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laws have no power which the law Divine hath not. But can anything involve us in [:ainful
difficulties more inextricably than this? For if thefe conclufions be found, all human laws
feem ufelefs, inafmuch as they did and can do nothing hut what the Divine law doth and cm
do. If, therefore, this Divine law be known, then all other laws are known, and it alone
fuffices for the governance of the miiverle ; nor is there any good judgment of men which liath
not been formed thereby, for it correfts every ei ror, and reproves every evil ; which is indeed
what the Canons fay of it in thefe words : " When God commands anything to be done con-
trary to the manners and cuftoms agreed upon among any people, if it had never been done
there, yet mui1: it be done, if omitted it muil: be introduced, if it had not been ordained, it mulf
be inflituted,"' (viii. Di. C". i^w.f contra Mores ) Wherefore then have the founders of the Civil
Laws laboured with diligence ib great, and why, with no more reafon, cio thofe men afflic't
themfelves who in the fludy of thofe laws make lean their flefli by to many fleeplefs nights r
And wherefore do the wife judges of France confume l"o many years of their pilgrimage in the
Itudy, not even of the Civil Law, but of the laws of that kingdom .'' But, above all, if tlvfe
things be true, it would be a thing to wonder at, why they who fludy the laws of the kingdom
of England, which are merely infular, and the knowledge of which thofe ftudents fcarcely fo far
acquire by twenty years' lucubrations, as to deferve to be (eleCled for the lovvelt degree u ually
granted in thofe laws, pafs fo many years thus vainly; (while, what is more, upon t iking
that degree, thev have to pay for the ordinary expenfes, which the fblemnity requires,
not much lei's than two thouland crowns ;) when by much fewer years' lludy, and at lefs expenfe.
they might have gained a competent knowledge of the Divine laws, and have advanced to
the higheil degrees in the fame, along with which, as it feems, they would have become well
I. .11.

1 I! ,',

, -ii!rrirt!i^'

242 Ofi the Lcnv of Nature. [part i.

verfecl in all laws, and liave obtained the due degrees therein. In like manner have we, too,
fearched out in vain the nature of the Law of Nature ; now that we perceive it to be ufelefs
to us, fince the Divine Law teacheth everytliing, and doeth everything in perfe^iliun which
the law of nature can do or teach.

But flianie upon us ! I low dull and difgraceful it is to think fucli things ! Doth not the
moon, which is an opaque body, receive from tiie fun all the liglit llie h.uh, wherewith flie
illumines the night and fliows the way to the traveller, and yet without the medium of the
moon the lun doeth it not, which in' his own couife caufes the ideht, and therein d;nkni;fs and
not brightnefs ; and yet in the fun, and from the fun, is all the liglit which thus the moon
gives forth ? And d.o not all the oiher planets in like manner have all their ihinir;"- from the
lun, and all the liars likewiie, any one ot which difllrs from another in brightnefs by reafon
ot his influence ? Surely he robs the lieavens of all the necellity, ufefuliiefs, ai d beauty of
thefe bodies, who takes away here horn earth thofe laws of man wliich lliine ar. J differ like
the ftars. And hath any allrologer ever perfedly underftood the courfes of the other flars
by confidering folely the fun's path, and knowing Ids rifing and fetting } Nay, the zodiac,
that oblique circle, teaches us the iun's track, but does not at all decide the turnings and
returnings of the orbits o\ the other planets. b"ur every planet hath its func^tions within its
proper fphere, wherein it developes the powers of its own natiu'e, and yet efcapes not the
laws of the fun, in which all the planets partake, not diminiihii-g his brightneis. Thus the
loweft orders of celeftial fpirits partake ot the gifts and graces of the higheil angels,
although the interior receive tlirough the luperior the grace of illumination, whereby they 1
fhine themfelves, yet let it not from this be thought that they are not necelTary to make up
the perfeiftion of Heaven. Again, if the Lord faid, "Upon thefe two commandments hang
all the Law and the Pi'ophets ;" and yet Himfelt taught ten Commandments, did Lie mem
to fay that He had added fuperfluous laws? Or when He faid, " Whatfoever ye v, ould that
men fhoukl do to you, do ye to them alio, for this is all the Law and the Proph.ets," did VVt
thereby lay down that the laws of the New and the Old TelLmients fo laviflily iet forth, and
in like manner the teaching of the Prophets, are not fuitcd fo us, or r.ot neceflary for our
falvation t Far be it from us to tofs about in Inch frivolities, and to deviate from the rigl;t
way into fuch twiffs and turnings of error ; for, like as the moon and the other ftars receive
from the fun their brightnefs and the other virtues whereby thgy difplay their eiLedls to
land and fea, and yet they who fearch into the nature of the fun may remain ignorant of the
courfes of the other itars ; fo alfo all laws of men acquire their force by influence of the law
Divine, whereby they put forth the effecT:s of their operations in divers manners toward all
the race ot man ; and yet they who are Ikilled, however profoundly, in the knowk\U e'of the
Divine law cannot, without the ffudy ot human laws, be learned in human laws. So,
likewife, they who hear the two Commandments on which hang all the Law and the Prophets,
and who do not do to others what they would not have done to themfelves, do not therefore



On the Law of Nature,


know or iinderftand all the Law and t!ie Prophets, although from thefe few Commandments
depend and proceed all things that are written therein, h'ron; which things it is now clear
that all human laws are, as it were, inllruments wlierehy the Divine law de^'elopes its virtues
in human adions, and that they ftaiid related to tlie law of (jixl as the moon to the fun, as
the fteadtall: eye to the light, nay rather as fate to Eternal Providence ; concerning the re-
lation and comparifon ot wliich Boetliius, in the h'ourtli Book of ifis Confolation of Philofofihy,
Ipeaks thus : " As the procels of reaioning to the intelled, as that which is being protluced
to that which is, as time to eternitv, as tlie circle to the centre, fo is the flfiftiiiL;" fuccellion of
tate to the liible fimplicity of Providence."

Chap. XLIV.

In this chapter ive Jcck and jliow -ivJiat are tlie eiuls cf Divi)ie and human laiu.

M I^M.'^^, UT in order to make more manifellly and perfcflly clear all that we have
ftjl ^i^xt written above, it feems tiecedary to demonllrate what the einis are toward
©^J^l^^ which the effec'ls of Divine and human law feverally tend ; for when thefe arc
made plain, the fubjeiftion whereby the law of natm-e is fubordinated to the Divine law
and the whole fum of the powers of the law of nature, will alfo be known in all thei'-
fulnefs. Now it is certain that the law ot nature can have no other operation tlian to
difpofe man to virtue. For inaimuch as the ofiice of a king, to whom, as St. Tliomas
fays, the higheft charge of government in human affiirs is committed, hath this only
function, to make men virtuous, yea and that is the enil and objcifl of every fen-iflator
and inafmuch as every polity is. corrupted if it be turned afule from this end, as the faid
Saint in his book ]-)e Regimine Principum protulcly demonftrates, we are clearly
inftruded that human laws can produce no other cfFed than to dire^^t man to thofe virtues
whereby peace, which is the unity of human fociety, and love, which is the bond of peace,
may be nouriflied and preferved. The perteift exerciie, alio, of the virtues, as faith the
Philofopher in the 7th of the Politics, is liappinefi, that which all the Peripatetics call the
j'limmum honiun. hVom which things we are liold to fay that virtue is the end of the whole
efFecT: of the law of nature and ot every human law. This alfo may in a manner be adjudged
to be the end toward which the movement ot all human alFcLlion primarily tends. For,
as Roethius faj's in the 3rd book ot t!ie Conlolation, there is a clefire of good n; rurally
implanted in the minds ot men, fo that none can dcfirc anything other than what i good,
unlefs mifleading error drav/ him away to that which is falfe. And fmce the Philofopher, as
alfo St. Thomas in the ill book of the Treatife aforefaiJ, fiy the virtue of every
particular thing is defined to be that which makes the polFeflor of it good, the man who
feeks after the good alone cannot but feek after virtue, unlefs he be feduced by error ; from


244 0>i the Law of Nature. [part i.

which it follows that human law and human defires have one and the fame end, that is to
fay, virtue, which renders man good, and which is the goodnefs of humanity, concerning
which end the Philofopher fpeaks, in the 2nd and ^rd of the Metap.iyfics, when he fays
that the "end " and the "good" are convertible terms. But this end is not the ultimate
end to which the defire of man leads him ; for it is certain that man is created tor a
further end than this, feeing that there exifts in liim by nature a longing which cannot be
iatisfied by \irtue, nor by any CKcellence which can be here acquired, nor by any ot this
world's goods ; tor though one man were to polTefs all thefe things combined, yet fince
here he can have no afiurance of retaining them, his mind cannot be at reft trom further
agitation and longnig ; and neverthelefs the movement of his defire doth not go on to
infinity, becaufe then it would have been a vain creation, as things infinite cannot be
traverfed ; neither do we doubt but that man's dehre is capable of being tul illed, feeing
that the Prophet fays : " Who fulfils thy defire in good things." But whatfui ver that be
which fulfils man's longing, that alfuredly is the ultimate end o\ human defire, and that is,
the end which we feek ; nor is it allowable to doubt that man hath been talliioned tor tuch
an end. This end, therefore, let us follow out with all our efforts, to know what it is, and
let us not be flow to inquire what law may guide us thereto. Now, Boethius, in the 3rd
Book aforefrid, thus addreficd his readers : " All the cares of mortal man bellowed upon t le
labours of manifold purf'ults proceed, indeed, by divers paths, but yet itrlve to reach o le
only end, namely, beatitude ; and that is the good which, when a man hath attained, he can
defire nothing beyond it." Thefe are his words. And what this beatitude Is he defines in
the fame place, when he lays, " It is evident that beatitude is a condition made perted by
the combination of all good things. What, then, can a man defire more when he hah
obtained all good things?" But St. Thomas, in the aforcfaid ift Book, fays that beatitude
is the ultimate end of defires. Is it not, then, that ultimate end of which we are in learcii.
wherewith the Lord fulfils all the longing of man ? Surely we have now foun.d the fina'
end to which all the defire of man tends, and with which it can be fatlsfied, tliat is to fay]
beatitude, which, as faith the fame Saint in the 3rd Book of his Treatile aforefaid, confifts in
the Divine vifion and that alone. But to this end man cannot attain by means ot the law]
of nature, which expends all its ftrength upon the acquifition ot virtue here on rarth,
while this end cannot be found but in heaven. Vox thither the law ot nature abends not,
having fixed the utmofi: limits of her dominion here in earth, (witnefsthat faying of the Lord,
" No man hath afcended into heaven five He who came down from heaven " j ; but thi Divine
law, to which, as we faid before, the law of nature is tuhjeef, came down from hea\'en ;
wherefore we believe that this law alone, which we have named before the Providence ot
God, can conducl^ us thither ; for under the name of Providence we tpeak ot the entire
law Divine as well of the New as of the Old Teftament, as under the name of love
the Apoftle fignified the fulnels of law ; and althoutzh not by law only, but rather by grace

PART I.] O71 the Law of Nature. 245

we attain unto beatitude, according to the Apoftle's laying, " The grace of God is eternal
hte," nc\'ertheleis, when we call the law of God Providence, we by no means relegate from
this conclufion the guidance and help of Divine Grace, as well as of Diviii.' Providence.
]5ut tliis law is that Wifdom which reacheth from end to end mightily, and fweetly doth
order all things. She is a teacher of the tlifciplme of God, and a choofer of His works.
She teacheth fobriety, and wifdom, and juftice, and virtue, than which nothing is more pro-
fitable in the life of man. Wherefore the Law of Natm-e hath no virtue but what flie hath
fucked from the breails of her who hath her dwelling with God, and we by her p-^lTefS:
favour with the multitude, and honour with the elders, and immortality, and everlafting
memory. ( VVifiom, chap, viii.) Now have we found not only that ultimate end of human
defire of which we have been in fearch, but alfo the Law whereby we may embrace and hold
taft that end, if we follow the admonitions of the fmie.

Ch.U'. XLV.

The eaJs of the uiteiition ailing through the intelletl are two,

^I^tiiiN EITHER let the reader marvel if we lay down two ends of human defire, a firfl:,
4iU^\\l[^ ^^'^'^^ '^' '^"^^ ^ '''''^- "^'^"^ ^"^'''^' virtue informed by grace, to which we ll:rive with
7?c» dvx35 3" diligence to attain, fo that by merit thereof we may be able to reach unto the
ultimate end, that is to iay, beatitude, as unto the crown and prize of all. ]'"or in like
manner St. Thomas, more tlian once in the aforefaid book De Regimine Principum, lays
down two ends ot liiunan purpofe ; and the ancients alfo did the fime, marking the firit end
by the name ot 'I'e/.i/,-, and the fecond by that of 'ly.^tto;. /\s, when a man tor a reward
promifed flioots at a mark, the firft end of his intention is to hit the mark with his weapon,
for which he prepares the bow and ftring, fits the arrow, bends the bow, draws it, and applies
to this end the whole ilrefs of his endeavour, mfomuch that he feems in a manner to forget
the farther end, that is, the pecuniary profit for the lake of which he docs all this ; and yet, if
he Ibike the mark and fj attain his firll end, he claims without hefitation his ultimate end,
that is, the payment for the lake of which he took all this pains and trouble ; lo every man,
though he be many times led away by error, firll hath in his purpofe that good end which he
can only reach by virtue informed by grace, namely, to be a good man, knowing that if by
the intervention of Divine grace and faith in Jelus Chrill he obtain this end, he will alfo, is it
were of merit, attain unto the farther end which he ultimately fets before himfelf, namely
beatitude. Concerning thefe two ends the Fiahnill fpoke when he laid, " Who hath made
thine ends peace." bor by the firft end — that is, virtue — fuch peace is gained as can be got /;/
via, and by the fecond, everlafting peace is poflelfed in man's native country. In like manner
the Apoftle is thought to have fpoken of thefe two ends when he fiid, " But now being made


246 0)1 the Lcnv of Nature. [pARr i.

free from fin and become fervants unto God, ye have your fruit unto holinefs, and the end
everlafting hfe " (Romans, chap, vi.) For virtue, which we called the firlt end, is the fruit
whereby we are good and holy ; and beatitude, which we laid down as the ultima e
end, is eternal life; for that is the final end, the end of which the Philofojiher fays that " he
who acT:s by the intellcc'l works for an end." And both thcfc ends the Lord taught in the
Gofpel, when upon the Mount He eight times over promiied beatitude in reward for as many
virtues. And although the beatitude which man feeks be the ultimate end to which the Divine
law leads him, yet is it neverthelefs not the ultimate end of the Divine law, which
end conlifts in God, and contains in it nothing which is not God ; nav, God himfelf is the
end and the beginning of Flis own law, being without beginning or end. Since then we
have fhewn that the Law of Nature with Divine grace accompanyiny; it ferves towards th •
iirll end of human defire, namely, for a man to become virtuous, and {c> go >d ; and that thi-
Divine Law hath been made by the Lord to conduce to the ultimate end of man's longings,
namely to be happy [beatus), let us nov/ fee what refults from theie two ends.

Chap. XLVL

Here the IFriter Jhoivs by vohat kind of fuhjc^lion the Laiv of Nature is madefitpple})LHti.ry

to the Divine Law.

T. TLIOMAS, in the aforefaid firft book, De Regimine Principum, faith ihat
every kind ot rule is the moi'e exalted as it is ordained towards a more dill ant
I^^Xi-^'Xi^ end ; and the perfon to whom the ultimate end belongs is a'ways foi nd to
command thole whole operations are direAed towards the ultimate end. Thus, the
captain of a fhip, to whom it belongs to fettle the navigation, and who has in his charge
the ultimate end of the iTiip, namely, to be brought fafe into port, commands the carpenter,
who builds the fiiip and repairs its damages ; and the foldier gives orders to the Imith is to
what arms he fhould make, and how he fliould make good defers, it any have hajipcned in
the making of them. So alfo the captains and rulers in the law Di\'ine, which is ordaimed
for a further end than human law, ought to rule the captains and rulers in human law, and
correft their detecis when they occur, and caufe them to be amended. All this is colle^fted
in brief from the writings of St. Thomas aforefaid, in the faid firll and books of his
faid treatife. Li like manner the Pliiiofopher, in the ill liook of the Ethics, f ys that the
architedorial art is preceptive of all other arts. But the great lawgiver, Mofes, teaches the
fame much more openly in Deuteronomy, chap, xvii., when he fays, " It thou perceive that
there is with thee a hard and doubtful matter of judgment between blood and blood, between
plea and plea, between leprofy and no leprofy, and thou feell that the words of the judges
within thy gates are diverfe, arife and get thee up into the place which the Lord thy God



On the Law of Nat in:


ihall choofe ; and thou flialt come unto the priefts of the houle of Levi, and to the judge
who lliall he in thole days, and thou Ihalt inquire of them, and they fliali JLid"e thee the
truth of judgment, and thou llialt do w hatluever they who are over the place which the
Lord fliall choofe fliali lay luito thee, and whatfoevcr they fliall teach thee according to ITis
law ; thou flialt follow then- fentence ; thou ihalt not decline tlierefrom to the right hand
nor to the left." I.o, how the law which is ordained for tlie farther end goveins the law
which direcT:s men to the firll; end, and how the Divine law hath commanded them who rule
thereby to direct: the rulers according to human law ! Thus in every cafe the fuperior
governs the inferior; thus do tilings cclell:ial miniller virtue to things terreftrial : the heaven
waters the earth, and makes it bring f )rth and bud : thus rational beings command the
brutes, ientient beings make ufe of vegetables, and vegetables are nourifhed by things without
organic life: io that there is nothiiiQ- lowell in the fcale \\\\\c\\ doth not fubiuit itfelf t > fome-
thing fuperior, except it be rafli man, who in Iiis lawlclTnefs often abandons and diiUirbs the
order of the univerfe. Wherefore, fince neither human law nor the judge who pronounces
fentence in accordance therewith can pals by the mandates of the law Divine, it appears to
be necefiary for the fecular judij;e that he too be well verfcd in the Divine laws, and that in
doubtful matters he follow the decree of the fupreme PontitT", feeing tliat the latter is himfelf
bound to fhape his decree according to the judgment of the laid laws, and can never in any
matter lawfully go counter thereto. Wherefore alfo the Civil Laws lay that jurifprudence is
the knowledge of things Divine and human, the Icieiice of the juft: and the unjuft, becaufe
lie aHuredly undei-ftands not human laws who is wholly ignorant ot the Divine. Not that
on this account a fecular judge is required to be learned in things Divine like a theologian ;
nor is a fubjed in things temporal required to have a pcrfed knowledge of Jiumaii hiws like
the judge who will give judgment concerning them, although ignorance ot the law excufes
no man; but it is enough for a fubjeft tiiat he acknowledge the commands of the law, as tor
a fervant the will of his lord, while the higher mylferies {facrame'/ita) of the law remain tor
thofe who are learned in the law. b'or thus the laws are often more meritorioufly obeyed
by thofe who kriow little tlian by thofe who know much.


The End.

^ p^l'lROM the ends of the refpcclive laws which we have fet forth there now lefuits
i^l [^'^ '■'^^ fidleft recognition of all that we have fought at'ter — that is to fay, by what
^^^S^, manner of fubjedion the law of nature is added by way of fupplement to the law
Divine, and thence the fum and fublLmce of the whole force of the law ot nature is
thoroughly laid open.

1. ■ ^:,-\:.-

24H 071 the Lcnv of Nature. [


Wherefore now, together with thofe ends, we put an eml to this work, and we clofe this
little book concerning the nature of the Law ot Nature, protclling ahvays that, akhough in
this Treatife we liave often extolled the law ot nature with no mean expreifions of praife,
there was not and is not any notion intcndeil therein that the fiid law, bereaved as It is of the
protedlion of original righteoufnefs, is iufficient, or, in that its dertitution, ever was fufficient
to juftify man or his adts, fo that by the merits of that law which is only natural a man could
deferve a fupernatural reward, or could without grace do anything whereby he niight be
advanced to eternal life. And if it be thought by any that we have written anything con-
trary to this in what hath gone before, it hath proceeded ti-oin tiie clouds ot oin- ignorance,
and not from the determination of our will. Wherefore, if there be any fuch thing (which
God forbid), we hereby retradl it, fubmitting ourfelves, as well concerning tht foregoing as
in all things that we have written or iliall wi'itc in tliis little book, to exanu lation ot tlie
Church, and to her judgment and cenfure.

Chai'. XL VI II.

Contbiuati'jn of this 'Treatife to that zvliich follozvs.

^^^WmND now let not the readers of the preceding pages be furprifed that their Autiior,
vI k^^ ^Kj having undertaken to difcufs a queflion of iuch vail dithculty, liath, as though
^^W-^% forgetful of his talk, fet himfelf fo obllinately upon the fearch after a Law which
might fuffice to refolve it. Nor let the fadl difturb them that a man about :o go upon ;.
journey haifens his ileps all the more the longer and the more difficult the road is which
lies before him. I'^or no artificer is ever to headlong and recklels as to undertake a work
until he have prepared the inllrument whereby to make it, and have fitted it to the fabric
which he carries in his mind. Thus alfo the Writer ot the toregoing, following the method
of the artizan, hath not ventured to encounter the painful effi_)rts of the arguments that lie
before him, until he found a Law whereby they might be rightly weighed and difcufled,
which being now found, he advances fecurely toward the battle array of the controverfy
aforeiaid ; and thereupon he begins as follows another Book, which iliall be entitled, " Of
the Law of Succe/lion in Superior Kingdoms." I




Chap. I.

Jiijlice is chojen a>id conjlituted Judge in the propofed cafe.


j'iHE quellion propofed, the folution of which we fcek, fets forth the cafe
i;v4i'0-P of three claimants contending; for the rio;ht of fucceHion in one kingdoiTi :

">^>T-Jsi A . . . . , fa '

'•f-^^.'M^ and in a Treatife o<" no moderate fize, now ended^ we have unfolded the

'i3\!^i law by which that queftion may be folved, and the litigation in this caufe
S^j^^i^^^ fettled. A Judge, however, by whofe decree thefe things can be brought
to pafs, hath not yet beei? found ; and to a man about to build an edifice, what will be the
good of an axe without a hand to wield it, or a waggon without a beaft to draw it ■' The
artificer is he who builds a houfe by means of fuch implements. Of no greater ufe to
litigants is the law by itielf, if there be not at hand a difcerner of equity who knows how to

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