previous next
[129]

Hence, we find that government, both human and Divine, is a special necessity of man's fallen condition, and coeval with the history of the race: that its legitimate object is to preserve him from that annihilation of his essential liberty of will which would inevitably follow if there were no government, and to secure him in the enjoyment of the highest amount of this liberty which his condition will allow: that to do this, various forms of civil government are admissible; and that the one best adapted to the condition of the people is the one that should be applied, and is the only strictly free government for the people to whom it is appropriate. A democracy applied to minors or savages, in the midst of a civilized people, would be the most grinding of all oppressions. We have seen that the means appropriate to government are suitable penalties addressed to our passions of hope and fear: that the only right which a man has to exercise his inherent liberty — that is, the only right he has of self-control — is the authority to do that which, in itself, is right--not a right to do wrong: that the exclusive authority of government is to restrain man from doing wrong, and to protect and encourage him in doing right--restrain his power to do wrong, not his power to do right — this it seeks to strengthen. We have seen that the rights of man in a state of

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: