Of certain questions "I myself can only be judge in my own conscience, as I will answer it"

— Locke, John (1632-1704)

Place of Publication
Printed for Awnsham and John Churchill
Of certain questions "I myself can only be judge in my own conscience, as I will answer it"
Metaphor in Context
To avoid this state of war (wherein there is no appeal but to heaven, and wherein every the least difference is apt to end, where there is no authority to decide between the contenders) is one great reason of men's putting themselves into society, and quitting the state of nature. For where there is an authority, a power on earth, from which relief can be had by appeal, there the continuance of the state of war is excluded, and the controversy is decided by that power. Had there been any such court, any superior jurisdiction on earth, to determine the right between Jephthah and the Ammonites, they had never come to a state of war: But we see he was forced to appeal to heaven. "The Lord the Judge," says he, "be judge this day, between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon," Judg. xi. 27, and then prosecuting, and relying on his appeal, he leads out his army to battle: and therefore in such controversies, where the question is put, who shall be judge? it cannot be meant, who shall decide the controversy; every one knows what Jephthah here tells us, that "the Lord the Judge" shall judge. Where there is no judge on earth, the appeal lies to God in heaven. That question then cannot mean, who shall judge? whether another hath put himself in a state of war with me, and whether I may, as Jephthah did, appeal to heaven in it? of that I myself can only be judge in my own conscience, as I will answer it, at the great day, to the supreme judge of all men.
Past Masters
First published anonymously. At least 12 entries in ESTC (1690, 1694, 1698, 1713, 1728 1764, 1766, 1772, 1779, 1794, 1796). The Second Treatise is published separately in editions not listed in the foregoing parentheses.

Two Treatises of Government in the Former, the False Principles and Foundation of Sir Robert Filmer and His Followers Are Detected and Overthrown, the Latter Is an Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent, and End of Civil Government. (London: Printed for Awnsham Churchill, 1690). <Link to ESTC><Link to EEBO-TCP>
Date of Entry

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.