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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,
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 abso lute 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. But 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 lifetime, says our author also; so that Adam, by a natural right of father, had an absolute, unlimited power over all his posterity, and
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 nowhere speaking of the paternal power, but as an absolute, unlimited authority, cannot be supposed to understand anything 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 regal 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 chil
dren. 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." 0. 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, 0. 244, 245, and Pref.
Sometimes parents have it, which word scarce signifies the father alone, p. 12, 19.
Sometimes children during their father's lifetime,
as p. 12.
Sometimes fathers of families, as p. 78, 79.
Sometimes fathers indefinitely, 0. 155.
Sometimes prime fathers, all sons of grandchildren of Noah, O. 244.
Sometimes the eldest parents, p. 12.
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 commonweath, p. 23.
Sometimes he that can catch it, an usurper, p. 23. 0. 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.
Of Fatherhood and Property considered together as
Fountains of Sovereignty.
§ 73. In the foregoing chapters we have seen what Adam's monarchy was in our author's opinion,