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politic, that draws all the nourishment to himself, and starves the neighbouring parts, than a regular member, that contents itself with such a share as is proportionate to its own bulk and magnitude, and gladly permits his fellow-members to live and thrive as well as he. So that for any man, in his dealings with others, to take advantage from their necessity or ignorance, to oppress or overreach them; to use them cruelly, so as wilfully to damnify them; or hardly, so as either to rake all the advantage to himself, or not to allow them such a competent share of it as is necessary to support and maintain them according to their rank and station ; is an injurious invasion of that natural right, which the very end and design of human society gives them.
And thus you see what are the natural rights of men, considered as rational creatures inhabiting mortal bodies, and united to one another by natural relations and society; all which rights are inherent in them antecedently to all human laws and constitutions; and though there had never been any other law but that of nature, yet they might have justly claimed them of one another, as eternal dues which no laws can cancel, no custom dissolve, no circumstances make void or abrogate. So that to do justly with respect to men's natural rights, is to render them what we owe them by the obligations of nature, as they are rational creatures; to treat them equitably, to do them all the good we can justly desire they should do to us, if we were in their circumstances; quietly to permit them to judge for themselves, without endeavouring to tyrannize over their minds by persecuting, censuring, and reviling them, because they are not of our opinion ; to suffer
them freely to comply with the dictates of right reason, and not to put them, either by force, command, or presumption, upon any wicked and unreasonable act; in a word, to pay them all those fair respects that are due to the dignity of human nature, to treat them courteously and humanely, and not to bespeak or use them as if they were so many dogs or brute animals; these are eternal dues, which every rational creature owes to his own kind, and which we cannot withhold from one another without high injustice to human nature. But then, as we are rational creatures inhabiting these mortal bodies, we are obliged in justice not to maim, or destroy, or captivate one another's bodies; unless it be in the necessary defence of our own lives, estates, or liberties; not to deprive one another of our necessary livelihood and subsistence; but out of our abundance to supply the pinching necessities of the poor and needy. These things we owe one another as we are all the tenants of God, sent down into this lower world, and quartered in these houses of clay; and if we rob one another of what we are thus entitled to by the present state and condition of our being, we are extremely unjust to God and to each other. Again, as we are rational creatures united to each other by natural relations, we are obliged to render to each other all those respects and duties which the nature of our relation calls for; as we are parents, to love, and instruct, and make suitable provision for our children; as we are children, to love and reverence, succour and obey our parents; as we are brethren or natural kindred, to love and honour, succour and relieve one another: and if we withhold from each other any of these rights or dues, which the nature of our relation calls for, we make an injurious inroad 'upon the most sacred rights and enclosures of nature. Lastly, as we are rational creatures united to one another by natural society, we owe love and peace, truth and credit, protection and participation of profit to one another. Whilst therefore we hate and malign, and vex and disturb each other; whilst we lie and equivocate, and violate our promises and oaths; whilst we refuse to defend each other's lives, estates, and reputation; and usurp all the profits of our exchange and intercourse, not allowing those whom we deal with a sufficient share to subsist and live by; we trample upon all the natural rights of human society, and demean ourselves as open enemies and outlaws to mankind.
Wherefore, in the name of God, if in this degenerate age, whereinto we are fallen, Christianity hath quite lost its just power and dominion over us; let us be honest heathens at least, though we resolve to be no longer Christians: if we will needs be deaf to the voice of our revealed religion, yet for shame let us attend to the voice of our nature, and not leap down at once from the perfection of Christians into the wretched condition of beasts and devils. Oh! for the love of God and the honour of those noble natures he hath given us, stop as men at least, though you are fallen from Christianity; and do not, by your cruelty and inhumanity, frauds and calumnies, oppressions, lies, and shameless perjuries, at the least approach towards that at which humanity starts with horror and amazement; do not defame and scandalize your natures, and render yourselves a
shame and reproach to the name of men, by these your outrageous invasions of the common rights of human nature.
Of justice, as it preserves the acquired rights of men ; and particularly those which arise from sacred and civil re
lations. I PROCEED now to the second sort of human rights, which justice between man and man relates to, viz. such as are not natural to them either as rational creatures, or as dwelling in mortal bodies, or as joined to one another by natural relations, or as naturally united in society; but are acquired subsequently to the rights of nature, by that mutual intercourse which passes between men in their society with one another: which rights, though they are not natural, but accidental, are yet founded on the rights of nature, and therefore ought to be preserved as sacredly and as inviolably as these : for whatsoever rights men do acquire in the performance of the common rights of nature, are equivalent with them, as being founded on the same reasons. Now all those rights which are not natural, are acquired one of these ways: either, first, by sacred and civil relations; or, secondly, by legal possession; or, thirdly, by personal accomplishments; or, fourthly, by outward rank and quality; or, fifthly, by bargaining and compact.
I. There are some rights acquired by sacred and civil relations; and of these there are several sorts.
First, There is the relation of sovereign and subject.
Secondly, Of subordinate magistrates to the sovereign and people.
Thirdly, Of pastors and people.
Ninthly, There is the relation of debtor and creditor. Of the proper rights of each of which relations I shall give as brief an account as I can.
1. There is the relation of sovereign and subject ; which is the highest and most sacred of all those relations that are not natural. For God being the supreme Lord and Sovereign of the world, all lawful power and authority must be derived from him: for as in particular kingdoms the king is the fountain of authority, from whence executive power descends upon subordinate magistrates; so in the universal monarchy of the world, God is the fountain of all power and dominion, from whom all authority and right of government descends upon princes and governors; and whosoever exercises dominion in the world without divine authority, is an usurper in the kingdom of God. But then the derivation of this authority from him is either immediate or mediate; those who are supreme under him derive their authority immediately from him, and are the channels by whose mediation he derives authority to their subordinate magistrates; so that the subordinate magistrates of particular kingdoms derive their authority from God by the hands of their kings, but the kings themselves derive theirs from God's own hands immediately: and whatever the particular