Part 4 - Chapters XVI to XX
Part 1Part 2 ,  Part 3 ,  Part 4 

Metaphors, Metaphor of Commandment of G-DReferred to G-DG:Bk.XI:42.

JBY Notes:

1.  Text was scanned from Book II and is a translation from
     Bruder's 1843  Latin  text  by  R.H.M.  Elwes  (1883).
     JBY  added  sentence  numbers. 

2.  (y:xx):  y = Chapter Number, if given;  xx = Sentence Number.
3.  Page numbers are those of Book II.
4.  Citation abbreviations
5.  ( Spinoza's Footnote or the Latin word ), 
      ] Shirley's Bk. XI (or XIII) translation variance or note [ ,
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     Latin version on a CD.
8.  There  is  much  in  this  work  that you will not agree with or even
     think  nonsensealthough  keep  in mind that Spinoza was under
     the constraints of religious  intolerance.    Spinoza was born in the 
     very year (1632) that  the inquisitorial denunciation of Galileo took 
     place.  However,  partake  of  the work (and my commentaries) as 
     you  would  a  pomegranate; relish  the  flesh,  but spit-out the pits. 

9.  EL:[7]:viii, EL:[11]:xi, EL:[17]:xiii, EL:[22]:xvi, EL:[64]:xxxi, EL:xxxiii:J6 ,
     L19:296, L20:297, L23:301, L49:364,  old vocabulary in new bottles.
{Scriptural Theology}              Hampshire:205
10. The  chief  aim  of  the whole treatise is to
separate  faith ^ {Religion}          Smith:Divine Law
      from philosophy.  ]Shirley:37What emerges in the TTP, as far as is Spinoza           Hampshire:203 & 205
      concerned, is the possibility of a this-worldly blessedness for both the rational person               TL:L36(23):345
       (through philosophy)
and the common person (through purified religion),
[                    EL:L21:(73):298
      {By my defining Religion as an hypothesis, the two are synthesized.}                     Philosophy / Religion

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       confusing, and an annoying maze. 

       If you prefer to read linearly, read these plain vanilla text versions,
       abridged versions, e-book versions,
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       book page numbers
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Table of Contents

Preface (at beginning of Part I)

   Part                   Chapters

Part 1 I II III IV V

Author's Notes to Theologico-Political Treatise - Part 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS:                                     BkII Page Numbers

CHAPTER XVI.- Of the Foundations of a State;
of the Natural and  Civil Rights of Individuals;
and of the Rights of the Sovereign Power
. . . . . . . 200
In Nature right co-extensive with power.  200 
This principle applies to mankind in the state of Nature.  201
How a transition from this state to a civil state is possible.  203
Subjects not slaves.  206
Definition of private civil right—and wrong.  207
Of alliance.  208
Of treason.  209
In what sense sovereigns are bound by Divine law.  210
Civil government not inconsistent with religion.
CHAPTER XVII.- It is shown, that no one can
or need transfer all his Rights to the Sovereign
Power.  Of the Hebrew Republic, as it was during
the lifetime of Moses, and after his death till the
foundation of the Monarchy; and of its
Excellence.  Lastly, of the Causes why the
Theocratic Republic fell, and why it could
hardly have continued without Dissension
. . . . . . 214
The absolute theory of Sovereignty ideal—No one can in
fact transfer all his rights to the Sovereign power. Evidence of this.
The greatest danger in all States from within, not without.  216
Original independence of the Jews after the Exodus.  218
Changed first to a pure democratic Theocracy.  219
Then to subjection to Moses.  220
Then to a Theocracy with the power divided between
the high priest and the captains.
The tribes confederate states.  224
Restraints on the civil power.  226
Restraints on the people.  228
Causes of decay involved in the constitution
of the Levitical priesthood.
CHAPTER XVIII.- From the Commonwealth
of the Hebrews and their History certain
Lessons are deduced
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  237
The Hebrew constitution no longer possible or desirable,
yet lessons derived from its history.
As the danger of entrusting any authority in politics to
ecclesiastics—the danger of identifying religion with dogma.
The necessity of keeping all judicial power with the
sovereign—the danger of changes in the form of a State.
This last danger illustrated from the history of England—of Rome.  243
And of Holland.
CHAPTER XIX. It is shown that the Right
over Matters Spiritual lies wholly with the
Sovereign, and that the Outward Forms of
Religion should be in accordance with Public
Peace, if we would worship
(OBEY  G-Daright . . . . 245  
Difference between external and inward religion.  245
Positive law established only by agreement.  246
Piety furthered by peace and obedience.  249
Position of the Apostles exceptional.  250
Why Christian States, unlike the Hebrew, suffer from disputes
between the civil and ecclesiastical powers.
Absolute power in things spiritual of modern rulers.
CHAPTER XX. That in a Free State every
man may Think what he Likes, and Say what
he Thinks
Bk.XIA:15660, Hampshire:208. . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . .  257  
The mind not subject to State authority.  257
Therefore in general language should not be.  258
A man who disapproving of a law, submits his adverse opinion
to the judgment of the authorities, while acting in accordance
with the law, deserves well of the State. 
That liberty of opinion is beneficial, shown from the history
of Amsterdam.
Danger to the State of withholding it.—Submission of the Author
to the judgment of his country's rulers.

  Authors Endnotes to the Treatise

Page 200

(16:1)  Hitherto our care has been to separate philosophy from theology,        TTP1:Divine Law

and to show the freedom of thought which such separation insures to

both.  (16:2) It is now time to determine the limits to which such freedom
of   thought   and   discussion  may  extend  itself  in  the  ideal  state.

(16:3)  For  the  due consideration of this question we must examine the

foundations  of  a State, first turning our attention to the natural rights

of  individuals,  and  afterward  to  religion  and  the  state as a whole.

(16:4)  By the right and ordinance of Nature, I merely mean those natural

laws  wherewith  we  conceive  every  individual to be conditioned by
Bk.XIB:11144; Bk.XIX:2587.
nature, so as to live and act in a given way.   (16:5)  For instance, fishes

are naturally conditioned for swimming, and the greater for devouring            Durant:651[2a]164 

the less; therefore fishes enjoy the water, and the greater devour the

less by sovereign natural right.
  (16:6)  For it is certain that nature, taken

in  the  abstract, has sovereign right to do anything, she can; in other

words,  her  right  is  co-extensive with her power.  (16:7)  The power of 
Nature is the power of God, which has sovereign right over all things;                Referral 

and,  inasmuch  as the power of Nature is simply the aggregate of the      Chain of Natural Events 
powers  of  all her individual components, it follows that every individ-
ual has sovereign right to do all that he can; in other words, the rights

of an individual extend to the utmost limits of his power as it has been
conditioned.   (16:8)   Now it is the sovereign law and right of nature that

each  individual  should  endeavour  to preserve itself as it is, without

regard to anything but itself; therefore this sovereign law and   page 201

right  belongs  to  every individual, namely, to exist and act according

to  its  natural  conditions.   (16:9)  We do not here acknowledge any dif-

ference  between  mankind  and  other  individual natural entities, nor

between  men  endowed  with  reason  and  those to whom reason is

unknown; nor between fools, madmen, and sane men.  
(16:10) Whatso-

ever  an  individual  does  by the laws of its nature it has a sovereign

right  to  do, inasmuch as it acts as it was conditioned by nature, and

cannot  act  otherwise.  
 (16:11)  Wherefore among men, so long as they

are  considered  as living under the sway of nature, he who does not

yet  know  reason,  or  who  has  not  yet  acquired the habit of virtue,

acts  solely  according  to  the  laws of his desire with as sovereign a

right   as   he  who  orders  his  life  entirely  by  the  laws  of  reason.

(16:12)  That  is,  as  the  wise  man  has  sovereign  right  to  do  all that

reason dictates, or  to  live  according  to the laws of reason, so also

the  ignorant and foolish man has sovereign right to do all that desire
dictates,  or  to  live  according  to  the  laws  of  desire.   (17:13)  This is

identical  with the teaching of Paul, who acknowledges that previous

to the law—that is, so long as men are considered of as living under

the sway of nature, there is no sin.

(16:14)  The  natural  right  of  the individual man is thus determined, not

by sound reason, but by desire and power  (16:15)  All are not naturally

conditioned  so  as  to  act according to the laws and rules of reason;

nay,  on  the contrary, all men are born ignorant, and before they can

learn  the  right way of life and acquire the habit of virtue, the greater

part  of their life, even if they have been well brought up, has passed
away.  (16:16)  Nevertheless, they  are  in  the  meanwhile  bound to live

and preserve themselves as far as they can by the unaided impulses

of  desire.   (17:17)  Nature  has  given  them  no  other  guide,  and  has

denied  them  the present power of living according to sound reason;

so  that  they  are  no more bound to live by the dictates of an enlight-

ened  mind,  than  a  cat  is  bound to live by the laws of the nature of

a lion.

(16:18) Whatsoever,  therefore,  an  individual (considered as under the

sway  of  nature)  thinks  useful  for  himself,  whether  led  by sound

reason  or  impelled by the passions, that he has a sovereign right to

seek  and  to  take  for  himself  as  he  best   page 202   can, whether by

force,  cunning,  entreaty,  or any other means; consequently he may
regard  as  an enemy anyone who hinders the accomplishment of his


(16:19)   It  follows  from  what  we have said that the right and ordinance

of  nature, under which all men are born, and under which they most-

ly  live,  only prohibits such things as no one desires, and no one can

attain:  it  does not forbid strife, nor hatred, nor anger, nor deceit, nor,

indeed, any of the means suggested by desire.

(16:20)  This  we  need  not  wonder at, for nature is not bounded by the

laws of human reason, which aims only at man's true benefit and pre-

servation;  her  limits  are  infinitely  wider,  and have reference to the

eternal  order  of  nature,  wherein  man  is  but  a  speck;  it is by the

necessity  of  this  alone  that  all individuals are conditioned for living

and  acting  in  a particular way.  
(16:21)  If anything, therefore, in nature

seems  to us ridiculous, absurd, or evil, it is because we only know in

part,  and  are  almost  entirely ignorant of the order and interdepend-
ence  of  Nature as a whole, and also because we want everything to

be arranged according to the dictates of our human reason; in reality

that  which  reason  considers  evil,  is not evil in respect to the order
and  laws
 of nature as a whole, but only in respect to the laws of our              Durant:640[10]89

(16:22)  Nevertheless,  no  one  can doubt that it is much better for us to

live  according to the laws and assured dictates of reason, for, as we

said,  they  have  men's  true  good  for  their  object.  (16:23)  Moreover,

everyone wishes to live as far as possible securely beyond the reach

of  fear,  and  this  would be quite impossible so long as everyone did

everything  he  liked,  and reason's  claim  was  lowered to a par with

those  of  hatred  and  anger;  there is no one who is not ill at ease in

the  midst  of  enmity,  hatred,  anger,  and  deceit, and who does not

seek  to  avoid  them  as  much as he can.  
(16:24)  When we reflect that

 men  without  mutual help, or the aid of reason, must needs live most

miserably,  as we clearly proved in Chap. V., we shall plainly see that

men  must  necessarily  come  to  an  agreement  to  live  together as

securely  and  well  as  possible  if  they  are  to enjoy as a whole the

rights  which  naturally  belong  to  them  as  individuals, and their life

should  be  no  more  conditioned  by  the  force  and  desire  page 203

of individuals, but by the power and will of the whole body. (16:25)  This

end  they  will  be unable to attain if desire be their only guide (for by

the  laws  of  desire  each  man is drawn in a different direction); they

must,  therefore,  most  firmly  decree  and  establish that they will be

guided  in  everything  by  reason  (which  nobody will dare openly to

repudiate  lest  he  should  be  taken for a madman), and will restrain

any  desire  which  is  injurious to a man's fellows, that they will do to

all  as  they  would  be done by, and that they will defend their neigh-

bour's rights as their own.

(16:26)  How such a compact as this should be entered into, how ratified

and established, we will now inquire.

(16:27)  Now  it  is  a  universal  law  of  human  nature that no one ever

neglects  anything which he judges to be good, except with the hope
 gaining a greater good, or from the fear of a greater evil; nor does

anyone  endure  an evil except for the sake of avoiding a greater evil,

or  gaining a greater good.  (16:28)  That is, everyone will, of two goods,

choose  that  which  he  thinks  the  greatest;  and,  of  two evils, that

which  he  thinks  the least.  
(16:29)  I say advisedly that which he thinks

the  greatest  or  the  least,  for  it  does not necessarily follow that he

judges right.  (16:30) This law is so deeply implanted in the human mind

that   it   ought   to   be  counted  among  eternal  truths  and  axioms.

(16:31)  As  a  necessary  consequence  of  the principle just enunciated,

no  one  can  honestly  promise to forego the right which he has over

all  things  (26),  and  in  general  no  one  will  abide by his promises,

unless  under the fear of a greater evil, or the hope of a greater good.

(16:32)  An  example  will  make the matter clearer.  (16:33)  Suppose that a

robber  forces  me  to promise that I will give him my goods at his will

and  pleasure.  (16:34)  It  is  plain  (inasmuch as my natural right is, as I

have  shown,  co-extensive  with  my  power)  that if I can free myself

from  this  robber  by  stratagem, by assenting to his demands, I have

the  natural  right  to  do  so,  and  to pretend to accept his conditions.

(16:35)  Or  again,  suppose I have genuinely promised someone that for

the  space  of  twenty  days  I  will  not taste food or any nourishment;

and  suppose  I  afterwards  find that was foolish, and cannot be kept

without  very great injury to myself; as I am bound by natural law and

right  to  choose  the least of two evils,  I   page 204  have  complete right

to  break  my  compact,  and  act  as  if  my  promise  had never been

uttered.  (16:36)  I  say  that  I  should  have perfect natural right to do so,

whether I was actuated by true and evident reason,  or whether I was

actuated  by  mere opinion in thinking I had promised rashly; whether

my  reasons  were  true  or  false, I should be in fear of a greater evil,

which,  by  the  ordinance  of nature, I should strive to avoid by every

means in my power.

(16:37)  We  may,  therefore, conclude that a compact is only made valid
by  its utility, without which it becomes null and void.  (16:38)  It is, there-

fore, foolish to ask a man to keep his faith with us for ever, unless we

also  endeavour  that  the violation of the compact we enter into shall

involve  for  the  violator  more harm than good.  (16:39)  This considera-

tion should have very great weight in forming a state.   (16:40)  However,

if  all  men  could  be easily led by reason alone, and could recognize

what  is  best and most useful for a state, there would be no one who

would  not forswear deceit, for everyone would keep most religiously

to their compact in their desire for the chief good, namely, the preser-

vation  of  the state, and would cherish good faith above all things as

the  shield  and buckler of the commonwealth.  (16:41)  However, it is far

from  being  the case that all men can always be easily led by reason

alone;  everyone is drawn away by his pleasure, while avarice, ambi-

tion,  envy,  hatred, and the like so engross the mind that reason has

no  place  therein.  (16:42)  Hence,  though  men make promises with all

the  appearances of good faith, and agree that they will keep to their

engagement,  no  one  can absolutely rely on another man's promise

unless  there  is  something  behind  it.  (16:43)  Everyone has by nature

a  right  to  act  deceitfully.  and  to break his compacts, unless he be
Bk.XIA:13050; Bk.XIX:26732,33.
restrained  by  the  hope  of  some  greater good, or the fear of some

greater evil.

(16:44)  However,  as we have shown that the natural right of the individ-

ual  is  only  limited by his power, it is clear that by transferring, either

willingly  or  under  compulsion,  this power into the hands of another,

he  in  so doing necessarily cedes also a part of his right; and further,

that  the  Sovereign
 right over all men belongs to him who has sover-

eign  power, wherewith he can compel men by force, or restrain them

by  threats  of  the  universally  feared  punishment  of     page 205   death;

such  sovereign right he will retain only so long as he can maintain his

power  of  enforcing  his  will;  otherwise  he  will  totter on his throne,

and  no one who is stronger than he will be bound unwillingly to obey


(16:45)  In  this  manner a society can be formed without any violation of

natural  right,  and  the  covenant can always be strictly kept—that is,

if  each  individual  hands  over  the  whole  of  his power to the body

politic,  the  latter  will  then  possess  sovereign natural right over all

things;  that  is,  it  will  have  sole  and  unquestioned dominion, and
everyone  will  be  bound to obey, under pain of the severest punish-

ment.  (16:46)  A  body  politic  of  this kind is called a Democracy, which

may  be  defined  as  a  society which wields all its power as a whole.

(16:47)  The  sovereign  power  is not restrained by any laws, but every-

one  is  bound  to  obey  it  in  all  things;  such  is  the state of things

implied  when  men  either  tacitly  or  expressly  handed over to it all

their   power   of   self-defence,   or   in   other  words,  all  their  right.

(16:48)  For  if  they  had  wished to retain any right for themselves, they

ought  to have taken precautions for its defence and preservation; as

they  have  not  done  so, and indeed could not have done so without

dividing  and  consequently ruining the state, they placed themselves

absolutely   at  the  mercy  of  the  sovereign  power;  and,  therefore,

having  acted (as we have shown) as reason and necessity demand-

ed,  they  are  obliged  to fulfil the commands of the sovereign power,
however  absurd these may be, else they will be public enemies, and

will  act  against reason, which urges the preservation of the state as

a primary duty.  (16:49)  For reason bids us choose the least of two evils.

(16:50)  Furthermore,  this  danger of submitting absolutely to the domin-

ion  and  will  of  another,  is  one  which  may be incurred with a light

heart:  for  we  have shown that sovereigns only possess this right of

imposing  their  will,  so long as they have the full power to enforce it:

if  such  power be lost their right to command is lost also, or lapses to

those who have assumed it and can keep it.  (16:51)  Thus it is very rare

for  sovereigns  to  impose  thoroughly  irrational commands, for they

are  bound  to  consult  their  own interests, and retain their power by

consulting  the  public  good  and  acting  according to the dictates of

reason,  as  Seneca  says,  "violenta    page 206 imperia nemo continuit
diu."  (16:52) No one can long retain a tyrant's sway.

(16:53)  In  a  democracy, irrational commands are still less to be feared:

for  it is almost impossible that the majority of a people, especially if it
be  a  large  one, should agree in an irrational design: and, moreover,

the basis and aim of a democracy is to avoid the desires as irrational,

and  to  bring  men  as far as possible under the control of reason, so

that they may live in peace and harmony: if this basis be removed the
Bk.XIB:103; Bk.XIX:26732.
whole fabric falls to ruin.

(16:54)  Such  being  the  ends in view for the sovereign power, the duty

of  subjects  is,  as  I  have said, to obey its commands, and to recog-

nize no right save that which it sanctions.

(16:55) It  will,  perhaps,  be  thought  that  we  are  turning subjects into

slaves:  for  slaves  obey  commands  and  free men live as they like;

but  this  idea  is  based  on  a misconception, for the true slave is he

who  is  led  away by his pleasures and can neither see what is good

for  him  nor  act  accordingly:  he  alone  is  free  who  lives with free

consent under the entire guidance of reason.

(16:56)  Action  in  obedience  to  orders  does  take  away  freedom in a

certain  sense,  but  it  does  not,  therefore,  make a man a slave, all

depends  on  the  object of the action.  (16:57)  If the object of the action

be  the  good  of the state, and not the good of the agent, the latter is

a  slave  and  does  himself no good: but in a state or kingdom where

the  weal  of  the  whole  people,  and  not  that  of  the  ruler,   is  the
supreme  law,  obedience  to  the  sovereign power does not make a
man a slave, of no use to himself, but a subject. 
(16:58)  Therefore, that

state  is  the freest whose laws are founded on sound reason, so that
every  member  of  it  may,  if he will, be free (27); that is, live with full
Bk.XIA:13474, 13684; Bk.XIB:103, 10333; Bk.XX:282105
consent under the entire guidance of reason.

(16:59) Children,  though  they  are  bound  to obey all the commands of

their  parents,  are  yet  not slaves: for the commands of parents look

generally to the children's benefit.

(16:60)  We  must,  therefore,  acknowledge  a great difference between

a  slave,  a  son,  and  a subject; their positions may be thus defined.

(16:61)  A slave is one who is bound to obey his master's orders, though

they are given solely in the master's interest: a son is one who obeys

his father's orders, given
  page 207  in his own interest;  a subject obeys

the  orders  of  the  sovereign  power,  given for the common interest,

wherein he is included.

(16:62) I think I have now shown sufficiently clearly the basis of a democ-

racy:  I  have  especially  desired  to  do so, for I believe it to be of all

forms  of  government
 the most natural, and the most consonant with
individual liberty.  (16:63)  In it no one transfers his natural right so abso-

lutely  that  he
 has no further voice in affairs, he only hands it over to
the  majority  of  a  society,  whereof he is a unit.   (16:63a)  Thus all men             Durant [10] 174  
remain as they were in the state of nature, equals.

(16:64)  This  is  the  only  form  of  government  which  I have treated of

at  length,  for  it  is  the  one most akin to my purpose of showing the

benefits of freedom in a state.

(16:65)  I  may  pass  over  the  fundamental  principles of other forms of

government,  for  we  may  gather  from  what has been said whence

their  right  arises  without  going  into
 its origin.  (16:66)  The possessor

of  sovereign  power, whether he be one, or many, or the whole body

politic,   has   the   sovereign  right  of  imposing  any  commands  he

pleases:  and  he  who  has  either  voluntarily,  or under compulsion,

transferred  the  right  to  defend  him  to  another,  has,  in  so doing,
renounced  his  natural  right  and  is  therefore  bound  to obey, in all

things,  the  commands  of the sovereign power; and will be bound so

to  do  so  long  as  the  king,  or  nobles,  or  the people preserve the

sovereign  power  which  formed  the  basis  of  the  original  transfer.

(16:67)  I need add no more.

(16:68)  The  bases  and  rights  of  dominion  being  thus  displayed, we

shall  readily  be  able  to define private civil right, wrong, justice, and

injustice,  with  their relations to the state; and also to determine what

constitutes an ally, or an enemy, or the crime of treason.

(16:69)  By  private  civil  right  we  can  only mean the liberty every man

possesses  to  preserve  his  existence,
 a liberty limited by the edicts

of the sovereign power, and preserved only by its authority: for when

a  man has transferred to another his right of living as he likes, which

was  only limited by his power, that is, has transferred his liberty and

power  of self-defence, he is bound to live as that other dictates, and

to trust to him entirely for his defence. 
(16:70)  Wrong takes place when

a  citizen,  or  subject,  is forced by another to undergo
  page 208   some

 or pain in contradiction to the authority of the law, or the edict of

the sovereign power.

(16:71)  Wrong  is  conceivable only in an organized community: nor can

it  ever accrue to subjects from any act of the sovereign, who has the

right  to  do  what
 he likes.  (16:72)  It can only arise, therefore, between

private  persons,  who  are  bound  by  law and right not to injure one

(16:73)  Justice consists in the habitual rendering to every man

his  lawful  due:  injustice  consists in depriving a man, under the pre-

tence  of  legality,  of  what  the  laws, rightly interpreted, would allow

him.  (16:74)  These  last  are  also  called  equity  and  iniquity, because

those  who  administer  the  laws  are  bound  to  show  no respect of

persons,  but  to  account  all  men  equal, and to defend every man's

right   equally,   neither   envying   the   rich  nor  despising  the  poor.

(16:75) The men of two states become allies, when for the sake of avoid-

ing war,
or for some other advantage, they covenant to do each other

no  hurt,  but  on the contrary, to assist each other if necessity arises,

each  retaining  his  independence. 
(16:76)  Such a covenant is valid so

long  as  its  basis  of  danger or advantage is in force: no one enters

into  an  engagement,  or  is  bound  to stand by his compacts unless

there  be  a  hope  of  some  accruing  good,  or the fear of some evil:

if  this basis be removed the compact thereby becomes void: this has

been  abundantly  shown  by experience.  (16:77)  For although different

states  make  treaties  not  to  harm  one  another,  they  always take

every  possible  precaution against such treaties being broken by the

stronger  party, and do not rely on the compact, unless there is a suf-

ficiently  obvious object and advantage to both parties in observing it.

(16:78)  Otherwise  they  would fear a breach of faith, nor would there be

any  wrong  done  thereby:  for  who in his proper senses, and aware

of  the  right  of  the  sovereign  power, would trust in the promises of

one  who  has  the  will  and  the  power to do what he likes, and who

aims solely at the safety and advantage of his dominion?  (16:79)  More-

over,  if  we  consult  loyalty  and religion, we shall see that no one in

possession  of  power  ought to abide by his promises to the injury of

his dominion; for he cannot keep such promises without breaking the

engagement  he  made  with  his subjects, by which both he and they

are  most  solemnly  bound.   page 209  (16:80)   An  enemy  is one who lives

apart  from  the state, and does not recognize its authority either as a

subject  or  as  an ally. It is not hatred which makes a man an enemy,

but  the  rights of the state.  (16:81)  The rights of the state are the same

in  regard  to  him  who  does not recognize by any compact the state
authority,  as  they  are against him who has done the state an injury:

it  has  the  right  to  force  him  as  best  it can, either to submit, or to
contract an alliance.

(16:82)  Lastly, treason can only be committed by subjects, who by com-

pact,  either tacit or expressed, have transferred all their rights to the

state:  a  subject  is  said  to  have committed this crime when he has

attempted,  for  whatever  reason, to seize the sovereign power, or to

place it in different hands.
  (16:83) I say, has attempted, for if punishment

were  not  to  overtake him till he had succeeded, it would often come

too late,
the sovereign rights would have been acquired or transferred


(16:84) I also say, has attempted, for whatever reason, to seize the sove-

reign  power,  and I recognize no difference whether such an attempt
should be followed by public loss or public gain.   (85)  Whatever be his

reason  for  acting, the crime is treason, and he is rightly condemned:

in war,
everyone would admit the justice of his sentence.  (16:86) If a man

does  not  keep  to  his  post,  but  approaches the enemy without the

knowledge  of  his  commander, whatever may be his motive, so long

as he acts on his own motion, even if he advances with the design of

defeating  the  enemy,  he  is  rightly  put  to  death,  because he has

violated his oath, and infringed the rights of his commander.
  (87)  That

all  citizens  are equally bound by these rights in time of peace, is not

so  generally  recognized,  but  the reasons for obedience are in both

cases  identical.  (16:88)  The  state  must be preserved and directed by

the sole authority of the sovereign, and such authority and right have

been  accorded  by universal consent to him alone: if, therefore, any-

one  else  attempts,  without his consent, to execute any public enter-

prise,  even  though  the  state  might (as we said) reap benefit there-

from,  such  person  has  none the less infringed the sovereigns right,

and would be rightly punished for treason.

(16:89)  In  order  that  every  scruple  may  be  removed,  we  may  now

answer the inquiry, whether our former assertion that   page 210   every-

one  who  has  not  the practice of reason, may, in the state of nature,

live  by  sovereign  natural  right, according to the laws of his desires,

is  not  in  direct  opposition  to  the law and right of God as revealed.

(16:90)  For  as  all  men  absolutely (whether they be less endowed with

reason   or   more)  are  equally  bound  by  the  Divine  command  to

love their neighbour  as  themselves,  it may be said that they cannot,

without  wrong,  do injury to anyone, or live according to their desires.

(16:91) This objection, so far as the state of nature is concerned, can be

easily  answered, for the state of nature is, both in nature and in time,

prior  to  religion
(16:92)  No  one  knows  by  nature  that he owes any
obedience  to  God (28),  nor can he attain thereto by any exercise of
his  reason,  but solely by revelation confirmed by signs.  (16:93) There-

fore,  previous  to  revelation,  no  one  is  bound by a Divine law and

right of which he is necessarily in ignorance.  (16:94) The state of nature

must  by  no  means  be confounded with a state of religion, but must

be  conceived  as  without  either  religion  or  law, and consequently

without  sin  or  wrong:  this  is how we have described it, and we are

confirmed  by  the  authority  of  Paul.  (16:95)  It is not only in respect of

ignorance  that  we  conceive the state of nature as prior to, and lack-

ing  the  Divine revealed law and right; but in respect of freedom also,

wherewith all men are born endowed.

(16:96)  If men were naturally bound by the Divine law and right, or if the

Divine law and right were a natural necessity, there would have been

 need for God to make a covenant with mankind, and to bind them

thereto with an oath and agreement.

(16:97) We must, then, fully grant that the Divine law and right originated

at the time when men by express covenant agreed to obey God in all

things, and ceded, as it were, their natural freedom, transferring their

rights to God in the manner described in speaking of the formation of

a state.

(16:98)  However,  I  will  treat  of these matters more at length presently.

(16:99)  It  may  be  insisted  that sovereigns  are  as much bound by the

Divine  law  as subjects:  whereas  we have asserted that they retain

their natural rights, and may do whatever they like.

page 211
In  order  to  clear  up  the  whole  difficulty, which arises rather

concerning  the  natural  right  than  the  natural state, I maintain that

everyone  is  bound, in the state of nature, to live according to Divine

,  in the same way as he is bound to live according to the dictates

of  sound  reason;
 namely,  inasmuch  as  it is to his advantage, and

necessary  for  his  salvation;  but,  if  he  will  not  so live, he may do

otherwise  at  his  own  risk. 
(16:101)  He is thus bound to live according

to  his own laws, not according to anyone else's, and to recognize no

man as a judge,
or as a superior in religion.  (16:102) Such, in my opinion,

is  the position of a sovereign, for he may take advice from his fellow-

men,  but  he  is  not  bound to recognize any as a judge, nor anyone

besides  himself  as  an  arbitrator  on  any question of right, unless it

be  a  prophet  sent  expressly  by  God  and
 attesting his mission by

indisputable  signs. 
(16:103)  Even  then  he  does  not recognize a man,

but God Himself as His judge.

(16:104)  If  a  sovereign  refuses  to obey God as revealed in His law, he

does  so  at  his  own  risk  and  loss, but without violating any civil or

natural right. 
(16:105) For the civil right is dependent on his own decree;

and  natural right is dependent on the laws of nature, which latter are

not  adapted  to religion, whose sole aim is the good of humanity, but

to the order of nature—that is,
to God's eternal decree unknown to us.

(16:106) This  truth  seems  to  be  adumbrated  in a somewhat obscurer

form  by  those  who  maintain that men can sin against God's revela-

,  but  not  against  the  eternal decree by which He has ordained

all things.

Martyr Laws                   Bk.XIB:17578.
(16:107)  We  may  be  asked,  what should we do  if  the sovereign com-

mands   anything   contrary   to   religion,  and  the  obedience  which

we have expressly vowed to God? should we obey the Divine law or

the human law?
  (16:108)  I shall treat of this question at length hereafter,

and will therefore merely say now, that God should be obeyed before

else, when we have a certain and indisputable revelation of His will:

but men are very prone to error on religious subjects, and, according

to the diversity of their dispositions, are wont with considerable stir to

put forward their own inventions, as experience more than sufficiently

attests,  so  that  if  no  one  were  bound to obey the state in matters

which,  in  his   page 212  own opinion concern religion,  the rights of the

state  would  be  dependent  on  every man's judgment and passions.

(16:109)  No  one  would  consider  himself  bound  to  obey laws framed

gainst  his  faith  or superstition; and on this pretext he might assume

unbounded license.  (16:110) In this way, the rights of the civil authorities

would  be  utterly  set  at  nought,  so  that we must conclude that the

sovereign  power,  which  alone  is bound both by Divine and natural

right  to  preserve  and  guard  the  laws  of  the  state,  should  have

supreme  authority  for making any laws about religion which it thinks

fit;  all  are  bound  to  obey  its behests on the subject in accordance

with their promise which God bids them to keep.

(16:111)  However,  if the sovereign power be heathen, we should either

enter  into  no  engagements therewith, and yield up our lives sooner

than  transfer  to  it  any of our rights; or, if the engagement be made,

and our rights transferred, we should (inasmuch as we should have

transferred the right of defending ourselves and our religion)

be  bound to obey them, and to keep our word: we might even rightly

be bound so to do, except in those cases where God, by indisputable

revelation,  has promised His special aid against tyranny, or given us

special exemption from obedience. 
(16:112)  Thus we see that, of all the

Jews  in  Babylon,  there were only three youths who were certain of

the  help  of  God,  and,  therefore, refused to obey Nebuchadnezzar.

(16:113)  All the rest, with the sole exception of Daniel, who was beloved

by  the  king,  were  doubtless  compelled  by  right
 to obey, perhaps

thinking  that  they  had  been  delivered up by God into the hands of

the  king, and that the king had obtained and preserved his dominion
                                                                             {See Shirley's footnote}    
by God's design.  (16:114) On the other hand, Eleazar, before his country

had utterly fallen, wished to give a proof of his constancy to his com-

patriots, in order that they might follow in his footsteps,
and go to any

lengths,  rather  than  allow
 their right and power to be transferred to

the  Greeks,  or brave any torture rather than swear allegiance to the

(16:115)  Instances  are  occurring every day in confirmation of

what  I  here  advance.
  (16:116) The rulers of Christian kingdoms do not

hesitate, with a view to strengthening their dominion, to make treaties
with  Turks  and  heathen,  and  to  give  orders to their subjects who

 page 213  settle  among  such  peoples  not  to  assume  more freedom,
either  in  things  secular  or  religious,  than is set down in the treaty,

or allowed by the foreign government. 
(16:117) We may see this exemp-

lified  in  the  Dutch  treaty  with  the  Japanese, which I have already


Page 214


(17:1)  The theory put forward in the last chapter, of the universal rights

of  the  sovereign  power,  and  of  the  natural rights of the individual

transferred  thereto,  though  it  corresponds  in  many  respects with

actual  practice,  and  though practice may be so arranged as to con-

form  to  it more and more, must nevertheless always remain in many
respects  purely  ideal.  (17:2)  No  one  can  ever  so  utterly  transfer to

another  his  power  and,  consequently,  his rights, as to cease to be

a  man;  nor can there ever be a power so sovereign that it can carry

out  every possible wish.  (17:3)  It will always be vain to order a subject

to  hate  what  he  believes  brings  him  advantage,  or  to  love what

brings  him  loss,  or not to be offended at insults, or not to wish to be

free  from  fear,  or  a  hundred  other things of the sort, which neces-

sarily  follow  from  the laws  of  human  nature.  (17:4)  So much, I think,

is  abundantly  shown  by  experience:  for  men  have  never  so  far

ceded  their  power  as  to  cease to be an object of fear to the rulers

who  received  such  power  and  right;  and  dominions  have always

been  in  as  much  danger  from  their  own subjects as from external

(17:5)  If  it  were  really the case, that men could be deprived

of their natural rights so utterly as never to have any further influence

on affairs (29), except with the permission of the holders of sovereign

right,  it  would  then  be  possible  to  maintain with impunity  page 215

the  most  violent  tyranny,  which,  I  suppose,  no  one  would for an

instant admit.

(17:6) We must, therefore, grant that every man retains some part of his

right,   in   dependence   on   his  own  decision,  and  no  one  else's.

(17:7)   However,  in  order  correctly  to  understand  the  extent  of  the

sovereign's  right  and  power,  we  must  take  notice that it does not

cover  only  those  actions  to  which  it  can  compel men by fear, but

absolutely  every  action  which  it  can  induce  men  to  perform:  for

it  is  the  fact  of  obedience,   not  the  motive  for obedience,  which

makes a man a subject.

(17:8)  Whatever  be  the  cause  which  leads  a  man to obey the com-

mands  of  the  sovereign,  whether  it  be fear or hope, or love of his

country,  or  any  other emotion—the fact remains that the man takes

counsel  with  himself, and nevertheless acts as his sovereign orders.

(17:9)   We  must  not,  therefore,  assert that all actions resulting from a

man's  deliberation  with  himself  are done in obedience to the rights

of  the  individual  rather  than  the  sovereign:  as a matter of fact, all

actions  spring  from  a  man's  deliberation  with himself, whether the

determining  motive  be  love  or fear of punishment; therefore, either

dominion does not exist, and has no rights over its subjects, or else it

extends  over every instance in which it can prevail on men to decide

to obey it.  (17:10)  Consequently, every action which a subject performs

in  accordance  with  the  commands  of the sovereign, whether such

action  springs  from  love, or fear, or (as is more frequently the case)

from  hope and fear together, or from reverence. compounded of fear

and  admiration,  or,  indeed,  any  motive  whatever,  is performed in

virtue of his submission to the sovereign, and not in virtue of his own


(17:11)  This  point  is  made  still  more  clear by the fact that obedience

does  not  consist  so  much in the outward act as in the mental state

of  the  person  obeying;  so  that  he  is  most  under the dominion of

another   who  with  his  whole  heart  determines  to  obey  another's

commands;  and  consequently  the  firmest  dominion belongs to the

sovereign  who  has  most  influence  over  the minds of his subjects;

if  those  who  are  most  feared  possessed the firmest dominion, the

firmest  dominion  would  belong  to  the subjects of a tyrant, for they

are  always  greatly  feared by their ruler.  (17:12)  Furthermore,   page 216

though  it  is  impossible  to  govern  the  mind  as  completely  as the
tongue,   nevertheless   minds   are,  to  a  certain  extent,  under  the

control  of  the  sovereign,  for  he can in many ways bring about that

the  greatest  part  of  his  subjects  should  follow  his wishes in their
beliefs,  their  loves,  and  their  hates (17:13)  Though  such  emotions

do  not  arise  at  the  express  command  of the sovereign they often

result  (as experience shows)  from  the  authority  of  his power, and

from  his  direction;  in  other  words,  in  virtue  of  his  right; we may,

therefore,  without  doing  violence  to  our  understanding,  conceive

men  who  follow  the  instigation  of  their  sovereign  in  their beliefs,

their   loves,   their   hates,  their  contempt,  and  all  other  emotions


(17:14)   Though  the  powers  of  government,  as  thus  conceived,  are

sufficiently  ample,  they  can  never become large enough to execute

every  possible  wish  of  their  possessors.   (17:15)  This, I think, I have

already shown clearly enough.  (17:16)  The method of forming a domin-

ion  which  should  prove  lasting  I  do  not,  as  I have said, intend to

discuss,  but in order to arrive at the object I have in view, I will touch

on  the  teaching  of  Divine  revelation  to Moses in this respect, and

we  will  consider  the history and the success of the Jews, gathering

therefrom what should be the chief concessions made by sovereigns

to  their  subjects  with  a  view  to  the  security and increase of their


(17:17) That the preservation of a state chiefly depends on the subjects'

fidelity and constancy in carrying out the orders they receive, is most

clearly  taught both by reason and experience; how subjects ought to

be  guided  so  as  best  to  preserve  their fidelity and virtue is not so

obvious.  (17:18)  All, both rulers and ruled, are men, and prone to follow

after  their  lusts.
  (17:19)  The  fickle  disposition of the multitude almost

reduces those who have experience of it to despair, for it is governed

solely  by  emotions,  not  by  reason:  it  rushes  headlong into every

enterprise,  and is easily corrupted either by avarice or luxury: every-             Durant [10] 173

one  thinks  himself  omniscient and wishes to fashion all things to his

liking,  judging  a thing to be just or unjust, lawful or unlawful, accord-

ing  as  he  thinks  it  will  bring  him  profit or loss: vanity leads him to

despise his equals, and refuse their guidance: envy of superior fame

or fortune (for such gifts are never equally  page 217  distributed) leads

him to desire and rejoice in his neighbour's downfall.  (17:20)  I need not

go  through  the whole list, everyone knows already how much crime

results  from  disgust  at  the  present—desire  for change, headlong

anger,  and  contempt  for  poverty—and  how  men's  minds  are en-

grossed and kept in turmoil thereby.

(17:21)  To  guard against all these evils, and form a dominion where no

room  is  left  for  deceit;  to  frame  our institutions so that every man,
Bk.XIA:1463, 5.
whatever his disposition, may prefer public right to private advantage,

this is the task and this the toil.  (17:22)  Necessity is often the mother of

invention,  but  she  has  never  yet succeeded in framing a dominion

that was in less danger from its own citizens than from open enemies,

or   whose   rulers   did   not   fear   the   latter  less  than  the  former.

(17:23)  Witness the state of Rome, invincible by her enemies, but many

times conquered and sorely oppressed by her own citizens, especial-
ly  in  the  war  between  Vespasian  and Vitellius.  (17:24)  (See Tacitus,

Hist. bk. iv. for a description of the pitiable state of the city.)

(17:25)  Alexander  thought  prestige  abroad  more easy to acquire than

prestige at home, and believed that his greatness could be destroyed

by his own followers.  (17:26) Fearing such a disaster, he thus addressed

his friends: "Keep me safe from internal treachery and domestic plots,

and   I   will  front  without  fear  the  dangers  of  battle  and  of  war."

(17:27)  Philip  was  more  secure  in  the battle array than in the theatre:

he  often escaped from the hands of the enemy, he could not escape

from his own subjects.  (17:28)  If you think over the deaths of kings, you

will  count  up  more who have died by the assassin than by the open

foe." (Q. Curtius, chap. vi.)

(17:29)  For  the  sake  of  making  themselves secure, kings who seized

the  throne  in  ancient  times  used to try to spread the idea that they

were descended from the immortal gods, thinking that if their subjects

and  the rest of mankind did not look on them as equals, but believed

them  to  be  gods,  they would willingly submit to their rule, and obey

their  commands.  (17:30)  Thus  Augustus  persuaded  the Romans that

he  was  descended  from  Æneas,  who  was  the son of Venus, and

numbered  among  the  gods.     (17:31)   "He  wished  himself  to  be  wor-

shipped in temples, like the gods, with flamens and priests." (Tacitus,

Ann. i. 10.)

PAGE 218
(17:32)  Alexander  wished  to  be saluted as the son of Jupiter, not from

motives  of  pride  but  of  policy,  as  he showed by his answer to the

invective of Hermolaus: "it is almost laughable," said he, "that Hermo-

aus asked me to contradict Jupiter, by whose oracle I am recognized.

(17:33)  Am  I  responsible  for  the  answers of the gods?  (17:34)  It offered

me  the  name  of son; acquiescence was by no means foreign to my

present  designs.  (17:35)  Would that the Indians also would believe me

to  be  a god!  (17:36)  Wars are carried through by prestige, falsehoods

that  are  believed  often  gain  the  force  of truth." (Curtius, viii,. § 8.)

(17:37)  In  these  few  words  he  cleverly  contrives  to palm off a fiction

on  the  ignorant,  and  at  the  same  time  hints  at the motive for the


(17:38)  Cleon,  in his speech persuading the Macedonians to obey their

king,  adopted  a similar device: for after going through the praises of

Alexander  with  admiration,  and  recalling  his  merits,  he  proceeds,

"the  Persians  are  not  only  pious,  but prudent in worshipping their

kings  as  gods:   for  kingship  is  the  shield  of  public  safety,"  and

he ends thus,  "I, myself, when the king enters a banquet hall, should

prostrate  my  body  on  the  ground;  other  men  should  do  the like,

especially  those  who  are  wise."  (Curtius, viii. § 66).  (17:39)  However,

the  Macedonians  were  more  prudent—indeed,  it  is only complete

barbarians who can be so openly cajoled, and can suffer themselves

to  be  turned  from subjects into slaves without interests of their own.

(17:40)  Others,  notwithstanding,  have been able more easily to spread

the  belief  that  kingship  is  sacred, and plays the part of God on the

earth,  that  it  has  been  instituted  by  God,  not by the suffrage and

consent  of  men;  and  that  it  is  preserved  and  guarded by Divine

special  providence  and aid.  (17:41)  Similar fictions have been promul-

gated  by  monarchs,  with the object of strengthening their dominion,

but  these  I will pass over, and in order to arrive at my main purpose,

will  merely  recall  and  discuss  the teaching on the subject of Divine

revelation to Moses in ancient times.

(17:42)  We have said in Chap. V. that after the Hebrews came up out of

of Egypt they were not bound by the law and right of any other nation,

but  were  at  liberty to institute any new rites at their pleasure, and to

occupy whatever territory they chose.  (17:43)   After their liberation from

the  intolerable   page 219   bondage  of  the Egyptians, they were bound

by  no  covenant  to any man; and, therefore, every man entered into

his natural right, and was free to retain it or to give it up, and transfer

it  to  another.  (17:44)  Being,  then, in the state of nature, they followed
the  advice  of  Moses,  in  whom they chiefly trusted, and decided to

transfer their right to no human being, but only to God; without further

delay they all, with one voice, promised to obey all the commands of

the  Deity,  and  to  acknowledge no right that He did not proclaim as

such  by  prophetic revelation.  (17:45)  This promise, or transference of

right to God, was effected in the same manner as we have conceived

it to have been in ordinary societies, when men agree to divest them-

selves  of  their  natural  rights.  (17:46)  It  is,  in  fact,  in  virtue  of a set

covenant, and an oath (see Exod. xxxiv:10), that the Jews freely, and

not  under  compulsion or threats, surrendered their rights and trans-

ferred  them  to  God.  (47) Moreover,  in order that this covenant might

be  ratified and settled, and might be free from all suspicion of deceit,

God  did not enter into it till the Jews had had experience of His won-

derful  power  by  which alone they had been, or could be, preserved

in   a   state  of  prosperity  (Exod. xix:4, 5).  (17:48)  It  is  because  they

believed that nothing but God's power could preserve them that they

surrendered  to  God  the  natural  power  of self-preservation, which

they  formerly,  perhaps,  thought they possessed, and consequently
Bk.XIA:14812Exo. 24:7.
they surrendered at the same time all their natural right.

(17:49)  God  alone,  therefore, held dominion over the Hebrews, whose

state  was  in  virtue  of the covenant called God's kingdom, and God

was  said  to  be  their  king;  consequently  the  enemies of the Jews

were  said  to  be  the  enemies  of God, and the citizens who tried to

seize  the  dominion  were  guilty  of treason against God; and, lastly,

the  laws  of the  state  were  called  the laws and commandments of

(17:50)  Thus  in  the Hebrew state the civil and religious authority, 
each  consisting solely of obedience to G-D, were one and the same.             Constitution

(17:51)  The  dogmas  of  religion  were not precepts, but laws and ordin-              Pragmatic

ances;  piety  was  regarded  as  the  same  as loyalty, impiety as the

same  as  disaffection.  (17:52)  Everyone  who  fell  away  from  religion         Din Medinah Din
ceased to be a citizen,  and was, on that ground alone, accounted an

  page 220  enemy:  those  who  died for the sake of religion, were held to
just like our soldier heroes }
have   died   for  their  country;  in  fact,  between  civil  and  religious
such }
law and right there was no ^ distinction whatever. {In Biblical Hebrew,

there was no word for what we call "Religion." Modern Hebrew select-

ed "daht" whose root is "yaw-da'",
Strong:3045—to know, knowledge, 

instruction, punishment, feel, learned, cunning.}  
(17:53)  For  this  reason
Bk.XIA:14813—In name only
the government could be called a Theocracy, inasmuch as the citizens

were not bound by anything save the revelations of G-D.                                  

(17:54)  However,  this  state  of  things  existed  rather  in theory than in

practice,  for  it  will  appear  from  what we are about to say, that the
Hebrews,  as  a  matter of fact, retained absolutely in their own hands

the  right  of  sovereignty:  this  is  shown  by the method and plan by

which the government was carried on, as I will now explain.

(17:55)  Inasmuch  as  the  Hebrews  did  not  transfer their rights to any

other  person  but,  as  in  a  democracy,  all  surrendered their rights

equally,  and  cried out with one voice, "Whatsoever God shall speak

(no mediator or mouthpiece being named)  that will we do, " it follows

that  all  were  equally  bound  by  the  covenant,  and that all had an

equal  right  to  consult  the Deity, to accept and to interpret His laws,

so that all had an exactly equal share in the government.  
(17:56)  Thus

at  first  they  all  approached  God together, so that they might learn

His  commands,  but  in  this  first salutation, they were so thoroughly

terrified  and  so  astounded to hear God speaking, that they thought

their  last  hour  was  at hand: full of fear, therefore, they went afresh

to  Moses,  and  said,  "Lo,  we  have  heard God speaking in the fire,

and  there  is  no  cause why we should wish to die: surely this great

fire  will  consume  us:  if  we  hear  again  the voice of God, we shall

surely  die.  (17:57)  Thou,  therefore,  go near, and hear all the words of

our  God,  and  thou  (not God) shalt speak with us: all that God shall

tell us, that will we hearken to and perform."

(17:58)  They  thus  clearly  abrogated  their former covenant, and abso-

lutely  transferred  to  Moses  their  right to consult God and interpret

His  commands:  for  they  do  not here promise obedience to all that

God  shall  tell  them,  but  to  all that God shall tell Moses (see Deut.

v:20  after the Decalogue, and chap. xviii:15, 16).  (17:59)  Moses, there-

fore,  remained  the  sole  promulgator  and  interpreter  of the Divine

laws,  and  consequently also the sovereign judge, who could not be

arraigned  himself,  and  who  acted among the Hebrews the   page 221

part,  of  God;  in  other words, held the sovereign kingship: he alone

had the right to consult God, to give the Divine answers to the people,

and to see that they were carried out.  
(17:60)  I say he alone, for if any-

one  during  the  life  of Moses was desirous of preaching anything in

the  name  of  the  Lord,  he  was,  even if a true prophet, considered

guilty   and   a   usurper  of  the  sovereign  right  (Numb. xi:28)   (30).

(17:61)  We may here notice, that though the people had elected Moses,

they could not rightfully elect Moses's successor; for having transfer-

red  to  Moses their right of consulting God, and absolutely promised

to  regard him as a Divine oracle, they had plainly forfeited the whole

of  their  right,  and  were bound to accept as chosen by God anyone

proclaimed by Moses as his successor.  (17:62) If Moses had so chosen

his successor, who like him should wield the sole right of government,

possessing  the  sole  right  of  consulting  God, and consequently of

making  and  abrogating  laws,  of deciding on peace or war, of send-

ing  ambassadors,  appointing  judges—in  fact,  discharging  all  the

functions  of  a  sovereign,  the  state  would  have  become simply a

monarchy,  only  differing  from  other monarchies in the fact, that the

latter  are, or should be, carried on in accordance with God's decree,

unknown  even to the monarch, whereas the Hebrew monarch would

have   been   the  only  person  to  whom  the  decree  was  revealed.

(17:63)  A  difference  which  increases,  rather than diminishes the mon-

arch's  authority.  (17:64)   As  far  as  the  people  in both cases are con-

cerned,  each  would  be  equally subject, and equally ignorant of the

Divine decree, for each would be dependent on the monarch's words,

and  would  learn  from  him  alone,  what  was lawful or unlawful: nor

would  the  fact  that  the  people believed that the monarch was only

issuing  commands in accordance with God's decree revealed to him,

make  it  less  in  subjection,  but rather more. 
(17:65)  However, Moses

elected  no  such successor, but left the dominion to those who came

after  him  in  a  condition which could not be called a popular govern-

ment,   nor   an   aristocracy,   nor   a   monarchy,   but  a  Theocracy.

(17:66)  For  the  right  of  interpreting laws was vested in one man, while

the   right  and  power  of  administering  the  state  according  to  the

  page 222  laws  thus  interpreted,  was  vested  in  another  man  (see

Numb. xxvii:21) (31).

(17:67)  In  order  that  the question may be thoroughly understood, I will

duly set forth the administration of the whole state.

(17:68)  First,  the people were commanded to build a tabernacle, which

should  be,  as it were, the dwelling of God—that is, of the sovereign

authority  of the state.  (17:69)  This tabernacle was to be erected at the

cost  of  the  whole  people,  not  of  one  man, in order that the place

where   God   was   consulted  might  be  public  property.   (17:70)  The

Levites  were  chosen  as  courtiers  and  administrators of  this royal

abode;  while  Aaron,  the  brother  of Moses, was chosen to be their

chief  and  second,  as  it  were,  to God their King, being succeeded

in the office by his legitimate sons.

(17:71)  He,  as the nearest to God, was the sovereign interpreter of the

Divine  laws;  he  communicated  the answers of the Divine oracle to

the  people, and entreated God's favour for them.  (17:72)  If, in addition

to  these  privileges,  he  had possessed the right of ruling, he would

have  been  neither  more nor less than an absolute monarch; but, in

respect  to government, he was only a private citizen: the whole tribe

of  Levi  was  so  completely  divested  of  governing rights that it did

not  even  take  its  share  with  the  others in the partition of territory.

(17:73)  Moses  provided  for its support by inspiring the common people

with  great  reverence  for  it,   as  the  only  tribe  dedicated  to  God.

(17:74)  Further, the army, formed from the remaining twelve tribes, was

commanded  to  invade  the  land  of  Canaan, to divide it into twelve

portions,  and  to  distribute  it  among  the tribes by lot.  (17:75)  For this

task  twelve  captains  were  chosen, one from every tribe, and were,

together   with   Joshua   and  Eleazar,  the  high  priest,  empowered

to  divide  the  land  into  twelve  equal  parts,  and  distribute it by lot.

  (17:76)  Joshua  was  chosen  for  the chief command of the army, inas-

much  as  none  but  he  had the right to consult God in emergencies,

not like Moses, alone in his tent, or in the tabernacle, but through the

high   priest,   to   whom   only  the  answers  of  God  were  revealed.

(17:77)  Furthermore,  he  was  empowered  to  execute,  and  cause the

people   to   obey  God's  commands,  transmitted  through  the  high

priests; to find,   page 223  and to make use of, means for carrying them

out; to choose as many army captains as he liked; to make whatever

choice he thought best; to send ambassadors in his own name; and,

in short, to have the entire control of the war.  (17:78) To his office there

was  no  rightful  successor—indeed,  the  post was only filled by the

direct  order  of the Deity, on occasions of public emergency.  (17:79)  In

ordinary  times,  all the management of peace and war was vested in

the  captains  of  the  tribes, as I will shortly point out.  (17:80)  Lastly, all

men  between  the  ages  of  twenty  and  sixty  were ordered to bear
arms, and form a citizen army, owing allegiance, not to its general-in-

chief,  nor  to  the  high  priest,  but to Religion and to God.  (17:81)  The

army, or the hosts, were called the army of God, or the hosts of God.

(17:82)  For  this  reason  God  was  called  by  the Hebrews the God of

Armies;  and  the  ark  of  the  covenant was borne in the midst of the

army in important battles, when the safety or destruction of the whole

people hung upon the issue, so that the people might, as it were, see

their King among them, and put forth all their strength.

(17:83)  From  these  directions,  left  by  Moses  to  his  successors, we

plainly  see  that  he  chose  administrators,  rather  than despots, to

come  after  him; for he invested no one with the power of consulting

God, where he liked and alone, consequently, no one had the power

possessed  by  himself of ordaining and abrogating laws, of deciding

on  war  or  peace,  of  choosing  men to fill offices both religious and

secular: all these are the prerogatives of a sovereign.  (17:84)  The high

priest, indeed, had the right of interpreting laws, and communicating

the answers of God, but he could not do so when he liked, as Moses

could,  but  only  when  he  was  asked  by the general-in-chief of the

army,  the  council,  or  some  similar  authority.  (17:85)  The general-in-

chief  and  the  council  could consult God when they liked, but could

only  receive  His  answers  through the high priest; so that the utter-

ances  of  God,  as  reported by the high priest, were not decrees, as

they  were  when  reported  by  Moses,  but  only answers; they were

accepted  by  Joshua and the council, and only then had the force of

commands and decrees {Like the separation of powers in the United

States of America.}.

(17:86) The high priest, both in the case of Aaron and of his son Eleazar,

was  chosen  by  Moses; nor had anyone, after Moses' death, a right

to  elect to the office, which became  page 224  hereditary  {A Supreme

Court  selected  by  a  President  but  once  selected  cannot  easily

be   removed.}.     
(17:87)   The   general-in-chief   of   the   army   was  

also   chosen   by  Moses,  and   assumed   his  functions  in  virtue  

of    the    commands,   not  
  of    the    high   priest,   but   of  Moses:

indeed,   after   the   death   of   Joshua,   the  high   priest   did   not

appoint  anyone  in  his  place,  and the captains did not consult God

afresh about a general-in-chief, but each retained Joshua's power in

respect  to  the  contingent  of his own tribe, and all retained it collec-

tively, in respect to the whole army.  (17:88)  There seems to have been

no need of a general-in-chief, except when they were obliged to unite

their  forces  against a common enemy.  (17:89)  This occurred most fre-

quently  during  the  time of Joshua, when they had no fixed dwelling

place,  and  possessed all things in common.
  (17:90)  After all the tribes

had  gained  their  territories  by  right  of  conquest, and had divided

their  allotted  gains,  they became separated, having no longer their

possessions  in  common,  so  that  the need for a single commander

ceased,  for  the  different  tribes  should  be considered rather in the

light  of confederated states than of bodies of fellow-citizens.  (17:91)  In

respect  to their God and their religion, they were fellow-citizens; but,

in  respect  to the rights which one possessed with regard to another,

they  were  only  confederated:  they  were, in fact, in much the same

position  (if  one  excepts  the Temple common to all)  as  the  United
States of the Netherlands {or United States of America}.  (17:92)  The divi-

sion of  property, held in  common is only another phrase for the posses-

sion  of his share by each of the owners singly, and the surrender by

the  others  of  their  rights over such share.  (17:93)  This is why Moses

elected  captains  of  the  tribes—namely,   that  when  the  dominion

was  divided,  each  might  take care of his own part; consulting God

through the high priest on the affairs of his tribe, ruling over his army,

building  and  fortifying  cities,  appointing  judges, attacking the ene-

mies  of  his own  dominion, and having complete control over all civil

and  military  affairs.  
(17:94)   He  was  not  bound  to acknowledge any

superior  judge  save  God  (32),   or  a  prophet  whom  God  should

expressly send. (17:95)  If he departed from the worship of God, the rest

of the tribes did not arraign him as a subject, but attacked him as an

enemy.  (17:95a)  Of  this  we  have  examples  in  Scripture.  (17:96)  When

Joshua  was  page 225  dead, the children of Israel (not a fresh general-

in-chief)  consulted  God;  it  being  decided  that  the  tribe  of Judah

should be the first to attack its enemies, the tribe in question contract-

ed  a  single  alliance with the tribe of Simeon, for uniting their forces,

and  attacking  their  common  enemy, the rest of the tribes not being

included in the alliance (Judges i:1, 2, 3).  (17:97)  Each tribe separately

made  war  against  its  own  enemies, and, according to its pleasure,

received  them  as subjects or allies, though it had been commanded

not  to  spare  them  on  any  conditions,  but  to  destroy them utterly.

(17:98)  Such  disobedience  met  with reproof from the rest of the tribes,

but  did  not cause the offending tribe to be arraigned: it was not con-

sidered a sufficient reason for proclaiming a civil war, or interfering in

one  another's  affairs.  (17:99)  But when the tribe of Benjamin offended

against the others, and so loosened the bonds of peace that none of

the  confederated  tribes  could  find  refuge  within  its  borders, they

attacked  it  as  an  enemy,  and gaining the victory over it after three

battles, put to death both guilty and innocent, according to the laws of

war:  an act which they subsequently bewailed with tardy repentance.

(17:100)  These  examples plainly confirm what we have said concerning

the  rights  of each tribe.  (17:101)  Perhaps we shall be asked who elect-

ed  the  successors  to  the  captains of each tribe; on this point I can

gather  no  positive  information  in Scripture, but I conjecture that as

the tribes were divided into families, each headed by its senior mem-

ber,  the  senior  of  all  these heads of families succeeded by right to

the  office  of captain, for Moses chose from among these seniors his

seventy  coadjutors,  who  formed  with  himself  the supreme council.

(17:102)  Those  who  administered  the  government  after  the  death of

Joshua  were  called  elders,  and  elder  is  a  very common Hebrew

expression  in  the  sense  of  judge,  as  I  suppose everyone knows;

however,  it  is not very important for us to make up our minds on this

point.  (17:103)  It is enough to have shown that after the death of Moses

no  one man wielded all the power of a sovereign; as affairs were not

all  managed  by one man, nor by a single council, nor by the popular

vote,  but  partly  by  one  tribe, partly by the rest in equal shares, it is

most  evident  that  the  government,  after  the  death of Moses, was

neither  monarchic,  nor  aristocratic,  nor popular, page 226 but, as we
have said, Theocratic.  (17:104)  The reasons for applying this name are:

(17:105)  Because  the  royal  seat  of  government was the Temple,
       and in respect to it alone,  as we have shown, all the tribes were

II.     (17:106)  Because  all  the  people  owed  allegiance  to  God,   their
       supreme  Judge,  to whom only they had promised implicit obedi-
       ence in all things. 

III.    (17:107)  Because  the general-in-chief  or  dictator, when there was
       need  of  such, was elected by none save God alone. 
(17:108)  This 
       was  expressly commanded by Moses in the name of God (Deut. 
       xix:15),  and  witnessed  by the actual choice of Gideon, of Sam- 
       son,  and  of Samuel; wherefrom we may conclude that the other 
       faithful  leaders  were  chosen  in  the  same manner, though it is 
       not expressly told us. 

(17:109)  These  preliminaries  being  stated,  it is now time to inquire the

effects  of  forming  a  dominion on this plan, and to see whether it so

effectually  kept  within  bounds both rulers and ruled, that the former

were never tyrannical and the latter never rebellious.

(17:110)  Those  who administer or possess governing power, always try

to  surround their high-handed actions with a cloak of legality, and to

persuade  the  people  that  they act from good motives; this they are

easily  able  to  effect  when  they are the sole interpreters of the law;

for  it  is  evident that they are thus able to assume a far greater free-

dom  to carry out their wishes and desires than if the interpretation if

the law is vested in someone else, or if the laws were so self-evident

that no one could be in doubt as to their meaning. 
(17:111)  We thus see

that  the  power  of  evil-doing  was  greatly  curtailed for the Hebrew

captains by the fact that the whole interpretation of the law was vest-

ed in the Levites (Deut. xxi:5), who, on their part, had no share in the

government, and depended for all their support and consideration on

a correct interpretation of the laws entrusted to them.  (17:112)  Moreover,

the  whole  people  was  commanded  to  come  together  at a certain

place  every  seven  years  and  be  instructed in the law by the high-

priest; further, each individual was bidden to read the book of the law

through  and  through  continually with scrupulous care. (Deut. xxxi:9,

10,  and  vi:7.)   page 227   (17:113)  The  captains  were  thus  for their own

sakes bound to take great care to administer everything according to

the laws laid down, and well known to all, if they wished to be held in

high  honour  by  the  people, who would regard them as the adminis-

trators  of  God's dominion, and as God's vicegerents; otherwise they

could   not   have  escaped  all  the  virulence  of  theological  hatred.

(17:114)   There  was  another  very  important  check  on  the  unbridled

license  of  the  captains,  in  the  fact, that the army was formed from
the  whole body of the citizens, between the ages of twenty and sixty,

without  exception,  and  that  the  captains were not able to hire any
foreign  soldiery.  (17:115)  This  I  say  was  very  important, for it is well

known  that  princes  can oppress their peoples with the single aid of

the  soldiery  in  their  pay;  while  there is nothing more formidable to

them  than  the  freedom of citizen soldiers, who have established the
freedom  and glory of their country by their valour, their toil, and their
blood.  (17:116)  Thus  Alexander,  when  he  was  about to make war on

Darius,  a  second time, after hearing the advice of Parmenio, did not

chide him who gave the advice, but Polysperchon, who was standing

by.   (17:117)   For,  as  Curtius  says  (iv. § 13),   he  did  not  venture  to

reproach  Parmenio  again  after  having  shortly before reproved him

too  sharply.  (17:118)  This  freedom  of  the  Macedonians, which he so

dreaded,  he  was  not able to subdue till after the number of captives

enlisted  in  the  army surpassed that of his own people: then, but not

till  then,  he gave rein to his anger so long checked by the independ-

ence of his chief fellow-countrymen.

(17:119)   If this independence of citizen soldiers can restrain the princes 

of  ordinary states who are wont to usurp the whole glory of victories,

it  must  have  been  still more effectual against the Hebrew captains,

whose  soldiers were fighting, not for the glory of a prince, but for the

glory  of  God, and who did not go forth to battle till the Divine assent

had been given.

(17:120)  We must also remember that the Hebrew captains were associ-

ated  only  by  the bonds of religion: therefore, if any one of them had

transgressed,  and  begun  to  violate  the Divine right, he might have

been treated by the rest as an enemy and lawfully subdued.

(17:121)   An additional check may be found in the fear of a new   page 228

prophet arising, for if a man of unblemished life could show by certain

signs  that he was really a prophet, he ipso facto obtained the sover-

eign  right  to  rule,  which was given to him, as to Moses formerly, in

the  name  of  God,  as revealed to himself alone; not merely through

the  high  priest,  as  in  the  case  of the captains.   (17:122)  There is no

doubt  that  such  an one would easily be able to enlist an oppressed

people  in  his cause, and by trifling signs persuade them of anything

he wished: on the other hand, if affairs were well ordered, the captain

would  be  able  to make provision in time; that the prophet should be

submitted  to  his  approval, and be examined whether he were really

of unblemished life, and possessed indisputable signs of his mission:

also,  whether  the  teaching  he proposed to set forth in the name of

the  Lord agreed with received doctrines, and the general laws of the

country;  if  his  credentials were insufficient, or his doctrines new, he

could  lawfully  be put to death, or else received on the captain's sole

responsibility and authority.

(17:123)  Again,  the  captains  were not superior to the others in nobility

or  birth,  but  only administered the government in virtue of their age

and  personal  qualities.  (17:124)  Lastly,  neither captains nor army had

any  reason for preferring war to peace.  (17:125)  The army, as we have

stated,  consisted  entirely  of  citizens,  so that affairs were managed

by  the  same  persons  both  in  peace and war.  (17:126)  The man who

was  a  soldier in the camp was a citizen in the market-place, he who

was  a leader in the camp was a judge in the law courts, he who was

a  general  in  the  camp  was a ruler in the state.  (17:127)  Thus no one

could desire war for its own sake, but only for the sake of preserving
peace  and  liberty;  possibly  the  captains avoided change as far as

possible, so as not to be obliged to consult the high priest and submit

to the indignity of standing in his presence.

(17:128)  So  much  for  the  precautions  for  keeping the captains within

bounds.  (17:129)  We  must now look for the restraints upon the people:

these,  however,  are  very  clearly  indicated in the very groundwork

of the social fabric.

(17:130)  Anyone  who  gives  the  subject the slightest attention, will see

that the state was so ordered as to inspire the most ardent patriotism

in  the  hearts  of the citizens, so that the latter would be very hard to

persuade  to  betray  their country,  page 229   and  be  ready to endure

anything  rather  than  submit  to a foreign yoke.  (17:131)  After they had

transferred their right to God, they thought that their kingdom belong-

ed to God, and that they themselves were God's children.  (17:132)  Other

nations  they  looked  upon  as  God's  enemies,  and  regarded  with

intense hatred (which they took to be piety, see Psalm cxxxix:21, 22):

nothing  would  have  been  more  abhorrent  to  them than swearing

allegiance  to  a  foreigner,  and  promising him obedience: nor could

they  conceive any greater or more execrable crime than the betrayal

of   their   country,   the   kingdom   of  the  God  whom  they  adored.

(17:133)  It  was  considered  wicked  for  anyone  to settle outside of the

country,  inasmuch as the worship of God by which they were bound

could  not  be  carried  on  elsewhere:  their own land alone was con-

sidered , the rest of the earth unclean and profane.

(17:134)  David,  who was forced to live in exile, complained before Saul

as  follows:  "But if they be the children of men who have stirred thee

up  against  me, cursed be they before the Lord; for they have driven

me  out  this  day  from  abiding in the inheritance of the Lord, saying,

Go,  serve  other gods." (I Sam. xxvi:19.)   (17:135)  For the same reason

no  citizen,  as  we should especially remark, was ever sent into exile:

he who sinned was liable to punishment, but not to disgrace.

(17:136) Thus  the  love  of  the  Hebrews  for their country was not only

patriotism,  but  also  piety, and was cherished and nurtured by daily

rites  till,  like  their  hatred  of other nations, it must have passed into

their  nature.  (17:137)  Their  daily  worship  was  not  only different from

that  of  other  nations (as it might well be, considering that they were

a peculiar people and entirely apart from the rest),   it was absolutely

contrary.  (17:138)  Such daily reprobation naturally gave rise to a lasting

hatred,  deeply implanted in the heart: for of all hatreds none is more

deep  and  tenacious  than  that  which springs from extreme devout-

ness  or  piety, and is itself cherished as pious.  (17:139)  Nor was a gen-

eral  cause  lacking  for  inflaming  such  hatred more and more, inas-

much  as  it  was reciprocated; the surrounding nations regarding the

Jews with a hatred just as intense.

(17:140)   How great was the effect of all these causes, namely, freedom

from  man's  dominion;  devotion  to  their  country;   page 230  absolute

rights  over  all  other  men;  a  hatred not only permitted but pious; a

contempt  for  their fellow-men;  the  singularity  of their customs and
religious  rites;  the  effect, I repeat, of all these causes in strengthen-

ing  the  hearts  of  the  Jews  to bear all things for their country, with

extraordinary  constancy  and  valour,  will  at  once  be discerned by

reason  and  attested by experience.  (17:141)  Never, so long as the city

was  standing,  could  they endure to remain under foreign dominion;

and  therefore  they  called Jerusalem "a rebellious city" (Ezra iv:12).

(17:142) Their state after its reestablishment (which was a mere shadow

of  the  first,  for  the  high  priests had usurped the rights of the tribal

captains)  was,  with  great  difficulty,  destroyed  by  the Romans, as

Tacitus  bears  witness  (Hist. ii:4):- "Vespasian  had  closed the war

against  the  Jews,  abandoning  the siege of Jerusalem as an enter-

prise  difficult  and  arduous  rather  from  the character of the people

and  the  obstinacy of their superstition, than from the strength left to

the  besieged for meeting their necessities.(17:143)  But besides these

characteristics,  which  are  merely  ascribed by an individual opinion,

there  was  one  feature peculiar to this state and of great importance

in  retaining  the  affections  of the citizens, and checking all thoughts

of  desertion,  or  abandonment  of  the country: namely, self-interest,

the  strength  and  life  of all human action.  (17:144)  This was peculiarly

engaged  in  the Hebrew state, for nowhere else did citizens possess

their goods so securely as did the subjects of this community, for the

latter  possessed  as  large  a  share in the land and the fields as did

their  chiefs,  and  were  owners of their plots of ground in perpetuity;

for  if  any  man  was  compelled  by  poverty  to  sell  his  farm or his

pasture,  he  received it back again intact at the year of jubilee: there

were  other  similar  enactments  against  the  possibility of alienating
real property.

(17:145)  Again,  poverty was nowhere more endurable than in a country

where duty towards one's neighbour, that is, one's fellow-citizen, was

practised  with  the  utmost piety, as a means of gaining the favour of
God  the  King.  (17:146)  Thus  the  Hebrew  citizens  would nowhere be

so  well  off  as  in  their  own  country; outside its limits they met with

nothing but loss and disgrace.

PAGE 231
(17:147)  The  following considerations were of weight, not only in keep-

ing  them  at  home,  but  also  in  preventing  civil  war and removing
causes  of  strife;  no  one  was  bound  to  serve  his equal, but only

to  serve  God,  while  charity  and  love  towards  fellow-citizens was

accounted  the  highest piety; this last feeling was not a little fostered

by  the  general  hatred with which they regarded foreign nations and

were  regarded  by  them.  (17:148)  Furthermore,  the  strict discipline of

obedience  in  which  they  were  brought  up,  was  a very important

factor;  for  they were bound to carry on all their actions according to

the  set  rules  of  the law: a man might not plough when he liked, but

only  at  certain  times,  in certain years, and with one sort of beast at

a  time;  so,  too, he might only sow and reap in a certain method and

season—in fact,  his  whole  life  was  one  long school of obedience

(see  Chap. V.  on  the  use  of  ceremonies);  such  a habit was thus

engendered,  that  conformity  seemed  freedom instead of servitude,

and  men  desired  what  was  commanded  rather than what was for-

bidden.  (17:149) This  result  was  not  a  little  aided by the fact that the

people  were  bound,  at  certain  seasons  of  the year, to give them-

selves  up  to  rest  and rejoicing,  not  for  their  own pleasure, but in

order that they might worship God cheerfully.

(17:150)  Three  times  in  the  year  they feasted before the Lord; on the

seventh  day  of  every  week  they  were  bidden  to abstain from all

work  and  to  rest;  besides these, there were other occasions when

innocent  rejoicing  and  feasting  were not only allowed but enjoined.

(17:151)  I  do  not  think  any  better  means  of  influencing men's minds

could  be  devised;  for  there  is no more powerful attraction than joy

springing from devotion, a mixture of admiration and love.  (17:152) It was

not  easy  to  be  wearied  by  constant  repetition, for the rites on the

various  festivals  were  varied  and  recurred seldom.  (17:153)  We may

add  the  deep  reverence  for  the  Temple which all most religiously

fostered,  on  account  of  the peculiar rites and duties that they were

obliged  to  perform  before  approaching  thither.    (17:154)   Even  now,

Jews  cannot  read  without  horror  of  the  crime  of Manasseh, who

dared  to  place  an idol in the Temple.  (17:155)  The laws, scrupulously

preserved  in  the  inmost sanctuary, were objects of equal reverence

to   the   people.   (17:156)   Popular  reports  and  misconceptions  were,

therefore,  very  little  to  be  page 232  feared  in this quarter, for no one

dared  decide  on  sacred  matters, but all felt bound to obey, without

consulting  their  reason,  all  the  commands  given  by  the answers

of  God  received  in  the  Temple,  and  all the  laws  which God had


(17:157)  I  think  I  have  now  explained clearly, though briefly, the main

features  of  the  Hebrew  commonwealth.  (17:158)  I  must  now  inquire

into  the  causes  which  led the people so often to fall away from the

law,   which   brought  about  their  frequent  subjection,  and,  finally,

the  complete  destruction  of  their  dominion.  (17:159)  Perhaps  I  shall

be  told that it sprang from their hardness of heart; but this is childish,

for  why  should this people be more hard of heart than others; was it

by nature?

(17:160)  But  nature  forms  individuals,  not  peoples; the latter are only

distinguishable  by  the  difference  of  their  language, their customs,

and  their  laws;  while  from the two last—i.e., customs and laws,—it

may  arise  that  they  have  a peculiar disposition, a peculiar manner

of  life,  and  peculiar  prejudices.  (17:161)  If,  then,  the  Hebrews  were
harder  of  heart  than  other  nations,  the  fault lay with their laws or


(17:162)  This is certainly true, in the sense that, if God had wished their

dominion  to  be  more  lasting, He would have given them other rites

and  laws,  and  would have instituted a different form of government.

(17:163)  We can, therefore, only say that their God was angry with them,

not  only,  as Jeremiah  says,  from  the  building of the city, but even

from the founding of their laws.

(17:164)  This  is  borne  witness  to  by Ezekiel xx:25: "Wherefore I gave

them  also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they

should  not  live;  and  I  polluted  them  in their own gifts, in that they

caused  to  pass  through  the  fire  all  that  openeth  the womb; that

I  might  make  them  desolate,  to  the  end that they might know that

I am the Lord."

(17:165)  In order that we may understand these words, and the destruc-

tion  of  the Hebrew commonwealth, we must bear in mind that it had

at  first been intended to entrust the whole duties of the priesthood to
Bk.XIA:14922—Eze. 20:25-26.      Bk.XIA:14920—Exo. 32:25-28; Deut. 10:8.
the  firstborn,  and not to the Levites (see Numb. viii:17).  (17:166)  It was

only  when  all  the tribes, except the Levites, worshipped the golden

calf,  that   page 233  the  firstborn  were  rejected  and  defiled,  and the

Levites chosen in their stead (Deut. x:8).  (17:167)  When I reflect on this

change,  I  feel  disposed  to  break  forth  with  the  words  of Tacitus.

(17:168)   God's  object  at  that  time  was  not the safety of the Jews, but
  {better—cause and effect of not abiding by the golden rule}.

(17:169)   I   am   greatly   astonished  {?}   that   the   celestial  mind  was

so  inflamed  with  anger that it ordained laws, which always are sup-

posed  to  promote  the  honour, well-being, and security of a people,
with  the  purpose  of vengeance, for the sake of punishment;
so that

the  laws  do  not  seem  so much laws—that is, the safeguard of the
people—as pains and penalties.

(17:170)  The  gifts  which  the  people  were  obliged  to  bestow  on the

Levites  and priests—the redemption of the firstborn, the poll-tax due

to  the  Levites,  the privilege possessed by the latter of the sole per-

formance  of sacred rites—all these, I say, were a continual reproach

to  the  people, a continual reminder of their defilement and rejection.

(17:171)  Moreover, we may be sure that the Levites were for ever heap-

ing reproaches upon them: for among so many thousands there must

have been many importunate dabblers in theology.   (17:172)  Hence the

people got into the way of watching the acts of the Levites, who were
but  human;  of accusing the whole body of the faults of one member,
and continually murmuring.

(17:173)  Besides  this,  there was the obligation to keep in idleness men

hateful  to them, and connected by no ties of blood.  (17:174)  Especially
would  this  seem  grievous  when provisions were dear.  (17:174a) What

wonder, then, if in times of peace, when striking miracles had ceased,

and  no  men  of  paramount  authority were forthcoming, the irritable

and  greedy temper of the people began to wax cold, and at length to

fall away from a worship, which, though Divine, was also humiliating,
and  even  hostile,  and  to  seek after something fresh; or can we be

surprised that the captains, who always adopt the popular course, in

order  to  gain  the  sovereign  power  for themselves by enlisting the

sympathies of the people, and alienating the high priest, should have

yielded to their demands, and introduced a new worship?  (17:175)  If the

state  had  been  formed according to the original intention, the rights

and  honour  of  all the tribes would have been equal, and everything

would  have  rested  on  a  firm basis.  (17:176)  Who is there who would

willingly violate the religious rights of his  page 234  kindred?  (17:177)  What

could  a  man  desire more than to support his own brothers and par-

ents, thus fulfilling the duties of religion?  (17:178) Who would not rejoice

in  being  taught by them the interpretation of the laws, and receiving

through them the answers of God?

(17:179)  The tribes would thus have been united by a far closer bond, if

all  alike  had possessed the right to the priesthood.  (17:180)  All danger

would  have  been obviated, if the choice of the Levites had not been
dictated  by  anger  and  revenge.
   (17:181)  But,  as  we  have  said, the

Hebrews  had  offended  their  God,  Who,  as  Ezekiel says, polluted

them   in   their  own  gifts  by  rejecting  all  that  openeth  the  womb,

so that He might destroy them.

(17:182)  This passage is also confirmed by their history.  (17:182a)  As soon

as  the  people  in  the  wilderness  began  to  live in ease and plenty,
certain  men  of  no  mean  birth  began to rebel against the choice of
the  Levites,  and to make it a cause for believing that Moses had not

acted  by the commands of God, but for his own good pleasure, inas-

much  as  he  had  chosen  his  own  tribe  before  all  the  rest,   and

had  bestowed  the  high priesthood in perpetuity on his own brother.

(17:183)  They,  therefore,  stirred  up  a  tumult, and came to him, crying

out  that  all  men  were  equally sacred, and that he had exalted him-

self  above  his  fellows  wrongfully.  (17:184)  Moses was not able to pa-

cify  them  with  reasons;  but by the intervention of a miracle in proof
of  the  faith,  they  all  perished. 
(17:185)  A  fresh  sedition  then  arose

among the whole people,  who believed that their champions had not

been  put  to  death  by  the  judgment  of  God,  but  by the device of

Moses.  (17:186)  After  a  great slaughter,  or  pestilence,  the rising sub-

sided  from  inanition, but in such a manner that all preferred death to
life under such conditions.

(17:187)  We  should  rather say that sedition ceased than that harmony
was  re-established.    (17:188)  This  is  witnessed  by  Scripture  (Deut.

xxxi:21),  where  God,  after predicting to Moses that the people after

his  death  will  fall away from the Divine worship, speaks thus: "For I

know  their imagination which they go about, even now before I have

brought  them  into  the  land  which  I  sware;" and, a little while after

(xxxi:27),  Moses  says: "For  I  know  thy  rebellion and thy stiff neck:

behold  while  I am yet alive with you   page 235   this day, ye have been

rebellious  against  the  Lord;  and  how  much  more after my death!"

Indeed,  it  happened  according  to  his  words, as we all know.

(17:190)  Great  changes, extreme license, luxury, and hardness of heart

grew  up;  things  went from bad to worse, till at last the people, after

being   frequently   conquered,  came  to  an  open  rupture  with  the
Divine  right, and wished for a mortal king, so that the seat of govern-

ment  might  be  the  Court, instead of the Temple, and that the tribes

might  remain  fellow-citizens  in  respect  to  their  king,  instead of in

respect to Divine right and the high priesthood.

(17:191)  A vast material for new seditions was thus produced, eventually
resulting  in  the  ruin  of  the  entire state.  (17:191a)  Kings are above all

things jealous of a precarious rule, and can in nowise brook a domin-

ion within their own.  (17:192)  The first monarchs, being chosen from the

ranks  of  private  citizens,  were content with the amount of dignity to

which  they  had  risen;  but  their  sons,  who obtained the throne by

right  of  inheritance,  began gradually to introduce changes, so as to
get  all  the  sovereign  rights  into  their  own hands.  (17:193)  This they

were  generally  unable  to accomplish, so long as the right of legisla-

tion did not rest with them, but with the high priest, who kept the laws

in  the  sanctuary,  and   interpreted   them   to   the   people.   {This

separation of  powers  has evolved to the Supreme Court of a modern

Democratic  State.}    (17:194)   The  kings  were  thus  bound  to  obey  the

laws  as  much  as  were  the  subjects, and were unable to abrogate

them,  or  to ordain new laws of equal authority; moreover, they were

prevented  by  the  Levites  from  administering the affairs of religion,

king  and  subject  being alike unclean contaminated by selfish interests }.

(17:195)  Lastly,  the whole safety of their dominion depended on the will

of  one  man,  if  that  man appeared to be a prophet; and of this they

had  seen  an  example,  namely,  how  completely Samuel had been

able to command Saul, and how easily, because of a single disobed-

ience,  he  had been able to transfer the right of sovereignty to David

modern impeachment }.  (17:196)  Thus  the  kings  found a dominion within

their own, and wielded a precarious sovereignty.

(17:197)  In   order   to  surmount  these  difficulties,  they  allowed  other

temples  to  be  dedicated  to  the  gods,  so  that  there  might  be no

further  need  of  consulting  the  Levites;  they also sought out many

who  prophesied  in  the  name of God, so that they might have crea-

tures  of their own to oppose to the true  page 236  prophets.  (17:198)  How-

ever,  in  spite  of  all  their  attempts,  they  never  attained  their end.

(17:199)  For  the  prophets,  prepared  against every emergency, waited

for  a  favourable  opportunity,  such as the beginning of a new reign,

which  is  always  precarious, while the memory of the previous reign

remains green.  (17:200)  At  these  times  they  could  easily  pronounce

by  Divine  authority  that  the king was tyrannical, and could produce

a  champion  of  distinguished virtue to vindicate the Divine right, and

lawfully  to  claim  dominion,  or  a share in it.  (17:201)   Still, not even so

could the prophets effect much.   (17:202)  They could, indeed, remove a

tyrant;  but  there  were  reasons  which  prevented  them from doing

more  than  setting up, at great cost of civil bloodshed, another tyrant
in  his  stead.  (17:203)  Of  discords and civil wars there was no end, for

the causes for the violation of Divine right remained always the same,
and  could  only  be  removed  by a complete remodelling of the state.

(17:204)  We  have  now  seen how religion was introduced into the Heb-

rew  commonwealth,  and  how  the  dominion  might  have lasted for

ever,  if  the  just  wrath  of the Lawgiver had allowed it.  (17:205)  As this

was  impossible,  it  was  bound  in  time  to  perish.  (17:206)  I  am  now
 538 B.C.
speaking only of the first commonwealth,  for the second was a mere

shadow  of  the  first,  inasmuch  as  the  people  were  bound by the

rights  of  the  Persians  to  whom  they were subject.  (17:207)  After the
141 B.C.[   
restoration  of  freedom,  the  high  priests  usurped  the  rights of the

secular  chiefs,   and  thus  obtained  absolute  dominion.   (17:208)   The

priests  were  inflamed  with  an  intense  desire  to  wield the powers

of  the  sovereignty  and  the  high priesthood at the same time {as the

Popes once did}.    (17:209)   I  have, therefore, no need to speak further of

the  second  commonwealth.  (17:210)  Whether the first,  in so far as we

deem  it  to have been durable, is capable of imitation, and whether it

would  be  pious  to  copy  it as far as possible, will appear from what

follows.  (17:211)  I wish only to draw attention, as a crowning conclusion,

to  the  principle  indicated  already—namely,  that  it is evident, from

what we have stated in this chapter,  that the Divine right, or the right

of  religion,  originates in a compact: without such compact, none but

natural  rights  exist.  (17:212)  The  Hebrews  were  not  bound  by  their

religion to evince any pious care for other nations not included in the

compact, but only for their own fellow-citizens.

Page 237

(18:1)  Although  the  commonwealth  of  the Hebrews, as we have con-

ceived it, might have lasted for ever, it would be impossible to imitate
it  at  the  present  day,  nor  would  it be advisable so to do.  (18:2)  If a

people  wished  to  transfer  their rights to God it would be necessary

to  make  an express covenant with Him, and for this would be need-

ed not only the consent of those transferring their rights, but also the

consent  of God.  (18:3)  God, however, has revealed through his Apos-

tles  that  the covenant of God is no longer written in ink, or on tables
Bk.XIA:109140, 15236.
of  stone,  but  with  the  Spirit of God in the fleshy tables of the heart.           Smith:109140

(18:4)  Furthermore, such a form of government would only be available

for  those  who  desire  to have no foreign relations, but to shut them-
selves  up within their own frontiers, and to live apart from the rest of

the  world;  it  would be useless to men who must have dealings with
other  nations;  so that the cases where it could be adopted are very

few indeed.

(18:5)  Nevertheless, though it could not be copied in its entirety, it pos-

sessed many excellent features which might be brought to our notice,
Bk.XIA:15234; Bk.XIB:134.
and  perhaps  imitated  with  advantage.  (18:6)  My  intention,  however,

is  not  to  write a treatise on forms of government, so I will pass over

most  of  such  points  in  silence,  and will only touch on those which

bear  upon  my purpose.  (18:7)  God's kingdom is not infringed upon by

the choice of an earthly ruler endowed with sovereign rights; for after

the  Hebrews  had  transferred their rights to God, they conferred the

sovereign right of ruling on Moses, investing him with the sole power

of  instituting  and  abrogating  laws  in the name of God, of choosing

priests,  of  judging,  of  page 238 teaching, of punishing—in fact, all the

prerogatives of an absolute monarch.

(18:8)  Again,  though the priests were the interpreters of the laws, they
Bk.XIA:15235; Bk.XIB:2454, 55.
had  no  power  to  judge  the  citizens, or to excommunicate anyone:

this could only be done by the judges and chiefs chosen from among

the  people.  (18:9)  A  consideration  of the successes and the histories

of  the Hebrews will bring to light other considerations worthy of note.

To wit:—

(18:9)  That there were no religious sects, till after the high priests, in

the second commonwealth, possessed the authority to make decrees,

and  transact  the  business  of  government.  (18:10)   In order that such

authority  might  last  for  ever,  the high priests usurped the rights of

secular  rulers,  and  at  last  wished  to  be  styled  kings.   (18:11)  The

reason  for  this  is  ready  to  hand;   in  the  first  commonwealth  no

decrees  could  bear  the  name of the high priest, for he had no right

to  ordain  laws,  but  only  to  give  the  answers of God to questions

asked  by  the  captains or the councils: he had, therefore, no motive

for  making  changes  in  the  law,  but  took  care, on the contrary, to

administer and guard what had already been received and accepted.

(18:12)  His  only  means of preserving his freedom in safety against the

will  of  the  captains  lay  in  cherishing the law intact.  (18:13)  After the

high  priests  had assumed the power of carrying on the government,

and  added  the  rights  of  secular  rulers  to  those they already pos-

sessed,  each  one  began both in things religious and in things secu-

lar,  to  seek  for the glorification of his own name, settling everything

by  sacerdotal  authority,  and issuing every day, concerning ceremo-

nies,  faith,  and  all  else,  new  decrees which he sought to make as

sacred  and  authoritative  as  the laws of Moses.  (18:14)  Religion thus

sank  into a degrading superstition, while the true meaning and inter-

pretation  of the laws became corrupted.  (18:15) Furthermore, while the

high  priests  were  paving  their way to the secular rule just after the

restoration,  they  attempted  to  gain  popular favour by assenting to

every  demand; approving whatever the people did, however impious,

and  accommodating  Scripture  to  the very depraved current morals.

(18:16)  Malachi  bears  witness  to this in no measured terms: he chides

the  priests  of  his  time  as  despisers of the name of God, and then

goes  on  with  his  invective  as  follows  (Mal ii:7, 8):  page 239 "For the

priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at

his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.  (18:17)  "But ye

are  departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the

law, ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts."

(18:18)  He  further  accuses  them  of interpreting the laws according to

their  own  pleasure,  and  paying  no respect to God but only to per-

sons.  (18:19)  It  is  certain  that the high priests were never so cautious

in  their  conduct as to escape the remark of the more shrewd among

the people, for the latter were at length emboldened to assert that no

laws  ought  to  be  kept  save  those  that  were written, and that the
decrees  which  the  Pharisees  (consisting,  as Josephus says in his

"Antiquities,"   chiefly  of  the  common  people),  were  deceived  into

calling  the  traditions  of  the  fathers,  should  not be observed at all.

(18:20)  However this may be, we can in nowise doubt that flattery of the

high priest, the corruption of religion and the laws, and the enormous

increase  of  the  extent  of  the  last-named, gave very great and fre-

quent  occasion  for  disputes  and  altercations  impossible  to  allay.

(18:21)  When  men  begin  to  quarrel  with all the ardour of superstition,

and  the  magistracy to back up one side or the other, they can never
come to a compromise, but are bound to split into sects.

 (18:22)  It  is  worthy  of  remark  that the prophets, who were in a pri-
vate  station  of  life,  rather  irritated  than reformed mankind by their
freedom  of  warning,  rebuke,  and  censure;  whereas the kings, by

their  reproofs  and  punishments,  could  always  produce  an effect. 
The  prophets  were  often  intolerable  even  to pious kings, on

account  of the authority they assumed for judging whether an action

was  right  or  wrong,  or  for  reproving  the  kings themselves if they

dared  to  transact  any  business,  whether public or private, without

prophetic  sanction.  (18:24)  King  Asa  who, according to the testimony

of  Scripture,  reigned  piously,  put the prophet Hanani into a prison-

house  because  he had ventured freely to chide and reprove him for

entering into a covenant with the king of Armenia.

(18:25)  Other  examples  might  be cited,  tending  to prove that religion

gained  more  harm  than  good by such freedom, not to speak of the

further  consequence,  that if the prophets  page 240  had retained their

rights, great civil wars would have resulted.

 (18:26)  It  is  remarkable  that  during all the period, during which the

people held the reins of power, there was only one civil war, and that

one was completely extinguished, the conquerors taking such pity on

the  conquered,  that  they  endeavoured  in  every  way  to  reinstate

them in their former dignity and power.  (18:27)  But after that the people,

little accustomed to kings, changed its first form of government into a
monarchy,  civil  war  raged almost continuously; and battles were so

fierce  as  to  exceed  all others recorded; in one engagement (taxing

our faith to the utmost) five hundred thousand Israelites were slaught-

ered  by  the  men  of  Judah, and in another the Israelites slew great

numbers  of the men of Judah (the figures are not given in Scripture),

almost  razed  to  the  ground the walls of Jerusalem, and sacked the

Temple  in  their  unbridled fury.  (18:28)  At length, laden with the spoils

of their brethren, satiated with blood, they took hostages, and leaving

the  king  in  his  well-nigh  devastated kingdom, laid down their arms,

relying  on  the  weakness  rather  than  the  good  faith  of their foes.

(18:29)  A  few  years  after,  the  men  of  Judah, with recruited strength,

again  took  the field, but were a second time beaten by the Israelites,

and  slain to the number of a hundred and twenty thousand, two hun-

dred thousand of their wives and children were led into captivity, and

a  great  booty  again  seized.  (188:30)  Worn  out with these and similar

battles  set  forth  at  length in their histories, the Jews at length fell a
prey to their enemies.

(18:31)  Furthermore,  if we reckon up the times during which peace pre-

vailed  under each form of government, we shall find a great discrep-

ancy.   (18:32)  Before the monarchy forty years and more often passed,

and  once  eighty  years (an almost unparalleled period), without any

war,  foreign  or  civil.  (18:33)  After the kings acquired sovereign power,

the fighting was no longer for peace and liberty, but for glory; accord-

ingly  we  find  that  they  all,  with  the  exception of Solomon (whose

virtue  and  wisdom  would  be better displayed in peace than in war)

waged war, and finally a fatal desire for power gained ground, which,

in   many   cases,   made   the   path   to   the   throne  a  bloody  one.

(18:34)  Lastly, the laws, during the rule of the people, remained  page 241

uncorrupted  and  were  studiously  observed.  (18:35)  Before  the mon-

archy  there  were  very  few  prophets  to  admonish  the people, but

after  the  establishment  of  kings  there  were a great number at the

same  time.  (18:36)  Obadiah saved a hundred from death and hid them

away,  lest  they  should  be  slain with the rest.  (18:37)  The people, so

far  as  we  can  see, were never deceived by false prophets till after

the  power  had  been  vested in kings, whose creatures many of the

prophets  were.  (18:38)  Again,  the  people, whose heart was generally

proud  or  humble  according  to  its  circumstances,  easily corrected

itself  under  misfortune,  turned again to God, restored His laws, and

so freed itself from all peril; but the kings,  whose hearts were always

equally  puffed  up,  and  who could not be corrected without humilia-

tion,  clung  pertinaciously  to  their vices,  even till the last overthrow

of the city.

(18:39)  We may now clearly see from what I have said:—

I.  (18:40)  How  hurtful to religion and the state is the concession to min-

isters  of  religion  of  any power of issuing decrees or transacting the

business  of  government: how, on the contrary, far greater stability is
 Judges }
afforded,  if  the  said  ministers  are  only  allowed to give answers to
questions  duly put to them, and are, as a rule, obliged to preach and

practise the received and accepted doctrines. {This  concept  evolved

to the separation of State and Religion in modern Democratic States.}

(18:41)  How  dangerous  it  is  to  refer to Divine right matters merely

speculative  and  subject  or liable to dispute.  (18:42)  The most tyranni-

cal  governments are those which make crimes of opinions, for every-

one  has  an inalienable right over his thoughts—nay, such a state of

things leads to the rule of popular passion.

(18:43)  Pontius Pilate made concession to the passion of the Pharisees

in  consenting  to  the  crucifixion of Christ, whom he knew to be inno-

cent.  (18:44)  Again, the Pharisees,  in  order  to  shake  the  position of

men  richer  than  themselves,  began  to set on foot questions of reli-

gion,  and  accused  the  Sadducees  of  impiety,  and, following their

example,  the vilest—hypocrites,  stirred,  as  they  pretended, by the

same holy wrath which they called zeal for the Lord, persecuted men

whose  unblemished  character  and  distinguished virtue had excited

the  popular  hatred,  publicly denounced their opinions, and inflamed

the fierce passions of the people against them.

(18:45)  This   wanton   licence  being  cloaked  with  the  specious  garb

  page 242  of  religion  could  not  easily  be  repressed, especially when

the  sovereign  authorities  introduced  a  sect of which they were not

the  head;  they  were  then  regarded  not  as  interpreters  of  Divine

right,  but  as  sectarians—that is, as persons recognizing the right of

Divine  interpretation  assumed  by the leaders of the sect.  (18:46)  The

authority  of  the  magistrates  thus  became  of  little account in such

matters  in  comparison  with the authority of sectarian leaders before

whose interpretations kings were obliged to bow.

(18:47)  To  avoid  such  evils  in  a  state,  there  is no safer way than to

make piety and religion to consist in acts only—that is, in the practice

of  justice and charity, leaving everyone's judgment in other respects
free.  (18:48)  But I will speak of this more at length presently.

(18:49)   We see how necessary it is, both in the interests of the state

and  in  the interests of religion, to confer on the sovereign power the

right  of  deciding  what  is  lawful  or  the reverse.  (18:50)  If this right of

judging  actions  could not be given to the very prophets of God with-

out  great  injury to the state and religion, how much less should it be

entrusted   to  those  who  can  neither  foretell  the  future  nor  work

miracles!  (18:51)  But this again I will treat of more fully hereafter.

 (18:52)  Lastly,  we  see  how  disastrous  it  is for a people unaccus-

tomed  to kings, and possessing a complete code of laws, to set up a

monarchy.  (18:53)  Neither can the subjects brook such a sway, nor the

royal  authority  submit  to  laws  and popular rights set up by anyone

inferior  to  itself.  (18:54)  Still  less  can  a  king  be  expected to defend

such  laws,  for they were not framed to support his dominion, but the

dominion of the people, or some council which formerly ruled, so that

in  guarding  the  popular  rights  the  king  would  seem to be a slave

rather  than  a  master.  (18:55)  The  representative  of a new monarchy

will  employ  all  his  zeal  in  attempting  to  frame new laws, so as to

wrest the rights of dominion to his own use, and to reduce the people

till they find it easier to increase than to curtail the royal prerogative.

(18:56)  I must not, however, omit to state that it is no less dangerous to

remove a monarch, though he is on all hands admitted to be a tyrant.

(18:57)   For   his   people  are  accustomed  to  royal  authority  and  will

obey  no  other,  despising  and  mocking  at  any less august control.

PAGE 243

(18:58)  It  is  therefore  necessary,  as the prophets discovered of old, if

one  king  be  removed,  that  he should be replaced by another, who

will  be  a  tyrant from necessity rather than choice.  (18:59) For how will

he  be  able  to  endure  the sight of the hands of the citizens reeking

with  royal blood, and to rejoice in their regicide as a glorious exploit?

(18:60)  Was  not  the  deed  perpetrated as an example and warning for


(18:61)  If  he  really  wishes  to  be  king,  and  not  to  acknowledge the

people  as  the  judge  of  kings and the master of himself, or to wield

a  precarious  sway,  he  must  avenge  the death of his predecessor,

making  an  example for his own sake, lest the people should venture

to  repeat  a  similar  crime.  (18:62)  He will not, however, be able easily

to  avenge  the  death of the tyrant by the slaughter of citizens unless

he  defends  the  cause  of  tyranny  and  approves  the  deeds of his

predecessor, thus following in his footsteps.

(18:63)  Hence  it  comes  to pass that peoples have often changed their

tyrants,  but  never  removed  them or changed the monarchical form

of government into any other.

(18:64)  The English people furnish us with a terrible example of this fact.
Charles I, executed in 1649 [
(18:65)  They  sought  how  to  depose  their  monarch  under  the forms

of  law,  but  when  he  had  been  removed, they were utterly unable

to  change  the  form  of government, and after much bloodshed only

brought  it  about,  that  a  new monarch should be hailed under a dif-

ferent  name  (as  though  it  had  been  a  mere  question of names);
Cromwell assumed the title of Protector [
this  new  monarch  could  only  consolidate his power by completely

destroying  the  royal stock, putting to death the king's friends, real or

supposed,  and disturbing with war the peace which might encourage

discontent,  in  order  that the populace might be engrossed with nov-

elties and divert its mind from brooding over the slaughter of the king.

(18:66)  At  last,  however,  the people reflected that it had accomplished

nothing  for  the good of the country beyond violating the rights of the

lawful  king  and changing everything for the worse.  (18:67)  It therefore

decided to retrace its steps as soon as possible, and never rested till
Bk.XIA:15975; Bk.XIB:9415.
it  had  seen  a  complete  restoration  of  the  original  state of affairs.

(18:68)  It  may  perhaps  be objected that the Roman people was easily

able  to  remove  its tyrants, but I gather from its history a strong con-

firmation  of  my contention.  (18:69)  Though  the  page 244  Roman people

was  much more than ordinarily capable of removing their tyrants and

changing  their  form  of  government,  inasmuch  as it held in its own

hands  the  power  of  electing  its king and his successor, said being

composed  of  rebels  and  criminals  had  not  long been used to the

royal yoke (out of its six kings it had put to death three), nevertheless

it  could  accomplish nothing beyond electing several tyrants in place

of  one,  who  kept  it  groaning  under  a  continual state of war, both

foreign  and civil, till at last it changed its government again to a form
differing from monarchy, as in England, only in name.

(18:70)  As  for  the  United  States  of the Netherlands, they have never,

as  we  know, had a king, but only counts, who never attained the full

rights  of  dominion.  (18:71)  The  States  of  the  Netherlands  evidently

acted  as  principals  in  the  settlement  made  by them at the time of
See Shirley's footnote } 
the  Earl  of Leicester's mission: they always reserved for themselves

the  authority  to  keep the counts up to their duties, and the power to

preserve  this  authority and the liberty of the citizens.  (18:72) They had

ample  means  of  vindicating  their  rights  if their rulers should prove

tyrannical,  and  could  impose  such  restraints that nothing could be
done without their consent and approval.

(18:73)  Thus  the  rights  of  sovereign power have always been vested
Philip II of Spain [ ; Bk.XX:7, 47. 
in  the  States,  though  the  last  count  endeavoured  to  usurp them.

(18:74)  It  is  therefore  little  likely  that  the  States should give them up,

especially  as  they  have  just  restored their original dominion, lately

almost lost.

(18:75)   These  examples,  then,  confirm  us  in  our  belief,  that  every

dominion  should retain its original form, and, indeed, cannot change
Bk.XIA:15977; Bk.XIB:9517; Bk.XIV:2:2501; Bk.XX:283107. 
it  without  danger  of the utter ruin of the whole state.  (18:76)  Such are

the points I have here thought worthy of remark.

Page 245

When  I said that the possessors of sovereign power have rights
over  everything,  and  that  all  rights are dependent on their decree,
Bk.XIA:15238sacred matters.
I  did not merely mean temporal rights, but also spiritual rights; of the

latter,  no  less than the former, they ought to be the interpreters and

the  champions.  (19:2)  I  wish  to  draw  special  attention  to this point,

and  to  discuss  it  fully in this chapter, because many persons deny

that  the  right  of  deciding  religious  questions belongs to the sover-

eign power,  and refuse to acknowledge it as the interpreter of Divine

right.   (19:3)   They   accordingly   assume  full  licence  to  accuse  and

arraign  it,   nay,   even  to  excommunicate  it  from  the  Church,   as
In 390 A.D.[
Ambrosius treated the Emperor Theodosius in old time.  (19:4) However,

I  will  show  later on in this chapter that they take this means of divid-

ing  the  government,  and  paving  the way to their own ascendancy.

(19:5)  I  wish,  however,  first  to point out that religion acquires its force

as  law  solely  from  the  decrees  of the sovereign.  (19:6)  God has no

special  kingdom  among  men  except in so far as He reigns through

temporal  rulers.
  (19:7)  Moreover,  the rites of religion and the outward
observances  of  piety should be in accordance with the public peace

and well-being, and should therefore be determined by the sovereign

power  alone.  (19:8)  I  speak  here only of the outward observances of

piety  and  the  external  rites  of religion, not of piety itself, nor of the

inward worship of God,  nor the means by which the mind is inwardly
sincerity [
led to do homage to God in singleness of heart.

(19:9)  Inward worship of God and piety in itself are within the sphere of
Bk.XIA:15339.                                        Bk.XIA:17861. 
everyone's  private  rights,  and  cannot  be alienated (as I showed at

the end of
 Chapter VII.).   (19:10)  What  I  here  page246 mean by the king-

dom  of  God  is,  I think, sufficiently clear from what has been said in

Chapter XIV.  (19:11)  I  there  showed  that  a  man best fulfils Gods law

who   worships  Him,  according  to  His  command,  through  acts  of

justice  and  charity;  it  follows,  therefore,  that wherever justice and
charity  have  the force of law and ordinance, there is God's kingdom.

(19:12)  I  recognize  no difference between the cases where God teach-

es  and  commands  the practice  of  justice  and  charity through our

natural  faculties,  and  those  where  He  makes  special revelations;

nor  is  the  form  of  the  revelation  of  importance  so  long  as such

practice  is  revealed  and  becomes a sovereign and supreme law to

men.  (19:13)  If,  therefore, I  show  that  justice and charity can only ac-

quire  the force of right and law through the rights of rulers, I shall be

able  readily  to  arrive  at  the  conclusion  (seeing  that the rights of

rulers  are  in the possession of the sovereign), that religion can only

acquire  the  force  of  right  by means of those who have the right to

command,  and  that  God  only  rules among men through the instru-

mentality  of  earthly  potentates.  (19:14)  It  follows from what has been

said,  that  the  practice  of justice and charity only acquires the force

of  law  through  the  rights of the sovereign authority; for we showed

in  Chapter XVI.  that in the state of nature reason has no more rights

than  desire,  but  that  men  living  either by the laws of the former or

the  laws  of  the latter, possess rights co-extensive with their powers.

(19:15)  For this reason we could not conceive sin to exist in the state of

nature,  nor imagine God as a judge punishing man's transgressions;

but  we  supposed all things to happen according to the general laws

of  universal  nature,  there  being  no  difference between pious and

impious,  between  him  that  was  pure  (as Solomon says)  and  him

that  was  impure,  because  there  was no possibility either of justice

or charity.

(19:16)  In order that the true doctrines of reason, that is (as we showed

in  Chapter IV.),  the true Divine doctrines might obtain absolutely the

force  of  law  and  right, it was necessary that each individual should

cede  his  natural  right,  and  transfer  it  either to society as a whole,

or  to  a certain  body  of  men, or to one man.  (18:17)  Then, and not till

then,  does  it  first  page 247 dawn  upon  us  what  is  justice and what

is injustice, what is equity and what is iniquity.

(19:18)  Justice,  therefore,  and  absolutely  all  the  precepts  of reason,

including  love  towards  one's  neighbour,  receive  the force of laws

and  ordinances  solely  through the rights of dominion, that is (as we

showed  in  the  same  chapter)  solely  on  the  decree  of those who

possess  the  right  to  rule.  (19:19)  Inasmuch  as  the  kingdom  of God

consists  entirely  in  rights  applied  to  justice  and  charity or to true

religion,  it  follows  that  (as we asserted)  the  kingdom  of  God can

only  exist  among  men  through the means of the sovereign powers;

nor  does  it  make  any  difference  whether religion be apprehended

by  our  natural  faculties  or  by  revelation: the argument is sound in

both  cases,  inasmuch as religion is one and the same, and is equal-

ly  revealed  by  God,  whatever  be  the  manner in which it becomes

known to men.

(19:20)  Thus,  in  order  that the religion revealed by the prophets might

have  the  force  of  law among the Jews, it was necessary that every

man  of  them  should  yield  up  his  natural  right, and that all should,
with  one  accord,  agree  that  they would only obey such commands

as God should reveal to them through the prophets.   (19:21)  Just as we

have shown to take place in a democracy, where men with one con-

sent agree to live according to the dictates of reason.   (19:22)  Although

the  Hebrews  furthermore  transferred  their  right  to God, they were

able  to do so rather in theory than in practice, for, as a matter of fact

(as  we  pointed  out  above)  they  absolutely  retained  the  right  of

dominion  till  they  transferred  it  to  Moses,  who in his turn became

absolute  king,  so that it was only through him that God reigned over

the   Hebrews.   (19:23)   For   this   reason  (namely,  that  religion  only

acquires  the  force  of  law by means of the sovereign power) Moses

was  not  able  to  punish  those  who,  before the covenant, and con-

sequently   while   still   in   possession   of  their  rights,  violated  the

Sabbath  (Exod. xvi:27),  but  was  able  to  do  so  after the covenant

(Numb. xv:36),  because  everyone  had  then  yielded  up his natural

rights,  and  the  ordinance  of  the  Sabbath  had  received  the force

of law.

(19:24)  Lastly,  for the same reason, after the destruction of the Hebrew

dominion,  revealed  religion  ceased to have the force of law; for we

cannot doubt that as soon as the Jews  page 248  transferred their right

to the king of Babylon, the kingdom of God and the Divine right forth-

with  ceased.  (19:25)  For  the  covenant  wherewith  they  promised  to

obey  all  the  utterances  of  God  was  abrogated;   God's  kingdom,

which was based thereupon, also ceased.   (19:26)  The Hebrews could

no longer abide thereby, inasmuch as their rights no longer belonged

to   them   but   to  the   king  of  Babylon,  whom  (as  we  showed  in

Chapter XVI.)  they  were  bound to obey in all things.  (19:27)  Jeremiah
(chap. xxix:7)  expressly  admonishes them of this fact: "And seek the

peace  of  the city, whither I have caused you to be carried away cap-

tives,  and  pray  unto  the Lord for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye

have  peace.(19:28)  Now,  they  could  not seek the peace of the City

as  having  a  share  in  its government, but only as slaves, being, as

they  were,  captives; by obedience in all things, with a view to avoid-

ing  seditions,  and  by observing all the laws of the country, however

different   from   their  own.  (19:29)   It  is  thus  abundantly  evident  that

religion  among  the  Hebrews  only  acquired the form of law through

the right of the sovereign rule; when that rule was destroyed, it could

no  longer be received as the law of a particular kingdom, but only as

the  universal  precept of reason.  (19:30)  I say of reason, for the univer-

sal  religion  had  not yet become known by revelation.  (19:31)  We may

therefore draw the general conclusion that religion, whether revealed

through  our  natural faculties or through prophets, receives the force

of a command solely through the decrees of the holders of sovereign

power;  and,  further,  that  God  has no special kingdom among men,

except in so far as He reigns through earthly potentates.

(19:32)  We may now see in a clearer light what was stated in Chap. IV.,

namely,  that  all  the decrees of God involve eternal truth and neces-

sity,  so  that we cannot conceive God as a prince or legislator giving
laws  to  mankind. 
(19:33)  For this reason the Divine precepts, whether

revealed  through  our  natural  faculties, or through prophets, do not

receive  immediately from God the force of a command, but only from

those,  or  through  the  mediation  of those, who possess the right of

ruling  and  legislating.  (19:34)  It is only through these latter means that
God  rules  among  men,  and  directs  human affairs with justice and


PAGE 249

(19:35)  This  conclusion  is  supported by experience, for we find traces

of  Divine  justice  only  in  places  where  just  men  bear sway; else-

where  the  same  lot (to  repeat,  again Solomon's words) befalls the

just  and  the unjust, the pure and the impure:
a state of things which
causes  Divine  Providence  to  be  doubted  by  many who think that

God  immediately  reigns  among men, and directs all nature for their


(19:36)   As,  then,  both  reason  and  experience  tell us that the Divine

right is entirely dependent on the decrees of secular rulers, it follows

that secular rulers are its proper interpreters.  (19:37)  How this is so we

shall  now see, for it is time to show that the outward observances of

religion,  and all the external practices of piety should be brought into
accordance  with  the  public
 peace and well-being if we would obey

God rightly.  (19:38)  When  this  has  been shown we shall easily under-

stand how the sovereign rulers are the proper interpreters of religion

and piety.

(19:39)  It  is  certain  that  duties  towards  one's country are the highest

that  man  can  fulfil; for, if government be taken away, no good thing

can  last,  all  falls  into  dispute, anger and anarchy reign unchecked
amid   universal   fear.    (19:40)   Consequently  there  can  be  no  duty

towards  our  neighbour  which  would  not  become  an  offence  if  it

involved  injury  to  the  whole  state,  nor  can  there  be any offence

against  our  duty  towards  our  neighbour, or anything but loyalty in

what  we  do  for the sake of preserving the state.  (19:41)  For instance:

it is in the abstract my duty when my neighbour quarrels with me and

wishes to take my cloak, to give him my coat also; but if it be thought

that  such  conduct  is hurtful to the maintenance of the state, I ought

to bring him to trial, even at the risk of his being condemned to death.

 See Shirley's footnote } 
For  this  reason  Manlius  Torquatus is held up to honour, inas-

much as the public welfare outweighed with him his duty towards his

children.  (19:43)  This  being  so, it follows that the public welfare is the

sovereign  law  to  which  all  others,  Divine  and  human, should be
made to conform.
(19:44)  Now, it is the function of the sovereign only to

decide  what is necessary for the public welfare and the safety of the

state,  and to give orders accordingly; therefore it is also the function

of the sovereign only to decide the limits of  page 250  our duty towards

our  neighbour—in other words,  to  determine  how  we should obey

  (19:45)   We can now clearly understand how the sovereign is the

interpreter of religion,  and further, that no one can obey God rightly,
civil theologyBk.XIA:15344. 
if  the  practices  of  his piety do not conform to the public welfare; or,

consequently,  if  he does not implicitly obey all the commands of the
sovereign.  (19:46)  For  as  by  God's command we are bound to do our

duty to all men without exception, and to do no man an injury, we are

also  bound  not  to help one man at another's loss, still less at a loss

to  the  whole  state.  (19:47)  Now,  no  private  citizen can know what is

good  for  the  state,  except  he learn it through the sovereign power,

who  alone  has  the  right  to  transact  public business: therefore no

one  can  rightly  practise piety or obedience to God, unless he obey

the sovereign power's commands in all things.  (19:48)  This proposition

is  confirmed  by  the  facts  of  experience.  (19:49)  For if the sovereign

adjudge  a  man  to  be  worthy of death or an enemy, whether he be

a  citizen  or  a  foreigner,  a private individual or a separate ruler, no

subject  is  allowed  to  give him assistance.  (19:50)  So also though the

Jews   were   bidden   to   love   their  fellow-citizens  as  themselves

(Levit. xix:17, 18),  they  were nevertheless bound, if a man offended

against  the  law,  to  point  him out to the judge (Levit. v:1, and Deut.

xiii:8, 9),  and,  if  he  should  be  condemned  to  death,   to slay him

(Deut. xvii:7).

(19:51)  Further,  in  order  that  the  Hebrews might preserve the liberty

they  had  gained,  and  might retain absolute sway over the territory

they had conquered, it was necessary, as we showed in Chap, XVII.,

that  their  religion  should be adapted to their particular government,

and   that  they  should  separate  themselves  from  the  rest  of  the

nations:  wherefore it was commanded to them, "Love thy neighbour

and  hate  thine  enemy" (Matt. v:43),  but  after  they  had  lost  their

dominion  and had gone into captivity in Babylon, Jeremiah bid them

take  thought  for the safety of the state into which they had been led

captive; and Christ when He saw that they would be spread over the

whole world,  told them to do their duty by all men without exception;

all  of  which  instances  show that religion has always been made to

conform  to  the  public  welfare.  
(19:52)  Perhaps someone will ask: By

what  right,  then,  did  the  disciples   page 251  of  Christ, being private

citizens,  preach  a  new  religion?   (19:53)  I answer that they did so by

the  right  of  the  power which they had received from Christ against

unclean spirits (see Matt. x:1).  (19:54)  I have already stated in Chapter

XVI.  that  all  are  bound to obey a tyrant, unless they have received

from God through undoubted revelation a promise of aid against him;

so  let  no one take example from the Apostles unless he too has the
power  of  working  miracles.   (19:55)  The  point  is  brought  out  more

clearly  by  Christ's  command  to  His disciples, "Fear not those who

kill  the  body" (Matt. x:28).  (19:56)  If  this  command  were imposed on

everyone,  governments  would  be  founded  in vain, and Solomon's

words  (Prov. xxiv:21), "My  son,  fear  God  and the king,"  would be

impious,  which  they  certainly  are not; we must therefore admit that

the  authority  which  Christ  gave to His disciples was given to them

only, and must not be taken as an example for others.

(19:57)  I  do  not pause to consider the arguments of those who wish to

separate secular rights from spiritual rights, placing the former under

the  control  of  the  sovereign, and the latter under the control of the

universal Church;  such pretensions are too frivolous to merit refuta-

tion.  (19:58)  I  cannot  however, pass over in silence the fact that such

persons  are  woefully  deceived  when  they  seek  to  support their

seditious  opinions (I ask pardon for the somewhat harsh epithet) by

the example of the Jewish high priest, who, in ancient times, had the

right  of  administering  the  sacred  offices.   (19:59)   Did  not  the  high

priests  receive  their  right  by  the decree of Moses (who, as I have

shown,  retained  the  sole  right  to  rule),  and could they not by the

same  means  be  deprived of it?  (19:60)  Moses himself chose not only

Aaron,   but  also  his  son  Eleazar,  and  his grandson Phineas, and

bestowed  on them the right of administering the office of high priest.

(19:61)  This right was retained by the high priests afterwards, but none

the  less  were  they  delegates  of  Moses—that is, of the sovereign

power.  (19:61a)  Moses,  as  we  have  shown,  left  no successor to his

dominion,  but  so  distributed his prerogatives, that those who came

after  him  seemed,  as  it  were, regents who administer the govern-

ment when a king is absent but not dead.

(19:62)  In the second commonwealth the high priests held their   page 252

right  absolutely,  after  they  had obtained the rights of principality in

addition.  (19:63)  Wherefore  the  rights  of  the  high priesthood always
depended on the edict of the sovereign,  and the high priests did not

possess  them  till  they  became  sovereigns  also.    (19:64)   Rights  in

matters  spiritual  always  remained  under  the  control  of  the kings

absolutely  (as  I  will  show  at the end of this chapter), except in the

single  particular  that  they were not allowed to administer in person

the  sacred  duties  in  the Temple, inasmuch as they were not of the

family  of  Aaron, and were therefore considered unclean, a reserva-

tion which would have no force in a Christian community.

(19:65) We  cannot,  therefore,  doubt that the daily sacred rites (whose

performance  does  not  require  a  particular  genealogy  but  only a

special mode of life,  and from which the holders of sovereign power

are not excluded as unclean) are under the sole control of the sover-

eign  power;  no  one,  save  by  the  authority or concession of such

sovereign,  has the right or power of administering them, of choosing

others  to  administer  them,  of defining or strengthening the founda-

tions  of  the  Church  and  her  doctrines; of judging on questions of

morality  or  acts  of  piety;  of  receiving  anyone  into  the Church or
excommunicating  him  therefrom,  or, lastly, of providing for the poor.

(19:66)  These  doctrines  are  proved  to  be  not only true (as we have

already  pointed  out), but also of primary necessity for the preserva-

tion  of religion and the state.  (19:67)  We all know what weight spiritual

right  and  authority carries in the popular mind: how everyone hangs

on  the  lips,  as it were, of those who possess it.  (19:68)  We may even

say  that  those  who  wield  such  authority  have  the most complete

sway over the popular mind.

(19:69)  Whosoever,  therefore,  wishes  to  take this right away from the
sovereign  power,  is  desirous  of  dividing  the  dominion; from such
division,  contentions,  and  strife  will  necessarily spring up, as they

did  of  old  between  the Jewish kings and high priests, and will defy

all  attempts  to  allay  them.   (18:70)   Nay,  further,  he  who  strives  to
deprive  the  sovereign  power  of  such  authority,  is  aiming (as we

have  said),  at gaining dominion for himself.  (19:71)  What is left for the

sovereign  power  to  decide  on, if this right be denied him?   page 253

(19:72)  Certainly  nothing  concerning  either  war or peace, if he has to

ask  another  man's  opinion  as  to  whether  what  he believes to be

beneficial would be pious or impious.   (19:73)  Everything would depend

on  the verdict of him who had the right of deciding and judging what

was pious or impious, right or wrong.

(19:74)  When  such  a  right was bestowed on the Pope of Rome abso-

lutely,  he  gradually  acquired complete control over the kings, till at

last  he  himself mounted to the summits of dominion; however much

monarchs, and especially the German emperors, strove to curtail his

authority,  were  it  only by a hairsbreadth, they effected nothing, but

on   the   contrary   by   their   very  endeavours  largely  increased it.

(19:75)  That  which  no  monarch  could accomplish with fire and sword,
A reference to Luther and Calvin. [ Bk.XIA:15451, 15555. 
ecclesiastics  could bring about with a stroke of the pen; whereby we

may  easily  see  the force and power at the command of the Church,

and  also how necessary it is for sovereigns to reserve such preroga-

tives for themselves.

(19:76)  If  we  reflect  on  what was said in the last chapter we shall see

that  such reservation conduced not a little to the increase of religion

and  piety;  for  we  observed  that  the prophets  themselves, though

gifted   with  Divine  efficacy, being merely private citizens, rather irri-

tated  than  reformed the people by their freedom of warning, reproof,

and  denunciation,  whereas the kings by warnings and punishments

easily bent men to their will.  (19:77)  Furthermore, the kings themselves,

not  possessing  the right in question absolutely, very often fell away

from  religion  and took with them nearly the whole people.  (19:78)  The

same  thing  has  often  happened  from the same cause in Christian


(19:79) Perhaps I shall be asked, "But if the holders of sovereign power

choose  to  be  wicked,  who  will  be  the rightful  champion of piety?

(19:80)  Should  the  sovereigns  still  be  its  interpreters?"   (19:80a)  I meet

them  with  the  counter-question,  "But if ecclesiastics  (who are also

human,  and  private  citizens,  and who ought to mind only their own

affairs),  or  if  others  whom  it  is  proposed  to  entrust with spiritual

authority,  choose  to  be  wicked,  should they still be considered as

piety's  rightful  interpreters?(19:81)  It is quite certain that when sover-

eigns  wish  to  follow  their own pleasure, whether they have control

over  spiritual  matters  or  not,  the  page 254  whole  state, spiritual and

secular,  will  go  to  ruin,  and it will go much faster if private citizens
Bk.XIB:9922, Bk.XIA:15451Bk.XIB:119, Bk.XIA:15552.
seditiously assume the championship of the Divine rights.

(19:82)  Thus  we  see  that  not only is nothing gained by denying such

rights to sovereigns, but on the contrary, great evil ensues.  (19:83)  For

(as happened with the Jewish kings who did not possess such rights

absolutely)  rulers  are  thus  driven  into  wickedness, and the injury

and  loss  to  the  state become certain and inevitable, instead of un-

certain  and  possible.  (19:84)  Whether  we  look  to  the  abstract truth,

or  the  security  of states, or the increase of piety, we are compelled

to  maintain  that  the Divine right, or the right of control over spiritual

matters,  depends  absolutely on the decree of the sovereign, who is

its  legitimate interpreter and champion.  (19:85)  Therefore the true min-

isters  of  God's  word  are  those  who  teach  piety  to the people in

obedience  to  the  authority of the sovereign rulers by whose decree

it has been brought into conformity with the public welfare.

(19:86)  There  remains  for  me  to  point  out the cause for the frequent

disputes  on  the  subject  of  these spiritual rights in Christian states;

whereas  the  Hebrews,  so  far  as  I  know,  never,  had any doubts

about  the  matter.   (19:87)  It seems monstrous that a question so plain

and  vitally  important  should  thus  have  remained  undecided, and

that  the  secular  rulers  could  never  obtain the prerogative without

controversy,  nay,  nor  without great danger of sedition and injury to

religion. (19:88)  If  no  cause  for  this  state  of things were forthcoming,

I  could  easily  persuade  myself that all I have said in this chapter is

mere  theorizing, or a kind of speculative reasoning which can never

be of any practical use.  (19:89)  However, when we reflect on the begin-
nings of Christianity the cause at once becomes manifest.  (19:90)  The

Christian  religion  was not taught at first by kings, but by private per-

sons,  who,  against  the  wishes  of  those in power, whose subjects

they  were,  were  for  a  long  time  accustomed  to hold meetings in

secret  churches,  to  institute  and perform sacred rites, and on their

own  authority  to  settle and decide on their affairs without regard to

the  state.  (19:91)  When,  after  the  lapse  of  many years, the religion

was  taken  up  by  the  authorities, the ecclesiastics were obliged to

teach  it  to  the  emperors themselves as they had defined it: where-

fore  page 255  they easily gained recognition as its teachers and inter-

preters,  and  the church pastors were looked upon as vicars of God.

(19:92) The ecclesiastics took good care that the Christian kings should

not assume their authority, by prohibiting marriage to the chief minis-

ters of religion and to its highest interpreter.    (19:93)  They furthermore

elected  their  purpose  by  multiplying the dogmas of religion to such

an  extent and so blending them with philosophy that their chief inter-

preter  was  bound to be a skilled philosopher and theologian, and to
have  leisure  for  a  host of idle speculations: conditions which could

only  be  fulfilled  by a private individual with much time on his hands.

(19:94)  Among  the  Hebrews  things were very differently arranged: for

their  Church  began  at the same time as their dominion, and Moses,

their  absolute  ruler,  taught  religion  to  the  people,  arranged their

sacred  rites,  and  chose  their  spiritual  ministers.    (19:95)   Thus  the

royal  authority  carried  very  great  weight  with  the people, and the
Bk.XIA:15658; Bk.XIB:10025
kings kept a firm hold on their spiritual prerogatives.

(19:96)  Although,  after the death of Moses, no one held absolute sway,

yet  the  power  of deciding both in matters spiritual and matters tem-

poral was in the hands of the secular chief, as I have already pointed

out.   (18:97) Further,  in  order  that it might be taught religion and piety,

the people was bound to consult the supreme judge no less than the

high  priest  (Deut. xvii:9, 11).  (19:98)  Lastly,  though the kings had not

as much power as Moses, nearly the whole arrangement and choice

of the sacred ministry depended on their decision.   (19:99)  Thus David

arranged the whole service of the Temple (see 1 Chron. xxviii:11, 12,

&c.);  from  all  the  Levites  he  chose  twenty-four  thousand  for the

sacred  psalms;  six  thousand  of  these formed the body from which

were  chosen  the  judges  and proctors, four thousand were porters,

and  four  thousand  to  play  on instruments (see 1 Chron. xxiii:4, 5).

(19:100)  He further divided them into companies (of whom he chose the

chiefs),  so  that  each  in  rotation, at the allotted time, might perform

the  sacred  rites.  (19:101)  The  priests  he  also  divided  into  as many

companies;  I  will  not  go through the whole catalogue, but refer the

reader to 2 Chron. viii:12,  where it is stated, "Then Solomon offered

burnt  offerings  to  the Lord . . . . after a certain rate every day, offer-

ing  according   page 256   to  the  commandments  of  Moses;"  and  in

verse 14, "And  he  appointed,  according  to  the  order  of David his

father,  the  courses  of  the  priests  to  their  service . . . . for so had

David the man of God commanded." (19:102)  Lastly, the historian bears

witness  in  verse 15: "And they departed not from the commandment

of  the  king  unto  the  priests  and  Levites  concerning  any  matter,

or concerning the treasuries."

(19:103)  From  these  and  other  histories  of  the kings it is abundantly

evident,  that  the  whole  practice of religion and the sacred ministry
depended entirely on the commands of the king.

(19:104)  When  I  said  above  that  the kings  had not the same right as

Moses to elect the high priest, to consult God without intermediaries,

and  to  condemn  the  prophets  who  prophesied  during their reign;

I said so simply because the prophets could, in virtue of their mission,

choose  a  new  king  and  give  absolution for regicide,  not because

they  could  call  a  king  who  offended  against the law to judgment,

or could rightly act against him (33).

(19:105)  Wherefore  if  there  had  been  no  prophets who, in virtue of a

special revelation, could give absolution for regicide, the kings would

have  possessed  absolute  rights  over  all matters both spiritual and

temporal.  (19:106)  Consequently  the  rulers of modern times, who have

no  prophets  and  would  not rightly be bound in any case to receive

them  (for they are not subject to Jewish law), have absolute posses-

sion  of the spiritual prerogative, although they are not celibates, and

they  will  always retain it, if they will refuse to allow religious dogmas
Bk.XIA:6649;  Bk.XIB:9924
to be unduly multiplied or confounded with philosophy.

Page 257

(20:1)  If  men's  minds were as easily controlled as their tongues, every

king  would  sit  safely on his throne, and government by compulsion

would  cease; for every subject would shape his life according to the

intentions of his rulers,  and would esteem a thing true or false, good

or  evil,  just  or  unjust, in obedience to their dictates.   (20:2)  However,

we  have  shown already (Chapter XVII.) that no man's mind can pos-
sibly  lie  wholly at the disposition of another, for no one can willingly

transfer  his  natural  right  of  free  reason  and judgment, or be com-

pelled  so  to  do.  (20:3)  For this reason government which attempts to
control  minds is accounted tyrannical, and it is considered an abuse

of  sovereignty  and  a usurpation of the rights of subjects, to seek to

prescribe  what  shall  be  accepted  as  true,  or rejected as false, or

what  opinions  should  actuate  men in their worship of God.  (20:4)  All

these  questions  fall  within  a  man's  natural right, which he cannot
abdicate even with his own consent.

(20:5)  I  admit  that  the judgment can be biased in many ways,  and to

an  almost  incredible degree, so that while exempt from direct exter-

nal  control  it  may  be so dependent on another man's words, that it

may  fitly  be  said  to  be  ruled by him; but although this influence is

carried  to great lengths, it has never gone so far as to invalidate the

statement,  that  every  man's  understanding  is  his  own,  and  that
brains are as diverse as palates.

(20:6)  Moses,  not  by  fraud,  but  by Divine virtue, gained such a hold

over the popular judgment that he was accounted superhuman,  and

believed   to   speak  and  act  through  the  inspiration  of  the  Deity;

nevertheless,  even  he  could not escape murmurs and evil interpre-

tations.  (20:7)  How  much  less  then  can  other monarchs avoid them!

(20:8)  Yet  such  unlimited  power,  if  it  exists  at  all, must belong to a

monarch,  and page 258 least  of  all  to  a  democracy, where the whole

or  a  great part of the people wield authority collectively.  (20:9)  This is

a fact which I think everyone can explain for himself.

(20:10)  However  unlimited, therefore, the power of a sovereign may be,

however  implicitly  it  is  trusted  as the exponent of law and religion,

it  can  never prevent men from forming judgments according to their

intellect,  or  being  influenced  by  any  given emotion(20:11)  It is true

that  it  has  the  right  to treat as enemies all men whose opinions do

not,  on all subjects, entirely coincide with its own; but we are not dis-
cussing  its  strict  rights, but its proper course of action.
  (20:12)  I grant

that  it  has  the  right to  rule  in  the most violent manner, and to put

citizens  to  death  for very trivial causes, but no one supposes it can

do this with the approval of sound judgment.  (20:13)  Nay, inasmuch as

such  things  cannot  be  done without extreme peril to itself, we may

even deny that it has the absolute power to do them, or, consequent-

ly, the absolute right; for the rights of the sovereign are limited by his


(20:14)  Since,  therefore,  no one can abdicate his freedom of judgment

and  feeling;  since  every  man  is  by  indefeasible  natural  right the

master  of  his  own  thoughts,  it  follows that men thinking in diverse
and  contradictory  fashions,  cannot,  without  disastrous  results, be

compelled  to  speak  only  according  to  the dictates of the supreme

power.  (20:15)  Not  even  the  most  experienced, to say nothing of the

multitude,  know  how  to keep silence.  (20:16)  Men's common failing is

to  confide  their  plans  to  others,  though there be need for secrecy,

so  that  a  government  would  be  most  harsh  which  deprived  the
individual  of  his  freedom  of  saying  and teaching what he thought;

and  would  be moderate if such freedom were granted.  (20:17)  Still we

cannot  deny  that  authority may be as much injured by words as by

actions;  hence,  although  the freedom we are discussing cannot be

entirely  denied  to  subjects, its unlimited concession would be most

baneful;  we  must, therefore, now inquire, how far such freedom can

and  ought  to  be conceded without danger to the peace of the state,

or  the  power  of  the  rulers;  and  this,  as I said at the beginning of

Chapter XVI., is my principal object.

(20:18) It follows, plainly, from the explanation given above, of the found-

ations  of  a  state,  that the ultimate aim of government  page 259 is not

to  rule,  or restrain, by fear, nor to exact obedience, but contrariwise,

to  free  every man from fear, that he may live in all possible security;

in  other  words,  to  strengthen  his  natural right to exist and work—

without injury to himself or others.

(20:19)  No, the object of government is not to change men from rational

beings  into  beasts  or puppets, but to enable them to develope their
minds and bodies in security,
and to employ their reason unshackled;

neither  showing  hatred, anger, or deceit, nor watched with the eyes
Bk.XIA:271—freedom to philosophize.
of  jealousy  and injustice(20:20)  In fact, the true aim of government is             Durant [6] 170 
 Bk.XIA:16078; Bk.XIB:102.

(20:21)  Now  we  have seen that in forming a state the power of making

laws  must either be vested in the body of the citizens, or in a portion

of them, or in one man.   (20:22)  For, although mens free judgments are

very diverse, each one thinking that he alone knows everything, and

although  complete  unanimity  of  feeling  and  speech  is  out of the

question,  it is impossible to preserve peace, unless individuals abdi-

cate their right of acting entirely on their own judgment.   
(20:23)  There-

fore,  the individual justly cedes the right of free action, though not of

free  reason  and  judgment;  no  one  can act against the authorities
without  danger  to  the  state, though his feelings and judgment may

be at variance therewith; he may even speak against them, provided

that  he  does  so  from  rational  conviction, not from fraud, anger, or

hatred,  and  provided  that  he  does  not  attempt  to  introduce any

change on his private authority.

(20:24)  For  instance,  supposing  a  man shows that a law is repugnant

to sound reason, and should therefore be repealed; if he submits his

opinion to the judgment of the authorities (who, alone, have the right

of  making  and  repealing  laws), and meanwhile acts in nowise con-

trary to that law, he has deserved well of the state, and has behaved

as a good citizen should; but if he accuses the authorities of injustice,

and stirs up the people against them, or if he seditiously strives to ab-

rogate  the  law without their consent, he is a mere agitator and rebel.

(20:25)  Thus  we see how an individual may declare and teach what he

believes,  without  injury  to the authority of his rulers, or to the public

peace;  namely,  by leaving in their hands the entire power of legisla-

tion  as  it  affects  action,  page 260  and by doing nothing against their

laws,  though  he  be  compelled often to act in contradiction to what
he believes, and openly feels, to be best.

(20:26)  Such  a  course  can  be  taken  without detriment to justice and

dutifulness,  nay,  it  is  the  one  which  a  just and dutiful man would

adopt.  (20:27)  We  have  shown  that  justice is dependent on the laws

of  the  authorities,  so  that  no  one who contravenes their accepted

decrees  can  be  just,  while the highest regard for duty, as we have

pointed  out  in  the  preceding  chapter,  is  exercised in maintaining

public  peace  and  tranquillity; these could not be preserved if every

man  were to live as he pleased; therefore it is no less than undutiful

for  a  man  to  act  contrary  to  his  country's laws, for if the practice

became   universal   the   ruin   of   states  would  necessarily  follow.

(20:28)  Hence,  so  long  as  a man acts in obedience to the laws of his

rulers,  he  in  nowise  contravenes  his  reason,  for  in obedience to

reason  he  transferred  the  right  of  controlling  his actions from his

own  hands  to theirs.  (20:29)  This doctrine we can confirm from actual

custom,  for  in  a  conference  of  great  and small powers, schemes

are  seldom  carried  unanimously,  yet  all  unite in carrying out what

is  decided  on,  whether  they voted for or against.  (20:30)  But I return

to my proposition.

(20:31)  From  the  fundamental notions  of  a state, we have discovered

how  a  man  may  exercise  free  judgment  without  detriment  to the

supreme  power:  from  the  same  premises  we  can  no  less easily

determine  what  opinions  would  be seditious(20:32)  Evidently those

which  by  their  very  nature  nullify  the  compact  by which the right

of  free  action  was ceded.  (20:33)  For instance, a man who holds that

the  supreme  power  has  no rights over him, or that promises ought

not  to  be  kept, or that everyone should live as he pleases, or other

doctrines  of  this nature in direct opposition to the above-mentioned

contract, is seditious, not so much from his actual opinions and judg-

ment,  as  from  the  deeds  which they involve; for he who maintains

such  theories  abrogates  the  contract  which  tacitly,  or openly, he
made  with  his  rulers.   (20:34)  Other  opinions  which  do  not  involve

acts violating the contract, such as revenge, anger, and the like, are

not seditious,  unless it be in some corrupt state, where superstitious

and  ambitious  persons,  unable  to endure men of  page 261  learning,

are  so popular with the multitude that their word is more valued than

the law.

(20:35)  However,  I  do  not  deny  that  there are some doctrines which,

while  they  are  apparently  only  concerned with abstract truths and

falsehoods,   are   yet   propounded   and   published  with  unworthy

motives.  (36)  This  question  we  have  discussed in Chapter XV., and

shown  that  reason should nevertheless remain unshackled.  (20:37)  If

we  hold  to  the  principle  that a man's loyalty to the state should be

judged,  like  his  loyalty to God, from his actions only—namely, from

his  charity  towards  his  neighbours;  we cannot doubt that the best

government  will  allow  freedom  of philosophical speculation no less

than of religious belief.  (20:38)  I confess that from such freedom incon-

veniences  may sometimes arise, but what question was ever settled

so  wisely  that  no abuses could possibly spring therefrom?  (20:39)  He

who  seeks  to  regulate  everything  by  law,  is more likely to arouse

vices  than  to  reform  them.  (20:40)  It  is  best to grant what cannot be

abolished,  even  though  it be in itself harmful.  (20:41)  How many evils

spring  from  luxury,  envy,  avarice,  drunkenness,  and  the  like, yet

these  are  tolerated—vices  as  they are—because  they  cannot be

prevented  by  legal  enactments.   (20:42)  How much more then should

free  thought  be  granted,  seeing that it is in itself a virtue and that it

cannot  be  crushed!  (20:43)  Besides,  the  evil  results  can  easily  be

checked,  as  I  will  show,  by  the secular authorities, not to mention

that  such  freedom  is  absolutely  necessary for progress in science
and  the  liberal  arts:   for no man follows such pursuits to advantage
Bk.XIA:16395; Bk.XX:285111. 
unless his judgment be entirely free and unhampered.

(20:44)  But  let it be granted that freedom may be crushed, and men be

so  bound down, that they do not dare to utter a whisper, save at the

bidding  of  their rulers; nevertheless this can never be carried to the

pitch  of making them think according to authority, so that the neces-

sary  consequences  would  be that men would daily be thinking one

thing  and  saying  another, to the corruption of good faith, that main-

stay  of  government,  and  to  the  fostering  of  hateful  flattery  and

perfidy,   whence  spring  stratagems,  and  the  corruption  of  every

good art.

(20:45)  It  is  far  from  possible  to  impose uniformity of speech, for the

more  rulers  strive  to  curtail  freedom  of  speech, the  page 262  more

obstinately   are   they  resisted;  not  indeed by  the  avaricious,  the

flatterers,  and  other  numskulls,  who  think supreme salvation con-
sists  in  filling  their  stomachs  and  gloating over their money-bags,

but  by those whom good education, sound morality, and virtue have

rendered  more  free(20:46)  Men,  as  generally constituted, are most
prone  to  resent  the  branding  as  criminal  of
 opinions  which they

believe  to  be  true,  and  the  proscription  as  wicked  of that which

inspires  them  with  piety  towards  God  and  man;  hence  they are

ready  to  forswear  the  laws  and  conspire  against  the authorities,

thinking  it  not  shameful  but  honourable  to  stir  up  seditions and
perpetuate  any  sort  of  crime  with  this  end  in  view.   (20:47)    Such

being  the  constitution  of  human  nature, we see that laws directed

against  opinions affect the generous minded rather than the wicked,
and  are  adapted  less  for  coercing  criminals  than for irritating the
upright;  so  that  they  cannot  be  maintained  without  great peril to
Bk.XIB:11752.                                                         Bk.XIA:15873Bk.XII:417- 8.                                                                   
the state.

(20:48)  Moreover,  such laws are almost always useless, for those who

hold  that  the  opinions  proscribed are sound, cannot possibly obey

the  law; whereas those who already reject them as false, accept the

law  as  a  kind  of privilege, and make such boast of it, that authority

is  powerless  to  repeal  it,  even  if  such  a course be subsequently


(20:49) To  these  considerations  may be added what we said in Chap-

ter XVIII.  in  treating  of  the history of the Hebrews.  (20:50)  And, lastly,

how  many  schisms  have  arisen  in  the  Church  from  the  attempt

of  the  authorities  to  decide  by  law  the  intricacies  of  theological

controversy!  (20:51)  If  men  were  not  allured  by  the  hope of getting

the  law  and  the  authorities  on  their  side, of triumphing over their

adversaries  in  the  sight  of  an applauding multitude, and of acquir-

ing honourable distinctions, they would not strive so maliciously, nor

would  such  fury  sway  their  minds.  (20:52)  This is taught not only by

reason  but  by  daily examples, for laws of this kind prescribing what

every  man  shall  believe  and  forbidding  anyone  to speak or write

to  the  contrary,  have  often  been  passed, as sops or concessions
to  the  anger  of  those  who  cannot  tolerate
 men of enlightenment,

and  who,  by  such  harsh  and crooked enactments, can easily turn

the  devotion  of  the  masses  into  fury  and  direct  it against whom

they will.

PAGE 263
(20:53)  How  much better would it be to restrain popular anger and fury,

instead  of passing useless laws, which can only be broken by those

who  love  virtue  and the liberal arts, thus paring down the state till it

is  too  small  to harbour men of talent.  (20:54)  What greater misfortune

for  a  state  can  be  conceived then that honourable men should be

sent  like  criminals  into  exile,  because  they  hold diverse opinions

which  they  cannot  disguise?  (20:55)  What, I say, can be more hurtful

than  that  men  who have committed no crime or wickedness should,

simply  because  they  are  enlightened,  be  treated as enemies and

put  to  death, and  that  the  scaffold,  the terror of evil-doers, should

become  the  arena  where  the  highest  examples  of  tolerance and

virtue  are displayed to the people with all the marks of ignominy that

authority can devise?

(20:56)  He  that  knows  himself to be upright does not fear the death of

a  criminal,  and  shrinks  from  no punishment; his mind is not wrung

with remorse for any disgraceful deed: he holds that death in a good

cause  is  no  punishment, but an honour, and that death for freedom
is glory.

(20:57)  What  purpose  then  is  served  by the death of such men, what

example  in  proclaimed?  the cause for which they die is unknown to

the  idle and the foolish, hateful to the turbulent, loved by the upright.

(20:57a)   The only lesson we can draw from such scenes is to flatter the

persecutor, or else to imitate the victim.

(20:58)  If  formal  assent  is not to be esteemed above conviction, and if

governments  are  to  retain  a firm  hold of authority and not be com-

pelled  to  yield  to agitators, it is imperative that freedom of judgment

should  be  granted,  so  that men may live together in harmony, how-

ever  diverse,  or  even  openly  contradictory  their  opinions may be.

(20:59)  We  cannot  doubt  that  such  is the best system of government

and  open  to  the  fewest  objections,  since it is the one most in har-

mony  with  human  nature.  (20:60)  In  a  democracy   (the most natural

form  of  government,  as  we  have shown in Chapter XVI.) everyone

submits  to  the  control  of  authority  over  his  actions,  but not over

his  judgment  and  reason;  that  is, seeing that all cannot think alike,

the  voice  of  the  majority  has  the  force of law, subject to repeal if

circumstances  bring  about  a  change of opinion.  (20:61)  In proportion

as  the  page 264  power  of  free  judgment  is  withheld  we depart from

the  natural  condition of mankind, and consequently the government
becomes more tyrannical.

(20:62)  In  order  to  prove  that  from  such  freedom  no  inconvenience

arises,  which cannot easily be checked by the exercise of the sover-

eign  power,  and  that  men's  actions  can  easily be kept in bounds,

though  their  opinions  be  at  open variance, it will be well to cite an

example.  (20:63)  Such an one is not very far to seek.   (20:64)  The city of
Amsterdam  reaps the fruit of this freedom in its own great prosperity

and  in  the admiration of all other people.  (20:65)  For in this most flour-

ishing  state,  and  most  splendid  city,  men  of every nation and reli-

gion  live  together  in  the  greatest  harmony,  and ask no questions

before  trusting  their  goods  to  a fellow-citizen, save whether he be

rich  or  poor, and whether he generally acts honestly, or the reverse.

(20:66)  His  religion  and  sect is considered of no importance: for it has

no effect before the judges in gaining or losing a cause,  and there is

no  sect  so  despised  that  its  followers, provided that they harm no

one,  pay  every  man  his due, and live uprightly, are deprived of the
Bk.XIA:166106; Bk.XIB:6513; Bk.XX:286113.
protection of the magisterial authority.

(20:67)  On  the  other  hand,  when  the  religious  controversy between
Bk.XIA:1477; Bk.XX:286114Arminianism.
Remonstrants  and  Counter-Remonstrants   began  to  be  taken  up

by  politicians  and  the States, it grew into a schism, and abundantly

showed  that  laws dealing with religion and seeking to settle its con-

troversies  are  much  more  calculated  to irritate than to reform, and

that  they  give  rise  to  extreme  licence:  further,  it  was  seen  that

schisms  do  not  originate  in  a  love  of  truth,  which  is a source of

courtesy  and  gentleness,    but  rather  in  an  inordinate  desire  for
supremacy.  (20:68)  From  all  these  considerations  it  is  clearer  than

the  sun  at  noonday,  that  the  true schismatics are those who con-

demn  other  men's  writings,  and seditiously stir up the quarrelsome

masses against their authors,  rather than those authors themselves,

who generally write only for the learned, and appeal solely to reason.

(20:69)   In fact, the real disturbers of the peace are those who, in a free

state, seek to curtail the liberty of judgment which they are unable to           Hampshire:208d
tyrannize over.

(20:70)  I have thus shown:—

I.     (20:71)  That  it  is impossible to deprive men of the liberty of saying
      what they think.

II.    (20:72)  That  page 265  such  liberty  can  be  conceded  to  every man
      without  injury  to
 the rights and authority of the sovereign power, 
      and  that  every  man  may  retain  it  without injury to such rights, 
      provided  that  he  does not presume upon it to the extent of intro- 
      ducing  any  new  rights  into  the state, or acting in any way con- 
      trary to the existing laws. 

III.   (20:73) That  every  man  may  enjoy this liberty without detriment to
      the  public  peace,  and  that  no  inconveniences arise therefrom
      which cannot easily be checked. 

IV.   (20:74) That every man may enjoy it without injury to his allegiance.

V.   (20:75) That  laws  dealing  with  speculative  problems  are entirely

VI.  (20:76)  Lastly,  that  not  only  may  such  liberty be granted without
      prejudice  to  the  public  peace,  to  loyalty,  and  to the rights of
      rulers,   but   that   it  is  even  necessary  for  their  preservation. 

(20:77)  For  when  people  try to take it away, and bring to trial, not only

the  acts  which alone are capable of offending, but also the opinions

of  mankind,  they  only  succeed in surrounding their victims with an

appearance  of  martyrdom,  and  raise  feelings  of pity and revenge

rather  than  of  terror.    (20:78)  Uprightness  and  good  faith  are  thus

corrupted,  flatterers  and  traitors  are  encouraged,  and  sectarians

triumph,  inasmuch  as concessions have been made to their animos-

ity,  and  they  have  gained  the  state  sanction  for the doctrines of

which  they  are  the interpreters.  (20:79)  Hence they arrogate to them-

selves  the  state  authority  and  rights,  and do not scruple to assert

that  they  have  been  directly  chosen  by  God,  and that their laws

are  Divine,  whereas  the  laws  of  the state are human, and should

therefore   yield   obedience  to  the  laws  of  G-D—in  other  words,

to  their  own laws.  (20:80)  Everyone must see that this is not a state of

affairs  conducive  to  public  welfare.  (20:81)  Wherefore,  as  we  have

shown  in  Chapter XVIII.,  the  safest  way  for  a state is to lay down

the  rule  that  religion  is  comprised  solely in the exercise of charity

and justice,  and  that  the  rights  of  rulers in sacred, no less than in

secular  matters,  should  merely  have  to  do  with  actions, but that

every  man  should  think  what  he  likes  and  say  what  he  thinks.          Hampshire:208d

(2082)  I  have  thus  fulfilled  the task I set myself in this treatise.  (20:83)  It

remains  only  to  call  attention to the fact that I have written nothing

which  I do not most willingly submit to the examination and approval

of  my  country's  rulers;  and   page 266  that  I am willing to retract any-

thing  which  they  shall decide to be repugnant to the laws, or preju-
Bk.XIB:115, 11650; Bk.XX:287.
dicial  to the public good.  (20:84)  I know that I am a man, and as a man

liable  to  error,  but  against error I have taken scrupulous care, and

have  striven  to  keep  in  entire  accordance  with  the  laws  of  my

country, with loyalty, and with morality.

Bk.XIA:1661 & 2Bk.XIB:11650,51Bk.XIV:2:330, 351; Bk.XX:33641. 

End of Part 4 of 4


PAGE 200

Note 26 (p. 203, 276)  (1)  ". . .  no one can honestly promise to forego the

right which he has over all things."  (2)  In the state of social life, where

general right determines what is good or evil, stratagem is rightly dis-

tinguished as of two kinds, good and evil.  (3)  But in the state of Nature,

where  every  man  is his own judge, possessing the absolute right to

lay down laws for himself, to interpret them as he pleases, or to abro-

gate  them  if  he thinks it convenient, it  is  not  conceivable  that that

stratagem should be evil.

Note 27 (p. 206, 276)  (1) ". . . . every member of it may, if he will, be free."
(2) Whatever be the social state a man finds; himself in, he may be free.

(3)  For certainly a man is free, in so far as he is led by reason(4)  Now
reason  (though  Hobbes  thinks  otherwise)  is always on the side of           Hampshire:202

peace, which cannot be attained unless the general laws of the state

be respected. (5) Therefore the more a man is led by reason—in other

words,  the  more  he  is  free, the more constantly will he respect the

laws  of his country, and obey the commands of the sovereign power
to which he is subject.

Note 28
(p. 210, 276)  (1)  "No  one  knows  by  nature  that  he  owes any

obedience to God."   (2)  When Paul says that men have in themselves

no  refuge,  he  speaks as a man: for in the ninth chapter of the same

epistle  he  expressly  teaches  that God has mercy on whom He will,

and  that  men  are  without  excuse,  only because they are in God's
power  like  clay  in  the  hands of a potter, who out of the same lump

makes   vessels,   some   for  honour  and  some  for  dishonour,  not

because   they   have   been  forewarned.  (3)  As  regards  the  Divine

natural  law  whereof  the  chief  commandment  is,  as we have said,

to love God, I have called it a law in the same sense, as philosophers

style  laws  those  general  rules  of nature, according to which every-

thing  happens.  (4)  For  the  love  of  God  is not a state of obedience:

it is a virtue which necessarily exists in a man who knows God rightly.

(5)  Obedience  has  regard  to  the  will of a ruler, not to necessity and

truth.  (6)  Now  as  we  are  ignorant of the nature of God's will, and on

the  other hand know that everything happens solely by God's power,

we  cannot,  except  through revelation, know whether God wishes in

any way to be honoured as a sovereign.

PAGE 277

Note 28 Continued

(7)  Again;  we  have  shown  that  the Divine rights appear to us in the

light  of  rights  or commands, only so long as we are ignorant of their

cause:  as  soon  as  their  cause  is  known,  they cease to be rights,

and  we  embrace  them  no  longer  as  rights  but  as  eternal truths;

in  other  words, obedience passes into love of God, which emanates

from  true  knowledge  as necessarily as light emanates from the sun.

(8)  Reason then leads us to love God, but cannot lead us to obey Him;

for  we  cannot  embrace  the  commands  of God as Divine, while we

are  in  ignorance  of  their  cause, neither can we rationally conceive

God as a sovereign laying down laws as a sovereign.


(p. 214)

Note 29 (p. 214, 277)  (1) "If men could lose their natural rights so as to be

absolutely  unable  for  the future to oppose the will of the sovereign"

(2)  Two  common  soldiers  undertook to change the Roman dominion,

and did change it. (Tacitus, Hist. i:7.)

Note 30
(p. 221)   KJV Numbers 11:28  "And  Joshua  the  son  of  Nun,

the  servant  of  Moses,  one  of  his  young men, answered and said,

My  lord  Moses,  forbid them."  (1)  In this passage it is written that two

men prophesied in the camp, and that Joshua wished to punish them.

(2)  This  he  would  not  have  done, if it had been lawful for anyone to

deliver the Divine oracles to the people without the consent of Moses.

(3)  But  Moses  thought  good  to  pardon  the  two  men, and rebuked

Joshua for exhorting him to use his royal prerogative, at a time when

he  was  so  weary  of  reigning,  that  he  preferred  death to holding

undivided  sway   (Numb. xi:14).    (4)   For he made answer to Joshua,

"Enviest  thou  for  my sake?  (5)  Would God that all the Lord's people

were  prophets,  and  that  the  Lord  would put His spirit upon them."

(6)  That  is  to  say,  would God that the right of taking counsel of God

were   general,  and  the  power  were  in  the  hands  of  the  people.

(7)  Thus  Joshua  was  not  mistaken as to the right, but only as to the

time  for  using  it,  for  which he was rebuked by Moses, in the same

way  as  Abishai  was  rebuked  by David for counselling that Shimei,

who  had undoubtedly been guilty of treason, should be put to death.

(8)  See 2 Sam. xix:22, 23.

Note 31
(p. 222, 277)   (1)  KJV Numbers 27:21   "And he shall stand before

Eleazar  the  priest,  who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment

of  Urim  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,  even  all the congregation."  (2)  The translators of the Bible have

rendered  incorrectly  verses  19  and 23 of this chapter.  (3)  The pas-

sage  does  not mean that Moses gave precepts or advice to Joshua,

but  that  he  made  or  established him chief of the Hebrews.  (4)  The

phrase  is  very  frequent  in  Scripture  (see Exodus, xviii:23; 1 Sam.

xiii:15; Joshua i:9; 1 Sam. xxv:30).

Note 32
(p. 224,277)   (1) "There was no judge over each of the captains

save God."  (2)  The  Rabbis  and  some Christians equally foolish pre-

tend  that  the  Sanhedrin, called "the great" was instituted by Moses.

(3)  As  a  matter  of  fact,  Moses  chose  seventy colleagues to assist

him in governing, because he was not able to bear alone the  page 278

burden of the whole people; but he never passed any law for forming

a college of seventy members; on the contrary he ordered every tribe

to  appoint  for  itself,  in  the  cities which God had given it, judges to

settle disputes according to the laws which he himself had laid down.

(4)  In  cases  where  the opinions of the judges differed as to the inter-

pretation  of  these  laws,  Moses bade them take counsel of the High

Priest (who was the chief interpreter of the law), or of the chief judge,

to whom they were then subordinate (who had the right of consulting

the  High  Priest),  and  to  decide the dispute in accordance with the

answer  obtained.  (5)  If  any  subordinate judge should assert, that he

was  not  bound  by  the  decision  of  the High Priest, received either

directly  or  through  the chief of his state, such an one was to be put

to  death  (Deut. xvii:9)  by  the  chief  judge, whoever he might be, to

whom  he  was  a  subordinate.  (6)  This  chief  judge  would either be

Joshua, the supreme captain of the whole people, or one of the tribal

chiefs  who  had  been  entrusted, after the division of the tribes, with

the  right  of  consulting  the  high  priest concerning the affairs of his

tribe,  of  deciding  on peace or war, of fortifying towns, of appointing

inferior  judges, &c.  (7)  Or,  again,  it might be the king, in whom all or

some of the tribes had vested their rights.

Note 32 Continued

(8)   I could cite many instances in confirmation of what I here advance.

(9) I will confine myself to one, which appears to me the most important

of all.  (10)  When  the Shilomitish prophet anointed Jeroboam king, he,

in so doing, gave him the right of consulting the high priest, of appoint-

ing  judges, &c.  (11)  In fact he endowed him with all the rights over the

ten  tribes,  which Rehoboam retained over the two tribes.  (12)  Conse-

quently Jeroboam could set up a supreme council in his court with as

much   right  as  Jehoshaphat  could  at  Jerusalem  (2  Chron.  xix:8).

(13)  For  it  is plain that neither Jeroboam, who was king by God's com-

mand, nor Jeroboam's subjects, were bound by the Law of Moses to

accept  the  judgments of Rehoboam, who was not their king.  (14)  Still

less  were  they  under the jurisdiction of the judge, whom Rehoboam

had  set  up  in  Jerusalem  as  subordinate to himself.   (15)  According,

therefore,  as  the  Hebrew  dominion was divided, so was a supreme

council  setup  in each division.  (16)  Those who neglect the variations

in the constitution of the Hebrew States, and confuse them all togeth-

er in one, fall into numerous difficulties.


(p. 245)

Note 33 (p. 256, 278)   (1)   I must here bespeak special attention for what

was  said  in  Chap. XVI.  concerning  rights.



Note 16:107  
(p. 211)  "We  may  be  asked,  what  should  we do  if  the
                                 sovereign commands anything contrary to religion, . . . .
{When  confronted  with  your  own  death  for disobeying, Jewish law is that you 
may  comply  with the  unrighteous command except for any of three injunctions:  

       a.   Commit murder.     Compare Noachide Laws                                                Martyr Laws

       b.   Commit incest. 

       c.   Blaspheme G-D in public     {causing sedition , a form of idolatry}.                 Bk.XIA:15868. 
             Advocating the overturn of a righteous government
by force. 

When   commanded   to  commit  any one of  the  above  you  are  not  to  obey;
but  accept  martyrdom.   Under  this  principle,  German  Holocaust  murderers      My grave.
could not claim,  that  because  they  were following orders, they were innocent. 
The United Nations War Crimes Commission now accepts this as law.  

They  violated  the  injunction against murder on a monsterous scale—genocide.

There  is  no  impunity  in  violating  any  of  the  three  injunctions.  The Germans
sowed  a  thousand  year  Reich;  but  they  will  have  reaped  a  thousand years
of infamy.  E4:XLV:218, EL:L25(78),  Bk.XIA:1673 & 4.  

Just as it took centuries for the Exodus from Egypt to become canon, so will it take centuries for the Holocaust and the 1948 founding of the State of Israel to become the focus of the then Jewish Passover theme. It will replace the Egyptian episode with the German episode; another list of ten plagues will be compiled, culminating with the fire-bombing of Dresden. 

My family once tried to introduce this new Holocaust theme in our Passover Seder many years ago, but never repeated it. My father broke down as he read, he handed the book to me to continue reading but I broke down, and I handed the reading over to my daughter. It was too painful; it will take a long, long time for the story to become the theme of future Passover celebrations.   

I further conjecture a jeremiad
{a long lamentation, mournful complaint, or dire prediction}, that at that time, the Jewish State will have been annihilated again and the people dispersed again; but the Hebrew Biblical Genius will continue the mission to teach the organic interdependence of partsG-D is ONE.  

I sadly conjecture dispersal because: 

Home Page Sub-title: 

From the Hirsch Siddur (Prayer Book); Feldheim Publishers, 1978; ISDN: 0873061411, Pg. 211.

Hirsch comment on the above paragraph: 

16:114  (p. 212)   BkIX:248            {Shirley  adds  this  footnote}

]Eleazar was martyred, 163 B.C., during the revolt against Antiochus
Epiphanes, who desecrated the Temple.[

Note 17:179  (p. 234)  ". . . if  the  choice  of  the Levites had not been
       dictated by anger and revenge.

{The  Levites  were  given  no  land inheritance,  thus minimizing their
economic selfish interests.}

18:70  (p. 244)   BkIX:278            {Shirley  adds  this  footnote}

]The  Earl  of  Leicester,  sent  by  Elizabeth  with  some forces to help the Dutch
in 1585,  was  offered  the  title  of  supreme  governor  of  the  United Provinces,
which  Leicester  swore  to  uphold.  He  resigned  in  1588.[ 

19:42  (p. 249)   BkIX:284            {Shirley  adds  this  footnote}

] He  executed  his  son  for  disobeying  orders  in  a  battle  against  the Latins,
340 B.C. Livy VIII. [

End of Endnotes for Part 4 of 4 - Chapters XVI to XX.


Since November 6, 1997 Part 4 hits.


Theologico-Political Treatise - Part 4
Revised: January 17, 2006


Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3 ,  Part 4