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a son, he might have spared his pains in all the rest; it being more necessary for the settling men's consciences, and determining their subjection and allegiance, to show them who, by original right, superior and antecedent to the will, or any act of men, hath a title to this paternal jurisdiction, than it is to show that by nature there was such a jurisdiction ; it being to no purpose for me to know there is such a paternal power, which I ought, and am disposed to obey, unless where there are many pretenders, I also know the person that is rightfully invested and endowed with it.
§ 120. For the main matter in question being concerning the duty of my obedience, and the obligation of conscience I am under to pay it to him that is of right my lord and ruler, I must know the person that this right of paternal power resides in, and so empowers him to claim obedience from me. For let it be true what he says, p. 12, “ That civil power not only in general is by divine institution, but even the assignment of it specially to the eldest parents ;” and 0. 254,“ That not only the power or right of govern. ment, but the form of the power of governing, and the person having that power, are all the ordinance of God;" yet unless he show us in all cases who is this person ordained by God, who is this eldest parent : all his abstract notions of monarchical power will signify just nothing, when they are to be redueed to practice, and men are conscientiously to pay their obedience: for paternal jurisdiction being not the thing to be obeyed, because it cannot command, but is only that which gives one man a right which another hath not, and if it come by inheritance, another man cannot have, to command and be obeyed; it is ridiculous to say, I pay obedience to the paternal power, when I obey him, to whom paternal power gives no right to my obedience: for he can have no divine right to my obedience, who cannot show his divine right to the power of ruling over me, as well as that by divine right there is such a power in the world.
$ 121. And hence not being able to make out any prince's title to government, as heir to Adam, which therefore is of no use, and had been better let alone, he is fain to resolve all into present possession, and makes civil obedience as due to an usurper as to a lawful king; and thereby the usurper's title as good. His words are, 0. 253, and they deserve to be remembered : “ If an usurper dispossess the true heir, the subjects' obedience to the fatherly power must go along, and wait upon God's providence.” But I shall leave his title of usurpers to be examined in its due place, and desire my sober reader to consider what thanks princes owe such politics as this, which can suppose paternal power, i. e. a right to government in the hands of a Cade or a Cromwell; and so all obedience being due to paternal power, the obedience of subjects will be due to them, by the same right, and upon as good grounds, as it is tó lawful princes; and yet this, as dangerous a doctrine as it is, must necessarily follow from making all political power to be nothing else but Adam's paternal power by right and divine institution, descending from him without being able to show to whom it descended, or who is heir to it.
$ 122. To settle government in the world, and to lay obligations to obedience on any man's conscience, it is as necessary (supposing with our author that all power be nothing but the being possessed of Adam's fatherhood) to satisfy him, who has a right to this power, this fatherhood, when the possessor dies, without sons to succeed immediately to it; as it was to tell him, that upon the death of the father, the eldest son had a right to it: for it is still to be remembered, that the great question is, (and that which our author would be thought to contend for, if he did not sometimes forget it) what persons have a right to be obeyed, and not whether there be a power in the world, which is to be called paternal, without knowing in whom it resides : for so it be a power, i. e. right to govern, it matters not, whether it be termed paternal or regal, natural or acquired; whether you call it supreme fatherhood, or su
preme brotherhood, will be all one, provided we know who has it.
$ 123. I go on then to ask, whether in the inheriting of this paternal power, this supreme fatherhood,
, the grandson by a daughter hath a right before a nephew by a brother? Whether the grandson by the eldest son, being an infant, before the younger son, a man and able? Whether the daughter before the uncle? or any other man, descended by a male line? Whether a grandson, by a younger daughter, before a grand-daughter by an elder daughter? Whether the elder son by a concubine, before a younger son by a wife? From whence also will arise many questions of legitimation, and what in nature is the difference betwixt a wife and a concubine? For as to the municipal or positive laws of men, they can signify nothing here. It may farther be asked, Whether the eldest son, being a fool, shall inherit this paternal power, before the younger, a wise man? and what degree of folly it must be that shall exclude him? and who shall be judge of it? Whether the son of a fool, excluded for his folly, before the son of his wise brother who reigned ? Who has the paternal power whilst the widow-queen is with child by the deceased king, and nobody knows whether it will be a son or a daughter? Which shall be heir of the two male twins, who by the dissection of the mother were laid open to the world? Whether a sister by the half-blood, before a brother's daughter by the whole blood ?
$ 124. These, and many more such doubts, might be proposed about the titles of succession, and the right of inheritance; and that not as idle speculations, but such as in history we shall find have concerned the inheritance of crowns and kingdoms; and if our's want them, we need not go farther for famous examples of it than the other kingdom in this very island, which having been fully related by the ingenious and learned author of Patriarcha non Monarcha, I need say no more of. Till our author hath resolved all the doubts that
may arise about the next heir, and showed that they are plainly determined by the law of nature, or the revealed
law of God, all his suppositions of a monarchical, absolute, supreme, paternal power in Adam, and the descent of that power to his heirs, would not be of the least use to establish the authority, or make out the title of any one prince now on earth; but would rather unsettle and bring all into question: for let our author tell us as long as he pleases, and let all men believe it too, that Adam had a paternal, and thereby a monarchical power; that this (the only power in the world) descended to his heirs; and that there is no other power in the world but this: let this be all as clear demonstration, as it is manifest error; yet if it be not past doubt to whom this paternal power descends, and whose now it is, nobody can be under any obligation of obedience; unless any one will say that I am bound to pay obedience to paternal power in a man who has no more paternal power than I myself; which
than I myself; which is all one as to say, I obey a man, because he has a right to govern; and if I be asked how I know he has a right to govern, I should answer it cannot be known that he has any at all: for that cannot be the reason of my obedience, which I know not to be so; much less can that be reason of my obedience, which nobody at all can know to be so.
$ 125. And therefore all this ado about Adam's fatherhood, the greatness of its power, and the necessity of its supposal, helps nothing to establish the power of those that govern, or to determine the obedience of subjects who are to obey, if they cannot tell whom they are to obey, or it cannot be known who are to govern, and who to obey. In the state the world is now, it is irrecoverably ignorant who is Adam's heir. This fatherhood, this monarchical power of Adam, descending to his heirs, would be of no more use to the government of mankind, than it would be to the quieting of men's consciences, or securing their healths, if our author had assured them that Adam had a power to forgive sins, or cure diseases, which by divine institution descended to his heir, whilst this heir is impossible to be known. And should not he do as rationally, who upon
this assurance of our author went and confessed his sins, and expected a good absolution; or took physic with expectation of health, from any one who had taken on himself the name of priest or physician, or thrust himself into those employments, saying, I acquiesce in the absolving power descending from Adam, or I shall be cured by the medicinal power descending from Adam; as he who says, I submit to and obey the paternal power descending from Adam, when it is confessed all these powers descend only to his single heir, and that heir is unknown?
$ 126. It is true the civil lawyers have pretended to determine some of these cases concerning the succession of princes; but by our author's principles they have meddled in a matter that belongs not to them: for if all political power be derived only from Adam, and be to descend only to his successive heirs, by the ordinance of God and divine institution, this is a right antecedent and paramount to all government; and therefore the positive laws of men cannot determine that which is itself the foundation of all law and government, and is to receive its rule only from the law of God and nature. And that being silent in the case, I am apt to think there is no such right to be conveyed this way: I am sure it would be to no purpose if there were, and men would be more at a loss concerning government, and obedience to governors, than if there were no such right; since by positive laws and compact, which divine institution (if there be any) shuts out, all these endless inextricable doubts can be safely provided against : but it can never be understood how a divine natural right, and that of such moment as is all order and peace in the world, should be conveyed down to posterity, without any plain natural or divine rule concerning it. And there would be an end of all civil government, if the assignment of civil power were by divine institution to the heir, and yet by that divine institution the person of the heir could not be known. This paternal regal power being by divine right only his, it leaves no room for human prudence, or consent, to place it any where else ; for if only one man hath a divine right to the obedience