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HINTS TO THE LEARNED,
ON EVIL-SPEAKING, RAILING, AND REPROACHING,
IN THEIR WRITINGS.
lefs, because mild words will express the same thing full as well, and to better purpose. It is commonly unjust, loading men with more blame than it can be proved that they deserve; for every man who thinks wrong, is not a fool, nor is every man who acts wrong a rogue. It is uncharitable, as making the worst of every thing, and shewing no mercy. It is mischievous, as exciting the most pernicious of paflions, and so becoming answerable for their effects. Upon the bench, it turns justice into abuse; in the pulpit, it turns zeal into animosity; in the mouth of a friend, it turns reproof into malignity. In difputation, it is prejudicial to the speaker, inflaming his own pasions, so that he cannot make the best of his arguments. It is prejudicial to the hearer, because arguments, even when made the best of, yet so proposed, will never be admitted by him, unless he be a prodigy indeed of candour and meekness. It is prejudicial to truth, because itrength of passion is generally thought to indicate in an advocate a distrutt of his cause, and a scarcity of proof. It is a practice given into sometimes through sudden anger; sometimes through inveterate hatred; sometime through revenge for an injury received ; fometimes through self-conceit and contempt of others; sometimes through envy; sometimes through ambition and interest; fome. times through mere malignity, to cherish a cacoërhes of this kind, either inbred or acquired by custom ; sometimes out of wantonness, and sometimes through negligence and inadvertency. It is directly opposite to the very nature and tenour of our religion ; it is expressly condemned and prohibited by it as evil. No practice hath severer punishments denounced against it; it is in itself the symptom of a wcak, distempered, and disordered mind; a stream flowing from a bitter spring; a black smoke issuing from a volcano; it is the fure sign of a mean spirit, and low breeding ; all wise, honest, and ingenuous persons detest and fly from him that vseth it; who, being regarded as a hater of mankind, is de: cordingly hated by mankind, and one way or other fails not to be shrewdly requited by them in the end.
With regard to the examples sometimes alledged of the prophets, Apostles, and our Saviour Christ himself, it is to be consie dered, that they had a special commission, and a special illumination to discern the proper objects on which to exercise it. The whole tenour of their lives and actions demonstrated, that they spake upon such occasions, as moved not by prejudice, pique, and pallion, but by a view to the glory of God, the good of men, and the necessity of the case. And whenever only their own private credit and interest were concerned, they opened not their mouths, unless to bless their persecutors.
When the crimes of men are such as call for a severity of language, it may be used by him who is commissioned for that purpose, ypon a just cause and clear evidence, for the service of God, the maintenance of truth, the vindication of innocence, the preservation of public justice and peace, the amendment of our neighbour himself, or the preservation of others from contagion. And then we must be careful to observe the measures prescribed by truth, equity, and humanity; speaking no worse of man than his actions, according to the most favourable construction of them, deserve, and the cause absolutely requireth.
See an excellent chapter in Taylor's Worthy Communicant, on Speaking Good of our Neightour, p. 194. See also a Sermon of Dr. Jortin. Non amo eorum indolem, qui nec in laudibus nec in probris modum ul. lum servant. Laudandu, fine invidia, quæ laudibus digna sunt; imo' probanda, fine malignitate, quæ a verò diffentiunt. Le Clerc Art Crit. Vol. III. p. 274.
Some Confiderations on Mr. LOCKE's Scheme of
deriving Government from an Original Compact.
1. HOOKER allows, that " to fathers within their private
families, nature hath given a supreme power} for which cause," saith he, “ we see throughout the world, even from the foundation thereof, all men have been taken as lords and lawful kings in their own houses *,” He also thinks it probable, with Aristotle, that “ as the chiefest person in every household was always as it were a king ; so when numbers of households joined together in civil societies, kings were the first kind of governors anongst them.” The question is, how these civil governors came by their power over a number of families dispersed, as mankind increased, and independent of one another? Here is supposed to be a necessity for compact to take place, in the appointment of one common head; and the chiefs of the several families are the peers between whom it is imagined to have been made, for their mutual interest and welfare,
As mankind multiplied, they were obliged to separate and dif. perse ; which they did under their natural rulers the heads of families, clans, or tribes. This would fill the earth with little governments; and as there was land enough for them, who needed only to till the ground, and feed their flocks, thus they would continue, till quarrels arose, and one clan subdued others by force, and the larger governments arose by conqueft, swallowed up the Jeffer into themselves, and then contended with and overthrew each other. In the Xth chapter of Genesis, we have an account of the families, clans, or lesser governments with which the earth was overspread, by the descendents of the sons of Noah, and at ver. 8, 9, 10, we find the kingdom or larger government of Babel arising by means of Nimrod, a mighty one, i, e, a sub
• The same fentiment is expressed by Mr.Addison with his usual accuracy and ele, gance. “ The obedience of children to their parents is the basis of all government, ind is set forth as the measure of that obedience which we owe to those whom Provin Bence hath placed over us." Spect. No. 189.
duer, a conqueror, a hunter, or persecutor and oppressor. Some after arose Ashur, the founder of the Assyrian monarchy, which afterwards fell into that of Babylon, and became universal ; thence it passed to the Persians, Grecians, and Romans; and so down to the 'present state of things in this world. And all this without any necesliay of supposing an original compact, and without any sign of such compact appearing in history.
Mr. Locke asserts the free consent of every individual necessary to be had in founding governments; but soon after tells us, such consent is next to impoflible to be had." So that, according to his own account, his hypothesis (tands on a supposition “next to impossible” to be realized; indeed, we may venture to say, altogether impossible, for the reasons he himself assigns. B. II, ch. 8.
The original compact being supposed to be made, each individual consents from thenceforth to be determined by the majority of the society. But as the majority may exceed the minority only by a single vote, confequently half the society may be enslaved by the other half, (that is, in fact, by the will of a single person, the casting voter) which seems to be an infringement on liberty, to which men born free and equal might scruple to subunit.
Mr. Locke says, “ no man cau submit himself to the ar. bitrary power of another." 'B. II. ch. 11. Then can he not submit himself to any government whatsoever : for in every government the legislature is arbitrary, and is not bound by its own laws, which it can repeal, alter, dispense with, deny the benefit of habeas corpus, keep a man in Newgate, take his life by act of attainder, &c.
His farther reason (why no man can submit himself to the arbitrary power of another) is, that no man can give what he hath not, viz. a power over his own life. How then came any government poffelled of a power of life and death? Divine right surely must come in here: what else can give to another that power over my life, which I have uot in myself *?
• The author of an Ejay on Crimes and Punishments, (one of the firft pieces in which the politics now prevailing in France were publifhed. to the world) seeing that no government can exist without a power of life and death, fuppoles, that thougla One man has no 'power over his life, the aggregate of society may have it; which is the same as to say, that though one cypher does not make a fum, a multitude ocyphers inay.
According to the plain state of this case, Gen. ix. 6 the taking away of man's life without law, is an act of rebellion agaiuit God, who is the giver of life, and made
He farther asserteth, that absolute subjeclion to any form of government is worse than anarchy, or a state of nature, “ as he is in a much worse condition who is exposed to the arbitrary will of one man, who has the command of 10,000, than he who is exposed to the arbitaary 'power of 100,000 single men." But which is best for the whole 100,000, that their general or king Thould now and then command or do an hard thing by one of them, or that they should all be turned loose to devour each other, a fortiori, with regard to a nation, or the whole world, which, in such a case, would be an aceldama,
He tells us, (B. II. ch. 19) that if a government become ar bitrary, it is disolved; the people are again in a state of nature, and may again proceed to election.
1. Government may pass from one contending party to another, but its disolution is a whimt and a dream. 2. Diffolve it in England and Scotland, and fee when the individuals would agree on another form * ?
It is observable, that among the instances of mal-administratim which dissolve government, Mr. Locke reckons that of corrupting the representatives, or their electors. “ This," he says, “ is to cut up government by the roots, and poison the very fountain of public security: it is a great breach of trust, and as perfect. a des claration of a design to fubvert the government as is posibly to be met with. To which if one shall add rewards and punishments visibly employed to the fame end, and all the arts of perverted law made use of to take off and destroy all that stand in the way of such a defign, and will not comply and consent to destroy the liberties of their country, it will be past doubt what is doing--and one cannot but fee, that he who has once attempted any such thing, cannot any longer be trusted." B. II. ch. 19: P: 338. Now had Mr. Locke's principles been universally received, and had the good people
man in his own image. By himself, therefore, power is given to every governmenę to take away the life of man by an act of justice, in virtue of a divine law; for the fame authority which ordains the law, doth in so doing ordain power to execute the, law, without which the law is nothing; and this we call the power of the fruord, This power being original in God, the Apostle, Rom. xiii. 6. considers the civil magistrate as the minister of God for the execution of the divine law; and that to Telift him is to resist the ordinance of God: therefore government is the ordinance of God. The argument is plain, and can never be answered. In the work above-meng tioned, fucide is considered as a voluntary migration; as when a înan by chgice leaves his parish, and goes to seek his fortune in another!
• Late events have taught us, that when the regular establifhment of govern, meat is destroyed, factions arise in its fead, who murder and plunder one another,