common consent; and at others, it has been modified by formal processes — such as conventions and constitutions.
Be this, however, as it may, government has always existed.
Legislators did not make it. They have had much to do in modifying, directing, and often in corrupting the form; but nothing to do in originating government, in any proper sense of the term.
It sprang spontaneously from the common sense of mankind.
An agent indispensable to self-preservation was certainly coeval with the race.
In its true generic sense, that is, in a sense equally applicable to all forms, government is control
by the authority of God and the people.
God, in his word, declares the authority of the magistrate to be his ordinance; and this accords with the intuitive belief and feeling of necessity of all mankind: not that either approves in all cases of the form
which government assumes, but that the generic principle, in all cases, has the sanction of each.
The legitimate object of government is to secure to the people the highest amount of freedom which their moral condition and relative circumstances will admit.
The means which it employs to effect this object, are, 1.
Suitable penalties, addressed to their hopes and fears, to lay them under such restraints as to the indulgence of their appetites,