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PROP. which makes the principal distinction between man I. and beasts. This is the law of nature, which (as Cicero excellently expresses it) is* of universal extent, and everlasting duration, which can neither be wholly abrogated, nor repealed in any part of it, nor have any law made contrary to it, nor be dispensed with by any authority; whicht was in force before ever any law was writen, or the foundation of any city or common wealth was laid; which was not invented by the wit of man, nor established by the authority of any people, but its obligation was from eternity, and the force of it reaches throughout the universe; which, being founded in the nature and resaon of things, did not then begin to be a law, when it was first writen and enacted by men, but is of the same original with the eternal reasons or proportions of things, and the perfections or attributes of God himself, so that if there was no law at Rome against rapes at that time when Tarquin offered violence to Lucretia, it does not therefore follow that he was at
*Est quidem vera lex, recta ratio naturæ congruens, diffusa in omnes, constans, sempiterna, quæ vocet ad officium jubendo; vetando, a fraude deterreat.- -Huic legi nec abrogari fas est, neque derogari ex hac aliquid licet, neque tota abrogari potest. Nec vero aut per senatum aut per populum solvi hac lege possumus.-Cic. de Repub. lib. 3. fragment.
άγραπτα κἀσφαλῆ θεῶν Νόμιμα
Ου γάρ τι νῦνγε καχθες, αλλ' αεί ποτε
Sophocl. Antigon. 464. Lex quæ seculis omnibus ante nata est, quam scripta lex ulla, aut quam omnino civitas constituta.-Cic. de Leg. lib. 1.
Legem neque hominum ingeniis excogitatam, neque scitum aliquod esse populorum, sed æternum quiddami, quod universum mundum regat.-Cic. de Leg. lib. 2.
§ Nec si, regnante Tarquinio, nulla erat Romæ scripta lex de stupris, idcirco non contra illam legem sempiternam Sextus Tarquinius vim Lucretia attulit. Erat enim ratio profecta a rerum natura, et ad recte faciendum impellens, et a delicto avocans ; quæ non tum denique incipit lex esse, cum scripta est, sed tum cum orta esset; orta autem simul est cum mente divina.- Cic. de Legib. lib. 2.
all the more excusable, or that his sin against the PROP. eternal rule of equity was the less heinous. This is that law of nature to which the reason of all men,* * everywhere as naturally and necessarily assents, as all animals conspire in the pulse and motion of their heart and arteries, or as all men agree in their judg ment concerning the whiteness of snow or the brightness of the sun. For though in some nice cases, the bounds of right and wrong may indeed (as was before observed,) be somewhat difficult to determine; and in some few even plainer cases, the laws and customs of certain barbarous nations may be contrary one to another, (which some have been so weak as to think a just objection against there being any natural difference between good and evil at all,) yet in reality thist no more disproves the natural assent of all men's unprejudiced reason to the rule of right and equity than the difference of men's countenances in general, or the deformity of some few monsters in particular, proves that there is no general likeness or uni formity in the bodies of men. For, whatever difference there may be in some particular laws, it is certain, as to the main and principal branches of morality, there never was any nation upon earth but owned that to love and honour God, to be grateful to benefactors, to perform equitable compacts, to preserve the lives of innocent and harmless men, and the like, were things fitter and better to be practised
In judicio de bonitate harum rerum, æque omnes ubique convenirunt, ac omnia animalia in motu cordis et arteriarum pulsu, aut omnes homines in opinione de nivis candore et splendore solis. -Cumberland. de Leg. Natura, page 167.
+ Hoc tamen non magis tollit consensum hominum de generali natura boni, ejusque partibus vel speciebus præcipuis, quam levis vultuum diversitas tollit convenientiam inter homines in communi hominum definitione, aut similitudinem inter eos in partium principalium conformatione et usu. Nullagens est quæ non sentiat actus Deum diligendi, &c.-nulla gens quæ non sentit gratitudinem erga parentes et benefactores, toti humano generi salutarem esse. Nulla temperamentorum diversitas facit ut quisquam non bonum esse sentiat universis, ut singulorum innocentium vitæ, membra, et libertas conserventur.-Cumberland de Legib. Naturæ, page 166.
PROP. than the contrary. In fine, this is the law of nature, which, being founded in the eternal reason of things, is as absolutely unalterable, as natural good and evil, as mathematical, or arithmetical truths,* as light and darkness, as sweet and bitter, as pleasure and pain: The observance of which,† though no man should commend it, would yet be truly commendable in itself. Which to suppose depending on the opinions of men, and the customs of nations, that is to suppose that what shall be accounted the virtue of a man depends merely on imagination or customs to determine, ist as absurd as it would be to affirm that the fruitfulness of a tree, or the strength of a horse, depends merely on the imagination of those who judge of it. In a word, it is that law, which if it had its original from the authority of men, and could be changed by it, then|| all the commands of the cruellest and most barbarous tyrants in the world would be as just and equitable as the wisest laws that ever were made, and to murder men without
Neque enim an honorifice de Deo sentiendum sit, neque an sit amandus, timendus, colendus, dubitari potest. Sunt enim hæc religionum, per omnes gentes communia. -Deum eo ipso, quod homines fecerit rationales, hoc illis præcepisse, et cordibus omnium insculpsisse, ne quisquam cuiquam faceret, quod alium sibi facere iniquum duceret.-Hobbes, de Homine, cap. 14. [Inconsistently enough with his own principles.]
* Nam ut vera et falsa, ut consequentia et contraria, sua sponte, non aliena, judicantur: sic constans et perpetua ratio vitæ, virtus; itemque inconstantia, quod est vitium; sua natura probatur. -Cic. de Legib. lib. 1.
+ Quod verè dicimus, etiamsi a nullo laudetur, laudabile esse naura.-Cic. de Offic. lib. 1.
Hæc autem in opinione existimare, non in natura ponere, dewentis est. Nam nec arboris nec equi virtus, quæ dicitur, in opinione sita est, sed in natura.-Cic. de Legib. lib. 1.
|| Jam vero stultissimum illud; existimare omnia justa esse, quæ scita sint in populorum institutis aut legibus. Etiamne si quæ sunt tyrannorum leges, si triginta illi Athenis leges imponere voluissent, aut si omnes Athenienses delectarentur tyrannicis legibus, num idcirco hæ leges justæ haberentur ?-Cic. de Leg. lib. 1.
§ Quod si populorum jussis, si principum decretis, si sententiis judicum, jura constituerentur; jus esset latrocinari, jus adulterare, jus testamenta falsa supponere, si hæc suffragiis aut scitis multitudinis probarentur. Quæ si tanta potentia est stultorum sententiis atque
distinction, to confound the rights of all families by PROP. the grossest forgeries, to rob with unrestrained violence, to break faith continually, and defraud and cheat without reluctance, might, by the decrees and ordinances of a mad assembly, be made lawful and honest: In which matters, if any man thinks that the votes and suffrages of fools have such power as to be able to change the nature of things, why do they not likewise decree (as Cicero admirably expresses himself) that poisonous things may become wholsome, and that any other thing which is now destructive of mankind may become preservative of it.
6. Further yet: As this law of nature is infinitely Eternal superior to all authority of men, and independent moral obliupon it, so its obligation, primarily and originally, tecedent in is antecedent also even to this consideration,* of its some rebeing the positive will or command of God himself: to this conFor, as the addition of certain numbers necessarily sideration, produces a certain sum, and certain geometrical or being the mechanical operations give a constant and unalterable will and solution of certain problems or propositions; so in of God moral matters there are certain necessary and unal- himself. terable respects or relations of things which have not their original from arbitrary and positive constitution, but are of eternal necessity in their own nature.
jussis, ut eorum suffragiis rerum natura vertatur ; cur non sanciunt ut quæ mala perniciosaque sunt, habeantur pro bonis ac salutaribus, aut cur, cum jus ex injuriâ lex facere possit, bonum eadem facere ; non possit ex malo ?-Id. ibid.
* Virtutis et vitiorum, sine ulla divina ratione, grave ipsius conscientiæ pondus est.-Cic. de Nat. Deor. lib 3.
+ Denique nequis obligationem legum naturalium arbitrariam et mutabilem a nobis fingi suspicetur, hoc adjiciendum censui; virtutum exercitium, habere rationem medii necessarii ad finem, (seposita consideratione imperii divini,) manente rerum natura tali qualis nunc est. Hoc autem ita intelligo, uti agnoscunt plerique omnes, additionem duarum unitatum duabus prius positis, necessario constituere numerum quaternarium; aut, uti praxes geometricæ et mechanicæ, problemata proposita solvunt immutabiliter; adeo ut nec sapientia nec voluntas divina cogitari possit quicquam in contrarium constituere posse.-Cumberland de Legib. Naturæ, page 231.
PROP. For example; as, in matters of sense, the reason I. why a thing is visible is not because it is seen, but it
is therefore seen because it is visible; so in matters of natural reason and morality, that which is holy and good (as creatures depending upon and worship.. ing God, and practising justice and equity in their dealings with each other, and the like,) is not therefore holy and good, because it is commanded to be done, but is therefore commanded of God, because it is holy and good. The existence, indeed, of the things themselves, whose proportions and relations we consider, depends entirely on the mere arbitrary will and good pleasure of God; who can create things when he pleases, and destroy them again whenever he thinks fit. But when things are created, and so long as it pleases God to continue them in being, their proportions, which are abstractly of eternal necessity, are also in the things themselves absolutely unalterable. Hence God himself, though he has no superior from whose will to receive any law of his actions, yet disdains not to observe the rule of equity and goodness, ast the law of all his actions in the government of the world, and condescends to appeal even to men for the equity and righteousness of his judgments. To this law, the infinite perfections of his divine nature make it necessary for him (as has been before proved,) to have constant regard, and (as a learned prelate of our own has excellently shown,‡) not barely his in
* Τὸ ὁρώμενον, οὐ διότι ὁρώμενον γέ ἐστι, διὰ τοῦτο ὁρᾶται· ἀλλὰ τούναν τίον, διότι ὁρᾶται, ἀπὸ τοῦτο ὑρώμενον. Note,These words are by Ficinus ridiculously translated videtur and visum est.] 'Ouxouv xal τὸ ὅσιον, διότι ὅσιόν ἐστι, φιλεῖται ὑπὸ τῶν θεῶν· ἀλλ ̓ οὐκ ὅτι φιλεῖτας, διὰ τοῦτο ὅσιόν ἐστι.—Plato in Euthyphr.
† Καθ' ἡμᾶς γὰρ ἡ αὐτὴ ἀρετή ἐστι τῶν μακαρίων πάντων· ὥστε καὶ ἡ άurn ȧgern agús xal Oes.-Origen. Advers. Celsum. lib. 4.
+ Dictamina divini intellectus sanciuntur in leges apud ipsum valituras, per immutabilitatem harum perfectionum.-Cumberland de Leg. Naturæ, page 343.
Solebam ipse quidem, cum aliis plurimis antequam dominii jurisque