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far as in us lies, excommunicate one another from the common benefits of society; which since we have all a natural right to, is highly dishonest and injurious.
2. By virtue of our being united in society, we have a right to peace; that is, to live peaceably and quietly ourselves, so long as we do not causelessly vex and disturb others. For society being nothing but an united multitude, it is indispensably necessary to the preservation of its union, that every individual member should quietly comport himself towards every one in that degree and order wherein he is placed ; because as the health of natural bodies depends upon the harmony of their parts, so doth the common good of societies or political bodies. It is peace and mutual accord which is the soul that doth both animate and unite society, and keep its parts from dispersing, and flying abroad into atoms; which nothing but force and violence can hinder them from, when once they are broken and divided. For he that cannot enjoy his peace in society, is in a worse condition than if he were out of it, and lived in some solitary desert alone by himself: for there is no solitude so dismal as a vexatious and quarrelsome society. Whilst therefore men are of an unpeaceable temper, and do affect to live like salamanders, in the fire of strife and contention, they are the common pests and nuisances of society : for wherever they dwell, they lay an embargo on all sociable communion, stop all the interchanges of good offices between men, turn all conversations into tragedies, and convert all societies into maps and images of hell, that black and dismal region of dark hatred, fiery wrath, and horrible tumult. And whereas, by the fundamental laws of society, every man hath an undoubted right not
to be disturbed in the enjoyment of his innocent pleasures, not to be hindered in the advancing his lawful profits, not to be interrupted in the prosecution of his reasonable designs, not to be detained in his afflictions, or vexed and grieved with causeless aggravations of them; it is the proper business of litigious spirits to invade and overthrow these rights, and, so far as they are able, to turn every man out of the possession and enjoyment of them. So that they are a public offence and injury to mankind; and ought to be looked upon as so many common barretors in the world. In short, every man, by virtue of his being in society, hath a right to peace, so long as he demeans himself justly and peaceably towards others : he therefore that disturbs another man's peace, unless it be in defence of his own or other men's right or peace, is an infringer of the natural rights of human society.
3. By virtue of our being united in society, we have a right to truth; that is, we have a right to know the true sense of each other's minds and intentions, whensoever we pretend to report and discover it by our speech; for it is only our speech that capacitates us for a rational society. Our words are the credentiaries and intelligencers of the society and intercourse of our minds; and it is only by these that souls do correspond and communicate their thoughts to one another : it is by these that they mutually divert their sorrows, and mingle their mirth; impart their secrets, communicate their counsels, and make mutual compacts and agreements to supply and assist each other. And indeed words are the rudders that steer all human affairs, the springs that set the wheels of actions agoing; and the hands
work, the feet walk, and all the members and all the senses act by their direction and impulse; and there is scarce any communication or intercourse among men, but what is transacted by their speech. So that if men were under no obligation to express their thoughts truly to one another, there could be no such thing as human society in the world; for it is impossible their minds should converse, while their words do falsely echo and report their thoughts. In a word, society and conversation being the great bank and exchange of souls, truth and integrity herein is the one public faith of mankind; which every man virtually engages himself to keep, by being and continuing a member of human society. For human society being a society of minds, implies in the very nature of it an universal contract and agreement to signify our minds truly to one another; and therefore, since words are the natural instruments by which this signification is made, every man, by virtue of that contract, hath a right to have the true meaning of every mar's mind in his words, to have every man turn himself inside outward to him whensoever he speaks, and to measure his words by his meaning, and his meaning, so far as he is able, by the truth and reality of things. And therefore whosoever lies or equivocates to another, by laying ambushes in his words, or lurking behind them in reserved meanings, doth thereby injuriously deprive him of the natural rights of society. And therefore, by the way, whatsoever the Romish casuists may pretend, equivocation is as great an injustice as lying, as being both directed to the same end and purpose, viz. to rob those whom we speak to of their right to our meaning and intention, which
he who equivocates doth as effectually as he that lies. So that in reality an equivocating Jesuit is as great an outlaw to society as a common liar; nor can his ambiguous words be any more depended on than false ones, for the signification of his meaning; but if what he falsely or equivocally affirms to be his mind and meaning, he attests with his oath, he doth not only thereby wrong man, but horribly affront God. For an oath is a solemn invocation of God to bear witness to what we assert or promise ; and therefore if what we assert be false, we call God to witness to a lie; which is to suppose either that there is no God at all, or, which is a thousand times worse, that God is as great a liar as ourselves. For he that calls God to witness what he saith, must be presumed to believe that God will witness for him, and consequently that God will witness falsely, if what he says be false ; which is such a blasphemy against the God of truth, as no vengeance can sufficiently expiate. And as in the matter of assertion every man hath a right to truth, so he hath also in the matter of promise ; provided he be promised nothing but what is lawful and possible. And therefore for any man to promise what he intends not to perform, or go back from his promise when he lawfully may or can perform it, is an act of unjust rapine; and I may every whit as honestly rob another of what is his without my promise, as of what I have made his by it, he having an equal right to both by the fundamental laws of society; but if he promises with an oath, as in matters of public trust and administration we usually do, he doth not only owe a just and punctual performance unto man, but to God himself, whom he calls to witness that what
he swears he intends to perform, according to the true and natural meaning of his words; and he solemnly invocates God to avenge his non-perform
So that if he fail of what he hath promised by his oath, or doth not execute it according to its true meaning, he is guilty, not only of a high injustice to man, but of a horrid profanation of the name of God; whom he hath solemnly called to witness to a lie, whose wrath he hath imprecated on his own head, and whose justice he hath obliged by a dreadful contract severely to avenge his perjury. He therefore who lies, equivocates, or forswears himself, whether it be in asserting or promising, violates that universal contract truly to signify our meaning to another, which human society implies, and upon which it is founded; and whilst he doth so, there is no intercourse can be had with him, but he is a creature by himself, an enemy to the world, that lives in a state of war with all mankind, and out of all laws and obligations of human society: and so whilst he continues in it, and pretends to observe its natural rights, he doth, by his equivocations and lies, wrong and injure all he converses with.
4. By virtue of our being united in society, we have a right to credit, and to a fair estimation among one another. For the great end of human society is, that by their mutual intercourses men might aid and assist one another; and it is for this purpose that men combine themselves into societies, that thereby they may enjoy a delightful conversation, void of fear, suspicion, and danger; and by exchanging their labours, counsels, and commodities, may be mutually helpful and beneficial to one another. And this end no man can ever attain, with