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6 - Of the several sorts of Commonwealths

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

William Lamont
Affiliation:
University of Sussex
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Summary

Having spoken of the Universal Kingdom, and next in general of particular subordinate Common-wealths, that God hath by institution made the parts of it; I must First speak of the CONSTITUTION, and next of the ADMINISTRATION of these. And about the Constitution I shall first speak of the MODES (or SPECIES as commonly called) and then of the Individuation.

Thes. 65. God hath not in his Universal Lawes restrained the Nations of the world to any one Mode or Species of Government, but left it as a variable thing to be determined according to the condition of each people, whether one or many shall have the Soveraignty under him.

There is a twofold diversity of Governments: One is in the Persons Ruling; Another is in the Matter of Government: whether the former do deserve the name of Specification or not, it hath by Custome obtained that name: And so Monarchy; Aristocracie, and Democracie are called the distinct Species of Governments or Common-wealths. In the Matter of Government there is difference, in that some have greater power, and some have less: some Soveraigns are limited to certain things, and degrees of power; and some are unlimited: and some limited more, and some less. And one would think this difference were as great as the former.

I know some pretend to a Divine Institution for Monarchy, but they mean onely that it may from Scripture be proved to be best; but not that no other but it, is Lawfull.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1994

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