Page images
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]





1632. He was educated at the University of Jena, where he studied the Cartesian philosophy. In 1661, he was appointed Professor of the Law of Nature and Nations, at Heidelberg, and afterwards at Lund. He died in 1694, at Berlin.

He discussed Natural Law as a separate question, independent of the obligations of Revealed Religion or Positive Civil Law. His works are,—“Elementa Jurisprudentiæ Universalis ;” “De Jure Naturæ et Gentium;" “ De Officio Hominis et Civis." He promulgated the principle of Sociability which Grotius had started.

The edition of Puffendorf “De Legibus Naturæ" which we have before us is a heavy folio of 900 pages, closely printed in double columns,“ done into English by Basil Kennett, D.D., late President of Corpus Christi College, in Oxford.” The English

This sketch of the History of Jurisprudence is continued from The Law Review, vol. xxiii. p. 88.

2 Works :-Sam. Puffendorf. Elementa Jurisprudentice Universalis : Hag. Com. 1660 ; Jen. 8vo. De Jure Nature et Gentium libb. viii. : Lund. 1672 ; Francof. 1684, 4to.; cum notis Hertii, Barbey reci, et Mascovii, Francof. et Lips. 1744, 1749, 2 vols. 4to.; translated into English by Basil Kennett, folio, Lond. 1717, 1729 and 1749. De Officio Hominis et Civis libb. ii. : Lund. 1673 ; cum notis variorum, Lugd. Bat. 1769, 2 vols. 8vo.

VOL. I. NO. I.


translation: Pas successful, and the third edition was published in London i 1717 : .We must admire the learning and industry of both author and translator; but here our praise must stop short. The ponderous disquisitions upon the origin and variety of moral entities, the quantity and imputation of moral actions, the right and privilege of necessity,—these discussions in the introductory part of the work, which professes to be purely scientific, are no longer of use; whilst the chapters on Occupancy, Covenants, and the other details of Law, are merely compilations from the Roman Civil Law, stripped of its characteristics.

The treatise is divided into eight books; but it is far from our purpose to give more than a few quotations from them. The first draft of the work was published in the year 1660, under the title of “Elements of Jurisprudence.” The labour of twelve subsequent years was expended in bringing it to the form in which, at present, it exists in our libraries. In that labour our author was not content to have drawn together all assistance from the stores of morality, politics, and law, but, following the example of his great predecessor Grotius, he engaged himself on a longer and wider search ; running through the whole circle of philological authors, ancient and modern, and disposing under the heads of his work the most remote examples and illustrations. Hence, every page is loaded, not only with numerous citations, but also with disorderly marks of addition, reference, and comparison.

The foundation of the system of Puffendorf is embarrassed with metaphysical subtleties. Moral entities are defined to be certain modes superadded to natural things and motions by understanding beings, chiefly for the guiding and tempering the freedom of voluntary actions, and for the procuring of a decent regularity in the method of life. Puffendorf terms them “modes,” because he conceives Being in general to be more conveniently divided at large into Substance and Mode, than into Substance and Accident. Moral entities are of this kind, the original of which is justly to be referred to Almighty God, who would not that men should pass their life like beasts, without culture and without rule, but that they and their actions should be moderated by sundry maxims and principles, which could not

« PreviousContinue »