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and could not otherwise be obtained than by a chain of metaphysical disquisitions, mankind would have wanted some inducement to have quickened their inquiries, and the greater part of the world would have rested content in mental indolence, and ignorance it's inseparable companion.' As therefore the creator is a being, not only of infinite power, and wisdom, but also of infinite goodness, he has been pleased so to contrive the constitution and frame of humanity, that we should want no other prompter to inquire after and pursue the rule of right, but only our own felf-love, that universal principle of action. For he has so intimately connected, so inseparably interwoven the laws of eternal justice with the happiness of each individual, that the latter cannot be attained but by observing the former; and, if the former be punctually obeyed, it cannot but induce the latter. In consequence of which mutual connection of justice and human felicity, he has not perplexed the law of nature with a [ 41 ] multitude of abstracted rules and precepts, referring merely to the fitness or unfitness of things, as some have vainly surmised ; but has graciously reduced the rule of obedience to this one paternal precept, “ that man should pursue his own « true and substantial happiness.” This is the foundation of what we call ethics, or natural law. For the several articles into which it is branched in our systems, amount to no more than demonstrating, that this or that action tends to man's real happiness, and therefore very juftly concluding that the performance of it is a part of the law of nature; or, on the other hand, that this or that action is destructive of man's real happiness, and therefore that the law of nature forbids it.
This law of nature, being coeval with mankind and dictatcd.by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe in all countries and at all times : no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this (3); and such of them as are valid derive all their
(3) Lord chief justice Hobart has also advanced, that even an a& of parliament made against natural justice, as to make a man z
force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original.
But in order to apply this to the particular exigencies of each individual, it is still necessary to have recourse to reafon : whose office it is to discover, as was before observed, what the law of nature directs in every circumstance of life; by considering, what method will tend the most effectually to our own substantial happiness. And if our reason were always, as in our first ancestor before his transgression, clear and perfect, unruffled by passions, unclouded by prejudice, unimpaired by disease or intemperance, the task would be pleasant and easy; we should need no other guide but this. But every man now finds the contrary in his own experience; that his reason is corrupt, and his understanding full of ige norance and error.
This has given manifold occasion for the benign interpo. fition, of divine providence; which, in compassion to the
frailty, the imperfection, and the blindness of human reasou, [ 42 ] hath been pleased, at fundry times and in divers manners,
to discover and enforce it's laws by an immediate and direct revelation. The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the holy scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found upon
judge in his own cause,is void in itself, for jura naturae funt immutabilia, and they are leges legum. (Hob. 87.) With deference to these high authorities, I should conceive that in no case whatever can a judge oppose his own opinion and authority to the clear will and declaration of the legislature. His province is to interpret and obey the mandates of the supreme power of the state. And if an act of parliament, if we could suppose such a case, should, like the ediet of Herod, command all the children under a certain age to be slain, the judge ought to resign his office rather than be auxiliary to it's execution ; but it could only be declared void by the high authority by which it was ordained. The learned judge himclf is also of this opinion in p. 91.
comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature,
Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict there. There are, it is true, a great number of indifferent points, in which both the divine law and the natural leave a man at his own liberty ; but which are found neceffary for the benefit of fo. ciety to be restrained within certain limits. And herein it is that human laws have their greatest force and efficacy ; for, with regard to such points as are not indiffcrent, human laws are only declaratory of, and act in subordination to the former. To instance in the case of murder: this is expressly forbidden by the divine, and demonstrably by the natural -law; and from these prohibitions arises the true unlawfulness of this crime. Thofe human laws that annex a punishment to it, do not at all increase it's moral guilt, or superadd any fresh obligation in foro confcientiae to abstain from [ 43 ] it's perpetration. Nay, if any human law should allow or injoin us to commit it, we are bound to transgress that human law, or else we must offend both the natural and the divine. But with regard to matters that are in themselves indifferent,and are not commanded or forbidden by those fue
perior laws; fuch, for instance, as exporting of wool into foreign countries; here the inferior legislature has scope and opportunity to interpose, and to make that adlion unlawful which before was not fo.
If man were to live in a state of nature, unconnected with other individuals, there would be no occasion for any other laws, than the law of nature (4), and the law of God. Neither could any other law possibly exist: for a law always fupposes fome superior who is to make it ; and in a state of nature we are all equal, without any other superior but him who is the author of our being. But man was formed for society; and, as is demonstrated by the writers on this subject“, is neither capable of living alone, nor indeed has the courage to do it. However, as it is impoflible for the whole race of mankind to be united in one great society, they must necessarily divide into many; and form separate states, . commonwealths, and nations, entirely independent of each other, and yet liable to a mutual intercourse. Hence arises a third kind of law to regulate this mutual intercourse called “ the law of nations:" which, as, none of these states will acknowlege a superiority in the other, cannot be dictated by any ; but depends entirely upon the rules of natural law, or upon mutual compacts, treaties, leagues, and agreements between these several communities: in the
Puffendorf, l. 7.6. 1. compared with Barbeyrac's commentary.
(4) The law of nature, or morality, which teaches the duty towards one's neighbour, would scarce be wanted in a solitary state, where man is unconnected with man. A itate of nature, to which the laws of nature, or of morals, more particularly refer, must fignify the state of men when they asociate together previous to, or independent of, the institutions of regular government. The ideal equality of men in such a state no inore precludes the idea of a law, than the supposed equality of subjects in a republic.The superior, who would prescribe and enforce the law in a state of nature, would be the collective force of the wise and good, as the fuperior in a perfect republic is a majority of the people, or the power to which the majority delegate their authority.
comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature,
Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these. There are, it is true, a great number of indifferent points, in which both the divine law and the natural leave a man at his own liberty ; but which are found neceffary for the benefit of fo. ciety to be restrained within certain limits. And herein it is that human laws have their greatest force and efficacy; for, with regard to such points as are not indiffcrent, human laws are only declaratory of, and act in subordination to, the former. To instance in the case of murder : this is expressly forbidden by the divine, and demonstrably by the natural law; and from these prohibitions arises the true unlawfulness of this crime. Those human law's that annex a punishment to it, do not at all increase it's moral guilt, or superadd any fresh obligation in foro conscientiae to abstain from [ 43 ] it's perpetration. Nay, if any human law should allow or injoin us to commit it, we are bound to transgress that human law, or else we must offend both the natural and the divine. But with regard to matters that are in themselves indifferent and are not commanded or forbidden by those su.