived of
liberty, and may happen from two diverse ends; whereof one is the safe
custody of a man accused; the other is the inflicting of pain on a man
condemned. The former is not punishment, because no man is supposed to
be punished before he be judicially heard and declared guilty. And
therefore whatsoever hurt a man is made to suffer by bonds or
restraint before his cause be heard, over and above that which is
necessary to assure his custody, is against the law of nature. But the
latter is punishment because evil, and inflicted by public authority
for somewhat that has by the same authority been judged a
transgression of the law. Under this word imprisonment, I comprehend
all restraint of motion caused by an external obstacle, be it a house,
which is called by the general name of a prison; or an island, as when
men are said to be confined to it; or a place where men are set to
work, as in old time men have been condemned to quarries, and in these
times to galleys; or be it a chain or any other such impediment.
  Exile (banishment) is when a man is for a crime condemned to
depart out of the dominion of the Commonwealth, or out of a certain
part thereof, and during a prefixed time, or for ever, not to return
into it; and seemeth not in its own nature, without other
circumstances, to be a punishment, but rather an escape, or a public
commandment to avoid punishment by flight. And Cicero says there was
never any such punishment ordained in the city of Rome; but calls it a
refuge of men in danger. For if a man banished be nevertheless
permitted to enjoy his goods, and the revenue of his lands, the mere
change of air is no punishment; nor does it tend to that benefit of
the Commonwealth for which all punishments are ordained, that is to
say, to the forming of men's wills to the observation of the law;
but many times to the damage of the Commonwealth. For a banished man
is a lawful enemy of the Commonwealth that banished him, as being no
more a member of the same. But if he be withal deprived of his
lands, or goods, then the punishment lieth not in the exile, but is to
be reckoned amongst punishments pecuniary.
  All punishments of innocent subjects, be they great or little, are
against the law of nature: for punishment is only for transgression of
the law, and therefore there can be no punishment of the innocent.
It is therefore a violation, first, of that law of nature which
forbiddeth all men, in their revenges, to look at anything but some
future good: for there can arrive no good to the Commonwealth by
punishing the innocent. Secondly, of that which forbiddeth
ingratitude: for seeing all sovereign power is originally given by the
consent of every one of the subjects, to the end they should as long
as they are obedient be protected thereby, the punishment of the
innocent is a rendering of evil for good. And thirdly, of the law that
commandeth equity; that is to say, an equal distribution of justice,
which in punishing the innocent is not observed.
  But the infliction of what evil soever on an innocent man that is
not a subject, if it be for the benefit of the Commonwealth, and
without violation of any former covenant, is no breach of the law of
nature. For all men that are not subjects are either enemies, or
else they have ceased from being so by some precedent covenants. But
against enemies, whom the Commonwealth judgeth capable to do them
hurt, it is lawful by the original right of nature to make war;
wherein the sword judgeth not, nor doth the victor make distinction of
nocent and innocent as to the time past, nor has other respect of
mercy than as it conduceth to the good of his own people. And upon
this ground it is that also in subjects who deliberately deny the
authority of the Commonwealth established, the vengeance is lawfully
extended, not only to the fathers, but also to the third and fourth
generation not yet in being, and consequently innocent of the fact for
which they are afflicted: because the nature of this offence
consisteth in the renouncing of subjection, which is a relapse into
the condition of war commonly called rebellion; and they that so
offend, suffer not as subjects, but as enemies. For rebellion is but
war renewed.
  Reward is either of gift or by contract. When by contract, it is
called salary and wages; which is benefit due for service performed or
promised. When of gift, it is benefit proceeding from the grace of
them that bestow it, to encourage or enable men to do them service.
And therefore when the sovereign of a Commonwealth appointeth a salary
to any public office, he that receiveth it is bound in justice to
perform his office; otherwise, he is bound only in honour to
acknowledgement and an endeavour of requital. For though men have no
lawful remedy when they be commanded to quit their private business to
serve the public, without reward or salary, yet they are not bound
thereto by the law of nature, nor by the institution of the
Commonwealth, unless the service cannot otherwise be done; because
it is supposed the sovereign may make use of all their means, insomuch
as the most common soldier may demand the wages of his warfare as a
  The benefits which a sovereign bestoweth on a subject, for fear of
some power and ability he hath to do hurt to the Commonwealth, are not
properly rewards: for they are not salaries, because there is in
this case no contract supposed, every man being obliged already not to
do the Commonwealth disservice: nor are they graces, because they be
extorted by fear, which ought not to be incident to the sovereign
power: but are rather sacrifices, which the sovereign, considered in
his natural person, and not in the person of the Commonwealth, makes
for the appeasing the discontent of him he thinks more potent than
himself; and encourage not to obedience, but, on the contrary, to
the continuance and increasing of further extortion.
  And whereas some salaries are certain, and proceed from the public
treasury; and others uncertain and casual, proceeding from the
execution of the office for which the salary is ordained; the latter
is in some cases hurtful to the Commonwealth, as in the case of
judicature. For where the benefit of the judges, and ministers of a
court of justice, ariseth for the multitude of causes that are brought
to their cognizance, there must needs follow two inconveniences: one
is the nourishing of suits; for the more suits, the greater benefit:
and another that depends on that, which is contention which is about
jurisdiction; each court drawing to itself as many causes as it can.
But in offices of execution there are not those inconveniences,
because their employment cannot be increased by any endeavour of their
own. And thus much shall suffice for the nature of punishment and
reward; which are, as it were, the nerves and tendons that move the
limbs and joints of a Commonwealth.
  Hitherto I have set forth the nature of man, whose pride and other
passions have compelled him to submit himself to government;
together with the great power of his governor, whom I compared to
LEVIATHAN, taking that comparison out of the two last verses of the
one-and-fortieth of Job; where God, having set forth the great power
of Leviathan, calleth him king of the proud. "There is nothing," saith
he, "on earth to be compared with him. He is made so as not to be
afraid. He seeth every high thing below him; and is king of all the
children of pride." But because he is mortal, and subject to decay, as
all other earthly creatures are; and because there is that in
heaven, though not on earth, that he should stand in fear of, and
whose laws he ought to obey; I shall in the next following chapters
speak of his diseases and the causes of his mortality, and of what
laws of nature he is bound to obey.

                             CHAPTER XXIX

  THOUGH nothing can be immortal which mortals make; yet, if men had
the use of reason they pretend to, their Commonwealths might be
secured, at least, from perishing by internal diseases. For by the
nature of their institution, they are designed to live as long as
mankind, or as the laws of nature, or as justice itself, which gives
them life. Therefore when they come to be dissolved, not by external
violence, but intestine disorder, the fault is not in men as they
are the matter, but as they are the makers and orderers of them. For
men, as they become at last weary of irregular jostling and hewing one
another, and desire with all their hearts to conform themselves into
one firm and lasting edifice; so for want both of the art of making
fit laws to square their actions by, and also of humility and patience
to suffer the rude and cumbersome points of their present greatness to
be taken off, they cannot without the help of a very able architect be
compiled into any other than a crazy building, such as, hardly lasting
out their own time, must assuredly fall upon the heads of their
  Amongst the infirmities therefore of a Commonwealth, I will reckon
in the first place those that arise from an imperfect institution, and
resemble the diseases of a natural body, which proceed from a
defectuous procreation.
  Of which this is one: that a man to obtain a kingdom is sometimes
content with less power than to the peace and defence of the
Commonwealth is necessarily required. From whence it cometh to pass
that when the exercise of the power laid by is for the public safety
to be resumed, it hath the resemblance of an unjust act, which
disposeth great numbers of men, when occasion is presented, to
rebel; in the same manner as the bodies of children gotten by diseased
parents are subject either to untimely death, or to purge the ill
quality derived from their vicious conception, by breaking out into
biles and scabs. And when kings deny themselves some such necessary
power, it is not always (though sometimes) out of ignorance of what is
necessary to the office they undertake, but many times out of a hope
to recover the same again at their pleasure: wherein they reason not
well; because such as will hold them to their promises shall be
maintained against them by foreign Commonwealths; who in order to
the good of their own subjects let slip few occasions to weaken the
estate of their neighbours. So was Thomas Becket, Archbishop of
Canterbury, supported against Henry the Second by the Pope; the
subjection of ecclesiastics to the Commonwealth having been
dispensed with by William the Conqueror at his reception, when he took
an oath not to infringe the liberty of the Church. And so were the
barons, whose power was by William Rufus, to have their help in
transferring the succession from his elder brother to himself,
increased to a degree inconsistent with the sovereign power,
maintained in their rebellion against King John by the French.
  Nor does this happen in monarchy only. For whereas the style of
the ancient Roman Commonwealth was, "The Senate and People of Rome";
neither senate nor people pretended to the whole power; which first
caused the seditions of Tiberius Gracchus, Caius Gracchus, Lucius
Saturninus, and others; and afterwards the wars between the senate and
the people under Marius and Sylla; and again under Pompey and Caesar
to the extinction of their democracy and the setting up of monarchy.
  The people of Athens bound themselves but from one only action,
which was that no man on pain of death should propound the renewing of
the war for the island of Salamis; and yet thereby, if Solon had not
caused to be given out he was mad, and afterwards in gesture and habit
of a madman, and in verse, propounded it to the people that flocked
about him, they had had an enemy perpetually in readiness, even at the
gates of their city: such damage, or shifts, are all Commonwealths
forced to that have their power never so little limited.
  In the second place, I observe the diseases of a Commonwealth that
proceed from the poison of seditious doctrines, whereof one is that
every private man is judge of good and evil actions. This is true in
the condition of mere nature, where there are no civil laws; and
also under civil government in such cases as are not determined by the
law. But otherwise, it is manifest that the measure of good and evil
actions is the civil law; and the judge the legislator, who is
always representative of the Commonwealth. From this false doctrine,
men are disposed to debate with themselves and dispute the commands of
the Commonwealth, and afterwards to obey or disobey them as in their
private judgments they shall think fit; whereby the Commonwealth is
distracted and weakened.
  Another doctrine repugnant to civil society is that whatsoever a man
does against his conscience is sin; and it dependeth on the
presumption of making himself judge of good and evil. For a man's
conscience and his judgement is the same thing; and as the
judgement, so also the conscience may be erroneous. Therefore,
though he that is subject to no civil law sinneth in all he does
against his conscience, because he has no other rule to follow but his
own reason, yet it is not so with him that lives in a Commonwealth,
because the law is the public conscience by which he hath already
undertaken to be guided. Otherwise in such diversity as there is of
private consciences, which are but private opinions, the
Commonwealth must needs be distracted, and no man dare to obey the
sovereign power farther than it shall seem good in his own eyes.
  It hath been also commonly taught that faith and sanctity are not to
be attained by study and reason, but by supernatural inspiration or
infusion. Which granted, I see not why any man should render a
reason of his faith; or why every Christian should not be also a
prophet; or why any man should take the law of his country rather than
his own inspiration for the rule of his action. And thus we fall again
into the fault of taking upon us to judge of good and evil; or to make
judges of it such private men as pretend to be supernaturally
inspired, to the dissolution of all civil government. Faith comes by
hearing, and hearing by those accidents which guide us into the
presence of them that speak to us; which accidents are all contrived
by God Almighty, and yet are not supernatural, but only, for the great
number of them that concur to every effect, unobservable. Faith and
sanctity are indeed not very frequent; but yet they are not
miracles, but brought to pass by education, discipline, correction,
and other natural ways by which God worketh them in His elect, at such
time as He thinketh fit. And these three opinions, pernicious to peace
and government, have in this part of the world proceeded chiefly
from tongues and pens of unlearned divines; who, joining the words
of Holy Scripture together otherwise is agreeable to reason, do what
they can to make men think that sanctity and natural reason cannot
stand together.
  A fourth opinion repugnant to the nature of a Commonwealth is
this: that he that hath the sovereign power is subject to the civil
laws. It is true that sovereigns are all subject to the laws of
nature, because such laws be divine and divine and cannot by any man
or Commonwealth be abrogated. But to those laws which the sovereign
himself, that is, which the Commonwealth, maketh, he is not subject.
For to be subject to laws is to be to be subject to the
Commonwealth, that is, to the sovereign representative, that is, to
himself which is not subjection, but freedom from the laws. Which
error, because it setteth the laws above the sovereign, setteth also a
judge above him, and a power to punish him; which is to make a new
sovereign; and again for the same reason a third to punish the second;
and so continually without end, to the confusion and dissolution of
the Commonwealth.
  A fifth doctrine that tendeth to the dissolution of a Commonwealth
is that every private man has an absolute propriety in his goods, such
as excludeth the right of the sovereign. Every man has indeed a
propriety that excludes the right of every other subject: and he has
it only from the sovereign power, without the protection whereof every
other man should have right to the same. But the right of the
sovereign also be excluded, he cannot perform the office they have put
him into, which is to defend them both from foreign enemies and from
the injuries of one another; and consequently there is no longer a
  And if the propriety of subjects exclude not the right of the
sovereign representative to their goods; much less, to their offices
of judicature or execution in which they represent the sovereign
  There is a sixth doctrine, plainly and directly against the
essence of a Commonwealth, and it is this: that the sovereign power
may be divided. For what is it to divide the power of a
Commonwealth, but to dissolve it; for powers divided mutually
destroy each other. And for these doctrines men are chiefly
beholding to some of those that, making profession of the laws,
endeavour to make them depend upon their own learning, and not upon
the legislative power.
  And as false doctrine, so also oftentimes the example of different
government in a neighbouring nation disposeth men to alteration of the
form already settled. So the people of the Jews were stirred up to
reject God, and to call upon the prophet Samuel for a king after the
manner of the nations: so also the lesser cities of Greece were
continually disturbed with seditions of the aristocratical and
democratical factions; one part of almost every Commonwealth
desiring to imitate the Lacedaemonians; the other, the Athenians.
And I doubt not but many men have been contented to see the late
troubles in England out of an imitation of the Low Countries,
supposing there needed no more to grow rich than to change, as they
had done, the form of their government. For the constitution of
man's nature is of itself subject to desire novelty: when therefore
they are provoked to the same by the neighbourhood also of those
that have been enriched by it, it is almost impossible to be content
with those that solicit them to change; and love the first beginnings,
though they be grieved with the continuance of disorder; like hot
bloods that, having gotten the itch, tear themselves with their own
nails till they can endure the smart no longer.
  And as to rebellion in particular against monarchy, one of the
most frequent causes of it is the reading of the books of policy and
histories of the ancient Greeks and Romans; from which young men,
and all others that are unprovided of the antidote of solid reason,
receiving a strong and delightful impression of the great exploits
of war achieved by the conductors of their armies, receive withal a
pleasing idea of all they have done besides; and imagine their great
prosperity not to have proceeded from the emulation of particular men,
but from the virtue of their popular form of government not
considering the frequent seditions and civil wars produced by the
imperfection of their policy. From the reading, I say, of such
books, men have undertaken to kill their kings, because the Greek
and Latin writers in their books and discourses of policy make it
lawful and laudable for any man so to do, provided before he do it
he call him tyrant. For they say not regicide, that is, killing of a
king, but tyrannicide, that is, killing of a tyrant, is lawful. From
the same books they that live under a monarch conceive an the
opinion that the subjects in a popular Commonwealth enjoy liberty, but
that in a monarchy they are all slaves. I say, they that live under
a monarchy conceive such an opinion; not that they live under a
popular government: for they find no such matter. In sum, I cannot
imagine how anything can be more prejudicial to a monarchy than the
allowing of such books to be publicly read, without present applying
such correctives of discreet masters as are fit to take away their
venom: which venom I will not doubt to compare to the biting of a
mad dog, which is a disease that physicians call hydrophobia, or
fear of water. For as he that is so bitten has a continual torment
of thirst, and yet abhorreth water; and is in such an estate as if the
poison endeavoured to convert him into a dog; so when a monarchy is
once bitten to the quick by those democratical writers that
continually snarl at that estate, it wanteth nothing more than a
strong monarch, which nevertheless out of a certain tyrannophobia,
or fear of being strongly governed, when they have him, they abhor.
  As there have been doctors that hold there be three souls in a
man; so there be also that think there may be more souls, that is,
more sovereigns, than one in a Commonwealth; and set up a supremacy
against the sovereignty; canons against laws; and a ghostly
authority against the civil; working on men's minds with words and
distinctions that of themselves signify nothing, but bewray, by
their obscurity, that there walketh (as some think invisibly)
another kingdom, as it were a kingdom of fairies, in the dark. Now
seeing it is manifest that the civil power and the power of the
Commonwealth is the same thing; and that supremacy, and the power of
making canons, and granting faculties, implieth a Commonwealth; it
followeth that where one is sovereign, another supreme; where one
can make laws, and another make canons; there must needs be two
Commonwealths, of one and the same subjects; which is a kingdom
divided in itself, and cannot stand. For notwithstanding the
insignificant distinction of temporal and ghostly, they are still
two kingdoms, and every subject is subject to two masters. For
seeing the ghostly power challengeth the right to declare what is sin,
it challengeth by consequence to declare what is law, sin being
nothing but the transgression of the law; and again, the civil power
challenging to declare what is law, every subject must obey two
masters, who both will have their commands be observed as law, which
is impossible. Or, if it be but one kingdom, either the civil, which
is the power of the Commonwealth, must be subordinate to the
ghostly, and then there is no sovereignty but the ghostly; or the
ghostly must be subordinate to the temporal, and then there is no
supremacy but the temporal. When therefore these two powers oppose one
another, the Commonwealth cannot but be in great danger of civil war
and dissolution. For the civil authority being more visible, and
standing in the clearer light of natural reason, cannot choose but
draw to it in all times a very considerable part of the people: and
the spiritual, though it stand in the darkness of School
distinctions and hard words; yet, because the fear of darkness and
ghosts is greater than other fears, cannot want a party sufficient
to trouble, and sometimes to destroy, a Commonwealth. And this is a
disease which not unfitly may be compared to the epilepsy, or
falling sickness (which the Jews took to be one kind of possession
by spirits), in the body natural. For as in this disease there is an
unnatural spirit or wind in the head that obstructeth the roots of the
nerves and, moving them violently, taketh the motion which naturally
they should have from the power of the soul in the brain; thereby
causeth violent and irregular motions, which men call convulsions,
in the parts; insomuch as he that is seized therewith falleth down
sometimes into the water, and sometimes into the fire, as a man
deprived of his senses: so also in the body politic, when the
spiritual power moveth the members of a Commonwealth by the terror
of punishments and hope of rewards, which are the nerves of it,
otherwise than by the civil power, which is the soul of the
Commonwealth, they ought to be moved; and by strange and hard words
suffocates their understanding; it must needs thereby distract the
people, and either overwhelm the Commonwealth with oppression, or cast
it into the fire of a civil war.
  Sometimes also in the merely civil government there be more than one
soul: as when the power of levying money, which is the nutritive
faculty, has depended on a general assembly; the power of conduct
and command, which is the motive faculty, on one man; and the power of
making laws, which is the rational faculty, on the accidental consent,
not only of those two, but also of a third: this endangereth the
Commonwealth, sometimes for want of consent to good laws, but most
often for want of such nourishment as is necessary to life and motion.
For although few perceive that such government is not government,
but division of the Commonwealth into three factions, and call it
mixed monarchy; yet the truth is that it is not one independent
Commonwealth, but three independent factions; nor one representative
person, but three. In the kingdom of God there may be three persons
independent, without breach of unity in God that reigneth; but where
men reign, that be subject to diversity of opinions, it cannot be
so. And therefore if the king bear the person of the people, and the
general assembly bear also the person of the people, and another
assembly bear the person of a part of the people, they are not one
person, nor one sovereign; but three persons, and three sovereigns.
  To what disease in the natural body of man I may exactly compare
this irregularity of a Commonwealth, I know not. But I have seen a man
that had another man growing out of his side, with a head, arms,
breast, and stomach of his own: if he had had another man growing
out of his other side, the comparison might then have been exact.
  Hitherto I have named such diseases of a Commonwealth as are of
the greatest and most present danger. There be other, not so great,
which nevertheless are not unfit to be observed. As first, the
difficulty of raising money for the necessary uses of the
Commonwealth, especially in the approach of war. This difficulty
ariseth from the opinion that every subject hath of a propriety in his
lands and goods exclusive of the sovereign's right to the use of the
same. From whence it cometh to pass that the sovereign power, which
foreseeth the necessities and dangers of the Commonwealth, finding the
passage of money to the public treasury obstructed by the tenacity
of the people, whereas it ought to extend itself, to encounter and
prevent such dangers in their beginnings, contracteth itself as long
as it can, and when it cannot longer, struggles with the people by
stratagems of law to obtain little sums, which, not sufficing, he is
fain at last violently to open the way for present supply or perish;
and, being put often to these extremities, at last reduceth the people
to their due temper, or else the Commonwealth must perish. Insomuch as
we may compare this distemper very aptly to an ague; wherein, the
fleshy parts being congealed, or by venomous matter obstructed, the
veins which by their natural course empty themselves into the heart,
are not (as they ought to be) supplied from the arteries, whereby
there succeedeth at first a cold contraction and trembling of the
limbs; and afterwards a hot and strong endeavour of the heart to force
a passage for the blood; and before it can do that, contenteth
itself with the small refreshments of such things as cool for a
time, till, if nature be strong enough, it break at last the contumacy
of the parts obstructed, and dissipateth the venom into sweat; or,
if nature be too weak, the patient dieth.
  Again, there is sometimes in a Commonwealth a disease which
resembleth the pleurisy; and that is when the treasury of the
Commonwealth, flowing out of its due course, is gathered together in
too much abundance in one or a few private men, by monopolies or by
farms of the public revenues; in the same manner as the blood in a
pleurisy, getting into the membrane of the breast, breedeth there an
inflammation, accompanied with a fever and painful stitches.
  Also, the popularity of a potent subject, unless the Commonwealth
have very good caution of his fidelity, is a dangerous disease;
because the people, which should receive their motion from the
authority of the sovereign, by the flattery and by the reputation of
an ambitious man, are drawn away from their obedience to the laws to
follow a man of whose virtues and designs they have no knowledge.
And this is commonly of more danger in a popular government than in
a monarchy, because an army is of so great force and multitude as it
may easily be made believe they are the people. By this means it was
that Julius Caesar, who was set up by the people against the senate,
having won to himself the affections of his army, made himself
master both of senate and people. And this proceeding of popular and
ambitious men is plain rebellion, and may be resembled to the
effects of witchcraft.
  Another infirmity of a Commonwealth is the immoderate greatness of a
town, when it is able to furnish out of its own circuit the number and
expense of a great army; as also the great number of corporations,
which are as it were many lesser Commonwealths in the bowels of a
greater, like worms in the entrails of a natural man. To may be added,
liberty of disputing against absolute power by pretenders to political
prudence; which though bred for the most part in the lees of the
people, yet animated by false doctrines are perpetually meddling
with the fundamental laws, to the molestation of the Commonwealth,
like the little worms which physicians call ascarides.
  We may further add the insatiable appetite, or bulimia, of enlarging
dominion, with the incurable wounds thereby many times received from
the enemy; and the wens, of ununited conquests, which are many times a
burden, and with less danger lost than kept; as also the lethargy of
ease, and consumption of riot and vain expense.
  Lastly, when in a war, foreign or intestine, the enemies get a final
victory, so as, the forces of the Commonwealth keeping the field no
longer, there is no further protection of subjects in their loyalty,
then is the Commonwealth dissolved, and every man at liberty to
protect himself by such courses as his own discretion shall suggest
unto him. For the sovereign is the public soul, giving life and motion
to the Commonwealth, which expiring, the members are governed by it no
more than the carcass of a man by his departed, though immortal, soul.
For though the right of a sovereign monarch cannot be extinguished
by the act of another, yet the obligation of the members may. For he
that wants protection may seek it anywhere; and, when he hath it, is
obliged (without fraudulent pretence of having submitted himself out
of fear) to protect his protection as long as he is able. But when the
power of an assembly is once suppressed, the right of the same
perisheth utterly, because the assembly itself is extinct; and
consequently, there is no possibility for sovereignty to re-enter.

                             CHAPTER XXX

  THE office of the sovereign, be it a monarch or an assembly,
consisteth in the end for which he was trusted with the sovereign
power, namely the procuration of the safety of the people, to which he
is obliged by the law of nature, and to render an account thereof to
God, the Author of that law, and to none but Him. But by safety here
is not meant a bare preservation, but also all other contentments of
life, which every man by lawful industry, without danger or hurt to
the Commonwealth, shall acquire to himself.
  And this is intended should be done, not by care applied to
individuals, further than their protection from injuries when they
shall complain; but by a general providence, contained in public
instruction, both of doctrine and example; and in the making and
executing of good laws to which individual persons may apply their own
  And because, if the essential rights of sovereignty (specified
before in the eighteenth Chapter) be taken away, the Commonwealth is
thereby dissolved, and every man returneth into the condition and
calamity of a war with every other man, which is the greatest evil
that can happen in this life; it is the office of the sovereign to
maintain those rights entire, and consequently against his duty,
first, to transfer to another or to lay from himself any of them.
For he that deserteth the means deserteth the ends; and he deserteth
the means that, being the sovereign, acknowledgeth himself subject
to the civil laws, and renounceth the power of supreme judicature;
or of making war or peace by his own authority; or of judging of the
necessities of the Commonwealth; or of levying money and soldiers when
and as much as in his own conscience he shall judge necessary; or of
making officers and ministers both of war and peace; or of
appointing teachers, and examining what doctrines are conformable or
contrary to the defence, peace, and good of the people. Secondly, it
is against his duty to let the people be ignorant or misinformed of
the grounds and reasons of those his essential rights, because thereby
men are easy to be seduced and drawn to resist him when the
Commonwealth shall require their use and exercise.
  And the grounds of these rights have the rather need drafter need to
be diligently and truly taught, because they cannot be maintained by
any civil law or terror of legal punishment. For a civil law that
shall forbid rebellion (and such is all resistance to the essential
rights of sovereignty) is not, as a civil law, any obligation but by
virtue only of the law of nature that forbiddeth the violation of
faith; which natural obligation, if men know not, they cannot know the
right of any law the sovereign maketh. And for the punishment, they
take it but for an act of hostility; which when they think they have
strength enough, they will endeavour, by acts of hostility, to avoid.
  As I have heard some say that justice is but a word, without
substance; and that whatsoever a man can by force or art acquire to
himself, not only in the condition of war, but also in a Commonwealth,
is his own, which I have already shown to be false: so there be also
that maintain that there are no grounds, nor principles of reason,
to sustain those essential rights which make sovereignty absolute. For
if there were, they would have been found out in some place or
other; whereas we see there has not hitherto been any Commonwealth
where those rights have been acknowledged, or challenged. Wherein they
argue as ill, as if the savage people of America should deny there
were any grounds or principles of reason so to build a house as to
last as long as the materials, because they never yet saw any so
well built. Time and industry produce every day new knowledge. And
as the art of well building is derived from principles of reason,
observed by industrious men that had long studied the nature of
materials, and the diverse effects of figure and proportion, long
after mankind began, though poorly, to build: so, long time after
men have begun to constitute Commonwealths, imperfect and apt to
relapse into disorder, there may principles of reason be found out, by
industrious meditation, to make their constitution, excepting by
external violence, everlasting. And such are those which I have in
this discourse set forth: which, whether they come not into the
sight of those that have power to make use of them, or be neglected by
them or not, concerneth my particular interest, at this day, very
little. But supposing that these of mine are not such principles of
reason; yet I am sure they are principles from authority of Scripture,
as I shall make it appear when I shall come to speak of the kingdom of
God, administered by Moses, over the Jews, His peculiar people by
  But they say again that though the principles be right, yet common
people are not of capacity enough to be made to understand them. I
should be glad that the rich and potent subjects of a kingdom, or
those that are accounted the most learned, were no less incapable than
they. But all men know that the obstructions to this kind of
doctrine proceed not so much from the difficulty of the matter, as
from the interest of them that are to learn. Potent men digest
hardly anything that setteth up a power to bridle their affections;
and learned men, anything that discovereth their errors, and thereby
their authority: whereas the common people's minds, unless they be
tainted with dependence on the potent, or scribbled over with the
opinions of their doctors, are like clean paper, fit to receive
whatsoever by public authority shall be imprinted in them. Shall whole
nations be brought to acquiesce in the great mysteries of Christian
religion, which are above reason; and millions of men be made
believe that the same body may be in innumerable places at one and the
same time, which is against reason; and shall not men be able, by
their teaching and preaching, protected by the law, to make that
received which is so consonant to reason that any unprejudicated man
needs no more to learn it than to hear it? I conclude therefore that
in the instruction of the people in the essential rights which are the
natural and fundamental laws of sovereignty, there is no difficulty,
whilst a sovereign has his power entire, but what proceeds from his
own fault, or the fault of those whom he trusteth in the
administration of the Commonwealth; and consequently, it is his duty
to cause them so to be instructed; and not only his duty, but his
benefit also, and security against the danger that may arrive to
himself in his natural person from rebellion.
  And, to descend to particulars, the people are to be taught,
first, that they ought not to be in love with any form of government
they see in their neighbour nations, more than with their own, nor,
whatsoever present prosperity they behold in nations that are
otherwise governed than they, to desire change. For the prosperity
of a people ruled by an aristocratical or democratical assembly cometh
not from aristocracy, nor from democracy, but from the obedience and
concord of the subjects: nor do the people flourish in a monarchy
because one man has the right to rule them, but because they obey him.
Take away in any kind of state the obedience, and consequently the
concord of the people, and they shall not only not flourish, but in
short time be dissolved. And they that go about by disobedience to
do no more than reform the Commonwealth shall find they do thereby
destroy it; like the foolish daughters of Peleus, in the fable,
which desiring to renew the youth of their decrepit father, did by the
counsel of Medea cut him in pieces and boil him, together with strange
herbs, but made not of him a new man. This desire of change is like
the breach of the first of God's Commandments: for there God says, Non
habebis Deos alienos: "Thou shalt not have the Gods of other nations";
and in another place concerning kings, that they are gods.
  Secondly, they are to be taught that they ought not to be led with
admiration of the virtue of any of their fellow subjects, how high
soever he stand, nor how conspicuously soever he shine in the
Commonwealth; nor of any assembly, except the sovereign assembly, so
as to defer to them any obedience or honour appropriate to the
sovereign only, whom, in their particular stations, they represent;
nor to receive any influence from them, but such as is conveyed by
them from the sovereign authority. For that sovereign cannot be
imagined to love his people as he ought that is not jealous of them,
but suffers them by the flattery of popular men to be seduced from
their loyalty, as they have often been, not only secretly, but openly,
so as to proclaim marriage with them in facie ecclesiae by
preachers, and by publishing the same in the open streets: which may
fitly be compared to the violation of the second of the Ten
  Thirdly, in consequence to this, they ought to be informed how great
a fault it is to speak evil of the sovereign representative, whether
one man or an assembly of men; or to argue and dispute his power, or
any way to use his name irreverently, whereby he may be brought into
contempt with his people, and their obedience, in which the safety
of the Commonwealth consisteth, slackened. Which doctrine the third
Commandment by resemblance pointeth to.
  Fourthly, seeing people cannot be taught this, nor, when it is
taught, remember it, nor after one generation past so much as know
in whom the sovereign power is placed, without setting apart from
their ordinary labour some certain times in which they may attend
those that are appointed to instruct them; it is necessary that some
such times be determined wherein they may assemble together, and,
after prayers and praises given to God, the Sovereign of sovereigns,
hear those their duties told them, and the positive laws, such as
generally concern them all, read and expounded, and be put in mind
of the authority that maketh them laws. To this end had the Jews every
seventh day a Sabbath, in which the law was read and expounded; and in
the solemnity whereof they were put in mind that their king was God;
that having created the world in six days, He rested on the seventh
day; and by their resting on it from their labour, that that God was
their king, which redeemed them from their servile and painful
labour in Egypt, and gave them a time, after they had rejoiced in God,
to take joy also in themselves, by lawful recreation. So that the
first table of the Commandments is spent all in setting down the sum
of God's absolute power; not only as God, but as King by pact, in
peculiar, of the Jews; and may therefore give light to those that have
sovereign power conferred on them by the consent of men, to see what
doctrine they ought to teach their subjects.
  And because the first instruction of children dependeth on the
care of their parents, it is necessary that they should be obedient to
them whilst they are under their tuition; and not only so, but that
also afterwards, as gratitude requireth, they acknowledge the
benefit of their education by external signs of honour. To which end
they are to be taught that originally the father of every man was also
his sovereign lord, with power over him of life and death; and that
the fathers of families, when by instituting a Commonwealth they
resigned that absolute power, yet it was never intended they should
lose the honour due unto them for their education. For to relinquish
such right was not necessary to the institution of sovereign power;
nor would there be any reason why any man should desire to have
children, or take the care to nourish and instruct them, if they
were afterwards to have no other benefit from them than from other
men. And this accordeth with the fifth Commandment.
  Again, every sovereign ought to cause justice to be taught, which,
consisting in taking from no man what is his, is as much as to say, to
cause men to be taught not to deprive their neighbours, by violence or
fraud, of anything which by the sovereign authority is theirs. Of
things held in propriety, those that are dearest to a man are his
own life and limbs; and in the next degree, in most men, those that
concern conjugal affection; and after them riches and means of living.
Therefore the people are to be taught to abstain from violence to
one another's person by private revenges, from violation of conjugal
honour, and from forcible rapine and fraudulent surreption of one
another's goods. For which purpose also it is necessary they be
shown the evil consequences of false judgment, by corruption either of
judges or witnesses, whereby the distinction of propriety is taken
away, and justice becomes of no effect: all which things are intimated
in the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth Commandments.
  Lastly, they are to be taught that not only the unjust facts, but
the designs and intentions to do them, though by accident hindered,
are injustice; which consisteth in the pravity of the will, as well as
in the irregularity of the act. And this is the intention of the tenth
Commandment, and the sum of the second table; which is reduced all
to this one commandment of mutual charity, "Thou shalt love thy
neighbour as thy self"; as the sum of the first table is reduced to
"the love of God"; whom they had then newly received as their king.
  As for the means and conduits by which the people may receive this
instruction, we are to search by what means so many opinions
contrary to the peace of mankind, upon weak and false principles, have
nevertheless been so deeply rooted in them. I mean those which I
have in the precedent the precedent chapter specified: as that men
shall judge of what is lawful and unlawful, not by the law itself, but
by their own consciences; that is to say, by their own private
judgements: that subjects sin in obeying the commands of the
Commonwealth, unless they themselves have first judged them to be
lawful: that their propriety in their riches is such as to exclude the
dominion which the Commonwealth hath the same: that it is lawful for
subjects to kill such as they call tyrants: that the sovereign power
may be divided, and the like; which come to be instilled into the
people by this means. They whom necessity or covetousness keepeth
attent on their trades and labour; and they, on the other side, whom
superfluity or sloth carrieth after their sensual pleasures (which two
sorts of men take up the greatest part of mankind), being diverted
from the deep meditation which the of truth, not only in the matter of
natural justice, but also of all other sciences necessarily requireth,
receive the notions of their duty chiefly from divines in the
pulpit, and partly from such of their neighbours or familiar
acquaintance as having the faculty of discoursing readily and
plausibly seem wiser and better learned in cases of law and conscience
than themselves. And the divines, and such others as make show of
learning, derive their knowledge from the universities, and from the
schools of law, or from the books which by men eminent in those
schools and universities have been published. It is therefore manifest
that the instruction of the people dependeth wholly on the right
teaching of youth in the universities. But are not, may some man
say, the universities of England learned enough already to do that? Or
is it, you will undertake to teach the universities? Hard questions.
Yet to the first, I doubt not to answer: that till towards the
latter end of Henry the Eighth, the power of the Pope was always
upheld against the power of the Commonwealth, principally by the
universities; and that the doctrines by so many preachers against
the sovereign power of the king, and by so many lawyers and others
that had their education there, is a sufficient argument that,
though the universities were not authors of those false doctrines, yet
they knew not how to plant the true. For in such a contradiction of
opinions, it is most certain that they have not been sufficiently
instructed; and it is no wonder, if they yet retain a relish of that
subtle liquor wherewith they were first seasoned against the civil
authority. But to the latter question, it is not fit nor needful for
me to say either aye or no: for any man that sees what I am doing
may easily perceive what I think.
  The safety of the people requireth further, from him or them that
have the sovereign power, that justice be equally administered to
all degrees of people; that is, that as well the rich and mighty, as
poor and obscure persons, may be righted of the injuries done them; so
as the great may have no greater hope of impunity, when they do
violence, dishonour, or any injury to the meaner sort, than when one
of these does the like to one of them: for in this consisteth
equity; to which, as being a precept of the law of nature, a sovereign
is as much subject as any of the meanest of his people. All breaches
of the law are offences against the Commonwealth: but there be some
that are also against private persons. Those that concern the
Commonwealth only may without breach of equity be pardoned; for
every man may pardon what is done against himself, according to his
own discretion. But an offence against a private man cannot in
equity be pardoned without the consent of him that is injured; or
reasonable satisfaction.
  The inequality of subjects proceedeth from the acts of sovereign
power, and therefore has no more place in the presence of the
sovereign; that is to say, in a court of justice, than the
inequality between kings and their subjects in the presence of the
King of kings. The honour of great persons is to be valued for their
beneficence, and the aids they give to men of inferior rank, or not at
all. And the violences, oppressions, and injuries they do are not
extenuated, but aggravated, by the greatness of their persons, because
they have least need to commit them. The consequences of this
partiality towards the great proceed in this manner. Impunity maketh
insolence; insolence, hatred; and hatred, an endeavour to pull down
all oppressing and contumelious greatness, though with the ruin of the
  To equal justice appertaineth also the equal imposition of taxes;
the equality whereof dependeth not on the equality of riches, but on
the equality of the debt that every man oweth to the Commonwealth
for his defence. It is not enough for a man to labour for the
maintenance of his life; but also to fight, if need be, for the
securing of his labour. They must either do as the Jews did after
their return from captivity, in re-edifying the Temple, build with one
hand and hold the sword in the other, or else they must hire others to
fight for them. For the impositions that are laid on the people by the
sovereign power are nothing else but the wages due to them that hold
the public sword to defend private men in the exercise of several
trades and callings. Seeing then the benefit that every one
receiveth thereby is the enjoyment of life, which is equally dear to
poor and rich, the debt which a poor man oweth them that defend his
life is the same which a rich man oweth for the defence of his; saving
that the rich, who have the service of the poor, may be debtors not
only for their own persons, but for many more. Which considered, the
equality of imposition consisteth rather in the equality of that which
is consumed, than of the riches of the persons that consume the
same. For what reason is there that he which laboureth much and,
sparing the fruits of his labour, consumeth little should be more
charged than he that, living idly, getteth little and spendeth all
he gets; seeing the one hath no more protection from the
Commonwealth than the other? But when the impositions are laid upon
those things which men consume, every man payeth equally for what he
useth; nor is the Commonwealth defrauded by the luxurious waste of
private men.
  And whereas many men, by accident inevitable, become unable to
maintain themselves by their labour, they ought not to be left to
the charity of private persons, but to be provided for, as far forth
as the necessities of nature require, by the laws of the Commonwealth.
For as it is uncharitableness in any man to neglect the impotent; so
it is in the sovereign of a Commonwealth, to expose them to the hazard
of such uncertain charity.
  But for such as have strong bodies the case is otherwise; they are
to be forced to work; and to avoid the excuse of not finding
employment, there ought to be such laws as may encourage all manner of
arts; as navigation, agriculture, fishing, and all manner of
manufacture that requires labour. The multitude of poor and yet strong
people still increasing, they are to be transplanted into countries
not sufficiently inhabited; where nevertheless they are not to
exterminate those they find there; but constrain them to inhabit
closer together, and not range a great deal of ground to snatch what
they find, but to court each little plot with art and labour, to
give them their sustenance in due season. And when all the world is
overcharged with inhabitants, then the last remedy of all is war,
which provideth for every man, by victory or death.
  To the care of the sovereign belongeth the making of good laws.
But what is a good law? By a good law, I mean not a just law: for no
law can be unjust. The law is made by the sovereign power, and all
that is done by such power is warranted and owned by every one of
the people; and that which every man will have so, no man can say is
unjust. It is in the laws of a Commonwealth, as in the laws of gaming:
whatsoever the gamesters all agree on is injustice to none of them.
A good law is that which is needful, for the good of the people, and
withal perspicuous.
  For the use of laws (which are but rules authorized) is not to
bind the people from all voluntary actions, but to direct and keep
them in such a motion as not to hurt themselves by their own impetuous
desires, rashness, or indiscretion; as hedges are set, not to stop
travellers, but to keep them in the way. And therefore a law that is
not needful, having not the true end of a law, is not good. A law
may be conceived to be good when it is for the benefit of the
sovereign, though it be not necessary for the people, but it is not
so. For the good of the sovereign and people cannot be separated. It
is a weak sovereign that has weak subjects; and a weak people whose
sovereign wanteth power to rule them at his will. Unnecessary laws are
not good laws, but traps for money which, where the right of sovereign
power is acknowledged, are superfluous; and where it is not
acknowledged, insufficient to defend the people.
  The perspicuity consisteth not so much in the words of the law
itself, as in a declaration of the causes and motives for which it was
made. That is it that shows us the meaning of the legislator; and
the meaning of the legislator known, the law is more easily understood
by few than many words. For all words are subject to ambiguity; and
therefore multiplication of words in the body of the law is
multiplication of ambiguity: besides it seems to imply, by too much
diligence, that whosoever can evade the words is without the compass
of the law. And this is a cause of many unnecessary processes. For
when I consider how short were the laws of ancient times, and how they
grew by degrees still longer, methinks I see a contention between
the penners and pleaders of the law; the former seeking to
circumscribe the latter, and the latter to evade their
circumscriptions; and that the pleaders have got the victory. It
belongeth therefore to the office of a legislator (such as is in all
Commonwealths the supreme representative, be it one man or an
assembly) to make the reason perspicuous why the law was made, and the
body of the law itself as short, but in as proper and significant
terms, as may be.
  It belongeth also to the office of the sovereign to make a right
application of punishments and rewards. And seeing the end of
punishing is not revenge and discharge of choler, but correction
either of the offender or of others by his example, the severest
punishments are to be inflicted for those crimes that are of most
danger to the public; such as are those which proceed from malice to
the government established; those that spring from contempt of
justice; those that provoke indignation in the multitude; and those
which, unpunished, seem authorized, as when they are committed by
sons, servants, or favourites of men in authority: for indignation
carrieth men, not only against the actors and authors of injustice,
but against all power that is likely to protect them; as in the case
of Tarquin, when for the insolent act of one of his sons he was driven
out of Rome, and the monarchy itself dissolved. But crimes of
infirmity; such as are those which proceed from great provocation,
from great fear, great need, or from ignorance whether the fact be a
great crime or not, there is place many times for lenity, without
prejudice to the Commonwealth; and lenity, when there is such place
for it, is required by the law of nature. The punishment of the
leaders and teachers in a commotion; not the poor seduced people, when
they are punished, can profit the Commonwealth by their example. To be
severe to people is to punish ignorance which may in great part be
imputed to the sovereign, whose fault it was they were no better
  In like manner it belongeth to the office and duty of the
sovereign to apply his rewards always so as there may arise from
them benefit to the Commonwealth: wherein consisteth their use and
end; and is then done when they that have well served the Commonwealth
are, with as little expense of the common treasury as is possible,
so well recompensed as others thereby may be encouraged, both to serve
the same as faithfully as they can, and to study the arts by which
they may be enabled to do it better. To buy with money or
preferment, from a popular ambitious subject to be quiet and desist
from making ill impressions in the minds of the people, has nothing of
the nature of reward (which is ordained not for disservice, but for
service past); nor a sign of gratitude, but of fear; nor does it
tend to the benefit, but to the damage of the public. It is a
contention with ambition, that of Hercules with the monster Hydra,
which, having many heads, for every one that was vanquished there grew
up three. For in like manner, when the stubbornness of one popular man
is overcome with reward, there arise many more by the example, that do
the same mischief in hope of like benefit: and as all sorts of
manufacture, so also malice increaseth by being vendible. And though
sometimes a civil war may be deferred by such ways as that, yet the
danger grows still the greater, and the public ruin more assured. It
is therefore against the duty of the sovereign, to whom the public
safety is committed, to reward those that aspire to greatness by
disturbing the peace of their country, and not rather to oppose the
beginnings of such men with a little danger, than after a longer
time with greater.
  Another business of the sovereign is to choose good counsellors; I
mean such whose advice he is to take in the government of the
Commonwealth. For this word counsel (consilium, corrupted from
considium) is of a large signification, and comprehendeth all
assemblies of men that sit together, not only to deliberate what is to
be done hereafter, but also to judge of facts past, and of law for the
present. I take it here in the first sense only: and in this sense,
there is no choice of counsel, neither in a democracy nor aristocracy;
because the persons counselling are members of the person
counselled. The choice of counsellors therefore is proper to monarchy,
in which the sovereign that endeavoureth not to make choice of those
that in every kind are the most able, dischargeth not his office as he
ought to do. The most able counsellors are they that have least hope
of benefit by giving evil counsel, and most knowledge of those
things that conduce to the peace and defence of the Commonwealth. It
is a hard matter to know who expecteth benefit from public troubles;
but the signs that guide to a just suspicion is the soothing of the
people in their unreasonable or irremediable grievances by men whose
estates are not sufficient to discharge their accustomed expenses, and
may easily be observed by any one whom it concerns to know it. But
to know who has most knowledge of the public affairs is yet harder;
and they that know them need them a great deal the less. For to know
who knows the rules almost of any art is a great degree of the
knowledge of the same art, because no man can be assured of the
truth of another's rules but he that is first taught to understand
them. But the best signs of knowledge of any art are much conversing
in it and constant good effects of it. Good counsel comes not by
lot, nor by inheritance; and therefore there is no more reason to
expect good advice from the rich or noble in matter of state, than
in delineating the dimensions of a fortress; unless we shall think
there needs no method in the study of the politics, as there does in
the study of geometry, but only to be lookers on; which is not so. For
the politics is the harder study of the two. Whereas in these parts of
Europe it hath been taken for a right of certain persons to have place
in the highest council of state by inheritance, it derived from the
conquests of the ancient Germans; wherein many absolute lords, joining
together to conquer other nations, would not enter into the
confederacy without such privileges as might be marks of difference,
in time following, between their posterity and the posterity of
their subjects; which privileges being inconsistent with the sovereign
power, by the favour of the sovereign they may seem to keep; but
contending for them as their right, they must needs by degrees let
them go, and have at last no further honour than adhereth naturally to
their abilities.
  And how able soever be the counsellors in any affair, the benefit of
their counsel is greater when they give every one his advice, and
the reasons of it apart, than when they do it in an assembly by way of
orations; and when they have premeditated, than when they speak on the
sudden; both because they have more time to survey the consequences of
action, and are less subject to be carried away to contradiction
through envy, emulation, or other passions arising from the difference
of opinion.
  The best counsel, in those things that concern not other nations,
but only the ease and benefit the subjects may enjoy, by laws that
look only inward, is to be taken from the general informations and
complaints of the people of each province, who are best acquainted
with their own wants, and ought therefore, when they demand nothing in
derogation of the essential rights of sovereignty, to be diligently
taken notice of. For without those essential rights, as I have often
before said, the Commonwealth cannot at all subsist.
  A commander of an army in chief, if he be not popular, shall not
be beloved, nor feared as he ought to be by his army, and consequently
cannot perform that office with good success. He must therefore be
industrious, valiant, affable, liberal and fortunate, that he may gain
an opinion both of sufficiency and of loving his soldiers. This is
popularity, and breeds in the soldiers both desire and courage to
recommend themselves to his favour; and protects the severity of the
general, in punishing, when need is, the mutinous or negligent
soldiers. But this love of soldiers, if caution be not given of the
commander's fidelity, is a dangerous thing to sovereign power;
especially when it is in the hands of an assembly not popular. It
belongeth therefore to the safety of the people, both that they be
good conductors and faithful subjects, to whom the sovereign commits
his armies.
  But when the sovereign himself is popular; that is, reverenced and
beloved of his people, there is no danger at all from the popularity
of a subject. For soldiers are never so generally unjust as to side
with their captain, though they love him, against their sovereign,
when they love not only his person, but also his cause. And
therefore those who by violence have at any time suppressed the
power of their lawful sovereign, before they could settle themselves
in his place, have been always put to the trouble of contriving
their titles to save the people from the shame of receiving them. To
have a known right to sovereign power is so popular a quality as he
that has it needs no more, for his own part, to turn the hearts of his
subjects to him, but that they see him able absolutely to govern his
own family: nor, on the part of his enemies, but a disbanding of their
armies. For the greatest and most active part of mankind has never
hitherto been well contented with the present.
  Concerning the offices of one sovereign to another, which are
comprehended in that law which is commonly called the law of
nations, I need not say anything in this place, because the law of
nations and the law of nature is the same thing. And every sovereign
hath the same right in procuring the safety of his people, that any
particular man can have in procuring the safety of his own body. And
the same law that dictateth to men that have no civil government
what they ought to do, and what to avoid in regard of one another,
dictateth the same to Commonwealths; that is, to the consciences of
sovereign princes and sovereign assemblies; there being no court of
natural justice, but in the conscience only, where not man, but God
reigneth; whose laws, such of them as oblige all mankind, in respect
of God, as he is the Author of nature, are natural; and in respect
of the same God, as he is King of kings, are laws. But of the
kingdom of God, as King of kings, and as King also of a peculiar
people, I shall speak in the rest of this discourse.

                             CHAPTER XXXI
                   OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD BY NATURE

  THAT the condition of mere nature, that is to say, of absolute
liberty, such as is theirs that neither are sovereigns nor subjects,
is anarchy and the condition of war: that the precepts, by which men
are guided to avoid that condition, are the laws of nature: that a
Commonwealth without sovereign power is but a word without substance
and cannot stand: that subjects owe to sovereigns simple obedience
in all things wherein their obedience is not repugnant to the laws
of God, I have sufficiently proved in that which I have already
written. There wants only, for the entire knowledge of civil duty,
to know what are those laws of God. For without that, a man knows not,
when he is commanded anything by the civil power, whether it be
contrary to the law of God or not: and so, either by too much civil
obedience offends the Divine Majesty, or, through fear of offending
God, transgresses the commandments of the Commonwealth. To avoid
both these rocks, it is necessary to know what are the laws divine.
And seeing the knowledge of all law dependeth on the knowledge of
the sovereign power, I shall say something in that which followeth
  "God is King, let the earth rejoice,"* saith the psalmist. And
again, "God is King though the nations be angry; and he that sitteth
on the cherubim, though the earth be moved."*(2) Whether men will or
not, they must be subject always to the divine power. By denying the
existence or providence of God, men may shake off their ease, but
not their yoke. But to call this power of God, which extendeth
itself not only to man, but also to beasts, and plants, and bodies
inanimate, by the name of kingdom, is but a metaphorical use of the
word. For he only is properly said to reign that governs his
subjects by his word and by promise of rewards to those that obey
it, by threatening them with punishment that obey it not. Subjects
therefore in the kingdom of God are not bodies inanimate, nor
creatures irrational; because they understand no precepts as his:
nor atheists, nor they that believe not that God has any care of the
actions of mankind; because they acknowledge no word for his, nor have
hope of his rewards, or fear of his threatenings. They therefore
that believe there is a God that governeth the world, and hath given
precepts, and propounded rewards and punishments to mankind, are God's
subjects; all the rest are to be understood as enemies.

  * Psalms, 97. 1
  *(2) Ibid., 99. 1

  To rule by words requires that such words be manifestly made
known; for else they are no laws: for to the nature of laws
belongeth a sufficient and clear promulgation, such as may take away
the excuse of ignorance; which in the laws of men is but of one only
kind, and that is, proclamation or promulgation by the voice of man.
But God declareth his laws three ways; by the dictates of natural
reason, by revelation, and by the voice of some man to whom, by the
operation of miracles, he procureth credit with the rest. From hence
there ariseth a triple word of God, rational, sensible, and prophetic;
to which correspondeth a triple hearing: right reason, sense
supernatural, and faith. As for sense supernatural, which consisteth
in revelation or inspiration, there have not been any universal laws
so given, because God speaketh not in that manner but to particular
persons, and to diverse men diverse things.
  From the difference between the other two kinds of God's word,
rational and prophetic, there may be attributed to God a twofold
kingdom, natural and prophetic: natural, wherein He governeth as
many of mankind as acknowledge His providence, by the natural dictates
of right reason; and prophetic, wherein having chosen out one peculiar
nation, the Jews, for His subjects, He governed them, and none but
them, not only by natural reason, but by positive laws, which He
gave them by the mouths of His holy prophets. Of the natural kingdom
of God I intend to speak in this chapter.
  The right of nature whereby God reigneth over men, and punisheth
those that break his laws, is to be derived, not from His creating
them, as if He required obedience as of gratitude for His benefits,
but from His irresistible power. I have formerly shown how the
sovereign right ariseth from pact: to show how the same right may
arise from nature requires no more but to show in what case it is
never taken away. Seeing all men by nature had right to all things,
they had right every one to reign over all the rest. But because
this right could not be obtained by force, it concerned the safety
of every one, laying by that right, to set up men, with sovereign
authority, by common consent, to rule and defend them: whereas if
there had been any man of power irresistible, there had been no reason
why he should not by that power have ruled and defended both himself
and them, according to his own discretion. To those therefore whose
power is irresistible, the dominion of all men adhereth naturally by
their excellence of power; and consequently it is from that power that
the kingdom over men, and the right of afflicting men at his pleasure,
belongeth naturally to God Almighty; not as Creator and gracious,
but as omnipotent. And though punishment be due for sin only,
because by that word is understood affliction for sin; yet the right
of afflicting is not always derived from men's sin, but from God's
  This question: why evil men often prosper; and good men suffer
adversity, has been much disputed by the ancient, and is the same with
this of ours: by what right God dispenseth the prosperities and
adversities of this life; and is of that difficulty, as it hath shaken
the faith, not only of the vulgar, but of philosophers and, which is
more, of the saints, concerning the Divine Providence. "How good,"
saith David, "is the God of Israel to those that are upright in heart;
and yet my feet were almost gone, my treadings had well-nigh
slipped; for I was grieved at the wicked, when I saw the ungodly in
such prosperity."* And Job, how earnestly does he expostulate with God
for the many afflictions he suffered, notwithstanding his
righteousness? This question in the case of Job is decided by God
Himself, not by arguments derived from Job's sin, but His own power.
For whereas the friends of Job drew their arguments from his
affliction to his sin, and he defended himself by the conscience of
his innocence, God Himself taketh up the matter, and having
justified the affliction by arguments drawn from His power, such as
this, "Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the
earth,"*(2) and the like, both approved Job's innocence and reproved
the erroneous doctrine of his friends. Conformable to this doctrine is
the sentence of our Saviour concerning the man that was born blind, in
these words, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his fathers; but
that the works of God might be made manifest in him." And though it be
said, "that death entered into the world by sin," (by which is meant
that if Adam had never sinned, he had never died, that is, never
suffered any separation of his soul from his body), it follows not
thence that God could not justly have afflicted him, though he had not
sinned, as well as He afflicteth other living creatures that cannot

  * Psalms, 73. 1-3
  *(2) Job, 38. 4

  Having spoken of the right of God's sovereignty as grounded only
on nature, we are to consider next what are the divine laws, or
dictates of natural reason; which laws concern either the natural
duties of one man to another, or the honour naturally due to our
Divine Sovereign. The first are the same laws of nature, of which I
have spoken already in the fourteenth and fifteenth Chapters of this
treatise; namely, equity, justice, mercy, humility, and the rest of
the moral virtues. It remaineth therefore that we consider what
precepts are dictated to men by their natural reason only, without
other word of God, touching the honour and worship of the Divine
  Honour consisteth in the inward thought and opinion of the power and
goodness of another: and therefore to honour God is to think as highly
of His power and goodness as is possible. And of that opinion, the
external signs appearing in the words and actions of men are called
worship; which is one part of that which the Latins understand by
the word cultus: for cultus signifieth properly, and constantly,
that labour which a man bestows on anything with a purpose to make
benefit by it. Now those things whereof we make benefit are either
subject to us, and the profit they yield followeth the labour we
bestow upon them as a natural effect; or they are not subject to us,
but answer our labour according to their own wills. In the first sense
the labour bestowed on the earth is called culture; and the
education of children, a culture of their minds. In the second
sense, where men's wills are to be wrought to our purpose, not by
force, but by complaisance, it signifieth as much as courting, that
is, winning of favour by good offices; as by praises, by acknowledging
their power, and by whatsoever is pleasing to them from whom we look
for any benefit. And this is properly worship: in which sense
publicola is understood for a worshipper of the people; and cultus
Dei, for the worship of God.
  From internal honour, consisting in the opinion of power and
goodness, arise three passions; love, which hath reference to
goodness; and hope, and fear, that relate to power: and three parts of
external worship; praise, magnifying, and blessing: the subject of
praise being goodness; the subject of magnifying and blessing being
power, and the effect thereof felicity. Praise and magnifying are
signified both by words and actions: by words, when we say a man is
good or great; by actions, when we thank him for his bounty, and
obey his power. The opinion of the happiness of another can only be
expressed by words.
  There be some signs of honour, both in attributes and actions,
that be naturally so; as amongst attributes, good, just, liberal,
and the like; and amongst actions, prayers, thanks, and obedience.
Others are so by institution, or custom of men; and in some times
and places are honourable; in others, dishonourable; in others,
indifferent: such as are the gestures in salutation, prayer, and
thanksgiving, in different times and places, differently used. The
former is natural; the latter arbitrary worship.
  And of arbitrary worship, there be two differences: for sometimes it
is commanded, sometimes voluntary worship: commanded, when it is
such as he requireth who is worshipped: free, when it is such as the
worshipper thinks fit. When it is commanded, not the words or gesture,
but the obedience is the worship. But when free, the worship
consists in the opinion of the beholders: for if to them the words
or actions by which we intend honour seem ridiculous, and tending to
contumely; they are no worship, because no signs of honour; and no
signs of honour, because a sign is not a sign to him that giveth it,
but to him to whom it is made, that is, to the spectator.
  Again there is a public an private worship. Public is the worship
that a Commonwealth performeth, as one person. Private is that which a
private person exhibiteth. Public, in respect of the whole
Commonwealth, is free; but in respect of particular men it is not
so. Private is in secret free; but in the sight of the multitude it is
never without some restraint, either from the laws or from the opinion
of men; which is contrary to the nature of liberty.
  The end of worship amongst men is power. For where a man seeth
another worshipped, he supposeth him powerful, and is the readier to
obey him; which makes his power greater. But God has no ends: the
worship we do him proceeds from our duty and is directed according
to our capacity by those rules of honour that reason dictateth to be
done by the weak to the more potent men, in hope of benefit, for
fear of damage, or in thankfulness for good already received from
  That we may know what worship of God is taught us by the light of
nature, I will begin with His attributes. Where, first, it is
manifest, we ought to attribute to Him existence: for no man can
have the will to honour that which he thinks not to have any being.
  Secondly, that those philosophers who said the world, or the soul of
the world, was God spake unworthily of Him, and denied His
existence: for by God is understood the cause of the world; and to say
the world is God is to say there is no cause of it, that is, no God.
  Thirdly, to say the world was not created, but eternal, seeing
that which is eternal has no cause, is to deny there is a God.
  Fourthly, that they who, attributing, as they think, ease to God,
take from Him the care of mankind, take from Him his honour: for it
takes away men's love and fear of Him, which is the root of honour.
  Fifthly, in those things that signify greatness and power, to say He
is finite is not to honour Him: for it is not a sign of the will to
honour God to attribute to Him less than we can; and finite is less
than we can, because to finite it is easy to add more.
  Therefore to attribute figure to Him is not honour; for all figure
is finite:
  Nor to say we conceive, and imagine, or have an idea of Him in our
mind; for whatsoever we conceive is finite:
  Nor to attribute to Him parts or totality; which are the
attributes only of things finite:
  Nor to say He is in this or that place; for whatsoever is in place
is bounded and finite:
  Nor that He is moved or resteth; for both these attributes ascribe
to Him place:
  Nor that there be more gods than one, because it implies them all
finite; for there cannot be more than one infinite:
  Nor to ascribe to Him (unless metaphorically, meaning not the
passion, but the effect) passions that partake of grief; as
repentance, anger, mercy: or of want; as appetite, hope, desire; or of
any passive faculty: for passion is power limited by somewhat else.
  And therefore when we ascribe to God a will, it is not to be
understood, as that of man, for a rational appetite; but as the
power by which He effecteth everything.
  Likewise when we attribute to Him sight, and other acts of sense; as
also knowledge and understanding; which in us is nothing else but a
tumult of the mind, raised by external things that press the organical
parts of man's body: for there is no such thing in God, and, being
things that depend on natural causes, cannot be attributed to Him.
  He that will attribute to God nothing but what is warranted by
natural reason must either use such negative attributes as infinite,
eternal, incomprehensible; or superlatives, as most high, most
great, and the like; or indefinite, as good, just, holy, creator;
and in such sense as if He meant not to declare what He is (for that
were to circumscribe Him within the limits of our fancy), but how much
we admire Him, and how ready we would be to obey Him; which is a
sign of humility, and of a will to honour Him as much as we can: for
there is but one name to signify our conception of His nature, and
that is I AM; and but one name of His relation to us, and that is God,
in which is contained father, king, and lord.
  Concerning the actions of divine worship, it is a most general
precept of reason that they be signs of the intention to honour God;
such as are, first, prayers: for not the carvers, when they made
images, were thought to make them gods, but the people that prayed
to them.
  Secondly, thanksgiving; which differeth from prayer in divine
worship no otherwise than that prayers precede, and thanks succeed,
the benefit, the end both of the one and the other being to
acknowledge God for author of all benefits as well past as future.
  Thirdly, gifts; that is to say, sacrifices and oblations, if they be
of the best, are signs of honour, for they are thanksgivings.
  Fourthly, not to swear by any but God is naturally a sign of honour,
for it is a confession that God only knoweth the heart and that no
man's wit or strength can protect a man against God's vengeance on the
  Fifthly, it is a part of rational worship to speak considerately
of God, for it argues a fear of Him, and fear is a confession of His
power. Hence followeth, that the name of God is not to be used
rashly and to no purpose; for that is as much as in vain: and it is to
no purpose unless it be by way of oath, and by order of the
Commonwealth, to make judgements certain; or between Commonwealths, to
avoid war. And that disputing of God's nature is contrary to His
honour, for it is supposed that in this natural kingdom of God,
there is no other way to know anything but by natural reason; that is,
from the principles of natural science; which are so far from teaching
us anything of God's nature, as they cannot teach us our own nature,
nor the nature of the smallest creature living. And therefore, when
men out of the principles of natural reason dispute of the
attributes of God, they but dishonour Him: for in the attributes which
we give to God, we are not to consider the signification of
philosophical truth, but the signification of pious intention to do
Him the greatest honour we are able. From the want of which
consideration have proceeded the volumes of disputation about the
nature of God that tend not to His honour, but to the honour of our
own wits and learning; and are nothing else but inconsiderate and vain
abuses of His sacred name.
  Sixthly, in prayers, thanksgiving, offerings and sacrifices, it is a
dictate of natural reason that they be every one in his kind the
best and most significant of honour. As, for example, that prayers and
thanksgiving be made in words and phrases not sudden, nor light, nor
plebeian, but beautiful and well composed; for else we do not God as
much honour as we can. And therefore the heathens did absurdly to
worship images for gods, but their doing it in verse, and with
music, both of voice and instruments, was reasonable. Also that the
beasts they offered in sacrifice, and the gifts they offered, and
their actions in worshipping, were full of submission, and
commemorative of benefits received, was according to reason, as
proceeding from an intention to honour him.
  Seventhly, reason directeth not only to worship God in secret, but
also, and especially, in public, and in the sight of men: for
without that, that which in honour is most acceptable, the procuring
others to honour Him is lost.
  Lastly, obedience to His laws (that is, in this case to the laws
of nature) is the greatest worship of all. For as obedience is more
acceptable to God than sacrifice; so also to set light by His
commandments is the greatest of all contumelies. And these are the
laws of that divine worship which natural reason dictateth to
private men.
  But seeing a Commonwealth is but one person, it ought also to
exhibit to God but one worship; which then it doth when it
commandeth it to be exhibited by private men, publicly. And this is
public worship, the property whereof is to be uniform: for those
actions that are done differently by different men cannot said to be a
public worship. And therefore, where many sorts of worship be allowed,
proceeding from the different religions of private men, it cannot be
said there is any public worship, nor that the Commonwealth is of
any religion at all.
  And because words (and consequently the attributes of God) have
their signification by agreement and constitution of men, those
attributes are to be held significative of honour that men intend
shall so be; and whatsoever may be done by the wills of particular
men, where there is no law but reason, may be done by the will of
the Commonwealth by laws civil. And because a Commonwealth hath no
will, nor makes no laws but those that are made by the will of him
or them that have the sovereign power, it followeth that those
attributes which the sovereign ordaineth in the worship of God for
signs of honour ought to be taken and used for such by private men
in their public worship.
  But because not all actions are signs by constitution, but some
are naturally signs of honour, others of contumely, these latter,
which are those that men are ashamed to do in the sight of them they
reverence, cannot be made by human power a part of divine worship; nor
the former, such as are decent, modest, humble behaviour, ever be
separated from it. But whereas there be an infinite number of
actions and gestures of an indifferent nature, such of them as the
Commonwealth shall ordain to be publicly and universally in use, as
signs of honour and part of God's worship, are to be taken and used
for such by the subjects. And that which is said in the Scripture, "It
is better to obey God than man," hath place in the kingdom of God by
pact, and not by nature.
  Having thus briefly spoken of the natural kingdom of God, and His
natural laws, I will add only to this chapter a short declaration of
His natural punishments. There is no action of man in this life that
is not the beginning of so long a chain of consequences as no human
providence is high enough to give a man a prospect to the end. And
in this chain there are linked together both pleasing and unpleasing
events; in such manner as he that will do anything for his pleasure,
must engage himself to suffer all the pains annexed to it; and these
pains are the natural punishments of those actions which are the
beginning of more harm than good. And hereby it comes to pass that
intemperance is naturally punished with diseases; rashness, with
mischances; injustice, with the violence of enemies; pride, with ruin;
cowardice, with oppression; negligent government of princes, with
rebellion; and rebellion, with slaughter. For seeing punishments are
consequent to the breach of laws, natural punishments must be
naturally consequent to the breach of the laws of nature, and
therefore follow them as their natural, not arbitrary, effects.
  And thus far concerning the constitution, nature, and right of
sovereigns, and concerning the duty of subjects, derived from the
principles of natural reason. And now, considering how different
this doctrine is from the practice of the greatest part of the
world, especially of these western parts that have received their
moral learning from Rome and Athens, and how much depth of moral
philosophy is required in them that have the administration of the
sovereign power, I am at the point of believing this my labour as
useless as the Commonwealth of Plato: for he also is of opinion that
it is impossible for the disorders of state, and change of governments
by civil war, ever to be taken away till sovereigns be philosophers.
But when I consider again that the science of natural justice is the
only science necessary for sovereigns and their principal ministers,
and that they need not be charged with the sciences mathematical, as
by Plato they are, further than by good laws to encourage men to the
study of them; and that neither Plato nor any other philosopher
hitherto hath put into order, and sufficiently or probably proved
all the theorems of moral doctrine, that men may learn thereby both
how to govern and how to obey, I recover some hope that one time or
other this writing of mine may fall into the hands of a sovereign
who will consider it himself (for it is short, and I think clear)
without the help of any interested or envious interpreter; and by
the exercise of entire sovereignty, in protecting the public
teaching of it, convert this truth of speculation into the utility
of practice.

                            THE THIRD PART
                     OF A CHRISTIAN COMMONWEALTH

                            CHAPTER XXXII

  I HAVE derived the rights of sovereign power, and the duty of
subjects, hitherto from the principles of nature only; such as
experience has found true, or consent concerning the use of words
has made so; that is to say, from the nature of men, known to us by
experience, and from definitions, of such words as are essential to
all political reasoning, universally agreed on. But in that I am
next to handle, which is the nature and rights of a Christian
Commonwealth, whereof there dependeth much upon supernatural
revelations of the will of God, the ground of my discourse must be not
only the natural word of God, but also the prophetical.
  Nevertheless, we are not to renounce our senses and experience,
nor that which is the undoubted word of God, our natural reason. For
they are the talents which he hath put into our hands to negotiate,
till the coming again of our blessed Saviour; and therefore not to
be folded up in the napkin of an implicit faith, but employed in the
purchase of justice, peace, and true religion. For though there be
many things in God's word above reason; that is to say, which cannot
by natural reason be either demonstrated or confuted; yet there is
nothing contrary to it; but when it seemeth so, the fault is either in
our unskillful interpretation, or erroneous ratiocination.
  Therefore, when anything therein written is too hard for our
examination, we are bidden to captivate our understanding to the
words; and not to labour in sifting out a philosophical truth by logic
of such mysteries as are not comprehensible, nor fall under any rule
of natural science. For it is with the mysteries of our religion as
with wholesome pills for the sick, which swallowed whole have the
virtue to cure, but chewed, are for the most part cast up again
without effect.
  But by the captivity of our understanding is not meant a
submission of the intellectual faculty to the opinion of any other
man, but of the will to obedience where obedience is due. For sense,
memory, understanding, reason, and opinion are not in our power to
change; but always, and necessarily such, as the things we see,
hear, and consider suggest unto us; and therefore are not effects of
our will, but our will of them. We then captivate our understanding
and reason when we forbear contradiction; when we so speak as, by
lawful authority, we are commanded; and when we live accordingly;
which, in sum, is trust and faith reposed in him that speaketh, though
the mind be incapable of any notion at all from the words spoken.
  When God speaketh to man, it must be either immediately or by
mediation of another man, to whom He had formerly spoken by Himself
immediately. How God speaketh to a man immediately may be understood
by those well enough to whom He hath so spoken; but how the same
should be understood by another is hard, if not impossible, to know.
For if a man pretend to me that God hath spoken to him supernaturally,
and immediately, and I make doubt of it, I cannot easily perceive what
argument he can produce to oblige me to believe it. It is true that if
he be my sovereign, he may oblige me to obedience, so as not by act or
word to declare I believe him not; but not to think any otherwise than
my reason persuades me. But if one that hath not such authority over
me shall pretend the same, there is nothing that exacteth either
belief or obedience.
  For to say that God hath spoken to him in the Holy Scripture is
not to say God hath spoken to him immediately, but by mediation of the
prophets, or of the Apostles, or of the Church, in such manner as He
speaks to all other Christian men. To say He hath spoken to him in a
dream is no more than to say he dreamed that God spake to him; which
is not of force to win belief from any man that knows dreams are for
the most part natural, and may proceed from former thoughts; and
such dreams as that, from self-conceit, and foolish arrogance, and
false opinion of a man's own goodliness, or virtue, by which he thinks
he hath merited the favour of extraordinary revelation. To say he hath
seen a vision, or heard a voice, is to say that he dreamed between
sleeping and waking: for in such manner a man doth many times
naturally take his dream for a vision, as not having well observed his
own slumbering. To say he speaks by supernatural inspiration is to say
he finds an ardent desire to speak, or some strong opinion of himself,
for which he can allege no natural and sufficient reason. So that
though God Almighty can speak to a man by dreams, visions, voice,
and inspiration, yet He obliges no man to believe He hath so done to
him that pretends it; who, being a man, may err and, which is more,
may lie.
  How then can he to whom God hath never revealed His will immediately
(saving by the way of natural reason) know when he is to obey or not
to obey His word, delivered by him that says he is a prophet? Of
four hundred prophets, of whom the King of Israel, asked counsel
concerning the war he made against Ramoth Gilead, only Micaiah was a
true one.* The prophet that was sent to prophesy against the altar set
up by Jeroboam,*(2) though a true prophet, and that by two miracles
done in his presence appears to be a prophet sent from God, was yet
deceived by another old prophet that persuaded him, as from the
mouth of God, to eat and drink with him. If one prophet deceive
another, what certainty is there of knowing the will of God by other
way than that of reason? To which I answer out of the Holy Scripture
that there be two marks by which together, not asunder, a true prophet
is to be known. One is the doing of miracles; the other is the not
teaching any other religion than that which is already established.
Asunder, I say, neither of these is sufficient. "If a prophet rise
amongst you, or a dreamer of dreams, and shall pretend the doing of
a miracle, and the miracle come to pass; if he say, Let us follow
strange gods, which thou hast not known, thou shalt not hearken to
him, etc. But that prophet and dreamer of dreams shall be put to
death, because he hath spoken to you to revolt from the Lord your
God."*(3) In which words two things are to be observed; first, that
God will not have miracles alone serve for arguments to approve the
prophet's calling; but (as it is in the third verse) for an experiment
of the constancy of our adherence to Himself. For the works of the
Egyptian sorcerers, though not so great as those of Moses, yet were
great miracles. Secondly, that how great soever the miracle be, yet if
it tend to stir up revolt against the king or him that governeth by
the king's authority, he that doth such miracle is not to be
considered otherwise than as sent to make trial of their allegiance.
For these words, revolt from the Lord your God, are in this place
equivalent to revolt from your king. For they had made God their
king by pact at the foot of Mount Sinai; who ruled them by Moses only;
for he only spake with God, and from time to time declared God's
commandments to the people. In like manner, after our Saviour Christ
had made his Disciples acknowledge him for the Messiah (that is to
say, for God's anointed, whom the nation of the Jews daily expected
for their king, but refused when he came), he omitted not to advertise
them of the danger of miracles. "There shall arise," saith he,
"false Christs, and false prophets, and shall do great wonders and
miracles, even to the seducing (if it were possible) of the very
elect."*(4) By which it appears that false prophets may have the power
of miracles; yet are we not to take their doctrine for God's word. St.
Paul says further to the Galatians that "if himself or an angel from
heaven preach another Gospel to them than he had preached, let him
be accursed."*(5) That Gospel was that Christ was King; so that all
preaching against the power of the king received, in consequence to
these words, is by St. Paul accursed. For his speech is addressed to
those who by his preaching had already received Jesus for the
Christ, that is to say, for King of the Jews.

  * I Kings, 22
  *(2) Ibid., 13
  *(3) Deuteronomy, 13. 1-5
  *(4) Matthew, 24. 24
  *(5) Galatians, 1. 8

  And as miracles, without preaching that doctrine which God hath
established; so preaching the true doctrine, without the doing of
miracles, is an insufficient argument of immediate revelation. For
if a man that teacheth not false doctrine should pretend to be a
prophet without showing any miracle, he is never the more to be
regarded for his pretence, as is evident by Deuteronomy, 18. 21, 22:
"If thou say in thy heart, How shall we know that the word" (of the
prophet) "is not that which the Lord hath spoken? When the prophet
shall have spoken in the name of the Lord, that which shall not come
to pass, that is the word which the Lord hath not spoken, but the
prophet has spoken it out of the pride of his own heart, fear him
not." But a man may here again ask: When the prophet hath foretold a
thing, how shall we know whether it will come to pass or not? For he
may foretell it as a thing to arrive after a certain long time, longer
than the time of man's life; or indefinitely, that it will come to
pass one time or other: in which case this mark of a prophet is
unuseful; and therefore the miracles that oblige us to believe a
prophet ought to be confirmed by an immediate, or a not long
deferred event. So that it is manifest that the teaching of the
religion which God hath established, and the showing of a present
miracle, joined together, were the only marks whereby the Scripture
would have a true prophet, that is to say, immediate revelation, to be
acknowledged; of them being singly sufficient to oblige any other
man to regard what he saith.
  Seeing therefore miracles now cease, we have no sign left whereby to
acknowledge the pretended revelations or inspirations of any private
man; nor obligation to give ear to any doctrine, farther than it is
conformable to the Holy Scriptures, which since the time of our
Saviour supply the place and sufficiently recompense the want of all
other prophecy; and from which, by wise and learned interpretation,
and careful ratiocination, all rules and precepts necessary to the
knowledge of our duty both to God and man, without enthusiasm, or
supernatural inspiration, may easily be deduced. And this Scripture is
it out of which I am to take the principles of my discourse concerning
the rights of those that are the supreme governors on earth of
Christian Commonwealths, and of the duty of Christian subjects towards
their sovereigns. And to that end, I shall speak, in the next chapter,
of the books, writers, scope and authority of the Bible.

                            CHAPTER XXXIII

  BY THE Books of Holy Scripture are understood those which ought to
be the canon, that is to say, the rules of Christian life. And because
all rules of life, which men are in conscience bound to observe, are
laws, the question of the Scripture is the question of what is law
throughout all Christendom, both natural and civil. For though it be
not determined in Scripture what laws every Christian king shall
constitute in his own dominions; yet it is determined what laws he
shall not constitute. Seeing therefore I have already proved that
sovereigns in their own dominions are the sole legislators; those
books only are canonical, that is, law, in every nation, which are
established for such by the sovereign authority. It is true that God
is the Sovereign of all sovereigns; and therefore, when he speaks to
any subject, he ought to be obeyed, whatsoever any earthly potentate
command to the contrary. But the question is not of obedience to
God, but of when, and what God hath said; which, to subjects that have
no supernatural revelation, cannot be known but by that natural reason
which guided them for the obtaining of peace and justice to obey the
authority of their several Commonwealths; that is to say, of their
lawful sovereigns. According to this obligation, I can acknowledge
no other books of the Old Testament to be Holy Scripture but those
which have been commanded to be acknowledged for such by the authority
of the Church of England. What books these are is sufficiently known
without a catalogue of them here; and they are the same that are
acknowledged by St. Jerome, who holdeth the rest, namely, the Wisdom
of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Judith, Tobias, the first and the second
of Maccabees (though he had seen the first in Hebrew), and the third
and fourth of Esdras, for Apocrypha. Of the canonical, Josephus, a
learned Jew, that wrote in the time of the Emperor Domitian, reckoneth
twenty-two, making the number agree with the Hebrew alphabet. St.
Jerome does the same, though they reckon them in different manner. For
Josephus numbers five books of Moses, thirteen of prophets that writ
the history of their own times (which how it agrees with the
prophets writings contained in the Bible we shall see hereafter),
and four of Hymns and moral precepts. But St. Jerome reckons five
Books of Moses, eight of prophets, and nine of other Holy Writ which
he calls of Hagiographa. The Septuagint, who were seventy learned
men of the Jews, sent for by Ptolemy, king of Egypt, to translate
the Jewish law out of the Hebrew into the Greek, have left us no other
for Holy Scripture in the Greek tongue but the same that are
received in the Church of England.
  As for the books of the New Testament, they are equally acknowledged
for canon by all Christian churches, and by all sects of Christians
that admit any books at all for canonical.
  Who were the original writers of the several books of Holy Scripture
has not been made evident by any sufficient testimony of other
history, which is the only proof of matter of fact; nor can be by
any arguments of natural reason: for reason serves only to convince
the truth, not of fact, but of consequence. The light therefore that
must guide us in this question must be that which is held out unto
us from the books themselves: and this light, though it show us not
the writer of every book, yet it is not unuseful to give us
knowledge of the time wherein they were written.
  And first, for the Pentateuch, it is not argument enough that they
were written by Moses, because they are called the five Books of
Moses; no more than these titles, the Book of Joshua, the Book of
Judges, the Book of Ruth, and the Books of the Kings, are arguments
sufficient to prove that they were written by Joshua, by the Judges,
by Ruth, and by the Kings. For in titles of books, the subject is
marked as often as the writer. The History of Livy denotes the writer;
but the History of Scanderberg is denominated from the subject. We
read in the last chapter of Deuteronomy concerning the sepulchre of
Moses, "that no man knoweth of his sepulchre to this day,"* that is,
to the day wherein those words were written. It is therefore
manifest that those words were written after his interment. For it
were a strange interpretation to say Moses spake of his own
sepulchre (though by prophecy), that it was not found to that day
wherein he was yet living. But it may perhaps be alleged that the last
chapter only, not the whole Pentateuch, was written by some other man,
but the rest not. Let us therefore consider that which we find in
the Book of Genesis, "And Abraham passed through the land to the place
of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh, and the Canaanite was then in
the land";*(2) which must needs be the words of one that wrote when
the Canaanite was not in the land; and consequently, not of Moses, who
died before he came into it. Likewise Numbers, 21. 14, the writer
citeth another more ancient book, entitled, The Book of the Wars of
the Lord, wherein were registered the acts of Moses, at the Red Sea,
and at the brook of Arnon. It is therefore sufficiently evident that
the five Books of Moses were written after his time, though how long
after it be not so manifest.

  * Deuteronomy, 34. 6
  *(2) Genesis, 12. 6

  But though Moses did not compile those books entirely, and in the
form we have them; yet he wrote all that which he is there said to
have written: as for example, the volume of the law, which is
contained, as it seemeth, in the 11th of Deuteronomy, and the
following chapters to the 27th, which was also commanded to be written
on stones, in their entry into the land of Canaan. And this did
Moses himself write, and deliver to the priests and elders of
Israel, to be read every seventh year to all Israel, at their
assembling in the feast of tabernacles.* And this is that law which
God commanded that their kings (when they should have established that
form of government) should take a copy of from the priests and
Levites; and which Moses commanded the priests and Levites to lay in
the side of the Ark;*(2) and the same which, having been lost, was
long time after found again by Hilkiah,*(3) and sent to King Josias,
who, causing it to be read to the people, renewed the covenant between
God and them.*(4)

  * Deuteronomy, 21. 9, 10
  *(2) Ibid., 31. 26
  *(3) II KIngs, 22. 8
  *(4) Ibid., 23. 1-3

  That the Book of Joshua was also written long after the time of
Joshua may be gathered out of many places of the book itself. Joshua
had set up twelve stones in the midst of Jordan, for a monument of
their passage; of which the writer saith thus, "They are there unto
this day";* for unto this day is a phrase that signifieth a time past,
beyond the memory of man. In like manner, upon the saying of the
Lord that He had rolled off from the people the reproach of Egypt, the
writer saith, "The place is called Gilgal unto this day";*(2) which to
have said in the time of Joshua had been improper. So also the name of
the valley of Achor, from the trouble that Achan raised in the camp,
the writer saith, "remaineth unto this day";*(3) which must needs be
therefore long after the time of Joshua. Arguments of this kind
there be many other; as Joshua, 8. 29, 13. 13, 14. 14, 15. 63.

  * Joshua, 4. 9
  *(2) Ibid., 5. 9
  *(3) Ibid., 7. 26

  The same is manifest by like arguments of the Book of Judges, 1. 21,
26, 4. 24, 10. 4, 15. 19, 18. 6, and Ruth, 1. 1, but especially
Judges, 18. 30. where it said that Jonathan "and his sons were priests
to the tribe of Dan, until the day of the captivity of the land."
  That the Books of Samuel were also written after his own time, there
are the like arguments, I Samuel, 5. 5, 7. 13, 15, 27. 6, and 30.
25, where, after David had adjudged equal part of the spoils to them
that guarded the ammunition, with them that fought, the writer
saith, "He made it a statute and an ordinance to Israel to this
day." Again, when David (displeased that the Lord had slain Uzzah
for putting out his hand to sustain the Ark) called the place
Perez-uzzah, the writer saith it is called so "to this day":* the time
therefore of the writing of that book must be long after the time of
the fact; that is, long after the time of David.

  * II Samuel, 6. 8

  As for the two Books of the Kings, and the two Books of the
Chronicles, besides the places which mention such monuments, as the
writer saith remained till his own days; such as are I Kings, 9. 13,
9. 21, 10. 12, 12. 19; II Kings, 2. 22, 10. 27, 14. 7, 16. 6, 17.
23, 17. 34, 17. 41, and I Chronicles, 4. 41, 5. 26. It is argument
sufficient they were written after the captivity in Babylon that the
history of them is continued till that time. For the facts
registered are always more ancient than the register; and much more
ancient than such books as make mention of and quote the register;
as these books do in diverse places, referring the reader to the
chronicles of the Kings of Judah, to the chronicles of the Kings of
Israel, to the books of the prophet Samuel, of the prophet Nathan,
of the prophet Ahijah; to the vision of Jehdo, to the books of the
prophet Serveiah, and of the prophet Addo.
  The Books of Esdras and Nehemiah were written certainly after
their return from captivity; because their return, the
re-edification of the walls and houses of Jerusalem, the renovation of
the covenant, and ordination of their policy are therein contained.
  The history of Queen Esther is of the time of the Captivity; and
therefore the writer must have been of the same time, or after it.
  The Book of Job hath no mark in it of the time wherein it was
written: and though it appear sufficiently that he was no feigned
person;* yet the book itself seemeth not to be a history, but a
treatise concerning a question in ancient time much disputed: why
wicked men have often prospered in this world, and good men have
been afflicted; and it is the more probable, because from the
beginning to the third verse of the third chapter, where the complaint
of Job beginneth, the Hebrew is (as St. Jerome testifies) in prose;
and from thence to the sixth verse of the last chapter in hexameter
verses; and the rest of that chapter again in prose. So that the
dispute is all in verse; and the prose is added, as a preface in the
beginning and an epilogue in the end. But verse is no usual style of
such as either are themselves in great pain, as Job; or of such as
come to comfort them, as his friends; but in philosophy, especially
moral philosophy, in ancient time frequent.

  * Ezekiel, 14. 14 and James, 5. 11

  The Psalms were written the most part by David, for the use of the
choir. To these are added some songs of Moses and other holy men;
and some of them after the return from the Captivity, as the 137th and
the 126th, whereby it is manifest that the Psalter was compiled, and
put into the form it now hath, after the return of the Jews from
  The Proverbs, being a collection of wise and godly sayings, partly
of Solomon, partly of Agur the son of Jakeh, and partly of the
mother of King Lemuel, cannot probably be thought to have been
collected by Solomon, rather than by Agur, or the mother of Lemuel;
and that, though the sentences be theirs, yet the collection or
compiling them into this one book was the work of some other godly man
that lived after them all.
  The Books of Ecclesiastes and the Canticles have nothing that was
not Solomon's, except it be the titles or inscriptions. For The
Words of the Preacher, the Son of David, King in Jerusalem, and The
Song of Songs, which is Solomon's, seem to have been made for
distinction's sake, then, when the books of Scripture were gathered
into one body of the law; to the end that not the doctrine only, but
the authors also might be extant.
  Of the Prophets, the most ancient are Zephaniah, Jonas, Amos, Hosea,
Isaiah, and Micaiah, who lived in the time of Amaziah and Azariah,
otherwise Ozias, Kings of Judah. But the Book of Jonah is not properly
a register of his prophecy; for that is contained in these few
words, "Forty days and Nineveh shall be destroyed"; but a history or
narration of his frowardness and disputing God's commandments; so that
there is small probability he should be the author, seeing he is the
subject of it. But the Book of Amos is his prophecy.
  Jeremiah, Obadiah, Nahum, and Habakkuk prophesied in the time of
  Ezekiel, Daniel, Haggai, and Zechariah, in the Captivity.
  When Joel and Malachi prophesied is not evident by their writings.
But considering the inscriptions or titles of their books, it is
manifest enough that the whole Scripture of the Old Testament was
set forth, in the form we have it, after the return of the Jews from
their Captivity in Babylon, and before the time of Ptolemaeus
Philadelphus, that caused it to be translated into Greek by seventy
men, which were sent him out of Judea for that purpose. And if the
books of Apocrypha (which are recommended to us by the Church,
though not for canonical, yet for profitable books for our
instruction) may in this point be credited, the Scripture was set
forth in the form we have it in by Esdras, as may appear by that which
he himself saith, in the second book, chapter 14, verses 21, 22, etc.,
where, speaking to God, he saith thus, "Thy law is burnt; therefore no
man knoweth the things which thou hast done, or the works that are
to begin. But if I have found grace before thee, send down the holy
spirit into me, and I shall write all that hath been done in the
world, since the beginning, which were written in thy law, that men
may find thy path, and that they which will live in the latter days,
may live." And verse 45: "And it came to pass, when the forty days
were fulfilled, that the Highest spake, saying, The first that thou
hast written, publish openly, that the worthy and unworthy may read
it; but keep the seventy last, that thou mayst deliver them only to
such as be wise among the people." And thus much concerning the time
of the writing of the books of the Old Testament.
  The writers of the New Testament lived all in less than an age after
Christ's ascension, and had all of them seen our Saviour, or been
his Disciples, except St. Paul and St. Luke; and consequently
whatsoever was written by them is as ancient as the time of the
Apostles. But the time wherein the books of the New Testament were
received and acknowledged by the Church to be of their writing is
not altogether so ancient. For, as the books of the Old Testament
are derived to us from no higher time than that of Esdras, who by
the direction of God's spirit retrieved them when they were lost:
those of the New Testament, of which the copies were not many, nor
could easily be all in any one private man's hand, cannot be derived
from a higher time than that wherein the governors of the Church
collected, approved, and recommended them to us as the writings of
those Apostles and disciples under whose names they go. The first
enumeration of all the books, both of the Old and New Testament, is in
the Canons of the Apostles, supposed to be collected by Clement the
First (after St. Peter), Bishop of Rome. But because that is but
supposed, and by many questioned, the Council of Laodicea is the first
we know that recommended the Bible to the then Christian churches
for the writings of the prophets and Apostles: and this Council was
held in the 364th year after Christ. At which time, though ambition
had so far prevailed on the great doctors of the Church as no more
to esteem emperors, though Christian, for the shepherds of the people,
but for sheep; and emperors not Christian, for wolves; and endeavoured
to pass their doctrine, not for counsel and information, as preachers;
but for laws, as absolute governors; and thought such frauds as tended
to make the people the more obedient to Christian doctrine to be
pious; yet I am persuaded they did not therefore falsify the
Scriptures, though the copies of the books of the New Testament were
in the hands only of the ecclesiastics; because if they had had an
intention so to do, they would surely have made them more favorable to
their power over Christian princes and civil sovereignty than they
are. I see not therefore any reason to doubt but that the Old and
New Testament, as we have them now, are the true registers of those
things which were done and said by the prophets and Apostles. And so
perhaps are some of those books which are called Apocrypha, if left
out of the Canon, not for inconformity of doctrine with the rest,
but only because they are not found in the Hebrew. For after the
conquest of Asia by Alexander the Great, there were few learned Jews
that were not perfect in the Greek tongue. For the seventy
interpreters that converted the Bible into Greek were all of them
Hebrews; and we have extant the works of Philo and Josephus, both
Jews, written by them eloquently in Greek. But it is not the writer
but the authority of the Church that maketh a book canonical. And
although these books were written by diverse men, yet it is manifest
the writers were all endued with one and the same spirit, in that they
conspire to one and the same end, which is the setting forth of the
rights of the kingdom of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. For the
book of Genesis deriveth the genealogy of God's people from the
creation of the world to the going into Egypt: the other four Books of
Moses contain the election of God for their King, and the laws which
he prescribed for their government: the Books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth,
and Samuel, to the time of Saul, describe the acts of God's people
till the time they cast off God's yoke, and called for a king, after
the manner of their neighbour nations: the rest of the history of
the Old Testament derives the succession of the line of David to the
Captivity, of which line was to spring the restorer of the kingdom
of God, even our blessed Saviour, God the Son, whose coming was
foretold in the books of the prophets, after whom the Evangelists
wrote his life and actions, and his claim to the kingdom, whilst he
lived on earth: and lastly, the Acts and Epistles of the Apostles
declare the coming of God, the Holy Ghost, and the authority He left
with them and their successors, for the direction of the Jews and
for the invitation of the Gentiles. In sum, the histories and the
prophecies of the Old Testament and the gospels and epistles of the
New Testament have had one and the same scope, to convert men to the
obedience of God: 1. in Moses and the priests; 2. in the man Christ;
and 3. in the Apostles and the successors to apostolical power. For
these three at several times did represent the person of God: Moses,
and his successors the high priests, and kings of Judah, in the Old
Testament: Christ Himself, in the time he lived on earth: and the
Apostles, and their successors, from the day of Pentecost (when the
Holy Ghost descended on them) to this day.
  It is a question much disputed between the diverse sects of
Christian religion, from whence the Scriptures derive their authority;
which question is also propounded sometimes in other terms, as, how we
know them to be the word of God, or, why we believe them to be so; and
the difficulty of resolving it ariseth chiefly from the improperness
of the words wherein the question itself is couched. For it is
believed on all hands that the first and original author of them is
God; and consequently the question disputed is not that. Again, it
is manifest that none can know they are God's word (though all true
Christians believe it) but those to whom God Himself hath revealed
it supernaturally; and therefore the question is not rightly moved, of
our knowledge of it. Lastly, when the question is propounded of our
belief; because some are moved to believe for one, and others for
other reasons, there can be rendered no one general answer for them
all. The question truly stated is: by what authority they are made
  As far as they differ not from the laws of nature, there is no doubt
but they are the law of God, and carry their authority with them,
legible to all men that have the use of natural reason: but this is no
other authority than that of all other moral doctrine consonant to
reason; the dictates whereof are laws, not made, but eternal.
  If they be made law by God Himself, they are of the nature of
written law, which are laws to them only to whom God hath so
sufficiently published them as no man can excuse himself by saying
he knew not they were His.
  He therefore to whom God hath not supernaturally revealed that
they are His, nor that those that published them were sent by Him,
is not obliged to obey them by any authority but his whose commands
have already the force of laws; that is to say, by any other authority
than that of the Commonwealth, residing in the sovereign, who only has
the legislative power. Again, if it be not the legislative authority
of the Commonwealth that giveth them the force of laws, it must be
some other authority derived from God, either private or public: if
private, it obliges only him to whom in particular God hath been
pleased to reveal it. For if every man should be obliged to take for
God's law what particular men, on pretence of private inspiration or
revelation, should obtrude upon him (in such a number of men that
out of pride and ignorance take their own dreams, and extravagant
fancies, and madness for testimonies of God's spirit; or, out of
ambition, pretend to such divine testimonies, falsely and contrary
to their own consciences), it were impossible that any divine law
should be acknowledged. If public, it is the authority of the
Commonwealth or of the Church. But the Church, if it be one person, is
the same thing with a Commonwealth of Christians; called a
Commonwealth because it consisteth of men united in one person,
their sovereign; and a Church, because it consisteth in Christian men,
united in one Christian sovereign. But if the Church be not one
person, then it hath no authority at all; it can neither command nor
do any action at all; nor is capable of having any power or right to
anything; nor has any will, reason, nor voice; for all these qualities
are personal. Now if the whole number of Christians be not contained
in one Commonwealth, they are not one person; nor is there a universal
Church that hath any authority over them; and therefore the Scriptures
are not made laws by the universal Church: or if it be one
Commonwealth, then all Christian monarches and states are private
persons, and subject to be judged, deposed, and punished by a
universal sovereign of all Christendom. So that the question of the
authority of the Scriptures is reduced to this: whether Christian
kings, and the sovereign assemblies in Christian Commonwealths, be
absolute in their own territories, immediately under God; or subject
to one Vicar of Christ, constituted over the universal Church; to be
judged condemned, deposed, and put to death, as he shall think
expedient or necessary for the common good.
  Which question cannot be resolved without a more particular
consideration of the kingdom of God; from whence also, we are to judge
of the authority of interpreting the Scripture. For, whosoever hath
a lawful power over any writing, to make it law, hath the power also
to approve or disapprove the interpretation of the same.

                             CHAPTER XXXIV

  SEEING the foundation of all true ratiocination is the constant
signification of words; which, in the doctrine following, dependeth
not (as in natural science) on the will of the writer, nor (as in
common conversation) on vulgar use, but on the sense they carry in the
Scripture; it is necessary, before I proceed any further, to
determine, out of the Bible, the meaning of such words as by their
ambiguity may render what I am to infer upon them obscure or
disputable. I will begin with the words body and spirit, which in
the language of the Schools are termed substances, corporeal and
  The word body, in the most general acceptation, signifieth that
which filleth or occupieth some certain room or imagined place; and
dependeth not on the imagination, but is a real part of that we call
the universe. For the universe, being the aggregate of all bodies,
there is no real part thereof that is not also body; nor anything
properly a body that is not also part of that aggregate of all bodies,
the universe. The same also, because bodies are subject to change,
that is to say, to variety of appearance to the sense of living
creatures, is called substance, that is to say, subject to various
accidents: as sometimes to be moved, sometimes to stand still; and
to seem to our senses sometimes hot, sometimes cold; sometimes of
one colour, smell, taste, or sound, sometimes of another. And this
diversity of seeming, produced by the diversity of the operation of
bodies on the organs of our sense, we attribute to alterations of
the bodies that operate, and call them accidents of those bodies.
And according to this acceptation of the word, substance and body
signify the same thing; and therefore substance incorporeal are
words which, when they are joined together, destroy one another, as if
a man should say, an incorporeal body.
  But in the sense of common people, not all the universe is called
body, but only such parts thereof as they can discern, by the sense of
feeling, to resist their force; or, by the sense of their eyes, to
hinder them from a farther prospect. Therefore in the common
language of men, air and aerial substances use not to be taken for
bodies, but, as often as men are sensible of their effects, are called
wind, or breath, or (because the same are called in the Latin
spiritus) spirits; as when they call that aerial substance which in
the body of any living creature gives it life and motion, vital and
animal spirits. But for those idols of the brain which represent
bodies to us where they are not, as in a looking-glass, in a dream, or
to a distempered brain waking, they are (as the Apostle saith
generally of all idols) nothing; nothing at all, I say, there where
they seem to be; and in the brain itself, nothing but tumult,
proceeding either from the action of the objects or from the
disorderly agitation of the organs of our sense. And men that are
otherwise employed than to search into their causes know not of
themselves what to call them; and may therefore easily be persuaded,
by those whose knowledge they much reverence, some to call them
bodies, and think them made of air compacted by a power
supernatural, because the sight judges them corporeal; and some to
call them spirits, because the sense of touch discerneth nothing, in
the place where they appear, to resist their fingers: so that the
proper signification of spirit in common speech is either a subtle,
fluid, and invisible body, or a ghost, or other idol or phantasm of
the imagination. But for metaphorical significations there be many:
for sometimes it is taken for disposition or inclination of the
mind, as when for the disposition to control the sayings of other men,
we say, a spirit of contradiction; for a disposition to uncleanness,
an unclean spirit; for perverseness, a froward spirit; for sullenness,
a dumb spirit; and for inclination to godliness and God's service, the
Spirit of God: sometimes for any eminent ability, or extraordinary
passion, or disease of the mind, as when great wisdom is called the
spirit of wisdom; and madmen are said to be possessed with a spirit.
  Other signification of spirit I find nowhere any; and where none
of these can satisfy the sense of that word in Scripture, the place
falleth not under human understanding; and our faith therein
consisteth, not in our opinion, but in our submission; as in all
places where God is said to be a Spirit, or where by the Spirit of God
is meant God Himself. For the nature of God is incomprehensible;
that is to say, we understand nothing of what He is, but only that
He is; and therefore the attributes we give Him are not to tell one
another what He is, nor to signify our opinion of His nature, but
our desire to honour Him with such names as we conceive most
honourable amongst ourselves.
  "The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."* Here if by
the Spirit of God be meant God Himself, then is motion attributed to
God, and consequently place, which are intelligible only of bodies,
and not of substances incorporeal; and so the place is above our
understanding that can conceive nothing moved that changes not place
or that has not dimension; and whatsoever has dimension is body. But
the meaning of those words is best understood by the like place, where
when the earth was covered with waters, as in the beginning, God
intending to abate them, and again to discover the dry land, useth the
like words, "I will bring my Spirit upon the earth, and the waters
shall be diminished":*(2) in which place by Spirit is understood a
wind (that is an air or spirit moved), which might be called, as in
the former place, the Spirit of God, because it was God's work.

  * Genesis, 1. 2
  *(2) Ibid., 8. 1

  Pharaoh calleth the wisdom of Joseph the Spirit of God. For Joseph
having advised him to look out a wise and discreet man, and to set him
over the land of Egypt, he saith thus, "Can we find such a man as this
is, in whom is the Spirit of God?"* And Exodus, 28. 3, "Thou shalt
speak," saith God, "to all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled
with the spirit of wisdom, to make Aaron garments, to consecrate him."
Where extraordinary understanding, though but in making garments, as
being the gift of God, is called the Spirit of God. The same is
found again, Exod. 31. 3-6, and 35. 31 And Isaiah, 11. 2, 3, where the
prophet, speaking of the Messiah, saith, "The Spirit of the Lord shall
abide upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit
of counsel, and fortitude, and the spirit of the fear of the Lord."
Where manifestly is meant, not so many ghosts, but so many eminent
graces that God would give him.

  * Genesis, 41. 38

  In the Book of Judges, an extraordinary zeal and courage in the
defence of God's people is called the Spirit of God; as when it
excited Othniel, Gideon, Jephtha, and Samson to deliver them from
servitude, Judges, 3. 10, 6. 34, 11. 29, 13. 25, 14. 6, 19. And of
Saul, upon the news of the insolence of the Ammonites towards the
men of Jabesh Gilead, it is said that "The Spirit of God came upon
Saul, and his anger" (or, as it is in the Latin, his fury) "was
kindled greatly."* Where it is not probable was meant a ghost, but
an extraordinary zeal to punish the cruelty of the Ammonites. In
like manner by the Spirit of God that came upon Saul, when he was
amongst the prophets that praised God in songs and music,*(2) is to be
understood, not a ghost, but an unexpected and sudden zeal to join
with them in their devotion.

  * I Samuel, 11. 6
  *(2) Ibid., 19. 20

  The false prophet Zedekiah saith to Micaiah, "Which way went the
Spirit of the Lord from me to speak to thee?"* Which cannot be
understood of a ghost; for Micaiah declared before the kings of Israel
and Judah the event of the battle as from a vision and not as from a
spirit speaking in him.

  * I Kings, 22. 24

  In the same manner it appeareth, in the books of the Prophets,
that though they spake by the Spirit of God, that is to say, by a
special grace of prediction; yet their knowledge of the future was not
by a ghost within them, but by some supernatural dream or vision.
  It is said, "God made man of the dust of the earth, and breathed
into his nostrils (spiraculum vitae) the breath of life, and man was
made a living soul."* There the breath of life inspired by God
signifies no more but that God gave him life; and "as long as the
spirit of God is in my nostrils"*(2) is no more than to say, "as
long as I live." So in Ezekiel, 1. 20, "the spirit of life was in
the wheels," is equivalent to, "the wheels were alive." And "the
spirit entered into me, and me, and set me on my feet,"*(3) that is,
"I recovered my vital strength"; not that any ghost or incorporeal
substance entered into and possessed his body.

  * Genesis, 2. 7
  *(2) Job, 27. 3
  *(3) Ezekiel, 2. 30

  In the eleventh chapter of Numbers, verse 17, "I will take," saith
God, "of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them, and
they shall bear the burden of the people with thee"; that is, upon the
seventy elders: whereupon two of the seventy are said to prophesy in
the camp; of whom some complained, and Joshua desired Moses to
forbid them, which Moses would not do. Whereby it appears that
Joshua knew not they had received authority so to do, and prophesied
according to the mind of Moses, that is to say, by a spirit or
authority subordinate to his own.
  In the like sense we read that "Joshua was full of the spirit of
wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands upon him":* that is,
because he was ordained by Moses to prosecute the work he had
himself begun (namely, the bringing of God's people into the
promised land) but, prevented by death, could not finish.

  * Deuteronomy, 34. 9

  In the like sense it is said, "If any man have not the Spirit of
Christ, he is none of his":* not meaning thereby the ghost of
Christ, but a submission to his doctrine. As also, "Hereby you shall
know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ
is come in the flesh is of God";*(2) by which is meant the spirit of
unfeigned Christianity, submission to that main article of Christian
faith, that Jesus is the Christ; which cannot be interpreted of a

  * Romans, 8. 9
  *(2) I John, 4. 2

  Likewise these words, "And Jesus full of the Holy Ghost"* (that
is, as it is expressed, Matthew, 4. 1, and Mark, 1. 12, "of the Holy
Spirit") may be understood for zeal to do the work for which he was
sent by God the Father: but to interpret it of a ghost is to say
that God Himself (for so our Saviour was) was filled with God; which
is very improper and insignificant. How we came to translate spirits
by the word ghosts, which signifieth nothing, neither in heaven nor
earth, but the imaginary inhabitants of man's brain, I examine not:
but this I say, the word spirit in the text signifieth no such
thing; but either properly a real substance or, metaphorically, some
extraordinary ability or affection of the mind or of the body.

  * Luke, 4. 1

  The Disciples of Christ, seeing him walking upon the sea* supposed
him to be a spirit, meaning thereby an aerial body, and not a
phantasm: for it is said they all saw him; which cannot be
understood of the delusions of the brain (which are not common to many
at once. as visible bodies are; but singular, because of the
differences of fancies), but of bodies only. In like manner, where
he was taken for a spirit, by the same Apostles:*(2) so also when
St. Peter was delivered out of prison, it would not be believed; but
when the maid said he was at the door, they said it was his angel;*(3)
by which must be meant a corporeal substance, or we must say the
disciples themselves did follow the common opinion of both Jews and
Gentiles that some such apparitions were not imaginary, but real;
and such as needed not the fancy of man for their existence: these the
Jews called spirits and angels, good or bad; as the Greeks called
the same by the name of demons. And some such apparitions may be
real and substantial; that is to say, subtle bodies, which God can
form by the same power by which He formed all things, and make use
of as ministers and messengers (that is to say, angels), to declare
His will, and execute the same when He pleaseth in extraordinary and
supernatural manner. But when He hath so formed them they are
substances, endued with dimensions, and take up room, and can be moved
from place to place, which is peculiar to bodies; and therefore are
not ghosts not ghosts incorporeal, that is to say, ghosts that are
in no place; that is to say, that are nowhere; that is to say, that,
seeming to be somewhat, are nothing. But if corporeal be taken in
the most vulgar manner, for such substances as are perceptible by
our external senses; then is substance incorporeal a thing not
imaginary, but real; namely, a thin substance invisible, but that hath
the same dimensions that are in grosser bodies.

  * Matthew, 14. 26 and Mark, 6. 49
  *(2) Luke, 24. 3, 7
  *(3) Acts, 12. 15

  By the name of angel is signified, generally, a messenger; and
most often, a messenger of God: and by a messenger of God is signified
anything that makes known His extraordinary presence; that is to
say, the extraordinary manifestation of His power, especially by a
dream or vision.
  Concerning the creation of angels, there is nothing delivered in the
Scriptures. That they are spirits is often repeated: but by the name
of spirit is signified both in Scripture and vulgarly, both amongst
Jews and Gentiles, sometimes thin bodies; as the air, the wind, the
spirits vital and animal of living creatures; and sometimes the images
that rise in the fancy in dreams and visions; which are not real
substances, nor last any longer than the dream or vision they appear
in; which apparitions, though no real substances, but accidents of the
brain; yet when God raiseth them supernaturally, to signify His
will, they are not improperly termed God's messengers, that is to say,
His angels.
  And as the Gentiles did vulgarly conceive the imagery of the brain
for things really subsistent without them, and not dependent on the
fancy; and out of them framed their opinions of demons, good and evil;
which because they seemed to subsist really, they called substances;
and because they could not feel them with their hands, incorporeal: so
also the Jews upon the same ground, without anything in the Old
Testament that constrained them thereunto, had generally an opinion
(except the sect of the Sadducees) that those apparitions, which it
pleased God sometimes to produce in the fancy of men, for His own
service, and therefore called them His angels, were substances, not
dependent on the fancy, but permanent creatures of God; whereof
those which they thought were good to them, they esteemed the angels
of God, and those they thought would hurt them, they called evil
angels, or evil spirits; such as was the spirit of Python, and the
spirits of madmen, of lunatics and epileptics: for they esteemed
such as were troubled with such diseases, demoniacs.
  But if we consider the places of the Old Testament where angels
are mentioned, we shall find that in most of them, there can nothing
else be understood by the word angel, but some image raised,
supernaturally, in the fancy, to signify the presence of God in the
execution of some supernatural work; and therefore in the rest,
where their nature is not expressed, it may be understood in the
same manner.
  For we read that the same apparition is called not only an angel,
but God, where that which is called the angel of the Lord, saith to
Hagar, "I will multiply thy seed exceedingly";* that is, speaketh in
the person of God. Neither was this apparition a fancy figured, but
a voice. By which it is manifest that angel signifieth there nothing
but God Himself, that caused Hagar supernaturally to apprehend a voice
from heaven; or rather, nothing else but a voice supernatural,
testifying God's special presence there. Why therefore may not the
angels that appeared to Lot, and are called men;*(2) and to whom,
though they were two, Lot speaketh as but to one,*(3) and that one
as God (for the words are, "Lot said unto them, Oh not so my Lord"),
be understood of images of men, supernaturally formed in the fancy; as
well as before by angel was understood a fancied voice? When the angel
called to Abraham out of heaven, to stay his hand from slaying
Isaac,*(4)  there was no apparition, but a voice; which nevertheless
was called properly enough a messenger or angel of God, because it
declared God's will supernaturally, and saves the labour of
supposing any permanent ghosts. The angels which Jacob saw on the
ladder of heaven*(5) were a vision of his sleep; therefore only
fancy and a dream; yet being supernatural, and signs of God's
special presence, those apparitions are not improperly called
angels. The same is to be understood where Jacob saith thus, "The
angel of the Lord appeared to me in my sleep."*(6) For an apparition
made to a man in his sleep is that which all men call a dream, whether
such dream be natural or supernatural: and that which there Jacob
calleth an angel was God Himself; for the same angel saith, "I am
the God of Bethel."*(7)

  * Genesis, 16. 7, 10
  *(2) Ibid., 19. 10
  *(3) Ibid., 19. 18
  *(4) Genesis, 22. 11
  *(5) Ibid., 28. 12
  *(6) Ibid., 31. 11
  *(7) Ibid., 31. 13

  Also the angel that went before the army of Israel to the Red Sea,
and then came behind it, is the Lord Himself;* and He appeared not
in the form of a beautiful man, but in form, by day, of a "pillar of
cloud," and, by night, in form of a "pillar of fire";*(2) and yet this
pillar was all the apparition and angel promised to Moses for the
army's guide: for this cloudy pillar is said to have descended and
stood at the door of the tabernacle, and to have talked with

  * Exodus, 14. 19
  *(2) Ibid., 13. 21
  *(3) Ibid., 33. 2

  There you see motion and speech, which are commonly attributed to
angels, attributed to a cloud, because the cloud served as a sign of
God's presence; and was no less an angel than if it had had the form
of a man or child of never so great beauty; or wings, as usually
they are painted, for the false instruction of common people. For it
is not the shape, but their use, that makes them angels. But their use
is to be significations of God's presence in supernatural
operations; as when Moses had desired God to go along with the camp,
as He had done always before the making of the golden calf, God did
not answer, "I will go," nor "I will send an angel in my stead"; but
thus, "My presence shall go with thee."*

  * Exodus, 33. 14

  To mention all the places of the Old Testament where the name of
angel is found would be too long. Therefore to comprehend them all
at once, I say there is no text in that part of the Old Testament
which the Church of England holdeth for canonical from which we can
conclude there is, or hath been created, any permanent thing
(understood by the name of spirit or angel) that hath not quantity,
and that may not be by the understanding divided; that is to say,
considered by parts; so as one part may be in one place, and the
next part in the next place to it; and, in sum, which is not (taking
body for that which is somewhat or somewhere) corporeal; but in
every place the sense will bear the interpretation of angel for
messenger; as John Baptist is called an angel, and Christ the Angel of
the Covenant; and as (according to the same analogy) the dove and
the fiery tongues, in that they were signs of God's special
presence, might also be called angels. Though we find in Daniel two
names of angels, Gabriel and Michael; yet it is clear out of the
text itself that by Michael is meant Christ, not as an angel, but as a
prince:* and that Gabriel (as the like apparitions made to other
holy men in their sleep) was nothing but a supernatural phantasm, by
which it seemed to Daniel in his dream that two saints being in
talk, one of them said to the other, "Gabriel, let us make this man
understand his vision": for God needeth not to distinguish his
celestial servants by names, which are useful only to the short
memories of mortals. Nor in the New Testament is there any place out
of which it can be proved that angels (except when they are put for
such men as God hath made the messengers and ministers of His word
or works) are things permanent, and withal incorporeal. That they
are permanent may be gathered from the words of our Saviour himself
where he saith it shall be said to the wicked in the last day, "Go
ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his
angels":*(2) which place is manifest for the permanence of evil angels
(unless we might think the name of Devil and his angels may be
understood of the Church's adversaries and their ministers); but
then it is repugnant to their immateriality, because everlasting
fire is no punishment to impatible substances, such as are all
things incorporeal. Angels therefore are not thence proved to be
incorporeal. In like manner where St. Paul says, "Know ye not that
we shall judge the angels?"*(3) And II Peter, 2. 4, "For if God spared
not the angels that sinned, but cast them down into hell"; and "And
the angels that kept not their first estate, but left their own
habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto
the judgement of the last day";*(4) though it prove the permanence
of angelical nature, it confirmeth also their materiality. And, "In
the resurrection men do neither marry, nor give in marriage, but are
as the angels of God in heaven":*(5) but in the resurrection men shall
be permanent, and not incorporeal; so therefore also are the angels.

  * Daniel, 12. 1
  *(2) Matthew, 25. 41
  *(3) I Corinthians, 6. 3
  *(4) Jude, 1. 6
  *(5) Matthew, 22. 30

  There be diverse other places out of which may be drawn the like
conclusion. To men that understand the signification of these words,
substance and incorporeal (as incorporeal is taken not for subtle
body, but for not body), they imply a contradiction: insomuch as to
say, an angel or spirit is in that sense an incorporeal substance is
to say, in effect, there is no angel nor spirit at all. Considering
therefore the signification of the word angel in the Old Testament,
and the nature of dreams and visions that happen to men by the
ordinary way of nature, I was inclined to this opinion, that angels
were nothing but supernatural apparitions of the fancy, raised by
the special and extraordinary operation of God, thereby to make His
presence and commandments known to mankind, and chiefly to His own
people. But the many places of the New Testament, and our Saviour's
own words, and in such texts wherein is no suspicion of corruption
of the Scripture, have extorted from my feeble reason an
acknowledgement and belief that there be also angels substantial and
permanent. But to believe they be in no place, that is to say,
nowhere, that is to say, nothing, as they, though indirectly, say that
will have them incorporeal, cannot by Scripture be evinced.
  On the signification of the word spirit dependeth that of the word
inspiration; which must either be taken properly, and then it is
nothing but the blowing into a man some thin and subtle air or wind in
such manner as a man filleth a bladder with his breath; or if
spirits be not corporeal, but have their existence only in the
fancy, it is nothing but the blowing in of a phantasm; which is
improper to say, and impossible; for phantasms are not, but only
seem to be, somewhat. That word therefore is used in the Scripture
metaphorically only: as where it is said that God inspired into man
the breath of life,* no more is meant than that God gave unto him
vital motion. For we are not to think that God made first a living
breath, and then blew it into Adam after he was made, whether that
breath were real or seeming; but only as it is "that he gave him life,
and breath";*(2) that is, made him a living creature. And where it
is said "all Scripture is given by inspiration from God,"*(3) speaking
there of the Scripture of the Old Testament, it is an easy metaphor to
signify that God inclined the spirit or mind of those writers to write
that which should be useful in teaching, reproving, correcting, and
instructing men in the way of righteous living. But where St. Peter
saith that "Prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but
the holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy
Spirit,"*(4) by the Holy Spirit is meant the voice of God in a dream
or vision supernatural, which is not inspiration: nor when our
Saviour, breathing on His Disciples, said, "Receive the Holy Spirit,
was that breath the Spirit, but a sign of the spiritual graces he gave
unto them. And though it be said of many, and of our Saviour
Himself, that he was full of the Holy Spirit; yet that fullness is not
to be understood for infusion of the substance of God, but for
accumulation of his gifts, such as are the gift of sanctity of life,
of tongues, and the like, whether attained supernaturally or by
study and industry; for in all cases they are the gifts of God. So
likewise where God says, "I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall
dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions,"*(5) we are not to
understand it in the proper sense, as if his Spirit were like water,
subject to effusion or infusion; but as if God had promised to give
them prophetical dreams and visions. For the proper use of the word
infused, in speaking of the graces of God, is an abuse of it; for
those graces are virtues, not bodies to be carried hither and thither,
and to be poured into men as into barrels.

  * Genesis, 2. 7
  *(2) Acts, 17. 25
  *(3) II Timothy, 3. 16
  *(4) II Peter, 1. 21
  *(5) Joel, 2. 28

  In the same manner, to take inspiration in the proper sense, or to
say that good spirits entered into men to make them prophesy, or
evil spirits into those that became phrenetic, lunatic, or
epileptic, is not to take the word in the sense of the Scripture;
for the Spirit there is taken for the power of God, working by
causes to us unknown. As also the wind that is there said to fill
the house wherein the Apostles were assembled on the day of Pentecost*
is not to be understood for the Holy Spirit, which is the Deity
itself; but for an external sign of God's special working on their
hearts to effect in them the internal graces and holy virtues He
thought requisite for the performance of their apostleship.

  *Acts, 2. 2

                             CHAPTER XXXV
                    OF HOLY, SACRED, AND SACRAMENT

  THE kingdom of God in the writings of divines, and specially in
sermons and treatises of devotion, is taken most commonly for
eternal felicity, after this life, in the highest heaven, which they
also call the kingdom of glory; and sometimes for the earnest of
that felicity, sanctification, which they term the kingdom of grace;
but never for the monarchy, that is to say, the sovereign power of God
over any subjects acquired by their own consent, which is the proper
signification of kingdom.
  To the contrary, I find the kingdom of God to signify in most places
of Scripture a kingdom properly so named, constituted by the votes
of the people of Israel in peculiar manner, wherein they chose God for
their king by covenant made with Him, upon God's promising them the
possession of the land of Canaan; and but seldom metaphorically; and
then it is taken for dominion over sin (and only in the New
Testament), because such a dominion as that every subject shall have
in the kingdom of God, and without prejudice to the sovereign.
  From the very creation, God not only reigned over all men
naturally by His might, but also had peculiar subjects, whom He
commanded by a voice, as one man speaketh to another. In which
manner He reigned over Adam and gave him commandment to abstain from
the tree of cognizance of good and evil; which when he obeyed not, but
tasting thereof took upon him to be as God, judging between good and
evil, not by his Creator's commandment, but by his own sense, his
punishment was a privation of the estate of eternal life, wherein
God had at first created him: and afterwards God punished his
posterity for their vices, all but eight persons, with a universal
deluge; and in these eight did consist the then kingdom of God.
  After this, it pleased God to speak to Abraham, and to make a
covenant with him in these words, "I will establish my covenant
between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for
an everlasting covenant, to be a God to thee, and to thy seed after
thee; And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the
land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an
everlasting possession."* In this covenant Abraham promiseth for
himself and his posterity to obey, as God, the Lord that spake to him;
and God on his part promiseth to Abraham the land of Canaan for an
everlasting possession. And for a memorial and a token of this
covenant, he ordaineth the sacrament of circumcision.*(2) This is it
which is called the Old Covenant, or Testament, and containeth a
contract between God and Abraham, by which Abraham obligeth himself
and his posterity in a peculiar manner to be subject to God's positive
law; for to the law moral he was obliged before, as by an oath of
allegiance. And though the name of King be not yet given to God; nor
of kingdom to Abraham and his seed, yet the thing is the same; namely,
an institution by pact of God's peculiar sovereignty over the seed
of Abraham, which in the renewing of the same covenant by Moses at
Mount Sinai is expressly called a peculiar kingdom of God over the
Jews: and it is of Abraham, not of Moses, St. Paul saith that he is
the father of the faithful;*(3) that is, of those that are loyal and
do not violate their allegiance sworn to God, then by circumcision,
and afterwards in the New Covenant by baptism.

  * Genesis, 17. 7, 8
  *(2) Ibid., 16. 11
  *(3) Romans, 4. 11

  This covenant at the foot of Mount Sinai was renewed by Moses
where the Lord commandeth Moses to speak to the people in this manner,
"If you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall
be a peculiar people to me, for all the earth is mine; and ye shall be
unto me a sacerdotal kingdom, and an holy nation."* For a "peculiar
people," the vulgar Latin hath, peculium de cunctis populis: the
English translation made in the beginning of the reign of King James
hath, a "peculiar treasure unto me above all nations"; and the
Geneva French, "the most precious jewel of all nations." But the
truest translation is the first, because it is confirmed by St. Paul
himself where he saith,*(2) alluding to that place, that our blessed
Saviour "gave Himself for us, that He might purify us to Himself, a
peculiar (that is, an extraordinary) people": for the word is in the
Greek periousios, which is opposed commonly to the word epiousios: and
as this signifieth ordinary, quotidian, or, as in the Lord's Prayer,
of daily use; so the other signifieth that which is overplus, and
stored up, and enjoyed in a special manner; which the Latins call
peculium: and this meaning of the place is confirmed by the reason God
rendereth of it, which followeth immediately, in that He addeth,
"For all the earth is mine," as if He should say, "All the nations
of the world are mine; but it is not so that you are mine, but in a
special manner: for they are all mine, by reason of my power; but
you shall be mine by your own consent and covenant," which is an
addition to his ordinary title to all nations.

  * Exodus, 19. 5
  *(2) Titus, 2. 14

  The same is again confirmed in express words in the same text, "Ye
shall be to me a sacerdotal kingdom, and an holy nation." The vulgar
Latin hath it, regnum sacerdotale, to which agreeth the translation of
that place, sacerdotium regale, a regal priesthood;* as also the
institution itself, by which no man might enter into the sanctum
sanctorum, that is to say, no man might enquire God's will immediately
of God Himself, but only the high priest. The English translation
before mentioned, following that of Geneva, has, "a kingdom of
priests"; which is either meant of the succession of one high priest
after another, or else it accordeth not with St. Peter, nor with the
exercise of the high priesthood. For there was never any but the
high priest only that was to inform the people of God's will; nor
any convocation of priests ever allowed to enter into the sanctum

  * I Peter, 2. 9

  Again, the title of a holy nation confirms the same: for holy
signifies that which is God's by special, not by general, right. All
the earth, as is said in the text, is God's; but all the earth is
not called holy, but that only which is set apart for his especial
service, as was the nation of the Jews. It is therefore manifest
enough by this one place that by the kingdom of God is properly
meant a Commonwealth, instituted (by the consent of those which were
to be subject thereto) for their civil government and the regulating
of their behaviour, not only towards God their king, but also
towards one another in point of justice, and towards other nations
both in peace and war; which properly was a kingdom wherein God was
king, and the high priest was to be, after the death of Moses, his
sole viceroy, or lieutenant.
  But there be many other places that clearly prove the same. As first
when the elders of Israel, grieved with the corruption of the sons
of Samuel, demanded a king, Samuel, displeased therewith, prayed
unto the Lord; and the Lord answering said unto him, "Hearken unto the
voice of the people, for they have not rejected thee, but they have
rejected me, that I should not reign over them."* Out of which it is
evident that God Himself was then their king; and Samuel did not
command the people, but only delivered to them that which God from
time to time appointed him.

  * I Samuel, 8. 7

  Again, where Samuel saith to the people, "When ye saw that Nahash,
king of the children of Ammon, came against you, ye said unto me, Nay,
but a king shall reign over us; when the Lord your God was your
king":* it is manifest that God was their king, and governed the civil
state of their Commonwealth.

  * I Samuel, 12. 12

  And after the Israelites had rejected God, the prophets did foretell
His restitution; as, "Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun
ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in
Jerusalem";* where he speaketh expressly of His reign in Zion and
Jerusalem; that is, on earth. And, "And the Lord shall reign over them
in Mount Zion":*(2) this Mount Zion is in Jerusalem upon the earth.
And, "As I live, saith the Lord God, surely with a mighty hand, and
a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over
you";*(3) and, "I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will
bring you into the bond of the covenant";*(4) that is, I will reign
over you, and make you to stand to that covenant which you made with
me by Moses, and broke in your rebellion against me in the days of
Samuel, and in your election of another king.

  * Isaiah, 24. 23
  *(2) Micah, 4. 7
  *(3) Ezekiel, 20. 33
  *(4) Ibid., 20. 37

  And in the New the New Testament the angel Gabriel saith of our
Saviour, "He shall be great, and be called the Son of the most High,
and the Lord shall give him the throne of his father David; and he
shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there
shall be no end."* This is also a kingdom upon earth, for the claim
whereof, as an enemy to Caesar, he was put to death; the title of
his cross was Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews; he was crowned in
scorn with a crown of thorns; and for the proclaiming of him, it is
said of the Disciples "That they did all of them contrary to the
decrees of Caesar, saying there was another King, one Jesus."*(2)
The kingdom therefore of God is a real, not a metaphorical kingdom;
and so taken, not only in the Old Testament, but the New. When we say,
"For thine is the kingdom, the power, and glory," it is to be
understood of God's kingdom, by force of our covenant, not by the
right of God's power; for such a kingdom God always hath; so that it
were superfluous to say in our prayer, "Thy kingdom come," unless it
be meant of the restoration of that kingdom of God by Christ which
by revolt of the Israelites had been interrupted in the election of
Saul. Nor had it been proper to say, "The kingdom of heaven is at
hand"; or to pray, "Thy kingdom come," if it had still continued.

  * Luke, 1. 32, 33
  *(2) Acts, 17. 7

  There be so many other places that confirm this interpretation
that it were a wonder there is no greater notice taken of it, but that
it gives too much light to Christian kings to see their right of
ecclesiastical government. This they have observed, that instead of
a sacerdotal kingdom, translate, a kingdom of priests: for they may as
well translate a royal priesthood, as it is in St. Peter, into a
priesthood of kings. And whereas, for a peculiar people, they put a
precious jewel, or treasure, a man might as well call the special
regiment or company of a general the general's precious jewel, or
his treasure.
  In short, the kingdom of God is a civil kingdom, which consisted
first, in the obligation of the people of Israel to those laws which
Moses should bring unto them from Mount Sinai; and which afterwards
the high priest, for the time being, should deliver to them from
before the cherubim in the sanctum sanctorum; and which kingdom having
been cast off in the election of Saul, the prophets foretold, should
be restored by Christ; and the restoration whereof we daily pray for
when we say in the Lord's Prayer, "Thy kingdom come"; and the right
whereof we acknowledge when we add, "For thine is the kingdom, the
power, and glory, for ever and ever, Amen"; and the proclaiming
whereof was the preaching of the Apostles; and to which men are
prepared by the teachers of the Gospel; to embrace which Gospel
(that is to say, to promise obedience to God's government) is to be in
the kingdom of grace, because God hath gratis given to such the
power to be the subjects (that is, children) of God hereafter when
Christ shall come in majesty to judge the world, and actually to
govern his own people, which is called the kingdom of glory. If the
kingdom of God (called also the kingdom of heaven, from the
gloriousness and admirable height of that throne) were not a kingdom
which God by His lieutenants or vicars, who deliver His commandments
to the people, did exercise on earth, there would not have been so
much contention and war about who it is by whom God speaketh to us;
neither would many priests have troubled themselves with spiritual
jurisdiction, nor any king have denied it them.
  Out of this literal interpretation of the kingdom of God ariseth
also the true interpretation of the word holy. For it is a word
which in God's kingdom answereth to that which men in their kingdoms
use to call public, or the king's.
  The king of any country is the public person, or representative of
all his own subjects. And God the king of Israel was the Holy One of
Israel. The nation which is subject to one earthly sovereign is the
nation of that sovereign, that is, of the public person. So the
Jews, who were God's nation, were called a holy nation.* For by holy
is always understood either God Himself or that which is God's in
propriety; as by public is always meant either the person or the
Commonwealth itself, or something that is so the Commonwealth's as
no private person can claim any propriety therein.

  * Exodus, 19. 6

  Therefore the Sabbath (God's day) is a holy day; the Temple (God's
house), a holy house; sacrifices, tithes, and offerings (God's
tribute), holy duties; priests, prophets, and anointed kings, under
Christ (God's ministers), holy men; the celestial ministering
spirits (God's messengers), holy angels; and the like: and wheresoever
the word holy is taken properly, there is still something signified of
propriety gotten by consent. In saying "Hallowed be thy name," we do
but pray to God for grace to keep the first Commandment of having no
other Gods but Him. Mankind is God's nation in propriety: but the Jews
only were a holy nation,. Why, but because they became his propriety
by covenant?
  And the word profane is usually taken in the Scripture for the
same with common; and consequently their contraries, holy and
proper, in the kingdom of God must be the same also. But figuratively,
those men also are called holy that led such godly lives, as if they
had forsaken all worldly designs, and wholly devoted and given
themselves to God. In the proper sense, that which is made holy by
God's appropriating or separating it to his own use is said to be
sanctified by God, as the seventh day in the fourth Commandment; and
as the elect in the New Testament were said to be sanctified when they
were endued with the spirit of godliness. And that which is made
holy by the dedication of men, and given to God, so as to be used only
in his public service, is called also sacred, and said to be
consecrated, as temples, and other houses of public prayer, and
their utensils, priests, and ministers, victims, offerings, and the
external matter of sacraments.
  Of holiness there be degrees: for of those things that are set apart
for the service of God, there may be some set apart again for a nearer
and more especial service. The whole nation of the Israelites were a
people holy to God; yet the tribe of Levi was amongst the Israelites a
holy tribe; and amongst the Levites the priests were yet more holy;
and amongst the priests the high priest was the most holy. So the land
of Judea was the Holy Land, but the Holy City wherein God was to be
worshipped was more holy; and again, the Temple more holy than the
city, and the sanctum sanctorum more holy than the rest of the Temple.
  A sacrament is a separation of some visible thing from common use;
and a consecration of it to God's service, for a sign either of our
admission into the kingdom of God, to be of the number of his peculiar
people, or for a commemoration of the same. In the Old Testament the
sign of admission was circumcision; in the New Testament, baptism. The
commemoration of it in the Old Testament was the eating (at a
certain time, which was anniversary) of the Paschal Lamb, by which
they were put in mind of the night wherein they were delivered out
of their bondage in Egypt; and in the New Testament, the celebrating
of the Lord's Supper, by which we are put in mind of our deliverance
from the bondage of sin by our blessed Saviour's death upon the cross.
The sacraments of admission are but once to be used, because there
needs but one admission; but because we have need of being often put
in mind of our deliverance and of our allegiance, the sacraments of
commemoration have need to be reiterated. And these are the
principal sacraments and, as it were, the solemn oaths we make of
our allegiance. There be also other consecrations that may be called
sacraments, as the word implieth only consecration to God's service;
but as it implies an oath or promise of allegiance to God, there
were no other in the Old Testament but circumcision and the
Passover; nor are there any other in the New Testament but baptism and
the Lord's Supper.

                            CHAPTER XXXVI

  WHEN there is mention of the word of God, or of man, it doth not
signify a part of speech, such as grammarians call a noun or a verb,
or any simple voice, without a contexture with other words to make
it significative; but a perfect speech or discourse, whereby the
speaker affirmeth, denieth, commandeth, promiseth, threateneth,
wisheth, or interrogateth. In which sense it is not vocabulum that
signifies a word, but sermo (in Greek logos) that is, some speech,
discourse, or saying.
  Again, if we say the word of God, or of man, it may be understood
sometimes of the speaker: as the words that God hath spoken, or that a
man hath spoken; in which sense, when we say the Gospel of St.
Matthew, we understand St. Matthew to be the writer of it: and
sometimes of the subject; in which sense, when we read in the Bible,
"The words of the days of the kings of Israel, or Judah," it is
meant the acts that were done in those days were the subject of
those words; and in the Greek, which, in the Scripture, retaineth many
Hebraisms, by the word of God is oftentimes meant, not that which is
spoken by God, but concerning God and His government; that is to
say, the doctrine of religion: insomuch as it is all one to say
logos theou, and theologia; which is that doctrine which we usually
call divinity, as is manifest by the places following: "The Paul and
Barnabas waxed bold, and said, it was necessary that the word of God
should first have been spoken to you, but seeing you put it from
you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to
the Gentiles."* That which is here called the word of God was the
doctrine of Christian religion; as it appears evidently by that
which goes before. And where it is said to the Apostles by an angel,
"Go stand and speak in the Temple, all the words of this life";*(2) by
the words of this life is meant the doctrine of the Gospel, as is
evident by what they did in the Temple, and is expressed in the last
verse of the same chapter. "Daily in the Temple, and in every house,
they ceased not to teach and preach Christ Jesus":*(3) in which
place it is manifest that Jesus Christ was the subject of this "word
of life"; or, which is all one, the subject of the "words of this life
eternal" that our Saviour offered them. So the word of God is called
the word of the Gospel, because it containeth the doctrine of the
kingdom of Christ; and the same word is called the word of
faith;*(4) that is, as is there expressed, the doctrine of Christ come
and raised from the dead. Also, "When any one heareth the word of
the kingdom";*(5) that is the doctrine of the kingdom taught by
Christ. Again, the same word is said "to grow and to be
multiplied";*(6) which to understand of the evangelical doctrine is
easy, but of the voice or speech of God, hard and strange. In the same
sense the doctrine of devils*(7) signifieth not the words of any
devil, but the doctrine of heathen men concerning demons, and those
phantasms which they worshipped as gods.

  * Acts, 13. 46
  *(2) Ibid., 5. 20
  *(3) Ibid., 15. 7
  *(4) Romans, 10. 8, 9
  *(5) Matthew, 13. 19
  *(6) Acts, 12. 24
  *(7) I Timothy, 4. 1

  Considering these two significations of the word of God, as it is
taken in Scripture, it is manifest in this latter sense (where it is
taken for the doctrine of Christian religion) that the whole Scripture
is the word of God: but in the former sense, not so. For example,
though these words, "I am the Lord thy God," etc., to the end of the
Ten Commandments, were spoken by God to Moses; yet the preface, "God
spake these words and said," is to be understood for the words of
him that wrote the holy history. The word of God, as it is taken for
that which He hath spoken, is understood sometimes properly, sometimes
metaphorically. Properly, as the words He hath spoken to His prophets:
metaphorically, for His wisdom, power, and eternal decree, in making
the world; in which sense, those fiats, "Let their be light, Let there
be a firmament, Let us make man," etc.* are the word of God. And in
the same sense it is said, "All things were made by it, and without it
was nothing made that was made":*(2) and "He upholdeth all things by
the word of His power";*(3) that is, by the power of His word; that
is, by His power: and "The worlds were framed by the word of God";*(4)
and many other places to the same sense: as also amongst the Latins,
the name of fate, which signifieth properly the word spoken, is
taken in the same sense.

  * Genesis, 1
  *(2) John, 1. 3
  *(3) Hebrews, 1. 3
  *(4) Ibid., 11. 3

  Secondly, for the effect of His word; that is to say, for the
thing itself, which by His word is affirmed, commanded, threatened, or
promised; as where Joseph is said to have been kept in prison, "till
his word was come";* that is, till that was come to pass which he
had foretold to Pharoah's butler concerning his being restored to
his office:*(2) for there, by his word was come, is meant the thing
itself was come to pass. So also, Elijah saith to God, "I have done
all these thy words,"*(3) instead of "I have done all these things
at thy word," or commandment. And, "Where is the word of the Lord"*(4)
is put for "Where is the evil He threatened." And, "There shall none
of my words be prolonged any more";*(5) by words are understood
those things which God promised to His people. And in the New
Testament, "heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not
pass away";*(6) that is, there is nothing that I have promised or
foretold that shall not come to pass. And in this sense it is that St.
John the Evangelist, and, I think, St. John only, calleth our
Saviour Himself as in the flesh the Word of God, "And the Word was
made flesh";*(7) that is to say, the word, or promise, that Christ
should come into the world, "who in the beginning was with God":
that is to say, it was in the purpose of God the Father to send God
the Son into the world to enlighten men in the way of eternal life;
but it was not till then put in execution, and actually incarnate;
so that our Saviour is there called the Word, not because he was the
promise, but the thing promised. They that taking occasion from this
place do commonly call him the Verb of God do but render the text more
obscure. They might as well term him the Noun of God: for as by
noun, so also by verb, men understand nothing but a part of speech,
a voice, a sound, that neither affirms, nor denies, nor commands,
nor promiseth, nor is any substance corporeal or spiritual; and
therefore it cannot be said to be either God or man; whereas our
Saviour is both. And this Word which St. John in his Gospel saith
was with God is, in his first Epistle, called the "Word of
life";*(8) and "the Eternal Life, which was with the Father":*(9) so
that he can be in no other sense called the Word than in that
wherein He is called Eternal Life; that is, he that hath procured us
eternal life by his coming in the flesh. So also the Apostle, speaking
of Christ clothed in a garment dipped in blood, saith his name is "the
Word of God,"*(10) which is to be understood as if he had said his
name had been "He that was come according to the purpose of God from
the beginning, and according to His word and promises delivered by the
prophets." So that there is nothing here of the incarnation of a word,
but of the incarnation of God the Son, therefore called the Word,
because his incarnation was the performance of the promise; in like
manner as the Holy Ghost is called the Promise.*(11)

  * Psalms, 105. 19
  *(2) Genesis, 11. 13
  *(3) I Kings, 18. 36
  *(4) Jeremiah, 17. 15
  *(5) Ezekiel, 12. 28
  *(6) Matthew, 24. 35
  *(7) John, 1. 14
  *(8) Ibid., 1. 1
  *(9) Ibid., 1. 2
  *(10) Apocalypse, 19. 13
  *(11) Acts, 1. 4; Luke, 24. 49

  There are also places of the Scripture where by the Word of God is
signified such words as are consonant to reason and equity, though
spoken sometimes neither by prophet nor by a holy man. For Pharaoh
Necho was an idolater, yet his words to the good King Josiah, in which
he advised him by messengers not to oppose him in his march against
Carchemish, are said to have proceeded from the mouth of God; and that
Josiah, not hearkening to them, was slain in the battle; as is to be
read II Chronicles, 35. 21, 22, 23. It is true that as the same
history is related in the first Book of Esdras, not Pharaoh, but
Jeremiah, spake these words to Josiah from the mouth of the Lord.
But we are to give credit to the canonical Scripture whatsoever be
written in the Apocrypha.
  The Word of God is then also to be taken for the dictates of
reason and equity, when the same is said in the Scriptures to be
written in man's heart; as Psalms, 37. 31; Jeremiah, 31. 33;
Deuteronomy, 30. 11, 14, and many other like places.
  The name of prophet signifieth in Scripture sometimes prolocutor;
that is, he that speaketh from God to man, or from man to God: and
sometimes predictor, or a foreteller of things to come: and
sometimes one that speaketh incoherently, as men that are
distracted. It is most frequently used in the sense speaking from
God to the people. So Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and
others were prophets. And in this sense the high priest was a prophet,
for he only went into the sanctum sanctorum to enquire of God, and was
to declare his answer to the people. And therefore when Caiaphas
said it was expedient that one man should die for the people, St. John
saith that "He spake not this of himself, but being high priest that
year, he prophesied that one man should die for the nation."* Also
they that in Christian congregations taught the people are said to
prophesy.*(2) In the like sense it is that God saith to Moses
concerning Aaron, "He shall be thy spokesman to the people; and he
shall be to thee a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of
God":*(3) that which here is spokesman is, Exodus, 7. 1, interpreted
prophet: "See," saith God, "I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and
Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet." In the sense of speaking from
man to God, Abraham is called a prophet where God in a dream
speaketh to Abimelech in this manner, "Now therefore restore the man
his wife, for he is a prophet, and shall pray for thee";*(4) whereby
may be also gathered that the name of prophet may be given not
unproperly to them that in Christian churches have a calling to say
public prayers for the congregation. In the same sense, the prophets
that came down from the high place, or hill of god, with a psaltery,
and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, Saul amongst them, are said to
prophesy, in that they praised God in that manner publicly.*(5) In the
like sense is Miriam called a prophetess.*(6) So is it also to be
taken where St. Paul saith, "Every man that prayeth or prophesieth
with his head covered," etc., and every woman that prayeth or
prophesieth with her head uncovered":*(7) for prophecy in that place
signifieth no more but praising God in psalms and holy songs, which
women might do in the church, though it were not lawful for them to
speak to the congregation. And in this signification it is that the
poets of the heathen, that composed hymns and other sorts of poems
in the honor of their gods, were called vates, prophets, as is well
enough known by all that are versed in the books of the Gentiles,
and as is evident where St. Paul saith of the Cretans that a prophet
of their own said they were liars;*(8) not that St. Paul held their
poets for poets for prophets, but acknowledgeth that the word
prophet was commonly used to signify them that celebrated the honour
of God in verse.

  * John, 11. 51
  *(2) I Corinthians, 14. 3
  *(3) Exodus, 4. 16
  *(4) Genesis, 20. 7
  *(5) I Samuel, 10. 5, 6, 10
  *(6) Exodus, 15. 20
  *(7) I Corinthians, 11. 4, 5
  *(8) Titus, 1. 12

  When by prophecy is meant prediction, or foretelling of future
contingents, not only they were prophets who were God's spokesmen, and
foretold those things to others which God had foretold to them; but
also all those impostors that pretend by the help familiar spirits, or
by superstitious divination of events past, from false causes, to
foretell the like events in time to come: of which (as I have declared
already in the twelfth Chapter of this discourse) there be many
kinds who gain in the opinion of the common sort of men a greater
reputation of prophecy by one casual event that may be but wrested
to their purpose, than can be lost again by never so many failings.
Prophecy is not an art, nor, when it is taken for prediction, a
constant vocation, but an extraordinary and temporary employment
from God, most often of good men, but sometimes also of the wicked.
The woman of Endor, who is said to have had a familiar spirit, and
thereby to have raised a phantasm of Samuel, and foretold Saul his
death, was not therefore a prophetess; for neither had she any science
whereby she could raise such a phantasm, nor does it appear that God
commanded the raising of it, but only guided that imposture to be a
means of Saul's terror and discouragement, and by consequent, of the
discomfiture by which he fell. And for incoherent speech, it was
amongst the Gentiles taken for one sort of prophecy, because the
prophets of their oracles, intoxicated with a spirit or vapor from the
cave of the Pythian Oracle at Delphi, were for the time really mad,
and spake like madmen; of whose loose words a sense might be made to
fit any event, in such sort as all bodies are said to be made of
materia prima. In the Scripture I find it also so taken in these
words, "And the evil spirit came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the
midst of the house."*

  * I Samuel, 18. 10

  And although there be so many significations in Scripture of the
word prophet; yet is that the most frequent in which it is taken for
him to whom God speaketh immediately that which the prophet is to
say from Him to some other man, or to the people. And hereupon a
question may be asked, in what manner God speaketh to such a
prophet. Can it, may some say, be properly said that God hath voice
and language, when it cannot be properly said He hath a tongue or
other organs as a man? The Prophet David argueth thus, "Shall He
that made the eye, not see? or He that made the ear, not hear?"* But
this may be spoken, not, as usually, to signify God's nature, but to
signify our intention to honour Him. For to see and hear are
honourable attributes, and may be given to God to declare as far as
capacity can conceive His almighty power. But if it were to be taken
in the strict and proper sense, one might argue from his making of all
other parts of man's body that he had also the same use of them
which we have; which would be many of them so uncomely as it would
be the greatest contumely in the world to ascribe them to Him.
Therefore we are to interpret God's speaking to men immediately for
that way, whatsoever it be, by which God makes them understand His
will: and the ways whereby He doth this are many, and to be sought
only in the Holy Scripture; where though many times it be said that
God spake to this and that person, without declaring in what manner,
yet there be again many places that deliver also the signs by which
they were to acknowledge His presence and commandment; and by these
may be understood how He spake to many of the rest.

 * Psalms, 94. 9

  In what manner God spake to Adam, and Eve, and Cain, and Noah is not
expressed; nor how he spake to Abraham, till such time as he came
out of his own country to Sichem in the land of Canaan, and then God
is said to have appeared to him.* So there is one way whereby God made
His presence manifest; that is, by an apparition, or vision. And
again, the word of the Lord came to Abraham in a vision";*(2) that
is to say, somewhat, as a sign of God's presence, appeared as God's
messenger to speak to him. Again, the Lord appeared to Abraham by an
apparition of three angels;*(3) and to Abimelech in a dream;*(4) to
Lot by an apparition of two angels;*(5) and to Hagar by the apparition
of one angel;*(6) and to Abraham again by the apparition of a voice
from heaven;*(7) and to Isaac in the night*(8) (that is, in his sleep,
or by dream); and to Jacob in a dream;*(9) that is to say (as are
the words of the text), "Jacob dreamed that he saw a ladder," etc. And
in a vision of angels;*(10) and to Moses in the apparition of a
flame of fire out of the midst of a bush;*(11) and after the time of
Moses, where the manner how God spake immediately to man in the Old
Testament is expressed, He spake always by a vision, or by a dream; as
to Gideon, Samuel, Eliah, Elisha, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the rest of the
prophets; and often in the New Testament, as to Joseph, to St.
Peter, to St. Paul, and to St. John the Evangelist in the Apocalypse.

  * Genesis, 12. 7
  *(2) Ibid., 15. 1
  *(3) Ibid., 18. 1
  *(4) Ibid., 20. 3
  *(5) Ibid., 19. 1
  *(6) Ibid., 21. 17
  *(7) Ibid., 22. 11
  *(8) Ibid., 26. 24
  *(9) Ibid., 28. 12
  *(10) Ibid., 32. 1
  *(11) Exodus, 3. 2

  Only to Moses He spake in a more extraordinary manner in Mount
Sinai, and in the Tabernacle; and to the high priest in the
Tabernacle, and in the sanctum sanctorum of the Temple. But Moses, and
after him the high priests, were prophets of a more eminent place
and degree in God's favour; and God Himself in express words declareth
that to other prophets He spake in dreams and visions, but to His
servant Moses in such manner as a man speaketh to his friend. The
words are these: "If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will
make Myself known to him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a
dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house;
with him I will speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, not in dark
speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold."* And,
"The Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his
friend."*(2) And yet this speaking of God to Moses was by mediation of
an angel, or angels, as appears expressly, Acts 7. 35 and 53, and
Galatians, 3. 19, and was therefore a vision, though a more clear
vision than was given to other prophets. And conformable hereunto,
where God saith, "If there arise amongst you a prophet, or dreamer
of dreams,"*(3) the latter word is but the interpretation of the
former. And, "Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy; your old
men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions":*(4)
where again, the word prophesy is expounded by dream and vision. And
in the same manner it was that God spake to Solomon, promising him
wisdom, riches, and honour; for the text saith, "And Solomon awoke,
and behold it was a dream":*(5) so that generally the prophets
extraordinary in the Old Testament took notice of the word of God no
otherwise than from their dreams or visions that is to say, from the
imaginations which they had in their sleep or in an ecstasy: which
imaginations in every true prophet were supernatural, but in false
prophets were either natural or feigned.

  * Numbers, 12. 6, 7, 8
  *(2) Exodus, 33. 11
  *(3) Deuteronomy, 13. 1
  *(4) Joel, 2. 28
  *(5) I Kings, 3. 15

  The same prophets were nevertheless said to speak by the spirit;
as where the prophet, speaking of the Jews, saith, "They made their
hearts hard as adamant, lest they should hear the law, and the words
which the Lord of Hosts hath sent in His Spirit by the former
prophets."* By which it is manifest that speaking by the spirit or
inspiration was not a particular manner of God's speaking, different
from vision, when they that were said to speak by the Spirit were
extraordinary prophets, such as for every new message were to have a
particular commission or, which is all one, a new dream or vision.

  * Zechariah, 7. 12

  Of prophets that were so by a perpetual calling in the Old
Testament, some were supreme and some subordinate: supreme were
first Moses, and after him the high priests, every one for his time,
as long the priesthood was royal; and after the people of the Jews had
rejected God, that He should no more reign over them, those kings
which submitted themselves to God's government were also his chief
prophets; and the high priest's office became ministerial. And when
God was to be consulted, they put on the holy vestments, and
enquired of the Lord as the king commanded them, and were deprived
of their office when the king thought fit. For King Saul commanded the
burnt offering to be brought;* and he commands the priest to bring the
Ark near him;*(2) and, again, to let it alone, because he saw an
advantage upon his enemies.*(3) And in the same chapter Saul asketh
counsel of God. In like manner King David, after his being anointed,
though before he had possession of the kingdom, is said to "enquire of
the Lord" whether he should fight against the Philistines at
Keilah;*(4) and David commandeth the priest to bring him the ephod, to
enquire whether he should stay in Keilah or not.*(5) And King
Solomon took the priesthood from Abiathar,*(6) and gave it to
Zadok.*(7) Therefore Moses, and the high priests, and the pious kings,
who enquired of God on all extraordinary occasions how they were to
carry themselves, or what event they were to have, were all
sovereign prophets. But in what manner God spake unto them is not
manifest. To say that when Moses went up to God in Mount Sinai it
was a dream, or vision, such as other prophets had, is contrary to
that distinction which God made between Moses and other
prophets.*(8) To say God spake or appeared as He is in His own
nature is to deny His infiniteness, invisibility, incomprehensibility.
To say he spake by inspiration, or infusion of the Holy Spirit, as the
Holy Spirit signifieth the Deity, is to make Moses equal with
Christ, in whom only the Godhead, as St. Paul speaketh, dwelleth
bodily.*(9) And lastly, to say he spake by the Holy Spirit, as it
signifieth the graces or gifts of the Holy Spirit, is to attribute
nothing to him supernatural. For God disposeth men to piety,
justice, mercy, truth, faith, and all manner of virtue, both moral and
intellectual, by doctrine, example, and by several occasions,
natural and ordinary.

  * I Samuel, 13. 9
  *(2) Ibid., 14. 18
  *(3) Ibid., 14. 19
  *(4) Ibid., 23. 2
  *(5) Ibid., 23. 9
  *(6) I Kings, 2. 27
  *(7) Ibid., 2. 35
  *(8) Numbers, 12. 6, 7, 8
  *(9) Colossians, 2. 9

  And as these ways cannot be applied to God, in His speaking to Moses
at Mount Sinai; so also they cannot be applied to Him in His
speaking to the high priests from the mercy-seat. Therefore in what
manner God spake to those sovereign prophets of the Old Testament,
whose office it was to enquire of Him, is not intelligible. In the
time of the New Testament there was no sovereign prophet but our
Saviour, who was both God that spake, and the prophet to whom He
  To subordinate prophets of perpetual calling, I find not any place
that proveth God spake to them supernaturally, but only in such manner
as naturally He inclineth men to piety, to belief, to righteousness,
and to other virtues all other Christian men. Which way, though it
consist in constitution, instruction, education, and the occasions and
invitements men have to Christian virtues, yet it is truly
attributed to the operation of the Spirit of God, or Holy Spirit,
which we in our language call the Holy Ghost: for there is no good
inclination that is not of the operation of God. But these
operations are not always supernatural. When therefore a prophet is
said to speak in the spirit, or by the Spirit of God, we are to
understand no more but that he speaks according to God's will,
declared by the supreme prophet. For the most common acceptation of
the word spirit is in the signification of a man's intention, mind, or
  In the time of Moses, there were seventy men besides himself that
prophesied in the camp of the Israelites. In what manner God spake
to them is declared in the eleventh Chapter of Numbers, verse 25: "The
Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto Moses, and took of the
spirit that was upon him, and gave it to the seventy elders. And it
came to pass, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and
did not cease." By which it is manifest, first, that their prophesying
to the people was subservient and subordinate to the prophesying of
Moses; for that God took of the spirit of Moses put upon them; so that
they prophesied as Moses would have them: otherwise they had not
been suffered to prophesy at all. For there was a complaint made
against them to Moses;* and Joshua would have Moses to have
forbidden them; which he did not, but said to Joshua "Be not jealous
in my behalf." Secondly, that the Spirit of God in that place
signifieth nothing but the mind and disposition to obey and assist
Moses in the administration of the government. For if it were meant
they had the substantial Spirit of God; that is, the divine nature,
inspired into them, then they had it in no less manner than Christ
himself, in whom only the Spirit of God dwelt bodily. It is meant
therefore of the gift and grace of God, that guided them to co-operate
with Moses, from whom their spirit was derived. And it appeareth
that they were such as Moses himself should appoint for elders and
officers of the people:*(2) for the words are, "Gather unto me seventy
men, whom thou knowest to be elders and officers of the people":
where, thou knowest is the same with thou appointest, or hast
appointed to be such. For we are told before that Moses, following the
counsel of Jethro his father-in-law, did appoint judges and officers
over the people such as feared God;*(3) and of these were those
seventy whom God, by putting upon them Moses' spirit, inclined to
aid Moses in the administration of the kingdom: and in this sense
the spirit of God is said presently upon the anointing of David to
have come upon David, and left Saul;*(4) God giving His graces to
him He chose to govern His people, and taking them away from him He
rejected. So that by the spirit is meant inclination to God's service,
and not any supernatural revelation.

  * Numbers, 11. 27
  *(2) Ibid., 11. 16
  *(3) Exodus, 18
  *(4) I Samuel, 16. 13, 14

  God spake also many times by the event of lots, which were ordered
by such as He had put in authority over His people. So we read that
God manifested by the lots which Saul caused to be drawn the fault
that Jonathan had committed in eating a honeycomb, contrary to the
oath taken by the people.* And God divided the land of Canaan
amongst the Israelites by the "lots that Joshua did cast before the
Lord in Shiloh."*(2) In the same manner it seemeth to be that God
discovered the crime of Achan.*(3) And these are the ways whereby
God declared His will in the Old Testament.

  * I Samuel, 14. 43
  *(2) Joshua, 18. 10
  *(3) Ibid., 7. 16, etc.

  All which ways He used also in the New Testament. To the Virgin
Mary, by a vision of an angel; to Joseph, in a dream; again to Paul,
in the way to Damascus in a vision of our Saviour; and to Peter in the
vision of a sheet let down from heaven with diverse sorts of flesh
of clean and unclean beasts; and in prison, by vision of an angel; and
to all the Apostles and writers of the New Testament, by the graces of
His Spirit; and to the Apostles again, at the choosing of Matthias
in the place of Judas Iscariot, by lot.
  Seeing then all prophecy supposeth vision or dream (which two,
when they be natural, are the same), or some especial gift of God so
rarely observed in mankind as to be admired where observed; and seeing
as well such gifts as the most extraordinary dreams and visions may
proceed from God, not only by His supernatural and immediate, but also
by his natural operation, and by mediation of second causes; there
is need of reason and judgement to discern between natural and
supernatural gifts, and between natural and supernatural visions or
dreams. And consequently men had need to be very circumspect, and
wary, in obeying the voice of man that, pretending himself to be a
prophet, requires us to obey God in that way which he in God's name
telleth us to be the way to happiness. For he that pretends to teach
men the way of so great felicity pretends to govern them; that is to
say, rule and reign over them; which is a thing that all men naturally
desire, and is therefore worthy to be suspected of ambition and
imposture; and consequently ought be examined and tried by every man
before he yield them obedience, unless he have yielded it them already
in the institution of a Commonwealth; as when the prophet is the civil
sovereign, or by the civil sovereign authorized. And if this
examination of prophets and spirits were not allowed to every one of
the people, it had been to no purpose to set out the marks by which
every man might be able to distinguish between those whom they
ought, and those whom they ought not to follow. Seeing therefore
such marks are set out to know a prophet by,* and to know a spirit
by;*(2) and seeing there is so much prophesying in the Old
Testament, and so much preaching in the New Testament against
prophets, and so much greater a number ordinarily of false prophets
than of true; every one is to beware of obeying their directions at
their own peril. And first, that there were many more false than
true prophets appears by this, that when Ahab consulted four hundred
prophets, they were all false impostors, but only one Micaiah.*(3) And
a little before the time of the Captivity the prophets were
generally liars. "The prophets," saith the Lord by Jeremiah, "prophesy
lies in my name. I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, nor
spake unto them: they prophesy to you a false vision, a thing of
naught, and the deceit of their heart."*(4) Insomuch as God
commanded the people by the mouth of the prophet Jeremiah not to
obey them. "Thus saith the Lord of Hosts, hearken not unto the words
of the prophets that prophesy to you. They make you vain: they speak a
vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord."*(5)

  * Deuteronomy, 13. 1, etc.
  *(2) I John, 4. 1, etc.
  *(3) I Kings, 22
  *(4) Jeremiah, 14. 14
  *(5) Ibid., 23. 16

  Seeing then there was in the time of the Old Testament such quarrels
amongst the visionary prophets, one contesting with another, and
asking, "When departed the spirit from me, to go to thee?" as
between Micaiah and the rest of the four hundred; and such giving of
the lie to one another, as in Jeremiah, 14. 14, and such controversies
in the new Testament this day amongst the spiritual prophets: every
man then was, and now is, bound to make use of his natural reason to
apply to all prophecy those rules which God hath given us to discern
the true from the false. Of which rules, in the Old Testament, one was
conformable doctrine to that which Moses the sovereign prophet had
taught them; and the other, the miraculous power of foretelling what
God would bring to pass, as I have already shown out of Deuteronomy,
13. 1, etc. And in the New Testament there was but one only mark,
and that was the preaching of this doctrine that Jesus is the
Christ, that is, the King of the Jews, promised in the Old
Testament. Whosoever denied that article, he was a false prophet,
whatsoever miracles he might seem to work; and he that taught it was a
true prophet. For St. John, speaking expressly of the means to examine
spirits, whether they be of God or not, after he had told them that
there would arise false prophets, saith thus, "Hereby know ye the
Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is
come in the flesh, is of God";* that is, is approved and allowed as
a prophet of God: not that he is a godly man, or one of the elect
for this that he confesseth, professeth, or preacheth Jesus to be
the Christ, but for that he is a prophet avowed. For God sometimes
speaketh by prophets whose persons He hath not accepted; as He did
by Baalam, and as He foretold Saul of his death by the Witch of Endor.
Again in the next verse, "Every spirit that confesseth not that
Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is not of Christ. And this is the
spirit of Antichrist." So that the rule is perfect rule is perfect
on both sides: that he is a true prophet which preacheth the Messiah
already come, in the person of Jesus; and he a false one that
denieth him come, and looketh for him in some future impostor that
shall take upon him that honour falsely, whom the Apostle there
properly calleth Antichrist. Every man therefore ought to consider who
is the sovereign prophet; that is to say, who it is that is God's
vicegerent on earth, and hath next under God the authority of
governing Christian men; and to observe for a rule that doctrine which
in the name of God he hath commanded to be taught, and thereby to
examine and try out the truth of those doctrines which pretended
prophets, with miracle or without, shall at any time advance: and if
they find it contrary to that rule, to do as they did that came to
Moses and complained that there were some that prophesied in the
camp whose authority so to do they doubted of; and leave to the
sovereign, as they did to Moses, to uphold or to forbid them, as he
should see cause; and if he disavow them, then no more to obey their
voice, or if he approve them, then to obey them as men to whom God
hath given a part of the spirit of their sovereign. For when Christian
men take not their Christian sovereign for God's prophet, they must
either take their own dreams for the prophecy they mean to be governed
by, and the tumour of their own hearts for the Spirit of God; or
they must suffer themselves to be lead by some strange prince, or by
some of their fellow subjects that can bewitch them by slander of
the government into rebellion, without other miracle to confirm
their calling than sometimes an extraordinary success and impunity;
and by this means destroying all laws, both divine and human, reduce
all order, government, and society to the first chaos of violence
and civil war.

  * I John, 4. 2, etc.

                            CHAPTER XXXVII
                      OF MIRACLES AND THEIR USE

  BY Miracles are signified the admirable works of God: and
therefore they are also called wonders. And because they are for the
most part done for a signification of His commandment in such
occasions as, without them, men are apt to doubt (following their
private natural reasoning) what He hath commanded, and what not,
they are commonly, in Holy Scripture, called signs, in the same
sense as they are called by the Latins, ostenta and portenta, from
showing and foresignifying that which the Almighty is about to bring
to pass.
  To understand therefore what is a miracle, we must first
understand what works they are which men wonder at and call admirable.
And there be but two things which make men wonder at any event: the
one is if it be strange, that is to say, such as the like of it hath
never or very rarely been produced; the other is if when it is
produced, we cannot imagine it to have been done by natural means, but
only by the immediate hand of God. But when we see some possible
natural cause of it, how rarely soever the like has been done; or if
the like have been often done, how impossible soever it be to
imagine a natural means thereof, we no more wonder, nor esteem it
for a miracle.
  Therefore, if a horse or cow should speak, it were a miracle,
because both the thing is strange and the natural cause difficult to
imagine; so also were it to see a strange deviation of nature in the
production of some new shape of a living creature. But when a man,
or other animal, engenders his like, though we know no more how this
is done than the other; yet because it is usual, it is no miracle.
In like manner, if a man be metamorphosed into a stone, or into a
pillar, it is a miracle, because strange; but if a piece of wood be so
changed, because we see it often it is no miracle: and yet we know
no more by what operation of God the one is brought to pass than the
  The first rainbow that was seen in the world was a miracle,
because the first, and consequently strange, and served for a sign
from God, placed in heaven to assure His people there should be no
more a universal destruction of the world by water. But at this day,
because they are frequent, they are not miracles, neither to them that
know their natural causes, nor to them who know them not. Again, there
be many rare works produced by the art of man; yet when we know they
are done, because thereby we know also the means how they are done, we
count them not for miracles, because not wrought by the immediate hand
of God, but by mediation of human industry.
  Furthermore, seeing admiration and wonder is consequent to the
knowledge and experience wherewith men are endued, some more, some
less, it followeth that the same thing may be a miracle to one, and
not to another. And thence it is that ignorant and superstitious men
make great wonders of those works which other men, knowing to
proceed from nature (which is not the immediate, but the ordinary work
of God), admire not at all; as when eclipses of the sun and moon
have been taken for supernatural works by the common people, when
nevertheless there were others could, from their natural causes,
have foretold the very hour they should arrive; or, as when a man,
by confederacy and secret intelligence, getting knowledge of the
private actions of an ignorant, unwary man, thereby tells him what
he has done in former time, it seems to him a miraculous thing; but
amongst wise and cautelous men, such miracles as those cannot easily
be done.
  Again, it belongeth to the nature of a miracle that it be wrought
for the procuring of credit to God's messengers, ministers, and
prophets, that thereby men may know they are called, sent, and
employed by God, and thereby be the better inclined to obey them.
And therefore, though the creation of the world, and after that the
destruction of all living creatures in the universal deluge, were
admirable works; yet because they were not done to procure credit to
any prophet or other minister of God, they use not to be called
miracles. For how admirable soever any work be, the admiration
consisteth not in that could be done, because men naturally believe
the Almighty can do all things, but because He does it at the prayer
or word of a man. But the works of God in Egypt, by the hand of Moses,
were properly miracles, because they were done with intention to
make the people of Israel believe that Moses came unto them, not out
of any design of his own interest, but as sent from God Therefore
after God had commanded him to deliver the Israelites from the
Egyptian bondage, when he said, "They will not believe me, but will
say the Lord hath not appeared unto me,"* God gave him power to turn
the rod he had in his hand into a serpent, and again to return it into
a rod; and by putting his hand into his bosom, to make it leprous, and
again by pulling it out to make it whole, to make the children of
Israel believe that the God of their fathers had appeared unto
him:*(2) and if that were not enough, He gave him power to turn
their waters into blood. And when he had done these miracles before
the people, it is said that "they believed him."*(3) Nevertheless, for
fear of Pharaoh, they durst not yet obey him. Therefore the other
works which were done to plague Pharaoh and the Egyptians tended all
to make the Israelites believe in Moses, and properly miracles. In
like manner if we consider all the miracles done by the hand of Moses,
and all the rest of the prophets till the Captivity, and those of
our Saviour and his Apostles afterwards, we shall find their end was
always to beget or confirm belief that they came not of their own
motion, but were sent by God. We may further observe in Scripture that
the end of miracles was to beget belief, not universally in all men,
elect and reprobate, but in the elect only; that is to say, in such as
God had determined should become His subjects. For those miraculous
plagues of Egypt had not for end the conversion of Pharaoh; for God
had told Moses before that He would harden the heart of Pharaoh,
that he should not let the people go: and when he let them go at last,
not the miracles persuaded him, but the plagues forced him to it. So
also of our Saviour it is written that He wrought not many miracles in
His own country, because of their unbelief;*(4) and instead of, "He
wrought not many," it is, "He could work none."*(5) It was not because
he wanted power; which, to say, were blasphemy against God; nor that
the end of miracles was not to convert incredulous men to Christ;
for the end of all the miracles of Moses, of the prophets, of our
Saviour and of his Apostles was to add men to the Church; but it was
because the end of their miracles was to add to the Church, not all
men, but such as should be saved; that is to say, such as God had
elected. Seeing therefore our Saviour was sent from His Father, He
could not use His power in the conversion of those whom His Father had
rejected. They that, expounding this place of St. Mark, say that
this word, "He could not," is put for, "He would not," do it without
example in the Greek tongue (where would not is put sometimes for
could not, in things inanimate that have no will; but could not, for
would not, never), and thereby lay a stumbling block before weak
Christians, as if Christ could do no miracles but amongst the

  * Exodus, 4. 1
  *(2) Ibid., 4. 5
  *(3) Ibid., 4. 31
  *(4) Matthew, 13. 58
  *(5) Mark, 6. 5

  From that which I have here set down, of the nature and use of a
miracle, we may define it thus: a miracle is a work of God (besides
His operation by the way of nature, ordained in the Creation) done for
the making manifest to His elect the mission of an extraordinary
minister for their salvation.
  And from this definition, we may infer: first, that in all
miracles the work done is not the effect of any virtue in the prophet,
because it is the effect of the immediate hand of God; that is to say,
God hath done it, without using the prophet therein as a subordinate
  Secondly, that no devil, angel, or other created spirit can do a
miracle. For it must either be by virtue of some natural science or by
incantation, that is, virtue of words. For if the enchanters do it
by their own power independent, there is some power that proceedeth
not from God, which all men deny; and if they do it by power given
them, then is the work not from the immediate hand of God, but
natural, and consequently no miracle.
  There be some texts of Scripture that seem to attribute the power of
working wonders, equal to some of those immediate miracles wrought
by God Himself, to certain arts of magic and incantation. As, for
example, when we read that after the rod of Moses being cast on the
ground became a serpent, "the magicians of Egypt did the like by their
enchantments";* and that after Moses had turned the waters of the
Egyptian streams, rivers, ponds, and pools of water into blood, "the
magicians of Egypt did likewise, with their enchantments";*(2) and
that after Moses had by the power of God brought frogs upon the
land, "the magicians also did so with their enchantments, and
brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt";*(3) will not man be apt to
attribute miracles to enchantments; that is to say, to the efficacy of
the sound of words; and think the same very well proved out of this
and other such places? And yet there is no place of Scripture that
telleth us what an enchantment is. If therefore enchantment be not, as
many think it, a working of strange effects by spells and words, but
imposture and delusion wrought by ordinary means; and so far from
supernatural, as the impostors need not the study so much of natural
causes, but the ordinary ignorance, stupidity, and superstition of
mankind, to do them; those texts that seem to countenance the power of
magic, witchcraft, and enchantment must needs have another sense
than at first sight they seem to bear.

  * Exodus, 7. 11
  *(2) Ibid., 7. 22
  *(3) Ibid., 8. 7

  For it is evident enough that words have no have now effect but on
those that understand them, and then they have no other but to signify
the intentions or passions of them that speak; and thereby produce
hope, fear, or other passions, or conceptions in the hearer. Therefore
when a rod seemeth a serpent, or the waters blood, or any other
miracle seemeth done by enchantment; if it be not to the edification
of God's people, not the rod, nor the water, nor any other thing is
enchanted; that is to say, wrought upon by the words, but the
spectator. So that all the miracle consisteth in this, that the
enchanter has deceived a man; which is no miracle, but a very easy
matter to do.
  For such is the ignorance and aptitude to error generally of all
men, but especially of them that have not much knowledge of natural
causes, and of the nature and interests of men, as by innumerable
and easy tricks to be abused. What opinion of miraculous power, before
it was known there was a science of the course of the stars, might a
man have gained that should have told the people, this hour, or day,
the sun should be darkened? A juggler, by the handling of his
goblets and other trinkets, if it were not now ordinarily practised,
would be thought to do his wonders by the power at least of the Devil.
A man that hath practised to speak by drawing in of his breath
(which kind of men in ancient time were called ventriloqui) and so
make the weakness of his voice seem to proceed, not from the weak
impulsion of the organs of speech, but from distance of place, is able
to make very many men believe it is a voice from heaven, whatsoever he
please to tell them. And for a crafty man that hath enquired into
the secrets and familiar confessions that one man ordinarily maketh to
another of his actions and adventures past, to tell them him again
is no hard matter; and yet there be many that by such means as that
obtain the reputation of being conjurers. But it is too long a
business to reckon up the several sorts of those men which the
Greeks called thaumaturgi, that is to say, workers of things
wonderful; and yet these do all they do by their own single dexterity.
But if we look upon the impostures wrought by confederacy, there is
nothing how impossible soever to be done that is impossible to be
believed. For two men conspiring, one to seem lame, the other to
cure him with a charm, will deceive many: but many conspiring, one
to seem lame, another so to cure him, and all the rest to bear
witness, will deceive many more.
  In this aptitude of mankind to give too hasty belief to pretended
miracles, there can there can be no better nor I think any other
caution than that which God hath prescribed, first by Moses (as I have
said before in the precedent chapter), in the beginning of the
thirteenth and end of the eighteenth of Deuteronomy; that we take
not any for prophets that teach any other religion than that which
God's lieutenant, which at that time was Moses, hath established;
nor any, though he teach the same religion, whose prediction we do not
see come to pass. Moses therefore in his time, and Aaron and his
successors in their times, and the sovereign governor of God's
people next under God Himself, that is to say, the head of the
Church in all times, are to be consulted what doctrine he hath
established before we give credit to a pretended miracle or prophet.
And when that is done, the thing they pretend to be a miracle, we must
both see it done and use all means possible to consider whether it
be really done; and not only so, but whether it be such as no man
can do the like by his natural power, but that it requires the
immediate hand of God. And in this also we must have recourse to God's
lieutenant, to whom in all doubtful cases we have submitted our
private judgements. For example, if a man pretend that after certain
words spoken over a piece of bread, that presently God hath made it
not bread, but a god, or a man, or both, and nevertheless it looketh
still as like bread as ever it did, there is no reason for any man
to think it really done, nor consequently to fear him till he
enquire of God by his vicar or lieutenant whether it be done or not.
If he say not, then followeth that which Moses, saith "he hath
spoken it presumptuously; thou shalt not fear him."* If he say it is
done, then he is not to contradict it. So also if we see not, but only
hear tell of a miracle, we are to consult the lawful Church; that is
to say, the lawful head thereof, how far we are to give credit to
the relators of it. And this is chiefly the case of men that in
these days live under Christian sovereigns. For in these times I do
not know one man that ever saw any such wondrous work, done by the
charm or at the word or prayer of a man, that a man endued but with
a mediocrity of reason would think supernatural: and the question is
no more whether what we see done be a miracle; whether the miracle
we hear, or read of, were a real work, and not the act of a tongue
or pen; but in plain terms, whether the report be true, or a lie. In
which question we are not every one to make our own private reason
or conscience, but the public reason, that is the reason of God's
supreme lieutenant, judge; and indeed we have made him judge
already, if we have given him a sovereign power to do all that is
necessary for our peace and defence. A private man has always the
liberty, because thought is free, to believe or not believe in his
heart those acts that have been given out for miracles, according as
he shall see what benefit can accrue, by men's belief, to those that
pretend or countenance them, and thereby conjecture whether they be
miracles or lies. But when it comes to confession of that faith, the
private reason must submit to the public; that is to say, to God's
lieutenant. But who is this lieutenant of God, and head of the Church,
shall be considered in its proper place hereafter.

  * Deuteronomy, 18. 22

                           CHAPTER XXXVIII

  THE maintenance of civil society depending on justice, and justice
on the power of life and death, and other less rewards and punishments
residing in them that have the sovereignty of the Commonwealth; it
is impossible a Commonwealth should stand where any other than the
sovereign hath a power of giving greater rewards than life, and of
inflicting greater punishments than death. Now seeing eternal life
is a greater reward than the life present, and eternal torment a
greater punishment than the death of nature, it is a thing worthy to
be well considered of all men that desire, by obeying authority, to
avoid the calamities of confusion and civil war, what is meant in Holy
Scripture by life eternal and torment eternal; and for what
offences, and against whom committed, men are to be eternally
tormented; and for what actions they are to obtain eternal life.
  And first we find that Adam was created in such a condition of
life as, had he not broken the commandment of God, he had enjoyed it
in the Paradise of Eden everlastingly. For there was the tree of life,
whereof he was so long allowed to eat as he should forbear to eat of
the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which was not allowed him. And
therefore as soon as he had eaten of it, God thrust him out of
Paradise, "lest he should put forth his hand, and take also of the
tree of life, and live forever."* By which it seemeth to me (with
submission nevertheless both in this, and in all questions whereof the
determination dependeth on the Scriptures, to the interpretation of
the Bible authorized by the Commonwealth whose subject I am) that
Adam, if he had not sinned, had had an eternal life on earth; and that
mortality entered upon himself, and his posterity, by his first sin.
Not that actual death then entered, for Adam then could never have had
children; whereas he lived long after, and saw a numerous posterity
ere he died. But where it is said, "In the day that thou eatest
thereof, thou shalt surely die,"*(2) it must needs be meant of his
mortality and certitude of death. Seeing then eternal life was lost by
Adam's forfeiture, in committing sin, he that should cancel that
forefeiture was to recover thereby that life again. Now Jesus Christ
hath satisfied for the sins of all that believe in him, and
therefore recovered to all believers that eternal life which was
lost by the sin of Adam. And in this sense it is that the comparison
of St. Paul holdeth: "As by the offence of one, judgement came upon
all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free
gift came upon all men to justification of life."*(3) Which is again
more perspicuously delivered in these words, "For since by man came
death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam
all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."*(4)

  * Genesis, 3. 22
  *(2) Ibid., 2. 17
  *(3) Romans, 5. 18, 19
  *(4) I Corinthians, 15. 21, 22

  Concerning the place wherein men shall enjoy that eternal life which
Christ hath obtained for them, the texts next before alleged seem to
make it on earth. For if, as in Adam, all die, that is, have forfeited
Paradise and eternal life on earth, even so in Christ all shall be
made alive; then all men shall be made to live on earth; for else
the comparison were not proper. Hereunto seemeth to agree that of
the Psalmist, "Upon Zion God commanded the blessing, even life for
evermore";* for Zion is in Jerusalem upon earth: as also that of St.
John, "To him that overcometh I will give to eat of the tree of
life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."*(2) This was
the tree of Adam's eternal life; but his life was to have been on
earth. The same seemeth to be confirmed again by St. John, where he
saith, "I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from
God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband": and
again, verse 10, to the same effect; as if he should say, the new
Jerusalem, the Paradise of God, at the coming again of Christ,
should come down to God's people from heaven, and not they go up to it
from earth. And this differs nothing from that which the two men in
white clothing (that is, the two angels) said to the Apostles that
were looking upon Christ ascending: "This same Jesus, who is taken
up from you into heaven, shall so come, as you have seen him go up
into heaven." Which soundeth as if they had said he should come down
to govern them under his Father eternally here, and not take them up
to govern them in heaven; and is conformable to the restoration of the
kingdom of God, instituted under Moses, which was a political
government of the Jews on earth. Again, that saying of our Saviour,
"that in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in
marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven," is a description of
an eternal life, resembling that which we lost in Adam in the point of
marriage. For seeing Adam and Eve, if they had not sinned, had lived
on earth eternally in their individual persons, it is manifest they
should not continually have procreated their kind. For if immortals
should have generated, as mankind doth now, the earth in a small
time would not have been able to afford them place to stand on. The
Jews that asked our Saviour the question, whose wife the woman that
had married many brothers should be in the resurrection, knew not what
were the consequences of life eternal: and therefore our puts them
in mind of this consequence of immortality; that there shall be no
generation, and consequently no marriage, no more than there is
marriage or generation among the angels. The comparison between that
eternal life which Adam lost, and our Saviour by his victory over
death hath recovered, holdeth also in this, that as Adam lost
eternal life by his sin, and yet lived after it for a time, so the
faithful Christian hath recovered eternal life by Christ's passion,
though he die a natural death, and remain dead for a time; namely,
till the resurrection. For as death is reckoned from the
condemnation of Adam, not from the execution; so life is reckoned from
the absolution, not from the resurrection of them that are elected
in Christ.
  That the place wherein men are to live eternally, after the
resurrection, is the heavens, meaning by heaven those parts of the
world which are the most remote from earth, as where the stars are, or
above the stars, in another higher heaven, called coelum empyreum
(whereof there is no mention in Scripture, nor ground in reason), is
not easily to be drawn from any text that I can find. By the Kingdom
of Heaven is meant the kingdom of the King that dwelleth in heaven;
and His kingdom was the people of Israel, whom He ruled by the
prophets, his lieutenants; first Moses, and after him Eleazar, and the
sovereign priests, till in the days of Samuel they rebelled, and would
have a mortal man for their king after the manner of other nations.
And when our Saviour Christ by the preaching of his ministers shall
have persuaded the Jews to return, and called the Gentiles to his
obedience, then shall there be a new king of heaven; because our
King shall then be God, whose throne is heaven, without any
necessity evident in the Scripture that man shall ascend to his
happiness any higher than God's footstool the earth. On the
contrary, we find written that "no man hath ascended into heaven,
but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man, that is in
heaven." Where I observe, by the way, that these words are not, as
those which go immediately before, the words of our Saviour, but of
St. John himself; for Christ was then not in heaven, but upon the
earth. The like is said of David where St. Peter, to prove the
Ascension of Christ, using the words of the Psalmist, "Thou wilt not
leave my soul in hell, nor suffer thine Holy One to see corruption,"
saith they were spoken, not of David, but of Christ, and to prove
it, addeth this reason, "For David is not ascended into heaven." But
to this a man may easily answer and say that, though their bodies were
not to ascend till the general day of judgement, yet their souls
were in heaven as soon as they were departed from their bodies;
which also seemeth to be confirmed by the words of our Saviour, who,
proving the resurrection out of the words of Moses, saith thus,
"That the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he
calleth the Lord, the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the
God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living;
for they all live to him."*(3) But if these words be to be
understood only of the immortality of the soul, they prove not at
all that which our Saviour intended to prove, which was the
resurrection of the body, that is to say, the immortality of the
man. Therefore our Saviour meaneth that those patriarches were
immortal, not by a property consequent to the essence and nature of
mankind, but by the will of God, that was pleased of His mere grace to
bestow eternal life upon the faithful. And though at that time the
patriarchs and many other faithful men were dead, yet as it is in
the text, they "lived to God"; that is, they were written in the
Book of Life with them that were absolved of their sins, and
ordained to life eternal at the resurrection. That the soul of man
is in its own nature eternal, and a living creature independent on the
body; or that any mere man is immortal, otherwise than by the
resurrection in the last day, except Enos and Elias, is a doctrine not
apparent in Scripture. The whole fourteenth Chapter of Job, which is
the speech not of his friends, but of himself, is a complaint of
this mortality of nature; and yet no contradiction of the
immortality at the resurrection. "There is hope of a tree," saith
he, "if it be cast down. Though the root thereof wax old, and the
stock thereof die in the ground, yet when it scenteth the water it
will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant. But man dieth, and
wasteth away, yea, man giveth up the ghost, and where is he?"*(4) And,
verse 12, "man lieth down, riseth not, till the heavens be no more."
But when is it that the heavens shall be no more? St. Peter tells us
that it is at the general resurrection. For in his second Epistle,
third Chapter, verse 7, he saith that "the heavens and the earth
that are now, are reserved unto fire against the day of judgement, and
perdition of ungodly men," and, verse 12, "looking for and hasting
to the coming of God, wherein the heavens shall be on fire, and
shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.
Nevertheless, we according to the promise look for new heavens, and
a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." Therefore where Job
saith, "man riseth not till the heavens be no more"; it is all one, as
if he had said the immortal life (and soul and life in the Scripture
do usually signify the same thing) beginneth not in man till the
resurrection and day of judgement; and hath for cause, not his
specifical nature and generation, but the promise. For St. Peter
says not, "We look for new heavens, and a new earth," but "from

  * Psalms, 133. 3
  *(2) Revelation, 2. 7
  *(3) Luke, 20. 37, 38
  *(4) Job, 14. 7

  Lastly, seeing it hath been already proved out of diverse evident
places of Scripture, in the thirty-fifth Chapter of this book, that
the kingdom of God is a civil Commonwealth, where God Himself is
sovereign, by virtue first of the Old, and since of the New, Covenant,
wherein He reigneth by His vicar or lieutenant; the same places do
therefore also prove that after the coming again of our Saviour in his
majesty and glory to reign actually and eternally, the kingdom of
God is to be on earth. But because this doctrine, though proved out of
places of Scripture not few nor obscure, will appear to most men a
novelty, I do but propound it, maintaining nothing in this or any
other paradox of religion, but attending the end of that dispute of
the sword, concerning the authority (not yet amongst my countrymen
decided), by which all sorts of doctrine are to be approved or
rejected; and whose commands, both in speech and writing, whatsoever
be the opinions of private men, must by all men, that mean to be
protected by their laws, be obeyed. For the points of doctrine
concerning the kingdom of God have so great influence on the kingdom
of man as not to be determined but by them that under God have the
sovereign power.
  As the kingdom of God, and eternal life, so also God's enemies,
and their torments after judgement, appear by the Scripture to have
their place on earth. The name of the place where all men remain
till the resurrection, that were either buried or swallowed up of
the earth, is usually called in Scripture by words that signify
under ground; which the Latins read generally infernus and inferi, and
the Greeks ades; that is to say, a place where men cannot see; and
containeth as well the grave as any other deeper place. But for the
place of the damned after the resurrection, it is not determined,
neither in the Old nor New Testament, by any note of situation, but
only by the company: as that it shall be where such wicked men were,
as God in former times in extraordinary and miraculous manner had
destroyed from off the face of the earth: as for example, that they
are in Inferno, in Tartarus, or in the bottomless pit; because
Corah, Dathan, and Abiram were swallowed up alive into the earth.
Not that the writers of the Scripture would have us believe there
could be in the globe of the earth, which is not only finite, but
also, compared to the height of the stars, of no considerable
magnitude, a pit without a bottom; that is, a hole of infinite
depth, such as the Greeks in their demonology (that is to say in their
doctrine concerning demons), and after them the Romans, called
Tartarus; of which Virgil says,

     Bis patet in praeceps, tantum tenditque sub umbras,
     Quantus ad aethereum coeli suspectus Olympum:

for that is a thing the proportion of earth to heaven cannot bear: but
that we should believe them there, indefinitely, where those men
are, on whom God inflicted that exemplary punishment.
  Again, because those mighty men of the earth that lived in the
time of Noah, before the flood (which the Greeks called heroes, and
the Scripture giants, and both say were begotten by copulation of
the children of God with the children of men), were for their wicked
life destroyed by the general deluge, the place of the damned is
therefore also sometimes marked out by the company of those deceased
giants; as Proverbs, 21. 16, "The man that wandereth out of the way of
understanding shall remain in the congregation of the giants," and
Job, 26. 5, "Behold the giants groan under water, and they that
dwell with them." Here the place of the damned is under the water. And
Isaiah, 14. 9, "Hell is troubled how to meet thee" (that is, the
King of Babylon) "and will displace the giants for thee": and here
again the place of the damned, if the sense be literal, is to be under
  Thirdly, because the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, by the
extraordinary wrath of God, were consumed for their wickedness with
fire and brimstone, and together with them the country about made a
stinking bituminous lake, the place of the damned is sometimes
expressed by fire, and a fiery lake: as in the Apocalypse, 21. 8, "But
the timorous, incredulous, and abominable, and murderers, and
whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall
have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone;
which is the second death." So that it is manifest that hell fire,
which is here expressed by metaphor, from the real fire of Sodom,
signifieth not any certain kind or place of torment, but is to be
taken indefinitely for destruction, as it is in Revelation, 20, at the
fourteenth verse, where it is said that "Death and hell were cast into
the lake of fire"; that is to say, were abolished and destroyed; as if
after the day of judgement there shall be no more dying, nor no more
going into hell; that is, no more going to Hades (from which word
perhaps our word hell is derived), which is the same with no more
  Fourthly, from the plague of darkness inflicted on the Egyptians, of
which it is written, "They saw not one another, neither rose any man
from his place for three days; but all the children of Israel had
light in their dwellings";* the place of the wicked after judgement is
called utter darkness, or, as it is in the original, darkness without.
And so it is expressed where the king commandeth his servants, "to
bind hand and foot the man that had not on his wedding garment and
to cast him into," eis to skotos to exoteron "external
darkness,"*(2) or "darkness without": which, though translated
"utter darkness," does not signify how great, but where that
darkness is to be; namely, without the habitation of God's elect.

  * Exodus, 10. 23
  *(2) Matthew, 22. 13

  Lastly, whereas there was a place near Jerusalem called the Valley
of the Children of Hinnon in a part whereof called Tophet the Jews had
committed most grievous idolatry, sacrificing their children to the
idol Moloch; and wherein also God had afflicted His enemies with
most grievous punishments; and wherein Josiah had burnt the priests of
Moloch upon their own altars, as appeareth at large in II Kings,
Chapter 23; the place served afterwards to receive the filth and
garbage which was carried thither out of the city; and there used to
be fires made, from time to time, to purify the air and take away
the stench of carrion. From this abominable place, the Jews used
ever after to call the place of the damned by the name of Gehenna,
or Valley of Hinnon. And this Gehenna is that word which is usually
now translated hell; and from the fires from time to time there
burning, we have the notion of everlasting and unquenchable fire.
  Seeing now there is none that so interprets the Scripture as that
after the day of judgement the wicked are all eternally to be punished
in the Valley of Hinnon; or that they shall so rise again as to be
ever after underground or underwater; or that after the resurrection
they shall no more see one another, nor stir from one place to
another; it followeth, methinks, very necessarily, that which is
thus said concerning hell fire is spoken metaphorically; and that
therefore there is a proper sense to be enquired after (for of all
metaphors there is some real ground, that may be expressed in proper
words), both of the place of hell, and the nature of hellish
torments and tormenters.
  And first for the tormenters, we have their nature and properties
exactly and properly delivered by the names of the enemy, or Satan;
the Accuser, or Diabolus; the Destroyer, or Abaddon. Which significant
names, Satan, Devil, Abaddon, set not forth to us any individual
person, as proper names use to do, but only an office or quality;
and are therefore appellatives; which ought not to have been left
untranslated, as they are in the Latin and modern Bibles, because
thereby they seem to be the proper names of demons; and men are more
easily seduced to believe the doctrine of devils, which at that time
was the religion of the Gentiles, and contrary to that of Moses and of
  And because by the Enemy, the Accuser, and Destroyer is meant the
enemy of them that shall be in the kingdom of God; therefore if the
kingdom of God after the resurrection be upon the earth (as in the
former chapter I have shown by Scripture it seems to be), the enemy
and his kingdom must be on earth also. For so also was it in the
time before the Jews had deposed God. For God's kingdom was in
Palestine; and the nations round about were the kingdoms of the Enemy;
and consequently by Satan is meant any earthly enemy of the Church.
  The torments of hell are expressed sometimes by "weeping, and
gnashing of teeth," as Matthew, 8. 12; sometimes, by "the worm of
conscience," as Isaiah, 66. 24, and Mark, 9. 44, 46, 48; sometimes, by
fire, as in the place now quoted, "where the worm dieth not, and the
fire is not quenched," and many places besides: sometimes, by
"shame, and contempt," as, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of
the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life; and some to shame,
and everlasting contempt."* All which places design metaphorically a
grief and discontent of mind from the sight of that eternal felicity
in others which they themselves through their own incredulity and
disobedience have lost. And because such felicity in others is not
sensible but by comparison with their own actual miseries, it
followeth that they are to suffer such bodily pains and calamities
as are incident to those who not only live under evil and cruel
governors, but have also for enemy the eternal king of the saints, God
Almighty. And amongst these bodily pains is to be reckoned also to
every one of the wicked a second death. For though the Scripture be
clear for a universal resurrection, yet we do not read that to any
of the reprobate is promised an eternal life. For whereas St. Paul, to
the question concerning what bodies men shall rise with again, saith
that "the body is sown in corruption, and is raised in incorruption;
it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in
weakness, it is raised in power";*(2) glory and power cannot be
applied to the bodies of the wicked: nor can the name of second
death be applied to those that can never die but once. And although in
metaphorical speech a calamitous life everlasting may be called an
everlasting death, yet it cannot well be understood of a second death.
The fire prepared for the wicked is an everlasting fire: that is to
say, the estate wherein no man can be without torture, both of body
and mind, after the resurrection, shall endure for ever; and in that
sense the fire shall be unquenchable, and the torments everlasting:
but it cannot thence be inferred that he who shall be cast into that
fire, or be tormented with those torments, shall endure and resist
them so as be eternally burnt and tortured, and yet never be destroyed
nor die. And though there be many places that affirm everlasting
fire and torments, into which men may be cast successively one after
another for ever, yet I find none that affirm there shall be an
eternal life therein of any individual person; but to the contrary, an
everlasting death, which is the second death: "For after death and the
grave shall have delivered up the dead which were in them, and every
man be judged according to his works; death and the grave shall also
be cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death."*(3)
Whereby it is evident that there is to be a second death of every
one that shall be condemned at the day judgement, after which he shall
die no more.

  * Daniel, 12. 2
  *(2) I Corinthians, 15. 42, 43
  *(3) Revelation, 20. 13, 14

  The joys of life eternal are in Scripture comprehended all under the
name of salvation, or being saved. To be saved is to be secured,
either respectively, against special evils, or absolutely, against all
evil, comprehending want, sickness, and death itself. And because
man was created in a condition immortal, not subject to corruption,
and consequently to nothing that tendeth to the dissolution of his
nature; and fell from that happiness by the sin of Adam; it
followeth that to be saved from sin is to be saved from all the evil
and calamities that sin hath brought upon us. And therefore in the
Holy Scripture, remission of sin, and salvation from death and misery,
is the same thing, as it appears by the words of our Saviour, who,
having cured a man sick of the palsy, by saying, "Son be of good cheer
thy sins be forgiven thee";* and knowing that the scribes took for
blasphemy that a man should pretend to forgive sins, asked them
"whether it were easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee, or, Arise
and walk";*(2) signifying thereby that it was all one, as to the
saving of the sick, to say, "Thy sins are forgiven," and "Arise and
walk"; and that he used that form of speech only to show he had
power to forgive sins. And it is besides evident in reason that
since death and misery were the punishments of sin, the discharge of
sin must also be a discharge of death and misery; that is to say,
salvation absolute, such as the faithful are to enjoy after the day of
judgement, by the power and favour of Jesus Christ, who that cause
is called our Saviour.

  * Matthew, 9. 2
  *(2) Ibid., 9. 5

  Concerning particular salvations, such as are understood, "as the
Lord liveth that saveth Israel,"* that is, from their temporary
enemies; and, "Thou art my Saviour, thou savest me from violence";*(2)
and, "God gave the Israelites a Saviour, and so they were delivered
from the hand of the Assyrians,"*(3) and the like, I need say nothing;
there being neither difficulty nor interest to corrupt the
interpretation of texts of that kind.

  * I Samuel, 14. 39
  *(2) II Samuel, 22. 3
  *(3) II Kings, 13. 5

  But concerning the general salvation, because it must be in the
kingdom of heaven, there is great difficulty concerning the place.
On one side, by kingdom, which is an estate ordained by men for
their perpetual security against enemies and want, it seemeth that
this salvation should be on earth. For by salvation is set forth
unto us a glorious reign of our king by conquest; not a safety by
escape: and therefore there where we look for salvation, we must
look also for triumph; and before triumph, for victory; and before
victory, for battle; which cannot well be supposed shall be in heaven.
But how good soever this reason may be, I will not trust to it without
very evident places of Scripture. The state of salvation is
described at large, Isaiah, 33. 20, 21, 22, 23, 24:
  "Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities; thine eyes shall see
Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken
down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither
shall any of the cords thereof be broken.
  "But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers
and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall
gallant ship pass thereby.
  "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is
our king, he will save us.
  "Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their
mast; they could not spread the sail: then is the a great spoil
divided; the lame take the prey.
  "And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick; the people that
shall dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity."
  In which words we have the place from whence salvation is to
proceed, "Jerusalem, a quiet habitation"; the eternity of it, "a
tabernacle that shall not be taken down," etc.; the Saviour of it,
"the Lord, their judge, their lawgiver, their king, he will save
us"; the salvation, "the Lord shall be to them as a broad moat of
swift waters," etc.; the condition of their enemies, "their
tacklings are loose, their masts weak, the lame shall take the spoil
of them"; the condition of the saved, "The inhabitant shall not say, I
am sick"; and lastly, all this is comprehended in forgiveness of
sin, "the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity."
By which it is evident that salvation shall be on earth, then, when
God shall reign, at the coming again of Christ, in Jerusalem; and from
Jerusalem shall proceed the salvation of the Gentiles that shall be
received into God's kingdom: as is also more expressly declared by the
same prophet, "And they" (that is, the Gentiles who had any Jew in
bondage) "shall bring all your brethren for an offering to the Lord,
out of all nations, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters,
and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain, Jerusalem,
saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean
vessel into the house of the Lord. And I will also take of them for
priests and for Levites, saith the Lord":* whereby it is manifest that
the chief seat of God's kingdom, which is the place from whence the
salvation of us that were Gentiles shall proceed, shall be
Jerusalem: and the same is also confirmed by our Saviour, in his
discourse with the woman of Samaria concerning the place of God's
worship; to whom he saith that the Samaritans worshipped they knew not
what, but the Jews worshipped what they knew, "for salvation is of the
Jews"*(2) (ex Judaeis, that is, begins at the Jews): as if he should
say, you worship God, but know not by whom He will save you, as we do,
that know it shall be by one of the tribe of Judah; a Jew, not a
Samaritan. And therefore also the woman not impertinently answered him
again, "We know the Messias shall come." So that which our Saviour
saith, "Salvation is from the Jews,: is the same that Paul says,
"The gospel is the power of God to salvation to every one that
believeth: to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the
righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith";*(3) from the faith
of the Jew to the faith of the Gentile. In the like sense the
prophet Joel, describing the day of judgement, that God would "shew
wonders in heaven, and in earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of
smoke. The sun should be turned to darkness, and the moon into
blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come."*(4) He
addeth, "and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the
name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
shall be salvation."*(5) And Obadiah, verse 17, saith the same,
"Upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance; and there shall be holiness,
and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions," that is,
the possessions of the heathen, which possessions he expresseth more
particularly in the following verses, by the mount of Esau, the land
of the Philistines, the fields of Ephraim, of Samaria, Gilead, and the
cities of the South, and concludes with these words, "the kingdom
shall be the Lord's." All these places are for salvation, and the
kingdom of God, after the day of judgement, upon earth. On the other
side, I have not found any text that can probably be drawn to prove
any ascension of the saints into heaven; that is to say, into any
coelum empyreum, or other ethereal region, saving that it is called
the kingdom of heaven: which name it may have because God, that was
king of the Jews, governed them by His commands sent to Moses by
angels from heaven; and after their revolt, sent His Son from heaven
to reduce them to their obedience; and shall send him thence again
to rule both them and all other faithful men from the day of
judgement, everlastingly: or from that, that the throne of this our
Great King is in heaven; whereas the earth is but His footstool. But
that the subjects of God should have any place as high as His
throne, or higher than His footstool, it seemeth not suitable to the
dignity of a king, nor can I find any evident text for it in Holy

  * Isaiah, 66. 20, 21
  *(2) John, 4. 22
  *(3) Romans, 1. 16, 17
  *(4) Joel, 2. 30, 31
  *(5) Ibid., 2. 32

  From this that hath been said of the kingdom of God, and of
salvation, it is not hard to interpret what is meant by the world to
come. There are three worlds mentioned in the Scripture; the old
world, the present world, and the world to come. Of the first, St.
Peter speaks, "If God spared not the old world, but saved Noah the
eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing the flood upon
the world of the ungodly," etc.* So the first world was from Adam to
the general flood. Of the present world, our Saviour speaks, "My
kingdom is not of this world."*(2) For He came only to teach men the
way of salvation, and to renew the kingdom of His Father by His
doctrine. Of the world to come, St. Peter speaks, "Nevertheless we
according to his promise look for new heavens, and a new earth."*(3)
This is that world wherein Christ coming down from heaven in the
clouds, with great power and glory, shall send His angels, and shall
gather together his elect, from the four winds, and from the uttermost
parts of the earth, and thenceforth reign over them, under his Father,

  * II Peter, 2. 5
  *(2) John, 18. 36
  *(3) II Peter, 3. 13

  Salvation of a sinner supposeth a precedent redemption; for he
that is once guilty of sin is obnoxious to the penalty of the same;
and must pay, or some other for him, such ransom as he that is
offended, and has him in his power, shall require. And seeing the
person offended is Almighty God, in whose power are all things, such
ransom is to be paid before salvation can be acquired, as God hath
been pleased to require. By this ransom is not intended a satisfaction
for sin equivalent to the offence, which no sinner for himself, nor
righteous man can ever be able to make for another: the damage a man
does to another he may make amends for by restitution or recompense,
but sin cannot be taken away by recompense; for that were to make
the liberty to sin a thing vendible. But sins may be pardoned to the
repentant, either gratis or upon such penalty as God is pleased to
accept. That which God usually accepted, in the Old Testament, was
some sacrifice or oblation. To forgive sin is not an act of injustice,
though the punishment have been threatened. Even amongst men, though
the promise of good bind the promiser; yet threats, that is to say,
promises of evil, bind them not; much less shall they bind God, who is
infinitely more merciful than men. Our Saviour Christ therefore to
redeem us did not in that sense satisfy for the sins of men, as that
his death, of its own virtue, could make it unjust in God to punish
sinners with eternal death; but did make that sacrifice and oblation
of Himself, at His first coming, which God was pleased to require
for the salvation at His second coming, of such as in the meantime
should repent and believe in Him. And though this act of our
redemption be not always in Scripture called a sacrifice and oblation,
but sometimes a price; yet by price we are not to understand
anything by the value whereof He could claim to a pardon for us from
his offended Father; but that price which God the Father was pleased
in mercy to demand.

                            CHAPTER XXXIX

  THE WORD Church (ecclesia) signifieth in the books of Holy Scripture
diverse things. Sometimes, though not often, it is taken for God's
house, that is to say, for a temple wherein Christians assemble to
perform holy duties publicly; as, "Let your women keep silence in
the churches":* but this is metaphorically put for the congregation
there assembled, and hath been since used for the edifice itself to
distinguish between the temples of Christians and idolaters. The
Temple of Jerusalem was God's house, and the house of prayer; and so
is any edifice dedicated by Christians to the worship of Christ,
Christ's house: and therefore the Greek Fathers call it Kuriake, the
Lord's house; and thence in our language it came to be called kirk,
and church.

  * I Corinthians, 14. 34

  Church, when not taken for a house, signifieth the same that
ecclesia signified in the Grecian Commonwealths; that is to say, a
congregation, or an assembly of citizens, called forth to hear the
magistrate speak unto them; and which in the Commonwealth of Rome
was called concio, as he that spake was called ecclesiastes, and
concionator. And when they were called forth by lawful authority, it
was ecclesia legitima, a lawful Church, ennomos Ekklesia.* But when
they were excited by tumultuous and seditious clamour, then it was a
confused Church, Ekklesia sugkechumene.

  * Acts, 19. 39

  It is taken also sometimes for the men that have right to be of
the congregation, though not actually assembled; that is to say, for
the whole multitude of Christian men, how far soever they be
dispersed: as where it is said that "Saul made havoc of the
church":* and in this sense is Christ said to be Head of the Church.
And sometimes for a certain part of Christians; as, "Salute the Church
that is in his house."*(2) Sometimes also for the elect only; as, "A
glorious Church, without spot or wrinkle, holy and without
blemish";*(3) which is meant of the Church triumphant, or Church to
come. Sometimes, for a congregation assembled of professors of
professors of Christianity, whether their profession be true or
counterfeit, as it is understood where it is said, "Tell it to the
Church, and if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be to thee as
a Gentile, or publican."*(4)

  * Acts, 8. 3
  *(2) Colossians, 4. 15
  *(3) Ephesians, 5. 27
  *(4) Matthew, 18. 17

  And in this last sense only it is that the Church can be taken for
one person; that is to say, that it can be said to have power to will,
to pronounce, to command, to be obeyed, to make laws, or to do any
other action whatsoever; for without authority from a lawful
congregation, whatsoever act be done in a concourse of people, it is
the particular act of every one of those that were present, and gave
their aid to the performance of it; and not the act of them all in
gross, as of one body; much less the act of them that were absent,
or that, being present, were not willing it should be done.
According to this sense, I define a Church to be: a company of men
professing Christian religion, united in the person of one
sovereign; at whose command they ought to assemble, and without
whose authority they ought not to assemble. And because in all
Commonwealths that assembly which is without warrant from the civil
sovereign is unlawful; that Church also which is assembled in any
Commonwealth that hath forbidden them to assemble is an unlawful
  It followeth also that there is on earth no such universal Church as
all Christians are bound to obey, because there is no power on earth
to which all other Commonwealths are subject. There are Christians
in the dominions of several princes and states, but every one of
them is subject to that Commonwealth whereof he is himself a member,
and consequently cannot be subject to the commands of any other
person. And therefore a Church, such a one as is capable to command,
to judge, absolve, condemn, or do any other act, is the same thing
with a civil Commonwealth consisting of Christian men; and is called a
civil state, for that the subjects of it are men; and a Church, for
that the subjects thereof are Christians. Temporal and spiritual
government are but two words brought into the world to make men see
double and mistake their lawful sovereign. It is true that the
bodies of the faithful, after the resurrection, shall be not only
spiritual, but eternal; but in this life they are gross and
corruptible. There is therefore no other government in this life,
neither of state nor religion, but temporal; nor teaching of any
doctrine lawful to any subject which the governor both of the state
and of the religion forbiddeth to be taught. And that governor must be
one; or else there must needs follow faction and civil war in the
Commonwealth between the Church and State; between spiritualists and
temporalists; between the sword of justice and the shield of faith;
and, which is more, in every Christian man's own breast between the
Christian and the man. The doctors of the Church are called pastors;
so also are civil sovereigns: but if pastors be not subordinate one to
another, so as that there may be one chief pastor, men will be
taught contrary doctrines, whereof both may be, and one must be,
false. Who that one chief pastor is, according to the law of nature,
hath been already shown; namely, that it is the civil sovereign: and
to whom the Scripture hath assigned that office, we shall see in the
chapters following.

                              CHAPTER XL

  THE FATHER of the faithful, and first in the kingdom of God by
covenant, was Abraham. For with him was the covenant first made;
wherein he obliged himself and his seed after him to acknowledge and
obey the commands of God; not only such as he could take notice of (as
moral laws) by the light of nature; but also such as God should in
special manner deliver to him by dreams and visions. For as to the
moral law, they were already obliged, and needed not have been
contracted withal, by promise of the land of Canaan. Nor was there any
contract that could add to or strengthen the obligation by which
both they and all men else were bound naturally to obey God
Almighty: and therefore the covenant which Abraham made with God was
to take for the commandment of God that which in the name of God was
commanded him, in a dream or vision, and to deliver it to his family
and cause them to observe the same.
  In this contract of God with Abraham, we may observe three points of
important consequence in the government of God's people. First, that
at the making of this covenant God spoke only to Abraham, and
therefore contracted not with any of his family or seed otherwise than
as their wills (which make the essence of all covenants) were before
the contract involved in the will of Abraham, who was therefore
supposed to have had a lawful power to make them perform all that he
covenanted for them. According whereunto God saith, "All the nations
of the earth shall be blessed in him, for I know him that he will
command his children and his household after him, and they shall
keep the way of the Lord."* From whence may be concluded this first
point, that they to whom God hath not spoken immediately are to
receive the positive commandments of God from their sovereign, as
the family and seed of Abraham did from Abraham their father and
lord and civil sovereign. And consequently in every Commonwealth, they
who have no supernatural revelation to the contrary ought to obey
the laws of their own sovereign in the external acts and profession of
religion. As for the inward thought and belief of men, which human
governors can take no notice of (for God only knoweth the heart), they
are not voluntary, nor the effect of the laws, but of the unrevealed
will and of the power of God, and consequently fall not under

  * Genesis, 18. 18, 19

  From whence proceedeth another point; that it was not unlawful for
Abraham, when any of his subjects should pretend private vision or
spirit, or other revelation from God, for the countenancing of any
doctrine which Abraham should forbid, or when they followed or adhered
to any such pretender, to punish them; and consequently that it is
lawful now for the sovereign to punish any man that shall oppose his
private spirit against the laws: for he hath the same place in the
Commonwealth that Abraham had in his own family.
  There ariseth also from the same a third point; that as none but
Abraham in his family, so none but the sovereign in a Christian
Commonwealth, can take notice what is or what is not the word of
God. For God spoke only to Abraham, and it was he only that was able
to know what God said, and to interpret the same to his family: and
therefore also, they that have the place of Abraham in a
Commonwealth are the only interpreters of what God hath spoken.
  The same covenant was renewed with Isaac, and afterwards with Jacob,
but afterwards no more till the Israelites were freed from the
Egyptians and arrived at the foot of Mount Sinai: and then it was
renewed by Moses (as I have said before, Chapter thirty-five), in such
manner as they became from that time forward the peculiar kingdom of
God, whose lieutenant was Moses for his own time: and the succession
to that office was settled upon Aaron and his heirs after him to be to
God a sacerdotal kingdom forever.
  By this constitution, a kingdom is acquired to God. But seeing Moses
had no authority to govern the Israelites as a successor to the
right of Abraham, because he could not claim it by inheritance, it
appeareth not as yet that the people were obliged to take him for
God's lieutenant longer than they believed that God spoke unto him.
And therefore his authority, notwithstanding the covenant they made
with God, depended yet merely upon the opinion they had of his
sanctity, and of the reality of his conferences with God, and the
verity of his miracles; which opinion coming to change, they were no
more obliged to take anything for the law of God which he propounded
to them in God's name. We are therefore to consider what other
ground there was of their obligation to obey him. For it could not
be the commandment of God that could oblige them, because God spoke
not to them immediately, but by the mediation of Moses himself: and
our Saviour saith of himself, "If I bear witness of myself, my witness
is not true";* much less if Moses bear witness of himself,
especially in a claim of kingly power over God's people, ought his
testimony to be received. His authority therefore, as the authority of
all other princes, must be grounded on the consent of the people and
their promise to obey him. And so it was: for "the people when they
saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet,
and the mountain smoking, removed and stood afar off. And they said
unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear, but let not God
speak with us lest we die."*(2) Here was their promise of obedience;
and by this it was they obliged themselves to obey whatsoever he
should deliver unto them for the commandment of God.

  * John, 5. 31
  *(2) Exodus, 20. 18, 19

  And notwithstanding the covenant constituteth a sacerdotal
kingdom, that is to say, a kingdom hereditary to Aaron; yet that is to
be understood of the succession after Moses should be dead. For
whosoever ordereth and establisheth the policy as first founder of a
Commonwealth, be it monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy, must needs
have sovereign power over the people all the while he is doing of
it. And that Moses had that power all his own time is evidently
affirmed in the Scripture. First, in the text last before cited,
because the people promised obedience, not to Aaron, but to him.
Secondly, "And God said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou and
Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. And Moses
alone shall come near the Lord, but they shall not come nigh,
neither shall the people go up with him."* By which it is plain that
Moses, who was alone called up to God (and not Aaron, nor the other
priests, nor the seventy elders, nor the people who were forbidden
to come up), was alone he that represented to the Israelites the
person of God; that is to say, was their sole sovereign under God. And
though afterwards it be said, "Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab and
Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of
Israel, and there was under His feet as it were a paved work of
sapphire stone,"*(2) etc.; yet this was not till after Moses had
been with God before, and had brought to the people the words which
God had said to him. He only went for the business of the people;
the others, as the nobles of his retinue, were admitted for honour
to that special grace which was not allowed to the people; which
was, as in the verse after appeareth, to see God and live. "God laid
not His hand upon them, they saw God, and did eat and drink" (that is,
did live), but did not carry any commandment from Him to the people.
Again, it is everywhere said, "The Lord spake unto Moses," as in all
other occasions of government, so also in also in the ordering of
the ceremonies of religion, contained in the 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th,
29th, 30th, and 31st chapters of Exodus, and throughout Leviticus;
to Aaron, seldom. The calf that Aaron made, Moses threw into the fire.
Lastly, the question of the authority of Aaron, by occasion of his and
Miriam's mutiny against Moses, was judged by God Himself for
Moses.*(3) So also in the question between Moses and the people, who
had the right of governing the people, when Korah, Dathan, and Abiram,
and two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly "gathered themselves
together against Moses, and against Aaron, and said unto them, ye take
too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one
of them, and the Lord is amongst them, why lift you up yourselves
above the congregation of the Lord?"*(4) God caused the earth to
swallow Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, with their wives and children,
alive, and consumed those two hundred and fifty princes with fire.
Therefore neither Aaron, nor the people, nor any aristocracy of the
chief princes of the people, but Moses alone had next under God the
sovereignty over the Israelites: and that not only in causes of
civil policy, but also of religion: for Moses only spoke with God, and
therefore only could tell the people what it was that God required
at their hands. No man upon pain of death might be so presumptuous
as to approach the mountain where God talked with Moses. "Thou shalt
set bounds," saith the Lord, "to the people round about, and say, Take
heed to yourselves that you go not up into the Mount, or touch the
border of it; whosoever toucheth the Mount shall surely be put to
death."*(5) And again, "Go down, charge the people, lest they break
through unto the Lord to gaze."*(6) Out of which we may conclude
that whosoever in Christian Commonwealth holdeth the place of Moses is
the sole messenger of God and interpreter of His commandments. And
according hereunto, no man ought in the interpretation of the
Scripture to proceed further than the bounds which are set by their
several sovereigns. For the Scriptures, since God now speaketh in
them, are the Mount Sinai, the bounds whereof are the laws of them
that represent God's person on earth. To look upon them, and therein
to behold the wondrous works of God, and learn to fear Him, is
allowed; but to interpret them, that is, to pry into what God saith to
him whom He appointeth to govern under Him, and make themselves judges
whether he govern as God commandeth him, or not, is to transgress
the bounds God hath set us, and to gaze upon God irreverently.

  * Exodus, 24. 1, 2
  *(2) Ibid., 24. 9
  *(3) Numbers, 12
  *(4) Ibid., 16. 3
  *(5) Exodus, 19. 12
  *(6) Ibid., 19. 21

  There was no prophet in the time of Moses, nor pretender to the
spirit of God, but such as Moses had approved and authorized. For
there were in his time but seventy men that are said to prophesy by
the spirit of God, and these were all of Moses his election;
concerning whom God said to Moses, "Gather to me seventy of the elders
of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people."* To
these God imparted His spirit; but it was not a different spirit
from that of Moses; for it is said, "God came down in a cloud, and
took of the spirit that was upon Moses, and gave it to the seventy
elders."*(2) But as I have shown before, Chapter thirty-six, by spirit
is understood the mind; so that the sense of the place is no other
than this, that God endued them with a mind conformable and
subordinate to that of Moses, that they might prophesy, that is to
say, speak to the people in God's name in such manner as to set
forward (as ministers of Moses, and by his authority) such doctrine as
was agreeable to Moses his doctrine. For they were but ministers;
and when two of them prophesied in the camp, it was thought a new
and unlawful thing; and as it is in the 27th and 28th verses of the
same chapter, they were accused of it, and Joshua advised Moses to
forbid them, as not knowing that it was by Moses his spirit that
they prophesied. By which it is manifest that no subject ought to
pretend to prophecy, or to the spirit, in opposition to the doctrine
established by him whom God hath set in the place of Moses.

  * Numbers, 11. 16
  *(2) Ibid., 11. 25

  Aaron being dead, and after him also Moses, the kingdom, as being
a sacerdotal kingdom, descended by virtue of the covenant to Aaron's
son, Eleazar the high priest: and God declared him, next under
Himself, for sovereign, at the same time that He appointed Joshua
for the general of their army. For thus God saith expressly concerning
Joshua: "He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask
counsel for him before the Lord; at his word shall they go out, and at
his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel
with him."* Therefore the supreme power of making war and peace was in
the priest. The supreme power of judicature belonged also to the
high priest: for the Book of the Law was in their keeping, and the
priests and Levites only were the subordinate judges in causes
civil, as appears in Deuteronomy, 17. 8, 9, 10. And for the manner
of God's worship, there was never doubt made but that the high priest,
till the time of Saul, had the supreme authority. Therefore the
civil and ecclesiastical power were both joined together in one and
the same person, the high priest; and ought to be so, in whosoever
governeth by divine right; that is, by authority immediate from God.

  * Numbers, 27. 21

  After the death of Joshua, till the time of Saul, the time between
is noted frequently in the Book of Judges, "that there was in those
days no king in Israel"; and sometimes with this addition, that "every
man did that which was right in his own eyes." By which is to be
understood that where it is said, "there was no king," is meant,
"there was no sovereign power," in Israel. And so it was, if we
consider the act and exercise of such power. For after the death of
Joshua and Eleazar, "there arose another generation that knew not
the Lord, nor the nor the works which He had done for Israel, but
did evil in the sight of the Lord and served Baalim."* And the Jews
had that quality which St. Paul noteth, "to look for a sign," not only
before they would submit themselves to the government of Moses, but
also after they had obliged themselves by their submission. Whereas
signs and miracles had for end to procure faith, not to keep men
from violating it when they have once given it, for to that men are
obliged by the law of nature. But if we consider not the exercise, but
the right of governing, the sovereign power was still in the high
priest. Therefore whatsoever obedience was yielded to any of the
judges (who were men chosen by God extraordinarily to save His
rebellious subjects out of the hands of the enemy), it cannot be drawn
into argument against the right the high priest had to the sovereign
power in all matters both of policy and religion. And neither the
judges nor Samuel himself had an ordinary, but extraordinary,
calling to the government, and were obeyed by the Israelites, not
out of duty, but out of reverence to their favour with God,
appearing in their wisdom, courage, or felicity. Hitherto therefore
the right of regulating both the policy and the religion were

  * Judges, 2. 10

  To the judges succeeded kings: and whereas before all authority,
both in religion and policy, was in the high priest; so now it was all
in the king. For the sovereignty over the people which was, before,
not only by virtue of the divine power, but also by a particular
pact of the Israelites in God, and next under Him, in the high priest,
as His vicegerent on earth, was cast off by the people, with the
consent of God Himself. For when they said to Samuel, "make us a
king to judge us, like all the nations,"* they signified that they
would no more be governed by the commands that should be laid upon
them by the priest, in the name of God; but by one that should command
them in the same manner that all other nations were commanded; and
consequently in deposing the high priest of royal authority, they
deposed that peculiar government of God. And yet God consented to
it, saying to Samuel, "Hearken unto the voice of the people, in all
that they shall say unto thee; for they have not rejected thee; but
they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."*(2)
Having therefore rejected God, in whose right the priests governed,
there was no authority left to the priests but such as the king was
pleased to allow them; which was more or less, according as the
kings were good or evil. And for the government of civil affairs, it
is manifest, it was all in the hands of the king. For in the same
chapter they say they will be like all the nations; that their king
shall be their judge, and go before them, and fight their battles;*(3)
that is, he shall have the whole authority, both in peace and war.
In which is continued also the ordering of religion: for there was
no other word of God in that time by which to regulate religion but
the Law of Moses, which was their civil law. Besides, we read that
Solomon "thrust out Abiathar from being priest before the Lord":*(4)
he had therefore authority over the high priest, as over any other
subject, which is a great mark of supremacy in religion. And we read
also that he dedicated the Temple; that he blessed the people; and
that he himself in person made that excellent prayer, used in the
consecrations of all churches and houses of prayer;*(5) which is
another great mark of supremacy in religion. Again, we read that
when there was question concerning the Book of the Law found in the
Temple, the same was not decided by the high priest, but Josiah sent
both and others to enquire concerning it, of Huldah, the
prophetess;*(6) which is another mark of the supremacy in religion.
Lastly, we read that David made Hashabiah and his brethren,
Hebronites, officers of Israel among them westward, "in all business
of the Lord, and in the service of the king."*(7) Likewise, that he
made other Hebronites "rulers over the Reubenites, the Gadites, and
the half tribe of Manasseh" (these were the rest of Israel that
dwelt beyond Jordan) "for every matter pertaining to God, and
affairs of the king."*(8) Is not this full power, both temporal and
spiritual, as they call it that would divide it? To conclude: from the
first institution of God's kingdom, to the Captivity, the supremacy of
religion was in the same hand with that of the civil sovereignty;
and the priest's office, after the election of Saul, was not
magisterial, but ministerial.

  * I Samuel, 8. 5
  *(2) Ibid., 8. 7
  *(3) Ibid., 8. 20
  *(4) I Kings, 2. 27
  *(5) Ibid., 8
  *(6) II Kings, 22
  *(7) I Chronicles, 26. 30
  *(8) Ibid., 26. 32

  Notwithstanding the government both in policy and religion were
joined, first in the high priests, and afterwards in the kings, so far
forth as concerned the right; yet it appeareth by the same holy
history that the people understood it not; but there being amongst
them a great part, and probably the greatest part, that no longer than
they saw great miracles, or, which is equivalent to a miracle, great
abilities, or great felicity in the enterprises of their governors,
gave sufficient credit either to the fame of Moses or to the
colloquies between God and the priests, they took occasion, as oft
as their governors displeased them, by blaming sometimes the policy,
sometimes the religion, to change the government or revolt from
their obedience at their pleasure; and from thence proceeded from time
to time the civil troubles, divisions, and calamities of the nation.
As for example, after the death of Eleazar and Joshua, the next
generation, which had not seen the wonders of God, but were left to
their own weak reason, not knowing themselves obliged by the
covenant of a sacerdotal kingdom, regarded no more the commandment
of the priest, nor any law of Moses, but did every man that which
was right in his own eyes; and obeyed in civil affairs such men as
from time to time they thought able to deliver them from the neighbour
nations that oppressed them; and consulted not with God, as they ought
to do, but with such men, or women, as they guessed to be prophets
by their predictions of things to come; and though they had an idol in
their chapel, yet if they had a Levite for their chaplain, they made
account they worshipped the God of Israel.
  And afterwards when they demanded a king, after the manner of the
nations, yet it was not with a design to depart from the worship of
God their King; but despairing of the justice of the sons of Samuel,
they would have a king to judge them in civil actions; but not that
they would allow their king to change the religion which they
thought was recommended to them by Moses. So that they always kept
in store a pretext, either of justice or religion, to discharge
themselves of their obedience whensoever they had hope to prevail.
Samuel was displeased with the people, for that they desired a king
(for God was their King already, and Samuel had but an authority under
Him); yet did Samuel, when Saul observed not his counsel in destroying
Agag as God had commanded, anoint another king, namely, David, to take
the succession from his heirs. Rehoboam was no idolater; but when
the people thought him an oppressor, that civil pretence carried
from him ten tribes to Jeroboam an idolater. And generally through the
whole history of the kings, as well of Judah as of Israel, there
were prophets that always controlled the kings for transgressing the
religion, and sometimes also for errors of state; as Jehoshaphat was
reproved by the prophet Jehu for aiding the King of Israel against the
Syrians;* and Hezekiah, by Isaiah, for showing his treasures to the
ambassadors of Babylon. By all which it appeareth that though the
power both of state and religion were in the kings, yet none of them
were uncontrolled in the use of it but such as were gracious for their
own natural abilities or felicities. So that from the practice of
those times, there can no argument be drawn that the right of
supremacy in religion was not in the kings, unless we place it in
the prophets, and conclude that because Hezekiah, praying to the
Lord before the cherubim, was not answered from thence, nor then,
but afterwards by the prophet Isaiah, therefore Isaiah was supreme
head of the Church; or because Josiah consulted Huldah the prophetess,
concerning the Book of the Law, that therefore neither he, nor the
high priest, but Huldah the prophetess had the supreme authority in
matter of religion, which I think is not the opinion of any doctor.

  * II Chronicles, 19. 2

  During the Captivity the Jews had no Commonwealth at all; and
after their return, though they renewed their covenant with God, yet
there was no promise made of obedience, neither to Esdras nor to any
other: and presently after they became subjects to the to the
Greeks, from whose customs and demonology, and from the doctrine of
the Cabalists, their religion became much corrupted: in such sort as
nothing can be gathered from their confusion, both in state and
religion, concerning the supremacy in either. And therefore so far
forth as concerneth the Old Testament, we may conclude that
whosoever had the sovereignty of the Commonwealth amongst the Jews,
the same had also the supreme authority in matter of God's external
worship, and represented God's person; that is, the person of God
the Father; though He were not called by the name of Father till
such time as He sent into the world His Son Jesus Christ to redeem
mankind from their sins, and bring them into his everlasting kingdom
to be saved for evermore. Of which we are to speak in the chapter

                             CHAPTER XLI

  WE FIND in Holy Scripture three parts of the office of the
Messiah: the first of a redeemer, or saviour; the second of a
pastor, counsellor, or teacher, that is, of a prophet sent from God to
convert such as God hath elected to salvation; the third of a king, an
eternal king, but under his Father, as Moses and the high priests were
in their several times. And to these three parts are correspondent
three times. For, our redemption he wrought at his first coming, by
the sacrifice wherein he offered up himself for our sins upon the
cross; our conversion he wrought partly then in his own person, and
partly worketh now by his ministers, and will continue to work till
his coming again. And after his coming again shall begin that his
glorious reign over his elect which is to last eternally.
  To the office of a redeemer, that is, of one that payeth the
ransom of sin, which ransom is death, it appertaineth that he was
sacrificed, and thereby bore upon his own head and carried away from
us our iniquities, in such sort as God had required. Not that the
death of one man, though without sin, can satisfy for the offences
of all men, in the rigour of justice, but in the mercy of God, that
ordained such sacrifices for sin as He was pleased in His mercy to
accept. In the old law (as we may read, Leviticus, 16) the Lord
required that there should, every year once, be made an atonement
for the sins of all Israel, both priests and others; for the doing
whereof Aaron alone was to sacrifice for himself and the priests a
young bullock, and for the rest of the people he was to receive from
them two young goats, of which he was to sacrifice one; but as for the
other, which was the scapegoat, he was to lay his hands on the head
thereof, and by a confession of the iniquities of the people, to lay
them all on that head, and then by some opportune man to cause the
goat to be led into the wilderness, and there to escape and carry away
with him the iniquities of the people. As the sacrifice of the one
goat was a sufficient, because an acceptable, price for the ransom
of all Israel; so the death of the Messiah is a sufficient price for
the sins of all mankind, because there was no more required. Our
Saviour Christ's sufferings seem to be here figured as clearly as in
the oblation of Isaac, or in any other type of him in the Old
Testament. He was both the sacrificed goat and the scapegoat: "He
was oppressed, and he was afflicted; he opened not his mouth; he is
brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep is dumb before
the shearer, so opened he not his mouth":* here is the sacrificed
goat. "He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows";*(2) and
again, "the Lord hath laid upon him the iniquities of us all":*(3) and
so he is the scapegoat. "He was cut off from the land of the living
for the transgression of my people":*(4) there again he is the
sacrificed goat. And again, "he shall bear their sins":*(5) he is
the scapegoat. Thus is the Lamb of God equivalent to both those goats;
sacrificed, in that he died; and escaping, in his resurrection;
being raised opportunely by his Father, and removed from the
habitation of men in his ascension.

  * Isaiah, 53. 7
  *(2) Ibid., 53. 4
  *(3) Ibid., 53. 6
  *(4) Ibid., 53. 8
  *(5) Ibid., 53. 11

  For as much therefore as he that redeemeth hath no title to the
thing redeemed, before the redemption and ransom paid, and this ransom
was the death of the redeemer, it is manifest that our Saviour, as
man, was not king of those that he redeemed, before he suffered death;
that is, during that time he conversed bodily on the earth. I say he
was not then king in present, by virtue of the pact which the faithful
make with him in baptism: nevertheless, by the renewing of their
pact with God in baptism, they were obliged to obey him for king,
under his Father, whensoever he should be pleased to take the
kingdom upon him. According whereunto, our Saviour himself expressly
saith, "My kingdom is not of this world."* Now seeing the Scripture
maketh mention but of two worlds; this that is now, and shall remain
to the day of judgement, which is therefore also called the last
day; and that which shall be after the day of judgement, when there
shall be a new heaven and a new earth; the kingdom of Christ is not to
begin till the general resurrection. And that is it which our
Saviour saith, "The Son of Man shall come in the glory of his
Father, with his angels; and then he shall reward every man
according to his works."*(2) To reward every man according to his
works is to execute the office of a king; and this is not to be till
he come in the glory of his Father, with his angels. When our
Saviour saith, "The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat; all
therefore whatsoever they bid you do, that observe and do";*(3) he
declareth plainly that he ascribeth kingly power, for that time, not
to himself, but to them. And so he doth also, where he saith, "Who
made me a judge or divider over you?"*(4) And, "I came not to judge
the world, but to save the world."*(5) And yet our Saviour came into
this world that he might be a king and a judge in the world to come:
for he was the Messiah, that is, the Christ, that is, the anointed
priest and the sovereign prophet of God; that is to say, he was to
have all the power that was in Moses the prophet, in the high
priests that succeeded Moses, and in the kings that succeeded the
priests. And St. John says expressly, "The Father judgeth no man,
but hath committed all judgement to the Son."*(6) And this is not
repugnant to that other place, "I came not to judge the world": for
this is spoken of the world present, the other of the world to come;
as also where it is said that at the second coming of Christ, "Ye that
have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in
the throne of his glory, ye shall also sit on twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel."*(7)

  * John, 18. 36
  *(2) Matthew, 16. 27
  *(3) Ibid., 23. 2
  *(4) Luke, 12. 14
  *(5) John, 12. 47
  *(6) Ibid., 5. 22
  *(7) Matthew, 19. 28

  If then Christ, whilst he was on earth, had no kingdom in this
world, to what end was his first coming? It was to restore unto God,
by a new covenant, the kingdom which, being his by the old covenant,
had been cut off by the rebellion of the Israelites in the election of
Saul. Which to do, he was to preach unto them that he was the Messiah,
that is, the king promised to them by the prophets, and to offer
himself in sacrifice for the sins of them that should by faith
submit themselves thereto; and in case the nation generally should
refuse him, to call to his obedience such as should believe in him
amongst the Gentiles. So that there are two parts of our Saviour's
office during his abode upon the earth: one to proclaim himself the
Christ; and another by teaching, and by working of miracles, to
persuade and prepare men to live so as to be worthy of the immortality
believers were to enjoy, at such time as he should come in majesty
to take possession of his Father's kingdom. And therefore it is that
the time of his preaching is often by himself called the regeneration,
which is not properly a kingdom, and thereby a warrant to deny
obedience to the magistrates that then were; for he commanded to
obey those that sat then in Moses' chair, and to pay tribute to
Caesar; but only an earnest of the kingdom of God that was to come
to those to whom God had given the grace to be his disciples and to
believe in him; for which cause the godly are said to be already in
the kingdom of grace, as naturalized in that heavenly kingdom.
  Hitherto therefore there is nothing done or taught by Christ that
tendeth to the diminution of the civil right of the Jews or of Caesar.
For as touching the Commonwealth which then was amongst the Jews, both
they that bore rule amongst them and they that were governed did all
expect the Messiah and kingdom of God; which they could not have
done if their laws had forbidden him, when he came, to manifest and
declare himself. Seeing therefore he did nothing, but by preaching and
miracles go about to prove himself to be that Messiah, he did
therein nothing against their laws. The kingdom he claimed was to be
in another world: he taught all men to obey in the meantime them
that sat in Moses' seat: he allowed them to give Caesar his tribute,
and refused to take upon himself to be a judge. How then could his
words or actions be seditious, or tend to the overthrow of their
then civil government? But God having determined his sacrifice for the
reduction of His elect to their former covenanted obedience, for the
means, whereby He would bring the same to effect, made use of their
malice and ingratitude. Nor was it contrary to the laws of Caesar. For
though Pilate himself, to gratify the Jews, delivered him to be
crucified; yet before he did so, he pronounced openly that he found no
fault in him; and put for title of his condemnation, not as the Jews
required, "that he pretended to be king," but simply, "that he was
King of the Jews"; and notwithstanding their clamour, refused to alter
it, saying, "What I have written, I have written."
  As for the third part of his office, which was to be king, I have
already shown that his kingdom was not to begin till the resurrection.
But then he shall be king, not only as God, in which sense he is
king already, and ever shall be, of all the earth, in virtue of his
omnipotence; but also peculiarly of his own elect, by virtue of the
pact they make with him in their baptism. And therefore it is that our
Saviour saith that his Apostles should sit upon twelve thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel, "When the Son of Man shall sit in
the throne of his glory":* whereby he signified that he should reign
then in his human nature; and "The Son of Man shall come in the
glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every
man according to his works."*(2) The same we may read, Mark, 13. 26,
and 14. 62, and more expressly for the time, Luke, 22. 29, 30, "I
appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed to me, that
you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones
judging the twelve tribes of Israel." By which it is manifest that the
kingdom of Christ appointed to him by his Father is not to be before
the Son of Man shall come in glory, and make his Apostles judges of
the twelve tribes of Israel. But a man may here ask, seeing there is
no marriage in the kingdom of heaven, whether men shall then eat and
drink. What eating therefore is meant in this place? This is expounded
by our Saviour where he saith, "Labour not for the meat which
perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life,
which the Son of Man shall give you."*(3) So that by eating at
Christ's table is meant the eating of the tree of life; that is to
say, the enjoying of immortality, in the kingdom of the Son of Man. By
which places, and many more, it is evident that our Saviour's
kingdom is to be exercised by him in his human nature.

  * Loc. cit.
  *(2) Ibid., 16. 27
  *(3) John, 6. 27

  Again, he is to be king then no otherwise than as subordinate or
vicegerent of God the Father, as Moses was in the wilderness, and as
the high priests were before the reign of Saul, and as the kings
were after it. For it is one of the prophecies concerning Christ
that he be like, in office, to Moses: "I will raise them up a
prophet," saith the Lord, "from amongst their brethren like unto thee,
and will put my words into his mouth";* and this similitude with Moses
is also apparent in the actions of our Saviour himself, whilst he
was conversant on earth. For as Moses chose twelve princes of the
tribes to govern under him; so did our Saviour choose twelve Apostles,
who shall sit on twelve thrones and judge the twelve tribes of Israel:
and as Moses authorized seventy elders to receive the Spirit of God,
and to prophesy to the people, that is, as I have said before, to
speak unto them in the name of God; so our Saviour also ordained
seventy disciples to preach his kingdom and salvation to all
nations. And as when a complaint was made to Moses against those of
the seventy that prophesied in the camp of Israel, he justified them
in it as being subservient therein to his government; so also our
Saviour, when St. John complained to him of a certain man that cast
out devils in his name, justified him therein, saying, "Forbid him
not, for he that is not against us is on our part."*(2)

  * Deuteronomy, 18. 18
  *(2) Luke, 9. 50

  Again, our Saviour resembled Moses in the institution of sacraments,
both of admission into the kingdom of God and of commemoration of
his deliverance of his elect from their miserable condition. As the
children of Israel had for sacrament of their reception into the
kingdom of God, before the time of Moses, the rite of circumcision,
which rite, having been omitted in the wilderness, was again
restored as soon as they came into the Land of Promise; so also the
Jews, before the coming of our Saviour, had a rite of baptizing,
that is, of washing with water all those that, being Gentiles,
embraced the God of Israel. This rite St. John the Baptist used in the
reception of all them that gave their names to the Christ, whom he
preached to be already come into the world; and our Saviour instituted
the same for a sacrament to be taken by all that believed in him.
For what cause the rite of baptism first proceeded is not expressed
formally in the Scripture, but it may be probably thought to be an
imitation of the law of Moses concerning leprosy; wherein the
leprous man was commanded to be kept out of the camp of Israel for a
certain time; after which time, being judged by the priest to be
clean, he was admitted into the camp after a solemn washing. And
this may therefore be a type of the washing in baptism, wherein such
men as are cleansed of the leprosy of sin by faith are received into
the Church with the solemnity of baptism. There is another
conjecture drawn from the ceremonies of the Gentiles, in a certain
case that rarely happens: and that is, when a man that was thought
dead chanced to recover, other men made scruple to converse with
him, as they would do to converse with a ghost, unless he were
received again into the number of men by washing, as children new born
were washed from the uncleanness of their nativity, which was a kind
of new birth. This ceremony of the Greeks, in the time that Judaea was
under the dominion of Alexander and the Greeks his successors, may
probably enough have crept into the religion of the Jews. But seeing
it is not likely our Saviour would countenance a heathen rite, it is
most likely it proceeded from the legal ceremony of washing after
leprosy. And for the other sacrament, of eating the Paschal Lamb, it
is manifestly imitated in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper; in which
the breaking of the bread and the pouring out of the wine do keep in
memory our deliverance from the misery of sin by Christ's Passion,
as the eating of the Paschal Lamb kept in memory the deliverance of
the Jews out of the bondage of Egypt. Seeing therefore the authority
of Moses was but subordinate, and he but a lieutenant to God, it
followeth that Christ, whose authority, as man, was to be like that of
Moses, was no more but subordinate to the authority of his Father. The
same is more expressly signified by that that he teacheth us to
pray, "Our Father, let thy kingdom come"; and, "For thine is the
kingdom, the power, and the glory"; and by that it is said that "He
shall come in the glory of his Father"; and by that which St. Paul
saith, "then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the
kingdom to God, even the Father";* and by many other most express

  * I Corinthians, 15. 24

  Our Saviour therefore, both in teaching and reigning,
representeth, as Moses did, the person God; which God from that time
forward, but not before, is called the Father; and, being still one
and the same substance, is one person as represented by Moses, and
another person as represented by His Son the Christ. For person
being a relative to a representer, it is consequent to plurality of
representers that there be a plurality of persons, though of one and
the same substance.

                             CHAPTER XLII
                       OF POWER ECCLESIASTICAL

  FOR the understanding of power ecclesiastical, what and in whom it
is, we are to distinguish the time from the ascension of our Saviour
into two parts; one before the conversion of kings and men endued with
sovereign civil power; the other after their conversion. For it was
long after the ascension before any king or civil sovereign embraced
and publicly allowed the teaching of Christian religion.
  And for the time between, it is manifest that the power
ecclesiastical was in the Apostles; and after them in such as were
by them ordained to preach the gospel, and to convert men to
Christianity; and to direct them that were converted in the way of
salvation; and after these the power was delivered again to others
by these ordained, and this was done by imposition of hands upon
such as were ordained; by which was signified the giving of the Holy
Spirit, or Spirit of God, to those whom they ordained ministers of
God, to advance His kingdom. So that imposition of hands was nothing
else but the seal of their commission to preach Christ and teach his
doctrine; and the giving of the Holy Ghost by that ceremony of
imposition of hands was an imitation of that which Moses did. For
Moses used the same ceremony to his minister Joshua, as we read,
Deuteronomy, 34. 9, "And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the
spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him." Our
Saviour therefore between his resurrection and ascension gave his
spirit to the Apostles; first, by breathing on them, and saying,
"Receive ye the Holy Spirit";* and after his ascension by sending down
upon them a "mighty wind, and cloven tongues of fire";*(2) and not
by imposition of hands; as neither did God lay His hands on Moses: and
his Apostles afterward transmitted the same spirit by imposition of
hands, as Moses did to Joshua. So that it is manifest hereby in whom
the power ecclesiastical continually remained in those first times
where there was not any Christian Commonwealth; namely, in them that
received the same from the Apostles, by successive laying on of hands.

  * John, 20. 22
  *(2) Acts, 2. 2, 3

  Here we have the person of God born now the third time. For Moses
and the high priests were God's representative in the Old Testament;
and our Saviour himself, as man, during his abode on earth: so the
Holy Ghost, that is to say, the Apostles and their successors, in
the office of preaching and teaching, that had received the Holy
Spirit, have represented him ever since. But a person (as I have shown
before, Chapter thirteen) is he that is represented, as of as he is
represented; and therefore God, who has been represented (that is,
personated) thrice, may properly enough be said to be three persons;
though neither the word Person nor Trinity be ascribed to him in the
Bible. St. John indeed saith, "There be three that bear witness in
heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are
one":* but this disagreeth not, but accordeth fitly with three persons
in the proper signification of persons; which is that which is
represented by another. For so God the Father, as represented by
Moses, is one person; and as represented by His Son, another person;
and as represented by the Apostles, and by the doctors that taught
by authority from them derived, is a third person; and yet every
person here is the person of one and the same God. But a man may
here ask what it was whereof these three bore witness. St. John
therefore tells us that they bear witness that "God hath given us
eternal life in His Son." Again, if it should be asked wherein that
testimony appeareth, the answer is easy; for He hath testified the
same by the miracles He wrought, first by Moses; secondly, by His
Son himself; and lastly by His Apostles that had received the Holy
Spirit; all which in their times represented the person of God, and
either prophesied or preached Jesus Christ. And as for the Apostles,
it was the character of the apostleship, in the twelve first and great
Apostles, to bear witness of his resurrection, as appeareth
expressly where St. Peter, when a new Apostle was to be chosen in
the place of Judas Iscariot, useth these words, "Of these men which
have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and
out amongst us, beginning at the baptism of John, unto that same day
that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness
with us of his resurrection":*(2) which words interpret the "bearing
of witness" mentioned by St. John. There is in the same place
mentioned another Trinity of witnesses in earth. For he saith,
"there are three that bear witness in earth; the Spirit, and the
water, and the blood; and these three agree in one":*(3) that is to
say, the graces of God's Spirit, and the two sacraments, baptism and
the Lord's Supper, which all agree in one testimony to assure the
consciences of believers of eternal life; of which testimony he saith,
"He that believeth on the Son of Man hath the witness in himself."*(4)
In this Trinity on earth, the unity is not of the thing; for the
spirit, the water, and the blood are not the same substance, though
they give the same testimony: but in the Trinity of heaven, the
persons are the persons of one and the same God, though represented in
three different times and occasions. To conclude, the doctrine of
the Trinity, as far as can be gathered directly from the Scripture, is
in substance this: that God, who is always one and the same, was the
person represented by Moses; the person represented by his Son
incarnate; and the person represented by the Apostles. As
represented by the Apostles, the Holy Spirit by which they spoke is
God; as represented by His Son, that was God and man, the Son is
that God; as represented by Moses and the high priests, the Father,
that is to say, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is that God: from
whence we may gather the reason those names Father, Son, and Holy
Spirit, in the signification of the godhead, are never used in the Old
Testament: for they are persons, that is, they have their names from
representing; which could not be till diverse men had represented
God's person in ruling or in directing under Him.

  * Luke, 5. 11
  *(2) Acts, 1. 21, 22
  *(3) Ibid., 1. 8
  *(4) Ibid., 1. 10

  Thus we see how the power ecclesiastical was left by our Saviour
to the Apostles; and how they were (to the end they might the better
exercise that power) endued with the Holy Spirit, which is therefore
called sometimes in the New Testament paracletus, which signifieth
an assister, or one called to for help, though it be commonly
translated a comforter. Let us now consider the power itself, what
it was, and over whom.
  Cardinal Bellarmine, in his third general controversy, hath
handled a great many questions concerning the ecclesiastical power
of the Pope of Rome, and begins with this, whether it ought to be
monarchical, aristocratical, or democratical. All which sorts of power
are sovereign and coercive. If now it should appear that there is no
coercive power left them by our Saviour, but only a power to
proclaim the kingdom of Christ, and to persuade men to submit
themselves there unto; and, by precepts and good counsel, to teach
them that have submitted what they are to do, that they may be
received into the kingdom of God when it comes; and that the Apostles,
and other ministers of the Gospel, are our schoolmasters, and not
our commanders, and their precepts not laws, but wholesome counsels;
then were all that dispute in vain.
  I have shown already, in the last chapter, that the kingdom of
Christ is not of this world: therefore neither can his ministers,
unless they be kings, require obedience in his name. For if the
Supreme King have not his regal power in this world; by what authority
can obedience be required to his officers? "As my Father sent me,"
so saith our Saviour, "I send you."* But our Saviour was sent to
persuade the Jews to return to, and to invite the Gentiles to receive,
the kingdom of his Father, and not to reign in majesty, no not as
his Father's lieutenant till the day of judgement.

  * John, 20. 21

  The time between the ascension and the general resurrection is
called, not a reigning, but a regeneration; that is, a preparation
of men for the second and glorious coming of Christ at the day of
judgement, as appeareth by the words of our Saviour, "You that have
followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit in
the throne of his glory, you shall also sit upon twelve thrones";* and
of St. Paul, "Having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel
of peace";*(2) and is compared by our Saviour to fishing; that is,
to winning men to obedience, not by coercion and punishing, but by
persuasion. And therefore he said not to his Apostles he would make
them so many Nimrods, hunters of men; but fishers of men. It is
compared also to leaven, to sowing of seed, and to the
multiplication of a grain of mustard-seed; by all which compulsion
is excluded; and consequently there can in that time be no actual
reigning. The work of Christ's ministers is evangelization; that is, a
proclamation of Christ, and a preparation for his second coming; as
the evangelization of John the Baptist was a preparation to his
first coming.

  * Matthew, 19. 28
  *(2) Ephesians, 6. 15

  Again, the office of Christ's ministers in this world is to make men
believe and have faith in Christ: but faith hath no relation to, nor
dependence at all upon, compulsion or commandment; but only upon
certainty, or probability of arguments drawn from reason, or from
something men believe already. Therefore the ministers of Christ in
this world have no power by that title to punish any man for not
believing or for contradicting what they say: they have, I say, no
power by that title of Christ's ministers to punish such; but if
they have sovereign civil power, by politic institution, then they may
indeed lawfully punish any contradiction to their laws whatsoever: and
St. Paul, of himself and other the then preachers of the Gospel, saith
in express words, "We have no dominion over your faith, but are
helpers of your joy."*

  * II Corinthians, 1. 24

  Another argument, that the ministers of Christ in this present world
have no right of commanding, may be drawn from the lawful authority
which Christ hath left to all princes, as well Christians as infidels.
St. Paul saith, "Children, obey your parents in all things; for this
is well pleasing to the Lord."* And, "Servants, obey in all things
your masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service, as
men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, as fearing the Lord":*(2)
this is spoken to them whose masters were infidels; and yet they are
bidden to obey them in all things. And again, concerning obedience
to princes, exhorting "to be subject to the higher powers," he
saith, "that all power is ordained of God"; and "that we ought to
subject to them not only for" fear of incurring their "wrath, but also
for conscience sake."*(3) And St. Peter, "Submit yourselves to every
ordinance of man, for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king, as
supreme, or unto governors, as to them that be sent by him for the
punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well;
for so is the will of God."*(4) And again St. Paul, "Put men in mind
to be subject to principalities, and powers, and to obey
magistrates."*(5) These princes and powers whereof St. Peter and St.
Paul here speak were all infidels: much more therefore we are to
obey those Christians whom God hath ordained to have sovereign power
over us. How then can we be obliged to obey any minister of Christ
if he should command us to do anything contrary to the command of
the king or other sovereign representant of the Commonwealth whereof
we are members, and by whom we look to be protected? It is therefore
manifest that Christ hath not left to his ministers in this world,
unless they be also endued with civil authority, any authority to
command other men.

  * Colossians, 3. 20
  *(2) Ibid., 3. 22
  *(3) Romans, 13. 1-6
  *(4) I Peter, 2. 13, 14, 15
  *(5) Titus, 3. 1

  But what, may some object, if a king, or a senate, or other
sovereign person forbid us to believe in Christ? To this I answer that
such forbidding is of no effect; because belief and unbelief never
follow men's commands. Faith is a gift of God which man can neither
give nor take away by promise of rewards or menaces of torture. And,
if it be further asked, what if we be commanded by our lawful prince
to say with our tongue we believe not; must we obey such command?
Profession with the tongue is but an external thing, and no more
than any other gesture whereby we signify our obedience; and wherein a
Christian, holding firmly in his heart the faith of Christ, hath the
same liberty which the prophet Elisha allowed to Naaman the Syrian.
Naaman was converted in his heart to the God of Israel, for he
saith, "Thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor
sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord. In this thing the Lord
pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon
to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the
house of Rimmon; when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord
pardon thy servant in this thing."* This the Prophet approved, and bid
him "Go in peace." Here Naaman believed in his heart; but by bowing
before the idol Rimmon, he denied the true God in effect as much as if
he had done it with his lips. But then what shall we answer to our
Saviour's saying, "Whosoever denieth me before men, I will deny him
before my Father which is in heaven?"*(2) This we may say, that
whatsoever a subject, as Naaman was, is compelled to in obedience to
his sovereign, and doth it not in order to his own mind, but in
order to the laws of his country, that action is not his, but his
sovereign's; nor is it he that in this case denieth Christ before men,
but his governor, and the law of his country. If any man shall
accuse this doctrine as repugnant to true and unfeigned
Christianity, I ask him, in case there should be a subject in any
Christian Commonwealth that should be inwardly in his heart of the
Mahomedan religion, whether if his sovereign command him to be present
at the divine service of the Christian church, and that on pain of
death, he think that Mahomedan obliged in conscience to suffer death
for that cause, rather than to obey that command of his lawful prince.
If he say he ought rather to suffer death, then he authorizeth all
private men to disobey their princes in maintenance of their religion,
true or false: if he say he ought to be obedient, then he alloweth
to himself that which he denieth to another, contrary to the words
of our Saviour, "Whatsoever you would that men should do unto you,
that do ye unto them";*(3) and contrary to the law of nature (which is
the indubitable everlasting law of God), "Do not to another that which
thou wouldest not he should do unto thee."

  * II Kings, 5. 17, 18
  *(2) Matthew, 10. 33
  *(3) Luke, 6. 31

  But what then shall we say of all those martyrs we read of in the
history of the Church, that they have needlessly cast away their
lives? For answer hereunto, we are to distinguish the persons that
have been for that cause put to death; whereof some have received a
calling to preach and profess the profess the kingdom of Christ
openly; others have had no such calling, nor more has been required of
them than their own faith. The former sort, if they have been put to
death for bearing witness to this point, that Jesus Christ is risen
from the dead, were true martyrs; for a martyr is, to give the true
definition of the word, a witness of the resurrection of Jesus the
Messiah; which none can be but those that those that conversed with
him on earth, and saw him after he was risen: for a witness must
have seen what he testifieth, or else his testimony is not good. And
that none but such can properly be called martyrs of Christ is
manifest out of the words of St. Peter, "Wherefore of these men
which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went
in and out amongst us, beginning from the baptism of John unto that
same day he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a martyr"
(that is, a witness) "with us of his resurrection":* where we may
observe that he which is to be a witness of truth of the
resurrection of Christ, that is to say, of the truth of this
fundamental article of Christian religion, that Jesus was the
Christ, must be some Disciple that conversed with him, and saw him
before and after his resurrection; and consequently must be one of his
original Disciples: whereas they which were not so can witness no
more, but that their antecessors said it, and are therefore but
witnesses of other men's testimony, and are but second martyrs, or
martyrs of Christ's witnesses.

  * Acts, 1. 21, 22

  He that to maintain every doctrine which he himself draweth out of
the history of our Saviour's life, and of the Acts or Epistles of
the Apostles, or which he believeth, upon the authority of a private
man, will oppose the laws and authority of the civil state, is very
far from being a martyr of Christ, or a martyr of his martyrs. It is
one article only, which to die for meriteth so honourable a name,
and that article is this, that Jesus is the Christ; that is to say, he
that hath redeemed us, and shall come again to give us salvation,
and eternal life in his glorious kingdom. To die for every tenet
that serveth the ambition or profit of the clergy is not required; nor
is it the death of the witness, but the testimony itself that makes
the martyr: for the word signifieth nothing else but the man that
beareth witness, whether he be put to death for his testimony, or not.
  Also he that is not sent to preach this fundamental article, but
taketh it upon him of his private authority, though he be a witness,
and consequently a martyr, either primary of Christ, or secondary of
his Apostles, Disciples, or their successors; yet is he not obliged to
suffer death for that cause, because being not called thereto, it is
not required at his hands; nor ought he to complain if he loseth the
reward he expecteth from those that never set him on work. None
therefore can be a martyr, neither of the first nor second degree,
that have not a warrant to preach Christ come in the flesh; that is to
say, none but such as are sent to the conversion of infidels. For no
man is a witness to him that already believeth, and therefore needs no
witness; but to them that deny, or doubt, or have not heard it. Christ
sent his Apostles and his seventy Disciples with authority to
preach; he sent not all that believed. And he sent them to
unbelievers; "I send you," saith he, "as sheep amongst wolves";* not
as sheep to other sheep.

  * Matthew, 10. 16

  Lastly, the points of their commission, as they are expressly set
down in the gospel, contain none of them any authority over the
  We have first that the twelve Apostles were sent "to the lost
sheep of the house of Israel," and commanded to preach "that the
kingdom of God was at hand."* Now preaching, in the original, is
that act which a crier, herald, or other officer useth to do
publicly in proclaiming of a king. But a crier hath not right to
command any man. And the seventy Disciples are sent out as "Labourers,
not as lords of the harvest";*(2) and are bidden to say, "The
kingdom of God is come nigh unto you";*(3) and by kingdom here is
meant, not the kingdom of grace, but the kingdom of glory; for they
are bidden to denounce it to those cities which shall not receive
them, as a threatening, that it shall be more tolerable in that day
for Sodom than for such a city.*(4) And our Saviour telleth his
Disciples, that sought priority of place, their office was to
minister, even as the Son of Man came, not to be ministered unto,
but to minister.*(5) Preachers therefore have not magisterial, but
ministerial power: "Be not called masters," saith our Saviour, "for
one is your master, even Christ."*(6)

  * Matthew, 10. 6, 7
  *(2) Luke, 10. 2
  *(3) Ibid., 10. 9
  *(4) Ibid., 10. 11
  *(5) Matthew, 20. 28
  *(6) Ibid., 23. 10

  Another point of their commission is to "teach all nations"; as it
is in Matthew, 28. 19, or as in St. Mark, 16. 15, "Go into all the
world, and preach the gospel to every creature." Teaching,
therefore, and preaching is the same thing. For they that proclaim the
coming of a king must withal make known by what right he cometh, if
they mean men shall submit themselves unto him: as St. Paul did to the
Jews of Thessalonica, when "three Sabbath days he reasoned with them
out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging that Christ must needs
have suffered, and risen again from the dead, and that this Jesus is
Christ."* But to teach out of the Old Testament that Jesus was Christ,
that is to say, king, and risen from the dead, is not to say that
men are bound, after they believe it, to obey those that tell them so,
against the laws and commands of their sovereigns; but that they shall
do wisely to expect the coming of Christ hereafter, in patience and
faith, with obedience to their present magistrates.

  * Acts, 17. 2, 3

  Another point of their commission is to "baptize, in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." What is baptism?
Dipping into water. But what is it to dip a man into the water in
the name of anything? The meaning of these words of baptism is this.
He that is baptized is dipped or washed as a sign of becoming a new
man and a loyal subject to that God whose person was represented in
old time by Moses, and the high priests, when He reigned over the
Jews; and to Jesus Christ, His Son, God and Man, that hath redeemed
us, and shall in his human nature represent his Father's person in his
eternal kingdom after the resurrection; and to acknowledge the
doctrine of the Apostles, who, assisted by the Spirit of the Father
and of the Son, were left for guides to bring us into that kingdom, to
be the only and assured way thereunto. This being our promise in
baptism; and the authority of earthly sovereigns being not to be put
down till the day of judgement; for that is expressly affirmed by
St. Paul, where he saith, "As in Adam all die, so in Christ all
shall be made alive. But every man in his own order, Christ the
first fruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his coming; then
cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God,
even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule, and all
authority and power."* It is manifest that we do not in baptism
constitute over us another authority by which our external actions are
to be governed in this life, but promise to take the doctrine of the
Apostles for our direction in the way to life eternal.

  * I Corinthians, 15. 22, 23, 24

  The power of remission and retention of sins, called also the
power of loosing and binding, and sometimes the keys of the kingdom of
heaven is a consequence of the authority to baptize or refuse to
baptize. For baptism is the sacrament of allegiance of them that are
to be received into the kingdom of God; that is to say, into eternal
life; that is to say, to remission of sin: for as eternal life was
lost by the committing, so it is recovered by the remitting of men's
sins. The end of baptism is remission of sins: therefore St. Peter,
when they that were converted by his sermon on the day of Pentecost
asked what they were to do, advised them to "repent, and be baptized
in the name of Jesus, for the remission of sins."* And therefore,
seeing to baptize is to declare the reception of men into God's
kingdom, and to refuse to baptize is to declare their exclusion, it
followeth that the power to declare them cast out, or retained in
it, was given to the same Apostles, and their substitutes and
successors. And therefore after our Saviour had breathed upon them,
saying, "Receive the Holy Ghost,"*(2) he addeth in the next verse,
"Whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and
whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained." By which words is
not granted an authority to forgive or retain sins, simply and
absolutely, as God forgiveth or retaineth them, Who knoweth the
heart of man and truth of his penitence and conversion; but
conditionally, to the penitent: and this forgiveness, or absolution,
in case the absolved have but a feigned repentance, is thereby,
without other act or sentence of the absolved, made void, and hath
no effect at all to salvation, but, on the contrary, to the
aggravation of his sin. Therefore the Apostles and their successors
are to follow but the outward marks of repentance; which appearing,
they have no authority to deny absolution; and if they appear not,
they have no authority to absolve. The same also is to be observed
in baptism: for to a converted Jew or Gentile, the Apostles had not
the power to deny baptism, nor to grant it to the unpenitent. But
seeing no man is able to discern the truth of another man's
repentance, further than by external marks taken from his words and
actions, which are subject to hypocrisy, another question will
arise: who is it that is constituted judge of those marks? And this
question is decided by our Saviour himself: "If thy brother," saith
he, "shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between
thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy
brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or
two more. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the
Church; but if he neglect to hear the Church, let him be unto thee
as an heathen man and a publican."*(3) By which it is manifest that
the judgement concerning the truth of repentance belonged not to any
one man, but to the Church, that is, to the assembly of the
faithful, or to them that have authority to be their representant. But
besides the judgement, there is necessary also the pronouncing of
sentence: and this belonged always to the Apostle, or some pastor of
the Church, as prolocutor; and of this our Saviour speaketh in the
eighteenth verse, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in
heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in
heaven." And conformable hereunto was the practice of St. Paul where
he saith, "For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit,
have determined already, as though I were present, concerning him that
hath so done this deed; in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when
ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord
Jesus Christ, to deliver such a one to Satan";*(4) that is to say,
to cast him out of the Church, as a man whose sins are not forgiven.
Paul here pronounceth the sentence, but the assembly was first to hear
the cause (for St. Paul was absent), and by consequence to condemn
him. But in the same chapter the judgement in such a case is more
expressly attributed to the assembly: "But now I have written unto you
not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a
fornicator," etc., "with such a one no not to eat. For what have I
to do to judge them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are
within?"*(5) The sentence therefore by which a man was put out of
the Church was pronounced by the Apostle or pastor; but the
judgement concerning the merit of the cause was in the Church; that is
to say, as the times were before the conversion of kings, and men that
had sovereign authority in the Commonwealth, the assembly of the
Christians dwelling in the same city; as in Corinth, in the assembly
of the Christians of Corinth.

  * Acts, 2. 38
  *(2) John, 20. 22
  *(3) Matthew, 18. 15, 16, 17
  *(4) I Corinthians, 5. 3, 4, 5
  *(5) Ibid., 5. 11, 12

  This part of the power of the keys by which men were thrust out from
the kingdom of God is that which is called excommunication and to
excommunicate is, in the original, aposunagogon poiein, to cast out of
the synagogue; that is, out of the place of divine service; a word
drawn from the custom of the Jews, to cast out of their synagogues
such as they thought in manners or doctrine contagious, as lepers were
by the law of Moses separated from the congregation of Israel till
such time as they should be by the priest pronounced clean.
  The use and effect of excommunication, whilst it was not yet
strengthened with the civil power, was no more than that they who were
not excommunicate were to avoid the company of them that were. It
was not enough to repute them as heathen, that never had been
Christians; for with such they might eat and drink, which with
excommunicate persons they might not do, as appeareth by the words
of St. Paul where he telleth them he had formerly forbidden them to
"company with fornicators";* but, because that could not be without
going out of the world, he restraineth it to such fornicators and
otherwise vicious persons as were of the brethren; "with such a
one," he saith, they ought not to keep company, "no not to eat." And
this is no more than our Saviour saith, "Let him be to thee as a
heathen, and as a publican."*(2) For publicans (which signifieth
farmers and receivers of the revenue of the Commonwealth) were so
hated and detested by the Jews that were to pay it, as that publican
and sinner were taken amongst them for the same thing; insomuch as
when our Saviour accepted the invitation of Zacchaeus a publican,
though it were to convert him, yet it was objected to him as a
crime. And therefore, when our Saviour, to heathen, added publican, he
did forbid them to eat with a man excommunicate.

  * I Corinthians, 5. 9, 10, etc.
  *(2) Matthew, 18. 17

  As for keeping them out of their synagogues, or places of
assembly, they had no power to do it but that of the owner of the
place, whether he were Christian or heathen. And because all places
are by right in the dominion of the Commonwealth, as well he that
was excommunicated as he that never was baptized, might enter into
them by commission from the civil magistrate; as Paul before his
conversion entered into their synagogues at Damascus, to apprehend
Christians, men and women, and to carry them bound to Jerusalem, by
commission from the high priest.*

  * Acts, 9. 2

  By which it appears that upon a Christian that should become an
apostate, in a place where the civil power did persecute or not assist
the Church, the effect of excommunication had nothing in it, neither
of damage in this world nor of terror: not of terror, because of their
unbelief; nor of damage, because they returned thereby into the favour
of the world; and in the world to come were to be in no worse estate
than they which never had believed. The damage redounded rather to the
Church, by provocation of them they cast out to a freer execution of
their malice.
  Excommunication therefore had its effect only upon those that
believed that Jesus Christ was to come again in glory to reign over
and to judge both the quick and the dead, and should therefore
refuse entrance into his kingdom to those whose sins were retained;
that is, to those that were excommunicated by the Church. And thence
it is that St. Paul calleth excommunication a delivery of the
excommunicate person to Satan. For without the kingdom of Christ,
all other kingdoms after judgement are comprehended in the kingdom
of Satan. This is it that the faithful stood in fear of, as long as
they stood excommunicate, that is to say, in an estate wherein their
sins were not forgiven. Whereby we may understand that excommunication
in the time that Christian religion was not authorized by the civil
power was used only for a correction of manners, not of errors in
opinion: for it is a punishment whereof none could be sensible but
such as believed and expected the coming again of our Saviour to judge
the world; and they who so believed needed no other opinion, but
only uprightness of life, to be saved.
  There lieth excommunication for injustice; as, if thy brother offend
thee, tell it him privately, then with witnesses; lastly, tell the
Church, and then if he obey not, "Let him be to thee as an heathen
man, and a publican."* And there lieth excommunication for a
scandalous life, as "If any man that is called a brother be a
fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a drunkard, or an
extortioner, with such a one ye are not to eat."*(2) But to
excommunicate a man that held this foundation, that Jesus was the
Christ, for difference of opinion in other points by which that
foundation was not destroyed, there appeareth no authority in the
Scripture, nor example in the Apostles. There is indeed in St. Paul
a text that seemeth to be to the contrary: "A man that is an
heretic, after the first and second admonition, reject."*(3) For a
heretic is he that, being a member of the Church, teacheth
nevertheless some private opinion which the Church has forbidden:
and such a one, St. Paul adviseth Titus after the first and second
admonition, to reject. But to reject in this place is not to
excommunicate the man; but to give over admonishing him, to let him
alone, to set by disputing with him, as one that is to be convinced
only by himself. The same Apostle saith, "Foolish and unlearned
questions avoid":*(4) The word avoid in this place, and reject in
the former, is the same in the original, paraitou, but foolish
questions may be set by without excommunication. And again, "Avoid
foolish questions,:*(5) where the original periistaso (set them by) is
equivalent to the former word, reject. There is no other place that
can so much as colourably be drawn to countenance the casting out of
the Church faithful men, such as believed the foundation, only for a
singular superstructure of their own, proceeding perhaps from a good
and pious conscience. But, on the contrary, all such places as command
avoiding such disputes are written for a lesson to pastors, such as
Timothy and Titus were, not to make new articles of faith by
determining every small controversy, which oblige men to a needless
burden of conscience, or provoke them to break the union of the
Church. Which lesson the Apostles themselves observed well. St.
Peter and St. Paul, though their controversy were great, as we may
read in Galatians, 2. 11, yet they did not cast one another out of the
Church. Nevertheless, during the Apostles' times, there were other
pastors that observed it not; as Diotrephes who cast out of the Church
such as St. John himself thought fit to be received into it, out of
a pride he took in pre-eminence:*(6) so early it was that vainglory
and ambition had found entrance into the Church of Christ.

  * Matthew, 18. 15, 16, 17
  *(2) I Corinthians, 5. 3, 4, 5
  *(3) Ibid., 5. 11, 12
  *(4) II Timothy, 2. 23
  *(5) Titus, 3. 9
  *(6) 3 John, 9, etc.

  That a man be liable to excommunication, there be many conditions
requisite; as first, that he be a member of some commonalty, that is
to say, of some lawful assembly, that is to say, of some Christian
Church that hath power to judge of the cause for which he is to be
excommunicated. For where there is no community, there can be no
excommunication; nor where there is no power to judge, can there be
any power to give sentence.
  From hence it followeth that one Church cannot be excommunicated
by another: for either they have equal power to excommunicate each
other, in which case excommunication is not discipline, nor an act
of authority, but schism, and dissolution of charity; or one is so
subordinate to the other as that they both have but one voice, and
then they be but one Church; and the part excommunicated is no more
a Church, but a dissolute number of individual persons.
  And because the sentence of excommunication importeth an advice
not to keep company nor so much as to eat with him that is
excommunicate, if a sovereign prince or assembly be excommunicate, the
sentence is of no effect. For all subjects are bound to be in the
company and presence of their own sovereign, when he requireth it,
by the law of nature; nor can they lawfully either expel him from
any place of his own dominion, whether profane or holy; nor go out
of his dominion without his leave; much less, if he call them to
that honour, refuse to eat with him. And as to other princes and
states, because they are not parts of one and the same congregation,
they need not any other sentence to keep them from keeping company
with the state excommunicate: for the very institution, as it
uniteth many men into one community, so it dissociateth one
community from another: so that excommunication is not needful for
keeping kings and states asunder; nor has any further effect than is
in the nature of policy itself, unless it be to instigate princes to
war upon one another.
  Nor is the excommunication of a Christian subject that obeyeth the
laws of his own sovereign, whether Christian or heathen, of any
effect. For if he believe that "Jesus is the Christ, he hath the
Spirit of God,"* "and God dwelleth in him, and he in God."*(2) But
he that hath the Spirit of God; he that dwelleth in God; he in whom
God dwelleth, can receive no harm by the excommunication of men.
Therefore, he that believeth Jesus to be the Christ is free from all
the dangers threatened to persons excommunicate. He that believeth
it not is no Christian. Therefore a true and unfeigned Christian is
not liable to excommunication: nor he also that is a professed
Christian, till his hypocrisy appear in his manners; that is, till his
behaviour be contrary to the law of his sovereign, which is the rule
of manners, and which Christ and his Apostles have commanded us to
be subject to. For the Church cannot judge of manners but by
external actions, which actions can never be unlawful but when they
are against the law of the Commonwealth.

  * John, 5. 1
  *(2) Ibid., 4. 15

  If a man's father, or mother, or master be excommunicate, yet are
not the children forbidden to keep them company, nor to eat with them;
for that were, for the most part, to oblige them not to eat at all,
for want of means to get food; and to authorize them to disobey
their parents and masters, contrary to the precept of the Apostles.
  In sum, the power of excommunication cannot be extended further than
to the end for which the Apostles and pastors of the Church have their
commission from our Saviour; which is not to rule by command and
coercion, but by teaching and direction of men in the way of salvation
in the world to come. And as a master in any science may abandon his
scholar when he obstinately neglecteth the practice of his rules,
but not accuse him of injustice, because he was never bound to obey
him: so a teacher of Christian doctrine may abandon his disciples that
obstinately continue in an unchristian life; but he cannot say they do
him wrong, because they are not obliged to obey him: for to a
teacher that shall so complain may be applied the answer of God to
Samuel in the like place, "They have not rejected thee, but me."*
Excommunication therefore, when it wanteth the assistance of the civil
power, as it doth when a Christian state or prince is excommunicate by
a foreign authority, is without effect, and consequently ought to be
without terror. The name of fulmen excommunicationis (that is, the
thunderbolt of excommunication) proceeded from an imagination of the
Bishop of Rome, which first used it, that he was king of kings, as the
heathen made Jupiter king of the gods; and assigned him, in their
poems and pictures, a thunderbolt wherewith to subdue and punish the
giants that should dare to deny his power: which imagination was
grounded on two errors; one, that the kingdom of Christ is of this
world, contrary to our Saviour's own words, "My kingdom is not of this
world";*(2) the other, that he is Christ's vicar, not only over his
own subjects, but over all the Christians of the world; whereof
there is no ground in Scripture, and the contrary shall be proved in
its due place.

  * I Samuel, 8. 7
  *(2) John, 18. 36

  St. Paul coming to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the
Jews, "as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days
reasoned with them out of the Scriptures, opening and alleging, that
Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and
that this Jesus whom he preached was the Christ."* The Scriptures here
mentioned were the Scriptures of the Jews, that is, the Old Testament.
The men to whom he was to prove that Jesus was the Christ, and risen
again from the dead, were also Jews, and did believe already that they
were the word of God. Hereupon, as it is in the fourth verse some of
them believed, and, as it is in the fifth verse, some believed not.
What was the reason, when they all believed the Scripture, that they
did not all believe alike, but that some approved, others disapproved,
the interpretation of St. Paul that cited them, and every one
interpreted them to himself? It was this: St. Paul came to them
without any legal commission, and in the manner of one that would
not command, but persuade; which he must needs do, either by miracles,
as Moses did to the Israelites in Egypt, that they might see his
authority in God's works; or by reasoning from the already received
Scripture, that they might see the truth of his doctrine in God's
word. But whosoever persuadeth by reasoning from principles written
maketh him to whom he speaketh judge; both of the meaning of those
principles and also of the force of his inferences upon them. If these
Jews of Thessalonica were not, who else was the judge of what St. Paul
alleged out of Scripture? If St. Paul, what needed he to quote any
places to prove his doctrine? It had been enough to have said, "I find
it so in Scripture; that is to say, in your laws, of which I am
interpreter, as sent by Christ." The interpreter therefore of the
Scripture, to whose interpretation the Jews of Thessalonica were bound
to stand, could be none: every one might believe or not believe,
according as the allegations seemed to himself to be agreeable or
not agreeable to the meaning of the places alleged. And generally in
all cases of the world he that pretendeth any proof maketh judge of
his proof him to whom he addresseth his speech. And as to the case
of the Jews in particular, they were bound by express words to receive
the determination of all hard questions from the priests and judges of
Israel for the time being.*(2) But this is to be understood of the
Jews that were yet unconverted.

  * Acts, 17. 2, 3
  *(2) Deuteronomy, 17

  For the conversion of the Gentiles, there was no use of alleging the
Scriptures, which they believed not. The Apostles therefore laboured
by reason to confute their idolatry; and that done, to persuade them
to the faith of Christ by their testimony of his life and
resurrection. So that there could not yet be any controversy
concerning the authority to interpret Scripture; seeing no man was
obliged, during his infidelity, to follow any man's interpretation
of any Scripture except his sovereign's interpretation of the laws
of his country.
  Let us now consider the conversion itself, and see what there was
therein that could be cause of such an obligation. Men were
converted to no other thing than to the belief of that which the
Apostles preached: and the Apostles preached nothing but that Jesus
was the Christ, that is to say, the King that was to save them and
reign over them eternally in the world to come; and consequently
that he was not dead, but risen again from the dead, and gone up
into heaven, and should come again one day to judge the world (which
also should rise again to be judged), and reward every man according
to his works. None of them preached that himself, or any other
Apostle, was such an interpreter of the Scripture as all that became
Christians ought to take their interpretation for law. For to
interpret the laws is part of the administration of a present kingdom,
which the Apostles had not. They prayed then, and all other pastors
since, "Let thy kingdom come"; and exhorted their converts to obey
their then ethnic princes. The New Testament was not yet published
in one body. Every of the evangelists was interpreter of his own
gospel, and every Apostle of his own epistle; and of the Old Testament
our Saviour himself saith to the Jews, "Search the Scriptures; for
in them ye think to have eternal life, and they are they that
testify of me."* If he had not meant they should interpret them, he
would not have bidden them take thence the proof of his being the
Christ: he would either have interpreted them himself, or referred
them to the interpretation of the priests.

  * John, 5. 39

  When a difficulty arose, the Apostles and elders of the Church
assembled themselves together, and determined what should be
preached and taught, and how they should interpret the Scriptures to
the people, but took not from the people the liberty to read and
interpret them to themselves. The Apostles sent diverse letters to the
Churches, and other writings for their instruction; which had been
in vain if they had not allowed them to interpret, that is, to
consider the meaning of them. And as it was in the Apostles' time,
it must be till such time as there should be pastors that could
authorize an interpreter whose interpretation should generally be
stood to: but that could not be till kings were pastors, or pastors
  There be two senses wherein a writing may be said to be canonical:
for canon signifieth a rule; and a rule is a precept by which a man is
guided and directed in any action whatsoever. Such precepts, though
given by a teacher to his disciple, or a counsellor to his friend,
without power to compel him to observe them, are nevertheless
canons, because they are rules. But when they are given by one whom he
that receiveth them is bound to obey, then are those canons not only
rules, but laws: the question therefore here is of the power to make
the Scriptures, which are the rules of Christian faith, laws.
  That part of the Scripture which was first law was the Ten
Commandments, written in two tables of stone and delivered by God
Himself to Moses, and by Moses made known to the people. Before that
time there was no written law of God, who, as yet having not chosen
any people to be His peculiar kingdom, had given no law to men, but
the law of nature, that is to say, the precepts of natural reason,
written in every man's own heart. Of these two tables, the first
containeth the law of sovereignty: 1. That they should not obey nor
honour the gods of other nations, in these words, Non habebis deos
alienos coram me; that is, "Thou shalt not have for gods, the gods
that other nations worship, but only me": whereby they were
forbidden to obey or honour as their king and governor any other God
than Him that spake unto them by Moses, and afterwards by the high
priest. 2. That they "should not make any image to represent Him";
that is to say, they were not to choose to themselves, neither in
heaven nor in earth, any representative of their own fancying, but
obey Moses and Aaron, whom He had appointed to that office. 3. That
"they should not take the name of God in vain"; that is, they should
not speak rashly of their King, nor dispute his right, nor the
commissions of Moses and Aaron, His lieutenants. 4. That "they
should every seventh day abstain from their ordinary labour," and
employ that time in doing Him public honour. The second table
containeth the duty of one man towards another, as "To honour
parents"; "Not to kill"; "Not to commit adultery"; "Not to steal";
"Not to corrupt judgement by false witness"; and finally, "Not so much
as to design in their heart the doing of any injury one to another."
The question now is who it was that gave to these written tables the
obligatory force of laws. There is no doubt but they were made laws by
God Himself: but because a law obliges not, nor is law to any but to
them that acknowledge it to be the act of the sovereign, how could the
people of Israel, that were forbidden to approach the mountain to hear
what God said to Moses, be obliged to obedience to all those laws
which Moses propounded to them? Some of them were indeed the laws of
nature, as all the second table, and therefore to be acknowledged
for God's laws; not to the Israelites alone, but to all people: but of
those that were peculiar to the Israelites, as those of the first
table, the question remains, saving that they had obliged
themselves, presently after the propounding of them, to obey Moses, in
these words, "Speak thou to us, and we will hear thee; but let not God
speak to us, lest we die."* It was therefore only Moses then, and
after him the high priest, whom, by Moses, God declared should
administer this His peculiar kingdom, that had on earth the power to
make this short Scripture of the Decalogue to be law in the
commonwealth of Israel. But Moses, and Aaron, and the succeeding
high priests were the civil sovereigns. Therefore hitherto the
canonizing, or making of the Scripture law, belonged to the civil

  * Exodus, 20. 19

  The judicial law, that is to say, the laws that God prescribed to
the magistrates of Israel for the rule of their administration of
justice, and of the sentences or judgements they should pronounce in
pleas between man and man; and the Levitical law, that is to say,
the rule that God prescribed touching the rites and ceremonies of
the priests and Levites, were all delivered to them by Moses only; and
therefore also became laws by virtue of the same promise of
obedience to Moses. Whether these laws were then written, or not
written, but dictated to the people by Moses, after his forty days
being with God in the Mount, by word of mouth, is not expressed in the
text; but they were all positive laws, and equivalent to Holy
Scripture, and made canonical by Moses the civil sovereign.
  After the Israelites were come into the plains of Moab over
against Jericho, and ready to enter into the Land of Promise, Moses to
the former laws added diverse others; which therefore are called
Deuteronomy; that is, Second Laws; and are, as it is written, "the
words of a covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the
children of Israel, besides the covenant which he made with them in
Horeb."* For having explained those former laws, in the beginning of
the Book of Deuteronomy, he addeth others, that begin at the twelfth
Chapter and continue to the end of the twenty-sixth of the same
book. This law they were commanded to write upon great stones
plastered over, at their passing over Jordan:*(2) this law also was
written by Moses himself in a book, and delivered into the hands of
the priests, and to the elders of Israel,*(3) and commanded "to be put
in the side of the Ark";*(4) for in the Ark itself was nothing but the
Ten Commandments. This was the law which Moses commanded the kings
of Israel should keep a copy of:*(5) and this is the law which, having
been long time lost, was found again in the Temple in the time of
Josiah, and by his authority received for the law of God. But both
Moses at the writing and Josiah at the recovery thereof had both of
them the civil sovereignty. Hitherto therefore the power of making
Scripture canonical was in the civil sovereign.

  * Deuteronomy, 29. 1
  *(2) Ibid., 27
  *(3) Ibid., 31. 9
  *(4) Ibid., 31. 26
  *(5) Ibid., 17. 18

  Besides this Book of the Law, there was no other book, from the time
of Moses till after the Captivity, received amongst the Jews for the
law of God. For the prophets, except a few, lived in the time of the
Captivity itself; and the rest lived but a little before it, and
were so far from having their prophecies generally received for laws
as that their persons were persecuted, partly by false prophets, and
partly by the kings were seduced by them. And this book itself,
which was confirmed by Josiah for the law of God, and with it all
the history of the works of God, was lost in the Captivity, and sack
of the city of Jerusalem, as appears by that of II Esdras, 14. 21,
"Thy law is burnt; therefore no man knoweth the things that are done
of Thee, or the works that shall begin." And before the Captivity,
between the time when the law was lost (which is not mentioned in
the Scripture, but may probably be thought to be the time of
Rehoboam when Shishak, King of Egypt, took the spoil of the Temple*)
and the time of Josiah, when it was found again, they had no written
word of God, but ruled according to their own discretion, or by the
direction of such as each of them esteemed prophets.

  * I Kings, 14. 26

  From hence we may infer that the Scriptures of the Old Testament,
which we have at this day, were not canonical, nor a law unto the
Jews, till the renovation of their covenant with God at their return
from the Captivity, and restoration of their Commonwealth under
Esdras. But from that time forward they were accounted the law of
the Jews, and for such translated into Greek by seventy elders of
Judaea, and put into the library of Ptolemy at Alexandria, and
approved for the word of God. Now seeing Esdras was the high priest,
and the high priest was their civil sovereign, it is manifest that the
Scriptures were never made laws, but by the sovereign civil power.
  By the writings of the Fathers that lived in the time before that
Christian religion was received and authorized by Constantine the
Emperor, we may find that the books we now have of the New Testament
were held by the Christians of that time (except a few, in respect
of whose paucity the rest were called the Catholic Church, and
others heretics) for the dictates of the Holy Ghost; and
consequently for the canon, or rule of faith: such was the reverence
and opinion they had of their teachers; as generally the reverence
that the disciples bear to their first masters in all manner of
doctrine they receive from them is not small. Therefore there is no
doubt but when St. Paul wrote to the churches he had converted; or any
other Apostle or Disciple of Christ, to those which had then
embraced Christ; they received those their writings for the true
Christian doctrine. But in that time when not the power and
authority of the teacher, but the faith of the hearer, caused them
to receive it, it was not the Apostles that made their own writings
canonical, but every convert made them so to himself.
  But the question here is not what any Christian made a law or
canon to himself, which he might again reject by the same right he
received it, but what was so made a canon to them as without injustice
they could not do anything contrary thereunto. That the New
Testament should in this sense be canonical, that is to say, a law
in any place where the law of the Commonwealth had not made it so,
is contrary to the nature of a law. For a law, as hath been already
shown, is the commandment of that man, or assembly, to whom we have
given sovereign authority to make such rules for the direction of
our actions as he shall think fit, and to punish us when we do
anything contrary to the same. When therefore any other man shall
offer unto us any other rules, which the sovereign ruler hath not
prescribed, they are but counsel and advice; which, whether good or
bad, he that is counselled may without injustice refuse to observe;
and when contrary to the laws already established, without injustice
cannot observe, how good soever he conceiveth it to be. I say he
cannot in this case observe the same in his actions, nor in his
discourse with other men, though he may without blame believe his
private teachers and wish he had the liberty to practise their advice,
and that it were publicly received for law. For internal faith is in
its own nature invisible, and consequently exempted from all human
jurisdiction; whereas the words and actions that proceed from it, as
breaches of our civil obedience, are injustice both before God and
man. Seeing then our Saviour hath denied his kingdom to be in this
world, seeing he hath said he came not to judge, but to save the
world, he hath not subjected us to other laws than those of the
Commonwealth; that is, the Jews to the law of Moses, which he saith he
came not to destroy, but to fulfil;* and other nations to the laws
of their several sovereigns, and all men to the laws of nature; the
observing whereof, both he himself and his Apostles have in their
teaching recommended to us as a necessary condition of being
admitted by him in the last day into his eternal kingdom, wherein
shall be protection and life everlasting. Seeing then our Saviour
and his Apostles left not new laws to oblige us in this world, but new
doctrine to prepare us for the next, the books of the New Testament,
which contain that doctrine, until obedience to them was commanded
by them that God had given power to on earth to be legislators, were
not obligatory canons, that is, laws, but only good and safe advice
for the direction of sinners in the way to salvation, which every
man might take and refuse at his own peril, without injustice.

  * Matthew, 5

  Again, our Saviour Christ's commission to his Apostles and Disciples
was to proclaim his kingdom, not present, but to come; and to teach
all nations, and to baptize them that should believe; and to enter
into the houses of them that should receive them; and where they
were not received, to shake off the dust of their feet against them;
but not to call for fire from heaven to destroy them, nor to compel
them to obedience by the sword. In all which there is nothing of
power, but of persuasion. He sent them out as sheep unto wolves, not
as kings to their subjects. They had not in commission to make laws;
but to obey and teach obedience to laws made; and consequently they
could not make their writings obligatory canons, without the help of
the sovereign civil power. And therefore the Scripture of the New
Testament is there only law where the lawful civil power hath made
it so. And there also the king, or sovereign, maketh it a law to
himself; by which he subjecteth himself, not to the doctor or
Apostle that converted him, but to God Himself, and His Son Jesus
Christ, as immediately as did the Apostles themselves.
  That which may seem to give the New Testament, in respect of those
that have embraced Christian doctrine, the force of laws, in the times
and places of persecution, is the decrees they made amongst themselves
in their synods. For we read the style of the council of the Apostles,
the elders, and the whole Church, in this manner, "It seemed good to
the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than
these necessary things,"* etc., which is a style that signifieth a
power to lay a burden on them that had received their doctrine. Now
"to lay a burden on another" seemeth the same as to oblige, and
therefore the acts of that council were laws to the then Christians.
Nevertheless, they were no more laws than are these other precepts,
"Repent"; "Be baptized"; "Keep the Commandments"; "Believe the
Gospel"; "Come unto me"; "Sell all that thou hast"; "Give it to the
poor"; and "Follow me"; which are not commands, but invitations and
callings of men to Christianity, like that of Isaiah, "Ho, every man
that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, come, and buy wine and milk
without money."*(2) For first, the Apostles' power was no other than
that of our Saviour, to invite men to embrace the kingdom of God;
which they themselves acknowledged for a kingdom, not present, but
to come; and they that have no kingdom can make no laws. And secondly,
if their acts of council were laws, they could not without sin be
disobeyed. But we read not anywhere that they who received not the
doctrine of Christ did therein sin, but that they died in their
sins; that is, that their sins against the laws to which they owed
obedience were not pardoned. And those laws were the laws of nature,
and the civil laws of the state, whereto every Christian man had by
pact submitted himself. And therefore by the burden which the Apostles
might lay on such as they had converted are not to be understood laws,
but conditions, proposed to those that sought salvation; which they
might accept or refuse at their own peril, without a new sin, though
not without the hazard of being condemned and excluded out of the
kingdom of God for their sins past. And therefore of infidels, St.
John saith not, the wrath of God shall come upon them, but the wrath
of God remaineth upon them;*(3) and not that they shall he
condemned, but that they are condemned already.*(4) Nor can it be
conceived that the benefit of faith is remission of sins, unless we
conceive withal that the damage of infidelity is the retention of
the same sins.

  * Acts, 15. 28
  *(2) Isaiah, 55. 1
  *(3) John, 3. 36
  *(4) Ibid., 3. 18

  But to what end is it, may some man ask, that the Apostles and other
pastors of the Church, after their time, should meet together to agree
upon what doctrine should be taught, both for faith and manners, if no
man were obliged to observe their decrees? To this may be answered
that the Apostles and elders of that council were obliged, even by
their entrance into it, to teach the doctrine therein concluded, and
decreed to be taught, so far forth as no precedent law, to which
they were obliged to yield obedience, was to the contrary; but not
that all other Christians should be obliged to observe what they
taught. For though they might deliberate what each of them should
teach, yet they could not deliberate what others should do, unless
their assembly had had a legislative power, which none could have
but civil sovereigns. For though God be the sovereign of all the
world, we are not bound to take for His law whatsoever is propounded
by every man in His name; nor anything contrary to the civil law,
which God hath expressly commanded us to obey.
  Seeing then the acts of council of the Apostles were then no laws,
but counsels; much less are laws the acts of any other doctors or
councils since, if assembled without the authority of the civil
sovereign. And consequently, the books of the New Testament, though
most perfect rules of Christian doctrine, could not be made laws by
any other authority than that of kings or sovereign assemblies.
  The first council that made the Scriptures we now have canon is
not extant: for that collection of the canons of the Apostles,
attributed to Clemens, the first bishop of Rome after St. Peter, is
subject to question: for though the canonical books be there
reckoned up; yet these words, Sint vobis omnibus Clericis & Laicis
Libri venerandi, etc., contain a distinction of clergy and laity
that was not in use so near St. Peter's time. The first council for
settling the canonical Scripture that is extant is that of Laodicea,
Can. 59, which forbids the reading of other books than those in the
churches; which is a mandate that is not addressed to every Christian,
but to those only that had authority to read anything publicly in
the Church; that is, to ecclesiastics only.
  Of ecclesiastical officers in the time of the Apostles, some were
magisterial, some ministerial. Magisterial were the offices of
preaching of the gospel of the kingdom of God to infidels; of
administering the sacraments and divine service; and of teaching the
rules of faith and manners to those that were converted. Ministerial
was the office of deacons, that is, of them that were appointed to the
administration of the secular necessities of the Church, at such
time as they lived upon a common stock of money, raised out of the
voluntary contributions of the faithful.
  Amongst the officers Amongst the officer magisterial, the first
and principal were the Apostles, whereof there were at first but
twelve; and these were chosen and constituted by our Saviour
himself; and their office was not only to preach, teach, and
baptize, but also to be martyrs (witnesses of our Saviour's
resurrection). This testimony was the specifical and essential mark
whereby the apostleship was distinguished from other magistracy
ecclesiastical; as being necessary for an Apostle either to have
seen our Saviour after his resurrection or to have conversed with
him before, and seen his works, and other arguments of his divinity,
whereby they might be taken for sufficient witnesses. And therefore at
the election of a new Apostle in the place of Judas Iscariot, St.
Peter saith, "Of these men that have companied with us, all the time
that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the
baptism of John unto that same day that he was taken up from us,
must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection":*
where by this word must is implied a necessary property of an Apostle,
to have companied with the first and prime Apostles in the time that
our Saviour manifested himself in the flesh.

  * Acts, 1. 21, 22

  The first Apostle of those which were not constituted by Christ in
the time he was upon the earth was Matthias, chosen in this manner:
there were assembled together in Jerusalem about one hundred and
twenty Christians.* These appointed two, Joseph the Just and
Matthias,*(2) and caused lots to be drawn; "and the lot fell on
Matthias, and he was numbered with the apostles."*(3) So that here
we see the ordination of this Apostle was the act of the congregation,
and not of St. Peter, nor of the eleven, otherwise than as members
of the assembly.

  * Acts, 1. 15
  *(2) Ibid., 1. 23
  *(3) Ibid., 1. 26

  After him there was never any other Apostle ordained, but Paul and
Barnabas, which was done, as we read, in this manner: "There were in
the church that was at Antioch, certain prophets and teachers; as
Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene,
and Manaen; which had been brought up with Herod the Tetrarch, and
Saul. As they ministered unto the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost
said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have
called them. And when they had fasted, and prayed, and laid their
hands on them, they sent them away."*

  * Acts, 13. 1, 2, 3

  By which it is manifest that though they were called by the Holy
Ghost, their calling was declared unto them, and their mission
authorized by the particular church of Antioch. And that this their
calling was to the apostleship is apparent by that, that they are both
called Apostles:* and that it was by virtue of this act of the
church of Antioch that they were Apostles, St. Paul declareth
plainly in that he useth the word, which the Holy Ghost used at his
calling, for he styleth himself, "An apostle separated unto the gospel
of God,"*(2) alluding to the words of the Holy Ghost, "Separate me
Barnabas and Saul," etc. But seeing the work of an Apostle was to be a
witness of the resurrection of Christ, a man may here ask how St.
Paul, that conversed not with our Saviour before his Passion, could
know he was risen. To which is easily answered that our Saviour
himself appeared to him in the way to Damascus, from heaven, after his
ascension; "and chose him for a vessel to bear his name before the
Gentiles, and kings, and children of Israel"; and consequently, having
seen the Lord after his Passion, was a competent witness of his
resurrection: and as for Barnabas, he was a disciple before the
Passion. It is therefore evident that Paul and Barnabas were Apostles,
and yet chosen and authorized, not by the first Apostles alone, but by
the Church of Antioch; as Matthias was chosen and authorized by the
Church of Jerusalem.

  * Acts, 14. 14
  *(2) Romans, 1. 1

  Bishop, a word formed in our language out of the Greek episcopus,
signifieth an overseer or superintendent of any business, and
particularly a pastor or shepherd; and thence by metaphor was taken,
not only amongst the Jews that were originally shepherds, but also
amongst the heathen, to signify the office of a king, or any other
ruler or guide of people, whether he ruled by laws or doctrine. And so
the Apostles were the first Christian bishops, instituted by Christ
himself: in which sense the apostleship of Judas is called "his
bishoprick."* And afterwards, when there were constituted elders in
the Christian churches, with charge to guide Christ's flock by their
doctrine and advice, these elders were also called bishops. Timothy
was an elder (which word elder, in the New Testament, is a name of
office as well as of age); yet he was also a bishop. And bishops
were then content with the title of elders. Nay, St. John himself, the
Apostle beloved of our Lord, beginneth his Second Epistle with these
words, "The elder to the elect lady." By which it is evident that
bishop, pastor, elder, doctor, that is to say, teacher, were but so
many diverse names of the same office in the time of the Apostles. For
there was then no government by coercion, but only by doctrine and
persuading. The kingdom of God was yet to come, in a new world; so
that there could be no authority to compel in any church till the
Commonwealth had embraced the Christian faith; and consequently no
diversity of authority, though there were diversity of employments.

  * Acts, 1. 20

  Besides these magisterial employments in the Church; namely,
apostles, bishops, elders, pastors, and doctors, whose calling was
to proclaim Christ to the Jews and infidels, and to direct and teach
those that believed, we read in the New Testament of no other. For
by the names of evangelists and prophets is not signified any
office, but several gifts by which several men were profitable to
the Church: as evangelists, by writing the life and acts of our
Saviour; such as were St. Matthew and St. John Apostles, and St.
Mark and St. Luke Disciples, and whosoever else wrote of that
subject (as St. Thomas and St. Barnabas are said to have done,
though the Church have not received the books that have gone under
their names); and as prophets, by the gift of interpreting the Old
Testament, and sometimes by declaring their special revelations to the
Church. For neither these gifts, nor the gifts of languages, nor the
gift of casting out devils, nor of curing other diseases, nor anything
else did make an officer in the save only the due calling and election
to the charge of teaching.
  As the Apostles Matthias, Paul, and Barnabas were not made by our
Saviour himself, but were elected by the Church, that is, by the
assembly of Christians; namely, Matthias by the church of Jerusalem,
and Paul and Barnabas by the church of Antioch; so were also the
presbyters and pastors in other cities, elected by the churches of
those cities. For proof whereof, let us consider, first, how St.
Paul proceeded in the ordination of presbyters in the cities where
he had converted men to the Christian faith, immediately after he
and Barnabas had received their apostleship. We read that "they
ordained elders in every church";* which at first sight may be taken
for an argument that they themselves chose and gave them their
authority: but if we consider the original text, it will be manifest
that they were authorized and chosen by the assembly of the Christians
of each city. For the words there are cheirotonesantes autois
presbuterous kat ekklesian, that is, "when they had ordained them
elders by the holding up of hands in every congregation." Now it is
well enough known that in all those cities the manner of choosing
magistrates and officers was by plurality of suffrages; and, because
the ordinary way of distinguishing the affirmative votes from the
negatives was by holding up of hands, to ordain an officer in any of
the cities was no more but to bring the people together to elect
them by plurality of votes, whether it were by plurality of elevated
hands, or by plurality of voices, or plurality of balls, or beans,
or small stones, of which every man cast in one, into a vessel
marked for the affirmative or negative; for diverse cities had diverse
customs in that point. It was therefore the assembly that elected
their own elders: the Apostles were only presidents of the assembly to
call them together for such election, and to pronounce them elected,
and to give them the benediction, which now is called consecration.
And for this cause they that were presidents of the assemblies, as
in the absence of the Apostles the elders were, were called proestotes
and in Latin antistites; which words signify the principal person of
the assembly, whose office was to number the votes, and to declare
thereby who was chosen; and where the votes were equal, to decide
the matter in question by adding his own which is the office of a
president in council. And, because all the churches had their
presbyters ordained in the same manner, where the word is
constitute, as ina katasteses kata polin presbuterous, "For this cause
left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest constitute elders in every
city,"*(2) we are to understand the same thing; namely, that he should
call the faithful together, and ordain them presbyters by plurality of
suffrages. It had been a strange thing if in a town where men
perhaps had never seen any magistrate otherwise chosen than by an
assembly, those of the town, becoming Christians, should so much as
have thought on any other way of election of their teachers and
guides, that is to say, of their presbyters (otherwise called
bishops), than this of plurality of suffrages, intimated by St. Paul
in the word cheirotonesantes.*(3) Nor was there ever any choosing of
bishops, before the emperors found it necessary to regulate them in
order to the keeping of the peace amongst them, but by the
assemblies of the Christians in every several town.

  * Acts, 14. 23
  *(2) Titus, 1. 5
  *(3) Acts, 14. 23

  The same is also confirmed by the continual practice even to this
day in the election of the bishops of Rome. For if the bishop of any
place had the right of choosing another to the succession of the
pastoral office, in any city, at such time as he went from thence to
plant the same in another place; much more had he had the right to
appoint his successor in that place in which he last resided and died:
and we find not that ever any bishop of Rome appointed his
successor. For they were a long time chosen by the people, as we may
see by the sedition raised about the election between Damasus and
Ursinus; which Ammianus Marcellinus saith was so great that
Juventius the Praefect, unable to keep the peace between them, was
forced to go out of the city; and that there were above a hundred
men found dead upon that occasion in the church itself. And though
they afterwards were chosen, first, by the whole clergy of Rome, and
afterwards by the cardinals; yet never any was appointed to the
succession by his predecessor. If therefore they pretended no right to
appoint their own successors, I think I may reasonably conclude they
had no right to appoint the successors of other bishops without
receiving some new power; which none could take from the Church to
bestow on them, but such as had a lawful authority, not only to teach,
but to command the Church, which none could do but the civil
  The word minister in the original, diakonos, signifieth one that
voluntarily doth the business of another man, and differeth from a
servant only in this, that servants are obliged by their condition
to what is commanded them; whereas ministers are obliged only by their
undertaking, and bound therefore to no more than that they have
undertaken: so that both they that teach the word of God and they that
administer the secular affairs of the Church are both ministers, but
they are ministers of different persons. For the pastors of the
Church, called "the ministers of the word,"* are ministers of
Christ, whose word it is: but the ministry of a deacon, which is
called "serving of tables,"*(2) is a service done to the church or
congregation: so that neither any one man nor the whole Church could
ever of their pastor say he was their minister; but of a deacon,
whether the charge he undertook were to serve tables or distribute
maintenance to the Christians when they lived in each city on a common
stock, or upon collections, as in the first times, or to take a care
of the house of prayer, or of the revenue, or other worldly business
of the Church, the whole congregation might properly call him their

  * Acts, 6. 4
  *(2) Ibid., 6. 2

  For their employment as deacons was to serve the congregation,
though upon occasion they omitted not to preach the Gospel, and
maintain the doctrine of Christ, every one according to his gifts,
as St. Stephen did; and both to preach and baptize, as Philip did: for
that Philip, which preached the Gospel at Samaria,* and baptized the
eunuch,*(2) was Philip the Deacon, not Philip the Apostle. For it is
manifest that when Philip preached in Samaria, the Apostles were at
Jerusalem,*(3) and "when they heard that Samaria had received the word
of God, sent Peter and John to them";*(4) by imposition of whose hands
they that were baptized received (which before by the baptism of
Philip they had not received) the Holy Ghost.*(5) For it was necessary
for the conferring of the Holy Ghost that their baptism should be
administered or confirmed by a minister of the word, not by a minister
of the Church. And therefore to confirm the baptism of those that
Philip the Deacon had baptized, the Apostles sent out of their own
number from Jerusalem to Samaria, Peter and John, who conferred on
them that before were but baptized, those graces that were signs of
the Holy Spirit, which at that time did accompany all true
believers; which what they were may be understood by that which St.
Mark saith, "These signs follow them that believe in my name; they
shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall
take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not
hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall
recover."*(6) This to do was it that Philip could not give, but the
Apostles could and, as appears by this place, effectually did to every
man that truly believed, and was by a minister of Christ himself
baptized: which power either Christ's ministers in this age cannot
confer, or else there are very few true believers, or Christ hath very
few ministers.

  * Acts, 8. 5
  *(2) Ibid., 8. 38
  *(3) Ibid., 8. 1
  *(4) Ibid., 8. 14
  *(5) Ibid., 8. 15
  *(6) Mark, 16. 17

  That the first deacons were chosen, not by the Apostles, but by a
congregation of the disciples; that is, of Christian men of all sorts,
is manifest out of Acts, 6, where we read that the Twelve, after the
number of disciples was multiplied, called them together, and having
told them that it was not fit that the Apostles should leave the
word of God, and serve tables, said unto them, "Brethren look you
out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost,
and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business."* Here it is
manifest that though the Apostles declared them elected, yet the
congregation chose them; which also is more expressly said where it is
written that "the saying pleased the whole multitude, and they seven,"

  * Acts, 6. 3
  *(2) Ibid., 6. 5

  Under the Old Testament, the tribe of Levi were only capable of
the priesthood and other inferior offices of the Church. The land
was divided amongst the other tribes, Levi excepted, which by the
subdivision of the tribe of Joseph into Ephraim and Manasseh were
still twelve. To the tribe of Levi were assigned certain cities for
their habitation, with the suburbs for their cattle; but for their
portion they were to have the tenth of the fruits of the land of their
brethren. Again, the priests for their maintenance had the tenth of
that tenth, together with part of the oblations and sacrifices. For
God had said to Aaron, "Thou shalt have no inheritance in their
land, neither shalt thou have any part amongst them; I am thy part and
thine inheritance amongst the children of Israel."* For God being then
King, and having constituted the tribe of Levi to be His public
ministers, He allowed them for their maintenance the public revenue,
that is to say, the part that God had reserved to Himself; which
were tithes and offerings: and that is it which is meant where God
saith, "I am thine inheritance." And therefore to the Levites might
not unfitly be attributed the name of clergy, from Kleros, which
signifieth lot or inheritance; not that they were heirs of the kingdom
of God, more than other; but that God's inheritance was their
maintenance. Now seeing in this time God Himself was their King, and
Moses, Aaron, and the succeeding high priests were His lieutenants; it
is manifest that the right of tithes and offerings was constituted
by the civil power.

  * Numbers, 18. 20

  After their rejection of God in the demanding of a king, they
enjoyed still the same revenue; but the right thereof was derived from
that, that the kings did never take it from them: for the public
revenue was at the disposing of him that was the public person; and
that, till the Captivity, was the king. And again, after the return
from the Captivity, they paid their tithes as before to the priest.
Hitherto therefore Church livings were determined by the civil
  Of the maintenance of our Saviour and his Apostles, we read only
they had a purse (which was carried by Judas Iscariot); and that of
the Apostles such as were fishermen did sometimes use their trade; and
that when our Saviour sent the twelve Apostles to preach, he forbade
them to carry gold, and silver, and brass in their purses, "for that
the workman is worthy of his hire":* by which it is probable their
ordinary maintenance was not unsuitable to their employment; for their
employment was "freely to give, because they had freely received";*(2)
and their maintenance was the free gift of those that believed the
good tiding they carried about of the coming of the Messiah their
Saviour. To which we may add that which was contributed out of
gratitude by such as our Saviour had healed of diseases; of which
are mentioned "certain women which had been healed of evil spirits and
infirmities; Mary Magdalen, out of whom went seven devils; and
Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward; and Susanna, and many
others, which ministered unto him of their substance."*(3)

  * Matthew, 10. 9, 10
  *(2) Ibid., 10. 8
  *(3) Luke, 8. 2, 3

  After our Saviour's ascension, the Christians of every city lived in
common upon the money which was made of the sale of their lands and
possessions, and laid down at the feet of the Apostles, of good
will, not of duty;* for "whilst the land remained." saith St. Peter to
Ananias, "was it not thine? And after it was sold, was it not in thy
power?"*(2) Which showeth he needed not have saved his land, nor his
money by lying, as not being bound to contribute anything at all
unless he had pleased. And as in the time of the Apostles, so also all
the time downward, till after Constantine the Great, we shall find
that the maintenance of the bishops and pastors of the Christian
Church was nothing but the voluntary contribution of them that had
embraced their doctrine. There was yet no mention of tithes: but
such was in the time of Constantine and his sons the affection of
Christians to their pastors, as Ammianus Marcellinus saith, describing
the sedition of Damasus and Ursinus about the bishopric, that it was
worth their contention, in that the bishops of those times by the
liberality of their flock, and especially of matrons, lived
splendidly, were carried in coaches, and were sumptuous in their
fare and apparel.

  * Acts, 4. 34, 35
  *(2) Ibid., 5. 4

  But here may some ask whether the pastor were then bound to live
upon voluntary contribution, as upon alms, "For who," saith St.
Paul, "goeth to war at his own charges? or who feedeth a flock, and
eateth not of the milk of the flock?"* And again, "Do ye not know that
they which minister about holy things live of the things of the
Temple; and they which wait at the altar partake with the
altar";*(2) that is to say, have part of that which is offered at
the altar for their maintenance? And then he concludeth, "Even so hath
the Lord appointed that they which preach the gospel should live of
the gospel." From which place may be inferred, indeed, that the
pastors of the Church ought to be maintained by their flocks; but
not that the pastors were to determine either the quantity or the kind
of their own allowance, and be, as it were, their own carvers. Their
allowance must needs therefore be determined either by the gratitude
and liberality of every particular man of their flock or by the
whole congregation. By the whole congregation it could not be, because
their acts were then no laws: therefore the maintenance of pastors
before emperors and civil sovereigns had made laws to settle it was
nothing but benevolence. They that served at the altar lived on what
was offered. So may the pastors also take what is offered them by
their flock, but not exact what is not offered. In what court should
they sue for it who had no tribunals? Or if they had arbitrators
amongst themselves, who should execute their judgements when they
had no power to arm their officers? It remaineth therefore that
there could be no certain maintenance assigned to any pastors of the
Church, but by the whole congregation; and then only when their
decrees should have the force, not only of canons, but also of laws;
which laws could not be made but by emperors, kings, or other civil
sovereigns. The right of tithes in Moses' Law could not be applied
to then ministers of the Gospel, because Moses and the high priests
were the civil sovereigns of the people under God, whose kingdom
amongst the Jews was present; whereas the kingdom of God by Christ
is yet to come.

  * I Corinthians, 9. 7
  *(2) Ibid., 9. 13

  Hitherto hath been shown what the pastors of the Church are; what
are the points of their commission, as that they were to preach, to
teach, to baptize, to be presidents in their several congregations;
what is ecclesiastical censure, viz., excommunication, that is to say,
in those places where Christianity was forbidden by the civil laws,
a putting of themselves out of the company of the excommunicate, and
where Christianity was by the civil law commanded, a putting the
excommunicate out of the congregations of Christians; who elected
the pastors and of the Church, that it the congregation; who
consecrated and blessed them, that it was the pastor; what was their
due revenue, that it was none but their own possessions, and their own
labour, and the voluntary contributions of devout and grateful
Christians. We are to consider now what office in the Church those
persons have who, being civil sovereigns, have embraced also the
Christian faith.
  And first, we are to remember that the right of judging what
doctrines are fit for peace, and to be taught the subjects, is in
all Commonwealths inseparably annexed (as hath been already proved,
Chapter eighteen) to the sovereign power civil, whether it be in one
man or in one assembly of men. For it is evident to the meanest
capacity that men's actions are derived from the opinions they have of
the good or evil which from those actions redound unto themselves; and
consequently, men that are once possessed of an opinion that their
obedience to the sovereign power will be more hurtful to them than
their disobedience will disobey the laws, and thereby overthrow the
Commonwealth, and introduce confusion and civil war; for the
avoiding whereof, all civil government was ordained. And therefore
in all Commonwealths of the heathen, the sovereigns have had the
name of pastors of the people, because there was no subject that could
lawfully teach the people, but by their permission and authority.
  This right of the heathen kings cannot be thought taken from them by
their conversion to the faith of Christ, who never ordained that
kings, for believing in him, should be deposed, that is, subjected
to any but himself, or, which is all one, be deprived of the power
necessary for the conservation of peace amongst their subjects and for
their defence against foreign enemies. And therefore Christian kings
are still the supreme pastors of their people, and have power to
ordain what pastors they please, to teach the Church, that is, to
teach the people committed to their charge.
  Again, let the right of choosing them be, as before the conversion
of kings, in the Church, for so it was in the time of the Apostles
themselves (as hath been shown already in this chapter); even so
also the right will be in the civil sovereign, Christian. For in
that he is a Christian, he allows the teaching; and in that he is
the sovereign (which is as much as to say, the Church by
representation), the teachers he elects are elected by the Church. And
when an assembly of Christians choose their pastor in a Christian
Commonwealth, it is the sovereign that electeth him, because it is
done by his authority; in the same manner as when a town choose
their mayor, it is the act of him that hath the sovereign power: for
every act done is the act of him without whose consent it is
invalid. And therefore whatsoever examples may be drawn out of history
concerning the election of pastors by the people or by the clergy,
they are no arguments against the right of any civil sovereign,
because they that elected them did it by his authority.
  Seeing then in every Christian Commonwealth the civil sovereign is
the supreme pastor, to whose charge the whole flock of his subjects is
committed, and consequently that it is by his authority that all other
pastors are made, and have power to teach and perform all other
pastoral offices, it followeth also that it is from the civil
sovereign that all other pastors derive their right of teaching,
preaching, and other functions pertaining to that office, and that
they are but his ministers; in the same manner as magistrates of
towns, judges in courts of justice, and commanders of armies are all
but ministers of him that is the magistrate of the whole Commonwealth,
judge of all causes, and commander of the whole militia, which is
always the civil sovereign. And the reason hereof is not because
they that teach, but because they that are to learn, are his subjects.
For let it be supposed that a Christian king commit the authority of
ordaining pastors in his dominions to another king (as diverse
Christian kings allow that power to the Pope), he doth not thereby
constitute a pastor over himself, nor a sovereign pastor over his
people; for that were to deprive himself of the civil power; which,
depending on the opinion men have of their duty to him, and the fear
they have of punishment in another world, would depend also on the
skill and loyalty of doctors who are no less subject, not only to
ambition, but also to ignorance, than any other sort of men. So that
where a stranger hath authority to appoint teachers, it is given him
by the sovereign in whose dominions he teacheth. Christian doctors are
our schoolmasters to Christianity; but kings are fathers of
families, and may receive schoolmasters for their subjects from the
recommendation of a stranger, but not from the command; especially
when the ill teaching them shall redound to the great and manifest
profit of him that recommends them: nor can they be obliged to
retain them longer than it is for the public good, the care of which
they stand so long charged withal as they retain any other essential
right of the sovereignty.
  If a man therefore should ask a pastor, in the execution of his
office, as the chief priests and elders of the people asked our
Saviour, "By what authority doest thou these things, and who gave thee
this authority?":* he can make no other just answer but that he doth
it by the authority of the Commonwealth, given him by the king or
assembly that representeth it. All pastors, except the supreme,
execute their charges in the right, that is, by the authority of the
civil sovereign, that is, jure civili. But the king, and every other
sovereign, executeth his office of supreme pastor by immediate
authority from God, that is to say, in God's right, or jure divino.
And therefore none but kings can put into their titles, a mark of
their submission to God only, Dei gratia Rex, etc. Bishops ought to
say in the beginning of their mandates, "By the favour of the King's
Majesty, Bishop of such a diocese"; or as civil ministers, "In His
Majesty's name." For in saying, Divina providentia, which is the
same with Dei gratia, though disguised, they deny to have received
their authority from the civil state, and slyly slip off the collar of
their civil subjection, contrary to the unity and defence of the

  * Matthew, 21. 23

  But if every Christian sovereign be the supreme pastor of his own
subjects, it seemeth that he hath also the authority, not only to
preach, which perhaps no man will deny, but also to baptize, and to
administer sacrament of administer the sacrament of the Lord's
Supper and to consecrate both temples and pastors to God's service;
which most men deny, partly because they use not to do it, and
partly because the administration of sacraments, and consecration of
persons and places to holy uses, requireth the imposition of such
men's hands as by the like imposition successively from the time of
the Apostles have been ordained to the like ministry. For proof
therefore that Christian kings have power to baptize and to
consecrate, I am to render a reason both why they use not to do it,
and how, without the ordinary ceremony of imposition of hands, they
are made capable of doing it when they will.
  There is no doubt but any king, in case he were skilful in the
sciences, might by the same right of his office read lectures of
them himself by which he authorizeth others to read them in the
universities. Nevertheless, because the care of the sum of the
business of the Commonwealth taketh up his whole time, it were not
convenient for him to apply himself in person to that particular. A
king may also, if he please, sit in judgement to hear and determine
all manner of causes, as well as give others authority to do it in his
name; but that the charge that lieth upon him of command and
government constrain him to be continually at the helm, and to
commit the ministerial offices to others under him. In the like manner
our Saviour, who surely had power to baptize, baptized none himself,
but sent his Apostles and Disciples to baptize.* So also St. Paul,
by the necessity of preaching in diverse and far distant places,
baptized few: amongst all the Corinthians he baptized only Crispus,
Gaius, and Stephanas;*(2) and the reason was because his principal
charge was to preach.*(3) Whereby it is manifest that the greater
charge, such as is the government of the Church, is a dispensation for
the less. The reason therefore why Christian kings use not to
baptize is evident, and the same for which at this day there are few
baptized by bishops, and by the Pope fewer.

  * John, 4. 2
  *(2) I Corinthians, 1. 14, 16
  *(3) Ibid., 1. 17

  And as concerning imposition of hands, whether it be needful for the
authorizing of a king to baptize and consecrate, we may consider thus.
  Imposition of hands was a most ancient public ceremony amongst the
Jews, by which was designed, and made certain, the person or other
thing intended in a man's prayer, blessing, sacrifice, consecration,
condemnation, or other speech. So Jacob, in blessing the children of
Joseph, "Laid his right hand on Ephraim the younger, and his left hand
on Manasseh the firstborn";* and this he did wittingly (though they
were so presented to him by Joseph as he was forced in doing it to
stretch out his arms across) to design to whom he whom he intended the
greater blessing. So also in the sacrificing of the burnt offering,
Aaron is commanded "to lay his hands on the head of the
bullock";*(2) and "to lay his hand on the head of the ram."*(3) The
same is also said again, Leviticus, 1. 4, and 8. 14. Likewise Moses
when he ordained Joshua to be captain of the Israelites, that is,
consecrated him to God's service, "laid his hands upon him, and gave
him his charge,"*(4) designing and rendering certain who it was they
were to obey in war. And in the consecration of the Levites God
commanded that "the children of Israel should put their hands the
Levites."*(5) And in the condemnation of him that had blasphemed the
Lord, God commanded that "all that heard him should lay their hands on
his head, and that all the congregation should stone him."*(6) And why
should they only that heard him lay their hands upon him, and not
rather a priest, Levite, or other minister of justice, but that none
else were able to design and demonstrate to the eyes of the
congregation who it was that had blasphemed and ought to die? And to
design a man, or any other thing, by the hand to the eye is less
subject to mistake than when it is done to the ear by a name.

  * Genesis, 48. 14
  *(2) Exodus, 29. 10
  *(3) Ibid., 29. 15
  *(4) Numbers, 27. 23
  *(5) Ibid., 8. 10
  *(6) Leviticus, 24. 14

  And so much was this ceremony observed that in blessing the whole
congregation at once, which cannot be done by laying on of hands,
yet Aaron "did lift up his hand towards the people when he blessed
them."* And we read also of the like ceremony of consecration of
temples amongst the heathen, as that the priest laid his hands on some
post of the temple, all the while he was uttering the words of
consecration. So natural it is to design any individual thing rather
by the hand, to assure the eyes, than by words to inform the ear, in
matters of God's public service.

  * Leviticus, 9. 22

  This ceremony was not therefore new in our Saviour's time. For
Jairus, whose daughter was sick, besought our Saviour not to heal her,
but "to lay his hands upon her, that she might be healed."* And
"they brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands
on them, and pray."*(2)

  * Mark, 5. 23
  *(2) Matthew, 19. 13

  According to this ancient rite, the Apostles and presbyters and
the presbytery itself laid hands on them whom they ordained pastors,
and withal prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Ghost; and
that not only once, but sometimes oftener, when a new occasion was
presented: but the end was still the same, namely a punctual and
religious designation of the person ordained either to the pastoral
charge in general or to a particular mission. So "The Apostles prayed,
and laid their hands"* on the seven deacons; which was done, not to
give them the Holy Ghost (for they were full of the Holy Ghost
before they were chosen, as appeareth immediately before*(2)), but
to design them to that office. And after Philip the Deacon had
converted certain persons in Samaria, Peter and John went down "and
laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."*(3) And
not only an Apostle, but a presbyter had this power: for St. Paul
adviseth Timothy, "Lay hands suddenly on no man";*(4) that is,
design no man rashly to the office of a pastor. The whole presbytery
laid their hands on Timothy, as we read, I Timothy, 4. 14, but this is
to be understood as that some did it by the appointment of the
presbytery, and most likely their proestos, or prolocutor, which it
may be was St. Paul himself. For in his second Epistle to Timothy,
verse 6, he saith to him, "Stir up the gift of God which is in thee,
by the laying on of my hands": where note, by the way, that by the
Holy Ghost is not meant the third person in the Trinity, but the gifts
necessary to the pastoral office. We read also that St. Paul had
imposition of hands twice; once from Ananias at Damascus at the time
of his baptism;*(5) and again at Antioch, when he was first sent out
to preach.*(6) The use then of this ceremony considered in the
ordination of pastors was to design the person to whom they gave
such power. But if there had been then any Christian that had had
the power of teaching before, the baptizing of him, that is, the
making him a Christian, had given him no new power, but had only
caused him to preach true doctrine, that is, to use his power
aright; and therefore the imposition of hands had been unnecessary;
baptism itself had been sufficient. But every sovereign, before
Christianity, had the power of teaching and ordaining teachers; and
therefore Christianity gave them no new right, but only directed
them in the way of teaching truth; and consequently they needed no
imposition of hands (besides that which is done in baptism) to
authorize them to exercise any part of the pastoral function, as
namely, to baptize and consecrate. And in the Old Testament, though
the priest only had right to consecrate, during the time that the
sovereignty was in the high priest, yet it was not so when the
sovereignty was in the king: for we read that Solomon blessed the
people, consecrated the Temple, and pronounced that public prayer,*(7)
which is the pattern now for consecration of all Christian churches
and chapels: whereby it appears he had not only the right of
ecclesiastical government, but also of exercising ecclesiastical

  * Acts, 6. 6
  *(2) Ibid., 6. 3
  *(3) Ibid., 8. 17
  *(4) I Timothy, 5. 22
  *(5) Acts, 9. 17, 18
  *(6) Ibid., 13. 3
  *(7) I Kings, 8

  From this consolidation of the right politic and ecclesiastic in
Christian sovereigns, it is evident they have all manner of power over
their subjects that can be given to man for the government of men's
external actions, both in policy and religion, and may make such
laws as themselves shall judge fittest, for the government of their
own subjects, both as they are the Commonwealth and as they are the
Church: for both State and Church are the same men.
  If they please, therefore, they may, as many Christian kings now do,
commit the government of their subjects in matters of religion to
the Pope; but then the Pope is in that point subordinate to them,
and exerciseth that charge in another's dominion jure civili, in the
right of the civil sovereign; not jure divino, in God's right; and may
therefore be discharged of that office when the sovereign for the good
of his subjects shall think it necessary. They may also, if they
please, commit the care of religion to one supreme pastor, or to an
assembly of pastors, and give them what power over the Church, or
one over another, they think most convenient; and what titles of
honor, as of bishops, archbishops, priests, or presbyters, they
will; and make such laws for their maintenance, either by tithes or
otherwise, as they please, so they do it out of a sincere
conscience, of which God only is the judge. It is the civil
sovereign that is to appoint judges and interpreters of the
canonical scriptures; for it is he that maketh them laws. It is he
also that giveth strength to excommunications; which but for such laws
and punishments as may humble obstinate libertines, and reduce them to
union with the rest of the Church, would be contemned. In sum, he hath
the supreme power in all causes, as well ecclesiastical as civil, as
far as concerneth actions and words, for those only are known and
may be accused; and of that which cannot be accused, there is no judge
at all, but God, that knoweth the heart. And these rights are incident
to all sovereigns, whether monarchs or assemblies: for they that are
the representants of a Christian people are representants of the
Church: for a Church and a Commonwealth of Christian people are the
same thing.
  Though this that I have here said, and in other places of this book,
seem clear enough for the asserting of the supreme ecclesiastical
power to Christian sovereigns, yet because the Pope of Rome's
challenge to that power universally hath been maintained chiefly,
and I think as strongly as is possible, by Cardinal Bellarmine in
his controversy DeSummo Pontifice, I have thought it necessary, as
briefly as I can, to examine the grounds and strength of his
  Of five books he hath written of this subject, the first
containeth three questions: one, which is simply the best
government, monarchy, aristocracy, or democracy, and concludeth for
neither, but for a government mixed of all three; another, which of
these is the best government of the Church, and concludeth for the
mixed, but which should most participate of monarchy; the third,
whether in this mixed monarchy, St. Peter had the place of monarch.
Concerning his first conclusion, I have already sufficiently proved
(Chapter eighteen) that all governments, which men are bound to
obey, are simple and absolute. In monarchy there is but one man
supreme, and all other men that have any kind of power in the state
have it by his commission, during his pleasure, and execute it in
his name; and in aristocracy and democracy, but one supreme
assembly, with the same power that in monarchy belongeth to the
monarch, which is not a mixed, but an absolute sovereignty. And of the
three sorts, which is the best is not to be disputed where any one
of them is already established; but the present ought always to be
preferred, maintained, and accounted best, because it is against
both the law of nature and the divine positive law to do anything
tending to the subversion thereof. Besides, it maketh nothing to the
power of any pastor (unless he have the civil sovereignty) what kind
of government is the best, because their calling is not to govern
men by commandment, but to teach them and persuade them by
arguments, and leave it to them to consider whether they shall embrace
or reject the doctrine taught. For monarchy, aristocracy, and
democracy do mark out unto us three sorts of sovereigns, not of
pastors; or, as we may say, three sorts of masters of families, not
three sorts of schoolmasters for their children.
  And therefore the second conclusion, concerning the best form of
government of the Church, is nothing to the question of the Pope's
power without his own dominions: for in all other Commonwealths his
power, if he have any at all, is that of the schoolmaster only, and
not of the master of the family.
  For the third conclusion, which is that St. Peter was monarch of the
Church, he bringeth for his chief argument the place of St. Matthew,
"Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church," etc. "And
I will give thee the keys of heaven; whatsoever thou shalt bind on
earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on
earth shall be loosed in heaven."* Which place, well considered,
proveth no more but that the Church of Christ hath for foundation
one only article; namely, that which Peter, in the name of all the
Apostles professing, gave occasion to our Saviour to speak the words
here cited. Which that we may clearly understand, we are to
consider, that our Saviour preached by himself, by John Baptist, and
by his Apostles, nothing but this article of faith, "that he was the
Christ"; all other articles requiring faith no otherwise than as
founded on that. John began first, preaching only this, "The kingdom
of God is at hand."*(2) Then our Saviour himself preached the
same:*(3) and to his twelve Apostles, when he gave them their
commission, there is no mention of preaching any other article but
that.*(4) This was the fundamental article, that is the foundation
of the Church's faith. Afterwards the Apostles being returned to
him, he asketh them all, not Peter only, who men said he was; and they
answered that some said he was John the Baptist, some Elias, and
others Jeremias, or one of the Prophets;*(5) then he asked them all
again, not Peter only, "Whom say ye that I am?"*(6) Therefore St.
Peter answered for them all, "Thou art Christ, the Son of the living
God"; which I said is the foundation of the faith of the whole Church;
from which our Saviour takes the occasion of saying, "upon this
stone I will build my Church": by which it is manifest that by the
foundation-stone of the Church was meant the fundamental article of
the Church's faith. But why then, will some object, doth our Saviour
interpose these words, "Thou art Peter"? If the original of this
text had been rigidly the reason would easily have appeared. We are
therefore to consider that the Apostle Simon was surnamed Stone (which
is the signification of the Syriac word cephas, and of the Greek
word petrus). Our Saviour therefore after the confession of that
fundamental article, alluding to his name, said (as if it were in
English) thus, "Thou art Stone, and upon this Stone I will build my
Church": which is as much as to say, "This article, that I am the
Christ, is the foundation of all the faith I require in those that are
to be members my Church." Neither is this allusion to a name an
unusual thing in common speech: but it had been a strange and
obscure speech, if our Saviour, intending to build his Church on the
person of St. Peter, had said, "Thou art a stone, and upon this
stone I will build my Church," when it was so obvious, without
ambiguity, to have said, "I will build my Church on thee"; and yet
there had been still the same allusion to his name.

  * Matthew, 16. 18, 19
  *(2) Ibid., 3. 2
  *(3) Matthew, 4. 17
  *(4) Ibid., 10. 7
  *(5) Ibid., 16. 13
  *(6) Ibid., 16. 15

  And for the following words, "I will give thee the keys of
heaven," etc., it is no more than what our Saviour gave also to all
the rest of his Disciples, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be
bound in heaven. And whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be
loosed in heaven."* But howsoever this be interpreted, there is no
doubt but the power here granted belongs to all supreme pastors;
such as are all Christian civil sovereigns in their own dominions.
Insomuch as if St. Peter, or our Saviour himself, had converted any of
them to believe him and to acknowledge his kingdom; yet because his
kingdom is not of this world, he had left the supreme care of
converting his subjects to none but him; or else he must have deprived
him of the sovereignty to which the right of teaching is inseparably
annexed. And thus much in refutation of his first book, wherein he
would prove St. Peter to have been the monarch universal of the
Church, that is to say, of all the Christians in the world.

  * Matthew, 18. 18

  The second book hath two conclusions: one, that St. Peter was Bishop
of Rome, and there died; the other, that the Popes of Rome are his
successors; both which have been disputed by others. But supposing
them true; yet if by Bishop of Rome be understood either the monarch
of the Church, or the supreme pastor of it, not Silvester, but
Constantine (who was the first Christian emperor) was that bishop; and
as Constantine, so all other Christian emperors were of right
supreme bishops of the Roman Empire. I say, of the Roman Empire, not
of all Christendom, for other Christian sovereigns had the same
right in their several territories, as to an office essentially
adherent to their sovereignty: which shall serve for answer to his
second book.
  In the third book he handleth the question whether the Pope be
Antichrist. For my part, I see no argument that proves he is so, in
that sense the Scripture useth the name: nor will I take any
argument from the quality of Antichrist to contradict the authority he
exerciseth, or hath heretofore exercised, in the dominions of any
other prince or state.
  It is evident that the prophets of the Old Testament foretold, and
the Jews expected, a Messiah, that is, a Christ, that should
re-establish amongst them the kingdom of God, which had been
rejected by them in the time of Samuel when they required a king after
the manner of other nations. This expectation of theirs made them
obnoxious to the imposture of all such as had both the ambition to
attempt the attaining of the kingdom, and the art to deceive the
people by counterfeit miracles, by hypocritical life, or by orations
and doctrine plausible. Our Saviour therefore, and his Apostles,
forewarned men of false prophets and of false Christs. False Christs
are such as pretend to be the Christ, but are not, and are called
properly Antichrists, in such sense as when there happeneth a schism
in the Church by the election of two Popes, the one the one calleth
the other Antipapa, or the false Pope. And therefore Antichrist in the
proper signification hath two essential marks: one, that he denieth
Jesus to be Christ; and another that he professeth himself to be
Christ. The first mark is set down by St. John in his first Epistle,
4. 3, "Every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in
the flesh is not of God; and this is the spirit of Antichrist." The
other mark is expressed in the words of our Saviour, "Many shall
come in my name, saying, I am Christ";* and again, "If any man shall
say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, there is Christ, believe it not."
And therefore Antichrist must be a false Christ; that is, some one
of them that shall pretend themselves to be Christ. And out of these
two marks, to deny Jesus to be the Christ and to affirm himself to
be the Christ, it followeth that he must also be an adversary of Jesus
the true Christ, which is another usual signification of the word
Antichrist. But of these many Antichrists, there is one special one, o
Antichristos, the Antichrist, or Antichrist definitely, as one certain
person; not indefinitely an Antichrist. Now seeing the Pope of Rome
neither pretendeth himself, nor denieth Jesus to be the Christ, I
perceive not how he can be called Antichrist; by which word is not
meant one that falsely pretendeth to be his lieutenant, or vicar
general, but to be He. There is also some mark of the time of this
special Antichrist, as when that abominable destroyer, spoken of by
Daniel,*(2) shall stand in the holy place,*(3) and such tribulation as
was not since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall be again,
insomuch as if it were to last long, no flesh could be saved; but
for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened,"*(4) (made fewer).
But that tribulation is not yet come; for it is to be followed
immediately by a darkening of the sun and moon, a falling of the
stars, a concussion of the heavens, and the glorious coming again of
our Saviour in the clouds.*(5) And therefore the Antichrist is not yet
come; whereas many Popes are both come and gone. It is true, the Pope,
in taking upon him to give laws to all Christian kings and nations,
usurpeth a kingdom in this world, which Christ took not on him: but he
doth it not as Christ, but as for Christ, wherein there is nothing
of the Antichrist.

  * Matthew, 24. 5
  *(2) Daniel, 9. 27
  *(3) Matthew, 24. 15
  *(4) Ibid., 24. 22
  *(5) Ibid., 24. 29

  In the fourth book, to prove the Pope to be the supreme judge in all
questions of faith and manners, which is as much as to be the absolute
monarch of all Christians in the world, he bringeth three
propositions: the first, that his judgements are infallible; the
second, that he can make very laws, and punish those that observe them
not; the third, that our Saviour conferred all jurisdiction
ecclesiastical on the Pope of Rome.
  For the infallibility of his judgements, he allegeth the Scriptures:
the first, that of Luke, 22. 31, "Simon, Simon, Satan hath desired you
that he may sift you as wheat; but I have prayed for thee, that thy
faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."
This, according to Bellarmine's exposition, is that Christ gave here
to Simon Peter two privileges: one, that neither his faith should
fail, nor the faith of any of his successors; the other, that
neither he nor any of his successors should ever define any point
concerning faith or manners erroneously, or contrary to the definition
of a former Pope: which is a strange and very much strained
interpretation. But he that with attention readeth that chapter
shall find there is no place in the whole Scripture that maketh more
against the Pope's authority than this very place. The priests and
scribes, seeking to kill our Saviour at the Passover, and Judas
possessed with a resolution to betray him, and the day of killing
the Passover being come, our Saviour celebrated the same with his
Apostles, which he said, till the kingdom of God was come he would
do no more, and withal told them that one of them was to betray him.
Hereupon they questioned which of them it should be; and withal,
seeing the next Passover their master would celebrate should be when
he was king, entered into a contention who should then be the greatest
man. Our Saviour therefore told them that the kings of the nations had
dominion over their subjects, and are called by a name in Hebrew
that signifies bountiful; "but I cannot be so to you; you must
endeavour to serve one another; I ordain you a kingdom, but it is such
as my Father hath ordained me; a kingdom that I am now to purchase
with my blood, and not to possess till my second coming; then ye shall
eat and drink at my table, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve
tribes of Israel." And then addressing himself to St. Peter, he saith,
"Simon, Simon, Satan seeks, by suggesting a present domination, to
weaken your faith of the future; but I have prayed for thee, that
thy faith shall not fail; thou therefore note this: being converted,
and understanding my kingdom as of another world, confirm the same
faith in thy brethren." To which St. Peter answered (as one that no
more expected any authority in this world), "Lord, I am ready to go
with thee, not only to prison, but to death." Whereby it is
manifest, St. Peter had not only no jurisdiction given him in this
world, but a charge to teach all the other Apostles that they also
should have none. And for the infallibility of St. Peter's sentence
definitive in matter of faith, there is no more to be attributed to it
out of this text than that Peter should continue in the belief of this
point, namely, that Christ should come again and possess the kingdom
at the day of judgement; which was not given by this text to all his
successors; for we see they claim it in the world that now is.
  The second place is that of Matthew 16. 18, "Thou art Peter, and
upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not
prevail against it." By which, as I have already shown in this
chapter, is proved no more than that the gates of hell shall not
prevail against the confession of Peter, which gave occasion to that
speech; namely this, that Jesus is Christ the Son of God.
  The third text is John, 21. 16, 17, "Feed my sheep"; which
contains no more but a commission of teaching. And if we grant the
rest of the Apostles to be contained in that name of sheep, then it is
the supreme power of teaching: but it was only for the time that there
were no Christian sovereigns already possessed of that supremacy.
But I have already proved that Christian sovereigns are in their own
dominions the supreme pastors, and instituted thereto by virtue of
their being baptized, though without other imposition of hands. For
such imposition, being a ceremony of designing the person, is needless
when he is already designed to the power of teaching what doctrine
he will, by his institution to an absolute power over his subjects.
For as I have proved before, sovereigns are supreme teachers, in
general, by their office, and therefore oblige themselves, by their
baptism, to teach the doctrine of Christ: and when they suffer
others to teach their people, they do it at the peril of their own
souls; for it is at the hands of the heads of families that God will
require the account of the instruction of His children and servants.
It is of Abraham himself, not of a hireling, that God saith, "I know
him that he will command his children, and his household after him,
that they keep the way of the Lord, and do justice and judgement."*

  * Genesis, 18. 19

  The fourth place is that of Exodus, 28. 30, "Thou shalt put in the
breastplate of judgement, the Urim and the Thummim": which he saith is
interpreted by the Septuagint, delosin kai aletheian, that is,
evidence and truth: and thence concludeth, God hath given evidence and
truth, which is almost infallibility, to the high priest. But be it
evidence and truth itself that was given; or be it but admonition to
the priest to endeavour to inform himself clearly, and give
judgement uprightly; yet in that it was given to the high priest, it
was given to the civil sovereign (for such next under God was the high
priest in the Commonwealth of Israel), and is an argument for evidence
and truth, that is, for the ecclesiastical supremacy of civil
sovereigns over their own subjects, against the pretended power of the
Pope. These are all the texts he bringeth for the infallibility of the
judgement of the Pope, in point of faith.
  For the infallibility of his judgement concerning manners, he
bringeth one text, which is that of John, 16. 13, "When the Spirit
of truth is come, he will lead you into all truth": where, saith he,
by all truth is meant, at least, all truth necessary to salvation. But
with this mitigation, he attributeth no more infallibility to the Pope
than to any man that professeth Christianity, and is not to be damned:
for if any man err in any point, wherein not to err is necessary to
salvation, it is impossible he should be saved; for that only is
necessary to salvation without which to be saved is impossible. What
points these are I shall declare out of the Scripture in the chapter
following. In this place I say no more but that though it were granted
the Pope could not possibly teach any error at all, yet doth not
this entitle him to any jurisdiction in the dominions of another
prince, unless we shall also say a man is obliged in conscience to set
on work upon all occasions the best workman, even then also when he
hath formerly promised his work to another.
  Besides the text, he argueth from reason, thus. If the Pope could
err in necessaries, then Christ hath not sufficiently provided for the
Church's salvation, because he hath commanded her to follow the Pope's
directions. But this reason is invalid, unless he show when and
where Christ commanded that, or took at all any notice of a Pope. Nay,
granting whatsoever was given to St. Peter was given to the Pope,
yet seeing there is in the Scripture no command to any man to
obeyeth him when his commands are contrary to those of his lawful
  Lastly, it hath not been declared by the Church, nor by the Pope
himself, that he is the civil of all the Christians in the world;
and therefore all Christians are not bound to acknowledge his
jurisdiction in point of manners. For the civil sovereignty, and
supreme judicature in controversies of manners, are the same thing:
and the makers of civil laws are not only declarers, but also makers
of the justice and injustice of actions; there being nothing in
men's manners that makes them righteous or unrighteous, but their
conformity with the law of the sovereign. And therefore when the
Pope challengeth supremacy in controversies of manners, he teacheth
men to disobey the civil sovereign; which is an erroneous doctrine,
contrary to the many precepts of our Saviour and his Apostles
delivered to us in the Scripture.
  To prove the Pope has power to make laws, he allegeth many places;
as first, Deuteronomy, 17. 12, "The man that will do presumptuously,
and will not hearken unto the priest, that standeth to minister
there before the Lord thy God, or unto the judge, even that man
shall die, and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel." For answer
whereunto we are to remember that the high priest, next and
immediately under God, was the civil sovereign; and all judges were to
be constituted by him. The words alleged sound therefore thus, "The
man that will presume to disobey the civil sovereign for the time
being, or any of his officers, in the execution of their places,
that man shall die," etc., which is clearly for the civil sovereignty,
against the universal power of the Pope.
  Secondly, he allegeth that of Matthew, 16, "Whatsoever ye shall
bind," etc., and interpreteth it for such binding as is attributed
to the Scribes and Pharisees, "They bind heavy burdens, and grievous
to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders";* by which is meant,
he says, making of laws; and concludes thence that the Pope can make
laws. But this also maketh only for the legislative power of civil
sovereigns: for the Scribes and Pharisees sat in Moses' chair, but
Moses next under God was sovereign of the people of Israel: and
therefore our Saviour commanded them to do all that they should say,
but not all that they should do; that is, to obey their laws, but
not follow their example.

  * Matthew, 23. 4

  The third place is John, 21. 16, "Feed my sheep"; which is not a
power to make laws, but a command to teach. Making laws belongs to the
lord of the family, who by his own discretion chooseth his chaplain,
as also a schoolmaster to teach his children.
  The fourth place, John, 20. 21, is against him. The words are, "As
my Father sent me, so send I you." But our Saviour was sent to
redeem by his death such as should believe; and by his own and his
Apostles' preaching to prepare them for their entrance into his
kingdom; which he himself saith is not of this world, and hath
taught us to pray for the coming of it hereafter, though he refused to
tell his Apostles when it should come;* and in which, when it comes,
the twelve Apostles shall sit on twelve thrones (every one perhaps
as high as that of St. Peter), to judge the twelve tribes of Israel.
Seeing then God the Father sent not our Saviour to make laws in this
present world, we may conclude from the text that neither did our
Saviour send St. Peter to make laws here, but to persuade men to
expect his second coming with a steadfast faith; and in the
meantime, if subjects, to obey their princes; and if princes, both
to believe it themselves and to do their best to make their subjects
do the same, which is the office of a bishop. Therefore this place
maketh most strongly for the joining of the ecclesiastical supremacy
to the civil sovereignty, contrary to that which Cardinal Bellarmine
allegeth it for.

  * Acts, 1. 6, 7

  The fifth is Acts, 15. 28, "It hath seemed good to the Holy
Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these
necessary things, that ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and
from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication." Here
he notes the word "laying of burdens" for the legislative power. But
who is there that, reading this text, can say this style of the
Apostles may not as properly be used in giving counsel as in making
laws? The style of a law is, "we command": but, "we think good," is
the ordinary style of them that but give advice; and they lay a burden
that give advice, though it be conditional, that is, if they to whom
they give it will attain their ends: and such is the burden of
abstaining from things strangled, and from blood, not absolute, but in
case they will not err. I have shown before (Chapter twenty-five) that
law is distinguished from counsel in this, that the reason of a law is
taken from the design and benefit of him that prescribeth it; but
the reason of a counsel, from the design and benefit of him to whom
the counsel is given. But here, the Apostles aim only at the benefit
of the converted Gentiles, namely, their salvation; not at their own
benefit; for having done their endeavour, they shall have their
reward, whether they be obeyed or not. And therefore the acts of
this council were not laws, but counsels.
  The sixth place is that of Romans, 13, "Let every soul be subject to
the higher powers, for there is no power but of God"; which is
meant, he saith, not only of secular, but also of ecclesiastical
princes. To which I answer, first, that there are no ecclesiastical
princes but those that are also civil sovereigns, and their
principalities exceed not the compass of their civil sovereignty;
without those bounds, though they may be received for doctors, they
cannot be acknowledged for princes. For if the Apostle had meant we
should be subject both to our own princes and also to the Pope, he had
taught us a doctrine which Christ himself hath told us is
impossible, namely, to serve two masters. And though the Apostle say
in another place, "I write these things being absent, lest being
present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the
Lord hath given me";* it is not that he challenged a power either to
put to death, imprison, banish, whip, or fine any of them, which are
punishments; but only to excommunicate, which, without the civil
power, is no more but a leaving of their company, and having no more
to do with them than with a heathen man or a publican; which in many
occasions might be a greater pain to the excommunicant than to the

  * II Corinthians, 13. 10

  The seventh place is I Corinthians, 4. 21, "Shall I come unto you
with a rod, or in love, and the spirit of lenity?" But here again,
it is not the power of a magistrate to punish offenders, that is meant
by a rod; but only the power of excommunication, which is not in its
own nature a punishment, but only a denouncing of punishment, that
Christ shall inflict, when he shall be in possession of his kingdom,
at the day of judgement. Nor then also shall it be properly a
punishment, as upon a subject that hath broken the law; but a revenge,
as upon an enemy, or revolter, that denyeth the right of our saviour
to the kingdom: and therefore this proveth not the legislative power
of any bishop that has not also the civil power.
  The eighth place is Timothy, 3. 2, "A bishop must be the husband but
of one wife, vigilant, sober," etc., which he saith was a law. I
thought that none could make a law in the Church but the monarch of
the Church, St. Peter. But suppose this precept made by the
authority of St. Peter; yet I see no reason why to call it a law,
rather than an advice, seeing Timothy was not a subject, but a
disciple of St. Paul; nor the flock under the charge of Timothy, his
subjects in the kingdom, but his scholars in the school of Christ.
If all the precepts he giveth Timothy be laws, why is not this also
a law, "Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for health's
sake"? And why are not also the precepts of good physicians so many
laws, but that it is not the imperative manner of speaking, but an
absolute subjection to a person, that maketh his precepts laws?
  In like manner, the ninth place, I Timothy, 5. 19, "Against an elder
receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses," is a
wise precept, but not a law.
  The tenth place is Luke, 10. 16, "He that heareth you, heareth me;
and he that despiseth you, despiseth me." And there is no doubt but he
that despiseth the counsel of those that are sent by Christ
despiseth the counsel of Christ himself. But who are those now that
are sent by Christ but such as are ordained pastors by lawful
authority? And who are lawfully ordained that are not ordained by
the sovereign pastor? And who is ordained by the sovereign pastor in a
Christian Commonwealth that is not ordained by the authority of the
sovereign thereof? Out of this place therefore it followeth that he
which heareth his sovereign, being a Christian, heareth Christ; and he
that despiseth the doctrine which his king, being a Christian,
authorizeth despiseth the doctrine of Christ, which is not that
which Bellarmine intendeth here to prove, but the contrary. But all
this is nothing to a law. Nay more, a Christian king, a pastor and
teacher of his subjects makes not thereby his doctrines laws. He
cannot oblige men to believe, though as a civil sovereign he may
make laws suitable to his doctrine, which may oblige men to certain
actions, and sometimes to such as they would not otherwise do, and
which he ought not to command; and yet when they are commanded, they
are laws; and the external actions done in obedience to them,
without the inward approbation, are the actions of the sovereign,
and not of the subject, which is in that case but as an instrument,
without any motion of his own at all, because God hath commanded to
obey them.
  The eleventh is every place where the Apostle, for counsel,
putteth some word by which men use to signify command, or calleth
the following of his counsel by the name of obedience. And therefore
they are alleged out of I Corinthians, 11. 2, "I commend you for
keeping my precepts as I delivered them to you." The Greek is, "I
commend you for keeping those things I delivered to you, as I
delivered them": which is far from signifying that they were laws,
or anything else, but good counsel. And that of I Thessalonians, 4. 2,
"You know what commandments we gave you": where the Greek word is
paraggelias edokamen, equivalent to paredokamen, "what we delivered to
you," as in the place next before alleged, which does not prove the
traditions of the Apostles to be any more than counsels; though as
is said in the eighth verse, "he that despiseth them, despiseth not
man, but God": for our Saviour himself came not to judge, that is,
to be king in this world; but to sacrifice himself for sinners, and
leave doctors in his Church, to lead, not to drive men to Christ,
who never accepteth forced actions (which is all the law produceth),
but the inward conversion of the heart, which is not the work of laws,
but of counsel and doctrine.
  And that of II Thessalonians, 3. 14, "If any man obey not our word
by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that
he may be ashamed": where from the word obey, he would infer that this
epistle was a law to the Thessalonians. The epistles of the emperors
were indeed laws. If therefore the Epistle of St. Paul were also a
law, they were to obey two masters. But the word obey, as it is in the
Greek upakouei, signifieth hearkening to, or putting in practice,
not only that which is commanded by him that has right to punish,
but also that which is delivered in a way of counsel for our good; and
therefore St. Paul does not bid kill him that disobeys; nor beat,
nor imprison, nor amerce him, which legislators may all do; but
avoid his company, that he may be ashamed: whereby it is evident it
was not the empire of an Apostle, but his reputation amongst the
faithful, which the Christians stood in awe of.
  The last place is that of Hebrews, 13. 17, "Obey your leaders, and
submit yourselves to them, for they watch for your souls, as they that
must give account": and here also is intended by obedience, a
following of their counsel: for the reason of our obedience is not
drawn from the will and command of our pastors, but from our own
benefit, as being the salvation of our souls they watch for, and not
for the exaltation of their own power and authority. If it were
meant here that all they teach were laws, then not only the Pope,
but every pastor in his parish should have legislative power. Again,
they that are bound to obey their pastors have no power to examine
their commands. What then shall we say to St. John, who bids us "not
to believe every spirit, but to try the spirits whether they are of
God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world?"* It
is therefore manifest that we may dispute the doctrine of our pastors,
but no man can dispute a law. The commands of civil sovereigns are
on all sides granted to be laws: if any else can make a law besides
himself, all Commonwealth, and consequently all peace and justice,
must cease; which is contrary to all laws, both divine and human.
Nothing therefore can be drawn from these or any other places of
Scripture to prove the decrees of the Pope, where he has not also
the civil sovereignty, to be laws.

  * I John, 4. 1

  The last point he would prove is this, that our Saviour Christ has
committed ecclesiastical jurisdiction immediately to none but the
Pope. Wherein he handleth not the question of supremacy between the
Pope and Christian kings, but between the Pope and other bishops.
And first, he says it is agreed that the jurisdiction of bishops is at
least in the general de jure divino, that is, in the right of God; for
which he alleges St. Paul, Ephesians, 4. 11, where he says that
Christ, after his ascension into heaven, "gave gifts to men, some
Apostles, some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors, and
some teachers"; and thence infers they have indeed their
jurisdiction in God's right, but will not grant they have it
immediately from God, but derived through the Pope. But if a man may
be said to have his jurisdiction de jure divino, and yet not
immediately; what lawful jurisdiction, though but civil, is there in a
Christian Commonwealth that is not also de jure divino? For
Christian kings have their civil power from God immediately; and the
magistrates under Him exercise their several charges in virtue of
His commission; wherein that which they do is no less de jure divino
mediato than that which the bishops do in virtue of the Pope's
ordination. All lawful power is of God, immediately in the supreme
governor, and mediately in those that have authority under him: so
that either he must grant every constable in the state to hold his
office in the right of God, or he must not hold that any bishop
holds his so, besides the Pope himself.
  But this whole dispute, whether Christ left the jurisdiction to
the Pope only, or to other bishops also, if considered out of those
places where the Pope has the civil sovereignty, is a contention de
lana caprina: for none of them, where they are not sovereigns, has any
jurisdiction at all. For jurisdiction is the power of hearing and
determining causes between man and man, and can belong to none but him
that hath the power to prescribe the rules of right and wrong; that
is, to make laws; and with the sword of justice to compel men to
obey his decisions, pronounced either by himself or by the judges he
ordaineth thereunto, which none can lawfully do but the civil
  Therefore when he allegeth, out of the sixth chapter of Luke, that
our Saviour called his disciples together, and chose twelve of them,
which he named Apostles, he proveth that he elected them (all,
except Matthias, Paul, and Barnabas), and gave them power and
command to preach, but not to judge of causes between man and man: for
that is a power which he refused to take upon himself, saying, "Who
made me a judge, or a divider, amongst you?" and in another place, "My
kingdom is not of this world." But he that hath not the power to
hear and determine causes between man and man cannot be said to have
any jurisdiction at all. And yet this hinders not but that our Saviour
gave them power to preach and baptize in all parts of the world,
supposing they were not by their own lawful sovereign forbidden: for
to our own sovereigns Christ himself and his Apostles have in sundry
places expressly commanded us in all things to be obedient.
  The arguments by which he would prove that bishops receive their
jurisdiction from the Pope (seeing the Pope in the dominions of
other princes hath no jurisdiction himself) are all in vain. Yet
because they prove, on the contrary, that all bishops receive
jurisdiction, when they have it, from their civil sovereigns, I will
not omit the recital of them.
  The first is from Numbers, 11, where Moses, not being able alone
to undergo the whole burden of administering the affairs of the people
of Israel, God commanded him to choose seventy elders, and took part
of the spirit of Moses, to put it upon those seventy elders: by
which is understood, not that God weakened the spirit of Moses, for
that had not eased him at all, but that they had all of them their
authority from him; wherein he doth truly and ingenuously interpret
that place. But seeing Moses had the entire sovereignty in the
Commonwealth of the Jews, it is manifest that it is thereby
signified that they had their authority from the civil sovereign:
and therefore that place proveth that bishops in every Christian
Commonwealth have their authority from the civil sovereign; and from
the Pope in his own territories only, and not in the territories of
any other state.
  The second argument is from the nature of monarchy, wherein all
authority is in one man, and in others by derivation from him. But the
government of the Church, he says, is monarchical. This also makes for
Christian monarchs. For they are really monarchs of their own
people; that is, of their own Church (for the Church is the same thing
with a Christian people); whereas the power of the Pope, though he
were St. Peter, is neither monarchy, nor hath anything of archical nor
cratical, but only of didactical; for God accepteth not a forced,
but a willing obedience.
  The third is from that the See of St. Peter is called by St.
Cyprian, the head, the source, the root, the sun, from whence the
authority of bishops is derived. But by the law of nature, which is
a better principle of right and wrong than the word of any doctor that
is but a man, the civil sovereign in every Commonwealth is the head,
the source, the root, and the sun, from which all jurisdiction is
derived. And therefore the jurisdiction of bishops is derived from the
civil sovereign.
  The fourth is taken from the inequality of their jurisdictions:
for if God, saith he, had given it them immediately, He had given as
well equality of jurisdiction, as of order: but we see some are
bishops but of one town, some of a hundred towns, and some of many
whole provinces; which differences were not determined by the
command of God: their jurisdiction therefore is not of God, but of
man: and one has a greater, another a less, as it pleaseth the
Prince of the Church. Which argument, if he had proved before that the
Pope had had a universal jurisdiction over all Christians, had been
for his purpose. But seeing that hath not been proved, and that it
is notoriously known the large jurisdiction of the Pope was given
him by those that had it, that is, by the emperors of Rome (for the
Patriarch of Constantinople, upon the same title, namely, of being
bishop of the capital city of the Empire, and seat of the emperor,
claimed to be equal to him), it followeth that all other bishops
have their jurisdiction from the sovereigns of the place wherein
they exercise the same: and as for that cause they have not their
authority de jure divino; so neither hath the Pope his de jure divino,
except only where he is also the civil sovereign.
  His fifth argument is this: "If bishops have their jurisdiction
immediately from God, the Pope could not take it from them, for he can
do nothing contrary to God's ordination"; and this consequence is good
and well proved. "But," saith he, "the Pope can do this, and has
done it." This also is granted, so he do it in his own dominions, or
in the dominions of any other prince that hath given him that power;
but not universally, in right of the popedom: for that power belongeth
to every Christian sovereign, within the bounds of his own empire, and
is inseparable from the sovereignty. Before the people of Israel
had, by the commandment of God to Samuel, set over themselves a
king, after the manner of other nations, the high priest had the civil
government; and none but he could make nor depose an inferior
priest. But that power was afterwards in the king, as may be proved by
this same argument of Bellarmine; for if the priest, be he the high
priest or any other, had his jurisdiction immediately from God, then
the king could not take it from him; for he could do nothing
contrary to God's ordinance. But it is certain that King Solomon
deprived Abiathar the high priest of his office,* and placed Zadok
in his room.*(2) Kings therefore may in the like manner ordain and
deprive bishops, as they shall think fit, for the well governing of
their subjects.

  * I Kings, 2. 26, 27
  *(2) Ibid., 2. 35

  His sixth argument is this: if bishops have their jurisdiction de
jure divino, that is, immediately from God, they that maintain it
should bring some word of God to prove it: but they can bring none.
The argument is good; I have therefore nothing to say against it.
But it is an argument no less good to prove the Pope himself to have
no jurisdiction in the dominion of any other prince.
  Lastly, he bringeth for argument the testimony of two Popes,
Innocent and Leo; and I doubt not but he might have alleged, with as
good reason, the testimonies of all the Popes almost since St.
Peter: for, considering the love of power naturally implanted in
mankind, whosoever were made Pope, he would be tempted to uphold the
same opinion. Nevertheless, they should therein but do as Innocent and
Leo did, bear witness of themselves, and therefore their witness
should not be good.
  In the fifth book he hath four conclusions. The first is that the
Pope is not lord of all the world; the second, that the Pope is not
lord of all the Christian world; the third, that the Pope, without his
own territory, has not any temporal jurisdiction directly. These three
conclusions are easily granted. The fourth is that the Pope has, in
the dominions of other princes, the supreme temporal power indirectly:
which is denied; unless he mean by indirectly that he has gotten it by
indirect means, then is that also granted. But I understand that
when he saith he hath it indirectly, he means that such temporal
jurisdiction belongeth to him of right, but that this right is but a
consequence of his pastoral authority, the which he could not
exercise, unless he have the other with it: and therefore to the
pastoral power, which he calls spiritual, the supreme power civil is
necessarily annexed; and that thereby he hath a right to change
kingdoms, giving them to one, and taking them from another, when he
shall think it conduces to the salvation of souls.
  Before I come to consider the arguments by which he would prove this
doctrine, it will not be amiss to lay open the consequences of it,
that princes and states that have the civil sovereignty in their
several Commonwealths may bethink themselves whether it be
convenient for them, and conducing to the good of their subjects of
whom they are to give an account at the day of judgement, to admit the
  When it is said the Pope hath not, in the territories of other
states, the supreme civil power directly, we are to understand he doth
not challenge it, as other civil sovereigns do, from the original
submission thereto of those that are to be governed. For it is
evident, and has already been sufficiently in this treatise
demonstrated, that the right of all sovereigns is derived originally
from the consent of every one of those that are to be governed;
whether they that choose him do it for it for their common defence
against an enemy, as when they agree amongst themselves to appoint a
man or an assembly of men to protect them, or whether they do it to
save their lives, by submission to a conquering enemy. The Pope
therefore, when he disclaimeth the supreme civil power over other
states directly, denieth no more but that his right cometh to him by
that way; he ceaseth not for all that to claim it another way; and
that is, without the consent of them that are to be governed, by a
right given him by God, which he calleth indirectly, in his assumption
to the papacy. But by what way soever he pretend, the power is the
same; and he may, if it be granted to be his right, depose princes and
states, as often as it is for the salvation of souls, that is, as
often as he will: for he claimeth also the sole power to judge whether
it be to the salvation of men's souls, or not. And this is the
doctrine, not only that Bellarmine here, and many other doctors
teach in their sermons and books, but also that some councils have
decreed, and the Popes have accordingly, when the occasion hath served
them, put in practice. For the fourth council of Lateran, held under
Pope Innocent the Third (in the third Chapter, De Haereticis), hath
this canon: "If a king, at the Pope's admonition, do not purge his
kingdom of heretics, and being excommunicate for the same, make not
satisfaction within a year, his subjects are absolved of their
obedience." And the practice hereof hath been seen on diverse
occasions: as in the deposing of Childeric, King of France; in the
translation of the Roman Empire to Charlemagne; in the oppression of
John, King of England; in transferring the kingdom of Navarre; and
of late years, in the league against Henry the Third of France, and in
many more occurrences. I think there be few princes that consider
not this as unjust and inconvenient; but I wish they would all resolve
to be kings or subjects. Men cannot serve two masters. They ought
therefore to ease them, either by holding the reins of government
wholly in their own hands, or by wholly delivering them into the hands
of the Pope, that such men as are willing to be obedient may be
protected in their obedience. For this distinction of temporal and
spiritual power is but words. Power is as really divided, and as
dangerously to all purposes, by sharing with another indirect power,
as with a direct one. But to come now to his arguments.
  The first is this, "The civil power is subject to the spiritual:
therefore he that hath the supreme power spiritual hath right to
command temporal princes, and dispose of their temporals in order to
the spiritual." As for the distinction of temporal and spiritual,
let us consider in what sense it may be said intelligibly that the
temporal or civil power is subject to the spiritual. There be but
two ways that those words can be made sense. For when we say one power
is subject to another power, the meaning either is that he which
hath the one is subject to him that hath the other; or that the one
power is to the other as the means to the end. For we cannot
understand that one power hath power over another power; or that one
power can have right or command over another: for subjection, command,
right, and power are accidents, not of powers, but of persons. One
power may be subordinate to another, as the art of a saddler to the
art of a rider. If then it be granted that the civil government be
ordained as a means to bring us to a spiritual felicity, yet it does
not follow that if a king have the civil power, and the Pope the
spiritual, that therefore the king is bound to obey the Pope, more
than every saddler is bound to obey every rider. Therefore as from
subordination of an art cannot be inferred the subjection of the
professor; so from the subordination of a government cannot be
inferred the subjection of the governor. When therefore he saith the
civil power is subject to the spiritual, his meaning is that the civil
sovereign is subject to the spiritual sovereign. And the argument
stands thus: the civil sovereign is subject to the spiritual;
therefore the spiritual prince may command temporal princes, (where
the conclusion is the same with the antecedent he should have proved).
But to prove it, he allegeth first, this reason, "Kings and popes,
clergy and laity, make but one Commonwealth; that is to say, but one
Church: and in all bodies the members depend one upon another: but
things spiritual depend not of things temporal: therefore temporal
depend on spiritual, and therefore are subject to them." In which
argumentation there be two gross errors: one is that all Christian
kings, popes, clergy, and all other Christian men make but one
Commonwealth: for it is evident that France is one Commonwealth, Spain
another, and Venice a third, etc. And these consist of Christians, and
therefore also are several bodies of Christians; that is to say,
several churches: and their several sovereigns represent them, whereby
they are capable of commanding and obeying, of doing and suffering, as
a natural man; which no general or universal Church is, till it have a
representant, which it hath not on earth: for if it had, there is no
doubt but that all Christendom were one Commonwealth, whose
sovereign were that representant, both in things spiritual and
temporal: and the Pope, to make himself this representant, wanteth
three things that our Saviour hath not given him, to command, and to
judge, and to punish, otherwise than, by excommunication, to run
from those that will not learn of him: for though the Pope were
Christ's only vicar, yet he cannot exercise his government till our
Saviour's second coming: and then also it is not the Pope, but St.
Peter himself, with the other Apostles, that are to be judges of the
  The other error in this his first argument is that he says the
members of every Commonwealth, as of a natural body, depend one of
another. It is true they cohere together, but they depend only on
the sovereign, which is the soul of the Commonwealth; which failing,
the Commonwealth is dissolved into a civil war, no one man so much
as cohering to another, for want of a common dependence on a known
sovereign; just as the members of the natural body dissolve into earth
for want of a soul to hold them together. Therefore there is nothing
in this similitude from whence to infer a dependence of the laity on
the clergy, or of the temporal officers on the spiritual, but of
both on the civil sovereign; which ought indeed to direct his civil
commands to the salvation of souls; but is not therefore subject to
any but God Himself. And thus you see the laboured fallacy of the
first argument, to deceive such men as distinguish not between the
subordination of actions in the way to the end; and the subjection
of persons one to another in the administration of the means. For to
every end, the means are determined by nature, or by God Himself
supernaturally: but the power to make men use the means is in every
nation resigned, by the law of nature, which forbiddeth men to violate
their faith given, to the civil sovereign.
  His second argument is this: "Every Commonwealth, because it is
supposed to be perfect and sufficient in itself, may command any other
Commonwealth not subject to it, and force it to change the
administration of the government; nay depose the prince, and set
another in his room, if it cannot otherwise defend itself against
the injuries he goes about to do them: much more may a spiritual
Commonwealth command a temporal one to change the administration of
their government, and may depose princes, and institute others, when
they cannot otherwise defend the spiritual good."
  That a Commonwealth, to defend itself against injuries, may lawfully
do all that he hath here said is very true; and hath already in that
which hath gone before been sufficiently demonstrated. And if it
were also true that there is now in this world a spiritual
Commonwealth, distinct from a civil Commonwealth, then might the
prince thereof, upon injury done him, or upon want of caution that
injury be not done him in time to come, repair and secure himself by
war; which is, in sum, deposing, killing, or subduing, or doing any
act of hostility. But by the same reason, it would be no less lawful
for a civil sovereign, upon the like injuries done, or feared, to make
war upon the spiritual sovereign; which I believe is more than
Cardinal Bellarmine would have inferred from his own proposition.
  But spiritual Commonwealth there is none in this world: for it is
the same thing with the kingdom of Christ; which he himself saith is
not of this world, but shall be in the next world, at the
resurrection, when they that have lived justly, and believed that he
was the Christ, shall, though they died natural bodies, rise spiritual
bodies; and then it is that our Saviour shall judge the world, and
conquer his adversaries, and make a spiritual Commonwealth. In the
meantime, seeing there are no men on earth whose bodies are spiritual,
there can be no spiritual Commonwealth amongst men that are yet in the
flesh; unless we call preachers, that have commission to teach and
prepare men for their reception into the kingdom of Christ at the
resurrection, a Commonwealth; which I have proved already to be none.
  The third argument is this: "It is not lawful for Christians to
tolerate an infidel or heretical king, in case he endeavour to draw
them to his heresy, or infidelity. But to judge whether a king draw
his subjects to heresy, or not, belongeth to the Pope. Therefore
hath the Pope right to determine whether the prince be to be
deposed, or not deposed."
  To this I answer that both these assertions false. For Christians,
or men of what religion soever, if they tolerate not their king,
whatsoever law he maketh, though it be concerning religion, do violate
their faith, contrary to the divine law, both natural and positive:
nor is there any judge of heresy amongst subjects but their own
civil sovereign. For heresy is nothing else but a private opinion,
obstinately maintained, contrary to the opinion which the public
person (that is to say, the representant of the Commonwealth) hath
commanded to be taught. By which it is manifest that an opinion
publicly appointed to be taught cannot be heresy; nor the sovereign
princes that authorize them, heretics. For heretics are none but
private men that stubbornly defend some doctrine prohibited by their
lawful sovereigns.
  But to prove that Christians are not to tolerate infidel or
heretical kings, he allegeth a place in Deuteronomy where God
forbiddeth the Jews, when they shall set a king over themselves, to
choose a stranger:* and from thence inferreth that it is unlawful
for a Christian to choose a king that is not a Christian. And it is
true that he that is a Christian, that is, he that hath already
obliged himself to receive our Saviour, when he shall come, for his
king, shall tempt God too much in choosing for king in this world
one that he knoweth will endeavour, both by terror and persuasion,
to make him violate his faith. But, it is, saith he, the same danger
to choose one that is not a Christian for king, and not to depose
him when he is chosen. To this I say, the question is not of the
danger of not deposing; but of the justice of deposing him. To
choose him may in some cases be unjust; but to depose him, when he
is chosen, is in no case just. For it is always violation of faith,
and consequently against the law of nature, which is the eternal law
of God. Nor do we read that any such doctrine was accounted
Christian in the time of the Apostles; nor in the time of the Roman
Emperors, till the popes had the civil sovereignty of Rome. But to
this he hath replied that the Christians of old deposed not Nero,
nor Dioclesian, nor Julian, nor Valens, an Arian, for this cause only,
that they wanted temporal forces. Perhaps so. But did our Saviour, who
for calling for might have had twelve legions of immortal,
invulnerable angels to assist him, want forces to depose Caesar, or at
least Pilate, that unjustly, without finding fault in him, delivered
him to the Jews to be crucified? Or ff the Apostles wanted temporal
forces to depose Nero, was it therefore necessary for them in their
epistles to the new made Christians to teach them, as they did, to
obey the powers constituted over them, whereof Nero in that time was
one, and that they ought to obey them, not for fear of their wrath,
but for conscience sake? Shall we say they did not only obey, but also
teach what they meant not, for want of strength? It is not therefore
for want of strength, but for conscience sake, that Christians are
to tolerate their heathen princes, or princes (for I cannot call any
one whose doctrine is the public doctrine, a heretic) that authorize
the teaching of an error. And whereas for the temporal power of the
Pope, he allegeth further that St. Paul appointed judges under the
heathen princes of those times, such as were not ordained by those
princes;*(2) it is not true. For St. Paul does but advise them to take
some of their brethren to compound their differences, as
arbitrators, rather than to go to law one with another before the
heathen judges; which is a wholesome precept, and full of charity, fit
to be practised also in the best Christian Commonwealths. And for
the danger that may arise to religion, by the subjects tolerating of a
heathen, or an erring prince, it is a point of which a subject is no
competent judge; or if he be, the Pope's temporal subjects may judge
also of the Pope's doctrine. For every Christian prince, as I have
formerly proved, is no less supreme pastor of his own subjects than
the Pope of his.

  * Deuteronomy, 17
  *(2) I Corinthians, 6

  The fourth argument is taken from the baptism of kings; wherein,
that they may be made Christians, they submit their sceptres to
Christ, and promise to keep and defend the Christian faith. This is
true; for Christian kings are no more but Christ's subjects: but
they may, for all that, be the Pope's fellows; for they are supreme
pastors of their own subjects; and the Pope is no more but king and
pastor, even in Rome itself.
  The fifth argument is drawn from the words spoken by our Saviour,
"Feed my sheep"; by which was given all power necessary for a
pastor; as the power to chase away wolves, such as are heretics; the
power to shut up rams, if they be mad, or push at the other sheep with
their horns, such as are evil, though Christian, kings; and power to
give the flock convenient food: from whence he inferreth that St.
Peter had these three powers given him by Christ. To which I answer
that the last of these powers is no more than the power, or rather
command, to teach. For the first, which is to chase away wolves,
that is, heretics, the place he quoteth is, "Beware of false
prophets which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are
ravening wolves."* But neither are heretics false prophets, or at
all prophets: nor (admitting heretics for the wolves there meant) were
the Apostles commanded to kill them, or if they were kings, to
depose them; but to beware of, fly, and avoid them. Nor was it to
St. Peter, nor to any of the Apostles, but to the multitude of the
Jews that followed him into the mountain, men for the most part not
yet converted, that he gave this counsel, to beware of false prophets:
which therefore, if it confer a power of chasing away kings, was given
not only to private men, but to men that were not at all Christians.
And as to the power of separating and shutting up of furious rams,
by which he meaneth Christian kings that refuse to submit themselves
to the Roman pastor, our Saviour refused to take upon him that power
in this world himself, but advised to let the corn and tares grow up
together till the day of judgement: much less did he give it to St.
Peter, or can St. Peter give it to the Popes. St. Peter, and all other
pastors, are bidden to esteem those Christians that disobey the
Church, that is, that disobey the Christian sovereign, as heathen
men and as publicans. Seeing then men challenge to the Pope no
authority over heathen princes, they ought to challenge none over
those that are to be esteemed as heathen.

  * Matthew, 7. 15

  But from the power to teach only, he inferreth also a coercive power
in the Pope over kings. The pastor, saith he, must give his flock
convenient food: therefore food: therefore the pope may and ought to
compel kings to do their duty. Out of which it followeth that the
Pope, as pastor of Christian men, is king of kings: which all
Christian kings ought indeed either to confess, or else they ought
to take upon themselves the supreme pastoral charge, every one in
his own dominion.
  His sixth and last argument is from examples. To which I answer,
first, that examples prove nothing; secondly, that the examples he
allegeth make not so much as a probability of right. The fact of
Jehoiada in killing Athaliah* was either by the authority of King
Joash, or it was a horrible crime in the high priest, which ever after
the election of King Saul was a mere subject. The fact of St.
Ambrose in excommunicating Theodosius the Emperor, if it were true
he did so, was a capital crime. And for the Popes, Gregory I,
Gregory II, Zachary, and Leo III, their judgements are void, as
given in their own cause; and the acts done by them conformably to
this doctrine are the greatest crimes, especially that of Zachary,
that are incident to human nature. And thus much of power
ecclesiastical; wherein I had been more brief, forbearing to examine
these arguments of Bellarmine, if they had been his as a private
man, and not as the champion of the Papacy against all other Christian
princes and states.

  * II Kings, 11

                            CHAPTER XLIII
                      INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN

  THE most frequent pretext of sedition and civil war in Christian
Commonwealths hath a long time proceeded from a difficulty, not yet
sufficiently resolved, of obeying at once both God and man then when
their commandments are one contrary to the other. It is manifest
enough that when a man receiveth two contrary commands, and knows that
one of them is God's, he ought to obey that, and not the other, though
it be the command even of his lawful sovereign (whether a monarch or a
sovereign assembly), or the command of his father. The difficulty
therefore consisteth in this, that men, when they are commanded in the
name of God, know not in diverse cases whether the command be from
God, or whether he that commandeth do but abuse God's name for some
private ends of his own. For as there were in the Church of the Jews
many false prophets that sought reputation with the people by
feigned dreams and visions; so there have been in all times, in the
Church of Christ, false teachers that seek reputation with the
people by fantastical and false doctrines; and by such reputation,
as is the nature of ambition, to govern them for their private
  But this difficulty of obeying both God and the civil sovereign on
earth, to those that can distinguish between what is necessary and
what is not necessary for their reception into the kingdom of God,
is of no moment. For if the command of the civil sovereign be such
as that it may be obeyed without the forfeiture of life eternal, not
to obey it is unjust; and the precept of the apostle takes place:
"Servants, obey your masters in all things"; and "Children, obey
your parents in all things"; and the precept of our Saviour, "The
Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' chair; all therefore they shall
say, that observe, and do." But if the command be such as cannot be
obeyed, without being damned to eternal death, then it were madness to
obey it, and the counsel of our Saviour takes place, "Fear not those
that kill the body, but cannot kill the soul."* All men therefore that
would avoid both the punishments that are to be in this world
inflicted for disobedience to their earthly sovereign, and those
that shall be inflicted in the world to come for disobedience to
God, have need be taught to distinguish well between what is, and what
is not, necessary to eternal salvation.

  * Matthew, 10. 28

  All that is necessary to salvation is contained in two virtues,
faith in Christ, and obedience to laws. The latter of these, if it
were perfect, were enough to us. But because we are all guilty of
disobedience to God's law, not only originally in Adam, but also
actually by our own transgressions, there is required at our hands
now, not only obedience for the rest of our time, but also a remission
of sins for the time past; which remission is the reward of our
faith in Christ. That nothing else is necessarily required to
salvation is manifest from this, that the kingdom of heaven is shut to
none but to sinners; that is to say, to the disobedient, or
transgressors of the law; nor to them, in case they repent, and
believe all the articles of Christian faith necessary to salvation.
  The obedience required at our hands by God, that accepteth in all
our actions the will for the deed, is a serious endeavour to obey Him;
and is called also by all such names as signify that endeavour. And
therefore obedience is sometimes called by the names of charity and
love, because they imply a will to obey; and our Saviour himself
maketh our love to God, and to one another, a fulfilling of the
whole law; and sometimes by the name of righteousness, for
righteousness is but the will to give to every one his own, that is to
say, the will to obey the laws; and sometimes by the name of
repentance, because to repent implieth a turning away from sin,
which is the same with the return of the will to obedience.
Whosoever therefore unfeignedly desireth to fulfil the commandments of
God, or repenteth him truly of his transgressions, or that loveth
God with all his heart, and his neighbour as himself, hath all the
obedience necessary to his reception into the kingdom of God: for if
God should require perfect innocence, there could no flesh be saved.
  But what commandments are those that God hath given us? Are all
those laws which were given to the Jews by the hand of Moses the
commandments of God? If they be, why are not Christians taught to obey
them? If they be not, what others are so, besides the law of nature?
For our Christ hath not given us new laws, but counsel to observe
those we are subject to; that is to say, the laws of nature, and the
laws of our several sovereigns: nor did he make any new law to the
Jews in his Sermon on the Mount, but only expounded the laws of Moses,
to which they were subject before. The laws of God therefore are
none but the laws of nature, whereof the principal is that we should
not violate our faith, that is, a commandment to obey our civil
sovereigns, which we constituted over us by mutual pact one with
another. And this law of God, that commandeth obedience to the law
civil, commandeth by consequence obedience to all the precepts of
the Bible; which, as I have proved in the precedent chapter, is
there only law where the civil sovereign hath made it so; and in other
places but counsel, which a man at his own peril may without injustice
refuse to obey.
  Knowing now what is the obedience necessary to salvation, and to
whom it is due, we are to consider next, concerning faith, whom and
why we believe, and what are the articles or points necessarily to
be believed by them that shall be saved. And first, for the person
whom we believe, because it is impossible to believe any person before
we know what he saith, it is necessary he be one that we have heard
speak. The person therefore whom Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and the
prophets believed was God Himself, that spake unto them
supernaturally; and the person whom the Apostles and Disciples that
conversed with Christ believed, was our Saviour himself. But of
them, to whom neither God the Father nor our Saviour ever spake, it
cannot be said that the person whom they believed was God. They
believed the Apostles, and after them the pastors and doctors of the
Church that recommended to their faith the history of the Old and
New Testament: so that the faith of Christians ever since our
Saviour's time hath had for foundation, first, the reputation of their
pastors, and afterward, the authority of those that made the Old and
New Testament to be received for the rule of faith; which none could
do but Christian sovereigns, who are therefore the supreme pastors,
and the only persons whom Christians now hear speak from God; except
such as God speaketh to in these days supernaturally. But because
there be many false prophets gone out into the world, other men are to
examine such spirits, as St. John adviseth us, "whether they be of
God, or not."* And, therefore, seeing the examination of doctrines
belongeth to the supreme pastor, the person which all they that have
no special revelation are to believe is, in every Commonwealth, the
supreme pastor, that is to say, the civil sovereign.

  * I John, 4. 1

  The causes why men believe any Christian doctrine are various: for
faith is the gift of God, and He worketh it in each several man by
such ways as it seemeth good unto Himself. The most ordinary immediate
cause of our belief, concerning any point of Christian faith, is
that we believe the Bible to be the word of God. But why we believe
the Bible to be the word of God is much disputed, as all questions
must needs be that are not well stated. For they make not the question
to be, why we believe it, but how we know it; as if believing and
knowing were all one. And thence while one side ground their knowledge
upon the infallibility of the Church, and the other side on the
testimony of the private spirit, neither side concludeth what it
pretends. For how shall a man know the infallibility of the Church but
by knowing first the infallibility of the Scripture? Or how shall a
man know his own private spirit to be other than a belief grounded
upon the authority and arguments of his teachers or upon a presumption
of his own gifts? Besides, there is nothing in the Scripture from
which can be inferred the infallibility of the Church; much less, of
any particular Church; and least of all, the infallibility of any
particular man.
  It is manifest, therefore, that Christian men do not know, but
only believe the Scripture to be the word of God; and that the means
of making them believe, which God is pleased to afford men ordinarily,
is according to the way of nature, that is to say, from their
teachers. It is the doctrine of St. Paul concerning Christian faith in
general, "Faith cometh by hearing,"* that is, by hearing our lawful
pastors. He saith also, "How shall they believe in him of whom they
have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how
shall they preach, except they be sent?"*(2) Whereby it is evident
that the ordinary cause of believing that the Scriptures are the
word of God is the same with the cause of the believing of all other
articles of our faith, namely, the hearing of those that are by the
law allowed and appointed to teach us, as our parents in their houses,
and our pastors in the churches: which also is made more manifest by
experience. For what other cause can there be assigned why in
Christian Commonwealths all men either believe or at least profess the
Scripture to be the word of God, and in other Commonwealths scarce
any, but that in Christian Commonwealths they are taught it from their
infancy, and in other places they are taught otherwise?

  * Romans, 10. 17
  *(2) Ibid., 10. 14, 15

  But if teaching be the cause of faith, why do not all believe? It is
certain therefore that faith is the gift of God, and He giveth it to
whom He will. Nevertheless, because to them to whom He giveth it, He
giveth it by the means of teachers, the immediate cause of faith is
hearing. In a school, where many are taught, and some profit, others
profit not, the cause of learning in them that profit is the master;
yet it cannot be thence inferred that learning is not the gift of God.
All good things proceed from God; yet cannot all that have them say
they are inspired; for that implies a gift supernatural, and the
immediate hand of God; which he that pretends to, pretends to be a
prophet, and is subject to the examination of the Church.
  But whether men know, or believe, or grant the Scriptures to be
the word of God, if out of such places of them as are without
obscurity I shall show what articles of faith are necessary, and
only necessary, for salvation, those men must needs know, believe,
or grant the same.
  The unum necessarium, only article of faith, which the Scripture
maketh simply necessary to salvation is this, that Jesus is the
Christ. By the name of Christ is understood the King which God had
before promised by the prophets of the Old Testament to send into
the world, to reign (over the Jews and over such of other nations as
should believe in him) under Himself eternally; and to give them
that eternal life which was lost by the sin of Adam. Which, when I
have proved out of Scripture, I will further show when, and in what
sense, some other articles may be also called necessary.
  For proof that the belief of this article, Jesus is the Christ, is
all the faith required to salvation, my first argument shall be from
the scope of the evangelists; which was, by the description of the
life of our Saviour, to establish that one article, Jesus is the
Christ. The sum of St. Matthew's Gospel is this, that Jesus was of the
stock of David, born of a virgin, which are the marks of the true
Christ; that the Magi came to worship him as King of the Jews; that
Herod for the same cause sought to kill him; that John the Baptist
proclaimed him; that he preached by himself and his Apostles that he
was that King; that he taught the law, not as a scribe, but as a man
of authority; that he cured diseases by his word only, and did many
other miracles, which were foretold the Christ should do; that he
was saluted King when he entered into Jerusalem; that he forewarned
them to beware of all others that should pretend to be Christ; that he
was taken, accused, and put to death for saying he was King; that
the cause of his condemnation, written on the cross, was JESUS OF
NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. All which tend to no other end than
this, that men should believe that Jesus is the Christ. Such therefore
was the scope of St. Matthew's Gospel. But the scope of all the
evangelists, as may appear by reading them, was the same. Therefore
the scope of the whole Gospel was the establishing of that only
article. And St. John expressly makes it his conclusion, "These things
are written, that you may know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of
the living God."*

  * John, 20. 31

  My second argument is taken from the subject of the sermons of the
Apostles, both whilst our Saviour lived on earth, and after his
ascension. The Apostles in our Saviour's time were sent to preach
the kingdom of God:* for neither there, nor Matthew, 10. 7, giveth
he any commission to them other than this, "As ye go, preach,
saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand"; that is, that Jesus is
the Messiah, the Christ, the King which was to come. That their
preaching also after his ascension was the same is manifest out of the
Acts, 17. 6, "They drew," saith St. Luke, "Jason and certain
brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned
the world upside down are come hither also, whom Jason hath
received. And these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying
that there is another king, one Jesus." And out of the second and
third verses of the same chapter, where it is said that St. Paul,
"as his manner was, went in unto them; and three Sabbath days reasoned
with them out of the Scriptures; opening and alleging that Christ must
needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead, and that this
Jesus is Christ."

  * Luke, 9. 2

  The third argument is from those places of Scripture by which all
the faith required to salvation is declared to be easy. For if an
inward assent of the mind to all the doctrines concerning Christian
faith now taught, whereof the greatest part are disputed, were
necessary to salvation, there would be nothing in the world so hard as
to be a Christian. The thief upon the cross, though repenting, could
not have been saved for saying, "Lord, remember me when thou comest
into thy kingdom"; by which he testified no beliefs of any other
article, but this, that Jesus was the King. Nor could it be said, as
it is, Matthew, 11. 30, that "Christ's yoke is easy, and his burden
light": nor that "little children believe in him," as it is,
Matthew, 18. 6. Nor could St. Paul have said (I Cor., 1. 21), "It
pleased God by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that
believe":* nor could St. Paul himself have been saved, much less
have been so great a doctor of the Church so suddenly, that never
perhaps thought of transubstantiation, nor purgatory, nor many other
articles now obtruded.

  * I Corinthians, 1. 21

  The fourth argument is taken from places express, and such as
receive no controversy of interpretation; as first, John, 5. 39,
"Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and
they are they that testify of me." Our Saviour here speaketh of the
Scriptures only of the Old Testament; for the Jews at that time
could not search the Scriptures of the New Testament, which were not
written. But the Old Testament hath nothing of Christ but the marks by
which men might know him when he came; as that he should descend
from David; be born at Bethlehem, and of a virgin; do great
miracles, and the like. Therefore to believe that this Jesus was, he
was sufficient to eternal life: but more than sufficient is not
necessary; and consequently no other article is required. Again,
"Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall not die eternally."*
Therefore to believe in Christ is faith sufficient to eternal life;
and consequently no more faith than that is necessary. But to
believe in Jesus, and to believe that Jesus is the Christ, is all one,
as appeareth in the verses immediately following. For when our Saviour
had said to Martha, "Believest thou this?"*(2) she answereth, "Yea,
Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should
come into the world."*(3) Therefore this article alone is faith
sufficient to life eternal, and more than sufficient is not necessary.
Thirdly, John, 20. 31, "These things are written that ye might
believe, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that
believing ye might have life through his name." There, to believe that
Jesus is the Christ is faith sufficient to the obtaining of life;
and therefore no other article is necessary. Fourthly, I John, 4. 2,
"Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh
is of God." And I John, 5. 1, "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the
Christ is born of God." And verse 5, "Who is he that overcometh the
world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" Fifthly,
Acts, 8. 36, 37, "See," saith the eunuch, "here is water, what doth
hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with
all thy heart thou mayst. And he answered and said, I believe that
Jesus Christ is the Son of God." Therefore this article believed,
Jesus is the Christ, is sufficient to baptism, that is to say, to
our reception into the kingdom of God, and, by consequence, only
necessary. And generally in all places where our Saviour saith to
any man, "Thy faith hath saved thee," the cause he saith it is some
confession which directly, or by consequence, implieth a belief that
Jesus is the Christ.

  * John, 11. 26
  *(2) Ibid.
  *(3) Ibid., 11. 27

  The last argument is from the places where this article is made
the foundation of faith: for he that holdeth the foundation shall be
saved. Which places are first, Matthew, 24. 23, "If any man shall
say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not, for
there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew
great signs, and wonders," etc. Here, we see, this article, Jesus is
the Christ, must be held, though he that shall teach the contrary
should do great miracles. The second place is Galatians, 1. 8, "Though
we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than
that we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." But the gospel
which Paul and the other Apostles preached was only this article, that
Jesus is the Christ: therefore for the belief of this article, we
are to reject the authority of an angel from heaven; much more of
any mortal man, if he teach the contrary. This is therefore the
fundamental article of Christian faith. A third place is I John, 4. 1,
"Beloved, believe not every spirit. Hereby ye shall know the Spirit of
God; every spirit that confesseth that is come in the flesh is of
God." By which it is evident that this article is the measure and rule
by which to estimate and examine all other articles, and is
therefore only fundamental. A fourth is Matthew, 16. 18, where,
after St. Peter had professed this article, saying to our Saviour,
"Thou art Christ the Son of the living God," our Saviour answered,
"Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church": from
whence I infer that this article is that on which all other
doctrines of the Church are built, as on their foundation. A fifth
is I Corinthians, 3. 11, 12, etc., "Other foundation can no man lay
than that which is laid, Jesus is the Christ. Now if any man build
upon this foundation, gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay,
stubble; every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall
declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall
try every man's work, what sort it is. If any man's work abide which
he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's
work shall be burnt, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be
saved, yet so as by fire." Which words, being partly plain and easy to
understand, and partly allegorical and difficult, out of that which is
plain may be inferred that pastors that teach this foundation, that
Jesus is the Christ, though they draw from it false consequences
(which all men are sometimes subject to), they may nevertheless be
saved; much more that they may be saved, who, being no pastors, but
hearers, believe that which is by their lawful pastors taught them.
Therefore the belief of this article is sufficient; and by
consequence, there is no other article of faith necessarily required
to salvation.
  Now for the part which is allegorical, as that "the fire shall try
every man's work," and that they "shall be saved, but so as by
fire," or "through fire" (for the original is dia puros), it maketh
nothing against this conclusion which I have drawn from the other
words that are plain. Nevertheless, because upon this place there hath
been an argument taken to prove the fire of purgatory, I will also
here offer you my conjecture concerning the meaning of this trial of
doctrines and saving of men as by fire. The Apostle here seemeth to
allude to the words of the Prophet Zechariah, who, speaking of the
restoration of the kingdom of God, saith thus, "Two parts therein
shall be cut off, and die, but the third shall be left therein; and
I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them
as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall
call on the name of the Lord, and I will hear them."* The day of
judgement is the day of the restoration of the kingdom of God; and
at that day it is that St. Peter tells us shall be the conflagration
of the world, wherein the wicked shall perish; but the remnant which
God will save shall pass through that fire unhurt, and be therein
(as silver and gold are refined by the fire from their dross) tried,
and refined from their idolatry, and be made to call upon the name
of the true God.*(2) Alluding whereto, St. Paul here saith that "the
day" (that is, the day of judgement, the great day of our Saviour's
coming to restore the kingdom of God in Israel) shall try every
man's doctrine, by judging which are gold, silver, precious stones,
wood, hay, stubble; and then they that have built false consequences
on the true foundation shall see their doctrines condemned;
nevertheless they themselves shall be saved, and pass unhurt through
this universal fire, and live eternally, to call upon the name of
the true and only God. In which sense there is nothing that
accordeth not with the rest of Holy Scripture, or any glimpse of the
fire of purgatory.

  * Zechariah, 13. 8, 9
  *(2) II Peter, 3

  But a man may here ask whether it be not as necessary to salvation
to believe that God is Omnipotent Creator of the world; that Jesus
Christ is risen; and that all men else shall rise again from the
dead at the last day; as to believe that Jesus is the Christ. To which
I answer, they are; and so are many more articles; but they are such
as are contained in this one, and may be deduced from it, with more or
less difficulty. For who is there that does not see that they who
believe Jesus to be the Son of the God of Israel, and that the
Israelites had for God the Omnipotent Creator of all things, do
therein also believe that God is the Omnipotent Creator of all things?
Or how can a man believe that Jesus is the king that shall reign
eternally, unless he believe him also risen again from the dead? For a
dead man cannot exercise the office of a king. In sum, he that holdeth
this foundation, Jesus is the Christ, holdeth expressly all that he
seeth rightly deduced from it, and implicitly all that is consequent
thereunto, though he have not skill enough to discern the consequence.
And therefore it holdeth still good that the belief of this one
article is sufficient faith to obtain remission of sins to the
penitent, and consequently to bring them into the kingdom of heaven.
  Now that I have shown that all the obedience required to salvation
consisteth in the will to obey the law of God, that is to say, in
repentance; and all the faith required to the same is comprehended
in the belief of this article, Jesus is the Christ; I will further
allege those places of the Gospel that prove that all that is
necessary to salvation is contained in both these joined together. The
men to whom St. Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, next after the
ascension of our Saviour, asked him, and the rest of the Apostles,
saying, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"* To whom St. Peter
answered, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you, for the remission
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."*(2)
Therefore repentance and baptism, that is, believing that Jesus is the
Christ, is all that is necessary to salvation. Again, our Saviour
being asked by a certain ruler, "What shall I do to inherit eternal
life?"*(3) answered, "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit
adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour
thy father and thy mother":*(4) which when he said he had observed,
our Saviour added, "Sell all thou hast, give it to the poor, and
come and follow me": which was as much as to say, rely on me that am
the king. Therefore to fulfil the law, and to believe that Jesus is
the king, is all that is required to bring a man to eternal life.
Thirdly, St. Paul saith, "The just shall live by faith";*(5) not every
one, but the just; therefore faith and justice (that is, the will to
be just, or repentance) are all that is necessary to life eternal. And
our Saviour preached, saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the
kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the Evangel,"*(6) that
is, the good news that the Christ was come. Therefore to repent, and
to believe that Jesus is the Christ, is all that is required to

  * Acts, 2. 37
  *(2) Ibid., 2. 38
  *(3) Luke, 18. 18
  *(4) Ibid., 18. 20
  *(5) Romans, 1. 17
  *(6) Mark, 1. 15

  Seeing then it is necessary that faith and obedience (implied in the
word repentance) do both concur to our salvation, the question by
which of the two we are justified is impertinently disputed.
Nevertheless, it will not be impertinent to make manifest in what
manner each of them contributes thereunto, and in what sense it is
said that we are to be justified by the one and by the other. And
first, if by righteousness be understood the justice of the works
themselves, there is no man that can be saved; for there is none
that hath not transgressed the law of God. And therefore when we are
said to be justified by works, it is to be understood of the will,
which God doth always accept for the work itself, as well in good as
in evil men. And in this sense only it is that a man is called just,
or unjust; and that his justice justifies him, that is, gives him
the title, in God's acceptation of just, and renders him capable of
living by his faith, which before he was not. So that justice
justifies in that sense in which to justify is the same as that to
denominate a man just; and not in the signification of discharging the
law, whereby the punishment of his sins should be unjust.
  But a man is then also said to be justified when his plea, though in
itself insufficient, is accepted; as when we plead our will, our
endeavour to fulfil the law, and repent us of our failings, and God
accepteth it for the performance itself. And because God accepteth not
the will for the deed, but only in the faithful, it is therefore,
faith that makes good our plea; and in this sense it is that faith
only justifies: so that faith and obedience are both necessary to
salvation, yet in several senses each of them is said to justify.
  Having thus shown what is necessary to salvation, it is not hard
to reconcile our obedience to God with our obedience to the civil
sovereign, who is either Christian or infidel. If he be a Christian,
he alloweth the belief of this article, that Jesus is the Christ;
and of all the articles that are contained in, or are by evident
consequence deduced from it: which is all the faith necessary to
salvation. And because he is a sovereign, he requireth obedience to
all his own, that is, to all the civil laws; in which also are
contained all the laws of nature, that is, all the laws of God: for
besides the laws of nature, and the laws of the Church, which are part
of the civil law (for the Church that can make laws is the
Commonwealth), there be no other laws divine. Whosoever therefore
obeyeth his Christian sovereign is not thereby hindered neither from
believing nor from obeying God. But suppose that a Christian king
should from this foundation, Jesus is the Christ, draw some false
consequences, that is to say, make some superstructions of hay or
stubble, and command the teaching of the same; yet seeing St. Paul
says he shall be saved; much more shall he be saved that teacheth them
by his command; and much more yet, he that teaches not, but only
believes his lawful teacher. And in case a subject be forbidden by the
civil sovereign to profess some of those his opinions, upon what
just ground can he disobey? Christian kings may err in deducing a
consequence, but who shall judge? Shall a private man judge, when
the question is of his own obedience? Or shall any man judge but he
that is appointed thereto by the Church, that is, by the civil
sovereign that representeth it? Or if the Pope or an Apostle judge,
may he not err in deducing of a consequence? Did not one of the two,
St. Peter or St. Paul, err in a superstructure, when St. Paul
withstood St. Peter to his face? There can therefore be no
contradiction between the laws of God and the laws of a Christian
  And when the civil sovereign is an infidel, every one of his own
subjects that resisteth him sinneth against the laws of God (for
such are the laws of nature), and rejecteth the counsel of the
Apostles that admonisheth all Christians to obey their princes, and
all children and servants to obey their parents and masters in all
things. And for their faith, it is internal and invisible; they have
the license that Naaman had, and need not put themselves into danger
for it. But if they do, they ought to expect their reward in heaven,
and not complain of their lawful sovereign, much less make war upon
him. For he that is not glad of any just occasion of martyrdom has not
the faith he professeth, but pretends it only, to set some colour upon
his own contumacy. But what infidel king is so unreasonable as,
knowing he has a subject that waiteth for the second coming of Christ,
after the present world shall be burnt, and intendeth then to obey Him
(which is the intent of believing that Jesus is the Christ), and in
the meantime thinketh himself bound to obey the laws of that infidel
king, which all Christians are obliged in conscience to do, to put
to death or to persecute such a subject?
  And thus much shall suffice, concerning the kingdom of God and
policy ecclesiastical. Wherein I pretend not to advance any position
of my own, but only to show what are the consequences that seem to
me deducible from the principles of Christian politics (which are
the Holy Scriptures), in confirmation of the power of civil sovereigns
and the duty of their subjects. And in the allegation of Scripture,
I have endeavoured to avoid such texts as are of obscure or
controverted interpretation, and to allege none but in such sense as
is most plain and agreeable to the harmony and scope of the whole
Bible, which was written for the re-establishment of the kingdom of
God in Christ.
  For it is not the bare words, but the scope of the writer, that
giveth the true light by which any writing is to be interpreted; and
they that insist upon single texts, without considering the main
design, can derive no thing from them clearly; but rather, by
casting atoms of Scripture as dust before men's eyes, make
everything more obscure than it is, an ordinary artifice of those that
seek not the truth, but their own advantage.

                           THE FOURTH PART
                      OF THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS

                             CHAPTER XLIV

  Besides these sovereign powers, divine and human, of which I have
hitherto discoursed, there is mention in Scripture of another power,
namely, that of "the rulers of the darkness of this world,"* "the
kingdom of Satan,"*(2) and "the principality of Beelzebub over
demons,"*(3) that is to say, over phantasms that appear in the air:
for which cause Satan is also called "the prince of the power of the
air";*(4) and, because he ruleth in the darkness of this world, "the
prince of this world":*(5) and in consequence hereunto, they who are
under his dominion, in opposition to the faithful, who are the
"children of the light," are called the "children of darkness." For
seeing Beelzebub is prince of phantasms, inhabitants of his dominion
of air and darkness, the children of darkness, and these demons,
phantasms, or spirits of illusion, signify allegorically the same
thing. This considered, the kingdom of darkness, as it is set forth in
these and other places of the Scripture, is nothing else but a
confederacy of deceivers that, to obtain dominion over men in this
present world, endeavour, by dark and erroneous doctrines, to
extinguish in them the light, both of nature and of the gospel; and so
to disprepare them for the kingdom of God to come.

  * Ephesians, 6. 12
  *(2) Matthew, 12. 26
  *(3) Ibid., 9. 34
  *(4) Ephesians, 2. 2
  *(5) John, 16. 11

  As men that are utterly deprived from their nativity of the light of
the bodily eye have no idea at all of any such light; and no man
conceives in his imagination any greater light than he hath at some
time or other perceived by his outward senses: so also is it of the
light of the gospel, and of the light of the understanding, that no
man can conceive there is any greater degree of it than that which
he hath already attained unto. And from hence it comes to pass that
men have no other means to acknowledge their own darkness but only
by reasoning from the unforeseen mischances that befall them in
their ways. The darkest part of the kingdom of Satan is that which
is without the Church of God; that is to say, amongst them that
believe not in Jesus Christ. But we cannot say that therefore the
Church enjoyeth, as the land of Goshen, all the light which to the
performance of the work enjoined us by God is necessary. Whence
comes it that in Christendom there has been, almost from the time of
the Apostles, such jostling of one another out of their places, both
by foreign and civil war; such stumbling at every little asperity of
their own fortune, and every little eminence of that of other men; and
such diversity of ways in running to the same mark, felicity, if it be
not night amongst us, or at least a mist? We are therefore yet in
the dark.
  The enemy has been here in the night of our natural ignorance, and
sown the tares of spiritual errors; and that, first, by abusing and
putting out the light of the Scriptures: for we err, not knowing the
Scriptures. Secondly, by introducing the demonology of the heathen
poets, that is to say, their fabulous doctrine concerning demons,
which are but idols, or phantasms of the brain, without any real
nature of their own, distinct from human fancy; such as are dead men's
ghosts, and fairies, and other matter of old wives' tales. Thirdly, by
mixing with the Scripture diverse relics of the religion, and much
of the vain and erroneous philosophy of the Greeks, especially of
Aristotle. Fourthly, by mingling with both these, false or uncertain
traditions, and feigned or uncertain history. And so we come to err,
by giving heed to seducing spirits, and the demonology of such as
speak lies in hypocrisy, or, as it is in the original, "of those
that play the part of liars,"* with a seared conscience, that is,
contrary to their own knowledge. Concerning the first of these,
which is the seducing of men by abuse of Scripture, I intend to
speak briefly in this chapter.

  * I Timothy, 4. 1, 2

  The greatest and main abuse of Scripture, and to which almost all
the rest are either consequent or subservient, is the wresting of it
to prove that the kingdom of God, mentioned so often in the Scripture,
is the present Church, or multitude of Christian men now living, or
that, being dead, are to rise again at the last day: whereas the
kingdom of God was first instituted by the ministry of Moses, over the
Jews only; who were therefore called his peculiar people; and ceased
afterward, in the election of Saul, when they refused to be governed
by God any more, and demanded a king after the manner of the
nations; which God Himself consented unto, as I have more at large
proved before, in the thirty-fifth Chapter. After that time, there was
no other kingdom of God in the world, by any pact or otherwise, than
He ever was, is, and shall be king of all men and of all creatures, as
governing according to His will, by His infinite power.
Nevertheless, He promised by His prophets to restore this His
government to them again, when the time He hath in His secret
counsel appointed for it shall be fully come, and when they shall turn
unto Him by repentance and amendment of life. And not only so, but
He invited also the Gentiles to come in, and enjoy the happiness of
His reign, on the same conditions of conversion and repentance. And He
promised also to send His Son into the world, to expiate the sins of
them all by his death, and to prepare them by his doctrine to
receive him at his second coming: which second coming not yet being,
the kingdom of God is not yet come, and we are not now under any other
kings by pact but our civil sovereigns; saving only that Christian men
are already in the kingdom of grace, inasmuch as they have already the
promise of being received at his coming again.
  Consequent to this error, that the present Church is Christ's
kingdom, there ought to be some one man, or assembly, by whose mouth
our Saviour, now in heaven, speaketh, giveth law, and which
representeth his person to all Christians; or diverse men, or
diverse assemblies that do the same to diverse parts of Christendom.
This power regal under Christ being challenged universally by the
Pope, and in particular Commonwealths by assemblies of the pastors
of the place (when the Scripture gives it to none but to civil
sovereigns), comes to be so passionately disputed that it putteth
out the light of nature, and causeth so great a darkness in men's
understanding that they see not who it is to whom they have engaged
their obedience.
  Consequent to this claim of the Pope to vicar general of Christ in
the present Church (supposed to be that kingdom of his to which we are
addressed in the gospel) is the doctrine that it is necessary for a
Christian king to receive his crown by a bishop; as if it were from
that ceremony that he derives the clause of Dei gratia in his title;
and that then only is he made king by the favour of God when he is
crowned by the authority of God's universal vicegerent on earth; and
that every bishop, whosoever be his sovereign, taketh at his
consecration an oath of absolute obedience to the Pope. Consequent
to the same is the doctrine of the fourth Council of Lateran, held
under Pope Innocent the Third (Chapter 3, De Haereticis), "That if a
king, at the pope's admonition, do not purge his kingdom of
heresies, and being excommunicate for the same, do not give
satisfaction within a year, his subjects are absolved of the bond of
their obedience." Whereby heresies are understood all opinions which
the Church of Rome hath forbidden to be maintained. And by this means,
as often as there is any repugnancy between the political designs of
the Pope and other Christian princes, as there is very often, there
ariseth such a mist amongst their subjects, that they know not a
stranger that thrusteth himself into the throne of their lawful
prince, from him whom they had themselves placed there; and, in this
darkness of mind, are made to fight one against another, without
discerning their enemies from their friends, under the conduct of
another man's ambition.
  From the same opinion, that the present Church is the kingdom of
God, it proceeds that pastors, deacons, and all other ministers of the
Church take the name to themselves of the clergy; giving to other
Christians the name of laity, that is, simply people. For clergy
signifies those whose maintenance is that revenue which God, having
reserved to Himself during His reign over the Israelites, assigned
to the tribe of Levi (who were to be His public ministers, and had
no portion of land set them out to live on, as their brethren) to be
their inheritance. The Pope therefore (pretending the present Church
to be, as the realms of Israel, the kingdom of God), challenging to
himself and his subordinate ministers the like revenue as the
inheritance of God, the name of clergy was suitable to that claim. And
thence it is that tithes and other tributes paid to the Levites as
God's right, amongst the Israelites, have a long time been demanded
and taken of Christians by ecclesiastics, jure divino, that is, in
God's right. By which means, the people everywhere were obliged to a
double tribute; one to the state, another to the clergy; whereof
that to the clergy, being the tenth of their revenue, is double to
that which a king of Athens (and esteemed a tyrant) exacted of his
subjects for the defraying of all public charges: for he demanded no
more but the twentieth part, and yet abundantly maintained therewith
the Commonwealth. And in the kingdom of the Jews, during the
sacerdotal reign of God, the tithes and offerings were the whole
public revenue.
  From the same mistaking of the present Church for the kingdom of God
came in the distinction between the civil and the canon laws: the
civil law being the acts of sovereigns in their own dominions, and the
canon law being the acts of the Pope in the same dominions. Which
canons, though they were but canons, that is, rules propounded, and
but voluntarily received by Christian princes, till the translation of
the Empire to Charlemagne; yet afterwards, as the power of the Pope
increased, became rules commanded, and the emperors themselves, to
avoid greater mischiefs, which the people blinded might be led into,
were forced to let them pass for laws.
  From hence it is that in all dominions where the Pope's
ecclesiastical power is entirely received, Jews, Turks, and Gentiles
are in the Roman Church tolerated in their religion as far forth as in
the exercise and profession thereof they offend not against the
civil power: whereas in a Christian, though a stranger, not to be of
the Roman religion is capital, because the Pope pretendeth that all
Christians are his subjects. For otherwise it were as much against the
law of nations to persecute a Christian stranger for professing the
religion of his own country, as an infidel; or rather more, inasmuch
as they that are not against Christ are with him.
  From the same it is that in every Christian state there are
certain men that are exempt, by ecclesiastical liberty, from the
tributes and from the tribunals of the civil state; for so are the
secular clergy, besides monks and friars, which in many places bear so
great a proportion to the common people as, if need were, there
might be raised out of them alone an army sufficient for any war the
Church militant should employ them in against their own or other
  A second general abuse of Scripture is the turning of consecration
into conjuration, or enchantment. To consecrate is, in Scripture, to
offer, give, or dedicate, in pious and decent language and gesture,
a man or any other thing to God, by separating of it from common
use; that is to say, to sanctify, or make it God's, and to be used
only by those whom God hath appointed to be His public ministers (as I
have already proved at large in the thirty-fifth Chapter), and thereby
to change, not the thing consecrated, but only the use of it, from
being profane and common, to be holy, and peculiar to God's service.
But when by such words the nature or quality of the thing itself is
pretended to be changed, it is not consecration, but either an
extraordinary work of God, or a vain and impious conjuration. But
seeing, for the frequency of pretending the change of nature in
their consecrations, it cannot be esteemed a work extraordinary, it is
no other than a conjuration or incantation, whereby they would have
men to believe an alteration of nature that is not, contrary to the
testimony of man's sight and of all the rest of his senses. As for
example, when the priest, instead of consecrating bread and wine to
God's peculiar service in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper (which is
but a separation of it from the common use to signify, that is, to put
men in mind of, their redemption by the Passion of Christ, whose
body was broken and blood shed upon the cross for our transgressions),
pretends that by saying of the words of our Saviour, "This is my
body," and "This is my blood," the nature of bread is no more there,
but his very body; notwithstanding there appeareth not to the sight or
other sense of the receiver anything that appeared not before the
consecration. The Egyptian conjurers, that are said to have turned
their rods to serpents, and the water into blood, are thought but to
have deluded the senses of the spectators by a false show of things,
yet are esteemed enchanters. But what should we have thought of them
if there had appeared in their rods nothing like a serpent, and in the
water enchanted nothing like blood, nor like anything else but
water, but that they had faced down the king, that they were
serpents that looked like rods, and that it was blood that seemed
water? That had been both enchantment and lying. And yet in this daily
act of the priest, they do the very same, by turning the holy words
into the manner of a charm, which produceth nothing new to the
sense; but they face us down, that it hath turned the bread into a
man; nay, more, into a God; and require men to worship it as if it
were our Saviour himself present,  God and Man, and thereby to
commit most gross idolatry. For if it be enough to excuse it of
idolatry to say it is no more bread, but God; why should not the
same excuse serve the Egyptians, in case they had the faces to say the
leeks and onions they worshipped were not very leeks and onions, but a
divinity under their species or likeness? The words, "This is my
body," are equivalent to these, "This signifies, or represents, my
body"; and it is an ordinary figure of speech: but to take it
literally is an abuse; nor, though so taken, can it extend any further
than to the bread which Christ himself with his own hands consecrated.
For he never said that of what bread soever any priest whatsoever
should say, "This is my body," or "This is Christ's body," the same
should presently be transubstantiated. Nor did the Church of Rome ever
establish this transubstantiation, till the time of Innocent the
Third; which was not above five hundred years ago, when the power of
Popes was at the highest, and the darkness of the time grown so great,
as men discerned not the bread that was given them to eat,
especially when it was stamped with the figure of Christ upon the
cross, as if they would have men believe it were transubstantiated,
not only into the body of Christ, but also into the wood of his cross,
and that they did eat both together in the sacrament.
  The like incantation, instead of consecration, is used also in the
sacrament of baptism: where the abuse of God's name in each several
person, and in the whole Trinity, with the sign of the cross at each
name, maketh up the charm. As first, when they make the holy water,
the priest saith, "I conjure thee, thou creature of water, in the name
of God the Father Almighty, and in the name of Jesus Christ His only
Son our Lord, and in virtue of the Holy Ghost, that thou become
conjured water, to drive away all the powers of the enemy, and to
eradicate, and supplant the enemy," etc. And the same in the
benediction of the salt to be mingled with it, "That thou become
conjured salt, that all phantasms and knavery of the Devil's fraud may
fly and depart from the place wherein thou art sprinkled; and every
unclean spirit be conjured by him that shall come to judge the quick
and the dead." The same in the benediction of the oil, "That all the
power of the enemy, all the host of the Devil, all assaults and
phantasms of Satan, may be driven away by this creature of oil." And
for the infant that is to be baptized, he is subject to many charms:
first, at the church door the priest blows thrice in the child's face,
and says, "Go out of him, unclean spirit, and give place to the Holy
Ghost the Comforter." As if all children, till blown on by the priest,
were demoniacs. Again, before his entrance into the church, he saith
as before, "I conjure thee, etc., to go out, and depart from this
servant of God"; and again the same exorcism is repeated once more
before he be baptized. These and some other incantations are those
that are used instead of benedictions and consecrations in
administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord's Supper;
wherein everything that serveth to those holy uses, except the
unhallowed spittle of the priest, hath some set form of exorcism.
  Nor are the other rites, as of marriage, of extreme unction, of
visitation of the sick, of consecrating churches, and churchyards, and
the like, exempt from charms; inasmuch as there is in them the use
of enchanted oil and water, with the abuse of the cross, and of the
holy word of David, asperges me Domine hyssopo, as things of
efficacy to drive away phantasms and imaginary spirits.
  Another general error is from the misinterpretation of the words
eternal life, everlasting death, and the second death. For though we
read plainly in Holy Scripture that God created Adam in an estate of
living for ever, which was conditional, that is to say, if he
disobeyed not His commandment; which was not essential to human
nature, but consequent to the virtue of the tree of life, whereof he
had liberty to eat, as long as he had not sinned; and that he was
thrust out of Paradise after he had sinned, lest he should eat
thereof, and live for ever; and that Christ's Passion is a discharge
of sin to all that believe on Him, and by consequence, a restitution
of eternal life to all the faithful, and to them only: yet the
doctrine is now and hath been a long time far otherwise; namely,
that every man hath eternity of life by nature, inasmuch as his soul
is immortal. So that the flaming sword at the entrance of Paradise,
though it hinder a man from coming to the tree of life, hinders him
not from the immortality which God took from him for his sin, nor
makes him to need the sacrificing of Christ for the recovering of
the same; and consequently, not only the faithful and righteous, but
also the wicked and the heathen, shall enjoy eternal life, without any
death at all, much less a second and everlasting death. To salve this,
it is said that by second and everlasting death is meant a second
and everlasting life, but in torments; a figure never used but in this
very case.
  All which doctrine is founded only on some of the obscurer places of
the New Testament; which nevertheless, the whole scope of the
Scripture considered, are clear enough in a different sense, and
unnecessary to the Christian faith. For supposing that when a man
dies, there remaineth nothing of him but his carcass; cannot God, that
raised inanimated dust and clay into a living creature by His word, as
easily raise a dead carcass to life again, and continue him alive
for ever, or make him die again by another word? The soul, in
Scripture, signifieth always either the life or the living creature;
and the body and soul jointly, the body alive. In the fifth day of the
Creation, God said, Let the waters produce reptile animae viventis,
the creeping thing that hath in it a living soul; the English
translate it, "that hath life." And again, God created whales, et
omnem animam viventem; which in the English is, "every living
creature." And likewise of man, God made him of the dust of the earth,
and breathed in his face the breath of life, et factus est homo in
animam viventem, that is, "and man was made a living creature." And
after Noah came out of the ark, God saith, He will no more smite omnem
animam viventem, that is, "every living creature." And, "Eat not the
blood, for the blood is the soul"; that is, the life. From which
places, if by soul were meant a substance incorporeal, with an
existence separated from the body, it might as well be inferred of any
other living creature, as of man. But that the souls of the faithful
are not of their own nature, but by God's special grace, to remain
in their bodies from the resurrection to all eternity, I have already,
I think, sufficiently proved out of the Scriptures, in the
thirty-eighth Chapter. And for the places of the New Testament where
it is said that any man shall be cast body and soul into hell fire, it
is no more than body and life; that is to say, they shall be cast
alive into the perpetual fire of Gehenna.
  This window it is that gives entrance to the dark doctrine, first,
of eternal torments, and afterwards of purgatory, and consequently
of the walking abroad, especially in places consecrated, solitary,
or dark, of the ghosts of men deceased; and thereby to the pretences
of exorcism and conjuration of phantasms, as also of invocation of men
dead; and to the doctrine of indulgences; that is to say, of exemption
for a time, or for ever, from the fire of purgatory, wherein these
incorporeal substances are pretended by burning to be cleansed and
made fit for heaven. For men being generally possessed, before the
time of our Saviour, by contagion of the demonology of the Greeks,
of an opinion that the souls of men were substances distinct from
their bodies; and therefore that when the body was dead, the soul of
every man, whether godly or wicked, must subsist somewhere by virtue
of its own nature, without acknowledging therein any supernatural gift
of God's; the doctors of the Church doubted a long time what was the
place which they were to abide in, till they should be reunited to
their bodies in the resurrection, supposing for a while, they lay
under the altars: but afterward the Church of Rome found it more
profitable to build for them this place of purgatory, which by some
other Churches, in this later age, has been demolished.
  Let us now consider what texts of Scripture seem most to confirm
these three general errors I have here touched. As for those which
Cardinal Bellarmine hath alleged for the present kingdom of God
administered by the Pope (than which there are none that make a better
show of proof), I have already answered them; and made it evident that
the kingdom of God, instituted by Moses, ended in the election of
Saul: after which time the priest of his own authority never deposed
any king. That which the high priest did to Athaliah was not done in
his own right, but in the right of the young King Joash, her son:
But Solomon in his own right deposed the high priest Abiathar, and set
up another in his place. The most difficult place to answer, of all
those that can be brought to prove the kingdom of God by Christ is
already in this world, is alleged, not by Bellarmine, nor any other of
the Church of Rome, but by Beza, that will have it to begin from the
resurrection of Christ. But whether he intend thereby to entitle the
presbytery to the supreme power ecclesiastical in the Commonwealth
of Geneva, and consequently to every presbytery in every other
Commonwealth, or to princes and other civil sovereigns, I do not know.
For the presbytery hath challenged the power to excommunicate their
own kings, and to be the supreme moderators in religion, in the places
where they have that form of Church government, no less than the
Pope challengeth it universally.
  The words are, "Verily I say unto you, that there be some of them
that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen
the kingdom of God come with power."* Which words, if taken
grammatically, make it certain that either some of those men that
stood by Christ at that time are yet alive, or else that the kingdom
of God must be now in this present world. And then there is another
place more difficult: for when the Apostles after our Saviour's
resurrection, and immediately before his ascension, asked our Saviour,
saying, "Wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to
Israel?" he answered them, "It is not for you to know the times and
the seasons, which the Father hath put in His own power; but ye
shall receive power by the coming of the Holy Ghost upon you, and ye
shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in
Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth":*(2) which is as
much as to say, My kingdom is not yet come, nor shall you foreknow
when it shall come; for it shall come as a thief in the night; but I
will send you the Holy Ghost, and by him you shall have power to
bear witness to all the world, by your preaching of my resurrection,
and the works I have done, and the doctrine I have taught, that they
may believe in me, and expect eternal life, at my coming again. How
does this agree with the coming of Christ's kingdom at the
resurrection? And that which St. Paul says, "That they turned from
idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son
from heaven";*(3) where "to wait for His Son from heaven" is to wait
for his coming to be king in power; which were not necessary if his
kingdom had been then present. Again, if the kingdom of God began,
as Beza on that place*(4) would have it, at the resurrection; what
reason is there for Christians ever since the resurrection to say in
their prayers, "Let thy kingdom come"? It is therefore manifest that
the words of St. Mark are not so to be interpreted. There be some of
them that stand here, saith our Saviour, that shall not taste of death
till they have seen the kingdom of God come in power. If then this
kingdom were to come at the resurrection of Christ, why is it said,
some of them, rather than all? For they all lived till after Christ
was risen.

  * Mark, 9. 1
  *(2) Acts, 1. 6
  *(3) I Thessalonians, 1. 9, 10

  But they that require an exact interpretation of this text, let them
interpret first the like words of our Saviour to St. Peter
concerning St. John, "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is
that to thee?"* upon which was grounded a report that he should not
die. Nevertheless the truth of that report was neither confirmed, as
well grounded; nor refuted, as ill grounded on those words; but left
as a saying not understood. The same difficulty is also in the place
of St. Mark. And if it be lawful to conjecture at their meaning, by
that which immediately follows, both here and in St. Luke, where the
same is again repeated, it is not improbable to say they have relation
to the Transfiguration, which is described in the verses immediately
following, where it is said that "After six days Jesus taketh with him
Peter, and James, and John" (not all, but some of his Disciples), "and
leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves, and was
transfigured before them. And his raiment became shining, exceeding
white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them. And there
appeared unto them Elias with Moses, and they were talking with
Jesus," etc. So that they saw Christ in glory and majesty, as he is to
come; insomuch as "they were sore afraid." And thus the promise of our
Saviour was accomplished by way of vision. For it was a vision, as may
probably be inferred out of St. Luke, that reciteth the same story,
and saith that Peter and they that were with him were heavy with
sleep:*(2) but most certainly out of Matthew 17. 9 where the same is
again related; for our Saviour charged them, saying, "Tell no man
the vision until the Son of Man be risen from the dead." Howsoever
it be, yet there can from thence be taken no argument to prove that
the kingdom of God taketh beginning till the day of judgement.

  * John, 21. 22
  *(2) Luke, 9. 28

  As for some other texts to prove the Pope's power over civil
sovereigns (besides those of Bellarmine), as that the two swords
that Christ and his Apostles had amongst them were the spiritual and
the temporal sword, which they say St. Peter had given him by
Christ; and that of the two luminaries, the greater signifies the
Pope, and the lesser the king; one might as well infer out of the
first verse of the Bible that by heaven is meant the Pope, and by
earth the king: which is not arguing from Scripture, but a wanton
insulting over princes that came in fashion after the time the popes
were grown so secure of their greatness as to contemn all Christian
kings; and treading on the necks of emperors, to mock both them and
the Scripture, in the words of the ninety-first Psalm, "Thou shalt
tread upon the lion and the adder; the young lion and the dragon
thou shalt trample under thy feet."
  As for the rites of consecration, though they depend for the most
part upon the discretion and judgement of the governors of the Church,
and not upon the Scriptures; yet those governors are obliged to such
direction as the nature of the action itself requireth; as that the
ceremonies, words, gestures be both decent and significant, or at
least conformable to the action. When Moses consecrated the
tabernacle, the altar, and the vessels belonging to them, he
anointed them with the oil which God had commanded to be made for that
purpose:* and they were holy. There was nothing exorcized, to drive
away phantasms. The same Moses (the civil sovereign of Israel), when
he consecrated Aaron (the high priest) and his sons, did wash them
with water (not exorcized water), put their garments upon them, and
anointed them with oil; and they were sanctified, to minister unto the
Lord in the priest's office, which was a simple and decent cleansing
and adorning them before he presented them to God, to be His servants.
When King Solomon (the civil sovereign of Israel) consecrated the
temple he had built, he stood before all the congregation of Israel;
and having blessed them, he gave thanks to God for putting into the
heart of his father to build it, and for giving to himself the grace
to accomplish the same; and then prayed unto Him, first, to accept
that house, though it were not suitable to His infinite greatness, and
to hear the prayers of His servants that should pray therein, or (if
they were absent) towards it; and lastly, he offered a sacrifice of
peace offering, and the house was dedicated.*(2) Here was no
procession; the King stood still in his first place; no exorcized
water; no Asperges me, nor other impertinent application of words
spoken upon another occasion; but a decent and rational speech, and
such as in making to God a present of his new-built house was most
conformable to the occasion.

  * Exodus, 40
  *(2) II Kings, 8

  We read not that St. John did exorcize the water of Jordan; nor
Philip the water of the river wherein he baptized the eunuch; nor that
any pastor in the time of the Apostles did take his spittle and put it
to the nose of the person to be baptized, and say, in odorem
suavitatis, that is, "for a sweet savour unto the Lord"; wherein
neither the ceremony of spittle, for the uncleanness; nor the
application of that Scripture, for the levity, can by any authority of
man be justified.
  To prove that the soul, separated from the body, liveth eternally,
not only the souls of the elect, by especial grace, and restoration of
the eternal life which Adam lost by sin, and our Saviour restored by
the sacrifice of himself to the faithful; but also the souls of
reprobates, as a property naturally consequent to the essence of
mankind, without other grace of God but that which is universally
given to all mankind; there are diverse places which at the first
sight seem sufficiently to serve the turn: but such as when I
compare them with that which I have before (Chapter thirty-eight)
alleged out of the fourteenth of Job seem to me much more subject to a
diverse interpretation than the words of Job.
  And first there are the words of Solomon, "Then shall the dust
return to dust, as it was, and the spirit shall return to God that
gave it."* Which may bear well enough (if there be no other text
directly against it) this interpretation, that God only knows, but man
not, what becomes of a man's spirit when he expireth; and the same
Solomon, in the same book, delivereth the same sentence in the sense I
have given it. His words are, "All go to the same place; all are of
the dust, and all turn to dust again; who knoweth that the spirit of
man goeth upward, and that the spirit of the beast goeth downward to
the earth?"*(2) That is, none knows but God; nor is it an unusual
phrase to say of things we understand not, "God knows what," and
"God knows where." That of Genesis, 5. 24, "Enoch walked with God, and
he was not; for God took him"; which is expounded, Hebrews, 11. 5, "He
was translated, that he should not die; and was not found, because God
had translated him. For before his translation, he had this testimony,
that he pleased God," making as much for the immortality of the body
as of the soul, proveth that this his translation was peculiar to them
that please God; not common to them with the wicked; and depending
on grace, not on nature. But on the contrary, what interpretation
shall we give, besides the literal sense of the words of Solomon,
"That which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts, even one thing
befalleth them; as the one dieth, so doth the other; yea, they have
all one breath; so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast,
for all is vanity."*(3) By the literal sense, here is no natural
immortality of the soul; nor yet any repugnancy with the life eternal,
which the elect shall enjoy by grace. And, "Better is he that hath not
yet been than both they";*(4) that is, than they that live or have
lived; which, if the soul of all them that have lived were immortal,
were a hard saying; for then to have an immortal soul were worse
than to have no soul at all. And again, "The living know they shall
die, but the dead know not anything";*(5) that is, naturally, and
before the resurrection of the body.

  * Ecclesiastes, 12. 7
  *(2) Ibid., 3. 20, 21
  *(3) Ibid., 3. 19
  *(4) Ibid., 4. 3
  *(5) Ibid., 9. 5

  Another place which seems to make for a natural immortality of the
soul is that where our Saviour saith that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
are living: but this is spoken of the promise of God, and of their
certitude to rise again, not of a life then actual; and in the same
sense that God said to Adam that on the day he should eat of the
forbidden fruit, he should certainly die; from that time forward he
was a dead man by sentence; but not by execution, till almost a
thousand years after. So Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were alive by
promise, then, when Christ spoke; but are not actually till the
resurrection. And the history of Dives and Lazarus make nothing
against this, if we take it, as it is, for a parable.
  But there be other places of the New Testament where an
immortality seemeth to be directly attributed to the to the wicked.
For it is evident that they shall all rise to judgement. And it is
said besides, in many places, that they shall go into "everlasting
fire, everlasting torments, everlasting punishments; and that the worm
of conscience never dieth"; and all this is comprehended in the word
everlasting death, which is ordinarily interpreted "everlasting life
in torments": and yet I can find nowhere that any man shall live in
torments everlastingly. Also, it seemeth hard to say that God, who
is the Father of mercies, that doth in heaven and earth all that He
will; that hath the hearts of all men in His disposing; that worketh
in men both to do and to will; and without whose free gift a man
hath neither inclination to good nor repentance of evil, should punish
men's transgressions without any end of time, and with all the
extremity of torture that men can imagine, and more. We are
therefore to consider what the meaning is of everlasting fire, and
other the like phrases of Scripture.
  I have shown already that the kingdom of God by Christ beginneth
at the day of judgement: that in that day, the faithful shall rise
again, with glorious and spiritual bodies and be his subjects in
that his kingdom, which shall be eternal: that they shall neither
marry, nor be given in marriage, nor eat and drink, as they did in
their natural bodies; but live for ever in their individual persons,
without the specifical eternity of generation: and that the reprobates
also shall rise again, to receive punishments for their sins: as
also that those of the elect, which shall be alive in their earthly
bodies at that day, shall have their bodies suddenly changed, and made
spiritual and immortal. But that the bodies of the reprobate, who make
the kingdom of Satan, shall also be glorious or spiritual bodies, or
that they shall be as the angels of God, neither eating, nor drinking,
nor engendering; or that their life shall be eternal in their
individual persons, as the life of every faithful man is, or as the
life of Adam had been if he had not sinned, there is no place of
Scripture to prove it; save only these places concerning eternal
torments, which may otherwise be interpreted.
  From whence may be inferred that, as the elect after the
resurrection shall be restored to the estate wherein Adam was before
he had sinned; so the reprobate shall be in the estate that Adam and
his posterity were in after the sin committed; saving that God
promised a redeemer to Adam, and such of his seed as should trust in
him and repent, but not to them that should die in their sins, as do
the reprobate.
  These things considered, the texts that mention "eternal fire,"
"eternal torments," or "the worm that never dieth," contradict not the
doctrine of a second and everlasting death, in the proper and
natural sense of the word death. The fire or torments prepared for the
wicked in Gehenna, Tophet, or in what place soever, may continue
forever; and there may never want wicked men to be tormented in
them, though not every nor any one eternally. For the wicked, being
left in the estate they were in after Adam's sin, may at the
resurrection live as they did, marry, and give in marriage, and have
gross and corruptible bodies, as all mankind now have; and
consequently may engender perpetually, after the resurrection, as they
did before: for there is no place of Scripture to the contrary. For
St. Paul, speaking of the resurrection, understandeth it only of the
resurrection to life eternal, and not the resurrection to punishment.*
And of the first, he saith that the body is "sown in corruption,
raised in incorruption; sown in dishonour, raised in honour; sown in
weakness, raised in power; sown a natural body, raised a spiritual
body." There is no such thing can be said of the bodies of them that
rise to punishment. So also our Saviour, when he speaketh of the
nature of man after the resurrection, meaneth the resurrection to life
eternal, not to punishment. The text is Luke, 20, verses 34, 35, 36, a
fertile text: "The children of this world marry, and are given in
marriage; but they that shall be counted worthy to obtain that
world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are
given in marriage: neither can they die any more; for they are equal
to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of
the resurrection." The children of this world, that are in the
estate which Adam left them in, shall marry and be given in
marriage; that is, corrupt and generate successively; which is an
immortality of the kind, but not of the persons of men: they are not
worthy to be counted amongst them that shall obtain the next world, an
absolute resurrection from the dead; but only a short time, as inmates
of that world; and to the end only to receive condign punishment for
their contumacy. The elect are the only children of the
resurrection; that is to say, the sole heirs of eternal life: they
only can die no more. It is they that are equal to the angels, and
that are the children of God, and not the reprobate. To the
reprobate there remaineth after the resurrection a second and
eternal death, between which resurrection and their second and eternal
death is but a time of punishment and torment, and to last by
succession of sinners thereunto as long as the kind of man by
propagation shall endure, which is eternally.

  * I Corinthians, 15

  Upon this doctrine of the natural eternity of separated souls is
founded, as I said, the doctrine of purgatory. For supposing eternal
life by grace only, there is no life but the life of the body; and
no immortality till the resurrection. The texts for purgatory
alleged by Bellarmine out of the canonical Scripture of the Old
Testament are, first, the fasting of David for Saul and Jonathan,
mentioned II Samuel, 1. 12, and again, II Samuel, 3. 35, for the death
of Abner. This fasting of David, he saith, was for the obtaining of
something for them at God's hands, after their death: because after he
had fasted to procure the recovery of his own child, as soon as he
knew it was dead, he called for meat. Seeing then the soul hath an
existence separate from the body, and nothing can be obtained by men's
fasting for the souls that are already either in heaven or hell, it
followeth that there be some souls of dead men that are neither in
heaven nor in hell; and therefore they must be in some third place,
which must be purgatory. And thus with hard straining, he has
wrested those places to the proof of a purgatory: whereas it is
manifest that the ceremonies of mourning and fasting, when they are
used for the death of men whose life was not profitable to the
mourners, they are used for honour's sake to their persons; and when
it is done for the death of them by whose life the mourners had
benefit, it proceeds from their particular damage: and so David
honoured Saul and Abner with his fasting; and, in the death of his own
child, recomforted himself by receiving his ordinary food.
  In the other places which he allegeth out of the Old Testament,
there is not so much as any show or colour of proof. He brings in
every text wherein there is the word anger, or fire, or burning, or
purging, or cleansing, in case any of the fathers have but in a sermon
rhetorically applied it to the doctrine of purgatory, already
believed. The first verse of Psalm 37, "O Lord, rebuke me not in thy
wrath, nor chasten me in thy hot displeasure": what were this to
purgatory, if Augustine had not applied the wrath to the fire of hell,
and the displeasure to that of purgatory? And what is it to purgatory,
that of Psalm, 66. 12 "We went through fire and water, and thou
broughtest us to a moist place"; and other the like texts, with
which the doctors of those times intended to adorn or extend their
sermons or commentaries, haled to their purposes by force of wit?
  But he allegeth other places of the New Testament that are not so
easy to be answered. And first that of Matthew, 12. 32, "Whosoever
speaketh a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him;
but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be
forgiven him neither in this world, nor in the world to come"; where
he will have purgatory to be the world to come, wherein some sins
may be forgiven which in this world were not forgiven: notwithstanding
that it is manifest there are but three worlds; one from the
creation to the flood, which was destroyed by water, and is called
in Scripture "the old world"; another from the flood to the day of
judgement, which is "the present world, and shall be destroyed by
fire; and the third, which shall be from the day of judgement forward,
everlasting, which is called "the world to come"; and in which it
agreed by all there shall be no purgatory: and therefore the world
to come, and purgatory, are inconsistent. But what then can be the
meaning of those our Saviour's words? I confess they are very hardly
to be reconciled with all the doctrines now unanimously received:
nor is it any shame to confess the profoundness of the Scripture to be
too great to be sounded by the shortness of human understanding.
Nevertheless, I may propound such things to the consideration of
more learned divines, as the text itself suggesteth. And first, seeing
to speak against the Holy Ghost, as being the third person of the
Trinity, is to speak against the Church, in which the Holy Ghost
resideth; it seemeth the comparison is made between the easiness of
our Saviour in bearing with offences done to him while he himself
taught the world, that is, when he was on earth, and the severity of
the pastors after him, against those which should deny their
authority, which was from the Holy Ghost. As if he should say, you
that deny my power; nay, you that shall crucify me, shall be
pardoned by me, as often as you turn unto me by repentance: but if you
deny the power of them that teach you hereafter, by virtue of the Holy
Ghost, they shall be inexorable, and shall not forgive you, but
persecute you in this world, and leave you without absolution
(though you turn to me, unless you turn also to them), to the
punishments, as much as lies in them, of the world to come. And so the
words may be taken as a prophecy or prediction concerning the times,
as they have long been in the Christian Church: or if this be not
the meaning (for I am not peremptory in such difficult places),
perhaps there may be place left after the resurrection for the
repentance of some sinners. And there is also another place that
seemeth to agree therewith. For considering the words of St. Paul,
"What shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead
rise not at all? Why also are they baptized for the dead?"* a man
may probably infer, as some have done, that in St. Paul's time there
was a custom, by receiving baptism for the dead, (as men that now
believe are sureties and undertakers for the faith of infants that are
not capable of believing) to undertake for the persons of their
deceased friends, that they should be ready to obey and receive our
Saviour for their king at his coming again; and then the forgiveness
of sins in the world to come has no need of a purgatory. But in both
these interpretations, there is so much of paradox that I trust not to
them, but propound them to those that are thoroughly versed in the
Scripture, to inquire if there be no clearer place that contradicts
them. Only of thus much, I see evident Scripture to persuade me that
there is neither the word nor the thing of purgatory, neither in
this nor any other text; nor anything that can prove a necessity of
a place for the soul without the body; neither for the soul of Lazarus
during the four days he was dead; nor for the souls of them which
the Roman Church pretend to be tormented now in purgatory. For God,
that could give a life to a piece of clay, hath the same power to give
life again to a dead man, and renew his inanimate and rotten carcass
into a glorious, spiritual, and immortal body.

  * I Corinthians, 15. 29

  Another place is that of I Corinthians, 3, where it is said that
they which build stubble, hay, etc., on the true foundation, their
work shall perish; but "they themselves shall be saved; but as through
fire": this fire he will have to be the fire of purgatory. The
words, as I have said before, are an allusion to those of Zechariah,
13. 9, where he saith, "I will bring the third part through the
fire, and refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as
gold is tried": which is spoken of the coming of the Messiah in
power and glory; that is, at the day of judgement, and conflagration
of the present world; wherein the elect shall not be consumed, but
be refined; that is, depose their erroneous doctrines and
traditions, and have them, as it were, singed off; and shall
afterwards call upon the name of the true God. In like manner, the
Apostle saith of them that, holding this foundation, Jesus is the
Christ, shall build thereon some other doctrines that be erroneous,
that they shall not be consumed in that fire which reneweth the world,
but shall pass through it to salvation; but so as to see and
relinquish their former errors. The builders are the pastors; the
foundation, that Jesus is the Christ; the stubble and hay, false
consequences drawn from it through ignorance or frailty; the gold,
silver, and precious stones are their true doctrines; and their
refining or purging, the relinquishing of their errors. In all which
there is no colour at all for the burning of incorporeal, that is to
say, impatible souls.
  A third place is that of I Corinthians, 15. 29, before mentioned,
concerning baptism for the dead: out of which he concludeth, first,
that prayers for the dead are not unprofitable; and out of that,
that there is a fire of purgatory: but neither of them rightly. For of
many interpretations of the word baptism, he approveth this in the
first place, that by baptism is meant, metaphorically, a baptism of
penance; and that men are in this sense baptized when they fast, and
pray, and give alms; and so baptism for the dead, and prayer for the
dead, is the same thing. But this is a metaphor, of which there is
no example, neither in the Scripture nor in any other use of language;
and which is also discordant to the harmony and scope of the
Scripture. The word baptism is used for being dipped in one's own
blood, as Christ was upon the cross, and as most of the Apostles were,
for giving testimony of him.* But it is hard to say that prayer,
fasting, and alms have any similitude with dipping. The same is used
also, Matthew, 3. 11 (which seemeth to make somewhat for purgatory),
for a purging with fire. But it is evident the fire and purging here
mentioned is the same whereof the Prophet Zechariah speaketh, "I
will bring the third part through the fire, will refine them,"
etc.*(2) And St. Peter after him, "That the trial of your faith, which
is much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be
tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory
at the appearing of Jesus Christ";*(3) and St. Paul, "The fire shall
try every man's work of what sort it is."*(4) But St. Peter and St.
Paul speak of the fire that shall be at the second appearing of
Christ; and the Prophet Zechariah, of the day of judgement. And
therefore this place of St. Matthew may be interpreted of the same,
and then there will be no necessity of the fire of purgatory.

  * Mark, 10. 38, and Luke, 12. 50
  *(2) Zechariah, 13. 9
  *(3) I Epistle, 1. 7
  *(4) I Corinthians, 3. 13

  Another interpretation of baptism for the dead is that which I
have before mentioned, which he preferreth to the second place of
probability: and thence also he inferreth the utility of prayer for
the dead. For if after the resurrection such as have not heard of
Christ, or not believed in him, may be received into Christ's kingdom,
it is not in vain, after their death, that their friends should pray
for them till they should be risen. But granting that God, at the
prayers of the faithful, may convert unto him some of those that
have not heard Christ preached, and consequently cannot have
rejected Christ, and that the charity of men in that point cannot be
blamed; yet this concludeth nothing for purgatory, because to rise
from death to life is one thing; to rise from purgatory to life is
another; as being a rising from life to life, from a life in
torments to a life in joy.
  A fourth place is that of Matthew, 5. 25: "Agree with thine
adversary quickly, whilst thou art in the way with him, lest at any
time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver
thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto
thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid
the uttermost farthing." In which allegory, the offender is the
sinner; both the adversary and the judge is God; the way is this life;
the prison is the grave; the officer, death; from which the sinner
shall not rise again to life eternal, but to a second death, till he
have paid the utmost farthing, or Christ pay it for him by his
Passion, which is a full ransom for all manner of sin, as well
lesser sins as greater crimes, both being made by the Passion of
Christ equally venial.
  The fifth place is that of Matthew, 5. 22: "Whosoever is angry
with his brother without a cause shall be guilty in judgement. And
whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be guilty in the
council. But whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be guilty to hell
fire." From which words he inferreth three sorts of sins, and three
sorts of punishments; and that none of those sins, but the last, shall
be punished with hell fire; and consequently, that after this life
there is punishment of lesser sins in purgatory. Of which inference
there is no colour in any interpretation that hath yet been given of
them. Shall there be a distinction after this life of courts of
justice, as there was amongst the Jews in our Saviour's time, to
hear and determine diverse sorts of crimes, as the judges and the
council? Shall not all judicature appertain to Christ and his
Apostles? To understand therefore this text, we are not to consider it
solitarily, but jointly with the words precedent and subsequent. Our
Saviour in this chapter interpreteth the Law of Moses, which the
Jews thought was then fulfilled when they had not transgressed the
grammatical sense thereof, howsoever they had transgressed against the
sentence or meaning of the legislator. Therefore, whereas they thought
the sixth Commandment was not broken but by killing a man; nor the
seventh, but when a man lay with a woman not his wife; our Saviour
tells them, the inward anger of a man against his brother, if it be
without just cause, is homicide. You have heard, saith he, the Law
of Moses, "Thou shalt not kill," and that "Whosoever shall kill
shall be condemned before the judges," or before the session of the
Seventy: but I say unto you, to be angry with one's brother without
cause, or to say unto him Raca, or Fool, is homicide, and shall be
punished at the day of judgement, and session of Christ and his
Apostles, with hell fire. So that those words were not used to
distinguish between diverse crimes, and diverse courts of justice, and
diverse punishments; but to tax the distinction between sin and sin,
which the Jews drew not from the difference of the will in obeying
God, but from the difference of their temporal courts of justice;
and to show them that he that had the will to hurt his brother, though
the effect appear but in reviling, or not at all, shall be cast into
hell fire by the judges and by the session, which shall be the same,
not different, courts at the day of judgement. This considered, what
can be drawn from this text to maintain purgatory, I cannot imagine.
  The sixth place is Luke, 16. 9: "Make ye friends of the
unrighteous mammon, that when ye fail, they may receive you into
everlasting tabernacles." This he alleges to prove invocation of
saints departed. But the sense is plain, that we should make
friends, with our riches, of the poor; and thereby obtain their
prayers whilst they live. "He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the
  The seventh is Luke, 23. 42: "Lord, remember me when thou comest
into thy kingdom." Therefore, saith he, there is remission of sins
after this life. But the consequence is not good. Our Saviour then
forgave him, and, at his coming again in glory, will remember to raise
him again to life eternal.
  The eighth is Acts, 2. 24, where St. Peter saith of Christ, "that
God had raised him up, and loosed the pains of death, because it was
not possible he should be holden of it": which he interprets to be a
descent of Christ into purgatory, to loose some souls there from their
torments: whereas it is manifest that it was Christ that was loosed.
It was he that could not be holden of death or the grave, and not
the souls in purgatory. But if that which Beza says in his notes on
this place be well observed, there is none that will not see that
instead of pains, it should be bands; and then there is no further
cause to seek for purgatory in this text.

                             CHAPTER XLV
                          OF DEMONOLOGY AND

  THE impression made on the organs of sight by lucid bodies, either
in one direct line or in many lines, reflected from opaque, or
refracted in the passage through diaphanous bodies, produceth in
living creatures, in whom God hath placed such organs, an
imagination of the object from whence the impression proceedeth; which
imagination is called sight, and seemeth not to be a mere imagination,
but the body itself without us; in the same manner as when a man
violently presseth his eye, there appears to him a light without,
and before him, which no man perceiveth but himself, because there
is indeed no such thing without him, but only a motion in the interior
organs, pressing by resistance outward, that makes him think so. And
the motion made by this pressure, continuing after the object which
caused it is removed, is that we call imagination, and memory, and, in
sleep, and sometimes in great distemper of the organs by sickness or
violence, a dream, of which things I have already spoken briefly in
the second and third Chapters.
  This nature of sight having never been discovered by the ancient
pretenders to natural knowledge, much less by those that consider
not things so remote (as that knowledge is) from their present use, it
was hard for men to conceive of those images in the fancy and in the
sense otherwise than of things really without us: which some,
because they vanish away, they know not whither nor how, will have
to be absolutely incorporeal, that is to say, immaterial, or forms
without matter (colour and figure, without any coloured or figured
body), and that they can put on airy bodies, as a garment, to make
them visible when they will to our bodily eyes; and others say, are
bodies and living and living creatures, but made of air, or other more
subtle and ethereal matter, which is, then, when they will be seen,
condensed. But both of them agree on one general appellation of
them, demons. As if the dead of whom they dreamed were not inhabitants
of their own brain, but of the air, or of heaven, or hell; not
phantasms, but ghosts; with just as much reason as if one should say
he saw his own ghost in a looking-glass, or the ghosts of the stars in
a river; or call the ordinary apparition of the sun, of the quantity
of about a foot, the demon or ghost of that great sun that
enlighteneth the whole visible world: and by that means have feared
them, as things of an unknown, that is, of an unlimited power to do
them good or harm; and consequently, given occasion to the governors
of the heathen Commonwealths to regulate this their fear by
establishing that demonology (in which the poets, as principal priests
of the heathen religion, were specially employed or reverenced) to the
public peace, and to the obedience of subjects necessary thereunto;
and to make some of them good demons, and others evil; the one as a
spur to the observance, the other as reins to withhold them from
violation of the laws.
  What kind of things they were to whom they attributed the name of
demons appeareth partly in the genealogy of their gods, written by
Hesiod, one of the most ancient poets of the Grecians, and partly in
other histories, of which I have observed some few before, in the
twelfth Chapter of this discourse.
  The Grecians, by their colonies and conquests communicated their
language and writings into Asia, Egypt, and Italy; and therein, by
necessary consequence, their demonology, or, as St. Paul calls it,
their doctrines of devils: and by that means the contagion was derived
also to the Jews, both of Judaea and Alexandria, and other parts,
whereinto they were dispersed. But the name of demon they did not,
as the Grecians, attribute to spirits both good and evil; but to the
evil only: and to the good demons they gave the name of the Spirit
of God, and esteemed those into whose bodies they entered to be
prophets. In sum, all singularity, if good, they attributed to the
Spirit of God; and if evil, to some demon, but a kakodaimen, an evil
demon, that is, a devil. And therefore, they called demoniacs, that
is, possessed by the devil, such as we call madmen or lunatics, or
such as had the falling-sickness; or that spoke anything which they,
for want of understanding, thought absurd. As also of an unclean
person in a notorious degree, they used to say he had an unclean
spirit; of a dumb man, that he had a dumb devil; and of John the
Baptist, for the singularity of his fasting, that he had a devil;* and
of our Saviour, because he said, he that keepeth his sayings should
not see death in aeternum, "Now we know thou hast a devil; Abraham
is dead, and the prophets are dead."*(2) And again, because he said
they went about to kill him, the people answered, "Thou hast a
devil: who goeth about to kill thee?"*(3) Whereby it is manifest
that the Jews had the same opinions concerning phantasms; namely, that
they were not phantasms, that is, idols of the brain, but things real,
and independent on the fancy.

  * Matthew, 11. 18
  *(2) John, 8. 52
  *(3) John, 7. 20

  Which doctrine, if it be not true, why, may some say, did not our
Saviour contradict it, and teach the contrary? Nay, why does He use on
diverse occasions such forms of speech as seem to confirm it? To
this I answer that, first, where Christ saith, "A spirit hath not
flesh and bone,"* though he show that there be spirits, yet he
denies not that they are bodies. And where St. Paul says, "We shall
rise spiritual bodies,"*(2) he acknowledgeth the nature of spirits,
but that they are bodily spirits; which is not difficult to
understand. For air and many other things are bodies, though not flesh
and bone, or any other gross body to be discerned by the eye. But when
our Saviour speaketh to the devil, and commandeth him to go out of a
man, if by the devil be meant a disease, as frenzy, or lunacy, or a
corporeal spirit, is not the speech improper? Can diseases hear? Or
can there be a corporeal spirit in a body of flesh and bone, full
already of vital and animal spirits? Are there not therefore
spirits, that neither have bodies, nor are mere imaginations? To the
first I answer that the addressing of our Saviour's command to the
madness or lunacy he cureth is no more improper than was his
rebuking of the fever, or of the wind and sea; for neither do these
hear: or than was the command of God to the light, to the firmament,
to the sun, and stars, when He commanded them to be; for they could
not hear before they had a being. But those speeches are not improper,
because they signify the power of God