Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2012
Having spoken of Gods Universal Kingdom, I am next to speak of the distinct, subordinate Common-wealth which God hath by institution made the parts of it. And here first I shall speak of the NATURE of a Common-wealth in General; and then of those Modal differences which have obtained the name of the divers species of Common-wealths: and that, 1. As the difference is in the number and quality of persons that have the Soveraignty. And, 2. As it is in the gradually or modally diversified Matter, or Object of their power. And having spoken of the Constitutive Causes, I shall speak of the Efficient.
Thes. 45. A Common-wealth is sometime taken for the society Governed, sometime for the Government of that society; sometime it is taken properly in the first signification, and sometime analogically, for that which is a Common-wealth, but of an imperfect kind, or only secundum quid.
Thes. 46. A Commonwealth properly so called, is ‘A society of Gods Subjects ordered into the Relations of Soveraign and Subjects for the common good, and the pleasing of God their Absolute Soveraign.’ Or, ‘It is the Government of a society of Gods Subjects by a Soveraign subordinate to God, for the common good, and the Glory, and pleasing of God.’ Or it is ‘The order of a Civil body, consisting in the Authority of the Magistrate, especially the supream, and the subjection of the people, for the common good, and the pleasing of God.’