Where danger shews it self, apprehension cannot, without stupidity, be wanting; where danger is, sense of danger should be; and so much fear as should keep us awake, and excite our attention, industry, and vigour; but not to disturb the calm use of our reason, nor hinder the execution of what that dictates.
Whensoever therefore the legislative shall transgress this fundamental rule of society; and either by ambition, fear, folly or corruption, endeavour to grasp themselves, or put into the hands of any other, an absolute power over the lives, liberties, and estates of the people; by this breach of trust they forfeit the power the people had put into their hands for quite contrary ends, and it devolves to the people, who have a right to resume their original liberty, and, by the establishment of a new legislative, (such as they shall think fit) provide for their own safety and security, which is the end for which they are in society.
When we know our own strength, we shall the better know what to undertake with hopes of success; and when we have well surveyed the powers of our own minds, and made some estimate what we may expect from them, we shall not be inclined either to sit still, and not set our thoughts on work at all, in despair of knowing any thing; nor, on the other side, question every thing, and declaim all knowledge, because some things are not to be understood.
When Fashion hath once established, what folly or craft began, custom makes it sacred, and it will be thought impudence, or madness, to contradict or question it.
We should have a great fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.
We are born with faculties and powers capable almost of any thing, such at least as would carry us farther than can easily be imagined: but it is only the exercise of those powers, which gives us ability and skill in any thing, and leads us towards perfection.
Virtue is harder to be got, than knowledge of the world; and, if lost in a young man, is seldom recovered.
To what purpose all this, but to shew that the difference so observable in men’s understandings and parts, does not arise so much from natural faculties as acquired habits?
To understand political power right, and derive from it its original, we must consider what estate all men are naturally in, and that is, a state of perfect freedom to order their actions, and dispose of their possessions and persons as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature, without asking leave or depending upon the will of any other man.