SECOND TREATISE OF GOVERNMENT

SECOND TREATISE OF GOVERNMENT

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by John Locke
     
 

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PREFACE

Reader, thou hast here the beginning and end of a discourse concerning
government; what fate has otherwise disposed of the papers that should
have filled up the middle, and were more than all the rest, it is not
worth while to tell thee. These, which remain, I hope are sufficient to
establish the throne of our great restorer, our…  See more details below

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PREFACE

Reader, thou hast here the beginning and end of a discourse concerning
government; what fate has otherwise disposed of the papers that should
have filled up the middle, and were more than all the rest, it is not
worth while to tell thee. These, which remain, I hope are sufficient to
establish the throne of our great restorer, our present King William; to
make good his title, in the consent of the people, which being the only
one of all lawful governments, he has more fully and clearly, than any
prince in Christendom; and to justify to the world the people of
England, whose love of their just and natural rights, with their
resolution to preserve them, saved the nation when it was on the very
brink of slavery and ruin. If these papers have that evidence, I flatter
myself is to be found in them, there will be no great miss of those
which are lost, and my reader may be satisfied without them: for I
imagine, I shall have neither the time, nor inclination to repeat my
pains, and fill up the wanting part of my answer, by tracing Sir Robert
again, through all the windings and obscurities, which are to be met
with in the several branches of his wonderful system. The king, and body
of the nation, have since so thoroughly confuted his Hypothesis, that I
suppose no body hereafter will have either the confidence to appear
against our common safety, and be again an advocate for slavery; or the
weakness to be deceived with contradictions dressed up in a popular
stile, and well-turned periods: for if any one will be at the pains,
himself, in those parts, which are here untouched, to strip Sir Robert's
discourses of the flourish of doubtful expressions, and endeavour to
reduce his words to direct, positive, intelligible propositions, and
then compare them one with another, he will quickly be satisfied, there
was never so much glib nonsense put together in well-sounding English.
If he think it not worth while to examine his works all thro', let him
make an experiment in that part, where he treats of usurpation; and let
him try, whether he can, with all his skill, make Sir Robert
intelligible, and consistent with himself, or common sense. I should not
speak so plainly of a gentleman, long since past answering, had not the
pulpit, of late years, publicly owned his doctrine, and made it the
current divinity of the times. It is necessary those men, who taking on
them to be teachers, have so dangerously misled others, should be openly
shewed of what authority this their Patriarch is, whom they have so
blindly followed, that so they may either retract what upon so ill
grounds they have vented, and cannot be maintained; or else justify
those principles which they preached up for gospel; though they had no
better an author than an English courtier: for I should not have writ
against Sir Robert, or taken the pains to shew his mistakes,
inconsistencies, and want of (what he so much boasts of, and pretends
wholly to build on) scripture-proofs, were there not men amongst us,
who, by crying up his books, and espousing his doctrine, save me from
the reproach of writing against a dead adversary. They have been so
zealous in this point, that, if I have done him any wrong, I cannot hope
they should spare me. I wish, where they have done the truth and the
public wrong, they would be as ready to redress it, and allow its just
weight to this reflection, viz. that there cannot be done a greater
mischief to prince and people, than the propagating wrong notions
concerning government; that so at last all times might not have reason
to complain of the Drum Ecclesiastic. If any one, concerned really for
truth, undertake the confutation of my Hypothesis, I promise him either
to recant my mistake, upon fair conviction; or to answer his
difficulties. But he must remember two things.

First, That cavilling here and there, at some expression, or little
incident of my discourse, is not an answer to my book.

Secondly, That I shall not take railing for arguments, nor think either
of these worth my notice, though I shall always look on myself as bound
to give satisfaction to any one, who shall appear to be conscientiously
scrupulous in the point, and shall shew any just grounds for his
scruples.

I have nothing more, but to advertise the reader, that Observations
stands for Observations on Hobbs, Milton, &c. and that a bare quotation
of pages always means pages of his Patriarcha, Edition 1680.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940012472748
Publisher:
SAP
Publication date:
05/15/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
132 KB

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