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of mankind, nobody can claim that obedience but he that can show that right; nor can men's consciences by any other pretence be obliged to it. And thus this doctrine cuts up all government by the roots.
$ 127. Thus we see how our author, laying it for a sure foundation, that the very person that is to rule is the ordinance of God, and by divine institution; tells us at large only that this person is the heir, but who this heir is he leaves us to guess; and so this divine institution, which assigns it to a person whom we have no rule to know, is just as good as an assignment to nobody at all. But whatever our author does, divine institution makes no such ridiculous assignments: nor can God be supposed to make it a sacred law, that one certain person should have a right to something, and yet not give rules to mark out, and know that person by; or give an heir a divine right to power, and yet not point out who that heir is. It is rather to be thought that an heir had no such right by divine institution, than that God should give such a right to the heir, but yet leave it doubtful and undeterminable who such heir is.
$ 128. If God had given the land of Canaan to Abraham, and in general terms to somebody after him, without naming his seed, whereby it might be known who that somebody was; it would have been as good and useful an assignment to determine the right to the land of Canaan, as it would be the determining the right of crowns, to give empire to Adam and his successive heirs after him, without telling who his heir is : for the word heir, without a rule to know who it is, signifies no more than somebody, I know not whom. God making it a divine institution that men should not marry those who were of near kin, thinks it not enough to say, "none of you shall approach to any that is near of
“ kin to him, to uncover their nakedness ;" but moreover gives rules to know who are those near of kin, forbidden by divine institution; or else that law would have been of no use; it being to no purpose to lay restraint or give privileges to men, in such general terms, as the particular person concerned cannot be known by. But God not having any where said the next heir shall inherit all his father's estate or dominion, we are not to wonder that he hath nowhere appointed who that heir should be ; for never having intended any such thing, never designed any heir in that sense, we cannot expect he should any where nominate or appoint any person to it, as we might, had it been otherwise. And therefore in Scripture, though the word heir occur, yet there is no such thing as heir in our author's sense, one that was by right of nature to inherit all that his father had, exclusive of his brethren. Hence Sarah supposes that if Ishmael staid in the house to share in Abraham's estate after his death, this son of a bond-woman might be heir with Isaac; and therefore, says she, “ cast out this bond-woman and her son, for the son of this bond-woman shall not be heir with my son:" but this cannot excuse our author, who telling us there is, in every number of men, one who is right and next heir to Adam, ought to have told us what the laws of descent are: but he having been so sparing to instruct us by rules how to know who is heir; let us see in the next place what his history out of Scripture, on which he pretends wholly to build his government, gives us in this necessary and fundamental point.
$ 129. Our author, to make good the title of his book, p. 13, begins his history of the descent of Adam's regal power, p. 13, in these words : “ This lordship which Adam by command had over the whole world, and by right descending from him, the patriarchs did enjoy, was a large,” &c. How does he prove that the patriarchs by descent did enjoy it? for “ dominion of life and death, says he, we find Judah the father pronounced sentence of death against Thamar his daughter-in-law for playing the harlot,” p. 13. How does this prove that Judah had absolute and sovereign authority ? " he pronounced sentence of death.” The pronouncing of sentence of death is not a certain mark of sovereignty, but usually the office of inferior magistrates. The power of making laws of life and death is indeed a mark of sovereignty, but pronouncing the sen
a tence according to those laws may be done by others,
and therefore this will but ill prove that he had sovereign authority: as if one should say, judge Jefferies pronounced sentence of death in the late times, therefore judge Jefferies had sovereign authority. But it will be said Judah did it not by commission from another, and therefore did it in his own right. Who knows whether he had any right at all? Heat of passion might carry him to do that which he had no authority to do. “Judah had dominion of life and death :” how does that appear? He exercised it, he “pronounced sentence of death against Thamar.” Our author thinks it is very good proof that because he did it, therefore he had a right to do it. He lay with her also; by the same way of proof he had a right to do that too. If the consequence be good from doing, to a right of doing, Absalom too may be reckoned amongst our author's sovereigns; for he pronounced such a sentence of death against his brother Amnon, and much upon a like occasion, and had it executed too, if that be sufficient to prove a dominion of life and death.
But allowing this all to be clear demonstration of sovereign power, who was it that had this “ lordship by right descending to him from Adam, as large and ample as the absolutest dominion of any monarch ?” Judah, says our author, Judah, a younger son of Jacob, his father and elder brethren living; so that if our author's own proof be to be taken, a younger brother may, in the life of his father and elder brothers, “ by right of descent, enjoy Adam's monarchical power;" and if one so qualified may be a monarch by descent, why may not every man? If Judah, his father and elder brethren living, were one of Adam's heirs, I know not who can be excluded from this inheritance; all men by inheritance may be monarchs as well as Judah.
$ 130. “ Touching war, we see that Abraham commanded an army of 318 soldiers of his own family, and Esau met his brother Jacob with 400 men at arms: for matter of peace, Abraham made a league with Abimelech,” &c. p. 13. Is it not possible for a man to have 318 men in his family without being heir to Adam ? A planter in the West Indies has more, and might, if he pleased (who doubts ?) muster them up and lead them out against the Indians to seek reparation upon any injury received from them; and all this without the absolute dominion of a monarch, descending to him from Adam.” Would it not be an ad
" mirable argument to prove, that all power by God's institution descended from Adam by inheritance, and that the very person and power of this planter were the ordinance of God, because he had power in his family over servants born in his house, and bought with his money ? For this was just Abraham's case; those who were rich in the patriarch's days, as in the West Indies now, bought men and maid-servants, and by their increase, as well as purchasing of new, came to have large and numerous families, which though they made use of in war or peace, can it be thought the power they had over them was an inheritance descended from Adam, when it was the purchase of their money? A man's riding, in an expedition against an enemy, his horse bought, in a fair, would be as good a proof that the owner enjoyed the lordship which Adam by command had over the whole world, by right descending to him," as Abraham's leading out the servants of his family is, that the patriarchs enjoyed this lordship by descent from Adam: since the title to the power the master had in both cases, whether over slaves or horses, was only from his purchase; and the getting a dominion over any thing by bargain and money, is a new way of proving one had it by descent and inheritance.
$ 131. “ But making war and peace are marks of sovereignty.” Let it be so in politic societies : may not therefore a man in the West Indies, who hath with him sons of his own, friends or companions, soldiers under pay, or slaves bought with money, or perhaps a band made up of all these, make war and peace, if there should be occasion, and "ratify the articles too with an oath, without being a sovereign, an absolute king over those who went with him? He that says he cannot, must then allow many masters of ships, many
private planters, to be absolute monarchs, for as much as this they have done. War and peace cannot be made for politic societies, but by the supreme power of such societies; because war and peace giving a different motion to the force of such a politic body, none can make war or peace but that which has the direction of the force of the whole body, and that in politic societies is only the supreme power. In voluntary societies for the time, he that has such a power by consent may make war and peace, and so may a single man for himself, the state of war not consisting in the number of partisans, but the enmity of the parties, where they have no superior to appeal to.
$ 132. The actual making of war or peace is no proof of any other power, but only of disposing those to exercise or cease acts of enmity for whom he makes it; and this power in many cases any one may have without any politic supremacy: and therefore the making of war or peace will not prove that every one that does so is a politic ruler, much less a king; for then commonwealths must be kings too, for they do as certainly make war and peace as monarchical government.
$ 133. But granting this a “mark of sovereignty in Abraham, is it a proof of the descent to him of Adam's sovereignty over the whole world ? If it be, it will surely be as good a proof of the descent of Adam's lordship to others too. And then commonwealths, as well as Abraham, will be heirs of Adam, for they make war and peace as well as he. If you say that the “ lordship of Adam” doth not by right descend to commonwealths, though they make war and peace, the same say I of Abraham, and then there is an end of your argument: if you stand to your argument, and say those that do make war and peace, as commonwealths do without doubt, “ do inherit Adam's lordship," there is an end of your monarchy, unless you will say that commonwealths“ by descent enjoying Adam's lordship” are monarchies; and that indeed would be a new way of making all the governments in the world monarchical.