Leviathan eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 636 pages of information about Leviathan.
of one another, dictateth the same to Common-wealths, that is, to the Consciences of Soveraign Princes, and Soveraign Assemblies; there being no Court of Naturall Justice, but in the Conscience onely; where not Man, but God raigneth; whose Lawes, (such of them as oblige all Mankind,) in respect of God, as he is the Author of Nature, are Naturall; and in respect of the same God, as he is King of Kings, are Lawes.  But of the Kingdome of God, as King of Kings, and as King also of a peculiar People, I shall speak in the rest of this discourse.

CHAPTER XXXI

OF THE KINGDOME OF GOD BY NATURE

The Scope Of The Following Chapters That the condition of meer Nature, that is to say, of absolute Liberty, such as is theirs, that neither are Soveraigns, nor Subjects, is Anarchy, and the condition of Warre:  That the Praecepts, by which men are guided to avoyd that condition, are the Lawes of Nature:  That a Common-wealth, without Soveraign Power, is but a word, without substance, and cannot stand:  That Subjects owe to Soveraigns, simple Obedience, in all things, wherein their obedience is not repugnant to the Lawes of God, I have sufficiently proved, in that which I have already written.  There wants onely, for the entire knowledge of Civill duty, to know what are those Lawes of God.  For without that, a man knows not, when he is commanded any thing by the Civill Power, whether it be contrary to the Law of God, or not:  and so, either by too much civill obedience, offends the Divine Majesty, or through feare of offending God, transgresses the commandements of the Common-wealth.  To avoyd both these Rocks, it is necessary to know what are the Lawes Divine.  And seeing the knowledge of all Law, dependeth on the knowledge of the Soveraign Power; I shall say something in that which followeth, of the kingdome of god.

Who Are Subjects In The Kingdome Of God “God is King, let the Earth rejoice,” saith the Psalmist. (Psal. 96. 1).  And again, “God is King though the Nations be angry; and he that sitteth on the Cherubins, though the earth be moved.” (Psal. 98. 1).  Whether men will or not, they must be subject alwayes to the Divine Power.  By denying the Existence, or Providence of God, men may shake off their Ease, but not their Yoke.  But to call this Power of God, which extendeth it selfe not onely to Man, but also to Beasts, and Plants, and Bodies inanimate, by the name of Kingdome, is but a metaphoricall use of the word.  For he onely is properly said to Raigne, that governs his Subjects, by his Word, and by promise of Rewards to those that obey it, and by threatning them with Punishment that obey it not.  Subjects therefore in the Kingdome of God, are not Bodies Inanimate, nor creatures Irrationall; because they understand no Precepts as his:  Nor Atheists; nor they that believe not that God has any care of the actions of mankind; because they acknowledge no Word for his, nor have hope of his rewards, or fear of his threatnings.  They therefore that believe there is a God that governeth the world, and hath given Praecepts, and propounded Rewards, and Punishments to Mankind, are Gods Subjects; all the rest, are to be understood as Enemies.

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Leviathan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.