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spare; a wise discerner, who will not be deceived; an exact remembrancer, which never forgets any thing that can do the greatest mischiefs: a just witness, who will not be suborned, and is conscious and privy to all that which he is to judge; and the same also is the executioner of the delinquent and sinning people.
The stings of conscience and fear of the divine vengeance, is this evil which naturally restrains us; it is the greatest restraint, because it is the greatest of evils, and it is unavoidable, and it is natural. I will not add it is lawful to abstain from evil for fear of punishment, but it is necessary, and it is natural, and that is more, and this is it which Epicurus taught, ουκ άλλω τινί της αδικίας δείν άπειργείν ή φόβω xoyaoewy; which although Plutarch seems angry at, was well enough spoken by him; meaning that “it is a fear, not of temporal discovery and civil punishment, which is only appointed to restrain evil actions, but a fear of those evils whose apprehension God hath made necessary and congenite with the nature of man;" fear of God's displeasure, and the destruction of our nature and felicities relying upon that natural love of ourselves, and desire of our own preservation, without which a man cannot be supposed sufficiently provided with principles of necessary being and providence.
There is another kind of fear of punishment, that is, a fear of those auxiliary punishments which princes and republics have superadded to the breakers of natural laws, which is in some men, who are despisers of all the evils which are threatened hereafter: such as was that of Thrasymachus, in Platob: “ Nihil esse melius quam facere injuriam neque pænas dare, nihil pejus quam pati nec posse ulcisci; medio autem modo se habere justitiam, cum quis nec facit nec patitur: quod ut fiat, esse optabile; sed nempe imbecillibus, quorum proinde interest pacisci aut servare pacta, non autem valentioribus, qui si viri fuerint ac sapuerint, nullatenus pactum de injuria non inferenda accipiendavé sint inituri:” “ Nothing is better than to do injury without punishment; nothing worse than to suffer mischief, and to be able to do none again; in the midst of these is justice, which neither does injury, nor receives any, which is much to be desired;
b 7. de Repub.
but by whom? By none but by weak people. For the stronger, if they be valiant and wise, will never enter into covenants concerning not doing or receiving injury.”According to this doctrine, there should be nothing of itself just or unjust; and if there were, it were not to be regarded, but so long as justice were profitable, and injustice troublesome and dangerous. And, therefore, strong men or crafty might, in many cases, be exempt from contracts and from doing justice, and would neither do right, nor take wrong.
Against this it is that all wise men in the world do speak: “ Vos autem, nisi ad populares auras inanesque rumores, recta facere nescitis; et relicta conscientiæ virtutisque præstantia de alienis præmia sermunculis cogitatis,” said Boetius', in indignation against all those who took accounts of themselves by public noises, not by the testimonies of a just conscience,--that is, who fear man, but do not fear God. And to do good out of fear of punishment in this sense) is to do good no longer than I am observed, and no longer than I am constrained: from both which because very many men are very often freed, and all men sometimes, there would be no habit, no will, no love of justice in the world; that is, there would be no virtue of justice, but single actions as it could happen. This would introduce horrid tyrannies, while princes and generals, having power in their hands, might do all things as they pleased, and have no measure but their own private: and all men's conditions under them would be always precarious, and arbitrary, and most commonly intolerable: and, therefore, this fear is the charac, terism of evil
Oderunt peccare mali formidine poenæ. And against such, civil laws are made : “ Justis lex non est posita,” saith St. Paul; “ the law is not made for the righteous, but for the wicked.”-If the sons of Israel had continued pious as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were, the law should not have been given to them as it was upon Mount Sinai; but the necessities of men brought a law upon them, and that law a punishment, while good men TrosoŨOLY ÉXOUIWS,
& De Consol. Philosoph.
α ποιούσιν άκοντες οι λοιποί δια τον νόμον, as Xenocrates, in Laertius, said of the philosophers; they do it
Sponte sua, veterisque Dei se more tenentes , for the love of God; by choice and delight in the actions of virtue, they do excellent things, “ Plusque ibi boni mores valent quam alibi bonæ leges," as Tacituse said of the old Germans; " Good manners prevailed more than good laws.” Thus did the patriarchs, and therefore they needed not a law. “ Vetustissimi mortalium, nulla adhuc mala libidine, sine probro, scelere, eoque sine poena et coercitionibus agebant : neque præmiis opus erat, quum honesta suopte ingenio peterentur; et, ubi nihil contra morem cuperent, nihil per metum vetabanturf.” Our forefathers desired nothing against honesty and injustice, and, therefore, were not forbidden any thing by the instrument of fear.
But, therefore, the civil and positive law is not made for all those men who have other restraints; that is, for good men who are moved by better principles; but because these things that are better, are despised by the vicious and the tyrants, oppressors and the impudent, the civil power hath taken a sword to transfix the criminal, and to kill the crime. And, therefore, Epicurus, in Stobæus, said not amiss : “ Laws were made for wise men, not for fear they should do ill, but lest they should suffer evil from the unjust.
And yet even the wise and the good men have a fear in them, which is an instrument of justice and religion; but it is a fear of God, not of the secular judge; it is a fear that is natural, a fear produced from the congenite notices of things, and the fear of doing a base thing; a fear to be a fool and an evil person.
Mî natura dedit leges à sanguine ductas :
Ne possim melior judicis esse metu ; said Cornelia, in Propertius 8: a good man will abstain from all unrighteous things, though he be sure that no man should hear or see any thing of it,--that is, though there were no laws, and superinduced punishments, in republics; and all this upon the account of such a fear, which a good man ought to have,-a fear of being a base person or doing vile things.
d /Eneid. vii. 204.
e Cap. 19. f Tacit. Ann. iii. 26. Ruperti, p. 150. 8 Lib. iv. 11. 47. Kuinoel, vol. i. p. 412.
Imposito teneræ custode puellæ
Quæ quia non liceat, non facit, illa facit h.
That chastity is the noblest, which is not constrained by spies and severity, by laws and jealousy: when the mind is secretly restrained, then the virtue is secured. Ciceroi puts a case to Torquatus: “Si te amicus tuus moriens rogaverit, ut hereditatem reddas suæ filiæ, nec usquam id scripserit, ut scripsit Fadius, nec cuiquam dixerit; quid facies ? Aruncanus dies, and leaves his inheritance to his daughter, Postumia, and intrusts his friend, Torquatus, with it, but privately, without witness, without consignation of tables : will Torquatus, who is a feoffee in private trust, restore this to the child, when she shall be capable? Yes; Torquatus will, and Epicurus will; and yet Cicero had scarce a good word for him, whom he hath fondly disgraced during all ages of the world, weakly and unjustly: but the account he gives of it, is pertinent to the rulek: “ Nonne intelligis, eo majorem vim esse naturæ, quod ipsi vos, qui omnia ad vestrum commodum, et, up ipsi dicitis, ad voluptatum referatis, tamen ea faciatis, e quibus adpareat non voluptatem vos sed officium sequi? plusque rectam naturam, quam rationem pravam valere?” Nature is more prevalent than interest; and sober men, though they pretend to do things for their real advantage and pleasure, yet follow their duty rather than either pleasure or profit, and right nature rather than evil principles.
The reason of this is, because nature carries fear and reverence in the retinue of all her laws; and the evils which are consequent to the breach of natural laws, are really, and by wise men so understood to be, greater mischiefs than the want of profit, or the missing of pleasure, or the feeling the rods and axes of the prince. If there were no more in a crime than the disorder of nature, the very unnaturalness
h Ovid. lib. iii. Eleg. 4, 1. Mitscherlich, vol. i. p. 185. i 2 De Finibus. Dav. Rath. 6. 18. p. 142.
k Ib. p. 143.
itself were a very great matter. St. Basil said well!, “ Ad omnia, quæ descripta à nobis, à Deo præcepta sunt, consequenda, naturales ab ipso facultates accepimus.” God hath given to virtues, natural organs, or bodily instruments; as to mercy he appointed bowels, eyes for pity, hands for relief; and the proper employment of these is so perfective of a man's condition, according to their proportion, that not to employ them according to the purpose of nature is a disease, a natural trouble; just as it is to trumpet with our mouth, which was intended for eating, and drinking, and gentler breathings. It is punishment enough to do an unnatural and a base action; it puts our soul and its faculties from their centre, and the ways of perfection. And this is fully observed by Seneca : “ Male de nobis actum erat, quod multa scelera legem et judicem effugiunt, et scripta supplicia, nisi illa naturalia et gravia de præsentibus solverent, et in locum patientiæ timor cederet :” “ Mankind were in an ill state of provisions, if those wickednesses, which escape the law and the judge, did not suffer the more grievous inflictions of natural punishment, and fear came into the place of pa. tience;” still fear is the bridle: but it is an honest fear, a fear of God, and of natural disorders and inconvenience. Ουκ εν συμβολαίοις πολιτικούς ουδε εν απαγορεύσει νόμου, αλλ' εξ ιδιοπραγίας, και της προς τον θεόν αγάπης η δικαιοσύνη, as Clemens of Alexandria calls it; “ a righteousness not produced by laws and the sword, fear and interest, but from the love of God,” and something that is within: there is a fear, but it is such a fear as still leaves the love to virtue, and secures it in privacies, and enjoins the habit and constant practice of it: a fear that is complicated with a natural love of our own preservation, and is constant, and measured by God, and in the natural limit cannot be extravagant; a fear that acknowledges God's. omniscience, and his omnipresence, and his eternal justice: and this was the sense of that of Sophoclesm :
Προς ταύτα κρυπτε μεδέν, ώς ο πάνθ' ορών
και πάντ' ακούων, πάντ' αναπτύσσει χρόνος. “Do nothing basely and secretly; for time's Father sees and hears all things, and time will discover it, and truth shall be the daughter of time ;--and that which is done in
Reg. Fusior. inter. 2.
m 'In novoos, frag. i. Musgrave, vol. ii. p. 225.