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[68] of them as existing as mere individuals : that is, without connection or relation one with the other. Is this the natural state of man — the state intended for him by nature? Certainly not. It is not known to history, any more than to us, that any set of men ever existed in this way. This, then, is a merely hypothetical state. In reality, there never was such a state of things, and never will be. Indeed, on the hypothesis that such was the original state of men by nature, or as intended by the Lord, it would follow as a mere truism that each one of those separate individuals was free from control by any one or all of the others: that is, they were all free and equal. That this truism expresses the truth of the case, no doubt exists in the thought of a great many; but they overlook the hypothesis which makes it a hypothetical truism, merely because it never had any existence in fact, and never can have.

To conceive of men in the social state is to conceive of them in their relations to each other. Hence it is a complex state. Several ideas enter into this state — not only individuality, as in the former case, but also contiguity of time and place, variety, and often contrariety of relations, together with all the ideas which, as sequences, grow out of these. Now, a leading idea involved in this state, and inseparable from it, is the idea of government:

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