of Community, not Individually
"The community is an association formed by
fixed laws and composed of many families and collegia living in the
same place. It is elsewhere called a city (civitas) in the broadest
sense, or a body of man and diverse associations. Nicolaus Losaeus
defines it as 'a coming together under one special name of may
bodies each distinct from the other.' It is called a
representational person and represents men collectively, not
individually. Strictly speaking. however, the community is not known
by the designation of person, but it takes the place of a person
when legitimately convoked and congregated.
"The members of a community are private and
diverse associations of families and collegia, not the individual
members of private associations. These persons, by their coming
together, now become not spouses, kinsmen, and colleagues, but
citizens of the same community. Thus passing from the private
symbiotic relationship, they unite in the one body of a community.
... The superior is the prefect of the community appointed by the
consent of the citizens. He directs the business of the community
and governs on behalf of its welfare and advantage, exercising
authority over the individuals but not over the citizens
collectively. An oath of fidelity to certain articles in which the
functions of his office are contained stands as a surety to the
appointing community. From the individual citizens, in turn, is
required an oath of fidelity and obedience setting forth in certain
articles the functions of the office of a good citizen.
"Such a superior is either one or more
persons who have received the prescribed power of governing by the
consent of the community. ... And so these general adminstrators of
the community are appointed by the city out of its general and free
power, and can even be removed from office by the city. They are
therefore temporal, while the community or city may be continuous
and almost immortal."
Johannes Althusius (1557-1638), a
Huguenot-influenced Dutch Calvinist theologian, wrote Politico Methodice
Digesta, ch. 5: 8-10, 22-25.