Daily Archives: October 20, 2005

Item of the Day: Molloy’s De Jure Maritimo et Navali (1682)

Full Title:

De Jure Maritimo et Navali: or, A Treatise of Affairs Maritime and of Commerce. In Three Books. The Third Edition Enlarged.

Written by Charles Molloy. Printed in London for John Bellinger in Cliffords-Inn Lane, against the West Door of St. Dunstans Church; and George Dawes in Chancery Lane, against Lincolns-Inn Gate, 1682.

From the introduction:

THE Wisdom of God is highly to be admired, who hath not endowed the other living Creatures with that Soveraign Perfection of Wisdom, but hath secured and provided for them by natural Muniments from assault and peril and other necessities: But to Man, he formed him naked and frail, because of furnishing him with Wisdom, Understanding, Memory, and Sense to govern his Actions, endowing him with that pious affection of desiring Society, whereby one is inclined to defend, love, cherish, and afford mutual aid to each other: Nor hath he in no less wonderful manner (infinitely transcending all humane wisdom and understanding) created the material World to be subservient to his Being and Well-being: Yet without humane Understanding and Reason did he not build a Ship, raise a Fort, make Bread or Cloth; but these came to pass only by humane Arts and Industry, in which by the Revolutions of the Celestial Bodies, Times and Seasons, Materials and other necessaries are brought forth, by the alteration of which men in their proper seasons reap the fruits of their Labour; so that there is no Society, Nation, Country or Kingdon but stands in need of another: hence it is that men knowing each others necessities, are invited to Traffick and Commerce in the different parts and immensities of this vast World to supply each others necessities, and adorn the conveniencies of humane life.

And as God hath so ordered this wonderful dependence of his Creatures on each other, so hath he by a Law Immutable provided a Rule for Men in all their actions, obliging each other to the performance of that which is right, not only to Justice, but likewise to all other Moral Vertues; the which is no more but the dictate of right Reason founded in the Soul of Man, shewing the necessity to be in some act by its convenience and disconvenience in the rational Nature in Man, and consequently that it is either forbidden or commanded by the Author of Nature, who is the Eternal Creator of all things. And as God hath imprinted this Universal Law in the Minds of all men, so hath he given men power (Society being admitted) to establish other Laws which proceed from the Will, the which is drawn from the Civil Power, that is, from him or them that rule the Commonwealth or Society of Freemen united for their common benefit, (which is called the Laws of Nations) and which by the will of all or many Nations, hath received force to oblige, and is proved by a continued use and testimony of Authentick Memorials of Learned and Skilful Men.


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Filed under Posted by Carrie Shanafelt, Travel