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man and man are naturally derived. So that the obligations of justice, you see, do immediately grow out of the nature of things, and those respects and relations they bear to one another : and therefore till the nature of things be utterly unravelled, and their respects to one another for ever cancelled and reversed, every rational being must be obliged to be just; that is, to acknowledge, so far as he understands it, the respect and relation he bears to all other beings; by demeaning himself submissively towards his superiors, equally towards his equals, and condescendingly towards his inferiors. And whatsoever we are obliged to by the nature of things, we are obliged to by the author of nature; whose works are as real signs and expressions of his will, as his revealed declarations. And therefore since he framed and constituted us with such respects and relations to one another, that is as plain a signification that it is his will we should demean ourselves accordingly, as if he had proclaimed it by a voice of thunder from the battlements of heaven. Since therefore God hath thus engraven the obligations of justice upon the nature of things, they must abide for ever, and be as eternal as those respects and relations are which things bear to one another.

II. Another eternal reason by which we are obliged to do justly, is the conformity of it to the nature of God. For justice is one of the brightest jewels of God's diadem, one of those most glorious attributes which do eternally crown and adorn his nature, and determine his will, and direct his actions. Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints, Rev. xv. 3. Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments, Psalm cxix. 137. Are not my ways

equal ? and are not your ways unequal ? sạith God himself, appealing to the consciences of his subjects, in Ezek. xviii. 29. Consonantly to all which is the assertion of Plato, Θεός ουδαμή ουδαμώς άδικος, αλλ' ως olóv dikalóratos: “God cannot be said to be unjust

τε δικαιότατος “ in any respect whatsoever, but is in all kinds just “ to the utmost possibility.” And indeed the eternal self-sufficiency of his own nature sets him above all manner of temptation to deal injuriously by his creatures. He wants none of their rights to enrich himself, needs none of their happiness to augment his own; which is so boundless and secure, that it can neither admit of any increase, or be liable to any diminution. What then should move him either to deprive his creatures of any good that is their due, or to inflict on them any evil that they have not deserved, when he can serve no end of his own, nor reap any advantage to himself by it ? For all injustice springs out of want and indigence; which being utterly excluded from the nature of God, it is impossible there should be any unjust inclination or tendency in him. And as by the infinite self-sufficiency of his nature he is secured from all temptation to injustice, so by the infinite goodness of it he stands invariably bent and inclined to deal justly and righteously by his creatures. For goodness is nothing but an inclination of nature to bestow more good than is due, and inflict less evil than is deserved; which inclination being inseparable to the nature of God, it is impossible for him either to withhold from us any right, or to punish us wrongfully, without doing violence to himself, and committing an outrage on his own nature. So that the nature of God is a law of righteousness to himself,

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right to as I am a man, I have a right to from God who made me a man; and therefore he who denies me the right of my nature, thrusts me down from the form wherein God hath placed me, and uses me as if I were not what God hath made me; whereby he doth in effect fly in the face of my Creator, and quarrel with God for making me what I am. word, it is eternally reasonable, that I, who am the creature of God, should pay so much reverence to his all-creating wisdom and power, as to treat every creature suitably to the state and condition of its creation; and consequently to treat men as men, that is, as beings endowed by God with the common rights of human nature; which if I do not, I alienate from my own kind what God hath endowed it with, and so in effect do disallow of his endowments, and impiously call in question the rights of his creation. For either I must own that God ought not to have constituted human nature with such rights, which would be to impeach his creation, or that I ought to render it those rights which result from its frame and constitution; and therefore, when by my actions I disown that I ought to render them, I do in effect quarrel with God's creation for entailing such rights upon human nature, and declare that I am resolved not to be concluded by it; but that I will for ever defy the laws of the creation, and will not abide by that rule and order which it hath established in the nature of things. If therefore it be reasonable, eternally reasonable, for creatures to act agreeably to the order of their creation, this is an eternal reason why we should render to one another those rights which God hath bequeathed to us by the constitution of our natures.

And as our natural rights are derived to us from God by his creation, so are our acquired also derived from him by his providence, who, having reserved to himself the sovereign disposal of all our affairs, is our founder and benefactor, upon whom we all depend for every right and property we acquire by our conversation and intercourse with one another; and that this is mine, and that yours, is owing to the providence of God, which carves out to every one his portion of right, and divides as he sees fit his world among his creatures. . So that justice, as it refers to acquired rights, consists in allowing every man to enjoy what God hath given him by his all-disposing providence: and if God hath an eternal right to share his own goods among his own creatures as he pleases, then that is an eternal reason why we should allow one another to enjoy those portions which he hath shared and divided to us For by depriving another man of what God's providence hath given him, I do not only rob him of his right to enjoy it, but I also rob God of his right to dispose it. For while I withhold or take away what God hath given to another, I take his goods against his leave, and impiously invade his province of bestowing his own where he pleases: and whilst I thus carve for myself out of those allowances which he hath carved to others, I live in open rebellion against his providence, and am an outlaw to his government. For this in effect is the sense and meaning of my wrongful encroachments upon other men's rights, that I will not be concluded by that division and allotment of things which God hath made, but that I will divide and carve for myself, and live at my own allowance; that I will not suffer him to share his own world, nor endure him to reign lord and master in his own family of beings, but even live as I list, and take what I can catch without asking God's leave, who is the supreme proprietor and disposer. So that to deal unjustly by men, whether it be in respect of their natural or acquired rights, is a direct opposition to the divine ordination and disposal; and therefore if it be eternally reasonable for us, who are God's creatures and subjects, to comply with the order of his creation and the disposals of his providence, that is an eternal reason why we should deal justly with one another.

IV. Fourthly, and lastly, Another eternal reason why we are obliged to do justly, is the everlasting necessity of it to the happiness of men : for justice is the pillar and support of all society, without which it is impossible for rational beings ever to live happily with one another. For while I deal unjustly by others, I draw all men into a combination against me; who having all the same tender sense of their own interest and happiness as I have of mine, must be sufficiently jealous of all designs and encroachments on their rights and properties; and consequently be ready to conclude from my injustice towards one, that I am prepared to do mischief to many for the advancement of my own ends : so that when once I am remarked for a person that bears no regard to right and wrong, it becomes the joint and equal interest of all to declare open war against me, and treat me as an open enemy without mercy and compassion. So that one unjust man in a society is a common disturbance to all the rest; for by every single injury he doth, he alarms the jealousy of every man, every man having reason to conclude that he

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