Leviathan eBook

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

Salaries Certain And Casuall And whereas some Salaries are certain, and proceed from the publique Treasure; and others uncertain, and casuall, proceeding from the execution of the Office for which the Salary is ordained; the later is in some cases hurtfull to the Common-wealth; as in the case of Judicature.  For where the benefit of the Judges, and Ministers of a Court of Justice, ariseth for the multitude of Causes that are brought to their cognisance, there must needs follow two Inconveniences:  One, is the nourishing of sutes; for the more sutes, the greater benefit:  and another that depends on that, which is contention about Jurisdiction; each Court drawing to it selfe, as many Causes as it can.  But in offices of Execution there are not those Inconveniences; because their employment cannot be encreased by any endeavour of their own.  And thus much shall suffice for the nature of Punishment, and Reward; which are, as it were, the Nerves and Tendons, that move the limbes and joynts of a Common-wealth.

Hitherto I have set forth the nature of Man, (whose Pride and other Passions have compelled him to submit himselfe to Government;) together with the great power of his Governour, whom I compared to Leviathan, taking that comparison out of the two last verses of the one and fortieth of Job; where God having set forth the great power of Leviathan, called him King of the Proud.  “There is nothing,” saith he, “on earth, to be compared with him.  He is made so as not be afraid.  Hee seeth every high thing below him; and is King of all the children of pride.”  But because he is mortall, and subject to decay, as all other Earthly creatures are; and because there is that in heaven, (though not on earth) that he should stand in fear of, and whose Lawes he ought to obey; I shall in the next following Chapters speak of his Diseases, and the causes of his Mortality; and of what Lawes of Nature he is bound to obey.

CHAPTER XXIX

OF THOSE THINGS THAT WEAKEN, OR TEND TO THE DISSOLUTION OF A COMMON-WEALTH

Dissolution Of Common-wealths Proceedeth From Their Imperfect Institution Though nothing can be immortall, which mortals make; yet, if men had the use of reason they pretend to, their Common-wealths might be secured, at least, from perishing by internall diseases.  For by the nature of their Institution, they are designed to live, as long as Man-kind, or as the Lawes of Nature, or as Justice it selfe, which gives them life.  Therefore when they come to be dissolved, not by externall violence, but intestine disorder, the fault is not in men, as they are the Matter; but as they are the Makers, and orderers of them.  For men, as they become at last weary of irregular justling, and hewing one another, and desire with all their hearts, to conforme themselves into one firme and lasting edifice; so for want, both of the art of making fit Laws, to square their actions by, and also of humility, and patience, to suffer the rude and combersome points of their present greatnesse to be taken off, they cannot without the help of a very able Architect, be compiled, into any other than a crasie building, such as hardly lasting out their own time, must assuredly fall upon the heads of their posterity.

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Leviathan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.