Leviathan eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 636 pages of information about Leviathan.

CHAPTER XXV

OF COUNSELL

Counsell What How fallacious it is to judge of the nature of things, by the ordinary and inconstant use of words, appeareth in nothing more, than in the confusion of Counsels, and Commands, arising from the Imperative manner of speaking in them both, and in may other occasions besides.  For the words “Doe this,” are the words not onely of him that Commandeth; but also of him that giveth Counsell; and of him that Exhorteth; and yet there are but few, that see not, that these are very different things; or that cannot distinguish between them, when they perceive who it is that speaketh, and to whom the Speech is directed, and upon what occasion.  But finding those phrases in mens writings, and being not able, or not willing to enter into a consideration of the circumstances, they mistake sometimes the Precepts of Counsellours, for the Precepts of them that command; and sometimes the contrary; according as it best agreeth with the conclusions they would inferre, or the actions they approve.  To avoyd which mistakes, and render to those termes of Commanding, Counselling, and Exhorting, their proper and distinct significations, I define them thus.

Differences Between Command And Counsell command is, where a man saith, “Doe this,” or “Doe this not,” without expecting other reason than the Will of him that sayes it.  From this it followeth manifestly, that he that Commandeth, pretendeth thereby his own Benefit:  For the reason of his Command is his own Will onely, and the proper object of every mans Will, is some Good to himselfe.

Counsell, is where a man saith, “Doe” or “Doe not this,” and deduceth his own reasons from the benefit that arriveth by it to him to whom he saith it.  And from this it is evident, that he that giveth Counsell, pretendeth onely (whatsoever he intendeth) the good of him, to whom he giveth it.

Therefore between Counsell and Command, one great difference is, that Command is directed to a mans own benefit; and Counsell to the benefit of another man.  And from this ariseth another difference, that a man may be obliged to do what he is Commanded; as when he hath covenanted to obey:  But he cannot be obliged to do as he is Counselled, because the hurt of not following it, is his own; or if he should covenant to follow it, then is the Counsell turned into the nature of a Command.  A third difference between them is, that no man can pretend a right to be of another mans Counsell; because he is not to pretend benefit by it to himselfe; but to demand right to Counsell another, argues a will to know his designes, or to gain some other Good to himselfe; which (as I said before) is of every mans will the proper object.

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Leviathan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.