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companied: Our decifions, therefore, upon this fuppofition can PART II.
Together with the original appurtenances of human nature, life, limb, and faculty, we must likewife admit all those rights, which, even acting separately and unconnectedly, the individual may acquire for himself. We must fuppofe him entitled to defend not only his organs and powers, but the fruits and effects of them alfo ; entitled to defend his poffeffion, as first occupier of any subject that accommodates him; or his property in a subject, as having employed labour to meliorate or to procure it: So that, together with his rights of original poffeffion, he is entitled alfo to defend his right, to make acquifitions by labour, convention, or otherwife.
If, in the midst of rights so defined, one party fhall commit an injury, or give juft caufe of alarm to another, this other is entitled to his defence and is not restrained in the choice of means, by any confideration befide the general provifion of the law of nature already stated; a provifion which admits that effectual means may be used, but in which unnecessary acts of cruelty or severity, with refpect to thofe against whom fuch means may be employed, are ftrictly prohibited.
Upon the fuppofition of a difference fubfifting between parties otherwife ftrangers and unconnected, or what is called the ftate of nature, it is fometimes afked, who is to judge or to decide beween.
CHAP.IV. SECT. II. m
PART II. between parties in this state? This in effect is first to suppose, that parties having no convention are amenable to no jurifdiction inferior to the tribunal of God, and afterwards to enquire to what human jurisdiction such parties are subject.
They may or may not fubmit to an arbiter at pleasure; and, though nature has limited the means of defence to those which are neceffary, the obfervance of this limitation, together with the exercise of every other right, would in fact depend on the difcretion and candour of the parties themselves; a cafe in which no provifion being made against the passions or mistakes of men, applications of the law of nature, however clear in theory, might be very lame and imperfect in practice; and fuch condition of parties, if ever realized, fhould be deplored as calamitous, or expofed to much inconvenience and evil,
The inconvenience would fuggeft, for its remedy, recourfe to the judgement and arbitration of fome third party, more impartial than either of the perfons more immediately concerned. The utility of fome permanent recourse of this fort, would naturally lead to political institution, and the establishment of ordinary jurifdiction and protecting power: So that, while we fuppofe men to be affociated from their birth, or otherwise cast into groups together, every difference or difpute would fuggeft the neceffity or utility of political establishment.
Society is the natural ftate of man, and political fociety is the natural result of his experience in that ftate of fociety to which he is born. This is not the experience of fingle perfons, or of fingle ages. It is an experience, which began with the commencement of every fociety, and can end only with its final extinction. Po
litical establishments, accordingly, which began to be formed in in the first and fimpleft ages, continue in a state of gradual formation, as the experience of every age directs, to the latest period at which states or communities, in the course of things, are allowed to arrive.
The people in republics, in the laft as well as the first stage of their political union, are devising rules by which to govern themfelves.
The monarch continues to fettle terms, on which he propofes to distribute rewards and punishments, honour or difgrace, among his fubjects. And the defpotical mafter continues to make known the advantage he proposes to himself or his people from the exercise of his power; whether in the gratification of a divine benevolence, that of Antoninus; or in the gratification of a brutal appetite like and paffion, like those of Caligula and Nero.
Of the Cafe of fellow Citizens.
THIS cafe is indefinitely varied in the multiplicity of political
Civil fociety is not improperly termed a state of convention; for, although men are actually in fociety together, before they enter into any form of bargain or compact; yet, every step that is made, in the concourse of numbers, tends to convention. Every practice continued into custom, is fairly interpreted as the faith of parties plighted for the obfervance of it; and the members of every fociety, even of the shortest duration, become invested with rights, or fubjected to obligations, founded in fome fpecies of contract exprefs or tacit.
But we now cease to enquire in what form the civil or politi- PART II. cal compact is ratified, whether by practice, capitulation, or fta- CHAP. IV. tute. These are the proper ftudy of professional lawyers, to whom the fupreme authority of their respective communities is the ultimate rule in adjusting the obligations and rights of men.
To the citizen of every particular community, the specific law of his own country is the tenure by which he holds his rights, and the measure of obligations which he is bound to fulfil; but, however the civil inftitution, in any particular inftance, may appear to depart from the law of nature, by adopting modifications, which in their first affumption were optional to the parties concerned; yet, as fuch modifications are founded in convention, there is not any species of obligation or right actually valid in any community, that may not be traced to this its foundation in the law of nature.
There are certain relations of men effential to every fociety or community confidered as fuch; and there are certain obligations. and duties which may not only be traced to their foundations in the law of nature, but which are to be confidered as immediate objects of that law, and placed, as we now propose to place them, among the cafes to which the law of nature is immediately applicable.
Under every political establishment, there is a relation of magiftrate and fubject, and a relation of fellow citizens, which, however diverfified in particular inftances, are nevertheless in a certain abstract point of view common to every establishment, and effential to the nature of political fociety itself.