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A Theologico-Political Treatise, by Benedict de Spinoza, [1883], at


Chapters XVI to XX

[16:0] CHAPTER XVI—Of the Foundations of a State; of the Natural and Civil Rights of Individuals; and of the Rights of the Sovereign Power.

[16:1] In Nature right co-extensive with power.

[16:2] This principle applies to mankind in the state of Nature.

[16:3] How a transition from this state to a civil state is possible.

[16:4] Subjects not slaves.

[16:5] Definition of private civil right—and wrong.

[16:6] Of alliance.

[16:7] Of treason.

[16:8] In what sense sovereigns are bound by Divine law.

[16:9] Civil government not inconsistent with religion.

[17:0] CHAPTER XVII.—It is shown, that no one can or need transfer all his Rights to the Sovereign Power. Of the Hebrew Republic, as it was during the lifetime of Moses, and after his death till the foundation of the Monarchy; and of its Excellence. Lastly, of the Causes why the Theocratic Republic fell, and why it could hardly have continued without Dissension.

[17:1] The absolute theory, of Sovereignty ideal—No one can in fact transfer all his rights to the Sovereign power. Evidence of this.

[17:2] The greatest danger in all States from within, not without.

[17:3] Original independence of the Jews after the Exodus.

[17:4] Changed first to a pure democratic Theocracy.

[17:5] Then to subjection to Moses.

[17:6] Then to a Theocracy with the power divided between the high priest and the captains.

[17:7] The tribes confederate states.

[17:8] Restraints on the civil power.

[17:9] Restraints on the people.

[17:A] Causes of decay involved in the constitution of the Levitical priesthood.

[18:0] CHAPTER XVIII.—From the Commonwealth of the Hebrews and    their History certain Lessons are deduced.

[18:1] The Hebrew constitution no longer possible or desirable, yet lessons may be derived from its history.

[18:2] As the danger of entrusting any authority in politics to ecclesiastics—the danger of identifying religion with dogma.

[18:3] The necessity of keeping all judicial power with the sovereign—the danger of changes in the form of a State.

[18:4] This last danger illustrated from the history of England—of Rome.

[18:5] And of Holland.

[19:0] CHAPTER XIX—It is shown that the Right over Matters Spiritual lies wholly with the Sovereign, and that the Outward Forms of Religion should be in accordance with Public Peace, if we would worship God aright.

[19:1] Difference between external and inward religion.

[19:2] Positive law established only by agreement.

[19:3] Piety furthered by peace and obedience.

[19:4] Position of the Apostles exceptional.

[19:5] Why Christian States, unlike the Hebrew, suffer from disputes between the civil and ecclesiastical powers.

[19:6] Absolute power in things spiritual of modern rulers.

[20:0] CHAPTER XX—That in a Free State every man may Think what he Likes, and Say what he Thinks.

[20:1] The mind not subject to State authority.

[20:2] Therefore in general language should not be.

[20:3] A man who disapproving of a law, submits his adverse opinion to the judgment of the authorities, while acting in accordance with the law, deserves well of the State.

[20:4] That liberty of opinion is beneficial, shown from the history of Amsterdam.

[20:5] Danger to the State of withholding it.—Submission of the Author to the judgment of his country's rulers.

[Author's Endnotes] to the Treatise.

Next: Chapter XVI.—Of the Foundations of a State; of the Natural and Civil Rights of Individuals; and of the Rights of the Sovereign Power