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First Treatise of
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CHAPTER IV.
OF ADAM'S TITLE TO SOVEREIGNTY, BY DONATION


21. Having at last got through the foregoing passage, where we have been so long detained, not by the force of arguments and opposition, but the intricacy of the words, and the doubtfulness of the meaning ; let us go on to his next argument, for Adam's sovereignty. Our author tells us in the words of Mr. Selden, that Adam by donation from God, Gen. i. 28. was made the general lord of all things, not without such a private dominion to himself as without his grant did exclude his children. This determination of Mr. Selden, says our author, is consonant to the history of the Bible, and natural reason, Observations, 210. And in his Pref. to his Observations on Aristotle, he says thus, The first government in the world was monarchical in the father of all flesh, Adam being commanded to multiply and people the earth, and to subdue it, and having dominion given him over all creatures, was thereby the monarch of the whole world : none of his posterity had any right to possess any thing, but by his grant or permission, or by succession from him : The earth, saith the Psalmist, hath he given to the children of men, which shew the title comes from fatherhood.

22. Before I examine this argument, and the text on which it is founded, it is necessary to desire the reader to observe, that our author, according to his usual method, begins in one sense, and concludes in another ; he begins here with Adam's propriety, or private dominion, by donation ; and his conclusion is, which shew the title comes from fatherhood.

23. But let us see the argument. The words of the text are these ; and God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth, i. Gen. 28. from whence our author concludes, that Adam, having here dominion given him over all creatures, was thereby the monarch of the whole world: whereby must be meant, that either this grant of God gave Adam property, or as our author calls it, private dominion over the earth, and all inferior or irrational creatures, and so consequently that he was thereby monarch; or 2dly, that it gave him rule and dominion over all earthly creatures whatsoever, and thereby over his children ; and so he was monarch : for, as Mr. Selden has properly worded it, Adam was made general lord of all things, one may very clearly understand him, that he means nothing to be granted to Adam here but property, and therefore he says not one word of Adam's monarchy. But our author says, Adam was hereby monarch of the world, which, properly speaking, signifies sovereign ruler of all the men in the world ; and so Adam, by this grant, must be constituted such a ruler. If our author means otherwise, he might with much clearness have said, that Adam was hereby proprietor of the whole world. But he begs your pardon in that point : clear distinct: speaking not serving every where to his purpose, you must not expect it in him, as in Mr. Selden, or other such writers.

24. In opposition therefore to our author's doctrine, that Adam was monarch of the whole world, founded on this place, I shall shew,

⁠I. That by this grant, i. Gen. 28. God gave no immediate power to Adam over men, over his children, over those of his own species ; and so he was not made ruler, or monarch, by this charter.

⁠2. That by this grant God gave him not private dominion over the inferior creatures, but right in common with all mankind ; so neither was he monarch, upon the account of the property here given him.

25. That this donation, i. Gen. 28. gave Adam no power over men, will appear if we consider the words of it : for since all positive grants convey no more than the express words they are made in will carry, let us see which of them here will comprehend mankind, or Adam's posterity, and those, I imagine, if any, must be these, every living thing that moveth : the words in Hebrew are, חיה חךמשת​ 'Bestiam Reptantem, of which words the scripture itself is the best interpreter : God having created the fishes and fowls the 5th day, the beginning of the 6th, he creates the irrational inhabitants of the dry land, which, v. 24. are described in these words, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind; cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth, after his kind, and, v. 2. and God made the beasts of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth on the earth after his kind : here, in the creation of the brute inhabitants of the earth, he first speaks of them all under one general name, of living creatures, and then afterwards divides them into three ranks, 1. Cattle, or such creatures as were or might be tame, and so be the private possession of particular men ; 2. חיה which, ver. 24, and 25. in our Bible, is translated beasts, and by the Septuagint θηףίχ, wild beasts, and is the same word, that here in our text, ver. 28. where we have this great charter to Adam, is translated living thing, and is also the same word used, Gen. ix. 2. where this Grant is renewed to Noah, and there likewise translated beast. 3. The third rank were the creeping animals, which ver. 24, and 25. are comprised under the word, חךמּשת, the fame that is used here, ver. 28. and is translated moving, but in the former verses creeping, and by the Septuagint in all these places, έρπετά, or reptils ; from whence it appears, that the words which we translate here in God's donation, ver. 28. living creatures moving, are the same, which in the history of the creation, ver. 24, 25. signify two ranks of terrestrial creatures, viz. wild beasts and reptils, and are so understood by the Septuagint.

26. When God had made the irrational animals of the world, divided into three kinds, from the places of their habitation, viz. fishes of the sea, fowls of the air, and living creatures of the earth, and these again into cattle, wild beasts, and reptils, he considers of making man, and the dominion he should have over the terrestrial world, ver. 26. and then he reckons up the inhabitants of these three kingdoms, but in the terrestrial leaves out the second rank חיה or wild beasts: but here, ver. 28. where he actually exercises this design, and gives him this dominion, the text mentions the fishes of the sea, and fowls of the air, and the terrestrial creatures in the words that signify the wild beasts and reptils, though translated living thing that moveth, leaving out cattle. In both which places, though the word that signifies wild beasts be omitted in one, and that which signifies cattle in the other, yet, since God certainly executed in one place, what he declares he designed in the other, we cannot but understand the same in both places, and have here only an account, how the terrestrial irrational animals, which were already created and reckoned up at their creation, in three distinct ranks of cattle, wild beasts, and reptils, were here, ver. 28. actually put under the dominion of man, as they were designed, ver. 26. nor do these words contain in them the least appearance of any thing that can be wrested to signify God's giving to one man dominion over another, to Adam over his posterity.

27. And this further appears from Gen. ix. 2. where God renewing this charter to Noah and his sons, he gives them dominion over the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea, and the terrestrial creatures, expressed by חיה and ךךמש wild beasts and reptils, the same words that in the text before us, i. Gen. 28. are translated every moving thing, that moveth on the earth, which by no means can comprehend man, the grant being made to Noah and his sons, all the men then living, and not to one part of men over another : which is yet more evident from the very next words, ver. 3. where God gives every ךמש every moving thing, the very words used, ch. i. 28. to them for food. By all which it is plain that God's donation to Adam, ch. i. 28. and his designation, ver. 26. and his grant again to Noah and his sons, refer to and contain in them neither more nor less than the works of the creation the 5th day, and the beginning of the 6th, as they are set down from the 20th to 26th ver. inclusively of the 1st; ch. and so comprehend all the species of irrational animals of the terraqueous globe, tho' all the words, whereby they are expressed in the history of their creation, are no where used in any of the following grants, but some of them omitted in one, and some in another. From whence I think it is past: all doubt, that man cannot be comprehended in this grant, nor any dominion over those of his own species be conveyed to Adam. All the terrestrial irrational creatures are enumerated at their creation, ver. 25. under the names beasts of the earth, cattle and creeping things, but man, being not then created, was not contained under any of those names ; and therefore, whether we understand the Hebrew words right or no, they cannot be supposed to comprehend man, in the very same history, and the very next verses following, especially since that Hebrew word ךמש which, if any in this donation to Adam, ch. i. 28. must comprehend man, is so plainly used in contradistinction to him, as Gen. vi. 20. vii. 14, 21, 23. Gen. viii. 17, 19. And if God made all mankind slaves to Adam and his heirs by giving Adam dominion over every living thing that moveth on the earth, ch. i. 28. as our author would have it, methinks Sir Robert should have carried his monarchical power one step higher, and satisfied the world, that princes might eat their subjects too, since God gave as full power to Noah and his heirs, ch. ix. 2. to eat every living thing that moveth, as he did to Adam to have dominion over them, the Hebrew words in both places being the same.

28. David, who might be supposed to understand the donation of God in this text, and the right of kings too, as well as our author in his comment on this place, as the learned and judicious Ainsworth calls it, in the 8th Psalm, finds here no such charter of monarchical power, his words are, Thou hast made him, i. e. man, the Son of man, a little lower than the angels ; thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands ; thou hast put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and the beasts of the field, and the fowls of the air, and fish of the sea, and whatsover passeth thro' the paths of the sea. In which words, if any one can find out, that there is meant any monarchical power of one man over another, but only the dominion of the whole species of mankind, over the inferior species of creatures, he may, for aught I know, deserve to be one of Sir Robert's monarchs in habit, for the rareness of the discovery. And by this time, I hope it is evident, that he that gave dominion over every living thing that moveth on the earth, gave Adam no monarchical power over those of his own species, which will yet appear more fully in the next thing I am to shew.

29. Whatever God gave by the words of this grant, i. Gen. 28. it was not to Adam in particular, exclusive of all other men : whatever dominion he had thereby, it was not a private dominion, but a dominion in common with the rest of mankind. That this donation was not made in particular to Adam, appears evidently from the words of the text, it being made to more than one; for it was spoken in the plural number, God blessed them, and said unto them, Have dominion. God says unto Adam and Eve, Have dominion ; thereby, says our author, Adam was monarch of the world : but the grant being to them, i. e. spoke to Eve also, as many interpreters think with reason, that these words were not spoken till Adam had his wife, must not she thereby be lady, as well as he lord of the world ? If it be said, that Eve was subjected to Adam, it seems she was not so subjected to him, as to hinder her dominion over the creatures, or property in them : for shall we say that God ever made a joint grant to two, and one only was to have the benefit of it ?

30. But perhaps it will be said, Eve was not made till afterward : grant it so, what advantage will our author get by it ? The text will be only the more directly against him, and shew that God, in this donation, gave the world to mankind in common, and not to Adam in particular. The word them in the text must include the species of man, for it is certain them can by no means signify Adam alone. In the 26th verse, where God declares his intention to give this dominion, it is plain he meant, that he would make a species of creatures, that should have dominion over the other species of this terrestrial globe : the words are, And God said. Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish, &c. They then were to have dominion. Who ? even those who were to have the image of God, the individuals of that species of man, that he was going to make ; for that them should signify Adam, singly, exclusive of the rest that should be in the world with him, is against both scripture and all reason : and it cannot possibly be made sense, if man in the former part of the verse do not signify the same with them in the latter ; only man there, as is usual, is taken for the species, and them the individuals of that species : and we have a reason in the very text. God makes him in his own image, after his own likeness; makes him an intellectual creature, and so capable of dominion: for wherein soever else the image of God consisted, the intellectual nature was certainly a part of it, and belonged to the whole species, and enabled them to have dominion over the inferior creatures ; and therefore David says in the 8 th Psalm above cited, Thou hast made him little lower than the angels, thou haft made him to have dominion. It is not of Adam king David speaks here, for verse 4. it is plain, it is of man, and the son of man, of the species of mankind.

31. And that this grant spoken to Adam was made to him, and the whole species of man, is clear from our author's own proof out of the Psalmist. The earth, saith the Psalmist, hath he given to the children of men ; which shews the title comes from fatherhood. These are Sir Robert's words in the preface before cited, and a strange inference it is he makes; God hath given the earth to the children of men, ergo the title comes from fatherhood. It is pity the propriety of the Hebrew tongue had not used fathers of men, instead of children of men, to express mankind : then indeed our author might have had the countenance of the sound of the words, to have placed the title in the fatherhood. But to conclude, that the fatherhood had the right to the earth, because God gave it to the children of men, is a way of arguing peculiar to our author : and a man must have a great mind to go contrary to the sound as well as sense of the words, before he could light on it. But the sense is yet harder, and more remote from our author's purpose : for as it stands in his preface, it is to prove Adam's being monarch, and his reasoning is thus, God gave the earth to the children of men, ergo Adam was monarch of the world. I defy any man to make a more pleasant conclusion than this, which cannot be excused from the most obvious absurdity, till it can be shewn, that by children of men, he who had no father, Adam alone is signified ; but whatever our author does, the scripture speaks not nonsense.

32. To maintain this property and private dominion of Adam, our author labours in the following page to destroy the community granted to Noah and his sons, in that parallel place, ix. Gen. 1, 2, 3. and he endeavours to do it two ways.

I. Sir Robert would persuade us against the express words of the scripture, that what was here granted to Noah, was not granted to his sons in common with him. His words are, As for the general community between Noah and his sons, which Mr. Selden will have to be granted to them, ix. Gen. 2. the text doth not warrant it. What warrant our author would have, when the plain express words of scripture, not capable of another meaning, will not satisfy him, who pretends to build wholly on scripture, is not easy to imagine. The text says, God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, i. e. as our author would have it, unto him : for, saith he, although the sons are there mentioned with Noah in the blessing, yet it may best be understood, with a subordination or benediction in succession, Observations, 211. That indeed is best, for our author to be understood, which best serves to his purpose ; but that truly may best be understood by any body else, which best agrees with the plain construction of the words, and arises from the obvious meaning of the place; and then with subordination and in succession, will not be best understood, in a grant of God, where he himself put them not, nor mentions any such limitation. But yet, our author has reasons, why it may best be understood so. The blessing, says he in the following words, might truly be fulfilled, if the sons, either under or after their father, enjoyed a private dominion, Observations, 211. which is to say, that a grant, whose express words give a joint title in present (for the text says, into your hands they are delivered) may best be understood with a subordination or in succession ; because it is possible, that in subordination, or in succession, it may be enjoyed. Which is all one as to say, that a grant of any thing in present possession may best be understood of reversion ; because it is possible one may live to enjoy it in reversion. If the grant be indeed to a father and to his sons after him, who is so kind as to let his children enjoy it presently in common with him, one may truly say, as to the event one will be as good as the other; but it can never be true, that what the express words grant in possession, and in common, may best be understood, to be in reversion. The sum of all his reasoning amounts to this : God did not give to the sons of Noah the world in common with their father, because it was possible they might enjoy it under, or after him. A very good sort of argument against an express text of scripture : but God must: not be believed, though he speaks it himself, when he says he does any thing, which will not consist with Sir Robert's hypothesis.

33. For it is plain, however he would exclude them, that part of this benediction, as he would have it in succession, must: needs be meant to the sons, and not to Noah himself at all : Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, says God, in this blessing. This part of the benediction, as appears by the sequel, concerned not Noah himself at all ; for we read not of any children he had after the flood; and in the following chapter, where his posterity is reckoned up, there is no mention of any; and so this benediction in succession was not to take place till 350 years after : and to save our author's imaginary monarchy, the peopling of the world must be deferred 350 years ; for this part of the benediction cannot be understood with subordination, unless our author will say, that they must ask leave of their father Noah to lie with their wives. But in this one point our author is constant to himself in all his discourses, he takes great care there should be monarchs in the world, but very little that there should be people ; and indeed his way of government is not the way to people the world : for how much absolute monarchy helps to fulfil this great and primary blessing of God Almighty, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, which contains in it the improvement too of arts and sciences, and the conveniences of life, may be seen in those large and rich countries which are happy under the Turkish government, where are not now to be found one third, nay in many, if not most parts of them one thirtieth, perhaps I might say not one hundredth of the people, that were formerly, as will easily appear to any one, who will compare the accounts we have of it at this time, with antient history. But this by the by.

34. The other parts of this benediction, or grant, are so expressed, that they must needs be understood to belong equally to them all ; as much to Noah's sons as to Noah himself, and not to his sons with a subordination, or in succession. The fear of you ; and the dread of you, says God, shall be upon every beast, &c. Will any body but our author say, that the creatures feared and stood in awe of Noah only, and not of his sons without his leave, or till after his death? And the following words, into your hands they are delivered, are they to be understood as our author says, if your father please, or they shall be delivered into your hands hereafter ? If this be to argue from scripture, I know not what may not be proved by it ; and I can scarce see how much this differs from that fiction and phansie, or how much a surer foundation it will prove, than the opinions of philosophers and poets, which our author so much condemns in his preface.

35. But our author goes on to prove, that it may best be understood with a subordination, or a benediction in succession ; for, says he, it is not probable that the private dominion which God gave to Adam, and by his donation, assignation, or cession to his children, was abrogated, and a community of all things instituted between Noah and his sons-----Noah was left the sole heir of the world; why should it be thought that God would disinherit him of his birth-right and make him of all men in the world the only tenant in common with his children? Observations, 211.

36. The prejudices of our own ill-grounded opinions, however by us called probable, cannot authorise us to understand scripture contrary to the direct and plain meaning of the words. I grant, it is not probable, that Adam's private dominion was here abrogated : because it is more than improbable, (for it will never be proved) that ever Adam had any such private dominion ; and since parallel places of scripture are most probable to make us know how they may be best understood, there needs but the comparing this blessing here to Noah and his sons after the flood, with that to Adam after the creation, i. Gen. 28. to assure any one that God gave Adam no such private dominion. It is probable, I confess, that Noah should have the same title, the same property and dominion after the flood, that Adam had before it : but since private dominion cannot consist with the blessing and grant God gave to him and his sons in common, it is a sufficient reason to conclude, that Adam had none, especially since in the donation made to him, there are no words that express it, or do in the least favour it ; and then let my reader judge whether it may best be understood, when in the one place there is not one word for it, not to say what has been above proved, that the text itself proves the contrary ; and in the other, the words and sense are directly against it.

37. But our author says, Noah was the sole heir of the world ; why should it be thought that God would disinherit' him of his birth-right? Heir, indeed, in England, signifies the eldest son, who is by the law of England to have all his father's land ; but where God ever appointed any such heir of the world, our author would have done well to have shewed us ; and how God disinherited him of his birth-right, or what harm was done him if God gave his sons a right to make use of a part of the earth for the support of themselves and families, when the whole was not only more than Noah himself, but infinitely more than they all could make use of, and the possessions of one could not at all prejudice, or, as to any use, streighten that of the other.

38. Our author probably foreseeing he might not be very successful in persuading people out of their senses, and, say what he could, men would be apt to believe the plain words of scripture, and think, as they saw, that the grant was spoken to Noah and his sons jointly ; he endeavours to insinuate, as if this grant to Noah conveyed no property, no dominion ; because, subduing the earth and dominion over the creatures are therein omitted, nor the earth once named. And therefore, says he, there is a considerable difference between these two texts ; the first blessing gave Adam a dominion over the earth and all creatures ; the latter allows Noah liberty to use the living creatures for food : here is no alteration or diminishing of his title to a property of all things, but an enlargement only of his commons, Observations, 211. So that in our author's sense, all that was said here to Noah and his sons, gave them no dominion, no property, but only enlarged the commons ; their commons, I should say, since God says, to you are they given, though our author says his ; for as for Noah's sons, they, it seems, by Sir Robert's appointment, during their father's life-time, were to keep fasting days.

39. Any one but our author would be mightily suspected to be blinded with prejudice, that in all this blessing to Noah and his sons, could see nothing but only an enlargement of commons : for as to dominion, which our author thinks omitted, the fear of you, and the dread of you, says God, shall be upon every beast, which I suppose expresses the dominion, or superiority was designed man over the living creatures, as fully as may be ; for in that fear and dread seems chiefly to consist what was given to Adam over the inferior animals ; who, as absolute a monarch as he was, could not make bold with a lark or rabbet to satisfy his hunger, and had the herbs but in common with the beasts, as is plain from i Gen. 2, 9, and 30. In the next place, it is manifest: that in this blessing to Noah and his sons, property is not only given in clear words, but in a larger extent than it was to Adam. Into your hands they are given, says God to Noah and his sons; which words, if they give not property, nay, property in possession, it will be hard to find words that can ; since there is not a way to express a man's being possessed of any thing more natural, nor more certain, than to say, it is delivered into his hands. And ver. 3. to shew, that they had then given them the utmost property man is capable of, which is to have a right to destroy any thing by using it ; Every moving thing that liveth, saith God, shall be meat for you ; which was not allowed to Adam in his charter. This our author calls, a liberty of using them for food, and only an enlargement of commons, but no alteration of property, Observations, 211. What other property man can have in the creatures, but the liberty of using them, is hard to be understood : so that if the first blessing, as our author says, gave Adam dominion over the creatures, and the blessing to Noah and his sons, gave them such a liberty to use them, as Adam had not ; it must needs give them something that Adam with all his sovereignty wanted, something that one would be apt to take for a greater property ; for certainly he has no absolute dominion over even the brutal part of the creatures ; and the property he has in them is very narrow and scanty, who cannot make that use of them, which is permitted to another. Should any one who is, absolute lord of a country, have bidden our author subdue the earth, and given him dominion over the creatures in it, but not have permitted him to have taken a kid or a lamb out of the flock, to satisfy his hunger, I guess, he would scarce have thought himself lord or proprietor of that land, or the cattle on it ; but would have found the difference between having dominion, which a shepherd may have, and having full property as an owner. So that, had it been his own cafe, Sir Robert, I believe, would have thought here was an alteration, nay, an enlarging of property ; and that Noah and his children had by this grant, not only property given them, but such a property given them in the creatures, as Adam had not : For however, in respect of one another, men may be allowed to have propriety in their distinct: portions of the creatures ; yet in respect of God the maker of heaven and earth, who is sole lord and proprietor of the whole world, man's propriety in the creatures is nothing but that liberty to use them, which God has permitted ; and so man's property may be altered and enlarged, as we see it was here, after the flood, when other uses of them are allowed, which before were not. From all which I suppose it is clear, that neither Adam, nor Noah, had any private dominion, any property in the creatures, exclusive of his posterity, as they should successively grow up into need of them, and come to be able to make use of them.

40. Thus we have examined our author's argument for Adam's monarchy, founded on the blessing pronounced, i.Gen. 28. Wherein I think it is impossible for any sober reader, to find any other but the setting of mankind above the other kinds of creatures, in this habitable earth of ours. It is nothing but the giving to man, the whole species of man, as the chief inhabitant, who is the image of his Maker, the dominion over the other creatures. This lies so obvious in the plain words, that any one, but our author, would have thought it necessary to have shewn, how these words, that seemed to say the quite contrary, gave Adam monarchical absolute power over other men, or the sole property in all the creatures ; and methinks in a business of this moment, and that whereon he builds all that follows, he should have done something more than barely cite words, which apparently make against him ; for I confess, I cannot see any thing in them, tending to Adam's monarchy, or private dominion, but quite the contrary. And I the less deplore the dulness of my apprehension herein, since I find the apostle seems to have as little notion of any such private dominion of Adam as I, when he says, God gives us all things richly to enjoy, which he could not do, if it were all given away already, to Monarch Adam, and the monarchs his heirs and successors. To conclude, this text is so far from proving Adam sole proprietor, that, on the contrary, it is a confirmation of the original community of all things amongst the sons of men, which appearing from this donation of God, as well as other places of scripture, the sovereignty of Adam, built upon his private dominion, must fall, not having any foundation to support it.

41. But yet, if after all, any one will needs have it so, that by this donation of God, Adam was made sole proprietor of the whole earth, what will this be to his sovereignty ? and how will it appear, that propriety in land gives a man power over the life of another ? or how will the possession even of the whole earth, give any one a sovereign arbitrary authority over the persons of men ? The most specious thing to be said, is, that he that is proprietor of the whole world, may deny all the rest of mankind food, and so at his pleasure starve them, if they will not acknowledge his sovereignty, and obey his will. If this were true, it would be a good argument to prove, that there never was any such property, that God never gave any such private dominion ; since it is more reasonable to think, that God, who bid mankind increase and multiply, should rather himself give them all a right to make use of the food and raiment, and other conveniences of life, the materials whereof he had so plentifully provided for them ; than to make them depend upon the will of a man for their subsistence, who should have power to destroy them all when he pleased, and who, being no better than other men, was in succession likelier, by want and the dependence of a scanty fortune, to tie them to hard service, than by liberal allowance of the conveniences of life to promote the great design of God, increase and multiply : he that doubts this, let him look into the absolute monarchies of the world, and see what becomes of the conveniences of life, and the multitudes of people.

42. But we know God hath not left one man so to the mercy of another, that he may starve, him if he please : God the Lord and Father of all has given no one of his children such a property in his peculiar portion of the things of this world, but that he has given his needy brother a right to the surplusage of his goods ; so that it cannot justly be denied him, when his pressing wants call for it : and therefore no man could ever have a just power over the life of another by right of property in land or possessions ; since it would always be a sin, in any man of estate, to let his brother perish for want of affording him relief out of his plenty. As justice gives every man a title to the product of his honest industry, and the fair acquisitions of his ancestors descended to him ; so charity gives every man a title to so much out of another's plenty, as will keep him from extreme want, where he has no means to subsist otherwise : and a man can no more justly make use of another's necessity, to force him to become his vassal, by with-holding that relief, God requires him to afford to the wants of his brother, than he that has more strength can seize upon a weaker, master him to his obedience, and with a dagger at his throat offer him death or slavery.

43. Should any one make so perverse an use of God's blessings poured on him with a liberal hand ; should any one be cruel and uncharitable to that extremity, yet all this would not prove that propriety in land, even in this cafe, gave any authority over the persons of men, but only that compact might ; since the authority of the rich proprietor, and the subjection of the needy beggar, began not from the possession of the Lord, but the consent of the poor man, who preferred being his subject to starving. And the man he thus submits to, can pretend to no more power over him, than he has consented to, upon compact. Upon this ground a man's having his stores filled in a time of scarcity, having money in his pocket, being in a vessel at sea, being able to swim, &c. may as well be the foundation of rule and dominion, as being possessor of all the land in the world ; any of these being sufficient to enable me to save a man's life, who would perish if such assistance were denied him; and any thing, by this rule, that may be an occasion of working upon another's necessity, to save his life, or any thing dear to him, at the rate of his freedom, may be made a foundation of sovereignty, as well as property. From all which it is clear, that though God should have given Adam private dominion, yet that private dominion could give him no sovereignty ; but we have already sufficiently proved, that God gave him no private dominion.


CHAPTER V.
OF ADAM'S TITLE TO SOVEREIGNTY, BY THE SUBJECTION OF EVE


44. The next place of Scripture we find our author builds his monarchy of Adam on, is Gen. iii. 26. “And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Here we have (says he) the original grant of government,” from whence he concludes, in the following part of the page, O. 244, “That the supreme power is settled in the fatherhood, and limited to one kind of government, that is, to monarchy.” For let his premises be what they will, this is always the conclusion; let rule, in any text, be but once named, and presently absolute monarchy is by divine right established. If any one will but carefully read our author’s own reasoning from these words, O. 244, and consider, among other things, “the line and posterity of Adam,” as he there brings them in, he will find some difficulty to make sense of what he says; but we will allow this at present to his peculiar way of writing, and consider the force of the text in hand. The words are the curse of God upon the woman for having been the first and forwardest in the disobedience; and if we will consider the occasion of what God says here to our first parents, that he was denouncing judgment, and declaring his wrath against them both for their disobedience, we cannot suppose that this was the time wherein God was granting Adam prerogatives and privileges, investing him with dignity and authority, elevating him to dominion and monarchy: for though, as a holster in the temptation, live was laid below him, and so he had accidentally a superiority over her, for her greater punishment; yet he too had his share in the fall, as well as the sin, and was laid lower, as may be seen in the following verses: and it would be hard to imagine, that Gall, in the same breath, should make him universal monarch over all mankind, and a day-labourer for his life; turn lain out of “paradise to till the ground,” ver. 23, and at the same time advance him to a throne, and all the privileges and case of absolute power.

45. This was not a time when Adam could expect any favours, any grant of privileges, from his offended Maker. If this be “the original grant of government,” as our author tells us, and Adam was now made monarch, whatever sir Robert would have him, it is plain, God made him but a very poor monarch, such an one, as our author himself would have counted it no great privilege to be. God sets him to work for his living, and seems rather to give him a spade into his hand to subdue the earth, than a sceptre to rule over its inhabitants. “In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat thy bread,” says God to him, ver. 19. This was unavoidable, may it perhaps be answered, because he was yet without subjects, and had nobody to work for him; but afterwards, living as he did above 900 years, he might have people enough, whom he might command to work for him; no, says God, not only whilst thou art without other help, save thy wife, but as long as thou livest shalt thou live by thy labour, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat thy bread, till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return,” ver. 19. It will perhaps be answered again in favour of our author, that these words are not spoken personally to Adam, but in him, as their representative, to all mankind, this being a curse upon mankind, because of the fall.

46. God, I believe, speaks differently from men, because he speaks with more truth, more certainty: but when he vouchsafes to speak to men, I do not think he speaks differently from them, in crossing the rules of language in use amongst them: this would not be to condescend to their capacities, when he humbles himself to speak to them, but to lose his design in speaking what, thus spoken, they could not understand. And yet thus must we think of God, if the interpretations of scripture, necessary to maintain our author’s doctrine, must be received for good; for by the ordinary rules of language, it will be very hard to understand what God says, if what he speaks here, in the singular number to Adam, must be understood to be spoken to all mankind; and what he says in the plural number, Gen. i. 26 and 28, must be understood of Adam alone, exclusive of all others; and what he says to Noah and his sons jointly, must be understood to be meant to Noah alone, Gen. ix.

47. Farther it is to be noted, that these words here of Gen. iii. 16, which our author calls “the original grant of government,” were not spoken to Adam, neither indeed was there any grant in them made to Adam, but a punishment laid upon Eve: and if we will take them as they were directed in particular to her, or in her, as their representative, to all other women, they will at most concern the female sex only, and import no more, but that subjection they should ordinarily be in to their husbands: but there is here no more law to oblige a woman to such subjection, if the circumstances either of her condition, or contract with her husband, should exempt her from it, than there is, that she should bring forth her children in sorrow and pain, if there could be found a remedy for it, which is also a part of the same curse upon her: for the whole verse runs thus, “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” It would, I think, have been a hard matter for any body, but our author, to have found out a grant of “monarchical government to Adam,” in these words, which were neither spoken to, nor of him: neither will any [247] one, I suppose, by these words, think the weaker sex, as by law, so subjected to the curse contained in them, that it is their duty not to endeavour to avoid it. And will any one say, that Eve, or any other woman, sinned, if she were brought to bed without those multiplied pains God threatens her here with? or that either of our queens, Mary or Elizabeth, had they married any of their subjects, had been by this text put into a political subjection to him? or that he should thereby have had monarchical rule over her? God, in this text, gives not, that I see, any authority to Adam over Eve, or to men over their wives, but only foretels what should be the woman’s lot; how by his providence he would order it so, that she should be subject to her husband, as we see that generally the laws of mankind and customs of nations have ordered it so: and there is, I grant, a foundation in nature for it.

48. Thus when God says of Jacob and Esau, “that the elder should serve the younger,” Gen. xxv. 23, nobody supposes that God hereby made Jacob Esau’s sovereign, but foretold what should de facto come to pass.

But if these words here spoken to Eve must needs be understood as a law to bind her and all other women to subjection, it can be no other subjection than what every wife owes her husband; and then if this be the “original grant of government and the foundation of monarchical power,” there will be as many monarchs as there are husbands: if therefore these words give any power to Adam, it can be only a conjugal power, not political; the power that every husband hath to order the things of private concernment in his family, as proprietor of the goods and land there, and to have his will take place before that of his wife in all things of their common concernment; but not a political power of life and death over her, much less over any body else.

49. This I am sure: if our author will have this text to be a “grant, the original grant of government,” political government, he ought to have proved it by some better arguments than by barely saying, that “thy desire shall be unto thy husband,” was a law whereby Eve, and “all that should come of her,” were subjected to the absolute monarchical power of Adam, and his heirs. “Thy desire shall be to thy husband,” is too doubtful an expression, of whose signification interpreters are not agreed, to build so confidently on, and in a matter of such moment, and so great and general concernment: but our author, according to his way of writing, having once named the text, concludes presently, without any more ado, that the meaning is as he would have it. Let the words rule and subject be but found in the text or margin, and it immediately signifies the duty of a subject to his prince; the relation is changed, and though God says husband, sir Robert will have it king; Adam has presently absolute monarchical power over Eve, and not only over Eve, but “all that should come of her,” though the scripture says not a word of it, nor our author a word to prove it. But Adam must for all that be an absolute monarch, and so down to the end of the chapter. And here I leave my reader to consider, whether my bare saying, without offering any reasons to evince it, that this text gave not Adam that absolute monarchical power, our author supposes, be not as sufficient to destroy that power, as his bare assertion is to establish it, since the text mentions neither prince nor people, speaks nothing of absolute or monarchical power, but the subjection of Eve to Adam, a wife to her husband. And he that would trace our author so all through, would make a short and sufficient answer to the greatest part of the grounds he proceeds on, and abundantly confute them by barely denying; it being a sufficient answer to assertions without proof, to deny them without giving a reason. And therefore should I have said nothing, but barely denied, that by this text “the supreme power was settled and founded by God himself in the fatherhood, limited to monarchy, and that to Adam’s person and heirs,” all which our author notably concludes from these words, as may be seen in the same page, O. 244, it had been a sufficient answer: should I have desired any sober man only to have read the text, and considered to whom, and on what occasion it was [249] spoken, he would no doubt have wondered how our author found out monarchical absolute power in it, had he not had an exceeding good faculty to find it himself, where he could not show it others. And thus we have examined the two places of scripture, all that I remember our author brings to prove Adam’s sovereignty, that supremacy, which he says, “it was God’s ordinance should be unlimited in Adam, and as large as all the acts of his will,” O. 254, viz. Gen. i. 28, and Gen. iii. 16, one whereof signifies only the subjection of the inferior ranks of creatures to mankind, and the other the subjection that is due from a wife to her husband; both far enough from that which subjects owe the governors of political societies.


CHAPTER VI.
OF ADAM'S TITLE TO SOVEREIGNTY, BY FATHERHOOD


50. There is one thing more, and then I think I have given you all that our author brings for proof of Adam’s sovereignty, and that is a supposition of a natural right of dominion over his children, by being their father: and this title of fatherhood he is so pleased with, that you will find it brought in almost in every page; particularly he says, “not only Adam, but the succeeding patriarchs had by right of fatherhood, royal authority over their children,” p. 12. And in the same page, “this subjection of children being the fountain of all regal authority,” &c. This being, as one would think by his so frequent mentioning it, the main basis of all his frame, we may well expect clear and evident reason for it, since he lays it down as a position necessary to his purpose, that “every man that is born is so far from being free, that by his very birth he becomes a subject of him that begets him,” O. 156. So that Adam being the only man created, [250] and all ever since being begotten, nobody has been born free. If we ask how Adam comes by this power over his children, he tells us here it is by begetting them: and so again, O. 223. “This natural dominion of Adam, says he, may be proved out of Grotius himself, who teacheth, that generatione jus acquiritur parentibus in liberos.” And indeed the act of begetting being that which makes a man a father, his right of a father over his children can naturally arise from nothing else.

51. Grotius tells us not here how far this “jus in liberos,” this power of parents over their children extends; but our author, always very clear in the point, assures us it is supreme power, and like that of absolute monarchs over their slaves, absolute power of life and death. He that should demand of him, how, or for what reason it is, that begetting a child gives the father such an absolute power over him, will find him answer nothing: we are to take his word for this, as well as several other things, and by that the laws of nature and the constitutions of government must stand or fall. Had he been an absolute monarch, this way of talking might have suited well enough; “pro ratione voluntas,” might have been of force in his mouth; but in the way of proof or argument is very unbecoming, and will little advantage his plea for absolute monarchy. Sir Robert has too much lessened a subject’s authority to leave himself the hopes of establishing any thing by his bare saying it; one slave’s opinion without proof, is not of weight enough to dispose of the liberty and fortunes of all mankind. If all men are not, as I think they are, naturally equal, I am sure all slaves are; and then I may without presumption oppose my single opinion to his: and be confident that my saying, “that begetting of children makes them not slaves to their fathers,” as certainly sets all mankind free, as his affirming the contrary makes them all slaves. But that this position, which is the foundation of all their doctrine, who would have monarchy to be “jure divino,” may have all fair play, let us hear what reasons others give for it since our author offers none.

52. The argument, I have heard others make use of, to prove that fathers by begetting them, come by an absolute power over their children, is this; that “fathers have a power over the lives of their children, because they give them life and being,” which is the only proof it is capable of: since there can be no reason, why naturally one man should have any claim or pretence of right over that in another, which was never his, which he bestowed not, but was received from the bounty of another. 1. I answer, that every one who gives another any thing, has not always thereby a right to take it away again. But, 2. They who say the father gives life to children, are so dazzled with the thoughts of monarchy, that they do not, as they ought, remember God, who is “the author and giver of life: it is in him alone we live, move, and have our being.” How can he be thought to give life to another, that knows not wherein his own life consists? Philosophers are at a loss about it after their most diligent inquiries; and anatomists, after their whole lives and studies spent in dissections, and diligent examining the bodies of men, confess their ignorance in the structure and use of many parts of man’s body, and in that operation wherein life consists in the whole. And doth the rude ploughman, or the more ignorant voluptuary, frame or fashion such an admirable engine as this is, and then put life and sense into it? Can any man say, he formed the parts that are necessary to the life of his child? or can he suppose himself to give the life, and yet not know what subject is fit to receive it, nor what actions or organs are necessary for its reception or preservation?

53. To give life to that which has yet no being, is to frame and make a living creature, fashion the parts, and mould and suit them to their uses; and having proportioned and fitted them together, to put into them a living soul. He that could do this, might indeed have some pretence to destroy his own workmanship. But is there any one so bold, that dares thus far arrogate to himself the incomprehensible works of the Almighty? Who alone did at first, and continues still to [252] make a living soul, he alone can breathe in the breath of life. If any one thinks himself an artist at this, let him number up the parts of his child’s body which he hath made, tell me their uses and operations, and when the living and rational soul began to inhabit this curious structure, when sense began, and how this engine, which he has framed, thinks and reasons: if he made it, let him, when it is out of order, mend it, at least tell wherein the defects lie. “Shall he that made the eye not see?” says the Psalmist, Psalm xciv. 9. See these men’s vanities; the structure of that one part is sufficient to convince us of an all-wise Contriver, and he has so visible a claim to us as his workmanship, that one of the ordinary appellations of God in scripture is, “God our maker,” and “the Lord our maker.” And therefore though our author, for the magnifying his fatherhood, be pleased to say, O. 159. “That even the power which God himself exerciseth over mankind is by right of fatherhood,” yet this fatherhood is such an one as utterly excludes all pretence of title in earthly parents; for he is king, because he is indeed maker of us all, which no parents can pretend to be of their children.

54. But had men skill and power to make their children, it is not so slight a piece of workmanship, that it can be imagined they could make them without designing it. What father of a thousand, when he begets a child, thinks farther than the satisfying his present appetite? God in his infinite wisdom has put strong desires of copulation into the constitution of men, thereby to continue the race of mankind, which he doth most commonly without the intention, and often against the consent and will of the begetter. And indeed those who desire and design children, are but the occasions of their being, and, when they design and wish to beget them, do little more towards their making, than Deucalion and his wife in the fable did towards the making of mankind, by throwing pebbles over their heads.

55. But grant that the parents made their children, gave them life and being, and that hence there followed an absolute power. This would give the father but a joint dominion with the mother over them: for nobody can deny but that the woman hath an equal share, if not the greater, as nourishing the child a long time in her own body out of her own substance: there it is fashioned, and from her it receives the materials and principles of its constitution: and it is so hard to imagine the rational soul should presently inhabit the yet unformed embryo, as soon as the father has done his part in the act of generation, that if it must be supposed to derive any thing from the parents, it must certainly owe most to the mother. But be that as it will, the mother cannot be denied an equal share in begetting of the child, and so the absolute authority of the father will not arise from hence. Our author indeed is of another mind; for he says, “we know that God at the creation gave the sovereignty to the man over the woman, as being the nobler and principal agent in generation,” O. 172. I remember not this in my bible; and when the place is brought where God at the creation gave the sovereignty to man over the woman, and that for this reason, because “he is the nobler and principal agent in generation,” it will be time enough to consider, and answer it. But it is no new thing for our author to tell us his own fancies for certain and divine truths, though there be often a great deal of difference between his and divine revelations; for God in the scripture says, “his father and his mother that begot him.”

56. They who allege the practice of mankind, for exposing or selling their children, as a proof of their power over them, are with sir Robert happy arguers; and cannot but recommend their opinion, by founding it on the most shameful action, and most unnatural murder, human nature is capable of. The dens of lions and nurseries of wolves know no such cruelty as this; these savage inhabitants of the desert obey God and nature in being tender and careful of their offspring: they will hunt, watch, fight, and almost starve for the preservation of their young; never part with them; never forsake them, till they are able to shift for themselves. And is it the privilege of man alone to act more [254] contrary to nature than the wild and most untamed part of the creation? doth God forbid us under the severest penalty, that of death, to take away the life of any man, a stranger, and upon provocation? and does he permit us to destroy those he has given us the charge and care of; and by the dictates of nature and reason, as well as his revealed command, requires us to preserve? He has in all the parts of creation taken a peculiar care to propagate and continue the several species of creatures, and makes the individuals act so strongly to this end, that they sometimes neglect their own private good for it, and seem to forget that general rule, which nature teaches all things, of self-preservation; and the preservation of their young, as the strongest principle in them, over-rules the constitution of their particular natures. Thus we see, when their young stand in need of it, the timorous become valiant, the fierce and savage kind, and the ravenous tender and liberal.

57. But if the example of what hath been done, be the rule of what ought to be, history would have furnished our author with instances of this absolute fatherly power in its height and perfection, and he might have showed us in Peru people that begot children on purpose to fatten and eat them. This story is so remarkable, that I cannot but set it down in the author’s words: “In some provinces, says he, they were so liquorish after man’s flesh, that they would not have the patience to stay till the breath was out of the body, but would suck the blood as it ran from the wounds of the dying man; they had public shambles of man’s flesh, and their madness herein was to that degree, that they spared not their own children, which they had begot on strangers taken in war: for they made their captives their mistresses, and choicely nourished the children they had by them, till about thirteen years old they butchered and eat them; and they served the mothers after the same fashion, when they grew past child-bearing, and ceased to bring them any more roasters.” Garcilasso de la Vega Hist. des Yncas de Peru, l. i. c. 12.

58. Thus far can the busy mind of man carry him to a brutality below the level of beasts, when he quits his reason, which places him almost equal to angels. Nor can it be otherwise in a creature, whose thoughts are more than the sands, and wider than the ocean, where fancy and passion must needs run him into strange courses, if reason, which is his only star and compass, be not that he steers by. The imagination is always restless, and suggests variety of thoughts, and the will, reason being laid aside, is ready for every extravagant project; and in this state, he that goes farthest out of the way, is thought fittest to lead, and is sure of most followers: and when fashion hath once established what folly or craft began, custom makes it sacred, and it will be thought imprudence, or madness, to contradict or question it. He that will impartially survey the nations of the world, will find so much of their religions, governments, and manners, brought in and continued amongst them by these means, that he will have but little reverence for the practices which are in use and credit amongst men; and will have reason to think, that the woods and forests, where the irrational untaught inhabitants keep right by following nature, are fitter to give us rules, than cities and palaces, where those that call themselves civil and rational, go out of their way, by the authority of example. If precedents are sufficient to establish a rule in this case, our author might have found in holy writ children sacrificed by their parents, and this amongst the people of God themselves: the Psalmist tells us, Psalm cvi. 38. “They shed innocent blood, even the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan.” But God judged not of this by our author’s rule, nor allowed of the authority of practice against his righteous law; but as it follows there, “the land was polluted with blood; therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.” The killing of their children, though it were fashionable, was charged on them as innocent blood, and so bad in the account of God the guilt of murder, as the offering them to idols had the guilt of idolatry.

59. Be it then, as sir Robert says, that anciently it was usual for men “to sell and castrate their children,” O. 155. Let it be, that they exposed them: add to it, if you please, for this is still greater power, that they begat them for their tables, to fat and eat them: if this proves a right to do so, we may, by the same argument, justify adultery, incest, and sodomy, for there are examples of these too, both ancient and modern; sins, which I suppose have their principal aggravation from this, that they cross the main intention of nature, which willeth the increase of mankind, and the continuation of the species in the highest perfection, and the distinction of families, with the security of the marriage-bed, as necessary thereunto.

60. In confirmation of this natural authority of the father, our author brings a lame proof from the positive command of God in scripture: his words are, “To confirm the natural right of regal power, we find in the decalogue, that the law which enjoins obedience to kings, is delivered in the terms, Honour thy father, p. 23. Whereas many confess, that government only in the abstract, is the ordinance of God, they are not able to prove any such ordinance in the scripture, but only in the fatherly power; and therefore we find the commandment, that enjoins obedience to superiours, given in the terms, Honour thy father; so that not only the power and right of government, but the form of the power governing, and the person having the power, are all the ordinances of God. The first father had not only simply power, but power monarchical, as he was father immediately from God,” O. 254. To the same purpose, the same law is cited by our author in several other places, and just after the same fashion; that is, “and mother,” as apocryphal words, are always left out; a great argument of our author’s ingenuity, and the goodness of his cause, which required in its defender zeal to a degree of warmth, able to warp the sacred rule of the word of God, to make it comply with his present occasion; a way of proceeding not unusual to those who embrace not truths because reason and revelation offer them, but espouse tenets and parties for ends different from truth, and then resolve at any rate to defend them; and so do with the words and sense of authors, they would fit to their purpose, just as Procrustes did with his guests, lop or stretch them, as may best fit them to the size of their notions: and they always prove like those so served, deformed, lame, and useless.

61. For had our author set down this command without garbling, as God gave it, and joined mother to father, every reader would have seen, that it had made directly against him; and that it was so far from establishing the “monarchical power of the father,” that it set up the mother equal with him, and enjoined nothing but was due in common to both father and mother: for that is the constant tenour of the scripture, “Honour thy father and thy mother, Exod. xx. He that smiteth his father or mother, shall surely be put to death, xxi. 15. He that curseth his father or mother, shall surely be put to death, ver. 17, repeated Lev. xx. 9, and by our Saviour, Matt. xv. 4. Ye shall fear every man his mother and his father, Lev. xix. 3. If any man have a rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother; then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and say, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice, Deut. xxi. 18, 19, 20, 21. Cursed be he that setteth light by his father or his mother, xxvii. 16. My son, hear the instructions of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother,” are the words of Solomon, a king who was not ignorant of what belonged to him as a father or a king; and yet he joins father and mother together, in all the instructions he gives children quite through his book of Proverbs. “Woe unto him, that saith unto his father, What begettest thou, or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth? Isa. xlv. 10. In thee have they set light by father and mother, Ezek. xxii. 7. And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him, shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live, and his father and his mother that begat him, shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.” Zech. xiii. 3. Here not the father only, but the father and mother jointly, had power in this case of life and death. Thus ran the law of the Old Testament, and in the New they are likewise joined, in the obedience of their children, Eph. vi. 1. The rule is, “Children, obey your parents;” and I do not remember that I any where read, “Children, obey your father,” and no more: the scripture joins mother too in that homage, which is due from children; and had there been any text, where the honour or obedience of children had been directed to the father alone, it is not likely that our author, who pretends to build all upon scripture, would have omitted it: nay the scripture makes the authority of father and mother, in respect of those they have begot, so equal, that in some places it neglects even the priority of order which is thought due to the father, and the mother is put first, as Lev. xix. 3. From which so constantly joining father and mother together, as is found quite through scripture, we may conclude that the honour they have a title to from their children, is one common right belonging so equally to them both, that neither can claim it wholly, neither can be excluded.

62. One would wonder then how our author infers from the fifth commandment, that all “power was originally in the father;” how he finds “monarchical power of government settled and fixed by the commandment, Honour thy father and thy mother.” If all the honour due by the commandment, be it what it will, be the only right of the father, because he, as our author says, “has the sovereignty over the woman, as being the nobler and principal agent in generation,” why did God afterwards all along join the mother with him, to share in his honour? can the father, by this sovereignty of his, discharge the child from paying this honour to his mother? The scripture gave no such licence to the Jews, and yet there were often breaches wide enough betwixt husband and wife, even to divorce and separation: and, I think, nobody will say a child may withhold honour from his mother, or, as the scripture terms it, set light by her, though his father should command him to do so; no more than the mother could dispense with him for neglecting to honour his father: whereby it is plain that this command of God gives the father no sovereignty, no supremacy.

63. I agree with our author, that the title to this honour is vested in the parents by nature, and is a right which accrues to them by their having begotten their children, and God by many positive declarations has confirmed it to them: I also allow our author’s rule, “that in grants and gifts, that have their original from God and nature, as the power of the father,” (let me add “and mother,” for whom God hath joined together let no man put asunder) “no inferior power of men can limit, nor make any law of prescription against them,” O. 158, so that the mother having, by this law of God, a right to honour from her children, which is not subject to the will of her husband, we see this, “absolute monarchical power of the father” can neither be founded on it, nor consist with it; and he has a power very far from monarchical, very far from that absoluteness our author contends for, when another has over his subjects the same power he hath, and by the same title: and therefore he cannot forbear saying himself that “he cannot see how any man’s children can be free from subjection to their parents,” p. 12, which, in common speech, I think, signifies mother as well as father, or if parents here signifies only father, it is the first time I ever yet knew it to do so, and by such an use of words one may say any thing.

64. By our author’s doctrine, the father having absolute jurisdiction over his children, has also the same over their issue; and the consequence is good, were it true, that the father had such a power: and yet I ask our author, whether the grandfather, by his sovereignty, could discharge the grandchild from paying to his father the honour due to him by the fifth commandment. If the grandfather hath, by “right of fatherhood,” sole sovereign power in him, and that obedience which is due to the supreme magistrate, be commanded in these words, “Honour thy father,” it is certain the grandfather might dispense with the grandson’s honouring his father, which since it is evident in common sense he cannot, it follows from hence, that “honour thy father and mother” cannot mean an absolute subjection to a sovereign power, but something else. The right therefore which parents have by nature, and which is confirmed to them by the fifth commandment, cannot be that political dominion which our author would derive from it: for that being in every civil society supreme somewhere, can discharge any subject from any political obedience to any one of his fellow-subjects. But what law of the magistrate can give a child liberty not to “honour his father and mother?” It is an eternal law, annexed purely to the relation of parents and children, and so contains nothing of the magistrate’s power in it, nor is subjected to it.

65. Our author says, “God hath given to a father a right or liberty to alien his power over his children to any other,” O. 155. I doubt whether he can alien wholly the right of honour that is due from them: but be that as it will, this I am sure, he cannot alien and retain the same power. If therefore the magistrate’s sovereignty be, as our author would have it, “nothing but the authority of a supreme father,” p. 23, it is unavoidable, that if the magistrate hath all this paternal right, as he must have if fatherhood be the fountain of all authority; then the subjects, though fathers, can have no power over their children, no right to honour from them: for it cannot be all in another’s hands, and a part remain with the parents. So that, according to our author’s own doctrine, “Honour thy father and mother” cannot possibly be understood of political subjection and obedience: since the laws both in the Old and New Testament, that commanded children to “honour and obey their parents,” were given to such, whose fathers were under civil government, and fellow-subjects with them in political societies; and to have bid them “honour and obey their parents,” in our author’s sense, had been to bid them be subjects to those who had no title to it: the right to obedience from subjects being all vested in another; and instead of teaching obedience, this had been to foment sedition, by setting up powers that were not. If therefore this command, “Honour thy father and mother,” concern political dominion, it directly overthrows our author’s monarchy: since it being to be paid by every child to his father, even in society, every father must necessarily have political dominion, and there will be as many sovereigns as there are fathers: besides that the mother too hath her title, which destroys the sovereignty of one supreme monarch. But if “Honour thy father and mother” mean something distinct from political power, as necessarily it must, it is besides our author’s business, and serves nothing to his purpose.

66. “The law that enjoins obedience to kings is delivered, says our author, in the terms, Honour thy father, as if all power were originally in the father,” O. 254: and that law is also delivered, say I, in the terms, “Honour thy mother,” as if all power were originally in the mother. I appeal whether the argument be not as good on one side as the other, father and mother being joined all along in the Old and New Testament wherever honour or obedience is enjoined children. Again our author tells us, O. 254, “that this command, Honour thy father, gives the right to govern, and makes the form of government monarchical.” To which I answer, that if by “Honour thy father” be meant obedience to the political power of the magistrate, it concerns not any duty we owe to our natural fathers, who are subjects; because they, by our author’s doctrine, are divested of all that power, it being placed wholly in the prince, and so being equally subjects and slaves with their children, can have no right, by that title, to any such honour or obedience, as contains in it political subjection: if “Honour thy father and mother” signifies the duty we owe our natural parents, as by our Saviour’s interpretation, Matt. xv. 4, and all the other mentioned places, it is plain it does; then it cannot concern political obedience, but a duty that is owing to persons who have no title to sovereignty, nor any political authority as magistrates over subjects. For the person of a private father, and a title to obedience, due to the supreme magistrate, are things inconsistent; and therefore this command, which must necessarily comprehend the persons of natural fathers, must mean a duty we owe them distinct from our obedience to the magistrate, and from which the most absolute power of princes cannot absolve us. What this duty is, we shall in its due place examine.

67. And thus we have at last got through all, that in our author looks like an argument for that absolute unlimited sovereignty described, sect. 8, which he supposes in Adam; so that mankind have ever since been all born slaves, without any title to freedom. But if creation, which gave nothing but a being, made not Adam prince of his posterity: if Adam, Gen. i. 28, was not constituted lord of mankind, nor had a private dominion given him exclusive of his children, but only a right and power over the earth and inferior creatures in common with the children of men; if also, Gen. iii. 16, God gave not any particular power to Adam over his wife and children, but only subjected Eve to Adam, as a punishment, or foretold the subjection of the weaker sex, in the ordering the common concernments of their families, but gave not thereby to Adam, as to the husband, power of life and death, which necessarily belongs to the magistrate: if fathers by begetting their children acquire no such power over them; and if the command, “Honour thy father and mother,” give it not, but only enjoins a duty owing to parents equally, whether subjects or not, and to the mother as well as the father: if all this be so, as I think by what has been said is very evident; then man has a natural freedom, notwithstanding all our author confidently says to the contrary; since all that share in the same common nature, faculties, and powers, are in nature equal, and ought to partake in the same common rights and privileges, till the manifest appointment of God, who is “Lord over all, blessed for ever,” can be produced to show any particular person’s supremacy; or a man’s own consent subjects him to a superior. This is so plain, that our author confesses, that sir John Hayward, Blackwood, and Barclay, “the great vindicators of the right of kings,” could not deny it, “but admit with one consent the natural liberty and equality of mankind,” for a truth unquestionable. And our author hath been so far from producing any thing that may make good his great position, “that Adam was absolute monarch,” and so “men are not naturally free,” that even his own proofs make against him; so that to use his own way of arguing, “the first erroneous principle failing, the whole fabric of this vast engine of absolute power and tyranny drops down of itself,” and there needs no more to be said in answer to all that he builds upon so false and frail a foundation.

68. But to save others the pains, were there any need, he is not sparing himself to show, by his own, contradictions, the weakness of his own doctrine. Adam’s absolute and sole dominion is that which he is every where full of, and all along builds on, and yet he tells us, p. 12, “that as Adam was lord of his children, so his children under him had a command and power over their own children.” The unlimited and undivided sovereignty of Adam’s fatherhood, by our author’s computation, stood but a little while, only during the first generation; but as soon as he had grandchildren, sir Robert could give but a very ill account of it. “Adam, as father of his children, saith he, hath an absolute, unlimited royal power over them, and by virtue thereof, over those that they begot, and so to all generations;” and yet his children, viz. Cain and Seth, have a paternal power over their children at the same time; so that they are at the same time absolute lords, and yet vassals and slaves; Adam has all the authority, as “grandfather of the people,” and they have a part of it, as fathers of a part of them; he is absolute over them and their posterity, by having begotten them, and yet they are absolute over their children by the same title. “No, says our author, Adam’s children under him had power over their own children, [264] but still with subordination to the first parent.” A good distinction that sounds well, and it is pity it signifies nothing, nor can be reconciled with our author’s words. I readily grant, that supposing Adam’s absolute power over his posterity, any of his children might have from him a delegated, and so a subordinate power over a part, or all the rest: but that cannot be the power our author speaks of here; it is not a power by grant and commission, but the natural paternal power he supposes a father to have over his children. For 1. he says, “As Adam was lord of his children, so his children under him had a power over their own children:” they were then lords over their own children after the same manner, and by the same title that Adam was, i. e. by right of generation, by right of fatherhood. 2. It is plain he means the natural power of fathers, because he limits it to be only “over their own children;” a delegated power has no such limitation as only over their own children, it might be over others, as well as their own children. 3. If it were a delegated power, it must appear in scripture; but there is no ground in scripture to affirm, that Adam’s children had any other power over theirs, than what they naturally had as fathers.

69. By that he means here paternal power, and no other, is past doubt, from the inference he makes in these words immediately following. “I see not then how the children of Adam, or of any man else, can be free from subjection to their parents.” Whereby it appears that the power on one side and the subjection on the other, our author here speaks of, is that natural power and subjection between parents and children: for that which every man’s children owed could be no other; and that our author always affirms to be absolute and unlimited. This natural power of parents over their children Adam had over his posterity, says our author; and this power of parents over their children, his children had over theirs in his life-time, says our author also; so that Adam, by a natural right of father, had an absolute unlimited power over all his posterity, and [265] at the same time his children had by the same right absolute unlimited power over theirs. Here then are two absolute unlimited powers existing together, which I would have any body reconcile one to another, or to common sense. For the salvo he has put in of subordination makes it more absurd: to have one absolute, unlimited, nay unlimitable power in subordination to another, is so manifest a contradiction, that nothing can be more. “Adam is absolute prince with the unlimited authority of fatherhood over all his posterity;” all his posterity are then absolutely his subjects; and, as our author says, his slaves, children, and grandchildren, are equally in this state of subjection and slavery; and yet, says our author, “the children of Adam have paternal, i. e. absolute unlimited power over their own children:” which in plain English is they are slaves and absolute princes at the same time, and in the same government; and one part of the subjects have an absolute unlimited power over the other by the natural right of parentage.

70. If any one will suppose, in favour of our author, that he here meant, that parents, who are in subjection themselves to the absolute authority of their father, have yet some power over their children; I confess he is something nearer the truth: but he will not at all hereby help our author: for he no where speaking of the paternal power, but as an absolute unlimited authority, cannot be supposed to understand any thing else here, unless he himself had limited it, and showed how far it reached; and that he means here paternal authority in that large extent, is plain from the immediately following words: “This subjection of children being, says he, the foundation of all legal authority,” p. 12. The subjection then that in the former line, he says, “every man is in to his parents,” and consequently what Adam’s grandchildren were in to their parents, was that which was the fountain of all regal authority, i. e. according to our author, absolute unlimitable authority. And thus Adam’s children had regal authority, over their children, whilst they themselves were subjects to their father, and fellow subjects with their children. But let him mean as he pleases, it is plain he allows “Adam’s children to have paternal power,” p. 12, as also all other fathers to have “paternal power over their children,” O. 156. From whence one of these two things will necessarily follow, that either Adam’s children, even in his life-time, had, and so all other fathers have, as he phrases it, p. 12, “by right of fatherhood, royal authority over their children,” or else that Adam, “by right of fatherhood, had not royal authority.” For it cannot be but that paternal power does, or does not, give royal authority to them that have it: if it does not, then Adam could not be sovereign by this title, nor any body else; and then there is an end of all our author’s politics at once: if it does give royal authority, then every one that has paternal power has royal authority; and then, by our author’s patriarchal government, there will be as many kings as there are fathers.

71. And thus what a monarchy he hath set up, let him and his disciples consider. Princes certainly will have great reason to thank him for these new politics, which set up as many absolute kings in every country as there are fathers of children. And yet who can blame our author for it, it lying unavoidably in the way of one discoursing upon our author’s principles? For having placed an “absolute power in fathers by right of begetting,” he could not easily resolve how much of this power belonged to a son over the children he had begotten; and so it fell out to be a very hard matter to give all the power, as he does, to Adam, and yet allow a part in his life-time to his children when they were parents, and which he knew not well how to deny them. This makes him so doubtful in his expressions, and so uncertain where to place this absolute natural power, which he calls fatherhood. Sometimes Adam alone has it all, as p. 13. O. 244, 245, and Pref.

Sometimes parents have it, which word scarce signifies the father alone, p. 12, 19.

Sometimes children during their father’s life-time, as p. 12.

Sometimes fathers of families, as p. 78, 79.

Sometimes fathers indefinitely, O. 155.

Sometimes the heir to Adam, O. 253.

Sometimes the posterity of Adam, 244, 246.

Sometimes prime fathers, all sons or grandchildren of Noah, O. 244.

Sometimes the eldest parents, p. 12.

Sometimes all kings, p. 19.

Sometimes all that have supreme power, O. 245.

Sometimes heirs to those first progenitors, who were at first the natural parents of the whole people, p. 19.

Sometimes an elective king, p. 23.

Sometimes those, whether a few or a multitude, that govern the commonwealth, p. 23.

Sometimes he that can catch it, an usurper, p. 23. O. 155.

72. Thus this new nothing, that is to carry with it all power, authority, and government; this fatherhood, which is to design the person, and establish the throne of monarchs, whom the people are to obey; may, according to sir Robert, come into any hands, any how, and so by his politics give to democracy royal authority, and make an usurper a lawful prince. And if it will do all these fine feats, much good do our author and all his followers with their omnipotent fatherhood, which can serve for nothing but to unsettle and destroy all the lawful governments in the world, and to establish in their room disorder, tyranny, and usurpation.